2011-06-13: Upgrade Against Upgrade


Chloe_icon.jpg Theo_icon.jpg

Summary: Theo and Chloe discuss how to take on Heather's parents.

Date: Monday, June 13, 2011. 1:30pm

Log Title: Upgrade against Upgrade

Rating: PG

Xavier Mansion - Gymnasium

This big room with wooden floors is build with powered students in mind; the entire room is power proof. Blast the walls all you like, they are not breaking. The gym can either be one large room and it also has dividers to make it two smaller gyms. This large Gym has basketball nets, equipment to set up equipment badminton, volleyball, hockey, soccer, gymnastics, fencing, and everyone's favorite, dodge ball.

Today the gym has been commandeered by one very very annoyed speedster. For the last hour anyone casually peeking in through the door has been treated to Chloe working through the kind of brutal training regime that you'd expect a supervillian pretending to be a Xaviers teacher to set up. Over and over the blonde teen punches what seems to be a large section of tree hanging from a rope, causing it to splinter and crack. The noise of breaking wood drowned out only by the deafening hammering sound of her strikes.

Theo first heard the brutal workout, not knowing who was inside. He decided to come back a bit later to work on his latest testing of Proto's enhancement. There are less cameras to fool in the gym than outside, so that makes it a more optimal place to work on the more militant upgrades he is giving Proto. However, he's running lower on time, and he wants to test it before he heads to work.
He cautiously peeks his head through the door, spotting Chloe with her vicious workout. He steps in, wearing a wife beater and gym shorts. He's gained some good mass in the last few months, working hard with Connor's training. He's still rather thin, but at least he's not scrawny anymore. A few moments behind him, Proto enters, scanning the room. "Mutant: Chloe McMillan. Potential threat level: High." Theo looks back at his creation. "She isn't a threat, she's a good guy," he corrects. "Potential threat level: High," Proto insists. Theo rolls his eyes. "Okay okay, potential, I get it."

At the intrusion Chloe spins, delivering one last strike that splits the log down the middle. "Leave me the hell a… Oh. Sorry Theo," she half growls, pupils dilated like she's running on enough adrenaline to make up several lethal doeses for a regular person. "I thought it was someone coming to tell me to relax." She doesn't even seem aware that her real knuckles are red raw as she adds "I've got a question, well two actually, and I really need to know without anyone else knowing."

Theo shrinks slightly at the initial response from his teammate, "Yeah," Theo says, approaching her. "Anything you need. Are you okay?" Her elevated level of intensity hasn't escaped the technopath's notice. Proto begins to follow Theo across the gym to Chloe. "The cameras aren't watching us," the teen says." Handy poewr at times.

"Can Proto hurt people?" Chloe asks, in what would be an innocent manner if not for the unblinking intensity. "And do you have access to a psionic dampener? I /really/ need the answer to be yes to at least one. Because otherwise I have a little problem with my plans for summer break."

The dark-haired teen arches his brow. "Um…I'm working on it…and maybe?" Theo looks a little perplexed. "What are your plans for the summer break?" he asks. "It sounds rather dramatic. Are you planning to murder a psionic? Please tell me it's Emma."

Chloe scowls. "I'm not joking," she snaps. "Heathers parents have kidnapped her and maybe Connor too. But from what I've heard Connor may even be dead. With her mom around she could have been away for /years/ subjectively. All the while having them try make her like them and I will /not let them make my best friend a monster/!"

"Wait, what?" Theo seems to have not heard of these things. "Connor's dead? Did you tell anyone else? Does Scott know?" Theo looks at the state of her workout zone, understanding a little better what is going on. "When did they take her? Where do you think they took her?" Suddenly there are a lot of questions for Chloe.

"Someone was babbling about how they heard he turned into a vortex or something," Chloe says distantly, only now noticing she's near ruined her real hand. "And he hasn't been back at school since Heather vanished. A few days ago. Which is practically forever in fast world." She makes a half hearted attempt to kick the fallen log. "The teachers must know by now and if I knew where I wouldn't be here. I'd be busy putting her parents into an ICU."

"Heather's parents are no slouches, if what she's told me is real," Theo answers. "We are going to need more than just brute strength and speed to beat them. I had a psionic inhibitor when Selene was here, I can ask Tony to let me borrow it again. He wouldn't let anyone but me touch it last time, though. I've been working on turning Proto into a bit more of a "practical" robot," he tells Chloe. He holds his arms out to the side, and the little bot jumps onto his back, unfolding around him to reveal a partially complete suit of power armor. There's no helmet yet, one arm stops at the forearm, and the other at the bicep. It also only covers to the hip, the legs haven't been built yet. Still, he seems to have packed quite a bit into the space that the bot takes up.

"You would need him to act by himself," Chloe says, shaking her head. "Heather always implied her parents got past people with powers before now and I guess that means they can even trick mutant senses, like technopathy. So we'd need to trust Proto to win by himself and if they can even fool machine senses… Well then we're fucked." She snarls. "An inhibitor might work, but I don't even know if her dads power will be stopped by one. They might also trick Heather into fighting us, do you really think you could stand up against her using your.. what do you call him when he's like that anyway?"

