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Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK


When the promoter isn't telling you about how the arena works, it pays to be a super-fan. Kate remembers watching matches in this very arena, and while it does change from time to time, she bets whatever McKnight paid for the turning-everyone-to-ash magic precludes him also having paid to remodel it again since last time she watched. The secret entrance, then, is in the eastern thicket of brush, an open hole with stone steps leading underground. It’s well-hidden if you don’t know where it is, but Kate knows it’s at the foot of a tree with a large burl at about waist height.

----

Within that selfsame thicket, Giovanna grabs on to the back of Vivi's neck as she falls.
"Thanks," she manages to say, blood oozing from her mouth. "That helped." Then, the rest of her strength gone, she collapses.

----

A short ways away, Siroko's taunt is answered with a gunshot. She turns toward the temple to find its source, and the next two shots hit her right in the stomach. Gritting her teeth through the pain, her assailant - and target - comes into focus. Zio Massimo is crouching by the inner eastern temple wall with a revolver, still half-behind the gargoyle's jutting pillar. Though his scarf and tracksuit perfectly match the wall behind him, their pattern shifting with the observer's perspective, Siroko can still see the look of frustration in Massimo's good eye. He knows he revealed himself too early. Still, he's an old pro. He's not about to let the fans know he made a mistake.
"You got guts, kid. See if you can make it over here without those guts getting sprayed all over the cobblestone." He spits on the ground. You see a little globule of saliva get hung up on a wire about a foot off the ground, too fine for you to have noticed before - and still too fine for you to see where it leads. You may know where he is now, but his traps are still waiting for you to make a single wrong move.

Wol fucked around with this message at Aug 13, 2018 around 06:51

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Mortify
Feb 4, 2005




PDF | Orokos | Entrance Music

In the Arena - 27th

It would be a lie to say that Roxie had never been strangled by piano wire. After a certain point you don't even panic anymore, you just disable the assailant, but to do that, you needed leverage. Turning her body to her left, despite the damage the wire causes her neck, she jams her mechanical arm into Fortuna's solar plexus, disabling the worst of the wire's contact with her trachea, then circles the arm around the woman's shoulder, resting it against Fortuna's ear, decked in street puta jewelry. Her left leg, unencumbered by armor or heavy boots, comes up to rest against the smaller woman's knee and with a sickening audible noise she drops her weight into it, braced as it was to exert leverage on Roxie. Hand still pressed against Fortuna's temple, Roxie guides the other woman's weight down, adding hers on top, and when cheap makeup and empty dreams meet unforgiving earth, Roxie doesn't stop. Fortuna's skull cracks as it hits pay dirt, and whatever spark her automaton body has is gone in an instant.

Dusting herself off as she regains her feet, she moves a hand up to the obvious neck wound, testing the blood flow - bleeding but not instantly fatal - and nods to Caelynn. She doesn't trust her windpipe very far right now.

Full Action: Acrobatics: 1d20+14 26 - Also invoking Shadowdance Armor's daily to land the kill.
Move towards the hidden entrance with Caelynn

K Prime
Nov 4, 2009




PDFII Entrance Music

"There's a problem with traps, you know," says Erzbet, leaning casually as she can against another pillar. She's keeping her bleeding arm clutched carefully out of sight. Ruins the image.

She looks at the Massimo staredown, then gestures. "Unless you really, really get specific, they only work on things that have a physical body."

Tiger contemptuously strides through whatever nonsense he's tried to pull, walks up to Massimo, and despite several attempts at shooting, picks the man up by the throat.

"There's a spirit to this all that makes it worthwhile, you know." says Erzbet. "Fair play, big fights, and keeping it in the arena. Being the best of what you are. That's what makes some fighters great, and others forgettable trash with inflated egos." She sighs. "Like you, making plays outside the ring. Maybe some of you didn't know. I don't really care. You tried to hurt my friend." Her face turns vicious and cold. "Did you forget how my brother died?! I'm going to make sure none of you ever work in this business again. From top to bottom. That's a promise."

She turns away. "Hey, big cat. I know you wanna do this your way."

Tiger nods. He roars a roar. All his fans know what's coming now.

"TIGER! GENOCIDE!"

Massimo's broken body is hurled through a pillar, and it's over.

Arcana: 1d20+11 27
Expending Spirits of Grief's Shadow to end this and Massimo.

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK


"The Furies are making a statement here tonight! They're saying to La Familia - you're not in our league, and this is what you get for coming at us!"

After you take care of the last of La Familia, Caelynn lets the rest of you know where the secret entrance is. You make it inside just in time, even if the less nature-wise end up needing a helping hand. The crowd cheers - not quite as much as when Vivi and Siroko dispatched Pietro, or when Tiger Fury finished off Massimo, but they're happy to see you get the technical win on top of the moral victory you clearly already earned.

--------
--------



After the match, you're greeted by a focused yet satisfied Phia. She hands Roxie her phone back.
"We're foot-loose and fuckery free. For now." She falls in step as you head out. You hear congratulations from friendly faces on the way - the Jersey Daredevil, TC Bright, Lane and Diamond Trinh among them. Trinh makes a call me gesture at Siroko as you pass, and Lane gives Vivi a middle finger that turns into a wave and a wry smirk. While today's match wasn't super high profile, the hardcore fans are still around, and you wind up stopping briefly to chat with them before taking off. Robin Selik is also there, talking to a fan, and when you leave the room, they dash after you.

"Hey. Furies!" They catch up with you outside of the room, out of the fans' earshot. "poo poo got a little real in there today. This whole 'Familia hosed with Caelynn's car' thing kayfabe or not, 'cuz no-one told me anything."

--------
--------

The next time Caelynn checks her phone after speaking with Robin, she finds the expected text from Minhua.

@蔡敏華 W I T C H: "really clean work out there! i'm impressed. how's your night looking?"

A few minutes later, Erzbet hears from someone she hasn't heard much from since becoming a Crown fighter: Dorian, her ex from university.

@lordofmondays "hi, erz. sorry i haven't been good at keeping in touch. how're you, also, there's a journalist in my DMs trying to get me to talk about us"

Wahad
May 19, 2011



Everything by design.




@CaelynnRose

"Don't know yet. Have to stop by the station at 7. I'll call you."

--

"It's real." Now that the fans are gone, Caelynn's attitude has gone from cheerful winner back to grim determination. "Nobody told you anything 'cause it just happened this morning." Putting her phone away, she sighs, and leans her head back. At least they'd won. It was a victory, if a small one. Truth be told, she wasn't quite sure what she felt. The Rose Knight takes off her armor slowly. Killing La Familia without mercy had felt right, but it didn't stop the problem. They were still out there, thanks to the body double technology. They'd still gotten away with an attempt on her life. And somehow, she felt like they wouldn't stop. Especially now that the Furies had struck back.

Doomykins
Jun 28, 2008

Didn't you mean to ask about flowers?



PDF

Coming out of the post-combat low of her sense of self trading bodies and entering into the post-match high of victory Vivi springs out of her chair with an enthusiastic cheer, dancing between her teammates and asking if they saw that and taking a second to hang off Siroko's flexed bicep, assuring her that the live burial was perfect!!

Strolling through the arena and alert for any attention to soak, Vivi throws out exaggerated posing and cheers for herself, the truth being that for her painstaking and rare victories, it's never truly an exaggeration. She's actually surprised and soon utterly delighted to see Lane, her gasp of surprise easily doubling as mock outrage at the offered gesture. Grinning maniacally Vivi returns it with a two-finger salute of her own, dainty fingers framing her smile before she brings all of her fingers up for a delicate friendly wave. Once they're at the locker room Vivi gives Robin the coyest, smuggest little smirk of a smile. "Don't you know that everything in the Crown is real? ... But I'm sure you can feel it. This one was personal. And that's. all. I'll. say. For now!"

Fluttering her eyelashes to suit an exceptionally good mood, Vivi keeps chatting with Robin without the stage persona. Or all of it, at least. "Have you seen La Familia do it before, maybe? Anything.. suspicious? Odd? Coincidental? Real lucky? Heh. Honestly, bow-outs and accidents are pretty rare these days. The benefits of modern tech, hmm? But, ah.. the real question, Robin... were you able to see me and Giovanna in that bush?!"

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK


"I see everything in the arena, Vivi." A mischievous twinkle dances in their eyes, though it quickly fades, replaced by a dour expression as they're forced to face your claims about La Familia. "But. poo poo. I thought teams attacking each other on the outside only happened in unsanctioned arenas or, like, really rare circumstances. I never heard of La Familia doing anything like that before. Sure, they play into it in their promos, but that's kayfabe, it's part of the gimmick. It's not something they actually go out and do. I mean, maybe I wouldn't know? A killer does get hurt from time to time. Sometimes it's right before a match, which, yeah, I don't have to tell you that it sucks. But I haven't noticed, like, people getting hurt more than normal before Familia matches."

Wol fucked around with this message at Aug 21, 2018 around 08:20

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK




"still only talking to me when you need something huh
sorry that was meaner than I meant it to be who's this guy bothering you"

"drat.
that's fair though. and i dunno, a hack. i guess they found those chirps i deleted from when we broke up and thought there was a story there.
i was more wondering why now. why would someone go looking for this story now. i checked the sports news, which is, a first for me, and saw your teammate was targeted by some kind of attack. so i guess i'm checking in on you. is everything ok"

"yeah im fine. someones real mad about us not taking their bullshit. its showbiz"

"nice
'its showbiz'? is that erzbet talking or your character"

"what, is that not me? im from a showbiz family you know"

"i guess i just didn’t see that side of you much
it’s not a bad thing. that it exists i mean"

"putting on a show is different than being in a relationship
seriously who is this guy bothering you
gotta go see if someones leaking things"

"@kellykessel"

"thanks. i got someone to talk at..."

"i’ll keep an eye on the obits"

"hey you're still alive. dont tempt me"

"wouldn’t dream of it
take care ok"

"sure. dont be a stranger."

Wol fucked around with this message at Aug 25, 2018 around 06:27

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK




Kate walks into the station, looking around slowly. Not seeing anybody in particular that recognizes her, she walks over to the reception desk. "Uh, hello," she says, rubbing the back of her head, "My name is Kate Miller? I was supposed to have an appointment to give a statement on, uh...my car crash, earlier this morning." She fishes out her ID, just in case, and shows it to the receptionist.

