B and the Golden Tassels – Part 1

“Ladies and gentlemen, The Blue Diamond is proud to present tonight’s main event, a ten round match sanctioned by the New Hope City Boxing Commission…” That’s the announcer in the spotlight at center ring. He’s just started the introduction to the fight. I’m standing in my corner, in the dark. My turn in the spotlight will come when he says my name, Betty Caruso. But right now I’m freezing my hiney off. I’ve got goosebumps on top of goosebumps. Though It’s my own fault I’m nearly naked. It all started a couple of months ago…

I’d just finished my makeup. It was my day off. I get one day a week off from training and even then, I do my morning workout. Afterwards, I clean up and try to look presentable. I was rummaging through my jewelry box looking for a matching pair of earrings when I came across my trophy. My one and only boxing trophy was a pair of rhinestone pasties and a slip of paper with a phone number. When I first got them, I was tempted to dial the number, but I’ve come to realize that fighters shouldn’t have relationships. I think it is one of the rules of the universe.

dining table
It starts with the dining room table.

Whenever possible, I like to eat lunch at Mabel’s Diner on my days off. The food is good, but her pies are slices of heaven. I always find pleasure in eating at Mabel’s. I’ve been told that rich people can’t enjoy simple pleasures. Which is a little sad, because Mabel’s meat loaf was particularly enjoyable. I asked her what pies she had available that day. She beamed a broad smile and disappeared into the kitchen. She reappeared with a coconut cream pie with a golden meringue. Nestled among the peaks and swirls of the meringue were tiny golden brown beads where steam had been captured while trying to pass through the meringue.

“Wow! Mabel this looks delicious. Could I have a slice, please?” I asked while lustily gazing upon the culinary masterpiece. When Mabel didn’t answer, I looked up and saw concern in her eyes. It was then I felt the tap on my shoulder.

I spun around on the diner stool. Whoever was behind me was tall. I stood up and she was still nearly a foot taller. I looked into the eyes of a blue skinned Xeog, Kirei Satsriku. “Kirei,” I said in surprise, “what are you doing here?”

blue cloth
If I’m going to photograph a game, I put down a blue cloth for the horizon.

She grinned. “Why you not call me, dahling? Kirei disappointed in little ugly girl fighter.”

“I am not ugly!” I sputtered.

“Of course not, dahling, you just not most beautiful like Kirei.” she purred. She then wrapped me in an embrace and kissed me. I wanted to protest, but I felt myself melting into her flesh as she held me close. I closed my eyes allowing my imagination to wander. I snapped back to reality when I felt two firm hands squeeze my buttocks. I tried to push away, but in one smooth movement, she picked me up and sat me down on the counter, right in the middle of the pie.

She stepped back and slapped me. “Why you hide from Kirei and not fight rematch?” She demanded.

“Rematch? What rematch?” I asked.

“You stupid as well as ugly?” She hissed. “When you win by judges’ decision instead of knock out, your opponent has right to rematch. I want rematch, I want crush ugly girl fighter.”
“I don’t know anything about a rematch. My manager handles all of the scheduling. Take it up with him or file a complaint with the commission. But leave me out of it.” I retorted.

“Ha! Your manager knows about rematch. He’s just protecting his girl fighter from losing. Ask him, he knows. And Kirei has no need to file complaint. Kirei can come here everyday and slap ‘Bouncing Bimbo’ until she agrees to fight.” she growled.

“It’s ‘Bouncing Betty’ and the only bimbo I know has blue skin.” I replied beginning to feel a bit feisty. “You slap me again, you’ll get your rematch here and now!”

“Hmmpfh! Rematch needs to be in boxing ring so Kirei can get paid while beating ugly girl’s ass.” she said defiantly and then left the diner.

The pie was ruined. I offered to pay for it, but Mabel wouldn’t take my money. She asked “Why didn’t you hit her back?”

“It would have been a disaster, Mabel. Too much of a chance of other people getting hurt… And think of the damage to your diner.” I replied.

playing surface
Then, I add the playing surface. In this case, the flip side of my arena mat.

After a change of clothes, I went to Svenson’s Gym. The old man was just finishing a session with one of the other fighters. I slipped into a worn out chair in his office and waited. “So, what brings you in on your day off? Can’t get enough of the place?” He growled.

“I had a run in with a scheduling problem, one with blue skin. She wants a rematch.” I answered.

“It’s good that she does. You can beat her in a long fight.” He said.

