Cas just shook her head at her opponent’s verbal antics. The ‘Kiss of Death’ was not going to get a kiss from Cas no matter how hard he pleaded. Despite the fool’s foolish words, they had ushered in a bout of laughter from the audience. The crowd was easy to forget when you were focused on that which was trying to beat you in order to win them. Cas heard them now, listening to the applause and the cheers, the hollers and the hoots and the howls, like the floor was filled with animals as much as the cage.
“Oh, I won’t be sleeping here tonight...friend…” She craned her neck from side to side, hearing the pops, catching on that Laren would be waiting for her to attack first. “I’ll be sleeping in a penthouse suite with that reward money, though you won’t be sharing my bed.” She nodded toward the Human still knocked out following Laren’s whipcord. “You’ll be sharing his.”
The audience laughed again, this time at the Kiss of Death, but Anvil did not leisure. She could see what her opponent was expecting so she would give it to him. Advancing quickly and head-on, Cas kicked her left leg toward Laren’s crotch. If he was maximizing his efforts on defending this area then he just might lower a hand or two to defend his crown jewels.
However, the kick was just a feign. Before Cas’ foot could even reach Laren’s crotch she quickly retracted it, followed with another swift kick toward Laren’s back with her right foot. Her legs had moved in a fluid rhythm, coordinated and not confused. Meanwhile, Laren's back would be completely open to his opponent's attack given the sideways orientation of his stance. If he was maximizing his defense on his crotch then he would likely buy her feign and focus on deflecting her left kick.
Of course Laren’s focus would be his family’s legacy maker. Who in their right mind would let someone just kick them in the twig and berries? Like really? Come on.
“Oh sweetheart, if I really wanted to share a bed with you I’d have already slept in it.”
Laren smirking behind his helm. He had a plan to counter her attack on his crotch after his sly quip. She would surely come in ready to attack and surely enough, she did. Cas/Anvil came in and swung her leg to his meter stick. This time Laren was ready to bat it away and attack right after, unfortunately it didn’t work out as planned.
She snapped her leg away as soon as it was close and left Laren defenseless from behind. Soon enough he felt a strong thud against his back. “Agh!” He let out. Laren had to react quickly or he would soon be on the receiving end of another strong kick. With an adrenaline rush through his body to try to combat the pain of the shock that went through his back, he quickly wrapped his arm around her thigh against his back. And looked to swing her towards the cage. He began to pull her that way.
If successful he would swing her body into the electrified cage barriers and proceed to just push her against for a few moments. Just long enough to tell her something to annoy her while she’s in pain and then send her back to the ground. Letting himself recover from the numbness in his back and to hopefully get an attack in depending on her recovery time.
If failed, he can’t fully swing her and only sends her to the ground losing control of the leg and ultimately ending up in the same situation as before but in an improvised defensive position.
Laren is strong enough to pull this off and has the speed as well. Sometimes things don’t happen accordingly though. He had to have a good leverage point and have his opponent off guard enough to have them not expect it.
One kicked failed, okay cool it was a feign, second kick successful, very cool. The grabbing of her right leg? Not cool. Laren’s reaction was clearly one of fortune and instinct; that kick to his back, the shock, would otherwise have sent him bolting. That mattered less than what mattered in the moment which was that his opponent was now being swung around.
A moment later and Cas’ back slammed against the cage. Lesser shocks coursed through her body over and over like dull spikes and she heard herself grunt in pain as much as anger. Like Laren, though, this had the adverse effect of overdriving her motors. In short, she did not last long against that cage.
With her right leg in Laren’s grip, her left leg was free, and meanwhile his arms were bound to her right leg. Romantic, in another setting, and he could only hope to get so sweet a response. Instantly, Cas pushed herself off the wall by using Laren himself as leverage, twisting while swinging out toward her right. She braced her hands on Laren’s left arm while her right leg, still in his hands, curled its lower section over the front of his neck.
Concurrently, Cas’ left leg swung around to wrap over his chest. As this was happening she was all the while pulling herself away as much as pulling Laren down with her. The two fighters would fall to the floor to land in a ninety degree angle from one another. This would not be an ideal position for Laren to be in at all. If Cas’ movements had been successful she would now have her opponent in an armbar (straight armlock) with his left arm in between her legs and held in a devastating ‘lock’.
“Kiss the floor, Kiss of Death!” Cas would bark. "Tap out!” If Laren did not then it would not end well for him. The hold could become painful in a split second, joint hyperextended, and ultimately lead to a dislocated elbow or broken arm.
He had her slammed against the cage. Laren had hoped it would fry her enough to make her physically exhausted enough to not get up but she must have had the same reaction as him to the shocking pain.
