Fish Are Enemies, Not Food

January 17, 2016:

Scott so rudely interrupts Emma and Betsy's spar with a Danger Room simulation.

Danger Room - X-Mansion

The Danger Room - it is what you want it to be.


NPCs: Sea Urchin, Piranha, Tiger Shark

Mentions: Jean Grey


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

It has been a couple of interesting weeks around the mansion. Though most of the time, it's usually always interesting at the mansion. With Hank missing, and a poorly handled interview with the police about it, the frustration has mounted for Scott Summers. Dressed for the Danger Room, he's in his X-Men uniform, which in this case is the under armor shirt with ribbing and the familiar gold X marking along with a pair of combat style trousers with belt and heavy boots. Gloves, linked with his improved visor are worn over his hand while the ruby-lensed updated creation, covering the eyes and bridge of his nose and wrapping around to his ears.

He's waiting on the tram to return from the Headquarters to the school so he can board it, an iPod strapped to his left arm and connected to the visor to provide some tunes while he waits.

Speaking of the Danger Room, Betsy and Emma are making good use of that facility. It's not that the gym at Xavier's isn't well equipped, but for some of the brutal practice that Betsy puts herself towards, there's just no substitute for the rec room. Also, it provides a modicum of privacy from the more casual residents of the mansion.

In this case, Betsy and Emma are practicing some martial arts. Psychic transfer only goes so far— it still takes time to condition muscles and train certain reflexes into being functionally hard-wired. Not to mention learning to anticipate manevers. Chess, Betsy loses at more often than she'd care to admit, but when it comes to hand to hand, she's quite a bit more versatile. She wears stiff gloves to protect her forearms and holds a wooden bokken in both hands, but aside from a sports top and a stiff, floor-length robe, is otherwise unprotected. Emma benefits from heavy, fitted armor that slows her down, but provides much better protection.

Betsy circles Emma's guard, eyes flat, her only betrayal of her next move coming from her thoughts— giving Emma a chance to try and anticipate the next blow to land.

This particular arrangement for the practice of martial arts is less permanently damaging than some of Emma's other ideas, and she seems to have adapted to this proviso just fine. She is wondering when the other features of the Danger Room will come into play, but she can be patient. Coldly, eternally patient.

Not Elizabeth's equal in martial skill or agility, Emma strives to make up for it with the armor and her telepathic skills, much more used to using her telepathy while doing multiple other things than most. It's not enough to handily trounce the telepathic Brit ninja, but it is enough that Emma doesn't get humiliated.

A humiliated Emma Frost is a lethally dangerous thing, to be avoided at all costs.

Emma picks up Betsy's latest intended strike pattern, and she slides her feet over the mat as quickly as she can to set to receive that attack and get an opening for a strike of her own with her own bokken. She has never been one for sword play - with the exception of some Western fencing - but she has taken to learning this kendo and kenjutsu stuff since spending time with Elizabeth. Emma takes the blow on the armor with a kiai shout and strikes back with a swift, sharp blow towards Elizabeth's trailing shoulder.

That would explain why Scott has to wait on the tram. Once it arrives, he boards and takes it over to the Headquarters. As he departs, he slides his access card along the panel to head into the Headquarters and makes his way towards the Danger Room. Before he can type in his access code, however, he notices the red light showing that there is a session in progress and he gives a faint frown. Well, that's prime. Making his way up to the control center and as he steps over to the observation deck, he sees the two women in battle and watches them thoughtfully.

They could have used the gym for this. His fingers dance over the control panel to see what type of surprises that Betsy may have cooked up, and if she hasn't, he'll reach into his pocket to pull out a flashdrive with some of his own programs on it.

Emma deftly blocks Betsy's four-pattern strike, and her counterattack is issued well enough that dodging it requires an explosive movement from the purple-haired kunioichi. Her long hair, done into a single braid that trails almost to her lower back, whips violently around as she cartwheels out of the way of that stroke. Her blade snaps out in a level slash to try and slow down a pursuing attack, and she lands in a perfect guard stance, eyes focused on Emma's collarbone and her balance effortlessly attained.

