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Aberrant: 200X - Victoria Crush Charity Extravaganza


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Mid-April - Rogers Arena, Vancouver

People had been gathering at Rogers arena since the early afternoon, even the pre-show with its more low-key items on the donation block drawing a fair crowd. Now, the arena was jammed packed, natives and the displaced, people all status levels from all walks of life from across the nation and across the world all sitting together. Some came for the genuine plight of the victims of the Crush, others for the chance to see the entertainment they demanded, and in some cases, would be part of, and still others used it simply as a venue to be seen.

Tens of millions, maybe even hundreds, of viewers were tuning their OpNet networks to the right site, waiting in baited anticipation as Jim Ross, Jerry 'The King' Lawler, and Curtis Shane gave a recap of the Nova Auction from the night before and the highlights from the preshow, with the aid of OLED screens embedded in the double-thick vitrium walls. Sakurako was still in the control room, ViaPad in hand, making sure everything was running smoothly.

In the upper levels of the arena, Alex 'Sunshine' Andrews was cutting a gorgeous, enthusiastic swathe through VIPs he was leading to their private, skyboxes. Even being warned about the attention he would get, Alex was surprised. But at least for the most part the starlets and musicians and politicians had too much self-possession to end up going to far. Though Lydia Divine's and Katie Holmes thinly veiled, chic lesbian relationship was fraying badly as Alex led them to their box, one on each arm and being devoured by their eyes. Katya chuckled at the sight, forming a darkly seductive, imperious couple with the man who earned her company for the Event with a generous donation, Radu 'The Impaler' Szlaniskovich, as they waited for Alex to return.

And in the bowels of the arena, the XWF fighters and other novas that were participating, by hook or crook or a too pretty smile, were getting ready. Some took it in good-natured stride, a few cursed what they already knew they getting involved in and dreaded what they didn't know, and others treated like any other job. Egos clashed, with titans like these, it couldn't be helped, but they didn't flare too high, smothered under proximity to the site of the Victoria Crush and what this night was purported to be about.

In her dressing room, Jason 'Bombshell' Bellefleur fixed her shimmering, silver hair, then stood up and studied herself in the mirror, lips a master sculptor could spend a lifetime trying to capture their perfection curving wryly at the sight. Damned fans! Still, I'm kinda lucky, it coulda been worst... She was dressed to the nines - in her case, the tens, elevens, and twelves - in glamorous, ravishing evening wear. Her eufiber was deftly contorted into a pair of five-inch pumps, elbow length gloves and a glossy, deep indigo-trimmed-with-silver evening gown that almost glowed, cut to reveal the length of her devastating, endlessly long legs and a great deal of her spectacular breasts in a sexy, but not trashy, way. It was accented by tasteful pearls at neck, wrist, and ears, flawless and subtle make-up, and a sophisticated updo, stunning face framed by tasteful strands of silver hair hanging loose.

I'm glad they have viewer discretion warnings, 'cause more than one guy or girl is gonna have a heart attack at the sight of me, Jason thought, by now, long used to arousal she caused in herself. She looked to the side, her smile growing wider and fond. And in others. She bent down - her heels giving her a near foot height advantage - and gave Danielle 'Knockout' Waters a deep kiss on the lips, enjoying the feel of their abundant assets pressing together.

"Time to get this show started, Dani," Jason finally said, her silvery, sultry soprano filling the room. Naturally, she had been tapped to host the event, and she was glad to do it. She had lost some close acquaintances, friends, in the Crush, some bodies which had never been recovered - this was just one way she able to say good-bye and still feel like she was helping.

It was the little things, like how Danielle had organized her own donation requests, low-key, but so accessible to everyone that made Jason realize how she loved her. Beyond their shared experiences and exaggerated beauty.

"See you soon, and hopefully we ain't gonna regret any of the requests you accept, eh?" She gave Danielle another kiss, a squeeze on the her delightful ass, then she turned gracefully on her heels and sashayed to take her place in the center of the combat zone.

In the arena, all the lights dimmed, the crowd falling into an anticipatory silence.

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Sakurako looks down at the darkened arena. She takes a big breath.


"All videos are decoded and ready to send."


"Ready to rock."


"All fixtures reporting ready with no faults."


"Solid, Ma'am."


"All talent is ready to put on a show."

She walks over to the central seat in the control room, picking up a headset.

"All rise..." She says to the crew before activating the headset. The crew rises almost in perfect unison.

Sakurako adjusts the canadian-flag themed, sailor collared bodysuit with a solemn, but anticipatory expression.

"Rogers Arena... Ladies, and Gentlemen, all rise... To speak in honor of those who died and are recovering from this tragedy... Jason 'Bombshell' Bellefleur..."

She takes a breath, happy she didn't flub her lines...

"Video, Lighting, and Sound, start the tribute program."

She thinks to herself... "One hour, 20 minutes until I step out there with Robot Rob... This is gonna be a nail-biter..."

Sakurako's glad to have a distraction. Her business deals failed last night while she slept and wasn't babysitting her deals. She barely got out with her money she put in. Mary was disappointed as well, but opportunity was knocking tonight, Sakurako hoped.

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Outside a nearly endless strobing of light greeted Ryusei Hideyoshi as he exited the limo, reaching back to offer his hand to the woman who'd won his company tonight with a final bid that flattered him immensely.

Mayumi "Kou" Morioka was more than used to the paparazzi and attention, as the leader of Japan's team of nova defenders, Nippontai. She smiled and took his arm once they were out of limo which drove away. At two meters, Ryusei towered over her by close to thirty-three centimeters normally, though her heels added a few inches to her natural five-four height. She'd chosen to dress for the occassion, a deep green dress, accented by platinum and emerald jewelry to match her eyes. She was beautiful, though for Ryusei her short hair didn't do too much for him. The entire outfit was quite fetching, and dressed as she was she still had a commanding presence, one befitting a woman of her position.

Not to be too outdone, Ryusei wore the tuxedo with matching blue cummerbund he'd been asked to wear. He smiled to her as he matched his pace to hers as they made their way to the entrance, the capahacony of questions, cheers, and hiss and pop of cameras and flashes all around them. The questions weren't always nice, but all wre met with the same vague smile from both of them, which didn't disappear until the two of them made their way to the VIP box they'd been assigned to. There would be others here, perhaps even other auctionees, and that didn't bother Ryusei much. He doubted Kou had anything shameful on her mind, that wasn't the sort of woman she was.

He led her to their seats, and only then did he notice the smiled had vanished. "I imagine your face does get tired having to smile for the cameras as they ask or say all they do."

She looked at the younger nova and nodded. "You have no idea, Hideyoshi-san."

He smiled. ""Ryusei" will be fine tonight, Miss Morioka, though I'll answer to whatever you prefer."

She nodded, "Mayuri then, Ryusei."

He wasn't the first young man she'd met with adonis-like features, the young gaijin outside, Alex, he too had a handsomeness no baseline man could ever match. She watched Ryusei carefully. Years before Nippontai had thought to recruit the Hideyoshi twins, but due to their age, their father held off. Now that they were both of age, there was no obstruction.

Ryusei was a likable young man, and if the reports were true, he was a powerful nova in his own right, and he would add much to the team.

Though she was an inspiration to her people, she was still a woman, and Ryusei was from a very old and traditional family, She knew men from such families had problems following a woman's lead.

He chuckled and that broke her mask. "Something you find amusing Ryusei?" Her voice made it seem that she saw nothing to amuse him and might take offense.

"It's nothing major Mayumi, just remembering something. He nodded. "Growing up, I always wanted to meet you. I admired the way you handled yourself. it was sometimes said a team with a woman at its head couldn't succeed. I pointed both to Nippontai, and to DeVries as instances where a woman of strong character lead, and the team thrived."

She looked at him as though he'd grown another head. "You were a fan?"

"Who in Japan in my generation isn't? My little Sisters Saori and Yumiko both want to be like you or Miko. My brothers want to be like Asahai or Kyonjin."

He smiled as they sat and she had yet to remove her hand from his arm. "You are strong, charismatic, intelligent and beautiful, Mayumi. I have no problem telling you I had something of a crush on you."

That caught her by suprise. "I had no idea. I've had admires before, but they always expect me to act a certain way, or be how I am as Kou."

Ryusei smiled. "None of that tonight. Be yourself, or whoever you wish to be. Tonight, you are in control."

"You make this sound like a date Ryusei."

"Well, it is, isn't it?"

At this she laughed. "Well I suppose so."

"My goal tonight Mayumi is to make sure you enjoy it. Yes we're at a hugely televised and publicized XWF event, because we both said we'd be here. We should make the best of it. I know some of the wrestlers, and a large number of other novas paricipating in some fashion. Even my sister Sakurako is here, helping out. We all do our parts to help make sure it goes off without a hitch."

