PDF | Entrance Music
The highlights of the match are rolling on the screens as the Furies make their way backstage. They're showing the last few moments, with Roxie's brilliant take down of Lane and then Trinh's last stand. Phia comes up just at the moment Trinh catches Siroko with a huge blow, right on the chin, putting the Storm Goddess on her heels - but even as she's reeling, Siroko throws a haymaker of her own. It crashes into the side of Trinh's head and the Shining Diamond breaks, dropping like her strings were cut.
The post-fight comedown is always harsh - the transition away from the bodies used in the fight adds its own stress without totally wiping away the injury received in them. But Siroko is never not ready to cut a promo. The moment Phia shows up with a camera, she's all the way on.
"No matter how furious the fight, it ends with the devastating defeat to our foes. Glory in victory, but know this is only the beginning of our domination, expect the execution of any who stand in our way. Our triumph will live forever. Never doubt, whoever challenges us will fall to our might. Fight and die, Furies fly!"
Siroko Tuuli HP : 61/61 (THP: 0) Passive Insight : 13 Defense Sets : AC/FT/RF/WI Surges : 5/13 (V: 15) Passive Perception : 13 Normal 21/20/17/17 Initiative : +3 Vision : Normal Speed : 6 Action Points :  At Will Tempest Assault Thorn Strike Warden's Fury Warden's Grasp Encounter [x] Gale Strike [ ] Guardian's Counter [ ] Incredible Toughness [ ] Thundering Strike [ ] Second Wind Daily [x] Inspiring Fortitude [x] Thunder Step [ ] Form of Mountain's Thunder Items:: Acrobat Boots (At-Will) [x] Lightning Craghammer (Daily, At-Will) [ ] [ ] Potion of Cure Light Wounds [x] [ ] Potion of Healing MBA: +11 attack, 1d10+10 RBA: +11 attack, 1d6+8 Passives: Font of Life: At the start of your turn, roll a saving throw. Nature's Wrath: As a free action, mark each adjacent enemy until EoYNT. Stormheart: When you use your Second Wind, slide each enemy marked by you and within 2 squares of you 1 sq, and each enemy marked by you is slowed until EoYNT. Bludgeon Expertise: +1 sq to push and slide distance with hammer attacks. Crippling Crush: +3 damage to targets you slow or immobilize with a hammer attack. Sudden Roots: Enemy hit with OA is slowed until end of its turn. Cloak of the Walking Wounded: If you use your Second Wind while bloodied, expend two healing surges instead of 1.
|# ? Jun 18, 2018 14:17|
|# ? Jul 20, 2018 14:06|
"Fight and die, Furies Fly!" Caelynn echoes after Siroko's statement. Even after the transition, she's red in the face, and sweating, but her expression is ecstatic. They'd won! She had won! It had been hard, so hard, but they'd actually done it. "We love you, folks! Woo!" Any actual promo would have to wait until the highs of dopamine had settled. She was too happy to put on a face right now.
|# ? Jun 18, 2018 14:21|
Vivi snaps back into consciousness in her little gold dust outfit and prime body, fingers brandishing blades that dig into the armrests of her chair. She joins Phia and the others two beats later than anyone else, calming her breathing before doing so. She bounces onto the scene from the side and hugs Roxie's non-robotic arm, beaming up enthusiastically at her friend. "Thank you!" Holographics hearts blossom around her head like miniature fireworks. She dials back the gushing and shifts her irises from bright pink to warm gold, looking to the camera as she poses with Roxie like a fawning starlet.
"Mess with the little knife, meet the big knife." Vivi coos at the camera with a poisoned tongue. Then she perks up and waves with one hand. "You're all so lucky to see me... to see US rise! Fight AND DIE, Furies Fly!"
... Sometime during the fight aftermath Vivi tries to round up Roxie and Erzbet to pitch a new slogan and t-shirt idea to Phia: Suicide Queens! Maybe illustrations of Erzbet raising the other fights, or Roxie in full cheesy Aztec priest get-up sacrificing a scantily clad other.
|# ? Jun 18, 2018 22:49|
After each of you gives your post-match quip, Phia lets out another cheer, then stops the recording. After you take some time to bask in the fans' admiration once more, Phia, who's been busy on her phone, shows you the following post-match clip from American Made's side of things.
"This is your fault, Lane. What were you thinking, sending us all toward Vivisection? The Furies are weak. If we would just stay together when we fight them, take them head-to-head instead of overextending ourselves-"
"You didn't seem to have a problem with the plan before the match. Today, we fought and lost. We'll have chances to get them back."
"This was it. This was our chance, and you" - Maxima shoves a finger in Axel's face - "wasted it by letting a rookie call the shots."
"If you hadn't noticed, the old plans weren't doing us any good-"
"The old plans were fine when they were made, but all plans have to be changed eventually. The new plans were fine too. Were they perfect? That's not the point. Not everything's going to be perfect. But I'm giving you the opportunity to make plans on your own, to lead yourselves, because you need to in order to grow. I'm not going to be around forever. One day, you're going to have to do this on your own-"
"Maybe we should."
"Maybe we should go our own ways."
"I understand your frustration, but give yourself some time to cool off. Today wasn't as bad as you think. All of you worked great together. We acted as one unit, with no hesitation. Lane, your calls were quick and decisive. Lane and Trinh, you made one hell of a last stand. Musa and Maxima, the spotlight wasn't on you today, but that doesn't make you any lesser. What you had the chance to execute, you did flawlessly. We may all have things to work on, but we can talk about that later, with cool heads."
"Yeah, I...I definitely screwed up by underestimating Tiger Fury. Underestimating Erzbet. I was so focused on eliminating Vivi, the obvious threat-"
"You mean she got in your head."
"Screw you, Musa. What I'm saying is I screwed up and I'm sorry."
"Apology accepted. We all have things to learn, right? We fight, we improve, we come back stronger."
"I'd be stronger with a different team." Maxima lets out a disdainful snort and stalks off, leaving the rest of American Made standing in silence.
That night, Phia takes those of you who want to out to Club Mirage. It's not really her scene, being electronic beat rather than hardcore punk, but she figures it's more your style (at least, those of you outgoing enough to enjoy the club). Besides, the cocktails are fantastic. She gets into it anyway, going wild on the dance floor before the night is out.
Wol fucked around with this message at Jun 19, 2018 around 09:59
|# ? Jun 19, 2018 09:54|
PDFII Entrance Music
Erzbet takes a back seat during the cheering, joining in a couple of FURIES FLY calls but otherwise not finishing up with anything but sinister grins. You don't do the closing if you did the opening.
The next day, Erzbet is mysteriously absent from the usual morning exercise crew. Her, her car, and her gear are all gone, but it's clear she intends to return- nobody leaves that much iced coffee in the fridge if they're making like a tree. Maybe she's just tired of Siroko trying to get her to do a pull up.
|# ? Jun 19, 2018 21:22|
After viewing American Made's splintering, Vivi makes a moment to slide back to Erzbet and whispers to her with maximum self-satisfaction. "Kayfabe's fun when somebody really buys it, isn't it? <3" She chuckles incessantly, wickedly. "We should be so lucky that the next teams have their own Lane. And good work on the old man!" After some shared darkness Vivi finds her way back into the front of every group shot.
Spending the rest of the night dancing and drinking with Phia sounds P E R F E C T! Vivi doesn't get to feel the sincere joy of approaching a championship very often and this one feels like it might actually go the distance! Her exuberance is out of control, her enthusiasm infectious. Malicious joy at the havoc she set the groundwork for is the best fuel.
Once Vivi gets through her four hour power down and charge she perks up and settles in at her apartment for some private time, humming leftovers of the Mirage beats as she works on updating her image. She needs her hair to grow a bit longer, easy enough to chemically accelerate that. The platinum blonde is two days old by now, already getting played out. She dyes for a vivid, violent red with high saturation and begins the day's maintenance of her flesh, trying to convince her muscles to properly sort out lactic acid build up and cease random cramping and exhaustion. She idly wonders if there might be a better way to manage her health...
But first, the most important time of the day! Vivi's internal UI blossoms into dozens of independently operating browser tabs, video feeds and chat programs. She needs to know what her fans think of her showing! She needs to know what American Made and Lane's fans think of her showing! She needs to know if the fight highlighted her incredible double kill or tried to call foul that she went down twice in the highly aggressive sport. And she definitely needs to know if the smarter fight commentators picked up on the building feud... Vivi needs her validation for her efforts and to bask in admiration or hate! It would be impossible that American Made's split hadn't already leaked. If Vivi herself could be blamed for a part in it... she pauses her physical works to bring her hands to her mouth and giggles uncontrollably. Trying to match actual paragons like Siroko or Axel was a fool's errand for a sneak like her. Better to be loved by her fans and hated by her enemies, as long as somebody was paying attention. Love and Hate were close... but being Ignored? That was the true opposite of Love.
Sometime during these three days, Vivi will make time to seek out Roxie and Siroko, ideally while the two are at the gym. They're big, impressive women with bodies that don't quit in a highly athletic career. Vivi usually didn't care for that sort of thing, participating in group activities because of the need for teamwork coordination, but as far as she was concerned her physical attributes were at their zenith(for her model) and she couldn't gain weight anyway.
But... finishing both rounds dead or dying was painting her as a glass cannon. It was irritating that even a blind girl caught onto it while charging like a bull. Steeling her resolve, Vivi dances over to her friends at some point in a cheesy casual outfit, wearing a low-cut leotard with legwarmers, wristwarmers and a cropped tank-top with random strings of code looping around a giant PAIN = GAIN logo, all of it mixed shades of obnoxiously bright blue and pitch black. She sips at a little water bottle filled with diluted vitae and smiles indulgently at Roxie, sounding very much like a child coming around to a parent's wisdom. "Hey hey, Roxie. I was thinking I should finally ask you for an exercise routine! I wanna, uhm, strengthen my core! You know, tone up my stomach and the rest of the primary muscle groups!" Sip Sip. She blinks rapidly and flashes her eyelashes and a soft blue iris hue with a fresh smile. "If I was a bit tougher, I'd stay up better."
Whatever fresh Hell her last idea leads to, Vivi unwinds with some quality socializing. She knows Apone has a few locally owned places in town and one is so prominent it can't be missed. She heads over to Axel's Gym Muscle Made, sticking with the active girl chic and exchanging her loud outfit for a more subdued American flag leotard, jogging sneakers with tactical slash marks to keep them functional yet look tattered, and a simple grey tank-top with the American Made team logo. Ironic Active Girl Chic! Having her new devilishly red hair up in twin pigtails just sends the perkiness meter into overdrive and she sidles into the building, seeking out a front desk for help.
Disabling her shame for a moment, Vivi bubbles at the front desk attendant in full air-head mode. "Hiiiiiiii~! Do you do trial memberships? Any freebies? Got a pool? Does Miiiis~ter Apone work out here?" If she's lucky enough to catch a gentleman working the booth, she'll toss in some obvious eye attention and a gratuitous "How much can *you* lift, tee hee?"
Doomykins fucked around with this message at Jun 20, 2018 around 02:03
|# ? Jun 20, 2018 01:09|
Your #1 Contendership fight won't be until May 1, though Phia does intend to book you for one or two exhibition gimmick matches before then. In the meantime, you have the next three days entirely off, your next meeting not until the 25th. You can still train if you want, but there's no obligation to do anything. In fact, Phia makes it clear that she has dates lined up for the next two evenings and a show to go to on the third, so she doesn't want to be bothered then unless it's an emergency.
You'll have to fill the following three days yourselves for the most part, but life isn't about to completely leave you be.
Philadelphia - April 22, 2259
Despite the time off, you can't help but swing by the Asylum Arena in the afternoon. The parking lot is mostly empty, as there isn't a match on that day, but your eye is immediately drawn to Diamond Trinh and the Flawless Executioners' Cinnabar standing around a sleek, luxurious electric blue Lamborghini Cazador. The two are discussing excitedly about its handling process when Trinh turns and gives you a wave.
"Hey, Siroko. Come check this beauty out."
