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Day 17 [0425hrs] Thick Skull, Soft Heart

[ Lt. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Upper Gymnasium | D. 6 | V. 1 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Nolan

Six days ago, Drauc had politely told her to take a long walk off a short pier when she'd presented him with the complexities that were her mind and heart in the realm of attraction and love.

THUMP!

Five days ago, she’d had to do a semi-strip tease for leering customers at the Orion Outpost on a tour gone awry with Mia and Amanda.

THUMP!

Four days ago, Captain Ives had made her acting department head of the department in the morning, then by lunchtime, she’d come clean to Alistair about Drauc—about everything really—and the beautiful man had accepted her, proverbial warts and all.

THUMP!

Two days ago, after a semi-successful meeting of minds with her department members—even L’Nari had played fairly nice for that one—she’d ended up on a culinary tour from hell on Qo’Nos where basically everything that could go wrong, did.

THUMP!

And yesterday, she’d very nearly gotten shot by an Orion sniper and only barely managed to negotiate herself and Kino, along with their security team, safely back onboard the ship without diplomatic incident.

THUMP!

Enyd fell against the tire, her body covered in sweat, muscles shaking, lungs burning. She’d been using every fiber of strength, it seemed even her eyelids, to move the tire back and forth across the mat. While it would likely surprise casual onlookers, perhaps even Alistair or Zark, that she’d already made it through one back-and-forth session—considering her size in comparison to the tire's—it was unsurprising to Enyd. She had to push herself to the limit when she had pent-up frustration, unexpressed anger, withering self-doubt, and even residual bits of helplessness and fear. And considering the week she’d weathered, Enyd had plenty of all of the above. While she knew she could talk about it with her friends, and now her beau, her body and psyche demanded she DO something about it too.

Zark had been unimpressed with Enyd’s “dance” in fight night some time back, and so, instead of risking the Andorian’s wrathful breasts smothering her again, or Alistair's endearing concern, Enyd had opted for the gym. At this horrific morning hour, no one had been inside when she first set about warming up. Clad in the standard-issued black shorts and red tank top, her skin had bristled from the cold once she removed the lightweight jacket. In rapid order, she moved through calisthenic moves to prevent injury, grabbed a jump rope for some cardio, then hit the tire. Without a sparring partner to push her—Frank was still asleep, lucky bastard—Enyd had to content herself with an inanimate and unforgiving object.

Still wrestling with some latent angst--an element of her personality she rarely showed anyone except on the sparring floor, Enyd knew she needed something else to challenge her before she could move on with the workday without screaming. Pushing off the tire, Enyd moved to where she’d left her towel and water bottle, eyes already tracing over the rest of the vacant gym to find her next challenge.

Re: Day 17 [0425hrs] Thick Skull, Soft Heart

Reply #1
[ Lt Cmdr. Thomas Ravon | Upper Gymnasium | D. 6 | V. 1 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Ellen Fitz

Restless nights and tiresome days, this was the life that Thomas had been dealt with after his loss of Zephyr. After that, things just spiralled out of control, Jaru's return was perhaps a welcome one. The return from stasis allowed the former Wolves commander was somewhat a way out for his leadership role as SCO. It wasn't that he didn't throw himself at the job like a madman, it was more like the job not fitting him anymore after all that had happened. Stepping down as SCO and just returning to the pack as a flight leader felt like the right thing to do. It gave him more free time, less time checking reports, less time organizing and keeping the squadron on their toes. It was a huge chunk of R&R that just became available. Time which he could've used when Zephyr would still be around. Time that felt like it was just a black empty void. He still mixed with the wolves, though it all felt rather numb. He couldn't find the joy in it anymore, or at least his mind prevented from enjoying things as guilt, grief and anger just continued to roar inside him like a never ending fire.

It wasn't uncommon for him to get up in the middle of the night to just head down to the below decks or the gym. Either to quench the fire with booze or to try and knock it out in the gym. The latter option was tonight's option and the man moved over with his gym bag swung over his shoulder. wearing his wolves hoodie along with a pair of standard issue black sweats and a dark grey tank top underneath, he wandered through the near vacant corridors of the ship. When he arrived at the upper gymnasium the doors swung open and he stepped inside. To his disbelief, there was a single other person in the gym apparently. A rarity in most cases as most people choose sleep over working out.

Thomas' eyes darted over to the woman that was working the tire and he could swear she looked familiar. He couldn't quite put a name to the face though and he walked further into the gym. He placed his bag down on a bench and slid off his hoodie, eyes already searching for the first object to work with. His eyes returned to the woman more than once and the gnawing feeling that he should know her by name continued to eat away at him. While he forced his mind to remember her name, he started to tape his hands in, indicating that he was in the gym to spar or to at least throw some punches at some very unfortunate punching bags.


Re: Day 17 [0425hrs] Thick Skull, Soft Heart

Reply #2
[ Lt. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Upper Gymnasium | D. 6 | V. 1 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Nolan

Pulling the towel away from her face, Enyd dropped it back to the bench and turned, her heart skipping in surprise when she noticed the man. She hadn’t heard his entrance, but then again, all she’d heard for some time was her heartbeat and panting breath. So it wasn’t surprising a lone man had entered the gym without her notice. He was taller, dark-haired, of a lean-muscled stature, reminding her in many ways of Cal’s physique. This, in turn, made her wonder if he was also a pilot or if he was security like Zark since, aside from her ample breasts, the Andorian was also well-muscled and svelte like the man taping up before her.

Enyd moved across the room without hesitation. It would be strange to continue working out just the two of them if she didn’t at least greet him directly. And, since he was taping his hands, perhaps he would like a partner. She had her tape and gloves in the bag beside her towel and water bottle. Frank would likely be happy to hear that she found someone else to spar with. He’d kept pushing her to practice with others so she could get used to other fighting styles and not relax back into habits developed by only sparring with him.

Eyes still on the movement of his hands as he finished the taping process, Enyd broke the silence with her greeting, “I won’t say good morning as, in my personal opinion, there is nothing good about being awake this early in the morning.” She traced her gaze up his arms to his face, noting the green color of his eyes and appreciating the well-kept facial hair. “Or still awake this late into the night, depending on how you look at it.” Her lips pulled back into a half smile then. She hesitated half a heartbeat before offering her hand, “Enyd Isolde Madsen, diplomatic corps. I don’t recall meeting before, but that’s no reason not to offer myself as a sparring partner if you’d like one.”

