2019-08-21 - Teambuilding: A shot in the dark!


Darkforce power trials - Archery style!

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Wed Aug 21 20:58:42 2019
Location: Triskelion

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Afternoon at the Gunnery Range finds one newly minted SHIELD Agent hard at work — but not with a gun. Nope, Laynia Petrovna, the Tyomneya Zvezda, the Darkstar is practicing with her powers. She's at one side of the room, testing out her abilities. Since coming back from, well, from nearly dying, she's found that her ability seems to have been boosted - time to find out how far!

Downrange are several targets of increasing durability, the first a simple barrier, like the cement dividers used on the highway. There's a couple of other Agents around, some watching, many just doing their own thing.

Darkstar looks at the target, and then nods. A hand sheathed in black energy that seems to almost drip, before it flares and a hand wide bolt of dark spears out to punch a hole clean through the cement. Easily.

True to his word, the next morning Clint Barton had passed through the doors into the hallowed halls of the Triskelion. He gave his nods and greetings, all the while nursing a nice strong cup of joe that left him with enough energy to face the day. He kept consoling himself that things would be better once his furniture got to his apartment, and he had an actual, you know, bed.
But he stuck to his routine. And part of it is regular sessions in the gun range and the PT gymnasium. So today's no different. He shoulders the double doors to the range open as he walks backwards into them, still holding his cup of coffee. A few nods are exchanged with the Agent on Duty and then to the range proper…
Where he sees the attention, the crowd gathered around the targets she's working. A grin lights up Clint's face but he doesn't disturb her for now beyond. Instead she might hear his voice in passing, "Hey honey-baby," In that slight southern twang she had affected.
Then it's on over to his reserved lane at the other end of the range.

And today she's even in costume! The original, actual solid material not Darkforce one.

She turns at the quip from the archer, and shakes her head. "Agent Barton." She even imps a curtsey, but then as he heads off she goes back to practicing. Eventually she works her way up to targets on par with the armor of a front line main battle tank! At her narrowest aperture - about an an inch across - even those can be punctured, but that seems to be her limit. And it surprises the hell out of her too! Each 'upstep' she was sure she'd be stopped, previously the best should could do was basic steel, this is a huge change! "Bozhe moi." She murmurs.

The agents continue to gather around Laynia, all watching with interest. The display of power is incredible, exceedingly impressive, and one just has to look at the number of people that have gathered to watch to see the impact she's having on not just the targets.
It's only when she hits that upper level, piercing that tank armor, that one of the officers lifts his voice. "Alright guys, you got yer nickel's worth, time to move on down the boardwalk. Don't you people have jobs? Let's go let's go." He waves a clipboard around to get the black combat suit wearing agents on their way.
Laynia likely gets some pats on the back or some thumbs up. Competence often goes a long way to gaining acceptance and Laynia's got that in spades.
Eventually, the range mostly clears save for a few agents popping off a few rounds, and for the occasional /THWOK!/ that's heard down at the other end of the way.

Laynia is a little embarrassed by the pats, but frankly rather enjoys the feeling of belonging, of comeraderie.

She looks a little hang dog at the Range Officer having to yell at folks. "Sorry, Officer Denny, did not mean to distract." A moment to gather her wits, and then she moves over to the side of the room where Hawkeye practices, watching from behind the safety line, even donning protective ear covers if he's using guns. For the moment she's just curious to see what he can do. He'll probably feel he's being watched, but he's Hawkeye, that's probably not unusual.

After a few minutes, that Russkie voice pipes up. "You did, you know." A nod. "Save my life, for that I thank you, Agent Barton."

It's an old wooden bow that he's using, with a well worn leather grip, seemingly hand-crafted. Not a thing of sleek sexy deadliness like the metal and digital weapon he takes out during combat missions. No this thing looks like it was carved at a camp somewhere in the woods and used for quite a few years.
And Clint, he's just taking it easy with it, bringing bow to string, nocking, drawing. Holding the fletching near his cheek for an instant. Then letting fly with a distant thwok, the arrow twisting in the air subtly, almost a faint curve to the flight path.
"Well." Clint doesn't look back at her, though when he goes for the next arrow in the quiver she might be able to catch his wry half-smirk in the reflective glass divider that separates one lane from the next. "After that kiss last night I reckon we're even."

