Neo League 0087 - NL#0097: Hayley vs Mint

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Description: Neo League, the bastard stepchild of the pro fighting world. Sure, when the world's falling to hell and tournament season is in full swing, no one even thinks twice about poor ol' Neo League. But now with Japan in an uneasy truce with the United Nations, everyone just -happens- to remember that Neo League's a thing again. Oh, enough bellyaching, Mint and Hayley have a fight, just read it!

Hayley arrived in Japan not too long ago. While it's not her first time in the country, her visit years ago was under much better circumstances. It was a simpler time then; Hayley was "simply" touring the world with her father and studying under various masters. She was still young, but she had much to learn, and her father always made it a fun experience, even with the stress of filming the show.

Now though? Hayley is here because she didn't know where else to go. Having been beaten badly and told that she was poorly trained lead Hayley back here once more to go back to some of her earliest masters in martial arts. Maybe Tremor was right. Maybe she needed to start over. The thought was terrifying to her. Could she really have that far to go?

She visited Southtown and a chance encounter in a noodle shop renewed her faith in herself. The only way she's going to get better is to find opponents on her level.

And what better opportunity than the Neo League?

And so, Hayley finds herself in Osaka. She's not entirely sure what to expect, but she's shown up in Osaka at the scheduled match time anyway. Today's venue is a cordoned off street fight in Osaka--street vendors bark out sales to passers-by as audience members start to congregrate. Hayley herself is dressed in blue karate pants, an open blue gi jacket, a black tanktop, and black foot and hand guards. She is presently stretching by taking hold of a bike rack and doing squatting pull-ups on it. Now where's her opponent...?

Neo League. All the cool kids are trying it. Or at least they were, before some weird interdimensional voodoo nonsense occupied the minds of all the fighters and then nuclear war broke out in Japan. Now the pay-per-view franchise is just holding on for dear life, grasping for any up-and-coming fighter who might want a shot at greatness.

Mint wasn't really going for -greatness -- just not screwing up so badly. She's... got a penchant for doing the -wrong- thing. Grab the IED in Afghanistan. Beat up the people trying to protect their own town in Mexico. Shatter her own knee trying to beat a walking incarnation of death. And then walk into an underground fight club in Metro City and attack the biggest, strongest bad guy there.
None of these were great decisions, even if they did turn out to be pretty badass despite that.

Neo League is a good decision though. Usually the fight organizers tend to pick an "even" fight based on a number of factors such as notoriety, popularity, and of course skill and attitude. And Mint...
Well, she had an attitude.

She looks down at the skewer in her comically oversized gauntlets. Upon the wooden skewer is a rather anemic wedge of batter-fried chicken. "... Five hundred yen for this? Tch, seems like a ripoff to me," she mumbles in English, to no one in particular -- and certainly not the street vendor behind her. Shrugging, she takes a bite out of the snack, making her way over to the fight venue.

Mint -does- appear to be attracting a following , all the same. Gigantic tech-laden gauntlets in the middle of a run-down haven for homeless folks? Yeah, even the teenagers are flocking to get a better look at the Indian-American woman as she samples the local cuisine, scanning one way and the next for her target. If it weren't for her cellphone's GPS, of course, she'd never find her way through the twisting alleyways of Osaka...

The pint-sized pugilist turns a corner, and... there's her opponent!

"Oh... hey!" The karateka gi stands out a bit much -- not many people wear a -gi- on the streets and even fewer a blue one. She takes special note of the leg exercises, frowning for a brief instant. Leg exercises mean kicking. Mint gulps down the rest of her kushiage skewer, before breaking into a light jog. Sure enough, as she gets closer she can see the camera and lighting rigs set up to immortalize the fight, along with the Neo League crew.

"Hey, we're both foreigners here, so I guess this is the freakin' place! Haha!" With a groan of hydraulics, her right mecha-fist pounds into her left mecha-palm, a broad smile on her face. "Is... is that outfit from like... kung fu or something? I've never been much good with -kicks-..."

