PL: 4,250 Base It had been nearly four years since Hale had been in the heart of Satan City, and with all the fighting and the fact it was under hostile control not all that long ago he had expected to see a mess of knocked down buildings, maybe a giant crater, and obviously a lot of security. Aside from your average construction going on and what did look like a single large building being rebuilt it was fairly average. There was no visible increased security given all the commotion he had heard. It had been weeks since the city was retaken from a group with a name right out of a comic book; The Stargoons.
"Huh" Hale just floated a bit above the skyline of the city as he looked across it a bit underwhelmed. From all he had heard the crime had increased a bit over the months and he had done his best to avoid it given the situation, but now he wondered if he had simply gotten overblown information and avoided the place for nothing. His attention was drawn to what sounded like a bit of a fight deeper into the city, but it wasn't anything that he was too interested in investigating at the moment, trying to get a closer look and landing down on a nearby sidewalk. As usual Hale was immediately getting a lot of strange looks given his preference of usually staying in his brute form, which meant he was very tall and very muscular at the moment, making walking past him on the sidewalk impossible, and he most assuredly wouldn't blend into any crowds.
This was actually her first time visiting Satan city during her Earth adventures. She'd been planning to do it earlier, but then the whole Badman fiasco happened and she'd just been avoiding the place. Even after it had been cleansed by the pride troopers she'd hung back, unwilling to risk getting caught in any aftermath chaos. It should be safe now though right, a couple weeks after? So here she was, flitting through the streets on the wind, hovering about at rooftop level. The place was actually in pretty decent shape for something that had an epic battle or two in it. Really there were only a few streets and a large building under construction that she could see, she'd been expecting half of it to be a giant crater.
What to do now that she was here though? There was good selection of shops and recreational activities, Shiver had already spotted a mall from above. She wasn't in the mood for shopping though, and she hadn't brought much money with her anyways. Maybe she could find one of those paintball thingies around here, she'd seen one earlier for sure. That could be fun now that she knew how to shoot guns, courtesy of the good doctor. Maybe she could even win a few prizes with a little help from her natural abilities. Shiver twisted about in midair to look for it, only to stop as something pinged off her mind. There was a powerful presence nearby, and it seemed familial almost. Another Arcosian?
Shiver zipped deeper into the city, head on a swivel as she homed in on the presence. She came around a corner and there he was, a tall hulking figure with darkish bio-gems. Brute form huh, no wonder he stood out so much, especially amongst normal humans. It was a big contrast to the tiny suppressed form she was currently using. Shiver smiled lightly and descended towards him, waving with one hand as she called out. "Hey there! Fancy meeting you here." This was perfect, she hadn't seen any other Arcosians for quite some time unless you counted the very worrying power levels in the north recently. Seriously, she hoped those guys made it out of that, they'd seemed nice enough. Touching down in front of him on the sidewalk, barely reaching his waist, Shiver would give him a joyful nod. "New to Earth are you?" That's what she was thinking at least, judging by the form he'd chosen. Humans weren't so dumb as to not know what an Arcosian's higher forms might be, or what they signified. As such, Shiver stuck to her first form to make them feel less on edge. First Form PL 39,000 Hale
It took a moment for Hale to realize someone was directly addressing him as most people on the street averted their eyes or ignored him altogether. Looking over slowly he realized there was in fact someone looking directly at him now, even waving. The wave caused him to look behind to see if perhaps there was someone else being addressed, but the Arcosian in front of him was in fact greeting him. His confused face slowly shifted to surprised happiness, giving a single wave now more in a state of confusion of them addressing him at all more than anything. "Uh, hey there. Oh, wait sorry hold on" closing one eye as if straining for a second as his body began to shrink to his suppressed form, now considerably smaller, though still standing about six foot flat.
The other Arcosians demeanor was almost infectious and rather surprising compared to the other Arcosians he had witnessed being far more aggressive. Raising a hand back up and waving with his shaking head, he gave a bit of a laugh "Oh, no not new to Earth. New to going out in public so...how should I put this, exposed? Hm, maybe not the right wording" as he started to tap his chin and look up clearly trying to find a better way to explain. "Up until very recently I was in disguise you could say. You see I was a professional wrestler.", saying it almost embarrassed. "I even started to wear my mask in public, which yeah I know, a bit odd. Though I haven't been to Satan city in something like four years? Place has been a mess and I wasn't about to get involved in all of that, ya know?"
