Late Night Training

August 03, 2015:

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

The grunts and impacts from inside the training room are controlled, no sounds of undue effort, no grunting for effect, no growls of frustration, just the sounds of impact and a hissing exhilation of breath. Slade stands in front of one of the 'heavy' bags used in the training room, leather layered over leather and synthetic fibers holding a couple of inches of sand coating a core of pure concrete. It weighs nearly a full ton. It also swings slightly on it's thick chain, creaking as Slade's bare fists hammer into it in blurring staccato combinations almost to fast to follow. He's stripped down to a pair of combat pants and boots, showing a few scars, some ink on one shoulder, all under a thin veil of sweat.

He moves around the bag in perfect balance, chaning the angle of his attacks, alternating his footwork, never seeming to offer an opening to his 'opponant' all the while hammering away at it, working in an elbow or a knee that leads the bag to a spinning swing. "You should be sleeping." he says between breaths as someone interupts his alone time. He doesn't bother looking up, never taking his eye off of the complicated series of strikes he's working through.


Stepping into the training hall, Alexander makes no answer at first. It was the noise that drew him there. His room had been silent as he sat there, giving leave for his thoughts to wander and to gather upon the events of the last week and some, to his teammates, to the current situation. It was the faint clink and clank of the chain dancing as the heavy bag was smacked around, just enough to be an errant chord in the silence of the evening. So he arose, walked, entered.
The voice answers him easily enough, "Sleep is mostly recreational for me." The young deity wanders in, wearing the combat fatigues and gear that they'd been given not too terribly long ago. He walks towards where the other man works out, bracing the dancing bag when needed with the pressure of one hand.


Lunair keeps odd hours. It's what college students often do, even the legally dead ones. Perhaps especially the legally dead ones who tend to make spending cash picking off mobsters and mafiosos of varying stripes. Hobby? Job? Who knows. But she probably should work on keeping in shape and using something that doesn't explode or put holes in walls weaponwise. So wearing loose, softly violet colored clothing she joins the Should be Sleeping Club.

There's a blink. Alexander and Slade already seem to be here and hard at work. She tilts her head, watching. Part curiousity, part awe. Part considering what's going on and taking notes. It's nice to be super intelligent, even if few people have any sort of idea about it. "Really?" She seems curious about Alex's comment. "Erm. Sorry. That must be interesting." And she watches the two for now. Maybe she'll find something more active to do shortly.


"Well. That explains a lot." Audrey's voice comes not from behind Alex, but from inside the training hall, in a shadowed corner that, to all appearances, looks entirely empty. She's been absent so far, thanks to the unexpected dissolution and reorganization of X-Red. She's too careful to hang around all of that. Which is perhaps why she's finally shown up, just as cautiously.


She doesn't linger in that dark corner after speaking, instead coming into view a good ten feet away, hands in the pockets of her black BDU pants.
Slade Wilson nods his head as Alex speaks, "I wasn't talking to you." he says simply as he continues to pound away at the bag, from somewhere inside it there's a deep wunk sound. "Apparently the training hasn't been exhausting enough." he says as everyone is oddly awake and wondering around the training room. "Good to know." he makes a mental note to have Taskmaster try to kill them the following morning, a portion of his mind advancing the training schedule and filing that away.


A glance over his shoulder is given as Alexander braces the bag with that steadying hand. His brow knits as his gaze falls first upon Lunair, and then Audrey. His lip curls, then he turns back towards Slade. "Please don't intensify the training on my account." The young man has that deadpan tone down pat even as he adds, "If it gets back to the other teammates they'll hold a grudge. Then one night they'll hold me down and then beat me with soap wrapped in towels."


Lunair sort of blinks. Aw, nuts. She's apparently one of the few who doesn't have a super body, rock hard abs and she clearly missed out on the super soldier serum gravy train. There's an uncertainty on her face at the proclamation. She does smile politely at Alexander. She's well mannered. "That sounds cliche. I prefer my revenge to be both creative and horrifying. It gets the message across. Furthermore, I buy nice soap and I can't be wasting it slinging it at a deity." Her heart is … somewhere in the right neighborhood before it rolls up and rocket launchers a car out of boredom. At least she has a sense of humor about it.

"The training is really intense, but I'm learning a lot," She considers. At least her melee score is climbing up from somewhere between 'probably won't put an eye out' and wrangling an angry pack of ferrets. She does lift a hand in greeting to Audrey, slightly surprised but having some trouble emoting properly.


"Please," Audrey smirks at Alex as she joins the others. "Like that would put a dent in your skull." She points a thumb at Lunair. "She has good thoughts on the subject." A graduate of army training herself, she knows that look from Slade, and knows better than to let on that she does, instead stopping a respectful distance away. No questions. Just watching.