"He can act on his own, but he only has very limited offensive abilities right now," Theo explains. "And I still call him Proto. I didn't think he needed a new name. If Heather attacked us? I don't think he'd be much help. Tony hasn't shown me how to make the stuff he makes his armor out of, and I don't think he's going to anytime soon." He shrugs his shoulders, and Proto lands on the ground, folding back into his normal form. "I didn't get lucky like you and get a super cool power that lets me be super fast and durable."

He reaches into his pocket, pulling out a single pill. An MGH pill. "All I got is this — and before you say anything, no, I wasn't on the stuff. Somebody tried to sell them to me, and gave it to me as a free sample. I just turned him over to the cops. Just always held onto it for a rainy day, y'know?"

Chloe very fractionally shifts stance when Theo puts his hand in his pocket, to something ever so slightly more suited for inflicting injury. "You've been getting free samples of party drugs… How does that fucking help us?" She suddenly flinches and shakes her head. "I'm sorry, I think I must have kicked in my adrenaline surge while I was training. Makes me a little… not myself. Need to calm down and think."

Theo rolls his eyes. "It's not a party drug, Chloe, it's MGH." He holds the pill between his fingers. "I can't do all the things you can normally. It's a superspeed pill. In a pinch, I could use it to even the playing field. It'd last an hour, more than enough time for a single fight. That plus the armor might be enough to make the difference. But I think we're better off finding a way to trap them in their own game. They got caught before, we need to figure out how they were caught before."

"They got caught because Heathers power kicked in," Chloe points out not taking her eyes off the pill. "Moving in restrictive clothing is hard at superspeed, let alone in armour Proto." Her head tilts fractionally. "How strong is it? Just out of interest…."

Theo shrugs. "Guy never said," he answers. "I can't really say. Only one way to find out I'd guess, since that whole group is in jail now." He laughs, "My muscles would probably hurt like hell after it wore off. Anyway, that's just a detail. It could come in handy if it comes to that. But if Heather's parents were beaten by something unexpected, then that's what we need to look for. A wildcard to throw in the mix that would cause them to have to change gears quickly. Then take the opportunity to take them out." He looks back down at Proto. "Proto could probably be made to do it, we'd just want him to insert at the right moment. I wonder if I could mount him into a much larger frame? I'd probably need Tony's help to make anything seriously formidible."

Chloe laughs. "Depending on how it grants you the superspeed you might end up in the medbay," she points out rolling her shoulders. "Pure speed enhancement will rip your muscles, ruin your joints and god help you if you punch someone. You'll risk breaking every bone in your hand." She scowls. "If her mom has upgraded Heather not even I'll be able to stand up to her… Which was why I was thinking /me/ taking the pill might work. But anyway.. could you fit a tazer into him? Or some flashbangs? I know her dad controls senses, but I bet one of them stays within sight of a victim. So a non-lethal wide area attack should cause them as many problems as it would us. Maybe less as we couldn't trust our senses anyway…."

"That's a good point," Theo says. "Unless it slowed you down because it overrides your natural speed. Maybe I can see if I can do some research to find out." Proto encircles Chloe and Theo, then examines some of the broken wood on the ground. "Things that cause distractions can be good. It could stop them from using their powers maybe as well. If we can create something to break focus. I took that mental defense class last semester. It is pretty major focus that is required to use mental abilities. Drugs could be good, too. Maybe we could arm him with some sedatives. But at that point, maybe should just use a good old fashioned bullet and end the problem for good." The technopath has no reservations about using lethal force.

"Is Proto… does he think? Is he an it or a he?" Chloe wonders, glancing at the little robot. "Because if he is a he then you probably shouldn't have him kill anyone. They'd break him down for scrap and you'd get in serious trouble." Idly she kicks one of the pieces of wood, apparantly her adrenaline fueled rage has subsided for now. "CS gas dispenser perhaps? But anyway I don't want them to die. Death would be too good for them. They need to /suffer/. What they did to Heather deserves a drawn out punishment."

"Pff, I don't care if death is too good for them," the technopath answers. "I'm thinking about what's good for us. Anything drawn out gives a chance for the tables to be turned. Dead people don't get to have the option of revenge. Proto pounces on the piece of wood that is kicked. "Well, he's an it, I just call it a he, kinda miss my dog I guess." He gives a mousy shrug. "But he does think, he can learn and adapt to situations. I make sure to back up his AI ever so often so that if something happened to him I wouldn't lose all of his progress. He could definitely help us in this."

Chloe does her carefully drawn out slow eyeroll. "What I mean is if he thinks you'd be murdering him. Your own creation," she points out. "It's like your killing first born son. Besides you're missing the point. They lose, slink off broken and defeated and if they come back? Then it happens again and again. Until they're just a joke and deep down they know it." She laughs half-heartedly. "And who says death means no revenge? Would someone coming back from beyond the grave really shock you after staying here?"

