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Thread: Grounded [2 BBY]

  1. #1

    Complete Grounded [2 BBY]

    ISD Relentless
    Lothal Sector
    2 BBY

    Operations were running along smoothly in the Lothal Sector and, aside from a few small snags, appeared to be almost at a close. Nelaa was finished on the ground and returned to the ISD Relentless to submit a giant stack of reports, and also meet with Vice Admiral Garrett to go over any last minute details. As it turns out, there were details. Commander Silus Xilarian, apparently overcome by an overwhelming need to take the fight to the rebellion, had inserted himself in a mission to bust up a rebel interdiction operation. As bad as that was, he also took the latest addition to his squadron, Lieutenant Junior Grade Bette Davis along with him. While Davis was proving herself to be an extremely gifted pilot ("Once in a lifetime talent" Nelaa had heard from more than one source) she had literally never even sat in a real TIE fighter before then. Silus' only saving grace, it seemed, was that she outperformed all expectations.

    All this was background noise, however. What really mattered at this point is that Garrett didn't want to officially punish Silus. He'd reamed the man to one end of the office and back, but to put it on paper would bring a huge mess that wouldn't clean up to everyone's satisfaction. Damage control was the main concern now. Silus was in the dog house, and Nelaa was asked to help keep him there.

    It really wasn't her normal thing, but she was going to be stuck on this ISD until HQ reassigned her, so it beat sitting around in the food court. Plus, Garrett would owe her a favor.

    Nelaa had known Silus for a long time. Long enough to know that she could sit around and bullshit with him for only so long until he realized what the deal really was. If that happened, his urge to act up would be unmanageable. She knew she would have to play this just the right way. One thing he wouldn't do at this point, was go anywhere without his new protege and that's exactly where Nelaa intended to strike.

    Nelaa was in one of the training rooms wearing tights and a tank top with her hair pulled back into a ponytail. A droid had been sent to retrieve Bette, who just had an advanced close quarters combat module added to her training requirements. As it turns out, this was something Silus had asked Nelaa to do at some point anyway, allowing her to knock more than a few birds out of the air with one stone.
    Last edited by Nelaa Kyris; May 17th, 2019 at 10:51:48 PM.

  2. #2
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    Bette adjusted her grey tank top, and then walked into the training room. Her hair was still buzzed short on the sides, with a little length on top, and she scrubbed her hand through it a little nervously as she walked toward Agent Nelaa Kyris.

    "Private room?" she asked, trying out a smile. The last time she'd seen Kyris hadn't exactly been a great introduction for either of them. "Ma'am."

    yo ho yo ho a pilot's life for me

  3. #3
    "I noticed they've added advanced hand to hand to your training schedule, and just so happens I'm qualified to instruct." She smiled warmly. "I figured a private room would keep the boys from staring too much."

    She was well aware of the fact that Bette found her demeanor off-putting, but Nelaa didn't bother putting on an act. When not on mission one of the few luxuries Nelaa had was the ability to be herself, and she wasn't about to trouble herself to create a character that Bette would want to be pals with.

    "All we'll be doing today is an introduction. I'd mainly like to work on your form and get you to a point where you can work out without me looking over your shoulder. Besides, I don't want to teach you how to kill a man until I know you and Silus are going to get along."

    She gave Bette a small wink.

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    Bette smiled thinly, not quite sure if it was a joke or not, and stood at ease with her hands behind her back.

    I am looking forward to learning, Agent. She paused, frowning a little. How do you want me to address you?

  5. #5
    "Whatever you're most comfortable with. Most of my fellow agents just call me Kyris."

    Bette nodded, and Nelaa took that as a sign to proceed.

    "Ok first, I know you've had basic hand to hand training. One thing I've learned, especially for pilots, is most instructors don't put a lot of effort into it. With that being said, there are going to be some things I show you that you may already know, or seem obvious. I don't want to skip something that you may not know just because you should know it."

    Nelaa held up her hands in front of her. Her hands were wrapped from her knuckles down to wrist.

    "First, let's get your hands wrapped up. This is the most important part of your training. Everyone thinks this is minor until they hurt their hands on a heavy bag."

    She went over to a nearby locker and toss a set of hand wraps to Bette. Bette immediately went to work wrapping her hands up as Kyris watched.

