NFG Season Two - Odyssey R3 - The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

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Description: Daughter of Poseidon, Charybodis engulfs lands and islands in water and drinks from the sea thrice a day to create whirlpools. From the rock she rests on, she looks directly at Scylla on her rock. Scylla is a beautiful nymph who has been turned into a sea monster after the spring where she bathed was poisoned. Bored of waiting around on their rocks, these two fierce females want some action. With everyone else avoiding their equally dangerous presences, perhaps they will have to fight each other!

It's a bright springtime day here in the Strait of Messina. The shoot for the next NFG fight would be enormously expensive if it weren't for a few key elements. The first was the offer to use a replica of Odysseus' ship -- two-thirds scale, and in need of some minor repairs, but otherwise good enough to use on-screen for a fighting competition. The owner would love to keep the ship intact, but... he'd be just as fine with using the insurance payouts to improve the ship to its original grandeur. At the moment the ship is anchored just off the strait's east bank, with a small floating dock leading to shore.

The second is a plucky Italian filmmaker in his twenties both able and willing to take any lengths to get the best shot. With the ship oriented in accordance with the legend of Odysseus -- and a plywood cutout representing the sailor propped up in the center of the ship -- the filmmaker gets to work.

He starts off at the stern of the ship, hand-holding a gimbaled camera low to the deck. He starts running, slowly rising the camera as he runs towards the bow -- and casting a look off towards the west. It looks silly to see him running around -- but the audience at home will see a much more dramatic view!

The camera zooms in on a feature a ways away from the ship: a trio of cardboard boxes floating in the water, whirling around what seems to be a fixed center point. If it weren't for the boxes... It'd be difficult to see the whirlpool in the waters of the strait.
The filmmaker zooms his camera in.
After a moment, the writing on the boxes becomes clear.
They're boxes for washer/dryer combo units.
With the brand 'Whirlpool' clearly visible.

Chevy Beaumont waits below, conveniently off-camera. She's glad she's not wired with a microphone, because the whole thought of the scene is just making her giggle. She tugs at the rubber sleeves of her costume -- just waiting for her moment to shine.

But for right now -- having established the threat of the swirling Charybdis, the cinematographer pivots away and turns towards the mainland, all ready to introduce the second threat to Odysseus' voyage! Likewise, the floating dock will be hidden from the camera's view, providing competitors a number of options for making a grand entrance!

A zoomed-in camera shot of Odysseus' ship shows two pairs of giant reptilian eyes slowly peeking up over the ship's side railing, menacing the cutout of Odysseus with their sheer size. They rise ever-higher, the serpentine black heads that support them coming into view. As they rise, two more serpentine heads appear, and finally two more latch onto the rail as a giant purple-haired woman's head rises up, silver eyes peering over the side at the miniature Ulysses.

Of course, that footage was shot a few minutes ago using a scale model of the ship currently floating in the waters of the strait. The camera cuts directly to a shot of the monstrous sea-woman lifting herself up over the side of the nameless vessel of legend, now clearly of suitable scale for Constance to sail upon rather than to snack upon. As she does, her costume becomes visible.

Most of her upper body (and very little of her lower body) is covered by a black one-piece leotard swimsuit of slick-looking material that hugs her bosom and rides up in the rear, showing off the shape of her callipygian backside through and around the fabric. The garment is cut low in the front, exposing her neckline and cleavage. The sleeves of the garment run all the way to her wrists, fitted just tight enough to allow full range of motion while maintaining a sleek shape.

Attached to her back via a harness strapped around her waist and over her bust is a set of four rubbery-looking artificial tentacles that appear to emerge from her shoulder blades, rising above her shoulders from the back and tipped with snake-heads that present gaping mouths, their maws matching the purple of the girl's hair. Her hands are covered by gloves with coverings designed to appear as two additional snake heads.

She's been freshly sprayed from the neck down to give her skin and suit that dripping-wet fresh-from-the-sea look without messing up her makeup or, ironically, the 'wet' appearance of her hair, which has been carefully achieved with a combination of mousse and gel to cause it to dangle in perfect purple tendrils.

As she strides to a stop and the camera zooms out, she strikes a pose, cocking her hips to one side and miming running a hand through her hair as she winks at the camera, dripping with confidence.

"Coco! You forgot something!" somebody shouts from down below. A moment later, an inflatable flotation ring flies up onto the deck. The rubber device has a trio of dog's heads extending out of the central ring.

"I don't care what Scylla girds her loins with! I am /not/ wearing that!" Coco shouts, before kicking the Cerberus floaty back off the deck toward whence it came.

The camera cuts to the Odysseus cutout to show his response -- at which point, the plywood begins to shudder! Home viewers are only treated to a couple seconds of that before the camera focuses beyond the cutout to reveal the waters of the strait -- and the sound of churning water can be heard. Soon, the sound's source appears on camera -- a seafoam-green creature, blasted aloft by a powerful column of water from its gigantic central maw! The camera work is blurry at first, but as the creature approaches, the camera's able to focus more clearly!

The stream of water tapers off as the creature reaches its apex, its form silhouetted by the high angle. Its forearms and legs are sheathed in bulky, rubbery forms, similar to the maw. But once the camera's able to zoom in on the face, not even the metallic seafoam green bodypaint and dark blue lipstick can hide the face of NFG's 'girl next door,' Chevy Beaumont! She's been cursed to play the villain for yet another entry in this series -- but she seems like she's owning it now, leaning into dark eyeshadow and overly dense eyeliner. Her trademark red locks have been augmented by extensions and now trail halfway down her back. Just like her opposition, Chevy's wearing a one-piece swimsuit -- though it's largely concealed by the thick, rubbery Charybdis maw.

