ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This is the freebie for the April 2015 Crowdfunding Creative Jam. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] technoshaman. It also fills the "sensual pleasures" square in my 3-16-15 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This poem belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.


"Sinews"


Sendoff has always loved her body,
the strength and the stealth of it,
supple muscles and nimble fingers
and the elegant architecture of bones.

She has always wondered about the parts
and how they work together, since she was
old enough to read and ask what "thews" were.

She has always been fascinated by things
that bend and stretch and spring,
the sinews of the body and of the bow,
a silver coil shink-shinking itself down a staircase.

The whispers follow her -- "unnatural"
and "impossible" -- but in truth,
her skill is neither.

It is a thing which she has made.

People ask her how she has the patience
to practice so much, but for her,
it isn't a matter of discipline.

It is devotion. Adoration.
Passion.

It is the sensual pleasure
of bending yew until it
hums underhand,
letting the shaft
whistle away

to whack into the bullseye.

It is twirling a bola with her toes,
passing it from foot to foot
to hand to hand

without ever missing a catch.

It is flinging a boomerang out
to flirt with the wind and then return,
smack! into her hand

while blindfolded.

It is holding weights at arm's length
for hours until the endorphins
flood her with ecstasy

and all of it, all, makes her stronger.

She bends her body like a bow
and her mind follows, sinews holding
everything in place

ready and

eager.

* * *

Notes:

Sendoff (Hazel Armstrong) -- She has fair skin, golden-brown eyes, and very curly strawberry blonde hair. When loose, her hair falls just past her shoulders, but she usually pulls it back in a bun. Hazel collects figurines of favorite characters, originally just archers but now any kind. She often buys one as a souvenir after a mission.
Sendoff excels at all types of ranged weaponry. Her favorites include compound bow, recurve bow, longbow, bola, slingshot, boomarang, shuriken, atlatl, blowgun, lasso, and throwing knives. She is skilled with both rifle and handgun, but dislikes them as being less versatile than some of her other weapons. She likes bows because they can fire arrows designed to do many different things. She appreciates grenades because they come in so many types. She can handle tank guns and other heavy artillery; she loves the versatility of a hex cannon. Separately she owns bolt pistols for sleep and force plus beam rifles for gravity and shrink. She does not use her superpower for aiming, but rather for things like shooting around corners or tying rope knots from a distance.
Sendoff is equally comfortable working alone or with a team, choosing her weaponry to suit the mission at hand, so SPOON assigns her as needed. She prefers not to kill and only does so as a last resort. Most of the time she uses her weapons to knock loose an opponent's weapon, pin someone in place, disable an opponent, place equipment, or destroy property.
Origin: Hazel always excelled at sports and took up archery in grade school. When she was twelve, someone tried to kidnap her best friend Alyssa. Hazel used a hair tie to fire a paperclip into his right eye, blinding him permanently and allowing Alyssa to escape. After graduating from high school, she developed the persona of Sendoff and started volunteering at SPOON.
Uniform: She has no permanent uniform, most often wearing street clothes or camouflage to suit the local environment.
Qualities: Master (+6) Aim, Master (+6) Ranged Weapons, Expert (+4) Patience, Expert (+4) Stealth, Expert (+4) Strength, Good (+2) Collecting Figurines, Good (+2) De-escalation Skills, Good (+2) Math, Good (+2) Survival Skills, Good (+2) Teamwork
Powers: Average (0) Telekinesis
Motivation: To hit the targets that nobody else can see.

* * *

Sendoff does have the superpower of Telekinesis, but she doesn't actually use it much. Instead she relies on intense training to give her enhanced skills in combat and marksmanship. So even though she's a superhera, she fights more like a supernary. Understand how to improve your aim, be physically and mentally strong, and love your body.

Thews are well-developed muscles that give strength.

A longbow was traditionally made from yew. This is how a typically skilled archer looks. This is someone at Sendoff's level. By the way, I've watched the Lars video several times and this is the first time I noticed the bit about putting the arrow on the right side of the bow. Apparently modern people put it on the left when drawing with the right hand. WTF. I guess my farmemory is showing and no wonder it's easier for me to hit a target even if I can barely draw the damn bow.