"So this is just an obligation to you?" Her voice was quiet, a thin sheet of ice creeping into it.

"Not at all. This is my pleasure. As I said, I always wanted to meet you. That my doing so can benefit a great number of people, so much the better."

He smiled. "I enjoyed our dinner, and I plan on enjoying the rest of the night too. I meant no disrespect."

She nodded and gave him a real smile. "I think tonight will be fun Ryusei. I wonder who else will be coming, though in truth, I'm perfectly happy with present company." She smiled up at him and he nodded. "Me too Mayumi, me too."

The crowd was already coming inside, and the place was starting to fill up. He could see other VIP's taking their seats in their boxes and he smiled. The old days of ringside seats being the best were gone, unless one went to a strictly baseline arena.

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Danielle went into the skybox, and exhaled, undoing the first button on her tuxedo shirt and taking off her tie. "I don't care if he said that it fit perfectly," she muttered to herself. "Still feels tight."

She set up the camcorder, plugged it into her laptop, and looked to the wardrobe which had all the props for backlogged requests. She exhaled, and the second button on the shirt popped loose. Before it traveled more than a foot from her chest, she plucked it out of the air.

"Well, let's get started." Knockout looked over the list of requests, and turned the camera on.

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Austin Lange wasn't one to miss a good party, and by all accounts, that was certainly what the big Charity event in Vancouver was going to be. It didn't take much to get his boss's approval to head off to the event, The Canadians had always been friendly towards NAMA, and they'd often pooled resources for projects. The funds came from Austin's personal accounts, so no one could accuse them of misappropriated funds, and it would generate some good press.

His "date" for the evening was the other nova worrking for NAMA, Bridget "Supercav" Awbrey. After a large dinner at the hotel, the two novas had rode in a rented limo to the event. Dressed in a Tux with a deep navy vest He held the door open for Briget to step out.

He smiled impishly. "Remember to smile and don't reply to any of them." He whispered as he helped her from the limo. The bulbs were already strobing before she emerged. Austin while not as attractive as some novas was possessed of the look that spoke of grand adventure, action, danger, and thrills that could take one's breath away.

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Bridget knew of why to keep the words to a minimum. She's had to deal with several press conferences while she was a member of the RNLI... usually at times of bad news.

She steps out of the Limousine, her sparkling blue eufiber dress shimmering like the very sea itself, and a red scarf draped over her shoulders.

"Of course, just remember we're not here for business this time, but to enjoy the night." She says smiling and politely waving to the cameramen. They were a new power couple, not even making any waves in Nova or Human society outside of their various early endeavors, but now they're stepping into the deeper water. And the sharks were now circling. Right now... Brigdet wishes there was a flotation device to protect against awkward moments if they happened.

She nods and keeps a brave face for the paparazzi as She and DeepWater make it inside past security. "Austin... so... this is some sort of sport competition... so who do we cheer for?"

Austin responds with a suprised look on his face. "Never heard of pro-wrestling before N-Day? Should be old enough to remember that."

"I lived a sheltered life."

"Cheer when I Cheer." He says, smiling.

"Oh. Thank you." She says. Lightly tugging on her scarf "There I go drowning in an awkward, awkward moment." She thinks with a blush. They head to their skybox seats, privately arranged and fully stocked. Hopefully things should be worth the money, even if it is a charity event.

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She watched them coming, those superstars of a world she had always shunned.

Chang approached the arena, walking. Everybody else seemed to be arriving by limousine, heading to the red carpet and doing their rounds with the press. She supposed she should do the same, minus the limo.

She had molded her hair into a hooded jacket emblazoned with crimson dragons on the front, curling round to wrap their coiled bodies around a large imprint of her white raindrop tattoo on the back. Underneath she wore PVC that did little to hide details and squeaked softly as she moved. She had flushed the skin of her arms with tattoos, her left arm bearing the image of a woman lying dead, shot through the heart, her right arm bearing a complex tribal arrangement of curves and spikes from wrist to bicep, with her spiderweb tattoo on the shoulder as always.

Once, when she had been a Novox star, the record company had tried to foist the limousine lifestyle on her. She had rejected it. Given the chance to play the flute and guitar and shamisen in front of thousands live, she had insisted she play in small clubs in front of a few hundred at most.

There were a thousand insulting things she could say about the lifestyle, but none of them would be honest. Some belonged here, in the lights and the noise. Some did not.

Chang approached the beginnings of the crowd, ogling and shoving, trying to see the Novas who arrived, wondering who would be next. Some of these people would have been going home with some of her more recent artwork, throwaway pieces put together just for the auction and for Noah to sell. Baselines were pretty easy to impress.

The arena was near-overwhelming. She felt their steps and shuffling movements, a constant thunder made by the thousands surrounding the guard rails that lined the road to the arena entrance. To her the noise was complex, not the shapeless white noise that most other people experienced. She could hear children gasping at the Novas, for many of them had never seen one face to face. She could hear others talking about who they hoped to see, or about photos they had taken already. Nova watchers had come in force. Somebody was muttering a prayer and sharpening a knife. He probably intended to kill someone. Novas did that, too, brought out the crazies.

She came to the edge of the crowd and flushed her body with fresh quantum. Chang squeezed herself paper thin, and began to wind and stretch her way between the people. They saw and felt her pass, reacted with surprise at this flesh-whip sliding through them.

Chang bulged back to shape after she slipped through a gap in the guard rail, reforming on the road facing the red carpet.

For a few moments she stood, staring at the arena, thinking back to her days as a star. She could never have played at an arena. Oh, she could have gone through the motions, but she never could have done it with sincerity.

She walked forward onto the red carpet, alone. Nobody came to meet or greet. They had known she would be coming, but she had never given them a time.

On the carpet, Chang paused, studying the crowd. She turned her head so the cameras could get their precious face shot, at the same time listening for that praying man.

He whispered, now, spoke of the father, son, and holy ghost, of the mission he had to accomplish for the lord, that he had been selected for. Chang heard the soft, distinct sound of flesh parting under a blade, his slight hiss of pain, a drop of sound lost in a river. Not lost to her, though.

She saw him. Three rows back, hair curled and dirty, face drawn and sunken, eyes wide with passion and fervor. The kind of man who could only be lost in a crowd of thousands.

Flashes bathed her. She heard people talking about her arrival. In a shocking turn of events, many of them talked about her cock or her breasts. Others, the nova watchers, started gibbering excitedly about her appearance. To them she was a rare treat, far more important than Jason or SuperFreak or the other XWF stars who appeared on TV every day and made public appearances every week. Chang Zha-Yang was a recluse of sorts, a Nova who gave no interviews, who interacted rarely. To the nova watchers, her arrival was gold dust.

Chang walked up the carpet, her hands in her pockets, heading for the arena doors.

Inside, baselines flocked. Most of them no doubt worked for one Nova or another, running errands for their bosses. Others were event staff. She supposed one of them would grab her eventually.

For now she approached one of the security guards and tapped him on the arm. He swallowed when he saw her, though he had a polite seeming to him. No doubt he had met a good few novas already, and had become a little more used to taint.

"Good evening, ma'am," he said. "How can I help?"

"You've got a psycho in the crowd. He's across the road behind the guard rail, twelve feet to the left of the carpet entranceway, three rows down unless he's moved."

He looked at her in that way which baselines got at times, that 'Why don't you handle it, you're the superhero' look. They thought of all Novas as heroes on some level. It had been written into the culture on too fundamental a level, by Team Tomorrow's tireless efforts.

"What makes you think-"

"He's standing around quoting the bible, praying, and cutting himself with knives."


"That's what I thought."

She left him to do what security people did, and moved to stand near one of the pillars in the entrance area, to wait to be told where they wanted her.

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After a cursory glance at their passes, Austin and Bridget found themselves led to their box-seats by an unfailingly cheerful and glowing young man, gorgeous and courteous. Down below, a harried-looking assistant production director - Sylvie according to her name tag - found the bemused Chang.

"Ah, Chang Zha-Yang, there you are," she said with brisk confirmation, checking something off on her clipboard. She gave Chang a professional smile, only a slight tightness around the eyes giving away her unease - she had obviously been exposed to a large variety of novas. "Have you made your own arrangements for watching the Event?"

"No," Chang replied succinctly, feeling the rumbling of the arena beginning to subside as more and more people found their seats.

"Not a problem, Ms. Zha-Yang, I'll show you to the Talent Lounge, where most are waiting before they go on stage," Sylvie assured Chang. "Right this way, if you please."