The receptionist looks your name up. Once he's confirmed your case, he leads you to a small room with a couple of surprisingly comfortable couches flanking a coffee table. He lets you know that an officer will be with you in a minute, offering you coffee, tea or water in the meantime.

"Uh, tea, please. No sugar." Taking a seat, Kate gratefully takes the offered beverage. She waits impatiently, her foot tapping against the ground. She wasn't actually sure how long this was gonna take, or what she'd actually have to do, but she was just anxious to get it over with.

Kate has time to take a few sips of her tea before the officer arrives. She hears a knock on the door, and he enters, a folder tucked neatly under his arm and a steaming hot cup of coffee in his hand. He's the very picture of an officer of the law - back straight, trim physique, crisply put together. Kate guesses he's around 30.
"Ms. Miller? I'm Officer Gerrard Chen. Your car was pretty scraped up - how're you feeling?" He takes his seat on the couch opposite her, setting the folder down on the table but keeping the coffee in his hand.

She stands up to shake his hand before sitting back down again. Worries or not, it didn't hurt to be polite. "Hi. I'm...okay. I wasn't hurt too badly. A few bruises and aches. Nothing I haven't handled before in the arena."

Officer Chen offers a bit of pleasant small talk, asking you a few questions about your work and matches. He watches the Crown only occasionally, but seems decently up to date on results, and congratulates you on your recent successes. Soon enough, though, he gets down to business. "We've had time to investigate your car in our lab - as well as the initial scene investigation, of course. I'm sure you're eager to hear what we've found, but I'd like to take your statement first. Feel free to collect your thoughts if you need to, but whenever you're ready, I'm ready."

"Right. I, uh...I was going to work. Got in the car. Everything was fine. Didn't see anybody there. First few yards were a little rough, but it's an old car. It does that, sometimes." She describes her morning route - out the block, towards the 95. "Then I heard a weird noise, and my car started pulling to the right, and I can practically see my tire running off in the rear-view mirror."
"I'm not an expert driver, or anything, but I figure if I pull over into the emergency lane it'll be fine, so I do - with some difficulty - and then try to brake, except...they don't work." She sips her tea quietly for a moment. "I...guess I thought smashing it into the guard rail was the best option. Didn't want anybody else to get hurt. And...well, I had to get to the arena, so I called Roxie - my teammate - after I'd called 911. She picked me up before the first people got there. Sorry about that, but - I wasn't going to let them stop me that easily."
She explains how La Familia were behaving leading up to the match, and the problem with McKnight paying them. "I know it's not...proof, or anything. But I'm pretty sure one of them did it."

Officer Chen scribbles notes by hand as you talk despite also running audio recording. "You should give yourself some credit," he says after you're done. "You kept a cool head and made the right choice in a sudden and very stressful situation. I know it might seem like second nature to you, but not everyone could say the same." He pauses to take a drink of coffee. "Now for what we found. There were two electronic devices attached to your car. One on the brake line under the hood, the other on your front passenger side wheel. They're clearly custom made, but decently sophisticated. They're set up to receive a signal, at which point they cut or puncture their respective targets. The thing, though, is that they're set up for a proximity signal - meaning when they come close enough to whatever device is sending it, they go off. We searched the scene thoroughly and didn't find any kind of device like that."

Kate frowns. "A device? I...okay. That's weird." She puts her fist under her chin, thinking for a moment. "So they had somebody in a car, right? With the sender? It's the freeway, they could've easily caught up to me in a car and then kept driving once I'd crashed."

"It would make sense. Unfortunately, it's not exactly easy to find out who that could have been. You have given us some people to talk to, though. We'll be interviewing both the members of La Familia and with Mr. McKnight. Just so we're not looking too narrowly, though, it's possible that this incident was unrelated to your match. Is there anyone else you can think of who might have wanted to do something like that to you?"

She shakes her head. "No, not really. I mean, all the other stuff, it stays in the arena. We've never had any problems with other teams getting to us outside of work. And...I don't get out enough to make enemies outside of work." She laughs ruefully, then bites her lip in hesitation. "Just...one thing. I wasn't actually supposed to tell anybody about the payment stuff? It's - a legal thing. I know you need it for the investigation, but I don't know if this might come back to bite me if you ask McKnight about it. Before you talk to them, can you talk to my manager? Her name is Phia Kwang. I'll give you my number, she can fill you in on the details; she's got more of a head for that sort of thing than I do."

"I'll do that, thanks. Do you have any other questions?"

Kate shrugs, taking her tea for a moment without saying anything. "...how much do you need for them to actually get arrested? I mean, I've watched procedurals but everyone always says they're a terrible way of depicting actual police work. But what I mean is... is there a way for them to get out from under this?"

"On physical evidence alone, we could arrest the person who planted the devices on your car, and the person who carried the signal device if that's a different person. Anything more than that is more difficult territory. It's much too early to say what could or could not happen, though. Sorry - I know that's not the answer you were looking for."

"That's okay." She stands up, extending her hand again. "Even if you just get one, that's good enough for me. Thank you, officer. Call me if you need anything else."

"Thank you for coming in." Officer Chen stands and shakes your hand firmly. "We're taking this case very seriously. Without your calm, quick reaction, these devices could have caused a lot more harm. I find it disturbing that something like that is happening here."

Wol fucked around with this message at Aug 25, 2018 around 06:26

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK




Once she's found a cab to take her back home, Kate stares at her phone for a long moment. It takes her another moment, but she finally dials Lin's number. "Hey. Said I'd call, so here I am."

"Hi, Kate. How're you?"

She sighs. "I'm..." Silence. "I don't know. I mean...okay, I guess, but - I don't know. It's hosed up, Lin." Kate stares out the window as the taxi drives on. "It's hosed up."

"It is." There's a pause before Lin continues. "When you find yourself needing to make sense of things, what do you usually do?"

"I usually just go to town on a punching bag." She barks out a short laugh, but there's a bitter tone to it. "If I vent enough steam, clarity eventually sets in. But..." Kate gestures. "The match didn't really help."

"No?" Lin responds, her expression sympathetic. "Any idea why?"

"I wish. I mean, it felt good making an example of those assholes in the moment, but..." She grasps for words at this point, but falls silent again. "I guess that whole thing about an eye for an eye and the world being blind isn't such a platitude after all."

"Mm. There's a lot to take in here, Kate. As I'm sure you're thinking too. I'm not really sure what to say, but if you think it'd help to just get whatever you're feeling off your chest, I'd like to listen. I know it helps me when I'm feeling upset. Ganlu can attest to that." She smiles at the thought. "So, honestly. I'm here."

"Thanks." Kate looks away again, but she doesn't hang up, even when she falls silent for a solid minute or three. Just when Lin's about to pipe up to ask, Kate breaks. "I never signed up for this poo poo, Lin. I mean, I knew McKnight was a creep, but this is way more than what I was expecting. Sabotaging my car? It's like one of those cop shows! How am I supposed to fight them when they're willing to step over the line like that? When they could just arrange an 'accident' wherever they like, to take out the competition? How many people did they scare off, or worse, with accidents just like mine? And how did they get away with it for so long? What if they get away with it again? Feels like I'm way in over my head."
"Like I said. It's hosed up."

"I hear you. I - and this is where my mind went as someone this didn't happen to, but I almost can't believe this happened in a sanctioned venue. McKnight's supposed to have been vetted by the CCC." She bites her lip, frowning off to the side of the screen. "We knew he couldn't be trusted too, but we didn't think things could get like this. We just thought he was a little unethical with money, but we took a contract for less than we were worth because we thought the growing market here was worth it. If we decided to fight him more, like Qieduan wanted...well, we're back to the present. I'm just at a bit of a loss."

"Yeah. You and me both. I mean, Phia has plans, but... I feel like this is a fight where nobody wins."

"So between you and me, are you planning to leave? When's your contract up?"

Kate looks at the screen. "...can't tell you that, Lin. I'm sorry. Phia made us all promise to keep mum on this. I like you, but I'm not gonna go against the team. Not with... all this on the line. I'm sorry."
"You'll know when I can tell you. But not yet."

Lin laughs her melodic little laugh. "I understand," she says, smiling. "I hope you're still coming after us, though. We've already beaten the Flawless Executioners time after time. It'll be nice to have one fight against someone else at a big show. And I feel our fight would be great."

She finally smiles again. "It will be. Count on that." The cab driver turns around, notifying her that she's home. "Listen, I just got home. We'll talk more soon, but... can you talk to the rest of the Deathless?" Kate pays the driver, putting her phone on the other seat for a moment. "I already said it at the arena, but...we'd really appreciate your support when the time comes. A unified front, you know? Pretty sure all of us have been cheated by McKnight one way or another, and...well, if we all stand together it's gonna be a lot easier."

"I will. I already told them a little bit - just the crash and the sabotage, don't worry, I left out your suspicions. They all wanted to stand behind you, and I think they will even more now. Speaking of which, I have something for you. I wanted to give it to you tonight, but...you look really tired, and I don't blame you at all. I'll give it to you tomorrow morning, okay? I think it'll make you feel a little better."

Kate raises her eyebrow. "...sure. Thanks. See you tomorrow, Lin."

"See you then. Have a good night, Kate." Lin gives you a wave, then disconnects the call.

Wol fucked around with this message at Aug 25, 2018 around 06:35

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK


Philadelphia - April 28, 2259

With the new day dawns a new feud. You'll start focusing on the Flawless Executioners today. Your upcoming match is on May 1, leaving you only three days to build up the hype. It's not long. You'd usually have started putting out content with them before the Familia match, but McKnight's machinations have left you little time to deal with anything other than what's right in front of you. On your way to the arena in the morning, Phia lets you know that she's been in touch with Abaé Banu, and that your two teams will be meeting today to make a promo plan and start shooting.

A piece of news also catches your attention, either last night or on your morning commute. American Made put out a press release around midday yesterday officially announcing the departure of Mauler Maxima. She has not been available for comment. This, you pretty much knew, but what comes as more of a surprise is the concurrent departure of Neon Musa. He's slated to stay with the team until the end of May so that they'll have time to find a replacement, but he's accepted a spot with the currently Rio de Janeiro-based team Star Kindred. This morning, a little later, you each get a text from Axel Apone inviting you to come by and check out the team's open tryouts if you want, starting tomorrow. He figures you might be interested since you recommended a whole bunch of the hopefuls to him. He also hints that if you come around a little bit before noon any given tryout day, you might catch him barbecuing.