He found himself strangely rambling to this person in a way he simply didn't to anyone else, and perhaps it was the fact it was another Arcosian or simply the pleasant way they presented themselves. "Sorry there I go rambling. Can't say that is something I normally do. I take it you aren't so new to Earth. I'd say I haven't seen you around but fact is I don't exactly get out much."
Shiver nodded in appreciation of the transformation the other Arcosian quickly underwent. It was quick and efficient, with minimal fuss involved, the way it should be. Honestly Shiver needed to put some work into the reverse transformations, hers were always painful and destructive. But really she didn't get enough chances to do so, and her higher forms always brought powerful people running. Like the military that one time, who had literally sent out a team of warriors to confront her. She eyed the resulting first form in slight surprise, it was still pretty big. Taller than her by a foot at least, she was definitely looking up at him still.
She smiled at the other Arcosian's response, the way it seemed to trail and ramble on a bit. Maybe he'd been without an outlet for a while. His story was an interesting one to say the least, professional wrestler? Disguise? Definitely not what she'd expected from another Arcosian, most were too proud to "stoop" like that. Maybe that was why he sounded sheepish almost, recognizing how it might look to her. Well she didn't care in the slightest, she'd never had any need for such aloof ideals. Plus all she'd done her whole life was follow her own goals anyway, and they were hardly "befitting" of her "station." He was pragmatic too, something she enjoyed seeing for once. For some reason, people often decried her because she didn't go sticking her neck out in every little conflict.
"I understand completely," She said, shrugging her slender shoulders slightly. "Its not so easy to walk about freely on a world like this. People are a little hostile, and there's no shortage of strong fighters here on Earth. I myself stuck to the outskirts for quite a while. I-" Shiver felt the prickle of hostility and turned her head, just in time to catch a the angry look a bystander turned away from them. Shiver shot him a glare before looking back to the other Arcosian and gesturing for him to follow. "Lets get out of the street and talk hmm. Are you hungry at all? There's a place nearby that has great pizza, my treat." Assuming he'd follow, she continue speaking on the way, fixing the place in her mind. "Like I was saying, Its a shame you aren't a more recent arrival. I've been away from home for.....a long time and I was hoping you might have some recent news for me. I'm Shiver by the way."
It was simple, but such a statement of understanding felt like someone had flicked a switch and relieved all the tension in his body at once, causing his shoulders to visibly slump as if releasing too much air from a tire. "No, it really isn't. I tend to prefer my bigger form, like the one you saw a moment ago, but unfortunately not many others appreciate seeing it. I get strange looks, glares, some people thinking I'm looking for a fight or being aggressive. As you say, there are plenty of hostile and strong fighters on this planet as well, and unfortunately I lack a scouter or the ability to sense energy. I've learned the latter is a skill I should probably figure out or have someone teach but until Earth I never had a real reason to bother."
His eyes turned as her attention did and he met the angry looks with glares. Instinctively he stepped forward some, wanting them to look at him and not simply ignore him, but it was pulled back as she spoke, sighing some and almost apologizing. "I suppose that is a good idea really. I tend to lose my temper sometimes with the looks these people give. I get some Arcosians can be real assholes, but I've met my fair share of jerk humans too. For example..." glaring again at the one particular man walking past. "I'm not too hungry, but I could eat." Following slowly behind and letting out a heavy frustrated sigh. "Yeah, I've been on Earth near exactly ten years or so. I've been away from Arcose for about another ten years before that give or take a few months. Unfortunately I've not heard anything or really tried to if I can be honest." Now suddenly hyper aware of the stares they were getting, but again snapping out of the trance of stares as she formally introduced herself. "Oh, well nice to meet you. My names Hale. I'm so used to introducing myself in silly nicknames I was about to say, but you can call me Hale." laughing at his own commenting as he continued followed closely behind.
Shiver smiled and nodded in agreement regarding the other Arcosian's assessment of scouters and energy sensing. "It really is a crucial thing to have," She said, leading the way down the sidewalk. "People here are just too random, and you need to at least have some idea of what your facing. Me, I learned to sense energy a while back actually." They reached the pizza parlor and Shiver pulled the door open with a flick of her long tail. "Maybe I can teach you sometime, though I don't claim to be a good teacher. For now though, yes I would recommend getting a scouter at least." Yeah Shiver shuddered to think about what could've gone down in her first few weeks on Earth had she not been able to sense energy. That one bug, the one that looked small and cute and had eaten pizza with her, she still wasn't as strong as it.
