Description: "Welcome to the tournament. Today, we examine what it means to be different. Is genetic advantage a necessity for success, or is will the greater factor?" At least Kusanagi doesn't have to walk very far. It seems Ultratech is starting out easy, bringing him to a nice little cafe at the local mall. He's probably even been there a few times. His opponent however, has not. A monster hunter of some renown, Baiken likely has very little interest in the pup brought before her, but Killer Instinct is not like the Red Expo. Ultratech's technologies are being saved for only the most deserving fighters, and it seems that she'll have to prove herself against the scion of the Kusanagi clan before the company starts to dispatch its dogs.
Truth be told, Kyo's interest in Ultratech and their, well, tech, is more wariness than actual interest. It's not like *he* needs any upgrades--he's the goddamn Kyo Kusanagi after all. But y'know, shadowy organizations... he's always wary of those.
No time for that right now, though; Kyo is chillin' at his favorite sidewalk cafe. He's got a nice big milk tea, the royal kind with the boba, and the latest issue of New Challenger to leaf through. Shingo is off, doing, uh, a special training. Something about finding the tallest tree in the forest... Kyo forgets now. He's just out of his hair right now.
He isn't *expecting* anything weird, at least, not anything more than usual, but as always he's pretty well primed to go even in a relaxed state. He's just hot-blooded like that.
Baiken, on the other hand, has actual interest. Ever since she fought Riptor - and where did they find a /dinosaur/ to clone and cybernize? - she's been pretty sure they were up to something, even if she couldn't prove it.
It could be a Jurassic Park scenario. She might be willing to accept that, especially with proof; Baiken is paranoid, not stupid. But with everything else she's heard about Ultratech... you never know. And given this opportunity, she's not going to turn it down.
Kyo's peaceful time at a sidewalk cafe is interrupted by a woman. She's short. He's at least a half foot taller than she is and outweighs her by at least half again. She is also scarred in a way he isn't; one arm is just gone, the sleeve of her robe hanging loose over nothing, as is one eye. It's not her only scar. There is an actual sword hanging at her waist, or at least a good facsimile when it's sheathed.
If he pays attention to other fighters, he might recognize her: Baiken, no last name (or possibly no first name). She held a belt for a while, and took on all challengers; she's also found herself in several difficult situations, including the whole Metro City problem, apparently by choice.
She looks sour. She did not appreciate being sent /here/ of all places; it's like they're playing a game with her. And she is marching right toward him. "You Kusanagi?" she demands, as if she didn't already know.
He -does- keep up on other fighters, at least those who are worthy. And Baiken? Definitely worthy. Yeah, she looks small and she's only got one arm and she's scarred up and shit. Kyo knows that none of that means a damn thing. Hell, Heidern's scary as fuck and he's only missing one eye. But Kyo doesn't make a habit of being intimidated by anything or anyone. So he picks up his drink and takes a long sip.
It lets him look her over more fully and he shakes his head, to himself. A hard gesture to interpret--it could look dismissive. Lowering his feet to the cobble ground, he unhurriedly stands up and nods. "Yeah, that's me. You must be Baiken," he says, picking up his napkin and wiping his mouth.
He turns half-away from her, walking over a short distance to the railing that blocks off the outside 'patio' from the street, then vaults it easily. He cracks a grin as he tightens his fingerless gloves on more fully, then squeezes his hands into fists, popping the knuckles audibly.
"Guess we've got some fightin' to do," he says, sounding relaxed, confident... maybe too confident.
COMBATSYS: Kyo has started a fight here.
COMBATSYS: Baiken has joined the fight here.
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Kyo 0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0 Baiken
It's less that Baiken is trying to be intimidating and more that she just very clearly does not belong at a sidewalk cafe. She stands out. There's just something vaguely /wrong/ about her strolling up here. And she knows it; it makes her a little uncomfortable. She is an intentional exile from society; she has better things to do than be a citizen.
Baiken is a little obsessed. And possibly insane.
But if he wants to fight on the street, that's fine by her. Baiken doesn't really want to destroy a cafe, and if they fought in it that's what would happen. Someone would slash apart a chair, or light a table on fire, or... something. It wouldn't end well.
"Yes," she says, "we do." Baiken looks over Kyo like she was judging him. She probably is. Her eye narrows as she focuses - on his face, on his arms. She's not sure what he's going to pull but he's famous enough that she can make some guesses.
Baiken opens the easy way: she runs at Kyo. She barely even gives him time to react before she's already on him, charging across the distance between them with her arm (which has drawn the sword, somewhere along the way) held up and across her body in a defensive position, sword point down.
