2011 11 21 Sparring Partners

Log Title: Sparring Partners
Characters: Yishi, GoGo, Lifeguard, Emma Frost, Sandman
RL Date: 2011-11-21
IC Date: 2011-11-21
Location: An unnamed gym
Brief log summary:: An ecclectic assembly of young women gather by chance at a gym to watch and participate in low-end meta sparring.
Rating: pg
There is no TS in this log:: Yes
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Gyms are a dime a dozen in New York City, but every one has something different, trying to cater to a particular clientelle or stand out from the crowd. More than a few have invested good money in weight systems capable of far more than any standard unit, catering to metahuman clientelle as a way to boost their business and visibility. Many who go to such gyms aren't metahuman themselves, but they want to push themselves to new heights. Or they just want the chance to meet such august persons. Amongst this particular gym's clientelle this day is a guest with a one-day paid pass who has little interest in the weight rooms at all. Instead, she has suited up in a loose-fitting knee-length cheongsam tunic and drawstring pants of cold grey with black trim, bound up her hair in a tight braid down her back, and made her way towards a section with heavy matting, where the boxers and martial artists are congregating. She may well be the smallest person in the entire gym. But this small Chinese girl is doing her best to get a turn in the rotation of sparring matches going on.

Annie walks through the gym, checking out the crowd before she steps into the locker room to change. She is soon back in the main room, peeled down to shorts and tee, the white tee bearing the Fantastic Four logo, the shors bearing the logo of the Avengers. She walks over towards the section favored by all the martial artists and is soon standing near the far smaller Yishi, studying her outfit, "You don't see that everyday in here." The contrast in size isn't as bad as it could be, she's in her 'small' form currently, so it is only a difference of a couple feet and a few hundred pounds.

Xiu Lin does not act startled by the large orange-hued woman's arrival at her side, or her size and coloration, though there has been no sign of her paying any attention to anything but jockeying to get herself a position in the 'line' of competitors for the sparring matches. She does turn her head, though, when Annie addresses her, craning her neck to look up at the seven foot tall woman who masses nearly seven times that of Xiu Lin. "Force of habit, I suppose. It is what I always wore to practice in training." She takes in Annie's attire and asks, "Which is your favorite?"

Annie smiles down at the tiny woman, which shows off pronounced canines. "Hmm? My favorite?" She nods to the woman currently sparring, "That redhead there. Straight up kickboxer, but she's pretty good and hits hard." Then she looks back down at Xiu Lin, "But if you mean clothes, well, I just go with whatever fits normally. I'm not a fasionista. Just normally don't see woman in traditional outfits in here. What kind of martial arts do you practice?"

Xiu Lin merely smiles, watching the redhead in her match. After it's over, she turns to Annie again, shaking her head, and points, first at her chest, and then at her left leg, indicating the logos. "I meant between the Avengers and the Fantastic Four. Since you're apparently a fan of both." See? Nothing so obtuse. "I practice wushu. What most westerners know as Kung Fu. And yourself?"

"Wu Shu? Nice. You must be fast. I can't wait to see you in action." Annie then looks down at her clothes and laughs, "Oh…a favorite? I would guess It has to be the Fantastic Four. Ben Grimm was kind of a favorite growing up you know? He was a big orange monster like me, but a great hero." She tugs at her shirt a bit, straightening the clinging tee out. "I am a practioner of Catch-as-catch-can martial arts." She chuckles in her deep voice then adds, "Wrestling mostly, though I try to pick up as much as possible from any fighting style. I'm Annie. Annie Ritter." She offers a huge three fingered hand to the woman.

Xiu Lin reaches up, accepting that giant orange mit with her comparatively tiny hand and a smile. "The greatest masters have always said that the best are those which keep an open mind, learning from everything and everyone around them to improve themselves and their art." So apparently she doesn't look down on 'catch as catch can' martial arts. "Mister Grimm is a great hero and a wonderful man. He is worth idolizing and emulating. But I think neither of you is a monster, even in appearance." Seems the little woman is the open-minded sort."

"Oh! Have you met Ben? He /is/ awfully nice isn't he? He got me a tryout with the UCWF." She shakes Xiu Lin's hand firmly but not painfully so. "Well, until recently I've never stayed in one place to really study any other way. Learning from anyone who is willing to….Oh!" She winces as the redhead and the woman she's fighting exchange a series of powerful blows. When things slow down she looks back down at Xiu Lin, "Well, that's nice of you to say. I'm not ashamed of how I look. Heck, these days I like it. But I do know I'm not going to win many beauty contests. Unless I'm doing the judging." She laughs and leans closer, "So, I didn't catch your name."

Xiu Lin turns back to the contest between the redhead and her partner of the moment just in plenty of time to watch the latest series of blows exchanged, almost as if she had cued them to fight /right then/. But it's a subtle thing, not easily spotted. "You did not catch my name, because you had not asked." She smiles, and gives Annie a little bow. "I am Xiu Lin Tseng. Most of my English-speaking friends simply call me 'Sue Lynn.'" And now they have been properly introduced.

"The You See Double-You Eff. That sounds like it might be a wrestling federation. Is it?" Annie smiles and nods, "I guess I didn't. Xiu Lin Tseng. That's beautiful. Though I am sure I just butchered it. Sue Lynn is nice too, but if I'm not saying it too badly I think I'll stick with Xiu Lin." She watches the two women dancing around in the ring while the women around the match cheer them on, "Yeah. Wrestling. Unlimited Class Wrestling Federation." She looks a bit embarassed by it, "THat's what I'm doing for a living right now. Wrestling."