COMBATSYS: Mint has started a fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Mint             0/-------/-------|

Hayley hops up, stretching her arms by bracing her forearm against the elbow. After working both arms, she grabs her gi and straightens it, tugging on the jacket to stretch it out. Notably, she does not have a belt.
%Hayley has a poor track record of her own. It seems like she has a tendency toward picking fights out of her league. When the Neo League ad caught her eye, Hayley jumped at the opportunity. Maybe this would be her chance to find good rivals--people she could spar with to improve her own skills. More people like...Yun.

The first thing that Hayley notices is the gauntlets.

"Err," Hayley bites her lip. "Hoi! Yeah, suppose you're right there," Hayley runs a hand through her hair. "Do you uh," Hayley points at the gauntlets, "fight with those?" The Aussie glances down at her outfit. "Oh, uh, well, technically it's kind of generic. I use..." Hayley considers for a moment. "Juujizaryu. It's kind of obscure, unless you watched Fight Hunter," Hayley says more quietly.

"I'm Hayley, by the way! Nice to meet ya!"

COMBATSYS: Hayley has joined the fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Mint             0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0           Hayley

Mint knows very little about proper martial arts other than boxing. But she has seen enough to know that one really ought to have a belt with their gi. Too much looseness, too much disadvantage.
She doesn't comment on that though; just quirks an eyebrow.

Mint looks down at her knuckles -- as do many of those observing from the sidelines -- and nods slowly. "Well... yeah, they're part of my fighting style. And if I didn't have them on I'd be hitting you with nubby little stumps." She flexes her hands, stretching them out for display. "They're tuned with pressure sensors to not like -totally- crush you if I get hold though. I haven't had a problem with handshakes since the Mark I, honest!"

She laughs, placing one giant hand behind her head.
And she realizes people might not be able to tell she was joking.
"Heh... just... just a joke. I do kinda need these though, otherwise I won't be much of a challenge!"

Then, there's mention of a fighting style, which just kinda flies past Mint without being identified. "... Huh... nah. Fight Hunter, what's that, like a FightTube show or something?" She's not trying to be rude -- she literally never watched the show before.

"Minal. You can call me Mint, though!" She plucks the Marine Corps hat right off her head, retucking it back into place.

The Neo League fight official steps in at about that point, mic in hand. "Are the fighters ready?"

Mint nods back with a cheery grin. "Ready! Let's make this a fun fight!"

And then as soon as the fight begins, the Marine corporal launches forward, intending to introduce Hayley to her KNUCKS gauntlets with a broadly telegraphed punch to the midsection! Nothing fancy, just something to get the blood pumping! "OORAH!"

COMBATSYS: Hayley instinctively blocks Mint's Light Punch.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Mint             0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0           Hayley

"Oh, alright," Hayley takes that as is, brushing her hair back from her face. "Err--sorry to hear about that. I won't pry though," Hayley goes a little pale at the joke, but then Mint clarifies. She laughs, perhaps a little awkwardly.

"That's fair," Hayley says, thumbing her nose. "But I hope they're not as scary as they look, otherwise this might be much faster than anyone would hope." Hayley laughs, but it's an awkward laugh again. Maybe one that's uncomfortably true to her right now. "And it's an old cable show from Australia!" Hayley says. "My dad was the host. It's...kind of a long story. Anyway!" Hayley shifts into a fighting stance, spreading her feet wide with one in front of the other. She extends her arms in front of her, palms open but hands sideways with fingertips pointing toward Mint.

"Let's make this a good fight, eh, Mint?" But then there's the bell, and Mint is charging at Hayley with a punch. The Aussie blocks downward with the back of her forearm, intercepting the blow and redirecting it with a thump of muscle against machine. With the deflection, Hayley steps forward toward Mint, aiming to plow her hip into the smaller woman and then toss her by the arm with a hip throw.

COMBATSYS: Mint blocks Hayley's Quick Throw.

[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Mint             0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0           Hayley

"Oh, uh... sorry to hear that!"
Awkwardness abounds, as the two fighters share uncomfortable and yet defining portions of their respective backstories! It's all caught live on Neo League cameras, though it will probably make it into the B-roll footage. Gotta make a dramatic fifteen minute segment out of it, regardless!

