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[ROUND 1] Lt Katy Orman - Water Runs From the Snow

Lt. Cmdr. Katy Orman

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((USS Victory, Deck 9, Gymnasium))

::Deck 9 was often called the 'security deck', due to its housing of the brig, the security office, and the quarters of nearly all the security personnel. As a result, it came complete with its own Gymnasium, but it wasn't a particularly large one. Katy was not the first head of Security to find the facilities inadequate; on her previous post, the Eagle, the entirety of Cargo Bay 3 had been converted into gym space. Katy had chosen a different solution; the adjoining men's lavatory had been removed and it's counterpart across the hall turned into a unisex lav. The extra space thus gained was enough to add some more equipment and a set of mats.::

::It is to the opposite corner, however, that we now turn our attention, where Katy was busy with the heavy bag. Katy was not a regular at the heavy bag; her style of fighting emphasised effortless power over muscular strength. Still, she did use it from time to time for the workout or to work on technique. She had never, however, used it like this. A small, slightly intimidated crowd of off-duty security crew were inconspicuously gathered to watch as she pummeled the sand-filled bag with an ever-more-rapid series of vicious strikes. A series of jabs and crosses was followed by a backfist, an elbow jab, and then a succession of knee strikes as she grabbed onto the bag as though restraining it from escaping. After perhaps a few dozen such strikes she broke away and started knocking it about with front and side kicks. Her expression throughout all of this was completely dispassionate but completely focused, a nigh-perfect poker face despite the sweat running down her head and streaking her foundation. Her hair was likewise a mess, the hairsticks having come loose and fallen to the gym floor in the first fifteen seconds of her attack on the bag.::

::The small crowd was growing larger as passers-by were drawn in. It had begun with a few people when Katy swept into the gym dressed for a social affair and, ignoring all greetings and questions completely, kicked off her shoes and went straight for the heavy bag. That had been nearly fifteen minutes ago and the spectators now numbered nearly a dozen.::

::At this point the mask of emotionless broke. Her face twisted into a grimace, she let out a shout and jumped into a spinning roundhouse kick. The shout was less a kiai and more a scream of pain. It took the onlookers by surprise, which was nothing compared to what it did to the bag. It was a kick designed primarily for knocking riders off of horses, and was of very little use in actual combat, but it looked impressive and delivered tremendous force. The bag swung back more than 70 degrees. When it swung back, Katy met it with a shoulder block and another scream, then immediately followed up with a flurry of jabs fast enough to be a blur to the naked eye., her footwork keeping her at a steady distance from the now-wildly-swinging bag::

::At this point, one of the crowd of onlookers took a few steps away from the others, a frown making his youthful features look positively droopy. He took a commbadge from the pocket of his sweats and spoke in a low voice.::

Davies: =/\= Davies to Leonard. Get Lance and get to the gym. =/\=

::After a moment there was a response, not hushed at all but it still went mostly unnoticed over the sounds of fists pounding bag.::

Leonard: =/\= I'm busy, Gil. =/\=

::Gil's voice got even quieter.::

Davies: =/\= It's Katy, Herc. =/\=

::Another moment passed.::

Leonard: =/\= Be there soon. =/\=

::Meanwhile, Katy's punches and kicks were slowing down and getting sloppier. Her breathing was no longer steady but punctuated by heaving gasps at random intervals. The screams were gone; instead, there was a sound, quiet but rising in volume. Gil's brain tried to assign a label to it and could only come up with 'keening'. It got louder and louder, and Katy was sinking to her knees now, still lashing out desperately at the bag as though it were some creature out of nightmare. Several in the crowd were pushing forward, but Gil outpaced them and held out his arms to indicate they should stay back. Turning, he approached cautiously, shoving his commbadge back into his pocket. He made sure he approached in her field of vision, watched her body language carefully... ::


