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17 May 2007 The Yard The clouds are slowly building in the far… - Peter's Ponderings

About 17 May 2007 The Yard The clouds are slowly building in the far…

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17 May 2007
The Yard


The clouds are slowly building in the far distance, though they remain white and fluffy. However, the temperature is cooler that yesterday, and Jubilee has resorted back to jeans and a long-sleeved, if thin, t-shirt that sports a phrase about dreaming and that being the only place you'd have a chance in pink glitter. She sits on the edge of the porch, her back to a piller, and one leg dangling off the side of the porch to kick at the taller grass growing along the steps. A piece of paper is in her hands, but she's not paying it any attention, focused instead on watching one of the gym classes go through stretches for a morning run, walk, or fly around the grounds.

Though Piotr's intentions are clear, leaving the mansion with a sketchbook under his arm and a box of watercolours in his hand, he is clearly vague on the subject of his specific destination, and so it is with a smile that he spots Jubilee and changes his course just slightly to bring himself next to her. He does not announce his presence in more than the fact that two metres of large Russian cannot help announcing his presence, however much quieter his footsteps are than might be expected, until he is beginning to sit down next to her. "Jubilee. How are you?"

Jubilee makes clear she is aware of his presence by moving her other foot so he can sit down. "Hey, Petes," she greets with a crooked smile as she folds the paper, which looks like a print out of grades to someone familiar with official Emerson papers. She lifts her hip and slides it under her cheek, sitting on it to pin it in place. As soon as Peter sits down, she maneuvers her foot around his handful and plops it on his leg.

Somehow, there is not a great deal of surprise in Piotr's expression at being used as footrest, and instead he cocks a curious eyebrow at that piece of paper: clearly, he is interested in its contents, but just as clearly, he is not going to ask should Jubilee want to keep it private. "It is odd having so much free time all of a sudden, yes?" he asks, his voice mildly wry. "You and Rogue are doing well?"

"Uh-huh" she answers affirmatively, and returns a curious look of her own at the sketchpad. "I'm just glad the semester's over. I think we maybe all kinda need this summer vacation. You plannin' on gettin' lots o' paintin' in?"

"You are certainly right," Piotr agrees with a heartfelt nod and a flash of a weary expression that is rarely allowed to surface, quickly replaced with another smile. "I already have been," he admits, putting down the watercolours and fetching the sketchbook into his hands to rest it on Jubilee's foot and flick through the pages quickly. There are a lot of landscapes in various media, and a somewhat disproportionate amount of pictures of Kitty and Illyana.

Jubilee watches the flickering pages with a wary, idle interest and shifts a bit in place, then leans over to pull one of the longish weeds from the shaded grass in the crook of step and porch and starts to peel it. "Ro's gonna get cabin-fever real soon, the way she's been bouncing all aorun' the place. I swear, she's acting more twelve than twenty."

It is a difficult expression that forms on Piotr's face, a mix between a fond, sympathetic smile and something decidedly more guarded. "I think she has a fair excuse," he ventures, which seems like an appropriate thing to say. "Though of all places to be kept, this is perhaps the very best."

Jubilee's crooked smile straightens somewhat and she laughs lightly, squeezing the weed's head between her fingers. "Yeah. It's nice ta be home. Don't even want ta think about next semester." A smallish, gray head peeks out from underneath the porch and Jubilee drops the edge of the weed down for Charlie to bat at. "You goin' on the camping trip with Logan an' the others?" she asks, changing the topic suddenly.

"I have not been asked to, though I would be happy to if they did need another to help out," Piotr says, accepting the shift in topic with good cheer and his usual earnest willingness ringing clearly in his answer. "Are you going? It will be quiet around here with so many people away." It is with a little turn for the thoughtful that he says this. "I wonder if Illyana is going, she has not said. Perhaps if not, it would be a good time for us to visit home."

"Nah. Nature is nice an' all, as long as it's behind some glass," is her verdict on the trip. "'sides, I'm stayin' put as long as Rogue has to too. I wonder who all's gonna be left... We oughta do somethin'."

