Rob Rutherford and Max Fauth

Of late I've been thinking about Silver. Something about her seems eerily familiar to me. I know she's been stripping for a while, and I think she may have been there back when... Well, when Rachel worked there too. But I knew it had to be more than that.

But of late, I realized what it was. It was when Korey mentioned the name 'Angel.' Now, I've herd of this 'Angel' woman before; met her even. And yes, there was Silver.

It was more than two years ago; back when I was still staying with Gen. Before... well, before everything started.

Long ago, I'd gotten used to Old Man Gen just training us girls, but as we grew up, he started taking on other students. We wound up helping him teach a lot of the church district kids self defense. Old Man taught them differently to us; he only taught them to protect themselves, not to fight back.

But this was a different case. Instead of the morning lesson, he asked us to all assemble in the room, and addressed us as a group.

"Class," he began, seated before us, "Starting tomorrow we are going to be having a guest teacher and student in here. You are to accord them the same respect that you do me. Also I'm told the student has an unusual style so to avoid any potential injuries you are not to make or accept any offer to spar with her."

Of course, a lot of the students thought this is exactly the kind of teaching that we needed. Most of them were the younger, less experienced kids, but one in particular would be trouble. His name was Devon. I don't know what ever happened to him, but I hope it wasn't anything pleasant. He was a fast learner, but too full of himself. He though he was in charge around here. Yeah, right.

The next day, they showed up. Thinking back, I remember them clearly now. The teacher, Angel, was a redhead, standing six feet tall. Silver - actually, they always referred to her as Kami - was with her. She was shorter then, and had her hair pulled back into a severe braid. She looked so much different - she didn't have her air of confidence. More like she was somehow being held down.

They brought with them a whole heap of new gear. There was a new heavy duty bag - the kind cyborgs and pumas use - as well as a new speed dummy with training lights, and a fairly mundane taped-up kick bag. The best thing of all was that each day, they brought in a drum of water with them for all the students. You can imagine how popular that made them.

Angel showed us all how to use the new gear, particularly the speed bag, while Kami demonstrated. It was a bit embarrassing, really. She was pretty strong, but hopelessly inexperienced. She showed just about no accuracy or skill. It was funny watching her getting knocked over by the bag. Angel was rather mean about it - all she said to Kami is "Quite different from what you're used to." Kami kept going at it though.

She was so much better on the speed dummy. Her form still sucked, but she got to show off her natural talent. Devon scored about as well as she did, but he kept complaining about it. He said that the dummy was faulty, or that Kami just had more practice on it. He couldn't take that a new student, a girl nonetheless, was as good as him. I gave him a good smack in the head and told him to keep his nose out of it.

She was there almost all day for the next two weeks. She and Angel were the first ones there in the morning - apart from us girls - and the last to leave. She really improved a lot during her time there. Her endurance and strength showed very quickly, and she progressed fast enough to make many of the other students jealous.

I've got to say that I really didn't like seeing Angel in action. She was a pretty mean and relentless teacher. Her motto seemed to be something like "This is the zone, people don't use pads here." She was constantly sparring with Kami, and would often hurt her or knock her down. She never encouraged her, and always goaded her into another round. She was nice enough to the rest of us students, but never gave Kami a break.

I tried to talk to Old Man about Angel, but he basically refused to talk about her or Kami. I've got to wonder exactly what was going on between them, but I figure I may never know.

The thing is, their style was very different to ours. Kami was being trained to kill, plain and simple. Devon kept badgering Old Man to teach the other students like that, but he plainly refused. He eventually got fed up, and wound up challenging her directly.

Eventually Devon went striding off to Kami, challenging her to a match. I didn't catch most of the conversation, but I could tell she wasn't interested. I also heard the word 'bitch' used a few too many times. I remember Nicole was going to intervene, but I stopped her. I grinned at her, saying "It'll be more fun to watch them." I can't believe I could be that mean.

