Description: "Alright Asshole, I want you cut out the part where I end up in the hole, okay? No one wants to see my god damn ass right up in the air like that. Also get rid of that whole, god damn thing where he tricks me with that cotton candy scarecrow thing. Twice. I want people to see me as a genius, with brains as much as muscle, you know? And the part where I punch him the face. I want that to be real slow, god damn, let that just sink in."
The aftermath of Team Canada's qualifier disqualification has been oddly quiet. People were split down the middle on the legitimacy of the so-called World Champion to his title, let alone to his performance in King of Fighters... or what it might mean alongside that firecracker of a notable anti-establishment "musician" who had dreams of fighting stardom riding on his shoulders. To say nothing about that curious yeti that's been going around, but, those are all tales for another time.
No, now seems to be a quieter, peaceful, ordinary time, in so much as any of these descriptors can ever apply to a man like this one.
Somewhere out in the province of Alberta, Canada, with the thick and stale air of nearby oil refineries that grip with obsolescence, a man is still occasionally called upon by name to see to honest labour and the closest thing to a reliable income he has - enough that he'd be willing to jump national borders to get said work.
"Didn't take as long as I thought," so says the infamous Howard Rust, Jr. himself, his curiously voluminous hair done up to twin pigtails as he wipes the sweat off his brow alongside some wealthy homeowner's new house expansion as he flips on and off a lightswitch several times.
The foundation and framing have long since been completed. Wiring, piping, and other such niceties have their inner guts still exposed. It's no place for children to come running around and roughhouse. Especially not with how there's still a few constructin supplies hapahazardly strewn about. Excess framing supplies - roof shingles, plywood, etc. - seem almost stacked as if expecting the filming of some humorous injury-prone stunt TV programs from a decade or so ago. It could just be a consequence of the speed in which this man appears to be able to work.
Blinding himself to what dark corners are cast in the recesses of this expansion as he switches the lights off, he lifts up a comically large set of blueprints that would probably be far easier to read if he left them on.
"Looks like that all connects at... yep! All that's next to do is... wait... for inspection." The cheer that seems to be the default for his tone of voice sinks slightly. "Ahh. I'm sure they'll be here soon enough..."
He starts to whistle an odd tune that may or may not have some cultural or religious significance in very, very obscure corners of the Earth to pass the time, distilling whatever weight and meaning they have to being flippant air that passes through careless lips.
So, so far, an ordinary day.
Until, the kicking boom of the hip hop beat rumbles out.
The Hummer Limo pulls up. The all-wheel drive of a black super-stretch Hummer had trouble working the roads of Alberta. But it made it, pulling up towards the construction site. There was supposed to be an inspection. And maybe the black suits were coming up there. But the sound of the thundering beat, of booming subwoofers rumbling out, bode a different tale.
./' I fade Em
I fade Em
I need that
I fade Em (I fade Em)
I knock Em down (I knock Em down)
Running homie ./'
The vehicle comes to a halt right before the mostly built building. From the driver's side, the chauffeur moves to open up the passenger door facing the construction site. He doesn't get the chance. The door flies open, the whole vehicle lurching hard as the occupient forces himself out. Emphasis on -force-, the man is so big, he nearly couldn't get out. The man is seven feet tall, and built like a linebacker. He was wearing only shiny green and purple shorts, kneepads and gloves, holding a sort of beetleshell sheen to them. A talisman hangs from his chest, and his tanned, muscled form has way too much body hair. The bald man glares out as he thunders out, snarling as he looks around. Finally, he barks out.
Hurrying out of the limo was two young ladies in questionable outfits; one a peroxide blond in a silver, short dress. The other? A dark-skinned woman in a red dress with even less in the top and bottom. The bruiser holds out his arms, and each woman takes their place at his side. The man bellows out to the construction site."Hey! Inspection here! All you ASSHOLES clear out so I can take care of business. Where the -FUCK- is Rust Howard?" The blonde pipes up, in a thick Brooklyn accent.
"Uh, I think his name is Howard Rust Jr, sugar-"
The man's grip tightens hard on her shoulder, making her yell out in pain. "Bitch, what kind of lame ass mother-FUCKER has a backwards ass name? The asshole is Rust. his last name is HOWARD, and who gives a fuck if he is named after his BITCH ASS DADDY!!! He release the girl, letting her fall into a mud puddle nearby. Redoubling his grip on his OTHER woman, who is looking somewhere caught between crying and running away, the man just roars out at the building, the foundations rattling at the sheer force. "I said you PUNK ASSES get the FUCK out of HERE for your GOD DAMN INSPECTION!"
"RUST HOWARD! Get your BITCH ASS DOWN HERE!"
For a time, the humming competes against the hip-hop within the not-too-cushy walls of a construction project that shudders under the, if you are younger than a certain baseline age, freakin' sweet bass. The aging handyman ninja comes to the conclusion a little too late for the confidence of any outside observers that this is totally not the result of his humming.
"Oh, they're here!" He claps his hands, rubs them vigorously, and seems all too cheerful for some of the language that only partially comes through the framework and seemingly all-encompassing obliviousness to matters of tone and word choice. (Maybe this was numbed from a little too much exposure to the more poisonous elements of American culture.)
The few other hands present outside all scatter and cower before the gigantic Vale Tudo man with a violent 'tude, electing themselves into obscurity and ultimate irrelevance for the respectable cause of not being in the way.
The rattling under the shouting is enough that the man of the hour staggers out the door less than gracefully - even tripping over his own feet! - as he comes short of just flopping belly first upon soil that seems blackened enough that it's a wonder anyone would consider building a residence out here.
"Hello!" The punk ass, bitch-ass handyman greets all too... uh, cordially, as he stands back up shakily and... unconvincingly, for someone far smaller that is dwarfed in the face of someone like Craig. "Sorry to make you wait, took me a bit to find my clipboard with," he murmurs as he pulls something out from under his arm - is that a clipboard that is so packed with paperwork and other miscellaneous niceties of society that it could be considered medically obese? (Yes.)
"Ah! Whoa. Looks like I'm not the only one who fell over walking up here," he says, extending his free hand to the blonde in the mud puddle as he holds out the fat clipboard half-attentively to the giant man, "anyway, got all the papers, permits, in order, ready to show you at--"
"Where is the god damn camera?"
That is the word from the titanic man, as the construction workers begin to scatter. From the other side of the limo hummer, a single, mustached man crawls out, carrying a camcorder, and a microphone. Not even professional camera equipment. Still, when he comes out, the man just grins, releasing the other woman. She hurries over to help the blonde, as Craig thunders over to the camera man. He just rips the microphone out of his hand. "Turn it on."
"Camera on me."
Craig stares right into the camera, as he speaks into the mic. "Hey people, this is Craig Marduck, world champion of Vale Tudo, and greatest man in the world, if I say so myself. And I am RIGHT. God damn. I'm here in Alberta, Canada, to hunt down the World Champion Belt Holder Rust Howard. And wouldn't you know, I found him right here, hiding right inside this house." The camera drifts towards Rust Howard as he comes out of the building, full of papers. Craig suddenly bellows.
The camera quickly fixes back on Craig's his death glare nearly withering the camera man. "Don't forget your job asshole. Now, we've cleared out the riffraff, and now we can get down to tacks." Craig strides across over, as both the dark skinned woman AND Rust help up the blonde. Her makeup was running, as she was sobbing. "They just don't pay me enough, they just don't pay me enough..." She babbles, as the paperwork was handed to Craig. The man takes the papers in one hand, takes his other mic'd hand, and promptly starts instinctively ripping it apart, clipboard and all. Throwing the pieces on the ground, the other two women back away, as Craig shakes his hand, and shoves it in Rust's face. "Just real quick, for the folks at home."
