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In memory of Flyin' Black Jackson
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File 137643681232.png - (123.05KB , 800x800 , GBTRa00.png )
534155 No. 534155 ID: 0bc691

Part 1: The Call
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No. 534158 ID: 0bc691
File 137643730311.png - (248.76KB , 800x800 , GBTRa01.png )
534158

The world changed a lot after the war, but then it always does. Moreso when you lose, and more still when your home becomes foreign territory in the treaty. But it's been three years since the war ended, and Noffe has been steadily acclimating.

Life isn't easy, but then it never is. Most of the border territories, northern and southern alike, were ravaged by the grand equatorial conflict. And even if this land no longer belongs to her people, Noffe is dedicated to its reconstruction. For now it may be little more than a slum, but Noffe doesn't care. She lived here before the war, and she intends to help build it back up into a place people can be proud to call home. One rivet at a time, if need be.

For today, however, work is over. And though it's been a long day, Noffe still needs to get home to make dinner for herself and her younger brother.
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No. 534162 ID: 41690e

Nice set of chomper you got there, girl.

Time to head home. You got everything you need for making dinner there, or do you have to pick up anything on the way?
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No. 534163 ID: 0bc691
File 137643795246.png - (235.53KB , 800x800 , GBTRa02.png )
534163

The streets aren't empty, but few people are around. Most of them who are are humans; for the most part the Mita are not permitted to live in the developed area. And most of them don't pay any heed to Noffe's passing. Which suits her fine.

She doesn't harbor any ill will against them. The city belongs to them now, after all. They won it with their own blood and tears. And once it is finished, the construction will spread outward into the Mita blocks, and things can go back to normal. More or less, at any rate.

Noffe walks this path every day, and nobody ever speaks. Noffe has walked the roads from the job site and the station for months, without any incidents to speak of.

But today, things are different. As she walks along a mostly empty walkway, she feels a hand on her shoulder. She starts to turn to see who has interrupted her routine, but swiftly feels the point of something hard and sharp at the back of her ribs.

'Oy now, let's not make a scene. I'd like you to step into this alley here, I've a business proposition for you to accept. And keep quiet about it, I'd rather not have to make a mess.'

Noffe doesn't have much on her at the moment, just her ID information, a few dollars for bus fare, and her (now empty) lunchbox.
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No. 534165 ID: 9ddf68

so what was the war about anyways, was it political, religious, a land dispute, what?
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No. 534167 ID: 593f45

>>534163
Smash him with the lunchbox.
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No. 534168 ID: 96c896

>>534163
Ask him what he wants.
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No. 534169 ID: 9ddf68

oh well, uh, headbutt him in the face to loosen his grip then immediately swing your lunchbox into his head and run like hell.
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No. 534170 ID: bf54a8

hide teeth behind lips. wanna keep those a surprise. they got the drop on you so you can't do much right now. go with them, watch for a way out.
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No. 534171 ID: 41690e

>>534167
Pretend to comply, and then whack him with the lunchbox, yes.
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No. 534172 ID: 888df6

Unless Noffe is a vet she should just go along with his demands for now. Even if she is a vet, she should go along with his demands for now. Knives aren't toys.

Hiding the teeth is likely to be pointless since I assume they're a common trait of her people and she's easily identifiable as non-human.
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No. 534173 ID: 1f8505

Humor him, and see what the offer is. If it sucks, brain that dick with the lunchbox and sprint away.
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No. 534229 ID: 0bc691
File 137644998363.png - (226.62KB , 800x800 , GBTRa03.png )
534229

Noffe decides to head into the alley at the man's urging. She knows better than to try to get into a fight with a man with a knife pressed to her back.

He motions her up to the wall, and has her turn and place her back to it. 'Up against the side there dove, and keep your hands down unless I tell you to move 'em. Like I said, I'm not here to make a mess. Just looking to make a deal. And here's the deal: You give me whatever cash you've got, and I don't have to cut you up. Understood?'

As Noffe turns, the man seems taken slightly aback by the scar on her face. 'We met before, Dove? If so, you already know what's gonna happen if you try to fuck around. Wouldn't want to add a bit of symmetry to your face would you?'

'No, haven't met.' says Noffe. Her accent was thick, but after living in occupied territory since the end of the war she was more or less fluent in the human language.

'Fair enough. So, we got a deal then?'

Noffe nods, as the man slips her lunchbox down over her shoulder, peeks inside, and then tosses the empty container aside. He motions for her to hand him his wallet, and she pulls it out and does so. A few dollars isn't worth a knife at her throat.

The man unrolls the wallet, and glances down at it briefly, then back up to Noffe, and back down to the wallet.

'The fuck is this?'

'My money.'

'The fuck it is! I know damn well you builders get paid on the first of the month. Where's the rest?'

Noffe shrugs.

'Don't you fuck with me girl. The man presses the knife harder against the flesh of her throat. 'Don't even think I won't gut you. Ain't nobody going to kick up a fuss over some filthy ridgeback got slit in an alley.'

Noffe believed him in that regard, she had been glancing streetward during their 'conversation' and several people had already walked by, and she was sure they noticed what was happening. But they all just kept walking.

'Work for landlord, pay went straight to rent.'

'FUCK me. What a waste of fuckin' time.'
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No. 534231 ID: 0bc691
File 137645027461.png - (176.90KB , 800x800 , GBTRa04.png )
534231

>>534229

Noffe says nothing. The thug reaches down to rifle through her pockets, finding nothing else tucked within.

The Thug seems to pause for a moment, then smiles a bit.

'I just thought of something, I may not have to cut your pretty face up after all!' His grin widens.

