|Marvel: In the Beginning...|
Cyclops is waiting for you in the control room of the Danger Room, working on some of the new programming. When the doors slide open to admit Jonothan, Cyclops glances back. "Hey there. I heard you got titled with the codename, Chamber." He turns back to return to building the program. "Do you think you are about ready to test this thing out?"
Hesitating slightly on the threshold, Jonothon nods as he enters fully. << Seems kind of apt. >> Said of his code name. Approaching, the teen watches in a curious manner about what Scott is doing, even to the point of leaning over a shoulder to watch. << Considering the source, no, I can't say I am. >> The teen is smiling as he admits this though. << Should I still be careful? >> Jono always has to hold back in the danger room for fear of doing it considerable harm. That does hinder him a good deal, and it's not done his showing here any good. (Sure has been getting better at this all though.)
Cyclops comments, "I think it is fitting well enough as well. Look at me, 'Cyclops'." Then on to other topics, "I believe it is safe, just don't put it on too high a danger level." He selects danger level 4. "It isn't easy for you to damage this danger room, the materials are very resilient." Cyclops finishes the final touches and then stands up and heads for the elevator. "Let's head down." He waits for you.
Jonothon nods his agreement to the code name. << I thought so too. >> Cyclops fits you very well indeed. Straightening as you say to go down, the teen looks through the windows to the empty room below. << Good. >> That it's resilient. << I'm getting to the point where I need to stop holding back to learn better. >> He's almost looking forward to training now. Such a large change from how it was just a few months ago. << Let me go change. I won't be long. >> A change to his costume, which he isn't wearing. There's a bit of a playful salute, and the young man goes off to the locker room. It really won't take him more than a couple minutes to change.
When he shows up, he's in the costume Simone designed for him. Mostly black, not at all skin tight, and the open jacket has a flame motif over the shoulders. Looks much, much more comfortable in this than the tight training uniform. << Sorry about that. >>
Cyclops nods and steps toward the elevator once more. The doors slide open and he is inside, waiting for you before he pushes the 'down' arrow button. The doors slide close and the elevator smoothly goes down before halting at the bottom of the real Danger Room area. The doors slide open once more and Cyclops leads the way out. The doors slide clothes once you exit as well.
"Danger Room, activate program Jungle 1," Cyclops orders. Suddenly, the room shimmers and changes. Jungle trees reach up toward the sky and there is a canopy above. The area is dark, only a few spots of right light filtering through the thick leaves above. There are tangles of roots, some of the afternoon sounds of monkeys and birds. The humidity has even changed in the Danger Room feeling heavy. There are also the scent of greenery, soil and water. The place suddenly appears as if 'alive'.
"What do you think Chamber?" Cyclops actually flashes a brief grin. He appears pleased. "The mission is an easy one. Find the criminals and subdue them. No natives or civilians in this one. They use guns, so try not to get shot. Luckily, if you do it will only sting light...well, to someone with pain sensors. They may have other weapons, and they use guerrilla tactics, so be alert."
It's only due to being British that Jonothon doesn't jump right out of his new boots as the whole room shifts to jungle. His hair suddenly ruffles though, and the plants that form up around him quite suddenly lay flat. The teen doesn't notice either though as he looks around. What does he think? Woah! His expression says it all. Someone is well impressed.
So impressed that he doesn't even realize you are talking until nearly the end. A blink at you, dark eyes flickering with flames thanks to power use, and he looks a little blank for a second. Oh! Right, mission! Danger room mission. << Bloody brilliant. >> That's what he thinks of the danger room.
When he links the two of you, he's a little sheepish at having been too awed to listen well. << May as well get started. Haven't had my arse handed to me today yet. >>
Cyclops does notice however, "Careful with your sub-conscious gestures Chamber. You just flattened some poor foilage. What did it ever do to you?" He then nods, "Make sure your comlink is activated. Two ways to handle it, solo by spreading out in those directions," he points, "and then moving inward to meet. I would say about," and he gives an estimate space to move along those routes. "Or we can stick clothes together, visual range, and provide backup to one another. Both has their pros and cons. Which do you think is the best bet in the current situation?" Normally Scott would just make an order, but he actually wants you to think about it. "And why?"
