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View Full Version : Lobotomizer [Kalena Eirwen] VS Crankuba [John Doe] FORFEIT



Crank
03-26-2013, 01:54 PM
This is going to be the third straight time I had no idea what was going on with my opponent. Fifth overall.
It gets frustrating.
Lobotomizer, if you tell me what's going on, I'll gladly delete this and so we can have our battle.
I'll give you a week to get back to me.

It’s hard to conceal a gun in a pair of hospital greens, but I like to think the massive bulge on my right hip wasn’t too noticeable. It was, mostly because of the growing stain from where the hook’s blades were scraping against my leg, but with a wince and limp, it was manageable. Just let me have my denial though. I’d been through worse after all. A lot of the time. But still, the weapon didn’t exactly make me smile.

“I hate this thing,” I grumbled to myself, digging my hands into my pockets. “I’d honestly be fine with a regular gun. I know how they work. Aim and shoot, that’s it!” Heaving a frustrated sigh, I found a nice wall to lean on as I thought outloud. “If I had money, I’d just buy a gun and leave it at that. I could even just go home and just grab a knife or something, but...” Along with my eyes, my mind drifted. “...I guess I’m not ready to face my family...” After first booting a tiny pebble, I brought my gaze back from the ground, surveying the area around me. Mostly smiling faces, carefree as they chatted with their loved ones, leaning on the sides of their significant others. I’d roll my eyes at the occasional peck on the cheek, but deep down, I wanted that. Not a relationship, just...company. Another sigh passed through my lungs as I pushed off my wall. Up until then, I had no idea how much I missed everyone. Honestly, I even missed August, and I’d barely known him for a day. “Geez I’m pathetic...”

And I truly felt like I was. Not even the gun I carried felt like the symbol of masculinity. Because it wasn’t. Lime green base with a pepto bismol pink squid for a grappling hook, I seriously doubted it could be anyone’s, but still. Gradually, I began walking onward, merging into the crowd of strangers, but a sudden sound caught everyone off guard. A sound that made everyone around me either freeze in shock, or run in terror.

A gunshot.

Quickly followed by another.

And then a bloodcurdling scream, piercing the sky like an arrow.

Still needing a moment to process what I was hearing, I stood motionless as the people around me scattered, some occasionally bumping into me before my body suddenly came back to life. Quickly pivoting on my right foot, I whirled around to the source of the sound and took off running, ripping the grappling hook out of my pants. I still had no idea what just happened, but as my feet pounded against the sidewalk, pushing my way through the horde of people running toward and past me, I knew I might still have a chance to get there before it was over.

There was too much chaos to make anything out past the tide of the sea of bodies I was fighting, but I was almost positive the gunshots came from some sort of back alley. I knew I was in the market district of the city, and had it happened in one of the stores, I was sure I would’ve heard glass shatter, or the noise would’ve at least been a little muffled. Finally reaching a clearing past the crowd, I could focus on something other than their frantic clammer. From the windows of the nearby buildings, I could see terrified eyes peering outside, just as curious as me, but lacking the courage to see for themselves. Hearing a conversion in the near distance a couple alleys up however, I knew I was on the brink of getting a few answers.

“Please! We have to go!”

“I have done nothing wrong, Corvon. We have no reason to run.” I’ve never heard so much contrast from one person to another. The first speaker, a man, clearly on the verge of panic, with his companion, someone who sounded like a cold, yet confident woman. More than likely, the duo was the cause of the gunshots.

“But you killed her!” And just like that, I was sprinting. That alone confirmed what happened. “Kalena, this looks bad, we need to leave!”

“She tried to do the same to me.”

“But she failed!”

“I was not her first, nor would I have been her last victim. What I did was just.”

Finally veering the corner to the alley, my hand gripping the bricks as I whirled around, it took me about a third of a second to process the scene and come to my own conclusion. “What you did was murder!”

The woman of the group merely looked over her shoulder to me, her emotionless eyes stating her opinion before she even got a word out. The man she was with however, almost jumped out of his skin upon hearing my furious voice added to their conversation. Considering he was fretting before I got there, his intense paranoia reached a whole new level as his eyes shot between me, and then back to the scene. Between the duo and I, the corpse of a young woman lay face up, blood still squirting from her almost decapitation, with her skin spread so far I could easily see her spine sliced through like a stick of butter. Blood soaked the entire ally from the slash, and from the splatter, I even had a good idea where it happened. Directly in front of the woman, which was confirmed by the crimson staining her clothes. The only thing that exonerated the man was the void of specks on the left half of him. My guess, he was behind the woman when she killed the other.

As her accomplice desperately opened his mouth to speak, letting loose a chain of stutters, the killer placed her hand on his shoulder, just for the sake of silencing him. “I didn’t start the fight, I merely ended it.”

“You ended it when you did that!” Glaring at the woman with a burning hatred, I didn’t even tear my eyes away as my hand shot at what was left of a pistol, index finger extended. The entire barrel had been cut off, just as easily as the victim’s flesh. “You had no reason to kill her!”

“The world is better without her.”

“You don’t get to decide that!”

“If I didn’t, she would’ve decided to pick a new target, and this blood would not be hers.”

“The police would’ve taken care of it! She deserved a trial!”

“She deserved exactly what I gave her.”

