Previous Next

Call the Lightning!

Posted on Mon Aug 14th, 2023 @ 6:59pm by Scott Summers & Tammy Thompson
Edited on on Mon Aug 14th, 2023 @ 7:06pm

Mission: Episode 2: Northern X-Posure
Location: X-Mansion Campus Grounds
Timeline: August 8th, 1990

Scott stood on the green grass with his arms folded as he leaned against the metal fixture that had been erected in the far lawn. No trees were about, as intended, so Scott felt particularly conspicuous in the open. The metallic pole with directional signage spinning around twin cockatrices or some such mythological creatures taken from the old Graymalkin coat of arms presented itself as an avoidable eyecatcher.

"Come on, Tammy..." he muttered. He sent notice through another student for Tammy to meet him outside. While he could have found her himself, Scott had decided to 'supervise' Connor's transportation and erection of the old weathervane that had been stored in the basement. But what if Tammy didn't even know? He decided to give her a few more minutes before checking to see if the other student had even found her.

Tammy appeared beside him having traveled at the speed of light. "OK Scott. came as soon as I got your message. So how do you want to work this exactly?"

"Gah!" Jumping back from her sudden appearance, Scott took two steps back and dropped into a half crouch to regain his footing. "Well, I don't know what I was expecting..." He let his shock out with a chuckle. "Well, the Professor asked me to work with you on a training exercise." He cocked his thumb back at the weathervane he had been leaning against. "This used to be up on top of the mansion until a lightning storm knocked it loose decades ago. Some of the guys hauled it up from the basement and set it up out here because the Professor thinks it might help you hone some of your abilities." Scott gave a shrug. "Up for a few drills?"

"Absolutely! I am up for this alright! A chance to refine my powers! What do you want me to do?"

The eagerness from Tammy was infectious, as was her smile. Scott couldn't help but return it, even if a little diminished. "Well, let me find shelter, and then on my signal, you take flight, gather yourself, and then see if you can conduct yourself through this old weathervane."

"Stormy weather..." she sang a snippet of the old song. "Ok should be easy enough. You do know I travel at the speed of light and it'll be over before you can blink?"

"Only in a vacuum," Scott corrected with a smile, "though it's probably not going to make much difference that I'll be able to see. If you're ready, just let me get to a safe distance."

With that, Scott trotted off to the nearest tree which was nearly 50 yards away. "Go ahead!" he yelled, cupping his hands to his mouth.

Tammy smiled. In an instant she had become a lightening bolt and headed straight for the weathervane!

A shower of sparks rang out from the weathervane before Tammy grounded herself and came up back in physical form.

"Bullseye!" Scott called to her. He was already halfway back to the weathervane by the time she got her bearings. "I'm not sure why the Professor thought you would have any trouble."

"Ok Hotshot, so I hit a weathervane. What else you got? If you want to help me hone my powers you're going to have to come up with something better than that!" Tammy was not trying to be sassy but just hitting a weathervane didn't seem like much of a challenge at all.

"How about this?" Scott held up to the end of a steel cable that was lying in the grass. "Try it again. I'll attach this to the weathervane. The other end is connected to a buoy all the way down at the lake with a hazard light on top. Hit the weathervane, travel down the cable, give the light a flash, and then turn around to come back here. Think you can do that?"

"Can I do that? Puhhlease! No problem! Just say 'Go' and I'll zip down and light up the light! Shouldn't be too hard!" Tammy said.

Scott couldn't help but smile at Tammy and her infectious enthusiasm. "All right... GO!"

With but a thought Tammy turned to electricity and hit the weather vane and traveled down to the buoy, lit up the light and was back. It took a few seconds but the light was on and flashing and she had reappeared by Scott!

When Tammy reappeared, Scott couldn't help but jump back a step. "Wow... So I don't know what I was expecting, but that was... incredible." His smile was softer than before, but the amusement was replaced by admiration. "Think you can do it again or was that too easy?"

