OOC: Corvin, you're the best; well done
[Great Mine; afternoon]
Being blind has a terrible misconception to it.
The best way to describe what people think it's like is a "lack of information". The loss of a sense, best example here being sight, was always assumed to bring less information, a distinct lack of sensory input, making it difficult to function. Used to to five sensors, the brain only has four or less to work on; thus the impaired physical ability. In reality however, the opposite was true.
It was a distinct overload of information.
With one sense down, the body has to compensate for this loss; it still needs to know what is going on in the world around it. Therefore all the remaining senses get jammed into overdrive in order to try and make up for this deficiency. Smell becomes enhanced, suddenly able to detect odors it could not before; hearing becomes painfully acute, the audio receptions trying to pinpoint moving object with echo location to compensate for the loss of sigh; but the most dramatic sensation is enhanced touch as that is the only sense that is in direct contact with the outside world and tries to make up for the others. Touch becomes hypersensitive, almost to the point of over-sensitive, sounds and smells colliding with everything that's going on in your head, and your brain does not know what to do with all it. Your senses are suddenly on crack, giving the mind more information than it had ever dealt with before as it tries to absorb and disseminate everything coming in. You hear, but do not comprehend; you smell, but cannot identify; you feel, but have no idea what you are touching. When you're so dependent on sight losing it is utterly detrimental, and being a Kohlii player that was the sense I used the most. And now it was gone.
Agni disappeared, I knew that much, but where he went was impossible to tell as my mind tried to sort out everythin-
I may be blind, but my vision exploded with stars as I felt was like a boulder slam into the back of my head. He couldn't of hit me that hard... no, he wouldn't of hit me that hard. With my sense of touch on overdrive every strike felt ten times worse than it was, and the blow tot he back of the head was enough to cause me to stumble forward, losing my footing. I recovered, and attempted to swing where I thought he was-
I was hit again, this time by the side, and I practically sprawled to the grate. I managed a roll and came up on my knees, shooting a fireball in the direction the strike had come from.
I was vaguely aware that it hit the fall wall some several second later. I was too busy fending off blows from my invisible assailant.
I spun around again, trying to locate Agni, when it hit me: I had no idea where I was. I was so dizzy and disorientated that I could barely stand, let alone know which direction I was facing. But that wasn't the most foreboding thought - I had no idea how far away from the edge I was... any edge. My next step could be nothing but air. I froze, trying not to make any stupid mistakes.
I was rewarded my an inexplicably hard punch right into the gut. I collapsed to my knees, trying not to throw up as the rest of my body rebelled, pain rolling over my muscles.
I could hear his slow footsteps as he walked around me, like a predator sizing up his prey. I could barely breathe, let alone focus with everything going on in my head.
"Take away sight, and you are helpless. Incompetent. Simply reacting, and not doing a very good job of it I might add." His voice had changed, and I was unsure if this was my mentor or a very real opponent; it still didn't take the truthful sting out of his words. "Shadows remove all light, all hope, from a place, rendering it black and cold, a place where one can see nothing, see only his own fears in his mind. How can you expect to defeat Heuani when you can't even stand on your own two feet, let alone predict where he will strike next? Yes, you have learned to react and plan ahead when you see your enemy move, but how about when you can't see?"
I heard him move, and I tried to make a rolling dodge, but his foot caught me in the chest. I skidding across the grate, the sharp edges digging into my skin, and then nothing.
Only my fast reflexes saved me, my hand shooting forward and grabbing the edge. I hung there, trying to formulate a plan of action while forcing down the panic of my near demise. Without sight I could not fly, and there was every possibility I would have rocketed myself into the closest wall. Pulling myself up I crawled back onto the grate, Agni's laughter ringing in my ears.
"Such a pathetic toa."
On all fours I sat motionless, every fiber of my being wanting to lash out in anger, rip off this blindfold and call "Foul!" I didn't know where I was, he had resorted to name-calling, and in a matter of moments I had been handed a solid defeat. Problem was, getting angry would not solve this. I... I couldn't afford it. As much as I was beginning to hate him for such low tactics, getting angry would only kill my chances. I... I had to keep my cool. Stay focused. Concentrate. Sort out this new type of information. Learn.
Carefully, painfully, I stood.
And was immediately knocked to my feet. "Don't you ever learn?"
