Rising Star 2021 - Rising Star 2021 Finals - Nena vs Hayley

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Description: Here it is: the final for the Rising Star Tournament! In this bout, Completely Normal Girl Nena Washington faces off against Hayley "Aussie Spangles" Bretherton! Who will win and take home the championship? Find out there!


A large Kanzuki-owned electronic billboard broadcasts the impending main event from three stories above street level. Below, one of the Southtown Business District's main squares has been sectioned off to allow standing room for a multitude of people. More screens around the square show the fighting ring that's been established in the middle of the intersection from a dozen angles, drones hovering silently in the air providing mobile platforms for the video team to operate.

"God, I can't believe she's still allowed in this tournament after what she did to that bear. Did you hear that that ghost from the Ring backed down from fighting her 'cause she thought she was too freaky? Oh, hey, look, Zanna! We're on tee-vee!" Becky the blonde Pacific High cheerleader enthuses as her train of thought changes tracks, tapping the green-haired headphone-wearing cheerleader next to her on the shoulder.

"Oh, cool," Zanna responds, looking up at the screens and waving. "Hey Nena!"

Nena 'Bear Blaster' Washington, formerly known as Nena 'Ordinary Teenage Girl' Washington and later known as Nena 'Killer Robot Girl' Washington, fills one of the liquid electronic display boards, green eyes staring blankly at the camera like a doe in headlights. She's dressed in a copy of her usual outfit: a white and blue sailor-style schoolgirl uniform shirt, red necktie and blue skirt, with white boots, and her brown hair is pulled into a practical ponytail. She doesn't respond to the words of her fellow cheerleader, but the way she stares directly into the high-angle camera above her is somewhat eerie --


"Hey, what's going on with Drone Eight?" the supervisor asks, pointing to the monitor that Nena is looking at as it starts to spin away, sweeping the crowd once before zipping out on patrol of the area, focusing in on various members of the crowd - all with platinum blond hair - before veering off to focus on a bearded African-American man in black sunglasses, a red scarf and a brown blazer, who looks up after a moment, does a double take, then looks at the camera.

'Darn it, Nena,' the man mouths.

"Not sure - looks like someone's overriding the signal on it," one of the techs says. "Do you want me to kill it?"

==*== IN THE SQUARE ==*==

Nena's lips twitch faintly downward at the corners as she turns away from the screen that's showing her uncle, Simon, who is not her uncle, and looks directly toward the man himself.

"It appears that Rafferty is maintaining his stated intent," Nena says to no one in particular - certainly, Simon couldn't hear her from here.

"You shouldn't be hijacking drones to check up on your boyfriend's whereabouts," a voice says in her ear.

As it turns out, the narrator was lying. Apparently, Simon is actually wearing a headset to be able to communicate with his robotic niece from his place in the crowd.

"It was not performing any necessary function at the time," Nena claims. "Also, it is my understanding that humans enjoy subjection to public scrutiny via televised media."

"This human does -not-," the voice in her head replies. "One of these days, you're gonna get me in a lot of trouble, Nena."

"If that occurs, then I will take responsibility for extracting you, Simon, who is (not) my uncle."

Something about the scrutiny, the weirdness, the strange looks resonates with Hayley Bretherton. The fight blogs have blown up about her matches during Rising Star, especially in regards to "That weird metal thing she does now," and "Was there something in the rules about element chi? Is that a Kanzuki thing?"

Hayley tries not to keep up with those kinds of sites. Every time she reads "Aussie Spangles" the knife digs in fresh once again. Instead, she stays focused on the road ahead of her. Improving her skills, advancing her position, putting her best foot forward. Always forward.

She watches the oversized screens as they change, focus and refocus. There seems to be confusion about the focus, but she seems to not mind.

"Hoy." Hayley says, "You must be Nena?"

Tsugumi Sendo had gone alone- She had invited Daisuke to come watch, but she hasn't seen him yet. The overly enthusiastic girl had pushed herself to the front of the rows of spectators, making sure she could see everything best as possible.


She cheers non-specifically, her voice roaring out above most of the crows. Some spectators nearby her are forced to protect their ears, and a fair few eyes are turned her way. Dressed in a more casual hoodie and long pants, the wrestler has a undeniable presence about her.


While it seemed for a moment her allegiance was clear, she then turns towards the small, ordinary schoolgirl.


It would soon be obvious she'd be cheering both on- She doesn't much care who wins today, and is more interested in the contents of the fight!

Eden also came alone, even Storm is not with her this time. Apparently she wanted a specific place, and she was going to get it, and she pushes a few people out of the way to get to it. She doesn't seem to care about ruffled feelings at the moment.

