Neo League 0165 - NL#0168: Juliet vs Dennis

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Description: A cop who is a good man takes on a girl who is an angel. In the process, fists fly, pride is bruised, and nobody comes out of the aftermath unscathed. Is this a Rocky first impression, or a glimpse Before The Fall? (Note: Due to a server interruption the csys messages at the end of this fight were lost, but the RP remains intact.)

Dennis is very out of place in this bar. Metro City's cleanest cop doesn't fit in this seedy Southtown establishment, with the bright yellow bomber jacket he's wearing and the single-serve bottle of milk he picked up from the corner store sitting on the bar in front of him. He's already been getting some strange looks, and he himself has been giving some of the local gangsters who tend to hang out here suspicious glances of his own, but this city isn't in his jurisdiction, and he's here for a League fight, after all. His image didn't help by the large box of donuts he tried to bring to be a gift to any bystanders -- the fact that they're sugar free has made it so only a few have disappeared, but he didn't mind. He was here early, after all.

The bar has been prepared for this event. The pool tables have been pushed to the side and a rectangular arena has been formed with some old beer crates. The seedy establishment had earned a bit of a crowd here due to the amount of cameras that have been brought to record the match, and already the gambling subculture of Southtown's underworld had wormed their way in, taking bets on the fight. And while Dennis hasn't fought in the League fights yet, Juliet has, and word on the street was she was a teenage girl who was on a losing streak. Dennis had no idea who it could be: he heard she boxed and expected a Million Dollar Baby situation on his hands, complete with a grouchy father figure as a coach. He was excited by the ordeal, and had even brought his own boxing gloves.

He doesn't know the portly man next to him is Derrick Pope. He's noticed the man's attention has been on the money though, and the cash trading hands hasn't escaped the officer's notice either. "Hey, do you follow this Juliet Pope lady's career?" He asks the man amicably enough, flashing him a sparkling smile. "All this cash has got me a little worried, you know?" The boxing gloves next to his milk bottle might reveal to the man he's the one who's about to fight his daughter. "Match starts in just a few minutes!"

"I guess you could say that, friend, yeah."

Derrick has in fact been in a terrible mood. He'd struck the agreement with Mac before the G-King Arena fight had proven the star power his daughter could draw; before the Saturday Night Fight booking had been arranged, even. His take of the ticket price for today is low, and the side-action amongst the sleazy regulars here is peanuts compared to the merch sales. She'd still be bringing in her appearance fee, but Juliet's core demographic are young people in her own age range or slightly younger; they can't even get in here. Mac has been utterly unyielding on that point, and what little social media work has been done hasn't added more than a couple of extra fight fans to the motley backdrop of regulars.

"You want my advice, go for her stomach. She got worked over last night something fierce."

And that seems... accurate. It's a Sunday. By rights, Juliet should be sleeping and resting up - but instead, here she is, pushing for her fourth league fight, hot on the heels of a Saturday Night Fight that had proven far more exhausting than she'd expected. What's fascinating, though, is that when she pushes her way into the bar, the girl moves with a solid certainty to her steps. Back in her proper costume, hot off a win - even if it had been a close-run thing - she's feeling... good!

"You're sure you can do this, Juliet?" Gabriella asks, the old trainer fussing over her charge, "I keep telling you, you're pushing yourself too hard. You're going to hurt yourself if you aren't careful."

"Aye. I'm sure." Juliet says, and now there's certainly a buzz starting to fill the room. If Dennis stands out, Juliet is like a visitor from a whole other world. This place takes her back, though. Exactly the kind of dive bars that her dear old 'Dad' has had her fighting in for beer money for ages.

She casts an eye over the League cameras, and gives a firm nod of her head. "No time tae slow down, Gabriella. I'm gettin' better with every fight. Can ye nae see that? It's gettin' easier every time."

Gabriella just looks more worried at that. Boxing, she can coach the girl on. But the strange power that has been coming to her more and more easily with every appearance... that's something she doesn't understand, and it scares her. "Just... just focus on your fundamentals." She says, softly. "Keep your guard up. Try to go one fight without a concussion. Please?"

Dennis has only been on television the once in the professional circuit -- a Saturday Night Fight where he and a Latina woman with the same fighting style fought what could only be a Darkstalker from the size of it in a basebal field. This was a few weeks ago, and Dennis' own developing abilities made him recover from the bout far quicker than a lesser man would. Still, when hearing that the woman he's about to fight also fought the night before, the cop clears his throat a little anxiously.

