Jack-O' - Jack Out of the Box

[Toggle Names]

Description: Clio just wanted a nice day. One that did not involve monsters or madness. What she finds is a Gear, someone that could be her Valentine! Unfortunately, as a Valentine, as nice as she may seem and as friendly as she can be, she still has a goal in Southtown. It's really not an if, but a when, that the two come to blows!



[JACK-O']
Even at night most of Southtown is a blaze of light. In the face of war, Japan hasn't lost its spirit. It hasn't lost the hustle of commerce, the flow of the crowds and all of it under a sea of incandescent power. Bright lights and big city all around, the energy of a place teeming with life that bleeds out to the surrounding neighborhoods, a beacon that beckons to leave the quietude behind and join the living in the urban sprawl.



Tonight isn't that kind of night for some. Out of uniform to enjoy some peace and quiet, awake and stepping with a jaunty stride and clinking and clanking of the length chain she wears, Clio St. Jeanne of the Imperial Protectorate is on the street. And perhaps it's her general attitude that keeps her from joining the rest of her former academy classmates as an officer, but it has allowed her a degree of freedom and the opportunity to enjoy the night life her way.



It's by one of the coffee shops, open late, its interior lights throwing tall shadows on the sidewalk, that Clio is strolling along. She hums to herself a steady beat and considers that maybe some of her music choices don't make for the most catchy of humming tunes. Her hands in her hoodie pocket, she braces against a brief cold wind and leans against the wall for a moment of shelter. The damn chill wasn't quite Metro City, but it was colder than she expected. So she hunkers, and in hunkering she looks up, and in looking up, she thinks.



Heidern, Ikari Warriors, hunting down Hazama of the Intelligence Unit. The same one she heard back in Metro City. She was curious about this as she was many other things. And then there was Relius Clover, offering more to her. Offering potential. And back again the Heidern's suggestion of looking to what was going on while she busied herself with simply wanting to keep people safe. It was a lot to think on. She thumps the back of her head against the exterior wall of the coffee shop. She needed some damn fun.

'Some damn fun'.



A lot of people could use some fun! Not all of them, actually, were people. Some of them just looked like it. Others didn't. Clio's focus was that of a woman with much potential, of multiple offers, of multiple alleys! So many choices and so many branches. One path could lead her away from all the rest! Could she, would she!? None of that, particularly, interests another.



Southtown is a furnace of activity, people shoveled in to keep the flames alive between Japan and the UN. Sometimes the UN is not so straightforward. Sometimes the UN allows some of their 'units' to roam free. Sometimes... they just do. The latter is why there is a white clad woman with a halo standing atop a building, a coffee shop, right above Clio. Clearly crazy, insane even, as the Halo floats majestically, sparkling in a white and red light - the woman taking a step forwards off the front of the shop, arms wide - and diving forwards.



Clio would likely notice it, the shadow of a woman above, falling down towards the ground. Face, head first, in a parabolic arc intent to crash straight down and, in her fallacy and fervent belief in religion, sacrifice herself to satiate whatever god she believes in. That is ... not the case here. The GEAR falls, this much is true. The ball and chain that she is tied to, Dropos, suddenly locks in the middle of the air - freezing in place. The Gear's body is wrenched - but it doesn't seem to care or mind. It's focus - different.



Specifically, the upside down head of a Jack-O'Lantern, glowing in bright green as she stares upside down.



"TRICK or TREEEEAT~!" Comes a sickeningly sing-song voice, 'claws' upside down as she hangs there before Clio.^



The woman begins to swing then, afterwards, left and right. Hair trailing back and forth as she does so. "Wheee~! What're you doing anyways, it doesn't look like any fun! ... Oh! Well, I guess you might be smiling from how I'm lookin' at you!" There is a laugh from the woman? behind the mask.



The attire is odd, white and red, a 'halo' with four points hanging beneath her head and everything, red and white hair, depending on the side you view it from, flittering as she swings.

Sometimes rain falls. Sometimes snow falls. Sometimes a meteor falls. This time, a woman falls. And while Clio does notice her; It is, after all, somewhat difficult to not notice a woman dropping from a roof, Clio doesn't exactly try and catch this woman. She instead opts to yelp and nearly climb up the wall behind her. She will leap against monsters and dangerous men, but she still isn't that big of a person and gravity is a harsh mistress.



