It seemed that the addition of even this much weight provided something of an increase in the level of challenge, even if it took some time for larger creatures to notice.
Well, they certainly wouldn’t be much use if they couldn’t do that much. She wondered if there was anything special to the design process to make them that way, or if any such weight would have sufficed, if placed correctly. Perhaps someday she would ask the woman at the front… Ah, but no, it was possible she would take badly to the implication that the gym was trying to ‘sell’ its customers items that they might not really need. Perhaps not, then.
Eventually, however, the exercise session had to come to a close once again. Rabbit was the one who gave the creature the cue to stop, and it did so without argument. This made her curious too; she was always the one who gave the signal to end the session, but would he have stopped on his own if he grew sufficiently tired?
No, that wasn’t the right question for her to be asking. It was well established that one of his problems was trying to push past his boundaries. But did he listen to her out of trust, then, for her abilities and estimates? Or would he begin to ignore her signals and deviate from them if he felt that she was no longer doing her job?
There were ways she could have found out, , but the ones that she could think of mostly involved giving instructions that he would have incentives to disobey. And if there did exist some trust between them, doing so would erode it, so Rabbit refrained.
This was not really useful information anyway. Things were fine the way they were at the moment, so there was no need to change it merely to satisfy a question that did not need to be asked. Curiosity was not a terribly useful trait in a robot.
It must have been that she was a little slow in getting his water ready for him. The creature gave her an odd look as she brought it to him. She gazed back at him, attempting to figure out what that gaze must have meant, but the moment had already passed; he lowered his head to drink, apparently no longer interested in what had caught his attention in the first place. It must not have been terribly important then.
Rabbit watched him. “Do you not want the fortified water today either?” she asked.
This got him to look back up at her again. He paused as though he was considering, then with a sigh, lifted his head so she could access the bucket. Rabbit pulled out one of the bottles of special water supplements and poured it into the bucket, crouching down to do so so that the trail of liquid would not splash too high. This had been bought with Aster’s points, after all, so it would not do to unnecessarily waste it if she could prevent it.
The creature bent his head to drink as soon as she was done, not even bothering to wait for her to get out of his way. On the one hand, this level of disregard might well be considered contempt. Rabbit was not unfamiliar with that feeling either. Many humanoids did not think much of TRODs either, and it stood to reason that a sentient creature might think the same, after enough time, and the realization of what a TROD was.
But then, perhaps it was only that he was becoming comfortable with her.
Had he realized what she was when they had met? How much of that initial confrontation did he remember? Rabbit did wish she had more information to fill in the gaps in her own memory. Aster had perhaps ‘spoiled’ her by letting her run on her own will so often; it was difficult now to cope with a gap in what was otherwise a fairly complete memory.
She stood, and waited for him to finish his drink. In the meantime, there were other things to do, like putting away any equipment that they might have displaced over the course of their training. Thus far, there hadn’t been, but today was a bit different because of the episode they had had with the cart.
… Of course, putting the cart was easier said than done. Rabbit eyed it for a moment, then began taking the weight bags out one by one. The cart was such that smaller creatures than the one accompanying her would be able to make use of it, and so the weight bags were there to allow an adjustment of weight. Eventually she ought to be able to lighten it enough for her to push too.
But before she could fully do so, she registered movement at the edge of her visual range. The creature had moved away from his drink and towards her. Walking past her, he braced his shoulder against one end of the cart, and began pushing it back to where it had been sitting when they had first walked into the gym.
“You do not have to do this,” said Rabbit. “Are you not tired?”
The creature glanced at her, then rolled his eyes and kept pushing. She could see from his body language that there really was some exertion involved, even with some of the weight bags having been removed. But still, he neither stopped nor complained, pushing until the cart was back in its rightful place. Then he walked off, presumably to finish his drink, acting as though nothing had happened at all.
