1964-07-10 - Stay Focused
Summary: Ultragirl decides to get some training, so asks Captain Marvel for help
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
carol-danvers susie 

Susie, clad in her Ultragirl outfit, shows up at the Avengers mansion ten minutes before the time she'd previously been instructed by Carol, in her guise as Captain Marvel, to show up … for training. Coming down for a landing on the rooftop, she starts for the door to the stairs, to head on down into the building itself.
Not sure what she can learn, Susie's only certain of one thing: she's got a LOT to learn. Her encounter with Batman and Nightwing shortly after moving into her apartment taught her that, and then the action she saw alongside the other Avengers when they were all captured by Doctor Doom only served to reinforce the idea. Super strong, super tough, and super fast — she's all those things, but she's super inexperienced, too, and she knows it!

Captain Marvel is already in the back lot of the Mansion, standing there as she waits for Ultragirl to show up. When Susie comes down towards the roof, Carol waves her over, "Hey there. Ready for some practice?" She grins, apparently having a few things in mind for Ultragirl to work on.

Hearing Carol's voice as she lands, Susie takes only two steps towards the stairwell door before angling over to the edge of the rooftop landing area. On seeing Captain Marvel down below, she steps off the rooftop and floats down to a gentle landing near the older woman. "I'm not late, am I?", she asks, a bit nervously.

Carol shakes her head, "Nope. Figured I'd be out here and get things ready." She chuckles, "So, did you have something you wanted to work on in particular, or just a few combat drills? I mean, I know what you can do, more or less, but where do you think you need some work?" With that, she cracks her knuckles a bit, eager to get to work.

"I… kinda don't know where to start. I know I'm strong and fast and really tough…. like, I can bend steel and a bullet'll bounce off me… but I don't know what my top-end is with any of that, and I really don't know how to fight. I just use that I'm usually stronger and faster and tougher than other people to hit 'em hard and fast and either not get hit by 'em or just take it when they do hit me", Susie says, in a somewhat rambling manner of speaking, even making little punching and dodging gestures and motions as she speaks.

Carol smiles, "Alright, then we'll keep it simple. No powers." She takes a few steps back, then drops into a fighting stance, "Hit me. If you can." Her eyes glint a bit, as she looks eager to see what Susie can manage in a straight up fight.

Susie's eyes widen a bit in surprise. She hadn't expected a 'no powers' situation, apparently. Looking at least a little intimidated, especially when Carol drops into what's obviously a trained sort of fighting stance, Susie… actually tries to mimic it, but actually takes a classic 'newbie quasi-boxing stance' with her fists up at about the level of her chin, about six inches from her face, and only two or three inches apart. The girl clearly hasn't got a lick of martial arts or even combat training. She hasn't even really angled her shoulders or even properly squared them up, either, and though she has one foot slightly ahead of the other, her center of balance isn't really properly held. When she steps forward and throws a punch, she's aiming at Carol's face… but even if it connects, it's going to stop at contact with the target, instead of 'punching through' like one really should. At least it seems she's not using any of her powers, at this point.

Carol reacts quickly, but not with superhuman speed, grabbing that fist and flipping Susie over onto her back. It doesn't really hurt, save maybe a bit of the girl's pride, and Carol smiles, "Okay, first rule of fighting. Always keep your balance. You went wild with that swing, and it let me flip you like that. If you aren't centered, people won't need superhuman strength to toss you around or knock you down, got it?" She then offers a hand to Susie, "We'll work on some of the basics first. But I wanted to see what you were trained in." And from what the Colonel of SHIELD saw, there's some work there.

Susie gets pretty well slapped on the ground… but it doesn't even seem to knock the wind out of her, probably thanks to her inherent toughness, though it did very readily surprise her. "Wow… I… didn't even have a chance to keep that from happening!", she comments, accepting the hand back up to her feet.

Carol nods, and stands in front of Susie, "And you have some bad habits, but don't worry, I'll get you to unlearn them." She smiles, "Let me guess, most of the time you're flying around and not really standing still when you get into a fight, right?"

