Description: Sometimes, when you are lost in Nevada, you find yourself in Tonopah. The sleepy old ghost town is home to silver mines, an attractive graveyard, and it's most unique attraction: The Clown Motel. It's here that the innocent youth, B. B. Hood, finds herself in a motel room for non-Spangles related reasons. Facing her? Well other than the lightless clown eyes upon her, is the hot-blooded martial artist, Makoto Kato. Taking place within the air-conditioning of the motel, B. B. Hood and Makoto get a fantastic chance to appreciate clown culture by facing off inside the motel! Just remember! The Clowns Have Eyes!
THE CLOWN MOTEL
SNF paid more money than the Clown Motel's seen in the last couple of years to provide a suitably atmospheric arena for one of its matches. Accordingly, the motel office has been completely redecorated for the occasion: the check-in desk that previously divided the room was torn away to open the space up a bit; every bit of furniture has been removed to make room for fold-up chairs lining the walls; the lightbulbs were replaced, washing the office in dim blue.
Statues and figurines were lightly refurbished. All of their cracks, missing chips, flaked off paint, and yellow nicotine tinges were left intact. Their eyes, however... every one of the replacements is identical to the originals, save for sickly green or baleful red glares lighting the dim arena. Some sport fresh, lifelike hair; others, pieces of colorful clothing pulled over their pewter and porcelain bodies. Since their shelves are gone, the figurines have been arranged atop the folding chairs or in the lap of the great, grinning clown statues posted amidst the chairs.
Caution tape separates the 'crowd' from the fighters in lieu of traditional barricades. It's a long but narrow arena very well suited to a karateka, which may be why the petite, red hoodie-clad teen positioned on one end of it with a satchel over her shoulder looks so nervous as she fusses with the red mask pulled up over the lower half of her face: B.B. Hood is many things, but 'a trained karateka' is not one of them. What little footage of her belt match against Jezebel Faiblesse could be aired suggests crying, flashes of brute strength, and accidentally deployed munitions as her weapons of choice, and she hasn't made any widely televised appearances since-- though, if Makoto happens to follow the Midnight Channel, she might've caught grainy footage of a petite, red-clad teenaged girl fighting a werewolf with more consciously applied ordnance, shot from a multitude of jumpy, erratic angles.
COMBATSYS: Bulleta has started a fight here.
Near the center of the stage that has been set up for the upcoming match, a young kneels with her back turned to the far entrance, her eyes closed in silent meditation. As usual, Makoto has come dressed in her simple karate gi, a plain off-white shirt and pant combo with a dark black belt cinched tightly around her waist. Admist the garish colors that seem to have been slapped onto the walls for the sole sake of causing as much visual dissonance as possible she manages to stand out in her drabness, a tiny blob of order admist the chaos.
This is not the first time that the young karateka has found herself thrust into some manner of ridiculousness at the behest of the SNF promoters. It is actually quite common for such nonsensical themes to be applied to the fights, likely in the belief that it will draw greater crowds by breaking up some perceived monotany that might accompany normal fights. It might even be true. She's hardly a specialist in public relations or entertainment, so she's left with no other recourse than to just take it in stride.
There are limits, however. The odd choice of venue she can deal with having been sent to fairly wide variety of crazy locations during her young fighting career. The eye-searing colors are just background distractions, easily ignored. Even the creepy clown mannequins scattered liberally around the premises don't bother her that much for she's never been one to frighten easily. But when they had suggested she 'dress for the occasion' a line had been crossed.
As always, however, the stubborn teen had been forced to acquiesce to a compromise. She isn't in the position to find herself black-listed by such a prominent group. Sure, she's made something of a name for herself as a strong up-and-comers but her clout isn't nearly at the level where she can start throwing her weight around. On top of that, she needs the publicity. Her little dojo still has only a handful of students and every shred of free advertising she can get by showing off for the whole world what Rindoukan karate is capable of is important to her future.
One of the referees wanders over to inform her that the other contestant has arrived. Her muscles tense involuntarily for a moment, teeth gritting, but she calms herself quickly and offers a single nod in response, sending the man scuttles back off to the sidelines.
"It'll be over quick, just.... just rip the bandage and get it over with."
