The swing that Holik performed connected spectacularly with Marielle's head, knocking her clean off her feet... and straight into Sammi. Dizzy and disoriented, she couldn't tell what was going on until she felt Sammi move underneath her. Marielle could feel something - blood, probably - on the side of her head where Holik had hit her. She closed her eyes tightly and reopened them to try to regain her bearings. Sammi's voice helped.
"Blue, not for nothing, and I know you don't like fighting, but do you think you could try and shut that bastard down instead of crashing into me? I'd appreciate it while I try to cut Shooter up over here."
Marielle groaned a little, but got back up to her hands and knees, and then her feet. She swayed, though, holding out one hand to steady herself against a nearby wall. The other hand went to her forehead. She was still quite dizzy, but could see a slightly blurred Holik standing ready to fight. Crap. She was in no fit state to fight. But she had to. Otherwise they would likely end up captured by the Marines... or worse, dead.
As Marielle slowly got up, Holik just stood there laughing at her. "Haha, not so tough are you now, huh girlie? Now you know this is only ending one of two ways: you getting taken down to the base, or you getting your body tossed into the ocean for the fishmen. Now if you're not going to bother making this entertaining for me, I might as well end it now."
Sammi still wasn't getting up, she opened her eyes, but all she could see were the cobblestones below her. Her opponent hadn't bothered to come over to check on her. The shooter was probably just as big a blowhard as Holik was. Which gave her another opportunity to try and snake one of her ropes into position. As the cord crawled along the street towards the shooter, Sammi knew she was making a bit of a gamble here. Just gotta hope she can't see it and is too stupid to finish me when she has the chance.
As the Marine drew nearer to him, Hal realized he was running out of options and escape routes. Dammit, I'm only good at two things really; bluffing and running. So which should I do? If he's a Marine then he definitely knows about my bounty but can I really scare him off? Can I run from him though? Argh... Maybe I can try to intimidate him into leaving me alone and then run if that doesn't work out. Fuck, this is a bad situation I'm in but I guess it's my best bet...
Hal took a deep breath before putting on his best attempt at the facade of a cold hearted ruthless pirate before turning to face his pursuer. He did his best to keep his expression blank (the shades really helped with that part) and his voice even as he spoke. "I gotta admit, you have a lot of guts to come after me. Don't worry, I'll reward you by making your end quick and painless." He said, putting a hand on his sword and trying to intimidate the Marine by sounding confident in his abilities. "So... Any last words?"
Marielle shook her head, both to try to clear the dizziness and to contradict Holik. She held up a hand, wagging a finger from side to side. "Heh... me, I prefer option three. I knock you out and we get going. You don't have to bother yourself with all the work of holding me or - Hyah!" She cut herself off to deliver a surprise attack, launching another shockwave at the Marine from her raised hand. She followed it up with a blast from her mouth, feeling a slight sensation of heat on her tongue as the shockwave surged forward.
Sammi wanted her to keep Holik off her back, so that was what Marielle was going to do. If she had to fight, she wanted it to be fair: two on two, not two on one due to her not wanting to get involved. So she stood up and did her part, metaphorically speaking. Otherwise the pair of pirates would be overpowered.
As she ran through the alleys, Cecelia tripped over something sharp. She tried not cry out, groping blindly till she felt a metal blade. What's this doing here? Someone could get hurt... She took it out into the light. Huh? Isn't this Yekuzu's? Does he not want it anymore? This is a weird place to put it... maybe he lost it? He wasn't anywhere around the alley. The streets were pretty empty. She decided to try and call his Den Den Mushi again.
Annabelle managed to jump back onto her feet, taking a few shots at the girls to try and separate them. "You're seriously having a hard time with some new girl, Holik? Age must be catching up faster than you thought..." she sprung towards Sammi, trying to slice her.
Gezora smirked. "You have no idea who you're messing with, old man. I'm the strongest man on Porte Carlo. But I'm a sporting type... I can give you a couple seconds to try and run." Gezora turned his back, taking a couple steps. He was hoping Hal would either be stupid enough to try and attack, or even better yet, try and run. He was unaware of Hal's skills, thinking he'd just use Shave and cut him down in an instant, being able to catch up no matter how far he ran. He had pulled this off dozens of times, and it had become a great source of entertainment for him. "Go on. I'll be extra nice and give you 20 seconds..."
Yezeku continued just sitting back and relaxing. He heard his Den Den Mushi go off, bumping against Aleana again, this time trying to pick it up so whoever was listening in could listen in to Aleana. This girl here seemed like a big enough chatterbox that she wouldn't even hear Cecilia's more quiet attempts to talk up.