Slade Wilson's knee smashes into the bag mid range and Alex can feel something hard inside suddenly give way, pulping in the center and the wunk noise grows louder. Slade turns to walk away from the bag and reaches down to pluck up his shirt, shimmying into it, "No they won't." he says evenly, "They'll blame me." he's pretty matter of fact about it as if he's so used to the process of crafting a squad of dangerous people that he's become bored with it. The compression shirt really isn't helpful, he might as well left it off, but it covers up the Delta and Ranger ink and the scars, so there's that. "I assume you're here to ask me some questions," he turns to glance at each of them as he snags a bottle of watter from the floor, "so ask away." he squirts water in his mouth and waits for them to come. He can't help himself, he's curious as to who will ask which questions.


No mention is made of the effect Slade has on the bag, for now the young Olympian steps around the bag and walks along with Slade. He gives Audrey and Lunair a look, a half-smirk lighting on his features that would promise suitable reprisals if they weren't in front of 'the boss'. But he turns back to the man leading the squad. "I was curious if we had a charter of some sort, or some form of operational parameters that we would hold to upon engagement."
Alexander slides his hands into the pockets of his black fatigues, gaze distancing somewhat as those glowing red eyes seem to look past all of them. "Not that we entirely need such, but it was more a curiousity thing. Also if there was intention for this operation to be long term or primarily a troubleshooting outfit?"


Lunair is a bit in awe of the effect Slade has on the bag. There's a wry smile to Audrey, now that she's actively working not to have a constant blank, distant stare. Even that wryness to Phobos. Her training was more experimental and paramilitary sort of stuff. Cause chaos, casualties and pick people off. It's not terribly nice. At Slade's reply on asking questions, Lunair looks a bit thoughtful. Probably because she really is going over what questions to ask. She nods at Alexander.

"That's one question she thought of. "Is it alright to still attend college classes? I honestly don't really need to study a lot," She muses. So it won't be a big problem. But if she's here fulltime, she may need to put that on hold, after all. She is also still hoping her symbol isn't duct tape. She is apparently taking one question at a time, careful of any that sound obviously stupid.


Slade Wilson nods at Alex's question as if that were what he expected, "Charter? Not…persay. We're not like the other teams that currently exsist, we're made up primarily of murderers, mercenaries, theives, the broken and discarded. If you want to be a criminal when you're not on duty, I don't judge, you do what you want, I'm not the police. But there are rules we don't tolerate being broken, lines we don't cross. Laws change, they flow from land to land, culture to culture, government to government, but a code?" he shakes his head and his expression is hard, "Codes are personal and only the weak break their own. I have one, I never stray from it, it's what seperates me from the rest of those in my business, makes me a cut above. My code is my own, but as a team we will have one. We're not here to stop criminals, we're here to stop atrocities. One of those is inevitable, the other is avoidable if you're willing to do what needs to be done. I'll simplify it and put it up where you all can see it." he seems to like the idea and sets a small fraction of his mind to working on the issue and chewing over the language.

"Yes." he says to Lunair, "You can do whatever you like with your life so long as you're not on duty or here training." he points at Audrey as she asks her question, "We're both. Currently we're a group of untested people who don't work well with others trying to make something important happen. For now we're a mess. We will become something more then that. Once we officially begin, come out of the closet as it were, you may publicly affiliate yourself with the team if you desire, or chose not to if you dont want to risk the wrath of the dangerous people we will be facing, and the rest of us will respect that or they'll answer to me.


Still holding his place in front of Slade, Alexander seems to absorb the man's words and store them away after processing. His gaze doesn't waver and as Audrey and Lunair speak to him he tilts his head just enough as if inclining an ear in their direction. But once the man completes his answer the younger gives a nod.
"We are all a group of deplorably beautiful snowflakes. How do you intend to focus on us and get those of us who are so terribly unique and special to sublimate ourselves for the good of the group?" The question is couched in mildly derisive terms, but the sentiment is there. Right now they're something of a team, but they're more individuals than aught else.


Lunair nods. "Thank you," She's duly polite and respectful. If nothing else, it's the feeling that however murderous one might be, they are being dwarfed by a gargantuan god of slaughter. Lunair watches and listens, quiet and intent. So, they are a group and answer to their own code. She inclines her head a bit. The legality of it may be uncertain, but then she's been legally dead in her true identity for ages.

"Sorry. I'm turning over a few questions." She politely defers for a moment, preferring not to waste time that might get her a gibbs smack.


