NFG Season One - Staff Meeting

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Description: Djamila and Mint take swings at each other and apologize a lot. Not necessarily in that order.

Djamila's head felt clearer now, at least in a physical sense. The team medics checked her head, and they fixed her. They even said she would be in condition to fight in the next round. It was good news, but she had to deal with the anger she feels inside.

She no longer wear her hijab. Her hair is down her back, almost touching the floor. She cleaned it, of course. That also took time, but it was necessary. She is also wearing a pair of orange short shorts and an orange halter top, putting her curves forth but not showing anything she shouldn't. She is also wearing a pair of combat boots on her feet and her black blindfold.

She's thinking a lot while hitting the heavy bag. She feels the anger boiling inside. She feels like she has let down the people who believe in her. She probably made a mess at the beach too. Though she's more confused about that one. She just keeps hitting on the bag. It feels good right now. She doesn't want to talk to anyone at the moment, except Mint when she's free. She probably knows about all of it, and Djamila wasn't proud of herself or anything. She likes Mint and looks up to her.

There is a sheet of paper on a Bench near her. It's a bit dirty, but it's important to her.

The hit on the bag gets more intense, as she is trying to let out the anger this way, while also putting all of her thoughts in order. She can't change the past, only the future, while living the present.

She will stop beating on the heavy bag if/when someone comes to her.

Mint isn't used to having people look up to her -- a bit short for that. While she is accustomed to bossing people around, these are typically either military contractors, fellow soldiers, or Marines. Folks accustomed to the notion of passing information up the chain of command. Folks who know, in every bone of their body, that -someone- has their back.

Team Metal does not consist of those people. It consists of corporate sponsors happily raking in profits, as far as Mint can tell. And it consists of four youths, with some sense of discipline, who just happen to be in the wrong places occasionally. One, cursed with a twisted entourage who feels compelled to shadow his every move. A second -- on the mend from some fel concoction similar to the one that cursed her with green skin. A third -- brilliant beyond his years, but still adapting to Western social innovations like 'fistbumps.'

Mint sips from her thermos, watching the fourth from the door of the lounge. Watching her form, as she tears into the heavy bag. It's forceful -- directed. But not -flawless-. The pint-sized pugilist has a mental list of tips she could give.

She draws in her breath. Oddly, the New Jersey native doesn't know what to say here. So she doesn't say anything at all; she just walks closer, taking a brief tour of the workout area, without -directly- approaching Djamila. She doesn't make any particularly loud sounds -- but she's not being particularly stealthy either.

She knows Djamila will make up her own mind on when she's ready to talk.

Djamila has her flaws in fighting and out of it. Right now, she's just hitting. Harder, letting her anger out as best as she can. There seems to be so much. Wind chi even starts to build up from that anger. It doesn't stop her, however. Only when it starts to lift her and lift the bag, too, does she stop and fall back on the ground, blinking. Maybe she should have continued, but it surprised her. She also made enough of a mess already. She doesn't need to mess up the training area. She takes a deep breath, and now she turns around.

"Mint!" She bows her head. There was a bruise that come passed her hairline, but besides that, she cleaned up. The rest of her dark hair pretty much hides it.

She moves quickly. "This is not a bribe," She says as she gets her paper, the drawing. "It's dirty also, sorry." She speaks quickly. "I just want to say thank you for everything, and I wanted to show you how I see you." She hands the drawing. It looks like Mint, yet in a more ethereal ghostly way. The lines are not quite straight, like it's a little bit hazy, or she simply can't draw straight. "Thank you. Now with that given, you can lay it to me. You probably know already, and it shouldn't have happened. I will be 100% when going in the next round. I want to be here." She takes a deep breath. "I know I have to set my mind straight. If you tell me to do something, I will do it. It's all important to me. And I will kick ass." She brings her head up toward Mint's own after that. She realizes she probably should let her speak instead of speaking nonstop.

Minal Panesh has a wealth of ideas about boxing. Chi, though... well, she's just starting on that journey. And the one person she might have enlisted for help on that front seemed about as hostile to the idea as if she'd asked him to cut off his own arm. So when Djamila gets so far into her self-therapy that she lifts the heavy bag's frame right off the floor...

