06.21.3013: From Above
Summary: Johana and Michael spar in the barracks, Asher stops by to watch, and Sophie makes an appearance
Date: 21 June 2013
Related: none
Johana Michael Asher Sophie 

At the base of the Blackspyre are several floors of barracks, training facilities, armories, and cafeterias, all built to house the defenders of House Khournas in rough comfort. Soldiers are bunked in rooms each large enough to sleep 50, with lockers and desks alongside each bed. Deep within the barracks levels, close to the training areas, are communal bathhouses, some set aside for single-sex use and others open to members of both sexes. There, the soldiers and nobles of House Khournas can soak away the aches of a hard day's labor. The corridors are all narrow enough that two soldiers could hold them against a tide, except those leading from assembly areas to great doors that open to the exterior surface of Volkan, allowing the soldiers of House Khournas to march out already in formation if need be.
21 June 3013

Having got an early start, Johana is already warming up on the large bag, hands wrapped in protective gear. She's wearing leggings over a shirt and seems to be concentrating on delivering a swift one-two punch to the bag alternately kicking then swinging with an elbow and connecting with the bag. Her hair is pulled back and she looks to have been at it for awhile. The time of day is almost midday, the weather outside is overcast and warm.

Returning from finishing his daily tasks, Michael makes his way to the barracks to check on some of the younger squires who've taken to him. Not seeing William around, Michael assumes he's out with his knight training and can only hope the boy remembers Michael's advice. He then makes his way into the changing rooms and returns in his training skinsuit with taped hands and feet. He'll work on his martial arts, not that it'll help in the field, but it's something to do. He rounds the corner and sees Johana teaching the heavy-bag a thing or two. Michael makes his way over, and in a soft voice. "Sir Johana, may I join you?"

Pausing a moment in her routine to take a drink of water, Johana was all about hydration, she wipes her face with a towel. Hearing the voice, she turns her head in the direction of it and her eyes fall on Michael. Offering him a light smile, she inclines her head. "Definitely, except we can take it to the mats. I want to see how well you've healed. We won't use weapons this time, just hand to hand. Sound good?" Draping her towel around her neck, she takes a long drink of her water before putting it aside and reaching up to tighten her ponytail.

Michael nods and says, "Sure, the medic said the swelling around my lungs is gone and I'm fit to return to duties in the field. He said the few bruises left on my chest we clear up in a day or so." he waits for her finish taking a drink before shifting to show he'll follow her if she leads. If she doesn't he'll move to the mat and get himself ready.

When he agrees, Johana pauses and places a hand on his arm if he allows her. "I'm sorry about neglecting you lately. I've been so busy with all of these patrols and then there is the fact weighing down on me that as heir I've got to get married one day in the hopefully not so near future and produce an heir I'm not ready for yet either." Removing her hand, she lifts a shoulder and smiles ruefully. "The life of a noble hm? So simple yet we make it harder than it is." Walking to the mat now, she watches as he follows and then gets into a stance with her feet shoulder width apart. "I want you to attack first and I'll try and defend."

Michael nods slightly when she speaks, and doesn't mind her hand on his arm. "I'm sorry for being a pest about it… I need to admit, that for a moment I just simply wanted to spend time with you. Like I said before, you're incredible…" he shrugs slightly, and then follows her onto the mat and takes his own stance, turning so that only his shoulder faces Johana. When she tells him he'll be attacking, the emotion drains from his eyes and face, and in a flat voice "Very well sir. If you're ready."

"It's understandable, Michael. I know you're eager and probably know all there is about being a Knight already." For only a moment does she allow a softer expression in her eyes, as well as one of regret. "I'm truly glad you like spending time with me, and I find your company enjoyable, but I do not.. if you were wishing for anything further.." she takes a deep breath and expels it in a sigh. "My family would never allow it. I have to marry for the benefit of my house and my position." After another pause she continues on a more professional level. "I just want to put you through the paces and see what you know and what you need to work on. Being a knight is forever learning and training, but… I suspect you already know all of this." When he takes his stance, she sees him drop the emotion and smiles approvingly. "That's right. Find that neutral zone where you can concentrate."