She led the way into the shop with a gratified air, happy to be out the hostile street. People really hadn't been happy with the sight of two Arcosian's not even when Hale had transformed down. Odd, people here were a bit more hostile than other places. Maybe it had to do with the recent attack and then rescue of the city? "Two please" she said to the waiter, who quickly departed to get their table ready. She turned back to Hale after a moments introspection on the state of the world. "Well its nice to meet you Hale, like really, sometimes you get a little homesick on these alien planets. Not that I haven't met any other Arcosian's here, cause I have. They're pretty strong by the way, and they don't have the best of reputations either which doesn't help us." She frowned as she thought back to the stories she'd heard about the FPR, about how they'd acted recently.
The waiter returned and gestured for them to follow, which Shiver promptly did. They got a few looks as they moved through the dining parlor, but thankfully they seemed curiosity driven only. Sitting down at her table, Shiver only needed a moment to glance at the menu before giving her order. She'd known what she wanted coming in. "Medium cheese please, and just water." She'd never liked those strange fizzy drinks, the sensation of them in her throat was just too weird. She glanced over to Hale and gave an open sweep of her hand. "Just get whatever you want, I'm good for it."
Before thinking much of it, Hale was following what was a complete stranger no more than five minutes ago down the street. They seemed nice enough and given the situation he didn't really have any reason not to or to distrust them. He was so used to the awkward people he would run into or the shady types looking to take advantage of someone he was almost jaded to a degree. Hale was still young by Arcosian standards, but he had enough years spent on Earth to give him an interesting outlook on the planet. It took him a moment to catch back up with the conversation and his own walking that he nearly bumped into Shiver as they stopped to open the door, giving a bit of a smile and taking a hold of the door and nodding some.
"If you are offering than I am most assuredly willing to give it a go. I did have a scouter once upon a time, but it got broke years before I came to Earth, and I never had a reason to learn energy sensing in my early years. It's a bit of a surprise how hostile things can get around here, and I imagine these dragon balls I keep hearing about make matters worse."
They weren't quite getting the glares they were earlier, but there was some clear concern from at least a few people as Shiver and Hale walked in, but there were just as many that couldn't care less and barely looked up from their food long enough to make eye contact. His eyes drifted back to Shiver, who again seemed to bring out the talkative side in him. "I can understand how someone could feel homesick like that, sure. I guess at this point I've started to see Earth as my home. I've almost lived here as long as the time before I didn't so my memories of Arcose aren't nearly as fond as someone who might have left there more recently in comparison." His brow rose as she talked about other Arcosians she had met, and was a mixture of surprised and thankful he hadn't at this point. "Yeah you are surprisingly the first Arcosian I've directly spoken to since coming to Earth believe it or not. I have seen a few in passing and a few more at a distance, but none were exactly friendly, and the ones I know of by name I have no plans to interact with any time soon. At least if I can help it given I like staying in one piece." Narrowing his eyes and staring down at his feet with a soft sigh, "It's hard not to understand how people look at us the way they do given all of that. Even if it does annoy me to no end."
The walk to the table garnered a few more looks, but none seemed negative thankfully, and even their server was pleasantly polite without a single sideways glance. Hale was a bit unsure what to order, since despite his time on Earth this was the first time he bothered coming to a Pizza place. "Uh...hm, I guess I'll just have what she is having" Giving a bit of a strained smile and waiting for the server to walk off before leaning in. "I've never had pizza before."
Oh...he'd never had pizza before? Honestly she'd never considered that, it was such a popular and universal option on Earth she'd just gone for it instinctively. Also she liked it, a lot, hopefully Hale would too. "Ah, well first time for everything, a lot of people like it though. So...fingers crossed?" The waiter nodded and headed off into the kitchens, leaving them alone of the moment. He returned moments later with two tall glasses of water, setting them down in front of the Arcosians. "The pizzas will be a few more minutes, though hopefully not too long," the waiter said, bowing briefly before walking away. Shiver looked balefully at the abundance of ice cubes in her drink, shrugging before taking a sip. It was so hard to just chug it down with so many obstructions, a business strategy to avoid too many refills probably.
