The Bell Tolls - TBT Act 1 - An Honest Mistake

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Description: Shadaloo has been actively 'recruiting' new blood as of late. Mostly it has been those that have shown to be proficient in the use of Psycho power. That is why when Falke gets the orders to kidnap one Hayley Bretherton she can't help be suspicious. Someone might be screwing with Shadaloo's records for their own personal gain and Falke is going to get to the bottom of it. At the same time an order is an order and Falke isn't about to discard it in case there wasn't a mix-up. Things are about to get really bad for Hayley.

Since her last incident with Jezebel, Hayley was expressly told not to leave China. Fortunately for her, she was able to work in a SNF match against Sven in the mainland, but since then...Hayley has done her best to stay busy. For better or worse, this has lead to a rigorous training routine. Perhaps it's the recent brushes with death that motivated her so. Perhaps it's her frustration. In any case, Hayley has been hitting her routine hard.

And today, she is in Shanghai. The bustling city sports more people than most of the southeastern states combined, all packed into one city. It is easy to get lost here, if one is not careful. Even so, Hayley knows this place well. She has a destination in mind, and she has found it without trouble. It helps that she was raised bilingually, surprising though it may be with distinct Aussie accent.

Hayley has been doing drills in a small school tucked onto the fringe of a market. She spent the day drilling with the students before she had a small window of one-on-one instructional time with Sifu Wen, who has been helping her with her Bajiquan forms. It is...rocky, and now Hayley is tired and ready to head back to her temporarily lodging here. She's dressed in a blue Chinese blouse that is open around her navel, blue jeans, and a studded belt. She has her practice clothes in a gym bag slung over her shoulder. Her hair has gotten a bit longer recently too, though not unmanageably so.

Not all people manage to have the luck of Hayley when it comes to training. For some they were raised from a young age to be a perfect soldier. In fact more than that. To be a perfect killing machine and tool for Lord Vega. Years of not just training and abuse that would break most. It was meant to. Only the strong were supposed to make it and one of those happens to be the woman simply known as Falke.

And what did all that training get her? A mission that didn't seem to make much sense to her. Shadaloo had a list of fighters that were to be recruited in a forceful manner and Falke was sent to 'enlist' one Hayley Bretherton. Though the more she looked into it the more things didn't seem right. While there is some skill as a fighter, Hayley didn't fit the mold of all the other targets. There was a distinct lack of psycho power nor shown herself to a valuable asset as a whole.

It isn't Falke's job to question, but she has a feeling something fishy is going on. Even so it is something she will have to investigate at a later time. For now she had a mission and she would complete it. Failure was not really an option to consider. She has seen what happens to those who fail. Many are never the same. She does not wish to join those ranks.

She had watched Hayley for the past two days to just see when the best time was to strike and the walk to her current home seemed to be the best of time that allowed Falke to strike without interference. "Hayley Bretherton." Her voice loud enough to get the woman's attention, but not to draw attention from anyone else that might be close as she emerges from an alley. The wind lightly rustles her outfit as she points her bo staff towards the Aussie. "You are to come with me. Do not resist or this could get very messy."

Hayley's sneakers tap steadily on the concrete as she passes the alley without incident. Without incident, that is, until Falke appears and points at the Australian. Hayley considers for a moment, tilting her head.

<"Huh?"> she answers in Chinese, <"I don't understand?"> Perhaps it's a little too sassy, but it seems like her best option. She looks around, confused, as she also tries to see if anyone else is around. Maybe the fight with Tremor taught her a lesson about dealing with dangerous looking strangers.

She doesn't seem like a policewoman or military, Hayley thinks to herself. Is this a kidnapping? Oh gosh, what if it's a kidnapping?

<"Do not play games."> It would seem given that response that little tactic isn't going to work for Hayley. Falke doesn't seem amused as she approaches. He gaze never strays from Hayley and for the moment she hasn't looked like se is going to use that bo staff she wields just yet. "Last chance. Come along with me willingly or I shall use force."

