Highway to the Danger Room

February 15, 2019:

Nate runs a Danger Room session with the dual goal of training and talking about the cyborg attack on Mutant Town. But multi-tasking doesn't work like that. (Dumb idea, Nate)

Danger Room, under Xavier's School

A simulation of the streets of Mutant Town, Manhattan

Characters

NPCs: DR simulations of Bonebreaker, Skullbuster and Pretty Boy

Mentions:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

"We should talk about those cyborgs…" said Nate. Odd thing he is the one calling for a meeting, right? Well, there was a trick. "…while we run a Danger Room session. I will get a program going."

No one likes Nate's Danger Room sessions much, though. Because they are often crazy tough ('realistic' he says, or 'can't learn from easy') and they often make no sense. He just tosses threats to his victims with no consideration for logic. Admittedly, sometimes it leads to hilarious results.

Oddly enough there is nothing weird going on with this session. It is Mutant Town by day. The Reavers are attacking, a score so mutant-hating cyborgs in three groups are advancing through the streets. Nate gave the defending X-Men five minutes to organize, evacuate, position themselves, whatever. If looks easy.

Nate has position himself on the top of the highest building of Mutant Town. Which… actually that building is not real, because there is not a building that tall in Mutant Town. He has holoscreens around him, too. And looks completely unhelpful, wearing sunglasses and drinking a beer.

"So yeah. I don't have the stats of the real cyborgs attackers, but Reavers are nasty enough," comments Nate through the x-com systems. "Also, looks like Lorna is not here, so it won't be so easy, right?"


When Nate first called upon Rachel to attend a discussion of the minds on the cyborgs, she was pretty happy to do so - even though she hasn't slept much (if at all) for a couple nights now, and what dreams she does have are - unpleasant, weird and downright haunting. She still agreed.

She needed to get out a few things, things that bugged her, that have happened that may be connected. Yet, with so many other things going on right now, Rachel is keeping a tight lip.

Thing is, she didn't expect it to be in the middle of a danger room session. You can hardly discuss things while you're beating up bad guys. The scowl on the red-head's features is deep and mighty, her gaze flickering towards the 'attackers', then to the others present. While, as always, Rachel's appearance is cool as a cucumber, there is a mask of telepathic illusion surrounding her features. The tattoos upon her face are gone, as are the large circles under her blood-shot eyes.

"What do we know about them?" Is Rachel's first question. "Do they go for a single goal, or is anything in their way in danger?" Rachel wasn't there when Lorna was attacked, and she's been a little pre-occupied to read the write-up. So she sticks to questions from those that know more than her.


Sage's voice was her usual deadpan, as she saw the room's obstacles appear around her. "Is this really a necessity, Scion? I see no reason to combine a debriefing with a simulated combat." Clearly, not being an X-Man, Sage did not appreciate the adventures in the Danger Room. "Our time would be better sent actually hunting down leads to those responsible for the attack." There was just the edge of irritation in her voice, as she ran through her weapons, drawing her guns. "The Mutant Town attack was two pronged. Snipers to eliminate Polaris, and a team on the ground causing as much damage as possible."


Bruce is nervous. This can't be a shock, he's walking anxiety most of the time. Even a telepath that isn't trying to read it can read that off his usual aura. He's a suppressed mine field of emotions. Usually suppressed. Sometimes it leaks. He's upset but trying to be calm. To some degree, that's working.

"So you won't want telepathic communication with me, but I think an earpiece can be fine. I mean. I'll try," Bruce says to whoever is near him — probably Rachel, though she may not know why she's got a worried scientist for a shadow. He's got a nervous, infectious chatter going, and has for a little while. He hasn't used the Danger Room before. He was afraid he'd break it. And that's still a fear. So many fears.

"If we capture one, I'd really like to look at it," the scientist comments, diverting onto a more comfortable topic. "Also I can't both talk and also be in combat, ah, Sage." Of all people, Banner is definitely the one to have issues with that type of multitasking. Even if half the people in the room probably don't know why. Or why they haven't been told what exactly the skittish science nerd does. He shuts up, sensing he's complaining too much. Anxiety causes …anxiety.