Back in the present, your day starts with the relative comfort of normalcy. You roll into the increasingly nice and comfortable Furies meeting room where your coffees or other morning drinks await you. It occurs to you that Phia is almost certainly periodically stealing furniture from other rooms - you certainly can't see her buying new furniture, not now. On the subject of money, you've received about as good as a payout from the last match as you could expect. It appears your earlier coercion of McKnight's lawyer had somewhat of a lasting effect. Not every aspect of your professional life is quite as secure - the KC rumour mills seem to have somehow gotten it into their heads overnight that the Furies are "hard to work with" - but you'll just have to trust Phia to keep dealing with that stuff. Today, you're to focus on your training and your upcoming opponents. Phia runs through basic profiles of the Flawless Exectuioners and shows you some match footage to illustrate their fighting styles before sending you off to train for the rest of the morning. She advises an early lunch before you meet with the Executioners at 12:30 to start collaborating on promos and vignettes.

--------
--------



You get a text from Minhua a couple minutes before the meeting's over. She ends up coming around shortly after the meeting to give you that thing she wanted to give you last night.

"Good morning, Kate." She says, wearing the warm smile you're becoming accustomed to. "So I got some of the others together yesterday. I didn't tell them much - just whatever was reported, if they hadn't heard it already. But we wanted to let you know we support you." She extends her hand, offering you a plain white envelope. "Kate" is written on the back in dodgy yet effortful cursive. You open it to reveal a simple card.

Wol fucked around with this message at Aug 22, 2018 around 03:40

Wahad
May 19, 2011



Everything by design.




"Man, they're so stylish," Caelynn remarks after watching the Executioner footage, "I mean, look at that! It's gorgeous!" She plays back a particularly spectacular takedown combo by Simoon and Bright. The fan in her can't help but, well, be a fan. "I'm feeling a bit plain in comparison," she pouts, though there's no real jealousy in her voice. She goes over the files with half an eye, but turns to Siroko after a moment. "You fought with Cinnabar on your roadtrip, right? Any insight?" If anybody might think Caelynn is suffering under what happened, she's not showing it. There's no big smile on her face, but she's not seething in anger or distracted in her sadness; the work is here, so she is here.

--

After the meeting, seeing Lin is a welcome sight. Kate is quiet for a long moment as she reads the card. When she looks up again, the tears are hidden no more. The Rose Knight bites away any sob that might rise up from her throat, though, and balls her free fist tightly before she crinkles the card accidentally. Eventually, she forces a brief laugh to mask another sound that fights its way through the barricade. "Do you know how long I used to stand in line for autographs? Before I joined with the Furies? If I knew all I needed was to play the sympathy card, I could've saved myself a lot of time." Another laugh as she shakes her head, and pulls Lin into a tight hug. "Thank you," she whispers, more serious this time, "...this means a lot to me."

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.



PDF | Orokos | Entrance Music

Siroko was content to let Caelynn take the fore after the match, given the situation. That didn't mean she avoided cutting any promos or celebrating any harder of course. This time she insisted everyone, including Caelynn and Erzbet, participate fully. The Furies had won some matches before, but this was in some ways their first true team victory.

During the meeting, Siroko considers Caelynn's question carefully. With Siroko, even careful consideration is a bit over the top, seeing as she actually adopts the thinker pose. "Cinnabar is a dancer before she's a fighter. Don't mistake that for being a poor fighter or she'll blind you and then gut you. But if you knock her off rhythm, she's less effective. Same with the rest. They can improvise for sure, but they're a lot less effective if they can't set up synergies. You have to disrupt what they're doing."

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK




Lin returns your hug gladly. She's silent throughout, though when you thank her, she gives you a little squeeze. When you let go, she's silent still, but she seems like she has something to say. There's a tentative quality to her body language. As the seconds pass by, you notice a wetness at the corners of her eyes that belies her mild, pleasant smile. Just as the pause is getting awkward, though, she clasps her hands in front of her, takes a short breath in, and speaks.
"I'm glad you like the card." The statement tumbles erratically from her mouth. With that out, though, she manages to regain her composure. She continues. "And I meant what I said in it, every word. I have to meet my team in the training arena in five minutes, but - I believe in everyone helping to look after each other. It's how things were in Chengdu with a lot of us, and it's how I'd like things to be wherever we go. We're each other's community, right? It's important to me that we're there for each other." She smiles. "And, aside from that, I like you."

--------
--------



Cinnabar invites Siroko to lunch at nearby Bistro Teodoro, where she's eager to talk music, the latest Crown highlights, and Siroko's bonsai hobby. Whatever arrangements everyone else makes, you all find your way back to the Furies meeting room on or nearly on time for your meeting with the Flawless Executioners.

"Oh, I like your setup. You could have a party in here."
"I certainly wouldn't object to that."
"Ha - so this is where Broadbent's couch ended up. I wondered who managed to scoop it before me."
"Gotta be quick if you wanna beat a broke bitch to free stuff. It was that or we kept sitting on those lovely lobby chairs."

Once everyone arrives, the Flawless Executioners' manager Abaé Banu gets to her feet. She wears a bold, Kente-patterned loose summer dress with black flats, black disc earrings and her trademark yellow headwrap.

"Furies, thank you for hosting us." She pauses to make sure she has everyone's attention. "Just to make sure everyone's on the same page, TC, Phia an I intend for us to completely plan out our promo vignettes in this meeting. We'd also like to rehearse and shoot as many of those vignettes as possible today. The sooner we can start putting out content, the better."
"That's right. We only have three days to get eyes on this match. I like more time to work with, but I know we're all more than capable of making something unmissable in that time."
"We are. So. Phia and I have been talking, and we've agreed that our promotional materials should fall close to the the Flawless Executioners' way of doing things."
"It's a chance for us to try something new. I think we'll learn more from this than just doing trash talk like normal. We're still here to get ourselves over, though, so don't think the Furies are just going to be following along. We're still going to be an equal part in making these."
"Agreed. We may each already have some ideas in mind - that's simply who we are - but we intend to listen to your ideas as well. With that said, I'd like to make sure everyone appears in more than one vignette. Simply matching off each fighter one on one is played out. There are more dynamics than that to explore between any two teams. When any combination of fighters approach each other in the arena, the fans should have something to think about - something to make them anticipate what's going to happen between them. Now, I'd like to go around the room, have everyone put out some ideas to start the process. I'll start with my team, since I know we've all already been thinking bout this. Monique, how about you start?"

"I wanna make it clear that we may all be dancers, but this stuff doesn't have to be dance-based. It doesn't even have to be that physical. Now that's out of the way, I want to do something physical. Roxie, Vivi, I'm guessing you'd be into this? I'm thinking like stage fighting, but we can elevate it with more theatricality, more aggression. Some breaking, too, if you think you're up to it."
"We might not all be doing one-on-one, but I'm not going to pass up the chance to do some one-on-one with Siroko. Otherwise, I play well as either a temptress or a slasher. I could do horror with Erzbet and Vivi, maybe. I could see that one going a few different ways, especially with Tiger Fury in the mix. Vivi, I know you're willing to swing either slasher or victim, and Erzbet, you look like you could go either way with sympathetic or scary too."
"I don't think I'm surprising anyone when I say I'm interested larger numbers. We could probably go up to six and still get everyone's characters across with the right concept. Most of my ideas still have me behind the camera - old habits die hard - but here's something I think would play well. I'm still on that early 20th century musical comedy kick, and I know I, Vivi, and a third could make a romantic-comedic number soar."
"You have your bike, Roxie. I have my convertible. I know some people who can shoot a street race beautifully. And Siroko, Caelynn, I'm imagining you with your storm, with your armour, and me with my starlight, in a night-time city scene. Don't know yet what we're doing in that scene, but I know it'll pop."
"Contrast always tells a clear story. Erzbet and I represent darkness, Caelynn and Stardust represent light. The four of us would create compelling visual artistry with our powers."

Wol fucked around with this message at Nov 27, 2018 around 03:09

Wahad
May 19, 2011



Everything by design.




Kate is drumming her hands on her legs in lieu of actually bouncing in excitement. Dreadful business of the last few days aside, she was, in fact, really happy to work with the Flawless Executioners; and to get to star in a well-produced promo, at that! "Um, I don't really know if I have any ideas for scenes, per se, but..." she gives a sheepish smile to the Executioners, "I'd love to do a dance number. I'm not...experienced, or anything, but I always loved your promos. They're so graceful! I don't know if we have the time for me to actually get the choreography down, but I'm willing to put in the work if you guys think I can pull it off."

Doomykins
Jun 28, 2008

Didn't you mean to ask about flowers?



PDF

After The Fight

Giggling at the confirmation that Robin sees everything, Vivi maintains good spirits and a satisfied smile as they explain. "Mmmmhmm.. well, thanks!" She leans forward and makes a show of twirling her hand about with one finger outstretched before booping Robin on the tip of the nose. "You're so sweet, maybe when we move up we can kidnap you for a personal announcer~" She laughs off the joke and eventually all of the interviews and post-fight team build prep poo poo is finished and Vivi should be sizing up her usual post-victory rituals. But she has something else in mind... she even makes sure to evade Roxie's towering shadow as she passes through the arena, stopping by the Furies' dressing room and as many other miscellaneous and unnecessary stops as can be reasonably expected: the arena to meet and greet with die hard fans, the shared lockers on pretense of losing something and the garage on pretense of waiting for a ride, if anybody even notices her!

For you see... she wanted to know the whereabouts and movements of La Familia, after the fight. Local enforcer teams usually didn't take the losses as hard as hopefuls. Especially thugs on good payroll to set up "accidents." And just hoping they went away was naive. For now she'd just try to get a good shadowing going and see if she snoops out anything juicy.

Stealth 31

Of course once she's done that she hurries back to her apartment for an entire night of religiously tracking the fanbase reaction to her Glamour Shot!! and to see how many people really did get a view of her takedown of Giovanna! She had been on a roll but maintaining an idol's image wasn't just about winning all the time! ... Probably!

---

April 28



After the punk rock showing against La Familia Vivi has somehow found the time to reinvent her own personal casual elegance, showing up with unnaturally long hair given the single night she had to start growing it back. It's back to all black again as are her eyes and luckily the new look has grown over any of the red marks associated with the chemicals needed to bully the limits of natural tissue.