But then the woman doesn't splat. She just stops, hung in the air by a floating sphere. This is different, to an extent. Clio just sort of stops and blinks for a moment. She looks left. She looks right. For the briefest of moments, her chain glows with a faint violet light, markings and writings that aren't normally seen. Then they fade. And then, Clio laughs.



"Okay, okay, here, have a biscotti," she says, quelling her laughter at seeing the girl and handing over the chocolate cookie she had bought. It was worth it. She bends a little, leaning sideways to not quite match the woman on the ball. Clio's in a good mood, and this other woman is clearly something else, so screw it might as well enjoy the moment of interest. Much more fun when she's awake at a decent hour and not when the day star is making her sleepy.



"I'm walking. It's fun, kind of. I'm also getting coffee, and that is definitely fun. Also, your hair is awesome and I need to know how you do that." Not the floaty bit. she could use her chain to hang upside down, but the hair, that's something.

"OOH! TREAT!" Comes the response from Jack-O', grasping the cookie as she does and throwing off the mask almost, it vanishing off her face as fast as she previously put it on! Revealing... wham! She's just a weird girl! Or at least, seemingly a weird girl. Munching on it, the woman takes no time in imbibing the sweets, chewing on them as Clio continues to talk. Swinging upside down a bit, Jack-O continues to listen to Clio talk, the sugar inside of her being used to power something... more.



With Clio informing her all of that, Jack-O' rights herself with a nice heavy swing, flipping about to land on her feet and ending with a peace sign! "O-KAY!" Her head tilts, finally, however. "Walking isn't really fun though! Mm, kind of? Haaah." Is the response from the 'weird' woman. Coffee is also fun. Her hair is awesome. "Hehehe... coffee is fun as well? It makes your mind fast, and your eyes all wide, right? I don't really like it though! They say that sugar's enough for me, too...But I LOVE sugar, so I should have some kind of sugar coffee!" Jack-O' answers.



Eyes focus more directly at Clio as she walks up, hips swinging as she does. "I believe the most prudent answer to your request would be to identify the specific genetic combinations that were used to modify my hair in this was... I imagine you'd want the exact RNA structure as well, and that could take time to convince the scientists to release, especially since it was used in the creation of at least a few other major, and an unmentionable number of minor creations..."



The woman pauses for a moment, finger at her chin, before she shakes her head. "Or did you ask how do I get it like this, in color? In that case, the answer you are looking for is ... inheritance."



Tap. Tap. "Would that answer suffice?" Dropos nearby stares upwards at Clio, the chained familiar rolling about the two. Clio might notice it moving. If it wasn't the obvious case before, something is... a bit odd about the woman before her.

This woman. She is interesting. And even if Clio's eyes don't quite show it, the drawn smile on her face should. She gives an acquiescing nod toward walking. "You're pretty fun. Wouldn't have seen you if I wasn't walking," she points out, relaxing into a lean against the coffee shop wall.



Her half-lidded expression drops when the coffee is mentioned and she gets a toothy grin. "Oh, yes, there's a world of coffee out there. You got mocha, you got mints, you got vanilla, my favorite is the kind they put chili in so it tingles in your throat." She looks the woman up and down. "Have you not had a coffee like that before?" she asks, shaking her head. "You need to do something about that."



And then it seems joking stops. The woman rattles off some information. She inclines her head, the chain hanging from the collar about her neck rattles. "Both of those are the same, really, my mother's a biologist. I'm not. But I got what you're saying. Still, I really like that red underside, white topside. It just looks cool. The answer's good. My name's Clio, by the way. Nice meeting you."



She looks down at the ball and gives it a little nod. "So who are you and your little friend?" She gives the familiar a short wave. Sure, the woman was strange, there was definitely something way, way out there about her. At the same time, who was Clio to judge. Given her abilities, her chain, the abilities of more than half the people she knew. At least this woman was friendlier than Heidern.

It's true, isn't it? "Yes, I believe that is the same principles that govern String theory, in that eventually something is bound to happen if repeated enough and..." She trails off for a moment, but doesn't really continue after a note of scientific fact or three. "I imagine I might be just a little - and I will have to try some of that coffee in the future. It's usually not something I need, however." The woman remarks, hands resting on her hips as she seems to have regained her marbles.



They can only stay so collected for so long, however.



