Are You Not Entertained?


asi_icon.gif eileen_icon.gif finn_icon.gif logan_icon.gif lucille_icon.gif sasha_icon.gif

Scene Title Are You Not Entertained?
Synopsis Finn Shepherd is having a bad night.
Date November 20, 2018

The Crucible

Tonight is not Finn Shepherd’s night.

The floodlights are as blinding as they are hot, and although he squints to see, this does nothing to keep his own sweat and blood from gathering in his eyes. As he struggles to blink the haze away, the roar of the crowd sounds like a freight engine barreling down on him from all directions at once. Even if his attention wasn’t on his opponent, he wouldn’t be able to recognize any of the darkened shapes cheering for his opponent on the outside of the ring.

A fist belonging to the athletic blonde calling herself White Rose connects with his jaw and snaps his head sideways with enough force that it might knock him out — except that, for as terrible a night as Finn is currently having, he’s stayed upright through much worse.

Sasha Kozlow, on the other hand, couldn’t be happier. He’s one of the shadows on the ring’s periphery, his hands cupped around his mouth to amplify the already booming sound of his voice as he shouts himself hoarse in his native Russian. Whatever he’s saying sounds like it’s probably profane, except that he’s also excited.

Giddy, even.

Maybe also a little drunk.

Pale blue eyes stay locked on Finn's form as she connects her fist to his jawline before she's backing up with hands raised slightly, her breathing slightly labored, the lower part of her face covered by a ski mask. Dressed in a sweaty, dirty off white tank top and shorts. Lucille Ryans or White Rose has no more reasons to hide her skin and before her healing she wore as little clothing she could without giving up her modesty.

It was easier to use her ability that way.

One lone finger flicks a line of sweat coming down from her brow, the air feels good on her scalp, the unruly and messy blonde/auburn head of hair long since taken ripped out of its ponytail. He's not exactly.. harmless. Lucille's eyes travel the length of his face to his hands and feet, etching his movements in a mental notebook as she mentally counts down from a thousand, she's down to one hundred. Bruised shoulders roll and Lucille darts to the left going for Finn's elbow to twist.

There's only so much "luck" that "Lucky Strike" can have. In a close-combat fight like this, everything's a threat, and his ability goes a bit haywire trying to keep up. Every time he blinks or looks at the audience or somehow misses a cue that a punch is coming his way means that his ability might not kick in on time.

Exhibit A: The punch to his formerly immaculate jawline.

"Fucking Medusa!" he shouts when the hard hit to his face makes kaleidoscopes of color pinwheel behind his eyes for a moment, all from pain and none of Lucille's biological warfare.

Finn does see that grab for his elbow, though, and he somersaults away in mid air — seeming just to try to get away. But suddenly his hand snakes out to grab at Lucille's ankle, in an effort to hurl her at the side of the cage. If he can.

It's a rowdy evening. Scattered shouts and roars and threats rise for the rafters at each blow struck and dealt, intermingled with incessant conversing, deals being struck, money passed between hands. Normally, John Logan prefers to be above it all, lurking in the above-ground recesses that look over the Crucible, so that he might watch the crowd as much as any attention is paid to the fights themselves.

Tonight, he's down here, in the cheap seats, likely thanks to Sasha's coaxing. He is wearing a nice suit with satin lining and polished shoes and is currently thumbing open a lukewarm beer, giving a minor wince at the latest series of Russian bellows mere inches from his ear.

Prepared, too, to move said beer before Sasha can grab at it.

"Is White Rose having her way with another initiate?" he says, voice pitched loud enough to gain his attention. "I don't recognise him." But then, Logan's activity here on Staten Island has been sporadic, to say the least, since he disappeared several months back within its depths. The finger chopped at the knuckle to commemorate this event is not visible, wrapped and pinned in a winding tie of black silk.

Standing in the wings, Tetsuyama Asi is just another, quieter observer in the crowd tonight. A flare of excitement runs under her skin as she watches the fight play out, the kind she's particularly fond of. It's that delicious feeling of breaking a taboo, of doing something that would make her proverbial shoulder-angel wring his hands.

Once, in Meguro-ku, they'd been sent to break up and arrest the participants of an illegal gambling ring for Evolved fighters. She had only seen the scatter after the fight, and some part of her had always wondered what it had looked like in the moments before the doors were kicked in. What kind of abilities had been on display. Only shinka-jin of a certain class were able to live their lives freely, outside the close watch of government eye, after all.

But Asi's not here as a Mugai-ryu representative. Hell, she's not here representing anyone tonight. She stands with her hands in the pockets of her studded leather jacket, wearing well-worn jeans and combat boots, the lower half of her face masked by a long black bandana. In just the right light, one can see there's some sort of design stamped on it. In the perfect light, under black light, a wicked, demonic grin is plastered over where her mouth should be.

What? She thought it was cute.

