[an error occurred while processing this directive] Strength and Psionics
Strength and Psionics

Excalibur enters his lab with a robot assistant coming in behind, holding a large piece of crystalline Adamantium. At that time, Illumina was in the lab's bathroom, finishing her shower, wrapping a towel around herself, and stepping on the scale...Which gives a readout of 105 pounds, normal for her. She then goes to her room to put on some night clothes, rummaging through her drawers, but finding nothing. She heads to another room, full of clothing that seems to have a nearly-unnoticeable glow to them, and finds one which seems to fit her: Two-piece long underwear, in a cream-yellow color. She puts it on and feels a rush of energy for no known reason...But shrugs off the feeling for now.

She walks into one of the rooms and sees Excalibur setting up a device that looks like a large chamber. "What're you doin, bro?" she asks him. Excalibur replies, "Well, sis, I am testing out my latest invention, a tool that can cut through the strongest of metals. It requires four things to work: light, large convex lenses, prisms, and a polychromatic diamond. First, light is focused through a large convex lens, then dispersed and magnified by a complex setup of prisms and lenses, and finally concentrated through the tip of a polychromatic diamond. This is an extremely powerful laser, and I am hoping it can cut through even crystalline Adamantium, the strongest, and heaviest, form of the metal Adamantium. Now if I can just think of something to cut out of the crystalline Adamantium..." "Well..." Illumina replies, "You could use that laser-cutter of yours to cut out the inside of that stuff and get a look at the inside...Why not try that?" "...Good idea, Lum. I will also test out my device, now called the Polychromatic Laser Cutter, or PCLC for short, to see how precise it is in its cutting...Give me a few minutes and I will be finished."

While Excalibur is cutting the block, Illumina passes the time by wandering around the lab. She heads over to another of Excalibur's devices, clearly labeled as a Dimensional Transportation System. ~...Beta Version 2.31. How many of these things has he made already?~ Illumina thinks to herself. She then notices some of the buttons and dials on the machine and starts to fiddle with them, hoping the device will do something when she messes around with it. Nothing happens, and she is upset by this.

"Those experimental inventions of his never seem to work when I mess around with them. They don’t even turn on!" she mutters to herself. Shortly afterward, she heads back to where Excalibur is to see how the cutting turned out. She has forgotten to look at one thing, though, before she decided to head back...There was a warning on the Dimensional Transportation System that stated: "This machine requires a ten-minute warm-up before it will activate. Please do not leave unattended! The Dimensional Transportation System must be closely monitored to make sure that nothing is rendered unstable in the activation process."

After Illumina heads back to the lab, she takes a look at what Excalibur has done to the block of Adamantium, which is now in three pieces: A big elliptical cylinder in the center, and the two halves of the original block, each missing half an oval at their cut edges. Excalibur is not around right now; It appears he left to check up on another one of his experiments. Illumina, not having anything else to do, picks up the middle piece with two hands, not having a problem lifting it, even though it is too heavy for a normal person to lift...She then sets it down on a nearby table, and picks up the two other pieces. She goes to set them over on the same table as the cylinder she sat down earlier, but something unexpected happens: Excalibur rushes out from the hallway where he was at, and heads towards one of the hallways, looking for Illumina, and not noticing that he just passed her on the way out...A violent explosion is heard from one of the other rooms, the force of it reaching all the way into the room where Illumina was in...And she, along with the pieces of crystalline Adamantium she is holding, are sent across the room...Right into the path of the PCLC.

The bottom piece lands on the floor of the PCLC, then Illumina, face down, and finally the other piece. Her midsection is sandwiched in between the two pieces of crystalline Adamantium. She uses her one hand to push against the top of the PCLC and turn herself over to get out, but accidentally bumps the switch to enable the PCLC. Though not close enough for the laser to cut into her, or the metal, it is close enough to melt one side of both pieces of the crystalline Adamantium together. She lays there, paralyzed in fear, scared that she is so close to the laser, and bangs the switch again, turning it off...Noticing that the device is now off, she flips herself over to get up...And somehow manages to bump the switch again, starting up the laser again and melting the other side of both pieces together. She bangs on the switch one more time and finally turns it off. Getting up off the PCLC and back onto the floor, she notices the two halves of the crystalline Adamantium have been mended into one piece, and for that matter, tightly around her waist. She tries to pull it down over her pants to get it off, but is unable to, as the piece is stuck where it is...There is no way she can get the piece of crystalline Adamantium off herself now without doing something like reactivating the laser, which she does not want to do right now after her recent experience with it...

Shortly after, Excalibur comes back in, and wonders what happened. "Illumina, are you OK?" He asks. "I am so sorry about running out like that without seeing where you were...I wanted to get out of there before that explosion occurred..." Illumina replies, "Yeah, Cal, I'm all right...Whatever blew up was pretty powerful, though...Sent me flying across the room, as well as those blocks of crystalline Adamantium. And thanks to that device of yours, I've got this stuck around me," then putting her hands around the crystalline Adamantium fused around her waist.

