(2016-12-08) Feathers, Flight, and Flashes
Feathers, Flight, and Flashes
Summary: Carmichael and Taka come to try to stretch their wings in the gym and interrupt Gabrielle's dance practice! Tag is played and plans are made for more games!
Date: IC Date (2016-12-08)
Related: None
NPCs: None
Scene Runner: NA

Its a quiet afternoon in the gym. Except for Katy Perry's "Roar" blasting on repeat in the gym. Or at least blasting as much as Gabrielle's small bluetooth iPod speakers can blare. Gabrielle herself is working on a choreography to the song that is clearly meant to be kept fairly private since it not only incorporates dancing and gymnastics but some rather intricate use of her teleporting.

Carmichael isn't exactly the most inconspicuous student in the school, with that huge pair of black wings. But at least he's not like… always glowing or something like that. He comes to the gym to do some flying, since it's too cold to really go outside. He's dressed in his uniform, but the vest has been removed, and the sleeves have been rolled up. He pauses when he sees Gabrielle, though, and steps to the side of the door to lean his shoulder against the wall and watch quietly.

As it may have become evident to many other students that have run into Gabrielle when she's dancing or practicing any of her other phsycal hobbies, once she's focused she notices very little of what's going on around her. And in keeping with that she doesn't really notice that someone else has come into the gym. She continues her dancing, a rather aggressive choreography that is a bit at odds with her usually timid demeanor, the roars in the song typically punctuated with a bent-over, arms wide mime of a roar at an invisible enemy/antagonist/target.

Carmichael's not about to interrupt her, either. That would be rude, and would chafe his British blood something fierce! So instead he waits, and watches, until either the end of the dance or until Gabrielle seems like she's done. Then he shifts to stand. "Very nice moves," he replies, only just loud enough to hear. He's hoping not to startle her, but he's betting he does. So he pre-emptively softens the likely inevitable jumpscare with a compliment. "You're very talented."

Ugh, the gym. Taka lurks outside the door for a moment, steeling himself for the Dome of Awfulness, desperately hoping someone's repaired the damage by now. Since he doesn't hear water dripping — and since this planet has very inconvenient weather, making an outside flight unpleasant — he takes a deep breath and enters.

The first thing he notices is music. Tilts his head. Listens a moment. Shrugs. He would wave to Gabrielle, but she is concentrating and he will wait to greet her.

He's just about to kick into the air when he hears the other voice. How distracted is he by worrying about the dome? Enough to not see the other pair of wings in the room. "Ai, kie, k'tavar'h… nnh. Hello, Carmikel!" Well, his pronunciation's getting a little better.

Gabrielle's tiny little "eep!" is lost under the music as she drops out of a jazz pirouette. At least one of the advantages of being an instant teleporter is that you rarely have to suffer the effects of a fall. Right as she should have been hitting the floor and bruising her coccyx a flash of light fills the air in her spot and Gabby disappears…

Carmichael looks in Taka's direction as he hears his name. He smiles. "Hello, Taka," he returns pleasantly, and takes a few steps in the other birdman's direction. "What's the greeting in your language?" he asks. Gabrielle's squeak draws his eyes, and he sees her surprise for a split-second before she disappears. "Oops… well, that was unintentional…"

Taka stares at the spot Gabrielle used to be in. "Um. I hope I did not break her concentration and cause that!"

He shakes his head clear, and bows to Carmichael. "The usual greeting is 'kie'." There's the faintest stress on the 'e'. "It means 'peace'. It is also used for parting. The k'tavar'h is not part of the greeting. It… is a little complicated to translate, but it mainly means 'my friend'."

Carmichael looks around the gym, hoping to see her. When he doesn't he frowns a bit. "Well… there was teleporting in her dance routine, so she had her finger on the button, so to speak. Likely we both startled her. She didn't seem to expect company." Pause. "I do hope she hasn't teleported somewhere dangerous…" He sighs a bit. "I'll need to apologize when she comes back." Taka's Akiar language lesson draws his attention, though, and he listens. "Kie?" He's pronouncing it a little like an Asian language, and trying to cram it all into one syllable.