Piotr laughs at Jubilee's opinion on nature and its proper place, looking around him at their verdant surroundings with an appreciative satisfaction, and then back to his friend, raising a wry eyebrow. He does not, however, comment. "Uh." That was the uneasy sound of Piotr contemplating the outcome of any activity involving both him and Rogue. "Like what?"

"I dunno. Somethin'. Maybe a movie marathon or somethin'. Or maybe a game. Been a long time since we've had an all-school game. Though I guess the whole school'd have to be here to make it all-school." Jubilee is oblivious or indifferent to Piotr's discomfort. Charlie attack her shoe and she lifts the kitten hanging onto her ankle off the ground.

"A game would be a wonderful idea," Piotr says enthusiastically, latching on eagerly to the offered way out. "Perhaps we could have it ready as a surprise for after the students come back from the trip." He pauses, considers, and then amends, "For a few days after they come back from the trip, after they have had time to rest. Maybe even later. They will perhaps be sick of being outside for a while after that. Or we could do it in the Danger Room, I suppose."

Jubilee snorts and sticks her tongue out. "You better not let Scott here ya say that. 'The Danger Room is not a place for fun and games. It is a valuable but dangerous training tool, and should be taken seriously at all times,'" she singsongs in a mimicry of their fearless leader. "Anyways, we'd not all actually /fit/ in there very well. Remember the capture the flag game couple years ago?"

A vague look of consternation forms on Piotr's face at the mockery of Scott, followed by a look of sheepish embarrassment. "Did you see the DVD of the pirate game that Kitty put together?" he asks, then looks even more embarrassed and hurries back to Jubilee's question. "I do, yes. It was one of the last times I was at the school before I went back home."

Jubilee grins in shared conspiracy. "I did. I don't know /how/ you guys got him to okay /that/ one, but I don't think you can ask Jeannie to mind-whammy him again." Charlie is deposited on the step next to Piotr's foot.

"You know, Scott does not /dislike/ fun," Piotr says, hurrying to the defense of the man that even he is aware he is not entirely unlike. "But yes, with the weather getting warmer with every day, it would be best to do it outside anyway. Perhaps we can have a barbeque by the lake after the game, yes?" Hello Charlie, says Piotr's large foot with a gentle nudge. How are you?

"Oh, I know. He just can't relax enough to /have/ any," Jubilee says, deflecting the defense by turning to the topic at hand. "That'd be fun. But what should we /do/? Think the professored faint if we tried playin' hide and go seek in the mansion?" she grins.

Perhaps not faint. Wince, more likely. A wince that is an accurate mirror of the one that crosses Piotr's face at the idea. "In the grounds would be better," he suggests, slowly and diplomatically. "There are more places to hide, yes? And--" here he grins, "perhaps that way I would have a chance of not being found in the first five minutes."

"Aw, you just don't want Cassy or me crawlin' into our hideyholes and so totally winning the game," Jubilee teases. "You /know/ you'd never be able to find us. Though, speakin' of findin' people... We have any powers we'd /need/ to limit?"

"I would not," Piotr admits ruefully. "Although I seem to find Cassy quite often by accident. If you want to hide in the cupboards these days, you will have to check first that she is not inside them." He pauses and purses his lips. "Finding Timothy could be quite difficult," he suggests, "although Logan could probably do it. Catching /Kurt/ would be impossible."

Jubilee laughs and pulls her foot from Piotr's lap, swinging it around so that both feet dangle over the side. She reaches over to tickle Charlie and scares the gangly kitten between the steps and back under the porch. "Maybe we can make a rule that says that he has to at least touch the ground 'fore transportin'. Or sic Storm or Jay on him."

"Or stop him from teleporting more than a few feet," Piotr suggests, grinning wryly. "Or simply make him the seeker. He might like that, although I could see a few people getting the frights of their lives as he suddenly appears in the middle of their carefully chosen hiding places."

Jubilee leans back and kicks up into a shoulder roll that lands her on her knees farther onto the porch. "That might be perfect! I'll go see if I can find him. And get permission at the same time," she says with a wink. Getting permission for something like this would be far easier from Kurt than say, Scott.