"Hi, Tuuli." Cinnabar gives you a deep nod, flowing black tresses falling across her face as she does so. She's not someone you've really met before, but as one of your upcoming opponents, you're sure you'll get to know her better one way or another soon enough. Her eponymous skin colouration makes her stand out from a mile away, though, as does her curvaceous figure and the bone jewelry she wears to contrast her otherwise sultry leather-and-lace outfit.
"I have this baby until the 26th. Lambo likes their ad girl to be seen driving around in their latest from time to time. And by 'this baby', I mean...I have triplets." Trinh produces a key from her coat pocket, dangling it enticingly. "Looks like destiny brought you to where you need to be again, Siroko. You up for a road trip?"
Philadelphia - April 23, 2259
You’re walking up to the gym, anticipating your daily workout, when you hear a brash voice call out from behind you.
“Hey, Roxie Ruinous. Hear you’re some kinda big shot.” You turn to see the source of the voice – a figure slightly shorter than you, wearing patch-covered skinny jeans and an oversized hoodie. From the odd shape of the hood, they seem to have...a really weirdly shaped head? You aren’t left guessing about them for long, though. The first thing you see is their impish grin, then they push the hood back to reveal their face.
“Y’get one guess who.”
From down the block, you hear a voice cry out, “Oh poo poo, it’s the Jersey Daredevil!” Immediately after, “oh, poo poo, it’s Roxie Ruinous!” It is in fact the Jersey Daredevil himself, Kieran St. John, fellow extreme sports internet sensation. While his fanbase doesn’t overlap with yours as much as one might expect – his appeal lies mainly among his fellow teens, and he unabashedly does magically assist his stunts – there’s no denying either of your maniacal commitment to potential grievous bodily harm for the internet’s entertainment.
Without looking at where the voices came from, the Daredevil beckons them over, summoning a pen to his hand in a poof of brimstone with a flick of his wrist. The two fans come rushing nervously but excitedly over, and he casually signs whatever they hold out to him (“Hey, who’m I making this out to?”) before handing the pen to you.
“Congrats on the win, Roxie. Really inspiring poo poo. That’s the kinda violence that gets the blood pumping.” The two fans eagerly nod their confirmation. The Daredevil continues. “But I got news of my own. The Daredevil’s 18 now, which means – drat right – he’s a bona fide Killer. Ink’s dry and everything.” Shortly after you finish your autograph for both fans, a flame erupts from the pen, and it turns to ash in your hands. One of the fans lets out a startled little gasp. The Jersey Daredevil grins wider than ever.
“So I got an idea. Every cocky young upstart needs a wise old master to show ‘em the ropes, right? I figure you and me, Ruinous and Daredevil, that’s the right combination. Throw in a little extra fun in the meantime, maybe see who can out-bike who, and that’s cash in pocket.” The Jersey Daredevil extends a bandaged, scraped-up, calloused hand. “Whaddaya think?”
Annoyingly, Vivi finds herself blamed only occasionally for what people are already calling American Made’s breakup (despite no official statement as of yet). Maxima is taking the brunt of the heat. Even as far as Furies members go, Vivi doesn’t find herself at the top of the algorithm: Erzbet and Tiger Fury have her beat by a significant margin.
She doesn’t have to go far for validation, though – her extraordinarily gruesome double kill has topped lists of the week’s best kills worldwide, some even going so far as to call it a top contender for kill of the month. There’s always her own fanbase to bask in of course, and it touches Vivi’s cruel computer heart to see that Lane’s fanbase is, as she anticipated, Big Mad about her. As she basks in the commentary and attention over her double kill, there’s a particular DM that catches her eye.
@fenrirspear: Nice pair.
The man at the desk – the square-jawed, muscular man at the desk in a flattering cream v-neck, Vivi can’t help but noticing – has obviously heard a similar routine before. He sighs and gives a clearly reheared spiel.
“My uncle appreciates all his fans, but if you want his autrograph, you should check the Asylum Arena website for fan meet days. This isn’t the place for it."
Wol fucked around with this message at Jul 7, 2018 around 08:15
|# ? Jun 20, 2018 07:26|
She wonders if she might supplement all this glorious attention with checking Maxima's fanbase, who must be frustrated that executing her fabled win pattern led to her grappling a living blender. Vivi is in the middle of laughing to herself in an empty room when he. comes. back!!! Of course Vivi had the spare routines to keep an eye out for any streamed matches or news of the spears, but usually her partners are a bit distant. She couldn't expect much more from one night stands but maybe a few lines of romantic spaghetti code still did...
: Fenny!! Thank you! <3
Everything from even her diehard fans can't match the intensity of this compliment. In her apartment Vivi's hands cover her face as she blushes, only her head shifting about naturally as the rest of her remains in the rigid machine state. She lowers her arms, pausing briefly to consider the double meaning of "nice pair" and considering her chest. But somehow she thinks this isn't one of those calls!
: I saw you in Caracas! How's the circuit down south? Tell me everything!
Vivi hums with a close-lipped smile and engages a nodding routine as she does, in fact, mentally check the Asylum website for fan meet days. Then she breaks the idle animation and laughs, giving this fine gentleman her full attention. "I already have his autograph, silly! Halloween Hellocaust 2549!" Axel must be a very busy man, which Vivi finds a bit odd as she's still waiting for her own flood of endorsement deals and interview requests. A hasty self-assurance protocol reminds her that she's not a champion yet and soon. She leans forward on the desk and props herself up a bit, playing up her petiteness. "I wanted to see how he's doing! But if he's busy, maybe you can show me around?" She flutters her eyelashes. "I'm Vivi~"
Doomykins fucked around with this message at Jun 20, 2018 around 14:24
|# ? Jun 20, 2018 13:19|
PDF | Entrance Music
Night of the Match
Siroko watches the breakup of American Made without saying anything, but she tracks the departure of Maxima until Phia draws her attention back with party plans. It's a foregone conclusion that Siroko is going to the club, and this time she's not letting anyone else bow out. She also chides Phia into summoning an UberLyft to take them so no one has to play designated driver. Now is a time to celebrate their victory.
Vivi and Roxie at the Gym
Siroko is, against all odds and theory of biology, actually at the gym early the day after the match. Her workout outfit is actually practical - grey leggings, blue sports bra, athletic shoes. It would be disappointing if it wasn't for the faux-wolf-fur coat and neon blue shutter shades she'd accessorized it with, though those were in her locker at the moment.
When Vivi comes in, Siroko is kneeling on top of a medicine ball, waggling a weird staff/blade thing that looks to be made out of carbon fiber back in forth in one hand as she tries to stay balanced on to of the ball. She moves the staff between a couple different arm positions before switching it to the other hand. It looks, frankly, ridiculous.
She doesn't bother stopping when Vivi starts bothering Roxie for advice, just shouts so they can hear her. "100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, 100 squats, 10km run, every day. It's a good warmup."
Philadelphia - April 22, 2259
Siroko goes over to join the two. "Cinnabar and Diamond. I almost didn't notice the ride." She says it with just enough a smirk that it's not terminally corny. Siroko's got on a sleeveless high-collared blue top with form fitting chino shorts with a rolled cuff, and accessorized it with an armband and bracelets of heavy twisted silver, plus a white keffiyah worn around the neck and big Ray Ban sunglasses, though the last are hanging from her collar at the moment. She's put her hair in two thick braids for the day.
Siroko's smirk turns into a grin as she accepts the keys. "I'm disappointed you thought it was even a question."
Comrade Gorbash fucked around with this message at Jun 20, 2018 around 15:12
|# ? Jun 20, 2018 13:56|
PDFII Entrance Music
A little bit of laughter drifts down the hall. "No way, it can't be-"
Axel and Erzbet turn the corner, both clearly having just finished their morning routines and Erzbet, at least, heading for the door. She stops dead in her tracks, dropping and then hastily retrieving her bag. "gently caress," she says, quietly. "....at least it isn't Siroko again."
|# ? Jun 20, 2018 13:58|
Siroko and Roxie: Vivi falters a little and looks to Roxie with pleading eyes. "M-Maybe something easy, to start.."
Recognition software chimes into Vivi's mental loops with a succinct target identified. Slowly, she turns her head to look over her shoulder at the only woman she knows with raspy hissed curse words. She relishes every second of the turn, her neck pivoting until it clicks and reveals her eyebrows inverted, her eyes curved into wicked narrow ovals, her irises flickering a blinking red. And her grin. It is delicious.
|# ? Jun 20, 2018 15:07|
Despite not being the designated driver this time, Caelynn's club visit is (mostly) free of alcohol, except when Siroko demands they do a round of shots together. And then Vivi does, too. By the third round, however, she ducks out, avoiding further drinks by staying out on the dancefloor.
The following day, Caelynn stays in. No exercise for her, barring a few morning reps of situps and pushups; instead, she calls her parents excitedly to let them know about the win and that she's coming by for a visit tomorrow. Once all that is settled, she has a quiet morning in, checking the feeds to see what people have to say about her performance throughout the American Made series. She's not as obsessive with what the fans think of her as Vivi - and not as egregious, so she doesn't stand out nearly as much either. Still, she's not immune to the lure of stardom, so she spends the better part of the morning browsing both official channels and social media with a nice, extensive breakfast.
The afternoon she goes out to buy some supplies; incense (with burners), a small foam mat, and some permanent markers. She studies some magical circle patterns through the most reputable sources she can find online - not many, granted, but she had to start somewhere - eventually settling on one partially just because it looks cool, and draws it on the mat when she's back in her apartment, similar to Minhua's. Once that is done, she attempts some meditation once more.
It doesn't quite go as she expected. She doesn't travel back to the garden. Or the glade. In fact, she doesn't travel anywhere at all. But in that moment between the realms, when the room fades away and she's falling through the void, she can feel a push, and a voice in her ear. "Not yet." She returns to the 'real' world with sweat on her forehead, and flat on her face on the mat. "Motherfucker." she curses quietly, catching her breath before she starts putting everything away.
On Sunday, Kate drives down to Ardmore around 3, a sixpack of beer (one of Roxie's recommendations) and a bottle of wine (one of Phia's) in the passenger seat. The doorbell hasn't even finished the admittedly lengthy jingle before her dad pulls open the door and her into a big hug. "There's my champion!" he bellows, leaving her to laugh as she's forcefully accepted into her childhood home.
"Hey, dad. 'sgood to see you again."
|# ? Jun 20, 2018 15:30|
PDFII Entrance Music
Erzbet turns to the unfortunate nephew at the counter. "She's with me, I guess. It's cool." She sighs. "Probably."
|# ? Jun 21, 2018 02:44|
PDF | Orokos | Entrance Music
Night of the Match
Roxie backs up Siroko's insistence to go out and celebrate their victory. There were no survivors.
Vivi and Siroko at the gym
Six days a week, Roxie is among the first people at the gym, and just because yesterday was a match, and last night might have featured a herculean amount of alcohol is no excuse. Her gym attire is practical and spartan: slim black leggings, a neon blue hi-intensity sports bra, well-worn shoes and lifting gloves. Earbuds in, she nods to Siroko, already engrossed in a playlist tailor-made for her warm up sets.
Some time later when Vivi saunters in and approaches she lowers the volume to a reasonable level to converse, "I'm glad you're finally taking that body serio...," Siroko's interjection is... classically Siroko, but it send her eyebrows climbing, "You can't start her on the mountain, neta! She's gotta climb it first," racking her weights, she uses the back of her metal hand to tap Vivi's exposed midriff, "Start with an 8 km warm up. Get your blood flowing. Don't be ñango either; give me a 12 kph run. When you finish that up, you can do the arms and shoulders circuit," Roxie points out the the relevant machines, "and give me 3 x 20s at each, with a 1 minute break between sets. You can take a 2 minute between machines. Find a comfortable weight for each and then add 2.5 kg to it. Give it your best and put up as close to 20 reps as you can each time. I'll come check on you when you finish the run," she smiles broadly and goes back to her next set, waiting to see if Vivi has any questions.
