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 Training the Untrainable?, Feb 12th, 6pm
 Posted: Dec 12 2017, 02:53 PM

'God, I already hate this place.' David muttered, as Slate led the way into the Danger Room. At Gert's suggestion, he'd talked with his father about power training, and the idea they'd come up with was for David to start with powers he wouldn't have to fight to control, and work up from there. Stress and fear apparently played a factor in telepathic control, and David was quite willing to listen to his father when it came to matters of telepathy. He was, rather, the expert on that.

Unfortunately, that was a very, VERY short list. Nearly all but Tim and Mouse fought for control to some degree, and neither of the two were particularly useful in combat. Tim's teleportation was limited to exact positions David had already been in, so it was more a "get out of a bad situation" power than any use in combat. Mouse, on the other hand, just allowed David to communicate with animals - useful, but situational at best. And as he went down the remaining list, each of their downsides put them out of David's roulette of options. Cyndi's fire power was useful, but uncontrollable and relied on David being in punching range to be any use. Jack's photosynthesis was useful for recovery, but to make use of the soldier's combat training he'd have to let up on too much control. Mother and Mystic were useful, but both were adamantly pacifistic. And the remainder were all ones David had outright sworn never to use, and he wasn't breaking that.

For a time, David was out of options, until he'd dug around in his mind for something he may have missed. And found a bedroom with a subtle background music hiding in one of the mental cells. As he let that memory free, it had begun to change his body, but it didn't fight for control either. Because whereas most of the memories David kept were painful or dominant... this was merely the happy memories he'd shared with Ruby. It was a power he'd never fully tried, but it was one that he might have a reliable teacher for.

And that's why David asked Shane to teach him. Though he was rather nonplussed about the sterile steel walls of the Danger Room. Regardless, he was dressed in his UM-inlaid X-Men uniform, and ready for whatever Shane could offer. "So... I just want to warn you, I've never... fully turned this power on. So far I've only had it on my arms. But... uh... well, here goes."

With that, David called up those memories, and the lyrics of She Sells Sanctuary began to play in his mind. The change wasn't even REMOTELY as fast as Shane's, however, but it at least started right away. As Shane watched, David's hair began to crystallize into a sort of blood-red quartz, while similar crystals began to form starting at his hands. And progressing at a speed of an inch every few seconds. It was... slow. "I... think it's... turning my hair, or... skin into this crystal. Is this how it works for you?"
This was going to take a while, but it wasn't painful, and so far all he was hallucinating as a result was quiet background music. This might just work. The only problem was he had no idea what might happen next.

Legion Factor for this thread: Sunshine/Plasma (quartz armoring)
 Posted: Dec 14 2017, 03:27 AM

The request had come as a bit of a surprise. Shane hadn't really spent a lot of time getting to know David Haller, so being approached by the man for a training session, of all possible things, had him momentarily bewildered. What he truly knew about the man amounted to very little, which he felt was mostly his own fault. His knowledge really only extended about as far as what David was probably capable of (a lot, if he wasn't mistaken) and that he meditated. So when he had been approached with the request for power training Shane had wondered exactly what that would entail.

Apparently David was capable of creating a sort of quartz armor; something the geokinetic had never considered. Curious to see the alleged ability for himself, and to see its benefits and possible limitations, he agreed to coach a training session. If all went well then one might become several.

Donning his sleeveless UM X-Men uniform lined on the inside with various stones for quick mineral access, Shane led the peculiar man into the sub basement for a trip to the Danger Room. In all honesty he would have preferred to conduct the training session almost anywhere else due to his general distaste for the subbasement, but the simulations programmed into the system offered nearly limitless options to put David's quartz armor to the test, and such tests could be stopped if there was trouble. So whether he liked it or not, it was probably the best option.

Shane stood several feet away from the man known as Legion, his arms crossed and his gaze firmly fixed on his unlikely pupil. The fact that David had never fully activated the power was both curious and unsettling. For Shane the change was all or nothing with no in between, so the idea that David could perhaps patch parts of his body with armor was intriguing. What made him uneasy was the fact that David seemed so unsure of the ability that he felt the need to warn him in any way, shape or form. “Go for it,” he said before waiting as David began to tap into the transformative power. Almost immediately, crimson crystals began to form around the man's fingertips, slowly spreading across his hands while his hair crystallized as well.

Shane waited.

And waited.