    "Don't go too tight on the first part, your hands will swell as we work out." A few times Bette looked up at her and she just nodded and offered a word of encouragement. As Bette was finishing up Kyris spoke casually.

    "I heard your first mission was a success, by the way. Congratulations."
    Last edited by Nelaa Kyris; Jun 24th, 2019 at 07:07:14 PM.

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    She wrapped her hands carefully. It wasn't something she'd done in a while, so she wanted to make sure she did it right.

    "It was, yes." Bette flexed her fingers in the wraps and then held them out for Kyris to inspect. The agent turned her hands over to look at them and nodded.

    "It was pretty much like being in the sim. Except, you know. Completely different." Bette smiled tightly, balling her hands up into fists.

  7. #7
    "I know exactly what you mean."

    Nelaa inspected Bette's hands.

    "Ok, good, this is good. Alright, hands up. I want to see you in a fighting stance. We're going to start with boxing just to work on some basic footwork and head movement."

    For the first part of the lesson very few punches were thrown. Nelaa mainly just had Bette moving around, stepping in each direction and giving her advice on how to keep form and balance during the movement. She found for the most part it was something Bette had a very good instinct for and she had to make very few corrections. Bette for her part listened intently and seemed to really take in what was being taught to her. With that being said, Nelaa sensed that Bette was probably a little bored and wanted to get on with hitting stuff.

    "Alright, let's move over to the heavy bag and get you punching a bit..."

    Pretty soon the sounds of leather hitting leather sounded around the training room as Bette was mixing in combinations of jabs and crosses. Soon, Nelaa had her circling the bag, working on her transition for movement to attack.

    "That's really good footwork, keep moving...Get those hands up!"

    After they'd gone on for a bit, Nelaa called for a break and handed Bette some water.

    "That's good, you don't really have any unlearning to do so far." As she let Bette catch her breath, a thought occurred to Nelaa.

    "You know when I was reading the report awhile ago, I thought back to my first mission where I saw some action. It was a real eye opener for me. How are you dealing with everything?"

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    "It was ...difficult when we first got back. I think it hit like a ton of bricks that, you know, I wasn't just shooting down bots in a sim." Bette squirted some water in her mouth.

    "Commander Xilarian talked me through it." Bette wiped her forehead with the back of her wrapped hand. "How did you, uh, get over it? After your first mission?"

  9. #9
    "I kept going."

    There was a sudden ice in Nelaa's voice that couldn't be missed. She busied herself for a moment by strapping on pads onto her hands.

    "I'm glad Silus was able to help you." Her voice had a bit more warmth to it, but it was obvious that her mind wasn't completely focused.

    "Alright, we've done basic movement and striking. Let's see how well you dodge a punch."

    Bette seemed a tad on the hesitant side to step on the mat with Nelaa, but didn't didn't let it stop her. Nelaa went through the most basic moves for slipping a punch and began going through them with Bette, having her do the motions first by herself to familiarize herself. After that, Nelaa stepped in and began throwing slow, easily dodged punches. Gradually she sped up to half speed. She coached Bette as they went through the exercises.

    "Remember, you want to get outside of the punch. You want to be on the back side of my fist. Good, there you go. Notice when you slip the punch how much of my body is open for counterattack. That's what you want to see."
    Last edited by Nelaa Kyris; May 21st, 2019 at 08:05:17 PM.

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    Bette worked up a healthy sweat as Kyris put her through her paces, getting comfortable with the drills. She was familiar enough with hand-to-hand defense skills that the new moves were stacking with what she already knew. Still, it was a lot of information, and she was relieved when Agent Kyris finally called the lesson to a halt.

    Stripping off the hand wraps Bette sat on the mats, her legs out in front of her in a stretch as she leaned down over her thighs, reaching for her feet. I think I need a drink after this.

    She looked up at Kyris. Wanna come? Im not on rotation right now - actually I dont even know if there is a rotation. But after this Im officially off duty for the night.

  11. #11
    Nelaa was actually slightly surprised at the offer. The lessons had gone well, but she didn't really think she'd done enough to bridge the icy buffer that stayed between them. She's still new on this ship, I'm probably the only woman she knows. The thought rolled through Nelaa's mind with a ring of truth to it.

