Scratch - Express Delivery (Not) Guaranteed

Description: When Rocket ends up getting a special delivery job that requires her to revisit Mad Gear territory, a certain rival skater takes it upon herself to disrupt the route. The result only means trouble for thte both of them.

Every now and then, a package comes through Metro Express that doesn't have a delivery or return address labelled on it. These are usually accompanied by a simple message; one that only reaches the eyes of Franky, the boss of the business. He knows where it's meant to go... and he knows not to question what it is or where it came from.

Today, one such package arrived at the office. Most of the couriers refused to make runs for those, especially since they almost inevitably end up needing to get sent to some of the worst neighbourhoods in Metro. There are rumours that some of the runners who make such deliveries never come back.

Rina O'Reilly had no such qualms. A job was a job, and dangerous? Just another synonym for 'exciting' for her. Besides, she'd spent more time in those parts of town than she has the safer streets, especially since her father was once a minion of Mad Gear before his arrest nearly a decade ago. So when the package came through, she was the first to volunteer to make the run.


And that's why now, she's about a couple of city blocks deep in known Mad Gear territory, skating with her headphones turned up loud and wearing a black and purple outfit. The package she's got under her arm is unlabelled and a little too big to fit in her blue jean satchel. She's make a prime target for a mugging, but most of the thugs sitting and standing on the porches and street corners here know her, and even those that don't make the assumption that she's probably making a delivery for the Gear. After all, why else would she be here?

Her destination is just another block or two away, a local dive bar known by the locals to be wholly under the gang's thumb. A place haunted only by the truly desperate.

Deliveries come and go around these parts, and usually, none of them spell anything good for anyone not a part of Mad Gear. But the regularity of these packages can often work against whoever's expecting them, especially when one isn't cowed enough to turn a blind eye toward things.

And as the courier on skates rounds the block toward the bar it eventually is meant to arrive at, someone watches from a nearby fire escape. Someone who had an interest in giving the Mad Gear a thumb in the eye. Someone with skates of her own.

Straightening up the messy, palm-tree like ponytail sprouting from the back of her head, Scratch loomed overhead, waiting for just the moment to get involved. And as she spotted the regular package, the package she'd noticed delivered at regular intervals before, she knows it's the one Mad Gear is expecting. Soon as the courier disappears around the corner, she leaps off the fire escape, grinding down the rail before popping off and down onto the street. The landing is a jarring one, but not something she's unused to at this point

And even if 'hit the ground running' is a bit of a myth, her wheels keep her momentum going enough that she can dash off and make a line straight for that package.

It's about time she graduated from just marking up their turf after all.

Rocket isn't rolling at her top speed - it's a lot of effort to do that, and while she may be pretty reckless when she's just skating for fun, she's at least marginally more careful when it comes to making deliveries. Especially since this one's too bulky for the side bag. So her pace is really a bit leisurely for someone on rollerblades, which is a little faster than most people on foot.

She's not careful enough about making deliveries to be fully aware of her surroundings, though. Generally, as long as she's not skating in the middle of the street, she only really has to pay attention to what's ahead of her, and occasionally to the sides. And right now, she's too busy listening to RHCP's 'Get Up and Jump' to notice the sound of skates approaching behind her.

It's not until she feels the weight of the package under her arm suddenly disappear that Rocket notices that anything is up.

"Hey! What the frig?"

Even if stealth is not really her forte, Scratch seemed to be good enough at it enough that when the time for stealth was over, she could just speed off and make a break for it before anyone could know better.

That seems to benefit her as she's able to snatch the package out from the courier's arms, leaving just a white, cyan, and red blur in her wake as she sped off. Of course, as soon as she has the box, she realizes how hard it is to skate with a box under her arm. Unable to use her arms as a counterbalance, her own speed dips significantly as she tries to round the corner past the bar and clear the other way.

Of course, even if she's unable to go at full speed, she's willing to take the time to make some kind of insulting gesture to the courier. "Sorry, girl, but Mad Gear's going to have to get their fix from someone else!" she shouts back before turning forward again, constantly switching which arm the box is held under.

The sight of the multi-coloured speeding ahead of her causes Rocket's eyebrows to both arch up. Another inliner? What would she want with the package? Rocket herself has no idea what's in it - just that if it doesn't get where it's suppposed to go, she doesn't get paid - or worse. If she lost the package and they came asking Franky about what happened to it, she might well get thrown under a bus - maybe even literally.

Of course, more prevalent in Rocket's mind is how cool Scratch's hair looks - she's even about to make a comment on it - until she sees the rude gesture. Whatever words accompany it are lost on Rocket to the sounds of a funky bassline.

"What'd you call me?!" she yells as she pulls her headphones down around her neck. With her own hands now free, she's able to pick up speed rapidly as she gives pursuit to the other skater, chasing her around the corner.

