The streets of Manhattan, constantly in the shadow of the towers in more ways than one. Here is where all Mage scenes and glimpses go.
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Woodhaven Rifle and Pistol Club didn't look like much on the outside. Nestled between Queens and Brooklyn it was a simple one story brick building. It was Salem's favorite spot, and he'd bought a few pieces there in the past. He'd texted Lilah the address, then shown up early to browse a little.
Lilah being The curious moose she was had googled what it was and then had raced home to get dressed in comfy jeans and a sweater with a t-shirt underneath. Runners finished off the ensemble as she ran out of the house, locking the door behind her. Groaning at herself for being lost again, she parked on the street and got out. Wandering down the street. Lilah crossed one street, two, three. "why are there no signs?!" Lilah opened the door to ask for directions, but when she opened the door she knew she had finally made it to the right place and she grinned and couldn't help but do a little victory dance in the door way.
Salem was dressed down for a change, simple blue jeans, a white v-neck T-shirt, and a shoulder holster, his jacket hung up behind the counter. He smiled at Lilah as she came in, and waved to the cabinet before him, "Alright dear. I promised to take you shopping. So let's shop. I personally like the M1911, but it's a little bit of a beast. Was thinking you might like something a little smaller that fits your hands more."
The look Salem got was "in English please" though she moved to him and looked down at the cabinet. "Yes to the fitting in my hands.." Tiff looked up at him and grinned "honestly this.. " she waved a hand around "is all your area of expertise. I think whatever you think is what we should get as long as it feels right" though she intently stared at each gun, shifting closer to him and then further away "is there a pink one?"
Salem gave a chuckle at that, "I think every woman who's ever gone to a gunstore has asked for either pink or purple. So yes. There are pink pistols."
He took the pistol from his shoulder holster, ejected the magazine and ejected the chambered round, before handing her the pistol and picking up the round, "This is a semi automatic pistol. Magazine fed, carries what we call a 'forty five acp' around. That means it's a fairly big bullet, and will make a hole roughly the size of your fist, or a little smaller. And you can do that seven to eight times before you need to reload."
He then retrieved an even larger pistol, this one a revolver, "This is my .44 magnum. It's eight pounds, and can be used to kill such creatures as buffalo, elk, and small elephants. I was thinking you might want something more like the Springfield XDM." he pointed across to a far less intimidating pistol, a little under seven inches long, "It's a point four zero S&W, so it'll still do the damage to put someone down. But it's alot smaller than the stuff like what I keep around."
Lilah looked up at him adoringly as she held his pistol. Feeling the weight in her hand, and it wasn't even loaded. Her fingers moved to the trigger, and she held it how she had been shown though it was pointed to the floor. Lilah was mentally going through Salem's instructions in her head, focused on what she was doing. On feeling the gun in her hand, she caught something about bigger, and she realized he was still talking. Lilah looked up at him, with a blank, I have no idea what you just said to me look. "I don't think I need to walk around making Lilah sized holes in stuff..." Lilah looked to where he pointed and shook her head no. "If I am shooting at something.." the wrist with the gun pivoted "this... " though she seemed to consider something as she turned, studying Salems face she leaned against the cabinet "let's say I need to carry discreetly without a jacket. How am I carrying this?"
Salem chuckled, "And now you know why I always wear a jacket. But you, as a woman, have this thing called a 'purse' you can use."
He grinned and motioned to the salesmen, bringing forth the smaller gun he'd spoken up- decorated in bright pink and hello kitty, "This is the pink one. Normally a special order, but they have it in stock, for now."
"Okay, I am girly.. Sorta.. but hello kitty.. no thank you." Lilah reached out for the pink one once Salems gun was safely in her left hand. Lilah went through the same thing, pointing it only at the floor.. okay, okay, maybe once at Salems foot, but it wasn't loaded and that had been an accident. Lilah looked up at him "compared to the one that I shot last time" in the apartment she thought in her head "is this one less.. kick?" Lilah probably sounded like she needed a Guns For Dummies 101 book, but she was slowly getting it and Salem usually could decipher what on earth she was trying to say.
Salem shrugged, "How would you like to go over to the range side of the place and find out?"
He slapped the magazine back in his 1911, then took his revolver back, "I'll get us a few target rounds."
Lilah looked like a kid in a candy store as she nodded "perfect!"
Salem laid down his black card and was handed a box of ammunition, two sets of shooters glasses, and two pairs of ear protection. Gathering it all up, he nodded towards a pair of doors, "Just out that way dear. And for the record, the Kitty thing suits you."
Lilah went bright red at his comment and moved to the doors. Opening it she looked at him with a grin "I can help you carry that stuff, you know, Handsome"
Salem nodded towards a clear part of the range, "You could, but isn't it the boyfriend's job to carry things for the girlfriend? Or am I just old fashioned?"
