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The Cleaver's Daughter

Written by Dru1076 :: [Saturday, 22 February 2014 10:42] Last updated by :: [Saturday, 22 February 2014 11:55]

The Cleaver's Daughter

By Dru


 

It was proof that just because you were dating the Chief of Police's only daughter, that didn't mean you had any special protection. As Danny picked himself and looked at the backs of his attackers as they strode away, he wiped the blood off his lip and whispered a feeble curse.

Just like Bob had said, there was nothing he could do but pay up.

"Your money, dickface. You really don't want to make this too fun for me," Bob had warned him.

But what was Danny to do? There were five of them, and every single one of them had black belts in Karate from one of the toughest dojo's in Cape Hope. Their sensei was a famously dirty fighter who had been disqualified from six of his twenty national title appearances for illegal moves. How he had gained such a large number of dedicated students was something of a mystery … until you met his students.

"Danny?"

It was Mary, Dan's very beautiful girlfriend.

"Hey Mary. What … what are you doing here?"

She rushed up to Dan and gave him a hug. He winced, and she immediately let go and stepped back with a look of concern.

"I'm sorry! Did I hurt you?"

"No, Mary! That felt good. I just feel sore all over right now."

"Who did this to you?" Mary demanded. "Was it those awful kung-fools again?"

Danny nodded.

Mary was almost in tears. "Why? Why do they keep doing this?"

"It's alright, Mary. It's my own fault really. I tried to convince them my dad isn't giving me as much pocket money nowadays. Of course they didn't believe me."

"I could tell me dad. He'll …"

"No Mary. How will your father ever think I can keep you safe if he finds out about this?"

"Don't be ridiculous! There's a whole karate school coming down on you!"

Danny suddenly seemed angry, and pushed her away.

"It's fine. I can … handle it. You better go back home, Mary. I'll call you tomorrow, okay?"

Mary just watched her boyfriend walk away, struggling to understand why he couldn't ask for the help he so desperately needed. She thought hard for a moment, and then made a decision. Danny didn't need to ask for help. Why should he have to when she could see he was suffering so much?

It was time for Mary to stop laying low. It was time for her to use her gifts …


 

Other the fact that she was the Police Chief's only daughter, there was little to make Mary Ledbetter stand out from the rest of her friends. She could stand out, if she flaunted her natural beauty, but she preferred to let other girls do that. Danny was the only guy she really wanted to impress, and he was interested in more than just how much time she spent doing her hair. She could stand out, if she flaunted her recently discovered gifts … but she was afraid of doing that.

Her father had been talking just last night about how ridiculous it was that people thought superheroes were real. How would he react if he found out his own daughter had discovered she was immune to fire? Chief Ledbetter had moaned for hours about foolish pranks. How would he react if he knew his own daughter could have overturned that man's SRV without any mechanical aids? How would he react if he knew she could hit her head on a lump of steel and not get hurt? Even more importantly, how would Danny … a young man so determined to love her and keep her safe … react if he knew his little girlfriend was stronger than the college football team? Defence and offence combined? She was confident, after doing some little tests, that she was probably stronger than them, and all the people in the bleachers as well.

She didn't really want to know how people would react.

Standing outside Uncle Jim's Martial Arts Studio, she wondered for a moment if she'd made the right choice last night. When she had watched Danny limp off into the night yesterday she had been so angry, so sure this was what she wanted to do, that there was no doubt. Now, in the cold light of Saturday morning, standing alone before the open doors of the most feared dojo in Cape Hope, she had doubts.

Not fear, though. Recalling how she had so easily broken the tap in the bathroom on that first day of discovery, and how effortlessly she had lifted that car (so surprised by her strength had she been that she dropped the vehicle on her head) she felt a smile creep across her mouth. The car had been badly damaged by her face, but her face had not been damaged at all. She knew for a fact that no-one in the building before her could throw a punch or even a roundhouse that could match the power of that blow.

Her doubt came from her conscience. What she was about to do posed no real danger to her physically, but she had never harmed so much as a fly in her life. Could she really threaten a dojo full of badass kung-fu experts? Did she have a right to use her mysterious strength like this? The fact that her dad had spoken publicly against vigilantes ever since he got his job didn't help. If she went through with this, she would be going against everything her father believed in. No … he would never understand.

