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Teaching the Blue Man Group

Posted on Friday June 30, 2017 @ 4:55pm by Lieutenant Ben Carsassis & Lieutenant JG Hilae t'Rehu

Mission: The Gathering Storm (ST6)
Location: Crew quarters/training bay

Hilea was sitting on a simple wooden bench. It did have a small amount of padding. In front of her lie the sturdy wooden table. Rustic and think, it was pockmarked and distressed from use. It reminded her of a similar one that used to sit in her family home. She tried not to think about the heartache, instead concentrating on the task at hand.

Laying out her kit, she took the load bearing vest, and disassembled it. Each item carefully tended to, either sharpened, recharged, or in the case of her darts and arrows, testing the poisons for potency.

Her bow was unstrung, check the bowstring then packed away in its folding case. The quiver was reloaded as she was interrupted in thought and deed by the chime from the door.

"Entrance!" Hilea was still getting used to the bulky Standard language. Even the chemical learning she was receiving was taking time to form the alien connections in her brain.

The door opened, revealing a person in tight-fitting combat armour. "Umm.. Hi," Ben said. "Looking to try to discover how much I suck at fighting. Care to help?" His combat HUD showing all kinds of interesting things about the array of weapons on the table. His sensors showing him vitals on Lt t'Rehu (including an FoF (Friend or Foe) friendly designation. "Cool...," he said, not even realising he'd said that last bit out loud.

Hilea's was taken aback by the armor. Instinctively her hand went to the blade she kept inside each boot. She relaxed when she saw who it was. "You look ridiculous. Is there a costume gathering I am unaware we need to attend?"

Ben chuckled, "I know,.. It looks like something out of a holo-RPG, doesn't it. I have to say though, being able to walk is a new experience, though. Only problem is, I'm not used to the weight distribution and how my centre of gravity moves yet, so I keep falling over." In his helmet, he looked sheepish, fortunately for Ben, the woman before him couldn't see his face. "I have to be able to be out in the field and this is how I get there." In truth, Ben was definitely pushing the limits of his capabilities on movement; his body just wasn't used to it yet. He figured getting tossed around like a ragdoll might help.

"We'll need to evaluate how well you can move before we can formulate a strategy for you." She moved to the side of the room. "I'd like you to work on some balance exercises. That will let us know where you need the most help. Put your arms out straight left and right and practice standing on one leg at a time."

Ben nodded, concentrated and lifted one leg. His arms started to cartwheel as his body started to move, overcompensating in each direction until he landed sideways on. "Oof," were the only words he uttered as he hit the floor. He stood up and switched legs, much to the same result. "This may take a while," he said.

"I can teach you.....once you can stand and balance. There would be little point in teaching you more advanced techniques until such time. It's going to sound odd, but you might want to practice dancing. There is movement, balance and timing, things you need to the most now." Lt t'Rehu offered.

Ben rose to his feet, "Ok, where do we start? Believe it or not, I've never danced before."

Hilea mumbled something in Romulan the computer had trouble translating as it came across as "element protect me", she offered in Standard, "I did offer. Though I did not think the whole thought out first." A rare slight smile passed for a second and was gone.

'We will start with a children's dance. You will mirror my movements. " She started and moved one foot in front of the other intentionally making it pass over the centerline and toward the opposite edge of the body.

Ben fired up his 'pitch and yaw' interface on his HUD and used it to help him maintain his balance. As his weight shifted over his centre, he almost lost it but my focusing solely on the HUD, he managed to maintain his balance. "HA!" This was followed by a bit of cartwheeling of his arms before righting himself. "Phew, that was close..."

"Their is no muscle memory for your body to follow, so your balance is untrained and child-like. That is fact, not a slur on your ability or disability. You will need to practice often. At least daily to build up not only the muscle memory but the brain connections that cause it all to work together." She was thoughtful for a minute. "Perhaps we an combine the two. Humans have almost an interest in the ancient weapons as strong as Romulans do and this intrigued me. I replicated a Kendo stick. You should have a practice dummy in your quarters. Being handy with a Romulan or even some Earth swords is as much about balance and speed as anything. It's not about force."

