Description: The last trails of Lightning Spangles lead to the Drive-In Theater at Sunshine City. There, B. B. Hood can find the abandoned SUV, and the mysterious, red-hooded doll. She was here. But why? And she is quickly joined by another. Cassie, the Special Forces, has her own leads down at the Drive-In, following the trail of kidnappings around Southtown. Conveniently, it is where both will find their next challenge for the open Pro Belt, as the crew arrives just in time. It might be enough to keep them from sharing too many of their secrets.
Bulleta has been a busy girl. Besides making contact with the Scarlet Dahlia of the Akatsuki-gumi, she's been hard at work trying to track down the most lucrative prey of her career: Jezebel 'Lightning Spangles?' Faiblesse. She made the critical mistake of giving herself some distance from the actress rather than sticking close by to not only keep her on the hook, but keep tabs on her; it wasn't until she met with Pepper Green that she even bothered to try DMing Jezebel, hoping to get on with things once the bounty was confirmed.
When her heart emojis and gushing requests to reconnect went unanswered, she tried another letter; when //that// ostensibly failed due to Jezebel's entry into the world of international diplomacy, Bulleta found herself frustrated and in need of a new, slug-free TV.
Shadaloo managed to keep the news of Jezebel being brutalized by M. Bison just prior to her diplomatic turn from hitting the news, but there are places where the cartel's reach can't quite extend; one just has to know where to look. It took the young hunter many hours of carefully polling and poring over /fight/ to find one anonymous, SNF-employed poster with a credible lead, but once she had it, it was just a matter of getting from Japan to Sunshine City to look for lingering evidence.
The cost of a plane from a Guild-friendly airstrip was more than enough to worsen the bile roiling in her stomach, but at least she's got her picnic basket at hand as she - in a red hoodie, jeans, and nose/mouth-covering mask - approaches a long-abandoned SUV. At first, it sat there because it was cordoned off by the police and left there, largely untouched while the department dealt with bigger problems; now that the tape's gone, what few visitors are still taking in movies amidst the chaos breaking out across the city give it a wide berth. The event may not have made the news, but rumors swirled locally in its aftermath; nobody particularly /wants/ to soak in the negative vibes left in the wake of a broken woman's savage beating.
Tonight, the turn-out is bigger than normal and not one eye is turned towards the feature: non-descript vans and cars contain SNF crews eagerly awaiting the arrival of two young fighters eligible to contest for a vacant belt. As one of them carefully approaches, then opens up that SUV, the feature cuts out, leaving the screen blank. A beat later, B.B. Hood fills it, leaning into the SUV's passenger side to dig through its glove box.
Vehicle doors begin opening throughout the lot, allowing a camera crew, sound people, a referee, and the various and sundry other pieces of living machinery needed to make a sanctioned fight work emerge.
While it's easy enough for the general public to forget, Cassie Cage isn't just some do-nothing familial hanger-on to her cousin Johnny. The big public persona and the online presence are one aspect, but Sergeant Cage is military... not just that, but Special Forces. And with the organization really starting to mobilize under the command of Charlie Nash, it's time for Cassie to get out into the field and hit the streets.
It's a hell of a lot easier to keep a low-profile doing that when you've already built up a bit of a party girl reputation. Sunshine City is totally where you want to go to get wasted at all the best parties of the Hollywood elite, because it's not even in Hollywood. The last two nights since she got in, there's been a lot of social media buzz as she mingles with the young, hot, and famous in Sunshine while other operatives are piecing together information for her investigation.
But just why the hell are people being kidnapped in Southtown, Japan, suddenly dropping clues that there are connections in Sunshine City? Something big has to be happening, and this is really starting to look like a lot more than the usual sort of human trafficking that these sorts of organizations get up to, why the hell else would you start moving a bunch of kids from Japan to the US and then try to move them through one of the more expensive vacation cities on the west coast?
The important part of all of this is keeping a cover up, though. It's the biggest advantage that Cassie has over the other soldiers in Special Forces: she can hide in plain sight.
