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A Practical Lesson
Hendrix - The Gymnasium
Small-Arms Dealer Teh Dave saunters in, and pulls down some crashmats to set up a large square in the center of the gym.
Paste-pot calliaphone follows Dave in, and watches him curiously.
Small-Arms Dealer Teh Dave lines up some markings on the mats to form concentric circles in the square, and stands in the center. "Are you ready?"
Paste-pot calliaphone says, "uhh." and gulps. "should i take off Cordy?"
Small-Arms Dealer Teh Dave nods, allowing a brief smile to show through. "For now. Let him rest. Come at me when you're ready." He flashes a grin, then turns to watch something on another wall.
Paste-pot calliaphone slips the accordion straps over her head and places him safely against a wall. then she looks at Dave. huh, he's very interested in that wall over there. she sneakysneaks towards him, sidestepping.
Small-Arms Dealer Teh Dave keeps a rather loose stance, arms hanging at his sides, attention seemingly focused on a point about halfway up one of the climbing ropes.
Paste-pot calliaphone raises her arms, monster-like, as she gets closer. her footfall is . . . not exactly quiet. she trips over her feet, stumbles, recovers, and resumes sneaking. when she is within a few feet of Dave. . .
Paste-pot calliaphone launches. Feet first, straight-towards her target. As if she was about deliver a hug.
Small-Arms Dealer Teh Dave sidesteps just before calli reaches him, and catches her gingerly by an ankle. A quick motion, and she's on her back, unharmed, Dave standing over her. "Lessons one and two:"
Small-Arms Dealer Teh Dave holds up a finger. "Never assume your enemy is unguarded." Holds up a second. "Don't use more energy than you need to." He offers a hand down to help her up.
Paste-pot calliaphone blinks, gasping a little. that all happened rather . . . fast. she catches Dave's hand and swings herself up onto her feet. "you saw me? but i was all sneakying!"
Small-Arms Dealer Teh Dave grins. "Didn't see you. Heard you. Heard your movements, felt the mat shift, heard your feet leave the ground. That's lesson 3: Don't use only your eyes. You have other senses."
Paste-pot calliaphone says, "ohhhh!" and nods vigorously, absorbing all of this.
Small-Arms Dealer Teh Dave nods, seeing the information sink in. "The key to winning a fight, as far as I've always seen it, is to give your opponent the chance to make mistakes, let them tire themselves out."
Small-Arms Dealer Teh Dave grins widely. "And one of the best ways to do that, I've always found, is to let your opponent think thatyou're making mistakes."
Paste-pot calliaphone looks at Dave, quizzically. "i usually am making mistakes" she points out.
Small-Arms Dealer Teh Dave pauses, and furrows his brow. "True. But for that, you just need practice. Think of it like this: What happens to a machine when it's not used for a while?"
Paste-pot calliaphone says, without thinking, "rust, grease sets hard, bearings tighten up"
Small-Arms Dealer Teh Dave nods. "And how do you make sure that doesn't happen?"
Paste-pot calliaphone says, "best way is to run it, regular like."
Small-Arms Dealer Teh Dave nods. "And if, while it's running, it doesn't work the way it should, what do you do?"
Paste-pot calliaphone says, "depends what it's doing. but . . . usually a bit of tuning here or there, adjusting this or that, does the trick."
Small-Arms Dealer Teh Dave grins, and nods. "Bingo. It doesn't work right, you fix it so it does. And if it still doesn't, you keep fixing it until it works. Constantly adjusting, constantly adapting."
Small-Arms Dealer Teh Dave steps back into the middle of the rings, and smiles. "Now, come at me again. Remember that what you did last time didn't work."
Paste-pot calliaphone squints sidelong at Dave. she is Thinking This Through. Lots of concentration going on here.
Small-Arms Dealer Teh Dave spots the look and somehow manages to hide his grin. Yep, that's the look he wanted to see. He closes his eyes and stands in an easy, open stance once more.
Paste-pot calliaphone gulps. why is she nervous? Dave'd never hurt her. but still . . . oh man she wants to impress. she looks at him. eyes closed. but wait, what did he say about not seeing her? she pauses, frowning.
