NFG Season One - Rude Awakening

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Description: Within the Frost Warehouse, Ayala and Daisuke were just trying to get some rest after a long day of Frost's brutal gang-warfare based training regime when Chevy and Ichika burst in to try and find the missing Coco. Alas, she's not here, and Juri's instructions on this have always been very clear. Anyone, ANYONE, who shouldn't be here and who gets through the front door, gets beat down. Or they catch a beating themselves. Strong incentives for a student-based security system.

"I feel bad about leavin' Captain Morgan in the truck," Chevy blurts out.

He's got air conditioning. He's got music playing. Chevy had even gotten him some extra grapes -- and even spent a good time on the trip from Team Thunder's hotel playing with the amicable binturong. Little critter ought to be worn out enough for a nap.

Chevy hadn't said much at all to the *humans* along the trip, though. Not Hawksley, not Buck, and not even to Ichika. Though that might have been because Hawksley himself was in the center, both physically and metaphysically, of the impromptu field trip to Frost HQ -- and relating -any- of that while Coco was held prisoner might have felt... gaudy.

But once Chevy and Ichika start their walk to the warehouse -- and Hawksley is out of earshot -- that changes. Water splish-splashes in the buckets suspended by her side -- a weapon of war, completely at odds with the peaceful smile on Chevy's face, now that she finally gets to share something with her friend after a long, somewhat awkward, ride.

"So," she starts, her cheeks tinting pink as she draws in a breath. "I did like you said. Told Hawksley how I really feel about him."

Perhaps that raises more questions than it answers. But at least Chevy seems more open to interrogation than she had in the truck.

Ichika has been quite stressed. Part of her research had been to look into as many of the sponsors as possible. More than she'd expected had no real public footprint whatsoever. Juri, though, had a sizeable one. As did Abigail. And Goldlewis. These are three individuals who, for admittedly different reasons in each case, she would not want to run up against. The more time she'd had to think about it, even with Ariastra's assistance, this felt foolhardy. But she couldn't abandon Chevy and Buck. Or Hawksley, probably. For their sake more than Coco's, she'd swallowed her fears and tried to come up with a plan.

Now she finds herself walking towards the warehouse, hand tight around the hilt of her sword, heart pounding in her chest - when Chevy drops another bombshell on her. Truth be told, Chevy's romantic entanglements had been pretty far from Ichika's mind throughout all this, but now she finds herself staring at her friend.

"That's, great!" She says, "I uh. Hm. Well, if we rescue Coco, she ought to have no complaints anyway. Hopefully she takes it with a little more grace than she showed in the fight."

Ichika's eyes drift back to the warehouse and she takes a deep breath. There's a lot of risks in all this. She needs to keep her guard up and her mind focused; but she couldn't just shut Chevy down, could she? This was obviously important to her friend and if she did shush her, it'd only make it even more difficult for her to concentrate on what she was sure was going to wind up being a chaotic brawl.

Chevy is focused, even if she doesn't look like it. Her fingers tap against the staff in her hand, causing ripples to resonate across the water in her buckets. She's -been- tense. But with the prospects of battle rising, that particular statement was one she didn't want to withhold from the Justice High student.

Chevy surveys the approach to the warehouse, warily stepping past things that could reveal themselves to be traps. She's not seeing anything terribly obvious yet -- but as the elder of the two, she'd hate to lead her friend into anything unprepared.

"... Yeah, I ain't... holdin' my breath on that." She coughs out a laugh. "She seems like one 'a them people't's gotta burn their hand on the stove to learn about it."

Chevy stops before rounding the corner of a trash dumpster, holding her hand to Ichika to convey caution. "Hmm..." she starts, craning forward to get a peek. "What are we dealin' with here..." she mumbles aloud.

The part of town that Frost 'HQ' happens to be in isn't... exactly a very nice neighbourhood. But somehow, the immediate surroundings of the warehouse the team has claimed as their own is actually mostly empty of people. Sure, there's the occasional gang member that comes scoping out the warehouse from afar, but it seems like the reputation the Frost sponsors hold works wonders towards discouraging the locals from coming over.

But when Chevy peeks around the dumpster to get eyes on the warehouse, she'll spot *someone* walking all too casually towards the building.

More specifically, that someone is... a young japanese man with *very* red hair, dressed in a kind of gaudy red-and-white aloha shirt, like the most stereotypical tourist one could think of. But he's clearly not just some completely lost tourist, since he is padding his way towards the side entrance (or the normal entry door for people?) with purpose, and carrying... two enormous bags obviously filled with takeout.

He is very clearly not one of the fighters competing for Team Frost, and none of the descriptions for the sponsors certainly match him, either. So who exactly is he? Some kind of production assistant or the like that the team hired? ...And for that matter, how did he manage to make his way there in this part of town without getting horribly mugged despite looking like... well... an easily-muggable tourist?

Whatever the case, the redhead doesn't appear to be aware of Chevy and Ichika sneaking around, and goes on to make his way all the way to the door without any worry. Lowering one of the enormous take-out bags onto the ground there, in order to free up a hand to dig through his pockets with. Probably fishing for the key to the door, at that...

All while his guard looks to be so tantalizingly down.

"I suppose it doesn't matter." Ichika says, idly. "I made my promise. Just because I don't want her to be murdered by a psychopath, that doesn't change anything between us."

She does her best to move with some vague measure of stealth, but when she sees Daisuke, the girl's eyes narrow. It takes her a moment to realise where she has seen him before. When she realises it, her features draw into an even deeper frown. She has no idea what he is doing here, but she does know who he is. Barely worthy of note. She really has to tax her prodigious memory to even remember his name - he's that kid from Taiyo who constantly picks fights that he ought not to pick. Hmph.

"Stay with me." She whispers, "I think we have our way in."


The declaration is given quite firmly. Ichika stands behind Daisuke with her sword ready to be drawn.

"I don't know how you've gotten yourself caught up in this, but if you take us to the kidnapping victim now and help us get her out of here I won't report this to your headteacher. I'm sure even Taiyo has rules against such crimes."

The girl is speaking Japanese of course; quick, self-assured and her tone thick with disapproval. If this were a Gedo student she wouldn't even think twice, but Taiyo? It was not a school she would normally associate with such delinquent behaviour.

She's not particularly worried about him trying to put up a fight. After all, he's just some random Taiyo student who was constantly getting beaten up by bullies. She has all the training she has undertaken throughout the competition to date to back her up. This might in fact be the stroke of luck they need to end this without too much unpleasantness!

"... Yeah," comments Chevy, "I'd almost forgot about that...". There -was- that whole challenge. Chevy barely remembered that; it seemed like weeks ago with all that's happened since.

Now, though, here is one young man that Chevy doesn't recognize. Her grip on the pole tenses... but she holds off on taking action until Ichika can step forward and take a look for herself.

And that may be a good thing; Chevy would rather avoid combat if she could. Subtly draping the pole behind her back so as not to pose as much of a threat, the taller Thunder shadows Ichika, smiling sheepishly.

"I don't know whatcha got there but it smells heavenly. You wouldn't want it to go to waste, for sure..."

The redhead had *just* turned the key in door far enough to prompt the telltale *click* of the lock being undone, when he hears *someone* utter out his name.

The young redhead identified thusly as Kubo-kun freezes in place, and after roughly 3.5987 seconds, he sloooowly turns his head and upper body in a jittery motion to bring him looking back to the duo that has snuck up on him.

"O-oh, uh..." Daisuke mumbles out soon enough, and his hand falls away from the key and handle of the door, leaving it to slide just slightly ajar on it's own while he turns to face the two directly. The bag on his other hand falls on the way, too, and both hands go up, slowly, to be held in the air at either side of his head. Clearly he took note of the sword prepared for drawing by Ichika - and the staff carried by Chevy too, for that matter, though perhaps that one's not so urgent in his mind right now.

"Um... You're... K-kasumoto-san, right?" He answers the Justice High student, similiarly in japanese, and with a smile holding equal amounts nervousness and confusion. He might no tpersonally know Ichika, but he at least looked up information about the other teams once he got here. "I don't really know what you are talking about. Victim...?"