'See, I thought of some other way you can pay up your little debt, to make this worth my time.' He slides the knife down toward her chest, popping the top button off her shirt and balancing it on the edge of the blade. 'You ridgebacks still got all the right parts, right? You aren't all edges everywhere.'
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No. 534232 ID: 1f8505

>>534231

OK, now we look for an opening to kick this guy in the balls.
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No. 534233 ID: 41690e

>A few dollars isn't worth a knife at her throat.
Yeah, but this is worth fucking him up. You got better things to do than getting raped in an alley.
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No. 534234 ID: bf54a8

wait for him to try for a blowjob, then bite it off.
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No. 534236 ID: 9ddf68

you fought in a war right? so grabbing this pricks arm and braking it shouldn't be much of a problem. or at least disarming him. after you do with or tell him to fuck off and just start heading home.
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No. 534238 ID: cf49fc

He lowered the knife. Amateur mistake. Break his fingers.
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No. 534239 ID: 41690e

>You ridgebacks still got all the right parts, right? You aren't all edges everywhere.
...or maybe the appropriate response to that is to slowly grin, baring all your pointed teeth in the freakiest smile you can, and then just start laughing.

He'll either draw the conclusion we want and run, or be caught off guard long enough for you to hurt him.
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No. 534252 ID: 888df6

If Noffe feels confident that she has a reasonable chance to disarm this guy, it's worth the attempt. A wrist grab and disarming twist would probably be the simplest, most effective method but I'm no CQC expert.

If she isn't confident then it may be best to wait for a better opening. Sadly, I doubt he's going to want to put his penis near her teeth.
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No. 534261 ID: 96c896

>>534231
After you're done beating him senseless, see if he's got any identification on him. That'd help for the police report, assuming you can't just get the police to arrest him immediately. Also, you should go out and find one of the passers-by that you saw walk past, and ask them for their name so you have someone that will testify that it was in self-defense.

Of course, only his prints are on the knife anyway, so you might not need a witness. Unless the police here are prejudiced against your kind?

It's also possible that you could just not tell the police at all, but I don't want a mugger going free.
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No. 534266 ID: 5fd94e

The moment he seems to lose focus away from you grab the knife hands wrist, if you feel that you have the strength to break his wrist then twist, otherwise focus on keeping the knife away from you, then with your other hand reach for his head and place your thumb against his eye and push.
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No. 534269 ID: 2baea8

>>534266
>place your thumb against his eye and push
Doubly effective considering we seem to possess claws.
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No. 534282 ID: 76f779

Collapsing his trachea is a reasonable course of action.
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No. 534315 ID: acb7da

>>534239
I like this.
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No. 535529 ID: 0bc691
File 137687827404.png - (148.46KB , 800x800 , GBTRa05.png )
535529

He continues tracing the knife downward, and starts tugging at Noffe's shirt with his other hand.

Noffe wasn't about to take any risks over a couple of dollars, but this is a bit more than she'll tolerate. As he moves the knife away from her throat, she suddenly lashes out, pulling his arm to the side and driving her knee up into his stomach, driving the wind from his lungs.

She steps around behind him, wrenching his arm around and causing him to drop the knife.
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No. 535530 ID: 0bc691
File 137687859609.png - (146.80KB , 800x800 , GBTRa06.png )
535530

>>535529

The thug tries to cry out, but can't manage more than a wheeze. Noffe grabs him by the back of his head and says;

'Deal's off.'

As he hits the ground, the 'thwack' is accompanied by a popping sound and a sudden jerk in his arm. Noffe releases it, and it falls limp to his side. He struggles to rise, ultimately failing.

He manages to wheeze out a few words between gasps, but between his raspy delivery and colorful phrasing none of it means much of anything to Noffe.

She sighs, and dusts herself off. She needs to decide what to do from here. If she waits around, she'll probably miss her bus.
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No. 535532 ID: bf54a8

take his money, but leave the knife.
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No. 535533 ID: 96c896

>>535530
Kick the knife away, retrieve your buttons to sew them back on again later, and dash off to catch the bus.
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No. 535534 ID: 41690e

>driving her knee up into his stomach
Not his balls? I am disappointed.

>What do?
Dragging this guy to the cops probably won't garner a lot of sympathy, and he's not worth the trouble killing him or giving him a serious beating would bring.

Reclaim your money and your stuff, and take his knife away so he can't use it on you or anyone else. You can throw it down a storm drain or something. (You don't want to keep something that's undoubtedly been used in other crimes).

Catch your bus.
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No. 535535 ID: 5869f6

Loot his cash, but leave the knife. And get to the bus stop.
Also, kick him in the dick.
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No. 535536 ID: 41690e

...why would you want to take his money. Then if he goes to the racist human cops and reports the mean old whatever whatever we are beat him up and took his money we'll be fucked.

No stealing.
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No. 535537 ID: 1f8505

>>535530

Take wallet back, kick knife into sewer grate, and go catch the bus.
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No. 535538 ID: eaa372

>>535536

Check to see if this guy has any kind of identification in his pockets, if so mention that you know his name just to mess with him. Otherwise dispose of the knife and leave him with his possessions.
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No. 535549 ID: 2baea8

Drop knife in grate, leave man, catch bus.
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No. 535580 ID: 9ddf68

retrieve your money and walk away like nothing happened.
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No. 537560 ID: 0bc691
File 137748265272.png - (171.54KB , 800x800 , GBTRa07.png )
537560

Noffe retrieves her wallet and Lunchbox, and quickly leaves the alley. People in the street glance cautiously over their shoulders as she makes her way to the bus stop, but none of them try to stop her and they generally stay out of her way.

She makes it to the stop just before the bus pulls out, and pays her fare. The bus is nearly empty at this point in the afternoon, but she habitually moves to the back. She just finds something relaxing about the rhythmic thumping and rumbling of the engine behind her.

She leans back and watches the city go by out the window. She smiles, seeing buildings that she helped to build that now house people and businesses. Sometimes it's just nice to see the impact one has on the world.

After a few more minutes, the sights outside the window start to shift. As the ride goes on, it changes gradually from views of a city in the early stages of growth ...
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No. 537562 ID: 0bc691
File 137748275397.png - (208.31KB , 800x800 , GBTRa08.png )
537562

... to a city in Decay. This town was fairly close to the Gate before the war, and the fighting really did a number of the place. And ever since the occupation, repairs have been slow in coming.

But even if it's not much, it's still home.
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No. 537565 ID: 0bc691
File 137748297749.png - (175.33KB , 800x800 , GBTRa09.png )
537565

Nobody's home when Noffe gets back, but that's basically normal. The only other person in her house is her younger brother Rahak, and he shouldn't be home for another hour or so.