Cutting through the press of bodies with swift skill, Sylvie led Chang to the lounge, then ran off on another errand. Inside, Chang found the room full with a vast majority of Novas, who for the most part took her unique appearance in stride. Some there were as heavily altered as she was, if less ambiguous. The lounge had many flat OLED screens on the wall to show the action - currently showing the darkened arena floor - and one dedicated to detailing the schedule of events, being updated in real-time. Most of the baselines there were attending the extensive buffet set out for the talent.

Chang did cause more of a stir when she altered her lower body into the form of a comfortable chair, causing several people to step back at the unconventionality of it. A few did stare in interest or curiosity, at both Chang's display, and at her.

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"I should try that." Donald- to Chang, a young red-headed man sitting nearby where she was- joked, observing the full display only out the corner of his eye- which frankly, was enough to provide a complete view. "Would save me the time to get a chair- and I could make the most comfortable spot on the seat."

His voice was amused, and he exuded charm, albeit a simple pleasant one, nothing nova-level. Same thing for his appearance too. He smiled as he talked to her, not seeming to notice the third breast or the giant cock... almost as if he couldn't see either at all.

In truth, Donald had simply cut out the view from his perceptions as so to make chatting easier. Hey, it wasn't necessarily comfortable sitting with the big name novas, eh?

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The arena was dark, silent save for the rising murmurs of the spectators, restless with anticipation, when suddenly, a spotlight flared to life, painting a circle of white light in the center of the Combat Zone, and the murmurs faded instantly away. Throats tightened, eyes widened, as Jason 'Bombshell' Bellefleur was revealed in all her awe-inspiring glory.

Her fair, flawless skin seemed to almost glow with its own inner luminescence, silver scintillating under the spotlight, matched only by her incandescent, indigo eyes. Tall and dramatically statuesque, captivating face composed to a dignified solemnity, that was nonetheless entrancing, Bombshell was a goddess made flesh. The number of women in the entire world who could match her could be counted on one hand, and tonight, they seemed far away.

On the vitrium protective paneling surrounding the Combat Zone, OLED screens sprang to life, showcasing a montage of Victoria City, both before the Crush and after, every image poignant and touching, all the moreso for the utter silence. The screens were overlaid with a translucent shot of Jason's face, spectral, yet unaccountably real, her gaze seeming to meet every eye turned her way.

And then she spoke, her velvety soprano, mellifluous and dulcet reaching every corner of the arena, despite the lack of a mic, as clear and intimate as if she was sitting right next to every spectator.

"I and all of us participatin' welcome you to the Victoria Crush Charity Extravaganza, and you all have our sincerest gratitude and thanks for the donations and concern you have offered to those who have endured this catastrophe," she began, her voice excruciatingly emphatic. "The Crush has touched too many lives, many fatally so, but just as deeply, those who have survived the event. And those touched go beyond a single city, it has gone to reach a nation, a continent, a world. Though the Crush was Victoria's death knell, it could have struck any city, in nation, no matter its power or success. Tonight, this night, it is not only for the lost and the survivors of Victoria... It is for all of us!"

Jason took a deep breath, long lashes fluttering as she closed her eyes, her stirring words seeming to reverberate in the arena though she had fallen silent. Just reading the words when she was committing them to memory, they had felt empty, sycophantic, but now, in this instant, she was as moved as any. She opened her eyes once more, capturing the crowd once more.

"May we observe a moment of silence for those who have been silenced for ever more."

There was a rumbling rustle as everyone stood, then the silence was palpable, filled with a maelstrom of emotion. In the darkness, hands searched for hands, strange and familiar alike, seeking to share the moment, seeking assurance. The moment stretched, strained, and just as it was going to fall over a precipice, Jason broke into a wry grin, plucking at her evening gown with an opera glove-encased hand.

"Enough of the serious stuff, eh?" Jason said, breaking the fraught silence with good-natured humour. "You guys managed to get me dressed up in an evening gown for heaven' sake! That's going to make my fights fun. Not too, I hope! Do we ever have a night for you all. Both you, the donators, and the participants have been extremely generous with your resources and time, now let's show it off and get the night started!" Jason smile widened and she took a cheesecake pose, raising a hand into the air. "Light it up!"

The lights burst to life at her shout, a spectacular laser-light show blending seamlessly with the pyrotechnic display and the new images flickering across the OLED screens. The Promotion Department and Sakurako Hideyoshi had developed one hell of an opening act, Jason thought, strutting around the Combat Zone, encouraging the crowd's cheers.

"Everyone got their eyesight back? Good, because the night is just starting and we don't want to have to worry about any lawsuits quite yet," Jason said, mirth tinting her silvery voice. "Now let's hear you holla, 'cause here comes our first act..."

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Ryusei smiled as the moment of of silence ended, and looked to Mayumi. She looked to him and nodded. "I see they're pulling out all the stops."

He chuckled. "You have no idea. That was only the first teasing taste, before this night is over, everyone will have a great story to tell."

They took their seats again, waiting for the first fighters to enter the ring....

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Just before the first match of the night is announced, Sakurako teleports to the very top of her battle zone creation, but not before leaving the control of the stadium lighting to her technical team. "Okay guys, time for me to take control of this bitch."

She transmits herself to a reciever point at the top of the battle zone and sits in a insulated capsule-like device, and closes her eyes to interface with her creation.

super-small helicopter camera drones powered off of solar panels on their blades whirr to life, taking strategic positions at verious angles in the chamber. She then starts arranging the combat zone's terrain. Every breath and move she moulds the combat zone floor like a conductor, until it is to a quality that any fighter would enjoy.

"This is Sakurako, guys. Control room, start the first match's package." She says over her secure wireless connection to the control room. She then sends a text message to Ryusei. "I'm in my cockpit now... I'll let you know when Robot Rob's next on the lineup."

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"He's cuuute!"

"If I liked 'em prettier than me, sure."

"You must be hard up for choice then."

"Woof. Who let you out of your kennel tonight, Tantrum?"

"C'mon guys. Admit it. He's totally cute."

"He does have a nice smile, Teardrop."

"Yeah... And the glow is, uh, glowy. You could work on your tan."

"Tomboy!" The shocked tone was accompanied by two sets of stifled giggles.

"What? You don't wanna? Okay, I'll work on my tan."

"Stoooppp! He'll hear you."

Ahead of the three female members of Teen Tomorrow, to all appearances unaware of the comments being passed behind him, Alex "Sunshine" Andrews led the way to the teenage idols' box. Behind the three girls, the male members of Utopia's junior league had varying reactions. Atlas, the tall charismatic leader, smiled and shook his head slightly as Teardrop, Tantrum and Tomboy bantered back and forth in murmurs and whispers. Smart Alex just rolled his eyes, but took the opportunity to study the 'other' Alex's quantum signature, which he'd read about in Utopia files and found fascinating to view first-hand. The third, Desmond 'Lit' Holmes, muttered something rude under his breath and glared at the pretty-boy, disliking him and feeling bad for it, for truth be told this Sunshine kid was just a kid, right? All of a year old and all grown up, not to mention looking a damn sight better in his tux than Lit did. And that wasn't really a reason to dislike someone, was it? No. Lit was mainly irritated with his female teammates, who were making silly twits of themselves over the kid (okay, so he was four inches or so taller than Desmond - he was still a fucking kid, okay?) when he probably hadn't even discovered the joys of girl-parts yet.

"You are both children. Watch and learn, senoritas." Tantrum stepped a little quicker, coming up beside Alex and taking his arm, smiling winningly at him.

"We wanted to thank you for taking such good care of us, Alex - it is alright for me to call you Alex, si?" Tantrum said in her beautiful alto, letting her hand rest on the inside of Alex's forearm. He smiled back at her, the warmth of his aura like a summer's day in her native Toledo.

"Of course, Tantrum." he replied, his own voice pleasantly resonant.

"Oh, call me Rosa, if I am to call you Alex." she said with a half-smile and a wink before turning somewhat more serious. "This must be an emotional occasion for you, yes? The anniversary of such a horrible event, but at the same time it was the day you were born."

"It is a little weird." Alex admitted, gazing into the dark eyes looking up at him. "I can't be sad that I was born - or reborn - but if I could, I would much rather have had less tragedy surrounding my eruption." He looked contemplative. "I cannot really change that, though. All I can do is try to make the best of it, and help those who were touched by the Crush."

"That's a healthy attitude." Teardrop said as she took Alex's other arm. The water-witch, though made a little shy by Alex, would rather die than have Tantrum, or worse yet Tomboy, outdo her. "You go to school in Vancouver, don't you?" she asked, brushing aside her shimmering silver hair as she smiled up at him. Wow, he's so warm. All I need is a fruit cup and some tanning lotion. she thought, repressing a giggle at the thought, but failing to completely hide the blush that accompanied it.

