Fightfest 2023 - Round 3 Bonus Stage: Coco vs Kenzo vs Ichika

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Description: On the most famous pod racing track in the world a dramatic showdown between a Muay TIE Fighter, a Mandalorian (not a Storm Trooper) and a Jedi takes place. Thrill to family drama! Marvel at people waving sharp objects at each other! Admire the cranium-preserving power of helmet technology! And see who emerges victorious in a battle that critics are calling "scandalously revealing in places" and "in need of a higher special effects budget".

Why does it have to be such a hot day?

Ichika didn't know the first thing about Star Wars. Her pop culture knowledge is EXTREMELY limited, and though seh was vaguely aware of the franchise - who could avoid knowing at least the term Jedi and Force and so on - she hadn't actually seen any of the movies. She'd tried to watch some of them, but she'd gotten very confused, and there were nine of them. Nine! And then TV series and things! She didn't have time to become a Star Wars expert and figure out what she should do properly, so she'd chickened out and gone for what she thought was a pretty safe bet.

And at first blush it's not too bad. Rey's outfit is just white robes, more or less. Her hair tied back. She'd drawn the line at the producer's suggestion that she could spraypaint her sword, but she had let them attach a device to the hilt that makes it go 'phwoom' when she waves it around. She could deal with that.

What she hadn't given any thought to at all is the wider implication. Pacing back and forth next to the tracks of the 'pod racing' circuit, dressed as the character with arguably the most baggage about her family in the entire series, Ichika is already muttering to herself.

"... really need to make it clear before we begin, no issues, love and support, mff, this is so embarrassing, why do they have to keep bringing it up?!"

She's sweltering, the robes are surprisingly heavy, her katana keeps making silly noises when she turns around too fast, and she needs to try and set the record straight - all of that to deal with, and she's meant to concentrate on her fighting too?!

Making her way through the crowd at the side of the Mos Espa Grand Arena pod racer coaster ride comes a figure wearing a skintight black synthetic-fabric jumpsuit and a black masked helmet with silver Imperial iconography, the helmet's ventilators hooked up to a control panel of sorts attached to the chest by a black plastic vest. A silver-buckled belt wraps around the outfit's waist, and on hands and feet are matching pairs of black faux-leather gloves and boots. The more invested fans of the Star Wars series might recognize it as a somewhat sexied-up Galactic Civil War-era Imperial TIE Fighter's flight gear - at least, the flight suit itself appears to be a fair bit tighter than regulation size. Perched on the pilot's shoulder is a Thai bearcat with a ruddy cloth wrap tied loosely around its head in the style of the iconic Ewok from Return of the Jedi.

The binturong, agitated by the change to its usual headwear, starts to crawl over its pilot pal's helmet.

"Oh, chill out, Morgie - I mean, Wicket!" a chirpy-yet-muffled Chelsea accent comes from inside the helmet as its wearer places her hands on either side of the headgear and starts to stumble. Apparently they're such a die-hard cosplayer that they've even put on an authentic posh English accent for their Imperial character.

Eventually, though, having made her way to the area around the roller coaster platform that's been sectioned off for the competitors, the girl unplugs the tubes connected to her chest gear and pulls off the helmet, revealing a panting and slightly sweaty Constance Coalbridge with a moderate case of purple helmet hair. She surrenders the helmet to Morgie, who carries it down her back to the ground and starts to roll around inside the overturned headpiece.

"So, how do you like it?" she asks anyone who's listening - likely including Ichika - as she does a quick twirl and a little hip-shake, looking pleased with herself. "Oh, here, one sec."

She pulls the gloves that she's wearing off, revealing a pair of padded, fingerless ones underneath, before bending down to pull her feet from her boots one at a time, the stretched seat of her suit scarcely sustaining the strain. Once they're out, her feet are revealed to be wrapped underneath in black kickboxing footwear, leaving the toes and heels exposed.

Coco straightens up before raising one knee and both hands up in a classic kickboxing pose for the cameras.

"I'm a Muay TIE Fighter pilot. Isn't it clever?" she asks exuberantly. Whether she's a superfan who came up with the pun herself or a complete noob who was delighted by a suggestion from someone who actually knows the series isn't immediately clear...

"Oh! Are you Luke Skywalker?"

...until she starts inquiring about Ichika's outfit.

"Do they have swords in Star Wars? Is that why they call them Jedi Knights?"

Kenzo for his part decides to come in with a non-canon but still Star Wars influenced costume. Chest plate in dark cyan and light cyan outlines, dark gray pauldrons with a stripe of the same dark cyan color, dark gray bracers and leg armor. His black body suit under all of that. The main piece of his costume is the dark gray Mandalorian helmet with visor in a black 'T' with dark cyan outlining the visor and light cyan on the outer edge. To further mark the Mandalorian helmet as his own, he has light cyan lightning bolts at an angle mirroring each other about an inch from each other just above the 'T' of his visor.

Sure the Manadalorian costume was too easy but it was the best one that both gave him a visor for his combat spec readouts as well as an excuse to wear multiple weapons. Speaking of, there's a kusari-gama coiled at his hip as well as a war fan tucked in his belt.

Upon seeing the other two fighters he performs a bow to the other two.

"No matter the results, I want to be able to say that we've all done the best we could out here. May the best fighter win."

"A-ah... Coalbridge-san..."

Ichika is broken out of whatever new world of stress she has gotten herself locked into by the arrival of the exuberant fighter. She stares at the costume. The pun. It's... it's definitely something. "That, really is impressive." She says, "You gave it a lot more thought than I did... I, think this character is called Ray? I know she has a laser sword. Ah, I'm sorry, I don't... know an awful lot else."

Coco really doesn't seem to care about their last run-in. She'd been so sure that she'd hold a grudge over the whole Captain Morgan situation. Even Captain Morgan seems a lot more interested in playing with the helmet than judging her for her past inadequacies. That's... a good thing, isn't it? She definitely didn't want people to be mad at her.

When Kenzo arrives, she can't help but smile. Of course, he'd choose the costume which gave him the most tactical advantage. She doubted that armour was as functional as it looked, but it was certainly going to offer more protection than the cloth robe she was wearing. As expected of a Justice High graduate.

She bows deeply to Kenzo, "A-ah, as you say, Kuroiwa-san. I have been looking forward to the opportunity to meet you. I apologise, though, I need to do one thing before we begin."

And with that she walks right up to the nearest camera, and addresses it directly.

"Before today's match I, Kasumoto Ichika, have a small personal announcement I would like to make." She says, voice incredibly stiff and formal. "Despite what the commentators on my matches have said, I do not have any family troubles! My father is a loving man who only has eyes for his wife! My mother works hard to provide me with support! I do not have Mommy OR Daddy issues! The Kasumoto household is a very stable one which is under no pressure whatsoever, thank you!!"

