Description: Fresh off of an attack in Southtown's Business District, a pair of virulently anti-human Darkstalkers flee into the woods, looking to relax and bask in the evening's slaughter. On their way to their den, they happen across what seems to be one last helpless victim with eyes full of tears and a basket full of violence.
It's not safe to go out after dusk... Who knows what sort of creatures lurk out in the dark? After the events with the Butcher, Southtown had to deal with its share of mythical creatures that were much more threatening than the past few attacks from monstruous beasts that occured the past few days. Swift and sudden skirmish Downtown, as if the creatures were out for blood, but the creature always retreated back to the park before anyone would come to stop them, leaving injured civilians and some dead in their wakes.
South Town wasn't the only town this sort of events occured, many major towns had similar troubles as of late. Minor threats that were perfect for rookie Monster Hunters... Yet it never ended well for any of them.
Loud growls and howls can be heard from streets leading up to the business district, a ruckus made by the sudden attack of two large were-beasts. The two creatures pant as they dash off and hide into the shadows, rushing toward the park in the middle of the night. Considering their velocity, they doubted anyone was able to follow them, and once they get deep enough into the forest, one of them laugh sadistically, "Ahah ~ now we're talking! Hunting down humans!"
It's not safe to go out after dusk.
The cruel Huntress known as 'Bulleta' to humanity and 'B.B. Hood' to those she preys on for profit has been absent from her usual grounds of Southtown for months. Since concluding a different, more personal hunt in the Arizona desert, however, she's found herself with more time to devote to the pursuit of more familiar breeds of monsters once again. A few hours outside of Southtown, a map of the city is stretched across an apartment wall and studded with push-pins. Cardboard boxes with things like 'KITCHEN' and 'MOM'S ROOM' scribbled on the side house enough munitions to service a special forces unit. There's no pattern, per se, but the pins told a story vivid enough for a veteran imagination to fill in the blanks: indiscriminate violence against soft, human targets, followed by a retreat to a forest or a park. There are several red circles around green map segments, roughly where the pins and their story suggest they ought to be.
All that's left for Bulleta to do is wait. 'Waiting' is the tricky part, because it also involves guessing. There's no pattern; the best guidance she has is stray reports of strange sightings from friendly police officers in some of the larger towns hit. It's quite likely that by the time she's perched in a Southtown Park tree, she's missed several attacks - in Southtown and elsewhere - that ultimately drew other hunters into the field-- for better or worse. It's a hard fact - a regrettable one, even - but it mostly winds up meaning that when she hears sadistic glee echoing through this patch of carefully cultivated wilderness, she knows she'd better make it count.
Which is what she does while she scrabbles down from her tree to stalk through brush, hoping to circle towards the Darkstalkers' flanks: she counts. Counts the tripwire lines laid here and there across obvious and not-so-obvious trails through the trees. Counts the claymores tucked beneath monofiliment thickets. Counts the vine snares...
It'll have to be cleaned up before she goes, lest any /people/ trip them later. Keeping an accurate tally is important. The Darkstalkers should have a clear path for a while, though: the traps are tucked deeper still into the woods, meant to catch fleeing prey.
A minute or two later, a few yards to the werebeasts' rear, bushes rustle for a beat then still.
A soft sob starts to sound before being choked off, trailing from a girl in a bright red hooded cloak and a long, red dress with a white smock. She's huddled on the ground, wiping at her eyes and trying(failing, badly) not to cry; her other arm's wrapped around her knees, trying(failing, badly) to hold shuddering at bay. Behind her, there's a picnic basket smelling sharply of cinnamon and allspice.
Who knows who might be lurking in the darkness?
It was just a matter of time before someone would fit the pieces of the puzzle together -- it was always the case. Those cruel slaughters on innocent humans never went unpunished for too long and the Darkstalkers were clever enough to show restraint in order to lure out potential preys they would be able to vanquish.
The creature whose laughter echoes through the park was a massive were-wolf looking creature. An large maw with sharp fangs, an intimidating presence and the bulk and brawn of a natural predator. He towered over his partner who was much shorter, almost chubby but who had his unique features : quills all over his hunched back and his feet and hands hands were large, with impressive claws that were a good eight inches long, keen and deadly, still bloodly from their encounter.