Counting the seconds in his head as time wore on and David's crystals grew in inch by agonizingly slow inch, Shane began having doubts about the use of the power in an actual defensive capacity. If it took that long then even the slowest of opponents could possibly beat the man senseless or just push him over before even his arms were covered.

“Yeah,” he said with a nod, his brow furrowed as the red mineral that now covered about a third of the man's body continued to creep about, “that's what it's doing alright.” As for how to answer David's question, Shane wasn't entirely sure anymore how his power truly worked, but he could at least go with what he once knew for sure. “I guess it's sort of like a shell –forms a couple of inches outward. My hair is usually just kind of 'in there', I think. The exterior smoothness or rockiness kind of depends on the mineral I use –crystals like quartz or amethyst tend to form points in various places, while something like basalt might be flatter but a bit rough. When it happens my durability is enhanced for obvious reasons, and my strength and endurance are both pretty greatly amplified.”

As he waited some more, still counting the seconds in his head, he also wondered what kind of benefits this similar form would grant David. “How does that feel to you? Any different from usual?”

Once the transformation was finally complete, Shane nodded as his eyes traveled up and down the man's form. David looked more resilient, but the actual hardness and durability of the crimson quartz remained to be seen. Quartz was reasonably hard on its own, but that didn't mean that it couldn't be broken –if what was created even was quartz.

“Danger Room,” he said with neither warning nor fanfare, “I need stable stone ground and some rocks –quartzite pebbles, chert, slate. A little bit of everything. Basically gravel. So do the thing!” Like it was wont to do (or made to do) the Danger Room recognized his voice and his somewhat vague request and promptly set itself to work altering the landscape around them. The floor beneath them was coated in a hard-light version of something akin to concrete, the likes of which Shane could feel and sense through the soles of his boots. Then all at once various rocks unceremoniously dropped from the sky around them, their pattern giving the two men a wide berth so as not to hit either of them. Why they had fallen from the air and not simply appeared on the ground was beyond him.

Somehow Shane felt that the Danger Room was mocking him –like it knew he didn't like it as much as being outside.

“Now that you're fully covered we're gonna see what it feels like for you to get hit, and then see just how mobile you are with all of that pretty red mineral covering you.” Shane then reached into the ground via geokinetic mental link, quickly extending the connection to roughly six of the stones that had landed on the ground, gripping them tightly with his mind but keeping them still on the concrete floor. “Don't dodge–” he said quickly before applying enough force to each of the rocks to launch them one-by-one at the crystallized Legion, aiming primarily for his exposed arms. Each rock was propelled with varying degrees of power, so if they all struck they might get a decent read on what the man's shell could withstand.

And if it seemed that the man could take it, Shane might just up the ante.
 Posted: Dec 14 2017, 11:27 AM

Within a minute, David was covered with a thin layer of crystal across most of his body, as the UM uniform simply let it grow right through. It still continued to grow, however. Throughout it, David continued moving... but whereas Slate's transformation still retained more human mobility, David seemed to be slowing down. He wasn't in any pain, but it was getting harder and harder to stay standing. "I... this is getting pretty heavy..." Still, David kept it together, hunching a little but forcing himself to keep standing... at least until the Danger Room decided to get sassy.

"Fuck!" David, having managed to avoid a life of combat shenanigans, was not ready for rocks to fall from the sky. So when it did, he attempted to move... "Fuckfuckfuckfuck!" ...and his large, red-armored body simply toppled over, faceplanting on the ground under its weight. "Mmffrfkfr."

There was a more sudden change as he hit the ground, as the crystals in a few seconds went from a thin coating to nearly triple their thickness, like coming in contact with the ground had jump-started it somehow. A few moments later, David seemed to push himself up onto hands and knees, no longer looking even remotely human. He blinked, and the rocks themselves blinked. It was an interesting sight to behold.

"And... I can move now. But..." David lifted his massive arms, and flexed his massive fingers. With every move he made, however, there was a faint grinding of crystals, and red powder seemed to be all around him. "Yeah, I can move, but... I feel like my whole body has weights on it. But... I don't know, I guess I feel tough?" He looked himself over, the giant crystal form still moving like a person, but in slow motion. And with more occasional grinding. "It's official, though, this is the most ridiculous power I've ever used."