She's gone very red by the time she finishes talking. She... might actually be naive enough to think that making such a clarification will in any way lessen the speculation that has been running rampant. Doubly so that she's done it in the costume of someone famous for their desperate need for parental validation which they never got. Even if she is completely unaware of that fact herself.

She turns back to the other two, and repeats the bow, placing one hand on the hilt of her katana. "Apologies, but, that was going to weigh on me otherwise."

"Oh, amazing!" comes Coco's commentary as Kenzo arrives in his Mandalorian armour, her stance relaxing as she turns her body slightly to survey his attire. Meanwhile, the helmet she was previously wearing has managed to become right and starts scurrying away backwards across the ground with a fluffy grey tail trailing between the detached ventilation tubes. "You must be Kenzo! You're a storm trooper, right? That means we're on the same side! Not that it counts in this match, probably." There's a hint of hope that she can somehow deflect aggression based on the lore that she clearly has very little comprehension of lingering in Coco's voice as she turns to balance her facing between the two and shifts back into her own corner of the triangle that naturally forms between them next to the track.

"I suppose I can try my best. But, like, I would prefer to finish the fight with all my limbs and face intact. It's a bonus round, right, guys?"

She smiles promptingly at the other pair, before listening as Ichika speaks, her face going slightly pale at the outburst. Isn't this the kind of thing best said on a Beat on Hitter or something?

"Oh, totally. If anybody wants to judge somebody's parents, they can judge mine. Bloody poshos," she declares with disdain. "Or was that meant to be in-character? In which case, go Empire! Woowoo!"

She poses with a fist raised in support of galactic subjugation and xenophobia before dropping down into a loose boxing stance.

"Right. Are we ready to get started, then?"

COMBATSYS: Kenzo has started a fight here on the top side.

                 [ |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Kenzo            0|-------|-------

COMBATSYS: Coco has joined the fight here on the right meter side.

                 [ |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Kenzo            0|-------|-------
                                  >  //////////////////////////////]
                                  |-------\-------\0             Coco

As pleased as he was to meet Ichika in person, the speech gives the college aged shinobi pause. As she keeps going, the tech ninja tilts his helmeted head. Oh no. He doesn't think this is going to end well for Ichika. Daddy/Mommy issues. In fact, this looks like a PR nightmare. Probably best that he stays quiet on this one.

As for Coco, well she makes a comment on his costume. A Stormtrooper? Nope.

"No. I'm a Mandalorian. A bounty hunter or mercenary."

Then the 'Muay Tie Fighter' makes her displeasure with her parents known. Yeah... He's not touching that subject with either end of his kusari-gama. It's a relief when Coco, takes her stance and he does the same. The official indicates that match has begun and he quick draws his war fan and swats at her torso with the closed fan before leaping away as he opens it then taking on a more defensive stance.

No doubt Ichika's tutors at Justice High - especially the ones who try to prepare the future Super Elite to deal with the press - will be watching open-mouthed with horror as she completely botches her first real test. Softball interviews are one thing. But she definitely just torpedo'd her own public image. Even more tragic, the girl really seems to think that now she's cleared up the situation, that'll be the end of it. Ah, the innocent folly of youth...

"It may just be a bonus round, Coalbridge-san, but we must still give each other the best fight we can. I won't hold back."

When Kenzo initiates the combat Ichika purses her lips. Hm. This IS very different to the one on one fights she's done so far. The girl tries her best to think about every possibility in a fight, but that's challenging enough when there's only one person to contend with. With two? It doesn't take her long to realise that the number of possible variables has grown exponentially. It's not going to be easier for her to chart a course to victory through this...

She draws her sword, and the soundbox does the traditional *tsssssh-vrrr* noise. She swings it once. *phwoom*. Twice. *phwoom*. She sighs. This is going to make it impossible to go for her first instinct and try to take people by surprise when they are already dealing with an attack.

Nevertheless. She has to get into the fight, and pressing Coco seems like a logical opening move, so she comes running in, twirling the blade maybe a little bit more than she normally would so it keeps making that *phwoom-phwoom-phwoom* noise, and then she brings it down in an overhead swipe, aiming to catch Coco from the left.

Okay the sound effects might be silly and impractical but they ARE also fun.

COMBATSYS: Ichika has joined the fight here on the left meter side.

                 [ ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Kenzo            0|-------|-------
[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Ichika           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Coco

COMBATSYS: Coco just-defends Kenzo's Reaction Strike!

                 [ ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Kenzo            0|-------|-------
[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Ichika           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Coco

COMBATSYS: Coco dodges Ichika's Medium Strike.

                 [ ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Kenzo            0|-------|-------
[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Ichika           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Coco

Kenzo's clarification has Coco nodding along obliviously.

"Oh, so you go after naughty people for money? Suppose I'd better be on my best behaviour, then," she says lightly with a wink. Apparently her levity doesn't spare her the aggro from the honourable Mandalorian warrior, though, as the war fan soon comes swiftly swatting toward her torso. Her gloved hands bat away the fan, the business end of the weapon bouncing off of the faux-leather knuckle guards as Coco retreats with a startled wideness in her eyes at the zeal of the strike.

"B-but!" she protests with the beginnings of a pout forming on her face before the sound of a deadly *phwoom* near her left side warns her of her further impending peril. She ducks and shifts forward, the sword slicing into the fabric of her flight suit to trace a hair-thin line along her hip. The posh purple-haired pugilist pivots to put the pair back in perpendicular positioning, her body facing the space between.

"Right, then. I guess I'll do my best, if you insist!"

She turns her focus on Ichika for the time being, her eyes watching the blade with thinly-veiled trepidation as she moves closer, throwing out a quick jab with her left hand before faking with her right leg into a switch kick with her left leg at Ichika's right side. As she throws the kick, the thin laceration in the black fabric of her skintight flight suit widens in a flash of white beneath. Surely nothing worse will come of this.

With no attack incoming, the Mandalorian ninja snaps his war fan closed and sheathes it before uncoiling his weighted chain, spinning it. He hangs back for a moment to observe Ichika with her lightkatana and Coco with her switch kick. At the moment there wasn't much information to be gained just yet.

"I guess it is agreed then."

It is at that point that Kenzo goes on the offensive switching his target to the swordwoman. His entire body spins as he swings the weight at the same height as Ichika's torso but the weight doesn't connect. With another spin, the weight goes to smash the leg with the second swing being the real attack. He then draws the weight back and whirls the weight at his side.

COMBATSYS: Coco successfully hits Ichika with Pina Collider.
- Power hit! -

                 [ ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Kenzo            0|-------|-------
[     \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////////  ]
Ichika           0/-------/---====|=------\-------\0             Coco

COMBATSYS: Ichika dodges Kenzo's Fierce Strike.

