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 Playing With Rocks, Apr 11 2017, 9:00AM | Closed to Tagged
Slate
 Posted: May 17 2018, 03:41 PM
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Garbed in his X-Men uniform and standing roughly thirty yards away from the rubble of the school, Shane regarded it with a frown. Construction crews were rapidly working toward rebuilding and possibly remodeling their home, but the geokinetic couldn't help but to feel a slight lurch in his heart and stomach whenever he saw it. Damage to the mansion wasn't new. The X-Men had their share of enemies and with the place being a school for mutant teenagers there were bound to be accidents. A broken out wall here or there, a few shattered windows, or even an obliterated bedroom door were things that the staff and students had almost come to expect as inevitable and they were prepared for such eventualities as a result. Losing the entire school in an explosion was something that had come completely out of left field and they hadn't really been prepared. Things were proceeding apace, of course, but that didn't bring Shane much comfort. Despite being able to assume an incredibly durable stone form he felt more vulnerable than ever.

That's why he needed to train as hard and as efficiently as possible. When he heard that Roberto and Calvin had returned to New York he saw the latter's return as a great opportunity. Cal's use of geokinetic skills during their lengthy stay in the Savage Land had been genuinely impressive, even if the power mimic didn't have his power in full. Sometimes being limited pushed a person to being creative, and that's something that Shane himself sometimes struggled with. He had ideas, of course, and he was creative in the use of his powers to a degree, but there were some things that he simply couldn't accomplish in the way that Mimic could. That's what he wanted to hone, and he hoped that Cal was willing to assist him and possibly develop a few new tricks of his own. While the guy didn't necessarily need geokinesis, it probably couldn't hurt to have further developed skills with it in case he did need it.

With the Brood and other threats abound having any bit of an edge was absolutely vital to survival.

Shane had reached out to Cal hoping for the best but bracing himself for the possibility of being turned down. In his pitch he had informed the young man of what had happened with the Brood and to the school, and the threat that the invasive aliens posed to the world as a whole and expressed the desire to train with someone who might be able to teach him some new tricks. Rather than relying primarily on his alternative form he would like to be able to improve on all aspects of his geokinetic skills. While he may have had a natural edge over Cal by having his power in full rather than in half that didn't mean that he was an absolute master of manipulating the earth. There was always room for improvement.

Standing with his arms crossed, Shane turned away from the in-progress mansion as he felt the subtle vibrations caused by approaching footsteps. "Hey, it's been a while," Shane said, offering the younger man a nod. "I hope life's been treating you well. Better than when we were stuck you-know-where, anyway." The greeting and well-wishing were genuine. Some may have had problems with Calvin Rankin, but Shane didn't. Nobody was perfect, but in his mind the guy had proven himself in the Savage Land on more than one occasion, so he was okay by him.

"Thanks for coming," he added, uncrossing his arms and assuming a more casual stance. "If you've got any questions about anything I told you just let me know and I'll answer the best that I can. I mean I'm sure you saw Jean's press conference and the... reply. All of that is why I've asked you out here. If we're going to be able to stand up to the Brood we're going to need to be at our absolute best." That should have spoken for itself, but there were times when even the obvious needed stating. "When we were in the Savage Land I saw you use my own power –which I've had since I was twelve– in ways that I'd never even imagined, like map-making and small but incredible things like that. I'd like to learn more; get some new ideas. And in return I'd gladly teach you anything you'd like to know."

Falling silent for a moment to allow Cal a chance to consider his proposal, Shane wondered briefly what limits he might encounter by being unable to use a power at its peak. Was Cal able to assume a full mineral state by assimilating something, or would his body only produce a durable armor shell and augment his physical capabilities like it used to for him? What was his range? These were things that he hadn't really questioned too much while in the Savage Land, because Cal had also possessed Piotr's powers, giving him a better form than geokinetic armoring.

"So what do you say? Is this something you wanna do?"

He hoped that Cal would indulge him; he had an idea that he hadn't strongly considered trying before and would like to put it to use despite it not requiring another person to fully test.
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Mimic
 Posted: May 20 2018, 04:25 PM
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It had come as a bit of a surprise to Calvin to hear from Shane, especially so shortly after he and Berto had returned to New York. Sure, the two had plenty of time to bond when they were trapped in the Savage Land, and out of the three X-Men there Slate was the one whom Cal had probably gotten along best with, but after they were freed from that place they had both returned to their lives to try and pick up where they had left off. Shane had gone back to Xavier's, while Calvin had finally gotten to start a proper life with the man he loved, moving all the way down to Rio de Janeiro. But with a danger like the Brood looming over the world, it made sense that people were brought closer together. That was why Calvin had decided he wanted to return to New York in the first place, and so when Shane had contacted him to ask him for his assistance Cal had agreed to meet up with him.

Calvin's arrival on the school grounds was preceded by the appearance of a distinct, pink rift in space courtesy of Reece, through which the Mimic stepped out onto the front lawn. Like Shane, Calvin was clad in his uniform, a birthday gift he'd received from Jean just over a month ago. It was similar to Shane's own, but being a Jean Grey Original it was more stylishly designed, with several blue accents and a curled 'M' in place of the X emblems. Cal wasn't entirely sure if he would be needing it, but given that Shane had informed him that this would involve power training it felt safe to assume that he would.

For a brief moment after he emerged from Blink's portal Calvin simply stood there, taking in the sight of the school that had been his home for over six years lying in ruin. It wasn't his home anymore, and hadn't been since he was seventeen years old, but seeing the mansion in this state still stirred something in Calvin. A mixture of sadness and anger at what had been lost, and seeing first hand what extents these Brood were willing to go to. So far Calvin had only heard stories, mostly from Jean and Reece, but seeing it with his own eyes really drove home what was at stake here.

Though preoccupied with taking in the sight of the destroyed mansion and the emotions that came with that, Calvin both took in and acknowledged Shane's words. "It has been a while," he agreed, turning his gaze towards the other man. "Life's been good." An understatement, life with Roberto in Rio had been amazing, but while usually quick to gush about getting to enjoy the good fortune of living life with the man he loved, standing near the remains of what until recently was Shane's home felt like it would be in poor taste. "I hope you've been well too. You know, all things considered." Cal didn't know how Shane had been coping with the Brood situation, and had absolutely no clue how difficult it actually had been for the man, but he could at least express a genuine sentiment that he had been as well as one could be given the circumstances.