A look down shows that he has indeed abused the foliage, but it doesn't stop. Sorry, no control over that yet, so there's nothing he can do. The effects aren't helpful at this stage. Jonothon doesn't apologize though, for he's more interested in the questions. There's a shake of the head though, and since his comm was activated when he dressed, he doesn't bother checking that now. << But I have absolutely no information. >> The teen says as he frowns at the area around. << Not even to who the people, or things, we have to subdue are. So, no, I have no suggestions at this time. Not before getting some information as to what's going on. >>
Guerrilla warfare, which means these criminals will attempt ambushes and sneak attacks. Their goal is to kill, not capture as I mentioned they will shoot you. For someone like Beast I would suggest two separate approaches, as his dexterity and ability to maneuver about the jungle would be most useful and having me slow him down would be bad. I can also handle myself. For you, I would suggest sticking together. You are new at this sort of combat, and potentially depending if we believe they would hunt us down first we could use you as bait or myself. I think guerrilla war tactics want a lack of survivors and hunters, so if they discover there is only two of us, they would hunt us down and attack or set up an ambush after gathering information."
After explaining his thoughts, Cyclops continues on with the plan. "I'd like to be a little ways behind you, but where I can still see you. I'm not a tracker, but we can look around for something that appears promising before we select a direction. If they have an ambush set up, I would want you to use your power to destroy their cover and expose them. Unfortunately, situations like this only allows for so much planning, the rest has to be instinct and sudden decisions once you find yourself in the situation." He smiles a hint, "Does this help?"
Jonothon does know what Guerrilla Warfare is, but he doesn't mention that. This isn't about his pride, and he's here to learn. There is a curious look at Scott, but he simply has to ask, << Am I not to use my telepathy then? >> For wouldn't that be easiest? At least to start. Helping to locate the people, and then ruin their cover. If there's a nice thing about Jono he can take getting smacked around without throwing a fit over his pride.
The teen is being wary of the jungle around them, for all he's still smooshing plants. The things show the sweep of his attention, some lifting again while others are pushed down. Kid isn't going to be subtle around here, sorry. << I could do a sweep before we head off? >> You have a great idea in flushing people out, but he doesn't want to just to blunder around to do that.
"How far is your training on it?" Cyclops frowns as he notices how your powers are reacting, "Interesting..." Something that should be corrected later, but it is good to know in the meantime. In the meantime he starts scanning around for footprints, damaged bark, and so on. He isn't a trained tracker but he has read a book on it. Just don't expect him to be any good at it. Strangely bent greenery will work too. He...isn't finding anything. "Tracking is more difficult than it reads," Cyclops comments. He then shakes his head, "In either case, I don't think telepathy works on the hard-light holograms. Be interesting if it did, perhaps we can mention it to Professor X, Beast, and Forge, see if they can come up with something?"
<< Eh, enough to locate people. >> Jonothon is more than trained enough for that, but he doesn't boast. Instead he frowns and focuses in on the environment. After a moment he nods, << There's nothing here beyond the two of us. And we should mention it. That's going to be a big hindrance for me in the long run. >> Not that he lets it more than slow him down now. Practice without telepathy it is. The teen leaves his patch of grass behind and moves after you. Logan has been teaching him, but the man would certainly laugh at him for all he's trying his best. Jonothon attempts to be quite and to listen and watch for people who might be in hiding. He's clearly new at this, so bound to blunder often.