"Yes and yes. I can do it again and yes it was too easy! Scott I traveled halfway across the country to get here so something like this. not a big deal!"

"Oh yeah?" Scott grinned at her confidence. "In that case, let's see you do it in reverse. Jump into the lake, channel yourself up the cable into the weathervane, and then shoot up into the sky and give me a wave. Think you can do that?"

"Ohh doubting me huh? Watch this!" Once again Tammy did her thing. Her electrical form hit the buoy down the cable to the weathervane up into the sky and made a hand of pure lightning and waved at Scott and hit the ground a human. "How's that?" she said with a smile. Yeah she was confident and yeah she was having fun.

"Color me impressed," Scott said, arms crossed and weight shifted backward. "Do you feel fatigued at all? You look to be fine."

"No that doesn't bother me at all! What really wracks me out is being forced back into human form from energy! It's akin to a short circuit! Twice in one day and it really hurts Too many times and well not sure how many times I could stand. 4, maybe 5 and I'd be out. As it is 3 in one day and without time to properly recover and I'd be hurting pretty bad!"

Scott nodded. "Well, if you want a challenge, we could try working on stamina and recovery. What forces you back into your human form? I won't make you do anything dangerous, but pushing our limits when it's safe helps us when it really counts later."

"Well jammers mainly! Like the kind they used up in Canada and the ones they used at that base in the city! That was not fun!" Yeah that was not a good time. Still everyone made it home. Except Leadfoot who just took off. Too bad! Still here they were back home.

"We could set up some radio jammers if you want to try," Scott said. "But only if you feel up to it."

'Well, I might give it a try. Don't like jammers as they hurt but I can try one or two I suppose!"

Scott led Tammy away from the weathervane toward the front gate. "There are some automated defenses recessed into the stone walls that surround the premises," he explained as they walked. "And they include a transmitter designed to jam the communications of a coordinated attack team. Might as well see if you can handle it."

They finally neared the gate, so Scott gave Tammy a nod. "When you're ready..."

Tammy took a deep breath! "Don't know if I'll ever be ready for this! But here goes!" She transforms into radio waves and ...

At her signal, Scott unleashed a weak, wide-beamed blast at the wrought iron gates--not enough to damage them, but enough to trigger the perimeter defenses. And that included the jamming transmitter.

Tammy felt the pain as she dropped back to human form and hit the ground. "That hurt. Won't lie."

"That was pretty quick," Scott noted. Then again, these were basically inaudible soundwaves they were dealing with. Slow was never the cards. He offered her a hand up. "You did good today, Tammy. We can be done if you want. There's no need to get hurt. But..." He bit the inside of his cheek before suggesting it. "... we could try one more thing. If you can find a way to break through the jamming and transition while the transmitter is active, then that might unlock the key to resisting radio jammers in the future." He gave her a serious look, jaw set, before adding, "Do not attempt this unless you are sure."

"Well, won't say I'm sure but I want to try it! If i can jam the jammers it would help a lot. So let's try it and see what happens."

The attempt was short-lived and agonizing. After phasing in and out of corporeal form, Tammy let out a scream and fell to the ground.

"Tammy?" In a wink, Scott was knelt down on the ground at her side. "Tammy, can you hear me?"

But she was unresponsive. After a few seconds of no movement, Scott checked her pulse. Null.


Tilting her head all the way back and making her chin point straight up, Scott began to administer CPR. Fingers of each hand laced together, he positioned the palms of his hand over her breastbone and began compressions.

"Breathe!" he shouted before counting off numbers. "1, 2, 3, 4..."

Aside from the jostling, she still wasn't responsive. Scott paused the compressions and placed his mouth over hers to force air down her windpipe into her lungs. "Breathe!" His mouth pressed against hers once again before he resumed compressions.

"1, 2, 3, 4... 1, 2, 3, 4..."

As he leaned into her face again for another mouth-to-mouth respiration attempt, he whispered, "Please, Tammy. Breathe!" And then he pressed his mouth again, harder this time without realizing it.