"Can you confirm you are Rust Howard, and you are the holder of the World Champion Belt, right here on camera?"
The man of the strange, decidedly un-masculine hairstyle seems a little too absorbed in the world of simple professional niceties and just helping someone up, as much of the bellowing goes in one ear and out the other, as though some manner of all this is too... mundane to be outlandish, itself a strange concept. A man with a seemingly carefree, one-track mind. Go out and about to have a good time, work on someone's house, have their permits and clipboard completely destroyed before the corner of his ey--
"Oh, no," his babbling switches tracks to another bit of babbling, muttering almost incomprehensible things about a signature, or something about page four - a lot of it is lost to a sudden bout of mic feedback and a microphone being pressed up against his nose as an important question is asked of him. He finishes helping the poor dropped woman up to start picking up pieces of torn plastic and paper, brushing the edge of the shoved microphone up his nose and against his forehead. One particular shard keeps his interest, for some reason that is ultimately unimportant to anyone's end goals.
"It's, ah, yep, Howard Rust, Jr., and," his words wander as he rises up to bring his mouth to a more socially accepted spatial relationship between himself and a microphone, though his mind sounds like it were on something else. He clears his throat as if to re-center and focus his usual conversational tone of almost grating cheerfulness. It's as if at last someone or something must have caught him off-guard, which might be a television-worthy event unto itself.
"That's... that's the name of the belt, you bet! World Champion." This is probably as good an answer as anythi-- "Thought I'd wear it to dinner with the relatives, but," nervous-sounding chuckle as he brings a hand back to the side of his head, "turns out s--"
The mic drops as Craig tosses it aside. He didn't really care much about what Rust was babbling about. He just needed to have two things made clear. That this was Rust, and he had the World Champion Belt. The women scream as the titantic man lunges in to seize Rust by both hands, interrupting him. Should he get the grips on the man? He would lift him over his own head, one hand on the neck, the other on the head. Holding him up like a bear holding a salmon at a cheap Canadian cabin sign. Or a toy airplane. And if he could get Rust there?
COMBATSYS: Craig has started a fight here.
COMBATSYS: Rust has joined the fight here.
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Rust 0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0 Craig
COMBATSYS: Craig successfully hits Rust with Strong Throw.
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Rust 0/-------/--=====|=------\-------\0 Craig
He would promptly hurl him right through the nearby building's first floor window opening.
The camera follows Rust's ascent. But only for a moment, because Craig grabs the camera. "CAMERA. ON. ME." He growls, as he lets go. The women shudder, holding each other, as Craig dusts off his hands. "Lets take this inside boys." He states, as he hammers through the doorway. Nevermind there isn't a door proper, he just hammers his shoulders right through the frame, to catch up to Rust within.
"I'm way too hot for outside."
"You need help getting inside, eh?" So pleasant. So stupid. So lifted over Craig's head, only wiggling a single leg in anything that could be construed as a any sort of singular protest. "Don't worry. I'll show you inside, just thr--"
Just through there, the open window frame. The camera, too busy being ON. CRAIG, only picks up the sounds. Something wooden breaking. Some metal clattering... then, something else cracking, falling, smashing. Some dust gets kicked up through the window, partially obscuring Craig's initial view of the work inside.
The best he might see at present is the shorts-wearing ninja(?), sandals and all, with his legs sticking up stiffly as his upper body disappears under the floor.
They come to life as he pops himself out of the hole with another grating, nervous laugh as he lands roughly on his seat.
"Ahhhh... can't say this is how I'm used to doing inspections," can this man put two and two together about the question of the belt, and the violence? Maybe... after taking such a nasty toss, that might've shaken his short-term memory, "not sure that my employer wanted to use this extension for this, but, why not?"
There's tools strewn around everywhere. Anything and everything someone who loves, craves, and needs violence could just pick up and smash stuff with. In reality, he should've cleaned this up a bit before the inspector(s) came - it's a bit of a hazard when you're trying to show someone around inside!
"Anyway, yep. Uh. Well," he says, clearing his throat as he looks to the floor he just popped up out of as a whole bunch of sand and dust still yet fall from his black (purple?) hair like grains of sand from an hourglass, "maybe there's problems with the foundation," he says, ambling over to Craig with his right hand and hastily trying to grab the back of his head as if to guide him closer, "could you please take a look? Can't believe I'd miss a problem like when--"
It's hard to tell if he is genuinely trying to get Craig's opinion, or just shove his head down into the cavity as some sort of return favor of violence. Granted, this man being this man...
COMBATSYS: Craig barely endures Rust's Brick Stacker.
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Rust 0/-------/---====|==-----\-------\0 Craig
"God damn Rust, the only inspection you need is your fucking head."
That was Craig's response as he closes in on the dusty Rust inside of the building. The cameraman follows him in, keeping the camera fixed on his back as he just smashes through the wall. He didn't care about the tools.He just had one goal. Smashing the guy to pieces. Closing in on the 'ninja' the construction worker... starts talking fast. He "What the fu-" He starts as he suddenly, swiftly gets shoved headfirst into the hole. Falling in, his shoulders are too larger, and he can't even get halfway in. Struggle back, he seemed stuck. And then, the roar comes.
"SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT YOUR GOD DAMN MOUTH YOU GOD DAMN ASSHOLE!" Craig was enraged, ripping his shoulders free from the hole, tearing up the floor with him. Hurling himself staight back into Rust, he was spitting as he screamed. flying into a frenzy as he throws out a straight kick towards the man. "You just KEEP TALKING like you MATTER you GOD DAMN TOOL!" He unleashes a right jab. "GOD DAMN SHUT UP RUST!" Was the final bellow as he finishes the assault with a staggering body blow. Either to knock him through a foundation post.
Or knock the foundation post out all together.
COMBATSYS: Rust blocks Craig's Raging Beast.
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Rust 0/-------/-======|==-----\-------\0 Craig
There's a few coughs on Rust's end as he has the 'inspector' 'inspect.' As the grit and grime of construction materials all fall off, the bruising around his head is more visually pronounced - it puts a better, clearer picture to the camera ON. CRAIG as to what the bigger Australian man is capable of with just one good, hard toss.
"I don't know, he's looking mad about what he's seeing down there," he says, looking up to the cameraman in that moment of struggling. For a moment it might appear like he's trying to press down a little harder? "Reckon he was already unhappy with all the permi--"
The bellowing roar comes, and that alone throws the smaller man clean off as he staggers across uneven territory made that much more haphazard with the widening hole in the ground, some open flooring...
The straight kick is deftly caught with his right hand, as his eyes wander to a spilled pile of tacks. He shakes his head while he's cursed out, awkwardly kicking out a leg to try and sweep them aside as he falls to a painful-looking split, releasing the attacking foot. The right jab is at a perfect elevation to work against his skull further, but is stopped with his left hand as he seems to want to guide that fist somewhere else.
"Y-You work in silence, okay. Ok--" He stands up. The body blow itself hits clean, knocking a whole lot of wind out of him as his upper body collides against and cracks a foundation post. The entire work place rattles.
A wire swings loose, swaying to and fro.
