2815/What lies in the Shadows

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What lies in the Shadows
Date of Scene: 11 October 2017
Location: Watchtower
Synopsis: J'onn wants to know exactly how Kitty's power works -- building on her X-training.
Cast of Characters: Martian Manhunter, Shadowcat

Martian Manhunter has posed:
J'onn has asked Kitty to come up to the training facility of the Watchtower today. Previously he has taken her through the Watchtower, giving a quick tour of the advanced space station, and providing her access to the different areas. At the end, in-line with his interest in teaching her, J'onn officially included her as an Ally of the Justice League. She now has access to the communications channels, and alerts that the other Allies and Members of the League share.

"Hello Katherine, I am glad you had the time to come up today. Have you had an opportunity to consider the research position with STAR labs? I believe they would be extremely excited to work with you, and would benefit from your knowledge and experience." J'onn walks her through the Watchtower, eventually ending up in a room similar to the Mansion's Danger Room, "Today I would like to work on two tasks. The first is to better understand your ability to Phase. Your perceived limitations, and see where we can push you to your limits." His face remains passive, a slight glimmmer in his red eyes shows excitement, "The second we will discuss after we have worked on the first."

Shadowcat has posed:
"J'onn," Kitty greets with a smile. "I have... and I would very much like to take the job. I actually mentioned it to a friend already," she admits. She's still all wide eyes about the Watchtower's view and open curiosity about the tech up here. "I'm really kind of excited about the idea, to be able to see the kind of research available to them."

As they enter the Danger Room equivalent, she can't help but chuckle. "Oh, good.... I get to do power testing. Well, at least this I know I'm good at." She looks up at him. "Where would you like to start? We usually run obstacle courses, both opposed and unopposed, along with other things similar to capture the flag or sparring at home. Will you be scanning me for these?"

Martian Manhunter has posed:
"Excellent." J'onn replies to her comment on accepting the position, "I will notify the Doctors immediately, and setup a time for you to have a conversation with them." He looks up towards the dome of the ceiling, and immediately the room starts to shift. Equipment move into the walls, and floor with almost no noise. Within a minute the entire room is clear of everything except for the two of you.

"No, today I would like us to work on the extent of your Phasing capabilities through different energy fields, and materials. I would also like to understand your ability to sense a field or material before you attempt to Phase through it. Then finally, we will see if we can fine tune your understanding of a field or material so that you can Phase as quickly as possible to deal with a shift in your environment."

There will be a small hum that Kitty feels in the room, and J'onn explains "There are various means in order to change the molecular composition of materials. One that I like to utilize in my own training is circulating various energy types through conductive materials to change their density and molecular structure. This room is built with that concept in mind. It is a standard tactic the Martians used to train our people as they became more familiar with their abilities. Currently the room will have both the density of Steel and a current similar to a High Voltage Security Fence."

Looking to Kitty, he asks, "When you attempt to Phase, what techniques do you use to determine your ability to move through an unknown barrier, be it Energy or Physical Construct?"

Shadowcat has posed:
As she listens, Kitty tilts her head. Although she's learned a great deal about her powers over her years at Xavier's, she's not sure she's ever come at them from this angle -- it was more about learning to USE them than trying to explain them. She has to think about that answer and admits, "I don't really use a technique, exactly."

A slight frown appears between her eyes as she concentrates on her own inner workings. "I'm .... With a physical barrier, it's literally an instinctive move on my part. I don't... really have to think about what the barrier is made of -- solid or liquid doesn't seem to really matter. Gases do have an effect on me, but moreso after I've returned to solidity... almost like I absorb the molecules?" She pauses. "I know that electricity is definitely a field I interact with in phased form, but... other kinds of energy fields, I don't have as good a feel for."

Martian Manhunter has posed:
J'onn nods his head as he considers this, and slowly kneels down to the floor. He raises his hand to her, and she can see it take on the slight ghostly view of being out of phase. "For Martians, we are able to control the bonds of our molecular structure. Through this process we are capable of loosening, tightening, remolding, and for some of the truly gifted restructuring that structure. In order to move through various materials or types of energy we are taught how our bonds may be arranged to best move through the structure we are attempting to bypass."

He places his phased hand about an inch from the floor, "The electricity field, for example, are charged particles in this instance dynamically run as a current. In order to avoid damage or disorientation when moving through the field, we simply allow our structure to flow around those charged particles." His hand moves into the floor, "If you do not mind, I would like to show something to you in your mind?"

