2019-09-06 - Won by a kiss...


Laynia and Pietro meet while working out at the Triskelion gym, a wager is made.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Fri Sep 6 20:30:24 2019
Location: Triskelion

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Just before lunch, and Laynia is hard at work in the gym. She's a fairly distinctive looking woman, long pale hair, fit, her curves still visible even in sweat pants and SHIELD logo bearing t-shirt. At present the woman is jogging around the track bordering the rest of the huge gym area, with fighting mats in the middle, free weights off to one end, and more complex workout machines on the opposite.

Long hair is worn in a braid, and her pace is steady, and rapid.

You know, for a person NOT capable of running at multi-mach speeds!

The room has quite a bit going on it, a small group having a hand to hand class on one mat, plenty of folks on free weights and the other machines, and there's several people hoofing it along the running track. Busy room!

The room has a lot going on in it, so much so that Pietro over there at the side of the track doing his stretches may not garner any attention. At least, not from those who don't /know/. He is resting down on the ground with one leg extended out before him, leaning forward to grasp his foot and to pull down. He seems to be actually stretching, though there is a slightly cocky smirk hovering about his features as he catches the low whispers from a few passing by that point his way. A small group of people linger nearby to drinking from their water bottles and watching him as he climbs to his feet.

He looks pretty average in his Nike hoodie and shorts, a simple pair of high end running shoes laced to his feet. Pietro ambles out onto the track and adopts a ready stance at one of the distance markers, taking the time to slowly glance to his side and offer a wink toward one of the young women watching his progress before he takes off.

ZOOM! As Pietro begins to run, he is already a blur of movement, a simple wash of color as he races around the track again and again.

The Darkstar has been out of circulation until recently, just the last four decades or so. And with the room's activity level she'd probably not recognize the Quicksilver just yet. Of course when he explodes into motion, it is not a hard connection to make. It is perhaps a bit -surprising- since he was active way back in her days with the Soviet Super Solders, and the ACT-F task force.

Zoom! Zooom! Zoooom! Laynia is passed several times as she runs, and then she has to laugh a little, and step off the track to watch the blue-silver blur sip around and around, streaks of afterimage left in his wake. "Bozhe moi, he is fast." She murmurs to nobody in particular, and the she gets a faintly impish gleam to cinnamon eyes. "Quicksilver, perhaps you might enjoy a bit more challenge to your running?" The voice is clear, and the accent kissed by Mother Russia, probably a Muscovite.

What does it sound like when a person runs that fast? No doubt the sound of individual footfalls blends into a single thrum of noise as one thud melds into the next. Despite the quick movement, he still manages to hear Laynia's question as he zips around, and the prospect calls him to slow. When he does so, it is revealed that he is running backwards!

It is a show that he is putting on. Evidence of the man's cockiness shining through as he shows off. He slows to stand before Laynia, and like there there is a brief expression of vague recognition before he says with a lifted brow, "What sort of challenge did you have in mind?"

Towel around her neck, Laynia dabs at her brow a moment, then holds both ends of it as Pietro stops. A subtle nod when she sees he seems to know her, and then a flash of even white teeth. "Well…running in circles, trivial act for fastest man in world, da?" A corona of black starts to form about her as her eyes go black as pitch, the aura surrounding her body is almost like smoke, it even wisps off her, though the wisps vanish once separated. Her own smile turns almost predatory, definitely challenge sparked by his cocky mien. "I could perhaps 'kick it up a notch' with obstacles, and perhaps other surprises if you are game for such?"

With that aura about her - Laynia's feet are a couple inches off the ground, and no doubt the topic of conversation will draw more than a little interest!

People are beginning to notice that something is going on, whatever it is. People nearby start to move just a little slower through their exercises as they crane their heads to watch or direct an ear to catch a bit of conversation. The sound of weight bars dropping into racks sound off around the room as people place their weights down to watch the two.

To his credit, Pietro doesn't pay those around him any attention. Quite the contrary, he seems to have eyes only for Laynia as those tendrils of shadow begin to appear and her feet lift from the ground. The cocky smirk remains upon his features as he offers a noncommital shrug before saying, "You have my interest. This /does/ get a little boring running laps around this track. Is there some sort of prize that goes along with it? A million dollars? All expenses paid trip to some exotic resort?"

