Author Topic: Beacon Academy Pre-Vytal Festival Exhibition Match: Catalina vs Smokey [OPEN]  (Read 263 times)

ReaperJoe

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Dammit, why do they always let go?  Smokey's foolproof plan to slingshot himself using his opponent's own semblance into melee range while his own semblance was down would almost assuredly win him the fight.  There was nothing that could have gone wrong!

Since there was a break in the action, Smokey took stock of his own situation.  He had his opponent's weapon, but Cat had other ways to attack.  Smokey's own semblance was down for the next 10 seconds, which means Matchstick was down, too.  Maybe he could use the hammer's rifle form to...nah.  He'd have to spend time looking for the button or whatever the switch mechanism was, which was time he couldn't really afford.  Even if he did find it, it would probably take two or three shots just to get the hang of how she fired, minimum.  Smokey doesn't really have the chance to reload Matchstick either, because he'd have to let go of the hammer to grab the bullets.  That means Smokey will have to finish this fight with the two bullets left in Matchstick, or commit hard to melee. 

That suits him just fine.

In the meantime, though, he's got to survive for 10 seconds.  And that means dodging.  Smokey wasn't good at dodging.  Damn, I really wish I could bunny hop around with dust like some people can, Smokey mused frustratingly to himself.  ...wait, maybe he can!  Smokey holstered his gun, and reached into his coat pocket containing his dust.  He reached into the fire dust cartridge, and pulled out at least half of its contents and held it in his fist.  He then held it out, and then scattered the dust into a semicircle around him.

This is by far the stupidest idea Smokey has ever had.  Fortunately, that also means there's a good chance Cat will never expect it.  It also means that, no matter what happens, he's gonna have a good story to tell.  With a stupid smirk on his face, Smokey braced himself and held the hammer in both hands, ready to swing at a moment's notice.

Combat log:
Aura: 40%
Semblance:  TIMEOUT!  COOLDOWN STAGE! 5 SECONDS REMAINING AT START OF NEXT TURN (First 5 was this post)
Matchstick: 2/7 Rounds
Dust: 7 Fire Dust, 13 Ice Dust (Ice Dust dropped)

Action: the hell is he doing? (Scattered 7 rounds worth of fire dust in an arc around him.)
Smokey Emberstone--1st year Beacon Student and the Immovable Gunslinger of Team BSSM"I've got more than enough firepower to beat you" "You've only got one bullet!" "Like I said, more than enough"

Aurelia Lumen Beacon 3rd year and the Warhorse of Team (TBD)  "Lay down your weapons, lest you wish to taste my steel!"

Siuwa

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Catalina was ready to lash out at Smokey, but then he saw him reach into the pocket, squeeze his hand and sprayed out... fire dust. Phew. Luckily for Cat, he already infused some fire dust into his Aura meaning even if they are activated all at once to make a small firestorm it would have little effect to his own heated Aura, which means they are safe to ignore. Which he did because he is going to barrage him to kingdom come. Or hopefully more than halfway to it anyway, since it will take out another chunk of his mental strength to sustain this one.

Standing still Cat launched as many as 4 spikes, each aimed at the center of mass and near the target hand so that a swing block isn't as effective, at Smokey and started chipping away at Smokey bit by bit. He can do a bit of retracting and relaunching, effectively turning it into a fist cuff with his semblance. Although despite trying hard his mind is being stressed, he is starting to feel winded and it will only get worse from here.

Aura: 55%
Semblance: 44%
Status: lightheaded

Spike attacks: (3% + 2% fire) x 6
Catalina Glenn - first year Beacon Academy student - "Not funny, dude! And not dudes... and everyone else... " - Cata, Cat.
Infrared Ray - fourth year Atlas Academy student - "So it's __ and __(insert name here) meets each other."
Sheer Gold - second year Beacon Academy student - "This is super effective!"
Siu Ceong - Beacon Academy graduate Huntress - "What is this? Where can I learn about it?"

