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Morning Workout

Posted on Fri Aug 17th, 2018 @ 7:09pm by Lieutenant Commander Arturo S'Rohass & Lieutenant Xiulan Song & Deacon Kane

Mission: Repairs and Reprimands
Location: Shuttlebay
Timeline: Current

It was early when Deacon got up and got dressed in some loose-fitting clothes he replicated. He jogged down to the shuttlebay to get a little exercise in hoping to use the weight set tucked away in the corner. When he arrived he found he was not alone. A small figure was already there, going through warm up drills with what appeared to be some sort of practice sword. The Rigellian shook his head remembering the Caitalin XO taught fencing and knife fighting in the bay. He must have caught him warming up for the class. Deacon was just going to leave when the hatch closed behind him with a horrid squeal. The officer came to a sudden stop and turn towards him “Umm, Sorry XO didn’t mean to disrupt your routine.”

Arturo stopped and set the practice blade down. He sometimes practiced with a blade a bit heavier than his real one in order to get more exercise.

"Not to worry, Mister Kane!" Arturo said, feeling enthusiastic after spending some time imagining skewering bandits and road agents as he practiced, not to mention rescuing princesses, one in particular: a lovely young Chinese woman with emerald 'eyes'. I am done with the sword for the day! I presume you are here to make use of the weights?"

As he talked, Arturo reached into his work out back and pulled out his liccasapuni, a narrow folding blade with a 25.4 centimeter blade. He began to dance with it a bit, letting it flow in his hand, going through the motions of a duel in the Sicilian style.

Deacon nodded in appreciation, looking at the knife's simple utility. It wasn't built for over the top intimidation, it was built for work. The blade with its tapered shape definitely would have a high degree of penetrability. When the Caitlin clicked it open the overall length surprised the Rigellian. With a easy thrust it the armpit you could even transect the heart of a Nausicaan if you had the mind. With a simple twist you could pull it put out with little or no effort. "Was hoping to use the weights," Deacon admitted, "But honestly, I could use some practice on my knife work. Chief Xan said you were pretty handy with those. Don't suppose you could show me a thing or two?"

Arturo stopped moving his Liccasapuni around and turned to Deacon.

"Well," he said. "Learning to use one of these is mostly for historical value, since the are difficult to conceal, even folded. That's not to say that I've never carried one concealed, or that I haven't used one on bandits, road agents, and other various and assorted brigands! Because I have...much the pity. As I'm sure you know, taking someone's life with a knife is not as...sterile an experience as, say, shooting them with a phaser. Taking a life is not something I enjoy, but I do enjoy the art of using blades, both short and long. It takes a much different kind of skill. Here..."

Arturo closed the Liccasapuni he'd been using, which was a real one with a sharp edge, walked over to his bag and put it away. He came up with two blunted versions. He came back and handed one to Deacon.

"Open that and move it around a bit to get the feel of the weight and balance," Arturo said. "Then we'll practice a bit. You'll notice that it cuts well, but it stabs even better. The Italian and Sicilian styles of blade work, going back to Ancient Rome, rely heavily on the point of the blade. Often the same is true to a certain extent with their stick and staff work, primarily because the use of the stick and staff by commoners was copied from blade work practiced by the soldier and noble classes."

The weight of the weapon surprised Deacon. He knew that practise blades were usually twice as heavy as normal blades, and this seemed light as a feather. Opening it he spun the knife in his hands a couple of times and over his knuckles to got the feel of it. He couldn't deny its balance, however when he tried to hold it in the hammer grip he was used to, it felt alien. Unlike the heavier Klingon d'k tahgs he tended towards, this blade lacked both a guard and pommel. If he ever took anyone in the chest with it he could see the blade getting wedged on a rib or other bone, resulting in his hand being sliced open as it continued down the knife's length onto the blade itself. The lack of pommel meant a of the backswing attacks would be of little use. Most of the knife-work he learned depended mostly on strength, in both offence and defence. This was the product of a wholly different philosophy.

Deacon shifted back into a flat footed fighting stance and practiced slashing the knife in a cross pattern followed by a 'x' pattern, still slightly frustrated with its feel in his hand. He could tell already his grip was wrong. Nevertheless he continued the warm up drill, pushing forward, sweeping an imaginary opponent's arms away and following with a strong lateral strike. He then went through several defensive drills, with repostes again feeling like he was forcing the blade into movements it wasn't designed for. He the shifted to his other hand and repeated the drill, When he was done with the warm-up he looked at Arturo who had been silent as he watched the Rigellian's movements.