As Shane explained in more detail why he had asked him to come out there, Calvin listened attentively. That it was his own use of Shane's geokinetic abilities that had piqued the man's interest came as a bit of a surprise to Cal, who hadn't really considered that someone as experienced as Shane could feel like there were things he could learn from someone who hadn't just mimicked his mutation and the skill he had with them, but had done so at only half strength. Even with the admiration Shane had previously expressed for some of the things Cal had done with the man's geokinesis, it hadn't occurred to him that potentially made him qualified to try and teach an old dog some new tricks. Nor had he considered that there would be anything he could learn from the man either, not when his mutation picked up on skills relating to the use of people's abilities as a built-in benefit, but now that he gave it some more thought Calvin figured that there were some things you only learned through experience and that his own mutation might not be infallible in what it did or did not mimic as far as knowledge went.

"I would help you even if I got nothing out of it myself," Calvin let Shane know after only a brief deliberation. "Like I said to Jean before I returned from Rio, I'm here to help and we're stronger by working together." In a way, Calvin's entire mutation - which more than anything else made him who he was - centered around drawing upon what other people had to offer. He could be a bit selfish at times, and had spent several years after leaving Xavier's doing nothing but that, but he didn't mind giving back a little from time to time. An actual alien invasion potentially threatening all life on Earth was as good a time as any to do just that. "If you want to teach me a thing or two about geology though, that could be useful if I ever decide to mimic your ability on a permanent basis." Doing so gave him Shane's knowledge of using his mutation, but the knowledge the man had of various minerals and the advantages they offered stood independent from that and struck Cal as something that could definitely come in handy. "I forgot to bring a notebook though, so perhaps for now we should just focus on what my perspective on your powers might be able to do for you."

Turning his attention back towards the destroyed school, Calvin heaved a sigh. "I hope that it will help make a difference. That any of us will actually be able to make a difference." He didn't mean to sound so gloomy, but apparently alien invasions had a way of bringing him down when he dwelled on what it could mean for all of them. Imagine that. "It's not just the X-Men they're targeting, you know," Cal said as he looked back towards Shane. "The Brotherhood had to deal with them as well two days ago, both in Genosha and somewhere they were sheltering Genoshan refugees." Reece hadn't told Calvin all that much in the way of details, considering he was no longer a member of the Brotherhood, but she had at least informed him of what had happened. "They really do seem intent on capturing mutants, so anything I can do to help make that more difficult for them, I'm down with it."

Blink for brief mentions.
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Slate
 Posted: May 21 2018, 12:01 PM
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As much as life had been beating him down, Shane was glad to hear that Cal was actually having good things happening for him. He wasn't the type to be jealous of another person's prosperity no matter how much he wanted to be at peace himself. There were times when the world decided to focus on a person or a group of people and simply let loose with everything it had; it just so happened that the X-Men and their charges had been the targets and that Shane had taken a bit more of a beating than some others.

When Mimic said that he hoped that he had been doing well despite everything that had been thrown their way Shane kind of shrugged and turned his eyes somewhat downward. "I've... been a lot better." He could have gone into details , but part of him didn't really feel up to it at that moment and he certainly didn't want to bring the mood down any more than the sight of the demolished school did. To Shane the best thing would be to focus on what he might learn or teach Cal rather than dwelling on what happened and what it had cost him.

Even if a part of him knew from past experience that holding it all in was a bad idea.

It was nice to hear that Cal would assist him even if it meant gaining nothing in return, even if Shane didn't intend for things to go that way, but what followed actually surprised him. Having someone request geology lessons was not something he had happen every day. In fact it was pretty rare outside of students enrolling in his Earth Science classes. Shane wouldn't disagree when Cal said that such knowledge prove useful should the guy mimic his geokinetic powers again, so if and when the young man acquired a notebook he would be glad to impart some knowledge. "Sure," he said, his expression clearly conveying his surprise at the request. "Knowing a few things about minerals is always handy. You've got some superior options for bodily transformation and armoring, but that kind of knowledge can also be helpful when simply working with certain things. So I'll teach you anything you wanna know."

Shane's gaze followed Cal's as the younger man's turned to the school, and he listened as mention was made of the Brotherhood suffering a Brood attack in both Genosha and the place where they were sheltering the refugees. It lent credence to the whole notion that the alien invaders sought people with power. While they were clearly content with taking control of a town like Broken Bow, their heights were set far higher. What Cal didn't say was whether or not the Brotherhood and the Genoshans had successfully weathered the attack. "Are they okay?" he asked, the concern in his voice clear. While some might look the other way if a Brotherhoodlum or two get taken down by the Brood, Shane wasn't so callous as to feel the same way. Even if a select few were some of the most monstrous people to live on the planet many of those in the organization were just people with differing ideals or more extreme ways of expressing them. "Were any of them hurt or... taken away? The reason I ask is because their queen infects people and turns them into... into Brood. That's what they want. They want to infect and convert us... and that's permanent."

Falling silent for a few moments, Shane considered the weight of his words. Amelia wasn't the only person who had been taken over by Brood, and probably wouldn't be the last. The people of Broken Bow were probably all long gone and would have to be put down. Any of their friends or foes who suffered the same fate would have to be dealt with in similar fashion. It was enough to make him shudder.

"I wanna make sure that doesn't happen again,” he said, not fully realizing what his chosen words implied. "And that's why I want your help... and want to help you. I want to be able to protect the people I care about, and I know you do too."
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Mimic
 Posted: May 23 2018, 04:45 PM
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Calvin shook his head when Shane asked him if anyone had gotten hurt or taken away. "None of the Brotherhood were, as far as I know. As for those they were trying to protect..." He shrugged his shoulders lightly. "Possibly. Probably." It would certainly be nice if the Brood had left Genosha and wherever the Brotherhood were housing those refugees empty handed, but that was probably too much to hope for. "When it comes to the Brotherhood, Reece and I don't talk all that much," Cal elaborated then, realising that he was not being very uninformative. "I'm close to her, but not to them. I left that part of my life behind for good, and the last thing I want is getting Reece in trouble for telling me something she shouldn't have." And so they simply didn't discuss much in the way of Brotherhood matters.

Yet as he turned his gaze back towards the destroyed mansion, Calvin couldn't help but feel like they should make an exception to the rule in a situation like this. He'd never been a fan of the thick lines drawn in the sand between the Brotherhood and the X-Men, lines that had he'd had trouble staying behind when he was part of the former himself, and when there was a threat as dire as the Brood looming over them it seemed idiotic to let ideological differences get between them. If the Brood got what they wanted, nothing either group had ever strived for would mean anything anymore. It was for that very same reason that Calvin was in New York now, why he was on the school grounds talking to an X-Man whom he was intending to help hone his geokinetic powers. He had consciously maintained his distance from the X-Men, even when Psylocke offered him a place on her security team and Jean would surely love it if he joined their ranks, but now was the time to stick together, not stay apart. "I guess I could ask her if there's anything more she can tell me," Cal supposed then, meeting Slate's eyes again. "Not sure if I'll learn anything useful, but it's worth a shot."