    "Uh, sure. That would be nice actually. I need to shower and go see Admiral Garrett, but after that I'm free. Meet me at the NCO lounge in say, an hour?"

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    Bette flashed a smile. "Sounds great."

    Approximately fifty minutes later she was getting a glass of what whisky was approved for serving to NCOs on board an ISD during their down time. It was brown, tasted bad, and was pretty weak even when served straight up.

    Bette swirled the drink such as it was around in her glass, finding a booth in the lounge to sit at while she waited for Nelaa to show up. No sooner had she found her seat than someone slid in across from her. To her surprise, she recognized him.

    "Torre?" she said, a half-smile of surprise on her face. "I thought you were still on the Annihilator with Onyx squadr -oh."

    Lt. Val Torre tapped the side of his nose and winked. "The squadron I'm with gets around a bit. I hear you've joined it too, Davis. Congratulations." He reached across to shake her hand, and she put her hand in his with a grin.

    "Thanks. It's been a little overwhelming... in a good way," she added. He held her hand a little longer than was strictly necessary, his good looks and boyish grin more than making up for the lack of good alcohol. "I'm actually here to meet someone..."

  13. #13
    "I didn't realize you two had met."

    As if on cue, Nelaa found herself at Bette's table along with an unexpected guest.

    "Sorry I'm late, Garrett gets a bit chatty sometimes."

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    "Oh you're not late, I think I was early," said Bette, turning to Val to introduce Kyris to him.

    He, however, was jumping to his feet. "Ma'am," he said, nodding respectfully. He looked down at Bette, and winked. "I'll see you around, Davis."

    She opened her mouth as if to tell him to join them, but closed it again as the lieutenant quickly walked away, leaving Kyris to slide into the spot he had just vacated.

    "The drinks here aren't half bad," she quipped to Kyris, raising her glass. "They're completely bad."

  15. #15
    Nelaa let her eyes set on Val just a bit too long as he left, then turned back to Bette, slightly red in the face. She turned back to Bette.

    "Let me try..."

    Completely ignoring any sort of etiquette, Nelaa took Bette's drink and knocked it back.

    "Oh, that is awful. Let me go see what I'm approved for..."

    She jumped up, leaving a bewildered Bette alone at the table for a few minutes until she returned with two more glasses of whiskey. She slid one to Bette.

    "Let's see...."

    She took a drink as Bette did the same. Her face broke into a grin.

    "Okay, that's not much better..."

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    Bette grimaced and downed the whisky quickly. Its a little better.

    As Kyris looked at her with an eyebrow raised, Bette shrugged. We arent going to find anything better here. I heard that only the commissioned officers get the good stuff - ours is probably watered down so we stay sharp.

    She set the empty glass down with a touch of disappointment. Its better than nothing, though.

  17. #17
    "It's watered down to cost less, don't give the navy too much credit."

    She took a sip of her drink.

    "Garrett has some good stuff in his office, but he's stingy with it. Did he offer you a glass when he promoted you?"

    Bette shook her head no.

    "Stingy old bastard. After the hell Silus and I put you through, you definitely deserved it."

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    Bette laughed a little uneasily at the memory of that mission. I didnt want to say anything but...

    ...is that pretty standard? Trying to trick whoever the new recruit is?

  19. #19
    "Sort of. Coming up as pilots, you're not put through the same testing and training that we have to go through in Intel. Since some of the missions you'll run will stray over into our side of things, we try to engineer situations that will give us a glimpse in how your mind works by taking you outside your training."

    She took a drink.

    "Basically, you don't get into Shadow Squadron without facing your own demons."

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    Bette grimaced a bit and looked out over the NCO lounge. There were few empty tables, but the mood in the room was decidedly... down.

    Im just grateful to have the chance to prove myself. Show what I can do. She flexed her hands a little, and closed them around her empty glass. Some people are calling me a trail blazer, a glass ceiling shatterer or some shit like that... I cant think about it. If others like me can follow my footsteps I guess thats great, but it doesnt feel like me. Im not a role model.

    Bette laughed. Im just sick of being stared at everywhere I go, and not in a good way.

    They were the only females in the lounge, and the men were either staring or not looking at them so hard they might as well have been.

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