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Michael=unarmed Vs Johana=unarmed
< Michael: Good Success Johana: Success
< Net Result: Michael wins - Marginal Victory

Michael in his zoned state, her words don't bring the normal emotion that would have played in eyes. There would be no way to tell that he had had turmoil over this for the last few days. "Thank you sir, when we've taken break I can explain further." his tone flat and his words clipped. He stands still for a time, watching her, his eyes staring straight ahead. Then, in a sudden movement, he makes a quick one-two strike with his hands catching her shoulder with one of them.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Johana=Unarmed Vs Michael=Unarmed
< Johana: Failure Michael: Good Success
< Net Result: Michael wins - Solid Victory

With him in his zone, Johana watches, waiting for him to… and she'd waited too long to block she realizes when he makes contact with her shoulder. She doesn't waste any time at all before she feints a right hook to his shoulder, only to bend her arm and go for the elbow shot instead…

Seeing her feint, and being zoned, Michael doesn't waste time bringing his own elbow down and blocking the shot. In the same moment he brings up his leg into a kick at her thigh…

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Michael=unarmed Vs Johana=unarmed
< Michael: Good Success Johana: Good Success
< Net Result: Michael wins - Marginal Victory

It seems this zone thing is working for him and when he manages to block her hit and counter with a kick to her thigh. Johana doesn't manage to avoid it at all and it connects. Practiced at not showing pain, she manages to keep her face about as neutral as he does as she goes for a spin kick, aiming it towards his middle.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Johana=Unarmed Vs Michael=Unarmed
< Johana: Success Michael: Good Success
< Net Result: Michael wins - Marginal Victory

Michael once again, with his leg connected to her thigh, Michael is attacked. As usual he sees everything, and reacts without wasting any time to question his movements. He's warming back into his zone it seems, his spar with Sir Thalo jarred him pretty hard out of it last time. He catches her foot, and pulls back his own shifting his weight to pull her over balance and attempt to send her to the mat below.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Michael=unarmed Vs Johana=unarmed
< Michael: Failure Johana: Success
< Net Result: Johana wins - Marginal Victory

The weather outside is warm and overcast, the threat of rain out there hangs heavy in the air. Inside, it's a different matter entirely. Climate controlled air pipes into the barracks and Johana and Michael are on the mats with wrapped hands and feet as they spar in hand to hand combat. Looking a little worse for wear, Ana has just had her foot caught by Michael, pulling it backwards as he tries to trip her. Just barely she manages to tug her foot back and keep her balance while she goes for a right hook, directly to his face.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Johana=Unarmed Vs Michael=Unarmed
< Johana: Good Success Michael: Good Success
< Net Result: DRAW

Michael drops back into his ready stance immediately after she pulls free, as such he sees her attack. He moves to block and there is the sound of heavy impact as they meet. He takes the opportunity to put forth a weighted punch at her stomach.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Michael=unarmed Vs Johana=unarmed
< Michael: Success Johana: Good Success
< Net Result: Johana wins - Solid Victory

Into the Barracks comes Asher, his attention quickly coming to rest on the duo sparring with one another and he takes up a spot nearby to watch, arms coming to cross over his chest.

When the punch comes, Johana is almost expecting it so she ducks back just in time to miss the hit. With a little more confidence, she feints another right hook while her left hand aims for his stomach.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Johana=Unarmed Vs Michael=Unarmed
< Johana: Success Michael: Failure
< Net Result: Johana wins - Marginal Victory

She pulls back from his punch, and he's over extended for the shot. He's able to block one of two attacks, the hit landing into his own stomach. If not for the zone, he would be in some pain as the bruising has only just started to fade out and the area is still tender. However, he is zoned and he doesn't feel pain at the moment. He spins on his right leg and brings his left from high into a downward round house aimed for her head.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Michael=unarmed Vs Johana=unarmed
< Michael: Good Success Johana: Success
< Net Result: Michael wins - Solid Victory

She'd managed to make a solid hit herself and movement catches her eye. Oh hey, Asher is here! Glancing that way, she offers a quick smile before turning back to her sparring partner and seeing a foot flying for her head. Yeah she doesn't manage to avoid that one and with it hitting so solidly, Johana goes down flat to her back on the mat. Oh look, stars! "Ouch.." Wincing a little she lifts a hand. "You win." Only after the words are out does she stand and offer a fist bump to Michael. "Well done."

