5580/Themysciran Vacation: The Second Day

From Heroes Assemble MUSH
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Themysciran Vacation: The Second Day
Date of Scene: 14 March 2021
Location: Palace - Themyscira City
Synopsis: Where the visitors to Themyscira learn that a traditional Themysciran breakfast involves swords and hammers, but not plankton.
Cast of Characters: Donna Troy, Caitlin Fairchild, Nadia Pym-van Dyne, Diana Prince, Cassie Sandsmark, Toni Monetti

Donna Troy has posed:
    The first day on Themyscira had been both everything and nothing one could have expected from it. As magical and strange and otherworldly as anyone could ask for, yet full of surprises at every turn.

    The journey to the city from the landing site had been a short one, something anyone who selected a kanga as a mount would be glad of - the hopping gait takes a lot of getting used to, and the dizziness - and perhaps a hint of seasickness - that some of the vistors had felt had been mild enough to be more amusing than anything else. The party had journeyed through the marvellous streets of the city, seeing a thousand things they would want to return to see more closely on their way up to the palace.

    Palace. It was of course inevitable that's where people would be staying. Everyone knows Diana's a princess. Everyone knows Troia's her sister, though she certainly plays down the princess thing. Their mother is the queen. All these things are known and make sense, but it becomes a lot more real when you visit their house and it's a great big fancy palace on the top of a mountain. Each member of the party had been assigned their own spacious room, each beautiful and airy, and filled with works of art, each with a balcony overlooking the great courtyard in the center of the palace.

    Then there had been the feast of welcome. There had been more food than even Caitlin could manage, there had been drink (wine!) aplenty, there had been musicians and acrobats and many, many introductions. As night fell, the Titans went to their rooms still not able to believe it was all real.

    Morning on Themyscira comes early. Even those who closed their shuttered windows will find that the bright sunshine creeps in and bathes their rooms with a golden morning light. And then there's the noise.

    Outside, in the courtyard below the bedrooms, the palace guard rises early for their first training of the day, and the air rings with the clash of sword on shield. Troia and Caitlin, who don't have any difficulty adjusting to the pace of life here, are up early too, and the pair of them, clad in light training armor, are visible below the windows of the Titans training with General Philippus and the palace guard. The pair are a little noisier than the others training, raining powerful blows on each other's shields.

Caitlin Fairchild has posed:
Fighting with a two-handed warhammer is an interesting prospect. In fact it's largely an unwieldly weapon that is too slow and ponderous to use effectively.

In the hands of a woman who can bend girders across her shoulders, it's a bit of a different game. Caitlin's armor includes a sleeveguard and buckler on her left arm, providing extra protection. The heft of the hammer barely bothers her and she swings it as easily with one hand as two. Donna's by far the more agile but with the redhead's superior reach, she's putting up quite a defense and forcing Donna to take risks to get good hits in.

A sword swing is deflected off the handle of the weapon and Caitlin yelps when the blunted edge slides down the haft and smacks her wrist. "Gah!" she protests. It seems more surprise than pain, and she shakes the stinging sensation away. "Golly, maybe I should put some kind of shear guard on this," she mutters, and settles her weight back again while looking for an opening in Donna's attacks.

Nadia Pym-van Dyne has posed:
Zzzzzzz, Nadia slept quite soundly after all of the food and wine, snoring away, perhaps the most soundly she has slept in quite some time. It is perhaps a small victory for several individuals that Nadia is actually taking a very much needed vacation, but then who could pass up a trip to a magical paradise island? She had wanted to visit and see it for herself ever since she first heard about it and the first day everything she had imagined and more.

Clang, clatter, crash, Nadia lets out a big yawn stretching her arms skyward as she is awakened by the training going on. "Huh? What?" She crawls out of bed and staggers over to the window opening it, which she immediately thinks better of as she is blinded by the sunlight, though it does feel kind of nice. A Nadia head with completely mussed up bedhead sticks out of the window looking down and peering at the training. "Ooooh." Her curiousity overriding her sleepiness as her eyes get a bit wide watching the exciting scene unfold below.