"Yes I do." he replied, looking back at her with a smile that nearly made Teardrop's toes curl catastrophically inside the heels she was wearing for the event. God, he's so unguarded. So... open. It's like he wears his whole heart in his eyes. The same thought was more or less mirrored by the other two girls, who all felt the same thing: an instinct somewhere between love, lust and protectiveness that affected even the sophisticated Tantrum.

"Well, here is your box." Alex announced to Teen Tomorrow, opening the door and turning to let them all enter. Somewhat reluctantly, the two girls who'd been on his arm walked into the seating area first, followed by Tomboy and the guys. Lit winked at Alex as he sauntered past.

"Way to go, tiger. Five more minutes and you'd have had both of their numbers. I live with them, and they won't give me that." the fire-wielder joked, earning a bashful grin from Sunshine and a glower from Tantrum. Tomboy smirked at Teardrop and Tantrum, then leaned up and kissed Alex on the cheek.

"Thanks, handsome." she told him with a charmingly mischievous grin, swanning into the box with a triumphant look at the other two.

"Call down if you need anything." Alex told the Utopians politely.

"Don't worry. Julia will." Smart Alex told him with a laugh. Teardrop smacked him on the arm, blushing. Alex smiled and closed the door, going back to his duties.

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Oddly enough , a young...red...panda....woman exits a Limo. She's dressed in a lovely black dress made out of eufiber, her hair done up and a necklace dangling around her neck. She obviously both sticks out like a sore thumb and feels rather uncomfortable. It's one of the first times she's gone out in her undormed state in public. But hey, her roommate asked her to come since her parents could not be present and they had two tickets to this charity event. Cecilia stands by and waits for her roommate to exit the limo.

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For Rianna, the event was a chance to get away from the humdrum rote and routine of college life. When given the tickets to the event she'd sighed. She wasn't an avid fan of pro-wrestling.

She emerged from the limo and a smile curled her lips, though not a real one. She was dressed in a green Gucci dress, accented with her usual selection of jewelry. She made sure beforehand that she and Cecelia both looked the part, and smiled. Going in her natural form made Cecelia uncomfortable obviously, so she did her best to get them inside quickly.

Once inside they were shone to their seats by Alex, just in time for the moment of silence.

Once it was done she smiled to Cecelia. "I don't normally like them young and innocent but I would definitely make an exception for Alex."

She chuckled. "Do you know anything about who's fighting and such for this event?"

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"Now let's hear you holla, 'cause here comes our first act... It's Menagerie Madness!" Jason cried out, pointing towards one corner where a hulking, yet graceful, form was rising from below the stage. "Superbeast's super beast..."

Rob 'Superbeast' Steele raised his head to the heavens and gave his trademarked roar, then flashed Jason a wink, rather roguish, despite his hirsute and tusked appearance. Jason barely refrained from rolling her eyes.

"... versus Zoo-Child and her slew of animal friends!

From the other end of the Combat Zone, a slender girl, maybe fifteen or sixteen, with wild brown and large, wide-set brown eyes appeared, surrounded by a protective cage. Her eyes were wide, being the center of attention of so many people, and she gave the crowd a shy wave.

Suddenly, verdant light coalesced into a prowling lion, followed by a rhinoceros, a buffalo, a massive hawk, and a gigantic python. Superbeast's roar was answered by a multitude of animal sounds, a roar, a bark, a chuck, a squawk, a hiss, and the crowd cheered their encouragement. Jason laughed, giving Zoo-Child - Jessica Matos, a school girl who worked at the Toronto Zoo and who had come to the XWF herself to offer her help in the Charity Event - a thumbs up, and a wink that made the girl blush.

"Looks like the animals are running loose in the zoo, and we're all inside to watch! Rob, Jessica, show 'em what you've got!"

With that, Jason quickly left the Combat Zone, then the bestial XWF star and a girl's quantum-crafted menagerie charged each other in a wild clash...

... and Superbeast stumbled to a poleaxed stop when a giraffe suddenly materialized in front of him, it's long neck bending down as it stretched out its long tongue and licked him up the face and made his hair stand up in a long, saliva-slicked curl. The crowd burst into laughter, and Superbeast beast shook a castigating finger at Jessica before bounding onto the back of the giraffe and biting into its neck. There was a horrible squeal, then the giraffe popped into green light and was gone.

By then, Superbeast had some more of Zoo-Child's animal friends to play with.

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Chang reclined in her chair-self, aware of the whisperings around her. She watched the whole room, noting not for the first time how blessed she had been by her eruption. Most of the Novas had to watch the screen or each other. She seemed the only one who could watch everything at once.

It had been observations like this which had come to bother her when among the Teragen. Oh, for sure every Nova was superior to baselines. But not in the same way. Not at all. And in some ways they might even be inferior. Else how could Novas be hung from ropes or shot to death by baselines?

And then she had to look at Nova-Nova relations. Again, some Novas were more superior to other Novas, and in different ways. Of course Divis Mal was more superior to everyone, but that was Mal, and his existence meant surprisingly little.

Chang had not won many friends saying that. Yet she had always defended it. Mal was a freak of nature, or whatever force had created Novas. Every Nova could not be Mal, did not even have the potential to be Mal. Anyone who said otherwise - and there had been many - was lying to her and themselves. The road to Chrysalis remained a difficult one, growing no easier over time for it differed for every Nova. Many who attempted it failed or destroyed themselves or succumbed to taint-madness in the process.

Shaving off Mal from the assessment made Nova relations all the more concerning. Her perceptions might not disturb those in her company, nor the changes to her body. But they separated her from them nonetheless, and their powers separated them from her.

She thought the issue a complex one. Every Nova needed to find their own way.

The screen in front of her lit up, literally and figuratively, with the appearance of Jason 'Bombshell' Bellafleur. She welcomed one and all to the event, speaking with sincerity about the pain of the Crush victims. Everyone had their time of silence.

After it, someone spoke to her.

"I should try that. Would save me the time to get a chair- and I could make the most comfortable spot on the seat."

The Nova had been sitting there for a little while, looking calm and collected. She had thought nothing of him. He seemed unassuming enough.

She considered ignoring him. This had the hallmarks of a pointless conversation, and she preferred quiet over wasted words that only contributed to the dull morass of white noise produced by the baseline crowd.

On the other hand... it could not hurt.

"I must assume you are not capable of this," she said, her head facing forwards at the vid screen, "else you would already have tried it. But yes, it does give me certain advantages where seating is concerned. I am Chang Zha-Yang, better known as White Rain. Yourself?"

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"Hrm. Not even a test of my build yet." Sakurako thinks, she is almost embarassed at the Superbeast match down below. She wanted to see this build tested to it's limits. It seems that when a match is this lop-sided...

"Okay... probably in another 30 seconds this should be wrapped up..." She says, feeling that feeling someone gets when someone is watching them. She turns around, seeing nothing she looks back at her control screens and the status updates on the front viewer of the control pod she's sitting in.

"Looks like the drones are doing a hell of a job though." And indeed they are. Every possible angle is covered for the broadcast, as the cameramen at a side desk at the main control room take every opportunity to get unthinkable angles.

"But I'm getting this feeling I'm overlooking something important... something in the back of my head." She murmurs as she continues to watch the events below. "Superbeast really loves making a scene."

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Sakurako was somewhat off in her estimate in how long the match would take as Zoo-Child began to make use of the variable levels of the Combat Zone with her animal friends. But as she needed to see her constructs to direct them, she couldn't take full advantage of the terrain and Superbeast was far more maneuverable and experienced and he made short work of the quantum-crafted animals with dramatic flair.

Though it was not without cost - Zoo-Child's animals hit and bit with considerable force, more than their real-life counterparts ever could. Superbeast won the match, and a corresponding set of lacerations and gouges. Despite the shortness of the fight, the crowd gave an enthusiastic cheer - since it hadn't been real animals put into danger, they were able to revel in the bestial battle without feeling any guilt.

Jason strutted back on stage, clapping, giving Rob a wry grin and Jessica a warm one. The teen flushed, ducking her head shyly and giving the statuesque woman a small wave. Having such overwhelming focused on her was... overwhelming.

"Nice attempt, Jessica," Jason congratulated, raising a hand to her chest in playful commiseration, "but even I have trouble dealin' with this animal, even with his wasting time tryin' ta cop a feel." Jason dropped her voice into a husky stage-whisper that was nonetheless heard by the entire arena. "He's really like the most perverted Care-Bear ever."

"Hey!" Superbeast yowled in protest.

Jason just placed a hand on a cocked hip and arched an brow at him, the very picture of devastating, feminine condescension. Superbeast hunched his shoulders in exaggerated defeat.

"You didn't have to tell everyone, now they know!" Rob whined meekly, playing along.

