PHD #062: Shadowboxing
Summary: Not all punches are delivered with a closed fist.
Date: 29 Apr 2041 AE
Related Logs: None
Sofia Kai Madilyn 
Athletics Area - Deck 12 - Battlestar Cerberus
A large pair of mats dominates the center of this room, their centers taped-out for a small area to practice boxing or other martial arts. Around the outside are treadmills, bikes, weights, and an impressive variety of gym equipment to help tone and shape the bodies of the crew. To one side of the room is the locker room while at the rear is a hatch that leads back to the oversized swimming pool. Off to the side is a rack that holds boxing gloves, pugil sticks, and the associated pads for the sticks.
Post-Holocaust Day: #62

Another evening, another - something. Alas, Sofia's work hours are capped. Even Roomba Charioteers need to exercise sometimes though. And here she is, in a PT-tastic outfit. She stands near the doorway contemplating, "I miss the Corporal even if she almost sat on me…" And really, getting squished by Aerilon butt. Owch. Hmm. Ponder. It's fairly active, with a few sparring matches going on, some boxing and general exercising.

She's off-duty, but it doesn't mean Kai's paying attention to much of her surroundings… despite her being one of the most alert recruits ever to enter the army. Ever. Squiring around Madilyn - perhaps taking her in and perhaps not - a duffle is thrown aside, tape already hung around her wrist, complete with the structure of cardboard. Her first fist? Wrapped up. No equations. No talk. No making eye contact. And with every influence of every flinch of every muscles, there is something very serious, and -very- deadly about the woman who has just entered.

Thumpa thumpa thumpa…that's the sounds Madilyn's feet make on one of the treadmills. She's not a tiny woman, so the thumps away there at a nice pace. Each pounding step causes the ponytail down the back to flip up and down, up and down. Her mouth stands open just a bit as she goes too, since breathing is pretty important and all that. Looks like she's been in here a while too, going by the sweat she's worked up on her forehead and neck and what have you. The two women entering the athletics area get a small wave and nod, but that's it for the moment. Not until she can get down off the treadmill and catch her breath properly.

So many choices, so little time. She smiles at Madilyn, considering the woman thoughtfully. Her green eyes are a bit wide. She looks over to Kai. "Oh. Hello there. How are you?" Sofia asks quietly. Slightly less medicated. Apparently they are weaning her off. Supplies are finite after all and she seems to be well as can be expected, though there's traces of a thousand yard stare. "Do you two know each other? She seems familiar somehow."

"Ready to kill, an' it ain't somethin' you want involvement in, Sane." Yet, Sofia has her own nickname. No matter what they insinuate about the other woman, Kai has learned that nicknames are not necessarily deserved. Muscles unwinding from a few, lengthy stretches, the recent recruit seizes Madilyn into her gaze. Fierce. Cold and fierce. "I know of her." And that is all the conversation she is willing to have. Tape begins to wrap around her right wrist, sling…slingslingsling….sling. Protective. TIght. Precise. Kai is on a mission.

Those words bring Madilyn's jog down to a slow trot. Then to a walk. Then to a stop. The machine quits its humming and whirring as the belt comes to a halt as well. She takes a towel hung over one of the grips and uses it to wipe down her forehead and neck, then takes a swig from a water bottle in the holder on the front. The whole time, she watches Kai very carefully, reading the posturing. "Something wrong, Private?"

"Is that so?" Sofia asks quietly. She lifts her eyebrows. "She seems dignified," Sofia comments quietly. "But the truth of it is, I don't know what I think of that sort of thing anymore. I suppose it is an inevitability. We're animals in a metal forest. When you take our collars off, we're just the same." Ponder. A shrug. "Are you going to practice boxing or something?" Sofia considers. "I wrestled a corporal onnce," She laughs, "But she whipped me." A look to Madilyn and a headtilt.

"Nothing, sir." Completely bland tones, met with completely bland features. In the mean while, the tape has begun wrapping around her left fist, securing and tightening and protecting in a way that a glove can't, in a way that her right was wrapped. Less brain damage, more blood to any opponent to step in front of her. Kai? Far too calm for her words spoken before, though the woman doesn't seem to notice it. "Killing is not inevitable, Sane, not naturally speaking. It is inevitable because we make it so, and for no other reason. Choice is always available." And there. Kai turns to Sofia, inclusive in body language at least of Madilyn, as she states plainly, "A gun to my head, I still choose. Death or another option, it is still a choice. Just as the other holding the gun. The person witnessing. The person ordering. Death. Jailing. Torture. Stillness. Sanity or insanity. We choose. Always."

