|Practice Under Duress|
|What: While Jocelyn is practicing her powers, Illyana and Cypher arrive and help her with her training, in a most creative way.|
It's mid-afternoon, and Jocelyn has spent most of the day doing powers practice and some time in the gym, once she finally found the place. She's currently outdoors because she wants to do some practice with her energy that might require a bit more space than most rooms she has access to can provide. So she's found herself some random sticks and set them up about fifty feet away and is busy pulling in energy and launching blasts of kinetic energy at the sticks to knock them over. So far she hasn't had an accident, but she has failed at pulling in enough energy or even just summoning the blast at times, so it is definitely a work in progress for the newest student. If the weather is bothering her, she isn't really showing it. Having grown up in Detroit, she's used to the weather being rather variable and difficult at times, so it isn't as though winter is that much of a problem for her.
After a meeting with Professor Xavier regarding whether he'd found the answers he was looking for out there, and being uncertain, Doug Ramsey had much to ponder. Whether SHIELD was the answer or not, however, Doug had to agree with the Professor - he was most comfortable with the Xavier Institute, whether or not he actually -was- one of them. But was that comfort a good thing? And what would he -do-?
Coming across Jocelyn practicing, Doug stops to watch, tilting his head as he observes the ongoing attempts at knocking down a particle, and observing just how her body language and posture worked in exercising her powers... noticing just what her body was saying when it managed to expel her energy burst, and when it wasn't.
"Relax a bit more when you try that," Doug finally chimes in, offering a grin. Unsolicited or not, Doug's body language and tone was at least communicating that he was trying to be helpful.
Next to Doug there's a sudden flare of light, a two-dimensional disk opening at about six feet above the ground and falling down as though it had weight. In its wake from the top side of the disk Illyana comes into sight, arms crossed and hip cocked. She's dressed casually for her not that Jocelyn (who's new) or Doug (who hasn't seen her much as an adult) would recognize that it's one extreme of her wardrobe. Despite the February weather the Siberian wears a Xavier hoodie over her NYU T-shirt and jeans, sneakers on her feet. She tilts her attention towards Doug even as she's facing Jocelyn who is further away. "Couldn't stay away from home, hmm?"
Jocelyn had been aware of Doug approaching. She noticed the heat energy and glanced his way briefly while he watched, but initially didn't pay him much mind. She didn't mind if someone wanted to watch or not. They might be a teacher or someone else here at the school. It was sometimes hard to tell just who held what rank around here, she was beginning to discover. She continued with her exercises until Doug chimed in, at which point she looked over at him. She is about to comment on it when there is a sudden blinding glare of energy bursting hear her. The girl takes a few hurried steps back and instinctively shifts her feet into an instinctive defensive position from years of living on the street in Detroit before Illyana speaks. She manages to avoid instinctively pulling bits of magical energy into herself as she quickly composes herself. She doesn't want to look foolish in front of the teachers, or who she assumes are teachers. "Umm, what just happened and what is that?" she asks as she points to the portal warily.
There is a start, as Doug, who has not grown used to Illyana's abilities or her maturity, steps back reflexively. It's only a second before he recognizes the other girl, and then he's waving his hands. "Hold on, wait... that's Illyana," Doug says, stepping in without thinking about how she could blast him. "I'm Doug. Doug Ramsey. And uh... Just... it's... a long story. And uh... I just was visiting. And talking to the Professor a bit ago."
He glances at Jocelyn, assesses her body language, and comes up with "Don't worry, I'm not a teacher here." An arched eyebrow at Illyana suggests she might want to fill in the rest here.
Illyana arches a brow as Jocelyn takes those quick steps back and her eyes narrow just a touch, assessingly. Illyana can recognize those that know how to actually fight. "Huh." She says, mostly to herself. "Fresh meat, I'm guessing." She says without too much surprise. The girl's question gets a chuckle. "Stepping disk. I'm a teleporter." After depositing Illyana, the portal has winked out like it never was. Doug's arched eyebrow gets rolled eyes and she adds on for Jocelyn's benefit. "I'm allumnai. Illyana Rasputin. Piotr's sister." She figures even knew, Jocelyn has probably heard of most of the staff.
"I've never seen any energy like that," Jocelyn replies, stepping forward. Her eyes have a slightly far-away look to them, as if she's seeing something others can't. "I'm Jocelyn. New here, as you might have guessed. Sorry, you caught me a bit offguard," she offers by way of apology. "What type of energy is that, if you don't mind my asking?" she questions curiously. Her vision seems to come back into focus once the portal disk disappears. "That makes sense then, allumni visiting," she adds. "Are you an allumni too?" she asks Doug. She's still fairly calm, and doesn't look like she's thinking about punching anyone now that she's decided there isn't an actual threat to her life here.