As the "Lucky Striker" dodges only to grab at the "White Rose" as he goes, she can't help but lean in at the sudden turn in the fight. Asi keeps her silence, but she tracks the swings as aggressively as a football fanatic watching their favorite teams square off against each other.

Eileen Gray is going to lose so much money on this fight.

So, so much money.

"Don't make skin contact!" she thunders from behind the fence, straining to be heard over the din. There's not much other advice she can offer Finn that his body won't intuitively act on, so she minimizes her contribution to just those four words. Gloved fingers loop through the chainlink. It's impossible for her to get any closer than she already is.

If Sasha knew she was there, his ear-to-ear grin would be reduced by at least half. Fortunately for the Russian — and for his English companion — the severe silhouette her slim shape cuts is several hundred feet beyond his line of sight. "He is Lucky Strike," he tells Logan. "Looks like sack of potatoes joins crossfire gym."

He means crossfit.

It only takes a single touch, that's all it ever takes. When Finn's hand lands on the woman's pale ankle. White Rose's eyes flare amber gold like earlier when she had blinded him temporarily and as her biotic feelers snap out at Finn they do not go to do what she did before instead focusing on bringing forth an overwhelming sense of nausea. Projectile vomiting kind of nausea.

That doesn't stop the woman's body being thrown into the fence and her arms whip out to grab hold of the fencing with a grunt and hopefully steady herself from being dragged continually. Golden glowing eyes bore into Finn's, usually a sign of intimidation but she wonders if he could remember even with half her face covered. He was a funny guy, Lucille remembered that but unlike their first short and chance meeting the Wolfhound operative in disguise was firmly in control of her thoughts and emotions.

Going through the motions, this was extracurricular training for her. Hana would be proud. Maybe Avi.

It's hard to fight someone and not make skin contact, Eileen! — so says the flash of green eyes in Eileen's direction. It's good advice, though, and a little too late. "Oh, shit. Lemme down!" he shouts to the gravitokinetic. Zero gravity vomiting is not pretty for anyone, guys.

Of course it's too late — Finn has the foresight not to vomit downward where it'll just float back up into his face, and he reaches out to grab the fence so he can cling to it as the body spasms and empties the contents of his stomach.

Oh, hey. Blue Slurpee.

"Cheater," he calls to Lucille, between heaves. It's actually said with a laugh, though. He's good natured when he loses.

"That wasn't his superpower, was it?" asks Logan, deadpan. Of course, someone heaving their guts out mid-battle with the White Rose is not an uncommon occurrence, and those among the audience with their money on her victory all raise a gory cheer at the same time as sympathy groans tremor through the audience.

He drinks deeply from his beer, tosses his attention to the side. Making out identity is difficult enough in a sea of faces, let alone those distorted with cheering and swearing. It's the half-masked face off at an angle and back in the wings that draws his eye, nosy curiosity silvered with paranoia.

Of course, the real danger is in the form of a familiar face lurking where he can't see it, as per usual.

Asi flinches sympathetically as the afflicted the male combatant starts to gag. Her eyes tear away from the arena combatants momentarily, having no particular desire to watch him vomit. This Rose woman had an impressive command on her ability, to affect someone touching her rather than her laying hands on them. Unfortunate that most of her was bare.

A woman standing below and to her right, flush with the chain-link fence seems to have caught onto the same, having been screaming into the din to not touch the Rose's skin. Asi shakes her head to herself, giving it a good long moment before she dares look back again. She wants to root for the underdog here, but unless his ability allowed him to suddenly obtain more cover to avoid skin to skin contact…

The time is spent observing the crowd enjoying the mayhem. Just how raucous their reaction to it all is causes her to start to shake her head, looking back to the cage early. She blinks once, hard, and lets her eyes wander up its heighth. She wonders to herself what rules reign for tossing innocent objects, say, a piece of cloth into the arena. Beneath the bandana, her lips twist in a wry grin at the idea.

Asi isn't the only one considering the boundaries of this particular venue and what little influence a bystander might be able to contribute to the outcome of the match, whatever it is.

As previously mentioned: Eileen is on the hook for a not-insignificant chunk of change.

She steers her attention away from the fluorescent contents of Finn's stomach and focuses instead on White Rose.

Eileen senses the pigeons roosting in the structure's highest corners, sheltered from the worst of the light and overwhelming cacophony of sound. Her eyes close. She presses out a long, slow breath to center herself—

Ryans, says a voice in Lucille's head. You're out past your bedtime. Does your father know you're here?

Among the cheap seats, Sasha is on his feet. "Fucking finish him!" he crows. He's heard Logan's question but doesn't answer it, but only because Logan has taught him the meaning of the English word rhetorical. "Put all of his insides on his outsides!"


