Vanessa - Of All the Ramen Shops in All the World

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Description: Blue Mary and Vanessa, both pursuing the same lead, run into each other at a run-down ramen shop in Chinatown. They come to a reasonable agreement to beat the hell out of each other until one of them gives up the job. As you do. FEATURING: absolutely no consumption of any ramen whatsoever. The horror!

Southtown is a bustling place by any stretch of the imagination. Hoards of people shuffle down its streets going about their daily lives on any given day. Many of them want to live average, happy lives like anyone in a big city.

But there is another side of Southtown. A darker side that's fostered by groups like the Southtown Syndicate. These forces can sweep those everyday people out of their busy lives and drag them into the city's shady underbelly. Some resist and fight back. Some disappear for ever.

And others? Others have people looking for them. Sometimes they hire professionals. They pay people who can handle the more dangerous corners of Southtown and take care of themselves, even when it comes to dealings with Southtown's darkest elements.

"Blue" Mary Ryan is one such professional. Mary took the case just a few days ago, but her first lead has brought her to Chinatown. She's dressed in an white tee with a blue-circled star on the chest, a pair of blue cargo pants, combat boots, and an Army surplus drab jacket.

Mary pulls a photograph--a rarity in this day and age--and shows it to a street vendor peddling fresh ramen.

Certain parts of Southtown are not for the faint of heart. People know them, they just don't talk about them. People know the reason -why-, but they're even less inclined to talk about that, too. Eventually, live in a place a certain way, and you just internalize it as normal, rote. Grow complacent.

"Yo, Mr. Ramen!"

But no one would ever accuse Vanessa of being complacent.

Let alone faint of heart.

That possibly familiar voice pipes up just behind one "Blue" Mary Ryan as her red-headed mercenary counterpart makes herself known: wearing a black, pin-stripe suit, black slacks, dress shoes, signature gloves and a red tie for that daring splash of color to complement her hair, Vanessa makes her way towards the street vendor with an easy gait and an easier smile, full of the lackadaisical charm of someone who has lived almost their entire life taking risks.

This? Chasing leads in the seedier parts of Southtown? This is like a nice stroll in the park, for her.

And that is why she doesn't even miss a beat as she tucks hands into her pants pockets and leans her hip into the ramen stall. "I'll take a bowl of tonkotsu, if you've got it," she begins, conversationally.

"And I was wondering if maybe you could answer a couple questions about..."

And it's only then that vivid green eyes fall on Blue Mary. Vanessa's words trail. She blinks. Squints. Looks her up and down. Blinks again. Squints harder.

"... Okay, I'm not -that- drunk," she decides, apparently having decided Mary is, in fact, real. A grimace follows after.

"Ugh. -Please- don't tell me you're here for what I think you're here for. You can lie to me if you need to. It'd be nicer."

Mary is just the type of woman to take it all in stride. She's seen just enough action, enough tragedy in her (relatively) short-lived to take the punches and roll with them, even when those punches are as nasty as what Southtown has to offer. Some folks might consider the unpleasantness here as something to avoid. The kind of thing you cross the street from when you see it coming.

Blue Mary is more the type to take these problems head-on. Take them, and suplex them if the need arises. (If often does.)

"Heeeey~" Mary says, "Then maybe you need a few more drinks, huh?" Mary looks up and winks at Vanessa, raising her hand and giving her a two fingered salute from her forehead. Sometime in between the photograph disappears from sight.

"Aww," Mary sticks out her bottom lip. "Can a lady not get a bowl of udon without twenty questions in this part of town?"

"If you're offering, then maybe you're right."

In some ways, it's like looking into a nonchalant mirror; Mary's wink is greeted with a lopsided smile as Vanessa eases her elbow onto the ramen shop's countertop. When life throws you curveballs, it helps to be flexible; adaptable. It's one rule that Vanessa has followed even through the worst parts of her life that still haunt her to this day. Remember your ABCs:

'Always Be Cool.'

"Buuut I'm kinda getting the impression you're -not- offering," exhales Vanessa a second later, sounding more disappointed than anything else as her fingerless-gloved hand lifts to sift through her short mane of red hair. "Shit. I was kinda hoping this was going to be simple." She listens to Mary -- and a grin dances at her lips, humoring the pouty rejoinder with effortless aplomb.