For now though, Calvin thought it better if they focused on Shane's training. That's why he had come out there, and if he wanted to sit down and talk Brood with someone he'd go see Jean. Nothing against Shane, of course, he was without a doubt one of the X-Men whom Calvin liked best, but he was just so much closer to Jean. And as the leader of the X-Men, maybe she could actually do something to reach out to the Brotherhood and pool their resources. Surely his former mentor would be able to see that a truce would be in everyone's best interest, and there had to be some amongst the Brotherhood sensible enough to realise that too.

"So, how do you want to do this?" Calvin wondered as he took a brief moment to let go of Roberto's mutant ability to make room for Shane's. Given that he lost any stored solar energy whenever he dropped his love's power it typically wasn't all that useful to him, but since he spent so much time around the man and shared his bed, his own mutation picked it up by default whenever he had a slot free. "Somehow I doubt you're interested in map making," he chuckled lightly. "Which, mind you, I mostly did while suffering from a manic episode." Calvin hated how he sort of lost control of himself, even if it wasn't immediately detrimental, but the increased productivity and creativity that he experienced sure were something. "I can't say I'd recommend it," he added with a wry smile.

"I know this might be kind of lame as far as advice goes... but you've just got to think small." Calvin focused his attention on the ground below them for a moment, carefully manipulating the minerals it was composed of and forcing dozens of small spikes to jot up from it through the grass. Not as impressive looking as some of his creations back in the Savage Land, but he was mostly just getting himself back into the habit of using geokinesis."It probably helps that I've got a knack for art, and that I've had just about every kind of whatever-kinesis you can think of over the years" he told Shane then, putting what he had been able to do with the man's geokinetic abilities into perspective a little. "But there shouldn't be anything I can do that you can't do twice as well, in theory." Bringing up his hand, Calvin tapped the side of his skull. "You've just got to let that imagination of yours do its job, and use it to create what you want." Maybe Shane just wasn't wired that way, and wouldn't be able to have his imagination and geokinetic abilities work in sync the way they did for Calvin, but the mimic was certain that some improvements could be made there.
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Slate
 Posted: May 24 2018, 04:24 PM
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Shane hadn't really expected a full report on the Brotherhood's dealings with the Brood, seeing as Mimic had cut ties with the organization some time ago. It stood to reason that he had only heard the basic information from Reece without getting too much detail. Shane simply hoped that everyone had made it out okay or at least mostly unscathed. Not only because most of them were people too, but they also didn't need the Brood to assume the forms of people like Suvik, Victor Creed, or someone equally as nasty. Though in all fairness there probably wouldn't be much change to their personalities if they did take those two.

Offering a nod as Cal said that he could reach out to Reece to find out if she could provide him with more information regarding the outcome of the attack, Shane turned his focus back toward the task at hand. He wasn't entirely sure what it was he wanted to get out of the training session, but he felt that it was a better use of his time than making more people mad at him. Improving his geokinetic skills in any way, shape, or form couldn't hurt regardless.

"I'll probably not get a lot of use out of map making," Shane replied to Cal's joke with a smirk of his own. Having been around the guy for over three years worth of time passage Shane had become familiar with the young man's manic episodes. While he had wished that something could have been done to legitimately help him through them, providing him with materials to release some of that manic energy had been a reasonable alternative and about the most of what he could have done at all.

Moving on, Cal's advice seemed simple enough, and while Shane wasn't entirely unfamiliar with doing things on a small scale situations rarely actually called for it. Moments where he'd needed to utilize his geokinetic powers usually called for big things to be done. Sure there was the occasional ninja to bury up to the neck in the foundation of a renovation site, but those were fewer and farther between than the need to simply slam someone in the face with a swift uppercut from the ground. Feeling the movement of the earth through his seismic senses prior to witnessing the thin, small spikes emerging from the ground, Shane could easily tell that Cal had fine control down to an almost literal art form. While breaking the bonds of minerals required a fine level of control to begin with –such as when he'd reduce the ground to something akin go quicksand– he rarely used it for the creation of actual constructs.

If he was to make this work he would have to think small. Which meant focusing. Which meant not being distracted by other things on his mind.

He could do that. Probably.

Kneeling down, placing a gloved hand on the ground, touching the earth with his exposed fingertips, Shane reached out mentally into the ground between him and his teacher. Latching onto the earth that made up the spikes, he pulled back, returning them to the ground all at once in a move that probably looked smoother and more refined than it actually was. From there he sought to make something similar as a way of getting a feel for working on the small scale. The goal was to replicate the spikes made by Cal, so he focused on small portions of the ground and pulled the minerals of the soil together in those places, building them up and raising them into two inch pillars. Once they were the appropriate length Shane tightened the bonds of the mineral constructs, forming much harder points and increasing the solidity of their base.

That was easy enough, and not unlike breaking and reforming the bonds of the minerals to begin with, but this was nothing more than pulling the earth up from the ground. Shane had made larger spikes with ease, and even this wasn't difficult, but it was a good start at thinking on a smaller scale. Such things as that could, at the very least, cause damage to vehicle tires if performed on a road and the spikes were firm and hard enough. That kind of use of his powers would be infinitely more subtle than simply ripping a hole in the road to cause a vehicle to fall into it, and could be easily covered up by simply breaking the spikes apart after the fact.

Rising to his feet, Shane said, "Just giving that a shot. Things like that aren't too hard. I just tend to go big with things that I do, or just rely on changing my body entirely, but I can't really do anything geokinetic in my other form outside of basic seismic senses. I think I'm pretty good there –can pretty quickly rebuild my body if it's broken apart. I just want to become a bit more versatile with my power as a whole so that I don't end up having to rely on transforming all the time."
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Mimic
 Posted: May 25 2018, 02:14 AM
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Remaining standing upright while Shane knelt down to touch a hand to the ground, Calvin watched with interest as the other man flattened the ground again and then created spikes similar to the ones he had created a moment ago. Cal was honestly a bit surprised that Shane felt the need to do so with his hands, figuring that he could sense the earth through the soles of his feet as well. He did consider that perhaps the fact that he had Beast's mutation made him more capable of using his feet for geokinesis because like with his hands he had much greater dexterity there than regular people, but he didn't think that was actually the case.

