Pole Position


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Scene Title Pole Positioning
Synopsis Magnes asks for Veronica's help in training his power. Curt offers comments from the peanut gallery as Magnes manages to levitate his pole. Get your minds out of the gutter.
Date June 5, 2009

Primatech Research

The gym.

Early in the evening, Magnes finds himself waiting for Veronica, because they have Super-Special-Training, which is supposed to involve him getting tripped a lot. He stands at a small table, filled with all sorts of objects. A glass of water, a basketball, an egg on a spoon, among other things. "I don't think this is gonna work…" he mutters, waiting for her.

Veronica walks in, though she's not dressed in her skimpy workout clothes today. Jeans, boots, t-shirt under a blazer that covers her holster. The blazer she is sliding out of when she walks in. "Hey, Mag. How's training going?" she asks, knowing it's a rough period for any agent, and more likely worse for him since he is cut off from his friends.

"Well, I had to try and fly today, that didn't work out so well." Magnes says with a roll of his eyes, picking up the basketball. "Are we gonna do that tripping thing you mentioned?" he wonders, wearing some black sneakers, black cargo pants, and a plain white t-shirt.

"You're the one who asked for me to meet you, so it's up to you," she says with a smile. "You said you didn't think it was a good idea, but I assume you changed your mind?" Veronica nods to the table of objects. "Just don't get egg on me…"

Magnes sits the basketball down, then reaches into his pocket and pulls out a dark blindfold, wrapping it around his eyes. "I figure it won't work if I'm expecting you to trip me, so, I don't know, I just thought the blindfold was a good idea."

Veronica nods. "Sure, it is. I guess I'll just… wait, I have an idea." She disappears into the locker room for a few minutes, then returns with a broom in one hand and her neon green Ipod in another. "Music, so you can't hear as well," she says handing him the music device. "And something to trip you with, my dear."

"Might work." Magnes smiles and takes the ipod, clipping it to his side, then sliding the earbuds in. He holds his hands out, waiting for an object. "Alright, give me something to carry!" he asks, louder than normal, unable to hear himself speaking.

Greenday's "Do You Know Your Enemy" is on the playlist, proper music to work out to, especially in such a place as Primatech. She hands him the basketball, figuring to start easy and at least with something unlikely to leave a mess. "Here ya go," she says, holding the push broom as she watches him.

Magnes starts walking, steps unsure, slightly nervous. He could be getting tripped at any moment! "This is kind've, well, what I said about the trust exercise. Anything could happen right now…"

She follows, trying not to get too close where he'll sense her nearness even if blindfolded. Suddenly, with perhaps just a little wafting of the air from her sudden motions to herald the impending contact, the broom tangles with his feet, to send him flying forward.

"Whoa!" Down he goes, Magnes goes falling forward, almost slamming on his face before he releases the ball just as he lowers his weight, falling very gently. This has another effect, though, the ball bounces from the floor, then goes high into the air, just floating up there, gently bouncing from the ceiling as it hovers weightlessly around. "God, I don't think I wanna do that again…"

Veronica jumps back to make sure she doesn't get hurt, and pulls the stick out of the way so he doesn't injure himself on that either. "That's pretty cool, though," she says, glancing up at the ball. "So… is it just because it's in your hands, while you're falling? It doesn't seem to matter that it's not something breakable, so it's not like, a conscious desire to protect it."

Magnes removes his headphones just in time to hear her, then raises the blindfold and sits up to stare at the ball. "I don't get it though, usually when I let stuff go, it's got normal gravity again." Then, after a moment or so, the ball just comes crashing down, gravity taking hold once more.

"Well, you're obviously — giving it gravity just in time when you let go of it, so it won't break. It's somehow involuntary, or subconscious. See if you notice anything in your power… your… Maggie-senses… I mean, when you touch something and give it your lack of gravity, how does it feel? Normally… I mean. If you deliberately do it."

"Um, I guess it's like…" Magnes stops to think about that for a moment, moving to grab the glass of water. "Well, the one object I've been able to control the gravity of are poles, since I trained with one and just started getting familiar with it. I guess it's like, I believe how much the gravity will change, and I kinda feel it in my mind. It's like, um, applying my imagination to reality or something, it's hard to explain. And I can kinda feel the weight moving…"

"And you don't feel that with this, obviously," Veronica says with a nod. "Did this start happening after the pole stuff, or did it happen before?" she asks, curiously. "And normally, once you let go of something, it reverts, right? So this is definitely not the way it normal works?" she says, gesturing to the ball.

