2019-05-06 - To Spar Or Not To Spar


Koa decides to get some sparring practice in.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Mon May 6 03:19:36 2019
Location: Battery Park

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When Koa had asked if Keiko had free time, it's possible that she didn't know what to expect. When he'd asked her to bring his staff… well, it's likely she REALLY didn't know what to expect.

But she's been down to Battery Park before, likely. This is the far south tip of the island. It's nice, the area around it is nice. Just north is the Financial district which as one might imagine, has a lot of money.

Koa is waiting for Keiko. He what she might at first mistake for some kind of odd stick, but when she gets closer, it's a waster. A really nice polycarbonate one for a medieval sword. Which sword is likely not immediately evident based on her own experiences.

There are no spirits. No emergencies that are immediately evident. Just Koa. Hanging out with a practice sword at a bench in the park.

Keiko has free time, a little more than usual with the payments from SHIELD. It feels strange to her, admitting that. She's busy with their work but the payments are such that they replace several of the jobs she might do on her own.

Arriving on her bicycle, her pack on her back, the tattooed woman frowns at Koa as he sits on the bench. "You wanted to see me, Agent Turner? Is that something you wanted me to look at? I haven't a sword like that before." She … thinks this is work.

Chaining her bike up, she makes her way to the bench, looking at the Agent curiously.

Koa rises and lets Keiko look at the waster. "It's a practice sword, Which is why it's not especially sharp." Even if it is the right shape and all. "And made of high strength plastic. You said you're a warrior right? I'm… not. I mean you've seen me fight. I can do it. I've got a lot of tools that help. But I could use the practice if you're between jobs."

Which he suspects she will be. He'd asked if she had free time, after all.

"And the park is a good place for it. I've seen you use that staff, so I know you can do it."

Keiko takes her time examining the polycarbonate weapon, hefting it in her hand and giving it a swing. She cants her head as Koa speaks. "I'm a warrior, but not the best of us…" she answers slowly. "I … you want to practice with me? Are you sure?"

The way she's moving that waster she's not bad. Flipping it, the tattooed woman hands it back to him, hilt first.

"I … could you use the practice myself, but I hope I don't let you down …" Dropping the pack from her shoulder, Keiko removes the rod and shakes it out. "You know this is a Nightfall weapon. If I hit you with it, it will hurt." smirk "Do you want me to bring my spirits in, or do you just want to spar?"

"Sparring is fine. We can practice with powers later. If I use my bracer and hit you with, er, anything held in this hand, it'll hurt. And I'm not the best swordsman around by a longshot. Hell I'm probably not even the best swordsman in this voting district."

But practice makes perfect. Koa spins that practice blade a couple of times. It works in one hand but it's clearly meant for two. Then he sets a stance. Waist level, blade angled up.

"Alright, Keiko. Let's see what you've got."

There's a light in Keiko's eye as Koa clarifies that yes, he really does want to spar with her. The quarterstaff twirls as the tattooed woman circles, she feints bringing the staff down on the sword, backs off, circles and feints again. Testing him. His reflexes and skill.

"That's a two handed weapon, why are you using it one-handed if you aren't a master swordsman?"

"I only need the second hand for power. Which I don't want right now. If I overcommit you'll put me on my back." Koa returns, swatting away the tip of the staff a couple of times. He keeps moving. He's clearly accustomed to the cadence of a fight. Then he's lunging, coming in high. He's not striking at Keiko directly but rather trying to put his blade on her staff and slide it all the way up to the crossguard.

It's not a very common style, though it's becoming more so. He doesn't pull back for a second strike. Just twists his blade and tries to force her staff into a disadvantageous position.

"You're putting yourself at a disadvantage. That's not ideal, if you mean business." Keiko answers, falling back and letting him lunge. The staff meets the waster, slides down the blade to the crossguard, Keiko moves with it, turning her body to disengage and put the staff in front of her.

She fights with the staff and her body. She's mobile

"Interesting style. It's not seen much around here." The staff moves again, encouraging him onwards.

"It's from Germany." Koa grunts. "Picked up while studying the Saxon migration."

Interesting thing to pick up perhaps but a guy's gotta have a hobby. It's evident that she's probably better trained than he is. In a fight he relies a great deal on his superhuman abilities to keep him relevant and he's not using them right now. That said it is also clear that he's no rank amateur. He's been trained, he knows what he's doing and he's used these techniques in combat.

Koa abruptly reverses the direction of his push, sliding his blade down the staff and using the far end of it to push it and her to his right…

… where he lashes out with a snap kick. From the knee. No power behind it but enough to knock her leg good if she isn't careful.