Diana Prince has posed:
This vacation was as much for Diana as it was for everyone else, which... is rare. Generally Diana is 'on call' to leave the island at any given moment for 'work' even when they'd come here as a smaller group all together.

Not this time though, Diana was here to relax and enjoy herself.

She'd been up before dawn, as was her normal, and met up with Galatea and Adrastea for a walk through the city. Gala and Adra had been Diana's closest friends on the island for a very long time, it's why they were the two selected to first go to the United States to represent a larger presence of Amazons in the mortal world.

The three of them are coming to the training grounds now, all three are wearing casual clothing with light armor elements to the otherwise soft leathers and light materials. Diana has a bow and arrow on her body, the quiver of arrows over her right shoulder all fletched in white shining feathers to match the flowing white skirt she has on that ends at mid-thigh level.

Her bow is in her left hand and she's talking to adrastea on her left, the redhead is waving to some of the others i nthe training area ahead of them. Galatea is walking and reading a book, it's a Harry Potter book...

Cassie Sandsmark has posed:
Cassie's situation is somewhat unique, in all of this. She didn't grow up on the island, to have the kind of familiarity with the way of life here that it's natives do, including her mentor. But she is also not like the group of Titans who are experiencing the island for the first time, whose visit she has very much worked (well, nagged) to make a reality. During her period of 'Amazon Boot Camp,' she spent the better part of a year on the island, even putting off college briefly.

Yet it's still always an experience, always feels like something exciting, unique, to come back.

HOWEVER! This time Cassie is not here as a recruit, as a wayward demigoddess in need of evaluation and training for the good of everyone around her. She is an Amazon, even if not a born one. While her friends are subjected to grandiose introductions and rituals of welcome, she instead is greeted as a sister, by the friends she has grown to miss, with hasty and sometimes over-enthusiastic embraces, with shoulder claps and news of goings-on around the island, and with questions, beseeching her for updates on the world without. She spends most of dinner not being showered with welcome... but showing her phone to a few eager friends, swiping through her pictures to show them what she's been doing, to share news of the World of Men - and her accomplishments within it!.

Which isn't to say she's a bad host, and she does take that role in those ceremonies, rather than a guest's, joining in toasting her Titan-friends welcome.

Which all leads to the morning. A morning where she perhaps regrets the degree of said toasting, even with her mighty constitution. A morning where she would rather sleep in, because this is a vacation, but is quickly swept up by the rhythms of the island. One of her sisters wakes her, because they expect she will want to set an example for her friends. Oh great. Just what she wants! So a somewhat bleery Cassie is ushered out, to an early bath (which helps with the waking up, at least), and eventually, like all the others, to the courtyard. She is not as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed about it as Donna might be, but in the end, she joins the drills all the same, practicing with sword and shield in back-and-forth sequences of assault and defense, opposite the same Amazon who first came to wake her.

At some point, she holds a hand for her partner to pause, and looks up, calling up to a certain window: "Hey, Nadia!"

Donna Troy has posed:
    It's interesting fighting /against/ Caitlin's giant warhammer, too. It has a lot of reach, and in this it is not that dissimilar to fighting against an opponant with a spear of pole-arm. However it is used very differently, swung in great arcs, incapable of having the direction of motion changed quickly, but hitting extremely hard when it does so.

    Donna had argued with Caitlin that it was a weapon to use for crowd control, not in one-on-one combat against a skilled opponent, and she was determined to prove her point. Defend the low-power close quarters stuff. Let Caitlin swing, and attack only when the hammer was at the end of its swing, and Caitlin's arms were at full extension, least able to protect her. Fast, thrusting attacks, or sudden feints and leaps combined with slashes as she moves around Caitlin's body.

    It's effective, but it comes at a price, because when that heavy hammer head swings around, you either have to be a long distance away, which restricts your ability to get in close for the follow up attack, or you take the blow on your shield. Donna is grinning and enjoying herself, but her arm is a little numb and her shield is beginning to look rather dented.

    To the outside observer, the obvious conclusion to draw from this combat is that it is very lucky for both Caitlin and Donna that they are friends sparring, rather than enemies clashing. Those hammer swings could easily shatter even very strong bones, and those continual sword jabs would be causing a lot of blood-loss if the blade was sharp and wielded with intent.