Jason laughed, a glorious sound that begged others to join in. "At least we don't hang a sign around your neck. But again, great job." Jason faced the audience once more, gracefully walking around the Combat Zone so no part was neglected. "Soon, we'll have some unique prizes up for auction - so have your phones ready - but first, another match, chosen by you by the size of your total donations..."

Jason introduced the next fight with a bantering wit, then glided through the halls up to the Skyboxs, her passage remarkably quiet despite the height of her sharp heels. The amazonian goddess simply shook her head in amusing as she caught the Teen Tomorrow girls fawning over Alex.

"Careful now, Alex, teen girls are an unpredictable species, even for girls," she advised her room-mate that she was coming to see as a younger brother. She gave him a wave, then slipped into Danielle's Skybox.

She had some time until she next had to go on stage to help her girlfriend with some requests from her Crush Charity For All. Hopefully they had weeded out all the ones they would truly end up regretting.

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Well, out of all the graphic novels I've ever read, that was one of them.

Knockout looked to the large prop wardrobe she'd gotten from the local theatre company, then to the camera. She clicked the remote and started speaking.

"Joshua Links wants me to talk about his graphic novel, and here it is." She paused, this being where the images would be inserted into the video when she started editing the video. "The Shadow Inside is a story about a young man who gains the powers of a character he created. It's a look at the dividing line between our fictions and ourselves. It hasn't found a publisher yet, but it is available through self-publishing at Joshua's website. Joshua has donated all he could afford, 56 dollars. Thank you, Josh. You're very generous."

Danielle switched off the camera and popped open the editing suite on her laptop. Within minutes, the video was edited to her satisfaction, and at that moment Jay came in.

"Jay, heya! Just a second, uploading this." She clicked the mouse, then stepped back. "So far, so good. Ah, I got a request from Einherjar." She coughed, and swiveled the laptop around, pointing to Einherjar's post.

She coughed. "It's a lot of money he's putting up. Still. You think we should?"

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Jason's eyes lingered on the cleft of cleavage the burst buttons of Danielle's shirt revealed before turning her attention on the laptop. I shoulda got Dani in a tux months ago, even if it took me wearin' heels and an evenin' gown, and not just for a fashion show or a movie part, Jason thought, chuckling as she saw Einherjar's request.

"Ahh, Ein, why am I not surprised?" she sighed, a dimple flashing into sight with her crooked smile. "Eh, why not, Dani? Ein means it all in good fun, and really, this is far from the worst we've seen. And where he is right now, I think there's a dearth of hot blondes, so we can help a dude out. Hell, I play a Valkyrie on TV, and they were the beer wenches of Valhalla anyway. If anyone has the right to ask, it's an Einherjar, the Einherjar... Besides, it shows less than what I'm wearin' right now... If more than what you are."

Jason tilted her head to the side and gestured at herself, the prominent expanse of breast flesh and the revealed length of her legs. "I'm willin,' and the braids are easy enough, but only if you are, babe."

Bombshell swaggered to her girlfriend's side, bending down slightly and giving her a quick kiss, then deftly altered her eufiber from a racy, if still elegant, evening gown to a sexy German beer wench costume. She took a step back and arched a teasing, inquiring brow.

"Well? See, it's not too bad, eh?" True to her word, Jason was revealing less bare flesh. On the other hand, it was hardly less appealing - it must've been a costume thing of something. Or maybe the laced bodice giving her assets a boost they didn't need. Jason must've thought so too, since her cheeks flush pink for an instant.

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"I'll, ah..." Dani was gobsmacked for a long moment. Then she straightened up and did up her shirt.

"Yeah, I'm up for it. We'll need flargons though. Be right back!" There was a blur, and Dani was gone.

A few minutes passed, while Dani zipped around at super-speed. She left the stadium to get the beer, because even on a nova's salary she was not paying the markup that the vendors in the stadium charged. Then she got some flargons from a local winemaking store, and then, case in one hand and four flargons in the other, she zipped back into the studio.

"Got it all! Uh, you'll need to do the eufiber tweaking, I don't think I can do something that complex. My eufiber's over there, I'll just pour AHHH - "

Dani cursed under her breath as the beer, shaken up by her super-speed jogging, sprayed out of the top and all over her tux. "Dammmiiiiiiiiit, I'm an idiot..."

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Bloody hell, that was quick... Sakurako mutters to herself, putting her systems on automatic. "Control Room, You have control of the arena. I'm heading backstage now."

Sakurako steps out of her pod, and pulls out a communicator earbud from the only pocket on her skirt, and puts it in. "So Mary... ready to rock?"

"Yeah... pretty much."

"You don't sound enthused."

"Just got a headache, that's all. I took some advil, and it seems to dull it but it's still banging through."

"It's just nerves. Don't worry, I won't let anything happen. We're after the next match, so just loosen up... as best you can in that suit and turn up the ventilation system a little. KEep cool."

"Right... and Sakurako..."


"Sorry about your business plan."

"Yeah, when someone buys out your smaller companies you were lining up to merge, you tend to realize you're slower than the average shark. I'll bounce back."

"I hope so... the Mayor of Minneapolis is here tonight. He came with a donation from the Commerce Department."

"Oh that's sweet of him, tell him I send my regards and hope those cranes came in handy when they rebuilt the 35W bridge."

"Oh I will. But what's your plan now?"

"I... I think I'm either going to just bite the bullet and join the Maritime Self Defense Force or Nippontai. Depends on who sells me better."

"Spoken like a businesswoman, Sakurako."

Sakurako straightens out her white with bold red stripes on either side bodysuit, and fixes the red sailor collar to her suit. "I still think I'm neglecting something here..."

"Mary, I'll be back stage in a minute or two. Going to do a quick look over some cords here."

Sakurako's sure the Robot Rob costume she upgraded was fine, she went through all the checks and briefed Mary on the emergency protocols with the armor. The systems for the stage and ring were fine... It's something she remembers from before arriving, but can't quite place it.

"Uh, Hideyoshi-chan! You've forgot about the OpNet Oblivion special matchup!" While unusual to hear it sounds like what one of the control room technicians would mention. "You're introducing the match!"

"OH CRAP! Right!"

Sakurako teleports into the center of the combat zone when the lights go dark except for a couple lights trained on her, and her micro-drone cameras circling around her.

"Ladies, Gentlemen, and all points in between! Tonight, you will witness the evolution of combat! Tonight! In this VERY ARENA you will witness a battle like no other. A battle without boundaries... without restraint... and without remorse. Tonight..." Sakurako strikes a dramatic pose, pointing at the closest camera, a tactical consideration to add to the drama. "...A new era of combat SHALL BEGIN!"

"This will look like a sliver of the OpNet was brought into reality..." She says as the floor flattens out and obstacles vanish and extra OLED screens activate that were embedded in the floor's vitrium panels. "...Tonight I have the honor and priveledge to introduce two of the OpNet's hottest jockeys, with a bone to pick. For tonight, this is OPNET OBLIVION!"

The OLED screens bring up a digital representation of the server space Sakurako has offered as a sacrifice for the entertainment of billions. "Across this digital battlefield Bug and Root will settle their differences in a war between minds, translated for our humble minds to understand. I have set this battlefield up to become a crucible for these two rivals to settle their differences in a safe, but VERY public forum. This isn't quantum, but digital force being slammed through this battlefield. And you will see it live, for there is no greater prestiege even in the OpNet age to completely dominate your rival!"

"Gentlemen... Do... Your... Worst!" Sakurako says with almost anticipatory glee before teleporting back up next to her control pod. She pulls out her ViaPad to get a first hand tactical accounting of the battle. "This is gonna be sick."

She looks behind her. "Why do I feel like I'm being watched... like... close-up?" she asks herself. "Out of the corner of..."

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Jason might not have had Dani's super-speed, but she did have grace and reflexes bettered by none. With a lithe twist, silver tresses flaring wide, Jason snatched up one of the flagons and scooped up all the beer spraying her way. Unfortunately, with the case of beer under her arm, there was nothing Jason could do to keep Dani clear.

"Not an idiot, Dani," Jason laughed as she ran a finger across Danielle's cheek and licked it clean of beer with exaggerated coyness. "Just a bit... sudsy." Her own supple hands a near blur, Jason grabbed a some napkins and wiped up as much beer as she could from Dani's tux and face. "Okay, not perfect, but at least you still have your eufiber. Just rinse your hair and face, then strip down and I'll configure your Swiss-army gunk."

Making no effort to look away and grant her girlfriend a bit of modesty, Jason picked up Danielle's eufiber, currently styled as her municipal defender uniform, and focused her node on it. Attuning the eufiber to her signature, and using her innate flair for style and intimate knowledge of Danielle's measurements, Jason easily altered it into a copy of her German Beer Wench outfit.