Re: Day 17 [0425hrs] Thick Skull, Soft Heart

Reply #3
[ Lt Cmdr. Thomas Ravon | Upper Gymnasium | D. 6 | V. 1 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Ellen Fitz

The taping of his hands almost felt ceremonial, it was a thing Thomas did with the utmost care and patience. Careful to ensure none of the tape would fold over and cause for an uncomfortable pressure along his knuckles or palms. It was a way of control, a way to soothe his burning anger., if only for a brief period of time. The same would be the case when he'd do his pre flight checks or when he'd be out in the vast open space in his ship. The one of the few safe places he could forget about his sorrows. His attention drawn to the single occupant of the gym as she had walked over to him and broke the silence to introduce herself. The pilot looked up at the woman as she named herself as Enyd Isolde Madsen, a member of the diplomatic core. The name didn't exactly ring a bell with him though the face still seemed far too familiar.

"Thomas Ravon, Tac Conn. Though some call me Razor too." He answered her, looking at the extended hand before reaching up with the taped in hand of himself. Giving her a soft squeeze as he shook her hand he smiled faintly "I suppose I could agree with you that nothing would be good about being awake this early in the morning. Although I doubt I had any decent sleep, perhaps an hour or two, three tops." he admitted, letting go of her hand and starting to wrap in his other hand. She suggested sparring with him if he was up for it and while the offer was quite innocent, memories of working out with Zephyr surfaced. Zephyr and Enyd shared a similar build of frame and the memories haunted the pilot once again. Truthfully, he could almost hear her laugh echo through the gymnasium as he laid his eyes upon Enyd.

"Sure thing. I was going to warm up with the bags, but I'm happy to spar with you instead." he answered her and nodded at her hands. "You need some help to tape those in?" Everything reminded him about the woman heh ad lost, how they used to sit, facing one another as he taped her hands in, while they spoke of trivial things and sometimes of things much more intimate about their lives. The tormenting memories would probably show in his eyes as a form of sadness would possibly be shining through them.

"I didn't... I'm surprised the diplomatic core actually considers sparring an option." he said with a slight smirk forming on his lips. She might have other reasons why she wanted to pick a fight, to punch, kick and wrestle her frustration out of her. ""Or is their another reason that's keeping you up or preventing you to sleep?" he asked her, finishing up on his other hand, biting the tape off with his teeth and clenching his fists to feel if they were taped to his content or not.

Re: Day 17 [0425hrs] Thick Skull, Soft Heart

Reply #4
[ Lt. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Upper Gymnasium | D. 6 | V. 1 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Nolan

Enyd raised an eyebrow at the callsign as they shook hands, “Sharp wit? A tendency to shave away unnecessary assumptions? Quick reflexes? A play on your surname?” As they let go and her hand fell back to her side, Enyd couldn’t help but shrug, “I had a fitful four hours myself, not that it is a competition to see who can have the worst sleep.”

There was a melancholic air about his shoulders that was impossible to ignore, yet Enyd chose not to comment on it. Perhaps there would be a time, better than an introductory meeting at a horrendous hour of the morning, but now was certainly not it. Enyd began to turn toward her bag at his acceptance of her offer, only slightly hesitating at his additional offer to help her tape her hands. She again raised a single eyebrow at his offer and then his comment about the department she chaired. Letting out a huffed laugh of amusement in her wake, Enyd led the way back to the bench and began rifling through its contents.

“I grew up on a ranch in Montana,” she looked up from her tape pursuit and offered Thomas a smile, “not sure if you’ve ever made your way to the wilds of Montana, but it isn’t a place for the softhearted or those who back down from a fight.” Enyd broke eye contact and resumed her search, finding everything but the tape, it seemed. She continued her makeshift explanation, “My grandmother raised me, along with a ranch full of roughened cowhands, after I lost both my parents on top-priority Intelligence missions. So my love of hoplology and all its unique forms found in the cultures across the galaxies is not so surprising when put into the context of being raised by a resilient older generation with few peers inclined towards the softer edges of life.”

Enyd knew she was talking more animatedly and offering more information than she might normally do at this hour, partially in response to the swirling darkness haunting his gaze. Something was eating at him, and the evidence was not just in his presence in the gym at stupid-o-clock in the morning. Enyd let out a quick “ah ha” when her fingers finally slid over the tape. Hauling out the treasure with a smile, Enyd hesitated momentarily before handing the tape to Thomas. Maybe the action of taping her hands would help him. Either way, it was a luxury she didn’t often get.

“I often spar with Frank Arnold, head of engineering, and he’d likely accuse me of being lazy and feigning princesshood if he saw us now. But it isn’t often someone else offers to tape, and I’ll take the moments of princess treatment before sparring when I can get them.” Holding her hands out towards him, Enyd offered another smile, almost conspiratory, “Not to sound like the harbinger of doom, but things tend to happen around me, to me, and those with me. Chaotic things. In an alarmingly short span of time, I’ve fought Klingon rebels in a battle arena to secure a diplomatic negotiation, rode naked on the back of a sabre bear through the jungles on a failed first date, been forced to take part in a semi-strip tease at the Orion outpost to save my skin and those of my fellow tourists,” Enyd fell silent a moment, eyes racing over the contours of the ceiling as she gathered her memories, “not failing to mention the other first date where my date and I were forced to perform alongside nude Klingons at a comedy show, was promoted to department chief because the former chief had to be put into stasis, and just yesterday I was nearly shot by an Orion sniper.”

Taking a deep breath, Enyd leaned back on her heels before letting it out again. “There’s more, but I don’t want to overload, especially not before coffee. So yes, a few things are keeping me up. Those are just the surface things that have scratched away the veneer holding back older pains, but,” Enyd shrugged, gaze tracking over Thomas’ response to her verbal barrage, “if after all that you’d rather run away while you can, I do not fault you.”

