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CH 2: S [Day 01 | 1700hrs] Cross on the Titan

[ Dominic Winters | Lower Gymnasium | Vector 2 | Deck 14 | The Ranger ATTN: @Ellen Fitz

Dominic had just finished his inspection of the fighter, meeting his new CO and had a run in the Exosuit. While it got modified and some cleaning done he headed for the larger Gymnasium to get some exercise in. It’d been a while, a long while since he had been in a fully equipped Gym. The Pirates sure had allot to offer though for their crews, even if it was scavenged and second hand. Or worse, Ferengi bought. Coming down to the somewhat active Gymnasium Dominic could see that there were a few people at the weights, a couple of staff were on the Yoga mats at the far end.

Dom headed into the locker room at the far end and stepped in, it was an empty locker room and rather clean. The smell of disinfectant lingered heavy in the air as someone had come through and cleaned it recently. Finding an empty locker and stripping down, Dom headed to the replicator and replicated himself a set of clean workout clothes for his particular size. Naturally, a reasonably form fitting shirt and a pair of workout pants for himself. Changing into them after a quick dip into the sonic shower, Dominic got a towel replicated and headed back out to the floor. First to the mats to warm up. Spending roughly fifteen to twenty minutes of warming up his arms, core and legs with slow, easy, comfortable stretches.

Then he headed over to the Cardio area, treadmills and assault bikes. He got to the treadmill and did a solid 5K run as a start and then some intervals. Once his cardio had been given a good start up he shifted over to the weights. Dominic enjoyed working the benches with some presses, angled presses and then did a set of 21s. The large feline admired his form and his impressive musculature as he flexed with every motion in the mirrors. The variable gravity helped his workout, allowing him to use heavier weight without having to apply more weights to the bar.

Eventually, after easily forty-five minutes or so of his workout, Dom took a breather, a drink, and headed for the boxing bags. Most folks were doing their own thing or working in pairs with each other, some complimented him on his form and he gave them in turn. The Bags were his next target, strapping his hands and then slipping on gloves, not full boxing gloves but rather the sorts used by martial artists with the fingers missing. By now he’s worked himself up and now it’s time to start delivering. He started slow with the bag, pouches and kicks delivered lightly as the big boy got his form on and slowly began to work his way up to a consistent and aggressive assault on the bag. He’s pulling his strength rather significantly as to avoid damaging the bag. The people around him faded off into a bit of a blur as he focused with intent on the bag to solidly beat it into the floor. Well, try to. He eventually stopped the assault on the rather badly beaten bag and took a break. Leaving the proverbial floor open for any keen to chat!

Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 1700hrs] Cross on the Titan

Reply #1
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Lower Gymnasium | D. 14 | V. 2 | “Ranger” of USS Theurgy] ATTN: @Krajin

As soon as his shift on the bridge ended, Cross headed towards the gymnasium. He had about five hours before he needed to check back in with the bridge for any updates, though a full eight before he had to report back. In that time frame, he intended to follow the doctor’s orders. His compliance necessary for the sake of the mission and his own sanity. Since his body was still learning how to regulate itself now that it was fully Vulcan, a fact that he’d pretty much ignored ever since the Savi had fucked him over, it was imperative that he create habits of body and mind that kept his new “norm” in check.

According to the doctor, Cross needed to balance his HIIT workouts and weight lifting with more resistance training and martial arts. Vulcan sha’mura was a good start, according to the doctor, since it required both mental willpower and physical effort, inducing an almost constant pain from the movement’s intensity and repetition that his Vulcan body required to dissipate the pent-up hormones. However, for variety, he’d been encouraged to investigate other martial arts, even calisthenics. Since Cross was not inclined to follow the traditional Vulcan meditation discipline, he needed as much variety as possible in his physical and culinary regime for his mind to fall into a semi-meditative state as it assessed the new and balanced that with the known. As odd as it seemed, Cross figured it’d work and was game for it as long as it kept those damn headaches away and his rage levels down.

Clad in a black t-shirt and matching black exercise shorts, the Vulcan entered the gym and made a bee-line for a set of open mats near the boxing area of the gym. He’d warm up with some light calisthenics, do max level for a few reps on the weights, and then incorporate some Krav Maga drills for a short thirty to forty-five-minute session. He still needed to shower, eat, and rest, with his next mission to add more variety into the “culinary” portion of the doctor’s orders. That meant eating somewhere other than the mess hall.

Aside from a massive Kzinti mauling the boxing bag, no others were on this side of the gym. Nodding to a few of the crew as he passed by, Cross eventually settled himself into the first set of calisthenic movements. He was launching into the second set when the tiger-like man finished his set and stood next to the swinging remains with a hyper-focused look about his feline features. This was either the Kzinti that had just come out of stasis or the one who’d come in via transfer. He figured he was about to figure out which one. Cross found the timing of both their arrival a boon in their favor. He’d always respected Kzinti resolve and cunning and trusted these men would add much to the crew.

Cross cleared his throat. “Which commanding officer’s face did you picture?” His questioning voice was light with mirth as he continued his calisthenic warm-up.

Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 1700hrs] Cross on the Titan

Reply #2
[ Dominic Winters | Lower Gymnasium | Vector 2 | Deck 14 | The Ranger ATTN: @Ellen Fitz

While Dominic took a deep breath and relaxed his form some as he heard footsteps approaching him from his left. The large male glanced over and looked to what he saw was a Vulcan approaching him. There is no recognition of the man though at all. He is bald though! Which is a strange one seeing as every vulcan he’d ever met always sported similar, straight, perfectly trim cuts that framed their faces.

Even the women tended to have these perfect, logical, orderly things. Rarely did he see one go freestyle unless they were a Romulan in disguise. Not even a beard or a mustache. “Who did I picture? Well that would be telling. Would also get me in trouble. Besides, what I was envisioning would also get me in trouble. Or the side eye.” Dominic responded

“Not to mention I would be hitting it harder. Allot harder.” His ears twitched in that manner of a Kzinti smile if someone knew their body language. Usually replicated smiles could scare people as they showed his impressively well-kept teeth. Even with the canines that settled like saber teeth. “I’m Lieutenant Dominic Winters, Atlas. Wolf-10 Pilot.” He introduces himself to Cross.

Though he did attempt the Vulcan salute. Looking at his furry hand and now others would see his four-digit fingers. He has to flex his hand a bit as he does the Vulcan V “I think it is... Live long and Prosper? Or was it Peace and Long life? Eh. I am trying.” He gave an inclination of his head to the man.

Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 1700hrs] Cross on the Titan

Reply #3
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Lower Gymnasium | D. 14 | V. 2 | “Ranger” of USS Theurgy] ATTN: @Krajin

Cross nodded his understanding, “I know it doesn’t win me friends to admit I most often picture a Bajoran asshole when I’m swinging at the bag.” His mind’s eye was temporarily filled with the image of the Bajoran prisoner who’d killed both the Cardassian guard he’d considered semi-familial and his lab-sister BaB. “I’ve been told it isn’t the ‘correct’ thing to admit to,” he continued with a sardonic smirk twisting his features, “not since the Bajorans took so much shit from the Cardassians but,” Cross shrugged, pushing up from his crouched position, “it isn’t the only thing I’m not ‘correct’ for so nothing new there.”

His eyebrows drew upward as the Kzinti fumbled through the traditional Vulcan greeting. It was a glaring reminder to Cross that this man had no clue who Cross was or his background, and, in all fairness, Cross hadn’t a fucking clue about the Kzinti either, aside from what he’d offered just now and the skim-over he’d done on the man’s file alongside the others brought to his attention. Since he was the pilot, Cross at least gathered this was the transfer and not the stasis-revived Kzinti.

“After being liberated from the Cardassian science lab I was rehabilitated by a human and a Vulcan. K’Shem was her name, and she’d be the first to tell you that such efforts are wasted on the likes of me. I’m likely one of her greatest failures, though she’d never admit it.” Cross grunted and gave an amused half-shrug, holding out his hand in the traditional Terran gesture of greeting. “Cross. Lieutenant Commander. Glad to have you onboard, Winters.” Looking back to the swaying bag, Cross snorted. “I, uh, normally would offer myself as a sparring partner if you needed one, but,” he laughed, bringing his gaze back to Winters’ face, “I have the convenient excuse presently of not having the leisure of spending the next few days in sickbay healing from getting my ass handed to me. That being said, I was going to hit the weights and do so Krav Maga drills if you’d care to join.”

Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 1700hrs] Cross on the Titan

Reply #4
[ Dominic Winters | Lower Gymnasium | Vector 2 | Deck 14 | The Ranger ATTN: @Ellen Fitz

Dominic listened intently as Cross explained his side and perspective of things.His tail twitched slightly as the man brought up correctness that folks seemed to be in on. “To be quite honest, I am not a creature for political correctness. Or correctness in general. If a Bajoran is an asshole then an asshole they are. Doesn’t matter what they’ve been through. I’ve met my own fair share who were complete dickheads during the conflict. Always using what they have suffered through as a means to bludgeon people with guilt to get their way or lean into the ‘woe is me’ bullshit.” He spoke rather candidly, feeling comfortable enough to do so since Cross, the head of tactical was doing so!

“Hated it. Granted, I hate Cardassians and the Dominion with as much fury considering my own treatment at their hands and what I witnessed during the conflict. Honestly correctness isn’t something I dig. You’re fine with me if you want to be ‘incorrect’. I’ll just be upfront in turn if it pushes a button. Sound fair?” He asked with a twitch of the ears.

“It’s unfortunate that your mentor considered you a failure, you’ve not gone mad or turned into a Romulan spontaneously because you never became coldly logical." He does shake Cross’ hand when it is offered and does not deliver a bone-crushing shake. He’s not one of those sorts. “Why not spar? I trained in Judo, Kickboxing, Suus Mahna and the Lirpa, plus a touch of that stuff the Klingons do. I did not do well with Suus Mahna but I learned a great deal of self-control with my physical strength. Same with in Judo, kickboxing.” He added.

“Besides, I’ve only ever intentionally hospitalized one officer outside of the Academy. So I can pull my strength and know how to apply it properly. Or else they wouldn't of let me into Parisses Squares, Ice Hockey or Football. Besides, you’re a Vulcan. Physically speaking your species is rather tough and twice or more the strength of the average Human. You could handle me. In fact you and Avandar Lok so far would be the only ones.”

