Monday, June 14, 2010

Cage Match: Blade vs. Selene

OK, the vampire cage matches have been on a longish hiatus, but we're back and ready to settle who will be battling it out in the semifinals. In our last quarterfinal bout, we have Blade from the film trilogy of the same name, and Selene, the ├╝ber-stylish death dealer from Underworld. The winner of this fight will go on to meet Eric Northman of True Blood in the semifinals.

Blade won the coin toss, and has opted to have the fight in one of the more notorious vampire night clubs in town, presumably in the hopes of wreaking a certain amount of collateral damage on the clubgoers.


The music throbs through the smoky darkness, punctuated by occasional strobes and the multicoloured lasers emanating from the DJ booth. Selene walks slowly in from the kitchens, having let herself in through the back door. She clutches her semiautomatic pistol under her long coat like a talisman, knowing that, whatever else she has faced in her long and bloody tenure as a death dealer, she was about to have one of the most difficult fights of her life—if not the most difficult.

She pauses, using a knot of writhing dancers as cover as she surveys the club's massive interior for her foe. It seems to her that there are thousands of obliviously dancing vampires here in this hangar-like space and she instinctively keeps close to the walls so as not to let Blade sneak up behind her.

She is just about to check over her shoulder when she sees him—standing absolutely still on the other side of the dance floor, up on a dais so he is above the other patrons. Though he is wearing dark sunglasses, she knows he can see her; and when her eyes meet his, he smiles slowly, revealing unsettlingly white teeth. All at once, her hand grows slippery on the butt of her gun.

He cocks his head as if asking a question. Selene breathes deeply, and nods.

Blade seems almost to explode in movement, his long coat billowing out around him as he draws a pair of guns and brings them to bear on Selene. Selene responds in kind, twin .45s emerging from beneath her coat as she dives to her right. His shots pass through the air where she had been an instant before. She hears their quick, wet thuds as they strike the dancers behind her, and the screaming sizzle as the vampires dissolve in flame. She fires off her own volley as she dives, her nervousness now gone as her body instinct takes over. Her shots are dead on, but Blade whirls away and her own silver-impregnated shells cause carnage among the dancing bodies where he was an instant ago.

It is a sign of the clubgoers' collective trance-like state that they do not at first notice the fight claiming so many bystanders. And it is not the deaths that trigger the panic, but someone turning in anger at being shoved out of the way by Blade and recognizing him. The shout, shrill and panicked, goes up over the music. "The Daywalker! Blade is here!"At that, the throb of the bass cuts out suddenly and the club's patrons begin a stampede for the exits. Somewhere in a cold, detached part of Selene's mind, she takes note that the mere mention of her opponent's name—not gunshots and bodies dissolving in fire—is what causes a collective panic.

And with that thought, her fear returns.

They continue to duck and weave amidst the vampires scrambling to get out, each firing fusillades that miss their target but hit the fleeing bodies. Selene exhausts her clips and smoothly reloads; she sees Blade discard his guns entirely, throwing them wide. His hands dive under his coat again and she sees silver glint as curved blades snick open. She swings her guns up, but even as she brings them to bear, one of the double-ended blade spins toward her. She manages to knock it aside, but feels it bite into her suddenly nerveless hand. One of her pistols goes clattering across the floor. As she tries to aim her remaining weapon, he is suddenly upon her, his hand on her wrist, yanking her around, pitching her across the floor.

She hits the ground, rolls, and is back on her feet with her two long, wickedly thin knives in her hands. They pause, regarding each other. Blade nods at her, his face registering respect. He reaches behind his head and in a smooth, elegant sweep draws his sword. She nods back at him and they move together in a blur of steel.

The ending comes quickly. Selene knows even as their steel meets, that she is outmatched. She can fend him off, but only barely, and cannot come close to bringing one of her knives under his guard. The look of regret and respect on his face is but cold comfort to her when he finally makes an end with a slash that sends her head across the room.

Projected Winner: BLADE

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