Illyana's record for turning up to a) debriefings and b) scheduled Danger Room practice has historically been a bit… patchy, to put it politely. But she's still trying, though not always succeeding, to be 'good'. So this time she's here, on time, and dressed in her field uniform of red, military style jacket over a black jumpsuit and tough boots that almost come to her knees.

But she's definitely on Team Sage when it comes to mixing combat training with a planning session. "Nate gets antsy if he talks for too long without blowing something up." Illyana comments. She might be exaggerating a little, but Nate really is the actions over words type, most of the time. As the buildings of the simulated Mutant Town phase in around them, Illyana swiftly looks around, scouting out a rooftop of her own that looks to have a commanding view. A portal shimmers into existence beside her, but she hesitates before stepping through, as the… civilian? Science teacher? (Illyana is so bad at reading noticeboards) addresses Rachel. He looks nervous.

So naturally Illyana adds, "They were definitely going for a killshot, and they should have got it. Ceramic bullet, big one too. There should have been bits of Lorna all over that room." She says it all quite conversationally of course, and smiles at Banner before adding. "I might still have some bits and pieces you could look at, if you don't mind them… chewed."


"Then perhaps he should avoid talking, and just begin writing a blog. Those still have some traction in the world." Sage did not step through the portal that Illyana opened, instead moving to provide cover for the scientist, placing her body between Bruce and the oncoming horde, as it were, her hands stead in the grips of her guns. She did not flick off the safeties, as she never put them on, but a brush of each thumb hit a hidden switch on the grips, extending the blades that had been built into the extended magazines, allowing her to fight melee style as well as with bullets.


"Necessity? Probably not," replies Nate, addressing Sage's question. "But look, we gotta learn to fight with distractions going, right? Besides war room meetings put me to sleep, and I am not the only one." Of course that is a bold faced lie, since putting Nate to sleep usually requires massive doses of sedatives.

"Banner brings in a good point. Didn't we savage at least some remains from those cyborgs? Just the forensic analysis of the remains might give us some clues." The Reavers are built in the Pacific Rim rogue states, for instance. Or at least that is the theory, and some of the remains recovered seem to support the idea. Madripoor and Gamorra in particular have cybershops where those with money can get augmentation.

Speaking of the Reavers, they are advancing in teams of six, shooting at the (simulated) mutants that dare to show their faces on the streets. They seem to be heading towards Nate's 'tower'. Each group is led by an infamous Reaver: Bonebreaker, on a motorized chassis armed with grenade launchers. Pretty Boy, looking quite normal, although he carries a nasty-looking customized machine gun. Skullbuster, moving swiftly on robot legs, armed with a massive sniper rifle.


Crossing her arms over her chest, Rachel's gaze moves from one person, to the next, from Sage, to Banner. It's to Illyana, however, that Rachel's head inclines. "So it was done on purpose to kill Polaris?" The red-head's eyes blaze with intensity. "I wish I had been there." Such a coward like attack on one of their own does not set well with Rachel. At all. Rachel's voice ceases though her thoughts continue… Was it because of Lorna's parentage, or because Lorna would be the most dangerous foe /to/ a cyborg. After all, you take out the one that is the most dan..Rachel's thoughts are interrupted by the nervous, very chatty freaking NERD next to her.

Green gems flicker towards Bruce, then, one of her brows idly arching upwards by his nerves and anxiety that just seems to bleed out from his emotions. She's met him in passing, once, or twice, but other than perhaps a name, Banner? Doctor Banner? Wasn't it? Rachel knows nothing else of him. "It's okay, Doctor Banner." Rachel begins, "If you get into any trouble, just call, I will not let anything harm you."

As Sage moves into position to cover the civilian in the group, Rachel's sweeping upwards in a telekinetic burst of power. "Illyana - any civilians in the area, get them out quickly. We can't afford anyone getting hurt." This is said into an ear-piece, because like Bruce, Illyana isn't exactly open to telepathic intrusions.