Taka eyes the dome with a combination of fear and venom. "This whole place is dangerous," he mutters, then chuckles. "I think my pronunciation of your language is no better than yours is of mine. Very good for a first try, however! But it is kie, not 'kyeh'."

The thing about Gabrielle's teleportation? Its flashy on the way out but completely stealthy on the way in. For all practical purposes she instantaneously reappeared in her most recent 'safe place' when startled in the gym, the girls locker room. Quietly she opens the door and leans her head to the side so that only her eyes are visible through the crack between the door and the door frame. After watching the two winged boys for a moment she chimes in with, "It's not really nice to scare people when they're dancing… Or any time, for that matter."

Carmichael can't help but chuckle at bit at Taka's clear discomfiture with the dome. "I'm sure it'll be all right," he attempts to reassure Taka. As for his prnounciation? "I'll take that as a compliment, because your pronounciation's actually rather good. Particularly since you had never even heard of 'English' before coming here." The correction is noted, and Carmichael tries it again, "Kie?" This time he straightens his vowel sounds a little more and tries less to cram it all into a single short sound. It's still not perfect, but as he pointed out in reverse with the shorter of the two birdmen, Carmichael had never heard of Akiar before Taka appeared. Thankfully, however, Carmichael is not as jumpy as many other students here. His surprise when someone speaks from the girls' locker room is obvious with his widened eyes and the very slight shifting of his wings, but he doesn't actually jump. Once he registers the voice and who it belongs to, he replies, "Terribly sorry to startle you. I didn't want to interrupt you, for that very reason, actually."

"Better, yes. I wonder if it is because of your unusual accent speaking English." From an alien who's still learning American English, and with New England cadences, 'unusual' may be a case of the pot calling the kettle black…

Taka doesn't jump either, but his wings do spread and the feathers fluff out a bit. He turns, and smiles sheepishly, also registering the voice. "Apology. Did not mean to interrupt your practice."

Gabrielle makes her way out of the locker room. As she comes back into the gym proper she pulls a tiny little remote from under the waistband of her leotard and uses it turn the music down and take it off repeat. With a rueful little smile she says, "It's OK. I startle easy anyway." Which is an understatement. Rumor has it when she first got to the school she wouldn't talk to anyone, wouldn't meet anyone's eyes, and would teleport all the way back to her dorm room at the slightest provocation.

"That's quite possible," Carmichael replies, to Taka's mention of his accent. "I'm not from the States. I'm from across the Atlantic. It's a very different accent than the States." He offers a pleasant smile in Gabrielle's direction. "Thank you. I did mean what I said though. You're quite talented."

Taka stretches his wings to help smooth his feathers out. "I know the feeling about being startled," he says with feeling. "Every time I turn around is something else I never contemplated. I again apologize for interrupting you."

Gabrielle blushes a bit and waves away both the compliment and the apology. "You get used to it. Kinda." As she talks she walks up to the wall then walks up the wall. After a few steps up her body starts shaking with the effort of remaining parallel to the ground but she continues taking careful steps up the wall, making sure there's always at least one foot flat on it at all times, until she's about halfway up. Then her core gives out and she's forced to lean forward and plant her hands on the wall to avoid flopping over backwards. Turning her head almost 180 degrees she looks at the boys and asks. "What were you two planning to do today?"

Carmichael chuckles at Taka's words of 'something else he never contemplated'. And suddenly… Carmichael twitters. Not the social media variety, either. It's an actual bird sound, and sounds like an actual bird. Though Carmichael himself seems unsatisfied with it, as he frowns. "Bollocks," he swears. "Got the inflection wrong again." He pauses then, as Gabrielle walks UP the wall. He blinks. "…I've been told I drive someone up the wall, but that's rather extreme, don't you think?" Smartass. The question, though, gets a tilt of his head. And he has to pause again, because the human body is not supposed to move like that. Then again… unofficial motto. Carmichael's 'weird' is just always on display! Then he answers, "I'd intended just to fly about a bit. I think it's rather too cold to be flying about outside."

