[ISS] Brakes and Breaks (Tab 3.3)



Today's practice was tough. Coach Simms pushed all of you, yelling over the speakers that you have to "pick up the slack" for the loss of Rys. He put Tunde, your newest teammate, through the ringer, too. What's Tunde's best asset on the court, Tabitha? Who should worry about losing a spot to him?

Practice ended with suicides, a half hour of running up and down the court, with ten minutes of it over grav pads. You're bruised and aching. Everyone's drenched with sweat, breath coming in gasps when Coach Simms ends practice. There are no words as everyone trudges towards the showers. Pax, Zola, and you head for the woman's shower while the boys head to theirs.

Pax sticks her head under the shower and lets cold water wash over her. She doesn't bother to hide the metal discs in her side as she washes her body. They look like implants of some kind. Zola, standing at the shower next to you, sees it, tries to get your attention to make sure you see it, too.

After just a minute or so, Pax is done, she turns off her water, gives you both a nod, grabs her towel and slowly trudges out of the shower to dry off and put on clothes. Zola waits to make sure she's gone, then moves over to slip an arm around you.

What do you do?


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    Tunde will make an excellent Flanker, he's fast and he can change directions on the attack with startling precision. Jace needs to get his stomm together because Tunde can probably also be trained in another position without slowing down his progress.

    The suicides..I've learned not to admit it, but..I kind of love them.

    I'm emptied out by the end, peeling out of my clothes before getting into the showers because it's a habit and no other reason, bracing my head against the tile. Water pours off of me and I think of nothing.

    Zola manages to get through my haze and point out Pax's implants. How do you get those? Or tattoos? What are those even for?

    I look at the back of my left wrist..I always expect to see a patch of milkier skin there. A scar from a compound fracture. It's never there.

    Zola holds me and it brings me back to reality. I turn and put my arms around her, say her name. "Zola.."

  • image She slips into your arms, her face against yours for a moment. Zola's athletic body fits so well against you. She's tired, too, but she didn't run as hard as you, she doesn't love suicides, and held back. Coach Simms called her out a couple times, but she did the minimum effort to keep the team from getting extra. "Tabs," she says just loud enough to be heard over the sound of the water beating your left shoulder and arm, her right. "Missed you." She kisses the nape of your neck, nuzzling against it, hands smoothing over your back. After that long moment of caress and comfort, she whispers the half-question, "Started to think you were... avoiding me." She gently nips at your ear, then laughs like that could never be the case.

    Your body's responding to this, Tabitha. I mean, it's familiar, right? It feels wonderful to be held like this. And Zola's a great lover, if for no other reason than her confidence.

    What do you do?

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    Zola can do well coasting in Speedball..and probably everything else.

    "Mm.." I was avoiding her, wasn't I? I fit my hands to the small of her back and press close. How can this be so attractive and still not be love? I mean, I know. But groddamn. If only Zola was right about love. I could happily drokk my way out of this problem.

    "I missed you, too." I mean it, really. I stroke the side of her face with a hand and kiss her briefly. I need to get this out. "I've been. Thinking. We went exclusive too fast. You're so good. But I think we need to. Be more casual."

  • image Zola closes her eyes for the kiss, hums a little with the caress and seems painted onto you. She meets your eyes when you tell her you've been thinking. There's a moment, right when you say you two went exclusive too fast. Her brows crease a tiny bit, and her mouth tightens for a moment. She continues holding you, asks quietly, "Who?" She bends in to talk into your ear, nibbling it again, "Who else do you want?" Her tongue slides along the edge of your ear, "Besides me?"

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    I sigh out the words. "..it's..it's stupid, I'll never. See her. That's not what this is about."

  • image Zola reaches for your left hand, pulls it to her breast, coaxing you to touch her. "Sure, it isn't about that. Why would you want to be casual if you didn't want someone else?" There's something dangerous in her tone, Tabitha. It doesn't seem that way on the surface, but there's something in the pit of your tummy that tightens. "Is it Eff? She doesn't like girls." Zola asks as her hands trail along your shoulders, around to the small of your back. "Don't tell me it's Pris." She looks at you close like she's guessing in a game.