Listening to the Executioners, Vivi looks absolutely delighted the entire time. It's like she's being interviewed for six prospectives at the same time! She drums her fingers together and looks a bit put off by Cinnabar and Simoon's suggestions. "Ahahahaha, you're talking about shaking up our promos but this entire time I've been building the image of a powerful assassin. What if my fans forget about how beautiful and cute I am? There's two sides to my image!" ... Was this outfit planned before last night?! It certainly reinforces the brash claim!! She puts a hand to her face and plays with the edge of her skirt with the other. "I think some elegant fighting suits me, but I just cannot be playing the part of the monster." She drops the fur-lined fabric and raises her hand for a fierce palm-out denial!

"Dancing and singing, oh ho~" She giggles and eyes up Bright with more than professional courtesy. "You've got a great eye for talent. Romance, dancing... I love it <3!" Her holo-irises flicker to pink and project around either side of her face!

Doomykins fucked around with this message at Aug 31, 2018 around 01:20

Mortify
Feb 4, 2005




PDF | Orokos | Entrance Music

April 28 - Promo Session

Roxie listens casually as the Flawless Executioners share their ideas, a large bottle of something that looks like grain alcohol occasionally making its way to her lips for a silent sip. Truth be told she wasn't really very interested in a... whatever they were proposing, play battle, slasher flick, lo que sea. Maybe the street race with Stardust, but she can think of far more entertaining things to do with Stardust; she smiles brightly as the woman talks, flipping her still dyed hair out of her eyes for another sip of the jet fuel.

"You wouldn't make a good monster, Vivi, you're too adorable," reaching across the space between them, Roxie pinches Vivi's arm with a sisterly sort of mocking tone, "if anyone is going to be the knife wielding maniac, well," she pulls a huge knife from her belt, "I guess I've got the tools... kinda weird for me para perseguir my teammates though. Doesn't really set us at odds as two teams," she frowns.

"I'm not really, uh," she looks self-conscious for a second but covers it with a large glug from the bottle, "very experienced at dancing or singing o algo - it was never a part of my life in the temple."

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK




Roxie's discomfort is palpable. Looking over at you, Phia can see that Siroko and Erzbet seem a little reluctant or uncertain too.
"I don't think this is going to fly. Sorry, Abaé. How about...how about we set stuff up more like a variety show? We can still do a couple dance numbers," she nods at Vivi and Caelynn, "but we can mix it up a bit, give different people stuff they're more interested in. Keeping the focus away from fighting is a good idea, but, look. We're all competitive people here. Why not lean into it, set up a couple fun little skill competitions?"

Roxie immediately responds by suggesting a cooking competition.
"Count me in." Simoon grins widely. "I came up cooking. If you're looking for another thing to come second place in, you made a good choice."
"I'm tempted to join in. Monique and I used to cook together with our families all the time when we were kids, and I know we'd make an unstoppable team. Just thinking of my mother's jollof - it's the taste of victory. But, I shouldn't. We need to showcase the people who will actually be fighting. TC, you like to cook. Why don't you join her? Pairs will be a lot more fun than one on one."
"Sounds like I have big shoes to fill. I'll do it, though. Got a few tricks of my own I wouldn't mind showing off." TC looks over the rest of you, trying to ferret out his second opponent.

"Oh, I'm looking forward to this. Any other competition ideas?"
"How about music?" Cinnabar shoots Siroko a coy glance.

"I wouldn't normally like this, but the way we're setting things up, I almost wonder if we should show off people's individual talents. It would add to the promo package. I'm a bit hung up on the fact that it wouldn't tell a story, though. It would fans something to latch on to, sure, but it wouldn't say anything about the actual match."
"We could have the person showing someone from the other team their talent - teaching it, or explaining as they do it, or something like that." Simoon shrugs.

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK




Together, the twelve of you sketch out the show. There'll be two dance numbers - one featuring Caelynn and Foxglove, the other Vivi and TC Bright. The main focus, though, will be on a series of competitions. Roxie and Caelynn will face Simoon and TC Bright in a cooking competition; Siroko will face Cinnabar in a music competition; Vivi will face Foxglove in a pole dance competition; Erzbet will face Stardust in a costume design competition with Roxie and Cinnabar as their respective models; Erzbet and Siroko will face Simoon and Stardust in a bodybuilding competition. Just before everything's finalized, Erzbet brings up the possibility of adding Tiger Fury to the bodybuilding competition. Cinnabar suggests that Tiger Fury could be a surprise entrant, and after he comes out, she could add herself as a counter.
"I may not be as muscular as some of you, but if we're talking bodies, it's hard to beat what I've got. I'll be a little sleight of hand to answer yours." She winks at Erzbet.

With the competitions decided, Abaé and Phia agree that a few solo talent demonstrations, presented without introduction in short, wordless clips, will fit nicely before and after longer segments to tie the show together.
"There's something we've left out. Who's going to judge the competitions?"
"Mmm. We're fighting to see who gets to face the Deathless, yes? Having them as judges would tie the whole thing into our match."
"One for each competition. I like it. I bet they'll do it, too. Let me hit them up." Phia busies herself texting the Deathless. She soon gets confirmation that they're interested, on the one condition that the cooking contestants make enough food for all of them.

Wol fucked around with this message at Nov 27, 2018 around 05:00

Mortify
Feb 4, 2005




PDF | Orokos | Entrance Music

April 28 - Promo Session

"When I cook, everyone eats," Roxie suddenly has the forbidding look of an abuela several times her age, "Everyone."

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK


The Great Killers' Cook-Off



"Four souls have come before The Bone King on this day, four courageous culinary champions who believe they have tribute worthy of The Bone King's palate. Ha! Their boldness is admirable, but The Bone King will be served only by the best! Only one team will gain The Bone King's favour. The other will be left forlorn, trudging back home through the trenches of regret. And now, without further ado, The Bone King presents to you your potential paragons of repast preparation! Behold!" He throws an emphatic arm to his right, pointing at the Executioners' section. Both teams have a pretty impressive setup considering the short notice: fully stocked show kitchens with a decent amount of counter space, and any ingredients and special equipment they requested. It pays to have someone with TC Bright's connections doing procurement.

"The flawless faction of Monique 'Simoon' Boatei, combining the rich culinary heritage of Ghana with the myriad influences of American cuisine, and Hollywood's own TC Bright, consummate party cook and artiste of the hors d'oeuvre."
"What I bring to the table is art in food form. The people I cook for have traveled the world, sampled the haute cuisine of many different countries - so my creations are always made to a very high standard."
"For me, cooking has always been about family and community. I grew up learning not only from my parents, but from my aunts, my uncles, my friends and their families. What I bring is most strongly Ghanaian, but draws from my experience of many traditions."
"And what will you be serving The Bone King on this fateful day?"
"We're starting with a canapé: strips of grouper, treated with a spice rub and flash-fried, served on fried plantain. Next, we'll serve a light peanut soup with bitterleaf and cayenne."
"Finally, our main dish, rougaille-style spiced prawns and octopus served over a bed of waakye rice. Shoutout to my girl Allyse for developing this with me - I haven't met anyone who isn't blown away by it."
"You promise much. The Bone King approves! Ambition is encouraged in The Bone King's court, though it remains to be seen if your braggadocio is backed by adequate aptitude. Mere competence will not suffice. You've competition, two more confident cooks who seek The Bone King's certification of superbness. And on that subject!" Whirling around with a flourish, he stalks over to the other side of the set, to your table. "Feast your eyes on the furious force of Roxie Ruinous, master of finely honed Mexican culinary tradition, and Caelynn, paragon of good old down-home crowd-pleasing comfort food." The Bone King lets up, providing your cue to introduce yourselves and what you plan to make.

Wol fucked around with this message at Sep 4, 2018 around 09:59

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK


The Mx. Asylum Universe Classic



While this competition needed the least stage setup of them all, you still took a fair amount of time after the meeting to get your bodies ready. A look at your opponents tells you that they're taking this just as seriously. Simoon and Chère Stardust make quite the contrast - the former tall, dark and statuesque, the latter petite, pale and lithe - but both have incredible definition. You come out to the stage one by one, naturally putting a little extra flair into your entrances. Your judge, The Accursed Sagong Jun, enters last. Lending credence to his qualification as a judge, he also comes in shirtless, all rippling muscle despite his ghoulish appearance. He takes his seat in front of the stage, never once slipping from his persona's stony glare.
"The Furies Erzbet Dushka. Siroko Tuuli. The Flawless Monique Boatei. Chère Stardust." The camera cuts back to you. The producer encourages you to show a little attitude as Jun glances down at a piece of paper in his lap. "Please exit the stage. For the first round, I will call you one by one." He's clearly speaking phonetically, though with enough gravitas that it comes off more intense than awkward. You make your way back out, where you line up in order behind the curtains. The first round will be Erzbet, then Siroko, then Simoon, then Stardust. After that, you'll all come back out together for a posedown. It's at that point that Cinnabar suggested Tiger Fury might make his appearance, as well as herself. She's lurking in the back of the room, for now with a jacket thrown over her tiny bikini. Within a few seconds, you hear Jun's bark from the stage area.
"We begin. Erzbet Dushka."

--------
--------

The Pole Star Crown



What could have been a simple setup - a pole in the middle of a stage - was destined not to be so with you, Foxglove and Gan Lu Zhen involved. All three of you have strong opinions about the stage décor. Thankfully, they're also all similar opinions, and you end up with darkly elegant pink and purple environs for your contest. Foxglove gets himself similarly adorned. He shows up with vibrant purple and black butterfly wings painted around his eyes, glossy purple lipstick, black body paint on his hands and feet that gives way to purple stems and petals up his shins and forearms. He wears matte purple trunks that accentuate his pelvic line. When he sees you before the competition starts, he gives you a raised eyebrow and a cheeky little smirk.
"I hope you came prepared. You've a lot to contend with." You get the feeling he's not wrong. He has the most sculpted thighs you've ever seen, and his physique from head to toe tells you he's going to have no problems at all with the physical aspect of the competition. Plus, well, you can trust a dancer to execute on choreography. You have time for just a little bit of banter before Gan Lu Zhen gets things started.

"Welcome, my lovely guests, to the Pole Star Crown. Tonight I present to you two luminaries of the art, two beings of eminent grace and beauty. They compete for your pleasure and for mine, but I ask that you give them both the love and appreciation that they both well deserve. Now, without further ado, our first competitor. I present to you the flawless Foxglove Victor Somerset."