Another day on the way to the gym
Parking her motorcycle, Roxie straps her helmet to her gym bag, and pulls out her phone, pulling up a playlist to get her workout started when she is interrupted by ominous words.
"Kieran!" Roxie's face lights up as he drops the hoodie, suddenly in good company, "don't go sneaking up on chicas like that unless you develop a taste for mace," her grin widens to soften that blow. Her social media diet has turned his work up a few times, and talent recognizes talent. She joins in on the impromptu autograph session without complaint, listening to the Jersey Devil give his little monologue. Her face follows the rhythm of the 'conversation' easily, and she exchanges a fist bump with one of the fans.
"You want to race? Me?" she lets out the a warm laugh, covering her mouth with her cybernetic hand, "Perdón, but the only magic I use is my charm, amigo. I'd hate to rob you of your one advantage! But what the hell... I'll work out after," she extends her hand.
|# ? Jun 21, 2018 02:44|
"No magic?" The Daredevil gives a cheeky little shrug. "You think of everything. Hey, you do have your bike here in America, right? Hate to see you on something off the shelf."
@fenrirspear: "Caracas is great. Hot as hell but better than some sanctioned arenas I've been in. Match vid's up on my page, it's a good one. Got lucky enough to get to work with César Montilla. He’s as vain as you’d think, but he showed us a great time and he’s a hell of a guy to fight beside." Fenrir shares a gif in which Venezuelan superstar killer "Gota Dorado" César Montilla drops into a kneeling position and flexes, turning into solid gold just in time for what looks like a bolt of lightning to bounce right off him. Meanwhile, Fenrir Spear runs up behind, launches off of him, then the camera follows Fenrir as he drives his eponymous weapon downward through the lightning-firing opponent’s throat. The gif closes with a mighty spray of blood.
@fenrirspear: "Medellín's next. Heard mixed things about that place, but I'm sure whatever happens will be a great story."
Wol fucked around with this message at Jun 23, 2018 around 11:02
|# ? Jun 21, 2018 22:17|
The first time you check your phone after the match, you see the following post from Qieduan of the Deathless at the top of her mentions, sent mere seconds after the match’s start.
切断: (Translated from Mandarin) “@erzbetbubblebathory Do not presume to own the dead, little necromancer. They may help you if they wish, but you are not their master. Should you beat the Executioners, you will soon learn this.”
“Vivi.” Axel gives the exuberant little robot a nod. He turns to his nephew, who over the past few seconds has gone from mild irritation to confusion, to dawning comprehension and right back to mild irritation. Axel continues, in high spirits himself. “David, this is Vivian Vivisection. She’s killed me twice now, so watch your back around this one.”
“Didn’t recognize her with the whole new look and all. So, uh, Vivian, you serious about wanting to work out here, then?”
“You’re welcome to it if you are.” Axel’s right arm brushes against his side, and you just make out a little wince of pain. “I don’t see Roxie or Siroko with you, so guessing you’re doing this on the sly?” Axel grins, knowing full well that’s exactly what Erzbet has been doing, too. “We can point you at a personal trainer if you want.”
“I’d heard you were the type to keep your eye on the prize.” Cinnabar remarks, wearing a sly grin.
“Nice. The other two are sitting in a lot on the East side. If you drove, I’ll text you the address. If not, I only have two seats, but I’m sure you two can figure something out.” Trinh flashes a smile and opens the door to get in.
When you reach the lot, you find the two other brand new Cazadors as promised. One, a frosty lavender, the other red gold. Both shine brilliantly in the midday sun. Cinnabar makes no immediate move to choose one or the other.
However you get to the lot and whether or not you take some time to get some things ready, you’re soon sitting behind the wheel of one of the most luxurious, most responsive, fastest street vehicles the year 2559 can dream up. Dashboard screens allow for easy video communication between the three of you.
“Was thinking Atlantic City tonight. One of us has a winner’s purse to spend.”
“Suits me, I’m always lucky. But let’s get on the road already - I want to see how this girl rides.”
On the way to Atlantic City, Cinnabar drives very fast, clearly into the Cazador’s silk-smooth, responsive handling. Though more familiar with such luxuries, Trinh laughs along, speeding up to match and inviting you to join them.
Wol fucked around with this message at Jun 25, 2018 around 03:02
|# ? Jun 23, 2018 09:49|
Shortly after the match, you get a text from Lin.
@蔡敏華 W I T C H: nice moves, Kate! making me nervous for when we face off
"It's good to see you too, sweetheart." Your mom swoops in after, getting her turn at a hug.
"So how you been, kid? Looks like you've really started to hit your stride."
"Yeah!" She laughs, putting the drinks in both her parents' hands after all the hugging is done. "It's been really nice. We just won a big series, so we're up for the contender spot in a week, and if we win that, we get to fight for the championship!" Her smile is as bright as the sun outside. "I'm finally doing it! I'm getting up there!"
Your parents beam back at you. They may not be avid Crown fans themselves, but they are avid fans of their daughter, and seeing you happy and successful means the world to them.
"You probably smelled it as soon as you came in, but your dad has a pot of his famous chili on."
"It'll be ready any minute now." He grins. "Sometimes the old tricks are the best ones, eh? A good, hearty dish never goes wrong with the working man - or woman."
"So how's your life been outside of work? Is training still taking up all of your time, or are you finding a bit more time for yourself now?"
"I hope you made a lot, dad. I'm eating more and more these days to keep in shape, you know." She laughs, but at the next question, she calms down a little; Kate knows her parents well enough by now that she anticipated the question. "Well...you know. It still takes priority." She shrugs. "But with the Furies, we go out a lot between fights, and I made another friend...maybe. It's...she's teaching me about the magic, it's a little complicated."
Your mom smiles at the idea of you and the Furies hanging out.
“I imagine there’s never a dull moment with those girls. How about Erzbet, do the two of you have much in common? She seems a bit more level-headed than the other three.”
“I dunno, Roxie seems pretty cool. She’d fit right in with the crew I used to hang with when I was your age.”
“And how about this other friend? She another fighter?”
Kate snorts. "That's an understatement. But yeah, Erzbet...she's a bit withdrawn. I guess that's sort of the side effect of hanging out with the dead a lot. We're working on that, though!" Her father's comment gets a raised eyebrow. "You hung with people like Roxie? Dad, if you did, I think you'd be missing at least a finger or two. She's hardcore. I mean, she's great, but a little intense, you know? I bet she could drink you under the table without breaking a sweat. And then some." She curls up in her favorite big chair, pulling her feet up in a cross-legged position.
"Lin is a fighter, yeah. But...I wanna keep it a secret for now, so - I mean, I know you're not super invested in the scene and everything, but if it came out we were meeting up people would gossip a lot, I think. Not ready for that yet. Phia would have my head, probably." She gives an awkward smile. "I dunno if Mrs. Robinson down the road is still bugging you for the inside scoop all the time, but just...keep that part on the down-low, okay?"
At your rebuke to your dad’s suggestion about Roxie, your mom gives a smirk and a little laugh.
“Your dad hung out with an interesting crowd when he was younger, but he’s exaggerating just a little bit.”
“Me?” He grins. “Would I do a thing like that?” The beep of his phone timer goes off, and he makes his way over to check on the chili.
“Mrs. Robinson is as curious as ever. Don’t worry, we won’t say a thing - right, dear?”
“Not a sound. Chili’s ready!” He sets his spoon down and turns his attention to the wine, leaving you to assemble your plate of chili, garlic bread and steamed veggies.
Your mom gets up as you do, and before you make your way to the kitchen, gives you another hug.
“We’re so proud of you, Kate. Win or lose, we’ve always been proud to see you pursue your dream. Even when it’s been tough. But now that all your hard work is finally paying off, well, seeing my daughter happy is the best thing I could ever ask for.”
“I’m glad you’re learning more about your magic, too. It’s such an incredible gift - every match of yours, we’re always amazed to see the things you can do with it.”
Kate lingers in the hug for a long moment. "Thanks, mom. I really appreciate it," she says quietly, before settling down at the table, taking a big heaping helping for herself and digging in with a satisfied expression.
Wol fucked around with this message at Jun 23, 2018 around 11:03
|# ? Jun 23, 2018 10:25|
Fenrir: Finding herself unusually infatuated thanks to a faulty reciprocated attention loop, Vivi sets the glorious clip to loop in one of her internal windows and finds herself speaking giddily.
@Vivivivi: "What an excellent kill! If that golden boy is lucky you'll rub off on him! Eheheheheh... you're the kinda guy that doesn't complain if he falls, right? But the story I want to see is the great Fenrir Spear's rise to the top!" Vivi doesn't have much to share that he wouldn't have seen in the last two fights but she does have a Vivi's Eye View of Lane trash-talking her at the pre-match rivalry interview. Her staged high-pitch voice drops a bit as she laughs. "I do what I do best and she got her entire team to rush me." Her mouth moves but no sound comes out as a line types out in her head before hastily backspacing: She's lucky they would take her that seriously. Vivi perks up quickly and goes for a feel-good finish: "It cost her and now we're one step closer to the championship. Mmmm, Fenny. We should meet again on the world stage, you know? It would be sooo romantic~"
It's a long night and feelings of exceptional charity are flushing through her demeanor protocols. "What're you doing right now? I've got a little camera if you're feeling lonely <3" She sets it on the desk and gives it a test to see if he's up for the signal, tugging idly at the top of her minidress. "Is it hot in Medellín' too? It's a little Too Temperate And Unpleasantly Humid here as well..."
Roxie: She bounces back half-a-step when her stomach is patted with a little "ooh!" Vivi winces a little at Roxie's serious follow-up but decides to manually postpone all of her usual objection routines. She manages a close-lipped smile and nods with an upbeat "Mmmhmm!" and gets started on the warm-up. Analysis of workout advice from all public sources reaches a consensus that form is the most important aspect of the exercise! With machine precision Vivi executes the routine to the utmost rigid form to achieve maximum strain and impact!
By the end of what she manages, Vivi lies face first by the machines, arms stretched out over her head. Small red lines bloom along the contours of her muscles. "H-help.."
Axel: Vivi gives Axel a very exaggerated teasing motion of her raised finger flexing and snickers. Feeling at ease, Vivi speaks with a slightly deeper cadence. "I wanted to stop by and see how you were doing, Axel. I've seen men give up sooner than you did." She drops her hands and tilts her head back to David with a little heel bounce. "It's a very nice facility. Do you have a pool? I think that's the tipping point for your sale, honey." She bats one of her twin-tails and winks.
"And we saw the aftermath of the fight..." Vivi looks off to the side, not towards anyone in particular. "She's lucky you listen to her, hmm? Maybe you could tell her that with a team like that she can find another championship soon enough..." Leaning forward to give Axel a maximum kayfabe look, her voice bouncing back to high-pitched! "If she hurries and chases my coattails! Hah! You can tell her that, right? That she needs to hurry up before she really IS an old hag! Hahahaha!"
... Vivi gives Erz another coy look and decides to give her an out. "It is a bit rough trying to keep up with those two once they're fired up, isn't it?"
Doomykins fucked around with this message at Jun 24, 2018 around 01:54
|# ? Jun 24, 2018 01:38|
PDF | Entrance Music
Siroko glances at the Lambo, then at Cinnabar, then tips her sunglasses down to look at her. "Big spoon or little spoon?"
When they arrive, Siroko walks directly to the frosted lavender car. "I've never been to Atlantic City. Today sounds like a good day to get a victory in a new city."