"Here you go, hon," Jason said, tossing Danielle the outfit. Another blur of motion and Danielle went from tuxedoed to Beer Wenched in a blink of an eye. Jason gave her a teasing frown. "That's cheating. Now, for our hair."

Deft fingers swiftly styled their hair, leaving a pair of short, loose braids hanging to each shoulder, the rest coiled at the back of their heads. In the mirror, a pair of superlatives stared back, twins save for their height and the colour of their hair. "And done. I think Ein's gettin' his money's worth. Just need to fill our flagons."

Below them in the Combat Zone, OpNet Oblivion was underway, a cyberkinetic showdown between Bug and Root. Sakurako had developed the elaborate series of programs for them to run rampant in, setting it up to be visually represented in vivid display on the OLED screens surrounding the Combat Zone. The crowd had been restive at first, but were cheering now for the pixelated destruction flashing on the screens.

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Jerry 'the King' Lawler chuckles as the OpNet Oblivion winds down, “If that's the future of combat, I'm glad I'm old-fashioned. But I hear we have a massive battle as our next fight. It's got a couple of real tough-guy novas involved, but that's all the information we've been given. Who do you think it could be, J.R.?”

Jim 'JR' Ross sighs, “I'm not sure, but i'm sure it'll be someone spectacular to fit the event's theme. After all, tonight's about raising money, not about winners and losers. I can't wait to find out who the combatants are, myself.”

The lights in the arena go out as the OLED screens descend back into the floor of the Combat Zone.

JR says, “Here we go.”

A deep drumming begins to fill the arena. A single spotlight begins to search the arena, finally alighting on a tall figure standing in the girders supporting the roof of the combat zone. When Chad Brock's vocals begin to fill the place, the figure crosses his arms, and steps off the girder, hurtling to the ground. When he hits the ground, the crowd releases a gasp. When Dozer stands up, obviously unhurt, the crowd erupts into cheers. A voice speaks out over the music, "Ladies and Gentlemen, The next match of the evening is a points based match. There will be no submissions, and no pinfalls. There is a 10 minute time limit. Arriving first, from New York City, weighing in at 320 pounds, and standing 7'2", DOZERRRRRRR!" The music fades, and the crowd hushes, awaiting the opponent for this match, wondering who it could be.

The Single spotlight goes out, and after 2 seconds a massive laser show lights up the air in the arena. The now-familiar strains of Lady Gaga's hit, "Born this way" begin. A smaller figure begins to enter the combat zone, waving to the crowd and smiling. "And his opponent, hailing from Cody, Wyoming, standing at 6', and weighing 200 pounds, 'IRONSKIN' Andy Vance!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" With that announcement, the crowd goes crazy, chanting Andy's name. The two competitors make their way to the center of the Combat Zone, shake hands, and begin to circle one another.

Dozer rushes in with a series of blows that force Andy back a good 30 feet, but the smile on Andy's face doesn't even falter. He runs back at Dozer and dives at him, in a flying tackle, leaving Dozer lying on his back. When Dozer gets up, him and Andy begin trading full-power strikes, the shock-waves causing the Combat Zone, and the entire arena, to shake. At one point, Dozer grabs Andy, and tries to throw him to the ground, only to have Andy reach back and throw Dozer into one of the walls within the Combat Zone. Dozer gets up, grabs the largest chunk of the wall that broke off when he crashed into it, and slams Andy in the face with a 500 pound chunk of concrete. Andy goes flying back into the outer wall of the Combat Zone, causing it to rattle and shake. This battle goes on for the full 10 minutes, the momentum shifting with every blow, but it seems that Andy is getting in more shots than he is taking. Finally when the bell sounds, the two combatants approach the center of the Combat Zone, and shake hands. The same voice that announced the match participants over the speaker system earlier comes back and announces, "While we await the judges' decision, let's have a big round of applause for the competitors." The crowd breaks into applause and some start chanting Andy's name, while others begin chanting for Dozer. After about 30 seconds, the voice speaks again, "The winner of this match by split decision is... 'IRONSKIN' Andy Vance!!!!!" Andy begins to walk around the Combat Zone waving to the crowd as Lady Gaga's "Born this way" once again fills the arena, and the laser show begins again. After another minute, Dozer approaches Andy. He then shakes Andy's hand again, and the two combatants make their way out of the Combat Zone.

((OOC: This is the song playing for Dozer's entrance: Lightning does the work - Chad Brock ))

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Silvertalon watched Sakurako's presentation from within the control pod having easily slipped past the security systems blending in with her surroundings. All the while she casually took note of all the different panels and labels on switches. She even noticed a few computers running some programs that were monitoring the process of the event. When Sakurako's speech ended she vanished and reappeared outside of the control pod, over looking the event on the outer rail.

Casually watching in silence for a few moments her attention soon feel upon the crowd watching the event as it took place. The sense and feel of it all was like a ocean of raw emotion over flowing and bursting forth at times. It felt like a powerful tidal wave smashing upon the shores of a beach. The sensation of it all made her take a slight step back at the sudden rush of it all. It took her a few moments to adjust to it all as her tails quivered a little bit in anticipation.

But her attention fell upon a computer screen near by as she looked at it and then back at the crowds. She watched the lighting change and then on the screen similar changes took place as the two seamed to correspond. She looked over where Sakurako was standing to enthralled with the event still. A devilish smile played across her muzzle as she silently walked over to the computer looking down at the digital key pad system and a board of some sort next to it.

Slowly reaching out tracing her finger tips along the touch pad at first it did not seam to respond as the pointer didn't move. Then her other hand reached over and tried to touch a button or two and the same effect. This was puzzling for a moment but then her ears perked a little coming to the realization why. She quickly glanced over towards Sakurako still watching the event still very distracted.

Silvertalons finger tips, fingers and then hands become visible as the holo effect pulled back. This left two disembodied hands floating in mid air over each of the touch interfaces. Her fingers played across the what would be the mouse pad system finding the cursor on the screen moved. She had to suppress a giggle as she quickly went to work making a slight modifications to the lighting system.

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Sakurako looks up from her Viapad, about to teleport back stage, but that funny feeling delayed her. When she looks about the arena, she notices her lighting pattern she chose for the Dozer fight has shifted... different color patterns and everything. "What in the..." Sakurako connects with the control room. "Guys, was there some sort of executive decision on my lighting scheme?"

"Nope. Everything's green here, the changes came from your control booth. I thought you were heading backstage?"

"I thought so too... wait a minute... I'll smooth things out here, and get to business, the Dozer fight's cleanup is gonna take a bit."

Sakurako looks around and finds the control pod's main door was open. She looks inside and in the 10 by 10 space all she sees are a pair of disembodied hands.

"So... let's see... I know a certain Kitsune was helping with the pyro and a fine job they were doing... but this is a horse of a different color... Is that you?"

Sakurako knows the playful alteration wasn't in malice, i nfact the crowd was getting more lit up from the atmosphere the lighting created. But still, this is her domain.

"Or should I call security?"

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A soft giggle rises from empty space as the holo effect started to melt away before Sakurako's eyes. Indeed it was the fox she knew well her tongue slightly sticking out at her as she gave a cute pouting look.

"Awww your no fun if you do that, besides they are enjoying themselves are they not?" She looks at one of the monitors "I say more so then before..." She indeed finishes playing with the lighting and it soon falls back to the pattern in which Sakurako set up.

"Besides if you didn't want something like this to be toyed with then you need to make sure you put a lock and key on it." She sticks out her tongue a little bit with a smirk. "Foxes will play when the humans are away.." She cutely remarks.

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"Yes, true. I was hoping it was you actually because if it was an intruder..." She quickly goes to a hidden pocket on the wall and pulls out a stun gun. "I'd have had to pull this bad boy out... but... it's not required now." She says with a grin, putting the stungun away.

"Now... I got a match coming up, well... I'm managing a fighter actually... maybe you might want to accompany me? Might need your services if things get too rough, you know?"

She says this, as a chirp comes over her earbud. "Uh... Sakurako... Brickhouse's getting froggy." Mary says over her comlink with Sakurako. "Really now? What's he doing?"

"He's heading on to the stage. I think he wants the fight now."

"Son of a..."

"SilverTalon... what do you say? If I need you to create an illusion so the fighter I'm accompanying can escape if need be... Um... you did get briefed she's human, correct?"

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"Oh what is that little thing...." She pears at the stun gun and pokes it with a claw tip. "Surely you jest.. Such a small thing... How could it do any harm to some of the creatures here?" She looks as if she has never head of such a device but yet Sakurako gets the feeling this fox is playing her.

