To Teach A Telepath New Tricks


kaylee_icon.gif luther_icon.gif richard_icon.gif

Also featuring:

barazani_icon.gif lou_icon.gif

Scene Title To Teach A Telepath New Tricks
Synopsis It is the start of a long road. Kaylee is finding this won't be an easy one and Luther is realizing he needs some training of his own.
Date June 26, 2018

Raytech Industries - Gym

Today was a training day.

At that moment, Kaylee Ray-Sumter was having to remind herself that she brought this on herself. She asked for this. Asked for the assistance that resulted in an attack coming in at her blind spot.

Hitting the floor is at least dampened by the AEGIS armor she is wearing and she goes down hard. Her helmet encased head even bounces off the padded floor, even protected she feels rattled and maybe a touch claustrophobic. Fingers seek out the clasp and she works to pull it off her head, with a gasp. Her head drops back to rest on the mat on the gym floor, arms going out to both sides, one still gripping her helmet. While most of her long hair is bound up on the back of her skull, strands of it cling to sweat dampened skin.

“How the hell do you people use these?” The helmet is lifted a bit and dropped again with a thunk. Kaylee doesn’t look in much of a hurry to get up at the moment.

“Not the way you’re doing right now, Boss,” Lou, having tagged along to witness the supposed epic sparring session using AEGIS armor of all things to be using, leans against the padded wall of the Raytech building’s on-site gym. But also, because Kaylee’s currently wearing one of the armor suits designed to fit a slimmer body. A more feminine shape. Beside Lou, Bob stands at ease with hands in pockets. He’s trying not to look amused. It mostly works.

The room is part fitness gym, part boxing ring, part convertible community space has come in handy for the employees who’ve been using it. Most of the security team has, at the chief’s insistence.

The security chief who, presently, stands loomingly tall in a similar getup of armor. His face, hidden by the visored helmet, is likely looking flushed as well by the physical efforts of handling even the lightweight armor. A gloved hand sticks out in offer to help Kaylee up to her feet. She’s not in a hurry, but he insists. “The ideal is that you don’t need to be wearing this gear,” he remarks, voice distorted slightly through the helmet audio. “But in the event that you do, you ought to be comfortable in it. Come on. Few more rounds.”

It’s been a long time since Richard Ray could slip through the shadows as one of them, since he was the ultimate spy and infiltrator. Somehow, despite the loss of his ability, he’s still pretty good at it.

Which means it might surprise someone when they glance over to see him leaning against the wall near one of the doors observing the match, arms folded across his chest and head tilted a little to one side. He calls over finally, drawing attention to himself, “Put your helmet back on, too. We wear them for a reason.”

Liz always hated wearing hers too.

Her gloved hand clasps with Luther’s, allowing the Security Chief to help her up. Already, she can tell she is going to be really sore in a few days. “You know as well as I, that the ideal is not going to happen.” Even if she can’t see his eyes, she’s looking at him. Telepathy is a wonderful thing. “So yeah… it’s best I get comfortable with it.

The familiar voice of her brother, pulls her attention away from her teacher of the moment to Richard. Her nose is wrinkled at him definitely; but, she is also lifting the helmet over her head. “Ready to watch your sister get her ass handed to her?” The irritating object is pushed into place and she works on fiddling with the strap. Tough to do with gloved fingers.

“Pretty sure it is her ass that has Lou here,” Bob jokingly comments, getting a hard jab in the stomach from said person. Which gets the desired, doubling over from the guard and a pained groan. “Don’ you have security footage to review or something?” He fires back at her, between gritted teeth.

Turning a little, fingers still messing with that damn chin strap. Seriously?!? It’s hard to tell what Kaylee’s reaction is, though when she does speak, her tone is amused. “Careful, Bob. I’ll make you get into armor — or you know not — and let Luther use you as a practice dummy, too.”

Hoisting Kaylee up, Luther steps back to wait for her to re-secure her helmet. There’s no assistance for that part from him, given that they - the security team and those wanting - all have had to practice doing so with the thicker gloves. Luther turns to look in Richard’s direction when the other man speaks too, though the security chief’s expression remains inscrutable behind the helmet visor. “Boss,” comes the quick, clipped greeting followed by a slight nod.