"Right?" she laments sadly. "I can't seem to go more than a few feet in this town without getting accosted by -someone- accusing me of trying to nose into their business or skipping out on my tab or who knows what else nonsense." She looks to the proprietor and quickly asides, "Not yours, I've got cash, I swear," before looking back at Mary with a promising smile. "Maybe we can both just enjoy our ramen, enjoy ourselves, and go our separate ways?"

A second passes. And then her brows soften with apology, reaching out to tap the blonde right in that blue star with a single finger. "Well, it was a really good attempt at a lie anyway," she offers, before tilting her head. "So how do you wanna handle this?"

"Wellll," Mary stretches the syllables like taffy, her delivery almost singsong. She leans away as Vanessa slides in to the counter, giving her as much as the little ramen shop can spare.

"Oh, how dreadful," Mary looks aghast, wide mouthed and with a hand on her cheek. "Oh, don't worry," Mary says, "I always pay in full~" She winks at the shopkeep before leaning in to rest her elbow on the counter and her cheek on her palm.

"Was it that obvious?" Mary asks with a frown, glancing down at Vanessa's hand. "Did you have something in mind?"

Nestled comfortably in the cramped confines of that ramen stand, Vanessa taps her finger once, twice against that star, clucks her tongue exactly once, and leans back a fraction of an inch, head cocked to her left. Was it that obvious?

Her answer is an arched brow of teasing incredulity.

"Maybe a little."

A soft hum escapes Vanessa's ruby red lips afterwards as she laces her fingers together at her abdomen. Brows furrowing inward, she seems to consider this conundrum for several poignant seconds... before leaning to her right, and offering a simple aside to the shop proprietor:

"Hold on with that ramen for a sec, huh?"

And with that, Vanessa slowly, leisurely straightens. Rolls her neck. Flashes Mary a small sorry of a look. "So, I don't know about you, but I kind of like completing my jobs and getting my pay and being able to stay at my place for another month," she begins, conversationally. "So here's what I'm thinking."

And here, she reaches out to tug once on the collar of Mary's jacket before sliding away from the stall, out into the open air of Chinatown.

"First one who says 'uncle' loses, and agrees to let the winner take the case." She glances back to Mary. Grins.

"And winner has to pay for the first round of drinks." A wink follows; her hand lifts, beckoning with a curl of her finger.

"Well? Think you're up to snuff, Ms. Ryan?"

"Eyyy?" Mary frowns, leans on one hip, and leans away from the counter with the thump of her palm against the countertop for balance. Her other hand slips to her midriff and tugs her shirt down slightly. Her head turns, flipping her hair. She straightens with a sweep of her fingerless glove.

"Ohh, so that's how it is~" Mary stands up straight, floating after Vanessa's guidance. Once she's separated, she tugs her jacket tight against her shoulders, running her fingers around the collar to straighten it out. She bounces on her heels, bends forward, and stretches by planting her hands on her knees and then leaning in left, then right.

"Of course! But are you ready?"

"Thought I'd at -least- give you a fighting chance," Vanessa asides, conversational, as she tugs her gloves a bit more securely over her fingers with the faint creak of straining leather. She glances over her shoulder, expression painted with amusement.

"What can I say? I guess I'm a sucker for a cute face."

And with that, she starts to get ready. One shoulder rolls, and then the other -- and as Mary poses that signature question, the answer doesn't come with words -- at least not immediately. Instead? Instead, Vanessa calmly unbuttons that pinstripe suit -- and then casually -yanks- it open, sliding it off her arms and casting it aside to land in a stylishly crumpled pile near the ramen stand to leave her in that sleeveless half of a button-up. Is she ready?

"Always," is her response, flashing Mary a grin.

"Let's see your moves!"

COMBATSYS: Vanessa has started a fight here.

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Vanessa          0/-------/-------|

"How sweet!" Mary's fingers thread through her hair and and toss it back with a flourish. "But don't say go complaining about it later, huh?" She waggles a finger, putting her other hand on her hip. Blue Mary's eyes follow the jacket as it's lands near the stand, and her boots thump on the pavement as she widens her stance with a tilt of her head.