She doesn't stab him with it, though - she kicks, driving her foot at Kyo's knee and using that step as the point to pivot, rotating and sidestepping until she ends up behind him - at least from the original positioning, nothing is stopping him from turning around.
COMBATSYS: Kyo blocks Baiken's Suzuran.
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Kyo 0/-------/------=|==-----\-------\0 Baiken
Kyo hardly 'fits in' any better than Baiken does. But he does fake it better. Not missing body parts does help, of course. "Fast," he notes, as Baiken rushes at him. He should have expected that, and perhaps he did, because he simply solidifies his defense as Baiken kicks, turning his leg to blunt the impact, to prevent a twisting of the joint that would end adversely for Kyo.
This does let Baiken get around him--she's clearly just *faster* than he is--but not so fast that he can't keep up, or at least, keep the appearances of keeping up. So he comes around as intended, planting his right foot and pushing off with his left, giving himself a bit of a lunge to keep Baiken close. As he steps into Baiken, or where she should be, he plants his left foot--and brings his left hand around in a hooking punch aimed for her jaw. Woman or not, scarred or not, he recognizes a warrior when he sees one. There's no such thing as holding back.
COMBATSYS: Kyo successfully hits Baiken with Medium Punch.
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Kyo 0/-------/------=|=====--\-------\0 Baiken
Baiken is not actually extraordinarily fast. She's agile but not extraordinarily speedy in a straight line; she mostly uses that to catch people off guard rather than simply outspeed them.
As this time, though it doesn't actually quite work right and Kyo manages to blunt the impact. She recovers well, moving into the position she wants to afterwards in any case, despite the changed angle and distance of the kick as she instinctively corrects her movement -
- but Kyo has apparently detected that ahead of time, too. The fist slams into her jaw hard enough to rattle. Kyo is right; she's a warrior, and she's surprisingly tough, judging by the fact that it does not immediately lay her out. She's a little dazed, and she takes a half step back, shaking her head sharply to clear it as her sandals scuff on the sidewalk.
She looks at Kyo with a little more respect after that. Not a lot, but a little.
He's staying close, so Baiken doesn't let him, maintaining the distance she got with her step back. She may be smaller, but she's used to being smaller than most of her opponents, and she has a weapon, which more than equalizes her reach if nothing else. She uses it, a sudden strike at Kyo's upper body, an almost arced cut to carve into his arm and then back.
Baiken uses the blade (of course) with one hand, but correctly; she's had a lot of experience even if she can't manage a two-handed grip, and the fact that it's her left hand is enough to throw some inexperienced fighters off their guard since most sword-fighters are right-handed. She doesn't expect Kyo to be surprised by it, but every little bit counts.
COMBATSYS: Baiken successfully hits Kyo with Medium Strike.
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Kyo 0/-------/---====|======-\-------\0 Baiken
Every bit -does- count. Kyo's assessment is proven entirely correct within the course of the exchange that occurs within seconds; that she took that blow like a champ and returned fire with one that was skillfully and beautifully done was just the bar to set. Katana -are- two-handed blades but they can, as Baiken shows, be wielded single-handedly--and she's quite good at it. The flashing blade is like light, and almost before Kyo knows it he's cut.
It draws a hiss of pain and a hand clamped over the wound, briefly, as Kyo backs off--not far, just a couple steps. Stings, but he can still use the arm--if he has to. But he'll probably try to avoid doing that as much as possible. Save it for when it's really necessary.
She might have just as much respect for him as he does for her, now--it's not (expressly) that she's a woman or that she brought a knife to a fistfight--it's just arrogance. But arrogance can be tempered by respect, and that's starting to happen now.
"Alright," he grits, holding up his uninjured hand. Flame springs up within it--real flame, actual burning energy, cradled in the palm of his hand. "Eat THIS!" he shouts, as he flings that flame to the ground, where it utterly fails to go out and instead becomes a hissing, sparking rush of energy that is zooming along towards Baiken's legs.
COMBATSYS: Baiken blocks Kyo's 108 Shiki - Yami Barai.
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Kyo 0/-------/--=====|=======\-------\0 Baiken
Baiken's katana is short, presumably on purpose, given how she uses it. It's certainly a custom-made weapon; blades of that quality do not come off an assembly line.
She flicks blood off it, even if there's not a lot, so that she can resheath it without guilt. She's no iai master but she does seem to end up striking from a draw often enough to make it worthwhile - plus, she only has one hand, so it's not like she can do anything else with said hand while she's wielding a blade.