Re: Day 17 [0425hrs] Thick Skull, Soft Heart

Reply #5
[ Lt Cmdr. Thomas Ravon | Upper Gymnasium | D. 6 | V. 1 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Ellen Fitz

The brunette woman asked about his callsign, assuming it might have to do with his sharp wit, reflexes or a play on his surname. Thomas couldn't help but chuckle lightly and shrugged after that. His callsign had stuck with him for ages now and he pursed his lips together before he seemingly wanted to answer her, yet didn't. Instead he just looked at her as she informed him about how much hours she had slept. He could only nod as she pointed out that it wasn't a competition to have the worst kind of sleep. She made her way back to her belongings after his request to tape her hands and he wasn't quite sure if she was agreeing to it or not. He had plenty of tape to be used after all, though she seemed to be rummaging through her bag for something of her own.

In the meantime she spoke of Montana, a place he had heard of though never visited. Speaking of where she grew up, the pilot listened intently. The woman seemed open enough to share about the loss of her parents and Thomas couldn't help but find a kindred spirit with her as his own parents had perished during a black ops mission. Unlike Enyd however, he didn't have any grandparents to rely on. Although he had a guardian... He didn't interrupt Enyd while she went on about her passion for combative behaviour and performance all across the galaxy. It wasn't something he had asked for, though Enyd seemed like an open minded person, or at least a talkative one at this hour. The conversation continued, be it one sided as Thomas let her talk freely and couldn't help but chuckle a little when she found her treasured tape. He was handed the object and he looked up into her eyes as she spoke of Frank Arnold and how the two of them had been sparring before.

Thomas silently began to do Enyd's taping, with extreme care and precision while a few flashbacks again flashed before his own eyes of him and Zephyr in similar situations. It would show to Enyd that the pilot paused every now and again, to get a certain grasp of reality again before continuing silently. He glanced up once as she told him that 'things' happen around her, chaotic things. He paused only briefly to listen to her mishaps. She mentioned that there was more and by that time, Thomas had finished up on her left hand, moving over to the right which he didn't start away directly.

He slowly shook his head as she gave him the chance to opt out and work out elsewhere. "I'm not daunted by the stories, nor about the misfortune." he answered her softly and smiled weak "One could say I have had some misfortunes in the past weeks or months... Though at some point, I do believe that the galaxy is adamantly stacked against me on odds." He paused again, letting a silence fall in between them as he debated with himself to be open towards her about everything or to just test the waters in order to not scare her away. He started with the taping of her right hand in the meantime and a deep sigh escaped his lips before he looked up at her.

"It's almost funny, in a tragic, sad way that you've lost your parents in an almost similar way as I have lost mine. I never knew my own parents, they were killed during a black ops mission gone wrong aboard a Federation ship... I didn't have any grandparents, though the ship's medical officer acted as my guardian and I looked at her as if she was my mom. You know?" he looked up again, stopping with the taping for a second before continuing "Anyway, she passed away when I was fifteen, coming clean about my parent's demise. Rolled into Starfleet after that, somehow." he concluded the story and finished up on her taping. "How does that feel? Not too tight or painful?" He asked her as he got up and opened up his hoodie to drop it on top of his bag. His muscular frame coming more into sight now while he made his way over to the sparring area.

"I'll spare you the details of my most recent dealings... For both your and my sake... So if you want to run away, I won't blame you either." he said with a painful smile on his features, punching both his fists together as he took his position on the mat if she wanted to follow through with it.

Re: Day 17 [0425hrs] Thick Skull, Soft Heart

Reply #6
[ Lt. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Upper Gymnasium | D. 6 | V. 1 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Nolan

Aside from the brief pause with a quiet stare between wrapping her left hand and her right, Thomas didn’t seem the least bit fazed with what Enyd shared. In fact, it appeared he had much he could share as well, but based on his body language, he hadn’t quite gotten to a point where he was ready to share all of it. When he did begin sharing some of whatever it was causing the brood about his shoulders, Enyd kept quiet, expression neutral, body still. She knew how difficult it could be to strategically ease open the floodgates, wanting to open up but not overwhelm. Thomas appeared to be in that position, and Enyd respected it, for she’d lived it more than once.

She only moved when he bid her to, raising her hands and flexing a few times before giving him two thumbs up, “All good.”

Enyd quickly followed him, still listening intently as he finished his tale as they came to stand opposite each other on the mat. His last comment confirmed her earlier assumptions regarding his reasons for being here and the hesitancy in opening up. Enyd mimicked the fist pounding and shook her head.

“My grandmother didn’t raise no quitter. And something you’ve got to know about folks from Montana,” she rolled her shoulders before hopping onto her toes to loosen up, “we stick around long after the sane folks leave. Why else would we choose to live in Montana?”

Enyd feinted left while shifting her right shoulder forward, starting the sparring session with an offensive defense. Her movements were well-honed thanks to Frank’s diligence, but she was certainly not a prizefighter. She relied on speed and the lithe grace of her svelte body to get in and out quickly. In past fights, the real ones, she’d had to rely on stamina and weapons to best opponents. In sparring sessions, she’d only ever won against Frank on a point system, with Frank allocating a certain number of points to each type of hit she landed and comparing her number of hits to his.

Enyd did not doubt that Thomas could level her quite easily, even without knowing his fighting style. His body type and controlled movements were telltale enough of the inevitable outcome. But this wasn’t about winning. This was about taking her body to the point of exhaustion so she could sweat out the stress and anxiety that had been building in her mind. And perhaps that was what he needed as well. So she would give him a hard-to-hit target, keep him moving as she danced away, make him work for a hit, and maybe that would help him see something else outside of the darkness that hovered over his shoulders.

Re: Day 17 [0425hrs] Thick Skull, Soft Heart

Reply #7
[ Lt Cmdr. Thomas Ravon | Upper Gymnasium | D. 6 | V. 1 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Ellen Fitz

Enyd had given him a thumbs up to confirm her hands were taped in properly. Thomas had simply given a nod to her before he could feel her follow him to the sparring mat. Enyd spoke once again, telling him about Montana's mentality. The pilot couldn't help but smile fain and wondered if he could learn something more about this infamous Montana. "You've made me quite curious about this Montana thing." he confessed and observed her further while she started to shift her body and started dancing so to speak.