A bola is a throwing weapon made of cords and weights. There are several ways to throw it. Among those is NOT the helicopter motion often shown in movies.

A boomerang is a tumbling stick which may be designed to return to the thrower.

Endorphins can turn exercise into an intensely pleasant experience for some people. There are plenty of ways to release endorphins.

LOVELY

Date: 2015-04-18 12:06 pm (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
I think I like best the way you've inverted the usual intense-training trope, from grueling and driven by a negative emotion to something done as an expression of passion, of /love/ for the activities themselves.

Thanks for posting this one!

Re: LOVELY

Date: 2015-04-18 06:38 pm (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
By making the Hero's arc /exactly/ the way to create a villain, it completely excludes ANY solution except bashing-each-other-to-submission. In other words, American storytelling for the last fifty years.

That's not an accident.

Re: LOVELY

Date: 2015-04-18 06:59 pm (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Which may be why NONE of the prequel movies 'worked' for most people. The balance is too skewed.

Re: LOVELY

Date: 2015-04-18 07:19 pm (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
I know we're going to see it in theaters.

Inevitably.

What I'm not certain of is whether the few seconds of Han and Chewie are worth the remaining two hours of film. Right now, though... I'm intrigued, and willing to give Disney the benefit of the doubt. (Lucas burned that completely to the GROUND with Phantom Menace.)

Re: LOVELY

Date: 2015-04-19 04:06 am (UTC)
technoshaman: Tux (Default)
From: [personal profile] technoshaman
What upset us (the die-hard Star Wars The Original And Best Han Shot First Dammit fans) is that Lucas didn't just mess with the production values... that was fine. He messed with the *story*... Having Han shoot first is *important*, it establishes him as a total rogue, which makes the Falcon's appearance in the final battle a *complete* surprise... and had EVERYONE in the theatre cheering. And he messed with the Ewoks, and you just don't mess with people's teddy bears. Bad Juju.

Amidala was *fine* in the first movie, and Annakin was okay too... but I think George must've got hold of whatever bad frop stash Stephanie Meyer ran across later, because both characters grew up to be whiny gits... reminds me a lot of Edward and Bella, now that I think of it... the *only* redeeming factor in the last two prequels was digi-Yoda popping a can of whoop-ass on Count Von Count there... that was just good giggly fun... but even Samuel L. M. F. Jackson couldn't save the rest of it... (He almost sounds respectable when you do it that way, like one of those three-initial professors, don't he? :) )

I dunno. We'll see. What I'm liable to do is let my favourite reviewer, who is a completely *rabid* SWTOABHSFD fan, go see it first...

(no subject)

Date: 2015-04-18 10:50 pm (UTC)
redsixwing: Red-winged angel staring at a distant star. (Default)
From: [personal profile] redsixwing
*wild applause*

Seconding the love of intense training done as an act of passion and joy - IME, that's mainly the kind of intense training that gets intense results.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-04-19 03:29 am (UTC)
thnidu: my familiar. "Beanie Baby" -type dragon, red with white wings (Default)
From: [personal profile] thnidu
This video is ... well. Even more impressive than the first time I saw him. Have you linked to it before?

•bola, slingshot, boomarang, shuriken
→ boomerang

•The tembre was already set. (1A1A1A)
→ timbre

(no subject)

Date: 2015-04-19 04:11 am (UTC)
technoshaman: Tux (Default)
From: [personal profile] technoshaman
Nice one.

I've said many times I like Bats, because Bats is willing to bend the rules when the law is being an arse... but Bats is also, well, bats... he's *driven*. Like Rocky Balboa. Neither of them *enjoys* all the practice.

Sendoff? Does.... and may well turn out to be the better character for it.

Hmmmm. Plot bunny. Physical therapy post-injury to get back to the form she's used to is ... not pleasant. There's at least two stories here, and one's got a happy ending.

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