Foxglove's routine begins with him sprawled seemingly haphazardly on the floor. From there, he rises into a bridge, pushes himself up onto his shoulders, and brings his legs up to wrap around the pole. He slides sinuously upward, rising to grasp the pole with his hands, then spreads his legs wide, head hanging back as he swings around. He brings one leg up to hook above him, and the other slides straight down, pressed against the pole. Holding that position, he lowers himself slowly until his toes touch the floor, then relinquishes his hold with his other leg. He swings himself around until he ends with both feet on the floor, en pointe and apart with his body centred on the pole, then sinks into a deep plié squat. He holds it just long enough for the fans' attention, then whirls around again and is up to the top of the pole with seemingly little effort. Gripping with his thighs, he lets his torso fall, hanging upside down as he spins. His hands soon come back to the pole and he arches his back, bringing his legs down so that his feet nearly touch his head, thighs spread as he continues to turn. He holds this pose briefly before an undulation brings his legs back above him, then another brings his whole body outward. He holds it at a 45 degree angle from the pole before swinging himself down, wrapping himself tightly near the base of the pole, then sliding slowly to the floor in that position. He sinks to the floor, sprawled lifelessly again and his routine ends.

"Foxglove Victor Somerset, a creature of beauty nonpareil. Ready yourselves now, please, for our second competitor: The inimitable Vivian Vivisection."

Wol fucked around with this message at Nov 27, 2018 around 05:02

Wahad
May 19, 2011



Everything by design.




Caelynn waves at the camera with a bright smile. "I would say my cooking is the cooking we all grew up with. The kind you come home to after a long day at school, or what you are treated to when you stay at your grandparents over the weekend. It might not look pretty, but it's fuel for body and soul. Even a King's refined palate will appreciate it, no doubt." Walking over to the fridge while Roxie does her intro, she pulls out a big tupperware container featuring a dark brown liquid of some sort.

"These recipes are my grandmother's. My pop pop used to hunt, when the season was right, and when he'd bring home some animals, meemaw would use every last bit to make us some delicious meals. Some would go towards preserved sausages or the like, but most of it would go in stews, soups and roasts." Caelynn leans in to the camera conspiratorially, tapping the lid of the container. "What I've got here is stock I made yesterday according to her recipe. I can't tell you what's in it other than duck bones. The Flawless Executioners might be scary, but not as scary as meemaw if I reveal her secrets." She pauses appropriately for a moment to let the joke sink in, then goes back to her counter. "So I'll be making a duck stew, and then using Roxie's directions to flavor it with mole-style spices."

Another tupperware container is produced, and she opens it up to let the Bone King take a look. "But we'll be starting off with a little appetizer. This is home-made duck liver pate - again, a family recipe - which we'll be serving on crackers with some cranberry jelly. Between this and Roxie's recipes, we're aiming to combine my family's tradition and her cultural heritage to produce a richer experience than either of us could do on our own."

Doomykins
Jun 28, 2008

Didn't you mean to ask about flowers?



PDF

Bluff 20.

Vivi had been grinning from the moment another name joined hers for the pole dancing competition. She takes the time to trade in her leather leggings for stockings and seems to be wearing the same fur-lined coat she showed up in, her classic blacks lined up for hair, eyes and nails. As Foxglove "blooms" before her she bats her eyelashes at him like a prospective date and coos. "Perhaps I've bitten off more than I can chew!" Her voice is high on the kayfabe and suits the staged shock as she lets her gaze bounce between his thighs. Innuendo was on the menu tonight... and few foes were cautious when perceiving an easy win.

This poor boy. He didn't know this was a fight Vivi could never lose!

His routine was intimidating, his physique was flawless. As Vivi disrobes and shows off her perfectly crafted pin-up looks, she dismisses nagging analytical data about the rate of her toning versus the effort she's put into recent exercise. A week of Roxie's advice couldn't match a dancer's lifelong passion. But wearing skintight red leather trimmed with black fur in a nod to her original outfit, she isn't unarmed. Hugging every curve while still significantly more modest than her punk girl outfit, more stripper than interpretative dance. Vivi strolls over to the pole and stands out against the colors, leaning against it and waiting for her cue to go.

Technically Vivi is always cheating the need to keep herself in shape. And in fact, she could match any of Fox's moves if she paid no attention to her organic limits. But that would look hideous! Straining, tearing, bleeding! It just wouldn't do! So it is with intense concentration that Vivi conducts her sensual routine, executing moves that are impressive to the layman, but merely a natural extension of her basic flexibility.

And if she happens to linger while stretched to her limit, perhaps because she is not as good as her competitor, that's alright. If she needs to do simpler motions that end in provacative poses, it's only natural. Surely the outclassed Vivi needs to exert herself a bit more than would be expected! Maintaining the facade and genuinely executing within biological limits works her into a fine sweat and as she makes her final twist and presents her back to the camera, hands raised to her shoulders, maybe she would go a bit too far and tear a strap for her outfit, turning to face the camera demurely while covering herself.

The Flawless can win the promos. Vivi will take every red-blooded viewer and robophile as a consolation prize.

Doomykins fucked around with this message at Sep 5, 2018 around 22:00

Mortify
Feb 4, 2005




PDF | Orokos | Entrance Music

April 28 - Promo Session

Roxie lets Caelynn have the stage to start, talking about her local roots, which gets her thinking about her own roots, sinking deep in the earth - leading her home. When the attention passes back to her, her eyes refocus on the present.

"I grew up in the Temple of Quetzalcoatl, so my family is a little bigger than most," she smiles warmly at the memory of her hundreds of hermanos y hermanas, "which meant that the only way to feed everyone was to take turns cooking. I didn’t like the things we sometimes ate, so I learned to make things I wanted to eat. No one ever complained when it was my day to cook," Roxie grins triumphantly.

"Today, I’ll be borrowing some of Caelynn’s duck to make Peking duck street tacos - hoisin-lime glazed roast duck, pickled red cabbage slaw, lightly covered with red pepper avocado chimichurri on homemade mini corn tortillas, accompanied by duck chicharrones for a crunchy bite."

She waits for Caelynn to talk about the main course, adding only, "We’re going to give her abuela’s stew recipe a little patada mexicana from my abuela’s mole coloradito recipe. I can’t reveal all the secrets," Roxie winks at the camera conspiratorially, "but expect to taste ancho, guajillo y chipotle chiles with notes of Spanish chocolate."

And because it wouldn’t be Roxie without a little booze, "For refresco, I’ll be making everyone spicy cranberry mezcal palomas to help wash it all down. If you’ve never had one, you’re in for a treat. The chile spices and grapefruit soda combine with the tart notes of the cranberry to brighten any day," her smile is radiant and infectious, and promises a fierce competition to come.

Mortify fucked around with this message at Sep 5, 2018 around 21:53

K Prime
Nov 4, 2009




PDFII Entrance Music

Erzbet takes the stage- deliberately playing up her very real nervousness. While she's no slouch in the muscle department- nobody who is is going to survive long in this business, unless you're a cheater like Vivi- she knows she's been put first to deliberately lose. And despite knowing that's the point, it doesn't make the whole thing any less awkward.

"You proposed this to get out of your comfort zone a bit," she reminds herself. "Just pretend you're palling around with bro at the gym again." She looks out. "The show... must go on."

She goes through the poses - flex like this, bend the knee like this- just like she had when she was imitating him when she was a kid. It's ok. She's muscular, but there's muscular and there's defined the way some of the others are, and she ain't that.

But that's the point, right.

She's just there to load the bases. Tiger will hit the big one.

Athletics: 1d20+2 13

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK


Killervision 2259



As soon as the competition idea is finalized, Cinnabar insists on having a grand piano brought in for her to perform. When Phia responds with a raised eyebrow and a suggestion that she use a keyboard instead, Cinnabar gives you a look, clearly expecting your support. She maintains that it lends the competition some essential gravitas, and that surely the expense would be worth the polish on the finished product. However the issue is resolved, the competition moves on. The two of you take some time to practice your instruments - and if Cinnabar has her way, it won't be completely solo. She comes by to listen to you practice, offering input here and there, enjoying hearing you play. She invites you to come do the same.

Your judge, White Witch Cai Minhua, proves fairly easy-going when it comes to prep. She feels that a minimalist set is the best choice. She plans to use her magic to add a little flair to simple lighting effects, giving the segment some professional polish while making sure the spotlight stays both literally and figuratively on you. Both of you, she posits, can fill a room quite well on your own. Cinnabar agrees to this, but adds that she'll want to get some smoke in the air for her slow, husky blues number. She asks you to go first, reasoning the smoke will be a pain to clear for your song if you go second.

The show opens with all three of you on stage. The White Witch stands between you and Cinnabar, head bowed and carrying a candle in an ornate holder. She gives a couple lines about the power of music to stir even the dead. She prompts each of you to introduce yourself, then wraps up the opening by dedicating the night's performances to the "restless spirits who dwell here". By the end of the night, she promises, we shall know who the spirits favour.

--------
--------

Project Asylum Runway



The last competition to be suggested, this also ends up being the last competition to take place, owing to the time needed for Erzbet and Stardust to actually make the outfits. Qieduan takes on a surprisingly involved role in making the whole thing come together. While she admits to being no seamstress, she's determined not to let the spot she's involved in be an afterthought. After giving Erzbet a little bit of poo poo for not responding to her Crickt call-out during the final American Made match, she jumps right into research. She quickly figures out that the kind of show you're making devotes a fair bit of time to the process. As such, she asks Abaé to borrow a few of the arena's floating cameras, and sets them up to record you while you work. Every once in a while, she comes by to comment on your progress for the camera's sake (you, not sharing a language with her, can only assume her meaning) or prompt you to comment yourself.

By the time you're about to film the final portion of the show - the reveal, the runway, the part where Roxie and Cinnabar get to strut their stuff - you've designed elegant stage dressing and a tight script as well as a glamorous outfit. All parties are determined to make this vignette as perfect as possible. While Qieduan has had no problem using a speech translation app to communicate with you out of character, she's not remotely about to consider doing so in-character, so the script is of utmost importance to keep everyone in the know and on their cue. Judge Qieduan's final decision isn't made yet - it's still up to both teams, particularly Roxie and Cinnabar, to sell their final product. But the decision, at least, will be readily apparent from body language.

With everyone gathered on the set, you first shoot an intro for the whole vignette, then interviews with the designers, then break from the fashion design show format to interview the models - Roxie and Cinnabar - about the outfits they're showing off. You are all competitors after all - you all get the time to get your side of the story in. Finally, with all of the preamble out of the way, it's time to walk the walk.