Last night she'd managed to swing an entrance to a party that one of the Kardashians was throwing and had made certain it was clear she'd gotten absolutely blasted as her Instagram posts got steadily sloppier as the night went on. She'd actually spilled way more than she'd drunk, but it was a good excuse to add a pair of massive hangover-hiding shades and a pair of lazy day sweats were plenty to add to the effect.
The first few leads hadn't turned up too much, aside from needing to take selfies with pretty much any follower who'd "stumbled" into her (one of the disadvantages of posting tons of pictures about where you're hanging out and wearing clothes with your name on them). This next one was a bit of a long shot, but she'd gotten the push to where rumors of some sort of big fight going down were swirling. The fact that it was a drive-in meant that at least she'd have a chance of seeming like she was just trying to check out the local scene.
Slipping onto the lot in a rental convertible (she's had some great shots with it where she reminded all her followers not to drink and drive), Cage takes in the array of vehicles and, upon spotting a red-clad figure poking around an SUV, she' pops out of her own car.
And then there's bodies everywhere, and Cassie is quick to start reaching for one of her pistols, only catching herself as she recognizes the tell-tale markings of a TV crew setting up. It takes a lot of work to force yourself to relax after thinking you stumbled into a trap.
"What's going on here?" she asks with her best casual disintrest. "Did I accidentally sign-up for something while drunk again? The last time I did that, it took months to get out of my subscription to some sort of that horrible dork box delivery."
"Who the /fuck/--?"
B.B. Hood jerks free of the SUV as she hisses, glares towards Cassie and the SNF crew setting up a few yards beyond her-- freezes for a beat--
-- then begins to shake with low, steady laughter as her eyes soften and irritated tension melts into sheer confusion. As her gaze nervously bounces between them, the girl stammers, "Wh-who-- ohmygod, I, I /swear/ I wasn't-- it's j-just, I was, I was looking for Lightning Spangles--" through those self-conscious peals until they pass.
A glance is spared for the screen; she swallows another swear as her eyes return to Cassie. There's no /great/ reason to say no to an SNF match-- no reason at all why a sweet, young girl desperate to make her way in the world via professional fighting would turn down a fight purse and a--
The hooded hunter's eyes momentarily snap screenward and widen as they fix on 'RED LEAGUE PRO BELT' chyron.
"I, I don't-- /remember/-- signing up for-- for a /title match/, but, gosh, if you think I'm /worthy/ of it..." Swallowing again, she takes a step towards Cassie, offering a stiff wave and a smile hidden behind a red cloth mask with a white trim. "Hi! My, uh, my name's B.B., a-and I /swear/ I wasn't stealing or anything...! You should really be careful about drinking and signing." As she gives a big smile, that stiff hand is offered out for a handshake while the crew sets up and she works to shift gears from 'digging through the ruins of Jezebel Faiblesse's movie date with a doll' to 'fighting, with guns'.
"But-- since you /did/ drunk-sign, and I, well, I was /invited/-- by surprise-- we owe it to each other and everyone watching to do our absolute best!"
Bulleta's fight manager - a wiry young man maybe half a foot taller than her named Arvin - does a double-take while going over the contract for her last SNF match, in which she insisted on foregoing the thematic clown makeup.
"'... refuses to participate... elements deemed crucial to maintaining the marketability and integrity of a scheduled fight... subject to one or more additional bookings... paid, but scheduled at the full and complete discretion of--' oh," he murmurs, eyes growing progressively larger. "O-oh, oh, no, oh, oh, /God/, she'll /actually/ shoot me--!"
He scrambles for his cell phone.
"Although-- I kinda wonder why you and me...?" B.B. Hood lowly, well, wonders after that encouraging sentiment. Her brows begin to knit in concern as she lets her eyes deliberately roam over her opponent. "Did-- did they sign up up /last night/...? Gosh, they can be so--"
Muffled within her basket, a cell phone plays the chorus to 'Paper Planes' and vibrates. She pauses and arches her brows in clear surprise, but otherwise ignores it.
"-- so /tricky/, those SNF promoters," she finishes as she sets her eyes on those enormous shades.