Noffe sets her work supplies aside, trying to figure out what she wants to make for dinner. She isn't exactly sure what they still have in the fridge, she's just never been good at keeping track of things like that.

But before she can even come to a decision, there is a sharp knock at the door.
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No. 537568 ID: 0bc691
File 137748315241.png - (134.00KB , 800x800 , GBTRa10.png )
537568

Noffe answers the door, and sees a large man in pressed clothes waiting there.

'Ms Cheid, I presume?'

Noffe nods.

He pulls out a small card, and flips it open to reveal a badge. 'I am agent Waczowski, National Peacekeeping Agency. I'm going to need you to come with me.'
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No. 537571 ID: 96c896

Ask if you are under arrest. Is this about the mugger you beat senseless? That was in self defense, and you didn't even hurt him THAT bad.
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No. 537572 ID: 67bfa9

ask what this about
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No. 537573 ID: bf54a8

>>537571
don't talk that much. short and sweet.
"am i under arrest?" if he says yes then don't put up a fight, being cooperative is much better then trying to resist because resisting will make them send more cops with more weapons.
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No. 537574 ID: 41690e

Be polite, and don't show any anger.

Ask if you can have a moment to leave a note for your kid brother, so he won't worry if he comes home and you're not home.
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No. 537585 ID: d2995c

>>537573
Seconding this. Don't make any statement that you don't have to.
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No. 537601 ID: 2baea8

>>537585
This.
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No. 537680 ID: 888df6

Should ask to leave a note for your brother or something, if the guy does insist you go.
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No. 537682 ID: 32e092

>>537574
>>537573
Both of these.
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No. 537784 ID: 9ddf68

ask if this is going to take long because if it is you just want to leave a note for your brother that he's going to have to make super for himself tonight.
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No. 537902 ID: 5af25b

ask to leave a note for your brother, this is gonna take at least a few hours and you don't want him worried.
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No. 537971 ID: 0bc691
File 137762809147.png - (135.25KB , 800x800 , GBTRa11.png )
537971

'Being arrested?'

The man puts his badge back into his pocket, shaking his head.

'No ma'am, but I am authorized to arrest you in order to bring you to the station if you resist. We need to ask you some questions.'

Noffe is somewhat taken aback at this, 'My brother isn't home yet. Leave note for him not to worry?'

The man sighs softly, rubbing at his temple.

'That won't be necessary. Your brother has already been taken into custody on suspicion of crimes against the state. We are going to need you to come down to the station and answer some questions regarding him.'
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No. 537973 ID: 001618

wait what?

Oh god damn it lets see if we can't go save his sorry ass. Lets go with the guy since running will not help anyone or anything at all.
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No. 537975 ID: 41690e

Wait, how old is your brother? He couldn't possibly be in this kind of trouble, could he, you'd have noticed, right?

Best thing you can do is go with the detective. Hopefully, their suspicions are wrong and you can clear your brother's name. If not... well, maybe you can still find a way to make this easier.
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No. 537981 ID: 2baea8

Go with him. Better get to the bottom of this.
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No. 537985 ID: 5af25b

>>537971
What.
sit, get the shock out of the way before you interact with the police. with them it's best to be with clarity of mind. this is some life changing shit right here and you need a moment to deal.
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No. 537986 ID: 96c896

This might be a good time to internally review what your brother is like, and what happened to... I presume that's your father's shrine?
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No. 537989 ID: e1609c

(Made a favicon for this, check the /dis/ thread so I can know if I bunked up any colors.)
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No. 538909 ID: 0bc691
File 137807196635.png - (127.46KB , 800x800 , GBTRa12.png )
538909

Noffe's brother, Rahak, is only 15. He's always been shy and quiet, and she can't imagine him doing anything like this.

That wasn't her father's shrine on the desk, it was a display of Noffe's military accomplishments. The only things on the table that came from her parents were the two Crimson Seal medals and the feathers on her cap, which referred to family members who died in service of the army. Noffe has no real love or longing for her time in the military, but she came from a military family and the honors she received are the only connection to them she has left.

Noffe quickly accompanies agent Waczowski to his car, in order to ride back downtown to the station. There is a taller, slimmer agent with him. The two talk in the front during the drive, but Noffe can't make out what they are saying. They appear to be disagreeing about something.


At the station, Noffe is briskly escorted to a small room with a table in the middle and no windows.

'What is this about? Why was Rahak arrested?'

Waczowski sits opposite the table, setting down a small sheaf of papers. 'Ms Cheid, earlier today there was a fire started in an office building downtown. When investigated, it was determined that the fire was caused by a bomb that failed to properly detonate.'

'And what about Rahak?!'

'Ms Cheid, I am explaining the situation as best the situation allows me to.' The man begins setting out various pictures and documents from the papers. 'The bomb was placed by the Red Arm, an organization of drug dealers and terrorists that have been operating in occupied territories of late. Your brother was among those picked up in the sweep, which is why he is currently in custody.'

'What?!' Noffe pounds the desk and leans forward. The slim man off to the side reaches for something under his coat, and Noffe sinks back into her chair. 'So what? Rahak is still a child! Has nothing to do with any sort of terrorists!'

The man sits back in his chair, and sighs. 'Ma'am, you need to understand this situation. The Red Arm recruits young people all the time, often in secret. And of course, we also ran background checks on everyone picked up in the sweep. Rahak Cheid spent four years being raised in a military preparation camp during the war, and'

'HATED the War Fostery! Treatment was terrible! I stayed in occupied territory after the war specifically to keep Rahak away from such things!'

'To be frank, ms Cheid,' Waczowkski raises his voice and leans forward to match Noffe's aggression, 'your own history is another one of the reasons he is considered such a high-risk suspect! These outbursts are not going to help your brother, you need to calm down.'

'How dare you! The treaty...'

'MS CHEID!' Waczowski slams his hands down on the table. 'I am trying to give you the opportunity to help your brother. Do not throw it away by being uncooperative. If you want to help him at this point the best thing you can do is calm down and answer the questions I have to ask you!'

Noffe bites her tongue, holding back her anger and frustration to the best of her ability. She breathes in and out slowly for several seconds, trying to gather her thoughts.