Once she finds the spot she wants, she makes a rather big sign. "YOU CAN WIN THIS NENA. I BELIEVE IN YOU. HELL, KILL HER IF YOU HAVE TO. JUST WIN THIS YOU BADASS OF AN ORDINARY GIRL!"

She puts her ass down on the seat, as she gets looks from some member of the audience. Soon enough or not that soon, her sign disappear.

There's somewhat of a kerfuffle amongst the crowd, as a male voice with a California accent can be heard, above their general chatter.

"Let me through, I'm a vee eye pee!" he announces, whilst attempting to push them aside, with as much force as he can muster. Apparently he's been taking lessons from his Pacific High classmate, Eden.

He's dressed in a slim fitting carmine red suit, combined with a black shirt and black Gucci loafers. Black aviator shades shield his blue eyes from the rays of the afternoon sun and he's carrying something in both of his soft skinned hands. In the left is a rather large pillow, adorned in a black silk case and in the right, a silver coloured folding chair.

As he makes his way to a prime position at the front, he accidentally knocks into a large red haired boy with the chair. The boy turns around angrily, with a furious look on his freckled face, ready to admonish his attacker.

"Look out loser...oh, Rafferty it's you."

His expression switches to one of fear, caused not by any toughness the platinum locked boy possesses, but simply by who he is dating.

Speaking of...

The young model searches the crowd trying to get a glimpse of his girlfriend and that's when the camera finds him. His handsome face looms large on the screen, something that doesn't go unnoticed by the teen. He immediately begins to primp, preen and pose, enjoying his moment in the spotlight to the max.

Eventually, he remembers why he's here and blows a kiss to the camera.

"Good luck, babe!" he calls out with enthusiasm.

"Nena Washington for the win!"

It's then that he spots some familar faces amidst the other fighting fans. There's Tsugumi seated alone and the Pacific High crew are mostly together, Zanna the cheerleader's green hair making her stand out from the crowd. His good friend Eden is here too and he's torn between joining her and Simon. Eden eventually wins out, even without her delightful accomplice Storm the cat, she's still his second favourite person in Southtown.

He positions his chair perfectly next to her, making sure it's secure, before placing his pert posterior on it.

"Good spot you got here" he praises his blue haired buddy.

"I've got my pillow ready to cover my face, if things get too scary!"

"Yes," Nena replies in a completely even tone before turning around to face Hayley with that same detached stare. "While other possibilities may have existed, it is true that I am Nena. I recognize you as my opponent, Hayley Bretherton, also known as 'Aussie Spangles.' You have my sympathies for the devastation that this tournament has wrought upon the nation of your birth."

Nena's head turns slightly, as if reacting to something heard from a distance - not that it's /too/ difficult to hear the powerful lungs of a certain teenage wrestler over the commotion of the crowd.

"It appears that our mutual acquaintance offers non-partisan support."

She tilts her head slightly to one side.

"And my friend Eden is encouraging me to disengage my safety protocols in order to defeat you. However, rest assured -"

Nena strikes a pose as she faces Hayley, her left arm down to her side, right fist raised - and in a sudden burst of action, her right hand spins seven hundred and twenty degrees clockwise before reversing the motion, and her left discharges a crackling blue flash of electrical power.

"My safety protocols are fully engaged. However, I do not wish for you to feel obligated to match my restraint. Please demonstrate the full force of your might and ability, without hesitation."

Then, almost suddenly, a voice comes from the crowd, and a face appears on the screens above. Nena turns her eyes up to look at the monitor, where Rafferty is blowing a kiss, with a caption below:



"Rafferty is... here?..."

The previously cool and collected ordinary teenage terminator now seems starstruck, as if the revelation is too much for the supercomputer serving as her mind to process.

"Roight," the accent is more pronounced in that moment, as Hayley sees Nena has quite the following. The edge of her mouth rises slightly, specifically when at the mention of "Aussie Spangles," the name that can never seem to quite disappear.

But what has more of Hayley's attention is Nena's completely normal behavior. She watches the movement of the arm, the crackle of electricity. She blinks, twice, inhales, then slides into a fighting stance.

"It's good to meet ya, Nena, and I hope we can have a good match." That last part about safeties is a bit troubling, but Hayley tries not to dwell upon it.

Hayley's words seem to snap Nena out of whatever Rafferty-induced freeze was impeding her functionality. Her eyes shift with mechanical precision to hone back in on the Australian fighter.

"I also consider our encounter a positive one, and will endeavour to perform at peak efficiency, tactical hard-neutralization options notwithstanding."