He was tempted to tag along with Shane's mental process through telepathy, but decided not to until he actually had the man's permission to root around his brain. But even from just watching Slate at work, the look on his face and the meticulous manner in which he seemed to manipulate the earth gave Calvin some idea of how he approached the process: by giving it way more thought than he really ought to have done. Cal made a mental note of that, because if Shane wanted to improve then one of the first steps would probably be to think less and act more. Taking his time was fine in a learning environment, but in an actual fight the time the man took and the fact that he needed to be in his far more vulnerable human form to use his geokinesis was like holding a giant banner over his head saying "Please come kick my ass before what I'm doing becomes a problem for you." Or something more succinct and banner-appropriate than that.

"Why do you rely on transforming all the time?" Calvin wondered once Shane was back on his feet and explained his approach to using his powers a little. "Is it because it's easier for you to just rock up and punch things? Because you're hesitant to give up the defensive properties of your rock form in favour of actually being able to use your geokinesis?" Probably a bit from column A and a bit from column B, Calvin would wager. "Because things get easier through practice and experience." Neither of which Calvin had nearly as much of in regards to Shane's mutation as the man himself, and yet he'd created the spikes more quickly than Shane had because he hadn't decided to make a whole process out of it.

Gesturing towards the spikes Shane had created, Calvin continued. "That was... I mean, they look great, but if I'd wanted to I could have easily knocked you on your ass with how long that took." There wasn't too much of a judgemental tone to Calvin's voice, but the mimic wasn't going to coddle Shane and give him a gold star for trying when he thought he could have done better. "I wish I could have linked with your mind to see what went through it while you did that, but I'm going to go ahead and guess that it was too much." Especially compared to Calvin, who could honestly stop to think before he did something more often.

"But that's good," Calvin continued, taking his feedback for Shane down a positive, constructive route. "That's something you can actually work on. Like that--" Cal gestured down towards the ground again. "The kneeling down? That hardly seems necessary." Maybe it made things easier, but they weren't here to make things easier, they were here to make things better. "So let's go ahead and set a rule for this training that there will be no kneeling down to touch the ground," Cal decided. "If you want to be more versatile in a combat situation then you're going to be staying on your feet. If you can't rock up for protection, you need to be ready to move." For the most part, anyway. Even if Shane wasn't invulnerable or able to reconstitute himself when he wasn't in his rock form hardly meant that he was defenseless. He just needed to get himself out of the habit of relying on his armored form for survival, something that was easier for Calvin to do because he hadn't always had the ability to transform his body into something more durable as he did now that he had Colossus' powers, or Mondo's before that. Of course having a healing factor made it a lot easier for him to not worry too much about getting hurt, but focusing on that too much wasn't going to be very helpful to Shane. "Not that you can't still rock up for protection," Calvin pointed out to Shane next. "But for the sake of this exercise let's just pretend you can't. Try and get you out of the habit of using your armored form as a crux, to push your dependence on your actual geokinesis more."

With the basics for their training explained, Cal figured they could actually get towards trying out a thing or two. He needed more time to figure out what exactly Shane's weakest points were when it came to using his powers, but he figured they could work that out as they went along. "I think it's best if we start with some basics," Cal suggested. "I would like to, with your permission, use my telepathy to read your memories of the Brood attack for some more specific training, but let's start simple." That would give Shane some time to consider if he even wanted to have the Mimic digging around his brain. It would be helpful to actually give Calvin an idea of what the Brood were like, only having heard about them so far, but he wouldn't force it if Shane wasn't comfortable having his mind read like that.

"Okay then, so let's pretend I'm the enemy," Cal started as he took a few steps back, unable to keep himself from smirking. "It's quite the stretch of the imagination, I know." Kicking his foot down onto the ground, he caused a few rocky projectiles to pop out from it. Round and smooth, with nothing to them that would cause anything more than a bruise on impact. As long as Shane didn't get hit in the head, everything would be fine. With just geokinesis at his disposal the projectiles wouldn't be all that effective, but Calvin had more up his sleeve than that. With a simple mental command, the rocks were telekinetically lifted off the ground and began circling the Mimic. "We'll start with some defence first," Calvin explained to Shane. "I'll be throwing rocks at you, your job is to stop them." He paused for a second to consider how Shane could just deal with the rocky projectiles as soon as he came into contact with them, but that wouldn't be very helpful. "While pretending that these aren't rocks," Calvin added, "and without turning into one yourself. Walls, pillars, whatever... I want to see geokinesis and I want to see it happen quickly." He wasn't going to be pelting Shane with pebbles, but Cal wasn't going to go easy on him either.

And with that, Calvin began sending the rocks towards Shane, six in total with intervals of no more than five seconds between them, and with each rock coming in at a different angle so that just throwing up a single rock wall wouldn't be enough. Once Calvin was satisfied with Shane's performance they could move onto trying some offensive tactics, which he was sure Shane could use some refining in as well. If Shane somehow didn't end up doing great... well, there were a lot more rocks that Cal could throw at him.
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Slate
 Posted: May 25 2018, 09:46 AM
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The first thing out of Cal's mouth after Shane had recreated the small ground spikes was one that he should have expected but one for which he didn't have a fully thought out response. The theories that followed as Mimic continued were actually pretty on the nose. Sometimes it was simply easier to transform and to punch things. Sometimes the added protection was hard to give up. To those assessments Shane couldn't help but to simply nod because they were true.

Crossing his arms, Shane's gaze followed Cal's gesture toward the spikes as he prepared himself for feedback. He hadn't invited Cal to the grounds to be coddled by the man. Some harsh critique could help him see the faults in his technique or give him new ideas altogether. So upon hearing that the structures looked good but had taken too long to create Shane gave the man a curt nod. He could see that. In an effort to make them as precisely as possible he had put a decent bit of thought into their form, which had admittedly taken longer than it could have.

When it came to dropping to a kneel, Shane pondered the comment for a moment. The fact of the matter was that it wasn't wholly necessary, but he did do somewhat often. Typically it happened when he felt the need to shift his focus entirely into what he was doing –sort of shutting out some of what was around him to gain a finer control of what he planned to manipulate– but Cal wasn't wrong. Such a thing wasn't necessary. While being trapped in the Savage Land he had used his geoiknetic powers in many various ways so that he could hunt and survive, and in many cases he had simply done things rather than thinking about them too much; he'd have never escaped from that dreaded silent underground temple had he stopped to consider how to get away rather than simply crashing up and through the stone steps while bringing the structure behind him down along the way.

