Neo League 0165 - NL#0167: Juliet vs Mint

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Description: Juliet faces off against her fellow boxer Mint in the G-King Arena! There's no space for familial strife or career concerns in the ring; there's only the clash of fist against fist! Who will come out on top, The Boxing Angel, or the boxer with the freshest moves in town?! Find out in this Pay Per View match!

The G-King Arena is one creepy place when it's dark, before a match begins. Each individual seat has its own video display. Each viewer generally has their cellphone out. And there's the ever-present buzz of quadrotors flying overhead, sounding much like a swarm of locusts to those who might not be aware.

So it's really only dark -in- the arena. And that changes, as the floodlights snap on, bathing the squared-off section in light. Two logos -- the winged boxing glove of The Boxing Angel, and one of a metal gauntlet overlaid on top of a stylized mint leaf -- appear in center stage. Some graphic designer got to stretch their creative wings plotting out an array of intricate linework upon the floor, ensuring that any footage of the event will point right back to the G-King Arena -- and the fight promoters' pocketbooks, eventually.

The quadrotors' faint red LEDs blink sedately overhead. Some cellphones are put away -- and the crowd chatter grows to new heights.

And then two spotlights snap on, each centered around its own recessed entry doorway. In contrast to many fights, there =is= no champion, and no challenger -- both fighters exit simultaneously.

Minal Panesh strides out of the right gate. Both her gauntlets are raised high overhead in a simultaneous wave, showing that the pint-size pugilist has absolutely no problem with the weight. She's sporting a jersey that's much brighter than usual, emblazoned with the stylized mint-leaf logo printed on the arena floor, but a darker green in color and trimmed out with bronze and silver to coordinate with her gauntlets. She's also wearing a pair of black cargo pants, so as not to clash -too- much with the jersey (a copy of which, of course, on sale now in the concession area!)

Mint only mugs to the crowd for so long, though, before turning her attention to the figure opposite her. Metal fists clang together once, then twice -- and then she gestures an open hand to the new arrival!

The crowd's stirred-up enthusiasm is deafening! For, if nothing else, Derrick Pope was true to his word -- the stands are -packed!-.

Things have been... difficult, at home, for Juliet. In many ways that has overshadowed the preparation for the fight. She'd thrown herself into her training and interacted with Derrick and Mary as little as humanly possible. They're ringside, of course. Derrick, Mary, and Gabriella. It's difficult to miss the tension in the Pope camp, though. Derrick stands with his arms crossed, glowering. Mary is shifty and uncomfortable. Even Gabriella looks concerned. She doesn't know all the details, but she knows something has happened.

But the moment Juliet stepped out onto the walkway and began the journey to the fighting arena proper... it was as though all of those pressures simply slipped away. It isn't even about the roar of the crowd and the obvious excitement that is building in the audience for the fight they are about to see. As she saunters towards the ring, the girl knows immediately that she'd feel just the same if they'd agreed to fight just the two of them, in a fight that nobody else would see.

All the fear, and the pain, and the struggle that weighed her down in her life - all the suffocating restrictions and demands that her 'parents' use to try and tie her down... they can't touch her here. In this place, for the next few minutes, she was the only person she would answer to. Her actions would determine her fate. Nobody else's. Within the strict confines of the ring... she would be free.

Juliet hasn't even really acknowledged the crowd in her walk. She vaults up into the roped off area, and it is on there that she raises her right fist above her head. She smirks at the sound of metal clashing against metal, and then she cracks her neck, meeting Mint's eye with no hint of the stress and silent anger radiating from her own corner. Derrick, given the way he's glaring at her, is absolutely *pissed* about something, but she hasn't even spared him a look.

"Tha's a pure bangin' logo ye got there, Mint." She says, and her grin actually grows wider as she dares to joke, under her father's increasingly incredulous gaze, "I reckon with style like that, ye might even make it in this industry, eh?" And she winks! With all the consequences and anxiety she'd shared with Mint at their brief meeting, this girl is either the best actor in the world... or she truly is elated to be throwing down with her fellow boxer.

The last thing Minal had seen, right before stepping into the ring, was the a camera focused on those ringside seats, on the glowering face of Derrick Pope. She knows where he's sitting -- and she has made it a point to -completely- avoid looking at him once she actually steps into the light.