"Leadership," Audrey answers Alex's question, though she doesn't look at him when she does. "He'll break anyone who can break, and the ones who don't - like godlings who've already had anything breakable taken care of - will either find enough respect for the rest of the team to cooperate, become leaders themselves, or break ranks. Who decides what means are worth what ends?" It's not a challenge. She's asked something similar before. But she'll keep asking until she's sure of the answer, and what she thinks of it.


Slade Wilson smirks at Alexander, "Same way teams have been forged through out the millenia." he says none to helpfully, "Given enough time it never fails." he is likely to know, considering he's the longest constantly serving combat veteran in US Army history. Audrey's quip makes him smirk more, "Oh I've broken gods, you just have to know where to push. It's all about knowing where to push." he looks away from Alexander to Audrey now, "I do." he says simply, "I don't run a democracy, we don't vote, and all of you follow orders…" he pauses, "That said I've been on the receiving end of exactly that sort of chain of command, it never sat well with me. So if you take issue with a mission, approach me before arrival there. I'm not an emperor or a delusional despot, I'll hear you out take it into consideration adapt things accordingly if at all possible. While we're on mission however, we're /on mission/. Bring up your concerns before or after, never during. Hessitation will get your squadmates killed."


Crinkling his nose a bit, Alexander clearly takes exception. Perhaps with some words offered by Slade, perhaps those offered by Audrey. In any case he takes a step back and turns to the side, looking towards Lunair and the other woman. He cocks an eyebrow curiously, ceding the 'floor' to them and allowing them to take point with their queries.
A moment passes, then he adds off-handedly, "Watch that one." He gestures to Audrey and gives a solemn nod. "She's trouble." That having been said he steps over towards the benchseat of a military press machine and lounges against it, not using it, more just finding a place to 'perch'.


… he perches. Kind of. Lunair is thinking her questions over carefully. Social interaction is not her strong point. "Do we work with any other teams or things of that nature in an official capacity? I mean, I know that alliances are often temporary…" She seems curious, cautious like a snail in a maze made of salt. One stupid question and she's going to go back under her rock. She fully well believes Slade could break a god. But then, this is different from what she's used to. Lunair seems skeptical at Audrey being 'trouble'.

She doesn't seem to have problems with legality, it seems. Still, she's just being very careful with this. It seems important to her.


"So this is your private crusade?" There might be a little bit of a challenge to that one, as Audrey watches Slade. Her concerns are less about legality and more about knowing what's happening. She trusts completely in Slade's operational prowess. His moral compass, on the other hand, is a little less clear. Alex's comment doesn't even get a glance at the moment. This is key.


Slade Wilson quirks a brow at Audrey but answers Lunair first, "No. We are completely autonomous, which is the point. We are subject to no law but the code we make. We do not limit ourselves to a single city block, or a city, or a state, or even a nation. We are global, going where we're needed, doing what needs doing, and leaving. If all goes well, our missions will be few and far between, though training will be regular and mandatory. By nessecity we can't ally ourselves with other teams, because they are biased by nature, inheirently driven to protect what they see as theirs. When was the last time you saw Spider-Man protect London from an invasion of undead monsters? Or Superman stop a genocide? Or the X-men give a shit about anything that happens outside of their nicely constructed race war?" he shakes his head at them both, "This isn't a crusade, it's a holding action. Our job is to limit the toll. Atrocity is like pornography," he says to Audrey inparticular, "I know it when I see it. Can I give you a number, a static line that says 'this is right and this is wrong'? No. But do I know that when Boka Haram kidnaps 200 little girls from a village in Nigeria Superman didn't do shit. No one did. Ironman went to Stark Con that week, showed off a new gadget, a phone is memory serves." he lets out a slow breath, "I'm not a good man, I'm not even a nice one, but civilization runs on certain simple rules. When civilization fails it falls to the uncivilized to clean up the mess. That will be us."

He leans back slightly, arms crossing over his chest, "I have to admit, I'm a little disappointed. I knew what each of you would ask before you did, and it was very predictable. None of you have asked the questions I expected," he points at Alex, "you at least to get to. The simple things, the obvious ones. Somewhat disconserting. I see we'll have to up tactical training as well as physical."


"Slade," Alexander finally looks fully at the man, crimson gaze skewing sideways. "I'm here, as well you know, because I wish to take part in the conflict, the wild. But I also told you when we started…"
The young Olympian gains his feet and gestures absently to the side, as if brushing past the words. "I do not feel an investment in these things, I do not feel a connection. I'm here because I know I _should_ or perhaps I wish to if only to maintain what connection I have. If you wish for some measure of honesty, then here it is."
Those dark eyes narrow, "How are you going to make me care? How are you going to make me give a damn about any of these people here, or those people out there? Your swagger amuses me in the abstract, the people you've gathered as well. But I have this unshakable feeling of being a tourist in my own existence. Solve that and then I might be impressed."