"Well if we're getting that serious," Mary pulls her fingerless gloves down with a stretchy creak of fabric. "How can I say no?~"

Her knees bend only a second before she springs forward, sweeping her leg high for an overhead kick and twisting with the momentum. A second, lower kick snaps out on the second beat, its movement barely spaced from the first.

COMBATSYS: Blue Mary has joined the fight here.

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Vanessa          0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0        Blue Mary

COMBATSYS: Vanessa blocks Blue Mary's Double Rolling.

[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Vanessa          0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0        Blue Mary

And so begins the violence, not with a snarl --

But a smile.

"Let's dance, blondie!"

A wink and a beckoning gesture later, and Blue Mary is already springing upon Vanessa with terrific speeds. The redheaded mercenary's eyes widen -- but it is an expression of excitement, not surprise, that surges its way through her features. Mary comes springing --

-- and Vanessa -dashes- in to meet her halfway and abort her momentum before it can reach a fever pitch, becoming a smudge of whites and reds as she cuts into the blonde's personal space. Heels squeal across asphalt as Vanessa comes toward a violent stop; her left hand lifts, catching Mary's leg as it descends towards her in an iron grip. She feels the sting numb its way down her arm. It inspires a grin.

"Damn, you hit harder than I remember!"

And with that said, her right fist -surges- upward in an uppercut to intercept Mary with brutal speed.

COMBATSYS: Vanessa successfully hits Blue Mary with Dash Puncher.

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Vanessa          0/-------/-----==|====---\-------\0        Blue Mary

Mary's leg thumps heavily against Vanessa's palm, the blonde's eyes widening as she's caught. There's a grind of heel against asphalt as she shifts her positioning to break free, to pull her leg out of Vanessa's grip and regain her balance. Her legs comes down just as Vanessa's fist comes up, the redhead having slipped through her defense in the blink in between. Mary's arms are moving for a block, but it's too slow. The opening in her defense never closes, not before Vanessa's fist slips through.

Fist impacts jaw with a rattle that makes Mary's head spin. The blonde goes completely airborne for a second before thudding against the pavement on her back. She plants the back of her hand against her mouth, dabbing the fabric of her fingerless glove against the dull ache from her lip.

"Owww," she says, "same to you. Faster than ever, too!" Mary's muscles tense, but she doesn't get up right away.

"But don't count me out yet!" Mary goes from prone onto her palms, leaping from flat onto her back. She pushes off from there, launching legs first toward Vanessa's waist with a flying leg scissors. If she catches her in-between she'll put her in a vice grip and twist her hips, aiming to bring the redhead to the ground in a swift takedown.

COMBATSYS: Vanessa attempts to interrupt Grounding Throw from Blue Mary with Puncher Upper.

[         \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////      ]
Vanessa          0/-------/---====|====---\-------\0        Blue Mary

COMBATSYS: Blue Mary reverses Puncher Upper from Vanessa with Mary Head Buster EX.

[              \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////      ]
Vanessa          1/-------/=======|====---\-------\0        Blue Mary

She feels the visceral satisfaction of a clean hit; but Vanessa knows, in a situation like this, she doesn't really have the luxury of celebrating victory prematurely. So instead? Instead, the redhead just maintains that grin, fist pistoning back into place as Mary goes soaring, tense legs shifting with the pivot of her right heel backwards. The sole of her shoe squeals on pavement. Her gloved fists creak into fists.

"Need a nap?" she wonders, as Mary recovers, one red brow lifting just so.

A jab to go with her jab.

A second later, though, Mary is off and onto her feet and straight into the offensive once more. Green eyes wild with life and alertness, Vanessa responds instantly, letting her fists guide her forward. Legs snap around her waist, clenching -tight-. She feels the pressure ache straight into her bones as they struggle against the mounting tension. Her right fist pulls back. Mary twists.

And before Vanessa can hit ground, she -slams- her left hand into the pavement, pushes off, and brings her curled fist pounding upward straight for Mary's midsection.


The fist cuts through the air toward Mary, but the blonde smiles with a sort of manic energy. She plants a palm on the pavement and loosens her vice-like leg hold on Vanessa. Loosens, but doesn't let go.

