Alpanon Mar 2nd, 2017 (edited) 1,645 Never
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- The sweaty throng of people pushing one another for a better view of the action was difficult to make one’s way through. Dave had been here before, and he’d disliked it. Men seeking the thrill of violence without risking themselves, Lizard Women seeking mates, tough kids from martial arts dojos looking to test their skills and earn some extra pocket money; these were the people in the crowd. Dave supposed the fit the last category. He was here for a fight. Not to make money, of course. He worked part-time and that covered his expenses, which were simple enough. He was after all a simple man, seeking merely the enlightenment brought by martial arts mastery. Or that’s what he told people when they asked. He’d never really believed in all that spiritual enlightenment crap, but practising kept him out of trouble at least. That’s how it had been when he’d been just a kid, and he’d doe better than most his peers because of it. No drugs, no prisons, no selling his body to horny Monsters to make a living. Tonight wasn’t about sports though. Tonight was about a challenge.
- Under normal circumstances Dave wouldn’t go around looking for trouble in town, but he had been making a delivery in a less reputable neighbourhood when he’d stumbled across a serious troublemaker. The guy had been wearing a wifebeater and some stained shorts, his hair had been cropped down to nothing on the sides of his head leaving a kind of Mohawk on the top and he’d been popping raging mushrooms by the way he was acting, and by the way his crotch was bulging. This would’ve been fine, but he was punching holes into the wall, and while the wall was rotted away to begin with for that to be possible, it was still the wall of someone’s apartment, and Dave caught the man’s arm to stop him.
- “The fuck?” the man had inquired, and when Dave explained the reasoning that someone had to live behind that wall, the man had given him a headbutt. Dave had barely managed to pull away and quite by instinct kneed the man in the stomach. Hoping to avoid any further conflict he’d run upstairs to complete his delivery, but when he came back down the man was waiting for him in a fighting stance, his eyes crossed and snot and drool dripping all over.
- “It ain’t right” he’d said. “Fucking rats in the walls”
- Dave hadn’t understood much of this statement at the time and assumed the man had taken other kinds of drugs as well. The corridor was too narrow for wide kicks or wild swings, so Dave had assumed going in quick and low, dealing a few bodyblows and then running outside would be the solution to his quandary. He crouched low and rushed to do just that, only to be forced to pause his assault to block a flurry of jabs and retreat. The attacker wouldn’t let him pass. And then Dave had to defend against some clumsy kicks, and some clumsy swings, all of which brought the attacker closer until he tackled him. On the ground Dave grabbed the dirty wifebeater, put his knees on his enemy’s stomach and threw him off, jumping up and rushing to the staircase leading downstairs. It didn’t take long to hear the thudding of footsteps on his trail, and once at the railing Dave caught it and used it to keep his balance as he turned around to give a roundhouse kick at his attacker, this being the only spot with enough space for such a manoeuvre.
- The attacker caught the kick in his chest and was pushed back, more furious than ever, his tongue hanging from his mouth. His nostrils flared, and as Dave backed away to go down the stairs, the attacker grinned and turned around, which is when Dave saw the source of all this trouble. The door to the apartment the man had been attacking was open, and standing in the doorway was a Mouse Girl, holding in her arms a crying baby, a small girl hiding behind her. The mother was eyeing up the situation nervously.
- The attacker’s drool dripped on the floor as he sauntered towards the Mice like a zombie.
- “Fuckin’ rats…” he groaned.
- Dave had been quite ready to run away from this situation before. He had no real reason to stay behind and take on this guy until now. But a mother and her children were being threatened right in front of him. He was going to…
- “Move” a voice said and pushed him aside, running past him. Dave looked in awe as a man in a construction worker’s clothes ran up to the attacker, jumped, caught his neck in his arms and brought him down with his momentum. The construction worker looked rather young, and by the looks on the faces of the Mice, Dave deduced this to be the man of the house. He caught the attacker in a chokehold.
- “You got evicted, Petersen” he said. “My wife has a restraining order against you. You want the cops here?”