Well, a wide-eyed Mint knows to not get her -mad-, that's for damn sure.

She manages to keep from making too much of a bother, though; the Marine was content as an observer, nothing more, until Djamila acknowledged her presence. And then, well -- she smiles, letting herself exhale comfortably. "Hi, Djamila. Didn't wanna bother you." She leaves certain things unstated out of politeness.

And then she finds herself surprised by the drawing. "Huh, neat! I didn't know you were an artist!" It's not something one... really -expects- from someone wearing a blindfold, to be sure. Mint is no art critic, but she can appreciate the fluidity of the mark-making, the energy inherent in the strokes, without really having words to phrase that -- the only words she has are the ones Djamila provides. "That's really fascinating... thank you! Is this for my collection, or your own?" She'd feel weird taking it without being -sure-, after all.

The statements which follow, though, carry a different tone altogether. The corporal's demeanor doesn't change much -- but there is a downward shift in her stance, as she braces herself for a more... complete response.

"Djamila... I'm glad you're feeling better. And I'm glad you feel a hundred percent, all rarin' to go and kick some ass. But I'm not going to be laying anything on you -- because it's me who needs to apologize to you."

She frowns, lowering her head -- but still managing to look at Djamila's blindfold.

"I slipped up. We should've had this talk a week ago, or two, but... my number one priority isn't winning. It's in making sure you four are honed into the best fighters possible. And I can't do that without protecting you -- and I failed in that."

There is real pain in her expression. Because she wants to say more -- without really knowing how.

The wind has been coming naturally to her. She doesn't do great damage with it, but it works out in other ways. If she was asked, she didn't control the lifting it just happened. She is curious, however, but that will be for a later time.

She's grateful Mint waited until Djamila was ready before she made a move. Now at least, she can control the anger left. "You are never a bother. I just was, letting steam out.

After that, she lets Mint examine the drawing. When she is asked a question Djamila is quick to answer. "Your collection if you want to keep it. I made it for you. I don't usually keep my drawings as little as there are. I wish I hadn't dropped it on the ground, though.

Now she frowns. She didn't understand. In no way does she blame Mint for this at all. "What? No!" She does let Mint continue talking, though. It's not like she wants to interrupt her.

Then Mint admits all this, and she doesn't know how to react. On the one end, she feels like this whole thing has hurt Mint too, and she wants to tell her she didn't fail. But Mint is the teacher. She's not supposed to argue with her. She isn't sure what to do, and then she gets touchy-feely. Unless stopped, she hugs her. Either way, she says, "I am sorry Mint. I've hurt you. Well, no, that's not true." She frowns. "My father has hurt both of us. I don't think you failed. I think I brought it on myself. I am not saying I deserved what happened. I am not saying I am fine in my head, but this is a situation you couldn't foresee, and I am pretty random at times. I am sorry." She takes a deep breath. "I will be more careful."

Mint offers a tight smile in response. And... being that she isn't wearing her KNUCKS gauntlets, she's able to return the hug in kind.

"Well -- thanks. I do feel better." She gives a light chuckle. "I'm still reserving the right to take this hard. My -job- is to keep you four safe so you don't have to get distracted."

She steps back, and jerks her head towards the door. "But I'm gonna be honest from here on out. I've had guards watching you since you'd first told me about your dad. Following at a discreet distance. I should've told you -- but I didn't want to spook you." She frowns. "But the day it all happened... they lost track of you. Or maybe you noticed them, I'm not quite sure."

She spreads her hands wide. "And in further full disclosure... drones are in the sky too. But their responsiveness is limited, they're really only good as cameras."

Mint folds her arms behind her back. "So no. I did foresee it. But I should have told you."

"I like hugs. It says things that might be hard to say in words.", she mentions. "Thank you." But she also lets go. She's not trying to make it awkward.

She gets her staff back which was apparently still fine at standing on its own for a few. It was just in the way of a hug. "I never blamed you for it. I know you know more than I do about it all, but personally, it's not you, not to my mind." She shrugs her shoulders.

She sighs. She had fucked up. "I should have asked about it. I shared something with you. I understand you took steps. I knew they were around. Just not sure if they were yours or not. That's why I should have asked. That time I just wanted a little peace for myself, not having to care for whoever they were. I did do a little trick. I am surprised it worked. Maybe it's not all my doing, I am not a master tactician or anything, but I have my responsibility. If I feel anything like that again, I will ask you. I am sorry..." She doesn't mention the drones Mint talks about.

