A Silent Screamer

October 09, 2015:

A ghostly encounter happens in X-HQ.

X-Men HQ

Characters

NPCs: A Ghostly apparition.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

The Danger Room. It's a place of self masturbation, or a place where you just want to feel the pain without the upset of actually getting someone else mixed up in your bullshit. That's where Jean was, and perhaps spent most of her time when the kids either went home or to their dorm, or had better things to do than to lounge around in her office or in the hallways, or the kitchen. The trip to and from England was a bit of a success, she managed to get her mind off of most of the things troubling, but what she wouldn't give to spread her wings to fly..

Fly..

To get away..

And that's where she was, practically. Her own little getaway of circuitry that creates rooms and cities amass. It was bigger on the inside and controlled by one of the finest minds that Xavier managed to 'capture'. Let someone else tell it. The field was simple, grass littering the middle and outsides of the concrete ring, paint lining off sections that's wide enough for a single body to fit in each row.

There was a net in the middle in case she wanted to summon a body to play tennis with, but now? She just felt like running.

Hair tucked into a ponytail, band around her wrists, Nike's fit to perfection as well as jogging pants and a tank top that does not form fit but held baggy. And she pushed herself to her limit, running hard and fast with no intentions of stopping until her lungs felt like they were going to give out and she would fall to the ground in a fit of coughs.


"My god, are you /running/?" Betsy asks Jean, looking a bit surprised. "I thought you swore you were done doing that forever after we did that quarter-marathon." She closes the Danger Room door behind her and stretches with a limber sort of ease, twining her palms to press together and locking her elbows out over her head. She's clearly dressed for the gym, wearing an athletic crop top and yoga pants, her usual workout attire, and then holds a knee against her belly to stretch one hamstring out.


Kurt Wagner enters the Danger Room with his passcode, clad in his own workout clothes. In his case, a set of Notre Dame sweatpants with a hole cut out for his tail and an Xavier's t-shirt. He also has on a bright golden headband, matching his gleaming eyes as he makes his way inside. He comes in just in time to see Jean going by at a nice clip, raising an eyebrow as he can see the obvious sheen of sweat she's already worked up.

"Gah, perhaps I should just hand out whips, so that the X-men can flagellate themselves, ja?' he mutters to himself

"Jungle gym," he says to the computer, the interlocking series of bars manifesting in the center of the ring as he leaps up and clambers himself onto it to do a handstand on top. He flicks his tail in greeting to Betsy as she comes in, "Ahoy, England!" he calls, backflipping to another bar.


Jean only slows as she sees Betsy, her brow furrowing as she rounds the last lap, breaking out into a soft job with her arms up and stretched, out and then down, slowing .. and then stopping. "What?" Jean stammers out, her chest heaving as she tries her best to control her breathing, one hand pressed to notch beneath her chin and the other hand lifting to look at the watch upon her hand. She really, really needs to get a fit-bit.

"The quarter marathon.. oh yeah, I remember that. At least here I won't sprain my ankle midway from stepping on uprisen concrete." Jean remarks, slightly annoyed that it happened. But they finished either way, it was for charity. For the kids, per usual. "But Cardio. Cardio cardio cardio. Gotta keep fresh, you know?"

She looks to the side as Kurt enters, a slight brow raised as she offers a shrug of her shoulders. "Nothing wrong with staying fit Kur—.." Jungle gym. Why hadn't she thought of that. She's been meaning to try out gymnastics (without the use of her gifts, that is.) "What's going to be your damage today, eh?" She nudges Betsy, but not too much, even her damn elbows were sweaty.


"Es ware richtig Deutsch, mein freund," Betsy calls back to Kurt in her clipped and limited, but quite precise German. She shrugs at Jean, stepping towards the gym. "I was thinking of some HIIT," Betsy says, referring to the interval training that usually leaves most of their fellow X-ers unwilling to work out with Betsy a second time. "But I've no opposition to some gymnastics."

She steps towards one bar and hops easily up, grabbing it, and hauling herself up into an easy pull-up, then a chin up, palms facing forward. She swings her legs back and forth twice to get some momentum going and then kips up to waist-level and starts rotating slowly around the bar with a yogi's slow deliberation.

"Try just climbing up the scaling bars a few times, dear," Betsy advises Jean. "It's important to train climbing skills." She rotates until she's atop the bar, pefectly parallel to the ground and body forming an arrow-straight form, elbows tucked in close to her ribs and a strained comportment on her face.