                 [ ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Kenzo            0|-------|-------
[     \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////////  ]
Ichika           0/-------/---====|=------\-------\0             Coco

Ichika's eyes widen just a little when she sees how skillfully Coco deals with two attacks at the same time. The sword came close, but even with Kenzo's fan adding to the pressure, she wasn't able to make contact. A tiny part of Ichika's brain nags at her that the partygoer got much, much further in the competition than she did - could it be that she's really outclassed?

No. Of course not. She gives a firm nod when Coco affirms that she will do her best. "I do. We can't help each other grow if we aren't-"

Serious, is what she was going to say, but the jab breaks up her flow. Bringing up her sword to try and block it, the punch SMACKS into the fingers wrapped around her guard and she hisses. It's okay though, she can see the right kick com-


The girl is lifted bodily from her feet by the force of the impact, rolls, and lands on her knees as Kenzo advances.

"T-tch, this is, not good." She mutters. Faced, again, with a weapon-user whose range far exceeds her own. With her head still jumbled from the initial kick it's all she can do to hop back from Kenzo's feint, and then a second time for the 'real' attack. Trying to keep up with everything here... it's going to be tough!

"Haa, so that's how it's going to be, is it? Alright."

And with that, Ichika runs forwards, staring down Kenzo the entire way... only to leap into the air at the last moment, and flip herself up and over the taller man. At the apex of her flight she SLASHES the sword down towards Coco, and a wave of bright blue energy tears from the edge of the blade, burning towards her from above.

COMBATSYS: Ichika successfully hits Coco with Illumination Wave EX.

                 [ ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Kenzo            0|-------|-------
[     \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////      ]
Ichika           0/-------/-----==|====---\-------\0             Coco

A flurry of feints flies freely from foe to foe as the trio take shots at each other. Coco's left leg lands against Ichika's side as the Justice student becomes the object of aggression, forced to weather the storm that Coco had moments earlier been caught up in. The purple-haired party girl permits herself a small smile of self-assurance at the feat. She did a kick at a girl with a laser sword, and it worked! Maybe now everyone (especially a certain Irish brawler) will take her a little more seriously. Not to mention, the flightsuit is proving more flexible than she had expected. Kicking had been tricky in the two minutes or so she'd spent practicing before coming out, but it had totally worked just now. Plus, there's that lovely bit of breeze that's just come on.

"I feel like I should have brought a weapon," she muses aloud as she makes the potential mistake of backing off from the melee while Ichika Skywalker and Kenzo Fett start to dance around each others' attacks. She hesitates in looking for an opening, and she's just about to step in opportunistically toward Kenzo's back when Ichika deals yet another feint - this time, sending a laser sword slash slicing through the air in her direction!

"Whoa! Tricksy!"

She drops down, using her recently-practiced yoga expertise to try and duck under the wave of energy, but miscalculates the angle, and the burning blue chi slices down across the soft faux-leather vest holding her chestgear in place and further down the spine of her suit, scorching through the synthetic material and scalding the skin beneath.

"Ow! Bloody hell!" Coco complains outwardly, inwardly rueing her own lack of talent or experience in manifesting such marvelous energy.

While she's down there, though, she decides she might as well try and deliver a low kick to Kenzo's legs, balancing on her hands and her left leg as she snaps her right out toward his calves to try and sweep him off his feet. She's too distracted to notice the subtle *riiipp* coming from the suit as the hole along her outer hip is stretched by the extreme extensions she's putting it through. At least it's not too close to joining forces with the newly-formed hole down her lower back.

Speaking of a certain Irish brawler, he's slipped into the venue fresh from his successful semi-final fight. Well, not straight from there. If he had come directly from the Fightfest stage, he'd be anything but fresh. He's taken the time to stop by the Hotel Southtown and have a wash and pull on a t-shirt with his worn blue jeans and sneakers. The t-shirt is dark grey in colour and has gold lettering reading 'Rebel Scum' above four diagnonal stripes of yellow, orange, light red and dark red. Below these 'Since 1977' is added in the same colour text. To complete the look, he's currently got a helmet wearing bearcat sitting comfortably on his lap.

As the two fellas watch the purple haired posh girl have her slinky suit scorched, Hawksley calls out to her "Loving the costume, Coco. Especially the bits that aren't there."

COMBATSYS: Kenzo dodges Coco's Medium Kick.

                 [ ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Kenzo            0|-------|-------
[     \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////      ]
Ichika           0/-------/-----==|====---\-------\0             Coco

The Mandalorian mercenary takes a step back as he continues to whirl his weighted chain around with an eye on the other combatants. While his attack didn't land true he still was getting information out of the exchanges. He takes a moment to note that Coco was moving to his rear. With Ichika attacking her however, it gave him the opportunity to reposition.

"It was a bit of a surprise to see a couple of weapon users go up against a non-weapon user."

Coco is still down there and as she attempts to sweep the legs, Kenzo flips up and over the extended leg with a ripping sound coming from her. He was glad that a large portion of his costume utilized his combat suit. Risk of wardrobe malfunction was greatly reduced.

"Yikes! I hope you don't have to return that."

With Coco up close and personal, he doesn't have room swing the weighted chain part of his weapon and he slashes with the sickle right towards her stomach to encourage her to give him some more space.

Ichika allows herself a small smile when her attack lands true. The blast of chi is up there with the most impressive things she can do; it's something that demands a lot of her 'spirit' as she's starting to think of it. The ebb and flow of battle was a fascinating thing, even if the chaos that inevitably arises with the addition of a third participant is making it a lot harder for her to build a clear plan than she would like. Actually trying to wing things, well... that, hasn't gone swimmingly for her in the past, but what can she do here but respond?

Her thoughts are interrupted by the heckling from Hawksley. She knows that voice! And drawing attention to that sort of thing... "Tch, unpleasant." She mutters, and maybe that's why she decides on the course of action she does. Every instinct she has tells her that Coco is the real danger here; the way she moved in the opening exchanges was intimidating, and her side still throbs...

But she doesn't want Coco to suffer too badly for the intervention of the crowd, so after spinning with a menacing *phwoom* from her sword, the girl leaps back into the fray. Kenzo's sickle is going for Coco...

That makes it the perfect opportunity for her to roll across the ground and come up with a twirling *phwoom* as she aims to slice a neat cut down Kenzo's flank and get behind him, hoping to keep him from backing up.

"Coalbridge-san went much further than we did, Kuroiwa-san. Honestly... she is the one to beat, here, weapon or no."

So why is she going for him?! Pure illogic.

COMBATSYS: Coco blocks Kenzo's Medium Strike.

