jaiden_icon.gif tess_icon.gif ygraine_icon.gif

Scene Title Tic-Tacs
Synopsis Jaiden is introduced to Parkour, and Tess to the concept of cheating at it
Date October 15 2010

Jaiden's Garage

The weather is clear and calm, with a few fluffy clouds overhead that occasionally shadow the streets nearby, making dreary bits of Red Hook a little more ominous thanks to the shadows. You wouldn't know that from Jaiden's place, though. Aside from the chain-link fence surrounding the property topped with some very nasty coils of wire, the land before the garage is actually well kept and clean - even the dirt where Jaiden is working is free of trash or oil spots. The gate is open, and just inside Jaiden is at work doing…well…something. Building, it seems. A few posts have been sunk into the ground and a small platform has been built about three feet off the ground, for balancing or something, and a chin-up bar has been mounted nearby as well. Apparently Jaiden is building some kind of obstacle course.

Leaning on his post hole digger, Jaiden wipes his forehead with a red shop rag, letting out a breath before starting to dig again.

With a card in her hand, Tess has tracked down Jaiden's shop. Real photographers who will talk to a rank amateur aren't that common, and she's not passing up this opportunity. Of course it means running through the city, rather than doing the sane thing and driving, but she seems to enjoy the free running, even if it means that she arrives at Jaiden's place a little out of breath.

Her running ends as she ends up perched on the fence, peering over it at Jaiden and grinning. "Hey, it's photographer boy! I found the place! So freakin' awesome." She pivots, to change her balance so she can leap over the fence and move towards him.

Preceded by the low, contented rumble of a powerful engine, an expensive black-and-chrome motorcycle rumbles into view, then swings off the road and through the gate, its rider clad in anonymous fully-concealing black leathers. Rumbling to a halt in a portion of the yard not being used for construction, the figure turns the blank visor towards the girl on the fence, attention presently quite thoroughly distracted from Jaiden.

The post-hole digger is just thudding down when Tess gives Jaiden a call, the man straightening, shadowing his eyes with one hand to look over at where the call came from. The fact that she's leaping over a razor-wire topped fence causes his stomach to clench like a fist until she lands safely, without being slashed up. "I would say be careful….but you're a big girl and I've got a first aid kit. Hey there, miss Tess. How're you?"

Tess laughs and shrugs, glancing back to the fence. "If jumpin' from the roof of a buildin' doesn't bother me, then a bit of wire sure as hell won't," she tells him in her Cajun drawl. "An' I'm good. Excited! At least if you're up for photograph talk or somethin' else fun. Otherwise I'll be bored and that just won't do. I'll have to find somethin' else to keep me entertained."

Ygraine turns off the engine, busying herself for a couple of moments with ensuring that her bike is ready to be left out in the open, before swinging off the machine and stalking towards Jaiden. As she moves, it's clear from her gait that the otherwise anonymous biker is female - something confirmed when she removes her helmet, revealing red-dyed hair in a tight braid, disappearing down the back of her jacket.

"Am I interrupting something?", the biker asks, tone amused - her accent educated and British, crisply contrasting with the Cajun drawl.

"Ygraine!" Jaiden straightens up and waves as the brit gives them the benefit of her presence. "No, not really interrupting anything. I was just putting in a small obstacle course to get a little bit of dexterity up and to have people practice with uneven terrain. Nothing big." He looks over his shoulder at the posts. "Something to keep me busy and to break a sweat."

"Tess, this is Ygraine, a really good friend of mine. Ygraine, this is Tess. Met her a little less than a month ago. Photographer in training, if I'm right. She just came to brighten my day, and you being here makes it that much better." He chuckles, making a bottle of water, taking a sip. "How're things with you two?"

"Pfft. Wasn't even a month ago. And what he isn't sayin' is that I'm friends with his girlfriend so he has to be nice to me or risk bein' cut off," Tess says with an impish grin. "Nice ta meet you though, Ygraine If he's a photographer, and I'm in trainin', what are you? Ooooh. Are you a photographer too? That'd just be so fuckin' cool!"

The enthusiasm catches Ygraine somewhat off-guard, drawing laughter and a raised hand. "No, I'm afraid not. I draw and paint a bit, but I can't claim any great artistic distinction, I'm sorry to say. And… I think that I might have been one of the people this assault course is meant for. Jaiden and I have offered some self-defence classes to people, and he seems to have taken on training me as a side-project."

"Well, not entirely for you, Ygraine." He gestures to the poles and such behind him. "This was mainly something for me to do with this chunk of land I've not been using. Getting you here…heck getting anyone here, jumping around and such…that's just a bonus." Jaiden gives a smile, leaning his post-hole digger against one of the already sunk poles and taking a sip of his water bottle.

"You never told me how you met Delia, Tess. Just random happenstance, or did you know her from before?"

