Stress Relief [Connal, Now Open]

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Stress Relief [Connal, Now Open]

Postby Puffin » Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:18 pm

[This thread is BACKDATED to September 20th]


Niklas had never actually bothered with the exercise room before losing his eyesight, and not even until he had started practicing more with the sword Henry gave him. He still wasn't entirely sure what the room looked like even after beginning to use it more frequently, though he could smell the dust from lack of use. No one else seemed to be using it either.

And why would they? With no battles there was really no reason to. In fact, it seemed like half of the rooms in the building got no traffic. Everyone just quietly kept to themselves and stayed in their own little corner of the base without a fuss. He had all the peace and quiet he could ever need, and it was driving him crazy.

So when he had started to show up and use the room to train even without Henry around to instruct, he counted it as a victory. Something small to shake up the routine a bit and help him keep a handle on his sanity. Something else he could add to his increasingly dwindling list of activities. The doctor folded up his cane and laid it on the wall, taking the sword with him to the center of the room instead.

He gripped the hilt and made a few experimental swings. It wasn't quite the same without an opponent, and there wasn't too much he could do but practice his form. But still, it was better than nothing.
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Re: Stress Relief [Connal]

Postby Connal Reid » Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:15 pm

Connal was bored out of his mind, and was just wandering the halls as a way to pass time. Which, unfortunately, was absolutely nothing new. There just wasn't anything for him to do most of the time, not that he could do that much, it seemed. He could have considered himself lucky that he was feeling simply bored instead of depressed, but if he thought about it he would start thinking of all the things that bothered him, and that would just leave him both bored and melancholy.

Thinking of maybe taking his walk outside, he was headed toward the front door when he heard something. Nothing worrying, just some movement, but he was bored enough that the metal head decided to check it out. Besides, it came from the exercise room, which, as far as he knew, had been completely unused up to this point. So he opened up the door and poked his head in. "Nik? Whatcha doin'?" And why did he have the sword?

((And because I just thought of this and don't feel like going back to edit, he's barefoot with a pair of sweatpants and a t-shirt. Because who needs uniforms?))
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Re: Stress Relief [Connal]

Postby Puffin » Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:45 pm

Niklas faltered mid-swing, jumping up a bit in surprise at the sudden sound of Connal's voice. He had been so absorbed in what he was doing he hadn't heard the big pyro open the door. That, and he wasn't wearing the telltale rubber suit, or else he probably would've heard the squeaking.

He composed himself fairly quickly, loosening his grip on the sword and letting it slide to one hand, wiping some stray hair from his face and turning around in the direction of the voice. "Oh, Hej Connal. I'm just doing some training. Trying to not die of boredom and such."
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Re: Stress Relief [Connal]

Postby Connal Reid » Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:01 pm

"Heh, I know what cha mean there..." Connal replied, stepping into the exercise room the rest of the way. "It's kinda weird that, unless there's some big shit goin' down, nothing really happens out here. Like, there's no middle ground, y'know?" It seemed a little odd the Viking Doctor would be randomly swinging around that big sword, though. There weren't really any kind of dummies they had around to hit... And what if someone came wandering in but didn't say anything? Well, okay, that would probably be their own damn fault if they got hurt, then.
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Re: Stress Relief [Connal]

Postby Puffin » Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:27 pm

"You've been bored out of your skull too?" Niklas volunteered a small smile. He heard Connal enter the room completely, making a mental note to where he was standing, and to give him a wide berth. Getting too close in this case could only end in tears.

"Usually I practice with Henry, but I've started to do a little on my own when he's not around. Gives me something to pass the time with, plus the physical activity helps me keep my head on straight and my mood better. Even if it's better with an opponent." There was something to be said for the cathartic effect of training with a sword, but at this point any form of physical activity was welcome. Most others were out of the question without being able to see.
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Re: Stress Relief [Connal]

Postby Connal Reid » Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:47 pm

"Well, yeah," Connal replied, shrugging even though Nik couldn't see it. "There's not really anythin' for me to do around here. I dunno carpentry or anythin', so I can't exactly help fix up the place. An' there's the cease fire, so I can't burn p- stuff, like I was sent here t' do." It occurred to the firebug that other people might not be as comfortable about casually mentioning burning people to death, so he tried to correct himself mid-sentence. "I even tried to take a look at the one a the generators once, a while back, to see if there was anythin' I could do with 'em. I dunno how the hell those things work, but they sure ain't gas powered."

That was interesting. He hadn't even known that Henry came over that often. "Huh, really? You, uh... You're not... Um." Connal tried to find a nice sounding way to say what was on his mind. He failed. "Argh, screw it. Doesn' you bein' blind make it hard to sword fight with someone else?" Hell, the Pyro usually got vertigo if he tried to walk around when it was pitch black. He imagined that he would get used to it if he had to, but swinging around a large piece of heavy, sharp metal seemed like something that would be out of the question.
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Re: Stress Relief [Connal]

Postby Puffin » Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:13 pm

"Yeah, technical stuff has always gone over my head too," he replied. "Though if you asked I'm sure Kurt would be happy to have a helping hand with the machines and repairs, maybe he could teach you a bit?" It was an idea. But Niklas was getting the sense that there was something else that was genuinely bothering Connal, something beyond just boredom. He had been here the longest, hadn't he? "The ceasefire's been tough on everybody. Everyone's been getting bored and restless."