"One wrong choice, however, can start bigger things in motion, however. Choose at the beginning, and soon, you may find yourself being carried along with nothing within your power to change." Clearly, there's a subtext to this conversation, given the way Madilyn postures herself quite upright and talks in a fairly solemn manner. "Other times, your choices lead to you giving your ability to choose to another, who ostensibly has more experience making those specific decisions."

Eh heh. Sofia rubs the back of her head and shrugs. She smiles faintly. "Perhaps, perhaps not." She holds up her hands. "Though I think I surrender this round. I am but a lowly crewman and my decisions tend to be that which is best for a job." She does seem curious, watching the two.

"Incorrect. There is never a wrong choice: only choices that bring what some do not wish, others are ambivalent to; and yet others pray for. Choice is always available. Choice is rarely as educated that all aspects are considered - history and foresight included - that the choice can be right for the intent behind the person. But choice is rarely based on reason: emotion. Reaction. These are what drive the human race first. It is what drives, too, the Cylons. The benefit we have, is that they have yet to understand their own nature. "Choosing to give to another is still a choice. No matter. Killing. Remaining alive. Stasis. Every day, every moment we make this decision."

-SLAM-. Fist centers right into the bag, taped but not protected, rocking the hanging bag heavily before the fists begin to come more accurately, less of the testing influence, more ready for violence. Kai. Centered. In totality. Duck and weave? More like roll, and pop, elbows. Knees. Fists. Feet. The succession has no pattern. It is a release, but it is a very precise, feral release. "Choices." Growled, almost. Features remain still. "We live them, and deny our involvement in them. When we face it, then we can face anything."

"How can you say for certain that Cylons don't understand their nature? What evidence can you cite to prove such a claim? And along that line, what evidence do you have that humanity has figured out its nature? If we had, could you explain the purpose of religion? What is the function of deities, if we as a species have already determined our own nature? Why do we look to them for guidance, still, if we've all the answers?"

Madilyn shifts her posture then, leaning against the side of the treadmill, watching Kai slap the bag without gloves, being forced to think too deep after just getting done a run. "Don't hurt yourself too much. Busting your hands up here in the gym isn't going to excuse you from duty." Short of breaking a hand so completely that it ceases to function…

"If you think there's no wrong choices…. I would have to disagree," Sofia comments quietly with a shrug. At the talk of Cylons, Sofia goes quiet. "That's a bad idea. I'll fetch you some gloves if you want," She offers. "Has being enlisted gone well?" She looks between the two, although she offers this answer: "No one has all the answers. I suspect that is the point. Existence would be pretty boring if you knew /everything/."

"Created by humans." And she fights with the bag, continually, never rhythmic, never accepting ease, always challenging herself. "Newer, just beginning to develop a sense of difference, to change tactics, to act as individual even as others cannot yet bring themselves to it. Programming upon programming, coupled with nuances that have pushed them into the very position we were too arrogant to anticipate, but is natural for any progression of living animal. Survival, and the need for it. I do not assume Humanity has 'figured out' life or religion or self. But they are further along the path. Longer experience to draw from, longer chance for evolution." Sweat begins to drip from Kai's brow.

She is articulate, does not mince words, and does not stop through her physical exertion. Something to get off of her, she does have, Kai punishing every ounce, every cell of her being. "I -never- shirk duty, and the suggestion is weak, born of illogical deduction, and a need to control the information you are hearing into something more acceptable and comfortable. -SIR-." It's a snarl. Unquestionably.

And yet Kai's features never change. Just her fists. The exertion. Fiercer and fiercer. A dance, a play, a sport: the bag is her enemy, and it is her victim. For the other? For, "Sane? You judge based on your ideas, your ideology. And it is better to punch with tape than gloves. Gloves against a human opponent joggles the brain, causing hemoraging that can erupt either instantly or over a course of time that suddenly compiles into a single, violent act of murder upon anyone around. The brain is far too fragile, and most do not understand it." She's matter of fact now, clearly defining something she has not only read, but studied at some point. "There is no answer. There is only being. And choosing. Even if the choice is not to choose. False is the idea that we know right from wrong. False is the idea to assume others should hold the same ideology, and by their non-compliance they are choosing our side of wrong. Judgments by humans are skewed, just by every other animal, by the instinctual need for survival. Nothing more." And her fist -PLANTS-. It nearly rocks the bag off it's hanger, Kai swinging out of the way, letting it wag in the air, piercing eyes finding both women. She is intense, this evening. Not distracted. Not intent on chemical and equational discovery. Intense with the very message that passes her lips and fists.