She was about to go, having convinced herself it was silly plan after all, when someone changed her mind.

"Hey! I know you. You're Cleveland's daughter, aren't you?"

It was Hank Emery, one of Uncle Jim's youngest blackbelts, and she shared two classes with him each week. Just by using her dad's nickname, which she despised, he got himself off on the wrong foot.

"I think you mean 'Chief Ledbetter's daughter," she corrected him.

"You're with that Danny fella, ain't ya?" Hank sidled up, trying not come across sleazy and failing miserably. "Why don't you dump that wus loser and get yourself a real man?"

Mary snorted. "You mean, a real man like you?"

"That's right, gorgeous. I'll make you happy. Real happy."

"Somehow I doubt that."

"You know that boyfriend of yours is right pussay. When you want some real loving, not from a soft-cock, come on by and I'll slot you in, babe."

With that obnoxious remark, Hank went into the dojo. Mary watched him go in, her mind now made up. These pricks needed to be taught some manners … and she was damn well going to teach them.


 

Uncle Jim was not the kind uncle who gave you your first beer or listened sympathetically to you bitch about your dad. He was, and by his own admission, a complete bastard. He understood that his position as one-time national champ gave him the power to do pretty much whatever he wanted. If anyone disagreed, he was perfectly capable of kicking their ass for them, and very good at convincing people police were not going to help. He had a simple credo that would not have been at all out of place in Nazi Germany. For Uncle Jim in fact considered Hitler to be genius, and the single greatest man of the 20th century. He also considered the man a pussay, for failing to win the war.

"That's how it's done ladies," he was explaining, helping his winded student up off the floor. "Now pair off and practise!"

Today he was teaching his advanced class. All of his proudest creations were before him, and his wandered about the swell in his chest seemed to rise. These men, and they were all men in his master class, were true killing machines every one. He always made sure not give away all his secrets to them, but their knowledge and skill made each one a formidable opponent. And the fact that he had imparted his own take on what was considered fair play ("If you can get away with it, it ain't illegal") only made them that much more deadly. In truth, Jim had turned his dojo into a small-time extortion racket. The proceeds from his lessons didn't come close to the numbers in his books. Sure he had to pay tax on his ill-gotten gains, but he just considered that as money laundering fee and didn't sweat it.

As he reached the back of the room and turned to make his way to the front again, he saw a small teenage girl standing in the doorway.

"Hey! Beginners classes are on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Come back then, okay?"

"I want to talk to you," the girl told him. "About leaving my boyfriend alone."

"What's that now?"

"I know her," said Bobby. "She's going with that Danny guy."

Jim smiled. It was a very unpleasant sight. "Oh? I'm not sure I know what you mean, girly. Leave him alone in what way?"

The girl glowered at him. "You know exactly what I mean. Your students are stealing from him, and last night they beat the shit out of him."

Jim shook his head, still smiling. "My boys are fine upstanding citizens. I'm sure they had nothing to with what happened to your little boyfriend."

"You're lying."

"Oh?" Jim turned to Bobby. "Did you beat up some dipshit last night?"

"We were here all night, Sensei," Bobby told him. "Every last one of us … training for the tournament."

"What about you, Hank?"

"Like Bobby said, Sensei. We was all here last night."

"See?" Jim asked, raising an eyebrow and turning back to look down on the girl. "All my boys were training last night. So it couldn't have been any of them, could it?

Mary said nothing, but her mind was racing.

"Yea, Mary. We were all here, all night. So fuck off."

"Now now, Bobby. No need to be rude to the girl." More quietly, he leaned in close and whispered. "Don't you ever come back in my dojo with scandalous claims like this ever again. You hear me, bitch? If you're pussay boyfriend is too weak to stand up for himself, and too stupid to pay, then he gets what's coming to him and he gets it good. And I know who are … go running to Daddy and I'll make sure your boyfriend gets far worse. You understand?" He leaned back and spoke up. "I think it's time for you too leave. The door is over there."

Mary nodded. "I can see you're not going to be reasonable."

"In my book," he told her darkly, "The only reasonable thing to do would be to take your skinny ass outside and give it a tanning. Now why don't you do what Bobby said, and fuck off?"