"Come on, give it back or I'm gonna kick your ass!"

Not bothering to look back this time, Scratch does her best to pick up speed. She has the bright idea to try and hold the box on one shoulder as she skates, but she realizes how much quicker it tires her arm out more before she switches back to the under-the-arm style again.

She can hear wheels behind her, knowing that the courier is coming after her. "Alright, lets see if you can handle this..." Even if she's tempted to simply wind around and kick her pursuer in the face, she's not about to stick around in Mad Gear country to do so. She needs to get SOME separation. And that's what she tries when she finds an access ramp railing and leaps onto it, grinding her way down before making a leap to a nearby light pole, one she tries to hook onto and use as a fulcrum for a quick turn.

The sound of the music coming from Rocket's headphones is as loud as the clicking of her wheels on the pavement. When the challenge is issued just before she sees Scratch disappear down the railing, she gives a bit of a huff and picks up more speed.

"Handle this? Please," she shouts back as she hops up onto the rail after Scratch, landing sideways on it and skidding down after her. She's coming down at enough speed that she's gaining on her, at least until Scratch uses the light post to hook around to a new direction.

"Why don't you give me a real chall - hey!" she yells as Scratch's trajectory changes. She doesn't see it coming and is forced to powerslide to a stop before pumping her legs furiously to gain back momentum as she changes directions and starts after Scratch again.

"Come on! Do you have any idea how much shit we're both gonna be in?!"

Her little quick-turn stunt gives Scratch some ground as she had hoped, but she already knows she's not going to keep up this rate with the box in hand. "You think I'm afraid of some Mad Gears losers?" she asks, making her way to a subway entrance and grinding down the railing there as well. She's forced to drop and quickly hook herself again before jumping down the next flight, but if she can make the subway station, she's got a chance.

After all, she's not going to outrun her she may as well just find a nice space for her to drop a surprise for the gang courier, dropping the box in the middle of the station before hiding behind a token machine. At least that's her intent. Depends on just how fast the other skater REALLY is....

Rocket's brow crinkles beneath the back of her ballcap as she follows after the other skater. As she hits the descent to the subway, she hops up as well, grinding down the railing. Scratch is out of sight, but Rocket can hear the sounds of skates echoing up from below.

"Hey! Do you even /know/ Mad Gear? Some of those guys are batshit!" she yells down as she hops off the rails and powerslides up to the wall of the stairwell before pushing off and jumping up onto the railing going further down.

"Like this one guy, he thinks he's a fuckin' samurai..." she trails off as she enters the station level and Scratch is nowhere to be seen. The package, on the other hand, is just sitting there.

"Wha...?" Maybe the other girl had a change of heart? Rocket chooses not to question it further, rolling forward and bending low with the intent of scooping up the box...

Waiting behind the token machine, Scratch listens to the echoing yells of the courier as she follows the rogue skater down into the subway station. Leaning down and keeping her eye on the package as she lets the bait air out, she scowls a little bit more. She doesn't really need to be reminded how crazy Mad Gear people can be, after all. She has her own issues with them, even the lower level thugs.

As the courier comes closer and closer, Scratch gets antsier and antsier, impatient for the moment ti come. But when she finally bends down to pick up that discarded package, Scratch finally goes into action.

Pulling herself around the token machine, she makes a line straight for the baseball capped skater, glowering. Not a word is exchanged this time, not when she can talk the way she knows Mad Gear would listen to. As she gets speed, she drops low, a leg tucked uner the other while the extended one shouts out skate-first to trip up the courier.

COMBATSYS: Scratch has started a fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Scratch          0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Rocket has joined the fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Rocket           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0          Scratch

COMBATSYS: Rocket just-defends Scratch's Acid Soul Slide!

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Rocket           0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0          Scratch

The package is just in hand when Rocket suddenly hears the sound of skates approaching, just scarcely audible over her headphones as they hang near her ears. It's too late to get out of the way by this point. As Scratches skate plows into her leg from the side, Rocket lifts her foot so that her skate catches the impact and is sent tumbling sideways. The package flies out of her hands, smacking into a nearby wall before dropping to the floor. She manages to plant a hand on the ground before she impacts, continuing the motion into a short flip back onto her skates.

Turning to face her assailant, she raises her hands and shifts her feet into a Kenpo stance. "Fine! If that's the way you want to play it!" She skates forward, clenching a fist as she does so and aiming a right-handed straight at the other rollerblader.

COMBATSYS: Scratch blocks Rocket's Medium Punch.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////   ]
Rocket           0/-------/---====|>------\-------\0          Scratch

Cursing under her breath as her sliding kick is caught on a skate, Scratch continues on pushing herself up and whipping herself back up onto her wheels once she's far enough. Spinning around to arrest her momentum a bit, the skater scowls at her failed ambush. This one isn't your oblivious wannabe thug it seems. And when she's forced to put her shoulder and arm up into the incoming punch, she realizes the other girl doens't hit like your normal thug either.

