Description: In this story, someone bad is stopped from doing further harm by someone good.
For his first fight in a "real" ring, Tizoc - known more by his wrestling persona, the Griffon Mask - did just fine. Great, even. It was an exciting, close bout. Some ribs he's certain were cracked later, he stood victorious over a rival kickboxer with arms raised high and a cry of victory for the fans...
Some time later, it's a haze. It took far too long for the adrenaline to subside than doctors would be comfortable with. There was a lot of soul searching in a bathroom mirror. He was too wrapped up in the moment, but he could swear from the corner of his eye that he saw the opponent leave on a stretcher.
That was the first time he truly hurt someone to the point of unconsciousness, in his career. In his previous "competition," sure, there were a few broken bones from botched cues or what have you, but no one ever had to leave in a stretcher "for real" when he was in the ring. He stares into that mirror with the griffon head on, and it stared back.
He's not certain about how much time has passed or what he did along the way, but now he's sitting in a nice open cafe in the middle of an overcast sky that threatens rain later in the evening, speaking with an obese, cigar-chomping, balding man in his 50s down further in South America nursing a cup of some kind of warm drink he has yet to sip from. (How does he drink with a mask on? That may just be why.)
"It worked out, didn't it?" The balding man laughs. "Good fighting. Sponsors want more. I can get more."
"How is the man I fought?" Asks Tizoc.
"Yesterday's news, friend. Yesterday's news." The obese man coughs. "Let's look to the future. I got mor-"
"The Griffon Mask! Look! It's the Griffon Mask!!" Cries a young child ambiguous single-digit age (and equally ambiguous gender) alongside two friends, one boy and one girl, who are at least a year or two younger than the first. "He's the best!"
Just as the giant masked wrestler turns to greet them the way he always does, there is a loud, callous shout from the person he's sitting with that sees all three scatter.
"Y-You're scaring the fa--"
"Children! Bah! Interrupting adult business! Come. It is time you grow up, too. We have business to discuss about your next match..."
A fist imperceptibly clenches, and yet, this is a hard reality - he cannot chase after them to let them know it is all right, that Tizoc would never put them second...!
"I see that look on your face," sneers the all-business guy as he stands up, pointing his cigar out of his mouth, and that must be an impressive set of eyes on him if he's reading him through just these simplest cues, "you get up and walk away now, what is there left? You want in the ring, you stay with ME! I got good friends in this business you don't want to anger, Seņor Tizoc..."
It's at the tip of his tongue. 'My name in public is the Griffon Mask,' and yet, before a smaller, weaker, pettier man, he feels as though he's about to be put in a terrible headlock...!
AN HOUR AGO:
A new target. Just another target. The supporting of illegal sweatshops is a horrible thing. And this man, his target, seems to be one of the names on the ring's list. He's fronting as a wrestling agent in South America. Several wrestlers in South America have been hospitalized-- possibly worse-- due to this man's callous business practices. With both of these happening, it's probably better for this man to be eliminated as soon as possible.
That being the case, Duo Lon is slowly killing his way up the line to find the leader. True, it's at the behest of someone else, but even being paid, he wouldn't just be killing people randomly if someone asked. This is a seriously bad dude, and Duo wants him gone too. Besides, he can watch who panics over this man's death and investigate them.
He avoids looking at himself in the mirror on the way out. No one wants to look at the face of a murderer. Least of all the murderer himself...
One of the waiters appears, with an expensive drink on a tray in his hands. The drink has been arranged so it's centered on the tray, and there's tropical flowers made of paper around it. And the drink itself? It's a very strong-- and very EXPENSIVE!-- cocktail that the cafe offers. Clearly someone spent a lot of time and effort on the presentation.
The waiter is an extremely tall man; most of that height is in his legs. He's wearing a black gaucho hat that hides most of his features, particularly because he has his head bowed submissively as he approaches the table. But what can be seen of his face is a very pale, ashen gray, and his mouth almost looks like a woman's.
As he reaches the table, the tall waiter crouches a bit. He speaks sotto voce, "...Compliments of the management, seņor." He offers the drink to the obese man, keeping his head bowed in that submissive fashion. He waits for the obese man to take the drink.
...Of course, there's little way to know that the drink is laced with enough monkshood to kill an elephant. The drink is sweet, strong, and filled with acidic fruits, precisely for that reason-- to cover up the bitter taste of so much of the herb. Monkshood shouldn't show up in a toxicology scan unless one was looking for it. What's monkshood?
It's also known as wolfsbane.
"Oh, /finally/, some recognition," says the target - this fight promoter who in reality has his fingers in some truly abhorrent things, and so deeply entrenched and covered up by an extensively corrupt system that the law could never touch him (and even a biography would be hard-pressed to find any evidence to truly damn him) - as he less-than-gracefully takes the drink in hand.
"You see, Seņor Tizoc," the man puts on a slimy grin as he lowers the cigar as he speaks heedless of the bigger, larger, stronger, nobler(?) griffon-headed man's request, "you want to get anywhere, you got to stop sweating the little people. Things. Little things. Ha ha ha! Cheers to the beginning of your great new career!"
Tizoc doesn't raise his drink. His eyes don't seem to follow much of anyone, head turned as though staring into the distance. (He wears a mask, of course it's hard to tell where his eyes are following, but still, let's just agree for sake of expediency that this is something that can be intuited.)
With great greed and a lack of class, the target just downs the whole thing. If no one knew any better, they'd assume he'd try to just eat the whole glass. All of it, and its contents. The glass, perfectly clear and flawless in appearance, retains its translucence even as residue of the drink's colors are left behind in its rush down the man's throat...
"To a long partnership!" The glass is slammed down upon the table hard enough that it cracks, as if it were a threatening gesture. "Let..."