A nervous, audibly gulp follows his words, but he is just briefly distracted by Chevy. And upon hearing her, he quickly switches to english when he offers, "Burgers and fries from a joint three blocks down!", smiling just a bit more genuinely while those subtly-accented words come. "There's nothing to cook in here, so I just go get stuff like this for everyone... uh..."

That companiable tone passes again when his brain reminds himself of just what kind of situation he is in, exactly, and nervousness pulls at his sweat-beaded brows. "L-look, I don't... really get what this is about, if this is some elaborate prank or a way to come look for a fight...? I mean, you could have called first if it's the latter, I think the guys would have been up for something official, you know...?"

Ichika draws the first few inches of her sword out of the sheathe; bright, well-maintained steel catches the dim light.

"This is not a joke, Kubo-kun." She says, deadly serious. Those bright blue eyes of hers are quite intense as she stares him down. Not a hint of a joke in her; in contrast to Chevy's lighthearted attempt to put him at his ease, Ichika looks every bit as serious as the situation warrants.

"Juri kidnapped Constance Coalbridge. I do not believe for a moment that you are uninvolved in this. Why a Taiyo student would be working with her is beyond me, but you will help us rectify this situation or you will be held equally culpable for her crimes."

The girl isn't even blinking, let alone smiling. She hasn't drawn her sword all the way, yet, but the threat could not be more clear; in her eyes, the young man is already her enemy based simply on the place of his schooling. His presence here is a second strike. If he wants to avoid violence, he will not give her a third.

For a moment it looks like Chevy might be about to comment on the presumed tastiness of the burger, or the quality of the burger joint. But she was asked to follow Ichika's lead, and that's what she does. Keeping her hands behind her back, she gently nods her head in concert with the situation as Miss Kasumoto describes it.

"Look, Mr Kubo... it's pretty clear we don't wanna fight you. And it's pretty clear Miss Coalbridge didn't wanna go. She left her little bearcat -and- her purse. Not to mention, like, fancy clothes. Y'know, things you ain't ever gonna see her without."

She smiles tensely. "We ain't askin' you to fight. Just to let us bring Miss Coalbridge back, so y'all can get to your dinner. How's that sound?" Perfectly reasonable, she hopes!


Daisuke's reaction to this new information seems genuinely shocked. Not so much disbelieving necessarily, though. The idea of Juri doing something like that isn't exactly far-fetched, you know?

"I-i'm telling you, I don't know anything about any of that!" The redhead goes on to insist, even after very visibly wincing from just the gesture of Ichika partially drawing out her sword as an intimidation tactic.

The boy bites down at his lower lip, briefly, while he's lost in some conflicted thoughts. Running several different scenarios in his head -- and perhaps even more importantly, some theories on what exactly lead to all of this. He doesn't know enough about the alleged kidnapping victim to have even the slightest clue on why Juri would do that. At the very least it's true that he has no idea where Coco would even be at this moment -- and he doesn't want this situation to spiral out of control.

"L-look," he manages to stutter out after a moment, expression managing to grow firmer by just a subtle amount. "I don't think there's even anyone here right now, everyone's been out training and fighting matches and stuff... Just..." A slow step backwards, and the heel of one sneaker-clad foot nudges into the gap between the ajar door and the frame, pushing it to opening while backing, slowly, through the threshold. "Take a look for yourself, but I don't think it will help..." Sure, Juri and Abigail did probably tell him that he shouldn't let anyone who isn't part of the team inside, but by his quickest estimation, he can at least try to de-escalate things by showing them that there isn't, in fact, a prisoner being held inside.

...He's not entirely sure what he would do if Juri does end up being revealed to be inside the warehouse with an unwillingly prisoned woman. He'd have *issues* with it, at the very least, but right now, but he can't afford to think about that too much right now.

Several slow steps carry him backwards either way, expecting Chevy and Ichika to follow. His foot does end up jabbing into a wayward toolbox, knocking it over and sending a collection of (probably Abigail's) tools clattering across the floor in a cacophony of noise.

Noise that would surely draw the attention of anyone who might be inside to the sight of the Team Frost intern *clearly* being held up at weaponpoint by two Team Thunder members.

It sure would be a shame if Daisuke was wrong about no one else being home.

Ayala, meanwhile, had been out. The cavewoman was just returning the warehouse, singing to herself strange songs in her people's language, and some of the ones she had learned in Spanish down in South America. It was probably a bit of a weird sight--curly blonde haired woman in gray pelt bikini, carrying Five Guys bags and sort of just carrying on down the road. Not that there are many people where the warehouse lay, exactly. The light singing died down as she approached, her attention instead focused on the entrance to said warehouse and things perhaps being... amiss.

The bags of Five Guys made little noise as they dropped to the pavement.

As the toolbox scattered its contents onto the floor, there was a thundering cry as Ayala dropped down from the roof area of the warehouse, between Daisuke and his two new 'friends'. At first she had probably been concerned it was an attack by roughs with exploding pistols, but the intruders she seemed to recognize, at least one of them--and she knew they carried no such weapon.

"Farm girl with bear puppy! And... other girl! What you do here??" She rose up from her squatting crouch, fluffing her hair and scarf back, but putting up her dukes, either way. This didn't look like a social visit, exactly.

Ichika's intense gaze still shows her suspicion. She doesn't trust Daisuke one bit. She knows for a fact that there definitely are people here, because they left Ariastra battling against the terrifying man-mountain Abigail. But perhaps Daisuke had somehow missed all of that. Even so, the fact that there's yet another person from Southtown here doesn't make much sense to her. She doesn't believe in coincidences. There's clearly a great deal more going on than they understand, but attacking him won't actually get answers to those questions.

Then he knocks into the toolbox, and that's when she loses her patience.

The girl draws her sword the rest of the way and if it weren't for Ayala's quick intervention she very well may have attacked immediately. "Trying to raise an alarm?!" She demands, close to panic - after all, she doubted that she and Chevy could take on Juri alone, let alone if they had to try and fight the entire rest of Team Frost alongside the dangerous sponsor. Anger and panic war in equal measure in her, but before she can try to knock the boy unconscious, Ayala gets between them.

"Don't play dumb." She glares at the huntress, "We're here to save Constance Coalbridge. Now get out of our way!"

And without any further preamble the tiny, angry school girl tries to simply barge past Ayala, past Daisuke and into the warehouse proper - at this point they've made so much noise that stealth is clearly no longer an option. Backup plan, then: she knows that Hawksley and Buck are going in from above. If they can at least make as much trouble as possible, maybe they can buy time for them to achieve the main objective...

This is going to be a far more unpleasant experience than she had thought, though, and she hadn't expected it to be fun.

Gaining admission -into- the Frost warehouse was... really not all that hard, Chevy realizes, following beyond their defender-turned-tour-guide Mr Kubo. It takes the hayseed's eyes a moment to adjust to the subdued light levels of the warehouse interior, but one thing she -is- taking note of is the way Daisuke is just walking backwards. She spots the toolbox in his path, and raises her hand to motion him to stop -- "Hey, careful with--" -- only for the inevitable to happen -anyway-, drawing a wince from Chevy.

But then there's a thundering cry from... above? A clattering toolbox. A drawn sword. And a blonde warrior from the NFG? Three things in rapid succession cause Chevy to take a defensive step backwards, bringing her staff and buckets before her in a ready defense.

"Oh, hey Ayala!" She seems a bit frustrated by her new epithet, however; with furrowed brow, she answers, "... -I- ain't the one with the bearcat though, uh..."

Just about then, there's all -sorts- of sounds going on with the exterior of the building. Some kind of commotion on the rooftop... and what sounds like two people clambering around on the outside of it. Chevy bites her lower lip for a moment, giving Ichika a quick glance.

"-I'm- just 'Farm girl with buckets.' Constance Coalbridge -- she's the 'Girl with bear puppy'."

She looks over at Daisuke -- but she's more concerned about Ayala's defensive posture. So with another quick glance around the room, she sees two things of interest, that -aren't- the student areas: Abigail's work area. And the folding screens that designate Juri's.