How curious. Had he wanted to help? She had never seen him express such a sentiment before, so Rabbit was genuinely caught off guard by the assistance. Moreover, it was not really necessary; she was perfectly capable of doing the task that she had set herself to do, and did not appear, to her knowledge, to have been visibly struggling with it, or showing any signs of being distressed. It was not possible for her to be distressed.
But then, it was true that he had taken less time to perform that task than it would have taken her. Even though she had to put some of the weight bags back onto the cart, she didn't have to move as many as she would have had to to get the cart to a weight where she could push it too.
Had he been merely worried about the time?
If that was the case, it was the least that she could do to finish her task a little faster. She focused her efforts on returning the remaining weight bags to their proper place, before taking one last cursory survey around the gym to make sure that everything else was in its proper place. She didn't think they had displaced anything, but it was always best to be sure.
By this point, the creature had finished his drink too. Rabbit collected the bucket--- this was their own, and so she took it with them when it was time to return.
"We will be coming back tomorrow," she said.
The creature wrinkled his nose in apparent displeasure, but did not complain any further. It had already become a part of their routine, coming here, and at least today's trials were over.
On that note, the two of them headed out of the gym, and made their way home.
They had returned the next day, and the next, and the day after that. It got to the point where Rabbit wondered whether the woman at the front was tired of seeing them. If that was the case, however, she never expressed any sentiment to that effect.
It probably wouldn't have stopped them even if she did, unless she went out of their way to tell them not to come back.
For the creature's part, as the days slipped into one week, and then two, he began to display quantifiable improvement. The exercise was still as boring to him as it had ever been, but at least it was gratifying for him to see his own improvement.
To that end, Rabbit had begun timing his laps around the track, as well as his time spent running and walking overall. As the numbers climbed, and as he spent less time walking, the creature began to look livelier afterwards too.
Of course, too much confidence wasn't always a good thing. Rabbit caught him eyeing the cart on more than one occasion these days. It wouldn't be very long before he tried that again, she supposed.
Well, if he wanted to, perhaps it wouldn't be such a bad idea now. He was stronger than he had been, and it was clear he wanted a challenge, if only for the change of pace.
But their current session was wrapping up. "Next time," she said.
Rabbit and the creature had kept up their gym visits, though as the creature's condition improved and stabilized, she had cut back on the number, if not the length. Thus far they had been mostly engaged with similar exercises to the ones that they had done previously, in the interest of helping the creature regain his former stamina. But their efforts in other endeavors as of late had alerted Rabbit to a different problem that might need further rectifying.
That the creature was recovering his strength was well and good, and had been the goal of a great deal of work on both their parts. Now that they had for the most part achieved it, however, there was the matter of… finesse. Rabbit did not know how much or how little grace the creature had originally, naturally had, but the fact of it was now that he didn't have as much as he would have liked. And she couldn't imagine that his condition had done him any favors in that regard.
Well, any exercise was still exercise, and this was a problem that they could work on within the gym facilities. It was about time for them to have a change of pace anyway. The creature was a diligent one when presented with adequate reason to do something, even if that something was dull, but boredom still reared its head after a while.
Thus, when they came to the gym the next time, Rabbit elected to go to a different area. They did their cursory check in with the woman at the front, then headed around the building to the outdoor area at the back. The question as to whether the creature could make use of the facilities inside still stood, but as it was, he would be doing a great deal of moving around. This fact had not changed, so Rabbit elected to keep them outdoors. The weather was nice this time of year, and there was no real reason to do otherwise.
But she did lead them to a different area. The creature noticed her deviation from their usual path almost immediately, and she could anticipate so well his curiosity about the whole affair that it was almost as though she could feel it herself.
As soon as they passed their usual area, he began looking around himself in earnest. She had not provided an explanation for him as of yet, but that would not stop him from endeavoring to find it out himself from other means if he could.
What he must be guessing… But it did not take them long to arrive at their destination. The gym's facilities were large, but the outside portion did not have an extravagant variety of facilities, since it had been designed to give its users a greater breadth of space. After a while Rabbit did stop, and the area where they had stopped was set up with a wide variety of what could have been called obstacle courses.