There's coughing. Sputtering. The man collapses outright. Tizoc bolts up to his feet, one hand on the table. His own drink, vague in nature as to whatever he was holding, collapses onto the floor with a shatter. The existential dread melts into a liquid form, metaphorically pouring down the gutters as he sees this would-be business partner convulse and contort before going completely still.
"What is this?!" Shouts Tizoc - no, as the Griffon Mask, voice booming as though a question he were intending everyone to ask, rather than as if expecting an answer. "What's going on?! I--"
The mask on his head faces towards the mysterious waiter. Is there an accusation waiting? Is he about to ask for help? The words don't seem to quite materialize, as the weight and gravity of the situation come crashing together like a giant ocean wave that will not be slowed from slapping the beach of ignorance and innocence with all its weight.
The waiter remains, standing as the obese man downs the drink. The toast gets a half-smile, half-hidden under the brim of his hat. "...For as long as you live," the waiter asserts.
Except... that turns out to be not very long, does it?
The tall waiter begins to retreat from the table as the man begins to cough and sputter. But he doesn't leave, not yet. He says nothing. There's no trace of fear in his countenance. He doesn't shake, there's not a single frightened sound that escapes him. He just looks down at the convulsing man dispassionately. As if he was just looking out a window to a completely mundane view of a street or something similar.
It's not until the man goes still that the 'waiter' begins to leave. He turns, just as Tizoc looks to him, and starts to make his escape. Now standing at his full height, it's clear that there's somrthing off about him. Tall, lanky, carrying himself as though he were just a puppet on strings rather than a person walking. Pale skin and long, darkly painted nails. He's still wearing the hat and waiter outfit, though.
But there's time to catch him!
Someone ought to be calling for medical attention! No doubt that someone else within this establishment has had to go figure out that something's gone wrong, with the yelling, with the collapse, with some of the other tell-tale signs that there is now a dead body that don't need to be menttioned--
The Griffon Mask stands at attention, but not at illumination of the situation. Some of the subtleties seem to leave him in confusion as to what's going on.
Then, there is the introduction of an element none would have accounted for the possibility of. A small girl pointing a finger at the exceedingly tall, almost sickly-seeming suspicious figure walking away from the scene.
"There's a weird man!" Leave it to a child to notice and be disturbed by the unnatural gait of one making a get-away.
It is then that something snaps within the addled, stressed, tired mind of Tizoc as he takes another look thanks to the help of one of his many young fans. Yes... this must be, he reasons off of what is panic rather than rational understanding of what exactly just happened. Maybe he was just too shocked to think of it before - if there was something in the drink and not just some kind of heart attack that just happened out of the blue...!
"You... you're right! That is a weird man!" The Griffon Mask agrees. Of course, no matter what... he must stand strong and vigilant for the children! If a child is so disturbed by the presence of this man, then...!
"Halt where you are!" His left arm shoots out with a point, right hand on his hip. "The Griffon Mask shall not allow any 'weird man' to escape under his keen eyes!"
He even says 'weird man' the same way the little girl does. (Ah. She said 'weird' in a strange way. That's hard to pick up in mere writing...) With this declaration, he starts to take off after the lanky waiter. In a world of certainties and scripts, it's easy to know what to do from here...
But this world isn't like that.
The waiter stops where he is, just as instructed. He's going to have to deal with some boneheaded bodyguard, isn't he? Well, technically bird-headed, actually. Same difference though. It's never easy, is it? He could just teleport away. But then he's already been seen, and a ruckus is already about to be raised. Misplaced heroics. Bleeding wonderful.
Duo turns his head, just enough to let the lower half of his face be seen. "...I don't suppose you'd just let me leave." THAT is not the same voice that he spoke with at the table. It's a creepy-sounding voice, barely above a whisper, yet seeming to carry just fine over to Tizoc somehow. That and the statement is not a question. It's a statement, since he's pretty sure that's not how this is gonna go down.
The words come to a pause. This is not so much for dramatic emphasis. The way those words are spoken, they chill to the core. He has never heard anyone speak this way before, and he's been around all sorts of performers with their own ways of projecting their voice, their very character.
Muscle-bound arms cross over themselves at chest level as he stands his impressive full height of two hundred and fifteen centimeters. Inwardly, he is deeply disturbed at the tone of voice, the callousness in which he simply suggests he will be leaving. No discussion of what's wrong, no discussion of about getting help...
To his reckoning, he stands before a true villain in a place he's never faced one before - sure, as a child, there was roughhousing with other boys, but to this level! A seeming assassin! He... he is but a man...
"There will be no escape from justice!" The Griffon Mask, however, cannot back down to evil! The cheers of that young girl echo in the back of his mind, and so, his mind is made up. If the Griffon Mask is to return and stand in reality, then... so, too, must he stand in a real fight, against a real villain!
Meanwhile, the dead super-criminal seems to disappear from immediate notice, as though the surrounding spectacle were suddenly of much greater interest and import.
"Villain! Come, confess your crimes closer to my ears!" The Griffon Mask bellows, moving forth with a short hop that closes the distance between them to try and lift up the waiter, toss him up against a wall with such power as to /bounce him back/ towards him if he doesn't have any fancy escapes or skilled maneuvers to see him out.
"Hercules Throw!!" The calling of the movenames says the Griffon Mask is in, and that the better inner thoughts of the man named Tizoc are out to lunch. (Lunch at some other cafe. Metaphorically.)
COMBATSYS: Tizoc has started a fight here on the left meter side.
COMBATSYS: Duo Lon has joined the fight here.
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Tizoc 0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0 Duo Lon
COMBATSYS: Duo Lon dodges Tizoc's Hercules Throw.