I don’t grit my teeth much, but that was just one of those times. “Then maybe I should do the same for you,” I growled, my fists clenching.

“Is that a threat?”

Concern suddenly filled her companion as she gripped her sword. Quickly stepping between us he held his arms out as far as they could go, just to keep us as far away from each other as possible. In response, I took a heavy step forward. “Wait, wait!” He pleaded, rapidly looking back between the two of us, “Enough blood has already been spilled! Please, let’s all just walk away from this!”

“No, there hasn’t.” I stated in a voice as cold as ice, “Hers needs to be added. She can’t just ‘walk away’.”

And with that, the woman’s blade left her sheath. Suddenly. “If you aim to strike me down, you shall fall in my place.”

The man’s eyes went wide as he heard the blade slide out the sheath. “Kalena! This is enough! Please don’t do this!”

“This is his choice, Corvon, not mine.”

“But you’re glad I made it, aren’t you?” I growled, looking past the man between us. After a moment, my eyes jerked suddenly to him. “You want to walk away? Then run. This doesn’t involve you.”

After a deep breath, I could almost hear courage in the man’s voice. “It does if you want to hurt her.”

“You’re hands are clean in this,” I stated, sick of waiting, “Move or I’ll move you.”

“Go Corvon,” The woman agreed, “I shall see you soon.”

“But-”

“Leave us.”

His eyes were wide as he whirled around to face her. “But I can help you!”

“The man is correct, this is not your affair.”

With a mixture of sadness and concern in his eye, he nodded somberly before finally stepping from between us, turning to leave the alley. “Kalena, please...be safe.”

At least I had the decency to wait until until he was gone before I started my belated response. “She won’t.”

“Neither shall you.” Shoving off the concrete beneath her, she destroyed the distance between us with a sudden dash, slashing her blade at me with such speed that I could almost hear the air tear in it’s wake. Miraculously however, I was able to match the pace, dropping immediately to a low crouch as the sword passed over my head, and responding with a swift sweep as I pivoted off my right foot. Almost effortlessly however, Kalena hopped over it, impaling at me mid air. Quick reflexes let me dive away in time, the harsh cement scraping up my back as it grazed across it, but as I stabilized myself, I only caught a glimpse of a stone pole before pain blasted into my forehead, sending my body back, violently smashing on the ground.

I swear, I bounced an inch before my pained, out of focus eyes blasted back open to try to figure out what the heck just happened. Even though everything was in terms of blurs, I still caught a vague idea. Literally part of the earth, the rock staff quickly slid back into the ground as Kalena tore her blade out of the concrete. First guess said there was a connection between the two, but the instinct of ‘Watch out!’ as she sliced her blade at me took over before I could figure out a way to proceed. Eyes locked on her the entire time, I rolled to the left, tucking in my legs and barely avoiding losing one.

As she recovered her blade back to an offensive position, I made it to my knees, pointing my flamboyant, squid themed grappling gun directly at her. One simple instruction echoed in my mind, and without a second thought, I followed it.

‘Ink. If you hold down the pink button beside the trigger, you can shoot a small cloud of it through the squid’s head at your opponent!’

Maybe if I shot a bullet, Kalena’s sidestep would’ve helped, but as my thumb slammed down on the button, and my index pulled the trigger, the swordswoman was dealing with an entirely different attack. Within the instant, a burst of purple vapor sprayed at her like the squid head was the tip of a high powered hose. Off her guard, her instincts took over, clasping her eyes shut a millisecond too late, as her body suddenly twisted away from the mist. Did I like my smoke bombs better? Yes. Do I think they would’ve worked better? Yes. But with those results, I wasn’t complaining.

Taking the only opening I might ever get, I launched myself at my foe, jerking my foot as far forward as I could make it go. With my entire weight and momentum behind it, my heel smashed into her spine, sending her off her feet before she collided with the ground, her sword clanking about a foot away from her. It was only a matter of time now! With two strong strides and a baseball slide, my foot continued to be my weapon of choice, impacting her temple as I heard the seat of my pants begin to tear.

Knocking her even further away from her sword, I quickly jerked my body, slapping my palm on its handle. With a grin, I ensnared it in my hand, pushing myself back up to my feet and pocketing the gun before bringing my other hand to the sword. It was a couple fingers down, but it helped lessen the weight on the other. The battle was over. I knew it, but as she stood up in front of me, I knew that she disagreed. Looks like I just had to prove it.

“Give up,” I ordered, pointing the blade straight at her, “If you keep this up, and I’ll slice you open for what you’ve done.”

“What I did was necessary.”

“Bull. Enjoy prison.”

It’s weird when your confidence suddenly takes a bullet, but when Kalena suddenly tore her sheath out, batted the blade I weld to the side, and swung a homerun into my skull, that’s exactly what happened. With a throbbing brain, I staggered back, but I only took half a step before she plunged her weapon into my gut. All the air left my body in an agonized grunt and my body lurched forward, just as she jerked her sheath up, smashing it into chin decimating whatever was left of my balance. I did about half a flip before my shoulders bashed into the cement, but I somehow managed to hold onto the sword. Even though my eyes were shut from the impact, I knew what was coming, so as quick as I could, I brought it up to protect my face. A glimmer of pride sparkled as I heard the ‘clang’ of the blade and sheath, my spotty eyes shot open, grinning at the block. Standing just in front of me, I took the chance to kick her legs out from under her, but as she fell towards the ground, she made another stab with her weapon.