"Didn't start happening until the pole, when I could consciously change the weight." Magnes reaches over to take the broomstick, in order to demonstrate. "And yeah, it usually reverts, I don't know how to like, trigger it, except with the pole. I'm familiar with the pole shape, I guess, I don't know."

"Hm. If you were tripped using the pole, would it revert or go float after you let go, I wonder… Do we have the kind of poles you're used to?" she asks. "I'm not sure what use all of this is… it just makes me curious." She smiles a bit and leans on her broom stick.

"I think it reverts, not sure, Hiro taught me never to let go of my weapon. That broomstick should work though, as long as it's the shape I need." Magnes hunches down to look at the actual brush part. "Is this the kind you can unscrew?"

Veronica inverts the push broom and swivels off the head of the brush, tossing it into the corner, then handing it to Magnes. "All right. But now I have to trip you myself." She grins.

Magnes takes the broom, skillfully swinging it forward in a kendo motion. He's clearly practiced that swing a lot, but gets more at ease when it's time to put his earbuds back in, lowering the blindfold again. "You should make this good, it's not easy to get me to drop this thing." he suggests, starting to walk now.

She lets him go just a couple of feet, just enough to get his pace going, knowing he won't expect the trip quite so soon. Suddenly, she drops down to the floor, her leg sweeping out in an arc to trip him, a classic martial-arts move intended to make the target fall.

"What th—" Magnes falls forward, hard. This time he just hits the floor, not reacting quickly enough to make himself lighter. He releases the stick to cushion his fall with his arms, but despite his lack of lightness, the stick itself seems to be floating just fine where he released it. "I didn't know you'd do it that hard." he says as he starts to remove the earbuds and blindfold again.

Veronica's already on her feet again, looking a little amused as she looks down on him from above. "I didn't hurt you," she says. "It's just a falling move, not meant to injure, and you're on a mat. Suck it up." She goes to touch the pole, to see if it maintains its lightness when she takes a hold of it.

The pole stays light, whether she holds it or not, and Magnes sits up to watch her, head tilted in curiousity. The pole doesn't fall or get grabbed yet, like the ball did. "Alright, so um, how do I /control/ that?"

"That was interesting. You didn't make yourself lighter, but you did make the object float…" Veronica says, her hands closing around the pole and testing it, pulling it down, then releasing it to see if it floats. "So it's not like subconsciously you're protecting it, maybe, because wouldn't you subconsciously protect yourself first? Maybe not. I don't know. Any ideas?"

"Um." Magnes pauses to think, then raises a finger. A possible idea! "Maybe I was trying to use my power to make myself lighter, but I wasn't really thinking, I was going on instinct, so my power worked on the pole instead of myself?"

"Maybe. But what about the time before, when you both got lighter?" Veronica points out. She pulls down the pole and hands it to him. "Let's try again. You probably won' be as surprised, so I wonder if it will go back to both you and the pole getting lighter. That's my hypothesis anyway." She winks. "I'm no expert on this power stuff, but I actually won all my science fairs as a kid."

Magnes takes the pole, the weight suddenly going back to Earth's normal gravity when he touches it, returning the earbuds and the blindfold to their designated places. "Alright, I'm ready!" Then, he starts walking, a bit more eagarly than before, possibly forgetting that this involves tripping.

Veronica moves quietly, waiting a few more steps this time before she drops into the sweeping kick once again, her leg slashing across his two feet before she rises in one graceful gesture, even as his balance is compromised.

He falls forward once again, but this time, he is expecting it, so as he's falling it's a much lighter fall and the pole slips from his hands again. It floats, and he softly hits the ground. Just as Veronica predicted!

"Huh," says Veronica. "So maybe if you're really really surprised… only one of the two — you or the object — gets the benefit of your power. We need to make it so both do, even if you're surprised." She grins, and there's a glint of mischief in her eyes. "This means much more tripping."

"But I wanna learn to do it without being surprised. How's this gonna help that?" Magnes asks, confused, standing up with earbuds removed and blindfold pulled up. He grabs the floating stick, then just stares at it. "I wish I could just do it, make it float without getting surprised…"

"Well, it might not help that, but it will help protect you from breaking your face while your Starbucks is rescued from certain death, and that's something," Vee points out. "Still, I don't know how to move it from something you're doing subconsciously to something you're doing consciously." She sighs. "Let's try this. Don't put on the blindfold or the earbuds. You'll know I'm going to trip you. See if you can will the object to float."

