Posted Jan. 12, 2021, 6:42 a.m. by Civilian Kara Nakuto (Engineer (Consultant Researcher - Yellow)) (Sharon Miller)
Posted by Lieutenant Casela Synthi-er (Counsellor / RTF) in New Lessons (tag Nakuto)
Posted by Civilian Kara Nakuto (Engineer (Consultant Researcher - Yellow)) in New Lessons (tag Nakuto)
Posted by Lieutenant Casela Synthi-er (Counsellor / RTF) in New Lessons (tag Nakuto)
A week. She’s said a week at the fastest. The problem was a week was too fast. She could do it, but with a situation like the one she was going to put herself into, she needed to be cautious and have as much information as she could. And her skills needed honing brushing up. Something to trip her up and test her reflexes. She entered the shuttle bay and walked over to Valkyrja. She pressed a hand to the biometric reader and entered. Alfred shimmered into exsistance but she waved him away before he could speak. She opened a hidden cargo locker and withdrew a mek’leth with the simple for house Klrin on it.
She sat down on one of the rear benches and turned the blade over and over in her hand. It was a magnificent piece of craftmanship. It was well balanced and sharp enough and strong enough to slice cleanly through flesh and bone. It was a weapon that she knew every knick and every scratch upon it. She knew it’s history intimately and had seen it bring deadly justice to many. The memories played across her mind, flashing in her eyes. She stood with a sigh, her hand on the handle and wielded it slowly, but with absolutely no skill. She knew this blade but she did not know how to use it. A new challenge to test her reflexes.
She locked the shuttle up and placed the mek’leth in a special holster on her back underneath her uniform jacket. She walked the corridors, silently, her steps making no sound on the deck plating beneath her feet. She appeared to be wandering aimlessly but in actuality she was slipping back into that hyper aware state that she’d arrived to Leviathan with. Testing it, stretching it, letting it wake up. She ended her stroll on the engineering deck, right about the time of shift change. She waited, looking for Kara Nakuto. She saw the former captain emerge from her work and waited for her to approach. Casela had not spoken with Kara since before the arrival of Akirel and Gruv.
She considered Kara a friend, and she wondered how Kara was handling the reappearance of one whom she had thought was lost. That loss had torn and rended pieces of Kara’s soul away. They had spoken of it. Did his reappearance soothe some of those wounds? Help her to find a way to face the darkness on this ship?
When Kara drew near, Casela spoke softly. “Kara, I need a favor. I need you to teach me how to use a mek’leth.”
The half-Klingon’s movement immediately ceased, the tension flooding through her body an almost automatic response. Was this a threat? Locking eyes with the Counselor, Nakuto attempted to read the other woman, discerning quickly that there was no menace contained in her words. Merely a simple and honest request. She relaxed. Some.
Casela didn’t back down but held up a concillitory hand. “It’s a request not a challenge. I was hoping you could show me, but I don’t want to offend.” Casela was relaxed and she had heard of Kara’s ability to fight and Casela felt that Kara was the best person to push her, challenge her, make her work for the skill. But she also recognized that Kara had her own demons deal with and wouldn’t push her. She could, if it came to it, just take the safeties off her own holodeck program if it came to it.
“Okay,” Kara replied, falling into step at Casela’s side and resuming her powerful strides. “Allow me to retrieve my own mek’leth from my quarters and then we can convene to a suitable location.”
The location, of course, was of optimal importance. And for Kara Nakuto, only one choice truly existed. An arena built for battle, for the ebb and flow of power, for the giving and taking of control, the reciprocity of wounds both superficial and deep. The Thunderdome. Or, on the Leviathan at least, a holographic simulation of the same. There, under the warm amber glow of a thousand torches, the two women could wield these most elegant and dignified of weapons and face off in the legendary dance of the fight. While he watched on.
Ros. Green eyes tore into her subconsciousness, demanding her attention, her immediacy, her reverence. And in that moment, she knew that she lacked the strength to step into the pit, to feel the coarse sand beneath her feet. They would have to choose another place. For now.
“I…am open to any suggestions you might have for an arena,” she muttered to Casela, while not quite meeting the other’s eyes with her own.
