Thursday, December 3, 2015

Six Swans a Spying - Chapter 2

Marigold sat in her chair as per usual waiting for her students to arrive, trouble was they were late.  She reviewed notes and emails from Cindy and others sending off responses where warranted.  They filed in 10 minutes late; she never looked up just continued with her tablet as they slowly and gingerly took their seats in a semi-circle around her.

‘Ladies have a hard time in Fighting Arts this morning?’ she said not looking up, her voice pitched between a statement and a question.

She made a few more taps to finish an email then stylishly uncrossed her legs and came to her feet in one seamlessly pleasing motion and walked over to Iris.
‘Tell me does it hurt here!’ Marigold as she slammed a short sharp punch into the stomach of the woman.  

‘Or here,’ as another hit her latissimus dorsi when the trainee double over.  Marigold followed it up with a knee to the sternum then watched Iris collapse to the floor at her feet.

The others looked shocked, Nara was almost out of her chair when a spinning leg sweep from Marigold smashed her hard to the floor knocking the wind out of her, their teacher assuring she stayed down with a thumping heel to the groin.  Marigold stuck the oncoming Sabine with a heel point directly on the left quadriceps, she fell to one knee and Marigold finished her off with a sharp hard elbow between the shoulder blades knocking the wind out of her.  Seeva was on her next missing with a high spinning back heel kick that Marigold bent back upon herself to avoid, the motion carrying the girl about 180 degrees and exposing her to the active agent.  A rap to the kidney then a thrust with the flat of her heel to the back of Seeva’s knee knocked her forward and down into on rushing Rochelle who had to catch her to avoid being knocked over herself.  Marigold caught her with a side kick that drove her back and hard to the in a thunderous slam where she lay gasping for breath.  Elena cocked her leg and fired a high side kick aimed at Marigold’s head which the experience agent deftly sidestepped while seizing the shapely fully extended gam in her hands.  Her body slipped underneath the extended python placing her directly behind Elena.  Marigold turned her slim ankle and hook the heel of her shoe into Elena’s while her hand pulled the trainees captured leg down splaying the girl on the floor.  A quick hook of her other heel into Elena’s fixed them in place allowing Marigold to rein punches into each side of the girl’s torso before finally rearing back her head and snap it forward in between the shoulder blades of her captured foe.  Elena tumbled straight forward and Marigold delivered a second blow to the small of her back before releasing her heels and getting to her feet. 

The spy casually smoothed her dress as she walked over to the full length mirror on the far wall for a more through adjustment of clothes and hair.  The results to her satisfaction Marigold turned about surveying the damage she’d left behind.  The human carnage was just starting to pull itself up and into their chairs.  A determined pace brought her over where she snatched a trainees hand in hers, the unfortunate one being Seeva who tried to pulled away.  Marigold simply tightened her grip with one hand gave her a slap across the top of the head with her other while she dragged her to the mirror.

‘Fix yourself up, the rest of you get over here and do the same, don’t make me come and get you!’

The staccato click of heel sounded like a machine gun as the remaining combatants scurried over and began the process.
‘Skirt line uneven, tease the hair a little more,’ their teacher said among other things as she passed down the line inspecting them.

‘Don’t ever come to my or any class late, ever,  unless you have a very good reason, it’s a bad habit, shows a person to be lazy and translates into other habits, habits that get you killed.  That’s one thing.  Showing a weakness is another matter.  When you all dragged yourselves in her with your various aches and pains, I saw them all in a split second.  Let’s examine this from several angles.  

Firstly, you may all be beautiful young ladies wearing expensive clothes and accessories, but all that disappears when you show tiredness, pain, hurt, aches and pains.  You immediately get overlooked, shunted to the background and forgotten, in other words you’re useless to this organization.  I don’t care how much you ache from getting the crap kicked out of you in any situation, training or mission, you hide that.  You push it down.  You may be screaming on the inside but outwardly you look and project sexy, cool confident.  Three, any sign of weakness will be picked up by your opponents and used against you by your opposite numbers and believe me if you think what your experiencing now is pain, that is nothing to what they will do to you,’ Marigold explained in a cool measured voice.

‘Now on the positive side, you all came together instantly to fight me, you stunk, but that’s to be expected, your trainees,’ she smiled. 

·         *             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             *           
‘This approach is very, well innovative,’ Marigold said as she sipped her tea and spoke with Cindy in her office.