The first order of business is to take care of anything that looks like it can do a lot of damage to a large area first. And that would probably be grenade launchers. A bright, golden aura of a blazing bird surrounds Rachel's eye, as her hands clench together (not really needed but more as a concentration point), aiming to turn the grenade launcher into nothing more than crunched metal.


Perhaps it was the talk of the green haired woman that in a way brought her about, or perhaps it just took her that long to get into her jumpsuit when her arm was stiff and aching still. The muscles in her back were still swore and bruises marred her midsection in a criss-cross of blackened bruises. Though Illyana had healed her for the most part, it wasn't all the way. The nurses certainly didn't want her anywhere near the Danger Room either, so as everyone else was inside, Lorna was left arguing her way through and into the scenario with a grimace on her features.

She had caught part of the conversation, though not all of it and surmised the rest. "They were made of plastic, the guys that attacked my building were made of plastics and nonmagnetic materials. Based on reports, the ones outside weren't. It's not easy to avoid electronics that I can fry." She drawled, wiggling her hands as she stepped more firmly into the Mutant Town scenario. She wore a more armored up version of her usual uniform. Heavy metal plates covered her chest and the usual 'tiara' style of her headband was now wider, shadowing her features even more so than before.

"It's no real secret who I am and where I stay. But I had what I thought were bullet proof windows.."


"I do not get distracted," was Sage's reply, as she heard Nate's answer. She had already spun up a series of processes in her mind to handle the conversation, marking Banner's location in relation to herself and the rest of the team, as well as the combat, adding them to the half dozen she had running already. "Stay close to me, Dr. Banner. Find cover if you need to, but unless you have a weapon on hand, do not engage." It was standard operating procedure while attempting to move a civilian through a high risk area. The sound of Lorna's voice did not bring her head around, but her shoulder lifted a fraction as she added her to the scope of the team.


Bruce Banner pales some as they start to get shot at by the hordes. He looks like he really should sit down with a paper bag. Instead, he steps quickly laterally to flinch away from a shot that was 'nearby', and promptly trips over a curb. He wasn't looking. He manages to not go sprawling, but he does trip and catch himself in an awkward manner. His pale mixes with his blush, into a mottled sickly tone.

"I should be able to deduce a lot, even if they are chewed. May even make it easier to disassemble the pieces you have," Bruce says in reply to Nate, voice a little sharp, but that's the anxiety creating edge on his voice. Stress situations.

"If I do, ha ha, get shot, stay away from me at least at first," Bruce says uncomfortably. He probably SHOULD just say why, but he doesn't much like admitting it, which causes more anxiety and… why is he here, exactly, if … "I'll just trigger now." Or. "or in a minute." Frustrated with himself, Bruce moves to seek cover, breaking off suddenly from the others, as if trying to increase the difficulty by being a civilian that goes the wrong way. He ducks another attack, attempting to enter the front of a building, finding the door he wanted locked. Figures.


Illyana's long blonde hair whips out behind her as Rachel blazes into the air. She pointedly shades her eyes from the red glare surrounding the red-head, even though it's not that blinding, then rolls her neck to look sideways at Banner. "She's SUCH a show-off." At which point, Rachel's voice comes crisp and clear through her comlink. "And bossy, too." She says in a convincingly put-upon tone. "Get through this in once piece and I'll deliver all the chewed cyborg bits you could want." She smirks. "But if you get killed I'm letting Sage have them." She's doing her best to be reassuring, as always, and vanishes into that portal that's been waiting patiently for her without sticking around for a reply.

Reappearing on her chosen rooftop, Illyana surveys the mounting carnage below, then touches her earpiece. "Ray? You don't mind if I have some fun first, right?" Not waiting for permission, and since Ray already has him distracted, Illyana summons a portal right below Bonebreaker. If he's good enough to trundle into it, he'll find himself a few meters above Skullbuster's group when he reappears, and plummeting.