Pivoting away as the force of the punch sends her backwards on her skates, she hooks her hand onto a nearby pillar. She shows just how fond she is of catapulting herself around things as she winds around said pillar and straight toward Rocket again. This time, she stays upright, and tries to extend her arm out again, this time to catch one of the courier's arms. Rather than simply whip around harmlessly though, she'd try and jam in a palm into Rocket's shoulder, where the feeling of heat would come from said palm as she attempted to drag her forcefully to the station floor.

COMBATSYS: Rocket blocks Scratch's Rewind Whip.

[    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////    ]
Rocket           0/-------/=======|>------\-------\0          Scratch

Rina isn't a typical street tough, nor is she a typical skater. When it comes to fighting, she's something in-between, and then a little more. Then again, so is Scratch, it seems - hanging on the defensive after taking the swing at the other skater, Rocket's not moving quite fast enough to get out of the way as Scratch grabs her by the arm. The unexpected burning sensation emitting from the palm on her shoulder elicits a quick "Ack!" before she's sent down to the tiled floor. She manages to dampen the impact with her elbow pads, yanking her arm away quickly from the heat as she rolls sideways to break away from Scratch.

"Nice... trick," Rocket says as she rolls backward, gritting her teeth as she holds her shoulder. "Let's see how you like this one!"

Pushing forward on her skates, she throws herself toward Scratch and plants both hands on the floor, twisting her legs in the air. The wheels of her skates start to glow with blue chi energy before igniting as she twirls her legs out, kicking them toward Scratch in a circular arc.

COMBATSYS: Scratch blocks Rocket's Orbit Breaker.

[    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////      ]
Rocket           0/-------/-======|>>>----\-------\0          Scratch

Whatever stance that the other girl takes, Scratch doesn't recognize it. And for her part, the rogue skater doesn't even really have a style, at least any cohesive one.. She knows how to handle herself clearly though, as when the slashing kicks come out toward her in that circular arc, she's able to bring her other shoulder in as well as her arm, turning into the blow and cushioning the best she can on her shoulder and back before rolling away.

She's not exactly looking good taking blows like that, though, her shoulders already looking a little red as she stares at her counterpart. "'re not so hot," she insists, keeping up a bit of bluster, before charging in, trying to sweep in and grab at Rocket's leg on the pass, aiming to pull it out from underneath her with a little bit of momentum.

COMBATSYS: Scratch successfully hits Rocket with Medium Throw.

[         \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////////     ]
Rocket           1/-------/=======|>>>----\-------\0          Scratch

There's a rumble starting to come from down the tracks as the two skaters scrap in the subterranean station. The trains do run even down in these parts of the city, although few people from elsewhere have reason to come here and few people from here have anything waiting for them elsewhere.

Rocket's leg gets caught out from under her as Scratch passes, sending the cyan-haired skater spinning onto the ground to land on her back. Rocket winces before kipping back up to her feet quickly. Holding an arm across her torso, she shouts, "Yeah?! Well you can su-"

Whatever else she says is drowned out by the rumble and shriek of the subway train pulling into the station, but judging by the look on her face it probably isn't anything friendly. She skates in fast, this time trying to get inside Scratch's guard before throwing a rapid series of three palm strikes toward the other girl's midsection. On the third strike she'll release a burst of chi energy on contact that would send Rocket herself sliding backward on her skates before bringing her own guard back up.

COMBATSYS: Scratch dodges Rocket's Triple Thrust Combo.

[          \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////////     ]
Rocket           1/-------/=======|>>>----\-------\0          Scratch

Managing to grab around Rocket's leg, and spinning her over, Scratch manages to speed by and using the space of the station to whip around, speed skating style as she turns around. Now that she's getting momentum, she's not about to stop if she can help it. Even as she hears the courier start to curse her out, she smirks, still trying to make circles around.

The rumbling makes it hard to hear any cues as far as what the other skater intends, but with that momentum, she's able to wheel herself out of the way of the attempted strikes to her midsection. She's barely able to skate past the burst the final strike makes, causing the skater to sweat. With the train still rumbling too loud to hear, she's still willing to shout back to the Mad Gear(?) skater.

"-s up a flag pole!!" she shouts audibly as the train finally goes by far enough to hear anything. Whatever she intended to say, who knows. What's apparent is that she's straight after Rocket again, this time pulling out a can from her cargo pants and trying to spray out a burst of spraypaint toward Rocket's face. And if that weren't bad enough, it was almost like the paint was glowing, as the skate punk charged it with the same chi she had used to press against Rocket's shoulder before.