She jukes twice, miming a high strike, and then snaps the bokken laterally in a blow aimed at Emma's armored pauldron.

The the Danger Room lights flicker in warning as someone starts loading a program into the system.

"Hello? Is someone in there?" she says, calling to the control room window.

Grunting with effort as she continues moving, Emma tries but fails to catch up to the agile ninja in front of her, and grimaces briefly in annoyance, as she thought she had that time timed well enough. Granted, the reason why Betsy can get away with such an unarmored costume is because she is so good; but Emma demands better of herself than to summarily miss like that.

Emma turns and advances on Betsy, focused intently, noticing the others' focus on her collarbone and shoulders, a good point of reference for catching the hints of intended motion before it becomes reality. The platinum blonde twists her hips and then her shoulders, moving out of the way while also climbing into Betsy's guard space, raising her left bracer to intercept the high strikes as she tries for a quick gut-stab with her own bokken. But Emma twists and hisses sharply as the blow to her pauldron lands painfully.

"Another point, Elizabeth." Emma comments, drily.

Scott gives a frown as he watches the two women spar. And as much as he appreciates the idea of Emma being reminded that she's not the end all, be all of all things, much like watching a lopsided game like the New York Giants versus a Pee-Wee football team, eventually you want to do something just to affect the game.

Fortunately, Scott Summers can do just that. Plugging in his flash drive, he runs through the scenarios and finally comes across a scenario that he feels might fit the situation perfectly, as they are sparring. Cueing up the microphone, Scott clears his throat. "Good evening, ladies. I see that you're both wanting some practice." he says, and there may be just a hint of a smile in his voice. "I hope you don't mind if I give you something that may grab Emma's enticement just a bit more?" he asks as he manipulates the room.

The two women will find themsleves in a large industrial complex. An off-shore oil refinery, in fact. There's a large 'Stark Industries' sign, but there is no Iron Man in sight to assist. Instead, as the two women watch, a man with a large shark fin on his head, sharp teeth and clawed hands tears open one of the helicopters that is trying to escape, bringing it down against the deck and trapping the workers within. Tiger Shark turns to face the women and grins toothily. "Look, dinner's arrived!" A red and purple villain with a frilled head hears the call for chow as Piranha turns to see the women and tosses aside the large crate he was carrying. "Dibs on the blonde!" he calls out gleedfully, gnashing his superhuman teeth together.

A large suit of armor lumbers into view, look it is Iron Man - no it's not. This looks like a heavily modified diving suit, complete with a large grappling claw arm and the red and silver paint job. He crushes a can of oil and frowns. "Dispatch them quickly, we have work to do!" Sea Urchin calls out as Tiger Shark laughs. "With pleasure!" With that, the two fish people close ranks on Emma and Betsy.

Hey, Emma is the ambassador to the Atlanteans for the X-Men - she might very well find herself in this situation.

Emma and Betsy have such a peculiar relationship. On the one hand, most friends would give one another a 'gimme' point or two. But as Emma simply can't accept largesse, and would in fact be affronted by it— and as Betsy is a demanding coach who rarely offers anyone forgiveness— no quarter is given.

"You /are/ improving, Emma," Betsy assures the blonde woman. "That was very nearly a solid strike. It would have quite taken my arm off were I anyone else."

Then Scott stars mucking about with the Danger Room, and she turns, eyes narrowing dangerously as he starts prattling over the microphone. "Scott," she starts to warn— but she's overridden by the simulator warping around them.

Even knowing it's a simulation, Betsy's hackles start to rise at the sight of the villains. She's often spoiling for a good fight, and in this case, it's right up her alley.

"Aquatic enemies," Betsy warns Emma, splitting apart to make them tougher targets to chase. "Fast, and quite strong." She focuses inwards and in a shimmer of light, Betsy and Emma almost completely vanish from sight and sound, as both physically and telepathically Betsy shields the two of them from sight out of reflex.

No quarter given, and none would be accepted. That is the way of these two women, and Emma simply nods shortly, sharply at Elizabeth's response, not even bothering with words as she prepares for what will surely be another engagement.

