TRP is a post-Great War AU RWBY RP set in Mistral City and Haven Academy with no canons, no rank claims, no maidens, and no god interference. We offer a progression system and site-wide events that change the setting based on player actions.
Post by Solomon Moon on Mar 8, 2020 14:20:35 GMT -5
Sol thumbed the face of his scroll. He did it with more force than was strictly necessary, as if hammering the power button more aggressively would cause the device to obey the command with more alacrity. He caught a glimpse of the Haven chat engine before the screen winked out. It had been scrolled a few lines up from the most recent entry, focused on a message left by Aegle shortly before she logged out. It had seemed strange to Sol at the time. Though to most there would have been little strange about someone logging out of the chat to go and train, Sol was familiar enough with the behavior himself to read slightly more into it. Aegle wasn't the kind of person who sought refuge in solitude like Sol was. In fact from Sol's experience, whereas he himself used the tactic to halt a toxic interaction before it could get ugly, with a debatable degree of success if he was being honest, Aegle employed it differently, and though Sol did not know enough to suspect the impetus, he was aware enough to know it was significant.
The entire exchange had seemed off to Sol. Something was bothering Aegle, and he wondered how the hell he could be the only one to have noticed it. He should have been the last person to be sensitive to the moods of others, unless that mood was violent intent.
It came almost as a surprise when he walked into the gym and found Aegle studiously hammering the heavy bag, instead of finding her weeping or secluded in a dark corner, or something else equally dramatic. Aegle sparring with the punching bag was not in the slightest remarkable to anyone who knew the punky pugilist. She spent so much time at the bag that Sol could count the number of times he'd seen her without wraps, on a single hand, but he hadn't come here for accepting what he saw at face value.
Timing his footsteps so that the sound of her strikes would muffle the tread of his heavy combat boots, Sol approached Aegle from the left and slightly behind. She was right handed, and though ambidextrous when it came to boxing, still favored that hand and tended to angle towards her target with her left side to provide a more compact stance, and Sol's angle of approach exploited that fact to keep himself out of her field of view. He wasn't even aware that he was doing it, it was just a habit he'd picked up at some point, travelling with the northern raiders in the snows of Solitas, who prized stealth as highly as might in a straight up engagement, because it was only a fool who squandered any advantage, however slight. The difference was that Sol was not preparing to leap in a slit the girl's neck for her, he simply didn't want to disturb her, this already felt like too much of an intrusion without his interrupting her practice, and give himself time to make a judgement of her mood and whether it was worth his involvement here at all.
A cursory inspection revealed little. Aegle was just trying out combinations on the heavy-bag, like she did many times a week, no doubt, her fists flowing into elaborate sequences with an artful grace and power that belied her frail stature, almost too quickly for Sol to follow, despite the benefit of not being the target of those blows. If he were on the receiving end of that assault SOl doubted he would have been able to make sense of the storm of blows that flowed out of the tiny creature. It was flawless, at least to the eye of a layman, but Sol, among his dubious honors, was a master of violence and he could see that something wasn't quite right with the display.
While for the most part, Aegle's combos went off without a hitch. Left, left, right, left, right, right, gut, throat, chin, nose, cheek, cheek. It was impressive, as long as each punch connected solidly, but every now and then, a punch would land wide, or the bag would move unexpectedly on it's chain, and Aegle would have to compensate by adjusting the timing of her inputs. That was where the flaws became obvious. The moment it took to adjust and launch back into another combo added up over time to a fatal span of moments when a quick opponent would be able to exploit the opening, and the more out of sync she became with the bag, the more corrections she was making and the more out of sync she was becoming, until finally, blows that had been landing with the perfect precision to translate as much of her mechanical advantage into the blow as possible were glancing off or falling short of the mark. Sol wondered how that could be the case. It couldn't be exhaustion. Aegle's wells of stamina were a thing of legend among Class-Red, so perhaps distraction, perhaps something else.
He waited for the girl to give up he most recent series of blindingly fast combinations, the bag once more swinging too wildly to land a solid hit, and finally approached, no longer concerned that he might catch a fist in the confusion. If Aegle was going to hit him, he wanted her to at least be doing it on purpose.
Sol steadied the swinging bag with an even pressure of his left and right hand, both clad in black leather gloves, and glanced down at the panting Aegle. It was not an unkind gaze, but there was something of the appraiser in it, more than the sympathizer. He looked at the bag and then back at her, wordlessly communicating that he too could see what she must be already freely aware of.
