Kagura - Be Careful With Sparring Partners

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Description: After finding out Potemkin was assaulted by an unknown individual, and near the end of Southtown's blockade that prevented the large man from returning to Zepp, Kagura invites the man for a more informal conversation of his attacker, ending in a spar that causes a good deal more collateral damage than Kagura intended...

Having heard that an emissary was assaulted on the way out of Southtown, Kagura Mutsuki couldn't help but feel responsible. He's of the Praetorian Guard, and watching over dignitaries and other important guests is a vital duty. The fact that Potemkin hardly needs such escorts, was well off NOL grounds, and that he had no authority to do such doesn't affect matters to him in the slightest. After he gave his statements to the disheveled police, the report likely to be filed away and lost in the chaos, a message was given for the huge man to meet Kagura a second time regarding the attack. On top of such, the cordoning of Southtown has increased, and although he managed to enter, nobody can leave; who knows how many Command gears he could be smugging in that giant outfit?

The place in question is a large warehouse, a piece of private property owned by Kagura himself. It's off the beaten path, but a large sliding door in the back for allowing small trucks to unload allows easier entry than most. Within it is well-lit, and the Black Knight appears to be in the midst of some training. His cloak and shirt are discarded against the wall, holding his massive sword out perfectly vertical. Countless cardiovascular, strength, and reflex devices exist, but all are classical. None have a trace of technology to them, the same methodology that might have been used three centuries ago for master swordsmen to hone themselves.

"One hundred and forty-SEVEN..." Kagura growls, whirling that immense steel sword upwards and then lashing out, stopping it immediately in a great billow of air. The weapon is imposing; it looks heavy enough even the gigantic figure would be able to feel it's heft in one hand. "One hundred and forty-EIGHT...!" Another flex of muscle, Kagura covered head to toe in sweat, as he swings down in a roar of motion and still manages to stop it on a dime... "Almost done here... Sorry for the informal location, but to some degree this is off the record. Officially, we're not allowed to investigate this kind of disturbance on Japanese soil..."

It is indeed quite impressive to watch. For a man so strong that simply writing with a pencil produces four tons of pressure from his finger tips and flicking said fingers is enough to produce a solid burst of air as strong as a bullet it is a question just how much of the heft the giant would take note of but it is clear that Kagura wields strength that far outstrips most others of size. Potemkin is quite capable of appreciating the strength, skill and discipline on display here. The impossibility of these feats is not lost on the goliath.

"Take your time." He rumbles, deep voice vibrating through the area like the passing of a nearby semi truck. He looks away from Kagura to focus his glowing eyes on his massive gauntlets and the chi-tek based within. He had been tinkering off and on with it and with a final nod of satisfaction he flexes a huge hand and the gauntlets mechanical portions seal back up, taking in the pressure tubes and exhaust coolants before snapping shut completely. He taps it a few times, causing the holographic projectors to flicker a few times. "Are all NOL soldiers enhanced to your degree?" he asks, "In the days of Imperial Zepp, efforts were made to employ super soldiers with enhanced abilities but they never yielded consistent results."

Obviously, Potemkin could handle this sword with greater ease. What might be more impressive is the technical accuracy, depending on Potemkin's eye for such things. His stance, his breathing, how he tenses his muscles and flows his inertia, all speaks of thousands of hours of training, likely having done extreme ordeals such as this for his entire life. Given how lazy and drunk he seemed at the first encounter, it might be a touch surprising that he has such a powerful ethic for this manner of work. "I'd say you can use anything you like... Forty-NINE..." Another heavy swing. "But I only have weights up to a ton... FIFTY." A hundred and fifty down, he whirls the greatsword and plants it upon the ground, leaning back against it and flicking sweat from his brow. "Enhanced...? Hahahaha! I'm just good genes. I've not been modified in any way. Trust me, I work my ass off every day for hours. There's no magic pill for that." Indeed, any analysis of his aura does show him to be mundane, beyond a potent martial prowess. It's the sort of strength that could easy surprise an opponent, fiercely honed rather than loud and overt. "Ars Magus gives our soldiers an edge, but even then, they've got to train like mad. ...Tell me about this girl who attacked you. Full account, if it's not too troublesome..."

