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Matside Meetings (IC)

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Wednesday July 27th, 4:58pm

School was going to start soon, in fact very soon, next week if the calender was to be believed. When it started, the campus would be completely filled with new faces and new people. However, as it was just at the end of summer, the campus was suitably empty as was the gym.

Etain had arrived maybe twenty minutes ago and took some time to do some stretching in her really rather standard claremont gym shorts and t-shirt as she went over her usual exercises. As of late she had been unable to keep to the schedule her adoptive father had set up for her practicing sword because how busy she had been so lately. Things were really unstable after the attack from the deep one, but she kept her head up through it all and worked hard to visit those who had aided her in that battle and thank them properly. Now for the first time in a while she was just going to do some unarmed practice fighting with one of the rubber mannequins since while she was not the best at it, she did like to keep herself ready if ever pressed to be in such a position.

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John, clad in his army surplus t-shirt, shorts, and shoes opened the door to the gym. He planned to do a few light reps, maybe a bit of shadow boxing. In all honestly, that was why he enjoyed training. It let him think and collate, because even after a few months of being at Claremont many things eluded him. For example, Mister Morgan had said and pointed out that some of the girls they had talked to were 'hitting on him' or 'scoping him out'. John distinctly remembered not getting attacked by a professional hit-man or sniper of the female persuasion. Recently, anyways. Regardless, these exercises should allow him some time to ruminate further on the matter.

He stepped inside the gym and closed the door. He paused when he saw Miss Etain in the middle of some unarmed practice against one of the striking targets. He watched her for a few seconds before interrupting. "Pardon me, Miss Etain. But you do not want to put too much weight on your forward foot. You would be easy to set off balance, if that was a real opponent." He went to the nearest similar training dummy, and demonstrated a simple flicker jab that resulted in the dummy rocking back a bit. "I do not know if you are trained in any sort of style, but you would have much better results by using an unarmed style that suits your abilities not just simple striking. Aikido or Taijiquan, perhaps."

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Etain was a bit engrossed in her work so much so that she did not notice John enter, either that or he was just that quiet. Either way she had to hide her startledness at the sudden voice before turning towards him.

"Ohh, good evening John."

She glanced at him in his somewhat plain attire,

"I did not see you come in. Yes, I suppose some unarmed styles would be well suited, it is just I do not know any. My preference is the use of swords more than unarmed work, though I was training in case I were to be away from my swords you see. I guess it is a little impractical to try on a one of the mannequinns as they do not really move."

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John barely caught a glimpse that he had indeed startled her. "My apologies if I have interrupted you," he quickly apologized. When she further explained what she was doing he gave her an appreciative nod. "I understand your reasons perfectly. It would be an ill-advised endeavor to not think of and prepare for a situation where you might be deprived of your weapon of choice." He set down his bag along one of the walls. "I believe I can alleviate your current problem, Miss Etain. While I am not an expert in a chosen weapon such as yourself, I believe my broader experience in many might prove helpful to your predicament. I would be more than happy to help your training if you would like."

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"It is very ill advised yes, I do actually have my weapon on me at all times and have it with me now as well it is simply that these things can happen. But it would be nice to have some help with training."

She thought about it, she had not seen much in ways of John's fighting skills. The incident at Parkhurst was hardly long enough or difficult enough to get a true assessment.

"Perhaps you would benefit as well, you do seem to train a lot by yourself. To work with others helps greatly with training."

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"After a recent incident, I have been training more with Miss Victoria, Mister Morgan, and Mister Brian." He stretched his arms across his chest, loosening up the muscles a bit. "Indeed training with others does help greatly. I used to be able to use my powers to assist in my training, but recent events have rendered that moot." A brief flash of uncertainly crossed Johns face, before he hid it with a small smile. "I usually do not have many willing to train with me. Either due to my abilities or my...reputation around Claremont." He shrugged nonchalantly at that last point. "I cannot change either of those, but if they are a problem to you, I will understand your reluctance of my offer of help."

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Etain met John with a bright smile,

"I do not see why the opinion of others should have be any problem of mine. It is their loss to avoid the company of someone so very well spoken."

She didn't know much about John sure, so she wasn't really sure what they had been saying but she didn't see anything wrong with him. He never seemed anything less than cordial to anyone who was not openingly hostile to him. Actually he seemed, like her, a bit of an outsider.

"Now, sparring a good action? I am sure it will give you a better look at my own form, though of course I will not follow through any attacks so there should be no worries about pain."

