Spar Training

June 21, 2015:

May arranges training for the SHIELD agent and some….

Refitted Gym - Gotham


NPCs: Captain


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

May had told Agent Branch — WAND's newest wetware specialist — that she wanted to evaluate his hand to hand skills. She knows that with the way WAND missions usually run, the chances of him needing them are actually higher. She also wants to try and surprise-proof the young man, so he doesn't lose it the next time they go after something like a troll, or a basilisk or something. And, just in case, she's tapped Simmons to accompany them so there's medical resources immediately at hand.

It was kind of a long drive and they've clearly left New York and entered Gotham, but May isn't visibly perturbed by this. She made Branch drive and gave Simmons happytabletwork so there shouldn't have been any choruses of 'are we there yet?'. Finally, though, they've arrived at an old warehouse whose interior has been recently converted into a private gym. And yes, May clearly has permission to use the facility as she taps in a keycode to gain access.

The interior of the gym is pretty run of the mill, though there's a large flat-screen monitor on one wall (currently turned off) and fairly high-tech security features at each doorway. May points Branch toward the locker rooms and then helps Simmons get set up comfortably on a stack of padded gym mats near a wall power socket. She then sheds her ubiquitous jacket and most of her concealed weapons, and steps over to the sparring mats to start warming up with a series of smooth tai chi motions.

A lengthy test, this is, from Branch's view. Even the driving to the gym was a test. Which bothered him a lot less than potential melee: Branch /likes/ to drive and was clearly pleased to do so. He doesn't drive at all like a crazy speeding maniac or anything like that to try to impress/scare them. Apparently he chose to be a normal humanwell, inhuman being that can transport people safely and uneventfully. At least until they get into the parking lot, whereupon he gets a little playful, with a partial-drifted parking job, and entirely innocent expression.

Branch disappeared only for a short time into the locker room when directed, and returned; he is garbed very similarly to May, in his own snug, leather-looking blacks, though he lacks a jacket to remove, just his usual metal water bottle. His tank top is a black and gray camouflage pattern, high-necked, and he smeared his hair back with something wet. Barefoot. That, and his serious expression, make him appear a different, calm person: capable ….and not painfully, off-balance socially.

Kane Reynard arrives. In costume because, well, he has a secret identity to keep. So actually it's 'The Fox' who arrives. A man who looks like a walking Ren Faire arsenal. He's got a leather and linen outfit that is designed to allow for freedom of movement. It covers most of him. Then there's the hooded cloak, which he removes, leaving just the fox-mask on his face. A large blade is strapped over his back, looking like a claymore. There's a shotgun hanging at his side and a crossbow that he sets down when he arrives. A pair of tonfa are in his belt and his chest has a bandolier of purple crystals. "Good evening Agent. Er… who's your friend?" He nods to Derek. Who doesn't look particularly like an agent.

Simmons was quite happy with the happytabletwork she'd been given, so much so that she'd idled in the car when they arrived to finish it - not leaving until after Kane had made his entrance.

Bustling in, tablet under her arm and her field case in hand, "Sorry Agent May but those results you gave m….." Simmons pauses just behind the man in leather and linen, flushing slightly at arrival.

Melinda May finishes her warmup routine just as Kane arrives and turns to look at him and Derek reemerges from the locker rooms. "Fox. This is Agent Derek Branch." Ready, Derek? Test number one, right now. "Branch, this is Fox. He's a… somewhat regular fixture in Gotham, and his field of expretise overlaps with WAND's priorities." She's seen Jemma FINALLY come into the gym from the car, but is good enough to not show her amusement in front of the less familiar people.

Derek Branch may not look like what Fox expects of an agent, but he immediately does a very good impression of one with a thoughtful, reserved military nod at Fox, taking in the . He takes in the big variety of gear at Fox's costume — well, the mask— with a raised eyebrow, but doesn't seem to react one way or another beyond curiosity. "A field of expertise that overlaps with WAND? Glad to have you, then," Branch answers, with a relaxed smile, though …quite curious (particularly of the bandolier?), but keeping the questions to himself for now. Much the same pattern he used when May and Jemma first met him. Observe first, questions later. He's stretching a little bit, specifically joints, which may or may not be his warm-up routine.

Rain is not so sure about combat practice. It's even kind of awkward in a way, since she once had a huge crush on Kane. Once. but really, things worked out and Rain is really happy with it, too. If one considers dragging their SO back for healing almost nightly a healthy relationship, anyway. Spearhead wrangling. It's a job. But she's free for now, and it's probably better than video games to spend her spare time.

Captain is following along, as the two enter and watch quietly a moment.

"Agent." Is the Fox's greeting to Derek. That and a nod. He steps aside politely as Jemma enters. He's not met the woman but clearly she knows May which means she's likely some kind of Agent as well. And then there's Rain. Well at least there's one person here he knows. The man in the mask dips into the pouch at his side and pulls out a charm made of feathers. "Right well, you mentioned sparring practice so here I am." The other hand goes for one of his tonfa and starts to twirl it.

