Test Run

August 13, 2018:

Polaris introduces Drake to the Danger Room.. and then Marcos arrives


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Scott


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Lorna had taken up the chance to change into her armor as Scott led Drake away. She'd changed her costume again. Green outlined in black with a sharp, black crown-like headband perched on her forehead. Thigh-high boots of matching hue and metal plates covered her chest. She swept out of the locker room with clear intent to head into the Danger Room, her expression as cool and detached as the metal she could manipulate.

The door swooshed open as she typed in her permission codes, a mechanical voice chiming welcome.


Drake Riley had been instructed to change out of his normal street-clothes if he's going to enter the Danger Room. And so he did. It was awkward, finding something that worked for him, but what he found was a rather uninteresting gray bodysuit; conforming, but largely featureless, save for a big red X-logo on the chest. He was approaching the door with an attendant when he found Lorna entering it as well.

"Oh. Hey!," he greets with a smile. And immediately, he's giving the new attire a look-over!


Lorna paused, glancing back over her shoulder to notice Drake. She fought back a grimace, waited for Drake to catch up. She stepped into the Danger Room, gesturing for him to follow. "Well, I'm sure that Scott showed you what it's all about in here.. The Danger Room creates hard light projections. Everything in here feels real. Smells. Sounds. Physically.. it feels real. Even to the senses."

Her booted feet echoed on the clean floor, which for the moment, was the steely grey its default was. "We use codenames in here typically, per Scott's… er.. Cyclop's orders. Training for missions means acting like it is a mission. There are different levels, for just about any scenario, any enemy we've ever faced or might face. Places.. and so on. It can get intense. Missions parameters and the alike can be clearly stated or not."


Drake Riley is blissfully unaware of the grimace threaatening to appear on Lorna's face. He's in a good mood. He's /finally/ in a good place with his stay in the mansion. He feelss like he's moving towards something, even if there are hoops to jump through.

"Kind'a," Drake replies. "I guess I need a codename, huh? It's not gonna be what M-.. uh.. what's-her-face," he isn't sure what she goes by at the moment, "said. But you're tellin' me that this room," he says, bobbing on the gray material, "is like total VR? That's so freakin' cool."

The attendant is already meandering towaards the controls, quiet and dutiful.
"Were you gonna be running something? Should I wait my turn? How do we do this?" He's excited. Very excited.

Lorna crossed her arms as she considered Drake, her head tilting to the side as he spoke. "Yeah, you'll need one. Molly, or Bruiser, I suppose is her running code name. It's all really stupid, our identities aren't going to be hidden by use of code names or masks. But yes.. this room is sort of like the Holodeck in Star Trek. There's a lot of things that make it go, don't ask.. I don't know." She murmured and her lips twitched faintly as she lifted upwards on a magnetic current.

"I was going to run a higher end scenario. I tend to run a bit ragged here. We can do just an introductory scenario.. Or something less combat oriented."


"I wanted to avoid using her actual name," Drake admits. Because she had just said they use codenames, right? "Anyway, /Polaris/," he grins up at her as she lifts, "I think it's cool. If nothing else, maybe think of it like being a superhero. They use fake names. And it's not just about protecting the people close to ya, is it? It's about representing something, or being more than a regular ol' person. Being something people can stand behind, that seems.. like.. larger than life."

Drake was always mystified and enchanted by superheroes and capes. And now, here he is, with the biggest dilemma ever: landing on a name.

He pushes it to the back of his mind for now. "I'm game for whatever. Don't you guys need to see my full range, anyway?" Beat. "But I don't wanna hold you back…" He looks up at her again with an impish smile.


The green haired mutant shrugged, her hands rising and falling as she peered up at the control room and back. "You can use it here around me if you're not sure about things. I mean.. I'm not Cyclops. I'm not gonna shout you down." She hummmed, and propped her chin up as she listened to him continue on about why code names mattered. But she didn't argue against his ideals, or tell him he was wrong, or anything. She just listened.. and glanced away.

Clearing her throat she seemed to consider what to do, floating in the air. "I don't know how cleared.. I am to train anyone that's never been here before. Are you sure?" She was likely cleared, Scott seemed to want to push responsibility and personal connections onto her. It would be just like him to try it.


The spirited youth beneath her offers up an animated shrug. "I'unno!" He's happy to experience whatever's in store, and /hopefully/ demonstrate that he isn't the helpless newbie so many seem to've written him off for.


A considering glance followed and Lorna glanced up to the control room again, "Alright, well, start scenario 12A, beginner level." She floated down as a city-scape flickered into creation around them. A mimicry of Mutant Town bloomed to life, complete with smells and trash in the gutters. There were screams in the distance and a buildings had clearly been raided. Windows were smashed and a few fires burned around them. The heat of them real and vicious.