"I was naive. I didn't think it would go that far. Maybe I was blind to his true intentions because of family." She doesn't mean to make a punt or anything. She doesn't even notice. "I am angry. Very angry outside, but trying to let it out in healthy ways. You should lecture me for going to the beach, instead of seeing the medics right away. Right? That was a stupid thing to do. I just wanted to own to my words." Like she's accusing herself and explaining at the same time.

"I am not going to try to get away from them from now on. I promise." She doesn't know what else to say. She fucked up, yet she has to remember in the grand scheme of things, it's not her fault. She does add. "I am not going to let it make me a little afraid girl. I will be the woman I am meant to be!" She affirms.

Mint didn't know what to do -- so she listens. She'd suspected, of course, that Djamila had spotted her tails -- in retrospect, how good of a martial artist would she be if she -couldn't?- Another reason Mint has been heaping blame onto herself. But no -- she nods, and mostly remains silent until Djamila has said her peace.

And then she gives a sober half-smile. "Now what would be the point of a lecture right now?" Shaking her head slightly, she adds, "I'm just telling you what I got. You got two new guards. One's named Marcus, the other's named Dwayne. They can march side by side with you, or they can follow at a discreet distance and give you the privacy you need. I'd like it if you could introduce yourself. Because yeah -- I -do- know you're strong. But I can't be everywhere at once. And even if I could, that'd be way creepier."

She asks, with a note of finality: "Will that be okay with you? I just want you to know that if there's -anything- else I need to set up for you, just say the word. My ears are wide open."

When you're a stripper, you also have to deal with weirdoes. though the place she usually works at has been good with all the girls. She thought about them a moment. She doesn't want to tell them what happened, but they would want to know too. Should she warn them? It's probably better to call them at one point. Tell them to be careful, just in case. That's for after, she needs to keep her mind to now.

"No point, It won't change the past. Kenzo has been top, he took me here. A Team Thunder girl also helped." As she says that, she remembers the big nasty things she told Ichika, another Team Thunder girl, when in an anger fit. Oh god, they aren't going to be friends...

"Ok, I will not try to give them the slip. Though I would think they have been told to be careful about that, for my safety. Just in case I didn't get my lesson and I try to again." She was relieved it wasn't the other guard she trained with. There was not a lot of love between the two. "If you followed me everywhere, how would you have time for anyone else? Then I would think you're in love with me." Her face blushes lightly. "Because who would bother to follow me, less they are paid or in love." She sticks out her tongue.

She seems to think of everything that has been said. "Yes, that's ok with me. I am sorry again I made you feel like this is your fault. To think I just wanted to be treated like everyone else. Still the case mostly, but I understand the need for guards. Am I allowed to train outside if I am good, letting them follow me?" She asks Mint then adds. "I am very grateful for everything.

Mint cracks a smile. "Yeah. I could tell I'd be able to count on Kenzo. And... er... Chevy, that's her name, right?" It doesn't sit well with her that a member from a totally different team found out before she did, but... that's what Mint's been repenting for lately.

Mint listens carefully... and while the points are clear on the -surface-, she's hearing some thoughts stray away from the point. Which suggests that maybe she should be taking a different tack. Her voice drops to a neutral, dispassionate tone.

"Don't be sorry about it. It is my fault: my job is to train you. The guards' job -- the one they get -paid- to do -- is to take care of you. They're not your friends, or your sparring partners -- their job is to cover you so that you can train wherever you want." She draws in her breath. "And the only way you're getting treated any differently is that I'm giving you this briefing ahead of the other three."

She looks away, drawing in another breath. "I'm sorry for being a hardass on this. Your training was going well, I didn't mean to interrupt. I don't really get the wind bit, but the folks who do are off taking over the world through Excel spreadsheets or something I guess."

"Yeah, her name is Chevy. I almost fought with Ichika, but Kenzo brought some sense to me. Then Chevy helped, and Kenzo too. I think. He did drive me. I wasn't in the right state of mind. My fault for not having it taken care of. For not calling you straight away. I should have. Then I wanted to, but ugh. I failed." She casts her head down.