Hippocrates managed to see the hit coming in time to roll with the punch, but not soon enough to be able to dodge. He rubbed his jaw, a small mark on his face. For a couple seconds, he seemed frustrated, but then went back to his more calm expression. "Ah, the arrogance of the petty youthful rebellion... you have a lot to learn about how the world actually works..."
He took a look around, seeing they were very close to the docks. He stepped ahead of him, turning around once he was between the last few houses in the street, the piers and ships now in view behind him. "And I suppose I'll have to be the one to teach it to you." he said, holding up his left arm, starting to unbutton his sleeves, revealing some small razors in his cufflinks.
"I've had to deal with upstart punks like yourself on many occasions. I don't know who I angered, but HQ tends to send the more... uncooperative recruits like Gulligan or Gezora my way. And all they've ever needed..." his arms were now fully exposed "...was someone to put them in their place!" as he said this, he placed his wrists near his elbows so the blades touched his skin, slicing a large gash across his forearms. Blood began running down his arms, seeming to pool around his palms.
If the shot from the girl's hand before were like a bullet, the mouth shot was a shotgun blast. Holik was sent flying backwards from Marielle's attack, his trident unable to deflect the waves. He crashed back down onto the cobblestones, sliding back. In his prime he might have been able to bounce back up after something like that, but time had taken it's toll on him, and it was tough to recover. The snide remarks from his fellow Marine didn't help matters either. He had to prop the trident onto the ground to try and hoist himself up, but he wasn't having any luck.
Annabelle was about to get her comeupance though. As the shots fired followed the moving target Marielle, she got way too close to Sammi for her own good. As the Viking continued lying prone on the street, the rope suddenly had less work to do to get into position around Annabelle's leg.
"Gotcha," Sammi said quietly to herself, as she yanked the rope into place.
The cord constricted around Annabelle's leg and yanked the Marine down to the same level as her squad mate, and Sammi was quick to follow through this time. She leapt over to where her opponent fell and brought the butt end of her axe up and into Annabelle's face, for a solid hit. That was so satisfying. She spun the axe around ready to deliver a strike with the sharp end to finish the battle.
Yezeku's struggling was ignored as Alaena made her way across the deck of Peter's ship and down to where she figured he'd be. Alaena noticed that her captive seemed to be trying to mess with the Den Den Mushi she had taken from him and placed on her own wrist, almost tripping on some of the wires on the floor as she took it off and put it on her other wrist where Yezeku couldn't try to mess with it.
Once that was dealt with Alaena knocked on Peter's door a few times, hoping that he was inside preparing. She had seen Fletch outside waiting for her, which meant that the message had been delivered.
"It's Alaena. Open the door," she called after she was done knocking, not wanting Peter to think it was an enemy trying to get in.
Marielle had Holik on the run now. Figuratively speaking, of course. Her shockwaves looked like they had done a good amount of damage, since the Marine was struggling to get up. Once he was back on his feet, she would knock him down again... There were a few shots in the background. The other Marine had her pistols out, presumably aiming at Sammi.
The next thing Marielle felt was something impacting her back... then considerable pain. It was a kind of burning sensation. Marielle froze. All the breath left her. She was shocked by the idea. Had... had she just been shot? She reached around with one hand to feel where it was hurting. There was a tear in the fabric of her jacket, and her shirt below that. Something wet was on her fingers. She brought her hand back around... the tips of her fingers were a brilliant red, contrasting the blue of her nails.
Marielle dropped to her knees with a faint gasp, losing track of the others. Her attention were locked onto the blood on her skin... and then she felt the pain in her back get worse. Much worse. So she did the one thing that came naturally. She let out a short, high-pitched scream of pain, shock and now fear for her life. What if the Marine had shot to kill?
Being called an old man pissed Hal off, he wasn't that old after all, but not as much as this punk ass Marine just brushing him off like that. Yeah, he wasn't the greatest fighter but his guy really thought he could turn around, give Hal the first blow, and still get away with it? Hal was planning on either running or scaring the guy off, but this was practically a free win and Hal couldn't pass up the opportunity to take this guy down and get to the ship as fast as possible. Alaena was still back at the Marine base after all.
"Don't say I didn't warn ya pal..." Hal muttered as he crouched down and put a hand on his sword. He paused to inhale deeply before Shaving directly behind the Marine and unsheathing his sword, swinging at the Marine's exposed back.
