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> IFC, Incredible Fighting Contest
post Oct 22 2016, 12:36 PM
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Spy Chic III
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From: Bay Area, CA USA
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Favorite Pairing: Alex & Martin Mystery
Favorite Anime: Persona 4
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Favorite Comic: Generation X (early issues)
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Favorite Book: Animator's Survival Kit
Favorite Musician(s): Michiru Yamane (Skullgirls)
Favorite Album: Castle Crashers OST
Favorite Game: Jewelion (did the art/animation)

Posted this on FFNet yesterday (on my birthday). It was my toughest one to write. I kept rethinking what everyone should do, and how long to make this story.
I've noticed views on the other fics, so thanks to any that read them. If you haven't yet, I suggest reading them in order before reading this (so it makes sense). Enjoy!

WOOHP CF- Rec Area- Two months ago

"The leading lady has stage fright?" Milton scoffed when he had met Stacy after Sam's first visit. Stacy shared the details of the visit; Sam's reasoning and her own change of heart about escape.

She realized that even if she'd programmed a robot to break Milton and herself out of their cells without being seen, they'd have to somehow escape WOOHP, and avoid being recaptured. As far as she'd heard, everyone who's ever managed to break out always ended up going back in. Not going that route had saved her from that stress, she told him.

She didn't want to sink deeper into a cycle of crime that would define her for the rest of her life. She wanted to put that part of her life in the past, she expressed in earnest.

Milton slowly nodded, looking at her with empathy. "When you put it like that, I'd feel wrong denying you that wish. You've inspired me to rewrite my own script. Thank you, Stacy," he said.

Residential Hotel- Glendale, CA

Wink was seated at his desk, engaged in conversation on his cell phone. "So you've heard of my work. I'm flattered," he said.

"No, OK... I'll try to focus. I can give you a standard device that can control a few brains, but a deluxe version for crowds... and infusing info from the brain... I'll need some time," he said.

"Please bring payment to this location, and you'll receive your first item," Wink stated in his mock-announcer voice, and pressed a button on his phone to send info to the other caller. "Thank you. Bye!" he declared, ending the call.

He'd been short on cash since being released from WOOHP, but normal work was out of the question, and he didn't have the drive to hatch his own schemes any longer. So he was selling his technology to those that could use it. Margie wanted no part of anything illegal since her release, and stayed away when he was doing business. He sighed, longing for the days of hosting a game show.

WOOHP Gadget Lab- Two days ago

Stacy, wearing a lab coat over her Containment Facility garb, sits in a chair by Dean's desk, as he checks over her work. "This is amazing. To think we never had a brain specialist working on gadgets til now. I mean, there are a few others qualified in the CF, but no one willing to help or that we could trust," Dean said to Stacy.

"So you trust me?" Stacy inquired after a brief hesitation.

"Your window washing and janitorial robots have been a success," Dean gestured and smiled at the currently inactive cleaning machines. They'd been a good testing ground for whether Stacy could be trusted not to use them or this important new gadget to escape.

"Sam trusts you, and you've told me how much you respect her," he added.

Stacy nodded. She'd been happy to make those robots and share her success with Sam when she visited her at the CF a while back.

"Sam's fortunate to have a guy like you," Stacy said.

"Thanks Stacy, I hope you get to find that special someone too," Dean replied. "Alright, time to test this thing," he said.

Mali U Penthouse Dorm- Present

The girls had finally returned from their individual busy schedules around the university, and were in their respective rooms, when they all received a a call on their X-Powder simultaneously.

"Hello girls, can you kindly convene in the living room for a WOOHPing? You haven't been together yet today," Jerry inquired.

The girls voiced agreement, moved to the designated spot, and were WOOHPed to Jerry's office.

"As you know, there's been a shortage in missions. The only one you've had in quite a while wasn't even through this branch, but Sydney," Jerry began. "However, a Montreal woman recently went missing after her match at the IFC. Incredible Fighting Contest," he elucidated.

"And a familiar face from your past has finally reemerged in Dublin, where a second fighter went missing. The one villain who eluded capture in all the years of your service," Jerry said and gestured to the shaky WOOHP Pad footage an agent had managed to get of an athletic-looking woman with black hair. "No fault of yours, naturally, since you reported she vanished into thin air," he finished.

"Vanished...," started Clover, thinking back over countless missions.

"Shorter hair, but that face...Ariel!" Sam said in recognition.