Nodding in agreement with Clio, Jack-O' idly removes a lollipop from her pocket and places it in her mouth as you continue, "A pleasure as well." Is the response, smiling towards Clio as she does so. As the ball is nodded towards and the question asked, Jack-O' thinks about the question. "I'll start with Dropos. Dropos is my familiar, and I believe you would classify me as Valentine Unit number X X X X..." There isn't even a pause. Voice and inflection changing nearly immediately. "That stuff, but call me JACK-O'~! Ohhohoho~! I'm a SCARY Gear! Be afraid! Rawwwwwr~!" He exclaims, giggling as she does so. "That's my name-o~! What about your name-o? Hmmm... if I hadta' give you a name... weeeeeeeel-l-l..." She hops onto Dropos, beginning to roll on his head like a bear on a ball, "Hm hm hmm... I dunno~! What's your name?" She stops, standing atop the familiar, peering down.



"HmmMMMMmm? Don't be all shy now! Heheheeeeeee." The lollipop sticks out the corner of her mouth.

The girl's a little odd, actually pretty cute, and honestly not that overtly threatening. Clio is at ease with her as she probably could be. "It's not about need. Sometimes it's just nice to have a coffee and watch the world. Or look up at the stars. Though, I have to get pretty far away from the city before I can see them with all the lights down here."



That the girl's leaping from straight-laced to a little on the silly side might be a nuisance to some, but here it's just a refreshing change of pace from the days she's been having and all the seriousness about. And then the proverbial cat is out of the bag. Gear. Clio blinks, and looks Jack-O over, and the ball, and Jack-O again. And then she laughs. Because Jack-O laughed and true or not it's a little silly. "A Gear, huh? I've heard of them. Oh, jeez, did you want me to shout when you scared me?" she asks with a laugh.



The ball underneath the girl is given a look. "It's pretty cute. Like a metal pumpkin." She also taps the big black ankh on her shirt. "And check it out. We kind of match."

"OOoooh, you like to watch the world, too? Sometimes I wonder if I'll get to watch the WHOLE world! Eheheeee, that'd be like an ant on a mountain though!" Jack-O's arms extend wide, upwards, as she makes a nice pose to show it! Thaaaat wide. "If you close your eyes, it's pretty dark too! Can't see any stars... huuuh." What a conundrum.



"Nope~! I just wanted to be a scaaaary monster Roar~!" Jack-O' nearly sing-songs, standing on one leg and trying to keep her balanced on Dropos as she talks to Clio. "We're beeestieeees~. Well, sisters? Ah, no, I have lots of sisters. I guess I can't have any more. Or caaaaan I?" The question will rack her brain, clearly, for days to come.



"Mhmm! Dropos and I are chained together, for life we won't part~. The bonds of friendship! And metal! Heheheeee...." She picks Dropos up as if the sizable metal pumpkin was a toy and places him on her head. It'd probably be bad for her to do the same to Clio, though. A little. "Dropos IS a metal pumpkin! I tell him all the time, right Dropos?" It sort of nods.



Her fidgeting stops, eyes once again gazing towards Clio, eyeing her in a more stand-offish way, "It's not that you should be afraid, or scared. The emotion depends entirely on an outside stimuli to your inside consciousness." Jack-O' shrugs, "The question that is necessary to ask, but has not been, is what you are here to do." With Dropos still teetering upon her head, Jack-O' glances directly at Clio. "Please state your intentions here in Southtown. We can continue the discussion after, but I am required as of now to keep track of forces of measurable strength within the Southtown borders that I am able to locate. As I am not a Command unit, I imagine this is within my perview."



"Tiiiick-tock~! Tick tock! Time's a wasting~! Hehehe, doooon't wanna be late~." She begins to wiggle under Dropos, causing the pumpkin to teeter back and forth under her head.

Clio laughs, outwardly so. Ending with a small sigh and relaxing against the wall of the coffee shop. "You know, sure. You're the nicest person I've met in Japan so far, Jack-O," she says, though given the likes of Heidern, Relius Clover and such that hurdle is currently several feet underground.



She smiles at Dropos, the antics of the two, this is nice, and fun. She's genuinely having a good time. Truth be told, this is the kind of thing she wishes people would see when it came to Gears, the UN, NOL and their ilk.