                 [ ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Kenzo            0|-------|-------
[      \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////        ]
Ichika           0/-------/------=|======-\-------\0             Coco

The sound of the Irish accent cutting through the noise from the crowd reaches Coco's ears as she rises from her crouching kick. She doesn't have time to look toward the source of the commentary; after all, she's got a kusarigama, a war fan, and a laser katana to contend with at the moment. "What are you on about, Lucky?!" she calls out, a vague awareness starting to form as another gentle breeze cools her left side more than her right. Then comes Kenzo's quip on top, and Coco's blue-grey eyes dart curiously downward and she cocks her hip to get a better view of the situation. "Oh, fudge," she squeaks, before quickly shifting the protective part of her gloves to intercept the sickle slicing toward her stomach. The diverted blade does manage to deliver a small, stinging slash to her right side, leaving a light graze across the skin and causing further cosmetic carnage as another tear opens in the suit.

"I only made it to the second round, thanks to that numpty!" she remarks in response to Ichika talking her up as the threat in their triple-threat match. Rather than shifting her attention, she presses further on Kenzo, feinting with a low knee to try and drop his defense to a position where she can catch hold of his upper left arm with her right hand. As she does, she'd swiftly pivot her right side toward him and snap her right elbow over his guard at his helmet - intending to daze him for a moment.

"Let's all ignore any wardrobe malfunctions, please!" she'd request as she'd follow up the elbow by swinging her hips hard at Kenzo's center of gravity in an attempt to knock him over - and causing both the windows on her right side and left leg to creep a little further with the sharp hip movements. It looks, at least, like she's got a bikini on under the outfit, judging by the purple strap over her waist.

COMBATSYS: Ichika successfully hits Kenzo with Artful Slash.

                 [      |||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Kenzo            0|-------|-----==
[      \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////          ]
Ichika           0/-------/-----==|=====--\-------\0             Coco

COMBATSYS: Kenzo blocks Coco's Tiki Bongo.

                 [         ||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Kenzo            0|-------|----===
[      \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////          ]
Ichika           0/-------/-----==|=======\-------\0             Coco

If one were to ask Kenzo, he'd say that attacking him was perfectly logical. Up to that point before Ichika took a swing at him, Kenzo hasn't had an attack land on him. Unfortunately, she and Coco both do what he would consider logical and attack him.

The slash on his flank opens up a gash in his suit and the skin under it as well as taking out a chunk out of his chest plate. With Ichika cutting off his retreat, he has no choice but to hunker down. He's immediately grabbed and he brings his arm up to block the elbow to the head. He felt that through his bracer. After that, he does get knocked over, but he manages to convert it into a roll. He rises back to his feet close to where Ichika was standing.

With him being in close proximity to the swordwoman, he attempts to wrap his arms around Ichika's waist and leaps into the air then flips backwards to drive Ichika head first into the ground.

COMBATSYS: Ichika blocks Kenzo's Izuna Drop.

                 [          |||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Kenzo            0|-------|---====
[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////          ]
Ichika           0/-------/---====|=======\-------\0             Coco

"Nevertheless. You've proved yourself in the heat of battle."

Ichika isn't entirely certain what a 'numpty' is, but she doesn't have long to worry about it. There's some sympathy towards Kenzo as he, too, struggles to fend off both other competitors at once. This is really taxing, and she doesn't feel great about it when she's the one taking advantage of the odds - she liked it even less when she was on the receiving end.

She finds herself grabbed, and does the only thing she can think to do - as Kenzo tries to leap into the air, she stabs! Not into him, but into the support strut of the rollercoaster they are fighting under. There's a horrifying splintering of wood, and if her parental issues earlier had caused a social media storm that's going to be NOTHING compared to the sword fanatics who watch her cling on to her blade for dear life and risk actually *bending* it in the frantic need NOT to be launched into the air. Luckily, when she yanks it back free of the wood, it doesn't LOOK any worse for wear.

"Haa... nice try, that was close." She huffs as she recovers her grip...

And rolls! The girl's speedy, maybe she's been practicing those gym moves lately. When she rises, it's with a little hop, aiming to take herself all the way past Kenzo, past Coco, and then twist to stab the evil agent of the empire in the back, at the full extent of her reach, with as much distance between herself and everyone else as possible.

You know. Like a hero would.

COMBATSYS: Coco blocks Ichika's Innovation Drive EX.

                 [          |||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Kenzo            0|-------|---====
[         \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////           ]
Ichika           0/-------/---====|=======\-------\1             Coco

The purple-haired Muay TIE pilot manages to deliver her combination to Kenzo, even if the hip-check proves mostly harmless, creating a moment for herself to catch her breath and assess the damage that's been dealt to her person - and, more importantly, her outfit. Her bare fingertips furtively trace the lines around her exposed skin as she frowns. "Oh, the Emperor is going to think I'm so naughty," she says in a fit of roleplay, likely alienating and titillating the Star Wars fans in the crowd in equal parts.

(The truth is, she isn't even roleplaying on purpose. She's more concerned with what her Muay Thai hero, whom she's totally sure is going to be one of the participating sponsors, is going to think of her.)

Ichika comes tumbling past her, instantly pulling Coco back to her present peril, and the kickboxer twists faster than even she realised that she could, whipping her upper body around to redirect the thrusting tip from her back as she arches it out of the way. The effort proves too much even for the yoga-loving young lady's flexible frame, though, causing her to grimace as something in her lower back twists too far, firing pain up through her spine. The twisting, of course, also causes the split on her left side to peel up her abdomen.

"Oh, bollocks!" she seethes through clenched teeth, before reversing the twist to leap into a swift, hard roundhouse kick aimed at Ichika's upper body in retaliation.

Not able to maintain his grip on Ichika, he ends up landing in a handstand before bounding out of it and on to his feet. After that, he can only watch as Ichika stabs and runs from them. Coco manages to twist away but it goes too far. Kenzo for his part, tilts his head away as if silently cringing in sympathetic pain due to seeing those readouts.(He is.)

With Coco responding with a roundhouse kick to the upper body, Kenzo sees an opportunity to take advantage of.

The shinobi leaps forward as he attempts to hook the sickle in Coco's boot in an attempt to yank her grounded foot from under her and put her on her back.

COMBATSYS: Coco successfully hits Ichika with Diving Kick.
Glancing Blow

                 [         ||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Kenzo            0|-------|---====
[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////           ]
Ichika           0/-------/-======|=======\=------\1             Coco

Ichika's throws herself to the side, but she's still caught on the shoulder by the kick. Even that light contact is enough to draw a hiss of pain from her. Coco might be worried about Ichika's sword, but Ichika has been forced to respect those kicks of hers; both of them have hurt a lot! With her shoulder and her side now both stinging and Kenzo working hard to draw Coco's attention with that kusarigama of his, the girl raises her sword.

She breathes in.

She breathes out.