"Wow, she said she'd return again with another scheme, but it's been so long. She sure is patient!" Alex remarked with surprise.

"Yes," Jerry concurred. "Her prior crime of mind controlling scores of women in an attempt to eradicate men has not been forgotten. It affected me quite personally, ending my relationship with former assistant Dinah," he said, practically drooping in sadness. The girls nodded in sympathy.

"Gadgets. The M-Ray Contact Lenses and Earring Sound Amplifiers are in your Jet Pack Backpacks," Jerry said, handing them out. "And due to the nature of her being able to vanish, we've developed the Power-down Handbag to counteract such measures. A containment shield that projects out like so," Jerry explained as he pulled a small white handbag out of a desk drawer. He pressed a button on the underside of the handle to cause a person-sized translucent energy field to appear before him, then switched it off and handed it to Clover.

"You ladies have endured mind control many times over the years. Ariel used it on specially chosen women last time, such as Sam," Jerry noted. "Finally we've developed a gadget to block such an attack; the Mind Protecting Hairpin," Jerry proclaimed and handed them out to the girls. "And by we, I include Stacy from our Containment Facility. Her experience with technology and the brain were something we desperately needed to achieve this. Rest assured, she was closely monitored by Dean and his team, and they were tested thoroughly," he said.

Alex and Sam, hairpins already in their hair, blinked in surprise. Clover frowned, and pulled hers back out of her hair. "And you trust her? What if these things fry our brains or put us under her control?" she fumed. "If anything happens to you girls, I'm yanking those pins out," Clover said firmly, gesturing to her friends. "And if they are OK... Um, I guess I'll just need to get mine in my hair quick if I need to," she finished, flustered.

Sam put a hand on Clover's shoulder and looked at her in sympathy. "You're right, Clover. I understand it's a good idea to be cautious. I really hope it works out OK. We could've used these years ago," she said.

"An IFC event is scheduled tonight here in L.A. If Ariel shows up and you manage to apprehend her, we've developed a WOOHP cell to neutralize her power," declared Jerry. "Your disguises: Clover, ticket collector. Sam, medical assistant. Alex, a last-minute replacement competitor by the name of Marta Perez," he said. Their X-Powders instantly put them into the appropriate garb for their jobs. Alex's hair was colored a reddish-brown and pinned back in a bun.

"Whoa! Wait a sec! I'm competing?" Alex exclaimed, glancing at her fighting outfit. A pair of protective gloves were in a handbag.

"I'm used to fighting, sometimes even in martial arts competitions. But this is a steel cage, televised! With knockouts and submission, right?" she fretted nervously.

"Simply try your best, Alex," Jerry replied sympathetically. "Each of you has a unique area you can cover in your positions. Now, off you go ladies!" he called out and gestured to the nearby black sedan.

Alex sighed, while Sam and Clover smiled encouragingly at her. They dashed for the car, Clover took the driver's seat, and they were lowered to the garage on a hydraulic floor. They sped off out of the garage into the early evening traffic, Clover following the GPS to their destination.

Super Center- Los Angeles

The girls used a staff parking spot near the large auditorium, entered the arena, and agreed to call each other if anyone spotted anyone or anything out of the ordinary. Clover gathered with the other ticket takers in the foyer, while Sam and Alex went backstage.

A few early arrivals handed over their tickets to be given admittance. Clover looked at every person who entered, until she noticed a man that looked vaguely familiar. She realized with surprise who the middle-aged man was, and told a fellow ticket taker she was going to take a quick call before the crowds started coming. She hit the speed dial button on her X-Powder once out of everyone's earshot.

"What's up, Clover?" Sam replied, who had a free moment, and moved a ways off from the other medical assistants backstage.

"I just spotted someone, but it's not Ariel. It's Wink... Whatever. The game show guy," Clover whispered quickly.

"Weatherdale. Of all the people. What's he doing here?" Sam mused. "Thanks Clover. I'll keep an eye out for him," she said.

"OK, call if you need me. I'll stay up front here in case Ariel shows up," Clover said, ending the call to return to her ticket taking and lookout.

Prior to the call, Sam was learning about treating injuries from the experienced sports medicine assistants, which she found to be quite practical for her spy missions. After talking with Clover, though, she quickly volunteered to run an errand out of the locker room. She eventually spotted Wink from a distance, and thanks to the M-Rays' ability to allow her to see through objects, she could tail him from a distance by seeing through the walls of the hallway. He stopped moving when he reached an area near a rear emergency exit, secluded from most of the staff. Sam stayed hidden, and tapped her Earring Sound Amplifiers, which enabled her to hear sound in a specific radius.