Fun had, Illyana looks for civilians as Rachel instructed, and instead - Lorna. She sighs, and triggers her comms again. "You're making me regret healing you." She says accusingly. "Don't make me dump you in Limbo until we're finished here." She's teasing. Maybe. With a flash of light, Illyana's gone from her rooftop, back on mission.


Sage tracked the incoming attackers who were not, yet, attacking either herself or Banner, stepping as he stumbled to continue to serve as his meatshield. Rather than attempting to protect the falling mutants, she instead began to target Skullbuster, calculating and recalculating his his movement trajectory as she aimed to shoot his rifle, sighting the stock and magazine to make the the weapon explode in his hands. "I reviewed the footage I could find as well as the photographs that were taken by the teams who gathered to manage the fallout and a handful of the cyborgs were also identified as being part of the attack on Gotham." Should her ploy to destroy the weapon succeed, she'd send a blast towards the reaver, clearly attempting to take advantage of the possible pain or distraction of having his weapon damaged.


Lorna flew up into the air above the projection of the scenario below, her hair floating behind her in strong magnetic currents. Since she'd stepped inside, she hadn't let her magnetic shielding down even for an instant. Even non-magnetic things had a hard time getting through her force fields when she focused on it enough. And without actual worry about property damage, the city was a large collection of magnetic structures for her to throw around.

She raised her hands, flashing Illyana a grin, "What, tell Nate to stop having briefings in the damn Danger Room and I'll be happy to sit in a chair and sip tea all you want." She shot back, and with a grunt of effort started ripping apart the steel of the scenario's city apart around the Cyborgs. Sewer pipes and electrical wires, steel lamp posts, and cars all went flying in a barrage of metal headed for the reavers.

A glance was spared for Bruce, but beyond that Lorna didn't comment.


"If you don't get distracted then you should conduct all meetings like this, Sage," points out Nate with his best reasonable, logical voice. "After all this way you get the information plus training at the same time." See? Logic. Nate isn't very good at it.

The Reavers slow down when they see the X-Men, scattering for cover while aiming at the mutant heroes. They all have large firearms. Machine guns, shotguns, high caliber rifles. Bonebreaker opens with a salvo of fragmentation grenades. But he becomes then Rachel's first target, and the telekinetic blast shatters his tracked chassis and send his upper torso bouncing down the street. "Damn witch! Shot down that redhead!" He commands, turning one of his arms into an autocannon and sending a long burst up towards Rachel. A few other cyborgs also open fire against the young woman.

Then he falls through Illyana's portal, his cannon shots causing some consternation among Skullbuster's group. "Watch out you moron!" Cries Skullbuster, who is starting to receive fire from Sage. He hurries up to cover, tossing away his useless rifle and pulling out a heavy plasma handgun, directing some shoots towards Sage and Banner. The range is extreme, but his cybernetic targeting systems make him a crack shot.

Not far away Pretty Boy's group of killers find themselves being bombed by Lorna. There are so much magnetic metal in the typical New York street almost everything is a good weapon. A cyborg gets crushed by a flying sedan. Another cut in half by a manhole cover. Pretty Boy is extremely agile, though, and avoids the debris, jumping up to cling on a wall and then crawling like a spider-person. Once he is close enough to Lorna, he shoots up an arm; which elongates freakily to several yards of length and attempts to wrap up around the green-haired woman's leg.


That Sage is still with him baffles Banner. He's used to slipping off by himself. The shame and awkwardness around his power has created an automatic motive to try to seek cover related to it. Even if in the end, particularly in a safe place with X-men, it makes literally no sense.

Habit.

And guilt. He should be helping. "I'm sorry," Banner says to Sage, out of nowhere. He sees some shots coming, though, and leaps towards her, to try to pull her down to avoid being shot. "Look out!"


First it's to Illyana that Rachel's voice echoes through the com-link to, "Oh by all means, have some fun, or two. There are certainly plenty to go around."

Rachel's gaze moves towards the field, watching as Sage moves to continue her protection of Doctor Banner, and his geek-like actions, then towards Polaris' impressive attack upon the cyborgs. A wry grin is offered to the green-haired Mistress of Magnetism. "Always impressive to see you at work, Polaris."