Siroko is, unsurprisingly, an aggressive driver and pushes the pace. She doesn't handle the car with the same grace as Cinnabar, clearly leaning much harder on the raw power provided by the high performance engine. The drive to Atlantic City wasn't going to take long.
|# ? Jun 24, 2018 04:04|
“Well, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t hurt. One of these days, my twenty-five years of killing and getting killed are gonna catch up with me. I’m truly blessed that it hasn’t already happened, that my scars are still mostly just surface level. Didn’t treat myself great when I was younger, either, so I’m all the more thankful.” Axel gives a rueful little laugh-snort. “I tried to quit once, but the arena’s where I belong. As long as I can physically keep fighting, that’s not gonna change.” Axel looks Vivi directly in the eyes. Here, without his sunglasses or his bandana, you get a rare look at him - at the person Axel Apone, no gimmicks, no veteran’s bravado, no ad-ready one-liners. He looks old, older than he is. His face has not been spared the years of scarring, and his hard lifestyle has done little to spare him wrinkles. At the same time, his prominent laugh lines and the crow’s feet that deepen when he smiles tell the story of a life lived with joy. A life lived, if not always wisely, at least heartily. Despite his aged countenance, though, you don’t get the feeling that he’s lost his step. In the milieu of the gym, filled with people half his age pushing their bodies to the limit, he doesn’t seem even a bit out of place. His taut muscles lend credence to his vigor, as does his full head of jet-black hair and matching beard (dyed though they almost certainly are). What tells you the most, though, are his brilliant brown eyes. Those eyes that now fix on Vivi, full of mutual understanding and sympathy - but also of youth, of life. “I think you understand exactly what I mean, Vivi. Maybe even too well.”
When Vivi asks about the pool, David is quick to answer.
“Yeah, we definitely have a pool. A good one, too. I could sell you on it, but I feel like you’re about to get a tour of the facilities.”
At Vivi’s comments about Lane, Axel laughs.
“Sure, I’ll let her know you’re still thinking about her. Might hold off on the specifics, though. Right now she needs to reset, refocus. She’s got a great head for the sport, but all of us need room sometimes in order to grow into our full potential.” He gives Vivi and Erzbet both a look that says I hope you’ll allow her that room.
It takes a minute before he accepts the video call - when he does, you hear a door closing in the background. He looks like his claim of heat wasn’t just a mere convenience. His complexion is a bit ruddier than when you saw him last and he’s clearly been sweating. His royal blue scoop neck tank top, emblazoned with the words Alsta Sporthalle, clings to his chest and abs. As for his surroundings, if Vivi takes the time to notice them, they’re a typical cheap hotel. Adequate beds, few luxuries, a quaint and unfashionable bedside lamp. You hear faint sounds of traffic coming from his end of the call - he’s evidently opened the window to try and cool off a bit.
@fenrirspear: “You look gorgeous in that outfit. Which makes three for three, so I think I’ll change that to: you’re gorgeous.”
|# ? Jun 24, 2018 13:04|
“Good to hear you’re versatile. I think...I’m in a big spoon kind of mood today.”
Your lead foot easily outspeeds the other two at first, but they quickly rise to the challenge to meet you. Almost. When the three of you have to pass someone, it’s more often than not the two of them falling behind you in line.
You drive straight to Atlantic City. It’s not that long, a bit under a couple hours considering how fast you were going, and you’re there before you know it. To say that the three of you turn heads here would be an understatement. People here are used to a little glitz and glamour, but you three are on a different level today. Everyone wants to see you or be seen with you. A fair number of people already recognize you - to the fans here not particularly inclined toward New York, you’re the closest they have to hometown heroes. Even those who don’t, though, can’t ignore three dangerous women of such means, style and élan. You spend much of the evening at the city’s famous casinos. Wherever you go, you’re plied with what you assume is unlimited liquor in order to keep you rolling. Cinnabar goes on an impressive winning streak at the blackjack table (“I told you I’m always lucky”), while Trinh flits between tables, gambling small amounts, breaking even-ish, and taking the opportunity to get pretty smashed for more or less free. At some point, Cinnabar decides that the three of you (especially Trinh) need to get some fresh air and take a walk on the boardwalk. She makes a stop for dinner at the food truck Say Can You Seafood, which she insists is world famous and that it’s a crime neither of you have been before.
Whatever else you get up to that night, it eventually draws to a close. The three of you head to a hotel befitting your glamorous selves, though once you get there, an inebriated Diamond Trinh makes it known that she isn’t interested in paying for a room solo. Whatever arrangement you come to, the three of you awake the next morning in more or less good working order, with the intention to continue your road trip north, make New York for a late bistro lunch, and reach your ultimate destination of Montreal by evening.
|# ? Jun 24, 2018 14:11|
Fenrir: Now he can see her irises flash hot pink and emit little holo-hearts for real. "You're really making me happy, you know?" Vivi begins to slowly undress.. <FIN>
Axel: Vivi eventually has to relent and turns head head, affecting an only slightly fake swoon. "Y-you're so cool when the cameras are off, aren't you..." She sighs, feeling a bit of quarantined self-pity sneaking back into her AI cycles. "You'll live to see me hit the top, at least." She looks back to the big man and smirks, looping her thumbs under the American Made tank-top and flicking the loose fabric out a bit. "I always like seeing you fight, it's where you belong." With the more meaningful gaze, Vivi makes a crossing her heart gesture as her final burn. "Just bring her to the next stage when she's ready, alright? I can behave until then!"
|# ? Jun 24, 2018 23:24|
PDFII Entrance Music
"Have the decency to wait until I'm done winning this one next time." mutters Erzbet. "Well, whatever. I'll throw up a public post on my Dimsta later..."
Then she forgets about it, for now. It can wait until after the celebration. Tiger always told her it was bad luck to start a new feud before celebrating winning the old one.
But now she has to cut another promo, definitely. She groans. At least it'll be good for the fans.
Erzbet grabs the line like a sinking sailor. "Yeah, Siroko gets... really intense. I was looking for a quieter place to try a few things. Also, that reminds me."
She pulls out a few files from her bag, "This is Hot Roddy. Local lad, lot of talent but unblooded, in my opinion. With a little guidance I think he'd be the perfect fit. This one is Body Electric- a little off theme, but probably close enough. Got a good record and looking to bail from the Darlings. The matches are too drawn-out for her; the Darlings love playing delay and wear out and she's more of a blitzer. Also, Jenny Darling is hotter than her and it drives her crazy."
She passes the files to Axel. "Those are the ones I got off the the top of my head. If you want more options, let me know."
K Prime fucked around with this message at Jun 25, 2018 around 03:04
|# ? Jun 25, 2018 02:57|
PDF | Orokos | Entrance Music
Vivi at the gym
Sweat towel around her neck and taking big gulps of water from her bottle, Roxie walks up to Vivi's prone form, "Pretty good, chamaca," she squats down to be more level with her prone teammate, "just as I thought, you're grasa flaca," she pinches loose skin on Vivi's side, not hard, but not gentle, "If you're serious about getting in shape, I'll help. But I won't go any easier on you just because I like you."
So you wanna race?
Roxie leads the Daredevil back over to her ride, a Triumph Triple R 1150 with integrated unibody carbon frame and cage, quad-piston caliper brakes on front and rear wheels (with dedicated handle caliper for both), and a host of aftermarket modifications to make it lighter and faster than even Triumph intended. And no expensive hobby is complete without enough anti-theft and insurance to seriously maim would be criminals, either on the spot, or in court later. She pays more for this thing than most people pay for their housing expenses.
"My baby goes everywhere with me," she smiles with pride, "I sure you can understand. What do you say to a night race at PittRace? The full course obviously. They'll be closed after dark, but you aren't afraid of a little danger are you?" The premier race complex for the greater Pittsburgh area, PittRace offered just enough straightaways for a few complicated tricks, and enough curves to keep it interesting.
|# ? Jun 25, 2018 22:52|
Roxie: Vivi, beyond exhaustion, on the brink of death turns her head and looks to Roxie, eyes shifting to yellow irises and emitting sparkles. “That was... fine! I can... keep up! But Roxie..." Wheeze, wheeze. "Lets... talk... about... boys...” Vivi slowly pushes herself up to a sitting position and beams. "I think... he might... be the one!" And Vivi spends the rest of gym time babbling to Roxie about Fenrir Spear and showing her the golden boy teamwork clip.
|# ? Jun 25, 2018 23:16|
PDF | Entrance Music
While on the road to Atlantic City, Siroko places some calls to a few of her friends, letting them know about the possible opening with American Made. The spot seems a good fit for Mercury 8, Billy Fresno, Emma Eighty, or Ironsides, depending on which way Axel wants to take his team. Well, maybe good fit is a stretch for any situation involving Billy Fresno, but he’s a strong fighter and probably needs a change of scenery.
No matter what, Siroko definitely wants to see them improve without Maxima. As someone looking to climb the ranks herself, to fulfill her destiny, Siroko is particularly prickly about killers who prove themselves to be bad teammates. Helping to show her up would be... poetic.
The night out includes a stop at a couple clothing shops, as Siroko didn't bother to go and pick up any luggage. Trinh and Cinnabar egg Siroko on when she tries things on, before she settles on a couple outfits for the next few days.
When they reach the hotel, Siroko looks Trinh up and down, judging just how smashed she actually is, and nods. "Siroko will take care of it." Then she turns to Cinnabar, knowing Trinh is probably too drunk to follow. "One for her, one for us?" Once she has Cinnabar's affirmative, she steps up to the concierge and makes it happen. The two get Trinh up to her room and tucked into it first, leaving her to sleep it off.
The next day Siroko is up early enough for a beach run that Cinnabar comes looking for her. Satisfied that Siroko was just an oddball and not trying to skip out, Cinnabar takes her to breakfast before they go wake up Trinh. They take enough pity to bring her a coffee.
Siroko's newly bought outfit consists of a black sundress, combat boots, blue and white varsity jacket with the Animals logo on the back partly zipped up, red scarf, black fingerless gloves, and wayfarer sunglasses. "First one to New York gets their lunch covered. I'll let you two figure out how to split it."
Comrade Gorbash fucked around with this message at Jun 26, 2018 around 04:32
|# ? Jun 26, 2018 04:00|
When you offer to "take care of it", Cinnabar laughs.
"You're lucky Siroko likes you, Trinh." Turning to you, she adds, "she can easily pay for her own room. She's just being cheap. But I'll tell you what. If you're going to cover her room..." Cinnabar slips a hand around your waist. "I'll cover ours."
When Cinnabar comes to find you in the morning, she's squeezed into high-waisted anchor-button khaki shorts, a cherry blossom pink embroidered lace halter top, a short-sleeved black quilted leather minijacket, and high-heeled strappy black sandals. She kicks the sandals off to come after you on the beach, and while she seems a bit annoyed at first, it doesn't take long for her to be convinced that you're just being...you.
"This is the farthest I've ever had to walk to ask if it was good for someone," she teases, seemingly over the irritation she felt a moment ago. "But I admit...it's making for beautiful scenery." It is. It's early enough that the sun's just beginning to rise over the ocean. The cool pink of just before dawn has given way to radiant yellow-orange as the sun climbs just above the horizon, casting the rippling waves and the fresh sand in soft, warm light. The city behind you is still quiet, too - aside from the wind's gentle rustle through the trees and the background noise of the occasional passing car, it's still, suspended in perfect serenity. Cinnabar brushes a strand of hair away from your face, then leans in for a kiss.
When you part, she turns to leave you to the rest of your morning run.
"Come find me when you're done. I know a cute little place for breakfast."
After breakfast, the two of you return to the hotel, expecting to find Trinh nursing a debilitating hangover. Instead, you find her quite animated and lightly sweating, clearly having just been in the middle of doing pushups or some such.
"Easy come, easy go." She shrugs en lieu of explanation. "Thanks for the coffee, though, and good morning to you both. C'mon in. I'm almost done." She doesn't comment on it, but from the little wink she gives after looking back and forth between the two of you, it's safe to assume she knows more or less what's happened between you. As she finishes up her reps, she broaches the rest of the day's plans.
It's not long before you're ready to hit the road again. Diamond Trinh stands ready to face the day in a tight white tank top with a wraparound rainbow silhouette of the San Francisco skyline and tapered black "sweatpants" made of a lustrous, ultra-breathable honeycomb material. Her look's completed by a pristine pair of white and gold high-top Air Gotōs, her trademark pink shades, and a white Galaxi Girls flat-brimmed ball cap.
"You forget I've driven one of these before. Yesterday wasn't a race, but if you want to come at me, you're welcome to lose."
"Sure, I'm in too. Finesse against power. We'll see what happens."
