Self Defense

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Self Defense

Post by Calista on Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:29 pm

It was places like these where Calista did her best work. Small martial arts palaces with curtains drawn and random stores on either side. Places like these called to street kids and those that could be found within tended to welcome the troubled youth in with open arms. Defiance was a far cry from Cleveland but she'd met a few individuals from nearby Lima and decided to scout the place out. It said something about her that she checked out the local street scene before she checked out the real estate in the area.

Not wanting to draw attention to herself, Calista had dressed in pretty average clothing. She had on dark jeans with vines twining up along the side. On top she wore a plain black shirt that tied across her body and could easily be untied to free a breast. This was important for the still nursing infant that she carried in her arms. The child was swaddled in a sling and rested comfortably in the woman's arms. Calista had red hair and a very young face. It would be easy to mistake her for a typical teen mother dressed as she was, lost and in need. It might well be true that she did quite a bit to further that image, a test to see how whoever ran this place handled such things.

Cautiously, she opened the door and stepped inside. "Hello? Anyone around?" Calista had watched this place long enough to know that she'd arrived at the off hours, just after the students had left but before the master headed home.
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Re: Self Defense

Post by Arkadi Barkov on Mon Jun 10, 2013 8:57 pm

The first thing the young woman would notice, after the jingly bell that signalled her entrance, that the placed smelled of Chinese food. American "Chinese" food, so greasy, but absolutely delicious. It lingered in the air, unlikely to be a new thing. There were red mats from nearly floor to floor, with just a little room for people to take their shoes off. A large Russian flag sits on the side wall next to an equally large American flag. A few paper lanterns adorned the wall as well. The strange mix of cultures in the room spoke only a small volume about the man who's snore echoed in the room. When she called out, he startled awake and shuffled to his feet behind a rice-paper partition. He stumbled around it looking confused for amoment, and facepalms. The accent that comes out is thick, and the voice tired. "Ah! I forget to lock the damn door."
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Re: Self Defense

Post by Calista on Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:21 am

Calista had been in enough of these sorts of places to know that smell. There were some health conscious dojos but many more where Chinese food was the norm. Those that took in 'pupils' in some Mr. Miyagi wish fulfillment tended to be the ones that believed in Chinese food as a principle. She wondered what Brian would say and almost laughed at the highly technical response she knew he'd give. The child in her arms was firmly asleep and Calista covered her a bit more to keep her from the smell and the sound of snoring.

The man was intimidating to say the least. Calista found herself holding her child a little bit more protectively and schooling her features to show more fear than she really had. This was a test after all, to see how he'd treat those who needed help. "I'm sorry. It's getting late and I didn't know where to go. My name's Tai, who are you?" It felt good to use her old name and it fit at the moment. Who knew if she'd ever come back here but if she did she wanted her street presence to be based on that name of old.
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Re: Self Defense

Post by Arkadi Barkov on Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:38 am

He looks just a bit incredulously at the young woman who'd picked a dojo for her random choice of sanctuary. He couldn't help be confused by her choice of location. "My name is Arkadi. It's good to meet you, Tai. So, you need place to stay tonight? You could take bed on the floor, I can sleep on couch in office. There's nice breeze from the window. But if you kill me in sleep I will be very upset with you in next life. I can trust you, yes?" He took a moment to scratch his back on one of the posts along the wall. It looked almost comical, his stance with the form that looked not unlike a rather large ursine creature. He seemed to notice what he looked like and stopped. "Or do you just need cab money home?"
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Re: Self Defense

Post by Calista on Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:34 pm

The fact that he offered her a place to stay and then asked if he could trust her was actually a good sign. He was inclined towards compassion. So many in the world weren't. Tai rocked the child in her arms and smiled sincerely at the man. "I won't steal your stuff or murder you in your sleep if that's what you're asking." She both ignored the question about needing money and didn't quite accept the offer to stay with him. Casually her eyes searched the room, looking for security equipment of any kind. If this place was going to be of use to her it would be good to know how protected it is.