The costume artist has taken a number of liberties with the idea -- capitalizing on the fact that most artistic renditions of the mythical creature just focus on the whirlpool itself. The gargantuan sea creature bears both reptilian and piscine signatures, either through the artists' ignorance or willful defiance. Whatever the reason, Chevy looks like she'd be right at home as a monster of the week on a kids' show!

She lands on deck in a low crouch, her central maw dripping wet. As she rises, she bellows out...

"Y'all mortals -dare- to sail your craft between the two of us?"

She -roars-, flailing her rubber-coated arms to either side. The maw seems to yawn wide open with the motion -- a neat trick due to the way it's suspended across her shoulders.

The Odysseus stand-in shudders once more, before being pulled rapidly off-stage upon its cables!

... And that seems to be about it for Chevy holding her composure, as she breaks into a contagious and self-aware grin. She takes one lumbering stomp to the side, raising her rubber-sheathed hands to either side. Her hands themselves are coated in just body paint -- as she'd expressed concerns over being able to hold her staff any other way. (Of course, that pole and her trademark buckets are suspended across her back -- it's easy to miss them!

On the verge of laughter, she turns to Coco with barely restrained humor. "Well, g'won then, mortal!" Reaching to her pole, she swings it forward -- a bit more than she'd like, as the sea-monster maw is a bit huge! Her eyes twinkle back at Coco as she bellows out one more line for the audience's benefit.

"We'll see if anythin's left of your puny ship once we've settled our ancient score!"

COMBATSYS: Chevy has started a fight here.

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Chevy            0/-------/-------|

Evidently, whoever put together Coco's wardrobe received a different demographic brief than Chevy's costume artist did. Then again, the same could probably be said for most of Coco's costumes. No particular effort seems to have gone into making Coco look monstrous, either, beyond the fake snake heads that lurk silently at her shoulders and the glossy black colour that her lips have been painted and against which her pale skin and white teeth stand out.

"Hello, Chevy - I mean, Chary. That new foundation you're using certainly suits you. I haven't seen you this green since last summer. Isn't it a bit ironic that you were playing the witch who turned me into a monster last round? Bit close to the bone, isn't it?"

Coco takes a couple of smooth steps forward across the deck as she slips in and out of character.

"Well, now it's time to play the part of the man-eater once again. You know, it's hardly sporting, them making me fight you at sea - but in the story, Scylla gets six men and Charybdis comes up empty. So, looks like you're fighting against history."

Coco's gaze focuses intently on Chevy's eyes as she brings her hands up.

"In more ways than one, I suppose. Anyway, in the words of our previous referee, enough ribbing - let's get this over with."

Keeping her serpent-like stare locked, as the signal sounds for the match to begin, she surges forward, looking to establish a kickboxing grapple with her fellow sea-monster. If Coco can maintain the connection that she's been trying to form through the eye contact, Chevy might feel strangely as though the serpentine heads surrounding Coco's face seem to shift as she attempts to take control of the clinch with a quick knee aiming to double the redhead over at the waist. If that works, Coco will follow up by trying to turn around and swing one leg over Chevybdis's head before tightening her thighs against the sides of her neck and pushing herself onto her shoulders. From there, Chevy would be subjected to the sensation of two snakes curling around her throat - complete with a hissing chorus - as Coco would use her hips to force her familiar foe into a spin before releasing her to send her sprawling across the deck!

COMBATSYS: Coco has joined the fight here.

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Coco             0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0            Chevy

COMBATSYS: Chevy fails to counter Singapore Sling from Coco with High Tide.

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Coco             0/-------/---====|====---\-------\0            Chevy

All these digs at her foundation and skin tone all but -demand- a rebuttal. Old feelings bubble back to the surface as Coco launches right into her sass session. For a moment, Chevy starts to feel that old self-doubt and anxiety.

But, just as the bait starts to take hold, she recoils, jerking her head away. She remembers: there's no need to fall for it.

She'd chosen her current costume knowing that, given the option between 'sexy' and 'fun', Coco would choose the former each and every time. The farm girl, not even -wanting- to compete in that arena, brushes the barbs away with an affable laugh. She knows she's got her own battalion of loyal Chevaliers who will follow her to the end of the earth. Maybe even beyond, if the numbers brought by the latest meme posts of Chevy's reaper and Circe outfits are any indication!

As Coco continues to try to work under her heavily scaled-up skin, the grinning Carolinian remembers the story her agent had told her from the Aeneid: an alternate tale about how a jealous consort of Poseidon had been the one to metastasize Scylla's transformation into a monster. So when Chevy hears Coco speak of the latter -- and more popular -- version from Ovid's Metamorphoses, the hayseed is understandably skeptical. Her head cocks to one side in puzzlement; dyed palms squish the bulbous, monstrous costume into her hips.

"Huh, really? Warn't that s'posed to be Amphitritey?" Chevy shakes her head in disbelief. "I think you done got your facts all catty-wompus, Coco."

Thankfully, Scylla and Charybdis aren't known for their speaking lines, so Chevy's got no reason to hold back on her home-grown drawl.

As Coco continues to speak, the waterbender watches through half-lidded eyes. With a few moments of concentration, a localized rainfall fills her buckets and refreshes her paint-caked skin.

She's still smiling as Coco boasts about Scylla's conquests -- and then she's shrugging, too. "Well, you know what they say, Coco -- they only sing songs about the folks who survive."

NFG staff array themselves at a distance as Coco throws down the proverbial gauntlet. Chevy grins confidently, twirling her staff about a finger. She's been dreaming about this fight ever since the start of last season's finals -- a seemingly never-ending drama gifted with a miraculously happy ending. She's -ready-.