She lifts her head back up slowly, "Oh I am not going to train with the new ones though. I did once before, but it didn't go that well. No, just train outside while they watch over me. I think I need more space to test something out. I was discovering something new it looks like. I am not sure. I would rather not damage the training area or send anything flying." She fidgets a bit, no more training with guards. It's fair. Will let them do their job instead. Much better.

She takes a moment. "So it's not just me. Thank you for warning me in advance. It's reassuring to know about the protection.

She lets out a breath she didn't know she was holding. "You never bother me Mint. You're always helping and there. You don't know how grateful I am. So yeah, I will probably meet the guards after this and train outside a bit. See what can come out of my anger or something. Might as well be produictive with it, yeah? I promise to be ok.

Mint smiles. She... had been getting a little frustrated. But Djamila seems to be understanding the general gist of what Mint was trying to communicate, so she can ease off the throttle a little bit.

"Mm, yeah, that sounds like a good idea. ... If I can ask, did it have something to do with the wind effects? I feel like... working with powers like that could be fun." She laughs, scratching the back of her head.

"Though, hm. Do you think you're ready for a tougher challenge now?"

The sounds of motors, squeaking plastic, and buckling folds of fabric can be heard, as Mint raises her fist.

"I mean, I feel like maybe I need to get involved a bit more with you folks..." The rising tone at the end of her voice suggests a grin.

Djamila listens to Mint. She wishes she could communicate better how she feels toward her. But she also doesn't want like she's a girl with a crush or anything. Not that way.

"Yeah, while letting anger, something was happening. I want to go deeper into it. Besides it's better if I let out as much anger as I can. I want my head to be as clear as possible for my match. I know winning is not the most important, but I don't need to do stupid things because of anger. I don't want to fall on my head again like I did with Kenzo." She blushes a bit again, slightly. That was a bad mistake.

"Wind has been a part of me for as long as I can remember, which is the day I got blind. Before that, it's harder to remember anything" She didn't say she was forgetting about her mom's voice and such. Probably all kids who lost someone deal with that, and she worried people enough for a lifetime. She needs to work on the present." It's either pushing myself as far as I can or keeping the anger deep in. I know it's not healthy, so I will canalize it as I can. I promise to not go so far I won't be able to fight or hurt myself more." She meant that her voice conveys it hopefully."

She ponders what Mint is saying. "I presume you might still have Military duty to take care of and your life too?" She inquires. "I am sure everyone would want to see you more, but you've been there when things were really bad in my case. So you haven't been neglecting us. I don't think." She smiles.

"No, I'm... kinda on leave," Mint replies. "If I'm not around for like an hour or two it's 'cause I'm poring over engineering documents my boys have worked up back home. So there's no real pressure there."

She laughs. "I'm tryin' to ask if you want to spar with someone who might give you more of a challenge. Someone with metal fists, who stands about a hundred forty-five, and happens to be talkin' with you right now." She pauses for a moment, before adding, "I mean, it could be now. Or it could be later. Just sayin' I'm up for it."

She smiles when she says she's on leave. At least she didn't have the pressure of extra work. Just like Djamila is free from work at the moment. It seems fair. "Oh, then it works out well then. I was worried you still had military duties, to be honest."

Then her eyes get bigger. "I could spare you, right now? You wouldn't hold back until I give or I am knocked out?" She looks excited at the idea. "I would love that. See what I can do against you. I know I can't win, but I am really up for it. If nothing else I can learn to take harder blows." She really seems excited. "I would definitely like that. like that. Now. I feel up for a tougher challenge." She looks so perked up now, at least for the moment.

Mint grins -- she hadn't realized that Djamila would have been looking forward to a fight with her by -that- much. "Mm... Do me a favor, Djamila, and don't *make* me knock you out. I'm still signing paperwork for your last doctor visit. This spar's gonna be as much about learning limits as it is about pushing them. So I'm gonna *ask* you to tap out if you're redlining. That sound fair to you?"

Her plastic hands clap together once -- and her voice begins to grow fainter, and more resonant from echoing, as she walks to the wall."And.... one more thing. I'd like you to wear some headgear. That gonna be alright with you?"