Spoiler: Character hex code for reference • show
Cat: #0A44C2
Infrared: #CB4154
Sheer: plain red
Siu: #28CDFF

ReaperJoe

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Smokey smirked.  Looks like Cat didn't catch on to his ingenious plan.  You see, the fire dust wasn't meant to be used offensively.  It's purpose was for mobility.  The plan was to use the hammer to ignite the fire dust, which would cause an explosion that would send Smokey up and over the attacks of his opponent, ideally at an angle to counter attack at the same time (although that was a very unlikely case). 

With his aura rising out of the hammer like a volcanic ash cloud, Smokey did indeed swing in response to Cat's attacks, but he didn't swing across.  He jumped into the air and swung down onto the scattered fire dust.  And, to Smokey's credit, a lot of his plan went right.  With the combination of aura and force, the fire dust indeed responded as he intended too, and enough force was created to launch Smokey.  He knew in advance that there would be backlash, and successfully minimized the amount of damage he took.  He was even launched in the perfect angle to dodge Cat's attacks.  The only problem was that he was launched backwards.  Oops.

Smokey, who predicted he'd go forwards, was caught off-guard, and was blasted head over heels, resulting in him comically rolling backwards to the clear opposite side of the arena.  He did manage to complete the roll on his feet, but he had to take a minute to get his bearings and figure out what happened.  The first thing he realized was that he wasn't holding the hammer anymore.

Smokey had prepared to be blasted forward, but since he was instead blasted back, he was caught off-guard and the hammer was flung out of his hands high into the air.  It was currently spinning wildly at least 15-20 meters in the air at a space halfway between Catalina and Smokey.   "That's not good."

Combat log:
Aura: 33% (self-inflicted)
Semblance: COOLDOWN STAGE! IMMOVABLE OBJECT AVAILABLE AT START OF NEXT TURN!
Matchstick: 2/7 Rounds
Dust: 7 Fire Dust, 13 Ice Dust (Ice Dust dropped)
Smokey Emberstone--1st year Beacon Student and the Immovable Gunslinger of Team BSSM"I've got more than enough firepower to beat you" "You've only got one bullet!" "Like I said, more than enough"

Aurelia Lumen Beacon 3rd year and the Warhorse of Team (TBD)  "Lay down your weapons, lest you wish to taste my steel!"

Siuwa

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Catalina was expecting a defensive use of the dust, which is the reason he didn't pay much attention and launched his attack anyway. But he didn't expect Smokey to launch himself with those, and certainly not backwards. Noting that a longer distance means more strain for himself, Cat closed the distance a little and let his semblance 'fistcuff' move the rest of the way to finish the attack.

He was focusing a lot on the attack in the front, and his head now feels not only light but stinging now, so Cat didn't notice that his hammer is freely spinning in the air until it had reached its peak and is momentarily suspended. No problem though, he can just divert one of his attacks to collect it when it drops lower. For now, he can just keep extending and retracting his Aura spikes to chip at Smokey's Aura and watch out to account for any necessity for him to change his course of attack, especially if Smokey fires another round which would crash his Aura if it hits.

Aura: 55%
Semblance: 38%
Status: lightheaded, headache

Spike attacks: (3% + 2% fire) x 6
« Last Edit: June 29, 2018, 01:08:08 PM by Siuwa »
Catalina Glenn - first year Beacon Academy student - "Not funny, dude! And not dudes... and everyone else... " - Cata, Cat.
Infrared Ray - fourth year Atlas Academy student - "So it's __ and __(insert name here) meets each other."
Sheer Gold - second year Beacon Academy student - "This is super effective!"
Siu Ceong - Beacon Academy graduate Huntress - "What is this? Where can I learn about it?"

Spoiler: Character hex code for reference • show
Cat: #0A44C2
Infrared: #CB4154
Sheer: plain red
Siu: #28CDFF

ReaperJoe

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Well, Smokey was in a bit of bind.  He didn't have a lot of ammo left in his gun, his biggest advantage is spinning high in the air, his aura was starting to run low, and Cat was trying to push an advantage.  Not that Smokey had time to think about any of this. 

