05.01.3013: Simulated Sparring
Summary: Sir Ellinor and Sir Nikomachos take a turn sparring in one of the Citadel's sim-rooms.
Date: 1 May, 2013
Related: Don't Poke the Cat
Ellinor Nikomachos 

Lower Courtyard, The Citadel
The Citadel is the headquarters of the Haven military, a towering metallic spire filled with barracks, armories, drill grounds, training holo-sim rooms, military R&D labs, and much more. It rises one hundred stories above the Grand Esplanade, with the command chamber of the Knight Commander and the Generals at the very top.

At ground level, in the Lower Courtyard, a cobbled expanse just inside the solid composite gates. In times of peace, the gates are left open so that Citizens can see men-at-arms and archers training in the courtyard. At the base of the Citadel proper, there are no massive gates, merely a pair of armor composite doors wide enough for two armored soldiers to pass through side-by-side. These doors, unlike those at the esplanade side of the courtyard, are only open when someone is actually passing through them.

May 1, 3013

Nikomachos may be a primped poppinjay, but at least he's a punctual, primped, poppinjay. When the assigned time arrives, the Valen is leaning against the outside of one of the Citadel holo-sims, already dressed in the form-fitting suit linked up to the sim AI that will serve as his armor and provide instant feedback from any 'hits' his opponent may land. Despite his borrowed attire, the braided bronze bracelet remains around his left wrist, and he toys with it idly as he waits.

The Sauveur is not as punctual, but punctual all the same. She strides into the courtyard in her own personal sim-suit, the material the same deep royal violet of the Sauveur House. There is an earnest confidence about her steps, and she bobs her head in passive greeting to some familiar — and some not so familiar — faces. She steps toward the sim arena where Nikomachos is waiting, and she flashes the Valen a quick and satisfied smile. "Sir Nikomachos," she greets politely.

Nikomachos glances down at the inside of his bracelet before he shoulders away from the wall, "Sir Ellinor. I already had to fight off a squad of footmen looking to reinact Third Inculta." A battle from the Second System War. "I do hope that you've brought your A game… I put off working on my jousting today…" And then a crooked smile breaks across his lips, amusement dancing in his gray eyes, "Which is to say that I'm glad to see you." Reaching back, he scoops up a couple of sim-trainers, blank rods with gravity generators designed to react to the AI's signals, and holds one out in offer, "Ready when you are."

"I never bring anything but my A game, Sir Nikomachos," Ellinor says with a bit of amusement as she steps up to take out the blank rod. She weighs it slightly in her palm before she glances up toward the Cindravale Knight with a quirk of her lips. "Good to see you too, Sir Niko." Then she steps fully into the arena with a roll of her shoulders. "I will even let you pick the desired environment…" And she taps the wrist of her suit which slowly begins to shimmer and come to life as semi-translucent plates of Defender armor that resemble her customary draconic ensemble of plates and undersuit. She glances toward him curiously.

Nikomachos follows Ellinor into the holo-sim room, and if he glances down as he does, well, that can likely be excused. His eyes are up once again when she turns around and the holographic projectors start to add her armor about the undersuit, "AI, personal armor." Apparently, the Valen prefers auditory commands, as bronze and gold plates begin to wash over his frame like living flame. "Setting, Fields of Ares, late summer. High grass, uneven footing, early evening before sundown." And so the scene of gold begins to take form around them, little air pockets in the feet of their suits inflating to make the ground less even underfoot to match the projected holograms. A shift of Niko's now-gauntleted left hand causes a blaze-yellow energy shield to form off his left forearm, the hexagonal shape humming into being even as the blank rod in his hand becomes his gorgeously-tooled sword.

"As I expected," Ellinor says with a smile before her draconic headpiece falls into place. She rolls her shoulders a bit beneath the pauldrons of her armor. She looks down at her own simrod as it becomes her drake-headed sword. She steps around on the holographic terrain, feeling the soft crunch of grass under her feet. She inhales the air, though it does not have the same earthy heediness of the actual fields — but it is close enough. She glances his way as she takes several steps back, drawing herself into a readied stance.