"Is it always like this?" He asked, his gruesome rasp of a voice seeming somehow heretical in comparison to the rhythmic thudding of the tiny warrior's bandaged fists against leather, "Or are you having an off night?"
Something in his voice, though it was subtle amidst the growling syllables that could have passed for radio static, suggested he wasn't just talking about the punching bag or Aegle's ability to hit it.
Post by Aegle Verdant on Mar 20, 2020 0:59:52 GMT -5
It had been nine months, that morning. Nine months since she'd walked out of the hospital. Nine months since she'd applied at Atlas. Nine months since they'd turned her down. Nine months since she'd come to Haven instead, the only school which would have her.
Nine months, since she'd started training.
There were, on average, thirty days in a month. Of the twenty four hours in each of those days, Aegle spent an average of six in the gym. Three hours every morning, and then however much she could manage at night.
That was ninety hours every month.
Eight hundred and ten hours.
That was how long she'd trained for.
Aegle flinched, rolling her wrist for the third time that hour. She'd known the bag was going to move, had known where it would be, where she'd needed to punch. Knowing wasn't enough though. When it came time to do, she couldn't. It had been subtle at first, a bit of clumsiness, a loss of rhythm. Boxing was all about rhythm, about flow. It was all about conserving motion and communicating it into power, about holding onto every bit of momentum, to build up the next punch. Losing rhythm meant getting hurt. Aegle hurt herself more with each passing day. With every hour, and every second, her flow was getting worse. Now, as she stared at the swinging bag, that impotent but all too familiar feeling filling her guts, she thought she understood why.
Forty eight thousand and six hundred minutes, that was how long she'd been doing this. How long she'd spent punching the bag, boxing her shadow, and practicing her forms. Long enough that her movements weren't conscious anymore, but muscle memory, deeply ingrained. It was supposed to make her better. Faster. It was supposed to let her flow between forms, let her keep her inertia, and hit harder with each punch.
Nearly three million seconds of her life, dedicated to being even passably good at one thing. Something useful, and necessary, so that she could be useful and necessary too.
Ten million, Two Hundred and Six Thousand heart beats, spent aching, and sweating, and gasping for air. Spent hurting, and bleeding, and hating herself. Hating what she was, what the world had made her into. Hating her withered arms and crooked bones, and her too weak, too fast heart.
Ten million too quick beats, and it had all been pointless.
She twisted her wrist, and then tore open her knuckles on other when she hooked the bag, as if it were all somehow the bag's fault. It wasn't the bag's fault; She knew whose fault it was.
Aegle watched the bag swing as she lowered her hands, one stinging, the other aching, back down to her sides. She squeezed clenched her fists and squeezed her eyes closed, shuddering out urgent breaths that tore at her throat and tasted of iron. She was tired. She'd already reached her limit about an hour before. She'd been on her way back to the dorms. Now she was back, and nothing had changed. And then, just when she was starting to think that, maybe, she was overdoing things. That she was tired, and that she wouldn't get better by training while exhausted, she opened her eyes. She saw the bag, hanging lower than the rest, and remembered who'd hung it there, and knew she wasn't going anywhere.
Except this time, before she could steady the bag and resume, someone else steadied the bag for her. Turning sharply, Aegle faced the intruder; For all that her hands couldn't do, her reflexes were sharper than ever. She found herself before none other than Solomon Bloody Moon. From beneath it's mantle of creased brow, the shattered soldier's single eye scrutinized her. Aegle wondered how long he'd been there without her noticing. People came and went in the gym all the time, and Aegle had become quite practiced at tuning them out in the past nine months. Still, it was extremely late, and Solomon didn't look dressed for exercise. With exaggerated attention, Solomon looked between her and the bag, saying nothing. Aegle, also saying nothing, lowered her trembling hands, and made trembling claws from her fists. She knew at once that, however long Solomon had been watching her, it was long enough for him to start asking questions she'd sooner not answer. "Is it always like this?" the one eyed dragon rasped. Aegle's jaw tightened, but, rather than answer, she feigned a glance at the bag instead. Her first instinct was to lie. To pretend. As though, if she acted like there wasn't a problem, it might magically disappear. 'Mayhaps nine months ago I even would've.' Now, it hardly seemed worth the effort, and she was tired of putting a brave face on things. "Oh, aye." Was what she said instead. It was only by accident that the reply could be taken either way.