At Shane's suggestion of just standing there and taking hits, David just stared. "Wait... you're just going to throw... oh dear." David, even for all his calm, still reacted to incoming threats with human instincts. That being OH SHIT, MOVE. Unfortunately, his body barely wanted to cooperate, so he only managed to take a step back and bring his hands up before being pelted with rocks. The crystals cracked in certain places, some of the exterior chunks fell off, but the majority of his body still held strong. It seemed that whatever his body was made of was only "mostly" an equivalent of rose quartz - a similar structure, but more brittle. However, it was undoubtedly a crystal, as Shane could sense it as such with his powers. And if he wanted, entirely control it as easily he would any other crystal.

"That... that didn't hurt at all. I barely felt a thing." David smiled, and even the rocky golem body attempted the crudest of smiles, with a little grinding sound accompanying it. It really had basically grown right out of his skin, it seemed to act just. "Okay. This... this I can work with. And no mental issues yet, either. This is good. This is very good." He settled into what looked like a boxing stance, if it were being imitated by someone who'd never actually seen boxing. "Alright... what's next?"
 Posted: Dec 14 2017, 01:21 PM

Through his observations Shane had at first surmised that David's strength was not enhanced as a result of his transformation, evidenced by the fact that the crystallized man seemed incapable of maintaining his balance. His misguided attempts to move when the Danger Room had dropped the various rocks further supported his hypothesis, as the now-bulky Legion lost the battle against the weight of his body and fell over. It was almost enough to make Shane bury his face in his hand and heave the heaviest of sighs, but through nothing short of the most spectacular display of willpower he refrained.

It was good that he kept his incredulous gaze fixed on his pupil however, as the sudden further transformation that occurred when David hit the ground was definitely unexpected, and started the wheels turning in the geokinetic's head at a much faster rate. Based on circumstantial evidence, it appeared that the growth of the crystalline armor had been expedited greatly by physical trauma and the man's strength seemed to steadily improve the more he shifted, making Shane rethink his original idea that the form might not prove to be useful. Whether or not the theory was completely correct and the accelerated transformation wasn't some kind of fluke remained to be seen, but those tests would come in time.

The fact that David could move under his own power at that point was good, but the grating sound of grinding crystal that came with the man's movements was unpleasant and unsettling. Despite not being particularly loud, the sound would still be enough to give away his position should stealth be necessary in a mission.

A lot could be said for David's new appearance, which seemed to resemble some kind of a golem out of a fantasy movie or a game. Shane's own appearance rarely became so extravagant unless he assimilated something that had a naturally chaotic form, but David seemed to gain more significant girth in his shift while Shane only grew by a couple of inches in every direction.

The changes made Shane all the happier to pelt the man hard with rocks. Hitting someone who was completely incapable of defending themselves would have been cruel, but the man had said himself that he felt “tough,” and the quartz-like mineral appeared to be genuine –that much Shane could feel through his connections with the ground as he probed the area for useful minerals.

He'd lie if he said he wasn't curious to see whether or not he could assimilate the mineral that David grew, and he also wondered if the bits that chipped off when the rocks impacted with his arms. Seeing the cracks forming in the crystal shell and the bits that were knocked away by something as simple as rocky cannon-fire was disappointing however, and Shane felt it best to not consider the substance for his own use. If any remained once David reverted to normal he might request a piece or two for his personal collection and for further study.

Part of Shane was actually happy that he was proven wrong (which was usually something of a minor miracle), because that meant that he might have a chance to have a little more fun. “Good,” he said, smiling genuinely. “Glad to see you on your feet and taking a hit –and apparently not losing your marbles.” Any more than usual, anyway.

When David adopted the crudest of hand-to-something fight stances, Shane smirked. If he didn't know any better he'd swear that the guy was actually anxious to get himself clobbered. “Next, huh? Well, we've seen that your body can take a hit, but I wasn't flinging those rocks as hard as I could have. Still, the added bulk probably means you can take a decent amount of abuse before you find yourself in trouble.” With that, Shane turned his head just enough to give his neck a light crack, followed by a brief rotation of his shoulders as a way of limbering up just so... before he drew the properties of one of the stones in his uniform into his being –granite. Within the span of about a second, Shane himself was fully transformed. Adopting an actual fighting stance, he chuckled before saying, “You want to see just how strong your new body is? You said it felt like you were covered in weights, so I can imagine you being strong enough to at least support the added material. I want to see how durable you really are and just how hard you can hit.”