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Tizoc 0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0 Duo Lon
Sadly, Duo Lon is not acting. This is no game or script for him. This is a job. And he is DEADLY serious. He notes the break in the other's composure. And he really hopes that the bird-masked man will back down. That's what all Duo's posturing is about. He's not just trying to scare people. He's trying to keep them safe. This man's misguided wish for 'justice' could get him hurt!
But... if Duo tells him why he's done what he's done, then he loses that edge, because others know he's not really scary and creepy. Besides that, Duo doesn't want anyone else to get involved in his horrible business. So ultimately he stays quiet. That is, until the man in the bird mask comes leaping at him. That rather forces Duo into action.
He turns, pulling the hat off his head and flinging it in Tizoc's direction, aiming for his face. Whether it was the surprise or he actually managed to obscure the Griffon's vision, Duo manages to leap up into the air, over the charging wrestler. He is thus thankfully spared from the fate of being slammed into a wall. Which would probably have hurt someone with his thin frame.
As he lands, his hair falls from where it was bound up in the gaucho hat, the thick white bead on the end hitting the ground with a heavy 'thunk'. And as he stands, a hand goes to the shoulder of the waiter's outfit. There's a sudden whip of his hands and it's gone, and the man under it all is left there.
He's very tall and lanky, his skin pale as death. And his face is utterly devoid of any expression at all. Which might be the most disturbing thing. He's just killed a man and now stands faced with his assumed protector, and he shows no trace of emotion. He does speak, though. Standing straight, he observes, "You should tell everyone to leave. Before someone else gets hurt. Like those children." As if to illustrate this...
Suddenly the space around him bursts to life with gray, smoky shapes that might or might not be human faces. Like screaming spirits! He doesn't attack yet. Not while there are still innocent people-- including children!-- where they could reasonably be in danger.
COMBATSYS: Duo Lon takes no action.
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Tizoc 0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0 Duo Lon
The guacho hat finds a gaudy perch upon the Griffon Mask's head. It is thrown away with the same haste as its first wielder, where it sails across the air to eventually settle upon the corpse of the fallen.
In the time it takes for him to adjust with this inconvenience, the waiter reveals their true form...!
"You are..." Does he mean to make that a question? It never materializes, as the giant man sizes up the lanky assassin who now regards them with stoicism uncompromised. When he has no words, Duo Lon has plenty... a reasonable suggestion, when judged by an outside party.
The spirits swirl, dance, and otherwise decorate the cafe outdoors with their macabre light and listless motion. Fliers and garbage all scatter in their wake, as the nature of what stands before the Griffon Mask - if not clearer - reveals itself to be... dangerous.
What allows him to keep his composure against the unfamiliar, the otherworldly... the awesome?Even the young girl has run to cower behind the largest solid object she can find, an older squirrel-shaped piece of playground decoration over yonder to peer back out at what's happening...
"I will not allow you to threaten the children!" The Griffon Mask declares, without even a detectable iota of reservation or reason as he raises his arms anew, hands open and at the ready to clutch, to crush, to conquer! Given a cause - no matter how misguided with incomplete information of the situation - the wrestling face faces the phantoms of fear!
And so, a challenge is answered... feet first! The bulk of the wrestling hero charges heedlessly forward through the air, punctuated with but one defiant, triumphant cry as he leaps towards them with feet pointed forward, expertly angled past nearby tables, soaring through the increasingly cramped space should the fight see them carried indoors...
COMBATSYS: Duo Lon dodges Tizoc's Gri Dro Super Kick EX.
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Tizoc 0/-------/--=====|-------\-------\0 Duo Lon
Good. The patrons seem to at least have the sense to flee. Duo doesn't have to worry about them, then. He's also concentrating a little too much on making sure that the patrons are out of danger to make the first move against Tizoc. Proved quite handily when Tizoc comes flying at him again, and Duo only realizes it because of the loud shout. His gaze snaps forward again... to see a pair of feet dangerously close to him. There's a flicker of shock and fear across his face...
Which suddenly blurs.
His image turns into a blur of motion that zips down and under the high-flying Tizoc, the flying feet passing over him with only the barest of margins to spare. An inch lower and there would have been no escape. But as his shape re-solidifies on the other side of Tizoc, Duo uses his momentum to kick out at Tizoc. It's not a full-strength kick; there isn't time to balance himself.
He has no words now. He senses something amiss with this man... but he's not about to break his composure for it. As Tizoc seemed to have tuned out his surroundings, so too has Duo Lon focused entirely on the fight that is happening now.
COMBATSYS: Tizoc Toughs Out Duo Lon's Light Kick!
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Tizoc 1/-------/=======|-------\-------\0 Duo Lon
Duo Lon holds a significant tactical advantage against this noisy, showy pro wrestler. The particulars are easy to ascertain - this is someone who, in some form or another, fights for the amusement of an audience. Every gesture, every call, every decision seems to be made specifically to cause a spectacle.
If one searches for tells to determine their next move, Duo Lon will feast himself out of his svelte frame from all the cues to play with. Were the circumstances less dire, this might've made an amusing routine unto itself.
Back to the Griffon Mask... his feet feel that tingle of 'contact? But no,' feeling like he has kicked through a thin sheet of powder. He may not be able to appreciate either how close a call it was, or just the nature of this assassin's incredible situational awareness...
All the Griffon Mask thinks about, is to be the hero of the children. His very well-being takes more than a backseat - it's locked deep in a car trunk.
The kick connects against the muscular bulk, but does not slow him. Its only purpose seems to be, within the heat of the moment, a beacon as if to say 'hello, here I am,' and the table turns with these two fighters' ways of carrying themselves in battle as the Griffon Mask rolls up against that kicking foot from what should be a prone, vulnerable position to go mask-to-face to look the assassin in the eye. (If... he can see the eyes from that angle...)
Reaching out with both arms, he attempts to grip the slippery assassin between them, as if believing that sheer strength will work around Duo Lon's ability to turn a human's anatomical limits into little more than mere suggestions.
