My initial analysis of the new recruits was entirely accurate with one exception. The recruit Vector impressed me from the very beginning but I believe my evaluation of his skills severely undervalued him.
Everything about Vector is honed to a fine edge - like the blades he delights in using wherever and whenever possible. On one of the first mornings of the training, the recruits paired up for one-on-one combat. Vector was paired up with a large Russian who'd been with their Spetsnaz. Although I do not rate the Russian force's training and strategies, the Russian facing Vector was a fine specimen, obviously well used to grappling in close quarters.
I signaled for the combat to begin and as I expected, the big Russian charged forwards to grab Vector in a bear-like embrace. Vector stood stock still until it appeared he would be crushed by the onslaught. At the very last second, Vector dropped to the ground and swept out the Russian's leg as it came down. With his balance stolen, the Russian began to fall forwards - only to meet Vector's elbow as it travelled upwards with incredible force as he rose to his feet once more.
As the Russian tumbled backwards, his nose and jaw clearly broken, again Vector stood like a statue in the pose that had done so much damage. Only when the Russian crunched unconcious to the floor did Vector move again, looking with disdain at his downed opponent.
Of course I had to test my own skills against his.
After circling and testing each others defenses with low kicks, lunges, feints and jabs, Vector launched an attack on me - a superman punch followed by a series of spinning kicks. I blocked each attack, but was driven back.
Then it was my turn to attack. Noticing that Vector's left leg was on loose gravel rather than the solid concrete, I focused my attacks on his left knee, knowing that this surface would make it harder to leap from. Kick followed punch followed kick as I saught to drill home my advance. Although none of my blows found their target, I was looking for a specific opening - and then I saw it.
As Vector blocked another of my punches, I used the momentum to spin to his outside and reached my goal. I was behind him and ready to deliver a neck breaker. But as I reached around his neck to deliver the (in this case mock) killer blow, I was stropped in my tracks. Vector grabbed both of my arms and used them as a playform to vault over my head.
I turned and we faced each other. "Impressive" I said. Vector inclined his head in my direction. "Thank you sir."
This is just one incident amongst many. I will continue to monitor him with great interest - and formally request that at least some of his training be conducted within my own team on live operations.