"A match?... I might be able to spare a bit of time...." She casually says slightly rocking back and forth on her feet tails swaying excitedly behind her. Indeed she is curious to see what this is all about up close in personal.

Silvertalons head tilts as one ear cocks to the side giving Sakurako a slight confused look. "Oh? Just only a illusion... No doppelgangers, monstrous city eating entity like a super squid? Your no fun..."

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"Actually with the situation that Mary might get herself into here... you might need to summon something scary with your illusions. I'm sure you or I won't need to fight, but if necessary I want to make sure that Mary survives her last fight. Okay?"

Sakurako smiles, putting a hand on Silvertalon's shoulders. "Tonight we might need Gojira-sama."


The crowd erupts in a mass of boos, flooding the arena with a din not unlike roaring inferno of hatred.

"Son of a... lemmie handle this, Silv, I'll get every light in the arena I can control to turn pink. That's the signal for you to get down to the arena floor and collect the fire of the pyro I'm going to set off. We won't have as much pyro for the rest of the fights, but Mary'll live. That's the important thing."

Sakurako says this before jumping off of the overhead overlook of the combat zone. At the last moment she uses her flight to slow her fall for a graceful landing 10 meters away from the 7 foot tall behemoth.

"So... You're Brickhouse... I didn't know they stacked donkey excrement that high in what was it, Detroit? They make better cars than fighters, buddy."


"Seriously? There's children watching." Sakurako says, a slight british accent comes from her lips. "And if you so much as touch a hair on me or the guests... I've retained some lawyers that would just LOVE to make you have to flip burgers for the rest of your life to pay off the settlements."

Brickhouse doesn't look impressed. In fact he looks out of his right mind. "You're a dangerous man, Brickhouse... get in the combat zone and I'll show you the worth of my genius."

"Your genius isn't worth the dirt ON MY COMBAT BOOTS. You can take your sailor-suited toosh out of my way and lemmie show you the worth of an ALL AMERICAN BEATDOWN!" Brickhouse says storming into the combat zone.

For a moment, Sakurako thinks her new friend could win... but then again, this might be Mary's last day on earth. He's a loose cannon, and he's a threat that may have to be addressed promptly.

She turns towards the stage, and presses a button on a watch on her costume. Then she shouts into it.


The new music plays for Robot Rob's last match. Mary carefully walks the one thing that can protect her from Brickhouse. Tonight, Sakurako has Mary's life in her hands.

Mary strikes robot-like poses as she walks down. Kids flock to the ramp sides holding up their Robot Rob action figures and stuffed dolls. "YOU CAN GET THAT CREEP ROBOT ROB!" "YEAH ROCKET PUNCH HIM TO MARS!"

Sakurako smiles, but the smile is hollow. She's now scared out of her mind. She speaks over her comlink. "You remember the briefing I gave you before the rehearsal last night, correct?"

"Yeah, Sakurako, if things get too beat up, blow the armor with the impact bags, and act like I got shut down."

"Correct. I got an ace in the hole if Brickhouse stays froggy like this. Noticed his eyes?"

"Yeah he looks like he's on something. No matter... Let's end this quick."

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A soft chuckle comes to her lips as she slightly grins in a very coy manner. "Oh is that all?" She laughs a little giving a sly smile. "I think I can do far better then just a trickery of illusion...." She looks down towards the arena shaking her head with a slight sigh. "Such a waist some are..."

Her eyes watch Brickhouse closely for a few long moments trying to read his emotional state at the moment. It is confusing to her how rambled he seems to be in body language and emotions at the moment. "A very odd fellow... I dout he has any real flavor."

A slightly grin plays across her muzzle as she bows before Sakurako. A moment later she beings to melt right into the floor passing though into the open sky below the conrol pod. Her holo ability triggered the moment she passed though acting as a camouflage to hide her presence she lands within the battle zone right behind Sakurako.

She listened to the speeches between the two and took time to carefully observe the brute up close for those few minutes. It still seemed odd to her that he seemed so hard to read his emotional state as it seemed all over. This made her tails flicker quickly behind her in anxiety of the unknown.

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Perched high above the Arena floor, tucked in the elbow of a support beam, Jadzia observed the spectacle with great interest through her binoculars. Her eufiber was carefully molded into a well-formed business suit, the white necktie lazily flapping in the faint wind created by the pockets of air forming near the top of the arena.

She always liked a good fight - choreography and architecture shared a surprising number of traits. And the showmanship didn't hurt either - nothing like some over the top action to clear one's head.

Of course she could have found a seat somewhere, in with the crowd, but she appreciated the distance of it all. Close enough to feel the tension, but far enough away to maintain some distance of concept.

Brickhouse's statements caused the corners of her mouth to curl downwards slightly. Even for an XWF event, those were some pretty crass words, she thought. Setting her binoculars to her eyes, she scanned the floor below, watching the inevitable dramatic entrance of the brute's opponent.

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Sakurako measures up Brickhouse. Thinking through her mind what could have possibly gotten into him to cause such behavior. "Damn... I'd need a toxicology screening just to figure out what he's done to himself..." She thinks. But it's now settled. Mary's in with the brute as the bell sounds.

"OH YEAH! IT'S ON NOW BEAOOOOTCH!" He screams, throwing a series of jackhammering blows into Robot Rob. Each shot pulmmelling the suit, denting the armor, and causing every electrical circuit to be strained.

Sparking devices Sakurako put into the suit for effect spark off on cue, making it look like Robot Rob is taking a beating like no other. Inside Mary is rocked, tossed and turned, as if she was going over Niagara falls. Digital readouts show the remaining integrity of the suit's outer shell and armor, and they're falling fast. Then a red warning appears on her heads-up display.


Mary panics, she feels the air in the helmet becoming stale almost immediately, she tries to take the helmet off, but it's locked on.

"Sakurako... SAKURAKO WHAT DO I DO!"

In that moment, in a split second of thought, everything changed like a lightning bolt. And every nova in the arena could sense some of it. Although through the muffling of the suit's hardened but comprimised systems, the electromagnetic pulse unleashed felt more like a Nova undorming... but the truth was there for Mary... All of reality stood before her and she found herself wanting.

A massive electromagnetic pulse rips through the suit after one more punch from Brickhouse, knocking her back into the vitrium wall. She staggers to, the outer shell almost falling off the armor. She pulls the lanyard to activate the impact airbags and blows the outer shell off, as Brickhouse continues his maddened state of fisticuffs.

"HAH HAH! NOW I GOT A BLOW UP DOLL! COME TO DADDY!" Brickhouse shouts as he grabs Mary, coocooned in yellow, high-visibility synthetic eufiber air bladders, and slams her into the vitrium panels again. Static rages across the vitrium screens, straining from the force of the blow. The airbags on her back burst from the force of the impact, as intended, but now she's unprotected in that whole area.

"I CAN DO... THIS ALL NIGHT!" Brickhouse shouts, winded, seeming from overexertion, but to Nova's medical eye, this isn't normal.

"Sakurako... eject the airbags... I can handle this now."


"Look at all the Novas in the arena... they're standing on their feet first... they didn't expect..."

"I know."

"Let me finish this fight. I can win this."

"I'm not worried about you. I'm worried about him now he's not well."

"In this state no one can help him until he's knocked out. I have a way... do it."


Sakurako swipes a red and orange bar on her Viapad screen with a finger. The airbags dislodge from a body-fitting white synthetic eufiber suit, covered with connection ports all over. Just as this happens, Brickhouse swings again, only to encounter a bolt of lightning hitting him when his fist crosses a border seemingly invisible to the eye.

He staggers back as Mary picks up a washer from the damaged floor of the combat zone.

"There is something I learned in physics class in regards to something called the Lorentz force... namely what happens when say... this piece of metal is accelerated by a magnetic field." Mary says, glaring at Brickhouse. "I can potentially put a hole through your chest if I have to... but I want reason to prevail. Surrender..."

"Please do..." Sakurako says. "Your heart... is about to explode, Brickhouse..."

"WHAT... YOU GOT... A LOT OF SPUNK KID..." Brickhouse says to Mary. "But I WIN." He says as he makes one final, wreckless charge before something in his chest makes him lose a step. Mary sees it as an opening. "I'm sorry."

Mary flicks the washer from her fingers like her brother would tease her whizzing quarters past her ear as a kid. But behind the shot is enough magnetic force to move a train. The shot rams into Brickhouse's chest at the solar plexus and sends him flying to the opposite side of the combat zone, slamming into the vitrium walls. He slides down, unconcious. He was fortunate because Mary didn't have enough time to get a full charge.

His breathing is shallow as he lays on the arena floor. Mary's won.

She pulls back the cowl of her bodysuit revealing her brilliantly red hair. "DAMN."

Sakurako stands there stunned. "Silv... help that guy. I don't think he has much time left."