Kami just stood by and continued her aerial kick routine as Devon yelled at her. Eventually he got fed up and grabbed her by the back as she landed. She quickly slipped out of his grasp and faced him.

By now we could all hear the two of them. "I said out on the floor now!" Devon screamed. "You are not going to just ignore me!"

Of course, after that there was no way any of us were going to keep practicing. We lined up around the center of the room as they faced each other. Most of us, myself included, were calling out for a fight. Nicole was being the reasonable one, as always. I think she realized she couldn't avoid a fight; just was just trying to get us under control.

"You will bow and show some respect," Devon said, then bowed, keeping his eyes on her.

"I have no respect for likes of you." Kami replied. The students all jeered at her. I quite liked her style.

A crowd began to gather muttering things like: "didn't sensei say we weren't supposed to fight with her?," "this isn't a fight, its an ass whooping.," "She's just a beginner!" etc...

Devon started off the match with a probing attack, a kick and a couple of basic punches. He surged forwards and landed a punch square on her chest. She staggered back smiling, and said "Okay, you've hit me. Are you satisfied?"

He was quite confused by that. He surged forwards, pressing his attack and quickly going into a legsweep. I grinned broadly as I watched her evade his attack. She lashed out with considerable speed, striking him in the nose. There was a loud popping

Devon, looked rather confused for a moment then pressed another set of attacks, a set of punches followed by a sweep hoping to completely overwhelm her defense, and put her on the ground.

Kami easily stopped the attacks, as he was repositioning himself after the missed sweep she moved in and punched him in the nose with a loud pop. Everybody knew she had just broken his nose. We could hear him screaming something at her, but it was garbled and indistinct. I won't forget what she said to him; "Never ki.... attack in anger or fear. Use your head, not your emotions."

I'll say any number of things about Devon. He was stubborn, he was pretty good at martial arts, but most of all he was stupid. Any of us would have just given up there and then, but not him. Well, maybe not me either. He just got straight up and attacked her again.

He surged forwards as before, but she easily caught him in a wristlock, just like she did to Brittany the puma. He tried to break out, just like he'd been taught, but you could tell he could never manage it.

"Devon, why have you only been using basic punches and kicks?" Kami asked. "I've seen you spar with sensei before, you never attack him with such arrogance." She twisted his arm, but his cries were muffled by the blood running down his throat.

"I think my second lesson is going to be Angel's first lesson." She drove her foot straight into his ribs. It landed with a resounding crack. "There's always someone stronger than you." She let him go, and he collapsed in a bleeding mess on the floor.

She turned to the assembled class to address us. "I would like to apologize for my display and lack of restraint. If you can forgive me, I believe Angel and Sensei will too." With that she bowed to us all.

Everyone knew that the fun was over, and we started to disperse. It was about then that Old Man returned. He never got angry, he just quietly talked to Kami and Devon. Devon was expelled, but all Kami got was clean-up duty.

It was about then that I noticed the setting on the kickbag. It was set up to it's maximum, at Puma strength. I gave it an experimental kick, but I couldn't even shake it. Kami was knocking it around like nobody's business.

It was that night when we were having dinner, that I finally got up the courage to ask Old Man about Angel. He said he was concerned about the way that she was teaching Kami, that it bordered on unethical. He mentioned that he and Angel both respected each other, and that he couldn't tell us why she was being allowed to use the dojo. I wanted to ask more, but Nicole warned me off. She said we should respect Old Man's wishes, but I wasn't satisfied.

After that, Angel started showing up less often. Kami was still there, practicing on her own, but soon she appeared less and less often. Towards the end, they practiced a lot in full combat gear - armored coats, heavy clothes and combat boots. They each had a separate pair of soft boots they wore just for practice, to go easy on the floor. They started training with practice swords, then moved on to the real thing.

One day at the end of practice, Kami held back while Angel left. She said her thanks to Gen, and gave him her soft boots. That was the last time the two of them showed up. I didn't think I'd see either of them again. So much for that idea.

Return to Kazei 5 PBEM Stories