In comparison to Enyd's rather swift movements to avoid any incoming hits from him, Thomas remained rather static. He didn't stay stationary though as he too moved his upper body in a comparable way like Enyd's. He didn't quite dance on the mat though and instead moved closer to her, keeping a distance of a few metres between them. Enough for either of them to step in, lash out and step out again. He however started to circle around her like a bird stalking up his prey. His arms were kept up in a defensive style, shielding his face from any hits. His torso would be equally decent defended though his flanks and stomach were more exposed.

Thomas lashed out a few times, just to test Enyd. He didn't score any hits there, though it granted him insight in how she danced and avoided his punches. When he did lash out though, he didn't lash out with all of his force. The brunette was in a great shape, though he doubted she'd be able to keep up if any of his hard hitting moves actually connected. It wouldn't be the first time that in after a sparring match with Thomas the help of medical was required. Zyrao Natuana and he had fought one another for fun once with a few broken bones, bruises and lacerations all over them. It was fun, though he doubted that Enyd would consider it as 'fun'.

Any incoming hits Enyd would attempt on Thomas would either be blocked if they were aimed at his face or torso. The others hits however, he let pass. The jabs of pain to the softer parts of his body were a welcome change., a distraction of sorts. It eased the pain that was beyond painkiller. It distracted him only lightly from the aching wound that was struck deep into his heart. It was a different strategy that he utilized in comparison to Enyd who was working towards herself to be exhausted to fall asleep. Thomas only wanted for the pain to shift so he could feel something else besides the ache that was devouring him from within.

It wasn't until she managed to get a hit in past his defensive stance, a fine hit to his head that his mind actually flashed him a memory of seeing a picture of her. He took a step back, wiping the side of his face that had met Enyd's taped fist before he stepped back in for more. This time however he spoke up "I think I saw a picture of you before. I think it was a picture of you and Victor?" he wasn't sure if his memory served him right or not. Though he followed up on the question with another offensive strike on his behalf.

Re: Day 17 [0425hrs] Thick Skull, Soft Heart

Reply #8
[ Lt. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Upper Gymnasium | D. 6 | V. 1 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Nolan

As she suspected, Thomas was good. He fought differently from Frank, but Enyd had yet to meet someone who fought to the caliber and pedigree as Frank. That didn’t mean that Thomas wasn’t any good, far from that. He kept his stance relaxed and fluid, not wasting any energy and landing in solid hits that were enough to jostle but not harm her. Frank would’ve laughed at how lightly Thomas hit her if he’d seen this sparring session. While the chief engineer didn’t hit her at full power either, he certainly hit her hard enough to knock her out if that was needed to get her to learn a lesson.

Enyd noticed Thomas was willing to take hits but blocked all to his face or torso. An interesting strategy and likely one to draw in his opponent to greater confidence than they should actually be feeling. She presumed he was counting on her losing stamina, given her preference for moving in and out, ever circling and weaving in the hypnotic dance of sparring. All her training with Frank and MacKayla had improved her stamina, one because of boxing and the other with sword fighting. However, she was coming into the match after having already blasted her body through intensity workouts meant to tax her muscles and exhaust her.

This reality made it doubly startling when she managed a solid hit to his cheek, despite her wavering energy. His sudden question and mentioning of Victor had Enyd dropping her guard entirely, taking the strike directly to her nose. The sharp pain elicited an instinctive yelp, with one hand coming up to cover her nose while the other braced in the air between herself and Thomas. Tipping her head back, Enyd studied the fingers she pulled away from her nose. Streaks of red covered what skin was untaped. Enyd laughed at the sight. It seemed she got a nosebleed every sparring session, no matter her partner. This was so true that Frank even noted it wasn’t a true sparring session until someone bled and that someone was usually Enyd.

“Well, that was stupid of me,” Enyd pinched her nose to stave off the blood, shooting Thomas an amused look and continuing in a nasally voice, “just a second.” She darted back to her back and pawed through it one-handed, looking for the nose plug Frank had crafted for her, again because of her usual tendency to have nose bleeds for precisely that problem, dropping her guard. Enyd spoke over her shoulder as she looked for the plug, fingers still pinched tightly on her nose, “Victor vanVinter? Yes, I know him, still know him.” Enyd tried to snort, but the pinched nose caused her to cough instead. “And that’s putting it very lightly, considering our long history.”

She found the plug and pushed it up into her nose. Being skin-toned, it was barely noticeable from afar. However, the blood streaks were still on her face, so when Enyd turned to face Thomas, she assumed she looked quite the sight. Bright smile with blood smears over half her face. Pounding her fists together, Enyd moved back to join him.

“How do you know Victor?” She continued the conversation as if it was every day she received a hit to the nose.

Re: Day 17 [0425hrs] Thick Skull, Soft Heart

Reply #9
[ Lt Cmdr. Thomas Ravon | Upper Gymnasium | D. 6 | V. 1 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Ellen Fitz

Despite the rather kept up defense, Enyd was fast and swift enough to land a hit on Thomas' cheek. The punch had served as a sort of wake up call. It wasn't the hardest kind of punch heh ad received, though there had been a certain force behind it. She certainly seemed to know what she was doing and Thomas smiled a little more as he could drown away his sorrows a little. The punch to the cheek however had also helped him remember where he recognized her from, the question about Victor following promptly. He hadn't anticipated for Enyd to lose her guard this effectively though and his next punch landed straight to her nose. Ravon looked at the brunette as she pinched for her nose and tried to keep her balance before the red smears of blood became visible.

He lowered and halted his stance and a painful expression came to his face as he watched Enyd react to it. Surprisingly, she took it well and laughed. The pilot couldn't help but chuckle and shrugged as he excused herself for a moment. He stepped back to his own bag, picking out a water bottle to drink a little. His eyes went back to Enyd as she looked for something in her bag. She answered his question in the meantime about Victor and he nodded. Enyd mentioned a long history between them and Thomas didn't quite know what that might've been.

"I've known Victor from a previous posting. We served together on the USS Kusanagi. On here though, I shared an office with him when I was squadron leader. That's where I saw the picture." Thomas clarified to Enyd and offered his water bottle to her in case she wanted to hydrate. "What's the story between the both of you?" he asked her, putting his bottle to the side of the sparring mat and facing Enyd once more as she indicated she was ready for more. Thomas moved a little more this time over, starting to let Enyd work more for her to land hits on him. He was still fresh, or well as fresh as one could be at this ungodly hour.