Kurt Wagner catapults himself up and over to land casually balanced along one edge of the gym. He doesn't have a particular need to show off his own prowess - his acrobatic bonafides are well-documented and Betsy seems to want to put on a bit of a show, so he casually reaches into the pocket of his sweats and draws out a granola bar, unwrapping it and chewing. Mmmmmmmmmmmm, chocolate chip.

"I do not know if it is as important for one who can fly to master climbing skills, ja, but climbing can be quite fun, especially when the view is worthwhile. I know a few good cliffs near the seaside that are quite spectacular, if brisk this time of year."


Jean snap-points towards Betsy. "No clue what that means." HIIT. Jean just does and goes and punishes herself and suffers the consequences later. Sore and aching joints. It's the stuff of legends. But she does watch the two put on their shows, her lips pursing briefly in thought. Surely, she could do a few pull-ups before getting tired, and possibly a few flips aided by her telekinetic flying. But raw talent at such? Not so much.

"Danger, expand the jungle gym."

And she does so; expanding the length of the bars and making it long and wide enough for the three to topsy-turvy over the tops and swing from the bottoms without injuring each other in their play. "What if I couldn't fly anymore? What if flying.. well, isn't just an option?" Jean asks, then takes a running start to jump, cheat and fly towards the highest bar in order to hang.. like a wet rag. And swing a little bit.


Betsy drops her weight back and flings her legs out again, building momentum, and leaps forward to grab a bar one handed. She swings easily and sticks her feet into two more bars, stabilizing herself, then leaps sideways and slams into the jungle gym with her hands and feet, catching her weight easily and quickly scaling the side of it with a few quick steps and motions, scrambling like a spider-monkey.


Kurt Wagner raises an eyebrow, "Then, fraulein, I would suggest you have bigger problems than dusting off your climbing skills. And can always rely on a little help from your friends," he says, dropping down and casually dangling by his tail as he finishes off his granola bar, watching as the gym has expanded around him.

"It is always good to be prepared, though, as you say. There is nothing wrong with knowing how to fly. I know how to drive a car, for example, even though I rarely bother," he says.


Jean watches Betsy from where she hangs with a lift of her brow. She doesn't try to compete, but she does try to swing and strike out with a foot to try to naturally catch the bars in front of her. No dice. She repositions her hands and tries again, one foot pointed outward as she catches a bit of the bar, slips.. and tries again. "I know that. But there always is going to be that big 'what if' hanging in the back of my mind." What if she's caught unaware again.. what if this time.. she doesn't break bones. What if.. she happens to kill someone..

She shakes it off then tries to snatch her foot against the bar again, this time twisting her ankle enough to form a hook, the other foot joining to press and climb a bit over so that her calves remain steady upon the bar. She slips forward just enough to only leave one arm extended upon the top bar, and her bottom upon the other at a painful straddle.

"But road music is good. You should bother more." She nods just a little bit, her brow furrowing as she glances up towards the console station where Beast usually hangs…

And there it was. It wasn't a glimpse of something that'll pass through the light, or something that's seen out in the corner of an eye. It was a figure of a man, he wasn't old nor young, middle ages.. possibly five years older than the three. His hair was a mess, ruffled and almost appearing wet, skin a pale glow that nearly lights up the background behind him. His mouth hangs open, both hands reaching out to try to press against the invisible window in a panic. He appeared to be drowning..

"…guys.." Jean murmurs quietly, her free hand slowly lifting to point.. No.. could this be an after effect of her brainwashing? Did she know this man? Did.. they?


Betsy moves before Jean finishes speaking. That surge of emotion from Jean triggers a particular reaction from the kunoichi, instantly connecting to Jean's stream of consciousness in an action practiced so often it's reflex.

"Kurt!" Betsy barks. She kicks off the jungle gym with more than just main strength and vaults towards the bizarre tableu, flying through the air and barely touching the one-inch wide bars with her toes and fingertips. She's nowhere near as nimble as Kurt, but for a moment, she seems to close on him for his ability to be perfectly balanced on the meanest of surfaces.