Once they got in place, he set a pair of glasses and a headset aside for himself then set the other on her side, and set the ammo and a pair of magazines between them, "Alright so... set the pistol down, facing down range, then load both magazines. I can show you a speed loader if you want."
Lilah smiled at him and headed towards where he said. Lilah watched the way he moved, he had done this a thousand times before and still had patience to show her. Lilah moved and laid the gun down, facing the range. "I don't want a speed loader, I don't think. It's not going to help me be able to do it in my sleep like you can. Load a gun, unload a gun, make sure the thing isn't loaded.." Lilah had at least done this part before and with shaky hands she opened the ammo and began to load the magazine. When she had one bullet in place she looked up to Salem, the second bullet being held in between her thumb and her index finger. That was right, and she knew it. Yet she waited, and as soon as Salem gave her a nod, continued to load the first and then second magazine. By the time she was done, her hands no longer shook. He could probably have loaded ten in the time it took her to do two, but, it wasn't a race.. yet.
Salem smiled at her patiently and patted her shoulders, "You're doing fine. A speed loader is a nice shortcut to use, though, so that you don't hurt your fingers too much loading. Some of the heavier pistols can have quick the springs in the mags."
Once she was done he put on his headset and eye protection. He laid both his pistols on the table, then took off his holster and slowly fit it on to her. It took a bit of resizing, but within a few minutes, it was just fine.
"Alright... put the magazine in. Rack one in the chamber. Then place it carefully in your holster. Remember, the safety mechanism on this model is built into the trigger- not separate."
Lilah moved carefully, to do exactly what he told her. While he fitted the holster to her, she moved this way and that to help him, grinning some. She took a breath when she knew there was a bullet in the chamber, then she moved and carefully put it into the holster.
"Probably a good thing that I haven't got too use to them being separate. Though kind of a nice extra little safety measure." Lilah smiled up at him and shifted some "alright.. " she looked up at him, clearly excited.
Salem put her ear and eye protection on for her, then stepped back behind her and took her forearms in each hand, "Alright, now you want to safely, and slowly draw the pistol and point it at the target. "
He pointed down range with her off hand for emphasis, "Right there. Center mass. Close the eye you aren't using, and line up the three dots on the pistol. Breathe normally. Just before you inhale, squeeze the trigger. Squeeze it nice and slow. The pistol going off should be a surprise to you."
Lilah smiled and moved her hand to the gun, slowly drawing it and pointing it. She closed her left eye and lined it up. "Ahh..." she said quietly and then said to him "it should be a surprise?"
Salem nodded, and helped her orient her arms, "That's right. Helps keep your aim on as a new shooter."
"Just don't let me go.." Lilah said quietly before she took a few breaths in and out. She gently squeezed the trigger before inhaling. Lilah jumped lightly as she took in a breath again, opening both her eyes.
Salem smiled, and kissed her cheek, "You're good. You've got this. Now move your foot a little..." The moros tapped lightly at one foot until she had a better stance, and rested a hand on her stomach, "Aim center mass every time. And don't close your eyes. You close your eyes and you won't know if you missed or not until it's too late."
Lilah moved her foot carefully as he instructed and re aimed, closing one eye. As he spoke again a grin crossed her features "How did you...?" Lilah looked over her shoulder at him curiously. Lilah focused on her breathing in and out in and out then she fired the gun. This time keeping her eyes open. "Oh, alright... hopefully with practice I won't jump every time.."
Salem just smiled "It's a body's natural reaction to sudden extraordinary sound and light. Kind of like fight or flight. Eventually, you'll get to a point where you don't need for the surprise, and then it stops being it's own jump scare. or you get to a point of concentration in a situation where the noise and light just... aren't even in the picture."
He let her fire the next round and glanced down range, "Make sure when you line up your three little dots on the target, you see the same exact thing every time. Aim for the same point, look at the target at the same angle. Take your time. Focus. Find a rhythm, like when you dance. Your breathing is the beat and your gun is your partner. Line up, exhale, squeeze, inhale."
To emphasize the dancing metaphor he took a half step back, put one hand on her stomach and the other on her shoulder.
Lilah focused on dancing. On the rhythm of her breathing, she could do this. Lilah began to play a song in her head, slow and steady as she breathed. Taking her time she lined up the shot, aiming for the heart. Always she said she wouldn't shoot not to kill, if she's going to be using a gun and pointing it towards someone it wasn't going to be for fun. Lilah took in a few more breaths and exhaled, it was easier to focus that way, on nothing but the gun and what was about to follow. It went off again, and this time she didn't exactly jump.
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