Of the two, he seemed to be the less mercurial and more reasonable as he grunts to the other, "Yeah, better not get used to it too much, stay alert, they'll come after us sooner or later..." The towering werewolf laughs and grins, "Oh, I can't wait to give them what they deserve..." His chubby partner just gives him a silent glare as his only reply as both of them are still high from their bloodlust.
The werewolf's keen ears finally pick up something : the soft sobs of a girl. His lips curl into a wide malicious grin and his gaze turns in her direction. The quilled Darkstalker arches a brow as he looks up at him, wary, before he glances where the other was, finally catching up the noise.
"Looks like we got ourself a little extra, ahah..." The other Darkstalker grunts and shakes his head, "That's not part of the plan..." He says. The werewolf glances up in his direction and gives him a shrug, "What's a little girl gonna do to me, eh?" The other one had no counter argument there... Yet he knows the pack needs to stay together and so... He follows him up. After all, they had to wait for hunters to come after them, why not add another kill?
The werewolf lurks closer to where he heard the sobs, staring at the frail and small looking girl from the darkness. Considering how she was clad and his obvious nature, the werewolf can't help but smile at the irony.
"Well, well... What do we have here ~ little red riding hood, lost in the forest in the middle of the night..." He says, moistening his lips as he walks out of the bushes, towering over the girl and casting his shadow over her. His large fangs show, drool slowly falling from his maw as he growls softly, obviously enjoying the terror he might give her.
Somehow, the girl shrinks further in the wolfman's shadow.
"P-p," she stammers after the soul-deep /scream/ driven from her by the looming Darkstalker, "please, my..."
Welling blue eyes flick away from the wolf and back again. The /other/ one mentioned a plan.
"... my p-parents, they... th-they..." quivers from her lips as she tries to crawl away from the beast. The basket digs a shallow furrow into the ground as it's shoved backwards.
The /other/ one mentioned a plan, so in the second or so before mortal terror compels her to squeeze her eyes shut, she's looking this one over and considering what condition his pelt might be in after weeks(months? years?) spent living a life of late night raids and lamming it in parks.
"... told me they'd c-call me when they were done shopping, they-- th-they-- p-puh-- please," she whimpers, "please, please, please, /please/, j-just-- just let me-- l-let me c-call them and j-just-- I-- I'll g-go, and nobody'll ever... ever kn-kn-know you were..."
Tears stream down her cheeks, especially once she cracks an eye open to stare up at him. The basket hits a tree, which in turn brings /her/ to a dead halt. Her hand makes a subtle shift from the ground to the cloak pooled beneath and behind her.
"Y-- you d-don't-- you d-don't have to-- j-just please, I-- I wanna see my mom and dad again...!"
COMBATSYS: Bulleta has started a fight here.
COMBATSYS: Poilu et Piquant has joined the fight here.
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Poilu et Piquant 0/-------/-------|======-\-------\0 Bulleta
COMBATSYS: Bulleta sizes up her target.
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Poilu et Piquant 0/-------/-------|======-\-------\0 Bulleta
The werewolf took his time, obviously delighted in the terror of the little girl. She had nowhere to run, he could easily outmatch her speed if necessary. He moistens his lips and takes a step closer every time she crawls backward some, looming over her. His seemed in perfect condition : obviously he was grooming himself well in spite of the weeks spent raiding around... Or perhaps those Darkstalkers aren't the same ones who did the other raids?
The girl's whimpers did little to dissipate that ruthless glee in his red eyes as his claws slowly appear at the end of each of his digit. "Hush, little one ~ it'll soon be over..."
The quilled Darkstalker finally approaches the scene but he reminds behind, wary and alert while his partner was out for a little more violence. He turns his gaze away, keeping an eye out while the other was enjoying himself.
With a final growl the Werewolf lunges at the little girl and throws his sharp claws straight for the girl's midsection in an attempt to eviscerate her.