Seeing Johana go down, there are two instincts that jump into Michael's head. The first is to finish the fight, the second and stronger one is to look away. He needs a center, this will get dangerous without one. He turns enough to find a man sitting and watching and the sight of someone not his opponent gives him a moment to loosen his focus and unzone. That's when the pain hits, his hand flies to his stomach and he winces. Michael turns to Johana as she speaks and then he weakly taps her fist with his. "Thanks… though I didn't expect that I'd strike like that. Are you alright?"

Having no such unzoning issues, Johana does have a hand to her head absently rubbing where he had kicked. "I'm fine, thank you." Smirking when she feels the weak return tap. She nods approvingly. "As I said, well done, Michael." Reaching for her towel again, she drapes it over her neck and walks over to where Asher is sitting, grinning once she's approached him. "Asher, you're a distraction all your own, so that's not exactly a fair question. How are you?'

Michael takes on a softer look, and nods. "Hopefully that doesn't sting for too long. Thank you, though, I've been spending my off hours practicing. I think one of the medics hit me with a hypospray last night, cause I woke up, this morning…" he shakes his head and turns to Asher and bows his head. "Hello there."

"I'm quite good, Young Lady." Asher says with a little nod to Johana as he steps a bit closer to the two now that they're not sparring anymore. He nods towards Michael as well, "Good Afternoon."

"If it does, it's a good reminder," Johana counters to Michael, but the quick twist of her lips bring a more teasing manner to her demeanor. "What brings you down? In the mood for another spar or another bet?" Laughter dances in her eyes at the question, remembering the last spar they'd had and how it had ended. "I'm not promising any dates this time!" Ana winks playfully.

Michael chuckles softly, "I suppose so." he then looks between the two. A curious expression on his face.

Asher laughs, "What, was our last date so awful you wouldn't want to risk another one?" Asher asks with a grin towards her, "I didn't think that dinner was that bad…" he says with a little laugh, "But no, I wasn't looking to spar, or anything."

Ana waggles her finger at him, still in that playful way. "Oh the dinner and walk after was perfect. The company charming. You're just definitely not getting out of asking, so easily next time.." Though her expression quickly sobers some. "Actually, I've kind of got plans tonight," shrugging just a little at the confession. "Erik Cindravale asked me to meet him before going back out on patrols."

Michael listens to the exchange without comment. Then he speaks up, "I should probably go and change back into something less revealing. I was asked by some of the boys in training if they could go running with me this evening." he shifts slightly, obviously that wasn't entirely the reason.

Asher laughs, "Well, how am I supposed to compete with such a flowery Cindravale knight??" he says with a grin at Johana, "Do enjoy yourself though." He nods, "And it is good to keep fit, running helps focus the mind and body, I've found."

When Michael mentions going for a run, Ana turns back to face him. "Running sounds good. Whenever you want to go out on Patrol with me let me know, we'd all like to have the extra eyes. It's boring work, but it's something to do." At Asher's laugh, she grins in return. "Oh so, it's a competition is it?"

Seeing his chance to go on patrol, Michael's eyes flicker. "If it isn't too much bother, Sir. I'd like to go along with you when next to go. My armor and gear is ready, and I can run along side a horse just fine… I might even entertain with poems and stories if it gets boring enough."

Asher laughs a bit at that, "My…." he says, glancing towards Michael with an incredulous look, "I don't even know what to say, Young Lady…" He says, "I don't think I've ever heard a Khourni soldier utter those words in reference to a patrol…"

"Run… along side a horse? You don't have a horse?" Ana tips her head to the side and regards him with curiosity. "Surely you've got a horse… Either way you can come along tonight.." Her lips curve up into a wide smile when Asher finds it amusing. "Well, there's a first time for everything, Sir Asher.. and some things are more entertaining than others."