"She was just in a fight last night?" Poor, clueless Dennis. "Whoa, inspiring. I hope to have that kind of career someday too," he tells the Scotsman, though he flinches at the advice given. "Dang," he says. He really says dang, this American. "I'll have to avoid the stomach if I want to make it fair."

Dennis had picked up a few fans from his television appearance, but not enough that any of the people here were fans of his. Some of the gamblers had seen his match, though, and the six foot four guy who pitched a perfect game should be more than a match for this girl, right?

"Mister Browning," the only man here dressed respectably, one of the League's officials, interrupts the conversation, his eyes giving Derrick a brief glance. "Miss Pope is here."

Dennis' eyes tracked over to the teenage girl and at first he was taken off-guard by her outlandish costume, and then how young and small she was compared to him. For a brief moment, Dennis himself thought that this wasn't a match -- that this girl wouldn't be able to stand a chance against someone with his size and strength. He looked back at the official, who was straight-faced in the face of all this, so to speak. After all, the man had seen even significantly stranger fights than this, and he himself notably hadn't made any bets here. The cop looks back over to the girl, and with a shake of his head he clears it and snatches the gloves off the bar.

No. He wouldn't back out on this. He couldn't imagine what that would do to the girl, and the purest part of him hit himself for judging her by a look alone. It was some sappy, idealistic bull, but that's the kind of person Dennis Browning is.

The boxing gloves are put on and he heads to the ring, no trainer or manager following him. But any semblance of normalcy is lost when he suddenly does a somersault over the crates and lands in the ring, causing some of the patrons and gamblers to gasp in surprise, some applause scattered in the audience. He can't help it, Dennis. He grins with perfect white teeth at them, lifting his red-gloved mitted hand to wave at the crowd before going to one corner, turning to the opposite where he expects the girl to take.

"Hey!" He gives her a wave. "Give me a good fight, Juliet!"

Juliet steps into the ring in far less dramatic style. The boxing ring they'd set up was a fairly basic affair, but it'd do to keep them from wrecking up the joint in the brawl. She is a little surprised to see the gloves, but that brings a smile to her lips. "Another boxer, eh?" She asks, "I'm real sorry, I didnae have time tae go back and watch yer fights, Officer. I was expectin' a billy club an' a taser." This is a nice surprise, really! Her fight against Mint had been incredible, a real highlight for her debut so far even if she had lost. It'd be fascinating to see if she'd pulled any more lessons out of that than she remembered. Truth be told, it was always difficult to remember exactly how all of these fights ended... but, that's repeated head trauma for you.

Regardless, if she's intimidated by the greater reach and size of her opponent, the girl doesn't show it in the least. If anything, she holds herself with the swagger of a girl who feels good about her chances. "Same tae you." She offers, as she steps forwards, and holds her gloves out for the traditional bump of glove against glove, to signal that both fighters are ready for the battle to begin.

Whatever lingering doubts she might have had about the wisdom of stepping into the ring again so quickly are already starting to vanish from her mind. Going up against a fellow boxer in a dive bar... well, this was just regular training! She could swap this out for her workout regime and feel good about it. Even if Gabriella, standing in her corner as she dances backwards in preparation for the bell, is still visibly concerned. Derrick's glare is full on her, too; and it's difficult to avoid his eye line with the arrangement of the room. But that's okay. He'll just have to watch her triumph.

"Well. I wouldn't say I'm a professional boxer like you, but yeah, I box," Dennis says proudly, giving a few rapid punches to the air before he gets out of stance and walks to her in the center of the ring, bumping his gloves with her before hopping back, getting in a loose stance since the fight hasn't quite yet started. "Hey, no worries -- I haven't watched any fights in the League yet either, you know? I want to keep things fresh! Makes it better for me," he explains to her, his words coming out a little slow due to the breathing exercise he briefly decides to take to help limber up.

The truth was Dennis wasn't really a boxer. It certainly was in his fighting style, but the Rodfield way of brawling was mostly focused using every part of your body as a weapon, and whatever else you can get your hands on. Unfortunately for Dennis, he almost never fully utilized it -- he was a man of fairness, and boxing had rules. He promised himself he would stick to those rules -- he had no understanding of what a boxer of Juliet's calibur was capable of yet.

He rolls his shoulders then and takes a step backwards, while the gamblers begin to approach the ring, crowding it for anyone who's here to see the fight up live for entertainment alone. The suited official takes the provided microphone for him, one typically utilized for drunken karaoke nights here at the bar, and after giving it an unhappy glance, taps it once and then speaks into it.

"Ready! Fight!"

COMBATSYS: Dennis has started a fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Dennis           0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Juliet has joined the fight here.