::Things were simpler in Katy's head. Everything was cold inside, frozen and motionless. Too cold. It hurt. She had to break it, melt it. Had to HIT things. She knew. That was the way. So she found something to hit, and she hit it and hit it and hit it and hit it and it started to burn, in her hands and in her muscles and her eyes and surely that would touch the cold, surely the melting would begin soon, and she hit and hit and hit and the rhythm was a song in her head, a song she knew but could not remember hearing, until finally--::

oO Water runs from the snow... Oo

::And she didn't know where that had come from but it fit and suddenly the ice was breaking, shattering, an explosion, and the heat flowed through and on her and the heat was fear and the heat was rage and was everything she didn't look at but was always aware of and she kept HITTING and it was good and it was terrible and everything hurt, the air in her lungs hurt and her legs were burning, traitorous legs, collapsing under the weight of it all, and then someone was there and he was holding her and she hit and hit and HIT but it wasn't working anymore, the heat was all just running down her weak, foolish legs and into the floor, leaving her empty...::


::She struck at him, weak but sharp blows at his chest, and he winced but held on, sitting and drawing her onto his lap. In his peripheral vision he saw that Herc had arrived, wearing what looked like a black velvet bathrobe, and was efficiently getting the crowd out of there. He didn't spare it a glance, trusting Herc to do his part well. The woman in his lap had stopped lashing out, but her body was tense and shaking. She started coughing violently, a dry tearing sound that made Gil wince a bit. He just held on, not making a sound. He noticed he was rocking gently back and forth, idly wondered when he'd started doing that. Herc approached them once everyone was gone, but said nothing, just giving it time.::

Orman: ::quietly, between coughs:: hurts.

::Gil just kept rocking her. After a minute Lance ran in, wearing his uniform of all things. When he saw Katy crumpled in Gil's arms on the floor he rushed across the gym with fire in his eyes.::

Parkin: What hap--

::A raised hand and a look from Herc stopped him midword, and he too came to stand nearby, albeit with much more nervous energy evident.::

::The coughing began to taper, and slowly the tension in the woman in his arms reduced, becoming something normal. A normal tension rather than the disturbing tightness that had filled her before as though she were made of skin bound around coiled rope. Somehow he felt that was his cue to stop rocking. It was oddly difficult to stop, a strange sort of inertia, but he did. Soon thereafter Katy began to speak. Her voice was very quiet, barely making it to his ears despite being so close.::

Orman: This is unlike the story it was written to be...

::Which to Gil's mind made no sense at all, but that was alright. She was talking.::


::There was warm, and cool, and soft and stable and soothing and uncomfortable, and it all fit in a way she couldn't piece together immediately. Slowly it began to resolve; not like the world fading in or coming into focus, but more like a painting that you are looking at so close that you can only see the chaotic mess of the brush strokes, but then you back up and see that they actually make sense and form a picture. She was on the floor, in someone's lap...::

oO ...Gil? Why? Oo

::She waited for brush strokes to become pictures. Slower than treacle, memory and understanding began to mesh. She tried to speak, said the first words she found in her head, but they didn't make sense, so she waited a bit longer. She looked around her, seeking out points of reference.::

Orman: I'm in the gym.

Davies: Yes.

Orman: Gil?

Davies: That's me.

Orman: I'm in your lap.

::She actually heard him smile.::

Davies: Yep.

Orman: Lance and Herc are here, too.

::Lance spoke up, which Katy found irrationally startling.::

Parkin: Uh-huh.

Orman: Gil?

Davies: Still here.

Orman: I freaked out, didn't I?

Davies: ::after a moment:: Yes. You did.

::She rested her forehead on his shoulder for a moment, trying to piece things together.::

Orman: Kind of like a panic attack. I'm... not ready to talk about it.

oO Or think about it, really. Oo

Leonard: Don't have to.

Parkin: But we're here.

::Katy smiled at that. Then her forehead wrinkled with concern as another part of her sensory experience was identified.::

Orman: Gil?

Davies: Yeah.

Orman: ::in a delicate tone:: Do you have a...

::She glanced up as her words trailed off. He was blushing a deep, deep red.::

Davies: Um. You've... you've been sweating a lot.

Leonard: ::in a tone of embarrased sympathy:: Yeah... you really have.

Orman: I should probably get out of your lap now.

Davies: Yeah. Yeah, I think that's best.

::With some help from the three of them, she managed to get upright. They steadied her until she wasn't dizzy any longer.::

Parkin: ::decisively:: Come on.

::Katy looked at him in confusion::

Parkin: Well, we're not going to stand around in the gym all day. And I think you could use a professional listener.

Orman: The counselor? I've never met him, but I figure he's probably on shore leave.

Parkin: ::with a grin:: Ooh, counselor, good thought. But I was actually thinking something else...

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