NFG Season One - Cold Blooded

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Description: With the team finally coming together, Juri unveils her plan to have them stake out a temporary base in Outer Sunshine. Claiming territory in the gang-strewn city is fraught with danger, but will also give them the easy access to real world 'training partners' that they'll need to whip the prospects into shape. With Ayala showing some willing, the only question is... will the rest of the crew take to the gambit, and will the arrival of Mad Gear's Strongest, the Secretary of Absolute Defense and the crazed taekwonda upset the delicate balance of Sunshine City's dark underbelly?

The start of training as 'Team Frost' has been, well, maybe a little less structured than other teams have enjoyed. People have more or less been given their own freedom to find their way to Sunshine City, sparkling jewel of the good old US of A. Juri certainly hadn't been interested in playing chaperone or explaining what her plan was; she had business to take care of in Southtown before she made her way over, she'd explained. She'd catch up when she was good and ready, probably.

Then this morning, a note had found its way to the other sponsors and the prospects - an address in Outer Sunshine signed 'J'.

That address turns out to be a sizeable warehouse. Once upon a time it might have had legitimate uses, but nothing in this place has legitimate uses any more. Instead, the words TEAM FROST have been spraypainted across the shutters in bright blue script, and inside? Juri has secured her bike and what she considers to be the basics. A few hammocks, gym equipment, an old TV, crates and folding chairs and... not an awful lot else.

She hasn't bothered to find anything suitably sized for dealing with either Abigail or Goldlewis for that matter, but the woman herself IS here, dressed in her 'disguise' of a respectable dobok, lounging against the wall just inside the main entrance, playing on her phone, and the vast majority of the cavernous warehouse remains empty.

Looks like she found some digs. Kind of.

Ah good ol'USA. Even a canadian mechanic with a love for European death metal bands and a modding shop in a major east coast city can appreciate it! To ask sure beats being in Japan in Southtown. Put it simply..he's not a fan..only begrudingly going after being begrudingly encouraged to become a sponsor by his subordinates in order to get his head back in the game.

And get him out of Metro City for awhile.

His return was as tsunami inducing and earthquake causing as expected.. Finding his prized business and shop in - well - perfectly working order much to his grumpy surprise.. And then this summons and it's back to work again.

"I got books to balance! This sponsor stuff emptying my tank!" he roared even as he fired up his monster truck and began the cross country trip from Metro City to Sunshine City. What? Fly? When you can VROOOM?!

Somehow he managed to make it at the appointed time. The sound of his monster trucks approach a rumbling earth shaking thing complete with raging music that blares off barely intelligible lyrics that shake walls, ceiling and floor of warehouse. Needless to say, Juri knows he's nearby long, long before he arrives..and then some when the sound of his truck stopping and door slamming shut is followed by a bellowing: "Where th'hell is everybody!?"

Ayala knows the US. It's that big wide open place above South America, which was one of the first places on Earth she visited. Down there was much warmer than some of the places in the north of here, which she knew had snow, even. She hadn't even seen snow until she had come to this dimension. To be fair, she hadn't seen a /lot/ of things before coming to this place.

Ayala meanwhile was in the back of the huge trailer truck that Abigail had driven here. Who knows how she got there, probably had forgotten about her while at a previous training session, and she found something soft in there to curl up on. Who knows. She does climb out of the back, in her usual dark gray fur outfit, blinking a little and looking like she just woke up.

"Big shaking house nice to sleep in--Ayala hungry," she yawned a bit, then tried to fluff up her long blonde curly hair, looking about. Shit, where was she??

"It big house, this where Abigail live??" she hadn't been here before, at least not yet--and it didn't smell like any food was cooking in there. She recognized those sorts of places. Where young people in funny hats give you burgers. Or tacos. No good burritos up this far north, however, she expected.

Either way, she casually would go in with Abigail, since she knew who he was.

"What am I? Their mother?" Juri mutters as Abigail makes his dramatic entrance and immediately starts bellowing. She rolls her eyes, walking back out of the warehouse, she hooks her foot under the shutter and casually kicks it upwards in one smooth motion - exposing the makeshift training facility to the open air, and making it clear that there's easily enough room to park the monster truck inside, if that's what he wants to do.

"Big guy." She says, tossing him a loose nod. "They'll get here when they get here. Or they won't. If they can't figure out how to find an address, they're not worth my time." Her eye drifts to Ayala, and her expression falls further. She tuts, sucking her teeth.