“More than happy to be your spotter if you’re still not keen. Or be on the receiving end of some Krav Maga drills if you want to run them. Throw more strength behind it eh?” He offered. “Just no shots to the groin or grabbing my tail and injuring it. I’ll take that personally.”

Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 1700hrs] Cross on the Titan

Reply #5
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Lower Gymnasium | D. 14 | V. 2 | “Ranger” of USS Theurgy] ATTN: @Krajin

“Let’s spar then,” Cross gestured to the mat before heading briefly to another area to grab some tape for his hands. “I don’t think I’ve pissed you off enough to warrant an ass-kicking just yet, so I’ll trust your word when you claim knowing how not to rip a guy’s head off accidentally.”

Cross chuckled as he turned back to face the Kzinti, lips pulled back in a sardonic smile. He grabbed a pair of sparring mitts for the larger man to hold while Cross did the drills, intending to switch after a time. After tossing the gloves to Winters, Cross continued.

“As for the Vulcan physicality, I’m still getting used to that. Used to be a hybrid, part Bajoran. A lab experiment cooked up by the Cardassians along with a whole slew of other test tube combinations. Only a handful survived as far I know, and if the Bajroan ‘liberators’ had had their way, I probably wouldn’t be here.”

The Vulcan followed through with a series of stretches and joint rotations as he prepared his body. Neither of them was wearing the proper judo uniform to merit true “jacket wrestling,” as Cross had heard it called once, and neither was Cross of a mind to change his outfit.

“I’ve had to make some adjustments and I’m still learning the ropes, in a matter of speaking, of being full-blooded Vulcan since the Savi were kind enough to ‘fix’ me and a number of others on Theurgy.” Cross didn’t hesitate to let the malice creep into his voice as he summarized the torment they’d gone through. “And some were beyond ‘fixing,’ so they were recycled.” Dropping his arms back to his sides, Cross jutted his chin toward the Kzinti. “I’ll do a jab, cross jab, arm trap, knee, pivot, elbow drill first.” He mimed the moves as he spoke.

As the men squared off and the Vulcan eased into the first drill, Cross spoke in between movements, commenting on some of Winters’ earlier comments.

“You know,” he jabbed, “I didn’t get this rank on the backs of political correctness.” Cross jab, arm trap. “I learned an old Terran term from my human mentor.” Knee, grunt, knee, pivot. “In the Marines of the old Terran armed services, a Mustang was an officer who was once enlisted before commissioning.” Cross swiftly delivered the finishing elbow against the sparring mitt, then returned to the starting position to do the drill again, only faster. “While that doesn’t necessarily apply to me, the concept was you have a man, or woman, who gets the job done and doesn’t give enough of a fuck about politics to get embroiled so long as the mission is completed. That concept applies.”

Cross finished the second drill and immediately moved in for a third, increasing his speed and strength with each successive set. Once he felt his body was sufficiently warmed up, Cross stepped out of the strike zone to mime the next drill he’d do: jab, cross, elbow, headbutt, clinch, knee, pivot and push.

He paused and shook his head. “There’s nothing dignified or correct about conflict once it gets to the violence level, and the lofty idea of maintaining respect and honor in a fight is what kills more people than saves them.” He sighed before nodding again to Winters and starting into the next drill. “They say the victors write the history, but those victors were once victims, and quite often, they use their victory to make dumbass propaganda to excuse the atrocities they committed to become victors.” Cross grunted as he committed to the last pivot and push then readied himself for another round. “Would it surprise you to note that I’m not the diplomatic corps’ preferred officer to go to in a clinch?”

Cross maneuvered through a few more sets and another drill involving more clinches and lunges before he stopped and gestured for Winters to hand over the mitts so they could switch. Cross was marginally winded and had worked up a fine sheen of sweat.

“What idiot grabbed your tail and lived?”

Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 1700hrs] Cross on the Titan

Reply #6
[ Dominic Winters | Lower Gymnasium | Vector 2 | Deck 14 | The Ranger ATTN: @Ellen Fitz

Dominic’s ears twitched at the compliment that he in his mind received concerning his restraint on not accidentally pulling off someone’s head. Luckily he had been good enough not to have actually ripped off someone else’s arms off in a fight. At least that had been recorded in some fashion or another. Actions in close quarters during the Dominion war notwithstanding. Dominic listened rather intently as Cross explained things and set himself up, grabbing the pads and adjusting the straps to fit his large hands and got ready.

“So these Savi Extra-Terrestrials ‘fixed’ people and then murdered the others who didn’t match their bogus view of life?” He asked “Come on, hit the pads. I can take a good hit.” He encouraged Cross, hearing his explanation and adjusting the pads to match. Dom had good reflexes and kept tracking Cross’ motions and braced his arms lightly just before the impact was made. “If the Savi tried that with me I would tear their arms out and feed them back to them.” The Kzint growled in reply. Not at all happy about the idea. “Already been poked and prodded enough in life. Get enough when I get medically assessed.” He huffed.

“You know I’ve heard about that, in old war films from Earth when I grew up there. Though they would claim their Motto to be ‘I did it the Hard way’ or something like that when they achieved their commission.” Dominic added. “So you’re saying you’d do whatever it takes to get the job done? Even if the politics behind it are wrong?” He asked. A sore question for some for sure.