For this isn't Derrick's day. It's Juliet's, as it should be. The audience doesn't care one whit about the portly old angry dude -- it's all about the young new rookie with boxing gloves, standing eye-to-eye with the more experienced fighter with metal gauntlets. (Sure, the metal fingers might have their own padding, but they undoubtedly -look- painful all the same!)

Likewise, as Mint steps forward, the roar of the crowd slips away -- nothing more than background noise under the veil of light.

Mint smiles -- she knows the reference Juliet is tracking towards, and the pause before her response -- and the light wink, on the -opposite- side where Derrick wouldn't be as likely to see it -- shows that.

"Oh, it's nothin' next to yours! I mean, I'd have to have little mint leaf wings or somethin' to match your forethought!" She breaks into a broad grin, basking in the glow.

She's thankful, though, for the G-King Arena's thoughtfully-arranged air conditioning. Keeps the fighters cool even under the blazing lights!

A small drone flies over -- apparently, that's to be the official referee for this fight? Grinning, she closes the gap to Juliet, and extends her right fist in a friendly greeting. The traditional glove-bump of boxers for as long as there's been television, and before! "Let's make this one for the history books, okay?"

And then Mint falls back into a ready stance, raising both her gauntlets up and bobbing lightly on her toes. The corporal can't even remember the last time she's fought a boxer on stage -- could this be the first? But she seems more than enthused to work with Juliet on the best performance ever!

COMBATSYS: Mint has started a fight here.

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Mint             0/-------/------=|

COMBATSYS: Juliet has joined the fight here.

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Mint             0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0           Juliet

Juliet bounces her gloves off Mint's larger metal variants. The crowd loves it. If there's one thing that can be said for Juliet's fans, it's that they are an enthusiastic bunch. The girl's grit, determination, and wholesome persona definitely seems to be touching a nerve out there with a younger generation hungry for people they can look to with the right kind of values. She hasn't done many interviews, but there's something about the easy smile and the way the girl holds herself in a fight which makes it very easy to project those positive values onto her.

"Ach, well." She says, tossing her hair back, "I dinnae know about history, but I know I'm lookin' forward to seein' what those hands can do in person."

And with that, she skips backwards, already starting to bob and weave. There's going to be a beautiful clash here, two fighters who really respect one another... and strangely enough, it's Athena's words which come unbidden to her mind.

~No matter where you are along the Champion's Road, always remember that there are those ahead of you to look to, but also those behind looking to the example you set.~

"Pretty much anything except heart surgery and balloon animals," quips Mint with a grin.

The Marine doesn't have a pair of 'publicists' who keep their fingers on the pulse of fan activity, dutifully reporting the latest minutiae about how many people look up to her, have joined her FightFaceBook or whatever the kids are on these days. She'd probably tell the publicist to leave her out of it if she -did- have one, really -- because Mint really -is- here for the fight more than the fame.

The little drone has a wide-angle camera -- it's not -directly- in charge of the fight. But the little drone's operator can see that both fighters have exchanged pleasantries and are ready to begin. Lights go off. Klaxons sound for the audience. And the little drone spins around, presenting a bell and a little arm for the fighters' edification.

Minal smiles back brightly at Juliet, nodding her readiness, even as two metal gauntlets hover by either side of her head.


And in the next instant, Mint surges forward with a quick right jab, then a left. Due to her deft footwork, both will fall short by design -- showmanship, to get the blood pumping, and the lungs working!

But when Mint surges forward with a right cross, she stagger-steps forward more than before, aiming a stiff right cross for Juliet's upper torso! "Haah!" she exhales, as any good boxer should; a bread and butter opener to test the winged boxer's defenses!

COMBATSYS: Juliet dodges Mint's Cross Punch.

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Mint             0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0           Juliet

The wings might be fake, but the boxing isn't! Which Juliet proves quite handily as Mint comes in towards her, and the girl's eyes track the movements, the first two punches she doesn't react to at all, then the third? She ducks handily around, shifting to Mint's left and letting the punch sail past her. Those hands are impressive, the footwork is too, but Juliet has been thinking about this fight for days - dreaming about it, really - and she knew that she wasn't going to come out on top by letting Mint lay a glove on her more than she absolutely has to.

