Posted by Lieutenant Casela Synthi-er (Counsellor / RTF) in Continuing the Games
Posted by Ensign Juliet Anders (Security Officer /RTF) in Continuing the Games
OOC: This next part is very long, so read it carefully.
“Now then, who would like to go first?” Surda looked around the group, surveying the pairs. There was one obstacle that would be easy for each team, but the course as a whole would be a challenge.
The course started with two balance bars set side by side, and also introduced the first gravity fluctuation. As soon as the competitor stepped on, the gravity would increase, making keeping their balance even harder.
The second challenge was an 8 ft tall wall, where competitors would have to boost one member over and then pull the other up from the top. The gravity would be slightly lighter than Earth normal, challenging the team to keep fine control when they were stronger than usual.
Next was the Zero gravity portion of the course, with rings at different heights attached to both the floor and ceiling. Going too fast would cause the team to spin out of control, but being too cautious would add more time than they could make up. The last ring was set into the ground, ensuring that the team coming out of the course section would not be dangerously high during the gravity change.
The fourth challenge was 14 pads set 4 feet above the ground. Both members of the team would have to jump and land at the same time to keep from falling off. The fourth challenge was at ship’s normal gravity.
The fifth and final challenge required the competitors to climb along two ropes, one above the other, to make it to the final platform, 12 feet above the ground.
-Surda, CoS, Obstacle Course Creator
SNIP (saved for those still on course)
Casela stepped up onto the other balance board and immediately dropped her posture reconfiguring her center of gravity to compensate. Normally she wouldn’t stretch her arms for balance, but having a partner changed that. This course was very similar, in idea, to what her father and Uncle Jo’nar had them do. She stretched her right hand out towards Juliet’s left, her finger tips brushing Juliet’s. It wasn’t mean to hold on or use for balance, it was to let the other know where they were and how they were moving, so that their concentration could be in front of them. “Ready.” They began to move, and Casela was both surprised and not, at how easily they still moved in unison after all these years, and they were quickly at the end. Nearing the wall, Casela took hold of Juliet’s cuffed hand and bent her knees and back, allowing Juliet to use her to climb up. “By the way, I still get sick on zero gs”
Lt Synthi-er, CNS
Juliet smiled. “I have learned a few tricks since we were together last. If you feel yourself getting sick, lean towards my mind. I can enhance your memories of gravity as well as give you something to concentrate on as we maintain our balance. That’s all you need to focus on is balance. We aren’t going upside down, with luck,” she added with a small grin. “So it shouldn’t be as bad as tumbling in the shuttles.”
Casela raised a single brow at that. But a part of her was immensely relieved that Juliet didn’t learn the same tricks she had. She was extremely relieved that Juliet had not become the weapon that she had, and Juliet would feel it if she was paying attention.
They had taken small shuttle rides with Cas’ father on occasion and once in a while he would take them up high enough to feel the weightlessness of space. Juliet had loved it to the point it had been one of the memories that drove her into joining the Fleet. She remembered, though, how much the weightless tumbling had bothered her cousin.
Juliet stepped up on Cas’ back and got up, straddling the wall and then laying down to let Cas pull herself up. Juliet’s own body weight shifting backwards towards the other side of wall to counterbalance the pull from her cousin. Once they were both up on the wall and able to look at the zero G course, Jewels had an idea.
“You know, we can jump up and grab the first set of rings together. Then we pivot, swinging each other across the course. I’ll swing you around then you swing me. It will keep us both upright, so you don’t tumble, and we can reach the other side faster than trying to pair leap to each set. Does that make sense?” She laughed lightly and shook her head. “I think the leaping is going to be where I fall short. No pun intended.”