She thought back to the various ways people treated her and her kind. "Yeah, I can understand way too well unfortunately. I travel about the galaxy as a hobby, I like meeting new people and places and learning new techniques." She frowned as she thought back to certain encounters, and her tail lashed about her unwittingly. "All too often I saw the results of the WTF and our kinds occupation, and then had to deal with the aftermath." She looked over the larger Arcosian for a moment, more closely examining his power and trying to estimate what it would be like in his final form. The results were.....less than overwhelming to say the least. That brought up a conundrum, she wanted to tell him, to better help him for the future. But at the same time, it would be a bit insulting to just blurt it out. She just sat there for a moment, absorbed with dilemma before coming to a conclusion. Pissing him off would be better than having him get killed unwittingly.
"Well...that's a good policy, and I would stick to that philosophy for a little while longer. I don't mean to be rude or anything, just telling you this for your safety, but you are kinda weak by Earth standards. Like, even your true form wouldn't be a challenge for some of the monsters here." She shrugged apologetically, looking away from the awkwardness of what she was saying. "I'm sorry, I know you probably don't want someone calling you weak, but since you cant sense energy...I wanted you to know how you stand on the power ladder here." Shiver looked down at the table in introspection, fully expecting an angry rant in response. The pizza came then thankfully, and Shiver was quick to dig in. She lifted up a slice and started eating, letting the wonderful cheese, sauce, and bread mix distract her.
Scratching the back of his head as he listened and looked around the room, his mind drifted even while listening. There were parts of what she said that he could relate to and others that seemed foreign. "I have done my fair share of traveling, though it was trying my best to find a good fight. While I did a bit of that televised fighting here on Earth, I used to be what they called a pit fighter. I would travel from planet to planet looking for a fight and a pay check. I might be mostly relaxed, but I have to admit I always love a good fight." his eyes tared at the water in front of him, not wanting it as badly as he thought but more ordering to be polite. "I don't know too many techniques or anything of that sort. I've found out as of late that I'm a bit behind when it comes to that sort of thing and our race. I know how to fight hand to hand and brawl, and I have what I suppose you could call a technique, though it is pretty rough and I don't particularly like doing it." All Hale could manage was a heavy sigh as he kept staring at the water "I want badly to become stronger, but I'm finding it hard to find proper motivations. I don't want to simply rampage around like these WTF characters I've heard about, and I'm not sure I have enough attachment to this planet to go out of my way to protect it."
He stopped suddenly and leaned back and slid down the seat some, looking back over to her. "That I am unfortunately aware of. Didn't take the ability to sense powers to know I was on the short side of that. I might carry myself like I'm strong, but it is more how I want to be than how I am. I have to admit I'm not terribly sure how to get much stronger, or at least on purpose. As silly as that might sound to say. And then there is again that whole motivation thing. Getting stronger for the sake of strength isn't much of a driving factor for me." Waving her off after her apology he shook his head some. "No need to apologize for that. I don't have such a fragile ego to be bother by the truth. Besides it didn't seem like you were saying it to try and hurt my feelings or anything." As the pizza was slid onto the table he simply watched her start to eat, seemingly lost in thought and now staring down at the pizza much like he had the glass before.
Shiver pondered his words as she ate, chewing idly on her slice as she figured how to respond. It was good he wasn't angry though, she HAD been rather worried about that. Now they could continue their meal in good taste rather than hateful silence. She nodded towards the untouched food he had so far. "Go ahead, it wont bite, promise." Reasons to get stronger...well she couldn't really answer that for him. She could however, give her own reasons why she trained though. "Well, to be honest. I was never a big stickler for getting stronger either, at least at first. In fact, I was a pretty lazy person for most of my life, like my family." It was true, Shiver's entire lineage had always had a perchance for the easy road. Training and power had always been...secondary concerns mostly, and she had been raised as such. "I don't even like fighting that much, though I guess I can enjoy it occasionally."
"But, then I left the safety of home. I got to see the monsters that exist out there, and the pain people will inflict on others, for no reason at all. " The anger returned now as she took a trip down memory lane, remembering her past stops throughout the cosmos, and the horrors she had sometimes witnessed. "I got stronger so I could stop some of these things, cant explore a barren wasteland after all. But I also got stronger because I want to live life on my terms, do what I want without being afraid." She looked right at him then, seriousness present in her voice and eyes like never before. "Hale, don't forget, that you also live in this universe. Even if you just want to stay back and be uninvolved, the world doesn't work like that. Someday, somewhere, someone is going to want to hurt you, for no reason but their own pleasure. You need motivation to get stronger? Remember that, and be ready when that time comes."