There were a great deal of poles. Some were stood vertically, with space between them for a creature to presumably weave their way through. On the ground there were slots where one might add or take away poles as the need arose, to better accommodate the size of what they were training.
There were other poles that were laid across vertical supports, to form hurdles in an arrangement not dissimilar to a steeplechase. There were indicators that these were adjustable too, both in terms of their spacing and their height. Beside those, a large area was taken up by old tires, presumably to force the creature in question to watch where they were placing their feet, lest they trip and fall.
There might have been other attractions and courses, but in their current location, Rabbit and her companion were flanked by these three. He looked among them and seemed to draw his own conclusion, but now Rabbit gave him the explanation that he had been waiting on.
"You remember your time learning to dodge," she said. "You have been improving steadily in your endurance, and I thought you might want a change of pace. These courses are designed to encourage you to move more nimbly." He had shown interest in that sort of thing already, and had found out just as quickly that he had little aptitude for it, at least anymore. It had seemed frustrating to him, by Rabbit's observations. She had endeavored to anticipate what he might want to do this time, and elected to come here.
The creature was listening to her, one ear cocked in her general direction, but his attention was divided. He was examining the equipment more closely, peering at it and occasionally testing this piece or that with a claw. Rabbit wasn't sure what he was inspecting for, but she let him do it to his satisfaction. They weren't in any particular hurry to start.
Eventually the creature was satisfied, and turned back to her, as if to ask, 'Well? What now?'
It was a curious thing. She was sure that he must have figured out some if not all of what the equipment was for, and how he would most likely be using it to achieve those aims that Rabbit had spoken of, and given his intelligence, there was in theory little reason for him to rely on Rabbit for anything like commands. But perhaps the mental work of coming up with his own regimen and enforcing it was tedious work, and he profited from her presence much like one would desire a personal trainer.
Or perhaps he really was at a loss as to where to begin. It was hard to say definitively. Regardless, Rabbit nodded at him. "Let us begin with some warm ups then," she said.
Some of the alertness in the creature gave way to a slump, a sigh, of resignation.
This part of their gym training had not changed. Just because they were working towards a somewhat different goal did not mean he was spared the boredom and indignity of a few boring introductory exercises, as it turned out.
But seeing him dispirited at the prospect of it, Rabbit proposed something. "I can show you some stretches," she said. "At least it will be new, and then you can walk a bit less for this portion of it."
To say that he was enthused would have been saying too much, but he did not protest, and that was close enough to an acquiesce for Rabbit's purposes. With that, she began instructing him in the process of stretching himself.
"If you would bow your front legs, so as to stretch your back, in the manner that a cat might do it," Rabbit began. The creature inclined his head, as though he did not quite understand. Had he not seen a feline before?
Silver: I'm so glad! I really want people to feel like they can 'do stuff' with their sentient pets, and Draconics especially! I'm excited to see what you guys come up with. :3
Jan 17, 2021 17:59:39 GMT -6
Morgan: I like the update overall.
Jan 17, 2021 17:51:56 GMT -6
Morgan: I'm legit so happy now that draconics will basically be able to communicate in draconic instead of being completely unable to communicate from birth unless classically trained or 7+ intelligence. It was so weird to try to do story breedings like that.
Jan 17, 2021 17:51:21 GMT -6
Riku: I hope things work smoothly for you, Jack. <3 // The new update looks awesome.
Jan 17, 2021 10:58:47 GMT -6
Jack: Thanks for sticking with us!
Jan 16, 2021 20:33:33 GMT -6
Jack: So for those of you not on the Discord, I would like to say I'm still around, just not as much. Had to quit my job to watch the kids, opened an Etsy shop, and I'm trying to just keep things rolling through my current bad depression.
Jan 16, 2021 20:33:29 GMT -6
Riku: I am doing well. I also hope everyone else is doing well! <3
Jan 10, 2021 13:32:14 GMT -6
Morgan: I hope everyone is doing well. c:
Jan 9, 2021 15:20:41 GMT -6