Piotr grins into a silent laugh, applauding Jubilee's feat of nimble acrobatics as he reaches for his sketchbook and paints and pulls himself to his feet in a far more mundane manner involving pulling his feet up to the porch and then standing on them. "I will see you later, then. Tell me if you find him?"

"Ayup!" Jubilee rises to her feet too and spins to turn into the main door, already intent on her mission.

"Take care," Piotr bids her with a grin and a wave that goes unseen as he heads off in the opposite direction, out into the midst of nature. He may be prematurely scouting out hiding places. Maybe.
 
Chaos is in the offing. Piotr attempts to moderate it.

17 May 2007
The Danger Room


The room echoes. Or at least it would if Jubilee were doing anything more than stretching. Kevlar and leather protect her from the chill of the floor she's sitting on, curled over butterflied feet.

Bobby has his hands half clasped, half stretched behind his back as he enters, which makes his gait a little lop-sided and awkward. Ah well.

Now the room echoes, this time with the footfalls of Piotr, unarmoured though he currently is. He offers Jubilee and Bobby a smile and a nod and reaches a hand over to his opposing shoulder, though it looks more like he is working a little stiffness out of the muscular joint than that he is actually attempting a serious stretching routine. "Good evening."

Jubilee looks up and offers a small smile over her shoulder at the entering pair. "So we're it tonight? Anyone else on the schedule for tonight we need ta wait for?" she asks as she climbs to her feet.

"Not that I know of," Bobby says, switching his stretch from his back to his front. He leans back as he does. Ummmhf.

"It is just us," Piotr confirms with the certainty of one who checks and memorises schedules far too often, letting his hand drop and not bothering with the other shoulder at all.

Jubilee scratches the side of her neck and looks up at the comsys room, squinting her eyes to see if anyone is in there monitoring yet.

Bobby stops stretching for the purpose of scratching his wrist and humming distractedly. He's looking at the floor.

Somewhere, a light flips on. It is a very nice light. Blue. No, wait. Purple. It is a purple light.

It hums.

"Danger Room active," says the voice of the computer. Majel Barrett: the pockets of Xavier School are deep, indeed. "Scenario 1352730-A loading. Please stand by." Somewhere in the control room, a bald man in a wheelchair rolls into place behind a panel. It requires no imagination whatsoever to identify him.

Piotr experimentally armours up. Purple gleams off silver. Then he makes a little jump, powering down again as his feet leave the floor and landing in a split second of transition where the steel is retreating from his body. It lacks some of his usual fluidity of movement, but works. He settles himself into readiness to wait for something to happen.

Bobby swings his arms out in what resembles another stretch initially, but then ice is gathering on his limbs and chest. And taking its sweet time. "Watch," he asides (rather generally for an aside), "it's going to be all about espoinage. In a city park."

"Ooo. Then you can totally show us how it's done, huh, Popsicle?" Jubilee taunts as she backs away from the other two. Spread out! Scott's tactical drills do penetrate. Eventually.

More lights flick on, flooding the Danger Room in a flash of color that hazes its way through impermanent environments -- Central Park, a dog show, a medieval theme park -- and then coalesces, finally, into a familiar room. The Blackbird's cabin. Imagine that.

"Scenario loaded," the computer says in a melting, come-hither voice. "Safeties engaged. The Captain has activated the fasten seatbelt sign. Please be seated and--"

Clouds whip by outside the window. Logan sits in the pilot seat. This is hardly comforting. "Fuck," says he. "What does this button do? We're almost there, kids. Get ready. Goddammit."

With barely a raised eyebrow, Piotr takes a seat and does indeed fasten the seatbelt around him. There is, however, something of a look of helpless amusement on his face, carefully tempered and absolutely not manifesting laughter.

"Better believe I can. I'm stealth master." Bobby shakes his arns and the ice wanes off of them in a series of drips. He sits, he fastens, he is so jazzed. Grinning, even.