Still flushing, Jemma skirts around the man murmuring "Agent Simmons… well Dr Jemma Simmons…. uh, people just call me Simmons." The arrival of Rain and the cat, gets a small nod as Simmons finds a chair near the edge of the hall and balances her field kit on her knees, opening it carefully and peering inside for a moment before looking to May "Did you want me her for something specific, Agent May?" The biochemist isn't usually called out to practice her fighting skills.

Melinda May nods to Rain as she arrives with Captain. "Honestly, Simmons, I'm hoping your being here ends up being completely unnecessary." She's apparently remembering what Derek told them about his low pain threshold, and took steps to make sure this trip didn't turn out to be unpleasant for anyone. " Fox. Rain. Have you met?" She knows Fox's skills, but she wants to find out more about Rain's capabilities outside of her ability to sling magical spells and ride a broom.

Derek's eyes move from May to Jemma, and though his expression doesn't change, he tilts his head a little, and continues his stretches: stretching his back and arms. He's extremely limber, it becomes clearly apparent. He also probes with his hands down each of his forearms to the elbow, slowly, as if rubbing soreness out of them. He tosses a smile and nod to Rain, before crossing to set his water bottle down near Jemma's spot. "If, ha ha, I go non-responsive for over thirty seconds, that's a problem," he murmers to her quietly in a sort of rueful amusement.

The Fox does not know of Derek's low pain tolerance so… this might be interesting. He crushes the charm and it disintigrates to blueish sparks which then swirl around and then into him. And his movements seem to become a lot more fluid and graceful. A lot more. The paranormal activity might also ping some of Jemma's… gear.

"I've met Rain several times. She's been a good help in the field. Hello Rain." The masked man smiles. "So, how shall we do this?"

She does magic! Gun magic. Also, she has a sassy cat. Captain is in a fresh trenchcoat, tail flicking slowly. The cat laughs. "Boy, have they ever." Smart. Alec. Rain frowns. "I've met him. He does stuff," She offers. The cat remarks, "I've got the proportionate strength of a house cat." Rain pauses. "Well, there is one thing I can do if I have to get close."

"And we still need to play with the GPS at some-" It's beeping with a tree marker. "Geez. One sec." Turn it off, tuck it away. "Anyway. What's the plan?"

"Don't worry, Agent Branch." Simmons looks at the man "I have your file here and what's needed if that happens." She brightens a little "But I'm sure it won't be needed at all." Settling down with her field bag open on her knees, the biochemist observes what The Fox is doing and drops her eyes as one of the spin off devices from the Portal Buster begins to sound.

Narrowing her eyes, she cants her head at The Fox and then looks to Rain. She doesn't know the gun is magical …. when she does, she can use it to baseline some tests she's about to run.

Melinda May nods as Rain acknowledges that she's met Kane before then steps further onto the sparring mat. "All right. I want to start with some basic hand to hand, see where your skill set is, Branch. And you too, Rain. There may be times when you don't have a chance to toss a spell, for whatever reason. Fox. You're with Branch. Rain, if you would?" She gestures for the young witch to step onto the mats.

"Sure. Agent May — do you want a full demonstration from me, or the limited scope?" Derek asks. This is a vague way of asking if he's open to use his variant abilities, or to keep himself in check to act human. He passes a quiet, but encouraging smile to Rain, and moves fully back to the mats himself, easing into a combat stance.

The Fox is twirling both Tonfa now, setting into a stance before locking the batons in place along his forearms. "Whenever you're ready Agent." He'll have to gauge where the other man is at before he goes into anything. May he trusts to handle Rain… hopefully gentler than she handles him. "Doctor Simmons your pager is going off." Oh if only he knew. That last ability really set it to work and now it's registering all kinds of abnormal activity on him.

"What am I limited to? I don't really hurt people unless it comes to it. Bad for business," Rain admits. She meanders over onto the mats, looking uncertain.

"So it is, Mr Fox" Jemma is distracted by the instrumentation in her case. Standing, the biochemist, places the bag on her chair and pulls out the chiming device. With a raised eyebrow, Simmons looks to May, pointedly at The Fox and then the device. May doesn't know what it is, this is a FitzSimmons special…. she'll recognise that.

Derek gets a quick glance, everything seeming alright and Rain … well, May can answer Rain, Simmons is following a lead.

Melinda May looks over at Jemma when her equipment makes noises, then tilts her head slightly toward Kane. She then returns her attention to Rain. "Do what you normally would to fight off a mugger. We'll up the ante if we need to." She gives the witch a moment to mentally prepare, then advances toward her in an aggressive manner, very clearly telegraphing that she's aiming to punch her. She doesn't offer Fox and Branch any more information, knowing that both are (hopefully) smart enough to not seriously try to flatten the other.