One moment she’s slammed against a cage the next she was collecting Laren’s arm and trying to swing Laren to the ground. The Mando could feel what she was trying to do as his arm was in captivity already by the opponent, so he was moving along with it. He knew he catch her shifting weight before he fell.
She swung to the ground but stopped as Laren’s other hand gripped the captive hand by the palm. Once her weight was completely stopped and she was pulling in his arm with her lower half to his shoulder and Laren in a standing squatting position.
“Ah yes, I see what you’re looking for!”
He could feel her strength as she was extending her body as much as possible to try and get his grip broken and bring him to the ground completely.
Laren fought this for a short while. Then he went to lift her and if successful he would turn her around in the air and power slam her on the ground. Causing her arm at to disarm and give him time to recover.
If failed, he would most likely get rolled onto the ground and his grip broken while she had the opportunity to lock in the armbar and cause Laren to make a choice.
It was a risk Laren was willing to make this fight. If she proves herself he would have ultimate respect for her but if she gets her grip broken and Laren has the opportunity to put her down, then the respect is still there he just has bragging rights.
Laren had been a big help in letting Cas use him to support to withdrawal from the cage rather than just her own weight. He was yet able to brace himself with his bent knees, and while Cas might have been the more agile fighter she was not the stronger one. Still, he had given her time to respond upon halting her descent and fighting her off for a short while.
So, as Laren moved to lift her and turn her around, Cas rolled with his movements but only so far. She still had his grip in her own, her legs attached to his body, of which her right leg suddenly swung from the front of his neck to the back of it, shifting further down as Cas twisted her body away and around as though trying to piggyback her opponent.
Her intention was instead to wrap both legs around Laren's waist while twisting herself out of his grip. She had a greater advantage given her limbs’ positions upon his body, leveraging her legs against him. The result would be a ‘rear naked choke’. The cubital fossa, or elbow pit, of her right arm would wrap around Laren’s trachea, forearm and bicep pressing against both sides of his neck, while her left hand would push the back of his neck.
The force of her body swing around Laren’s own body might still be enough to imbalance him and drag both of them to the floor on their sides. Either way, even standing up Laren would be locked in a dangerous hold. With or without the helmet, the points of his neck would prevent blood reaching his brain, eventually causing him to pass out.
As Laren lifted she shifted. He had her prompted to slam, but she was quick enough to move around and get a rear naked choke in on Laren. This was a problem. If he didn’t act fast he could pass out. The larger Mando held her in a standing position forcing her legs to wrap around his waist for support.
He took notice of this. So as soon as he realized she locked it in remembered that his fist have shock infused devices on them. He took a look at her knees. Then the idea popped up in his brain. Like a light bulb in the dark.
He let her believe he was getting woozy. I mean the pressure had grown and more than likely caused Laren to begin to look like a tomato under his helm. He would pull on her arm just enough to get a little relief from the pressure and to have a quick breath. Then he let go.
Once Laren let go he ran backwards to the cage barrier. This would force her body to be smashed between Laren himself and the electric cage, if successful. He would also be hammer fisting her knees why she was pinned. The pain would be enough to cause the grip on his throat to be broken and he’d swing and elbow to her helm followed by a forceful punch.
If failed he could end up on the ground and looking at the lights before taking a power nap. Ending the fight most likely. Of course Laren didn’t plan to allow himself to be put down by anyone. Not even Cas.
She had him. There was no doubt. The thusly dubbed ‘rear naked choke’ had been executed successfully, and soon enough Cas’ opponent would be submitting to sleepy time. That was just as good as tapping out. Except passing out had not come to pass. Suddenly, the stronger of the two was bulling backwards, cueing the quicker of the two to what was about to happen. She had already felt the effects of that cage. She wasn’t too keen on repeating history so soon.
As tightly as she was wound around her opponent, constricting his torso up to his skull, Cas continued to extend a great deal of leverage over Laren. She had a wealth of motor control given the bodily lock. In fact, she wagered that if she moved to the left then so would Laren. To the right and so would Laren. It was a gamble she had taken without any hesitation.
While Laren drove backwards, Cas immediately tightened on him as much as Mandalorianly possible in an attempt to twist the two of them sideways. She would not have enough time or space to plant the front of his body on that cage but, well, if she was going to hit it then so was he. Instead of just her back getting shock, then, both sides of Cas and Laren would feel the volts.
That meant that even as Laren began striking at Cas’ knees he just might have his punches interrupted from the sudden spikes against his side. That further meant that, even though Cas would loosen her grip on Laren, he would be just as distracted with the electricity coursing through his side to be unable to elbow her head.