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"Thank you kindly for that, Miss Etain." John took off his shoes and set them next to his bag before walking onto the mat. "I did not get a clear view of your fighting prowess at Parkhurst, as I was rather distracted at the time." He bounced lightly up and down on the mat, testing its springiness. "I suggest starting by seeing what your strengths and weaknesses are and going from that." He settled into what seemed a defensive stance. "I will also strive to avoid striking you directly as well, so if you would..." He gestured at her to attack him, with a classic 'bring it' gesture. It was obvious that his friendship with Crow had caused him to pick up that little bit from the rune mage.

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Etain smiled again,

"Yes, that seems the best way."

Padding forward lightly on the mat she approached John by looking quietly over his stance. She herself had no real signs of agression, or even of a fighter at all. Though when she was about a yard and a half away, she pushed off her back foot and suddenly closed the distance between the two of them ducking and breaking the pose John had previously put up. Meeting his startled face with another smile she leaned forward and gave him a quick peck on the forehead before slipping back just as fast.

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Etain got a good reaction out of her attack, if it could be called that. John dropped his stance, bewilderment and shock clearly on his face. He then stared down at the mat, more than likely trying to regain his composure. After a few short seconds he looked up at Etain, with his usually calm demeanor in place. It was only betrayed by his face being slightly flushed. "My apologies, Miss Etain. I was not expecting you to be that nimble and aggressive of a fighter." He settled back into a more open version of the last stance. "I will continue."

"Most unarmed styles favor the hands, but some..." He directed a low roundhouse kick towards her torso. "Like Savate, are focused on the legs."

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She smiled brightly at the comment,

"I do not see why anything is beyond your expectation. I do not like to be hit, so I am not, and I prefer things to be done quickly. I guess it may be considered agressive, but a quick pain is better served than a long one."

Etain continued to examine the stance. It may of seemed open, but he was shifting his weight to his front which meant that he was trying to recenter his balance. She was in position to catch the kick before he even had it in the air and caught it quietly with both hands.

"Kicks are good attacks for the simple fact that legs are have good strengh because they support their body. There is a problem though."

She reached her arm down to the knee and gave it a quick twist,

"If you redirect that support to offense, you risk losing your balance."

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"That may be true, but..." He actually let her twist him off balance, but threw his weight along with it. The net effect was the easy breaking of the grab, with the extra centripetal force providing extra leverage on his side. He landing on his feet about a foot away from his original position. "...there are ways to keep your balance even if you lose it."

"That was a very nice grab. You are no neophyte in this area, Miss Etain. It is just that you have not had the benefit of learning a style." He feinted with a right flicker jab directed towards her face before aiming the real attack with his off hand: A liver blow. It was quite simple, as most people instinctively protected their face, only to open up their torso to punishment.

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As the grab was broken Etain pulled back and left for her normal no pose position as she gave him a smile,

"That is very good yes,"

When he feinted she followed the movement and didn't flinch as she slid to the side quickly avoiding the body blow.

"I do prefer not to try and deceive others."

She moved most of her body behind his but slipped her leg between his she hooked her foot around his lower calf before taking a hand and pulled it with her as she lightly pushed on his back attempting to make him fall before he tried his next attack.

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Trying to taking advantage of Etain managing to trip him, as soon as his back was on the mat he threw a telegraphed feint towards her knee that was closest. "I do not view it as deception, but more as gaining a tactical advantage in a fight." With the focus on his hand strike he attempted to immobilize her legs via a scissors-style leg hold. Failing that his plan was to kip up to his feet. Since he couldn't allow mistakes when facing someone of Miss Etain's caliber.

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It didn't matter if the strike was a set up, she did a short jump and avoided both the hold and the strike with ease as she watched him get to his feet in a quick scramble.

"You are very good, I am sure many would have fallen at such a display."

She put a finger lenghwise on the edge of her lips in thought as she walked away and got about six yards away,

"I wonder, you are good at hand to hand. Why do we not see about range then? You can make those weapons yes? Something harmless should not be hard to do. Let us see if I can close the distance before you can hit me."

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"Indeed I can. I will keep them straightforward in design, however. There is no need to go all-out in a friendly spar such as this." John took a deep breath, concentrated, and dual pistols of some design began assembling in his hands. "These fire expanding foam bullet analogs. You should feel them if they hit, but they will not even bruise."

He snapped one pistol up and let loose a trio of shots at Etains' chest level, while he delayed shooting for a fraction of a second at where he thought Miss Etain would dodge to with his other pistol. She is almost impossible to pin down, he mentally grumbled.

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Etain dodged the first pistol as per his prediction, the second one however unlikely managed to hit her in the arm as she began to move. She felt it as a slight pressure like a pinch, but he was right it didn't leave a bruise. Smiling she reached up in her hair and pulled out the cheap stretchy as she walked forward,

"Good, very good, you did manage to get a hit onto me. Now lets see how I do."