Enyd's look was somewhat amusing, the blood streaks still present around her face made her look more psycho. Thomas couldn't resist to smirk lightly before his face turned more serious again. His focus returning while he swung a few more shots over at Enyd, trying to avoid the nose area to be hit again, though one could never truly anticipate how their opponent would move to dodge blows...

Re: Day 17 [0425hrs] Thick Skull, Soft Heart

Reply #10
[ Lt. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Upper Gymnasium | D. 6 | V. 1 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Nolan

Enyd took a few more glancing blows as she got herself back into sparring mode. With her mind tracking the pulsing pain of her injured nose and the story of Thomas’ background with Victor, there was little left to focus on an attack. Instead, she kept up a defensive posture and moved in and out of reach, hoping to tempt Thomas into wearing himself out as she allowed some hits but ducked out of others in much the same way as he’d been doing earlier.

“Victor and I met years ago when I attended the Metternich on Vulcan. I was pursuing my masters there, and he was visiting, and we just happened upon each other one night.” She pivoted and twisted to avoid a hook before continuing. “We hit it off immediately, like two halves of one soul coming together, and went on an adventure the next day that featured the Vulcan equivalent of the kraken nearly eating us both.” Enyd smirked, ducking under a jab and landing a light tap against one of Thomas’ pecs before shifting out of reach. “Having survived chaos together, we exchanged contact information, and for nearly a decade, we kept in contact with one another, tracking each others’ careers, falling in love with one another, meeting one another’s families, getting engaged, dealing with the War…”

Enyd paused in her story to let loose a fury of attacks, the rapid switch from playful defensive to onslaught offensive coming out of nowhere. Frank had commented before that one of her greatest weapons, so to speak was her affable nature in a fight. Luring someone into a place of comfort with both her actions and demeanor doubly powerful when speaking casually of things. And then BAM, coming at them like a hellhound, pursuing them to all corners of the ring, taking a beating in return if necessary, but not letting up until she had hit enough to satisfy the bloodlust or was knocked out in the process.

Her aggressive advance lasted only a few moments, far less than if she’d entered this match fresh, but it had been enough to show the other side of the coin that was her fighting style. Panting, Enyd locked eyes with Thomas, their faces close from the press she’d put them into. If either of them gave way, it would be to the advantage of the opponent, opening up multiple spots for an attack. That was the danger of this type of press. If you went into it fatigued, you were guaranteed a loss, which Enyd knew she’d have if this had been a real fight, not just a sparring match.

“On Cardassia, I got embroiled in Intelligence-esque maneuvers, dropped in my lap thanks to my connection with the Castellan’s aide, who also happened to be my second fiance,” Enyd grimaced, not at her words, but at her failing strength, it was only a matter of moments before he’d be able to get past the press lock and land the "killing" blows, “wanting to protect Victor from his own heroic nature if things went south, which they did, I ended the engagement with him and cut myself off. Until our reunion onboard, we hadn’t seen or heard from one another in nearly three years.”

With the last of her brief retelling of a much more complex tale, Enyd’s strength failed her. Thomas would feel the sapped energy, and it would be easy as blowing over a playing card to knock her out and toss her to the floor. Enyd smiled at her sparring partner, curious which route he’d take now that it was obvious he could, and would, win. Not that it had ever really been questioned.

Re: Day 17 [0425hrs] Thick Skull, Soft Heart

Reply #11
[ Lt Cmdr. Thomas Ravon | Upper Gymnasium | D. 6 | V. 1 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Ellen Fitz

Enyd seemed to go more into a defensive stance and Thomas began to work on the continuous assault of punches. Most of them getting deflected as Enyd certainly seemed to have her guard up. In time, she spoke about her history with Victor and Thomas was surprised to hear that the both of them had been engaged prior. The backpack she and Victor carried had been more than extensive to say the least. In turn, Thomas did receive a few hits, though they were more or less like a reminder to stay focused on the task at hand.

That focus came just in time when Enyd unleashed a flurry of attacks on him. It pushed Thomas fully into the defensive and even while so, more hits were starting to prove as hits. While she went all out, Thomas let out a few groans and sighs as he tried to block off as much as he could. "Damn... It sounds like you two... Wasn't it weird to see one another again aboard Theurgy? I mean... It has to lead to some awkward situations?" he asked her with minor fatigue shining through his voice.

As quick and sudden as Enyd's assault began, it came to a stop. Enyd's own fatigue had seemed to set in as Thomas could notice her heavier breathing. His eyes peered into hers for a second as he felt like he could push the offensive now. He didn't though and remained in the press she had initiated. He kept listening to the continuation of story, only when she was done talking did he initiate the escape out of the press they were in. He could sense that Enyd didn't put up much if not anything of a fight. She seemed to be through her energy, perhaps even her reserves.

For a moment it looked like he would finish this session off with an assault of his own. Though the tale seemed to had hit a few strings inside the pilot. He lowered his fists and gave a light bow to her. "I think we can call the sparring session to an end here." he smiled faintly to her as he avoided her gaze for a few seconds. He wasn't sure which part of the story exactly had struck a nerve, or if it was perhaps the entirety of it. Changing his mind or at least attempting todo so, he glanced back towards Enyd "You know, that flurry is quite an unexpecting surprise if you'd use it in an actual fight... A bit off an all in kind of move though." he chuckled.

In the meantime he started to loosen up his own taping, biting to loosen it up at his wrist before starting to unwind it at his own pace. He had developed a bit of a sweat, though it wouldn't be enough for him to call himself exerted. The punching bag might have to serve for that purpose as he eyed it up. Though he wondered how Enyd was feeling, tired enough to leave him for now or would she linger?

Re: Day 17 [0425hrs] Thick Skull, Soft Heart

Reply #12
[ Lt. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Upper Gymnasium | D. 6 | V. 1 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Nolan

"Thank you, Lieutenant Arnold spars with me, coaches me, really. He's trying to get me to have longer bouts of that type of flurry." Enyd lightly pounded her fists against Thomas’ before heading off to get a much-needed swig or two of water.

Her body thrummed with a strange mixture of fatigue-ridden euphoria and the energy gleaned from meeting someone new. Instead of leaving her gear across the gym, Enyd carted the bag back with her, water bottle in hand, actively sipping at it with each step. Her sparring partner was already tugging at the tape on his hands, readjusting it, and looking ready for more action by the time she dropped her stuff on the bench and plopped down next to it to finish off her breather.