Then the question comes, and she looks back at Jack-O. A serious moment only completely undermined by Jock-O balacing Dropos on her head like that. "I, that wasn't a fake please, was it. And you think I'm a force of measurable strength?" she follows up with. "Because I'll take if that was your way of complimenting me." She runs her hand through her short hair, the collar clinks against her chain. "I'm here to protect people. Honest. There's a lot of nice people around and a lot of big things around here. Scary things." She points at the coffee shop. "The owners of this place. The people that have the book store down there. That school. There are bad guys out there and they can come out at night, so I come out too. And maybe I just see stars or some cool shit like you, and sometimes a monster shows up. Whichever. Sorry, bit melodramatic and not poetic at all. I'm a half-goth tonight, I think."

"Oohooooo! I can't wait to tell them all! You hear that Dropos?" She asks, taking the little pumpkin off her head to grin at it, "Out of everyone in Japan, we're suuuuper nice!" It may sound nice, and happy, but there is a sinister tone to it all. For real. Not that Clio would understand. With who she met, though, it's true. Jack-O' is not /wildly offensive/.

She is a monster, though. A Gear. She can't escape that. Even as Clio wishes that Gears could be seen as 'good', why, Gears would them be friendly - but they were used as weapons, weren't they? Truth be told, Clio dances within a mine-field.

The question, asked of Jack-O' moments before, ticks and tocks, Jack-O' wiggling as she waits. Her head shakes as Clio asks, then nods, Dropos clasped to her chest, smiling over to Clio. There to protect people. Nice people around. Big scary things. Owners of the store. Etc. Bad guys that come out at night. She's going in circles.

Dropos and Jack-O's eyes are glazed over, hers spinning. "Waaaah... that's a loooot to that, huh?" her head rolls back and forth, almost in daze. "I GOT IT! I know just what to do~!"

Dropos is dropped, falling to the ground. Jack-O' leaps skywards, 'halo' hanging above her head, four points, spinning wildly as she does. A ... house is created? A small hut pops right out. Jack-O' grasps it, piledriving it straight into the ground before Clio and nearby the coffee shop. Then, she leans on it, giving a peace-sign to Clio.

"Want me to get you another coffee? It's my coffee shop now~! Hehehe.... I can have as much delicious coffee as I want..." Huh?

The smile goes pleasant again. "You're not normal. Your chains flashed a certain energy upon arrival and you've talked about wanting to help others." The woman remarks, stating matter-of-factly. Another small house is placed, much more gingerly than before. It bears a separate mark. "You've also considered me a friend, and one of the nicest people in Japan." POP. Another house, placed besides it. Three of them.

Standing besides them, Jack-O's hand waves through the air, piano keys floating in the air magically afterwards. Her hands stretch, fingers lacing together as she does so, bending them backwards. "Then you will not intervene. That is my analysis." They strike the keys - the doors at the front of the small houses swinging open. A spear. A sword. A wand. All carried by white marshmallow like 'creatures', Gears, as they stride forth. "Go." She commands, striking a key, then another, hands dancing along them. "Sabotage. Subjugate. Sack. Salvage." Another group of three stride through the little huts, charging off.

With a grin, Jack-O' winks at Clio, "Heheheeee... great night for a siege, y'know? They'll never expect it~! I'm so cute and trusty, no-one'll expect it...~!" The repetition is on purpose.

[CLIO]
There's the plastic politeness. The fašade of happy-go-lucky. For a brief moment maybe there was something in someone out here that didn't reinforce Clio's opinion of the world at large. "You really want to do this? This how it plays out?" She asks, stepping from the wall. Her lips curls.

She reaches for the collar at her neck, detaches the chain. Energy runs through the metal and the links twist and bend, wrapping up her arm and fist. The opposite hand holds the spiked end that was a moment ago wrapped around her waist. "Damn it. This was supposed to be a fun night." She laughs bitterly and with a flip, her hood flops up onto her head. "I guess we'll be looking at a different kind of fun.

Her boot scrapes at the ground as she paces back a few steps. "Your analysis is wrong, Jack-O. Sorry, but it looks like neither of us got what we wanted out of the other." She starts to whirl her chain, the sharp end glances off the ground, dark violet sparks of chi spark up from when the point scrapes.

[JACK-O']
It's not a facade. Not that it matters to Clio.