"Okay. Ground rules." She says, snapping her fingers. "You." She points to Abigail, "Don't touch my bike. She's MINE. You." She points at Ayala, "No wandering around after dark on your own. You want to go out, you take a sponsor or another prospect with you. I've taught the gangs around here to stay off OUR turf, but you go wandering into theirs and all bets are off. You understand me?"

It's... a genuine question. She is not totally sure how well the fur-clad woman does with full sentences.

"Look at you bein' all motherly." Oops.

Abigail can't resist the taunt. He grins a little bit at Juri. That slasher-flick grin of his. This is probably giong to be bumpy without Goldlewis present to balance the two just al ittle.

Perhaps that's for the best. No need to remove the Secretary of Defense of the United States due to giving him a heart attack due ot constantly having ot deal with Juri and Abigail.

Furthermore, the warning about his bike causes his gaze to track -right- over towards it. His mind immediately gets to work.

"And c'moooon.. are you sure? You know I can crank it up! Just gimme thirty minutes with it.. I'll have you ridin' vertically straight up skyscrapers!"

He almost begins taking a step towards it before...reason sets in finally and he turns to look at Ayala. He seems much more comfortable with her. Understanding...might be a little much but..he doesn't seem bothered and instead ends up backing up Juri.

"..But anyway yeah. Juri's right. They aint no Mad Gear but they're still probably too much for y'all right now. Course you act like you try and wrestle dinosaurs but still..don't go stressin' your engine! You'll need all the fuel you can get for training!"

Already this was seeming to get off on the wrong foot. Ayala blanched a little at the 'no wandering' bit, her eyes wide.

"But what if Ayala wants to go fight people in parking lots at night?!" she seems to find this incredulous, as well as the obvious nightly foraging for food she'd been doing a lot. That was something she'd taken to doing quite a bit since she'd journeyed to Earth, as one didn't do that too much on their own back in the Expanse.

"Ayala understand..." she sounds and looks a bit like a pouting girl, which well, she is, sighing a little and looking back up at the twin-tailed woman. "Ayala just get hungry a lot after training..." she crossed her arms a little, as if she needs to better explain why this was very important for her. "Abigail go with Ayala then?" she looked up at Abigail, since well, he was huge.

Juri shoots Abigail such a look at the accusation of her motherly instincts that 'death glare' seems like it might be underplaying it, if anything. "I'm sure." She reiterates. Maintaining the bike had been one of the few things that kept her sane since she stole the damn thing. Turns out she had a knack for it... albeit her aesthetics were, notably different to that of her fellow sponsor. Far less mad science, far more cyberpunk. But hell. Who would have thought that they had literally anything in common with each other?

The question from Ayala actually gets an approving smirk from Juri, and she nods her head. "You want to go fighting, you take one of us with you." She says, stepping up to begin circling around the girl. "I watched your fight against that Muai Thai brat." She says, "It was... embarrassing. But so was she. If I were you, I'd want all the practice I could get too. So don't you worry. We'll get you all the violence you can handle. I'm NOT going to have you making ME look bad out there. By the time we're through, you'll be a REAL killer."

That smirk of hers has become downright predatory by the time she finishes circling and is standing back in front of Ayala.

"Ah hah. Hah. Heh."

Abigail's response to Juri's death glare is..appropriate. Okay. Don't touch the bike. As a fellow modder and tinkirer..he knows well the seroiusness of that potential faux pas.

"Just sayin'." he offers quickly before turning his attention back to Ayala and listening to her and then Juri.

He grunts a little bit at the end and then says, "Just don't do any killin' that can get traced back to me. I got a legit business, yeah?"

He sounds dead serious at that, taking Juri rather literally at her words. Cause really. It's Juri.

"Listen, you think I don't eat? Look at this! It takes a lot to fill up this tank!" He slaps his stomach. Muscled mass though it is, it's broad, huge and heavy and producing a thrumming area shaking impact with each slap.

"Don't you worry about food. We'll fill this place up with some good eats. Goldlewis wll pay for it. He's uh....kinda onna chieftains of this country yeah? He got pockets. Deep pockets. Whaddya want? Name it. He'll pick up the tab."

Well that's what he gets for being late.

"As to the rest.. I'll tell ya what.. I'll tap back into somma my Mad Gear guys. See what they know and who they know and I'll start roundin' up some folk. If they hear Abigail's in town they might come looking anyway."

Which is true. He was the Mad Gear Enforcer. THe Bay Area Chief and is now a not so unknown celeb in the fight circles. There are likely many who would like to make a name for themselves here in these circles.