'Okay.'
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No. 538911 ID: 0bc691
File 137807277949.png - (153.90KB , 1000x600 , GBTRa13.png )
538911

'Very well then ...' Waczowski goes on to ask Noffe a long series of questions about Rahak's schedule, friends, where he has been over the last few months and what he does in his spare time. All of the questions are mundane, and Noffe answers them honestly and to the best of her ability. After nearly an hour, the slim man leaves the room and Waczowski begins gathering up the papers.

'Thank you for your cooperation Ms Cheid, we will notify you if the situation changes.'

'But what about...' Noffe begins.

'Ms Cheid,' he removes his sunglasses, lowering his voice. 'I am going to be frank with you. Things don't look good for your brother right now.'

'But!...'

Waczowski hold up his hand to silence her. 'I am trying to explain the situation as openly as I can get away with, ma'am. There is very little evidence that Rahak has been involved in any wrongdoing, but that only goes so far. The war is still fresh in everyone's mind, and Marbet Ridge especially so. With Rahak being both a Mita and your brother, he is going to be a very high profile suspect. It is very unlikely he'll be released any time soon, and if the papers get word of his incarceration the people will be screaming for his head even without more than circumstantial evidence.'

'I promise you, I will do everything I can to keep that from happening. But nothing you've been able to give us is going to be able to actually get him freed. There's no real way to free a suspect in a case like this without the papers digging up everything they can, at least not so soon after the incident. And there's no way we can guarantee there wouldn't be lynch mobs in that case.'

'But what about my brother?' Noffe half-chokes out, 'Is innocent!'

Waczowski sighs, saying 'Ms Cheid, I don't know what to tell you. There isn't much more I can do than report your answers to the questions and try to squelch news of his arrest.

He leans in close, lowering his voice to a whisper 'Off the record, I can't give you any more help than this. There's something you might be able to do, but it's basically crazy. Have you heard o...'

The door opens again, and Waczowski leans back into his seat. The slim man is there, and he nods briefly. Waczowski stands and motions for Noffe to follow, and she is escorted from the building.

'Ms Cheid, thank you for your time. We will contact you if the situation changes. If you play your card right we might be able to work out a solution to this mess.'
>>
No. 538913 ID: 0bc691
File 137807316342.png - (145.25KB , 800x800 , GBTRa14.png )
538913

Noffe sits on the front steps of the station, unsure of what to do, or what Waczowski was trying to tell her. After a while, she hears a commotion from inside the station.

The door swings open, and a strangely dressed person is swiftly shoved out through it.

'Hey! I'm just doing my job! You guys know damn well that I have every right to...'

'Just get out of here, you damn Vulture,' comes a voice from inside the door.

The person adjusts their hat, and turns up their nose at the door. 'Just as well, I was leaving anyway. It was starting to get just plain sickening in there! Harrumph!'

They come back out to the front steps, and sit down as well, angrily staring across the street and tapping their shoes with their chin in their hand for several minutes, before they appear to notice Noffe.

'Oh, didn't see you there. What are you in for, or, I guess, what are you out for? Since the fuzz obviously aren't keeping you around?'

Noffe isn't really sure what to make of this weirdo, and whether or not to bother responding at all. She also realizes that she no longer has bus fare and is back in the city. She needs to decide what to do from here.
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No. 538915 ID: 67bfa9

try to bum some bus fair from the wierdo
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No. 538916 ID: d2995c

This looks like one of those journalists, so be careful about what you say to them.
>>
No. 538918 ID: 96c896

>>538913
A reporter? Don't tell him anything about why you're here. Or just lie about why you're here. Don't even give him your name.

Check your pockets to see if Waczowski gave you his card or something. Finding out what he was about to tell you could be important.
>>
No. 538919 ID: 5af25b

>>538913
careful, the weirdo might be a reporter. don't tell him anything about who you are or about your brother. not even that they arrested a brother of yours.
>>
No. 538920 ID: b32a14

So much for 'innocent until proven guilty'. Just because he was picked up in a sweep, and because you fought in the war, he's presumed guilty.

The fact that you stayed, or are helping to rebuild doesn't count for anything? I mean, geeze, they didn't even let you see him.

>Have you heard o...
>play your card
...yeah, I'm not sure what he's trying to tell you to do, there. He's obviously hinting at something, but I'm not sure what they key word is. Something to do with cards? Is the singular when you'd expect a plural the hint, or just his way of emphasizing you only have one option?

>what are you here for?
I suddenly suspect the guy they just threw out is a reporter. Don't tell him about your brother.
>>
No. 538929 ID: 2baea8

Tell him to mind his own business.
Do you have enough for a payphone? Any friends who could give you a ride home?
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No. 538937 ID: 735f4f

From the vulture comment he is either a reporter or a lawyer. Either way watch what you say around him. Might be able to bum a ride off him though if you are nice.

We have to figure out what he meant by that card remark. Did he slip you anything you did not notice? Or does the remark bring anything to mind. Whatever he was about to say might be a dangerous long shot but what else can we do?

Make extra sure you do not mention anything about your brother or the failed bombing to anyone. His best defense is to stay unnoticed as long as possible. If it gets into the court of public opinion you are screwed.
>>
No. 538950 ID: e1609c

>>538913
GOD but this dude is lanky. Still, I doubt he's gonna be totally useless. Be guarded, but honest. Dont let on the full deets, just basic info.
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No. 538981 ID: 9ddf68

tell him they just let you out after being thrown in the drunk tank for public drunkenness and the only reason you're still here is because you don't have enough cash on you for bus fair.
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No. 539431 ID: 2f4b71

Well, you can completely and honestly state you were involved in an altercation earlier. No need to mention that it has nothing to do with why you're here now...
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No. 544809 ID: 8ab426
File 138231951058.png - (202.65KB , 800x800 , GBTRa15.png )
544809

>>538929
>>538929

Noffe spent the money she had on her earlier bus ride, she has nothing with her at the moment.

>>538918
>>538937

Waczowski didn't slip anything into Noffe's pocket, she doesn't have any idea what he could be referring to.

Noffe decides to play it safe, not letting this new weirdo know any more than she needs to.