Once Cross had sufficiently warmed up and Dominic had began to learn how the Vulcan’s body moved and the strength he put out. He shook out his hands with the pads still attached and got ready once more. “I would have to disagree with you concerning respect and honour in a fight. These can have a place in a War. In a fight, you do what you must to win. As long as you don’t sell or destroy your own soul in the process. No conflict, no organization is worth that.” He tossed in. Catching the motions Cross delivered with the pads as needed.

“History is perception, perspective. My Father told me something once. ‘To us, we are the heroes of our own stories. To the enemy, we are their villains.’ Our victors will tell the story from their perspective and polish it as they see fit. After all, we all have our skeletons.”

He laughed at the question of Cross being Diplo’ Corps final choice in a clinch. “I can agree! I know the feeling. I have zero tolerance for other people's bullshit. Angry, yelling... It's why they kept me out of security. I lacked the… temperament to tolerate and de-escalate conflicts. I handled them rather directly.” Dominic mused.

Following the drill Dominic kept with it until Cross came to his stop. Unstrapping them and adjusting the straps for Cross’ smaller hands. “Who? A few people tried it and learned quickly there are consequences. A School Bully tried. Nearly got my furry hide expelled when he had to get his face sutured together. That one stands out the most in my memory. Some Jem’Hadar tried to exploit it and wound up on their arse. Makes for a great way to sweep the unsuspecting off their feet. There was also Risa but I don’t think you’d want to hear about that.” He chuckled.

Wrapping his hands and then fitting his appropriately sized practice gloves on and adopted a similar posture to what Cross had. “I’ll try to replicate your first drill. Eh?” He readies himself, when Cross was ready with the mitts. He began a slow, routine of accurate, yet weak strikes to get the rhythm of it going first. Jab, cross-jab, arm trap, knee, pivot and elbow. Though he did throw in a tail sweep on the pivot once just to throw Cross off and see how well he landed on the padded training mat they were on!

Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 1700hrs] Cross on the Titan

Reply #7
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Lower Gymnasium | D. 14 | V. 2 | “Ranger” of USS Theurgy] ATTN: @Krajin

Cross sighed, shaking his head in resignment. “Trying to tell the difference between the Savi that aren’t fuckers and those that are is more difficult than trying to determine if a pointy-eared hobgoblin is merely a prissy Romulan or a typical Vulcan.” He rolled his shoulders before answering Winters’ question. “I don’t think it is wise to turn off your mind or morals while on a mission, which I suppose is connected to what you said about ‘honor’ in a fight. And the excuse of ‘I was just following orders, ’ but those orders were absolute shit, and you knew they were is a bunch of crock. Suppose the successful completion of the mission lends itself to keeping the crew safe and is in line with supporting the mission of Starfleet and the Federation before they went tits up with the Infested. In that case, I think there’s a time when boots on the ground need to do the mission and leave the politics to the politicians and the diplomats.”

Cross was ready for the turnabout in their sparring, cracking a smile of delight when Winters added a tail sweep on his pivot. He loved a challenge like that and excelled at responding to the unexpected. Cross gave Winters nonverbal praise and encouragement to continue with that sort of training, reflecting on the Kzinti’s anecdotes about tail-pulling.

“When you set me up with a story like that, starting with military-esque incidents and then mention Risa, you bet your furry ass I want to hear about Risa.” Cross laughed. “Let me guess, folks are as obsessed with your tail as they tend to be with pointed ears?” He used a mitt to point towards his own ears, only barely bringing the mitt back down in time to catch one of Winters’ jabs. “I’ve never spent much time on Risa. Always found the concept a bit…intimidating. I feel more confident and comfortable facing down a half dozen Jem’Hadar than a half dozen scantily clad ladies on a Risan beach. I can concentrate and think more clearly in the one situation more so than the other, and I’ll let you deduce which.”

Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 1700hrs] Cross on the Titan

Reply #8
[ Dominic Winters | Lower Gymnasium | Vector 2 | Deck 14 | The Ranger ATTN:

Dominic couldn’t help but laugh at the comparison between a prissy Romulan and a standard-issue Vulcan being called hobgoblins. “Well I have a sure-fire way to tell the difference. See where the Reman is lurking.” Which, to be fair to Dominic, the Remans did look more like Hobgoblins and Nosferatu in some form or another. Though were supposedly great for a lay.

Delivering a quick jab as he finalized the first of the cycle that they had started, Dominic added. “So I am curious then why you say Honour and Respect have no place in the battlefield. Yet you should not switch off the mind or the morals. Wherein many species and cultures build their Honour codes and morals around each other.” He adjusted his stance slightly and began the drill a touch quicker, roughly twenty percent quicker to test how Cross’ own reflexes were. Jab, cross-jab, arm trap, then knee with a pivot followed by the elbow.

“Klingons have a code of honour and their morals are built around it.” Jab, Cross, catch, and trap the arm. “Even Kzint have a code of honour of a sort, even if they only apply it to themselves. Which I don’t quite understand. Racial superiority? Or is it religious?”