But this one hit.

And I had never been in so much pain. Agony just radiated from the impact, and contrary to popular belief, my voice didn’t shoot up four octaves as I jerked into the fetal position, dropping the blade. Instead, I just gasped and groaned on the cement, pathetically trying to get to my feet as they pushed off the ground, which didn’t do much more than move me forward. Only after my hands fell into Kalena’s victim’s blood was I able to push myself upright, slowly turning to face my foe, hunched over as I paced back and forth slightly.

“You speak as if you know justice.” She stated suddenly. “The woman was a mugger, and likely murder. Where her actions just?”

“No.” I airlessly growled, placing my hand on a wall containing us, just to take a quick breather as I heard sirens in the distance. “Was killing her?”

“Yes.”

“If you really think that, then you’re a danger to everyone.” Going back to my limped pacing, I pulled the squid grappling gun back out of my pocket, “And that’s why you need to be locked in a cage. And that’s why I’m going to keep you here, between the walls and I, until the cops come.” With three massive walls around us, I was blocking her only escape.

“I won’t kill you, but if you refuse to move, I shall go through you.”

“You’re welcome to try.”

There was a moment of calm. But then.

We suddenly charged, closing our distance as quickly as we could, which on my end, was honestly fairly slow. Elegantly, Kalena bent down mid-stride to recover her blade, and upon snapping it in her palm, gracefully spun in a three sixty to build up her momentum before slashing it at me. In that time however, I punted the crimson puddle on the ground, forcing her eyes shut as the bloody splash neared her face. In the second between when she shut her eyes and she would’ve carved a massive scar across my chest, I jerked my gun at her swinging hand and fired. In a way colossally less climactic than my bracer would’ve been, the grappling hook launched out, and leaving a trail of chain behind it, struck the handle just above her thumb with the sharp blade on its tip. Honestly, I was actually aiming at her hand, but as it made her recoil, I took it.

Taking a quick step forward, I jerked my gun to my left shoulder as the chain zoomed back before swinging the butt directly at her head for all my worth, colliding with the side of her forehead, and sending her stumbling back. Grinning, knowing I was about a blow away from winning this war, I tossed the grappling gun into my left hand as the sirens roared louder, just outside the alley. Dashing forward now that there was actually some distance between the two of us, I cocked my fist back as far as it’d go as I leapt into the air, only to see Kalena recover from the blow. Her instincts took over like a lioness as she responded with a strike of her own, a sudden stab.

Sudden panic exploded inside of me at a speed far too fast to detect, and with no time even for my life to flash before my eyes, I was barely able to react. Releasing the grappling gun, allowing earth’s gravity to take it, I shot my then open palm at the flat side of the blade exactly as fast as humanly possible. Outside, it all happened too fast show, but inside, terror struck my heart as the tip of her steel touched the center of my rips drawing a drop of blood, but the instant her edge touched my crimson, my hand blasted into it, shoving it off it’s intended path as it dug further inside. I could feel it scrape against my ribs in a contorting anguish before it left my body, slicing my side almost an inch open as it slid against it.

Somehow however, through it all, my right first still followed through with my plan. The moment her sword was off me and we were about eight inches apart, it blasted forward like a cannon, smashing directly into her jaw and taking her off her feet, sending her with a hard impact with the concrete. Still airborne, I landed about an inch from her face before ripping the blade out of her hand and placing it at her neck. Just outside the alley, I could hear a familiar voice plead with several others just over the sirens. Suddenly taking my eyes off Kalena’s pained, dazed ones, I jerked my gaze to the entrance of the alley. “What the heck is taking them so long?” Under her breath and as I spoke, I could faintly tell my opponent was speaking.

“Look, Kalena,” I stated with a sigh, eyes closed as I looked back to her, “I get that you think acted justly, but things are done differently here, alright?” Slowly, my gaze reopened, only to see the woman in a deep contemplation. “You can’t just go around killing people, there’s a line, and you crossed it. You could’ve stopped when you sliced through the woman’s gun, but instead, you ended her. You need to answer for that. Maybe you’ll be okay with a good lawyer, but the killing needs to stop. Perhaps it’s a little hypocritical coming from an RHG, but I’ve seen more than enough bloodshed. It all needs to stop.”

“RHG?” Kalena echoed, almost trying to look into my soul. Behind us, we could still hear her companion speaking frantically with the police. Apparently we still had time. “Why did you join it?”

“I don’t even know my name,” I confessed, rolling my shoulder to distract myself from the growing agony, groans sneaking in every now and then as I spoke, “I guess I just needed something to belong to. Something to say I was. It was like there was a void inside my heart. I didn’t know anyone, no one knew me, it seemed like no one was looking for me, and despite my best efforts, I never found a familiar face. I couldn’t live like that, I needed friends, people I could count on and could count on me. It was never about the fighting, but I knew I knew how to, so I joined it, and then a clan. They became my family. That’s why I joined.”

“You truly mean that.”

“Yeah.” Slowly, I drew the sword away from her, holding it at my side as her eyes traveled to her right. Casually following her gaze, mine blasted open without warning when they saw a glowing blade in her hand, but as her palm opened and it began to fade away, I heaved a sigh of relief. My guard had been down since we started talking. If she had- ...maybe she wasn’t as bad as I thought. Slowly, I offered her my free hand, which, after a moment, she took. “Why, are you one too? Why’d you join?”

