2010-11-22: The Air Up There


Sam_icon.jpg Theo_icon.jpg

Summary: After months of training, Sam lets Theo take the Blackbird up for a test flight. Squeee!

Date: Monday, November 22, 2010. 11:00am.

Log Title: The Air Up There

Rating: PG

Xavier Mansion - Blackbird Hangar

A quick shuttle ride exits you to a large bay where sits the Blackbird. Advanced equipment to maintain the high tech plane is locked in cabinets and closets through out the room. Unless you are trained and have the authorization codes, you will not be able to access the Blackbird or the miscarry doors that open up for its launch.

Theo has never really considered himself a plane fanatic, but it's definitely been growing on him over the last several weeks. During October, he was able to have a lot more one on one time, since James and Connor were both missing. He's taken full advantage of it. So here he is on Monday morning, his hand running across the outside of the Blackbird. He'd stay in this class all day if Sam would let him. With the advanced technology, it is one of the few classes that requires his undivided attention.

Even with the one on one time, Sam hasn't let Theo actually fly the jet yet, he's been teaching them the control and running through some simulations in the danger room. So today is a special day for Theo, Sam is going to go co-pilot while he lets Theo take the wheel. He's not excepting Theo to remember everything thus why he's gonna be the co-pilot, so nothing will go wrong. "Mornin' Theo." Sam says as he walks in with a cup of coffee in one hand. He's dressed in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt with his goggles on his forehead. Something about flying and goggles. "Ya ready ta try ta actually fly the Blackbird?"

The teenager looks like he could wet himself he's so excited. "Yes." The response is a bit louder and more forceful than needed. Theo's opted for his old high school hoody sweatshirt, green with 'Blue Jays' written across the front, along with the school mascot. He ducks underneath the plane, walking to the entrance. "I've been ready for weeks." Pretty much since day 2, in his mind.

Sam walks over and enters in the codes so that large doors open so the jet can launch, then he walks over and uses the authorization code to open the jet and lets Theo on first. "Now, you're gonna tell me what yer doin' when yer don' it." That way he can point out if Theo missed a step if it's necessary. "Now we're not goin' out for a long ride, but just so ya can get a feel for what it's really like."

It's good that Sam lets Theo on first, because he was taking right of way anyway. The boy resists the urge to just power up the systems, and starts immediately going through the safety checks. "Okay, starting the safety checks," he tells Sam. "If I do really well, can we stay up longer?" he asks.

Sam just gives Theo a shrug as a yes or no answer. He doesn't want to say yes cause it might get Theo too excited and he'll forget things, but he does leave the potential there. He takes a seat next to Theo and straps himself in, looking over the instruments. Sam seems comfortable in the seat, like he's been up here more times than in a car. "Ah will tell ya, she's a very smooth ride. Ain't nothin' like drving a car or any land vehicle." He says noting Theo's composure as well.

After checking everything that he can think to check, Theo takes a moment to look around the cabin again. "Okay, emergency equipment is here, seals are proper," he starts listing all the checks they have been given. He doesn't list them in necessarily the order they were given, but it is an organized pattern that seems to be effective.

After pointing at each of the cabin checks, he walks up to the pilot's seat, feeling the soft back as he steps over and into the position of power. "How long have you been doing this?" he asks Sam. He starts checking the systems from his pilot seat, and then starts switching on the systems. His gaze doesn't move to Sam, he stays focused on the checks he needs to perform. He doesn't want to receive correction before he even gets the engines on.

"How long have Ah been flyin' the Blackbird or how long have Ah been doin' the Superhero thing?" Sam can't really say X-Men as he's been a part of numerous X-teams. "Ah started flyin' the blackbird several years back. When Ah was with the New Mutants, with X-Force we didn't really have access to it. And Ah got mah start with the New Mutants when Ah was sixteen years old." He reaches up and punches in a few codes to open the door on the other side of exit ramp so that way Theo doesn't end up hitting a steal door when exiting the secret exit.

"Wow, sixteen?" Theo echoes, He closes the door they came in through, and the hum of the turbines can be heard powering up. "Now the staff gets all pissy at the students that try to play superhero, don't they?" He wouldn't know from personal experience. He's not exactly the hero type.

"It was a lot differen't then." Sam says as he watches Theo do his thing. "The Professor was goin' through a hard time, he just lost all his X-Men and he didn't want us doin' the hero thing. But then it turned out the Professor was infected by tha Brood and wanted us tha be infected and…a whole mess but it all worked out in tha end. He did train us an everythin' though. Things were a lot different when Ah was a student here, Ah mean, it wasn't a school like this."