Nikomachos shrugs helplessly, raising up his shield before him and stepping forward with his left foot to turn his shoulders slightly off-line from the Sauveur woman, "When being predictable gives you an advantage…" Indeed, his armor blends into the grasses somewhat, almost like the coat of a lion, except where the lowering sun winks off it in a blaze of fiery light. And the tall grass hides his footwork and that of his opponent, making for a slightly more challenging fight. Striking his sword against the rim of his shield causes the gravity generator in his sim-rod to halt the motion of the rod, and the room adds the appropriate energized clatter, "Whenever you're ready, Sir Drakefire."

<COMBAT> Triggering new turn.
<COMBAT> Nikomachos attacks Ellinor with Sword - Light wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Ellinor attacks Nikomachos with Sword - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).

Nikomachos only waits until he's given the slightest indication that his opponent is ready, and then he's stepping forward through the holographic grass, the suit inflating in tight lines to mimic the slight resistance from the thigh-high stems of grass. He starts to circle around to his right as he advances, trying to get to Ellinor's shield-side. As he closes the distance, he throws out his left arm, trying to slam his shield into Ellinor's to throw her arm up and let him slip his blade beneath her shield and tag her with a thrust to the stomach.

The Cindravalen is hardly given the breath to finish his sentence before the Sauveur lunges toward him. Despite the grasses and terrain, she seems mostly inhibited as she meets his own advance. She meets his shield, though there is a sharp inhale of breath as his sword is stopped by the armor guarding her belly. Her instant reaction is to quickly retreat several steps, but only to provide enough berth to swipe her own blade at his midsection.

<COMBAT> Triggering new turn.
<COMBAT> Nikomachos attacks Ellinor with Sword - ARMOR on Left Hand stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Ellinor attacks Nikomachos with Sword - Light wound to Left Arm (Reduced by Armor).

Nikomachos's aggressive use of his shield keeps him from recoiling quickly enough to catch the slash at his chest, and he grunts as the suit inflates quickly to mimic the meaty thud that a blade against his armor would have normally caused. The impact drives him back a step, and he resets,, sweeping a swathe of grass flat with his right leg before he advances in that direction again — but this time it's a feint, and he circles his sword over his head, lowering his shield to complete the sword's slash, aiming down and in, across Ellinor's body in an attempt to sneak in behind her shield and strike at her left hand and arm. "I must say… I expected something more aggressive from someone wearing so many scales on their armor."

Ellinor takes several steps back from the Cindravalen with a smirk gathering on her lips. "Don't give up yet," she jabs before she drops into a quick and reactive stance as the feint to connect blades. Instead, his sword strikes her left gauntlet, but it barely seems to phase her as she responds in kind with a sweeping swat of her own blade to his left arm. She is already preparing for the next attack, moving forward with strong and well-placed steps that may be intended to drive him backwards. "I didn't want to scare you so easily," she responds with a faint hiss of a laugh.

<COMBAT> Triggering new turn.
<COMBAT> Nikomachos attacks Ellinor with Sword but Ellinor DODGES!
<COMBAT> Ellinor attacks Nikomachos with Sword but Nikomachos DODGES!
<COMBAT> Nikomachos has changed stance to agg_shield.

Nikomachos flashes a smile completely hidden by the visor of his helmet, speaking quietly for the purpose of the AI, "display known terrain." A ghost-image of the terrain he's already stepped on or over appears in ghostly overlay on the 'inside' of his holographic visor, which doesn't help him when he stumbles a touch at her rejoinder, the strike sliding along the outside of his shield and still striking home on his upper arm. In his outside voice, he responds with a challening laugh, "You should know better than that, Sir Cinnamon. We Valen don't scare easily at all." And indeed, he meets her advance with one of his own, slamming his shield forward to contact hers, and then pirrohetting on his left foot, spinning so that his back is toward her momentarily, and then he's stepping past, aiming a wide, sweeping slash in at her right side.

There is a gasp of breath at the abrupt slam of shields, though she is not to be distracted from the sweeping slash of his swords. She quickly dodges out of the way of its assault, sidestepping across the grasses as she dislodges their shields and immediately thrusts an attack toward his exposed side. She cracks with another smile, it heard in her voice if not seen behind the fall of her visor. "I keep hearing about all the things you are not, Sir Nikomachos… how about some of the things you are, huh?" She asks as she spins beyond him after he evades her attack, now standing opposite of her original position in the arena.

<COMBAT> Triggering new turn.
<COMBAT> Nikomachos attacks Ellinor with Sword - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Ellinor attacks Nikomachos with Sword but Nikomachos DODGES!
<COMBAT> Ellinor has changed stance to agg_shield.