"Ah, don't mean to be rude, but we're just here to nose through spider-lady's stuff if that's cool. So why don't y'all just have a set-down an' enjoy your meals, huh? We won't be all that long." She doesn't lower her guard -- but keeps it between herself and the Frosties as she aims to step right on around them.

Ayala is partially on all fours and is growling at Ichika as a warning to stay away, with her teeth bared--almost like a tiger. Course, the sabrecat bikini and tail scarf help a bit with that image.

"Chevy can't have Daisuke, he Juri's, and Juri murder Ayala if something happen!" she rears up with her dukes rising up. She's learning new words too, this probably means it's serious, all things considered.

"No! Not cool! Juri also murder both if people go through her stuff!" a step is taken towards Chevy at this point. A Step. That kind of step can mean a lot of things, in some circles it can also be fightin' words, so to speak. Ayala's attention is also admittedly more divided on Chevy, at this point, not just because she can't keep her attention on both of the invaders.

"Ayala beat you this time!" another step is taken, this time drawing her a bit further from Daisuke but more so in confrontation of Chevy.

"What?!" Daisuke blurts out after the very much accidental knocking-over of the toolbox, color *immediately* draining from his face with Ichika's sword getting pulled out. "No! Just--"

His (probably futile protests) are ended by the very sudden appearance of Ayala quite literally dropping in between him and the intruders, prompting him to take a single step backward by reflex alone. "Ayala...?"

Well, this is bad. Not only is the appearance of Ayala quickly tipping the scales even closer towards confrontation to spill over, but he is definitely noticing the telltale sounds of... *something* going on outside, too. He can only assume that the two of them brought more people with them, and there's fighting going on. And even more suggestion, thus, that Juri really *did* do something to earn their ire.

What a complete mess. One he's going to be giving his 'senpai' a piece of his mind over later, be it a good idea or not. But right now, his biggest concern is to try and not let his most immediate situation turn to unnecessary violence.

"L-look, let's just take a minute and *talk*, okay...?" He suggests for everyone's benefit, with his hands held coming up to be held in fornt of him again. "I do--"

Of course Ayala had to go and make her own understanding of what is going on audible for everyone to hear right then. And Daisuke promptly sputters and turns as red as a tomato.

"I'm what?!?!" Oh boy. He's not sure if he's more taken aback by the implication of what Ayala's apparent understanding of his association with Juri is, or how she has apparently taken to understand the reason for the two intruders to be here.

Everything's just going downhill from there. Ichika's stepping forward, past Ayala, and Daisuke's only move from there is to step directly into her path, arms spread slightly while he urges her, "Wait! Just wait! Please!" in a mild panic -- one that grows into even bigger panic when he sees Ayala stomping for Chevy with the kind of menacing air that doesn't suggest any diplomatic intentions. "Ayala no!!"


A piercing scream from the roof, and Ichika has heard quite enough. Whether Daisuke is a fool or a conspirator can be worked out later. Maybe he IS Juri's lover, that'd certain explain his loyalty, but Ichika couldn't really care less about that either. Ayala is spoiling for a fight, and clearly isn't going to listen to reason. There's only one way for things to go from here.

"We've talked enough. Run or fight, Kubo-kun, but no more words."

She does, however, want to give the redhead the opportunity TO run if he wishes. Besides, as far as she's concerned, there's only the one fighter present as a threat at the moment - and this is not an NFG match. Ayala might well be able to take Chevy on equal footing... but Ichika has no compunction whatsoever about ganging up on her before her own backup can arrive.

"Chevy! Let's make this quick!"

And that's all the warning that Ayala gets before Ichika is leaping through the air, her sword brought around and down - not aiming to cut the cavewoman, but instead to hammer the hilt right into the top of her skull with a shocking amount of force.

The sooner they can disable Ayala, the quicker they can get to the source of that scream and the answers that they seek!

COMBATSYS: Ichika has started a fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Ichika           0/-------/-------|

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

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Ichika           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0            Ayala

Chevy's had... doubts about Ichika's tendency to leap headlong into battle. But she knows the Justice High student to be someone who can objectively assess a situation, and she hasn't lopped off any limbs with that exquisitely sharp blade -yet-, so the auburn-haired American is willing to go along with her. Most of the time.

Besides, once Ichika's set her mind to a thing, she can be pretty unstoppable. Chevy laughs, faintly, even as she hears the ear-splitting shriek from above... knowing full well that Hawksley and Buck are better positioned to deal with that at the moment. And if they're -not-, well... that's the territory they're fighting for.

To Ayala -- the one displaying more hostile intent, Chevy starts, "... Uh, if that's -really- going on, it sounds like we got -two- people't needs savin'..." She offers a faint frown at Ayala. "It don't gotta be this way, Ayala, but..."

Before she can -try- to continue talking things out, as Daisuke suggests, Ichika's leaping high. And that means Chevy swings low, aiming to lock her pole and buckets around Ayala's ankle, in an attempt to make this as short and painless as possible. If she manages that, she'd pull outward sharply, dragging Ayala to the floor!

"Your sponsor's a little... um... -off!-"

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

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Chevy            0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0            Ayala
[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Ichika           0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Ayala blocks Chevy's Weapon Trip.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////   ]
Chevy            0/-------/-------|==-----\-------\0            Ayala
[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Ichika           0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Ayala blocks Ichika's Power Strike.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////    ]
Chevy            0/-------/-------|===----\-------\0            Ayala
[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Ichika           0/-------/-------|

The sword strike from Ichika is deemed more of a problem and Ayala has to take care--using her arm to bend off the blow by bringing her arm up to block and redirect the strike so it doesn't cut her across the torso, however the handle is brought down against her head--causing her to get bashed on the arm and head, which obviously looks like it hurts.

"Ayala make YOU off--" she growls and tries to kick Chevy's pole and bucket away--hurting her leg and foot in the process, ow.

Growling, she rears back up and goes for Ichika next--since she's closer and more responsible for the sudden and immens pain she has in her head--howling and rearing back to launch herself in a jump right onto her--scratching and biting!

The scream above doesn't sound good. Granted, literally anything in fighting could cause it, but still. It makes Daisuke feel sick to his stomach, on top of everything else he is having to deal with here.

A certain logical part of his brain says that he should just go upstairs with the two and figure this thing out. But that would require letting them beat Ayala up -- and this isn't even an official fight event or anything, so it could really get out of hand. But the quickest way to end this and save the kidnapped person would be to just let it happen.

To just stand there and watch.

To run away.


But Daisuke just can't do that.

Daisuke just can't watch someone get hurt.

"Stop, damnit!!!"

It's a sudden blur of a seventeen -year old body leaping across the air, past Ichika and Ayala both. Chevy is behind the cavewoman, so apparently that's the primary target, right then, for making things easier, in the form of...

...Daisuke literally bodily throwing himself at her, in an effort to tackle her away and down onto the ground.


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

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Chevy            0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0          Daisuke
[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////      ]
Ichika           0/-------/-------|===----\-------\0            Ayala

COMBATSYS: Ichika blocks Ayala's Tooth & Nail ES.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Chevy            0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0          Daisuke
[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////      ]
Ichika           0/-------/-----==|====---\-------\0            Ayala

Ichika isn't too surprised when Ayala jumps at her; she's watched the woman fight before, after all. There's a certain grim determination in the schoolgirl's look, now. This isn't the kind of fight she enjoys, where she gets to pit herself against her opponent in the spirit of friendly competition and when all is said and done nobody is really hurt. There's stakes here. Real ones. She didn't *like* Coco, but whatever Juri had planned for her couldn't be good. That she keeps her students in fear of her so much that they would back her even in this kind of situation only paints a nastier picture.

The blade is swept around as Ayala closes on her, the flat of it knocking aside her arms so that nails rake across her shoulders and legs rather than clean hits, refusing to let the woman get close enough to bring those teeth to bear. She hmphs faintly, brilliant blue eyes glaring.

"Enough. Even you have to realise you can't win against two-"

She begins, only for Daisuke to suddenly throw himself into the fight. Now that really does catch her by surprise. Nothing in the Taiyo student's demeanor had implied to her that he was able to fight; she'd just given him the option out of politeness, really.

