((OOC- Takes place on Christmas Eve.))
((Starbase 118 - Verriar’s, Holodeck 2))
When the doors parted for Ashley, he was greeted by a meadow that sat on the edge of a forest in full summer’s clothing. Leaves of green rustled in a gentle breeze, surrounding the opening that sat smack dab in the middle of its domain. It was a fairly simple program, allowing for the song of birds to strike through the air, but there was little to see beyond the trees. It was what was in the middle of that meadow that stood out from the rest of the scenery. Alora was there, dressed in the clothing she had worn on their adventure with the orb and the demon. Beyond her were two targets, their brightly coloured circles difficult to miss, unblemished and waiting. Next to her, she had a sort of tower from which hung several bows, a small black bag, upon the ground sat two wooden quivers, each one in front of a target. Grinning, she waved.
DeVeau: Took you long enough!
Yael: ::eyeing the familiar set-up as he entered:: What’s going on here?
DeVeau: Well, I thought you could teach me some archery.
Yael: Teach you?
He walked up to the tower, eyeing the bows. In particular he eyed one of the recurves, as the length seemed to be close to his typical preference.
DeVeau: Yeah, teach me. I mean, I don’t know anything about archery.
Yael: Why the sudden interest in archery? It doesn’t seem like it would be your kind of pass-time.
He wasn’t judging, it just wasn’t what he would guess she would choose to do.
DeVeau: Well, I saw you use it when we did the adventure, and it just looked really neat. I’ve never tried before, and you’ve mentioned it a little.
Yael: There may be a *small* problem with my teaching you.
Setting amethyst eyes on her, he lifted the recurve bow he’d taken a liking to in his hands, drawing the string and pulling it taut. Then he ran a finger down the string, feeling the waxy surface.
DeVeau: Aaaand, what’s that?
Yael: I’m kind of a specialist.
DeVeau: A specialist? ::An eyebrow arched upward and Alora planted her hands upon her hips.:: What does that mean?
Amethyst eyes set on her with a hint of a smile, then he drew one of the arrows from one of the quivers on the ground… and in one slicing motion, he nocked the arrow, swung the bow, drew it back, and let the arrow fly at the target. It hit with a solid *TWUMP* near the center of the target.
Yael: The quick draw.
DeVeau: The quick draw?
Yael: I can teach you the basics, but it’s hard to demonstrate some of them with my style of shooting.
DeVeau: Why that particular style? Don’t you have to learn the...is it called the slow draw?...first?
Rather than explain why, Ashley took hold of another arrow, nocked it, and raised the bow… this time holding the arrow taut in the string with it pulled back, aiming slowly.
Almost immediately a tremor took hold of the bow and it was visibly unsteady. He waited a few more seconds, then released the arrow. It passed near to the target without hitting it.
Yael: You would, yes. To learn the form and breath work. But me… I can’t hold the bow steady for more than a moment, because of…
His condition. Which made the use of voluntary muscle motion more difficult.
DeVeau: Oh yeah. Hm. I can see how that might be something of an issue.
Yael: It just meant I used more time to work on my quick draw. For that instant when I first draw the arrow back, there’s a moment of steadiness. ::pausing, he smiled at her:: I still think it’s pretty cool though.
From inside, she withdrew what appeared to be similar to an arm guard, but with more structure, and stiffer. on the end of it, was a type of mechanism, some sort of simple machine, but very small. A hook was attached perpendicularly to a gently angled piece of metal. Walking back over to her friend, she motioned for him to take it.
DeVeau: Can I touch you long enough to help you try this on?
Setting amethyst eyes on her for a moment, he hesitated… then nodded, though his smile diminished slightly. He didn’t want to be a kill-joy.
Yael: What *is* it, exactly?
DeVeau: Just...wait and see.
Alora inched closer, un doing the velcro. With gentle patience, she guided his hand and arm through the brace like contraption. Once properly on, the metal parts settled right near his pointer finger. That done, Alora turned to the tower. From it, she took a bow, an exact replica of the one he’d used in their adventure, the intricate designs woven all over the wood, and offered it to him.
DeVeau: Now...hook the string, and pull. He followed her instructions, stringing the device and feeling the strength draw from his arm rather than his hands.
DeVeau: The trick is learning how to balance that trigger with the arrow. It’s going to take some practise, but it should give you more stability.
Yael: This is… ::trying the maneuver::... really smooth, actually.
DeVeau: Good. I hoped it would be .
Yael: Where did you get the idea for this?
It was very clever… and quite specific for him, actually. Which meant she’d put some thought into it.
Ah, therein was the question. It had taken some time, some research, looking into alternative and adaptive technology to aid with such things. Some were so intrusive that the adaptations did more work than the person behind them. For Ashley, she felt that would make him feel...well...less than whole. Alora didn’t want that. Instead, after digging a little further, she found the simple idea of a trigger.
DeVeau: It’s actually something that’s been around for several hundred years. Nowadays, they have more complicated ways to assist but this seems simple, and allows you to be more engaged with the activity.
It was a very smart and thoughtful call on her part. He drew the arrow back and, using the trigger mechanism, sent the arrow flying. It hit the outer ring of the target, a little wide but relatively well aimed.
Yael: Thank you. ::he paused, glancing at her:: Are you planning a new holodeck adventure, and you need me to shoot harpies for you?
DeVeau: I wasn’t, but now that you mention it…
Yael: ::before she could even describe anything:: Count me in.
Alora threw back her head and laughed, then crossed over to pick up one of the other bows that were left on the tower. None of them were as intricate as the one Ashley had chosen - perhaps a reminder of their time together.
DeVeau: All right, sensei. Now, how do I go about doing this? I’ve done Aikido, Suus mahna, and have learned how to disarm assailants when they have phasers or knives, but I’ve never shot a bow.
Yael: It’s a similar mindset to training with a phaser, just… different application of the same rules. Why don’t you show me your draw, but hold it without shooting.
Similar mindset, but a different posture, taking up a differin position. WIth a phaser, you lifted, aimed, and shot. With a bow, more strength was necessarily, and Alora felt like aiming would be far more difficult. After Ashley gave her the instruction, she lifted the bow and pulled back the string, bringing it almost to her ear.
He stepped nearer to her, using a single finger to adjust the position of the bow by barely touching the wood near her hand.
Yael: You want your line of sight to go directly down the bone here, in your hand. With your arm straight.
Alora accepted the adjustment, moving the weapon just slightly so that it was inline where he had indicated. Yael: On your draw-back, you want your fingers to come almost into contact above your jaw, here, so that you can look straight down the line and match it up with the flat of your hand.
So she was pulling a little too hard. Alora adjusted, easing up a hint on the string and positioning it just so.
Ensign Ashley Yael
Starbase 118 Ops
Lt. Cmdr. Alora DeVeau
Starbase 118 Ops