And then Rachel's got worries of her own as she becomes the target of many cyborgs. "Oh goodie." Is her response, swiftly moving herself away from any civilians (Banner's area mostly) just in case anything happens to bounce off her shielding and strike below. "I love being called a redhead witch. It's what I live for."

In response to being shot at, bombarded, and many attempts at murdering her, Rachel's shielding remains in tact, but her response is to treat the ones attacking her in kind. Once again, Rachel's hands clench tightly as she reaches towards weapons of the nearest (and most dangerous) cyborgs that are focused upon her. Her attempt is to crush their weapons, turn them into nothing more than useless slag, one by one, as quickly and as effectively as she can.


"Except that not everyone has the same mutant ability to run multiple thought processes without any one overriding any other. So while I might not have trouble, I would imagine most others do." As Sage saw the weapon tossed aside, she continued to move, diving to the side to push Banner out of the way of the plasma blasts, using his leap towards her to place her back to him, again taking aim at the Reaver, though this time, she aimed at attacking the elbow joints. Even reinforced metalic joints were still weak spots in most things, cybernetic or otherwise. "You do not need to apologize to me, Doctor Banner." As she sees Rachel move in, she offers, "It might be more effective to decapitate them." Body counts did not, Illyana knew at least, bother Sage at all.


A flash of light, and Illyana appears at ground level. Rather than attempt to corral the nearest group of panicked, fleeing civilians, she just opens a stepping disk right in front of them and lets them barrel through it before they can brake. They get deposited inside a building right at the edge of the simulation, because where else can she put Danger Room constructs?

Another flash of light, and Illyana's taken to the rooftops again, looking for more civilians caught in the crossfire. Through the burst of static in her ear that accompanies the bounce to Limbo, she hears Rachel's complaint. "You're not even a witch." Illyana puts in, comms discipline being something that happens to other people. "I'm the one who should be offended." She sees the flare of Rachel's power, and the storm of incoming fire, and figures the redhead can probably handle it. But what are friends for, right?

Illyana flashes to street level once more, ducks into cover, then summons a portal between the still-armed Reavers and Rachel. The exit is at ground level behind them. With luck, they're about to be caught in their own crossfire.


A grimace pulled from Lorna's lips as she kept her movements careful and alight. Her magnetic fields buzzed around her protectively, a constant field of rotating polarities, as she gestured this way and that, pulling up metal and chucking it in a torrent of distractible, crushing, debris. As Rachel shot her compliment, Lorna flashed a grin. "Right back at you," She kept her focus on the group she could see and sense below, fully sunk into her powers as a means of keeping track of where everyone and everything was.

So when Pretty Boy decided to Spider Man his way up the wall of the nearby building to attack her she wasn't caught completely off guard. Though she wasn't entirely expecting the arm that shot out to grab at her ankle. She made a sound at the back of her throat, her hand swinging down as she shot off a concussive blast of an EMP through the air at the reaver, a snarl on her lips.


"I think it is a good skill to have, Sage," comments Nate, sipping from his beer bottle while watching the carnage on the streets below. "Did you have the opportunity to analyze the cyborgs' remains or not? If not yet, then maybe you should get Dr. Banner's help." He asks the woman apparently uncaring she is just getting shoot at with a plasma gun.

Rachel manages to disarm some of the cyborgs from the external weaponry, which certainly reduces the volume of bullets her TK shields are receiving. The problem is the cyborgs -are- weapons. They open fire on her with their internal weaponry, which includes a variety of smaller firearms, a few laser beams and even a one-shot rocket launcher.

Unfortunately (for them) most of the bullets and lasers vanish into a glowing portal and… where did the rocket go? BOOOOOOM.

There goes (to bits) for the bulk of Bonebreaker's squad, the man (half-man now) himself retreats by crawling on the pavement, legless.

Meanwhile Pretty Boy gets an EMP blast at his face. The most critical systems are well-shielded, but most of those in his extremities are not, and before he can tighten his grip on Lorna’s leg, he loses control of his stretched arm and falls down to the streets, hitting the pavement hard with his back. He twitches a bit, trying to recover control. But the cyborg needs a minute.

