Post-Mission Eleven: On the Subject of Hearing Loss


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YSS Kaiyo II

Sacre stood several meters away from the target. She held Vera in her hand. With a swift action, Sacre threw the knife into the target, hitting the bullseye precisely, joining several other knives that were already there. It was a good spread, her dilligant practice with throwing knives continued to pay off.

Sacre marched forward to gather the dozen or so knives that were in the target. Sacre returned to her postion to work on her more tricky throws. Ones were if it was properly done, the knife would seem to appear from nowhere in the moment she threw it. She had already worked on palming knives from around her body quickly. She still hid some knives in her sleeve so that she could do it without the Coralians as well. It was never good to rely on having one trick.

Unbeknownst to Sacre, another crewmember had silently entered the dojo whilst the Separa'shan had been focussed on her target, and had begun setting up a heavy bag in the back corner. Gravity was dressed in naught but a pair of form-fitting volleyball shorts and a sports bra. She loathed wearing any more clothing than was necessary during a workout.

The pilot wearily eyed the medic from behind. Sacre with knives was a dangerous combination, so it would probably be best to just stay out of the way. Gravity sat on the mat and began tightly wrapping her wrists with tape, then set to work on pulling on a pair of boxing gloves with her teeth, since her hands weren't very useful once wrapped. When she stood up, Gravity realized her one mistake: she'd forgotten to turn on some music before wrapping her hands. No matter, that was a simple matter of using her big toe to select a playlist on her communicator's touch screen.

Guitars and drums began blaring obnoxiously from the speakers. It was fast, it was upbeat, it got Gravity's blood pumping. Gravity took a stance, took a few quick breathes, then sent out a lightning-fast jab that connected with the bag with such force that the resulting "pop" sounded like a gunshot. Gravity grinned ferally, with a predatory look in her eyes as she focussed solely on the bag, then began bouncing around on the balls of her feet and practicing various combinations.

Sacre turned to look at Gravity, the music was loud, fast, and upbeat. However, it was also throwing Sacre off her rythem. She had found that careful delibrate practice and rock music was not a combination that worked for her. Moving suprisingly silently, she slid over to Gravity and stood behind her. "Do you practice annoying your fellow soldiers or do you genuinely think everyone shares your boorish taste in music?"

Turns out, Sacre's sudden interruption threw Gravity off of her own rhythm. That, while just a little annoying, wasn't that big of a deal for her. But calling her names and insulting her music? That was just a little too much in her book. Gravity, however, continued punching and kicking away, not even bothering to look at Sacre.

"I dunno, do you genuinely think I care what you think about my music?" she shot back through her labored breathing, a cocky little smile turning up the corners of her lips. If the medic wanted to trade barbs, Gravity would play along. But she would never, ever give Sacre the satisfaction of putting her down, no matter how cute- nevermind.

"No, but I do expect for you to wear ear buds when the racket that you call music might disturb other people. Even if, at the volumes you seem to enjoy, hearing damage is certain." Sacre said, sliding around the punching bag and then lifting it up to a nearly horizontal postion so that Gravity would have to pay attention to her.

Gravity gave a small shrug and smirked.

"Well there you have it! I'm simply avoiding hearing damage, as per the advice of a medical professional!" retorted the smaller woman, who was becoming more and more irritated as the seconds passed without hitting something. "Now step aside. I'm busy, sweetheart."

"The advice of the medical professional is to listen with ear buds at a lower sound level, which in your infinite wisdom are ignoring. Sweetheart." Sacre said with more then a bit of sarcasm as she became more irritated at the Neko. She liked Gravity, more then she liked most people. However, she had this habit of getting under her skin that was infuriating.

"Well, maybe I don't want to, and maybe you should just learn to throw your cutesy little knives while being distracted. What sort of combat scenario's gonna be quiet and calm?" Gravity huffed with a look of contempt. She liked Sacre, maybe even thought she was a little attractive, but christ if she didn't know how to be a stick in the mud!

"Not all practice is combat practice. Sweetie. We've got to share this Dojo and I don't want to listen to your music!" Sacre exclaimed, trying one last time to get through to Gravity. The pushing bag was heavy and this conversation was taking longer then she expected.

"Yeah? Well what are you going to do about it?" Gravity challenged.

Sacre let go of the punching bag, sending a hundred and twenty kilos of bag swinging at Gravity. "For starters, I'm going to let go this punching bag."

Gravity cocked an eyebrow and reached out deftly with one hand. A Neko could easily lift up to two hundred fifty kilos, so the bag stopped with little effort. Then, she sent it right back.

"...And?" asked the Neko with a smug little grin.

