Just for the Bragging Rights

July 31, 2017:

The Danger Room is not for playing, but sometimes people make exceptions and have one stress-free exercise. Rachel thought Illy and Nate needed it.

The Danger Room in the X-Bunker

Currently simulating a random city.


NPCs: Demons and holograms and demon holograms!



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

On this sunny, summer day - most people would be out in the swimming pool, or by the lake. Perhaps a few might go and visit the mountains, or take a day trip to the coast, it's the kind of day people - normal people - would spend outside enjoying it. Certainly normal is not a word that would describe anyone at this particular institute, or school, and frankly - who wants to be normal anyway?

The danger room is currently inert and lifeless, just blank slate walls surround the two occupants (the third is up in the control room). That third individual one Rachel Summers, fine-tunes the program and then disappears from the window, arriving on the ground floor a few minutes afterwards.

"Rather than doing team building mumbo-jumbo, I thought we'd do some bragging rights today. So the idea behind it is a basic game of catch the flag, first person to catch it - and delivers it to the middle, wins. The flag will teleport randomly to different points and on different people, or monsters, throughout the grid even I don't know who will have it at a given point. You'll know it's the flag as it'll be a neon green, large round 'X' that will glow brightly regardless of who has it. Also I've decided to use just a regular city scape. I'll be starting all of us at different points on the grid, is everyone ready?" Rachel's gaze flickers towards Illyana and then Nate, and even if neither of them are ready, she still goes ahead with the scenario.

Suddenly, the entire room changes and alters, the slate inert room becomes a huge city complete with shops, people, cars, and tall buildings.

Illyana will find herself right smack dab in the middle of a Crispy Creme shop. An annoying teenager is located right in front of Yana - and is ordering himself a donut, the trouble is, he keeps changing the order. "No, actually I want that one. Ah. No. Maybe that one. Actually…"

Nate will find himself in a women's lingerie shop, as an old woman enters and casts him a dubious, 'what are you doing in here, young man?' expression.

"My sister has a weird sense of humor," replies Nate without hesitation, giving the old woman a passing smirk. Like being in a women's lingerie shop is even mildly strange given the typical day of his life. "Or maybe she is threatening with another shopping trip that I am supposed to consider dreadful," he steps out of the shop and gives a mock-salute in the direction of the control boot, which he can't really see.

Still, a nice break from being hunted by holographic Magistrates or fighting giant robots. Illyana is, of course, going to cheat. That blonde doesn't like to lose. Nate is fine either way, but he'll be damned if he is going to make it easy for the little witch. "Hey, any power allowed, Ray?" He asks.

Illyana looks over at Nate and snickers when Ray lays down the ground rules. "No team building?" Illyana asks with a smirk. "It's almost like she knows us or something." She's made a good guess about what's likely to motivate Illyana in this scenario at least. Bragging rights over Nate? Priceless. She's so busy imagining the taste of victory that the sudden change of scene takes her by surprise.

For a good few seconds Illyana looks at the terminally indecisive teenager in front of her, not quite able to believe that Rachel's cast her as a donut vendor, and then she smiles evilly. A portal opens beneath the irritating kid and the plummets most satisfyingly through it. Illyana turns her smile on the next person in the queue. "We really need to get that floor fixed." She tells them, brightly, as she comes around the counter and makes for the door. "Maybe after I get back from lunch." She calls back over her shoulder, and steps out of the shop. "Dammit, Ray, now you've made me want donuts." She complains, even as she looks around for signs of glowing flags.

The response over the entire city scape - like a giant speaker set into the sky (which none of the pedestrians walking about even pretend to notice). "Hey, my sense of humor is epic, and threatening? I'm down right insisting! Also all powers allowed." And then a laugh, before the giant speaker in the sky returns to its every day normalcy.

In the donut shop, the indecisive teenager - who's face looks like it hasn't been washed in days - suddenly goes screaming through the portal's maw, though nothing arrives on the other side, of course. These constructs are just hard light illusions - for the most part.

The cityscape is really nondescript, just another city - perhaps one that looks and feels a bit like Manhattan, though really it could be set into any metropolis zone; from Chicago, Illinois to Los Angeles, California.

As Nate exits the lingerie shop, he may (or may not depending!) notice a sudden flash of green light towards his left. The bright, neon hue disappears down an alleyway. Illyana - for her part, is not too far away from the lingerie shop and in fact now that she's out of the donut shop may even be able to see Nate a few blocks away. (Thus she may, also, have noticed the slight flash of neon green disappearing down an alleyway.)

Nate wants a donut too. But then again, he is always hungry.

