Arcturus Hale, Griffin Lee, Dominika Novikova & Marygold Isley
Location: S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy - Training Room
Mary was waiting for her "students" to come into the training room. She wasn't too thrilled about this, but at least she was able to help them out somewhat with learning how to control their powers. Actually, this was going to be really weird, considering the fact that she was around the same age as these agents, younger than a few of them too, but that didn't matter. All that mattered was her experience and what she could teach these agents about people with abilities.
Novikova walked into the training room, her hair held into two silver pigtails. She had contemplated braiding it, but given that the Framework constituted pretty much the entirety of her combat experience, she figured the trainer would let her know if there was an issue with her hair. She was still wearing the glasses Marygold had given her, finding that looking at anyone without them was unbearable. She didn't know it, but had she had a little more control over that ability, Fury would have asked her to screen the team for potential members of HYDRA. "Miss Isley? Agent Novikova, reporting for duty,"
she said confidently, holding out a gloved hand. She enjoyed roller skating, but that was about it when it came to physical activity.
Shortly thereafter, Arcturus entered, prompt as ever, though he quickly realised was not the first to arrive. The roster informed him that two of those who had been on different teams in the Framework were also signed up under Isley, and he couldn't deny being curious as to what their powers looked like in action –– especially Agent Novikova, given they were to be on the same team after this. "Agent Hale,"
he introduced himself with a winning smile, "Nice to meet you."
Grif steps into the training room, decked out in a casual training suit with his battleaxe sheathed on his back, and notes himself to be the last to arrive. By this time he had set great expectations for himself, aiming to absorb as much as he could from these training sessions; his experience from the Framework had already proven that he couldn't rely alone on his military expertise. He would nod at the other agents, Novikova and Hale, so far being unacquainted with the two, before stopping at Marygold. "Ma'am. Agent Lee, reporting for duty."
Ending his brief introduction with a prompt salute, despite being a civilian on paper, she would effectively be her superior during training until further notice, so he'd treat as such. "Nice to meet you all, I'm Marygold Isley, but I'm guessing you knew that already... Anyway, you all are stuck with me for training I guess, or practice or whatever, but trust me some of the things I have had to do on the fly, not so fun... I also know the ins and outs of the mission you all were on in the Framework, though it definitely did not happen like that... I've gone against the Brotherhood way too many times to count by now. As I'm guessing you know, I'm currently the leader of the X-Men, so generally I have to make quick decisions on the fly, and use my powers the best that I can. You also need to remember one key thing, your powers do not always work. My first mission was in the middle of a desert, do you know how many plants grow in a desert? Not many let me tell you... So first things first, let's see how much control you've got over your powers currently... Don't worry Novikova, we've got some boulders brought in for you to try and move around, since I'm guessing you don't want to take off those shades and try that thing out... Yeah, before I came I raided everything that we had at the mansion, figured an old pair of Cyclops' shades would work for you... So, whoever wants to go first, be my guest and show me what you've got. If you've got any questions for me, or want to here a story of a mission I've been on for some reason, ask away,"
she said, edging away slightly from them. Mary was tossing plant seeds into the air and catching them in her hand again, on occasion one of the would sprout and go back to being a seed again. "I'll go,"
Novikova said simply. In the Framework, all of the earth she had been digging up came from the ground itself. But now, seeing the handful of boulders in the corner, she couldn't help but find it was easier to focus. She held out her hand, looking at the boulder through the ruby tinted lenses, and she raised it about ten feet into the air. It was surprisingly easy and she smiled a bit, before she raised the second boulder at the same time. She then tried to get the third boulder up as well, but she broke into a sweat and the third one only went about five feet into the air. Mine is significantly less exciting,
Arcturus thought wryly, projecting it outwards the short distance to the other members of the team. It was accompanied by a self-deprecating sigh. Not that he was unhappy with his power, as it suited his role perfectly, but telepathy did leave him somewhat defenseless. While the whispering presence of other minds was wearing thin on him, shutting that off completely wasn't exactly what he wanted out of power training. I'm hoping to find a way of amplifying this to reach greater distances, or picking up more than surface thoughts. Even some consistency would be appreciated. Right now it's just... talking, but a bit special.
As it had turned out, Grif's powers were ever reliant on how much light he absorbed day-to-day and on this occassion he was essentially 'full' and ready to let loose. "I suppose it's my turn then,"
he says before concentrating on forming some basic constructs of light, be it barriers, balls, or cubes he had each visualised in his head. The end result were small flashes of light that fail to solidify into any shape but he continued on, undeterred. Next, he would gather his two hands, sparks crackling between the both of them, "Suggest that you keep your distance for this, I'll be attempting the same flashbang move I had used during the simulated mission."
A white flash fills the room, briefly blinding its occupants for a few seconds Grif himself would slowly blink out the spots in his eyes, "Apologies for that. I did try to contain and minimise the flash,"
he pauses to regather his focus, "Now, I have one last demonstration."
