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CHAPTER 02: Empyrean Engagement [Third Day]

CHAPTER 02: Empyrean Engagement

[ Modular Shelters | Theurgy Camp | 1900 hrs. | 3 Days Post Mortem Arcorn Neotin ] Attn: Gentleman

It had been a normal day, as far as they came on Theta Eridani IV,

After Alpha-shift had ended. Ida had withdrawn to eat one of the rationed meals that were handed out by Operations personnel, a procedure strictly regulated by daily energy consumption ratio for both of the crews. She had eaten alone, watching as the thermal fog that hovered over the valley was cast into light by the search-lights of the cranes. The mist coated the plain, dissipating slowly as it climbed to the sky - barely crossing the rim of the mountain range that gave them all a false sense of protection.

Seated at the front of her designated modular shelter, Ida had finished her meal long ago, and was instead doing administrative tasks on her computer console. It was time to go, so she closed it with a sense of relief - having been looking forward to her scheduled physical exercise. If nothing else to take her mind off the interrogation and the repercussions of the last battle. She held it close to her heart that her duty and her honour lay in protecting the crew, yet of late...

Refusing to dwell more upon it, she went inside, tossed the console on her covers and undressed methodically. She replaced her uniform with the Starfleet blue exercise unitard - the outfit several shades darker than her skin and contouring around her trim athletic figure. As an afterthought, she put on a hoodie as white as her hair, zipping it midway up. She could have gone without it, given the heat and the fact that as an Andorian, she preferred the cold, yet she did not know if there would be colder further up the mountainside.

After smoothing the fabric of her hoodie over on her trim stomach, Ida went outside again, starting a brisk walk down the trampled path that would lead to the edge of the valley. The walk quickly turned into a jog, and as her toned slender legs propelled her forward, her full breasts were bouncing lightly. That was how she noticed the lack of her combadge, for she had forgotten to put it on after switching clothes. Cursing, she paused, thinking that she should head back to get it. Yet after all that had happened, she decided to leave it out of spite, since if people would not trust her judgement, then by Lor'Vela, she should not have to give it whilst being off duty.

As Ida started her ascent up the foothills that would take her to the indicated place, she thought upon the request that the new Chief Tactical Officer had sent out to a couple of people. He had invited to a spar, and since there had been no takers due to everyone being too busy, Ida had finally decided to acquiesce the Pinkskin's request.

The jog up the mountainside had got her blood running, and as Ida reached the indicated plateau that overlooked the mist-enshrouded valley, her midnight blue eyes found Lieutenant Rennan Cooper waiting for her. He was early, it seemed, and probably eager to begin. He was wearing Terran martial arts clothing, with black, wide cotton trousers and a loose white long-sleeved cotton knit. If memory served Ida right, the attire had a history of tradition among Pinkskin hand-to-hand combatants, and she could respect that. He was barefoot too, which was practical since this was merely exercise.

"Lieutenant Cooper, I presume?" said Ida as she came up to the man, barely winded, "Congratulations on your promotion and welcome aboard. I'm Deputy ThanIda zh'Wann, Starfleet Security. It would seem you got the message where I accepted your request."

Re: EPISODE 03 : Unconquerable Soul [Chapter 02: Empyrean Engagement]

Reply #1
[ Modular Shelters | Theurgy Camp | 1800 hrs. | 3 Day Post Mortem Arcorn Neotin ]

Trudging into his own shelter, Rennan's face carried a dark look. His eyes seemed to retreat into his head as his unkempt hair bounced around his weary shoulders. Not only had the day's work been strenuous physically, but it had also taken its' toll on him mentally. He was at his wit's end and almost ready to crack. Luckily for him, he had finally found a suitable sparring partner within the crew. Nobody else cared to spar him, which he saw as somewhat of a self destructive decision on everyone's part. The mental, and in some cases physical wellbeing of those around him were dependent on his ability to partake in his "therapeutic exercise".

