In The Fencer S Hall

[21:38] <Sept> [March 24th, 2015. The fencing club has gathered on a cloudy afternoon for their weekly session. They go through various warmup exercises in preparation for the exertion ahead, and eventually split up into pairs for practice duels.]-
[21:39] <Sept> "Hello, Alexandre. Shall we?"
[21:42] <Alexandre> "Indeed." Said Alexandre, holding his fencing foil in front of him. "First to five?"
[21:45] <Alexandre> [Meanwhile, other pairs littered the field of course. Viviane had been paired up with Niles Windsor-Yamato, who was eyeing her like a bored cat, whilst Isaiah Gabriel-Wei was facing off with the ever-recognisable Zhang Yanmei.]
[21:46] <Sept> "Acceptable." He matched Fontaine's stance.
[21:48] * Alexandre waited. He knew Sera was fast, and expected the boy to strike first.
[21:54] <Sept> And strike first he did. Sera had had to adapt his usual style quite a bit for these sessions, but it had proven to be a useful exercise in that regard. At first he had reflexively gone for his opponents' limbs, arguably the easier target, but -some- people had insisted on "rules".-
[21:58] <Sept> It was, now, much closer to commonly accepted fencing form, but there was still that sense of irregularity about Sera's footwork and thrusts that betrayed his background. He had previously made some attempts to read Alexandre's style and find some weakness, but had discovered nothing new, so he continued his guesswork, making a barely noticeable maneuver to mislead his opponent's defense
[21:59] <Sept> elsewhere during his thrust.
[22:03] * Alexandre was not fooled. In fact, he parried Sept's foil with an alarming sense of alacrity, pushing the blade aside and stepping back. He countered, aiming a leftward thrust, then pulling at the last second and striking down the middle.
[22:06] * Sept also scored quite low on the fooling scale. He noticed no urgency in Alexandre's feint and practically ignored it, staying focused on whatever followed. And, well on time, the attack was duly parried.
[22:16] * Sept was determined to exhaust the tactic he had before moving on to the next one. Another feint, not unlike Alexandre's, maybe even mimicking it. And, following it, an attack. Faster. Ever faster.
[22:22] * Alexandre applied himself to the defense, seeing through the feint, but not quite having enough speed to block the next attack. Sept's blade went through, tapping his chest. "Touché," grunted Alexandre- before he switched to the attack. Strong, vigorous, -fast- attacks, leaving little chance for a defense.
[22:24] * Sept managed to get out of the way of only the very first of his opponent's strikes. So he -was- capable of assaults as well. He had been starting to think feints and dull, cold defensive technique were all Alexandre had.-
[22:27] <Sept> Half-consciously taking the defensive side in the duel, Sera made a careful attempt, aiming to provoke another flurry, this time prepared to exploit the gaps the last one left in defense.
[22:30] * Alexandre sprung back, easily evading Sept's attack… But left feeling a little unbalanced, an effect that bled through to his own attacks, which went wide.
[22:35] <Sept> An opening! Sera had some problems switching to offensive after his overt defense against an assault that never came, and failed to take advantage of Alexandre's overextension. He did barely manage to keep him from fully regaining his balance, however.
[22:40] * Alexandre rallied, striking out once more with two sharp thrusts! The first one was turned aside, but the 2nd one tapped against Sept's chest. Two for Alex.
[22:44] <Sept> There was no defending against those attacks. Sera went in for an attack bordering on the desperate.
[22:47] <Alexandre> The desperate strike worked! Alexandre was taken off-guard. It was now two for two, and Alexandre, in an action that was probably not exactly sporty, tried to move in close and whip his foil around Sept's head.
[22:52] * Sept again switched to a careful attacking stance, trying to keep changing things up fast enough to lose Alexandre. Technique had no place in chaos.
[22:53] * Alexandre managed to parry that blow. But now he, too, was careful, lowering his body and pulling his blade in close…
[23:04] * Sept found his attacks lacking urgency again, definitely because of the relentless attacks he knew were still not over. His simple thrust went wide.
[23:09] * Alexandre unleashes his advance! Strike-strike-strike, all well-aimed, and -fast-.
[23:09] * Sept takes a hit from another one of Alexandre's rushes, but managed a succesful counterattack this time! 3-3.
[23:11] * Alexandre takes the blow, falling into his stance once more.
[23:15] <Sept> More provocation. Further study of assault required for future replication. Sera launches a careful prod into enemy territory!
