The Bell Tolls - TBT Act 3 - For The Children

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Description: When Lita Luwanda and a team of Ikari are assigned a mission to go to the Discount Baby Warehouse in Tijuana and discover to their horror that the missing children are in the building and that Hayley Bretherton the Shadaloo agent assigned to guard them is as much a victim as the children themselves thanks to a brainwashing that was hijacked by the original Lightning Spangles.

The Discount Baby Warehouse in Tijuana isn't too odd in itself. It's a mostly nondescript commercial building in a district right near an industrial zone. Though the company is headquartered in the United States, it's not that unreasonable that they'd store some of their goods from manufacturing here. At worse, one might assume that poor labor conditions and low wages are the only nefarious dealings here and that, unfortunately, nothing about that is entirely illegal by local standards.

Interpol, however, knows better. Having tracked Shadaloo movement through the area, all signs point to this warehouse as a hub for their trafficking operations. The trucks that come in and out are unusually paranoid about covering their unloading, and anyone who has gotten too close so far has ran into problems with unusually tight security for discount baby goods.

The main loading dock is set up to handle six trucks at a time, which back directly into open garages, where each truck is unloaded by staff inside the warehouse. Two private security guards carrying assault weapons circle around the perimeter.

When Lita received this assignment, it was like swallowing a bitter pill. She believed in the cause and knew that it was something she wanted and needed to accomplish to the best of her ability. There was just one problem. She would find herself working with Interpol which meant working with the Chief. She believed that it was entirely possible that Daniel Little wouldn't be the creature he was if he had handled the Mortal Kombat assignment by actually briefing Little instead of knocking him out and sending him to the island. That, however, was a gripe for another day.

Lita Luwanda was assigned a small Ikari strike team in order to investigate the warehouse. Assault weapons were too high powered for what they were supposed to protect. Figurative warning alarms were going off for Interpol and the Ikari.

Some of her team split off to go after the security guards and take them down discreetly while Lita and a few more Ikari continued in to the warehouse proper. She moves in towards cover as she continues to look around to see what she can see.

Lita's team will likely find that the guards, while competent enough, have that quality that gets one assigned to a low priority target like this. If they were dealing with the average local policeman or even a moderately trained Interpol response team, they might have a fair shake. Against a handpicked Ikari team, prospects are not good.

And the approach to the warehouse carries risks, but all the advantages of a tightly backed commercial area. Unused cargo containers and ones set aside for storage dot the parking lot, as do a few cargo trucks in various states of repair. Smaller crates and boxes are stacked in semi-organized piles, making for plenty of cover and dark shadows. The occasional security camera is the facility's best defense besides the armed guards, and those are picked in familiar spots that optimize vision while cutting the cost of using putting the things in every single nook and cranny.

Closer to the warehouse, there's the sound of voices, and then a sudden, heavy crash as a man in a security outfit is hurled bodily against the side of a truck on the loading dock.

"Bloody hell, how many times do I have to tell you blokes to behave, eh?"

A young girl, late teens, maybe early twenties walks through the doorway the man was launched through. She has one hand on her hip in a jaunty sort of lean. She's dressed in a ridiculous outfit---a tilted slouch hat and a khaki vest over a midriff-barring yellow shirt. She has on cowboy jeans and leather chaps, both of which fit snugly on her build. She seems angry. "Bloody bogans. What dumpster did they drag you lot out of, anyway? -- get back to work, the rest of you. No more funny business." The man who dented the container groans.

As the former Delta Red makes her way farther into the warehouse, she slips from container to container. She and her team taking out security guards until they move in closer. Lita's the first see a young girl hurling the guard. Something looked familiar about her and then she sees the jeans and chaps and she cringes. She knows why she looks familiar. She gives a gesture to one of the team members and he goes to seek out the security cameras.

At first Lita thought that Hayley might be someone trying to make their escape but now she's giving orders? She silently wonders to herself if every Spangles related person is destined to be horrible in the real world. She moves in closer to this girl. And looks around one last time to make sure there are no innocent bystanders close enough to be harmed by the ensuing battle before she makes her move.

She ambushes the young woman from behind since there's no such thing as a fair fight in war. She then performs an arm drag takedown sending the leader down to the ground face first, and then transitioning into an armbar.

COMBATSYS: Lita has started a fight here.

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Lita             0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Hayley has joined the fight here.

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Lita             0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0           Hayley

COMBATSYS: Hayley blocks Lita's Close Quarters Catch.