"Unlimited class." Xiu Lin repeats, rolling that over for a bit. "I suppose that means they allow metahumans in their ranks for competition, unlike the other athletic federations." Which would make it eminently suited for a super-strong, super-sized orange beauty like Annie, Xiu Lin is quite sure. "That seems quite an interesting way to make a living. I am working as a translator for the NYPD, while studying criminology and legal procedure. I hope to be a detective." Of course, that would rather imply Xiu Lin is a decent bit older than she appears. Most would have trouble guessing Xiu Lin to be even sixteen, let alone accept that she is legally no longer a minor. "Do you enjoy the wrestling, Annie?"

Annie looks at Xiu Lin, glowing green eyes narrowing as she studies her for a few moments, reassessing, "Seriously? Wow. You must be really smart." She stops to clap for the two women as their sparring match is over. A heavier pair of women take their place, decked out with headgear and pads. Neither of these women are as good as the pair before them, but they seem modestly meta, as their blows are loud and obviously powerful. "Yeah, you've got to be able to lift 25 tons to get into the UCWF these days, though I've been wrestling in local leagues where you just have to be able to fight." She nods her head, "I do. I like fighting. I don't like hurting people mind you, but I do love fighting. Wrestling in particular." Then out of the blue she asks, "Can I ask how old you are?"

Xiu Lin demures at the suggestion that she is at all exceptionally intelligent. "I grew up in a multi-lingual household. It all seems quite natural to me." Of course, Annie was probably more impressed by her studies and her goal as a detective, but most folks see detectives as merely slightly better educated street cops. Xiu Lin applauds for the women leaving the ring now, and for those just entering. Then she pauses quietly to watch and wait, observing their fighting style - if style it can be called, honestly. "They seem quite strong." she comments, then glances up at Annie when the other starts talking again. "I enjoy sparring as well, and I certainly take no pleasure in another's pain or discomfort. Still, it can be quite thrilling to pit my own skill against another's." How old is she? "I am nineteen. Many think me younger, because I am small." She takes this in stride, not at all offended.

Annie nods her head and says, "Sure. I guess that makes sense. Though when I hear stuff like that it makes me wish I had another language around when I was growing up. Still, you aren't just the product of that. You're going to university, so you're smart. I should learn some of that stuff. Not that I'm going to be a detective, but it would keep me from ruining a crime scene." Then she looks to the two women pounding on each other, demonstrating more enthusiasm than any sort of training. "You look young. I guess that's a pain in the butt huh? Still…not really a bad thing." Looking down at Xiu Lin she snickers, "You don't look so small to me. Not smaller than most people that is."

Annie and Xiu Lin are standing in a gym which has some capacity to deal with metahuman workouts. They are standing in a section of the gym where there are various fighters hanging out, watching others spar. It looks to be a heavily female crowd over there at the moment, and two powerfully built women are currently slugging it out in a sloppy boxing display. "Try getting something off the top shelf sometime, or wearing a standard seatbelt, and you'll see how much shorter I am than what is considered 'normal'." Xiu Lin comments, with a smile. She is good-natured about it, though that might be a survival mechanism: it's not as if she can change it, after all. "Try watching those 'CSI' shows on television. They'll give you a good idea of what not to do at a crime scene, even if they won't really show you how to do the investigation itself." Sounds like she speaks from experience, or at least education, on that front. "I don't mind so much looking young, either. But it can be inconvenient, like anything else." Xiu Lin watches the match unfolding, but she seems to be getting quickly bored: these two have nothing to show her, nothing to learn from, as they are more or less just brawling furiously at one another with their enhanced strengths.

Seated in the gymnasium also watching the woman brawlers is Flint Marko. His usual garb hidden by a trenchcoat and hat to shield him from the cold outside and more as he is here to just watch some good old fashioned girl on girl action. He remains seated as he watches, but finally removes his hat to fan himself as it is hot inside the gym.

Annie watches the two women go at it like maniacs and after a few sloppy exchanges she chuckles and bends down, "I hope I never looked that wild." She did. "So…were you looking to do some sparring? I'm not much of a style match for a speedy wu shu practictioner, but I could give you something to hit that 'tries' to defend itself. None of the folks I was hoping would be here are here." The small young woman beside Annie, dressed in a grey cheongsam tunic with black edging and matching drawstring trousers glances at the orange woman as she leans down to talk more quietly. "If you would like a match, I would do my best. You can see I would be little challenge to you. But I wanted to get in line and see what matches I could get." And it would seem that perhaps what she can get is Annie the Amazing Orange Amazon. Or something. "I am sorry if none of those you had hoped to match with are here."

Noting that Gogo and Yishi are present. He has met both at different times and leans back in his chair ready to see the spar. Flint would put money down on Annie, but was impressed that Yishi had the inner strength to stand up to Kraven. He remains silent and watches as he thinks over and ponders things.

Annie laughs and shakes her head, "Hey, it's not about how much I can lift. I can spar with you. Though I wouldn't want you to miss out on a better match. Wrestling isn't exactly the best matchup for Wu Shu. I can do a little bit of kick boxing. Though I admit I might have a slight advantage on reach." She then looks around and shrugs, "It's not like I had anything setup. Just have met a couple metas here who I could wrestle with. If I was serious I've got this UCWF gym I can go to."