Gezora was still chuckling when Hal had vanished "What in the-...?!" he managed to get his hooks up to block the blade from hitting anything important, but there he was still cut in his side. Blood splattered onto the ground behind him after the slice, but it was more from the sword's movement than the severity of the wound. "SONOFABITCH!" he shouted, haphazardly swinging one hook upward, trying to catch Hal while his sword was clashing with his hooks.
It wasn't able to hit, but it got some distance between the two. "How... how the hell are you so fast?" the fact he was barely able to keep up irritated Gezora. But he thought it would make taking this guy down even more satisfying. He rushed at Hal, swinging his hook with a little more precision. It was a fluke. He isn't faster than me. And he can't keep up...
Anabelle was disoriented by the initial blow, but quickly regained her senses as Sammi tried to finish the fight, raising both her pistols up, using the barrels to catch the handle of the axe, the blade a couple inches from her face. "Holik! Get off your ass and get her off!" She started trying to get the rope off her leg, but wasn't going to risk upsetting her position.
Right before Aleana had gotten the Den Den Mushi on her wrist, Yezeku managed to get the button, but it was muted. Others could hear his end, nobody on this end could hear any of the other Marines.
Peter opened the door, surprised to see Aleana back. "Oi, how'd it go?" After taking a moment to explain how it had gone, Aleana left to patch up and start resupplying her own arrows. "So... you're a Marine... but she told me you aren't quite with the other guys... what's the deal?" He undid Yezeku's gag. There was a moment of silence. "And you ain't talking..."
He cut himself? What kind of power is that? Looks like my Tempest Kick won't be much use. Yoje morphed into his hybrid form, bouncing lightly on his feet. Then he Shaved slightly above Hippocrates and aimed a kick at his forehead.
As Annabelle was clearly struggling against Sammi's aggressive tactics, the blonde laughed derisively. She was just soaking this all in, the cocksure attitude was completely erased.
"What's wrong, hun? Can't handle this yourself? Gotta cry out for your washed-up pirate husk of a teammate?" Sammi taunted as she tried to move in for the kill. However, it was the cry of the other person in the fight that had gotten her attention.
Marielle's scream was short but effective. "Blue!" It appeared that the younger girl was the one who caught the hail of bullets Sammi thought had been intended for her. The blood dripping out of her back was proof of that. Fucking bitch doesn't even think I'm worth shooting at? Oh, she's going to pay...
"You shot the wrong girl, bitch," Sammi informed her opponent, as she brought her free hand up to grab the Marine's wrists. "Now I gotta draw this out instead of just slitting your throat." Ropes started emerging her fingers and started wrapping around Annabelle's arms. She was so worked up from the shooting of Marielle that she was set to do anything else, to make the tying process go quicker. Sammi used her legs to slam Annabelle's legs shut and focused on her feet. Slowly, more ropes began to appear from each one of her toes, coiling around Annabelle's ankles as they grew tighter and constricted around her legs. As Sammi focused less on her axe and more on the process of binding the Marine into a neat little package. Just hang on Blue. I take of her and we'll get you healed up.
Holik finally found the strength to stand up, with a liberal dose of aide from his trident. He was still reeling from the blasts, but he was coherent enough to see the current situation.
The Cabin Hand had managed to pin Annabelle down and was doing...something to her. Save that for the naughty picture shows ladies. Damn kids. What he also saw was the cause of his recent injuries now kneeling on the ground, open for a nice trident to the chest cavity.
"Heh, payback time you little rat!" Holik bellowed as he lumbered towards the injured Marielle, trident poised for a finishing blow.
Marielle almost paid no attention to Sammi calling to her. Blue? Blue wasn't important. Blue could mean a lot of things. West Blue, East Blue, blue jacket, blue water... the chief thing on her mind was red. She felt like she had been set on fire now. Her back was screaming at her. And so was Holik.
"Heh, payback time you little rat!"
The younger pirate fell onto her side, curling up and earning another spike of pain in her back with the movement. She groaned and shuddered when she felt something shift in a bad way. As the Marine continued his charge, she wondered whether or not to let him hit her. Maybe he would stop the pain.
But that would mean the end of her life. And Marielle didn't want to take that option. So she tried to defend herself from the impending trident attack. She raised one arm and tried to form the usual hand shape to release her shockwaves again, but her hand shook too much. Her fingers wouldn't cooperate. Her arm fell back down to the ground.
Holik was in range to strike now. So Marielle opened her mouth and hoped to high heaven that she fired a wave at him.
Voices started coming from the Den Den Mushi. They were unfamiliar... The first voice she heard identified itself as "Aleana", it sounded like. Whatever happened, Yezuku was in some sort of trouble. Was it the pirates? She tried to remember the wanted posters, but was coming up empty at the moment. Either way, she had to try and find out where they were, or else he could be in a lot of trouble. A lot more trouble. Than he was already in.