COMBATSYS: Bulleta blocks Poilu et Piquant's Fury Swipes.
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Poilu et Piquant 0/-------/-------|======-\-------\0 Bulleta
Savage claws rend the air. Joyous fury carries the monster close enough to tear through a helpless morsel's midsection with a satisfying *SMAK!* as his talons carve her hastily drawn cloak.
Are cloaks /or/ helpless morsels supposed to go *SMAK!* when they're cut...?
The cloak's armored weave does its job as best as it can, transmitting an echo of kinetic trauma through Bulleta's wrist and arm while keeping those claws from opening her up on the spot. A stack of jagged lines along the cloak reveals an inner 'core' of golden mesh that might, to an untrained eye, appear to be for warmth as much as cut/stab protection. She jerks and twists backwards to seize the basket's handle, then stumbles towards her right to give herself a tiny bit of room in the little clearing the werewolf's cornered her in.
"N-no, please, PLEASE, y-you--"
Terror practically /bleeds/ from her voice, as if it's too much for her to contain. Her limbs shake with the effort; her left arm trembles so much, in fact, that the basket dangling from her hand actually begins to sway.
"-- you don't underst-stand, I-I-- I'm a g-good-- good person, I-- I--"
And sway, and sway-- and swing, and /swing/, tracing increasingly large and rapid circles through the air beside her.
"-- I r-recycle, I-- I get g-good-- good /grades/...!"
One of those circles is cut abruptly short, becoming a falling arc towards the wolfman's skull-- one so forceful that it /yanks/ the girl along for the ride.
"M-my parents and I, w-we-- we had a fiiiiaAAAAAAUGH!"
This close, a whisper of gun oil might be evident amidst the apple pie spice miasma wafting from that basket-- that dense, heavy /thing/ on a collision course with a monster's cranium; there's only so much that can be done to baffle senses beyond human ken.
COMBATSYS: Poilu et Piquant endures Bulleta's Shyness & Strike.
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Poilu et Piquant 0/-------/----===|=======\-------\1 Bulleta
A little bit of luck, perhaps? The small girl manages to slip out of his grasp and avoid his mighty claw? Not quite, for some reason, the werewolf was certain his claws managed to shred through her cloak... Or did it? Something didn't quite feel right, didn't feel the same.
His mind fills in the holes in logic : certainly she must have gotten away from him or slipped away. Why would he ever suspect her cloak to be more than meets the eyes? The more she squirmed and struggled, the longer his pleasure would last after all. The werewolf turns on his heels to face the red hooded girl, a wicked grin on his face, "That's not what good girls do ~" He chastises her. The way she swings that basket to try and defend herself was so futile it was cute. The werewolf's guard was wide open, obviously not expecting this little girl to be able to do much harm....
At least until she flings her basket straight for his head and he endures the blow... The impact causes him to take a few steps back, stunning him momentarily. He drops to one knee, dazed even though he braced for a blow. Her might forces him to reconsider -- all that sadistic playfulness dissipated as he growls in rage, "Why you little..." He snarls.
A mighty roar escape the werewolf's throat as he lunges forward savagely at her, his maw reaching out to try and bite at her neck and shoulder to grip her her crush her under his fangs.
The quilled Darkstalker arches a brow as he notices just how hard the other had gotten hit. Obviously she was no ordinary girl, considering how she had been able almost to knock the other unconscious with such a blow, "Enough fooling around, kill her!" He shouts.
COMBATSYS: Poilu et Piquant successfully hits Bulleta with Mighty Roar.
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Poilu et Piquant 0/-------/---====|=======\-------\1 Bulleta
*THOOMP!* goes the basket when a sudden rush of blood makes Bulleta's hand spasm open.
Blue eyes fly open in a moment of entirely too real agony, during which she twitches and starts fumbling for a grasp of his head.
Then that moment passes and she grits her teeth against the pain flowing from neck to shoulder to everywhere else. Honed muscles knot and tense while her hands fall to her sides. Her eyes settle into dazed slits; has she already lost enough blood to start slipping out of consciousness? A little thing like her-- how much could she really have to spare...?
