Out of the Basement


edgar_icon.gif fred_icon.gif monica_icon.gif

Scene Title Out of the Basement
Synopsis Apparently someone broke the first (and second rules) at Center Stage.
Date September 24, 2011

The Center Stage

It smells of sweat in the basement of Coco's Boxing Gym all the time; sweat undercut by blood. Beneath the floor of Long Island City's oldest boxing gym lies a newer secret, a dirty and grimy basement of exposed pipes and chain-link fence that has become an underground fighting sensation. Since the collapse of the Pancratium on Staten Island, the appetite for destruction held by so many of New York City's criminal element is sated here in painful beauty.

This basement is five rooms with low ceilings, serving as a unisex locker room, makeshift medical bay consisting of a single uncomfortable gurney on wheels and a few first aid kits and a back office. The primary feature of Coco's basement is the "center stage" as it's called, a spacious raised area with a thirty foot by thirty foot floor to ceiling chain link cage surrounded by a ten foot buffer zone of screaming, sweaty spectators where the action happens.

Three nights out of the week unlicensed underground bloodsport takes place down in that cage, with non-evolved fighters from around the city pitting themselves against the desperate, the depraved and the sportsmen. Betting is organized and enforced by Triad connections and enforcers from the Ghost Shadows Triad are entirely common on all open nights.

One night out of those three, however, serves as the "main event" where Evolved fighters are pitted against one another in no holds barred competition.

A city on edge the way that New York City is on edge these days needs a place to let loose, let the fists fly and the sweat and blood spray. The energy of "fight nights" at Center Stage is always one that is almost as palpable as the humidity in the air of the basement where more people fit than seem possible. Maybe it's the escalating tensions outside of the gym that have people in the need to witness violence, but tonight the crowd seems bigger, more excited, more anxious to see the blood.

More willing, too, to stake money on the outcome, it would seem, as they listen to tonight's announcer give the stats on the two fighters ready to take the stage. The weight and height of the lanky and scruffy Brit would stack poorly against a stocky and muscular Puerto Rican, barely out of his teens, who goes by the name of "Buey," or "Ox," until their abilities are given.

"He may seem a bit old and rickety," says the announcer, "but his power is super speed, so Buey might find that he's not faster on account of age alone. Buey has a few tricks up those sleeves of his muscle shirt, though — he can induce nausea and fever. We'll see if our Speedy is fast enough to avoid catching Buey's Evo flu! Make your last bets now. The fighting is about to start!"

Money changes hands with the bookies and amongst spectators betting friendly wagers with one another, and Buey is clapped on the shoulder by a few of his friends. "Earn me another hundred, bro!" comes from someone out in the crowd — Buey's not a first timer here, and while his power may not be deadly, he's a good fighter from the looks of it.

The young man takes the stage, the light reflecting off the sheen of his tanned shoulders and arms. He is built like a bull, 250 pounds at 5'9" and all of it muscle.

"Rickety— I'll show'em rickety…" There's no one in Edgar's corner except a man named Jimmy Beam with a loose towel wrapped around his neck. The black label peeks out from under the terry cloth like a t-shirt, the amber liquor waving come hither at the man for just one more sip before he bounces back into the ring.

He doesn't move like any speedster the audience has ever seen. Sluggish, teetering, a little more drunk than sober, the carnie lifts his chin toward the opposite corner and focuses on his opponent. "Fuck tha' shit… I go' this.. Righ' Lydia?" There's no answer and at the empty space left behind his question, Edgar turns toward the audience and frowns. A slight blur of eye movement happens before he spits and turns back into the ring.

Oh the temptation to be an asshole and let loose with his ability here. See what the speedster can really do with the bump up in his ability. Up at the fencing that divides the players from the viewers, a forearm pressed into the wire, the lanky shaggy haired blonde watches. He's got two hundred riding on Edgar, which might be why he doesn't let his own control just a slip. That and the unknown factor of what other evolveds might be present.

With the possibility of one, he might have, but this is that fight night and so he's not about to be an idiot. Not when the abilities in play down here might be of the more dangerous tier two or three variety. Like mr. Fever and nauseau over there. "Come on Cockney!" Fred's voice heard with those above the din who make the effort to be heard. "Knock his teeth out!" Fingers curl around the metal and rattle the cage physically.