She returned to her pizza after that, a little mollified at her half rant. Usually she managed to stay more detached than that. Maybe it was because she kind of liked him, his attitude and goals, it reminded her of herself a bit. She wanted him to get stronger because of that, to be one more Arcosian that was outside the norm. And what she'd said, she believed it with all her heart. She'd learned it all the hard way, hopefully he wouldn't have too. Shiver started n her third slice now, taking rather large bites before taking a sip of water. Stupid ice cubes, Shiver directed a ki lit finger on the glass, trying to melt them down some.
Slowly he reached a finger towards the pizza and gave it a poke, sliding it around the plate a bit as he narrowed an eye at it. "Hm" leaning down and sniffing towards it he finally picked it up and held it in front of his face looking it over. After a bit of odd inspection he proceeded to shove the entire piece in his mouth slowly but surely as his cheeks poked out. Hale looked up at her and gave a bit of a nod as he chewed slowly but surely, trying to speak up for a moment with a mouth full of food before going back to chewing after some incoherent words even he realized made no sense. It took a minute but he finally managed it down before giving a look of at least partial satisfaction. "I've never had a real reason to get stronger. Even during my earlier fighting days I was able to easily overpower anyone that stepped into a ring or whatever equivalent there was. My family however, well they were fairly strong but they were usually soldiers of some description, which is something I didn't follow after when I left Arcose." Her words hit him harder than he would have expected, and it made him wonder if he had taken a lot of his life up to this point for granted. "I suppose I never faced the same life you did from the way it sounds. I never had to struggle to get on in life, and even if it was inadvertent I was living my own life my own way, or at least up to this point."
It was clear he brought up a topic that hit a nerve, and the least he could do was listen and hope to empathize. The look in her eyes caught him off guard even more so than before, but her words his him like a dagger in the chest. "I...I suppose it doesn't work that way. I just never wanted to get involved in the affairs and squabbling of others." The truth of her words was something he likely needed to hear but it almost hurt. "I can't argue with you at all there. Perhaps I've been naive up to this point. Perhaps I've been a bit too confident to think I was strong enough, brave enough, safe enough, or even lucky enough not to have to worry about all of that." His eyes drifted off to the side as he looked towards the nearest window "I guess it's hard to ignore the fighting taking place even now on this planet, and here we are eating pizza. Naive indeed..." trailing off and letting his eyes wander around the room.
Shiver just smiled and nodded to Hale's response, keeping her gaze focused on her pizza. They were back to awkward silence again, the sheer seriousness of the last exchange tainting the air. Really Shiver didn't know what to follow that kind of talk up with, and the other Arcosian seemed lost in introspection. So Shiver just quietly continued with her meal, eating up the last few slices quickly as she considered her own advice. That battle in the North...she heard there was another WTF camp up there. It was probably what the battle was occurring over, and if she'd hurried, perhaps she could've made it over there in time. Shiver frowned at herself now, and her semi cowardly actions. Sure, she'd told herself the others could handle it, that the powers she sensed seemed relatively even. But in truth, it was because she still tried to avoid such dangerous situations, and she more than knew it.
Gah, Shiver chugged the rest of the water and started glaring out the window. Hale's last comment about them eating whilst battles raged had really hit home for her. Now she was getting angry at herself, and over her own comments no less. It just went to show how far she had to go still, to overcome her own fears to fight for what was right and not just her immediate self. Thankfully she had an entire meal to regain her composure and hide her temporary issues. Not that she had an unlimited amount of food in front of her, she was almost done already in fact. After a few moments, when she no longer felt like contemplating her recent failures, she spoke up again. "So, Hale, is there anything particular you want to try out in the city today?" She shrugged her shoulders a bit halfheartedly, "I've got nothing planned for the day and spare cash to burn, so I'd be fine with being the benefactor for anything."