The retort is a soft growl that tumbled in her chest and the huntress throws herself off the cage and stalks slowly towards Finn with measured paces sidestepping any vomit sprinkles that lies there, she does indeed plan to indulge Sasha and the crowd's cheering for her to finish him like some fatality from Mortal Kombat but as she goes to draw back a leg to deliver a kick there's a voice, in her head. Lucille pauses and her ears train themselves around her, that was in her head yes.

Momentarily confused, the woman's amber eyes narrow to slits and she cants her head to the side, bed time. Really now? Whatever telepath was in her she'd have to deal with them later. Nuisance. She had an immaculate jawline to kick in.

"Fuuuuuuck." Someone stop the world, Finn wants to get off. He scrubs his face, and then there's suddenly a break in Lucille's concentration. He lets go of the fencing, using his feet to push off so he floats away from Lucille, away from the cloud of blue-raspberry vomitus, to get some distance and maybe perspective. He pulls off his shirt, which gives him much more skin to contact, which is a downside, but it also allows him to wrap his own hand in the sweat-drenched black t-shirt.

His eyes narrow on hers and Finn watches her this time, to allow his subconscious to soak in all the details of his surroundings that he might not otherwise. Angles, weaknesses, the level of gravity. He decides to wait this time, for her to come to him — a matador awaiting the bull's attack.

No one comes out of the shadows to drag Eileen away and throw her out onto the rain-drenched mud immediately outside of the Crucible. It's altogether completely likely that without Lucille raising an alarm, her tampering with the fight goes undetected by whatever authority claims control over this institution. The gravitokinetic is remorseless, maintaining his ability within the ring and likely under strict instruction to do so until the fight has come to a close. The bookies are busy, and plain clothes security have their eyes out for more physical manifestations of trouble.

Honour systems are easy to exploit, especially when there's no immediate gauge as to what the consequences might be.

Logan, meanwhile, not quite given to cheering, still absorbs something of Sasha's enthusiasm, and snaps his attention back in hopes of witnessing some form of killing blow. Whoever wins or loses will determine what sort of insufferable his companion will be between here and their return for the mainland.

For all her thoughts about interfering, Asi doesn't actually try. Such a risk would be irresponsible, and would likely involve throwing the piece of cloth that passed as her disguise. She lets out a disappointed click of her tongue as it looks like the fight will end … but it doesn't.

"Eh?" Asi lets out the short sound by habit, looking harder at the female combatant than before. She's definitely paused in her advance. Why? Her victory was assured. So why? "Omoshiroi, ne." she murmurs to herself. It didn't appear to be a pause for gloating's sake, either.

She grows still, watching with some anxiety to see what will happen next. Will he get his feet back under him? Would his ability let him win?

"Tatakae," she urges, cheering them both in an undertone.

Best not to push her luck. Eileen's eyes creep open again: twin slivers of palest blue eclipsed by lashes that flutter as she reacclimatizes herself to the physical world. She's done all that she can do. The rest is on Finn and Finn alone.

Sasha throws an arm around Logan's shoulders, crushing the other man against him in a vice made of dense muscle and oxish bone. The only other time he gets quite like this is when he's watching mixed martial arts championships on his mother's grainy old television, rabbit ears and all.


He's just so charming.

The bull waits.

Pacing slowly back and forth before she settles herself and allows herself to float above the air thanks to their resident gravity manipulator. Lucille tucks that telepathic intrusion to the side as she reorients herself and thankfully Finn doesn't rush her when she's distracted. It's honorable and Lucille considers herself a woman of honor. White Rose on the other hand, not so much.

She also likes the extra cash.

Blue eyes swirl to eerie amber orbs at the same time that Lucille lets herself float upwards before trying to angle herself feet first into Finn's chest. As she nears him.. a fist tightens and her senses roam over the man's body and biological functions. Agony. As her ability, the lotus flower that she envisions in her chest blossoms into life so does the nerve endings in Finn's body. Slowly, an attack in his body to disorient him as she strikes.

“Jesus Christ, that’s freaky,” mutters Finn when he sees Lucille’s eyes swirl and turn gold. His own green eyes stay so very mundanely green, even as his ability works to protect him from that kick to the chest.

It can’t do much about that lotus flower awakening in hers, though.

He moves, very slightly, at just the right moment, in just the right direction, and she sails past him, giving him the time to grab one of her arms with his hand wrapped in his t-shirt fabric, wrenching her limb against the laws of nature and joints. His other hand grabs for her hair, and he uses all the strength he has left to throw her against the metal of the cage, then moves in close to pin her arm against her back.

And then he’s on fire. Not literally but he may as well be.

The pain awakens everywhere and only seems to get worse with each second. Finn tries to hold out, to not yell, to not scream (Eileen is watching, Oh, my God). Lucille can hear him swearing to himself: “Fucking hell, fuck, keep it together, Finn, Jesus Christ.” After a moment it’s too much and he pushes back away from Lucille, hands reaching up to rake through his hair as he tries to put distance between them again. Pain and panic show in his eyes.

And then Finn Shepherd’s world goes black.

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