- The attacker laughed. “Ain’t no cop gonna help no ratfucker” he said.
- Dave walked up to them.
- “Need a hand?” he asked, and the husband nodded. Grabbing Petersen by the ankles he helped remove him from the building and toss him into a gutter.
- “He won’t be trouble now that I’m home” the husband explained. Dave told him to go to his family and asses the damage, and that had been the last he’d seen of that family since. As for Petersen…
- “Ratfuckers! Ratfuckers the lot of you!” he’d cursed, crawling out of the gutter.
- “You still want to have a go?” Dave had asked, more than ready to abandon all the things he’d learned about not escalating conflicts. This guy deserved to be beaten up.
- Petersen had complained then about not being on top form and that he’d been ganged up on. That’s when Dave had suggested they finish it at the fighting pit, one-on-one, and Petersen had agreed, saying he was practically a celebrity there. Dave didn’t believe that, but after agreeing on a time the two had parted ways, Petersen wandering the streets in his underwear, and Dave had made sure not to tell anyone about the incident. His elders and teachers would not have approved.
- The time of the match had come now. Dave had changed into his gi and was doing warm-ups in the area between the audience stands and the actual ring. He hadn’t seen Petersen yet, but the bookies had assured he was present and that Dave’s fight would be after the next one. Then someone told him Petersen had another fight first. That seemed odd, and Dave found himself flabbergasted when the announcer announced Mouser Petersen to the arena, and the man who appeared was wearing a gimp-suit.
- “Here I stand! The exterminator of rats! Where is my quarry? Huh?” he asked, pacing around the ring, taking in the booing of the audience. His behaviour in the tenement building was more understandable now, somehow. The guy was a total lunatic.
- To Dave’s surprise a Mouse Girl DID enter the ring with him, dressed in a loose dress that left her legs quite revealed and free to move. Dave found himself wondering if she had any underwear on.
- “You, little rodent! You little cocksucker! I’m going to beat you, put you in your place, and FUCK you when everyone watches!” Mouser Petersen exclaimed to the booing of the crowd.
- The Mouse was not particularly moved by this, she merely tilted her head and looked at her opponent with an expression Dave couldn’t see from behind.
- “Do you have any last words before I treat you to some cock cheese? I’ve got a fight with a ratfucker after this so hurry up!” Mouser Petersen said.
- “I’m going to break your jaw, your nose and I’m dislocating your right shoulder” the Mouse said, stomping her foot and taking a fighting stance.
- “I bet your cunt smells like cheese” Mouser Petersen laughed.
- “HAJIME!” the announcer cried out suddenly, and before Petersen had even a moment to move, the Mouse had darted at him, kicked his shin to make him drop on one knee, elbowed his nose with a nasty crunching noise and causing it to erupt in a shower of blood, caught his right hand by the wrist, twisted it behind his back, put her foot on his shoulder and applied pressure until another crunch and a cry of pain left the man, his arm flopping limply from the shoulder down, and thus Petersen fell on the ground, crying for her to stop.
- “My sister called” the Mouse said. “You’re a terrible person” she added and stomped on Petersen’s jaw, making him scream. All this had taken her maybe ten seconds or so, and soon enough there were people in the ring, carrying Petersen out of the ring.
- Dave was struck dumb by what he saw. But it wasn’t over yet. The Mouse puffed her tiny chest, turned around to face him and with her eye’s blazing pointed a finger at him.
- “You on the other hand are a good man! I can tell from looking at you that you’re the one who helped my sister with this guy, right?”
- Dave nodded uncertainly. “Yeah, but…”
- “And you were here to fight him. I can understand the desire to hurt someone like that, as dishonourable as it is to use the martial arts against scum like him. Still, I have stolen your battle, so in return please allow me to fight you instead!”
- The Mouse talked in a really, really weird way. She must’ve grown up in a strange environment.
- “Uhh, that’s okay…” Dave mumbled, faltering under her burning gaze, but she wouldn’t have it.