"In some ways it is also good, as some people have ways to block telepathy. So good to practice both ways," Cyclops explains. "However, it does certainly add more realism." It is a sixth sense, an unnatural sound that alerts Cyclops. "Dodge!" He is already moving even as he calls it out, and leaps/dives for some nearby foliage even as bullets start to shoot at the area where he was, and toward you if you don't move. Cyclops soon disappears from view, moving as quickly as possible while sticking low to the ground as he crawls away from the spot he dived into, to try and hide behind a tree. Because the shooters are already shooting to spot as well as to the right and left of where Cyclops disappeared in case he moved with a couple rapid shots. They will do the same toward Chamber if he ducked out of the way.
There's a nod of agreement about practicing both. Jonothon needs to! << This place isn't real to any of my senses. >> Kind of complained quietly, for only Scott can hear. << Not even the plants feel real to me. Do they to you? >> No, they are in fact very real, but Jono doesn't yet know he doesn't seen the world the same way others do. Really, it sure looked damn real until he started trying to search it. Only then did the strangeness appear. No life anywhere, and this place should be chalk filled with it!
Dodge? The teen immediately drops to the ground, not even bothering to question, and rolls to the side. Once he stops, he blasts towards the general direction those bullets are coming from.
Cyclops thinks silently, << Yes. I can feel them, touch them, smell them. The plants feel real. Many of your senses are gone though, and I am unsure about your nerves and feeling of sensation or even pain. >> His mind is cool if you keep connected to it, and completely and utterly calm. His heart rate picks up a little bit, but other than that he is completely fine.
One of the hologram bad guys goes flying from a treat and smacks against another branch hard, dropping to the ground out cold. Another moves quickly with only his shirt sleeve caught by your blast. He remains hidden and moves to try and circle around Chamber.
Cyclops starts to move slowly, to not bring attention to himself and to keep toward maximum coverage. He is trying to circle around to the area the shots came from. << I thought I heard a grunt, you hit someone? >>
<< Oh, I feel pain just fine. >> The teen assures. Even if he doesn't want to. Jonothon rides that calm of yours and it helps him keep his. Not that he's inclined towards flipping out anyway, but you have more experience. After a moment the teen shows you what he sees. Person, there! Closer to you, with the better angle. << Yes. It drew out another. He's circling now. >> The teen doesn't move just yet, and blasts ahead of that one to try and turn him back to you.
The one that Chamber blasts at does move through the jungle plants, and almost trips over Cyclops. The two end up grappling. The criminal pulls out a knife and slashes toward Cyclops, but the blade is stop by Cyclops raising a forearm to the other man's forearm before he head butts the other man.
The criminal jerks back and shakes his head before trying to slash at Cyclops again, his movements quick and decent.
Cyclops doesn't bother standing, rather driving at the other man's legs and bringing him down followed by some short jabs to knock the breath out of him before hitting him in the temper for a knock out. The knife is then taken and tossed into the jungle underbrush. Cyclops this time whispers into his comlink, "This one is down." And he starts to move around the jungle trees. "Two down actually, I can see the one you got laying on the ground a little ways off from me. He does not appear to be moving. So that means three left. Least I believe I programmed for five criminals." He did, he is just teasing Chamber right now.
There's a bit of dower thought for the teasing, but Chamber takes it in stride. Entirely unmindful of his lack of grace, the teen scrambles forward on hands and knees a moment before sliding down a bit of root to his feet as he heads towards that fallen one. He bends to check that fallen combatant, hoping he didn't kill the man. << Yes, he's down. >> And thankfully alive. Relived, Jono leaves him there and moves on to take some shelter amid the foliage. He's trying to head the way those two came from. Scott stands out like a sore thumb in this place to his senses, leaving Jono knowing where he always is. The teasing means he doesn't know for sure how many where are, but he doesn't protest that. When are missions ever fair? There's also this urge to shout for people to come find them, but he realizes it wouldn't work for him anyway. Drat. ..Hunting more 'badguys'!