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Lita             0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0           Hayley

Hayley shifts her weight to her other hip, putting her hand there as she continues to berate the battered security officer. "Ugh, if I'm going to be stuck out here in the middle of nowhere, at least I shouldn't be playing wrangler for a bunch of animals who---"

In a moment, Hayley goes from lecturing to caught in an arm drag takedown. The Aussie bucks against the treatment, rolling with it before being caught up in the armbar. She strains against Lita's grip, flexing tightly to try and resist the tension with her own force.

"Oi! Who the hell are you?" Hayley protests, rolling toward Lita and swinging her legs up. She tries to catch the Ikari between her legs and apply a hold of her own using her thighs. The denim of her (slightly ridiculous outfit) creaks.

COMBATSYS: Lita blocks Hayley's Crocodile Tear.

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Lita             0/-------/-----==|=------\-------\0           Hayley

With her takedown attempt stymied, Lita's still relatively close to the ground when Hayley swings her legs up to her current head level. In an attempt to defend against it, Lita tucks her chin and brings her forearms up to the side of her face and redistributing the force across her arms and shoulders.

When she feels the Aussie letting up, she explodes upwards until she has Hayley's legs about her hips. It's at that point Lita grabs her legs and falls backwards as she performs a Slingshot launching Hayley into one of the containers behind her. The Ikari doesn't seem inclined to answer Hayley's questions as of yet.

COMBATSYS: Hayley endures Lita's Medium Throw.

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Lita             0/-------/----===|===----\-------\0           Hayley

Hayley's eyes widen when Lita bursts upward, but the fire in her eyes seems to intensify. She bares her teeth like a dog itching for a fight, but in the next move Lita's slingshotted her over toward the nearest container.

But even as she goes, Hayley tenses up and rolls with the blow. She slams hard into the box rear-first, hitting with enough force to dent the metal, but landing out of it upright. Lunging forward, she closes the gap with Lita once more, going into a low, Bajiquan style shoulder charge aimed for Lita's midsection. If she connects, she swings a strong backhand toward the Ikari's legs and then tries to flip Lita onto Hayley's back to then grab her legs, hammer swing her around, and smash her into the concrete of the loading dock.

"Cat got your tongue, eh? Well, that's okay! I was itching for a fight, and these goons aren't so tough when they have to deal with someone that can fight back!"

COMBATSYS: Lita interrupts Medium Throw from Hayley with Rising Front Kick.

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Lita             0/-------/--=====|=======\-------\0           Hayley

Lita was not expecting for Hayley to still be upright after being bodily flung into a container. She quickly scrambles back to her feet so that her adversary doesn't have a chance to jump her while she was down. She barely has enough time to brace herself before the shoulder drives into her abdomen folding her and forcing her a step backwards.

It's when Hayley lowers herself to deliver the backhand strike to the back of her knees, Lita sees opportunity. Hayley's head descends and Lita's foot ascends with a front kick to meet her as the Ikari takes to the air.

Upon landing, she finds herself touching her ear for a moment before giving Hayley a stare. "The kidnapped girls are here? Oh bollocks!"

The Ikari looks none too happy with the information she just got from another member of the team and she seems to be getting even more information that she's not happy about.

Hayley is swinging for the leg when Lita's power kick catches her on the chin with teeth rattling force. She staggers backward in a daze, raising her arm to guard as she rubs her chin.

"Kidnapped?" Hayley repeats. "What are y--nggh." Hayley staggers, rubbing her head. She shakes it several times then straightens back up, tightening her guard and narrowing her eyes.

"I don't know what you're after, but I've got a job to do. A job to--" Hayley shakes her head again. "To keep things under control here!"

COMBATSYS: Hayley focuses on her next action.

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Lita             0/-------/--=====|=======\-------\0           Hayley

Lita doesn't know if it was her words or if she put some brain rattling force into that kick but as far as she could see, whatever she had done to her had loosened their hold on her enemy right now. That meant keep talking and keep attacking until she was either unconscious or she was able to shake whatever had a hold on her.

"Yes. Kidnapping. Your employers are holding girls here against their will."

She moves in slow, almost predatory and with a leap she comes in with a highly telegraphed but powerful axe handle smash down upon the Aussie's head, as if daring her to try to stop her.

COMBATSYS: Hayley just-defends Lita's Overhead Strike!

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Lita             0/-------/--=====|=======\-------\0           Hayley

Hayley dabs at blood from the side of her mouth, thumbing it off and taking a look down at it. "I don't---" Hayley screwed her eyes shut tightly, wincing at something unseen before shaking her head again. "I don't know what you're talking about. I've just got a job to do, and you're in the way!"