'Nothing. Got in a fight.'

'A fight, huh?' He plops down on the stairs next to her, 'Don't suppose you feel like getting in another one? Eh?'

Noffe glares at the guy, and he makes a sound halfway between a chuckle and a sigh, waving his hand between them, 'Yeah yeah, I didn't think so. I mean, who would, right?' He leans back and blows upward at his bangs.

'It's all just really frustrating, yaknow? Just tryin' to get by, everything's great, then something throws a big damn wrench into everything and you're just not sure what you're gonna do. It just sucks. Everything just sucks.'

He is talking a mile a minute, and Noffe starts to realize if she doesn't say something soon she's not going to be able to get a word in edgewise.

'Yes. Don't even have bus fare to get home,' She sighs. 'Everything sucks.'

'Haha, really? Small world. I mean, money troubles. I'd help ya out, really. But I don't really have enough to get back home myself. I'm not even from around here at all, I'm from back across the gate. And because of ... uh ... various reasons I can't really afford the train back when my job's done.' He kicks his legs idly 'My boss is gonna be pissed if I can't scrape up the cash to get back, I'm not sure he'd float the cash to get me out.'

'Ah,' Noffe looks back downward, 'just end up walking, then.'

He hops quickly up to his feet. 'What? Nah, come on. I don't have the spare money for a bus, but my car's all gassed up. Just let me know where you live and I'll give you a ride. I'm pretty much already boned on the job front anyway.'

Noffe perks up a bit, taken aback by the guy's apparent generosity. 'ReallY?'

He shrugs. 'Yeah, sure. Just point out the way and I'll drive you home. We ragamuffins gotta stick together, right?'

'The name's Cardigan, by the way. Cardigan Strawk. What's yours?' He offers his hand to Noffe.

Sorry for the long delay in updates, a whole lot of shit happened all at once. They should happen more regularly from here out
>>
No. 544810 ID: 7bbaae

Don't tell a stranger your address. Give him a general location so he can drop you off a block or two away.

But uh, ask what he meant about getting into another fight.
>>
No. 544811 ID: 67bfa9

don't trust a guy how doesn't wear sleeves . . . it's kinda creepy
>>
No. 544812 ID: 53ba34

his name is CARD? REALLY? hmm hmm hmm. play him right.
>>
No. 544813 ID: 7bbaae

>>544812
Oh my god. You're right. This guy is our only chance. Noffe, shake that hand.
>>
No. 544814 ID: 75a612

>>544812
...oh my goodness, you're right.

Although we're still left with the question of what we're meant to do. Waczowski seemed to realize he couldn't help us within the system, so he tried to give you something else to work with. A reporter he knew was going to show. But... is just getting your story in the press the way to fix this? Nothing personal, but your brother didn't sound like he'd get much sympathy in the court of public opinion. Wrong race, wrong place, wrong time, wrong past.

>What's yours?
Noffe. Your name is Noffe.

...so, what went wrong with your job back there?
>>
No. 544817 ID: 9ddf68

give him your name and maybe see if you can't get his story, at least on the way back to your place. and yes take the ride. It's either that or hoof it.
>>
No. 545613 ID: ce1217

He's the card isn't he? If he doesn't have a place to stay he can crash at our house in exchange for the ride. Also get his story.
>>
No. 582620 ID: 6e85c8
File 140440185022.png - (283.23KB , 800x800 , GBTRa16.png )
582620

Noffe decides to take Cardigan up on his offer, and takes his hand to stand.

'Noffe. Noffe Cheid.'

'Well, great to meet you Noffe! Your name seems kinda familiar, you ever spend time across the gate?'

Noffe hesitates, glancing off to the side.

'Just Once.'

'OH well, maybe it's just a really common name for you Mita folks or something. Come on, I'm parked over this way.'

Noffe follows Cardigan along.

>>544810

'Why asking about a fight?'

'Oh, just job stuff. Don't worry about it, it's got nuthin' at all to do with you!'

They reach the car, and Cardigan hops into the driver's seat. Noffe hops in the back.

'What are ya doing back there, Noffe? It's not like anyone else called shotgun.'

'Just like the back better. More comfortable.'

Cardigan Shrugs, 'Suit yourself!' And begins driving off. Noffe leans against the back of the cabin, feeling the vibrations from the engine through the walls.

>>544814

'What went wrong with job?'

Card bites his lip, starting to get visibly flustered, before he begins speaking.

'Those jerks, throwing me out. Makes it really damn hard to do my job, and I'm on a deadline here!'

'What job?'

'Oh, yeah. Guess you wouldn't really know. I'm a 'caller.' Sort of a ... recruiter, or a talent scout or something. Anyway, I was there looking for someone to help me out, it's basically the best place to look in a hurry. But everything's all crazy in there. These guys, they got this kid ...'

He starts to look visibly angrier about it.

'This Mita kid, they brought him in earlier. All kinds of people started comin' and goin'. They weren't regular cops or anything, and they sure weren't visitors of the regular sort either. There was all this big hubbub, sayin' this kid was a terrorist or something. But I was there all day, I heard the truth of it. They got nothin' on this kid. Nothin'. They're just stringing him up 'cause they need someone to blame, just cause he got a bit unlucky. And that pisses me off! I know what it's like, you know? Not being given a chance, getting stuck in a rut. These guys, what they're doin' isn't justice. I feel for that kid, you know? They weren't even listenin' to him because he's got family that's supposed to be some sort of crazy army badasses from the war, something about his sister Nof.....'

Cardigan suddenly slams on the brakes, and the car skids to a halt in the middle of the street.

He turns around, a shocked expression on his face as he gazes back at Noffe, 'Wait, it's you isn't it? You're Noffe Cheid, right? You're the one they were talking about!'

Noffe is taken aback by his rambling and the sudden stop and change in attitude, and can't think of a response.

'No, it is! It's gotta be. You were in the Khemdri Mat during the war!'

Noffe clenches her jaw and nods her head slowly, waiting to see how Cardigan responds.

Cardigan leans back into his seat, sitting quietly and tensely for several minutes before turning back to Noffe.

'I ... we might be able to help each other.'