Should he keep hold... he'll leap up high into the air - well, about as high as the awning now above their heads - then go inverted to try and slam the assassin head-first into the hard stone ground, probably scattering chairs and at least one table from the sheer impact if things progress that far.
It would, of course, be pronounced with none other than a loud, hearty, unmistakable call of one trademark technique wrestling fans for a while may have thought they'd never hear again...
COMBATSYS: Duo Lon parries Tizoc's Justice Hurricane!
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Tizoc 1/-------/=======|=------\-------\0 Duo Lon
It's very true. In a more whimsical environment, in a less deadly situation, one might compare Duo Lon's odd, strangely whippy movements as 'noodle-like'. Which would of course provide quite a bit of hilarity. And he'd serve as a decent 'heel' to Tizoc's, wouldn't he? All that scary death and darkness, his odd resemblance to the stereotypical Chinese mage-type... a Chinese necromancer?! All he needs is to have blank, glowing white eyes!
But there's no laughter here, no. No theatrics. No intentional showiness. Not from the assassin, anyway. Speaking of eyes? Not to worry, Tizoc can see the assassin's eyes as he rises up to grab hold of the thin man. But it's not likely to make him all that much more confident. They're red. Bright vermillion red, and almost seem to glow somehow from within.
...Yeah, that's not creepy at all.
On the bright side, though! Tizoc manages to grab hold of the slim assassin! And he leaps up into the air, in preparation for a violent piledrive. But as Tizoc leaps, he might feel the body he's gripped onto start to... lose a bit of cohesion. And if he looks, the assassin just sort of... melts out of his grip. His body seems to crumble into ashes in the Griffon Mask's grip! Yeah that's not at all creepy either!
No, but what's worse? The ashes reappear. ABOVE Tizoc, as he's heading for the ground. And the noodle comparison comes up again, as the assassin extends his arm downwards. Because the arm doesn't stop where a man's arm is supposed to. It LITERALLY extends, down towards Tizoc, trying to hasten his reconnection with the ground!
COMBATSYS: Tizoc blocks Duo Lon's Genmu Ken EX.
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Tizoc 1/-------/=======|==-----\-------\0 Duo Lon
The Griffon Mask has never experienced an opponent capable of melting out of an enemy's grasp. Just as he's starting to come back down, it dawns upon him that the evil he has finally caught in two hands is no longer there - and the ground comes that much faster than he anticipates, thanks to a gentle misdirection on the part of the enemy assassin.
His arms thrust towards the ground as he comes back down. This gesture is born from a well-trained desire to not concuss himself upon landing a Justice Hurricane where he no longer has an opponent in hand. With his momentum, he can only soften the impact of his own doing as he transfers the shock of the landing up his arms with a loud, frustrated grunt as he hurls himself backwards into a crouch, rolling over the back of an overturned chair.
What league is he in?! Such a thought of caution starts to seep through the thick mask that the wrestler wears, but the clench of one fist is there to remind him not to lose heart! More is at stake than any mere reputation...!
Attempting to catch the assassin before they, too come down, he thrusts an open hand finger-first in a spearing motion at a 45-degree angle up on high, probably coming at around Duo Lon's knees barring any sudden changes in his trajectory or body position, the attack met with a hearty grunt.
...Wouldn't it be more effective to close his hands up and punch, instead? Closed fist strikes are not smiled upon in a good number of wrestling federations... but this isn't the safety of the ring!
COMBATSYS: Duo Lon dodges Tizoc's Strong Punch.
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Tizoc 1/------=/=======|==-----\-------\0 Duo Lon
Duo did not count on the Griffon Mask recovering from basically piledriving himself QUITE that fast. And for his underestimation, Duo finds that there is suddenly an upward-swinging hand flying at him while he falls back to the ground. This isn't a video game, he can't control his direction mid-descent. But aside from backwatering his hand comically, how can he save himself from the blow?
As it turns out, by curling up his body impossibly small in the air. Somehow, the blow passes his curled form with so little space Tizoc can feel the assassin's coldness. His body temperature is uncomfortably low, though Tizoc might have already noticed this. While the blow might not have hit Duo, it rips one of the tails of his dark outfit completely off. Now his outfit's asymmetrical!
Duo has no choice but to land on his rear end. Which probably hurts, given he has no cushioning there. But he turns, placing a hand on the ground and using the momentum to both get to his feet and attack. He draws the momentum into his neck, and with a snap that should have given him whiplash, flicks the heavy bead at the end of his long braid at Tizoc.
COMBATSYS: Tizoc barely endures Duo Lon's Benpatsuken.
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Tizoc 1/---====/=======|===----\-------\0 Duo Lon
The fingers of the striking hand separate with a shudder and a jump at coming into close contact with the way the assassin coils about the very form. A tiny part of him almost feels too sickened to (try to) dirty his body with the blood, sweat, and tears of a remorseless, cool-headed, cold-bodied assassin that seems to have none of these three quantities of things to surrender.
Drawing his arm back as he rises back up, the griffon-masked man of the children chooses not to be discouraged by his opponent's careful navigation of his every strike, every maneuver! Tenaciously, he clings further to a simple explanation of everything that seems obvious on the surface. This is an evil assassin! He must be stopped, to be brought to justice...!
With the flick of a neck that ought to have snapped, the heavy bead at the end of Duo Lon's hair goes straight into his chest, and one can hear the gasp of air that rushes out of his chest as he seems to be thrown helplessly backwards...
Only for a hand to try and catch hold of the bead in question, immediately steadying himself! He does not tug it towards him - it would seem an obvious choice to try and start yanking the hair to bring him closer, but it does not appear to be an option he takes. (Some sort of misguided sense of honor that makes sense only in the ring for these kinds of people? He continues to fail to realize an important truth.)