"Yes, I'm an alumnus," Doug says, offering a friendly smile, relaxing a bit as the tension is defused. "At least, I assume I am... I never, uh, graduated from here officially."
Death had a way of making that difficult.
"Currently, I work for the United Nations." SHIELD, actually, but Doug wasn't volunteering -that- just yet.
Illyana's head tilts over to the side just a bit as she regards the inquisitive Jocelyn. "Well, I'm not really sure. It's a portal to another dimension, but I'm not sure if the portal itself is magical. My mutant power is the ability to control them, but they're kind of a naturally occuring phenomenon where they're from."
"That's quite the job to get after unofficially graduating from here," she says to Doug. "Is it interesting?" She would imagine so, but Jocelyn knows lots of people who hate their jobs. "Another dimension?" Jocelyn asks Illyana next. She almost asks if that would be the fourth or fifth dimension, but remembers seeing a Sci-Fi flick once that talked about dimensions in a different way. That made way more sense. "That's probably why I haven't seen it. I can see and absorb energy, and that was new to me," she explains to Illyana. "If I'd seen magic, I suppose I'd be able to tell you if they're the same or not, but I haven't seen any". She shrugs a little bit at that. She pauses. "I hope I'm not keeping the two of you," she adds hastily, realizing that if there are two graduates here that they probably have important business. Especially with the U.N. representative here.
"Oh, it's been fun. A lot of excitement, a lot of down periods..." Doug smiles, glancing towards Illyana as he studies her. So -that- was her mutant ability. A far cry from the little girl who wanted to be like her big brother when she grew up.
Tilting his head at Jocelyn, Doug shakes his head. "Not at all. Just feeling a bit nostalgic about the place. And watching you train... well, it reminded me of the time Sam was trying to control -his- powers." A grin crosses his face at the memories of the spectacular wipeouts that Cannonball had.
"Maybe I'll show you some time." Illyana says of magic. She's probably one of the few at Xavier's that has any dealings with it. Jocelyn's hasty words get another smirk from the blonde with cold, cold eyes. "No one keeps me." Part assurance, party cocky boast. Doug's trip down memory lane does get a chuckle out of Illyana. "Yeaaaah, I remember after the time he cleaned out the gardening shed with me on his shoulders? Piotr almost blue a gasket."
Having relaxed and determined these two weren't in fact immediate problems, Jocelyn nods to them when they state she isn't keeping them. "Alright, just thought I'd check. Only been here a few days, so I'm still learning the ropes of this place. It's a lot different from home, though most of the people have been pleasent". With certain exceptions, but that couldn't be helped. It happens. "I suppose there are some intereting stories with people trying to control their powers around here," she comments. She hadn't had any crazy events yet, but she'd had minimal time to train. "And that would be great," she adds to Illyana. "If it isn't too much trouble".
"Well, that's the fun of being alumni. We can visit, poke around, and nobody says anything to us. Well, except the professor might..." There's a grin, followed by a shrug. "So Jocelyn, are you here to learn how to control your powers?" There was a glance at the target she was aiming for, and a wry grin. "I think you might be overthinking this a bit."
"Well, yeah. Most people's homes don't have the collective level of weird that accumulates around here." Illyana agrees. "Careful about spending all your time here, though. It'll make you forget what the rest of the world is like."
Jocelyn wasn't actually sure if she was allowed to leave the grounds, to be completely honest. Nobody mentioned that part of it. "Yeah, I'm here to learn how to control them. If I'm not careful, I can accidentally cause explosions," the tall redhead explains. "Which is why I'm outside practicing right now. If I want to draw in more than a little bit of energy, I'd rather the risk be outdoors than inside". It certainly seems more polite, at any rate. "I haven't seen anything too extreme on the weird end. Well, unless you count the guy with the green skin. That was a little odd". She clearly hasn't met some of the more extreme-looking mutants yet. "It's possible I'm overthinking. I was going to try your suggestion, but I let go of the kinetic energy when Illyana appeared," the teen explains.
"Well, yeah, you're tense, and it shows," Doug notes. Body language -was- a language, in any case, just a non-verbal one. And Cypher translated language.
"So once you learn to control it, what do you think'll happen next?" Doug asks, curious. For some, the next step was the secret group, the X-Men. For others, it was leaving home, like the way Doug and Illyana had.
"If you're aiming for control, you probably want to be under more..." Illyana seems to search for a word, looking to Doug. Doug has lots of words! "Duress? Stress. Tension. Learning to cope then, that's what gives you control." Illyana's a trial by fire sort. She's still looking at Doug, who she originally appeared fairly close to anyhow, and takes another step over and starts to go through his pockets. While he's still wearing his clothes.