The flame coming at her is a little harder to deal with than a punch. Baiken's solution, unorthodox as it is, is to kick at it; this kicks up some dust from the road, a little flicker of green and pink that might have been the edge of her own chi or some kind of aura reaction. It doesn't stop the fire but it disperses it a bit while she steps forward - apparently as soon as Kyo wants distance, she doesn't.
It also gives her an opening for what she's going to do next, which is stomp her foot down as hard as she can. "TATAMI," she yells, and - somehow - she gets one. A green tile flips up; her foot stomps down on one corner of it, sending the other side up as if it was on a pivot. If Kyo doesn't move back, it is likely to launch him into the air as it forms under his feet (hopefully not back over the railing into the cafe) - and if he does move back, he still has to deal with the sudden geyser of pink chi that erupts from 'underneath' the block!
COMBATSYS: Kyo instinctively blocks Baiken's Tatami Gaeshi.
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Kyo 0/-------/-======|=======\-------\0 Baiken
Kyo is indeed forced back by the 'tatami mat', bracing against it in a reflexive manner; fortunately, for him, the flipping mat's impact, properly guarded against, puts him out of range of that geyser of pink chi. Fascinating colors, not that Kyo's really thinking about that at the moment. He wants to deny Baiken the right to dictate at which range the fight occurs--so he goes on the offensive, despite the distance created between himself and his opponent.
It's fortunate that their lines of attack have, so far, been parallel to the railing of the cafe's patio--though the people that were sitting closest have prudently relocated, there are still plenty hanging around to watch the free show as Kyo gathers himself.
Despite himself he's grinning a little. "Glad you're not a pushover," he comments, and then he's rushing forward, maybe surprising Baiken a little as she was also looking to close the gap. As he nears, he thrusts his left elbow out for Baiken's sternum, a blow designed to open her guard and stun her briefly--so that he can lift her up in a power choke hold with his right hand, concentrate that fire into his right hand...
And blow her away with it, releasing his right-handed grip as that fire erupts. But that's all predicated on him landing that first elbow...
COMBATSYS: Baiken dodges Kyo's 212 Shiki - Kototsuki You.
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Kyo 0/-------/--=====|=======\-------\0 Baiken
"Were you expecting me to be?" For Baiken, that's a lot of comeback. Normally she completely ignores what her opponent is saying.
Unfortunately, Kyo does not manage to grab ahold of Baiken. She's hard to stun, hard to grab; she spots the rush coming and aborts her own forward movement, instead making a little hop backwards in the same line as Kyo is moving, lands on one foot, pivots about ninety degrees...
The net result is that Kyo doesn't manage to hit her sternum, or in fact anything at all, and now Baiken has her back to the cafe. Perhaps part of her realizes that fighting into an area with a lot of bystanders is a bad idea; she keeps moving so that the line of attack is at least mostly up and down the sidewalk rather than at ninety degrees to it.
Kyo also gets, a moment later, the secrets of Baiken's arm revealed. There is no arm there. She doesn't have an empty sleeve for show... but apparently 'empty' is not quite the correct word, because Baiken does something that looks somewhere close to a half-shrug, with a light touch of her remaining hand's fingers to her side to unhook something.
A chain drops out of Baiken's empty sleeve. A chain with what looks like an extremely rough claw on it; it's a rough boxy chunk of metal for the 'hand' and then 'fingers' that are just hooks, thankfully not especially sharp, though they do have rough points. She flings it past Kyo - and then her free hand yanks hard on the chain, pulling the clawed 'hand' back toward her with a vicious jerk.
The goal: hook the 'hand' around Kyo's shoulder and drag him off-balance while pulling him closer to Baiken! While the hand itself isn't a great weapon when used this way, it's almost certain she has additional plans from there...
COMBATSYS: Kyo endures Baiken's Kabari.
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Kyo 1/-------/=======|=======\==-----\1 Baiken
Kyo's grin turns into a smirk. "I expect most people to be pushovers," he says, even as he's recovering from pulling back on the forward momentum. That brief moment he has to take to adjust--and the fact that Baiken produces a metal clawed hand ala Enter the Dragon on a -chain- from an -empty sleeve- puts him a little flat-footed for what she does next.
The claw sinks into his shoulder, pulling him forward, but instead of resisting it and letting Baiken take him completely off-balance he goes with it, stepping into the momentum, letting it carry him to her on his own terms--or mostly his own terms.