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Jadzia looked at the spectacle, delighted at the sudden turn of events as the inflated mass from Robot Rob's hull gives way to a whole new person. Like a butterfly from a coccoon, the comparison between David and Goliath was not lost on her.

"A surprise twist and physics too! This is going to be good!" Jadzia chuckled to herself, clapping her hands in excitement. Eyes wide with anticipation, she resumed her observation.

With Brickhouse down for the count, the fight seemed won, but still there was a lot of tension - Jadzia figured things were not going as planned, and anticipated a flurry of activity to come soon.

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"Donald Wallace, or Evo." Donald replied with a polite smile. "Not a big name, I'm here because I erupted in the Crush. Which is all for the better, I wonder if these big names really care a whit for the charity and giving the survivors a leg up." A sudden distant look, as he remembered friends gone in the rush of days, those he wouldn't get back.

"Anyway, I'm not doing the rough and tumble, personally. Let's just say I am going through a madman's obstacle course. I imagine you're not fighting either, are you?"

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Silvertalon watched the fight very closely taking every detail of the action in. She saw that the suit took a brutal pounding the mixed feeling of panic, fear and excitement coming from Mary whom was being jostled roughly within. But at the same time she noticed Brickhouse was loosing control at a rapid rate of himself. His actions were not held back the feeling or intent to kill thickly protruded from him. A sense of urgency even deeper down seemed to be driving a murderous intent.

Her eyes narrowed watching him pause for a moments. When the suits fail safe engaged he bellowing out he could go all day. But clearly he was winded and weakened as if everything he had was poured into the last few attacks.

"He has an intent to kill.... But... something is horribly wrong... His spirits power is diminishing at a rapid rate. He will die if this keeps up Sakurako." she whispered.

She could feel his quantum being released at an uncontrollable rate. All that power just dispersing so suddenly and quickly it was alarming. Those being this close would know it but the thankfully the audience probably wouldn't notice.

But suddenly her holo rippled with a flicker just momentarily giving an outline of her presence standing near Sakurako. The ripple was so brief it would of most likely have gone unnoticed. What caused the disruption was coming from with in the suit. A powerful sense of energy, wounder, curiosity and then profound knowing. She felt this before herself and knew mary has changed in those few moments. She watched the scenes play out that lead to marys victory.

The brute laid across the floor his breathing slowly came and seemed to be diminishing at a steady rate. It was odd that a creature built as tough as him would so easily fall. She quickly went over to him, when she draw close enough she created an illusion of a unearthly tear ripping into the fabric of reality near the fallen brute. While she walked though- bones, flesh and clothing rapidly appeared making it look like spirit or ghost was taking form right before everyone's eyes.

Silvertalon stood momentarily looking down at the brute noticing the subtle twitches of pain. She was dressed in a traditional priestess kimono nothing to fancy but clearly different. Her four tails swayed behind her slowly her ears flickered at the loud noises about. She turned towards Sakurako whom was coming quickly to her side. "I will see what I can do, but what you ask for from a kitsune does have a price.... In which you will agree to later Sakurko-san." A devilish grin plays across her muzzle.

She knelt down at Brickhouses side her four tails fanned out as kitsun-bi materialized and swirled around each of her tails. Suddenly the orbs burst into flames and flew a few feet from her and landed each taking a direction. (North South East West) The flaming orbs soon took shape of flaming foxes watching guard over the unconscious body. Her hands emerged from the kimono's sleeves and were placed on his chest.

She took a deep breath as her hands begun to glow her focus now completely upon the fallen man. Soft words were spoken as she worked a chant or ancient pray was being recited. The Northern flaming fox as if on cue rose and lept right at Brickhouses unconscious body. It looked like it went right into his body as his body convulsed slightly. Her head tilted slightly to the side a odd look crossed her features as her eyes opened.

"What the...."

She can sense fully the damage to his body his lungs, heart, veins and nervous system were rapidly deteriorating. The damage was so extensive it was puzzling how something like this could have happened so fast. The southern flaming fox soon rose and lept towards Brickhouse. this time a few twitches was the response as his pain was eased just a little.

She looked towards the eastern and western guardians that remained knowing her time with this power was drawing quickly to a close. "The east and west never met eye to eye... So many differences, faiths and rituals... But this the gift I can give you even though you do not believe in my goddess." She softly said as the two flaming foxes rose and both lept clashing into each other and then suddenly were thrust down forward into his body. The body convulsed strongly as she poured a good amount of her healing power into him.

Her world spun for a few short moments as her own breath came heavily in a pant. She felt so much weaker for the next few moments. She heard foot steps coming quickly as the EMT's approached she rose and walked over to the lead EMT and told him something. He nodded and ran off back down the ramp towards the locker rooms.

The other EMT's quickly went to work getting the massive hulk of a body into a stretcher and to the ambulance. Sakurako came over to her and asked how he was.

"I'd advise you turn the mic off what I say shouldn't be over heard."

"His spirit was poisoned by a demon. It was devouring him from the inside as his lungs, heart, veins and nervous system were all corrupted. I.. Never seen anything like this before...." She pauses a little.

"The lead EMT went to his locker room to bag everything he has yet to have eaten and or used from the trash for the police. I advised him to wear protection as what he may touch may be bad for his health. As well to advise those that shift though the evidence to do the same as well."

"I am sorry but my time is much shorter in this realm I have exhausted much of my power here...." Her body beings to fade away slowly as if her existence was being erased right before everyone's eyes. Her last words lingering into empty space.

Click to reveal..
She used her power of density control to make herself fade from view then dipped below ground and passed though the earth a good distance away and came back up. Making sure there was no one following her or any type of surveillance of any sort. She rematerialized in a dark closet room dormed down and switched her event ID tags. She may have come in as her nova counter part but she was prepared to leave as her human counter part. Thus keeping her identity safe.
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"Thank you, SilverTalon... I'm sure what I have to pay will be just for your efforts." Sakurako says. She then turns to Mary. "Mary... you alright?"

"Yeah just shook up."

Sakurako walks over to Mary and lets her lean on her. "You were brilliant back there." Sakurako says, her microphone still off.

"How's Brick..."

"I'll talk to you about it back stage... there's gonna be a lot of CSIs running around here in a little bit."

"Did I..."

"No... something else did. Poor guy." Sakurako says looking back to Brickhouse. "Come on, let's get you back stage."

Sakurako helps Mary back up the ramp. The fans are cheering for Mary, but most are looking in concern to the fallen Brickhouse. Sakurako turns on her headset and mic, and patches in through the control room.

"Control Room, put me on the PA system."

"Uh... right."

Sakurako pauses at the top of the stage. "Ladies and Gentlemen, Brickhouse is being looked after by the EMTs, and is getting the best care in town! Give him a round of applause!"

The fans quickly switch their mood for the downed superstar and cheer for him as he's wheeled out of the combat zone. Sakurako and Mary wait for him to get backstage before leaving themselves.

As the stretcher goes by, Brickhouse manages to say this. "Hey, kid... sorry... I... think my tastes finally... wrote some checks my butt can't cash." He says with a longing expression as if he wished he had more time. "Just... don't look on me bad when... you realize what I mean when I... said that just now, okay. Don't make my mistakes."

He winces. His hourglsss is running out, but not for right now.

Mary just nods as he's wheeled away.

"Sakurako... I wanna see my folks. I told them a couple weeks ago I was doing this and I got some back stage passes for them."

Sakurako turns off her mic. "Alright. Lemmie get you there first."

As Sakurako walks backstage, she sees a woman stumble out of a broom closet. "What in the?" Sakurako says as she stumbles out. "You alright, ma'am?"

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The young woman in her twenties blinks a few times grumbling to herself a bit. "Not funny! Not funny at all!" She looks angry and then notices the two novas and flushes deeply in embarrassment.

"Ummm... yeah... I opened to door thinking it was a restroom not paying attention. Then some big.. Burly hulk of a smelly man pushed me into the room as he went by with a bit of deep laugh. Then the door got jammed for a while not having any powers like the some of the nova's here I had a hard time getting out..."

"By the way... Did Robot Robs match start yet?" Clearly she was locked in the closet the whole match and was unaware of what took place!

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"Umm... it's over, Ma'am..." Sakurako says, seeing the VIP pass. "I wager you'll get the replay later... it's gonna be all over the news I bet shortly." Sakurako says, noticing the door was jammed.

"I wager Brickhouse got you stuck in there on his little rampage."

Sakurako sighs. "Mary, can you get to your folks on your own? Just gonna talk to this girl here... PR and all that, before I go to see my brother and change my outfit."

"Okay... and Thanks, Sakurako." Mary says with a smile, walking off into the labyrinthine backstage.

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