The words hit Noffe like a jolt of lighting. 'What?! How?!'

Cardigan pauses for a moment, considering, and then speaks again, 'Well, going back to an earlier question. Don't suppose you feel like getting in another fight?'
>>
No. 582622 ID: e1609c

>>582620
Depends. Will it help get our brother out of the clink?
>>
No. 582626 ID: 7e4b54

>>582620
Yeah basically only if it'll help our brother. Because honestly, what else is there in our life?
>>
No. 582628 ID: bb78f2

>>582620
Well, could the fight make things worse for the brother if it goes bad?
>>
No. 582631 ID: 50338d

>Don't suppose you feel like getting in another fight?
I don't really like fighting, and I sort of think I'd only be confirming their wrong ideas if I did.

...but how could it help, here?
>>
No. 582701 ID: 874468

"After I got off work I was mugged today, by a human. He pointed a knife in my back, wanted my money. All I had was bus fare and he was angry about that, so he decided he wanted a little something else for his trouble. I got out of that mostly unhurt but I went straight home after because if I report the crime it's the word of a mita against a human and chances are I'm the one taking it in the face.
"When I got home cops kidnapped me on threat of arrest. They interrogated me, looking for something plausible to convict my brother for. When I was a little indignant about that they told me it would be really easy to arrest me and put me in high security: Apparently one of the excuses they're using to keep my brother is telling people I'm some special forces monster here to eat your babies instead of a construction worker employed by her slumlord. That means it's only a matter of time before they arrest me just to keep their story straight.
"Now I've got a stranger offering me a chance for a fight. What's the point? Stick a fork in me, I'm done. If I somehow get my brother out of jail I can't take him across the border because he'll be put in the war camps. I won't be able to stay here with him because he, me, or both of us will be targets: It's pretty obvious that my brother's arrest is about collective reprisal or extermination, so getting him out of jail isn't enough. Heck, if the irregulars these cops say are bombing things are real instead of a fabricated excuse to pick on mita they'll be after us for our recruitment or our skulls as well. Can you think of a happy ending, or even a safe ending for this story that's actually plausible? I can't think of one.
"I'll put my money where my mouth is: Even odds, I bet you twenty bucks I don't have yet or an offer to make you dinner a couple times that I'm walking into a trap when I get home. I figure an unarmed victim with a predictable destination and schedule is awful tempting to cowards and that's been the way my day has gone ever since I got off work."
>>
No. 582714 ID: 9b57d3

>>582620
"I will beat the shit out of anyone you point me at."
>>
No. 582717 ID: 9ddf68

... Depends, what do you mean by fighting?

I mean if he's suggesting grabbing a gun or something like that that's probably just going to make things worse, even if you do pull it off. If he means fighting in a different since though... We should hear him out at least before we decide anything.
>>
No. 583784 ID: 6e85c8
File 140510174017.png - (146.12KB , 800x800 , GBTRa17.png )
583784

>>582622
>>582631
>>582717

'How would Fighting Help? Would only make more trouble, can't cross the border even if Rahak was freed.'

'Oh, nonono. Not like that. You said you'd been across the gate, right?'

Noffe Nods.

'Well, do you know about The Ring?'

'Know 'ring,' but is specific?'

Cardigans nods before continuing, 'Okay, well, The Ring is sort of a big festival that happens in The Confederation. It started as some sort of old ritual, and some people still get kind of religious about it. But it started to get really big, like a big international event.

It's basically a big fighting tournament, alright? It's got rules and stuff, and the winner gets a lot of prestige in a lot of circles. And, I mean, it's probably the biggest sports event in the country, possibly the world!'

'What, so fight in Ring? Not even from the country, or even the people.'

'Yeah, well, the thing is ... The Ring has been gone for a while. The last two times it should have come up it didn't because of, you know, the whole 'war' thing. So they're making it bigger than ever. They even want to bring in people from out here in the territories.

That's why I'm here. I'm a Caller, remember? I'm down here to try to find competitors. I just sort of ... lost all my money and didn't have anyone scouted out, so I was hanging around the police department looking for some ruffian to at least get an entrant.'

'Oh, so that..'

'Oh no, I don't mean to say you're just some ruffian! Don't get me wrong. It's just, I tend to talk a little faster than I think is all. Don't wo...'

'WAIT.' Noffe shouts to cut off Cardigan, 'Why tell all this? How would The Ring even help?'

'Well, see, people fighting in The Ring? They're like superstars. And with the size of the thing, and the whole event being a big thing while they bring it back, they wouldn't want anything to interfere with it. Like ...'

'So?! How does that h...'

'...LIKE they wouldn't want to put a competitor's brother on trial for terrorism without evidence. And they really don't seem to have much more than suspicions.'

...

'Look, it might not save him or anything, but if you're in The Ring he'll at least be safe. I'm sure of that. The only thing is ...'

'Is what?'

'Well, there's a qualifier to enter, and it's tonight. S'Kinda why I'm in a hurry to find someone. If you want to do this, we're going to have to go now.'

Noffe stops to think for a second.

'Why wanting to help me? What do you get?'

Cardigan shrugs, 'I'd like to say it's because I want to, you know, undo the injustice for your brother. And that definitely does get me pretty heated. But also, I mean, I'm broke. I can't get back home without money. If you can win the qualifier, as a certified Caller I'll get a bonus that will let me catch the train back. And you were in the Khemdri Mat! So I'm pretty sure you're tough enough to win it.'

Noffe clenches her jaw again, sighing heavily. She's going to need to decide if she wants to accept Cardigan's offer quickly, and if she does accept she needs to figure out what to do with the short time before the qualifier.
>>
No. 583785 ID: 2fd516

>>583784
Accept. This is the only real option to save your brother.

In the time you have before the qualifier you should prepare yourself for the fight. Shake off the rust and re-familiarize yourself with the basics of CQC.
>>
No. 583786 ID: 9dd1ee

accept! fightin is fun!, be sure to find out the rules though, you wouldn't want to get disqualified
>>
No. 583788 ID: 40935b

whelp, gotta get your 15 minutes of fame sometime. You should aquatint yourself with the rules, and form a contingency plan if someone wants you to throw a match.
>>
No. 583795 ID: 874468

Beats going home to an empty apartment with genuine worries of blackmail, kidnapping and other forms of traps, ambushes and cowardly attacks.
>>
No. 583796 ID: 9ddf68

ask if there's prize money in this thing? I mean he said that your brother's trail will at least be put on hold if you enter this thing but he's not sure. If you can get money off this thing then you could at least buy a good lawyer if nothing else.