"... hmph."

That does at least shut Ichika up, and the girl suddenly lashes out with one booted foot, aiming to crash it hard into Ayala's jaw. If she manages that, the other swings up and around to plant her heel on the woman's shoulder, and the fierce Outworld fighter will find herself being used as a springboard so that Ichika can leap backwards; aiming to end up next to her friend with sword raised. This was an unexpected variable, and she didn't like those.

COMBATSYS: Daisuke successfully hits Chevy with Medium Throw.

[    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Chevy            0/-------/----===|-------\-------\0          Daisuke
[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////      ]
Ichika           0/-------/------=|====---\-------\0            Ayala

Two-on-one wasn't really a fight Chevy wanted to go on for very long. And yet, with hostility erupting between Ichika and Ayala, Chevy just could -not- remain passive.

Unfortunately for her, Daisuke found himself thinking along similar lines, as her buckets are warded off. And when she suddenly sees the lunch-fetcher surge at her, she's caught unaware -- with her buckets in exactly the -wrong- position for such an attack! Her unwillingness to let go of the staff keeps her in the right place for a strike, but the -wrong- place for her to get pulled off-balance and levered to the floor, her back slamming against the concrete floor -- and her buckets clattering as they upend their contents with a loud splash!

"Oh, hey, you -do- know how to fight!" she chirps back! But since Daisuke's volunteered himself by way of his proximity, a partially-soaked Chevy grabs for his wrists, hoping to turn the tables on him -- by bodyslamming him onto -his- back, and pinning him against the water.

This seems futile, and maybe a bit petty. But Daisuke might see the wisdom in that, as the water... feels more like -mud-, seeking to glue him in place if he's not quick enough to avoid it!

COMBATSYS: Ichika successfully hits Ayala with Innovation Drive EX.

[     \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Chevy            0/-------/-----==|-------\-------\0          Daisuke
[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Ichika           0/-------/----===|=======\-------\0            Ayala

"You say what?" Ayala struggles with Ichika and eventually pushes away from her, the attack resulting in a less than spectacular sort of cat fight. Ayala raises her fists again and doesn't see the boot in time--getting kicked right in the head. There is a thumping of the material against skin and bone, kind of a slap followed by a thump, really--the cavewoman's head snapping back as she nearly stumbles over from that, her body used as a springboard as she's pushed further back.

Too many head injuries in short order, and getting shoved around like that left her momentarily dizzy. When the cavewoman recovers, she brings her fists back in a hammerblow, trying to catch Ichika with it--who may not have gained enough distance quite yet to elude her!

COMBATSYS: Daisuke dodges Chevy's Marsh Mud.

[     \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Chevy            0/-------/----===|-------\-------\0          Daisuke
[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////        ]
Ichika           0/-------/----===|=======\-------\0            Ayala

Somehow it doesn't feel very good for Daisuke to get his alleged fighting ability called out like that by Chevy.

Before he can really complain, though, he's suddenly pushing himself off with one good push down at the ground on the right side of the american with a foot planted there after the tackle, to all but send himself launching himself off of her -- just before her hands come latching on. It might look like kind of an unnecessarily dramatic leap just to avoid one grab, but...

That leap does also manage to carry him at least a reasonable enough distance to keep him from landing right in the center of the puddle left behind by her spilled buckets. One of his sleeves does end up dampened when he lands on the far end and rolls over there, but still. Did he somehow know there was chi channeled into the water?

"I don't *want to* fight you!" he finally retorts to the american then once he's sprung up to one knee with the support of two hands, like he's assuming the starting position for a hundred meter sprint. "I'll help, so please stop!"

His statement is at least a *little* backed up by the fact that he isn't immediately launching himself up into another assault, not even after Ichika lands on the other side of Ayala and besides Chevy. But he does watch the two of them, carefully. For just a split second, it might almost even look like his eyes might actually glow. It's... probably a trick of the light, though. He has pretty bright eyes to begin with.

"Ple--" Aaand that's when his eyes flick to Ayala chaging in from behind Ichika to come hammer at the back of her head. "No!!"

COMBATSYS: Daisuke calculates his next move.

[     \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Chevy            0/-------/----===|-------\-------\0          Daisuke
[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////        ]
Ichika           0/-------/----===|=======\-------\0            Ayala

COMBATSYS: Ichika dodges Ayala's Quick Smash.

[     \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Chevy            0/-------/----===|-------\-------\0          Daisuke
[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////        ]
Ichika           0/-------/----===|=======\-------\0            Ayala

Ichika has more than enough time to twist to the side of the incoming hammerblow, letting it sail through the space where she had been as Daisuke continues to try and beg and plead.


Ichika's temper has definitely gotten the better of her. This boy thought he could attack her friend and then keep babbling away with his obvious lies about helping them?

"If you were going to help, you'd subdue Ayala, not stand there OBVIOUSLY looking for an opening!"

She can tell that much; it's something she has done herself in almost every fight she's been in. For all his attempt to portray himself as a noncombatant, this Taiyo student was obviously far more capable than he was letting on. The deception, more than anything else, enrages her. Clearly the entirety of Frost couldn't be trusted; composed of fools like Daisuke and Ayala, and the people who manipulated them like Juri and Daisuke.

The irritation does at least give her some additional energy; the girl's power tearing out of her as she tries to drive Ayala backwards with a sudden downward swipe of her sword which brings with it an enormous wave of bright blue power.

COMBATSYS: Ichika successfully hits Ayala with Illumination Wave.

[     \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Chevy            0/-------/----===|-------\-------\0          Daisuke
[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////                ]
Ichika           0/-------/-----==|=======\======-\1            Ayala

It's not so much a call-out as a statement of fact. It ... makes sense, based on Juri's kidnapping of Coco, that she would have similar reason to sweep Daisuke under her wing. And anyone who could get the jump on her as effectively as Daisuke has... well, that means he can fight.

And that's... kind of invigorating, in a sense. Enough for Chevy to flash a grin to Daisuke, as she springs back to her feet. "I mean, I get you, Mr Kubo, but... won't it put you in a bind if you -don't- fight us?"

She steps down into the water, splashing it about for a bit. The water rises and falls in a ... weird fashion.

And then all of a sudden the water surges forward in a -wave- -- one which Chevy is quick to surf along as she closes the distance to Daisuke! With the peculiar approach, she's able to crouch low on approach -- and if the surfing Southerner manages to grab hold of his shin, she'd sharply lift up on it and toss him onto his side!

"Stop yelling! You one that won't leave!" Ayala's hammerblow came down--just short of Ichika, apparently, who was able to get away from her. The cavewoman deosn't have time to do much else as the huge chi blast--or what she thinks is--impacts and hits her like a wall. It throws her back into one of the solid objects in the warehouse--like the chassis of a car, or maybe a support beam. Either way, it's like getting sandwiched between two walls--crushed between them. The cavewoman winds up falling headfirst off the side of whatever it was and faceplanting on the ground. She lands in a bloody heap, pulling herself up looking quite a bit like she was just run over by something.

Ayala is left breathing hard, and coughing a bit--wiping blood away from her face, blearily staring back at Ichika with a look of pure hatred. Not normal for her.

"Hrrrrraaagh!" Ayala draws in as much of her power as she can, getting ready to expend it--half-turning as she kicks off whatever she had been thrown into--wreathing herself in glowing chi as she sailed back towards Ichika, barreling towards her like a missile--a fist missile!

COMBATSYS: Daisuke blocks Chevy's Mudskipper EX.

[      \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////////  ]
Chevy            0/-------/----===|==-----\-------\0          Daisuke
[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////                ]
Ichika           0/-------/-----==|==-----\-------\0            Ayala

"I--" Ichika's accusation cuts deep into Daisuke, and it makes him visibly hesitate and crumble a little.

But that crumbling turns into something completely different when he sees Ichika slash Ayala with her sword, wincing at the sight of the Frost trainee getting sent flying back, bloodied.


He grits his teeth together all the more after, with the point Chevy has made. Yeah. He'd definitely get in trouble with Juri. For sure. But...

"...I kinda don't care."