"She was too fast for Ayala," the cavewoman had a bit of an apologetic whine to her tone, as if she was disappointed herself in how that went. "Ayala not want make trainers look bad! Ayala want to get better at fighting!" she flexes both arms like Artie, the strongest man in the universe just then, trying to beam a big grin, even. However even Ayala has to find the corners of her mouth softening and her brows sinking a bit as that chilling look from Juri, whom she watches circle around her. Yeah that wasn't a good thing.

"Yeah, Abigail eats like giant cave bear," Ayala said this like it was a compliment. Which well, to her people, it was. It meant robust strength and good health. She is still shaky on the whole 'good compliments around polite company' thing, at this stage.

"Ayala go with Abigail--we eat and fight!" she seemed to be enthusiastic about this, like someone talking about going to Vegas for a weekend.

"So, how do we train here?" she looked between either of them.

"I've been giving that some thought." Juri says to Ayala, "You're a hunter, right? We need to build on that. You just kept throwing yourself at her and she got lucky. It could've gone either way. What you NEED to do, is start planning." She pauses for a moment, lets Abigail speak his part, and walks back to lean against the warehouse proper - giving Ayala some space.

"There's a training dummy in there." She says, looking at the woman and jerking her thumb back into the warehouse, "Why don't you go grab that and drag it out here for now?" Mostly, though, that's an excuse - because when Ayala goes inside, she drops her voice and talks to Abigail. "This whole place is run by a couple groups. One is Abobo's gang. Small time. Nothing like Mad Gear. He runs on a kinda, franchise model. There's a bunch of little losers who pay kickbacks up the chain. He and his might come knocking to try and get us to pay a cut too, but my gut says that he won't have the balls to mess with Mad Gear's best... and me."

She rolls her shoulders, "Other than that you've got the Black Dragon. They're more, seedy. Half mercenary company under some asshole called Kano who actually DOES sound like a threat, half weird magic nobody seems to get. Black Dragon are the reason I mostly stayed the hell out of here when I was with the old boss. They're not worth the hassle. But they SHOULD know that we're here for the tournament, not to move in on their turf. Hopefully they'll leave us alone."

If there was one thing Juri knew, it was the criminal underworld in all its many varied and shady shapes. Her old bosses might have assumed that she was too lazy or impulsive to pay attention, but she'd had every intention of taking over Shadaloo herself and using it to crush the life out of each and every last one of these freaks. She couldn't do that if she didn't know who they were. That, though, was Sponsor business. They needed to know this if they were going to keep the prospects safe. She didn't necessarily care if Ayala heard... but she didn't want her getting any crazy ideas like trying to hunt these big players down, that'd just cause far too much grief.

"Black Dragon..."

Abigail's deep low voice rumbles in thought. Unless Ayala has super hearing it probably might sound like some distant mildly irate sleepy thunderstorm. Barely intelligible but Juri gets the gist.

"I think Belger may have had some dealings with them..." Some may forget that..back in the day..Mad Gear was pretty legit where the criminal enterprises were concerned. Of course not global domination and beyond levels like Shadaloo but there are connections and memories.

"Alright so we avoid riling them up? They're more likely to treat this like a serious problem and rope us in with whatever nonsense the other teams are doing if things get outta hand. They'll probably eat Ayala, Genie and Buford alive. Especially Buford. That guy's got no survival instinct..."

He runs a hand through his tossled mohawk in exasperation and then reaches down to scratch his beard. "..Maybe need to cut a deal with them sooner rather then later. Abobo..I know about the guy. Practically as big as me. Maybe."

Few are his equals in size but they are out there.

"I'll get on that and I need to get Katana here soon.."

"Ayala do throw self at things, a lot," Ayala nodded, sounding retrospective at this. Which she was. She did rely on brute strength, since that was the main thing she had going, at least in practice. She wasn't used to the fighting styles on Earth that used one's momentum or strength against her. She knew how different creatures instinctually fought and could deal with them--but intelligent fighters were different.

At the request, Ayala moves over to get the training dummy--likely able to heft it under one arm, and bring it back with her like she was fetching a newspaper, before putting it back down, standing. She doesn't seem to have caught any of the conversation between Juri and Abigail.

"Ayala got it!" she looks around with a bit of a smile, but is a little confused when she's not sure why the two seem so... unamused. Odd. She's not exactly a Columbo, but something seems amiss.

"Now who is getting all parental? You pining for the kids you never got, big guy?"

Juri can't resist the urge to take the shot right back, but she is at least nodding. The assessment was good. Abigail's gang connections were probably better for keeping people away than her reputation as a crazed assassin-slash-serial-killer-terrorist, and really, he's more diplomatic than she is. Hard to believe, but between the man mountain and the tiny Korean teenager, she was the one more liable to get pissed off and just kill someone who said the wrong thing. Even if she's doing her very level best to play nicey-nicey with the tournament here.