Jubilee backs into the cockpit door and startles. "Wha-?" The cursing catches her attentiona nd she doesn't immediately go to find her seat.

The Blackbird banks sharply, hurtling downwards: too fast, too steep, too abrupt for comfort. Through the whip of dissipating mist, San Francisco's Bay bridge materializes in a rapidly growing miniature. It is a two-layered edifice, traffic flying one way on one level, the other direction handled by the level directly beneath.

Not today.

A fire is blazing in the center of the bridge, its origin a tanker (two tankers? three?) crumpled and melting in the very center of rush hour congestion. Tiny motes, people escaped from cars closest to the conflagration, rush away towards safety -- a safety too far for even the more frantic of feet. The top layer of the bridge is melting. Already, metal and concrete begins to sag, drooping like taffy pulled too far.

Logan swears viciously and hauls at the controls. They snap off, slamming him back into his seat. "Oh," he says. It is possible he sounds a bit chagrined. "Well ... shit. Uh. You guys have your seatbelts on, right?"

Piotr's eyes go rather wider than is their custom and he breathes a word of Russian that, in context, probably sounds ruder than it actually is. He holds tight to the edge of the seat.

Jubilee topples sideways! EEEk! Ow! She hits the side of the plane and slides to the floor. "NO!" She is braced though, with a foot hastily jammed against a seat and a hand hanging onto something or other.

Bobby is sitting up very high in his seat in a kind of anticipation mixed with a definite suspicion of Logan's piloting abilities-- which only increases. "Oh boy." Bobby tightens his shoulders and /latches/ onto those restraints with his hands.

There is no time for Logan to reply; the water, hurtling towards them, glints sharp silver. A split second later, the Blackbird slams into the bay, nose first. The shock is violent, and vicious; the airplane skips once, careening sickly, then slams down again before shuddering to a stop. If you can call sinking a stop.

The shock is enough to jar Jubilee's brace loose and she bounces up, comes down hard on her tailbone, then starts sliding and tumbling past the seat.

It is perhaps inelegant, the way Piotr grabs hold of Jubilee and, armouring up, pulls her rather hurriedly into his lap and wraps his arms around her protectively. Still, better a few pulled muscles than massive head trauma. And then there is impact, and whatever questions he may have been intending to ask as to her wellbeing are curtailed in the general attempt not to yell.

Bobby lets go of his restraints with a whooshing loss of breath and hangs more than settles for a moment. Then he swings toward Jubilee, but Piotr's beat him to it and is rather more effective. He grits his teeth and hangs on.

The windowshield is cracked, an opening for the water that rapidly begins to piss into the cabin. The air is sharp with salt. It is not only seawater: blood sprays the inside of the cabin in a fine, sticky mist of red. Its origin is Logan, impaled through the stomach by the cracked controls. Smoke blurs the glass, already difficult to see through for the thick web of fractures.

Some distance overhead, slightly forward and to the right, the Bay Bridge cheerfully continues to burn -- and melt, lest we forget. Something inhuman groans. Bridge or airplane: at this point, it is difficult to tell. The Blackbird begins to list to one side, settling into the water.

Jubilee clings to Piotr's arm as the whole plane starts to tilt. Quick, quick. Logan'll heal. They need help. "Bobby! Bobby! Ice!" Ice floats, right?

There is that word of Russian again as Piotr lets Jubilee free from the lock of his arms and makes a jab for the release button of his harness. "Get yourselves out," he says, but instead of attempting to follow his own advice his aim is forwards to fetch Logan and rescue the grusome spectacle the impaled man makes from the spitting onrush of the water.

Bobby has to fumble himself loose, and then he's sliding off the seat more than pulling himself off. Thunk, he goes against the seat beyond. Which happens to be blood and water drenched at the moment. And the water nearest him freezes. The chair frosts over first, in white patches, and then about a fourth of the spray. Not enough of course. "I'll try to make a tunnel or something," he shouts.