He shakes his head at that particular thought, rising up to standing in mirroring Chevy's motions with a quiet gulp. But he does also spy Ayala getting up, just past her and way over there where she got sent off to.

"Ayala, no!" He calls out, even while Chevy manipulates water to surging up into the beginning of a miniature tidal wave. "Just get out of here! Don't!!" But in the heat of it all, his requests probably fall on deaf ears. There's just enough time for him to see the barbarian woman launching into a violent counterattack before he has to focus on Chevy.

And the wave she is surfing up towards him.


He backs up several leaping steps, but the wave likely still keeps coming. Coming and coming until he starts running out of space to back up into.

"Did she plan this, too?!" He groans out -- though it doesn't sound like the complaint is actually directed at anyone present. The 'she' definitely isn't any of the three women in this room. "Damnit--!" His further complaints nearly get drowned out by the sound of the water splashing around him while he brings both his arms to try and shield himself. But how on earth could one possibly just *block* like that against water? The pressure itself probably pelts at him physically already, while the waterbender responsible for the wave surfs closer and closer.

"Damnit, Juri--!" He roars out amidst it all, in a mix of frustration, anger and sorrow all, with one of his upraised arms pulling down and to the side...

Cyan energy crackles like errant electrical currents in the air.


The pulled-back arm swings back forward, shoving an open palm through the water itself, leading up to a massive wave of energy bursting out from the hand, forming a dome-like translucent shape in front of the redheaded teenager, shoving through the wave to forcefully disperse it, and...

...And slam into Chevy if she doesn't get out of the way.

COMBATSYS: Ichika blocks Ayala's Falcon Hit EX.

[      \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////   ]
Chevy            0/-------/----===|=------\-------\0          Daisuke
[       \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////                ]
Ichika           0/-------/-----==|==-----\-------\0            Ayala

Ichika narrows her eyes as Ayala rebounds from the attack. The girl takes a deep breath. Her leg sweeps across the floor, boot digging into the warehouse floor behind her. Stay calm. Stay focused. Listen to her instincts. Three principles that she has been struggling to embody in her fights, and now, as she lets out her breath, it is with more intentionality than she has shown before.

A brilliant blue shield of chi bursts into being between her and Ayala's incoming fist. The woman does shatter it; punching through hard, but as the shield evaporates into so many sparkling lights, Ichika is already braced - one hand flat against the side of her sword as she brings it up horizontally to take the blow. She still skids across the ground, still feels the blunted strength reverberate through her weapon and her limbs, but the sword does its job well.

"You've got a lot of strength." She says, seriously, "More than me. But fighting isn't just about strength."

She's unsurprised that Daisuke is showing his true colours; the wave of energy feels... well, strange and familiar at the same time. A very surreal experience for the girl, but she's confident that Chevy can handle it and that she won't be any more surprised by the revelation of his fighting potential than she is. Stay focused. Stay calm. And her instincts say to finish this fight before she deals with that other mystery.

Ayala is close, now, and whilst Ichika has made a point of NOT using her blade until this moment, that changes. No longer relying on the hilt, her boot, or her energy, she instead steps in and flourishes the weapon - quickly slashing to the left and right, aiming to draw numerous thin cuts across the older woman's limbs in preparation of opening her up for a final, finishing blow...

COMBATSYS: Ichika successfully hits Ayala with Quick Strike.

[      \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////   ]
Chevy            0/-------/----===|=------\-------\0          Daisuke
[       \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////                   ]
Ichika           0/-------/----===|=====--\-------\0            Ayala

COMBATSYS: Chevy fails to interrupt Soul Wave from Daisuke with Mix-Up Throw.

[            \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////   ]
Chevy            0/-------/=======|===----\-------\0          Daisuke
[       \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////                   ]
Ichika           0/-------/----===|=====--\-------\0            Ayala

"UGH--" the attack being soaked makes a lot of the energy feedback into Ayala--and disperses it--it feels like hitting a solid object and going nowhere with a huge hit like that--and it took a lot out of her, leaving her thumping to the ground after she lands, rolling to a stop. She had not expected what happened at the start of the fight and she has just been getting slammed over and over, she would probably even consider running away at this point except the knowledge that what Juri will do to her will much likely be worse.

"Damnit--agghhh!" she is cut, this way and that by the sword--distinctly able to feel the wounds sting as her skin parts due to the blade.

Right now she kneels on the ground, panting, and waiting and watching what the other woman will do with that sword--not that she has the means to do much about it. She tries to suck in a deep breath, cracking her knuckles, and trying not to think about the gashes across her arms and body right now.

COMBATSYS: Ayala gains composure.

[            \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////   ]
Chevy            0/-------/=======|===----\-------\0          Daisuke
[       \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////                ]
Ichika           0/-------/----===|====---\-------\0            Ayala

Chevy frowns, ever so slightly, as Daisuke tosses out his reply. NFG, in many ways, imbued her with a fresh vitality for life, stirring up a fire she'd known nothing about beforehand. Even now -- fighting on behalf of someone she wasn't a huge fan of -- she feels driven to improve herself. To be stronger, faster, and just overall -better-. She knows Daisuke isn't -strictly- a part of that... and yet, he's here, given the same opportunities.

Somehow, Ayala and Ichika are moving too fast to keep up. Which is fine -- she's got her own problems with Daisuke right now. And when he comes at her with an extended fist -- she grins, stepping back away from her surfing wave and planting her foot in place. With a raise of her empty palm, she causes the water to surge upward...

And nothing... especially important happens, as water washes right through the translucent dome that Daisuke's erected around his fist. Loud pops and crackles erupt as water particles are vaporized in the wake of electricity. And a confident Chevy takes a full-on hit to the shoulder, which spins her around like a top -- and also sends her flying backwards into a storage crate, flipping her around head-over-heels.

She lands in a low crouch, planting her palm on the ground. Sucking air through her teeth, she glances around...

"Nngh... it -must- be worth fightin' for, if you pack a punch like -that!-"

Leftover water blown around by the impact splatters like raindrops along Daisuke's body, soaking the boy's incredibly red hair and the gaudy holiday shirt, with his arm still left extended forward for a moment even after Chevy has been blown away.

"...Guh." His arm is eventually given a shake, with some leftover crackles of energy sparking in the air around it, with him taking a few slow steps after Chevy herself.

"... Is it?" He murmurs out in response to her statement, lips pursing into a frustrated pout. The look in his glowing eyes is sorrowful, almost.

"I don't even *know* what I am fighting for anymore. Damnit. Damnit!" Both his hands grip into tight fists at his sides to dig nails against the skin of his palms, hissing with growing frustration through his teeth. Frustration at himself. "I'm just an idiot who accepted a stupid deal because he thought he could *do something*. And now my life's basically over."

The boy gives his head a shake with a deep frown, before looking down at his right hand as it comes up again, palm open -- and blue-green energy begins to gather around it once more. "... I just wanted no one to get hurt. I guess now I just have to settle for everyone making it out alive."

A sudden burst into motion, then, to make a dash for Chevy. "I'm sorry--" he calls out on the way, with his right hand reared back again. "Just go to sleep for a bit!" A stomp right before Chevy, then, and the glowing, open-palmed hand is thrust for her -- aimed for her solar plexus if she's risen up by then, her side or shoulder if she's still crouched, intended to slam against her either way as a delivery method for Psycho Power he at least hopes will take *some* of the fight out of the american.

Ichika flicks the blood from her blade and sheathes her sword. The girl looks into Ayala's eyes, her own expression stern and dark. Compared to the girl who had been bellowing her frustration just a short time ago, Ichika looks every part the Ice Queen that the NFG had tried to paint her as at the start of the first tournament. Internally, the girl is pushing herself to the limit. She's certain that Ariastra would be scolding her about going so hard so fast; but what else can she do? Every moment of delay is another moment where her friends might be in genuinely mortal peril.

Every muscle in the girl's body pulls taut as she calls upon that formidable fighting spirit of hers. Brilliant blue eyes burn like sapphires, and she tightens her grip so hard on the hilt of her katana that it makes her palm sore.

"I understand you might hate me." She says, "I'll do my best to live up to it."

