An Agent Scorned
Chapter 3

Reality Sets In

Emma and Cathy squared off again. Both were breathing hard, sending much-needed oxygen to their exhausted muscles. They were also collecting their thoughts.

For Emma, all doubt was gone that there was no way out of this except by defeating Dr. Gale. This was one crazy bitch. Brilliant, dangerous -- and bonkers.

Just being able to kidnap John Steed—Britain's top and agent and perhaps all-around most capable man—was hard to believe. But then to lure Emma here to with this elaborate plot, all for some twisted quest for revenge... 

The depths of this madness, Emma couldn't fathom. But she knew one thing: She had to win, or she—and Steed—would likely never leave this room.

Cathy, too, realized she was in a fight for her life. That chokehold had been too close; a few more seconds, and it would have been over. Had she lost, she would have been facing many, many years behind bars. 

Now it wasn't simply about revenge; now it was about survival. She HAD underestimated Emma, and it almost cost her. That would not happen again. 

Emma was good, even great, but Cathy was confident in her own skills. She knew she could win if she worked cautiously, stayed to her strengths, and waited to take advantage of her adversary's inevitable mistake.

The women advanced and engaged. Cathy again went on the offensive, but no longer in a head-long rush. There wasn't going to be any quick knockout, she realized. This was going to be a fight of attrition. 

So Cathy moved ahead, throwing rights and lefts, kicks and knees, a battering machine. Emma blocked and avoided most of them—Cathy would have admired her skills, had they not been used against her—but some blows were landing.

And they were big, heavy blows.

Cathy was going for damage, now. She wanted to inflict as much harm as possible with each blow, and she was concentrating on the midsection. It would take its toll.

Emma countered, matching Cathy blow for blow, but Cathy was content with that exchange. She was delivering the harder shots, and she shrugged off the pain. It inspired her.

Cathy let a left bounce off her head and used the opening to bury a left into Emma's stomach. "Ungh!" 

Emma backed up, still blocking and countering, but her shots weren't slowing Cathy at all. Emma tried a punch/snap kick combination, catching Cathy's forehead with the ball of her foot; blond hair flew as her head snapped back. But Cathy went right back into her crouch and, grim-eyed, continued her advance.

Moving, juking, Cathy came forward. She threw a right to the midsection; Emma blocked it with an elbow. As Cathy lined up her left, for another shot to the gut, she saw Emma's right arm come down for the block.

This was her opening.

She continued with her body shot, only re-angling at the last second for an uppercut. So frequent and painful had the gut-blows become, to block this one 
Emma had dropped her guard too low. Cathy's left caught her flush under her exposed chin, snapping her head back.

Cathy then buried a right into Emma's stomach, and another left uppercut sent her flying. 

Emma twirled away, staying on her feet, with fists up. But she was hurt. She bent over in pain from the body shots. Cathy rushed to take advantage. 

She threw a combination to the body, both blocked by Emma, who now saw an opening. She reared back for a hard right cross – she needed to change the odds, fast – but the swing came up empty.

She'd been set up. Cathy ducked the expected right and slammed her right knee up into Emma's exposed midsection, doubling her over. Then she spun in a tight 360, her left elbow landing flush on Emma's face, sending her sprawling to the bamboo.

Cathy leaped in the air and came down with feet aimed at Emma's chest and head – smashing down with a double thud on bamboo as Emma rolled at the last second. From the floor Emma tried another sweep-kick, but this one Cathy saw coming and jumped over.

Landing, she put a swift right kick into Emma's stomach, then sent her back to the bamboo with a left knee to the face.

This time, Cathy leaped and landed with her left foot across Emma's stomach, Cathy's full weight crushing down upon six-pack abs. 

Emma jerked up with a scream, and then – with an open-handed right to the forehead from Cathy – slammed back to the bamboo.