Mary said nothing to that. She knew what had to happen, and after talking with Uncle Jim she felt a lot better about doing it. She walked to the open door, and everyone expected her to walk right through it and out of their lives forever. Instead, she took hold of both doors and pulled them shut. She bolted the door, and placed her hand over the bolt. There was a tiny shriek of twisting metal, and she released the bolt to reveal to had been bent and twisted into place, effectively sealing the room.

"What the fuck?" Jim snorted derisively. "What the hell do you think you're doing?"

Mary approached Jim, steeling herself within for what she was about to do to him.

"No-one's leaving this room until we come to some sort of … understanding," she told him.

Jim's laugh proved as unpleasant as his smile. "I don't think you understand, girl. Just because daddy's a cop doesn't mean shit to me. You want to negotiate a new arrangement for your boyfriend? Well … I kinda like things the way they are. Now I don't usually encourage my boys to hit girls, but don't think I won't have them work you over."

Mary took a breath and pulled off her jacket, tossing it over a nearby chair. She stretched her feminine limbs, much to the clear amusement of the giggling black belts who watched her. "Okay, Jimmy: here's what's going to happen. You're going to leave Danny alone, and you're going to give him back all the money your thugs stole from him."

"Ha! Like hell I will."

"If you don't, I swear I will kick the ass of every man in this room … until you cry."

The room erupted into laughter. Mary put her hands on her petite hips and let them guffaw over her claim to their hearts content. Half a smile crept into the corner of her mouth as she thought about just how badly they were misjudging her chances against them. At last, after nearly a full minute, Jim pulled himself together enough to issue a command.

"George! Show this bitch how we deal with comedians."

The smallest, and most likely youngest, of the gathered students stepped out of formation and strode to the front of the room. He was only two or three inches taller than her, but he was quite a bit broader in the shoulders. As Jim stepped back, George stepped in front of Mary and looked her with undisguised malice. Looking him over, Mary assumed he was the one who copped all the abuse when his bored 'friends' had no-one else around to give a hard time to. It made it him meaner than most, and it came across in the evil smile he gave her.

To his annoyance, Mary leaned to the side to look past him at Uncle Jim. "Last chance, Jimmy. Once this gets started it's going to be too late for you."

"Stupid bitch," George accused. "Just remember: you asked for this."

"That's funny," Mary told him, raising an eyebrow. "I was about to say the same thing to you."

"Get on with, George," Jim ordered, tired of playing games. He was looking forward to this. He would break this silly girl … and break her good. When her was through with her, she would beg for them stop but Jim had no intention of stopping until she was prepared to whatever he wanted her to. And pretty as she was, he was cure he could think of something she could trade for her health … for her life.

George went low into an attack stance, and with a grunt assailed Mary with a flurry of powerful punches that earned a nod of approval from Jim as he recognised the boy's accurate use of pressure points as his trained hands connected with Mary's body and face. One to the side of her exposed midriff, one to the stomach, one to the solar plexus, and three lightening strikes to her smiling face.

A look of absolutely gobsmacked horror crossed his pockmarked face. "OW! Holy FUCK!" he stepped back, shaking the searing pain out of his hands and hopping about like a madman. It felt like he'd just thrown his best combo at full force against the door of a vault. He stopped shaking his hands and started to tear up when he quickly learned shaking broken knuckles doesn't actually alleviate pain.

"George!" Jim barked furiously. "Stop fucking around!"

"But … Sensei! I think I've broken something!"

Mary kept a straight face as best she could. She had felt George's carefully placed placed blows, and part of her registered the fact that it should have been enough to knock the wind out of her and put her on her ass. When George dropped to his knees, looking at his busted hands with wide teary eyes, she could no longer keep the smile grin from her face.

Her smile served to infuriate Jim, who had no idea what had just happened.

"We'll talk about this later, George," Jim darkly told his injured pupil. "Bobby! Sam! Hank! Take this obnoxious bitch down a peg."

The three martial arts devotees jumped to the task. Bobby looked at George and shook his head in disgust. George, confused and showing the early signs of shock, struggled to his feet and moved away.