However, and Smokey's not thinking about this either, but it's definitely worth pointing out, he has three things going for him:  he has his hands free, his semblance is ready for use again, and he has one last ace in the hole.

Thinking quickly, Smokey spies the cartridge of ice dust Cat had pulled out previously, which just so conveniently happens to be close to where Cat is standing now.  Pulling out both Matchstick and the remainder of the fire dust, Smokey loads the gun, reactivates his semblance, and fires a shot.  The result is an explosion of mist that obscures the surrounding area, blocking the combatants' vision of each other. 

Smokey immediately starts running, and between that, the mist, and possibly the strain on Cat's mind, only one of the spikes manage to hit Smokey, earning a small grunt of pain.  He opens up the chamber of the revolver and starts reloading as fast he can (thank goodness for large, hard-to-miss holes).  Keeping his eyes on the cloud, he watches for any chains, spikes, or whatever else Cat decides to throw out of the cloud.

To an outsider, Cat would seem to have an impressive lead on Smokey, and some may think this battle is decidedly in Cat's favor already.  But Smokey has one more trick up his sleeve.  It's time for an all-or-nothing gambit. 

Combat log:
Aura: 28%
Semblance: REACTIVATED! 25 SECONDS REMAINING AT START OF NEXT TURN
Matchstick: 1/7 Rounds.  Starting Reload, ready some time next turn.
Dust: 6 Fire Dust, 0 Ice Dust (Ice Dust explosion)

Action:  1 shot to Ice dust, causing a cloud of mist to form obscuring vision.  Currently running in a circle around the cloud, keeping in range of Matchstick.  Reloading.
Smokey Emberstone--1st year Beacon Student and the Immovable Gunslinger of Team BSSM"I've got more than enough firepower to beat you" "You've only got one bullet!" "Like I said, more than enough"

Aurelia Lumen Beacon 3rd year and the Warhorse of Team (TBD)  "Lay down your weapons, lest you wish to taste my steel!"

Siuwa

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Obscuring mist that blocks his vision is annoying, Cat thought as he takes the break to grab back his gun and relax, returning all his spikes and closing his eyes to alleviate his mental stress just a bit. This went on a short while before he returned his focus to figuring out something... Flamethrower didn't work, the hammer is too dangerous, and he lost track of the fired rounds...

Cat snapped back his eye open as he found a solution. Dust. Catalina rummaged through his items and brought out his ice rounds. He chambered one of them right before firing it at the mist, freezing them back into icicles thus clearing the line of vision. Then Cat swapped to explosive rounds with their advantage of splash damage and prepared to fire. He was lucky that this happened in the earlier stages of his attacks and he didn't fully commit to the fistcuff. If he had to figure this out while being nauseated he would be pretty much boned.

Aura: 55%
Semblance: 38%
Status: lightheaded, headache

Firing an ice round at the mist, freezing it.
Catalina Glenn - first year Beacon Academy student - "Not funny, dude! And not dudes... and everyone else... " - Cata, Cat.
Infrared Ray - fourth year Atlas Academy student - "So it's __ and __(insert name here) meets each other."
Sheer Gold - second year Beacon Academy student - "This is super effective!"
Siu Ceong - Beacon Academy graduate Huntress - "What is this? Where can I learn about it?"

Spoiler: Character hex code for reference • show
Cat: #0A44C2
Infrared: #CB4154
Sheer: plain red
Siu: #28CDFF

ReaperJoe

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There's no way Smokey would know what was going on inside the mist, but the seconds Catalina spent relaxing and thinking of a strategy were crucial.  You see, it takes a while to reload Matchstick.  Had Cat pushed his attack even with the mist around, Smokey would have been put on the back foot trying to reload and dodge the continuous flurry of aura strikes.  That was the worst case scenario. 