    All good things must come to an end though, as Donna raises her sword directly upwards and takes three quick steps back, the signal to call a bout to an end. Then she sheathes her sword and raises an arm to wave to Nadia watching from her balcony window, and calls out "Nadia! Come join us!". Flashing Caitlin a broad grin she settles back to watch Cassie's bout, giving Diana and her cronies a nod of greeting as they arrive.

Caitlin Fairchild has posed:
Caitlin responds to Donna's gesture by dropping the head of her warhammer between her feet and resting her hands on the pommel. The hammer does look quite a bit different than the training gear, which is battered and dented; it's new and shiny still, gleaming with a matte finish and clearly made with a significant attention to fine detail and high craftsmanship. Her eyes cut sideways to Cassie's practice with a bit of envy; much like Donna, Cassie captures that vulpine grace of the Amazons in how she moves and fights. There's a little envy in Caitlin's green eyes, but mostly admiration for her friend's competence with the blade.

"Good morning!" Caitlin calls up to Nadia, and joins the waves of greeting. When Diana arrives, Caitlin flashes the group a friendly smile, especially Gala. The two had been fast friends during Caitlin's first foray onto Themyscira. "Good morning to you, too Princess," Caitlin bids Diana with the proper courtesy.

Nadia Pym-van Dyne has posed:
Nadia's head vanishes back inside for a moment, just long enough to splash some water on her face, throw on a t-shirt and skirt, discard the fluffy bumblebee slippers in favor of some sandals, stifle another yawn, and briefly question whether she will be able to survive this trip without coffee or at least some caffeine substitute.

A few moments later, rather than using the stairs like a normal sane girl her age, she has jumped out of the window. Perhaps the quickest, if unintentional, solution to bedhead as her short chinlength hair is caught in the rush of the wind as she freefalls for a few moments. But then her bio-synthetic wasp wings emerge from her back arresting her descent as she flutters down with a gentle buzzing sound. "Good morning!" She smiles waving at everyone, functioning at about half of her typical energy level, which granted is still more than most people. "Oooh are we doing fight training this morning? Should I change? It'd only take a second." For not having her morning coffee she seems pretty gung-ho, the wonders of a good actually restful night sleep and not burning the candle at both ends.

Diana Prince has posed:
The three city wanders all make it down a set of stone stairs and past a archway of floral arrangements before they join the other son the training grounds of the palace. Diana had waved, as had Adrastea and Galatea. Galatea even lowered her book and made her way toward Caitlin, to gush about the novelization version being so much better than the film... something she'd tried to tell Diana and Adra, but neither of them had read the book nor seen the movies!

"How is the training going?" Diana asks Donna, and then to Caitlin. "And the hammer? Is it still your favorite weapon of choice, Caitlin?" The princess asks with a big smile.

Diana moves toward where Cassie is, but slows when Nadia joins them out of the window, showing off her wings and likely impressing a lot of the island inhabitants who have yet to see such a thing from the young visitor.

Cassie Sandsmark has posed:
Cassie's match is not as interesting to watch at first, compared to Donna and Caitlin, as she and her partner are going through some more established drill sequences with identical weapons, sets of motions meant to reinforce muscle memory more than test one another's prowess. That said, to an outsider, it might not look much different, because it is still rather fast and rather... noisy, what with all the constant blows of blade upon shield, and the pure speed and power with which they execute all of it. Yet as Caitlin and Donna finish and turn toward them, the fact that they have an audience, including the Titan above, and then Diana, suddenly sparks a little more. It's not even obvious who starts it. (While you'd NORMALLY guess Cassie, Diana's arrival makes that a less certain bet: who doesn't want to look good in front of their Princess?)

However it starts- a blow that's a little too hard, or a maneuver off the usual 'script' - it quickly spins out into something a little more improvisational. Not hostile, but competitive. This is how Amazons show off. First it's just an increase in tempo and range of motion, as they both step off 'line' and start maneuvering around each other, hunting for openings between quick clashes. Yet it quickly evolves, with jabs and quick slashes from unpredicted directions. At a point, Cassie's getting battered back, and charges in with her shield to counter, clashing the two big plates together.