Chère Stardust and Cinnabar are called on first. Stardust comes out first to briefly introduce herself, then fades to the back to let her work take the spotlight. Cinnabar then makes her entrance, strutting confidently down the runway. Stardust's creation, the centrepiece of her outfit, is a deeply ruched dark indigo dress hanging from one shoulder. From her bust to her thighs, it hugs her body tightly, accentuating her ample curves. Below that, though, and in the short sleeves, the garment is allowed to billow gracefully. As she moves, there's a sparkling that catches your eye from the depths of the ruching. It seems to loosely follow the swooping diagonal seams, forming an almost sash-like effect across her torso. She reaches the end of the runway and turns on her thin, strappy silver heels, hair bouncing subtly with its oh-so-slightly-more-than-natural curl. Her remaining accessories are tastefully understated, serving only to accentuate the dress: a delicate silver chain bracelet on her shouldered side, and a simple, round midnight blue clutch with a silver clasp that merely peeks out from between her fingers. Qieduan gives her comments, and Cinnabar proceeds to the back. It's time for you to show what you brought.

K Prime
Nov 4, 2009




PDFII Entrance Music

The other day

"We're never going to win on elegance or understatement," says Erzbet, critically. "We're not that kind of team and they are, and they know it. We're going to have to go loud."

Now
"Ok. You know what to do, Ruinous," says Erzbet, fluffing one final bit of the costume. "Make them think they're looking at a goddess. Move like you'll devour them all. You're our snake and it's our time to strike."

Erzbet's clearly gotten way too into this divinity theme but the costume is there to make it more real.


With the dress of Quetzalcoatl, her hair spiked in a fauxhawk with shimmering gold, and lapis lazuli dripping from her neck and arms, Roxy is completely unignorable. The pattern shimmers between scale and feather based on angle, and if Roxy can move with the serpentine grace of her patrons in the only understated part of the costume, a pair of black heels almost invisible beneath the hem, it'll shimmer all the way down the runway.

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK




Both you and the Executioners set to the cooking with gusto. The Bone King is present throughout, offering commentary that runs the gamut from encouraging, to questioning, to outright mocking when each team inevitably makes a slip-up or two under pressure. He never fails to keep you ominously informed of the running clock - while it's a time frame you've all agreed on ahead of time, it doesn't leave you with a lot of room for error, and now and again you swear you catch him shaving seconds off. You have to go hard to make the time limit. At some point, from the other table, you hear Simoon having what sounds like a small panic attack as she realizes she's gone overboard with the thickening agent in her soup. At other times, they're positively merry. While he has a couple minutes to wait, TC entertains by showing off some flashy knife skills. As she cooks the waakye rice, Simoon tries to teach and lead everyone in a traditional song she and her mom used to sing in the kitchen when she was little.

The clock runs out with just enough time for everyone to finish. When all's said and done, you're proud of your work. You take a peek over at the Executioners' table, and they look confident too. Based on appearance alone, you can see why. Their presentation is exceptionally clean and polished. Their dishes look absolutely delectable. You see them looking over your way in return, appraising your offerings. Simoon gives you a nod, the expression on your face reading clearly as impressed. TC just flicks his hair out of his face with a little jerk of his head and turns to your judge.
"Looks like we have some stiff competition, but I'm feeling good about this."
"Volunteering to go first, are you? A gutsy gambit. Come, then, render your tribute unto The Bone King!"

The Bone King works his way through both teams' meals, his feedback almost all complimentary. Of the Executioners' dishes, he's most taken with the canapé, raving about the bold, deceptively complex combination of flavours, and the succulent texture of the grouper. Their soup and main course, he's quite fond of as well - it seems they fixed whatever problem they might have had with the soup's consistency. He dings them for the soup not following the "seafood theme" he seems to have just decided they're following, though. Simoon raises an eyebrow at this but doesn't comment. He moves on to your table. Things are looking a little dicey at first as your appetizer gets (by the Bone King's standards) a mild reaction, but things really pick up after that. Your stew really knocks it out of the park - he's absolutely enamoured with it. He wraps up by knocking back Roxie's drink, a little too fast to really appreciate the complexity. By this point, you're not expecting moderation from him anyway.

"The Bone King! Must deliberate!" He turns dramatically to the camera, flinging the erstwhile alcohol glass into the distance with an exaggerated gesture. "Arrest your attention! The court of the Bone King shall rapidly resume." True to his word, he stalks off to go think...a few feet away, where he plops down in a folding chair. He gives it a little bit of time - just enough that one wouldn't call it a snap decision. In the meantime, the cameraperson hauls a low dais onto the set and gets you to stand in position so you can be in front of your kitchens, standing side by side facing the dais where the Bone King will be. When he's ready, the Bone King makes his ascent.

"Four gallant gladiators of gallery stand today before the Bone King. Four exemplars of edible excellence. Two teams. Two meals. Both delivered delicacy that would sunder the spirit of a lesser being. Both executed with skill, persevered through the wiles of fate, and honoured the traditions of their ancestors. But only one shall be blessed with the bestowal they so richly relish: A place in the court of the Bone King. Shall it be: Roxie Ruinous and the Rose Knight, Caelynn, drawing on American and Mexican cuisines to create a complex, mouthwatering feast of fowl? Or shall it be Monique 'Simoon' Boatei and TC Bright, with their sumptuous, delectable African array of seafood and spice-elevated staples? The Bone King shall discard this dilemma! He has decided! With a spread that puts on display both teammates' culinary identities, identifiable yet seamlessly synthesized, with an entrée on which the Bone King would gladly dine until the end of days, The Bone King declares the winner to be: Roxie Ruinous and the Rose Knight, Caelynn!" The Bone King lets out a maniacal cackle. "Kneel and be christened in the Bone King's culinary knighthood!"

----

After you give your winner's speech, the teammates (and Deathless members) who've been hanging around off-camera start to get expectant looks in their eyes. As per Roxie's statement, both teams have made enough for everyone. Now, that everyone is more than eager to try the product of your diligent, excellent work.

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.



PDF | Orokos | Entrance Music

"If she says she needs a piano, she needs a piano," Siroko informs Phia. For her own part she insists on having her own drum set, and setting it up herself. But before then is practice, which she is more than willing to share with Cinnibar. Her own suggestions and critiques are probably the less useful ones when it comes to the music itself, since she's mostly self-taught. But she definitely has plenty to offer when it comes to presentation and staging.

"Siroko is a tough act to follow," Siroko tells Cinnabar by way of agreement when the other suggests Siroko go first. She's arrived wearing a white off-the-shoulder top with black collar and cuffs tucked into a high-waisted black skirt over light blue tights, and black sneakers with rainbow colored straps. She has a large white flower braided into her hair, as well as a necklace of silver plates and matching pendant earrings.

For her introduction, she steps forward. "You know who I am. You came here tonight to hear drums better than you've every heard before, and Siroko Tuuli will make it happen."

When it comes to her performance, Siroko has chosen to play a full song rather than just a drum solo. Her playing is energetic and enthusiastic, though she doesn't bother with drum tricks. Her singing voice is on the deeper end for a woman's, as despite not being classically beautiful, it does have compelling and unique quality to it. She finishes her performance with verve, then stands from behind her drum set to bow.

Wahad
May 19, 2011



Everything by design.




The moment the bell starts, Caelynn gets to work on the things for her stew. It doesn't take a lot of work, but it does take a lot of time; so that's where most of her attention goes while Roxie begins working on the prep for the tacos. It becomes quickly obvious that while she is a decent cook, her knife skills are nowhere near Roxie's level; so she pleads for help with the cutting and chopping of veggies, while she begins preparing the meat and spices. Once that is done, she throws in the base for her stew - first some bacon, then some root veggies and onions - throwing in a little showmanship by flipping a bottle of brandy across her shoulder before throwing a good glug in the pan, scraping up the fond, and lighting the pan on fire with a smile to the camera. While she tries to play it cool, it belies the intense practice she had to put in yesterday to make sure she could actually pull it off without breaking anything or setting it on fire.

Once the stew is finally going with almost all of the stock she'd prepared beforehand - and all of the spices needed for the mole-like sauce - she moves to helping Roxie with the rest of the tacos, taking on herself the work of making the dough for the tortillas and mixing together the slaw; at this point, she's definitely sweating. She knew that this was going to be a tough act to keep up, but she's never had to work this hard in a kitchen before, being more the casual kind of cook. Still, she tries to keep her focus, so she only loses a little time when the dough just doesn't seem to want to come together.

When the time starts to tick, she realizes they're tight on space. Thus deciding to focus first on what they'll serve the Bone King, and forget about the rest for a moment, she presses out two small tortillas, leaving them on a plate for Roxie to top, while prepping a single cracker with the pate and cranberry jelly. Then, she goes back to her stew, taking a big ladle-ful of duck meat, offal, and veggies in a large bowl, topping it off with a bit of crumbled chocolate and pumpkin seeds and some of the crispy skin from the duck just as their judge calls the time.

She can't help herself squeezing her hand into a fist as she nervously taps her foot while the Bone King does his judging; but as he praises the stew, she practically glows with joy. That joy explodes when Roxie and her are declared the winners, and she jumps in the air with a "Yes!" before recalling that they're on camera and keeping her composure. Caelynn goes along with the theatrics and kneels besides her teammate, before the segment is wrapped up and she walks back to the kitchen. "Alright everybody, come get it! Simoon, can I have some of those prawns? They look amazing."

Wahad fucked around with this message at Oct 2, 2018 around 14:26

Mortify
Feb 4, 2005




PDF | Orokos | Entrance Music

April 28 - Project Asylum Runway
Stage Music

As her chosen music swells to its first crescendo, Roxie crosses the threshold and into the spotlights, decked as she is in the shimmering feathers of her patron. Erzbet had a talent for the dramatic and Roxie was determined to lend the outfit the verve it deserved, that Big Quetzy deserved. Her walk is calculated, lascivious, her hips rolling in an incredibly small möbius motion with every step, casting the feathered folds of the gown into a hundred new angles with every stride. She slithers down the runway with purpose, head high, shoulders back and gaze fixed ahead.