After a quick look through the training room, he finds a few targets away from where they were all gathered. His dominant, right hand was raised and leveled at one target and in an instant a beam of light would punch through said target, singing the behind wall. With his short display completed, he promptly turns on his heel back to Marygold, waiting for his evaluation. "Alright... Looks like we might have a little bit of work to do..."
she said, looking at the group. Novikova was by far the better of the group, while the other two needed some help when it came to their powers. Turning, she looked at Arcturus, "Trying to strengthen your powers, get it so that it can reach further can be useful, but just keep in mind that you can't get into everyone's heads. Like even if your powers were stronger, doubt you'd be able to read the mind of Charles Xavier, who is the most powerful telepath in the world. Though you likely would be able to create some difficulty, should another telepath try to read your mind, that is if your powers are strong enough for it. Don't worry, any sort of power takes time to develop properly, and telepathy is a little difficult unless you can sit there and practice with another telepath and getting past their defenses. Now, Agent Lee, your powers are very similar to a friend of mine, whose powers are light based and he can create things out of it... You seemed to have better luck creating that flash bang effect, much like how it is easier for him. You likely could use that to your advantage, blind your opponent and take them down that way. He also tends to form small balls of light in his hand, finding it easier to do that then to create light out of nowhere at a distance, and when he has the light, he swirls it around to create whatever he wants."
"That's just my take on things... So, let's see if you can take what I told you, and put it to some use, your goal? Simply manage to hit me, Hale, use the skills you gained in the Framework fighting wise, and use your telepathy as a sort of relay system, creating a connection of networks that you can use to communicate with the others, and so they can communicate with one another... It makes it a lot more difficult for your opponent to defend themselves if they can't hear what you are planning. Novikova, use the boulders in the room to your advantage, try to do something different, and Lee, see about taking what I told you, and coming up with ways to use that to your advantage. This is also to see if the three of you can use some form of teamwork together, and see if you can come up with plans on the fly if you need it. I started carrying plant seeds around, since I was finding it difficult to use my powers inside of a building so, yeah... See if you can keep up,"
she said, before she tossed seeds out of her pocket, and large vines sprouted from them, and she jumped onto one of them and took off away from them. Mary was somewhat far away from the group now, and she turned to look down at them.
Novikova lowered the boulders she had been holding, a bit disappointed that Marygold hadn't given her any feedback. She couldn't improve if she didn't receive constructive criticism, just like Marygold had done for Hale and Lee. The Russian-American agent nodded anyways, listening to Marygold's instructions. There was one benefit to constantly wearing glorified sunglasses - it'd protect her from any misfires on Lee's part, just in case he ended up nearly blinding his teammates. She then glanced at the boulder in the corner, getting an idea from something she had told Lee, and Novikova broke off a chunk of it. As if she were Saturn, small stones formed a near ring around her. If you can hear me, Hale, I can try and get the three of us airborne...
Arc listened along to the advice Isley gave, rubbing at his chin, though he was mostly tuned out for Agent Lee's part of the lesson, lost in thought. He felt a prickle of distraction, as if someone was trying to get his attention but he was working on the wrong frequency. Novikova's voice reached him, but it was just out of reach, too quiet to decipher, and trying to do so led only to frustration –– he pushed it aside to focus on other things for now. Like a relay system,
Arc mused. He wasn't sure how to visualise that at first, whether to imagine a satellite pinging messages from point to point, two towers signalling each other, a cable running between them, or a literal relay race, though the last one was more of an intrusive thought than a serious attempt at forming a connection. He stilled for a moment, figuring that their tutor was not going to attack them despite her show of control over the plants, and reached out to agents Novikova and Lee with the lightest mental touch.
Arc settled on the basic premise of a network, placing himself and his own mind as an interface between the two. If all went well, for one to contact the other, it would be translated through his power. Such a thing must be theoretically possible, or Isley wouldn't have suggested it, though it left him uneasy, having no knowledge of the boundaries of his power. He exerted more pressure, ensuring the connection had a firm grip, and sent, Plan?
as a test message. He was still uncertain as to whether or not the link was formed correctly, and 'Hello, World!' seemed too on the nose.
A foreign voice, which he recognizes to be Arc's, reverberates through his head, never having had this sort of intrusion into his own mind before the experience is slightly unsettling – not that he would ever admit, of course. He attempts to communicate back through this so-called relay system by clearly projecting his thoughts 'outloud' I'll take the lead, my blast might be able to drop Marygold from her vines.
Stepping towards where the vines had carried their instructor, he had his right hand readied and directed at her before his aim drifts to the appreciably larger plantlife, and therefore easier
target to hit. Grif lets loose, the same beam of light from before is deadset accurate and manages to hit the vines. However there is a considerable lack of falling involved and the blast leaves only some burn marks across. We need to close the distance. If we can somehow meet her up in the air...
Mary just looked at them, she had no idea what was going through their heads, or what they were planning. It didn't matter too much to her, as long as they managed to do something. Lee had managed to hit the vines, but he didn't cause any real damage, so she was still in the air. They probably could knock her down, but she wasn't going to flat out tell them she was going easy on them. If she wanted to, odds are she'd be able to wrap them up in vines or something. She hoped that the group would be able to work together and create some sort of plan, and if not then things would be interesting. I'm guessing you didn't hear me. I can get us airborne. Hale, I'm keeping you on the ground. I'll go high and distract her. Griff, you go low.