And then Scott interrupts. "Summers. What are you doing?" Emma snarks bitterly. And then she sees what he has wrought, and shakes her head slightly.

~ I am going to make that man's nose bleed during an assembly. I swear it. ~ Emma snarks to Betsy, as the two of them move to engage the simulated aquatic attackers.

For her own part, Emma is done playing halfzies, and inside the near-invisibility, she reaches out. ~ Break left, Elizabeth. ~ she advises, as she steps up to the right and hammers her telepathic might forward against both the fishmen. She knows a single blow is unlikely to disable them - Summers is too much of a troublemaker to allow the simulation to grant her full credit for the might of her abilities - but it should be enough to grant her the opening she requires to strike their staggered forms, transforming briefly to her diamond form for the increase in mass and strength it affords to her blows, aimed quite brutally at throats.

Scott knows how to play to the strengths and weaknesses of the X-Men members. And despite his mucking, he knows that Betsy enjoys a good challenge. His fingers work over the controls as Scott finishes setting up the program and adapting the parameters.

"I can smell you…" Tiger Shark says as he sniffs at the air, his fin flashing around a corner as he closes the distance in pursuit of Betsy. "All those chemicals and crap you wear give you a stench, woman." he taunts her. His tongue runs over his teeth as he slows his pace, circling closer to his prey before he swipes out at Betsy, the claws on his hands flashing dangerously as he grabs for the Asian-Brit to try to draw blood and only stengthen the smell.

And no, Scott isn't going to be nice enough to let Emma bowl over his simulation with her little telepathic hammer. The two fishmen split off as the telepathic blast washes out, and while Piranha, himself a telepath, though more of the marine variety - is able to fight off the effects and he growls, "Blondie likes it rough. I like that." he sneers as he snaps his jaws and his frills open before he sprays a stream of poison in the direction of the blonde telepath, "I don't mind a little seasoning with my dinner!"

Betsy is no stranger to pheremone hunters, nor cofounding more than one set of senses at a time. She explodes from invisibility several feet away from Tiger-Shark's graping claws, lashing out with fingers twisted into iron-like pokers and reinforced by her psionic talents. Even superhumans have nerve clusters, and Betsy slips under his arm and strikes with a flurry of perfectly executed blows that pepper against the most thinly protected of nerve clusters. She snaps her foot in a blade-edged strike aimed to turn Tiger-Shark's knee the wrong direction, then vaults away, vanishing into shadows that descend from nowhere.

Tiger Shark isn't so lucky; the telapthic assault catches him off-guard and it causes him to roar in pain, just as Betsy strikes. She hits hard and fast, the large man dropping to the deck plating, his leg bent oddly, but as he screams in anger and pain, he grabs at Betsy's ankle before she can vault away, looking to grab her by the foot and swing her around into one of the large groupings of pipes.

The telepathy doesn't effect the Sea Urchin at all, it's armor shielded against such things as it continues it's work of setting up demolitions against the main feed lines of the oil pipeline.

Pirhana launches poison, and Emma just steps into it, leading with that diamond-hard fist straight to his snapping jaws. "The name is not 'blondie', you scaled thug." she quips sharply, as she follows with several rapid blows, playing completely against type now as she forgoes telepathy - and embraces her immunity to it - and just hammers the terrorist relentlessly. Fish paste, anyone?

Betsy doesn't sit around being turned into a flail. When Tiger-Shark grabs her ankle, she curls inwards on herself, using that powerful grip for leverage and extra speed. With her strength directed inwards, she's nearly superhumanly strong, herself— and she puts every pound of force she can behind a fist that aims for the base of Tiger-Shark's skull, her entire force of every contracting muscle in her body aiming that precise strike.

And for good measure, she manifests a blade of raw psionic force that juts out like a punching dagger. Unimagineably thin, it's more than sharp enough to cut through most armor, but more usefully it conveys all of Betsy's singular psychic talent into an incredibly small area— and she drives her full telepathic will right at Tiger-Shark's brainstem, with enough force behind it to sever every higher brain function she comes across. It's an assassin's blow, a stilleto through the ear, and unhindered by armor.