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    "You sound like you're after. A target. But I wouldn't drokk Eff. With a stolen hand." I touch Zola as I'm coaxed to do, nuzzle her neck. "It's not Pris. See, it's this. Snapping at people who just talk to me. Like you need to feel jealous."

    My body is still concerned with hers, feeling softly sweet. Parts of me, the parts listening to the cold knot under my stomach, want to brace for a fight.

  • image Zola's hands move from the small of your back lower, squeezing your butt as she starts nipping at your neck. The bites aren't painful, but they're a bit of an escalation, they feel just on this edge of dangerous. Zola bends a knee and moves her mouth across your collarbone, sucking and biting at the flesh in tantalizing ways. "I can let people talk to you, Tabs. Is that what you want?" She moves down, lowering herself to her knees, hands roaming.

    She looks up at you, Tabitha. What do you do?

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    The bites feel somehow familiar, and definitely exciting. If I trusted her more..

    I smooth my hands over her shoulders, her chest, fingers trailing after her as she lowers herself. "I want to feel free with you."

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    I think you're trying to Turn Her on here, right? To get her on your side? Or is this a Manipulation?

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    I think I'm Manipulating, maybe in a reflective sense because damn.

    (Rolled: 2d6-1. Rolls: 3, 1. Total: 3)

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    Zola is down on her knees, nibbling at your breasts, enjoying your hands on her shoulders. She looks up at you with a little smirk when you say you want to be free with her. Then, in a flash, you see her expression change. Her hands slide down your legs to the back of each foot, right at your Achilles heels. She pulls hard at both, which upends you, sending you straight down. She actually stands up with the move, holding your ankles and pulling them up high.

    The sensation of weightlessness feels oddly familiar for that brief moment. You feel the same transition you sometimes get on the grav pads, but then gravity kicks in again and you come crashing down onto the back of your head, on the tile floor (take 1-Harm).

    You're dazed for a moment, but you hear her saying, "I don't drokking share, you drokking mental case. I know you were some stomming retard, but I didn't think you were this stupid." She kicks you in the side hard enough for you to slide on the watery floor a half meter. You hear the water splash and the shower, see the red blood, your blood, in the water. Your head's bleeding.

    "I tolllld you. You're mine!" Zola stalks over you, Tabitha. She's about to kick you again.

    What do you do?

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    Well. I think I've seen more of Zola than most people.

    The familiar 'grav drop' feeling I get from being thrown this hard is a relief. And I don't have to wait for this moment anymore. It's horrible and finally true. Finally clear.

    I fight the haze..Zola's voice sounds flat in my ears, her footsteps sound out in the shower room like my head was underwater. I twist off of my back and tuck into a shrimp, then onto my knees, toes pressing into the tile. She can try to kick me again and I'm going to low-tackle her opposite leg. Rushing a Lock with the same move.


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    Let's see you Lash Out here.

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    (Rolled: 2d6+2. Rolls: 3, 2. Total: 7)

    Marking XP (3)

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    Dealing 3 harm and choosing to give her a string.

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    You move like a predator, like someone who's trained for years to be the best. Pushing past the swirling vision, when Zola's next kick comes at you, you're in a four-point stance and moving at her. The kick glances off your shoulder and you connect hard with her left leg. You feel the knee buckle, and her body twists. In a moment, you're slipping past her on the tile, and she's falling, right beside you.

    SMACK! You hear her shoulder hit the tile hard, she twists again.

    SMACK! Her head bounces once off the tile, her right temple smashed into the hard surface.

    She stops fighting. Lies there, her nose and right ear bleeding, eyes open but unfocused, body twisted oddly from the fall and she's out cold, unresponsive.

    Zola called you a retard, Tabitha.

    If you leave her right now, she'll probably die.

    If you get her to Med Bay, she'll hound you forever.

    What do you do?

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    At first I stand up, hasty and ready for some other underhanded blow. But it's not coming. I pace a few damp steps left and right, eyes burning, looking at what I've done to Zola and choking on things to say. Comebacks, apologies.

    It doesn't matter. I haul her up, trying not to find panic in how she'll definitely hate me now and I'm going to Iso forever if she dies. I think I hate her back. She's awful.

    I set her back down so I can get dressed, grab a towel to wrap her up in, and then I'm carrying her to Med Bay.