Taking a long deep breath which she lets out slowly, Makoto opens her eyes and rises to her feet. She stares quietly at the wall for several seconds before finally turning around to face Bulleta. The young teenager's face has been... defiled, for lack of a better term. Thick white makeup covers up most of her sun-kissed skin almost like a geisha's mask. Dark red splotches of color decorate her cheeks in bold circles while her mouth is a garishly wide smear of paint as if someone had gone way overboard on the lipstick. And, as the piece-de-resistance of the whole thing, a big fuzzy red ball has been stuck onto her nose.
Makoto stares across the gap between them with a stoic look on her face, daring the little blonde girl to make a comment. The fact that she hasn't been forced to dress up only makes this all the more infuriating. Damnit, she really needs to learn how to say no to these people. After a moment of allowing her opponent to soak in the horror that she has endured, the karateka drops into her combat stance, giving the Hunter a few seconds to prepare herself before she simply launches right into an attack. The faster this ends, the faster she can go bury her head in the sand.
Makoto's style of combat isn't particularly fancy or flashy, relying more of technical proficiency and power than surprise or intense speed. Her first strike is likewise simple and to the point, her fist snapping forward towards Bulleta's chest to deliver an unimpressive but powerful punch as she lunges into the fray.
COMBATSYS: Makoto Kato has joined the fight here.
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Makoto Kato 0/-------/-------|======-\-------\0 Bulleta
COMBATSYS: Bulleta blocks Makoto Kato's Medium Punch.
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Makoto Kato 0/-------/-------|======-\-------\0 Bulleta
SOME TIME AGO
"Okay," Bulleta's new fight agent Arvin exhales while shuffling through papers, "so it looks like the SNF people sent over an extra form to collect your measurements... ah! Yeah, here--"
The paper slides across the desk. Bulleta leans in and squints down; a beat later, her features begin to darken.
"Some kinda clown costume deal-- 's weird, right? But I guess this kind of thing's not /that/ weird in this world, really. People /love/ it when-"
"Arf!" the terrier in her lap agrees.
"Pass-- er, well-- sure, B, but this is-- you'd get a chance to be part of the event for real this time, y'know? Not some Midnight Channel arthouse..."
"On the costume, duh," the teenager evenly, if tightly replies. "Pass on the /costume/; obviously, I'm gonna do the /match/, but I don't really feel like playing /double/ dress-up. Not for--" A thoughtful beat passes, then Bulleta leans further forward to sort through some of that SNF paperwork herself until she finds what's she's looking for. A couple seconds of skimming later...
"... 'intimate crowd'?" she reiterates from the copy. "'After hours brawl'...? 'Fun, spooky atmo--' motherfucker, are you /serious/?! The whole /point/ is being-- why did I HIRE you if all you're gonna get me is-- /fuck/, I got more exposure from that Hollywood pervert--! ... hokay. /Christ/... okay..."
"Arf!" Harry interjects while his mistress rapidly rises to a boil, only to pull herself back at the last minute. "Arf! Arf, arf arf!"
Arvin plasters on a smile after wincing through his newest-- third-- client's outburst. "I totally empathize, B, but the thing is, you're... well... it's just, you're pretty new to sanctioned fighting, right? So you kind of... you have to... pay a due or tw"
"Arf! Arfarfarf, arf, arf!"
"I don't think you heard me," Bulleta flatly says from behind the barrel of a .45, "so I'll say it again: I'm not fighting in a stupid costume, Arvin. I'm fucking allergic to fucking clown makeup, /Arvin/; it's /murder/ on my goddamned delicate complexion. Now, since I'm such a patient soul, I'm totally happy to talk compromises! But... well. I don't need to repeat myself /again/, because you heard me this time. Right, Arvin?"
Makoto's fist meets B.B. Hood's surprisingly solid leather satchel with a *HONK!* that reverberates through the clown-tinged arena. The force of the blow travels through the bag and up her arms, leaving them numb for a split-second and sore for much longer. Given that Makoto's been around the block a few times, this is less of a surprise than it is a confirmation of what the blonde already figured after reviewing tapes:
Letting Makoto touch her for real would be very bad.
"That..." she meekly says, slowly turning to face Makoto after having jerked away on instinct. "You... that looks like it /itches/..." Her eyes pointedly graze over the chalk-faced karateka and linger on that nose before flicking up to meet her eyes. "God, it's so... it's /unfair/, right? They make you dress up like... like..."