Her feet dig into the ground beneath her and those sharp, watchful eyes of hers take in both opponents. "I hope this is what you had both hoped for." She says, "Trying to deal with you both at the same time... it's making my head hurt, but I think I'm starting to see how I can find a path to victory..."

She's really NOT good at knowing the right thing to say, huh?

COMBATSYS: Ichika focuses on her next action.

                 [         ||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Kenzo            0|-------|---====
[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////           ]
Ichika           0/-------/-======|=======\=------\1             Coco

COMBATSYS: Kenzo successfully hits Coco with Weapon Trip.
- Power hit! -

                 [         ||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Kenzo            0|-------|---====
[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////               ]
Ichika           0/-------/-======|=======\====---\1             Coco

It's not a clean connection as Coco's foot collides with Ichika's shoulder, but her ability to batter a high school student remains reassuring to the young lady pilot.

At least for the microseconds between her heel finding partial purchase and the shinobi's sickle sweeping the sole she subsequently lands on off of the floor, her swinging foot still descending as he does so.


She hits the deck hard on her back with a *WHUMP*, the impact reverberating through her shoulder blades and hips before her head *CLONKS* back audibly against the concrete and drowns out the pain signals from her other parts with its own throbbing delivered directly to her seat of consciousness.

"That hurt," Coco complains, as if something out of line with the mandate of the martial match has aggrieved her. Rubbing her head as she rolls away from the other two fighters and onto all fours, she reaches back to rub her sore tailbone with a grimace - *THWWWP* - inadvertently triggering the tenuously separated centers of distress on her lower back and left hip to unionize, the synthetic fabric giving in to turn the immodesty porthole into a bay window for half of her backside as it rolls away to the inner arches of her back and thigh. Fortunately, but perhaps inadequately, a pearlescent purple thong clearly purposed for poolside averts total disaster.

At this point, as much pride as she takes in her personal appearance, even the purple-haired party girl turns a little pink in the cheeks. She scrambles with impressive haste (even for an Imperial fighter pilot) to her feet, sucking in air as she makes a quick tug to cinch the previously-ornamental belt around her waist a size or two tighter in hopes of creating a tourniquet for her flightsuit.

"Nothing to be embarrassed about," she argues back audibly against her inner monologue, "Sorted."

Her eyes shift toward where she last heard Hawksley crowing at her from, anticipating further commentary, which is when she finally spots that Captain Morgan is captive in the County Cork native's clutches.

"What the <bleep>?! Hands off my bearcat, Lucky!"

The bearcat chuckles happily as it lays on its back in the upside-down helmet on Hawksley's lap, content to play with the Irishman. Incensed, Coco turns her attentions back to the fight, resuming her stance and raising her fists with a more determined look than before, her ire seeming to light a fire in her.

COMBATSYS: Coco gains composure.

                 [         ||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Kenzo            0|-------|---====
[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////            ]
Ichika           0/-------/-======|=======\===----\1             Coco

The good news is that he managed to hook the purple haired fighter pilot's foot setting her up for a nasty fall. In fact it was a nastier fall than he was even planning. Good news for a specific demographic is that Coco's wardrobe somehow finds a way to get worse.

Kenzo hangs back, watching Ichika get her mind right and Coco attempting to rectify her fashion issues as well as yelling at Hawksley. This presents a problem. Neither of his opponents are attacking which means there's nothing to take advantage of.

After a moment of deliberation he turns towards Ichika. He can't help but think that it is a trap but mentioning that she sees how she can find the path to victory was just begging to be addressed.

From far away, he charges his kusari-gama with electrical chi and sends it flying towards her to wrap it around her. Should he get that initial wrap around, he pulls her towards him so he can follow up with an electrically charged slash with the sickle end of the weapon.

COMBATSYS: Ichika fails to interrupt Lightning Snare from Kenzo with Bleeding Edge.

                 [          |||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Kenzo            0|-------|---====
[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////            ]
Ichika           0/-------/-----==|=======\===----\1             Coco

Ah, Ichika and her clever plans.

Seeing Coco essentially do what she did and take a breather, she only has to worry about Kenzo. The pair are on a very similar wavelength here - he targeting her meant that she only had to respond to his attack, and she's been paying attention to that kusarigama. She doubts she's seen everything, but she gets the basic gist. He stabs or winds it about you, pulls you around with it - she can use that.

Excitement is already boiling up inside her at the thought. When he unleashes his attack and she's correct, she lets it flow out of her. Those eyes of hers spark with intensity, and brilliant blue light erupts around her. The chain wraps tight around the sudden shell of chi that she manifested in answer to his own, and she grins. "Yes! An excellent yose, Kuroiwa-san, but--"

And then the chain tightens, the electrical power imbuing the weapon somehow helping it cut through her barrier as she is yanked bodily off her feet. This is, only partly what she wanted - the momentum is there but, her clever armour gambit is cracking!


Hauled faster than she had expected, the girl is clumsy and off-balance in her effort to twist her sword around and up. The corkscrew cut she attempts is off-target. Kenzo's sickle punches through the last of that cracking aura, shattering the blue chi entirely in a shower of sparks and cutting a slash across her shoulder. Getting through all that power of hers had significantly blunted the attack but -- she'd thrown away a lot of resources in that endeavour, and all she had to show for it was a spreading stain across the shoulder of her robe.

"... I really thought I had you, tch... as expected of a Super Elite ..."

Hawksley can't help but laugh at Coco's flirty antics for the fans. Captain Morgan joins in the chuckling, his helmet wobbling in the process. As more of the bearcat's owner is revealed, the Irishman makes a show of covering the animal's eyes with one of his own rough hands.

The brash brawler can't help but enjoy the violence on display. His three colleagues are putting on a grand show for those watching and the sun is blazing down, which always helps.

"Go on fella!" he enthusiastially encourages Kenzo, as the schoolboy sinks his sickle into the British babe's boot and sends her flying to the floor, where she ends up flat on her back.

"Nice to know you matched your knickers to your hair" he calls to Coco, as she rises up and reveals her thong.

When she finally notices he's in possession of her precious pet, he uses his own hand to get the binturong to wave at his mammy. "He's lovely and comfy here" the man protests, as the kickboxer kicks up a fuss.

Sitting forward in his seat, his dark eyes flash with excitement as the brilliant blue light surrounds Ichika. "Well would you look at that" he murmurs to Morgy.

Sadly for the schoolgirl her plan fails to execute perfectly. "Nice try, Cailin" he shouts out, sending his sympathy her way.