The pair of security off to the side also get a pointed turn of Luther’s helmet in their direction, which manages to quiet them, although not silence. Luther turns back to Kaylee after, remarking in a tone that comes out even wryer for the slightly distorted audio, “You say that but the real dummy would be me.” He gestures with a gloved hand at the bystanding security. “The two of them could probably kick my ass without the armor on.” Hence them being on the team.

Then by similar gesture, Luther turns back to Richard and indicates with a hand. You want a go at this?

“I think I’ve gotten enough practice in recently,” Richard deadpans, giving his head a little shake, “Go ahead, I’m just here to observe. It’s a good idea, though, self-defense is something we should all be working on… just in case.”

Wry, “I would’ve thought they’d’ve taught you more about fighting in Ferry School, sis — or however they trained their operatives.”

Richard can’t see the bland look shot his way, masked by that black visor. Her voice is just as flat, though distorted by the com in her helmet. “Ethan and Raith tried to teach me to shoot.” Something in her tone says how well that went. “but I ended up working more with Joseph in caring for people and I was used for things like information extraction, vetting, and the like.” Less special activities and more behind the scenes so to speak. “When I was out there, I just made the bad guys do what I want… or supported the team.”

Strap finally secured, Kaylee tests the fit, before taking a breath and focusing on Luther, though her words are more for her brother. “Now that I know there is a group out there, not just trying to kill me, but are learning to mentally keep me out…” Her head turns Richard’s way again. “I need more options. Maybe you can help me learn, too? Hmm?”

Turning her attention fully on Luther, she motions him to go. “Show me that move again, because clearly I didn’t get it the first time.”

Shoulders lift and drop exaggeratedly in a shrug. “There’s always room to practice for multiple assailants,” adds the chief, but he turns back to Kaylee to wait until she’s got her helmet secured. “Maybe Bob’ll help you out with that later,” he notes on the shooting part, but that’s to be arranged some other time. And, it’s clear Luther isn’t putting guns in people’s hands willy-nilly.

At her bidding, he moves quickly for a guy as tall as he is. Luther starts with a bold step forward, planting his foot into the floorspace between her defensive stanced legs. At the same time, shooting out a gloved hand to grab for a shoulder as a distraction tactic, intended to trigger the natural jerk back reaction of guarding one’s body. The real intent is his other hand that aims for her ankle and lower leg, to wrap around and pull while twisting the rest of his weight about for a spinning takedown. He’s doing it at real speed too, given Kaylee’s original request. And that they’re wearing armor that will take most of the impact off.

“It’s a good time to learn,” Richard agrees, head tilting in a slight nod towards his sister, “I think we’ve… come to something of a truce for the time being, but it won’t last forever.” He wrinkles his nose a bit, “If it lasts at all. I trust them about as far as I can throw them. When they’re in armor. And I’m not.”

Read: not very far.

Even as Luther moves to take her down, he notes, “I’m not the best technical brawler in the world, but I suppose I could give you a few pointers. Watch your leg.”

“Look… guns and me…” Of course, then Luther is lunging at her, so she isn’t able to finish that sentence. He does get the desired effect, as she jerks back. But even as she does and he grabs at her leg… Richard’s warning alerts her just a moment too late. It sends a shot of panic through her, even if she does know they are just sparring.
That panic brings with it a mental knee jerk reaction. Lightening quick like a snake strike, Kaylee’s ability wraps around Luther’s mind, slamming in the order to STOP. For him the order to stop, means completely. Muscles locking up to keep him right there.

Even so, Kaylee is tripped up by that hand and ends up going down, but not the way Luther might want. She goes down on her backside, hands out to keep her from ending up flat on her back again. “Oof… Dammit…” She snarls out, looking up at her opponent and ends up kind of staring.

“Whoa,” comes from Bob with a low whistle, “Remind me not to piss you off, Boss.”

“Oh shit…” Scrambling, up to her feet, “Dammit, Luther… I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.” Yanking one of her gloves off, she finds a spot where she can make contact with his skin. He can feel her in his head, righting the damage she’s done. It takes longer to remove that panicked command, releasing him from her manipulation, then it was to put it there. By the end of it, she can feel that familiar pinch of working her ability hard. “I panicked. I— dammit, maybe we should stop for the day.”