"Got it," he said simply when Cal made a standing only rule. Unless he wound up being knocked on his ass he was going to remain on his feet. He would also not rock out unless it was absolutely necessary, which probably wouldn't be an issue in a training situation. Improving on his weaker areas wouldn't be possible if he fell back on his armored form.

The next request was something that gave Shane cause for pause. He wasn't completely opposed to the idea of the guy reading his mind for bits of information about the Brood and what they were capable of, or even for whatever was going through his head whenever he was considering how to use his own powers, but there were some very very personal things lurking below the surface there. Things that he had been more or less trying to avoid thinking about or discussing despite knowing that he should neither be running from nor dwelling on them.

Damn it.

"Yeah," he said a few moments later, a hint of nervousness lacing the word. "The more you see for yourself the more you'll know what's coming, after all." That too was true. Giving Cal some knowledge of the Brood in a way that was slightly more reliable than word-of-mouth was probably going to be helpful regardless of whether or not his personal privacy was at stake.

Moving on to the actual training exercise, the first thing that Shane noticed when Cal created the spheres that would serve as projectiles was how perfectly smooth and round they were. They were like perfect ski-balls. Apart from the flawlessness of the shape it was the effortlessness with which they were created that struck Shane the most. If it had been him breaking the ground apart to use against someone they'd have been just as effective but far less perfect. So the goal was defend against the rocks while pretending that they weren't rocks at all. It made sense; he just wouldn't be allowed to manipulate them himself. Guarding against them should be easy enough.

The first sphere came straight at him, which was easy to block with an earthen wall erected spontaneously before him. It became evident however that Cal didn't intend to simply fire from straight on (what would be the point?) and as the second projectile came curving around and toward his left side Shane raised another portion of the ground to intercept it. Hitting the orbs one by one would probably work if he knew where they were all coming from, but being unable to sense them as they were hurled through the air it would be hard to raise individual barriers in time. So Shane did something a bit more drastic and tore the ground under himself open and lowering the floor in a sense, causing him to drop roughly five feet down, allowing the projectiles to pass by hitting nothing but air or the walls previously created.

Already he could see that there were other ways he could have handled the situation. Simply putting up walls on all sides would have probably sufficed from the start, even if it would have left him exposed from an attack from above. Even then creating walls at an angle allowing them to meet above him would have solved that problem.
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Mimic
 Posted: May 25 2018, 10:54 AM
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Shane performed well enough when it came to stopping the projectiles Calvin launched at him, which given the man's fifteen years of experience at using his powers wasn't a huge surprise. The first two rocks sent in Slate's direction were blocked by quickly raised stone walls, predictable but efficient. The third, fourth and fifth were avoided in a more creative manner, with Shane using his geokinesis to move himself out of the way instead of relying on yet another wall to block them. Calvin could appreciate the effort, and how there wasn't much in the way of hesitation on the other man's part before he acted. That had seemed like a bit of a hurdle for Shane to overcome, but seeing that he could respond almost immediately in effective ways when it actually mattered made Cal consider that it wasn't that much of an issue. They could put it to the test more later, in a scenario that was less "dodge the rocks" and more "act in an actual simulation of combat", but for now he was content to move on.

Not without dropping one of the pebbles on top of Shane first, of course. Calvin had sensed the man shifting the ground beneath his feet to create the hole he was hiding in, and his telepathy further helped make him aware exactly where his target was. The last of Calvin's rocks didn't drop from far up, and so didn't hurt all that much, but would probably help Shane remember that attacks could come from above him as well next time. Burying himself underground hardly seemed advisable, considering he still needed to breathe when he was in his human form, but a roof atop his little makeshift fortress or differently angled rocky walls would have done the trick as well.

"Come on back up!" Calvin called out to Shane, waiting for the man to raise himself up until he was at ground level again and had taken care of the walls he'd created. There was still more for them to do, and having a clear field to practice on was for the best. "I was thinking about moving onto some offence if you did well," Calvin informed Shane once he seemed ready again. "And you did, but I was thinking... what would really tempt Shane to shift into his rock form? What would really be a situation where you should use your geokinesis to your advantage despite not being inclined to?" They had already covered that Shane relied on his rock form way more than he should, so putting him in a situation where that would likely be his first impulse seemed like a good training exercise. "So I figured, what if someone engages you in a fist fight?" Cal continued. "Someone strong, who could seriously injure you if they set their mind to it? Makes sense to want to be as durable as you could be in a situation like that." Cal had a healing factor and several other abilities to rely on, but if someone big and nasty looking was coming his way he'd make sure he was armored up. Unlike Shane though, doing so didn't exclude him from using the other abilities at his disposal.

"But what if they're stronger than you are, and at least as durable, meaning there's no real way for you to get the upper hand in a brawl?" Cal wondered then, cocking his head lightly as he regarded the older man. "Someone like Piotr for example. Or, y'know--" As he spoke, Calvin shifted from flesh into a metallic form Shane would recognise both from the Savage Land and because it was nearly identical to that of Colossus. "--someone like me." Even at half of Piotr's strength, Calvin was pretty sure he was still stronger than any of Shane's mineral forms. They hadn't put that to the test during their time in the Savage Land, but with his mimicry came a certain awareness of other people's powers, which could be rather informative.

"So for this exercise, I'm going to attempt to kick your ass," Calvin explained with a cheerfulness in his voice that didn't quite fit what he was conveying. He couldn't help it, actually using his powers this freely and to help another mutant figure out theirs better to boot had put him in a rather good mood. It seemed doubtful that the prospect of having a metallic Mimic coming for him had Shane feeling the same, but that was sort of the idea Cal was going for. "I know, I could just come for you without being made of metal," Cal added, offering Shane a shiny metallic smile, "but let's just call this added incentive." Turning away from Shane then, Calvin took a few steps to put more distance between the two of them. Starting off practically within arm's reach of poor Shane would hardly be fair. "I won't be using telepathy, telekinesis or your own powers in this exercise," Calvin elaborated once he'd put some distance between the two of them. "So you don't have to worry about contending with that." Just a seven foot tall metallic man who could crush him like a gnat if he got his hands on him, whom Shane needed to throw more creativity at than just tossing up a rocky wall to deal with.

No big deal.

"As soon as your ready..." Cal said then, waiting for Shane to give him the okay before charging forward.
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Slate
 Posted: May 25 2018, 11:53 AM
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The rock that landed on his head didn't hurt, but it served to prove the very point he had just considered, and it was easy to see that Cal wasn't oblivious to it. Even if the guy couldn't see him, Mimic had telepathy and could easily find him. Just because he was out of a foe's sight that didn't put him out of mind.

