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The Sounds of Science! [IC]

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Date: June 7th, 2010 (Monday)

Rift flew across the city, his guitar slung around his back as he made his way towards his destination. He was lucky today. It took him a few tries just to ring reception, but he managed to finally get an appointment with Dr Archeville. He felt a little guilty about getting one before Eddie, but still he was curious about the limits of his abilities, not to mention how they worked.

He landed in front of Archetech and went inside, feeling somewhat nervous about what this process would entail. Even with his feelings, Rift went on forward, stopping at the reception desk. "Hello. Rift to see Doctor Archeville." He said simply.

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"Hello, Mr. Rift!," the receptionist said in a voice as perky as her appearance. "Doktor Archeville is expecting you, up on the seventh floor. Here," she continued, holding out a VISITORS ID badge attached to a blue lanyard, "you'll need this to get around."

Rift briefly wondered which had a higher percentage of plastic, the ID badge or the receptionist's chest.

"There's an elevator right down that hallway," she went on, pointing to the largest of the hallways behind her. "Have a super day!"

Elsewhere, on the ninth floor, Archeville was going over some test results from his latest experiments -- the development of a "weather machine," to help direct and mitigate some of the harsher effects of thunderstorms -- when an alarm from reception alerted him of Rift's arrival.

Oooh, our new experimental subject's here!

Be nice, from what I have read he is still fairly new to his abilities. He can use all the help we can offer. And, the reports indicate he is quite technically skilled, which is a nice change of pace.

"Alright, gang," he said to the other technicians, "I am needed elsevhere. You are good to go from here, ja?"

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"Thanks. I'm pretty sure I will." Rift said with a smile as he took the badge and pinned it to his duster. He managed with all his might to keep his hormones in control long enough to get moving before certain thoughts started to invade his mind. Once he reached the elevator, he pressed the call button and waited for a few moment.

Well, never though I would ever get to see the inside of this place...Wonder what they are developing...

His thoughts were interrupted when the Elevator doors opened. He stepped inside and hit the button for the seventh floor.

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The ride was smooth, though Rift would have preferred something other than the soft Classical music that played from concealed speakers. The seventh floor was filled with crisscrossing hallways, with innumerable offices between them. It was very quiet up here; if he strained she could just make out some soft murmurs from behind closed doors.

As he wondered which way to go, a pleasant voice chimed out. "Visitor ID badge confirmed. Subject: Rift. Please follow the illuminated arrows to your appointment." A soft light from under Rift caught his eye: glowing arrows, forming a path to the right and going around a corner. After about a minute of following them, he found himself at a door which opened to what looked to be a large electronics testing lab. Standing by a computer terminal was Doktor Archeville, who turned to face him just as he stepped up to the doorway.

Meddling kids!.

Quiet, you.

"Ah, guten tag, Herr Rift!," the super-scientist said warmly, "so good of you to come! Please, come, sit!" he added, pointing to a pair of black leather chairs by one workstation.

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"Huh, Sound proofed." Rift said as he followed the glowing arrows to the good doctor. The soundproofing was disappointing, he was genuinely curious about what was going on behind closed doors. "Eh, one day." He muttered. Not long after, Rift found himself in the presence of Dr Archeville.

"Thank you doctor." He said smiling as he took a seat, removing his guitar and placing it on his lap. "It's nice to finally meet you."

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"Likevise, Herr Rift!," Archeville said as he took the opposite seat, "alvays a pleasure to meet new superheroes, und a thrill to meet new metahumans! So," he leaned back slightly, retrieved a small data pad from a nearby work station, and began making a few entries, "vhat can I do for you today, hrm? You made an appointment for some basic testing, but vas dere anyding in particular you had qvestions or concerns about?"

Sonic powers, is it? Surrender your vocal cords! Let me at the speech center of his brain!

You know very well we do not have to resort to that level of invasive examinations.

Have to? No. Want to? Yes!

Though the Doktor appeared relaxed and laid back, a part of Rift could not help but feel he was being intensely scrutinized.

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"Well, I would like to know how my powers work exactly. I mean, I know some of the basics, just don't know how those even work. Well, that and I have no idea on the limits." Rift explained, ignoring the fact the doctor was starting to look at him like a lab monkey. "Well, that and if we have time to get a bit of advice on what else I can outfit this with." He added with tapping the body of his guitar.

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"Tell me vhat you know," Archeville said, reminding Rift far to much of several WW II movie interrogation scenes, "about your powers, please."

Muah hah hah hah hah!

Oh stop that.

He then flashed a disarming grin and made a dismissive wave, "sorry, sorry, people expect dat from me. All part of de persona, you know. Please, do tell me vhat you haff discovered of your powers, dough, und" he gestured towards the guitar, "vhat sort of modifications you haff done to dat. Dat is a... Gibson Explorer, ja?"

