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10.12.2012 , 10:50 AM | #71
CHRONICLES PAST, 7: In Which Nalenne Has Aspirations That Almost Certainly Won't Work Out

Cross-posted from the Short Fic Weekly Challenge thread.

Time period: During Quinn's first life, in-game timeline around Taris

"My lord, I have finished my optimization of the secondary thrusters, and – what are you doing?"

Nalenne relaxed out of the insane back-arch she had been in and lowered her leg to the ground. "Practicing," she said.

"Practicing…" His eyes trailed to the Scarlet Nexu comic lying open on a nearby crate. "Poses, my lord?"

"Not poses. Combat moves." Nalenne raised her arms and one knee and tried again.

"My lord, there is no effective attack you can possibly make from that position."

"Not true. Just in the next frame she – look." Nalenne pointed.

Quinn dutifully looked. "She would have to have the muscular power output of a small hyperdrive to do that much damage with that move from that starting point."

"I could just Force attack from this once I was finished crushing everyone's will with my aesthetic awesomeness. Scarlet Nexu isn't just about the mechanics, you know."

"That much is abundantly clear."

"The Nexu is fantastic and I'm going to incorporate some of her style into my fighting no matter what it takes."

"Her 'style'?" Quinn said disdainfully. "Please. For one thing, you're wearing too much." An instant later he turned dead pale. "Permission to retract that statement, my lord."

"Denied, captain." She grinned a predatory grin, sensuously peeled off her outermost robe, then turned back to the comic book to flip the page. "Then this one. It looks like it could lead into a fantastic spin, but I don't bend that way."

Quinn checked the image. "You could. I just don't see why you would want to."

"No, I can't. Look." Nalenne braced herself against the nearest wall and twisted and arched simultaneously in a serious effort to kick something a hundred and thirty five degrees from facing while keeping her breasts displayed to maximum advantage. "Even if I could sustain the leg raise at this angle…"

"Which you can't, barring some kind of cybernetic augmentation."

"I can't free up my other hand for the triumphant obscene gesture. I'll fall over."

"Nonsense. That's the least unreasonable part of the entire setup; if you stop leaning on the wall the muscles of your lower back should–"

Nalenne demonstrated attempting the hand gesture and falling over.

"My lord!"

She picked herself up. "I'm fine. I'm just saying, that won't work."

"I should think your core muscles would be in prime condition."

"Well what the hell am I supposed to be looking for?" Before he could start explaining, she got halfway back into position. She brought her free hand around to point at her lower back. "Something. Here. It doesn't work."

"That, the muscle right where you're pointing. If it won't sustain the full arch there are targeted exer–"

"Quinn there are a zillion muscles around there and none of them are happy."

"There's a reason for that," he muttered.

"Get over here. Show me what I'm supposed to work on. If I can't manage this I'll never be able to get the victory dance at the end of the issue."

Quinn stopped midstep. "I…I feel that I am duty bound to not assist you with that, my lord."

"Would you rather I test your idea that I couldn't hurt you from this starting position?"

"No!" He reached her and touched a couple of fingertips to her back. "Lower your leg a little. Then lift again. Can you feel that? That should be fully supporting you while you're engaging in the rest of this nonsense. Frankly, I'm somewhat surprised it lacks the strength now."

"Well, you're just all over the criticism today, aren't you? I'm just making an effort to be even more brilliant than I already am and you're doing nothing but complaining about my taste in awesomeness and–" she started returning to more or less a normal standing position facing him – "and any other straight man in the galaxy would be at least slightly turned on by now."

He looked at her impassively.

"Just a little?" she tried.

"I am obligated to deny that, my lord."

"It's the breasts, isn't it. I can't even come close to Nexu's brea–"

"My lord, I can assure you you compare favorably to that…that trollop, and furthermore if you did seek surgical augmentation to that degree I guarantee the resulting back problems would be crippling. I must advise against it."

"Ooh, there was a compliment in there. The galaxy's smallest compliment, seeing as you loudly assert all the time that the Scarlet Nexu is repulsive, but it was a little bit of compliment."

He squeezed his eyes shut and rubbed his temples. "Will it be sufficient to keep you from making a catastrophic surgical decision?"

"No, it's only good for a short distraction. You'll have to come up with something more. I suggest doing the smart thing and going along with what I want."

"While from an immediate safety perspective that seems wise, a broader analysis indicates that 'smart' and 'encouraging you' rarely if ever coincide, my lord. If you want another distraction, perhaps I could return to pointing out that you are in no way obligated to emulate the Scarlet Nexu, of all poor role models?"

"But I love her! She's sassy and gorgeous and has no regard for the laws of physics and she always gets the guy. Guys. Plus she can kill anyone in sight, conquer any planet she sets her sights on, and she does it all while looking like that."

Quinn followed to what she was pointing out. "I'm afraid that position is impossible no matter what muscles you choose to develop, my lord."

"I knew you'd say that." Nalenne scowled. "Honestly, after I kill the artist who keeps claiming that kind of maneuver can be done, I'm going to post a Holonet list of his offenses to warn all the other comic book artists."

"If you intend to list the details, I can identify three other anatomical impossibilities on that page alone."

She examined the intricate mostly-nude mud-wrestling melee that filled most of the page. "And that's really the first thing that comes to mind when you look at this."

"It's rather obvious."

"I would think the curves involved would be a little more attention-grabbing, but no. This is you. 'Wrong,' 'impossible,' 'incorrect' – how is it you are so incredibly good at finding all possible ways of saying no?"

"We all have our talents, my lord."

She glared at Quinn for a little while. Quinn stoicked.

Nalenne huffed. "If you're quite finished trying to ruin my hero, captain, you can return to optimizing whatever you were doing, and I'll get back to the less doomed of my two current projects."
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