Patience Is A Virtue; But Bullets Are Better

August 12, 2015:

Bruce, Lunair, and Melody practice shooting and share stories.



NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

"Patience is a virtue, Bullets are better."

She heard that from somewhere. Probably from the other guy who was on the team who randomly came in and out. Probably from Deathstroke himself, maybe she made that up a long time ago but there they were. Training.

With bullets.

'Get used to it.' Was told to her. As well as fighting. But .. with.. fists. And stuff, not bullets.

So each stall was desginated towards each of the three who shown up, Melody off to the far left, Lunair in the middle, Bruce on the edge if he chooses to partake. Melody.. well.. she knew how to old a gun, but aim and shoot?

Was there an app for that?

"So I pull this thingy back right here, use both hands, aim and then squeeze the trigger, right?" She asks of them both. Not clueless, just being sure.

Bruce Banner is eating an apple, wearing a vintage Atari t-shirt and alternating between watching the others fiddle with their guns and playing a rousing word game with total strangers. It kept his blood pressure nice and low - he wasn't particularly competitive and, even if he was, he was a lot smarter than most of the schmucks on this particular gaming network. They had no chance.

"I have much more experience being on the receiving end, I'm afraid. I know the bullets really, really hurt, though - I've had my head blown off more times than I could count. It has a habit of stinging. I don't really remember much after that, though."

Lunair tends to solve most of her problems with bullets. Or explosives. Or rocket launchers. She used to be uneasy about killing, but that was long ago. That part of her has died, and she's not sure if that's good or not. But Lunair does practice gunslinging a lot and she really is a good marksman and quick shooter. It must be hereditary as her great-somany-greats uncle from the wild west was a gun slinging martial.

But Lunair is sympathetic enough towards Melody. Even if she has no problem blowing someone's brains all over a wall. "Sort of. That's kind of just a start. You want to look down the sight or through the scope to aim. Like, watch it a moment and you'll see it move in a figure 8 as you breathe. Don't hold your breath, just shoot when it kind of hits the middle of the figure 8. That's usually about the most accurate. And yup, safety off, both hands, aim and pull the trigger. Don't forget to cock the gun." Pause. "Is that how you say it?"

"So you're not actually at least going to try to shoot a gun?" Melody asks Bruce, fiddling with hers as she stops once Lunair speaks up. As soon as she does, she draws the gun upright, both arms straight, feet shoulder length apart, her eyes fixed upon the tiny little scope that's fitted to her gun. "Okay…" She breathes out..

"Okay, safety off.. aim.." She was waiting for the little figure eight. "I think that's how you say it, at least they say that on television a lot so it may just be a proper thing." She giggles a little, then pulls the trigger, only clipping the edge of the paper. "Okay.. that didn't go well." But she does feel that little.. kick to adrenaline.. "I.. think I can get used to this."

Bruce Banner cocks his head, "Why would I try to shoot a gun? I'm not particularly even coordinated - I'm not even good at video games where I have to shoot guns, much less handling one in actuality. Giving me a gun is a relatively pointless exercise. Beyond that, I personally wouldn't be comfortable shooting someone. I don't cast judgment on others for it, but, for my part, I just couldn't do it," he says, flicking back to his phone for a moment and selecting the word 'phenotype' and annoying someone on the other end.

He peers down the line to see how Melody did, "You nicked the hell out of them. Good for you."

"I don't think that's really his style. And that's okay! You have to find what works for you," Lunair offers. She looks to Melody, watching quietly. She sort of rubs the back of her head. "Well, you got the paper and that is a good start." Nod.

Well, she's trying. "Would it help to watch me try?" She asks. "Otherwise, I think I can put a laser sight on this thing…"

"I mean, it's not realy my style either. I don't know what my style is but.." She shrugs her shoulders faintly, then glances back towards Bruce. "Y

"I mean, it's not realy my style either. I don't know what my style is but.." She shrugs her shoulders faintly, then glances back towards Bruce. "Y'know, the Hulk is way, way nicer to me than you are." She even sticks out her tongue. Though, she does step back and out of the way, offering up her pistol towards Lunair so that she could watch her take a shot. "I don't think Deathstroke would approve of laser sights in training. I don't know. I think its better this way. Isn't this how you learned?" She even hip-bumps Lunair a little, awkward as that was.

Bruce Banner shakes his head, 'You're confusing nicer for stupider," he says plainly. "He's nice the way a vicious dog can be nice if he thinks there's a treat in it for him - don't mistake it for weakness or softness," he says. As for the latter, he adds, "Who cares if laser sights are his style? He doesn't have to have them on his guns if he doesn't like them. Just because he's in charge doesn't mean you have to organize everything around his tastes. I'm not going to be texting Deathstroke to ask his permission for everything I wish to do and, if he doesnt like it, he's free to discuss it with me."