As Piranha gets smashed into, he opens his mouth, and shows off a mouthful of shattered teeth, his face smashed in by Emma's diamond strikes. Up in the booth, Scott cues the microphone. "Now why can't you show that drive and motivation with a spar, Emma? You were half-assing it with Betsy." he points out none-too-diplomatically. Poor Piranha, he's made an example of as he falls backi on the deck, smashed in by the leggy blonde telepath.

However, besides the fact that Emma now has fish blood on her hands, but now she has a bigger issue. A blast of concentrated salt-water, capable of slicing through metal is sent at her. Hopefully she'll snap into her full diamond form in time, but it's still a powerful blast, much like being hit with a firehose.

Tiger-Shark, when he feels the woman curling back towards him, he snaps down his jaws, attempting to bite down on the women before she can strike, however, her strike is true, and the large man collapses face first into the deckplating, his eyes rolling into the back of the head as he lays there. He's out of this battle.

Stomping forward, the large metallic man stomps forward, turning his clamps to grab a large metal pipe, ripping it from the wall to wield it in defense of the leggy ninja.

Emma restrains herself from blasting Scott's brain to pulp only by sheer force of self-control; she refuses to find herself compelled by something as paltry as emotion. But she's furious, and there will be Hell to pay for the crimson-visored cad later.

"I was not holding back, Summers. Clearly, you do not grasp the intent of the exercise: to push my /normal physiology/ to my limits and beyond, preparing for times when the need for access to my telepathy makes it inadvisable to take diamond form." Emma comments, dryly.

Of course, the blonde telepath's voice is about all that is dry, as she is hammered by the water drill. Her diamond form protects her from the damage, but nothing can keep her from getting soaked, or from being hurled backwards with all of that kinetic force directed at her. In moments, Emma goes off the deck, apparently plummeting to her drowning doom in the ocean below.

Don't bet on it.

Frost is hurled off her feet, and does go off the deck. But she swings herself down into the superstructure beneath the deck, and makes her way across, pipe by pipe, gantry by gantry, until she can reach a spot below Sea Urchin. Then she starts hammering her fists into the superstructure, tearing it apart to cause the deck to collapse beneath Urchin's weight.

"Shut up, Scott," Betsy says, echoing Emma's words almost simultaenously.

Betsy takes a step and hits the deck, hard, face drawn tight with pain. A second later she shoots clumsily into the air, getting elevation, and throws her hands out at Sea Urchin, sensing Emma's movements from below. Just as the White Queen starts rending the superstructure out from under Sea Urchin, Betsy uses her telekinesis to violently rip his legs out from underneath him to spoil his balance. For good measure, she takes a half-second to focus herself, and then drops a fist in a swinging gesture— accompanied by a tremendous hammerblow of force that hits the distant suit of armor with the same raw power as a piledriver.

Scott is too busy taking notes on how the two of them are working together to enjoy the succulent banter that they offer to him. The X-Men field commander jots down some information as he watches the two women work in concert as the deckplating is torn open by Emma's attack, and as he falls through, the Sea Urchin is hammered by Betsy's attack, sending the large suit plummeting into the water.

That should be game over, right? They just knocked a suit of armor.. adapted to the sea, into the sea. That may have been the first mistake that they have made in the whole simulation. Firing off several torpedos into the oil platform, explosions ring out, kicking flames high up into the air. The helicopter that was brought down earlier is still there, the people within scream in terror and fear.

Above, the Blackbird is arriving, coming in to hover as it lowers a ladder to assist with the rescue of the trapped people and to facilitate with their extraction. Not that Sea Urchin is simply sitting around, allowing them to escape. He fires a pair of missiles towards Betsy, slamming in front of the foreman's office, causing it to collapse forward, forcing her to dodge the debris.

Of course, Sea Urchin does not suddenly have a free and clear path to fall all the way into the ocean. That would be ridiculous, and neither of these women are so reckless and foolish as to make that happen. The entire point of this effort was to interrupt Sea Urchin's center of balance and ability to effectively counter-attack, by dropping him into the unbalanced and difficult spaces of the superstructure below.