"Impressive." Potemkin's deep voice is earnest as with a final *KA-CHUNK* his weapon systems lock down and re-enter their idle mode. He lets his full attention fall onto Kagura now, watching as the man finishes his kata and taking in the movements with a calculated and discerning eye. And then finally giving a nod of approval as he finishes up. "Not so different from other fighters of great skill and power out there then. You stand among the elite."

When the question of his attacker comes up, Potemkin inclines his head in thought and then looks off to the side as if peering directly back into the past. He' s silent for a few seconds before finally rumbling, "Her sanity was certainly in question. She was driven to hear me cry out in pain, interested solely in attempting to bring me down. I can't say for sure if that was always her intention. When I came across her she was sitting atop a structure, humming some sort of tune. She flew into a rage when I asked if she needed assistance. She wore a strange type of black bodysuit but it was I presume to be some sort of.. mask that was grotesque. Large teeth with visible gums but no lips. A horrifying thing."

He considers things for a second and then adds, "I don't know what sourced her abilities but she seemed able to summon blades from nowhere and was able to attack using powerful waves of sound and music. Very unusual, very unorthodox. At one point it struck me almost like..she was using some sort of magic or chi manipulation."

"I follow the old ways. Swordsmanship was mastered long ago. There's little reason to try and improve on a solved formula." Kagura says with a slow exhale, still continuing to recover from the exertion. "I wield as big a sword as I can move at the speed I want. As I get stronger, I make it heavier. Attack strength, speed, defense. Cornerstones of the Mutsuki family pride." Indeed, his method of manipulating energy comes from his house's teachings, not from old idioms of kata and physical improvement. "..." There's a lot of thought at that, as Kagura strokes at his chin. A weird mask... a bodysuit... unusual abilities... "It sounds like it might have been a rogue Gear. I ran into one myself, inside the city walls. Some of the more dangerous ones can appear human..." He's got some doubt, of course. "I'll definitely look into it. I apologize your suit got damaged. I'm lead to believe you're as powerful as you are humble; based on your mannerisms, you seem to hold no ego or superiority to your strength. I respect that. But are you still able to fight normally again? The city's still incredibly dangerous..."

"A rogue gear?" Potemkin pauses as he considers that. It seems possible but it's clear he has his doubts, "I am uncertain if this is correct. It had..very strong desires, knew when to retreat and even was insulted when I asked if it was some form of Darkstalker. It viewed what it was doing as a form of art... Killing in the name of the creation of artistry. Would not a gear behave differently or need to be under the control of a command gear? What was it you encountered?"

He then chuckles and shakes his head to add, "As to me? I would not worry. The damage to my suit is as much my fault as it was hers. I must pace myself better and seek ways to improve it so that it can do better in prolonged fights. Truthfully it had been damaged during the recovery of the Missing Chi-Tek and so this was related to the added stress."

Potemkin flexes a massive hand as he speaks, and then tightens the muscles in his arms causing what looks like the cresting of a mountain range to occur as his biceps tighten and then enlarge, playing stretching his garments to near skin-suit tension, revealing every nook and cranny of his titanic arm. "I appreciate your words. I have little reason to boast unless I am pressed to. We of Zepp are not 'above' occasional displays of pride in our strength of arms. It does the people good. But I'm not one to waste time stating the obvious if I can avoid it.. Teh fault of the attack was my own. I thought I was doing some good work by doing a patrol and was not prepared for that encounter. I will be fine."