The thick-necked young man begins to move, slowly, and it's easy to see where he got his nickname as he lowers his head and watched Edgar, taking one step and then another; if Edgar were to wave a red scarf while prancing around in sequined slippers and brocade knickers, it would complete the image.

The brown-black irises of the man's eyes turn a sickly yellow for a moment as he stares Edgar down, and the speedster will feel his stomach lurch and a tightness in the glances of his throat. He better move fast and get some strikes in before his lunch comes up.

Egg salad is never as good the second time around, no matter how much a person loves it. Being a practiced drinker, Edgar is also good at hangovers; good at being a loose term that really only applies to hurling. Not baseballs. As if it was his power, a jet stream of putrid liquor laced with curdled mayo and bits of egg fly toward Buey's corner.


It's a useful weapon for the speedster, vomit being a level two biohazard and somehow he knows this… Chalk it up to a few years spent reading any sort of magazine he could get his hands on. "Eat this, yeh focker," is growled before Edgar drives his bare knuckles toward the other man at a speed that could rival a bullet. It doesn't because the man has only a little self control and it's just a fight, not a fight to the death.

"You better win you fucker!" Because the winnings are going to go to a new pair of shoes and maybe a new pair of Levi's as alcohol, stomach acid and egg salad end up on his shoes and jeans - other people not so fortunate either and in the line of fire so to speak - but he's seen worse, smelled worse and it only incited Fred to rattle the cage more and yelling encouragingly at Edgar.

He wants his money yo.

This fighting thing is a lot more gross than she expected.

Monica lingers in the crowd, looking a little out of place for her lack of yelling and obscenities. But then, she hasn't put any money down to get herself riled up over. No no, she's here less for the money and more for blowing off steam and maybe showing off a little in a way that doesn't involve robots. You know. Hopefully. It's questionable legality is less of a bother to her these days, given that she herself has questionable legality.

For now, she stays off to herself, arms folded and eyes on the fight. It's a testament of her current status that the smell of sweat and vomit doesn't even make her wrinkle her nose anymore.

Buey turns away, but the vomit still splatters the side of his head and his shoulder, and he howls out in rage before trying to duck Edgar's flying fist as well. He's about as successful at that — while he's faster than he should be for a man his size, Edgar of course has the time to correct his own path when Buey's changes.

Extra speed means extra power, and blood sprays from the man's nose. The young man is persistent, however, and lunges for the speedster, fingers splayed as he attempts to grab and grapple. His nails are long and a little bit dirty — Edgar might actually get sick from a staph infection if he lets himself get manhandled.

One of the organizers sidles up to Monica, holding a clipboard of would-be fighters. "You wanna go next? I gotta girly multiplier, over there," the man says, jutting a chin to where a black and pink haired punk girl stands, arms crossed, watching the fight with a sneer. She's a tiny thing, perhaps 5'1" and no more than 100 pounds, but body jewelry and too much makeup keep the replicator from looking too innocent.

Still feeling a little queasy, Edgar weaves a little too earnestly when his opponent's hands begin flailing toward him. Skidding through a puddle, he picks up his footwork as soon as he hits a dry patch and zips around the arena in an attempt to gain a bit of velocity. Faster than Nicholas Cage stealing a car, he's moving past 300mph on the speedometer. The speedster changes course, before his audience can blink, with the intent of body checking Buey into the chain link.

"Rickety my arse," he mutters as he holds his arms up in victory. Maybe it's a little premature, maybe it's not, but his back is to his opponent milliseconds after the hit. His shoulder, red from the initial impact, is quickly turning a deep shade of blackish purple.

Monica looks past the organizer to get a look at her apparent competition, and really, she knows better than to go underestimating people at first glance. And it is only that, a glance, before she turns to the wielder of the clipboard.

"Sure. I'm ready anytime." She even smiles, looking all too much like that missing innocence from the multiplier over there.

The body check has Buey slamming into the chain link close to Freddy, and for a moment the fighter’s cheek puffs out around the diamond-shape of the metal wire; when he reels back, the audience can see that he’ll be bearing a welt an bruise from the impact for the next week at least. Staggering back, Buey crashes to the ground; his eyes gleam yellow once more and anyone within ten feet of him suddenly feels flushed and light headed.

