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Bullying A Dragon / Live-Action Films

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  • How the Big Bad of Men in Black II is introduced:
    Would-be Rapist: Hey, pretty lady! You taste good!... Hey, what the-!
    Sarleena: Yeah, you too.
  • The Backstory of The Covenant is that one of the adult warlocks was persecuted and burned at the stake. He was persecuted for being a high-level Reality Warper, lesser members of said species being able to not only fly and throw fireballs but survive head-on collisions with Mack trucks. Exactly how 1600's Massachusetts villagers concluded taking him on was a good idea, let alone succeeded, is never explained.
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  • The bizarre homoerotic scene in Powder where a bunch of bullies try to strip the main character naked after they catch him checking out other boys in the shower. Seems more like a scene from a porno, really, but the point is that the eponymous character was established to have electromagnetic superpowers.
  • Hellboy:
    • Bullies seem to think that it's a good idea to pick on a Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette kid who starts fires with her mind! by throwing rocks at her, on her birthday no less. No points for guessing how that ends.
    • After Hellboy becomes public knowledge in the sequel as a hulking monster who fights other monsters, people see fit to shout insults and throw things at him as they drive by.
  • In Hancock, the Jerkass Flying Brick is picked on by inmates in prison whom he put there, even though they would already know that he's completely impervious to any weapon and can literally shove someone's head into another person's ass. After reminding them about that last part, he has no more problems with them.
    • There's also a bratty kid who knows that Hancock's Berserk Button is being called an asshole. Hancock doesn't hurt him, physically anyway.
  • Watchmen
    • Rorschach finds himself getting threatened in prison by the very same inmates that he beat up and put there. After stomping one of them, he proclaims. "None of you seem to understand. I'm not locked in here with you. You're locked in here with me!"
    • There was also that guy who kept begging various costumed adventurers to "punish" him. And then he did it to Rorschach, who promptly tossed him down an elevator shaft.
    • The anti-vigilante protesters in front of Studio 54. One of them hits the Comedian in the head with a beer bottle and he flips out, beating them up and firing tear gas at them as they're trying to flee. Worse in the movie adaptation. In the comic, he "only" fires tear gas, whilst in the film adaptation he is clearly shown firing an actual shotgun into the fleeing crowd.
  • In Big Game, when Morris gets too snarky for Hazar's tastes, the terrorist has two of his mooks point their guns at an established Badass in a Nice Suit. Morris takes both of them down before any has a chance to pull the trigger.
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  • Portrayed as the South African government's Idiot Ball in District 9. Yes, let's confine a million alien refugees with highly advanced weaponry and space-faring technology to a hideous slum, treat them like garbage and deny them basic rights. Granted, most of them seem to be just dumb "worker"-type aliens. Only the main alien character, Christopher, is shown to be more intelligent (he actually reads the contract that they show him to try and justify moving him out and points out legal flaws including that they had to give him two weeks' notice) and is smart enough to come up with a successful escape plan. And after he's gone, he's promised to bring help.
  • In Alien Nation, the Idiot Ball is held by Los Angeles. Yes, let's piss all over the guys that are super-strong and highly intelligent. Let's recapitulate every moronic Race Trope our society worked to get past. Yeah, that's bright.
  • In Hulk, after Bruce Banner is captured and contained in a purportedly Hulk-proof room, Glenn Talbott, needing a blood sample, enters the room, and shocks Bruce repeatedly with a cattle prod to try to get him to change into the Hulk. At this time, Talbott is wearing a cast and a neck brace, because earlier in the movie, when Bruce changed into the Hulk, he used Talbott as a melee weapon to beat two other people into unconsciousness. Luckily for Talbott, this attempt fails. Unluckily for Talbott, his next attempt is successful and he ends up in the grave.
  • Curly in Of Mice & Men, picking a fight with Lennie, who wins basically the instant he gets over his fear of fighting and stands up for himself. This is explained in the book as being a result of Curly being a Boisterous Weakling.
    Candy: S'pose Curley jumps a big guy an' licks him. Ever'body says what a game guy Curley is. And s'pose he does the same thing and gets licked. Then ever'body says the big guy oughtta pick on somebody his own size, and maybe they gang up on the big guy.