"Well, before I came here I was working on becoming a professional fighter. MMA or whatever it ends up being called in a couple years," Jocelyn explains. "Not a path I think I can take in good conscious now". Not when she can physically enhance herself to beat pretty much any mundane opponent without effort. "So I'm not really sure? I could stay and teach maybe, or find some way to make a difference with this power. I mean, you have all sorts of stories about dangerous leaks. Maybe I could fit some of that stuff safely?" She'd rather do something useful with her power. She's just not sure what right now. "Both could be right. When you train to fight, you learn some basic techniques while punching a bag or the mitts, but you learn a lot when you spar too". She shrugs. "Either way seems like it might work, though I'd have to have something to put me under duress for the latter". As for the hand to pocket move, Jocelyn raises her eyebrow just slightly, but doesn't tense up too much. She's seen such things before, though usually she associates them with the street and not with alumni at a school.
Sadly, Illyana was not being a pickpocket. At least, Doug didn't think so. He did, however, yelp. "Illyana! What are you... you're not -six years old anymore-! You can't just..." Did she do this with other people, or was this just -him-? Not for the first time, Doug makes a note to grab ahold of Piotr and find out just what the -whole- story was here.
Gently trying to remove Illyana's hands from his pockets, the young blond mutant looks up towards Jocelyn. "Ah. Well, I worked for the United Nations, so it's not just being confined. Although it must be nice to be trained as an MMA. Maybe you can show me some moves sometimes." There was a small smile, as Doug works on disengaging Illyana from his person, followed by a short low whisper for the young sorceress. "What were you looking for? I don't -have- candy in my pockets."
Yeah, pick-pockets are a hell of a lot more subtle. Illyana isn't disuaded by Doug's verbal objects and she wrestles with him a bit as he tries to extricate her hands. "You've always got gum!" She objects but, since he apparently doesn't have what she wants she consoles herself by making a grab for his wallet. He might have interesting things in there! Because really, talking about training powers? Boooooring. "You need duress? No problem!" Illyana says, her attention not really on Jocelyn at the moment. There's that wallet to get ahold of. She makes an absent gesture above Jocelyn's head and a pair of demons, fairly small ones really, fall out of the portal." They actually hit the ground and, if one is fluent in demon expressions, look rather confused. "Sic 'er! Now c'mon, NO gum?" She demands, looking a bit petulent now.
Jocelyn is about to make some incredibly insightful comment. Really. And then there are demons showing up. Or what look like demons to Jocelyn. Or maybe they're just baby demons. She's not going to think too hard about that. They're probably double-bad extra not good. And it was only a couple days ago she was living a completely normal life. These things should probably get fried though. "The hell?!?" The girl jumps back and pulls in a bunch of energy, toughening her skin up in the process. Then she reaches out and grabs at some electricity running over the power lines in the general vicinity. She does move so she's not facing the other two and launches a blast of electricity out of her hand at one of the demons. She doesn't know if they're resistant to electricity or not, but either way, it should give the poor confused demon quite a shock! Hope these demons aren't friends of your's, Illyana. Or pets.
"Oh, -gum-," Doug makes a grab for his wallet, momentarily before the demons appear. Stunned, Doug stares at the demons for a minute before spinning around. "Illyana..." he says in that -way- when trying to scold a younger child. "Put them back!" The how and whys could wait for another time, but since she was acting like a child, she was going to get treated like a child.
At the 'sic 'er' command, the demons, which stand a little over four feet when they get to their feet perk right up. Their expression shift from kinda confused to something dark and nasty and hungry. Tails lashing, the pair move apart a bit and then bound towards Jocelyn with long, sharp teeth bared and thick talon-like claws tearing up the earth. One is caught by that shock blast and tossed backwards, body twitching as the other looks to slam into Jocelyn and take her down to the ground.
Illyana gives a blink at the sharp tone and then, in a very not-childlike manner she scowls. "She wanted duress! They're just *little* demons."
Having not upped her speed yet, or her strength, Jocelyn attempts to sidestep the demon only to only get partly out of the way. Fortunately, her previous enhancement means that unless they can tear through titanium, the thing isn't going to actually cut into her. Hopefully, since it's a little demon, the girl won't be going in for medical treatment today. With the demon being stronger than her currently, however, she gets tackled to the ground with a loud THUD. She summons up some kinetic energy and augments her strength, as while she's rather good at fighting, she knows that no move she makes will get her out of the grip of something this much stronger than her, especially with claws and teeth. She reaches up and attempts to grapple the short creature's neck and crush it. Nothing fancy here, though she could try a fancy move of some type. She just wants the demon dead.