Suddenly Tammy took a deep breath and started coming around. She became aware of a pair of lips pressing against her own! "mmmm!" was about all she could get out!. She would have enjoyed it more if it hadn't hurt so much when she tried to break though the jammer like that!

Scott pulled back immediately, both to give her plenty of air and to keep from freaking her out. "Tammy! Can you hear me?"

"Yeah, I hear you and owww! I mean really oww! That really hurt! Guess not so good an idea after all!" she said weakly.

"Don't move." Scott knelt down again and scooped her up in his arms. "Let's get you to the infirmary," he said as he carried her up the driveway toward the Mansion.

"Can't move! Not without a lot of pain!" Tammy said.

"I'm sorry..." Scott said meekly as carried Tammy over the threshold of the Mansion. It was only a training accident. It wasn't a mission failure. Tammy would be fine. He just needed to get her to the infirmary. Or so he kept quietly telling himself.

In the corner of the main hall was a recessed high-speed transport tube that would take them to the subbasement. It would be a tight fit for the both of them, so Scott set Tammy upright and held her close against him. "This will take us straight there," he said. "Sorry for the squeeze."

After the quick drop and sudden stop, Scott maneuvered them out of the confined space and swept Tammy back into his arms again as he carried her to the nearest hospital bed. With Jade Farwynd on Muir Island, it would be up to him to get Tammy situated with the autodoc processor.

"This should run pretty much on its own," Scott said, setting her down and began gathering the basic equipment to attach to her. He wasn't a doctor, though, and... well, he was feeling a little apprehensive. "I can attach any sensors and stabilizers after I put in the IV, but if you'd rather do the more, uh, sensitive ones yourself, then I can show you how and step away..."

"I can try although right now I don't feel very sensitive but depends on where I need to put them." She liked Scott but she wasn't really ready for him to see her private parts. Not yet at any rate.

Scott let out a nervous chuckle. If she was worried about modesty, then she couldn't be hurt too badly. "How about we just start with arms, legs, and neck for now." He held up each one before applying their adhesive bonds. Then he moved to the IV. "This is going to prick a little..." He sanitized the injection site before applying the IV line. "There..." He'd only done that a few times before and each time it was terrifying. "Now just lay back and let the induction device beneath the pad work its magic. I don't understand the technology, but it's got me back on my feet more than once."

"Mm ok. Remind me not to do that again anytime soon!" she said. She hurt all over and she hated jammers more than ever now!

"I think we found your threshold..." Scott trailed off and shook his head. "I'm so sorry, Tammy. I think you're going to be okay. Can... can I get you anything?"

"Ow! yeah I think I'll live. A cherry coke would be great! Maybe lots of aspirin! Yeah not my smartest move! Well now we know what happens!"

Scott chuckled to himself. Clearly the healing inducer was working its magic. "Tell you what..." he said. "I think you'll be back on your feet in no time at all. When you are, I'll take you out and get you a malted milkshake or something. My treat."

"Take me out? ooh I like the sound of that! Only you'd better make it a dinner!" she said with a grin.

That grin set Scott at ease. She was going to be just fine. "Let's start with the milkshake and go from there," he said, grinning back despite the urgency of the past few minutes. "Now why don't you try to get some rest. I'll come back in an hour or so. I figure you might be better by then."

And then Scott turned to leave. Today had been a rollercoaster. Tammy had always been overly friendly toward him, and now he had promised to take her out on account of her getting hurt on his watch. What was he doing? He shook his head. Damn Professor knew this would happen. Scott was sure of it. He didn't want to make attachments with new people. He wanted to get his old people back. But that wasn't Tammy's fault. She didn't deserve him giving her the cold shoulder. She wasn't the reason they were missing in the first place.

He was.

Scott shook his head again and felt his funk returning to him. Was he doomed to always be a failure of leadership?

"Hey can't blame a girl for trying to get a nice dinner out of it! Milkshake will work though!" Tammy was resilient and she would be ok, once the soreness wore off.


Previous Next