Kneeling at the foot of his cot, he opened a small footlocker which contained several perfectly folded articles of clothing. The first that he removed was a heavy knit cotton top, traditional of Terran Aikidoka of centuries gone by. Laying it on his cot, he then removed a worn out belt. It had begun as a black belt, 'kuro obi', but now it looked more grey on what little bit of dyed cotton was left. Mostly it was tattered and frayed strands of time worn, sweat stained cotton cording. Placing it on the bed, he removed the final piece of his traditional Aikido garb, the Hakama. The dark wide legged trousers designed to disguise foot movement and distract the enemy. Each of its' seven pleats were crisply formed, almost as pristine as the day they had been made.

Closing his foot locker, he placed each of the folded items neatly upon its' lid, dropping once again to his knees, resting on the balls of his feet. Forming a triangle on the floor with his hands, he bowed deeply, his nose to the floor. "Arigatou, ichiman arigatou, O Sensei Ueshiba." After remaining for a moment, he inhaled sharply before coming out of his bow, standing to his feet. Shedding his uniform and even his underwear, he folded it and placed it on his bed. Gently unfolding his white cotton top, he wrapped it around himself before tying his obi methodically around it. Unfolding his hakama, he placed his left leg into it, and then his right, pulling it up around his top and his belt. Carefully wrapping the ties around his waist, he brought them all back together at the center of his stomach, tying all four cotton ties into one neatly formed bow, none of the ties hanging down. The final touch was made as he stood in his mirror, using a short length of twine to pull his hair up into a topknot. Slipping on his bamboo sandals, he embarked on his journey up the mountain, nearly an hour early.

As he reached the plateau, he removed his sandals and kneeled at the end opposite of where he imagined that his uke would appear. Resting his hands on his thighs, he breathed deeply and methodically, preparing himself for the upcoming match. He meditated to the best of his ability, trying to push all of the frustrations of the day out of his head, trying to drown out the growing rage with tranquility. The tranquility of ages upon ages of a proud tradition of pride and honor that he was a part of.

After what seemed like only ten or fifteen minutes, he heard someone approaching and promptly stood. A quick observation of the surrounding celestial bodies told him that what had seemed like mere minutes had been almost an hour.

As he watched the blue skinned woman step onto the plateau, he bowed deeply. "You are correct. Lieutenant Rennan Cooper, at your service." he said, smiling, glad to see this woman that embodied a certain amount of solace in his life. It could have been anyone and still represented the same thing to him as long as they had come to spar. "I do appreciate your congratulations, Deputy. And yes, I was quite pleased to find a suitable partner." he said before thinking for a moment. "How would you like for me to address you, if at all?" he asked. "If you would simply like to begin our randori, I suppose that formalities would not be a necessity."

Re: EPISODE 03 : Unconquerable Soul [Chapter 02: Empyrean Engagement]

Reply #2
"If by... 'randori'," said the Deputy and unzipped her hoodie, her light blue tongue unfamiliar with the word, "you mean the spar, then I think there is no need to dwell too hard on the formalities. As for how I want to be referred to, I think its pretty clear we are both off duty, so you can just call me Ida, for short. You Pinkskins seem to prefer that to my full first name."

She pulled back the hoodie from her shoulders and tugged her arms free behind her back, then looked around to see a patch of dry grass where she could toss it. After she did, she stretched her arms and shook her legs loose, the exercise unitard like a second skin to her after having worn it regularly since her Academy days. "I take it you have the same need as I when it comes to this kind of exercise?" she asked, which was more like a rhetorical question than anything else since she already knew the answer. "Don't feel flattered, its a part of my duties to keep track of new additions to the crew. I read your file. As it happens, I have also a few reasons to vent my anger, and this is a good way to do it."

Her second way was through her artistry, yet after the altercation with Ensign Carver, she felt more inclined to destroy than to create. "Full contact?" she asked the Chief Tactical Officer, who's predecessor was yet another straw on the bonfire of her anger. This Vulcan who had fallen victim to Calamity - or Cala. The holographic intruder that Ida had failed to stop in the Shuttle Bay, and ended up shooting down half of the Senior Staff. It was something she knew that Captain Ives had not forgiven her for yet. Ida could see it in his/her eyes. At least she believed she did.