An alarm goes off as Sandman shakes his head, "Well, ladies, I would have loved to see some girl on girl action, but I got some Avengers business to take care of." With that the rude hero exits the gym.

Xiu Lin looks up at Annie with a smile. "Well, perhaps you should ask those two if you can take on the winner?" The two female brutes hammering on each other would certainly be far closer to Annie's usual speed and style than little Xiu Lin. but she is open to the idea. Their names are on the list, and they are in line waiting their turn in the ring. "If nothing else, you would have to admit that a match between us would force each of us to work and adapt to very different fighting styles than we would usually face."

A challenge, then? Annie grins down at Xiu Lin and shrugs, "They aren't strong enough to challenge me that way, and I'm better than they are in terms of skill." She shakes out her big gorilla arms and rolls her neck around, apparently loosening up a bit while they wait. "I never judge a book by its cover. I've fought women your size who could throw cars down the street. Heck, you could be able to punch a hole in a mountain. Who am I to know?" She watches Sandy leave the gym and shrugs, "I didn't even see him there. Weird. He didn't even say hello. He is a strange guy. But I guess everyone is strange."

Xiu Lin gives a little chuckle and shakes her head, as she folds herself neatly in half and starts stretching out. "I can't throw cars or punch holes in mountains. I can break a few boards, if I've time to prepare." She glances after the departing Sandman, catching his distinctive attire, and sighs. "I saw him. But I had hoped he would stay, or come closer." It's odd, but there's a worried tone in her voice. What reason a girl like Xiu Lin could have for being worried about an Avenger is likely a mystery. "It is true: Everyone can be strange to someone else. It is the challenge of life itself, to cross those barriers and find common ground in spite of the mutual strangeness."

The big orange woman grabs the back of her calves and puts her head between her knees, groaning as she stretches, apparently inspired by Xiu Lin's easy bending. "So, is tis where you normally workout? I've got a couple places I work out at, but I've not seen you here before. you are so big I don't think I could miss you in a crowd. The way you tower over everyone." She teases the tiny woman, giving her a playful nudge in the process.

Another figure emerges from the locker room, one that at first glance seems perfectly normal rather than meta, but at the same time draws nearly every male eye in the room, and possibly a few female eyes as well. Emma Frost, at 5'10" and clad in white sports bra, matching bike shorts, and white ankle socks and cross-trainers, is difficult to miss in a gym. The sparring ring briefly draws her eyes, and she wanders in that direction, finding a bare patch of floor in which to begin her own warm-up exercises. By coincidence it's near Annie and Xiu Lin.

"Actually, no." Xiu Lin admits, as she continues stretching out with almost Gumby-like ease. Clearly flexiblity and likely connected agility are her 'strengths'. She gives a chuckle as she moves with the bump from Annie, managing not to fall over. "I heard of this gym from the kwoon where I have been training since I returned to the States. As an opportunity to observe a wide array of styles and confront very different practicioners, it seemed ideal. This is my first visit." Which may be why the small Chinese woman has found it difficult to get some of the others in the sparring groups to take her seriously. Though Xiu Lin does not outwardly much more than brush her eyes over the approaching form of Emma Frost, she is keenly aware of the other woman's approach and the reactions in the gym to her presence. Were the other woman to be telepathically aware of surface thoughts at the moment, she would pick up that Xiu Lin's mind doesn't quite work in a 'normal' fashion: she seems hyper-aware of everything going on around her all the time, even to the point of reading micro-expressions even on the faces of people she isn't talking to. And she has already identified the labels of Emma's quite fashionable athleticwear.

Annie is again, a contrast to Xiu Lin. She's one of the ones that visibly notices Emma, her glowing green eyes widening at the sight and the reactions of everyone in the room She leans down to Xiu and whispers, "I'm really lucky I don't have body image issues anymore. Because she reminds me of when I did." She then chuckles and after straightening she speaks loud enough for Emma to hear, "Going to get in on the sparring?"

Emma glances at Xiu Lin, for no obvious reason. A hint of a smile comes to those near-perfect lips. She's just about to go back to her exercises when Annie asks her question. "Probably not… you're all obviously better than me, as I'm just not a serious martial artist. But it's interesting to watch," she replies. "What of you? I'm guessing you are, but it's nothing more than a guess… please, enlighten me."

Xiu Lin glances at Annie curiously as the orange woman speaks of Emma. The smaller Oriental girl is stretching about as if to make Gumby jealous, clearly preparing herself to head into the sparring ring, while chatting with Annie. The larger, orange-hued woman with the red hair is chatting amiably, and Emma is nearby, also stretching out. Xiu Lin nods slightly to Annie. "I imagine many women notice that lady and find themselves perhaps feeling inferior. She fits quite close to the supposed Western ideal of modern beauty, and is also quite confident and fashionable." And this from the girl who didn't seem to notice her at all. The Chinese girl turns her head to look at Emma - it is only polite to face someone when speaking to them - and nods. "Yes, I intend to try my hand in the sparring ring, shortly. If no one else will give me a chance, my new acquaintance Annie has promised to allow me to join her." She considers Emma briefly. "If you wished to enter, I would gladly give you a match." At least Xiu Lin is not a metahuman … as far as anyone else here knows. "Still, you can learn a great deal just watching and observing, given the chance."