Once that is accomplished, the assault continues. Since the suit is apparently impervious to telepathy - quite a feat, that, given that even Iron Man hasn't developed that trick - Emma remains in diamond form, leaping onto the suit and hammering at its hardened glass portholes, then using her diamond fingernails to slice and score through the glass before letting Betsy hit it again with that telekinetic force of hers.

Diamond can-opener, anyone?

Once the suit is breached, both women can render assault on the pilot until he yields.

Betsy leaps sidelong and hits the deck, tucking into a roll. And she screams in pain. It's not loud or complaining, but it's real. She scrambles as best she can but she barely avoids the crashing of the holographic office, and she's moving a bit too slowly to get entirely clear. Failing all else, she curls into a ball and hurls telekinetic force upwards to blindly throw away the material clattering down at her.

Still, she keeps a psychic ear tuned, and sensing the surge of changing pressure as Emma's immensely strong fingers breach the armor, she uses that gap to send a wiggling node of thought into the interior of the suit. It's a technique she doesn't employ often, this, but it's three swift blows— in a second and a half— and battering Sea Urchin's sternum between heartbeats. Normally, one does this with a blow from the fist, but psionic force works just as well.

She scrambles a few paces and hits the deck again, pain making focusing difficult— and trusting Emma to finish off their assailant if those heart-stopping blows fail to do their job.

Emma's plan works to a tee, capturing the Sea Urchin armor in the superstructure, and her hammering eventually causes a coolant leak. The suit releases a hiss of hydraulics as the overheated joints lock and freeze, trapping the pilot within, and that effectively ends the simulation as the room starts to turn back into it's standard format - with Betsy's mat in the middle of it.

Scott lets out a breath and frowns. "For an X-Black mission, this would have been.. acceptable parameters." he reports, the lack of pleasure showing in his voice. "But there would have been a good chance those trapped in the helicopter would have had a hard time. The hand to hand skills were impressive - and you did well with the combat phase. Overall, maybe work on the hostages a bit more.. but not bad." he says as he pulls the flash drive to rise to his feet and takes up his clipboard to start to head out. He's still frustrated, but at least he got some work done.

"If you want hostages saved, you should include a briefing with your interruption and assumptions." Emma opines, coldly, before she walks over and holds down a hand to Elizabeth, to help her up. "Do we need to get you to the medbay for the ankle?" she queries the other woman, curiously.

"Yes dear, that would be quite welcomed," Betsy says, her voice sounding taut with carefully controlled strain. She accepts (/Betsy/ accepts) the hand up, leaning heavily against Emma and clearly unable to put her weight on the ground. "I think it's sprained. I twisted badly on it when I kicked that … shark-looking fellow," she says, forcing an even tone.

"And all duly noted, Scott," Betsy says, in the dryest tones she can manage. "Now if you'll excuse me, I'll reflect on my mission failure in medbay while under the influence of some strong painkillers," she says, nodding at Emma to help her towards the door.

"Or maybe you should adapt to the situation and not concentrate on just one thing blindly." Scott opines right back to Emma, apparently not phased by her cold as he offers a heated response. The cold doesn't bother him anyway. He gives a concerned sigh at Betsy, but she's a tough girl, and it's not the first time that she's been roughed up. It comes with the uniform. He folds his arms over his chest to watch the two women leave and drops back into the seat with a muttered noise.

Combat over, Emma reverts to her flesh and blood form, and gathers Elizabeth close with an arm around her waist and the other woman's arm over her shoulders, making their way out of the Danger Room. "I take it that Jean is still withholding from him? That man is wound so tight he has already snapped and come back around." Emma opines, as they make their way towards medbay doing their own version of a three-legged race.

"I'm not talking to Jean, and I don't want to talk about her," Betsy says. "No matter how incredibly /accurate/ that statement might be," she mutters, leaning heavily against Emma. "Now, I really could use some painkillers, if we can limp me down to the medbay," she repeats, face drawn tight.

Scott doesn't rise to the obvious baiting, instead already picking up his communicator to let the nurse on duty know that there is an incoming minor injury and to be prepared for Betsy's arrival. Once that's done, he just goes back to his note taking.

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