It is an attempt to hold the bead as to stop Duo Lon from recobering their stance. It's obvious, an attempt o try and keep the extended head that the hair is attached to for just long enough...
Long enough that he can thrust a single heavy forawrd kick square against the assassin's skull with a room-shaking shout, being able to just reach him with thanks to be given for his very tall height - but would Duo Lon allow himself to potentially even stay that vulnerable for more than a split second?
COMBATSYS: Duo Lon dodges Tizoc's Heavy Kick.
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Tizoc 1/---====/=======|===----\-------\0 Duo Lon
One would think Duo would have figured out that presenting his hair as an attackable target in a fight would be a bad thing to do. And this is just one reason why-- because it can be grabbed! He winces at the tug when he tries to center and balance himself again and the hair doesn't come back due to being held onto. It has the side effect of making Duo stumble forward... just as that hard kick his thrown at his head. There doesn't look like there's any way for him to keep from getting a faceful of Tizoc's foot, does it?
Barring his stupid noodly bendiness that is! As it turns out Tizoc releases the bead-- and thus, Duo's hair, just in time for the assassin to drop to the ground on his knees, BARELY ducking under the strike. He's bent backwards in an awkward position... and it turns out those bent knees and back-ward bended back holds a lot of potential energy. Energy that he releases explosively. How?
He surges upward with his hands before him in a way that almost looks like it should be a block-- arms bent at the elbows and both forearms against each other, twisted vertically, palms aimed out. Block stance or not, he aims his arms in this strike at Tizoc's torso. If that hits, he plans to follow through with a shoulder charge, and then with a... well, it's almost an uppercut, but it's an upward diagonal strike with an open palm.
Seems like he's not fond of closed-hand strikes either. Though it's undoubtedly not for the same reason as Griffon Mask has an aversion to them. After all an assassin wouldn't care about rules of engagement, would he?
COMBATSYS: Tizoc interrupts Sutemi Juuryuu from Duo Lon with Joudan Yoke Kougeki.
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Tizoc 1/-======/=======|=====--\-------\0 Duo Lon
Drawing back his mighty kickin' leg, the Griffon Mask isn't in a fully defensible position when the contortionist killer comes in. The palms strike dead center, and the bigger, thicker, stronger man starts to bend as though he were to compete in noodliness with the no-nonsense hitman. The shoulder strikes through anything that might be considered a good defense, knocking the would-be champion of the children back against another table that tumbles over when one of his boot-clad feet strike a table leg.
His upper body rears back, which may be an example of what Duo Lon intends to happen to an opponent's body when he comes in with part two of the full combination. Fists clench tightly as the beak of the ridiculou-- noble griffon head points towards a ceiling, be it sky or man-made...
The open palm moves in to seal the deal, but it is not met with the chin, or throat.
It is met with the entire head of the beast, beak pointing forward as the head slides past the open palm to jab into Duo Lon's upper body, somewhere around chest or neck level, to disrupt the combination and otherwise re-establish a presence that seemed lost with every skillful movement around his form.
"You can't keep tip-toeing around justice like that forever!" So bellows the Griffon Mask, with a hearty laugh that plays off the somewhat wheezy way he fights past two solid shots against his chest, as he returns to a more neutral, battle-ready position with arms and hands open.
He hasn't let down the children yet...!
The sound, the feel of Tizoc's blow striking home at his opponent's collarbone, and the way the assassin reels back from the strike are probably all very reassuring for the be-birdmasked wrestler. It proves that the assassin is human. At least, human enough where it counts! Enough that he can indeed be hurt, and he dislikes pain just as much as anyone else. The assassin reels back with that pained sound, a hand moving to the injured place. He'd be lucky if that didn't break something!
Still, Duo's trying hard not to hurt this guy. He's about figured out what's going on, though. Why would a wrestler be here in THIS dive, in costume, no less? And he'd been dealing with Duo's targeted slimeball. Clearly the guy's down on his luck, if he'd consider dealing with that guy. So maybe Duo can help him out.
...Of course he'll deny even on his deathbed that he's helping out a masked wrestler. He'll just say he was annoyed with said wrestler and wanted to smack him around a little for getting in his way. Even Duo loses his temper sometimes, after all.
But, considering he's helping the wrestler (HE IS TOTALLY NOT HELPING ARE YOU STUPID -- yes he is helping, shut up), he needs to make it look good. That's part of this, isn't it? And there are people nearby, hiding, who can probably see this. So he recovers his stance -- with a wince because ow that collarbone is going to be SCREAMING tomorrow -- and does something strange for him.
He smirks. Broadly. Evilly. He's used to being someone's bogeyman in the shadows. It doesn't take much more to apply that to plain sight. He looks evil enough, all he has to do is half-smile and narrow his bright red eyes. "Are you so sure, Griffon Mask?" he asks, in that odd near-whisper that no one in conversation distance has a bit of trouble hearing. Duo had heard the name before he'd admininstered the fatal cocktail to his target. "Are you sure you can keep these people safe from evil...?"
And speaking of tiptoeing? Duo shifts his weight, to apparently stomp a foot on the ground. But... his foot seems to pass through it. And a blur that has the same color as Duo's foot and pant leg rises once from the ground. And if Tizoc's not careful, it's going to trip him up in a very real way!
COMBATSYS: Tizoc blocks Duo Lon's Weakened Habarushimu Kyaku.
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Tizoc 1/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|======-\-------\0 Duo Lon
The true evils of the now fallen fiend are the sorts of things that may never be truly known by the public. Far as this large wrestling man in a mask goes, and to the public at large, the newly deceased was little more than just a strict, hard-selling fight promoter.
Given what this man espouses, it does seem simple to come to the conclusion that this giant-sized man was in the dark as much as anyone else about the true nature of who or what he was dealing with - but how could this be communicated?