Entering into the main gymnasium area where the sparring of the metahumans in taking place. Heather Cameron dressed in short gray shorts and a blue tank top with Australia written in gold across the chest. Spotting her friend, Annie, the blond mutant waves, "Annie." She notes all present as she does a quick scan and then returns her look to the orange giantess and nods her head. "So what is this I hear about sparring?"

When Annie hears her name she turns, and her face lights up (eyes doing so quite literally) when she spots Heather. She quick steps over to give the blond Aussie a quick hug and peck on the cheek, "Heather! Small world! So nice to see you!" Releasesing her hold on theblond she steps backs and waves a big hand towards Xiu Lin, "Just hanging out, going to spar with Xiu Lin here if she can't get someone better to work out with." She does her best to usher Heather over, "Xiu Lin this is Heather. Heather, this is Xiu Lin." Then she looks back towards Emma, "I'm no martial artist. I'm just a wrestler."

"Well, nothing wrong with that… wrestling is also a martial art. Just a different type than most people normally think of," Emma replies to Annie, noting the big orange woman's reaction to another, and giving that other a moment's looking-over. "Hmm… you have a lovely friend," she observes, then smiles a small smile to Heather. "Hello, friend. Will you be taking a turn at sparring?"

Xiu Lin's words draw a moment's surprise, but only a moment's. "Hmm… perhaps I will enter after all. I doubt I have a chance, but it would be interesting to see what you can really do. I doubt you're as tiny as you look when the gloves come off." "Pleased to meet you, Heather." Xiu Lin offers when Annie sees to the introductions. She can tell that Annie and Heather are good friends, and clearly seems to think that's wonderful: everyone needs friends. "I happen to agree with her, Annie. Wrestling is a martial art. It's just also often used as a performance art." So are other martial arts, depending on the venue. The small Chinese girl glances at Emma and smiles. "I assure you, I do not grow in stature in the ring. But I will hopefully prove to be a reasonably skilled and challenging opponent, nonetheless." Once the sparring ring opens, she hops up to her feet gracefully and steps forward, claiming the ring before someone else can edge around the ladies all gathered together. She waits for Emma to join her, and then bows her to 'opponent.' "Whenever you are ready." she offers, assuming an easy and loose stance.

Lifeguard finds Annie to be the nicest American ever, heck maybe the nicest person in the world. After the embrace and kiss, she returns the affection with a pat on the back and she looks to Xiu Lin and extends a hand, "Nice to meet you Xiu Lin." She bows out of respect and then offers with a grin, "Watch out for this one. She may not be a martial artist, but I've seen her in action. She is a tough one." When Emma decides to enter in the spar, "Well if everyone is getting involved, then I wouldn't mind joining in." She looks to Annie, "Since we worked together before how about us versus them." She then looks to the other blond mutant, "Oh I'm Heather, by the way."

Annie grins at Heather and looks towards the ring, "I dunno. We should probably spar versus each other. You know, I know I'm not going to hurt you on accident. Though, this isn't a place built for us to go full out anyway." She is grinning ear to ear, obviously pleased at Heather's arrival, "Oh! Hey, I was talking with Ms. Marvel and Sandy about you last night." Then she starts laughing, "Now, what I was talking about you for I don't know, but I am sure it was good, because what…Oh! About how you stopped that reactor from being stolen and how you beat up that mind guy. That's what."

Emma finishes her stretching, then rises to join Xiu Lin in the ring. "I'm sure you'll be more than challenging," she replies to the petite Chinese girl. A hint of a smile comes to her lips as she watches Heather introduce herself to her sparring partner. "Okay… so you can only be Xiu Lin, and you're Heather… what should I call you? You seem to know everyone else here," she asks, looking at Heather, then Annie. "I'm Emma. Since you'll want to know what to put on my tombstone," she adds, with a wry smile, coming into a stance that carries more than a suggestion of kickboxing training.

"Pleased to meet you, Emma." Xiu Lin ofers, when the other woman gets around to offering her name. One needn't know a sparring partner's name, honestly, but every little bit helps. She has quickly come to the conclusion that Heather must be a metahuman heroine of some sort, if she was helping Annie with 'mind guy's and 'reactors'. And Annie seems assured she won't harm Heather while sparring, which seems good news, really. (repose, part the first) "Shall we begin, then?" Xiu Lin inquires, before she begins gentle shuffle-steps to close in, prepared to meet Emma in the middle of the ring-like space. Meeting a much taller opponent straight-up like that would usually be a mistake, yielding to Emma's greater reach and likely proportionately better strength - in mass, if not in actual muscle. But Xiu Lin seems unsconcerned with that. Emma would likely be able to tell Xiu Lin is waiting, assessing the lovely blonde's movement style, agility and speed before fully engaging. Emma would also likely pick up that Xiu Lin has already guessed - somehow - that Emma is not quite the Tae Bo novice she is trying to portray.

"Well that was very nice of you. It's nice by exploits are being heard by Avengers." Heather grins just as wide as Annie does as she steps back to watch Emma and Yishi spar. As both women take their stances, Heather nodes impressed, "I can tell both of you know what you are doing. This should be entertaining." She applauds the ladies as they spar as she looks to Annie, "Oh I know a place we can spar. It's an amazing room. Almost a danger room." She giggles to herself. Annie nods to Emma and says, "Sorry. I'm Annie. Nice to meet you Emma. Now I'm ging to try and be fair in my rooting, but I met Xiu Lin first so I'm afraid that I might be biased." She then proves her point by giving a cheer, "Go Xiu Lin Go!" She then claps a hand on Heather's shoulder and grins, "Oh yeah. Sure. I mean, you stopped those guys and then if it hadn't been for you that mind dude would have had me robbing banks or streaking around town or something." She keeps her eyes on the two women about to spar but says, "Yeah? That sounds…fun. A dangerous room! Do things pop out and attack you or are their traps like in Indiana Jones?"