Oh there's definitely interest, seeing two supers go head to head, even if the competition is friendlY? No way it will not garner attention!

Laynia laughs softly at the sally. "What, is potentially challenging workout not enough? You wish prizes too, and here I thought you were Euro, not American." Yes, she's clearly teasing and amused.

A hand rises to her chin, the other gripping her elbow as her costume - or a version of it made from pure Darkforce flows over her sweats and envelops it. "Mmm…well…friendly wager then, yes? Contest winner buys lunch." She picks three random observers. "Martins, Kowalski and Jenkins, you will be judges, agreed?"

The three picked out blink a couple times, and then grin. Martins nods once, he's a fairly large man, powerful shoulders and deep brown eyes and hair. "Sure, Darkstar, I'm in." Kowalski? She's barely five feet, black hair and green eyes and moves like a serpent. A crisp nod. "Sure." And then Jenkins, no, not LeRoy. He's average build, sandy hair tousled looking, and green eyes eager. "Oh HELL yeah I'm in."

"So…no Russian judge, just to be fair." Yes, Laynia smirks as she says this. "You in?"

That jab about American tendencies does draw a laugh from Pietro as he shrugs his shoulders in response. "What can I say? After this many years you have to find ways to make things worthwhile. Surely you can understand?" he says, adding a wink for Laynia. Did he just call her old? He nods toward the judges then and says, "Count me in, then. But know that I'm not a cheap date."

Laynia laughs. "Oh, Mister Maximoff, I assure you, nor am I." A moment to rise up a few yards. She speaks, her voice raised to be heard. "Pardon, please, your attention fellow agents…Quicksilver and I have wager, could we please have running track?" The thing was mostly empty anyway, and people move to free it up.

Turning back to Pietro. "How long will it take you to lap the track a thousand times?"

Technically Laynia IS old, if you go by calendar years she'd be seventy-two! Fortunately she's only lived some thirty-two, and yes, Pietro - despite BEING older - looks younger. Even so, with his perceptions her flick of flat-look is probably amusing as hell for him. It fades fast, though.

Pietro grins and says, "I will look forward to proving it, either way." He moves back toward the center of the track, watching as those few who were stubbornly trying to actually get their exercise in, supers be damned, move free of the space with a few grumbles. Looking toward Laynia, he considers for a moment before looking back toward the track. "A thousand times…" he muses. "Fifteen minutes at full speed. Give or take."

Darkstar looks about the room, noting the slightly disgruntled folks and offers a graceful aerial curtsy. "Spasiba my friends, for your forebearance." A firm nod. "Thank you all for humoring." She turns her ebon gaze to Pietro. "Okay…here is challenge…I will make for you the ever changing obstacle course, with added bonus of energy blasts, you need must only complete those thousand laps in fifteen minutes. Judges will rate for style, they decide who wins in event you succeed, if you do not complete in fifteen, is loss. Agreed?" This to the judges and to Pietro as well.

Pietro doesn't even pay the grumblers any heed at all. By all appearances, he hasn't even seen them. Instead, he listens to Darkstar as she explains her idea, and then nods his head before glancing to the judges. "You likely won't be able to follow it with your eyes, but just imagine me doing all kinds of sick tricks as I'm jumping over the obstacles. Front flips, back flips, swan dives… you know. All of the good stuff." He glances back toward Laynia and grins before moving into a ready position.

"Actually, sir." Jenkins says with a grin. "I work in Cyber, so I can record and then play it back so we can /actually/ see what you do, at the end." He frowns a moment, a hint of doubt. "Most likely." A shrug and his eager grin returns full force. "If not, sure, we'll just use our imaginations."

Laynia laughs softly, some color in her cheeks a moment. "Da, I forget /I/ won't even likely be able to see, will be interesting challenge indeed….so…one more stipulation, you cannot leave the track, if you cross either outer boundary line, you lose as well."

Assuming he accepts the condition, Laynia floats to the center of the room, and nods when she's ready. "Kowalski..give the go ahead, Jenkins start timer on her mark."

And the go is given! The first thing Laynia tries is making the ground sprout sudden ramps, or ultra smooth surfaces, all along the track these patches form as swiftly as she manage, and there's enough of them at a time that they will hopefully make things a little more interesting. The Darkforce constructs she makes are very durable, so smashing them will be a non-trivial exercise if Pietro gives it a try.