It seems Mint's at least capable of pulling her punches when the situation demands -- the formidable fists are certainly heavy, and yet the pugilist has worked out with them enough to know when to hold back. With potentially lethal weapons at hand, control is everything!

Mint is already starting to sidestep away when Hayley counterattacks with her hip. Minal's eyes widen at the sudden attack -- she expected some kind of tell to give her an indication of the impending strike, but no -- nothing! If it weren't for the considerable girth of her arms, the corporal wouldn't have been able to block the attack, but as it is, a loud *CLANK* announces the moment in which Hayley collides with the broadside of Mint's leading gauntlet -- a hasty defense for a hasty attack!

"Is... is that part of jujubee-ryu too?" queries Mint as she's forced back a step. But only one step -- for it's right after that that the aft ends of the Marine's gauntlets flare with rocket flame, forcing her forward! If Mint manages to aim correctly, she'll be grabbing hold of one of Hayley's shoulders with one massive hand -- proving that, yes, she -has- solved the crushing problem to satisfaction. Her other fist will be pistoning upward at Hayley's abdomen -- one, two, three high-speed, low-impact strikes! It isn't -just- an uppercut though, as the KNUCKS's burners are continuing to fire -- quite possibly dragging both fighters into the air!

COMBATSYS: Hayley blocks Mint's STOL.

[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////   ]
Mint             0/-------/------=|==-----\-------\0           Hayley

Hayley bites her lip. "Oh, no! It's okay!" She'll probably regret looking like such a dork when she watches the Neo League video later. This is not the best way to get ahead, but at least the experience pays off.

And after she collides with Mint's army, Hayley rubs her hip briefly. "Well, it's part one of my customizations," Hayley admits, "And Juujizaryu! Southern Cross Style!"

But Hayley's correction is cut short when Mint wraps a hand around Hayley's shoulder. When Mint doesn't move to a throw, Hayley goes on the defensive. She crosses her forearms low, taking the uppercut with a cross block. The piston-like strikes hammer her guard, but Hayley stays firm. When the booster fires, Hayley is still guarding, pressing her defenses against Mint's boost as they are both launched into the air.

"Whoa!" Hayley interjects, pushing back to free herself of the upward momentum. She lands in a slide. "Rocket-powered?! That's so cool!" the Aussie says, shaking her hands after taking those blows. She doesn't wait to dwell on it, however, because next Hayley is launching forward at Mint! She stands up on the ball of her foot, springing forward into a spinning hook haymaker that practically carries her right back toward striking distance with Mint.

COMBATSYS: Hayley successfully hits Mint with Devil Spin.

[       \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////////     ]
Mint             0/-------/---====|===----\-------\0           Hayley

Mint is pretty proud of her rocket-powered arms. They may not have been assembled by her, but she had... a hand in their development.

She's a bit perplexed at the way in which Hayley diversifies her defense, even when grappled! But that's something the boxer has to get used to -- folks -will- use their own martial prowess to get out of tight situations.

"H-hey--" retorts Mint as her opponent breaks free. Rocket flames die down as she scrambles over to try and regain her hold. That, in itself, puts her off-balance though -- meaning that she's right in the perfect reach for a Tazmanian Devil of a haymaker that she -ought- to have been ready for. Sketchy balance delays the raising of her guard, resulting in the taller of the two women smacking Mint right in the jaw, spinning her around from the impact!

"Ugh, ugh..." groans the Marine, drawing her arms in close as she spins. But she's not above using the momentum for a little extra boost -- for she starts off her counterattack sequence with a left backfist, before closing off with a meaty right hook. Each time, she exhales through her teeth like a proper pugilist should. Her third strike -- should she continue so far -- will be an underhand punch to the lower ribcage!

COMBATSYS: Hayley interrupts Knuckle Dragger from Mint with Wombat Tackle.

[              \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////       ]
Mint             0/-------/-======|=====--\-------\0           Hayley

Hayley has to wiggle a good bit to get free of Mint's big, metallic grip. Each blow rattles her guard, but with some shifting and thoroughly practiced defense techniques she pulls through. Even better for Hayley? Her big, swinging haymaker slips past Mint's guard and smacks the smaller woman in the jaw.