The Gear... is broken. Not shattered. Not rent. Simply created incomplete. Technically not whole. Yet... perfect. It would take an explanation. One that she would not share, obviously enough. The only Gear that would, 100%, not reinforce Clio's opinion may be currently hunted in Southtown somewhere. Their sister, the runaway. With a grin, stupid as it was, Jack-O' nodded her head. "Oh? Do I wanna do this? Yeeeeep, soooorry." The Valentine remarks, "Not-sorry~! This is Japan! Y'know how it goes! Ehehehe... the weak are preyed upon the strong! I got a trick AND a treat outta ya~!"

Fingers dance across the keyboard still, the white blobs running around moving - and more are coming. More and more!?

The collar at Clio's neck detaches, energy running through metal, links twisting and bending - and there's a fist! A FIST! Spikes are slid out as well. Jack-O' oooohs and aaaaahs. "Oooooh?" Jack-O' asks.

"You'd be incorrect on all counts." Jack-O' Valentine states - pressing a button on the keyboard in the air. It flashes red before vanishing. "This isn't about fun. Nor is this an unexpected result. This is the expected scenario." Jack-O' claims, "When I mentioned that I was a Gear, it was an attempt to verify what you had heard, intel wise. When I asked what your purpose was, it was to verify what you hold important." Her hand turns over, the woman taking a step or two forwards. Even as Clio steps backwards, chain whirling and sparking up violent chi from the scraping, Jack-O' Valentine strides forwards towards her.

"Gears... we are classified as part of the UN against Japan, and that I was here... you talked of monsters, right?" She muses, twirling forwards with the mask, "Time to get dirty!" The mask snaps on, glowing green, matching that of Dropos. "I might be the weakest of my sisters but..."

"I've got TONS of tricks~!"

The sing-song words, as Jack-O' makes claw fingers at Clio - Jack-O' doesn't even move! She doesn't need to. The odd mashmallow like forces around, that she deployed, suddenly begin to turn back around to Clio. Surrounding her. With angry faces, the 'calvary' charge forwards, spears pointing towards Clio's body, burning green energy at the tips. "Already made this place my doll-house. Do you mind being played with?"

COMBATSYS: Jack-O' has started a fight here.

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Jack-O'          0/-------/-------|


COMBATSYS: Clio has joined the fight here.

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Jack-O'          0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Clio


COMBATSYS: Jack-O' successfully hits Clio with Spectral Artillary.

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Jack-O'          0/-------/------=|===----\-------\0             Clio


[CLIO]
The expectation was for those claws to be used. Not quite for the marshmallow people to be turned on the offensive. Spear and spear alike jab and stab at Clio, forcing her to start moving around in quick spurts and jumps. They cut at her exposed skin and bite at her hoodie. This was already pushing her back more than she wanted.

She needs to cut the distance. She dashes inward, jumping over the small marshmallow people. Down in and close to Jack-O. Her fist, balled around the weighted end of her chain, wreathed in metal and chi, curves up and in, a quick rabbit punch of force.

COMBATSYS: Jack-O' blocks Clio's Stygian Fist.

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Jack-O'          0/-------/-----==|==-----\-------\0             Clio


[JACK-O']
There's a chant from one of them. Then another. /Then another/. With a toothy grin, the mask of course focusing upon Clio, Jack-O' glares on in all her Halloween glory. "Ohhhh, are we done talkin'?" The Valentine asks, the Gear already grinning from the mask. You can be sure she is underneath as well. As she closes the distance, Jack-O' is ready. The mini-gears all about make it hard for Clio to move. That's by design. That's her /plan/. Dashing over the small gears, Clio comes down to close in on Jack-O. That balled up fist, the chain surrounding it, curves towards her face and that mask. Jack-O' - well, the eyes stare up at Clio specifically. "Follow the leader, good idea!" She claims. Just as Clio comes lashing out.

Suddenly Dorpos. The ball and chain lunges into her hands, the chain meeting the chain and chi from Clio, metal clashing against metal. "Like you saiiiiid, besties~. Two of a kind!~!" How cheerfully playful Jack-O' seems to be. Until it once more, almost randomly, swaps. "Chains are a very interesting weapon. It's unfortunate that... let me demonstrate!" Pushing against the chains from Clio, Jack-O' grasps Dorpos in both hands as she lunges forwards, the mouth on Dorpos opening wide as she brings it down towards Clio.

At which point, if she isn't fast enough, she would be covered in a metallic 'armor', restricting all her movement.