"Try -no- demons. That's not what she meant, and you know it," Doug continues to look at her, ignoring the 'little demons' comment, because he -didn't- want to think about what else she could bring up. "Make them go away, or the professor'll be yelling at us. Now."
Casting a quick look at Jocelyn, Doug was at least gratified to see that her comments about being trained in MMA were backed up by her actions. At least her movements indicated she -could- handle this, even if she was going for the kill blows. Couldn't blame her on that, but...
The first demon has managed to get it's feet under itself, giving that horned head a good shake to try to clear it. Eyes glow red with annoyance and a snarl puts a mouth of teeth that would do a shark proud on display, dripping with saliva.
The demon on Jocelyn's claws scrape over her skin, but won't cut flesh. It makes short, surprised sound as the girl grabs its throat, but that's cut off rather abruptly as Jocelyn starts to crush it.
Illyana sighs, scowling. "N'set! C'leth! Heel." The first demon's gaze cuts over to Illyana at the command, then back over to Jocelyn. It's tail lashes back and forth and there's a long moment when it looks like it might not listen before it finally makes its way over to its blonde mistress. The second demon can't go anywhere, as Jocelyn's choking the life out of it. Illyana arches a brow and looks over to Doug. "Looks like this one'll pull the trigger."
Jocelyn sets the demon down when Illyana calls them off. She does have the presence of mind to hear what is going on around her in a fight. And they gave her inhuman opponents she can't understand which had sharp pointy teeth and claws. Those? Those she'll kill. Humans and humanoids? Whole different story. "Well, someone sics the attack dog on you, killing the dog is regrettable, but sometimes the necessary option," the tall redhead states as she stands. "Grew up on the streets, and there is a pecking order of what warrants what treatment. Things you can't understand with teeth and claws can't really be reasoned with". The girl isn't particularly uncomfortable talking about this fact. She just explains it matter-of-factly. "People, that's a last resort, but an animal can track you down later. And their meat can be cooked," she adds with a wrinkle of her nose. It obviously wasn't a pleasent taste she was remembering.
"Uh... yeah, good," Doug nods in relief at Jocelyn, now giving Illyana another look and an arched eyebrow. "You're supposed to be a -good- girl. Don't do that unless you -have- to..." The whole definition of 'unless you have to' would be tabled for another time.
Letting out a brief sigh, Doug examines the tall redhead, and nods. She didn't seem terribly bothered. He was, of course, -not- going to explain to the student that these demons -didn't- behave like dumb animals, because that would just raise a whole other can of worms.
"Are you all right, Jocelyn?" Doug asks, more of a sense of decorum than of concern.
"Yeah, yeah, quit whining." Illyana says, patting C'leth on the head and scratching it behind one horn briefly, which seems to calm it down a bit. "Later." She tells them, opening portals beneath them and teleporting them back away. The blonde with the cold eyes gestures to Jocelyn. "She's fine. Not even a scratch."
"I'm fine," the girl responds, sounding perhaps a little bit surprised at the fact. She expected more injuries. Jocelyn does frown slightly, however, as she can tell the man is bothered by something. But she had no idea the demons had any sort of reasonable intelligence. Sic has a very specific meaning to someone who grew up in the streets, and there are only a few responses one can give to that command. She's about to say something when she hears the creatures start to talk. Wait. They had intelligence? Another frown appears on her face, a mixture of puzzlement and remorse. She did try to avoid giving serious injury to intelligent beings. "...I think I've got a lot to learn about the way the world actually works," the teen states after a moment.
There was a bit of a look at the demon, before the young blond mutant shakes his head. They were definitely speaking English like it wasn't their native language, but without some words, he wouldn't be able to tell. So instead he motions at the demons, tilting his head. Just go, already, go. Trusting in Illyana's control, obviously, as he turns back towards Jocelyn.
"That's just... uh... wherever these demons come from." A quick glance at Illyana, and then Doug shrugs. "Besides, it sounds like you've already experienced a lot of the world before you came here. It's just a matter of translating what you've learned here to the world out there."
Illyana gives Doug her 'what? me?' face. A little disconcerting with those chilly eyes and he can see through the innocent facade. She's mildly amused, perhaps a bit annoyed.
The blonde sorceress hitches a shoulder in a shrug. "Very little is what it seems." Now there is a very loaded statement. She hooks her thumbs into her back pockets and well, hopefully no one was waiting for an apology.
Jocelyn isn't looking for an apology. It worked, after a fashion, to help with her training. "Thanks for the help, Doug and Illyana". Her tone is genuine. It was helpful. If nothing, it'll boost her confidence if, say, she ever is thrown in over her head on a mission early in her mutant career. "But, I need to get going. I'm supposed to meet with some of the professors soon. I'll see you later," the teen says before she starts making her way back to the mansion.