Sparks flew as blade struck blade, providing brief flashes of illumination to the darkened hallway. The clanging sound echoed off of the long bulkhead walls, followed quickly by the aggregated shouts of war cries and sharp exhalations of breath set to the rhythm of the blows.
The figures in conflict were in stark contrast with each other, aesthetically. A burly Klingon male, standing at nearly 7-feet in height, with warrior’s armour clad over his thick barrel-chested frame, wielded a large bat’leth in two hands with a heavy blows and hard blocks.
Facing him, was a svelte figure of a Romulan woman, in an officer’s wrapped-jacket uniform, a long red and black checkered scarf draped around her shoulders and flowing in the corridor as she moved in quick movements to avoid the Klingon’s destructive blows and darted in and around his blocks and deflections, her curved seinov-style sabre exploring for weaknesses and missteps to exploit.
A horizontal slash from the Klingon’s blade forced the Romulan to duck down, where her legs muscles tensed up to store energy like the coils of a spring. She pushed off the ground and lunged forward into the Klingons lower sternum, sword-tip first…only to be knocked right down to the ground as the Klingon Warrior brought the bat’leth back in close and parried down to deflect her strike to the side….she struck his hip instead, a glancing blow for someone of his species and statue…and was paid back for the blow as the blunt back of the central bat’leth handle was brought down on the top of her head.
Letting out a sharp exhalation followed by a seething intake of air in response to the sudden pain, the Romulan woman quickly recovered from the daze and rolled right, landing on her knee, to avoid the attempted downward killing stroke. Sparks flashed again as the bat’leth marred the deck plating.
Now on an angle to the Klingon’s facing, she wasted no time by lashing out to the wounded leg with a low kick to back of his shin, dropping the Klingon also to one knee.
The Romulan took advantage then of her smaller weapon’s greater speed and twisted her whole upper body to one side sharply, to drive her sabre up in a swooping stroke.
Dark pink blood splattered the corridor walls, and three impacts could be heard. The first was the Klingon’s head rolling to the floor…the second, was the clanging from his bat’leth falling out of his grasp…finally, the thud of his rest of body dropping to join the first two objects.
The Romulan, Commander Vaelana t’Kaeyn, let out a long breath of air in slow, controlled, exhalations…she steadied herself and stood back up, flicking her sword swiftly to one side to scatter the Klingon blood from it’s blade across the grisly scene of combat.
Her piercing blue eyes glanced down at the pieces of her defeated foe, strewn about the ground, and she give a sharp kick to the body with the boot of her heel. Satisfied with it’s continuing refusal to be alive, she sheathed her blade and then brushed a lock of her obsidian black hair away from her face and back behind her sharply pointed ear.
”Arch.” She called out, her tone as demandingly sharp as her monomolecular forged blade had been. A brightly lit door appeared a few metres away down the dark corridor, and Vaelana strode towards it and the metal bottle of mineral-infused water that she had left by it earlier that day.
She picked it up and took a swig, once again letting out a sharp exhalation after the rehydrating liquid passed down her throat. “Computer, what is the time?”
”The time is 0553” The computer responded in that standard Starfleet female voice that Vaelana still felt as…alien and unfamiliar, especially compared to the more taciturn vocalizations of the past Romulan vessels she had served on.
”Still time for another round then.” The Romulan mused outloud, putting the water bottle back down. She scanned the display screen to the side of the door as it listed out variants upon variants of the training programs on file. “Hmm…let’s stay with the current theme, but take it to it’s natural ending point. Skip difficulty all the way to Da’har Master and select the stage randomly from the list of available settings.”
The computer chirped in response and then the corridor, with the headless corpse and bloodspray all, vanished…revealing for a brief second the yellow lines upon black space, that defined the old Holodeck in it’s neutral state. This was quickly replaced with snow-covered jagged rocks of a rough mountainous terrain, dotted by fiery pyres that swayed in the cutting blustery wind. The signs of a monastic aesthetic were abound, from the temple complexes made of metal, wood, and stone that could be seen up close in their heavily furnished detail, or just as mere shadows against the cold grey sky in the distance.
“Boreth Monastery has been selected by random generation of numbers associated with holodeck program. Your opponent will be one Klingon female, programmed at difficulty: Da’har Master. You may begin.”
Vaelana rolled her shoulders to loosen her arms back up, before drawing her once again clean sabre. She followed the pyre-lit path towards the doors of the nearest Klingon abbey, and fixed her gaze upon the challenge that laid ahead.