"That's the country that started the war, right?" Keiko's working and it sounds a bit in her voice. She's not superhuman, she's not even magical. When she calls her spirit animals, that's take some of her concentration, not to mention the pain that she experiences. All she has right now is her training and agility, which she'll use.

As his push comes, the staff comes round, dipping, hooking his ankle as he kicks. Hooking up, to put him off balance as she uses the momentum of his push to keep moving. She shouldn't be where that kick lands.

"Very … good."

Koa finds his own momentum turned against him and has not choice but to literally roll with it. He manages to spin and get himself back on two feet but she's already moved on by then and he takes a step back to reset his guard.

Both hands this time.

"Which one? There've been a few. If you mean the most recent big one, then yes."

Her style is circular and fluid. It reminds him of things he's seen far to the east. Interesting that she learned it somewhere in Peru.

"Hya!" Koa lunges again, this time in a series of strikes aimed at her waist and knees. Trying to force her to bring her guard down low. Her defense is the strongest when she can keep the staff across her body, and weakest when she has to use it like a spear. He's trying to force the latter.

Keiko's knowledge is strange. She seems to have learned a lot of the culture from TV or Netflix.

The asiatic woman turns to face Koa just as he recovers, ponytail flicking behind her. "Then that one. How old are you that you picked up a fighting style while studying a migration that occured centuries ago…"

He'll find over time that her style is a mix. Not one thing more than another.

The strikes have her moving back quickly, the staff angling to deflect his blows. She doesn't seem worried about giving up ground…

She has plenty of ground to give, so she shouldn't need to worry. Koa's style of fighting is very much about manipulating an opponent's weapon and positioning. It's about setting up for blows that are designed to end fights. He's not entirely sure that'll work here. She's quick and her weapon is longer than his. But it's a good thing to practice.

"I'm thirty." Koa laughs. "What, did you think I was going to be a hundred or something? I went to school to study archeology. I still do a fair amount of it over the course of my work for WAND."

Once Keiko's staff is roughly where he wants it he swats it hard to knock it aside and then sweeps the waster upward with both hands. With a real blade this move can open up an enemy's gut or throat or if they're armored at least give them a solid knock on the chin if they're not fast enough.

Keiko's not worried about the ground, she seems to be comfortable with having to move. "I might have …" she answers "… you never know when dealing with a sorceror or a … sea-child. It is better not to assume." Now she's working up a sweat.

The staff comes down to deflect the last blow, the swat knocks her staff wide. Again, she just goes with, letting the impact turn, taking the blow from the waster on her hip. *It hurts* and she growls low. The majority of the blow should sail past her as she spins to behind the WAND agent.


Her staff hits his backside - perhaps a little hard - as she keeps moving around him.

"Ow." Koa does a little skip forward. Typically a blow like that ends a round in sparring since it could have just as easily been aimed at the back of his head. However since they're still going really, he turns around and evaluates Keiko for a moment.

"I'm really not a sorcerer. I have some ability to move magic around but casting it is a bit beyond me. That's why I have all my toys."

Koa centers himself, crouches slightly to lower his center of mass and then sets his blade and drives forward. he expects it to be knocked wide, otherwise he'll hit her with it and the full weight of his body mass. When that happens he spins and brings the blade down in a high crescent arc down on the opposite shoulder.

"I told you it would it hurt. It was good incentive for us to avoid getting hit when we trained." Keiko answers, watching him carefully as she positions herself again. "You can do magic, use it … that makes you a sorcerer, does it not?" She's not getting the nuance really "What would you call yourself, if not that?"

Each time Koa's come at her, Keiko has sort flowed and turned - like a dance. This time she does sweep the blade away but instead of turning, she drops and try to sweep his legs from under him.

Koa aborts his strike when he sees the leg sweep coming and tries to hop it. This does not work and he winds up tumbling but he follows the tumble through and when he comes around it's with a whip like horizontal strike at about shoulder level.

"WAND calls people like me mystics, though I wouldn't have thought of the name otherwise. Sorcerers, or Wizards or similar usually cast their own spells. They don't rely on relics and artifacts to do it for them."

Koa doesn't entirely rely on that but his 'spell' which is to say his astral projection, isn't really a spell per se. Well you could think of it like that but he doesn't.

"And sometimes you have to take the blow…" Keiko adds as Koa tumbles and brings the strike down on her shoulder. He might see the flash of anger in her eyes as the pain registers. He should see the parts of the mark that can be seen above her collar glow dully. She turns again, still crouched, using the staff to knock his blade away as she flows to standing.