“Well, then, what’s the problem?” I asked.

“Venue.” He replied. “Her antics and her less than stellar record keeps her camp from booking a decent venue. They keep submitting dives and tittie bars that don’t pay squat. We can’t come to an agreement on the venue.”

“So she chooses to harass me until I agree to fight in some low class dive?”

lamps
Two of the lamps used to photograph miniatures.

“Yeah, that’s about it. However, talk about the rematch has attracted the attention of the Blue Diamond. Got a letter from them the other day.” He said as he dug through a pile of papers on his desk.

“The Blue Diamond? I’ve never heard of it, will she fight me there?”

“Oh, she’ll fight you there alright. The question is will you fight there? The Blue Diamond is a swanky ‘gentlemen’s’ club down town.” He handed me an envelope. “As you will notice, the payout to the loser is higher than the winner’s take at many venues and the winner’s purse borders on the obscene.”

“What’s the catch? What makes you think I won’t fight there, especially if the money is so good?” I asked.

“Remember when you first started and I told you about the relationship sports has with entertainment?” He asked. My reply was a blank stare. “It figures.” He said with an exasperated huff. “Look, they schedule only fights with girl fighters, the girls wear next to nothing and they have to do publicity shots for the club.”

The brochure included with the contract had pictures of women fighting wearing various costumes. One cheesy photo showed women dressed as school girls. “They’re silly skimpy costumes. I could do that. The money is fabulous, let’s do it.” I said. The old man shook his head and said that I should read the contract and not the brochure, but I held firm. Besides, we could always find a compromise. In the end, I won and he contacted the Blue Diamond.

boxing ring
I use a small box as the boxing ring. I measure the placement of the box so that the action will be in focus of the macro lens.

Four weeks had passed since I had badgered the old man into selecting the Blue Diamond as the venue. We submitted the contract, photographs of me, a short bio, and got Kirei Satsriku’s team on board. Kirei is ten inches taller than I am, so the old man got every pug and mook in the gym who was at least ten inches taller than me to spar against. I didn’t realize I was so short, but I took them all on. I had just finished showering after sparring with a particularly nasty mook who not only hated women fighters, but especially lesbian women fighters, when I was called to the old man’s office.

I followed my trainer, Gary Barkley, into the old man’s office where the old man introduced us to Ms. Eleanor Hart, representing the Blue Diamond. She was a tall blonde woman in a stylish black business suit. Her hair was arranged in a tight bun. She had sharp angular cheeks which made her nose look pointy. Rich red lips parted revealing perfect white teeth in a typical businesslike insincere smile. “Betty, what a pleasure it is to meet you.” she said, “we at the Blue Diamond are excited to welcome you into our entertainment fold.”

I had no idea what she was talking about. “Entertainment fold” didn’t register at all. I guess I should have actually read the contract instead of just skimming it. “Thank you,” I responded, “I’m really looking forward to boxing at the Blue Diamond.”

risers
I add smaller boxes to represent risers for the spectators.

“Of course dear, but you will be doing much more than boxing. Our design team has developed a marvelous theme, ‘Gold versus Silver’!” she exclaimed. I must have looked puzzled, so she continued, “It’s based on your skin tone, dear. Your golden tanned skin and Miss Sarsriku’s blue skin are perfect for gold and silver representing heat and cold, passion and ice, earth and heaven. It’s a brilliant idea that goes beyond good versus evil or human versus alien.”

“But I don’t have golden tanned skin.” I said.

“You will have.” she replied “Luscious golden soft skin that any man in the galaxy would want to snuggle next to. And that brings me to why I am here. I have your schedule and itinerary leading up to the event next month.”

“Schedule?” I asked.

“Yes, we start in next week. A camera crew will follow you each step of the way starting here where a limo will pick you up to whisk to paradise, the Blue Diamond, where you will make preparations for the event.”

“Why so much time and why the Blue Diamond?” I asked again.

cheap seats
I use some old GW Necromunda terrain for the “cheap seats”.

“If you look at the itinerary, you will see that the mornings of the first three days will be spent doing electrolysis. Rules stipulate that there will be no body or pubic hair. And if you desire to keep eyebrows, they can not be wider than five millimeters at the widest point and can not be longer than three millimeters. The first few afternoons will be spent at the dentist.”

“Electrolysis, dentist? For a fight?” I obviously had no idea what all was involved to box at the Blue Diamond.