Taka grins at Carmichael's chirp, and twitters something back — too bad it's a call from one of the birds of his native planet, making it unintelligible.

His answer to Gabrielle dies somewhere on the back of his tongue. That's just not a normal way for a body to bend. He coughs, and masters himself somehow. "Yes, that is why I am here too, a good flight. This planet is inconveniently cold at the moment." And with no apparent effort, he kicks lightly into the air, bringing his wings down hard.

Gabrielle lets go of her left hand and foot, flipping over so that now her back is against the wall and she's basically sitting on her heels. She takes a moment to consider the two flying boys and after a few moments of watching she asks, "How about a game of aerial tag?" How in the world she's going to play she doesn't really explain.

Carmichael looks chagrinned at the chirp from Taka. "I'm afraid I didn't understand that," he admits. He's not even sure if Taka understood him. He really hopes not, because the tiniest inflection screwup can completely change the meaning of a chirp. And that was a rather embarrassing one! Gabrielle's question gets a tilt of his head. "How do you mean?" he asks.

If Taka understood Carmichael, he gives no indication other than that he recognized it as a bird sound. "I did not think you would. You speak like a Terran bird; I speak like an Akiar bird. Not the same birds."

And when the words 'aerial tag' hit, well, have you ever seen anyone slam on the brakes in mid-air? Taka does, more or less, and swoops down to where Gabrielle is perched, hovering there. "How do you know qihar? No of course, you could not. It is a sport from home. Aerial flag tag. Too dangerous to try to physically contact each other in flight."

Taka doesn't really get an answer since he answers himself. Instead he just gets a little giggle and a head shake. In response to Carmichael's question Gabrielle tilts her head a bit and arches an eyebrow, non-verbally asking, 'Really? what's not to understand about tag?' then she smiles a little bit and says, "Tag, Carmichael, like the little kids game? But in the air." And still she doesn't explain just how she's planning on joining in.

Carmichael pauses, quiets, a half-smile forming on his face as he watches Taka get suddenly very happy about aerial shenanigans. Gabrielle's response gets a smirk. "Well, yes, I gathered that," he replies. "But you don't have wings. And I daresay teleporting is hedging on cheating in a game of tag," he adds playfully.

"Especially if you don't conserve momentum when you teleport," Taka adds. "But if you have a solution, that would be wonderful. I have not played anything like qihar since coming here. It is not playable alone." He considers that a moment. "It is not really playable with only three, either, but this would not really be a proper game."

Gabrielle's smirk has a slightly evil tinge to it, "I don't need wings. Tell you what, how about I start being 'it' and we see how it goes." And yes, she's going to 'cheat' and use teleportation to play. She really has no other option.

Once more, Carmichael chuckles. "I'm afraid I'll have to pass on that. I'm not quite good enough at flying to avoid flying into a wall — or someone else — during something like that," he replies. "I'd hate to have one of us end up in the Med Bay over a game."

"I am willing to put my wings against your powers," Taka replies confidently. He wheels in place, and calls down to Carmichael, "Are you sure? This is how good flyers become great flyers!" And with that, he spins off to his left, swoops down, then back up again to a tight circle over the center of the gym, about three-quarters of the way up to the dome top. "Ready when you are!"

<FS3> Opposed Roll -- Gabrielle=Teleport+Reaction Vs Taka=Aerobatics+Reaction
<       Gabrielle: Good Success          Taka: Good Success
<               Net Result: Taka wins - Marginal Victory

Gabrielle jumps off the wall, for all the world looking like someone jumping into a pool. Just as she's about to hit the floor she disappears with a *pop* and a flash of light and immediately reappears slightly above and to Taka's right, in the perfect place to tag him if the winged boy doesn't move pretty much immediately. As she appears she also lets out a chipper, "Hi!"

