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Until It Breaks

Posted on Thu Apr 20th, 2017 @ 8:06pm by Commander Akiva ben-Avram & Lieutenant Kazyah Linn
Edited on on Thu Apr 20th, 2017 @ 10:02pm

Mission: S1E5 - Unknown Territory
Location: Holodeck - USS Vindex
Timeline: MD 76; 0700

The cave system was dimly lit from the torches that hung on the walls, their flames causing the shadows to dance over the cracked stone. The smooth floor was soft to Kazyah's feet as he walked into the center of the large, rounded structure. This was Eli's program, the old Chief of Science who had been reassigned months ago. The two men shared a special moment here, but now it was nothing but Kaz's training room.

He ran his fingers along the wall, feeling the cold depth of the stone. His memories of Eli had faded long ago, replaced by a burning love for another. A love etched with hatred and pain. Kazyah pulled his shirt off revealing the toned body he worked so hard to maintain. Against his chest hung the beautiful Rod of Kel that Saalkan had given him, an item that he never removed from his body. His fingers instinctively caressed the silver device that held so many secrets.

"Computer, activate program Dreznik Alpha," he said as he walked around the room in just his pants.

A bleep confirmed his command and soon a holographic figure appeared. "Hello, Kaz," the figure said with a smile.

"Hi, Eli," was Kaz's simple response. He looked at the man standing in front of him, dressed only in the same black pants Kaz was wearing himself. While he'd had the option of giving the program a better body than the original Eli had, Kaz had chosen not to. At the time, it didn't matter, as he couldn't see anyway. But now that he could, Kaz was glad he hadn't altered the man's appearance. For the first time, he was able to see Eli completely and it made Kaz smile.

"I want to spar," Kaz said. "Klovyah style."

"But don't we typically spar Gallade?" Eli asked as he began to stretch, despite the fact that he didn't need to.

Kaz almost chuckled to himself. Along with the man's body, he hadn't altered his personality either, and that was something he would never change. "We do, but I want to change it up."

Neither man noticed a third individual enter the holodeck and stand in the shadows.

Eli cocked his head slightly to the left, "Alright." He swept forward with a sweeping arm that was quickly blocked by the other man.

Kaz returned the jab, landing it against the man's neck.

Eli crouched down and swept his leg across the floor, kicking Kaz's feet out from under him, causing him to fall flat on his back.

The air was knocked out of Kaz's chest but he quickly jumped up and put himself in a defensive posture. He continued to block 3 attacks from Eli until the fourth landed him a leg against his side. In the next moment, Eli's arm appeared and cracked against the side of Kaz's head, sending him to the floor.


The commanding voice carried across the holodeck before the man walked through the holographic cave wall. It was the Master-at-Arms.

"Surely your black ops training was better than that." Seneca offered an enticing smirk. "Perhaps you need a flesh and blood sparring partner to bring out your full potential."

Kaz propped himself up on his elbows, his eyes locked on the man. "This holodeck is booked."

"For a training exercise," Seneca countered. "Which, as you may or may not know, is my exclusive job description."

He stepped forward in a Quashu shove which pressed both hands and forearm against Kaz before applying the full force of his instep through the flat of his elbow. When Kazyah tumbled to the ground, Seneca shook his head.

"Tsk, tsk, tsk. Much left to learn." Seneca turned away and walked away with his hands folded behind his back. "I could throw you around a few more times, or you can accept the offer I'm about to make. It's up to you."

"Look, you have no idea of the problems I'm having," Kaz said, standing back up. He shook himself off. "This has nothing to do with my technique or ability. So please, mind your own business."

Seneca nodded solemnly. "I understand why you would think that. Most who take up my role focus solely on training the body. You will find that I take a holistic approach."

When Kazyah turned skeptical in addition to annoyed, Seneca folded his hands across his stomach.

"You have gained much, yet lost an equal amount. It will take time for your mind to adjust to who and what you have become." He cocked his head to give Kazyah a sidelong glance. "Or would you have still fallen for the Move The Mountain form before your sight was returned to you?"

"This has nothing to do with my sight," Kaz said, taking a step towards the man. "I'm just a bit rusty, is all."

"Argue as you may, it is a new world before you, and that demands a teacher." Seneca turned his back once more to force Kazyah to consider his words without the benefit of a face to study. "It won't be me, if that helps."

Kaz sighed, rubbing his eyes with his hands. "Look, whatever teacher you have, I'll give it a shot. But I'm not promising anything. Computer, deactivate program Dreznik Alpha."

With a blip, the holographic representation of Eli faded and disappeared.

"Wonderful. He will be here any moment."

With that, Seneca seated himself into a lotus position and began to meditate with his closed. In a moment's time, the holographic program split apart to reveal the open door to the corridor and the Vindex beyond.

Stepping through it was Akiva, clad in a black gi with white laces and short folded sleeves. The look of surprise on his face showed he did not expect a third man.

"Why is he here?" Akiva asked. "What is the meaning of this?"