Nodding her head, Susie awknowledges that. "Not that I've really been in a fight, other than that one time when we got caught by Doctor Doom", she admits, a bit sheepishly.

Carol smiles, "It's a pretty common thing, don't feel too bad about it. See, I had an advantage. I enlisted in the Air Force when I was 18, got recruited by the CIA when I was 20 and then joined SHIELD shortly after that." She grins, "So I learned to fight before I got my powers. You didn't. But that's okay. You just need to learn to walk, before you can run.'

"Does being able to fly count?", Susie asks, trying to keep a straight face… but the corners of her mouth tease up to show the grin she's trying to hide.

Carol Danvers chuckles, "No. Because a lot of other people can too." She gives Susie a wry expression, "You need to learn to fight without your powers. Then you can learn to fight with them. To use them to your best advantage."

Susie nods her head again, her mischievousness dispelled by Carol's words. "Okay…. how do I start? What do I have to do?", she questions, putting her hands on her hips.

Carol nods, "Alright. First, widen your stance a bit. Your center of gravity is too high, you need it lower." She stands in front of Susie, demonstrating a bit, "Like this, see?"

Susie watches, then does her best to replicate Carol's stance. Her attempt is far from perfect, more because she's too tense to actuall keep her center of gravity where she's now got it than anything else, but she does try.

Carol shakes her head, "Okay, that's better, but you're still too tense. Settle down and relax a bit. Focus on your breathing, that can help. Deep breaths, in and out." She demonstrates for the younger woman, letting her get an idea on how it's done.

Susie's attempt to relax is… almost comical, as she simply tries to hard to imitate the deep breathing exercises Carol's showing her. She seems to realize this after a bit, too, blushing and shaking her head. "I'm not doing it right, and I -know- it!", she says, frustrated.

Carol looks at Susie, "Focus, Susie. You can do it. Just relax. Close your eyes." She says, "Now, focus on your breathing. Just worry about that for right now. In. Out."

Susie nods. "I can do that… I've held my breath for, like, an hour when my dad and I were figuring out my powers", she says. She sits herself right down on the ground where she's standing, cross-legged, and rests her hands on her knees. Closing her eyes, she starts by taking a deep breath, holding it for several heartbeats, then letting it out slowly.

Carol hmms, "Don't hold it. Just go slow in and out. Keep it steady, holding your breath will upset your balance." She is currently standing over a sitting Susie, coaching her on some breathing techniques it seems.

Susie doesn't nod her head in response to Carol's words, though she does release her next deep breath almost immediately after inhaling it, instead of holding it for any length of time. Then, she says, "… is it okay to hold it a little, every now and then? I think that helps me concentrate, maybe…?"

Carol Danvers nods, "If it helps you concentrate, then yes, certainly. But you don't want to disrupt too much there, Susie. The point is to make a pattern that relaxes you, keeps you focused."

That gets a head nod from Susie, and she keeps breathing slowly, holding her breath for a few seconds every now and then as she tries to relax, to focus on breathing slowly. Eventually she seems to find a pattern… but it involves holding her breath for about five seconds after each time she inhales. She -is- breathing more slowly and calmly, now, though.

Carol nods, "Better. Now. Stand up, Susie. Try to hold that stance again." She smiles a little, watching Susie carefully, her eyes studying the girl and analyzing her form.

Susie gets to her feet and tries to take the stance again, but she's forgotten precisely how it's supposed to go. "Can you show me again?", she asks, realizing she's not quite got it right.

Carol Danvers stands next to Susie, "Like this." She has a rather relaxed posture, though looks can be deceiving as she demonstrates it for Susie, "See the difference?"

Susie studies how Carol's standing, then tilts her head to the side a bit. "… your aura changes a little bit when you stand like that…", she says, as she tries to mimic the stance again, getting it better. More relaxed, now, she does a better job of getting a good center of gravity.