Ben nodded, "sounds like a good idea. I need to practice with melee and ranged weapons anyway. One thing I do is tenacious. I'll keep going till it works..." He took the weapon offered. "Right, show me what to do."

Since I only have the one practice, I will need use a real blade. I did not anticipate having pew pills to teach. " Her Standard was improving some, still some works escaped her. "Do not worry. I will keep it sheathed."

She stood facing him and held her sword out on handed. "Proper stance first. Whichever is your dominant hand, you will hold it there, but the opposite foot leads for balance. A slight crouch with the lead foot extended." She mirrored what she wanted him to do. "The attack of a weapon depends on what it was designed to do. Earth fencing uses thin point blades good for little except poking and light slicing. This bamboo kendo will do for now, its forte is slashing and stabbing. She turned to demonstrate in slow motion. Raising the sword over her head with both hands, she brought it down, lightly touching his arm. Pulling back, she she brought it to her right side and again slowly swept it across his midsection. "I don't want you to be fast. Speed will come, quality will not if you are sloppy." She added.

Ben nodded. He mirrored her ready stance, gripping the weapon as indicated. Although he was off balance for a lot of it, his upper body work was near perfect. His flying and ned for superb upper body reflexes and conditioning helped enormously. He brought the bamboo sword down on Hilae's arm harder than he intended, following up with a quick, "sorry!" before bringing it across her midsection, almost forgetting to move his feet with the action.

To prove a point, she quickly jabbed him in the should that wasn't extended, which upset his balance. He wobbled to and fro, nearly losing his balance. "While I love a challenge. I think we need to start with exercises. Exactly how long have you been walking?" She asked.

Ben got his feet back under him, managing not to fall over. "Me? Since yesterday. What's making it harder is that the suit's walking, I'm just 'piloting' it. My legs aren't working, I'm just responding to how the suit moves." He started running through the motions again. "I've set up 'helpers' in the HUD which, once I've got the hang of this, I'll be able to turn off when my own body gets used to how to move." He paused again before continuing, "I can fly rings around almost any pilot. I can do this!" he said with exuberance, starting the motions again.

"Elements willing, you will be walking on your own soon Lieutenant. I suggest giving it a bit more time before we try this again. When you pilot a ship, one familiar to you, how much conscious thought is involved?" Hilea asked.

Ben smiled (not that she could see in the helmet, but his voice was light enough, "they can't fix me. This is the best deal I have for walking around like a normal person," he said. "As for piloting a ship, it's a lot of instinct. I've been flying since I was small. My dad modified his cockpit so me being the co-pilot was not a problem." He paused, shrugging slightly, "I've never let anyone tell me what I can and can't do; it's just not in my nature. I'll get this to work or die trying!" He chuckled at the end. "Besides, for me to be truly a member of this team, I have to be able to take care of myself. This suit will let me do that."

"You misunderstand. Normal tasks once they become normal, will allow you a more fluid movement, which will allow you to become a more effective warrior." She corrected.

Ben thought about that for a moment, "I see what you meant; sorry." He took up the ready stance again, paying close attention to how his body moved and his equilibrium then slowly and carefully went through the motions again, with a notable improvement, now he wasn't trying to overreach the goal by 'running before he could even walk'.

"Good. Practice like that. If you can, refrain from using the 'draegan dhaemn' anymore." The universal translator came up with limiting chair for the wheelchair. "It's inelegant and will hamper the training of your movement."

"I'll have to use the chair amongst the everyday population (we're supposed to be hush-hush) but I get your point. Live in teh suit and get used to it." He paused a moment before adding, "Thank you for your help, Lieutenant. I really appreciate it. I owe you one."


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