She pulled the band over her index finger and pulled it back aiming a little higher than John's shoulder and let it shoot off through the air.

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The band hit John dead center in the chest and dropped to the floor. "Nice shot," he said as he picked it up off the map and tossed it back to her. "Though I do think we would have a more effective and instructional session if we were to focus on swordsmanship. "I can create a wide variety of blades and I while i am not a specialist in one type such as yourself, I do believe I could make your routine training more interesting for you."

The pistols disappeared into motes of fading luminescence as a zweihander made up of Impervium replaced them in his hands.

"This would also help me to practice at weapon styles I usually eschew."

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"I guess it would be worth a shot yes."

She walked post him as she retrieved her hair tie and started to put it back up into a curly pony tail. She glanced over the sword for a few seconds,

"You do not suppose you could make one one of those, maybe one of the bamboo ones. Those look harmless enough and I would not want to hurt you."

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John shook his head in the negative. "My abilities to allow others access to my weapons are limited, and even then it takes effort to maintain them. In addition, I may only have one weapon construct at a time. I am terribly sorry, but I do not think i would be able to acquiesce to your request.

He looked at the zweihander in hand, frowned, and then seemed to be concentrating on something. "One moment, please. I think I may have divined a method that would allow us to continue our spar."

John sat down cross-legged on the mat, and dismissed the zweihander. In its place a pair of weapons began forming, a lot slower than the usual quickness of their creation. An utilitarian Chinese Jian took shape alongside an ornate crane sword. The process took about a minute, after which John stood and handed the cane sword to her. "Hopefully it will be to your taste. In addition you can use the sheath for blocking unlike your umbrella." He took a few practice stabs with his jian, and continued the explanation. "These blades will only interact physically with one another and merely just mark hits like so." John passed the palm of his hand over the jians' edge, showing a blue mark where the edge traced. "When I dismiss the weapons, the markings will fade as well."

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Etain took the sword and unsheathed it. Pulling it out slowly she glanced at the blade and gave it a few practice swings in the air.

"This is good, very good. You make good work with your weapons, I like the weight as well, it is very well balanced. I did think about getting a cane sword before, but my umbrella is a lot more discrete."

Holding the sword in her right hand she gripped the sheath in her left before taking a more formal fencers stance with her feet appart and the sword ahead of her,

"Ready than?"

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He mimicked her actions, giving a frew proactice swings and stabs with the jian. "Thank you. I based it on what I had recalled of Mister Summers' cane. For it to be concealing a blade or weapon of some sort is just a educated guess on my part however."

John dropped into a more eastern-style stance compared to Etains' western fencing inspired one. "Indeed. Please start whenever you are ready." The blue tassel on the hit of his weapon swaying a bit from the earlier motion.

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She smiled quietly as she watched his style and struck forward without so much as a prewarning to her moves. However, it was a reckless strike that did nothing but slip under the prepared John's stance and miss him entirely. Regardless she returned to the stance still smiling as she held up her sword,

"Very good, you are very good do not ever thing otherwise. I do have a question, what do you think of swords?"

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John replied easily. "They are a tool, just like any other weapon." He blinked twice, realizing that wasn't really a proper answer. "How to put this. I am a soldier before an artist. I view weapons in terms of their utility, intended use, and benefit to the current situation." He gestured to his sword. "This extends my reach, can distract my foes with the tassel, will inflict more grievous damage than mere fists would do, and so on and so forth." While I do have preferences in weapons, I do not subscribe to the notion that one is better than another at all times." He continued.

"I can understand the people who favor one weapon, as specialization can be powerful. However to me, the utility of a variety of weapons outweighs that." He shot her a smile. "After all, it would do little good to use a rapier against someone heavily armored."

After a small pause, "Or are you wanting an answer along the lines of 'the pointy end goes into the other man'."

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"Hehe, I saw that movie only recently. Very entertaining."

She took the sword and brought it up, fiddling with the tip by pressing it gently to her finger,

"You are very, practical I suppose in that sense. Variety brings a certain amount of balance in a fighter that is otherwise quite rare."

She started to spin the sword by the handle so just the blade rotated under the tip of her finger,

"Swords to me, well they are very practical in that it is not the strong that often win in a fight. Lots of weapons require a lot of strengh to weild and to move, a sword does not need such things."

Tossing it into the air she grabbed it and lunged forward at John. She only stopped to adjust her movement so that the blade did not plow itself into his chest, but instead did a shallow swipe across the shoulder,

"It much more about speed."

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