Raising my arms I willed myself to block out the pain, focusing in on the myriad of sounds around me. I would have to sort them out, identify what was needed and what was white nois-
I felt my knee buckle, and once again I was on the sharp metal grate. By now I was pretty tore up, my usual smooth complexion marred by deep gashes and bleeding abrasions, but I ignored it. I focused. I needed to not only listen, but understa-
I was hit again, from a completely random direction. Stagger, fall, get back up, hit again. I moved carefully, trying to figure out my location, not to fall off, locate Agni – hit again. Vanish. And again. Vanish. And again, and again, and again…
Agni was brutal. Merciless. Toying. Not once in our training was he as underhanded and cruel as he was here, not even as punishment. I don’t know how he did it, but Agni had slipped into his opponent’s role almost too well, but that was the point. At any time he could have taken me out, but instead he messed with me, hit-and-run, making it impossible to move without being punished, and simply standing was worthy of punishment. I could not see him, but I could sense his popping in and out of the shadows, striking where it hurt most, only to melt back into where-ever he went. It was the most spirit-awful session of my life, and I just stood there and took it, no doubt to his mild surprise and probable amusement. But it was not without cause.
I had a plan. I just needed to bear the brunt of it. Survive the pain. Learn.
An ever-so-soft metallic clank. A sound I could identify. The pattern I was looking for. Activating my Kakama I tried to dodge, but I was too late.
But it was a glancing blow.
I rolled, knowing that Angi had vanished yet again, but I could feel his suspicion. Somehow I had managed to avoid a direct hit. I knew he would attribute it to luck, but soon he would learn otherwise: I had managed to discern the pattern. Not physical pattern, he kept it random, but the sensory pattern, the cues I needed to react. The disappearance of a presence, the whisper of wind that accompanied it, followed by the slight sound of metal-on-metal and he re-emerged from teleport, becoming real and engaging with the physical world around him. It was these slight clues that had been hidden from me that I now understood. I just had to react.
I tucked, feeling his fist of my shoulder instead of my chest, feeling him move to the left as I attempted a jab. Nothing but air, but I guessed I was close. Gone. I listened, reaching out… back right. As I bobbed and weaved I could feel a kick on my thigh. I couldn’t block it in time, but I was tensed and ready to absorb it. I could hear him back away and vanish again…
There was a pause in the onslaught. I think he was beginning to figure that I was-
Slight clank, left high. With my Kakama fully activated I move, twisting, reaching up… blocked. Our arms met, and for the first time since that cursed blindfold had been put on me I successfully stopped him.
I could feel the momentum shift in that moment.
It wasn’t immediate, but as time went on Agni had less and less success striking me. At first I played defensive, simply trying to save my body from more punishment, dodging and blocking where I sensed the attacks were coming from. To his credit Agni was getting more creative, but at this point I had grasped the understanding of reaction to stimuli. Yes, I was only moving after he appeared, but I could move faster than him, process information at greater speeds… it wasn’t that he was slowing down between attacks:
I was moving faster. Significantly faster.
He popped in directly behind me, and I whipped around, moving faster than my mind would allow. I simply let my body react, I didn’t think. Just moved. Kakama and me, one body, one mask, one mind, one movement. I circled with my left arm, knocking away his arm, and with my right made an uppercut to his gut-
He stumbled back, activating his mask and teleporting away. Left low, jump and leg swing. Coming high right, low shoulder and upward jab. Every time he teleported and materialized I was facing him, every blow he tried I successfully block and most of the time made a connection of my own. It was as if I knew ahead of time where he was going to go. But that wasn’t true. I was simply reacting to his presence quicker than his eyes and body could read my reactions.
I was faster than his teleport.
He popped in and out several times without striking, trying to confuse and throw me off balance before charging forward. I leaned forward, planting my foot as I grabbed his arm, clutched his elbow, and lifted. Add momentum, and Agni took a free flying lesson as I flipped him overhead and threw him.
I released a fireball, as much heat and flame as I could muster, and I could hear the searing connection of it with his flesh. Shooting forward I grabbed his ankle, and with a pull and twist yanked him down to the grate as I rolled over him, my knee pressing hard into his heartlight as he laid sprawled on his back, on hand around his neck as my other was engulfed in flames, ready to give him and up-close-and-personal experience with my fire.
I pushed on him hard. “I swear if you weren’t my friend I would fry your brain right here and now. Try to teleport again and I will cook you where you land.”
Ok, maybe a bit much, but I wasn’t having any more of this. I was in control, but Agni had pushed enough of my buttons in this training exercise to get me riled up. I would thank him later… I would absolutely thank him later; I don’t think I ever had a harder, more productive session in my life.
I was just a little PO’ed at the moment.