"Why not?" Lunair asks. "Do you like fighting up close? From far away? Using a remote controlled drone? What looks or feels right?" She asks. She looks to Melody. Her expression is blank at how she learned. Lunair hesitates a moment. "I started with a laser sight so I could get a feel for the weapon." From the coolness in her tone, it sounds like there's a lot of undercurrent to that answer. "There's nothing wrong with using one to start. He's been using firearms longer than most of us have been alive," Lunair points out.

She does smile a little at the hip bump. She carefully accepts the pistol. "Okay, I'll go slow. Watch how I line up the sight," She does just that. "And then I prepare to fire. See how the end of the barrel wobbles a little? That's the figure 8 thing."

And then Lunair will fire, easily landing a bullseye. She fires from the shoulder. Nothing fancy. Just a basic starting stance.

"So him saving me and actually taking us to McDonald's was a way of him being selfish and.." Okay. So the fries were good. "Nevermind. Point made. But he's still nicer." She turns away then, then shrugs at Lunair's question. "I don't know what feels right. I think the only time I've ever really been in a fight is when some old lady jumped me at a mob wedding a couple of months back."

She smirks a little, then sighs. "Bruce, seriously. I've never been like.. in this sort of situation like almost everyone on the team has. I'm totally green. A newb. And it's okay to fit stuff to whatever he wants because eventually out of that I'll find what works for me."

She quiets as Lunair gives her instruction, moving around her yet out of sights. She does notice the little wobble, her eyes narrowing a little.. then jumping back a touch as the shot was fired. "Okay.. do it a few more times?" She supposes if Lunair learned by lasers, she could too.

Bruce Banner raises a hand in acquiescence, "Didn't mean to sound aggressive. Just my own thorns showing. I don't do well with being told what to do. He noted it as a potential problem when he recruited me and he wasn't wrong."

He takes a sip from a bottle of water, throwing a couple of pills in along the way and swallowing before he continues, "I'm frankly surprised we use such conventional munitions. With all the technology available in these parts, you'd think energy weapons of some sort would be on-hand."

Lunair will gently install a laser sight on the gun so that Mel will now see a red dot on the target where she aims. "It's important to get a feel for the weapon. It has to be muscle memory. If you stop and think during a fight, you'll probably get shot." She pauses at Bruce's words. Then she nods at Bruce. "I can do energy weapons! Did you wanna try lasers?" Lasers might be more fun. "They don't make loud noises like guns so … that might work better for you actually," Lunair considers. And less blood, now that she thinks of it.

She seems to like both of them. At the talk of ighting, she goes quiet, looking off. "… I think that's very lucky. I've been fighting for 7 or 8 years. I forget. I used to cry when I thought about it, but I don't anymore." She shrugs. "I think energy weapons might work better for you."

"At least you're sounding like something other than a stoner." Melody teases. "You mean, you don't like being told what to do by a guy. Or authority. I can be like.. 'Oh, I'm Hulk's handler.' and you'd be all.. 'Okay!'. You have genderism. You like taking orders from women and not men." She was clearly teasing.

"Maybe it's basics thing. Why shoot energy weapons when you can't even shoot a regular gun?" That was her reasoning. As the laser point was installed, she carefully takes the gun back to stand in position, looking down the sights, then nods. "I don't want to get to that point of stopping and thinking. I just want to go and be alive for tomorrow." She huffs a little, shaking her head briefly, the gun lowering and lifting again as she fires. She didn't hit the mark, but she was close. Gut shot. Win for her!

"I don't want to cry anymore." She fires another shot. "I'm tired of crying."

Bruce Banner raises an eyebrow, "I resent that, I certainly don't have a gender bias. I resent taking orders from people whose judgment I distrust and whom I don't like. And I think you'll find that I don't necessarily hop to it when you tell me what to do. You do have a habit of actually asking nicely, however, which does tend to make things smoother when dealing with something I feel an amount of reluctance to do."

That's how he ended up accompanying her to a funeral, even though he normally wouldn't be caught dead at one. But he's not going to bring that one up directly.

"Yes, crying isn't something I'm fond of either," he sas.

"Whatever's good. Some people just like them better because they don't have the recoil and noise." Lunair is easy going. She is quiet at the Hulkauthority chat. She does not know a lot about Hulk. She looks between the two. "I could tell a story about why I am careful about people, but it would be upsetting."

"I usually give people at least one chance." But her wrath must be pretty terrible when it does come down. "Anyway, sorry. That was a downer of a story, but people do have valid reasons to be uneasy about following others. I used to cry, but I do not."

