(2016-11-15) Getting Exercised
Getting Exercised
Summary: We don't ALWAYS blow it up.
Date: 2016-11-15
Related: NA
Scene Runner: NA


A massive dome overhead is completely revealing of the ocean above it. This is a full size gym, with basketball hoops along the walls ready for play. Ropes hanging from a section of that dome ceiling ready to be climbed are tied off to not impede on gym floor activity. Exercise equipment and weights are off to the far end. At anytime the floor can be sectioned off for multiple team games to be played if needed. There are locker rooms for girls and boys to one side and opposite this are wooden bleachers that can be pulled out if needed for spectators. Opposite the bleachers there is a rock climbing wall, that goes right up to the dome itself overhead.

Since her rescue, Tabitha has been discovering that her time being tortured and exposed to eldritch horrors from beyond this universe had some actual benefits as far as her physical and paraphysical development. Of course the best benefit has been no longer needing to sleep, so not only has she avoided dealing with any nightmares (the waking ones are bad enough, thank you) but she's been able to spend most of every night in the company of her equally sleepless girlfriend.

The second benefit has been a tremendous strengthening and expansion of her aura. Things that took great effort to pull off just a month ago now come as easily as breathing, almost as if her aura had become more real. She used the need to become more familiar with these changes as a reason to convince Storm Waller to let her reserve the use of the gym tonight. She also got Wall's assistance in setting up some obstacles from the combat course set up around the room, providing a variety of targets and threats for her to work through at her own pace.

Right now she's working with one of the obstacles that normally sets up a shifting laser grid to be maneuvered around, but is now set up to fire semi-random blasts at Tabitha. Her job is then to take those attacks into her aura and try to redirect them at targets set up behind the laser trap. So far she's getting it right about half the time, taking the lasers and bending them in her aura to hit their targets. Blast barriers set up around the rest of the gym show the evidence of when she's gotten it wrong.

Since she's not expecting any company, she hasn't taken any extra effort to cover up. She's just in her red-accented white Athena training leotard, a pair of worn down gym shoes, and an Athenian red cotton blindfold. Her aura is visible around her as a blue-white energy mist that extends out for nearly fifty feet from her body. The aura thickens and twist as she tries to redirect the lasers.


It's been a while since Seth got a proper workout, and he heard that there's a great gym here, or at least, better than McMahon-Strangely High School had. But his class work (yay) has not included a visit to the gym, and teams apparently practice until it gets late, so he's here now… he appears in a shadow in the gym because, yes, he was telling the truth about scouting ahead. The lasers are perturbing the shadows and it's a bit harder to materialize into the solid world, so he pulls back to one of the overheads and peers down on the Gym from above.


Dianli is always fascinated when she hears mayhem and destruction in the gym. This time is no exception as she spots Tabitha, the source of the last round of gym equipment obliteration, at the heart of a Rube Goldberg contraption for shooting frikkin' laser beams.

Slipping over to the bleachers and waiting for a pause in the routine, she calls out, "There's an easier way to deal with lasers than that!"


Her senses are sharpest and more complex inside her aura, but she can still see almost normally outside its event horizon. So she's not surprised by the arrival of spectators although she's not quite sure who they are until Dianli talks. A grin appears on Tabitha's face amidst the deep concentration on the rest of her features. "Of course there are easier ways, but I'm not trying to deal with the lasers until I've managed to use them to take out all of the back row targets using the lasers."

The next volley of blasts she only tries to redirect two of the shots, managing to bend the energy and strike her targets, leaving four untouched. The other blasts she simply absorbs into her aura, adding their energy to her growing reserves. "But what ways did you have in mind?"


Seth decides that Ceiling Snek doesn't need to hang up there and can safely join the peoples below. He rises up from a shadow in the bleachers, and slouches into place. His normal school uniform has been replaced with a completely black set of gym sweats, and there's something resembling a golf bag next to him, also black.

"How much energy is in those lasers? Are we going to be suffering eye damage?"


"Burn them all," Dianli says simply. "Just fry everything. Control systems. Firing systems. Motors. Servos. Kill 'em all and let the technicians sort them out." She grins at her own joke. "So how are you Tabby?"