Or so she -thought-.
For the one fear she hadn't conquered rears its ugly head.
Make that: four ugly heads.
She never did get the hang of snakes.

It was easy to dismiss them as rubbery props. But when Coco's eye contact pierces through -- they spring to life in the periphery. And once that mental image takes hold, Chevy's resolve shatters apart like a brittle sheet of ice struck by a hammer. The pole is raised in defense, but the confidence to wield it withers. Fear is a toxic poison that rushes through her veins. She misses the critical juncture to slam the pole into Coco's outstretched arms, and finds herself trapped within Coalbridge's grasp.

Pulled ever closer to the snapping teeth of a snake den.
Chevy's imagination takes over.
She lets out a bloodcurdling scream.

Maybe viewers think she's just getting into character. They'd think otherwise, when Coco's knee slams into the gaping maw, folding her like a metal chair -- a motion which twists her pole and buckets right out of her hands, spilling the accumulated water across the deck. A moment later, Coco's spin sends Chevy along a similar trajectory, pitching the monster-girl shoulder-first into the deck of the ship.

She howls again. The sudden jolt of pain helps to jar her out of the fantasy. Instinct kicks in -- and she's quick to spring back to her feet. Panting, drenched -- and living fully in the moment.

She regards Coco with wariness. Before, she'd been accused of not taking the posh Brit seriously. She's... giving her that honor and respect now, to say the least.

"The snakes really suit you, Coco."

"What? The love goddess?" Coco continues the conversation as she's mounting Chevy's shoulders. "I'm sure they never cast you in /that/ part." The 'not while I'm around' half of that sentiment remains silently implied as Coco slings her rival across the freshly-soaked deck. Coco herself hits the deck hip-first, tumbling sidelong before coming to a rest on her hands and backside. She plants her feet against the wood and quickly pushes up onto her feet. Plucking a splinter from her flesh with her nails, she eyes it idly.

"Aww, cheers, Chevy. You know, you scream like a natural. You're not afraid of snakes, are you?"

Casually flicking the bit of wood away, she turns her gaze back to her opponent and smirks. Chevy could have been acting when she let out that cry, but - to Coco's knowledge as a fledgling empath, at least - one can't simply fake the sudden resonant pang of horror that the psychic's sixth sense just picked up on. And while there may be a social truce between the two now that the entanglements of last season have been papered over, Constance Coalbridge still has something to prove where Chevelle Beaumont is concerned.

Perhaps she always will.

"Don't worry. They're just props, really. You love props, don't you?"

Suddenly, she breaks from stalking toward Chevy into another violent strike - this time, lunging into a quick snap jab with her left into a hard straight right-hander, the two serpents of her gloves working in tandem to create a dangerous combination!

COMBATSYS: Coco successfully hits Chevy with Fierce Punch.

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Coco             0/-------/--=====|=======\=------\1            Chevy

Chevy is full of love for everyone -- even those who seem to fight against it at every available opportunity! But... Coco is probably right on her accusation, which does make the barb sting a little bit. Chevy's a bit too busy to address that one though.

She's also too busy to deal with the slam about screaming like a natural, as one hand curls around her throbbing shoulder. With one eye winced shut, she forces herself to look at the props, to confirm that they are, indeed, props.

'You're not afraid of snakes, are you?'

Chevy's pitch raises a full octave above normal.
Her eyes snap back up to meet Coco's.
"N-no! Why would you even *think* that?"

A shudder runs down her spine as the four snake props jitter again.

Her skin grows a bit clammy -- not just from the moisture, but also from the anxiety of knowing that the props -look- like snakes conflicting with the knowledge that they're -not-. The cognitive dissonance is in full swing as she broadens her stance, giving her shoulder one last squeeze before curling her hands by her side. Without her pole or the buckets, she feels a bit more defenseless than usual -- that foam rubber costume won't save her from much.

Mercifully, Coco assuages her fears. They -are- just props. Of course they are!

And those snakes hurtling towards her fist, they're just normal punches, right? Another ripple shudders down Chevy's spine as she raises her forearms in defnese. It's just... just another punch from her rival. It's easy enough to defend again. It's... practically impossible for her -not- to defend against an attack so telegraphed.

Until she sees the eyes on those -gloves-.

And the defense is dropped -- with Chevy not wanting to get her hands so much as -brushed- by the terrifying fangs -- mere products of an overactive imagination. A high-pitched shriek tumbles out from the back of her throat, as she takes a panicked step backwards in an attempt to dodge the strikes outright.

Sadly, her delayed spacing leaves her with -zero- defense for the snap jab that catches her right in the collarbone. Stunned for a moment, she pitches forward to counterbalance...

But Coco's momentum sends a fist hurtling towards Chevy's cheekbone. To Chevy, the next moment is a blur to the left eye, and a series of bright flashes to the right, as she flies backwards in a -rough- diagonal, her crown scraping lightly across the deck as she's hurled ass-over-teakettle by the unchallenged blow.


After a full, twisting revolution Chevy lands on the costume maw. The bouncy foam rubber cushions her fall but she still ends up flopping over like a freshly-gigged flounder before landing on her finned costume's back.

Of course, by this time, the -pain- of the impact -- and the stomach-curdling revolutions has set in. She half-rolls, half-turns to her side. Covering her mouth with one hand and her right eye with the other, she pushes herself unsteadily back to her feet. The costume jiggles as she rises -- though she does not stand up straight. Standing this way, Miss Beaumont looks positively unwell.