"I know you hate dealing with men," Wink said over his phone. "You're missing out, in my opinion. But as long as you bring my payment, I'll give you my upgraded gift and be out of your hair," he said.

His call ended, Sam tapped an earring to deactivate it, then backtracked a bit to avoid being spotted.

Super Center- Locker Room

Alex was stretching and warming up while thinking over the IFC's fight rules and tactics she'd looked up of her X-Powder during the trip to the stadium. Amidst the sound of the crowd cheering the opening fight; male lightweights, Alex heard the soft hum of her X-Powder. She checked in with her trainer, then went to the restroom, and took the call. Sam, efficiently having Clover in the call as well, filled them in on what she'd seen and heard. The plan: Sam would keep an eye on Alex's fight, while Clover took over monitoring Wink. They agreed and ended the call, and Alex returned to the locker room to in readiness for the fight.

Super Center- Fighting Ring

The announcer introduced Alex and her opponent to the crowd for the first female bout of the night.

Tattooed, aggressive, and muscular, with short blonde hair, Alex's opponent was a bit surprised at the gentle-looking, yet confident "Perez". Over the years, Alex had faced powerful men, women, creatures and machines, sometimes outnumbered, and often with her life and the lives of others on the line. She wasn't intimidated now, but never underestimated an opponent. If anything, the crowd and cage she found her herself in were what she needed to not be distracted by.

The bell sounded, and both women poked with punches and kicks, which were deflected in turn. The blonde was having trouble scoring a good hit, and tried to find an opening for a grapple.

Alex considered pressing her offense for a solid strike or grapple of her own, when the blonde made her move first with a quick lunge. Alex moved quickly to use her opponent's momentum to execute a judo throw, topped off with an armbar. She had enough pressure on to obtain a submission from her opponent without causing serious injury, and was declared the winner.

The surprised crowd cheered Alex, who waved briefly with a smile. She asked the blonde fighter if she was OK, raised her arm in a gesture or goodwill, and gave her a quick hug and smile.

Alex's former opponent marveled a bit at the cheerful, girly demeanor of the girl, as they and the trainers in their corners left the main arena for backstage. A strong-looking short-haired brunette in the crowd named Donna smiled in recognition as "Marta" walked by. Alex's old high school friend wondered why she'd use a fake name, and wanted to call or email her about it, but for now was content to simply applaud for a bit more and enjoy the rest of the fights.

In the locker room, Sam treated a few of Alex's small abrasions after the experienced staff determined there were no serious injuries on either side. "Nice job out there," Sam said, keeping aware of her surroundings. "Clover's keeping an eye out for unexpected guests," she added with a whisper.

Super Center- Backstage Hallway

During Alex's brief fight, Clover's M-Rays had allowed her to spot three women entering the building from a rear exit which Wink must have unlocked and tampered with so as not to sound an alarm.

Clover assumed they were Ariel and the two missing IFC women. She stayed in hiding far away from them, and made a call. "Sam, Ariel and a few of her friends just showed up to meet Wink," Clover whispered, barely audible over the cheers of the nearby crowd.

Two burly men Clover assumed were security guards sat in a supply closet, stashed there by Wink, who'd used a high-tech microphone to put them under mind control. Wink greeted and bowed to Ariel, then opened the door to show the effect of his mind control work. Inside the room, he displayed a switch on the microphone, explained something, then handed it to her in exchange for a small bag, which he briefly checked the contents of. The two IFC women stood guard until the two quickly returned. Clover started moving back further from the group into a more distant hiding spot. Years of experience taught her to err on the side of caution, especially when alone and outnumbered.

Ariel and the two other women headed towards the locker rooms, while Wink went the opposite direction, towards the back exit. When she was sure everyone was out of earshot, she tailed Wink and made a call. After Sam picked up, she whispered quickly, "Ariel and the IFC girls are headed your way. Wink's going for the exit. I'm going to stop him, then join up with you".

"Sounds good. Thanks Clover," Sam replied. "Wear your hairpin and take care, OK?" she added before ending the call. Clover put the X-Powder away and grabbed the Brain Protector Hairpin. She looked at it briefly, then despite her misgivings, stuck it firmly in her hair.

Wink glanced furtively over his shoulder once he reached the exit, and was surprised by the sight of Clover. He pulled a microphone out of his coat pocket instantly, knowing he had no time to chat.

