Practice Makes Perfect

It's a windy day here in Colorado! Kass is outside the house, hair firmly controlled with a cap and braids. Two of the dogs (Lucky and Lucy) are watching here, the third no where in sight. She is patiently stacking up bales of hay in the shape of humanoid forms, little hay arms and legs and heads. No clothes on them, but …

It looked to be all right, earlier. Lil stuck her head out and everything, but for some reason didn't check the weather sites…so it was a little cold and a bit of breeze, but hey, that'll just get her here faster. She decided to try and fly it, get some practice with the focus she received, and juuuuust about made it when the wind became an issue. A serious issue. A 40 MPH issue, in fact. From somewhere above Kass comes a a faint rushing sound…it grows louder, the sound of clothes flapping and furious cursing.

"Ohhhhhhhhhshiiiiiite!" Lil comes in hard and fast, her flight pattern thrown off by another errant gust, struggling to remain upright, then spinning, skimming over the lawn, and thumping into the ground in a long slide of flailing arms, legs and language no sentient creature this side of the veil should have any business knowing.

Lucky rises only to be halted by a gesture from Kassandra, the German Shepard looking sharp at the crashed figure. Lucy doesn't rise but she too watches. Kass starts trudging over to the downed figure, suppressing laughter with effort. She remarks casually, "Ummmm .. before I burst into laughter, are you all right?" She does snigger, hunkering down to see if the Englishwoman is still breathing.

"Bit of a tailwind for flying, isn't there?" Kass giggles and closes a hand over her mouth, shaking her head.

Lilith blinks upwards, lying flight on her back in the damp grass. She lets out another stream of curses, her pale, bright blue eyes giving the other woman a sharp look, before she pulls herself upright with as much dignity as she can muster, a typical cat like I meant to do that poise. She dusts off her long trench coat. "I am quite all right, miss." Breathing yes, and heavily, trying to catch her breath back after her long, dangerous flight. Her normally perfect hair mussed, long strands and flyaways escaping from her braids, cheeks bright and healthily flushed, bits of grass stuck to her clothes. "And how are you?"

Seeing that Lilith has survived her crash landing, the elven girl shakes her head and laughs, "That .. that was neat. Bit of a wind for flying, but you seemed to manage OK right up till the part where you crashed." She snickers and waves you over, "Can I get you anything? Drink, painkillers, missing feathers from your wings?"

Obviously enjoying this, Kass skips back over to her hay people, fixing on that slipped over. She cautions, "You may want to sit over there near the doggies, I don't quite have a good handle on things yet." Arrayed on the porch in various places are well-maintained weapons: A quarterstaff, several variations on knives, a katana, throwing knives, shuriken, and so forth. Lucky settles back down, although he watches Lilith with suspicion, not having heard her come in except as a crashing duck.

Lilith gives the dogs another sharp look. Alpha female, fuckers. She strides past the animals and takes a seat on an handy rock. She watches Kass. She looks at the hay people. Arches a brow. "Whiskey would not go amiss, thanks. Also. I didn't realize you were so creative. Anatomically correct, even." She brushes off some more grass, noting a few random clumps of hay do appear to give credible…bits…to some of the hay people.

Kass snickers, "I stole the designs off the Matrix and a home improvement show." She heads to the door, slipping inside to get a drink and let the doggies in. Lucky gives Lilith one final look before heading indoors. Kass returns almost immediately, closing the door behind her. "Your drink, m'lady!" The elf bounces over to serve before heading back to look at her little people with interest. She hrms and moves one of them over a foot or two.

Lilith is currently sitting on a handy place, watching Kass. The elven girl is currently organizing people constructed out of hay .. there are about six of them. They have little arms and legs and heads, are people shaped. Arrayed on the porch in various places are well-maintained weapons: A quarterstaff, several variations on knives, a katana, throwing knives, shuriken, and so forth. Lucky settles back down, although he watches Lilith with suspicion, not having heard her come in except as a crashing duck.