Having used the three-on-one tactic many times, the thugs quickly encircled Mary and started their attempt to obey their master. Mary watched with intense fascination as Bobby made Bruce Lee sounds with each kick. Normally, his roundhouse would knock the victim … I mean: opponent … into the swing of the next man, who would either knock them back his way or send them on to the next attacker. It wasn't working as it should. It only took him two blows to discover that something was extremely out of whack here. Something was very, very, wrong indeed.

The first thing he noticed was that she didn't move. As hard as he hit her jaw she should have almost spun as she went onto the next guy. Instead he almost fell over, but was able to recover from the absence of any follow through. He winced as he put weight on the foot he'd struck he with, and moved in to deliver his favourite secret weapon: The classic and barroom-brawl style punch in the face. Again, he failed to move her. And when he unclenched his fist he winced again.

From behind Mary felt both Hank and Sam deliver several attacks. She felt each blow strike a carefully selected weak-spot on her back, but they failed to make her take her hands off her hips. As the three boys made all sorts of grunts and gasps, throwing everything from haymakers to leg-sweeps, Mary held Jim's cold eyes with hers and watched them fill with the fire of rage.

"Wow, Jim! What are you teaching these assholes? Are they gonna start trying for real soon? This is getting kinda old."

Unable to understand what he was watching, Jim saw his best students land blow after blow, all carefully and cleanly, placed on this upstart's body. She stood at the centre of the attack like a bronze statue filled with lead, fists and feet bouncing off her. It seemed like minutes, but it was over much faster than that. The three stepped back. After seeing what happened to George they had been admittedly careful in how much power they used, but their efforts should still have brought her down. Instead they found they had not been careful enough, and were now unable to offer any more attacks without the risk of permanently damaging their feet and hands.

"What? Is that it?"

Mary pretended to be bored by them, but she was loving this. Much more than she thought she would. Resisting the temptation to start fighting back, at least for now, she marvelled at Bobby's dancer-like fighting skills … and how useless they proved to be against her. She didn't expect to find this so enjoyable. Should doing this be fun? Wasn't she here on business? Did it matter anymore? She didn't know exactly what she was feeling as Bobby eyed her in confusion and fear, but if she'd been a hippy she would have known she high.

"I don't know what's going on … but you're going down." Jim gestured at the nearest thug, and the lad quickly went to a nearby cupboard and produced from it a bag of bats. He took one and tossed the bag to Jim. Jim took out a steel rod, and tossed the sports gear into the mob. Very soon the bag was empty, and almost every hand was full.

Jim gestured at his boys, and then watched in abject awe and growing concern as over the course of the next few minutes his entire class proved beyond any doubt that there was something about Mary (sorry) … something unnatural. He expected cries of "Stop!" and "No!", and the classic "Please! I'll do anything you want!" before it was all done. The only cries he heard were the cries of pain and surprise from his goons. With a sense of dread, his mind tried to come to grips with what his eyes were telling him. It was taking a while. The fact that the girl kept looking him right in the eye the entire time was not making it easier for his brain to process it all. Pulling himself together, he at last took his own swing … aiming right for her left temple.

Mary allowed him to violently jar his hands, immensely enjoying the look on his face as she tip of the bar bounced off her temple. He pulled back and tried again, bringing the bar down from high above toward the crown of her head. A few inches before it connected, with the rest of the mob still swinging away at her to no effect, Mary reached up and grabbed the bar.

"No more freebies," she told him pleasantly. "Not for you."

He tried to pull the bar free of her hand, but it slipped out of his grasp and he stumbled back. Taking the bar in both hands Mary held it out and slowly bent it into neat u shape, then she offered it back to him. He didn't seem to want it anymore.

Slowly the energy of the goons faded, and even their desperation could only motivate them so much.

"All finished then?" she asked them, looking around at the confused group with clear amusement. "I guess it's my turn then. You boys think you're so tough, using your superior skills and ganging up on weaker people. Let me show you what feeling helpless is really like."

With great care Mary reached out with both hands and grabbed the two nearest assailants by the fronts of their gi. Everyone stepped back as she hoisted them up and tossed them away. It was quite obvious that was she was only playing, and hadn't put any effort or force into it, but both were tossed forcefully in opposite directions.

"I thought you karate guys knew how to throw a punch."