Ultimately the two would part ways once again for a brief respite. Cas would land on her feet, taking hasty steps backward, catching a bit of breath. She wasn’t done yet. She could keep going. Could her opponent?
“How’s your neck?” She would inquire while assuming a conventional guard as she had when she first started this fight. “Need another massage?”
While she had twisted the Mando he wouldn’t allow her to escape the pain. Both parties suffered the pain of the cage. Whilst suffering, Laren would hammer fist her left leg that was exposed to open air. Until she would attempt stopping the strikes. Once she let go of the hold Laren felt the pressure disappear.
He would move from the cage and the stand a decent distance in front of Cas and stare standing relaxed. The shock damages definitely hurt, but now she’s been making Laren slightly upset. She has been witness to the anger within Laren on one occasion and she happened to be on his side then. Now she stands in front of him as a challenge. And Laren can tell where her weaker points are now. All he has to do is focus on them. Except, now he has become angry with her.
“My neck is better than you’ll be once I’m done with you.” The comment came out as a growl.
Knowing she would take it as a joke he began to walk forward menacingly. It was time to give her a taste of her own medicine. Once he had gotten close enough he snapped a kick swiftly to land directly on the lead leg at the knee. Of course if the armor can block the full extent of his power it would heel to the power of the shock that flowed through it.
Whether he was successful or not on the kick he sent his right hand to her throat as fast as he could. And if he had grabbed it he would latch on forcefully fueled by anger and lift her in the air before immediately sweeping her legs with his other hand and slamming her into the ground with the back of her head going first. If completed he’d proceed to mount on top of him and letting his full weight sit on her locking an arm under one knee leaving the other free. Continuing his choke he’d lean into it causing more pressure.
Cas gave a quick shiver in absolute mockery of her opponent’s cute little ‘growl’. “I’m shaking in my little space boots!” He was getting serious. She wasn’t. Between the two of them maybe she should be given the stakes she had riding on winning. Still, win she would, so why worry about it? Instead, she arched her back as though stretching, rotating her joints, straightening leg after leg. The jolts, the volts, the shocks, the hits—they had taken their tolls but there she stood.
And there the audience stood—no; danced, bounced, jumped, up and down, down and up, up and down. They pulsated with praise, cheering Anvil, Anvil Anvil! Kiss of Death, Kiss of Death, Kiss of Death! Which name sounded better? Anvil would not dwell on either. She had an opponent to deal with as he advanced toward her.
In her conventional guard, Cas’ left fist was leading, right fist at the rear, both hands about level with chin. Her feet were oriented in the same manner, giving most of her front to her opponent with a bit of her left side. As Laren kicked toward Cas’ left leg, she did not wait to block it. The both of them had exchanged so many kicks and punches that it was about time she varied tactics.
Instead, she sidestepped diagonally forward toward her left while twisting her body in the same direction. This would allow her to evade the initial kick and the punch to her throat that would follow. Cas would further sweep her right lower leg behind her opponent’s non-kicking leg.
Meanwhile, she crossed her right arm beside her opponent’s own right arm. Rather than going for a punch, Cas would connect her arm with Laren’s armpit. Therefore, combining her right arm with her right leg, it was all too certain that Laren would find himself plummeting to the floor. Cas was pushing down with arm as much as pulling up with leg.
Laren missed his kick. As expected but she had somehow dodged his attempt to grab her by the throat. It was only a matter of time before he felt his leg move up and his armpit/ shoulder area to be maneuvered in such a way that he’d be falling to the ground. It was a smart move by his opponent, though Laren’s reaction time would be better now as he was anticipating a counter.
He allowed he to get his larger, heavier body to where to would fall and before his decent to the ground grabbed her arms and twisted in the air. This would more than likely bring her down as well. If she fell as well he would roll to a top mount position and begin to send forceful punch after forceful punch.
Of course there was always the possibility of failure but the time had moved slowly while Laren was in the air and he could feel himself move so much faster. The only thing left to do was execute.
The fight was long. Laren needed to put her down for the count. He hadn’t let his full strength come into play yet, because he was playing with his opponent. Now? He was focused more than ever to put her down.
Laren was the stronger of the two but strength did not much matter when it came to being tripped up with precision. In fact, the bigger you are the harder you fall, and Laren would learn this lesson in a moment. Unfortunately, so would Cas, in her own way. He had managed to catch onto her just in time and drag her down with him. Instead of falling atop her opponent, though, it was the other way around.