Melinda May looks over at Jemma when her equipment makes noises, then tilts her head slightly toward Kane. She then returns her attention to Rain. "Do what you normally would to fight off a mugger. We'll up the ante if we need to." She gives the witch a moment to mentally prepare, then advances toward her in an aggressive manner, very clearly telegraphing that she's aiming to punch her. "Full demonstration. Fox is a trained combatant, Branch. Don't hold back." She doesn't offer the two men any more information, knowing that both are (hopefully) smart enough to not seriously try to flatten the other.

A simple nod. Derek looks directly at Fox, and when the masked man is clearly ready, he beings with a slight circle to one side, then in, intentionally predictable, throwing a simple jab, with the expectation of being parried or dodged. His focus is on turning his hands and forearms off of the tonfa except for against the side of wrists, lessening how much impact he takes, a clear preference for twisting force away from direct impacts. Despite that, he seems fearless of the weapons and methodical. He has a vigilant expression, with a style that screams of that he normally tires out opponents: he doesn't seem extremely quick, but very adaptive. He has full SHIELD melee training - so it isn't like he's out of his league in melee!

The Fox is a world class melee specialist. No seriosly. He's been doing this for some time and, so long as he's armed, the number of people in the world who could take him world probably fill a decent sized hotel conference room… but not much more than that. He twists out of the way of the jab and then starts on in. The tonfa are used with jabs and spinning strikes and he flips his grip on one of them to use it to hook and trap limbs. He's fast like this too. Maybe it had something to do with the glowies but he's really fast.

"Ehm. Well… I usually turn them into a newt, but I guess if I gotta fight." Deep breath. She mumbles something in a language- maybe latin or german. « Remake the beast. » And also maybe a thanks for not being a dung beetle. But anyway, it only takes a moment for Rain to turn into a full sized Siberian Godbear. When she speaks, her eyes glow. "… so um." She scuffs the floor a little, shyly, with a paw.

Simmons nods to May and moves closer to the combatants, not too close, watching the device as she approaches Kane, fiddling with the settings a little. After a moment or so, she moves towards Derek and the machine goes silent…. the same test is done with RainBear, no sound. Finally, she returns to Kane and the device starts to sound again, and Simmons looks at the man in consideration.

Melinda May stops abruptly as Rain is suddenly … a bear. A HONKING HUGE bear that is shuffling its feet bashfully. And all May can do for several seconds is stare. Because laughing and hugging the giant bear probably wouldn't go over so well. She IS tempted to call over to Fox to switch. But instead, she rolls with it. "Okay, that's a good start. How often do you actually have to USE this form in a fight? I'm going to try to put a hand on you, try to stop me. All right?" And with that, she lunges toward RainBear, aiming to duck past those powerful forelimbs and pat her on the face.

A Siberian Godbear if one wishes to be all technical about it. The bear glances around, shyly. She looks thoughtful, paw to chin. "Sometimes. I've held onto things for people who can't turn into a bear," Bear tank! Raaah! "Um. Okay. No claws. I got no claws out for this." She'll try to catch with the pad, because those are some SERIOUS claws. This is the species of dire bear that gave Siberians inherited nightmares about giant bears and myths. "N-not too often, really… It's hard to get used to." And it takes a fair amount of power to keep up.

But, happily, she is the real deal. 100 bear. And that includes speed and strength, holding out a paw to catch May, the other arm to block a potential 'reach over that paw and go through' kind of move. Thankfully, she is mighty plushy, too.

The speed is the largest problem for Derek to parry against, and he is not a world class melee weapon specialist. He's easy to hook, but slippery to trap; he anticipates. He's aware he's slower: He can't keep up with the speed, and he is mostly on defensive, but then suddenly moves in, overextending, an arm and wrist directly thrown to get trapped in tonfa. And he'll exhibit his own abilities, finally. He leans into the trapping, and left wrist twists fully backwards against his own arm to grip the tonfa, and twist it sharply around in a direction his opponent's wrist likely can't perform, a surprise disarm move. This is followed by using the other arm to lash down on the other tonfa, intending to knock it away. Should he hit, the sound will be a thud, as if his other arm were not made of something soft. More like the sound of a hard plastic hitting the wood tonfa.
As for the bear? Okay. Distraction. But he's probably not the only one glancing over.

The Fox has, believe it or not, seen Rain do that before. So he's not as surprised. He does drop his grip on one of the tonfa and jerk the other one away in a spinning maneuver as he takes the hit on the shoulder and lashes out with a booted foot in a roundhouse that uses the momentem from being struck (which did make him grunt a bit, he felt that) and follows up with a sharp jab as his other, now free hand… goes for his belt?

Oh, it's not a belt. It's a weighted chain. That makes more sense.

With things getting so serious, Simmons backs away and leans against the wall watching the combat. The techiques are interesting, certainly. The sound the tonfa makes hitting Dereks' arm has Jemma wincing a little. Then the Fox grunts and Simmons winces some more. All the while, the device in her hand is directed at The Fox and busily sounding off.