"I'm... not sure. I can confirm that Gears are incredibly mentally unstable when in humanoid form. One I fought was... I'm not sure the right word for it, but outside an individual known as Ramlethal, it seems attempts to make them very sane or reliable of personality has failed. I would guess the difficulty in either success or resources to control over Gears forces them to use such... substandard parts." Kagura is obviously just pondering the most obvious solution, but. "It's no concern of yours. I'll look into the matter personally. In the near future, I might have a lot more power to help. From what I understand in the pipeline... you should sell Zepp hard to joining NOL. I don't think we're going to remain in the shadows much longer." Despite the weight of his sword, Kagura's full bodyweight leaning against it doesn't seem to knock it over. "Really? You seem like someone who doesn't get a chance to spar often. Have to be careful of your strength, right? I'll admit I'm curious. You're one of a couple highly intelligent, powerful men I know. Would you be down for a friendly little spar? I promise, you can go all out on me. If you injure me... well, a lot of women in NOL would be very happy, a lot would dote on me, and it would impress my superiors. A mutual win, in my book."

he helm does much for hiding Potemkin's expression but the slight narrowing of his eyes is enough to imply he doesn't completely agree with all things stated. "I was the one attacked. It is indeed of some concern, at the very least in evaluating the threat potential of the Gears as they currently stand. I will report the incident in full to President Gabriel as I have all others. If he believes the investigation is best left to other outside parties then that is that. I will expedite your request though. It would be better for us to work together, yes?"

He lifts a hand up as he speaks but then lowers it at the request of a spar. He looks from Kagura to the sword itself, eyeing it thoughtfully. To further damage his suit isn't ideal but he can't help but be curious himself and if his pressure suit can't withstand prolonged combat ..the Zepp engineers need to know.

Finally he speaks, setting caution aside in the intersts of his own bit of curiousity. "Hmm..well..when you put it that way, I suppose a short spar is appropriate. You are correct, I haven't often been in company of like minded individuals. My training regime is slightly different, you might say." He steps forward, shuddering the entire chamber with the force of his lumbering gait.

"Oh, no. Sorry, I misspoke. I mean within Japan, leave it to me. The government's a bit overloaded. By all means, send Zepp representatives to help with the investigation. I just consider it my personal duty to do everything in my personal power to make up for what took place. We're exchange information as soon as possible. Don't worry... I'll make sure they get a bounty, if nothing else." Although there's no hiding a bit of eagerness from Kagura, grinning widely. "I don't often have people to fight. Jinny's too much a sore loser and claims he has nothing to prove. Outside him, can't say I have a lot of peers in the Librarium..." This is exhaled with genuine unhappiness, before he snaps back, his elbow hitting the base of the greatsword. It spirals upwards wildly in a surprising show of control, before he catches the hilt and flows into a stance. His footwork is surprisingly light despite the added weight, holding the weapon much as one might a katana or other traditional arms. "I'm warning you though... don't hold back. I sure won't." And then he simply gestures at the other man, obviously indicating he should take the first move.

COMBATSYS: Kagura has started a fight here.

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Kagura           0/-------/------=|

COMBATSYS: Kagura takes no action.

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Kagura           0/-------/------=|

COMBATSYS: Potemkin has joined the fight here.

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Potemkin         0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0           Kagura

"Hoo..well that clears it up." Potemkin acknowledges the clarification before slowly dropping down into a bent legged stance, hunching over slightly with one arm clenched at his side and the other arm hanging more freely. He observes Kagura's stance and then notes the beckoning for him to take the fist move.

"Very well! I won't hold back but..I cannot be held responsible for any collatoratl damage. I'm not exactly built for light touches.."

That being said, he suddenly lunges forward at Kagura, pressing off of the ground in a short leap that brings him bearing down at the black knight. His immense fist rears up and then swings around in a gigantic backhand meant to test the defenses of the NOL warrior while closing the distance to try and gain an positioning advantage on him. "Let us begin!"

COMBATSYS: Kagura blocks Potemkin's Swift Backhand.