“Don’t recognize this city,” comments Nate. But made up cities remove any situational advantage. He bets he knows New York and Gotham much better than Illyana. The flash of green makes him take the air, quickly climbing just over rooftop level to chase after the neon light. He is becoming a reasonable competent flying, but the young man is usually leery about going at high speed through an urban area. Not this time, those building and people are just illusions he can break with no consequences.

No power limits means anything goes, right? Right.

Illyana's just wondering if she has time to fetch real donuts and still beat Nate when the Voice of Rachel speaks like thunder from the skies. "SOMEONE isn't letting all the power go to her head." Illyana remarks, apparently to no-one in particular, although she's sure Rachel will get the message. Illyana also makes a note to find out what Rachel's threatening Nate with. She might want to watch.

Illyana's head turns sharply, sending her blonde hair swinging as she catches something out of the corner of her eye. Was that… "Yes, it was." She completes her thought out loud as she sees Nate go rocketing through the sky in pursuit. Subtle, he isn't. "Thanks for pointing the way, Nate!" She calls, even if he can't hear her, and vanishes into one of her portals, reappearing on a rooftop overlooking the alleyway. Finding Nate is the work of a moment, and with a wave of her hand Illyana summons another portal right in front of him. All's fair, Ray said so!

All /is/ fair, and Rachel's made her way back to the control booth - not that either of them can see her, but she can see them! The red-head has snagged herself a bag of popcorn and is chortling quietly to herself as she watches the scene unfold.

The alleyway is a long, one lane road that leads past two tall buildings. Garbage cans litter one side of the alley filled with who knows what, though the danger room has managed to add the distinct smell of old food, long since abandoned and left to rot.

Walking right down the middle of the one lane road, right smack dab in the middle of the alley is a young girl and her mum. The child is no more than five or six with long black pigtails that flow down her back in twin braids. One hand is held by her mum, the other holds a large, green, neon 'X' as though it is the most prized possession she has. The child hugs it close to her and is talking to her mom as they make their way down the road towards the other side of the city block.

"I'm going to hug it, and love it, and call it Neo." The girl states in an overly cute manner, her arm hugging the neon circle tighter to her. "It's the best gift ever, mommy. I love it!"

"Illy, for shame, you only have one good trick and I know your trick," comments Nate, doing an impossible turn right and avoiding the portal. Such acceleration would have killed any normal person, but reinforced by his telekinetic powers Nate can go through a granite wall unharmed.

The trajectory changed so suddenly as he was going down into the alleyway, he hits the side of the building Illyana is standing, shattering mortar and bricks as it they were cardboard and cheap glass. He sends the cloud of debris up, to obscure the view of the ground from the rooftop. Also probably covering Illyana with dust and chunks of brick. Totally accidentally on purpose.

Flying down now, faster than the debris cloud.

Bingo! There's the prize, right where Illyana expected it to be… being carried by a moppet who's stolen Dani's hairstyle. Illyana's eyes narrow. Her first instinct is, of course, to just seize the glowing prize and make off with it, but she hesitates. "Dirty pool, Ray." She complains… and then Nate cannons into her building. Illyana drops to a crouch, gripping hold of the roof's parapet, as the building shakes beneath her. "Who taught you to fly, Nate?" She yells in his general direction, then finds herself coughing as the dust and debris hits her.

There's a flash of light from within the cloud, another further below, and then a slightly the worse for wear Illyana is crouching before the moppet and her mother. "Hi. Don't worry about the idiot who just crashed into the building, I got his license plate." Illyana's attempting a reassuring tone, perhaps they won't notice her words are nonsense. "Would you like to see my pets?" She asks the little girl, seriously, an unnerving smile stretching itself across her lips. "They look a bit scary, but you're brave, right?" Illyana's grinning now, as a portal opens behind her, and a pack of… things spill out.

They're mostly red, with wide maws and lolling tongues, and no eyes. Oversized nostrils sniff around inquisitively, and they seem to converse with one another with a kind of gargling chuckle. "Up there." Illyana snaps to them in a commanding tone, and though they have no eyes they turn as one in the direction she's pointing - right into the mess Nate's made of the building. "Have fun." She tells them, and they bound away on powerful limbs, seeking Nate.

In the alley - the mom and child are still walking down the middle of the one lane road, leading towards the otherside of the city block. The child's gaze flickers up as the loud crash of Nate into the building disrupts her attention. She gasps out loud, "Mommy! That man just clocked his head into the building!" The mom takes hold of the girl's hand more tightly though before either of them can move, Illyana is there, crouching down before the girl.

The child's eyes widen as she nervously looks up at her mom, then over to Illyana. The mom just smiles brightly at Illyana. "Oh, my sweetie just loves pets, don't you darling?"

As the small demons come swirling out, the girl's laugh is ever so delightful, she lets go of her mom's hand just long enough to clap her hands together, the bright neon green 'X' ball in her arms tightens significantly in the crook of the child's elbow. "Yay!" She states ever so adorably.