In the corner, she can feel Gabriella willing her on, but even that isn't something she focuses on. Far more important is the fight in front of her, the woman just as determined to show her what her fists can do as she is. Juliet rises up to her full height, and in an instant the girl's left fist snaps out, aiming to jab a quick punch into the side of Minal's ribs... but she doesn't back off, staying in as close as she can, apparently trusting her momentum to keep up with her opponent in very close quarters.

COMBATSYS: Mint blocks Juliet's Wonder Jab.

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Mint             0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0           Juliet

Mint grins as Juliet declines to stress over the punches falling short. It shows she's responding to the situation at hand rather than any potential situation in her head. And it also shows one basic truth of boxing, over that of other sports -- legs and feet are largely for locomotion and positioning rather than direct attack!

Juliet ducks past her, showing off her fighting mettle. Minal, rather than be flustered by the speedy evasion, flashes an encouraging smile as she follows through with her punch, then stagger-steps sideways to reorient herself. Pivoting about, she realizes that Juliet was -counting- on that follow-through -- and abruptly drops her left gauntlet, angling it so that Juliet's glove can scrape across the side barrel rather than smash straight into reinforced carbon fiber, jarring her left arm and forcing Mint to peddle backwards a step.

Mint -- rather than disrupt the moment with a pithy comment, offers a simple "Mm!" in response -- an affirmation, and a very subtle encouragement. She's aware of the crowd, of the eyes upon her -- and yet, there's only two eyes and two ears that matter to her at the moment.

Minal sweeps her left hand away from her body, using her gauntlet as a guard for her to pivot around. Now that she knows Juliet's on the level, she steps up her temp, striding forward with a quick right punch. She'd then follow through with a left cross -- and then she'd surge forward with a standing right uppercut! "Haah... haah... HAAAAH!"

COMBATSYS: Mint successfully hits Juliet with Knuckle Dragger.

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Mint             0/-------/----===|====---\-------\0           Juliet

Juliet regrets her decision to stay close pretty quickly! Trying to move around the side of the first blow again, it catches her square in the chest. Now it's her turn to grunt, as she doubles over, and into the cross, before she's lifted off her feet and sent crashing back under the force of the uppercut. The crowd love it - whooping and shouting when the girl hits the ground. Funnily enough, it seems like even those in the audience tucking in to some delicious Angel Punch are excited now that Juliet has hit the mat, but that's because they know that she's going to come up swinging.

And she doesn't disappoint!

Juliet spits to the side as she surges up from the ground, and surging back in. Her blood is up now that she's been hit, and her heart is pounding. A little bit of pain and she's approaching with a lot more energy than that simple opening jab - maybe spurred on to show her skill in turn!

"Not much of a talker, eh?" She asks, "Heh, don't know why I thought different... it's kind of fun to let the fists do the talking."

She's much less of a 'grunter' than her colleague, though, and a lot less prone to throwing out feints! Which might, in itself, be confusing... because she marches right up with her guard held up high, and then at the very last moment she drops her guard and throws her forehead SMASHING forwards with all the force she can muster, aiming right for Mint's nose! That's... isn't that a bit underhanded for someone who calls themselves The Boxing Angel?! Surely it'd be a foul in any respectable tournament!

COMBATSYS: Mint parries Juliet's Devoted Headbutt EX!

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Mint             0/-------/---====|==-----\-------\0           Juliet

Whenever one makes a shiny new purchase, the urge to protect it from any and all damage runs high. But after that first scuff, the first scratch -- all bets are off, and you can just -enjoy- it. So it can be with fights as well -- once the proverbial first blood is drawn, the fight can begin in earnest! The crowd loves it -- and Mint, restoring her guarded stance, is doing her best to keep from talking trash in the momentary advantage.

At least, until the corporal is -called- on that. Mint's eyes widen, and her mouth opens in response... until she sucks in her breath, passing it off as a momentary lapse. "... Ah... Nah, I w-- I was just feelin' you out!" Both fists clank together in a challenging gesture, as she flicks a smirk back at her opponent. "How about that Southtown weather, huh?"