Michael blinks at Johana for a moment, "I've never owned a horse, sir… Sir Corbin was a good knight, but she wasn't able to get one for me from the Sauveurs. I've always gone with her, running along side her horse, admittedly not more than at a fast trot or very slow gallop." he pauses and seems a little embarrassed to admit, "I, honestly, spent what I had left to get my apartment here. I don't have finances to cover a mount."

"We can find a place for him in the shield wall if you want, Johana." Asher says, "We always need good men at arms on the front lines, but I doubt they would appreciate his poetry so much.." he says with a chuckle. "Though, I suppose your house does have a mounted tradition, don't they, Young Lady."

"It's definitely not a reason to be embarrassed, Michael and with you squiring with us, the barracks are definitely a good place to stay. It would save you a good amount of money on that apartment." The whole debacle of no horse brings a thoughtful look. "Do you know how to ride?" The suggestion from Asher brings a contemplative look. "It's a sound idea, Asher, what do you think?"

Michael continues to look at Johana, "The quartermaster suggested I take private quarters… he'd prefer not to have empty bunks and a full medical room. Even as it is, I'm still unliked by many of the younger soldiers in training mostly due to being your squire. They seem to think it isn't fair." he pauses and nods, "I am able to ride certainly, I was trained how to handle animals and ride a horse, I was just not able to have one then." he looks at Asher for a moment then back to Johana, "If it's possible to borrow a horse, I would prefer to ride patrol. However, I am not opposed to the shield wall if I'm needed there."

"If the soldiers dislike you, it's not because of your age or who you're squired to." Asher says rather plainly, "Khournas soldiers don't put much stock in arrogance or elitism, if you want them to like you act like a soldier, and not a Cindravale Knight. Living separate shows you're an elitist who thinks he's better then them as well. But, it is not my place to train you." He adds, offering a nod of deference towards Johana.

Both brows arch at those words. "Whoa.. the younger soldiers dislike you for being my squire?" This bothers Johana, greatly and she looks at Asher, then back to Michael… then back to Asher. At the explanation from the Khourni, her expression clears and she nods in agreement. "There's really no reason for someone to dislike you for my choice in squire. You need little training, so honestly, it's not like you'll be in this position very long." With a nod, about the horse, she replies. "I'll see what I can do about the horse issue then."

Sophie decided to slum it today, visiting the Volkan barracks with a smile on her face. She chose to wear a somewhat simplistic outfit, the ensemble consisting of a green tunic, black pants and gold-broached cloak, as well as a pair of brown boots and a brown dagger-adorned belt. This is certainly one of her more informal outfits, with a brown bodice laced along the front of her chest and a low cut to her tunic. Nevertheless, she strides into the barracks as though she owned the placed, marching directly to a particularly familiar group of people. She waves a hand and declares simply, "greetings, Young Lady Ibrahm, Lord Asher, Young Master Michael. How do you all fare today?"

Michael nods slightly to Asher, "When I first arrived here, I came to the barracks to ask for a bunk like the rest. Since I had to give my name and the fact that I'm a squire, the name of my knight drew attention. Since then, I've gotten dirty looks and shunning, and the other night while I worked out three of the boys decided they'd give me a warm welcome." as he says that, Michael sees Sophie walking in, he continues to address Asher, but includes Johana by shifting position. "I don't think it's that they dislike your choice, it seems they aren't happy that I get to be your squire." the emphasis gives hint to what he'd told her earlier, if she catches it. He then turns to Sophie as she greets them, "Good Afternoon Lady Sophie, I'm well enough so far, how are you?"

"And I am telling you, Squire, it is not the fact that you are Young Lady Johana's squire that makes them not like you." Asher says plainly. "It's your over-inflated sense of worth, squire that they dislike, and the fact that you think you are better then they are that they dislike." he offers a bow of his head to the approaching Sophie as she greets the gathering, "Lady Sophie, what brings you to the barracks? I can escort you to the Great Hall if you would like."

—scene fades out

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