Leaping upwards, grasping the armor-clad Clio, she would crash down towards the ground with Clio, spinning as she went, ending in a STUNNER~! Or something of the kind of wrestling assault one might end up with if you clotheslined your opponent into the floor, breaking the metallic pumpkin shell and freeing them.

Of course, it would bite an arm or something if it didn't wrap around entirely.

COMBATSYS: Jack-O' successfully hits Clio with Elysion Driver.

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Jack-O'          0/-------/---====|=====--\-------\0             Clio


[CLIO]
Caught, wrapped up and immobile. It's not a position that Clio likes to find herself in. Though she has little time to reflect on the matters at hand. She's grappled, pulled downward, slamming chokingly hard against Jack-O's arm.

Pitched away by the force of the blow and the shattering 'armor', Clio rolls against the ground and struggles to her feet. She pants and plants her feet at her shoulders. Partially crouched. She's got Jack-O's attention. With little to go on. She opts for a more aggressive tactic. She quickly whirls up her chain. Spinning it around wildly. She clashes the spike against the ground, sending a cascade of sparking chi splashing in JAck-O's general direction.

The moment is fills the air, Clio races into the picture, through the chi shower and swiftly arcing kicks backwards, hoping to take advantage of her sparking shower.

COMBATSYS: Clio blitzes into action and acts again!

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Jack-O'          0/-------/---====|=====--\-------\0             Clio


COMBATSYS: Jack-O' blocks Clio's Whipflash.

[     \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////              ]
Jack-O'          0/-------/--=====|====---\-------\0             Clio


COMBATSYS: Jack-O' dodges Clio's Bad Moon Rising.

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Jack-O'          0/-------/--=====|====---\-------\0             Clio


[JACK-O']
It all comes crashing down!

That is to say, Jack-O' really made an impact! Ehehee.... she has better material, honestly! With Clio pitched away from the force of the blow, shattering the armor of Dorpos, Dorpos magically reforms - biting along the chain and once more returning to her side as her familiar! Panting and struggling, Clio is watched by Jack-O' rather silently at first. Whirling that chain forwards, the spike clashes against the ground - and Jack-O' is forced to bring up an arm to prevent the assault of chi! It would be noicable to Clio that there was a slight flash before the energy made it through ... something. A warning, perhaps, to Clio in the future. It crashes against her arm, burning into the fabric and the limb of the Gear.

Jack-O' expected to be free from the assault. That was foolhardy. Facing her, Clio races straight towards her, a foot suddenly set to meet directly with her face. Dorpos bites the ground, lunging away - and pulling Jack-O' Valentine with him, the Gear rolling backwards as the marshmallow like ghosts begin to crowd around once more. "Oof!" She proclaims, coming to a stop against the house - larger now - that she had placed earlier. Dusting herself off, she rises. "As I said before... you knew I was a Gear, and about Dorpos, but never asked what I was capable of, or what I can do... was that by choice?" Jack-O' questions, "Oh, I don't think you know still..." A hand rubs against her chin, thoughfully. "TOOO BAAAAD~! Ehehehe!" The voice, childish, comes out, "I'll show you ALL about what I can do!" Dorpos is picked up, the ball and chain familiar swung around like a flail! ... On her leg though?

That's why she's on her head, spinning towards Clio, swinging Dorpos straight towards her!

COMBATSYS: Clio dodges Jack-O''s Medium Strike.

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Jack-O'          0/-------/--=====|====---\-------\0             Clio


[CLIO]
Clio's backflip lands her a distance away when she's finished. She stays crouched, ready, hip swaying like a cat ready to pounce. She stares down Jack-O, fingers drumming on the length of chain in her hands. Jack-O was quick, but it was only a matter of time now. She was getting closer and closer to a good tag.

"It was," she admits. "Weapons are weapons. What matters is how they get used." She smiles, still partially hidden by her hood. "And you're so eager to show off."

The ball and chain swings over toward her. She moves quickly, forward, jumping and rolling in the air. Dorpos sails underneath Clio's rotating body. As she torques in mid air, her foot comes out. A quick toe kick, the spikes driven through her boots a blaze of chi energy.

COMBATSYS: Clio successfully hits Jack-O' with Light Kick.