‘We used to practice, if that’s the word, and believe me I liked to practice,’ Cindy smiled to almost a laugh. 

‘On, while I really mean with, the male recruits, but that had huge drawbacks, attachment, being the main one.  This has always been the trickiest part for any agent, but for plus’s it’s really hard, by and large their starting with no background.  What’s your take on it?’ Cindy asked.

‘The key to the whole thing is confidence, for their perspective.  We cannot rush this at all, that’s going to happen when it happens and then believe me it will be a rush none of us can stop, more so with these girls I think. But slow at first, I really don’t want to push them but I think it’s time now,’ Marigold said with concern in her voice.

                *             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             *                          
‘They knew it was part of their training as well,” Iris answered.  ‘But that didn’t mean they had to do it, they wanted to.’

‘Definitely, you can’t fake that level of enthusiasm, from either party,’ Seeva chimed in.

‘I know we all did, remember, no secrets from each other.  Every one of us started from the same point.  I admit I was scared a little at first, like you said we would be, so it wasn’t a lot of fun, but he was wonderful about it,’ Rochelle said.

‘You were also so right about practice making perfect,’ Sabine said and could not contain a girlish giggle.

‘It was wonderful, I thought it would be a little contrived when you spelled it out for us, but it was never like that.  My biggest thrill and please understand this was when we walked onto the patio that night holding hands and instead of going to our table he twirled me onto the dance floor like he was showing me off, I belonged.  Thank goodness for those dance lessons,’ Nara added and the others nodded.

The rest all showed they agreed with that statement.

‘Picking up on what Nara said.  I know we all had similar experiences, because you know, we talk, like Rochelle said no secrets.  We belonged, but just as importantly, we knew we could compete with any woman there and win,’ Elena added.

‘How did you come to that realization,’ Marigold asked.  ‘I have deliberately not read your reports, I will later, but hearing it from you firsthand is so much more illuminating and fun,’ she added with a big smile.

The six looked around before Sabine spoke up.

‘After we got comfortable it all seemed, as you said to us before we left, to become second nature, in a certain way.  We began moving and acting with skill and purpose and knowledge, being directive, knowing what we wanted to do, when we wanted to do it, even when to move, how to move, how to control the situation without making it look like we were.  I’m getting a little excited just taking about it,’ she said with a wave of a hand across her face. 

‘We experimented, knowing we had the confidence to try and understanding that failure did not reflect on us, it was not anyone’s fault if it didn’t work out, especially ours, which had been out past history with most things.  It did however not ever work out, those positions you showed us were rather stimulating for all concerned but especially for them,’ Seeva added.

‘Suddenly, we became the centre of attention and for the first time in a positive way.  I mean guys wanted us!’ Rochelle said in an excited voice.  It was wonderful, I had that power I’d always wished for while watching girls in High School and then University do those things to guys, lead them about, make them come to heel and be at their beck and call.’

‘And,’ Marigold intoned.

‘We, didn’t use it,’ Nara answered for all them.  Again thanks to you.  It was far more interesting and sophisticated to just be who we always were and let that do the magic.  When we did that it was like we were invincible, we could have any guy we wanted but not be mean about it.  You told us all along we were “guy magnets” maybe we believed it a bit with the test of using our legs, but that was one thing this was quite another.’

‘Guys magnet,’ Sabine corrected and Marigold raised an eyebrow.

‘While it’s only natural to question is this is a one off success or do other men feel the same way about you?’ Iris added.

‘They did but they each felt different,’ Rochelle added with a wry smile.

‘Especially at the same time,’ Seeva said finishing off the thought.

‘If very impressed and I’m going to say proud of you all, if that is the correct term although it does seem a little awkward.  It took me a little while to work up the courage for threesomes.  I had a grand total three single experiences going into what you just when through and two of them were totally forgettable.  You’re all way ahead of me and I aim to keep you in the lead,’ Marigold said.

They all looked more than a little surprised at that.

‘Don’t look so surprised, looks are deceiving, as you have all found out and we aim to keep that way,’ she said.

‘While you were away my spies told me about your classes.  Seems you ladies like to congregate together in them, off to the left and at the back in Combat Arts, very back in Erotic Arts, they also tell me you only practice on each other, anyone care to dispute that?’ Marigold asked searching faces.

‘You’re spying on us in other classes?’ Nara questioned.

‘Duh ya, this is a spy organization and I am responsible for you,’ Marigold answered the irony not disguised in her voice.  ‘Anyway that stops now.  With your found confidence I think you’re all more than capable of stepping outside your comfort zone.’