She raised her fists in a guard stance - clearly ready. "Or are we pulling punches tonight, Pinkskin?"

Re: EPISODE 03 : Unconquerable Soul [Chapter 02: Empyrean Engagement]

Reply #3
Chuckling, Rennan nodded. "I can understand that. Be warned, you have quite a bit to keep track of with me." he said, listening to what she said next with a grin. "It's refreshing, actually. Having someone who understands why it is that we fight. We don't fight so that we might hurt people, but rather, so that we won't hurt the wrong people."

"Don't pull any punches until you see me unconscious on the ground." he said, smiling as he bowed again, stepping back into his guard stance, his hands open, his left foot in front of his right. His weight was fairly well distributed, if not, slightly moreso concentrated on his back leg.

Slowly beginning to circle the plateau facing his opponent, he remained calm as he switched his lead several times, taking on what he thought would be advantageous for each new position.

He waited, not wanting to throw the first punch. He didn't want to give himself up yet, he wanted to be able to sense her energy, pick up where she was coming from so that he might be able to predict her.

Re: EPISODE 03 : Unconquerable Soul [Chapter 02: Empyrean Engagement]

Reply #4
"Agreed," said Ida simply, while she was also thinking that it was bountiful to have found someone of the same mind when it came to combat practice.

She fell into the same circling pattern that the Pinkskin assumed, and her stance was relaxed, more equivalent to that of a 'boxer' than a practitioner of fighting-styles that stemmed from Terra's eastern regions. Kharakom, which was the fighting style she utilised the most, was often thought of as 'boxing', yet it was actually a somewhat more complex fighting style. First appearances might make the onlooker think it focused solely on punches, yet it expanded to grappling and effective kicking manoeuvres as well. And where Kharakom ended, Hleshvalath began, which was her native form of 'wrestling', in the lack of a better word. It emphasised on grappling and restraint of the opponent. Yet unlike most such styles in the Federation, which were relatively nonviolent and slow-paced, Hreshvalath was quick, harsh, and utterly brutal.

Eventually, they were naturally closing the distance to each other - Ida reading the Pinkskin's stance and weight-distribution at each turn he shifted his feet. Soon enough, it was time to pry upon the man's defences, and Ida did by advancing straight at him - leading in with a series of jabs that ended with a right hook to the Lieutenant's jaw.

Re: EPISODE 03: Unconquerable Soul [Chapter 02: Empyrean Engagement]

Reply #5
The lieutenant was barely surprised by the event of the jabs, but possibly by the timing. The first few, he dodged before beginning to block them, preparing for a counterstrike. One grazed his ribs and another made medium contact against his shoulder. Then out of nowhere, the hook started to come towards his head. Dropping low and covering his head, Rennan attempted to chop into the deputy's armpit.

Re: EPISODE 03: Unconquerable Soul [Chapter 02: Empyrean Engagement]

Reply #6
The limited success of the initial blows Ida had dealt Mr. Cooper was hardly a surprise since they were mostly thrown for sake of estimating his defences.

It felt like she was alive again as she fought the Pinkskin. The physical exertion, animating ones limbs and wits in purpose, it felt like years since last, yet she knew it was less than a week ago that she had fought Calamity in the shuttle bay on the Theurgy. Two days earlier than that, she had fought with David Grayson in the blasted holding cell when the Ishtar Entity might - and mightn't - have messed with her head. Because she had ended up having sex with the man, someone she hated. Or at least she thought she had, until they had cleared the air between them. Now, he was gone, locked up one of those freezer coffins. Along with all the others that managed to barely survive. Damn that Pinkskin for messing with her mind.

It was the recollection of Grayson's sweaty body on top of her own that made her loose sight of the tell-tale signs in the Pinkskin's stance. Too late, she clamped down upon the chopping motion against her armpit, the impact absorbed by her torso even if she could have managed to trap the hand there. Gasping from the force, she found that her compartmentalised physique saved her to some extent, yet the numbness spreading down her arm told her that the CTO had managed to strike a nerve cluster.