The cameras all sync up to suddenly form a single composite picture as the flight of drones descends, producing a sensation of falling down the side of one of the Kanzuki skyscrapers, perhaps as a deliberate dig at one of the zaibatsu's main Southtown competitors, before finally slowing to settle on a rotating view of the two fighters as they square off in the fighting circle.

"WELCOME, viewers, to the FINAL MATCH of the RISING STAR TOURNAMENT, sponsored by KANZUKI!"

The announcer's voice echoes over the square as she introduces the match.

"Our first finalist: tougher than lead, too much for her opponents to bear, not afraid to fry a little fuzz, so terrifying even ghosts ghost her, NENA WASHINGTON!"

As the cameras focus on Nena, she remains perfectly still in her fighting stance, failing to take the cue to acknowledge her fans, though a number of students from Pacific High can be heard calling out in support.

"Let's go, psycho!" Becky the blonde cheerleader hollers, hands cupped to her mouth. The green-haired girl next to her looks slightly bemused as she claps half-heartedly.

COMBATSYS: Nena brings her battle systems online.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Nena             0/-------/-------|

Hayley's eyes move to Rafferty, briefly, as he appears on the screens as well. Soon enough, however, her focus is back on the fight at hand. She steps once, then twice, bending her knees slightly, standing on the balls of her feet. The introduction causes Hayley to pause for a moment as everything clicks and she realizes the acute layering of the punnery.

"It sounds like you've got quite the reputation, Nena," she says, "but I wouldn't expect anything less if you made it this far. Let's get started, oy?"

And suddenly, Hayley is on the offensive, springing on her heels to close the cap between herself and Nena. She swings her arms in a wide, downward arc, arcing an overhead chop as blue-white chi swells around her fist!

COMBATSYS: Hayley has joined the fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Hayley           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Nena

COMBATSYS: Nena blocks Hayley's Descending Magpie.

[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////////  ]
Hayley           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Nena

The announcer's voice is difficult to make out over the sounds of the crowd, but there's definitely a loud cheer for Aussie Spangles at the end of her introduction. When Hayley launches into the air, hand glowing with chi, the robot girl cocks her head slightly.

"Very well, then."

Nena's attempt to defend herself is minimal; she twists only slightly at the waist, presenting her shoulder as a target for the descending fist. The sleeve of her sailor shirt suffers the energy severely, the blue-white power scorching the fabric and even burning into the skin. Flesh hammers into synthetic flesh, only to be rebuffed by the metal beneath, a heavy thunk reporting the impact. What would be a horrific burn injury for a typical human, though, doesn't even elicit a flinch from Nena, who already appears to be winding up for her rebuttal.

"Structural damage: minimal," she informs Hayley helpfully as her right leg swings up and back. "Anomalous energy readings detected."

A previously hidden vent in her heel suddenly ignites with blue flame, driving her extended foot forward in a rising spin that quickly planes out at waist height. The leg - and, in fact, Nena's entire body from the waist down - whips around rapidly in a helicopter kick, though the robo-teen's upper body remains facing toward Hayley as her super-hot boot attempts to batter and burn the Australian fighter multiple times in rapid succession!

COMBATSYS: Hayley instinctively dodges Nena's Blade Runner.

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

Hayley fists impacts heavily against Nena's shoulder, reverberating against her durable body with a low thump. The Australian, however, immediately reacts to Nena's stalwart defense. She hops back, kicking off the ground in a short hop as Nena's legs spin up into a fiery whirling dervish!

As Hayley lands, she sweeps her arms in a circular, chi-gathering stance. Energy gathers in her palms, but the blue-white chi becomes twisted, distorted. In the moment her chi reaches its peak, Her aura shifts toward a metallic sheen that incases her hands and forearms. She strikes with a metallic clang that carries enough force to make Hayley wince as she hits.

"That was--surprising! What do you call that, ah, technique?"

COMBATSYS: Nena blocks Hayley's Eucalyptus Bloom ES.

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

As Hayley escapes from Nena's whirling rocket-powered kick combination, the teenage terminator arrests her spinning motion, hips clicking as they lock back into place with her torso.

It's a potentially unsettling sound, even if one is aware that the schoolgirl simulacrum is synthetic in essence.

"Attack Pattern Two Oh Four Nine," the artificial brunette says as she twists her body into position to regain her fighting stance, her leading arm raised.

As Hayley's gathering energy starts to warp and transmogrify, a blue light starts to flicker rapidly behind each of Nena's green irises.

"I am detecting non-standard energy patterns," Nena comments.


The steel-laced attack slams into the robot's chest, sending her sliding back along the ring. Though she remains upright, the girl makes a show of pushing her chest back out and into place.

