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Cause [1.4.2]

It was quiet in the apartment on Void. Rana, Saiph, Cassie and Geoffrey were sat in a silent tableaux, either occupying themselves with their wrist phones or staring into space, hoping for their thoughts to slow down and stop panicking them. It was well over an hour before anything happened.

“I suppose,” said Rana, disturbing the quiet. “In the meantime, we’d better train you two. Geoffrey, I believe you already brought a weapon, yes?”

“I did, yeah. What was that about? Was that just me?”

“Absolutely, my blood. You’re spesh, brah.” Saiph replied. Rana nodded. “Vasa filled us in on the details briefly. Your bilocation, apparently, is limited. You can teleport yourself and what you wear, but not anything else being held.”

“I see.” Geoffrey replied. Cassie watched the conversation with interest whilst she replied to Serafina’s recent message.

 

hey you’ll never believe it!!

If it is what I have foreseen, then I’m afraid I can believe it.

You discovered your pyrokinesis is controllable, correct?

I SO DID!

there was this, like, creepy monster thing and I was just like *BOOSH* and it just disintegrated!!

I’m so pleased for you.

 

“That means your combat potential would be limited. You could create a psychic double of yourself to fight with, striking from behind and all that… but he wouldn’t be holding a psychic double of your sword, if we were to give you one.” said Rana.

“Right.” Geoffrey said, nodding. “That makes sense.”

“So he said if you took a weapon through the portal with you, it would also get infused with your psychic energy. Since you’ll literally be travelling using your psychic power. Right?”

“I’m with ya.” Geoffrey replied.

 

Here, as we’ve also discovered, our psychic abilities are strengthened. My visions are much clearer and more frequent. Geoffrey can control his bilocation. Lola can read minds entirely, not just vague feelings. And you can control your pyrokinesis.

As such, you should tell Zack. His telekinesis is rather limited, as I recall?

sure i’ll let him know!

 

“Essentially, if you bilocate, the knife you brought will bilocate as well.” Rana explained.

“Really? Didn’t notice when I tried it before, hold on.” Geoffrey replied, closing his eyes and focusing for a moment. A second Geoffrey wandered in from the kitchen and lifted the kitchen knife, waving it. The other Geoffrey waved a second knife back at him. Two Geoffreys, two knives.

“Brilliant.” Rana said, almost allowing a smile to grace her features. “That should increase your combat potential by, well-”

“Twofold?” suggested Saiph. The Geoffreys and Cassie chuckled.

 

anyway, everything alright over there?? things seem to be weird

Don’t worry about it. Everything, from what we can glean, is somewhat under control.

that was the least confident statement you’ve ever stated

…Quite. This is all rather vexing to me.

don’t worry about it, cass, we got this!!

hopefully we’ll meet up soon, right?

Hopefully. I’ll let you know what occurs.

 

“Anyway.” Rana replied. “We can’t train at my usual place, the arena, because we may be arrested. It IS an occupational hazard of taking you guys around in public. So we’re heading to the roof of this apartment building. It’s large and open, and will suit us fine.”

She stood up without another word, sword in sheath by her side, picked up another sword that was leaning by the sofa and made a move for the door. She glared at Saiph, who knew what she was saying – hold down the fort whilst she was gone. Cassie and Geoffrey – his double had long since vanished – looked around awkwardly for a moment, then followed Rana as she exited the apartment.

Saiph waited for a few seconds, then turned on the viewport, plunged his hands into his garish hoodie and laid back on the sofa. “A’ight, damn skippy. Now I get to chill out.”

Geoffrey and Cassie followed Rana as she ascended the outside stairs of the apartment until they reached the roof. It was dark outside, and the pair were struggling to see.

“Jeez, it’s still night out. Why are we doing this now?” Geoffrey said.

“Two reasons: firstly, we do not have time to spare, because we have no idea when Antumbra will be ready to destroy us. Could be a month, could be tomorrow. You have to battle the Kings as soon as possible. Secondly, it’s nighttime on Void about 75% of the time. Get used to it.” Rana replied.

They reached the rooftop of the apartment building. Below, in the darkness, there were a few Voidians clad in purple armour and helmets doing their business, wandering around and visiting various areas. It was an ordinary, functional city, and somehow, that felt strange to Geoffrey.

“Focus!” snapped Rana. Geoffrey shook himself away from the edge of the rooftop and faced Rana. Cassie stood by his side.

“You, take this sword.” Rana said. Cassie reached out and awkwardly took the sword Rana was holding. “Face one another.”

The pair complied. Geoffrey’s eyes met Cassie’s, and he found her looking at him with a steely gaze. It shook him for a moment, and he tried to focus.

“You’re serious about this, huh?” he said, waving his knife in what he suspected was a threatening gesture. “I don’t wanna hurt such a pretty blonde like yourself.”

“Get that ridiculous toy out of my face, and stop flirting unsuccessfully with me.” Cassie replied coldly.

“Quite.” Rana replied. “Now then, it’s time to learn to fight. I’m going to teach you what I can, and you should thank your lucky stars – I’m probably in the top 5% of sword fighters on Void. So, are you ready to learn a decade of sword fighting techniques in two days?”

“Oh, GOD…” moaned Geoffrey. “Seriously?”

Rana flicked her sword up at him. “Seriously. Let’s begin with posture.”

She stood straight, holding her sword up in front of her. Cassie and Geoffrey mirrored the position.

“Good. The thing about a blade is that it is primarily a mixed weapon. It is useful both defensively and offensively, being able to block and parry whilst also strike quite powerfully. Your goal with a blade is to match your opponent – blocking their aggressive strikes and then responding with some of your own… that’s how you fight with a sword.” Rana explained.

“I see.” Cassie replied.

“Let’s do some basic moves.” Rana said. “First off, some stabs and slashes. Do a horizontal slash, the pair of you.”

Cassie and Geoffrey performed a horizontal slash as asked. Rana shook her head. “You were both doing it correctly, but you must remember that you’re wielding a bladed weapon: strike with some power and speed! An opponent wouldn’t have felt that slash.”

She unsheathed her own sword. “Here. I’ll show you what I mean.”

Rana turned around and walked to a safe distance away. The rooftop was quite expansive and flat, so there was enough space for the demonstration. With her eyes focussed on her sword, Rana swung the sword in a sharp horizontal arc. She immediately stepped forward and followed up on her imaginary opponent with three sharp thrusts that would have formed a triangle of cuts, had there been a target. She hopped backwards and performed a long diagonal slash from the top, using the momentum to spin and deliver another powerful horizontal slash.

Without losing a second, she sliced three times in a ‘Z’ shape then lunged forward about six feet with a yell. Finally, she tossed her sword into the air, delivered three punches, span around and caught the blade as the spin finished, unleashing a single powerful diagonal blow. The final hit was so fast that Cassie and Geoffrey felt a noticeable gust of wind pass through them.

“…Most impressive.” Cassie said. “It looks so natural for you.”

“You would’ve fucking lacerated anyone in the immediate vicinity to paste! That was so cool!” Geoffrey replied, exhilarated by the display.

“Thanks, took a decade to hone my craft.” replied Rana with more than a hint of sarcasm. “Now then, do you think you can at least hit as hard as that?”

“I’ll do my best.” Cassie said, with a genuine smile on her face. Rana was somewhat put off by Cassie’s attitude, as she herself hadn’t expected the kids to be so upbeat about the situation.

“OK. In that case, let’s begin. And I am going to work you HARD.”

Geoffrey sighed loudly. “Mother fuck, here we go…”

Cause [1.4.1]
Cause [1.4.3]

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