She delivered a very poorly throw blow, deliberately holding her shoulder and elbow all wrong and keeping her wrist at an awkward angle. Her target was instantly winded by the hit on his chest, and flew backward to awkwardly tumble over three of his friends. Mary knew how to throw a punch … her father had insisted on self-defence classes … and she was fully away that the way she threw that one should have broken her wrist. But she was certain if she threw a proper punch there was no way the guy receiving it would survive.

Chaos ensued. Some resumed whaling on her with their weapons, others took up a defensive stance. But most made for the door, only to discover exactly what Mary had done to the bolt. The combined weight of them threatened to break the wooden door down, though, and Mary wasn't prepared to let them go yet. She picked grabbed a baseball bat aimed for her face and put her other hand on the owners stomach. Much to his surprise she effortlessly lifted him and threw him at the door, knocking those attempting to escape over. She then strode over the cupboard that the bag of weapons had been stored in, unaware that it was bolted to the floor, and picked it up. Those at the door moved quickly away she approached, worried at first she would throw it as she had the last thing she had picked up. Instead, she calmly walked over to the door and placed the extremely heavy wardrobe on its side across the threshold, making it impossible for anyone else but her to get the door open.

"C'mon!" Jim urged defiantly. "Get that bitch!"

"Yea," agreed Mary. "You might as well try. Not that will do you any good."

Quite enjoying the fact that these guys didn't give up easily, Mary went back to letting them hit her for a moment. Time seemed to slow down, and she marvelled at how slow they seemed to be. For the fun of it, she started dodging their attacks. Several of them fell over as they stated to hit nothing but air. Then one of them grabbed hold of her and started to grapple. Then another, and another. Mary couldn't help it … she started to laugh.

This was too much. Jim looked on his his highly trained thugs attempted to pull Mary to the ground with their combined weight as she openly laughed at them. It just wasn't possible. What was going on here? Was this a nightmare? Unable to admit defeat, unable to see any other option … Jim moved to another cabinet and selected a new, more dangerous, and hopefully more effective weapon. He took two, slipping the second into his belt and taking hold of the other with both hands.

Her laughter eased to a giggle, and Mary started removing them. She accidentally broke the first guy's shoulder as she grasped him and flung him roughly aside. He shot away and crumpled like a rag doll. He would not be rejoining the fight. With nothing but her fingers she got the rest of her with uncaring flicks and devastating pokes.

"You're f*?king dead!"

In all the excitement, Mary hadn't been paying attention to Jim. When she saw him now she stopped giggling and took a sharp breath.

"That's right bitch." He held the sword, ready to strike … its curved blade glinting in his eye. "You have no idea what I'm capable of. You think because you're daddy is the police chief I won't f*?king kill your ass? They'll probably just think you ran away or something … because they'll never ever find your f*?king body!"

The goons parted, giving their sensei plenty of room, and Jim let out a focused cry of rage as he brought the sword across her exposed stomach and down across her chest.

Mary hadn't thought about weapons. She'd only been thinking about unarmed combat when she walked in. Karate meant 'empty hand' or something like that, so she hadn't considered Jim might have a sword in the room. It was a real one too. Mary had seen a show about samurai swords just recently, and knew that after World War II many genuine and ancient blades like the one Jim held had crossed the Pacific with returning veterans. They were some of the best swords made anywhere in the history of man, and in the hands of a proper swordsman they were a formidable weapon in close combat. The fear Mary felt was short lived. Her top was cut, and fell open to show her smooth unharmed skin. Fortunately the blade had not hit her bra, and her modesty was mostly preserved.

Not satisfied to leave it at that Jim let out several cries, each one more desperate and less energetic than the last, as he slashed at her relentlessly. He employed every stroke he knew, even stabbed it at her stomach and chest. Twice he delivered neck shots that should have decapitated her. When fear had crossed her face before he started he had been given hope. That hope was giving way at a rapid pace to despair, a journey made complete when she took hold of the blade and forcefully wrenched it from his grip. Holding the steel that hard should have just about chopped off her fingers, especially when he tried to rip the blade down and out. Instead she held it firm and twisted it free, before tossing it to the empty back corner of the room.