Now that her heart wasn’t hammering in her chest and pounding in her ears, Enyd could answer his earlier question. “It was wonderful, actually. Yes, odd, but wonderful.” Setting aside her water, Enyd grabbed her towel and began dabbing at it at her temple and neck. “I don’t know if you’ve had to sleep with many conversations left unhad, words left unsaid, emotions left hanging in the abyss, but being able to meet Victor again and work our way through what happened leading up to the break and then what happened after was very much an unexpected surprise. But it was akin to getting a second chance at something.” Enyd closed her eyes for a moment, breathing in deeply through her nose, holding the breath, then pushing it out in a rush. Regaining eye contact with Thomas, Enyd smiled. “At the end of it all, he and I are kindred spirits. We still love each other, but it is different now, of course.”

Eyeing the tape on his hands and the mat under his feet, Enyd quirked an eyebrow, “I don’t have it in me to do strength-on-strength, but I am still keen on working out some kinks. How do you feel about a bout of sha’mura or suus mahna?” Enyd stood, rolling her shoulders and shaking out her arms. “Or pick your poison of something a bit more bendy bendy and less punchy punchy? If you’d still like a partner, of course. I don’t want to presume your interest in bending me about the mat over a desire to pound it out with the bag.” Her eyes widened after a moment, and she sighed. “I did not intend that to sound as suggestive as it sounded.”

Re: Day 17 [0425hrs] Thick Skull, Soft Heart

Reply #13
[ Lt Cmdr. Thomas Ravon | Upper Gymnasium | D. 6 | V. 1 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Ellen Fitz

While Enyd sipped on her water bottle, Thomas evaluated his options. His head turned slightly towards her position as she replied to the question if things weren't odd between her and Victor. The answer was rather refreshing yet at the same time, it stabbed him right in the heart. Did he have to sleep with words unsaid, conversations unhad, emotions hanging? The loss of Zephyr had certainly been sudden, it wasn't like they didn't anticipate anything like this could happen. Though it happened inevitably and he never thought that he's be the one staying behind empty handed. Statistically, he should've been the one that hit the dirt. It was all wrong... Just like how he had lost Skye before Zephyr.

Thomas would probably look sunken in thoughts at this point to Enyd. The pain and sorrow shining through undoubtedly before he snapped out of it when Enyd pushed the air out of her nose in a rush. His eyes met Enyd's now and as she suggested to work out on something else but strength, the pilot raised a brow. The suggestion she had made to bend her about the mad instead of pounding the bag made the pilot blank out for a second before he tried to find the best, most adequate reply he could muster. "I prefer pounding over bending, though a healthy mix always makes a fun workout." he'd let the words settle in for now before giving a faint, almost painful grin, "Though I'm pretty sure you'd have an advantage on me if we're talking about bendy stuff. I've not performed in either of those techniques..."

"I'm happy to follow your lead for sha’mura or suus mahna, either works for me." he added and removed the tape on his fists entirely now. He did follow her lead to loosen up his muscles, arms, shoulders and hips as he imagined this would turn out to be a different kind of work out entirely. He wasn't sure if he'd be able to keep up with her, the risk of spraining any sort of muscle would be quite realistic. However, he needed to find new things to keep his mind busy, punching or sparring only helped so much, perhaps this form of art bending would occupy his mind more or longer. Besides if he sprained anything... It would take away the pain that continued to sear in his chest.

Re: Day 17 [0425hrs] Thick Skull, Soft Heart

Reply #14
[ Lt. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Upper Gymnasium | D. 6 | V. 1 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Nolan

Enyd noticed his pained expression and recognized the look. She’d given it to herself in the mirror more than once over the years, though more often after she’d survived the perils of the Directorate kidnapping and Javec had not. Knowing next to nothing about her sparring partner aside from what he’d been willing to share thus far, Enyd could only guess as to the origin of his grief and apparent need for distraction. It seemed he had something in common with Enyd, though; the need to press his body to the breaking point in order to process through the pain.

At his comment of preference, Enyd gave a playful smile. “I promise some pounding may be involved, depending on how many throws or falls occur. I’m sure you’ll get in more than a few, even if you are a novice in the art. You’re physique compared to mine allows you some wiggle room, no pun intended.”

Kicking off her shoes and socks, Enyd moved back to the middle of the mat and began a series of stretches, continuing the series until Thomas joined her and loosened up the coils of muscles he’d been using to fight her earlier. She broke the silence after a few moments of silent stretching, her voice casual, though her unvoiced intent was empathetic.

“After I lost my fiancé on Cardassia Prime, I was a mess. Nearly got kicked out of Starfleet, to be honest.” She nodded toward him as she pulled her arms over her head and stretched her triceps. “It was a lifesaver, getting posted on Vulcan. A distant cousin invited me to do a pilgrimage through the Forge to a shrine on a distant mountain. Pushing my body to its limits, having to fight the wilds and elements to survive, being on the edge of death for days at a time,” Enyd sighed, a mordant smile pulling at her lips, “it was exactly what the doctor ordered to get me through my grief. My grandmother always said I was stubborn as a mule in all things, and struggling to process through self-blame and grief were no different than not wanting to eat my vegetables at supper.”

Bouncing up and down a few times, Enyd crouched into a ready position. “I’m ready if you are.”

Enyd waited for his signal before she immediately lunged forward. If she could execute the move successfully, Enyd could use her open legs and quick movements to compromise Thomas’ ability to force his weight and use his balance to avoid her mounting choke. Grabbing fistfuls of Thomas’ shirt, she fell back onto the mat, wrapping her right leg around Thomas’ and hooking her foot at the back of his thigh. Using the physics of her momentum, Enyd swiveled on to twist under his legs as his body responded to her movements. Her hands gripping both his ankles while her feet hooked over the interior of his thighs, Enyd lifted herself up, pressing her knees against the back of his and following his body forward, quickly moving her grip from his ankles to his waist, allowing her body to be pulled into a mount position from behind.