She bites her bottom lip rather than say the word. Her eyes start to drift down as she trails off, which causes the corners of her mouth to twitch a few times until she catches herself, bites down that much harder, and refocuses on Makoto's eyes. A deep breath brings pity to her expression while her hands clench around the satchel's straps so she can sway it to and fro at her side.
"They didn't even /ask/ me," she softly admits, envious. "Like I didn't-- like it wasn't worth letting me be a part of the theme, o-or..."
The bag keeps swaying, keeps gathering speed like a spacious pendulum until it becomes a muted brown blur circling at her side. After just a couple of revolutions, she snaps her arm forward and the satchel hurtles reciprocally towards Makoto's chest. Whatever's in there - bricks padded with clown noses? - makes it far harder and heavier than it may appear to be-- though, with the way it withstood Makoto's punch without warping, the karateka may have some inkling of what's in store. If contact is made, another loud *HONK!* will fill the arena.
"... like I'm not GOOD enough for them or something...!"
COMBATSYS: Makoto Kato blocks Bulleta's Shyness & Strike.
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Makoto Kato 0/-------/------=|=======\-------\0 Bulleta
Many people have come to the same conclusion regarding Makoto's fists. As young and inexperienced as she might be, the girl's almost zealous dedication to her training has honed her body into a brutal weapon of destruction. It is fortunate that this same skill grants her the knowledge of how to hold back properly. After all, these fights are for sport and entertainment. It wouldn't be particularly nice to go around snapping people in half during a glorified sparring match. Doesn't mean she's going to make it pleasant though.
Bulleta's reaction to the disgraceful makeup job makes the karateka's jaw clench again. She doesn't need sympathy, nor does she want it. All she wants is for this stupid match to be over. Normally, she'd be all fired up to get the chance to fight someone new. After all, what better way to get the practice and experience she needs than to challenge all sorts of opponents? But this is just...humilating.
The unexpected honking noise from the young girl's bag causes Makoto to hesitate, surprise written all over her face. "What the-?" The fact that it didn't shatter on impact is equally confusing. She breaks bricks with her face for fun, whatever's inside that satchel must be quite durable to take a straight punch and survive.
Suddenly wary, the teenager backs off a couple of steps as the bag is set into motion like a ball and chain, building up speed and momentum for an obvious strike. Makoto reacts instantly when the dense flail is swung her way, snapping her arms up to intercept the package on her toughened forearms.
The thing hits her like a wrecking ball sending a bone-jarring vibration through her entire body. Makoto lets out a pained grunt and staggers backwards slightly, her arms suddenly pulsing with numbness. What the hell is in that thing? More importantly, how did a little waif of a girl swing something that heavy around like it was a jump rope? Something is off here.
Eyeing Bulleta suspiciously, the karateka drops back into her fighting stance and takes a quick deep breath, exhaling sharply as she centers her focus. That bag is dangerous, that much she knows for certain, which means she can't give the girl more time to spin it back up again. Time to get up close and personal. She was planning to do that anyways but it's good to take a moment and assess one's opponent.
Barking a quick kiai, Makoto suddenly leaps, arcing through the air on a ballistic path towards the Hunter. Her leg swings up, rising easily over the teenager's head like a spring being wound up. As she falls towards Bulleta the limb snaps down in a flash of motion, her heel becoming the tip of a mallet which she attempts to drop right on top of the blonde's skull with earthshattering force.
COMBATSYS: Makoto Kato knocks away Bulleta with Tsurugi.
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Makoto Kato 0/-------/-----==|=======\-------\0 Bulleta
The satchel might've survived, but the statue B.B. Hood meets when Makoto's heel hits her twisting body does not: billowy clown clothes burst into pieces of colorful fabric, powdered porcelain forms a pale cloud, and two sickly green lights manage to flicker through the debris haze on their way to the ground. Pieces of the statue's legs stand on either side of the teenager's prone form, giving her a roughly stable base to wrap trembling fingers around so she can painstakingly drag herself upright. Still dangling from her shoulder, the satchel juts just beyond the porcelain cloud and sweeps chairs out of its way as its owner forces herself to sit, let alone stand. Between this and the wanton path of fluttering destruction it cut during her flight, the section of the audience she's joined is in dire need of actual refurbishing-- or, more likely, replacing.