As the blows came, Cas immediately raised her forearms to block them. She was mostly successfully, with a few slipping through to click her across the helmet, seizing her visage in a sharp shock of electricity. Laren’s punches were electric. He was on fire. This must have been a demonstration of the anger that welled up within him and had slipped through in his earlier speech.
To someone on the receiving end, they might recoil. Not Cas. Such a demonstration made her all the more defensive. While both of their arms worked overtime to hit or block, Cas timed her interruption and found it. Instead of simply blocking the next fist she grabbed the wrist. Her adjacent forearm sought to at least swipe aside her opponent’s other swing. Concurrently, she swung her head up from the floor to crash the helmet into Laren’s own.
If successful, the distraction would allow her to continue leaning up into her opponent, bracing her knee against him, to where she would then shift her weight leftward. The intention was to push Laren off and away from her. Upon doing so, she would send a quick kick with her right foot to his stomach or side, then seek to roll away from him and ascend into a stance.
With Cas pinned down, Laren sent fists upon her like meteors cat asking into a moon. Cas wears blocking hits with her arms, fortunately for Laren this would cause much numbing into her arms not to mention the pain. He has the advantage in this moment. He could feel his punches slip through hitting the helm of his opponent. Shocks sent through the metal and shocking her head. This would cause much damage in the to her in the fight.
Eventually his opponent attempted to grab at his wrist. It was weak due to the muscle failure within her arms. So he sent a strong jab to her helm and she just barely moved it aside to scrape the metal of her helmet. Well played.He had knew what was next as both only had their heads prepared to attack. He matched her speed for a final head butt.
With the two full sending their heads to each other they both felt incredible effects. This sent Laren to lay on the ground only for a moment leaving Cas sprawled on the ground. This was a critical moment. Had to get to his feet and begin the assault again. Fortunately for him the one that received the most damage out of that altercation was Cas.
“I’m not done with you”
Laren made it to his feet slowly. He watched as Cas would do the best she could to carry on, but now with Laren’s recovery being superior to that of Cas. The advantage stilled lies within him. He made his way forward to the weakened, and dazed opponent and decided to try something knew.
Laren had watched as the impact of the devices sent electric shocks outward and never onto himself. So perhaps if he punched the devices together with just enough strength they would send a large electric current outward to his opponent as if a lightning strike was to hit her. Electricity is faster than either individual.
Laren struck his fists together with the back of his hands facing Cas. If the theory worked it would send his opponent into the cage and cause for a lot of damage. But of course it’s only a theory. He prepared himself for any failure. Defense was on his mind immediately after.
Cas had learned way back in the beginning of this fight the extent of the ‘punishing peripheries’. They appeared to do minimal damage and pain farthest away from the vital parts of the body. The hand being first and foremost the less impacted, then the forearm, with the torso and head getting the short stick.
Still, only a few punches had fallen through that Cas had not blocked, and would equate to getting punched in the face without a helmet and without a ‘shock device’. Laren could probably take more than a few such punches to the face. He was not alone.
All in all, as the two Mandalorians recovered from their bodily bout on the floor, Cas had taken some hits and some jolts but she was not ‘dazed’ by any degree. Laren was right about those shock devices though; they were external rather than internal.
Cas was now in a ready stance, ready to receive her opponent. Yet, she had not been ready to receive his nasty little trick. He had beaten her to the punch of exploiting it. Had Cas been dazed then she would likely have bolted backward from the electrical spark smacking into her visor, only for the cage to bind her into an electric hell.
She was instead alert enough to react on instinct, guarding Laren’s ‘lightning hands’ right in front of her face with her own two arms while she dropped into a crouch. Still, she had been pushed back into the cage, whose sparks against her back combined with her crouch to where she suddenly sprung into a forward roll—toward Laren’s legs to send him flipping over in a fall.
The shock worked. Didn’t pan out the way he thought. She was now flying from the cage toward him doing a roll and ultimately aiming to knock him to the ground again. Had she not learned? Every attempt of ground combat was not exactly what she anticipated.
His anger had still been there. And with it he felt time slow just enough to jump over her and roll to his feet on the other side. Now back to his feet, he stood staring his opponent down.
“I didn’t want to have to do this.. but now I have to..”
Laren had readied himself. He took a deep breath as he walked forward preparing to dodge or block the coming attacks. Laren at this point was using counter attacks primarily. But as long as Cas had throw punches, kicks, head butts, or even her whole body, Laren would be able to see it and deflect. Of course no one is perfect. Attacks are successful for any who try, so with that Laren was mentally set on a victory.
Back to their feet, both opponents stood staring the other down. They were beaten, bruised, bludgeoned; if only in accordance with some lucky shots amid the more direct shocks with electrified devices upon hands and feet. Understanding what that meant was less important than understanding what was now.