  • The Incredible Hulk: Blonsky, hopped up on super-soldier serum, advances on the Hulk unarmed, taunting him, "Is that all you got?" after watching him tear apart an armored division. Blonksy promptly gets kicked into a tree, breaking about every bone in his body.
  • Harry Potter
    • Even after the Dursleys become fully aware of Harry's abilities, they continue to antagonize him at every opportunity. Because they know students aren't allowed to use magic outside of school. Hagrid specifically warned Harry not to tell them about this rule. Unfortunately, when Dobby used magic to get Harry in trouble, the Ministry thought Harry did it, and sent him a warning... which the Dursleys read.
    • Draco at the end of The Goblet of Fire still sees fit to antagonize Harry, even though he has a lot of powerful friends, a lot of powerful spells, and a lot of experience in fighting monsters and Dark Lords. The last time he's seen at the end of the book he, Crabbe, and Goyle have been jinxed pretty much into oblivion by Harry, Ron, Hermione, Fred, and George. They're described to resemble slugs by the time the group is done with them.
  • In The Ninth Configuration, a bar full of bikers decide that it's a good idea to mercilessly taunt and humiliate a pair of soldiers. One of the soldiers is Colonel Vincent "Killer" Kane, an unbalanced walking death machine from the Vietnam War. After suffering through monstrous indignities, he finally snaps and slaughters the entire gang of bikers, including the women, with his bare hands.
  • Mighty Joe Young (the original) has a trio of drunkards give the titular giant gorilla alcohol -- enough to inebriate him. This clears them out of booze and in retaliation, one of them burns Joe's hand as he begs for more. Joe then bursts out of his cage for a drunken Roaring Rampage of Revenge through a nightclub.
  • 20 Million Miles to Earth can best be summarized as "Please do not bully the Ymir." It's one of Ray Harryhausen's iconic and most sympathetic monsters.
  • King Kong post-Skull Island tends to suffer one indignation after another (not that Skull Island was a picnic), so that when he bursts out of his bonds, the audience is usually behind Kong's rampage.
  • The Tyrannosaurus rex's death toll in US/Japan Co-Production The Last Dinosaur might have been less if the Great White Hunter didn't insist on trying to kill it again and again. Then again, the title refers to the Great White Hunter as it does the Tyrannosaur.
  • In The Rocket Boy, a random hostage made a butterfingers comment when Hawkhead dropped a glass. Hawkhead shows it's unwise by tractoring the hair from that extra one foot into the air before letting it return to its normal position. A few minutes later, the ventriloquist dummy held by Hawkhead makes a similar comment.
  • Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen: National Security Advisor Galloway constantly treats the Autobots like enemies, making demands and threatening them with expulsion from Earth. Aside from the fact that they have no authority to exile the Autobots from Earth, just America, this is all in spite of the fact that Earth relies on the Autobots to protect them from the Decepticons, which they do purely out of the goodness of their cybertronic hearts. There's also the fact that the Bots are giant alien robots who could easily turn Galloway into a greasy smear if they were malicious enough to do so.
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon: The Autobots are eventually exiled. The entire city of Chicago is leveled within the next forty-eight hours. Optimus Prime fakes his troops' death to prove his point.
  • Happens briefly in Spider-Man, where Peter is called a freak by one jock after he beats Flash Thompson up.
  • Con Air. Nicolas Cage's character Cameron Poe is an Army Ranger in full uniform who gets bullied by a few drunks in a bar. He kills one of them and is charged with the Crime of Self-Defense.
  • Micah in Paranormal Activity. Your girlfriend says that a demon has been harassing her since childhood. You set up a camera at night that confirms her story. A psychic warns you that antagonizing the demon will only piss it off, but that a Demonologist might be able to help. What do you do? You say to hell with hiring a Demonologist (or at least a Priest!) and instead decide to call the demon a pussy at every opportunity and constantly dare it to do its worst. Its worst is possessing your girlfriend, and killing you.
  • In The Dark Knight Trilogy:
    • Hung with a lampshade in The Dark Knight
      Lucius Fox: "Let me get this straight: You think that your client, one of the wealthiest, most powerful men in the world, is secretly a vigilante who spends his nights beating criminals to a pulp with his bare hands. And your plan is to blackmail this person? Good luck."