It was at this point he knew that Farmer hadn't lied about the XO teaching blade work. The Caitian's eyes were sharp observing all of Deacon's movements. He had no doubt the the officer could tell him not only the style he was attempting but all the problems with it. Closing the knife, Deacon node at his short furry instructor, "So basically forget everything I just did, Right" he asked half snorting.

"Not exactly," Arturo said. "Watch me."

Arturo began to move, his practice blade flowing. His movements were almost dance like.

"You have to match your blade work to your weapon, to your opponent, to your opponent's weapon, to the clothing both of you are wearing," he said. "This blade is light. It's narrow. You can't make heavy slashes with it. The grip is almost as narrow. Even in my hands, I can't grip it correctly for a heavy slash. Now, what can I use it for then?"

Arturo began to move around more.

"Light cuts, and," Arturo said, then lunged. He went on to perform several more strikes with the point. "Stabbing with the point. Remember that this blade was developed from the stiletto, which the French Humans called the rondel. That weapon was designed to puncture chain mail or to strike at the weak points of plate armor. The armpits, the inner thigh, the eye slits in the helmet. The commoners who used a blade like this, this blade is called Liccasapuni, didn't have to worry as much about armor, but they were faced with the same realities of the design of the blade. To you that means what? Well, protective clothing is still worn by many cultures. If you were to use a heavy slashing attack across the chest of an armored Klingon with a normal heavy bladed knife, you'd likely only irritate him. Doing that with this knife? Pointless. Same with, say, a Nausicaan. But if you could find your opening and strike with the point, into a joint containing an artery, like an armpit or an inner thigh, with a long, narrow blade such as this...well, I can tell you from experience that even Klingons can bleed to death."

Arturo stopped moving.

"Alright," Arturo said. "Grip the blade like so, that's right. Now, we'll try a few passes back and forth. Ready? Excellent. First, come at me like this, and I'll show you some proper responses."

It amazed Deacon how much more comfortable the practise blade became with slight adjustments Artro made. The Caitlin showed that with only three fingers the blade became a subtle instrument, capable of lightning fast movement that the swiftest snake would envy. Then with a last minute clasp of the other two fingers struck harder that the strongest of Klingon steel. The drill was slow going, starting at quarter speed, working on the fundamentals of movement and technique. But Arturo proved an instructor of worth, driving Deacon hard enough until he was sure his new student had more than a passing acquaintance with each move. Of course like any good teacher, the XO made sure his student didn't become overconfident or complacent.

"Ow! Son of a Bitch!" Deacon yelped as the practice blade clattered to the tarmac, his lower arm numb. Arturo's blade, well in hand, now poised centimeters from his eye. "You kicked my arm." Deacon said with a half laugh, and a large measure of respect for his instructor, "When do I get to learn that move?" he asked knowing it would indeed take some time. The Caitlin amazed him in both technique and stamina. While Deacon was doing a fair job controlling his breathing, he could not hide the amount of sweat that was pouring out of him, yet Arturo showed no outward sign of fatigue.

Arturo was about to answer Deacon's question when he detected movement behind him. He immediately struck a defensive stance and prepared himself for what he knew was coming.

His preparation would come just a second too late as his ever-lovely Graceful Orchid body slammed him to the mat. Both combatants were quick to kip up back to their feet, then what transpired was pure perfection. Xiulan engaged Arturo with a volley of fast, powerful kicks, testing his defense for an opening, completely without fear of the blade Arturo held in his hand. They exchanged a number of fast-paced blows, both anticipating the other's moves so well that neither could find an opening, and their spar soon became an elaborate dance of high energy. After a while, Xiulan backed away and bounced on the balls of her feet.

"That was fun!" Xiulan said with a big grin, her long braid swaying behind her. "So what were you two doing?" she asked as she continued to bounce, seeming no worse for wear considering their exertions.

"Mister Kane," Arturo said. "I believe you've met Lieutenant Xiulan Song?"

Deacon stood slack-jawed at both their displays of the speed and technique. It made him feel like a slow uncoordinated child when comparing it to his performance with the blademaster. They had each launched expert attacks with blinding speed that were mostly blocked, though enough blows landed to make Deacon suck air through his teeth at the pain they must have cause. What was more amazing was the fact that this didn't appear to be a routine, but an improvised exchange between to experts in very divergent styles of fighting. What was also evident as th XO introduced the Lieutenant was that there was something more between the two than a simple professional relationship. It wasn't too obvious, just a momentary silent exchange between them.