None of this was supposed to be part of this. Cassie hadn't been planning to get involved in any fights as part of her cover here, and she sure as heck didn't get drunk enough to sign up for an opportunity to fight for one of those tacky title belts. Johnny was the type to get involved with all of those to show off for everyone, but none of it really mattered to the younger Cage.
This was the downside of making yourself publicly known to be somewhere, it's not that hard for just about anyone to stalk out your location and try to creep on you. It's just, usually the people who did it weren't fight promoters and TV producers (at least not while they were on the job).
"These things are just about popularity and ratings," Cassie drops sounding almost bored despite still being on edge. "But they clearly don't know the first thing about marketting, because they didn't even bother giving me time to tweet about this."
Without taking off the hangover blocker shades, Cage offers a faint smile to B.B. "I guess I'm going to need to get something out of my car if they're expecting me to get into a fight." Excusing herself, Cassie slides back over to her car, sitting down in the driver's seat as she starts to put the roof up on the rental convertible. Now's the time to fix things, starting with Cssie slipping off her hoodie and revealing the tactical webbing and holders she's wearing over her athletic top. She's just got to make sure the guns are in good condition, as any proper gun owner does... which is a great time to cover up the fact that she's switching out the magazines loaded with lethal rounds for the bright green ones containing non-lethals, triple checking that there's no unexpected rounds in the chambers.
Cassie Cage @ccc 0s
hoep my hngover dsnt get worse fite 4 the belt #snf #redbelt
As she slips back out of the car, Cage is just finishing her last minute text before slipping her phone away and moving to pull on a pair of fight gloves. "There, I'm sure I've just tripled your ratings. You guys better be glad my followers are so dedicated."
COMBATSYS: Bulleta has started a fight here.
COMBATSYS: Cassie has joined the fight here.
[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > //////////////////////////////]
Bulleta 0/-------/-======|=------\-------\0 Cassie
While Cassie sits in her car and changes, B.B. Hood concentrates on giving the cameras plenty of anxious looks and rocking from foot to foot. "I got to meet Lightn-- /Jezebel/," she says after locking onto one of the lenses, trembling with excitement and anticipation, "and fight for a belt in my very first match, all because she believed in me, and now... /now/, when I'm out looking for her, trying to figure out how to reach her... I find out that I get to fight for /another/ title...?" She takes in a slow breath and lets it out with a shudder. "Wherever she is, whatever wonderful things she's doing for the United States and Mexico, I-I just-- I hope she hasn't /forgotten/ about her number one fan...!"
Once that bit of business is handled - complete with a few seconds of eyes on the verge of tears - she turns her head in time to see the younger Cage approaching her. After wiping her eyes, she gives a brisk clap and a broad grin as the phone is stowed. "You must be /super/ popular," she gasps, starry-eyed. "/Wow/-- no /wonder/ they wanted you to fight for a belt! You must be proud, right? I'm /super/ proud-- can you /imagine/?"
Her left shoulder drops and the basket dangling from her arm slides into her hand, allowing her to swing it to and fro at her side.
"Your career-- it'd /catapult/ you into everyone's hearts and minds...! It..." The gushing girls trails off as her eyes narrow. "... wait..."
Each of the basket's arcs is faster than the one before it, until she isn't swinging a basket so much as a wicker blur that seems to grow as it loses its shape.
"... w-/wait/, you're..." Blue eyes roll along the gloves, the guns, the tactical webbing. "Cassie Cage...? Cassie Cage! Ohmygod, with the /glasses/, I didn't--"
Rather than languish in the embarrassment of failing to recognize Johnny Cage's cousin, B.B lunges, carried by a mixture of sheer explosiveness and the momentum generated by swinging the basket. Its final, overhand swipe is meant to bring it crashing down upon Cassie, and if it makes contact, it'll be instantly clear that it's much heavier - and /harder/ - than it looks like it should be.
COMBATSYS: Cassie blocks Bulleta's Shyness & Strike.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > //////////////////////////// ]
Bulleta 0/-------/=======|==-----\-------\0 Cassie
If there's one thing you get really used to when you've got a big reputation going on social media, it's phonies. The world of popularity for popularity's sake is full of backstabbing and fake compliments. Crocodile tears and falsified excitement upon seeing someone are all standard operating procedures.