"Structural damage: minor. Gathering additional data. Please continue."

The girl's eyes continue to shine with artificial blue light as she studies Hayley with casual intensity.

COMBATSYS: Nena calculates her next move.

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

It seems that the bluenette can't help but stare when Nena resets her legs after the rocket-assisted volley. She seems evne more confused with Nena's continued commentary, but she bites her lip. Is it wrong to ask someone if they're a robot? Is that discrimination? Hayley can't make up her mind on the subject.

And so, instead, she draws back, observing Nena as she gathers data herself. It may not be as technical or as efficient, but it is what it is.

"So how were you other matches so far?" Hayley attempts to make conversation. Perhaps it avoids having to deal with uncomfortable questions about robot-bias.

COMBATSYS: Hayley focuses on her next action.

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

Nena's head cocks to one side briefly before straightening in response to Hayley's question. The cameras do a slow panoramic dance around the pair as each fighter takes a moment to study the other.

"As you have likely deduced, I was able to secure victory against each of my previous opponents, though my body suffered significant damage during each battle. I was able to gather substantial field data regarding combat and also the language of bears. Kuma and I continue to exchange e-mails when he is able to allocate time from his busy schedule for the purpose."

Almost abruptly, Nena opens her right hand, thrusting her palm forward - and the hand ejects from her body, hurtling on a metallic tether cable toward Hayley with the assistance of a set of miniature rocket boosters in the dismembered wrist!

"How were your previous matches?" Nena asks in her persistent near-monotone as she calmly attempts to latch her hand onto whatever part of Hayley she can grab, discharge a jolt of electricity into her, then reel her back toward the teenager.

It's definitely possible that Nena is actually a robot, but whether Hayley is brave enough to seek a solid answer to the question remains to be seen.

COMBATSYS: Nena successfully hits Hayley with Ex Machina.

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

"Ah," Hayley still seems to be taking a moment to adjust to Nena's unique way of speaking. This moment is delayed, slightly, by the revelations about bear language and, even more confusingly, bear email usage. "Is it busy being a bear? I don't really know any. Hu-!"

When the rocket fist deploys, Hayley has a hard time responding properly. She draws up her arms to block, but fails to deflect it; instead, her block provides a handy point of contact for Nena to grab for a sharp discharge of voltage.

"Gaaah," Hayley struggles, smoke billowing off her slightly as she's dragged back into melee range, still staggered.

But she doesn't give up quite that easily. Instead, the blue-haired Australian repositions, squaring her shoulders and readying for a counter-attack as Nena presses the advantage.

"Have you always had your," she goes quiet for a moment, and then, "upgrades?" That seems like a good start. Maybe she's a completely normal cyborg. Those exist, right?

The bluenette plants her feet then kicks off the asphalt into an upward, circular sweep. Her legs flare with chi, creating a blue-white crescent-like arc as she sweeps upward with one leg, then spins into a second kick with the other.

COMBATSYS: Nena interrupts Cassowary's Rending Talons EX from Hayley with Real Steel.

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

The capturing hand retracts into Nena's wrist, clicking back into place. The sensation of Nena attempting to pull her closer is of a force much stronger than one would expect from an ordinary teenage girl - she's almost anchor-like, in fact, in her steadiness.

"He is a business executive," Nena clarifies as Hayley comes into range and leaps into the air with legs a-sweeping.

'Have you always had your... upgrades?'

"No," Nena says as she clenches her right hand into a fist and twists slightly - before suddenly hammering her fist upward, knuckles crackling with electricity as she smashes it past Hayley's legs and into her stomach. The rising uppercut is bolstered further by a burst of blue flame from her rocket-boosted boots that launches both Nena and Hayley high into the air above the crowds, the camera drones led on a vertiginous ascent in their efforts to track the action directly.

A few seconds later, Nena lands with a heavy clunking sound, the heat of her boots releasing steam from the ring floor beneath her as the ground beneath her white boots blackens. Her arm lowers down to her side, fingers opening; her knuckles are bloodied and burnt, and smoke rises from her shoulders where the kicking feet managed to strike.

"Upgrades are, by definition, impossible to possess in a base alpha state, and, therefore, I have not always possessed them. For instance, my linguistic processing code has undergone several thousand iterative modifications since my initial release."

Bear business executives, unfortunately, leave Hayley with more questions than answers. They are, however, questions for another time, as her quick is intercepted. As one foot goes forward, Nena catches her in the stomach, throwing her off-balance as they both ascend into the air via rocket boots. The two of them separate at the end of the ascent, Hayley left spiraling backward and down as Nena makes a more stable landing.