Lilith takes the whiskey. And downs the whole thing in one smooth toss and a satisfied sigh. "Ahhhh…much better." With the alcoholic warmth now flowing through her, she watches Kass's work with more interest, chuckling slightly. To anyone now arriving, she looks considerably…windblown. Hair in two long braids with strands and flywaways all over, clothes a bit rumpled, cheeks healthily flushed, a streak of much and grass on the back of her trench coat.

Said hay people are approximately six feet tall.

Johny steps out on the patio from the Kitchen, having parked out front and walked through the house. "Now now, Kassandra Cindel, didn't your wife or the Wizard of Oz ever teach you that simulacrum of human form made from hay have minds, and thus sentience all their own? For shame."

Grinning, Kass waves to Sam, remarking, "I made sure that they were cleared through the Witch upstairs before I started. She said, before she went to nap, "Bless you my child, go and hack them to bits for me. And be quiet about it." She frowns at her little army, scooting another haybale creation over a foot.

Lilith chuckles as catches a few extra drops of whiskey from her glass, raising it in salute to Johny as she glances at him over her shoulder. "Hello, Samuel. How're things?"

"Thing one, hangs to the left and is experiencing an ambient body temperature of 99.4 degrees, due to my seated position. Curiously, thing two, hanging to the right, has a 98.6 body temperature." Says Sam as he comes closer now. "Practicing, Kassandra?"

"I'm agonna try." The elf adopts a faint Georgia (America, not Russia) accent, with traces of Memphis drawl as well, "I reckon I am either gonna beat these fellas up or look foolish." Kass lets out a little whoop as she gets everything in place and then backs up, looking the hay folk over. She giggles, perhaps at herself, and moves over to the porch towards a small, ornate box.

Lilith snickers under her breath, letting her gaze dance over Sam for a moment as her eyes light up. She shrugs and grins, then turns back to watch Kass. "Aye, noticed you've got gear out. Practicing…tsk, here's me thinking you were just doing some sort of arts and crafts folk art thing."

Johny glances to the box. Oh, this should be amusing. He settles down on the railing near, but not necessarily close, to Lilith. "How goes that whole boot camp thing you've been doing, Lil?"

"Well, I may do some arts and crafts later, but right now it is my alloted practice time." Kass grins a little, pulling something shiny out of the box, the afternoon sunlight catching on gold filigree. She steps back out towards the little hay people, eying them critically.

Lilith tilts her head back to look up at Sam, shrugging with a smile. " 'Tis fair. Lost some weight but learned some." She tries to tuck some of those errant strands of hair away. "I might go back to it, if business stays as good as it is. House has been pretty much running itself lately."

Johny nods, turning his attention back to Kassandra and her curious little bit of jewelery. "Well, thats good. Thats how an investment should be, you know."

Lilith nods, looking back to Kass as well. "Aye. Reason why I took those college courses before I came over to America."

Standing before the hay people, Kass regards them quietly, eyes narrowing as she sizes them up. It may be pretend on a windy spring day, but these are still her opponents. She snaps her left wrist, holding what appears to be the hilt of a scimitar, albeit one without a blade. The hilt is gold and some other metal, both catching the light. As her wrist comes down there is a flash of light before two and a half foot of glowing white blade appears without fanfare, noise, or other ceremony. The blade seems to come to an almost cream colour near where the edge should be, shimmering there like a piece of sunlight in her hand.

Johny grins, just slightly as that blade slides out. "Now that, is chill."

Lilith eyes flicker but she betrays no other hint of surprise. If anything, the image clicks something in her brain, some familiar thing she can't quite place…oh dammit, where's she seen that before…she snaps her fingers. "Ah! Right. Star Wars, 1977, Sir Alec Guinness."

Johny glances to Lilith. "What does it take to fucking impress you woman?"

Lilith blinks and looks over at him. "What? That thing is pretty damn impressive. I think it's nifty."

Kass doesn't listen to the banter on the porch. Instead, she brings the blade up sharply in a salute before stepping into her opponent, miming a block of an imaginary weapon, countering with a quick cut to the 'body' of the warrior. There is a flash of light as she connects, the gouge cutting a good chunk out of the hay bale and coming out the other side.

Kass stumbles as she cuts through, thrown off by something or the other. With a muttered curse she comes back to the en garde position, shaking her head.