"Mystic works …" there's the faintest growl in her voice as she feints in again. She's trained and fit and could do this for awhile.

"Sometimes. Though not usually a good idea with a blade." Koa watches as the glow starts beneath her shirt. "You need a breather there?"

He needs to figure out if she's about to snap and this is going to become a real fight. He'd rather not do it. He's confident he could win. Pushing his body to the limits provided by his heritage will make him physically superior in every way, but that'll hurt afterwards too. It always does infusing himself with magic like that is not something his body was really designed to handle.

"You're glowing. Or, well, your brands are."

"What?' It's short and growly, the quarterstaff still moving as Keiko comes at him. The words register, the momentum stops and her eyes drop to the brand - or what she can see of it, not much. It's an effort, Koa can see that, see her eyes close and her force her breathing to something slower and calmer. Eventually the glow fades and when she opens her eyes she nods. "I am fine, Agent Turner, shall we continue?"

"Perhaps I should be careful about situations where my temper is tested …" She got angry about being hit. What does that say about her and her training?

The staff spins again as she squares off, waiting to see his answer.

"Perhaps you should…" Koa spins his blade a couple of times and evaluates Keiko some more. The glow is gone and that's good. It's clearly influencing her temper which is not good. And if she gets angry when she's hit in a sparring match…

"Are you good to continue?" After a moment Koa nods and squares off again.

"How did they train you? I can't pin down your style and… is it natural to get angry when sparring?" Maybe it was. Maybe they punished those who failed.

Koa spots what looks like an opening in Keiko's defenses and goes in again.

"I am calm, Agent Turner." Always Agent Turner. Is … that what she thinks his name is? "And will continue if you wish…"

"They … trained us. We started so young I can't really remember how we learned. It is just natural now to have my staff in my hand." That's … going to cause her problems in other company if she continues to talk like that. "It is natural for me to get angry when I fail. Or, it was. They taught me to control that. Channel it. It's how … I survived my … trials."

Perhaps it's the fact that Koa has her remembering. Perhaps the distraction of the brand and what it means. The staff is slower this time, just managing to deflect the blade as he attacks. She's not slow though, tumbling out of the way and coming to her feet behind him.

Koa spins quickly as he can. The thing you see in movies where the hero throws his hands over his head to protect his back with his blade? That never works unless you're trying to get the blade taken away.

Instead he turns almost on his heel with his blade ready to deflect a counter attack. A counter attack which he suspects is coming.

"Sounds pretty harsh. I take it that it was an 'only the strong survive' type of deal. No getting sent home if you wash out."

When Koa turns, there is no counter attack. In fact, Keiko is tumbling again past him. This time he'll feel the end of the staff in the small of his back. "Always expect the unexpected, Agent Turner." Comes the small womans voice.

"Harsh? I suppose so. It's all that I knew, so it just was." The tattooed woman answers as she waits for his response. "And I suppose it was only the strong. For me it was anger. For others, other emotions, other strengths. But no, no one was sent home."

Koa raises his sword slowly to signal that the bout is over. He didn't expect to win but the more practice he can get the better this goes for him in the long run. Sometimes you might just have to fight with a sword. That does happen.

Now more relaxed he steps away and turns around. "Did they sort you based on those emotions?" Koa's eyes narrow. "Did they, perchance, have nine categories?"

"Do you want to go again?" Keiko asks, using her staff to help her stretch. Everything she seems to do is not only an economy of movement, there's purpose to it. Keeping her fit and ready. "You fought well, it is rare to have such an opponent."

"Not emotions, really, but tendencies." her words are quiet as she thinks. "I was quick to anger. Others lied, some stole … I'm sure you get the picture. I … think there was nine? I didn't really pay attention. They kept us busy with our training that we never really had much time to ourselves."

"You're thinking this is related to Miss Rasputina's thing?"

"Yes, actually I would." Koa smiles. "Do you need a drink?" He's got water. He's got a few bottles on the table. Apparently he was anticipating doing this for some time…

"Tendencies… yes okay. I can see that. Vices, you might say?" Koa is probing here. "Related yes. I'm not sure how CLOSELY related. A lot of things in the realms of magic are related and that doesn't necessarily mean they have anything to do with one another, really."

But it's something to keep in mind. "Shall we, then?"

"A drink would be nice but necessary. We learned to fight no matter the conditions." She does take the drink though and then squares off for the next bout.

"Vices, I guess. If that means what I think it means. I'm not sure what it means."

"Let's go, Agent Turner."

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