Melinda May tries to duck under the huge paws reaching to stop her from getting too close, using tactics she's employ against a larger opponent. Like, say, Fezzik. Of course, judging distances isn't nearly as precise as usual, since she has to account for the very plushy fur. That's … a variable she's not had to factor in before. The strange sound of one of Fox's tonfas hitting Derek on the arm registers in the periphery, but she's playing 'don't poke the bear' right now.

Rain is really gentle at heart, even if she has some horribly suspicious friends. Captain watches, eventually sitting near Simmons. He does, after all, have the proportionate strength of a house cat. If he were different, well. He'd be eating a lot bigger prey. Rain winces in sympathy at the bonk noise nearby. She can certainly handle a lot more punishment in this form. But this time, she's being a bit playful. HUG! And then maybe set May on her shoulders.

Derek Branch makes an instinctive decision with the sudden roundhouse kick: jerking his hardened arm up to grab at it and attempt to twist the boot- such a good plan!, but, he takes that jab on his twisted-backwards arm that came up and in a little too slowly, compared to Fox's speed. Derek doesn't make a sound as the jab slams into the wrist, but clearly reacts in pain by hopping backwards, arm appearing entirely dislocated at the elbow and wrist, a horror of hanging bent in wrong places, fingers twisted into a spasmed claw. The boot-deflector arm that had been grabbing instead lashes back across in a panic-reaction, a clear pain-instinct blind swipe. He doesn't cry out, but automatically cradles the limb against his belly, looking pain-disoriented, but not out. There's no panting or hissing in pain; in fact, he's not actually breathing it appears, so, it's possibly very eerie.

The Fox notes the differences but he's too busy moving to do much with them. He has to roll to right himself from the change in his momentem from Derek catching his boot. Which causes him to bruise his shoulder a bit, but he's had worse.

He swings the weighted chain once more and then hurls it at Derek's legs, holding on to the last tonfa as he goes for a rather impressive looking wall jump and digs through his bag for a charm of… ah there it is. A whistle made of animal bone. He's moving back now, circling but keeping his distance. He brings the charm to his lips and whistles… and the charm disintigrates into purple dust and blows away.

Seconds later a glowing blue ghostly elk appears out of nowehre behind Derek and runs at top speed right at him.

Simmons actually gasps as Dereks arms distorts and starts to move towards him, just as the glowing elk appears and barrels down on them. Checking her movement, Simmons freezes in place … she'll let the young agent avoid the elk and decide if he needs help - or maybe May will.

The device in Jemma's hand is still happily whistling each time it gets pointed at Kane.

Melinda May did indeed manage to get inside of the range of RainBear's paws, but she was not exactly expecting the HUG retaliation. The very faintest 'oof' is heard past all of the poofy white fur, and then one of May's hands pats the bear on one shoulder. Round One goes to Rain.

She slips out of the surprisingly gentle bearhug and tries to hide the second she spends spitting white fur out of her mouth, then notices Derek's expression of pain — eerily lacking the usual audible reactions — just a second too late to stop Kane from summoning a glowing blue elk. Oh, this is gonna be bad.

Rain is indeed, mighty poofy. And heavy. Nearly a ton, if not a ton. Her eyes are still an intense violet, a tell for anyone familiar with the witch. She's not a shapeshifter by profession and what she can get, she takes. She lets May go, quietly amused. Maybe she does need to brush more in bear form. Ahem. She turns to watch Derek and Kane, eyes widening at the glowing blue elk. A soft sigh.

Rain, unless stopped or told to stop, will toe up beside Derek, and pick him up easily. "Hey now. Easy with the deerchucking. Just because you can throw dynamite around doesn't make it a martial art. I mean, it works, but…" Pause. "Why does that make me hungry?" Either way, she sets Derek on her shoulders and will accept a deer to the face. Dire bear mighty bear. Her claws dig into the floor a little with a soft, rumbling growl. It does push her back and hurts a bit. That is, unless someone says no.

Fortunately, the blow could have been a lot worse. It does mean Derek's easy to catch around the legs with the chain. He doesn't dodge it, he braces, accepting the chain as it wraps, and both knees dislocate instead of taking damage, allowing partial rotation of legs without harm: mass twisting to take impact, although it /looks/ horrific. His reaction to that is outright bizarre, which is to calmly SPLAT forward (which makes Rain's grab sail over him…). He jolts his legs backwards to deliberately drop onto his belly on the mat, with an inhuman disjointed hip rotation— to put the metal chain on his legs between himself and the oncoming elk, making a clear target for it— and twisting to roll out of the way, at the last moment, ending up right on Rain's feet.
Derek's dislocated arm flexes sideways, snakelike, and nabs the Tanbo off the floor, and the flesh of a leg ripples to unnaturally slither one leg out of the chain, intending to use the chained leg to—, and - he is getting grabbed at by a GIANT BEAR, and doesn't react well; he flips the tanbo up in alarm (awkwardly, noodle-arm) but stays low, as a SECOND glowing beast (…a dire bear) is attacking in addition to the elk…!