No, this won't be a round of small talk -- for even as the jet turbines on Mint's gauntlets purr to life, the prosthetic pugilist is already stepping in to close that gap. She raises her gauntlets high in anticipation Juliet's impending attack. But when Juliet -fails- to slow her approaching charge, Mint senses -something- off... and guns the throttle on her left gauntlet, bursting the Marine sharply to Juliet's left! Juliet would probably be able to feel the heat from that sudden maneuver...

"Gotta stay one step /ahead/ of ya..." quips Mint, planting her right heel down to halt the sideways strafe. Her toes dig in next, and then she strides to take advantage of the proximity with two quick right jabs into Juliet's side!

And that's when both engines flare again, roaring in unison! Mint seeks to snag hold of Juliet's boxing gloves with her enlarged left hand, knuckling her right a bit more softly into Juliet's side, as she hopes to carry Miss Pope skyward with the thrust of her engines!

COMBATSYS: Juliet blocks Mint's STOL EX.

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Mint             0/-------/---====|====---\-------\0           Juliet

With the headbutt neatly dodged, the Boxing Angel is forced to quickly wheel around. A lot of fighters would be put off by the noise of those jet turbines, but Juliet is having too much fun with this to be disturbed by anything so paltry as the high-volume machinery strapped to her opponent's wrists. The funny thing is, it isn't the flare of the heat or the whining of the engines that tells her she has to turn. She just, knows, somehow, that this is what Mint is going to try to do next. So as the more experienced boxer comes in swinging, she finds Juliet's guard rising to meet the challenge.

The two blows hammer into the barrier of Juliet's forearms, and the girl twists her gloves out of the way of the oncoming snare. "Aye, the weather sure is somethin' special." She says, conversationally, "But I havenae got out tae see it much; I've been spendin' my time trainin'."

And apparently, she wants to show off the fruits of that training! Because as she chats away and her feet dance to put her back on a square footing with Mint, she cocks her arm back, and throws out a pitch-perfect cross. The swinging punch isn't anything fancy, and there's no attempt made to hide it behind a feint or cloak her intentions.

No, she just aims for a tried and true smash of her gloved knuckles right across Mint's jaw.

COMBATSYS: Mint blocks Juliet's Cross Punch.

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Mint             0/-------/--=====|====---\-------\0           Juliet

Mint throttles back on her engines as soon as she fails to gain a grip, aiming the slowing engine nozzles outward for a full stop. A toothy grin spreads across the Marine's face as Juliet nonetheless provides an answer to her earlier small-talk. Her eyes pay close heed to the bob of her opponent's shoulders, and the reel back.

When Juliet throws a cross at her jaw, Mint sways sideways, raising a gauntlet vertically for her to strike instead. There's a small -thump- afterwards -- the sound of same gauntlet bumping into Mint's head, distributing the impact across a wider area.

The Special Forces operative's face shows she's impressed at the considerable force behind the punch. Time to break out the bigger guns? As she gives herself space with a few backward steps, she notes, "It's a shame, you should stretch your wings sometimes!"

And that's when a controlled burst of jet thrust launches Mint into the air, elbows to either side like abbreviated wings. "There's so much to see!" Her arms swing out to either side -- and then she brings both fists crashing down at Juliet, the blows accompanied by twin pneumatic hisses and pops, as mechanical counterweights bring the fists forward just that little bit faster! "OOORAAAH!"

COMBATSYS: Juliet fails to interrupt BFH from Mint with Heavenly Cross.

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Mint             0/-------/-======|=======\-------\0           Juliet

"I may be an Angel, but I'll take flight in my own time thankye."

Juliet's bobbing and weaving has slowed a little. She's starting to get into the flow of the fight, and she is getting a much better feel for how Mint's fists change up the traditional boxing style. She has her own twist on it too, of course; is there any martial artist in the world who doesn't have a signature twist on the classic foundations? And when Mint comes tearing in with her fists swinging, the teenager smiles.

For a fraction of a second, light plays around Juliet's right fist, and then - it winks out. There's a hiss from the girl, but it is too late for her to try and pull it back. She'd already begun stepping into the brazen attack, fully intending to meet Mint's unique style with a flare of her own strength - but it's too early. It doesn't come to her, and the result is that both of those fists slam bodily into the girl and she's sent sprawling to the mat.