Kai's comment raises a Madilyn's hackles, just a bit. Once more her posture shifts, this time off the machine, standing straight up, quite rigid. She takes a single deep breath, shoulders rising and falling only once. The thread of the conversation is forgotten as Kai quickly pushes herself to the boundaries of proper conduct around an officer.

"I think you forget, Private, that my observation is based on the 17 years of experience I possess. Experience that you lack. You wouldn't believe the extremes I've seen some soldiers go to in order to, as you put it, shirk their duties. This comes from my time both in your position, and the position I find myself in right now. A that position is quickly turning untenable in the face of your borderline insubordinate dialog, Private. I feel no need to control anything of what I'm hearing into anything more acceptable save the tone and manner with which you address your commanding officer. Consider yourself warned, Private…and watch your tone. I'm not in the habit of brigging my marines for insubordination, nor am I in the habit of removing your right to speak your mind, but I will if it comes to that."

It's not quite a true and formal dressing-down, given the locale, but it's not quite civil dialog either. "That being said, we'll simply have to agree to disagree on the matter of choice. Which is, of course, our rights, as provided for by law. It's impossible for me to imagine having a choice in every single matter of your life. There simply are times when you have no power to choose. Times when fate carries you along for the ride."

Blink. Sofia kind of steps back. "If you're sure," That to Kai, "I'll have some ice for your hands." Although at Madilyn's speech, she just looks quiet. "If it were all my choice, I don't think as many people I know would be dead," She answers simply and looks distant. "We can practice or jog if you like." She offers, but seems ready to crawl back into the vents.

Features return to neutral, and the punching ceases altogether, Kai stepping lithely away from the bag. "And yet you know nothing of my background, sir, nor of my own experiences, nor of my knowledge, nor of me. You are judging based on your experiences and your assumptions of General, Sir." A mere observation. She was asked to watch her tone? It is steady, dull, void of any emotion, and properly respectful. Nothing to be faulted for. But she is off duty, and so is Madilyn, and there is no reason to keep her here, not even protocol as it is not needed at this time.

Turning from Madilyn, her eyes address Sofia, voice softer, features still ungiving. "I have boxed titanium. My knuckles are nothing, Sane, but I appreciate your kindness and consideration. So ready to retreat, you are, and yet you hold the Sanity of those I have encountered with and without you. Remember that your worth is as much as those around you, that none can bring harm to you, be you prepared. I will assist you when you ask, Sane, but rely not on others observations. Rely upon what is inside of you; not letting it eat you, but strengthen you instead. The mind is far more powerful than others understand. You can harness it, you can lead it. Courage. This is what you need now most of all, Sane." A faint smile, and it -almost- seems like a hand might reach out, distance might be crossed, tough might be engaged upon Sofia's cheek. And yet Kai is in perfect control of herself, only a few seconds later moving to pick up her bag. A shame to be in the gym for so short of a time, and yet quite obviously she is to keep from engaging in past activities.

"Now that is very true Private," Madilyn begins, returning to her own neutral, stoic state. "Perhaps, then, we should carry on this discussion in private…where you can properly explain to me just what your experiences and knowledge consist of. Lacking that information, I'm forced to operate on my assumptions of general. Your recruitment and training hasn't exactly been typical, you understand." Meaning, incomplete info in light of taking whatever volunteers that there may be and pressing/rushing them into service.

"Well being shot by cylons will do that to you," Sofia comments quietly. "Just because you can doesn't mean you should sometimes. Your hands are important," She smiles. A shrug. "Perhaps I have grown into a coward, but I am no soldier either. My job is different," She notes. "I appreciate your kind words," Nod. "But I suspect being ill for awhile has changed me in ways I hadn't considered. I'm still very silly sometimes." A shrug at that again. "What can you do?" She goes quiet after Madilyn.

A pause, just as Kai begins to move from the gym. "Sir, feel free to operate as you understand, sir." In other words, unless absolutely ordered, the woman will be speaking of nothing now, bode it well or ill for Madilyn or herself. Forced? If Madilyn only researched. Forced is such an erroneous word to Kai. "The stars' lights support you both." A look from one woman to another, and Kai turns, bag slung over shoulder, exiting as is her given right - enlisted and otherwise.

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