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Rift looked at Docktor Archville with a slight look of mock shock just a second before he dropped the Interrogator act. As far as he could tell, it was his way of just trying t cover up his own nervousness. "Well, with a name like Archeville, I would be a little surprised if you didn't." Rift joked as he relaxed in the chair. "Well, from what if been able to discover since I got my powers is that I can manipulate and amplify sound. I'm not sure on the 'how' exactly but I can. So far I've been able to launch projected sound to knock people back, use sound vibrations to shatter almost any physical objects I've come across, Force fields and achieve flight."

"Uh,yes. It is a Gibson Explorer, I had it fitted with a small speaker system used in some guitars to make them portable, had parts of the guitar hollowed out by a friend of mine to fit it in. Not exactly a rich person so I mostly had to use some old second hand equipment to rig up a system that creates minor frequencies as I play that affect the mind. So far it can manipulate stimulate parts of the human brain to change emotional states, but I'm sure that I can get it to do more in the future...I'm actually a surprised you know your guitars doctor. "

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"I appreciate all technology, even musical instruments. Gibson has made many innovations, und are de largest manufacturer in de country. Dough..." He tilted his head and scowled a bit, "I do trust you are avare of all de ethical und moral concerns dat surround de ability to manipulate de mind of anozher."

Blah, blah, blah. Lemme at 'im!

Settle down!

"Sooo...," he continued, leaning back a bit and jotting down a few notes, "could you tell me how und vhen you first discovered dese abilities? Also, can you amplify und manipulate any sounds, or only dose you yourself generate?"

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"I am well aware of the ethics behind it. Main reason why I haven't explored the possibilities of mind control with similar methods. I mostly restrict what this to when using what I already can do would be unwise." He said with another tap on the guitar.

"Speaking of mind control though sound, my powers emerged from a chance encounter with The Maestro during one of his insane plots. I did notice I blew up a few amplifiers before my powers manifested, but I always thought it was just poor workmanship on the manufacturers part. Not sure if it was the encounter that made my powers emerge or if they I always had them and the conductors presence was just a coincidence." Rift finished with a shrug. "As for sound, it as far as I can tell it seems to be any sound I can find. Hell, I could literally throw some maniacs long winded speech about taking over the world right back in his face if I wanted to."

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Archeville listened attentively, and actually cracked a smile and chuckled at the bit about sending a maniac's speech back at him. "Heh, dat is a good von, ja. Okay, time for a bit of testing...."

Oh, Maestro must've loved this guy.

Yes, well, let us see what we can do to help him. He seems good-hearted enough.

He tossed the datapad to one side and pulled out an odd wand-like gadget from one of the inner pockets of his lab coat, and fiddled with the controls. "I vould like to run a few scans of you, get a baseline reading on you, before ve start examining your powers. Dis is acceptable, ja? No need to get up, you can remain seated for dis part."

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If Docktor Archeville could see past the mask, he would have probably seen Rifts eyebrow quirk up. "So long as it doesn't melt my brain on accident doc. Really need it after all." He deadpans as he relaxed in the chair. He played some Iron Maiden in his mind to keep him calm as the scans began.

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Archeville hummed and murmured to himself a bit as he slowly ran the wand a few inches over Rift's head. Rift felt nothing from the scan itself, and after a few moments it was done.

Well, that was rather boring.

Well I think it is fascinating.

Why? It's not like we've never seen this before?

That does not matter, we still have a new Metahuman seeking knowledge about his abilities. And that is always wonderful!

"Ah, just as I had suspected, Herr Rift," the Doktor began as he sat back down. He adjusted the wands-like device again, and a life-sized hologram of a human brain -- presumably Rift's own brain -- appeared in the air between them. Another adjustment expanded the holo-brain to several times its normal size, so as to be easier to look at. "Dere are numerous changes to your brain, as vell as a few alterations to your cochlea. Dat is part of your inner ear. De changes in your brain are primarily here, in de temporal lobe, here, in Broca's area, und here, de pineal gland, dough dere are ozher minor changes throughout."

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Bit noisy Rift though as he heard the device close to his head. He sat up as soon as the scans were done. He watched the holographic representation of what the thought was his brain float in the air. Admittedly, the finer points of the human anatomy was an area he did not know very well, but he was smart enough to put the pieces together.

"Well, I guessed as much about the ears...You're telling me I'm doing all this sound work with just m brain?" The implications of this fact were not sinking into he teens mind at the moment, though it was starting to get there.