Turning her back to Solomon, Aegle checked her wraps. They were already caked in dry blood, but a fresh wetness was rising up on one. She crossed over to her duffel bag, and lifted a rag from its depths, then scooped a spray bottle off its hanger nearby, before returning to her punching bag. She began cleaning up the streaks of blood her last salvo had left behind, as she waited for her aura to close the cuts on her knuckles. When she was done, Aegle returned rag and bottle to their respective places, before squaring up in front of the bag again. All without saying another word to Solomon Moon.
Only as her first punch struck home, did she speak. "S'funny, yeah? Never used t'be this bad, back when I could barely throw three punches before fallin' over." Her fist blurred the air, making the bag jump on its chain. Then it jumped the wrong way and pain crushed its way down her forearm. Aegle winced, hissing in air, but didn't stop swinging. "Seem's like even gettin' better at someone can't but make me worse at it, aye? Ain't that funny?"
Post by Solomon Moon on Apr 23, 2020 14:28:41 GMT -5
Sol watched the pitiful display with a heavy heart.
There was something about Aegle that always filled him with such an unspeakable well of sadness. Despite her broad grins and her even more broad and ridiculous accent, her proportions that sometimes leaned towards being caricature, Aegle always radiated with this sense of grief that Sol was rarely sure others even saw. It made her awkward, difficult to be around, a sense of tragedy that pervaded even the most innocent interactions. It was so at odds with the merry easy smiling creature that if Sol hadn't seen the darkness inside her first hand he would have doubted his own suspicions. However those memories of what he'd seen in her when the veil lifted on that rare moment, filled him with the deepest sorrow.
Here she was, a walking testament to the callous injustice of life. Worse than the mask she wore, and worse by magnitudes than her constant despair, was when a glimmer of the life that could have been shone through. Aegle was an artist with her fists, impressive in spite, or perhaps because of her obvious disabilities. She always gave people the benefit of the doubt, and despite seeming brash and impulsive, Sol knew she was as patient as a saint. One would need divine assistance to subject a form as frail as her own to the rigors of a daily training regime that would make hardened warriors piss blood. One would need the holiest of compassion to be associated with Solomon Moon.
Aegle could have been great, should have been. She should have been an inspiration for generations to come, but by an accident of genetics, and through no fault of her own, she would probably die before she ever graduated.
That fact made Sol angry, filled him with aimless fury. Sol had never met any person with a heart as big as Aegle Verdant's, and that was what was going to kill her. It wasn't fair, and being around Aegle, with every word she said, every objective undertaken with absolute sincerity, it drove the point of that injustice home, pounding it deeper and deeper like a festering sliver of gangrenous bone into Sol's own blackened excuse for a heart.
Sol's gaze fell wearily on the dwarf's hands as she pummeled the bag. The wraps were stained red and brown with new and old blood respectively. It was a tragically common sight. Aegle's only hope of making up for her infirmities was absolute mastery of pugilism. And it was no secret that if Aegle wasn't somewhere else being the center of attention, with her radiant grins and welcoming attitude, then she was probably hardening her fist on the heavy bag, or honing her precision on the speed bag. Still, evidence of her dedication as it was, it also never failed to turn Sol's guts and squeeze his heart to see it.
Sol was torn between wanting to stop Aegle before she could finish sanding all the skin off her knuckles one cross and jab at a time, and wanting to do something else.
He saw how Aegle's form would be breathtaking, a work that could give justice to the term "Martial Art", if only the bloody bag would sit still.
So, without a word, Sol took up position beside and behind the bag as Aegle rained withering blows upon it. He placed either palm upon the bag, more or less where the waist would be on a dance partner, and then leaned his right shoulder into where his leather dancer's chest would be. All at once the bag ceased it's defiant jostling and submitted to the savage beating Aegle lusted to give it.
Sol was surprised, and even a bit proud at the power of the blows translated through the material and into his body, poignant even to the metal shoulder taking the brunt of the abuse. He was proud of Aegle, proud that she would associate with him.
Some of the cruel voices around the quad jested that the only thing Aegle was good for was making them all better by comparison. Sol knew that was only half true. He knew from first hand experience that just being near Aegle made him a better person, period. Aegle never failed to elevate every person she came into contact with, to inspire them to be the absolute best they could be, to turn pig iron into tempered steel. Sol wondered when was the last time someone thought to do as much for her.
"I don't know why you would want to be good at fighting anyway." His croaking voice said, nearly successful in attempts to cover up his melancholy, under false jade and empty cynicism that he never really could maintain when faced with the puny pugilists sincere determination, "You know my father said that being a great fighter is a hollow victory, because every fighter will eventually face a better one, and the more he fights, the sooner he finds them."