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Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 24
Gorel grunted explosively as he slammed into the mat. Despite the safety fields active in the sparring room, he took a few moments to gather the pieces of his thoughts back together from where they had splattered.

"Maybe I should take Tadao up on his offer to spar. He certainly couldn't be much worse than you."

He gritted his teeth and rose to his knees, then stood. Niri watched him, eyes laughing although her mouth was set with a touch of concern. It really had been too long since he got in some good practice time, between the constant refitting of the Paris, then his time on leave, and most recently his time spent trying to prepare for his role as captain of the Yorktown.

"He's known nothing but Starfleet ships, with their low gravity and easy hours. I just need to shake the rust off."

They both wore their Kav Tora training singlets, close-fitting black material extending from just above the knees to just above the elbows. Niri's had quite a few more rank markings than his, which was to be expected, but he was still stung by how easily she'd thrown him around. He took a few breaths, trying to recenter himself, before resuming the ready stance. Niri, after a few moments, did the same, and their eyes locked.

They moved back and forth a bit, testing and withdrawing, keeping their hands up. Niri was certainly far more agile, but that wasn't the most important part of Kav Tora. It placed little emphasis on movement or evasion; rather, it prized toughness and efficiency.

She swept in, seeking to take him down with the same movement she'd used before, but when her shin struck his calf it was as though his stance was set in kelindide. He brushed aside her pushing arm with one of his, while the other struck her square in the chest with enough force to drive the breath from her lungs. She danced back to evade any follow-on grapple and smiled thinly. Perhaps he had been right.

He stepped forward, and she stepped in to meet him, lashing out first with fists and feet, and then with knees and elbows when the range closed. She had better technique, but he was able to shake off most of her attempts for a quick takedown, and if he wasn't quite as fit as she, he was larger and by no means out of shape. Within only a few passes they were smashing each other in the face, throat, and groin, trying to cause maximum pain. The safety fields were tuned low, just enough to prevent any lasting harm, and Gorel was confident from the lingering soreness that he'd need to see the facility medic to prevent too many unsightly bruises from showing. He grunted through his teeth as she kicked him in the side of the knee; it was likely that without the field's intervention, she'd have broken it in. He stepped towards her and she met him, stomping at his instep. There was another quick flurry of elbows and knees, narrowly blocked or deflected, before the comm panel on the wall blatted harshly.

"Tadao to Karn."

The pair fairly sprang apart, both pausing for a moment to ensure that the other had recognized that their match was on hold, before Gorel stepped quickly towards the panel, setting it for voice only.

"Yes, Mr. Iwaguchi?"

"Sorry to interrupt, sir, but the Okuda is approaching orbit."

"Ah, excellent. Thank you, Mr. Iwaguchi."

He cut the link with satisfaction. With the Yorktown progressing through its trials, Starfleet was anticipating full readiness and handover to its crew within the next month. The Pullman had brought Tadao and Niri, as well as 49 of the Yorktown's other crew, but they had been at ends for the last several weeks, lacking even the senior officers to begin shaking down their sections and running holodeck drills and exercises. The Okuda was carrying another 134 of his crew, a full 76 of them Cardassian, as well as bringing Lieutenant Commander Desano and Commander McIntyre back from their Risan leave. With nearly a quarter of the Yorktown's crew present, as well as most of the senior officers, Gorel was looking forward to putting in some long holodeck hours at least pretending to captain his ship.

His ship. It was really sinking in.

Niri's thumbs pressed into his ridges as she massaged his shoulders.

"Well, I suppose we should call it for now. Maybe a shower before heading to the spaceport?"

"That sounds good, but only a quick one. I need to find the facility medic; I'd rather not meet them with a black eye."

"Only one? I guess I do need to work on my technique."


Gorel stood in the spaceport terminal, Niri and Tadao flanking him. The Yorktown was testing the capacity of its power network, so Chief Macchia had his hands thoroughly full, and Gorel had seen no need to trouble him (or risk the ire of Commander Suren) by requesting his presence. This was mostly informal, anyway, despite the presence of uniforms: Megan and Allie wouldn't be officially reporting in until the next morning.