Small-Arms Dealer Teh Dave can't tell her, but he would, that he's already impressed. He tilts his head, listening for movement.
Paste-pot calliaphone tries something. she moves. but not towards Dave. she side-steps around the mat. Studying him. And listening - to the noise she's making. It's loud!
Small-Arms Dealer Teh Dave stands still, waiting patiently. He could stand like this all night if need be.
Paste-pot calliaphone wonders what to do about that! She has an idea. She stops, and tug tugs at her boots until they come off. And then, holding them, she proceeds with caution. zig-zagging slowly onto the mat.
Paste-pot calliaphone grips her boots tightly in her hands, as she gets closer.
Small-Arms Dealer Teh Dave makes no indication he hears calli approaching.
Paste-pot calliaphone eyes Dave carefully. And trips -- deliberately -- over her feet. As she tumbles, she tosses her boots towards him --- to the right. While she drops into a roll, to his left side.
Small-Arms Dealer Teh Dave 's head tilts, and he takes a quick step to the right, catching one of the boots. He blinks his eyes open and peers at it briefly.
Paste-pot calliaphone is ecstatic. "GOTCHA!" she yells, as she comes up out of the roll, perfectly poised to GLOMP Dave.
Small-Arms Dealer Teh Dave 's grin finally breaks out, and he takes a quick step into calli, one leg wrapping around hers, and a brief nudge to her shoulder in the opposite direction as he pulls his leg up slightly.
Paste-pot calliaphone says, "whuhhhh?"
Paste-pot calliaphone lands with a FLUMP in the crash mat, and stares up at Dave, dazedly. "huhhhh?"
Small-Arms Dealer Teh Dave grins down to calli, offering a hand up. "Good job. You adapted, you changed your strategy. So: what happened this time?"
Paste-pot calliaphone catches her breath. still on the mat, she thinkthinks. whatjusthappened?. "you . . . uhh. i . . . you KNEW!"
Small-Arms Dealer Teh Dave nods, walking around calli to demonstrate the mat's give. "I knew where you were, because I could feel the mat still. The boots were a nice maneuver, and would have worked better in other environs
Small-Arms Dealer Teh Dave stops at calli's head, and grins down to her. "Lesson 4: your surroundings are important. Everything around you can affect the outcome of a fight."
Paste-pot calliaphone sits up, testing the mat with her hand, and feeling Dave's footfall transfer.
Small-Arms Dealer Teh Dave steps about rather quietly, to help demonstrate to calli's hand.
Paste-pot calliaphone frowns, trying to figure out how to fox someone who's got the advantage of standing on a mat. What she needs is wings! preferably the kind with sparkles, like rookies get.
Small-Arms Dealer Teh Dave sees the expression and tilts his head. "What's up?"
Paste-pot calliaphone says, still frowning, "well, it's just . . . if you're on the mat, and you can feel what i'm doing . . . how do i surprise you?"
Paste-pot calliaphone says, "s'like trying to creep up on a spider in its web"
Small-Arms Dealer Teh Dave grins. "Good question. and I'll answer it with this: Why do you think I wear this coat everywhere?" He indicates his loose, duster-cut Lab Coat.
Paste-pot calliaphone then shudders, and hopes she never has to do that.
Paste-pot calliaphone looks at the lab-coat. "uhm. . . because it's got gigantic pockets for you to keep all your STUFF" she ventures. "like my CART! but . . . err. . ." quite how that helps in combat, eludes her.
Small-Arms Dealer Teh Dave nods. "Right, but if that's the only reason, I'd take it off to fight, wouldn't I?"
Small-Arms Dealer Teh Dave ignores, for the moment, the fact that he can pull things out of his pockets to help in a fight. That's another lesson for later.
Paste-pot calliaphone says, "ohh, huh, yeh." it's true. she sometimes climbs out of her cart to fight. when she can't pedal away fast enough.
Small-Arms Dealer Teh Dave grins, and takes a step back, letting his coat fold around in front of him, and lifts one leg, now hidden by the folds of the coat. "Which way is my foot pointing?"
Paste-pot calliaphone thinks again. "izzzit . . . camouflage?" but against what? Dave does all his fighting in Cyberia? "no, wait, er. . ."