Rust Jr.'s head bows lower as he coughs a few times, one hand held up as if to say 'okay, I get it.'
"We'll just... start with the electrical, let you go from it," his voice grows quieter and strained as he sucks in air into his lungs, hitting the lightswitch. In fairness, it's fairly dark in there aside from what daylight cracks through the window openings. Maybe he didn't see it...
But it is a hell of a coincidence that the swinging, swaying wire, damaged from being dislodged so forcefully, sparks to life, on and off, as Jr. starts frantically switching the light on and off.
The wire is on the warpath to caress Craig's giant, muscular back a number of times.
"It was just working a minute ago," the so-called World Champion murmurs, almost like pleading. On, off, on, off, potentially shocking Craig equally on and off.
COMBATSYS: Craig blocks Rust's Large Thrown Object.
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Rust 0/-------/--=====|==-----\-------\0 Craig
That is the response as Rust keeps talking. The man was an animal, bellowing with every blow. The enraged Craig was rampaging, attempting to stampede over Rust. And yet, the World Champion is able to keep apace with him. As the rampage ends up with Rust knocking against the post, he almost is unable to see the stray live wire. As Rust mentions 'starting with the electrical,' that is enough to make Craig take a step back. The gears in his head were turning. He sees Rust's hand on the light switch... as he feels the wire grazing his chest lightly. The switch goes on, and he barks. He could feel the bite. He doesn't even sweep his hand to the wire. It was only enough to leave a sharp red wound on his chest, spiderwebbing across the vein, from a moment's touch. It wasn't enough to stun him. But it was more than enough to send the man staggering back, smashing through studs between trusses into a wall.
And it was more than enough to humilate the brawler, frightening him away with mere construction.
Craig breaths hard, holding himself upright on the two trusses on each side. "You are seriously still thinking this is an inspection? You think you are funny? You think this is a god damn joke?" The man's voice is low. "I'm gonna break you, Rust. I'm gonna BREAK YOU." He roars, his voice growing higher and higher. "And GOD DAMN You think you are gonna keep joking? You are gonna take me seriously. I'm gonna make you take this seriously." He puts a hand on each truss on his side. And he begins to push. The entire building groans, as he pushes against the two trusses. The wood splinters, as it finally snaps. He pounds a fist into his palm, as studs begin to slip all around.
"Because I'm about to take YOU god damn seriously."
COMBATSYS: Craig takes no action.
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Rust 0/-------/--=====|==-----\-------\0 Craig
The other man in question is pre-occupied with making sure the lighting works. He breaks out into a big, nervous grin, as though in disbelief of the very possibility that he may in fact be a walking, talking embodiment of bad circumstance, short-sightedness, physical comedy, and culturally gender- and age-inappropriate hair, wrapped up in someone or something that is believably human.
It's on his lips, the next in a line of stupid commentary not clearly in synch to what's going on, as the large body of a man who wants to break him breaking through further work. One could read the next script of this idiot whose comprehension of himself and the world around him makes occasional strides into being a prime example of avant-garde theater. So absurdist as to almost be predictable, as the electric is at last left off as a singular bastion of good safety sense.
Politely, he doesn't speak up over the low, almost heart-touching attempt by a huge, thuggish, violent, awful man to at last connect on an initimately hateful level with a man who, for some reason, can't get frayed wires wrapped together.
"Oh. That's what this is all about," he says, as it is now time to break out the heartwarming orchestral refrain of the main theme of whatever soundtrack must be in the wings of this nutbar's life that has arguably run far, far too long.
"Sorry!" He's apologizing to someone RUINING HOURS OF... uh... how long did it take for him to put this all up? Moving on. "Couldn't tell you apart from the rest."
The rest of what? What kind of people does this man--
"Been a while since someone walked up out of nowhere and threatened me," he says as he smoothly draws a length of piping from the toolbelt, "or up and smashed something I'm behind schedule and over budget on already," he should sound angry, but... he doesn't? Almost like...
"Brings me back!" He laughs again, to a man who is taking him seriously, who has already demonstrated a serious capacity for horrible bodily injury. No one can laugh off what he did with two clean hits on his person.
Maybe he should get his head checked, as originally suggested, as he advances upon Craig with a certain purpose and grace that belies just about everything about him. The way feet navigate debris, tools, damaged flooring, even with the new cracks of light coming in from Craig's own renovations, there is a certain comfort with the darkness.
Kind of like he's a--
"Watch that dangling wire," he adds politely on top, "don't need anyone to get electrocuted," he says as he ducks his head under the wire and swings the pipe in low. There is an audio cue - a mistake! - about where he's intending to swing given it scrapes against a pallet. It's coming in around knee level from Craig's right.
COMBATSYS: Craig endures Rust's Random Strike.
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Rust 0/-------/--=====|===----\-------\0 Craig
Oh, Craig had a madness to his method.
As he unloads structural damage to all of Rust's hard word, he just finishes his cracking, as he emerges from the wall. Rust was changing his tone... and belittling him. He was physically pulsing, rage filling his body as he was running straight for Rust. He wouldn't be holding back this time. He could hear the audio warning but he didn't care. Rust slams that pipe hard into his knees... and almost immediately, it turns purple, a thick bruise coming in. That one hurt. But Craig expression made it clear, that for a man already overflowing with rage, he was turning that pain... into more rage. "Oh, this isn't a threat." He growls, looming over Rust... before exploding.
"It's a PROMISE ASSHOLE!"
Craig hurls himself into Rust, both palms out. "GRAGH!" He was going to try and seize Rust up again. This time, he wouldn't be lifting him overhead. He would be grabbing, and then slamming him through an entire line of trusses. Just ripping him through them. And if that wasn't enough? He would release, letting him going flying.
Right into spilled box of tacks.
COMBATSYS: Rust dodges Craig's Power Throw.
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Rust 0/-------/--=====|===----\-------\0 Craig
What kind of a man sees this as enjoyable? The kind of man that might think all this is behind him? Beneath him? That on some level, he might even think himself above and beyond a hardened, powerful man in the prime of his athletic life as a professional fighter? One who may demonstrate far superior physical might and even technique, given just how much this man seems to waver between real, legitimate technique and complete bumbling--
There isn't much time for anyone present to ask these questions, or wait for someone to answer, as the coo-coo contractor is hoisted within the uncompromising, unkind, unyielding grasp of someone who fully intends to break him. Within moments, that'd be the first truss to go--
His free hand extends two fingers as his head tilts upwards, and...
"Hup!" He kicks his legs up off a nearby stack of plywood to give him the boost he needs to break free, swinging those comparatively spindly-looking legs upwards to wrap themselves around that truss with a grace that seems comfortable, or familiar, with the idea of affixing one's body weight to something that normally shouldn't be able to support it with the velocity given to the movement.
Facing upside-down, his right hand snaps forth a floppy rope of measuring tape that he coaxes an appropriate length for, wrapping his hand around one end and whatever point on that tape he deems perfect for whatever it is he intends.
One eye shut, his tongue sticking out as though gauging distance, he snaps it out to try and ring it around Craig's neck like a makeshift sling, dropping back down into a crouch after the attempt in hopes of dragging him backwards, violently...
Towards that same hole both men had previously put the other in.
COMBATSYS: Craig fails to interrupt Strong Throw from Rust with Bull Charge.
* Attack Of Opportunity! *
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Rust 0/-------/--=====|===----\-------\0 Craig
Craig roars again as Rust slips from his fingers.