Skullbuster squad, however, remains more or less intact and they charge towards Banner and Sage, who seem to be trying to cover each other. Of course that is not working very well, and although Skullbuster's blast might miss them there are five other cyborgs firing bullets with large firearms.


"I do though," Banner answers Sage, tone frustrated. His frustration spikes, his anxiety starting to launch into an angry self-loathing. The green fluxes in up through his neck and cheeks, but he takes a breath, and suppresses it automatically, and it fades back down with a tremble through his limbs. He turns aside and pushes his back against the locked door, making himself a narrower target and easier for Sage to cover, and bonks his head backwards on the door twice: quick little self-punishments.

The group would be better off with Hulk, clearly; Bruce really is not any good. And with that fractured, awful emotion, Hulk takes over. The locked door gets ripped aside as the Hulk transformation comes on with a low, predatory growl, and muscle mass erupts in an angry surge. Much of it is hidden in the demolished angry assault on the wall and doorway, as a tantrum is thrown: an expression and outlet of all of the tightly held emotions turning into rage.

The monster now is gaining size, though, and rapidly becomes damn obvious. Particularly so when he pauses and turns towards Sage, eyes darkened, bits of wreckage clinging to bare green upper muscular torso, broad hands curled into loosened fists.


"I was doing fine!" Rachel intones to Illyana, though the red-head /is/ thankful that Magik managed to do what she did, Ray wasn't sure if she could keep her shielding up any longer. Sage's comment on taking their skulls out? Well, Rachel has a kind of knee-jerk reaction to killing, then again, are these things man or machine? A moral debate she'll have to have with herself later. As it is, Sage and Banner seem to be in trouble, something that Rachel's moving to interceded and help with when …

"SON OF A <lost in static>. The nerd is The freaking Hulk!? SErOIUSLY!?" That comes from Rachel's surprise when Banner becomes a giant green monster. A giant green Hulk monster. "Who the, what the.. how the.. why the.." And for Rachel? She's a little lost for words right now. She had no idea. None. Zero. That's pretty much it for Rachel right now. Hovering in mid-air, shielding about her, and eyes upon the jolly green giant.


Sage's voice was most certainly irritated now, "I believe you are missing the point, Scion. I am not the one that needs practice at this." Sage's predictive analysis kicked in as she moved, vector and probability analysis allowing her to move her body to avoid the incoming bullets, blasts of psionic energy lanced out towards the cyborgs attacking her. What bullets she did not avoid, she simply ignored, her nerve ending turned off so that she would not feel the damage done to her. As she caught the sight of Banner transforming out of the edge of her vision, spinning away as she saw the Hulk move out to return the favour, allowing Sage to use him as a meatshield. "Good to see you, Hulk."


"Fine, next time I'll let them shoot you." Illyana shoots back, in a huffy tone that Rachel will probably realise isn't genuine, while she looks for more targets. The Reavers seem fully occupied with the X-Men, so she's pretty sure she can take a break from herding civilians. A flicker of silver-white light as a portal snaps open and closed, and Illyana's redeployed herself to where things are hottest. Right as the Hulk makes his dramatic entrance.

Illyana's eyes go wide, but Rachel's loud and extended expression of shock gives Illyana a second to recover her composure before she can be caught gaping like some slack-jawed yokel. "Well." She drawls. "You're a LOT more interesting than I thought." Illyana flicks on her comms. "Lorna? If you ever get bored with Marcos, this one would go great with your hair." Enjoying herself far too much, Illyana dives quickly through another stepping disk.

Now she's out of the way of the Hulk, and has a good vantage point for what happens next.


The Hulk stares at Sage, and her welcome. He snorts one breath through his nose at her peevishly, which is his version of as cheerful a 'hello' as she's bound to get at all. "Fake room, /fake/ enemies," Hulk complains in distain of the whole of the Danger Room situation, stalking out into the middle of things with an entirely fearless manner.

