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Chasing the Birdie

Posted on Thu Jan 26th, 2017 @ 9:27am by Lieutenant Samuel Phelps

Mission: R&R Coming Home
Location: Holodeck

Phelps had taken care in the programming of the setting; it was rare that he could get someone who would endure hiws favorate game; especially in the conditions he was so used to. Being a human he was a little more prone tothe temperatures than some beings; of course, but grwing up in the dessert region of North America he was more used to it being hot. He had choosen this setting to teach someone the best 'game of elite, Badmiton. It was ; in the 19th century, very popular and it had been a family game for most then all but forgotten with exception of professional sports.
The scene was a 'park' near his home in Arazona; on the North American Contenant on Earth, and it was hovering at about 100 degrees. This was not all that uncomfortable for him and he hoped his potential partner would be similarly comfortable. The net was up and he had the rackets and shuttlecocks all ready. It was; from what he is told, her forst time playing so he wanted to make sure she enjoyed it?
The lines were in place and all all he need do is wait to see if Ynara might back out since his enthusiasm for the game had gotten mixed reviews throughout his time in Star Fleet.
Ynara made her way through the corridors.  She was wearing very light weight pants and had a jacket on; Sam had invited her to play the badminton game he'd mentioned, and he'd said it was an outdoor summer game, so to be prepared for very warm weather.  The jacket was for protection on the way to the holodeck, but she was looking forward to the warmth, even with it on.
She had even traded away a shift for the night off.  Not just for the summer weather, she thought with a little internal giggle.  Over the several weeks she'd been seeing Sam, she's started looking forward to the evenings she got to spend with him more and more.
She stepped inside the holodeck with a little expectant smile, looking around for Sam.
Phelps met her eyes as she looked around and he waved slightly. He had gone more casual; cargo shorts and a knit shirt with black high top sneakers; he had thought of cleats but did not want to take too much the advantage as he closed distance to meet her.
"Hallo Ynara. "He leaned in for a soft kiss of greeting. "Hope you are ready for  a rousting game?" He was almost jubilant. "Not a hard game to learn, but females tend to be better at it than males naturally." He remarked. "I will not hold it against you if you take it up quickly."
Ynara gave him a little smile.  "I've never... been really big on games.  I had a lot of chores growing up, a lot of outdoor activities even, but...  we didn't play a lot of games like this one seems to be.  What are the rules?"
"Simple each player has one swing of the playing racket to sent the shuttlecock back to the other side of the net." Phelps took her hand to lead her to the area gently. "One can only score if you are the one that served the volley. The object is to hit it over the net so the other player cannot return it. All of this within the confines of the court lines." He escort her to the one side. "It is more complicated to explain rather than to actually play." He pick up a racket and a shuttlecock." It is simple..." He held the racket parallel with the ground and lightly tapped the shuttlecock up and down on the racket as he spoke. "It does not take much to actually make it fly, it is all in the wrist and more like 'swatting' the thing than trying to strike it as in Tennis or racketball."
Ynara picked up the other racket from the ground and watched for a moment as the thing that was not a ball bounced up and down on Sam's.  "It sounds simple enough... At least the basics.  Let me try hitting it a few times?" she asked as she felt the weight of the racket a bit to try understand how it would feel to swing it at the target.
Phelps moved behind herand with his head almost on her shoulder he put his arm under hers and his hand over her right hand. "The Birdie..." He brought it up and held it over her racket and so softly guide her racket to where he could drop the Birdie' ; as it is called, onto the racket face and push gently just a touch to get the impact to launch it a little, helping her do it a couple of times, hader 'swish' each time progressively. "It is like that."
Ynara almost started as Sam moved in close to her back, unsure and surprised.  She managed to relax a bit as he covered her hand with his, guiding her arm through the movement of hitting the 'birdie'.  It wasn't exactly like hitting a bird with a sling shot, but the hand-eye coordination was the same, and there was another wrist flick involved in that as well.
She quickly learned to move her wrist and hand in the way he was showing her, getting a little more confident and hitting a little harder to bounce the birdie higher.
Phelps backed away as she was getting this and he had more of an urge to play badminton; it was so rare that he gets a live person to play it overrode his being close to a desirable woman.
"That is if you have one low and high ones are same motion only you bring your arm up and where you look through the netting of the racket is roughly where the Birdie will go." He confirmed. "Now to show you a serve..." He came closer and with the Birdie; he did like that name when he saw Ynara. "It is like what I just taught you. "He put his hand over hers wiht the racket to the slight sideand almost as though hugging her brought the left arm around her to drop the birdie then swat it." Like that." He whisper in her ear as the Birdie sailed a bit before falling to the ground. "Do that enough to get it over the net and it is in play." He kissed her cheek. "You ready to try?" He was still holding her close enough to be of help.