"Annie, then. And I won't hold any of that against you." Emma replies, and circles slowly closer to Xiu Lin, taking her time, seeming to be sizing her opponent up much as she herself is being sized up. "You're an intriguing opponent," she muses, focusing on her defense for the moment. Still, she is the one to swing the first blow, sweeping a side kick at the Chinese girl's left side. Intriguing opponents indeed.

Xiu Lin smiles encouragingly at Emma as they circle in closer to one another, waiting patiently. When Emma's body cues its intention to move, Xiu Lin adapts as naturally as breathing. In the end it almost looks like she moves with incredible speed, but for someone keenly aware of the internal matters at hand, Xiu Lin instead started moving before Emma's body had a chance to get going. The smaller woman steps in, lifting her right leg as she twists her hips, blocking the kick out with her shin. This becomes part of an overall circular motion, as Xiu Lin continues the rotation and spins around, her right leg snapping out as her left leg folds down, becoming a sweep at Emma's feet and ankles. To Emma's telepathic senses, Xiu Lin's mental responses become razor sharp and crystal clear, an intuitive and startlingly accurate assessment of her opponent's intended movements and a proper counter.

Nodding her head, "Well, you would be surprised, but yes, things pop out and there are traps like Indiana Jones…and there is so much more." Heather looks between the two, "Well I have met them both for the first time, but I will vote for my fellow blond. Go Emma!" Heather smirks and then cheers, "Go Xiu Lin! I'll cheer for both of them." As both women move and begin combat, Heather nods impressed. "Ooh, looks like Emma is a kickboxer. A good matchup, kickboxer versus Wu Shu. Striking style versus striking style." Watching Xiu move she nods her head, satisfied at her guess, "I knew she was going to be really fast! Look at her go! Woo! Go Xiu Lin!" Then, catching Heather's spirit of equal opportunity cheering she hops up and down, "Let's go Emma! Let's go Xiu Lin!" Then she bursts into giggles, "Where are my pom poms? I totally want to bust out the old cheers."

Annie grins over at Heather, "That room totally sounds bitching. You think your team would mind me trying it out with you?" Emma grunts as her leg is swept from underneath her and she falls to the mat. Rolling with the fall, she spears out a kick at Xiu's midsection from the floor, a move that definitely didn't come from kickboxing… possibly Jeet Koon Do. Likely she also supplements her formal training with a few cast-off maneuvers from other schools. The conversation outside the ring isn't lost on her at all, though this fact isn't likely to be obvious to anyone except another telepath.

Xiu Lin is only marginally aware of the conversation going on outside the ring, though she'll likely review some aspects of it later during meditation. Right now, her full attention is on the match between herself and Emma. She finishes the twist of the sweep and hops to her feet, just as the kick spears out from Emma's fallen form. Xiu Lin isn't in the best position physically for the attack or a counter to it. Such is the limit of her abilities: her body is entirely normal and human, if very physically fit. She may see an attack coming when it is too late to adjust her body to avoid it. Emma's blow strikes Xiu Lin high in the abdomen, a potentially dangerous shot. The smaller woman is able at the last moment to bend back, absorbing some of that momentum, but the rest sends her tumbling backwards. She rolls back up to a crouch, tossing her braid back over her shoulder with a negligent flip of her head, and slowly rises to her feet, shuffle-stepping in a slow spiral as she again closes with Emma.

"I wonder if there is more to either of them. This gym seems to welcome metas and mutants, so maybe they are too." Heather looks to Annie as the other two women fight, "Well, I will have to ask Havok. There is a little more to that room and the headquarters." She laughs as she resumes watching the others. She feels a slight blip or something in her head as she looks about. But whatever she felt suddenly leaves as her mind reacts to the passive scan and seals itself off. Heather shrugs as she is not sure what happens, but Emma will find Heather's mind shut off for the moment. Looking back at the fight after the momentary distraction,

"Wow…they are good fighters. You may want to think about maybe asking them to join you in your heroing." Gogo laughs, "You are the real…Oh. Yeah. Well, I guess they'd be better hanging out with a newbie like me. Xiu Lin is really good isn't she? She's better than Emma I think, but man…there's something about Emma that makes you want to bet on her. You know what I mean? Looking at her I think she could beat me in arm wrestling if she really wanted to." The thought of that makes her laugh even more before taking a serious moment or three to herself to ponder why she gets that vibe from Emma. But after those three moments she's still clueless about anything beyond the fact that the amount of hot in the sparring ring has stopped traffic in the gym. Annie slowly looks around and nudges Heather, "Check out all the eyeballing. This fight is going to make the straight women bi, the bi women lesbian, and kill off the braincells of all the straight guys in the room."