If this was his first time coming out of the shadows, then she assumed he probably had things he wanted to try. Her, being used to the cities and Earth at this point, would probably help smooth over anything he wanted to try out. Honestly though, Shiver was feeling done for the day after that last conversation. She had offered because it was polite, but really she felt like she had to go train or something in order to not hate herself. She also didn't actually want to walk away from another Arcosian so soon though either, lest she end up continuing her loner esque streak. And that was why she'd left the decision up to Hale for now.
Shaking his head to try and get the frustrated thoughts out of his mind, hale forced a smile as he looked up to Shiver speaking once more, but he was still obviously distracted by the previous topic. "Honestly I don't know. I've mostly kept to myself despite the years I've been on Earth, and I've been so busy with working and looking for work that I haven't really explored a lot, especially in any major cities." He gave her a look that showed he really had no idea what to say, reaching down and grabbing and stuffing a second piece of pizza in his mouth. His chewing gave him some time to think, but there wasn't much he could think of and he realized aside from fighting and training he didn't do much else.
With a loud swallow he wiped his mouth and cleared his throat "You have any ideas? I had just planned to walk around the city and see what shape it was in. I'm not too sure what there even is to do around here if I can be honest. what do you do for fun?""
Shiver sighed quietly at his admittance, she'd been hoping for an excuse she could use of some kind. Guess that meant she had to be on her way to more productive activities. Unless she could think up any fun activities on her own, which was just hard to do at the moment. What did she do for fun anyway? Shiver held her tongue for a moment before shrugging and responding. "What do I do for fun huh? Well, mostly I just go out exploring the Earth. Find new villages, new people, visit monuments and stuff. I do it on every planet I visit really."
Shiver gestured around them to the diner and the food. "Earths a bit different though, lots of variety in stuff to do. Especially inventions and activities" She thought for a moment, to think of the stuff she'd done and what she'd enjoyed. Surprisingly it was a smaller list than she'd expected. "My favorites are their movies and TV, its really creative stuff actually. And some of its pretty interesting too. If your ever just tired out someday, I would really recommend checking them out while you rewind." Shiver thought of her first time at the movies and smiled, that had been an interesting afternoon.
"As for any ideas right now...I'm afraid I'm fresh out." Shiver smiled ruefully at the other Arcosian. "Our recent conversation has....made me want to train or something. I don't know if you know, but there was a huge battle occurring in the North a little while ago." Her smiled turned grim suddenly, a slight scowl. "It was between the WTF and some other Arcosians on Earth, and...I didn't go. Nobodies sure of what's actually happened yet either, their still picking up the pieces." Shiver waved to the waiter for the check, who came over right away. She started putting the required zeni on the table whilst speaking. "So, if there's nothing you need my help with then...well I'm going to go train or something. I'll still accompany you out of the city though if you want?" Hale
As soon as she mentioned her exploring her pointed at her with both fingers and nodded "Well? Then let's do some of that. What places have you visited? What kind of people, places and so on. Tell me about it and what's stopping us?" Looking around at her gesturing, he nodded some and then gave a shrug "I guess that's true, it is a lot different than other planets I've been too. Arcose is like, well a completely different planet as it is, but in such a foreign way. Vegeta is interesting but everything is so straight forward. Here, everyone is so much more individualistic and they lift up the intelligent over the strong in a way I've never seen." Hale gave a chuckle at her mention of t.v. and heavily nodded in response, as he found himself watching more than he was likely to admit.
"I've watched my fair share of Earth movies, and they do differ pretty heavily depending on region I've found. Even within a single planet there are so many different cultures, languages, and it is a bit disorienting at first." Again he nodded, not knowing enough of Earth to know even what to suggest, feeling a bit guilty even. He did perk up a bit at the mentioning of training, but that just made him realize that he really had no other past times aside from that and it was an awkward feeling. "I have heard minimally about it. I don't know much of what is going on though. I can't sense energy but even I felt something powerful coming from the North that was enough for me to know to stay away." His hands gripped the edges of the table at her mention of the WTF. He had no direct confrontation with them, but they frankly made many people, especially on Earth, look rather negatively on their race. "I suppose I'm not surprised." His face contorted to one of disappointment at her mention of leaving already, waiting till the waiter left before speaking again. "Thanks for the food by the way. And, sorry if I wasn't the best company. I will say though, if you are looking to train, perhaps I could help? I might not be too exciting when it comes to small talk, but when it comes to throwing punches and lifting weights I can at least manage that much."