"Assault course? What sorta trainin' is it for?" Tess asks, looking curiously at the obstacles Jaiden's erected. Then she grins at Jaiden. "Met her at this party, right after I got into town. My date knew her, I think it was, and I ran into her at this carnival in Coney Island, and then I ran into her at the zoo and we talked about you."

Flashing a grin at Jaiden, Ygraine laughs. "Talked about in absentia by pretty women? You seem to have made an impression", she teases gently, moving over to peer more closely at the nearest of the obstacles. "How much are you intending to put up?"

The obstacle course is simple. A few large tires half-buried, several poles, some a foot above the ground, the highest almost four feet of the ground, a balance beam, a platform, and a chin-up bar, all built from scavenged and found bits. "I'm pretty much done with it now, unless you could think of a few things to do with it. It's mainly to test agility and balance - something I personally need a lot of work on."

"Ooooh. Can I run through it then? I'm all agile and balanced and stuff!" Tess asks, bouncing on the balls of her feet, beaming at both of them.

Another laugh, and Ygraine shakes her head. "If our host thinks that it's stable enough to be tackled, then feel free", she says, grandly gesturing an invitation for Tess to assault the course.

"If you want." Jaiden says with a shrug, getting his tools out of the way, passing a water bottle to Ygraine if she wants one before watching. "It's all sturdy and shouldn't wobble if you're on them. Show us what you can do. I've always wanted to see that wall-running stuff."

The consent has Tess looking positively giddy. She even lets out a squeal of delight. She doesn't bother shrugging off her backpack before she takes off running. She leaps from tire to tire, up on a pole, along the balance beam. She's quick, graceful, and balanced, barely giving even a bit of a waver at anything but one of the poles. For someone so young, she had to have been practicing parkour for a while to be this confident.

Ygraine cocks her head, watching with considerable interest as she sips on her conjured water. "She's really rather good", she observes to Jaiden, tone more than slightly touched with envy.

"Bloody hell, isn't she though?" Jaiden's water bottle would have spilled had it actually had any water in it not tied into holding it together, the neck pointing toward the ground as he watches the encumbered Tess take out his 'obstacle' course without even seeming to break a sweat. "Maybe she can show us a thing or two."

Tess laughs as she pauses on the beam, balancing on one foot and glancing over to them. "I've been doin' this for years, an' I dance too. Helps with the balance and dexterity," she calls out to them before continuing on. And there's no doubt she's having a blast.

"Tic-tacs, to get up off the ground, I've mastered as well as that", Ygraine says with a chuckle, gaze still locked on the young woman above her. "But they're pretty much the first move you learn in many groups, and my expertise doesn't go too much further. Admittedly, I cheat a bit…."

"Tic-tacs?" Jaiden blinks. "What're those?"

"How do you cheat?" Tess asks as she continues with her jumping, jumping, the occasional flashy spin, and ends with a wholly unnecessary flip from the beam to the ground.

"I'm afraid I'm a bit of a freak", Ygraine calls up to Tess, quirking another smile, before looking back to Jaiden. "Imagine you're in a corridor or an alley: spring at one wall to kick up and off it to get up higher on the other. You use it for things like getting up atop a free-standing wall, if there's a building opposite. Or if you've got the dexterity for it, you can kick off something lick a lamp-post in the same way, but it's a lot easier to misjudge your contact with such a narrow object and wind up propelling yourself head-first into the wall…."

Sounds like Jaiden may need to build a wall at some point to practice this. "Right now all I've got is that corner over there, where the warehouse kind of angles." He points to the walls where the bricks meet at a nice 90 degree angle, walking over there, his sneakers leaving a nice little path in the dry dust. "So…run up and bounce off, or what?"

"How do you mean? Ooooh. Are you evolved? Can you, like, fly, and you use it to give you a boost? Because that would be so awesome for parkour!" Tess says, brightening at Ygraine. She looks at Jaiden then, and the wall, then grins at Ygraine. "Wanna demonstrate or should I?"

"Flying would make parkour rather irrelevant in many ways", Ygraine says with a grin at Tess. "I could best demonstrate in your stairwell, probably", she muses to Jaiden. "But if our young friend here wants to put on a display for you out here, I won't stand in her way. I'm sure you've seen people run up a wall and kick off it - street dancers back-flipping, or whatever. You use that leverage to get extra height for your real target, to get up further than you could just by jumping."

"Then whaaaaaat?" Tess asks, nearly dying of curiosity now as to how Ygraine cheats. Then she just grins. "Just don't hurt yourself, 'cause I don't know first aid!" Then she runs off towards the wall, heading straight on. She sort of runs up the wall, using her momentum to carry her forward, then she pushes off to back-flip and land on her feet, doing exactly what Ygraine just described. The flashy version anyway. Someone really is a show off!