Nikomachos plants his left foot as he comes out of his spin, stopping him abruptly and sending him advancing on Ellinor from a different angle of attack. That ghostly trail of his previous motions is now behind her, providing some 'view' of the ground despite the high grass. As the thrusts in at him, he cuts his sword down, through the miss to clack sim-rods together sharply. "Besides intelligent, polite," His advance resumes, quick steps close together to keep him balanced, "brave, and," hsi sword darts back in feinting for the outside of her shield before drawing back and thrusting inside, toward her chest, "of course, devastatingly handsome?"

Now he could hear her eye-rolling in her voice as she responds, "Yes. Besides those things." And then she brings up her drake-headed blade in hopes of parrying the attack, but something has inhibited the attempt and his blade rebounds off the holographic construction of her breastplate. She inhales sharply before she leaps forward in another attempt to stab at his sword arm with a sharp thrust.

<COMBAT> Triggering new turn.
<COMBAT> Ellinor attacks Nikomachos with Sword - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Nikomachos attacks Ellinor with Sword - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!

Nikomachos twists his sword inside hers, guiding it out and away from his body before slamming his shield straight out in an attempt to overpower her and drive her backwards, "Well, I know that you should watch your step out here…" Putting his foot carefully in a place the hologram on his visor shows he's stepped before, he sweeps his other leg forward, skating it over the ground in a wide swathe of ground so that it shows up ghosted on his screen as well, the sweep balancing a downward slash of his own blade toward her right shoulder. "I find varying viewpoints fascinating. It's amazing what you can see when your viewpoint is shifted."

"You are frustrating," Ellinor grunts as she sweeps out from under his blade with her own well-placed footing across the grassy terrain. Even as she strides away from him, she takes another daring slash toward his chest even as she tries to get out of the reach of his own blade. She keeps her blade up once she is several strides from the Cindravale Knight, her eyes narrowed slightly through the eyes of her visor. "Though I suspect I'm not the first to tell you that."

<COMBAT> Triggering new turn.
<COMBAT> Nikomachos attacks Ellinor with Sword - Moderate wound to Neck (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Ellinor attacks Nikomachos with Sword - Critical wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Nikomachos has changed stance to def_shield.

Nikomachos grunts softly as the sim-suit slaps him with a quick inflation of one of the pockets, mimicing the impact of a blade to his cuirass. "Not the first," He continues his advance, jabbing at Ellinor's blade with the edge of his shield as he approaches, "And probably," He feints low, then whips his sword up and around in a tight arc to his right, aiming to bring it just over the top of her own energy shield and strike at her shoulder or neck, "…not the last. I can see how you might say it though."

Ellinor experiences her own slap, though the sensation is centered on the side of ther throat where her helmet and body armor meet. She flinches back quickly in an appropriate reaction to the suit's warning of impact. She does not yet seem willing to relent despite the shuddering pain, and she steps forward again with aggressive intent toward the Valen. "As long as we are on the same page, Cindravale," she hisses softly.

<COMBAT> Triggering new turn.
<COMBAT> Nikomachos attacks Ellinor with Sword and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Ellinor attacks Nikomachos with Sword - Light wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Ellinor will pass this turn.
<COMBAT> Ellinor has changed stance to def_shield.

Nikomachos continues his advance… until it takes him directly into her blade, the point of the sim-rod even driving into his chest before it's stopped due to his momentum and hers adding together. His breath whooshes out of him, and he half-stumbles backwards, taking a sidelong swipe at her face, more meant to keep her back from his retreat than to actually strike home. Once he's got enough of his breath back to respond, he wheezes out, "Hey… I was agreeing with you."

The Sauveur woman withdraws several steps from the Valen with her sword up, but her stance obviously defensive. She is breathing heavily, her shoulders rising and falling with each breath. There is a slight laugh under her breath, and she quirks her draconic head. "So you were." She takes a single, sideways stalking step through the grass as a soft, but artifical breeze, rustles past.

<COMBAT> Nikomachos has changed stance to agg_shield.
<COMBAT> Triggering new turn.
<COMBAT> Nikomachos attacks Ellinor with Sword but Ellinor DODGES!
<COMBAT> Ellinor passes.