But Smokey's first gamble had paid off, as he was given time to reload his gun unmolested.  The cylinder was slapped back into place, and Smokey flipped the switch to transform Matchstick into it's secondary form.  Now all he had to do was wait for Cat to reveal himself, and--oh, this was just too good.

A shot rings out into the mist, presumably filled with ice dust as the mist refreezes into many tiny icicles that clatter to the floor.  Of course, now Catalina has a clear view of Smokey, but he also has a clear view of not one, not two, but seven barrels staring straight back at him.

"Peek-a-boo!" is all Cat hears before the deafening crack of seven shots being fired at once fills the arena.

Combat log:
Aura: 28%
Semblance: 20 SECONDS REMAINING AT START OF NEXT TURN
Matchstick: 0/7 Rounds.  Reload begins next turn.
Dust: 0 Fire Dust (Just Fired), 0 Ice Dust (Ice Dust explosion)

Action:  Fully-loaded volley ((40% + 10% Fire) AoE)
Smokey Emberstone--1st year Beacon Student and the Immovable Gunslinger of Team BSSM"I've got more than enough firepower to beat you" "You've only got one bullet!" "Like I said, more than enough"

Aurelia Lumen Beacon 3rd year and the Warhorse of Team (TBD)  "Lay down your weapons, lest you wish to taste my steel!"

Siuwa

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Catalina's just wanted to blindly spam his trigger to blow Smokey up but nope, he had to face one last trick up his sleeve before he can win. Or he will lose. The latter being much more likely given what he had to face. His slightly recovered mind had one thing pop up and he followed through.

Subconsciously filtering out any words and communicating only with combat skills Cat pulled the trigger on Take that!, targeting only the lowest of the shots. He gets exactly one shot, so he needs to be quick and precise at the cluster so that a lot of them blasts off course just enough and miss him.

The answer sailed through the explosive shockwave and hit him, but not all of them and not all at full force. The shockwave deflection had worked. The buzzer had not sounded, at least not yet, and the explosion is heading for Smokey. He won. Or at least, had not known his loss yet.

Aura: 21%
Semblance: 38%
Status: lightheaded, headache
Explosive rounds: 5% splash damage
« Last Edit: July 04, 2018, 02:12:11 AM by Siuwa »
Catalina Glenn - first year Beacon Academy student - "Not funny, dude! And not dudes... and everyone else... " - Cata, Cat.
Infrared Ray - fourth year Atlas Academy student - "So it's __ and __(insert name here) meets each other."
Sheer Gold - second year Beacon Academy student - "This is super effective!"
Siu Ceong - Beacon Academy graduate Huntress - "What is this? Where can I learn about it?"

Spoiler: Character hex code for reference • show
Cat: #0A44C2
Infrared: #CB4154
Sheer: plain red
Siu: #28CDFF

ReaperJoe

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Smokey could just spit.  He didn't even need to see his opponent to know he was still in the fight.  The fact that the buzzer didn't sound amidst the explosion was all the proof he needed.  The explosion didn't affect him much physically, not even forcing him to take a step back.  His semblance was useful like that, after all.

But mentally, something snapped.  Victory had been pried from his grasp twice now, from his perspective.  He had blown up himself up to try and get to him.  He had blown up his ice dust to create cover.  He had blown the rest of his fire dust on that last attack.  And that attack had been blown away.  And now it looks like something else is about to blow.  Because Smokey is out of dust, out of ammo, and, quite frankly, out of patience.

Smokey needed to hit something.  Smokey was going to hit something.  And, lo and behold, there was something standing right in front of him barely yards away that just looked so hittable.   He almost felt sorry for it.  Almost.