When Roxie reaches the end of the runway she squares her stance, letting the inertia of her walk settle into the fabric for a moment. With the suddenness of a striking predator she spins in place, one and one half rotations, twirling the hem of the dress away from the runway floor, feathers and scales iridescent in the popping, hot lights. As the rotation ends, she brings her forward foot down with the beat just hard enough to add a percussive shake to her arranged jewelry, carrying the motion into her return walk; as confident, collected and flawless as the initial stride.

April 28 - The Great Killers' Cook-Off

As soon as the timer starts Roxie practically sprints towards the assembled ingredients, knowing that making enough food for everyone in the time frame allotted is a very daunting task from years in a kitchen. Wrapping her apron around herself, she begins with the preparatory work, getting the slower cooking ingredients ready for heat, then moving on to working through the busywork of assembling everything else into measuring dishes to reduce the time spent moving between different tasks later. Though she has never cooked competitively, she has spent an inordinate amount of time cooking on the clock and it shows, from her knife skills to her indefatigable demeanor. When it becomes apparent that Caelynn is in over her head, Roxie moves to assist, assigning out an easier task.

As the camera crews come for face time with the contestants, Roxie is mid-prep for the duck chicharrones, giving them gentle flips to keep the rendering even, "Mi? I've been cooking since I was a niñita, in the Temple. My tías y abuelas taught me to make tortillas before I could ride a bike," she beams at the memory, pulling the frying pan from the heat and placing the crackling duck skin on towels to drain away the oil, "I've always loved to do this, for friends and family. If I hadn't found a place as a Killer, maybe I would have been a sous chef somewhere, ¿no?" she turns her attention fully towards the camera, her gaze suddenly intense and fierce, "Count your blessings, Kylie Michiba" a direct call out to the immensely talented rising star Nouveau-Argentinian chef making her way through the toughest competitions in cooking on all the feeds. Once the skins are dry enough she tosses them into the bowl of Caelynn's five spice and gives them an even coat, setting them aside to assist with the delicate mole stew transmutation.

She experiences few hiccups, save for a critical masa harina malfunction that nearly seals their defeat - the flour has dried out too much under the hot studio lighting - but a bit of warm water, a gently firm touch and almost all their remaining time hydrate the dough enough that Caelynn has no trouble pressing out the tortillas for the BONE KING. The duo reach a perfect harmony in their final moments, sliding past each other in fluid, almost effortless motions getting the dish plated and the cocktail assembled. The very last moments go into mixing Jarritos grapefruit soda, lime, a splash of cranberry juice, and tequilla into the a tart and sweet Paloma to accompany the cranberry pâté.

---

As the BONE KING enigmatically grades them and their competitors, Roxie finds herself more nervous than she expected, sinking and buoyed in waves with his reactions to their dishes. When he suddenly declares them the winners, she is as jubilant as Caelynn, pumping her arm in a triumphant gesture and exclaiming, "¡Vaya!" She plays along, kneeling to be knighted by the BONE KING, but once the cameras are off she dusts her hands off on her apron and heads back to their kitchen to keep the fresh tortillas coming for all the assembled members of both teams. Handing someone a cold tortilla was tantamount to heresy, and she was raised better than that!

Mortify fucked around with this message at Sep 26, 2018 around 04:42

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK


The Pole Star Crown



Foxglove watches you with a smug look on his face as you return backstage. He's sitting on a chair, legs crossed, a jacket thrown around his shoulders but otherwise not any more dressed than during his routine.
"Wise of you to concede like that. As versatile as your style is, you've never been able to pull off gracious defeat."

Gan Lu Zhen soon launches into her take on your and Foxglove's performances. She puts them both in positive terms, but while she is complementary of your performance, it's clear she doesn't consider it a contender for this particular competition. Before she actually announces the result, she calls both of you back out to the stage. Despite the manufactured suspense, though, her decision comes as no particular surprise.
"The winner of the Pole Star Crown is...Foxglove Victor Somerset." He takes the news with a satisfied smile and a gracious bow for the camera. Gan Lu Zhen continues, addressing him. "What you showed us today was truly exquisite. Your artistry is on another level." She turns to you, then, with a smile. "Vivian Vivisection, what you showed us today was not pole dance, but it was evocative nonetheless. I feel like it was very true to you. Your passion shone in your performance." Giving a deep nod, she turns back to the camera. "Today, both Foxglove Victor Somerset and Vivian Vivisection have given us something beautiful. If you enjoyed what you saw today, or it touched you in any way, I invite you to show them your gratitude and appreciation." With a flick of her wrist, her fan unfolds, and she shoots the camera a coy look. "Until we meet again." She turns and starts to slowly sashay away, your cue to do the same.

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The Mx. Asylum Universe Classic



When Erzbet returns to the back, Simoon greets her with a warm smile.
"I'm impressed," she says, and seems to mean it. The competition continues as planned, each competitor coming out in turn. Sagong Jun has little commentary to offer, contenting himself with barking out directions to move things along. When all of you come out for the lineup, everything devolves into the pre-planned chaos. Erzbet "unexpectedly" summons Tiger Fury, Cinnabar runs out, and all six of you get increasingly over the top until Jun calls for order.
"I have seen enough." Jun folds his arms over his chest and fixes his stern gaze on each of you in turn. "Return to the line." Once you all simmer down a bit, he enters into a brief period of deliberation. After taking a few moments to silently contemplate, he waves the cameraperson over and delivers a few unscripted lines in his native Korean. Once he signals the conclusion, the cameraperson hops back into place and he steps forward to render his judgement.
"I have decided. The winners of the Mx. Asylum Universe Classic are...Erzbet Dushka! Siroko Tuuli! Tiger Fury." He crosses his arms and gives a slight bow. The camerapeople swivel back toward you and come in close, cueing you for a winner's statement.

--------
--------

Project Asylum Runway



" (This is a stunning look. Not just eye-catching, but transfixing. Like something from another world.)" Qieduan comments to the camera as Roxie slinks down the runway. " (The model, Roxie Ruinous, embodies this dress perfectly. I can barely take my eyes off her to focus on the details. But those, too, are gorgeous. I can't believe Erzbet made such a beautifully complex dress in so short a time.)"

After Roxie returns to the back, to a wink from Stardust and an "I'm speechless. Bravo." from Cinnabar, all five of you gather for the final judging.
" (You've brought me two very different looks today. Erzbet and Roxie, what you made, I'd call an experience. It's a runway look that people will be sharing and talking about all over the world. If you tried to take it to the red carpet - well, I'd believe in you to pull it off, Roxie, but you might be the only one. I wouldn't dare. That dress belongs right where it is - on the runway and on you. It's incomparably radiant, outrageous, and magnetically sensual. And speaking of sensual. Stardust. Cinnabar. While your opponents went for a breathtaking runway look, you opted for something more wearable but no less gorgeous. If you wore this to the next Hollywood gala, you'd have the stars eating out of your hand." She goes on for a bit longer, picking out and complimenting specific details of each outfit. Finally, she brings things around to the decision. " (My job today is to pick a winner between you, but you've made it so very hard. Both your dresses are made for different contexts, but both are gorgeous. Ultimately, though, I think one of them popped a little more for me. I think one of them is going to have people talking a little longer. And that one...is the dress made by Erzbet Dushka, modeled by Roxie Ruinous.)"

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK


Killervision 2259



Cinnabar makes her entrance as you're on your way out. She wears a black bodysuit dress with sheer shoulders and trail, sparkling with rhinestones throughout. As you draw near, she fixes you with a sultry look, and her hand, clad in a subtle silver gauntlet chain, finds yours. She pulls you in for a brief yet passionate kiss. Then, just as quickly, you part, and she makes her way over to the piano. She slides onto the bench, flips her hair out of her face and takes a breath. Her fingers touch down on the keys.
"They call me Cinnabar. If you don't know me, you're about to." She shows off a little with her intro before settling into a sultry blues rhythm. You know what's coming - you practiced in front of each other, after all - but when she starts to sing, her husky voice pulls you in all the same. The song's an old standard, but her take on it is magnetic. "I've got some habits even I can't explain; go to the corner, I end up in Spain," she sings, wearing a clever little smile halfway between a jest and an invitation. As the song goes on, a subtle layer of smoke begins to form in the room, clinging around the edges of the spotlight and lending credibility to the atmosphere. "Why try to change me now?" She drawls as the song comes to an end. Her final notes trail off, suggesting a story with more yet to tell. With a wink to the camera, she rises, hips swaying as she makes her way offstage.

The camera fixes on the White Witch, face cast half in shadow in the midst of the now smoky gloom.
"A place like this is always rife with spirits." She gestures lazily and a silvery flame licks into existence on the tip of her finger. "You wouldn't often notice them, but tonight?" The flame pulls hard to the left as if caught in the wind, though her clothes and hair don't follow suit. "A good piece of music can stir the dead, and that they're still dancing speaks very well of what we've heard tonight." She grows the flame until it fills her palm, then holds her hand out, offering it to some unseen force. Whatever it is, it apparently does as bidden, as the flame goes on to spin wildly around the room as if being swung around in a partnered dance. The White Witch gestures again, and the flame winks out. "Siroko, Cinnabar, come to me." She waits for you to come out and take your places in the centre of the room. Side by side, facing the White Witch, Cinnabar's fingers intertwine with yours once again. The briefest of smiles breaks on the White Witch's face, a blink-and-you'll-miss-it breach of character. She holds out a hand and five small silver flames appear in the air in front of her. "Your music - your playing, your voices - excited the spirits enough that they agreed to play a little game with me. I've given them five flames, five votes. They're to carry the flames over to whichever of you they prefer. In secret, of course." She smirks, and the flames tentatively vanish from sight as if covered. A couple moments pass, and the White Witch nods. "They are ready."

Five flames rise around the pair of you. Two around you. Three around Cinnabar.
"You were amazing, Siroko. But I know my strengths." Grinning, she pulls you into another kiss. "Thanks for the help," she whispers. The flames part. They sway around the room for a bit until the White Witch calls for the segment's end and waves them out of existence.

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The Great Killers' Cook-Off



"I'll trade you for some mole." Simoon grins at Caelynn. "I'm not going anywhere before I taste the dishes that beat me." As agreed, both teams have made enough to feed all the Furies, the Executioners and the Deathless combined - a tall task for the time limit, but you pulled it off. Everyone eagerly rushes in, having been lurking offstage in anticipation this whole time.

"Kate, this is delicious!" Lin beams. "I didn't know you could cook like this - you and Roxie, of course," she nods at the latter, "but you're just full of hidden talents, aren't you? This is - this is really, really good."

