Stepping off the turbolift in Sector Kilo-Indigo after the end of his shift Cynndle looked a bit disheveled with his hair a mess and uniform unkempt and smudged after spending his day crawling around the jefferies tubes with a maintenance crew trying to find why there were power surges going to the sensors. Thinking on his day he wanders down the corridor and half-heartedly tries to smooth his hair knowing it won’t help.
‘What a day, it always amazes me how many KILOMETERS of tubes there are in these stations…all to find a single shorted out power junction that was sending error signals to other junctions all over the station….was nice to work with the maintenance team though haven’t done that for a while…maybe Heriah was right, get out, rotate through to other jobs and departments; it is nice to get to know people on the wider station.’
Pausing at an intersection in the corridor he looked both ways, ‘Quarters or a wander?’ he thought to himself before shrugging and turning away from his quarters and towards the larger recreational areas nearby he begins humming.
‘Been a few days since went to the holodeck…I wonder if any are free; usually is one at least…but what to run…SO MANY OPTIONS!’
Walking past the holodecks he glanced at the panels to see if any were open; ‘Should have thought ahead and booked one…but no way to know how long it would have taken to get that repaired’ shaking his head as he thought to himself after seeing the same sort of messages again and again on the panels.
Reserved – Locked
Closed for Maintenance – Locked
Programme Running – Kirin Tarken – Locked
Programme Running – Private – Locked
So on and so further all seemed to be in use. Passing the second from last on the floor he glanced at the panel seeing it was in operation and kept walking before turning his head sharply back and pausing.
Programme Running – Heriah Rex
Oh, Heriah has a programme running…. I wonder what she is doing? She likes sparing, maybe a training programme…’ He turns to leave but stops after a few steps…‘She didn’t lock it…maybe she wouldn’t mind some company, we did talk about meeting up and sparing at some point…though I would hate to force her hand, she could need some downtime after a long day…but she is new here as well, maybe company is what she is after’ He stood there for a minute debating with himself, ‘She is technically my counsellor and I don’t want to be one of those patients that is always there…that isn’t me…this isn’t that she is one of the few people I know…ah, hell, better to ask forgiveness than permission I guess, eh’
On that thought he stepped forward and pressed the door display, prompting the computer to notify Heriah that someone was outside… ‘I hope it isn’t Vulcan Love Slave and she forgot to lock it…’ he thinks with a chuckle.
Heriah slid the serrated edge of her ushaan-tor across the belly of the attacking Klingon. “Computer, arch,” she called out. As she blocked and dodged a few swings of her attacker’s bat’leth, the arch faded in and the doors opened, allowing outsiders to see in.
Cynndle was greeted with a dusty battle arena surrounded by a coliseum of cheering Klingons. Pillars of stone were spread about and a spray of weaponry scattered about the ground. There were no other bodies just as there were no sprays of the pinkish Klingon blood. Yet there were weapons, clearly seen to have been used.
The Klingon Heriah was battling with was not wearing a battle uniform but just a combat gi. Heriah was also not in uniform, nor did she don her Starfleet issued PT uniform. She was simply in a sports bra and compression leggings. Less to slow her down and less for her enemy to get a hold of. This was hand-to-hand combat at its simplest. No armor, no phasers, no projectiles. Just two people meeting, choosing their desired weapons, and fighting it out to the death.
Seeing an opening, Heriah brought her ushaan-tor up and thrusted the pointed end into the chest of the Klingon, sending the point on into his heart. And, as his arms fell limp and his grip on his bat’leth wanted, eventually letting it fall to the ground, Heriah pushed in more and got in the Klingon’s face. Her eyes nearly on fire with rage as she watched those eyes flitter and start to turn back in their sockets.
She yanked the ushaan-tor from his chest, again without any display of blood, and, as the Klingon stepped back and started falling, he flittered and vanished, fading away back into the holomatrix.
Heriah looked about but saw no other combatants. Her hair was pulled back into a ponytail but still appeared disheveled. She was spotted and dirtied with holographic dirt stains. There was a slight cut on her arm and a few bruises about her arms and legs. Still, she smiled happily as she turned toward the arch to see, “Cynndle.” She waved at him still with an ushaan-tor firmly in her grasp.
