Voodoo Programming [Closed]

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Voodoo Programming [Closed]

Post by Ryoko » Mon May 04, 2020 11:06 pm

Ryoko was a lot of things.

A warrior, philosopher, deterrent, philanthropist, orator, chef, and recently she had taken steps to become an artist when she found the free time to capture photographs of the world that she had directed so much of her efforts towards defending in ages long past. What she had never been, and never expected to become, was a teacher or a trainer. And whether or not she had the capacity to become a good one... well, she'd had to figure that out pretty soon. But she did have one thing that you rarely found in the instructors of the modern age.

She actually wanted to be one.

And a damn good one, at that. Ryoko had never taken to training or teaching a human, and she was liable to learn just as much about Garrick's powers from their time together as he would. But, before she could commit to training someone with as much potential as the man who carried the blessing of an Eldest, you had to find an adequate classroom. And her search had lead the dragon to her current location.

XISHUANGBANNA

A prefecture spanning 930 square miles; 80% uninhabited forests, 20% tea leaf farms. The perfect place to get in some practice in isolation and fill Ryoko with a bit of nostalgia. And, luckily for her, unless something exploded in the next hour or so, she had the rest of the day to do whatever she wanted. She lifted up the high-tech watch that Teja gave her, PRODIGY as she liked to call it, and scrolled through her contacts until she found Garrick's.

And then she called him up.

"Hey, you busy? I think I've found a good place for us to work on your powers if you're up for it today." she looked around, surveyed the area for the flicker of soul belonging to a man or a monster, and found nothing but couldn't pick up on anything aside from a few squirrels and lizards enjoying a peaceful afternoon within a 40 square mile radius, "I've got my location turned on so, if you want to use your PRODIGY to hop on over, it should bring you right to me."
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Re: Voodoo Programming [Closed]

Post by Deus Mortis » Tue May 05, 2020 9:37 pm

Garrick had lucked out really.

There was something in his gut that told him not to go to NYC tonight. He made plans yesterday to get some information on the rising Chechens and the mobs who’ve filled in after the power vacuum they left behind. After spending an hour meditating, his gut warned him that there was no need for him to. At least, just not tonight.

The watch vibrated at its lightest possible setting, more than enough for Garrick to feel. He looked down at the screen curious as to who was calling.

INCOMING CALL: RYOKO

Huh? Does she have a lead on X or something?

If she did, she probably would have just group-called the Society instead of calling him individually. Whatever it was she was calling for, he wasn’t going to find out by not picking up. With a small press of the ACCEPT button, he listened.

"Hey, you busy? I think I've found a good place for us to work on your powers if you're up for it today."

Oh shit, right.

”Yeah I'm up for it. As a matter of fact, my schedule just cleared up. Give me uh-.”

He looked around for a clock and momentarily blinked in realization of how stupid he was. He looked back down at his watch.

Happens to the best of us.

”Give me ten to change?”

Twelve minutes later...

The darker shades of a New York night sky were violently ripped away as color filled the sky. Translocation had always felt weird to Garrick who was able to sense quite literally every change to his body and the area during the transition. He’s become used to it by now, only now a passing wave compared to the nauseating punch in the head it was the first time he’d used it.

From the shorts and shirt he had earlier, he changed into a white tank top, grey sweatpants, and some comfortable sneakers. Weather around Ryoko's location indicated that it was on the warmer side, humid if anything. Better than being cold, not that he’d complain. He’s learned to acclimate quickly over the summer.

There was a plastic bag in his hand, water bottles and some chocolate granola bars in them. He wasn’t entirely sure what a dragon’s diet consisted of but if it included egg rolls, chocolate granola bars were probably on the “Can Eat” list. Hopefully.

"S'up." He put the bags down somewhere nearby. "Wasn't sure if you ate today so I figured I'd bring something.”

He unwrapped a granola bar and offered Ryoko one, putting it back in the back if she refused.

”It’s nice seeing you, by the way. With all of the...well, everything going on, feels harder to find a time to just not be stressed out about what’s going on.” He took a bit of the snack, the chocolatey flavor arguably doing more for his stress levels than the meditation did. ”Did you have something in mind regarding the training?”