"Oh...Oh dear, sis, I had no idea this would have happened when I was gone," he tells her. "If you give me a few minutes, I can get the PCLC ready to cut through that without harming you..." "No thanks," Illumina replies, "maybe later on...Had too much of a bad experience with that thing right now..." Excalibur looks at her, and the crystalline Adamantium, closer, and notices something strange. He asks her, "Wait a minute...How are you able to stand up with that on you? You know how heavy crystalline Adamantium is..." "I dunno," Illumina replies, "Moving that piece in the center wasn't too much of a problem..." Excalibur seems to be surprised, as he is now wondering how Illumina's newly-acquired strength came to be...She then replies, "Hey, I'm not that weak...Why do you think I work out so much?"

Excalibur doesn't bother to answer that question, but continues to think of how she got so strong, so quick...And then he figures it out. "Ah....Now I know what is going on...What you are wearing there are garments imbued with a strength-enhancing aura. Wearing them increases the strength of the user. I have been trying to research how this has been done, but as of right now, I am coming up empty-handed." "Oh...Hmph, I never noticed that," Illumina says nonchalantly. "I thought my weight-lifting was finally starting to pay off...I guess I'm wrong. Oh well..."

"At least that issue has been taken care of," Excalibur says to her. "I will get that piece of crystalline Adamantium off of you later on." Then, remembering that he was going to work on another device, he asks her, "Hey, how would you like to see another one of my prototype devices? This one is the Dimensional Transportation System, also known as the DTS. I am hoping this can be used to speed up access to and from distant rooms in the lab...As well as other places outside of the lab. I am currently trying to lower the radiation emitted by Beta Version 2.31 of the DTS low enough to allow for safe transportation." "Wait..." she says, That piece of junk? I fiddled around with the knobs and nothing happened. It's like a lot of your earlier devices, they never–"

"Now, sis, keep in mind why it's called a Beta version; That's because--" Excalibur stops for a moment, now knowing she not only messed around with the DTS, but she also left it without supervision. He then shouts at her, "You WHAT? How long ago was that?" "About seven minutes ago," she replies. She wonders what's wrong; Rarely does her brother raise his voice like that. "...We must hurry, that device needs reset, and fast!" Excalibur continues to tell her. "If it is not fixed in time, the lab will be rendered uninhabitable by the radiation...And if that radiation leaks out into the atmosphere of this planet...I dare not think about that..."

They hurry over to the device with about thirty seconds left. On the way over, Excalibur remembers something he did, thinking to himself, ~It is a good thing I implanted an anti-radiation microchip in my lab coat...It will protect me from the radiation of the portal created by the device, so that will not be a problem if the emissions are only slight...~

...In his haste, however, he forgets to notice that Illumina had no such protection. "Oh, this is not good...Sis, I don’t want you to get hurt, but...We are all in danger if the device is not shut off now..." He ponders over this decision for a moment, then Illumina slaps him upside the head and says, "Fix the device already! Forget about me, just shut this thing off before it’s too late!"

Excalibur goes over to the DTS and starts to reset the settings on the device that Illumina fiddled around with, but it is too late...The DTS activates, a portal is created, and like a vacuum, it pulls in Excalibur and Illumina. Shortly after that, electromagnetic radiation from the DTS causes the PCLC to malfunction and misfire...Like a black hole, the portal created by the DTS pulls in the rays emitted by the PCLC.

Something strange on inside the portal...Radiation generated from the portal bombards the two. The strength-imbued garment and crystalline Adamantium armor fuse with Illumina's body...And while that is happening, the rays from the PCLC that were absorbed by the portal strike Excalibur's hair, causing it to become polychromatic in color and change completely in style. The rest of his body is not affected by the radiation or the PCLC.

Moments later, outside the DTS, one of Excalibur's larger robot assistants comes in, and notices that the DTS was activated...And Excalibur is not around to supervise. It walks over to the machine, which tries to pull him in as well, but cannot, as he is too large for it to pull in. He fiddles around with the dials until the machine goes in reverse, slamming the robot into the wall, and later, shooting out Excalibur and Illumina. Eventually, the machine itself shuts down from overheating. Before Illumina and Excalibur were shot out from it, though, the worker robot had put up a vertically set airbag-like device, to keep them from being severely hurt after being expelled from the DTS.

Illumina regains consciousness first. She feels something different about herself...But she seems more concerned that something's missing...And she's cold. Looking at herself, she sees that she is completely naked. ~Oh, THAT's just great...~ she thinks. ~First I get that metal fused to my waist, and now that stupid device stripped me of my clothes! Looks like I'll have to find somthing else...~ She goes back to her room and puts on some undergarments, noticing that she does not look any different than how she looked before.

She then notices that when she steps, it is a bit noisier for some reason...Wondering why, she then gets on the scale, and is surprised by what she sees. "T-t-two-hundred-ten? How'd I gain THAT much weight so quickly? I was only half that about twenty minutes ago...This scale's gotta be lying...I look exactly the same as I did before!" Angered, she then steps hard on the scale, putting her foot right through it...As well as making a small impression in the floor below. "Whoa...That was unexpected..." she mutters to herself. She then picks up the broken scale as if it weighed nothing, and trying out something, she tries to bend it...And easily splits it in two. She takes part of the split remains of the scale and effortlessly crushes it in her hand. "OK...THAT is messed up. I'm double my old weight, and " She then puts the rest of her clothes, a light blue babydoll shirt and jeans, and heads to back to where Excalibur was.

