Don't Choke


cardinal2_icon.gif elisabeth2_icon.gif noriko_icon.gif

Scene Title Don't Choke
Synopsis Elisabeth teaches Cardinal and Noriko a thing or two about marksmanship.
Date January 5, 2010

USS George Washington

USS George Washington is the sixth ship in the Nimitz class of nuclear-powered supercarriers, and the fourth United States Navy ship to be named after George Washington, first President of the United States. She was built by Newport News Shipbuilding and was commissioned July 4, 1992. George Washington is 1,092 feet long, 257 feet wide and is as high as a twenty-four-story building, at 244 feet. The super carrier can accommodate approximately 80 aircraft and has a flight deck 4.5 acres in size, using four elevators that are 3,880 feet each to move planes between the flight deck and the hangar bay.

Traditionally, US Navy aircraft carrier hangar bays were painted "Navy Gray"; George Washington was commissioned with her hangar bay bulkheads and overhead painted white, to make the hangar bay appear larger and brighter. All US Navy aircraft carriers have their hull number painted on both sides of their island structure for identification. These numbers are lighted white for visibility at night while in port. By order of Congress, George Washington's island number is outlined in red, white and blue lights in honor of her namesake's contributions to America's independence. General Washington had long been a proponent of a strong Navy. On November 15, 1781 he wrote, Without a decisive Naval force, we can do nothing decisive. And with it, everything honourable and decisive. These words are engraved on a plaque on the ship's quarterdeck.

Q: How much time is this team going to be allowed to put in at the firing range?
A: As much as they want.

It makes things simple that the personnel on board the USS George Washington know that the civilian teams among them are, though not uniformed as such, experienced combat soldiers. At least insofar as showing them respect for what they've been through thus far. It didn't take much to convince Richard Cardinal to go shoot weapons — it's almost like a date! Standing at one end of the range with ear and eye protection on (Elisabeth doesn't bother to argue this with the master-at-arms of the boat), Elisabeth has already fired her full clip into the target on the far end of her lane. She's simply waiting for Cardinal's last couple of shots. There's a bet riding on this one — that she can put more into the center mass of the target than he. Is it cheating that she hovers behind him with one of those wicked little grins that says she's out to distract him? She hasn't actually done anything! Maybe because they're not the only ones on the range at this point, or maybe just because… well, distracting a man with a gun can be dangerous, right?

Among those who has been at the shooting range for at least an hour of every day that they've been back on the ship is Noriko Amagi. Her eyes looking around, as the young woman is doing her best to become proficient in the art of shooting things. She still knows that if her powers are removed, she's completely and totally helpless. That is something that she never wants to be again. Her eyes are planted straight forward as she loooks at the master-at-arms as he hands over eye and ear protection and gives her a friendly greeting. She hasn't ever really acknowledged him, but her attributes are probably enough to keep him hoping.

Stepping out to the firing range, she gives a nod to Elisabeth and Cardinal, if they see her, they see her. If they don't, well, Noriko doesn't really mind. Her eyes move towards the target, as she adopts the stance with the sidearm that she had been shown. Her eyes looking down the barrel as she begins to squeeze off shots.

Richard Cardinal really doesn't expect to win this particular bet in any case; his experience with a gun has been in the heat of combat, and a few weeks drilling in an underground hallway. She, on the other hand, has extensive experience and training. It's really not fair, but then, neither is life.

He's wearing sunglasses beneath the protective goggles, muzzle flash something that tends to aggravate his eyes, and he's still not entirely comfortable in his all-over sunburned skin. At least it's reaching the final stages of peeling and is starting to heal, even if he looks something like a leprosy victim sometimes. He spends a lot of time in the showers.

The pistol in his hand comes up, wrist braced with his other arm and he sights down the barrel before taking his first shot, the gun barking in his hand.

In truth, the blonde in question is actually behaving quite nicely. Elisabeth is watching his stance, his arms, the way he handles the firearm. Much as she did back at the library, she's doing her level best to make a decent marksman of a man with … well, in her opinion, Cardinal's got enough innate talent (and some experience) to actually get better quickly. He just makes the same mistakes that anyone who learned to shoot on the fly makes — he shifts his weight around too much and doesn't breathe out for the shot. Out of the corner of her eye, Liz also spots Noriko and she shifts her body so she can study the younger woman's posture as well. Yep… there's another one. She waits until Richard's weapon has expelled its last shell casing and touches him on the shoulder as he lowers his arm. Pulling one of his ear covers off, she murmurs, "Noriko's down the line. I'm going to bring her up here next to you so I can work with both of you." She grins slightly. "Reload. You've got three more practice clips to go. Your first clip is always going to be the one that's closest to spot-on — your hand won't be as tired. So now you owe me dinner when we get back too." She sets the covering back over his ear and waits for the master-at-arms to give the all-clear to move on the firing line (after everyone's fired and set the weapons down), then walks down the line to retrieve Noriko and motion her down to the end where Cardinal and Liz are shooting.