With a rough cough, she forces herself to swallow the lump in her throat. She wheezes once, then again. Only then does she lower her hands to either side, lightly cupping them as she focuses her intentions. Her eye is pinched shut; the darkening skin under her eye is starting to become a bit more noticeable.

But that's not all that's darkening. So is the sky, directly over Coco -- as the pitter-patter of rainfall starts to make itself known. Because while Chevy might not have her pole or buckets handy, she can still make it rain.

"That ain't all I love, Coco."

The costumed redhead winks with her good eye.
And then in the next instant, her costume boots make a loud squeak as she launches forward into a run. She keeps her arms close at first -- though as she approaches, the waterbender suddenly leaps into the air, kicking out with an intent to throw herself -past- Coco. It's not a missed kick, though -- her arm is extended in a lariat, as she hopes to lock her arm across Coco's shoulders. It wouldn't be her intent to clothesline her across the neck, but her intent is just to drop Coco onto her bottom -- smack-dab into the center of the rainstorm.

From here, Chevy would keep hold, smooshing the costume maw up against Coco's back as she holds on tight.

The collected puddles of water would suddenly -explode- upward, launching the two rivals into the sky as Chevy holds on, belly-to-back, looking up into the rushing squall! To Chevy, it would feel like a refreshing drizzle; to Coco, the chi-laced raindrops might feel more like a barrage of needles!

"Upsy-daisy, Coco!" she would cry -- sailing upwards, and then inverting at the apex, so that she can slam Coco shoulders-first into the deck in her own take on the infamous Izuna Drop maneuver!

But -- no matter what happens, one thing is all but guaranteed: both fighters are going to be even -more- soaked than before!

COMBATSYS: Coco blocks Chevy's Sound Side.

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Coco             0/-------/-======|-------\-------\0            Chevy

Something that Chevy may have just become acutely aware of is the fact that, for practical purposes, where Coco is concerned, the gloves are off. Not literally, obviously, but the ones that she's wearing this time aren't padded the way that the ones she wore for all of the first season were. These are strictly decorative; she might as well be striking with bare knuckles. It shows a willingness to sacrifice her own comfort in favour of pain for her opponents that the female fighter hadn't displayed before.

It also explains why Coco makes a show of shaking her hand out as she waits for Chevy to stand back up. She's looking rather pleased until her smug smile melts at the first droplet of rain hitting her head. The rapid rainfall quickly starts to slick away the texture of Coco's purple tendrils.

"Seriously? I go to all this trouble to get this sexy sea-witch hair thing going, and you have the nerve to dribble /actual water/ on it? This is hardly sporting."

She twists as Chevy charges, attempting to block the blow low and redirect it past her, leading to a last-moment attempt to catch the clothesline with one quickly-raised hand. She deadens the direct blow across her neck, but still gets taken down, her ass hitting the deck and intervening puddle below with a wet slapping sound.

"Oh, yes. You love pig-wrestling too, don't you?" Coco growls out as she struggles in Chevy's grip. She tips her head up, but only for a moment, dropping it back forward to shield her face from the stinging rain. She's lifted up, carried into the air - but just as the pair reach the apex of Chevy's leap, the purple-haired pugilist powers out of the pig-farmer's grip, leaving her free to fall back to the deck on her own terms, hitting the ground below in a tumble that ends with her back on her feet.

"Good thing I'm not a pig," she says as she swipes her fingers across her scalp to clear her sopping bangs away from her face. She's absolutely soaked now, both her pale skin and the contrasting black fabric of her one-piece gleaming in what light finds her. Eyeliner and mascara run just enough to give her a slight sort of dark harlequin appearance.

And with nothing further to add to that statement, she lifts and snaps her leg out, throwing a swift teep at Chevy in an attempt to catch her out as she rises!

COMBATSYS: Chevy blocks Coco's Light Kick.

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Coco             0/-------/=======|=------\-------\0            Chevy

Chevy is, perhaps unsurprisingly, not a big fan of bare-knuckled brawling! But... it comes with the territory, and -normally- she'd be able to deal with it a bit more effectively than she has in this bout. She is, however, happy to be raining on Coco's parade and also her coiffure. "Well, here's the deal, Coco -- I'll fight without water if you put them padded gloves back on..."

Of course -- then there's the exchange of wrestling techniques, in which Coco is able to acquit herself rather nicely. Chevy grimaces as the loose fit of her own costume proves to be more of a hindrance than Coco's -- but that's just something she'll have to deal with next time. As her rival breaks free, Miss Beaumont swings her legs over to make a water landing upon the pooled rainwater. Thankfully, the Carolinian is watching the Brit as she falls, so she's able to catch the kick with her folded arm. She grunts lightly, skidding sideways to regain control; her trailing heel throws up a roostertail in the process.

Despite her swelling eye, the hayseed is staying in a surprisingly good mood -- which would have a lot to do with the ebb and flow of the water under her feet.

"Yeah -- and you ain't bad at the grapplin' either!"

It's almost like Chevy's forgotten to make her compliment a backhanded one! Wild.

Of course... the wave surfing isn't -just- to avoid Coco, or -just- to look cool. Her main goal is getting close enough to reach over and snag her pole and buckets off the deck. She accomplishes the goal rather quickly, there.

"Plus, hogs don't take well to dressin' up in costumes. They get -kicky-..."

All this extra time is being put to good use, building up speed. Chevy thunders towards Coco, crouching low and swinging her pole and buckets to one side. She's hoping that the leverage from her pole, combined with the rapid forward momentum of her wave surfing, will allow her to sweep Coco right off her feet! If successful in lifting Coco up with her pole, she'd quickly reverse that maneuver, driving her elbow into the Posh One's sternum while slamming her back-first onto the deck!