"Daisuke should be here soon. He'll help. Kid's got a soft heart, but if we do get in trouble... he's the annoying kind who'll give everything he's got to get us out of it."

Then Ayala is back, and she nods. "Good." She says, stepping up. "So. I'm guessing you know all sorts of ways to bring down different beasts, right?" Wild guess on Juri's part, she's NOT a hunter... not of animals, anyway. But she does know how to hunt people. And hurt them. "When you're fighting, what you need to do is figure out what your opponent is relying on, and take it away. Little Miss Muay Thai relies on her legs. So if you fight her again, break them. Here, here and here."

She points, indicating kneecap, ankle, toes. "Lots of small bones there. You break a kick-fighter's legs..."

She doesn't actually finish the statement. Thinking back to how Vega had left her. Her expression turns sour, and she turns away, waving her hand, "You get the idea."

He lacks the death glare Juri has. Abigal has long ago buried the Mad Gear Chief of days of yore that went along with extortion and would have tied people to chairs infront of bombs.

But that doesn't mean he eyes and expression lack the fuming fury of an angry jukyard dog as he looks on Juri after that dig.

"I'm tryin' to protect our investments!" he seethes.

He then quiets as Juri walks away and begins to talk to Ayala. He nods his head in agreement, silently considering matters ..until Juri begins casually mentioning just crippling fighters straight out the bat. This causes him to recoil slighlty and wince.

"Yeaaah...uh." he rumbles, trying to think on his feet here as it hits him: Juri probably hasnt -been- in any sort of legal tournament in some time. This is the assassin at work.

"Yes." he finally notes, "You wanna figure out how to cut 'em off at the pass. But - you gotta remember tournament rules as you don't overdo it. You fight to win but these are victories. Not food or life or death.. You got that?"

Truthfully.. Ayala isn't much different then him. Both rely on sheer brute strength and instinct, but Abigail, a man who can crush cars just by clapping his hands together, has had to learn to play with his food, so to speak. "You don't wanna get blacklisted." he adds.

"Yeah. Animals go for the throat, so you defend against that," Ayala nodded, looking to Juri now with seriousness. This was apparently a topic the two could connect on. "Die... skay?" she apparently isn't as familiar with the Japanese name. Just don't ask her to try and spell that.

"Ayala no cripple people unless they trying to kill her," Ayala shakes her head towards Abigail. "Ayala just likes fighting for fun, most times, with people," beasts, beasts were a different story. They didn't try to talk to you, and ran on different rules. A concept she didn't quite have all the vocabulary to try to convey right now.

"In wild it life or death, rule of nature, no change rule," she shook her head.


Juri's frown deepens as her really very practical advice is discarded by both Abigail and the student. "Fine." She says, "Ugh. They really don't even let you break bones in this thing? Weak." Abigail had definitely read her right; the kinds of tournament fighting she was most used to definitely didn't have any prohibitions along those lines. Had she... actually read the rules for this one?

Her hands clasp behind her head and she sighs, "Look. You don't gotta go all that way. But what WILL help, is if they THINK you will." That one good eye of hers turns on Ayala, and the poor woman finds herself fixed with the full weight of Juri's attention.

"It's about making them panic. Scared people make mistakes. Most people don't like pain, so if they think you're just going to hurt them as much as you can, they'll start freaking out. How you make 'em believe that, well..."

She laughs, then, throwing her head back, "*I* actually WILL do that, so I don't know how to fake it! You got any ideas, big guy?"


Abigail rubs the back of his head, resting his other hand against his waist. His wallet chains shift along with his uncomfortable movements. The ground seems to as well, rumbling slightly even with his casual strength and back and forht rocking.

"Yeah. So.." the Mad Gear chief notes, "Some tournaments can be life or death. IF you get yourself caught up in that you do what you gotta do. Juri here maybe gets the most fun outta that. Most fights though, SNF and Midnight Channel...they get broadcasted and there's some basic rules so we aren't all killing each other. Running each other through with swords and crap. You just gotta use your instinct. Trust the proess and learn how to read your opponent. You can kinda sense if someone is off kilter and got that killing intent. Especially you kid. You come from a place where it's survival of the fittest so you 'know'. also gotta build a persona. RIght? A...uh..face.."

He shrugs, letting his massive arm drop to his sides as he contniues more comfortably, "You want to use your size and your speed and strength to your advantage. Study your opponent before your matches and during the match. Figure out how they fight. Go for strategies that take advantage of that. She's right. Scared people make mistakes and get sloppy and desperate.. You gotta know your opponent. Yeah?"

