NFG Season One - A Very Metal Welcome Wagon

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Description: Applying some basic first aid after her fight with Ichika, Iris runs into Djamila, who welcomes the magus onto the team. The resulting discussion covers self-confidence, promises of future sparring, and the snobbery of wizards.

It had been close to 2pm by the time Iris had recovered enough to walk out of the NFG med tent and start her journey back 'home', assuring the nurses that she was none the worse for wear. Which was true... to an extent, anyway. It was certainly true enough to get her in a cab and headed back to Ultratech HQ, through security, and into the high-speed elevator up to the 78th floor.

If there were more windows in this creepy place, by the current moment, they'd be showing the rosy orange-pink of sunset filtered through the skyscraper-filled Metro skyline. When she'd made it to the living area and slumped down onto a couch, what Iris HADN'T expected was to fall asleep sitting up, again, in an ungainly sprawl. Thankfully, nobody appears to be here but her right now, and even if they were, no recording devices work, so there's no unfortunate TikTok or Insta reels of an NFG fighter drooling a tiny bit in her sleep on a future-science couch.

Now, though, she's awake, having lost her entire afternoon to a combination of sleep, fatigue, and weird, abstract dreams she barely remembers more than the unsettling impression of, now. No first aid had been done on her on site, after her fight with Ichika; professional fighting med teams know that fighters can be VERY picky about that stuff, after all. So it means that right NOW, Iris is sitting on one of the couches with a first aid kit, jacket discarded on the couch and shirt pulled up over her belly as she dabs at a long line of red -- the result of one of Ichika's attacks -- with a rubbing alcohol swab.

"Ow! God damn that hurts," the Brit mutters as she cleans the wound. At least the resilience that most pro fighters pick up early means this is merely a frustrating/painful wound that will soon heal, instead of a major bloody gash through her torso!

Meanwhile, Djamila finally is coming back home after an afternoon doing a fight with Lucky Chloe. She's so lucky she accepted that. She didn't win, but she still gave her a run for her money. She doesn't feel bad at all for losing. How else would she learn anyway. Well training, but a good fight is works well, too.

If one person wouldn't care much about the windows, it's probably Djamila. But as she gets out of the elevator at 78 floor, she hears someone saying it hurts. "Hey, you need help or something?" She walks closer toward the voice. She's dress in black short shorts and a black top. Of course she still has a blindfold, since she's never seen without. As well as black boots. She's also walking with her staff, which looks much better than after the fight with Junko. Djamila too, for that matter. Althought, right now she has some new bruises

Once she is close enough or at least she feels she is close enough. "I am Djamila." She says. "I think you're Iris right? If you need help, I am totally fine helping you." She gives a smile. "Oh, I wanted to congratulate you for your rumble performance. You did really well." She then waits to see if her assistances is wanted or if she will be told to leave her alone.

Considering the sterile/spartan decor, and that this is a lot of space for a mere 5 people, it's hard not to notice Djamila coming... but even with that, Iris is pretty distracted, and only looks up at the approaching figure when she speaks, meaning Djamila is probably pretty close by the time Iris notices. "Ah... I'm good, thank you. It probably looks worse than it is." That part is true, and the magus reflects for just a moment how WEIRD it is that the idea of having been cut repeatedly with a sharp sword feels more like an annoyance than a life-threatening injury nowadays.

Putting the swab she was using in a little plastic bag for medical garbage on an adjacent table, Iris lets her shirt fall back down over her stomach... though since she hasn't had time to change, it's hardly much difference; the white cloth is sliced clear through, making the red line of the cut still visible.

"Thanks," the Brit says with a grateful smile, studying Djamila's quite distinctive look closely for a moment. "I wish I felt like it wasn't a fluke right now, but I appreciate the compliment either way." A pause, and then Iris takes in the blindfold, putting two and two together at last. "Sorry! Yes, I'm Iris. It's nice to meet you... Djamila, right?" A pause, to let her confirm or deny that, before the wizard continues. "Sorry if I don't sound super chipper right now. Ichika thrashed me pretty good, unfortunately for our point standings."

Usually, she's hard to miss. She's not one to sneak around, but she understands she's also not always on everyone's mind. So when someone is distracted by something else, and they don't answer right away, she doesn't take it personal. "Alright. Ichika can hurt with her sword. She got me pretty good in the rumble." So she's aware Iris got hurt by Ichika, at least. "I am happy you're good."

"What makes you think the rumble was a fluke and not Ichika?" She asks, curious.