Apparently, this state of combat is also no obstacle to greeting their friends! "You can join if you want," she tells Nadia, ducking another swing. "Although I think I heard rumblings about them organizing a big group session to uh... /evaluate/ you all, heh." Even though Cassie is fighting for her own... honor and bragging rights? Well, whatever. Even then, she seems to pity what her friends are in for!

As for Diana's question, it's not Cassie but her partner who answers, mixing back and forth between lanaguages. "It goes well, Princess! Your chosen student is much improved since last time, although the little golden one is still a little brash!"

Is this how Amazons flirt? And is it with Cassie or Diana? OR BOTH? There's lots to learn, even off the drill field!

Toni Monetti has posed:
"Are you guys really swordfighting?" says Toni Monetti, aka the Adjectiveless Argent, still wearing her yoga pants (in lieu of PJ pants) as well as a T-shirt she hastily threw on. She looks -- strange, in a way that is difficult to concisely define, but which is entirely because she did not wash her face or put any of the little natural makeup touches that make her look less like some kind of bizarre pallid metal-flecked weirdo.

She steps out of the entryway and looks around, gradually seeming to realize that it's more than just, like, Caitlin and Cassie (who she saw through the doorway and vaguely heard) but also a number of Amazons including DIANA, together with the wing'd Nadia.

"Evaluate for what?" Toni asks Cassie. She then slow-blinks several times, and tells Diana afterwards, "You are looking AMAZING and I am so glad you're doing better." A second passes. "I'm Toni, we didn't get like, formally introduced. I think? Oh, are you doing archery later?"

Donna Troy has posed:
    Donna has read the book too, but isn't going to mention this to Galatea. Gala's far too keen and would probably talk Donna's ears off about it with the slightest encouragement. Instead she steps over to Diana to greet her with a quick hug.

    "My favorite way to start the day, sister!" she says with a grin. Glancing over to Caitlin with a slight smirk, she adds "Caitlin's getting pretty good with the hammer. She hasn't managed to stab me with it even once."

    Poor Caitlin, it only happened the one time, but Donna will never let her forget.

    Donna greets Nadia with a huge smile, and ruffles her hair, which doesn't make a whole lot of difference to it. "Good still-just-about morning!" she says. "Did you sleep well? Filled with energy for the day ahead? RAISE YOUR GUARD, CASSIE! HOLD THE BLADE A LITTLE HIGHER!" This last comment is of course aimed not at Nadia, but suddenly yelled in the direction of the youngest Amazon, who Donna's eyes aren't wandering from for long."

    "Hey Toni! Good morning," Donna greets the latest arrival. "Evaluate for training purposes. To figure out what best you can be offered by our instructors." She tries to take in both Toni and Nadia, but it's hard to address everyone while watching Cassie's technique. "This is actually the guards' regular morning training session. I've been joining in for years, and Cait and Cassie have kind of picked up my habit. The General doesn't seem to mind. However it's a bit uh... technique-heavy. I'm sure you can join if you like, but it might be better to wait for the more targeted training sessions. As an alternative option, you are here on vacation and we could get you some breakfast or something!"

Caitlin Fairchild has posed:
Caitlin casually shifts the warhammer's head over atop Donna's foot at the commentary. When Diana asks her question, she nods vigorously. Caitlin's red hair is pulled back to the nape of her neck in a thick braid and bound with a leather thong to keep it away from her face.

"It's the best birthday gift ever," she tells Diana. "I feel a lot better having this over a sword. I'm still learning the ins and outs of it though," she confesses.

The mention of breakfast provokes a sidelong look at Donna and then Caitlin wags her chin enthusiatically at Nadia and Toni. "Breakfast here is really good," she adds. "Sometimes it helps to eat something before getting down to serious training."