“Computer, open parameters. Increase difficulty by 1 level. Save parameters and close.”
The computer bleeped as she spoke and then gave a bleep of affirmation as it saved her edits. She stepped toward Cynndle as he continued taking in the scene. The Klingon sun shone bright down upon the coliseum and the surrounding crowd rested in their seats awaiting another battle.
As she approached Cynndle, she moved the ushaan-tor in her right hand to her left and held out her hand to Cynndle. She was sweaty and dirty, but still sought to shake hands.
Cynndle watched Heriah dispatch the combatant with ease, ‘The coliseum on Qo’noS, impressive, I did not expect this’ he thought before laughing to himself, ‘Really though not sure what I was expecting, I don’t really know Heriah know do I.’
Walking into the coliseum Cynndle looked around taking in the details of the programme and Heriah. Reaching out he takes her hand and quickly shakes it in greeting.
“I am sorry if I have interrupted you, I was walking past hoping to find a holodeck open but sadly no such luck until I saw that you had this one and it wasn’t set to private. I thought maybe you might want some company.” He says as he continues to look around and take in the setting. “Though do tell me to get lost if I have overstepped myself, that would be fair.”
Their hands parted. “Oh no, company is fine. That is why,” she motioned toward the archway, “I left privacy settings off. But, uh…I was just,” she looked about and behind her, “finishing up here. Needed to decompress, you know?” She underhandedly tossed her ushaan-tors onto her gym bag residing next to the archway. They clanged together and rested there. A few of the holographic Klingons in the coliseum stands shouted. They wanted more action. “You can have the holodeck now if you like. I do not think there are any other reservations.”
“Oh, well is everything ok?” Cynndle started and look almost a little disappointed at Heriah’s comment though she was nodding to his question with her ponytail bouncing about behind her head. “I don’t want you to feel like you need to leave. I have had a hectic day myself and, if you are up for it, I could use some decompression myself. After all…” he lifted his hands gesturing to the Klingons in the stands, “the crowd seems like they are not done with the show.”
Without waiting for a response, he begins to undo his jacket revealing a grey shirt underneath; “Either that or, guess I could try that Lariento massage programme or that Vulcan temple meditation one I have heard about. May help with this shoulder tension.” He says with a quirky smile as he rolls his shoulders causing them to audible pop.
“Oh I am up for it,” she said as Rex thought it. She too looked about at the holographic audience, knowing they were only calling out because they were programmed to. “And I can stay if you want. Besides,” she turned back to Cynndle, “the holodeck is yours now. And you are the ranking officer here. So, tell me…LT…do I have your permission to stay?”
At that Cynndle turns to look at Heriah and gives her a deadpan stare before a slight smile cracked his lips and he laughed. “God, LT… I really do not think like that. I know I approached the session the other day that way, but that was well work. Yes, Ensign, you have my permission to stay; I would very much appreciate your company.”
“Select the program then,” Heriah said. “Tell me what I need to do.”
“Well, that put me on the spot; honestly hadn’t thought that far ahead to be fair.” Looking around again at the coliseum he shrugs, “How about a round or two in here then change it up? You a fan of climbing?”
Heriah nodded. “Climbing,” she repeated and threw away a forced thought of Davmorda’s version of climbing. “Never done it myself. And Rex…well, it has been a long time. I’ll give it an honest go.”
“Computer, increase combatants for two users. Add programme Cyn-Spar_Alpha1”
At that, a foot-long cylindrical object appear to Cynndle’s right and he reach out a hand without looking and took hold of it.
“Computer, produce a pair of krabi-krabong thai dhas,” and, at her feet, came a pair of single-edged bladed weapons. She picked both up, spun one in her hand and inverted her hold on it, pressing the flat of the blade against her forearm. “What are you going to do with that,” she was talking about the short weapon he preferred, “throw it at them?”