      • Also falls under Didn't Think This Through, as when he has this explained to him, he immediately backs down, the Oh, Crap! look on his face growing with each word Lucius speaks.
    • Also in The Dark Knight, the clown gang don't realize they're Robbing the Mob Bank until the manager shoots one of them in the back with a shotgun.
      Manager: (cocking his shotgun) Do you have any idea who you're stealing from?!? You and your friends are dead!
    • In The Dark Knight Rises John Daggett's plans to absorb Wayne Enterprises by having Bane attack the stock exchange to bankrupt Bruce have gone sour, so he thinks it's a good idea to chew out Bane. Protip: don't try chewing out a muscular man with fists of steel and a frightening gas mask, as Bane ever-so-calmly lays one gigantic hand on Daggett's shoulder and asks, "Do you feel in charge?" Daggett then realizes that shit has hit the fan and very meekly states, "But I've paid you a small fortune." Bane then promptly breaks Daggett's neck.
  • Superman Returns: Granted he has that "boy scout" reputation, and Lex has kryptonite present, but wouldn't you think, that if he possibly survived, especially considering his luck in the past, beating up one of the most powerful superheroes in the DC Universe would have some kind of repercussions? Of course it did.
  • Supergirl: Shortly after reaching Earth, Supergirl ran into two truck drivers. She quickly identifies herself as Superman's cousin... and the pair of truckers decide to harass her. Then she proves she has Kryptonian powers... and the idiot duo attacks her rather than backing off. Suffice it to say, they regrett it.
  • Violent Shit 2 has a couple of guys making fun of Karl the Butcher as he slowly approaches, blissfully unaware of the mask and machete. They get killed, unsurprisingly enough.
  • The 1971 Disney film Bedknobs and Broomsticks does it to the protagonist, Miss Price, twice. Charlie, the eldest of the three wards, attempts to blackmail her with the knowledge that she's a witch, Miss Price turns him into a rabbit, and her cat attacks him. (Imagine if she'd succeeded in turning him into a frog like she'd intended!)
  • The WWII film Tora! Tora! Tora!, an accurate account of the events leading up to Pearl Harbor for both the United States and Japan, has Admiral Yamamoto deliver this apocryphal line after the bombing: "I fear that all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."
  • Wyatt Earp in Tombstone. What's that? The infamous Kansas lawman is in town? Let's mock him, mess with him, kill people in front of him, terrorize his family and eventually kill his brother. What could possibly go wrong?
  • Freddy vs. Jason
    • A pair of idiot ravers start taunting Jason, apparently not realizing he is a nearly seven foot tall mountain of a man in a creepy mask armed with a machete.
    • Freddy tries to torture and kill someone that he himself has noted is unkillable... Until he finds out about Jason's fear of water.
    • In the climax, Kia taunts and insults Freddy to distract him from the others.
  • Tank: Let's say you're a Fat Redneck Sheriff who owns your small town. One of your deputies gets out of line with a prostitute and this guy comes to her rescue. Now let's say "this guy" is a tough-as-nails career army sergeant who just wants to live in peace with his family. Oh, and he owns a fully operational Sherman Tank. Hey, let's throw his son in jail on trumped-up drug charges and blackmail him! What Could Possibly Go Wrong?.
  • The Avengers
    • Tony Stark, in his typical reckless way, casually shocks Bruce Banner in the middle of a conversation. Played with in that Tony is provoking him specifically to show that he's not worried about Bruce losing control and Hulking Out. Bruce gets itnote  and is more amused than annoyed — Steve's much more angry about it than he is since he considers it bullying. Tony's probably the first person in a long time to not walk on eggshells around the Hulk, despite knowing what he is.
    • Tony Stark has this to say to Loki right before the climatic battle "... let's do a headcount here: Your brother the demi-god; a Super Soldier — a living legend who kind of lives up to the legend; a man with breathtaking anger management issues, and a couple of master assassins — and you, big fella, you've managed to piss off every single one of 'em.".
    • And later, after Tony's suited up: "Oh, and there's one other person you pissed off. His name was Phil."
    • Loki is later in the midst of a Villainous Breakdown, and chooses to intentionally berate and antagonize the Hulk to his face. Cue one of the most hilariously one-sided Curb-Stomp Battle against Loki's favour.
