Dangerous Greivances

February 08, 2016:

Betsy and Laura get their workout on in the Danger Room and get to know one another a bit better.

Danger Room, Institute

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Betsy's workouts are brutal. Perhaps not physically, for someone like Laura, who seemingly never fatigues— but there's a mental quality to the exercises that forces a person to constantly re-assess, to be on tiptoes at all time. The danger room looks like something out of a wuxia flick— the standard pattern of stepping poles, a jungle gym, an office environment, and a parkour course all rolled into one. It's not that any one challenge is hard, but doing them all in an order, at speed and timed, to boot, is a daunting challenge. Not to mention the periodic traps that only preternatural reflexes can avoid— bars suddenly giving way underfoot, shocking bursts of simulated gunfire.

Betsy sprints down a 4" wide beam and does a spectacular flip over a fence, landing and tucking into a ball. She comes up for breath with her hands on her knees, lungs gasping for air. Her clothing is more minimal than her black catsuit— minimalist pink shoes, grey workout shorts, and a tight, hot pink sports bra. Her hair's starting to escape her tight ponytail, and she's visibly sweating from the effort.

"Two minutes, ten," she exhales, forcing herself to stand upright, hands on the small of her back. She flashes a tight, exultant grin at Laura. "Short break, then once more around?"

While X definitely has a bit of an advantage with her healing factor, that doesn't stop the course from being difficult. Sure, the gunfire didn't necessarily startle her, but the occasional traps and surprise did cause her to lose precious seconds during the runs. Still, there was no utterance of irritation, frustration or agitation from the young woman. Instead she was accepting of everything that happened.

It's only when Betsy lands, that X-23 will rise from the slight resting crouch she was in. Much like Betsy she's likewise dressed in workout gear: black fitted pants, black fitted top (short sleeves) and black running shoes.

The question of a break and then once more around earns a nod from the dark-haired girl, as she says, "Yes." She'll shift her gaze around to the course that can be seen within the Danger Room, before saying, "This room is useful." Which is almost akin to Laura saying she /likes/ something.

Betsy nods, a bit more winded than Laura for obvious reasons. "There's no excuse not to be in top shape with this equipment," she agrees in her cultured British tonals. "Anything and everything you can imagine, you can get programmed into here to train against. It's remarkable equipment— not without limitations," she admits wryly, "but for training purposes it's unequalled. I can cross blades with someone as readily as practice my marksmanship. The dummies that it can conjure are impressive, too— they feel no different than striking a person. It's handy to know where exposed nerves are on superhumans," she confides in Laura. "Even someone immensely strong— with muscles that are too hard to injure— can be partially disabled by a precise nerve strike at an exposed location."

She gulps some more air, visibly forcing her breathing down to a more regulated level, then nods at the track. "You're up, my dear. The time to beat is two minutes ten."

Laura listens quite attentively to what Betsy has to say. In fact, her gaze will turn thoughtful at the bit about fighting 'people'. "What of invulnerable people? How would you defeat them? A nerve strike does not work, because of their powers." This is Laura at a veritable babble, as she asks those questions of hers. Still, when it's her turn, she simply falls silent and nods.

Training is nothing new to her. The Facility did much the same thing for her, albeit with less technological means.

She'll circle around to the 'beginning' of the course and once ready, she simply says, "Start.". Meaning the clock, which it obligingly does.

She's quick. Quicker than most, to say the least. The various stepping poles are easily navigated, even when they wobble beneath her feet and drop away. When it comes to the buildings and climbing them? Claws easily *snikt* out and she's scaling upward to the rooftops. Once atop the rooftops, it's a mad dash across them before she enters the next loop of training zones.

Soon enough she's running across the beam, her balance still spot on. Her landing is made with the quickest of flips, as she drops to a crouch before Betsy. While she's not breathing heavily, sweat does dot her brow. Easily, the young woman rises to her feet, even as her green eyes cast back towards the timer to see where she's at.

Betsy watches approvingly as Laura scales the side of the building. Her approach is brutal and swift, and with an expert's eye, Betsy watches how the younger (not by much) mutant traverses the difficult obstacles and terrain.

