May 22, 2019 11:34 AM
an Ahrotahn goes dungeon-delving
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'Is there anything I can do on my end? Like, moving a certain way, or remembering sunlight, or... I dunno.'

'Actually, can you send me what it feels like, for you?'

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He does.

It's more touch than anything, something halfway to warmth - moving air is warm, still is cold, sound is a weird fluctuation in temperatures that's too fiddly for him to do much with - 

He doesn't see so much as feel the warm-cold spots all around him, until details grow too fuzzy to be sure of with distance.

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Oh, that's interesting. She sends him a vague amalgam of different sensations, trying to convey an intuition-ish concept of texture – the feel of rough burlap in her hands, the sound of a purring motor, the rough look of sidewalk chalk on concrete, and an echo of the air-fluctuations of sound to his wind-sense as he shared it with her. 'I don't know if you can do anything with it, but it might help if you try thinking about it like this—?'

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'Ooooh maybe.' He plays with the feeling - it's still not quite there, still not quite controllable, but he's less likely to make their own noises suddenly louder. 'I think I mostly need practice, though?'

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'Practice we can do.' And she continues deeper into the dunj, sharing her hearing and proprioception and the feeling of the air on her skin, and giving him an experimental sweep or twirl or flourish whenever one occurs to her to try.

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Movements help! He does sweeping movements best, likes the twirling, but the flourish makes him stutter a bit. He gets better at increasing incoming sound slightly, but not so much at muffling outgoing.

Also the monsters are getting bigger, closer together, and harder to avoid, and the bare excuse for a floor - which isn't really distinct from the walls in the first place - gets to be less of an acceptable substitute for a walking path.

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Broad sweeps, then. Big simple motions rather than little fiddly things. Makes sense with how he feels sound, when she thinks about it.

 

'Looks like we're getting closer to the center. Not thrilled about the footing, here – if it gets bad enough, I'll be doing as much climbing as walking, and I won't have my hands free to fight. It's already getting to the point I can't move and dodge as well.'

The next time they're at the end of a narrow hall, she pauses just inside. 'I'm kinda thinking I wanna try to lure them to a chokepoint, like here, so we can take 'em out one at a time. Dunno if this is the right place for it, though. What d'you think?'

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'That sounds smart! But, hmm... I think this isn't as good a spot? Air moves a bit weird, and there's some cover and stuff. I can kinda feel one over thataway, though, I think that hallway has a dead end but it's really regular and long - we couldn't run but we'd be able to cut in a straight line well and stuff couldn't sneak up behind us. If I was a monster and someone tried to get me to go into a chokepoint I'd go around them and attack from behind.'

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'I'm not sure they're that smart... but yeah, that's a good plan. Let's go take out that one, and see how the dead end feels from up close.'

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'Cool!' He very enthusiastically helps with slashing at the thing!

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And then it's dead. Time to see if this is a good spot.

Hallway's clear. Footing's not too bad. Enough room to maneuver, but not so much that a bigger monster could get around them, though one of the smaller ones might.

'Looks okay to me. You?'

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'Yeah! This is really workable - man, there's so many cool powers I could have that'd be great here...'

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'I don't suppose we're particularly close to figuring out any of them?'

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'Don't think so. I think there's stuff past the sound thing but I don't have a good feel for even just that yet...'

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Nod. (Wait, can he see feel that?) <Nod>. 'All right then.'

She draws her gun.

'Let's make some noise.'

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'...I think I can make it louder if we wanna do that.'

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'Perfect. Do you know how you need me to move?'

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'Hmmm I think, like, a thrust? Sharp and forward.'

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'Gonna do a couple practice thrusts first—' thrust! lunge! stab!

'—and this time for real.' She points her gun at the ceiling, angled towards the far side of the room toward the center of the dunj; disengages the safety; and thrusts

!!!BANG!!!

—and scurries back into the safety of the dead-end tunnel.

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It takes a few moments - 

And the monsters begin to swarm.

The sword hums in her hand.

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She shares her sight, and lets him guide her whenever he seems to have an opinion, and offers what she can in return. Her movements aren't consistently graceful, yet, but they are more confident, more sure.

It wouldn't be accurate, yet, to say that the two of them act as one, but perhaps they act as one-and-three-quarters.

 

And so together they dance.

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There's some adjustment, with a fight this long, little discontinuities becoming more obvious, places they stumble more important - 

But Naruto likes people easily. He likes her, and it's almost second nature to sort of mentally wiggle around - 

The first attack's getting more powerful and more refined, and he's adding an almost percussive force to it, the sound manipulation turning out to be far easier to use with a sort of sonic attack.

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She notices the discontinuities, and tries to see if she can— if they can get those transitions smoother. Carefully, though; it's more important to keep up what they have than to eke out that tiny bit of improvement.

And then he's doing something new, the air itself sort of slamming at the monsters, and she's focusing on that, figuring out how to give him the strength for the attack, firm decisive thrusts, and the occasional "hyah!" of her own.

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The decisive thrusts and the 'hyah' both actually help it. It's loud enough to draw a few more, but they seem to have thoroughly gotten the attention of every monster in the area.

What's more, they get agitated by the noise, angry and screeching, and begin climbing more recklessly over each other - damaging their comrades.

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Okay. She can do this. They can do this. She's going to be sore all over tomorrow from the exertion, but she's not flagging yet. (And she promised her parents she wouldn't die.)

'The monsters are starting to get in each others' way, hurting each other even. I think we should be able to use that somehow. I think the noise makes them crazy, sort of.'

The next time she sees one trying to crawl over another, she aims a sonic attack at the one on the bottom – hopefully, it'll flail in a way that injures the one on the top?

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