For the race, give me a DC19 Endurance check to represent your continuous efforts and concentration over the couple hours of its duration.
Whoever wins the race, you find yourselves in New York for lunch. Although New York has its own Killer's Crown arena (and one certainly higher-profile than Philadelphia), no hardcore fan watches just one venue. The three of you are approached on the street by a few separate fans who either come up and ask for an autograph, take your picture, or simply awkwardly blurt how much they love your matches and then run away. At one point, Cinnabar runs into someone she recognizes.
"Mr. Whelan!" She waves enthusiastically at...someone, presumably. A moment later, an impeccably-groomed older man (you'd guess 65?) in a salmon blazer turns to respond to Cinnabar's greeting.
"You're...Cinnabar, aren't you? From La Nouvelle Vogue?" Cinnabar nods eagerly and sets about complimenting the man on his many accomplishments. After a bit of that, she introduces you and Trinh to him - only after which does she take a mental step back.
"Neither of you...are Broadway fans, are you. This is Curt Whelan, one of the most incredible and most important Broadway actors of the century. Here, Siroko," she hands you her phone with the camera at the ready, "I'd love to have a picture, if it's alright with you, Mr. Whelan."
The picture taken, the actor says his goodbyes and leaves on his way. The three of you continue onward too, stopping next to briefly watch a troupe of street performers - a breakdancing foursome, each of which wields one of the four classical elements to provide special effects.
"So what are you into, anyway? Other than fighting, I mean." She seems to be asking both you and Trinh.
"Free-running, mostly, and I want to get into rock climbing. Been spending time at Axel's garage, too. I've always liked cars, but never really bothered learning how they work."
Wol fucked around with this message at Jun 26, 2018 around 08:50
|# ? Jun 26, 2018 08:42|
PDF | Entrance Music
Endurance (racing to New York): 1d20+9 11
Siroko starts out setting the pace - until she misjudges the traffic at one point while trying to make an aggressive move to open up the gap and gets herself stuck behind a couple slow moving tourists. By the time she works her way out of traffic, she's too far behind to recover. She rolls into New York last. Even then, they're in well before noon.
"Siroko is covering everyone's brunch," she declares upon arrival, dropping into the chair at the table Trinh and Cinnabar selected, then smirks. "But she won't be paying for dinner in Montreal."
When Cinnabar has her own fangirl moment, Siroko dutifully snaps several pictures before handing it back to her. The question about hobbies seems to surprise her a bit. "I do rock-climbing, but not since I came here," she tells Trinh. "I can give you some pointers some time. For myself - cooking, a bit of gardening. Bonsai. Music." She shrugs. "But really I like fighting."
"How about you, Cinnabar? What do you like besides dance and the Crown?"
While they're in New York, Siroko waits for a moment when she can talk to Cinnabar alone. "How do you see this going?"
"I'm not looking for anything serious, but...I like you." She breaks your gaze for a moment, something clearly on her mind. When she looks back at you, the corner of her mouth curls upward into a suggestive smile. "You really know what you're doing."
"Of course I do," Siroko declares straight faced.
"What about you, Siroko? What's on your mind?"
"I like knowing where I stand," Siroko replies. "And I like people I'm with to know where I stand. I'm not looking for anything serious either, but - you know what you're doing."
"Mmm. I'm glad to hear it. And I can respect someone who likes to know where they stand. So, while we're getting things out in the open...I'd like to keep doing this with you."
"I feel the same," Siroko replies. "Do you want it to be exclusive?"
Cinnabar raises a hand to her mouth, suppressing a slight giggle. "I've never done 'exclusive'. You know, I've been thinking Trinh is pretty cute, too. I think she might be up for some fun."
"I knew you had a great mind." Siroko declares. "I think Trinh is moping at missing her chance. Let's wait to surprise her when we get the hotel in Montreal."
Before they leave New York, the group agrees to a pit stop further north - that way Siroko will have a chance to make up for her poor performance in the morning, but they can still have some time to just enjoy the drive.
|# ? Jun 27, 2018 03:45|
Axel gives you a searching look as you hand over the dossiers.
"Gotta say, I didn't expect this. If what I hear is true, you have a file like this on everyone you've met just ready to go...but still, that you gave them to me? That's something. Thanks." You say your goodbyes and are just about out the door when Axel calls out. "Hey!" He grins. "You should come watch the tryouts. It'll be fun."
"Siroko Tuuli doing bonsai?" Cinnabar giggles. "That's adorable. You'll have to show me sometime. As for me...liking dance and theatre takes up a lot of time. Definitely into music, though. All kinds, really, but I'm predictable - hip-hop and musical soundtracks are my go-tos. I play a little bit, too. Learned keyboard for the competition - they always like someone who's multi-faceted. I'm no pro, but I can hold my own. How about you, do you play?"
It's barely been minutes after you arrive in Montréal that you get a text from Phia. Ironic, since she'd asked not to be bothered this night.
@phiakillphia: "are you in my town?"
A couple seconds later,
@phiakillphia: "are you in my town with diamond trinh and cinnabar?"
Mere moments after that,
@phiakillphia: "you guys staying the night? Wanna do a 3-on-3 street fight tomorrow? I know everyone there, i can get you good opponents."
Diamond Trinh has picked the restaurant for tonight, finally deciding to pay for something. She opts for CHASSE+PÊCHE, a fine dining establishment a little stodgier than you might have expected her to pick, but well renowned for unimaginably succulent meat cookery, often somewhat eclectic but always highly praised local fare. It's also a surprisingly expensive pick for the woman who just yesterday was trying to avoid paying for a hotel room.
"That's what I like about you, Trinh. You don't even think twice about rolling up to a fine dining restaurant in sweatpants."
"Why should I? I'm the Shining Diamond." Trinh gives an over-the-top smirk. "Besides, I've got two goddesses with me. No power on Earth could turn us away."
Trinh leads you to the restaurant - driving slowly through downtown, music blaring to turn as many heads as possible. Despite the leisurely pace, you reach it soon enough. With a bit of éclat, a bit of panache, and of course with the flashing of cash, you're seated with only the most barely detectable of dirty looks from the waiter. You begin with a delightful variety of little canapés, then share a delectable dish of pieuvre grillée avec aubergine, courgettes, feta, et sumac. After some light greens to cleanse the palate, your entrées are soon to arrive.
A "street fight" meaning an arena fight where you don't have your kit, you just bring whatever you happen to be wearing/carrying as if you were out on the street, and go to town.
Wol fucked around with this message at Jul 7, 2018 around 10:30
|# ? Jun 28, 2018 10:32|
PDF | Entrance Music
Endurance (racing to New York): 1d20+9 11
"Drums," Siroko replies to Cinnabar's question. "But I haven't had a chance to set up my set since getting to Philadelphia. And my bonsai is amazing."
The arrival in Montreal precipitated an argument about what to see first while they have bagels. When her phone buzzed, Siroko glanced down, intending to silence it, then saw who had texted her. Stepping away for a moment, she quickly scans Phia's messages and sends her reply.
Siroko is always up for a fight
She steps back to join the others, holding up her phone like a talisman. "Phia got us a street fight for tomorrow. Some locals she vouches for. You in?"
Trinh and Cinnabar stop fighting over which church to play tourist at first. "Hell yes. Be nice to benefit from you smashing people with your hammer for once."
Cinnabar smirks. "And I'll get a preview before our match. Not to mention a chance to show off. We have to coordinate our outfits, of course. Good thing we're already on St. Catherine's Street, we need to shop."
"The two of you certainly know the right spots to eat," Siroko declares, clearly thoroughly enjoying the meal. After clothes shopping they'd done the usual tourist spots, including Mount Royal Park before Trinh sprung the culinary surprise on them. "What's next?"
"Amusement 2000 Plus," Trinh replies. "Didn't want to go too long without you having a chance to beat someone at something, you might explode," she teases Siroko.
"Siroko is always winning, so don't worry about that," Siroko replies, eliciting a snort of laughter from Cinnabar at how fully Siroko commits to the bit. "And I've seen your Crickt account, you have a serious DDR addiction."
"Is that so? Siroko isn't the only one here with a competitive streak, I'm throwing down the gauntlet. No way you beat me at a dancing game," Cinnabar declares. "And after I beat you we're going to Luminotherapie. It'll be a laugh. And it makes for some great social media shots," she adds.
"As if you can best the Shining Diamond at Dance Dance Revolution," Trinh fires back. "My moves are beyond perfect."
"We'll see about that," Cinnabar smirks. "Of course, we can't leave without getting some poutine. We'd get arrested. Plenty of late night places to get it."
"Poutine is a definite, but I'd rather get that to celebrate our win tomorrow. Let's do Caffe San Simeon tonight instead," Trinh counters.
Siroko nods in agreement. "I don't want something that greasy the night before a match. And I'd rather enjoy the suite, not fall asleep as soon as we get back. The hotel's sight says the tub has enough room for three - I want to see if that's true."
Comrade Gorbash fucked around with this message at Jul 7, 2018 around 02:14
|# ? Jul 2, 2018 01:59|
The three of you spend a fair amount of time coordinating and picking outfits. You're the first to make up your mind, picking out a light blue button up and a black tie to complement a khaki vest and trousers. You accessorize the look with a pocket watch, pink shoes, aviators and bracelets, rolling up your sleeves to complete the look.
Trinh has her eyes on a dusty blue jacket with a single button at the midsection to suggest a blazer, the sleeves of which roll up to reveal a black crosshatch pattern. She wears it over a cream button-down with a bold floral motif with the top two buttons undone and accents it with a golden tiger lapel pin. She picks out cream-coloured pants as well, low-crotch with tapered legs, which she bookends with a thin gold belt and flat blue dress boots with golden zippers running down the sides. At the last minute, she picks out a gold watch to round off the ensemble.
Cinnabar, for her part, fills out a low-cut powder blue blouse and high-waisted, short-legged tan trousers. She matches the blouse with strappy faux-leather boots and the trousers with driving gloves. She tosses a Peruvian brown cape jacket around her shoulders, undone, sleeves rolled up to match you and Trinh. She accentuates with a golden drape necklace with the shape of a skull in the middle and golden bangles.
The three of you flit from place to place for the rest of the night, thoroughly enjoying yourselves. To nobody's particular surprise (though to Cinnabar's mostly-mock frustration), it's Diamond Trinh who carries the day on the dancepad, with actual dance skills not translating quite as well to the game as pure speed and more hours of practice than Trinh will likely ever admit. As the night winds down, the three of you practically stumble into your hotel, not at all intoxicated but still more than a little giddy from the whirlwind of excitement over the last two days. Cinnabar throws her arm around Trinh's shoulders - with just a little difficulty given that the former wide receiver has a good four inches on her.
"I remember a certain someone being too cheap to pay for her own room last night. Don't worry, Siroko and I have a plan to spare you the embarrassment of having to ask again. We're very interested in sharing." She holds up three fingers. Trinh's sly grin as she looks over at you for assent gives you all the confirmation you need. The three of you have fun unwinding in the hot tub, and quite a bit more once you retire for the night.
The three of you wake up at a leisurely pace, though you're sure to leave enough time for breakfast and training before you get into your outfits and head to the Expodome. An impromptu matter, your match is scheduled for an unusual 1 in the afternoon. Unusual as it is, though, it's fairly likely upon further reflection, given that the arena probably has something already scheduled for later in the evening and that Phia would want you to have enough time afterward to get home and be rested for tomorrow's meeting. On the subject of Phia, she did let you know about the Furies' financial situation the previous night. If you've shown any concern, though, Trinh will have been quick to reassure you that your team is surely handling things back in Philadelphia, Cinnabar will have offered her sympathies, and both will have offered to lend you any support they can once you're all back home and back to work. As for the rest of the trip, both agree that you should enjoy it, and that you won't have to pay a cent for the rest of it.