Ideally, from here, she would move her right leg to hook around his right hip and anchor her left leg over her right ankle, putting her right arm around his neck, gripping her own left shoulder, and anchoring the arm in place by wrapping her left arm around the back of his neck. Except, she’d gone so long without practicing with a partner, Enyd ended up pulling Thomas’ body back against her, essentially causing the man to lie atop her while she wrapped her legs and arms around his hips and neck, in her best attempt to recover the goof her coach back on Vulcan would rap her wrists for making. Her face pressed close to the side of his as he lay atop her, Enyd grunted under his weight and in response to his movements. She’d forgotten to warn Thomas that these martial arts required VERY close proximity and a certain comfort with getting “intimately” acquainted with one’s sparring partner from all sorts of angles. Many found it intriguing that a race of beings who preferred a little touch as possible with non-mates would create a martial art requiring excessive touching in the choke holds, mounts, and throw attempts.

"How's it going?" She rasped out, her head turned slightly as she asked her question, lips brushing against his jawline.

Re: Day 17 [0425hrs] Thick Skull, Soft Heart

Reply #15
[ Lt Cmdr. Thomas Ravon | Upper Gymnasium | D. 6 | V. 1 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Ellen Fitz

When Enyd kicked of her shoes and removed her socks, Thomas did the same, if only for convenience. While shoes would give somewhat good footing, he imagined that the next activity would be better suited with bare feet. The contact with his feet on the mat would hopefully provide him with better footing than with shoes. Enyd mentioned some wiggle room though ensured the pilot that he'd be getting some pounding in depending how much he fell or threw, it caused for a light smirk to appear on his face whilst he got ready.

He wasn't expected to hear about the loss of her fiancé though and his face paled somewhat as he listened to her. It was adamantly clear that she had hit a nerve with him there. He didn't know what to answer her, his mind blanked out entirely and all he could do was give a light nod to her words to indicate if he was ready or not to begin.

If anythingthough, Thomas wasn't ready for what was about to come. His mind wasn't focussed, his body stood solidly, yet the impact of Enyd's lunge could easily bring him out of balance. The series of quick movements were something he hadn't expected at all. Even if he was paying more attention, he might've been able to offer some resistance, though he'd not be able to stop her as she quickly worked him down onto the mat with a loud thud. There was a saying he heard somewhere about high trees and falling, though it escaped him right now. He was pulled close to Enyd, his back against her as she finalized her grip on him and had him pinned down.

The close proximity was another thing Thomas hadn't really anticipated to. He could feel some details of Enyd's body pressing into his back now and her hands and arms were wrapped around him to keep him subdued, though he could feel how soft they were. It was different from the punching and kicking from before. He actually got to feel skin for a longer duration now and he grunted lightly before his mind brought him back truly to the here and now. Thomas was okay with physical contact, yet after his mind had wandered back to Zephyr he was once more at a loss for words or a reaction as Enyd asked him if he was okay.

It took a few seconds for him to actually answer her "Didn't expect this." he admitted to her with a faint smile and tried to figure out where exactly she had hooked her arms and legs in. He fell silent for a second before he opened up a little more to her, thinking it was only fir to share the story to her as she was this open to him. "I uh... I lost my own lover or well fiancée. We've... We've known each other since the academy. Never truly got together yet there was always this vibe around us and... After a falling out for years we were reunited here on our journey. Things didn't exactly go our way but in the end, we got together. We went hard and fast... As if we were catching up on the time we lost over all the years. Y'know?" he smiled as he reminisced and felt the intense pain of sorrow in his chest. Like a slow knife, it went deeper and further while twisting around at the same time.

"However, as bright and as hard our love burned in that period... I lost her... She died during the battle against House Mo'Kai. I'm still recovering from that in a way. Be it by keeping myself up at night, searching for ways to bite away the pain and to vent out the excess anger and rage that's brewing inside of me." he concluded with a sigh, offering little to no resistance to the hold Enyd was keeping him in. His eyes closed for a second as it was all out there now. To a complete stranger no less. He felt the need to apologize and he opened his eyes once more, feeling how they were slightly watery. "Either way, I shouldn't unload all my baggage on you like this." he murmured as Enyd's face was close against his.

Re: Day 17 [0425hrs] Thick Skull, Soft Heart

Reply #16
[ Lt. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Upper Gymnasium | D. 6 | V. 1 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Nolan

Listening to Thomas share his pain—and thereby explain much of his mannerisms and comments leading up to this point—had Enyd pausing. While she kept her hold on him, with her body now acting more like a cushy, interactive pillow on which he lay, she loosened her grip to be more a comfort than a threat as Thomas continued through his tale. Instinctively, as she listened quietly, her body began a subtle rock back and forth as her subconscious worked through her body to offer the comfort of a rocking embrace. When he finished with an apology, it was also natural for her to turn her head and press a kiss against his temple, tightening her hold a moment as if in a tight hug. She tasted the salt of his unshed tears and hugged him tighter.

“I am sorry for your loss, Thomas. But you honor me with your sharing.” She pressed another quick kiss to his temple before slowly unwrapping herself from around his body. “All of us have no other option but to live, love, and continue living even when things get difficult and our hearts are ripped to shreds by the pains of loss, betrayal, or neglect.” Scooting on her bum to sit parallel to him, her left hip pressed against his but facing opposite directions, Enyd leaned back on her right hand, “That’s why it’s important to do as you said you did, you know? Grabbing onto the ones we love and loving hard, because if we don’t, we lose out on what time we have in our hands, which is but each moment.” Enyd reached out with her left hand and cupped his jaw, keeping his gaze as she spoke, “I believe there is courage in sharing this pain. We fight best on the battlefield when we aren’t alone,” her thumb stroked across the stubble on his cheek before she dropped her hand back to her side, “and from personal experience, I’ve found I’m far more capable of fighting the demons that keep me up at night when I have someone fighting alongside me who knows what I’m fighting and won’t abandon me to them.” Raising her left knee, she pushed it against his back, a playful smile touching the edge of her lips. “I can help you tie some of your demons into knots if you like.”