Also accept, unless you have some other way you know about to free your brother.
>>
No. 583806 ID: a2f9bc

If the media will react as he claims, it will at least delay the issue concerning your brother. The farther from the incident you can stretch it, the less pressure there will be on the authorities to bag someone for it.
>>
No. 583914 ID: 3401a5

>>583784
unless you've got another plan in mind other than "visiting your brother in jail every now and then", i'd say you're gonna have to go for it.
>>
No. 583931 ID: 7e4b54

>>583784
Accept.

Get hype.
>>
No. 583932 ID: 638a22

Ask what the rules are.

...what happens if and when you lose? You're good, but no one wins every fight, especially if they go looking for them like this. Does this fame and protection for your brother disappear?

Grumble to yourself about how stupid this all is. You try and help rebuild, and people think you and your brother are the enemy. But if you keep fighting, people like you, you're famous? This country is friggen crazy.
>>
No. 617590 ID: db2d60
File 142025695066.png - (233.47KB , 800x800 , GBTRa18.png )
617590

'Don't see any other choice ... so okay'

Cardigan's eyes suddenly widen, he almost seems shocked by Noffe's quick decision.

'o-OH! Ok, alright. Uh, then, we really need to get going. Like now. we're probably going to be a smidge late, but I can still get us in.'

Cardigan immediately slams on the gas, pulling a U-Turn and driving back into town with haste.

'What if lose?'

'Oh, well, don't lose, okay? If you get to the ring itself it's fine if you lose every now and then, it's a long event. But for these qualifiers only the top 3 get to go on.'

'What is top 3?'

'Well, the qualifier is basically a normal tournament. Win, you go to the next round. Lose, you're out. The only fiddly part is third place.'

'Fiddly?'

'Like, not normal. See, in the ring matches are scored, and the scoring is how third place is determined in the qualifiers.

There are three ways to win in the ring. One, you knock out your opponent. Two, you get your opponent to surrender. Three, you knock your opponent out of the ring three times.'

Noffe nods, listening intently as Cardigan drives.

'Each time you knock your opponent out of the ring, you get a point. If you get 3 points, you win the round and they're added to your total. You get an extra point for winning with a KO or surrender, so 4 total for any rounds like that. If you also got knocked out of the ring, you lose a point from your total for each time. These points are a lot of the point of the ring itself, but in the qualifiers they just matter for third place. There's no loser's match or anything, the semifinal loser with more points gets third. Got it?'

Noffe wasn't really sure that she did, but she nodded anyway. As long as she got as many points as possible, she shouldn't need to worry about the minutia.

'What other rules? For fighting?'

'OH! Those rules. Yeah, okay, so... Qualifiers use the same rules as The Ring for that part. No outside weapons, No biting, And no gouging at the face, throat, or groin. Pretty much anything goes other than that. Well, other than, you know, don't kill a guy or anything. There's special laws for if people die accidentally in The Ring, but it's still not a good idea. And they don't apply to the qualifiers, so, you know. Don't kill anyone. I'm sure that you wouldn't anyway but just so we're clear.'

Noffe stays silent, turning to look out the window. The streets are mostly empty, and as they continue driving they enter a section of town with a lot of warehouses. Cardigan parks his car.

'Well, here we are. You should probably let me do the talking, you know, Caller and all.'

He leads Noffe to a nondescript door on the side of one of the buildings and they head inside. Inside there is a man at a desk, and Cardigan immediately strikes up a conversation with him. They speak to quickly and quietly for Noffe to really understand what they're saying specifically, but Cardigan seems to be insisting on something that the man is refusing. Eventually, Cardigan shows the guy something from his pocket and the man eventually relents.

Cardigan walks back to Noffe.

'Okay, we gotta hurry. everything is supposed to already have started, but I managed to get you in. You're gonna be fighting right away, though. So we need to get you out to the ring right now.'
>>
No. 617594 ID: db2d60
File 142025825338.png - (226.81KB , 800x800 , GBTRa19.png )
617594

Cardigan quickly leads Noffe down a hall and through a few more doors, and she gradually becomes aware of a growing sound. She recognizes it as the sound of a lot of voices shouting loudly.

'Noffe! Hey, before you go, you gotta take your boots off. They'd count as a weapon, you know.'

Cardigan opens a final door, and they enter a huge room. The room is Noisy and Dark, with People crowded into the bleachers around the edge. In the center of the room, surrounded by a chain-link fence, is a large rectangular platform raised a few feet above the ground. All of the lighting in the room is pointed directly at it, and there is a man already standing on it.

There is a crackling, and a voice comes over some sort of poorly-functioning intercom, failing to silence the crowd but still audible over it.

'WHAT A LUCKY NIGHT, FANS! WITH ONE LAST-MINUTE ENTRANT, THERE IS NO LONGER A BYE FOR THE FIRST ROUND OF THE TOURNAMENT, AND YOU GET TO SEE AN EXTRA MATCH!'

A roar rises up from the crowd long enough to drown out even the intercom.

'-DUCE THE FIRST FIGHTER OF THE EVENING, A FAVORITE TO WIN WHO HAS COMPETED IN THE RING BEFORE! CASEY RYBACK!'

The man on the platform raises his arms, posing for the crowd. They roar in response.

'AND MAKING HIS WAY TO THE RING, RYBACK'S FIRST OPPONENT IS A NEWCOMER, OUR LAST-MINUTE ENTRANT! NOFFE CHEID!'

The crowd begins to cheer, though not quite as loudly as for the previous fighter. As Noffe approaches the gate to the fence and enters the light, the roar of the crowd quickly dwindles to a low murmur.

Noffe sighs, and then goes to open the gate. Cardigan stops her as she reaches for the handle.