"Arkadi is an interesting name and you have an interesting accent. Usually you find old oriental men in places like this." The girl laughed at the stereotype. "That's not meant as an insult. I think the place looks great. What kind of students do you have? Do street kids come here often?" She found a place on the mat and knelt down with the infant still in her arms, clearly settling in for a conversation. Looking at her young face it was hard to imagine her to be older than nineteen or so.
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Re: Self Defense

Post by Arkadi Barkov on Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:11 am

There was an utter lack of security measures on the shop. The lock on the door was likely the only one in place. There was a possibility this came as a result of the man's confidence in the citizens of the relatively small and calm area of Defiance not to feel compelled to break into his business. It wasn't Detroit or anything, and just knowing the giant martial arts instructor owned the place probably convinced people to move along. It was also entirely possible that he figured anyone who broke in when he was there deserved whatever they got. He didn't seem so full of anger that he was looking for a fight though; in fact, the idea would probably disappoint him. He puts a fist in his other hand and bows, taking a seat and concentrating for a moment in meditation. Seeming satisfied with her answer regarding killing or stealing, he smiled warmly. "I trust  you."

He laughed softly behind a fist so as not to disturb the baby. "I have an interesting name because we are in America. Come to Moscow, I will introduce you to a couple Arkadi's." He let that stand as a soft answer to her unspoken question. "The place is what it is. Ever since we converted it from Chinese restaurant, the smell will not leave. It makes me hungry, all the time. Oriental is for food, or rug. Asian is word you are looking for, I think. There are more Martial Arts than the ones handed out by mystical masters on mountain tops. I teach practical Arts developed from other forms. SAMBO was developed in my country. It is what first made me interested in such things. I also teach civilian Krav Maga, and the less civilian type to any military or police who would ask. I get a few boxing students as well,but I do not have a ring for such things, so it is mostly teaching form." He raises an eyebrow when she asks about street kids.

"We do not see too many kids without a place to go around here. If I met some, I would try to find them a place to stay, that is for sure. Tai, what are you really here for? Are you really Tai? I will not be mad."
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Re: Self Defense

Post by Calista on Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:44 am

Calista watched as he mediated. She knew better than to interrupt him and when he was finished his confident statement caught her attention. The young Garou looked at him more intently, wondering just how he could be so certain after so little time. It was a useful skill and she did not doubt his abilities at all. She listened to his corrections and the stories of what he did and nodded. When he asked his questions she simply waved her hand and said, "We'll get there."

Calista didn't seem in any hurry to get to her point but it was clear that this was turning into a bit more than a young girl asking for a place to sleep at night. "Did you know that child abuse is reported every ten seconds? That every day five children die from abuse? That for every abuse case reported there is undoubtedly another and another and another that goes unreported? Do you know how many children in this world live in poverty, fear, hopelessness and helplessness? How many teenage mothers there are that have nowhere to turn and no one to help them with the very difficult task of being a mother?" She held the baby a bit closer. "Some kids get up the courage to run away but if they're caught they're sent right back into chaotic situations they can't control. Some kids are legitimately rescued, a lot aren't. What is your relationship with the police?" The question seemed to come out of left field, but it was a serious one. The answer he gave would decide what she did next.
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Re: Self Defense

Post by Arkadi Barkov on Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:15 pm

He waits till she's finished with her speech. Getting up, he fetches two glasses of tea. If she tries it, it's a lavender tea with rose hips. A little sweet, but well balanced. Just a little trust test. He appreciated that she had a cause that was important to her. 

"The problem with pet causes, is that they are important. But they are all important. I train others to defend themselves so they can pursue those causes. If you want my help, it won't be hard to convince me though, I'm sure. Are you looking for a protector of children? A finder of lost souls? My relationship with the police. Trouble-free at the moment. We are not best friends, but I may have made a citizens arrest or two."