Yes, he'll probably get a lot of things fired at him for stomping out there like that. But that is often the objective for the rage machine. "Hulk not fooled." He ignores the comments about matching Lorna's hair, for some reason. Matching fashion isn't Hulk's thing, maybe.


A look of irritation flashed over Lorna's features as she flew higher and away from the buildings to make sure there were no repeats of the climbing and snatching incident with Pretty Boy and his group. She huffed a breath, lowering her arms with a pained exhale when Illyana reappeared near to her. Her gaze flickered down at the Hulk, and at Rachel's freak out and back. She made a face.

"No thanks. Though he might be up your alley, Magik. He'd be able to handle anything Limbo could throw at him I bet." She drawled back, her gaze narrowing as she glanced around the streets of Mutant Town below.

"Nate, I really think our time would be better spent in actual Mutant Town.. you know, helping the injured and shit. Making a plan to lure out those assholes that attacked and making sure it doesn't happen again."


"Oh yeah," confirms Nate, eyeing the Hulk. "He is. And he also needs to get used to the team, last time he almost trampled Hope."

Skullbuster's squad have also seen the green giant, but they assume he is a mutant and so they pepper his back with high caliber bullets. Which might even be slightly painful for the Hulk. Skullbuster's plasma blasts definitely are irritating.

"Now you have the Hulk at your side I think we better ramp up the opposition. After all you have already taken out half the Reavers. Lets keep this fair," which in Nate-speaks means he is going to be totally unfair, of course. "Computer, give me a couple of the largest, meanest Sentinels in the archives," he commands with a grin.

And two fifty feet tall Sentinels appear a few yards over the streets of Mutant Town. One of them swats Rachel off the sky with a backhand, as if she was a fly. Then the hundred ton machines land with a resounding crunch, shattering nearby windows, and one of them immediately tries to step on Hulk.

"Oh man. I remember those. They guarded the Sentinel factory in Genosha," comments Nate. "I had no idea someone had programmed simulation of them. They gave us a hell of a fight back then."


"No." Sage's voice was completely dead of emotion, as she stepped away from the Hulk and lowered her weapons, not even bothering to avoid the bullets heading her way now settling her weight so that she was not immediately bowled over by the force of the impact. . "This is ridiculous, Scion. We are not here to scratch your itches. We have work that needs to be done, and it isn't in this fantasy land."


Illyana snorts at Lorna's suggestion, then a fine line creases her brow thoughtfully. "Don't give me ideas, Polaris." She emphasises the codename, she doesn't always bother to use them. "If he doesn't like fake enemies, he might like REAL demons. And I have SO MANY that I'd like him to smash." Illyana glances over at Lorna with a grin, blue eyes bright with evil thoughts…

…and then a Sentinel swats Rachel, and all thoughts of reconquering Limbo via the Hulk get put on the back burner. The word that Illyana says is spoken in a particularly nasty demonic dialect that grates on the nerves of anyone in earshot. There's a brilliant flare of light, and Illyana vanishes. If she can get a stepping disc in front of Rachel she will, otherwise she'll catch her when she falls. Either way, she's taken out of the fight along with the redhead.


Illyana snorts at Lorna's suggestion, then a fine line creases her brow thoughtfully. "Don't give me ideas, Polaris." She emphasises the codename, she doesn't always bother to use them. "If he doesn't like fake enemies, he might like REAL demons. And I have SO MANY that I'd like him to smash." Illyana glances over at Lorna with a grin, blue eyes bright with evil thoughts…

…and then a Sentinel swats Rachel, and all thoughts of reconquering Limbo via the Hulk get put on the back burner. The word that Illyana says is spoken in a particularly nasty demonic dialect that grates on the nerves of anyone in earshot. There's a brilliant flare of light, and Illyana vanishes. If she can get a stepping disc in front of Rachel she will, otherwise she'll catch her when she falls. Either way, she's taken out of the fight along with the redhead.