But it wouldn't do for them to just completely throw down with each other. The whole point of holding the initial session in the Danger Room was to safely gauge the range of David's new ability. “Don't worry, I'm not gonna attack you. I'm rocked out so that we can compare. I haven't figured out my exact max yet, but through previous Danger Room tests I've been able to lift or move around fifteen tons before things get a bit bothersome, and twenty before it starts getting difficult. Can probably do a bit more than that, but eh... when does one really need that? I could easily throw Colossus if I needed to –well, if only weight was considered and not overall size.”

Looking up, he said, “Anyway, I digress. Danger Room –give us weights. One hundred and fifty pounds, three hundred, five hundred, one thousand, one ton, five tons, ten tons.”

While some of the weights, appearing in traditional barbell form, materialized around them in completely safe positions, the Danger Room had decided that it would create the one ton barbell in the air above him. Dodging out of the way quickly before the weight could fully form (the Danger Room was kind enough to delay its full formation and descent for a few brief moments) Shane cursed himself aloud for not being specific enough in his instructions. The weight crashed to the floor, cracking the concrete surface and creating numerous fractures in the ground from the impact.

“Ugh. This room legit wants to kill me.” Heaving a sigh of relief, he turned back to his crystal pupil. “Okay, so now we'll see how much you can lift before we clobber you a bit for real.”
 Posted: Dec 14 2017, 03:24 PM

"See, now you're just showing off." David muttered, as he wished his current form could actually smirk. He really wanted to give a sarcastic smirk. Still, the possibility that he'd also become that strong was there. He felt heavy, but not to the extent that it seemed to strain him to move. It was just like he was walking around in far too many layers of clothing.

As the various weights appeared, David lumbered over to the 150 pound barbell with heavy crystal-on-stone footsteps. He grabbed it with one giant hand, trusting his new form to be easily able to lift such a weight... nd then his eyes widened when he just barely could. It still was a massive increase by comparison to David's natural strength - or lack thereof. Still, with visible effort, he managed to lift the bar up to his chin as though doing a bicep curl. After setting it back down, he headed to the 300, and that's where he stopped. "You have GOT to be kidding me..." He grunted with effort as he tried to pick up the larger barbell with one hand, but it was no use. With both hands he managed to do it, though it was rather awkward considering the sheer size of his hands - the crystals grown around them had made them nearly a foot across.

"Your rock form can lift tons?" David said, his tone just so full of annoyance and snark, more than his usually calm demeanor was known for. Still, with two hands he could manage 300, so he had to test the next level. The 500 pound bar he could also lift, but with notably more effort, and he could barely get it up to his chin. He could hold it up, thanks to the bracing his rocky body allowed, but he quickly decided that was as much as he was going to get. He was confident that he wasn't going to be able to handle that next step up, either. "I'm pretty sure I've been short-changed on the super-strength. But... I think this is par for the course, with me." He set the barbell back down with a light thud.

"I never seem to get the whole package, compared to what a lot of other mutants I've seen do. Like... my fire power, it still burns everything near me, and I can't control the fire itself." He put his bouldery hands on his hips, with a quiet 'crnk' sound. "Either that... or it could just be that an exponential increase of strength isn't much when I'm not very strong to begin with."

Still, David looked down at the 500 pound barbell. He glared at it, really. He was understandably frustrated that, once again, he had a potentially useful power that immediately hit a glass ceiling. So he gave a quiet grunt of effort and stomped his foot right down on it... and the steel bar crunched under his weight like a toothpick. And cracked the concrete all around it, for good measure. "..." He blinked, then picked his foot off the bar and stared further. "So... uh... apparently it's more about how I USE that strength..." It hadn't occurred to him until just then, how much of whatever increased strength he had was going to move his new body. Or how much his new body actually weighed.

 Posted: Dec 14 2017, 04:12 PM

Shane watched as a somewhat frustrated David attempted to move some of the weight. The 150 hadn't given him too much trouble, but it was easy enough for Shane to see that it wasn't as easy as it probably could have been. Potential existed, and it was clear that he was stronger now than he was in his human state, but as the poor guy struggled with the 300 pound barbell Shane began to wonder exactly how a being of his current make, size, and obvious weight could be as weak as he was. Lifting a 300 pound barbell wasn't easy for many, and the 500 was completely out of the question for most, so the idea that he was “weak” wasn't entirely correct –it's just that he wasn't nearly as strong as Shane had thought he might be.