With the weapon wielders of Justice serving as mutual focal points of violence, breathing space is bought for the bikini-brandishing battle-babe, who seems uncertain for a moment as to whom is deserving of the wrath she's preparing to unleash, simmering silvery eyes shifting between the two fighters. Kenzo seems to be getting the better of the latest exchange, and in Coco's mind, that makes giving the shinobi chap a proper bludgeoning literally fair do's. Besides, it's easier to feel comfortable battering someone when they're wearing a face-concealing helmet; it's probably the Empire's biggest fashion faux pas. Sure, it's menacing, but everyone knows Stormtroopers are basically guilt-free murder.

Plus, she can imagine it's Hawksley's face behind that mask.

"Hey, over here!" the rampaging Coco warns as she lunges from Kenzo's left with a snap jab into a right cross toward his helmet. From there she'll raise both gloves to the sides of her head as if posing and running her fingers through her hair, only to advance into Kenzo, swinging each elbow toward his head as she twists and pivots with each step. If allowed to continue her assault unabated, she'll proceed to grab Kenzo by the upper arms and force him double into a clinch, driving her knees mercilessly into his head one after the other.

Releasing Kenzo from the clinch to let him presumably reel from the onslaught, she would then turn around toward the crowd, delivering a fierce glare to a certain Irishman and cupping her hands to shout, "It's not my knickers, you wanker! It's a -swimsuit!!-"

As if emphasizing her point, she would then thrust her hips up with a backward hop, aiming to smash the seat of her swimsuit into Kenzo's helmet as a surprisingly fierce finishing blow.

COMBATSYS: Coco successfully hits Kenzo with Full Moon Party.

                 [                      |||||||| ]
                 Kenzo            0|-------|---====
[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////            ]
Ichika           0/-------/-----==|>>>>---\-------\0             Coco

He's a mercenary! He is not a Stormtrooper. He is not Empire. He could in theory be hired by the Empire but he is not specifically Empire. Of course that clarification is never made since accusations of being a Stormtrooper hasn't been voiced since the beginning when he already clarified it.

Anyway, Kenzo isn't given much time to enjoy the success from his attack on Ichika before he hears Coco announce her attack. His readouts in his helmet scream out the level of danger he's in right before those elbows connect with his head. Over and over he gets bashed before he gets pulled into a clinch to get bashed by knees. To add injurious insult to injury, he gets knocked off his feet.

He slowly rises to his feet. At first he considers taking a moment to gather himself but he realizes he won't have the time to. He takes a few steps towards the two women before he suddenly turns towards Ichika as he pulls out his closed war fan and uses it to hook it behind her knee to lift one leg and then uses his leg to trip her down to ground. At this point, he has to play for time and stall until he can manuever himself into a situation where he can get off a strong attack.

COMBATSYS: Kenzo successfully hits Ichika with Quick Throw.

                 [                     ||||||||| ]
                 Kenzo            0|-------|--=====
[                  \\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////            ]
Ichika           0/-------/---====|>>>>---\-------\0             Coco

Ichika watches the pummeling Coco gives Kenzo with an open mouth. "And she was worried about my sword." She murmurs softly. The amount of kicks right to his *head* that the poor guy just endured is really something. The fact that he's able to get up again after she knocks him down so thoroughly is impressive in its own right. That he then continues his assault against her... well... perhaps she takes that a little personally.

Her attempt to step over the fan fails and she winds up hitting the ground hard. Her teeth grind together as - once again - all her clever plans are falling apart around her. She's pretty sure Hawksley just called her some sort of horrendous name in a horribly sarcastic fashion, too. She'd have to try and look up what it meant when she got home.

"This is getting troublesome." She mutters, on her back, looking up at the sky and the fun ride she could have been enjoying if she were a normal kid. Ah well. No time to linger on that.

"Time for the inelegant finish, I suppose."

And with that she hops back to her feet and locks eyes with Kenzo. Her jaw clenched, she advances, swinging the blade in a series of loose, flourishing slashes - aiming not to strike with any particular depth, but instead finish him off with a thousand (or at least, maybe half a dozen) cuts.


Coco ends up rubbing her exposed seat in the aftermath of her attack on the Mandalorian mercenary. That helmet was definitely more solid than she gave forethought to. Not to mention the crick in her lower spine that hasn't quite gone away yet. The costume department almost certainly won't be wanting her outfit back at this point.

She's surprised to realise that she's had the luxury of self-awareness of her injuries as she looks abruptly over her shoulder, then turns around to face the entangled Justice duo. Kenzo isn't down for the count, and Ichika looks to be in similar shape. Whichever one of the pair she attacks, it's going to look like she's ganging up, at this point, which is definitely going to make her feel like a meanie.

Well, she did just beat the helmet out of one of them.

"Alright, Ichika!" she shouts in warning, apparently still not completely comfortable with opportunistic attacks as she moves to try and grab the girl from behind while her sword is being swung in the other direction and pull her around into a clinch. If she manages to do so, she'll swing both legs up to try and hook around the schoolgirl's waist before rolling sideways through the air to slam Ichika down to the ground. If successful, she'll start to rain down punch after punch with her padded black gloves, throwing in elbows left and right amidst the volley to try and destroy her defense and ultimately take her down.

Should she establish the mounted grounding and pounding, a single battlecry would accompany the battering: "So sorry, babes!"

COMBATSYS: Kenzo endures Ichika's Quick Strike.

                 [                          |||| ]
                 Kenzo            0|-------|=======
[                  \\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Ichika           0/-------/---====|=------\-------\0             Coco

"If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine."

He doesn't care if it was a jedi who said it. He just cares about making that statement true. Well that and making Coco pay for that severe beatdown that she gave him. When Ichika delivers the death by a half-dozen cuts, He raises arms to take the cuts with absolutely no defense put up whatsoever. Even while getting cut he is moving towards Coco even while stowing his fan.

He goes for the kusari-gama, electrified by his chi and swings out the weighted end wrapping it around her neck should he get that, he steps on the chain yanking her down to the ground. After all where the head goes, the body will follow. He then pulls on the chain to drag her closer to him before slashing her back over and over with slash after electrified slash.

He then falls over as his body then gives out on him.

COMBATSYS: Kenzo can no longer fight.

[                  \\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Ichika           0/-------/---====|=------\-------\0             Coco

COMBATSYS: Ichika blocks Coco's S.O.T.B..

[                    \\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Ichika           0/-------/=======|=------\-------\0             Coco

The warning really is very helpful.

Ichika was trying to work out what Kenzo could possibly mean with his cryptic statement when Coco gets her attention and she pirouettes on the ball of her foot. With her sword out of position there's a moment of genuine fear. She'd just seen what Coco could do if she gets you into that downed position. She doesn't want to go through that. It was brutal, comedic ending or no!

She has to stop this - she HAS to - and as her mind reels with the realisation that her body isn't quick enough to get the sword into a guard position, her spirit covers the gap.