Stomper headbutts Rain. Fairly hard, though he didn't mean to. And then stumbles back, blinking. The elk just kind of stares at the bear. Seriously, the words 'Whiskey Tango Foxtrot' are all but written above its head. The Fox lands in a stance and crouches for a moment before rising and relaxing. "Too much?" He cants his head. "At least it wasn't the wolves. They're a lot less gentle." Or a swarm of otters. Or rats. Or dozens of other animal spirits he can summon forth. Tigers. Tigers area always fun.

"Ah, Agent May, Doctor Simmons, is he okay down there?"

"Sparring!" Simmons mutters as skirts the combat area to collect her bag and Branch's waterbottle "Next time Agent May offers to take me sparring…. Women who turn into bears, glowing elks …." returning to the combat area, the biochem crouches down next to Branch, and considers him "Well, you're not inactive" she sighs a little "We haven't had time to set up your medical protocol… what do you need?"

Melinda May can only watch and wince when Stomper headbutts RainBear, and as soon as the elk is still she hurries around him to check on Derek. (Yes, she avoids the elk's hindquarters, she doesn't trust to not still hold a grudge after she hogtied the glowing blue mount like a rodeo calf.) "Branch. Sitrep. Now." Full command mode voice there. Answer or suffer the consequences. And if he doesn't start breathing any second now, she's going to either pound on his chest or have Simmons Heimlich the man into inhaling. Rain gets a glance, more of a silent 'anything you can do to help?' than a wordless scolding.

"I can heal him," She offers helpfully. "Um. Sorry." Rain looks abashed at Simmons. The bear shies back a little. "I just - got asked -" She's at a loss. Sadfacebear. "He's a person. We don't need to toss animals at him," Rain reminds the Fox gently. "Like, stick to kick kick punch stick punch down up…" Wait, how did that go? Either way, Rain will drop her bear form to kneel by Derek. Deep breath, and time to mend him. "This is partially my fault, so this one is on the house."

Give her about 5 minutes and Derek will be good as new. Although, if he fights her, Rain dropped back into human form and will get kicked or whatever he's doing. Even if he's not entirely made of meat, Rain can mend him. "Just one moment, please. I had to put together a guy after he got hit by the one Gotham bus that ran on time. I never really had a liquified patient before." Pause. "So,surely. Hold still. You can hum Journey if you want." But yes, he'll be good as new in a couple of moments.

Derek just needs a moment to determine what the hell happened. Because he was putting all of his focus into watching and trying to adapt to the weirdness coming from Fox, let alone the other input. He responds, and the breathing comes with the response: might be connected. "'Is he okay?' You could ask me," Derek says, tone flat, as Fox asks other people about his condition. Once again, getting treated like a non-person. May's required sitrep gets his attention above anything else, next: "Failed my melee test, ma'am," Derek answers, but the end starts to shake with emotion. "No major injury. …I'm not /liquified/." His pride is just entirely disemboweled. He doesn't hold still, he'll twist and get his other leg free, snap his knees back into place, and flex the arm to pull it back into a normal appearance. He'll try to stand up. "Permission to go for a walk for a minute, to evaluate my failure," Derek asks, voice of a heavy intensity that has no presence on his face: his emotional thing only evident in voice.

"I'm not sure I'd qualify disarming me and then getting sucker punched a failure." The Fox points out with a chuckle. "But Agent May had asked me to demonstrate a range of supernatural abilities to you. I'm guessing you're going to be working with her." He glances now at Jemma and Derek both. "Lesson one when fighting the supernatural. Rain can confirm this. No one fights fair."

Simmons blinks as Rain changes back and starts healing. As Derek starts speaking, and breathing again, the british born biochem lets out a breath and stares in abject fascination, combined with a tinge of horror, as he reconstructs himself. Seeing him trying to stand, she rises herself and offers a hand before glancing over her shoulder at The Fox "I know that." she murmurs.

The Fox gets another considered look, before Simmons turns back to Branch, she'll speak with The Fox before this is all done.

Melinda May takes a moment longer than Simmons to decide that Derek really is okay, though she moves to stand when he does almost precisely in time with the biochemist. Then she offers a hand to help Rain to her feet. "This wasn't a pass fail test, Branch. You have SHIELD training. I wanted to see how you'd react to the unexpected." Because that's something she's learned that SHIELD is not so diligent about teaching. "Go ahead and take a few, we'll still be here."

Turning to Rain, she asks the young witch, "Well, I'm confident you can defend yourself." Because BEAR. "Are you still able to cast spells when you're in bear form?" Yup. Trying to combat-proof Rain as well.