As always, Allie was easy to spot, for two reasons. The normal one was her height, at a gangly 1.87 meters; not too unusual in general, but certainly less common for human women. The sadder one was the invisible bubble that always accompanied her in public settings, a near-inevitable consequence of the borg implant replacing her right eye and exoskeletal modifications wrapped around her left hand. She had been lucky to be taken for only a few weeks, and even luckier to have been one of the drones sent to board a Starfleet ship; her home cube had been annihilated in a barrage of tricobalt torpedoes.

As always, the recovery from a drone back to a person had been difficult, and Allie had pushed her way through by dogged devotion to her work. The Paris had been her first posting after recovery, and she'd put in astonishing hours of work with virtually no time for recreation or socializing. The physical scars had healed, but the mental and emotional ones were harder to deal with.

Until Megan had gotten her claws into her.

"Captain Karn!"

Gorel controlled his twitching lips with some effort, although he could practically feel the grins radiating from behind him as a bouncing projectile in a science division uniform broke away from Allie's side to impact his chest. Megan always studiously observed the proper courtesies, but she was naturally ebullient and willing to skirt the line of appropriateness: clearly, not being due to report until tomorrow meant to her that she was free to act as she wished. After a moment, Gorel allowed himself to carefully return her hug.

Allie followed, towing two lockers, smiling a little ruefully at her wife's display. While she didn't brace to attention, she did stand at a more polite distance and nod respectfully.

"Captain Karn. Hey, Tad."

Megan looked around Gorel, grinning brightly when she saw Tadao in his shadow.

"Hey Tad!" she echoed, significantly more brightly than Allie had.

They would always be a study in contrasts. Allie, tall and slender, pale and borg-augmented, long mousy brown hair drawn back into a simple ponytail, happiest when waist-deep in the workings of a warp engine; Megan, short and curvaceous, evidence of all the strains of humanity in her epicanthic folds, coffee skin, and slicked-back dirty blonde hair, pursuing new stellar phenomena with the devotion of a lover.

"Hello, Megan, Allie," Tad said, smiling pleasantly, "how was Risa?"

"Oh, it was just," Megan sighed, "wonderful. Even if Allie did insist on wearing too much most of the time."

Color rose to Allie's cheeks as she met Gorel's eyes with something approaching horror, quickly averting her gaze earthwards.

"Megan, this isn't," she began, quietly, before Tad stepped in.

"Well, I'm sure Megan wore little enough for both of you, so it all worked out."

"Of course!" chirped Megan. "Oh, Captain, you should have come along, we met some very nice Cardassians who said that the climate was very relaxing, although it was too bright."

"Perhaps next time," Gorel demurred, choosing not to mention that it was difficult to get more relaxing than the actual climate of Cardassia Prime.

Megan looked around Gorel's other side.

"Hello, Commander! I'm Megan Desano, Lieutenant Commander (sciences)."

"Commander Niri Pasakun, security; it's a pleasure to make your acquaintance," Niri respondedly pleasantly, neatly swallowing any thoroughly unprofessional urge to step between this curvy, overly friendly little human and Gorel. They knew each other, after all, and Megan's wife was standing right behind her. For her part, Allie mumbled something greeting-like, obviously still rattled by her wife's oversharing.

"I thought it would be good for us to come meet you, now that you've arrived," Gorel said mildly. "We can show you to your temporary quarters, as well as the holodecks we'll start using tomorrow, and give you both your section manifests."

"That quick, eh?" Megan's voice was not exactly rebellious, but certainly regretful. Gorel smiled down at her, a baring of teeth that seemed more appropriate to something from the deep oceans.

"We've been waiting to get started on training for weeks. I am happy to see you both, but we need to get our crew broken in, because we're going to get Yorktown in only a few weeks. There will be many eyes on us, and I do not intend to fail. Consider yourselves lucky, you only have to please one person."

"Yeah, but, he's you."

Gorel arched one brow, and Allie placed one hand on her wife's shoulder.

"We won't disappoint you, sir."

Last edited by thesciencer; 04-09-2013 at 02:05 PM.