Taking Cal's direction and lifting himself up, bringing the floor of where he stood up to level with the rest of the ground while simultaneously collapsing the earthen walls, Shane considered what he had done both right and wrong during the first exercise. Walls were well and good, and so was the ability to dive underground, but the former needed refinement and the latter could put him in a dangerous position if he wasn't careful. As effective as it could be at times he would still need to breathe, so leaving some kind of an opening would be necessary. Angled walls seemed the more logical choice in this case.

As Cal proposed the next training exercise Shane's brow furrowed at the mention of a situation where he should use his geokinesis when he'd be more inclined to assume a mineral form instead. There were probably plenty, really, because not every situation had only one solution. Whether he would transform during a fist fight however depended on numerous factors. If the foe was actually out to kill him then he would absolutely change, though he'd usually hold back from using his full strength because a fully powered blow from him was enough to cause severe damage if not lethal damage depending on where the blow landed. Shane was strong in his normal form, but he was still heavily overshadowed by people like Nez, Piotr, and others whose mutations granted them super strength by default. He could handle himself well enough in a fist fight. No problem.

Only what Cal said immediately afterward implied that being in his human form would be a problem. It was only then that he considered just what Cal might have in mind. Even if Cal's mineral changing would only provide him with a layer of armor as it had once done for him, Shane knew that it would also augment his strength.

Or... he could just use the powers of Colossus and turn into metal. There was also that.

"Okay," Shane said, closing his hands into fists and clinching them tightly. He wouldn't be using them against Cal's metallic form but as the strangely excited mimic stepped away to create a fair gap between them he quickly considered what he might do to defend himself. Something as simple as an earthen wall would do little good against someone with even a fraction of Piotr's strength –the distance didn't really provide time to create something thick enough to hold the guy back for long. Blinding him with dirt was out of the question as well, considering the natural resistances someone made of metal had to such things.

Recalling the simulation he had recently put his Beta squad though Shane briefly considered some options. When an unstoppable force was making its way forward the best means of offense was to remove the threat altogether. In this case Shane was the apartment building that Juggernaut was aiming to destroy. He quickly crafted an idea; something that was a bit of a gamble but still worth a shot.

Okay. "Ready," he said, one corner of his mouth turning up slightly.

As soon as Cal came for him Shane focused on the ground between them, and as the seven foot tall metal mimic reached the point on the ground Shane had chosen he sprung his trap. All at once and with incredible force the ground below Cal erupted at and angle that would send him both skyward and forward, using his own momentum against him. It was something that Shane had done to himself on school grounds once as a test and another time to reach Logan's cabin quickly after Luca had his arm broken by the murder hobbit.

As soon as the makeshift mangonel was fired Shane instinctively leaped to the side just in case his angle wasn't quite high enough.
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Mimic
 Posted: May 25 2018, 12:51 PM
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Calvin had barely taken more than a few steps in Shane's direction before the ground beneat his feet came to life. Had he been attuned to it with Slate's geokinesis or kept a mental eye out for any ideas that popped up in the man's head, he could have responded accordingly. As it was, everything happened so quickly that Calvin didn't even have time to react before he was sent flying. Suddenly being launched into the air like that actually drew a hearty laugh from Calvin before he catch himself. If not for the fact that he had no idea how far he'd go before landing, and not wanting to spend several minutes trudging back towards where Shane was, Cal would have rode this one out. Fun wasn't the point of this exercise, but that didn't mean he couldn't enjoy himself a little.

Through the use of telekinesis, Calvin came to a sudden halt mid-air, dropping back down onto the ground a second later as he stopped levitating himself. "Fine, I won't be using telekinesis on you," he corrected a claim he had made earlier. Full marks to Shane for going for something as efficient as removing Calvin from the battlefield entirely, but they weren't quite done yet. "Nice trick," he complimented Shane. "No hesitation, no overthinking it, just quickly and effectively dealing with the threat. I was honestly expecting you to try and restrain me, which probably wouldn't have worked, so good call there." Better than Calvin had expected, though his expectations being based on Shane asking for his help in the first place probably meant that the geokinetic was better than he gave himself credit for. Then again, they were only on assessing how Shane handled himself defensively so far, so they still had a ways to go.

One thing Calvin couldn't help but wonder was how Shane handled threats that weren't grounded. Having an enemy dependent on having steady footing on the very element he had mastery over gave Shane a certain advantage, but that could easily be taken away. Calvin wasn't the only one with the ability to fly; the mimic didn't know much about the Brood, but he knew they had wings. Launching them into the air wasn't going to do Shane much good. He would have to shift from defensive maneuvers to more offensive ones, most likely, and Cal was curious to see what he could bring to the table there.

"We'll see how you handle yourself more offensively now," Calvin announced as he turned back from metal to flesh as he spoke, his feet disconnecting from the ground as he levitated himself into the air. Jean's telekinesis didn't make him the quickest or most maneuverable flyers, especially at half strength, but when he was taking away Shane's biggest advantage by taking to the air the goal wasn't to make this all that difficult. He just wanted to see how Shane approached something like this, and if he was able to think both quickly and outside of the box. His expectations were more or less "Shane throws a rock", but perhaps the man would surprise him once again. Even if he didn't, that was okay too; improving on what he did with his geokinesis was why they were there. "Just take me out," Cal instructed Shane as he hovered about ten feet in the air, slowly moving side to side. "Don't care how you try to do it. I'm just curious how you'll handle this sort of challenge." He beckoned with his hands for Shane to come for him, confident that he wouldn't be so easily dealt with as before. "Whenever you're ready."
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Slate
 Posted: May 26 2018, 11:06 AM
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In a way Shane was proud of himself. Catapulting his incredibly powerful and indestructible opponent away had been a good choice, and hearing Mimic say as much made him feel good about his decision. Originally he had conceived the idea as a means of quick though admittedly reckless transportation, but using it against a dangerous foe was probably a lot smarter. With a bit more practice and fine tuning of the angles and force he figured the technique could work quite well.

Telekinesis had been on the list of Cal's self-restricted powers for training purposes, but Shane wasn't about to chastise him for using it to stop himself from flying off to who knew where. It saved the guy a trip back to the training grounds if nothing else and possibly saved a tree or two.