Cathy was quickly down to the mat. She grabbed Emma's left arm, then slide her own left leg beneath Emma's arm and head, finally bringing down her right leg to around complete the scissors. She painfully twisted Emma's arm as she squeezed her powerful thighs across Emma's chest and neck. It was a judo submission move.

"You can give up now, Mrs. Peel, and make it a lot easier for yourself," said Cathy. "Just say I'm the better woman."

Cathy arched for all the leverage she could produce, choking off Emma's air.

"Never," Emma hissed.

Cathy's answer was a right-hand punch to Emma's exposed midsection. Now she quickly changed her hold. Removing Emma's arm from inside the scissors, she used Emma's hair to reposition her head directly between her thighs. Then she squeezed. 

The women were lying on their left sides, facing the same direction. Cathy above and in front of Emma; Emma's head peeped out from between her thighs. Cathy's left hand was entwined in Emma's hair, keeping her from pulling away. Cathy's right hand held Emma's right arm by the wrist, preventing any offensive move. Emma's left arm was pinned to the ground.

"Who is the better woman, Mrs. Peel?" said Cathy, painfully twisting Emma's auburn locks.

Emma didn't answer. Now Cathy rolled onto her back, bringing Emma with her, and grabbed each of Emma's arms by the wrist. She arched her back, bringing as much pressure to bear on Emma's head as she could. 
The women were no more than 10 feet away, and Steed could see Emma's face, red and gasping for breath. "Poor girl," he thought.​​

"Say I'm the better woman, Mrs. Peel," Cathy repeated.

"Never," was still Emma's answer.

Cathy brought the heels of her entwined feet down into Emma's stomach, slamming her to the mat. Cathy rolled over until the two of them were facing the floor. She extended her arms in front of her on the bamboo, then somersaulted – with Emma, still trapped in her head-scissors, coming along for the ride. Emma fly through the air and landed hard, bounced and hit again.

Cathy was immediately upon her. With her right hand she grabbed Emma's right arm and twisted it behind her, then she sunk her left hand into Emma's hair and yanked.

"Get up," said Cathy, literally pulling Emma to her feet by her auburn locks.
Emma tried to pry Cathy's hand out of her hair, but then came the *THUD* as Cathy buried her other hand in the small of Emma's back.   


Then came another, and then one in the stomach. Cathy released Emma's arm and now, still holding her up by the hair, was pummeling her with right fists to the body. Emma flailed, trying to stop the battering, but Cathy just hit her again and again.

Finally Emma fell to her knees, Cathy's grip on her hair the only thing keeping her from slipping all the way to the floor.

As Emma kneeled before her, Cathy gathered up Emma's mass of long shiny hair in her hands. She wrapped it tightly in her right hand and hauled Emma back to her feet. 

Cathy turned her back to Emma, her right arm bent behind her to keep the grip on Emma's hair, and then snapped her arm forward. Emma came flying over her shoulder, pulled by the hair, her body flipping high into the air.

A hair mare! A move more suited to the professional women's wrestling circuit, perhaps, but Cathy executed it perfectly. Emma could only watch helplessly, and pray for a soft landing, as she went heels over head toward an inevitable meeting with the ground.

She landed on her back with a crash, not soft at all.

Emma lay stretched out on the floor, legs and arms spread at odd angles. Her long hair was splayed around her face like a halo. Her head came up a few inches and then, with a roll of the eyes, fell back down again.

Cathy, sensing the kill, reared back on her right leg, bent forward two hands to the bamboo and kicked. For just a moment, Cathy was "standing" straight up in a handstand above Emma's prone body – they formed an "L." But just for a split second. 
Then gravity took hold, and Cathy's body – straight as an arrow, feet first, back to the ground -- gained speed and fell toward Emma, lying face-up, eyes closed, stretched out on the floor. ​

It was a reverse "big splash," designed to deliver maximum force, with the heaviest and hardest parts of Cathy's body – her hips and back – slamming down onto Emma's exposed underbelly. 

In fight circles, the move was known as a "finisher."