Cyclops rises up from where he is hiding when Chamber appears. He reaches out a hand in the man's radius feeling the pressure of his powers. The poor greenery keeps getting flattened around Chamber with his powers on full-active. "Want to attempt the bait idea?" He then starts to scout about for more tracking. "I seriously need to learn tracking, because reading a book is not cutting it."
He's seriously hating the power effects. Really. Looking faintly frustrated at it all, his hair fluttering, the teen nods about drawing them out. << I'm not sure I'll be able to sneak around today. >> Said with almost apology. It's normally not this bad! << Let me try it? I'm a little more durable, and you have far better aim. >> Jonothon offers it because it seems the best idea. Put the guy who almost never seems to miss in the role of sniper, while the one who's got some immunities taking the blows. << Besides, I can most certainly make myself known. >> Rueful that.
Safely away from the Danger (tm), Forge reclines in a comfortable leather chair. With one of his legs propped up on the other, he observes the goings-on via monitor, checking the various readouts from the Danger Room's shiny new equipment. The occasional chortle escapes him as he watches the exercise play out. "Damn, that looks fun." But as the guinea pigs find themselves in a tight spot, Forge's eyebrows knit closer together as he zooms the monitor in on the 'trail' Cyclops is trying to track. His voice can suddenly be heard over the intercom "Hey Cyclops, what you're looking at is actually Jonothan's trail. The sniper's trail actually starts a couple of feet away from that truck about forty meters to your right. It's probably a lost cause."
The whole running of this is to teach Jono about tactics, test his abilities, for Cyclops to see them in an emergency situation and/or mission without it being the 'real thing', and how to hopefully think on his feet. Chamber makes this easy, he doubts he is going to be so lucky with Kitty. But perhaps he is wrong. But Cyclops then blinks behind that visor of his, "Forge?" He groans, how embarrassing! "Right...but he might have met up with the others if we can back track him?" He moves in the direction Forge indicated and tries to find it, failing miserably. At least until he almost steps into a partial foot print. "Wait, is this it?" He bends at his knees for a closer look and then peeks at his the bottom of his won boots. "Looks like it." He is very much a city boy in this aspect of things. "Let's walk this trail Chamber. I'll step back into hiding and follow along, keeping you in view."
Trying to keep out of the area Scott is looking through, Jonothon none the less stands not too far away, shoulder to a tree. His powers are slightly out of control today, and he's pushing anything that moves away from himself telekinetically. It's not all that strong, but then the small plants offer little resistance. Waiting there, he pushes from the tree when he's given the word to.
The teen steps out, psy-fire becoming active. There's no way he's going to be blending in with that, especially as his hair lifts from his head to riot on the air. His telepathy is useless here, but he walks down that path, and makes no effort to hide himself.
"These guys were pretty sloppy, you should be able to follow footprints almost all the way to his position. Careful when you find him though, I'm still getting some of the kinks out of the program. If you blow him up too bad, the energy dampening field might not be able to compensate... also... " Forge's voice trails off as he finds some of the numbers on his screen incredibly fascinating. Rapid typing and fiddling with stuff ensues, as he leaves the program to its own devices.
Cyclops built the jungle program himself from the program generator. "Kinks?" Cyclops groans. "And try not to give us the solution to the mission Forge." But he then falls silent and slips into the greenery. He actually does pretty good. His firm grasp of tactics has him able to move quietly and with the least rustling of the greenery. He isn't as good as a professional hunter or survivalist, but he doesn't seem like 'city boy' in this instance. He keeps Chamber in view, though he himself is out of normal visual viewing. He has to pause a few times to think of creative ways around certain roots and areas that would normally cause a lot of noise, so he soon falls further back behind Chamber unless Chamber slows up in places.
Stomp, Crack, Crinkle...Flop? Watch that tree root Chamber! It does not seem like it is going to work at first, but then suddenly the world lights up in gunfire and it is all going right at Jonothon! Leaves are being ripped apart by gunfire, and bark is flying off tree trunks. This is not a normal gun, it is machine gun fire!