“Yeah. It's just... kind of a thing,” he replied almost flatly to David's irritated inquiry. As the clearly upset Legion lamented his apparent curse of only possessing parts of useful mutations, Shane wondered about the possibility that the man's strength just might be proportional in nature. It made perfect sense, really, and there was no reason to doubt the potential until they put it to a test.

Before he could put his theory –one that seemed to echo David's own– to words, a frustrated Legion slammed his massive crimson crystal hoof down onto the bar of the 500 pound weight, bending the hard-light metal and cracking the concrete surface where he stomped. So, the guy was stronger –just not in a way that they had yet tested.

Shane smiled.

“Don't be discouraged,” he said, shaking his head. “This is new –you told me yourself that you've never really used this before. The reason we're here is to figure out what you can do and learn how to make the most of it. I think you're probably right, in that your strength in this form is proportional to that of your human form. Maybe if you do some strength training you'll find this easier as you go. That being said, let's move onto something completely different.”

Glancing upward, this time considering his words far more carefully lest he find himself somehow ground into a fine dust by a computer intent on giving him a bad time, he said, “Danger Room, remove the weights and the rocks and repair the floor. Place a single pillar at the north point of the room, as well as one on the east, south, and west. Pillars should be eight feet tall and one foot thick and be breakable by punches from the following mutants: North for Wolverine, East for Gentle, South for Slate, and West... Colossus.” For good measure he added a simple, “Please.”

The weights vanished almost immediately and the cracks and breaks in the floor vanished, leaving no traces of damage from the falling weight or David's stomp. Before the rocks fully vanished however, one flew toward him, pelting him sharply in the face.

Shane sighed.

Then the pillars formed, rising from the floor one by one, rumbling as they broke though the concrete surface of the ground. Each looked the same, but were marked with the first letter of the codename of the mutants listed as an indicator of which could be destroyed by whom.

“This will see just how hard you can punch,” Shane said, stating the painfully obvious as he turned his gaze back down toward David. “Wolverine can hit like a truck, but based on what I've seen you should be able to easily smash that 'W' pillar with a single blow. Even if you can't break the others in one go, they'll probably still break if you chip away at them –they're just designed to crumble under the right amount of force.”

Then, in a move that he felt was completely out of character considering his prior misgivings about training someone like Legion, he added, “You've got potential. Now don't prove me wrong. Break something.”
 Posted: Dec 14 2017, 07:13 PM

David gave a heavy sigh. "I suppose. I'm... not really sure how all of this works, I guess. Training telepathy is very different, it's all about states of mind and simple focus. This is more... physical?" He wasn't really sure how to explain it. After all, he'd somehow managed to get to his mid 20s without ever really thinking about things like exercise and nutrition, having basically skipped all of the essential "learning how to do normal stuff" parts of his life. He was basically an error in human development on the whole. And on top of that... all of his powers actually came with their own instruction manuals, in a sense. As he used them, he had enough awareness of his body to know what was going on.

But knowing how something works, and how to take advantage of it, were two very different things. With each of his powers, David was like a painter who had years of experience in knowing all of the different sizes of brushes and colors of paint... but had never actually tried to paint something.

Throughout his life, David had never been able to learn any of his powers organically, the way most other mutants did. He didn't grow up with them. His telepathy had manifested too early and ended up requiring others to teach him to control it by force. His telekinesis had been unstable until the same meditation that focused his telepathy served to suppress that as well. He'd always been afraid of his powers, but he'd never dealt with the fear in an organic way. He'd basically cheated. He'd been taught a bunch of telepathic tricks to skip having to deal with all of the more annoying parts of just being human. And until now, that had been good enough.

But not anymore.
Even though he was an adult, he'd been handling his emotions in a childish way, just bottling them up and avoiding the source of the problem. That was Gert's argument when they'd spoken - everyone was afraid of something, but they fought through it. They trained themselves to fight through it. So David was no longer allowed to make excuses, even ones he believed were reasonable. He was a teacher, he was a parent, he had to at the very least hold himself to the standards the school held the students to.

"Punching. Alright, punching I can do." David lumbered up to the first pillar, the one with a big 'W' on it. His attempt at a punch was laughable in style... but the pillar didn't survive long enough to make fun of him. It was a sloppy, comically forecasted haymaker, but it reduced the pillar practically to dust. It was a sense of destructive power David had never really felt before... and he liked it. It was a simple sense of accomplishment in breaking things and watching the dust turn to so much light, and the rush of adrenaline was just lovely. "...alright! One down, three to go."