That's not to say that Cassie knows everything that's going on with B.B., but first sniff test says that the name might be more accurate if it was B.S.
And all of that is clearly for the best as the red-hoodied girl comes out swinging, and were she any less proficient in bitchy L.A. politics, Cage might well have taken a basket to the face for all of her troubles instead of her forearm as it comes up to interpose itself between the basket and her head.
"You should probably watch your step, all this perfectly flat, open pavement is pretty dangerous if you're not paying attention to your footing," Cassie offers with a helpful smile before blowing a quick bubble and popping it, instantly flowing into the follow-up for any sniping, two-faced feud.
You gotta play the game.
Now moving without hesitation, Cage drops down low, almost as if delayed in her fall as she catches herself on the ground wit her forearm as one leg comes sweeping straight up. There's only a moment of pause before her whole body is suddenly sheathed in a deep green glow and she suddenly flies up in an inverted dive kick with a faint hum filling the air as she rises up toward B.B.'s chin.
COMBATSYS: Bulleta blocks Cassie's Assault Phase.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > /////////////////////////// ]
Bulleta 0/-------/=======|==-----\-------\0 Cassie
"O-oh!" B.B exclaims while stutter-stepping through the rest of her forward momentum. "Gosh, thanks-- it must be nerves from all the cameras, and--"
Cassie's foot hits the girl's forearm instead of her chin and that green aura burns a small hole through her sleeve. Blunted force and searing pain radiate through her body afterwards as she skids a foot or two away. The mask hides her gritted teeth while she studies Cassie with deepened interest and widened eyes.
"Hnngh, that-- that was really"
Muffled by the basket, the hook to 'Ante Up' begins to blare, cutting her clean off. Big, blue eyes drop to consider the lid for half a beat before she decides to crack it open, slip a hand inside, and retrieve a late-model phone-- as well as a big, green bottle. The bottle seems to have been modified, slightly-- somewhat subtly, if strangely: a flint wheel hangs off of one side, held in place by a metal ring assembly with tiny prongs set in beneath the cap's rim.
"I found a, a bag full of weapons, money-- other stuff--" she briskly exhales while setting her thumb against the wheel and beginning to shake. "/Illegal/ stuff," she softly, shamefully appends. "Drug dealer stuff-- /obviously/, I flushed the worst of it, but the rest-- well--"
Darting towards Cassie, she flings the phone towards the Special Forces socialite in a high arc then thrusts the bottle up and out, giving it a quick thumb-flick. With that one motion, the cap springs free and fire flickers between the bottle and its metal accessory for a split-second before meeting a spray of liquor.
The phone vanishes into erupting champagne as B.B. Hood gives the bottle a downward sweep meant to let Cassie share a taste of improvised fire. The jet flares out a good ways, but its fuel is limited and being spent without any regard for conservation; given a few seconds, it'll run out.
COMBATSYS: Bulleta successfully hits Cassie with Cheer of Fire.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > /////////////////////// ]
Bulleta 0/-------/=======|====---\-------\0 Cassie
It would be a big help if Cage could get a better read on this girl. Knowing someone is full of shit doesn't always help unless you know what they're planning, and as it stands, it's hard to tell if this is your classic Mean Girls Jealous Bitch or if this girl is more about trying to make other people look bad by pretending to be the good little girl.
And either this girl is older than 17 or she's a goddamn prodigy.
This all becomes more of a problem as this stumbling, bumbling fangirl routine gets violent again. Having been put on edge, Cage is starting to react even before the bottle is set free, turning her head away to avoid catching all of the explosive blast to her face as the rest of her body follows more slowly, attempting to twist aside at an angle, but it's pretty clear that B.B. caught the hard read as she's briefly flamed up.
Thank god they don't make clothes out of Rayon anymore or she'd be burning like Michael Jackson in a Pepsi commercial.
As she turns back around, swiping away some of the lingering sparks and patting out the smoking spots, she gives B.B. a clean once over, making it obvious even behind the massive shades that the 'young woman' is being taken in from head to toe.
