Week 7, Dᴀʏ 5
Dash laid down on the ledge that barely fit her ass. Her right leg dangled over the edge and swinging lazily, her head turned to below. She watched a pair of students pitted against each other. Dash flipped onto her side to better view the events transpiring below. Her back pressed into the cold, red stone used to construct the academy's structure.
With an overseer supervising, the teacher shouted to begin. Immediately the two students turned on their weapons. The first one launched into an offensive attack, rushing to jab the second. In a counter, the second flipped over and slashed at the back of the former. Their movements betrayed their experience with their forms. The lightsabers buzzed and hissed with each block or redirection.
As time passed, the first student got the upper hand. He managed to land a blow onto the second's wrist then disarmed her. The overseer's harsh bark ceased the match. A few sharp, inaudible words berated the weaker student followed by a harsh backhand to the face. The female crumbled to the ground drawing more anger from her teacher. Dash's lips pressed tightly into a line, but she said nothing. This place created the strong by weeding out all the weaknesses.
The overseer turned her back and flicked her wrist, dismissing them both. Not eager to earn her wrath, both students departed quickly.
Watching them left a souring pit in Dash's stomach causing her to sit upright. She leaned forward to catch her balance and push onto her feet. With a little bit of wobbling, the hybrid managed to catwalk her way to an observing platform. She sat on the railing then flipped her legs over, debating on her next destination.
Overseer Haryss was many things to his students. Dedicated, knowledgeable, articulate; but one thing many would note he lacked, was patience. And so Kilian, who made sure his point had been made two days ago during their chase; who pinned Dash down in the combatives room as he spoke about her place in his game, held very little patience when student did not attend class. When they didn't follow his orders and disobeyed clear instruction, Kilian intended to clarify just what would happen should tardiness continue to be an issue.
Entering through the door to the observation deck, Kilian's booted heels made hardly a sound as he walked up behind Dash.
"So you purposely miss my classes and snoop around where you do not belong, yet you see it fit to come and watch while others spar in your place?"
Dash tensed when her ears caught the Overseer’s harsh tones. Her legs had finished flipping over the edge when she considered retreating, her voice caught in her throat. She chanced a glance up to see him directly in front of her. Every instinct within her screamed to run away.
She struggled to swallow her fear down and forced herself to speak with a steady pace. “I wasn’t intending to watch an Overseer humiliate a student, but if I moved then it would’ve drawn attention I didn’t want. If it helps to ease your anger, it wasn’t enjoyable for me.”
Dash didn’t move. Her figure remained still as possible in hopes to find an escape from his attention.
"Down, in the pit. Two minutes." Kilian ordered, turning his back and strolling back towards the door. "Today we will learn the consequences of hiding away and watching, versus attending classes and learning." He explained, leaving Dash to absorb his words as the electronic door shut behind him.
Kilian allowed Dash some freedom just then. Freedom to choose. Would she follow his instruction and meet him in the sparring pit, or would she run and hide again, or risk facing his wrath and temper the next time she met him.
Dashara kept her head down, her arms against the railing and breathing shallowly. Her mind fluttered back to the similarities between Garix and Haryss. Her arms pulled up to wrap around her shoulders chasing away the growing fear. Stop this, Dash. You’re stronger than this. Dash mentally chided herself. With a shake of her head, she pushed upright and moved toward the door.
Her head ducked out, mentally ticking down the two minutes she had, to look down both of the hallway ends. Only one was clear. Dash bit her lip then ducked back inside. She glanced to the balcony and moved toward it. She moved her legs over as she began to scale the small ledge on the interior of the pit’s walls. Hairs on the back of her neck rose causing her to pause long enough to look down. Dash’s breath froze in her throat when she saw Haryss’ head look upward and scowl at her actions. Not wanting to keep his attention, her figure shimmied across the wall to the next observation platform.
After she disappeared into the room, she crept into the hallway. Pain rippled through her scalp when a hand gripped a fistful and jerked her head back. A yelp escaped Dash’s lips thanks to the pain. Her hands reached back to try to claw away her attacker’s grip, but it only encouraged him to tighten it. Forcing her to step on tiptoes to keep her scalp from being ripped out, he began to march her toward the pit.
Upon arrival, his grip released and shoved her forward. Dash managed to keep her balance and stopped herself from toppling over. Her hand rubbed the back of her head where the asshole attempted to rip her hair out. She glared back at her ‘escort’, avoiding the Overseer’s direction.
"Two minutes late." Kilian stated as Dash was shoved into the sparring area. He nodded towards the apprentice, who took a step back and framed himself in the doorway, arms crossed in front of him.