Hitting the ground in a roll, the Australian tumbles backward into a crouching position. She breathes heavily, one hand pressed against her midsection as she takes deep, centering breaths. One leg pushes up, her muscles taut, and she almost sinks again before rising back up fully and resuming her stance, feet falling heavily on the cleared street. She pays the camera drones no mind save for the occasional reflexive follow of her eyes when they get particularly close.

"Linguistic...ah," Hayley says, "You've been becoming a better," she says, then considers, "communicator? Right?" The bluenette extends a palm in front of her, drawing a deep breath again. Her long, shaggy hair starts to blow in the wind a bit as power gathers.

And then Hayley surges forward with a burst of power. She extends one arm behind her for counterbalance as she aims to deliver a strong Bajiquan-style shoulder charge to try and knock Nena's sturdy body even a little off-balance. Her next step is like a dance, spinning out of the charge to center herself and deliver a flurry of rapid palms like someone hitting a wooden training dummy, a drill practiced and iterated hundreds of times.

She steps again, crossing up as energy surges into a loose sphere in her palm that she thrusts forward into an explosive burst. From it, she tries to grab Nena's arm---aiming high to avoid another rocket fist (hopefully) and pull Nena forward sharply forward as she does another rolling step.

Attempting to plant herself behind Nena, she thrusts backwards with an explosively powerful hip-check to try and knock the mechanical girl off her feet and into an over-the-shoulder throw.

COMBATSYS: Hayley successfully hits Nena with Southern Cross Formation EX.

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

"Yes, that is the intended result," Nena says calmly, turning around to face her fallen foe with a set of heavy footfalls.

As Hayley's power starts to build, the blue light continues to glint behind Nena's eyes. Once more, she appears to make little movement in self-regard; it seems that she intends simply to outlast her foe. It's something of a reckless strategy, but the weight and durability of her endoskeleton seems to lend itself more to resilience than evasive maneuvers, like a Maus tank in a sailor fuku.

There's probably an anime about that somewhere.

Still, even the might of whatever metal underlies Nena's skin can't completely disregard the will of a fighter brought to bear.

(Or a bear brought to fight: see Nena vs Kuma, Rising Star Quarterfinals)

Hayley's shoulder slams into Nena's chest, and even the super-sturdy schoolgirl can't stay still; she sways backward, opened to the barrage of palm strikes; Nena is much more solid than the average training dummy, but the series of blows seem to at minimum keep her off-balance.

"Structural damage: mi-"

The sphere of energy slams explosively into Nena's chest, fully ruining yet another uniform shirt; fortunately, the schoolgirl's modesty is preserved by a white (though now rather singed and bloodied) sports bra. The damage to her person appears severe as the skin beneath is burnt, in places exposing a blinking metal undercarriage, with blue light emanating from her core.

"Re-assessing: structural damage -"

Nena's attempt to re-evaluate the extent of the punishment to her chassis is interrupted again as Hayley grabs her arm and re-positions on the other side of her.

"Structural damage: mod -"


And then, the might of Hayley's secret (?) weapon is brought to bear, and the ordinary schoolgirl (?) is flipped over Hayley's shoulder by the hip-smash before being thrown to the ground with a heavy *THUD*.

"Re-assessing," Nena says as she pushes her exposed metal right elbow joint into the ground to try and raise herself back up after a second.

"Cumulative structural damage: moderate to severe. Minor repairs required. Repairing."

Rising back to her full height, she uses her right arm to reset her clearly-dislocated left arm in its socket with a horrible sound of flesh and metal, showing a disconcerting lack of reaction to what would be an agonizing procedure for most as she keeps her eyes locked on Hayley. She then straightens her spine with a series of similarly distasteful popping sounds and twists and bends the joints in her left arm and fingers to test for responsiveness.

"Emergency calibration complete. Please proceed."

Even with word having spread about the nature of Nena and her past fights, there are still many in the audience who look visibly queasy at the close-up injury detail provided by the camera drones.

Simon, for his part, merely furrows his brow behind his sunglasses and remains silent.

COMBATSYS: Nena recalibrates her systems.

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

The last of Nena's fights attended by Rafferty was her match against Tarmo, where he promptly passed out, when things got too graphic. He's therefore relieved today, that he's brought along that black silk pillow and chooses now as the time to make use of it. The pillow is quite a considerable size, more than ample to cover his chiseled face, but also probably rather irritating to anyone in close proximity.

"Let me know when it's safe to look!" he demands of his fellow highschooler, Eden.

"I dont like it when her skin splits."

Eden hits Rafferty's shoulder, so he will look, then she makes a sign appears in front of his face, literally. The sign says. "GROW UP!" Then the sign would smack him in the face, if it was real. As it is, it just goes through him, and disappears." Eden wasn't in the most pleasant mood today apparently.

