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To Pump You Up

Posted on Thu Sep 9th, 2021 @ 1:52am by Commander Arianna Frost & Lieutenant Colonel Storr Garlake

Mission: S1E5: Symphony of Horror
Location: Deep Space 9 (Physical Fitness Zone 3A)
Timeline: MD3

Hitting the wall switches to both bring the temperature up and lights on, the marine smiled...the early hour meant that the gym was deserted, just as Storr liked it. He had built the habit of working out in the morning over a decade ago as it was the only segment of the day that he truly had control of his time; one never knew when a pop-up meeting, "urgent" project, or need to save the galaxy would come crashing into one's finely-tuned calendar.

Garlake would usually pop in his headphones at this point but as he was the only one in the room, he smiled and addressed the always-present station AI. "Computer, play Garlake mix number three."

"Acknowledged. Shuffle or order?" it replied promptly.

"...shuffle," he said after a moment of thought. A little surprise in the morning never hurt anyone, right?

Vorentoe Suid-Afrika, Die Lied van Jong Suid Afrika, Erika, Rhodesians Never wasn't the most musically driving workout but it drove his soul far harder than any beat, riff, or chord. That's what truly mattered in the weight room.

After 30 minutes of easy jogging that moved on towards sprints and hills, Storr had warmed up enough. Hopping off the treadmill, he took a towel and wiped his face as he sat on a bench, taking a quick breath before moving on to picking up heavy things before putting them down again. Truth be told he enjoyed running between places rather than feeling like a hamster on a wheel but felt guilty hogging up a holosuite just to get in a good run in the SA bush.

"What, no hero pose, Colonel?" Ari asked with a smile as she stepped through the door. "Damn, I'm definitely in a movie." She added, taking note of the distinctly South African tunes. "I like it. Mind if I join the savanna?"

The space Aussie had entirely forgotten that the Colonel had said earlier he would be perusing the Fitness area of the station. Not that it was any sort of complaint, more of a surprise.

She wore black cargo pants, simple black trainers, and a red, white and blue shirt with Sputnik written across its front. Her hair was clipped back at the sides by pins, her hands wrapped in training wraps. Frost also carried a bottle of water in her hand and a towel on her shoulder.

Storr half-startled as his back had been towards the door and turned to look at the morning trespasser; his view was not a disappointing one by a long stretch. With a big grin, he stood and struck the crab version of the eighth mandatory bodybuilding pose ("Most Muscular") before guffawing and shaking out his shoulders.

"Hopefully it's the great kind of movie where the bad guy gets his just deserts and the good guy gets the girl," he said with a smile and wink. "I'm glad you like it though feel free to change it or I can listen to my's not to everyone's taste for the gym."

"Oh no, I love it. It's not every day I get a chance to experience someone else's culture live like this," Ari replied through a laugh at the man's antics.

"As for the savanna, I'd appreciate the company though..." Garlake trailed off, his gaze moving up and down Frost's outfit, lingering to read the words across her chest before moving back down, "who wears cargo pants to the gym? It's not often I'm the one showing the most leg." His smile was hopefully as disarming as he wanted it to be.

"Says the bloke wearing booty shorts." Ari chuckled as she set her towel and bottle of water at the nearby bench. "I had two hours to pack, find a transport and go, so this was the first thing that was underhand." She added with a shrug.

Storr chuckled. "Hey, they're not that short. Besides, jealousy is quite unbecoming on you, Arianna." he quipped back with another grin. "Do you need a spotter or what's your plan? I'm about to go work the Big Five so can help you there if you want to cycle through."

Arianna's eyebrows shot up, "jealous? Really?" Then she shook it off, "sure, I'm good to start with that. Need to warm up first though." That said, she began working the joints of her wrists and the ankles, moving to the bigger joints soon after. "So, morning workout type hm?"

Garlake nodded as he stood and made his way to the squat rack. "Yeah, it's the only part of the day that I have control over. It's also the quietest and emptiest which I greatly appreciate." Dipping his hands into the silver chalk bowl, he rubbed the white powder over his palms and fingers before clapping them together, sending a white cloud into the air as he smiled. "You?"

Arianna did the same moments later, feeling the reviving heat in her joints and muscles. "I'm more of a 'when I can' type. Long days reading reports, placements and trying to predict moves don't really lend to a good routine. I usually run a program on the holodeck, old soviet Spetsnaz training." She said as she clapped her hands together too. "Back in the day when I was in Security I could afford sparring and exercise partners and the lot. Now," she shrugged her shoulders and began the first set.

Several sets flew by, the silence punctuated by small talk until Storr advanced the narrative. "I have to ask..." he said, racking the barbell above him after taking a deep breath. "You seem to have quite the large network and contacts for a rank-and-file Internal Affairs officer. Care to share a bit about your past?"