Re: Day 17 [0425hrs] Thick Skull, Soft Heart

Reply #17
[ Lt Cmdr. Thomas Ravon | Upper Gymnasium | D. 6 | V. 1 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Ellen Fitz

It wasn't quite as obvious for the pilot as Enyd began to rock her body back and forth ever so lightly. He spoke on, unloading the heaviness that had rested on his heart for a while now. What the pilot did notice though was the gentle kiss that was placed against his temple. An effort to comfort him perhaps, yet also one of the most intimate kind of things he experienced since Zephyr had passed away. The pilot's brain froze and his instincts took over. He couldn't do this, he couldn't allow himself to get close to someone, not in this way. His muscles began to tense up, his breathing picking up to a faster rate as Enyd thanked him for sharing and kissed his temple once more. Once the hold she had kept him in was undone, he wanted to spurt out to create distance between the two of them.

However, his body froze and he didn't move an inch whilst his muscles continued to be tens up like a string on a bow, ready to be released. Enyd however continued to speak and as she got closer to him, Thomas could feel his body remind him of how soft the woman had felt in her grip on him. He had felt her breasts against his back and now, her hip pressed against his. Her words seeping into his thick skull, though the words only echoed in his head. Seemingly distant... Enyd continued to touch him, not shying away the physical contact as she cupped his jaw and held his gaze. The light caress against his cheek made his eyes water up. Her words lingered and Thomas tried to process them as he had formed balled fists in the meantime. The knuckles white as he pushed those fists into the mat.

He remained silent, letting her offer to help him tie his demons into knots float in the air. He felt a few tears run down along his cheeks and he clenched his jaws before shaking his head. "These demons... Keep me on edge. I can't allow myself to grow closer to anyone, in order to not create any more demons to haunt me at night." he said softly, seemingly willing to walk this path alone. Her words however did carry on to grind in his mind "Perhaps more fighting sessions like this could help the both of us. To feel a different kind of pain... To numb the ache that never seems to fade." he murmured before reaching out to Enyd, offering his hand to her to make a sort of deal.

"If you need help to fight your demons, I am more than willing to help you with it. As for my own... I fear the wounds of it are too fresh to be mended. I fear that I can't or won't love or interact with another as I have with Zephyr..." he said with a tremble in his voice. The gloomy future he had laid out for himself would require solitude, which in turn would be an ordeal as he was so used to physical contact.

Re: Day 17 [0425hrs] Thick Skull, Soft Heart

Reply #18
[ Lt. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Upper Gymnasium | D. 6 | V. 1 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Nolan

Only after she allowed her body to respond instinctively to his pain did Enyd remember that not everyone was keen on being kissed and comforted on a gym mat by a near stranger. If Thomas had let out a howl of anger and tossed her over his shoulder to fall against the weights near the wall, Enyd wouldn’t have faulted him for it. She hadn’t always been so open and quick with a physical response to pain. It seemed her recent relationship development with Alistair and her friendship with Zark had worn down her “polite society” responses and seemed to have left “everyone needs a hug” responses instead. Enyd mentally blamed Zark a bit more than Alistair for this development. While she was glad Thomas hadn’t decked her, Enyd felt the tension in his body; his muscles coiled in bunches in every place their bodies shared warm contact.

Even as traitorous tears leaked from the corners of his eyes, Thomas shook his head, making a claim not so different from her own claims before she’d come aboard the Theurgy and had found reconciliation with Victor and renewal with Alistair—and, of course, Zark in her own way. How many times had she howled her pain into the abyss, feeling damned for ever loving again? Until she’d found herself maddeningly drawn to Drauc in the arboretum, Enyd had despaired of having a heart to desire others with, so used to taking care of her physical needs while closing off the softer contours of her heart. It was true what Thomas said; the ache of a lost love never went away. Even now, as she felt corners of her heart ignite anew under the burgeoning development of entwined bodies and kindred souls with Alistair, Enyd remembered the absence of Javec, the sting of failure with Victor, and, more recently, the acrid rejection of Drauc. Those “demons,” as Thomas called them, would never leave her, and he was also correct in that, in their own way, they would continue to fuel her and drive her to be better, to do better.

Listening to the quality of his voice shift and morph as he grew more in charge of his emotions, Enyd watched him withdraw and stand. She would not counter his claims with lectures or testimonials on how self-isolation would not aptly protect his heart as he hoped it would. It wasn’t her place, and he certainly wasn’t in a position to receive it in any regard. She nodded at his words instead, offering more empathy and no judgment. “Physical exertion and success in the field both help that's for certain. But I don’t expect anyone will ever replace Javec. I don’t want them to, actually.” She smoothed her hands over her clothing and shifted on the mat, angling for a better launch point when she moved again. “I don’t want or need mending in those areas if that makes sense. Our relationship shaped me into who I am now, and no one and nothing can change that. Short of a mental violation, of course.” Enyd sighed; that was always a distinct possibility in this vocation. Looking back up to Thomas, her smile remained warm as she added, “I wish different for you, that it may arrive in its own time and way. And in the meantime, I gladly accept your offer to continue the grappling in the literal and figurative sense.”

Enyd took his hand, her smile shifting from empathetic sympathy to one that most leprechauns sported as they conducted tricks on the unsuspecting. Moving up into a deep lunge, a bastardized ginga position, she stepped forward quickly, angling her torso to shift behind Thomas’, her hips bucking up and under his, keeping her left shoulder braced at his waist and her left arm cocked at an angle, her hand blocking her face, her elbow pushing into the muscles of his gut, exhibiting a sudden downward pressure at the same time that her hips bucked upward. In contrast, her own torso arced up and back to aid in the off-balancing vingativa, a borrowed capoeira move eccentrically adjusted for this context. If he’d been the recipient of such a move before, he would know to pivot on his feet, twisting his torso, to get at her back if she likewise didn’t correct the position in time. Or he’d know to latch onto her shoulders and try to drive a knee up toward her face while pushing back in an equally dislodging move. However, if Thomas had never been the recipient of the move, and neither was he quick to adjust from emotional sharing to physical grappling, Enyd could score another topple on the larger man. Her body remained tense, firm, as she followed through with the action, curious and excited for how Thomas would respond.

They continued their sparring session for some time yet, both of them demonstrating their own unique expertise and sharing insights and tips as they were needed. By the time they called it a day and parted ways, Enyd felt physically exhausted, although emotionally happier for having made a new acquaintance. She intended for a long soak in a hot shower before embarking on the remainder of her day. Maybe have a wee nap as well.

 
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