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Potemkin         0/-------/-------|==-----\-------\0           Kagura

"I own the building. Destroy it all you want, if you can't avoid it. I'd rather see your full power than worry about something like a bill." Kagura states with glee, grinning wildly towards Potemkin. The assault is not particularly fast, but there's a lot of Potemkin moving now, and the response is rather brutal. The flat of the sword is swing with full force by Kagura, slamming into that fist with a great resonating CLANG. The billow of force roars through both individuals, billowing Kagura's hair, but he only skids back a few inches from it. "Not bad...!" he admits. Before sweeping forward, releasing his sword for a moment to shift his stance and then grasp the gauze. In a snap he uses the cloth to draw it back into his hand and /swing/ a brutal but short chop as the concrete splinters beneath his feet, trying to impact the edge hard into Potemkin's side, teeth grit in the effort of trying to cleave into that much dense muscle and reinforced suit...!

COMBATSYS: Potemkin blocks Kagura's Crushing Strike.

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Potemkin         0/-------/------=|==-----\-------\0           Kagura

"Hm!" Potemkin isn't surprised per se, he had expected Kagura to exhibit great strength and skill. That much was obvious, but at the same time to just brace and defend against such a blow, even if a minor one, is still a worthy feat when one considers the strength behind it. The building trembles and concrete splinters as Potemkin holds his fist in place for an instant before the counter force rebounds him backwards. He recovers in time for Kagura's blade to be hurtling around for his flank. His muscles tighten, his suit creaks ominously and with a loud *THWAM!!* the sword impacts..and fails to do any - visible- damage against Potemkin's vast flank as the brute braces against the assault.

"Very well, if you want my best..you shall have it!" he rumbles, fully committing now after seeing this initial test and weathering Kagura' fist blow.

His massive body suddenly surges forward, kicking off the ground with force that rocks the room and forges a widening crater from where he launched himself. He bears down onto Kagura drawing both of his monsterous arms back and then once in range, brings them both forward in a type of fisted slam that threatens to roar into the Black Knight like a runaway doubldecker bus.

COMBATSYS: Kagura dodges Potemkin's Hammer Fall.

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Potemkin         0/-------/-------|==-----\-------\0           Kagura

The inital exchange between the pair truly shows the force between them; although Potemkin has the overwhelming power of a truly bestial physique, Kagura's instead focused like a laser, wielding his weapon with the impact force condensed infinitely more compact. Yet still, to merely absorb a blow from his greatsword like that... he can perhaps think of one other person alive that can do that feat. "Heh. Not bad." he agrees readily, before whirling the blade around and assuming a low stance. Rather than flee, Kagura leaps straight upwards; but the arc of those gargantuan fists cleaves through, barely an inch from connecting with the man. Yet in a rare instance, Potemkin doesn't have the advantage of reach -- his greatsword blooms with black energy, whirling upwards like flames as he attempts to clash it into the other man's chest and rake upwards across his torso, as Potemkin would land like a meteor while Kagura instead shifts to take a place in the air. "...Glad that didn't hit me!!" he calls down, with no hint that this is anything but a serious commentary.

COMBATSYS: Potemkin endures Kagura's Dragon's Ascent but gets knocked away!

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Potemkin         0/-------/--=====|====---\-------\0           Kagura

Two impossible things in the space of an afternoon. Potemkin to just weather a strike from Kagura like this and then for Potemkin to be countered and..knocked back? Certainly Zepp intelligence nad military inside information keeps them aware of the titans of the fighting circuits, Zangief and Hugo and supernatural beings among the Darkstalkers and yet even then the idea that Potemkin himself can be moved when he doesn't want to be moved is a dim and distant concept. Except here.

The force of Kagura's strike sends the goliath stumbling backwards, knocked away and then nearly down save for a last minute twist that causes his immense hands to slam into the ground and rebound him back up again, leaving a huge palm print in the earth. "Whulf!" he rumbles, briefly seeing stars before straightening up again.

"Incredible! I didn't think you were strong enough to stop my fists, let alone to actually force me back!" He braces, rethinking strategy for a moment and then he suddenly lunges in again, this time his enormous body jumping forward skywards and then descending like a meteor with both of his fists pildriving downward with blurring movement that kicks off an earthshaking shockwave even before they actually impact against their target.