“Yes, I joined to destroy it.”

“...Ah.” I guess I was still a little too thrown off by the light sword and distracted by my side to establish what that meant. Helping her upright I released her palm, and a few seconds after I covered my gash, I returned her blade, which she slowly sheathed.

Standing side by side, we simply waited for Corvon to stop speaking to the officers before they finally veered the corner. The younger of the two looked on the verge of vomiting as he saw the corpse, but the older, who actually bore a thick, classic cop mustache, barely paid attention to it. “Kalena Eirwen?” He called to her, to which she nodded. “Your friend told us what happened. It sounded like self defence, but we’ll need a forensics team to confirm it. If what he said is true, we should be able to keep you out of prison.” Again, the woman nodded. A second passed, and then the cop faced me. “And you are?”

“John Doe,” I responded, but as his gaze narrowed to a glare, I quickly discovered he thought I was just being sarcastic, “I’m an RHG along with Kalena, and this was my retirement fight.” At the word retirement, the woman beside me shot me surprised glance, but I paid no mind to it. “I was just here for my battle, I didn’t see what happened. I arrived just after it did.”

With a sigh, the officer looked to his partner, who was doing his best to hold in his lunch. “Call the C.S.I.s,” He ordered before looking back to us, “Regardless, I’ll need statements from both of you. Come with me, we’ll take care of it at the station.”

Motioning us onward, he gradually led us all to his cruiser, shutting the door behind us as we entered the back seat, joining Corvon. Buckling our seatbelts as the younger cop called in what he saw, I turned to the swordswoman beside me. “Hey Kalena.”

“Hm?”

“Good luck. With everything.”

“Thank you, I hope you find who you seek.”

As my head faced forward, I could spot utter bewilderment from Corvon with my peripheral vision. It made me grin slightly.

“John.” My head suddenly snapped to the driver’s seat as the officer called my name. “You’re going to need to sign your real name when you make your statement.”

“...That’s going to be a problem.”

Sorry if it seems a little odd in parts, or that the premise is. I meant to retire John after my battle with Kyra, and even though I have I am also not accepting battles at this time in the profile, I'm too proud to turn down a challenge.

_Ai_
03-29-2013, 11:16 AM
Ah, nice story, Crank. I'll be waiting for Lobotomizers's part, if he ever does it.

Well, this doesnt bothers me much, but you missed a few comas. Not that big of a deal, actually.

Lobotomizer
04-08-2013, 11:20 AM
It's a little late, and I'm truly sorry for being such an idiot with deadlines. I couldn't possibly give something hastily made, but school failed to permit me time to complete what I had either.

So, here's the final product.

