167: Hall Brawl

on February 28, 2008 in 06: A Period of Conflict

In Which The Match Is Decided By A Pin

The green wave swept me off my feet and knocked the wind out of me. I landed hard on my ass, and looked up to see Sooni pointing a finger at me, the tip glowing green. Her lips were moving and a small green sphere of light began to form.

Shit. She was throwing spells, actual spells, at me. They must have allowed serious magical training to start earlier in her homeland.

Don’t you hurt my sister!” Two yelled, charging forward. Sooni’s finger swung around, and I leapt to my feet, putting myself in the way of the next blast. This was a brilliant move on my part, as it allowed me to strategically fly backwards into Two, who was running forwards.

She let out an “Oof!” as we collided and tumbled to the floor.

“Two! Are you okay?” I asked, horrified at what had happened. I was completely uninjured, but was she? I helped Two to her feet, and couldn’t help noticing she was favoring one knee.

“Quit fussing over your girlfriend and finish our fight scene!” Sooni demanded, stomping her sandaled foot once more for emphasis. While I was distracted by the curvature of her leg, she shot a more focused bolt of green force at Two, which knocked her back down and sent her sliding down the hallway.

I growled and got to my feet, advancing on Sooni.

Sooni shouted something in Yokano, and the nekos came pouring out of their rooms, curved short swords drawn. They were barefoot and running on the tips of their toes, and from the way they held their blades it seemed like they didn’t carry them just for show.

I turned to face the new threat, but then Sooni said, “Not her, she’s mine. Just keep the golem away.”

The nekos ran past me and advanced at Two, who was just getting to her feet. She stopped to brush off her clothing before she picked up her mace.

“Leave her alone!” I shouted, right before another of Sooni’s force blasts took me off my feet.

“Pay attention to me!” Sooni yelled.

I watched helplessly as the three nekos closed on Two, who held her mace out two-handed in front of her. Suzi and Maliko exchanged smug glances and raised their blades. Kai followed suit.

Then, Suzi’s fur stuck up and she gave a fierce yowl, tossed her sword away, and pounced, claws out. Two flung her head back, covering her eyes with her hand while holding her little mace out like some kind of feeble shield.

“Two!” I yelled.

There was a crackle of energy as Two’s mace prodded Suzi in the stomach, and the nekoyokai crumbled to the floor, shaking convulsively as little mini lightning bolts seemed to course around her body.

Two put both hands back on her mace handle and continued to hold it out in front of her like a talisman.

“Just keep her back!” Sooni barked. Her sandals were clicking on the tile floor, coming nearer. I turned to see her standing almost right on top of me, her finger still aglow with mystical energy.

I considered my options quickly.

Elemental invocation would take some creativity to be useful, and it wouldn’t work without more breathing room. Also, it would drain me too quickly if I leaned on it since I was still at the stage of raw manipulation. The only formal spells I’d managed so far were for sharpening weapons and turning curtains into barriers.

My knife was already plenty sharp, and I wasn’t about to pull it out. Sooni hadn’t drawn her knife, and I very much doubted she’d be much more capable than I was with weapons. Why should she be, when she could make her “friends” train and drill to protect her? The magic she’d thrown hadn’t done more than toss me around. I could hardly escalate to deadly force, but I was at a serious disadvantage.

Then it occurred to me that clothing was a sort of barrier, too.

I tried to remember what I’d done in the shower. I’d never repeated the spell or written it out. Another force wave slamming into me, batting my body against the floor, jogged my memory. I called to mind the formulation I’d used, varied it slightly to try to apply it to clothing and mumbled it to myself as I concentrated on my shirt.

Sooni paused mid-spell, a ball of green energy suspended in front of her finger tip, ready to be released.

“What are you saying?” she asked. “Are you saying you are sorry? That you take it back?”

I finished the spell and then jerked my legs around, trying to trip her up. If I’d known what I was doing, it would have been a really slick sweep-kick that would have landed her on her back. As it was, she kind of half-stepped, half-jumped backwards. It spoiled her concentration enough for the green ball to evaporate, and I got to my feet, squaring off with her.