Laughing, Ygraine shakes her head at Tess even as she claps her hands, the gloves making the sound leathery and hollow, then looks to Jaiden. "Want me to show you a fuller version?", she asks quietly. "I'm not sure how open I should be around her."
Long distance to Sable: Ygraine offers a cuddly penguin and a duvet.

"She doesn't know about us." Us being Evolved and other things. Jaiden's voice is low, easily missed by anyone not directly looking at him, listening for him, or flipping through the air before turning to clap for Tess' flip. "Sure, Ygraine. Want me to hold your leathers while you go jump around? It's my turn next to look like a fool, attempting something you do so easily."

"Leather's good for parkour," Tess says as she moves towards the pair. "Gives more protection than anything but like, body armor, which is too bulky. It's why the gloves," she says, holding her hands up to display her fingerless leather gloves, giving the fingers a wiggle.

Jaiden gets passed Ygraine's helmet, as she nods agreement to Tess. "I'd go with something more flexible for parkour, but for a tic-tac I can cope with armoured joints and heavier boots. Well, I hope so, anyway."

A grin, and she strides forward, before stuttering-stepping into a jog, aiming at one wall. Coming close to it, she springs, bringing her knees up so that she lands feet first, knees bending to cushion her impact - and tense under it, providing her with the tensed power needed to spring up and away rather than simply rebounding back.

Unlike Tess, however, the Briton aims herself at the other wall - connecting with it a good deal higher than she could have done simply by jumping directly… and sticking there, landing in a crouch, fingers brushing the surface as she hangs there six feet off the ground. Looking around, she offers Tess another grin, then rests her arms on her thighs. "Like I said, I cheat."

Jaiden snickers, flicking a droplet of water toward Ygraine's nose from where he stands with his free hand. "She makes it look easy, doesn't she? And me, I'm probably going to hit the ground wiht a thud."

Tess cocks her head, studying Ygraine curiously, then eyeing the surfaces the Brit used to propel herself upward. "How'd you do that?" she asks, looking back and forth between the walls, making small movements, like she's mentally taking herself through the jump, then shaking her head as it doesn't quite add up right. "I could've gotten up there, but it would've taken me another jump. I don't get it. If it's not flight, then what is it? You got like, super jumps or somethin'?" This seems to be really bothering her, not being able to quite figure it out.

Tess cocks her head, blinking and studying Ygraine curiously. "It is flyin'! It's gotta be! No way you could be up there like that if it wasn't!" she blurts out, sounding utterly convinced of the fact.

Ygraine turns, putting one hand on the wall, pushing off as she drops straight down to the ground once more, landing easily. "No, no flying. I cheat, rather than shattering the laws of physics in their entirety", she says with a grin as she walks over. "I can explain more, but even in a quiet area like this I don't like to show too much in the open. Let's see Jaiden give it a go, then I can explain more if you want me to."

Giving a glance to Ygraine and hanging her helmet on a handy pole nearby, Jaiden cracks his knuckles and starts toward the wall at a slow jog. he's running at kind of at a roundabout angle before turning sharply toward the wall and leaping with his leading foot, the ball of his foot hitting about where his stomach was. This lets him push up and off, his arms flailing as he tries to keep his balance, landing on his knee with a puff of dust below. "I think I need to practice if I'm going to do that sort of thing."

"I totally do!" Tess says, nodding enthusiastically to Ygraine. Then she quiets to watch Jaiden and winces sympathetically as he lands on his knees. "You okay? And yeah, it takes practice. For some things, a lot of practice. But I'll help ya if you want. Since you're helpin' me with the whole photography thing. Fair trade'n all that, right?"

"Knee- and elbow-pads are a very good idea when you're learning", Ygraine says sympathetically. "But you can practice the basic stuff just about anywhere. Since it's a controlled push-off, you can use a tic-tac for hurdling an obstacle or clearing a short flight of stairs, for example, rather than just to gain height or show off. But we should probably make sure you practice a little more before we unleash you on the city…."

Jaiden gets to his feet, dusting off his knees with both hands, wincing a little bit at the landing, chuckling to himself as he makes his way back over. "Okay, I teach photography, you teach the runny thing…Parker, was it, and I teach you Ygraine some self defence. Everyone wins and gets a little better with what they can do."

Jaiden makes a note to get those things too….

Tess grins. "Parkour, but parker's close. And yeah, sounds like a good plan all 'round." Then she looks at Ygraine and gives her a very pointed look, clearly waiting for explanations.

"Parkour, or free-running. They're slightly different disciplines, but they were invented by people working together in the same part of Paris", Ygraine provides helpfully, flashing a grin at Tess. "If you saw the first Daniel Craig Bond movie, you saw some at the start of that. Likewise, if you saw Banlieu Treize - District Thirteen - then that's almost entirely free-running. Its online presence was 'free-running the movie dot com', if I remember right."

As she talks, she moves to the door of the building, waiting by it for Jaiden to lead them inside to somewhere with rather more privacy.

To be continued?

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