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FIC: X-Book 1: New Allies New Enemies, PG-13, Chpt 6

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  • Kathleen
    X-Book 1: New Allies New Enemies - Chapter 6 - The Danger Room Rating: PG-13 By: Kath713/Leen713 Summary: (See Book 1: Prologue) Disclaimer: I own nothing
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 30, 2003
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      X-Book 1: New Allies New Enemies - Chapter 6 - The Danger Room

      Rating: PG-13

      By: Kath713/Leen713

      Summary: (See Book 1: Prologue)

      Disclaimer: I own nothing associated with characters from the Marvel
      universe or any previously published work.

      ***

      A few levels below the mansion's first floor, a small group of
      people stood before several large windows, which overlooked a
      massive chamber nearly three stories in height. Its walls shone a
      dull silver, the same as the underground hallways, and in the center
      was a tri-leveled platform, circular in shape, and crowned with a
      spherical black machine.

      At the center machine, Rogue stood with Bobby `Iceman' Drake
      making final preparations for their `training demonstration.'
      They were programming in Bobby's regular training routine, though
      Rogue thought he looked nervous at the idea of having an audience.

      "Ok," Bobby said with an audible sigh, "We're all
      set..."

      Rogue put a reassuring hand on his arm, noticing how frequently
      Bobby kept glancing over at the large windows.

      "Don't worry," Rogue said, "You've done this
      dozens of times..."

      "Twenty-seven," Bobby said, and then added with a somber
      grin, "Well...twenty-eight if you count that first session when I
      nearly froze my own hand off."

      "You'll be fine," she said, leaning forward to brush her
      lips gently against his cheek. The touch was brief, not enough to
      drain any of his powers, but enough to make Bobby grin and blush.
      Rogue gave his hand one last squeeze of reassurance with her gloved
      fingers and headed out of the chamber.

      By the time she reached the observation room, Bobby had taken his
      place to begin the training sequence. The group welcomed her
      quietly as she entered, but mostly kept their attention on Bobby.

      Aside from herself, there were seven others present for the
      demonstration. Storm and Cyclops were monitoring the computer
      systems, while the Professor took his customary place by the central
      window. He was the only one facing away from Bobby at this moment,
      as he gave a brief introduction of the systems to their guests.

      "As you can see on the monitors," the Professor was saying,
      "The Danger Room has been designed to adapt itself to the unique
      needs of each mutant's powers. Since our gifts vary so greatly,
      it was essential to have a training facility that was equally as
      varied..."

      Rogue walked around the back to the room and sat next to Kurt, who
      was crouched in one corner, paying close attention to Xavier's
      every word, his tail waving back and forth thoughtfully.

      "There are programs for both physical and mental training, to
      help focus the body and mind in the most intense situations..."

      As the Professor continued, Rogue glance around at the others
      curiously.

      At one end of the room, Henry McCoy stood next to a tall table,
      scribbling notes in a large binder. His large teeth were biting on
      his bottom lip as he concentrated on Xavier's introduction.
      Rogue noticed that he wore a pair of thick wire spectacles, which
      were barely visible under the long blue hair of his face. The
      glasses, along with his white laboratory coat, reminded her of her
      ninth grade natural science teacher, and she chuckled inwardly when
      she thought of how much more interesting that class would have been
      with Henry as the teacher.

      Next to him sat Peter Rasputin, also known as Colossus, who was one
      of the oldest students in Xavier's school and who, along with
      Rogue and Bobby, had been interested in continuing his work with the
      X-Men. Aside from his art, the world of Xavier's school was his
      whole life and he had been interested in training more with his
      powers.

      Finally, leaning up against a far window, stood Remy LeBeau, who was
      handling a deck of cards but not shuffling as before out of
      deference to the Professor as he spoke. He glanced slowly between
      Xavier and the room below, his face dark and still. Rogue thought
      he looked anxious, and she wondered why the Professor had been so
      insistent on his presence. She knew his powers had to do with
      energy surges, much like Cyclops, but she had never seen him use
      them.

      It took her a moment to realize that he was staring back at her.

      Rogue blinked and looked away, a little embarrassed. The intensity
      she saw in his face had caught her off guard. There had been almost
      a questioning in his eyes, a cautious wondering that made her
      strangely uncomfortable. Gambit must have recognized her
      uncertainty because when she looked back he was looking out the
      windows again.

      "Now," the Professor said, concluding his speech and turning
      to face the Danger Room, "Why don't we get started?"