His expression was blank and lifeless. Out of the window he gazed at the grass fields, dotted with flowers of vibrant colours, seemingly waving under the gentle warmth of the sun, ignorant of his predicament. A bitter smile crept up on his lips. Had it been a few weeks prior, he would have given little thought to the cheery scenery. Ironic, that he would notice how inherently beautiful nature was during the bleakest time of his life. Or at least, what he remembered about his life. With his family gone, all he had was his worn, deformed bracelet, bearing the scars of its previous battle. It was, perhaps, the only thing keeping his sanity together.
As the taxi trucked along the bare dirt road, he gazed down at the file he held in his hands. "KALENA EIRWEN", it read in block letters, but he didn’t need to read it; the name was clearly etched in his mind from the dozens of times he had gone through the document. Every page, every word, he absorbed, for there was little else to do except to sleep in this cramped vehicle.
She was his purported opponent, and his ticket to leaving this accursed system. His one last battle. He clenched his fists, hard enough that his nails left fading marks on his palms. He would end this as fast as he could.
If only to kill the bastard who started all of this.
++++++++
The day started in the most normal way possible. Like clockwork, Jeff rose from his bed in the early morning, shuffling over to the bathroom to brush his teeth and wash his face.
He checked himself in the mirror. His teeth were as pearly white as ever, and his hair dishevelled as he prefered it to be. Ah, a normal day, he thought. At least, as normal as his days could be.
He left for the kitchen, hoping to get himself some breakfast, instead finding a woman sitting at the dining table and reading a letter with furrowed brows. So elegant she was, despite her troubled expression, that Jeff found his heart skip just a beat.
"Morning," he greeted her with a cheery little wave. Her head rose in surprise, and instinctively hid the letter, only relaxing her tense expression when she realised who it was.
"Good morning, Jeff," she replied with a nod.
He passed by her to head into the kitchen, which was incorporated into the dining room itself.
"Had breakfast?" He asked.
"No, not yet."
"Good. I suppose you don't mind scrambled eggs and sausages?" He replied, swiping a few eggs off a wicker basket.
"That would be fine, thank you."
A wave of silence passed as Jeff deftly cracked each egg in one hand into a bowl, whisking the yolk and egg white with a fork.
"Well? What was that letter about?" He asked with raised eyebrows, swivelling his head back just enough to see her.
"It is..." she paused mid sentence, unsure of what to say.
"Another battle?" He hazarded a guess, then grinned when he saw her lips twitch just a little, "aaah. Guess I was right."
He set down the fork and began heating a frying pan on the electric stove, taking the time to grab a packet of sausages from the fridge, "so, who and where?"
"A city named Dormaston...six hours from now."
"Dormaston Dormaston..." he mused, "that's about a four hour drive. Need me to take you there?"
"Thank you very much, only..." her voice suddenly went quiet, "I beseech of you not to inform Corvon."
"Why not? He has a right to know," he asked with raised eyebrows, tossing the beaten eggs and sausages onto the frying pan.
"It concerns him little. There is no need for him to know where I have gone."
"Bullshit," Jeff spluttered, almost tipping the pan as he threw an arm in exasperation, causing him to scramble to keep it from somersaulting into the air. When he was sure none of the egg and sausage spilled from the teflon, he continued, "don't lie to me if you can't. The guy can't spend a moment without you like a baby at its mother's tit."
"I have spoken no lies," she returned, but Jeff only sighed at that.
"Course not. But that’s your opinion, not his," Jeff explained, tapping his feet with impatience, "your matters are Corvon's. Or at least, that's how he thinks."
"That..." Kalena began to argue, but stopped when nothing came to mind.
"...is true," Jeff finished with a shrug, "face it, my dear Kalena, you just don't want him to get upset knowing that you're going to beat someone up again, because otherwise you wouldn’t be able to fight at all."
She gave no reply, but that was because she could not think of one. She refused to believe that Jeff’s words were the whole truth, yet they seemed to hit home. And though she failed to register it just yet, those words bore with them a certain fear. A fear that she would gradually realise.
“I...” she spoke hesitantly, a tone of uncertainty in her voice, “please tell me, why would Corvon concern himself with my fighting?”
He scowled deeply, annoyed at her blatant ignorance, “bah, you should know more than I how much he cares about you. It’s not just about his little creed of pacifism; he doesn’t want you getting hurt either.”
Kalena widened her eyes, then looked away with a torn expression. Her hand tightened against the folds of her skirt, trembling ever so slightly, “In the past, I have led and fought in many a battle, slaughtered men with these hands, seen the death of those under my command, and bore injuries of every kind. All so that the land may be free of strife. I do not think I have done wrong in doing so.”
“Logic has nothing to do with it,” Jeff snapped, “whether or not your methods work doesn’t concern him.”
He reached to retrieve two plates from the shelf and deftly swept the scrambled eggs and sausages evenly onto each of them. He then sat down opposite of Kalena and pushed a plate to her, which she accepted with a quiet nod of thanks.
A moment passed as each ate their breakfast.in mute silence. Yet Kalena’s troubled thoughts did not leave her. She gradually realised that, absurd as it was, she cared about what Corvon might think of her. Why else would she decide not to inform Corvon, if not so that she may not see his disappointment? The more she thought, the more terrible she felt. All this while, her beliefs stayed true and strong. So why, why now of all times, being Corvon would cause her to question her own path?
“Ease up, your face doesn’t look good like that,” Jeff advised when he saw her expression tense up, albeit a little hastily. It almost seemed as though she was about to cry, had she not reverted to her calm and aloof self at his words.
“...You may be right,”: she spoke with renewed composure, though Jeff could still hear her voice tremble, “and yet, whatever Corvon may think, I cannot let his and my own feelings impede my judgement, nor is there any reason to hide my actions from him.”
“Good girl,” Jeff reached out and pet her head lightly, almost forgetting for a moment who the woman in front of him was. He almost expected for her to retaliate in some way, but she simply stared at her empty dish, perhaps too deep in thought to notice.
“I’ll wash the dishes and give Corvon a heads up, you go prepare whatever it is that you need,” he stood up and brought the dishes over to the sink, dumping them into cold water.
When he returned from his errands, Kalena was still sitting where she was, seemingly in a daze.
“Kalena?”
She jolted up in surprise at the calling of her name, “I...apologize. I was simply thinking...”
He stopped her with a dismissive wave of his hand, “it’s fine. Are you ready?”
She nodded, tapping a finger at her sheath, “I have my blade. I am prepared.”
He gave her shoulder a small pat, “good. Let’s go then.”
Guess today won’t be all that normal, he thought.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