"Well, most of us don't fight fair." She'll make sure he doesn't need to resnap any more dislocated belts. Go go gadget magical healing.And Rain hasn't seen anyone like Derek before, either. Rain does gently set a hand on Derek's shoulder. "I think you did great. He's a pretty fierce fighter. I've seen him go all out," She offers. "And everyone gets thumped sometimes. You would probably win if I stayed in human shape." It's hard not to want to hug and squeeze Derek and tell him it's okay.

"It is just practice." She tilts her head. She's trying not to hug Branch. She really is. "Would you like some tea or anything?" Aw, Branch. Then a pause at May. "Only limited spells. But yeah, I guess a fire breathing bear'll do it."

Branch accepts Jemma's hand with no issue to aid in getting up, though his expression is just as much of a mask as Fox's, with an appreciative, subtle squeeze only she would notice. Due to standing, he slips from Rain's pat, but probably felt it. "If I can, in my defense… …I /had/ adapted, and I was ready to pull the next jab through me, and get into grapple, where I accel." He taps his chest with the Tanbo he has in his hand, to indicate a /hole/ he now opens there, near the right shoulder, on the side of the arm that was injured. It's … a gaping hole, and one can see right through him. He flips the tanbo, to demonstrate, poking it in, and his body clamps and pulls it suddenly, jerking his own wrist harshly. He then retracts it with his hand and tosses it aside. "But I agree that doesn't matter now, at all. I failed, in my view, because I failed to show anything more than that I can appear to be beaten up while I learn my opponent." Derek is suddenly aware his emotions are getting the best of him, he's getting defensive and surly. "…Apologies. …That's why I need a minute." Damn it all. He gives a firm nod at May, a sort of embarrassed look to Jemma that he acted like that in front of her. He has no idea about Rain's bug thing, and lacks the social skills to recognize it at all— so, he walks towards the door stiffly, probably inwardly berating himself. (And closing the hole.)

The Fox gathers his gear back and then stands off to one side, arms folded wondering exactly what the hell is going on. Sooooo, yes. This is interesting. Not precisely how he anticipated the evening going but the same can be said for most of his evenings, really.

It's just surprise after surprise for Simmons and her eyes widen as Derek demonstrates his grapple. Given a faint smile to his embarrassed look and raises an eyebrow to May - should she follow? Turning to Kane, keeping an eye on May, Simmon murmurs "I'd like a word, Mr Fox" as the man stands back "before we leave today. I believe you may be able to help with a project I'm working on."

Melinda May lets Branch take a break though she does nod at the young witch's assertion that most of WAND's adversaries — heck, even WAND's allies — don't exactly use SHIELD standard tactics, as the younger SHIELD agent himself proved. "That's what I want to prepare everyone for. How well do you handle being attacked while casting?" She knows that Captain likely factors in at some point, and she's okay with this, so long as the cat can 'practice' along with them without seriously clawing anybody.

Rain sighs. "You're fine. Rome wasn't built in a day. Just don't be too grumpy or I'll bear hug you and take you to tea," Menacing, yes. "I'm glad you're okay, and I think it's neat." He is neat! Poor Branch. She takes a deep breath, looking uncertain. "Was the bear thing too much?" Frown. Captain wakes up from his nap, blinking. "I hope I'm not getting thrown again. I'm a house cat," Captain protests a little, tail flicking. Rain lets Branch escape, curious. "But I won't keep you guys if you're busy."

Derek Branch takes his break, disappearing from view, as he gets outside. There are no big sounds or anything of interest; he's just gone. He left his water bottle behind, but it isn't like he said he was gone for good anyway.

"Interesting man you've got there May." The Fox notes. "On several levels." Simmons' murmur gets a look and a smile from the man. "Sure. Before I leave then, we'll talk. Rain, I doubt it was you. YOu're the most adorable terrifying bear I know."

Leaving Branch to himself, Simmons settles back, nodding to The Fox as he responds to her "Thank you, Mr Fox." She casts concerned glances to the door, shifting slightly, as if she might want to follow the new Agent.

Melinda May doesn't instruct Simmons to go after Branch or not, that decision is entirely up to the biochemist herself. "No, the bear thing wasn't too much. We'll work with that some more later. Right now, though, I want to make sure you've got ways to protect yourself if someone attacks you while you're actively casting a spell." Yes, May the Muggle, combat trainer to the wizarding community. Go figure. She looks at Captain. "If you would factor in to this, please join us. I only ask that you try to not use your claws or teeth."

Captain looks at May. "Ma'am, I'm gonna lay it on you straight. I either get enchanted or I use them claws and teeth. I'm a housecat. Unless she enchants me… I'm a cat." With all the powers of A Cat. Rain straightens, looking after Branch. "I hope he's okay," She rubs the back of her head. "I have my relic guns," She offers. "And a broomstick."

Derek Branch is still outside, but it also hasn't been very long at all. If he's taking the time he needs to cool down, that's best for everyone, no doubt ….