COMBATSYS: Kagura blocks Potemkin's Mega Fist.

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Potemkin         0/-------/--=====|=====--\-------\0           Kagura

It took every ounce of muscle, power, and technique that Kagura had to bear into Potemkin; the man was off-guard, following through with an assault, and airborne on top of it. Still, it was miraculous to send him flying backwards, and the Black Knight's fingers and arms are throbbing from the exertion. "Heh... I warned you. You can benchpress ten times me, easily. But you've never mastered your strength, aren't you? You can't control it. You're wearing a giant shackle... are you so strong you cannot even survive it? You really do remind me of someone else." He hefts up the greatsword and rests it on his shoulder, sliding back into a stance once more as he seems to focus, purple gleam running down the edge of his weapon. "I'm the opposite. I'm in complete control of every little ounce of force within me... It's like a hurricane versus a mighty oak. If you can't blow me over... you might get cut down yourself!"

COMBATSYS: Kagura assumes a powerful stance, greatsword poised ready!

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Potemkin         0/-------/--=====|=======\-------\1           Kagura

*Insert a giant fight that destroys Kagura's poor warehouse. Kagura retains a modest lead but they decide to stop fighting before going any further. Kagura had mentioned that Potemkin reminds him of someone, the Mad Dog known as Azrael, and that is why he feels that Potemkin using technology to compensate for his overwhelming strength is ultimately a weakness. That Gabriel may be one of the strongest fighters in the world, but a country cannot survive on the back of a single lone fighter, not with the current threats in the world. Always make sure you start logs properly, kids.*

Potemkin listens. Though his expression is shrouded, the narrowing of his eyes is such that it is clear he does not agree. After Kagura finishes he rumbles, "NOL has its databases for sure, but I do not jest or speak in hyperbole when I say my suit is to protect you. It would seem that if I were simply 'like' this Azrael then I would use my limiters for the same reasons. The difference is purely psychological. I wear this suit because I -choose- to interact with the world on a more balanced and reasonable level. In short, you did not gain a sense of my strength. You gained a sense of my strength as far as what the pressure suit permits. Without it, my strength would rage beyond your comprehension, I am sorry to say." This is stated factually and without boast. Even a little remorsefully,

"Should this Azrael strike, if he would prove so powerful that I was forced to remove all of my limiters..then it could e as you said, untold devastation. However, my superior, President Gabriel, is more powerful then either of us. His strength of Chi is without peer but he rarely exposes it. That is all I will say on that matter. As for us? Who is to say what a second duel would result in and a duel is not a life or death commitment on the battlefield. I have much to I am the elite presidential guard for a reason. I feel I have much to prove to you but do not let a single duel be the judge."

"And I keep telling you, if you use your strength like that, it doesn't matter how much of it you have. It won't reach me. But I'd prefer we never get into a situation where he really have to test that." Kagura gives a slow shrug of his bruised shoulders. For someone on the cusp of winning, it was not a victory that was built on who took the most damage, merely that Potemkin's suit would have been too compromised to continue. In the same vein, there was a playfulness to the fight. The Black Knight never truly bore his fangs, either. As said, a spar is a spar. One shouldn't give an excessive amount of information to anyone on their upper limits. "Gabriel's possibly one of the most powerful people alive." Kagura readily agrees, looking unhappily at his former warehouse. This is going to require a lot of calls to sort out. And probably a lot of personal funds. Better than an NOL training ground, though... "But he's not THE most powerful. As a national tactician myself, there is likely a reason he hides it. Attention. He doesn't want to be seen as a threat. But that won't last forever. And without numbers, Zepp is in danger. One of the reasons the Library would be a valuable asset..."

"President Gabriel staged a coup that overthrew an entrenched and dangerous nation on the cusp of great international conquest. He knows not to stake the defense of Zepp solely on himself or myself. This is why I agreed to these meetings? The new Zepp Republic cannot stand on its own - but it is also resourceful enough to know that the world will need what It can offer. Do not worry about us on that account.. As I said the first time, I will bring Gabriel my suggestions on this." Potemkin then pauses and abruptly switches gears, as if something clicked on the inside and something he's been meaning to ask comes to the forefront.