"Wait, you mentioned something about wanting to protect an object, right?" Magnes asks, looking down at the padding, then up at her, cheeks flushing. It's very very clear what he's thinking, as he's completely unable to say it outloud. "Y-y, I mean…"

Curt walks inside the room wearing a wife beater and a pair sweat shorts. He eyes the room, shakes his head and heads for the free weights, "Don't hurt yourself boy, flush harder and you'll rupture something important." he quips, dropping his gym bag at his chosen bench.

Veronica gives him an odd look. "Just focus on making the pole light," she says, then glances over her shoulder at Curt. She doesn't deign to give him a response, however, but turns back to look at Magnes. "Walk," she directs, a little flick of her hand to indicate the direction he should proceed in.

"I'm not blushing!" Magnes defends, which makes him light up even more. But, right, orders to follow! He grips the pole, no blindfold or earpuds this time, then starts walking.

Curt just rolls his eyes, "Oh yeah, you're the picture of collected control." he lays down on the bench and hefts the weights near his chest, "Princess, go easy on the virgin, remember, you break the cherry you buy it."

"Just ignore him. He's old, so he doesn't have any manners. You know, like old people who fart in public. He can't help it," Veronica tells Magnes as she walks along. Once more, but this time he can actually see it, she drops down into that sweeping kick — it's a graceful move, that seeks to knock his feet out from under him.

"Wait!" Magnes exclaims, suddenly jumping high above her kick, then lands softly when it's over, sighing. "I almost did something bad by accident. Maybe we should find something better than the kicks?" He doesn't say what the Bad Thing he almost did was, but he seems a bit worried.

Curt grins, "Yeah Vee, you can poke him with a stick! Or maybe he'd rather you go easy on him. I'm sure if we look around we could find a pillow somewhere for you both to practice with." Curt certainly doesn't look old, but he's defiantly crotchety.

"You're supposed to let yourself be tripped. Do I need to blindfold you again?" Veronica says sternly, then blows out a puff of air in exasperation at Curt. "You don't even know what we're trying to do. You could try to be helpful, but I'd rather you stay over there." Over there is at least a good dozen feet away, so that is good news. "Do I need another broom, then? Because you're using my tripping stick," she tells Magnes.

"I almost got heavy, it's kind of a reflex, you know? I didn't wanna break your leg or something. Wait, I know!" Magnes smiles, suddenly getting an idea. "I can't get heavy with skates on, it's kinda complicated, but if you can get me a pair of skates, this will totally work!" Then, Curt gets a raised eyebrow, then a frown. "Aren't you supposed to be a professional?"

Curt grins a bit as the weights continue to raise and fall, "I am a pro boy, but I got to tell you, I ain't never heard of anyone learning to use their abilities under a kid gloves training session. You need a boot camp." he states with a sage nod and a grunt, "A little whipping into shape. Though, I have to admit I kinda wanna see what sort of cockamamie show the pair of you will put on with one of you on skates. Should be funny."

"I don't think we just have random skates around the facility, Magnes," Veronica says with a shake of her head. "Unless you have a pair somewhere." She glances over at Curt with an annoyed glance. "It's not a kid gloves session. We're trying to get his subconscious power to become conscious. Beating the shit out of him won't do that, it will just be reflex that comes to the forefront. We already tested the reflex, now we're trying to get to the conscious part," she explains as if to a child. Then, with more sarcasm, "And you give great advice for someone who never learned how to control their power."

"I've had every bone in my entire body broken, then got beat up for a month specifically so I could learn to take a beating and get fighting experience. I think I'm a bit past kid gloves." Magnes defends, sounding as if he truly believes he's earned a little respect. But, his attention back on Veronica, he sighs and shakes his head on the subject of the skates, then moves about ten feet back. "Alright, I have an idea. I'm gonna run, then you trip me that way."

Curt drops the weights with a thud and pushes himself to his feet. He turns to eye her, "That's because some powers can't be controlled. Mine isn't wired into my brain, it's a part of every cell of my being, something about the energy my body puts out. I can't control it anymore then you can decide to raise or lower your body tempature." he eyes Magnes and just grins, "Wow. That was incredibly stupid way to go about learning self defence." he points out. "Rule one, blocking his fist with your face is /never/ an adequate defence. Unless you're me, then it works really well."