“This is crazy,” I said. “Call off your cats before somebody gets hurt.”

“Take it back!” Sooni said. She zapped me with a quick blast, not bothering to spend the time building it up. She probably figured she didn’t need the full effect, but she didn’t know about my barrier spell. The energy hit me full in the chest and dissipated harmlessly.

Her eyes went wide and she backed away, chanting frantically under her breath. She had both hands in front of her, and a larger green ball began to form between them.

What to do? I couldn’t let her get the spell off but I didn’t dare strike her physically.

I reached out my hands, physically feeling the air around me and concentrating on calling its water aspect, “gathering” a mass of heavy, watery air around me, then shoving it forward with my hands and mind while yanking hard on the water element. A ball of water came into view about halfway to Sooni, bursting her green energy ball and splattering the front of her stupid silk blouse.

Sooni shrieked in outrage, and lifted one hand, chanting out loud in what sounded like Yokano. Crackling green energy appeared inside her cupped hand. Somehow I figured this one wouldn’t be a “throw you around” spell. I’d never called on earth before, but desperation inspired me.

I grabbed the air in front of me and focused on making it as earthy as possible, then tried to up its barrier-quality. The “curtain of air” had far less in common with an actual curtain than my clothes did, so it was a bit like when I’d been throwing a lot of energy in class without having a precise target. Still, I felt it take hold just before Sooni threw a chain of three green lightning balls.

I let go as the last one was absorbed by my barrier, and swayed a bit on my feet as the drain caught up to me. I was honestly surprised that it had worked, but I remembered what Amaranth had said: menstruation could make it easier to channel magic, though my body paid the price.

I couldn’t keep improvising responses forever while Sooni drew from a repertoire of well-practiced spells. My luck or my reserves would give out sooner or later. I needed to end the fight.

I threw myself forward before Sooni could react to her spell’s failure or start her next one. She threw her hands up, and I grabbed her wrists. I couldn’t use my strength to strike her, but I had more than enough to control her.

“Do not dare to touch me!” she cried.

She brought her leg up and kneed me in the groin as hard as she could. My eyes teared up at the crushing blow to my (currently a little extra) sensitive flesh., and I swooned a bit.

Because of the pain.

While I was distracted, one of her arms slipped free and she bit me on the arm which held her other one.

“Ow!” I cried, though I didn’t let go. Although they couldn’t break my skin, Sooni still had really sharp teeth. “That fucking hurt!”

“Hey! You get your filthy hands off her!” Rocky yelled, thundering down the hallway from behind me.

The cry saved me. I let go and threw myself to the side as the stone-skinned swordswoman barreled into Sooni instead.

“Assassins!” Sooni cried as they went down together. She began slapping at Rocky in a way that probably would have been equally ineffectual on a skin-skinned person. “Murderers! Lesbians! Help!”

Rocky got to her feet and wheeled around to see Maliko and Kai running at her, with Suzi tottering a little wobbly after them. Her fur was frizzed out from Two’s energy mace.

“I’ll take on all of you little monsters!” Rocky declared, though of course she pointed her sword at me when she said it.

No!” Sooni declared, blasting Rocky away. “Nekos, keep everybody away! This is something I have to do for myself!”

She smiled with pride as she said that. From the way she emphasized every word, I would have guessed that either she’d waited her whole life for a chance to say it, or she’d spent her life saying it every chance she got.

I cringed at the sight of Two hobbling down the hall towards us. The nekos formed a line to block her and Rocky.

It was time to get serious and end this fast. I rushed Sooni and wrapped my arms around her, tackling her.

“Rape!” Sooni cried. “I am being lesbian raped!”

I heard the sound of metal on metal behind us. I hoped the nekos were as competent as they looked, or else Rocky might end up killing them trying to get at me.

“Sooni, call this off!” I said. “I’ll let you up if you end this.”

She said something then, but I couldn’t make it out… she was speaking softly, in Yokano.