"How about that!" Mary declared, looking at her unblemished fingers. "I'm …"

She was about to say sword-proof when Jim pulled the gun from his belt and pulled the trigger. Mary reacted instinctively, without thinking. For a long time everyone in the room was utterly silent, a stark contrast to the noisy din of a just a moment before. Mary stood dead still … but she was far from dead. She just stood there looking at the bullet, held up to her eyes in the fingertips of the hand that had caught it.

"Holy shit! Did she just …"

Mary was having just as much trouble as everyone else in trying to comprehend what just happened. She had seen the flash of the gun, heard the deafening blast of gunpowder, and then somehow she had flashed her hand across the space in front of her and snatched the bullet from the air. Her reflexes alone were easily fast enough to allow her to catch the bullet, even though Jim was only a few feet away. As she examined the bullet, which was still very hot, Jim stopped his own attempts to understand this impossible scene and raised the obscenely large revolver again.

Four more shots rang out, but Mary wasn't interested in anything other then the bullet she caught. She paid no attention to Jim as he emptied the gun into her stomach, or even when he stepped closer and blasted her right in the face. She busy coming to terms with two new discoveries. She could catch bullets! Which meant that not only was she faster than a speeding bullet, but she was also bulletproof. If she wasn't bulletproof, her hand would have been left with a gaping hole and the bullet would have carried to through into her chest.

When Jim reached back into the bag for more bullets, awkwardly shoving them into gun.

"I don't think so."

Somehow the gun was suddenly in Mary's hand.

The space around Mary grew as everyone moved away from her. They were all terrified now, even Jim was starting to sweat. Mary's wonder at her remarkable faded as she came to terms with something else. Uncle Jim had just tried to kill her. If she wasn't somehow swordproof and bulletproof, then she would lying in a pool of her blood right now. And she seriously doubted they would have called for an ambulance.

"What are you?" Bobby demanded, visibly shaken after watching bullets bounce off Mary, and clearly unhappy about the fact that she was now holding a gun.

Mary was stumped by that one, so she ignored the question and concentrated on calming down. If she proceeded with this much anger she would surely kill them all, and she definitely didn't want to go that far.

"For years you kung-fools have terrorised this suburb. That ends today." Mary squeezed the gun, rewarded with a sharp screech as the metal caved to the immense pressure. Dropping the useless lump of metal to the floor, she stepped forward and gave Jim a little shove with one hand that slammed him into the wall. He managed to stay on his feet, with some difficulty, and eyed his unstoppable tormentor with fear and confusion. Mary realised she had done enough, but she wasn't going to stop until she was certain no one would ever have any trouble with Uncle Jim's Martial Arts Studio ever again. She eyed the gathering with a cold stare. "Defend yourselves," she commanded. "Here I come."

Mary started her assault with more relish than she had anticipated. But then, she had been slashed with a sword and shot with a gun Dirty Harry would've been proud to take from his holster. It had already been personal, seeing that they had beaten her boyfriend up repeatedly over the last seven months, and now it was even more so.

They did take her advice to heart, and offered as much resistance as they could. They blocked her blows, each one deliberately telegraphed by her intentionally bad form, but her power was so much greater than theirs that her hands brushed their counterstrikes aside as if they hadn't bothered. Watching their opponent, focused intently on every move she made, they tried to dodge. But to them to seemed like her blows warped through time and space to find them not matter how hard they focused.

Mary managed to keep her smile from turning into a grin, and that proved to be the hardest part of putting these thugs in their place. Trying a variety of techniques she slowly and carefully took the room apart. Some were tossed into the walls, some were shoved. Those few she had a real grudge against, such as Bobby, felt the incredible force her small hands could generated as she took their arms and twisted them to floor. These particular targets she would not release until she heard them cry and beg for mercy. She broke fingers, ribs, and at least four legs, looking over to Jim every now and then to make sure he was paying attention.

When they realised she wasn't going to stop until she had crippled everyone in the room, the rest mobbed her again. One of them even picked up his sensei's sword, and though he could see the blade had been damaged where she had gripped it he still felt it was his best chance. Mary paused to let him have four good strikes, but regretted it. He aimed low, and managed to badly slice her skirt and reveal a lot of her upper thigh. She humped in displeasure, and gently slapped a hand on his chest that sent him soaring into the wall next to Jim.