Logan is dead. No getting around that. The steering column is thoroughly wedged into his torso, piercing under his rib cage and shearing close to the spine before emerging with part of a kidney dangling from its end. Something groans again. Already the corner of the windowshield is submerged six inches deep, and it reacts to the pressure by cracking further. The thin streams of water needling into the cabin broaden, joined by larger daggers of wetness.

Belatedly, emergency lights blink on. A ribbon of red lines the aisle to steer vagrant feet towards the emergency exits.

Logan being dead is not necessarily an insurmountable obstacle. At any rate, it does not stop Piotr from continuing to attempt a path forwards to him and yanking him unceremoniously free from the spear he is stuck on. "Go!" he calls, helpfully. "Go!"

"Piotr, you're our hole man. Aren't you?" Bobby is straining and more of the water ices over. And, alas, everything that flicks on Bobby freezes solid, which is going to get dangerous real fast. "Or Jubilee? Blast something!"

"Oh! Right!" Jubilee slips in a slick of water and floating debris and stumbles forward agaisnt a chair back before she can get enough purchase to brace and lift her hands. She aims at the ceiling, stops, looks out the window, then reconsiders and aims for the curing side which is now more upright than the ceiling. A large hole appears shortly thereafter.

"Out!" Piotr calls, bracing himself against the back of a chair as the impact of Jubilee's fireworks rocks the unlucky Blackbird but does, indeed, create an escape. --An escape, however, that is rapidly becoming an entry point for water. "Go, go!"

Bobby unbalances into a fall, and is scrambling the best he can toward the new hold, if his movements our hampered by his own power. He shuts it all down. And slides back into the wall. Next time, he manages a little better. "You too, Piotr!" he calls as he struggles.

Jubilee monkey climbs seats and dangling wires to reach the edge of the hole, which is still warm and sharp. It's a hard jump to get up high enough to get her arms over the edge of the hole and pull herself up, but the outside is almost as dangerous as the inside, wet and slick and shifty.

Piotr is on his way out too, making slightly better progress than Bobby. He reaches the area by the hole and, loathe though he is to do it, drops the limp form of Logan and offers a hand out towards Bobby to help him closer, and thereafter to help him up and out.

Bobby waves off the hand and tries to follow Jubilee's lead, gymnist type that he is definitely not. He leaps for a wire and hooks two fingers over it. Very precarious, but his momentum carries him through. Now, if only he can actually grab the edge of the hole before he drops.

His initial offer of assistance refused, Piotr does not bother to offer this time. He sets his enormous hand beneath Bobby's feet to give him a floor to push off of that is every bit as stable as the floor beneath himself, not that that is saying a great deal as the plane continues to rock unsteadily, protesting loudly all the way.

Jubilee's fingers squeak on the metal as she tries to hold herself in place as near the hole as possible. There's not much assistance she can offer, but a hand is available.

Bobby takes the floor. (Really, he's not going to leap off of it.) Floor taken, he slides himself nextish to Jubilee and freezes his hands to the side of the plane. When you can't freeze the ocean, freeze the nearest helpful puddle.

With Bobby up, Piotr next lifts Logan as high as he can towards the hole, calling to the others, "Help me get him out." Of course, the man weighs somewhat more than Piotr himself when unarmoured, so that might be an interesting proposition, but short of throwing him out this is the best he can do.

Something goes boom nearby. /Not/ the airplane, which can only serve as a limited comfort, as instead of exploding, the inside of the Blackbird starts to smoke heavily. Something inside has caught on fire: sympathy pains for the bridge that nearby. Overhead, (not /directly/ over head, but near enough that one can look up and see the underbelly of the damned thing) and not so far up as all that, the upper layer of the Bay Bridge crumbles and begins a slow, graceful collapse onto the lower layer. Several cars are crushed and explodes. And screams, higher pitched than the detonations themselves, float across the water on invisible birds' wings.

Sorry, Pete. There is no way Jubilee can manage Logan's weight. The collapse overhead catches her breath away and she looks up, fearful. "Crap. There's no way we can get up there," she says, looking back at Bobby.

"I could," Bobby gasps, looking at Logan with a sad kind of helplessness, and back at the bridge. With another sad kind of helplessness. "Maybe make an ice bridge. To way up there."