“What?” I said. “Speak Pax! I don’t want to hurt you, but if you make me…”

Her eyes opened wide and she smiled, and I realized I’d made the same mistake that she had, earlier. She hadn’t been talking, she’d been casting. Green fire sprouted up in her eyes and suddenly she was a lot stronger. Not stronger than me, but strong enough to catch me off guard. She pushed off the floor with her legs and arms, catapulting me over her head and flipping herself upright.

She turned as soon as her feet touched the floor.

I picked myself up off the floor.

“Foolish one, you cannot defeat me, evil one!” she said.

“Sooni, I don’t want to defeat you,” I said. “This is stupid. We’re not on a TV show. We’re in a dorm, and there’s rules against fighting and throwing destructive spells around, so why don’t you stop this now? We can just settle it on Friday. I have a headache, I’m on my period, and I really want to take a nap before logic class.”

I stood, waiting for her response. I’d had some success with talking people out of further violence, but I have to admit I wasn’t really surprised when she answered with another bolt of green force. My protective charm held, but I felt it weaken.

I returned fire, solidifying a ball of air in my hand and throwing it at her. She tensed and started to twist when she saw the throwing gesture, but she couldn’t see the attack coming and couldn’t dodge.

That might have mattered a little bit more if I could aim. I think she might have felt it rush past her head, though. She was thrown off-balance, and the attack she released at the same time went wide. There was a huge crash as the glass wall at the front of the lounge splintered.

Sooni’s eyes went huge and round, and I thought for a moment the physical damage she’d caused would let reality sink in a bit.

“The TV!” she yelled. “You broke the TV!”

I turned and looked over my shoulder. The TV box had been knocked off its cabinet; actual condition unknown.

“I will kill you!” Sooni cried, and I turned back to see her charging at me, eyes glowing green and a green glow surrounding her teeth and fingernails.

Magical weapons. Not good.

I hoped her strength enhancing spell did something for her durability as I threw a punch at the charging fox woman. Again, aim would have helped that concern to be slightly less hypothetical in nature. I was going for her chin and glanced past her shoulder.

She swiped her nails across my face, and I felt them digging into my cheek. Four hot lines of blood and pain blossomed in their wake. Her next blow hit my shirt, and I felt the protective spell rending and tearing, though it saved me and the garment from actual damage. I put up my arms to shield myself and got another couple sets of slashes.

“Sooni, stop!” I yelled. Yeah, that was going to work, all of a sudden.

She pounded me on the head as hard as she could and my vision swam. She wasn’t demon-strong or even ogre-strong, but she was definitely in the upper reaches of human-like strength.

She shoved me to the ground and kicked me in the side.

I gasped.

Because of the pain.

“You… broke… the TV!” she repeated and proceeded to kick and stomp me with all the enhanced strength she could muster. The pain was intense, incapacitating. I moaned and writhed beneath her blows. My vision went dark and then exploded into bright lights.

“Quit enjoying this!” Sooni commanded, stomping on my chest. Somehow a combination of my generally messed-up bodily state and the superficial resemblance of the situation to some of the things my sleeping mind had come up with lately got to me, and I came. I came hard. I came screaming. I felt a sticky wetness pouring out from me.

“Stop! Having! Orgasms! When! I’m! Defeating! You!” Sooni yelled, bringing her sandal down on me to punctuate each word. With the last one, she brought her heavy wooden platform down directly on my face, harmlessly crushing my nose.

If I’d been mortal or she’d been wearing her magic shoes that day, she would have flattened my skull, killing me for sure. As it was, the pain was simply incredible, it brought me past the brink and over the edge.

“Don’t. Stop,” I pleaded.

“You should have thought of that before you became a lesbian!” Sooni said, pausing with her foot raised to strike a pose with her hands on her hips.

I reached out with all the power I could muster and latched onto the earth in the air over Sooni. I pulled with all my remaining might. Tiny pebbles popped into existence and rained down on her. Not even pebbles, really. More like grit. How completely useless… nothing more than a minor annoyance.

Of course, minor annoyance seemed to be Sooni’s main weakness.

“My hair!” she shrieked, reaching up and frantically brushing. She looked up to see where the sudden rain of tiny rocky particles was coming from. “My eyes!”