[23:17] * Alexandre punishes Sept. Hard. Sept's prod acts as a trigger for Alex- some window has opened. He strikes hard and fast, taking his foil into Sept's chest, before rearing back, smacking Sept's foil wide and landing the finishing blow.
[23:23] * Sept loses his grip on the foil, and takes several steps back, devastated. How could this, this kid possess such speed with the foil, but not otherwise? It wasn't possible. Yet there he stood, foilless and defeated. Staring.
[23:23] <Alexandre> "Looks like I've foiled you, Sera." Said Alexandre. The boy was serious for a moment, before he grinned, laughter escaping his lips. "Haha. That was -fun-."
[23:29] * Sept stared. "…fun." Finally, he moved to pick up his foil, and replied with a slight smile. "Right. Looks like I made the right choice coming here. I'll uncover your secrets, Alexandre, and turn them against you. One by one."
[23:31] <Alexandre> "Ohoho, wow. That's a hardcore thing to say. C'mon, let's take a breather for a bit."
[23:35] <Sept> "Sure." Sera loosened his gear a bit to get some air flowing.
[23:36] * Alexandre sat down on a bench nearby, pulling off his headgear. "You move pretty fast, Sera. But you're not quiiite used to fencing. Or fighting me. But, eh, you're getting there." Alex grinned.
[23:39] <Sept> "Thank you. You may be right… And I'll definitely get there, no question about that. Wherever 'there' is." The boy leaned back and breathed deep. "How's everything else going?"
[23:40] <Alexandre> "It's alright, it's alright. Edgar's been busy, drumming up support for the election, but he's a bit distracted. His sister might get out of hospital soon, did you hear?" Said Alex, happily. "Say, who're you supporting for President?"
[23:46] <Sept> "Oh, I don't really… You know, politics. Uh. Yanmei said she was supporting freedom."
[23:58] <Alexandre> "…" Alexandre frowned. "What does that even -mean-? 'Freedom'? We're… Uh, we're in a school, Sera. That doesn't mean anything."
[00:04] <Sept> "Then… what does? We -are- in a school, what impact could anything you do here have?"
[00:08] <Alexandre> "It's simple." Said Alexandre, with all the air of a person about to explain a complex topic. "The Student President has special powers, see. As the representative of all the class representatives, when he speaks he speaks with all the authority of the student body. Thus, he's going to be speaking to the teachers and faculty when it comes to big things. Like requesting a new room, or-
[00:12] <Alexandre> "Setting up a funded club like the Music Club. But sometimes it's a matter of management. The President can shape the mindset of the student body, and harness their resources. A President has a fundraiser, gets a dollar from every student, and spends that money to, say, help out a student if there's a death in the family or that student's hurt. -That- can really have an impact."
[00:18] <Sept> "Ohhh. I see. But, I don't even know everyone who's running. How can I be sure I'd make the right decision..?"
[00:29] <Alexandre> "Easy. Vote for me!"
[00:34] <Sept> "Hehe. I guess. Oh, Alexandre. How did you get into fencing?"
[19:15] <Alexandre> "Hmmm… Well." Alexandre grinned. "I've always been pretty good with that sort of thing. I did a bit of combat training when I was younger- er, y'know how it is." He shrugged. "So I came to Saint Louis, found I was good with a blade, and at the time I had a pretty fiery crush on our dear Ms. Rousseau, so…"
[19:33] <Sept> "Oh." An exception in Sera's flawless theory! "Everyone always says it's something with their parents. You're sure you're not related? Or that Ginnie isn't secretly a champion fencer..?"
[19:34] <Alexandre> "…'Ginnie'?"
[19:35] <Sept> "Who?"
[19:36] <Alexandre> "What?" Alexandre stared at Sera with a half-frown.
[19:39] <Sept> "No, Ginevre. Who's Ginnie?" Sera stared right back, looking perplexed.
[19:40] <Alexandre> "I- you just called my mother 'Ginnie'!" Snapped Alexandre. "… You just called my mother 'Ginevre'! What the hell, de Pteres?"
[19:43] <Sept> "I call you Alexandre. I was under the impression this was your name. Right?"
[19:44] <Alexandre> "Yes, but- that's different. We're-" Alexandre paused. "Friendly." He said after a moment. "You don't call people you don't speak to by their first names, especially if they're a commanding officer."
[19:54] <Sept> "Really? Why would an officer's title..? I don't even. What is this about, really, Alexandre?"
[19:56] <Alexandre> "W-what do you mean, what is this about?" Said Alexandre, haughtily, folding his arms. "Even if you're not the sort to really -get- social rules, Sera, it's important to follow them, and it's rude to speak of my mother in such a… Familiar respect."