Excalibur has regained consciousness by the time Illumina made it back to the room where Excalibur was in, and she already notices something...Different about him. Especially what has happened to his hair. She jokes, "Hey bro, that's a new look for you...What do you call it, the 'Mad Scientist' style?"

"Hrm?" He mutters, not knowing what she is talking about. He then goes over to one of his inventions and looks in its reflective surface, now noticing what has happened to his hair. "...Now how did THIS happen? What could have possibly caused my hair to turn this color, and this style?" While Illumina is away, looking around for a hat, Excalibur feels something in his mind. He tries to figure out what it is and (suspecting it is an ability he was studying the scientific principle of) attempts to pick up a small object lying around with only his mind...And succeeds! He starts attempting to pick up larger objects, and…

…When Illumina finally finds a hat for him, she comes back, only to find huge objects floating in the air...And only Excalibur is in the room. "Wha...What’s going on?" she asks, confused. Excalibur replies, "...I'm not exactly sure how this happened, but the radiation from the portal created by the Dimensional Transportation System has given me the ability of telekinesis! In addition, this ability seems to be increasing at an exponential rate. I might be able to master this ability within only a few days."

After hearing Excalibur’s little speech, Illumina then says, "...Speaking of strength...I feel like I picked some of it up from that garment. I wonder why that happened?". Excalibur, sensing something about the properties of how the clothing and armor fused with her flesh, attempts to test his theory. He tells her to try to pick up the other block of Adamantium, saying that he wants to see how much effort she exerts when picking it up.

She walks over to it and picks it up one-handed, tossing it up and down as if it weighed practically nothing. "Hmmm, it’s just as I thought. It seems that you have been infused with the properties of the Strength garment you were wearing, although no one knew what would happen if the wearer actually became INFUSED with its power…And I now understand what does happen: The wearer will permanently acquire great physical strength if the properties of the garment become infused into themselves. As for the Adamantium..."

He telekinetically lifts up the block of Adamantium again and sends it at Illumina’s midsection at blinding speed. It hits…And bounces off harmlessly, crashing into the wall opposite of Illumina. "Also as I thought. The Adamantium fused with your midsection, making that area of your body invulnerable to any physical or magical weapon. It also seems to have entered your skeletal system…That would explain why the block of Adamantium you were tossing didn’t shatter the bones in your arm when you were catching it."

Illumina interrupts him, and seems to be anxious to test out her newfound strength. "I can’t wait till Ragnarok comes back in, I’m going to show him some real ‘girl power’!" Ragnarok was elsewhere this entire time, and has just returned from where he was. He enters the lab, and before he can turn on the lights in the hallway, Illumina, shadowed by the darkness, grabs him by the arm and throws him into the lab. Excalibur managed to finally have a moment of privacy to slip on the hat, but noticing Ragnarok being thrown through the hallway, he quickly throws off the hat and puts up a telekinetic shield right before Ragnarok hits him. Ragnarok was knocked unconscious for a moment, but he doesn't seem hurt that bad...

When he regains consciousness a moment later, he says, "Oow, my head...What did I hit?" he says, trying to shake off the disorientation caused by the throw. After he regains his orientation, Ragnarok notices Excalibur's hair. "Wow, Excalibur, what kind of hair dye did you manage to create now?" Ragnarok then notices Illumina coming through the now-lit hallway. "And when, Lum, did you learn how to throw someone like that?" "Do you want me to explain what happened?" Excalibur asks. Ragnarok DOES want to know, and Excalibur and Illumina tell him. He seems a bit confused after hearing their story, but after awhile, it makes sense to him.

Except for the part about the clothing fusing with Illumina’s body, of course. "From how you threw me, I’ll believe that part about the Strength garment fusing with your flesh," he says. <But as for Adamantium fusing with your midsection and making it as hard as that metal…I’ll see about that…> Ragnarok thinks of how to tell if the Adamantium fusing with flesh part is true, and attempts to knock the wind out of Illumina with a well-placed left hook.

To Ragnarok’s surprise, his hand is not only deflected from the impact with her midsection, but breaks his hand from the force of the punch he used and starts to scream out in pain. Excalibur then leaves the room for a moment to get one of his medical robots to fix up Ragnarok’s now-broken hand. Illumina then tells Ragnarok, "Hey, it’s your own fault…That’s what happens when you don’t believe me." Ragnarok makes a mental note next time to believe what he hears, no matter how strange it may seem…At least from Excalibur and Illumina, anyway.

After the pain has settled in his broken hand (for now), he tells them about what he was doing...And fittingly, it's not much: He went out searching for any of his Esper kindred, and didn't succeed. For the rest of that day, the three of them proceed in fixing up the lab.