Backwards Smile Post-Workout
Katherine Hana Li spin_kick_snap
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Baltimore, Thursday Night
So the Ukrainian mafia was still attempting to make inroads into Baltimore's criminal underground, but the police had finally started paying attention to Kathy's anonymous tips (seriously, what was the tipline even for if they were going to ignore it?) and had made several arrests the night before, catching a shipment of drugs in from the harbor. Kathy knew better than to think that that would be the end of it, but hopefully it would be enough to make them keep their heads down for a night or two.

Just to be safe, she'd still done an hour or so of patrols as Banzai before calling Ringo to arrange a meetup so they could practice their ATs on proper buildings. As Lottie would say, she was WELL EXCITED to do this. The three prospective neighborhoods she'd scoped out were all low-crime areas, mostly because there were very few people around. That didn't mean they wouldn't accidentally run into a few homeless people or a huddle of drug addicts, all looking for a place to crash without being bothered, but it cut down on the likelihood of running into anything worse.

Picking up her duffle bag from the rooftop she'd stashed it on, Kathy traded her Banzai gear for her workout clothes and started running towards their agreed-upon meetup spot. She'd strap on her ATs there, but figured she'd be better off sticking to running while she was still downtown.

Besides, there was something exhilarating at running full-speed over rooftops at night.

[Expecting one, but I guess it could be open if you have reason to be around Baltimore at night?]


2015-09-03 05:07 pm (UTC) (Link)

Ringo hadn't stopped grinning since she got off the phone with Kathy. She'd changed into a pair of snug-fitting jeans and a t-shirt, and then taken a few minutes to decide what pair of ATs to wear for the day. Obviously she wouldn't need her Thorn Regalia, so she didn't even take those out of their protective case. Ultimately she decided on a balanced pair with white and light-blue stripes. Not tweaked for maximum speed, or maximum maneuverability, but something right in the middle.

She'd stuffed a small backpack with a tiny first-aid kit and a pair of shoes (just in case), then pulled on a pair of fingerless gloves, put on her ATs (right there in her room) and took off.

The distinct high-pitched whine of AirTrek preceded Ringo as she approached the appointed meeting place. She wasn't even looking for Kathy as her head turned this way and that drinking in the scenery. Buildings. Buildings, buildings, buildings. Buildings!


2015-09-03 09:40 pm (UTC) (Link)

"Evening!" Kathy called cheerily, waving to Ringo when she was in earshot. She finished pulling on her own ATs and bounced up to her feet. It was long past evening, of course, but no one had perfected a good nighttime greeting. "You made better time than I thought! I'm impressed."

She started doing lazy circles in her ATs. "I hope I picked a good place to start. You didn't say much about what to look for except for 'buildings' and 'close together,' so..."

Here they were!


2015-09-03 10:02 pm (UTC) (Link)

"Well, I might have been a little bit excited," Ringo answered with a grin as she slid into Kathy's circle, opposite the other girl, with casual ease.

"And it looks good to me. I mean, what matters is that things get high enough to get some real elevation, and that they're close enough together for you to move from one to another." She grinned. "I mean, look over there," she pointed down an alleyway. "I bet you could go from wall to wall all the way to the roof without even trying hard." Sure there were fire escapes and air-conditioning units and all sorts of other things sticking out, but that just made things more fun!


2015-09-03 10:07 pm (UTC) (Link)

"Now you're speaking my language," Kathy said, laughing. "That's pretty much how I travel in Baltimore anyway."

Because sometimes you had to race across a flagpole, leap across an alley, and use gargoyles as stepping stones to get around a building. And who didn't think that was fun?


2015-09-03 10:31 pm (UTC) (Link)

Ringo's smile had somehow gotten even wider as Kathy spoke. "In that case," she waggled her eyebrows, "see you at the top?"


2015-09-03 10:52 pm (UTC) (Link)

"Hey, I'm still practicing going vertical!" Kathy protested with a laugh. That wasn't stopping her from heading to the nearest building to try. "I'm still watching you to see what to do!"