She ran towards the section of the dock where the flying thing seemed to be headed, being careful to stay in the shadows. If they were the pirates they were looking for, and they were strong enough to capture Yezuku, she couldn't afford to take chances. Still, there were several ships in the area. She could start knocking on doors, but that would mean waking up several other people who didn't have anything to do with what she was looking for. Also, it was a stupid idea. She strained her eyes and ears as she tried to pick up any clue about her target.
Anabelle collapsed to the ground, completely unable to move her arms and legs. She tried to think of a way to counterattack, but noticed that Sammi seemed more preoccupied with Holik. "Hey! Don't you ignore me you bitch!!" She shouted, thrashing about, trying to kick Sammi.
After Peter had turned his back on the Marine, Yezeku spoke. "So what exactly is your relation to Marsh?" Peter seemed annoyed that Yezeku had waited for the moment he wasn't paying attention to him to open his mouth. It didn't take an expert to know it was just to annoy him. "It's kinda obvious that I'm the captain here..." Peter said, still not paying attention. "Yeeeeah... and you are...?" Yezeku said, squirming around.
Peter stopped, then turned around. "You seriously don't know my name, when the whole unit was probably waiting for us?" Peter looked agitated, throwing Yezeku into a chair. "That's Hippocrates' job. I wanted to pick off Miss Marsh for messing with me in Lasklee. Just passing through on my way back to HQ, really." "Ain't that cute. Aynway, name's Peter Tew. They call me the Gadget Fiend. Swear to god, I need to find who came up with that name and smack him..." he said, turning around and reaching into a toolbox on the floor, searching for something.
"Tew? Huh. Small world." Yezeku tried to get himself comfortable.
Hippocrates was once again caught off-guard, taking the kick to the face. He managed to roll with the hit, planting his feet after a stumbling a couple steps, then swung his left arm, curling his fingers towards Yoje. The blood pooled at his palm seemed to spring out, forming a sickle, the edges of it turning a darker shade of red and seemed to briefly solidify. "Crimson Scythe!" He swung upwards towards Yoje's torso.
As the ropes continued to bind the Marine, Sammi could feel her begin to thrash around. "Pipe down!" she ordered as she smacked her elbow into Annabelle's side in an attempt to calm her. "I'm almost done!" She looked up and saw Holik making his charge towards Marielle and silently cursed herself. Fuck! Too late! She thought she was going to have more blood spilled on the cobblestone street. She was right.
But it wasn't a female's blood. The wave that Marielle produced caught Holik flush in the face, with the intensity of one hundred Lillestad summer suns. Holik was flattened, dropping his weapon as he crashed to the ground. He paid no attention to the trident however, as both hands went up to clutch at his still smoldering face.
"Aaaagh!" he cried out. "Aaaaaa! I can't fucking see! It hurts so much! God fucking damn it my face!"
Seeing her former crew mate in such pain, Sammi laughed. "Not like that's going to cost you your good looks, dumbass." The movement below her had stopped as Annabelle was now wrapped up like a birthday present from a dick uncle with multiple layers. "There, now stay put." She got up off her opponent. "If Blue's not hurt, I might just leave. If she's hurt bad, I'm replacing her blood with yours." She punctuated this threat with a solid kick to the gut before going over to the other injured woman. "Blue? Blue, talk to me. You all right?"
Marielle gave another pained groan and looked up at Sammi from her spot on the ground. "Aaahh... no. I don't feel so good... Oh, my back!" She was on the verge of tears now. And was it her imagination, or were her hands shaking more and more? Even when she tried to reach up to her friend for help?
"It hurts..." She wasn't sure if she could get up. Or keep fighting. Her last attack had been a lucky one. She hadn't known if she could do it. Judging by Sammi paying attention to her, the fight was over. So maybe they could get out of here before people investigated...
But her back hurt so much... Marielle wanted to get up, to return to the ship under her own power. She could feel blood oozing out of the wound and onto her clothing.
'Blade sharpened. Arrows restocked. Need to make more bullets for my revolver,' Alaena thought methodically, looking down at her three weapons that were on the table before her. Once she had dropped off Yezeku, she had gone into her room briefly to gather supplies before moving up to the medical room. After patching herself up, she had started to work on maintaining her weapons.
'Because this night is certainly not over yet.' There were still marines and the other crew members running about through the city; sometimes she even heard parts of the fights happening from inside the ship. 'I'll be back out there soon enough unless I'm needed here,' she told herself, placing all of her weapons back to their respective holder one at a time. Her primary job while riding with this crew was to provide medical care for the crew members.