Kidnapping? Isn't that what happened back in China? First you were fighting that woman with the bo staff, then there was Mom taking your to confront Dad over the show. You had a bad day, but she made everything right. Wasn't that it? How did you get there? You went there after school, right? Right after your professor--

Are you even enrolled in college? When did that happen, when did...

"Shut up, shut up!" Hayley interjects, slapping the sides of her face to get her head on straight. "I'm gonna kick your arse!" Hayley spreads her feet far apart, distributing her weight as she raises up her arms to catch the overhead axe-handle. The blow slams heavily against her cross-block, but even as it does Hayley pushes to the side, stepping out from under it before snapping up with a short knee, then a fierce, snapping double-kick. "I'll show you that I'm not weak! I'll show everybody!"

COMBATSYS: Lita blocks Hayley's Kangaroo Combination ES.

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

Lita was expecting to buckle her knees with that blow if she had decided to hold her ground and defend against it. The fact that she not only stops the attack but pushes it to the side undoes what she had originally intended. Well time to adapt.

Lita takes a step back as that knee drives into her forearms and drawing a pained hiss from her lips. The follow up double kick gets deflected with her palms with meaty slapping sounds. She takes a moment to shake out her hands. She then hits the quick release latch on her back allowing her to release the large sword she had strapped to her back before slashing for her leg to disable her and step backwards.

Lita hated doing this. This poor girl was as much a victim as the rest of these girls. She'd pop a container if she thought that would get to her but she still had to keep in mind there were still other guards around.

COMBATSYS: Lita successfully hits Hayley with Evasive Strike.

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Lita             1/-------/=======|=======\====---\1           Hayley

Hayley digs in as the knee presses against Lita's guard, fire rising in the Aussie's eyes as she applies offensive pressure. She snaps into the kicks, throwing each one furious to try and break through, but Lita's defenses prove too sturdy, forcing Hayley to land with a heavy stomp as Lita shifts away. "Oh, too tough for you to not use your blade there, eh?" Hayley shouts, clearly worked up.

But the sword actually swinging around takes away some of Hayley's bravado. The Aussie raises her leg to try and guard, by the blade rips through the denim to draw blood along her thigh. Hayley hisses and goes down, clutching her leg.

"Bloody hell!" she says, "Figures someone would bring a sword to a fist fight," she wheezes, digging her fingers into the fabric as she tenses up and awkwardly rises back onto her feet. She staggers once, almost losing her footing, but then shifts back into a fighting stance.

"Look at her, Hayley."

She can hear Jezebel speaking to her. Lightning Spangles telling her the reality of it. How things really are, past that facades.

"She's looking down on you. She didn't pull her sword out because she underestimated you, but you'll show her. You'll put her in her place, won't you, Hayley?" Jezebel smiles. It's a wide smile. Too wide. Unnatural. Frightening.

Hayley feels so small. This is wrong. This has been wrong. Why is she here. Why is she fighting this woman she doesn't know?

Hayley surges forward, planting her good leg and pivoting forward into a spinning backfist. If it connects, Hayley chases the momentum of it, launching forward with a follow-up rising knee. From that, she lifts her leg high, high up over her head to execute a Taekwondo style heel drop.

"You're still judging me, aren't you?!"

COMBATSYS: Lita dodges Hayley's Wild Devil.

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

Lita doesn't bite on the goading about using her sword. This is still a war. She does what she must to ensure the success of the mission and that as many of comrades come home as possible. The fact that her adversary is as much a victim as those they were here to rescue did not change that.

When Hayley surges forward to deliver a spinning backfist, Lita bobs under it with the head movement reminiscent of a boxer. She then steps out of the way of the knee, and finally backtracking out of the range of the taekwondo axe kick which in turn put her back into her weapon's range. Hayley wasn't the only one who had learned multiple styles.

"When the lives of civilians are on the line, a fair fight is not an option."

Lita steps into her sword swing as she attempts to connect the flat of her blade to her good leg. Weaken the supports and then finish the job.

COMBATSYS: Hayley blocks Lita's Fierce Strike.

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

Hayley's blows become less like those of a skilled fighter and more like a child throwing a tantrum---or an animal snapping its jaws---as the fight goes on. The series of blows comes up short, with the heel kick smashing into the pavement in a spray of dust. As Lita withdraws from melee range, Hayley grits her teeth. "Don't lecture me!" Hayley protests, "I deserve this for all I've went through!

"Show her who's boss, Hayley!" Jezebel tells her. Jezebel knows what's best for her, after all. She always knows what's best. She takes care of Hayley, and she wants to ensure that Hayley gets everything that she deserves. Everything that she's earned with her sweat and blood. Everything that...