Shifting to lean against a wall, the Russkie folds her arms across her chest, and crosses ankles as she laughs. "It was good kiss, not sure it makes up for a life, unless you are saying it was life saver?" The woman is grinning as she says this, voice warm and amused. "So…are you?" Laynia asks. "Are you the best dart thrower in the world?" She has no idea, she remembers the three arrows hitting KGBeast's arm, the precision of that impressive, especially since that arm was armored - cybernetic, that was no easy shot, no easy target.

That arrow is brought up and readied. She can likely see him narrowing one eye as he takes a bead and then twists his hand slightly, angling it a little and then brings his aim low. He chews on his lower lip for a second, then lets fly. Another slightly curving arc but this time coming in low and slipping into the bullseye as if it were meant to be there.
Then his lip curls and he gives a small shrug before he says, "Was a good kiss!" As if that's all he could really say about it.
But then the topic progresses and he lifts his hand a little, "I don't know about best in the world, but I do alright." He then turns to look at her. A brief once over and then he says, "Fetching ensemble," Meaning the costume.

Laynia has never seen anyone put english on an arrow in flight, it is no pool ball for goodness sakes! That IS impressive, especially when done with a obviously old and well used bow of simple wood. A nod at his shrugged answer, and then she pushes off the wall with her shoulder.

"Well, I have never seen anyone do what you just did with a bow and arrow, I think you're at least a contender, Clint Barton."

And then she smiles at the compliment. "Spasiba, thank you. My brother helped me with initial design - original was not so good, some idiot at Kremlin wanted to have vast areas of skin to be showing. I did not like, I was Soviet Super Soldier, not Las Vegas showgirl. Costume was for battle, not dancefloor or stage."

A gleam enters cinnamon eyes. "Shall we play a game, Clint Barton?" Her eys flare with black, and then she holds up her hand, forming a half dozene rings of Darkforce. "I will make for you moving targets, object is to fire through ring, mm?"

She can likely see exasperation in Clint's blue eyes as he looks at her, holding an arrow to string and bow with one hand as he turns to face her. Again she gets given a once-over as he shakes his had but then he says, "Ya know… every time we get a new kid bouncin' around the playground, they always wanna step to the king and try him out."
So he's a king now. But his smile is warm, amused, as he meets her eyes and he says simply. "Usually I make them prove themselves a bit more and all."
He turns back to bring his bow up and gives her a nod to commence, "But then again. Like I said, that was some kiss. Fire it up, DS."

"Is game, not challenge of your title, Your Majesty, or do you prefer to be in blue suede shoes?" Laynia's grin is bright however. "In truth is good for me to practice precision movement of small things, so we both get benefit - you have harder targets to shoot for, I get to work on finesse and controling multiple constructs at once, win-win, da?"

A quick, short bark of laughter at the commentary, and she nods. "I will try not to disappoint, CB."

Laynia looks down range, and then smirks as she blows a kiss at the six rings floating over her hand, and sends them down range, initially moving in an expanding ring of rings moving in a smooth spiral as they retreat.

"I'll trust to your sense of honor, Ms. Petrovna, as to regards if a hit is a hit," The archer's amusement is sincere as he turns back and faces away from her. She can see him turn his head a little, as if taking in the various targets and their movement, getting a feel to the way she exerts her power.
It's a brief time of concentration, and once they're suitably down range his brow furrows with focus. If she's paying close attention she might see that intent control. The way his hand subtly tightens on the grip, muscles in his forearm tensing and tightening under the tanned skin.
And then he's moving. Just a quick blur of fire as he lifts the bow and lets fly, the arrow slicing through the furthest ring.
Draw, nock, fire. The arrow blurs away from the rings then ricohets off the side wall and through /two/ rings at once only to imbed in the ceiling.
Draw, nock, fire. The last arrow is fired high arc, through a ring, bouncing off the ceiling through another and then a second ricochet with a /thwang!/ to slice through a third.
Three arrows, six targets. Quick, rapid. Precise. And even Clint can't help smiling at that, though he does stifle it before turning back to look at her.