Dash's head turned to Kilian when he spoke. Her teeth gritted as she watched his gestures and her exit blocked to prevent her escape. She couldn't help, but roll her eyes at his next words.
"I shall find something for you to do later, so that I can get my two minutes back." He said, looking to the other door as an apprentice, about the same age as Dash, stepped through the opposite doorway. Another apprentice followed her and also stood watch by the door. Kilian held his hand straight down towards the ground, pulling up a wooden pole that laid next to his feet. He took hold of it quickly before tossing it towards Dash. The other apprentice, her opponent, picked up a wooden pole that laid nearby.
"Today we will be reviewing the lessons I have taught so far. Parrying, counter attacks, and attacking your opponents openings."
Dash dropped the pole, unable to catch it. The sound drew anger to the surface while she bent over to retrieve it. She inhaled while her eyes never removed themselves from her would-be sparring partner. She examined the student's appearance and posture, including how she held her weapon. Dash attempted to mimic with obvious flaws.
At Kilian's signal, the female apprentice, Ehla, charged at Dash, a two handed grip holding the weapon as she struck towards the girl's defenses.
Pain erupted on Dash’s left side, her figure rattled from the strike. Her teeth bit down on her tongue to avoid screaming in pain. However, the strike’s impact became obvious when her knee bent to one side. Instinctively, Dash’s feet backed up to draw distance between her attacker and herself.
Ehla moved her hands quickly, pulling up the other end of the staff as Dash retreated back. She moved her feet strategically, running at her opponent and, once close enough, using the lower end of the staff in an attempt to sweep one of Dash's feet out from under her.
“Ack!” The cry managed to squeeze out past her attempts to hold it in. Dash’s feet jerked into the air as the pole caught and brought her down. All her breath flew out of her when she landed on her back. Her eyes caught the student coming in for a downward blow. Dashara rolled to the side, narrowly feeling the end brush by her back.
As she rose upright, something ticked in her back of her head. A warning. Dash stepped back to narrowly avoiding a thrust to her exposed side.
Ehla, growing frustrated at her misses, thrust her hand out to throw Dash off balance using the Force. It was a simple push, but enough to force her momentum forward.
Ehla then charged in and threw up her foot into Dash's back, throwing the young woman forward onto the hard ground.
Kilian, standing where he was when the fight started, frowned at the young Zeltron's lack of skills in this fight. He sighed in frustration, but wasn't expecting anything too entertaining. Although his lesson was working for its intended purpose.
"If you lose this, you can expect young Mahree to pay for your tardiness and lack of motivation." He called out as Ehla went in for another strike.
"Fucking coward." Dash hissed as she forced herself back up, narrowly missing the next hit.
Kilian only smirked at Dash's comment, watching as Ehla moved the bottom of her staff to attempt another strike.
The unwilling student spit a bit of blood from her mouth, letting it land on the arena floor. When Ehla's weapon closed in on her side again, Dash placed the pole between herself and the attack. She gritted from the pain, but managed to remain upright. Her hesitation cost her.
A blow to her leg sent her onto her knee. Her pole jerked up and protected her head when Ehla sent another attack crashing down. It took all her strength not lose her grip. The center of her pole began to crack and splinter causing her eyes to look up.
Dash smirked when an idea formed in her head. She dropped back and her leg moved against her opponent's stomach. In a swift movement, she flipped Ehla over her head. Feeling the pole weakened, the half Zeltron jumped back onto her feet. Her hand held it vertically then kicked it the rest of the way apart. She tested the larger of the pieces, getting a quick sense of its weight and balance.
She rose her 'weapon' to deflect the next blow, batting it away. Her feet stepped with surprising grace and rhythm compared to before. One gained through prior experience. Each strike found her 'blade' as she parried, blocked ànd finally started to attack. Slowly Dash began to direct her target toward one of the walls.
Red tingled at the edge of Dash’s vision as her anger built. As the fourth strike lashed at her side, she braced herself. It landed on her left side drawing out snarl as she gripped it. She jerked herself closer to the apprentice while her other hand lashed her weapon at the side of Ehla's head. At the last moment, Dash stopped just shy of hitting the cheek.
“I win.” Dash’s anger dissipated while she released the staff then stepped away.
Seeing Dash stop short of clobbering the younger Sith apprentice in the side of the head, Kilian scoffed. He hadn’t set rules, hadn’t set boundaries, so Dash had chosen her way to end a fight, even though she could have knocked her opponent out and probably on her way to the infirmary. It would have been one less opponent in the long run.