When Mint turns around from the cubbies near the wall, she has a padded helmet sized for Djamila. She walks over -- and presents it to Djamila, to where she can reach it easily.

"I really don't wanna cramp your style, and I won't be -aiming- for your head, but I can't give you my all without -some- kinda protection. Sound good?"

"Ok, before I pass out, I will tell you I am hurting badly and think we should stop." She grins. "Ok, maybe not hurt too badly, but yeah." She giggles a bit.

Then comes the request for headgear. "Ugh, ok, for you and what I made you go through. Because I also have a head injury. I will do it." She moves closer, and when the helmet is within easy reach, she picks it up. "It's fair. I won't make a scene." She chuckles a bit.

I understand why you want that, and I suppose you could hurt me a lot without it anyway. You're a professional. I am still learning." She smiles and moves her hair in such a way it will be fine for her and the helmet before she puts it on. "Ok, I got it." She locks it in. "That's good?" She smiles and moves toward the ring, getting ready. She has a bounce in her step. She summons her staff with wind. "Can't forget that.".

COMBATSYS: Djamila has started a fight here.

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Djamila          0/-------/-------|

Minal listens... and for the most part, she agrees. If she's going to consent to Djamila going out there against... well, whoever she's going to fight, she'll need to judge Djamila's combat fitness for herself.

Are there less -painful- ways to do so? Sure. But Minal saw her doing bag work. The pugilist within was inspired.

"Okay. Get ready then..." Mint starts for a cubby marked with her own name. And from within, she pulls her gauntlets out. After a series of whirrs, clicks, and motor whines, it sounds like the KNUCKS are secured in place.

"Okay. I'm ready." And after a couple clicks of a relay, the twin turbines on her gauntlets roar to life. Djamila ought to be able to notice the air circulation in the room shifting in response.

"Come at me whenever you are," she calls out, raising her metal fists in a defensive boxer's stance.

COMBATSYS: Mint has joined the fight here.

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Mint             0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0          Djamila

Djamila waits. Seeing how she is excited about it, it's the right thing to do, even if there are less painful ways.

She brings her staff into position when Mint tells her to be ready. She hums lightly to herself too but keeps her ears open too.

When Mint says she is ready and to come at her, Djamila listens. "I will give it my best!"

Now she is ready and determined. She makes her way close to Mint and slams her staff down. If Mint is sensitive to Chi, she can feel it at the base of her staff. Then Djamila jumps on her staff, bringing herself high up. She extends her legs and lets herself spin all the way down until she ends up on the ground in a split. She hopes to hit Mint some in the process. At least she remembers how to do it.

COMBATSYS: Mint blocks Djamila's Chopper Spin.

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Mint             0/-------/-----==|-------\-------\0          Djamila

"Alright. Here we go, then..."

Mint doesn't -think- she's sensitive to chi? She'd have to close her eyes to really test that theory, but enough of her senses are showing the staff slamming down and -not- falling over, that she can't actually be sure.

The point is -- when Djamila goes up, Mint's expecting her to drop down again. And she anticipates that by directing the kicks to the broadsides of her forearm-length gauntlets. It's enough of an impact for the boxer to put her feet to good use!

Mint does -not- seem willing to sacrifice her close range, though -- pulling back, she fires off a quick jab with her left hand, and then fires in a solid punch with her right -- aimed at demonstrating to Djamila exactly what she's in for with this sparring match!

COMBATSYS: Djamila interrupts Heavy Punch from Mint with Cross Knee Release.

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Mint             0/-------/--=====|====---\-------\0          Djamila

Her legs don't hit anything vitals, but did she expect to get through Mint's defense? Not really. She's just doing what she knows how to do. She doesn't expect to do anything significant to Mint, but she will follow her instinct as best as she can.

Talking about instinct, it tells her to take the blows and go with her attack. As crazy as it may sound, she follows it. She goes upside down on the staff. She takes the jab on her thigh, and then the solid punch in the stomach. She 'ughs'. It certainly isn't pleasant, but it doesn't make her release her hold. She lets herself slide to the ground, and kicks at Mint, hitting her chest. She catches herself with her left hand and flips back on her legs gracefully. "I can't beat you, but that doesn't mean I will go down easily. Or give up easy in your case." She grins, knowing she will have a bruise, but she's good with that.