The blonde mumbles once she's sitting up. Her first attempt at pushing up to her feet sees her bouncing back to her seat almost immediately; the second sends her tumbling a foot or two to the left, over forcefully folded chairs and ex-clowns. The fight's barely begun, but she's worked up enough of a sweat for porcelain dust to cling to to her face. Slow trickles of blood from statue-inflicted cuts only help the bonding process; the far more prominent flow from her nose - where Makoto's heel caught her after evasive twisting inadvertantly gave the karateka her face rather than her skull - is the only exception, as there's enough blood to cut a bright line through the white coat from philtrum to chin.
"J-just... let me..."
Towards the bag.
B.B.'s hand splays across its surface, then her forearm trembles with the effort of trying to stand for a third time-- but if she couldn't manage it when seated, going from being sprawled out on her face to upright is certainly not in the cards. A low, drawn out honk accompanies the effort, and it's closely followed by a sharp note when her inevitable collapse causes her to release. Her fingers drag weakly along the leather surface and the only thing that keeps them from hitting the ground limply is happening to catch one of its zippers with a nail.
"... swear... I-I'm gonna... g..."
Gently, she nudges the zipper along its track...
"A-aagh, I'm s-sorry--"
... until it catches with a soft *click*...
"... sorry I couldn't g-give you a better..."
... and summons a chorus of party horns from the satchel's depths. Party horns, rumbling, and streak of metal that blows a neatly circular hole through one end of the satchel as it rockets towards Makoto. Confetti explodes through the aperture right afterwards and colorful streamers trail from the RPG's tail. The tip's been decorated too, which is why it looks so very happy to potentially make Makoto's acquaintance: a broad, toothsome smile takes up the lower half of the shell, big round eyes take up most of the top, and a bright red nose sits dead center on the cone. A frizzy green wig wavers through the air.
Despite appearances, the only thing whimsical about its payload is the fireproof notecard marked with a colorful 'POW!' that'll drift to the ground after it goes off.
COMBATSYS: Makoto Kato fails to interrupt Smiling Missile from Bulleta with Fukiage EX.
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Makoto Kato 0/-------/---====|=======\==-----\1 Bulleta
Makoto watches impassively behind her mask of garish makeup as her devastating kick sends the tiny girl flying. She is not without compassion but it has little place on the battlefield, even if this is just a mock fight. Someone who can't take a good hit or two doesn't need to be getting in the ring. The best way to impress that upon them is with a solid trouncing.
Still, Bulleta's theatrics as she staggers back to her feet are a bit much. Had she really hit the girl that hard? Most trained fighters know how to take a hit so as to avoid serious injury but that one had connected pretty solidly with her face which is not exactly an ideal way to take a kick. The strong flow of blood from the obviously broken nose is another worrying sign. She's been there and it's never a pleasant experience.
She glances at the referree, considering asking if maybe he should call the match right now. Her opponent seems rather woozy and might have taken a concussion from that impact with the statue. Just as she opens her mouth to call out to him, however, she's overpowered by a sudden caterwauling of party horns and the unmistakable roar of a rocket's engine.
Makoto's eyes go wide as she turns to see the cartoonishly painted missile flying directly at her, a weapon that had been somehow concealed in that large bag. Instincts kick into high gear, countless hours of training and practice pushing her body into motion before she can even think. She punches it.
"Oryaa!"Twisting sideways, Makoto's fist snaps upwards into a vertical strike at the underside of the clownish projectile. Perhaps if she can knock it away into the air she might be safe; atleast, that's what she's assuming her automatic reaction was meant to accomplish. Unfortunately, the rocket proves to be a tad more tempermental than she hoped; or perhaps she just used too much force, betrayed by her own strength.
As her fist slams into the metallic surface the explosive detonates, consuming the teenager in a blazing ball of fire and sound. For a couple of seconds she vanishes into the cloud of smoke but it soon clears away leaving a scorched and very annoyed looking Makoto behind, clutching a blackened fist in her other hand.
"Well... I guess... that was kind of stupid..."
Wiping a hand down her face just turns red points into bold smudges and smears blood around the tip of B.B. Hood's nose and the middle third of her mouth. Not that she notices - or cares - while the missile is in play; its sudden appearance could've only bought her a second or two to recover, max.
She aims to make them count.