Sooni’s hand groped for her poniard… and then she went down, her knee buckling with a loud crack. My eyes fell from her face to floor level, where I saw Hazel, cradling a regular human-sized rolling pin. She’d apparently managed to come up behind Sooni unnoticed, and whack her across the back of the knee with a rolling pin.

Sooni clutched at her leg, sobbing and jabbering in Yokano. Tears bulged from the edges of her tightly-shut eyes.

“Alright, Mack?” Hazel asked.

I nodded, still panting and breathless. I would need a few minutes before I tried to stand. My limbs were weak and shaky, despite not having taken the brunt of Sooni’s wrath. There was no way I’d want to live through that kind of beating again.

Though, I had survived and the kicking and stomping part hadn’t actually done any harm.

“Sooni!” Maliko wailed, running towards us. Hazel wheeled around and brandished her rolling pin like a war club, but Maliko had thrown her sword aside. She ran to her mistress’s side and began cooing to her in what might have been Yokano or simply baby-talk, it sounded so sing-song. She cradled Sooni, and Sooni clung to her, sobbing and babbling.

I didn’t understand the language, but I’d bet part of it translated to “It’s not fair!” over and over again.

Sooni’s eyes were still squeezed shut, or she might have noticed that Maliko looked like Khersentide had come early. Maybe it was a cultural thing.

I sat up. Two was limping towards us. The other nekos were hanging back. It looked like Rocky had slipped away… maybe when the glass broke, she’d wised up a bit and realized she didn’t want to be caught at the scene? I didn’t blame her. If Sooni’d had that kind of brains, the whole mess could have been avoided.

“You alright there, Two?” Hazel asked.

“I hurt my knee,” Two reported. “And my head.” She felt her butt. “And I lost a sequin. But Mack, you’re bleeding!”

I reached up and felt the scratches on my face.

“It’s nothing,” I said. “It probably looks worse than it is.” I’d heard that about facial cuts, somewhere.

“No,” Two said, pointing. “There.”

I looked down and wanted to die. I’d drawn way too deeply during the fight, and managed to bleed through my pad, underwear, and jeans.

Two was looking wide-eyed at the shattered glass panel and the destruction beyond it. She looked at Sooni.

“You are going to be in so much trouble,” she said, her voice filled with awe and maybe a little bit of joy at the sheer amount of trouble she envisioned Sooni being in.

“It is you who will be in trouble!” Maliko snarled. “You and all your sick, lesbian, pussy-eating, girl-kissing, panty-licking lesbian friends! Because we will tell everybody that you started it!”

“But that’s not true!” Two said.

Sooni chimed in with something that might have been Pax, but was so high-pitched and blubbery that it didn’t matter. Maliko started soothing her in between yelling at Two while Two tried to argue matter-of-factly and then Hazel pitched in, her little voice growing louder and louder.

I couldn’t take it. I was lying on the floor, covered in glass shards, air-grit, and blood, and if the pressure in my head was any indication, I’d discovered a new condition that might be described as cancer of the migraine. I closed my eyes and slumped back down to the floor, waiting for the argument to die.

It ended abruptly, as the last voice I expected to hear cut through the noise.

What the fuck is wrong with you people?


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6 Responses to “167: Hall Brawl”

  1. pedestrian says:

    Everything. That’s what we love about these characters.

    Current score: 5
  2. Erm says:

    Stop! Having! Orgasms! When! I’m! Defeating! You!

    Best quote ever.

    Current score: 10
    • Pamela says:

      Right? Also, it’s about damn time that woman came on the scene… assuming I’m right about who it is.

      Current score: 0
      • Anthony says:

        Why? Hasn’t Mackenzie been doing enough coming on the scene already? 😉

        Current score: 6
  3. Hoopla says:

    ‘“Pay attention to me!” Sooni yelled.’

    Sooni’s life moto.

    Current score: 4
  4. Daniel says:

    The last voice I would expect is Mackenzie’s grandmother (save for those who are believed dead, or a deity), but if that were the case the line itself is far more shocking.

    Current score: 4