He's so much /larger/ than she is, and his teeth are so /sharp/.
And he brought himself down so, so low to tear her neck open.
They're practically eye to eye as she bleeds. Hunger meets shuddering, tearful horror while gurgling whimpers fill his ears.
They're practically eye to eye, except for the moment when hers slip from his to catch a glimpse of his cautious, quilled partner. With fresh blood gushing to slake his thirst, does he even notice when she meets the quilled 'stalker's gaze and purses her lips around a silent 'shhhh'?
Can the wolf see the smile flickering over her lips like a flash of folded steel, or is he too busy feeding?
Will he have some warning before her attention returns to him?
Before a hand flashes up from somewhere beneath Bulleta's cloak with a knife poised for one of those hungry eyes?
COMBATSYS: Poilu et Piquant blocks Bulleta's Power Strike.
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Poilu et Piquant 0/-------/--=====|=======\=------\1 Bulleta
The quilled Darkstalker can't believe his eyes as he stares in astounishment at the scene that's unfolding in slow motion before him... The way the massive wolf had lunged at the small girl and bite her cleanly and while she was driven back by his charge, the way she casually turned her eyes to him to 'hush' him. It was surreal.
Yet even if this sight paralyzed him, he is able to gather his wits and shouts, "She's a hunter!" Or at least, that's what his gut instinct told him. A hunter like none they had seen before. The werewolf's ears flick as he hears the voice, the taste of iron from her blood driving him crazy for violence but he manages to hear him through this shroud, his eyes widening a moment as he feels the girl's body shift underneath him and...
Right before the knife would have lodged itself in his eye, the werewolf moved his paw to block the knife instead ending up stabbed right through it. The keen pain makes the wolf whimper, enough for him to let go of Bulleta and allow her to escape from him.
The werewolf takes a step back to try and regain his composure, panting and staring at his bleeding paw. Fortunately for him, that's where his partner decides to lunge into the battle. Eschewing his brethren's pure violence methods, the quilled one charges at Bulleta and attempts to shoulder tackle her with his sharp quills.
COMBATSYS: Poilu et Piquant successfully hits Bulleta with Medium Kick.
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Poilu et Piquant 0/-------/-======|=======\=------\1 Bulleta
There's a layer of armour beneath the dress, too, but precisely applied force along multiple wickedly sharp points is enough to punch through it and draw several fresh streams of blood from Bulleta's other shoulder. The knife hurtles free as she's thrown backwards, tumbling end over end until it's lodged in a tree. The basket, she keeps a death grip on; there are other knives, but only one of it.
Counting is so important to a successful hunt. A good Hunter knows that to bring too much of the wrong thing and too little of the right can be a death sentence. She knows how many hours she can keep watch before she /must/ sleep. She knows the blast radius of a rocket-propelled shell by heart, and how long to wait - crouched and bleeding, silently cursing - before darting through underbrush after tumbling to a painful stop.
She knows /exactly/ how long it takes her to run 40 meters and that the space between her impact point and the barely marked trail leading deeper into the woods--
-- towards her monofiliment and mine-infested jungle--
-- is nowhere near that distance.
"And what does that make you~?" she wonders, nowhere and everywhere for roughly one and a half seconds before bursting out of foliage, into the air.
A madly grinning missile screams from the end of the basket, then wicker or something like it seals shut as if there wasn't just a smoking hole in its heart. Aiming on the fly, she's hoping to not only catch the duo in its joyful detonation, but to draw the cloak around herself and let buffeting pressure clash with its armoured core to give her a safe, if /rough/ for an already bleeding body landing a ways down the trail.
At least /one/ of them, she trusts to chase her; the other, she hopes will let ration and logic move him to chase the wolf. She only hopes that the missile buys her /some/ time without them, because even after training with Jon the Agoraphobic Werewolf, she is /definitely/ feeling the effects of months spent neglecting the Darkstalkers of the world.
COMBATSYS: Poilu et Piquant blocks Bulleta's Happy Missile.