"Well, thats probably the only anchored Light Blade Spell of that force and size in this hemisphere, it's a magical spell in the hands of a mundane, it's not a sci-fi light saber, wire blade, vibroblade. It's magic in her hands…" He shrugs then. "Just seems like no matter what you see… you've seen it before."

Lilith blinks some more. "Not quite. It's more my own ignorance…for all I know, there could be a dozen such weapons in Denver." She looks back to Kass and sighs. "Now that I *know*, I can agree, aye, it's wondrous. And beautiful. And it suits her."

"Yes." He says tightly. "It does." he looks back to Kassandra, watching as she sets the dummy on fire. The blade, it's sort of a laser with physical form. It's hot.

Kass tries a two block and then comes around in a spin, cleanly decapitating the warrior. It's hay 'head' falls off, sending flaming bits of hay down on the ground. She completes the spin and steps back, snapping her wrist to 'close' the blade before running to get a pail of water. "Yikes. I'll need to douse these guys with water before I continue, else we'll burn the house down!"

Lilith grins and claps. "You did great, Kass!" She tosses Sam another quick, slightly worried glance, then smiles again at the other woman. "I don't think you'll have much to worry about with the drizzle. Damn! That thing's fine."

Rushing back with some water, Kass puts out the immediate fires and then starts to wet down the remaining hay men. "Well, the storm is still a few hours out, and I'd hate to spend the rest of the night trying to track down all the embers from this, or wake up Ally to rain on the whole creekside. She has a major migraine right now from working on things." The elf pokes at the hay, checking its wetness before going to get another bucket full.

Lilith winces in sympathy. "Poor dear….need any help with that? I can be on standby with a bucket as you need it."

He chuckles then, watching the happenstance of the situation. "Now that, was funny. Funny funny. See why I told you not to use it in the house? It's not a toy now!"

Panting, Kass runs back and forth, waving off Lilith, "No, no, carrying buckets of water is actually a form of training too. Gotta build up the muscles and endurance." She huffs over, tossing some more water on each of the hay bale people. They sag a bit, but are at least a little sturdier in the wind. Resting for a moment, "No, we don't do this sort of magic in the house, it is our rules."

Johny snickers, shaking his head. "The blade's basically focused light, and it can ignite tinder materials… not really a combat tactic, but it burns."

Lilith looks with closer focus at the blade, her interest now peaked and rising. "Huh…fascinating. I *really* need to start reading up on this stuff, heaven knows I ought to."

Rising and setting the bucket aside, Kass recovers the hilt and ignites the blade again. Without pause, the mystical device sets the sword out again, and this time Kass doesn't hesitate, moving to the second hay bale and simply running it through. There is a faint smell of smoke as the wet tinder lights and burns, but no where near as bad as before. She recovers and bounces back, shaking her head, "Still takes some getting used to. There isn't any weight to it!:"

Lilith laughs a bit as she watches. "You're making me jealous, the more I think about it. Looks like I'm going to b putting in training for another combat style." She grins. "Hand razors or not, a sword is bloody sweet."

"Well." Says Johny then. "It's only about a…" He leans over to murmur to Lilith…

Johny murmurs to Lilith quietly… "Three point six million nuyen toy."

Lilith eyes widen dramatically and she coughs. Something catches in her throat and she keeps coughing, having to thump her chest some. "Fuck!" Can be heard amongst the gasps for breath and Cockney slang.

Kass snorts and then rolls between two of the hay bales. She lashes out with the sword as she comes up, taking one of the 'warriors' off at the knee with the shimmering blade as she rises, her right hand planting to her side as she pivots and cuts up to block a downcoming sword, snapping out a kick at the leg of the 'attacking' warrior. She pauses in her routine as Lilith curses and thumps her chest, coming to her feet and closing the blade. "What's wrong?"

Johny shakes his head… "Nothing. Just shop talk and so forth." He says with a grin. "Nothing you can't figure out if you do the math yourself."

Lilith shakes her head, raising a hand. "S-s'all right. Still winded from before." She scowls a bit at

Johny and murmurs back.

Lilith murmurs to Johny. "Point taken, sir. That's a fucking amazing piece of work."