Upon learning what the next exercise would be Shane's gratified smile faltered just so. Using his powers offensively wasn't that hard. Geokinesis had numerous applications; especially when an opponent was on the ground. Shaking things up, causing the earth to almost literally slide from under them, sinking them into the ground, clobbering them with rocks, or smacking them with an angled post were all perfectly valid and useful attacks. Hitting someone or something that was airborne was where Shane began to have trouble. Launching rocky projectiles from the ground was pretty hit or miss, and Shane was quick to wager that miss was the more common of the two.

After taking a very deep breath, Shane exhaled and said, "Okay." It wasn't okay. As Cal drifted from side to side, ready to dodge whatever was thrown at him, Shane briefly studied the man's flight for any discernible pattern. And then he upended and let fly a tightly compacted clod of dirt that easily missed entirely. Okay, maybe it wasn't too far off the mark, but it still landed unceremoniously on the ground somewhere behind the power mimic where it even less ceremoniously fell to pieces. Even sending wads of compacted earth at the man from either side didn't work any better.

Then, as a last ditch effort, Shane's eyes darted to the left and right of Cal before three slabs of earth fired up toward the guy at angles that would allow them to meet above the flying man in an attempt to trap him in a three sided stone pyramid.
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Mimic
 Posted: Jun 1 2018, 09:07 AM
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From what he could see, Calvin definitely felt like Shane was better defensively than he was offensively. Not that the projectiles that were launched in his direction weren't adequate, it just felt a bit predictable with the lumps of earth being tossed at him, the attacks came a bit slowly as well, and Cal wasn't sure if the intent to do some damage was actually there. He could appreciate Slate not really wanting to hurt him, but one of the advantages of training with someone who possessed a healing factor was that his wellbeing shouldn't be much of a concern. At the very least Cal felt like Shane could have thrown more at him, done so in more rapid succession and with a lot more velocity. Maybe toss a few spikes in there. As a general rule, pointed objects just inflicted more damage than blunt force.

Shane's last move was telegraphed well before it happened, underlining once again how the man had a tendency to think too much. Not that there was necessarily anything wrong with a calculated attack, but the way Shane's eyes darted from side to side gave Cal a pretty good idea of where his next geokinetic attack was going to be coming from before it happened. All he had to do then was move up and out of the range of the slabs of earth that rapidly rose up from the ground. Considering Calvin was currently airborne, that was a response that Shane really should have accounted for.

"That was... not the worst," Calvin said as he lowered himself towards the ground, flying closer to Shane as he descended. He hadn't landed a single hit, which meant Shane had scored a big fat zero on this test, but Cal was going to stay positive to not discourage the man. "Maybe a bit slow and predictable," he continued as his feet touched the ground again. "But I guess you're just not that accustomed to using your powers for ranged offense, so let's just call this--" Cal gestured towards Shane, "--a work in progress."

Bringing a hand up to rub his chin as he regarded Shane, Calvin racked his brain to try and come up with some ways that the man could improve himself. Actual practical ways, since telling him to just do better wasn't actually helpful. "I'm trying to think of ways that you could attack more quickly," he explained to Shane, taking the man along in his thought progress. "Preferably without opening yourself up too much for a counter attack." The necessity for Shane to remain in his squishy, fleshy form meant he didn't have the defences he had when transformed, and that was something he should take into account too.

"What's actually the easiest thing for you to do, geokinetically?" Calvin wondered then. Thanks to his mutation Calvin had a solid idea of what Shane could do in general, but none of that came labelled with grades for difficulty. What Shane found easy Calvin could have more trouble with and vice versa. "And is there any way to use that offensively? Something that doesn't take too long to do, and doesn't come with such an obvious tell as what you did with those three slabs in the end there." Grinning, Cal added, "might as well have told me where you were going to attack me from with that one."
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Slate
 Posted: Jun 4 2018, 10:53 AM
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Cal was wrong. Shane's attempt to hit him with any kind of attack while the Mimic had been airborne was the worst. Slow and predictable meant that it was sloppy and ineffective. Using his power in a ranged capacity wasn't entirely new to him, but he usually worked with grounded opponents. Airborne fare was typically a job for someone else. That however was not helpful, seeing as the Brood as a race could fly.

Did that mean that a person infected by the Brood could fly too? Having witnessed the physical distortions caused by prolonged infection, he wondered then if the host would have access to useful wings.

As Cal pondered way that he could speed up his attacks, Shane did the same. When it came down to using his power in an offensive situation –a real offensive situation– he tended to simply go with the flow and let it all happen. There were times when he had to consider his next move but oftentimes he was content with just doing what came naturally. The big problem was that with things like airborne foes nothing really came naturally.

When he was asked what came easy to him Shane immediately raised a cylindrical pillar of earth coming up to about his knees almost directly behind himself before taking a seat upon it. One much like it was raised for Cal, should he choose to sit. A lot actually came fairly easily, but it was hard to pinpoint that singular thing. "There's what I just did," he said, bringing up the obvious, "and when we were in the Savage Land I tended to just... do things. When hunting I'd spring a trap to snare something and then I'd... kill it –usually with a spike. I mean, I guess sometimes I just don't think about what I should do and just kind of let things happen on their own."

Maybe that was part of the problem. Thinking too much was causing him to second guess his natural instincts. Though he would readily admit that hitting something in the air was definitely a work in progress. "Walls are easy. Sinkholes, pillars, and angled pistons for battering rams or catapulting –as you experienced– aren't that hard either. But I guess the easiest thing of all, if I had to choose any one thing, is sensing what's around me. Vibrations in the ground reach me very easily, and I can feel someone approaching usually before I can even hear them or sometimes see them. I can also feel abnormalities in the ground... most of the time." Except for that one time in Broken Bow, where he had felt that something was wrong but couldn't pinpoint a specific cause.

"Why? What are you thinking? How do we make my ground to air combat skills work?"
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Mimic
 Posted: Jun 5 2018, 03:12 PM
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Instead of sitting down on the cylindrical pillar Shane raised for him to sit on, Calvin circled the earthen creation instead. It was simple but suited its purpose, which seemed like it would be the best angle to explore when trying to figure out how to help Slate improve his geokinetic combat skills. He might have asked Calvin to meet him because of the detailed creations the mimic had made back in the Savage Land, but while Cal would be happy to give Shane a few rocky art lessons it didn't seem like it would be very helpful in dealing with the Brood. Calvin still needed to educate himself more on the alien invaders, and still intended to access Shane's memories to do so, but he already knew that impressing them with intricate earthen works of art wasn't going to be helpful.