[20:13] <Sept> "Oh. I didn't think I was… no one seemed to mind. I'm sorry? I'll… what should I call her?"
[20:17] <Alexandre> "Ah, don't worry about it. I get it." Alexandre held out an apologetic hand to shake. "'Commander' or 'Ms. Fontaine' is fine."
[20:32] <Sept> "Riiight." Sera accepted the consolatory handshake. "I'll. Keep that in mind."
[20:33] <Alexandre> "Good man. Er, sorry. I didn't mean to bite your head off. It's touchy. Anyway. What were you saying earlier about it being something with the parents?"
[20:40] <Sept> "Oh, I've just been trying to figure out… everyone and. Uh. What about your father? Any fencing, uh, background? Or politics..?"
[20:42] <Alexandre> What an odd question. It made sense, but the idea that Sera was going around, asking people about their parents, and comparing their parents' activities to the person's activities struck Alexandre as an oddly psychological experiment- odd coming from, well, Sera. "Er, science. He was a scientist."
[20:53] <Sept> Another dead end. Things were looking grim for the Greater De Pteres Parent-Child Interest Theory. "A scientist. What did he, you know, work on?"
[20:55] * Alexandre let out a long, long sigh. "Metaphysical Biology. Electrobiomechanics. Super Solenoid Separate-Energy Theory. The Evangelion Project." Said Alexandre tonelessly.
[21:03] <Sept> "The Evangelion. So they worked togeth— agh." Sera held his head, suddenly.
[21:03] <Alexandre> "… Hmmmm?"
[21:08] <Sept> "Nevermind, just.. fatigued. Maybe I was prying, too. Sorry if I was."
[21:09] * Alexandre shrugged a little. "My father died when I was pretty young, so… Eh. Best to tell stories than let him be forgotten, right?"
[21:19] * Sept was looking uncomfortable, but getting better. "Yeah. I suppose it's better, than… yeah."
[21:23] * Alexandre nods slowly. "I miss him, you know. But I've gotten over it by now."
[21:30] <Sept> There were gaps in his head on this topic, and half the time he wasn't sure what they were. They kept fading in and out. "Mmhm. One more thing, if you don't mind… What was his name?"
[21:31] <Alexandre> "Eh…" Alexandre rubbed his neck. "Elisha Caine. Dr. Elisha Caine. He formally took on my mother's name when he married, but he was far more famous as Elisha Caine."
[21:37] * Sept was still sweating. It may have been hard to notice given the workout earlier, but he did also have a nasty twitch in one eye. "El…isha. Of course. Th-that's right."
[21:45] <Alexandre> "He was a good man. You could probably find him in a book in the New National Library. It'd be a pretty technical one, though." Said Alexandre wistfully. He stood up, seemingly unaware of Sept's reaction. "Looks like we go again. You willing to spar with me, Sera? Or would you like to pair up with someone else?" Alexandre eyed the other duellists critically.-
[21:46] <Alexandre> "I know dear Mademoiselle Fournier has been itching for the chance for the entire session, haha…"
[22:03] <Sept> A pause. "I'm sorry, I… I don't think I'm in any shape for a rematch. I should probably t-take the day off." Sera's eyes had an empty look to them, and he didn't seem to be especially aware of his location, in time or space.
[22:04] <Alexandre> "… Everything alright, Sera?" Asked Alexandre, frowning slightly.
[22:16] <Sept> "No, n-not really." The headache was killing Sera, and he was swaying rather dangerously, even sitting down, at this point. "Just t-tell them I'll be missing the rest of today's sessioaugh…"
[22:20] <Alexandre> "Hrum." Alexandre dropped his foil carelessly onto the ground, followed by his headgear. He grabbed Sera by the arm, slinging said arm around his own shoulders. He held Sera up, supporting him with his own weight. "No, I don't think so. Sickbay time for you."
[22:35] <Sept> There was no struggle, and though Sera's hands and head were hanging limp, he managed to barely keep walking while being supported by Alexandre. His voice had spiraled down into barely audible, unintelligible muttering and groans in sync with their steps.
[22:39] <Alexandre> ["Sera…?!" "de Pteres, what's wrong?" Voices, that Sera probably wouldn't pay attention to - Viviane and Emma, respectively. Leaning on Alexandre, the suddenly weary, sick boy was escorted out and, before long, taken to the school sickbay. A nap would see him right, and by the time he woke up he'd be greeted by his eternal guardian, Freya, who'd received a phone call…]

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