COMBATSYS: Coco dodges Chevy's Mudskipper EX.

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Coco             0/-------/=======|-------\-------\0            Chevy

"Well, I'd certainly be game for that," Coco says as she steps easily back out of the front kick and into her guard position, "but you fighting without water is probably more like me fighting with my hands tied behind my back."

She looks slightly bemused as Chevy compliments her grappling skills, waiting for the follow-up that she would have certainly been holding in the chamber if she were to say something kind about her opponent. When it doesn't come, she seems off-put. Then she realises the subterfuge at play - obviously, Chevy is just trying to trick her into looking out for the cross-punch in their verbal spar instead of focusing on the fight. Devious.

Well, Coco won't let Chevy get the better of her that easily.

She smiles amicably.

"Thanks, Chevy. You're too kind."

Then, Chevy makes her comment about hogs getting kick-y when dressed up in costumes.

At first, Coco just pictures a little piggy dressed up in a Napoleon tricorne like the one she bought for Morgie the other day.

"That sounds adora-"

Then, she imagines the little piggy doing a Muay Thai kick.


Suddenly scowling, Coco bends her upper body over Chevy's pole as she sweeps it toward Coco's lower body, letting herself forward drop onto her hands before rounding off with a twist of her hips, landing on her feet on the other side of the surfing Beaumont. She follows up the stunt by immediately moving to try and grab hold of Chevy again - pulling her around by the shoulders if she has to - attempting to catch her off-guard with both a grappling maneuver and direct eye contact once more.

"Well, we know which one of us likes to kick when we're rolling in the mud, don't we?" a sopping Coco seethes up at Chevy as the snakes might seem to hiss behind her. She moves as if to throw a knee once more, but it's a ruse to try and drop Chevy's guard low so that Coco can overtake Chevy's left arm, slither to one side and lash out with a high elbow above the trapped limb. If that succeeds, she'll follow up with a side-swipe of her hips to Chevy's thigh intended to take her down - the sensation of the force doubled by the power of empathic feedback should the collision occur!

COMBATSYS: Chevy counters Tiki Bongo from Coco with Low Tide.

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Coco             1/----===/=======|===----\-------\0            Chevy

If Coco were to fight with both arms tied behind her back, oddly, it would be hard for Chevy to grab hold of her. "... Yeah, let's just pass on that idea then...!"

As much as Chevy would like to know what's going on in Coco's mind, being privy to such information would likely drive her insane. She can tell that the Muay Thai fighter is working around her pole attack, but she's too committed to the pole sweep to pull away when she realizes that she's, somehow, angered Coco again!

"I wha-?!"

She stammers, finding herself unable to keep Coco in her view as she thunders forward! Buckets slosh with water as Chevy skids into a braking turn. She swings her pole wide, sending her water on a wide counterclockwise crescent as she turns back to face Coco.

"Like, the hogs! They're like--!"

And, of course, as soon as she turns around, Coco is out reaching for her! The foam-rubber maw of Charybdis jiggles as Chevy leaps backwards to just -barely- get her shoulders out of Coco's reach! With the water from her abandoned wave still cresting behind her, the wide-eyed hayseed starts to bring her pole in close again...

"Hey! I--"

When the knee comes close, Chevy finds that her tendency to keep her galvanized pipe pays off; the motion has the side effect of giving Coco her pole to grasp instead of her own arm.

"But that was--"

Having inadvertently bought herself another split-second, Chevy swings that end of her pole downward, raising the -other- end of the pole up to collide against the rushing elbow that follows.

"I mean--"

By now, Chevy is thoroughly flustered trying to keep up with everything that just happened. But one thing that -is- progressing steadily is the crescent wave of water that had been flung out from under her feet in that braking turn. That's the wave that comes cresting over top of the two monster-fied ladies -- and it's also the steady force of nature that gives Chevy the clarity she needs to finish her thought...

"-- Now just -slow down- a sec, will ya!?"

The sideswipe of Coco's hips crashes into a veritable -wall- of water, drowning out any other words that might have been destined to follow! The manifestation of Chevy's waterbending skills also helps her cope with the feedback that needles into her psyche, addling her already-addled thought processes. But with Miss Coalbridge occupied by the wave, Miss Beaumont tilts forward, grabs hold of her rival's elbow, and drops her back-first onto the ship's deck!

It just so happens that the toppling hold also shoves the monstrous maw and all its foam-rubbery teeth in Coco's face for the trip downward. Between that and the dozens of gallons of water around -- it might present a breathing hazard!

Once the two hit the deck, the redhead rolls to the side, panting heavily.

"Just so you know, I warn't talkin' about you! I was talkin' about *hogs*, actual honest-to-God *hogs!* Sheesh!"

For reasons primarily historical, Coco has what might be considered an acute awareness of irony and social subterfuge, which, while easily masked (thanks to years of practice) in normal socialisation, can translate readily into the appearance of hypersensitivity in emotionally-charged situations. After all, given the choice between calmly calculating a verbal riposte and simply trying to crack her opponent in the jaw, it's the physical muscle memory that comes most easily.

Slamming her hips into a wall of cold ocean water does serve to snap Coco out of it, as it were, albeit not quickly enough to avoid getting dropped to the deck with Charybdis' rubbery maw covering her face. She thrashes her arms and legs as she winds up smothered for a few seconds before Chevy rolls aside.

Coco turns her head and spews saltwater onto the deck before inhaling deeply and huffing as she sits up.

"And the comment just /happened/ to be made while I was wearing a costume and kicking you?" Coco scoffs as she shifts up onto her hands and into a crouch. "Maybe you're right. It's entirely possible that I'm giving your cleverness too much credit!"