"I think Asimov would be proud, Chloe, but Proto really is a robot still. Everything breaks down to ones and zeroes. Even if somebody dismantled him I could just reload him into a new body." Theo crosses his arms. "Maybe it wouldn't shock me if someone came back from the dead, but I still think it has a higher chance of success then pissing them off and making them more prepared next time. Maybe next time they don't lose. This isn't the movies where the good guys always win. If you really want to beat them, we have to think of what it takes, and you have to think of whether you're willing to do deal with the cost of saving Heather. Not only that, but what if you really do have to fight her? How far are you willing to take the fight?"

Chloe shrugs. "In which case I offer a simple trade," she states solemnly. "I'll work with them freely and willingly if they let her go. They don't have to worry about Heather escaping their control and defeating them and she gets saved. Everyone is a winner."

"Oh no you won't," Theo takes a rather aggressive tone, and just as aggressive expression, one that isn't common for how he deals with Chloe specifically, shoving a finger at her face. "You absolutely will not. If you even consider that I'll have nothing to do with helping you, and I'll stop you from doing anything. Do I make myself clear?"

Perhaps it isn't the best idea to jab fingers at a wired speedster in a foul mood. Without even thinking Chloe grabs the offending digit and applies a light finger lock. Twisting to apply a little discomfort. "You asked me how far I was willing to go," she points out. "If you think it's better to kill people than to use diplomacy then we'll have to agree to disagree." Feeling her point made she lets go. "Besides I never claimed I wouldn't betray them or lead other people back to them once Heather was safe. Don't you ever mistake me for someone who needs protecting Theo and /never/ threaten me when I'm on an adrenal high. I could have snapped your fingers like twigs before I was even aware I was moving."

"Ow!" Theo rotates his body with the finger lock, then yanks his hand back away from Chloe when she releases, refusing to coddle the offended digit. Meanwhile, Proto responds the way that he's been taught. He leaps to grab the girl by the ankles and try to pull them out from under her. "Proto, let her go!" Theo barks, getting an immediately the bot obeys. "I wasn't threatening you. I only think you need protecting if you're going to do something stupid. Just because you think faster than other people, doesn't mean you think smarter. They've been at this for years, you really think they'd fall for something so simple? You really think they wouldn't brainwash you too? You see how weird Heather can be because of all the crap they did to her growing up. She has trouble interacting with people even without her powers being a factor. You aren't invincible, Chloe. I want to help you with this, but I'm not going to help you suicide. We have to be smart, we have to think our way through this carefully, and that's not careful." Though Theo knows Chloe could easily smash him like a bug, he doesn't seem intent on backing down.

Chloe skips lightly away from Proto's grappling before the little droid ever really gets a proper hold. "Of course I'm not invincible," she yells, . "But it's a hell of a lot harder to brainwash someone who expects it and has prepared than it is a child you've raised from birth. Besides I'd only have to hold out long enough for the cavalry to arrive. Heather doesn't have that option. She was already falling apart before they even set eyes on her and by now she might struggle to even remember our names. At least I /have/ a plan. Every day we waste is five days my best friend suffers if we're lucky. It could be months or even years. Better to act quickly and risk everything than plan our every move and find out there is nothing left to save."

"Fine, let's stop arguing then and tell me what you know about where they might have taken her. Even better, what do they want to accomplish with her? They didn't come capture her for no reason. From what I know of them, they are calculating. They don't do anything by accident." Theo seems to take direct control of Proto, who is still in a defensive stance, as if ready to pounce. The legs fold up and he goes into his hibernation mode. "If we can't find them, then our plan will be worthless. Do you think they want to take more students here?"

"From everything she told me… I guess they view her as a tool. Something they spent time and energy making and now she has a power she's valuble enough they'll risk getting caught to reclaim her," Chloe ventures, stamping down on a piece if wood. "I don't know /where/ they might be. But they must know by know that Heather has friends with powers. After all they took her when Connor was around. They might move against us because we're a threat." She pauses, then adds "If I were them I'd hide somewhere that it'd be tricky to isolate my ability. A place with other people with powers, like mutant town maybe? I think I'll try cool off then talk to people and find out where they grabbed her. It could hint at where they're hiding."

"Man, I wish I was my future self," Theo grumbles. "I could scour mutant town easily. We could go through mutant town and I'll scan the digital camera records, see if we can find her there." Proto turns back on, and starts to unfold again, much more peaceful looking. "Right now I'm gonna be late for work, so I gotta go. But I'll see what I can discover in the main intersections at Mutant Town, and you see if you can get more information. I'll see you later."

Chloe nods. "Just don't trust anything you see and try not to get caught alone," she says quietly. "I'm already down on two of my friends. Rather not make it three anytime soon." And with that she begins the slow process of tidying up the mess from her workout.

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