Seth's sudden appearance on the bleachers startles her and she jumps, landing unfortunately and rolling down the steps to the bottom. Luckily her reflexes are such that the fall is harmless and mostly just an idiotic pratfall. (Outside observers would note that she could get a job as a stuntwoman if she chose.) Rolling to her feet at the bottom, Dianli grows a blue nimbus as all her hair stands on end, bright blue sparks discharging at the end as her hands arc electricity between her fingers.


"DON'T FUCKING DO THAT!" she shouts. "YOU CAME THIS FUCKING CLOSE!" She holds up a forefinger and thumb, huge arc of electricity ionizing air between them, for emphasis.


Tabitha shrugs at the question, pegging the voice as Seth's quickly enough. "They're turned down from full, so only about twenty kilowatts." Military lasers being in the thirty kW range. She starts to laugh at Dianli's suggestion for dealing with the lasers when suddenly Dianli's doing a tuck and roll and coming up literally charged for defense. This distracts her long enough for four of the lasers to coordinate their blasts at her. The beams don't make it to her, however, as there is a twisting of reality around her and two pair of energy form wings resembling red-brown volcanic ash come into existence at her back.

The wings fold forward to surround Tabitha's body and intercept each of the four lasers, the energy making them glow and shift from volcanic ash to molten lava in wing form. Then that energy is blasted back at the lasers and the targets behind them with more force than the absorbed blasts. The practice targets and the wall of lasers are all rather violently destroyed.

This reflexive defense doesn't get more than a passing notice from Tabitha's conscious mind, since she's more focused on Dianli and her reaction to Seth's appearance. "Um… so you seem easily startled. Duly noted."


"Hair Trigger Girl is Hair Trigger," Seth observes. He looks at her curiously, and tries out a new trick that was suggested in Powers homework: a quick snapshot. His lips move in a silent whispered phrase, and for a precise moment, his eyes are not just sort-of-hazel maybe blue but the same color as the blue that shines in the Bad Place in Chernobyl. "True Sight" or "Second Sight" or whatever it is, instead of being overwhelmed by the fusion reaction of magic that is Tabitha, he's hoping to just see the energy flows around this jumpy girl. What they are, how strong, if they're made out of lightning, sith hatred, or pure Hollywood SFX.

Of course the violent destruction of the lasers at that exact moment might confuse the issue … that, and Seth's reflexive shield of shadow that comes up probably too late to stop energy but certainly in time to prevent him from being struck by any debris that might make it to him.

"Woah. That was different."


Hair Trigger Girl has a Hair Trigger indeed. And also an intense focus on the person who pulled the trigger. Which is unfortunate as the real threat is now behind her in the form of Tabitha's little manifestation. As one of the larger pieces flies toward her head from behind it seems inevitable that she will be pulverized or pulped. Something seems to warn her, however, or there's some kind of defensive overwatch in place, and a sudden flurry of rotating lighting discharges forms a circular wall behind her. The metal is instantly heated to white hot with much of it vaporized in place and channeled out of the way from the hellish ionization. The little bit of metal left behind bifurcates and spews out sideways in a liquid stream that burns the gymnasium floor.

Then Dianli turns.

"Wow! Shifu was right. You really CAN defend without thinking." She seems a little stunned at the revelation, her nimbus fading and vanishing, her hair falling back (sort of) into place.


Tabitha might have managed to turn the explosions and such into more fuel for her energy reserves, but the shock of what her wings just did without any direction from her has her off guard long enough that the first thing she's able to do to limit damage is to prevent the damage to the gym floor from the over-spill of Dianli's destruction of some of the metal. The splash of liquid hot metal cools from molten to solid so fast that the resulting globules break down further to spread across the floor in a rough powder. A few beats later and the fires and electrical arcs she caused by destroying the laser trap are also sucked into the energy mist of her aura.

All the while she's doing that with one part of her brain, the main part is gaping at the change to her wings. Each of the four energy-formed appendages is flexed around and looked at closely until they go from molten back to ash. A moment later, Tabitha dismisses the wings entirely once more. They really are comically oversized for her body, after all. Then she just looks from Dianli to Seth, to the broken equipment and back again.

"So… that was a thing."


Seth shakes his head as his reflexive shield disappears. He looks at the burning circuitry and shrugs. Tabitha comes over and expresses that a thing just happened, and he can only agree.

"Yes, it was. Did you get the box of cookies and stuff I left for you?"