Lunair tilts her head. "Well… I did have to help deal with undead in the Gotham aquarium once." Not even Dickens kicked that many urchins. She seems curious. She definitely seems to be in need of socialization. At his comment on asking questions, she keeps her head tilted. "Hmm… well, it is important to learn a lot of different viewpoints and possibilities. It's entirely possible we simply operate differently than expected or what is written in our files and past. Predictability is death," She notes quietly. She doesn't contract him, thoughtful of what is offered. It seems to occupy an awful lot of brain energy for her. She struggles desperately to process talk at times. Someone is a fan of continual learning and new situations. Lunair is sort of a fan of nonlinear thinking, even if cleverness is fickle at best.

Her problems are odd. But she certainly seems sympathetic to the cause, following her own, strange morality and code. Shooting a mafioso in the throat, but stopping the Punisher from sticking someone's face in the deep fryer so the kind cook wouldn't lose her job. In other words, her brain is a bag of cats and weasels. For her part, she is quietly still nearby.


"I won't apologize for asking questions you knew I would ask, having provided no information," Audrey arches a brow at Slade. "You recruited us knowing who and what we were, sir. I'm a soldier. Predictable to your commanders is a positive trait. Just like being predictable to your teammates. You want a team, and you recruited individuals. I'm guessing you could use some predictable." She steps back, glancing to Alex and Lunair before she looks to the door. "I should unpack and get some sleep before the 'surprise' alarm in the morning."


Slade Wilson nods his head, "Close." he says to Alexander, "But you're thinking to complicated, letting your own personal desires cloud the greater view of the battlefield. Someone would be disappointed. The question you need to ask, the one that holds some of the answers you seek, is much smaller, much more obvious." he glances at Audrey, "Maybe you." he says, and his eyes glint a little bit. This is one of the few things he enjoys, flaunting not only his intelligence and understanding over others, but also teaching them something. In another life, another world, he would have made one of /those/ teachers. Lunair makes him shake his head, "You I expected to question it the least." he admits, his tone noteably lacking any surprise. "Come on," he says, staring Audrey down, "three little words kid. Ask the right question." he shakes his head when he doesn't get it.

He holds up his hand and raises a finger with every word spoken, "Where. Are. We." he says with a smirk. "There are three labratory experiments in this room and a godling supposedly capable of all manner of unknown things and not one of you have tried to play through the tactics of an escape if it should be required?" he quirks a brow, "Not one. Shocking. And yet, none of you has ever arrived or left here by any means but a glowing portal that appears when summoned." he looks back and forth, "It really is somewhat… disappointing." he points at Alex, "You I get, arrogant son of an arrogant son, learned behavior, don't question a thing you think can't harm you." points at Lunair, "You I also get, to many ideas in your head, playing at the cute idiot you hide a sharp intelligence, but it leads you to distraction." finally Lux, "You… you've been sneaking around for a couple of days, flitting off, trying to scout. It's good. I like that level of question, not to mention skill. I could only track you twice. Tell me Lux," he grins wider, "find a window? A door out? Maybe something that you can use to suss out our location?"


Slouching back onto the rack of the military press, Alexander curls an arm around a bar and looks sidelong towards one of the walls, as if considering it and what might lie beyond. He looks back and tilts his head towards Slade as he offers his own answer, "I was figuring somewhere terrible. Ninth circle and all that. Or Detroit." The smile is given easily enough, but there's little behind it as he lounges where he perches.


Lunair blinks a bit. Huh. "… it is sort of hard to talk to people, sorry." She has a few socialization issues. "Besides, if I worked so hard to get here and I am learning a bunch, trying to escape too much would get me in far more trouble than I care to deal with. With my luck, it's probably those damnable drones. Or pop up Taskmaster in a box with one of those shields. Besides that, I would have no car or means to get sufficiently distant if I did get out. Sure, I could use power armor and fly for awhile, maybe - but then I'd stand out so hard it would hurt. Probably copyright lawyers," There's a sense of humor. "Then I wouldn't have supplies with me and if we're in a field far away," Handwave. "And, for the cherry on top, I sincerely doubt that short of complete invisibility, I would go unnoticed. I mean, it's not hard to break out of somewhere usually. It's the keeping out for more than a few moments that gets you." Path of least resistance. And she REALLY has a hate-on for drones. Lunair looks to Alex, at his comment. She shakes her head. "No, not Detroit. Not nearly enough shooting or rubble," And she would know.