"...You're one of those women who gets fake ID so she gets kicked out of clubs to make herself feel young, aren't you?"
COMBATSYS: Cassie blows a bubble.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > /////////////////////// ]
Bulleta 0/-------/=======|====---\-------\0 Cassie
B.B. Hood certainly doesn't /look/ older than 17. She barely looks /17/, for that matter.
"Why would someone-- that doesn't even--!" she stammers. Instead of throwing the bottle aside when it hits empty, she just gives it a flip so she can seize the neck.
"I don't even like-- I've never even BEEN to a club! /Or/ had a fake ID-- I'm barely making ends meet with this fighting stuff as-is. I couldn't /afford/ those kinds of luxuries, and-- well-- I mean, why would I /want/ to, anyway?" Her arms drop a bit and her eyes fall more.
"All I want-- all I've /ever/ really wanted-- was to grow up, and have a nice wedding, and a nice life, and-- and this fighting stuff is all I've got to help me /get/ there, now, a-and-- and it's so h-HARD sometimes..."
Sniffling, she lunges into a sudden, sweeping blow aimed at breaking the bottle against Cassie's stomach, then turns wet and shining eyes up to her.
"I'm j-just-- just figuring this OUT, okay?" she whispers mid-swipe. "I'm not like /you/, you're already FAMOUS-- this must be a BREEZE for you...!"
COMBATSYS: Bulleta successfully hits Cassie with Random Strike.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > /////////////////// ]
Bulleta 0/-------/=======|======-\-------\0 Cassie
Anyone who chatters this much while they're fighting is doing it on purpose.
Cassie Cage of all people would know.
Distraction, manipulation, and self-encouragement all come together with this sort of chatter to put yourself in the ideal place to start trying to control the match. If you get someone too focused on talking, it means they're less focused on fighting. If you work yourself up, you've got more spirit you can put into the fight.
And it's a little annoying to Cassie that B.B. seems to have the patter down to an artform. Every jab at sympathy, every goody-two-shoes line... it's bound to work on some people.
Even more frustratingly, it's clearly working a bit on Cage herself. Even trying to peg down Red Hood's movements isn't enough as she tries to duck out of the way and instead catches a shattered bottle to the midsection, and Cassie really wishes she was wearing her mission gear right now.
"Oh, I get it, you're that girl who spent all her match flirting with Jezebel until she was so thirsty she sent you to the moon," Cassie shoots as she stumbles back. "All this is about money, isn't it? So are you trying to buy in on that ridiculous Spangles drama money or were you just planning to be a trophy girlfriend?"
Maybe a bit of distraction of her own will turn this shit around, as the question lands moments before both pistols are out, instantly sighted, and then a quick series of rapid-fire shots are sent down range at B.B., the bright green shade of non-lethal slugs designed to pack a punch instead of a perforation.
COMBATSYS: Bulleta blocks Cassie's Blood Splat.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > /////////////////// ]
Bulleta 0/-------/=======|=======\-------\0 Cassie
"Flirt-- /flirting/...? I was-- /no/, I was telling her how much she MEANT to me...!" a flustered B.B. Hood stammers. "How important her strength and courage are to me, it just-- i-it-- things got a l, little out of HAND, but--"
The slugs collide with her basket, jerked up into place just in the nick of time. Each impact reverberates through the handle to leave her hand and forearm numb, and her shoulder sags afterwards as she grimaces.
"Y-you just-- you don't understand," she gasps while stiffly rolling her basket-bearing shoulder around and trying to inch towards Cassie's flank. "I don't care about her money, o-or-- or anything PERVERTED-- I love her! I LOVE Lightning Spangles, more than anything...!"
Trailing off gives Bulleta a second to clench her jaw beneath the mask while letting a sharp, frustrated breath out of her nostrils. Bad enough that she's been matched with an opponent she's had no time to study-- bad enough that said match is interrupting her already spiraling million dollar job, and that Cassie seems even better equipped to keep up with her verbal dance than the werewolf Talbain was in the woods--
No, the worst of the indignities the petite hunter finds herself faced with is the steadily growing need to use perfectly serviceable material while the only audience it needs to reach is busy looking creepy in diplomatic meetings, or whatever the hell a broken down actress-turned-political figure /does/ all day.