"Then we settle this in the long tradtion of the infantry." Sacre said, straightening to her full height of six and three quarters feet for the first time Gravity had ever seen. "I kick your ass, you wear ear buds at a volume that doesn't threaten your hearing. You kick my ass, we'll listen to the screeching cacophany that you seem to enjoy. Any terms?" She asked.

Sacre could see Gravity's pupils dilate like a tiger stalking its prey. Her breathing quickened with excitement and anticipation of a good-old-fashioned grudge match. Quickly, she pulled her gloves off with her teeth and undid her wrappings, tossing them in a corner and quickly bouncing to the center of the mat, where she took up the "masubi dachi" stance, learned from her experience in Neju Koyu.

"You're on! My music gets to be the soundtrack!" said the pilot, who seemed to be transforming into a completely different person. She didn't seem to care at all that her opponent was several feet taller and had a tail that could crush her.

"I'm not planning on killing you. No broken bones. Nothing that would keep us out the next time we deploy." As she named her terms, Sacre took several moments to disarm herself of the knives. She started with the obvious places like the belt and where Vera usually hung under her breasts. Then she just kept pulling knives out of more and more locations. Most of them concaled in some way. When she was done, there was a suprisingly large pile of knives of all shape and sizes on the floor in the corner. "Good?" She asked as she turned to Gravity.

Gravity bowed as per tradition, then extended her left leg, pointing her toes at Sacre. Her lead hand came up, open-palmed, while her other stayed coiled back, ready to strike. She stared with complete focus at Sacre, time seeming to slow around her. The calm before the storm.

"Come and get it, you overgrown pasta noodle." she goaded.

"Oh, I plan to kitten." Sacre said, coiling and then using her long tail as a spring to launch herself bodily at Gravity. The neko knew that she needed to stay away from the other woman's tail at all costs. It was long, and it was easily capable of picking her up like a toy. So she launched herself high and over Sacre, again using her abilities to bring down the heel of her foot at the separa'shan's upper back in a powerful axe kick.

Sacre twisted, her tail lashing upwards to wrap her tail around Gravity's leg and pull her down to the ground. Sacre grabbed onto Gravity with her hands as her tail started to make it's way up Gravity's body. The azure neko responded with a snarl, and instead of wasting energy trying to fight off nearly fourteen feet of elastic muscle, she wrapped her arms around the tail, planted her head against Sacre's chest, and used her gravity manipulation to drive them both down into the gound as hard as she could. The idea was that the impact would shock the separa'shan into letting go and allowing her time to escape.

She had to admit though, Sacre's body felt kinda ni- No! Focus!

There was a chuff as hitting the ground made her loose her breath for a second. Her tail stopped moving for an instant as she caught her breath. However, it didn't let go. Her silky smooth scales started twisting again to wrap Gravity in a breath crushing embrace. To do that she needed a bit of clearance between herself and Gravity which was not happening at this angle.

Gravity figured out Sacre's strategy, and it was admittedly predictable, but highly effective. She knew she needed to get away from the tail, but making a move right now would give the medic an opening. To stall for time, Gravity wrapped herself tightly around Sacre's torso, bringing the two face to face as the neko tried to close up any gap between her and her opponent. She still needed to think of something fast.

Maybe a psychological attack? Though breathing heavily from exertion, Gravity managed her friendliest smile.

"You have beautiful eyes." she muttered to the separa'shan.

Sacre blinked, not sure how to take that comment. Beautiful was not a word Sacre used to describe herself. Words like broken, beaten down, worn out, and tired were more familiar to how she saw herself. For a moment her coiling paused. "Really?" She asked as if Gravity had just told her the moon was made of green cheese.

Gravity paused herself, momentarily forgetting her current predicament. She cocked an eyebrow at the medic below her. Had no one ever told Sacre that her eyes were like glittering gemstones?

"I mean, I was saying that to try and distract you so I could escape, but, yeah, it's true! You have absolutely gorgeous eyes. They're like two flawless emeralds." She admitted, now concerned about this topic. Sacre needed a self-esteem boost more than she needed an ass-kicking.

Sacre was quiet for a moment as she got a better grip of Gravity, she felt she was firmly in control of the situation. As she groped for words to express her confused thoughts, the stray thought that Gravity being pressed up against her was actually pretty nice crossed her mind. However, she pushed it away. "uhhh... erm... thanks I guess? You have nice eyes too?" She said, not sure what to say.

The blue neko blushed and averted her eyes for a moment. This was the weirdest fight ever.

"Ahem...! Thanks... so, what were we doing again?" She asked quietly, practically begging for a change of subject.

"Right." Sacre resumed her twisting in ernest, trying to push the Neko off of her with her arms so that she could get a proper grip around Gavity's midsection to start squeezing the breath out of her.