"Bah. I can't do math myself anymore." Kass scoots back from the hay bales, pulling off her ball cap and moving to place the sword hilt back in the ornate box. "I'll have to give this some thought." She pauses and looks to the two of you, offering the item up, "Anyone want to give it a go?" She smiles, as if offering a chance at the greatest ride on Earth.

Johny holds up his hands. "I admit. I tried it out myself before I gave it, so that I could judge if it was more danger than it was worth."

Lilith eyes the blade with a great deal of interest. She gets up, slowly. "I…think…I might be able to give it a go…"

Kass snickers at Johny, "I somehow thought you might have." She glances to Lilith and nods, motioning her further away from the house, "OK. To activate or deactivate it, you snap your hand down like so," she shows without the hilt in her hand, "and be warned .. it will cut through most anything, and bone and flesh are definitely on the menu. There is *no* weight to this, so be careful because it will throw your balance all off." She hands over the artifact and skips well out of any conceivable lunging range, nodding. "Whenever you are ready."

"Be -very- careful-." He says then. "As I said, it's focused, concentrated light. As she said, the blade has no weight, so its like wielding a laser pointer."

Lilith takes the hilt in her hand, slipping into a ready stance, lightly moving her feet before standing still. She takes several moments to breath, eyes half closed and getting used to the feel of the blade in hand. A bit of a benefit, razors don't have much weight either…she opens her eyes, nodding to their warnings, and focus on a hayman. "Aye aye."

She swings the hilt back and forth in one hand, well away from her body. Feeling the non-weight of it again, getting used to the rhythm…then, in a quick motion, stepping forward and bringing her hand up behind her, down in a curving arc towards a hayman neck, snapping her wrist, twisting a bit…and another chunk of hay sizzles wetly and smolders as it falls to the ground. Lil's other arm raises up and away from the blade…bit of flash, but haymen don't take much skill to kill.

Kass watches the blade in action, not having a chance to see it work from afar before. She grins at Sam, indicating Lilith with a nod of her head, "She's pretty good at it already. Me, I was a mess. But after some work I'm pretty sure I can do all sorts of neat things with it." She watches closely to see how the woman handles things.

Johny snerks, watching with detached interest. Gotta get himself one of them things.

Lilith chuckles a bit as she moves her arm in a backswing, depriving a hayman of an arm. "It's just flash and too many movies, Kass. I swung a sword around a bit as a kid too, but gods, I'm no expert." True enough, she stumbles a bit with the next maneuver, and wisely turns the blade "off". "Very much not an expert."

"Ah. Well, I don't think I saw a trid or sim until I was .. hmmmm. Eighteen or twenty. I can't remember." Kass shrugs, "And I don't think I touched a sword till a few months back. Well, I mean, I *touched* one, I sold some .. just never really got to play with them. I had a pretend one once as a kid, but .. that was a long, long time ago."

Lilith nods, passing the hilt back to the woman and smiling faintly. "Aye, we used to play with sticks. The scenery was great for it too, back then." She sighs, then gives the sky a baleful glance as another burst of wind flutters her trench coat. "Odd that I'm feeling homesick all of a sudden. Must be this bloody weather."

Taking a cloth and making sure the hilt is nice and shiny, Kass sets it back in its box and hms. "I heard at the market that there are all sorts of storms this time of year, and this one should be a big one." She moves back out to where the hay people are, but a bit away from them. "Still, you should visit your home every once in a while. It might make you feel better." She smiles at that, looking around and considering.

Lilith shrugs. "I've not been back to England for over a year now, and I've not had a single urge to return since I left, till now. Must be because it's spring. There's nothing like bloody spring in bloody London, Denver blizzards be damned." No, not a trace of sarcasm in her voice at all.

"Plane tickets are cheap cheap cheap if you look to visit." Kass hms and drops down to the ground, starting to stretch out some. "I imagine it will snow here a few more times before it is all done, and in some of the counties around here, it snows even in summer."

Lilith grunts and makes a face. "Sod that. I might just take a spring vacation and get the hell out of here before the storm hits. Fly to London, say hello to James, fuck half of the Whitehall nobility and come back with a ton of cash, fat and happy and flowers blooming."