After a moment, when she confirms she is Iris, Djamila laughs softly. "It's ok. You have to deal with wounds, they can be pretty distractive." She nods her head after. "I am Djamila." She smiles some more. "You're ok, don't worry too much about points. If you learned something, it's good. At least, that's how I see it. I am not sure if the sponsors see it the same, but Mint hasn't been nasty when I lost before."

She takes a pose. "It might be none of my business, but you do magic right? Can't you heal yourself that way? I thought all magic users could heal themselves. I might be wrong though." She's curious about her new friend. "Anyway, if you ever want to practice with me, let me know, and we can have a friendly bout." She quickly adds. "Or talk or do something. I am not like fight crazy, and nothing else matters. You are interesting, and it's cool you're now on our team."

The question about healing herself with magic feels easier for Iris to answer right now, and after a chuckle, shakes her head before answering. "It depends on the magus," she says, unconsciously tapping her fingers against the wound and wincing a little. Yep, still tender. "There are spells like that for sure, but I don't know any myself. Honestly I'm pretty jealous of people who do," she adds, now that she thinks about it. "It's probably more useful in life than 'make sword appear out of thin air'."

The question about why Iris thinks the Rumble is a fluke -- or why Ichika's success wasn't one -- takes the Brit by surprise, however, and she is much more reflective in answering it; it's not clear to Iris yet how Djamila can 'see', but the wizard takes it for granted that she can, despite the blindfold. After all, someone who can teleport across a room could hardly find someone else's special abilities unusual.

"Because she's so SERIOUS. I don't have the heart to tell her how serious she is to her face," Iris says, on the subject of Ichika. "She wants it so bad and she wears that on her sleeve. It's honestly something I respect about her a lot, but... well." A shrug, then a sigh. "Sorry. I'm not trying to be a downer. I gave her a good fight. But I still feel like everyone else has something I'm missing, I guess."

A pause, and then a faint smile once more, in Djamila's direction. "Thank you for the warm welcome, though, really. It's not that there's anything wrong with the folks who were on Team Blaze, but we were never introduced and that always bummed out a little bit."

"Oh, it makes sense. I am not a magic user, or magus as you call it, but I can heal myself. So, if little old me can do it with the wind. I figured you could all do it. Sorry, I realize it was me generalizing all magic users." She ponders a moment. That's kind of rude to. "You're pretty good even if you can't heal yourself. Sorry I assumed there." She smiles sheepishly. Note to self, don't assume anything.

Djamila has a reason to wear her blindfold. But nobody talk much about it, and she doesn't feel the need to talk about it either. Beside, she can't read minds, so she doesn't bring it up now either, while Iris is quiet.

"I don't want to like pretend I know you perfectly or anything, so forgive me if I sound like that, but maybe you're simply missing confidence in yourself. You have your place here as much as I do and anyone else in the tournament. You can lose. You don't have to like it. I certain don't like it when I do. But you're allowed to lose, and you're still amazing. You're Iris, yeah? You can be proud of that fact." She decides she does have to say something about Ichika too. "Ichika is Ichika. She has her own path, but sometimes, it leads her in the wrong direction it feels like. But who I am to judge, I have to follow my own path." She rubs her arms. She's relatively at peace with Ichika now and doesn't really want to make it super bad again.

She nods her head knowingly and smiles as well. "Oh, I love to know my teammates. I never got to meet Nixie while she was around, and I still haven't met JD, except if you consider the rumble, meeting them." She shrugs. "I am also pretty sure Mint is the only Sponsor here." She smirks, "Nan, I am kidding." She takes a deep breath. "I think I can speak for everyone when I say we want you to feel welcome here. But just in case, I am not speaking for everyone... I at least want you to feel welcome here. I want you to know you have a friend, if you want the friendship." She shrugs her shoulder. "I honestly don't know how you deal and need to be to be at your best. I guess for some, friends are a bad distraction." She leans on her staff. Chi keeps it upright again, like in her matches. Iris probably can feel it.

'Maybe you're simply missing confidence in yourself.'

Iris can't help it; that statement gets a sharp laugh out of her, though it doesn't sound sarcastic or bitter. The Brit is truly and completely amused in a very genuine way. "Oh, I DEFINITELY don't have confidence in myself," she says, grinning. "Not about fighting, anyway. Other things, my self-esteem is pretty good, all told... or at the very least could be a lot worse. For whatever reason, when it comes to this fighting stuff, though... it all goes out the window."