"This is a closed holodeck," Kaz said to Akiva. "What is with you people just barging in on a man's private scheduled time?" he asked, throwing his hands in the air.

"The two of you have advanced to the point that you require a sparring partner who isn't me," Seneca said. He turned to Akiva. "Lieutenant Kazyah is now your brother in arms. He requires training to utilize his gifts..."

He trailed off for a moment, as if to privately underscore to Kazyah that he also needed to compensate for the loss of inner balance and focus. He then turned to face them both.

"Working together, you will make one another stronger."

Kaz scoffed, "And Jew-boy here is a match for me?"

"See for yourself." Seneca crossed his arms. "Attack!"

Akiva had been on the business end of a bamboo rod enough times not to ignore the command. He advanced toward Kazyah with rapid chain punches only to get thrown on his head. A moment on the ground to catch his breath did not seem out of turn.

"How did you succeed where before you did not?" Seneca asked. Before Kazyah could answer, he interjected. "You did not use your eyes with Akiva as you did with me. You used your internal focus and power to overcome his surprise attack. This is what you will teach him. In turn, Akiva will teach you how not to be distracted by your new senses, and perhaps even leverage them."

Again, his words were laden with innuendo regarding Kazyah's inner turmoil.

"If you accept my teaching, you will also accept my discipline. No arguments, no excuses. Deny me, and you will be summarily dismissed. Do you accept my terms?"

"I am servant to no one," Kaz said to the man.

"Were you asked to wait tables?" Seneca fired back. "Do I look like a washwoman to you that I would instruct you as one? If you think to be your own master, then you must master yourself. There is no man who has done that alone."

He pointed a finger at Akiva.

"Attack him. Do not relent until he successfully deflects."

Without hesitation, Kaz lifted a leg, connecting his knee with Akiva's side. As the Commander stumbled, the Romulan grabbed his head, flipping him over his shoulder as he came to the floor with a thud.

Akiva nearly blacked out from the repeated and sudden flurry. When he came back to his feet, Kazyah continued his attack. Akiva managed to dodge, but it was an endless retreat. All he could do was move out of striking range.

"Build the bridge."

Seneca's words triggered Akiva's reflexes. Rather than anticipate Kazyah's next move, Akiva simply pressed his hands forward. Kazyah deflected them easily enough, yet Akiva used that to his advantage. He gathered Kazyah's balance through the trapped tangle of their hands and arms, then stepped forward with one foot stepped in behind Kazyah's. Performed correctly, it would've dumped Kazyah flat on his back.

The other man didn't fall for the trap, but he was forced to retreat in order to keep his footing.

"Halt!" Seneca held his hand out in a sharp gesture.

Akiva bowed to Seneca before standing alert for critique.

"You did well enough," Seneca said to Akiva. "Though you did not score a hit, you diverted your opponent's energy against himself enough to stop his attack. Had he not been holding back, however, you would have fallen in battle. Tap into the flow of combat as soon as possible, for you may only have seconds to do so."

When he turned to Kazyah, a smirk crossed his face. "Had Akiva not telegraphed his next move with his eyes, then he would have gotten the better of you. This is an example of how vision will help you: as a supplement to your tactile awareness. Do not fall prey to the tyranny of sight, for it will fail you in the end." He then regarded Kaz with a knowing look. "Never let what you see distract from what you feel."

"This is a waste of my time," Kaz said with a scowl towards the man. "Computer, end program."

With a chirp, the surrounding environment shimmered and disappeared, revealing the mundane surroundings of the holodeck.

"I don't need you," Kaz said. He walked towards the door, making a point to shove his shoulder into Seneca's.

Seneca rolled his shoulder backward to gather Kazyah's momentum as the other man passed by. With their inertia combined, Seneca grasped Kazyah's wrist, twisted it to lock his elbow, then forced their combined weight downward. Kazyah dropped to one knee, propped up by one hand on the ground while the other arm was upheld behind his back in a triple joint lock from wrist to shoulder. The applied pressure was a hair away from snapping every bone in the appendage.

"Stun before harm, harm before maim, maim before kill," Seneca said as if by rote. "This is your saving grace at the moment, as I have done you no harm."

He released the lock before Kazyah could voice an earnest protest, allowing the man to plop forward and regain his balance as best he could.

"You have great skill, Kazyah, but you have no control. That is what I can teach you..." Seneca pointed a finger at Akiva. "... through him."

Akiva stared wide-eyed at both men, clearly given pause by the turn of the conversation.

"Well, now, I don't know--"


Akiva bowed his head in quiet compliance as Seneca turned back to Kazyah.

"Though you see, you are yet blind," Seneca said. "Are you ready to learn control, or do you intend to stumble around a bit longer?"

Kaz stood, giving the man a look that could kill. "Don't think that just because you know my issues that you know me." He turned and walked through the doors into the corridor beyond.


Kazyah stopped, not turning around. He balled his fists as his anger boiled, but kept walking.

"It is not me you're running from," Seneca called after him. "It is yourself. But you cannot escape what is inside. You may only conquer it."


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