Clenching her fingers around the bottle-neck, she decides to roll with the hand she's beent dealt by filtering frustrations through her affronted mask.
"You don't understand," she whispers after that second while lowering a narrowing gaze. "And that's okay-- /nobody/ can really understand... but you don't-- you can't MOCK what we have...!" Inching feet set for a split-second, then she explodes into a thrusting strike meant to drive the jagged remnants of the bottle into the younger Cage's side as she screeches, "I won't LET you!"
COMBATSYS: Cassie fails to interrupt Fierce Strike from Bulleta with Assault Force.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > //////////// ]
Bulleta 1/-----==/=======|=======\=------\1 Cassie
This fight is frustrating. Like when you're a kid and you know where the presents are, you've even gotten your hands on them and given them a shake, but you can't get any useful noises of them. It's here, it's in this box, and you can't put together just what it is you're dealing with!
None of these verbal jabs are working to help open B.B. up, and Cassie can't seem to get a read on the red hood, while it's starting to feel clear that she's been read clean.
"I don't know what you think you've got, but if you're peeping around a Drive-In like some sort of jealous girl hunting down her cheating lover, then it can't be all that strong, can it?"
Maybe this one will get through, at least enough for her to grab some sort of opening. Preparing for the worst, Cassie drops low to the ground again with remarkable speed, and much like before attempts to launch herself up not past B.B.'s guard so much as plow past her crazy bottle stabbing shit.
Okay, that sure as hell didn't work as Cassie ends up taking a gash in her side before she can get the green magic going, rolling over and landing on the ground with her teeth clenched.
B.B. is definitely some sort of wolf in sheep's clothing.
"H-how dare you, you-- you BULLY, you--"
B.B. Hood fumes, huffs, and stutters while Cassie goes down. More than anything right now, the bluster helps her cover the relief welling in her after coming so close to experiencing another hit of the green. Twisting away from that rising blow mid-thrust is the only thing that keeps her safe, and she still comes away with a singe up the front of her hoodie and an awkward, wobbly stance due to having to commit a bit too hard to the striking at an unexpected angle.
Quick movements and an erratic guard combined with that steady stream of patter seem to be working out so far, but Cassie does not fight like a drunken socialite fighting through the consequences of a bender-- physically or otherwise. Where Bulleta's last SNF opponent - the boiling karateka, Makoto - mostly refused to entertain her chatter, and the werewolf before her was wise enough to see the predator before him and lash out instantly... Cassie seems, if anything, affected by its general presence more than its content, plenty capable of rolling with it rather than letting herself lulled into pitying or underestimating the tiny blonde.
This is hardly ideal, given that the girl's one full brush with that emerald energy promised violence on par with Makoto's terrible fists, should her reflexes fail her. Getting out of this fight as quickly as possible - before Cassie can rally and force an emerald rebuttal through that erratic guard and those swirling histrionics - is of the utmost importance-- for the sake of avoiding a televised embarrassment, at this point. Rummaging around an abandoned SUV after being filmed doing it - after being called out for it - doesn't hold much appeal.
Upon recovering her balance, she lets out a deep breath then huffs, "You're just-- I don't, I don't know why you'd SAY such awful, hurtful things-- as if Jezebel Faiblesse would ever hurt someone she loved! As if someone could /ever/ just, just USE her for MONEY...! I-is-- is this what it means to be popular and Instafamous?" A soft gasp and a shudder accompanies that realization. "Being, just, mean, and tearing down OTHER famous people?!"
Marching towards Cassie, she continues, "You're /strong/-- why resort to being mea--" before finding another patch of flat, even ground to trip over-- /launch/ herself off of.
"-- eeeeaaaaah!" she shrieks while falling bottle-first towards the Special Forces agent. If she manages to pull the maneuver off, she'll give the bottle a little twist and a sharp jerk meant to draw serious blood.