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Re: Voodoo Programming [Closed]

Post by Ryoko » Thu May 07, 2020 3:51 pm

"Yeah, kinda"

Ryoko was resting on a tree branch when a wormhole opened up and dropped him onto the grassy forest floor. She slid off her perch and gently drifted down to the ground; glancing at his snacks for a moment with a raised brow before turning her attention back to him.

"Today's probably going to be more of a learning exercise to help us map out a routine for you, but there are three things that I have in mind. Attunement, Application, and Development. Though, that last one might be the result of me making one too many assumptions. I'll just explain what I mean and you can clarify any parts that I got wrong."

She began to walk around him, pulling out a familiar claw and tracing a path all over his body; keeping a safe distance, of course. She watched the golden energy build near the surface of his skin; following the foreign presence that moved around him as though it were preparing to push her back before she could even touch him.

"Attunement is the ease at which you can access this power. The speed at which you can enhance your fists or eyes and how often you can put them to use. Eventually, we're going to want you to be able to throw out a... 'super punch' as reliably as a normal one; and for you to be able to access your 'spirit vision' in a blink without having to deal with migraines afterwards. And next-"

Ryoko moved back, sealing away her claw once more and clenching her hands into fists. She began to "shadow box" in front of him; the image of Jackal appearing in her mind as she reenacted the fight in her mind. Her fists that sailed through the air in a blur that snapped with the crack of a whip at full extension and sent gusts of wind howling through the immediate area. Garrick's bag of snack ended up getting blown over; a few sliding out of the bag and away into the bushes. The dragon didn't seem to notice.

"Application. We were going to do this whether or not you even had powers. Training is supposed to be more difficult than the actual fight; even if you life isn't at risk. I don't see how you can properly prepare for fights with creatures that can tear cities apart without... sparring with someone who can do just that. Getting used to using those powers in an actual combat or disaster situation. So, that's what we'll do until you're satisfied with your method. If you can't take a hit, then we'll work to make you practically untouchable. And, finally, Development. For this one... I'll just start by asking you a question."

Even though she didn't fully understand Garrick's powers yet, she could recognize them and monitor the flow of energy throughout his body. And there were simple patterns that she observed; patterns that could be... extrapolated to produce new effects. Ryoko just wasn't sure whether or not any of those new effects would've been desirable...

"When you struck Jackal, you focused all of your energy into your fist. And when you used the 'sight' to, well, 'see me', you focused all of it into your eyes. That leaves a lot of room for experimentation. What happens if you were to focus that energy into your nose, ears, and tongue? Your lungs, heart, or brain? Or other places, I guess," she didn't see much reason to "enhance" anything else, but who knows? Divine kidneys might come in handy if he ever got poisoned... or a bit too hammered, "I can't really help you control where your energy goes, but I can tell you what's going on inside of your body while you're doing it and help you guide it. But that's pretty much what I've brought to the table. So, you tell me. Was there anything else you wanted to work on, or would you like to stick to the basics I've thought up? I'll let you decide how we get things started today."

She paused for a moment and something else slipped into her mind.

"Also, can you name that golden stuff in your body? I feel like I'm going to get tired of calling it 'your energy' at some point."
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Re: Voodoo Programming [Closed]

Post by Deus Mortis » Thu May 07, 2020 7:53 pm

I wonder what it feels like to fly.

It was the usual thought that came to mind whenever he saw someone effortlessly hover or glide through the air like Ryoko did. The closest he’s ever gotten to flying was whenever he went skydiving, the weightlessness of when his body entered freefall now relevant. Maybe one day he’d become a dragon or something. The thought amused him.

Attunement, Application, and Development.

The titles she gave each part of her map were pretty straight forward. He had a pretty decent guess as to what each was going to be about, though he was particularly interested when she elaborated a little more on development. The thought of her making too many assumptions about his powers gave her a little more respect from him. She obviously put a lot of thought into this, that much becoming more evident as she broke down each part of her training routine.

The sight of her claw brought a flashback to when the two of them spoke in that meeting the Society was having. When she traced his skin back then, the primordial energy within him pulsed as if it were resonating the dragon’s own. This time, the same thing occurred, albeit on a more subdued level. The glow was there, but its shine was dimmed, forcefully so.

A deep sigh came from his lips as he focused on the energy, controlling it on a basic level. Though he had no teacher to mentor him with this before, he managed to make some headway of his own through consistent meditation. These days, meditating was the only time he’s felt ever in real control of anything. It only made sense he’d start there.