‘Are you sure we’re ready to take on more,’ Sabine searched for a word before settling on traditional agents.

‘You should be asking are they ready to take on you?’ Marigold retorted before leaning back in her chair. ‘Either way it’s a learning experience you both need,’ she added.

‘Can we come to you for help, after all its well-known you seem to be a particular favorite of our kind whether by design or chance,’ Seeva added.

‘I see you have your spies as well,” Marigold smiled.  ‘And yes I’m always available for you.’

*             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             *                        
The six arrived early, changed and entered the Combat Arts class and spread out on the large padded floor.  When the other trainees entered the room, they were a little taken aback by the new arrangement, but adjusted quickly.  It seemed to Iris as if they were choosing their targets by the way they looked.  Each trainee stretched by herself before the teachers arrived, their bodysuits, sheer and hugging revealed every curve of their forms but also housed very advanced technology allowing them to be evaluated very accurately. 

The bodysuits material was a thin woven mesh with hundreds of sensors sewn into them that recorded every blow and opponent struck.  It also recorded the force of your movement, the swiftness of it, the recoil to set position for another strike as well as the efficiently of your movement in fighting, it also had the unique ability to absorb the hits, deadening and dissipating them so the combatants could fight at full force.  All the data recorded live for easy correction and further training.  Each trainee received an overall multi-faceted regime then certain specific styles were added given the feedback from the body sensing suit.  This in theory maximized each trainee’s physical talents making her as deadly a weapon as possible.

*             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             

‘Anyone tell me the difference between these two items,’ Marigold said she placed an Emory Board and a Swiss Army Knife on the floor in front of the girls who along with her, were gathered in a small circle inside one of the exercise rooms at the training centre. 

‘One’s an Emory Board and the others a Swiss Army Knife,’ Rochelle said flatly.

‘No, that’s what they are, anyone can see that, was the difference between them?’ Marigold asked again.

‘One files your nails, the other does many other things,’ Seeva attempted.

‘Now we’re getting somewhere, anyone else?’ the FORCE agent asked again looking about.

‘This one,’ Elena said. ‘Can do what this one does.’  She demonstrated by fanning the various blades out to reveal each blades specific function including a nail file arm, but the other can’t do what this does.’

‘You know what you get with this one, form and function are set, but with the knife form and function are not revealed until you open it up, then those two expand even further along an almost infinite plane of possibilities, ‘ Iris commented.

‘I hope I’m not the only one who sees the metaphor,’ Sabine said.

‘We’re the Emory Board,’ Nara said looking none too happy.

‘Yes you all are,’ Marigold looked at them until her force of will compelled them to look at her. ‘But you can become this,’ she said tapping a well-manicured finger nail against the knife. ‘Form does not always have to follow function.’

‘An agent is only as good as the toolkit they employ, unfortunately, a plus’ toolkit has at least within COIL and FORCE been limited to a hammer and as you are well aware and to paraphrase Maslow, not every problems a nail.  You got the snot kicked out of you because those trainees knew exactly what to expect from you six and you gave it to them in spades.  I think it’s time we added the rest of the deck,’ Marigold stated with a smile.

She pushed up on her hands and pulled herself off the ground then slowly pulled her legs back and through her arms and up into a perfect handstand before turning 180 about, lowering her legs back, pushing off and coming to her feet.  From there, she executed a series and back tumbles that reversed into a series of forward handspring tumbles, then a series of cartwheels before she finished and said to the group across the room.  ‘Come on in the waters great!’

Some things came easier than others; Marigold utilized a harness for the more acrobatic moves and combinations.  The girls all had the basics down quickly, much faster than she had expected.  Once that was in place they worked on fluidity, the ease of motion and the sinuous adjustments only a female can do, then finally improvising.  It took more than two months are extra training, training outside of the sanctioned classes.  Marigold had gone to Cindy to explain what she was doing and she in turn had gone to Claire with updates.  Claire’s main concern was that Marigold was exceeding the mandate of what she was brought into do.  Cindy agreed, but she could not argue with the results she was seeing explaining that Marigold had retained and even enhanced the deadliest components of what a plus agent was while adding the varied lethality of regular agents making these plus’s the closest agents she’d seen to the ones DOOM used to produce.  That was more than enough for Claire; she gave Cindy the go ahead.