Using both her hands and the pivotal force of her body movement, she attempted to spin Rennan Cooper around and make him loose his balance in a low throw. She'd follow that up with pursuing his fall or his roll with a couple of low kicks... punctuating the assault by an uppercut.

Re: EPISODE 03: Unconquerable Soul [Chapter 02: Empyrean Engagement]

Reply #7
As Ida began to spin, Lieutenant Cooper managed to wrench his hand free just as he lost his balance. Lurching forward, he tucked his head and dropped his right shoulder just in time to roll out of the throw, slapping the ground hard with his right hand just before feeling a sledge-like blow to his ribs, eliciting a deep gasp from him as the Deputy's kick knocked the breath out of him.

Struggling to focus, he knew that another kick would come, and he rolled out of the way barely in time. His hope in doing the roll had been to spring straight back to his feet, but that didn't quite work out. Seeing another foot coming hurtling towards his head, he pressed himself hard against the cold floor of the plateau, missing most of the kick, only Ida's toes grazing the top of his head.

Seeing the uppercut coming a mile away, he began to roll rapidly towards the deputy's ankles, aiming to bowl her over.

Re: EPISODE 03: Unconquerable Soul [Chapter 02: Empyrean Engagement]

Reply #8
The Pinkskin obviously knew how to absorb both a fall and a blow to the side, yet Ida pursued - acting on her initial thought to kick and punch the retreating man until he stopped moving.

For moving was definitely something he could, and quite fast too. For while Ida almost hit him with her second and third kick, the following rising strike with her fist became the turning-point in which the Pinkskin reclaimed the initiative. Using the ground as his leverage, he hurled his whole bodily weight against her legs. The world was sent spinning around her, and she ended up face fist in the dry grass - knocking the wind from her blue lips in a gasp. She only managed to absorb a smidgen of the impact with both her forearms, yet enough to not take her out of action for more than a few moments.

With the Pinkskin directly behind her and she lying on her chest with her bum to the sky, she whipped her head around with bared teeth and arching antennae. She had raised herself up on her hands and was bucking like some primitive animal - sending a straight kick with her right leg towards the opponent. Whether or not she hit, she would try to roll over on her back and do a - jumping back on her feet as quickly as possible. She just hoped she had the time for it so that she could raise her guard and she would not be pinned down on the ground of the plateau.

OOC: Pardon the delay, see OOC thread notice. Guests took my time this weekend.

Re: EPISODE 03: Unconquerable Soul [Chapter 02: Empyrean Engagement]

Reply #9
As the kick flew towards him, Rennan spun out of its' path, winding up beside Ida. Rearing his foot back, he attempted to smash her ribs with his shin. Whether or not he connected, his next move was going to be an attempt to plant his elbow into her back.

Re: EPISODE 03: Unconquerable Soul [Chapter 02: Empyrean Engagement]

Reply #10
Ida did not manage to turn over on her back before the CTO kicked her in the side, and yet the impact did help her roll over. Only she was left lying there because of that kick, unable to get up as quickly as she wanted to, so when Rennan Cooper attacked with his elbow, it was towards her mid-riff, and she barely got her arms up to counter the descending, vertical attack.

Using her arms, she pushed the plummeting attack wide of her torso, hoping to imbalance him enough for her quick left jab towards his face - sprung from where she lay on the ground. The second punch followed the first, only it was her much harder right jab, also going for the face. It was useless to fight from a prone position, though, so she hoped to be able to get back on her feet after those two punches. Perhaps by rolling away from him...

Re: EPISODE 03: Unconquerable Soul [Chapter 02: Empyrean Engagement]

Reply #11
Hitting the dirt face-first, Rennan coughed hard. Soon thereafter, his elbow struck the ground, and a stone, it felt like, as a shockwave rippled through his body from his elbow. Crying out in anguish, he gripped his elbow, panting for breath. The next thing he knew, a fist was smashing his jaw and a second, even stronger, rolled him onto his back. Quickly pulling his legs up for a guard, he awaited Ida's next move in agony, his elbow throbbing.