Maybe she did need to hear someone say 'you can lose' out loud, though. Mint talked around that a bit, too, but it's Djamila who literally just SAYS it.

The comment about self-healing, combined with the demonstration of the pole staying perfectly upright, piques Iris's interest enough to distract her, which accounts for the sudden swerve in conversational topic. "You know, other than what Google can tell me, I don't know much about 'chi' in general, other than 'a lot of fighters use it, and it might as well be magic', haha." Iris tilts her head somewhat, looking at the upright staff, and hmmms in the back of her throat briefly. "But honestly, that's really cool. I don't know if you know this, but wizards are TOTAL snobs, especially British ones," she adds, with a conspiratorial smile. "Personally I think finding all these people who can do all sorts of wild stuff I have no idea how to accomplish is really interesting."

Reaching down to the table, Iris picks up a roll of adhesive gauge and, pulling up her shirt again, starts to lay it down over the cut across her stomach. "And yeah, I'd love to spar sometime, though... probably not RIGHT this second. Like I said, though, I feel like I don't have the faintest idea what I'm doing half the time and as Mint said, the only way past that is practice. And frankly, I'll take all the friends I can get," she finishes with a smile. "This isn't a reality TV show. Anyone who gets all scowly and is all 'I'm not here to make friends' sounds like a jerk, frankly."

If Djamila could, she would raise an eyebrow, because at first, she has no idea why Iris is laughing. Until she starts speaking. "Well you have a very interesting fighting style, from what I know. Take it with a grain of salt because like, I am not a mentor or sponsor or anything like that, I am just another student..." She takes a pause before she continues. She starts rocking her hips. She might not even be conscious about it at this point, it comes naturally. "You have all the right tool to kick ass. You don't have my tools because you're not me. You don't have Ichika's tools because you're not her. You've your tools, because you're Iris." A slight pause again." Bah I might sound like I pretend to have it all figured it out. I am not, but I simply want to say, practice your own tools. Learn what you need. Don't try to learn to be like anyone else. Because their tools are not for you." She brings her head down. "I hope that makes sense without sounding like a know it all. I am still learning my tools."

Djamila usually say it like it is. At least to her, maybe it's why she upsets some people. She's not trying to be like she knows everything. And what she says can be wrong, but she says what she feels and thinks.

Then it goes to another topic, which is fine for Djamila, who is still rocking her hips slightly. But as she continues to do so, wind flows around her like a soft breeze. "Chi or the wind to me, it's like a part of me. You don't think about your legs to walk. They are a part of you. Same with the wind for me. It's been protecting me ever since that time." She doesn't specify what time she means. "I didn't know wizards are snobs. I know some people aren't right in the head, and hopefully when family are involved, it doesn't mean it's hereditary." She ends up smirking after that. "Or I am in trouble." She does nod her head when Iris mention being interested in all the different things people can do. "A lot of people are amazing, and you're part of it too." She sighs. "I mean, it's just easy to think you're not special because you're used to what you do, but from someone else perspective, what you do is a wild thing too." She hopes she makes sense with this.

There is more wounds for Iris to take care of, and Djamila goes silent, until Iris speaks again. "You look like you need to heal. I am bit bruised myself but nothing the wind can't take care of. But anytime you want that spar, let me know. I think you will be very interesting to go against." She lifts her head back straight, as if looking at Iris. "Tell you what, if I have an idea of what you could do to get better, I will let you, and you can do the same to me. Sharing opinions that we can take into account or just ignore if it's not for us. What do you say?" She also nods her head. "Friends and teamwork are important, even if just for sanity sake." She laughs a bit.

"You know, you are really approachable and nice. I am happy we are meeting here today."

"You know," Iris says, as Djamila admits that she might not have it all figured out, "I met with Corporal Panesh -- Mint -- a day or two before I fought Ichika, and you know what her advice was?" Reaching up, Iris spreads her hands apart in the air, a common gesture for 'picture it like this': "Quote, 'fake it til you make it'." A pause, and a faint smile about that. "So, you know, in that sense, acting like you've got it all figured out might be the trick to actually HAVING it all figured out, right?"

Gauze in place and wound taken care of, the Brit starts packing the various unused things on the table into the first aid kit, which she then closes with an audible *CLICK* of the hinges shutting. "That seems like a fair exchange, though God only knows what kind of advice I would give you." A brief pause, thinking back. "I saw your fight with Junko, actually, right before I went up against Ichika. That seemed like it must have been a hard time. That Junko girl seems like, uh..." How did she put it to Ichika, when this subject came up then, before the fight? "A Lot. Just, a lot going on there."