“Yes, a dentist. We want a perfect smile from perfectly whitened and capped teeth. You have to realize that the fight is only part of what you will be doing at the Blue Diamond. You will be in the hands of some of the best estheticians, nutritionists, make-up artists, and spa technicians in New Hope City. There will be tanning sessions, colonics, nails, make-up and hair sessions. At different stages along the way you will be photographed for the promotion of the match.”

“So when will she train for the fight?” the old man asked.

“You and your staff will join us after the first week, after the estheticians have completed their work. You will train at the Blue Diamond’s gym where Betty will mingle and be photographed with patrons. The Sunday before the match, we will have the weigh in with New Hope City’s sports media. Where Betty will be resplendent in her costume.”

arena
A view of the completed arena. Time to let in the spectators!

“What costume?” I asked.

“Oh, I nearly forgot. Here it is.” she said handing me a small envelope, the size used to send documents. Wondering what kind of skimpy costume was in the envelope, I opened it and pulled out the contents, a pair of gold sequined pasties with tassels and a…

“Wow, what is that Betty, an eye patch?” laughed my trainer, Gary Barkley.

“Barkley!” growled the old man, “Go inventory the medicine cabinet.”

“Aw, ok, boss, I was just teasing.” Gary said as he left the room.

“It’s, it’s a micro-thong.” I said.

“In my day it was called a ‘G-string’.” huffed the old man. “What gives?”

“It is part of the theme.” answered Ms. Hart. “Gold glitter and Betty’s golden tanned skin is the real costume. It best represents passion, wealth, and nobility. Qualities that Blue Diamond patrons aspire to.”

“Couldn’t she just wear gold trunks?” asked the old man.

“Now, Mr. Svenson, must I remind you of the contract you and Miss Caruso signed? The Blue Diamond is investing a lot in Miss Caruso and it is only right for the Blue Diamond to profit on this event.” The meeting ended with small talk, I think. I was shell shocked. I held half of my costume in the palm of one hand and the remaining half in the palm of the other hand….

crowd
There’s the crowd! It’s about 80% of my painted Sci-Fi collection. Don’t ask how much I have that isn’t painted.

It doesn’t matter what part of the galaxy you are in, or the technological advances available to you, hair removal hurts. I was glad when the day for the weigh in arrived. I had endured all of the “pampering” at the hands of well meaning estheticians I could stand. I had been a prisoner in a palace and fed nothing but salads and protein shakes. But I have to admit, I did look good.

I was terrified as the weigh in started. It seemed the entire New Hope City sports media had turned out, including Ashlynn Cooper the top investigative reporter. Rumor is she bets big on sporting events. Dreading my turn on the scale when I would have to remove the white robe with gold lettering, I was so self-conscious of my body. Outside of a few strategically placed minute pieces of cloth, I was naked. Well, I did also have on shoes and boxing gloves, but there were cameras present. I kept telling myself it was for the money, one hundred twenty thousand creds for the winner and forty thousand for the loser.

Kirei Satsriku, on the other hand, appeared to really be enjoying the attention. She laughed and flirted with the reporters while I hid in the background. Ms. Hart picked up a microphone and announced “Would everyone take their seats, please, so we can begin.”

left side
Left side crowd.

I sat on the left end of a long table with the old man on my right. In the center were two men I had never seen before and to their right sat Kirei and her manager. Gary stood behind me and Ms. Hart stood behind the two men. The reporters took seats in front of us. There was a vid team in the back and a half dozen photographers. The vid team and photographers all wore Blue Diamond employee uniforms. “Welcome, ladies and gentlemen of the media, to the ‘Satsriku versus Caruso Weigh-In.’ I’m Eleanor Hart, director of events for the Blue Diamond, and I would like to introduce you to Mr. Bret Vashnik, C.E.O. of Blue Diamond Entertainment.”

One of the men in the center, one with dark hair, chiseled features, and a touch of gray at the temples, tapped the microphone in the center of the table. “Thank you, Eleanor. Ladies and gentlemen, the Blue Diamond is always proud to be the venue of choice for talented up and coming athletes such as these fine young ladies. I’ll turn this over to Mr. Ike Turner of the New Hope City Boxing Commission who will oversee the weigh in of the fighters and afterwards Mr. Turner, the fighters, and their managers will answer your questions. Thank you all on behalf of the Blue Diamond. Mr. Turner…”

A bald headed man sitting next to Mr. Vashnik turned the microphone toward him and leaned forward. “Thank you, Bret and the Blue Diamond. Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, we are here to weigh and certify two fighters for an officially sanctioned match. The match will go for ten rounds unless at any point one of the fighters can not or wishes not to continue. Scoring will be….”

right side
Right side crowd.