There is a flicker of purple energy from her hand that holds the staff. Energy that leaves the hand and begins to swirl about the bo staff. "Why there is interest in you I do not know. It is not me to question it either. Be glad it was me that was sent to bring you in and not a more unsavory individual." Falke isn't a good person per se, but given some of her fellow Shadaloo cohorts she has at least some form of compassion. Hayley won't be getting punched into liquid by Bison or flayed by Balrog. At least for the time being.

He gaze shifts away from Hayley momentarily as she scans the surroundings. It looks like she hasn't managed to grab the attention of any other people nearby. "Well?" She asks and the hand holding the staff tighten's grip. She would prefer Hayley would come along peacefully, but rarely do attempts to kidnap someone that knows how to fight end so well. Hayley might want to prepare herself because Falke is looking to be running out of patience and might be ready to strike if she doesn't like the answer she gets.

"Err, sorry about that," Hayley says nervously, shuffling her feet. "I just didn't really expect someone to come after me. Is this because...because of the Spangles thing? My mom?" She tenses up. "--my dad?" Hayley bites her lip. There seems to be something there. What is she talking about?

"This is not good..." Hayley bites her lip again. Her eyes follow the purple energy, and she swallows. "That's not super reassuring..." she says, "though I appreciate your...courtesy? What do you want from me? Can't we talk this out?"

There is a quirk of Falke's brow when some names are brought up. Mostly because Spangles is brought up. Falke has been lucky enough to have never run into Jezebel, but she knows that she is a member of Shadaloo as well. "Spangles thing?" An incident she will perhaps have to look into. "I can't say that is the reason. Nor your parents." Though the former does give Falke some suspicions as to why Hayley ended up on the list of targets. Is it just a coincident? No one could be that stupid to add a false file.

Was it mentioned Falke hasn't met Jezebel? If she did things would seem much more plausible.

"There is no discussion unless you are just agreeing to come along." She steps in a bit closer, though she doesn't look ready to make the first strike. "All questions will be answered once we arrive at the destination. You can either come along and get them sooner or have me subdue you and you can get answers once you wake up. Unless plans are carried out before you awaken."

"Yeah, you know," Hayley says, talking with her hands. "Aussie Spangles? That thing where Jez--Lightning Spangles was trying to get me to be her sidekick? Her hand slides toward her pocket, reaching for something. A weapon? Her phone?

"Guess not," Hayley says, slowly trying to work whatever it is out without Falke noticing. This probably does not work as well as she'd think.

She listens and maybe for a moment Hayley has a distraction working in her favor? It at least has Falke thinking a bit more on the fact why all of this seems completely fishy. Jezebel slipping false orders is a very big mistake and one that will be brought forth to the higher ups if proven true. At the same time if Hayley is to really be brought in Falke cannot risk letting her go. That would mean failure and she has seen what happens to those that fail.

Her movements are quick and whatever was in Hayley's hand is quickly knocked out and upwards into the air to sail towards Falke who grabs it with her free hand. "No help. I would like ot hear more of this incident on the way back to the base. So I would have to ask you to not resist."

Her patience is starting to run thin at this point. She has given Hayley plenty of chances and all she gets in return is bad attempts at stalling. "Now I am going to count to five to turn around and put your hands behind your head so I can cuff you. No more stalling. No more thinking you have other options than what I have given you. I have been trained to be a perfect soldier. Do not make this hard on yourself."

Hayley's phone flies out of her hand, through the air, and into Falke's. The phone is a metallic light blue number that looks to be from a Chinese manufacturer. It's rather nice, all in all, but may not work especially well after the disarming. Hayley's hands go up in the instant as a gesture of surrender.

"Okay okay!" Hayley says, turning around slowly with her hands up. She tries to look over her shoulder at Falke. "You know, you're really professional for a kidnapper. Like a spy or something."