/Definitely/ some sort of wolf.
COMBATSYS: Cassie blocks Bulleta's Stumble & Blade.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ////////// ]
Bulleta 1/----===/=======|=======\=------\1 Cassie
There's no way Cassie is letting herself get carved up as part of some weird, phony innocent young girl act, especially not when it's all for some stupid title she doesn't even care about! Of course, right now she wishes like hell that she had her proper mission gear on instead of dressing to blend in with the Hollywood Elite in their getaway town.
The most important aspect of dealing with sharp weapons, improvised or otherwise, is to avoid going for the weapon itself. In a flash, Cassie catches hold of B.B.'s wrist and delays her phony fall long enough for her to twist out of the way of the sharp bits before ducking back and building some open space in case the girl in the hoodie just tries to go for it again.
"I'm pretty sure the only thing Jezebel does to people who care about her is hurt them," Cage retorts, trying to still sound casual despite herself. "She's so unstable that I keep getting her trying to DM me on Twitter with all these weird nudes she's trying to get to Johnny."
Keep talking, try to get her more distracted than she's making you for once in this damn fight. Up the stakes until she can't keep the act up and maybe she'll break for a bit.
But the best way to up the stakes right now involves pulling out one of her pistols again. Precision and training come together as Sergeant Cage fires two quick shots, each one aimed for B.B.'s knees, the non-lethals should be able to hit hard enough to knock her legs out from under her, leaving her completely open as Cassie fires one last shot to the forehead to hit like a knock-out punch, leaving B.B. open as Cassie slips forward, pulling the gum out of her mouth and slowly turning the pink green as its infused with that same energy from before, priming it as it's pressed up against B.B.'s forehead and then starts to expand until it pops in an explosion.
COMBATSYS: Cassie successfully hits Bulleta with Between The Eyes.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ////////// ]
Bulleta 1/----===/=======|=------\-------\0 Cassie
Cassie's jab does for the trick-- not for the reasons she may have expected, but it works just the same:
B.B. Hood gives big, astonished blue eyes, clearly shocked at the notion that someone as noble and pure as Jezebel Faiblesse could /ever/ stoop to something as tawdry as pushing nudes through a middle-cousin while the hunter beneath the surface hears potential. At a loss for words - because she's trying to figure out her best play at determining whether Cassie's blowing smoke - the young woman in red staggers back from the younger Cage.
Just as she lets herself show some slack - makes sure that Cassie sees the blow /really/ sink in - the operative goes to work too. Non-lethal rounds hit like hammers, sweeping her legs out and leaving her wobbling on her knees. Those blue eyes manage to get a little wider and the anger flashing in them intensifies sharply. Just as she's planting her hands on the ground to help herself up despite the alternating waves of numbness and pain shooting through her lower half, the gum *POP!*s against her brow, rocketing her to her back with a loud cry.
She's slow to rise, and when she does, she's trembling-- and scowling. Neither lasts for long: with a sharp, bracing breath she manages to still herself despite the world drunkenly weaving in and out of itself around her and the fire in her nerves.
And as she locks eyes with the Special Forces socialite, she gives her a smile as thin and wicked as a razor's edge.
"You're right, you know," she says in soft, abruptly flattened tones. "Jezebel hurt me reeeeaaaal bad the last time I saw her, but it's okay. I got up! I got better. I might not /look/ like much, but I can handle an awful lot. Like I told her: I'm /very/ mature for my age, so I get it: we can't /help/ but hurt the people we love sometimes, y'know?"
Her legs are the last thing to stop quivering, and a heartbeat after they do, the blonde is in motion, flicking a hand in and out of her hoodie's pocket. Cassie hears metal and plastic grind perilously near her ear--
"And even though you're a a jealous /bitch/," she hisses, dripping venom now that all the honey's been drained out of her, "I still love you, Cassie Cage-- you're so ~famous~, after all!"
-- and then B.B. attempts to slash across the operative's face with a quick flourish of a box cutter before darting a few feet away.
"Promise me we can take a selfie after we're done...?"
COMBATSYS: Bulleta successfully hits Cassie with Power Strike.