Nadia Pym-van Dyne has posed:
Nadia touches down a short distance away and retracts her wings. Her gung-ho eagerness fades a touch at the mention of 'evaluations' but she manages to maintain her smile. Evaluations were something she had to endure regular growing up. Still Nadia's eyes are torn between the impressive displays all of martial prowess all around and glancing about for a weapon she might be able to use when Donna mentions /breakfast/. "Donna did you say breakfast? Is it that Themysciran pizza you brought us? The ones that sounded like plankton... Does this island have coffee? I'm running on excitement right now, but I really might die without it." She might be exaggerating a touch, but Nadia's general coffee consumption is up there among the most legendary consumers of caffeine in the tower.

"Good morning!" She then greets Tony waving to her, "I don't think we've really met met yet, I'm Nadia!" Yes, this is her without the coffee.

"Cait that hammer is sooo cool, I bet you could put a rocket in the back or maybe a gravity manipulation matrix." Because yes, her mind just starts trying to SCIENCE! everything she sees.

Diana Prince has posed:
That smile looks to Donna then and she has to part her lips in an amused fashion at her sister. "Donna, make sure that they are all well fed and then prepare a list of things to do today that are not just..." Diana motions to the fighting. "Clashing steel to steel." She looks back to her sister then. "This is an opportunity to show the island off, we can show off our training at home just as well as we can here." For the most part.

Her arrow quiver and bow had been brought up. Diana lifts her hands up to the strap oer her chest and raises it up to take it off over her head. "As for this..." Diana says, offering it to Donna. "It is a gift for Kate. I would like it if you saw to it she got it." She tells Donna. "I made it when I was young and we went to town today to get it from the shop that it was hanging on the wall of." The golden bow is handed over, along with the white fathered arrows and supple leather quiver.

"I think Kate would like it, though I know it is not as fancy as her modern world bows." Diana smiles again before she walks over toward where Gala had gone. Nadia's talk of Cait's hammer gets Diana to look to it and she laughs softly. "The most complicated hammer since Asgard." The Princess says.

"Come lets go check on the breakfast situation." Diana says to Gala. "Bring your book."

As she starts to walk toward the staircase in to the palace, Diana turns to look to everyone. "Enough practice, prepare for the rest of the day. It is going to be a beautiful one, one to remember!"

Cassie Sandsmark has posed:
The 'impress Diana' Olympics continue a little longer. Despite Donna's coaching, Cassie seems to struggle to force an opening (she's still an amateur in the swordsmanship department, at least on the 'thousands of years' scale that the Amazons work on), showing what seems increasing frustration and brute aggression in response. Perhaps her opponent's plan: Cassie gets thrown back off a shield clash, charges back in, and leaps! Her opponent promptly ducks into a defensive crouch, shield raised, ready to absorb the silly, over the top comic assault and counter.

But Cassie has learned things. Her fighting techniques may be a bit amateur by Amazon standard, but they're also rather unorthodox, with influences from all her teamates. Heck, she got some of her earliest tricks not from any Amazon, but a certain Robin-

-no, not that one. No, the other, slightly less- nevermind.

Point is, she's got some moves! And not QUITE so easily hot-tempered as when she started. The leap proves bigger than expected, and turns into a full flip, using the other woman's duck to give her extra clearance. Her opponent slashes, but gets air (and a few hairs off a dangling blonde pony-tail), before Cassie lands behind and taps her on the shoulder with her sword-point. "Hee. Gotcha." Not even a whole beat. "Did I hear breakfast?! We definitely oughta get the newbies a good meal before they start, or they might seriously die." She looks between Toni and Nadia with GREAT CONCERN.

...No doubt she's having some fun talking up looming training in front of her less-knowing friends. Hazing rituals are universal! However, Diana soon puts a bit of an end to the 'terrify the Titans' part of all of this, insisting on broader cultural enjoyment. She can deal with that! "At some point, I was gonna take everyone to the beach, maybe show them the cliffs and the ritual, too. But right now, food sounds really good."

Toni Monetti has posed:
"Donna, hi! You look gorgeous like this," Toni tells Donna, adding with the ghost of a smile, "You been here before?"

"They do swords all the time? I guess it'd be a good work out, but like is that the main thing they use?" Toni asks Donna, rubbing her chin as she walks forwards. "Breakfast sounds amazing. Hi Nadia! I'm Toni, it's great to meet you - A what matrix?" Toni seems dubious about this hammer enhancement.