Carmichael nods to Taka's question. "I'm sure. I prefer a bit less competition while flying," he replies. He goes quiet, though, when the two start flying and teleporting through the air, respectively. He doesn't want to distract either of them.

Well, it's one thing to go wing to wing, another entirely to go wing to … uh, *pop*; caught more off guard than he'd like to admit to, he peels back and to the left, *just* getting out of the way in time. "Kya!" It doesn't mean anything, it's just a happy noise — there may or may not be the briefest glimpse of him grinning hugely before he's away.

He drops almost all the way to the floor, pulling out of his dive and shooting back upwards again. Game on.

The real challenge for Gabrielle past the first try is really to time Taka so now its a high speed guessing game. She waits until she's about to hit the floor again trying to guesstimate Taka's flight pattern then disappears in another *pop* and flash, reappearing instantly right above where Taka's flight path would take him in the 1/10,000 of a second it takes her to reappear.

This time, it's a more startled than joyous "Kya!" and Taka banks sharply down and to the left, briefly tucking his wings in tight for both speed, and smallness of target. Of course, he never expected a groundling to be able to estimate flight paths like that! So now his flying is a bit more erratic, speeding up and slowing down, suddenly banking off in one direction or another — occasionally even touching down lightly on the bleacher tops before flitting off again.

And the only notice he gives the dome anymore is just enough to know where it is relative to himself, so as to not hit it. No more venomous — or nervous — glances.

*pop* FLASH, *pop* FLASH, *pop* FLASH. Gabrielle is actually pretty good at guessing those flight paths. The increased unpredictability Taka puts into his patterns makes it harder and she start to miss some of her reappearances by a larger margin but the speed of her teleport makes it so that its never really by much and there's frequently very close calls for Taka.

The birdman isn't winded — yet — but this is a completely different way of playing than he's used to, and Taka is being pressed a lot harder than he thought he would be! "Okay, this is not qihar, but it is quite a workout!" he calls, executing a tight roll and dive to avoid yet another unexpectedly close call.

<FS3> Opposed Roll -- Gabrielle=Teleport+Reaction Vs Taka=Aerobatics+Reaction
<       Gabrielle: Good Success          Taka: Good Success
<               Net Result: Taka wins - Marginal Victory

The game keeps going for a few minutes with a lot of close calls but finally Gabrielle reappears on the floor near where Carmichael has been watching the game of aerial tag. Leaning over and resting her hands on her knees she pulls in a few deep breaths, "Good. Game. But I think. I'm. Done." Looks like all that fast speed teleporting can be more draining than it looks.

Taka spirals down for a landing, dropping just a bit more heavily than he usually does. "That was quite a challenge," he admits, pulling off his shirt and using a dry spot to towel off his forehead. "More of one than I expected," he adds with a grin. "I shall owe you a rematch, you nearly had me a few times. And see, Carmikel? No walls were hit!"

Carmichael claps as Gabrielle appears close to him. When Taka follows suit, he speaks up. "Good match, both of you." He's smiling broadly. The words of hitting walls gets a chuckle. "If I'd been up there, there most definitely would have been walls hit," he says, half-teasingly.

Gabrielle flops over and lays down on the floor, catching her breath, "That's harder than it looks. But I think you could do it, Carmichael. All it takes is some practice." Say the girl that avoids people by doing nothing but practicing her hobbies.

"Besides, the walls are curved up there," Taka says. "You would be more likely to bounce off than hit and fall. Trust me. I know the difference between a flat wall and a curved wall." So speaks the voice of experience, even if he does not elaborate just now.

Carmichael tilts his head up, surveys the top of the gym, as if considering Gabrielle's words. "Quite possibly. I don't quite trust myself for anything acrobatic, though." A look at Taka, to indicate him, and Carmichael adds, "He grew up in a whole culture of flight-capable people." He smirks at Taka's words. "True, but hitting the floor after I bounced off the wall, lost momentum, and plummeted to the ground would hurt too," he points out.

