1964-07-15 - Pigeon Wing Style
Summary: Sage and Karnak meet in the park, discussing the Zen of Pigeon Feeding
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
sage karnak 

So here's the thing. Sage could get into comfy clothes, grab a mat, and head out into the school grounds and just practice. But she might be poked at by students and other faculty. So instead, she headed into town, and right into Central Park. Found herself a little space, near the joggers - within line of sight - but not close enough to be bothered. Gym bag tossed to one side, she stands a few feet away from it and promptly goes through her usual exercise routine. In this case, T'ai chi. Yang school, specifically. She keeps telling herself she pick up another school at some point, but she has yet to see anyone teach something new. It'll involve a trip, no doubt. Still, that's another day, another time. She refocuses herself on thinking about nothing and focusing on the exercise itself.

Karnak, actually, was doing something that seems… unusual, for those that know her. Or think they know her, anyway. She actually is feeding the pigeons. She wears her hoodie over her tunic, her white pants kept clean as she tosses some crumbs to the pigeons.

Then her eyes wander over towards Sage and her practice. One brow arches a bit as she studies the other woman's movements, not exactly staring… but not bothering to conceal her gaze, either, keeping Sage in the periphery of her vision as she looks somewhat curious.

Sage had long ago decided to limit using her telepathy. She had a bit of trouble shutting out other people when it was active. Besides, keeping it 'off' means that her defenses remain securely in place. So she remains, essentially, unaware that she is being spied on. Or, if she's aware of Karnak's gaze, she's really not letting it on. But then, her gaze never seems to deviate, focused on 'out there' instead of anything or anyone in particular.

Karnak finishes feeding the pigeons, and then rises to her feet, the sudden motion making the birds scatter away from her. Then she moves over towards Sage, in a circular motion that gradually has her revolving around the other woman, until she stands a few feet away, watching Sage's motions before finally saying, "What style is this?" She doesn't seem to recognize it, or maybe she just wants confirmation of what it is.

Sage's eyes snap open. Deep blue, just like her hair. "Yang style," she answers. Her voice possesses a crisp Received Pronunciation accent. She essentially froze in place when spoken to, holding the position perfectly, before reverting, assuming the initial pose she started from. "Are you familiar with T'ai chi?" There is no surprise in her voice. Nothing resembling emotional inflection, really. Just the started question. "I have noticed some of the more… forceful martial arts are much more popular on this side of the pond."

The woman looks carefully at Sage, then smiles, very slightly. "You could say that I am familiar with them." She hrms, "Interesting form that you had. And you held position, not something many people can do when interrupted. Adequate." She doesn't say it like an insult. For some reason, it almost sounds like being adequate in her eyes is a compliment. A rather odd one, but still, her thoughts are… odd, to say the least, if one actually peeks inside.

"I've had time to study and train." Which, to be fair, is much, much less required time for her than most people. She finally relaxes, slowly. There's a moment of awkward silence that drags on, as though Sage simply does not know what to do. Finally, she extends a hand. As though she just remembered, 'oh yeah… didn't do this!' "I'm Tessa," she says. She doesn't seem particularly insulted by the 'adequate' comment. She immediately assumed that it was simply someone with greater experience than her own commenting in surprise.

Karnak takes the hand after a moment of hesitation, as if remembering this is something people do. Then she squeezes slightly, nodding, "As have I." She considers, then at the introduction from Tessa, she ahs a bit, and simply says, "Karnak." Maybe it's French?

For a moment, Tessa's features shift to a look of consideration as she shakes the hand firmly. "Like the temple complex in Egypt? How unusual." That just might beat out of the woman named Persephone that she used to work for. "Well then.. Karnak." Oh, right. Small talk. Socializing. It's hard! This is why she keeps her nose stuck in books! "What brings you to the park at such an early hour?"

The woman shrugs, as apparently she also seems unused to socializing. But then again, she also seems to have a core of not particularly caring, so she presses onward, "Feeding pigeons, actually. Someone suggested it, and it was… strangely satisfying. It's puzzling to contribute to the parasitical existence of those avians."

She /could/ correct the description of pigeons. But even Tessa Valentine can learn that not everyone needs to hear her spout off all the time. She manages not to do so - someone give her a treat! Instead, she just nods. "I've been told before it is oddly relaxing. I can't imagine it is, but I've never tried it myself." Silent again, her gaze flickers over the woman.

Karnak glances back towards Tessa, 'It was… strange. Perhaps it has something to do with the curious trilling that they have." She hmms, "Do you use this mainly for exercise, or are you skilled in using this in combat?"

Sage shakes her head. "I use T'ai chi solely for exercise." Though now, she's thinking on it. "I suppose it was originally designed for combat. With a fair bit of tweaking…" And she stops herself again. No, don't go down that rabbit hole. "I know a handful of martial arts much more appropriate for sparring or actual combat," she says. "T'ai chi was introduced to me as meditative exercise."