And when he's close enough, he lunges--not forward, but upwards, pushing off with his feet and twisting his upper body around violently. Two reasons for that--one, to dislodge the claw-hand-thing, the other--to let him extend his arms out, held strong, and attempt to just rising clothesline the hell out of Baiken.
That his arms are suddenly sheathed in fire--fire that draws a picturesque helix as he thrusts himself into the air in that spin--might make the effort look a bit more urgent.
"RRRRRRAGH!" is Kyo's ever-so-articulate shout, not really a shout of anger but one of focus and concentration. Okay, and maybe a little anger.
COMBATSYS: Baiken interrupts 100 Shiki - Oniyaki EX from Kyo with Baku Tsuika Kougeki.
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Kyo 1/---====/=======|===----\-------\0 Baiken
The entire purpose of the false arm assemblies Baiken has - and the claw is only one of them, just her favourite - is to keep people off guard. If Kyo hasn't seen her do it before, and has no idea what she keeps up there, she has an advantage.
This is one time when Kyo not practicing - or, maybe, keeping up with what his opponents can do - works against him.
Seeing Kyo off balance, Baiken lets the chain slacken for a moment, then pulls again to make sure he /stays/ off balance coming in. She doesn't grin, doesn't seem particularly pleased by her skill; she looks serious more than anything else, and determined.
When Kyo finally does come in with his flames, Baiken is there. She didn't re-draw the sword, so it's her hand that he encounters instead; her hand, thrust outward, shimmering with pink. "BAKU!" she shouts right back at Kyo, for a moment drowning out his own roar. Baku - the seal.
And there is a seal. A shimmering character etches itself in the air between the two, and Kyo hits /it/ rather than Baiken. She can't (or won't) lock up chi of that magnitude, but she disperses the flames, dampens them for a few moments at least; he does strike with the flaming swirl, but it's less than it should be, and Baiken is there to follow up. She's battered, but she hasn't let that stop her.
With her hand still shining pink, she palm-strikes instead of just holding it in a dismissive manner, and a sphere of raw force surrounded with a whirl of pink light erupts from it, adding significantly to her reach. She follows it up with another of those kicks to send Kyo flying away from her - and this is what might surprise him the most, because though Baiken's chi is ordinarily not especially elementally aligned, /this/ boot might temporarily ignite him. And not in the way he was hoping for!
"GH--!" It was like slamming into a brick wall. And then getting kicked into another one. Kyo goes flying--a short distance, sure, but he still achieves liftoff--before slamming down hard on his side and tumbling a couple of times. That was--that was--
A -seal-? A seal on his power? Almost as if to check himself, he concentrates power into his hand as he stands up, the flame bursting to life within it. But still--he knows what he felt. There's no arrogance left in his face anymore, just seriousness. If he hadn't been taking Baiken one hundred percent seriously before, he certainly is now.
His stance is stooped, bowed--testament to the damage Baiken's done, physical and spiritual--but that flame? That flame still grows. "Guess--"
--and here he spits, clearing road dust from his throat and mouth, "--guess I shouldn't've taken you lightly... Alright then..." That power of his might have been deflected by the seal, but it still exists, and it's growing. Even those who aren't sensitive to the ebb and flow of chi can feel it, an underlying tension, like a wire being drawn taut prior to being plucked. And if they can't feel it, they can *see* it, as the aura intensifies around Kyo until he literally bursts into flames. The Flame-Soaked Effigy of the Kusanagi clan smiles, a grim, purposeful smile, as he sweeps his right arm back--and then launches from a standing position forward, as if he intended to tackle Baiken--but the momentum stops short and he sweeps his arm forward, unleashing all that power in a man-high gout of coherent flame, his voice echoing, literally echoing, as he utters a sharp kiai. He's nearing the end of that fabled rope people talk about... but sometimes he fights best from the end of the rope.
COMBATSYS: Kyo successfully hits Baiken with Ura 108 Shiki - Orochinagi EX+.
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Kyo 0/-------/-------|=======\=------\1 Baiken
It isn't the best seal in the world. It might not even be the best one Kyo has seen. Baiken isn't a master, like Chizuru; she's good, certainly, but this is not her specialty, just something in her bag of monster-hunting tricks. It dispersed the attack on her, it will force Kyo to refocus and regather his power, and that's it.
"No," Baiken says. "You shouldn't. But that's what I'd expect from someone with more talent than sense." Even she knows that Kyo doesn't practice. She can tell; he's good, possibly better than she is, but she doesn't feel the same kind of monomaniacal focus on the art of violence that she has from him. (To be fair to him, she doesn't feel it from many people at all.) Everything she had, she fought for. She did not come into this with any particular talent with a blade; she started as a child, a one-armed girl of about twelve too angry to let that stop her. With Kyo... well, he just has it.