Blood trickles from the corner of her mouth as she rises, but she pays it no mind. Those brilliant red eyes of hers are sparking with intensity now. Just because she'd failed once, that doesn't mean she's going to fail the next time, or the time after that.

"It doesn't matter who gets knocked down the most times." She says, her voice... stronger, her accent no longer anywhere near as prevalent in her words. Words which, in fact, seem to carry through the arena itself without needing the help of the screens and the mic from the referee drone which are no doubt helping to enhance the viewing experience of the crowd.

"What matters is who stays down. And I'm sorry, Mint, but today... that's not going to be me!"

Strong words, but can she really back them up?

Mint grits her teeth as her twinned gauntlets hammer down onto Juliet from above. It's the same technique she would have used against any opponent -- a powerful assault from an angle that's remarkably difficult to defend against. It's less 'boxing' than a move borne out of the need to make inroads on opponents of all shapes and sizes, of all styles and techniques. That doesn't make it any easier for the jet-powered brawler, especially not when she sees the blood from Juliet's jaw.

As Mint's boots touch down on the arena floor, she hears two things. First -- the dull roar of the crowd, drinking in every ounce of the spectacle. A crowd where she knows Derrick and Mary might not be so frowny-faced any more, knowing the conditions are turning ripe for a Miracle of some sort.

But more importantly, she hears Juliet's refusal to give up. Her defiance of the odds, ringing out throughout the arena. Her declaration of rising to the challenge. And that's enough to pull the corners of Mint's lips up into a half-smile.

"Alright, but just so you know," she starts, scratching the bridge of her nose with the side of her gauntlet. She flexes her mechanical fingers, hopping nimbly from one foot to the other. "Stayin' down ain't my thing either!"

And then, there's the telltale whine of jet turbines winding up for a quick burst of speed. Mint hurtles forward at launching into a wild (and somewhat telegraphed) right cross, gunning into a quicker one-two punch, and following up with a shallow left uppercut--

But then her engines flare again! Mint's feet leave the mat as her engines power her hard to Juliet's left. She plants her foot, and drives a low right punch at Juliet's abdomen, aiming to follow it up with a punch from her left! Her breath comes out staccato as she hammers out each punch -- "OO-RA-OO-RA-OORAAA!"

COMBATSYS: Mint blitzes into action and acts again!

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Mint             0/-------/-======|=======\-------\0           Juliet

COMBATSYS: Juliet blocks Mint's Mix-Up Combo.

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Mint             0/-------/=======|>>>>>>>\-------\1           Juliet

COMBATSYS: Mint successfully hits Juliet with Body Blow.

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Mint             1/-------/=======|>>>>>>>\>>>----\1           Juliet

At first, Juliet feels like she has got Mint read. The girl's guard stands strong and she blocks the first few blows easily. Then the other boxer seems to just power up further, and the slamming punches into Juliet's gut have the teenager staggering backwards, breath thoroughly smashed out of her lungs. Things don't look good. But she's determined not to let this end so easily. Not because she feels the pressure of the crowd, or the expectations and hatred heaped on her from her own corner, but because she doesn't feel that she's shown Mint anything close to everything she can do. She needs to do better.

And her spirit answers.

The light that plays off Juliet's skin is subtle at first, as the girl clutches her stomach and forces breath into protesting, bruised lungs. Sweat drips down her face, but she refuses to stop; refuses to back down, even. After that assault she had, somehow, managed to stay standing, and her eyes remain completely focused on Mint as she grits her teeth, doubles down, and then -- takes to the air.

The Corporal had joked about her putting those wings to use, and in that instant, it might be easy to believe that Juliet is doing just that. She leaves a trail through the air as she ascends, a shining white afterimage which blurs indistinctly behind her as she leaps, touches down, spins...

And HAMMERS her fist towards Mint with an incredible amount of force, aiming to smash the more experienced boxer right in the cheek.

But whether she hits or misses, she's immediately blurring again as she twists around the woman, aiming to wind up directly behind her - hopefully with the other fighter still reeling from a punch that her skinny arms simply should not be able to deliver!