She was moving fast, but he'd already sent an energy field out from the mic, too wide to dodge.

Clover feared the worst, gritting her teeth, but kept charging ahead. Wink, perplexed by his mic having no effect, turned to push open the exit. But as he did, he was swept off his feet by a sliding foot sweep. Clover quickly had WOOHP cuffs out, which she used to secure him to the exit's door handle.

"But my microphone should've controlled your mind!" Wink protested as he was subdued.

"Too bad. Thanks to Stacy and WOOHP, I had my own gadget to protect me," she replied, index finger briefly resting on her hairpin. Clover hit her WOOHP distress speed dial and was already dashing back to join her friends. Wink gaped after her dumbfounded, then tugged fruitlessly on the cuffs.

Super Center- Locker Room

As soon as the call had ended, Sam shared a quick plan with Alex, and hid in the adjoining room, Contacts in place and Earrings activated. Ariel and the IFC women soon entered through the other door, and Sam could only pray Clover was safe and on the way back.

"Superb fighting, sister," Ariel said looking at Alex with a bit of admiration. The trainers still present figured she was being recruited for something, and minded their own business. "You should join me to train with an elite sisterhood. Free room and board. Let's go," Ariel said bluntly.

"Thanks! Oh, but for your offer, I'll need time to think it over. Busy with college and all," Alex said casually and picked up her bag to go.

"Wait a minute, you're one of those girls who opposed me years ago," Ariel said in realization, pulling out her mic from a coat pocket to emit an energy wave that washed over Alex and the trainers.

Everyone including Alex went from shocked expressions to those of calm compliance.

"Now let's go, 'Marta'. You others stay here. We have many more sisters to recruit," she opened the door for Alex and the IFC women. "Yes, Ariel," Alex replied, as Ariel and those under her command, minus the trainers, quickly left the room. Sam slipped after them silently, and soon saw Clover approaching from the left in the main hall. "Alex is pretending to be mind controlled by Ariel," Sam whispered to Clover, who nodded curtly. "I nabbed Wink, and WOOHP's on the way," Clover replied, pulling out the small white handbag gadget in readiness.

"Wait til Alex and I make our move, then go for it," Sam whispered, hand on Clover's shoulder.

Clover nodded again as Sam left their hiding spot and called out, "Ariel!".

The four women had almost left backstage for the main arena, when the call from behind caused them to turn in surprise. "Let me guess: you're planning on controlling the women in the audience as your army, turning against men, just like you did years ago. Can't let you do that!" Sam declared. She gulped nervously, as the four women glowered at her.

"Sam, I should've known you'd return. I don't see your other brave sister, but she was likely stopped by that Weatherbee worm," Ariel responded. "After you destroyed my relic years ago, I waited until I found of a way to reclaim glory for The Sisterhood. Unfortunately, I had to pay for a man's technology to do it. First with a weaker version of the microphone I now have to gain control of these two," she said, gesturing to the two IFC women. "Now with this improved version, I'll not only bring all these sisters to me, but infuse them with the fighting ability of these three," Ariel said, including Alex in her sweeping gesture.

"You're outnumbered. But why fight, when you, a pure-blood of The Sisterhood, can join me!" Ariel said quickly and raised the mic to emit a wave of energy.

Sam's expression went from shock to compliance, as she dropped her fighting stance and said, "I'm with you, Ariel".

Ariel nodded in satisfaction, flipped a switch on the mic, then turned to the doorway to the main arena.

"It's finally time," she said in anticipation. At that moment, Sam nodded to Alex, who grabbed Ariel's arm in a flash, and twisted it behind her back. The mic dropped from her hand, and Alex kicked it back towards Clover's hiding spot.

"What?!" Ariel cried in shock. "Stop her!" she commanded.

But before either IFC woman could move, Sam had planted a fierce kick in the solar plexus of the taller woman, while Alex shot out a double palm strike at the powerful Dubliner. At that moment, Clover appeared, button pressed on the handbag. Its shield formed around Ariel before she could react, and she growled in frustration when her vanishing power failed. Jerry and a few WOOHP agents promptly arrived from the doorway Ariel had been about to use.

"Fantastic job, ladies. You wrapped this up very quickly! Wink's already been loaded into the WOOHP jet waiting in the back," Jerry said. "I trust those Mind Protecting Hairpins did the trick as well as this shield did?" he then inquired.