"BASTARD!" He thunders. "You hold still, so I can POUND YOU proper!" He is already turning around, the massive form of the giant man turning. And in that moment, he feels the thing around his neck. He sees the man below him. And once he feels that pull? He charges. He thunders. He attempts to catch Rust up as he pulls, to bring the both of them right down into that hole... with him on top. Craig was already rushing.
It was at least half successful.
Craig actually bowls over Rust, passing over the World Champion as he slips and falls facefirst back in the hole. This time, his shoulders go through, leaving the giant brawler halfway in. He grunts, as heaves to pull himself out. The grunting falls away to shouting, and then, enraged screaming. The very foundations of the building were shuddering again.
But for the moment, he was stuck fast.
This might be a photo op moment unto itself. The way the strange-haired man crouches low, just one or two limb adjustments shy of a pretty sweet ninja pose. It's something of a cry from the man that stood before those who witness the whole debacle.
He staggers back up to something resembling a standing position with the way the entire ground - and structure - shakes, turning eyes back towards the camera man ON. CRAIG.
"Oh, uh. I should help him out," he says, more as a friendly observation he appears on board with rather than with reluctance. Just about anyone might elect to run away, as far as their legs can carry them, with the generous head start this scenario would give them.
Maneuvering around behind Craig, he brings a hand to his chin in thought. "He looks stuck in there. Don't think I could pull him out..."
He snaps his fingers. "That's okay. I got an idea!"
Hopefully, the camera man is familiar enough with the dangers of these words that they might already be taking several steps off to the side well before he vaguely gestures to do so with his right hand, kneeling low to the ground as he raises his right forearm up.
"Just going to give him a push," he says, as if turning the genre of this entire 'proof' video of Craig's might into a whole new genre just a few setpieces shy of being an animal rescue documentary, "might sting. Figure if I hit him hard enough riiiiiight there," he gestures towards his bum, "flip him right over at."
He takes his time lining up the 'shot' with his pipe resting against his right forearm, holding the pipe as if preparing a stabbing motion with it while crouched down.
It's awkward to look at, awkward to consider. Nothing about this entire situation paints anyone in the best light in terms of... competence, or foresight, or what have you.
Unless Craig gets himself out or otherwise has an answer for it, those watching in the present or the future will witness the moment in which Craig gets struck in his behind with a thrust pipe focused and directed with such precision and assurance against one's hindquarters that the oddball man named Howard Rust, Jr. believes will 'helpfully' flip him over and out of the hole.
He's probably got a 'sorry' chambered in his lips and everything for the idea, but it's hard to judge sincerity when he has the smile of a man who honestly believes he is helping a terrible thug out of a compromising situation by... doing... that.
COMBATSYS: Craig blocks Rust's Exacting Measurement.
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Rust 0/-------/--=====|====---\-------\0 Craig
The cameraman didn't know what he should be doing.
He did say the Camera On Him, so he did keep the camera on Craig. And yet, as Rust works the wind up, he couldn't help but think that maybe, maybe he should keep the camera off him. Just for this part. "WHAT ARE YOU GUYS DOING UP THERE?!" Was the hoarse shouting. "OH GOD DAMMIT! PUSH? WHAT THE HELL!?" He flails his legs around more wildly, as the windup comes. "HIT ME HARD WEAR? OH GOD DAMN IT. OH. GOD. DAMN. IT." He begins to spasm like a fish. The entire building shudders as he flops wildly, And finally, with a final flop, the boards crack as he flops himself right out of the hole.
"I MADE IT!"
"AAAGRAAAAGH!" Was the animal like cry as the pipe DOES come. Crossing his arms, he is sent hurtling away from the hole, landing right through a sawboard and snapping it in half. Flailing his hands around, he seizes up a box of nails. Tightening his grip on them, he rises back up into a stand. "You are driving me a FUCKING WALL Rust. I am losing my GOD DAMN MIND!" Craig just rumbles, eyes wide, as he makes screwing gestures with his free finger. "You wanna go down on this? You wanna go down all the way? You think you are some HOT SHIT becaues I'm thumping you in your turf? Well this is what I think of your turf." He opens up the box of nails. "THIS IS WHAT I THINK OF YOUR TURF!" He opens his mouth, and pours the nails in his mouth. "MM MEATING MOUR MURF! MM AM MEATING MIT!" And he swallows hard. "I just ate your turf ASSHOLE!"
COMBATSYS: Craig gathers his will.
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Rust 0/-------/--=====|=======\-------\1 Craig
"Oh, you're out! Sorry." See? He was totally ready to say that. "Didn't want to leave yo--"
He can't talk over Craig's displeasure with just how much this man has done that thing he does, that teetering and tottering along the perceived lines of sheer idiocy and what some may yet be convinced is well-veiled malice. He reaches out with a hand when Craig takes a box of nails and... eats them.
"I got a bag of-" crunching noises censor what could've been advantageous corporate advertising "-bits if you want some," he vaguely offers without pointing out where the bag is. Could this be horror actually dawning upon the Australian who is eating a whole box of nails, WITHOUT ANY MILK?! (I'd see him right this way, sir.)
"Ever tried fiberglass? One of my older sisters used to call it wall candy," he says as he reaches over to a large, conspicuously human-shaped bag of cellulose insulation, but this is only a small curiosity in the face of now even greater questions, "I liked putting cream on it."
He hurls the bag upwards, drawing a screwdriver from the toolbelt to rip it open from below. There is probably something really cool about this on paper.
In practice, it just creates a big enough opening to swallow the man whole. It is not entirely clear as to what might have been the intent, or what he hopes to accomplish, as he appears to take off with at least some nominal understanding of the current direction of where Craig grandstands, lowering the 'head' of the bag in what might be a vomit-inducing headbutt that is only nominally softened by the fact it is a bag of cellulose insulation being driven by a 110 kilogram man at a velocity appreciable enough to be considered probably dangerous.
If there is a plan involved, it escapes the usual definitions of spatial and logical reasoning which is likely business as usual for someone like him.
COMBATSYS: Craig endures Rust's Large Random Weapon.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > //////////////// ]
Rust 0/-------/-======|=======\==-----\1 Craig
That was the question from Craig as he finishes his nailbiting display. He takes a step towards Rust. And then another. The train was getting up to speed. The great big thing of insulation was coming. But Craig was building up more and more speed. Blood was pouring from his mouth, oozing from the corners. "Oh man, I am ready. I AM READY!" He roars as he starts to hurl himself right into the massive thwack of insulation. It hits cleanly, and for a moment, Craig stops, cold.
And there is a chomping sound.
"OM NOM NOM" Was the soudn as Craig bites off the 'head' of the insulation. "MMM MMM!" Craig rumbles through a mouth full of blood. Red oozes from the corner of his mouth as he takes another bite down on the bag. "It tastes just like cotton candy! COTTON CANDY LIKE YOUR ASS!" He hurls aside the insulation, and seizes his hands right for Rust to end his thundering advance towards Rust. And he just... keeps going. He moves into the take down, the full take down to bring Rust to the floor. And once he got him there? He would soften him up. He would go right for the leg, and get his own legs and arm around his right leg.
And wrench it right out of its socket with a leg bar.
COMBATSYS: Rust manages a miraculous escape from Craig's Knee Bar!