Limbering up, Kass lets the names and places that she doesn't know go by without comment, chuckling a bit. "Well, given your flying today, you could just save on money and fly across the ocean to see London?" She falls back on her back and starts doing sit ups with a grimace, coming up to pause,
"Course, you wouldn't have any place for luggage."

Lilith gives Kass a look and rolls her eyes, idly stretching as well. "Oh, very funny. I'm dying of laughter." She eyes the skies and makes a face. "I should head back home. I might go, I might not, either way I want my hot tub and a good yoga session."

"What? I'm not kidding! If I could fly, I'd be zipping all over the place all the time. I'd float in place. I could be tall for a change and get things off the top shelf at the market!" Kass shakes her head, "You don't know how lucky you are. Just take some cash and fly over, land, buy what you need."

Lilith blinks. "You're serious?" She tosses a glance skyward again. "You realize I'm a puny, squishy little soft person crossing half the country AND the bloody Atlantic in spring on nothing more then a wing and a prayer? Sure, it'd be lovely, but I'm lazy and I'd much rather lounge about on a private jet with champagne and a good steak then be freezing, wet, and cold on a flight by myself."

Johny has drifted off to the bathroom.
Yeah. Thats it.

"Birds do it all the time!" Kass grins, still doing a slow and steady session of sit ups. "It'd be neat, just drifting across the ocean. You probably can't go very fast, but .. you don't have to concentrate much on it either, so you can just sleep and go."

Lilith eyes Kass. "Birds also die in droves. And yes, I'm sure it'd be *very* wise to fall asleep on a *solo* trans-Atlantic crossing. No thanks. I'm putting my rich ass in a luxury plane and getting drunk on very expensive liquor, and THEN I'm flying across."

Shaking her head sadly, "Planes crash too, and get sabotaged, and terrorists and all sorts of other disasters." Kassandra hms, "But I suppose you shouldn't drunk fly, so the plane might be the best idea." She sighs, muttering, "*I'd* do it though."

Lilith quirks a smile. "We're very different…all right, I'll admit, it sounds like a neat idea, but a little more of an endurance test then I think I'm capable of taking. I think I'd have to see how fast this thing goes, first, and, well, I just can't see how one can fall asleep while flying and still expect to land safely or stay on course."

"That's part of the whole adventure!" Kass grins, finishing the twenty sit ups she set for herself. She hrms, "It might be a bit of a journey, but you could get a GPS system and the like. There are ways to do it after all. Birds fly and glide up there all the time. I'll ask Ally, she is sure to know a way."

Lilith shrugs thoughtfully. "Maybe. We can both talk to her…I don't know. I really don't see how a GPS system could work. Magic vs. Technology…argh." She rubs her forehead. "Drat it all, you're making me think too much. My brain is now obsessed with figuring out how to fly asleep across the Atlantic."

Lilith sighs. "I'm awfully lazy, aren't I?"

"Well, the GPS wouldn't be using any magic, so it should work fine. I mean, Ally can listen to a radio when she casts a spell, after all." Kass waves it off, "Don't worry about it, it probably is a crazy idea, and you'd be more comfortable in a plane…."

"Not at all. Just used to certain things."

Lilith chuckles. "Oh, I know. Who knows. Maybe I'll just take a plane to Tir or the Continent, and then hop over the channel myself. But, baby steps." She gets another thought, then grins. "Or…I could get a nice, comfortable carpet, sit on it, and…"

"I heard of a few people who had those! They are supposed to be pretty neat to fly on." Kass shakes her head, "It's an idea, but it needs more work. I'll think on it and see what I can come up with. There has to be a way to make it work."

Lilith laughs again. "Gods above, Kass. You're incorrigible." She grins. "How about we both work on it. I need to learn more about magic, and I'm not letting you do all this work on your own."

"I don't mind, it's part of my homework anyway." Kass shrugs, "It isn't that far outside of what I'm already working on anyway, so …" She rises, "Plus, it gives me something to do."

Lilith nods. "But, would you mind if I joined your research? I really do need to study more, I can't be expected to go on the kind of assignments we get and not know anything about magic."