Meanwhile, the Executioners' manager Abaé Banu approaches Roxie.
"I'm a little mad I didn't compete with Monique. I feel like the two of us would have won. But, honestly - I'll never say anyone's cooking is better than ours, but this is amazing. So I'm not really mad." She smiles slyly. "The Bone King may be wrong, but...I can see what he was thinking."

Mortify
Feb 4, 2005




PDF | Orokos | Entrance Music

April 28 - Wrap-up

Roxie smiles at the White Witch's compliment, but demurs, "I just ran the kitchen, all the good stuff was little Rosita's. Don't tell her that, though, she might grow too big for her saya," she whispers this, in full earshot to Caelynn who is standing next to Lin.

She welcomes Abaé Banu to her little tortilla station with a big smile, entirely in an element she does not often get to show anymore, "Then I am glad you weren't my opponent today! Taste is such a delicate thing, ¿que no? To this person, your meal is heaven delivered straight from above. To another, it is plain, dry and sobrecocido. We got lucky today. Maybe some day soon our two teams can find a reason to come together and do this again. Then you can take the gloves off, and show me a thing or two," her tone is wry, but she is sincere. Their teams may be at ends soon, but the spirit of honest competition has forged bonds here, "But maybe we don't televise that! I have a reputation to maintain!" she lets out a throaty laugh.

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK


"Perhaps!" Abaé laughs. "You're a good sport, Roxie. I think I'm just craving competition, but who knows, maybe one day we'll get to face off. I think I might learn a thing or two from you as well."

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--------

The two dances - between Caelynn and Foxglove, and between Vivi and TC - take some intensive practice to prepare in such a short period of time. Thankfully, as Killers, you're well capable of the requisite physicality. Your respective partners end up taking opposite approaches to the choreography. TC takes the lead in his and Vivi's number, spinning, dipping and twirling the agile little robot around. Foxglove, meanwhile, has Caelynn assume the traditionally masculine part - she has the strength and poise to lift and hold him, and he has the flexibility and balance to pull off moves that make both him and Caelynn look great.

The Caelynn/Foxglove routine uses Caelynn's sword as a focus to tell the story of a battle between dark and light. He starts the number with it, cloaked in shadow with the sword's brightness barely shining through. Caelynn swiftly enters the scene, and the ensuing number sees the sword passed back and forth as the style shifts from ballroom (with Caelynn in pursuit) to contemporary (with Foxglove in pursuit) and back again.

The Vivi/TC Bright number tells the classic romantic comedy story. From the meet cute to the happy ending, most of what makes the number exciting is the physicality. When Vivi proves willing to get a little racy with it, however, TC jumps on board and spices up the number with a few risqué moments. His character changes from dashing gentleman to charming rake, and Vivi gets the feeling this whole thing is going to fit in wonderfully with her brand.

Wahad
May 19, 2011



Everything by design.




April 28

When everybody's tucking in and Lin compliments her food - and Roxie proceeds to hype her up - Kate protests at first. But she does so with a mouth full of the (amazing) rougaille shrimp, and almost embarrasses herself by spraying it over Simoon and Qieduan standing nearby. Reminding herself of her manners and wolfing down her mouthful, she smiles sheepishly. "I, uh, I don't reallly do this kind of stuff a lot. When I cook for myself it's just simple stuff. I don't think I could've come up the mole thing if it weren't for Roxie providing her insight and experience." She brushes some hair out of her face, and smiles. "But, well, we had to win, so I had to pull out all the stops; and my family can cook, even if I don't have a lot of know-how. That's why I used my grandma's recipes as a base. I'm glad you - and everybody - likes it."

After the Dance

When the final move is made, Caelynn is left breathing heavily, sword in hand with her muscles burning. "Whew! That was amazing, but I'm definitely going to feel that in the morning. God, how do you even bend like that?" She gestures futilely, referring to one of Foxglove's other moves earlier in the scene. The training in particular for a novice like her had been intense, but she'd loved every minute of it. "I'm glad I could get to do a dance number, though. It was fun!"

K Prime
Nov 4, 2009




PDFII Entrance Music

"Maybe I should pick up a side job," says Erzbet, offering Roxie a high-five. "Though I generally would prefer darker colors..."

Her eyes light up. "Wait, if we win this, we could leverage that into a product launch. A fashion blog- 'Fly Furies.' Then an actual product line. We're all iconic, let's be icons... Where's my tablet, I need to make notes." And off she goes, lost to the realities of the present promo in favor of future ones. If bothered, she'd probably say "Someone has to be future focused around here!"

The fact that it provides a convenient excuse to avoid talking to more people today is entirely a side effect. Of course.

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK


While the next couple days keep everyone even busier than usual, Vivi does find the time to think back on her stalking of La Familia. She'd started off following Giovanna "The Scalpel" Franzesi and the team's manager, "Godmother" Lucrezia De Luca - the first of the team to leave the arena.

Flashback - April 27, 2259

"It's not the loss that bothers me, nonna. It's that I don't see what anyone's doing to fix it."
"That's because you're only looking at this in the short term. I keep telling you, you can't just fix everything overnight. Training, planning, practicing strategies - these things take time."
"I have a hard time believing that when every team that's come in over the last year has gotten better than us. Either we're not taking this seriously enough or, I don't know, we're just not good enough."
"You say 'we', but I know you mean your teammates. Don't forget you're part of the team as well. The victories and the losses."
"That's what I'm saying! I'm trying to improve, but Zio and Mike haven't been any help at all lately. It's always the same drills, the same training, the same advice. I'm learning more from my opponents than I am from them, but even that's going way too slow. I'm not getting any bites for my open challenge - just Monique, and she probably only did it because she's, like, the nicest person I've ever met. We're just not a big enough deal anymore for that to be a big draw for people."
"You should be thankful to have Raf and Mike on your team. You've already learned more from them than you realize, right down to the way you think about this sport. To be honest, I have, too. Their experience has been invaluable in helping me run this team."
"Has been. And with Zio, I get it. I don't have a problem with him, I'm just mad. But Mike? What does Mike actually do anymore? We call him a leader, but do we even need him for that? Zio doesn't, I don't, and Julia only listens to him half the time anyway."
"Enough. I understand that you're upset, but Mike is as much a part of this team as anyone else. We can talk more about this when you have a cooler head."
"Fine." Giovanna takes a deep breath. "You heading home, then, nonna?"
"I am. You have that paint night tonight, right?"
"Yeah, but not 'til later. Think I might go for a run and take a nice, long bath first. Get myself calmed down before the girls have to deal with me."
"That sounds like it'll help. You take care of yourself, okay, Gigi? I love you."
"I love you too, nonna."

The two embrace, then head off in their respective cars. As it doesn't seem like Giovanna is getting up to anything especially salacious, Vivi decides to keep camping out and waiting for other Familia members. She doesn't have to wait long before Sante Rosso, makes an appearance. He's flanked by Pietro and Fortuna De Luca. The three carry on an animated conversation about baseball for a couple minutes until Pietro says his goodbyes and heads off to catch a train. After he leaves, Fortuna shoots Sante a graver look than you've come to expect from the Familia wildcard.

"We need to talk."
"Yeah? What about?"
"I think you know. About Python. I wanna square with where we're going with this whole thing."
"Hey, I don't know much more than you do. But if you want to talk, sure, I wouldn't mind making sure we're on the same page. Should we go-"
"My car. Let's go for a drive." The two jump into a slightly rusted black Datsun with visible hail damage and a deep dent in the driver's side front fender. A bumpin' bass line accompanies the starting engine, followed immediately by Fortuna peeling out down the street. Vivi, however, remains on the case. As fans are still leaving the arena, it's easy enough for her to find a taxi - never mind that it's one someone else called - and give chase. It doesn't prove terribly difficult to follow them. Though Vivi almost loses them in traffic a couple times, they end up simply heading up Front Street, down Wharton and into the lively Grays Ferry district. Swerving down a couple side roads, they end up stopping in front of a weathered-looking row home on Stanley. The two stay in the car for a couple minutes, presumably still talking - which is perfect, since it lets Vivi get in position. When they do get out, they head up a set of scuffed stone steps to a thin white door sporting a robust-looking custom lock.

"If this does turn out to be Luke's idea, what're you going to do?"
"We'll see. I'm no snitch. But if you bring me into something and don't even tell me what it is, I don't owe you poo poo." The two fall into a tense silence, mercifully cut short by the house's inhabitant answering the door.
"Hey, Mike. Julia. Sorry 'bout the match, but I couldn't decide who to cheer for. My best friends or five hot chicks? A guy shouldn't have to make that choice."
"No harm no foul, Luke. If your dick had the power to decide matches, I'd cut it off and use it as a weapon."
"Yeah, I'm gonna need a beer after that mental image. Invite us in, why don't you?"
"Sure, c'mon in." The three head on inside, shutting the door behind them.

Wol fucked around with this message at Oct 4, 2018 around 13:27

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Doomykins
Jun 28, 2008

Didn't you mean to ask about flowers?



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Present Day

Taking Foxglove's bait would be the worst thing she could do so there isn't much more to the pole-dancing competition than demonstrating, once again, that she is quite able to sashay with the best of them. Her internal routines are already checking in with who really matters: the more dedicated fans who will watch things streamed live. And the die-hards that would call themselves Vivisectors and keep up with the little star's rise and frequent falls.

The rest of the events are a chance to be a happy guest, complete with sincere praise for the taste(and not much else) of the prepared food, and to catch Roxie after the fashion show and lavish her with praise. When the next dance and the comedy skit come up it is time for Vivi to shine, particularly as she has some experience with television work! By the end of things she's in a very chipper mood and making sure TC has a contact number <3

Flashback - April 27, 2259

Watching Giovanna fills her synthesized blood transportation core with pity. After her next match provides a proper window of time, she'll need to follow up on this one! Trailing the others leads to a delicious scoop and she's laughing as she sneaks into the cab ahead of some sucker, calling out the window that she'll "make it up to you sometime!"

Once in proper snooping set-up, Vivi considers her options. She doesn't really have anything all that stealthy aside from herself. She was an excellent assassin droid, sure, but actual spy gadgets were beyond her in both expertise and finances. Taking the simplest route she begins parkouring quietly up the side of the house, checking for a window that is more accommodating for eavesdropping.

Acrobatics 15 to navigate the side of a house and associated windowsills. Luckily this should be a doable DC...

Doomykins fucked around with this message at Oct 17, 2018 around 19:11

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