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Poilu et Piquant 0/-------/=======|=======\===----\1 Bulleta
"I'll rip your heart out!" The werewolf growls in rage when he finally recovers when the knife is pulled out from his paw. A gush of blood to spills in the grass due to his wound, causing him to wince but he clenches his paw into a fist to stop the flow. He raises up to his full height, enraged, his eyes filled with his fury. "Come out of there, punny wimp... We all must die someday..." He beams almost proudly as he retorts to her, "You don't want to know ~" He says with a wicked grin with renewed confidence now that his quilled partner came in to his rescue.
However his arrogant confidence is short lived when Bulleta bursts out of the foliage and her basket opens up, firing a little surprise to both of them. The werewolf lunges out of the main explosion, but the detonation is enough to send him flying and knock him over a tree. The quilled Darkatler's reflexes are much slower though and, much to his nature, when the threat arises he responds by attempting to curl around himself. A semi-successful idea as he ends up caught in the blast more, the spiked ball bouncing off and scorched by the explosion, obviously more dazed than the werewolf.
The werewolf is the first to recover, shaking it off relatively well, using her scent to track her down as he rushes after her. It buys Bulleta some time... But more importantly, she got one off her back for now... The werewolf howls threatening as it closes up the distance with the little girl, letting his senses draw her ever closer to her. The moment he finally skids in sight and manages to catch up with her, he leaps at her and flails his claws against her back with savage violecne as he attempts to pin her down to shred her cloak off and slice her.
COMBATSYS: Bulleta blocks Poilu et Piquant's Unmatched Dominance.
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Poilu et Piquant 0/-------/=======|=======\===----\1 Bulleta
The claws /definitely/ meet the basket, this time.
And it's /definitely/ armored, whatever it is. There's no mistaking it as claws crash against then rake across what looks like woven wicker. After having whirled aroudn to meet howling savagery, Bulleta finds herself sliding back along the trail while barely checked violence screams through her arms and knees. She bears this for a few feet before twisting from the angle of his blow, then springing backwards while flipping the top of the basket open. Warm spices waft from within in a fragrant zephyr, but by the time she hits the ground, her brisk, clattering rummaging has come to a stop, allowing the lid to fall shut.
Much like the bruising landing she rolled through after riding her rocket detonation, it's not the /best/ one, but she'll take it while she's bleeding with a werewolf on her heels. Snapping up from a three-point stance, she whirls 'round and lunges forward, giving him a beat to see gunmetal glinting in half-full moon before she tries to drive sawed-off barrels in beneath his chin.
"Such big /teeth/~" she lowly observes while her finger curls against the trigger.
"Necklace or earrings~?"
*BANG!* go two barrelsful of Brenneke slugs to punctuate the question.
COMBATSYS: Bulleta successfully hits Poilu et Piquant with Crushing Strike.
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Poilu et Piquant 1/-----==/=======|=======\===----\1 Bulleta
The werewolf relentless continues his assault even as Bulleta attempts to roll away. He opens his arms wide as he jumps at her, both of them about to close into its prey once more just as he sees the glint of that gun's barrel.
The wolf's body twists barely to cause the shot to hit him right in his chest, the blast enough to knock him off from Bulleta, sending him flying a couple of feet away from her. He screeches in pain and collapses into the ground, the massive furred mass rolling about before he finally comes to a stop.
Blood pours from the various holes in his chest, the scent of scorched fleshed mixing up with the fragrence of those spices. He coughs out a bit of blood as he slowly forces himself to his feet. His wounded arm clutches against his chest and he glares at this little girl who has managed to injure him so badly, all of the pain he feels through his body only fueling his rage and desire to kill her.
"Lucky for you... Renard wants you alive..." He says as he remains on all four, feral and careful this time, slowly moving to circle her and not let his rage leave him open once more. His smile only widens and he adds, "But when she'll be done with you... I'll make sure to personally take care of your case ~"
And with that the wolf growls and lunges at Bulleta, using its other arm to swipe at her his claws outstretched as he attempts to slice at her midsection.
COMBATSYS: Bulleta full-parries Poilu et Piquant's Fierce Punch!!
