Eghimea dodged the incoming glove with ease, as she tried to pivot on her left foot. She brought her right fist up to strike. The large thick red gloved fist missed her intended target as his fist slammed into her midriff. The blow was as powerful as it was surprising to her. The impact caused her to double over as an explosion of air rushed from her lungs.
Eghimea shifted her weight quickly as she narrowly avoided the second powerful blow from the man she was sparring with. She brought both her fists up in a guard position as she shifted her weight and moved backwards.
The large tan skinned man with a padded helmet laughed, “look little girl,” he said half mockingly and half trying to teach. “Ya got to keep your eyes on the prize,” he added as he motioned to his two large gloves.
Eghimea didn’t have the wind in her lungs to speak. Instead, she just nodded and moved in with the attack. Once more, she shifted her feet and swung, the attack was wide, and she wasn’t sure that it would score a hit. Yet, to her surprise it did! Then something hit her as she watched the instructor back up.
“There ya go, little girl…”
Frustrated she backed up as well, “computer, pause program,” she said snapping.
The people across the gym froze as the computer beeped its acknowledgement of her order. She looked at the frozen image of the boxer across from her and sighed. Her attack should have failed regardless of her desire for it to have succeeded. The computer had cheated and allowed her attack to score a hit. She turned to walk back to her corner then paused once more when she noticed one of the frozen figures. The man was dressed just like everyone else in the program, though she knew better.
She placed a hand on her side as she tilted her head and frowned, “I was told that this suite was mine for the hour. Have I gone over?”
Senior Chief Petty Officer David Asencio smiled, “I didn’t realize it was reserved.” His smile was soft, though his eyes were taking the young Bajoran in. It was more than her physical body he was looking at. He was measuring her emotional state as well as her rumored uncanny powers of perception.
She narrowed her eyes, “you’re lying.”
“Okay, you caught me,” he laughed. He then added, “how did you know I wasn’t part of the program?”
She walked over to her corner as she spoke, “I have seen you around the ship. You are Chief Petty Officer David Asencio.” She picked up a water bottle and took a drink, “born in Kansas City, Kansas.”
He clapped, “I’m impressed. I didn’t know you had access to the personnel files of the crew yet.”
Finishing another drink, she shook her head. Her voice labored from the liquid that worked down her throat, “I don’t. But you were decorated for actions aboard the USS Zapata, during the Boarder Wars with the Cardassians. That ceremony is public record,” she explained. Her eyes narrowed once more, “so why are you here. This is a private session,” she snapped.
He walked towards the ring, “well, I heard that you were returning to duty and wanted to meet the new security officer.” He smiled warmly, “I’ve kept an eye out for you but finding you appears to be harder than finding an honest Ferengi.
“Sorry, but I just don’t like being around a lot of people,” she said coldly as she shifted her stance and sighed heavily. “Nor am I a fan of this combat style,” she added.
He nodded to her first statement as he frowned, “I can understand that.” He knew the rumors around her. And those were not helped by her roommate, who endlessly complained about the Bajoran. Asencio allowed a broad smile to cross his face, “that’s because this style isn’t for you,”
“Why,” she said with a hiss, “because I am a woman?”
He laughed deeply, “no, your gender has nothing to do with it. It has everything to do with the fact that you are small.” He motioned to the ring, “mind if I show you what I am talking about?”
She rolled her eyes, “this is a sad attempt to get to know me better.”
“It’s working,” he rebuffed with a smile.
Shaking her head, “no…it’s not.” She rolled her head to the side as she spun around and headed for the center of the ring. “If it will get you to leave me alone sooner, come on,” there was a sense of defeat in her voice.
He nodded and moved up to the ring and climbed in. “Computer, remove all occupants and give me a set of gear.” The images of the beings within the gym all vanished. A set of gloves and helmet appeared in his corner. He picked up the gloves and pulled them on. Turning from the corner, he left the padded helmet where it rested.
She stood there bouncing as she mentally prepared herself for combat. “I’m told that you need to where the helmet,” Eghimea said motioning to the padded helmet.
“Oh, normally I do,” he replied with a smile. “But I won’t need it today,”
“Cocky, and a liar,” her tone dripped with sarcasm. “In terms of getting to know me better. You are not starting off on a good foot,” she added.
Asencio smiled as he hit his gloves together laughing, “wait till my second round. That is where I can really build steam.” He motioned her to join the match. The smile on his face was reflected in his eyes. He was going to enjoy this to its fullest.
2nd Lieutenant Laju Eghimea
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