With rage in his eyes, Smokey charged forward with Matchstick held high in the air in one hand, screaming, "I'M GOING TO SMACK YOU SO HARD, YOU'RE GONNA HAVE TO PICK YOUR TEETH UP OFF THE GROUND!"  Of course, that was easier said than done, obviously.  Cat still had his semblance to defend him, as well as his hammer now.  From what Cat has shown so far, Smokey could probably take 1, maybe 2 hits from Cat's semblance, but has to block the hammer from a direct hit at all costs.  That's why Smokey's waving his gun in the air, to serve as a distraction.  It's real purpose is to bat away the hammer and, if possible, any spikes or whatever Cat's semblance cooks up.  Cat's real threat is Smokey's foot, which, if one examines closely, is ever-so-slightly billowing a dark gray aura off of it.  An easy detail to miss when camouflaged under the veil of Smokey's semblance.

And they say rage clouds your judgement...

Combat log:
Aura: 23%
Semblance: 15 SECONDS REMAINING AT START OF NEXT TURN
Matchstick: 0/7 Rounds. 
Dust: 0 Fire Dust, 0 Ice Dust

Action:  "Reckless" charge, Strike with aura-enhanced kick (11% if he can get there)
Smokey Emberstone--1st year Beacon Student and the Immovable Gunslinger of Team BSSM"I've got more than enough firepower to beat you" "You've only got one bullet!" "Like I said, more than enough"

Aurelia Lumen Beacon 3rd year and the Warhorse of Team (TBD)  "Lay down your weapons, lest you wish to taste my steel!"

Siuwa

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Wow, that worked. Cat almost couldn't believe it. Just one more hit and it's match. Here it comes.

Taking a half step back to balance himself, Catalina refocused, planning to use his semblance at a close distance. Close enough that it can't be easily dodged or blocked, but far enough to prevent getting hit even if Smokey thrust with his hammer. To add the most to this one hit, Cat pulled his left fist and punched the air at his full strength and at its fastest, Cat used his semblance to launch his semblance-created spike, adding the speed of his punch to the normal attack of his semblance. He basically created a piston punch. With it heading for Smokey's right collarbone, he should hit hard enough to down him past the aura but without any serious chance of harming him.

Aura: 21%
Semblance: 34%
Status: lightheaded, headache
Spike: 10% + 2% fire
« Last Edit: July 04, 2018, 06:50:43 PM by Siuwa »
Catalina Glenn - first year Beacon Academy student - "Not funny, dude! And not dudes... and everyone else... " - Cata, Cat.
Infrared Ray - fourth year Atlas Academy student - "So it's __ and __(insert name here) meets each other."
Sheer Gold - second year Beacon Academy student - "This is super effective!"
Siu Ceong - Beacon Academy graduate Huntress - "What is this? Where can I learn about it?"

Spoiler: Character hex code for reference • show
Cat: #0A44C2
Infrared: #CB4154
Sheer: plain red
Siu: #28CDFF

ReaperJoe

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If Smokey was ever shown a replay of this fight and asked to point out what led to his victory, he'd pick out two instances. The first instance would be the point where Cat charged him with the flamethrower, which essentially threw away his opponent's range advantage.  The second and currently much more relevant mistake was Cat pulling back his fist.  Now this requires a bit of explanation.

First of all, had Cat shot out a volley of chains like he had before, Smokey would have had no chance to dodge any more than one of them.  He had no fire dust to launch him away, and he had no ice dust conveniently located to make a smoke screen.  He didn't even have a round of ammunition to try and deflect them.  Even with Smokey's feint, Cat would have easily secured victory with a flurry of blows.  Even if Cat had reduced the flurry and attempted to strike him with the hammer at the same time, Smokey would have been forced to defend against the hammer, which would have left him exposed to the chains.  But Cat did neither of these things.  Cat intended to finish the fight with one strike.  That was part of his mistake.

The second part of the mistake was very simple:  Cat had telegraphed his attack.  Cat may not have realized it himself, but Smokey had one big advantage over Cat going into this fight that can't be measured in stats, and that was experience.  No, not combat experience, or weapons experience, or even general huntsman experience.  Smokey's experience came in the form of petty brawls and street fights.  They say defeat is the best teacher, and Smokey had suffered many a defeat.  But he did win some, and in those fights, his opponents made the same mistake Cat was making now:  they did something to tip Smokey off of their next move.  By pulling back his fist to wind-up for his strike, Cat had all but told Smokey exactly what he was planning.