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Poilu et Piquant 1/------=/=======|=======\=====--\1 Bulleta
Bulleta's eyes momentarily narrow at the unfamiliar name, then give his pelt another quick flick - those bloody holes earn a wince - before shifting towards the protectively curled Darkstalker in the distance.
The shotgun drops. So does the basket. Crimson combat boots carefully shift and turn to keep pace with his steady circling while her left hand clamps over the sticky red parabolas over her neck and shoulder. Squeezes, just a little, grimacing as a little more blood's forced to the surface. The right's-- somewhere at her side, beneath the cloak fluttering around her. Ragged in several places from claws, quills, and blast damage, the cloak softly sings through battle damage now and again when the night air blows over hidden steel.
"You must have a mate you're eager to scamper on back to... right?" Bulleta lowly wonders instead, hand canting curiously as they turn. "Cubs? Friends? /You/ aren't out here following 'Renard's' orders... holding back from getting a taste of sweet, bloody meat... just because /that/ asshole back there," a brisk head-tilt towards the quilled Darkstalker, "might tell on you... are you?"
He lunges through the end of her probing questions while she's putting on a sympathetic grimace for effect. He's as fast as a predator driven by need and instinct /can/ be, a lethal storm of claws and pseudonatural fury.
But it's the second time he's come for her gut.
And he's /far/ from the second werewolf she's faced.
Eleven inches of carbon steel clash with four wicked talons while a red cloak flutters. A hunter and a monster test their mettle against one for a second that may feel like several, but is not.
Bulleta knows it's not, because she counts before slipping and spinning towards the wolfman's flank, then lunging into a slash aimed at his throat.
"It'd be really... /really/ sad if you /were/..."
COMBATSYS: Poilu et Piquant endures Bulleta's Beautiful Memory EX.
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Poilu et Piquant 1/=======/=======|=------\-------\0 Bulleta
So sad, in fact, that bleeding shoulders shake after she lands from her leaping, lunging strike-- shake because she can't keep a sob from leaping from her throat while her eyes bounce between the two monsters. Is--
-- is she falling apart, having run out of adrenaline and reminder herself that there are /two/ of them? An arrogant little slip of a thing, bleeding and bruised, shuddering after what must've been a rough landing on already abused knees and ankles.
This is far from the second werewolf that Bulleta's faced, and as blood and tears flow, her fingers tense around the knife's hilt while the first surges to mind. There are no household products for makeshift poisons; no stove for a climactic finish.
There /are/ bombs, but that /pelt/-- it's still /mostly/ perfect...
"... god, I-- I'm-- I'm gonna-- I'm gonna--" she whimpers through a few disbelieving moments before just vanishing-- out of sight, into memory, a red blur that only resolves into a person again once she's near him. Near enough to seize a fistful of fur and /pull/ with deceptive strength. Without poison or explosions, there's only one real commonality left between her first werewolf and this one:
A knife driven mercilessly into an inhuman skull, seeking to gouge out preternaturally sharp eyes and burst ultra-sharp eardrums with all the precision of a young girl who'd like nothing more than to stab her favorite person in the world back to life.
A dozen - maybe more - rending strikes later, she hurls the knife to the forest floor, freeing her to reclaim the basket. Still holding fast, she slams it - whatever on hell and earth it's made of - into his skull half a dozen times or so before letting it fall again. A moment is taken for breathless panting, then she surges forward and seats her newly freed hand against his torso. Groaning - nearly screaming through gritted teeth - through the effort, she hefts him up above her head and gives his partner another look.
One throw later, they're reunited.
Her sudden interest for Renard seems to amuse the werewolf who is quick to dismiss it all by stiffling a laughter, "Don't be so eager, little one, you'll meet her soon enough! And whatever she has in store for you, I assure you, must be far worse than what I can do to you..." His voice grows slightly meeker at the end of his sentence, a silent sort of devotion or respectful fear when he speaks of this mysterious person, or perhaps it was the reminescene of what she could do to her that was enough to make the wolf shiver.
Her words enraged the wolf beyond measure. He growls in infuriated scorn at Bulleta, his claws swinging almost blindly at her with all of his vigor, yet the little one has proven to be adaptive enough to react to his flurry of slashes this time.
