How we think the fight will go
Although she was careful not to show it, Evy Stone was actually kind of flattered that she was invited to be a part of Unbound Worlds’s Cage Match this year. Now that she had finally gotten used to getting around in Chalice’s body, she could deliver a decent roundhouse kick and had an uppercut she could almost be proud of. With her old legs, Evy had a true mastery of those actions advantageous to the shorties out there, such as the tuck and roll, the duck, the gut punch, and a hell of a shin kick. When she was reborn into Chalice’s much taller body, she felt like her limbs had been stretched out like taffy–and were pretty much just as wiggly. Now that she’d had a few adventures (you know, basically saving the world from Vamps, Halfies, Goblins: baddies of all shapes and sizes), she’d found that her increased wingspan could actually do some damage. Now if she could only keep her now very feminine curves in check, she’d be golden…
Back to the matter at hand. The tournament. Her opponent was standing across the ring, just standing there, smiling at her. He was tall and golden, yet willowy and delicate. Didn’t look like he could really hold up in a fistfight. She’d tried to research her opponent but there really wasn’t much. According to the paperbacks she’d flipped through, this man was a Prophet of sorts, but he was mostly referred to as The Fool. His particular talents, other than being extremely clever, were, well, hazy. He managed to always stay just a step ahead of the game in a nebulous, big picture way, and Evy didn’t quite see how that would help him in a fight like this one was supposed to be.
He seemed to rely a lot on this other guy–someone he referred to as the Catalyst, or often by the name Fitz–who had a very powerful, almost mind-reading type of magic that could even help him talk to animals. When he was a boy this Fitz character was trained as an assassin, so Evy was sure he would be quick and capable, a good challenge for her to practice her agility on. A guy like that could be really fun to fight. As an adult, this guy spent many years laboring as a farmer, so he’d be strong and hearty. He’d probably smell like earth and smoke, and have kind eyes and strong hands…
Evy, get a hold of yourself! One side effect of being in Chalice’s body was that the girl had a, well, very “sensitive” side. A side that liked to flare up and derail her thoughts, making them focus on certain things, certain masculine things, certain manly… animalistic…
No! Evangeline do you want to win this or not? Focus! Focus on THIS guy, the guy right in front of you.
The guy hadn’t moved. He just stood there, watching Evy, silent as stone. His golden features were calming, and entirely non-threating. As long as he is just sitting there watching he wasn’t a threat, and Evy didn’t want to just walk over and start pounding on him for no reason. Then again, she was starting to get bored.
Evy took a few steps closer to the Fool. He just smiled at her, with what Evy could only assume was an inviting smile. She took a step closer. Then, the Fool gave a sweeping, unmistakable bow. What? Where does this guy think he is, a dinner party?
“Greetings, Evangeline,” The Fool said, in a voice as golden as his skin and hair. He took a grand step towards Evy, holding out a hand.
The thought that the Fool meant to shake her hand may have briefly crossed her mind, but it didn’t prevent her from grabbing his wrist, turning on her heel, and pulling. Her knee slammed into his gullet, folding him in half, before she straightened him back out again with a quick upwards blow to his face. He staggered back, blood already pouring from his nose. Evy caught his hand and yanked while pivoting to the left to throw him to the ground. In a heartbeat the Fool was flat on his back, mud spattering his fine clothing.
Wow, she thought, that was way too easy.
He groaned, and Evy nudged him a little with her foot. No movement. He was out. What a wimp!
“Look, are you going to get up or not?”
Evy stood there for a second, dumbfounded. She had been looking forward to a good, solid fight, something where she could try out some new moves and see what her new body could do for her. But Unbound Worlds had paired her up with this little, fightless weasel who was totally unconscious from one lousy kick-punch-flip combo.
A little pissed, a little disappointed she didn’t get in a satisfying, bloody kill, Evy started taking long strides towards the exit of the ring.
As she crossed the parking lot to her newly borrowed (from a friend this time–seriously, it wasn’t stolen) car, she felt a presence behind her. Turning quickly, Evy was about to strike when she found herself face to face with a man, or at least, face to face with the neck of a man. Her eyes briefly took in a small, beautiful charm tied around his neck, before sweeping up to take in his rugged features and soulful eyes, his dark hair—accented with a shock white streak—pulled back into a pony tail. Her eyes flicked briefly back to the intricate charm as the man tugged slightly on his collar—perhaps out of nervousness, or perhaps to expose it the charm further—and then back up to his sexy, broken nose.
Evy could have sworn she had read something about that charm in the books she’d flipped through before the fight, but she couldn’t quite place it. A twinge of foreboding slipped through her gut, but was quickly replaced by the fluttering of butterflies as she looked back up into the man’s face.
“Well, hello there. What’s your name?” he said, and Evy’s knees went weak.
As the Fool caught his breath lying on the muddy ground, he allowed himself a small, victorious smile. A beating was a small price to pay to encourage this woman to walk straight into the trap he had laid for her with his friend, Fitz. The Hedge-witch’s love charm would be strong, he knew, but after using his own magic to improve it, he wasn’t quite sure how badly she’d fall for him.
He couldn’t wait to find out.
Predicted Winner: The Fool
NOTE: THIS MATCH ENDS ON THURSDAY, MARCH 8th, 2012, AT 5 PM, EST
Rhea Lyons contributed to this Cage Match
The Fool image courtesy of Spectra Books. Evangeline image courtesy of Dell Books
Cage Match fans: We are looking forward to hearing your responses! If possible, please abstain from including potential spoilers about the books in your comments (and if you need spoilers to make your case, start your comments with: “SPOILER ALERT!”