Posted by Lieutenant Casela Synthi-er (Counsellor / RTF) in This Is The Way
Posted by Chief Warrant Officer Kodek Vonn (RTF Commander) in This Is The Way
Posted by Lieutenant Casela Synthi-er (Counsellor / RTF) in This Is The Way
Posted by… suppressed (7) by the Post Ghost! 👻
There was a pause and rhe the voice said “Very well. I will assist you. Holodeck. 0500 tomorrow. Anything else?”
Casela nodded. “I’ll be there.” There was one other thing. “Don’t tell anyone. They won’t understand and will make me stop.” Normally she would say try but there was a real possibility the doc would get involved and make it stick.
Lt Synthi-er CNS
There was no discernable acknowledgment from Vonn, just a simple “Morning meditation. I fail to see how this would be a violation of doctor’s orders.”
Casela suppressed a grin. One would think that meditation would not trip anyone’s radar, but it was her after all. And she never did anything the conventional way. “Thank you Vonn. Till tomorrow morning.” She left with a respectful nod and headed back towards the counseling deck.
One good thing about being restless and recovering she was keeping odd hours. And though it drove her little family nuts her odd hours of aimless wandering meant they didn’t ask when she left so very early. At exactly 0458 the next morning Casela appeared in the corridor walking up to the holodeck doors. She pressed the controls to open the doors and stepped inside.
The doors opened into a large room with a very high ceiling and a wooden floor. A haphazard and visually unstable assortment of poles, barrels, boards, pipes, ropes, and various other implements (even an old bathtub) had been organized in a seemingly random fashion; but they allowed for a pseudo-pathway from the floor to a high loft area in the far right corner, about twenty feet off the floor she stood on. Vonn stood motionless at the first point: a wide, wooden board laying across a large steel can that laid on it’s side creating a kind of rolling teeter-totter.
The voice spoke. “The drill is simple. Move from this point to the loft. Do not use your hands, do not touch the floor, and do not fall. There are no mats. Falling will hurt. Safeties are set at ninety percent. Each day, they will decrease by two. You will practice three hours a day until you can reach the loft. I recommend mastering the course early. By day five, falling will hurt… quite a bit.”
Vonn, RTF CO
While Vonn spoke Casela was analyzing every point. She had good balance and heights didn’t bother her. She also knew that bouts of vertigo and dizziness would make that excellent balance worthless. She nodded, no hands, okay, that was going to make it harder. Good, she’d asked for a challenge. “Three hours to master it, or there will be pain. Got it.”
She walked over to the teeter-totter and eyed the course again, and then set her foot on the board. The impulse was the run the teeter-totter as a simple obstacle, but the can rolled and running was reckless, but going slow would allow the can to roll out from under the board. She moved with long smooth strides and then poised over the can she shifted her weight quickly from one foot to the other balancing on the can until the board hit the tub and she quickly stepped to the tub, the board moving as the can slipped, but she kept her footing. She might not be so lucky the next time.
The first two steps on the tub gauged the sturdiness of it and finding no give she moved easily to the end and started to simply step to what looked like a folded table on it’s side, but it was just out of her reach. She jumped and made the mistake of keeping both feet together, the ledge wasn’t wide enough for that, and she fell right on her backside. She stood up walked back around and started again. This time, when she landed her feet were heel to toe, like landing on a tight rope. She wobbled, arms out until she found her balance, stepped over the rattan bo, the table moving side to side. Something that looked like a paint can stood in front of her, just high enough she couldn’t step. She gauged the height, took a breath and jumped, landing solidly on it and it weaved sickeningly. She allowed herself to bend her knees and drop her center of gravity slightly to stabilize it, but it wasn’t going to stay up right, she could fall or attempt to jump to the next thing…like a metal spinning book rack with a platform on top. She jumped, the paint can falling, her feet too far to the back of the next piece and it tumbled backwards with her. She had the good sense to tuck her head, and throw her arms out to spread the impact.
She got up and started again, and so it went for the next two plus hours. She never complained or hesitated to start again. The only pause was once she slammed her shoulder into the corner of the paint can and on her way back around she stretched the shoulder, moving it to make sure it wouldn’t stiffen up on her. And so it went.
She stood at the end of the balance beam pipe and stared at the upright poles, ‘steps’. This she was familiar with. Her uncle had made her run similar things before. They would move, in the direction of her momentum, at first, and then any change in balance would shift them side to side. The trick was to move quickly and trust her foot eye coordination. This would be that…6th? time, it didn’t matter. She needed to trust herself to judge and analyze and not second guess. She went from still to movement all most instantly, landing the first and as it swayed forward she leapt to the next, correcting an over reach at the last second, but instead of forward the pole swayed backwards and to the side. She moved with it, this time, last time she tried to correct the movement and had fallen, and found her balance again and then pushed off to the loft. Sheer. Dumb. Luck.