Down the road from the two of them were a group of men in black hoodies, white crosses painted front and center. A few held tiki-torches, while others had home made flame throwers.

"Rules are pretty simple. Don't kill humans. Even the bigots.." She drawled, still floating just above Drake's person. "It's harder to do too." She quipped and nodded down the way.

"Good luck."


Drake Riley is almost overwhelmed when the world around him completely changes. His footing shifts a half-step, wobbly, before setting back down. And despite the despair and disarray now surrounding him, the smile on his face is even bigger.

"Ohomygaaawwwd, that's freakin' tiiight!," he marvels. He can happily forget the weird and bland bodysuit he had to put on before entering because this is rad.
When Lorna speaks, he looks up at her again with a blink. "Oh. Uh.." He looks aside to the buildings, the fires, the clutter, and damage. He looks ahead to the group in black hoodies, obviously the perpetrators. Or, well, he believes it's obvious. Must be anti-mutant terrorist-types. The bright emerald gaze lifts again, as if unsure what she actually means for him to do. If he can't take out the humans, and he sees no one to- oh!

With a renewed smile, Drake trots ahead to meet the group - at some distance. They didn't seem to be paying attention to him, and thankfully they were all clumped together. To his knowledge, Lorna had only seen him perform one feat - a potent feat, to be sure, and an extremely dangerous one when pushed, but he's not a one-trick pony. The fact that he's going to get to demonstrate that here even puts a smile on his face.

"Oh, ruffians~!," he calls in an affectedly British accent. Immediately following, he drops to a knee and plants his hand plants against the floor. Electricity instantly pours from his limb to web outwards across the street, a crackling grid of brilliant blue easily spreading under the mass of gathered individuals. The level of power put out is on the low end, like a mass tazer kept running for a few seconds. Ideally, that /should/ subdue the group.


Lorna arched a brow as she looked down at the squeal of joy that came from Drake and he was basically dancing as he shifted from foot to foot. She blinked, staring down at him but let him figure out what he was up against. It didn't take long and she hung back, letting him handle the Purifiers as he wanted. She watched as he … ruffians? Really? She held back a snort, Scott would approve.

Of course, then he was charging down toward the crowd and netted himself a bunch of simulated anti-mutant humans. They screamed, writhed, and collapsed in one smooth motion. They dropped to the ground quickly enough, prone and knocked out cold.

The green haired mutant blinked, grinned and floated downwards. "Good job."

Drake Riley wasn't dancing! He'd take exception to that! That is, what he would call, a freak-out. Specifically, at the very ground beneath his feet changing. Ahem.


The group drops, and Drake straightens up his posture, pleased with his work. Hearing her words behind him, he turns on heel to regard her. His feet square, left arm tucks behind his back, and he snaps a crisp and entirely playful salute to her. Because, you know, superhero poses after victory. "All in a day's work, ma'am," he adds mirthfully.

After a beat, his posture turns more natural. Hands prop to his hips and his head tilts slightly. "What you said earlier - don't kill humans? When I first discovered my powers, I.. uh.. I did. That's how it happened. And after that, I've been training /not/ to ever since." He thinks he might've told her this before. It seems familiar, but perhaps worth a revisit. "Controling my power output was top priority, and learning to match the current of a tazer was my first goal. I never wanted to do that again.."


"End simulation," Lorna called up to the control room and the images faded out into nothing. Once more they were standing in the middle of an empty, grey room. A hint of a smile tugged at the corners of her lips as she landed before him neatly. Her boots tapping lightly as she drew closer.

"I know.. A lot of us have.. or did when our powers manifested." She murmured. She'd killed her mother and step-father..

"You did good, we'll push on the higher levels to see where you're at. Control isn't what many people have when they come here. Mostly it's raw power and a lack of control.. So, hey.. you're a step above that." She exhaled a breath and dragged her hands through her hair.


Drake Riley offers her a weaker smile at that. It's nice to know she understands where he's coming from, and at least that he's not the newbie so many expect him to be. But it's dampened by the topic; the idea that so many others had their first experience come at the cost of life. Sure, that life was potentially going to try to take his, but it felt so wrong.

That gets pushed out of his mind, too.

"I can do more with it, too," Drake continues. "It's not always about pouring out lightning. But, ah, I get the feeling you'll see what I mean."

His gaze dips over her briefly, looking over her costume again. "..Have you been okay?," he asks abruptly. "I noticed you weren't around. Got maybe a little worried.."


Lorna gestured to the doorway. She wasn't going to get a chance to train herself into exhaustion. Not with Drake around being.. concerned. It was a good thing, even if she disagreed with it. She started walking forward, her armor melting away into simple looking jewelry around her wrists and neck. "We'll put you through the ringer. I'm normally a fan of the deep end of the pool sort to speak.. but eh.. maybe I'm going soft in my old age."

