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 Chief Warrant Officer Kodek Vonn (RTF Commander) in This Is The Way
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.
The flash was a nice touch, spots even in the pitch blackness would cause one to try and see the course rather than remember. She blinked rapidly several times to clear the spots and then the music. She flinched, actually flinched at the sudden loud heavy metalic music and that made her mad, at herself. When was the last time she flinced? And internal dialogue in the form of a dressing down took place, until her foot slipped on the slope of the tub as she was shifting her weight. Her foot touched down inside the tub, so technically not on the floor, but she stepped out and started over without a word. She shook her arms out, releasing the agitation, a deep breath, and focus, on the course and her memory of it. That last slip was totally unacceptible and she knew better. Up the plank, across the tub, the table, over the bo, to the paint can, the wire shelf…she jumped for the pole, the music changed, clashing and clanging around and she missed, falling to the floor the breath somewhat knocked out of her. One breath, two and then she was up, reorienting and back to the beginning.
It progressed like that, always at the pole she fell. The music seemed to be getting louder, pounding in the ears, making the ear drum thrum in protest, the cochlea vibrating, the small sensory nerves moving constantly. Vertigo set in and the sound was physically painful. Not to mention the odd flashes of light that created spots in her vision every so often. Sometimes right in front of her sometimes off to the side, all meant to distract her. And to her utter self loathing, it was working. She moved back to the beginning yet again. Lights and noise. Visual stimuli was easily ignored, just close her eyes. She was working in total darkness anyway. Noise, there was always noise, the world was not silent, she needed to listen for what was important, not obvious. She stood there, eyes closed in the darkness, a breath, roll of the shoulders, and then…her finger tapped out a base rhythm, so low it was barely heard, but the undercurrent of the music. And there was her audible focus. She moved up the plank, her finger tapping out the rhythm in the air. Tub, table, bo, paint can, wire shelf, and then she paused, waiting, keeping the rhythm and then jumped to the pole, the beam, walk the distance, measure the point from the end, up hill this time, one pole then two, then the loft.
As her foot touched the loft the music stopped. The voice said “Now back.” and the music started again.
But now the difficulty ramped up even more. The music wasn’t constant, nor was it that same song. Sometimes it would blair loudly, sometimes a whisper, sometimes not at all. And sometimes when it started it was a different song altogether. And not at the beginning. Sometimes it started in the middle. The lights now came from all directions, including underneath and directly above.
And then came the temperature shifts. Instant and at random, sometimes as much as twenty or thirty degrees in a moment.
In the dark, the Breen watched. Waiting for the inevitable crash… and the just as inevitable starting again.
The lights were somewhat mitigated by keeping her eyes closed, but apparently Vonn figured that out because they were brighter and created spots of light behind her closed lids. The music actually flowed like the ebb and flow of conversation except incredibly extremes. So sudden silence and blaring noise was disorienting. She made it to the beam on the way down before she fell. The quick succession of the audible input making her dizzy. She crashed with flurry and it was going to leave marks.
She got up, moved past Vonn back to the beginning. The temperature shifts, that was what got her. The sudden drops and increases in temperature frosted the metal and porcelain and then created condensation on them. If the obstacles weren’t hard enough as unstable as they were, this was d@^% near impossible. She kept going though, despite the falls, crashes, and bruises she was gaining. Get up Girly. You’re making mistakes instead of learning form them. Do it again, T’Jal’s words echoed to her over the years. And it irritated her. And through it all Vonn was silent.
Top of the metal rack, and it didn’t want to twist. Changes in temperature were making the wood and thinner metals swell and shrink. Breath, think remember, make a decision and follow through. She was almost to the end of the beam and the temperature dropped again, the music screeching in her ears and she was ready to tell Vonn to take the d@$% helmet off so he could suffer too, but she didn’t. She heard the crack of hard frost under her shoe and paused, loosing count of where on the beam she was. She cursed to herself, that was stupid. She moved all the way to the end and counted back....her foot slipping on the frost, luckily her other foot was still planted. She turned for the poles, and finally after an hour of this she was back on the Loft. Before he could say it she turned and started back down.
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