Instead Mary swings around Vanessa with a pivot, pulling herself under that punch and whipping around behind the boxer. Her boots thump on the pavement as she slips free from the leg scissor and transitions smoothly into a belly-to-back suplex, all in a matter of seconds.

She back throws Vanessa, flipping her over as she tumbles backward and delivers a boot to the boxer's backside in so doing.

The fist flies. Vanessa feels those thighs loosen around her. She instantly knows something's awry.

"Ah, crap."


Vanessa's punch goes wide. In a sliver of a second, she is trying to correct her overextension, but it's far too late; her aggression is punished the moment that Mary slips behind her in that complex grapple, transitioning from the painful pressure of her scissor hold to the even -more- painful impact of a suplex -slamming- her into the concrete below.

It's okay. She can take it. Mostly. She feels something sprain.

Nothing a few drinks can't handle.

Thrown through the air, the boot clamps into her rear with a mighty -crack- to helpfully send her crashing into the earth with a pained declaration of, "Agh! /Rude/!"

A second later, Vanessa is rolling roughly across the earth until she lands in a four point crouch. She wipes a bit of red from the corner of her lips. Looks back up at Mary with a smile.

"Lucky shot," she declares -- but doesn't quite press with her attack. Yet.

She might have to be a bit more cautious about this. Damn. She /hates/ being cautious.

COMBATSYS: Vanessa focuses on her next action.

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Vanessa          1/-------/=======|====---\-------\0        Blue Mary

"Heeey, I'm all about those lucky shots then," Mary winks at Vaness a before leaning back and stretching. She wraps one arm behind her head and leans on it, pulling the arm tight with a creak. Moves like that require flexibility, obviously.

"And all's fair in love and war," Mary shifts back into her fighting stance, raising her hands up in front of her. "Or all's polite, maybe," Mary rocks on her heels, boots creaking as she does.

And suddenly she's surging forward again, shooting toward Vanessa like a rocket. She threatens to slam her hip into the redhead, loop her forearm under Vanessa's armpit, and violently hip-toss her away.

COMBATSYS: Vanessa instinctively blocks Blue Mary's Medium Throw.

[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////      ]
Vanessa          1/------=/=======|====---\-------\0        Blue Mary

Gripping her left shoulder, Vanessa rolls it with a practiced motion. Those green eyes stay sharp, watching Blue Mary's movements to even the tiniest shifts and tensions of muscles. The right corner of Vanessa's lips quirks in a half-a-smirk.

"Well, at least you're following your bliss," is her response, a sliver of white teeth showing itself in the briefest moments before Mary falls back into that ready stance. It's coming. But not immediately. She knows. She has to wait for it. Right --

-- there!

Mary springs forward, and Vanessa's response is a sudden and violent pivot to her side; she -drives- her hip into the other woman to cancel that motion with a painful crack of bodies. In the next moment, she's pivoting forward again in a violent step into Mary's personal space, green eyes bright.

"Oof oof oof -- couldn't agree more!"

Her right fist swinging in a wide arc to go for the body blow, before her left follows suit. Powerful momentum carries her forward in a third and fourth blow, aimed for midsection and ribs --

-- before she finishes it all off, again, with a jab of an uppercut.

COMBATSYS: Blue Mary blocks Vanessa's Machine Gun Puncher.

[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Vanessa          1/-----==/=======|======-\-------\0        Blue Mary

Body crashes against body with bone-rattling force and Mary's throw comes up short. She's jarred, staggered for a brief moment by the aggressive block, but her reflexes are honed. She rolls with it. The window is small before she's recovered and ready to go again.

But with Vanessa's speed, the window is plenty large.

The first blow goes for Mary's belly, but the blonde brings in her guard and knuckles impact forearm with a rattle. Mary can feel the blood bumping through her arm---that one will sting in the morning---but it's only the beginning. She takes a second blow with her open palm that produces a heavy smack. The third is caught better now, Mary applying an offensive guard to only take half the punch through redirection even if it fresh pain flows through her arm with it. The fourth punch collides with a cross-block. It gives her just enough room to avoid taking the uppercut right to the chin. Vanessa's gloves scrapes her cheek and sends some stray blonde hairs fluttering away.