Djamila calls her approachable, and that compliment actually takes Iris aback for a bit, but the magus takes it in stride. "Thanks for the compliment. And you too, really. I, uh..." For a moment, she reflects on her own childhood: which is to say, living in a manor with all her needs taken care of except for the most important ones. It might seem gauche to complain after having come from money, but if it weren't for her nanny and butler accompanying her during round one, would there have been ANYBODY on earth who gave a damn about Iris in that situation? It's why the pair leaving her without word stung so hard.

"Like I said: wizards are snobs and that's who I grew up with. So I try not to be that, at least, because it sucks to deal with, doesn't it?"

"Mint is pretty cool." She smiles. She seems to actually watch Iris hands. Like that feeling someone can't possibly see you, but they actually do somewhat. "Maybe we just have to fake it harder than our opponent, take their confidence away at how well we know what we are doing." She can't help but laughs. "Whatever works, but you will find your way Iris. I meant it. You have all the right tools. Some you know, perhaps some you don't know." She shrugs her shoulders. "I am finally starting to believe I am a real fighter. I mean a professional one. I still have a lot to learn, but I am finding my path through it all."

When the first aid kit is closed, Djamila smiles, it means Iris is done fixing herself. It's time to heal. "Who knows. You have your way of thinking. You might see something. You will have a different view than I do. If you have something to say great. If you don't, it's ok." She keeps smiling, wraps her left leg around her staff, changing her position a bit." She ponders how to say this about Junko. "She wasn't easy, but it's first of all, it was like she was also hurting herself in the process. Also, my wind really helped me. I did a few mistakes. I am trying to learn a few things that I want to add to my toolset. It didn't work yet against Junko, but it's ok. In the end it was more if I could support her fire for longer than she could. While helping her along a knock-out. I am sure she will get better too." She smiles.

"I meant like you said magic users are snobs. You are not snobs at all." She smiles. "I like you Iris. Now, if I hope I am not making this weird or anything, but if you need something..." She hesitates. "I just want to say I got your back. I don't care if it sounds weird. I like you, and I trust that. So I have your back if you need it."

Her cheek might have a rose taint a little now, but she keeps on he conversation. "Well, you're not snob at all, and you're the only magic user I know, I think." She shrugs. "But yeah, snobs suck." She thinks about how much her father sucks also, but she doesn't bring it up.

The Brit can't help but grin at Djamila's positivity. In a strange way she's reminded of Ichika, who is equally positive but in a distinctly different way than the blind woman before her. Ichika's positivity burns with intensity; she is a young woman who comes intensely driven. Iris's impression of Djamila is quite the opposite, and in a sense, it makes sense that her energy resonates with the wind, the more the wizard things about it: despite her effuisveness, there is a calm and an acceptance here. Inside, Djamila may be just as driven, but Iris gets the sense that the dancer-fighter is a much more take-it-as-you-go type.

"Okay. I am going to go... honestly I don't know what. Maybe sleep some of this off." A pause, and Iris stretches, both hands and arms arched over her head, the plastic first aid kit box rattling slightly as it dangles by the handle from her fingertips. "It really was nice to meet you, Djamila," the wizard says earnestly, and for the first time finds herself not 100% knowing how this should go -- does she extend a hand for a handshake? Would Djamila see it? Some internal battle over this rages until the Brit just decides to bow, which feels like a very all-in-one martial arts culture greeting and goodbye.

"Maybe we can arrange a spar wtih everyone sometime. Turn it into a party or something." A pause, and then a laugh. "Okay, I've become the type of person who just suggested a party where we beat each other up. Sure, why not."

Maybe it's why for a long time Ichika and Djamila were rival. That and how Djamila told Ichika in their first match she would never be able to beat her. Djamila is only djamila.

"Yeah, you rest, and you heal up naturally." She smiles. "It has been a pleasure to meet you too Iris." She keeps the smile. When Iris bows, Djamila releases her staff to bow as well. The staff still stays up on it's own, as the hci is still there. "Everyone, one on one, anything that make you feel comfortable. I am all for it. We're all going to be the best we can be." She laughs. "Sleep well." Now she takes her staff, the chi gone, and she makes her way to her own room for the time being.

Log created on 13:15:43 09/14/2023 by Iris, and last modified on 12:16:42 09/15/2023.