All the muscles lock up in Luther as if the armor itself lost power and stuck him there. But while he has to stop, gravity and physics don't. The man topples forward by momentum, his arms knocking against Kaylee's legs before he rolls to his side.

But all muscles mean all. The heart is a muscle too, as are the ones that wrap around his vocal chords and airways, and his eyes. He's silent, until she's able to release him from the mental bond with a pull down of the cloth sleeving his neck to protect it from rubbing against his helmet straps. The security chief gasps out, clawing for the lock release on the helmet visor. Bloodshot eyes gradually refocus and he lies there on the mat when he feels the blood start pumping through him again.

Lou has definitely come off the wall she was leaning against, staring at the scene with the alarmed look of someone who's just witnessed a wreck and is determining whether or not she needs to call for an ambulance. The feeling slowly dissipates once Luther's coughing for air. But it doesn't make the woman any less wary, nor move her fingers from her phone. A second wary glance is send to Richard, given his comment earlier. "Who's them?" The question is pointed, but exploratory.

There’s a touch of alarm from Richard, too, at least until Luther’s freed his helmet and is breathing once more— stepping over towards the fight, glancing to Kaylee questioningly and then back to Luther. He holds up one finger in the direction of Lou and her questioning, offering, “Luther? Bellamy, you alright there? Do we need to get medical down here, or are you alright?”

Of course, Kaylee is right there helping Luther get that helmet off, before getting her own off. She’s still apologizing, especially when she realizes how bad she got him. “I’m so so sorry, Luther.” In fact, she is extremely worried she about killed him. “It’s not supposed to do that. You were just supposed to stop moving and even at that, I wasn’t planning too.” And now she is babbling with her stress and anxiety. “Maybe, this was a bad idea.”

Realizing that Lou is asking questions, Kaylee looks at both guards. She goes pale a little realizing what they just saw her do. It’s not exactly on her registration. “Go get some water bottles or gatorade or something, please Lou?” she pleas with the other woman. A glance goes to Bob and motions him to go with her. “I’ll be fine here with these two.”

As the other pair of security exit quickly to grab supplies, Luther is still lying on the ground, breathing shallowly. His eyes blink a few more times once the helmet's off. Amidst Kaylee's anxious rambling, he lifts a gloved hand and taps it twice on hers where it touches his exposed neck. One more slow blink, and he curls that hand into a thumbs up for Richard.

"Your sister," Luther croaks out, "packs a punch."

He coughs a couple more times, then groans as he attempts to sit back up and fight off the dizziness of the head rush.

It’s not until the other guards have left - and Luther’s given the thumbs-up - that Richard steps over, shaking his head slightly. “It’s not a bad idea,” he negates his sister’s words, “If you can do something like that, you need to learn how to control it…”

He brings a hand up to rest on her shoulder reassuringly, “You know that, sis.” Then he’s grimacing, moving to offer Luther a hand up, “Don’t try and stand yet— “ He says, helping him stand.

“I shouldn’t have even been able to do that,” Kaylee tone still edged with worry, moving to support the security chief when he sits up. “Luther…” Remembering the man is right there, she looks at him out of the corner of her eye, “You have absolutely no mental resistance against a telepath like me… This is the type of mind I look for when— “ She gives Richard a nervous look, swallowing against the sudden feeling of anxiety. “When I make someone kill for me.”

Once he is steady, Kaylee retrieves both helmets and gets to her feet. “The Horsemen’s people are actually trained against people like me… The guy I tried to interrogate on Etienne’s boat… he was strong enough that he could direct me to only what he wanted to show me.” The low blow being…” Needless to say, I know what Kazimir’s ability feels like at work,” her tone is flat as she says that, having that suspicion once she learned about Eileen and what she carried.. “That strength is why I wanted to do this without using my ability.” Which she seems to have failed at, falling back on it in a moment of panic.

“I can’t solely rely on it anymore, big brother.”

Luther stands slowly, helped up by both Rays, and manages not to appear too wobbly in the process. It was just a mild sensation of a heart attack, that's all. No big deal. Surely he's felt that a few times in his lifetime. Nodding a thanks to Richard for the assist, he tugs off one of the armored gloves and uses the freed hand to wipe some of the sweat from his brow.