And, no matter how powerful, no matter how fast, no matter how well-aimed, if something was telegraphed, it could be dodged.

Cat would probably watch the event in slow motion.  As he let his fist fly, Smokey's gun would already have moved into position to block the attack and Smokey's body would be leaning to the left.  As the spike and chain shot out, and it did shoot out at high speed, the spike would indeed come into contact with Smokey.  However, it would first be deflected by Matchstick, which itself was sent flying into the air from the impact.  The result was knocking the spike off-course just enough to only land a glancing blow. 

Smokey's aura was still in the yellow.

And now, Smokey was charging to Cat's exposed left side, the billowing ash cloud of aura no longer on his foot but on his right fist.  And that right fist was careening in straight for Cat's ribs.

Combat log:
Aura: 17% (Glancing Blow, 1/2 damage)
Semblance: 10 SECONDS REMAINING AT START OF NEXT TURN
Matchstick: 0/7 Rounds. 
Dust: 0 Fire Dust, 0 Ice Dust

Action:  Aura-enhanced right hook to Cat's left side(11%)
Smokey Emberstone--1st year Beacon Student and the Immovable Gunslinger of Team BSSM"I've got more than enough firepower to beat you" "You've only got one bullet!" "Like I said, more than enough"

Aurelia Lumen Beacon 3rd year and the Warhorse of Team (TBD)  "Lay down your weapons, lest you wish to taste my steel!"

Siuwa

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[Attack completion Granted by Reaper.]
Cat was throwing his punch when he saw Smokey was already blocking it and he knows why. His.winding up comes with the downside of being telegraphed. He was lucky though, because he isn't actually doing a left hook. He is using the speed to add power behind his semblance attack, and that can be launched from a different direction.
In slow-mo vision, Smokey would see him moving in time to block the punch, but when it is about half a second away from impact, a blue spike extrudes from his fist and whiz past the defense of Matchstick, hitting him squarely in the right collarbone. But at the same time, since Cat was focusing all his mind in this attack, Smokey's own puch went entirely unnoticed and lands with full force at Catalina's side.

As Cat fell to his last received punch he took a glance at the Aura numbers and heard one buzzer. Wait, one? No way ones of us didn't go red. He took another look and sure enough, the numbers sit at Cat 10% to 11% Smokey. That technically counts as a draw, but Cat has less Aura so he felt as if he had lost. With that thought he retched. Luckily nothing came out, but now Cat had to rest before he can even talk, this time he can comfortably close his eyes.
Catalina Glenn - first year Beacon Academy student - "Not funny, dude! And not dudes... and everyone else... " - Cata, Cat.
Infrared Ray - fourth year Atlas Academy student - "So it's __ and __(insert name here) meets each other."
Sheer Gold - second year Beacon Academy student - "This is super effective!"
Siu Ceong - Beacon Academy graduate Huntress - "What is this? Where can I learn about it?"

Spoiler: Character hex code for reference • show
Cat: #0A44C2
Infrared: #CB4154
Sheer: plain red
Siu: #28CDFF

ReaperJoe

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Smokey looked at his downed opponent in front of him, watching as Cat closed his eyes.  He was...unsatisfied.  His gaze shifted over to the scoreboard, where the results of the match were displayed for all to see.  10% for Catalina Glenn, 11% for Smokey Emberstone.  A dead heat.  Most would call that a tie, where neither combatant won or lost.  Smokey considered it a double loss. 