"Ohhhh," Toni says as Diana reveals the truth of the bow. "I can tell she loves archery, so she's gonna LOVE that. She was talking about - you know what, I don't want to tell gossip, so I can just tell you, perfect gift."

And during all this kibitzing Toni was watching Cassie. There was little depth for her to take there but it IS clear to her that Cassie knows what she's doing. "Badass," she states, in conclusion. "I would absolutely die without food."

"I'm gonna sound way less shallow after breakfast," Toni adds, which remains to be seen...

Donna Troy has posed:
    "/Plakous/, Nadia, not plankton," Donna says with a laugh. "It's not something people normally eat at breakfast, but if you ask for it, I'm sure the kitchens can provide. A more normal breakfast here would involve bread, cheeses, nuts, cakes and grilled fish. We don't grow coffee on Themyscira, but I do bring my own. Especially on this trip, because Raven refused to come unless there was coffee. "

    Donna shifts her foot suddenly, and there's a CLUNK as the head of Caitlin's hammer lands on the packed earth. "You can have /plakous/ if you want, we're on vacation. But Caitlin's right. Breakfast here is good, and plentiful. Try the options!"

    Donna greets Cassie's success with a one-armed hug, and doesn't even mention the strands of pony-tail Cassie is now missing. "Cass has got pretty good, Toni! As you can see. But no, swords aren't the only thing. You got a weapon of choice, we have someone who can train you with it. However normally it's swords, spears, axes, and of course..."

    Donna takes the quiver and bow from Diana with a grin, slinging it over her shoulder. "Bows. Thanks Diana, I know that Kate will love this! You can't separate her from her wonderbow these days, but one crafted by your own hands, that will be something special for her. Okay! Breakfast - and while we're eating, we can decide what we're doing with the rest of the day."

Nadia Pym-van Dyne has posed:
Nadia nods several times in agreement with Cassie, seemingly certain that she may die without breakfast or at least coffee.

Relief is evident in her expression though when it is confirmed that there is in fact coffee to be had, "I always have some instant stuff in case of emergency, but if there actual coffee that's a reflief. C8H10N4O2 is life." Someone is an addict. "/Plakous/" Nadia repeats after Donna says it, trying to get the intonation correct. "Right, that! It was really good. Okay! I will try all the things! I do love trying new things, though few have been able to compete with pizza and donuts, donuts are so good. Lead the way to breakfast!"

She grins at Toni as they get ready to depart, "Gravity, you know to adjust its relative weight and impact through attraction between objects! Fun stuff!"

Cassie Sandsmark has posed:
Being complimented on badassery is not something Cassie ever takes for granted, grinning back at Toni, even as she gets a bit of a squeeze around the shoulders from Donna. How does 'badass' compare to 'pretty good'? Seems like she'll take either, considering where they're coming from. "Compared to the people here, I'm definitely still learning," she admits all the same. "We practice all kinds of stuff, yeah. Everyone's kinda got their talents but usually you learn a bit of everyting, just for... you know, overall fitness and well-roundedness I guess."

She takes a few steps now to hang the weapons she was using on some nearby stands. It is perhaps (not) surprising that there's often a convenient one of those around.

"You know... I'm sure, if you spoke with Niobe she'd probably put something together for you to work on your aim, too," she offers toward Toni when she's turned back around. "I mean with your, you know." She gestures uselessly with her hands. "Like, set up some targets on a range for you, come up with some exercises to help you focus under pressure, whatever. If you're interested, anyway."

Here she looks toward Nadia, as if expanding the thought. "Di's right, you're not here -to- train, you're here because we wanted you to meet everyone, to see the island, experience it. Because I wanted to share a little of what I've been so lucky to have. But it's up to you what to make of it, y'know? Warrior culture is a big part of stuff here, and for sure, if you want pointers, they'll get you pointers. But they've got their musicians and poets and scientists and everything else. We can go for a hike. We're -definitely- going to the beach later. And now..."

She swings around between them, and possibly even grabs an arm or two. "Now, we eat stuff that's not plankton!"