He crashes to the ground, and puts up his hands in the classic symbol of surrender. The announcer moves toward Edgar to raise the speedster’s hand aloft — if the speedster allows himself to be caught — to declare him the winner.

“All righty, you’re up!” says the man with the clipboard next to Monica before glancing across the way to the replicator and nodding to her to take the stage. The door to the cage is opened to let in the victor and the loser of the past fight, and to let in the two women.

“Who’s got the mud or the jello?” crows the announcer, leering at the two women before going into the statistics of the two women — Monica seems, on pure physicality, to be the stronger competitor, until the replicator’s ability is made known. After a flurry of activity amongst the gamblers, the flag is dropped.

Daisy, the striped-headed girl, grins at Monica, and then suddenly Monica is surrounded — the one that was standing in front of her remains there, but four others create a circle around the mimic. One makes a beckoning motion for Monica to make the first move.

Edgar winces as the red raises his bruised arm even higher than he's already been holding it. There's a tightness to his smile that looks a bit menacing to anyone not familiar with him, which is pretty much everyone in the building. The speedster has no friends that he's been able to see, it's a new venture since becoming estranged from his wife. Perhaps something of a new weekly ritual if he can afford the trainer slash bottle of Jimmy and the entry fee.

Catching Monica's eye as he passes, the juggler nods once, slurring, "G'luck in there, you'll need i'." It's not a measure of her talent as a fighter as much as it is a weigh in of her gender.

Hell yeah, money made. This has been a good night for Fred, oh yes it has. This is how he supplements what he makes on Staten. By the time that he's done dealing with getting his money, a glance back towards the ring and the females that seem to be enter - then plural to theinth degree - He's peeling off his origional bet and putting it down. On the multiplier. "Where's the fucking Jello when you want it huh? Maybe we can find a water manipulator to hose the ring down?" Wet t-shirt AND a girl fight… that would be convenient.

"Thanks," Monica says to Edgar as they pass one another, "And congrats. Both gross and impressive." But, the comment from the announcer makes her roll her eyes as she takes her place in the cage, so she peels off her hoodie (a rarity, indeed) and shoves it at him. You know. To hold for her. It leaves her in what are probably yoga pants and a tank top. All black, as always.

As the clones appear around her, Monica glances over her shoulders before she smiles at the original there in front of her. Her beckoning motion gets answered, though, with the bottom of Monica's boot slamming into the girl's gut.

It isn't often that she purposefully lets her ability do the thinking for her, but sometimes there are occasions that call for it. Plus, she doesn't get too much opportunity to put her mixed martial art skills to the test these days. So, it's more instinct than planning that goes into her moves as she makes her way to the next duplicate to throw a punch to her jaw.

Daisy 1 isn't expecting that quick of a reply to her 'come hither' beckoning and grabs her stomach as she falls against the chain. Daisy 2 moves her head enough that Monica's fist glances off of it rather than hitting it full on, but it's purely defensive with no offense.

That comes from Daisy 3 an Daisy 4. Three leaps on Monica's back, arms crossing around Monica's throat as she wraps her legs around Monica's middle. Four stays out of arm's reach but throws a kick toward her opponent's stomach — it's not a trained kick by any means, and any damage will come from the thick soled and steel-toed boots more from the girl's power.

Five stands back, apparently content for now to let the other two take the damage, as Daisies 1 and 2 recover a bit slowly from their hits. "Fuck, my belly piercing is bleeding," laments the first, glancing down at where a trickle of blood can be seen dotting her white tank top from the inside out.

'To the moooooon" Fred croons, elbowing his way to the cage so that he can have a front seat row to the fight. "Get her back bitch! Kick the chocolate honey in the ass, put her dowwn!" He kicks the cage with his foot, trying to rile up and encourage the others even as he flips his head a bit to get his greasy blonde hair out of his face.

It is hard to fight multiple opponents. But the trick in any fight is turning disadvantages into advantages. So, instead of clawing at the arms around her throat, she pivots to put the body on her back in the way of the boot coming her way. But, she does have a hold on her throat, so Monica couples the turn with a sharp jab of her elbow to her clingon's exposed side.