"So fast~" Mary pants, bending forward between breaths. "I guess it's too early to call for a time out, huuuh?"

But even as she says so, Mary kicks off from the pavement. She twists in mid-air, spinning into a leg drop toward Vanessa's shoulder!

COMBATSYS: Blue Mary successfully hits Vanessa with Mary Spider.

[                      \\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Vanessa          1/--=====/=======|=======\-------\0        Blue Mary

And, hooking Vanessa with her boot, Mary pulls herself up forward, swinging around Vanessa's upper body like some sort of wild acrobat. She grabs the boxer's arm, pulling it forward into hyperextension as she uses her kicking leg for leverage. With the arm fully extended, Mary let's her momentum do the rest, threatening to slam Vanessa to the ground with her as she delivers a quick and painful twist!

This is what one would call one of those 'oh shit!' moments.

"Oh, shit!"


Circumstances are rapidly devolving for the redheaded mercenary known as Vanessa. She realizes it the second she feels all that kinetic force behind her blow buffered by forearms and palms, scarcely getting the opportunity to press an offensive before Mary is already backpedaling out of her range. Golden blonde hairs flow between them as the merc boxer's green eyes widen. She's overextended, and Mary, well --

In one of those truly clairvoyant moments only a pro can have, she can see the shape of the pain she's about to experience in the seconds before that leg drops with a tendon-straining snap on her shoulder, and she doesn't like -any of it-.

But even so? It doesn't stop that bright, eager light in her eyes. If anything, it just enhances it.

Even if it ends up being even worse than she figured.


And that's damned impressive.

Body swung through the air like a ragdoll, there's very little that Vanessa can do to defend herself as she -collides- with the asphalt beneath her. The twist threatens to dislocate a shoulder, sending a white-hot spike of pain through her to perfectly compliment the explosive burst of concussive agony that rides from that collision. Friction burns mark her midsection, her shoulders, one cheek as she tears herself free and rolls into a panting crouch. Her shirt's seen better days. Her tie, askew.

But she's still managing a grin.

"I was... about to... ask the same thing," she remarks, between panting breaths. "Weird, huh?"

She takes the time, of course, to straight her tie, because presentation is everything. A gloved hand slips under her blouse, to yank one of her suspenders back into place. Her right shoulder rolls, protesting in abused agony. She uses it as fuel as she gets back onto her feet.

"Well," she begins, slowly.

"Better get back to it, yeah?"

And with that, she -blitzes- in. Heels plant into cement. Left arm wheels back. Her swing is a tight one, aiming to hammer a quick blow to the side of Mary's head, disorient her --

-- and then follow it up with a swift, punishing blow to the blonde's bare midsection before finishing off with a blurring smudge of her left fist, aimed in a straight shot for Mary's face.

COMBATSYS: Vanessa blitzes into action and acts again!

[                     \\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Vanessa          1/--=====/=======|=======\-------\0        Blue Mary

COMBATSYS: Vanessa successfully hits Blue Mary with Hook Punch.

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Vanessa          1/=======/=======|=======\==-----\1        Blue Mary

COMBATSYS: Vanessa successfully hits Blue Mary with Puncher Straight.

[                      \\\\\\\\  < >  //////////                    ]
Vanessa          2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|=======\=======\1        Blue Mary

Mary rolls away from the grapple and blows her hair from her face before rubbing the back of her fist across her forehead. "Phew!" She leans forward, planting her hands on her knees.

"How was that?~ Ready for that time o--"

Mary's eyes widen as Vanessa closes the gap, zipping in close to Mary. The blonde brings up her arm, but the redheaded mercenary is too fast. The left hook slides across Mary's forearm and catches her in the head with a brain-rattling impact that sends spittle flying as it turns her cheek. She staggers back a step...

But only a step before the second blow catches her in the stomach and doubles her over. The final fist catches her in the jaw, laying Mary out flat on her back, dazed and bruised for the trouble.