And when the haymaker is done, Hayley stays close and low. The counterattack comes swiftly with a backfist and right hook. Hayley keeps on her toes, however, and moves to keep on the pressure.

The Aussie ducks under the backfist, Mint's big gauntlet brushes through Hayley's hair close enough to nearly smack her right in the face. She turns into the hook, catching it in the shoulder with a graze rather than a full hit--but it's still enough to visibly stagger Hayley. Even so, she plants her feet firmly, turns sideways from the blow, and launches forward with another hip--this one thrown with enough force that Hayley leaves the ground and smashes toward Mint's ribs with her considerable hips and bottom.

"Wooow," Hayley rubs her shoulder. "You hit hard with those things, you know? Boxing?"

So the pace got a little weird for Mint just then. The corporal was expecting not boxing. And then Hayley out-boxed her. And when Mint, the boxer, tries boxing, then Hayley out-not-boxes her.

Is that what fighting outside of the boxing ring is all about? Varying approach?

Mint staggers backwards, her mechanical fingers splaying out as if that could help her grab hold of something in the dirty Osaka street. "Nngh... Well... yeah, but I was hitting so hard I was breaking my regular prosthetics..." she mumbles, as if Hayley was voicing a complaint rather than a genuine compliment. "I'm trying to work on -other- tactics, though, like... "

Here she is chatting away, when a fight's going on! Shaking her head, she blinks three times rapidly as she settles back into a tried-and-true boxing stance. As she twists her wrists, the rocket engines at the tail ends of her arms begin to flare. "We should talk, y'know? After the fight!"

And then all of a sudden, Mint rockets forwards - gaining about three feet of flight before bringing the bottom of each fist down onto Hayley's shoulders! Regardless of how that works out, she's thundering forward fast enough that she can get a second hit in -- a wild hook punch aimed at sending Hayley into a less-voluntary Tasmanian spin if it lands!

COMBATSYS: Mint blitzes into action and acts again!

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////       ]
Mint             0/-------/-======|=====--\-------\0           Hayley

COMBATSYS: Mint successfully hits Hayley with BFH.
- Power hit! -

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Mint             0/-------/=======|=======\=------\1           Hayley

COMBATSYS: Mint successfully hits Hayley with Hook Punch.

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////                  ]
Mint             1/-------/=======|=======\===----\1           Hayley

For the briefest of moments, Hayley thinks she has the fight in the bag. Perhaps, after taking a beating for a while, she's ready to be the one dealing one out. Mint's big, scary cyborg arms might not be /that/ bad, right? Right?

"Oh no," Hayley shakes her head. "It's a compliment! Those are scary! That's good!" But then Mint suggests more talk later. Of course!" Hayley beams. "Let's talk afterwar--"

There's a flare of engines, putting Hayley on the defensive. She guards forward--but Mint goes above, getting more distance and height than Hayley ever expected. The hammerblows fall hard on Hayley's shoulders, rattling the Aussie and knocking the wind right out of her as she doubles over. The follow-up hook catches her on the jaw before she recovers, sending Hayley into a wild spin as spittle flies. She lands in a half skid, tumbling over onto her back.

"Ha--owww," Hayley groans, pushing herself up onto her seat. She tugs at her karate pants, getting them aligned right once more. It takes her a moment to get from seated to standing, the taller of the girls rubbing her jaw and shoulder the whole time. She takes a moment to appraise Mint as she does--possibly running the whole exchange over in her head. She keeps working her jaw as she does.

"Definitely boxing," Hayley springs forward, landing on one foot. She snaps up to balance on it, turning on her hip to throw out a shooting kick aimed at Mint's jaw--all the while keeping her distance.

COMBATSYS: Mint interrupts Medium Kick from Hayley with Foxtrot Oscar.

[                   \\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////                      ]
Mint             1/------=/=======|=======\=======\1           Hayley

The jet-powered pugilist follows through with her attacks, even as it becomes more obvious that Hayley's defense against that approach vector may be a bit delayed. Still -- with the significant advantage Hayley had brokered throughout the fight, the corporal had some ground to make up.