Jim watched her throw his boys all around the room, growing numb to the improbably slaughter taking place before him. She was destroying them like they were toys, not feared martial arts experts who had spent year after year honing their skills. Gi's were flying around the room like feathers in an overenthusiastic pillow fight. He saw almost every single one of them offer resistance, only to have the young girl brush it aside without really acknowledging it. Her strength was an awesome thing to behold. It was the only thing that allowed her very flawed fighting style to be so effective. Her blows looked to be weak and so limp-wristed she would have risked badly spraining herself, but the results were unlike anything he had ever witnesses. Her delicate hands were like catapults, her fingertips as effective as Jim's best kicks. There was absolutely nothing he could, and though he desperately struggled to see a way to turn this unlikely scenario around, Uncle Jim … and for the first time in his life … felt helpless.

It seemed like an hour. It was less than ten minutes. Mary left none standing. If anyone did get up, they got another tap or shove, and another bruise or broken bone. The young men who had been standing tall with confidence and pride, just minutes before, and ready to intimidate the scariest opponent, were now moaning in pain and writhing on the dojo floor. Their confidence gone, their pride in tatters, and tears in their eyes. They sure didn't look like the strong-arm of a successful extortion racket.

Mary looked around with satisfaction. But there were still a few who weren't crying, and she had made a certain promise. Mary prided herself on never breaking a promise. With that in mind, she walked around the room and took hold of whatever part of the dry-eyed wounded she could easily get at, and crushed them until they balled. Finally, when each and every one of them were jerking with tears, Mary walked over to Jim.

"Alright, asshole. Your turn."

Mary stood in front of Jim for a moment, giving him the opportunity to get in a few blows. It was an opportunity he used to try his last top-secret moves. She giggled, and reached out one hand to toss the full length of the room. He rolled to his feet as she walked toward him, looking around but there was no one to offer him any help. He took a defensive stance as she reached for him again. Once more he sailed across the room. By the time he got to his feet Mary had her hand on him again, and he flew back across the room.

"Now … why don't we …" Jim grunted as he hit the far wall again, this time only managing to get back to knees. "We can sort …"

"Shut up," Mary told him, hoisting him cleanly and easily into the air. "I tried to talk to you before. There's only one way to communicate with assholes like you."

Jim skimmed the high ceiling this time, really starting to feel the impacts as she tossed him about the room like a deflated basketball.

"Wait! There must be …"

Jim crashed into the far wall and only managed to sit with his back against it, not bothering to get up. Mary stood over him and delivered her first real punch. Her delicate fist slammed into the wall beside him, splintering the hardwood panelling. It was a real punch, but he could tell it lacked any effort on her part.

"Mary … we can definitely …"

She slowly reached out and flicked his forehead. Jim's head slammed into the wood, reminding him how unlikely it was a girl her size could punch through it. His head rang more from the fingertip blow, though. Then he was flying again.

Mary watched Jim's dissolving confidence with amusement. Unfortunately for him, she found tossing him about to be rather fun, and so she continued her game for a long time. When bored with this, she took hold of Jim and bent him into some very painful positions. His thick arms and legs stained visibly against her careful hands, but in all his years Jim had never felt such brutal, overpowering strength. This slip of a girl only smiled as he turned beet red trying to resist her. After demonstrating her effortless dominance, she released him and stepped back.

"Get up."

Jim just lay there.

"Up," she ordered, and when he didn't she threw him up into the ceiling. "On your feet, you pussay!"

Jim stood shakily in front of her. His fitness allowed him to come out of the first round of Mary's fun with nothing but bruises. Somehow, as she looked him over, Mary knew she hadn't really hurt him yet. Before she did, she wanted him to really understand how far out of his league she was.

"Okay, tough guy … let's see what you got."

"Huh?"

"Hit me. Now."

She arched her back and pit her hands on her hips, waiting for Jim to start. He threw a few quick strikes to her stomach, afraid to put too much into it.

"No no. I want your best."

Jim was in quite a state. This girl was making him look like a fool in front of his boys, and even though she had walked over them first he knew he would never again hold the power over them he once had. With a primal scream he lunged at her.

"That's it! More!"