He studied her face as he spoke, waiting to hear this young woman's grand plan, and hoping she understood his pragmatic stance.
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Re: Self Defense

Post by Calista on Fri Jun 14, 2013 2:03 pm

Trust for trust. Calista knew how this game went and when the man handed her the tea she drank it without any pretense of distrust. It tasted good and she was glad for it. The young Fianna was married to the most pragmatic man she knew, it was certainly a trait she appreciated in others. His answer about the police seemed to be the right one, or good enough to it that she didn't immediately get up and leave.


"I don't think the work of saving children could be considered a pet cause. Or if it is, perhaps it would be a dutiful thing to be everyone's pet cause. Sometimes people have to break the law. Sometimes it's the only choice open to them. I've always lived by the statement; 'it is not what a lawyer tells me I may do; but what humanity, reason, and justice tell me I ought to do.' I've broken more laws than I can count but I've done it all for the betterment of others. I'm going to assume that you don't citizen's arrest people like me. If I'm wrong about that, at least give me a head start out of the room." The Ragabash grinned, she wasn't truly worried.


"There are kids in this world that need a safe haven. A place where they can go to without fear of the law or the foster system and be treated with dignity and respect. I run such a place in Cleveland. My husband and I are thinking of moving this way and I'm looking for possible helpers in this cause. Would you be interested?" She looked young to be legitimately married and to have a child but she sounded like she had the confidence of a much older woman.
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Re: Self Defense

Post by Arkadi Barkov on Thu Jun 20, 2013 6:47 pm

"Sometimes people have to break the law, eh? You are an interesting young lady. I'd like to meet the man who married such a woman some time. And just how do you citizens arrest people? The saving of children is a good pet cause to have. Humanity, reason and justice are nice words, but they can mean many things to many people. I respect the men and women of the police force of this country. Even if they do need a little help or a nudge from time to time." 

He nods his head when she speaks of a safe haven. "If you are setting up a new place, perhaps I can help. If you want to make such a place out of my gym, I may need a bit of help myself, figuring out what to do and how to do it. Tell me, why can I trust you? Are you asking for leap of faith?"
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Re: Self Defense

Post by Calista on Fri Jun 21, 2013 9:43 am

"Laws are for the average. Most people can live their mundane lives and never have to think or worry that the laws are wrong for them. Those that are not average though, those that do not lead a simple life, those that don't know order can not always trust the laws to understand or do what's best for them. Laws don't have empathy so it's left to people like me and I hope people like you to empathize in their name." Calista smiled broadly. "Perhaps you will meet him someday."

Though they had been talking for some time the ragabash didn't seem uncomfortable in a kneeling position. She kept a perfect posture, almost as if trained to do so. "I need your help but not your gym. I want to create a safe space for children who are in traumatic situations. The biggest need that I have is to ensure that the police don't get involved. The foster system is bad and even worse for traumatized kids. It will do nothing good for them. Can you agree to that? Can you help with that?"
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Re: Self Defense

Post by Arkadi Barkov on Sat Jun 22, 2013 11:58 pm

He tries to contain himself, but the young woman's first statement forces a belly full of laughter to rise to the surface. He manages to keep it quiet enough not to wake the baby, he hopes. "Yes, well, you certainly don't seem to be a very average person. And my life is far from mundane."


"I can do my best to keep the police off the backs of any of your children in this area."
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Re: Self Defense

Post by Calista on Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:07 am

The child shifts but does not wake. Calista smiles and nods. "Good. We shall get along perfectly." There seemed to be no surprise in her eyes when he agreed to do what could be done. She leaned forward and rested a hand gently on his shoulder. "It is much appreciated."

From that point on the conversation was little of deep substance. She still intended on staying with him for the night, or at least part of it. Throughout the few short hours of wakefulness the child did eventually awake and Calista unabashedly nursed the young girl while continuing to talk softly with the owner of this place. 

Eventually they went to bed and in the morning, no matter when Arkadi awoke, he'd find Calista gone and an envelope with $3000 left on the bed she'd been sleeping on. There was no note or explanation for the money but the girl's passion for protection children left only one option as to its intended use.
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Re: Self Defense

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