"I might be needed more here," she muttered, leaning back into her chair and closing her eyes; the thoughts of the marines nearby keeping her from falling asleep.
"Fuck," Sammi cursed as she looked around the alleyway. Holik was still writhing in pain and the gun-toting bitch was all tied up at the moment. "Give me one sec to clean this up and we'll get back to the ship. Get ya fixed up."
Holik was already off to the side, so he was free to continue burning in agony. Gun-bitch can use a little more punishment though. She looked up, the moonlight not illuminating much, but there was a rafter on a house near where her package laid. Guess that'll work.
Sammi flung her left arm towards the rafter and a length of rope shot up and over the beam. She had it wrap around a couple of times before descending down to the ground where Annabelle was. The rope joined it's brothers, constricting around her legs and intertwining with the other ropes before tying itself off. Once it was secure, Sammi had the Marine raised up, feet first as she dangled from the rafter. She stopped as her upside-down face came to Sammi's eye level.
"Now you're going to stay here and hang out while we go get some medical attention and get out of here. Also, while you're lucky Blue can still move, you're not so lucky that she's looking more red now. So," she violently jabbed her right hand, still clutching her axe, forward. The sudden pop to Annabelle's face busted her nose, and a second one caught her teeth. A couple of them fell onto the ground below. "Now you get to be as ugly as Holik was. If you force me to see my own handiwork again, I'll be taking your heart out instead of your teeth. Now go and tell that to your little bitch bosses. Maybe I'll get a proper bounty this time."
Satisfied with her parting job, Sammi rushed back over to where Marielle was and slowly helped her to her feet. She kept one arm pressed against Marielle's back while she draped her arm over hers. "Come on Blue, we're getting out of here. You just gotta hang on for a little bit...I think. Where the fuck is the ship again?"
Expecting a punch, Yoje was caught off guard by Hippocrates attack, and only barely managed to sidestep out of the way in human form. "Blood control?" Yoje faked a punch to Hippocrates head, then ducked and spun, attempting to sweep out his legs.
Another series of pained groans came from Marielle as she was helped to her feet. "Ohh... Oh, hell, that hurts," she whined as Sammi applied pressure to her back. It was probably to stem the flow, but it stung when she did so.
"Come on Blue, we're getting out of here. You just gotta hang on for a little bit...I think. Where the fuck is the ship again?"
"It's... I think it's that way," she mumbled, trying to point with her free hand. The trouble was, it was shaking so much that it just flopped back down to her side. Sammi carefully helped her along, giving words of encouragement as she did so, and the two eventually found their way back to the markets. From there it was a couple more turns until they found the docks: by now, Marielle was sweating heavily, her face pale from the exertion of just standing and walking.
"Shouldn't... be much farther..." Marielle eked out. She felt so weak now... she couldn't see straight. Her vision began to blur. She rested her head on Sammi's shoulder... and then the world went black.
"Oh, fuck!" Sammi swore as Marielle went weak at the knees and half-collapsed, held up only by the older pirate. She promptly hoisted the passed-out redhead into her arms, keeping pressure on the wound, and began to leg it towards the ship. She needed to get Blue to the doc.
God, I hope I wasn't this damn weak when I was shot...
It was lucky Marielle was was able to guide them to the proper docks before she passed out. Sammi was able to take it from there as Peter's custom job on the Governor's old ship made it stand out rather easily compared to the others. The plank was down already, a bit surprising considering the seemingly heavy Marine presence, but now as not the time to be questioning leadership methods.
Sammi rushed aboard as quickly as she could but she may have overestimated her strength in taking Marielle as she did. The combined effects of having to deal with the bitch who did this and her former comrade had sapped a lot of her energy. She managed to get onto the deck and rushed to the back of the ship. With no arms free, she resorted to kicking the door as best she could.
"Captain! Open up! Kind of important out here! If the doc is in, I'm pretty sure she's necessary for this one!"
You're going to be OK Marielle. Hang on. You're not going down because of me.
Just as she was starting to loose hope, there was the sound of someone rushing towards the ship. Cecilia ducked into one of the shadows, her gun ready. Two women came out, going up the plank to one of the ships. One of them looked hurt. Is that them? There's no one else out here... w-what if it's an innocent citizen who got hurt in the crossfire? That's when her Den Den Mushi started to pick up something again.
"Captain! O...p! ... important ... If the doc is in... she... y for thi... one!"
They were with whoever took Yezuku! She had to get some help! Cecilia switched lines, trying to get a hold of any of the other Marines.