  • Taken 2: Vengeance is one thing, but sure, let's continue to antagonise the one man who singlehandedly destroyed our sex slavery network and went through our relatives like a hot knife through butter. And how do we do so? Kidnap another one of his loved ones, where doing so the first time already cost us in blood.
  • Mean Streets: Johnny Boy (Robert de Niro) insults a neighborhood mobster he owes a large sum of money to and follows that up by burning his first payment (a $10 bill) and sticking a gun in his face. Things do not end well for him.
  • Robot Monster: The annoying little boy takes the opportunity to call the robot that has killed more than five billion people a "pooped-out pinwheel". Because the director hated the audience, the kid is immune to the resultant death ray shot.
  • Star Trek
    • In Star Trek: The Motion Picture, three Klingon battlecruisers confront V'Ger, and, per their idiom (shooting things they don't understand), fire several photon torpedos at it. What follows can't really be described as a 'Curb-Stomp Battle,' because that would imply that the Klingons had any chance whatsoever of surviving V'Ger's response.
    • Star Trek Into Darkness: Kirk should have known better than to smack Harrison (actually Khan) around like that after he almost single-handedly took out the entire Klingon squad, especially after he surrendered. Marcus's overall treatment of Harrison/Khan also falls into this category.
  • X-Men: Apocalypse: The last time anyone saw Magneto, he easily and ruthlessly defeated the entire security detail of the White House after dropping a stadium around it. Erik's neighbors in Poland think they've found Magneto when he stops a several ton piece of steel mill equipment cold on reflex. Confronting this guy and threatening his kid to detain him sounds like a great idea. Played with in that Erik is willing to come quietly, as long as they don't hurt his kid; the cops intend to agree to his terms, but one of them has an arrow nocked on his bow when she starts controlling the animals...
    • On the subject of Magneto, let's not forget Mitchell Laurio, who took nearly perverse pleasure in tormenting an imprisoned Erik in X2: X-Men United. A date with Mystique (in disguise, of course) and several ounces of iron in his blood later, Laser-Guided Karma kicks in.
  • From underground cage fighters to ill-informed mooks to belligerent locals, every movie in the X-Men Film Series with Logan/Wolverine in it has at least one character who crosses this line with everyone's favorite clawed Canuckle-head.
    • The humans and how they treat mutants in general falls under this. Even with public knowledge that several mutants not only have supernatural powers but absolutely no love for Homo sapiens doesn't stop members of either the general population, law enforcement or even military/political standing from doing things to antagonize them.
  • Iron Man 3: Tony challenging a terrorist - one known for pulling off daring, devastating public attacks - to attack him at his home without a plan behind it beyond "Come at me, bro" was not Tony's finest hour. Tony isn't thinking clearly at this point, and the boasting was more about making himself feel in control, and he'd just put the finishing touches on his Mk 42 suit, which combined with the first point meant he actually thought he stood a pretty good chance. It actually goes fairly well in Tony's favor. He's able to take down two of the helicopters, only screwing up the last one due to being caught by wreckage.
  • Man of Steel:
    • Even if you aren't aware he's a godlike alien, is it really a wise move to antagonize the man easily a foot taller than you and built like a brick shithouse, Jerkass trucker guy?
    • And earlier in Clark's life: "Hey look, it's that freak who pushed a school bus out of a river. Let's goad him into a fistfight." Those bullies are lucky Clark has such self-restraint.
  • Psycho II: Lila Crane's plan was to gaslight Norman Bates back into insanity, with her daughter, Mary, getting close to Norman and her putting pressure on the sheriff to put the squeeze on Bates. The fact that even if it worked perfectlynote , the idea that Mary would be one of Norman's first victims and Lila wouldn't be far behind didn't seem to occur to either of them.
  • Used and lampshaded in Hercules in New York. Hercules pisses some guy off, who punches him in the stomach, to no effect whatsoever and the famous line: "Yu have strucked(sic) Hercules". Somehow this doesn't deter guy who mocks Hercules (thinking he's faking it) and asks him to step outside. Hercules responds by chucking the guy across the room.