The duo begins to move again, walking towards the alley, the little girl waving at Illyana as she starts to get - away.

“Illy, I don’t want to hurt your pets,” protests Nate. Okay, maybe that is not true. Most demons make great punching bags, but they are still Illyana’s pets and therefore somewhat under her protection. Somewhat.

“Oh, Ray. I am seeing here you seem to be playing favorites - that is not a normal reaction to demons,” he slows down, to hover over the alleyway. Not so high the demons can’t jump to him, but they are going to hit an invisible forcefield and fall back down to the alleyway like stunned pigeons. Possibly on Illyana’s head. “So I think I am going to stay here and see if Illy can convince the kid to give her the… uh, glowing Neo-X.”

"Don't be a wuss, Nate! They only want to be friends!" Illyana shouts up at him as her demons make a spirited attempt to reach him, leaving drool dripping from his invisible shield each time they bounce off. Illyana sighs as each demon plummets to the ground, summoning a stepping disc to gather each one up and return them to Limbo just before they hit the surface of the alleyway. She looks more than a little dejected that Nate's not playing fair.

It's an act, of course, because the final portal that Illyana opens, while it does swallow up the last demon - ejects it right above Nate's head. If he was sensible enough to make his forcefield a sphere he'll be safe, but if he didn't, demon slobber is coming his way.

In an attempt not to tip Nate off, Illyana looks over her shoulder - and curses as she sees the kid escaping. Illyana has to run after her to catch up. "Hey." She says, a bit breathlessly. "Glad you liked my pets. I like yours, too. Can I see it?" Illyana plasters her best approximation at a sincere smile on her face.

She really sucks at talking to kids.

Playing favorites? Rachel? The wide grin, that's just completely evil spreads across the red-head's face as she lounges in the control room chair, swiveling back and forth, while munching popcorn. "Tsk. In this day and age not being petrified of things is the norm, really." She states to no one in particular, though really, okay, Rachel did program the child to not be afraid of -anything- except for one, small, tiny, little thing. The random generator Rachel had for the program picked just the best scenario ever, Rachel was secretly hoping it would pick that one for the beginning 'flag'.

And Illyana just hit the fear tag. Rachel leans quickly forward in the chair, watching as the event unfolds below, the popcorn bag nearly empty as the red-head munches even quicker.

At first, the child and mom are happy to have Illyana catch up to them, they're mere steps away from the opening of the alley and the sidewalk (and street) beyond. And everything just seems great as Illyana speaks about her own pets, but the instant, the very moment that Illyana asks to see 'Neo', the child begins to scream. "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" Her face turns bright purple as she yells out in a voice that is much, much louder than a normal child's ever should, in fact, Siryn would be proud of the decibel usage.

The soundwaves will hit outwards to anyone (or thing) standing in front of the girl, like a small blast of kinetic energy. Then - well, things happy pretty quickly, as the child continues to scream, and the mom..? Just glares at Illyana, in fact, there's something about the mom's eyes that begin to flicker red, and start to …glow?

The answer that Illyana may perceive is 'no, the girl isn't going to let you see it'. As a matter of interest, however, the green neon ball still rests in the child's arms, if you can get at it..

Sure thing, the poor demon bounces off the upper side of the forcefield and falls… not too badly, because Nate catches it with telekinesis so it doesn’t hurt too much. Probably a dumb thing, but he is the guy that tried to talk Illyana into allowing democracy in Limbo when they were teenagers.

A long time ago, in some other world. Or perhaps that conversation happened in this Earth too.

No, of course democracy in Limbo didn’t happen. It was the dumbest idea.

“Illy, you fail at being nice. Again,” laughs Nate, seeing the ‘child’ reaction. But did Ray program those holograms them to be resistant to telepathy. He tests that, psychically ‘suggesting’ the child to toss the neon X to him while Illyana is too distracted to open more portals.

The demon that bounces almost comically off the upper curve of Nate's shield is indeed a dumb thing, even compared to the massed ranks of rather stupid and generally malevolent demons that infest Illyana's private realm. Democracy would be wasted on this one, at least. Unless he happened to like the taste of the ballot paper, anyway.

Illyana's a little too distracted to notice how carefully Nate's handling her errant demon, because the response to her most winning smile - is for the little girl to demonstrate a lung capacity that's just not normal by screaming right in Illyana's face! Illyana didn't see that coming, and the kinetic wave bowls her over backwards and sends her crashing into some corroded metal bins in a clatter of metal. Illyana has to shake her head to clear it, ears still ringing from the scream and the clattering, but somehow, some way, she knows Nate is laughing at her. She glares up at him balefully. "This is why I never bother!" She shouts up at him, and winces. Her eardrums haven't forgiven her yet. Scrambling up to her feet, Illyana walks slowly toward the duo, her eyes on the mother, silver armour starting to form over her left arm and shoulder…

…and then she makes a quick, throwing motion toward the girl, a few quick words muttered under her breath. The mystical bolt is weak, intentionally, but if she hits just right it might be enough to knock the ball from the girl's arm.