At Melody's shot, she beams. "Wow. Good job! Give it a few more goes, then you will have a better feel for it. Does that feel a bit better?"

"So, you're saying you distrust my judgement but only do it because I ask nicely?" Well, she does say please and thank you, that was just pure manners. Plus, at STAR Labs, everything was put so high that she needed a stool to reach it. Then of course there was that road trip she sent him on, and then the funeral. "You know I'm just teasing… right.." She had to choke that one back. That.. stupid funeral.

She rubs the back of her neck a little, then draws the gun up again, holding the sights still as she listens to Lunair. It.. does make a lot of sense. About people, to do that. To just give one chance.. "That was hardly a story! You just said two lines and didn't get to the meaty parts." She was trying to lighten the mood.

But she does as she asks and continually fires, getting used to the feel, the sound it makes, how her hand and arm itself jerks as she empties the clip. Her stance wasn't perfect, but there was a little bit of confidence breathing through.

And bullet holes were all over the place and not where it needed to be. "It does.. it really does feel better.."

Bruce Banner sits back, ' You'd be surprised at how few people don't even do that," he says, in regards to Melody's manners. "Or perhaps you shouldn't - I spoke to your father long enough to realize he's the kind of person who tells you what to do rather than asks you to do it. My father was the same, albeit, no doubt, worse. And don't argue with me on that - I always win the worst father contests," he says.

To Lunair, he smiles, "Downer stories are rather par for the course in current company, I'm afraid. Never worry about ruining the mood - I'll do taht quickly enough for anybody. As Melody reminds me, this is why I don't have friends," he chuckles.

"You're getting the hang of it. It's tough to keep firing a weapon with recoil," Lunair explains. "It's just like working out." She offers a faint smile. Lunair does not show emotion by default, so she has to work at it or feel intensely. She hesitates a moment. "Well, it's upsetting to most people. I'm used to killing people, so what I am used to might upset someone else. I try to remember that," She admits.

"And some guns have automatic or semi automatic modes that are easier than having to press the trigger over and over," She explains. "But you tend to kinda cut accuracy on automatic." Then again, spray and pray is totally a thing. She looks between the two. "Just because someone is gruff or cool to people doesn't mean they aren't good at heart in their own way, I guess. Anyway, I can tell the story if you want, but…" She trails off.

"I really don't want to compare dads right now. Lets just agree that our dads equally suck and god bless they're not around right now because we'd be feeling pretty crappier than we did today." She was careful at unloading the clip, just as she was taught, moving to the table with the rest of the ammunition to choose the right clip, enter it in with a careful and quiet click, and arms it.

"Its true. He doesn't have friends. Outside of us anyways." Mel shrugs.

"I can tell you a happy story." She doesn't even wait for permission, really. "Think I was thirteen. I hadn't seen my parents in almost a week. Dad was continually working on a supposed cure and mom was there to help. Day and night. I can't remember what happened but there was some sort of internal infection. I went into a coma. They said I was out for three months. In any case, when I woke up.. something inside me expected to see my parents there. But really, I wasn't holding out any hope for it."

She doesn't really continue, she just takes up her position again to fire. Each bullet seemingly becoming closer to the head shot as intended, to the point she drops the clip, loads up a new, and starts all over again.

"They were there at least. Asleep. Woke up in the middle of the night. Turns out they spent the night every day after work and I never really knew that they did because the medication was too heavy."

"So, lets hear your story."

Bruce Banner won't expand further on his father and is, indeed, content to leave that story lie. Given that he bashed his father's brains out against a tombstone, that's usually not something he particularly relishes telling or, indeed, thinking about. He can do it coldly, now, for the rage he felt has been diverted…elsewhere. But he doesn't liket o think about that either. It makes it seem as if the Hulk is a part of him and Bruce doesn't like that idea, not one bit. If the Hulk is a part of him, it's a part that he wishes would die and fall off like a gangrenous limb.

"Yes, please, go ahead," he says softly, his voice a bit preoccupied, but, nonetheless, attentive, his eyes up.

"I think I have a dad, I'm not sure. I may well be an entirely artificial creation," Lunair admits. "HYDRA created me, so I'm - well." Shrug. "I think if I had my way, I'd be a super soldier with way bigger boobs but NOPE. I missed that gravy train." SIGH. She is obviously being silly. Until she listens to Mel. She looks sympathetic. "Well, let me know i you want to try some lasers or something different," Lunair nods sagely. "I can practice some of my gunslinging. I don't know if I'm entirely up on stuff like gunkata." She's being wry. Or is she?