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    Still dizzy, you struggle with Zola's limp form but pull her into the locker room. Putting on your shirt causes a wave of nausea, and you feel something wet on the back of your neck. Your head is throbbing, Tabitha.

    There are lost moments as you move from the seat to stand, as you bend down to lift Zola back up. You grunt with the effort, then suddenly hear a gasp.

    It isn't Zola, you don't think. A glance behind and you see Pax.

    image "Stomm, Tabitha!" she hisses, keeping her voice low. "Someone attacked you? You- you're bleeding" She moves over to grab a towel and walks up to put it against the back of your head. "Here, let me help you get her to Med Bay." Pax seems to be processing this as fast as she can. She'll lift Zola's legs if you pick her up from her shoulders.

    "What the drokk happened, Tabs?"

    What do you do?

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    Drokk, I'm not sure I want to know what's going on with my head right now. I make sure I can grip steadily before I take Zola's shoulders. "Thanks."

    "Zola dropped me. We..fought." I shake my head and gasp in some air. Stomm, Pax is probably smart enough to read between the lines on this. I don't know how deep Pax is with Zola..what she'll think. We sort of have to face each other as we carry Zola together, so I can't help but read her face.

  • image Pax's eyes widen in surprise, but she doesn't stop carrying Zola, "She dropped you?" Her mouth tightens for a moment as you both move out of the gym, starting down the long corridor towards the Med Bay. She looks down at Zola, "You did a drokking number on her. I assume she sucker punched you?" She sees the answer in your eyes. "That's pure Zola."

    As if she reads your concern, she offers, "I'd hoped she'd treat you better, Tabs. I really did. You didn't deserve this stomm."

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    "I thought she liked me and. That I loved her. But I had no idea." I'm narrating, trying to keep myself focused. I think if I had to get Zola all the way to the Med Bay by myself right now I'd be drokked.

    My muscles are still tired and my head is still swimming. I look down at Zola, but I can't keep looking, too disgusted at her and myself. "Only Gen Yu said anything. Just something else I know. Nothing about."

  • image "She doesn't like anyone but herself, Tabs." Pax says with finality. "I thought we were friends, but she turned me in. I spent a month in iso because she wanted to pass blame for her tramahex problems. Stupid Zola." She scowls at the unconscious form in your arms. Glances back up to you, asking, "What did Gen Yu tell you? She seems alright." There's something Pax isn't saying about Gen Yu, Tabitha.

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    I'm sure if my head didn't hurt like this I'd have some good questions to ask right now. Guess Zola must have been pretty pissed that I didn't want to score her anything.

    "Gen Yu asked if I. Was Zola's next victim. I didn't really listen. Since she was a jerk about it."

  • image Pax snickers, laughing despite the situation, "She's a talker, that's for sure. Zola and Gen Yu flirted around for a bit, and Gen Yu decided she wasn't into her. Ended up in Med Bay for a day and a half, but she never rolled on Zola." She scowls again, like it's a habit when talking about Zola. "Wish she had've. Bitch is teflon." She looks up to you as you near the Med Bay, "You've gotta tell Arissa what happened, the whole story. Zola needs some time in iso."

    Of course, she doesn't mention that openly admitting the "fraternization" you've been doing with Zola will lead to iso for you, too.

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    I look back, meeting Pax's eyes. In a way she's totally right, Zola will just pick someone else if she keeps skating off like this. I can't be her personal corp. Then there's what she did to Ashlee now that I think about it. "I stopped Zola from stabbing Gen Yu. With a drokking fork."

    "What's the Iso time for. Sex?" I can't keep all the punishments straight.

  • image "A week between girls." Pax snaps off as you come up to the door to the Med Bay. "Two weeks between boys and girls, or boys and boys. Or undefined, and whatever." She shakes her head once, "Pretty sure the regs were written by a man."

    She adjusts her grip on Zola's legs, "What did you see in her?"

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    Drokk, I can't do a week in Iso. I shake my head. What will happen in a week?

    I still find the moment to give Pax a raised eyebrow. That was no hesitation on the frat rules. "That is some stomm."

    I can't look at Zola while I gather my thoughts on her. "She's got fire. When it was good. It was very good. I feel for how afraid she is."

    I get my hand on the Med Bay door.

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    Please go here.

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