You show up at the Expodome with time to spare. Trinh insists on being early, which turns out to mostly be so that the three of you have ample time to show off your rides and pose for pictures. The arena's talent relations comes out to meet you while you're still basking in the limelight. A confident, handsome woman in her mid-30s with her hair pulled back into an afro puff, she pulls off a look that marries professional with outré, wearing black slacks, a black silk scarf and lemon-yellow heels with a cold-shoulder blouse printed with what only the most dedicated art historian would recognize as Kandinsky's Composition VIII. She introduces herself as Jo Aliassime ("but please, just call me Jo"), welcoming you warmly to the Expodome and indulging in a quick group selfie before turning and striding back into the arena, clearly expecting you to follow. She brings you up to speed on the details of your upcoming match. The arena is a mockup of Old Montreal's famous Marché Bonsecours, an indoor market, where one can buy anything from cheap souvenirs to antique fine art. The arena has some walls between stores knocked down and others thinned to allow for a more open battlefield than the real Marché's narrow laneway would permit. It's devoid of people, of course - something Jo qualifies with "for now" - but a great variety of storefronts are set up with plenty of interesting items to use as weapons.
As for your opponents, they're three superb hand-to-hand fighters picked from the upper echelon of Montréal's teams.
The first is Yannic "Le Poilu" Auger of L'Esprit Voyageur. A frontline fighter who usually wades into battle with a trench knife in one hand and a handaxe in the other, using earth magic both to enhance his toughness and to disrupt nearby opponents. There's no magic or outside weapons in this match, but he should still prove a hardy foe who'll feel at home with whatever small improvised weapons will be to hand in the arena.
"He reminds me of you, Siroko - but of course not as cute. If you need a big bull to lock horns with, this looks like your man."
"The Shining Diamond knows of pride's demands. I'd normally be against splitting off and just letting someone fight one-on-one, but...if we outsmart him and make him come to us while we blitz one of the others, that could actually turn into a solid strategy."
The second is Anton Tourment of Ombrique. An irritatingly evasive duelist whose precise pressure-point blows wrack opponents with pain and rob them of their senses. He won't have the shadow-thread cloak that lets him weave across the arena and past opponents with ease, but he'll still have his natural agility and the ability to devastate whoever he lands a hit on.
"He gets to use more of his gimmick than me in this kind of match. I don't like it. Without that cloak, though, I should have the edge in grace. I may be the only one here who isn't a total hardbody, but cleverness I can deal with. I should be able to trip him up if we make him have to deal with me."
"He's really good. But Siroko, if you can somehow keep fighting after the Diamond Shatter, don't you dare get taken out by Tourment."
The last is Genévrier of Les Silvestres. A skirmisher who uses the needles growing from his body to deadly effect both in close and at range, and a parkour expert whose skills are supplemented by a preternatural ability to cling to seemingly any surface. The shortest of the six of you, he can nonetheless match any of you in athleticism, and his precision and force have earned him a reputation as one of the continent's most effective strikers. Even without his needles or his supernatural grip, it's a fair bet his skills are going to carry over very well to this match type.
"Alright. If he doesn't get his needles, I feel a bit better about not getting to use my claws. Hmm. Genévrier doesn't seem particularly durable, at least. When it comes to defense, it looks like he mostly tries to hit hard enough that he doesn't have to worry about getting hit back."
"I kinda just want to race him. In the arena, though, he seems like the kind of guy who knows what he's good at and sticks to it. I don't see him trying to see if he can one-shot you just out of pride, Siroko. He'd probably prefer to just avoid you - and we can use that to our advantage."
Wol fucked around with this message at Jul 9, 2018 around 11:12
|# ? Jul 4, 2018 01:28|
|# ? Jul 4, 2018 01:37|
|# ? Jul 4, 2018 02:03|
The Jersey Daredevil gladly meets you outside PittRace. He sits astride a Ducati Scrambler Horizon-Z, a midweight dual-sport machine that handles like a dream in almost any imaginable terrain. You notice he has likewise made a number of modifications (as expected), most notably having replaced most of the undercarriage frame with cutting-edge slim, lightweight parts to allow room for a significantly more powerful engine than the model usually carries. You find him waiting a short ways off from a small, steep hill outside the track's fence, idly tossing his camera drone into the air and catching it.
"Yo." The Daredevil lights a flame in his hand. When he moves his arm away, the flame stays hanging there in the air, providing a flickering light for your nighttime conversation. "I scoped the place. It'd be no problem to get rid of the lock and just walk right in, but," he raises a finger, "there's still security out there this time of night. For some reason. Not like anyone other than us is gonna want to break in anyway. Also," he raises a second finger, "where's the fun in that? This hill should enough to get us over the fence. If not, we'll prob'ly go through. Seems like a good starting line to me, right?"
Admiring Daredevil's bike, Roxie flips a rocker switch near the undercarriage of hers; a panel slides away to reveal a disk-shaped drone ringed with lenses which promptly springs into the air to join his, "I like it. But the real question is how many laps are you willing to risk? You got the huevos to go for two before we bail?" One lap would be risky enough at track safe speeds, but two laps would be nearly 4 minutes at very dangerous average speeds that are unlikely to go unnoticed by the security.
(the full track is ~4.5 km, so you're looking at averaging 140 kph to pull off two laps in 4 minutes, which is not insane. The record is 1:31 per lap.)
(which is obviously under ideal, daylight conditions)
When you detach the drone from its place on your bike, the Daredevil gives a little whistle. "drat, wish I thought of that. I have to summon mine when I need it." He listens to your proposition, clearly getting excited at the idea of cutting it close with security. "I got beans for days. Two laps? You're on." He revs up his bike, bringing it around to line up with the jump. "Let's do this."
starting with Acrobatics. DC 15 clears the fence (otherwise you will bust through, which'll slow you down), DC22 gives you a perfect landing and a significant advantage on the next part)
Roxie's respect for the kid grows by the moment, but right now he was her opponent, and she didn't make a habit of losing. Walking her bike to the agreed starting line, she taps the the visor of her helmet down, snapping the displays for the gauges into view. Revving to assert dominance was a game as old as the combustion engine, so when he does so she mirrors it. Her bike growls quiet and hungry, the hiss and pop of a turbocharger blow off unmistakable. "My little bird will count us down," she says loud enough to be heard, gesturing at the hovering camera-drone. A hanging, red numeral "10" appears below it, holographically projected, and begins ticking down in shades approaching green. When the timer expires, a simple "GO" in vivid green is displayed, and Roxie is off like a jet.
Acrobatics: 1d20+14 31
Never settling for just being good, Roxie adds an improvised Flamingo to her landing, bringing one knee up to kneel on the seat, and kicking the other leg out behind her. She doesn't maintain it for more than a few seconds, but she isn't about to miss beefing up the highlight reel.
The Daredevil doesn't lag on takeoff. Ramping off the hill right beside you, his more aerial-focused bike pops him a little higher in the air. He arcs into a picture-perfect cordova flip, laughing as he sails through the air. The two of you land at about the same time, but you perfectly transition your stunt into ground acceleration, giving you an early edge. You take a not massive but clear lead in the early straightaways, and while he deftly manages a couple hair-raising hairpin corners to make up some ground, your experience and brazenness allow you to ensure he doesn't pass.
You're nearing the end of the first lap when you see something that you hadn't had the chance to examine from outside. There's a few paving vehicles sitting in a row on the speedway. As you approach, you manage to size up the situation. You'll have to be precise, but you could see yourself ramping up the back of the asphalt layer. Depending on the situation up there, you think you might even be able to make it onto the arm of the milling machine - and from there, the night sky would be yours. The Daredevil is about half a bike's length behind, so if you decide to take this, there's nothing he's going to be able to do about it. You'll just have to keep your course perfectly straight, not flinching for even an instant.
DC 15 Endurance to stunt off the paving vehicles, potentially securing your lead! Roll twice and take the highest since you're ahead.
A million thoughts rush through Roxie's head as she keeps trying to find an edge against the Daredevil, but credit where it is due, the kid was pretty good. Better than good. Rounding the latest corner she spots the construction vehicles, parked and practically begging to be turned into improvised ramps. She subtly cuts her line for them at the last minute, zeroing in on the angle to get massive air.
Endurance: 2#1d20+4 5 19
Keeping her bike steady, she hits the sweet spot, up and forward, onto the top of the paver. Without having time to do much beyond GO, she keeps the line straight for the mill arm, gunning the throttle to the max. The slight incline proves to be perfect, giving her massive air, which she immediately turns into a quick Shaolin backflip, a risky move where not only the bike flips, but the rider does too. The landing is harder than she'd like, but her kit was made for it, and keeps tearing forward.
As you ride up the machinery, you can hear a part of the asphalt layer come clattering to the ground behind you. The Daredevil curses and has to swerve hard to avoid it.
You earn yourself enough of a lead that despite the Daredevil pushing hard and making up some ground, you’re never really in danger of losing it. Neither of you miss a chance to get a trick in, though - the Daredevil at one point hits a shallow hill just off-track at just the right angle to get surprisingly decent air out of it, pulling a quick switchblade off the jump.
Go ahead and make an Athletics check to end the race, the result adding to the Make The World Know Your Name extended skill challenge!
After having pulled off her share of aerials, the showman in Roxie demands she vary it up. As she nears the agreed upon finish line she guns the throttle while tapping the clutch and rear brakes, sending the front wheel of her bike off the tarmac. Hitting the balance point, she locks the throttle in place, keeping the bike steady and straight. Initial setup done, she begins the actual trick, pushing herself off the seat in a pirouette to face backwards. Her left boot locks in to the small notch behind the seat, allowing her to rise to her full height. Her arms extend out to the sides, while the right foot does a delicate job of balancing the speeding machine. The unmistakable inverted Christ was just technical, and just flashy enough, to be the capstone for her run. "¡Órale!" she cheers at the top of her lungs.
Athletics: 1d20+7 22
The Daredevil crosses the finish line second and not too flashily. The two of you end up stopping some way down the track. He pulls right up to you, flips up his visor, and resting an arm on your shoulder, leans into selfie position for your respective cameras.
“Tonight I got beat by Roxie Ruinous. Yeah, give it up for the queen. I’ll get my revenge one day - but tonight, it’s time for the Jersey Daredevil to jet. Like and subscribe. I’ll see you punks later.” Time to jet indeed. By now, security has very much caught on to your intrusion - spotlights are shining on you and there’s a truck headed your way. The Daredevil takes off toward the outer fence, waving for you to follow. As he approaches it, he gestures and a wedge of flame erupts around the front of his bike. Thus shielded, he rams through the fence, the wedge easily slicing it open and leaving a hole big enough for you to follow.
Getting herself back into the saddle, she pulls up after the finish line. Roxie smiles for the selfie shot, throwing up a peace sign for his monologue. She'll do her own edits for her video when they aren't in immediate danger. Revving her ride, she follows the Daredevil towards the fence, easily slipping through the magic hole he cuts and zooming off into the Pittsburgh outskirts. As soon as they are clear she immediately breaks off from him, heading in different directions to make it harder to follow them both; this was not her first time on the other side of legal. With her camera still hovering nearby she begins the intro voiceover, "Hola amigos, Roxie here! Just had the chance to race a real up-and-comer, and you know your girl won, but big props to the Daredevil for having the huevos to hang. Make sure to check his channel out, I'll put it down in the description," she ranges a bit further than usual to make sure she isn't being followed and while waiting at a power station edits the video down to something worth posting.
|# ? Jul 4, 2018 08:48|
Philadelphia - April 23, 2259
Being the responsible sort of person that you are, at some point in the evening you’re checking your bank balance. The money from your last fight should be there - and it is, sort of. Your balance seems a bit low, so you go check the total in the transaction itself. The Asylum Arena has only paid you 1/3 of what you were due from the fight.
Caelynn frowns, refreshing the app to see if perhaps it was a payment in installments and the rest simply hadn't come in yet. When that turns out not to be the case, she grabs her phone, but hesitates a moment.
"Know you said not to disturb, but this is important. We didn't get paid all we're owed. Do you know anything about this?" She includes an image of the transaction in her text to Phia, and hesitates a moment longer before she sends it.