Resting a hand atop the pillar and leaning against it, Calvin listened closely as Shane explained to him what kind of geokinetic tricks came most easily to him. As Cal had already sort of expected they were all things that would work great with earthbound opponents, but far less so against those who weren't. The unimaginative pieces of earth that Shane had thrown at him earlier were a clear testament to how much room for improvement there still was there.

"I'm thinking that we should probably step away from what you know," Cal responded when Shane wondered how they'd make his ground to air combat skills work. "I was hoping there'd be something we could use there, but you really put the ground in ground to air combat." It made perfect sense to Calvin that Shane worked that way, given that the earth was his element and he didn't have control over it as soon as it wasn't in contact with the ground anymore, but they could work on that. Cal didn't have Shane's experience with geokinesis, but the wide variety of mutant abilities he'd had at his disposal over the years made it easier for him to think outside of the box. That, and Shane was probably a lot nicer than Calvin was, so using his powers with the intent to cause harm might not come as easily to him.

"Perhaps it's best if we focus on an approach that will actually help fight the Brood," Cal suggested then, stepping away from the pillar and towards Shane. "I have some general ideas for what you could do offensively, but I think right now it would be most beneficial to come up with some things to deal with them specifically." And for that he was going to have to actually see them in action, something Shane had already agreed to allow Calvin to do by accessing his mind.

Stepping close to Shane, Calvin brought his hands up to both sides of the man's head. It wasn't really necessary, but it helped him focus a bit better. Given that Shane was a real Xavier's kid and had been at the school since he was twelve, Cal was sure that the experience with telepathy wouldn't be all that strange to him, but he'd approach it carefully regardless. This wasn't the same as when he'd entered Calloway's mind during his and Chuck's interrogation of the police detective; Calvin actually liked Shane and didn't want this to be any more uncomfortable for him than just the idea of having someone root through your memories was by default.

"Just relax and try to focus on the night that the Brood attacked the school," Cal instructed Shane. He could have just dug for it himself and learned everything he needed to learn that way, but it would be easier if the events were right at the forefront of Shane's mind. That way he wouldn't have to sift through whatever else might be on the man's mind to get to it. Again, Cal liked Shane but that didn't mean he cared to make himself privy to everything that went on behind those blue eyes. "This will be over in no time," he assured the man, then closed his eyes and reached into his mind.

What he saw then was not entirely what he had expected. There was the destruction of the school, a major happening from the night the Brood assaulted Xavier's that logically stood out. Brief flashes of Shane's interaction with Iceman were there as well, illustrating how the support he had offered him had helped the cryokinetic literally get himself together. There was plenty of the fight with the Brood too, giving Calvin a very good idea of how the creatures fought. While possessing airborne capabilities they certainly liked getting in people's faces to assault them with their tentacles, claws, teeth and their nasty looking stingers. Working on Shane's ranged offensive capabilities would certainly help against the aerial advantage those creatures had, but it was clear that a balance of offence and defence would be required to avoid leaving Shane vulnerable to them while not in his mineral form.

One thing that stood out more than anything else from that night though was Shane's interaction with Amelia.Bradshaw. It wasn't relevant to teaching Shane how to better use his geokinetic abilities, but held such emotional significance that it was impossible for Calvin to ignore. It was threatening to overwhelm Calvin, to drag him further into Shane's mind than he was comfortable with through the various other memories relating to Amelia. Had he been a lesser telepath, or rather a power mimic who had mimicked a lesser telepath than Jean Grey, he might have briefly lost himself there. As it was, Cal managed to push back against it, hazel eyes fluttering open as he broke off contact with Shane's mind.

For a moment Calvin simply stood there, fighting back against the emotions that came with experiencing the kind of loss Shane had. Not just that, but having had a hand in putting the woman he'd been friends with for years out of her misery himself. Stepping away from Shane then, Calvin sat down on the cylindrical pillar and heaved a heavy sigh as he levelled his eyes with Shane's. "Wow, that's--" Calvin started, his words trailing off as he struggled to find the right thing to say. "I'm sorry that you had to go through that, man," he offered. "I'd say I can't even imagine what it's like, but--" Calvin gestured towards Shane, who would know that the mimic had just been right there with him.
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Slate
 Posted: Jun 13 2018, 02:22 PM
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The insight provided by Mimic was completely logical, and Shane had no way to really counter the younger mutant's analysis of his methods. Ground to air combat was something he was legitimately bad at, so hearing it spoken aloud wasn't jarring nor did it offend him. He'd much rather hear it straight so that they could focus on fixing it. The Brood could fly and he couldn't, so he would rather have ways to effectively fight against them when they did.

When Cal approached him, saying that the best idea was to come up with ideas on how to combat the Brood specifically, Shane nodded. He had already given the power mimic permission to peer into his memories of the attack, and while he was somewhat hesitant to allow the young man access to everything he knew that he needed to see it all. During the fight Shane had seen both the Brood and Amelia's Brood warped body. It was important that Cal see it all too, just in case he came face to face with someone distorted by the alien monsters.

Shane did as instructed, trying his best to keep his cool as he recalled everything from that night as vividly as possible. Everything came back to him easily. Waking up to the sounds of the alarms and turrets, jumping out of his window to take on the invading forces, and coming face to face with the infected Amelia Bradshaw who had been horribly disfigured and even burned. The destruction of the school and the arrival of Bobby, who he had encouraged to pull himself back together, were also on his mind but it couldn't be helped; not that he had anything to hide.

Recalling it all sucked, and Shane hated that Cal had to witness it at all. It was clear from the young man's reaction of almost abruptly pulling away that he had seen, well, everything. The silence was a pretty clear indicator as well. For a few moments Shane simply sat on his pillar, eyes somewhat downcast, before the mimic spoke. "I'm sorry you had to see and feel it," he said, offering little more than a light shrug. "I mean, it was hard to hold anything back, so I didn't. I just wanted you to have the whole picture, I guess, and then things just kinda went on from there."

Heaving a heavy sigh Shane shifted his eyes a bit, examining the ground before him without really taking any of it in. Mostly he was avoiding direct eye contact. At least for a moment. Not that he could hide his emotions from the half-powered telepath. "I just want to be able to go at the Brood with everything I've got. I mean, I don't intend to just charge into a fight without any planning, but if I've gotta fight I'm not holding back. I don't want anyone I care about to be taken by them again. Not Bobby, not any more of my friends and family at Xavier's, not you." After spending three years with the young man, getting by and surviving in the Savage Land, he had come to care about Cal. As a friend, of course.

So after taking a deep breath he locked eyes with his young instructor and said, "I know I've got some work to do, so… I wanna fix all of that. Tackling my weaknesses and such."

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