Emma's eyes widen as Xiu is knocked off her feet. Reflexively rolling back on her side, she comes to her feet very nearly in one graceful movement, in her stance, ready. Nevertheless, she does look at least a little concerned as she watches Xiu recover. The Chinese investigator may realize that the tall blonde is legitimately surprised that she actually hit her. "Are you all right?" she asks, sounding almost as concerned as she looks. A frosty blonde, is Emma, though there are signs of thawing. Her eyes dart toward Heather for a moment, then back to Xiu. But her attention remains partly on the Australian beauty nevertheless. Telepath-proof? Intriguing…
From afar, Emma Frost notes that Xiu may note something else about Emma from this much of the fight… Emma is used to fighting to /win/. She's still learning how to hold back.

Xiu Lin's left hand moves over her upper abdomen, fingers spread out. Still, she smiles and nods. "Yes, I am alright, Emma. Thank you for asking. Shall we continue?" Brave to a fault, Emma can be quite sure - telepath that she is - that Xiu Lin has taken far, far worse blows in her training. The smaller woman spirals in closer to Emma gain, showing no fear despite the blow and the discomfort she clearly felt when it landed. If she were listening to Annie actively, she would be too embarrassed and blushing to proceed, so it is a good thing she missed it. As if she can sense that Emma is slightly distracted, Xiu Lin takes that moment to step in close to the blonde, her left arm outstretched across Emma's midsection as she twists, pushing her hip into Emma as her other toes aim to hook one of Emma's ankles. It's a quick little hip-throw that if successful would do little harm at all, other than capitalize on that moment of distraction, if it remains.

Blinking a bit at Gogo's comment, "Well, I suppose that the fight is exciting in that sense." Looking at Gogo, "So are you suddenly bi or lesbian?" Heather is blunt so has no problem asking her friend as she continues to eye the fight and notes Emma's attention on her and hmmmmns, "Well, Xiu Lin pulls out the surprises. I think it will be evenly matched. But I have to wonder who would win between the two of us."

Gogo laughs and says, "I'll throw my hat in as bi right now. Though really, after my last few dating experiences I might be toaster-sexual." She keeps her eyes on the fight and says, "I don't know…I would have to lay my money on Xiu if I was betting."

"Yes. I-" Emma spots the incoming throw too late, and hits the mat with a grunt. She rolls onto her side, comes to one knee, and sweeps her left leg at Xiu's legs, from the opposite direction from which the foot sweep usually comes from. Apparently she was trained on both sides. Between Xiu's near-subconscious people-reading and Emma's telepathy, the battle is balanced between powers. So it will likely come down to superior skill. In that respect, Xiu undoubtedly has the better of Emma, though she may get the sense that Emma is holding back somehow, and with difficulty at that.

Xiu Lin hops the reversed leg-sweep and steps back, allowing Emma to regain her feet before they continue. She is getting the reaffirmed sense that Emma is far better trained and experienced than she is allowing the others to really see. Beyond that, though she has the sense Emma is holding back in some way she cannot quite comprehend, Xiu Lin is merely impressed. The only person she has met, beyond true masters, able to match her this well in anticipation was Spider-Man. Admittedly, Xiu Lin has never met a telepath before, that she knows. Once Emma appears ready once more, the smaller Chinese woman closes again, unleashing a flurry of punches, backfists and palm strikes in what would seem to most observers to be every direction. Emma will be aware that Xiu Lin is quite intentionally bracketing her, striking everywhere /but/ right at her as she advances. It would be a very intimidating exchange for someone with less innate confidence. Then a combination of blows, palm, backfist, rising elbow strike … and Xiu Lin drops low again, performing a doubled leg sweep. With Emma's telepathy and her longer legs, she may very well hop over that with ease, but most would never see it coming.

"Well, I can see what you mean with these two." Heather laughs and continues to watch the sparring bout. "Well, I guess I will put my money on Emma. There is just something about her. And she looks like she is holding back." Heather suddenly is amazed and thinks, "Well, maybe Xiu Lin might win. Check out those flurry of punches. Wow. She has to be a meta. Or better than the average person, for sure."

Annie watches the two women rather intently, her glowing eyes making her squint of concentration all the more obvious. "Well, Xiu Lin is definitely more skilled and faster, but I've got to agree with you. Emma seems like she's got that haymaker ready or something. Like she could win anytime she wanted. I don't know why though. Gah…maybe it's just how she is though." She shakes her head to clear it of any jealous thoughts then says to Heather, "So…how are you liking the cold weather? Making you homesick? New York seems even colder than the thermometer says."

Emma has a job blocking and dodging all those strikes. It doesn't register to her immediately that the shots were all just slightly off, though it slowly begins to occur to her. Something is wrong here… And then the sweep comes, and it's all she can do to leap over it. Xiu's legs clip her heel anyway, almost too late, and she goes down in a heap. Rolling with the fall, she comes to her feet, seems to very briefly set herself, and suddenly becomes a flurry of kicks, side and back roundhouse, low and high respectively. A front roundhouse should follow… but doesn't, and Emma drops low again, sweeping another kick at Xiu's legs.

Into the midst of that flurry of kicks is Xiu Lin, dodging and weaving with the tiniest movements that seem incredibly fast, but are in fact only successful because she started moving long before each of those kicks fully formed. Normally, Emma's advantage in reach and strength of blows would put a smaller opponent like Xiu Lin back on her heels, unable to do much to counter. But as it is the smaller young woman could, probably, counter at any time. Or so it would seem. Instead Xiu Lin lets Emma's plan of attack unfold, and only takes real action when the sweep takes shape. She doesn't just hop the sweeping leg, but leaps up and vaults over Emma, hands outstretched to try to grab onto the other woman's shoulders and fist into the shoulder straps of her top, as she then falls lower than Emma, her momentum directed in such a way that if successful, this would throw correspondingly over Xiu Lin's mostly prone form.