After Mr. Turner finished going over rules and procedures for the upcoming fight, it was finally time to step on the scales. Kirei went first since she was the challenger. She wore a dark blue robe with silver lettering. Camera shutters went crazy when she took off the robe and stepped on the scale. Her blue skin shimmered with silver glitter. She wore a blue wig of shoulder length hair. Xeogs are actually bald, but they are also very vain. Hair is an important indication of beauty among humans, so most Xeogs living alongside humans wear wigs to further accentuate their beauty. They announced her weight as 174 pounds. She’d lost some weight since the last time we had fought. She blew kisses to the audience and waved. Then she stepped off of the scale, her trainer put her robe back on and then proceeded to take off her gloves.

Standing in front of the scales I began to tremble. A wave of nausea swept over me. I turned and started to step away. Then, I saw Kirei watching me with a wicked grin. She was laughing at me. The sensual woman was laughing at the ”ugly little girl fighter.” Suddenly, I was angry, angry at her and angry with myself. I lifted my arms, Gary untied my robe’s belt, I lowered my arms and shoulders, and then stepped out of the robe. The room was filled with “oohs” and “ahs”. The whirl of camera shutters was almost deafening.

back to center
Back to center. The audience is ready. Time for the show.

“Gee, boss, Betty looks soft and curvy. She’s gorgeous.” Gushed Gary.

“Forget it, Barkley. She can still mop the floor with you without batting an eyelash.” Growled the old man.

I stared daggers at Kirei and then stepped on the scales. “Betty Caruso, five feet five and one half inches, and 146 pounds.” announced the official.

“What? Boss, Betty was pushing 160 pounds. How’d…”

“Colonics.” said the old man, “Colonics, enemas, exercise and a change in diet.”

“Colonics?”

“Yeah, they hooked her up to a machine and sucked out eight, ten pounds of crap at a time.”

Gary chuckled, “So Betty was full of shit.”

“You guys do know that I can hear you?” I said in an icy tone. Gary was still chuckling as he slipped my robe on and began removing my gloves.

rebasing
One of the things I’ve been doing is to rebase my sci-fi figures on clear acrylic bases.

We returned to the table and began to answer questions. Kirei complained that she had been robbed the last time by a split decision awarded to me. She smoozed a lot and said “dahling” a lot. She even told how she would grind me into the canvas. The questions that I received were a bit different.

“Betty, I couldn’t help but notice that you seem to be a little upset. Do you have reservations about fighting at the Blue Diamond?” asked one.

“Well, the Blue Diamond is nice and all, but…” I could see Ms. Hart tense up as I spoke. “but I’d kill any one of you for a stromboli.” They all laughed.

“So you’re complaining about the food?” asked another.

“Oh no, the food here is good and healthy and all. It’s just I’d love to have a stromboli or a slice of pie.”

“Where’s the best pizza place for you?” the first one asked with a broad smile.

“Why Vito’s on the South side.” I said.

“South side of New Hope City?” asked one.

“She means the South side of the space port.” answered the first reporter.

referee
The referee takes center ring. (Figure by Shadowforge)

Just as I was getting comfortable answering questions, Ashlynn Cooper asked one. “Miss Caruso you won your last two fights with the aid of drugs, stims. Do you plan on using stims for this upcoming match?”

The old man leaned into the microphone and replied “We will let you know the day of the match.”

Ashlynn Cooper didn’t seem satisfied. She asked “I understand this is Miss Caruso’s first ten round match. Miss Caruso, can you go the distance without drugs?”

The old man growled a defiant answer. “I have no doubt my fighter can go the distance. Again, if we determine there is a need for stims, we will let you know before the match begins in accordance with the rules.”

The rest of the questions were simple “get-to-know-you” kind of questions. Where did I go to school, what made me decide to become a boxer, do I have a love interest… stuff like that.

The last question was presented to both of us. “What are the odds of you winning?”

Kirei said “This fight theme of silver versus gold, heaven versus earth, is very good. For I, like heaven, will pound the gold back into the ground.”

I answered “Odds of winning? That sounds like a math problem. All I know is that I’m going to win!”

stay tuned
Stay tuned for part 2, the Blue Diamond Rumble! (Sorry, I couldn’t fit the whole story in one post.)

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