The next pillar on his list of targets had a 'G'. The half-Wakandan mutant was strong, but this pillar was set for the level he trained at regularly, not his full potential. His full potential, after all, had the habit of causing him to die. Yet even at his current 'Normal', Nezhno was amazingly strong. However... while Nezhno was easily capable of lifting more than David could right now, the sheer momentum the crystalline body could throw behind a punch was greater. "Hrrh!" David's punch shattered this column like the first, with the broken chunks phasing out as so much flickering light in the aftermath.

"Two down!" David said, his voice raising more and more. It was probably something Shane could notice, by this point, if he'd known much about David beforehand. Xavier's son was always all zen and calm, yet here he was clearly showing an enthusiasm for this training session. It could be just that, of course. Normal people DID show enthusiasm - David was just well south of Normal. It also manifested in a bit of recklessness, as for the third pillar (the one set for Slate himself) David got a head start and attempted a running punch with a level of lumbering movement not unlike a freight train.

Unfortunately, this pillar kicked David's ass. His entire crystalline hand shattered on impact, practically exploding shards of sorta-quartz in various directions, leaving very little of it left where once the fist had been. David initially pulled his hand back in surprise... but he didn't seem to be in any pain. And more to the point, the crystal immediately began to regrow. "...I... no, I'm not suppressing pain right now, I barely even felt that." It was regrowing at the same slow pace, but in a matter of a minute his hand was as good as new. "Tingly, but... wow. That... this is amazing."
It was like he was a kid with a new toy, really.

((OOC Arsenic and Gentle mentioned))
 Posted: Dec 15 2017, 12:18 PM

Everyone's powers worked just a little bit differently, and Shane was under no impression that David would be able to master something new in half an hour. “I'd assume it's a bit different from a mental power, I guess,” he said as he pondered exactly where his own power fell on that spectrum. Geokinesis was almost entirely psionic while requiring a physical connection to the earth, while his rocky form was... well, it was what it was. “My first time armoring up was the result of nearly being beaten up –I didn't expect it and neither did the kid trying to punch me. After that, whenever I tried it was really hard to maintain it. Practice made it easier, but it still took a while. Eventually it became second nature. Guess it's like flexing and building a muscle. So maybe if you keep working with this and working to make yourself stronger, you'll be stronger with your crystal armor.”

It had taken Shane a long time to both come to terms with and improve with his abilities, and he knew that he had yet to really master them –with new ideas and new developments still emerging in his late twenties. He didn't expect things to be any different with David, and in fact felt that the man might have a more difficult time considering the various powers he had to handle. That and his somewhat questionable mental state at any given moment.

At least he seemed down with the idea of punching things. While Shane wasn't allowing his hopes to climb too high, he assumed that the guy would be easily capable of smashing at least one of the test pillars. Logan was strong, but he had reason to believe that David's new form could put out even more force. His size and weight alone had clearly been a factor in his bending of the barbell.

Legion didn't disappoint. The first pillar was sufficiently obliterated by the massive crystal-coated mutant, scattering splinters and dust of the faux-stone structure before ultimately vanishing. “Good, keep it up,” he said in an encouraging tone, hoping that both David's power and enthusiasm held out through the rest of the trial.

The pillar designed for Nez probably could have been made stronger, because despite his specificity in his instructions he hadn't stated that it should have been designed with his full strength in mind. To that end he hadn't with his own or Piotr's either, but he felt that the Danger Room should have been able to figure that out on his own. Whether or not the “G” pillar was fully fortified was unknown to him, but it was still destroyed with little effort, either by sheer power or momentum.

But the remaining two pillars would be more of a challenge. When in his rocky form Shane could exert tremendous force, and Piotr was in a class unlike any other he'd ever known, so seeing what David could do to them would be interested. Or, perhaps, seeing what they'd do to David was more so. As crystal met stone, the stone of the “S” pillar won out easily, absorbing the impact of David's fist and causing a disturbingly large portion of it to completely shatter. Having felt the mineral through his ground connection prior to armoring up, Shane knew that the substance was incredibly thick and that David's real hand, being situated farther up in the arm of the golem form, was safe, but it still caused him to reflexively wince.