Falke at least has the decency of not breaking the phone. Instead she just seems to power it off and slip it into a pocket before she produces a set of cuffs. "Something like that. Be glad it wasn't one of the others." She saw who some other agents were. Really in the grand scheme Hayley lucked out on getting someone who is looking to give her a chance to surrender without getting beat up.

She watches Hayley's movements closely and when she feels that the woman is in a proper position she momentarily lowers her guard. The bo staff is shifted to lightly thunk one end on the ground as she lets it rest back against her shoulder so she can use both arms to apprehend Hayley.

"When we get to the destination I need you to tell me more about this incident with Spangles." She is going to get to the bottom of this. If Jezebel really is causing trouble she is going to make sure the fallen television star will face the consequences.

Hayley keeps her hands raised as Falke approaches. The Aussie doesn't especially want to fight this woman if she can avoid it, but the idea of getting kidnapped and hauled off somewhere unknown is even less appealing. If she doesn't make her break here, she might never get away.

So when Hayley acts, she does so decisively. She plants her heel and whips around with a spinning backfist aimed at catching Falke up the side of the head with enough force to dizzy her.

And if it does, Hayley's plan is to then make her break for it, sprinting toward the end of the alley. That is, if Falke doesn't cut her escape short.

"Sorry!" Hayley calls, either way. At least she's polite?

COMBATSYS: Hayley has started a fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Hayley           0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Falke has joined the fight here.

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Hayley           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0            Falke

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

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Hayley           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0            Falke

The staff is not in hand and Falke does seem distracted enough that this might be the best chance for Hayley to catch her off guard. Unfortunantly for her it seems Falke was still prepared for some sort of ruse and the cuffs are quickly let go the moment Hayley goes into motion. He movements are quick in precise as she grabs the staff with a hand and turns to heft it up and intercept the backfist. It doesn't daze Falke, but it does put her off balance for just a moment. Long enough Hayley does make a break for it.

"Very well. I am sure you will be very sorry." She responds once she has regained her footing. She bolts forward to quickly to close the distance between the two and she leaps up high in the air to leap up and over Hayley while also spinning about to land in front of her.

She just has a bit of a smirk as she brings about that bo staff forward and it crackles with psycho power traveling from Falke's hand through the length of the metal staff. It is a quick forward strike look to slam right into Hayley's chest and slow her down.

COMBATSYS: Falke successfully hits Hayley with Psycho Spitze.
- Power hit! -

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Hayley           0/-------/---====|=------\-------\0            Falke

Hayley can feel the rigidity of the bow as her backfist impacts with it. It's a familiar feeling. She's done bo work before. Fortunately, it has seldom been bo-work where her sparring partner is attempting to kidnap her. Unfortunately, that is the case right now.

Hayley doesn't hesitate as she snaps out of the backfist and into her sprint. Maybe if she can get to other people, someone will recognize Falke, or call the police, or something. As these thoughts race through Hayley's head, Falke makes the smooth leap over her and lands in front. There's no time for the Aussie to react, but instead the bo collides with Hayley's chest, right above her chest, and discharges a burst of purple Psycho Power. The strike immediately knocks the winds out of Hayley's sails, sending her flying backward onto her back. She lands on her gym bag painfully before rolling off of it to clutch her chest with a wheeze.

"B-bloody hell..." Hayley gasps, climbing up onto her elbows. She staggers up to her feet while still holding her chest, then rises up into a fighting stance. Her feet spread wide, her center of gravity low as she assumes some variety of kung fu stance. She takes heavy breaths, but she feels like her lungs are on fire.

COMBATSYS: Hayley focuses on her next action.

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Hayley           0/-------/---====|=------\-------\0            Falke

"I did give you a chance to take the easy way." Falke reminds Hayley. Not like it was a great choice, but at the same time it seems Falke can back up her talk with action as well. The bo staff is twirled about with little effort as the woman takes her own stance. One arm in front as the other gripping the staff keeps it pointed outwards with part of the staff resting along her arm.