[       \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////              ]
Jack-O'          0/-------/-======|====---\-------\0             Clio


[JACK-O']
The ball and chain swings under, Dorpos sailing underneath Clio's body. Torquing in the middle of the air, the foot swings around, that quick toe kick, impacting against Jack-O', spikes and energy mixing together to impact her directly against her mask and side of her body.

The woman is, understandibly, silent, as she is struck. The Gear rolls through the air, bouncing against the ground, before coming to a stop on her feet, twirling. There is a moment she simply pauses, staring at Clio throught he mask. "Wow." Jack-O' reacts, a single stream of red trailing down the side of her head. "That was ... so totally dorky!" With such a declaration made, Jack-O' laughs it up! As if it was the funniest thing she said today.

The far more logical voice speaks, "A nice, simple thought. A human could never consider, or understand, what it means to be a weapon." Jack-O' begins, hands on her hips as she looks at Clio, head on. "You talk about weapons, you call others 'human' weapons. Yet that is all the decision made by humanity. Something we would never have a decision about." Oh. She is eager to show off? "That much is true." There's another pause, "It's not always by choice." The Gear adds, "Then let me show you what choice I do have."

The eyes of Dorpos and of the mask on her face light up in a bright green. The houses, pumpkin shaped, begin to swell and grow in size. "You gotta choice too!" It's far more childish now. "Stay... or get outta here in one piece! I won't warn you again, slow poke!" Dorpos is once more swung forwards, but Jack-O' doesn't move far. The chain... the chain, however, shows something odd. It's variable length. It was not ten feet between her leg and Dorpos. Right now, it's managing to cross that distance towards Clio, the jack-o lantern leaving a green streak throught he air.

Imagine that.

COMBATSYS: Clio dodges Jack-O''s Power Strike.

[      \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////              ]
Jack-O'          0/-------/-======|====---\-------\0             Clio


[CLIO]
Half-lidded eyes as Clio watches and listens to the way Jack-O goes on and on. The girl's behavior was grating, but at the same time pitiable. Still, pity wasn't enough and Jack-O remained a threat to the people in Southtown. This wasn't a matter of choices. Clio lost her choice the moment Jack-O made hers. So what exactly was the difference between them?

"So you do care," Clio responds to the offer to leave. "Thanks. I mean it."

She gives a laugh as the ball careens toward her. The glowy trail a clear and present target. With a spin and twist, Clio just simply isn't there anymore. And with a flick of her wrist, the weighted end of her chain hurtles toward Jack-O. "I got one, too!"

COMBATSYS: Jack-O' overcomes Thrown Weapon from Clio with Calvados.

[       \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////              ]
Jack-O'          0/-------/-------|====---\-------\0             Clio


[JACK-O']
On and on. On and on. That's just how Jack-O' valentine feels about a few things! One of them... well, one of them is exactly what she faces towards Clio now. Pitiable? Perhaps, but not for the reasons that Clio might know. None of them matter for the relevance of the meeting in Southtown. "Oh, you're super welcome~!" Jack-O' grins behind the mask, Dorpos careening forwaards, the ball spinning - and then Clio vanishes. "Ah! Magician! That's a neat parlor trick!" Jack-O' exclaims, before the chain hurtles towards the Valentine. The kiddy voice vanishes, Dorpos' chain flicked, returning the familiar backwards.

"The warning was not just for you." Jack-O' proclaims as her head tilts once more back to Clio. "It was for this town." As the chain hurtles forwards, Dorpos knocks it away, simple as that, as the head smashes it to the side - flicked straight upwards. Jack-O' leaps as well, pulling her hand backwards, rising skywards as Dorpos swells with a sickly green energy.

"This city isn't going to be here soon, anyways. I don't think they'll mind if we destroy a part of it. Logically, I would be correct, wouldn't I? This is a war. I guess I was being too human."

Dorpos is struck with the gloved hand, the jack-o-lantern screaming downwards towards the ground where Clio is at, a sickly green blur as it moves to impact the ground where Clio rests upon, a detonation upon impact that would erupt outwards, sending a shockwave of chi, creating the ground - but mainly a spike upwards, erupting twenty feet into the sky as a pillar.

COMBATSYS: Jack-O' successfully hits Clio with Calvados.

[       \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////                    ]
Jack-O'          0/-------/-------|=======\-------\1             Clio


[CLIO]
An explosion. Clio soars through the air from the force of the blast. There's a moment to think, when all is slowing down. Which of the two sides is more annoying. Both of them are a bit much, she determines. Jack-O was a maniacal laugh away from being in a comic strip.