And then she is dashing forwards, the blade edged with that beautiful blue energy of hers as she calls it forth. The first few strikes are much like the ones Ayala has just endured; swift, testing, probing slashes, just now laced with that potent power.

Until the moment the girl releases the tension in her body and suddenly *disappears*. No longer in front of the kneeling woman, Ichika descends from above with the hilt of her sword leading the way - silent as the grave as she aims to bludgeon the unfortunate cavewoman into unconsciousness with that one, intense blow. She can only hope she's done enough work to weaken her that she can have it land true!

COMBATSYS: Daisuke successfully hits Chevy with Medium Punch.

[                 \\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////   ]
Chevy            1/----===/=======|====---\-------\0          Daisuke
[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////                ]
Ichika           0/-------/-------|====---\-------\0            Ayala

Chevy grits her teeth, the battle between Ayala and Ichika taking place in her periphery. She's familiar with both the sounds of the cavewoman bouncing about and those of Ichika's sword slashes. She'd -love- to spend some time watching Ayala -- but keeping Daisuke busy is a key objective of both the mission -upstairs- and the mission down here. And Daisuke is... doing -far- more than keeping the American busy.

As she rises, Chevy barks out a laugh at the idea that Daisuke's life is over. "Heck, kid, you're what, sixteen? Seventeen? A little early to start facin' your midlife crisis..." But then she frowns, as Daisuke starts talking not just about -social- death, but -actual- death. "... Ain't no one gonna -die- here today, Mr Kubo..."

One instant. That's all the warning Chevy has before Daisuke's rocketing forwards against her. She flinches, starting to hop backwards -- but that's all the time she's got before Daisuke's able to plant his palm against her sternum. The sudden jolt of Psycho Power is enough to take the breath right out of her; she staggers backwards with wide eyes, clasping her hands to her chest as she crumples to her knees. Take the fight out of her? It seems to have done that for the moment.

"What... what the heck was -that-..." she gasps, no longer seeming to be the confident one in the exchange. "Like, everyone else... I -feel- it before it strikes, but..."

Slowly... the water she'd spilled before starts bubbling to life. And then it starts -sweeping- to her, as surely as the tide returns to the sea.

"I ain't gonna -sleep- til every one of ours gets to come home. I'm sure you can relate!"

COMBATSYS: Chevy gets ready to turn the tide!

[                 \\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////   ]
Chevy            1/=======/=======|====---\-------\0          Daisuke
[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////                ]
Ichika           0/-------/-------|====---\-------\0            Ayala

COMBATSYS: Ichika successfully hits Ayala with Future Perfect EX.

[                 \\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////   ]
Chevy            1/=======/=======|====---\-------\0          Daisuke
[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////                       ]
Ichika           0/-------/-------|=======\==-----\1            Ayala

Despite her best efforts to remain in the fight, the sudden bludgeoning attack hits Ayala hard enough to send blood spurting from her scalp and into the air, knocking the sense out of her. Ayala stumbled to her feet, still not wanting to just drop over--despite her body's constant urging to do so.

"NGhh--still, can't keep up--with... Ayala..." the cavewoman began to step somewhat awkwardly at first toward Ichika, minding the sword still--then glowed green--chi bursting from her again, taking a few twirling steps as she emitted a field of the energy around her, trying to catch the swordswoman in it!

And whatever borrowed time she's still on after that ends, she drops to the floor like a ton of bricks.

COMBATSYS: Ayala keeps on fighting!

[                 \\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////   ]
Chevy            1/=======/=======|====---\-------\0          Daisuke
[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////                      ]
Ichika           0/-------/-------|==-----\-------\0            Ayala

Daisuke's palm sweeps right back again, with a backward step of his own made to recreate some of the distance between the two. "Who knows?" Is all he has to offer over her wondering out loud about just what exactly she got hit with. It might come across as a taunt, but the truth is that he doesn't actually have a proper answer, himself.

He almost goes to stomp after her all over again, only to be halted when he sees the water she was employing as a weapon bubble up around her once more, like a torrent of power building up. He even blinks in surprise at the sight, momentarily uncertain of just how exactly he should even attempt approaching that.

But he does smile just faintly at her words -- even if the smile is tinged with some sadness. "Yeah," he agrees in a low sigh, while shifting himself back a bit more, knees bending to lower his posture. "I can relate. I promise you this much, at least--" Bending down some more, he even plants one hand against the ground while his eyes narrow on Chevy. "WHatever happens now, everyone goes home after. I swear."

A logical part of his brain is telling him that he should have put a stop to this long ago. But with everything that has gone on, he has gotten lost into the heat of the battle, too. Something he is going to curse himself for later, for sure.

Crackling energy gathers around his body and pulses under his feet, oscillating faster and faster -- until it suddenly *explodes* with a wide, air-rippling boom and sends the redhead, coated with a layer of the mysterious energy, charging through the air at Chevy, shoulder-first.


COMBATSYS: Ayala successfully hits Ichika with Dance Floor.

[                 \\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////    ]
Chevy            1/=======/=======|===----\-------\0          Daisuke
[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////                      ]
Ichika           0/-------/----===|==-----\-------\0            Ayala

Once again, Ichika flicks her blade, cleaning it before sliding it back into the saya at her side. When Ayala doesn't just fall down, she casts a faintly irritated look back at her. "You're done." She says, sharply. "Know when enough is enough."

Rather than attempting to dodge, or even mitigate, the incoming attack - Ichika instead turns towards Daisuke - and when Ayala slams into her, she tries to use the momentum to propel her into that fight instead. It's not the worst plan she's ever had.

Except that she underestimates the woman's strength quite badly. And the speed at which Daisuke is able to make himself move. The result is that Daisuke tears in front of her a half-second before Ichika ricochets painfully off the side of Abigail's truck, hits the ground, and rolls inelegantly to a stop.

Ugh. That would have been very impressive if it had worked. Instead...

Well, Ichika seems to be under the impression that Ayala is out for the count. And by now, with as much of it thrown around as there has been, she's pretty sure she knows why Daisuke is here. It doesn't take a genius prodigy to put this strange power, Genie's strange power, and Juri's obsession with Genie together.

"Sorry, Chevy, I should have been quicker." She mutters, and then she's closing on Daisuke, blade leading the way. No attempt to avoid drawing Daisuke's blood it seems, because she announces her intervention in this fight by trying to stab him right in the back before rolling to his left.

COMBATSYS: Chevy fails to counter Blazing Charge from Daisuke with King Tide EX.

[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////    ]
Ichika           0/-------/----===|=====--\-------\0          Daisuke
                                  >  ////////                      ]
                                  |==-----\-------\0            Ayala

COMBATSYS: Chevy can no longer fight.

[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////    ]
Ichika           0/-------/----===|=====--\-------\0          Daisuke
                                  >  ////////                      ]
                                  |==-----\-------\0            Ayala

For all that's been said and done, it had become clear that Coco wasn't -here-, anyway, but outside somewhere. And probably on the -roof-. That much was obvious from the shouting. But everyone had their part to play in this, and keeping Daisuke and Ayala from interfering with the rescue, wherever it actually was taking place, was a factor Chevy had been keeping in mind from the beginning.

The fact that Daisuke seems to be a genuinely good person, though? That played a huge factor into why Chevy had been 'playing' along with this whole idea.

Which is is why she smiles in response to Daisuke. Ichika may have accused him of lying. But Chevy had figured the Taiyo student and Ayala were both just... being honest.

Chevelle Beaumont rises to her feet, as the collected waters swirl into a wreath at her feet, tendrils of water spraying upward for a foot before tumbling back into the rush.

"Thank you for bearin' with us, Kubo-san."

She can see the energy building -- even though she feels nothing. A notable challenge for the martial arts apprentice's burning ambition. Ichika apologizes -- and Chevy answers, simply, "It's alright, Ichika." She rises -- and presents both palms to Daisuke, in a ready wrestling stance. "I think we're just about to be done here..."

The aim is clear -- she would seek to meet Daisuke's charge head-on, and grapple him out of that mysterious power. The water would surge up -- blast -through- the oscillating energy to strike at the redhead within.