COMBATSYS: Juliet successfully hits Mint with Sacred Check EX.

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Mint             1/----===/=======|>>>>>>>\>>>>---\1           Juliet

The turbines calm back to idle, as Mint declines to follow through, opting to give Juliet a bit of time to catch her breath. She peddles backward, keeping her steps light and airy so that she, too, can focus on pacing herself. This isn't a fight for her life, after all -- just a match between two enthusiasts of the sport.

She sees the determination in Juliet's eyes. And she gives an encouraging nod as Juliet shows signs of leaping to her feet.

But Mint didn't expect her to leap -that- high. The corporal's jaw hangs open for a moment, and the pace of her breathing falls off-measure. Juliet's angelic ascension is an impressive sight -- enough to draw a collective gasp from the crowd.

Mint is just a -bit- too taken with it, though -- for by the time she realizes Juliet is hammering down onto her, it's too late for her off-rhythm footwork to save her. Minal is -nailed- in the cheek, reeling backwards as a crescent of blood spills into the air -- and if not for bending her elbow at the last moment to apply a quick squirt of thrust, she'd have ended up toppling to the arena floor!

One good hit deserves another, though; in the next split second, Mint throws one fist backwards as a counterbalance. A burst of hot air is not only enough to take her back two steps, but it's also enough to blast her loose jersey about like a flag.

Minal skids herself to a halt, soles of her boots squealing against the rubberized arena floor. With a grin drops of blood still smeared on her cheek, she quips back: "Hey, those wings work after all!"

And then her onslaught begins -- as with another quick pulse of thrust, Panesh rushes forward in a linear barrage of punches. Right, left, right, left, right, left, right -- all aimed at center mass. The crowd behind her blurs into a confusing array of paint chips from the refraction of heated air! "Oo-rah-oo-rah-oo-rah-OORAH!"

COMBATSYS: Juliet just-defends Mint's Foxtrot Oscar EX!

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Mint             1/------=/=======|>>>>>>>\>>>>---\1           Juliet

The glow grows more intense as Juliet faces Mint, and it is now impossible to ignore. If the little afterglow lightshow wasn't impressive enough, now the Boxing Angel is wreathed in a real halo of light. The girl smiles serenely as Mint comes charging in, and the contrast between the two fighters could not be more clear. They might both be short, powerful boxers... but where Mint's fists hiss and whirr, Juliet moves with an almost eerie silence to her as she works to counteract the barrage of punches.

It's almost as though she can tell where Mint is trying to hit her before the woman has even decided herself. Those soft gloves gently push and nudge the metal gauntlets out of the way, the girl twisting and turning with impossible grace to defuse the onslaught. She pushes, ducks and weaves through the blows with that soft smile tugging at her lips, and it is only when the last punch is thrown and she is stepping back neatly out of the attack that the girl speaks.

"You can feel it too, can't you?" She asks, "In these moments, where we stand on the cusp of destiny. Our fates are intertwined, Minal. I can hear the song that sings from your fist, and it is a beautiful thing. I wish that I could let you hear mine, but... the time isn't right, not yet, not quite."

She reaches up, and brushes the blood from her mouth with the back of one shiny black glove, and it is as she does that, that Mint might just realise... throughout the entire assault, she had never broken eye contact, not for a moment. She hasn't so much as blinked. How long has that been going on? Since the shimmering light began playing over the teenager's skin, or... before?

"Let's get there, together."

And then she's gliding forwards. Where Mint definitely favours the rushdown approach of so many punches flung out in rapid succession that they are hard to keep up with, Juliet's fist comes lashing out to deliver just the one punch - aiming to drive her knuckles directly into Mint's jaw in a simple right hook, always looking to build to that knock-out blow.

COMBATSYS: Mint blocks Juliet's Medium Punch.

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Mint             1/-----==/=======|>>>>>>>\>>>----\1           Juliet

Every piston is pumping, every valve is opening and closing, the staccato thrust from her custom jet turbines is stacatto-ing... everything is working perfectly as designed. Mint and her two KNUCKS gauntlets make for a lean, mean, punching machine, with all the attendant sounds that the engineer is used to.