That same bright blue energy comes flickering back into existence. It's less explosive this time; the effort is SO much greater, but it does prevent the Muay Thai Fighter from being able to down the Hope of the Resistance right away. Within her cocoon of energy, Ichika has time to get her guard up. It cracks when it impacts the ground, and some of the force does shock through her, but by the time those blows are raining in she's got her arms crossed to protect her face and upper body, and when she sees Kenzo's last, desperate attack coming in from behind the other fighter, she manages to squirm her way out from underneath what had been a truly harrowing brush with the end.

She lets Kenzo's final act play out. It would feel disrespectful to intervene in that. And it gives her a moment to wipe the sweat from her brow and - assuming Coco is still in the land of the conscious - ask the question that has been plaguing her since almost the moment the first attack was thrown.

"Coalbridge-san. If you don't mind answering a question... are you satisfied with how this has all played out?"

The consternation on Ichika's face is a cute look; a mixture of frown and pout.

COMBATSYS: Ichika gains composure.

[                 \\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Ichika           0/-------/--=====|=------\-------\0             Coco

COMBATSYS: Coco just-defends Kenzo's Deadly Electrocutioner!

[                 \\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////           ]
Ichika           0/-------/--=====|=------\-------\0             Coco

The bright blue barrier protecting Ichika is something Coco hasn't quite come to terms with, yet, but she seems happy enough to try and bash her way through it, even if she doesn't manage to secure quite the advantage she was intending with her efforts to take Ichika down. Busy as she is alternating between brutal attacks and apologies, she doesn't even quite seem to notice the ninja sneaking up behind her until she spots a reflection in Ichika's blade of the weighted end of the chain moments before it comes whipping around her throat.

Instinctively, she brings her hands up, snagging the chain with her fingers on the first revolution, before it can tighten around her neck.

"Safeword!" she shouts as she's pulled off of Ichika, bottom sliding across the concrete as friction finally separates the former single-piece flightsuit effectively into stockings and a cropped turtleneck. Fortunately for her, the fingers lodged between neck and metal keep it loose enough for her to strain against the shinobi's dominance. She's flipped over on the floor, but she manages to lift her back up, arching it as he slashes at her so that only thin ribbons are sliced from the rearward remains of her suit-top. Before he can position to guarantee his strikes, she pulls the chain wrapped 'round her neck apart and slips her head loose through the gap as she throws herself away, her purple braid catching in the closing loop and requiring an extra two-handed tug to pull free.

She whips around to face Kenzo, but, realizing he's gone down, she quickly turns back around to face Ichika, panting with exhilaration.

Then Ichika asks her question.

"What, you mean having my bottom out for everyone to see?" she asks, tilting her head as she smooths her braid and bangs. "Literally /not/ what I was expecting when I chose my costume. It was definitely way too tight for fighting, though, so maybe it was lucky after all."

She raises her gloves once more as her fingers curl into fists in front of her.

"But it's pretty fun, though, isn't it, this fighting lark? I wasn't expecting that part either. Why, are you not best pleased?"

Despite keeping it conversational, Coco doesn't hold back from continued attack; she thrusts her left foot forward in a pushing kick before following up by stepping in, jabbing her left glove at Ichika's upper body before aiming to smack her across the face with a right-handed cross, the quick combination allowing her to maintain her guard as it's thrown.

COMBATSYS: Coco successfully hits Ichika with Bloody Mary.

[                     \\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////            ]
Ichika           1/------=/=======|==-----\-------\0             Coco


Ichika repeats the phrase, frowning a little. She has no idea what that is meant to mean, either. These British people are throwing all sorts of terms around that she doesn't understand. It's, well. She's going to have to look that up later too. And with one shouted word, Coco is inadvertently responsible for making Ichika's browsing history a LOT more spicy.

She smiles thinly at the question. "Not, exactly what I meant, no." She says, regarding Coco's posterior. "I mean that I don't know if I could have beaten Kuroiwa-san without your assistance. He seemed to have me read quite easily..."

And then Coco is coming in for her, and Ichika doesn't try to defend herself in the traditional sense. For the first time, she tries to power through the attack and maintain her footing. Given how tiny the girl is... this goes about as well as one might expect. The kick lands clean, and then she's punched twice; each blow knocking her about, head whipping back. She stumbles. Blood streams down her face, and she spits to the side, raising her sword again. Ah well. Her attempt to withstand the onslaught had failed. She may as well take a step back and answer the question.

"... fun." She says, cracking her neck. "I don't know. Sometimes. Mostly I have felt as though I am learning things. But from this fight I have only questions. Regardless of which of us emerges victorious, I won't be satisfied until I have fought you both again one on one. But I promised I would give you my best. And so... I will show you the truth I have grasped with the help of Fadel-san, Buford-kun, and Chevy."

The girl's light-katana begins to glow, genuinely looking for a moment just like the iconic sword it is mimicking.


and that's all the warning that Coco gets. The blue energy has been a much more consistent element of this fight than the others, and Ichika's smile - even with blood trickling down her face - is utterly genuine. She's PROUD of this move. Whether it is enough to overcome Coco or not... well. It's her best shot.

The blade stabs downwards, into the earth, and Ichika pours her heart into the motion. The explosion of power that rolls out from the girl is a brilliant sphere; six feet across and roiling with bright blue power, it lingers for a full second before the perfect sphere fades away, leaving Ichika crouched in the centre of a ring of burned earth. Only, this time, the power around her doesn't fade after a few seconds. The glow is the dimmest it has been at any point in the fight; but it's very much there, outlining the girl in an aura of shining light.

COMBATSYS: Coco blocks Ichika's Tomorrow's World EX.

[                      \\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////                ]
Ichika           0/-------/-------|====---\-------\0             Coco

Her gloves raised high as she completes her combination, Coco keeps her guard up, pacing herself to keep from getting too gassed as the heat of the day glistens on her pale skin. She certainly hadn't considered wearing sun cream under her outfit; hopefully she'll have a chance to put some on before she ends up with awkward red stripes on her thighs and stomach for a week.

"Well, okay! I'm up for one on one sometime!" she claims, though inwardly her heart pounds even at the threat that the kenjutsu artist presents as a single opponent, even in the state of injury that Ichika currently finds herself in. Coco might even just be agreeing as an apology for the bloody state of Ichika's face, discomfort written on the English fighter's own features at the sight as she tries to put on an encouraging smile. "But if we practice, could you use a stick or someth-"

Before she can finish her thought, Coco is confronted by the explosion of blue chi. Shielding herself on reflex, she throws up both gloves and raises a knee, twisting to one side and covering her face and vitals as she protects herself as best she can from a power she still hasn't come to terms with contending against. The wave blasts her backward, burning into what remains of her flight suit and singing her hip, wreaking havoc on the fabric covering her wrists and elbows and the defending knee. She lands with a hard thud, hitting the ground on her back, only barely managing to control her head from getting knocked into the concrete once more. She draws in a deep inhalation, chest swelling, as she lays staring at the sky for a second, before exhaling, propping herself up on her now-bare elbows and pushing herself up to her feet.