The lack of pain came as little surprise, but the tinglilng sensation of the slow regrowth of the crystal fist was a curious thing. “Whether or not it hurt,” he said, his voice laden with the cringing sensation that he felt, “it looked painful. Good to know you're okay though.”

Even if the man had only managed to destroy two of the four targets, it was a start. They at least had something to work with and something to work toward. Reverting to his human form, Shane approached David and reached out with his index and middle fingers, touching the surface of the man's punching arm. A closer, more direct examination of the mineral provided him with some information, but nothing that he hadn't already observed. “Yeah, it's kinda brittle,” he said, once more stating the obvious as he crossed his arms and regarded David with a thoughtful gaze. “But it seems to be thick enough that it should afford you some decent protection. I feel like your strength might legitimately improve if you become physically stronger. That might affect durability, but I doubt it.”

Taking a few steps away from his pupil, Shane began to pace back and forth as his mind worked, taking all of what he observed and considering where to go with it. “If we can get you on a physical strength training regimen for a while, I'd like to revisit some of these tests to see how much transfers over. Then we'll know if it's a magnification of your base strength or if you're capped from the start. I'd also like to figure out how to accelerate the crystallization process. When you fell over things seemed to speed up –like it was trying to absorb the impact to protect you from damage. Maybe that's the key, but I'm not sure.” Shane stopped to shoot the man a grin. “Maybe next time I'll fire rocks in your direction while you're crystallizing to see if that makes it happen faster.”

“What you've got here has potential. I'll admit that I was kinda skeptical at first –didn't know what to expect– but I feel like if you really work with this you might just have something here. Is there anything else you want to try? If so, I'm game.” Continued pummeling of the pillars might prove both fruitless and frustrating, but if David had any ideas of his own then Shane would do what he could to assist.
 Posted: Dec 15 2017, 03:44 PM

David was a little distracted just by watching his crystalline hand regrow. It was a weird sensation. The crystals had grown out of his skin, but the size difference between his body and the exoskeleton meant it wasn't a direct connection. But his mind still controlled the crystal armor as easily as his actual body, yet as it lacked actual nerves he couldn't feel pain there. And while it was regrowing at the same speed he had first armored, up, it was still fast enough to be visible. And impressive. "Maybe it is something unconscious... though... that's weird. Normally I know when that happens." He frowned, something that was lost a little on the crystal armor's face. "I make it a point to know everything my body is doing at any one time. I don't like surprises. But... this is new, I'll give you that. I see why all the rest of you value this kind of practice. It's definitely something you need to spend time with."

David stepped back, and looked himself over. "Strength training... yeah. I can figure that out. Shouldn't be too hard to find something my speed online." He thought a moment, trying to will the rocky body to let him free, or to stop regenerating. No dice, however. He wasn't panicking yet, but he'd get there soon enough. "No, I... I think I'm good for now, though. Though I won't complain if the next session is literally anywhere else. This place feels like a cage, I'm not a fan. Too much... crazy future metal. It smells like sweat and industrial cleaners. Like a hospital storeroom."

Still no luck, after a solid minute of trying to get the rocks to go away. "...I... uh... I think I'm stuck. Shit." It was then that David finally realized what the issue with this power was. The bleed with Ruby's memories wasn't a matter of visual hallucinations or crossed memories, it was emotion. Every time he'd seen into Ruby's mind, it had been when she was panicked or afraid and needed a reminder that everything was okay. To anyone else, this would be a simple matter of calming down, but for David it was an added layer of stress since regaining control of his own mind required complete focus and calm. "...I found another issue with this form. Sorry... give me a moment..."

He didn't like it, but David had brute force methods of solving this situation, they just usually came with downsides. He slowly dialed back his senses, slowly blocking out the world around him, until all was calm. A perfect meditative calm, something he'd practiced for years, until he had the control needed to force Ruby's amalgamated memories back into their box in his mind. The change was sudden, the whole crystalline exoskeleton shrunk slightly, then suddenly cracked and fell off, leaving David buried chest-deep in a literal pile of pinkish quartz. And just... COVERED in reddish crystal dust. "...I... uh..." David tried to free himself, but he lacked the physical strength to move the assorted crystal chunks. Even with the aid of his telekinesis, he could only shift it around a little. And the more he wiggled, the more he felt that some of the chunks of it were beginning to dig into the skin of his arms. And on top of that, his whole body felt weak, and he was hungry as all hell. "Can I... get some help here? I'm rather stuck." He made the most forcefully calm expression of pain, as he exerted further telepathic brute-force to keep himself from passing out to the mix of fatigue and pain. "Mmnf. Yep. This is one more thing I need to work on with this..."