With ragged breaths, Hayley tactically withdraws to recoup after delivering the flurry of blows. She steps in place, readjusting her footing and centering herself again before extending a palm and resuming her stance. Out of the corner of her eye she spots Rafferty and Eden, and, despite the intensity of the fight, it does manage to elicit a smile.

But then her focus returns to Nena, who seems to have gotten a second wind. At least Hayley does not seem to be bothered by the brief glimpse into how Nenas are made (or at least, how some of her systems work). Perhaps Hayley has seen more stomach-turning things in the past. It is unclear.

The Australian bounces on her feet for a moment, taking a looser, less grounded stance than her usual combination of Bajiquan and Piguaquan. She instead shuffles into something more akin to a boxer, drawing up her fists close to her chest and weaving back and forth.

She darts in suddenly, throwing a sharp, quick hook at Nena--though fist gives away to palm as she does. Perhaps she is concerned about what might happen if she punched a Terminator with bare knuckles.

COMBATSYS: Nena blocks Hayley's Medium Punch.

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

Oblivious to the drama taking place in the crowd, where Rafferty is getting dirty looks from the fight fans around him, Nena's focus remains on Hayley, eyes following as she tactically withdraws. Unlike the Australian fighter, Nena doesn't appear to be breathing any more heavily - though the ebb and flow of electromagnetic activity can be seen where her skin has been burned or torn away.

As Hayley darts in boxer-style, there's little reaction from the robo-girl, and the palm smacks into her face.

The decision to deliver an open strike rather than a closed-fisted one may have been wise. It's like hitting a statue, both in solidity and the emotional responsiveness of the victim.

Nena rocks backward into a handspring, reminding the audience that despite her clunky responses, she is a cheerleader in her spare time. The landing is rather heavy, though.

"Cumulative structural damage increase: approximately nine percent," she informs her opponent helpfully, before jetting up and forward into the air, rising on her blue boot-heel boosters for a moment before dropping down, one leg straightening and the other sweeping out ballerina-style as she attempts to land in Hayley's space and smash her heel into the opposing female fighter with a single spin.

COMBATSYS: Nena successfully hits Hayley with Diving Kick.
Glancing Blow

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

Hayley flinches only a little as the palm impacts Nena's rock-hard body---it would seem the Australian has done plenty of conditioning in that regard. Even so, Nena's face apparently does not have much give, and from that alone Hayley draws back again, bobbing and weaving.

"Um," Hayley blinks. "Thanks for the...update?" She backsteps, widening her stance, but it's a bit too soon. Nena descends with a spinning heel that Hayley tries to avoid, but it's a bit late. It smashes against her leg as she tries to leap backwards, nearly taking her feet out from under her as she winds up hopping, briefly, on one leg. The fact she maintains her balance at all says quite a bit for the Australian's sense of balance---and her leg strength. "Oogh...good hit!"

But then she shifts from her palm-strikes to snake hand strikes as she shoots in again with another attack. Blue-white chi flares around both hand as she brings them together, striking toward Nena's guard with a spike of power!

COMBATSYS: Hayley successfully hits Nena with Twin Adder Striking Fangs.

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

"You are welcome. If you would like me to adjust audio diagnostic report settings in the future, please let me know."

Nena continues the conversation casually as she regains her own footing in the aftermath of her aerial assault. The snake-hand strikes lash out at Nena, engulfing her in the flaring blue-white chi as she stands her ground. Even with the solidity of her frame, the blow takes a powerful toll, scorching the flesh of her arms. For all the steel might beneath, the schoolgirl's epidermis shows no more resilience than the soft flesh of the unhardened, youthful civilian that she appears to be.

"Structural damage levels approaching critical. Engaging contingency protocols."

She suddenly thrusts her right hand forward, pivoting at the waist as if aiming a boxing straight at her opponent, but as she does, her fist flies free of its socket, aiming to crash into Hayley's upper body before rapidly retracting back into place via the same tether as before.

COMBATSYS: Hayley interrupts Medium Punch from Nena with Wombat's Crushing Blow.

[                 \\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////                        ]
Hayley           0/-------/-======|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2             Nena

"Roight," Hayley nods, not entirely sure what this means in relation to her interactions with Nena. Perhaps, with time, this too will become known. Maybe she'll one day find a manual or something? Or call tech support...?

Hayley's eyes narrow when Nena adjusts for a boxing style straight. She doesn't resume her own boxing stance, but she keeps her attention focused. She watches the movement, digs her heels in, adjust her positioning, and waits. It's only a brief second, but the timing must be perfect.