  • In a deleted scene of The Last Samurai, a pair of Japanese businessmen decide to mock Ujio, a samurai in full garb. He tolerates this to a point, until one of them pokes him with his cane, at which point Ujio swiftly decapitates the offender. A bit of Truth in Television in that, by the laws of the time, a peasant touching a samurai or showing disrespect (inadvertently or otherwise) was an extreme offense and the samurai was legally permitted to kill the offender for his transgression if he could show that the offense had been committed (what is otherwise not known is that the samurai would have been decapitated too if the crime was not found sufficient to warrant the decapitation).
  • A rather literal example from The Hobbit, when Thorin Oakenshield refers to Smaug as a "slug" and tells him he's gotten slow and fat.
  • Pretty much anyone who mocks Howard in Jingle All the Way while he's desperately searching for a Turboman action figure during the most stressful time of the year to be shopping. Even though he's something of a loser in the film, Howard's still a muscle-bound man the size of, well, Arnold Schwarzenegger. He reminds the first two store employees of this by grabbing them by the shirt, lifting both of them off their feet, and calmly asking them once more if they have the action figure.
  • In Dracula Untold, one of the Janissaries, Bright Eyes, threatens a father and his son in Vlad's court. When Vlad intervenes, he brings up his reputation and Bright Eyes shrugs it off, apparently thinking it's no big deal to piss off someone who earned the name "The Impaler". Appropriately enough, in the climax, they spot each other, and Vlad effortlessly defeats him and pins him to a wooden post with his own weapon without using his vampiric powers. Leaving him alive for the boy he threatened earlier, now a vampire himself, to finish him off.
  • In R.O.T.O.R., a trio of rednecks think that the titular Killer Robot is merely a human police officer, so naturally they pick a fight with him.
  • Hoskins from Jurassic World does this to the raptors on several occasions, and it's clear that Delta and Blue aren't happy with him touching them in the ready-cages. Delta especially throws a snarling fit whenever he comes anywhere near her. Predictably, this gets him mauled to death after the raptors are set loose and turn on the humans.
    • Ken Wheatley in the sequel, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is even worse: For starters, he collects teeth from the dinosaurs while they're subdued. Yes, that includes the carnivores. Immediately after he tranquilizes the Indoraptor (or thinks he has, because, you know, it really isn't), he steps into its cage to add one of its teeth to his collection. It toys with him for good measure, then ends him.
  • Just because they don't like him, a small town's sheriff and the local officers incarcerate and commit police abuse against a Vietnam War veteran named John Rambo in First Blood.
  • In I Spit On Your Grave III: Vengeance is Mine, Jennifer Hills/Angela has had her revenge and is trying to live her life in a new city. Unfortunately, it seems that there are men that she regularly runs into that harass and grope her and just don't seem to take a hint. Until it's too late, that is.
  • In Central Intelligence, high school bully Trevor tormented fat geek Robbie. Twenty years later, Robbie is now a man mountain played by Dwayne Johnson. When they meet again, Trevor for some reason still mocks him. It eventually gets him punched out cold.
  • In John Wick, the son of The Mafiya's boss doesn't take well to the titular character refusing to sell him his car. So he decides to break into his house, beat him up, steal his car, and worse of all, kill his puppy dog. Unfortunately for him, he just messed with a man who makes The Mafiya crap their collective pants in fear. And that dog was a present from his recently deceased wife, and his only Morality Chain. Epic Roaring Rampage of Revenge ensues. Played with, since the Mafiya kid and his friends weren't actually aware of John's true identity while everyone else was, so while for the perpetrators themselves it was Mugging the Monster, as far as everyone else is concerned these kids have been dumb enough to try Bullying A Dragon.
    • And then we have Santino D'Antonio's actions in John Wick: Chapter 2. Sure, while calling in the Marker was perfectly legal de jure, that doesn't make it a bright idea. John's last outing was out of love, not work, and there's nothing stopping John from going after the Marker's holder after the deed has been done. There's also that whole part about putting a price on Wick's head immediately afterward, playing the suffering victim the whole way. Winston goes so far as to call Santino out on this behavior.