"Ow, ow, ow," Mary says, rubbing her face. "Those are gonna leave marks tomorrow, I bet." With a grit of teeth she rises up, hand going to her belly as she puts pressure on it. Even so, she kicks back up, dropping back into a slightly shaky stance. Mary dabs a bit of blood from her lip with her glove, giving it a glance a frown. A frown, which, after a moment, creeps back into a slightly weak smile. Her knuckles pop when she clenches her fists.


Mary surges forward once again, launching into a knee. She moves in a blur. One knee through, then doubling back with another knee strike. The blonde becomes a blur of orange, blue, and yellow as she surges back and forth with several flying knee strikes before landing with a grind of her boot heels as she turns to face Vanessa again.

And from there she launches into a rising spin, sweeping her arms as she cuts through the air with wide sweeps of blue chi. If Vanessa can't escape, she transitions from the sweep into a leg bar, grabbing the boxer's leg and extending it, then wrapping her own legs around it. From there, Mary drops into a spin, twirling horizontally into a smashing drop that may leave Vanessa's leg dangerously high compared to her head.

COMBATSYS: Blue Mary successfully hits Vanessa with Splash Rose.

[                                < >  /////////                     ]
Vanessa          2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|===----\-------\0        Blue Mary

There's a very visceral sense of catharsis for Vanessa when she feels each one of those fists connect. It /almost/ makes her forget that her shoulder feels like it's about to explode and also her ass is probably going to be bruised so bad tomorrow morning and getting up is going to be concentrated agony.


But then reality snaps back and Vanessa realizes celebrating victory when her opponent is still standing is premature because Mary has thighs that could probably chuck the earth into the sun if she wanted to and before she knows it --

"Fuck me--"

-- her entire world is pain.

She tries to mount a defense. She puts in an honest effort. But really, it's too much, too fast, too overwhelming. Her forearms up, the first knee strike blows through it, throwing her stance wide and sending her reeling. All she can see is smudges of color and starbursts of pain filling her vision as knee after knee collides with her center mass. She thinks she hears a rib crack at some point. She has an epiphany about the nature of existence. She hits transcendence through suffering. She swears she hears a voice from on high, beckoning her to the light.

No, she decides, as a haze of blue chi fills her vision and she finds herself leg caught in the twisting agony of a Mary-style leg bar, strained to a point just barely under breaking, feeling thighs squeezing around her own.


I still have so much drinking to do.


And, with this revelation, Vanessa 'V' Vanessa collides with the ground like an angry meteor that has improbably reached escape velocities within a five foot drop, cratering earth beneath her like she was trying to create an impact event. Her right leg is lifted high, squeezed like it was caught in a vice of powerful thighs. It twitches out the signs of life once, twice. Is she trying to SOS with her foot??

For a long time, there is silence, as the bloody and bruised Vanessa just sort of sees visions of the future from her comfortable position embedded in splintered concrete. And then --

"You... owe me... -so- many drinks."


She lets higher calling towards a Mary-induced nap sweep her away, dreaming sweet dreams of her bar tab being covered.

COMBATSYS: Vanessa takes no action.

[                     \\\\\\\\\  <
Blue Mary        0/-------/----===|

COMBATSYS: Vanessa can no longer fight.

[                     \\\\\\\\\  <
Blue Mary        0/-------/----===|

Blue Mary's combat sambo is vicious, brutal, and efficient. At times it may seem a little flashy, but there is always a method to it. Butch taught her the value of going for the throat--if not literally, metaphorically. It takes a lot of power to take someone down with raw, physical blows. Going for the joints. Using momentum and weight.

"Ooops," Mary says, half-apologetic and half with that smug self-assuredness that comes with being very good at one's job. She breaks away from Vanessa in a roll, letting her drop and letting the muscle and joint slide back into its proper place of NOT being hyperextended.

"Maybe I overdid it a little." Mary says, rising to her feet and dusting off her pants. She rolls her neck, putting her hand to it and applying pressure to work out a kink. Her other hand goes to her jaw, working it to rub some feeling back in from the steady throb of the blow earlier.

"Not bad at all though," Mary says, "I guesssss you deserve a drink." She pauses. "And a doctor."

COMBATSYS: Blue Mary has ended the fight here.

Log created on 22:14:04 01/03/2019 by Vanessa, and last modified on 23:15:40 01/16/2019.