Blue-white chi flares around her, then gives way to that metallic sheen from before as the energy lingers on her skin. Hayley goes low, and the fist slides across Hayley's hardened shoulder, her hair billowing back as it passes---and Hayley herself surging forward with a chi-infused hip check to clobber the mighty android (gynoid? cyborg?) back again.

The synthetic humanoid's punch is circumvented by Hayley's metal-powered hip-check, which actually manages to send Nena flying toward the far end of the ring, where she lands with a thunderous crash. Her left hand is knocked violently loose of its socket as the arm it was attached to is crushed beneath her own body weight, sending a spray of red fluid across the pavement from the stump. Though it appears to have the same artificial infrastructure underneath - while more hollow than the right arm - it seems that the violent manner of its departure has more violent results.

The schoolgirl looks practically dead, one glossy eye staring doll-like at the sky, the other optical receptor exposed in a ragged socket as she lies bent and leaking on the ground. The blue light goes out.

Then, suddenly:

"Structural damage: critical. Overriding."

The schoolgirl's optics start to flicker with a red light as her prone form starts to shudder and creak monstrously, then rises like the undead to a hunched stance. Her voice has a strange static sound to it, like an aged or broken talking toy.

"Accessing. Overriding."

Both optical receptors lock onto Hayley.

"Targeting. Overriding."

From the crowd, Simon seems to pale.

"Nena... no! NO! Not again; not HERE!"

The African-American engineer strains to be heard above the crowd.

COMBATSYS: Nena calculates her next move.

[                 \\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////                        ]
Hayley           0/-------/-======|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2             Nena

Hayley stomps heavily, still metal-infused as she steps out of her chi-infused hip smash. When Nena lands harshly, she seems concerned---though only a little, considering the amount of punishment Nena has managed to take so far.

"Ah, sorry, Nena, are you OK?" Hayley calls after her, initially. When things take a turn, Hayley's eyes widen with concern. "Nena...?"

There's the call from the crowd. Briefly, Hayley remembers her time with the Ikari. She recalls a talk she had with Leona, and with Clark. Something bites her at her, in the back of her mind, but she can't place exactly what.

Instead, she acts. Surging forward, Hayley cuts in close toward Nena, chi surging. It enshrouds her hands, wrapping them in metal as Hayley shows discomfort---but then it stabilizes, exploding outward into claw-like outpourings of chi from her fingertips.

She cuts in low, slashing at Nena, trying to get an advantage while there still might be one to be had. She slashes twice, then cups her hands together, turning the claws inward like ragged jaws.

COMBATSYS: Nena fails to interrupt Hunting Dingo ES from Hayley with #Age of Extinction#.

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

COMBATSYS: Nena has suffered catastrophic damage and fallen offline.

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

The red glow continues to flicker brightly behind Nena's optics as she focuses her gaze on Hayley. A pair of infrared beams emanates from the ordinary schoolgirl's damaged optics.

"I-I-I apologize that it's come to this."

A blue gleam shines in the sky above, easily missed as eyes are focused on the action as Hayley's metal claws slash low at Nena's legs, throwing her off-balance. As the Australian fighter forces her way forward and the teenage terminator topples backward, the gleam suddenly turns into a blindingly brilliant column of focused light descending from the atmosphere. In the blink of an eye, the patch of artificial terrain upon which Hayley stood only moments before is reduced to a molten, slag-filled crater. All of the electronic screens are awash with white as the optics of most of the drones are overloaded; others, flying too close to the laser's trajectory, fall smouldering from the sky, while some are, for most practical purposes, erased from existence.

Voices cry out; while no humans are harmed directly by the deadly sky-laser, many are rendered temporarily blind by the brightness.

In retrospect, the officials governing the Rising Star tournament may wonder (or be asked) why they didn't ban Nena from competing after her match against Kuma.

"Good Lord," Simon mutters under his breath as he stares at the crater, one of those spared the harsh fate of the blinded thanks to his sunglasses.

Meanwhile, Nena lies battered and bloody on the ground at Hayley's feet, both legs horribly gashed by the metal claws, the left actually rent from its stump and leaking various fluids from exposed veins both artificial and humanoid; it doesn't appear that it's meant to be detachable in the same way that her hands are.

"Structural damage: critical. Terminating non-essential functions to conserve power and reduce heat levels," Nena says to no one in particular.

"I will enter full shutdown in twenty seconds to avoid catastrophic overheating. Please tell my friends not to worry. Simon will know what to do, even if he is only a human being."

Nena's eyes turn up to the sky.