Timing is everything. Really. The child is still screaming her head off, yelling about 'no one can have my Neo' and 'No no no no no no', and the cute, adorable thing now has a more demonic appearance, something Illyana should truly appreciate at least. The mom's eyes glow brightly - yet before either of them can react fully to Illyana, Nate's mental nudge does indeed -work-.

The girl suddenly stops screaming and throws the ball towards Nate at just the moment that a mystical bolt is sent flying towards her arms. It causes the throw to be completely off, sending the ball instead of arcing gracefully towards Nate, now bouncing down the alley way towards a large dumpster full of smelling, rotting garbage.

The instant the glowing, neon green ball is out of the girl's arms, however, both the mom and the girl disappear in a bright flash of light. The ball continues to bounce towards the garbage, slowing down as it tumbles.

Nate laughs. Damn, that was close enough to work. Ah well, the bouncing green ball seems now within both mutants grasps. Nate’s telekinesis and Illyana’s portals. It is going to be a close thing.

So he tries to be unpredictable. Instead of pulling the back directly to him, he pushes it hard against the alleyway wall, aiming for it to rebound hard and fast and be able to catch it as it bounces up.

Nate is not very good at ping pong or billiard, but he is getting better at using the telekinesis.

Illyana's expression looks like she's just bitten into something unexpectedly, horribly sour when she sees the little girl… demon? Turn and throw the ball toward Nate! The relief when her own mystic bolt at least throws it off target is palpable. A flash of light draws Illyana's eyes away from the prize, but it's just the demon child and her mother discorporating. "I wonder if I was that much of a brat." Illyana asks the dissolving hologram. She shrugs. "Probably." She admits in a moment of rare introspection, snorts - and hares off toward the glowing ball.

Of course, Nate is quick to bring his telekinesis into play, as she expected. The rebound's a little less direct than she's expecting from him, but she's not out of options. She snaps her fingers, and the last of her demons, lying on the ground, awakens, 'looks' around, sniffing the air - and vanishes into a portal.

To reappear in mid air right between Nate and the glowing ball, slobbering jaws instinctively yawning wide.

[OOC] Nate Grey says, "roll 1d10 :)"
[Nate Grey rolls 5 on 1d10.]
[OOC] Nate Grey says, "+roll 1d10"
[Illyana rolls 2 on 1d10.]
[OOC] Illyana says, "THAT IS TYPICAL!"
[OOC] Nate Grey laughs!

Nate has to admit that porting a demon-dog was clever. Dogs are good at catching balls going in weird rebounds. Unfortunately the demon-dog reflexes failed. Probably because the poor critter was still groggy from the previous fall. Nate catches the ball a second early and gets out of the way. The demon… well, it is about fifteen feet to the floor. Again.

"Good try, but you were going to lose some time, blondie," and Nate gets to be the smug one for ONCE. "This was fun, Ray. Thank you!"

Illyana tracks the ball, it's heading right where she wants it to go and…



"DAMMIT!" Illyana actually stamps her foot as her demon fails to make the interception. For a creature without eyes, the look of confusion on its face is still pretty comical - before it lets out a gargle of alarm as it starts to fall. "Useless!" Illyana scolds the creature as it plummets, but at the last moment a circle of light appears on the alley floor and the demon vanishes into it. Illyana glares at the portal a moment longer, as if she's thinking about jumping in after it and delivering chastisement, but then a slow, rueful smile forms and she lets the portal close. "Don't get used to it, Nate!" She calls up to him where he's smugly hovering. "And don't go away!" She adds, and vanishes into another portal.

It's a mystery how she gets served so quickly, but she's back almost before she's gone with a big box of Crispy Creme donuts. "Since it's the ONLY time this is going to happen…" Illyana still sounds sour, but then she smiles impishly. "To the victor go the spoils." She shoves the box of donuts toward Nate, then looks up at the sky, and the hidden manipulator. "Get down here and steal Nate's donuts, Ray. I'll get you for making me be nice to demon children LATER!"

Nate looks at Illyana's antics with some amused concern, landing on the alleyway floor. She leaves before he can reply anything, though. And then she brings him donuts! "Illy, this kind of gift is a very odd way to discourage me from winning next time," he points out. He feels full of useful advice today.

And of course HIS donuts are going to be 'stolen', that was a given. Some of them. Not many. Nate still eats like a starving wolf.

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