When her claw came off, the dimmed light died to nothingness. He watched as Ryoko began shadow-boxing the air, her fists like bullets as she punched the air. Surprisingly, his eyes were able to keep up with where she was punching, though it wasn’t as if her swings were slow to him. A barrage of those would send him six feet into the ground. There was no argument there.

The mention of using his energy to strengthen his other senses and body parts amused him, specifically when he mentioned his tongue. The thought of using an explosive lick on someone made him want to laugh but the desire to not be seen as a lunatic by laughing out loud at nothing was stronger. He’d nod respectfully as she finished explaining.

”Alright...looks like we’ve got a lot to do.” There was definitely going to be a change in intensity of his training now that he was going to be mentored by Ryoko. Exhaustive work? Probably. But he’d learn a lot from it, and about her as well. He was looking forward to it.

”I feel like I need to thank you about setting all of this up. I’m not sure how busy your schedule was before all of this but I appreciate it. Really.”

"Also, can you name that golden stuff in your body? I feel like I'm going to get tired of calling it 'your energy' at some point."

Hm…

The corner of his lip pursed as he thought about it. She had a point about how tiresome it’d be calling it “his energy” all the time. The term energy was too broad too. Most people when they say energy think of things like electricity or lasers or energy beams. They don’t think of whatever chi bullshit he-

Wait, that was it!

”Well, this might be a little on the nose considering where we are but...how about chi?”

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Re: Voodoo Programming [Closed]

Post by Ryoko » Fri May 08, 2020 9:52 pm

"Chi" she replied under a light chuckle.

It'd suffice, so Ryoko had no problem with it. She probably would've picked something a bit more unique to him, though.

"I feel like I need to thank you about setting all of this up. I’m not sure how busy your schedule was before all of this but I appreciate it. Really.”

"Well..." Her eyes flickered away from his for a moment, "Eh, I appreciate it, but I kinda want to be here. This ain't no burden to me. I actually think this might be fun. Or, you know, doing these kinda things just makes me happy."

As much as that might've sounded like a bit of modesty, it really wasn't. After being denied entry into Heaven, Ryoko had to, well, work to try to be someone who was good for the sake of being a good person rather than in the pursuit of praise and rewards. And, even if she might've made some progress, that bit of pride and habitual vanity that defined her old existence hadn't exactly been flushed out of her system in its entirety.

"I helped a kid who used to be a super-villain change and become a better person. And, every bit of good that he did after that, I took it as a.. well, as an accomplishment of my own, I guess. I haven't actually seen him in some time but, at the very least, that just means that he's no longer causing trouble, you know?"

She walked over to Garrick's side and put a hand over his shoulder.

"I want to see you get stronger Garrick. Cuz I intend to take pride in every bit of growth that you get out of me. And, every time that you use that power that we honed together to make the world a better place, It'll make me happy. So, don't act like I'm going out of my way or inconveniencing myself to help you. I mean, I kinda am a little bit, but you best believe that I want to be here."

Ryoko was smiling real hard when she let her hand slip off of his shoulder and moved to his front. Knowing a guy like him, the idea that his progress would cheer her up was likely to make him work even harder. Or... maybe the bit of her ego that slipped out would annoy him, who knows?

"So, I've already told you about the three things that I think we should work on. Pick one and let's get started. I'd like to get an idea of where you're currently at so we can start thinking long term."
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Re: Voodoo Programming [Closed]

Post by Deus Mortis » Sat May 09, 2020 7:35 am

There was something refreshingly sweet about Ryoko’s words that made him smile. As someone who wasn’t aware of her reason for being on Earth in the first place, there was seldom he could think but of modesty when he heard her words. He didn’t expect the first dragon he’d meet to be this open to training with him or just hanging out with him in general. To be fair though, he never really expected to meet a dragon in the first place. Life worked in weird ways.

”Well, I’m glad to hear it. I think this’ll be a nice change of pace compared to everything going on, you know?” Chi training and some sparring with Ryoko? Yeah, compared to getting fucked up by ninjas on a train or by an alternate dimensional version of your best friend, this was going to be a lot more fun.

He finished up his granola bar and put the wrapper in the bag. Considering her earlier punches literally knocked the bag back some feet, he had to get off his rock to actually do that. A small price to pay to stop littering.