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Archeville grinned and nodded, "indeed so! De alterations to your pineal gland is also an indication dat your phonokinetic abilities -- phono for sound, kinetic for motion or movement -- are psionic in nature."

I believe the more accepted term is audiokinesis.

Bah! -kinesis is a Greek root, as is phono. Audio is Latin!

"Dis has advantages und disadvantages," the Doktor explained as he clicked off the hologram and rose from his chair. He walked over to one of the workstations and began pulling items from the cabinets and drawers. "Your abilities are more likely to be influenced by your mental und emotional state, vhich is a notable drawback for von involved in de high-stress vorld of superheroics. On de ozher hand, since your abilities are tied so closely to your mental state, you should haff more freedom in expanding your repertoire of abilities."

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"Hm, does explain how I was able to talk back to someone in their own voice the other day...somewhat." Rift said as the Doctor continued his explanation. He leaned back once more and watched the doctor look for...Something. "Expand? I know I can do quite a bit with what I know now, but I honestly can't think of anything else I am capable of...Well OK, a few things but I am pretty sure they would violate human rights in several ways." He said as he watched and waited.

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Hunh, there may be some hope for the kid yet.

Not by going down that path.

Archeville's mouth formed a tight line for a moment, "Let us not go down that path, ja?"

Rift knew some of the things the Doktor was pulling down -- assorted acoustic equipment, microphones and speakers and decibel meters and so on -- but some of the items were completely unknown to him.

Then his grin returned, "if you cannot dink of ozher uses, dough, I vould say dat is either an indictment of de American education system, or your own imagination. Haff you tried throwing your voice? Or creating 'energy constructs' from sonic energy?"

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"Trying to stay as far away from that doc. World domination and all that never seems to work after all." Rift replied to Archeville's little quip.

"Beat most of the schoolwork they handed me so far, so they must be killing my imagination with boredom."Rift said as he stood up, wanting to avoid getting too comfortable. "I have considered vocal projection, but so far that little skill escapes me. I never considered constructing things from pure sound though. Had a try at levitating other things with sound once or twice and thats worked out well so far. " The teen guitarist said as he walked over to the table just to see what else he was bringing out.

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All those other attempts to conquer the world failed because they were all fools! But I'll show them... I'll show them all!

Oy, not this again...

"Levitating items is an excellent start on how to expand your abilities!," Archeville exclaimed cheerfully. He began connecting some of the components he had retrieved, and Rift could tell the end result would be something that could both generate and measure sound waves. "Could you give me a demonstration of how you did dat? Say... dose chairs, dere?" He was pointing at the chairs they'd been sitting in.

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Rift looked at the chairs for a moment before nodding. "Probably could. Moved heavier stuff before." The teen guitarist replied as he switched on his guitar and made a few adjustments. It took him a moment to focus before he started to play a impromptu guitar solo. Within a few seconds, he was forcing soundwaves to lift one of the chairs from the ground. He almost overdid it when he raised it a little too high and nearly made it slam into the ceiling, but overall he kept it level. He kept it in the air for a few seconds before lowering it back onto the ground.

"Just like that." Rift explained, his head feeling a little weird like last time, but still didn't let that stop him looking like it was almost nothing.

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Pft. Uncoordinated dolt.

Oh, he is not doing that bad, and you know it!

"Good show, Herr Rift!," Archeville cheered. He had finished work on his device, which looked like a cross between a radar gun and a shotgun microphone; he held it up for a moment in the James Bond pose. "Okay, I believe I am ready for de next round of tests for you."

"Haff you ever been to a firing range?"

Moments later, they were at one, in the ArcheTech basement.

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"Never in my life." though I guess thats going to be the next stop


Rift looked around the basement for a moment, taking the scene in. "So. measurements while I play target practice I take it?"" The Teen Guitarist inquired, looking at the microphone device then back at Doctor Archevile

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"Indeed so."

Oh, we've got us a regular genius over here!

At least you did not sneak a sonic blaster into this thing.

Yeah... "didn't" sneak one in...

... dang it!

Archeville entered a few commands on the range's control panel, and several targets slid into place. "Stationary targets first, later some mobile vons."

He took careful aim at Rift with his invention, "Ready vhenever you are."

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Well, at least it isn't a sonic blaster. I think anyway. Could easily tweak it into one, get some speakers...Damn it man! Focus. Rift thought as he looked at the invention before Doc got into position. He took a deep breath and cracked his knuckles. His fingers rested on the frets just as the Targets shot up. "Lets begin." He muttered just as he started to play. Wave after wave of concentrated Sound went forward, hitting targets as he continued to play. He scored a particularly good hit on the last target, shattering it to pieces.

"How was that doc? Get a good read on that?" He asked a few seconds after he stopped.

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