Carol blinks, a bit surprised to hear that, "Oh, how so?" She glances over at Susie, then nods, "Good, that's a much better stance, Susie." The older woman smiles approvingly at Susie.

"It's… well… I'm not sure. It's like your aura kinda goes more into your body, all balled up like right in the middle of you, above your belly-button and below your … your boobs", Susie says, trying to explain what she sees. "And when you come out of the stance, it kinda spreads back out to how it normally is."

Carol huhs, "I never thought of it like that. But then again, I never really thought about auras before either." She hmms, "Now, stay in that stance, Susie, try to hold it if you can."

Susie nods and closes her eyes for a moment, trying to re-capture her pattern of breathing as she tries to maintain the stance she's been shown.

Captain Marvel nods, "Better. Much better. Keep your focus." She smiles, looking approving, though with her in drill instructor mode, she isn't going to let Susie see that. And looks stern the instant Susie opens her eyes again.

Susie does her best, but she's new at this. Eventually, she does start to tense up, again, and shifts her weight slightly more onto one leg without really realizing she's done so.

Carol narrows her eyes, "Don't tense up. Watch the shifting! Maintain your focus." She loses that approving tone in an instant, though she doesn't sound too upset. More that she's gauging Susie's process.

Susie's concentration is broken by the sudden instruction from Carol. Instead of relaxing back into the stance the right way, she tries too hard to get back into it and tenses back up all over again.

Carol hrms, "Susie. Relax. Think of something peaceful. Try going there in your mind." She watches Susie carefully, then says, "Get to that place, if you can."

The girl does try… but that's the problem she's having: she's trying, and trying too hard. Worse, she's starting to get frustrated with herself, again, realizing she's not correctly performing the 'simple' task of standing there in a certain posture, relaxed… which of course only compounds her problems with doing it right.

Carol nods, and hrms, "I think that's enough for today, Susie." She notices the girl getting too wound up, and knows when a good time to stop is, "You did pretty good for a first time, though. Now you just need to build up on that."

Susie 'relaxes' out of the stance she's been trying to keep. "Build up on what? I didn't do anything…?", she questions. "I couldn't even stand there right!", she gripes about herself.

Captain Marvel chuckles a bit, "You're not going to, not at first. But you were making progress. Now, the trick is, keep practicing that. Just that. I want you ready to pick up where we left off for our next session, Susie."

Susie nods. "You want me to practice that stance or the breathing? Both?", she wonders, wiping one sleeve across her forehead. "… whoa…!", she exclaims. "How'd I work up a sweat just -standing- here?"

Carol chuckles, "Because you were using your muscles in a way that you're not used to. And that's the point. I want you to practice your breathing first, stance second. Just try to get into a relaxed place when you're there. Worrying about things is going to snap you out of it."

A facial expression that's the equivalent of a light bulb coming on over Susie's head flashes across her face. "That's what I was doing wrong, huh?", she questions. "I was trying too hard!", she adds, laughing a little at it. "Okay… I'll practice on being relaxed when I want to be relaxed."

Carol Danvers nods, "The self-doubt can be crippling if you let it be, Susie. You need to be careful about that. Because it can feed on itself if you let it." She hmms, "And villains will try to manipulate that in your head, too, like the garbage Doom was saying to me."

The expression that crosses Susie's face makes it clear that … she's completely forgotten what Doom was saying. It's one of the good things -and- bad things about being young, that sort of easy forgetfulness. Of course, if reminded, she'll probably have a clear enough recollection of it, but it just wasn't important enough for her to mentally 'tag' it for future reference. She does nod, though, at least understanding what Carol's said, even if it was clear from her expression that she didn't remember exactly what Carol was talking about.

Carol smiles, "Relax kid. You don't have any training yet, but that's why I'm here, and Cap, and everyone else. We'll get you up to speed, no sweat." She nods a bit and pats Ultragirl on the shoulder. "Now, how about we get some lemonade and relax by the pool."

That gets a big smile from Susie! "Sounds good to me!", she happily chirps, all but bouncing on her toes at the suggestion.

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