Johny returns from the restroom, zipping himself up. "Sorry about that, got distracted by an article in Modern Man about the resurgence of Manscaping and Hygine. DId you know that that if you have your butt and crack waxed, you use like, half as much paper? It's a fac."

"Sure, shouldn't be a problem. I'll figure out what we need to read up on and get you a reading list. We'll figure it out .." Kass stops to look at Sam for several long moments.

Johny shrugs. "Hey, it was in YOUR bathroom."

Lilith doubletakes. Stares at Sam. "Samuel." She tilts her head. "Are you quite all right? You're in a…rare form tonight."

"Either you or Marcus must have left it here, then." Kass shakes her head, edging back. "It might be contagious."

Johny chuckles quietly. "Well, It was in there. And it was horrifying. So I felt it was only fair that I share it with you."

Shaking her head, Kass says, "Now I have to go through the whole house and see if there are any more surprises lurking around." She sighs, a long suffering sigh.

Lilith wrinkles her nose. "I've seen worse, but ye gods. Thank you indeed, Samuel."

"So. Anyone cut off a limb yet?" He asks. Then, almost parenthetically… "I get to keep anything lopped off, so try for sexy bits that are relatively well formed."

Lilith gapes. "Oh, GROSS."

"No, nothing lopped off. I *was* trying to sell Lilith on the idea of her flying with the magical charm to London, but she won't do it." Kass shakes her head, raising an eyebrow as Sam gets a rise out of Lilith, rare that. "And *why* do you want any cut off bits?"

Johny shrugs. "I get lonely."

"You get lonely so you want .. cut off limbs?" Kass umms, looking to Lilith. "This is more your field, Mrs. DeWinter. I don't have much experience in these sorts of matters…."

Lilith looks at Johny, her expression softening somewhat. "There are other options, Sam…jesting aside."

Johny laughs. "Dude, if you could only see your faces." He says, shaking his head. "I swear to god, sometimes, you ladies are… gullible."

Lilith humphs. "Am not."

"I fell for Ally being part lizard and being impregnated by me, Sam. It is no secret that I am gullible." Kass shrugs, "I .. well. Anyway." She chuckles some and leaps to her feet suddenly, springing almost three meters up before planting a foot into the face of one of the straw men. There is no scream or kiai on her part, just the motion followed by her landing in a crouch, looking up at her work. "Ha! Teach you to sneak up on me!"

Johny raises an eyebrow. "Well, in your defense? It seems entirely reasonable that she should spontaneously develop dracnid traits, what with Surge What it is."

"I was more concerned with the fact that she looked like she had gained twenty pounds and her stomach was moving!" Kass grins, going about the task of laying down the hay bales and dismantling her work. "But that was her April Fool's joke on me. Mine was hiding the baby under a ruthenium cloak, but Lil said that wasn't very funny."

Johny snickers. "I disagree with the good madam. Hiding children in plain sight is AWESOME fun. Especially for those who can see auras."

Lilith blinks, then looks between the two. "Oh, that…neither of those are very funny jokes. Dracnid traits indeed. Ha. Then again, I've never been much of a prankster." She gives Sam a dirty look.

Kass shrugs, "I liked them, and that's all that matters!" The elf keeps pushing over hay bales, pushing them together afterward."

Lilith looks vaguely thoughtful. "I just don't get the *point* of pranks. Why is everyone so amused by them?"

"Why were you amused putting the giant snake out on the bar?" Kass asks, shrugging. "Aladriel and I tend to like to play with each other, because we think things are funny, or because we like to see the other one laugh or jump or get excited about something. We don't do *mean* things, we just try to have fun."

Lilith chuckles. "The snake isn't a joke or a prank, it's advertising. And it's good you two are able to keep yourself amused…I guess I'm just too practical and British and stiff necked and all that nonsense. But, as long as you're happy every thing's good."

Johny glances at his watch. "I gotta run, kids." He doesn't wear a watch.

"We are deliriously happy." Kass waves to Johny, "Take the car, it's faster!" Yes, she has been around Ally too long.

April 16, 2009

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