There is a slight grin in response to Jenkins as the man offers to be so dutiful in his role as judge. He says nothing, however, his mind coming into focus as he nods toward Darkstar. He waits, listening for the sound to go, and then he is off as fast as he can run. That hum of noise is back as he races across the track. If there were sand on the track there would no doubt be a rooster tail shooting up form behind him to mark his progress. When the ramps begin to form, Pietro does not try to break through them, instead he simply uses them to launch himself skyward, flying through the air propelled by his momentum.

Once she catches on to the streaks hitting the air, Laynia grins, hands raised to either side, black energy flaring about each and dozens of tendrils coiling and lashing to the ground as she works at this. Her smile is /huge/, she's enjoying the challenge. And then Quicksilver will find that sometimes the ramps are accompanied by the tendrils, lashing chaotically all about and at height sufficient to potentially snare him, and that is exactly what they'll try their darnedest to do.


Laynia is careful not to fall into any patterns, unpredictability is her best hope for this.

Pietro is just thinking how easy this will be if all he has to do is run over ramps the whole time. He is making incredibly fast progress as he runs. The streaks of color that show where he is forming a kind of beautiful dance as they launch into the air and curve downward to touch back to the ground before going skyward again. He does do a few tricks, just in case they can actually slow down the cameras enough to see. At one point he is flying through the air, turned on his side as if lounging by the fireplace as he lifts a hand to blow a kiss in Laynia's direction before he touched back to the ground.

As fortune would have it, it is just after this that the first tendril makes a grab at him. It surely would have had him were he not moving so quickly, and as such it barely has time to close around the first half of his foot before he snags it free. The next slaps against his calf and suddenly Pietro's movements become more erratic and random as well, streaking in a zig zag formation around the track, trying to never run in the same line for too long.

Sadly, Laynia is not at all able to see at the speeds that Pietro moves at, the blown kiss will have to be seen in the replay, if the guys can even slow it down enough, seems likely though - SHIELD has some very impressive tech to work with!

She's definitely starting to feel the exertion, this is not easy! It takes considerable concentration and focus for Laynia to do so much all at once, she'd never try anything like this in the field - that would get her killed, most likely.

Still, she promised energy blasts, didn't she?

In a deep sing-song. "Oh, Pietro…I have presents for you…!" And then the ramps vanish entirely, instead now there's coiled masses of the tendrils and blasts of Darkforce as concussive force raining down from above in hard to predict patterns. Worse still, the beams are not always beams, sometimes they are cones, or rods, or stilettos of chill energy.

Pietro is moving slower, given that zig zagging pattern that has been forced upon him, but he is still making good progress. A laser beam that spans the finish line (because why not?) has counted the number of laps made at eight hundred, and the timing looks like it will be close but within the contest rules. And then just as Pietro is running up a ramp to launch into the air it vanishes and he drops to the floor far shorter than he had intended. When the ramps disappear and this new challenge presents itself, it almost gives the speedster pause as he watches those energy blasts shoot from the sky. They move much slower to him, given the speed at which he moves and how fast his mind processes information, but even so one of those chilling blasts catches his left arm and he feels it go numb. Growling under his breath, he runs as fast as he can, struggling to dodge around those blasts of energy without being forced into the coiling masses of tendrils.

Definitely a laser, the techie watching a counter on the laptop, calling out each time Pietro hits one of the hundreds.

Laynia is slowing down too, this level of exertion is exhausting, her skin is slick with sweat, visibly beading on her as she twists and lunges to hurl blast after blast from on high. She is meticulous about one thing though - she /never/ puts tendrils by that laser counting laps. That would be cheating in her mind, really unfair to trap the one area Pietro /must/ pass through.

The last two hundred laps she creates less and less tendrils, and her blasts are coming slower, and in smaller areas. Finally, her last gambit…a series of Darkforce walls in his path…but none of them the width of the track, instead they form a sort of maze. The woman floats, eyes blazing with Darkforce, one arm extended and teeth gritted from her last ditch effort to win.

Yes, it is a friendly contest — but the both of them are fiercely competitive! That goes for everyone in the room, most likely.