Ynara tightened her grip on the racket and nodded, moving her arm in the way he’d just demonstrated.  “Let’s play,” she suggested.  “I always learn best by doing.”
"Okay Pretty One." He kissed her ear before going across the way to the opposite side of the net. "I will send it over high and it will be a type of lob." He smiled. "You hit it back and if we do this right it will be what we call a rally." He smiled and winked. "The faster you can return the faster I will. Keeping pace until you get the hang of it." He offered and sent one lightly over the net and above her head but in her general direction.
Ynara backed up, watching the shuttlecock as it sailed up and over the net and towards her.  It didn't move very fast, though whether that was because he was being gentle still or just because the feathery-things on it slowed it down o much, she wasn't sure yet.
Positioning herself under where it would come down Ynara brought the racket up meet the birdie and tap it back up and towards the net.  It wasn't the neatest of hits, but it did go generally where she wanted it to go.
It was a slow return; he smiled as it was a return and the beginning of a rally, coming just over the net Phelps took two steps forward to angle the racket for another lob back, his angle could have swat it perfectly but this was for fun so he gently returned a high one again, the one higher than her head and might make her step back or reach to return it; if she is smart moving would give her a better shot. It would also give a gauge of her competitive nature?
"Back to you." Phelps told her.
His smile prompted one from her in return as she reached up and over her head, looking through the strings as he'd mentioned to flick the birdie back over the net.
Phelps decided to get things more interesting and was a little more quick in his return of the Birdie. "You are doing great for a first timer." Phelps complemented hoping she might get the one more directly at a level she could put the racket straight up and return but if not hard enough it would hit the net, too hard it might just go straight back again if she did it right. It was a 50/50 prospect and another way to see how well she is learning the game at a slower pace but still a challenge to a First time Player.
Ynara threw her racket up instinctively as the return shot came back a little faster and swung.  She misjudged the angle of her return and hit it too late and too straight, sending it into the net instead of over.
"For the record I scored in that I served." He said with a grin. But since this is practice why don't you take the Birdie and try serving since the points do not count; all about the fun..." He look at her and grinned brighter. and the company; the game is secondary."
“Got it, point for you, but doesn’t count,” she said with a little half-laugh.  She picked up the birdie and moved back so she could serve like she’d watched him do.  The little thing was so light she was worried about not giving it enough power to fly right; overcompensating, she sent it soaring way up and over the net, but likely too far and past the lines that marked out the court.
Phelps stopped at the rope marking the end of the court and leaned back slightly so his feet remained in bounds and reached up to give the Birdie a return before he positioned himselfr in the center of the court while the Birdie sailed back to Ynara. He was having fun a little reach would have not been right in a game but teaching someone it is important to get them at ease with the racket and how to hit the Birdie.
"That birdie wanted to fly south for the winter." He joked. "I sent him back." He laughed.
"Sorry," Ynara apologized and adjusted the force she used to send it back.  She almost went too light this time- it barely cleared the net and then took a nosedive.
In that moment; that lowly instant, Phelps had a mix of joy and sorrow as he realized she had gotten a very good hit. He made a go of it and maybe if it were anything but fun he might have even let his frustration show. He managed to get under it but not with the skill enough to get the thing back in the air properly. He could only watch it go up like a slow rocket vertically and come back down again slow enough for him to make a move with the racket to catch it and have it rest on the racket.
"This is what I mean about women being naturally better at this." He said as he shook his head. "That was a great ploy and if we were playing together I would have kissed you for that kind of a return to the other side." He chuckled. "Point to Ynara." He look at her with a beaming smile. "You did very well Lovely One."
"I thought we weren't counting points," she said as she returned his smile.  "And I'm pretty sure that was what Humans call 'Beginners Luck.'  That's the term, right?"
"Always thank Luck when teh moment is there; it is sometimes one thing that separates two evenly matched players." He said with a grin. "I just wanted you to know what you scoring would look like when we do keep the score." he backed away a bit. "What say we go a little faster?" He nod to her and grinned. "I will keep pace with you and see how fast we can play?"
“Alright…  Just don’t expect too much.  Luck or not, it’s still my first time.”



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