The Sauveur may be taking a break, but apparently what that suggests to Nikomachos is to attack. He waits as she backs up and begins to to circle, "Like I said… viewpoints." His breath comes quick between his words, "From your viewpoint, I'm frustrating." Rushing forward, he leads with his sword, testing her defenses with a slash at her advanced leg as he tries to drive her into a retreat again, "From mine, I'm entertaining."

On the defensive allows Ellinor to quickly sidestep the assault with a neat pirouette that might be dismissed as a dancing move. She gracefully eases across the grasses, and she offers him a gentle bow of her chin. "At least someone finds you entertaining, Sir Nikomachos," she says lightly as she continues to remain neatly defensive, though she still does not make a move against him. "So, what else is there about you? What's your favorite food?"

<COMBAT> Nikomachos will pass this turn.
<COMBAT> Nikomachos has changed stance to def_shield.
<COMBAT> Ellinor will attack Nikomachos this turn.
<COMBAT> Ellinor has changed stance to agg_shield.

When Ellinor does not deign to take another swing at him, he subsides, spinning neatly away to set up behind his shield once more, his sword held low and behind the glowing golden defensive barrier. "My favorite food? What is this, an InfoSphere dating service?" There's no scorn in the words, just a slightly pained teasing. "My favorite food is a nice stuffed french toast, and I'm a Gemini, whatever the hell that means." A smile has quirked up one corner of his lips behind this holographic visor, and infected his light voice as well.

"As if you would ever need to use an InfoSphere dating service," Ellinor quips back with a bit of a smirk in her tone. Then she rolls her shoulders a bit beneath her armored plates once more. "I'm sure you can ask one of those prophets of Oculus what that might mean, Sir Nikomachos…" Even as she speaks she is starting to determine where she will strike next, and once decided, she quickly moves forward.

<COMBAT> Triggering new turn.
<COMBAT> Ellinor attacks Nikomachos with Sword - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Nikomachos passes.
<COMBAT> Nikomachos has been KO'd!

Nikomachos laughs aloud at her quip, shaking his head, "Just because I haven't had to, doesn't mean…" and then she's attacking again, and he retreats, only to have his sim-suit lock up one ankle as he 'steps into a hole' beneath the grass. The sudden change in balance causes him to shift his arms out a touch, opening up his chest for her quick strike. Once more, the airbags built into his sim-suit slam him in the chest, wringing another grunt from his lips. He dips the tip of his blade, shifting the sim-rod into his left hand and holding up his right to call an end to the sparring session, "…doesn't mean that I can quite keep up with you with a sword on foot, Sir Drakefire. I yield this match." Rubbing at his chest, he grimaces behind the helmet that quickly disappears as he calls out, "AI, Simulation end."

The simulation melts away, and with it the drake-styled armor of the young Sauveur Knight. The sword becomes the mere rod of metal, and it is placed aside so that she may offer a hand to the Cindravalen. Her cheeks a lightly flushed now that the visor has completely melted away, and there is a hint of sweat at her temples. She shakes her head a bit with a quirk of a smile at her lips. "I'm certain that the tables would be turned had horses and lances been involved, Sir Niko."

Nikomachos rolls his shoulders slowly, grimacing at the pull of the bruises on his chest, but he is quick enough to take the offered hand, although rather than shake it, he turns it palm up and bows over it, brushing his lips against the knuckles of her suit, "Having never seen you tilt, I can't say for sure." He straightens up with another grimace, although this time he shakes out his right foot a bit, loosening the ankle that was caught up in the 'hole' during the sim. A smirking grin flashes suddenly across his lips, "Although I'd lay better than even money on it as a matter of course." Laughter touches the last words, and he shrugs a little helplessly.

The Cindravalen is awarded a soft flush at the apples of the Sauveur's cheeks, and she offers him a softer smile that gently touches her green eyes. "Well, perhaps you will see me tilt at the upcoming tournament. Perhaps." She then gives his hand a final squeeze of comraderee before she drops her arm back to her side. "I should go clean up…" She says, perhaps a bit lamely.

The flush and the second little squeeze of Niko's hand draws his smirk up hard at one corner, and a touch more laughter into his words, "I don't know. I've always thought that a little flush and a light sheen of honest effort was rather delightful on a beautiful lady." Still, he steps back, moving over to pick up her sim-rod and gather it up with his in his left hand, "I look forward to seeing if you can wield a lance as well as you can a sword, Sir Cinnamon."

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