- Power hit! -
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > //// ]
Bulleta 1/---====/=======|====---\-------\0 Cassie
Goddammit, why is it always the creeps hiding blades in their damn hoodies?
Yeah, there's people out there running around with ridiculous samurai swords and machine guns, but then there's some asshole with a box cutter in their hoodie and that's what gets you?
The instant the blade is out, Cassie is already shifting onto the defensive, settling back, hunting for an angle to approach and grab B.B. by the wrist, take control again, but it only takes one quick, violent motion to get right past your guard.
And it's a damn good thing she was wearing those sunglasses. The blade manages to catch the shades, snapping them off Cage's face, but at least she's still got both her eyes, even if her cheek is sliced open, a spray of fresh red blood splattering across the ground and Cage's clothes.
In a flash she falls back, one hand moving to her gear, whipping out a baton and swinging it out in front of her, opening it up defensively. When someone's got a knife in rushing range, it's better to have a weapon you can use defensively than just a gun.
"Ahhh, fuck, no wonder you want Jezebel so bad, you're just as much of a psycho as she is," Cassie spits, her eyes burning with a real sense of anger. "You want Jezebel? You want this stupid belt? Go ahead, I never even wanted to be part of this shit, I was just trying to clear out a hangover and see the city."
Without lowering the baton, Cassie shifts back unsteadily, putting a hell of a lot of space between her and B.B. as she shouts, "You heard me, I'm done. Give her the goddamn title, and get someone to patch this up or you're gonna have a real shitstorm brewing online."
COMBATSYS: Cassie checks her phone.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\ <
COMBATSYS: Cassie can no longer fight.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\ <
B.B. Hood handles that box cutter like a professional-- the kind with a dossier more than the kind who works warehouses. Opposite Cassie and her baton, she keeps the weapon held out with a light touch and loose joints. Thanks to the explosion on top of the incremental abuses suffered by defending herself from Cassie's force and munitions, she can't keep her arm and legs from shaking or her upper body from weaving like a reed on the breeze, but she keeps herself pointed squarely towards the operative despite this. She doesn't rush; she waits and watches the blood drip from Cassie's cheek, eager to see whether /that/ was enough, or--
Once or twice, her eyes drift down the side of the Special Forces office's face until they're locked onto an artery...
They're there when Cassie spits and draws B.B.'s attention to the older woman's face. "I'm a /champion/ because of Lightning Spangles," she retorts in a reverent whisper. "It's okay to /want/ something when it's offered to you, Cassie... whether it's love or a title belt." The blade goes down when Cassie draws back, but the young woman in red keeps her stance up otherwise. She won't be forgetting those guns - that /gum/ - any time soon-- /certainly/ not while she's still feeling them as acutely as she is. "Or a heroine nobody else wants," is appended as she slides the metal back into its housing.
An official comes in to lay the red belt over a numb and narrow shoulder, Cassie shouts about leveraging her fanbase, and /then/ B.B. Hood finally begins to relax; if she's threatening shitstorms, she's probably done fighting.
/Probably/. The woman's mix of catty disdain, skillfully applied brutality, and focus took the blonde Hunter by surprise and left her unclear as to who, /exactly/, she was dealing with; the possibility of yet another surprise from the younger Cage can't be dismissed.
"I just hope," she calls to the angry socialite through a cupped hand, "that we can be friends some day, Cassie-- nngh...!" Pulling her hand up, she presses it to her scorched brow with a grimace. With her eyes still locked on Cassie - just in case - she lets her wobbling legs guide her into sitting on the ground, where she doubles over and gently bobs through the vicious ringing in her skull. Her other hand fumbles at her bared face for a couple seconds before she manages to pull her gum-disodged mask more or less into place.
"S-sorry about all the blood! I just-- I get r-really... /passionate/... about Lightning Spangles...!" she offers along with a sweetened, if still taut smile; even /that/ hurts.
COMBATSYS: Bulleta has ended the fight here.
Log created on 22:01:51 06/27/2018 by Bulleta, and last modified on 23:57:24 07/03/2018.