As she lashes out verbally, she lashes out physically as well - planting her palms and twisting, her back arching, hips lifting and leg extending in a maneuver that has far more to do with yoga than Muay Thai - aiming to strike Chevy with a sidekick from deck level!

COMBATSYS: Chevy blocks Coco's Medium Kick.

[            \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////                ]
Coco             1/---====/=======|====---\-------\0            Chevy

"Yeah. It just happened. 'Cause we was talkin' about hog rasslin'."

There's no deceit in Chevy's mind -- just a measure of exasperation as she strives to remain calm throughout the battle. It seems like she's been honest about that part, at least.

As Scylla shifts into a crouch, so too does Charybdis. Though, of course, the giant costume maw standing there in between a pair of bony knees -- and a pole and buckets clutched in one hand to the side -- does come across as looking a little silly for a moment.

In grade school, Jessie had once said Chevy was 'as clever as a sack of hammers.' Her momma had to advise her afterwards that it was not a compliment. So ever since then, she's viewed the word 'clever' with a bit of skepticism. Though, she doesn't have time to question that as the yoga kick is driven towards her: from the crouched position, Chevy chooses to turn sideways and absorb the shock on the side of her thigh and a hinged forearm. Coming from Coco, though, that's enough of an impact to bowl the ill-balanced Chevy over onto her side again.

"Oh. Well, yeah, I warn't tryin' to make y'mad," she calls out, sloshing around upon the deck and rising back to her usual height. When she pops up, she's wearing a friendly grin -- which, again, might seem a little at odds with the swollen eye and the dark seafoam green skin tone.

She spins the pole in her right hand, swirling the water around in place so that she can balance out the buckets' contents as she watches Coco for signs of motion. She then stops the pole horizontally, gripping it with both hands just beneath the costumed Charybdis maw.

"So that just now... was that a Mooey Tie kick?"
Chevy always did wonder: does Mooey Tie refer to the funny little headband worn by practitioners?

But then she suddenly rushes forward, dropping back to a crouch as she closes the gap to Coco. What happens next is -- Charybdis' maw rushes up to assault!

The truth of the matter is a little more confusing -- as Chevy's actually trying to slam her pole up into Coco's clavicles. If the move lands as expected, the splashes of water will intermix with the sound of ice rapidly freezing the pole into place, as Chevy aims to launch herself up and over Coco's head, using the anchored pole to lift Coco into a momentum-assisted slam onto her back!

To literally -everyone else- though it looks like Charybdis is trying to devour Coco's face in a weird and physics-agnostic variant of an alligator death roll! So the posh Brit might get a bit seasick from having sopping wet foam rubber teeth thrust towards her repeatedly while being hurled into an unasked-for backflip...

Even to one of Chevy's bourgeoning talent, it would be difficult to say exactly when control over her localized rain shower was subverted. At some point during the act of strike and counter strike, jab and accidental counter jab; the subtle pressure of its presence simply vanished, lifted from her control as by a pair of gentle, but infinitely skilled hands.
Spreading slowly outward from its point of origin, the shower transitioned from a gentle drizzle to a steady fall, clouds darkening in an ever-growing circle across the channel. Deep within the guts of those present, a sub-sonic rumble of thunder vibrates, hinting at further motion within the clouds.
Caught within the gloom of the once shining day, the replica ship bobs and rolls gently against its ropes, threatening to trip the spirited young camera man who has been working the ground around the girls fight. And it is in that moment of lurch, with the Italian's stomach rising into his throat and Chevy's cheerful face rising up over Coco's head in the beginning of her flailing costumed death roll, that three things happen in quick succession.
Firstly, a firm hand catches the camera man beneath the arm, steadying him just long enough that he can regain his footing.
Secondly, Chevy's eyes pass across the spot where the camera man is standing, catching a glimpse of a robed figure in a broad conical hat, teeth and eyes gleaming white as he flashes her a quick, amused smile.
And finally, a great blast of thunder rends the sky directly overhead, lightning forking bright through the clouds as the very bones of the ship quiver beneath the fighters.
On a second, or even a third glance, the figure is gone, though the presence within the storm remains, sky grey and rain a constant companion.

COMBATSYS: Coco blocks Chevy's Marsh Slam EX.

[              \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////                 ]
Coco             1/-======/=======|====---\-------\0            Chevy

Somehow, Chevy's reassurances don't seem to assuage the blossoming Muay Thai maven's mind for malice. Coco's derision only rises when Chevy asks her if the attack that she just used was a 'Mooey Tie' kick. She sniffs, the noise barely audible over the roar of sea and storm.

"Really, Chevy? Now you're trying to imply that I'm a cow? You should limber up before stretching like that, Chevy; you'll pull something."

Coco's hands move up to catch the pole as it's shoved up into her clavicles, dampening but not fully deadening the impact. Her gloved hands start to stick as the temperature drops around them, freezing them fast to the pole and ensuring that Coco is to come along for the ride. As she's flipped over, Coco tucks her legs in close before kicking out with both feet, breaking the icy grip between her gloves and sending herself flopping across the deck with the impact instead of slamming hard into it. She clenches her teeth and hisses in pain at the cold sensation lingering in her fingers, kipping up into a stumble before huffing and puffing warm air against her fingertips, exposed where the fabric of the gloves has ripped away and stuck on Chevy's pole.

Turning around, Coco shakes her hands out, her icy breath hanging in the air as she pants and focuses her gaze steadily on her opponent.

"Well, if we're going to bring the whole barnyard into thisss..."