      Cyclops nodded to Storm, who radioed to Bobby to prepare.

      The lights in the observation room went dark, and Rogue stood and
      moved closer to the windows.

      Bobby stood solidly below, any trace of anxiety gone from his face.
      He waited, patiently, for the computer to make the first move.

      ***

      Ducking skillfully to the left, Bobby dodged the first barrage of
      simulated gunfire that came from the far wall.

      From the machine in the center, a long metallic arm stretched
      upward, and began to fire small spherical balls toward Iceman's
      location.

      Iceman narrowed his eyes and raised one arm protectively. From his
      outstretched fingers, tendrils of ice intercepted the attack,
      knocking each "bullet" away from him.

      He ran to the right, leaping to evade several small rolling machines
      meant to trip him as he moved. There was a noise behind him, as a
      torrent of water began to flow from one wall. Iceman paused and
      focused on the tide until it was frozen in place.

      He completed several more maneuvers, utilizing his physical agility
      as much as his ice powers to escape the simulated attacks. Bobby
      thought back on previous sessions and recognized how quickly he had
      improved.

      A giant machine on wheels materialized before him, and he stopped it
      with a wall of ice before it had barely touched the ground.

      Bobby glanced quickly at the darkened windows and grinned, knowing
      Rogue was behind one of them. All the months they had been dating
      and he still loved to impress her.

      Suddenly, another mechanical arm spun towards him. Bobby ducked in
      surprise as a plume of fire grazed past him. He stumbled, breathing
      heavily, and got quickly to his feet as the arm came around for a
      second pass.

      Bobby felt a quiet panic rising in his chest.

      Fire... he thought, Damn it, it had to be fire...

      Out of all the elements the Danger Room had exposed him to, fire had
      always been the most difficult for him. He figured that was why
      Cyclops and Storm were always including it in his training, but
      inwardly he wished they had skipped this part today.

      As the machine swung toward him, Bobby focused his power on the
      mechanical arm, instead of the fire itself. Layers of ice formed
      quickly over the joints and the machine screamed in protest as it
      was frozen to a stop. The fire stopped short of where Bobby stood.
      The machine groaned and then fell still.

      He could feel the heat all around him and took a few steps
      backward. He was breathing quickly, and realized all the other
      machines had halted also. Bobby waited, wondering if the simulation
      was ending, when the arm wielding the fire lurched forward.

      Bobby jumped back quickly, as the heat from the torch melted his
      defense. The arm jerked forward again and Bobby reached out to
      fortify the shell of ice.

      The flame grew filling the room with suffocating heat and rendering
      Bobby's trail of ice useless, the frozen stream melting before it
      found its mark.

      Bobby turned his face away from the fire, and instead of attempting
      to freeze the machine again, he quickly created a shell of ice
      around himself. The fire made the ice glow red as it passed and
      Bobby used all of his strength to keep the protective shield intact.

      Suddenly, the chamber fell silent, and the lights outside of the
      shell of ice grew brighter. Bobby blinked and exhaled a breath he
      did not know he was holding.

      A voice echoed in the Danger Room, though it was muffled by the ice
      surrounding him.

      "Simulation ended..." Storm's voice spoke loudly, and
      then she added, "Good job, Bobby."

      From inside his shield, Bobby stood for a moment and clenched his
      fists in anger. Why did they have to end it with the fire, after he
      had been doing so well? Especially when so many others were
      watching.

      Bobby glanced up at the windows and the ice around him shattered.
      Again, he was alone in an empty chamber, all traces of the
      mechanical attackers were gone.

      From one window, Bobby could now see Rogue, who smiled down at him,
      one gloved hand pressed against the glass. Her presence held more
      warmth for him than anything, and his icy anger faded away.

      Bobby sighed and smiled back, knowing he was not the only one who
      still needed to learn more about their powers. He glanced around
      the training room one more time and realized he could not wait to
      begin the exercise again. There were no limits to what he could do
      in this room, and he hope to push his powers as far as they could go.

      ***

      The observation room was silent as the lights returned to normal.
      Xavier turned his chair to once again face the others.

      "Remarkable...just remarkable..." Henry McCoy was muttering
      to
      himself. He had a strangely pleased grin on his face as he
      continued to scribble in his notebook.

      "An excellent demonstration, Professor," he continued,
      glancing
      quickly at Xavier, "And you say the room can adapt to each
      mutant's
      specific gifts? Yes, quiet remarkable..."