“Sometimes we need to decide what we are willing to sacrifice for the mission, for the ship, for the many. Those choices can suck and we can moralize them after the fact when we have more information than we did in the moment. So, where do you really stand?” Dominic finished with the elbow to the pad.

Stepping back to give Cross a moment to recover while Dom stretched a bit and demonstrated his next set. The Jab, cross, elbow, tail-sweep, knee, pivot and push. Adding his own into the mix as he is a fair bit taller to make a headbutt from him practical.

“Risa is a lark to go and visit for some R&R. Unless you’re not keen on a place where swimsuits and light casual wear is borderline mandatory and the hedonism rampant and thankfully, Ferengi free!” He laughed. “Some people can be very much obsessed with the tail like some are with the pointy ears. They like to touch the pointy ears and see if stroking the tips makes you squirm or shudder?” Dominic asked between strikes. The tail-sweep getting employed in alternate directions to make it less predictable.

“Being a Kzint who isn’t a dick to people you get attention on Risa. They want to sit, pet the tail, and stroke it.” He laughed which threw off his rhythm a bit. He took a moment to right himself and then started up again. “I got a lot of attention which did result in a few public adventures. Word to the wise, don’t try doing it on sand. It likes to boldly go.” He chuckled some more. “Was a real thing when I visited Japan and hit the onsens in various cities. Some people liked the uh.. Giant beast man vibe I put out. Mixed Gender ones were the most amusing for that.” Dominic added.

“I deduce you can focus on the soldiers rather than the ladies. Vulcans have that whole, do the deed every seven years or else they go feral thing going for them. Maybe for you its the hormones distracting you, the raging surge through the body. Inexperience or maybe.. Just being a male.” He teased lightly.

Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 1700hrs] Cross on the Titan

Reply #9
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Lower Gymnasium | D. 14 | V. 2 | “Ranger” of USS Theurgy] ATTN: @Krajin

Winters was good with his tail sweep additions to the sparring. He appreciated the variations as they kept him physically engaged while the conversation tugged at his mind. He supposed this duality was part of what his body needed to keep the headaches at bay since so many of the traditional Vulcan meditation techniques were a mixture of honing the two, physical and mental. Cross worked to keep the grin neutral, not wanting to confuse the Kzinti with his beam of delight.

“I don’t want my heart surgeon to be mussed with emotions while she’s cutting into me. Likewise, I don’t want my pilot to give in to crippling insecurities while we’re in the midst of an escape. The emotional or philosophical concepts of honor and respect can only be manifested after the crisis is adverted and you are presented with enough of a lull to use the empathy or emotions or what have you to assess. Like you said, having to make the hard choices sucks balls, and it isn’t healthy to try to moralize them at any time really, not if you want a long career in command. You keep yourself highly trained, keep yourself up to date and on the cutting edge of what’s out there, stay informed, know your people, and employ the tactics you believe fit the scenarios. I see it as more precision and follow-through than inviting discussions on the morality of honor and respect. Granted, the precision, follow-through, and preparation before the crisis can and should be based on a values system suitable for the culture. And, of course, our values system may come into discord with another culture’s, hence the crisis.”

Cross appreciated the brief lull in the conversation and sparring to do a few stretches and bounces to loosen up before Winters launched into another set and adjusted the conversation accordingly.

"Loosely connected to the ear-obsession, I have to confess one of the vainest things I ever did was not about my ears but about my cock.” Cross chuckled. “When the Savi ‘fixed’ me, my Bajoran physical features receded, including the ridges on my cock. So, thinking that it may help me adjust to being in this new version of me, I went to have the ridges on my cock surgically…reinstalled? In any case, it was one of the most awkward procedures of my life.”

He waited while Winters laughed, the rhythm of the sparring thrown off momentarily. Cross laughed at the mental image the Kzint drew for him.

“It isn’t the hormonal shit for me. I never really had the same issues with pon farr or only wanting to fuck once every seven years. I just crash and burn when it comes to talking romantically with women. To the point that aside from potential drunken escapades I still don’t remember and my own hand, I never scored until just this year. It is a sheer miracle that I managed to score the woman I'm with now. She's far superior to me in so many ways, and she deals with my foot-in-mouth syndrome whenever we talk about anything unrelated to work, which is a testimony to her good graces.”

Cross laughed, earning himself a knock to the shoulder for his lowered guard. Aside from reeling back a few steps, he was unharmed and waved a hand to reassure Winters as such.

“Why the cockpit, if you don’t mind my asking?”

Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 1700hrs] Cross on the Titan

Reply #10
[ Dominic Winters | Lower Gymnasium | Vector 2 | Deck 14 | The Ranger ATTN: @Ellen Fitz

Dominic happily continued with the new forms up until he landed a blow to Cross’ shoulder and he quickly took to watching how the Vulcan reacted to the hit. He is unharmed! Good! When Cross was ready to get back into it, Dominic began to adjust his approach to the sparring again to make things interesting. Cracking his neck in a slightly intimidating manner Dom adopted into his stance which for Krav Maga was pretty average at best and filled with flaws at worst for his build and body shape.