He perked up a bit once Connal began his question, and once the big pyro finally spat it out he gave a genuine smile and a laugh. The bluntness of the question was endearing, even a little refreshing. "Well, yeah," he said finally, still chuckling between words. "It was really hard at first. By our biological nature humans are sight dependent, so losing it rendered me pretty much helpless at first."

"But I use my other senses to give me information, especially hearing and touch. I use them to make a mental picture of my surroundings. It's the same principle while in a fight, using your senses to perceive where the opponent is and acting accordingly." He ran a hand through his hair. "But yeah, it was hard. We practiced with sticks at first. There were quite a few bruises, cuts, and falls."
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Re: Stress Relief [Connal]

Postby Connal Reid » Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:39 pm

"Huh." Having Kurt teach him didn't sound like such a bad idea, so long as the Engineer didn't just get annoyed with him or anything. Screwing other people up would be even worse than simply not being able to do anything. At the topic of everyone being bored and restless, Connal replied, "Heh, well, at least there's those times when somethin' else pops up for us t' fight, yeah?" Not that he had actually been able to fight in any of those cases, not even the two he had been present for.

The metal head couldn't help but grin when Niklas actually laughed. That were certainly worse ways that could have gone. However, the grin fell as the tall Medic tried to explain. Bio... huh? By the words he was familiar with, Connal just guessed Nik was just talking about how sight is awesome and being blind sucks, and left it at that. "That's... actually pretty cool, you bein' able to do all that so quick. Gotta wonder if other people tha' go blind can learn so fast. Y'think you'd be as good as when you could see by now?"
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Re: Stress Relief [Connal]

Postby Puffin » Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:03 pm

Niklas frowned. "I'd rather not fight more monsters, especially if fighting them means such heavy casualties. Getting torn in half isn't pleasant." He shuddered. That experience was probably one of the worst ways he'd died in his stint as a mercenary.

"It took many weeks of focus to get to this point, and I'm still learning. I don't know how long it takes other people, but I would guess it's different for every person. I did invest pretty much all of my time into it, so that helps." Not like there was much else to do. He didn't see the pyro's expression fall, but the next question out of his mouth did make him think a bit. "Well, to tell you the truth I'm not sure. I didn't really do much with the sword when I could see, so it's hard for me to judge."
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Re: Stress Relief [Connal]

Postby Connal Reid » Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:18 pm

"Shit! That's what happened!?" Connal hadn't actually seen what had happened to, well, almost everyone that had died in that fight, nor did he bother to ask afterwards. "Damn, man, sorry ya had to go through that."

The redhead rubbed the back of his neck, thinking about what was said. "Yeah, I guess that makes sense. Sure, it takes a while to learn new stuff, but if you ain't got fuck all else to do... Still, sucks that it had to happen to ya. Can't imagine what I'd be like if I'd got done in and had this happen t' me, instead. Heh, probably wouldn' even be able to be a couch potato anymore."
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Re: Stress Relief [Connal]

Postby Puffin » Fri Sep 28, 2012 6:48 pm

Niklas raised an eyebrow. "You didn't see...?" The details of what happened that day after his death were rather fuzzy. People had avoided the subject after the failures of the respawn machine had become apparent. He hadn't exactly been in the mood to discuss it either.

Well, water under the bridge. He smirked at Connal's comment. "Trust me, things like this keep me from becoming a couch potato in the first place. There's even less I can do now, so I take what I can get." He waved his hand dismissively. "But it should be temporary, which is good. This handicap has overstayed its welcome."
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Re: Stress Relief [Connal]

Postby Connal Reid » Fri Sep 28, 2012 7:53 pm

"No, 'cause, see, Talbot sent me off to go try an' help out BLU's Sniper, forget his name, an' he was about ta fall outta his tree, and then this giant bird showed up, and it caught the guy when he fell and then tried to wrap us up in 'is wings and yeah... Little distractin'." He wasn't sure if he should get much more into it than that, especially since he was somewhat ashamed of making it through that battle without a scratch. "...It was welcome to begin with?" he teased.
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niklas is 110% done with monsters and blindness

Postby Puffin » Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:07 pm

"Giant... bird...?" Niklas groaned. There was an audible strain to his voice. "This better not be another escaped lab accident...? At least it hasn't gone after anyone..." the thought of a flying monster was even worse than one that could swim. But if it hadn't attacked anyone yet, he supposed it could do what it wanted. He didn't feel like monster hunting anytime soon, so if it minded its own business he would leave it be.

He regained his composure and made his way over to the wall, crouching down and retrieving the water bottle that he had brought with him, taking a sip. He hadn't really exerted himself that much, but the room was stuffy and his throat was starting to feel dry. "Aw, you know what I mean," he said, a mixture of amused and annoyed. "But it's really starting to wear down on me. I just feel strung out. Everyday things are all much harder to do now. It kind of gets tiring after a while, you know?"
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Re: Stress Relief [Connal]

Postby Connal Reid » Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:36 pm

"Probably, but this one seemed nice. It was tryin' a protect me an' Jer an' the Sniper," Connal replied, giving another unseen shrug. "At least, that's what it felt like."