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > /////////////// ]
Rust 0/-------/-======|==-----\-------\0 Craig
The good news is, that's cellulose insulation and there are significantly less health risks involved in eating it. Hopefully there's no toxic newspaper ink fumes or something in there. After the taste test of the papery insulation, the bag and its present contents are flung aside and discarded, leaving behind a vaguely Rust-sized mass of cellulose that most likely contains one (1) candy-assed pansy. The bag neatly slots itself into that same hole that both men have had the displeasure of being stuck in.
The softer of the two men seems even... softer, grabbed, taken down, wrestled with. There's no resistance to speak of - could this man have submitted to the inevitability of being torn limb from limb? The final wrenching of a leg is visceral and gut-wrenching, in that it appears to...
The mass that Craig grapples turns out to entirely be cellulose installation. The man that Craig aggressed on might be softer than him, but that's just ridiculous. Trickery! Shenanigans! Ninja nonsense! From the corner of Craig's eye, he might catch the shape of a moving shadow, a colorful glint of light reflecting off an ey--
No, that's just a black cat. Said cat ambles along out of relevance, passing under a step ladder along the way.
Movement comes from the hole, where the bag wriggles, struggles, and bounds around within its new boundaries. By all appearances, a substitution technique that didn't account for the possibility of where Craig would've hurled the bag...
Rust Jr. bursts out with a series of gags, coughs, and other unpleasant hacking noises as he spits up some more cellulose insulation as he staggers along the work site doing a very poor job of convincingly looking like a man that would still be able to stand and fight.
Clearing his throat a final time, he brings both hands up together in some obscure gesture, some more vague ninja nonsense, pipe sheathed for the time being as he utters one thing. For a passing moment, he might yet seem one with the universe and its endless, unyielding darkness in some almost convincing picture of focus and/or control.
Then, there's another horrible coughing fit.
COMBATSYS: Rust takes no action.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > /////////////// ]
Rust 0/-------/-======|==-----\-------\0 Craig
It takes a while for Craig to realize what was going on.
He gets into the leg bar, easily enough. "UGH! YEAH! YOU LIKE THAT?" Was the cry as he moves back around to a top mount. There, he begins to punch the head of the man again and again, just pounding it. Finally, he just breaks down and starts smashing the skull over and over again. "YEAH! YEAH! You are just TAKING IT! YOU ARE JUST TAKING IT... wait... hang on." Craig pulls off the head of pink insulation. He looks at it carefully, narrowing his eyes. And then, he takes a bite of it. Smacking his bloodied lips, he nods his head. "This is cotton candy."
He thinks for a moment.
"... I've been TRICKED!"
Throwing his head back into a roar, he stands off the insulatoin scarecrow. Giving it a swift kick, he bellows again, beating his chest. "You god damn COWARD! A REAL MAN would have just TAKEN IT!" He looks around at the sound, the shape of a- He just charges it, rushing it. The cat yowls, jumping up and bolting. "Oh! That's not you, Rust. That's a CAT!" He pounds a fist back against a foundation truss. "Where could he be. Come on Craig. If you were Canadian, where would you be..."
And then he hears the coughing fit.
Craig turns towards the hole, eyes wide, lips pursed. He looks at the bag. The -bag-. "Oh. OH." He states, shaking his head. He strides towards the hole... as Rust emerges it. Craig's eyes were saucers, as he points a finger at Rust. "The only nailing around that's gonna go around here, bitch." Craig rumbles "Is gonna be YOU! Craig Marduk is the hammer, bitch." He slams both of his fists together.
"And you sure as hell look like the nail!"
Craig strides towards the stunned Rust, fists just FLAIL. "AAAAAGH! HAMMER TIME SUCKA!" Was the roar as he bring both of his fists together into a single overhead. And there, he just... slams them downward together, in a full hammer blow. "Time to take this to the HAMMER ZONE!" He repeats as he follows through, aiming to drive it down HARD right upon Rust's skull. It was a staggering hit.
If he could hit.
COMBATSYS: Rust blocks Craig's Fierce Punch.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > /////////////// ]
Rust 1/-------/=======|==-----\-------\0 Craig
Neither man came out of that exchange looking particularly on point, between Craig falling for the ruse and Rust flubbing what would be - by his standards - a brilliant escape from certain loss of limb. It's Craig whom recovers faster, advancing upon a man who seems almost utterly helpless. Half-blinded, still choking on recycled paper that got in his nose, mouth, pretty much everywhere. He can't even look him in the eye as he doubles over and staggers right into the fists that join, the fists that stand a non-zero chance of bending steel on impact.
Two fingers from his right hand shoot upward to meet them, thrust into a space made between the palms as they 'sheath' the extended fingers. Junior's entire right arm jerks violently on the impact that is more slowed than stopped.
"Ow," he comments as the jerking sees him flipped against the ground in his right arm's bid to not get torn clean off his shoulder - it may arguably have been a better outcome, if only just so, to get struck in the head. He's the sort of guy who probably could survive without a brain, given his track record.
"You," coughing, "got me there," he works up the beginnings of a laugh that's interrupted by further spitting up insulation as he withdraws his right hand. The knuckles of his outer two fingers are blackened with bruises, the tips of the two inner fingers sharing the same fate. His thumb is unscathed. It wiggles as if to mock the other fingers. (Nyah, nyah!)
There's a stirring from his half-knelt, half-prone position as, out of the blue, there is a blue tarp being swept up in his dominant left hand. It's out of any color imaginable, really, but let's stick to 'out of the blue' for sake of conveying this to the reader. Snapping it up and outward with a whip like force around face-level, it is shoved and discarded into Craig's line of vision in what is undoubtedly another god damn coward ninja trick whether it makes any sort of clean connection or not.
How much longer would this man get away with baiting him, a game of seeming wits against fists?
COMBATSYS: Craig fails to interrupt Random Weapon from Rust with Annihilator Hammer.
- CRAZY Hit! -
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > /////////// ]
Rust 1/------=/=======|==-----\-------\0 Craig
Craig brings both of his fists down in a hammering fashion, and while he didn't bring the full pain, he was still lowered hard. Ducked low, he was actually chuckling to himself. "Oh, I got you NOW!" He rumbles, as he begins to duck to the side. The tarp is hurled right in his face, as he starts to rise with an explosive uppercut. "GOT YOU NOW!" He explodes upwards, unleashing the mother of all uppercuts.
"Oh, NIMBLE are you!?" Craig roars, as he charges away from Rust. "Well I got your SCENT you BASTARD! You are about to enter a WORLD of PAIN!" Craig procedes to smash apart a sawtable with his fists. with the tarp still wrapped around his head, Craig procedes towards bedlam, running straight for a heavy metal bar, pulled right across at his head level. This might be the part where he would run into the bar, and fall down.
Craig runs through the metal bar overhanging (remember your hard hats), wrenching it hard with his forehead before snapping it half. "AAAGH! You BASTARD! YOU ARE FIGHTING ME WHEN I CAN'T SEE!" He flails his arms around further, trying to hit the unseen Rust. Slamming a fist down, he hits a wheelbarrow, which promptly launches a sack of concrete right into his chest. "OOAGH! WHAT? ARE GANGING UP ON ME!" He punches apart a nearby staircase as he runs around blindly, punching and flailing. Ramming himself through several more of the trusses, he finally trips and falls... right on the original scarecrow of insulation. "AH! GOT YOU NOW BASTARD!" He roars out, tarp still entangled on his head.
And promptly, he remounts the insulation scarecrow, and begins to ground and pound it in the 'chest'
All the while, Rust Jr. stands there with a little smile.