“So you got your cock augmented with ridges for... Aesthetics?” He asked slightly surprised. But then again it wasn’t as surprising as many would think. Dom had heard of others who got certain augments done to themselves for cosmetics purposes. “Okay. That is not the vainest thing I have heard as you just got something you are used to put back where you remember it being. Nothing wrong with that.” He stepped in to start with the motions. He mixed it up with a push, trip, or a surprisingly gentle throw to the ground that didn’t end with an impact as Dom would catch the man by the shirt or limb.

“Considering I’ve known men who had gotten themselves augmented when they learned that the Caitan, Ferasan, or otherwise that their girlfriend had dated prior was on average bigger than them. Or they have other reasons for size augments." He chuckled lightly. “At least you didn’t get a tattoo on it, especially one of a currency you are familiar with.” Well, this sparring match took a fascinating turn of talking about penis augmentation! “Don’t think of it as vain though, or try not to mate. Think it more as a means of helping you adjust and adapt into becoming whole of mind, body and spirit.”

He could pick up on the headache, the need to perhaps think and keep both sides engaged. “From my limited understanding, Krav Maga teaches you how to react. Think quick!” He would step in close to Cross’ personal space with his left hand snapping out to grab him by the left arm and in an attempt, to shift the Vulcan while the Kzint hybrid got behind and attempted to wrap his right arm around the other’s neck while pulling his left arm down. Dominic is not employing his strength to any degree here beyond the minimum. This was purely to engage the Vulcan’s mind into something surprising and let him flex and escape.

However he would do it, Dom’s features lit up in happiness even if the reaction might be a bit bad. He still got the man to react!

“I relate to your position with foot in mouth! But do not undervalue yourself in any way when it comes to women. Confidence comes with experience and time.” He added.

“Why the cockpit? Long story Short. I got an offer I couldn’t refuse. Battle of Toros III I flew the Akira like I stole it from start to finish of that battle. Akira was stuck at Utopia Planetia for repairs since it got savaged despite it all and I joined the first Peregrine Squadrons on the Thunderball. There’s a certain freedom to flying on your own in such a vessel. The views, the expanse.” He looked to be reminiscing on the whole thing.

“Every time I go out is a test and I don’t need to hold back. High G turns, reactions at a pace I can push and more. It’s an experience. There’s allot to it.” Glancing over to Cross. “Why Tactical?”

Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 1700hrs] Cross on the Titan

Reply #11
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Lower Gymnasium | D. 14 | V. 2 | “Ranger” of USS Theurgy] ATTN: @Krajin

Cross chuckled, “Well, I’m not sure how familiar you are with Bajoran anatomy, but ridges are standard for the race and, yeah, like you said, I was just trying to go back to something I was used to while I worked to find my new norm. Even now, new symptoms crop up that fuck up my day. Headaches, namely, of late. But the doc has me on a new type of therapy, and this,” he waved to the space between them as they sparred, “helps, too.”

Winters made a quick move to get Cross into a headlock and partially succeeded as his mind had been half on the image of his own cock and half on the idea of getting a bigger one to satisfy a Caitian. With a shift of his hips, Cross got one thigh behind one of Winters’, a quick flick of his free hand tapped just above the genital area of the Kzin, letting the larger man know he knew of a way to get out of the hold but wouldn’t execute it thoroughly out of respect.

Soon enough, they were facing each other again, and the conversation continued. While an appreciator of flying and what it had to offer, Cross had never felt called to the concept of piloting. Not in the way tactical made sense. It was about then that Winters asked that very question: why tactical?

“Probably has something to do with my origins. No parents, just genetic donors. My entire existence is due to someone’s tactical schemes of engineering super soldiers. Instead of balking at pursuing a career in tactical because of those very origins, I embraced it. Planning ahead, staying ahead, pivoting when necessary, having a backup to the backup, remaining at peak function so regardless of circumstances, you can respond and not merely react…it just seems correct. It feels good to offer options when it seems like a no-option scenario. It’s also satisfying to be a part of the process of keeping everyone at their maximum for training and abilities while also keeping a keen eye out for any new tech or training that could lend a further edge. It isn’t about wanting a fight but knowing how to end one quickly if it is started and to end it in such a way that something can be built from the end.”

Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 1700hrs] Cross on the Titan

Reply #12
[ Dominic Winters | Lower Gymnasium | Vector 2 | Deck 14 | The Ranger ATTN: @Ellen Fitz

“I am very unfamiliar with Bajoran anatomy. Outside of the earrings they wear which I think is.. Religious?” He seemed to be unsure of that. “Are you telepathic? Or developed the Vulcan ability of Touch-Telepathy?” Dominic asked curiously as he adjusted from the original, impending threat of a strike to the groin as a means of escaping the headlock. Something Dominic was rather thankful that this was not executed, hits to the groin were taken rather personally and Dom had been known in the past to get particularly rough with people.

Stepping back a moment to give them some space he listened to Cross’ explanation. Seemed the two shared some sort of origins in a distant kind of manner. Both were engineered to be soldiers, warriors though it seemed through distinctly different methods. The hybrid took a little bit to passively read Cross’ surface emotions as he described the whole thing. “I’d joke that would sound very Vulcan in nature with how you describe tactical but! Vulcans as far as I know tend to be more about if it works, it works and don’t change it if it is adequate.” He shrugged.