The arm around him went uncontested as he listened to the Dragon’s words. The story about getting a villain to change his ways struck a particular cord in him, reminding him of his earliest days of vigilantism. Where most chose to go in swinging, Garrick often tried diplomacy exactly because of what her story showed. An evil man changing for the better. He was willing to die to change the wicked. There was no wound too grievous for him if it meant they were leading them to the path of redemption. Nowadays, he was conflicted as to whether most people were even capable of changing in the first place. Was everyone able to be forgiven? Were they able to be redeemed? He wasn't sure if he would ever find the answer.

”I-” Wasn’t expecting that smile. ”-I’ll do my best then. Can’t let a speech like that go to waste, heh.”

The small showings of ego went over his head. She was leagues more humble than Volksgeist had been during The Gauntlet. At least during the start of it, anyways. He'd mellowed with the passing time but even then, Ryoko still struck him more as a motivated teacher than a prideful one. Only time would tell if that perception changed. For now, he gave her a grateful smile.

”I think attunement would be a smart place to start. I’ve been...sorta working on that on my own. Trying to, at least. Sometimes I feel like I’ve got some sort of control over it, then other days it just slips away from me.” He sighed, though far from defeated. There may have been disappointment in that exhale but no hint of acceptance. ”It’s the days after some crazy event happens that it gets stronger almost, but harder to control or even focus on. It’s chaotic.”

Like war.

”I feel like I’m missing something.” His mind had thought of a joke before he’d even finished the sentence. ”Maybe I’m missing some wisdom from a thousand year old dragon or something.”

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Re: Voodoo Programming [Closed]

Post by Ryoko » Sat May 09, 2020 6:07 pm

"I have some thoughts, but I think I'd like to see you in action before I come to any conclusions."

Ryoko took a quick look around to confirm that no one had waltzed into the area before turning her sights back to Garrick. She spread her feet and lowered her stance while bringing her arms up to a high guard. If she had mitts that could withstand the types of punches that she hoped to be receiving, then she'd have brought em, but she'd just have to eat these. And she had no intention of deflecting or dodging any of these; she needed to feel the power behind his strike and give him feedback as it came.

"Lay it on me. I don't want any normal punches either, bring out the chi. Force me to move," she slammed the side of her fists together twice in rapid succession, "I'm ready whenever you are."

Truthfully, despite the words that had been coming out of her mouth, a part of her didn't expect much.

It's not that she doubted that his golden strikes carried much power, so much as his ability to actually whip them out on command. Part of it was what she had seen in their last battle together. Part of it was what he had just told her. From her perspective, she was starting to believe that his abilities were, at least in part, linked to adrenaline or stress.

According to him, his powers were far more accessible after a battle or stressful situation. And, from what she could tell, it wasn't until she had been ejected from academy that Garrick had been pushed to unlock his abilities in the first place. The unfortunate reality of things was that, if the comfort brought on by their camaraderie and trust left the man too relaxed to fire, she'd have to start getting a little more... abrasive in her methods.

And apologize to him later, of course.

Either way, she had a question lingering in the back of her mind that she hadn't had a chance to ask before. Or, at least, a chance to ask in a appropriate setting. But, they were alone here in these woods today. And many of these things that she'd seen in him, the way that his powers felt to her and the fact that they seemed to rise up while under duress, they reminded her of someone else.

"Hey Garrick, I was wondering," she asked from behind her guard, "Are you and Teja related by blood or something? Like... cousins, maybe?"
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Re: Voodoo Programming [Closed]

Post by Deus Mortis » Sat May 09, 2020 8:21 pm

Garrick was about to start trying to lay it into her before her question stopped him. It confused him when the words first reached him. After processing what she said, there was a semblance of understanding.

”Because we’re both-” He stopped himself. He was about to ask whether Ryoko thought he and Teja were related because they were both white, blonde, and not too far off in age. Something nagged at him. This didn’t seem like a surface level question. After all...

...Ryoko didn’t see the world the same as most people.

From what he understood from their last talk, she didn’t just see the world and the people on it. She saw more than that, like Garrick hadfor but a second in the Academy and again on the Empyrean. She saw life and its many energies, the threads that connected people and the places around them. His mind thought about how she must’ve seen him after their first meet, how times has she seen the traces of godly chi running through his veins? No doubt Teja must’ve had something similar after her time with Stalhazn. He was pretty sure he remembered Dr. West mentioned something about it. He was even more sure it was why he felt as connected to Teja as he did nowadays.