On the path, the teen stops and orients towards that gunfire. Bullets wing all around him, exploding into the earth at his feet and even blowing a hole through his jacket. The thin body rocks with it all. Then... He normally tries so hard to hold the power in that it's actually a little difficult to let it go. The psy-fire around him contracts a moment before there's a loud *PHOOM!* as Jonothon blasts towards the shooter. All kinds of wildlife explode from the foliage in an attempt to flee the combination. Add to that his untrained telekinesis spreads a brief area around the young man. Trees shake, and suddenly the whole area is thick with falling leaves.
In the aftermath, Jonothon drops to his knees. The machine gun took him entirely by surprise and he didn't have time to much dodge.
Forge doesn't seem to be in an especially solution-giving mood at the moment. His voice remains off of the intercom and he goes back to fiddling with stuff. From time to time, his glance returns to the viewing monitor, but whether or not he has any editorializing to do, he doesn't do it.
Cyclops moves in quickly, alert for any other sneak attacks. "Chamber?" This is why there are danger sessions. Though there shouldn't be a hole in his jacket...the bullets shouldn't be that strong on this level. Darn those kinks! Just as Cyclops is about to reach Jono, someone bursts from the foliage and lifts a gun. Rolling to the side, Cyclops' hand automatically rises to activate his visor and a red beam of light shoots the man right in the chest, sending him flying into a tree and going down for the count. Four down, one more to go. Cyclops moves the rest of the way toward Chamber to check his status and see if he has to end the program.
No, the session isn't strong enough to create that hole, but the teen's own power is. Jonothon's reply is a couple of seconds slow, but he manages, << I'm okay. >> Amazingly, he finds that he is. Totally forgot that this was a non lethal session. Bullets just hurt here, they don't kill.
That man appears out of the bush, and the Brit leans away from it. His power shoves some plants around and then the effect disperses. Suddenly that feeling is entirely gone. << ..I'm pretty dizzy though. >> Admitted grudgingly as he climbs unsteadily to his feet. << Sorry. I think I over extended myself. >> A pause, << That's four of five. >> Hunched somewhat, he frowns at the jungle around you two.
Cyclops eyes the bullet holes in Chamber's jacket. "Can you check on the settings Forge? There shouldn't be bullet holes in clothing at this level, it is non-lethal." Cyclops doesn't realize it was caused by Chamber's own telekinesis because of sub-conscious thought. Cyclops then helps Chamber toward a tangle of roots, "This should provide some coverage. I'm going to check around for the final guy to see if you got him in the blast or not." He wasn't sure if the blast was lethal or not, but he wants to check before ending the program. He then disappears into the foliage once more, beginning his search.
Jonothon blinks in confusion as Scott asks about the settings. The teen finally allows himself a glance towards that viewing booth, for he hadn't given Forge much thought until then. The holes in his attire were because of the bullets, weren't they? Looking faintly confused, the young man none the less is grateful to sit down again. Pushed himself too far and it's left him light headed. Hasn't ever blasted like that before. Head in hands, Jono feels that he's rather failed this session, and that makes him rather unhappy. << Sorry. >>
"Yeah, I'm getting some weird readings here, but the parameters of the exercise haven't been changed." Forge looks back through the strings of code that control the program "I'm not seeing anything here that would make me think anything dangerous could happen. I'll keep checking." Forge returns his attention to monitoring the exercise. Now would be a really handy time to be able to do two things at once. "If there's another fluke, I'm going to have to shut the program down. Watch out for anything strange."
Cyclops thinks mentally toward Chamber, << Don't be. That is the purpose of these training sessions, to test ourselves. You are still new to this, but if I didn't think you had the potential, I wouldn't have asked you to be on the Gold Team. >> He could sense Jono's feelings in that 'sorry', and he worked to nip that right in the bud quickly. Cyclops entrusts watching the program to Forge, and concentrates on the mission now. He will think about that bullet hole problem a little later. He finds the missing man and the man that Chamber took out. Alive, barely. Physically damaged perhaps by the far or from the blasts. Cyclops shakes his head and will have to run Chamber through more stressful programs, throw more surprises at him till the man can prevent sub-conscious explosions. At least his sub-conscious explosions are more controlled than previously, and he doesn't pass out immediately afterwards. The guy has come far in just a few months.