Cocking his head, Deacon simply nodded and gave them both a small lopsided grin, then realizing he was supposed to be saying something coughed shaking himself out of his stupor. "Yes Sir," he replied to Arturo, "I have indeed had that honor." the looking at Xiulan he bowed to her slightly an added, "That was quite an amazing display, Lieutenant."

"Yeah, he tried to bribe me with sweets," Xiulan said, then she started doing some lunges to stretch her calves.

"Gifts of food will always earn my wife's favor," Arturo said. He went over to his bag and switched to his real Liccasapuni. He pulled out a sharpening stone and began to hone the edge of the blade. "Food and coffee. Especially from me. Oh that's right, you may not have heard. We just got married."

"Wait I thought I DID bribe you with sweets!" Deacon replied with a familiar laugh, "Ah, Lieutenant, as I said before you are far too easy to underestimate." he added with coyly with an admiring glint in his eye, then to Arturo added, "You're lucky, Commander. Lieutenant Song is as talented as she is beautiful."

"Talented?!?" Arturo said, moving towards Deacon, moving the long, narrow-bladed knife menacingly. "Just how do you know how talented she is?!?!? And you underestimated her? Just what about her did you underestimate??"

Xiulan snickered with amusement as she stood straight and parted her legs at shoulder's width, then she bent down until her head nearly touched the mat.

Ah, the protective nature of the Caitian male Deacon said to himself regretting his choice of words. Deacon folded the blade of the practice Liccasapuni back into its handle and stared at some point below the decking, giving him a few precious seconds smooth the situation. "When I first came on board, your wife let me use the long range sensors so I could see and sort of say good-bye to my adopted family. And then, rather bluntly, gave me some rather sage advice about happiness. That was a special kindness to a stranger. She had a kindness and compassion,I hadn't expected from a starfleet officer, mixed with an iron and wisdom I'm not use to seeing in one so young. Hell, she even let me go on a bit about me burning my wife" He added to emphasize the platonic admiration he had for her. "Guess I'm still not really over losing her. Still sleep on the right side of bed." Deacon the fell silent to let that last little fact sink in.

"As for her talents," Deacon continued to say as he innocently met Arturo's eyes, "Yesterday I saw her decrypt a 500 base algorithmic cypher that I'd been wrestling with for six hours. It took her about 3 minutes, then without apparently showing off, she decrypted a 2000 base cypher in just under ten minutes. That is talent." Deacon explained honestly, "Now, on top of that, I'd just seen your wife, a blind woman, fight you, a fully sighted individual, to what can only be described as a stand off. And I wouldn't take you on without having a half dozen Klingons, a couple of Nausicans and a Gorn to back me up." Deacon finally shrugged, "So Commander, I find your mate to be an incredible individual who does both your name and your line honor. In that you are indeed quite lucky." Deacon then gave a short respectful bow to the Caitlian, hoping this confession would placate the Commander and make him feel just a little foolish.

Of course Deacon was also very careful to keep Xiulan out of his line of sight. She was still bending over in her stretches. She had a real nice ass, and her being married or no, Deacon was still very much Rigellian.

The confession didn't make Arturo feel foolish at all, because he'd never been serious. He held his scowl as long as he could, then burst out laughing. He laughed so hard he was crying.

"Oh...oh my...I'm sorry..." he said, as he got himself under control. "Oh, my. Okay. I'm back now. Xiulan, love, I think Mister Kane thought I was going to stab him because he brought you food! No, no worries, Mister Kane. I wouldn't have stabbed you over bringing Xiulan food. Do you have any idea how time consuming it is to keep that woman fed? She's a bottomless pit. Having someone else bring her food now and again saves me the trouble of having to run around behind her with a portable food replicator. No, I was having fun at your expense. I guess I played the part too well. I was a thespian at the academy, the star of the drama club!"

Arturo suddenly stopped and looked more serious as he seemed to consider Deacon seriously for the first time.

"Xiulan is all the things you've described her to be, and more," he said. "I'm glad Xiulan was able to assist you and I'm sorry for what you've suffered these last twenty years. As you say, Mister Kane, I am a lucky man, and I'm a luckier man to be able to call you shipmate and perhaps friend, when you feel the time is right."

Arturo closed his knife and transferred to his off hand, then offered his right hand to Deacon.

"Welcome home, Mister Kane," he said. "Welcome home."

Deacon hesitated for a moment looking at the XO's hand suspiciously. Letting out a sigh of relief he took it and gave Arturo a firm handshake. "I won't say had me going, Commander." he said rolling his eyes, "Just remind me to send you the bill for the new set of drawers I'm going to need." then with a laugh he added, "Thank-you Commander, It's good to be home."


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