Noriko doesn't really have any bad habits from learning to shoot on the fly, until Madagascar she had never even picked up a gun to fire it and even during that, she only did it once, and it hurt her wrist. Looking at Elisabeth she nods her head a little and begins to head in that way, shrugging her shoulders, its usually better to talk with people who understand her.

"Hm?" Cardinal's head tilts a bit towards Elisabeth as she murmurs into his ear, though if there's anyone good at making herself heard in a clamourit's her. A nod, then, slanting a look down the line to —Candy Noriko, a faint smile touching to his lips as he ejects the clip and slaps another practice clip into the gun, re-adjusting his stance as he waits.

Installing Noriko in the slot next to Cardinal where she herself was firing, Elisabeth stands back a bit. She gets Noriko situated and coaches her quietly before the next round. "Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and when you fire, breathe. Breathe in before you shoot, breathe out slowly as you aim, and fire when you reach the end of your exhale. It will help you get used to the recoil, and it will help you be more relaxes so the kickback is less." She nudges Noriko gently with her hands, helping her take a solid stance, and then nods. "Reload," she tells Noriko with a smile. Then she turns back to Cardinal, running a quick eye over him. He seems in good shape altogether — now for him, it's merely a matter of practice, practice, and more practice. She glances over toward the door to give the master-at-arms a nod to indicate that they're ready.

Noriko looks over at Elisabeth as she nods her head a little. She smiles a bit, able to let her thinking go for now, so that she can just concetrate on the task at hand. She gets into the stance that she was told, and then reloads the pistol as she was instructed. Turning back to look at Elisabeth, for the moment, she waits for permission to fire.

The weeks of practice down in the tunnels beneath the library's gotten Cardinal used to the drills, at least; he doubts he'll get much of a chance to practice with a shotgun or M16 while he's on the ship, so the pistol'll have to do. At the signal, he opens up again, the gun snapping back slightly in his hand after each shot, adjusted carefully before the next one without losing too much good firing time. His groupings aren't tight, but they're not that horrible, either, and are mostly around center mass at least.

Permission to fire is given with a yellow flashing light, and the round commences. Most of the personnel down here empty their clips in seconds. There's always a massive cacophony of sound on a firing range every few minutes. Then the red light flashes to make everyone set their weapons down again.

Elisabeth splits her attention between her two charges now, merely nodding to Cardinal with a brief grin. He doesn't need to qualify as a marksman like a cop — the groupings he's showing are fine for what we need. "Good," she tells him. "If you let the pistol naturally settle itself between shots instead of trying to control it so tightly, you'll have a tighter group." She winks. "Think of it like sex, love. If you don't let it go all the way up, all the way back down and rebound a little before you steady it, your aim's going to be off." Then she moves to adjust Noriko's grip. "Don't choke it into submission. Initially you're scared of it. It's a lot of power in your hand. But loosen up a little. Ever ridden a motorcycle or a horse? Or even driven a car at really high speed. Keep a real tight grip on the wheel, and you don't have as much control. Give it a little room to move and your maneverability and response time goes up."

"No, I've never driven a car, or a horse," Noriko responds easily while she looks at her own grouping, which is quite frankly, all over the place. Maybe a couple killing shots in there, a few incapications and flesh wounds, and then more than a few that didn't hit the target at all. "And its… different from what I'm used to," Noriko adds as she stands there, frowning faintly at the target. From that distance away she's more than used to just a thought and they explode.

"Specialization is for insects." Cardinal lowers the pistol slightly, turning his head to regard the two woman with a faint smile as he speaks the quote, "We don't have the leisure to rely on any one skill, or one ability. It's a mistake a lot've us make." More quietly, as he looks down to his pistol and ejects the spent clip, "Learn what you can while there isn't someone trying to kill you."