When the question is asked, pointed and clear, the initial answer is to move forth.
The attacking foot goes unnoticed as he advances. Well, unnoticed as an actual attempt to slow him. One of his mighty feet step on it in a way that one might be fooled into believing it's choreographed. A striking and stepping foot meet half-way, deflecting one another.
It's not a stalemate. He's expecting to walk on smooth floor, and even mentally may now believe that he just stumbled over an overturned bottle or something of that nature as he falls to a kneel before the assassin whom has decided to take more of a showboating bent. Feeding into fantasies, meeting half-way with misconceptions, fording a failure to communicate...
"You know it, boobala!" Bellows the Griffon Mask, who finds himself in that not-so-enviable position of kneeling before evil. This will not stand. Er. No, this will stand, where 'this' means 'he.' He will stand with these words, slowed from having an advantageous position against this cold-blooded killer (which does largely apply in a literal sense, if not the spiritual meaning of the phrase)...
"I'm the Griffon Mask!" So he says, moving to grasp Duo Lon and raise him up on high! "My identity's guts and justice, not just a mask!"
The longer Duo Lon humors him, the longer this may end up with serious injuries. As a performer, the vast majority of his movements - no matter how showy - are the result of extremely careful iteration to maximize the visual appeal and 'sell' of the moves' powers. (How he manages to make piledrivers 'safe' must be a very deeply-rooted trade secret in his circle. That, or there's something anatomically strange about wrestler's necks.) Operating under the belief that this may now be life or death...
Well, the results will speak for themselves if Duo Lon doesn't slip free or otherwise overcome this attempt. If he is raised above, the Griffon Mask will fall backwards in a suplex to slam the Hizoku heir into the very ground, and worse yet...
He'd get up and throw his entire body weight on him, with the simple call of the word "fall" following the exaggerated cries of effort.
How far would Duo Lon truly be willing to humor him...?
COMBATSYS: Duo Lon dodges Tizoc's Griffon Tower EX.
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Tizoc 2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|======-\-------\0 Duo Lon
Duo actually lets Griffon Mask pick him up. It's got to look good, right? Though getting upended like this is extremely disconcerting! And it means he's going to have some issues getting out of it if he isn't careful. He has to wait until an instant before he's about to hit the ground before he can teleport, otherwise he's going to end up reappearing upside down and slamming onto the ground on his head.
Thankfully for him, though, the bodyslam finds Tizoc holding handfuls of ashes that just whiff into the air with a 'whoof'. Those ashes rise not too far away, reforming into Duo's frame. And he swoops in, trying to catch the wrestler before he can get his bearings, with a quick raking catch. With those nails, it might just leave scratches, but they won't be too deep. It'll be more his momentum that will be the issue. Considering that, if he can catch Tizoc, Duo will use an open-palmed strike to knock him off his other hand. It won't be too much, just a quick, light smack.
COMBATSYS: Duo Lon successfully hits Tizoc with Weakened Fast Throw.
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Tizoc 2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|======-\-------\0 Duo Lon
Fingers twitch as what feels like ashen sand slip through the cracks of space between them. A recurring issue, the very motif that defines just how slippery the assassin is.
Just as he gets up anyway, as if compelled by his very routine to throw his body, he finds himself shoved back (gently, sort of) into standing back up, steadied by one hand, palmed in another into rising up. He bangs a knee against the ground in the process, a low and almost inaudible hiss thanks to the mask masking whatever he could mumble.
"It may be, fiend, I must acquise," could it be? The Griffon Mask, backing down? Losing heart...? The tone of his voice grows lower, quieter, as he stands straight up, hands at his side...
"That keeping you in the clutches of justice is a challenge, for one who skirts the light of goodness while performing your foul trade, you trickster!" There's a fire that builds underneath the eyes of the mask, as what seems to be resignation turns to be more of a reignition...!
He seems to charge at Duo Lon with a full tackle... but no! Bringing both arms up in one single, smooth motion, he tries to grip upon Duo Lon's shoulders and simply haul off, minimizing the amount of time he'd be/stay in contact with the dust-bodied, stringy contract killer to simply...
Hurl him. A simple show of strength. No prolonged holds, amazing locks, or great slams. A single, powerful throw that concisely demonstrates his physical strength with just how fast and far a human body can fly!
Should the assassin be caught, and hurled helplessly (and hopelessly?) towards the wall with the possibility of an inevitable impact - uneven in its composition, with some rectangular stubs from misshapen bricks being used in its construction - would Duo Lon, in all of his noodle-like flexibility and shape, stick...?
COMBATSYS: Duo Lon blocks Tizoc's Power Throw.
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Tizoc 1/----<<</<<<<<<<|=======\-------\0 Duo Lon
The urge to jump out of the way of that charge is almost overwhelming. But Duo resolutely FORCES himself to stay there. He crosses his arms to try and mitigate as much of the damage as possible, figuring it's going to be a tackle or some such. But instead? Tizoc's grabbing his shoulders and THROWING him! He flattens himself out as much as he can, going lax to try and not hit the wall quite so hard. It still HURTS though, and knocks the wind out of him-- Duo's built to AVOID damage, not to tough it out.
Still, when he's thrown at that uneven brick wall, his hands turn, palms facing the wall. And as he makes contact, his nails dig into the wall to arrest his momentum, preventing a second fall. And a moment later, his heels find the tiny spaces in the brick near them. It seems he DOES stick to the wall like a noodle!
Only for a moment, though. Because in the next instant? He's pushed off that wall, leaping at Tizoc. One arm is outstretched-- though not inhumanly so-- and he plans to hit Tizoc in his center mass with an open-handed palm strike. Duo is quiet still, though. For a couple of reasons. One, he's not all that theatrical, and he doesn't really know how all this posturing works. It's better that he doesn't try to do so and fail, else he spoils the image. And two? Because he's still out of breath from the slam against the wall!