"I've been in Intel for 11 years," Ari replied after exchanging places with him and holding up her arms so he could lower the barbell down and spot her, "Counter Intelligence, Spec Ops. Did it all, analyst, handler, fielder. It's only in the last few years that I've been with IA. I'm a Senior Investigator so you could say I'm not quite rank-and-file as you think."

Then there was that whole matter of the ongoing operation, Project Castermer: Countermeasures against Black Nagus intrusion within Starfleet Intelligence. The project was kept classified at the Security Council Level of Starfleet. Not even Captain Ben-Avram had access to this data. She felt again the eternal conundrum of wanting to make a connection and share versus the classified nature of her job.

"That you're not, for sure," Garlake replied. He was glad that she was such a good friend to Jaya and Akiva but always wondered how good a friend spooks truly could be. "I could never make it in that world...I'm a what-you-see-is-what-you-get 'kinda man. I suppose the 'how and why do you live a kind of life that you can't be honest with anyone' is another conversation entirely." he said with a grin and a wink. It was said in jest but carried far more weight of truth than either of them probably cared to admit.

"It was a conscious choice. Access to resources and training to do more good in exchange for sacrificing a traditional lifestyle." Ari said after doing a set, "friends are few and far between. Usually, in Intel...people who get the type of life. Accepting what can be shared, not throwing a tantrum when we can't. Even fewer those that are on the outside, they are precious, at least to me. But...I find you need to have at least some. They keep you real and grounded."

"How long have you been with the Corps?"

The Marine chuckled as he racked the weight for her after the final rep. "I'm not exactly your run-of-the-mill leatherneck, either. I completed college at Sandhurst before enlisting into the Corp at 21, worked my way up to Staff Sergeant before going 'Mustang' and commissioning back into the Corp where I had duties at three other ships before landing here at MT. My brother's also in the Corp on the John Paul Jones and my family has a long line of military service on Earth so you can say it runs in the blood."

Ari grinned as she slid off. "I get the family gene for a certain job. My brother and I have that. He's a PI back home. We both grew up on detective and mystery stories. He's a homebody, I wanted to see the stars. And here we are decades later."

"Those still exist?" Garlake asked with a nostalgic smile. "I remember seeing some of those mid-twentieth century detective movies and really enjoyed the noir black and white hardboiled stories. The sharp-dressed near-alcoholic in love with the provocative femme fatale. Great stuff."

Frost smirked, "I think you just described Rob's life story." She missed her brother Rob. Out of the people to truly understand Arianna, Rob was probably the one to understand her best, being very much like Ari herself. "Have you ever heard of the story of Jack the Ripper?" Ari asked as she stood up, stretching out her shoulders.

"My time in England made sure of that. Why?"

Arianna smiled as they headed over to the next set of weights, "there was an entity called Redjac that was discovered to have been responsible for those murders, it'd done a few serial killing spurts on Earth over the centuries and then a few in space. One such spurt happened in Heliopolis on Alpha Eridani II, my hometown. It was the story of Redjac, aka Jack the Ripper that got my brother and me into sticking our nose into investigating things. The thrill and the mystery." There was a trace of an excited, childlike glint in her eyes at the memory of it all.

She really did miss her brother and even her home.

Lieutenant Colonel Garlake returned the smile as he scooped up his towel and tossed it into the used bin. "That's amazing, and it seems that the detective thrill hasn't left you. So, how are your brother and family doing now? Seen them recently?"

Ari shook her head, "not since '86, not in person anyway. They came over to visit me in hospital. They're doing well. Rob's still doing his PI thing though he's thinking of possibly taking up a teaching spot at Heliopolis Uni as well. Mum and dad are still running the Fig & Olive. Very popular local grub joint. What about you? Also, do you want to hit the treadmill next or get some sparring in? I can hold the punching bag, well try to..." She chuckled as she eyed over his muscled arms. "Might need to lock my feet to something."

Storr smiled as he noticed Ariana's eyes wander. "You sure know how to compliment a man. I think cardio might be better suited for us both, though I'm more a low-and-slow type so it should be easy to keep up." The Marine turned and grabbed an olive drab ruck that weighed 65 pounds, clipping the waist belt and leaving the chest clasp free. Turning back, he nodded to Frost and hopped on the nearest treadmill, punching in a few commands to keep a steady pace with hills...nothing like a little masochism before breakfast to start the day.

Arianna shook her head amusedly, as she clasped on slightly less heavy rucks, more appropriate to her weight and stamina. "We spooks know how to run, mate." She said jokingly as she stepped up on her own treadmill and began her own routine.


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