NFG Season One - The Difference Between Theory and Application

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Description: Zel calls upon Kenzo to discuss how they can improve on the things he does in a fight. The thing is, there is often a difference between the theory and the practical.

Perhaps out of all the sponsors for Team Metal, "Zel" is the most mysterious. Whereas Mint has a reputation for herself from past fighting events and her military service, Zel seems to have popped up only recently. Where Katherine Flake has her clear (if sometimes greasy) connections to Arctel, Zel is officially an "independent contractor" only loosely affiliated with them. Some might even wonder whether Zel is qualified at all, between her laidback (and bubbly) attitude and general lack of a resume.

But she's pleasant enough to talk to, and today she's asked Kenzo about a quick meeting to "feel things out" and see if she has any constructive feedback or wisdom for him based on his abilities.

Zel is presently seated on the precipice of the rooftop, where her legs are dangling and swinging back and forth idly. She reaches up and adjusts her tie after a particularly strong breeze messes it and ruffles her short, vibrant pink hair. She seems to be whistling and possibly bird-watching. She's definitely watching something.

Out of all of the sponsors, Kenzo might have the most kinship with Mint due to the fact that she had approached him back in Southtown along with the fact that the both are engineers as well as fighters. The fact that Mint encouraged him to geek out about his tech was the cherry on top.

When he gets a request for the meeting he's agreeable enough. After all, he still had to get a feel for the others on team Metal.

The door to the rooftop opens. While the door itself might give the shinobi away, his footsteps are quiet as he continues his way to his sponsor/coach/mentor. He adjusts his specs for a moment before he speaks.

"You wanted to speak to me?"

Zel waits until Kenzo speaks to turn her attention his way. Whether this is because he snuck up on her or whether this is a choice on Zel's part remains vague, at best. Either way, she doesn't seem startled by his silent footsteps.

"Whoa! Sneaky!"


Zel turns around on her perch, folding her legs up under her to sit lotus style. "Hi! You're Kenzo, right? I'm Zel, but you probably knew that. Apparently you made a really good impression on Miss Panesh, huh?" Zel looks Kenzo up and down. "I think it's pretty deserved! Anyway." Zel smiles. "You know her already, but I don't think we've had a proper introduction. Is there anything you'd like to ask about?"

Kenzo's attempt to contain the smirk on his face when he's called sneaky is in vain. In fact, he stops trying to contain said smirk when he's told that he made a good impression on Mint. It doesn't change when he's told it's deserved though there's a part of him that keeps saying that wasn't deserved and that he could do better.

"Thank you."

He adjusts his specs once more as he thinks of the questions he wants to ask. He settles on one which he thinks might guide the direction of any subsequent questions.

"Would I be correct in assuming that each sponsor of our team has some type of specialty in terms of what they bring to table? If so, what would you consider your specialty when it comes to team development?"

Zel keeps smiling. She runs a hand through her pink hair, smoothing it a bit. "You're welcome!

"Ah! Hmmmmm." Zel draws out the hum, tapping her cheek slowly. "Well. That's a good question! I think ..."

"Moral support!" Zel finally says with confidence. "And subterfuge."

The shinobi is quiet for a few moments as he considers those two particular specialties. Anyone in the group could use the moral support. Knowing that they have someone in their corner can help when things are going wrong and can push someone to do better just because they have someone cheering them on. There's a reason that 'homefield advantage' is a thing, not that he did much to capitalize on it while he was still in Southtown.

The other thing. Subterfuge. Now that was something that he could say was something he could use. After all, he is a ninja.

"Ahh. Now that will guide the next question and maybe subsequent questions beyond that. What would you say I would need to improve on from the perspective of a deception specialist?"

"Oh, well, see, that depends a lot on your mindset." Zel says confidently. She suddenly hops up then smooths her skirt out. "I think you've got the sneaky part down --- stealth is not being seen or heard." Zel paces in a small circle, taking slightly too large steps. There's a certain playfulness in her gait.

"But!" Zel suddenly spins on her heel, holding up a finger. It comes across a bit odd. If she wasn't a certified sponsor, one might wonder what she was even doing here. "That's not as useful after you've launched an attack, no? Because then they know you're there."

Zel stretches out, pulling her arms behind her head. "So what do you do then?"

The oddness of her movement causes him to raise an eyebrow. The long steps are visible but the reasons behind them aren't readily apparent beyond the playfulness in her gait.

The spin on the heel manages to surprise him but it's easy to associate it with her being about to make a point or ask a question. She does both. What does he do then?

"You play with their expectations. Feign weakness when you're strong. Strength where you're weak. Condition them to expect attacks in one location and when they go to guard it, attack in another location."

"Wow!" Zel says, pausing for a moment and blinking. "You got it!" Zel claps her hands together. "I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. It takes a big brain to come up with ninja tools like that." Zel says this was earnestness rather than sarcasm.

"So how do you feign weakness? How do you make someone think you're weak when you're strong, or slow when you're fast?"

Kenzo finds himself raising his eyebrow again. Zel's physical actions in this moment don't line up with with the sound of her voice. All of her actions from the pausing and the blinking to clapping would be the type he would expect from someone being sarcastic but everything about her voice says that she's being genuine. If he didn't know better, he'd think she was engaging in conversational subterfuge. Even still, he has a question to address.

"You become better at controlling your body. Adjusting your mechanics to show your opponent what you want them to see. Practice your moves fast so you can throw with as much speed and as much strength as possible so you know what your baseline is. Practice your moves slow so you can obtain greater control of your body. Practice your moves while adjusting the speed or power at the last moment so you can adjust your moves on the fly. Identify your telegraphs so you can minimize or exaggerate them as needed. Know yourself and your techniques intimately."

"You're really good at this," Zel continues. "Are you sure you need a mentor? Maybe you should be giving advice to some of the other recruits ..."

Zel rocks on her heels slightly. "But no no, I can help with this. Theory and application, no? It's one thing to understand the principles, but then you have to master it, right?" Zel smiles again. It's almost a little too big of a smile.

"Does that answer your question? Did you have any others?"

That's the thing. He understands the fundamentals on an intellectual level. It is the application that he has a problem with. He feels as though he has the knowledge of his moves that not everyone would have but he's not exactly where he wants to be in terms of control over the mechanics of his attacks.

In reference to the theory and application comment, he says, "That is true. That would probably be where I would need the help. Bridging the gap between theory and application. I don't have any more questions at the moment."

"Okay! That's fine." Zel continues to smile. She's a frequently smiling sort of person, it would seem.

"I think it's only fair if I ask a question now too, then." Zel clasps her hands behind her back, slightly above the waist.

"Why do you want to get better at subterfuge?"

Why does he want to get better at subterfuge? There are multiple reasons. Part of becoming a better fighter. A better ninja. Having that knowledge would help him with dealing with those using those tactics against him. Those get left unsaid as he is unwilling to say them. At least for now. His mind goes to the notes he made on his tablet.

"Because I don't want to wait for opportunities in a fight. I want to create them."

He nods to her and then he once again adjust his glasses.

"Oh, good answer! I like that answer." Zel nods agreeably. "But I think that's my only question for now. I hope you feel a little more confident with your mentors, maybe?" Zel smiles again, moving back toward her roof perch.

"Maybe we can spar later too? A more practical lesson, no?"

As Zel heads to her perch, Kenzo heads back to the door to the rooftop. Each of his foot falls were silent as befitting a ninja. The door opens and he turns back towards to Zel.

"I'd like that."

He then quietly goes down the steps and back to the hotel room.

Log created on 17:09:06 06/08/2023 by Kenzo, and last modified on 17:26:09 06/09/2023.