+++++++++++
Kalena watched the sky with a solemn expression. She was at the third floor of an abandoned building, the site where their meeting and battle would take place. It looked in the middle of construction, yet its condition spoke tales of its age. A little ways from her stood a lone crane, its arm swaying slightly in the wind.
Her thoughts of Corvon continued to trouble her. Would her subconscious allow her to even lift a finger at her opponent, knowing what Corvon had wished of her? She had tried to convince herself otherwise, but her mind was only stricken with more worry the more she did so.
Her opponent was taking a while. How long had she been waiting? Five minutes? Ten? More? Just when she was thinking this, a creak of floorboards sounded behind her. Her battle instincts fired up almost instantly. She turned her head, blade already unsheathed and at the ready, to see a man crouched to a battle stance, directing a cracked bracer at her direction.
Her worst fears came true.
"FIRE!" The man yelled, and a hook launched forward at his words. The chain flew at her with all the ferocity and speed of a demented snake. It was all she could do to twist her body so that the hook lodged into her left shoulder instead of its intended target. She gasped at the sudden pain, which increased in volume as she was forcefully dragged to her opponent, who struck her down onto the floorboards the instant she came close.
He sat on her, forcing a hand on her neck, fingers gripping like a vice, and the other pinning her own hands. Bewildered and confused by agony and suffocation, Kalena desperately struggled against his grip, managing to free herself long enough to land a punch across his face, then another against his abdomen. Finally, she took the opportunity given by his recoiling to slam against his body with hers, sending him stumbling away from her.
Wasting no time, she picked her sword off the ground and swung it down at his head. With his back against the wall, he wisely rolled to his side, letting the blade strike the wood with a splintering crack.
"Fire!" He yelled once more, though this time his bracelet was not aimed at the swordswoman, but rather, the scaffolding above. The hook wrapped about a steel rod, throwing him forward and onto the metal scaffolding.
"Get up," he demanded, his voice steeled and emotionless.
"Before I do so, I would like to hear your name. I am..." she began, but the man cut her off before she could finish.
"I know your name," he replied coolly, "you can call me Something Fierce."
She nodded at his words, and promptly left to climb the stairs upward, stopping halfway when a wave of agony shot through her arm. She spared a moment to glance at it. It was a horrifying wound, her flesh mangled where the hook had struck the shoulder, and blood leaked freely out of it. There would be no using it until it healed.she unbuckled her belt, tying it around her wound with it the best she could to stop the bleeding. She knew, if Corvon or Jeff had been watching, they would have protested. Introducing herself then asking for her opponent's name, even after such a foul act from him? Preposterous. But she could not help it, for she had a feeling, instinctive as it was, that Something Fierce's cold behaviour belied something else. Why else would he so readily speak his name, when he could just as well spear her?
But regardless, a battle was a battle. It was not a duel. Honor is irrelevant, and all there is is defeating the opponent before you. This she knew well, and so she barely blinked when Something Fierce's hook flew at her the very moment she completed the final step of the staircase. She sidestepped it, letting it strike the cemented walls.
"Kalena, was it?" Something Fierce spoke, as the hook retracted back into his bracer, "I don't know who you are, but you'd better not be thinking of honor and whatnot here. We're in battle, not a dainty tea party."
"Such a thought I have not conceived," Kalena returned with a flourish of her blade, "rest assured, I shall fight every bit as foul as you do."
With that, she stepped onto the scaffolding, only giving her new battlefield a passing glance. It was a series of iron rods welded together, forming a large grid of sorts, with each hole sizeable enough for any careless being to fall through. An accidental drop down would at least sprain the ankles, if not fracturing them, and falling head first would almost certainly lead to a serious concussion.
Already Something Fierce took advantage of this, shooting himself forward with his hook to land a dropkick on her. She sidestepped it, briefly looking down to check her placement. Upon seeing this, he released his hook and landed behind her, taking her by surprise as he knocked her down onto the bars, intent on forcing her to drop through the scaffolding.
Despite being supported by a mere two bars at her back and legs, she fended off a series of punches with just her sword arm, and pushed her opponent back with a swipe of her sword. She stood back up, just in time to block a kick to her side, retaliating with a long swing downward.
The battle progressed, with each fighter holding their ground. Something Fierce was quick to sneak in attacks into her offense, but she was just as swift to cover her blind spots, and constantly swung at him. Those swings were long and downward, lacking in speed and range, but skeptical as Something Fierce was at her proficiency at the blade, her well timed use of still stopped him short from advancing inspite of her loss of her left arm. Even in attrition neither seemed to be losing. It was, in the strictest sense, a complete stalemate.
But Something Fierce would not patiently wait for his opponent to tire. Ignoring the sense of shame he felt, he pulled out a most ridiculous gun; a pistol like...thing, bearing a comically fashioned squid atop of it. He pressed the trigger for all it's worth. One, at his opponent's eyes, and two, and her feet.
The effect was almost instantaneous. The ink seemed to instantly block her vision, and perhaps in her bewilderment, she took a step back, only to slip and fall into the bars once more with a gasp. He paused for a brief moment in stunned amazement. The putrid thing actually worked, and to almost perfect effect.
He immediately strode forward, arms at the ready to finish off Kalena, now seemingly helpless and debilitated. Perhaps it was because of the surging adrenaline that he did not notice the slight creak of metal as he put his foot down, and so, he was completely oblivious to the trap he had cheerily walked into.
"...Fuh...!"
With a short grunt of effort, she swung her legs up, and at the same time, swung her blade from below her, just enough to cut the bar where her legs had been a moment later. It was then that Something Fierce, among his panicked thoughts, realised the true intentions of her carelessly large swings from before.
"Rest assured, I shall fight every bit as foul as you do."
The bars that she had cut out fell onto the level below, and with them, the flailing body of Something Fierce. Even as he shouted for his grappling hook to activate, fate cruelly abandoned him at the final second; the hook missed the scaffolding, sailing uselessly into the air.
The impact against the bars struck his back with a sharp, lasting pain, knocking every bit of wind in his lungs. He gasped, gritting his teeth in a bid to distract himself the searing agony that flared throughout his body.
Dimly, he was aware of a few light footsteps beside him. He tilted his head just ever so slightly, to see his opponent’s face, what was she thinking? Sympathy? Triumph? Her expression was most cryptic, offering little clue as to her thoughts.