She isn't sure whether to be more impressed or irritated.
Baiken is not blind to chi. She can certainly feel when Kyo decides to focus, and then she /knows/: he's doing something. She wants no part of it. She looks around, then up - and up has what might be her salvation.
Baiken throws her chain arm - not at Kyo, but up. It catches on a streetlight, and Baiken uses her other hand to pull on the chain; when it was hooked to Kyo, he came to her, but hooked on something as large and immobile as a streetlight, she goes to it instead. She rises.
But as it turns out she does not rise fast enough to avoid the pillar of fire. Baiken is surrounded by flame as she starts to ascend, vanishing from sight behind it for a few instants. Kyo might think her defeated - until, roaring, she moves out from the flame. Little wisps of Kyo's flaming chi cling to her, so that when she moves she trails sparks of flame behind her; she looks much the worse for wear, scorched around the edges. The ragged sleeve of her outfit is even more ragged.
Baiken has gotten some horizontal movement going. She doesn't just come out of the flame - she's swinging herself towards Kyo. Her claw unhooks from the streetlight as she swings, attempting to deliver a two-footed kick at Kyo's chest as she flies through the air, no longer attached to anything!
COMBATSYS: Kyo fails to interrupt Strong Kick from Baiken with Fierce Kick.
- Power fail! -
* Attack Of Opportunity! *
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COMBATSYS: Kyo can no longer fight.
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He's -in the zone-. Focused, sharp, ready. Baiken tries to evade the holy flames of the Serpent Reaper but cannot! Kyo can feel it--he's destined to win.
Until the one-armed swordwoman comes roaring out of the flame. He's surprised, but to his credit that doesn't catch him flat-footed for long. The Kusanagi heir looks, calculates--crouches--leaps.
His intent? To catch Baiken in midair with nothing less than a full-on, Big Bear-style dropkick. He can *feel* it. It'll be glorious.
No, wait. What he's feeling is Baiken's feet in his chest, just as he lifted off--he miscalculated. Or there was more damage to his legs than he thought. For whatever reason, he's a fraction too slow--so instead of drop-kicking, he is the one being drop-kicked, and the impact is *devestating*.
He doesn't just tumble, he *bounces*, fetching up against a parked car. And denting the door panel. Hopefully they've got insurance. He's out for half a second, but his eyes pop open soon enough--and he starts to rise, defia--no, no he doesn't, as he gets halfway before slumping back down and coughing a strained cough. And a single word, disgusted but impressed.
Closer to, it's clear that Baiken isn't as well off as she might have seemed at first glance. Her face and most of her exposed skin is red, she looks a little crispy, and she's got several marks that will probably be pretty nifty bruises from where Kyo /did/ connect with her.
But she is still moving, and that counts for a lot. Sheer determination sometimes stands in pretty well for actual health, and she's determined to not go down. Ultratech wants to put her up against some young prodigy with a chip on his shoulder? Fine.
Baiken feels the impact, and it's pretty satisfying; equally satisfying is the fact that that didn't backfire, as it was a risky maneuver at best. She manages to spring off rather than get tangled with Kyo and end up rolling with him; she lands on her feet, but has to take a staggering step to regain her balance, rising to her full height afterwards.
By then, Kyo is slumped against the car. Baiken looks him over, determines he's probably not going to start beating on her again, and slowly lowers her guard. It really is slow, though - she'd rather be safe than ambushed. She's breathing hard, but recovering - if there's one thing Baiken is good at, it's either recovering, or making it look as if she had.
Kyo looks disgusted, but at himself, as he gingerly pushes off the dented car and gets to his feet. "Yeah," he says, grudgingly. Hey, he's not used to -losing-, give him a break. Or, don't, you already almost broke his ribs. Speaking of...
He touches his ribs briefly then grimaces. "Hell of a kick you got there," he says, biting back a groan as he walks past Baiken towards where his table was, leaning over the railing to snag his drink and take a sip of it.
"Yes," Baiken agrees.
She does not interrupt Kyo going to get his drink. Actually, she doesn't interrupt him doing anything at all; as soon as he turns his back, Baiken starts to walk off, right back the way she came in the first place. She goes around the dented car and pays absolutely no attention to fans, onlookers, or angry people with damaged cars. She figures at least one of them works for Ultratech and thus saw the match.
She must not be much for small talk.
Log created on 19:44:45 08/19/2015 by Baiken, and last modified on 08:06:02 08/21/2015.