    • The first third of John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum involves this as dozens of assassins and hitmen across New York try to take out a wounded, isolated, and unarmed John Wick, who proceeds to kill them all in increasingly improbable and improvised ways. Later on, in Morocco, the local Mafia lord provokes John and his companion Sophie by first demanding one of Sophie's dogs as payment for his services and then shooting the dog when she refuses. The subsequent gun battle sees dozens of his men get slaughtered by the pair and Sophie's trained attack dogs.
  • The people who bother the recently arrived Terminators in the the first two Terminator films. Even if they can't know they're dealing with a killer robot from the future, they still seem to think hassling a six foot tall, heavily muscled, likely mentally disturbed person is a good idea.
  • The documentary crew from Cannibal Holocaust is already extremely unsympathetic because of the gruesome lengths they're willing to go in order to capture compelling footage of a native tribe, including rape, torture and mass murder via immolation. That they're doing these horrible things to a warrior tribe that kills and eats conquered foes, and not necessarily in that order, either, means they're not only evil but also overbearingly stupid, and of course they're utterly shocked when this cruel, idiotic plan backfires on them.
  • A recurring annoyance in Zatoichi. Those Yakuza don't seem to learn their lesson, and leave the blind masseur Ichi alone...even though it's been repeatedly established that he's The Dreaded for being a Master Swordsman in spite of his blindness. As you can imagine, it doesn't end well for the Yakuza.
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri: Despite Mildred Hayes's reputation for not taking crap from anybody, three high school kids throw a soda can at her car. She responds by getting out and giving two of them a knee right to the groin.
  • General Hux from Star Wars: The Force Awakens likes to talk back and even antagonize Kylo Ren. Yes they hold the same rank within the First Order, serving as Co-Dragons who report directly to Supreme Leader Snoke, but that's the only thing stopping Ren from doing any number of "colorful" things to the powerless Hux with his force powers or lightsaber. A couple of times in the film Hux pushes his luck a little too far only for Ren to coldly remind him he doesn't quite have the control he likes to think he has:
    Hux: Careful, Ren. That your personal interests don't interfere with orders from leader Snoke.
    Ren: I want that map. For your sake... I suggest you get it.
    • In Star Wars: The Last Jedi he continues this behavior until Ren uses a Force Choke to cut off his reprimands and reminds him Snoke is dead (as it only happened a few minutes ago, Hux hasn't mentally shifted gears). His protection gone he acknowledges Ren as the new Supreme Leader, and while he doesn't stop bickering and keeps trying to retain the authority he had under the more hands-off Snoke, he's much more subservient from then on.
  • The classic scene in Star Wars: A New Hope where Admiral Motti mouths off to Darth Vader and essentially openly insults what basically amounts to his religion to his face. Even if "The Force" was just a superstition you're talking to a 7 foot tall cyborg with a laser sword who answers only to the Emperor. What exactly was your end game there?
  • Phase 1 on Dom's plan to get back at Reyes in Fast Five is to raid one of his cash houses and burn ten million dollars. He knows full well that Reyes is a powerful drug lord who controls everything, including the police, in Rio.
  • In Black Zoo, the hapless zookeeper Joe makes the bizarre decision to torment a tiger while he is in the cage with it. No prizes for guessing what happens next.
  • In Terror in a Texas Town, McNeil makes the mistake of mocking his dragon Johnny Crale while Johnny is in the middle of a Villainous Breakdown. Johnny suddenly decides that he doen't care about McNeil or his money anymore and shoots McNeil.
  • The Highwaymen: Three hoodlums associated with the Barrow gang attempt to intimidate Gault while he's relieving himself. He shoves the first guy's head in a toilet and pulls a gun on the other two, admonishing their audacity to actually try to rob a man taking a leak, and a Texas Ranger at that.
  • Salvation Boulevard: Dan foolishly starts slapping Guzman when his video gets mixed up. Guzman stabs him.
  • Frankenstein Island: For some reason, Curtis decides to pick a fight with a group of the guards, despite knowing they are engineered to be perfects guards and that some of them can fly into an unstoppable fits of violence.
  • Hisss: The Big Bad's plan is to essentially blackmail a man-eating, shapeshifting snake monster into giving him a cure for his cancer by capturing her mate and torturing him. It ends about as well as you'd expect, and she gives him a Karmic Death by locking in the cage he kept her mate where he's slowly electrocuted to death.


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