Mint was expecting to land a hit -- but she wasn't expecting to get retaliation from it. The bad thing about her gigantic gauntlets is that it leaves a pretty big blind spot towards the very angle that Djamila hit from -- and it means she -really- isn't ready to take a kick to the chest! "Nngh!"

She pivots sideways, her balance aided by slightly offset thrusts from her twin turbines. A hand goes to her chest -- and after a cough, she flashes a proud smile.

"Okay, one pointer about confidence. If you tell me you can't win? Guess what -- you won't."

She scrapes her fists against one another, the collision of metal surfaces setting off a shower of sparks. Mint's grin is practically electric, itself! "The chance of success is in the arena is -never- zero!"

Mint surges forward afterwards, starting with a left jab, and then chaining into a powerful right hook, both aimed at around chest height. Then she lunges in further, bringing her left hand around for a short uppercut to the ribs!

COMBATSYS: Djamila dodges Mint's Knuckle Dragger.

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Mint             0/-------/--=====|====---\-------\0          Djamila

"She's happy she didn't land on her head this time from her move and hit. She also got the feeling for some of Mint's hits. So to her, it's a win-win situation.

When she is told to not say she can't win because she won't. It's a fair point. "Fine, I am going to kick your ass. Because it's what I want." If she could wink right now, she would, but she does keep what she said in mind.

She nods her head, but she unhooks her staff as she speaks some more.

She puts it back down quickly, and boom, she's already on it when the surges with the left jab happen. When the hook comes, she is on the other side of the staff in a smooth movement. For the uppercut, she pushes her on top of her staff completely, keeping her equilibrium. She is proud of herself. She wasn't sure if she would do it again, but she went for that move, and here she is.

It's time to retaliate. She jumps and grabs her staff, which detaches itself, and she tries to strike Mint over the. Then she uses the momentum she has to land, not exactly where one might expect she would. "Thank you, I need this." She adds once she is on the ground.

COMBATSYS: Mint interrupts Evasive Strike from Djamila with Attack of Opportunity.

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

"Exactly! It's just that simple." In Mint's experience, ring banter is an important part of fighting -- a good psychological boost, and a concise way of communicating expectations. If done right, it can motivate both fighters to give their best performances. On the other hand, ring banter gone wrong can inspire chaos on the battlefield.

It seems that her inspiration paid off -- for Djamila is on the move! Mint had felt bad about encouraging her so -strongly- to block in their last sparring match, so she's glad to see Djamila putting her agility to good use. Even as her attacks whiff, she continues following, not wanting to lose sight of her again...

And, as luck would have it, Djamila's moving in for a quick counterattack! Mint comes prepared with good footwork though -- the true secret weapon in every boxer's arsenal. While Mint's gauntlets might make her look top-heavy, light footwrok allows her to maneuver quickly. Such that when Djamila attacks, Mint sweeps in, taking the hit on the inside of her left arm --

-- And rapidly unchambers a quick uppercut with her right! It's certainly not one of her more powerful attacks, but it still packs a whallop!

"Nice adaptation -- I wasn't sure if I'd be quick enough for that one!" Mint grins, rubbing the raw abrasion on her upper left arm. The sting that makes this all worth doing...

Djamila can talk a lot. It's not always the right thing she says however.. She's also not shy usually. Which is something else.

Djamila didn't expect the quick footwork after dodging her punches. She didn't expect an uppercut after getting blocked by her left. It makes her fall on the ground, on her back after getting hit, and her staff falls too. She moves back up, however, and summons her staff back to her, rubbing her chin. "Oof, nice one. I didn't see it coming to be honest."

THen she slams her staff down again, but this time no moves come. She is in no hurry. Sometimes, she goes all in. Sometimes she pulls back. This time it's the latter. Mint probably saw this before if she watched her match. The time when she starts dancing, undulating her hips, and doing the 'om' sound. Winds flow around her, and it soothes her body. "We all need a break sometimes. No special treatment for you." She smiles.

COMBATSYS: Djamila makes the om sound and wind chi flies around her for a short moment.

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Mint             0/-------/=======|=======\====---\1          Djamila

Mint eases up after her quick strike. Often in a fight she'd seize the opportunity and continue driving back against her opponent -- but, even then, that could prove risky. Particularly against someone with a unique positional advantage like Djamila's pole.