@ phiakillphia: what the gently caress
@ phiakillphia: hang on erz is calling
Being the well-organized necronomist that you are, at some point in the evening you’re checking your bank balance. The money from your last fight should be there - and it is, sort of. Your balance seems a bit low, so you go check the total in the transaction itself. The Asylum Arena has only paid you 1/3 of what you were due from the fight.
"Of course they have," mutters Erzbet. She glances down at her tablet, filled with yet more dense, spiky handwriting. "Shodan, call Phia."
It takes a bit of time before she picks up - when she does, she’s wearing a low-cut charcoal top with a paisley skull pattern, a white denim vest and white lipstick. She gives a hard look into the screen.
“Yeah?” She says, tersely.
"You have any idea why Asylum stiffed us on our pay?" says Erzbet patiently. "I know there must be a reason."
“Kate texted me about it a second ago too. Gonna add her to the call and check something.”
Caelynn sees a call pop up on her phone from Phia, also including Erzbet.
"Yello," she mentions, relaxing in her chair with some tea as the screen pops up. "So what's the deal? Did McKnight do this?"
"Scumbag promoter is so last century," mutters Erzbet. "Didn't somebody get the memo?"
“Yeah, okay, looks like I’m in the same boat. Should have three times this much.”
Scowling, she sends McKnight an invite to the call - and you can see her texting furiously.
“This isn’t the first time. It’s just the first time it’s this bad and the first time you caught it before me.”
"So, if they go into bankruptcy, how far down on the priority list are we?" says Erzbet, deadpan.
"...motherfucker," she grumbles, her face turning to a scowl much like Phia's. "I'm gonna guess pretty far, if he stiff us by this much and thinks he can get away with it. What an rear end in a top hat."
“After the Deathless, the Steel Jackets, maybe some of the staff...at least a couple of La Familia are really close with him...maybe the Executioners but depending how long this drags out, we may be above them if we beat them.”
"Greeeeat," says Erzbet. "So we have to get him owing us more money to move up the queue. Classic."
"I mean, we're making this guy a lot of money, right? We're local, sure, but our series with American Made drew in a load of views. It shouldn't be a problem giving us our money." Caelynn sighs exasperated. "But I guess the greedy only get greedier.
McKnight’s presence in the call is still pending. Phia keeps going, her tone acid. “Yeah, you’d think. Prick. Agh, of course the drat accountant isn’t responding either!”
"I mean, we could see if we can find him in person," Caelynn suggests. "If he won't pick up the phone, we might as well." With a look at Erzbet, she adds: "It's not like I have anything better to do today."
"Maybe need to get an angle, some leverage," says Erzbet. "We're up against some of their home teams coming up, right? We could turn it into a real feud. 'Representing the corrupt.'"
"Don't think any of them would want that sort of publicity, and it's not like we wanna stick around here anyway after that..."
“Ok, McKnight texted me at least. He says the rest of it’s on its way, but that doesn’t actually mean anything - hang on. It’s that new loving building, isn’t it? I bet he paid a shitload for all the magic that’s going into the new arenas.”
"That's why I was thinking bankruptcy. He's got to be liquidity poor right now- one bad night and he's suddenly in the hole with no rope."
Caelynn is quiet for a moment. "Makes sense, I suppose. But I don't wanna put this against the teams. I don't think it's their fault."
"Or at least, I hope not."
"They'll either join us in calling for fair pay or show their true colors. And if they do, gently caress them. Siding with the promoter is always stupid- no offense, Phia."
“Alright. Brainstorm. Option one: we call his lawyer right now. I don’t trust that fucker any more than McKnight, but we might have better luck squeezing something out of him right now.
Option two: your plan. I don’t - I don’t want to do that to the Executioners, pretty sure they’d take our side if we just talk to them first. We do have an exhibition labyrinth match coming up against La Familia first though - spoilers I guess - and they can gently caress right off.
Option three: I don’t know, shoot McKnight in his loving stupid prick head.”
"I'll talk to the Executioners and ready some pressure spots for La Familia," says Erzbet, sighing. "I know how that works."
"Maybe start with one, then go for two? I...my mom knows a lawyer, I can call her and see if she can put us in touch if you think that might help."
"If you have evidence he's stiffed us before, that could probably work in our favor."
“Erz, you okay with us calling this jackass’s lawyer?” She pauses. “If this drags out - and it probably will - I might take you up on that, Kate.” You see her suddenly start, then turn and mouth one minute to someone off-camera. “Hey, also. If we’re going in on this, you should know...look, McKnight’s not a businessman. Really at all. What he is good at, though, is um...dealing with competition. If we push hard enough, things could get ugly. We could be putting ourselves in real danger - I’m not kidding. Not to mention the PR disaster this could turn into, but that I have a better handle on at least. But look. If I handle this alone, I take the heat. You’re just ‘the talent’, and nobody has any reason to come at you. If you’re part of this, though, publicly...all six of us are in the poo poo together, no matter what happens.”
"If it's real danger, then you'll want us in there with you," points out Erzbet.
"I don't know about the others, but..." Caelynn's expression turns genuine and thankful, "this is the first time I've ever had a real shot at a title. And it's all thanks to you. You took a chance on me. I'm with you till the end, Phia."
"We can start with the lawyer. If things get messy, you'll want someone watching your back as much as we will."
June 28, 2018
"Alright." Phia is still texting madly, but a moment later, she pauses to turn her full attention to the conversation. "I really appreciate this, Kate. Erz. As much as I might want to strangle the life out of McKnight right now...I really didn't want to have to do this alone. I'm really glad you two are here to help." It's a genuine side of Phia you rarely see. As open as she is with surface details of her life, you just don't have the kind of relationship where you'd confide in each other or open up emotionally. It appears that's all you're going to get for now, though, as she's quick to snap back to her usual business self.
"Alright, prepare yourselves to meet Hunter Carlyle, attorney at law. He's- oh poo poo, intermission. Hang on." You briefly hear the background noise of an emerging gaggle of people in conversation, which just as quickly fades as Phia scurries away down a dingy white brick corridor. "Hm. I'm not doing this on the street," she says to no one amid the sound of texting. She seems to spend a moment looking around, then you hear a door opening, and the area around her goes black. A second later, a light flicks on. She seems to be in a cleaning supply room. "Yeah, okay. No one's gonna come in here. My date...sounds like she understands, so let's do this. Hunter Carlyle. He talks tough, but while he's just as much of a weasel as McKnight, he's much more likely to try compromise to get people to go away. Let's see if we can't just get him to compromise all the way to 100%, hey?"
A couple seconds later, Hunter Carlyle has joined the call. He's a trim, meticulous Caucasian man who looks to be in his mid-30s, wearing his slacks, shirt and vest seemingly around the house. He stares impatiently at his call screen from behind delicate round glasses - a pure affectation in this day and age, as far more sophisticated methods of vision correction are cheap and commonplace.
"Ms. Kwang. A pleasure as always to receive your...what is this, war correspondence?"
"Some of us have social lives after work, Carlyle. This is Erzbet Dushka and Kate Miller, two of the Furies. We're calling about the fact that McKnight hasn't paid us in full for the last fight. Sound familiar?"
"You might try his accountant. I don't write his cheques for him."
"I'm not here for bullshit. He's in breach of his contract with us, so this is on your plate now."
Kate has to take a second to put on a gentle face, willing away her anger before the lawyer joins the call. "Mr. Carlyle. Good to meet you." With a smile, she continues: "I must admit, it was a little disappointing to see Mr. McKnight's payment was lacking. We work hard to bring entertainment to the good folks out there. I don't know if you're a fan, but..." she pauses, leaning forward, "our series with American Made pulled full arenas in attendance for all five fights, and pay-per-view brought in loads more. I'm sure you can pull up the full numbers somewhere. Or Erzbet could provide them. She's very good with that sort of thing, you know. But regardless, we are owed our money as per the contract Mr. McKnight gave us. Now, of course we understand he is a businessman. He has many projects going on - like the new arenas, which I love, by the way." Her expression tightens. "But not paying his teams what they are owed, in breach of written contract, is a surprisingly short-sighted move from Mr. McKnight. If we are not given our due, we..." she looks at Phia for a moment, "we will have to take legal action. We will not be shoved aside after pouring our heart and soul into this."
1d20+7 Diplomacy = (12)+7 = 19
Erzbet, stares down the man as Kate talks, looking for signs of weakness. Or just signs of nervousness. What's hitting home? What isn't? There is clearly something nasty going on here from his immediate stonewalling, so what's he hiding?
1d20+11 insght = (6)+11 = 17
“It’s true you put on quite a match.” Carlyle raps his fingertips on the desk. “But before you come at me about breach of contract, you might want to give your contract a second look. As I recall, Ms. Kwang, you declined to sign on as an employee of Mr. McKnight. The contract you did sign, as a short-term contractor, has a little more...flexibility. As I recall you wanted.”
“I recall the contract being clear about payment on services rendered-“
“Services rendered, of course. Which does not constitute merely performance in a match -impressive though it may have been - but the fulfillment of a revenue bounty.”
“Bullshit. I would’ve noticed something like that.”
“Do I look like I’m bluffing, Ms. Kwang?”
“You always look like you’re full of poo poo. I’ll bring up the contract, though. Kate, Erz, this’ll take me a minute, but my speaker’s still on.”
Erzbet: Above all, Carlyle seems like he does not want to be bothered with this. His jab about calling the accountant seemed to come from a place of genuine annoyance rather than just snippy banter. As Kate talks, he seems least comfortable when she tries to appeal to his better nature. On the other hand, he seems unimpressed when she offers up a compliment or two, and seems almost amused when she tries to paint McKnight as lacking in long-term planning.
Erzbet pulls up the contract herself, scanning for the economics involved.
Scanning the document with an eye out for the passage in question, Erzbet can see how the contract could be interpreted that way, though she doubts it’d be apparent to someone not specifically looking out for it.
“Hrm.” Erzbet cuts Carlyle out of the call for a moment. “Phia, looks like its possible to interpret the contract that way, if you were an rear end in a top hat or a lawyer. Same thing, actually. We could pursue this legally and get paid in 3 years after the trial, but I think if we want to get paid sooner we’re going to have to take more direct action. Like winning the championship and threatening to go public that McKnight’s champion team hasn’t been properly paid.”
She sighs. “We’re not likely to get more out of the lawyer- he wants us to take this to the courts, he makes money either way, money he’s not making right now yakking with us. I think we cut out this dildobreath and get to work planning some bad PR for McKnight.”
Caelynn's expression turns dour. She puts a hand through her hair, exhaling heavily. "There's no way we can work the contract in our favor? Well... I guess if that's what it takes." A pause, and then she curses; a short, barked expression of disappointment and frustration. "Okay. Tell me what to do."
Kate’s request hangs in the air as Phia takes a monent seething. “Okay.” She finally says. “You’re right, Erzbet. But I’m still not hanging up this call with 33%.” Patching Hunter Carlyle back in, she gets the metaphorical knives back out.
“Long term we’re going to fight this. Short term, McKnight can still do better. Revenue bounty or not, what he’s paid us is only 33% of the full figure. That’s an insult. You’ve watched our matches, right? The Furies aren’t stopping at #1 Contender. We’re going to be champions before June is out. We’ve already had offers from other arenas around the world, and with the title, those offers are only going to get better and better. You think we need to stick around for someone offering us 33%? We deserve 100, but I’ll play by your rules for today. 70%.”
“Are you insane? There’s no way in Hell you’re getting over half if you didn’t meet the bounty. 40%, and that’s only because you embarassed Apone.”
“65%, then, though we both know the Furies made well over 65% of your ‘bounty’.”
“That’s literally not how it works.”
“Ripping off your upcoming champions isn’t how it works, either. 65.”
“45 is not fine, and you don’t want to know how much hell the Furies can raise if we have to.”
“50 is the absolute highest I’m going to go, and I’ll warn you not to go there, Ms. Kwang. You won’t like what happens.”
"Mr. Carlyle. We don't want this fight; but we'll take a stand to get what we are owed. Please." Kate tries to look directly at Carlyle, but making eye-contact over a video conference call is tough. "We're just trying to make a living. If I have to beg, then I'll beg. If I have to fight, I'll fight. I will do whatever it takes. These are our livelihoods. Our dreams. Is there no room in your heart for decent business?"