*             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             *   
‘You always had my blessing for what you’re doing, but I had to take it up to Claire and now you have hers,’ Cindy said.  ‘How much longer are you going to let them get the crap kicked out of them?’

‘About another week I think.  This is a two pronged learning experience.  How to handle defeat and learn from it and how to use that, they have made copious notes on every agent they have faced in combat to see if patterns emerge,’ Marigold explained.

‘I see your employing the same system in Erotic Arts as well?’ Cindy added.

‘You’ve undoubtedly seen the films,’ Marigold stated.

 ‘They seem to have become a favorite target, even in Yoga Class.  I’m worried all these defeats are not good for their psyche,’ Cindy said concern in her voice. 

‘I spend time with each of them every day.  We go through everything, believe me they could finish off any of those girls if I let them loose to do so, but I want a total agent before that happens,  one capable of thinking, adjusting and finishing even the deadliest agents,’ Marigold emphasized. 
*             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             

‘Welcome ladies, I’d like you to meet Liana Halfara and Nour Gohar, their here to aid you in your training,’ Marigold said as the six women filed into the training room.  ‘Liana is a world ranked Badminton player and Nour is a world ranked Squash player.  I’m going to split you into two groups of three and send you off with them.  This is extra training outside of your normal routine, I expect nothing but complete commitment to it, these two ladies are in fact me, you will treat them as such, clear.’

‘Yes, but I don’t see the connection to our training,’ Iris said.

‘Badminton and Squash combine elements you all need.  Badminton fosters quick foot work, sharp incisive lunges, faster reactions, enhanced lateral and front to back and strong wrists action among other things.  Squash enhances power from short strokes or motion, speed, anticipation, adaptation as well as dodging motions.  Both allow you to direct and dictate the play of the game and its pace if you know how.  Those qualities can all be used in to your advantage especially when your opponent thinks you don’t possess them,’ Marigold explained.

*             *             *             *

‘You’re pushing these girls awfully hard,’ Cindy said.  ‘Not a, criticism just an observation,’ she added.

‘They can take it, besides I think they actually like it, and it just makes them more prepared for what they will have to face in the field and puts them ahead of their other classmates,’ Marigold stated.

‘Is that the objective here,’ Cindy said cautiously. 

‘You know it is, tell me you didn’t want that and I’ll stop.  I want to make these girls the best.  They’ve be beaten up and defeated in every one on one class so far.  Sure their just as sexy and alluring, but half a victory is none at all as far as I’m concerned.  All six of those SIRENS have held back, while they learn more skills and come the next class there’s going to be a sea change in the pecking order and others are going to have to play catch up which will only make them better and in turn make those six better as each adjusts to the other,’ Marigold said firmly.

‘I’ll be watching tomorrow I know they’ll make me proud just as you have,’ Cindy said, raising and giving Marigold a warm hug.

*             *             *

There was always a silence that descended on the change room for combat classes.  Although knowing you were all on the same team, there was always that competitive nature to be the best and to create a pecking order within the collection of trainees as to where each ranked.  Consequently all conversation ceased upon entering and the ladies went about changing and doing their warm up rituals in silence before exiting the room for the padded combat sparing centre where each had staked out a claim to where they sat around the mat. 

All six of the SIRENS had begun sitting in different places as per Marigold’s instructions and each could now see the other trainees eyeing them with a hungry look of future victory on their faces, but that would have to wait until after the teaching session. 

Nara was the first girl up, by now all the regular sized trainees had worked their way through the six at least once.  Her opponent was Maria Selyna a very attractive and lissome Indonesian woman.   With everyone watching, but Nara keenly feeling the eyes of her fellow SIRENS on they began and as Nara had expected Maria from the sound of the whistle came at her fast and hard. 

The SIREN blocked several punches; her speed increased from the sports training, then stepped under a high front swinging crescent kick and delivered a short sharp and hard punch to the right side Maria then fluidly launched herself over the back of her opponent her left leg clamping around the midsection of Maria as she fell to the floor her momentum carrying Maria up into the air and across the mat, the wall stopping anymore motion.  Nara’s motion elegantly transformed itself into a cartwheel and then two backwards walkovers as her body slammed into the just upright Maria.  Two sharp elbow thrusts into the ribs and the very tight spinning back heel kick demonstrated not only her ability to generate power and aped in a tight situation but also in sexy supple form.  Maria fell to the ground her victim.  Nara’s face betrayed no emotion, but inward she was beaming.