Re: EPISODE 03: Unconquerable Soul [Chapter 02: Empyrean Engagement]

Reply #12
After the two successful strikes sent Rennan Cooper away from her, Ida rolled to the side and got back on her feet - finding the new CTO on his back. Her choices were to either pursue victory by wrestling him, or try to circle around to his side and kick him whilst he was on the ground. Both alternatives had their own pros and cons, yet Ida decided on the third option, to let him get back on his feet again. It was the safer alternative, and yet also a dangerous one since she surrendered the initiative. Her reasoning was that it might prolong the fight, which was something both of them wanted.

"Do you yield, Pinkskin?" she asked, circling her opponent with her open-handed guard raised, "Perhaps I can find you a more suitable sparring partner."

Grim humour. They both knew that they were evenly matched, given how Ida had taken some blows as well - her unitard dirtied by the grass and dark-blue bruises on her skin. Her words were merely meant to incite him.

Re: EPISODE 03: Unconquerable Soul [Chapter 02: Empyrean Engagement]

Reply #13
Laying supine on the ground, Cooper braced himself for another attack, but it never came. Watching his opponent dubiously, he was puzzled. Getting to his feet as quickly as he could, which was about three quarters of his normal speed, he reassumed his guard position, favoring his right elbow.

"Yield? With such a level playing field? That was a most unwise tactical decision. I'm starting to doubt whether or not YOU are, in fact, suitable," he said with a grin. "You should have finished me while you had the chance."

Rushing towards Ida, Cooper unleashed a volley of chain punches straight down his centerline, their targets being anywhere from her abdomen to her head, the locations were randomized for effect.  After his volley of punches, if time and convenience allowed, he would attempt to leap towards her, focusing a knee strike at her chest, aiming to topple her over once more.

Re: EPISODE 03: Unconquerable Soul [Chapter 02: Empyrean Engagement]

Reply #14
Her words seemed to have had the expected effect, and the Pinkskin retaliated both verbally as well as with his fists. Ida was ready, even if she was not granted the time to reply. Probably something about him being boastful since he had been a researcher just a couple of days back and was now trying to lecture her on tactics?

With open-hand strikes and with her forearms, Ida retreated and blocked the punches that came at her - either glancing them off or deflecting them more forcefully. It was a quick exchange, though. A brutal mainstay that hammered her defences and forced her to be quick on her feet and even quicker with maintaining her guard so as to not leave herself open too much. Her white hair whipped about her face as she twisted and turned in order to not expose either of her flanks to the next strike. It was expected, since she had given the Lieutenant the open chance to send this barrage against her defences, yet it did not make it any easier to keep up with the human's offensive. Each stike elevated the chances that she might slip, so she had to turn the tide...

...yet before she got the opening she needed, one of Cooper's strikes passed by her shoulder, and it got close enough that his thumb caught the neckline of her body-stocking and tore it. When he retracted his hand, the fabric tore some more, yet what was worse was that it unbalanced Ida, and the next punch caught her white brow. The world spun around her, and there was no chance for her to see the knee that came for her - catching her in the middle and sending her off her feet. The attack had driven the air from her lungs, and if there was any left, the impact with the ground vented the rest.

Still, she struggled to rise up, head reeling, pursed lips sucking new air through her teeth, eyes trying to focus on what may come next.

OOC: Heh, I will leave the extent of the wardrobe malfunction into your able hands.

Re: EPISODE 03: Unconquerable Soul [Chapter 02: Empyrean Engagement]

Reply #15
Pulling his fist back, Cooper watched the body stocking tear most of the way down one of his opponent's breasts. It didn't fully expose her, but it left little to the imagination. A little bit of spirited bouncing would allow her breast to escape to freedom. However, this did not phase him at all. He was in battle mode, and it wouldn't matter if she were stark naked with hot oil covering her body, he wouldn't be able to register it until the fight was over. His next punch connected with her brow, and he saw his opening. He saw that faraway look in her eyes and the pupil constriction that told him that he had one shot to do whatever he wanted to, and she would not be able to respond to it in time.