Kurt Wagner isn't entirely sure what Betsy expects him to do about the sudden intrusion, the blue-furred mutant flipping up and doing a quick somersault to get a closer look at the phenomenon. It's definitely a strange thing to be seen, but he also doesn't see any immediate threat, "I do not suppose there is some chance this is a Danger Room malfunction?" he says with a slightly raised eyebrow. His hand moves quickly to make the sign of the cross over his chest as he finds himself tensed but unsure of precisely what to do when confronted with this…apparition.


The surge of emotion was thus; a pure what the fuck is that doing in our house and why the hell could they see it? Jean was a believer in the afterlife, of ghosts, and things that go bump in the night due to what they were and what they currently house. Perhaps it's one of the children playing mind tricks, but none of them were strong enough to penetrate Jean nor Betsy's mind, even Kurt had a few blockers in there that allowed him to tell the real from the fake.

As Betsy and Kurt spring into action to get closer looks or to prepare to fight, Jean plants her foot upon the bar to push herself upright with a help of her gifts, shooting straight up into the air and closer to the two.. no three.. her brows furrowed as she keeps a safe distance. But that doesn't stop her from shielding the three just in case.

The apparition seems to be deadlock in a torrent of death, his head nearly a blur as it repeats the same look of shock and struggle, reaching out until he begins to phase in and out of existence. One moment, he's in the middle of the area, the next he's slammed against the wall.. the other.. his face changes into a plea of help, his mouth forming words that normal and abnormal ears couldn't hear.


Betsy stares at the apparition. "I… Kurt, is this more /your/ area of expertise?" she asks, frusrtation on her features. This is not a foe she can outmaneuver, or trick, or even get a handle on. It's too slippery, the mind not 'here' enough for the purple-haired woman to get a mental finger on. "It's like he's stuck somehow, half in, half out!" she declares, shaking her head in frustration.


Kurt Wagner considers, staring at the strange being, seemingly frozen or lost, "I am not sure this is anyone's area of expertise, fraulein. At least, no one here," he says. Still, his brow is furrowed more in compassion than fear - the being, whatever it is, seems to be suffering and it is in Kurt's nature to try and alleviate suffering where he can.

"Can you hear us, stranger? Can you give us any sort of sign? What are you trying to tell us?" he says, holding out his hands in a peaceful gesture and keeping his mind on the Lord and his powers tuned to teleport them the hell out of there if things get out of hand.


"Be careful.." Jean murmurs, her eyes narrowing upon the apparition as he continually phases in and out of existence. It was like a horror show, something uncommon and yet common in the face of the three there, and they've seen just enough to know when and when not to pry.

The apparition could definitely hear them, but he couldn't speak. He hasn't yet mastered the use of his vocal chords on this ghostly plane as of yet, and still he's locked and struggling, reaching out towards Kurt.

It was as if he grew frustrated with trying to act, or react, anything, that the walls begin to run with liquid that causes the danger room consoles to spark and nearly ignite, the lights flickering on and off until a powerful wave of psionic energy lashes out at the three…

.. one which sends Jean flying across the arena she built.


Betsy gets caught by a blast mid-leap, and it sends her flying sideways. She throws her hands and feet out, trying to stabilize herself, but ends up badly missing a grip and smacking her ribs into a crossbeam. She grunts in pain instantly, air leaving her lungs, and clings to the crossbeam with both arms, eyes screwed shut with the blinding pain of a cracked rib.


Kurt Wagner certainly has no defense for that, suddenly caught up in the midst of trying to question the being. He somersaults end over end and manages to teleport with a sudden BAMF right before he'd have impacted with the bars of the jungle gym, landing on the other side crouched low to the ground and skidding a bit as he managed to at least interrupt the momentum of the attack.

What the hell was going on here?


*TING*

Jean knocked a finger against the jungle gym that was placed in the middle of the room, the realization that she was flying coming nearly a second close to being too late as she stops in middair at a skid. Her arms stretch out as fire begins to coat her fingers, ready to lash out at the apparition with the fury of a thousand suns but…

…it was gone..

There was a look of mild confusion within her features as she slowly lands, drawing her injured hand to her chest to clutch by the wrist, a glare upon her face as she glances up towards where the apparition once stood and..

"What.. the.. hell.." She couldn't no.. didn't understand what had happened..

But.. there was something that lingered and attached itself to the three.. a shadow that slowly begins to follow, it wasn't big nor noticible, but a small blip upon the radar that would eventually begin to feed and grow.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License