      Xavier nodded appreciatively to the doctor. Seeing the Danger Room
      in action for the first time was typically an intimidating
      experience and Henry reaction was refreshing.

      "Does anyone have any questions before we continue?" Xavier
      asked,
      looking around the room.

      "A few, Professor, a few," Henry said quickly, tapping his
      pen
      against the paper a moment before continuing. His brow was furrowed
      in thought as he scanned his notes, and it was obvious he had more
      than a few questions in mind.

      The rear door to the room opened and Bobby entered, looking a little
      embarrassed as the others met him with a quiet approval. He was
      drying his wet hair with a small towel and his uniform was still
      damp from the water of melting ice

      "What type of safety precautions are programmed into those
      machines?" Henry asked, looking up over his glasses and waggling
      his pen in an almost scolding fashion, "Many of those maneuvers
      seemed quiet difficult, and while young Mr. Drake seemed to handle
      them adeptly, there must be fail safes in place to ensure the safety
      of the trainees..."

      Cyclops and Storm exchanged amused grins. Henry said this in more
      of a matter-of-fact tone rather than a question. He was their head
      physician now and, despite how eager he was to explore the benefits
      of the Danger Room, he left no doubt that the well being of his
      patients was his main priority.

      "Indeed," Xavier said, "The computer monitors many
      attributes of the
      trainee when inside the Room. Heart rate, body temperature, blood
      pressure, all are continually checked to ensure that the person
      using the room is physically able to meet the demands of any
      simulation. If a simulation becomes unsafe for the trainee, the
      computer is equipped with manual and automatic `fail safes'
      that
      will end a session before any harm is done to the
      participant."

      Henry was nodding and scribbling again, and the Professor took the
      moment to glance around the room at the other `new trainees.'
      His expression became quiet stern, and his voice sounded a bit more
      commanding.

      "And, of course," he continued, "No one is ever to use
      the Danger Room alone, without at least one other trained person
      monitoring them from this room. As of right now, those
      `trained'
      people include Storm, Cyclops or myself. I must insist that those
      just learning these systems are quiet clear of the dangers of
      attempting use of this training facility without proper
      supervision."

      A chuckle broke up the somber atmosphere created by the
      Professor's
      firm words.

      "Don't want anyone being flambéed in there, oui?"
      Gambit said with a
      wry grin.

      Cyclops and Storm gave him disapproving frowns, but Xavier smiled
      with amusement. Despite the man's casual attitude, the Professor
      knew Mr. LeBeau was not demeaning the point. Bobby, however, gave
      the man a quick glare, obviously not finding amusement in his
      comment.

      "No, indeed not," Xavier replied, and then glanced to the
      left, "Yes, Peter?"

      Peter was raising his hand, nearly forgetting he was not in class.
      He lowered it quickly before speaking.

      "When can we try it, Professor?" he asked, trying not to
      sound too
      eager.

      "We can begin scheduling sessions after classes next week,"
      the Professor answered, "Scott, Storm and I will be leaving for
      Arizona in the morning so the Danger Room will remain disabled until
      we return."

      Peter looked slightly disappointed but agreed. Henry glanced up
      over his glasses again at the young man with a grin.

      "And don't think I won't be keeping an eye on things down
      here while they're gone," he said, waggling his pen again.

      He leveled it at Peter, his attempt to be serious broken up by the
      joking twinkle in his eyes.

      "No breaking in..."

      He moved the pointing pen to Kurt, who straightened his back and
      grinned.

      "No teleporting..."

      He then pointed at Gambit, who had a bemused frown.

      "No...um...gambling...there are children around."

      Gambit laughed, enjoying the doctor's strange sense of humor, and
      gave his cards a quick shuffle, before holding his hands up
      defensively.

      "Whatever you say, mon ami."

      Henry nodded, "Hmpf...good."

      He closed his binder firmly and stood up, signaling the end of
      the `tour.'

      Xavier's expression remained neutral, but inwardly he was pleased
      that all of their new guests seemed to be getting along well. This
      made him even more sure that he would be taking the over night trip
      west with Storm and Cyclops. Between Rogue, Bobby, Kurt, and now
      their new doctor, he felt the mansion would be in good hands.

      "Well," he said, "Thank you all for your attention. We
      will meet again on Monday to discuss a training schedule."

      That said, the group adjourned, heading out into the main lower hall
      towards the elevators.
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