He slides to the end of the bleacher.

"So. You're electricity?" he asks Dianli. "I'm Seth Gebsen. I'd shake hands but I don't want to test whether being ungrounded is really safe enough."

He pulls a solid shadow from the golf bag and it's obvious that it's actually some kind of bo stick. He begins moving very slowly through some sort of martial arts form, made out of waves and whirls and no obvious solid strikes. OOPS. Ok, there was a solid strike. A normal-speed lunge, but he's still moving in slow motion. He's trying to decide whether to manifest an intelligent shadow-beast to train against. Possibly … not a good idea.


"I'm electricity, yes," Dianli says. "Zhang Dianli. Call me Dianne if you prefer. And I'm safe now. Just watch out if I'm glowing or my hair is standing up and sparking." She peers suspiciously at Tabitha, having missed much of the transformation. "Tabby, when I said 'burn them all and let the technicians sort it out' I was joking. Well, half-joking. I mean if it were a real threat that's what I'd do. But … wow. You really need to stop taking me so literally!"


Tabitha lets out a nervous chuckle, "Well, yeah, but… I didn't do that. I was distracted by your sudden spaz. My wings did the rest." She shrugs and rubs her hands up over her head mange. "They're… not always under my control." She nods to Seth with a smile, "Yes! And I've been enjoying the sensory feast. Many thanks." She watches him take out the shadow staff and chuckles, "You've really got a theme going, haven't you?" She's not mocking, just being of good humor.

Fortunately she knows blowing up the training devices won't get her in trouble with Storm Waller since Athena's faculty advisor is well aware that things tend to end up scrapped when Tabitha plays with them. But she does start to do some rough cleaning up, her aura extending towards the debris and lifting all of it over by one of the gym walls. "If you came down to do some training, I'm more or less finished with my solo session." She puts a bit of emphasis on the 'solo' part to indicate she'd be open to sparing.


A theme. Yes. Seth has a theme. Shadow Serpent. A horrible monster fused from a horrible monster race, that was completely spoiled when the source monster-parts developed a civilized, urban and urbane society. They have opera, dance, book clubs, and even movies. No TV, at least, no private TV, but they have communal viewing things.

"I'm just going through my forms. It's been too long. I heard there was some sort of fight earlier in the week, two guys got carried away, and since my best weapon is the four-sword, I decided to practice when there weren't hissy-fitty people around."

He begins speeding up in his movements. They're constrained to a circle, a bit like bagua, but tend to suddenly move to an adjacent circle and back. There is a pattern, but not an entirely predictable one. Maybe he's forgetting what he's doing in the middle? Or it's got imaginary enemies that you have to defeat.


Dianli watches Seth idly while talking with Tabitha. "Well, I know the whole not under your control feeling all too well," she says, her face darkening. It brightens again. "But I didn't come here to train. I came here because I heard sounds and it's fun watching other people train." She smiles slyly. "And watching what their weaknesses are come contests later, I suspect."


Tabitha nods and watches Seth go through his forms with an appraising eye, mentally blocking out his movements and how she would possibly counter them. Dianli's remark causes her to smirk, "Well I think I'm done with tonight's workout. Fortunately I'm coming out with stronger energy reserve than I came in with. I'm gonna need it." She does start to stretch out a bit. She wasn't moving her body much during the session since it was almost all aura work, so she's a bit stiff.


Moving very quickly in the last section, there's moments where he strikes into his own shadow and the weapon seems to go further than it should, and other moments where he seems like he's got no joints. At the deepest extension, he's clearly off-balance, and he seems to be avoiding the spots in the path where there are brighter lights. The conclusion comes suddenly. Seth's standing in the center of the circle-of-circles he traced out, breathing a bit hard, but in an alert stance. Then he bows to the nearest shadow and returns his staff to the golf bag.

"Ladies, I am sure they're going to lock me out of my room, so I better go there directly."

He disappears under the bleachers and is gone.


"Well … that was a thing too," Dianli says. She yawns. "Thanks for the fun, Tabby," she says with a grin as she wanders toward the door. "You always do bring me the best in violence. Next time, though, no sneaky throwing things at me from behind, OK?" She winks playfully, before doing her Captain Obvious routine. "(I know you didn't do it on purpose!)"

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