Maddy is training! With her Tits hidden away, the robo-jock with the multi-colored hair has decided it is time to do some work on her own body. Maybe even some combat training to help deal with the waterborne baddies that are on their way. Which may explain why she is punching a fish shaped bag hanging from a hook, while wearing a bikini and a gas mask. “Mmffghei” she says with pride from under the ventilator after delivering a vicious punch to the bag. Hands akimbo, she upnods to her victim, just before it swings back, thuds into her face, and knocks her to the dirt.
Though this might not be the most public of places, Catriona – especially as Wraith – is not prone to letting her curiosity be foiled. Thus, she has wandered in to see quite what the training yard might hold… just in time to see Maddy losing a fight with an inanimate fish. There’s a double-take, then a giggle, followed by a broad grin. The now wholly-substantial redhead strides forward, ready to hold out a hand to help the mech-jockey to her feet if required.
Maddy is taking in a few deep breaths before flicking her eyes open to see a familiar face through the grime on her goggles. “Mmf Ghffle” is said excitedly as she takes the offered hand and gets to her feet. “Gdffls ehrsl fhs?” She holds up a finger…though since she is wearing boxing gloves this may not be obvious…before attempting to remove her mask with those gloved hands. This rapidly becomes a struggle for the ages as it looks like she is boxing herself…and losing. Finally, she pushes the mask up enough to reveal her mouth. “Red Ghost! How are you?” Time for a hug…which means the mouthpiece of the mask thudding into Wraith’s face. “Oops. Sorry. Did you see what hit me?”
Laughing, Catriona returns the hug – bodily lifting Maddy off her feet for a few moments. The bump to the face seems to leave her quite unfazed, fortunately. “I believe it was a fish,” she says, tone warmly affectionate. “It is very good to see you, Maddy. How are you and Tits doing?”
“A fish!? Has the attack started already?” Maddy seems alarmed at this, looking back and forth for her assailant, but sees nothing. So she immediately calms down. “Tits is doing great! Me, on the other hand…” A frown as she looks down at her belly. “I’ve been putting weight on. Some of it here…” She slaps her stomach with her glove. “More of it here…” Then she slaps her butt. “So I thought I would get in shape…and learn to fight without my Tits. Hey! Can you do me a favour?” A grin below the mask as she offers out her hands. “Can you take the gloves off? How have you been? Did you find your girlfriend?”
Catriona’s warm smile and intermittent laughter fade in response to that last query… and though after a moment she finds another smile, it is tinged with more than a little sadness. “No, I never have managed to find any sign of Valeska,” she says softly, hands moving to start unstrapping the boxing gloves. “But I’m really, truly glad to see you again. And to hear that Tits is doing well. I could possibly help you train a bit, if you wanted. I know a little about fighting at close quarters, and how to move.”
“Aww…really. No sign? Dang. Sorry to hear that, though I know how you feel. I haven’t seen my girlfriend in like…gosh…I can’t even count that high. Oh well. Life happens.” Maddy sighs before her brow furrows. “It does happen, doesn’t it? If it doesn’t, I have no idea what I’ve been doing all these years.” With her hands free of the gloves, she wiggles her fingers and gets to removing her mask. “I remember you with the cannibals. You were pretty good at killing them. Though, you do know that I can’t turn into a ghost, right? Better leave those lessons out.”
Catriona smiles gently. “Yeah, I remember that you’re wholly human. Don’t worry about that,” she says softly. “And I’m sorry that you’ve not seen your girl for ages, either. Hopefully she’s safe. Fortunately, it doesn’t look like there are any fish attacking just yet, so we should have time for me to try giving you a few lessons. I should be able to help you a bit with armed and unarmed combat at close quarters.”
“Tessa loves me” Maddy shrugs about her long-lost girlfriend. “She will come back when she wants to and I will be waiting. Or not. Haven’t decided yet. She’ll be fine. She has a mech. Did you hear about the fish threat?” The mask is tossed to the ground alongside the gloves. “It’s why I’m dressed in sea armour” she nods sagely with a gesture to her bikini. “You’d think there would be more to it, but this man I met told me it was more than sufficient. He tried to give me some lower armour that he called a…’thong’? But it kept riding up where no horses should go, if you know what I’m saying.” A wink for Wraith before she narrows her eyes. “Unarmed? That’s using your feet?”
Laughing affectionately, Catriona shakes her head. “Armed. As in with armaments – weapons,” she tries explaining, before unsheathing, deftly twirling, and resheathing her curved blades. “Like those. A lot of people use swords, and so on, when fighting at close quarters. Some prefer to do without. I can help you with both, and with defending against both. And also provide you with some training in how to move around a battlefield when you’re not with Tits. But… no, I’ve not actually heard a lot about the fish threat, I admit. Though that’s probably not exactly *armour* you’re wearing. Might depend on what it’s made of.”
Maddy watches the spinning and the bladework before asking, “Do you think that the fish would use swords? An octopus might, I guess. Should learn how to parry those suckers.” She giggles. “Geddit? Suckers. On the arms but also suckers because they’re baddies. Gosh I crack myself up sometimes. Not literally. I just mean with the laughing. Anyway, yes, I think learning all this stuff would be pretty awesome for the times when I can’t rely on my Tits to get me out of trouble.” A frown at her bikini. “Oh, you don’t think it would work? You know, I thought the same thing, but they assured me. So, the fish thing. A bunch of us were at the docks the other week and these fish came along to warn us that there was a big evil coming from under the water that could control other fish. And they were coming to get us. Not sure why. I mean, we could always just hide in the streets, it’s not as if they can come on land.”