At the comment of the situation wearing down on the tall Medic, Connal let his gaze droop to the floor. "I dunno what it'd be like to suddenly lose my sight, but... Yeah, I think I kinda know how you feel. This place, jus' by itself... It really just sucks more an' more as time goes on. If I got the chance to go back, I... Hell, I might choose to not apply with RED at all."
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Re: Stress Relief [Connal]

Postby Puffin » Sat Sep 29, 2012 7:56 pm

Though Niklas couldn't see Connal's gaze drop to the floor, he could hear the change in his tone. Understandable, really, but also alarming, especially coming from Connal, who always tried to keep things positive. As upset and unhappy as they all likely were, something deeper seemed to be bothering him. "Well, I had never intended to stay with RED beyond one contract. But I understand. Everyday out here just makes me miss home more and more."

He took another drink from the water bottle and was quiet for a moment before sitting down with his back against the wall, gesturing with his arm for the pyro to come sit. "It's tough, you know. You've been out here the longest, even." There was something to be said for his perseverance. "When did you even get here...?"
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Re: Stress Relief [Connal]

Postby Connal Reid » Sat Sep 29, 2012 8:21 pm

Connal nodded without realizing, letting Nik lead the conversation for a bit. He wasn't sure it was that he missed home, exactly. Heck, he wanted to get the hell out of there, get away from everything. Though, he guessed, this was a pretty shitty place to run to. When Nik motioned for him to sit, the oversized Pyro did just that.

"When? Shit..." He sighed, trying to think back as he leaded his head back against the wall. It was definitely summer, and he could remember hating how hot and muggy everything was, even the night. "...July, I think," he finally answered. "Not last July, the one before that. So, like, over a year ago. At least, I think so. What month is it? I... I kinda stopped paying attention."
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Re: Stress Relief [Connal]

Postby Puffin » Sat Sep 29, 2012 8:42 pm

"July?" Niklas frowned as he heard Connal take his seat against the wall. That meant over a year. It was no wonder he was feeling the way he did. Niklas had arrived in Februrary, and while he had started feeling it since then, it had only gotten worse in the months following the blindness, but even then he couldn't image being in this awful place for a year.

"Now? It's uh..." he hesitated. He wasn't entirely sure himself, really. How long had it been? A couple of months, at least. "September, I think? I'm pretty sure that's what it is. I..." he looked slightly embarrassed and more than a little upset. "I have trouble telling time now, since when I wake up it's hard to figure out if it's even day or night." He leaned back. "In fact, I'm not even entirely sure what time of day it is right now."
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Re: Stress Relief [Connal]

Postby Connal Reid » Sat Sep 29, 2012 9:41 pm

"Yeah..." It wasn't that bad, was it? Well, okay, it probably actually was. But wow, September already? "Oh..." This would have been the year that he'd drive his brother up to Canada for his birthday. There was a reason he had stopped paying attention to the date. "Ah, hell, that's not just 'cause you're blind. I don't even know what time it is right now."
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Re: Stress Relief [Connal]

Postby Puffin » Sat Sep 29, 2012 10:19 pm

"Not really. I had been doing a pretty good job of keeping track of time. But now it's hard because I can't exactly look at a calendar. My sleep schedule is pretty much gone at this point." The only thing he could really hope for was to wake up during the daytime when other people were awake, but even that didn't happen that often. Time seemed to stretch on forever, but at the same time now that he thought about it, it really had been a long time since his arrival.

He said nothing for a while, hugging his knees to his chest and simply sitting in silence. If it was September, next month would be his middle son's birthday. Niklas knew that he likely wouldn't be able to go home for that in the first place, but the fact that it was happening reminded him just how much time had passed.

He dug his nails into his skin. That made him angry. It just wasn't fair at this point. He chewed his lip in thought for a moment before suddenly sitting up straight and turning his head toward Connal. "Want to fight it out?"
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Re: Stress Relief [Connal]

Postby Connal Reid » Sat Sep 29, 2012 10:44 pm

Connal didn't bother to comment on his own sleep schedule, or lack thereof. He just sat, one leg stretched out in front of him, the other curled closer to his chest, an arm resting on top, as he just stared at the ground. The big Pyro just couldn't help but think of all the things he had agreed to do with people, and then never got the chance because they died. Broken promises, in some cases. Damn it, why wasn't there anything he could do? Why did everyone have to keep dying, even in this place where death was supposed to be reversible?

When Nik finally spoke up, the Michigander jumped a little. It was very sudden, and with the way his head turned right toward him, almost perfect for looking him in the eye... He knew the Medic wouldn't lie about if he was completely blind or not, and how stupid a thing it would be for him to do, and that just made it a bit creepier. "Y-yeah. Yeah!" he replied, starting to smile. "That's gotta be the best suggestion I've heard in ages!" he added, pushing himself up to his feet.
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