"That is... so cool," she pants, her t-shirt rising and falling with each breath. She doesn't have it in her to retaliate with such an impressive assault; she's thrown almost everything she has into her opponents in the last few moments of the fight. "Maybe I can learn how to do that sort of thing, too. I've gave up on stretchy legs at this point."

That doesn't stop her from trying to show off what her legs -can- do, though - swinging her leg in a quick, high kick aimed at Ichika's face; one that demonstrates the powers of flexibility that yoga has granted her, harkening to the commentators' demands that she show she can kick high.

It's especially flashy given the current state of her attire.

COMBATSYS: Coco successfully hits Ichika with Light Kick.
~~ Alluring Hit! ~~

[                         \\\\\  < >  //////////////                ]
Ichika           0/-------/-----==|=====--\-------\0             Coco

Ichika gives a resigned little chuckle when the explosion clears and... Coco's still standing. In many ways, she reflects, the fight had gone as she predicted. Coco was the fighter to beat. She and Kenzo had expended too much of their resource trying to deal with one another. It all came down to her defensive expertise. From the effortless turning aside of their paired attacks in the very first exchange the Justice duo should have seen that they'd need something special to break through that guard.

Well. At least she knows what she is dealing with for next time. Maybe she did take a small lesson from this fight after all.

"I'm not an expert, but I would be happy to talk with you about what has worked for me." She says, "But I have to use the sword. It is the only thing that lets me compete." She gets to her feet and raises her sword back to guard position.

But she's given too much. She simply doesn't have much fight left in her. She's tired. She's hurting. And even her fighting spirit has been squeezed to the very limit. The kick snaps out and connects cleanly. Ichika stumbles back two paces, her jaw clenches... and her vision swims.

"Ah, so that's how much I can take." She muses. Her grip tightens on her sword. Both hands. And she locks eyes with Coco. There's an intensity there. She has nothing left. This is ridiculous. And yet. *AND YET*.


And with that sudden shriek - by far the loudest the subdued, contemplative girl has been all fight - she charges headlong at Coco, sword leading the way as she springs, determined to at least try and land a final blow through that terrifyingly solid defense...

COMBATSYS: Ichika can no longer fight.

                                  >  //////////////                ]
                                  |=====--\-------\0             Coco

COMBATSYS: Coco blocks Ichika's Price of Progress.

                                  >  //////////                    ]
                                  |=======\-------\1             Coco

The kick connects clean, leaving Coco standing on one foot with her other leg extended exquisitely for one shining moment as Ichika stumbles backward. A gasp rises from the crowd as the single kick seems set to settle the fight after so many brilliant exchanges: some flashy, some vicious (surprisingly, the latter mostly coming courtesy of the kickboxer - party girl or not, Muay Thai is a universally vicious style, it seems). The fact that such a show can be put on even by novices proves the potential of the prospects; this is, after all, only the start of their journey.

But fate - and Kasumoto Ichika - has one final test in store for Coco. As the purple-haired posh-apologist relaxes her leg and gulps in air, her shoulders start to relax, eyes locking with her fading opponent's.

Then, out of nowhere -


The shriek causes Coco to recoil, her muscles burning from the strain of the fight so far, protesting as she wills them to her defense, her nerves electric as the slash descends on her. Her natural instinct for self-preservation screams at her to try and sidestep, if not flee the field entirely, but something beneath the demands of the amygdala tells her to stand firm, to show faith in her training even in the face of what seems a deathseeking banshee's blade. Steeling herself, she slams her palms together, catching the blade between them. Her arms tremble as they resist, her silver gaze locked on the narrow and deadly length of metal in front of her face, until she can hold it no more, and the diverted downward slash slips down between her sweat-stained gloves to nip her sternum as it bites through the synthetic fabric of her flight top, turning what had been a t-shirt into an open jacket. As Ichika falters, so does the vestige of Coco's flightsuit, and she quickly steps backward to avoid further damage as the garment falls open to reveal a pearlescent purple halter bikini top to match the bottoms. She grimaces as a hand moves to her chest, soothing the stinging sensation in her hand and torso by pressing them against each other.

"Weapons are so nasty," she pontificates primly as she edges back from the brutally battered bodies of both her opponents, before wincing further as the fading adrenaline rush leaves the aches and injuries free reign to make her body their playground in the aftermath of the three-way. She barely notices the officiator's announcement of her victory, only seeming to register the conclusion of the match when the crowd starts to cheer.

When the realisation dawns, she smiles and takes her hands away from her chest to clap them together twice before clasping them and bouncing on her feet, applauding her opponents' performance. "Oh, jolly good show, darlings! I mean, take that, rebel scum!"

Then, in a stage whisper, she adds, "But really, you two were fantastic! That was so scary; my heart is going totally bonkers!"

COMBATSYS: Coco takes no action.

                                  >  //////////                    ]
                                  |=======\-------\1             Coco

COMBATSYS: Coco has ended the fight here.

It's the first time anyone has actually CAUGHT Ichika's sword, and that, at least, gets a delighted, shocked laugh from the girl. Of all the things to prove that her supposition about Coco's rock-solid defense was correct.

She can feel the strain she's put on her body already catching up with her. The amount she's demanded of herself is simply too much. With her body already at its limit, she'd torn deeper into her own muscles attempting to secure the power needed to breach that guard - but, no, it wasn't to be. Her grip slackens as she collapses, the soundbox on her katana somehow knowing to give a little *fssh* noise as it tumbles to the dirt and there's a little choke from the girl as she closes her eyes. She can't let all this weapon slander go unchallenged, even if she's not getting up right now.

"I suppose." She mumbles, "Not every fighter can be worthy of an elegant weapon for a more civilised age."

"Coco Pops is kicking arse, Captain" Hawksley comments to the furry creature curled up on his lap. He's been fully entertained by this thrilling fight he's been lucky enough to have witnessed. The costumes from one of his favourite movie franchises have only added to the fun.

As Coco catches the blade between her palms, he leans forward in his seat, causing Morgy to have to cling to his jeans to stop from falling. He inhales sharply as the blade slips, slashing further at her eyecatching costume. "Looks like the top matches your hair too" he yells, bundling the bearcat up and sitting back more securely.

He starts to clap as Coco's victory is announced, then cheer as she calls him rebel scum. Apparently he finds the whole situation highly amusing.

"Come on now, little fella. Let's go and give you back to who you belong to and say congrats to the three wounded warriors."

Log created on 16:47:01 05/02/2023 by Ichika, and last modified on 16:15:52 05/05/2023.