Small-Arms Dealer Teh Dave nods. "Close. Though it's less so I'm not noticed, and more that monsters have a harder time seeing what I'm about to do. Just because I know where you are doesn't always mean I know what
Small-Arms Dealer Teh Dave continues "you're doing." He demonstrates, taking a couple kicks and punches at an unseen enemy, his movements obscured by the flapping of the coat, and the loose sleeves.
Paste-pot calliaphone says, "but i haven't got a coat." she did have one, but Bishop "borrowed it". Also, "still, a coat hides things from eyes, but not from feet stood on boingy mats." she thinks a moment.
Small-Arms Dealer Teh Dave turns to calli with a grin. "Misdirection and confusion. They're two of the best tools you have in a fight if you can't overpower your enemy. If you'd attacked while I was lunging for the boot,
Paste-pot calliaphone mutters to herself, "jus' cause he knows where i am doesn't mean. . ."
Small-Arms Dealer Teh Dave finishes: "you probably would have gotten me. Lesson five: Don't let opportunities pass quickly like that."
Paste-pot calliaphone says, "misdirection . . . that's like a circus trick. smoke'n'mirrors an'sleight of hand. confusion . . . " oh callia knows how to confuse people alright.
Small-Arms Dealer Teh Dave nods, grinning.
Paste-pot calliaphone might possibly have used this to her advantage, once or twice. in tricky situations. not everything takes place in the jungle.
Small-Arms Dealer Teh Dave grins. "So, back to your question, how do you surprise someone who knows where you are, can tell exactly where you're moving?" He ponders. "Y'ever hear of something called a "shell game"?"
Paste-pot calliaphone shakes her head. "what's that then?"
Small-Arms Dealer Teh Dave blinks, gaping, at calli. How long in circus and carnivals, and. . . He gathers himself. "It's. . .you have 3 cups, and a ball. You put the ball under one of the cups, then shfit them around."
Small-Arms Dealer Teh Dave continues. "After you're done switching them around, the better picks what cup has the ball in it. If they choose right, they win a prize. If they choose wrong, they lose their bet."
Paste-pot calliaphone says, "oh i know that. we jus' didn't call it that."
Small-Arms Dealer Teh Dave nods. "It's called a lot of things. But what's the key to how it works?"
Paste-pot calliaphone says, "pea's not under any of them thimbles. it's in yer hand."
Small-Arms Dealer Teh Dave nods, and waits for the information to sink in.
Small-Arms Dealer Teh Dave is fully prepared to nudge the information in the right direction if need be.
Paste-pot calliaphone says, slowly, "i'm the pea? so all i gotta do is make the thimbles. like with the boots. but . . . i didn't time it proper. i didn't . . . control where you looked an' then use it."
Small-Arms Dealer Teh Dave nods. "Something like that. It's usually easier with more crowded surroundings, like the Jungle." He grins sheepishly.
Paste-pot calliaphone says, "oh, huh. trees an' . . . stuff." she blinkblinks, owlishly. she's tiring.
Small-Arms Dealer Teh Dave nods. "Mostly the stuff, honestly. I think that's enough for now. You look like you're ready to collapse. You did good today though. I look forward to next time." He grins.
Paste-pot calliaphone says, "i did good?" she beams. but he's right. she has to sleep, and soon. "Dave, thankyou. for, y'know . . . chucking me on the mats an' that."
Small-Arms Dealer Teh Dave grins. "Any time. Consequently, next time, we'll be working on technique." He chuckles. "There should be some chocomilk in the fridge, and your hammock is r call."
Paste-pot calliaphone smiles, sleepily. chocomilk she will investigate in the morning. or . . . whenever she wakes up, at any rate. as for where to sleep. "yay, hammock!" she scrambles up and collects Cordy.
Paste-pot calliaphone pauses to tug her boots back on, and gives Dave a hug.
Small-Arms Dealer Teh Dave grins to himself as he hangs the crashmats back up, and stretches. Today's been a good day so far.
Small-Arms Dealer Teh Dave returns the hug with a smile. "Night calli."
Paste-pot calliaphone says, "night Dave," then turns and trots out in search of her hammock. she's pretty sure she knows the way. . .
Small-Arms Dealer Teh Dave grins and steps out to the Guest House.
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