The sheer artistry of Clint's display has Darkstar literally bouncing in place, hands clapped together, features alight with pure and honest delight. "Oh, /Bravo/, Clint! VERY good show."

She looks to the arrows, and then the rings all pop, black 'smoke' floating upwards to dissipate as she sends tendrils of energy from her hand to recover all his spent arrows, not just the last three, and float them back with the inky-smoky black stuff curled around the middle of each shaft. "And here you go." She says with a magician's flourish.

"So…skeet shoot then? I fire quickly, you fire quickly, my targets will be fragile, if you hit you destroy?"

Accepting the arrows as presented by black tendrils, Clint sort of looks over his shoulder at her then turns to face her. "You know that's creepy, right?" He holds up a hand to stave off an objection, "I mean, I'll get used to it eventually. But still. A little creepy."
That said he slips those arrows back into the quiver at his hip. Though when she makes her next suggestion his eyebrows lift, "Alright, if you think it'll be fun." Though it's been a long time coming since he'd indulged the idea of fun when training.
"Gimme a sec," Which might in that moment explain to her why he wears two quivers when he's in combat. The one on the hip for a focused draw, but then he shifts his current quiver up, unhooking it and reattaching the straps to over his shoulder.
She'll see him loosen up, rolling one shoulder, then the other, lifting a hand to make a test draw up and over. Then he draws three arrows and holds them between his fingers. This'll be for speed and he's all set.
"Ok, ready when you are."

"Oh, forgive you would prefer I send little men then? Army if tiny Darkforce soldiers to gather?" Nope, Laynia's not the least bit repentant, Darkforce is — well — it is Darkforce! It is inky black, it is like liquid smoke, cold to the touch and chills the heart when exposed. It is in short by its very nature rather on the creepy side.

She grins, nose crinkling up as she makes a little Solider man on her hand who snaps to attention, saluting Clint. The thing is made of Darkforce of course, and is about six inches tall. Yeah…tendrils might be better! Might not though.

She waits until he has adjusted the quiver, and nods. "Practice should be both useful -and- engaging." She opines. And then once he's indicated he's ready she fires!

The skeets are actually about the right size and shape, though they are fired with greater rapidity than any skeet tosser ever made, and they /curve/, it is almost like tracer rounds fired from a moving aircraft, and the concentration she's using is considerable. She wants this to be a good challenge!

She's able to get an idea for his capabilities as they begin that session. How he can hold three in hand and nock them individually purely by muscle memory. How quickly it takes him to aim, draw, loose. With the heavy pull of that bow string it's pretty clear how he's developed such thick arms doing this as often as he does.
When he's got his three in hand she has to /concentrate/ to catch the contact with arrow and shadow as he's quick with it. Bursts of three, reload with a quick reach over his shoulder, then another burst of three. Roughly an arrow every .7 seconds. Impressive, and if he can do this with the weapon, and the variety of arrowheads, might make sense why he doesn't use a gun.
They keep it up, steadily. Shot after shot after shot. Almost like a pair of machines. and then after 24 shots without a miss he says to the side, "Out." And then he turns his blue eyes toward her and… he's got a lil sheen of sweat on his brow. "Ok, fetch." He points down range, grinning as he tells her to go get his arrows!

It is plain that Clint's archery skills are beyond the pale, on every level, and this makes the work out an unexpected delight for the challenge it presents! Laynia LIKES to be challenged, in fact she needs it - needs this sort of thing, needs the structure of belonging to something bigger than herself. She needs to be part of a team, and most of all, she needs to feel she is doing good works. ALL of which SHIELD offers, and all of which come to a head right here and now.