“The battle has been decided,” she spoke, her voice unusually soft, “Lay down your arms, and save what breath you have left.”
His eyes flashed at those words. In a near instant, he stood up despite the pain in his limbs, as though some miraculous strength had overcome him.
“Not happening,” he growled, his lips a grim slash of determination.
She gazed at him unblinkingly, a most queer expression on her. For what reason did he fight for, that he should have such conviction? She suspected that she would only know if they clashed once more, even as she felt a sense of unease.
“Continue the fight we shall, then,” she brandished her blade and crouched to a defensive stance, waiting for him to take action.
For just a slight moment, she felt a tinge of doubt niggle in her mind, but that disappeared when Something Fierce advanced, closing the distance between them in a single stride to feint a punch, instead twisting his body to land a vicious side kick at the left side of her head. Her left arm useless, she instead threw her sword arm to defend against the blow, gritting her teeth as the impact jarred her forearm. She cut him off before he could continue his assault, feinting a thrust to get him to sidestep, only to slam the side of his head with her pommel. He barely deflected her arm, taking the opportunity to knock it with a quick jab before disengaging.
She retreated as well, feeling her grip on her sword loosen just a little. It became clear to her that he was aiming to disable her other arm, debilitating her ability to fight back. But even as she knew, it was all she could do to defend each attack at her blind side while uselessly swiping at his figure.
Another jab to her side, and she realised that should she continue to fight in this way, she would have lost to attrition. Instead, she planted her feet on the ground and lunged at her opponent with a sweeping strike, forcing him to abandon his offense once more. She continued, advancing with quick successive steps, each followed by small arcs of her blade. Even as Something Fierce attempted to stop short her assault, her reach and aggressiveness made it impossible for him to retaliate without being given a dismembered limb in return. So he had to retreat, in hopes that his opponent would soon lose momentum.
Seconds later he felt a dull thud as his body ran to a wall, and with it, a wave of panic. He ducked low to avoid a swing at his midsection, throwing his hands up to block a knee to his head. In an instinctive move, he clutched her leg and threw himself onto the ground, forcing her to lose her balance as well.
The two scuffled on the floorboards in a convoluted melee, neither able to overpower the other. Something FIerce desperately clutched at her ankle, and with his leg against her body, pulled in an attempt to force her into submission. Kalena forced a scream of agony back into her throat, instead forcing her sword down just between her legs, managing to slice part of his calf. He recoiled in pain, and it was all the time she needed to roll forward and, with all her strength, plunged it straight down.
He had no path of escape, no way to evade the stab in such a short time. It came to him as instinct, a will to survive. Without another thought he raised his arm above him, and with it, the bracer that he wielded.
Time seemed to slow down at that very moment. In his silent horror he watched, the metal crumble before his eyes. Shattered, by the monstrous weapon that his opponent wielded, like a glass would as it hit the floor. And within, flames burst forth from it in a deafening eruption, taking all that was left of it.
He realised then, that the only single proof of his past existence, was no longer.
The explosion blasted the two away in an immense shockwave, crumbling the floorboards beneath with the initial impact. Wood splintered and gave way, causing them to fall onto the level below. Kalena coughed profusely as she felt the air knocked out of her lungs from the fall, high enough for her to feel something crack. What happened? In her overwhelmed state she recalled Something Fierce block her blade with his bracer, but what after? Did it break? Was it the cause of that explosion?
She brushed her thoughts aside and stood up shakily, wincing as her limbs throbbed with a head splitting pain. Her eyes darted about, attempting to catch a glimpse of her opponent. Her surroundings were filled debris and thick clouds of dust, obscuring all but her immediate vicinity. But this was the condition that her opponent had to face as well, a fight in the dark, stabbing in thin air until luck allowed you to land a hit.
Those assumptions were thrown out when she felt a hammer like blow at her back,throwing her forward from the force. She turned, but then she saw nothing but dust. Hit and run tactics, she grimaced. But she could solve it just as well.
“Lights, gather,” She intoned, pacing about as much as she could as she did so, “slash away.”
Light shone ahead of her, forming, moulding into the vague form of a long sword. At her command it swung down, slicing and separating the dusts clouds ahead of her into two. As if on cue, The figure of Something Fierce came into view, once again bearing the ridiculous weapon; the squid gun.
She gave a surprised gasp as her eyes seared with a blinding pain when ink met with them, and with it, a giant blow that sent her stumbling back.
Yet her disorientation lasted for just a second. As if it were second nature, she ignored the throbbing pain in her eyes, focusing on all that she could feel and hear; the thumping of footsteps, and a brief, light breeze to her right. Without hesitation, she sidestepped to her left, swinging her sword where she had been a moment before. Though she felt no impact at her sword, she continued to fight this way in the darkness; defensively and cautiously. Neither was able to hit the other save for glancing blows; she was buying time, time that would let her recover.
That plan went to failure when she heard the thumping of footsteps and stepped back, only to feel her foot slip on the floor. She could barely react as she fell onto the ground once more, landing on her back with a crash. She had been fooled once more. Fooled with only ink and footsteps.
No sooner did she impact the ground did she feel his weight on her, and then the barrage of punches that flew at her torso. She fought back just as fiercely, and at one point, even managed to land a swing at her opponent. Yet for all she did, he only gave an enraged roar, swing his fists all the harder.
Had he gone berserk? After all the plans he’d devised to put himself at an advantage, he would ignore everything she threw at him, seemingly only caring about striking her down before he fell? It was reckless, suicidal, and even so she found herself losing more than ever. Her body ached and throbbed with bruises, and her mind screamed in agony, threatening to shut down from the immense pain. Only her will to survive kept her conscious and her thoughts clear, both which were fading rapidly.
In a stroke of luck, she broke free, kicking herself far enough away from the her raging opponent. She had to run. Fleeing to a better position was all she thought of. But no sooner had she stood up was she knocked back onto the ground as her opponent lunged at her. And this time, she could feel her torso dangling just above thin air. Like an injured animal, she could only defend, in the distant hope that he may tire.
“I’ll kill you. I’ll take you with me, and then that bastard...!”
She could hear his snarl, the panting breath just above her, and yet, they seemed so far, so distant. She could feel her awareness slip away, fading like the final flickering embers of a dying flame.

