At Least You're Not Naked


elisabeth2_icon.gif gavyn_icon.gif

Scene Title At Least You're Not Naked
Synopsis Horizon Armor training for Gavyn
Date Nov 1, 2010

US Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD

The parade grounds at the US Naval Military Academy are used for any number of activities. Today it is yet another new FRONTLINE recruit's job to learn the Horizon armor. To that end, there are two sets of armor out on the field. One hangs from a rack awaiting its occupant, the other is already being worn by a blonde. Elisabeth's hair is caught at the nape of her neck this freezing cold morning on the bay, the length of it tucked down into the neck of her suit. It's barely dawn, but she looks as if she's been awake a good while already. Or perhaps she just didn't go to bed last night yet. Two science geeks dressed in heavy overcoats stand with her out there, and Liz is talking to Gavyn.

"As you can see, it's not as bulky as you might have expected, but it does weigh you down hard. After you get the hang of the full weight of the thing, we'll work without the exoskeleton in the lighter armor pieces, but for now we want you to start with the full Monty." Elisabeth grins wickedly. "Hoist yourself in there, and we'll get you suited up."

Gavyn, dressed down in PT gear of Air Force blue and gray nylon, has been paying as much attention to the armor hanging in waiting for her as she is giving Elisabeth. Eyes pour over the suit while ears pick up every word that's been spoken, and arms are folded casually across her chest in what seems to be an effort to shield against the chill air. "Yes, ma'am," Gav replies to the instruction, arms dropping to her sides. One hand lifts to check that sunglasses are in place as she steps forward to situate herself into the armor.

Elisabeth watches her slip in, and the science guys come up behind her to help her fasten herself in. It's kind of like climbing into an astronaut's suit — bulky, kind of difficult the first few times. Liz's head tilts, and she says, "To put the helmet on, you'll need to take the glasses off," she says mildly. "The radio is already up and running inside. Today's activity is strictly to get you walking in the thing." She remembers her own attempts to move the first time. It's incredibly heavy until the hydraulics are activated. And Cardinal's first time too. "Move slowly, for God's sake, or you'll ram your head into the ground."

Gavyn gives a small shrug to feel out the resistance of the armor, and then a larger one. Wonder if this is what knightly armor felt like. She looks over her shoulder to the two working on fastening everything, until she's instructed to remove her glasses. Slowly she pulls the shades off and holds them out to be taken by one of the two fellows helping. Eyes are kept looking elsewhere until the helmet is added to the ensemble.

"Now I know why Ms. Kershner wants training in this thing eight hours a day," Gavyn says with a flick of her gaze toward Elisabeth. It's gone again, with a blink, another test of the armor's resistance to her movements in another shrug. "And at least my head would be protected, right?"

Elisabeth slips a commlink into her ear so she can listen to Gavyn's actual voice instead of the digitized version out of the speaker of the helmet. "Yeah. Head protection tends to be pretty much necessary in our line of work," she admits, conveniently leaving out that she herself often removes it whenever she sees the need. But then, she's just more comfortable using her ability than many. "And yeah — it takes a good week to start feeling like you've actually got the hang of the damn thing. It's not light." She smiles a bit, putting her own modified helmet on. "Okay," she says into the mic. "First thing — all the switches you need are inside your gauntlets. If you test it out, the button to activate the hydraulics is in your wrist so that it can't be accidently activated. Touch beneath the edge here," she shows Gavyn. "Release latches for the exoskeleton," she continues to show, "are here, here, here, and here — and there's a master release here that will release the entire assembly if you need to. Don't use that unless it's an emergency, though — the bolts are sheared if you use that one and the techs bitch madly."

She gets a dirty look from one of the science geeks, who shoves his hands into his pockets while watching.

Ever the student, Gavyn watches the instruction without comment and locates things on her own suit as it's pointed out. Every so often she gives a small shrug or a shift of her shoulders, as though the motion could readjust the weight. Then, at Elisabeth's warning, she grins behind her helmet and directs a look to the two techs. "I'll try not to accidentally blow the whole thing," she informs them, sagely.

Turning back to Liz, Gavyn turns her attention to figuring out the controls for the hydrolics without actually starting anything. "Do I get to use the hydrolics now or is that for another day?"

There's a laugh. "If you don't use them now, you'll think you weigh 600 pounds. If they go out on you, it's NOT fun trying to disengage and get loose," she warns. "So go ahead and activate them. And then move SLOWLY," she admonishes again. "Think overexaggerated, like you're walking on the moon."

