Posted Jan. 17, 2021, 3:36 p.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)
Posted by… suppressed (2) by the Post Ghost! 👻
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.”
Casela chuckled, “It does give the appearance of tranquility doesn’t it? Of course most of my memories are of stiff joints, sore muscles, wounded pride, and dread.”
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 last 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.”
“It was given to me by a very dear friend, and I never thought to use it, but I have found learning a new weapon helps to focus the mind. It also helps to tone the body since the exercises are not the same, it pushes you to work harder. I do have to admit that I find the shape and design very elegant.”
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 recognize 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.
Casela didn’t comment but raised a brow slightly in curiosity. She was familiar with deck 13. She’d spent far too much time in here after Dave had escaped. And she was supremely relieved to know that Dave was no longer on board. Casela, as a squad regent had access to these decks, if not the labs themselves. She had no desire to enter them, and her access would only work in the case of a containment breach. With practiced ease she identified each lab and the lead researcher for each as they passed them. She took note of the lights outside each and the state of affairs. Looking and listening, smelling, and feeling anything odd in the air that would prestige a breach in containment. This was all done passively but with dedicated duty.
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.
Casela took note of the room, and later would be able to recall the details with scary accuracy. She too liked to be close to her work. Quarters on the residential deck had too much noise, too many people passing by, and kept her awake and listening. Too many years spent in locations that were not safe, and you always slept with both eyes open and a weapon in your hand. The room was stark by normal standards, but more comfortable than what Casela was comfortable with. The shelf of trinkets made her smirk softly. She had such a similar shelf, and respectfully did not comment on it. The taprestries were elegant and of fine quality. Worthy of Lazol’s standard. They were a frivolous luxury that Casela had not earned the right to possess in her lifetime, yet. That was the whole purpose of this training, to get her ready to do what needed to be done. Ryder had mentioned getting her ‘home comforts.’ She’d thought the idea sweet but what did she really need like that. Looking around Kara’s room it wasn’t a matter of need, but memories, inspiration. She wondered if she could get a tapestry of the Great Fire.
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.
Casela followed her in with a laughed, “Well, learning to use the mek’leth while attempting to contain a yellow level anomaly would certainly put my skills to the test, Kara.”
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.
- Kara Nakuto (Consultant Researcher)
Casela was intrigued. Kara felt the need to warn her and that peaked her interest. There wasn’t much that surprised Casela these days, even on the flagship of the ARU. She stepped in, felt the change in gravity and swallowed the bile attempting to escape through her mouth. She moved, more cautiously than most. ‘Alright, Casela, it’s not too bad, this is NOT zero-Gs, just lighter gravity. Like bouncing on a trampoline. You are not going to loose your lunch in here. Focus.’ She remembered T’Jal setting the environmental controls of the dojo to similar settings. Claiming you never knew what the fighting environment would be like. Casela, for all the things she’d endured, had no stomach at all for zero-Gs and anything similar to it, she got sick. Oh T’Jal would laugh at her now. F’actar would probably lower the gravity even more, just to make her fight while hurling at the same time. She took a deep breath and pushed off, taking advantage of the lighter gravity to move with more speed an agility than she normally had, focusing, for the moment, until oriented, on her center of gravity and moving around it, rather than against it.
Lt Synthi-er, CNS
Settling herself into a comfortable stance, Kara smiled as she watched Casela in the lowered gravity. As the other woman would have quickly realised, the effect was not so pronounced as to allow extended time off the ground, but instead provided a noticeable lightness in the step and the ability, with practice, to jump several feet. However, it also served as a counterbalance to aggression, the force required to wield a weapon against standard atmospheric friction was in this room greatly reduced. Meaning that every swing, every stroke, required the ultimate measure of discipline and control.
Nakuto waited patiently until Synthi-er also had come to a halt, then moved to face her and offered a traditional bow.
“I am unfamiliar with your methods for warming up before combat,” she began, assuming a stance parallel to, and several feet away from, the Counselor, “so I hope you will not object to me using my own methods. It is important, in the traditions of both my mother and my father, for the mind and the body to be equally prepared. So for a few moments, I would ask you to close your eyes, relax your body and concentrate on both your physical and spiritual awareness. Become connected to your surroundings, the feel of the ground beneath your feet, the coolness of air as it enters through your nose, nourishes your body and then dissipates through your mouth. Take the mek’leth into your dominant hand and become accustomed to its width, to its weight. Then shift it to your other hand and measure it the same. This weapon, it is no longer separate from you. When you choose to wield it, it becomes a part of you. It is an extension of your arm. Another digit on your hand. It is controllable by your thoughts the same as all other limbs on your body.”
The half-Klingon fell into silence and, for several moments, concentrated on her own preparation, allowing space for Casela to do the same. Then once she felt ready, Nakuto opened her eyes and waited for Synthi-er to follow.
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