The Fox steps back into the background. May clearly has some personnel issues to deal with so he'll let her and Simmons do that. Really, he's not sure what they're doing. "You did great Rain. Just like when you took down that minotaur. Only, you know, less blood." The thing smacked her around pretty good. And she clawed it… something awful.

Handing her tablet to May, Simmons snags the water bottle that she had handed to Branch and hurries off towards the door. It takes her less time to reach the door then it did him, because she's not controlling her steps. "Agent Branch…" she calls as she exits… she'll stop near him when she finds him and give him one of those looks … you know the type that says — What's going on here… and are you o.k? —

Melinda May accepts the tablet. Okay, so no more sparring practice today. She taps at the screen a few times then offers it to Rain. "Only an offer, and you can take as long as you want to consider." The document on the tablet is a SHIELD form, one that would list Rain as an official Contract Agent, and all of the expectations and responsibilities that go along with that. She glances over at Kane and nods. If he wants to FLEEEE, it's okay for him to do so at any point.

ain looks quietly concerned. She peers over to the SHIELD thinger. Headtilt. Rain blinks. "You know whose apprentice I am, right? I mean, I admit, a lot of it is keeping tabs on the guy and Thor, Sif and friends are awesome and I've been learning Asgardian stuff and all… but people feel I'm tainted." She walks the shadows. "I mean, it'd be cool because I'd be glad to help out and all." Even Agent Groot over there is kind of adorable.

Derek Branch didn't go anywhere, not really, his walk was just out of earshot of the interior, at best. He's just sitting out near where he parked the van, seated on the ground, legs stretched out, crossed at the ankle, in full view. He looks up and over when Jemma calls to him. He seems to take her presence as that he needs to come inside, and he gives a silent nod, straightening some and drawing his legs in, clearly intending to get up as required, but then peers at the water bottle. Maybe he's not reading her properly; he pauses to give her a questioning look. His reads more like: — What is it I'm expected to do? —

The Fox nods to May. "I'm going to throw some water on my neck then." He waves to Rain and Jemma and Derek as the man comes in. He'll still stick around for when Jemma wants to talk to him. He'll be right back. Honest.

Handing the water bottle to Branch, Simmons offers a small smile "Is this something that we need to work on?" She indicates with jerk of her head to join her to re-enter the building "We all have bad days, you know" Glancing over, "I got hit by a time modified being, because I was trying to save it… " she flushes as she remembers "Poor Agent Pezzini had to jump in and save me… All I had was a hand held tranq gun and this thing was huge." OK maybe that's not the best example "Or the time that I messed up a routine experiment and stunk that area of the Triskelian out for like a month…." maybe that ones better. "Or the time… no, make that times, Fitz has been knocked out."

If he'll join her, she'll walk beside him as they return to the group "You did very well, you know. Particularly against the opponent you were matched against. The idea of these sessions is so we can learn where we need to improve."

Melinda May looks at Rain squarely. She's not lying or withholding any information. "Do you plant to bring this person with you on WAND missions, or does he have complete say in your words or actions? If the answer is no, I could not care less who he is. Your assistance will be a great help. End of story." She glances over as the main gym door opens again for Simmons (and maybe Derek?) to reenter.

"No, he does not. He's usually playing Angry Birds or doing Asgardian stuff," Rain admits. She also has to keep him off Tumblr. Between the porn and the expendable army of rabidly loyal followers, it's just asking for trouble. "But I would be honored to sign up." Beam. Rain smiles shyly and will look over the papers. She'll do her best.

Branch accepts the bottle and downs about half of it, standing up and to start to go back in with Jemma. While they're still outside, though: "It's all right, Doctor," he replies to Jemma, his tone smoothed out, gentle even, as she gives him examples in attempt to help him feel better. "Melee is my weakness, always has been. I just feel a lot of pressure to constantly prove my worth, or I lose my priviledge to be free." Well, that probably explains a lot. In a statement that's full of horrible connotations. But he's not scowling, as they come back into the gym.

Nodding as they enter, Simmons gives Branch a considering glance. There's more here than meets the eye. She remains silent as they join the group and glances around for The Fox "Did Mr Fox leave, Agent May?" She didn't see him leave behind her, but she might have been a little distracted. "I really did want to speak to him… " Looking at Rain and then Captain, she smiles.

Melinda May shakes her head no to Simmons. Well, unless he opted to depart through a skylight, but she'd notice if he did that. "He'll be back." She lets Rain peruse the documents on Simmons' tablet, giving Captain a very gentle nudge with one foot. "I'm going to have to make a kevlar-lined coat for you, aren't I?" Then she beckons Branch over. "You've got some distinct advantages that people won't be expecting. Let me see some of them, and I'll help you devise a melee style that works with those abilities." She figures at the very least he won't be susceptible to having his joints bent backtwards. He might even be immune to attacks against nerve clusters.