Seeva gave her body a small stretch for her opponent, Ishrat Payel a striking beauty with swaying whole body attacking style.  Ishrat was not as swift to move to the attack having seen what happened to Maria but Seeva was.  That slight hesitation cost the woman as Seeva snapped a kick to her chest making a full force contact that rocked the woman back several steps.  The SIREN propelled herself into a quick serious of jumping spin kicks the second landing to the side of the head sending Ishrat sideways away from Seeva she managing to smartly turn the energy from the blow into a sequence of side cartwheels, Seeva matching the move before a leg tripped up the escaping trainee and crashed her to the mat.  The SIREN quickly administered two kicks to the ribs then straddled the woman, wrapped her arms about her neck and mimed snapping it.  Seeva released her victim and calmly took her place on the mat. 

Rochelle stepped up next and it was clear from the sideways glances about the room that the former punching bags had learned to punch back.  The SIREN took notice of this as her opponent Lin Mei Zhou or Grace as she preferred to be called came up to her and put her arm out.  Rochelle obliged and the two touched wrists.  Grace was fast and clearly taking this stance to start a fight would give her the advantage of first strike.

‘She needs to think again!’ Rochelle thought as Grace made to strike and Rochelle blocked it and snapped a sharp strike to the side of her head, her sports training doubling up for her with the speed of the badminton lunge and the short power of the squash stroke.  Grace took two awkwardly stunned steps back and that was all Rochelle needed. 

Iris stepped up to face Mai Huong an exotic Vietnamese woman who was the best in the class.  Tall and lean she had a body that slithered dangerously when fighting making her hard to hit.  Both women had their long black hair tied into a single ornately woven ponytail that dangled down below their shoulder blades as they took their stances beside each other. 

Mai stepped back, raised her leg up into a cocked position as Iris struck with a front kick that she easily blocked with one arm.  The cocked leg released and snapped quickly to the head of Iris who twirled inward as she sidestepped he blow, one arm extended as it snapped around and hit Mai square on the side of the head, reeling her backwards.  Iris continued on with a series of Butterfly kicks that forced Mai to retreat until Iris stopped and faced her, her dominance established.  Her opponent tried a flurry of kicks and punches that the bobbing weaving and blocking Iris parried with ease.  Mai snapped a side kick that the SIREN saw coming, she flung her head back to avoid it and thrust it forward with a snap.  Her ponytail flew over her head and encircled the ankle of Mai’s raised leg.  Iris stepped inside and behind Mai, two hard punches to her kidneys, a double chop to the neck, hands out the chin and a knee into the back finished her opponent off.  Iris turned and rotated her head elegantly to free her hair and walked away victory hers. 

Elena fist bumped Madison Devereaux, although what many would derogatorily call a blue blood or a trust fund kid as Madison was she never projected that.  She was friendly but tough as nails, up for any challenge, her blonde cool sexy exterior perfectly disguising her tigress interior, they liked each other which made the fight a little harder, but Elena was determined to win. 

Madison feigned a double punch to the stomach of Elena then swung over top to her real target a double neck strike.  She thought she succeeded when Elena’s hands flashed up and caught hers.  The SIREN pirouetted crossing Madison’s arms then flipped her over her shoulder landing her hard on the mat.  Before Madison could react two constricting legs wrapped around her waist and squeezed tighter and tighter while Elena’s arms pummeled blows into the sides of her foe followed by a head butt to the back of the neck that finished the contest.  Elena relaxed her legs swung one overtop of Madison the motion twirling her on the mat as she transferred the energy about her body and came to her feet an extended hand pulled Madison to her feet and the two took their places on the mat.

By now there was a buzz about the circle as Sabine took her place in the centre.  Chaise Gowan, her opposite used her long legs and rapid motion to keep the SIREN on the outside.  Sabine darted and weaved about blocking and parrying the attempts with effortless skill until she saw a faction of an opening from the tiring efforts of Chaise.  Sabine seize the leg of her opponent at full extension and height from a miss kick, did a 180 turning into her and drove an elbow straight into the exposed mound of the trainee then flipped her into the air and hard to the mat.  The SIREN launched into the air and with full force slammed her forehead into the stomach of Chaise who rolled over and got the same treatment between her shoulder blades, a simple mock neck snap needed the encounter.

Sabine walked back to her place her eyes darting to each of her SIRENS all knowing that they had turned a page and each knowing it got tougher from here on.