With the ringing of the bell the two contenders leapt back into the ring for the second round, fists flying. Hurricane was holding back less and less, and the ebb and tide of the fight flowed so quickly that the trumpeters seemed to be having a battle of their own providing the accompanying sound effects, sometimes completely ignoring what the fighters were even doing in an effort to outdo the other. Holden became worried for a bit that Hurricane may get caught up in the thrill of the fight and forget that he had to lose, but then he inexplicably left himself open to a hard jab from Coble, sending him reeling. He wasn’t down yet, and it was subtle, but Holden was sure Hurricane had simply let that one through. He was holding up his end of the bargain.

Holden wondered how much longer he could keep it up. Coble was beginning to visibly slow, he had come on too strong in the beginning and was wearing himself out. If he couldn’t muster up a second win it would be impossible for Hurricane to throw the fight without it being obvious. Which meant either Coble had to step it up, or Hurricane was going to be going down soon. Holden was almost sad, some of the fights ended this quickly, sure, but in a way this was his victory night, he wanted it to last. Besides, he really did feel bad for Hurricane. While watching him in action Holden could tell that he really loved what he did. This was his dream, and it was about to be crushed by greed and corruption. It was sad that that seemed to be the way this city went. At least Holden would finally be getting his dream, maybe the same would happen for Hurricane one day. Just not today.

Hurricane took a few more punches that he probably shouldn’t have, it looked to Holden like he was preparing to go down, and his face was a horror. He didn’t want to do it, and Holden couldn’t blame him. But if he did, his daughter would be safe. Surely that was worth losing for. And then something strange happened. A small group of people ran quickly down the isle between the seats, right up to the ring in the middle of the fight, five colorful cloaked figures, one of them a few feet shorter than the others. They looked vaguely familiar to Holden. When they reached the ring one of them broke off and hurriedly spoke to Hurricane’s coach. The short one stood right in Hurricane’s line of sight and stripped off her cloak, revealing herself to be a young girl. That’s when Holden realized where he had seen them. The comic strips, these were the Heroes of the Black! Except that was fiction, they couldn’t be real.

Hurricane froze for a moment, a look of wonder and confusion on his face and started to take in the scene while frantically fending off another attack from Coble, who was already primed to go in for the win and seemed confused that Hurricane wasn’t dropping. He maneuvered to the side to look over at his coach, still talking with one of the Heroes. The coach turned back to him, violently pointed a finger at Cobel and screamed “Crush him!” After that Hurricane took one strong swing with his right, and Coble was down on the mat. The match was over, Hurricane had won with a knockout, spurred to victory by the safe return of this daughter. The match was over, and Holden was left watching in horror as Coble fell and the crowd around him exploded. It was over. It was all over.


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