Vonn watched, motionless and silent, and at the end of the three hours said simply “So ends today. Same time tomorrow.” and they turned and left.
The next day, the obstacle course was the same. Vonn stood in the same spot and said “Begin.”
The morning progressed much the same as the previous day. Her balance was marginally better, maybe, but she did not rush, though there was strong temptation to do so. She was not there to show off or prove a point. She was there to improve, physically but most importantly mentally. She approached each attempt confident that she knew what was expected of her, sure in the knowledge she was going to get hurt before she got better, and her memory of how each obstacle reacted to her input.
45 minutes in she almost made the loft, but missed by an inch. The next attempt she landed the loft. Half hour later she jumped from the wire book shelf to the single foot square post. It swayed heavily, and using her arms to counter balance her hand landed on the balance beam/pipe. She let go and allowed herself to drop to the ground. Intentional or not Vonn said no hands, and so she returned to the start to begin again.
With half an hour left to go, Casela finally had worked into a rhythm of the attempts even if she wasn’t making the lift. Her mind and body were getting a feel for each other again. It was meditative, analysing the course, making the attempt, compensating by instinct, and then evaluating the mis-steps. And that was how she made it to the loft the 2nd time that day. With a few minutes left she climbed down to begin another attempt.
Vonn said “Thats enough for today. Tomorrow. I expect you to make it to the loft on the first try. You’ve done it before, simply do it again.” The program ended and Vonn left.
The next day, Vonn was in the same spot again. “First try. Go.” was all he said.
Casela left with a grin on her face. He reminded her of T’Jal. Simply do it, there was no other option. Rather than create nerves and anxiety as it would in some people it had the opposite effect for Casela. She entered the holodeck, ready to work. Day 3 and that mean the safeties had lowered enough she would notice, but not enough to do more than remind her to be careful, but at this point she couldn’t afford to fall, period. She took a breath, held and released it, allowing herself to find that semi meditative state of the day before and then stepped onto the board. The first few were easy, and so the risk was becoming cocky and moving faster rather than using skill, and Casela might be out of practice, but she wasn’t reckless, usually. She traversed the board and the tub, jumped to the folded table, found the rhythm of the sway, stepped over the bo and jumped to the pain bucket. The top of the wire book rack, she twisted, turning it to face the single foot square pole and felt dizziness. There was real cause for it, it just seemed to happen. She paused, breathed, focused and jumped, landing with her right foot squarely planted on the ball of her foot, turned, let the sway settle. This was the hardest one. She had to land on both feet, but only had the power of one leg to push off and jump with. Not impossible, just difficult. She crouched slightly and pushed off landing with both feet on the pole and knees staying bent, arms out, swayed with the pipe as it rolled and swayed slightly. Then she stood and made her way almost nimbly to the other side. Just like her uncle taught her…trust her judgement, and she made the last three leaps to the loft, landing knees bent, breathing deep and even, but not out of breath.
“Now back down. Computer, lights to zero.” said the voice and the room became pitch black. “Rely on what you know, not what you see.” the voice said from the blackness.
Oh fun! Casela grinned though Vonn couldn’t see it. This was going to hurt if she fell. T’Jal would love this. She turned facing the edge of the loft, searching with her foot for the edge, finding it she nodded to herself. She took a centering breath and leapt for the first poll and her foot landed true and she balanced waiting getting her bearings, remembering distance and height, she was going down now. She stepped/jumped down to the next pole and then the beam. A rattle and clang was heard as her foot slipped and one foot slipped and she compensated and her foot banged against the pole. She moved slowly across the beam feeling each inch and then measured her stance at the end. A single foot next, turn jump down, sway, balance, twist on the book rack, then the paint can, table, step over the bo, jump to the tub, and crash as the table fell over as she left it. Along the edge, the board....was missing, it had tipped back the other way. Finding her balance she leaned forward reaching with her foot pulling the board down, and then stepping onto the board and moving down, full strides to avoid the can rolling. Half way she balanced as the can rolled anyway, and then shifted weight and the board set down, and she stepped off.
The voice from the darkness said “Well done. Computer, reset obstacle course.” There was a beep and Vonn said “Now go back.”
As her foot touched the board at the start, there was a bright flash of light and then darkness. Then… then the music started…
and it was loud.
© 1991-2021 STF. Terms of Service