With a soft grunt, she flips the satchel over so she can undo its flap and shove her hand inside. A short roll forward brings her to her feet, where she wobbles unsteadily for a beat after initially trying to find a stable base upon a folded up chair. The motion also reveals an Uzi with a bright yellow grip and red magazine. The back half of its body is the same garish yellow as the grip, while the front is lime-green and the ribbed under-barrel grip is white. The sights have been replaced with little googly eyes staring lifelessly forward and wisps of rainbow colored hair jut out around them.
Someone even to the trouble of slapping a red nose onto the tip of the barrel.
Makoto doesn't get more than a heartbeat to appreciate these details, however. When the smoke clears, dead eyes are already fixed upon her and B.B. Hood's turning her face aside and wincing while she does the only thing she can:
Spent shells and confetti erupt from the ejector while a hail of bullets screams towards the karateka. Through it all, B.B. keeps her hands locked tightly around the grip and the sun-kissed girl in her periphery.
COMBATSYS: Bulleta successfully hits Makoto Kato with Random Strike.
- Power hit! -
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Makoto Kato 0/-------/=======|=======\==-----\1 Bulleta
Still somewhat dazed from her failed attempt to deflect the explosive, Makoto is caught off-guard by the aggressive assault from her opponent who she believed was still recovering as well. The presence of a firearm was the last thing she expected so when the colorful uzi comes out and starts spraying wildy in her direction there isn't a whole lot she can do other than turn sideways and try to shield herself with her unburnt arm as best she can.
The hail of projectiles, while thankfully merely made of rubber, slams into her like miniature hammers. The teenger's teeth grind together as she braces against the storm, each impact leaving red-hot dots of pain that quickly begin to congeal into what feels like one giant bruise. Her arm provides little protection against such an onslaught, though she does manage to shunt the worst of it away from her head. It might have been a mercy to let one or two of the rounds ding her in the skull; then she wouldn't have to hear that awful racket.
When the gunfire finally stops, Makoto slowly lowers her arms, her fists clenching tightly at her side. Despite her desire to see this farce end quickly, she's still got her pride as a warrior on the line here. Infact, this stupid clown motif would only make a loss that much worse. With her body battered after only a couple of blows from the Hunter's more modern arsenal, there remains but one course of action left.
The karateka takes a deep breath, drawing upon her discipline and focus to channel the anger and outrage coursing through her veins like hot lava. Her muscles tense up, elbows pulling in towards her side as her fists literally shake with fury. A gutteral howl escapes her mouth as she throws her head back, invisible currents of power whipping her loose gi and wild hair, fluttering the long yellow scarf wrapped about her neck as if she has become the center of a brief but intense hurricane.
The clownish makeup on Makoto's face boils away in the surge of power, replaced by the dark reddish hue of her anger made manifest. The karateka turns her gaze upon Bulleta, intense focus in her steely eyes as she narrows them at the deceptive little girl.
"I'm through clowning around... prepare yourself!"
Taking a deliberate step towards the blonde, Makoto quickly builds up momentum, turning her normally slow and methodical approach into a reckless dash. She can't afford to let this girl draw some other crazy ranged weapon out of that bag and it's already been made clear she can't really take a hit. One or two more good punches should put her out of the fight, which means she's just got to be aggressive and stick to her like glue.
The final few feet seperating Makoto from her target are cleared with a sudden powerful burst of speed. Her body whirls, pivoting on one heel while the other leg snaps out to the side to deliver another of her titanic strikes. Even when she's literally steaming mad, her technique is almost flawless and the power behind it has left even some of the greatest fighters in the world reluctant to experience a second dose.
COMBATSYS: Bulleta blocks Makoto Kato's Medium Kick.
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Makoto Kato 1/-------/=======|=======\==-----\1 Bulleta
B.B. Hood shuts her eyes as she nears the end of her clip, unwilling or unable to stomach witnessing even a hint of the carnage unleashed upon her opponent's body by her relentless stream of anti-crowd rounds. She bites her bottom lip tightly.
It helps keep the acid boiling on the tip of her tongue from slipping out, which is for the best; B.B. Hood's much too sweet for it.