Rain looks up and looks amused. Captain gives a toothy grin. "Probably, but most people don't come after me," He admits. "I'd appreciate it," Rain interjects. She did bond with Captain out of choice. "But I'm a cute office mascot," The cat offers. Oh yes he is. Rain smiles at Branch. "You're awesome," She thinks so, anyway. She smiles to Jemma, too.

Derek Branch looks about when Fox is mentioned to see if Fox is around, but stops looking when May gestures him towards her. "…Huh?" Branch says to Rain's sudden compliment, puzzled. Maybe he missed context!
Anyhow, he comes over immediately to May, responsive to her direction without even a pause, like always: so well trained. "Such as being immune to choke holds?" he questions, watching her with a sort of intense stare, as if expecting her to summon a giant elk behind him.
"I usually just try to deflect impact to… reduce my pain problems," Derek says, but doesn't look thrilled about admitting that. "…Against people that I'm not supposed to kill," he adds. "Deadly strategy …differs."

The Fox returns. Wet about the neck. He'd just gone to cool off. Once back in the room he puts his cloak back on and regards the group. He'd promised to stay and talk to Jemma a bit but clearly the sparring part of the afternoon is done. "Rain, May, you might be interested to know that I'm noting some… increase in organization in Gotham's monsters. You might see them become more active in the near future if the pattern holds." Derek gets a nod as he goes to stand by the scentist.

"So, you had some questions?"

"I did, Mr Fox" Jemma hasn't caught the that it's The Fox, but there you have it. "I working on a project regarding psionics. You've pinged on my equipment, quite high in fact. I've not seen that type of response in many at all. Although, the readings were a little odd." She pauses, she's not realised that The Fox doesn't know he's psychic "I was wondering if I might work with you to calibrate my equipment a little more."

Melinda May nods to Branch. "Amongst other things. I want to see what you do and don't react to, starting with pressure points. Tell me if you feel any pain or discomfort." She reaches to put a hand on his shoulder. For the nerdy out there, it really looks like she's about to Vulcan Nerve Pinch the agent, even if she has no intention of actually using full force on the indicated pressure point.

Rain is reading, really. Captain is watching Derek and May. Maybe he'd make a great scratching post… Rain tries not to giggle at the incoming vulcan pinch. She looks to Fox and headtilts. "Really?" Taptaptap, peeeer. "You're awesome," She replies to Derek. She will be filling stuff out and reading as appropriate.

At first, there's a responsive tension under May's touch: an anticipation of pain incoming. Derek's shoulder is about as easy to squeeze as a tonfa. Probably not part of this. "Sorry," Derek mutters at her. He reduces it, and will feel more human after a few long seconds. But close inspection by someone feeling specifically for tendons or nerves won't find them, but other structures, that creatively mimic muscle functionality to a degree.

"You have equipment that detects magic?" That's odd and new. The Fox gives Jemma a curious look. "Sure if I can help, I suppose." Will he regret this later? Well it is May so… he thinks not? "So you're not human are you, Agent?" He says to Derek. "Or at least not entirely. And yes Rain. If you're gonna be in the area… keep an eye out. Hate to have you get bushwacked by mafioso minotaurs."

Simmons raises an eyebrow at Kane, opens her mouth to say something and then closes it again. "Something like that. We'll need to set up a time to do some more testing. Can you get to New York?" Simmons looks to May and then back again. They'll need to organise clearances and the like. The talk of mafioso minotaurs gets another raised eyebrow, things just get weird around Agent May these days, it seems.

Melinda May nods seemingly to herself as Derek proves 'immune' to pressure point attacks. She looks at Simmons, the minotaur comment apparently so inconsequential to May that she doesn't even react to it. "If New York is a problem, I can probably call in a favor and ask for lab time and space somewhere local." And then her attention is back on Agent Branch. "All right. What's the actual range of motion in your joints?"

Rain is quiet, and will be doing stuff in the backgrounds. She will totally be up to playing with magic GPS and stuff when they ask.

"No, not particularly," Derek answers Fox's question, but since he's otherwise busy with Jemma, Derek focuses on what May is doing. Or isn't. Was that supposed to hurt? "How should I have reacted when you did that?" Derek wants to know. "I only have joints because I choose to have joints," he clarifies. "I impose the range to act human," he says, with a proud, but tentative, smile.

Well the group seems to be about done here. The Fox nods to May and then Derek and then turns to Jemma. "I can make it to New York but… I do have an identity to conceal. Maybe if you can arrange it so that I show up in costume. Since I'm not real comfortable with people knowing certain things…" Don't index him. He really won't be that cooprerative. And with that the druid waves and heads on out.

"I can see that might be an issue. I'll work with Agent May." She watches as the Druid departs and Rain starts to fiddly with the GPS. Retrieving her tablet, Jemma takes a seat again and divides her attention between the tablet and May and Derek.

Melinda May seems content to let things settle, nodding to Kane as he departs and letting Rain and Simmons play with their respective tech devices while she works with Derek to ascertain were his unique characteristics are to his advantage or detriment.

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