... She does, at least, have the common sense to hold that ground as Hayley pushes back to her feet. The exhaust from her arms fades to a dull, white-noise roar, blurring the air behind them as she hops back into a defensive stance: one arm raised to cover Mint's face, the other lowered in anticipation of a quick attack.

"Boxing...? I mean, was there doubt? Haha..." She hops nimbly from one foot to the other, her agility and rhythm resembling that of a flyweight boxer rather than the middleweight she'd be likely to weigh in as.

But, as Hayley springs forward, a switch flips in Mint's demeanor -- a sudden falling of her face, a tightening of her jaw. Her left arm swivels sideways 90 degrees, redirecting the force of Hayley's kick to her upper shoulder. And her trailing fist surges forward, slamming into Hayley's abdomen! The first hit is the biggest, but with a groan of machinery, the knuckles slam forward four times in rapid percussion -- literal pistons pressing the fist together to multiply the impact!

Mint hops away, exhaling her breath as she studies Hayley for a moment...

"... Guess I was waiting for that kick," she says with a mixture of awe and gratitude.

"Southern Cross Style, you said? What's that?"

The Australian is breathing heavy by this point. She's running hot between Mint's furious blitz strike earlier and the sheer heaviness of those big, rapid-fire piston fists. "Guess not," Hayley says sheepishly, rubbing her head to brush her hair straight again. She barely even notices the shift in demeanor--much to her disadvantage--because she doesn't even see the counterattack coming.

Instead, Hayley's eyes widen as her kick connects with Mint's shoulder and the smaller fighter slips in to deliver a rapid-fire volley to Hayley's stomach. The Aussie staggers back into a hop, balancing on one foot before she falls back onto her butt.

"Urgh," Hayley huffs, holding her belly. She shifts around, slowly climbing back up while breathing heavily. She finally straights up, rolls her shoulders, and shifts back into a fighting stance.

"Well, it's a hybrid style," she says, "mixes a bunch of things. M'dad studied a bunch of styles on the show and put it together. Like this!"

Hayley drops low, launching herself forward with a bounding leap. In the absence of rocket boosters, Hayley seems to be imitating Mint with--leg power? She lands short of Mint. She spins on the landing, gathering up chi--before launching straight into a powerful uppercut!

COMBATSYS: Mint blocks Hayley's Devil Rampage.

[                       \\\\\\\  < >  ///////                       ]
Mint             1/---====/=======|==-----\-------\0           Hayley

Minal peers over at Hayley, holding off for a moment to make sure the Australian attacker is alright! Once the young woman pulls back to her feet, rolling her shoulders, Mint nods appraisingly and hops back for a few steps. She's not looking for this to turn into a crippling bloodbath, courtesy of giant mecha fists or otherwise!

"Hybrid, huh..." asks Mint noncommittally -- deferring thought on that issue until -after- Hayley's inevitable return to the world of standing. Clearly, because of words such as 'Like this!' She raises both her gauntlets defensively, as she's not sure what form Hayley's rebuttal will take -- and it seems she's rewarded with a meaty *THUNK* into the armored broadside of her tauntlets!

And... she also finds out -exactly- what it's like to get -hit- by such a powerful attack, for it's not only enough to send Mint's fists ratcheting back into her cheeks and eyebrows, it's =also= enough to communicate the momentum necessary to blast her into the air a good meter or two!

"Ow, ow, dang... that's -hybrid?- I woulda figured..."
Shaking her head out -- though that does little to remove the redness from her face -- she lands nimbly on her feet. She, too, is breathing pretty heavily -- and rather than soldier on with another jet-boosted attack, she concludes, simply, "Eh, we'll talk!" She leaps forward with a simple and direct punch to the collarbone area! "OO-RAH!"

COMBATSYS: Hayley just-defends Mint's Medium Punch!

[                       \\\\\\\  < >  /////////                     ]
Mint             1/---====/=======|==-----\-------\0           Hayley

Hayley presses up, trying to push through Mint's guard. When she fails to get through, she backsteps and shakes her fist, splaying her fingers as she tries to get rid of the soreness. Hayley slides her feet apart once more, widening her stance again in preparation for the counterattack. She watches Mint carefully, but she's clearly excited. Nervous, yes, but excited.