Of course then Drake asked her exactly what was up.. and she hesitated, her step hitching and she shrugged. A forced exhale followed and she shrugged. "Yeah.. fine.." She lied, her lips twisting. Surprised a bit that Marcos hadn't had a violent explosion that left most of the mansion reeling..


Drake Riley look to the door, curious. They weren't going to do more? But she's the one with seniority, so he'll be following her lead. The teen shuffles along behind her. "Isn't putting someone through the ringer going hard mode?," he asks. "I'm cool with hard mode. You don't get better at something if nothing's at risk." It's how he learned a lot of his skills, after all. Stealth the right way or spend time behind bars - or straight up in juvie. Heck, he got good at picking locks to the background music of incoming sirens.

"Are you really?," asks Drake. "Cuz.. I mean.. I like to think we're friends. We've talked'n stuff. We think alike. You could let me know if something was eating away at you," he encourages. "How's the kiddo?"


A deep inhale, followed by a rough exhale followed and Lorna slowly shook her head. "Yeah, but I'm not going to push you through the ringer. I'll leave it to Scott. I don't plan to stick around here.." She grimaced, and the door wooshed open to the hallway as she stepped up to it. "I'm not a teacher here, and I'm not going to be." A grimace pulled at her lips, and shadows ringed around her eyes. She hadn't been sleeping. Not well anyways and it showed more clearly in the light of the hall. Drake's words were easy enough to wave off.. up until the last part. Which brought a faint hitch to her step and a soft inhalation of breath.

"Fine.." She breathed. She hoped.


"She is? Oh, cool. That's good," Drake nods. He's assuming Lorna got back sooner and has someone babysitting l'enfant. But Lorna isn't exactly selling the story she's giving him. The look he's giving her might suggest he's not totally sold. Besides that, she said she's not staying. He doesn't like that at all. He trots closer to her side and tilts to nudge her shoulder. "Why? Why not stay?"

Marcos already knew that Lorna gave their child away. He set up hidden cameras in their room. He saw Lorna's take Aurora away. Marcos….was definitely not pleased. Once he heard that Lorna was back? Well, no hiding in the world would hide her from her husband for long. who, mind you, was extremely AGAINST this point of action.

Soon enough, the doors to the danger room would open, and in comes Marcos Diaz, looking absolutely LIVID. to the point that the light he naturally absorbed was coming off him like steam. Once he saw Lorna? He made a straight b-line straight for her, his footsteps leaving blazing marks on the ground.

Drake might want to get out of the way. Though Marcos's eyes were lasered in on Lorna, as if everything else just faded to black. He said nothing…his silence perhaps even worse than coming in with verbal destruction.


Caught between one door and the next Lorna barely registered the amount of heat and light that was one Marcos' Diaz, coming down to bare upon the two exiting the Danger Room. Lorna, distracted and struggling with her own emotions and what to say to Drake was almost off guard to the point that when her husband came barreling down, she was stunned long enough for him to close a fair amount of distance.

The fire alarm bleeped to life outside the Danger Room at his passing, and localized sprinklers rained down around them outside of the Danger Room proper.

"Uhm, I-" Whatever she had been meaning to say to Drake broke off entirely at the sight of Marcos. She stared at the molten tracks he'd left behind,


Drake Riley was totally cool with walking and talking to Lorna, with getting to the root of whatever is going on with her. The heat rising is noticed by him, however, and gets an odd, distracted glance towards the door. And in barrels Lorna's husband, whom he'd met only once. Why does he look so angry?

"H-hey, easy," he starts, leaning back a little from the increasing heat. He doesn't leave Lorna's side just yet, in case Marcos's body language bears out to an attack. He doesn't know what's going on here, but spousal abuse isn't something he's going to abide.

Marcos closed in on Lorna, even so much that once it was clear that Marcos was only after Lorna, Drake didn't even get the extremely angry photokinetics attention. Instead, he comes to a stop less than an inch from Lorna, his eyes burning like the sun. he lifts a hand like he was going to do something… but then the steaming stops, and he simply grabs Lorna's shoulder to pull her into a hug.

He knows she needed one. Especially from her husband.

The heat from his body had gone down to normal temperature. and Lorna would know that Marcos was terribly heartbroken. But there's nothing he can do about it now…his child is gone.


Lorna clearly wasn't sure what to expect, not from the man she loved and had married. Who she had known she'd harmed immensely, by stealing their child and hiding her away.. Lorna knew she'd be breaking his heart and betraying his trust in the worst of ways. She'd expected rage, grief, but… Expectations rarely match reality. She stood still, staring at him with shadow rung eyes and her breath caught in her throat. Even as Drake tried to be there, tried to be supportive..