"Wow, she is like a Rockette." Heather jokes. As the fight continues, she takes seat on a bench and just watches. "This is going well, but long too." Heather shrugs as she sits and continues to watch. Annie chortles and joins Heather on the bench, careful of how she sets her weight upon it. "She looks like she's trained some savate with those kicks. Or yeah, with her looks…the Rockettes…or…" She screws her face up into a mask of concentration, "Dang…Fabrege. Cabriolet. Moulin Rouge…Can Can. That's not the one I wanted, but Can Can dancer works."

Emma senses the throw coming, but there is nothing she can really do to prevent it. She does manage to twist partly in the air to come down into a breakfall position, then comes to her feet with an expert kippup technique, a little push with her hands and sweeping down of her legs that puts her on her feet in less time than it takes to describe it. The blonde seems slightly winded now. "That was well done. I really should cede this to you, Xiu Lin… I can tell you're better than me, like I'd thought," she says, her tone faintly reluctant.

Xiu Lin hops up to her feet and then bows, respectfully, to Emma. "I thank you for the compliment, Emma. I can tell you are quite able, and I appreciate the honor of your respect, as I hope you will appreciate mine in return." She won't come out and say 'I think you were holding back and I do not yet know how or why', but she implies it. It's the Chinese thing to do. "Perhaps we can now step aside, and supply our enthusiasm for Annie and Heather, as they have for us?" That said, the small Chinese woman pads off the central matt to make room for Annie and Heather to take their places. "Good luck, you two!"

After the fight is done, Heather stands and applauds, "Very good. Bravo, ladies. You are both winners!" Moving into the sparring ring, she extends her hand to shake Xiu Lin's. "Great victory." And turning to Emma, "And you put up a great fight, Emma." When room is made for her and Gogo, she looks over and smiles at her friend, "Are we sure this place can handle it?" Annie looks around and shrugs, "I've never gone full out here. It is supposed to be built for metas, but…I don't want to buy it if I break it." She hops the ring ropes and thumps solidly into the middle of the ring. "If you are feeling like a millionaire and want to risk breaking things then that's cool." She cracks her knuckles then looks over to Emma and Xiu, "Nice fight you two. Was fun to watch. And I think you might have earned some marriage proposals in the process Emma. I know I heard that guy back there talking about to blave."

Emma adjusts her slightly disturbed sports bra, and smiles faintly to Xiu Lin, bowing to her in return. She does meet her eyes as she bows, however… it's the proper thing to do. "Indeed I shall. Shall we talk a bit as we watch the upcoming battle?" she asks softly, moving to leave the ring. "Thanks, Annie, Heather… you really know how to make the new girl feel welcome," she adds to the fanbase, smiling to them. Then she laughs softly. "Well, I'm sorry to disappoint him, then… possibly /them/. I rather doubt I'm the marrying sort," she adds, making her way to the bench the others so recently vacated, patting an empty section beside her and nodding to Xiu Lin.

Offered a seat, Xiu Lin accepts gladly - why not? - and sits down on the bench beside Emma as they watch Annie and Heather prepare for their own sparring match. "I think this will be very interesting to watch." she opines to Emma softly, while watching the other two. "Apologies about that last throw. It usually works better if the other person is wearing a jacket, or even a shirt." Xiu Lin cares enough to apologize for any discomfort she may have caused. She's a sweet girl. Now, just wait until she starts scrolling back mentally through the conversations she overheard during her sparring match, and she'll be blushing hot enough to melt through that seat. Poor girl.

"Well, millions is something I don't have. So I say we call it a draw. Maybe I can see if X-Factor can provide some place or we can talk to Ben to see if he knows of a spot we can try. The Fantastic Four has to have some place we could spar." Heather looks to Emma, Yishi, and any other audience members, "Sorry, but I am not rich and look at her." She points to Gogo, "Look at her. I have seen this girl in action. She will kick my butt from here to Sydney." Annie laughs and shakes her head, "I wouldn't kick your butt anywhere Heather." She steps over to the smaller woman and gives her a big hug, lifting her up off her feet before setting her back down. "You are pretty darn tough from what I've seen. And you can do all sorts of things. I'm not even sure what you can do." She gives a big shrug of the shoulders, and lets face it, she can't shrug any other way than big. "So…we can wrestle a bit or we can just declare it a draw like you say. I got a place we could scrap. The UCWF gym. Just have to get the ring time scheduled cause they are always busy." Annie looks over at Emma and Xiu Lin, "That throw works best with a gi. I was half expecting that bra to go flying one way and Emma the other."

"It should. But I'm not sure it's going to be," Emma replies, her tone faintly impish. "They're already negotiating a draw and working toward rescheduling. "Come on, let's see some blood!" she calls toward the ring, impishly. Then blushes faintly at Annie's comment. "Honestly? So did I. Makes me glad I only wear my own company's better products. Otherwise you would have had half the gym falling in love with me," she adds, first to Annie, then to Xiu Lin. "I'm just not sure I would've made it back to the dressing room alive, or at least unmarried."