And then, Mint is powering forward with a strong straight punch. If it were low, Hayley would guard with her strong lower body. As it stands, the blow is to high for that. Hayley backsteps, swinging a backfist against the side of Mint's arm. With those huge gauntlets there's plenty of surface area to work against. Hayley braces with her shoulder, pushing outward to redirect Mint's fist away with her block. Hayley spins out of the defensive manuever, using Mint's force to get a bit of a breather through distance.

Hayley bounces on her feet. "Well, some bits are stronger than others. I like boxing. More on that later!" Hayley suggests--right before she bounces forward with a swift snap kick at Mint's waist!

COMBATSYS: Hayley successfully hits Mint with Light Kick.

[                         \\\\\  < >  /////////                     ]
Mint             1/--=====/=======|===----\-------\0           Hayley

It's been kind of tough for Mint to break into the idea of casual fighting.

On the one hand, it's as she explained -- she needs arms powerful enough to accomodate her all-or-nothing fighting style. Plastic was a failed experiment, and even fiberglass buckles too much under the stress; hardened metal is the only thing that can hold up to Mint's determination.

And yet, Mint is also generally a nice person at heart -- she doesn't want to -hurt- anyone. That's why she had no trouble going against someone literally twice her height and probably four times her mass -- and why she has trouble with someone like Hayley now. Almost every fight has involved a moment of discomfort, a moment where the tiny Marine pleads for her enormous arms to be given acceptance, for -her- to be given acceptance as a competent fighter on her own.

And then Hayley -proves- what she's been trying to say -- that the mechanical fists aren't just a crutch. That it is possible to defend against the sledgehammer-like blows. That even an unarmed fighter can brace herself against the impact, allowing it to slam into a shoulder while spinning away.

Mint smiles -- for Hayley's sake and her own.

The pint-sized pugilist hops back to recover from her attack, retracting the punching arm in front of her as a defensive gesture to prevent Hayley from boxing her way to victory.

Her snap kick sails right -under- the whirling arm.
Mint's eyes bug out slightly from the strike which hits her square in the stomach; clearly she wasn't expecting that! "Hrrnnngh..."

But... still! The exchange was what Mint needed to reassure her that Hayley was strong enough to handle her at her best! Staggering backwards, the corporal can't help but grin -- nodding her affirmation at the Outback-forged fighter. "Yup!" is her response, though she's already backing away towards the wall of one of the surrounding buildings, hunching over low (despite the angry gurgling from her now-upset stomach) with her guard raised.

The nozzles on the aft of her arms spout one burst of flame, which fades...
But then Mint's boot slams into the wall.
And Mint rockets forward, with both arms' jet engines roaring to life. Two quick dashing punches are delivered -- though in all actuality, they're more like Mint directing her thrust as she thunders forward than actual attacks! Her real attack... really isn't a punch at all, as she swings her bionic left knee high in an attempt to tag Hayley! And if that lands, well... she'd follow up with a scything downward strike from her left fist, just as the jet-powered flames start to wither away...

COMBATSYS: Hayley interrupts SNAFU from Mint with Dropbear Bomb.
- CRAZY Hit! -

[                                <
Mint             1/------=/=======|

COMBATSYS: Hayley can no longer fight.

[                                <
Mint             1/------=/=======|

Hayley needed this. She needed an opportunity to fight all out with an equal. Not a veteran assassin, not a psychotic former TV star, not a thunder god. No, another super rookie. Someone else with more grit and guts than skilland experience. Someone else with that kind of potential to reach, to fill out by continuing to fight and to climb.

Hayley picks up Mint's contagious grin. Her foot collides with Minal's belly, and Hayley backsteps back into a fighting stance. When Mint rockets forward, Hayley goes in too, aiming to slip past Mint's gauntlets and get in close. This choice is where the feint really pays off, with Hayley getting blindsided with the knee to the gut.

Trouble comes when Hayley grits her teeth, biting down on the gasp of pain. Rather than recoil, she soldiers on forward, sliding around the downward strike by sidstepping and pushing off Mint's gauntlet to launch up toward Mint at an awkward angle. Can she punch or kick from there?