"All of them are DEAD! Killed by the likes of you!" He shouts at her as he growls and swipes his claws at her, each time clashing with the metal of the red cloak, leaving showers of sparkles. Her words seem to have triggered something in the beast ~ his desire for revenge, his bloodlust that was only held back by one thing it would seem, something Bulleta could not understand.
Even as Bulleta spins around his flank, the werewolf does no motion to try and defend himself, he lunges at her with no regards to his own safety, allowing the blade to slash out at his throat, to claim the beast's life and snuff it away from him. Blood gushes out from the wound, leaving him to grunt as if he was choking and drowning in his own blood.
His eyes were swollen and wide open, filled with this anger. One of his large claw attempts to hold on to Bulleta and force her to remain close to him while her knife was plunging through his flesh, stabbing his head and crippling the wolf that clung to her desperately.
He lets out a primal howl from his throat and claws at her with all of his might : a desperate force of nature who sought out to give it back to her. An eye for an eye, blood for blood. How could he retaliates to Bulleta in such a counter-instinctive manner, ignoring his own well being as his claw slashes out at her back and his maw attempts to close to the girl's arms, shredding and bitting back with all the strength he had left in him.
In the end, he would get what Renard promised him...
A chance to avenge the ones he had lost, and a chance to be reunited with them...
When his strength finally leaves him, the creature's body goes limp in Bulleta's arms while she lifts him up in the air, whatever the result of his attack ended up being. It was a sweet surrender now, his blood pourring down on Bulleta, his sight stolen from him with the various stabs he got to his face.
He was serene, at peace.
Bulleta can probably feel it as he throws the massive wolf off toward the other Darkstalker who was all curled up in a spiked ball of sort, unmovable.
COMBATSYS: Poilu et Piquant can no longer fight.
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COMBATSYS: Poilu et Piquant successfully hits Bulleta with Primal Fury.
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"G-god, that's-- it's...
"... kinda like I'm doing you a favor, then," Bulleta tearfully murmurs before grabbing his fur to bring him down to her.
"Isn't it~? See? I really /am/ nice~!"
Nice or not, she still finds herself well within striking range of an enraged wolf while she does her damndest to stab, then bludgeon him to death. Close as she is - /angry/ as /he/ is - it's almost inevitable when a lashing claw manages to sneak past the basket, slice through layers of fabric and armor, and gouge shallow furrows along her side. After that, the fangs closing around her arm are academic, and the only thing that saves her from losing it is the cloak wrapped around it and a timely punch to the werewolf's snout.
Needless to say, she's hunched over and clutching the fresh, oozing holes pocking her arm for several seconds after that final toss. Adrenaline really /does/ only go so far, even if the lack of a hungry spotlight leaves her not so prone to emotional collapse as it wanes.
Once those seconds pass, leather and steel toes crunch slowly but surely crunch along the park floor, pausing only where necessary so tools can be retrieved. The cloak hangs slightly off-kilter and the hood's down, revealing a wild nest of flaxen hair. A few tresses hang over blue eyes burning with blood and life.
The cloak rustles.
The shotgun cocks.
*tap!* goes the gunmetal against the spiked shell.
"So," she exhales. The syllable is punctuated by the basket hitting the ground so she can crouch and-- /another/ knife can slide out of her sleeve. It's a butterfly affair, unfolding almost before it's properly grasped.
*tap!* it goes.
"You /aren't/ harder than /he/ was. You know it; /I/ know it. That's not even a question, so ask yourself this one instead:
"'Who do I wanna see again tonight? Renard, or some dead asshole?'"
COMBATSYS: Bulleta has ended the fight here.
The other Darkstalker was left curled on itself. The explosion from the missile had left him dazed long enough, in a state between consciousness and unsconsiousness and he instinctively locked himself like that, or so it would seem.
The few taps of the gun through the quills are enough to cause him to curl even more so, his body hardening defensively, some broken and damaged from the blast, his flesh scorched from the flames.