As Four kicks Three in the back — well, ass, really — Three yelps, followed by a "//Fffuck," as Monica jabs her, and she lets go but not before yanking at Monica's hair, trying to take her down with her. The crowd is getting excited, watching Monica handle the inept clones, and Fred gets punched in the arm for his crowing — whether for being offensive or whether it was just an overly exuberant agreement, it's hard to tell.

The crowd shouts encouragement to the two women; the noise level is too loud in the basement to hear the warning signs that may have come before. Anyone who was supposed to have alerted the security below, well, they've been taken care of some way or another.

The first sign that anything is not as it should be is the door slamming open and into the wall, followed by the noses of several guns — and a lobbed canister of some sort.

Many of those in the basement haven't had one-on-one contact with the gas, but those who have know as soon as they hear the hiss and see the yellow gas rising, just what's going on.

"Hands up! Police!" shouts one of several well-armed, well-protected policemen in riot gear.

At the stage, Daisies Two through Five suddenly blur together and into One, who drops to her knees and puts her hands up.

Oh. Shit.

"Fuzz man!" Fred looks over at pretty much the same time as everyone else and like others - likely - He's less inclined to just raise his hands and give it up and starts pushing his way through the throng, making for an exit - you know, the one not occupied by the visible cops - splitting like a banana and hoping that his ass doesn't end up sitting in a cell. Even if that means trampling over someone to see to that not happening. Goodbye chicks in the ring, goodbye money given to the bookie, Fred's booking it fast as he can.

Monica goes down with her, but on her own terms. Hair pulling isn't enough of a pain to get her to lose her focus, so she twists and comes down with a knee against the clone's chest. And then she blurs away. Monica blinks a moment, then looks over toward the girl where she kneels with her hands up. When she realizes the cops are there, she doesn't do as ordered. Instead, she rushes for the door, taking her boots to it this time in a somewhat… rash attempt to flee. But she really doesn't like the idea of being trapped like they are there in the ring.

Speed in a situation is an advantage — and Edgar uses it to his best ability. At the first sign of the canister's yellow gas, he has moved far from it and past one of the now-charging policemen. The blur and rustle of air are the only sign he was ever there (aside from the vomit), and the police man blinks, turning to spray a volley of rubber bullets in Edgar's wake. Luckily for the crowd present, that wasted a good part of his ammunition.

The ten-man squad quickly spreads out to cover the room, barring any escape routes as quickly as they can. A few attempts at attack are made, by those with offensive abilities. A chair flies through the air toward a police man; a blast of fire bursts forth from one woman's hand. But the gas takes over and those with abilities find themselves like the rest of the world's population; the would-be rebels find themselves on the ground, writhing from the very real pain of the rubber bullets.

Fred manages to slip through the cracks, along with a few others, though they will find himself having to show registration to the back up squads surrounding the gym.
Monica isn't so lucky; having to get out of the cage slows her down, and she finds herself staring down the barrel of a gun.

"I'm not a little punk girl you can kick around, missy," mutters the cop from behind his masked helmet.

The barrel of the gun juts to the left, to indicate Monica should go that way with the rest of the crowd being rounded up. "You have the right to remain silent," begins one of the officers in a dry monotone…

"I can kick around big girls, too," Monica says. She knows it's a male voice, she's just being sassy. She's also being violent, because instead of heading left with the others she kicks at his gun hand and tries to shoulder her way past him.

She may be agile and quick, but she's not fast enough. The officer's gun is knocked to the side for a moment, but he pivots swiftly as she rushes by him; his rifle swings out to conk the evading fighter on the back of her head. As she slumps to the floor, he pushes his visor up to glare at the rest of the prisoners and the police guarding them.

"Give us the names of anyone who's fought here before," the commanding officer orders the announcer. "Point them out if they're here."

The few Ghosts in the crowd look at one another, anger and fear set in the furrow of their brows, in the clenching of their jaws as they all silently ask one question:

Who told?

The monotone voice drones on. "… One will be appointed to you. Do you understand these rights?"

They understand. For the Evolved among them have just lost theirs.

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