"I apologize, Aussie Spangles. I overrode my ethical programming because losing was also an invalid option. Please tell my friends not to... shutting down."

The robot's eyes somehow go even more blank as she falls silent, from vocoder to the nigh-inaudible hum of her internal systems.

Like Simon, Rafferty is protected from the laser by his shades. Their ridiculously expensive price tag could now almost be justified. As Nena goes down, he rises to his feet, abandoning his chair and discarding his silk clad pillow. He starts to move in the direction of the fighters, as speedily as one can do so whilst wearing a tight wool suit and slip on loafers.

When he reaches Nena, he crouches down beside her, reaching for her non detachable hand and stroking it with his long fingers.

"It's hard not to worry" he responds to her, even though she's already in shutdown mode.

"You're right though, Simon will have you as good as new, in no time. I could even help him like I did before."

His hand moves to her hair, pushing back a stray brown lock.

"Then once you're all fixed, I can take you out and buy you a smoothie. I hear they've started doing a passion fruit and peppermint one, that sounds like your kind of thing. You know, disgusting to anyone with real tastebuds."

He grins at her and then falls silent, remaining by her side until her not uncle can help remove her from the ground. Although she looks like a petite teenage girl, the blond boy has no illusions that he could actually carry her.

Eden watches, is she actually doing it, ready to kill to win... As if she knew at least part of wht was coming, she points toward the light, a lot of people are sheeps, they look where someone points and apparently she wanted to get as much people as possible blind for a moment. Even she looks at it, though it doesn't affect her for long with the way her body heals up.

Once that's all fun and done, she jumps down, but she does stay away from Nena's side. Rafferty and Simon were enough. Beside she seems happy with what she just did prior. She then looks at Haley, and makes a sign appear. "Well done I didn't think you had it in you to get Nena. One day, I will put you down, but enjoy your win." She then smacks Rafferty's and Simon's back, in a "comforting" gesture. She makes a sign for them "She will be fine. She has to be, I don't have enough friends to lose one."

Once she says her part, she starts walking away.


Hayley seems genuinely concerned when Nena makes the comment, but Hayley acts on instinct. A voice in the back of her mind tells her she must. Her hair stands on end, that feeling one gets before lightning strikes. In that moment, the Australian powers forward, continuing her assault. As Nena goes down, the laser strikes behind her and Hayley can feel the residual heat of the blast. The whole area smells of ozone.

When the android speaks up, Hayley closes, hunkering down. "Are you okay, Nena? Keep with me--are you going to be OK?" The mention of Aussie Spangles leads Hayley to bite her lip, but she doesn't say anything about it. There are more important things to worry about.

"A-ah," Rafferty's presence seems to ease Hayley's mind a bit. He seems to know that she can be repaired readily enough.

"I didn't want things to end quite so...roughly. Please apologize to Nena for me when she's recovered, alroight?" The bluenette looks past Rafferty at Edenlith's sign. "Is she--is she angry at me?" Hayley whispers to Rafferty. "--anyway." She slumps down, taking a seat as she breathes heavily.

"You're sure Nena will be fine? -- that last attack was ... something."

Rafferty's focus fixes on the winner of the Ristar contest, as she whispers her words of concern.

"Don't worry about Nena" he says soothingly, a sympathetic smile appearing on his youthful visage.

"You just focus on celebrating with your mates, or whatever."

Is there perhaps a slight Aussie twang to his voice, as he says the word mate? If so, it doesn't appear to be meant to mock.

"Simon will sort her out" he assures the blue haired battler.

This time there's perhaps a hint of a British sound to his voice. It could be because he has a Londoner as a roommate, or perhaps the aspiring actor is vocalising different voices for practice.

"As for Eden" he continues in his usual California tone "it doesn't take much to get her grumpy. She loses it with me lots, but I don't take offence. I think it's just her way and at least she's never dull."

He finishes their exchange, by flashing her a dazzling smile.

"Anyway, congratulations. Anyone who can beat my girl must be pretty special."

Nearby, Nena's hand can be seen crawling independently of her body akin to a certain Addams Family member, but as the core frame shuts down, the disembodied hand curls up and lurches over like a deceased spider. Stepping up beside it, Simon leans down to pick it up off of the ground.

"Mmmhmm. Gonna have to have a heart-to-heart with her source code once I've put her back together," the man says with a wistful tone.


As the screens come back to life, they show Hayley from all angles as drones strategically surround her, and the audience erupts into cheers. Few pay any mind to the ten foot by ten foot crater of smouldering mineral matter in the middle of the ring.

Few, but not none...

Log created on 20:57:19 05/28/2021 by Hayley, and last modified on 22:55:23 06/05/2021.