It's the harmony of balance and order that allows her to focus on Juliet -- and how the Boxing Angel is able to weave in and out of her blows with such apparent ease. Mint can feel Juliet making -contact- with her gauntlets -- but nothing is landing. It's thrilling and slightly unnerving at the same time -- to the point that Mint's forehead is creased when she throws that last punch, drawing back into a neutral and guarded stance, ready for Juliet's response.

Her eyes widen when that response comes in verbal form. Her lips part, as her head bobs in acknowledgement.


Curiously, she's at a loss for words. She keeps her distance for the moment, working her metal fingers about. It... -sounds- great, but, as Mint finally sees fit to blurt out: "S-sure then, maybe next time, yeah?"

It's a lot to process. And it becomes a bit -easier- to process as Juliet slams her fist forward -- for -that- much she can recognize. Mint sways backward, bringing her jaw out of punching range, while simultaneously raising her left gauntlet to deflect. As Juliet's fist rocks her gauntlet backward, Mint is already moving to pivot around -- this time wheeling her right fist about in a hook punch aimed at Juliet's shoulder. And if that lands she'd follow up by tagging with a quick left jab afterwards. "Ooorah!"

COMBATSYS: Mint successfully hits Juliet with Hook Punch.
- Power hit! -

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Mint             1/---====/=======|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\1           Juliet

"Next time?"

Juliet's words are soft and gentle, but her tone is completely calm. She smiles beautifically as she steps forwards, and in a move which has Derrick screaming at her impotently from the corner, the girl's guard falls away again. Her intent is simply to take the blow, to use its power to spring herself towards greater heights. But whilst Juliet may be in some kind of transcendental state, she is not, in fact, omniscient.

The punch smacks her square in the shoulder, and connects so cleanly with her acceptance of it that the girl in fact wheels into the jab and takes that on the chin too. There's a CRACK as her head snaps back, and every muscle in the girl's body goes taut -- but she doesn't, let her self fall. Instead, she bends back into her proper position, and cracks her neck.

"No, now, let me show you... the hymn of my heart!"

And immediately that glow surrounding her intensifies to an almost blinding brilliance. Her knees bend slightly, and then, in an instant, she is hurtling upwards with her right fist leading the way - an uppercut infused with every last drop of that luminescent power, aiming to slam square into Mint's jaw and rocket her up towards the ceiling.

Whether she makes clean contact or whether she's sailing up to the roof of the G-King Arena on her own, either way the drone referee is forced to frantically buzz out of the way as she flies through the air in a demonstration of startling athletic prowess. And at the apex of her flight, hopefully with her opponent's jaw still firmly underneath her knuckles, the light EXPLODES into a detonation of intense power.

And as Juliet descends back towards the arena floor, it will be surrounded by a shower of fluttering feathers already dissolving away into sparkles... but more impressive is the echoing sound of that explosive burst: Just as she'd promised, for a few seconds, the G-King Arena is resounding with the echoing chorus of an angelic choir, and beautiful, strumming harps.

COMBATSYS: Juliet successfully hits Mint with Miracle Uppercut.
- Power hit! -

[                      \\\\\\\\  < >  ///////                       ]
Mint             2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|==-----\-------\0           Juliet

Mint seems a little confused at Juliet at the moment. In her prior meeting, and at the start of the fight, she felt that the two were -- as Juliet said -- playing from the same sheet of music. But now, between Juliet's angelic monologue and the way she seems considerably less concerned about those punches, the gauntleted pugilist is starting to feel a bit out of her element. Especially when the intensity kicks up about three jillion candlepower, forcing Mint to squint.

"N-no offense, but it's kinda hard to see much -anything- right now...!?" blurts out the Marine, raising her guard to both defend her face, but also to block the light! Normally, the hulking gauntlets would be enough to block strikes against taller opponents...

But not the Boxing Angel, who now seems intent on lifting Mint up to a higher plane of existence! ... It probably -should- hurt, but Mint is addled up on an intoxicating mix of adrenaline and Juliet's angelic aura -- and besides, there's not much she -can- do aside from letting her body trail limply behind the arc drawn by her ascending jaw!