"..What about this..Sector Seven?"

"We've got plenty of intel on Zepp. I'm aware of the general situation, I read it before we had our first meeting. Even NOL isn't sure of his ultimate battle strength. I've a fair amount of yours now, though. As I said, you're plenty strong enough." Having maneuvered to the edge of the broken building, a white towel is tugged from between the rubble and used to clean up his face of the soot from the explosions. "Like I said in the office, this is mutually beneficial. As NOL grows, anyone we align with will have a much better position in the world where it matters... political and national strength, not individual battle strength. While we've a flurry of good publicity, nobody would bat an eye at Zepp joining hands." When Sector Seven is mentioned, Kagura makes a distasteful expression. "An organization of businessmen. The exact same sort that created the Gears. People who want profit and results, with no care about the threat it presents to the world. It's pure anarchy. Each has their own philosophy, and the only overarching connection is making a profit. It's not for the good of the world. It's for the good of them. Every single person in it is like that... without exception. They're considered global terrorists as far as the Librarium is concerned... why do you ask?"

"Hmm.." is all Potemkin says at first. Matters of intelligence agencies and studies and who knows what about who he allows to simply pass. For one, there's much Gabriel has kept hidden even from him. He simply obeys. Perhaps blindly. For another, the points have been well made and he cannot deny Kagura's skills and intuition. Perhaps he has got the measure of Potemkin. At least so far as is practical to get in a situation like this. It stings but it is not wholly untrue or unfair.

"I wanted to know what you thought." Is all he says in regards to Sector Seven.

"As for myself.. The pressure suit doesn't prevent me from increasing my training and getting better. There'd be no point to any of this otherwise. When I speak of strength I don't' speak simply of raw power but the strength to see a mission through and to serve my purpose" He lifts a huge hand and clenches it, "My dreadnaught fist is in constant need of improvement. That is why we practice and train. If you think I have implied that I simply put the suit on and rely on brute strength then you are mistaken. Our training regimes may differ but I am a soldier. I am perpetually seeking to improve myself. I would not be opposed to knowing more about your families methods and incorporating that into my efforts. If what you say is true - then ..well it only benefits us all.."

"Not at all. Let me speak clearly. I believe your overwhelming power is your natural gift. What you were born with. And that you should focus on mastering it. That's my philosophy in life, nothing more and nothing less. I have no particular objections to the path you choose, and it makes complete sense. I just would have done something else. If you need technological aide, then we can offer far more than Sector Seven. And without any strings attached or extravagant costs. If you accept our agreement, the exchange of technological and research will be part of it." The giant sword once more serves as a prop behind Kagura, flinging the towel around his shoulders. "And like I said. You're an amazing warrior. If you were under my banner instead, I can't immediately think of someone better suited for a variety of jobs. You're not pure muscle, but a technological warrior with a poet's mind. I've an eye for perfect subordinates, you see... seems Gabriel does, also."

"Your diplomatic abilities continue to be of the highest qualities, Colonel." Potemkin's voice sounds amused but sincere. "I appreciate your words and will carry them all back to President Gabriel, recorded as is. You will hear from us soon. Perhaps myself sooner, as I seek more insight to your techniques."

Potemkin straightens up and gives Kagura a salute at that and then bowing, turns and begins to slowly trundle his way for what remains of the warehouses outer walls.

Kagura Mutsuki settles himself down to sit in the middle of what until now had been his warehouse. The legal ramifications are mild, but the blowback from Hibiki is going to be another thing entirely. His back against his upright sword, fingers interlock behind his head as he peers up into the suddenly visible sky while Potemkin takes his leave. "...Think I can consider my morning training complete." he comments, with just a subtle wince of pain from his wounds. Ow.

Log created on 22:46:49 12/27/2017 by Kagura, and last modified on 19:59:32 12/31/2017.