2015-09-03 11:17 pm (UTC) (Link)

"I'm sure you'll catch on quick," Ringo said with a grin.

"The big thing is just to remember that as long as you have momentum toward a wall, you get enough traction for your ATs to push you upward."

With that, Ringo leaned forward, accelerating down the alley. Then she spun and kicked upward at the same time, planting her right foot against the wall and letting her momentum swing upward, pulling her left foot along for the ride. For ten or so feet it looked basically like she was crouching against the wall and sliding up it, then Ringo planted her left foot and twisted her right inward, imparting a slight spin just as she extended both legs to soar through a back flip. The move looked almost lazy as she looked straight down beneath her, body bent back as the spin she'd picked up turned her around so that she landed against the far wall, knees bent deep, facing upward again.

Repeating that process allowed Ringo to work her way upward steadily, but once she reached the top, instead of flipping up onto the roof, she flung her arms and legs out wide and dropped through the gap between the buildings. Halfway down she lightly caught a fire escape railing with one hand and sent herself into a tumble which allowed her to get her ATs back in contact with the wall. A series of bounces, spins, and flips bled off the speed of her fall until she landed on the ground again , her legs starting close together and spiraling outward as she bled off the last of her momentum.

She turned to Kathy with a grin. "Tada!"


2015-09-04 01:07 am (UTC) (Link)

"Awesome!" Kathy said, applauding. "Okay, I have got to try that."

Kathy flung herself forward, practically running for the first few steps before sliding into the AT groove. She did a lap around the alleyway until she got up to almost her maximum running speed, so somewhere around 80 miles an hour, the wind clawing at her as she went, leaving only delighted laughter behind.

She leapt for the side of the building, a backwards handspring that pressed her feet against the wall nearly a third of the way up. The bouncing didn't stop, Kathy accelerating up the wall another few feet before bouncing to the building across the alley and skidding up that one.


2015-09-04 01:27 am (UTC) (Link)

"Yes!" Ringo exclaimed, a huge grin on her face as she watched Kathy make her way upward. It was actually impressive how smooth the whole thing looked considering how recently Kathy had picked up AirTrek.

Ringo allowed herself a moment to imagine what the other girl would look like with another six months of practice under her belt. It was scary. And awesome.


2015-09-04 01:57 am (UTC) (Link)

She had the agility of a Gravity Child along with two years of finding out exactly what she could do with her speed and bounciness, two years of learning how to best make use of her abilities.

"Comin' back down!" she called, and swan dove over the side, somersaulting down and down again. She flipped and skated and lunged, bouncing around several buildings before coming to a stop next to Ringo. "This is so much fun!"


2015-09-04 02:09 am (UTC) (Link)

"I'm watching to see what you do," Ringo repeated Kathy's words back to her with a teasing tone. "Sure, Miss I'm-Already-Awesome-At-This."

"It's almost not fair how good you are at this," she fake-pouted through a grin. "How's a girl going to maintain her self-confidence?"


2015-09-04 03:01 am (UTC) (Link)

Kathy laughed. "No, really, I wanted to see how you got up, I really did!" she explained. "But once you showed me how to do it, it was easy. It's like...learning a new gymnastics move. Once I figured that part out, I could add it into the rest of my routine. So, I've only been using ATs for a few months, but the rest of it, I have years of experience."

So don't be glum, Ringo!


2015-09-04 03:07 am (UTC) (Link)

"Well, since you're so good at the basics, there are basically two ways you can go next. You can go for big tricks: the longest jumps, highest speed, long wall runs, that sort of thing. Or you can go for precision: perfect landings, maximum efficiency."

Ringo grinned slightly. "Well, really you end up having to do a little of both, but, well, what do you want to start with?"


2015-09-04 03:15 am (UTC) (Link)

Kathy looked like a woman in the throes of Sophie's choice. " would you go for?" she asked.


2015-09-04 03:20 am (UTC) (Link)

Ringo laughed at Kathy's expression. "I know!" she declared. "It's tough!"

"And, like I said, you end up having to do both, but, well, the truth? When I started, I just wanted to fly."

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