Ariel gritted her teeth in frustration. "That's how you two were never affected. You were just pretending to be?" she asked incredulously.

"Definitely!" Clover said to both her and Jerry. "But I almost didn't use mine against Wink, and we would've failed hard pretty hard," Clover admitted.

"Well, I'm glad you did," Jerry said. "Now to restore these two ladies," he said, picking up the mic. After examining it, he flipped a switch and said "Release from control". The two women, who'd been struggling against Sam and Alex, immediately stopped, restored to their normal, yet confused selves.

"Why don't you two stop by WOOHP with us before we give you a lift back to your hometowns?" The perplexed women gave their thanks and agreed. Jerry took the handbag from Clover, and the shield moved about easily with the powerful woman inside. Sam grabbed the mic from Jerry. "We've got a few more to fix," she said quickly. She, accompanied by Clover, went back to the locker room to release the trainers there from the mind control as they saw Jerry demonstrate, then departed while they were regaining their bearings. As the group walked down the hall to the back exit, Alex kindly answered questions from the IFC women as to where they were and how they got there. Jerry and the agents merely focused on reaching the jet.

Soon they were outside at the waiting jet near the edge of the parking lot. Everyone but Sam, Clover and Alex boarded. The girls gave their farewells to their boss and the two IFC women, who were waving from inside the loading bay of the jet. The gangplank closed, and the jet flew off.

"Wait, we can still watch the rest of the fights!" Alex exclaimed.

"Hmm," Sam and Clover said simultaneously, considering their friend's request.

"How about we call it a night, Alex," Sam said with a placating smile and puppy-dog eyes.

Clover turned her head with a hopeful smile.

"No fair, I'm outnumbered... Oh, okay. I don't blame you. Let's go!" Alex agreed after a small pout.

They boarded the car, and Clover pulled them out of the lot and into the streets of downtown L.A.

WOOHP Containment Facility Visitor's Room:

Sam, Clover and Alex, in their everyday outfits, were seated around a small, white table in the modest-sized room, along with Stacy. The usual guard stood by, looking on. Sam couldn't wait a full week to visit her, and had rescheduled her visit for the next day after classes, even managing to get Clover and Alex to make time in their schedules.

"Wow, to think you'd use my gadget against him, of all people," Stacy said in a subdued voice.

"Sorry it came down to that. I almost didn't use it because... you know. But Sammy asked me to trust her, and I did," Clover said.

"No it's okay. Just stupid of him to end up back in here," Stacy replied. "Look at Ms. Dion and Muffy. They're back to normal life," she smiled, having kept in touch with both of them.

"That's the spirit," Alex said. "You'll still be here a bit longer, but now you see you don't need to be like your uncle anymore," she said emphatically to Stacy.

"Yeah, you really came through for us on this. We caught Ariel, and didn't have to go through being captured, mind control, or worse," Sam stated. "I wish we'd had that gadget years ago. Can you imagine...?" Sam trailed off.

"I know!" Clover, slumping back in her chair dramatically. Alex looked sympathetically at Sam, thinking of how much mind control she'd been through in particular over the years.

"Jerry said they're standard issue now," Alex said. "We're officially overpowered!" she said, beaming in joy. She chuckled, and the others joined in infectiously.

"I wish... more people here would get it. Most here are insane, evil, or both..." Stacy trailed off.

"I was too, for a while. But people can change. I'm trying to do that with Milton. Maybe he can help with a few guys and I can try talking to a few girls, since we're usually separated," she finished.

"That's a great idea, Stacy. Just be careful. Some people here..." Sam said thoughtfully. "Well, WOOHP security has really come a long way over the years," she added with a small smile.

"OK, take care everyone," Stacy said after the guard indicated that the time was nearly up.

Everyone stood, and Sam gave Stacy a quick goodbye hug, followed by Alex. Clover looked conflicted until Alex prodded her gently with her elbow. She smiled awkwardly and gave a quick shoulder hug to Stacy.

"Bye!" Sam, Clover and Alex called out, walking off in the opposite direction.

"Things have really been going well," Alex mused, a bit teary-eyed. "I'd hate for anything...," she started when Sam and Clover each suddenly gripped a shoulder of hers.

"Don't jinx it!" they said, interrupting her firmly.

The three giggled at that and made their way back out to the parking lot, the car, and back to Mali-U for a well-deserved night off to themselves for continuing to help people in ways big and small.

Hope you enjoyed this. Feel free to reply if you did. Thank you!

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