”...No, we’re not cousins. If we are, that’ll be one hell of a surprise for the both of us.” He joked. His face got a little more serious, seeing as that wasn’t the answer Ryoko was looking for. ”If I’m being honest, I think whatever it is you’re seeing or feeling might be from our exposure to the Eldest. Teja was bound to Volksgeist’s sword, Stalhzahn, for nearly half a year.”

The same weapon she was supposed to raze the world with. Fortunately for Earth, Volksgeist didn’t make for a good oracle...so far, anyways.

”Volksgeist took me as an apprentice for...” Lifetimes. ”...a long time. I was surprised to find out it was only a few months out here. By the end of it, he passed on the Eldest mantle on to me. Left me with aeons of knowledge, some of it I’m not sure pertains to mankind. Said the essence of the Eldest lived on within me.”

Magnusson’s face popped into his mind. Evidently, Garrick and Teja were not the only descendants of an Eldest.

”Volksgeist died afterwards. Even after all the shit he put me through, I couldn’t help but grieve him. He changed for the better. It was a shame it took killing him for him to realize how dark his path had become.”

He wasn’t even sure how to feel about it now. Volksgeist was by no means a gentle teacher, but there was a brutal fairness to his regimen. Feasts and good lodgings followed strings of continued success. A failure meant he started at the bottom, hay piles and common rations the only things he had to look forward to. With every passing year, Garrick changed, taking from his mentor the valiant heart of an Eldest and the God of War’s mind for combat. From Valeria, Volksgeist had found his humanity once more.

In the end, they had become one.

”Uh, sorry.” Teja was the only person he told about what happened. Until today. ”I- wow. Didn’t really mean to unpack all of that. I’m sorry.”

Seeing as Ryoko didn’t seem to be prepping to dodge, he understood it as a sign that she was going to just take his attacks. Considering she went toe-to-toe with Jackal, Garrick felt confident she’d be able to.

”Alright.” He readied himself. ”Here we go.”

He closed his eyes. The act alone was meditative enough. By robbing himself of his sight, Garrick was able to focus more deeply on himself and of the chi circulating within him. Perhaps with time, this would change. But with anything, he needed practice.

He needed discipline.

Image

He needed change.

Pools of chi surged through his body, the natural spiritual dams within him cracking from his will. Vitality, strength, power. It flowed through his body, centering itself entirely within his fist. In a single act of unwavering focus, he reeled his fist back and sent it forward to smash into the center of Ryoko’s chest. The force was comparable to the blow that gave Jackal an out-of-body experience as he was sent into the very ground itself, a punch with enough energy to pulverize diamonds and send buildings tumbling down…

...and just like last time, he felt himself utterly zapped.

The remaining chi within him became volatile, wreaking havoc inside his body. Exhaustion forced his knee down an inch off the ground before his will made it rise once more.

As his body stood fatigued, the chi receded as if sucked away by a primordial force. His mind was a chaotic flurry as thoughts shot from each corner of his head and back. His spirit was more akin to a raging storm, his soul wrathful without purpose.

The raw power he had was godlike, the natural talent to command it clear. Garrick’s biggest problem was simply a lack of control over his own spirit. A lack of knowing where to even really start. Normally, the life forces within people were stable and consistent. Even before the punch, his own life force looked as if it were unsteady. After the blow, it was as if there was a fight within his body, a conflict between green and gold energy. His chi vs the God of War's.

Part of him did not want to accept it.

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Re: Voodoo Programming [Closed]

Post by Ryoko » Sat May 09, 2020 10:04 pm

Sometimes, it was good to be wrong.

In this case, it meant that she wouldn't have to be a bitch to Garrick to get his chi flowing. It filled the entirety of his being before concentrating in his fist; and then it drew near. She rotated her torso ever-so slightly whilst keeping her guard up; letting his fist slam into her right forearm.

The sound of thunder echoed through the forest and the sky was painted black by startled birds who had taken flight.

Ryoko groaned as she was the force surged through her body and drove her back. Pounds of dirt showered the trees and bushes behind them as her feet deep into the soil and carved tracks into the land that lead back to his sovereign fist. She crashed into a large rubber tree just behind; the force blasting open cracks that raced up the bark and left the top half of the plant to slowly break away from the stump below and tumble to the forest floor.