So... Mint backs off, keeping her distance. She raises both arms in front of her, grinning as she gives her chance to breathe. "What's that mean? You're giving yourself a time-out, or both of us?"

She grins -- though, for the moment, she's neither staying still, nor easing up on the pressure, circling around Djamila like a hungry wolf looking for an opening.

"You get good reads on people, Djamila, I'll give you that..."

COMBATSYS: Mint takes no action.

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Mint             0/-------/=======|=======\====---\1          Djamila

"I have a good read on when to strike and not. At least sometimes. Annoy my opponent if they want to fight. Like you. You want to strike, yet, you are checking me out." She didn't mean it that way, but it does sound weird. "I am in no hurry to attack you, though. You are more advanced than me, after all.

She continues undulating her hips, but she observes this time, keeping her focus on Mint, and herself as well. "I am not scared of you, but I respect you a hell of a lot." She chuckles a bit and just keeps undulating those hips.

COMBATSYS: Djamila stops moving and focuses herself.

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Mint             0/-------/=======|=======\====---\1          Djamila

"Maybe... but you're kind of showing your hand. It might work against someone a little more hot-tempered." Minal rocks from side to side as she strafes sideways. It's a feint -- but a calculated one, to mask the timing of her real approach. "But against someone who can make use of the extra breathing room..."

All of a sudden, Mint's turbines both roar in unison. Superheated air blasts out the thrust nozzles -- and Mint flies towards Djamila, left hand outstretched! If she can clamp her mighty mitt around Djamila's midsection, the jet thrust would carry her into the air...! But her -right- hand would also be slamming three rapid-fire rabbit punches into her midsection!

COMBATSYS: Djamila interrupts STOL from Mint with Teddy.
- Power hit! -

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Mint             1/----===/=======|-------\-------\0          Djamila

"I may show my hand, but doesn't mean I can't pull it through." Djamila tells Mint. Can she do it? If she doesn't believe it, she won't do it. Pretty much the same reason Mint said about the Match, so she steels herself and waits as she planned.

The turbines give a pretty clear sound when they go into action. It's now or never. She starts spinning her staff in the air over her head, standing her ground. As she gets grabbed, she brings her stand forth and hit for all she is worth, while the spin pushes as well. She just keeps hitting and hitting. taking the pressure as well as she can. "I am not defenseless!" She tells matter of fact, but more to herself than Mint. She hits pretty much until Mint let go, having no intention of getting in the air if she can help it.

When this is done, some winds come back to Djamila and soothes her, both the tiredness and some damage done. "Wouf. It worked! I am trying my best.!"

Mint has been keeping pace with Djamila up until this point, and right up until the point of marching into a fairly obvious trap, she had been doing well...

But it's worth stating that Djamila's staff can hit. -Hard-.

With jet power making her path fairly predictable, Djamila was able to punch through the hit. The first slam bashed into her shoulder, knocking her downward. The second into her outstretched arm. The third, fourth, fifth, sixth, all came with reckless abandon, churning at Mint and knocking her further and further behind. Each blow draws a pained gasp of breath from the veteran fighter...

And yet, even as she nearly tumbles to the floor, she manages to catch herself on one oversized hand. A sudden burst of throttle has her flipping back to her feet -- and landing in a crouch.

With a hungry grin on her face.

"Alright... that was pretty good, not gonna lie!" She wipes the blood from her lip off onto her upper sleeve. "Now... can you -keep- that momentum?"

Turbines roar to life once again. And Mint is blasting towards Djamila gain! This time she doesn't play fancy -- just throwing the bulk of her weight and momentum into one left cross, aimed to glance right across Djamila's collarbone -- and seemingly carry Mint hard to Djamila's left.

It might seem for an instant that that was the end of Mint's attack, but instead, with another rush of finely-tuned turbine power, Mint sharply -pivots- in place and comes tearing back at Djamila from a low angle with an overpowered fist aimed right at her hip! A powerful combination that leaves no room for disagreement!

COMBATSYS: Mint blitzes into action and acts again!

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Mint             1/----===/=======|-------\-------\0          Djamila

COMBATSYS: Mint successfully hits Djamila with Cross Punch.