The psycho power she wields just seems to snake around the staff while Falke watches Hayley intently. "I admit I have my doubts that you are really a target, but I must proceed with bringing you in just in case for some reason my line of thinking is wrong. You must understand who I work for does not tolerate failure."

Hayley at least gets a moment to try and catch her breath, but it isn't going to last long nad there is a strong case that she might just get the wind knocked out of her again. Falke surges forward as she twirls her staff about. It glows brightly from all the psycho energy that has been siphoned into it and she brings it about with a big heavy slam aimed right at Hayley's right side.

COMBATSYS: Falke successfully hits Hayley with Psycho Kugel ES.

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Hayley           1/-----==/=======|===----\-------\0            Falke

"Didn't really like where it was going even if the way was easy..." Hayley mutters, clenching her fists. She raises one slightly in front of the other, the back clenched tightly while the front is an open palm. When Psycho Power swirls around, Hayley swallows. She recognizes that now. It's definitely what she saw before with that one girl.

"Sorry, but that's not really helping," she says, biting her lip. "I have my doubts the people you work for are the kind who just send someone back that they picked up on accident."

When the bo comes around again, Hayley moves to block but it slips under her guard and smashes into her ribs with enough force to crack them. The Australian goes to grab the bow and set up a counter, but she can't get past the pain from last hit. Instead, Falke can slip away without interference as Hayley instead struggles to even keep her footing.

"D-damn it," Hayley says, her eyes starting to water. "How did I get mixed up in this?!" Hayley's jacket billows in a strong gust as wind-like chi surges around around her. She draws a fist back, then swings it forward in a wide hook that 'catches' a sheath of wind around it. As she completes the swing it snaps forward in a wide projectile in a vague boomerang shape.

COMBATSYS: Falke just-defends Hayley's Emu Shoot ES!

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Hayley           1/-----==/=======|===----\-------\0            Falke

Falke does feel bad for Hayley. Even more so if this is some sort of case of petty revenge or the like instigated by Jezebel. Falke has dealt with the harshness of Shadaloo all her life and perhaps is one of the few that hasn't lost all touch with her emotions or hasn't been utterly broken like Juri. "I know it means little, but I am sorry."

Being sorry doesn't mean she is letting up at all though. Hayley is already hurting and Falke hasn't exactly pulled any punches. Even worse for Hayley is she can't just seem to find an opening to catch the woman off guard. The energy hooks into the vague form of a boomerang that sails right towards Falke, but she doesn't seem too worried at all as the staff ignites with her own energy again and she begins to twirl it about like some sort of copter blade. The energy just seems to slam into that windmilling staff and dissipate without leave so much as a scratch on Falke. The girl has talent, but it is still rather raw. Not at all on par of someone trained like Falke has been.

The staff stops twirling though the energy summoned forth by Falke still runs through the metal object. Instead of coming at Hayley once more Falke simply moves about to hold the staff instead almost like a rifle. Her head cocks some even as she is aiming and she fires the energy that had gathered at the staff's tip right at the other woman at high speed.

COMBATSYS: Hayley blocks Falke's Psycho Kanonen.

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Hayley           1/---====/=======|===----\-------\0            Falke

Hayley bites her lip when the projectile splatters against Falke's twirling staff. Even so, Hayley doesn't give up hope quite yet. She stomps her feet down, grounding herself better to intercept the incoming psycho power bullet. The Aussie's guard tightens against, her forearms pulled tight in front of her and brought together for better coverage. Even as she does so the shot rattles her good, driving her back a good half a foot and causing her to tremble.

"You're...sorry?" Hayley says, clearly exhausted. "Thanks, I guess," Hayley says, "I guess I should blame whoever you work for instead, huh?"

But Hayley powers forward again, planting her foot and kicking forward into another spinning backfist. As she smashes forward she lands on her front foot, turning on it to launch into a knee with her opposite leg. Then snapping out of the knee, Hayley lifts her leg high over her head in a downward heel drop.

"I don't want any of this," Hayley says breathlessly.