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Dennis           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0           Juliet

And suddenly Dennis bursts forward, stopping mid-lunge to use his superior reach to try and throw a strike right to the side of Juliet's face!

COMBATSYS: Dennis successfully hits Juliet with Medium Strike.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////////     ]
Dennis           0/-------/-------|===----\-------\0           Juliet

The bell rings, and apparently Gabriella's advice to keep her guard up fell on deaf ears. The punch snaps painfully into the side of Juliet's head, and the girl stumbles a couple of paces under the impact. She's taken a lot of punches, especially recently, and the initial blow tells her a lot about her opponent. This guy is easily as good as anyone else she's fought; it's kind of surprising to her that she hadn't really heard of him before this moment, especially since he's apparently in the same field that she is.

That's kind of exciting, though, and rather than be discouraged, the girl actually grins. "Nice." She says, spitting to the side, and then closing the gap she'd made as quick as she can. She aims to give back just as good as she got; spurred on by his demonstration to hand back a punch of her own.

Given his greater height, his torso is likely to get quite a workout here, and that's where she begins, aiming to smash her left fist right into his side and use it as a springboard to propel herself around and behind him, already dodging and weaving. Her blood is pumping; sure, she's been doing a LOT of fighting recently, but that doesn't make it any less exciting to be in the ring with someone who, right from the off, can prove themselves so talented! Especially since this is more of a mystery to her than normal.

COMBATSYS: Dennis just-defends Juliet's Sacred Check!

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Dennis           0/-------/-------|====---\-------\0           Juliet

"Thanks!" That's all Dennis gots time for when she starts closing the gap between them, and she pursues as he begins to step backwards, intent on keeping his reach advantage while his arms lift up in a defensive stane. When he sees her punch coming, he has to spin to throw his arms down and block the blow, though the force of the strike is enough to send his sneakers skidding across the floor just so, leaving little bits of rubber on the ground while he watches her with a frown.

"Whoa," he tells her, having to keep circling her to try to keep positioning, too. "Stronger than you look, huh?" It doesn't sound mocking, but it the genuine surprise might be a little offensive.

She moved well, her footwork almost getting her behind him, and he has to take a few steps backwards of his own to try and shepherd her a little more into the center of the floor if he could. He wets his lips, and then does something pretty unorthodox by most boxing standards, but totally a classic move in many fighting circuits, doing a step-hop backwards and then suddenly launching himself forward with his boxing glove aimed this time to try and catch her right in the face. He has no idea she's taken so many blows there already -- poor Dennis has to go for her head, given how small she is!

COMBATSYS: Dennis successfully hits Juliet with Blue Light Bash.
Glancing Blow

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Dennis           0/-------/-----==|======-\-------\0           Juliet

Juliet is a little irritated that he'd be so apparently surprised that she is, in fact, a fighter. "D'ye think they jus' let anyone sign up fer this?" She asks, "I've got jus' as much right tae be in this ring as you, pal." The launch back in isn't totally unexpected; it's not the first time she's seen something similar to that, but she is definitely lagging. Her attempt to twist around to the side of the blow still winds up with the glove catching her square in the shoulder. Less painful than another headshot would have been, but still enough force there to have her spinning around.

Still, she's not backing down; and she's not even close to done, either. She steadies herself, and cracks her neck. Her legs flex, and then, with no warning at all, she's showing off her own unorthodox boxing move.

The girl LEAPS into the air, and her bright red eyes are fixed and intense on Dennis as she descends. That lunge upwards must have taken her nearly eight feet up! A truly astonishing feat of athletic prowess, and as she comes down, both fists lead the way as she packs as much power into the descending momentum as she can, wanting to smash him right in the top of his skull and see if she can't send him sprawling to the mat.

Sure, he might not have meant the words as an insult, but she wants to leave him in no doubt that he's going to HAVE to fight at his best; that there's definitely a price to underestimating anyone you meet in a ring like this!

COMBATSYS: Juliet successfully hits Dennis with Angelic Overhead EX.
- Power hit! -

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Dennis           0/-------/--=====|======-\-------\0           Juliet

"It's just you're so short!" That's Dennis weak defense of Juliet calling him out on his bigotry, and then suddenly she's up in the air and he looks up -- and up, and up, stumbling back a few steps at the sheer air she managed to get from that one hop alone. His eyes widen as she descends on them, and it's here he gets a good look at those bright red eyes.

"What the -- " is all Dennis can get out, because her fists collide with the top of his head and he's suddenly sent crashing down face-first onto the floor, his hands flailing and failing to keep him from going down completely.