When the dust cleared, a bruise in the shape of Garrick's fist remained on her right forearm and the dragon was laughing.

"Good! Strong! Now keep it..." she caught sight of him struggling not to fall to his knees, "Ah. I see. Let's uh... let's take five."

She floated over to his side, sat on the ground next to him, then patted the soil to invite him to sit next to her. And then she just... watched him for a moment. The war going on inside of his body as he called upon his powers was reminiscent of a body trying to purge itself of a potent venom. Even after the chi subsided, his spirit carried damage.

"So, just now, it looked like your body was fighting against its own power. Though, it might be more accurate to say that you are... 'rejecting' this Volksgeist person. I'm not sure what exactly it is that he did to you, but I'd think of it sort of like an organ transplant, except for an organ that you didn't have before. And the rest of you doesn't approve of the new piece," she hoped that that analogy sounded as good to him as it did in her own head, "So, I think, it's time to practice some Mithridatism."

Otherwise known as the practice of gaining immunity to a toxin by gradually administering non-lethal amounts. A practice that allowed a person's immune system to get accustomed to a poison by using manageable amounts as opposed to extremes. Even if his chi gave him astronomical strength when in use, he'd always have a pretty low ceiling for advancement if his body gave out after a single move. Funnily enough, the best method to increase his endurance in combat might require him to avoid throwing out super moves for a bit.

"Let's give your body a second to stabilize so some of that fatigue wears off, but I'd like you to try using a bit more moderation. Tearing yourself apart or gassing out won't help us here. Let's... ease it in. Ease in the chi. Give your body time to get used to the foreign energy rather than the violent shifts that sap you of your strength. Instead of focusing that power for usage, let's try to go for familiarity."

She searched the area for a moment until she found wherever Garrick's snacks had blown off to, then quickly gathered some and brought them to him so he could just focus on recuperating.

"Here. Eat some of this. Drink."
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Re: Voodoo Programming [Closed]

Post by Deus Mortis » Tue May 12, 2020 12:17 am

If there was one trait Garrick prided himself on, it was his endurance.

There were many who were stronger than he was. Many who were faster. Even more that were smarter. One of the key things that kept him alive during his days as Noctua was his remarkable ability to keep pushing on. His recovery now was bolstered even more so by his old training. Though the punch took much out of him, he did not allow himself to bend his knee, standing straight to allow more air into his lungs.

"Good! Strong! Now keep it...Ah. I see. Let's uh... let's take five."

Garrick gave her a tired smile, walking around in a small circle. The act itself was more out of self-discipline than to cool-down, the exhaustion he felt being more spiritual in origin. At seeing Ryoko float over and invite him to sit, he walked over. Her reasoning was…

Huh, that actually makes sense.

The analogy sounded logical all things considered. Volksgeist often said Garrick had the spirit of a warrior. The night he was whisked away, he dreamt of it. Of his soul clashing against the God of War. If what was happening to him was a...melding of these two things, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to treat this how Ryoko said.

”Mithridatism.” He repeated, not a question but as a distant echo. The process was very familiar to him. For a moment, he believed the Dragon of the East wanted to poison him with something to build his immunity up. Fortunately, that was not the case. Unless she was trying to perform mithridatism with chocolate granola bars and water...which he felt wasn’t the worst thing in the world.

”Thank you.” He unwrapped a bar and took a sizable bite. Chocolate didn’t do well for dieters but Garrick believed in treating himself every now and then. Strictly to bolster morale. ”You know, you’re pretty smart about all this chi stuff.”

He broke the sentence with a small sip of water.

”Is there a story behind your Mister Miyagi ways?” Though Ryoko may not have seen herself as much of a teacher, Garrick felt the opposite. She was a natural in his eyes. ”I haven’t asked you much about your past. I wouldn’t mind hearing about it, if you’re comfortable with that.”

Behind his words, there was a genuine curiosity in the woman. Though they've fought together once and spoken twice, he's learned little about her apart that she cooks some pretty good egg rolls. He remembered being like that around most of the Society when he first arrived, keeping quiet so as to not be seen as overbearing.

He gave her a small, friendly smile.

He's changed since then. An end of the world event and fight against a war god does that to a man. He's grown more confident not just as a team player, but as a person. He knew how to lend an ear to someone who needed it. After spending years alone with little more than the God of War, he knew just how much it could mean to even have someone willing to do that.

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