When push comes to shove, though -- her hands make contact. The waves surge upwards... But the electricity sears -into- her, jolting her out of her focused concentration. The water loses its will to surge -- gravity instantly taking charge, the only net effect being a cloud of crackling steam as it boils against the rush of Psycho Power.

Chevy's eyes wince shut, as she's blasted backward by Daisuke's shoulder. She hurtles backwards -- and -slams- into a support column. Her head lolls back, thumping against the column -- and then in the very next moment, she's out like a light. Just as Daisuke may have hoped.

But now he's got a bigger problem -- what to do with a five-foot-eight woman now leaning on him, as a much shorter student is trying to stab him in the back!

Ayala fell, slumped over on her face on the cold warehouse floor--until her eyes shot open, a spasm of pain pushing her up and off the ground and on all fours, breathing hard, and realizing that Daisuke was now being beset by two different fighters... and... Chevy was down?

Ayala frowned, staggering toward where Ichika and Daisuke were now engaged, she hadn't been able to concentrate on his fight with Chevy enough to fully realize--Daisuke was... actually a lot more powerful than she thought. Shit. She feels really stupid now, and really bad.

"GET OUT... get out... of camp..." Ayala manages through coughing and groans, trying to jump up and deliver a heel kick to Ichika from behind! It is a bit dirty, but--she feels worse about other things right now.

COMBATSYS: Daisuke interrupts Evasive Strike from Ichika with Soul Cutter EX.

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

Water churging with chi blows around Daisuke. Even with the layer of energy around him, the pressure of it all feels... well. *Concerning*, and some instinct of his is telling him to just cut this out and pull away so he won't be cut apart or something.

But an even more stubborn part keeps the energy that initiall launched him to keep blazing behind him, and pushing him through, until--

"Hrrgh!" His body slams like a cannonball against Chevy, with the weight of his own physical presence and the surge of Psycho Power combined, sending both of them flying across all the way until they are halted by Chevy's back coming in contact with a supporting pillar.

"Haaa--" Daisuke's breath comes out labored after that, feet just barely managing to find support underneath her -- and his arms finding themselves giving support to the knocked-out american likely slumping on him.

"I'm so--" He starts to say, but...

His eyes widen, with a sharp glow. Something is coming from behind him. He might not have been able to hear or see it amidst everything, but some psychic sense manages to pick out the presence of impending *danger*. Of a sharp blade aimed right at his lower back.

With Chevy's weight upon him, there's no time to turn around to face Ichika by normal means. So instead, one hand unclasps itself from the american, and a sudden, explosive burst of energy like the flame of a miniature rocket engine launches from his palm. With the floor as slippery as it is, that is enough to send him spinning around on the pivot of one foot, while the other stomps down after to try to redirect himself into a sideward skid halfway through--

It's enough to avoid getting run through, but not enough to avoid the blade entirely. It nicks into his side, cutting through the hawaii-patterned shirt first and then skin underneath. Enough to draw blood, definitely enough to need bandaging later on.

But there's more happening. In the very same instant, after the initial burst of energy from his palm, that same hand closes, stretched far out to his side to guide it sweeping with the momentum of his own forceful spin into the side of Ichika's head and hopefully knock her away by at least a few feet.

"G--gahhh!" The pain from being cut comes only after, and Daisuke is forced to drop down onto one knee to help support Chevy, still. The spin was akward enough with one of his arms still wrapped around her to begin with, and her weight adding more difficulty to braking after sees him needing to find proper support for himself and her like that.

"Nee... Kasumoto-san..." He groans out then after witnessing Ayala's repeated assault on Ichika, while the arm he had just used to smack the swordswoman turns to where it can support Chevy's head, hoping to avoid any stress to her neck after potentionally already subjecting her to a mild concussion. He definitely winces at the sight, no matter which way it ends up going, but still suggests right then, "Isn't it time we cut this out and-- nnh... tend to the wounded...?"

The wounded includes him now, too, though he is doing his very best to ignore the laceration at his side even with it actively dripping blood down to mix into the puddles of water on the floor.

COMBATSYS: Ayala successfully hits Ichika with Spinyshell Kick EX.

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

The spinning blow does indeed send Ichika reeling. The hit from Ayala also finds its mark, and the girl's teeth clench tight against the pain of it. Two strong hits. But she stays standing, caught between opponents on both sides. Her heart thunders.

"Cut this out?" She repeats, "CUT THIS OUT?"

She is practically vibrating with fury. There's no question about the glow in her eyes; Ichika is lit from within by her rage. "You could have finished this at any time. You claim you want to help us, but YOU are the one who pressed the attack on Chevy. YOU are the one who refused to talk down your teammate. YOU are the one who has refused to LISTEN. Yes, WE are the ones who have come here ready to fight, but WE know what we are fighting for. By your own admission YOU do not! And NOW you ask me to... CUT THIS OUT?!"

By the time she has finished shouting the girl is literally glowing like a bonfire. As bright as the midday sun. Her power hangs on the air about her, incandescant and palpable as pressure rolls off her in waves.

"If you want this to end... THEN YIELD!"

The girl raises her sword up and rather than bring it down on Daisuke or on Ayala, she brings it down hard into the ground. In that instant, the power rushes out of her in a perfect sphere; it burns across the concrete, seeking to capture both Daisuke and Ayala in the force of her command.

She asks the world for strength; to give her the power to end this fight and protect her friend.

The world answers. Because the wave of cerulean power will not touch Chevy; but it surely will pin both of her enemies tight and ravage them with its force for several agonising heartbeats if it has the chance, until it finally dies away.

Leaving the sword-wielding Kasumoto girl glowing in the aftermath of it, still determined to stare down any who would stand between her and victory.

COMBATSYS: Ichika successfully hits Ayala with Tomorrow's World.

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

Ayala is not prepared for what happens next--the sword aura detonation blows her off her feet and carries her with it--dragging the already critically hurt fighter along for the ride. She winds up getting blown back and partially covered in piles of scrap and garbage, only pulling herself out of it after several moments.

"Huh... huh... Ayala never... give up--" she then breaks into a straight out run--pumping her arms for extra speed as she leaps--coming down with her foot in a flying dropkick! She'd bounce and land 3 more if it connected, of course--but right now it's finally looking like she's going to crumple into a heap at the end of this--and will do so.

COMBATSYS: Ayala can no longer fight.

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

COMBATSYS: Daisuke blocks Ichika's Tomorrow's World.

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

"I *tried*!" Daisuke protests, but it's undeniable that Ichika's words have an *effect* on the older boy.

"I-- I tried--" His voice damn near breaks just trying to utter that repeat of his words out, the hands holding Chevy up shaking unsteadily. "Was I supposed to just watch then...?"

Unfortunately, despite the relatively long time Daisuke has lived with this powers now, he still has yet to master them -- which is especially the case with his empathic senses. The rage and fury coursing through Ichika surely reflects right back to Daisuke, makes the worst possible images flash in his head.

It makes him tremble. It makes him want to *puke*.

IT's almost overwhelming enough that he nearly doesn't realize what the girl is doing with that furious demand. But when he does, his eyes widen. "Wait! She's still--!!"

But there's no time. He doesn't *know* that the power wouldn't affect Ichika's friend. He has no way of knowing, not with his senses overloaded with the impossibly strong emotions permeating the air. So in a hurry, the boy sets Chevy down, as gently as he can while still aware that he is on a strict time limit, and all but launches himself up to his feet and in front of the laid-down american.

"Don't--!!!" His desperate final plea comes even with the glowing power already surging out with a blinding light from Ichika.

And Daisuke meets it head-on. Both hands thrust out to all but slam against the growing sphere, with Psycho Power surging out to clash against it. But the cost of his body being filled to the brim with that power he himself doesn't really fully understand is that he is *deathly* allergic to the chi most everyone is able to wield. Even with the forcefield that he manages to conjure outwards from his hands, just the proximity of such an explosive blaze of energy is almost too much for him.

It burns against his palms and fingers. It makes the veins in his arms glow as two opposing powers intermingle and leak into places they're not meant to.

"Ghh-... sto-... ggaaahh...!"