Marcos had never burned Lorna, his powers being solar based.. her own deflected most destructive energies.. But there had never been a need. As he stopped and stared, an inch away, she remained still, her gaze meeting his own livid one. She saw the pain reflected there, saw the sorrow. Even as he folded her into his arms she couldn't bring herself to process it.

Mechanically, her frame leaned against his, a soft woosh of a breath escaping her as she struggled to not break down. To not give into the warmth, the comfort. She couldn't forgive herself, much less wanted forgiveness.. Lorna had started down a self destructive path and hadn't ever imagined to find this at the end of it.


Drake Riley's fingertips began to discharge little sparks, a deliberate outwards manifestation of a warning the closer Marcos came in. He had no interest in this turning into the Jerry Springer Show! Then Marcos cuts his powers off.


Then they hug.

'Nother blink.

Drake comes to the conclusion that his presence is /soooo/ not needed right now. So he inches back a few steps. Then he turns to simply buzz off. Nope, Lorna needs family time, not a third wheel snooping into their business!


Marcos just kept Lorna in his embrace, not even speaking to Drake. As he walked off. Smart lad. This could still seriously blow up, given that Lorna has a really bad habit of saying the wrong things. But…she forgot one key thing: she's his wife. He'd love her no matter what she did. Unless it was cheating on him. Anyway. His eyes remain close and he equally remains silent.
"It's okay."

Marcos says then, holding her that much tighter. This hurt him horribly…beyond what words could describe. Not only that, but it was flat-out betrayal. But she was still his wife.


Lorna barely registered that the sprinklers had shut off, or that Drake was left standing there awkwardly. Likely a good thing that the electrokinetic hadn't had to act given the small pools of water that had cooled molten tile and metal grating beneath with a hiss. Still Lorna stood there, her figure half bowed against Marcos' figure. She'd removed her wedding ring at some point, tucking it away out of sight. She'd given up any hope that her return would be met with a relationship left to salvage.

She'd never imagined that Marcos would be there to hold her in her own grief at her own choices. Green eyes caught sight of Drake's departure, and he'd get one glimpse of the torrent of emotions therein before her eyes shut to block out the world.

"I'm sorry."


Marcos nods, holding her closer as he didn't leave room between them at all. "I know." is all Marcos says, taking a deep breath. "There's nothing we can do about it now." Marcos then pulls away from Lorna, his hands moving to hers. If she looked into his eyes? He was just…broken. Like the life that was in him had just gone. "Let's just stop an apocalypse so we can get our kid back."

Marcos states flatly. There was no room for discussion there. He had no problem ripping his child away from some family who wanted to adopt. But it was clear that Marcos intended this to be a temporary thing for Aurora's safety.


Lorna drew back as Marcos finally did so, only in a reflective movement. She looked detached, adrift. Moorless at sea in a torrent of emotion. She'd hidden away in meditation at her father's side. Lost to the magnetic fields to cope. As he took her limp hands she swallowed, and dragged her eyes away from his. She didn't have the heart to argue with him then, to tell him that the world would never stop being in danger. That there'd always be something that drove the X-men forward and onto the next conflict. A never ending, ceaseless battle, with no end in sight.

Instead she stood there, mutedly working over words that clogged in her throat.
Clearing her throat, she finally glanced back his way. "Don't you hate me?"


Marcos looks at Lorna, right in the eyes as she asks him if he hated her. "No. I love you, Lorna. The only thing I hate, is that you seem to trust your father more than you trust me." and he looks her dead in the eyes. He wasn't wrong. she was forsaking her husband by going to her father for literally everything. It was hurtful.

He often wondered if she loved him.

"But no…I could never hate you. Stop thinking that."


Lorna exhaled a breath that she hadn't been entirely aware that she'd been holding until Marcos spoke. She closed her eyes briefly, inhaling a deep breath and holding it too before breathing out again. Finally, green eyes leveled to meet his own again. "I don't trust him more, Marcos." She murmured. She trusted Marcos and mistrusted her father in most things.. It simply was that she trusted her father would support her in the tough decisions. Her husband was a good man that listened to his heart and followed it.

"But you're not going to forgive me either.. it's alright.. I figured you wouldn't. I wouldn't.. couldn't.. I can't forgive myself." A smile of self-loathing curled at the corners of her lips. The fragility of her mind present in the soft and even tones of her voice.


Marcos looks at Lorna as she tells him that she doesn't trust her father more. Though he doesn't seem to be angry with her. "Lorna, I already forgave you a few days after you did it. I put cameras in our room…" Marcos tells her then before he grips the side of her face harmlessly, but just to force her to look him in the eyes.

"You're balancing on the edge of the knife Lorna." He tells her then. "I've walked that road. If you fall into self-loathing, the only way forward on it is either death or turning to another path." Marcos looks legitimately worried.

"I love you. I don't hate you. I forgive you. But you need to forgive yourself now."

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