COMBATSYS: Rocket blocks Scratch's Taggin' It.

[            \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////       ]
Rocket           1/-----==/=======|>>>>---\-------\0          Scratch

Rocket's arms are already up and ready to protect her face when Scratch pulls the spray can out. She ducks her face behind them, crossing her forearms to keep the paint from getting in her eyes. However, while she keeps it from getting in her face, it's not as harmless as expected - she can feel it burning her arms through the sleeves of her purple undershirt, like Icy-Hot.

"What the frig?!"

Once she's out of the cloud, she starts thrashing her arms, trying to get the neon green paint off of her arms first by shaking it off, then by swiping at it with her gloved palms.

"What is this? Acid? Is it radioactive? Are you crazy?!"

There're only a couple of people getting off the subway, but it's enough to remind Rocket that that box is still sitting out in the open.

"Forget it! I gotta package to deliver!" she yells as she starts skating across the floor, on an angle to the box itself. A couple of moments later and about halfway to the box, she hops into the air, turning toward Scratch and bringing her green-covered arms together, palms turned outward toward the other girl and glowing with blue chi.

"HUAH!" she half-grunts, half-yells as a brilliant blast of energy flies toward Scratch, the backlash propelling Rocket back to skid along the ground toward the Mad Gear delivery on her backside.

Should the blast miss Scratch, it's likely to blow out a window or two on the subway train, but that kind of vandalism is to be expected in this part of town, right?

COMBATSYS: Rocket successfully hits Scratch with Super Rocket Shot.
Glancing Blow

[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Rocket           0/-------/-----==|>>>>>>-\-------\0          Scratch

That was definitely not something Scratch expected. Sure, she's seen thing slike that on TV during those big televised fights, but not up front and personal before. And with precious few ways to arrest her momentum once she realizes she's about to run right into the huge blast of blue energy, she has to think quick.

Dropping low, she tries to slide underneath, just as she had tried to do to the courier before, but the slide is timed late, and by the time she's moving down, she's already flying face first into the blast. It's only the quick lifting of her arms prevents her from getting it in the face, but even then, the force is enough to slam her back down mid-slide, taking the breath out of her and leaving her arms singed anyway.

Gasping and trying to get air back into her lungs, she doesn't have much time to do anything else before the rest of the blast blows out a train window across the platform, causing her to jump.

Realizing that she might have not thought this through quite as well as she thought, she clutches her chest and narrows her eyes toward Rocket....then dashes toward her. Or....rather, not toawrd the courier, but toward the package, trying to kick it down past the turnstiles and into the tracks before making for the stairs. A little bit of spite to punctuate her retreat if she can.

Using the recoil of the blast to propel herself closer to the box was a calculated move on Rocket's part. While an inexperienced fighter, she's aware of the effect her energy has on her when released. However, she doesn't actually have all that much practice with controlling the force or directionality of such maneuvers. And so, as she slides back into the wall of the subway station on her ass, she ends up coming to a stop a good several feet away from the package she was aiming for. It's an awkward position to get up onto her skates from, and she starts to use a hand to brace against the wall and pull herself up slowly.

However, at the sound of skates clicking closer, she turns her head and spots Scratch swooping in. Realising that the other girl is going for the box, she stops trying to pull herself up and scrambles frantically toward the package on her hands and knees. She tries to push herself closer with her skates, but her wheels give out from under her, and she's left reaching for the box on her stomach. Stretching out her fingertips, she just barely manages to graze the top of the container, sucking in a breath as she tries to edge it closer -

Only to have it swiftly kicked out from under her hand. Rina's green eyes follow the box helplessly as it skids across the floor, under the turnstiles, and into the path of the slowly departing train. She bites her lip, silent for a moment, before she takes in a deep breath.


COMBATSYS: Rocket has left the fight here.

[         \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Scratch          0/-------/-<<<<<<|

COMBATSYS: Scratch has ended the fight here.

Scratch gets only about halfway up the stairs before she collapses to the side, holding onto the railing as she finds herself gasping for air. That hard hit onto the floor still knocked most of the air out of her lungs and her body seems to refuse to breathe in properly yet. At least, however, from the shout she hears not too far away, she seemed to have done what she wanted.

She doesn't look back, though, not wanting to get any further involved. Instead, she pulls herself back up the stairs by the railing, careful steps so not to roll off the edge of a step before she gets back to street level. Leaning against the wall once she's outside, she finally gets a chance to steady her breath, diaphragm cooperating with her again. That was certainly an adrenaline rush, but maybe not one she was ready for.

Pushing off the wall, she looked around, sighing. The burning quesiton on her mind now?: 'How do I get home from here before anyone else spots me?'

Log created on 16:53:59 11/15/2014 by Scratch, and last modified on 12:02:14 11/17/2014.