He managed to avoid car puns in that. Somehow.

"No breaking bones--no using bone club... it kind of lame," Ayala nodded, at leasy sympathizing with the twin-tailed Korean lady. "Y-Yeah..." Ayala was soon realizing that Juri was right about the whole scaring thing. She /was/ pretty intimidating, in a way even Ayala had trouble ignoring. And Ayala usually was fearless by necessity, not just by choice.

"She is... threatening," Ayala seemed to agree with that statement. On the other hand, she seemed curious with what Abigail had to say, also.

"Read opponent?" she had been practicing on several things lately--including that. It stood to reason figuring out someone's motives or style was something that might help.

Either way, it's not like she'd get any of the car puns even if Abigail made them.

Juri props herself back up against the warehouse wall and lets out a long sigh. Okay. That was all the notes she really had on Ayala's performance so far; her first insights. It'd be a hell of a lot easier if the Feng Shui Engine worked the way it used to; she could just make the girl beat up the dummy and then tell her exactly where all the holes in her techniques are. But. No point crying over ripped-out eyes. Best to focus on the future.

"At least you're willing to learn." She says, "That's something. We'll go out later, with the others if they get their asses over here, and see if we can't find some punk to let you try and put it into practice."

And that might just explain why Juri had cleared out this warehouse and chosen this spot - she COULD have used her ill-gotten gains to get them a hotel. Or just charged it all back to Goldlewis, that was kind of his role on the team as far as she was concerned. Here, though? It's not the kind of jungle Ayala is used to, but it IS a jungle, of sorts. Full of different territory, different predators, and all the fighting practice they'd need. She would never admit it, but she suspected of all the prospects Ayala would figure it out first and get the most out of it. Genie... she was worried would be too soft. As Abigail said, Buford had no survival instinct. And Sarah was a real wildcard.

"Anyway. Before you go in there and get yourself set up. I've told you what I think you need to hear, but you got any questions you want us to answer? About fighting. Not dinner."

"You can use yoru club. Buford's got his sword. Weapons will be there it's just about knowing your opponents strengths and weaknesses. You'll get it. Trial and error.."

He waves it off and then starts to head for his truck.

"I'm gonna see if I can track Abobo down and get a word in with him..." he rumbles, fishing his keys out form somewhere before beginning the process of fitting himself into the massive cab of the gigantic vehicle.

When he starts t up, that music explodes out over the area with almost visible sound waves until Abigail cranks it down with an embaressed look on his face.

"Yeah, sorry." he grumbles.

Ayala meanwhile has taken an interest in the practice dummy a bit, giving it a few practice shots with her first, and a haymaker or two. It wasn't quite as fun as the real thing, it would appear, but she was willing to learn.

"Ayala need new club, she broke last one," the cavewoman seemed remissed about that. "Will find good wood later, maybe," she then blinked at Juri a little. "Ayala... not good at strange fighting styles like that Maui Thai stuff," she shrugged a bit, before trying to find something constructive to ask Juri, it'd appear.

"Who ought Ayala spar with here? gadget man at other team, Team Metal," she sighed a little. So many new people.

"I guess that means we get breakfast then?" Ayala tried to shout over the din of the very loud music to Juri. She was always ontop of the important matters, it appeared.

"Seeya, big guy."

Juri does look irritated by the music, but, it doesn't last long - and she can't fault him for wanting to get out there and get on the case as quickly as he can. This is their role in things. It's an interesting twist for sure; she doubted Abigail had ever done much training along these lines before. She'd never even tried until forced. But it's not, entirely, unpleasant. Turns out Juri likes being given authority and listened to, who would have guessed?

"Sarah and Genie." She says, answering the question, "Sarah's got the closest thing to a regular style of the rest of our team. Genie will teach you about energy, which I'm guessing you also haven't had much experience with. When you start getting used to her, hell, maybe I'll give you a try myself."

That grin is back. She's going to have to watch it. She flatters herself that she's done a good job here focusing on the mission, getting everything set up, being a real Team Player ... but she knows better than anyone that all that'll go out the window when the fighting starts. The idea of putting this big, strong woman on the ground and making her beg for mercy...

She snorts, rolls her eyes, and turns on her heel. "Sort out your own breakfast, I'm not your Mom." Yeah. Best to saunter on into the warehouse and get back to messing with her phone before the temptation becomes too great.

Log created on 18:39:13 06/10/2023 by Juri, and last modified on 08:32:03 06/11/2023.