Rust Jr., World Champion, a man well past his prime who probably should've quit when he settled down and started a family. The contrast between himself and a candidate for the greatest Vale Tudo fighter the world had ever seen - had his career not been hurt by an infraction and instead allowed to climb to ever newer heights - versus a man whom physically appears out of shape and, even comes off as positively scrawny against them is striking.
He seems all too peaceful for a man whose work is being destroyed. The risks of losing his good name in the contractor community - and more importantly for someone supposedly retired from most active competition like himself, his pay - could, should, and would drive men to complete despair. He himself even said he was over budget and behind schedule!
He brings his hands together as he stifles a cough lost to the screaming and the ruckus while everything starts to fall apart around him. Craig might bring the entire construction down on everyone's heads before long. His left hand makes a signal clear and clean. His right hand struggles somewhat to hold fingers steady.
Both hands reach into the toolbelt to withdraw handfuls of tools - mostly screwdrivers, with glints of sunlight highlighting sharp ends. They are hurled rapid-fire, one handful after another, as he lightly jogs across the innards of the site that crumble further with every step and stress that the force of Craig's fists carry through.
No amount of soft insulation could soften those fists that send vibrations through the expansion.
It seems as though he all but empties his toolbelt in the stream of tool flinging, when he stubs his toe against a toolbox. He gives the cameraman ON. CRAIG. a look. A wink?
A moment's break later, there's another new stream of tools being flung rapid-fire. They're more varied fare. Wire cutters. Pliers. Some hammers. At least one box of nails...
Crouching low, he brings his injured right hand up in that same gesture that's been flashed several times over. The light reflects off his eyes as he does a blink-and-you'll-miss-it flip kick against the emptied toolbox to cap it off, moving so quickly and powerfully that his carefully done twin-tailed hairstyle flies apart loose into free-flowing locks of hair that is technically black but still shines purple like a colorist's mistake.
Craig now stands (well, uh, leans over, given how he's been working on that pile of insulation fluff) to be tarped and battered in a modern, workman-like spin on an old favorite lynching technique which struggles to find an adequately similar-sounding word for 'feathered.'
COMBATSYS: Craig Toughs Out Rust's Hard Day's Work!
* Attack Of Opportunity! *
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > /////// ]
Rust 0/-------/------=|=====--\-------\0 Craig
"Wait a minute..."
Craig finally rips off the tarp from his head. He stares down at the insulation man. And he screams, ripping it apart with his hands. "YOU MADE A FOOL OF ME A SECOND TIME!" Craig was rising up to a stand, sweat pouring from his brow. This had gone MUCH longer than he expected. Gasping for air, he stares at the smug, peaceful man. The cameraman stares at Rust, unsure of what was going on. And Craig screams. "CAMERA. ON. ME!!!" As the first tool comes, the giant man throws up a finger as he takes a step. "Fool me one, shame on you! Fool me twice...." He balls the hand into a fist.
"AND I'LL BREAK YOUR SKULL!"
Craig turns towards the stream of tools. And he approaches... and approaches. A hammer slams right into his chest. A screwdriver to the knee. And he wasn't slowing down. His eyes were wide as he breaks into a jog, each tool hitting him. "BREAK YOUR SKULL! BREAK YOUR PURPLE... BLACK.... HAIRED SKULL!" Was the mantra, as Craig catches the box of nails in his mouth. He swallows it whole. The toolbox comes, and the brutal man just smashes it aside with his palm. He was closing in. CLOSING IN.
You could almost hear the sound of the train whistle as Craig dips low, ready to lift up Rust by his knees...
COMBATSYS: Rust auto-guards Craig's Neck Lock.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > /////// ]
Rust 0/-------/------=|=------\-------\0 Craig
And Craig slams Rust right on his back.
"YEAH! YEAH!" He bellows, as he pins a hand down on Rust with his left, and throws out punch after punch at Rust's head with his right. Blow after blow comes. "Come on! COME ON! You tell me to stop. YOU TELL ME TO STOP!" He roars, as he stops his punches, to lean wrap his arms around Rust's neck. And once he got that, he would then bring the leverage around to snap Rust's neck back against his lap. "YOU TELL ME TO STOP, AND TELL ME YOU GIVE UP THE BELT!"
Craig is an inevitability.
In the high-pressure world of competitive fighting, which grows ever more popular, Craig stands as a shining example of the sorts of things someone like him ought to be expecting. /Fearing./
Hungry. Driven. Relentless.
The meeker Canadian stands as one very strangely-shaped speedbump just waiting to be run over after corralling the colossal brawler just about everywhere, and this seems - at last - the part where he acts more of the 'bump' in 'speedbump' as his knees are caught landing from the toolbox-flinging kick, hefted up like a proper ragdoll to fit the cliche...
In a circumstance of sheer luck, there's enough concentrated cushions of insulation around that his back hitting the uneven, damaged floor is far more uncomfortable than outright painful. The wheezing of a body not quite yet free of hanging particles of cellulose may unwittingly deceive to the opposite, coughing as he gets his now far lighter toolbelt off his waist, 'sheathed' pipe and all, just in time for that big meaty left hand to press it against him. He only has so much control of the pipe to defend against blows, of which he seems to do remarkably well with. Nothing stops the eardrums from ringing as he puts on a smile more believably nervous.
One eye shuts from moisture and dust getting in there, giving him only a bleary view of the old, ratty toolbelt connected to that pipe.
He manages at one point to shift his body weight to allow one such punch to make a new hole in the floor, a moment of pause between them as the arms come around his neck...
With the violent jerk, he slams an elbow down into this new hole, letting gravity coax him downwards as he pulls on a firm piece of plumbing as leverage to yank the rest of himself out from underneath while further damage mounts around the lot of them.
Craig may yet be left to hold the pipe and the toolbelt itself. The pipe is nothing special - it must have been literally torn out of some derelict system somewhere, somehow. In terms of balance and what have you, he'd have been better off with something like a sword, given his technique... but yet, his famous father wielded a pipe just like that, with skill rivaling some of the greatest swordsmen of the time. Talks of a so-called legendary pipe, "Ol' Rusty," still make the rounds in odd corners of the world.
"I would, buddy, but, sorry," says the voice, a bit weak and pucntuated with a cough as he - with an acrobatic grace, purposeful and intent to turn the cough from a period to a comma - flips himself up from under the ravages of an exposed foundation as one his ankles clips another piece of flooring...
"That's my dad's belt."
That is not the belt Craig means.
Using his left hand to balance against a floor that collapses a short ways further down the moment he presses up off of it, he strikes out with a wide kick using his right leg, followed by a second, straighter kick square for Craig's skull with the seeming intent to flip further back and put distance between them.
COMBATSYS: Craig blocks Rust's Girder Sway.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > /////// ]
Rust 0/-------/------=|=------\-------\0 Craig
Craig was so mad.
As he makes the pull, he pulls back... a pipe? He stares at it, mouth agape. "What the... faaaaaah?" He begins, before raising his voice louder. "WHAT THE FAAAAAAAH!" He roars. As Rust flips himself upwards, the flailing kicks come. And Craig seems to enter a new state of anger. The first blow hits his arm as he rises back up, the second being batted aside complete. "What the FAAAAAAAH!?" He repeats a third time, as he finally goes full anger. You know how mad Craig is?
He was so mad, that he was now Marduk.