There's a slightly sibilant slur to Coco's speech as she attempts to lock eyes with Chevy. If she can manage to establish that connection once more, the battered serpentine heads will start to shift and hiss along with her.

"...let'sss not forget what other sssurprisses Sscylla hasss in ssstore..."

The sibilance, in fact, isn't audible to anyone else - it's an illusion crafted alongside that of the living snake heads that stare Chevy down and hiss in chorus.

The chorus is suddenly joined by the rough barking of dogs from behind and beside Chevy - if the illusion were to take hold, she'd perceive a pack of junkyard mutts surrounding her and trying to tug at her legs in an effort to keep her from escaping.

If she does fall for the illusion and look, then the moment she'd look back up, Coco would have already closed the distance, the black mass of snakes lunging alongside her as she'd flip forward, a singularly devastating axe kick descending at lightning speed toward Chevy's head.

After all, some kicks might be common to all Muay Thai practitioners, but nearly all find innovations to match their personal styles.

And others, like Coco, steal somebody else's.

(c) Tia Langray

COMBATSYS: Coco successfully hits Chevy with #Cobra's Fang#.

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///                           ]
Coco             0/-------/-------|=======\===----\1            Chevy

Chevy generally does her best to work with what people tell her. Sometimes people used to put words in her mouth as a joke, and being too stubborn over that would end up earning the freckled farm girl some additional ridicule.

She's not worried about that here.
"**No**, Coco, I *warn't* sayin' that..."
Eyebrows low in frustration, she hadn't even waited to add her protest.
Which means she's cross-talking over what Coco says next.
It's just as well, really.

She grimaces as she can -feel- that the initial thrust of her attack didn't land quite the way she wanted to. She can't see what's different, though, with her own costume kind of in the way of that -- so it's a bit of a surprise when Coco's able to kick free in mid-air. Her landing is a bit wobbly, but she evens herself out with a swing of her pole to her right side. The icy water melts rapidly, funneling its way over into her buckets.

There's the matter of a certain bolt of lightning -- but Chevy's a bit too frustrated to make out the hazy details of the figure in the conical hat.

Her irritation is lessened somewhat as she sees Coco bounce across the deck though; she's barely able to keep from snickering as she finishes her thought.

"Heh -- I just know it warn't a 'Mai Tai' cause that's a thing you get at the bar..."

Her rationalization is then sidelined by Coco's tangent about barnyard animals. One blue eye blinks a few times at the odd sibilance, and at the way that Coco's trying to lock eyes with her. ... And that, itself, gives rise to skepticism as Chevy takes a couple steps backwards.

"Look, uh, I don't know what you've -heard-, but..."

Whatever thought was in her mind disappears as soon as she takes note of those snakes. One corner of her mouth lifts in distaste as soon as she starts to realize what's going on. The first time was unsettling; the second, much more painful. But this time she's starting to see it as the ruse that it is.

"Ugh, *really*, Coco? You done tried that alr--"

Her thoughts are again interrupted by... barking dogs? That's new! Chevy glances to her side to find a dog there! Quickly, she swings her pole at the dog! "Not right now! Shoo!". Hearing a second dog and a third, she swings her buckets at those as well -- though, with each moment, realization dawns further upon the hayseed's face. "Shoo! Shoo!"

She looks up.
"... Shoot!"
A shin fills her vision.
And then white stars, amidst a field of blackness.

The sudden impact to the redhead's cranium completely vacates any ideas of an immediate retribution. Charybdis' avatar crumples like a sack of hammers under Coco's kick, twin roostertails kicking up from her costume boots skipping sideways across the water's surface. Her shoulder hits the deck next; her head lolls sideways, stopping just short of meeting the surface. With one eye swollen, the other eyelid remains only slightly parted...

Chevy draws in her breath.
She plants one hand on the deck.
She looks up at Coco.
She pushes herself to a half-prone, half-sitting stance.
And the air starts to get -really- humid.

"Don't you go bringin' *dogs* into this fight!"

Chevy slams her hand into the deck. The toothy maw of Charybdis jiggles from the severe motion; the entire deck quakes. And water springs outward from the scattered pools -- as if the water's volume suddenly grows tenfold, rising up into a terrifying tsunami! The towering wave rushes out, heading towards Coco with every intent of swallowing her whole -- and quite possibly slamming her into the rails at the side of the deck!

COMBATSYS: Chevy keeps on fighting!

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////                         ]
Coco             0/-------/-------|>>>>---\-------\0            Chevy

COMBATSYS: Chevy successfully hits Coco with Gulf Stream.

[                      \\\\\\\\  < >  /////                         ]
Coco             0/-------/---<<<<|>>>>---\-------\0            Chevy

As Chevybdis crumples to the deck, Coco lands in a crouch next to her, arms extended in balance, before Coco straightens up slowly and smirks, flicking her hair out of her face and brushing her fingers through it.

"Well, that was easier than I thought," she says, the sibilance gone from her voice again as she tilts her head to the sky and breathes in deeply through her nostrils. Sniffing, she crinkles her nose, then says, "Is that ozone I smell?"

Before anyone can question how Coco knows what ozone smells like, something starts to shift at her feet.

It's Chevy.

'Don't you go bringin' *dogs* into this fight!'

Coco is caught off-guard for a moment, then cracks: "Well, I thought you'd prefer them to the sna-"

The water erupts from below Coco like the bidet from Hell. She tightens her stance and throws her arms up to shield herself in expectation of being able to let it wash past, but she's swept instead into the rails at the starboard side. As the boat lurches precariously with the shifting weight, Coco clings to the railing with her eyes shut tight before coughing and sputtering as the wave spills overboard into the sea.