SOME TIME LATER
"-- sack the fuck UP and TELL those cocksuckers that if they're gonna gimmick my weapons, the LEAST, the FUCKING, GODDAMNED LEAST they could do is TELL me when they screw around with the ammo!" Bulleta - flowering with bruises, glowering through her one unswollen eye - screams into her phone. Harry excitedly barks along with his mistress' demands, no less venomous when filtered through the nasal whine of a broken nose. "CHRIST, Arvin! You're gonna have to toughen the hell up-- I'm not having some weak fucking CHILD rep me!"
The end of the clip is cut with a soft slide-whistle sound that drowns out the *click!*. After a deep breath and a swallow, B.B. Hood's head slowly turns to survey the damage, then her eyes widen in surprise-- and relief. "Oh my god-- thank /god/, they're /fake/!" she gasps while cupping a hand around her mouth. "I wasn't sure, I-- I-I mean, sorry /anyway/, obviously, but I just /can't/ afford to--"
Makoto interjects with the primal scream of a karate master's unchained fury and the Hunter's eyes grow wider still.
A lowly voiced, "/Fuck/...!" slips out as she ejects the clip, fitting surprise, concern, and fascination into a single syllable. Makoto's eyes narrow upon her, and for a second - before the fear expected of a young girl out of her depth sets in - Bulleta meets that gaze and the challenge roaring within it.
There's no time to grab another clip, or even whip the satchel from back to front. Makoto moved with the inevitability of a locomotive /before/ she changed colors and began boiling with raw power; /now/ B.B. is lucky to slip the Uzi between herself and the sledgehammer force of the karateka's foot and she continues counting her blessings when she's left with colorful metal shards and busted machinery falling from her hands as they sink to her sides, numb and bleeding.
Every instinct tells her that going toe-to-toe with Makoto is suicide, but Makoto seems disinclined to give her a choice. There's a pistol tucked at the small of her back, but she doesn't - can't - trust rubber to buy her much breathing room /now/; carbon steel, on the other hand...
Gritting her teeth and grunting, she jerks her arms up and draws the combat knife sheathed and hoodie-hidden on her waist. This, she thought to check before heading in, more to gauge just how far the SNF's design department went to make her thematically compliant. The blade's been tinted lime-green and there are little cartoon gloves and long shoes soldered onto the bright blue hilt, as the artist angled more for the suggestion of a clown's body than a strict representation. Aesthetics aside, it's plenty fit to be flicked into a backhanded grip so its loudly-hued blade can be swept towards her opponent's midsection. She's angling for something quick that's just deep enough to buy her a moment or two to stagger away from the steaming karateka and catch her breath.
COMBATSYS: Bulleta successfully hits Makoto Kato with Medium Strike.
~ Cruel hit! ~
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Makoto Kato 1/---====/=======|=======\==-----\1 Bulleta
Unfortunately, there are limits to just how much safety protocols can be forced into these sorts of fights. The participants are expected to be skilled enough to handle themselves even against blades and other weaponry since it would be hard to claim that all fighters are welcome when every fighting style isn't.
Makoto sees the knife come out; it would be all but impossible to miss it, thanks to its thematic paint job. She has enough time to try and deflect the blow, sacrificing an arm rather than a potentially deeper wound, but that isn't going to help her win. She needs the ability to fight back at full strength, to deliver the raw crushing power contained within those limbs. It's her only chance.
Steeling herself against the coming pain, the karateka lunges forward despite the danger. A hot red line bursts to life along her abdomen as the blade carves through the front of her gi and the flesh beneath with ease. It hurts... it hurts a lot, but even in her apparent recklessness Makoto displays yet more of her skill by twisting with the cut so that it doesn't bite too deep. Her gamble cost her something but now Makoto is practically on top of the smaller blonde girl, her fury all the greater for her suffering.
Both of the fighter's hands snap out, twin blurs of color lashing at Bulleta's throat like a pair of riled snakes. Her fingers close like steel traps, attempting to get a grip around the waifish little girl's neck and wring it so tightly that it feels like her head might pop off, to squeeze until her bones creak and her vision dims and the fight goes right out of her.
COMBATSYS: Bulleta blocks Makoto Kato's Karakusa EX.
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Makoto Kato 2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|=======\==-----\1 Bulleta
Before she gets a chance to stagger away, B.B. Hood feels twin vices closing around her throat. She's stronger than she looks - she'd /have/ to be, given the satchel - but not 'grapple with a pised off Makoto and come out ahead' strong.