"The Brood?" The term isn't familiar to the technopath. Theo grabs the flight stick, and takes a deep breath. "Here we go," he says, and starts to pull up on the stick. The jet starts to lift off, "Sounds like something out of a movie." His voice becomes a little distant now that the plane is moving, his attention is clearly not focused on the conversation as much. Rather, it's focused on the walls and his instruments. He doesn't want to run into a wall on the way out. He keeps the pace slow, and mostly steady.

Sam watches Theo closely and keeps an eye on the instruments but he still talks a bit. "If Ah'm distractin' ya with talkin', let me know. The Brood, they're an alien race, insect like. They have a way of infectin' us and takin' us over and makin' us become one of them. Not exactly plesant critters." Sam says with a big of disqust in his voice as he cold live happily without ever encountering The Brood again. "And you're doin' good Theo."

Theo wrinkles his nose. "Insect? They're probably pissed because we use roach spray." His mind goes to Men In Black. "And I'm okay, I've gotten used to background stuff. What you're saying is only one of about a thousand things I'm hearing right now. Addison's mental defense classes are paying off I think, even if he creeps me out."
Now clear from the school, Theo punches it, and the jet lunges forward. A bit quicker than he expected it to. His coordination actually seems to be better than in the Danger Room, there's less distractions here with machines. He's speeding up, and a grin crawls across his face as he starts to feel himself pressed back into the seat.

"Addison ain't that bad." Sam says as his worry is more Emma and Selene but that is something he refuses to tell the kids since a lot of it is bad history. "Just go easy Theo, we ain't enterin' a race. Now thing ya gotta remember is tah watch the radars and be mindful of yer surroundin's. We don't need someone tah report a UFO or somethin' nor the government bein' curious about an unidentified air craft. Thus why we're gonna be stayin' in the area. We'll head tah upstate New York." He says giving Theo the cordinates to put it for easier flying. "And if only roach spray worked on them."

Theo nods, looking at the instruments more than in front of him. He checks the coordinates, and realizes that he's going in almost perfectly the opposite direction. He banks to the side, just a little too far so that instead of flying sideways, he's flying slightly inverted. He corrects the situation, and then pulls up. "Ohhhh," he grunts, and remembers the trick to keep from blacking out from additional G-force. He clenches his abs, grunting hard as the just comes back around and in the correct direction. Might've been better if he had let off the accelerator first, but nothing dangerous, just a little less efficient than it could be. As it is, when he's finished, he's going the right direction, and he flops the plane back to an upright position.

Sam is used to this as he's had to fly it to get to places in a hurry but he let's Theo do his thing since it's his first time up. This kind of thing is to be expected. "A lotta times ya won't be comin' outta the exit in the direction ya want tah be heading." Sam explains before smiling. "Just take it easy and don' worry too much about it." Besides Cannonball wouldn't let Theo mess anything up to badly. "Scott'll be able tah give ya some good tips when flyin'. Him and Storm have been doin' it the longest."

Theo nods, his grin is rather wide now. "This…is by far…the coolest thing I've ever done in my life." He finds that he's drifting toward the ground, and corrects. He doesn't seem to be content with leveling out. He feels too close to the ground in case something went wrong. So he pulls back on the stick, and begins to climb up toward the clouds. "I can't wait to tell him that I got to fly." he considers the fact that he already wants to tell everyone he knows. "I guess I can't tell Tony," he says, remembering a warning from Scott about the sub-basement. He doesn't know if the Blackbird is covered in that prohibition of information.

"Tony as in Tony Stark?" Sam asks since he does know a bit about the Avenger but he's never really been on any sort of terms with him. "Ah'm pretty sure he knows about the Blackbird with the nubmer of times the X-Men and the Avengers have worked together." Tony has one of those publicly secret identities. "There is a certain thrill with flyin', Ah prefer mah blastin' tah this but not everyone can fly on their own means."

Theo nods, "Yeah, he's my boss. Probably one of the coolest people ever, too." The youth pulls up higher, and starts to make the incline rather steep. "I forgot, how high can this go?" he asks. It seems that he may be intending to fly it there.

Sam smiles at Theo and shakes his head. "Ah'll tell ya when we get back to the mansion. Right now we're gonna keep her at a nice safe altitude." Sorry he's not about to let Theo fool around and test out what the Blackbird can do right now. Not on his first flight. "So we're gonna head to the cordinates, land then head back to the school."