One would have thought Coco would have learned by now not to start her victory animation while the timer was still ticking.

"Fine. No more dogs this time!" Coco growls as she uses the counter-lurching of the deck to propel herself back to her feet, staggering back toward Chevy as saltwater drips all over the deck. "Just a sea monster and a slightly less badass sea monster. Now, once and for all! Here's what a Muay Thai kick looks like!"

And with that, Coco throws out a left-handed jab, perhaps confusing the issue further - but immediately following in combination is a right-legged roundhouse aimed at Charybdis' maw!

COMBATSYS: Coco successfully hits Chevy with Pina Collider.

[                       \\\\\\\  < >  /                             ]
Coco             0/-------/-======|>>>>---\-------\0            Chevy

The psychic influence muddled Chevy's thoughts and the kick rattled everything left.

As a general rule though, she does prefer dogs to snakes.

Groaning, Chevy presses her galvanized pipe into the deck of the ship, no doubt leaving a dent in the wood (bad, Chevy, bad!) as she hauls herself back to her feet. With dogs no longer a pressing threat, she sways from side to side along with the listing of the ship. One hand presses to her head in a futile attempt to stop the ringing sound.

Only when she's risen back to her feet does she squint her one good eye to find where her water's left Coco. Once she can make out the sight of the Scylla costume, she shakes her head.

"Dunno -what- you put in my head, but take it back, I don' wan' it!"

When Coco mentions 'sea monster,' though, Chevy lifts her hands, looking back at her sleeves. Miraculously, the bulky costume is still -mostly- intact, with only a few splits in the coated foam rubber.

"Oh... Okay, cool!"

She smiles blearily, clearly not ready for presenting a TED talk on her experiences. Coco's staggering seems to be the impetus for jumpstarting Chevy back into fighting form though, as the hayseed gives one quick spin to her staff -- never mind that the buckets are, for the most part, empty.

Coco steps close.
She mentions a kick.
And Chevy looks down, expectantly.


That left handed jab socks her right in the collarbone! Chevy staggers backwards, gritting her teeth. She starts to sway sideways, but it's not enough to get her out of range of the roundhouse that follows -- one which buckles the "skin" of the Charybdis maw, squishing the material for a bit, before it suddenly bursts open into the lighter color of the filling inside!

Oh, and Chevy staggers backwards from the kick itself, which had gone on to impact her in the abdomen. She skitters backwards, her boots squeaking on the wet deck before she's dropped to a knee.

"Aha... Ahahahaha!"

It's not immediately clear what Chevy finds amusing. But it might have something to do with the fact that both buckets are on the same end of her staff now -- and the sudden sideways motion filled them both up with water.

"I was gonna -ask- you..."

She continues to snicker as she pushes back to her feet, against all odds and common sense! But... She also does something else: reaches for Coco's left wrist with her right hand!

"Who let the dogs out!"

She hollers out -- and swings the now fully-laden buckets to her left! If she'd managed to secure a tight grip on Scylla's arm, the sudden motion would tug her right off her feet -- and hurl her shoulder at the deck of the ship!

But , regardless of the success or failure of the move, Chevy herself would be flung off her own feet from such a dramatic movement -- and that would hurl to the deck on her back in similar fashion. It doesn't even seem like that's a concern though, as she rolls out in laughter, flying through the air:

"Woof! Woof! Hahahaha!!"

COMBATSYS: Chevy can no longer fight.

[                       \\\\\\\  <
Coco             0/-------/-======|

COMBATSYS: Coco blocks Chevy's Riptide.

[                         \\\\\  <
Coco             0/-------/=======|

The combination from Coco is a quick one, a fundamental intended to allow her to slip easily back into neutral guard without committing too heavily on the offense. When it lands flush, she does just that - bringing her shredded gloves up ready to defend high or low depending on what Chevy does next.

When that turns out to be 'laughing like a maniac,' Coco arches an eyebrow questioningly. She doesn't say anything, for once, instead listening and observing, acutely aware of the precarious position she herself is in. Something about the water wielded by her opponent has had a wearing effect on her, despite her successes in defending herself. She's learned on at least a subconscious level by now that the elements do not favour her. Hell, she's known that ever since she first forgot sun cream on a beach day.

She's ready when Chevy reaches for her, tugging to try and escape, and when that fails, instead adapting her fall so that she slips loose into a roll one more time. If there's one thing that she'll certainly have learned by fighting Chevelle Beaumont, it's how to break a fall.

Her feet catch against the railing of the ship as she rolls across the deck, stopping her from crashing into it harder. She pants a couple of times with her legs akimbo before pushing off and into a backward roll, teetering up to her feet and turning to face toward Chevy, lifting a knee and both gloves one more time. When she sees that the other fighter doesn't seem to be getting up, she lets her foot and shoulders slump, her chest heaving steadily.

Finally, she musters the oxygen to express one more thought on Chevelle's behalf:

"I probably kicked you a bit too hard, there."

A beat passes.

"Sorry," she says with a shrug, her face breaking into a smile.

And with that, she pulls the serpentine back harness up over her head, the water trapped between it and her back leaking rapidly out of the leg holes of her swimsuit. She tosses the rubber hydra to one side.

As her victory is announced and the fight is finished, she turns her thoughts to more important matters.

"God, my make-up must be so dire right now," she remarks, reaching out to take a towel being offered to her before using it to carefully wipe her face.

COMBATSYS: Coco takes no action.

[                         \\\\\  <
Coco             0/-------/=======|

COMBATSYS: Coco has ended the fight here.

Log created on 16:27:32 03/28/2024 by Chevy, and last modified on 10:43:33 04/04/2024.