1d20+7 Diplomacy = (17)+7 = 24
"60 percent. Is that really too much to ask?"
“Like I said before, I’m not Mr. McKnight’s accountant. The most I can do is recommend a figure to him.” After nobody responds for a few seconds, he sighs and shakes his head. He really can’t deal with Kate’s pleading. “Fine. If you don’t tell anyone about this conversation, including Mr. McKnight, I’ll make it 60%.”
“As long as we get our money within 24 hours, you have a deal. It might come up in court, but until then, no one will know you have it in you to not be utterly loving contemptible.”
Carlyle hangs up the call and the three of you are left sitting there - the two of you in your homes, Phia leaning against the door of the downtown theatre’s cleaning room. Phia lets out a dejected sigh, all her confrontational bravado escaping with her exhalation.
“Sorry. I hosed up. I knew McKnight was a snake when I signed, but I thought I had outsmarted him with the contract. I really thought I had us covered.”
Kate leans back in her chair with a sigh, though it's more frustration than dejectedness. "It's not your fault, Phia. We're not gonna back down on this, right? As long as we're together, we can take on anything. I know it." She smiles weakly. "Fight and die, Furies fly, right?" It's clear her heart isn't in it at the moment she says it, but the sentiment is there all the same.
Wol fucked around with this message at Jul 4, 2018 around 09:22
|# ? Jul 4, 2018 09:16|
Sometime that night after splitting off from the Jersey Daredevil, you reach into the pocket of your motorcycle jacket. Your hand closes around something small and metal - a coin? No, it's about twice the size. Curious, you pull it out to inspect it. It's indeed a metal disc. A low-relief feminine face is carved into its surface, eyes closed and wearing a serene expression. On the face's forehead, a third eye is not so much carved as gouged, the cuts deeper and not as clean, the lines far more aggressive. The back of the disc is similarly marked up with the second style of carving, unfamiliar letters forming words that you take for an arcane script. Underneath, you can sort of make out some of a company name and copyright information in what was clearly the original casting. As you turn the disc around in your hand, contemplating it, a vision comes to you. You imagine yourself stabbing an enemy - not an uncommon occurrence for you - but instead of your blade finding flesh, it finds purchase instead in your foe's very spirit. As you gaze into the disc's crude third eye, you find that you know exactly how to do this.
Philadelphia - April 25, 2259
You all meet up with Phia at the Asylum Arena at the usual 9AM. Some of you have had an amazing last three days, others a bit more stressful, but there is a certain tension as you all gather. Phia let you all know the basics your pay situation on the night of the 23rd. You've all had a day and a little more to digest the news, to plan, to stew, or to blow off some steam. She's also let you know about the amelioration in your pay as of last night - as of last night, you've now received 60% of what you were supposed to have been paid for the last American Made match. Erzbet and Kate each find themselves with an extra few hundred dollars on top of that. It's not the pay you deserve, but at least it's better than the 33% you originally had. Phia herself seems in a decent mood despite your financial battles, but ill-rested. Her eyes are a bit red, her hair's a little disheveled, and she's sunk down in her chair with a deathgrip on her enormous cup of coffee. She greets you with a mild "Hey" as you walk into the room, taking just a moment to lift her eyes from her phone and giving you a smile. To Siroko, she gives a sly, knowing grin, and sends her a post from Cinnabar dated just over a minute ago.
@sweetcinna: "If you liked what @goddessofstorms and I did in Montréal, keep your eyes on us. You'll love what's coming next."
As you file in, you find the coffee Phia's prepared for you as usual - but unlike her standard black sludge, it's actually prepared closer to how you actually like it. Your meeting room has nicer couches than usual, too. She asks you how your three days have been, though it's apparent that anything you might have posted online, she already knows. Even on days off, it's not like she stops checking social media. Once everyone has arrived, though, she wastes little time getting down to business.
"Alright, Furies. For those of you not aware of the full situation, McKnight really screwed us on our pay for last match. We had a look at the contract, and while we can fight it in court, it's...not clear how long that would take or if we'd get enough out of it for the legal fees to be worth it. Since McKnight can justify it for now with that whole grey area, it's also really up in the air how much we're actully going to get paid going forward. Here's our situation right now. We're contracted to face the Flawless Executioners on May 1st. Prior to that, we're contracted for a labyrinth match against La Familia on the 27th - a lower-key match, but it shouldn't be too hard for us, either. It'll be in the crumbling ruins arena as usual, but there's apparently been lots of changes since the last time it was used. Erzbet actually has some plans for tackling La Familia, but we'll come back to that in a minute - she can take the floor whenever she wants after I'm done. So, back to our schedule. Our contracted schedule." She says those last words with no little acrimony, having had to swallow quite the bitter pill involving your contract in the last couple days.
"After the Flawless Executioners, if we beat them - and we will beat them - we'll have the #1 Contendership. We're not actually contracted for any matches after that. The obvious path ahead of us would be to face The Deathless at Declaration of Violence 2259 on May 12th. Look, I don't want to force us to stick around for lovely pay. I'm pretty pissed off about this whole thing, and I'm sure you are too. I...have to take some of the responsibility for it, to be honest. Yeah, it's McKnight and his lawyer who screwed us, but if I'd done a better job negotiating the contract, this wouldn't be happening." Her mood has been falling the whole time she's been talking, and by now, she looks downright miserable. "So I'm - I'm really, really sorry. And like I said before, I don't want to force us to stay here and be underpaid. Hell, even if we hopped in a bus and did a tour of unsanctioned venues all over the continent, we'd probably still make more than this...this fraction of what we're supposed to be earning here. Now, in the long run, I do actually still think it'll be best to stay here long enough to fight the Deathless and then get the hell out. Being Champions in any sanctioned venue, no matter what, is going to help a lot for getting into better places. If we want to take the Crown, and I know we all do, I do honestly think it's the best choice for getting us on our way there. We might have to fight to get paid anything near acceptable, though. If we cut and run right after fighting the Executioners, we can still make it work. We won't have as much prestige, but we've still been doing a really good job of building our brand. There are still plenty of people out there who'll pay to see us."
Phia takes a deep breath. "One last thing. Whether we choose to stay, probably fighting McKnight tooth and nail for every cent we can get - or whether we ditch early and leave McKnight without a real championship match for his biggest event of the year - we should all keep a very close eye on our bank accounts, on our social media, on Crown news, and probably keep the headphones off and watch our backs for the next few weeks too. Even the fact that we just browbeat his lawyer out of thousands of dollars he thought he was going to get away without paying us probably has us right at the top of his enemies list. McKnight can be really petty, and I've heard rumours that he's involved in some serious underworld poo poo, too. So. Furies fly. We are going to beat this. We are going to beat McKnight, and when we take the Crown, all this poo poo will be a distant memory. But just for now, let's all watch our backs - and watch each other's backs, okay? Not to mention any other friends we have can be really important. We're going to win. We just have to fight harder than we've ever fought before. We have to fight together. We have to fight like the Furies."
Wol fucked around with this message at Jul 20, 2018 around 10:47
|# ? Jul 4, 2018 11:13|
April 25, 2259: After three days of victory glows, a cam-show for her lover, an unexpected bit of good effort in the gym and friendly meetings with respectable colleagues, Vivi would be in unusually high spirits, her organic body achieving a soothing rhythm that avoids a majority of stress-related breakdown. Of course on the night of the 23rd Vivi was informed of something that caused an unpleasant spike in her body's blood pressure... or what passes for it, absent a traditional heart. She's grateful that she is alone as she sulks and cleans the aftermath of one of her veins getting a bit strained, no shy hand at stitching up the unscheduled rupture. Once the Furies meet up Vivi looks unexpectedly relaxed, though unmistakably with a bit of bitterness in her voice. "This is the game they play when you're small-time." She shakes her head and just drains her coffee, not expecting anything from it other than pleasant burning on the way down.
She crushes the cup, paper or not, and keeps going, flexing her fingers and producing small *cleaving* noises with every pass until she has reduced the material to fine dust. Turning her head slightly she blows the material in her upturned palm towards the nearest trashcan before sitting up. "Phia.." A tired, older voice rings out without any kayfabe. "I don't know why you hired me. I deduce the price range was very likely. Maybe the complimentary team lay out. Managers, Promoters, Coaches. They all do whatever is practical for reasons that don't transmit very well to the "rah rah spirit go team" poo poo half the Crown actually believes in." She stands up and claps her palms together, bladed fingertips passing by one another for a split second like a passing fan of eight separate swords. "But you hired me, and now I'm heading for a championship. And the rest of the Furies... maybe this is what I was waiting for? A real team, or just my team. I don't want anyone to get cold feet now. We will be champions, so we'd better plan on staying until the 12th. And..." Vivi holds her hands out to either side, palms up, fingers dancing. "I don't care about McKnight!" She giggles, her voice rising in pitch as she talks, accelerating back to kayfabe! "We become Champs and leave this dump behind! Take his stepping stone, lose a few bills and leave forever! Let him cry about missing his chance to lock us down so he could save some money!"
Her nano-blades retract and she raises a dainty fist in a show of solidarity with Phia. "You took a chance on me, so just wait for us to hit the big time. You won't have to worry about goons or small change when Vivi shows you the world!"
|# ? Jul 6, 2018 02:09|
Kate is quiet for a long time. The whole mess had left her upset, even if she'd tried to bring back her earlier enthusiasm about winning the American Made series when visiting her parents. But now she was in with the real deal again. The Furies were just as much in this mess as her. There was no need to pretend here. "Look. All of you know I'm not...not much in the way of ruthless, or tough, or devious." With a sigh, she waves away any complaints that might arise pre-emptively. "I can't say I'll be prepared for what McKnight is gonna throw at us if Phia says he is as bad as he is." Looking back up to the other girls, her face is set in a slightly-forced, neutral expression. "But what I am is determined. I didn't stop in the Crown when I lost. Again and again. I kept trying. 'cause my dream was to be at the top." The more perceptive among the Furies might catch a glimpse of water welling up, but still, Kate keeps her face as neutral as she can.
"This whole mess is unfair. But in the end, it's just another hurdle. A stupid, unfair hurdle, but a hurdle all the same." Her fists clench as her expression wavers for a moment, then sets again. "I don't know what it'll take. And frankly, I don't care. I'm not letting that sleaze cheat us out of our money. We'll make it there. We'll get our drat money. And we'll make McKnight rue the loving day he dared to cross us."
|# ? Jul 7, 2018 21:49|
PDFII Entrance Music
"Focus on the next hurdle for now, Kate," says Erzbet, not unkindly. "We have La Familia coming up and conveniently they're a McKnight special. We crush them and his reputation hurts, bad."
She pulls out a whiteboard from somewhere - where on earth was it- and begins sketching. "La Familia as a team is irrelevant right now; we can focus on how to beat them in the ring later. First, we need to make them look bad in the press, and by extension, McKnight. I have some ideas, but I wanted to open the floor first to our uh, more distinctive members."
|# ? Jul 11, 2018 02:52|
|# ? Jul 20, 2018 14:06|
PDF | Orokos | Entrance Music
Turning up in a floral print summer dress with chunky combat boots, Roxie picks up her coffee and begins sipping at it, bitter and intoxicating just how she likes it. She listens to Phia's explanation of the situation, Vivi and Caelynn's takes as well, before dropping a growly, "Pinche McKnight," right into Erzbet's plan, "but chica's right, we need to make McKnight regret ever getting on the wrong side of us, and nothing hurts un avaro like losing money. If he's backing La Familia," her accent is flawless, "then we need to make sure the crowd is on our side, and then when we've won, we're sitting pretty for the Executioners. If we can convince them to threaten to back out, and we threaten too, McKnight is left holding a very empty bag... and then maybe we have the upper hand again."
Taking a sip, she looks back towards Phia, "And don't worry, amiga, we've got your back. Ain't nobody messes with any of the Furies."
|# ? Jul 11, 2018 06:19|