“Well, there is nothing stopping me from doing that I guess.” He says as he brings the rod in front of him and looks at it quizzically. “But I prefer to us it in its proper form.” He cocks he head and examines the krabi-krabong Thai dhas. “I trust you know how to use those…stick’em with the pointy end I am told, eh?”
Heriah remembered who it was the spent a lot of time on Earth learning various fighting techniques. It was Refkin, prior to his incident of course. Among the techniques he learned was krabi-krabong, hence Heriah’s interest. Though her skills in that range were limited, “Be at my side, guide my hands and guide my feet, Refkin,” the memories came flooding forth and Heriah, realizing her stance gave way to vulnerabilities and did not maintain perfect balance, tweaked the placement of her feet and how she held the thai dhas. Perfection.
“Bring ‘em on and watch ‘em fall,” Refkin’s favorite phrase before battle flowed forth from her lips.
“Computer, start programme.”
In front of Heriah and Cynndle two Klingons appear weilding bat’leths. Without pause they both shout ‘Heghlu’meH QaQ jajvam’ and charge forward bat’leths raised to strike.
Heriah feigned a charge to the left, sidestepped and ducked under the swinging metal of a bat’leth, springing up beside Cynndle. She moved behind him, positioning her feet like his in a fortified stance, them standing back to back and giving the Klingons no avenue to attack either from behind.
‘Now give these bits of light emitting photons what for,’ came the thought.
Heriah deflected another swing of the bat’leth then sent forth a flurry of strikes from her dual wield sending her attacking Klingon into defense-mode.
Cynndle deftly ducked beneath the first swing of the bat’leth and smiled. As he ducked he spun the rode in his hand and squeezed it. In an instant it extended to just over two meters in length connecting directly with the attacking Klingons chest sending him staggering. Straightening he enses Heriah behind him and adjusted his stance raising his staff into a low guard eyeing the Klingon as he regianed his balance.
“Surely you can do better than that” Cynndle taunted before stepping forward feigning an overhead strike before adjusting and hooking the staff behind the Klingons knees and sending him sprawling.
Heriah ducked under another swing of her attacker’s bat’leth, complete with a swing of her own slicing into the Klingon’s left armpit. And, though his grip lessened on his bat’leth, it meant a greater level of anger from her attacker and a greater reach now that he was swinging single-handedly.
She inverted the grip of the thai dha in her right hand and pressed the flat of the blade against her forearm again to use for shielding purposes.
“So tell me,” she called out to Cynndle as she continue dogding and blocking attacks, “how is this crosstraining,” she blocked parried and moved to the side, “working out for you,” she returned a strike; blocked, “that I recommended?”
Hearing this Cynndle cannot help but laugh, “GOOD” he shouts as he spins the staff around, so it connects with the side of the Klingons head with a loud crack as he tries to stand. “I think I needed someone to just tell me that. I have been practicing my forms again the last few days. Hell, even had coffee with one of the officers on the engineering team from the yards. That was nice”
“But this, right now, brings me back to myself.” He comments as ducking to the side as a B’Etor flies past him thrown by the Klingon regains his feet and charges again; though slower and less coordinated as before. Parrying attacks from the Bat’leth he alternates strikes to either side of the Klingon causing him to go on the defensive. “You? Is the decompression working?”
There came a few metal-upon-metal strikes then a sets of clangs as a bat’leth hit and clattered about the ground. Heriah faced her unarmed opponent and loosed her thai dhas in either direction. Balling her fists, she taunted her Klingon attacker. He still had the one good arm with the other with only half of it functionality.
“We are about to find out,” she said as she rushed upon her opponent.
Refkin’s master appeared before her, replacing the Klingon. Heriah’s moves were automatic, as though she had no control at all. She saw through the eyes of Refkin. His master sent a volley of jabs and Refkin was quick on his feet, ducking and dodging, waiting for the perfect moment to masterfully pull off a maneuver that cannot be stopped. He saw the opening and snatched his master’s hand, sent a loose fisted punch into the man’s neck just below his ear and behind his jaw. Sweeping the master’s feet, Refkin wound his right arm around his opponent’s right arm, pulling it taut. Refkin’s free hand reach and grabbed the master’s armpit, guiding him as he fell to the ground, Refkin planted his right foot at the base of the back whilst his left knee pressed down on the neck where the previous punch landed. Flexing his muscles, Refkin pulled everything taut.