Probably not, but does not seem to be her goal. Instead Hayley throws her legs forward over Mint's shoulders while Hayley's momentum keeps going strong. She shifts, aiming to take Mint down backward, where she'll find herself in a painful and embarrassing position--under the Aussie's prodigious posterior as she drops into a powerful seated slam.

But at the end of it? Hayley flops over exhausted, unceremonious falling onto her back--and likely on Mint--and breathing too heavily to jump back into a fight anytime soon.

This may be a legit Neo League fight, with cameras everywhere, but in the heat of battle, it's hard for Mint to see anything but her opponent in front of her. And it's no wonder -- Hayley seems like a fighter destined to be in the spotlight wherever she goes!

But even when Mint thinks she can keep an eye on Hayley, it's hard to have a response completely at the ready. Even as her knee slams home, Mint has to make certain assumptions about her opponent in order to properly wind up a counterattack -- and once committed, it's very hard to change course. Her jet turbines flame out as she reaches peak ascent, bringing her on a collision course with Hayley's former position -- but by that point, of course, Hayley was already out of harm's way. Mint's eyes widen in surprise. "Aaaah!"

She throttles back on her fist to keep from slamming it into the ground, but that in itself creates the opportunity to sling her legs around top of her fist. Mint squints her eyes shut, expecting a rowdy knee to the face -- but instead feels Hayley's legs locking about her shoulders. Already plummeting back down to earth, with her own legs to either side of Hayley, she finds her shoulders rocking backward...

WHAM! Mint's backside is slammed onto the pavement from the sudden reversal, pain lancing through her spine. A wave of blackness inundates her vision as her head lolls back, her mouth parted in an expression that pretty much says 'owwwww' even if she isn't capable of even saying it.

And a moment later, when Hayley flops down onto her, Mint blinks back to a state of dazed half-awareness. She gasps for breath -- realizing that Hayley's basically still constricting her breathing, she rocks one hip a bit higher in hopes that Hayley will take the hint and stop squishing her.

Luckily, her arms aren't venting flame right now -- but with as heavy as they are, and as exhausted as Mint is, she's not going to be able to move without taking another set of measures.

So that's what Mint does. With a few twitches of her mechanical fingers, the clamps disengage on her arm cuffs; bands of metal retract releasing her elbows -- and the smaller, normally-human-sized prosthetic hands underneath. It's pretty clear why -these- wouldn't work for fighting, as they look more like they were made by Mattel than by some shadowy industrial conglomerate.

The Neo League official, though... is quick to make an announcement in the interim. "We declare this fight a tie, by double knockout!"

The dazed Mint only finds herself looking up with a half-smile.
Which soon becomes laughter.
"Hahaha, that... that was a great fight!"

COMBATSYS: Mint takes no action.

COMBATSYS: Mint can no longer fight.

Hayley keeps breathing heavily for several moments after the exchange. When Mint nudges her in the hip, it wobbles a bit, Hayley rocking there but not immediately getting up. Instead, she sputters.

"Oh, oh! Sorry," she says, sitting up --which may also be uncomfortable as Hayley applies her weight to Mint's stomach--but then she quickly vaults off and lands with a plop on the sidewalk. She looks at Mint, watching the whole undocking sequence with interest.

"Ohhh, cool!" she says, practically beaming. "Wasn't it?!" she seconds, smiling widely at Mint. Hayley leans back onto her palms while catching her breath, but sits up into a lotus position once she's had a bit of a breather.

And then she extends a hand for Mint to grab. "So do you prefer Minal or Mint?" she asks. "You're really quite good! The rockets were surprising, but you work them into your style well!"

"Hahaha, you're good!" Mint's reply is both a compliment and an acceptance of apology, in this case. She runs her fingertips idly across the now-dormant metal shells resting upon the pavement. The metal is still a bit warm to the touch, but it seems to be none the worse for wear in battle.

One hand goes to her bruised tummy, rubbing it absently as she punches in control codes on her inner right gauntlet, perusing the results on its display screen. She makes a few appraising grunts to herself before realizing that Hayley was talking to her.

"... Oh, Mint's fine. It's what everyone calls me, hee!" She graciously accepts Hayley's offer of assistance, allowing herself to be pulled to an upright sitting position.