Did she say innocents? Wasn't there something about kidnapping? Weren't there girls back there? These are bad people, Hayley. Bad people and you're helping them. Why are you helping them?

The flat of the blade smashes against Hayley's leg, but the Aussie tenses up and bears it with a shove against the sword. Even as she does, she's stepping forward again, throwing out a punch toward Lita's jaw.

"I don't even know who these people are! I don't know who you are! Stop judging me! Stop---" Hayley trails off.

COMBATSYS: Hayley successfully hits Lita with Medium Punch.

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

Lita once again tries to remain a moving target. This time her weaving carries her into the fist of the Aussie. Her head snaps to the side as her vision goes white for a half a second. She steps back and shakes her head to clear it before returning to her fighting stance.

"Excuse me, luv, but I believe you've been the one doing most of the judging."

Lita suddenly decides to do something a little bit different from what she's been doing since she drew her sword. She moves within grappling range and performs a shoulder charge into Hayley's body to drive her back before following up with a pommel strike to the chin.

COMBATSYS: Hayley blocks Lita's Armed Combo.

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Lita             2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|=======\-------\1           Hayley

With each blow Hayley becomes ragged. More strained. Each hit doesn't seem to just be wearing her down physically, but mentally as well. If Lita has seen Shadaloo's brainwashing techniques before this is...different. Fragmented. Wrong. It's as if someone tried to use those same techniques that made human weapons like Cammy and Decapre successful, at least for a time, and did it horribly, utterly wrong. Like a bad OS install.

The shoulder strike crashes into Hayley's forearms, but the pommel catches her in the chin with a crack. She staggers backwards and nearly goes over, swaying with the blow like a punch drunk. "It's just not fair," she stammers. "I wanted to help her, but she--" Hayley wheezes. "Everytime I try something, it goes wrong! No matter what I do, I come up short. I deserve to win! I deserve a break for once!"

Hayley surges forward again, but it's more of a shove than actual attack. It's a desperate body slam that lacks real finesse as she holds her head.

COMBATSYS: Lita interrupts Combo Grapple from Hayley with Seeing Red.

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

Lita waits for that moment where she's in a groove where both her sword style and her combatives style can act as one. As Hayley moves towards her in a desperate body slam, Lita likewise charges at Hayley with a force more akin to a runaway train, spearing her with her shoulder. A loud smack can be heard that could possibly draw the attention of both Shadaloo guard and Ikari strike team member alike.

While Hayley goes flying into a container, Lita in spite of the impact remains standing but charges in after her to mount and then hit the Aussie in the forehead with the pommel of her sword again. After that, she relatches her sword to her back to deliver a few punches, she quickly transitions to a North-South position and puts Hayley in a Guillotine chokehold in an attempt to force her to either tap out or go unconscious.

With her teeth gritted and voice filled with venom she spits out, "You don't deserve anything you're not willing to work hard for."

It would appear that Hayley found Lita's rage button.

Lita's impact with Hayley knocks the wind out of her sails in one swift, crushing motion. She staggers, reeling, before the pommel catches her in the forehead with a dizzying blow. Several more punches rail against her as she struggles to get a breather. The chance for one does not come before Lita's got her in a chokehold, Hayley desperately struggling to try and pull free.


Hayley remembers training constantly, trying to push herself further. The battles with so many different opponents. Eeking out a few wins, but often having to laugh off a loss and give her opponent a good pat on the back.

She remembers trying to help Jezebel, only to get battered by Tremor and told her style is trash. Only to have some strange woman attack her with a bo staff and kidnap her. Only to wind up here, doing something wrong for the sake of some girls that she should be helping instead of hurting. How was this fair? Where didn't she earn a break?

Hayley tugs at Lita's arm, trying to break the grip. She bites and kicks, trying to wiggle free as she starts to black out. "I--am trying, I'm--"


COMBATSYS: Hayley takes no action.

[                    \\\\\\\\\\  <
Lita             0/-------/-<<<<<<|

COMBATSYS: Hayley can no longer fight.

[                    \\\\\\\\\\  <
Lita             0/-------/-<<<<<<|

Lita can feel the other fighter go limp and she releases hold. Ikari team members fan out as they finish taking down or capturing guards throughout the warehouse.

After a while, the adrenaline crash hits the soldier and the fatigue and pain catch up to her. She slowly makes her way to a container and leans on it so she doesn't fall to the ground. It was a brutal fight that took its toll on her.

COMBATSYS: Lita has ended the fight here.

Log created on 11:11:37 10/05/2018 by Lita, and last modified on 09:18:21 10/06/2018.