And the counter hits 1000…

Pietro wants to win. That much is certain, given the fact that his arm is completely numb and hanging at his side from that blast and yet still he runs. When the tendrils give way to the walls of a maze, he groans which honestly probably sounds like a sad bumblebee given the speed that he is moving. He darts down one avenue to find a dead end, back down another to his way blocked yet again. Time is ticking down as they reach the last fifteen seconds and the onlookers begin to shout out the time. With ten seconds left Pietro gives up trying to find the right path and gritting his teeth he sprints straight up the vertical wall before him and then begins to leap from wall to wall like overgrown stepping stones. When he reaches the ledge he dives out from the top, trying to break that laser just as the timer reaches fifteen minutes.

Pietro beats the fifteen minute mark by .72 seconds! Talk about cutting it close. The room goes WILD as the time is announced…

Jenkins calls up the video recording, actually needing to use the bloody mainframe to slow the footage down, Agent Simmons will probably have a few words for him about that!


As the judges confer, Laynia lands, her costume /immediately/ gone along with the aura about her, no worries though - her sweats and dark blue shirt never went anywhere. They /are/ well and truly living up to their name, though!

Laynia finds her towel, and works on her head and sweat damp hair, even as she tosses Pietro a bottled water and gulps at one herself. This was a WORKOUT!

Agent Martins stands to clear his throat. "The winner, and the decision was close, is Pietro Maximoff, Quicksilver!" He grins then. "The kiss was the deciding factor."

Laynia quirks a brow. "Kiss? I do not remember a kiss…"

Pietro sails through the air from where he had dove from the top of one of the dark force walls, his arms reaching straight forward to try and break the beam. It isn't a graceful landing as he tumbles to the ground, his legs barely managing to brace the rest of his body as his knees bend and send him into a skidding roll across the gymnasium floor. He rolls to his back and one might almost think that he may be injured were it not for the loud laugh that escapes him.

He doesn't catch the water bottle flung his way, but it hits him in the chest and he is still quick enough to sit up and reach for it before it rolls away. Unscrewing the cap, he lifts the bottle in toast to Laynia as she towels herself off, and has the time to congratulate her on a job well done before the judges step forward.

As his name is announced, he pushes himself to his feet and raises the water bottle over his head when the applause starts, then lowers to chug the rest of the contents. At Laynia's words, Pietro turns his head to look at her and offers a wink before he says, "Really? Now I can say that is the first time I have ever heard a woman say that in reference to myself!"

Laynia returns the toast and grins, clearly having had a good time too. Towel dangling from her neck, Laynia moves over to the judges, eyes flashing a little towards Pietro at his quip. She puts a hand on the techie's shoulder, leaning a bit over to look at the screen. "Show me kiss, please." Acutely aware of the woman, the guy from Cyber just nods, and pulls it up. Laynia's expression is stern, almost angry, and then she takes a step back, arms about her middle as she sits down on a weight bench and /laughs/.

"You are devil himself, Pietro Maximoff. But…you won, fair and square." Her tone almost /drips/ with menace. "And the Darkstar pays her debts." It would almost seem scary were she not still stifling laughter.

"But first I must get changed, so…we meet in foyer of building, then get lunch, mm?"

If Pietro is worried given the woman's expression, he does not show it. Likely he figures that he can always just outrun whatever she throws at him. Standing with his arms crossed, he simply watches Laynia review the footage with a smirk and then allows that smirk to spread into a grin as she steps back and laughs. "As for me being the devil, I will not deny it," he says with a dip of his head that could even pass for a very slight bow. "But yes, I think that will work well. I am going to go hit the showers and change myself."

Very scary is the Darkstar! Or something. Actually - if she was /genuinely/ hostile, it might be at least a _little_ concerning. Fortunately she is definitely not upset. "Da, is good plan, and I will try not to keep you waiting too long, speedster."

In truth it is only about twenty minutes before Laynia arrives in the lobby as promised. Her attire is primarily black leather, and suits her very well, modest too, very little skin showing at all. When she sees Pietro, she moves towards him, and offers a faint smile. "So, Mister Maximoff, where do we go for lunch?"

Pietro can do a lot in twenty minutes if he really wants to. As it stands, he has more than enough time to race from the gym to the shower and then to dress himself. By the time that Laynia makes it to the foyer, Quicksilver is reclining comfortably on a chair beside the door with a stack of magazines that he has thumbed through organized haphazardly at his side. He stands when she approaches and offers a shrug before saying, "How about Katz's? It's always pretty decent."

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