The best she can manage is wedging her knees against the karateka's abdomen as she tosses and wriggles on her back. She might not be able to break the other girl's grip with brute force alone, but she can make getting - and keeping - that grip difficult for a while. For all her efforts, the wrathful girl atop her still grows blurry and dim with each passing second spent thrashing while being choked and crushed; her fingers claw at Makoto's wrists for the first second or two, which only serves to confirm that she's wasting her time. As her eyes bulge and her teeth grit, her hands thus shift in search of other avenues to freedom, with one wriggling further and further beneath her back and the other struggling its way into her front pocket.
Rubber alone isn't enough, certainly not now; she still kicks and bucks until she manages to slide the pistol against her back free. Meanwhile, her other hand comes out with a burner phone in a white-knuckled grip.
Rubber alone isn't enough, but she has emoji. As her legs tremble to remain braced against Makoto-- against the wrenching pain shooting through her joints-- she mashes out a passcode, then texts a water gun and a thumbs-up in rapid succession.
There are only a few vehicles in the Clown Motel's parking lot. It's more of a tourist stop than a popular lodging, so if it wasn't for the referee, the competitors, or the HVAC repair van parked near the office, the lot would probably be empty; the manager took the night off.
The van's windows are tinted well past the point of legality.
"Good mate since grade school, Arvin's pa was-- /is/, I /hope/," a burly man with a clown nose, a lime-green moustache, and a white bald cap with rainbow hair tufts grunts to his partner in the driver's seat. "I try to help him, and what does our little Miss do?"
"She wouldn't have shot him for /real/, John," the driver mutters while frowning at the frustration and derision reflected in the rear-view mirror. Besides the nose and colorful afro wig, an enormous flower's been pinned to his fatigues. "Not in a million years-- I /know/ her. /We/ know her-- we'd damn sure /better/, at this point, we /taught/ her. She's a brutal little thing when she needs to be... a right predator, even. But she's not some sort of /monster/. She's... I think she just wanted to see what he'd /do/."
"Christ, Arthur..." John murmurs in reply while rubbing his forehead. "I-- listen, /I/ know you're-- /probably/-- right, but the boy's pa..."
Both of their phones go off as John trails. He shares a long look with his partner before cracking a small, tight smile and grabbing the rifle leaning against the nearby van wall.
"Speak of the devil..."
B.B. Hood opens fire. Like the Uzi, her pistol resembles a hunched over harlequin and squeaks rather than thunders as it spits rubber bullets towards the karateka. As its extended clip inches towards home with every frantic pull, she stops thrashing in favor of just laying flat on the ground. On some level, it's just easier: struggling against Makoto's grip is a great way to get sunburnt fingers digging into her neck, to say nothing of her dwindling oxygen supply.
There are other factors to consider, though:
Like making herself as small a target as possible while her uncle and her uncle's partner kick through the office door to add steel-jacketed cover fire to her rubber spray. Both big, burly men in rainbow-hued fatigues, the garish duo train semi-auto rifles with wooden detailing meant to make them look older than they are upon the boiling warrior. Intent on making Makoto abandon her mounted position - or catching her with a round or two before her reflexes trigger to pull her out of harm's way - the colorful hunters pull their triggers until they're spent.
Until they are, B.B. Hood counts the rounds - theirs and hers, both - and keeps trying to spot an opening through the encroaching darkness.
COMBATSYS: Makoto Kato fails to interrupt Cruel Hunting from Bulleta with #Seichuusen Midarezuki#.
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COMBATSYS: Makoto Kato can no longer fight.
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This time Makoto doesn't even seem to register the threat as the small gun is brought to bear on her at point-blank range. She hears the report of the shots, feels each rubber bullet slamming into her torso, but in her red haze it seems like those things are little more than fuzzy background distractions, like they're happening to someone else.
Despite Bulleta's efforts to keep her attacker at bay, the karateka eventually gets the grip she needs as the Hunter's air and strength begin to dwindle. Hoisting the little blonde to her feet like a sack of potatoes, the teenager slowly draws one of her hands away, the fingers curling up into a fist as she prepares to unleash a berserker wrath upon her foe. Anyone willing to bring firearms into a martial contest deserves no mercy from her, not that she's particularly famous for displaying much restraint in the first place.