COMBATSYS: Duo Lon successfully hits Tizoc with Weakened Medium Punch.
-*- DEVASTATING HIT! -*-
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Tizoc 2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|=======\-------\1 Duo Lon
"Hup!" The Griffon Mask crosses his arms and leans backwards, as if to make a bridge shape out of himself - his head on one end, his feet the other. Showy, even cartoonish, but a moment earlier and it would have been an effective defense. This brings a new complication to matters.
The palm strike does not hit dead center. Thanks to the odd choice of motion the Griffon Mask takes to try and let it go overhead, it strikes just underneath where his heart is located...
Duo Lon is heir to one of the most feared bloodlines in the underworld. Truly well-intentioned as he is in using his art productively, there's only so much one can truly hold back. When people don't move the way they're expected to, when certain blows line up just right...
...That's not a far cry from the mistakes that can happen with the staged roughhousing, is it?
"Kah-- urrrrgh!" Going still in that bridged position, his right hand flares open and presses against his chest as his heart beats faster, far too fast. The angle of the palm strike, the speed it goes at, the very circumstances altogether line up to what could be a heart attack, if it doesn't catch itself!
Underneath the mask, Tizoc's face goes pale, unseen panic spreading across his features. What just happened?! Breathing hurts. His chest, it feels like it's collapsing - was he poisoned? Is this villain, at last, claiming a second life today...?
More prying eyes. Children! They scream, they cry. Get up, get up! Nooo, don't kill the Griffon Mask, don't kill the hero! You bad, bad, man! Children, unaware of the nuances and subtleties of the real world enveloping them, disparage the Hizoku heir.
The voices...! Should I die here, Tizoc comes to the horrific understanding, the hearts of so many children out there go with it! He can't die here. He won't! His heartbeat...
It slows. Stabilizes, with an angry cry, as he rights himself up. There are cheers, cheers for the Griffon Mask! This does nothing for the incredible pain that still shoots through his chest, and he finds it difficult to let his hand stray from it!
"Villain...! I won't let you claim another life!" The Griffon Mask spits these words out, tinged with the pain and desperation of someone pushed to the brink. Flight or fight, adrenaline has taken over all good sense, as he gestures widely with his left hand towards Duo Lon.
If this man still chooses to fight after a terrifying brush with death, there... there is no true way to gently hold back, and hope he gets the hint without getting hurt, first. Duo Lon may have to find some creative method of disengaging, some way to trick this guy into thinking it's over... unless he's willing to press for that final, decisive blow.
...What if one attack, with the appearances and intent of a conclusion, landed against Duo Lon? Would that be enough as a cover to stop this madness? Simply survive a good blow, and slink away under the cover of darkness after appearing defeated...?
If so, The Griffon Mask will not make this choice easy - unaware of the inner conflicts of an assassin caught doing his job against an abhorrent human being unworthy of being called such! That is the true tragedy of their meeting...
Upright, and willing to fight through what may yet develop into a proper heart attack if he doesn't calm down, the Griffon Mask advances, once again trying to get a hold of Duo Lon...
"This will end your reign of terror, foul sorceror of misery!" That he takes the time to compose a multi-word insult...!
If he grabs a hold of Duo Lon, he leaps on up high. Very high. So high, it can only be represented as an abstraction, a dark backdrop as yellow rays of light speed past them, leading up with his right arm as his left hand clutches Duo Lon's upper back tight...
"BIIIIIIIG!!" He announces, as he tries to slam Duo Lon into some vague, unseen physical space on up from high. The buildings here aren't that tall. What would he be slamming him against...?
If he still has any hold of Duo Lon at all, he takes the assassin in both hands, spinning in place as gravity begins to overtake the two. The Griffon Mask goes inverted, spinning rapidly in a downward corkscrew into the ground...
"FAAAAAAAAALLLLLL!!!" ...If Duo Lon were willing to suffer this, this could be his way out of further violence... but if this masked man is playing for keeps, the risk of keeping up appearances and fantasy could prove far too great for one's well-being...!
COMBATSYS: Tizoc successfully hits Duo Lon with Big Fall Griffon EX.
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Tizoc 0/-------/---<<<<|=======\===----\1 Duo Lon
Panic surges through Duo as he notices the speeding of the masked wrestler's heartbeat, and the way he wobbles dangerously. Cursing himself all kinds of a fool, Duo draws back. It's an odd change, one that Tizoc might or might not notice-- Duo backs off like a villain on stage when his heroic foil counterpart has taken an unexpected fall and needs to gather himself. Keeping the image of being evil, even to help this man, is NOT worth Griffon Mask's life.
The voices of the children calling out to Griffon Mask to get up again, that he can't lose here-- it all brings everything uncomfortably close to home. Duo does NOT like to hear children cry. And yes, he realizes the danger that Tizoc is in if he doesn't calm down and rest. Or, better than that, get seen by a doctor. Because Duo has no idea what damage he might have done. He's an assassin, and only has medical knowledge so he can use it to HURT others, not to help them.
Everything seems to slow as Duo's thoughts race. Could he just teleport away and let that be the end of it? No... Griffon Mask would keep trying to hunt him down and 'bring him to justice'. He certainly wouldn't 'calm down'. So he doesn't really have a choice.
He's grabbed and then Tizoc leaps, seeming so uch higher than the buildings should allow him to. Duo doesn't even see what he's slammed against that first time, and the impact is teeth-rattling. That sound is forced out of him again, that choked grunt. That hurt, and it was clear that it did. But that's not all he's prepared to say.