She grins, arms and legs akimbo as she rapidly runs him out of arrows, She laughs at the command to fetch, and then with lips curled in a wicked smile, she forms…a hound made of pure shadow and darkness. It is not alive, merely a construct of her will, and /this/ takes formidable concentration as she sends it bounding down the range to gather the arrows, gallumphing back with tail high and head somehow smug to drop them at Clint's feet before it puffs out of existence. "As you wish, Clint Barton."

Layni's eyes glow, backlit by darkness, but bright all the same, and yes, she's clearly a bit fatigued, but equally as clearly energized. "Are we having fun yet?"

For the next round she'll try launching the skeets in random bursts, with the targets pinwheeling in crazed patterns. "Let us see what you can /really/ do, mm?"

A heh slips from him tiredly as he shakes his head while she starts on another pattern. "Oh yer a jerk, you are, Petrovna." An insult without fangs as he shifts his stance and restocks the quiver from the pup. And if she lets it last long enough he'll give it a good ruffle on the head even if it's chilled to the touch.
Once he's got the arrows settled he gives her a nod over his shoulder. "Alright, set." And the cycle begins again.
Only this time he has to take a little longer. Takes him a bit more time to focus and engage. To track and loose. A few times she might get the feeling she has him as he's taking over a second to nock and fire. But then his lip twists as that brilliant spacially-gifted mind of his seems to click up a gear. He's able to counter the erraticness of her course… by starting to hit more than one target at a time.
For him he just starts to sense 'warm spots' when he draws and aims. Spots where it's likely with just the right angle here… it hits and rebounds there…
And suddenly she's running out of targets. The firing comes faster and he's starting to kick two at a time regularly, then one shot of three with a beautiful set of ricochets…
And once he says finally then, "Out." They're both likely glad for the breather. His face is flushed and his breathing a little ragged as he looks over to the side at her. "That… was good."

Oh, the pup stays just long enough to be patted, a tail wag and lolling tongue shown before it falls over on its side and presents belly — ere it disappears. Another short laugh, and then Laynia nods. "Da, I am, but is good to have hobby and calling mesh so perfectly, yes?"

It takes every ounce of her focus, and her brow slicks with a faint sheen from the sheer effort needed to present a challenge to the Hawkeye.

It is definitely exilherating to push herself beyond any limits she'd previously known and find her playmate to be capable of, possibly even eager to rise to match them. When finally the quiver is empty again, she needs to lean against the wall, fanning herself as she tries to cool down. "Yes." A nod. "Very good." She agrees, and then she smiles up to him, her head level with his chest as she leans agains the wall with her back and shoulders. "One very good thing about Darkforce…" She opens a portal, and INSIDE It she shapes a fan blade to blow chill air over them both! "…I always have capability for AC." She quips.

"Handy," Clint says as he unslings the quiver and the bow, setting them down on the shelf of the gun range. He takes a moment to lift his black shirt to dab at his face, making a make-shift cloth to try an cool off. Though that chill breeze definitely helps.
He shakes his head and laughs, "Alright after this might need a shower, otherwise Groucho'll be grumpy at me all day." Since it really is a kinda tiny office.
A nod is given to her, "You're alright, Petrovna. We could make this a regular Saturday night thing." Which is a funny thing to say considering it's a Wednesday morning. Probably an American idiom.

A moment to sends a veritable forest of black tendrils, and then Clint's arrows are back, creepy delivery system or not. Laynia will even tuck them all into his quiver for him neat as you please!

"I was very popular girl when on field assignments in desert terrain, less so in snow, however." Laynia allows. Pushing off the wall, she grins at Clint. "You are also acceptable, I think, Clint Barton." A bratty gleam to cinnamon eyes. "Da? I like this idea, is good work out, and yes…" She nods. "…definitely both could use shower. I will see you around, Clint." She says and then backs into the portal and turning to stride into the darkness as the thing collapses behind her.

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