It seemed a fair enough question to ask. After all, you never know what those in charge of your training might have in mind. Gavyn finally activates the hydrolics. "Here goes something," she says before trying to take that first step. She moves slowly, but tries to remain far more casual about it. True, it's no Sunday stroll, her motions akin to trying to walk through a pool of water. If water were thicker than pudding and she was wearing 600 pounds of extra weight.

Elisabeth chuckles, the sound warm and amused. "Yep… and there you have it," she tells Gavyn. "Welcome to the first lesson of Horizon armor. By the end of the week, we will expect you to be able to run the track in this thing." And now Gav knows WHY eight hours a day.

"Great," Gavyn says in obviously feigned excitement. "Can't wait." And she /willingly/ signed up for this. She takes another step, and then a third, simply walking with the same exceedingly careful nature as before. "This isn't too bad. Just… heavy."

Elisabeth nods in her own armor. "It's mostly just a matter of getting used to it. I want you to hop, though. Just… think about six inches and hop like you're playing hopscotch."

Gavyn takes a couple of extra steps before managing to stop herself. "Six inches," she repeats with a glance to Elisabeth. "Six inches.." With a small nod, she hops. Or that was the intent. A handful of inches, thanks to hydraulics, seemed to have magnified itself and instead sent her up several feet. You wouldn't believe that she wasn't afraid of heights by the sounds from her mic and the slow motion windmilling of arms and flailing of feet.

Suffice it to say, she wasn't expecting that. And Gavyn stumbles the landing, not quite falling on her face. Just hands and knees, although helmet encased head does come to rest on the ground after all is said and done, and instead of a surprised yelping nervous laughter comes from her suit.

It makes Elisabeth laugh. She can't help it. Her own response was pretty damn similar when it happened to her, too. Hey, Gavyn did better than Cardinal. He rammed his head into a post. The giggles are truly amused. "Nicely done, Mitchell!" Elisabeth compliments. "I think I landed on my ass the first time I did that. And the girly squeal thing was definitely cute." She applauds.

"Definitely one of my finer moments," Gavyn replies, mildly amused. Good thing she's got that helmet on, her face is feeling awfully hot right now. After some trial and error, she gets her feet back under her and stands upright again. She'd bow if she thought she could get away without faceplanting. "Let's um… not tell anyone that happened. Ever. —Please."

Elisabeth continues to chuckle. "Hey, don't feel bad. My first trip with the thing landed me flat on my ass in front of Squad 01. All of them. ANd if you don't think that was embarrassing enough, Ivanov's first experience with his had him taking off running down the field and when he stopped in the middle of it, he was standing in his cute little red boxer shorts and nothing else because his speed sheared the armor right off," she snorts. "You're not alone in this. No one gets it right on the first try. Hell, most not on the tenth either. That's why you wear it for hours the first week."

"Oh, I meant the …reaction." Gavyn waves off the falling with a laugh. "At least I'm still clothed and.. pretty sure I didn't chip the paint." She gives herself a once-over then looks to Elisabeth. "Yup, everything's still in good working order."

Elisabeth jerks her head toward the field. "C'mon, I'll walk with you," she invites. "You can tell me a little about yourself while you practice."

Sounds good enough for Gavyn. She falls into step alongside Elisabeth. "What is it you want to know?" Most of her life is spelled out in various enlistment files and other paperwork.

"The things they don't ask you about in the paperwork," Elisabeth admits. "I have the facts of you, but not a sense of you. Aside from the fact that you were chagrined that you accidentally caused someone to blurt their feelings out. Which tells me that you're a decent sort," Elisabeth says as they walk slowly, letting Gavyn get used to the movements. "You'll find that most of the team is personable enough, though we each keep sort of to our comfort zones. I'm interested in what you like to do, what your hopes for this assignment are, and a little bit about your perspective on the situation we're facing all the way around."

"I like to learn things," Gavyn says. "Part of what decided me on my air force job. Lot of learning in that." She continues to move carefully, slowly enough to become accustomed to the suit but fast enough that the stroll is a small work out. "I do a lot of reading, too, tending to keep to myself even before this all happened. Not sure yet what my /hopes/ specifically are for joining this assignment but… service /is/ my calling."

"I understand that feeling," Elisabeth agrees. "It's why I became an NYPD officer. I wanted to help people. This job… most days feels like that. Similar, anyway. Though I have to admit, having a little more leeway to help people is definitely nice." She tilts her head. "Still not entirely sure how I feel about what we're facing, honestly. Cleaning off Staten will be something we assist with, and I think that's going to be a massive fucking job."

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