"You DUMB ASS! DUMBNESS ASS!" Was the bellow as Marduk goes berserk. "DUMB DUMB DUMB!" Was the bellow as his hands lash out at Rust, trying to catch him before he could slip away from his fingers. "YOUR CHAMPION BELT YOU BUTTFACE! Oh you are getting on the PAIN TRAIN NOW!" Should Marduk get the grips on? He would then slam him on the floor one way. And then, slam him the other way. And then, slam him the THIRD WAY, before finishing by putting him straight into an arm bar. A painful combination.
But only if he could catch him.
COMBATSYS: Rust blocks Marduk's Brutal Throw Chain.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\ < > /////// ]
Rust 0/-------/---====|=------\-------\0 Marduk
The batted-aside second kick sends the fleeing ninja tumbling against another stack of plywood in a clumsy side-roll that sees him laid out on his back. For as much as the environment has worked with him, it's in this moment it's, at last, working against. He wheezes out a laugh.
When one of his legs descends just off the side in a moment of complacency that he manages to find in the angry, half-completed F bombs, those fingers get a hold of his ankle. His right hand shakes upwards again in that familiar gesture as he's flung...
First slam, he slows his momentum by grabbing a truss. It goes down with a fuss and another yank as he's slammed towards another stack of lumber, adjusting his flight to try and come down on it with one of his feet. He doesn't land on a foot, he lands on his knee. Ouch!
There's an odd mumbling of consonants as he's slammed somewhere in the vicinity of that first, original hole that is now joining with that other hole to become one big super-hole, tapping both arms down against the ground to stop his chin from getting a face-full of plumbing with both wrists and forearms striking hard against a strong foundation... and is yanked up into an arm bar like it's a game of twister, the one clean landing part of the combination.
For all his bounding around as he has, it's at this moment a particular weakness at last comes in clear - he may well be practiced in jumping around like a ninja, but some combination of weight and age has not done his joints too many favors. Crai-- Marduk doesn't even need to bend the arm too far to feel like he's doing awful, potentially career-ending things to it. Legs start to flail less comically and more horifically, like this was the moment everyone suffered under Marduk's violent, single-minded ambition were paid for.
"Th-that makes... little more sense. Yep." Could he be considering? "I... I don't know. You make a good argument," he strains to say as he coughs and cringes under the arm bar that can, should, and just might win the World Champion belt from this bumbler of a man, "but, I don't think... I'd wish it on anyone else."
He wriggles, wiggles, and otherwise casts sideglances that seem to stretch to the anatomical limits of the human eye's ability to turn in their sockets, raising up his one free arm with one last decalration before anyone might ask for proper clarification on any of what he means. Maybe they've given up trying to get reason out of some of his babbling.
"Camera on him!" He calls, as he shifts his entire body weight to try and spin Marduk into one of the gaps, into the piping and who knows what other debris have collected under there in their time wrecking all of his hard work, seeming with the intent to sandwich him between the ground and himself.
COMBATSYS: Marduk blocks Rust's Medium Throw.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\ < > /////// ]
Rust 0/-------/---====|=------\-------\0 Marduk
"CAMERA ON- YEAH!"
That was the bellow as he finally releases Rust from the arm bar. "THAT'S RIGHT!" As Rust thinks about it, Marduk crosses his arms. He waits. He was gonna let this settle out peacefully. After all, if he was gonna give it up- he wasn't gonna wish it on anybody else? Marduk throat yodels in anger as he uncrosses his arms into FISTS. "NOT GONNA WISH!?" He booms, as Rust comes in to leverage the wait in. Pure fury overwhelms him as he somehow turns RED. As Rust comes in, he just thrusts himself in.
"Well BITCH, I'm your fairy GOD DAMN godmother!"
Marduk roars out, shoving back against the handsome-haired fighter as he tries to slam him down. He was unstoppable, he just wasn't stopping. The bulwark of sheer muscle mass combined with the berserker rage just meant he wasn't stopping. "And YOUR WISH is my COMMAND! ZIM ZIM BADA BIM!" The brawler's hands lash out again, attempting to seize up Rust once again. This time, he was gonna grab him. Lift him right up, longways, like a giant hotdog. And smash him HARD across his knee.
"Imma bout to MAKE YOU INTO A PUMPKIN!"
COMBATSYS: Rust endures Marduk's Back Breaker!
[ \\\\ < > ////// ]
Rust 1/------=/=======|===----\-------\0 Marduk
Marduk shoves the man back into another stagger. He has nothing near him to help him stand up. The pipe and toolbelt are over there, out of reach. One's not entirely certain of this, but it may be that any remaining stacks of construction material have simply willed themselves, centimeter by centimeter, to Not Have Anything More To Do With This(tm)... if inanimate objects had any will.
Which they don't. Still, one may wonder...
Marduk helps him up, up, up. He looks up, looks down, takes his better arm to try and re-adjust himself in that grip, tongue creeping up the side of his face as he wiggles his toes--
It should be a back breaker. There's definitely some unpleasant joint-related noises as his left leg bends inward, foot standing against the knee. Actually, it bends so far back that Marduk helps Rust Jr. knee himself in the face!
Blood flies out of his mouth between a bit tongue and a bloodied nose, sending splotches of red across the site as his upper body bends backwards with the requisite dramatic tension of what could be seen as a decisive blow. His lips contort into a sharp incline to the left, as though his jaw were fighting for emancipation from the rest of his body. If caught in slow motion, one of his eyes is whirling around at breakneck speed, as if ready to pop out itself. /That is the slow motion speed./
Just as he starts to fall backwards, the other leg lifts up in an attempt to gain footing on Marduk's iron body, as though the shock of pain weren't enough to disconnect the mind and some ability to have the nerves do their thing.
Ignorance? Grit? The familial link between this numbskull and one of the foremost tough guys of years past bleeding through into the present day? This man is, many will say as a technicality in so much that he was the last one standing straight up as opposed to any sort of consistent, convincing stream of technique and power that kept him at bay, the one who defeated Armor King for that title.
The one Marduk supposedly killed in some bar brawl in their rage over life's twists and turns...
One leg steps upward. The other makes a far clumsier grasp upon attempting to climb up Mt. Marduk. Two repetitions of each, and the older, smaller man mostly succeeds in flipping his body towards him like a limp projectile.
Far from a cry of a purposeful, well-calculated series of strikes by risk of suffering injury (assuming this wasn't just a botched escape attempt - who knows, with him) and more the storm warnings of a singular, final misstep that would not reflect well upon anyone involve between a World Champion and a pretender.
Who is who? That might not be hard to tell, in the next moment, for all the ambiguities and mistakes and false assumptions that have characterized every step of this demolition derby.
COMBATSYS: Rust can no longer fight.
[ \\\\\\ <
COMBATSYS: Marduk interrupts Step Ladder from Rust with Melon Masher.
[ \\\\ <
Break the Rust.
The backbreaker comes slamming down, and Marduk nearly goes down with it. He could barely stand. His berserker rage was dying down. Groaning, he stands over the stunned Rust. "Your Cinderella story is DONE asshole. Now you are gonna give me what... give me what..." Marduk pauses, staring at the man as he... rises again. The man was driving a foot into Marduk's knee. "You-" And it is like a switch is flipped. What happens next is a blur. Marduk brings Rust to the ground. That part was clear, and on camera. The takedown comes, and Marduk slams the champion down... and moutns him. ANd he starts punching the head. Over and over. OVER AND OVER. OVER AND FUCKING OVER. The cameraman pulls the camera down as he realize that Marduk wasn't stopping. He wasn't stopping hitting Rust over and over again. And as the cameraman approaches... Marduk stops, screaming as he points at the man.