Assured by those words, the Brit none the less remains silent for a time. Jonothon just hates how little control he seems to have most of the time. Today was especially bad. However, he can think of something to speak to Forge about. << Forge? >> Not sure if he should use Mr, he just does without. << I don't know if it's just me, but the environment doesn't at all feel real to me. It looks solid, in fact it looks amazing, but it's entirely lifeless. Nor can I sense the minds around me here. The only thing that comes off to my senses as real is Cyclops. >> Not that Jono has any idea of that can be changed here.
No matter how many times he hangs out with the X-Men, Forge never quite gets used to having someone else's thoughts in his brain. He responds via the intercom: "Well... it is entirely lifeless. Giving hard light constructs actual thought patterns is a bit out of my range. Also, it's the plot of more than one science fiction movie that ends very badly." Forge reaches into one of his voluminous pockets and pulls out a a small package of trail mix. "You'll just have to work with it the best you can."
Cyclops finally returns, "Both are out. Force used is classified as excessive. Potentially life threatening. We will have to work with that, throw you into more situations where you could potentially lose control Chamber, until you can work at reigning it in at a sub-conscious level. I'm going to work on some program write-ups for you. I'll try and make them fun," he adds. "And make some that you can practice alone with, others you will need someone in the control room for," he suggests. Cyclops then says, "Forge, you need this program still active? Otherwise, I'm going to order it to shut down." He lowers a hand toward Chamber to help him to his feet.
Accepting that hand up, there's only a nod about the training. No arguments at all because he really needs it. << Thanks. >> Once Jonothon is on his feet. Hair hanging in face, and plants as they should be, he merely looks a little tired. << No idea what's going on today. Don't think I've ever had that happen before. >> Not even getting smacked around by Logan. Little does the teen know, he has. Logan just ignores it and works around it. There's a sour look to the control booth, but he doesn't bother Forge more. << This is going to be hard working in here. >> Not that he means to give up.
An area of the room begins to shimmer, and the door to the Danger Room appears. "Yeah, I'm going to leave it on for a while, see if I can't get a better handle on what's causing these anomalies. I'll be able to work faster if we take the human element out." From his observation room, Forge dumps a handful of trail mix into his mouth, and then continues to fiddle with controls. The sounds of crunching can be heard over the intercom.
"It still has more moves and responses than robots?" Cyclops then helps Chamber toward the elevator doors to head back up to the control room. "You may have more to your powers than you realize, as that can cause unexpected results. We will work it out Chamber. Just try and go back through what happened and see if you can remember anything in more detail. Likely after you rested. We can always do a test later on." Potentially dangerous if there are kinks in the system, but Cyclops will do it. "Let's head out." As the elevator raises and the two enter the control room, "Good luck Forge. Let me know if you need any assistance with the engineering aspects." Programming loses Scott for the most part, but the engineering? He understands some of it.
Jonothon nods to that. << It's amazing really. >> A glance back to the jungle, even as the two are leaving. << I like that I don't entirely have to hold back too. Sorry, I don't mean to nay say it. >> He's just going to have to lump it is all. Many mutants do in one way or another. << I'd never have thought this was possible outside movies. >> Another nod about thinking about it. << I definitely will. The machine gun scared me bloody witless there. >> Which is why he didn't react well during that. Totally doesn't mind the testing. Being here at the school has done the young man a lot of good in that way.
"Then give it a day or two and I'll have those programs for you," Cyclops informs Chamber. And then the two are out of the control room and in the hallway, leaving poor Forge behind all by his lonesome.