Partake in my strength.

Her hand relaxed, and with it, The sword of truth fell from her grasp, striking the ground with an audible thud.

The earth rumbled with a violent roar, as though it was torn by the heaven's fury. The building shook and swayed from the quake, groaning as it struggled to retain its integrity.
The floorboards below Something Fierce lurched and creaked, snapping his mind out of his berserk state. The pain that he had blocked off his mind for so long crashed onto him like a giant tidal wave, almost knocking him unconscious from the sheer agony. In his exhausted state he realised in horror the quake that had hit the building. Was it Kalena's doing? Wasn't she only able to summon the earth when she was on the ground?
No sooner had he thought this did the building swung dangerously to a side, throwing him off balance and onto the ground below him. The fall was not fatal; a mere two storeys, but it might as well be, for the next thing he saw was the towering crane ahead of him, just close to toppling over. He would most certainly be crushed, but try as he might, he could not move his legs, too overwhelmed by exhaustion and agony. He could only watch, his doomed fate unfold before him.
Kalena watched all of this from above. In an instinctive move she had clutched the scaffolding just within reach of her right arm and held for her dear life. She stared, without a shred of emotion in her expression, as the crane gradually leaned forward to the point of crashing onto her opponent.
A pang of guilt niggled her mind then. Guilt? Why guilt? As if in response, Corvon's worried expression flashed in her mind. Worry, and disappointment. Her lips quivered at the thought. Was that it? Was that the reason?
...
...Partake in my wisdom...
...
She closed her eyes. Of course, she knew it all along. Her opponent's expression had belied his true feelings. He was not determined, he was desperate. He was not steeled, he was wrecked with emotion. She was not fighting an enemy; she was beating down a man who had lost everything, and now, he was about to lose his life as well. Was this what she truly fought for?
And so, her grip on the metal rod loosened, and she let herself drop to the ground, landing with a graceful roll just beside her opponent and her blade. She took a deep breath, and curled her fingers around the sword's handle, willing the last of her strength to summon the earth once more, just as she heard the crane topple.
...
...Partake in my curse...
...
At that moment, her world was plunged into darkness.
+++++++++
"Wake up buddy, sleep time's over."
When Something Fierce woke up with a jolt, he felt a large slap impact his cheeks, imprinting a red mark on them.
"Oops. Guess you're already awake, huh?"
"What the hell?" He blurted out, almost close to retaliating with a straight punch before he realised just who the person in front of him was.
"'Sup, Something Fierce," Jeff stuck a palm up in greeting, "or should I say..."Something Broken"?"
He opened his mouth to retort, then froze when the recent memories flooded into his brain. The last thing he could remember was the blurry figure of Kalena, a wave of pillars that stopped the crane short from crushing him.
Kalena, the one he'd tried so much to defeat with just about every dirty tactic, the one he'd almost came close to killing...
"Kalena!" He shouted, grabbing Jeff by the collar just a little too forcefully, "where is she? Is she fine?"
"Oh come on, you used just about every dirty trick in the book to beat her up and now you're remorseful?" Jeff laughed.
"That's..." he faltered for a moment.
"She's fine," he interrupted, "bruised in just about every part of her body and probably a fracture somewhere, but she's alive. Fixed her up good like I did to you."
Only then did he look down and realised that his body was swathed in bandages, some soaked in blood, "...Right...thanks."
Jeff only shook his head, “She’s an idiot. Ambushed by a sneak attack? Ask for opponent’s name! Opponent about to get crushed by a crane? Risk life to save him! And speaking of idiots, what’s gotten into you? Lost your 'family' and that bracer and you went bonkers just like that. Were you trying to kill the two of you?"
Something Fierce froze for a moment, but then remembered that anyone connected to the RHG would have known, "I...lost everything that I had. I wasn't thinking straight."
Jeff only watched him with the same frown. He was about to go on a tangent, but it was already clear the man knew he was at fault. That, and that he was suffering too. Perhaps a little more than he deserved.
"That aside, I've been looking for you for a while. You got screwed over weren't you? Well I got a little something you might want. A plan of sorts for revenge, if you will.
Something Fierce's ears perked up at that, "what is it?"
His lips parted to a sly smirk, "just a little assassination scheme, if you don't mind. And all I need is some information."

Once again, I'm truly sorry for the time I took. I don't mind the forfeit; I just want to make sure I actually complete this battle properly, rather than leave you hanging forever.