The technopath frowns, but complies. He's getting a privilege, and doesn't want to spoil it. He levels out, passing through a cloud as they grow closer to the coordinates. "Fine," he says with a little disappointment. He tries a little wing wave for the fun of it. "Can I do a barrel roll at least?" he asks.

Sam gives Theo a look very much like how an older brother would when a younger sibling is misbehaving. That stern look that says 'my word is law'. "This is yer first time out Theo, we ain't doin' any fancy tricks or anythin' up here taday. Ah know yer excited but ya gotta be safe to. And right now, we're keepin' it safe."

Theo sighs. "See, this is why it's easier to ask forgiveness than permission." He's still having a good time, though. But without looking back at the coordinates, he knows he's reached them. He slows the plane, and starts to turn, much more effectively than the first time. The turn is tighter, and uses the wind the way one ought, rather than just forcing the turn as he did last time. Soon they are back on course, heading for the school. He arches his brow. "Can you do a cool trick or two?" he asks. He likes flying, but he wants to say they did something amazingly cool when he gets back.

Sam gives a kind of sly smile back at Theo. "But yes, forgiveness could keep ya grounded for the next month. And Ah mean grounded not like stuck on school campus but grounded as in stuck on the ground." He remembers that Theo is grounded so he wanted to make that clear. "Ah can, but Ah prefer to do 'em when Ah'm blastin'. It's more fun that way but Ah don't like tah do 'cool tricks' unless there's a need for 'em since most the time you have passengers who won't like that. Also Ah don't take the Blackbird out for joy rides usually."

Theo smirks a little. "Okay, so back to the school we go." He takes his time, not reaccelerating. He drifts back to the lower altitude, less intimidated about it at a lower speed. "So do you usually fly it really low to avoid government radar?" he asks.

"It all depends on what country and what areas of this country we are flyin' over. A lot of factors depend on altitude and speed." Such as emergency too Sam thinks. He just doesn't think Theo will be flying it for missions anytime soon. "The more we stay off the radar the better. Xavier's doesn't need the unwanted attention." Sam says with a smile.

"Yeah, I'm glad for that," Theo says. "Better for all of us." Even at a low speed, the school is growing close much faster than he'd like. But that's what happens when you fly a jet. You get places fast. "Kisha's gonna be so jealous," he says. "I think I get to take the title of youngest person to ever fly the Blackbird now." He doesn't know that, but he knows that normally only seniors get to take the course.

"Ah'm not sure who the youngest person is tah fly the Blackbird." Sam says but he doesn't think on it to hard. "But ya do get tah take the title of first in mah class tah fly the Blackbird. James and Connor are a bit behind ya with being gone for a month." He smiles over at Theo. "Now's the part where ya gonna have tah be really careful, landin' her back in the hanger."

Theo engages the hover mode, and slows down further, lowering altitude until he can see the sparse presence of the houses in Westchester. He takes a deep breath, and comes down over the open secret entrance. "It looks a lot smaller than it did on the way out," he says. Slowly, very slowly, he starts to descend. It's clear that the landing makes him rather nervous. After all, this is a machine worth several million dollars that he might suddenly crash if he makes a wrong move.

Sam does stay quiet as Theo concentrates. Sure he said he can pay attention but Sam doesn't want to risk that. He doesn't need to have Theo buffing out any scratches he made to the black jet. What's great about the Blackbird is the VTOL making take off and landings a bit easier.

As he grows close to passing through the doors, Theo suddenly realizes that he hasn't put down the landing gear, and does so. He laughs nervously. "That might be important. I think I saw it on a quiz a while back." He continues down, and realize that the left wing isn't going to clear. He stops the descent, and adjusts to the right a little. He continues to watch the instruments rather than look out the window, knowing that he can't see all the way around the plane visually. He continues his path downward until the gentle pushback of the ground can be felt. The sixteen year old lets out a breath he didn't realize he had been holding, and collapses back into the seat with a broad smile sweeping across his face, and a laugh letting out some more nervousness.

"Not to bad Rookie." Sam says to Theo as he thinks the student did fairly well his first time out. He doubles checks everything flipping a few switches here and there and explaining what he's doing. "From now on, twice a week we'll be doin' the real thing until Christmas where the final test will be." He says before he starts to give Theo a list of a few things to remember.

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