Xiu Lin isn't quite impish enough to call for blood, but she gives 'booo's as Heather and Annie instead vie for a draw and a reschedule rather than fighting it out where everyone can watch. Xiu Lin blushes at Annie's comments, but she sits up and looks to Emma, quite earnestly saying, "I would have defended you." It would be the honorable thing to do, if her throw disrobed Emma. Nevermind her own reaction to such a thought-image.

"Well, ladies, this dingo won't be eating baby tonight." Heather pats Annie's shoulder when she says baby and smiles. She makes her way out of the ring, "I say we reschedule for the UCWF ring." Turning to the two ladies in the audience, "And Emma and Xiu Lin are invited. Maybe we can do a tag team match. The blonds versus…the rest." She squeals in her thick Australian accent.

Annie starts giggling at Heather's turn-of-phrase. The giggles threaten to turn into a giggle-fit, forcing her to clamp a hand over her mouth. When she gets control she shrugs to everyone before doing some serious flexing and posing while she spouts out in her 'wrestlin' voice', "No freebies tonight! Come see us at the UCWF ring. The battle of the century! Gogo versus Lifeguard! I'll rip that pretty blonde to pieces! I'll throw shrimp on her barbie! I'll get her down under! I'll…" burst into giggles again. Still giggling she hops the ring ropes, doing a mid air somersault before landing on her fair feet with a solid thump.

Emma smiles a small, warm smile at Xiu Lin at her earnest words. She gently clasps her shoulder, offering an equally earnest, "I know,", supplemented by a tiny yet tender kiss to the Chinese girl's cheek. The blonde telepath can't help laughing at Heather's words, then Annie's wrestling pitch. "Oh, heavens, this is going to turn messy, isn't it?" she murmurs, shaking her head.

"And I will make every effort to be there. This sounds to good to miss." Xiu Lin pops to her feet and applauds excitedly for the 'show' put on by Heather and Annie, though she is a mite confused. Gogo? Lifeguard? She'll have to ask about that later. "That was very good showmanship." Ask her, and she'll probably go along with this madness. Why not? And Emma seems onboard, so that's one more reason not to miss, isn't it?

With the flip, Heather shakes her head. Good thing, she has no problem with her codename being used. She laughs as she joins all the others, "Well, we should all get each others numbers or emails or whatever. It is nice to finally have some girlfriends since coming here." She goes to reach for a bag and pulls out a cellphone, "Seriously, Annie, other than you, I don't think I have any real female friends."

Gogo laughs at that and gives Emma and Xiu Lin hugs unless they dodge. She's obviously got her hugging engine revved up, "Wow? Me? Don't expect me to be good at girl stuff. I own like four pairs of shoes and I hate shopping." Not like she can really do normal shopping given her size and shape, "Oh, fighting in a real ring is awesome. We can bounce off them and do all sorts of fun things. I hopefully am getting a real match here soon. If I do, all of you get tickets!" She goes over to pick up her phone so she can do all the phone business…though she's awfully slow at all that. It is one of those situations where having giant fingers is a serious disadvantage. "Oh, wasn't it?"

Gogo… Lifeguard… Emma files the names away for the time being, just before she's half crushed by a Gogo hug! "Urk!" When she is released, she rubs her upper arms, as if testing to see if they're still whole. "I'd be glad of that. Let me get my phone… I left it locked up in the locker room. Won't be a moment." She walks briskly back into the locker room at that.

Xiu Lin goes to her bag and fetches her own phone, more than willing to share contact details with these ladies. She even offers to help Annie with putting numbers into her phone, when she sees how challenging it is for Annie. And she makes sure to wait for Emma to return so that they can exchange numbers as well. "So, are you a lifeguard, then, Heather? I must admit, you look the part, just like what we always expect a lifeguard to look like." What do you mean, codenames?

Bah! Inputting numbers as she is given them, Heather chuckles a bit at Xiu Lin's question, "Well I was an actual lifeguard when I lived in Australia. But now that is my codename." Heather has no qualms revealing who she is, "I work for the government on a team. You may have heard of it. X-Factor. My codename is Lifeguard. I chose it as I value the important of life, so I try to be a guardian of life." She shrugs, "Cheesy, I know."

Annie beams down at Xiu Lin as the other woman offers to help with her phone, "Thanks. Even with the big button app it's still not too easy for me to put that stuff in there." Then when Heather explains her codename she chimes in, "She's great. You should see her change into her super tough, ultra sexy gold look. Gogo is my wrestling name, and my superhero name, though I am not half the hero that Heather is."

Emma is back with her phone a minute later. "Here's mine," she says, showing the screen around the trio for a moment, to make sure they have it, before taking down theirs as she gets them. "Thanks for sharing. Never thought I'd meet new friends at a gym, but I suppose it's just funny how things work out."

"I do not think that is cheesy." Xiu Lin ofers, as she offers up her own digits and helps others spell her full name. "I am sure you are very much a hero, Annie." Far more of one than Xiu Lin considers herself. But they are likely both their own worst critics. She does indeed help input everything into Annie's phone, with a smile. "We all do what we can. That, I think, has to be the key. That we all do what we can to help." Idealist much?

With everyone's numbers saved in her cell, "Well, ladies, it was nice meeting you all. And I propose, why not a girl's night out?" Heather looks to the gathered ladies, "Of course we will meet for the big match between myself and Gogo. But I can use some friends to show me around this city. We can be look those four ladies who wander around the city from that TV show."

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