Shadowcat has posed:
Kitty nods, paying close attention to his explanation of how he goes through electrical fields. Because it's one of the few things that both inordinately affects her and that SHE affects pretty powerfully as well. "Sure, show me," she agrees. "Because I'd love to *not* fry computers -- it was a pretty regular occurance at first, though now I just try not to phase through them." She grins.

Martian Manhunter has posed:
Once she has given her approval, Kitty will feel J'onn's presence enter her mind with a subtlety she has rarely felt, the faintest whisper of an additional mental presence but with the concrete knowledge that his presence is tightly contained. Then, before her eyes she will actually SEE the electrical field in the electromagnetic spectrum. The vision normally would be incredibly disorienting, but J'onn is providing a mental buffer to her human senses. He speaks out loud while she adjusts to her new vision, "What you see is the electrical field. It pulses and moves in a very distinct and set pattern..." As she focuses she can actually see the movement that he's talking about, like a wave of energy moving like a river, "Now, I will focus your vision on my hand.."

Her vision shifts, moving like a telescope, and she realizes that she is actually seeing at the molecuarl level his hand as well as the electrical current. What she notices is that J'onns molecules actually space themselves out at just enough distance so that the moleculars that make the energy current flow between them. His voice continues, "For Martians we can adjust as you will see..." he closes those pathways, and while there is no disruption to /him/ there is a disruption ot the electrical current, "...this is probably what happens when you move through electrical systems. Your bonds are far enough to allow you movement without pain, but are still close enough to cause an interruption to the current... Perhaps we can see if you can control your Phasing in a similar manner."

Shadowcat has posed:
It's a whole new world of things to see, and Kitty is fascinated. Distracted by what she can see, J'onn's voiceover of what she's seeing is comprehended but it's peripheral to where her attention is. When it shifts to his hand, she continues to intently study what, with his help like this, she can see. "Electricity can hurt me -- in fact, it's one of the few things that hurts *really* badly. But not every time. I've walked through large banks of computers before and it didn't bother me, but I've had electrical attacks and I think even plasma once have been able to reach me in phased state." She looks thoughtful. "I've never really known whether what I do is actually half-stepping out of this dimensional plane," which she's often wondered about, "or whether my phase is more a change of state, as yours appears to be."

Martian Manhunter has posed:
"Well then, let us see what kind of control you can exhibit over your change." J'onn says in a friendly tone, "If it is a dimensional shift, I think we should be able to move you further into that dimensional 'void' for lack of a better term. If it is similar to my own type of Phasing, then we can work on your control of loosening your bonds, and I think you will feel a marked improvement." He stands back up, and moves to stand in front of Kitty. "First, let us both examine what it looks like when you Phase." He takes her hand, and places it up next to his own, and shifts the vision so that their vision encompasses both. "Your turn." J'onn states, and waits to see the differences and similarities between the two.

Shadowcat has posed:
She isn't bothered by his mental touch at all -- used to Xavier's touch in her mind, it is a simple presence and she can feel 'where' he is. She only has the basic shielding that is taught to the non-telepaths at the school, but her mind is an organized one and although he may not be looking at what's running through there, he can feel that her brain is VERY busy. Categorizing, learning, focusing. With her full attention on what she's seeing, it's very simple as she uses her power to see this part, though -- she doesn't have to concentrate on the power. She was not exaggerating; it is pure instinct on her part requiring no effort at all to phase into intangibility.

In the altered state of view, Kitty's power seems to not work the way J'onn's does. Her molecules themselves are not under her control individually; it's not that they move out of the way of fields. When she moves her hand over top of his and then down THROUGH his hand so he can see what happens when she phases through a solid, her molecules are not sliding between his molecules. She appears to be literally phase-shifting just off the edge of this plane of reality.

Martian Manhunter has posed:
"That is quite interesting, Katherine..." J'onn says, and given their current mental connection she can feel that he is truly impressed. "...It appears we have some work to do between us. This is extremely unique, and I believe you will find it to become very powerful if we can identify the triggering mechanism." So she can see a different angle, he places his hand in her own, and he begins to tightly draw the bonds of his molecules tighter. Eventually his hand turns to normal, and then begins to become more and more dense. She can actually see via this enhanced vision that he's capable of increasing his mass, adding more molecules, and making his hand more and more dense.

"As you have seen, there is no shifting to the state of your hand in the traditional Earth Science sense. Your structure remains the same as before. However, your hand is currently performing an activity that is similar to what your scientists are just now investigating as Dimensional Shift...." He pauses, thinking for a moment, "...now that you see this, can you attempt to push your hand further into the Shift? Perhaps the sensation would be like the difference between flexing your Arm, and then focusing on just flexing your bicep muscle."