 Posted: Dec 16 2017, 11:54 AM

Shane wasn't at all surprised that David was ready to end the session. They hadn't been at it for a long time, but they had covered a decent bit of ground, having tested various essential factors of his crystal armor. The added weight clearly impaired mobility but greatly enhanced the man's strength –though probably not as much as David had wanted. Added bulk provided a form of protection despite the crystal itself being somewhat brittle. Perhaps the biggest drawback aside from the mobility issues was that the ability created a terrible mess. Crimson sparkling crimson powder littered the Danger Room floor, and shards of David's armor were scatted here and there, particularly present near the “S” pillar where he had shattered his fist.

“Good,” Shane replied when Legion announced that he was done for the day, revealing something of a dislike for the Danger Room. In all honesty Shane hadn't expected to find much by way of common ground with the wild card, but mineral armor and a mutual distaste for their current surroundings were perhaps a good start. Looking around, gazing vaguely upward as he spoke, Shane added, “If you couldn't tell by everything the room tried to do to me, I'm not a big fan of it either. I much prefer to be outside, where I can feel my feet on actual ground –none of this hard-light fake shit.” For good measure, Shane gave the faux-concrete a few taps with the toe of his left boot. “It might react properly to my power, which is pretty neat, but it doesn't feel the same. So let's go. We can have the Danger Room run its cleanup routine on our way out.”

For a few moments Shane waited, hoping that David would make a move, revert to his normal self, or at least say something. When words finally left the crude mouth of the crystal golem, Shane's brow creased in concern. He was stuck?! How could he be stuck?!

Oh, right, it was David. Even when things were going right there was bound to be something going wrong.

Shane considered the idea of extricating David from his shell geokinetically, breaking down the bonds of the crystal and essentially cracking it open, but he didn't want to harm the man inside. There was also no guarantee that it would work, seeing as the mineral had regrown itself after being separated from his body before. With the power still active, it might be impossible to fully remove. Besides, with the strangely vacant look he was receiving, Shane assumed that David was trying something.

Moments later the crystal armor appeared to shrink before cracking apart into countless shards of red crystal piled up to David's chest, leaving the man himself coated in a layer of crimson dust. Shane couldn't fully fight off the chuckle that threatened to escape him, but managed to tone it down to a mere broad smile. The dude looked ridiculous. But as David tried to wriggle himself free, Shane could feel the shifting of the crystal shards –which could be dangerous if they were really as sharp as they appeared. “Okay,” he said, unable to fully hide his amusement, “I'll get you out, but yeah you should definitely figure out a way around–” he gestured vaguely at the David-pile “–this.”

Moving closer, Shane knelt down and placed both of his palms on the concrete floor just before the mass of crystal shards and their prisoner. “Hold still. This will only take a few seconds, but I don't want you to get cut by anything. I'm going to pull most of this away from you so you can get out.” Reaching into the faux-concrete surface with his mind, the geokinetic probed forward and into the crystal pile, latching onto the shards closest to David himself. There were many, and though he didn't need to connect with all of them he certainly wanted to grab as many as possible. Satisfied with what he had under his power he began to mentally nudge the crystals outward and away, which in turn spread portions of the whole pile. He didn't have to move them far, but he wanted to spread them enough that David might easily climb over them once he was fully freed of their grasp.

The process was quick, taking fewer than ten seconds, but after he stopped moving the majority of the shards he continued to push a small section so that David would have an easy enough outlet from the pile. When he was finished, Shane snagged one of the larger, more intact shards of the crystal and stood, turning the piece over in his hand. “That was... certainly something. Looks like you might be able to make use of this if you can figure it all out. I can probably work with you from time to time –outside, preferably– but I'd like you to also work on it solo. The more you practice the more you might learn about it.”

“But you could probably use a shower. Glittery red isn't really your color.” Shane then shrugged as an absolutely smart-ass grin crept across his face, “I mean you look totally fabulous, but you do kinda look like a kindergarten art project. Just throw on some dry macaroni and gold star stickers and you're all set.”
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