She eyes the time at the end, giving Laura a chance to catch her breath, and can't quite suppress a smile. "Two minutes twenty," she tells Laura. "I think I gained a bit of time vaulting instead of scaling that wall. And the office environment is difficult if you've never parkoured. Still, you did very well. Hank and Kurt think this is a moderate challenge, which I'll take as high praise," she says with a quick but brilliant smile.

"As for the question of acupressure," Betsy says, moving to the cooler. "Hank, for instance, is incredibly strong. Strong enough that without intense internal focus of my talents, I'm not sure I could hurt him with a punch or a kick, even to a joint." She retrieves two bottles of low-cal gatorade and gives one to Laura, uncapping the other and swigging heavily. "But there are pressure points that aren't protected by muscle— here." She curls her arm and, not quite pushing into Laura's personal space, gestures for her to do the same. "Under the bicep," she explains. She aims two fingers at Laura's bicep, not quite touching the other woman's skin. "The vargus nerve, at the side of the neck. There are others," she assures her, arms dropping. "A strong acupressure strike can paralyze a limb or even kill an opponent. Though… that is a technique I'm not particularly expert on," she admits.

Upon seeing the timeframe and realizing she 'lost' X-23 can't help but frown ever so slightly. It's not much of an expression on anyone else, but for her it definitely says a lot. She had expected to come out the successor on her particular trip. Still. The mention of vaulting versus scaling, causes Laura to turn her gaze back towards the parkour section of the jungle gym. It's definitely something to consider for the next round.

The bottle of Gatorade is accepted, but stays capped for now. Easily, Laura will curl her arm in mirror fashion with Betsy's gesture. At the almost touch, X-23 will simply watch and then with a nod, she says, "I understand."

Once again, she falls silent. Clearly she's an apt student as she listens attentively to the mention of the nerve within the neck. Again there's a nod, before she says, "I know some acupuncture points, but not all. My training only dealt with the nerve bundles that would allow for an easier kill.". Which Betsy likely understands, thanks to her own training. "I have tried some of what you say on an invulnerable superhuman and they did not work. They are even strong enough to withstand the cut of my claws."

Betsy nods and one shoulder rises and falls sympathetically. "Everyone's talents are different," she assures the other woman. "It would not work on Piotr, for instance, his adamantine shell is simply impenetrable. I've had some measure of success with others, though. I'm afraid there is no one maneuver or technique that's effective a hundred percent of the time on one hundred percent of opponents," she says with a wry half-smile.

The leggy kunoichi moves to a bench and sits on it, crossing her legs absently at the knee. She props one hand behind her for support and allows herself a relieved slouch with the workout's end. "In fairness, I've been accused of over-analyzing situations," she tells Laura. "So your mileage may vary."

Again that frown mars Laura's feature and silently, she'll follow after Betsy as the other woman settles upon a bench. Instead of taking a seat upon the bench, however, Laura will settle into a relaxed crouch. "I do not see how over analyzing a situation would be bad." States the diminutive assassin, "It is good to assess before committing to a kill. Without analyzing the situation errors could be made." Is Laura defending Betsy's way of thinking? Perhaps. Or she's simply agreeing, since it makes the most sense to her own analytical mind.

Quietness will fall from Laura now, as she finally twists the cap off of her drink. She'll give it a faint sniff before finally taking a drink of it.

Circling back now, on some of their previous discussion, Laura then asks. "I have not seen Beast since his capture with the Morlocks. He is safe?"

"He is," Betsy assures Laura. "He is… a bit of an introvert, so it's not unusual to not see him for days at a time. His laboratory is quite comforting to him and he rarely comes up except in the dead of night for food. He's rather self-conscious about his mutation." She shrugs again, as if neither condemning nor condoning his actions.

"Are -you- settling in?" Betsy asks Laura more pointedly. "You've had a tremendous amount of upheaval in a very short amount of time. There's no shame in admitting that it's disconcerting to have your environment and goals change so rapidly."

The mention of Beast being an introvert doesn't necessarily surprise her, but the mention of it coming from his mutation causes Laura to tilt her head to the side. "Why? There are others who look different." And it's an honest question from Laura, no malice hidden within those words, just incomprehension.