"Sorry about this!" Gravity gritted out before raising her right arm and sending several elbow strikes down at Sacre's temple. However, now her blows seemed just a little softer and less malicious, as if she were merely sparring instead of trying to beat her oponent to a pulp. Wouldn't want to damage that pretty little face, after all. The moment Sacre's grip loosened, she would fly away as fast as she could to create distance.

"ow" Sacre said raising her hands to deflect the elbow strikes and loosening ever so slightly. Gravity felt this, and took her chances at trying to fly away as fast as she could, heading straight forward over Sacre's head. As gravity flew upward, Sacre latched onto one of Gravity's legs and held on. "You not getting away that easily." Sacre grunted,

"Yes the fuck I am!" Gravity stated and planted her foot on top of Sacre's head, pushing down and prying with all of her might.

Sacre was annoyed by the foot in her face, pushing her head backward. So she unhinged her jaw and opened up her mouth and chomped down on the offending appendage. Her tail was starting to reach up again to let her get a better grip on the stubborn Neko. This elicited a yelp of pain from Gravity, who immediately shook it off and growled in rage. She began stomping her foot down even harder, and when Sacre's tail caught up, the pilot gripped the end and chomped down on it as well. See how the bitch liked THAT!

With both ends anchored, Sacre started to wind her long tail back around Gravity's body. This sent Gravity into panic mode. The Neko began thrashing wildly, eager to claw, kick, punch, or bite any surface near her. However, Shepra'Shan, especially Pythus, like Sacre were biologically programmed for taking down struggling food. Sacre let go of Gravity's foot as she needed to continue to wind herself around Gravity.

Gravity placed her hands against Sacre's tail and began pushing away with all her might.

"Ooh! Kinky!" She joked through a strained voice as she put all of her strength into preventing Sacre from finishing her move.

Sacre turned upwards, and grabbed Gravity's arms with her hands to stop them. "Not really, not unless your into vore." She commented.

"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but bondage ropes excite me!" Laughed the pilot with a wink before resuming her struggles.

Sacre was fairly firmly in control of the situation again, so she didn't feel threatened by Gravity, at lest not at the moment. She gave a shudder that Gravity could feel at the memories that bondage brought back. She seemed a bit less enthusiastic at the moment. "I've never really gotten why anyone likes those damn things." Sacre commented, it was probably the first time that Gravity had heard Sacre swear. It took a special occasion for her to use obsensity or profanity in her insults.

The Neko quirked an eyebrow, feeling the shudder run all the way down Sacre's tail. She couldn't help but feel a little accomplished at making the stony woman use a curse, though. It made her seem... just a little bit more human, she thought. Gravity game the medic a little shrug.

"It's... fun...? I guess...?" she offered awkwardly. This whole moment had become weird again. Damn.

Sacre had some obvious distaste for it, "But why?"

"Like... uh... well...?" Gravity mumbled, not really sure how to word it to someone else. But she gave it her best. "...I'm a Nekovalkyrja, and I'm born both physically and mentally strong. I'm a fighter, trained to defeat any adversary I come across. It's ingrained in my DNA. So... basically, to have someone who is stronger than me be the dominant one instead of the other way around is... a relief? Oh, and it's hot, but that's a personal preference. Anyway, so, yeah! The feeling of being at the mercy of someone else instead of constantly battling to be the winner is... exhilerating."

Gravity hoped that would be good enough, because she could sense that Sacre didn't feel the same way about the matter.

Sacre grimiced, "Being at the mercy of someone else, isn't something that I ever want to feel again. Especially when that someone has no mercy." She squeezed Gravity a little bit, not enough to hurt, but enough to remind her that Sacre was currently wrapped around her "Are we done here?" She asked.

Gravity looked at Sacre with wonder. The Separa'shan was a complete mystery to her, but she was starting to see just a little glimpse into who she was. Someone in the past hadn't shown her any mercy- had probably tied her up quite a bit as well. She'd always wondered about the origin of that massive scar on her tail. But none the less, she nodded. She didn't feel like dragging this out. That would just be embarassing.

"Yeah. You won, fair and square." She admitted, her shattered ego evident in her voice.

Sacre didn't really feel victorious at the moment. The conversation with Gravity had brought back old memories. Memories that she had tried to forget. "Good." She said, dropping Gravity on the floor and then leaving the Dojo.

Gravity stood and watched the medic go, feeling just a bit awkward about this whole ordeal. Against her better judgement, she spoke to Sacre's retreating form.

"You know, it's not all bad! The trick is finding the right person; someone who cares about you, someone you trust." she added, averting her eyes to a very interesting spot on the mat.

Before she went through the door, Sacre pause and said quietly, "That's something I'll never have." Then she was gone.
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