Gabrielle shrugs from her place on the floor, "Nice thing about having a teleporter with fast reflexes around. No hitting the floor." What she's not saying is that until you get used to it you might wish you'd hit the floor after suffering through one of her teleports.

"The plummet is perfectly harmless," Taka says. "It is the abrupt stop that can be difficult." More voice of experience? Yes, as it turns out. "I think there is no Akiar alive who has not had one, ah, uncontrolled landing at some time or another. I had a bad spill not long after my I'takar… apology. My coming of age. During a qihar match," he says, vaguely gesturing upwards with his hand. "Of course, that is usually played with a safety net. My coach would not have been pleased with what we just did."

Carmichael tilts his head first one way and then the other at Gabrielle's words, as if weighing them in his head. "That's true," he agrees. Taka's mention of the abrupt stop gets a snicker. "Well yes. Uncontrolled plummets do tend to result in hard stops, though." The mention of a safety net gets a nod. "That makes sense. Particularly if you fly from higher up than this." Another look to the top of the gym. "A fall that far might not hurt me too badly… and I heal quickly. But having broken limbs sucks while they're healing."

Gabrielle rolls her eyes, "They def' do. Especially the /itching/!"

"I was lucky not to break anything." Taka rubs his arm absently, then seems to be surprised at himself for doing that. "I hit the net okay, but Keth fell on top of me, right on this arm. It probably should have broken; we both got very lucky." He smiles slightly. "At least no foul was called, it was judged accidental. Well, there would not have been any reason to penalize either of us, we were on the same team."

Gabrielle sighs, "I don't fly but I do pratice gymnastics. Plenty of breaks thanks to missed tumbles."

Carmichael nods to Gabrielle's words, this time very slowly, with a mock 'wise' expression on his face. Sagenod. "That's the worst part. It itches UNDER the flesh when the bone's healing, and you can't reach it. Then it also itches on the skin too, and you still can't reach it because of the bloody cast. Drives me bonkers." He winces a bit at the account of the accident, though. "That and the ref could tell you both had no ill intentions towards each other, right?"

Taka laughs softly. "No, we were both going for Kyira's flag at the same time and she eluded us but we did not elude each other. You would think telepaths would be better coordinated than that, but we were both focused too hard on trying to read where she was going to dodge next. Predictably, it did not end well for us. I got a black eye out of it, but he wrenched his wing pretty painfully." The memory brings a wince. "We were both lucky it was not worse. A splintered bone means a long convalescence."

Gabrielle sits up a bit, leaning her weight on her her hands, "You should suggest setting up a match of that game here. We have enough fliers."

"In a tangle of feathers and ouch," Carmichael notes, to the words of 'did not end well'. He smirks. The words of 'splintered bone' do indeed get a wince from him. Because just… ouch! However, he nods at Gabrielle's words. "She's got a point. Not all of them are winged, though I'm not sure that matters."

Taka considers that. "I do not know how different flying without wings is from proper flying, but it might be interesting to try. The training grounds has enough space, it's outside, and perhaps a net can be strung between the four pillars…"

His eyes unfocus a little, imagining how it might be set up, brightening as he thinks it might just be do-able at that. "I think the only additional rule would have to be no using powers except specifically to fly. I certainly never could use mine while playing." He grins at Gabrielle. "Thank you!"

Gabrielle gets up off the floor and heads over to where she left all her stuff. "Well, I need a shower before dinner. That was fun, Taka. I'll see you boys later." With that she heads for the locker room, presumably to take the mentioned shower.

Carmichael smiles as Taka seems to get that enthusiasm again, considering Gabrielle's idea. He nods as well. "That's a really good idea. It might even make him feel more at home here." This is directed at Gabrielle. And then as Gabrielle gets up to head to the locker room, Carmichael waves. "Later," he offers in a pleasant tone.

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