"You're doing great," She remarks to Mel. "As for my story, I dunno. I can't cry too much. I was hired when I was about 12. We were sent to aid some locals in Africa. Two villages decided the sons of bitches across the river needed to die." She pauses a moment. "I made a few friends, and we played soccer. They didn't tell us there were landmines in the field, but we found out during a game. I don't remember much except screaming a lot and there was red everywhere. They said they didn't tell us because seeing it would motivate us. So I stabbed him in the throat, collected my money and fled." Pause. "It's easy to understand why someone might question things. But… subject change! Have you met my dinosaur?"

"I think we're all artifical creations at some point. Well, with dads like ours. We really don't remember anything until we're like five or six and even then our memories are completely subjective." She tells Lunair this; possibly passed down from one person to the next. Her memories? Not so subjective, not in the slightest.

"Gunkata is actually pretty cool. I sat there and studied it after I saw it in Equilibrium, I'm not great at math, but… I have an idea.." For later, of course. It was story time, she doesn't shoot anything during this. But she does pick up her clips and discard them into the necessary place, frowning completely as she hears it, her head shaking a touch as her shoulders become lower and lower. Lunair was right, really. That story..

"No! You got a dinosaur?" Melody just has a really, really cool laptop she built herself. And one for Bruce, just cause.

Bruce Banner doesn't engage in the stories of fathers - again, not a subject he enjoys. Not even to be sympathetic and certainly not to receive sympathy in return. And when Lunair changes the subject, he takes her desire to change it at face value. And, regardless, he's much more intrigued by the last note, "A dinosaur? Indeed? I mean, I knew there was some discussion of a 'Savage Land' of some sorts in the Antarctic - I had the security clearance to see a few memos about it, although, unfortunately, it was considered outside my areas of research. I had hoped to go nonetheless. Or is this a result of some sort of cloning or time-travel technology? What species is it?"

Lunair is quiet for a moment, as the story sinks in. "I've been at this for years," is all she offers. She isn't sure about her dad anymore. But then, she tilts her head. "You'll get to gunkata," She promises. She doesn't go on about her story. The perturbing reality that she used to cry about it, now all that's left is a half-healed wound and a cold hatred.

Regardless, she listens a moment and nods. "I got to go because someone was kidnapped and we accidentally got pulled over." She is trying to phrase it properly. "He's a nemicolopterus. About the size of a sparrow. He fell on my head when I was there and just sort of hung out because I gave him fruits and stuff. I can bring him along next time if you like. I just didn't think he'd like the gun range. And it seems to be a magically protected area. It's kind of weird."

When she asked to see a dinosaur, she really didn't understand the extent of the questions that Bruce put out. She kind of just stared at him, then at Lunair, and then at Bruce again, then goes back to training with the gun. She made sure to time her shots in between the questions and answers, nodding towards Lunair once, and.. slowly.. but surely becoming adept with handling the gun. It.. started to feel okay. Not great, but just.. okay. She had a very, very long way to go.

"Maybe we all could just swing by someones room and watch tv. I think I want to sneak a cat on board. Or.. I could just make one.." Yeah, she'll do that. She'll make herself a cat. A mechanical cat. Like those huge ones in the Proving Grounds. Yeah..

"I.. think that's enough for me now. I'm going to the mess hall for a snack. You guys down or should I just.. go to my room or something. I don't know."

She was the teams Eyore..

Bruce Banner raises an eyebrow at the term 'magic'. He understood there were people who believed in it and that even some forms of sorcery apparently worked, but, to him, it was just an unexplored area of science that wasn't fully understood. Calling it 'magic' only encouraged people to cling to silly superstitions and antiquated notions of the nature of reality. Counterproductive.

Still, probably not the moment for a lecture on that.

"I'd very much enjoy the opportunity to examin…er, see it," he says," realizing that his scientific terminology might sound a bit cold for something Lunair likely saw as a pet. "I have to say, I'm much less familiar with those of such diminutive size. The real thunder lizards tends to get the publicity," he says.

At Melody's mood, he raises an eyebrow, "I wouldn't say no to a bit of something to eat," he says.

Aw, poor Mel. "You can meet Sir Cheepington, sure," Lunair nods. She watches Mel and listens, tilting her head. "If you like. There's a video game console, too," She offers. "If you like Japanese food, I can cook something," She offers. Then a look to Bruce and she smiles. "Sure. He likes people nowadays. I didn't feel responsible trying to bring a big one along, you know? Plus he likes to perch on my head."

And that could get hazardous. "We'll go with you. It's okay to feel down sometimes. This is rough for most of us. Frankly, I'm just happy there's no snipers, sigma six or dart drones."

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