Marduk gasps for air, breathing hard, breathing heavily. He shoves him. "Okay Rust. Okay you god damn asshole, you aren't dead. You better god damn wake up you son of a bitch, cause you got a job now." He points at the camera fixed on him, staring down at Rust still. "You TELL the people out there, that you GIVE UP your WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BELT! You tell them! YOU BETTER GOD DAMN TELL THEM YOU ASSHOLE! WAKE UP!" Marduk gives a frenzied slap across the face of the man. "If you won't tell them, then I'll hunt down your GOD DAMN family, and make them tell them. Your wife, your kids, I'll make THEM tell that you will give up your belt. Don't make me do it man. I'm a god damn ANIMAL, and I don't want to ruin any god damn families." Marduk gives another blow to Rust's head, roaring.
"FUCKING SAY IT!"
More and more of the extension collapses - at this point it's virtually total. Sunlight comes stabbing in, and those outside who were too afraid to see what was going on already get an earth-shattering introduction to the epilogue of a knock-down, drag-out brawl between a would-be champion of Vale Tudo, and whatever it is that other guy being slammed about over and over does as it all collapses around them, as opposed to on them.
Is it about being slammed over and over? It seems about right, given the scenario unfolding around them.
The homeowner, having driven back from a mid-day errand, stands slack-jawed before the sight. The few other hands around helping with the construction seem to see it fit to flee, as though not willing to shoulder or disclose any miniscule part they might have in all of this.
His throat utters something that might be a vowel in some far-flung crazy language as he coughs up and spits out a little more blood-hued cellulose. How much of that is still lodged in there?
Marduk's screaming lowers to a conversational tone almost lost to his ringing ears. Actually, it is - it takes the slapping and the additional volume for some of it to even register. This is almost certainly a set-up for another disconnect of--
"You really want it--" DIDN'T HE BEAT THE HELL OUT OF YOU FOR THIS RIGHT, RUST, NOW MARDUK'S GETTING THE NARRATION TO START YELLING AT HIM TOO, THAT FUCKING TOMATO.
There's mention about hunting down his family. The first mention gets some sort of pop from his lungs. It's pained gurgling or punch drunk laughter. Something. Someone should be sobbing. Someone should be upset. Defeated. Well, actually... dial that back a bit, that does sound a little defeated.
There's another weird noise like that about ruining families--
That last blow to the head is stopped with a raised right hand. Rather firmly, given the circumstances, though it shakes violently. A cold stop between overwhelming force and... this guy.
The bruising around the outer fingers' knuckles, the bleeding coming from the middle, the still unscathed thumb that wiggles with a little more life than the rest of him.
It's only for a moment. One doesn't think he could stop another punch, as he spits out another little wad of cellulose while the arm goes limp again. He never did seem to fully recover from that substitution stunt arguably gone wrong, did he?
He turns his head over to the camera man. He gestures with his fingers a little closer, and points with that same hand back over to the Australian assaulter.
"He can have the belt," he says, "that fancy... uh. Wales Champion?" Maybe he needs another knock to the head. "World! World. World. Yyyyyep. World Champion, that's what," he coughs, "he wants. He can have it." That's... about clear enough, isn't it? One of his hands reaches behind his laid-out back...
He gives up the belt.
Craig Marduk just hovers over him, as he last punch is caught. Marduk was ready for another frenzy. He didn't care if he was about to fall over from exhaustion. And yet, he got the words. Rust said those words. A cruel smile spreads over his lips, as he just makes the man... surrender. He looks around real quick. Did somebody call him a tomato. He hated tomatoes. That's why he drank tomato soup sometimes. Rust babbles on. But Marduk had what he wanted. He shakes his head, and cuts Rust off.
"I can't accept."
Craig Marduk shrugs with both hands, dismounting off Rust's chest. "I can't accept your offer, Rust, because I don't have a regional belt. That's the rules Rust. Read a god damn book. And you know why I don't have a regional belt?" He comes to a rise, tapping his head. His entire body was... turning into a singular bruise. His mouth was still bleeding. But he still tries, he still mimes out thinking real hard, showing those gears really turning. And suddenly, he grabs the camera, staring right into it. "BEACAUSE ARMOR KING WON'T ACCEPT MY CHALLENGE, THAT'S WHY. That's right. I killed the last Armor King. I did my time. And the current Armor King is so PUSSY ASS frightened that he won't even won't return my calls. God damn, what a god damn pussy ass coward. And you know what that makes me do?" He twists the camera down, pointing it at what was left of Rust. "LOOK AT THIS ARMOR KING. Look at what your god damn pussy ass acts have done. You think I want to do this? You think I want to come out here, and waste my god damn time and energy to beat up some asshole in his own god damn house of work? If you manned up and stood up like the last Armor King? We could be settling this in the RING." Craig twists the camera back to his face, staring into it.
"So this is what I am gonna have to do now."
"I am gonna get my god damn belt. People don't think I've done enough to justify a challenge? Well, that's what the Neo-League is for. I'm gonna just keeping doing this, over and over, until one of you pussy asses accepts my belt challenge. You can't step up to the challenge Armor King? I'll just beat the shit out of Zach Glenn. And then, I'm gonna go straight to the source. I'm gonna come back to Rust, and this is all gonna play out all over again. I'm gonna get the World Championship Belt, Armor King, and you are gonna be KISSING MY GOD DAMN FEET!" The brute releases the camera, and crouches over Rust. He thrusts a finger right into the current champ's chest. "And you better get some god damn practice, Rust Howard. Cause next time?"
"Next time I'm not gonna hold back."
And with that, Craig turns around, limping his way out of the remains of the building. The camera, briefly, returns back on Rust. This time, there wasn't a 'Camera On Me.' No, Marduk didn't want to show it on camera. But the moment he steps outside? He stumbles, falling to one knee. He looks up at the homeowner, who was still stunned at what unfolded.
"What the hell YOU looking at?"
"Oh," is the singular, flat, somewhat drawn-out response to the decline.
This should be one of those instances where someone should breathe in relief, or recoil about having their essential dignity and/or lack thereof thrown in his face. It's almost like the face of a man who may or may not be following some unseen script, who seems... like something about this is unexpected?
..Inconvenient? Maybe that's inconvenient for him? Whatever goal post is in place for either end seems clear on the victorious Marduk. For him, it's... what runs through this laid-low contractor's mind?
He murmurs some words. Some stuff comes clear, but without context. 'Looks,' and 'in-laws.' There is a coherent sentence there, lost to pooling blood, abused lungs, and a head that was never completely all there to begin with. There's a gurgly squeak that comes with the finger in the chest, along with the circular curling of his lips into a duck beak as he's poked into relative silence with an understanding about a return, repeat performance.
Left to lay there, Marduk leaves a final word of understanding to all present, all recording, all witnessing, all laying down in pooling blood, all the splinters, the nails, the debris - as any divine force may yet witness.
The homeowner comes to stand above the injured handyman, who looks up feebly and points a finger to the air where there used to be something like a--
"Sun roof?" He asks, through a bloodied mouth.
He is summarily lifted up by the collar of his undershirt and dragged towards the curb to be left to his own devices.
Log created on 16:38:03 06/26/2016 by Rust, and last modified on 23:37:06 06/27/2016.