- Kara Nakuto (Consultant Researcher)
“The only place I can think of is where my mentor trained me. It looks like an old barn but inside is a feudal Japanese dojo that will make you groan for the lack of modern training equipment.” Of course there was her father’s school, but she’d never made a program for that. She didn’t want her connection to the man who trained the Betazoid armed forces known to anyone. Her father was old now, and sick, last she heard, and had retired many years ago. But there were those who would use that against her.
“A dojo?” Nakuto was reminded instantly of her own formative years, as her Japanese father delivered instruction in Aikido and Iaidō. “I suspect we might require somewhere a little less…” she searched for the word, forehead ridges deepening as her mind evaluated various options, before settling with a smirk on “…tranquil.”
It had been too long, since she had truly practiced, tested herself, made sure she was up for whatever would be thrown at her. Of course she pushed the RTF team, but the practices were not all tactical. There was so much more to what they did. But none of them, not matter how good, really tested her, pushed her to get better. And the las time she’d used the holodeck every stinkin’ male on this boat got mad at her and the doctor used her as a lab rat. So she was eager to learn from Kara and she fully expected to walk out of there bloody, bruised, and exhausted. She looked forward to it.
By way of explanation, “I have demons needing to be put in their place, and I’ve always wanted to learn to use this thing.” She hooked a finger over her shoulder where Kara could see the edge of the mek’leth in its sheath.
“It is a good choice,” the half-Klingon complimented her, “a noble weapon for a more graceful form of attack. It will be a natural fit for one with your build and poise, Counselor.”
A short turbolift ride took them up to deck 13, the location of Abell and Yellow level containment. Nakuto led the way, passing the main containment entrance on their left and instead moving ahead into a long, reinforced corridor. As a member of the RTF, Synthi-er would no doubt recognise it as the main access corridor to the Abell and Yellow research facilities and the location of both Nakuto, and Commander McHarrie’s, own labs. On this occasion, however, the half-Klingon brought them to a halt approximately two-thirds of the way along the corridor and a small, nondescript-looking door. The official ship specs would designate this room as a supply closet.
Her access codes were punched in manually via a bespoke and hidden keypad and, as the single door slid open, Kara stepped back and beckoned for Casela to move inside. Once through the threshold, the Betazoid might have been surprised to find the cold, metal walls hidden behind large, woven tapestries - an image of the Kri’stak volcano bathed in fire; a portrait of Kahless the Unforgettable, striking the victory blow over Molor; the snow-capped peak of Mount Fuji. In the upper right corner of the room sat a desk and terminal and a set of wooden shelves bearing all manner of trinkets. In the upper left corner was what appeared to be a comfortable-looking bed.
“I…find it reassuring to be close to my work,” Nakuto offered with a shrug as she moved over to the shelving area, discarded her uniform tunic to reveal a plain, black vest and then, from somewhere behind the woven image of Kahless, retrieved her own polished, gleaming mek’leth.
With a wide grin spreading across her features, she drew an imaginary circle around the space with her blade, before commenting, “There is clearly insufficient space for us to train within my quarters. But fear not, Counselor. I know the perfect place.”
And then once again they were on the move, Kara quickening her pace as she dove back into the corridor and down past the main laboratories. This time, when they finally stopped, it was at the threshold of a much larger, and much more impressive, door emblazoned with the words “Anomaly Experimentation Facility - Area IV”.
“My previous experiment was concluded and packed away this morning,” Kara declared by way of explanation, “so you will find the space clear of any undesirable obstacles or equipment. Or any anomalies,” she added with a wink. Entering her personal access codes into the wall terminal released the outer doors and revealed a small antechamber into which she quickly stepped inside, before motioning for Casela to join her. Once both women had crossed the threshold, the outer doors sealed shut and red, emergency lighting blinked into life.
No more than six feet in width, the walls of this chamber were covered with a variety of terminals and digital readouts, most of them currently displaying a default, home screen message:
“Warning - This is a Yellow level secure area. Yellow level protocols must be followed at all times. Failure to do so can result in serious injury or loss of life.”
For a moment, Kara fell into silence, brown eyes studying the other woman under the dim, blood-red lights. Then gently, she reached out and placed a hand on Casela’s left arm.
“You may find the conditions inside a little jarring at first. But do not be alarmed. You will acclimatise quickly.”
And then before she could rethink her course of action, Nakuto released the main doors and slipped smoothly into the experimentation area, taking full advantage of the lowered gravity to turn somersaults around the vast, cavernous space.
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