“In some ways it does kind of overlap as a Pilot in that regard, though it's covering ourselves or our squadrons if we’re leads.” Trying to think a bit, Dominic adopted a more comfortable posture, his ears twitching as he looked to Cross. “Have you tried a Mind Meld? Or anything of the sort? Headaches could be burgeoning Telepathy that could use a little outlet or exploration.” He offered the Vulcan. “As far as I know, all Vulcans are telepathic in that way and I learned from my teacher in Suus Mahna, that some Vulcans can learn different techniques in Telepathy.”

He began to pace slightly as the Kzint was still quite wired and keen to engage in some physical activity. “Shall we spar? Or get into some other movements?” He enquired. “I am rather keen to see what you can do.”

Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 1700hrs] Cross on the Titan

Reply #13
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Lower Gymnasium | D. 14 | V. 2 | “Ranger” of USS Theurgy] ATTN: @Krajin

“Sparring sounds good.” While they geared up, Cross answered the Kzin’s questions. “I’m not telepathic, or at least when I was a hybrid, I wasn’t. And I did do a mind meld with our Vulcan counselor recently, and that went fuck sideways.” He didn’t add any further details, namely that she was his lover now, no thanks to that fiasco. “The meld didn’t seem to help much, but the doc I saw earlier thinks that the headaches are probably connected to my newly activated Vulcan genes making themselves known. The sensory increase has been a nuisance and yeah, you’re probably right, I’ve probably just been gift-wrapped the ability to do touch telepathy and all that fuckery.”

Once geared up with gloves and shin guards, Cross reached further back in the conversation to comment on the Bajoran culture. “Yeah, the earrings are religious. My mentors gave me one along with a token of Vulcan culture. Though I’d never wanted to connect deeply with either culture because of my origins, they’d felt it important to provide the tokens just in case I changed my mind down the road.” Cross snorted, pounding his gloved fists together. “Now the earring is useless, genetically speaking.”

As they squarred off Cross waited until Winters’ weight was on his front leg. Once he noticed the weight shift, Cross conducted an outside foot sweep, sweeping his leg all the way through as he also used his cross jab to assist in upsetting Winters’ center of gravity. Considering the Kzin’s demonstrated reflexes, Cross didn’t expect the leg sweep to work and immediately adjusted his stance to accommodate a failed leg sweep for a quick darted cross jab, following up with another low kick towards the man’s torso before pacing back into a solid stance, curious when Winters would employ his tail, not if.

Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 1700hrs] Cross on the Titan

Reply #14
[ Dominic Winters | Lower Gymnasium | Vector 2 | Deck 14 | The Ranger ATTN: @Ellen Fitz

Dominic geared up as Cross explained his situation some more. “Touch telepathy can be quite fun I wager. You can do the Vulcan neck pinch and actually pull it off.” He said with a grin. He slipped his gloves on and put some head protection on in case they went for head blows and shin guards. “No shots to the groin or else I take it very personally.” He warned and balled his hands to fists and tapped them together.

“I reckon given time you’ll be able to adapt to the Vulcan genetics well. As for the culture.. Well. Genetics play only a small part in our cultures, just look at me.” He shifted his weight slightly as Cross came in to strike with a leg sweep. His ears naturally through sheer reflex pinned to the sides of his head for protection. When the leg sweep came in he let it make contact and swept his leg with it to the side, shifting his balance to the other foot with his tail acting as an added counter to his balance. It threw his center of balance off enough for a moment that he had to adjust his footing and as the cross punch came in, he parried the punch with one forearm towards the outside and returned fire with a quick and light punch with the other towards Cross’ Torso to try and disrupt his own rhythm of attack. Then followed it up with a quick turn for a feint with a leg sweep which was to mask a quick tail sweep that followed right behind it!

Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 1700hrs] Cross on the Titan

Reply #15
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Lower Gymnasium | D. 14 | V. 2 | “Ranger” of USS Theurgy] ATTN: @Krajin

“I wouldn’t dream of personally offending you, Winters. At least not without a will and testimony already written.” Cross chuckled as they readied themselves for the next round.

They both operated by instinct and flowed well together for the first few moments of sparring. It was relaxing, being able to let his body work at full capacity without fear of harming his opponent. That didn’t happen often, making Cross doubly glad for the likes of Winters onboard. It meant he could have more realistic sparring matches moving forward instead of constantly being on his guard to hold back lest he risk permanent injury to his opponent.

But chalk it up to the sudden resurgence of his headache or the fact that Winters was one of the first opponents Cross had sparred with who came armed with a tail, and Cross wound up on his back staring at the ceiling as he gasped in much-needed breath. A moment passed when the seconds prior to his takedown caught up to him, and then once he recalled it all in a heartbeat, Cross laughed.

“That was good, Winters.” Pressing a hand against his temple to stave off the first tendrils of the headache before it could build to a worse level, Cross sat up and smiled at the Kzin. “I may need to see about getting a prosthetic tail before heading into our next skirmish. That thing is damn useful.”

A sharp stabbing pain caused a wince, and Cross closed his eyes, holding up a hand toward Winters to stave off any concern the man might be feeling.

"This isn’t from you. Not to shake your confidence in how bloody awesome you are, mind you. It’s that damn headache come back to bite. I must’ve shifted wrong and tweaked a nerve ending. Fucking Savi,” he peered up at the hulking man and gave a feigned smile of apology, “again, not a diplomat.” Using both hands to press against his temples, he again let his eyes close for a moment. “You wouldn’t happen to have any tips or tricks on how to get rid of a headache quick? Aside from ripping my whole head off.”

Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 1700hrs] Cross on the Titan

Reply #16
[ Dominic Winters | Lower Gymnasium | Vector 2 | Deck 14 | The Ranger ATTN: @Ellen Fitz

“Oh pfft. I have a thick skin. Offend me with words plenty as long as you’re willing to take it in return. Give and take.” Dominic started to really like Cross, despite the short time they had been sparring and enjoying the company of a solid workout with a Vulcan who was not about something that was adequate or acceptable.

Dominic looked slightly concerned at Cross being on his back after being tripped up until he laughed, which put him at ease. “A Prosthetic tail? Tails are useful until they start getting a mind of their own. Careful, yours might be a kleptomanic.” He responded with a twitch of the ears.

Holding a hand out to Cross to help him up. “I’d be concerned either way if it was or wasn’t from me. I like a good shaking of my confidence, don’t you worry. A solid ass kicking shows me I need to keep learning and there’s always better.” He frowned slightly. Crouching down even if Cross had taken his hand to get up or not. Just to be comfortable in a weird Kzint-squat. “As long as you’re not fucking the Savi. They might want to inject you directly.” He snorted. “Clearly the barbarian only knows how to rip the head off to fix the headache. Skip the boring the hole into the forehead or something in old earth history.” He joked. “Honestly? Not really. I know basic first aid and know some analgesic can do the trick. Not sure what dose for you though.” He thinks on it a moment. “I also hear getting off helps, Massage, cold compress, Hydration. Have you been eating properly to match your new forms needs?”

Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 1700hrs] Cross on the Titan

Reply #17
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Lower Gymnasium | D. 14 | V. 2 | “Ranger” of USS Theurgy] ATTN: @Krajin

Cross laughed at Winters’ pun, “Not a savory thought, that. Direct injection indeed.” His fingers remained on his temple as the Kzin continued, listing a number of remedies for a headache. Cross, of course, focused on one in particular and smiled. “The getting off option sounds like, but sadly, my girlfriend is on another mission. I could take care of it myself, but with how this is feeling right now,” he pointed to his head, “I doubt I’d even get a hard one.”

Dropping his hands to his sides, Cross frowned as he contemplated his diet and hydration of the day. It’d not been great, of course, but it hadn’t been the worst either. He had noticed some of the foods he’d used to really enjoy before the Savi “corrected” him no longer seemed to sit right on his stomach. Likely it was the changes in his genes continuing to fuck up his life. He recalled how the sugary drinks with Blue and Hathev had also had a stronger impact on his system than before the correction.

“Fuck.” He growled. “The gift that keeps on giving. It probably does have a lot to do with diet and such. I’ve just not had the time or inclination to remain focused during every meal since the correction to figure out what seems to sit well and what wants to rebel. There are also days I just don’t have time to eat a proper meal either.” Catching the Kzin’s eyes, Cross sighed. “I should probably hit the showers, a cold one, and head down to the Arboretum lounge for dinner. If you’ve not been down there yet, they’ve got good food, and typically, the entertainment is solid.”

He gestured to the mat and the surrounding gym, “Thanks for the sparring match, Winters. I’d like to do this again, not weeks or months down the road either. I think it’d do us both good to have something like this on the regular.” He smiled. “And you’re welcome to join me for dinner or any other meals as well. If I manage to sit my ass down to eat a proper meal, I try to change it up so it's not always the mess hall.” Cross jutted his chin toward Winters' tail. "I'm serious about trying to figure out some sort of counter to that, an edge I can incorporate even if I wasn't born with one of those beauties."

Re: CH 2: S [Day 01 | 1700hrs] Cross on the Titan

Reply #18
[ Dominic Winters | Lower Gymnasium | Vector 2 | Deck 14 | The Ranger ATTN: @Ellen Fitz

Dominick's features shifted to that of a Kzint frown as Cross explained himself. His lack of inclination to pursue a proper diet or hydration or anything of the sort. Not a good sign if the officers cannot get a proper meal or otherwise in. Atlas did want to give the vulcan a good earful for it as he placed considerable value on getting a good feed and proper hydration into the system. "Then take the time to have solid meals and hydrate. Read up on what you need, explore more of the culinary side of things. Every Vulcan is different in tastes and preferences. You'll find things you enjoy that also meet your nutritional needs. Don't be a walking logic bomb about it though. Don't lean into what is 'adequate' like many do." he lectured lightly.

At the mention of showers and food on the Arboretum, Dom's ears pricked up. "I should do the same to. I have a flight sim soon and it'll be running a solid chunk of the evening. I might see you down there." he replied. The Kzint standing up and stretching himself out a bit, his tail tensing and body fuzzing slightly. Only to relax as he did.

"I'll join you for meals when I catch you. I don't always eat at the pilots mess on my postings if there are options. I'd like this to be a thing we do, sparring, workouts. I can show you ways to counter the tail a bit too."

Dominic gave a slight incline of his head. "You go shower and get a meal, I'll clean up and catch you around eh?" he offered and then went about to get everything put away.

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