Somewhere between Tizoc's shouting of 'BIG' and 'FALL', the masked wrestler may hear Duo's quiet voice, too low for the rest of those gathered here to catch. The tone is soft. Worried. Unusual for a 'foul sorceror of misery', isn't it?
"...Please get to a hospital. Your heart..."
Tizoc still has hold of Duo as he comes in for the spinning drop of a finish for the move. Duo shuts his eyes, willing his body not to tense. His head hits the ground, he has no way of knowing exactly what sort of ground it is, and he emits a raspy sound that vaguely resembles a yelp of pain. He's not used to having his voice that loud. That's going to be a concussion. And then he just... goes limp.
The earlier 'noodle' comparison is appropriate here, as the impact ripples through his whole body, his muscles trying desperately to mitigate what would likely be a fatal impact to most by spreading out the impact through as many muscle groups as it can. Which means that he's going to feel like he got tossed in a rock tumbler with a few ingots of steel tomorrow... but he's also going to live through the impact.
Wouldn't be able to tell that by looking at him, though. His body hangs limply in Tizoc's grasp, eyes closed, as he wills his body to let go of its tension and the signs of exertion. It will hopefully just look like adrenaline draining from a dying body.
COMBATSYS: Duo Lon takes no action.
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Tizoc 0/-------/---<<<<|=======\===----\1 Duo Lon
Those words of concern... so caught up in the passion of the decisive moment between the two of them, the words are clearly heard but not comprehended. Who could have spoken them? The Griffon Mask would find it impossible to believe those words are coming from the bad guy in the middle of a just punishment...!
There is a single impact, where everything goes topsy-turvy for both men, as the Griffon Mask rolls backwards into a stand, slightly propelled into the air in a rebound from the impact. It jolts him almost as much as the other guy...
Everything gets hazy. The adrenaline does not subside. The mind of the man beneath the mask is in a complete daze. This is the first time he's ever pulled a Big Fall Griffon without doing any single one of the low-key precautions that allow him to pull the whole thing off without lasting injury to either party. Did I just kill a man? What was that about my heart? Who said that? Why is my chest on fire? Tight? Stumbling about, he falls to one knee with a hand on his chest. His breath grows heavier by the moment...
he is plowed into by no less than three concerned children whom skip past overturned tables, scrambled (and in some cases, shattered) chairs, and who knows what remaining foodstuffs were abandoned for someone else to clean up. Their chatter is incessant, with the usual simple queries for the very young that are too simple to grasp the greater picture.
"Children...! I--" The Griffon Mask begins... Tizoc, the man underneath, may yet have more to say, but the children keep a vice grip on his heart (metaphorically speaking). "I am fine!"
He is not, but as long as their hero stays upright, if on a knee... his back remains turned to the fallen(?) assassin, his attention completely grabbed by those who believe in him.
"Hah... hah... the bad man cannot hurt you. The threat of such a bad man being able to do so... it is no more!" In a roundabout way, there are no truer words to be spoken on this day. The bad man, indeed, can no longer hurt them... or anyone else, for that matter. They lay defeated by the efforts of one who, for considering their unorthodox ways, is a good man underneath any mask or front they can put up.
Duo Lon has that chance to silently break away, all while the drama unfolds.
"Ahh... a doctor. There is a need..." For who? His words start to slur, the stresses his body going through about to completely overwhelm him. It takes all his will to at last stand up straight... throwing up his arms in triumph!
Then, it all goes dark.
...Because a flier from above lands on his face, obscuring his eyes to the outside world. It may have been from where he struck the assassin on the way up? It goes forth to answer a question that would have been on his lips, in the coming hours. Now what? What would he do with himself, all said and done, if life as he knew it didn't just end here...
"N..." He reads the words aloud, stammering through them.
"N-Neo... League...?" He falls to a crouch anew, as one kid starts to pat at his back as though they were helping. His right hand clutches at his chest, tightly, as the ongoing precursor to a possible heart attack continues...
Comprehension turns cloudy once again, about the hows, the whys, the whats, everything. To the outside world, the Griffon Mask rose up from the ashes of a terrible battle by the mysterious Kenpo-wielding invader, and may have proven his might against a mysterious assassin in a life-or-death battle.
Inside the mask, Tizoc is at a loss for breath, words, and thoughts, while another kid who has removed the flier starts to chirp about how it'll be awesome to see the Griffon Mask take down the Neo League...
The mask will yet prove a witness to further recklessness, bravado, danger, and heartbreak for the champion's road ahead.
COMBATSYS: Tizoc takes no action.
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Tizoc 0/-------/---====|=======\===----\1 Duo Lon
Duo Lon has stalled long enough that his target probably can't be revived by now. And on top of that he may have improved someone's career. Hopefully not at the cost of the big lug's life. Hopefully Griffon Mask will realize that he needs help, either now or later, and get seen by a doctor before he keels over! Duo has enough blood on his hands. He doesn't want to add innocent blood to it.
He times his escape well. Tizoc's words that 'the bad man cannot hurt you' are a signal. And then his body seems to fall apart into ashes again. Ashes that don't disappear this time. They remain in a vaguely human body-shaped pile. A breeze stirs the ashes, stirring them up and sending them skittering across the floor. It looks like the necromancer/assassin's reign of terror has been ended!
...And some distance away, Duo Lon rests, sat down upon the ground. He is by a road, hidden from immediate sight by scrubby underbrush. He stands, slowly, and limps to the road. It won't be long before his contact will pick him up in a sleek black car. Once it arrives, he folds his battered body into the car. He hurts. A lot. But as the car passes the cafe, Duo Lon looks out of one blackened window...
And the barest hint of a smile curves the corner of his mouth.
COMBATSYS: Duo Lon has left the fight here.
[ \\\\\\ <
Log created on 22:09:18 09/22/2016 by Tizoc, and last modified on 20:32:02 09/23/2016.