'Hey'

The crowd's volume rises again, sounding angrier than before. 'boo's are audible.

'What?' She turns to face him.

'Your boots. Gotta take off your boots.'

Noffe stops to remove her boots, handing them to Cardigan.

'Alright, well, that's all I can do for now. Try not to let the crowd get to you, I guess? Just, I gotta go. Won't be able to talk again 'til after the fights. Kick some ass, alright? We both have a lot riding on this.'

Noffe enters the gate, which closes behind her, and begins climbing onto the platform. The crowd continues to hurl what Noffe assumes to be insults at her, though with all the voices and noise she can't actually understand what they're saying.

The intercom kicks back on 'AND NOW THAT OUR FIRST COMPETITORS HAVE ENTERED OUR RING, THE FIRST ROUND CAN COMMENCE! THE FIGHT WILL START IN TEN!'

Casey holds his fist out toward Noffe, the crowd cheering in response

'NINE!'

He shouts out to her 'I was supposed to skip this round, you know!'

'EIGHT!' The crowd ceases its mostly incoherent murmuring, joining in to chant the countdown.

Noffe remains silent, Tensing herself for the coming battle.

'SEVEN!'

'But now you had to show up.'

'SIX!'

'And I don't get to just relax until round 2.'

'FIVE!'

'You really piss me off.'

'FOUR!'

'The hell are you doing here anyway, trash.'

'THREE!'

'This is our ring!'

'TWO!'

'You monsters don't have any place in it!'

'ONE!'

'SO I'M GONNA KICK THE SHIT OUT OF YOU AND TOSS YOU OUT!'

A Chime sounds over the loudspeaker, and the crowd roars into activity.

Noffe's first battle has begun. Casey raises his guard and walks directly toward her. She'll need to figure out how to respond, and quickly.
>>
No. 617597 ID: a19cd5

>>617594
Put up your dukes and wait for an opening. That's how fighting works, innit?
Keep your profile as slim towards him as possible, and keep your hands near your face and midsection for quick blocking.
>>
No. 617599 ID: bb78f2

>>617594
hah, this guy has a lousy stance.
Just keep doing moves that will put him on his ass. Basically, girl, play the counter game. Make him mad and clumsy. Dodge his hits, and trip him.
>>
No. 617606 ID: 2ec61a

try not to stab him with any of your sharp bits. punches, palm thrusts and kicks.
>>
No. 617615 ID: 687279

Nail him with strikes until he's softened up then put him in a submission hold until he taps out.
>>
No. 617622 ID: 9dd1ee

be dodgey let him get angry and reckless trying to hit you, then when he leaves an opening take him out
>>
No. 617637 ID: dd4ed3

This guy looks like a showboater. Like he's gonna try to ham this up for the crowd.

Respond with brutal efficiency. You don't care about a good show. This is about your brother, and winning. Doing what you need to to make that happen, as soon as the opportunity present itself. Hard.
>>
No. 630993 ID: 69994e
File 142734167880.png - (309.35KB , 800x800 , GBTRa20.png )
630993

Noffe thinks that this guy seems like a showboater, and tries to fight cautiously to get him off his game.

Casey seems to have a completely different mindset once the fight has started, however! His bravado and boisterousness drop away and he keeps his own calm watch on her as he approaches.

Noffe tries to get in a quick hit or two, take him off his game, get him angry, but his defense is strong enough to stop her offense.

Suddenly, Casey lunges forward inside Noffe's own guard! After a quick strike to the gut, he reaches around behind her and grabs a hold of her collar and hair, dragging her off balance and wrenching her to the ground! He quickly pulls her into a headlock, twisting and pulling the collar to tighten Noffe's shirt around her neck as he holds her down.

'I'm feelin' nice, monster. So I'm gonna make this quick. Say goodnight!'

Noffe is in a tight spot!
>>
No. 630994 ID: bd8b82

don't try to break his grip, apply elbow to guts!
>>
No. 630996 ID: 9dd1ee

rip out of that shirt it's proving to be a major hindrance

alternatively throw him off
>>
No. 630997 ID: 265534

>>630993
Repeated elbow strikes to the groin.
>>
No. 631018 ID: bb78f2

>>630993
Get closer. Grab under closest thigh and his opposite hip. Lift, tumble, whatever.
Get out of that headlock.
>>
No. 631020 ID: 296917

We were told... wait, was the rule not to gouge the groin, or not to hit the groin? I assumed the latter because nobody would want to gouge the groin.

I say break his nose. That's usually pretty distracting. Also when you get a chance, lose the shirt. It has been shown to be a liability.
>>
No. 631021 ID: f0a5e4

Elbow whatever you can and when he reacts, try to hook his nose with your left hand and pull up. See if you can turn towards him when his grip loosens to keep him from going into another hold, and maybe uppercut the grin off that square-ass jaw.
>>
No. 631028 ID: ad7bba

If you can't shake him, it might be worth throwing yourself, and hopefully him too, out of the ring. Not sure if you can manage it, but since you have to be ringed out 3 times to lose, it would buy you breathing room.

That pun wasn't intentional.
>>
No. 631047 ID: 88960e

Stop trying to break the hold and slam your left elbow into his gut as hard as possible. Try to knock the air out of him (if this was real fight, I'd say to put your elbow into his groin).

Immediately after the hit, throw yourself at or away from him, attempting to knock him over slash break his weakened grip.

Make a mental note not to underestimate showboaters. You have to take everyone in the ring seriously- they'll all threats to put down fast.
>>
No. 631060 ID: 9ddf68

grab the guy's fingers on his are that is around your neck and and try and pull his arm off of you. either you'll break his fingers or loosen his grip enough for you to slip out.
>>
No. 631111 ID: f75cf9

>>631020
Card said it was no gouging the groin. I think the idea is fighting dirty is fine but they don't want permanent damage in those areas.

So go ahead and stick that elbow wherever it's convenient. Gut, groin, whatever.
>>
No. 631391 ID: 2305b0

>>630993
clear window to the groin is a rookie mistake by him.
>>
No. 631412 ID: 9ddf68

>>631391
we can't hit the groan, it's against the rules. remember the rules state no face gouging, not groan shots, and no weapons.
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