And then, either an eternity or an instant later, Minal's small body takes a second trip, courtesy of the explosion that follows. The corporal hurtles back to the G-King arena, her limbs crumpling like rags as she slams down back-first in a view which is sadly -hideously- overexposed on the optics of the poor little quadrotors. Her gauntlets kick up sparks as they scrape across the floor.

But all ridiculously painful things must come to an end, and Mint may be -dazed- but not out yet. Her gauntlet first goes to her mouth, rubbing her sore jaw.

A moment later, a quick burst of throttle blasts Mint back to her feet. She almost doubles over afterwards, her shoulders pitching forward wildly; her precision's a -little- worse for wear. But as her head lolls forward, she soon regains that spark of vitality. And a cocky grin.

"Okay, that... was -amazing, Juliet..." she starts -- before her voice is lost in the riotous roaring of her jet turbine. She digs in her heels, leaning backwards to oppose the twin thrusters, as tongues of blue flame spit forth from their nozzles.

"It's... my turn now!"

And then Mint gives up resisting, leaping forward to let the thrust rocket her forward! She hurtles forward in one big right-handed punch -- but follows up with a barrage of ten more punches in a dizzying array of heghts. She'd seek to follow up with a powerful leaping uppercut! "OO-RAH OO-RAH OO-RAAAH!"

COMBATSYS: Juliet fails to interrupt Alpha Mike Foxtrot EX from Mint with Heavenly Cross.

[                      \\\\\\\\  <
Mint             0/-------/---<<<<|

COMBATSYS: Juliet can no longer fight.

[                      \\\\\\\\  <
Mint             0/-------/---<<<<|

The light around Juliet has flickered out entirely by the time she hits the ground. All the pain and fatigue she's been holding at bay hits her hard with the landing. With the glow surrounding her, it was easy to miss the sweat; now it is clear just how far the girl had pushed beyond her limits. For that brief, shining moment... she had held in her fist power that she simply has no business wielding. It had almost been enough, too! If only she'd been able to hold on to it for a little bit longer...

"Ach." The girl groans, "Feel like my heid's pure gonnae split..."

And then Mint is on her again, and the girl swings out wildly. A final spark trails across her lunging punch, but she's way off target, the breeze from her fist welcoming Mint in before the woman smashes her right in the face, and the Boxing Angel is juggled from fist to mechanical fist under the barrage. After everything she'd put herself through, though, it seems that she's finally reached her limit, because she's definitely unconscious before she even hits the mat.

She'd put on a good show -- but it looks like this time, it really will be her staying down after all.


The Boxing Angel's magnificent performance had brought out a new wave of cheering -- and that cheering continues ever louder as Mint's final strikes land true. The corporal doesn't pursue her target, letting gravity do the work as her chain combination comes to a halt. The tongues of flame from her engines flicker, before fading into the translucent heat waves as Minal watches Juliet fall. Her hands unclasp and reclasp as she watches, her teeth grit as she watches -- if Juliet were to rise, it wouldn't even be a surprise to the Marine at this point.

And yet, she does not -- a fact relayed by the hovering referee drone and its dinging bell.

Mint has an urge to glance over to Derrick and Mary -- probably the only two discordant voices in the midst of the crowd. But she does not act on that urge, instead jogging over to kneel by Juliet's side.

"Hey, Juliet. You did great, really...!" The crowd is -surging-. They normally expect their champions to raise a fist or... or do -something- to address them. But here, Mint's just... watching guard, keeping Juliet safe until the G-King Arena's medical team can mosey on over.

... But then, Mint can't wait any longer. She looks to the ringside seating -- straight at Gabriella. She flashes a smile, pointedly -ignoring- the two self-claimed guardians.

And only when eye contact is made, will Mint rise back to her feet, shielding her eyes with an upraised right hand. She lets the robotic referee do its thing.

The only thing on Minal's mind now, beyond getting her stable -- is that driving question. The 'next time' she alluded to -- what on -earth- was Juliet talking about, anyway?

COMBATSYS: Mint takes no action.

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

COMBATSYS: Mint has ended the fight here.

Log created on 12:39:56 04/29/2021 by Juliet, and last modified on 10:32:24 05/01/2021.