What was now was two Mandalorians in a ring, male and female, one stronger and one weaker, one quicker and one slower, and they had rivaled each other’s strengths and weaknesses for moments on end up to this very moment. Still, the moment was to pass, and the fight was to end. That was now.
Cas acknowledged her foe, her friend, either and neither, both, with a simple tilt of the head in place of a facial expression. “I know...and so do I.”
What followed was a vicious exchange of blows and blocks. Both Mandos were swift and sudden, punching and kicking, blocking and dodging, and mere seconds passed between their equal efforts while the audience wailed wild.
Kiss of Death! Anvil! Kiss of Death! Anvil! Kiss of Death! Anvil!
It was by prime precision or a blind byproduct that Cas had gained the upper hand. The two fighters had nigh enough equalized one another, but fate had a way of being funny, only it would not be Laren laughing unless he could appreciate the humor of defeat.
It was an an electrocuting uppercut to his jaw amid a shock-shattering kick to his knee that had done him in. And maybe neither and both would have done him in, except for the fact that both fighters had taken so many blows that any more blows were just too many.
Lucky shot, then? Sure, it could be chalked up to such. Either way, Cas would leave this ring a winner knowing full well that a split second ago she might leave as the loser. Case in point: The two Mandalorians were an equal match one fight or the other.
Laren walked forward menacingly. He had been thinking of all the reasons she could possibly be fighting for. Perhaps she was selfish and wanted glory, in which Laren would just seat her like a fly. Perhaps it was to meet the owner for a lead, that definitely seemed more likely.
He then remembered she never told him the true reason she wanted to win. He knew there was good enough reason for that. Should he continue to fight and crush her spirit? Nah. Laren wanted to make his ally happy. Besides he knew she would attack soon so he might as well take a fall.
He noticed her fist moving up to his jaw so would allow the blow to make contact just enough to scrape his helm making the sound of a hit. He then sold the punch by jumping backwards and landing on his back.
Sprawled in the ground it would look like Laren was out, but in reality he just laid silent to allow his friend an unexpected victory. Sure she would believe herself to be a better warrior and capable of ending a fight with the likes of Laren but he didn’t mind that for now. He knew she had reason to win.
Once the announcement was made of her victory by the Duros he stood up swiftly. He walked out of the cage behind the ‘winner’ of the fight. He heard a person in the crowd begin to name call him. He turned his helm to the idiot that insulted him and sent his cable while to wrap him up and pull him to the feet of Laren. Once the cable retracted Laren lifted the man by his throat and head butted him, knocking him out cold, then threw him over a table as he walked away.
He found Cas and patted her on the back “Congrats, you sure won.” He said it in a slight sarcastic tone but followed it up by ordering a couple drinks and giving one to Cas. “A toast! To the one who found victory! At parjai!”
The Kiss of Death got back up instead of staying down like an unconscious person should have. That’s when it all clicked for Cas. She said nothing as she watched Laren’s little expression toward the idiot from earlier. By that point, she had left the ring after the referee had left his grip on her arm and the devices that came with both hands and feet. They had served their purpose and the establishment would be needing them back.
The audience was still pulsating with the outcome of the fight but mainly with the fight itself. Laren was not spared any cheering even as he left the ring behind his opponent; he had fought as well as Cas had and everyone knew it enough to let him know it. For her part, she would settle for a drink at the bar. That little scuffle had made her thirsty. Laren’s appearance was therefore impeccable.
“You fought well, vod. At parjai!” She raised her hand. She noticed the bartender blinking between both of them. “It means ‘to victory’.” Cas clarified.
“No…” The bartender shook his head. “What I don’t understand is how you two are going to, well, drink your drinks with those helmets on...”
Cas grinned behind her own. Truth be told she was not the type of Mandalorian to never remove her helmet in public. She just had no business with anyone seeing the face behind Anvil’s. Saying nothing, she lifted the lower portion of her helm just far enough to take a gulp. It was as simple as that, really; no straw needed.
"Next time..." Cas trailed off while lowering her glass and helm, looking Laren in the visor. "...I'll win again." Head tilt. "Without you letting me."
Another man approached between the two claiming that Tresk Nall was ready for an audience. Cas made to bid Laren farewell when the henchman clarified that the Quarren was offering to see both Mandalorians. They had put on a good show and respects were due. "Well..." Cas said. "Looks like the Kiss of Death is going to see what all this is about...and maybe Anvil will share some of that reward money with him." She shrugged. "...Maybe..."
Then the two compatriots were off once more on another adventure...