Catriona laughs, groans, and then grins as she listens to Maddy. “Yes, I got it. And… I *suspect* that the “armourer” was keen to get you to dress up like that. You look rather good. A thong would probably get you even more attention, of course. But I don’t think it would help deflect fishy attacks, no. But… past experience does suggest that things that come from the sea can cause problems on land. You and I fought some marauders from the sea, quite some time back. Do you remember that? I was temporarily able to cloak Tits under my concealment.”
Maddy thinks on that past mission; eyes narrowed, brow furrowed, lips pursed. And just when it looks like she has it… “Aww…do you think I look good? Aren’t you sweet. Correct…and sweet. I should probably get dressed before we train.” She opens up a long bag to pull on a pair of hole-filled tights and a t-shirt that almost covers her breasts. “Oh, yeah! The guy on that animal with the funny voice. The guy’s voice was weird too. Hmm…and I got the impression that the fishies coming to hurt us this time are like five hundred miles big. Which is big. Okay, what do you want to teach me first?”
“If they’re *that* big, I’m not sure that there’s a lot I can offer that’ll help against *them*,” Catriona says dryly, eyeing Maddy’s version of ‘full’ attire with amused interest. “But I can certainly try to give you some help, training you in things that might be useful against a lot of the other dangers out there. But we can start with some work on balance and movement. That helps with pretty much everything…”
“Don’t be silly. You’re an awesome warrior. You’ll find a way to beat anything” Maddy assures her trainer with a grin before adopting a fighting stance that seems to be a mixture of boxing and Macarena while standing on one foot. “As you can see, I’m a well-balanced individual. Do you think I’m fat? Not that it matters. I mean, plenty of hot people are fat, and plenty of cold people are thin. We need to find a happy medium. Do you think they could help with mind-blasting the fish monsters?”
Laughing again, Catriona gently shakes her head, before settling into a fluidly graceful combat stance of her own. “I don’t think that we should worry about mind-blasting during this training session, at least. I don’t know if I *could* actually train you to try to resist that, but we could save that for another time, perhaps. I have a few techniques I could try to pass on to you.”
Seeing that her stance is nowhere near Catriona’s, Maddy modifies her own to better match the expert. “You’re not a happy medium” she points out, “So you don’t have to teach me mind-blasting. And I can defend myself awesome against any attack on my brain. No one has a chance trying to change this beauty.” A tap of the side of her head. “Hey, do you know there are /also/ demons attacking from the landward side? I’ve been hired to help put them down. You should totally get a contract.”
“Demons are forever spilling out of the dimensional breaches in the mountains,” Catriona says ruefully, starting to move elegantly forward and back, guiding Maddy into mirroring her own motions – with the clear intent of teaching her to read an opponent’s foot-movement in time to make her own adjustments. “I, ahhh, got lost up there. For a *long* time. While trying to find some trace of Valeska. I found myself on the wrong side of a dimensional shift and took far too long to find my way back here again.”
“You went to another dimension? Gosh! How exciting…” Maddy’s face lights up for a moment before she reads Wraith’s tone and suddenly looks glum. “Umm…not very exciting at all, really. Probably like a nightmare. Even worse, a nightstallion.” All the while she babbles, she is doing her best to copy Catriona. It’s not abysmal but it could do with some work. Maybe she’s still dazed by the earlier fish attack?
Catriona continues testing Maddy, adding in a little lateral movement every now and then to (literally) ensure she stays alert and ready to move on her toes. “I can survive situations that most people can’t,” she at least part-explains. “So I could, ahh, *cope*. But I spent a *lot* of time where some of these demons come from. They’re not very hospitable places, in most ways.”
“No wonder they want to move here” Maddy nods sagely while following the movements. She throws in a bit of a wiggle every now and then to turn it into more of a dance. “You are pretty tough. And you can do the ghost thing too. So, you know, if you ever got hurt, you would already be a ghost. How cool is that?”
Catriona laughs, looking a little sheepish. “That’s, ahh, actually fairly close to how it works. I can, well, rebuild myself to a great extent. I can use that to help other people: extend my *reach*, as it were, and help them to return to being as they should be, physically. But it’s mostly used to patch myself back together. And it’s part of the reason why I’m so hard to stop. I don’t really *work* like most people do.”
“Yeah, I get told that too. People are always complaining I don’t work like I should do, but, hey, if the job gets done, does it matter how I did the work?” Maddy understands all too well what she thinks Catriona has gone through. “Hmm…so if you’re around when the monsters attack, you can fix us all. Better make sure you come along. Am I moving right?”
“You’re certainly improving. This is promising,” Catriona says encouragingly. “And… well. I can maybe fix a few people. I *hope* to be able to help like that, if I’m needed. Myself, I can patch back together a lot more easily than I can work on others.”
“Every day and in every way, I get better and better” Maddy grins. “But I should get going. I have Tits to maintain. You can patch me up too whenever you need to.” She throws her mask and gloves in the bag before hoisting it over her shoulder. “We shall continue this another time, okay? Great to see you again, Red Shots.” A tight hug for the redhead.
Laughing, Catriona nods, then warmly returns the hug – taking care not to crush the merely-human body she embraces. “It’s very, very good to see you, too. And I’m delighted to help. Honestly. It’s good to feel useful. And I enjoy spending time with you.”