"... I gotta say, I could -not- keep up with you. Every time I thought you were gonna zig, you zagged. Southern Cross style is pretty rough and tumble!"

"Alright, Mint," Hayley says. "Oh? You thought so, well," the Aussie looks away, rubbing her head with embarassment. "To be honest it's a work in progress. My dad didn't leave me a bunch of notes when he left, so I've been kind of developing it as I go. It's sort of a combination of different styles, and my own ideas inspired by..." Hayley trails off, realizing how dumb it might sound, "...Australian animals.."

"You know, like kung fu!"

"Huh," comments Mint without much inflection. She doesn't actually -know- a whole lot about martial arts other than boxing, she wouldn't know kung fu from karate, or a capoeirista from a luchadore.

"... You're gonna have to spell this out for me, Barney-style." She, too, rubs at the back of her head, though her eyes are glancing around towards the locals -- who are giving her tech-laden gauntlets eyes of their own -- and the Neo League fight officials who are already starting to break down the light fixtures. "I mean, heck, I know 'kung fu' is a word and apparently at some point =everyone= was kung fu fighting, but..."

The Marine shrugs, the motion sending light gleaming off her artificial hands.

"I'm more of a visual learner. Videos, that kinda stuff...." She laughs softly, lifting her hips off the ground as a precursor to attempting to stand once more. "... Hey, come to think of it, is Fight Hunter something I can watch online? Maybe I -ought- to start learning about other styles of fightin'. Sure served -you- well!"

"Oh," Hayley reddens. "Sorry. It's uh--well, there's a style of Chinese martial arts called Wu Jing," she says with a native inflection that hints at Hayley's Chinese mother. "That really just means 'Five Forms' because it's got five different mindsets and stances based on mimicking different animals. Like Tiger uses a claw shape," Hayley mimics a Tiger Claw with her hand, "to tear gouge and tear at someone with swiping strikes." Hayley explains this with enthusiasm, slowly climbing back to her feet--and rubbing her sore ribs.

"There's also Crane," Hayley shows Mint a crane hand. "It strikes at the eyes and soft spots like a bird pecking at stuff, but that means staying nimble and looking for openings." It's at this time that Hayley realizes she's getting long-winded. "Oh, well, there's a few uploads--I put some of them up there myself--but I've also got the old, out-of-print DVDs too. I have access to the masters, so it's not hard to make more. I'll admit I was still a ankle biter then, but the show can teach you a lot about the basics." Hayley gives Mint a lopsided grin.

Mint is pretty intelligent. She can figure out how just about any machine works if she stares at it long enough. And she can tear apart pieces of electronic equipment and hotwire them together with the greatest of ease.

But making hand gestures and not actually seeing them hit opponents... well...
She balls up her hand into a fist. And punches the air.
"Is that an animal style? Like, Angry Gorilla Style?"
She laughs, a bit awkwardly, before glancing around. Sure enough -- the Neo League team is packed up and ready to go.

Mint laughs awkwardly. "Hey, I got an idea..."

With some degree of effort, she swings her arms, pulling herself to her feet with the momentum. And after a delay, she reaches down and slips back into the arm latches -- which respond with another satisfying array of mechanical auto-docking procedures. A moment later, Mint's giant arms are attached once again and she's ready to go -- though with some degree of fatigue obvious in her face.

"I passed a net cafe a couple blocks back. Wanna grab some coffee or somethin? Maybe it'll make a bit more sense if I see these things in context, yeah?"

For the Special Forces corporal, it might not be unlike learning a new language -- but with Hayley willing to supply the words, it's clear Mint is ready to give it a shot!

Hayley watches the arms lock back in with a bit of awe. It's still technology she's not used to seeing--the most advanced piece she's seen is Jezebel's prosthetic eye (and she's been too nervous to ask about that). She adjusts her gi, pulling her pants up a little more, and stretches a bit.

"Sounds like a plan to me," she says. "I can pull up whatever you're interested in and there's probably an episode. We had some pretty wild adventures along the way..."

Log created on 21:57:44 12/31/2017 by Mint, and last modified on 22:42:53 01/02/2018.