[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////           ]
Mint             1/---====/=======|>>>>>--\-------\0          Djamila

COMBATSYS: Mint successfully hits Djamila with Dash Punch.

[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////                  ]
Mint             1/-======/=======|=======\===----\1          Djamila

She tries to be ready for what's coming when Mint asks her if she can keep the momentum. In the first attack, she tries to block well, but even if it just suppose to glance at her, she blocks the hit at the wrong place, misreading that hit, and the collar bone takes the hit. It takes the breath out of her a bit, as she wasn't expecting it. She feels Mint isn't trying to destroy her, so there is that.

She is not even recovered from the second hit when Mint goes for her hip. Djamila goes on her staff, trying to get out of the way, but instead receives it there and she falls from her staff. Though the staff stays up. She's grateful Mint didn't try to destroy her to prove a point though.

She promised her she would stop before being knocked out or really hurt. So despite wanting to fight to the end, she holds to that promise and stays down. I yield. I can't go on without risking an injury, and I promised."

She slowly stands up without attacking. "Thank you for this wonderful learning experience. I hope I am deemed fit for fighting Ayala." She has some pain but does her best to hide it.

COMBATSYS: Djamila has ended the fight here.

Minal can't read minds, and she can't sense chi, but she has a general grasp on how fighters think. And that is a -big- reason why she flat-out resisted the request to fight until a knockout. Djamila is one of her precious fighters -- and one to whom she feels she owes a -particular- debt in light of the recent security failure. Particularly as someone from the military who takes a certain amount of pride in matters of security. No... Miss Fadel has an fight to prepare for, and visiting the hospital -again- is not something Mint would be looking forward to.

Grazing shots is what she decided on. Her goal was to demonstrate that she was not only quick enough to land punches, but strategic enough to land punches that won't pulverize bones.

Mint lands from her second punch a fair distance away, panting with exertion -- and ready to strike again. But as she sees Djamila rise -- and speak -- she readily understands the message.

Mint flattens out her hands, letting them hang limply by her sides. Standing down.

"And I accept."
Mint grins, practically beaming with pride.
"I'm -very- proud of you, Djamila."

She nods, in response to the stated question about Ayala. "Of course. You'll do great! She tends to spring around a bunch, but... you kept up with -me-, so I'm sure you'll do fine. Just..."

She taps her head. Which, with her metal fingers, would make more of a 'bonk'. And it also draws a slight whimper from Mint as she forgot her heavy gauntlets were on.

"Watch your head, okay? Take the helmet if you wanna, but either way, you need to look out for your long-term health."

Mint snaps a quick salute, with all the assorted mechanical sounds that accompany that. "I'll be in the crowd watching, too. So no worries there!"

Djamila often fights on instinct. Though with Mint's help, she learned to add more to her repertoire. To give her instinct more options. Sometimes she also fails to read correctly, so her instinct might be wrong. She's not yet to the level of Mint and other great fighters, but every opportunity gives her something to learn. Maybe if she allows it, there is something to learn from the whole ordeal with her father, but that's a thought for later.

She's aware or at least is pretty sure Mint's Goal wasn't to destroy her, or it would have probably been a quick match. However, she feels no shame. She gave her best at the moment to show Mint she could go on, "Thank you for accepting. It was difficult to not simply continue. But I made a promise, and I know I need to be fit for my fight against Ayala. This fight helped me mentally for sure and was also a learning experience.

She listens to Mint talk about Ayala and her long-term health too. "I will protect my head. I don't think I want the helmet though. It's not just out of vanity. There is a weight difference wearing it. If it makes sense and it's not part of my body." Granted, clothes aren't part of her body either, but she knows she wouldn't be allowed to fight naked, and she used to work the pole with clothes.

"This is great to hear. I will do my best, while not putting my life in danger." She was happy Mint would be around. She feels a connection there. "I am going to meet the guards and do a few more training outside, but not with the guards." She chuckles. "I might also do a change. I feel like it's time. A step forward because I am not the same woman I was when I joined NFG or even Team Metal." She sighs. "Thank you, Mint."

Log created on 08:41:41 07/12/2023 by Mint, and last modified on 09:16:13 07/13/2023.