"I think you're just too stubborn to learn," Veronica says but her smirk suggests she's actually teasing. "All right. Run, Forrest, Run," she tells Magnes. "And don't worry, I'll get out of your way if you decide to try to squish me." He may have trained recently, but she's been training for almost a decade in some form of self-defense or martial arts or another.

Magnes starts running, still a bit distracted by Curt. "They say I float when I sleep, so I can't control that either, but I can control other parts of my ability." he points out, possibly trying to be helpful, but then, bam, as soon as she trips him, he tumbles to the floor. At the last minute, he stares hard at his pole before releasing it, and it goes flying into the ceiling after bouncing off the floor. "Ugh, alright, that fall kinda hurt. But I think I did it!"

Curt just watches the two of them, "Wow." he says with a shake of his head, "That seems… Why would you wish to learn to do this?" he asks, failing to see the implications behind floating poles.

"If you could control your power, wouldn't you want to see how it works, how to focus it?" Veronica says with a shake of her head. "This is something he didn't know he could do. Why isn't that interesting?" She turns to Magnes. "Good job. Now try to do it without having to trip?" she says, leaning against the wall to watch.

"I think I believe I can do it now…" Magnes believes, so he waits for the pole to drop again, catches it, with-his-face, but sucks it up and lifts it with his hand anyway. "Alright, that hurt, but, here we go." He holds the pole out, taking a deep breath, then just releases it. It floats there, for about three seconds, then falls. "I did it! Sort of…"

Curt eyes her, "No." he states simply, his tone cold and hard. But then, he has a rather… unique outlook on abilities. He eyes the boy and the floating stick and shakes his head again, "Do it with an assailant and /that/ would be useful."

"Actually it would be," Veronica says. "Haven't you seen Harry Potter?" Well, that's surprising. She doesn't seem the type to like such things. "He could knock out a troll in the girl's bathroom. Good job, Magnes. Now you just need to practice a bit." She smiles at him. "Magnes, that's Agent Curt Lu. Curt, this is Magnes Varlane, the new recruit."

Magnes just nods, starting to lift and drop the pole a few times, just practicing now. "You're just negative." is all he seems to have to say to Curt. "Well, this is better than my flight training, I can't stand my flight training."

Curt smirks, "Kid, you have /no/ idea." he eyes Vee then Magnes, "At least he's not an agent yet. I'd be annoyed if they were sending out untrained children. More likely to hurt others then do anyone any good. Gravity huh?" he considers that.

"That's why he's being trained, yes," Veronica says to Curt as she watches Magnes practice. "What so bad about flight training? I thought you liked trying to fly," she says, curiously.

"Jumping is fine, but flying is complex. I never thought I'd be saying this, but…" Magnes shakes his head, picking the pole up again. "Flying is not like in the comic books, at least not for me. I have to use lots of different parts of my ability at once to make flying practical. It's gonna take a lot of training, like flying an airplane or something, before I really understand how to do it right."

Curt huhs. "I am so glad my 'training' consisted of lots of people telling me to stay far far away from them while morons shot at me." he heads over to grab his water bottle. "Count yourself lucky kid, they tested on me for ages before deciding what to do."

"That's because your power is dangerous. What were you, level 4?" she asks curiously, then glances back at Magnes. "Mags is fairly harmless, power-wise, except that he flaunted it on camera." She glances at the clock. "As much fun as this has been, I have some plans and need to head out of here. You two won't kill each other if I leave?"

Curt shrugs, "There was some thought on how I could expand my field to greater distances," terrifying thought, "but it wasn't an avenue I wished to pursue so it was dropped. Depending on who you talk to, yes, high 3, low 4." he eyes Mags then looks back at Vee, "I make no promises."

"I'm gonna go back to Minea's place and practice, since I'm not on official time anyway." Magnes frowns at Curt, clearly not wanting to stay with him. Then, smiling at Veronica, he waits for her to leave so he can follow.

Curt just smirks at the both of them, "Light weights." he quips, "Run along children, I crash here." which likely isn't a lie. Far as Vee knows he only ever leaves to do some sort of work. "If I'm lucky they'll fun another Lucy marathon. That broad kills me."

Veronica shakes her head. "Lucy… you know they have color television now, right?" she says with a smirk. "Goodnight boys," she adds, and turns to head out of the gym. "See you tomorrow, partner."

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