Only Abigail has ever hit him that hard before, granted with less effort. Still, it causes him to groan and begin rising to his feet, his breathing picking up as he realizes not only his faux-pas, but this girl's fighting spirit. Or whatever nonsense goes through the heads of people like Dennis Browning. He lifts his hand up and touches his glove to the top of his head, wincing as he feels the knot beneath the skin there, and then he's rolling his shoulders and bashing his gloves together, his eyes on her, his forehead bright red from the impact to the ground.

"I'm sorry!" It might not be clear he's apologizing for underestimating her or for the sudden blur of movement as he tries to crash his fist into her jaw again, moving st a speed that probably serves him well in foot chases.

COMBATSYS: Dennis successfully hits Juliet with Fierce Strike.

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Dennis           0/-------/-======|=======\====---\1           Juliet


It's really quite frustrating for Juliet. She'd been excited about fighting a fellow boxer, and then the guy does everything he can to belittle her when they're in the ring - and not in the open, clear, insulting way that she could easily deal with, but as though he genuinely felt that fighting her was beneath him somehow. Unfortunately for Juliet, whether it is a combination of her encroaching fight fatigue and her frustration or just gaping holes left in her relatively novice defense, the shouted demand is made moments before he smashes her clean in the face and sends her hurtling back against the ring-ropes with blood streaming from her nose.

This only seems to piss Juliet off more, as she strains against the cheaply-made ropes, and her eyes blaze ferociously. There's no way she can get her head in the game enough to summon up that state she'd been working towards so much. In this instant, Juliet is just... furious. There's a kind of impossible anger in her right now that she's never felt before, and it EXPLODES out of her with tremendous force.


Erupting from the ring-ropes like a miniature cannonball, the girl propels herself at Dennis with her fists lashing out in all directions. There's no rhyme or reason to the assault, and for those who watch her fights regularly it is a notable departure from her usual style of one well-placed blow. Streaming blood behind her as she goes, Juliet just aims to smash into Dennis with all the power her enraged little body can muster - and whatever else it might be, this is definitely a startling demonstration of the power she's packing in those tiny fists!

COMBATSYS: Juliet successfully hits Dennis with Uppercut.
- Power hit! -

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Dennis           1/------=/=======|======-\-------\0           Juliet

"Okay, okay! Sor-- I mean, yeah! I'll stop!"

Dennis shouts this apologetically right before his fist collides with her face, and when she's sent back to the ropes and he spots blood he immediately cringes. And then she's suddenly launching herself at him. The officer lifts his arms up where he expects her fists to go, and while they do, they go just about everywhere else, too -- his stomach, his face, his chest. He nearly buckles on his knees, and then suddenly she's uppercutting him, sending him rising into the air about as high as she went before crashing down onto the mat.

"Ow." There's a gasp from the crowd at the sight of it, and he rolls onto his hands and knees, crawling briefly over to the closest ringpost and giving his head a brief shake to get the dizziness out. He shoves himself off the ringpost and begins moving towards her, his fists going up while his head gives a shake every now and then to clear his vision.

Dennis wasn't the brightest guy there was. He didn't consider himself a complete idiot -- how could he?

And then he snaps forward, taking a step and launching his fist at her. It isn't the fastest attack, but he's putting more force behind it than he did even his last one -- she's clearly more capable than he realized, and part of him is cringing at himself for it. She did deserve an opponent who respected her, and poor idealistic Dennis was punishing himself for not being one of them.

So the answer clearly was inflicting bodily harm on her.

COMBATSYS: Dennis successfully hits Juliet with Power Strike.

[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////                    ]
Dennis           1/-----==/=======|=======\==-----\1           Juliet

The pair have been trading big blows back and forth, one after the other. There's definitely some irony in the fact that Dennis had entered into the ring entirely in good faith, and found himself more the 'bad guy' in Juliet's mind than any of the other opponents she's faced to date. Whilst she could take a beating with the best of them, the young boxer can't stand it when she feels like she's not being taken seriously. There's also some significant irony in the fact that this has flustered her so much that she's not doing a very good job of showing that she can back up her demands.

Oh, she's landing some big hits, that's for sure, but as her trainer had said when she stepped into the ring, she needed to focus on her fundamentals, and she's just not doing that. After the lunging assault is over, her guard is left so overexposed that she is unable to bring it back and instead finds herself taking yet another solid blow to the jaw. She grunts, and draws her fist back.

Because right now, she isn't capable of doing anything else. She's not slowing down, not correcting her guard, and she's sure as hell not going to stop trying to put this guy down on the mat. The bar is silent. Even Derrick looks uncomfortable. This isn't the usual back-and-forth with fun quips and displays of technical prowess that he's gotten used to seeing; this is two fighters slugging each other as hard as they can until one of them falls down.