Bending at the knees, Rennan propelled himself forward explosively, pulling his knee up as he rotated his hips towards Ida. As he felt his knee impact her midsection, he knew that he had hit her diaphragm, as he felt what he supposed to be every ounce of her hot breath rush over his face. Following her to the ground, he attempted to straddle her chest. If he could get on top of her, he would start unleashing palm strikes towards her face until either she yielded, or could stop his barrage.

Re: EPISODE 03: Unconquerable Soul [Chapter 02: Empyrean Engagement]

Reply #16
She might have been rendered helpless, yet it seemed Lor'Vela stood by her side, for as he came to straddle her, she managed to get one arm in front of him. He was about to strike her, yet lacking breath and other resorts, she did what she could to keep those hands away from her.

For Ida reached behind him and grabbed a blue-knuckled fistful of his jacket, and yanked the garment down from his shoulders - trapping his upper arms against his torso. That she had also bared skin had barely registered in her mind, yet the human's carefully cultivated frame did give her some minute pause. She knew, however, that the man would have an easy task untangling his arms from the lowered jacket lest she did something more.

Fiercely, she bared her teeth and twisted her grip on the fabric as best as she could without loosing her grip, buying herself precious time to shift her weight and the hold of her other hand - arms and fingers wrapping around his thigh. She buried a heel into the soil, lifted her hip and heaved with both arms and the sideways force of her foothold in order to topple him over.

He would be on his side or his back, yet either way, she would slam her hand down over his eyes in order to blind him so that she could pummel his ribs with her fist - holding him down with her other hand on his face.

Re: EPISODE 03: Unconquerable Soul [Chapter 02: Empyrean Engagement]

Reply #17
Struggling as he felt the arm come up in front of him, Rennan suddenly felt constricted as his arms became entangled in his gi. Struggling to get free, he growled and tried to drop his center of gravity. "If you wanted to see my bare chest, all you had to do was ask." he snapped off.

Feeling his body shift, he knew that he hadn't gotten his center of gravity low enough. toppling over onto his back, he tucked his chin almost instinctively. As Ida came over, he began to wriggle under her, bucking his hips up repeatedly to pull himself off of the ground so that he could work his gi back up into it's correct place. Attempting to protect himself the best he could, he tried to use his shoulders to block his face to an extent.

As Ida clapped a hand over his eyes, Rennan growled deeply before feeling he club him in the ribs. Grunting, he took several shots, feeling the pain radiating through his ribs before growling and yelling, arching his hips and attempting to roll Ida away from him with all of his strength. While he was somewhat conditioned, he didn't know how many more punches he would be able to take when he was so vulnerable.

Re: EPISODE 03: Unconquerable Soul [Chapter 02: Empyrean Engagement]

Reply #18
He thrashed underneath her as if he was a wild Terran bull, and Ida had trouble keeping him down as she straddled him. Her grip and her push against his eyes was slipping too, yet she pummelled him nonetheless - her fist driving into his ribs as many times as she could before he managed to throw her off.

Her blood was roused by the fighting, and his thrashing her chafed the juncture of her thighs raw. It was a ....peculiar sensation, especially added with the sight of his bared chest and shoulders. Not to mention that she realised that half her bosom was on display by the time she rolled to a half-crouching position. She looked down and verified that her body stocking had been torn at some point. What was it with her integrity as a female constantly being on challenge? It would seem no matter what she did, she ended up in some compromising position together with a male or female that wanted to have sex with her. It might be that she betimes reciprocated the notion but...

"By Lor'Vela, who are you to talk, Pinkskin?" she retorted, even if she was not that embarrassed about what had happened. "I'd say you were far more eager than I to tear off clothing. What are you after?"

The fighting became a long-winded argument, with shouting and almost jocular accusations. In the end, they parted ways, them both seething with anger. Yet if fate was kind, they would be able to continue sparring under more ideal circumstances.

- Fin

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