Hulk is stepped on. BLAM. Because he didn't move. There's a pause, because his body at that power level needed a little bit to come out of the stun related to being slammed that hard, but then a series of guttural roars of absolute hatred come. The danger room may indeed be fake, but has successfully pissed off the Hulk. Not that that's difficult.

There isn't much plan, though, other than to squeeze and rip and beat the hell out of the Sentinel leg that mushed him flat on the ground. Hulk's strength climbs. He's very very loud, and very attractive as a general target. The high caliber bullets rip across him, encouraging the anger growth, his healing catching up. Assaults do that.

If the goal was to get Hulk out of control in an efficient way, that's probably a success. But Hulk comes with a lot of collateral, which may come in the form of a huge Sentinel impacting the scenery or friends or foes or whatever.


Nate woahs as Hulk manages to toss away the Sentinel as if it was almost nothing. He certainly seems to be as powerful as they say. However it is Sage's voice what gives him pause. "Alright. Computer freeze."

Which means everything goes quiet. And the Sentinel hangs out there, in the air, about to crash with a building. "This is not supposed to be scratching any itch. This was supposed to be training and finding out facts at once. Maybe it is not working." They do have an irritated Hulk too, but perhaps a lack of hostiles will calm him. "It has been a while since we trained as a team, though. And I think we will need more sessions soon."


If Sage's injuries had faded when the program shut down, she did not seem to notice it. Instead she simply remained where she was, her voice still emotionless, "You cannot do both things at once, Scion. Expect people to fight against increasingly impossible odds and also expect them to have a conversation as if they were sitting around a dinner table. If you want them to be effective, do one or the other." Sage placed her guns back at her hips, as she approached Hulk, who was still very green and very angry, "Hulk…may I ask you something?"


Hulk is very disoriented by the sudden lack of enemies. He fumes in place at first, trying to orient, but he was in the middle of smashing, and it's like they all teleported away. Hulk glares over his shoulder at Sage, but doesn't tell her no.


"Hey, you noticed right away they were fake," says Nate, flying down and landing close to Hulk. "Which was… good eye. They are quite realistic." Then again Banner knew they were in the Danger Room. But Nate is not sure if Hulk shares all the knowledge. "Although they can't really hurt the people here, so it is a good way to learn to fight in a group."

Sage gets a brief shrug. Maybe she was right. In truth she was the only one able or willing to speak about the current problem; and Nate got the impression Rachel had things to say. "Next time we will do it your way," he offers.


Sage continued to approach the Hulk, seeming entirely unafraid of what he could do to her. But then, she had mastered the art of the poker face. "Hulk…the game is over. May I…speak to Doctor Banner now?" Sage was no Betsy, she had neither the psychic ability to soothe the creature nor the personal connection to him to bridge the gap betwee her abilities and his rage. "They weren't real, Hulk and I'm sorry about that." She glanced over as Nate alighted on the ground beside her.


"Nooooooo," Hulk says peevishly to Sage, like a child asked if he'd like to stop having ice cream. He would like more ice cream, not less, silly person. "Hulk could break fake room," Hulk informs them, looking pointedly at the emptied danger room walls, and floor. It's a sort of irritable brag that isn't entirely a threat. Hulk doesn't generally threaten, he states facts as he sees them. "Fake enemies dumb. But little bit fun." So there.

They're stuck with a Hulk for a while, but the disorientation of losing all obvious enemies has toned him down for the moment.


"Alright. Would you like a few more fake enemies then? So you can have a bit of fun before we see Doctor Banner?" Even Sage understood that it was not fair to force him to come out and then…leave him hanging. She glanced over at Nate. "If you would like to set the room, I can stay in here with him until he feels more…himself."


"Sure thing. I have the right program for some fun, too," because of course. Not all of Nate's 3 am Danger Room session were completely dead serious. "Computer, give us the pirates simulation number six. Uh, access code 98276."

They are now in a beach, a sunny, tropical beach. "You have fun, there will be a pirate attack in about ten minutes. Ah, maybe zombie pirates. It is random." But Nate walks out.


Sage nodded, "Thank you." And then turned to Hulk, "Looks like you're up, Hulk."

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