The sound of a much louder and more authoritative burst of gunfire puts a stop to that plan at the last moment. Makoto lets out a cry of shock and pain as a real bullet slams into her from behind, smashing through her shoulder in a spray of crimson that isn't nearly as festive as the rest of the bright colors surrounding them.
The karateka's grip releases as she staggers to the side, freeing the Hunter to drop and go prone as the rest of the wild gunfire fills the arena. Makoto throws herself to the ground as well, rolling across to the floor to avoid the rest of the focused assault, remaining low and mobile until the barks of the rifles finally come to a stop.
Glancing up at the two clowns and their still smoking guns, Makoto grits her teeth with renewed fury and starts to rise, intent on hurling herself at the interlopers to show them the folly of intruding on a private match. Instead, she stumbles over her own feet, sagging to one knee as liquid lightning explodes into her brain from the direction of her shoulder.
Slowly the bright red tint drains away from the girl's skin, returning it to its tanned state, save for her cheeks which still burn brightly from her anger. She stubbornly tries to push herself back to her feet again but once more finds herself brought low by the terrible beating she's taken from repeated encounters with unfriendly ordnance.
"You... damned dirty cheater...!"
Makoto turns to direct her frustration at the blonde again, clutching her wounded arm. The third time proves to be the charm as she finally rises to her feet and for a moment it looks as if she might actually hurl herself at Bulleta once again in her outrage. Paramedics rush forward from the sidelines just as she starts to take a faltering step forward, catching the girl before she can make her injuries even worse. The teenager puts a brief beligerant struggle but quickly realizes that if she can't even overpower some non-combatants then she's pretty much in no shape to keep fighting.
Sagging back into their arms, Makoto winces fiercely, only just now feeling the worst of the injuries as her temper starts to calm and the adrenaline fades. Despite her claims of foul play, the referee steps forward to raise his arm towards Bulleta, loudly announcing her victory to the awful clatter of applause mixed with party horns and loud honks.
B.B. Hood's eyes are moved up the length of the wrathful karateka's clenched body until she finally meets - and then is dragged beyond - her red-limned gaze. The expected fear and anxiety of a tiny girl moments away from meeting steaming retribution radiate from her wide eyes and tightly bitten lip, but inside, she's mostly just focused on counting shells and seconds--
-- and allowing some cautious relief when the latter tally resolves into splintering wood and thundering reports. After having her throat opened by the werewolf Gallon in her last SNF outing, she'd badly like to avoid looking up from a creepy motel's floor with a broken nose and a crushed windpipe while someone else's hand is raised-- or worse still, seeing herself crumpled at Makoto's feet later, via replay.
The bullet through Makoto's shoulder narrowly avoids cutting a furrough along B.B.'s side-- narrowly enough for a sharp, "Fuck!" to hit the air as Makoto staggers away and she's given leave to hit the ground. Like the boiling karateka, she rolls to avoid the brunt of it and doesn't stop until she's crouched and panting near the costumed hunters. From there, she watches, wary even as Makoto's natural complexion returns. She /barely/ trusts a single bullet in a non-vital spot to have a meaningful impact on Makoto's readiness after what she's experienced, and if it weren't for the fight leading up to the hunters' salvo, she would already be forcing her way to her feet and going for the knife that skidded away when Makoto grabbed her.
As it is, she's still adjusting the satchel to line up a shot on the other girl. When she actually /succeeds/ at retaking her feet after three tries, blonde brows shoot up with a gasp, a soft whimper, and silent frustration. B.B.'s eyes meet Makoto's as the latter falters forward. Her fingers find a trigger zipper-- and paramedics get themselves in the way.
Her fingers momentarily tighten as she sets her jaw, only to loosen as Makoto sags against the officials.
The referee approaches and she takes a few agonizing steps to meet him. Her arm makes it maybe halfway up before falling limp to her side; she may not have taken a bullet to the shoulder, but even /blocking/ multiple blows from Makoto has proven nearly as ruinous to her joints. The powder and blood-caked teen gives the best smile she can muster for the officials and the cameras - /wherever/ they are - before turning her eyes back to Makoto and offering the other girl a wince.
"S-sorry!" she gasps out. "I... I guess /those/ guys' guns are maybe /not/ so fake, huh...?"
Log created on 14:37:04 06/17/2018 by Bulleta, and last modified on 12:39:42 06/19/2018.