COMBATSYS: Falke blocks Hayley's Wild Devil ES.

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

"If it helps." Is all Falke gives in reply when asked who Hayley should blame. Even if she had something else to say she is cut off when Hayley looks go go on the offensive once more.

The staff comes about to stop the backfist, but the knee comes in a bit too quickly and Falke has to run a bit and let it slam into her hip which pushes her back slightly as she gives a grimace. That last kick comes downwards and she manages to get her arm not holding the staff up to intercept the downward kick which has enough force to drive her to her knee. "You don't want any of this? You think everyone gets what they want?" Those words are delivered with bitterness. Did Falke want to be raised by Shadaloo? Did she want to be trained to be what she is?

She brings the staff about as it comes to life again with energy. This time she leaps backwards looking to put distance between herself and Hayley once more. The staff thrusting forward to slam into Hayley's sternum if things manage to strike true while also giving her some space to get in a defensive stance once more if Hayley still stands after that strike.

COMBATSYS: Falke successfully hits Hayley with Evasive Strike.

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Hayley           1/------=/=======|======-\-------\0            Falke

Hayley bites her lip again. At least that's not bleeding, since Falke has mostly stuck to her sides. Struggling against her bruised ribs, Hayley slams against the staff but doesn't relent on the pressure. The knee follows, and finally the heel drop pushes down against Falke's guard.

But when Falke pushes back, it knocks Hayley off her footing. She hops on one leg to keep her balance. The bo slips through in the chaos, jabbing into Hayley's strenum and suddenly knocks the winds right out of her sails. The younger fighter wheezes, dropping down on her knees before planting her palm to get steady. She doesn't manage any words before she climbs up, vaults into the air, and goes for a flying kick at her assailant with the last of her strength.

COMBATSYS: Hayley can no longer fight.

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

COMBATSYS: Hayley successfully hits Falke with Swooping Season.
>>> Punitive Hit!!! <<<

[          \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Falke            1/------=/=======|

Hayley lands hard into the kick, pushing against Falke hard enough to kick off her and back into the air. From there, Hayley drops into a falling knee, slamming against the Psycho operative a second time. Launching once more while she's got Falke briefly staggered, Hayley flips into a backdrop, intending to smash Falke into the ground with her backside.

But, along the way, Hayley has exerted herself so much that she practically falls off, tumbling into an unconscious heap right out of her slam.

"Y-yeah, t-take that," she mutters, before going out like a light.

Falke can tell Hayley is on her last legs. She figured the last strike would have been enough to take her out, but it seems adrenaline keeps her upright. The Shadaloo agent just narrows her eyes and takes a moment to debate what she should do. In the end she figured she would just play keep away and let Hayley expend what little energy she has left.

That doesn't work out so well. She is starting to move back to move out of the way of the first kick, but Hayley came in faster than Falke had expected and finally the young fighter lands a clean hit that staggers Falke. She continues to connect as she hits with the knee and finally that rather generous backside slams into Falke and drives her into the ground hard.

It seems to be all that Hayley had left, but it was enough to not only hurt Falke physically, but also hurt her pride a bit given that last hit. She rises to her feet as she adjusts her outfit then looks down to Hayley. She stands there silently for a few moments then goes to retrieve the cuffs she dropped earlier before returning and starts to put them on the unconcious Hayley. After all this she doesn't feel victorious. If anything more just annoyed as her thoughts keep drifting to the fact none of this really makes sense. Someone was screwing with orders and now Hayley suffers because of it.

"Hello, this is Falke. Bring the car around." She speaks into a small object while rising back to her feet. She then hefts Hayley up and over a shoulder and picks her bo staff back up. Not far off a black SUV pulls up. Hayley is deposited into the back and Falke climbs in after. The alley soon grows silent again as the SUV pulls away leaving only the bag Hayley was carrying with her behind.

Log created on 21:29:57 07/17/2018 by Falke, and last modified on 18:37:16 07/23/2018.