The more pointed question to her, about how she's handling the stress, causes her to frown yet again. She'll rock lightly upon her heels as she considers her best to answer it. "It is hard." She finally says, a quick look flicked towards Betsy. "People talk too much here."

"Now, there are," Betsy agrees readily. "But Beast's mutation is… very visible. He is in many ways a conflicted fellow— he's been the face of the mutant agenda and one of our best speakers and delegates. He does this despite the looks he recieves and the fact he can't blend into a crowd, ever again. And being honest, he's absurdly brilliant, and I think most of us bother him with our chatter," she says with a wry smile.

At Laura's words, Betsy falls silent, nodding sympathetically. "We're a community," she says after a few moments. "We talk to gauge moods and emotions. There's… something very satisfying about a pleasant conversation," she concedes. "As annoying as some people are at times."

It's that last bit about Beast being annoyed by the chatter, that causes Laura to nod in agreement. She can relate. Though not to the brilliant part, just the annoying chatter part.

At the last of what Betsy says, X-23 nods again. She'll move just enough that a curtain of her dark hair will fall to shadow her features. "I do not find it satisfying." She finally admits, "The Facility disallowed communication, unless it was for a mission.". If she could, she'd sigh, but that sound is suppressed internally. "The man, Nate Grey, speaks even more than most here." And behind those words are the faintest emotion of consternation from the young woman.

One doesn't need to be a psychic to pick up on subtle cues, and Betsy can hear the irritation in the very back of Laura's statement. She suppresses a smile and sits upright, resting her interlaced hands on her topmost thigh. "For a psychic, yes, Nate…. talks. A lot," Betsy says. "Jean often talks constantly and at length. I wish he'd taken after Scott more. He's… quite a bit more stoic."

She tilts her head to one side, thinking. "Conversation falls under the category of 'a thing one does'," Betsy tells Laura. "You aren't under the control of the Facility anymore— and shan't be again, I assure you. They suppressed conversation because it would allow you to explore your own personality, or to express your wants and needs. Conversation is about as much revealing ideas to ourselves as it is explaining a thing to another person."

The way Betsy speaks of Scott and Nate, it's enough to cause X-23 to cant her head to the side, that fall of hair easily sliding away from her face. "They are related?" She asks quizzically, even as she mentally files away the mention of Jean being a talker, as well.

The mention of talking being a thing one does, causes X-23 to nod for the umpteenth time. "Yes. Nate has said as much.". There's a silent pause for a few seconds and then she states, "Nate states he knew an alternate reality Laura Kinney. I could not smell a lie upon him and he did not smell crazy." She looks towards Betsy then, "He is telling the truth?"

It's only with the topic shifting slightly to The Facility and why they disallowed her to speak, that Laura says, "Yes. My mother - ". And there's hesitancy with the word mother, " - said much the same thing. She explained it all in a letter to me."

Betsy purses her lips, but nods. "Yes, he's speaking sincerely," Betsy says. Which… well, truth is subjective, after all. "Nate grew up in a world quite dissimilar to ours. He's the biological child of that world's Scott and Jean," she explains. "He had a very difficult time adjusting to life here. Old enemies were now allies, and the dead were alive and well. But he persevered, and he's adapting nicely."

She doesn't engage on the topic of mothers. It's a sore spot for Betsy, too, as it is for many of the orphans at Xavier's. "I think that's enough talk for a while," she offers to Laura, and extends a hand in an offer to help her up. "Let's go find something to eat— I need protein," she explains. "Then perhaps a bit of meditation in the quiet room."

Betsy's confirmation to Nate's sanity allows her to nod, though her expression turns vaguely pensive. She'd ask something more, but the questions do not leave her lips. Instead when that hand is offered, the feral girl will eye it a minute. Almost the way a beaten animal would - she's looking for the trap.

Thankfully, Betsy is far from the scientists within The Facility and this allows Laura to accept that hand.

Pulling herself upward, X-23 will add, "As long as it is not pizza. They eat too much of that here." While no humor can be heard within her words, perhaps there's a vague glint to her vibrant green eyes. Then it's out of the Danger Room and to the Cafeteria to get said protein.

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