That remark about his having no resistance furrows said man's brow. Further, when she talks about the men from the boat incident. "How does one train up against that?" he asks, testing his vocal chords out again to find that they do work, "Unless you have a pocket Morpheus."

“No, and you shouldn’t. You’re absolutely right that you shouldn’t, and that— “ Richard gives her a steady look, “Is why this isn’t a bad idea. If your first reaction is to lash out with your power in a fight, and you come to rely on it, at least instinctually? It’ll cost you. Maybe everything. And I’d be very upset for that to happen…”

Then he’s exhaling through both nostrils, a grimace twisting his expression. “The Black Conduit. That was a nightmare I hope was over, but hey, yay, my mother invented an entirely new way to bring alternate versions of our nightmares into our world,” he says sarcastically at himself, one hand rubbing between his eyes.

“Mm,” he replies to Luther then, eyes closed, “The same way you get to Carnegie Hall. Even then it’s not guaranteed.”

“Practice, practice, practice,” Kaylee agrees with her brother’s assessment, nodding slowly, giving Luther a small smile. “We can work on that, fair’s fair. You’re helping me, after all.” She gives his arm a gentle punch. “Deal?”

Reaching over, she swats lightly at Richard’s arm with her ungloved hand, “I need your help with this, too. I know you have more resistance then he does.” Clearly, this incident rattled her some and she’s been in his mind after all.

“As for the Conduit… I’m not worried about it yet, not as long as Eileen has it.” She holds a hand up to her brother, “I know she wants me dead, but…” Kaylee sighs softly shaking her head. “I don’t know… I just know I’m not worried yet.” Like many of those who worked close with the one from their world, there is a hesitation about completely condemning her.

There are a lot of things that the Rays are rather known for around the company. Being a little wilder as far as executive officers go is one of them. Oh, but the little bits that they think they know… are but the tip of the iceberg. And Luther at the helm of the team that’s supposed to look out for the threats ready and waiting to sink their ship. “Well, considering all you’ve got to go up against, we’ll just be ready for it all,” he says with the mock-languid shrug, like he wasn’t just told about alternate timelines, deadly superpower wielding bird telepaths and the like. “The last thing you need to be worrying about is some hotshot henchman taking you down with an ankle pick.”

Hence, Luther bobs his head in a short nod to seal the deal for a training regimen he likely has no idea about. His next glance returns to Richard for the particular mention of: “Your mother?” He was there when David Cardinal (or the man claiming to be) proclaimed to not have had a son. So it does strike the security chief as utterly strange that Richard’s choosing now to have a moment.

“I’ve been meaning to ask you to have a go in there anyway,” Richard says, tapping a finger against his temple, “See how much they locked away, back then…”

He trails off, then, a frown pursing his lips as he looks across the room - and then to Luther. “Michelle LeRoux. She built a machine that could look into alternate timelines. Turned it on, some shit happened, the Company panicked, chased her into the street and a car ran her down. In this world, her and David never had a child.”

He may think he’s being informative but that series of words probably only made things even less clear somehow.

“The Horsemen are from another superstring, and they want to make sure the technology for it never gets re-developed here,” he says dryly, “Which is why they’re after us, and Kaylee, and— well. Just about everyone associated with me, because of my mother and the possibility I might try and remake what she did, so hey, I’m endangering everyone I love just by existing again, which is great news.”

He frowns at Kaylee, “She did try and kill you already. And I’m pretty sure that Remi’s death wasn’t a coincidence. I mean ‘I know she wants me dead but…’ does not seem like a really good sentence to end in any way, little sister.”

“If this Eileen is anything like the one I knew and worked with, then she does things for a good reason,” Kaylee points out flatly to her brother, “Sometimes, she goes about it the wrong way.” This was clearly one of them. “I can’t forgive them for what they did to Remi, but with what you told me about out west.. well… what would you do to protect your people?” Brows lift a bit at him. She knows what she’d do to protect everyone, she has scars from that, too.

Then all of a sudden, Richard gets a very solid thump of her hands against his chest, that might hurt, his little sister looking mad, “And if I hear you say again that your a danger to us, ‘cause you exist… or anything like it, I will slap you silly.” She’s been hearing things along those lines a lot it seems. “You are not a danger to me. I’m a danger to me, cause I am a telepath. And you are not him and you will never be him, if I have to make sure of it myself.” Her voice rises a bit as she half yells at him, the threat clear in her words that… no, he won’t ever be that guy everyone thinks he is. “Stop thinking you are the reason for everything going wrong. It ain’t always about you.”

