Don't Blink


ryans4_icon.gif squeaks4_icon.gif

Scene Title Don't Blink
Synopsis Blink and you'll miss it.
Date November 13, 2019

Praxis Ziggurat

“Stop cheating!”

Frustrated words are thrown with more force than intended as Squeaks’ echolocation is carried in the words. The world around her pings back, giving her a greater sense of her surroundings, more detail of the man standing before her, than she’d have with just her eyes. It also reaches the old man’s ears, creating a slight pressure and ringing, like the onset of tinnitus.

It’s rare that the young teenager shows so much obvious emotion. Or that she’d boldy accuse Ryans of being anything but fair in his lessons. That isn’t to say the lessons aren’t unfair, but this one has been particularly hard.

Avoiding objects you can’t see with your eyes is one thing she can do. When they’re stationary objects. Or if it’s a single one that’s moving. But Squeaks, after insisting the training needed to be more challenging, has found that multiple objects aren’t so easy to avoid when they’re coming at you all at once. No matter how well you can tell where they are. And she’s got a few bruises to her pride for her efforts.

The expression on Benjamin Ryans face doesn’t change as he stands there, with hands tucked behind his back. He looked like he should be wearing BDUs and the smokey the bear hat that drill sergeants have, not the flannel shirt and jeans he was wearing. She asked for training and she was getting it. The pressure is noted and eyes narrow even further.

To be fair, if she wasn’t invincible, he’d have never agreed to this.

“That’s the thing, Jac.” One hand comes out from behind Ben’s back, reaching for one of the bricks that were laying at her feet. It comes back to him as he continues, letting her feel it and know what will be coming. “The enemy will never play fair. They will do anything they can live to see the next day. They want to live.

The brick hovers above that hand, turning lazily. “The question is, how badly do you want to survive?” With that the brick flies at Squeaks again, once it’s on it’s way, he reaches quickly for another swinging it around her other side. This was as much of a time to practice for him as it was for her.

More than the enemy does would be a bold claim, and it's the thought that should travel from Squeaks’ mind to her mouth. Only it doesn't manifest into actual words.

The sounds she continues to create have no discernible syllables, range between audible and inaudible. A fluctuating pulse presses against Ryans’ ears, likely similar to the shifting pressure when a car window opens and closes while the vehicle is in motion, matches the variation between her clicks and squeaks. She watches the old man, the brick, as wire-like frames of what they actually should be, her natural sight still masked in spite of her burning desire to rip it off.

If Ben is going to cheat, she should be allowed to cheat too.

The inconsistent rhythm of her sound-based attack ceases abruptly when the first brick is thrown. The girl sees it coming, had been anticipating it being used against her. It's easy to avoid with a quick twist and lean of her upper body. The second nearly catches her off guard. Squeaks locks on to the movement as the brick closes in, her hands curl around the rough surface as it connects with her chest, cradling the object like she's just caught the winning pass.


Benjamin declares gruffly, both hands behind his back again, “But never forget what it was like to be vulnerable and killable.” He paces to the side a bit as he lectures the girl. “Relying solely on your gifts will get you killed. Treat every moment like you are as soft as the next person.” There he pauses and gives a soft huff, “Unless you can’t and need to fall on a grenade.” Some exceptions are made for the good of the whole.

“This is a fact that will get your father killed one day,” Ben adds a touch quieter. :”He’s an amazing warrior and soldier, but I also know he has spent so much time immortal and you become… comfortable.” Eyes cast down to the ground masking his worry for a man he’s known for so long.

A sigh escaped for Ben’s nose, before he straightens and squares his shoulders, “Again!” He’d rather have an advantage, but his ability doesn’t work that way. So she’ll know he’s up to something as a hand extends again and jerks it towards him. Squeaks will have moments to find the brick behind her coming for her back. While she is distracted with that one, he moves his focus to yank the one out of her arms.

The girl doesn't have many plans for herself, but of what she does have? Falling on a grenade isn't on the list. She's only recently begun to trust the practically indestructibility of her skin. Her head rocks slightly with a nod, accepting the lecture as wisdom she has yet to attain for herself.

Her eyes follow Ryans’ movements, watch him as warily as a cat cornered by a large dog. There's no celebration or cockiness, just the winded look of determination.

The motions of the old man’s hands give away little, but she knows he's planning something. Squeaks’ own hands remain wrapped tightly around the brick she caught a minute ago and without the tell-tale tug it's got to mean he's going to strike with the other. She can see it move, without her eyes, without turning to look, and she waits for it to come while gauging the distance, the time before it connects with her head.

In spite of just weathering the warnings of reckless reliance on her abilities, the teen uses it to her advantage. As soon as the first tug on the captured brick is felt, she lets it go. And in the same motion Squeaks drops to a knee so the brick from behind passes overhead, leaving Ben with two projectiles.

While he can work one at a time, two at once… Well, who is cheating now? There is only moments for him to act, Ben’s hand moves from the one he jerked away, to the one flying at him at a higher rate. He manages to stop it, but the other brick smacks into his hip. Ryans takes it with only a grunt of pain.

Unlike her, Benjamin will bruise quite nicely.

“Good,” Ryans praises the action, with a hand pressed to his side. “You’re learning.” That might have smarted a bit, though he tries not to show it. “I think….yeah… that’s enough for today.” His body was feeling heavy, a sure sign he was tiring out his ability. While these sessions help his endurance, he still needed work.

“You're slow,” Squeaks points out, helpfully. The cloth tied at the back of her head, covering her eyes, is removed. She stands carefully, with a wariness about her probably learned from lessons long before she met Ben Ryans. Likely even before she found herself jumping into the deep end of Adam Monroe’s world of intrigue and conspiracy. Not that she's got any reason to doubt that they're done practicing for the day, but some experiences leave imprints that aren't easily erased.

“You should probably stretch more.” The teen goes on like there's nothing out of the ordinary. As she has other times, her thoughts and ideas are offered up freely. “It helps you move faster. And yoga? That's good for balance.” Never mind the decades of experience the old man has on her.

She doesn't demonstrate, or even practice her own suggestions in that moment. She looks tired, with the toll of using her ability catching up. Squeaks makes no real effort to hide it, but she doesn't acknowledge it either. Instead she asks, “Am I getting better at least? I think… I think I could improve my accuracy more still.”

The advice given by the girl gets an amused and tolerant smile that crinkles the corners of his eyes. “I’ll try to remember that,” Ben rumbles with no real promise. A glance finds a nearby bench, which he makes his way to with a mild limp. Her question about her improvement is noted with a glance, but he doesn’t follow that with words until he is seated on the bench.

Once he’s off achy bones, Ryans gives a heavy sigh. Getting old sucked. “You’re improving,” he confirms, turning his attention back to the girl. “But you can always do better. You’ll find no matter your age, there will be something new to learn.” A hand rub along a knee, pressing into it like he could push out the deep ache. “But I can see you’ve been practicing.”

Reaching out, Benjamin points at Jac and that is the only warning she gets. “Now. Start really working on your balance.” Squeaks can feel one of her feet suddenly come off the ground in an attempt to throw off her balance to prove a point.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License