Whatever she may think of Slade judgments, she keeps to herself. Probably on account of truth. "Detroit is an exercise in what could have been. It had so much hope…" So much hard work, so many dreams. "Sleep well," She offers to Audrey. "I should probably get some tea and sleep, too. I'm sorry I disappointed you all. I'll just have to work harder." Hey, she's got faults.
"Not yet," Audrey answers Slade as she heads for the door. "I stopped looking for exits after the first day, though. Today's been control panels for the portal. Then I'll start looking for a communications array. And failing all else, I let Alex and Luna do the heavy hitting while I provide cover. Alex'll do it because he's bored, or it's a challenge. Or briefly amusing. And if Luna believed she was cornered, she wouldn't stay here either. She has the resources. She'd need the motivation and support. I don't have enough of a read on the others yet to see where they'd fall, or who's your mole." Because of course she assumes there is one.

She pauses at the doorway, looking over her shoulder. "I'd reason out places we could be, but the world's a big place and I've got limited information on your resources and connections. And background, for that matter. And it'd be moot if we can't get out." At Lunair's apology, she shakes her head. "Don't be sorry, Lun. You always give it your all. Night, Alex," she adds with an upward tip of her chin to the godling.


Slade Wilson snorts, "As if I'd build something like this team in Detroit. I'm an asshole but I have my limits. Conviction, please bring up a view of the exterior." he says to the air, and a holo screen boinks to life in front of him, roughly 70 inches across. The screen is dark and showing a lot of nothing. "External of the hull." he says next, and then there's a gray nothing in the screen, it begins to zoom away at high speeds, shrinking and shrinking, until eventually a sizeable (one would assume though there's nothing for scale) ovid shape appears floating amid the blackness. "Control panels won't help you." he says evenly, "There is almost no communications array, or rather, it's not the kind you can hack." he smirks, "Alex and Luna and Grace could rage all they like, but you survived the Proving Grounds, what good did it do you there?" he glances over at Alexander, "We currently exsist inside pocket space, outside of reality, on a station, ship, whatever you want to call it, that's roughly the size of an office building, give or take. Most of it is taken up with the Proving Grounds, admitedly, but that's fine, we don't need much more then that." he seems to be trying to will Alexander to realize something, but doesn't say it out right. He glances back at Audrey then, "We are untrackable here, unfindable. Safe. We are truely global because we're not /on/ the globe. Our transporation is instantaneous, our location completely secret." he glances back at Alex, "No one can see us here. No one." he waves a hand and the screen vanishes, "Welcome to the Convicted."


"Ok, now that is pretty great." Alexander seems pleased as he looks at the display, turning to listen to Slade as the man speaks. His smile grows as he straightens up, pushing himself up and off the benchseat even as he tosses a wave towards Audrey as she makes her departure. "It is an inspiration in one way, and a point of reference in another. Hm." The young Olympian strolls over and considers the view, the void, the nothing, as if half hoping for it to look back into him.
A moment passes. Nothing.
He looks back to Slade, "This resolves my mild distraction about possible reprisals."


With not a lot of response, Lunair settles quiet. She huhs softly at the reality of where they are. She then waves to the others - even the Divine Snark. "Be well. And thank you." She's duly grateful for the kind words.

And to note, it's not a spiteful or passive aggressive silence. It's simply the silence that comes from acknowledgment and listening in turn. She seems to have picked up that much.


"That's why kill Slade and do what we want wasn't on the list of possible strategies." That, and for all Audrey knows it's actually impossible. "Pretty sure your contingency plans have contingency plans, and most of them end with if all else fails, destroy the evidence." She doesn't seem particularly surprised; pocket dimension was apparently on her list of possibilities. But it's one more piece of information to store away. "Good night, sir. You'll most likely try to kill us in the morning." And with a Dread Pirate Roberts joke, she's off to sleep.


Slade Wilson shakes his head at Alexander, "You don't understand… that's fine. Life /should/ be mysterious, it's what makes it fun. Gives us purpose. If you knew all the answers then what would be the point?" he shakes his head at Audrey, "I gave you my word." he says simply as if that was all there was to say on the matter. He promised her he'd make her better, he'd give her more then what she had. And he promised her some small measure of saftey. He then turns back to the bag and rolls his shoulder, "Go." he says to the group, his fists slamming into the bag in a rapid series again, "You'll need your sleep. In a couple of hours we begin water op training and you'll need the rest." The sounds of concrete slowly becoming gravel can be heard as the summary dismissal hangs in the air.

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