"See, you're being funny right now but a bit of stretching might actually be a good idea considering what I have in mind."
Ryoko chortled as she moved to a nearby tree and leaned up against it.
"What I'd like to do next is something I consider to be a bit of... 'worst case scenario' training. As of now, I'm not entirely sure how your powers will eventually manifest, but I know that you have no intention to wait and see how things turn out before running headlong into danger against 'blockbusters' again. As it stands, your powers are potent but transient. Great for doing large bursts of damage, but a huge waste if used defensively. So we're going to work on your already impressive agility and refine it as much as possible."
She'd only fought alongside him twice, and she noticed his strengths. Stealth, evasion, and opportunistic assault. Ironically, that particular set of skills paired up pretty well with powers that, at least for the moment, required mindfulness so as to not leave their practitioner practically defenseless.
"We're going to be playing a game that I like to call Death Tag."
A brief pause. Partly because she wanted Garrick to consider that that term might've meant. Partly because she wanted him to make a few inferences based on what she had already said.
"Now, despite the name, nobody's going to be dying out here in Xishuangbana. And, truthfully, there's no real difference between Death Tag and regular Tag. It's all in how you approach the game, mentally. In Death Tag, I am not Ryoko. You can't look at me and acknowledge me as your friend. You're going to have to see me as a Titan, or an Eldest, or whatever-the-fuck- doesn't matter. The point is, in Death Tag, you have to understand that, when you're tagged, you haven't just lost the game. You've lost your life."
That was a fundamental part to any kind of training. If you didn't take it seriously then, sure, you'd still learn something... but your skills would cap out at a fairly low level. And, sure, Garrick could just give up if he started to feel fatigued. He could simply allow her to touch him and he'd be perfectly fine out here in this tea-leaf forest.
Those would never be options in a real game of "Death Tag", though.
"Given how the SOS work- or heroes in general, I guess- the likelihood of you having to face down a high-level threat without any backup is fairly low. But it's not impossible, and neither is the chance of 'blockbuster' focusing their efforts towards taking you out, specifically. Death Tag isn't necessarily a game that you can win, but it is a game that you can improve upon dramatically with practice. You can make yourself as untouchable as possible. It'll keep you alive, help you to find openings for you to retaliate in combat, and, honestly, just acting as a distraction that can keep an enemy occupied for extended periods of time can make you a huge boon to whatever team you're working with. So, I'd like to think that taking the game seriously is in your best interests."
It was a game that he had already played with Jackal once before, was it not? It's true that he wasn't able to take Jackal down single-handedly, but it's also true that that entire mission would've been a catastrophic failure if Garrick hadn't been there to cover for Ryoko while she was recovering from a blow that nearly launched her into space.
"So, yeah... a bit of pre-workout 'dragon yoga' might do you some good. Let me know when you're ready, or if you have any questions. Because, as soon as you say when..."
She crossed her arms and kept her spot against the tall rubber tree.
"...I'll be coming for you."