Karnak nods, "Now it is. Originally, it was a formidable discipline. Most of the movements are the same, simply accelerated from exercise into an actual martial form. Very clever." She hmms, and considers, "I am somewhat familiar with it. And other disciplines." Her eyes flicker towards Sage, "What handful?"

It' a unique pleasure to find someone else who is interested in such combat styles and techniques as she is. It's been a rarity. At least, so far. "Northern Shaolin Kung Fu and Hung Ga are my preferred styles," she explains. And she could explain the whole mutant brain thing, but instead she (attempts) a smile, and shrugs. "I have a knack, and my teacher was willing to expand my lessons."

The woman nods, "I am familiar with those styles. It is not common to see someone who is capable of such combat." She then looks at Sage, and casually divests herself of her hoodie, revealing her sleeveless top, odd facial tattoos, and a physique that seems forged from a crucible of hard exertion. "Show me what you can do." Her eyes flash a bit, and she then adds, "I believe this is what one would consider a 'spar'."

Tessa takes a few steps away from Karnak, reaching into her pockets to produce something to tie her bright blue hair back and out of her eyes. "If you wish," she murmurs. She bows first, as she was taught to do years ago, before slipping into a ready stance. Sparring within the confines of a training hall, she sort of knows what to expect. This is a different animal entirely, because though Karnak says she is familiar with the styles Tessa has named, she has no idea if Karnak will use something similar.

Don't think on that. Focus. Stop intruding on your own thoughts.

She closes the distance quickly, leading with her left fist in a series of quick, light punches for Karnak's head.

Karnak returns the bow, then straightens and waits. Once the distance is closed, Karnak ducks and weaves, measuring Tessa's skill as she blocks the punches without much appreciable effort. Still, she doesn't strike back just yet, as if she's studying the fighting style of Tessa, waiting for the proper moment.

In her own way, Tessa is feeling out Karnak as well. Not with the same eye for such things that Karnak has, obviously, but the punches are easily blocked. Designed to be so. Tessa is just testing things. And even she can tell that Karnak is doing the same to her. Remaining close is a hallmark of the Northern Shaolin style. Few kicks, all punches and assorted arm techniques. Which is really what Tessa cycles through, attempting to, at least, push Karnak backwards.

Karnak nods slightly as she notices something, perhaps only something she saw, when she suddenly takes an extra half-step back, crouching down and spinning her leg in a sweep. And then she twists, swinging her other leg through the space in case Tessa evades the first one.

It's not that the first was really telegraphed. At least, not in any exaggerated fashion. Tessa was watching movements, gauging how Karnak might react, and that's only why she was able to evade the first sweep. The second, however, catches her by surprise - because not many people can pull off the momentum required for such a thing. The sweep connects and Tessa hits the ground with a thud. "… I was not expecting that," she admits, after a moment of stunned silence.

Karnak winds up in a crouch, then straightens herself up and walks to Tessa, "I know you weren't. Few do." With that, she extends a hand towards Tessa, offering to help the woman up, "Still, you do have skill. I am impressed." And she doesn't sound like the type to impress easy as she smiles faintly, "If you wished to learn more, I might be inclined to educate you."

Now that is the most obvious compliment of the morning. Even Tessa can tell that. She considers, then nods graciously. "I would be honoured to learn, of course," she replies. She's not delved into Karnak's mind, obviously, but there is something about the woman. The way she moves? How self-confident/assured she is? Something that tells Tessa, yes, there's something to be learned her. And Tessa is a sucker for learning new things.

A slight nod. "Excellent. When are you normally here?" She glances around, surveying the park slightly with her gaze, before she turns those eyes back towards Tessa, watching her response.

"Mornings," she replies. She doesn't have to bring up her job, really. Things don't take off until the next semester starts, right? "As many times a week as I can be. So I can be flexible as needed." Tessa didn't really think about making this a regular occurrence, but if she's going to start learning from someone again…

Karnak hmms, "That can work. I have some… things, to take care of, but we should be able to begin starting next week." She glances at Tessa, "I will be here at dawn, after that." Her eyes fix on Tessa, and there's the impression that she will be here right at dawn. Regardless of other circumstances.

Dawn. Well now. Tessa nods slightly. "Dawn," she repeats. "Understood." To her credit, Tessa doesn't squirm under the steely gaze. Or flinch at all, really. "Until next week, then, Karnak," she says, offering her hand. She returns the gaze, studying as much as she is being studied.

Karnak tilts her head, almost looking a bit surprised as her gaze doesn't seem to affect Tessa, and accepts the hand offered. "Indeed. If I am still alive, I will be here." What that means, she doesn't clarify, but she releases Tessa's hand and retrieves her hoodie, slipping it back on as she makes her way down the park's walkway.

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