With a sound of a grunt that is somewhere between apology and despair and nowhere near anything intelligible, Piotr hurls Logan out of the hole to land sprawled on the slick surface of the jet, and follows after him, launching himself with the strength of armoured legs that turn back to flesh as he leaves the ground to better allow him to pull himself up without crumpling the metal beneath him.

Poor Logan. So little concern for him. "There's people up there. They've got to get off." Way to state the obvious, Jubes. "You really think you can?"

Smoke pours after them, acrid and bitter, hugging the skin of the plane as it slowly sinks beneath them. The machine rocks as water displaces air; waves, choppy, spray at them with bitter nibbles of cold. The disaster above is already drawing boats, tourist cruises and smaller, personal boats diverted from their original courses so their passengers can gape: at the bridge nearby; at the sinking plane.

Another explosion above. Herded precipitously towards the edge by the crush and sprawl of disaster, a red Pontiac hurtles over the bridge to plummet down twenty yards away.

"Uh." Sure, doubtless. Bobby takes a deep breath and ice does start to rise from the waves. It'll be a while. It's a tiny portion of a bridge and Bobby's already sweating.

It takes a moment for Piotr to get himself up onto the side of the plane and into a position where he can take a proper look at their situation. "Bobby," he says quickly. "Stop. We are better getting to the shore and seeing if we can help to get people away. We will not make it there in time. Get away from the jet."

Jubilee cringes at the car, even if it clearly misses. There's not a lot for an explosive's girl to do at the moment aside from knocking stray bits of debris out of the way.

Bobby tries a little longer, and his muscles strain visibly, although, technically, they have nothing to do with the process. But Bobby is tired. And Bobby slides into the water.

To swim, not to drown!

The car goes boom. So does a lot of other things.

Well. You know. Plane crash. Exploding bridge. It sort of begs for it.

As though obeying its cue, a small cutter begins to slice through the water towards them, a small crowd of civilian pleasure-seekers agog on the prow. "/Hey!/" shouts a man in a blue windbreaker. He waves wildly, excitement windmilling his arms. "You guys need a ride?"

"What about Logan?" Jubilee asks, working at her shoes to loosen them. Her attention is pulled away by the cutter's arrival.

"Please!" Piotr calls back, looking after Bobby with concern that is quickly satisfied as it is clear that he is swimming, not drowning, and then turns his attention back to Logan. "Our --" pause "-- friend is --" pause "--hurt."

He's a freakin' shishkabob," Jubilee mutters under her breath."

"Yes," Bobby says, sidling his shoulder up by the plane side for balance. Gaspy, gasp.

"Holy shit," the man says. "You're /silver/. --He's silver. You see that? Maybe it's some kind of freak accident--"

Another thing goes boom. With a small blink, the simulation disappears, San Francisco's bay replaced by the clean, hard lines of the Danger Room.

"Simulation is complete," Majel Barrett says in her dulcet croon. "Danger Room doors have been unlocked. Have a nice day."

Jubilee drops a little as her support falls away, and it is only then that she realizes her tail-end /hurts/. A lot. "OW!"

"Ugh." Bobby slumps. Less painfully, but certainly exhaustomondo and so forth. He runs the back of his hand across his forehead. And then he laughs. "That was pretty freaking graphic!"

Piotr, by turn, clangs. It is rather noisy. He looks up less than cheerfully and mutters an automatic, "Sorry."

Jubilee winces and starts to limp to the door. "I am going to the medbay. If anyone needs to yell at me for this session, you can find me there." she announces to one and all and dramatically swans out the door. Woosh.

Bobby glances at Jubilee and the glance becomes more sustained, a little concerned. And then he kind of laughs again. "They've been turning up the heat, haven't they?"

"True indeed," Piotr agrees, hauling himself to his feet and brushing an imagined speck of Logan-gore from his uniform before powering down and becoming flesh again with a slightly weary expression, for all that physically he is in fine shape. "I have a feeling the debriefing after this will be a long one."
 
A fun little DR scenario.
 
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