Shadowcat has posed:
Kitty herself is fascinated by the difference between what she just did and what J'onn does. Tilting her head, she notes the density shift and nods slowly. "I've never had the ability to density-shift like that. The first eruption of my power, I was actually asleep and dreaming and fell through my bed to the main floor of the house. We have a guess that my unconscious will only allow me to go so far -- like a survival instinct. I can phase through solid matter for long distances, but I basically have to hold my breath to do it. So when I phase into the ground, as an example, to travel somewhere else... the limits to how far I can go depend on how long I can hold my breath. The same limitation appears to be true over anyone I take with me... but it also seems to only apply if we're COMPLETELY phased inside something solid. I can travel half in and half out of the ground indefinitely."

When he asks her to try to push her hand further into the shift, Kitty has to think about it. If her molecules were spreading, she'd worry about dispersing herself accidentally. But that's never happened. "I can try," she concedes. It requires a realignment of thinking though, and he can feel that process happening. How *does* one step more out of phase?

Her body phases into the intangible realm even as she thinks about it, almost as if it's just as natural a state to her as being solid. She's stepped through dimensional portals before... using that as a template for what it might feel like, she tries to push her body to do as he's asked. But nothing seems to happen.

Martian Manhunter has posed:
"Hmm, I find it interesting the need to hold your breath." J'onn states as he continues to watch her hand. "If you are performing a Dimensional Shift, meaning you are Shifting States through something similar to Quantum Entanglement, I would assume your need for air is also eliminated. In essence, you are partially no longer in this Dimensional fully, and are not subject to the understood laws of Relativity...." He continues to consider this fact, he speaks outloud so she can follow his line of thinking, "...if it were simple molecular re-alignment then I could understand that problem as a biological limitation of not being able to create oxygen. This, though, is something different. An entire change to your alignment with the physical world..." He offers her a grin, and adds "...I believe the movie reference I am consider would be from The Matrix, when the character known as Morpheus asks the character Neo... 'Do you think that is /air/ you are breathing?"

He takes a step back, and watches as Kitty fully shifts. He allows her to see how he changes his vision through various forms of sight. Electromagnetic, Ultraviolet, Infrared, gathering as much information as possible to write down later. He shifts back to electromagnetic, and adds "See how the various fields on the Earth no longer interact with you in the same way..." There will be a highlighting of a certain type of field, "...Gravitational Field of the Earth... almost as if it is non-existent to you." and she can see looking between herself and J'onn that the fields do seem different.

Shadowcat has posed:
Kitty laughs softly. "There's something to that idea," she agrees. "The mind will do what it thinks it has to at the most basic level." It's disorienting for her to see the ranges that he can view, but her brain continues its almost frantic filing of experiences and images away into that internal filing system of hers. When he settles on the one he wants her to see, Kitty nods slowly. "I can airwalk - that's always fun. I guess I always assumed gravity worked on me -- or I'd just fly off, right? Or... again, maybe it only works on me because I expect it to. I *can* walk on the air, do it all the time. It's especially useful in a fight to be able to phase in and out." There's a pause and she admits, "And I learned that I can partially phase, too... like just my hand." The flash in her mind isn't one she can hide, too visceral for her emotionally to stop it from flashing through her thoughts -- the phasing of her hand into a body and coming back out with a heart.

Martian Manhunter has posed:
"Perhaps we can try this..." J'onn says as he watches a few moments longer, "...when you shift between states are there any mental changes you feel? A connection to another place? A change in our you perceive the World? A physical sensation that accompanies the shift? Anything that we may be able to attack to that would allow a control of that sensation? For a first time this is excellent, Katherine." J'onn adds at the end, and she senses that he is genuinely impressed with her knowledge and work ethic. "It takes Martians many many years to understand even the basic concepts we've spoken of today. For now, we will write down what we've talked about, and think through other potential avenues of approach. I think Superstring Theory may give you some insights to consider."

"Yes, I believe your airwalking is what actually keeps you from floating off the Earth!" J'onn says with a smile, "Your minds unconscious control of where you are located is what keeps you falling through the Earth as well as floating off of it. The fact that you have learned to consciously control your motion when there is nothing for you to 'push off of' tells me we can fine tune this even further."

When the image flashes, J'onn ignores it for now, and he says "This brings us to the second topic I would like to discuss. I know that there is something you are worried about. Control that you do not feel comfortable with at this time. I would like us to talk about what has you worried, and face it here in this place."