For several long minutes Jim moved around her making all sorts of angry animalistic noises as he took out all his frustration. A hand left Mary's hip and started curling a few strands of he luscious hair while she let him exhaust the last of his reserves. His anger would have been scary to most people, but not Mary … not anymore.

"That's it. Notice me not getting hurt here? How much does is this hurting you, Jim? Can you feel how solid I am? Hit harder. I can't even feel that."

"No!" Jim cried, calling up deep reserves and struggling on until fell to his knees, beating on his legs like he was Fred Flinstone and call out for Wilma any minute. His head was down, but he wasn't crying.

"Is that seriously all you have? Really? You're pathetic."

Mary gave him a backhand slap that propelled him into the air. Jim now understoof how much she had been holding back, fully aware she had almost broken his jaw. She iked him up again and held him up in front of her.

"You're nothing compared to me."

Mary gave him three quick slaps, each one as hard as the one that had launched him across the room, only her hold him forced his face to take the brunt of it all. A world-class heavyweight boxer could never dream of hitting someone so hard. Jim was unconscious, so she shook him back to his senses and went back to tossing him around the room for a moment. Stalking, tossing, stalking tossing … until he knelt before her.

"Please stop!" he begged.

With grace he had only seen hints of so far, Mary put a toe under his chin and smootly lifted him into the air with her leg, then flicked him with just her toe to launch him harder than she had done so far into the nearest wall.

"Why should I?"

Mary took his forearms in her crushing grip and held him up with his arms spread wide, her hold stretching his limbs painfully.

"Stop!" he cried.

"Do you realised how little I'm really trying here? I dare say I could rip your arms clean out of their sockets. You can feel that right?"

He sensed how honest she was being. It was though she were a machine.

"NO!" he screamed.

"I want to find out. Don't you want to see if I can pull your arms out? Aren't you the least interested?"

"Please! No … I'll do anything you want!" Wait, Jim thought through the pain … that's her line …

Mary smiled with obvious triumph.

"What's that?"

Jim gulped. It wasn't her line anymore."

"If you … let me go … I'll do whatever the fuck you want! PLEASE! Don't kill me!"

"Huh? Did you say something? All I heard was "blah-blah-blah! I'm a whiny bitch with real tiny balls who should know better than to use my dojo as a front for organised crime. Was that what you said?"

"Yes!"

"Say it again so I know I got it right."

"Please stop!"

"No … that's not what I heard."

Mary gently increased the tension on his joints and he screamed.

"AHH! I'm a … a whiny bitch!"

"Is that all?"

"I got tiny balls! Ahh! And I … I …"

"Should know better than to use my dojo as a front for …?"

"Organised crime! I should know better than to use my dojo as a front for organised fucking crime!"

"Mmmm. Okay. But I'll need to see some proof."

"Whatever you want! Your boyfriends money back! Anything!"

Mary dropped him and paced around the room.

"I think it's time Uncle Jim became a more civic minded organisation. From now on, your going to a helpful bunch of handy people to have around. I want your boys out there doing good: mowing lawns for pensioners; helping little old ladies with their shopping; picking up trash in the carpark. That sort of thing. Do you understand?"

"What … like … like community service?"

Mary beamed at him. "Exactly! Think of me as your judge, jury, and executioner … though I'm sure it won't come to that last part. Not of you fulfil your civic duty."

Jim shuddered. With the raw physical power she had displayed, and her arrogant immunity to their armed assault, Jim knew fully well that she could easily have killed everyone in the room today. In fact, he was damn sure it would have been easier for her to do that, than to hold back as much as she had.

"Where do we begin?" Jim asked with resignation.

"You can decide that yourself," she told him, hoisting the cabinet from the door and ripping the bolt free to let the doors swing open. "But I expect to hear good things about this place, Jim. You haven't seen the last of me. Oh … and I wouldn't go telling anyone about this. It wouldn't make you look good, having your whole class demolished by a girl. Who would believe you, anyway?"

As Mary left, grabbing her jacket and walking out, she knew that nobody would ever have to worry about Uncle Jim's Martial Arts Studio again. But most importantly, Danny would never get beaten up by those thugs anymore. Despite past evidence to the contrary, and not for the reasons you might think … dating the daughter of the Chief of Police did offer special protection. At least, it did in the city of Cape Hope.

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