Heriah, returning to her senses, found herself in the same position, holding her holographic Klingon of an opponent in the unstoppable maneuver Refkin was taught and had mastered.
The Klingon realized he had two free legs and a free arm but was quick to realize that any move would spell his doom. The right arm was straightened to its limit, stretched to its limit and a knee pressed hard down upon the neck. A simple move from Heriah would snap his arm at the elbow, pull his arm out of socket or snap his neck…or all three at once.
And since holographic Klingons were programmed to never give up, he moved.
There came a snap of his arm and Heriah felt a gruesome crunch in her side as she bent the arm in the wrong direction. There was also a sickening pop as the Klingon’s arm came out of its socket. The Klingon howled but was brought to silence as his neck, bent to its limit, gave way and snapped in two locations.
Heriah gritted her teeth and grinned heinously, as though enjoying the display. And, as per her set parameters of the holoprogam, the Klingon faded away back into the holomatrix.
She leaned forward, planting her hands upon the ground and breathed deeply, expelling the fire from her lungs.
Quickly glancing back at Heriah to see that she is ok he nodes as she says ‘We are about to find out’ and moves in to finish his opponent. Easily deflect a couple blows from the bat’leth he strikes high and low with both ends of the staff causing the Klingon to stumble before spinning the weapon in his hands and swinging it full force connected with the Klingon making a loud crunching sound. Before the Klingon falls to the ground it shimmers and vanishes.
Turning to Heriah he see her pin her oppony and finish him with a ruthless efficiency that gives him a slight pause.
‘That is unexpected, that agression, wonder where that came from…’’ he thinks to himself.
Watching her leans forward onto her hands he step ls towards her and squats down on his heels. “So..um, how are you feeling? You definitely seemed to be working through something there, maybe a lot of something.”
Heriah, still resting on her hands and knees, was mouthing something to herself. Her lips were moving but her words were not audible. They were, “It is accomplished. Go back from whence you came, Refkin,” and all the knowledge, the muscle memory, automatic reflexes, all of it, went back into the back of her mind as mere memories of past hosts.
“Do you want to talk about it?”
Heriah leaned back into a kneeling position, and used her momentum to pop up. “Nothing to talk about, really.” She took another breath, sending the remnants of the passing rage away. “Was just winded is all. Another battle so soon after my previous program…” she looked around at the battle arena. “You dispatched your opponent before me?” she asked. “With your little stick? Remind me not to ever get on your bad side,” she laughed. “Whoa,” she leaned forward, still winded and resting her hand upon her knees, took a breath, then stood erect again. “…not so sure I will be up for climbing anything right now except for into my bed.”
Leaning on his staff Cynndle looks at Heriah, a questioning look creeping into his face before shrugs. “Not a problem Heriah. I did rope you into an extra workout after you completed one. Would be a dream on anyone.” Standing up straight he spins his staff and collapsing it back down to its compact form. “Next time we could see if you can beat me.”
Heriah smiled at him, somewhat fiendishly. “Be forewarned, I have over three of your centuries worth of knowledge and experience up in here,” she tapped the side of her head. “I will be sure to go easy on you. However,” she narrowed her eyes at him somewhat, “perhaps you do have a few surprises. Guess I will have to wait and see.”
She stepped back and away from Cynndle. Turning, Heriah retrieved her gymbag and ushaan-tors. After calling for the holodeck arch, she started toward it. But, as the doors were sliding to a close after her exit, she made sure to flash a look over her shoulder back at Cynndle.
Cynndle watched Heriah grab her gear and begin to leave. Watching her walk through the arch he couldn’t help but think the there was something more to her than she was letting on. Something she was struggling with. As she turned looking back as the doors slide shut he couldn’t quite hide the quizzical look on his face as he gave a short wave bye.