Elisabeth nods slightly at Noriko. "Take it slow. You want to hold it firmly enough that it's not going to jump out of your hands, but not like you're trying to strangle it," she coaches. "Breathe in, relax yourself by letting the breath out slowly, and when you get to the bottom of the exhale, squeeze the trigger don't pull it. Pulling it will jerk the muzzle upward and you won't hit the broad side of a barn. Another thing that can cause the muzzle to jerk around is flinching in anticipation of the shot." She smiles. "And keep both eyes open when you aim. One eye is going to be naturally more dominant than the other, but you don't have the luxury of being on a range when you're shooting, so you need to shoot with both eyes open and learn how to compensate for the fact that your aim may be off."

Elisabeth shows Noriko the eye-dominance test trick — fix both eyes on a point at the end of the range and make a circle of your thumb and forefinger. Then close each eye and see which one actually lines up with what you thought was at the middle of your range. "If you shoot and your bullet goes slightly off-kilter, that's usually why. This way, you'll know that you have to actually aim a half-inch left or right of what you want to hit to actually fire true. Try it." She nods to the master-at-arms one more time. "Reload and fire one more round each."

Noriko looks over at Cardinal and notes, "Well, that is why I am here after all." Nodding her head to the instructions that Elisabeth is giving her, she performs the action finding out that its her right eye that tends to be the more dominant one. At Elisabeth's instructions she reloads the weapon and waits for when to fire.

The new clip's slapped into the handgun in Cardinal's hands, and he slants a look over towards Noriko with a faint smile. "Never too late to learn," he approves, bringing the pistol back up towards the target at the other end of the range. He takes careful aim, steadies it, and then snaps off a shot. Center mass, slightly to the left of the center.

Elisabeth stands back to merely watch as the next round commences with her two shooters. And when they're done, she nods slightly. "Good," she comments easily to Cardinal's shots. Noriko's will get a closer look through the round and at the end of it than his because he's competent. When the master-at-arms once more calls the line clear, she steps forward to look more closely once more.

Noriko's own grouping is at least all on the target this time around. She offers a faint smile while she looks at it, before she adds softly, mostly so that only her gruop can hear it, not that it is really necessary at the range. "Want to try and not use my ability as often, I think," she admits.

"It's a good plan. There's… negators, powered and chemical…" Cardinal shakes his head tightly, setting down the gun and stepping back for the time being, "…relying on your ability too much, assuming it won't fail, that there's no counter— heh. Nearly killed me, once or twice. That's why I have all my people doing…" A vague gesture to the range, "…this. I hope they've kept up with us here."

There's a glance at him as he says that, and Elisabeth says quietly, "We should have a conversation about that, actually. I spoke to Mack a couple days ago." She smiles at Noriko. "Much, much better," she compliments. "Now it's just about practicing. Thinking it through each time you squeeze the trigger, and just practice and more practice." She pats Noriko's shoulder gently. "Don't do more than 20-30 minutes at a time at first. It takes time to build up the wrist and forearm muscles to handle it. It doesnt' seem like it should hurt, but tomorrow, you'll be sore."

Noriko nods her ehad a little before she says, "Well, thanks." She offers a smile, before nodding her head and looking at Cardinal as she replies, "No powers at all… with Moab and Rasoul. I… don't like the feeling." That's an understatement, and a good way to make Noriko go into a catatonic state, take her power from her.

"Oh? Alright, we'll catch up later…" Cardinal turns his gaze to Noriko, a faint smile never touching his eyes. "Neither do I. Arthur took mine, ripped it out of me like my heart. I felt…" He turns his gaze back to the target, eyes narrowing, "…helpless. But I killed him anyway. Don't underestimate yourself without your ability, Noriko."
There's a nod about catching up later — it's not urgent, clearly, because She didn't mention it already. Elisabeth grimaces slightly at the description Cardinal offers to Noriko's plight. She…. never asked. Yet another thing the two of them have sort of skimmed over. But she smiles at him, and then says, "I'm going to leave you two to this. I need to catch a shower. Noriko, if you need anything at all, you know where to find me." Liz slides the headgear off her ears and moves to go past Cardinal, a brief touch on his arm as she slides past both of them to retrieve her own pistol and turn it back in to the master-at-arms. "Find me whenever, Richard."

Noriko nods her head a little, before she says, "Actually, a shower would probably be a good thing. It has been /much/ too long since I was able to have the luxury of a shower when ever I wanted."

"Alright. I'm going to shoot a few more clips here, then I'll catch up," Cardinal offers, stepping back up to the line and replacing the clip. There's only so much time until their mission, and he needs all the practice they can get. He can rest when they're done.

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