- “No, I insist! I feel impure after laying a hand on that piece of human waste; I must purify myself in the fires of combat with a real opponent! I humbly beseech you!”
- The Mouse took a bow quite low and the crowd went wild. This was all just a show for most them, after all. THIS was prime drama. Melodrama anyway. Dave couldn’t help but get swept up in it.
- “Alright, so who do I have the, uhh, honour of facing?” he asked.
- The Mouse smiled.
- “I know not your name, nor do you know mine. Let us remain strangers until the battle is decided!” she exclaimed to more cheers from the crowd.
- This was turning out to be one of the weirdest days of his life, Dave thought as he climbed up into the ring.
- Standing face to face with the strange Mouse Dave discovered he was taller than her by some considerable amount. His reach was vastly superior. Then again so had been the other guy’s and that hadn’t helped him. He took a bow, not breaking eye-contact. The Mouse smiled and did the same.
- Who the hell is saying that, Dave thought, and while he was distracted by this he found a blur of black rushing at him. Barely having time to realize this was the black dress of his opponent he had no time to manoeuvre anywhere. He let go with a poorly aimed front-kick just to put a halt to her movements, to which she replied by ducking sideways and sending a roundhouse kick his way. Dave managed to block it and to his delight the blow hadn’t been too hard. He pushed at her foot with his forearm while side-stepping to send her off balance, and the Mouse did a silly little twirl in the air while Dave took some distance and circled around to put her back against the wall of the ring. He only now realized how small it really was. His longer reach might help him keep her away but she could push into his space pretty easily and getting away from there might…
- For the first time since his younger and more inexperienced days Dave did a crossguard to block a direct punch from the Mouse. She was standing right in front of him, staring into his face with an intense look, her ears twitching, and Dave’s stomach suddenly felt full of butterflies. He hadn’t lost his concentration THAT badly, had he? When had she…?
- His forearm was beginning to feel hot, somehow. The Mouse grinned. For some reason she wasn’t doing anything. For some other reason Dave wasn’t doing anything either. The moment felt like it was stretching on forever. His forearm was hurting now. What the…?
- Smoke was trailing up from his sleeve and Dave jumped back with a cry of alarm. His gi had turned grey at the spot where the Mouse’s fist had touched it.
- Dave swallowed. He knew Monsters could do weird things, but this had still been unexpected. How was he supposed to fight someone that produced fire out of their fists?
- Before he could reach any decision on this the Mouse had jumped and sent a kick at him. Dave blocked it with the arm that hadn’t been subjected to fire yet and came into contact with her ankle, which flashed and…
- Dave rolled forward and tumbled away from his enemy. The leg had burned him as well, but with even more intensity than the fist had. Kicks were stronger than punches, so maybe that made sense, he found himself thinking. He hadn’t managed to make a single real attack yet, he’d been constantly on the defensive and he’d been burned twice. The enemy was superhuman. This situation was completely new to him. Dave had fought people who were bigger or faster or stronger or more skilled than himself before, but he’d never fought anyone who could just straight up do supernatural stuff like this. All the kids at the dojo always hoped to learn how to do chi blasts or how to walk on water or fly, but only 1-in-20 ever stuck around long enough to learn that those things actually were technically possible, and out of those that stuck around only 1-in-100 actually got far enough to figure out just how impractical it was to learn those kinds of skills. Dave was proudly in that 1-in-2000 category of people who had entered the path of learning the impossible, and he figured he’d be old and crooked and frail by the time he could actually do any of it. Compared to that here was a girl who could probably manifest fire at will from childhood onwards without even needing to learn any martial arts. Well who knows maybe she did have to learn since she obviously knew martial arts too, but the point was that this was an enemy that completely outclassed him. With a sigh Dave took his stance again, desperately trying to keep himself form shaking as the Mouse looked at him with a burning intensity in her eyes. The crowd had gone quiet.
- “I’m not really a fan of hurting girls” Dave said, “but if you’re going to play with fire you just might get burnt”
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