And apparently, Juliet's determined to make sure that she's not the one who will be falling over, because she suddenly blurs out of existence and reappears behind Dennis, her whole body shaking with tension and drenched with sweat to match the blood still caking her face. Hopefully, that intensely powerful haymaker will be the final word... she's not sure how many more big blows like that she's got left in her!

EDITOR'S NOTE - Due to a game crash and revert the mechanics after this point were lost. Luckily, we were able to recover the glorious RP. You should be able to tell what happened with the meters from context!

COMBATSYS: Dennis blocks Juliet's Immaculate Haymaker EX.

There certainly are some unimpressed looks from some of the audience members, too. Dennis backs up, sweat on his brow and his fists raised still, a flinch on his face after his next blow lands. This was only the officer's second professional fight, his first being with Abigail. That fight seemed so larger than life, and Dennis had felt more pain than he ever felt before, but walked out of it feeling good about himself, despite the fact that it was a two against one bout. This fight was smaller, condensed in this crude boxing ring. He was nowhere near as much in pain, but there was an intensity to this bout that didn't exist back there.

She was strong, that was for sure. When she draws her fist back, he lunges forward to try and catch her off-guard with a swift jab. He only finds air -- she's gone suddenly.

He doesn't know why he feels it. His chi sensitivity was still so new to him, but he suddenly feels her presence behind him. There's something about this aura around her he picks up on, and it makes the tension in the air uncomfortable for him. He doesn't feel the fist flying at him though, it's the battlecry that heralds it, and he has a feeling he's going to remember that sound.

He pivots in a twist and sends his arm up to catch that haymaker, and immediately regrets it as his arm twists in a way it shouldn't and sends him staggering off to the side, his back pushing against the ropes, his breathing ragged.

He grits his teeth as he swings his fist down towards the top of her heard, weaving to the left to make it a proper overhead strike. It would be disrespectful at this point -- at least in his mind -- to not give it his all.

[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////                     ]
Dennis           1/-----==/=======|=------\-------\0           Juliet

COMBATSYS: Juliet fails to interrupt Crushing Strike from Dennis.

COMBATSYS: Juliet can no longer fight.

"C'mon, c'mon!"

Juliet is angry with herself. She's angry with Dennis. She's angry with Derrick - just as a perpetual, background level thing really. She'd come into this fight on a high, feeling good about her previous night's victory, and then she'd almost immediately plunged headlong into frustration. She knows she's not covering herself with glory here, and she knows that she doesn't have much more time to change things - she's taken enough heavy batterings to know when her body is on its last legs.

As Dennis wheels around to deliver his punch, she's reaching for the power that has helped her keep up in every other fight. It feels so far away right now, she just can't seem to find it. And then, something does answer the call... but it isn't the same.

Dark violet energy pulses around her right glove, a throbbing purple shade that hurts to look at. She feels nauseous. Something-- something isn't right, that's not, how it--

And then Dennis' fist CRASHES down onto the top of her skull, and the world is spared from finding out whatever difference that change in colouration may have heralded, as Juliet is driven powerfully to the mat, and for once, she actually welcomes the sweet embrace of unconsciousness. That, at least, is an old friend of a sensation - one she knows very well.

The dark violet energy almost stops Dennis from falling through with the punch. Almost. It makes his eyes screw shut so he can avoid that chill that runs down his spine from seeing it, and when his fist collides with the top of her skull he staggers forward, and then he looks down at her, frustration and other emotions working the muscles jaw out as he stares at her, even as the bell rings and the official from the League lifts his microphone.

"Officer Browning wins."

Her earlier words to him are still in his head. He misses his victory until he starts hearing the gamblers in the background collecting their winnings, and he looks at them and then down at the unconscious girl, his expression still unsettled from whatever it was he felt from her -- and from the visible purple energy he saw.

"Hey, uh..." His eyes shift over to the woman he saw her talking to, earlier. "Tell her I said uh... tell her I said..."

He's at a loss for words. There's nothing he can say, he thinks, to patch this over. Oh well. He'll have to find some other way to make it up to the kid. What could it possibly... His face brightens, and he looks at Gabriella again. "Tell her I said if she wants a round two, I'm willing to do this a second time." He tries to give her his most charming smile, but now he's on his way out, one arm hugging his ribs and the other sort of dangling at his side from when he guarded against the haymaker.

Log created on 13:23:52 05/02/2021 by Juliet, and last modified on 12:01:14 05/03/2021.