Smokey switched Matchstick back into revolver form, spun it around his finger, holstered it, and started walking away.  With each step, Smokey ran through the bout again and again in his mind.  To him, a draw meant both competitors held victory in their grasp but ended up squandering it in one way or another.  And that thought was resonating more strongly than ever after this fight.  From his point of view, Smokey was mere inches from winning on three separate occasions.  Once, when he had frozen Cat's leg.  The second, when he had the jump on Cat with the volley gun.  And the third, just now in that simultaneous exchange.  But each time, Cat had pulled out one trick after another to escape defeat.  It was frustrating, to say the least.

Though, looking back, perhaps this fight was Cat's to lose from the beginning.  After all, he had a long range weapon and an incredibly versatile and useful semblance, both of which are hard-counters to Smokey's short-range, one-trick fighting style.  He had to use literally everything in his arsenal to bring the match to this result.  Maybe a draw was the best result Smokey could have--

The thought perished under the weight of Smokey's competitive pride.  He was about to enter the Vytal Festival, he couldn't afford a defeatist attitude. If he had to fight an opponent like Catalina in the real tournament, he'd just have to find another trick they can't defend against.

Just as he was about to step off the arena, his scroll beeped.  Taking it out, Smokey flipped to the new email he had just received.  It was a message concerning the Vytal Festival, topically enough.  It only took a few seconds for Smokey's expression to turn from a scowl to the slightest of smirks.  "Well, then.  That is Good News."  Looks like Smokey will have another trick up his sleeve.  Or, at least, on his back.
Smokey Emberstone--1st year Beacon Student and the Immovable Gunslinger of Team BSSM"I've got more than enough firepower to beat you" "You've only got one bullet!" "Like I said, more than enough"

Aurelia Lumen Beacon 3rd year and the Warhorse of Team (TBD)  "Lay down your weapons, lest you wish to taste my steel!"

Siuwa

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This is bad. Twice in a row now he couldn't win against an opponent, this time even with a large advantage on his hand and he blundered it away. Was it because he didn't utilize his semblance fully? Not really, he used various techniques of his semblance including self-movement, rapid-fire fistcuff, punch faking and spare hands. Maybe he didn't aim true enough? Nope, he hit mostly every time he fired and even was lucky enough to blast away that last desperate fire. Did he make use of everything in his arsenal? Well enough he'd say. So that leaves his choices as the major mistakes. In hindsight, are there better moves he could have made, or lessons learned by experience?
Why yes.

For one, don't close your range against a close range opponent even if flamethrower is an excellent close range weapon, that can always wait until they charge you, and you never know what they can pull off against you when you throw away your distance.
Second, don't close your eyes in a fight. This is such a no-brainer that Cat really should beat himself up over it literally. It's not the first time he did that. You have all the time to relax if you win the fight. For instance, if he tried to pull that against
Thirdly, try not to hold back when the Aura is not down in a match. It's probably the subconscious reason he didn't fire or rush his way to victory because he didn't want to injure Smokey and get accused which scares him. How stupid that is, and a disrespect to his opponent too.
Lastly, play to your strength more. His semblance is at most a supplement at hand-to-hand ranges, and his main advantage is his high ranged firepower shoot more often and strain his semblance less.

Actually, is that even true? He had to face a resistive semblance and superior firepower at a close range, and at melee range, he easily gets disarmed. If not for Smokey's backward launch shenanigans he would have utterly humiliated Catalina with a full overpower, given he did not and still do not know what weakness he has. Speed, strength, skills he all possesses and even reloading is hardly an exploitable weakness. It seems he needs a completely different mindset against him than his goal.
Catalina Glenn - first year Beacon Academy student - "Not funny, dude! And not dudes... and everyone else... " - Cata, Cat.
Infrared Ray - fourth year Atlas Academy student - "So it's __ and __(insert name here) meets each other."
Sheer Gold - second year Beacon Academy student - "This is super effective!"
Siu Ceong - Beacon Academy graduate Huntress - "What is this? Where can I learn about it?"

Spoiler: Character hex code for reference • show
Cat: #0A44C2
Infrared: #CB4154
Sheer: plain red
Siu: #28CDFF

 

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