All he can do is try to endure it, needing to lean forward in an effort to stop the weight of it all from pushing over, feet unsteadily skidding underneath him.


And then it's over. The fading away of the explosion of energy finally leaves Daisuke dropping down onto both knees, panting heavily -- and with steam rising from his partially-burned arms. They're... probably not supposed to do that.

His dried mouth opens. The intention *was* to request to yield just then, after all that. Only for him to see Ayala leaping into one final defiant dropkick aimed for Ichika while she's still conscious.


COMBATSYS: Daisuke gains composure.

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

COMBATSYS: Ichika blocks Ayala's Triple Kick ES.

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


Ichika's fury is, terrifying even to her at this point. Wrenching the blade out of the ground, Ayala's kicks are met with a raised sword, standing firm against the assault until it finally passes. She looks down at the woman, seems to satisfy herself that she is in, in fact, not getting up this time, and then her eyes meet Daisuke's again.

Sweat soaks her outfit as she pours yet more of her will into herself. She simply will not be able to make this last much longer. But the hypocrisy of the boy before her has her alight with a fury more intense than that even Buford managed to inspire.

"You made your choice." She hisses. "You stood. You fought us. You could have helped. You. Did. NOT. So OWN your choice. This, snivelling, is pathetic."

Her hands are shaking as she raises the katana a second time. Another deep breath. And then it comes down.

The eruption of power is, if anything, stronger the second time around. Ichika puts everything she has into the assault; all of this utter disgust, frustration, pain and rage. The chi that she tears into the world is focused and intent; this boy, who resists everything they have thrown at him, HAS to be defeated. She will not hear his protestations of innocence in the face of such obvious, irrefutable evidence of his guilt.

COMBATSYS: Daisuke dodges Ichika's Tomorrow's World EX.

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


It's getting to be too much. Daisuke can't even bring out a proper protest. The sheer metaphysical force of Ichika's fury is overloading his senses to the extent that it is actually starting to hurt *physically*, too, forcing the redhead to clutch his forehead with one burned hand.


He can barely even manage to bring himself standing up. But he recognizes what is coming with that raise of her sword, again. He has to force himself up. He has to *move*. He can't take the brunt of another shockwave like that.

"Shhhh.... damnit..." Eyes flicker this way and that. Trying to fight through the sensory overload. To seek something useful. His mind still holds a psychic mapping of the warehouse, but it's all staticy, hard to read. Focus. Focus. *Focus* damnit. She's going to burn herself out completely like this if she doesn't manage to kill him first. Even if she doesn't, what'll happen if she goes upstairs like that?

She is going to hate him. That much he is going to have to accept. He just has to focus on what's important now.

The explosion of chi flares. It approaches. And he finds it.

A sudden burst into a run, in a circling motion around the growing perimeter of the explosion. It's not really something that he can avoid by normal means, like that, but-- at least he can find someplace where it wavers. Where it is even *slightly* weaker.

And that's where he suddenly redirects himself into a leap *straight at it*.

"Gggaaaahh---!" A yell of determination, with drill-like energy bursting around him. A point stabbing ahead of him into the sphere.

Energy disperses, like shattering glass. Not enough to negate the entire thing, but enough to get him through. The wild leap carries him several meters through, into a landing that could certainly have been more graceful. It leaves him rolling several times over across the ground, and haphazardly slipping up to a four-limbed run across a few meters more.

There's no words. He knows now they won't reach. In his mind, though, he still begs for forgiveness, and wishes it didn't have to be like this.

One step between him and Ichika, and his rise comes with a reared-back fist, not even channeling any of his own energy into it anymore. Telltale signs of tears gathering at the corners of his eyes even as his foot stomps in to anchor him for a split second, and send his fist flying in a quick, desperate blow aimed across the side of her face, before his uncontrolled momentum all but throws his body further forward and past her into another roll.

COMBATSYS: Ichika endures Daisuke's Aggressive Strike!

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

Ichika certainly doesn't seem to place much value on her own wellbeing in this moment. Later, she may reflect that she had lost the fight the moment she lost her cool. Yes, everything about Daisuke's conduct has enraged the girl - but she is the one who let him get under her skin to this degree. If she's going to win fights, she needs to stay calm, focused and collected.

But at this moment in time, she doesn't even particularly place much value in winning the fight. It's an ugly, vindictive side of herself... but she just wants to make him hurt as much as she physically can.

It looks as though she can barely even hold her sword as he comes in at her, the weapon pointed down towards the floor, heavy in her hands, but hold it she does even if it is far out of position for defense. And the girl moves with his motion, meeting him step for step so that when he punches her in the face, well, that hurts.

But when he tries to roll, he finds himself thoroughly body blocked.

She grins, savagely, through the split lip he just gave her.

Because the sword was never meant to defend her in this moment.

Instead, the girl slashes upwards in a corkscrew motion. It's slower than it normally would be; less refined, less artistic, but the power is there. Her singular focus to cut him hip to shoulder with enough force to fling him across the warehouse should it land clean.

Her muscles tear. She chokes. Blood, fresh and scarlet, runs from her mouth from more than just the punch.

And her sword clatters from her grip as she falls. Nothing about the exchange with the Taiyo student had been a clever or efficient use of resources. But she had made her choices, and as the darkness claims her, she at least knows that she would stand by every one.

COMBATSYS: Ichika can no longer fight.

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

COMBATSYS: Daisuke blocks Ichika's Bleeding Edge.

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

"Gah?!" Daisuke's surprise to finding his body kept pushed up instead of allowing it to fall into the uncontrolled roll is palpable.

And the panic that comes after seeing Ichika's bloodied smile is even more so.

"Waitwaitwait!" He actually pleads in his panic, but his hands move on their own. One pushing at her shoulder to try to shove himself away from her, and the other slipping downwards to try to push her hand holding the blade away. It's... not the wisest thing he has done, but it at least saves his life. Mostly. The lowered arm ends up taking the brunt of the slash, leaving a bloodied gash across his forearm before he's left tumbling away onto his ass with a pained groan.

And for that matter, scuttling back there on the floor in a panick right after, too. All the way until he sees Ichika overtaken by the exertion and pain, and tumble onto the floor.

The Taiyo student pants there on the floor, in a mix of exertion and anxiety. Looking around at the havoc caused around him, the three women left laying unconscious with varying degrees of injuries.

By the time he manages to push himself up, it takes all he has to not outright *scream*. Not out of pain, mind you. Well. Not physical pain, anyway. The boy *is* practically hyperventilating though, with the mental toll all of this has taken on him, and tears flow from his eyes even while he forces his legs to move underneath him. Repeatedly needing to wipe moisture from his eyes while he carries himself to gather a first aid kit and three counts of pillows from the hammocks reserved for the Frost trainees.

He really just wants to collapse and cry. Over his own weakness. Over everything he has done. Over the uncertainty that has suddenly filled his future. But he also made a promise to one of the people here. So he has to follow through. Working bandages around any open wounds on everyone, and slipping pillows underneath everyone's heads to help them remain at least a little uncomfortable, and lessen any aftereffects of potential concussions. Ichika, too, he makes sure to lay on her side -- he *did* notice those choking coughs of blood. Can't have her choking on her own fluids while she's out cold.

After all that is said and done, the boy wipes his eyes one last time into the sleeve not stained by his own blood, and peeks up towards the roof. He's not really sure what has been actually going on outside. Or if anything is still going on, for that matter. But even still. He forgoes doing anything about his *own* wounds, and instead forces himself to stride on, for the way upstairs.

It might be too late already. There might not even be anyone up there anymore. But he has to at least go look. Just in case there is *something* he can do.

Both because he made a promise to make sure everyone gets to go home after, and because after all of this? He feels he has to go face some more decisions that need making.

COMBATSYS: Daisuke has ended the fight here.

Ayala is still alive somehow, though she's currently unconscious off to the side, at least the sign of the ribs rising and falling are a good indication that she's still breathing. She didn't look like she was on her way out, but did seem to need medical attention, at some point.

Whether Daisuke is able to respond to this after all he's been through at this point however is unsure.

Log created on 21:34:04 07/23/2023 by Chevy, and last modified on 11:52:07 07/26/2023.