Admittedly, her temper has been a touch shorter, lately.

"The David Cardinal file didn't mention anything about that." Luther had seen the newspaper clipping, but it revealed nothing but the summation of a car accident. But the implications dawn upon the security chief that Richard might not be of this world either. And he visibly straightens, echoing Richard's words. "Wait, if 'in this world' your parents didn't…" And you know what, he's just not going there.

But, Luther also doesn't like where the man's next words go. "Richard, what're you talk—" Is all he gets out, as Kaylee suddenly rounds on her brother. The security chief balks, blinking at the telepath, flinching somewhat with the sound of that hard thumping. "You better do as she says, Boss," he advises quietly after the ranted portion gets out. And having never met the other guy, Luther reserves any judgment on the comparison save for the spare thought that the man before him and the unknown man aren't the same; one tried to destroy a future, the other is trying to build one.

It's around that moment that Bob and Lou return with water and electrolyte replenishing drinks for all of them. Visible relief at seeing their chief upright and conscious. Luther sidles away in retreat from the pair of adopted siblings, accepting a bottled sports drink and maybe wishing it was something harder. A quick glance from the security chief silences any spoken questions from the pair of guards.

"So are we takin' break for now, or do you want to keep going?" Luther asks after a short sip.

“Exactly what I’m going to do, when it comes to it,” Richard replies to Kaylee’s question grimly, “I didn’t say I didn’t understand why she did it. Just that I’m not willing to give her any damn leeway because— ”


“Hey, hey,” he brings his hands up, palms forward defensively against his sister, “She’s not targeting you because you’re a telepath, she’s targeting you because you’re a telepath that works with me. The same as she targeted Remi. It’s not all about me, but the Horsemen? That’s square aimed at me, little sister. Ruskin was very clear on that point.”

As Luther steps away, he slants a wry look over after the man and his uncertain comments, commenting himself dryly, “My family tree is terribly complicated.”

“I stand by my previous argument, Richard,” Kaylee is clearly standing her ground on this one.

Still she sighs and turns her attention to the Security Chief. “Luther. Go relax, I’ll see you 5 a.m. for our workout though,” she points out. “I’ll see you by the treadmills.” Giving Richard’s own stomach a soft smack, she adds with a mischievous smile. “You might think about the same. Corporate life is not great for the figure.” Starting to peel off her other glove, moving towards Luther and the guards, they get a wink where her brother can’t see it. “I’m sure… Mon-i-ca would appreciate it. I mean… from what Lou tells me, she is becoming quite the frequent visitor .”

The helmet and gloves are handed off to Luther, she’s still not looking at Richard, “I’ll bring the rest of it to your office shortly, Mr. Bellamy.”

“With all due respect, Richard, if the Horsemen - and woman - are after just you, and this is all about you, then they’d have actually done something far deadlier than leaving you alive,” Luther remarks as he shifts a sidelong gaze to the CEO and COO having their disagreements on reasons for death threats besides existing. “It doesn’t make any sense why they’d not just…” He trails there, sending a second glance to Bob and Lou standing beside him. “Come after the company as a whole,” he finishes, taking care not to unveil too much. He takes a larger gulp of the drink in his hand, pulling it away and in an afterthought adds, “I’ll add a couple more extended range cameras outside.”

The added tease of a certain cybernetic armed visitor to the offices lately gets a low groaned ‘uh oh’ out of Lou, and a ruefully wry expression from the woman to the telepath. “You said you were going to be discreet!” she protests, but it’s already out of her hands so the security guard heaves a sigh and rolls her eyes. She receives the helmet and gloves that are passed her by Luther.

And the note that Kaylee will return the armor back to his office gets a short nod from the security chief. The notion of a 5AM morning workout, though, gets a grimace. But without protest, the chief turns and starts for the doors as ordered. It’s Bob who, oh so helpfully, says to the chief as they head out, “I’ve got a few more alarms I could set for you if you want, Chief.”

“No, Bob. Just… no.”

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