Novikova then focused on the boulder, trying to break it into two platform sized pieces but it didn't work. She gritted her teeth and tried harder, but nothing happened. No matter what she tried, she just couldn't get the boulder to rip apart. ...Give me a minute, this is harder than I expected... Thank God.
Arc thought wryly, glad that his feet would remain planted firmly on the ground. He wasn't that
keen on dashing heroism. The other agents' efforts did not go unnoticed, and he observed that the foliage was hardly destroyed by the blast of light. Keep working on that rock. I'm going to try and tap into her mind––hopefully it doesn't kill this connection.
Now was a perfect opportunity to see what effects he could pull off with his telepathy. Finding a way to dampen someone's concentration was high on his list of priorities: if they couldn't concentrate to aim at him, he wouldn't get shot. In theory, at least.
The first thing he could think of that might get annoying on repeat, other than the obvious offenders, were some excellent Christmas carols. O Tannenbaum
came to mind. Reaching out to find Isley's mind, he projected the song in its entirety, even bothering to use the English translation––it wouldn't work, he was sure, if she couldn't understand it. Still, as he focused on the volume, he could sense that the distraction wouldn't loop as he'd originally hoped. A single repetition at best. Hang on, I got you.
Grif thinks outloud before swiping his hand across the two boulders, a wave of light flashes through on a horizontal level. In the blink of the eye, the hunks of stone are sliced into clean-cut, perfectly square platforms. Would that do it?
He promptly steps onto one of the platforms, waiting for Novikova to send him airborne. Standing on the spot, he would gather up his two hands and generate some solid, shards of light – proper hardlight constructs, this time – and shoots them off as a barrage to Marygold and her vines. The projectiles would find their targets, puncturing the vines but leaves little overall damage. I'm not cutting it with my long-range attacks so far. Just how fast can you send me? "Try focusing a little more, though I guess I've got it easy, been doing this stuff for around 10 years now... I'm making it a little easier for you, since you are still learning how to use your powers by staying still. All you have to do is knock me down, not too difficult of a task... And really with the Christmas music? The German version of that song is way better if you ask me. Obwohl ich fließend Deutsch spreche,"
she said, switching to German rather easily as she spoke with a little bit of a smirk.
Novikova was caught off guard by Marygold's German, looking at her. The accent now became identifiable and she couldn't help but wonder if HYDRA had tried to recruit Marygold since she had been at SHIELD. She doubted that she was HYDRA - it would have been too obvious - but still...There were things that Fury never told anyone. He was the
spy. His secrets had secrets. What if he had lied to them and HYDRA still lurked within their unit? Novikova shook her head, clearing it and she floated one of the earthen discs over to Griff, floating him up once he jumped on until he matched Marygold in height. She then tried to send another disc flying at Marygold, but it went in a crazed pattern and hit the wall instead.
Arc rolled his eyes. It wasn't really surprising to find someone else who spoke German, in his experience, whether it was from high school classes or a native-speaking parent. He always thought that it was part of the reason he was recruited by SHIELD in the first place, above other graduates with similar skill-sets, because HYDRA was such a danger. "Yeah, but the English one is far more irritating. I take requests, by the way."
Grif was floated up to where Marygold stood on top of her vines, far up from the ground and the rest. He leaps up from Novikova's stone platform and onto the green appendages suspended in the air but struggles to find his center and is slightly unbalanced on his own two feet. His gaze levels on Marygold, drawing his battleaxe from its sheath on his back and starts towards her, running straight down the vine. A blinding flare of light shines off of Grif's visible skin, and the glare would catch the leader of the X-Men in the eyes.
Not wasting a moment to capitalize the opportunity, he lunges and pulls his axe back for a nonlethal blow, attempting to catch her with the flat side of the axeblade. Only he'd slip off the vine mid-rush and only barely manage to hold on with his axe latched on but the blade will prove to be too sharp, and combined with his weight, would slice through the vine.
Nothing to hold onto, this sent him falling to the ground, a drop close to thirty feet. It seemed in a matter of moments, he'd be meet the training room floor with a broken back or worse, but inexplicably his fast downwards ascent stopped to a complete halt, floating mid-air. Though just as fast this brief lapse of gravitiy started, his fall resumed and return him back down to home sweet Earth. Didn't seem like anything got broken but Grif wouldn't be shrugging off the fall straight way, hard pass on that. "Hold it,"
Mary said, before she went back down the the floor, getting off the vines and causing them to go back to being seeds. She caught them and put them back in her pocket as she walked over to Griffin. "Definitely did not see that one coming, nice idea, but next time you try something like that, I'd recommend making sure you can keep your balance. I'm used to walking on vines, plus I can make it so that it holds onto my ankles, so I can easily stay up, but you can't. Anyway, I think we're done for today, don't want anyone to get any worse injuries than they already have, no broken bones or anything yet and I'd prefer to keep it that way, you're lucky you didn't break anything. Anyway, we're done here, so see you around,"
she said, before she headed out of the room.