And then she lands. Thud. But yet, it's not quite over. "I'm still standing," she says, pushing up. "And say what you want about no choice. Sometimes we don't really get one either. Not yet." The light drains from her chain and dashes forward again, ducking down, spinning, a sharp boot coming for Jack-O's midsection. The wannabe knight is still fighting, she's not lost it all yet!

COMBATSYS: Jack-O' interrupts Medium Strike from Clio with Lantern Thrust.

[          \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////                          ]
Jack-O'          0/-------/---====|=======\=====--\1             Clio


[JACK-O']
As Clio soars through the air from the force, Jack-O' is non-plussed. "I'd give that like, a 7~!" She sing-songs once more, "I said I warned you. Didn't I? Eheheheeeee did you think I was being coy?" The Gear asks, falling back to the ground to land on her feet, taking another step forwards to lean against the growing pumpkin house. "EHHEHHHEEHHEEEEE~!"

Or soooo you think.

"Oh don't get a chance, huh? Lemme call a whambulence!" The light drains fron the chain as Clio ducks down, spinning, that sharp boot coming back for her mid-section. Jack-O's mask stares, as cruel as before, as Clio grows closer, "Fool me once~." She giggles, "Shame on you~." That cannot be a good sign. It isn't. With the wannabe knight dashing in, the Gear's instincts are sharp.

"You shouldn't have tried the same strategy twice." The chiding voice comes from behind the mask, her leg twisting around to pull Dorpos back to her, lashing forwards to meet Clio with a knee to the boot - it slams into Jack-O's leg, in a position to do far worse. It wouldn't manage that, however. The ball and chain, Dorpos, smashing into Clio from behind, removing the embedded spike in her leg. Jack-O' ducks lower, arms on the ground as hips bend down, feet slamming, kicking Dropos straight upwards to strike Clio once more, before pulling backwards, twisting around, to come back to a standing position.

She places the candy in her mouth again, behind the mask, "Can you stand now?" The question comes, "Bravery and courage are different when you are outmatched. Courage might be the ability to understand when that is and to cut your losses." Pause, "'Course if you stand up again, It'll be fun to knock you back down~."

[CLIO]
Down, struck hard, struck fiercely, and sent scattering aside. Clio lay on the ground, breathing deeply. She slaps the ground, the chain slides shallowly into her hand. It snakes up her arm. But she still lay on the ground a moment longer.

She pushes herself back up to a weak standing. She staggers to the side, her hood is down. She's bloodied from her nose, her lip swollen. Her eye badly cut. And yet, she laughs quietly.

She wipes her nose with the back of her sleeve and breathes in hitches and heaves. A step back. "You made a choice tonight," she says, "Just like me." She twists and hurls the spike of her chain where it makes a thud. The light glows still but this time, she gives it a firm pull and bodily yanks herself away. She's wounded, she's learned a thing or two, and now she's making an escape.

COMBATSYS: Clio can no longer fight.

[          \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Jack-O'          0/-------/---====|


[JACK-O']
"I made many choices." The switch more random than before, swapping back to a normal voiced woman. "The choice to continue service and not be rendered 'a failure' because I attempted to follow human emotion over orders. The choice to teach someone a very important lesson." As Clio escapes, Jack-O' watches, "Aaaaand the choice not go hunt down and finish off someone~! Have a good niiiight. We should get coffee some other time, my treat!"

Sucking on the lollipop, Jack-O' strides forwards into the midsection of the little houses, sitting against one and flopping on it, hanging back and so off of it. "Mmmm, this is the life! Okay! Double-time! We're gonna find where the Command gear is, or we're going to make sure that they can't ever get this part of the city back!"

The Gear sits up, wiggling her feet. "Ah. Perhaps I was too rough on them... Naaaah. Next time I'll kick the Earth and break it too! Eeeheheee... that'll teach them! When the Earth goes CRACK! EEHEEHEEEE!" While not a command Gear, Jack-O' is rather adept at commanding a miniature army to take over some small locations... and that is just what she does!

COMBATSYS: Jack-O' has ended the fight here.

Log created on 00:29:19 11/26/2017 by Jack-O', and last modified on 11:03:55 11/26/2017.