He did not have the strength to fight back and he knew he was in a bad position, not as fast or agile as the other used to be, escape would be a hard one.
He remains silent for a moment, but he finally speaks up, a soft hesitant voice as he weighs his options, "... What do you want?"
The gun's set aside. /Neither/ of them is in great shape, but with the right words, tone, and bearing, it's easy to downplay little details like ripped armor and trickling blood. To make not-even-five feet feel like double that, to cast a looming shadow broader than a slight frame might suggest.
Posture matters a lot too, and the right one can make even numbers - the cold, otherwise objective facts underpinning a hunt - into liars.
"I wanna know about Renard," she offers after taking a silent beat to still the jittery glee from her voice. Glee wouldn't do, right now; right now, she needs to be cold, subdued. Rational; gesturing towards mercy, at the least. "I wanna keep more nights like tonight from /happening/..."
The blade's embedded in the ground so she can gingerly reach for a space between spikes big enough for fingertips to graze. Her other hand rustles beneath the cloak, seeking a syringe loaded with a potent sedative. There's still her makeshift jungle to tend to; the sooner she can get him to show her something injectable, the sooner she can clean up, then get him and his partner loaded up for transport.
"... even if that means working out some kind of bargain with-- well, with /Her/. You aren't like him at /all/... /him/, I had to kill, or god /knows/ what he woulda done, but you...? I don't /have/ to kill /you/. You're /smart/. I could /talk/ to you. Just... come out, okay? Come out, so we can talk, and then you're free."
His survival instinct left the Darkstalker's muscles tensed up, his quills straight and forming a defensive shells. Had it not been for the broken ones that came from the explosion, finding a hole through this spiked shield might have been a harder task, but with relative care Bulleta is able to move her slender arm through without any harm and plunge that syringe through the creature's thick hide.
Blissfully unaware of anything that was going on outside due to the way he was curled up, when he feels that sharp evanescent sting in his side, the Darkstalker lets a surprised gasp out of his throat... And when the sedative flows in his veins and realizes he had been drugged, the creautre attempts to escape, uncurling up and trying to crawl away only to end up collapsing.
He might have heard what Bulleta said, but in his sudden panic he didn't think of anything to reply, just an attempt to move away before it was too late.
Alas, now he felt in an artificial slumber induced by the sedative, his quills growing flat on his back.
Even better, Bulleta thinks when manufactured tenderness leads her to find a soft spot.
/Now/ she smiles, savage and proud. The syringe is allowed to remain like a plastic and glass quill.
Some seconds of cloak-rustling and dialing one of the Scarlet Dahlia's numbers later, he might /also/ hear her on the phone while he waits for sleep to wash over him.
"Hey girl~!" she chirps, airy and energetic, a few steps higher than her natural register. After pulling upright, she rummages in the basket for a little first aid kit, so she can start tending to the worst of those slashes and punctures. "It's Becky, and-- ohmy/god/, I--" A brief break and a grimace as antiseptic goes on, "-- am-- /in Southtown/ at this little /store/ near this big /park/, and you would. Not. Be/lieve/ some of the ac/ces/sories I'm seeing! D'you like natural fur...? Ivory? They've got gloves, scarves, cowls, jewelry... all /kinds/ of stuff! Lotsa black, if it helps any~"
After a bubbly giggle, she amends, "All kinds of /wolf/ stuff, anyway! Bet you'd look /great/ with a li'l fang necklace~. Anyway! I gotta get back to the hotel soon, but if you want me to grab you something, I'll DEFINITELY be coming back here..."
In the space of a few buoyant lines, a wolfman hungry for blood and vengeance is reduced to a few fashion statements. The smile lingers for a few seconds after hanging up, then she's all grimacing and trying to concentrate on questions more than the pain that will, to some degree or another, be fueling them. Patching herself up for cleaning takes a while longer; the actual clean-up, longer still.
Maybe half an hour later, she's ready to start dragging two bodies lashed together by a length of grapple line and wrapped in tarp towards a black van waiting just past the edge of the woods.
Log created on 09:22:08 12/18/2018 by Bulleta, and last modified on 17:18:44 12/18/2018.