Casela nodded. She remembered those trips. She’d loved the view but she had hated the feeling of tumbling, she could never right herself and get a perspective to orient herself. Though she had gotten better over time, forcing herself to force herself through it. “It looks good. Let’s go before we lose time.” With Juliet, Casela jumped and grabbed the first set of rings, forcing her muscles to keep her feet down rather than to float. She reached her cuffed hand to Juliet and pivoted swinging her to the next ring and back and forth they went. When they came to the rings on the floor she hooked her feet into them and they continued. “When we get to the platforms, tuck and roll, your sudden weight should pull me with you, we get up and keep going. Just like those floating platforms on the Opal Sea.” Juliet’s father loved putting them on unsteady ground to test their agility and balance. These platforms were the same concept. She swung Juliet out of the zero g’s at the last ring and then her sudden weight pulling her forward she tucked and rolled with her. She got up and kept going, running beside Juliet. It was a surreal experience. Last time they did this Juliet was shorter and smaller than her and she had to shorten her pace, now she was having to stretch it. It brought a grin to her face.
Lt Synthi-er, CNS
Oddly enough, the zero G portion went quicker, in her mind, than the last sections had. And when they rolled to their feet to begin running, Juliet had no trouble matching stride with Cas as automatically as she did with her patrols when they ran together. The platforms were staggered just enough they couldn’t just run easily without thinking. The creator had placed them in slightly various distances so whether you were short or long strided, you would be challenged. No one would have an advantage. Thankfully they could withstand a pause for a moment in between strides.
They were making good time across the platforms, matching pace. And for those watching it was probably one of those things you couldn’t look away from. They moved the same, looked the same, minus a bit of height, even their mannerisms were the same. It was like watching the reflection of one rather than two people.
Juliet let Cas lead the pace this time. Her shorter stride meant it was her that had to set the pace. Juliet was beside her easily enough and the one time she staggered, she grasped Cas’ hand to steady herself and their mental linked snap hard into place like a plug finding its outlet all of a suddenly. Juliet suddenly staggered slightly with a cry on her lips of surprise and shock as memories of their past, of running on floating pads laughing as they learned, filled her mind and her vision momentarily changing the scenery around her as the memory became hard and fast in her mind’s eye. “CAS!”
Casela grabbed her hand pulling her gently back towards her to keep her on balance but not forcing it. And then she felt it, that instant clear familiar connection, and she resisted the instinct to scream. Ever since Hampton’s surprise any telepathic use was painful, but this…and instinct kicked in. This was Sorelina and she was confused and scared, and Casela’s own mind simply over laid the current image of the pads over the floats in the sea. Casela sped up and as they jumped, she forcefully leaped into Juliet pushing her with the extra force on to the next pad. They would lose points for landing on the same pad instead of adjacent ones, but Cas didn’t care. She wrapped one arm around Juliet and forced them into a semblance of a ball and rolled, coming down to a hard stop onto the platform in front of the rope bridge. Juliet? It’s okay. It’s just memories. I’m right here. I’m always going to protect you if I can. I promised then and I mean it now. Just breath it’ll pass.” She wiped her nose with her free hand knowing the nose bleed would already be starting. She stopped it before anyone had a chance to notice. She sat there with her in a strange tangle of limbs due to the cuff and waited. It would be up to Juliet if they kept going or not. Breath it’s okay, it’s just the memories and our connection. It’s been so long since we used it it’s just shocking. It’s okay.*
Lt Synthi-er, CNS
Juliet felt and heard Cas both in her ears and her head. She rolled instinctively, and as they landed, she lay there a heartbeat with Cas before rolling with practiced ease till they faced one another on the balls of their feet. “I’m sorry.” She glanced around and shivered as reality snapped back into place. “We’ll discuss it later. Let’s finish this.” She waited for Cas to nod in readiness before they took off for the final leg of the gauntlet.
She felt the connection with Cas and instead of something foreign and warring with her solitary mind, it was as if a missing piece had been finally snapped into place that she hadn’t realized was missing. A ease and peace came to her mind that she hadn’t realized she missed. It was off balancing, disconcerting and left her mind constantly straying and needing to be brought back to the task at hand. After a few moments, she snapped her shields down hard. Cas would feel it, but it wasn’t like before. This time it was as if Cas had been allowed inside during the lockdown. Jewel’s mind was hard as still and completely focused now. But this time Cas wasn’t unable to reach her.
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