Description: Having climbed his way through the Loser's Bracket, Geese now faces the undefeated Mad Dog: Azrael! Will Geese's determination to face Krauser allow him to defeat the monstrous powerhouse known as the Cannibal, or will Geese fail as all others have?
The finals of the World Warrior; the battle that will determine who proceeds to confront Krauser himself, and who drops out at the last minute. Few likely expected the unknown underdog Azrael to surpass all expectations; defeating the mighty Rugal not once but twice in succession, and even the likes of Akuma. He stands amidst the bloodstained and battle-churned sand adjacent to the recently reconstructed central stone platform; tall and broad-shouldered, blue hair swept behind, he cuts a rather imposing and ferocious presence to say the least. Strange tattoos run across him, and the first impression is... underwhelming. His spirit is strong, but far below Geese himself, hands within his pockets and expression seeming almost... uncomfortable. Like someone who's overeaten perhaps, or otherwise indulged into painful excess. "Ngh... I've still not slept off my last meal. Geese, is it...? So you overcame that tuxedo'd fighter too, eh? Does that mean you're *stronger*?"
Having been soundly defeated in an early round, it seemed initially as if Geese had come to World Warrior for nothing but disgrace. For those aware of the connection between Krauser and Howard, it might seem like a fateful meeting---but with the fierce competition before him, Geese seemed to fail before he began.
That is, until he began making his way through the loser's bracket. Geese climbed his way through the ranks from there, even overcoming his initial loss by defeating Jubei in a rematch. He eventually faced down Rugal, and in a battle to the brink, managed to overcome. His wounds are still fresh from that particular bout, new scars barely hidden by his white gi.
"So you're the infamous Mad Dog?" Geese says, tilting his head to the side in appraisal. His arms remain crossed at his chest.
"To have fought the demon and the Lord of War and still come out victorious--Krauser has truly found some monsters in the wild. Hah!"
"Tuxedoed fighter? Were you the one who gave Rugal that wound?" Geese tilts his head, as if genuinely appraising Azrael now. "To think that he tried to fight me when he wasn't even at full strength...tch!" With a jerk of his head, Geese spits to the side.
"But that's the past now--let's see the power of the man who took on the Demon and lived!"
"That's what they call me." Azrael replies with disinterest. Unlike many, there's little sense of someone after recognition. Political power, influence, fame, he has nothing of the sort within him. Pride, though? No, surprisingly. Heavily confident, but none of the weakening chains that Geese has likely seen in many warriors, and ones he perhaps wears about his own throat. Pure and simple, he might have never seen someone so transparent who supposedly stood upon such apexes. Beyond that, his utter lack of technique; from his stance to his posture, it is clear that his fighting experience is entirely applicable experience and no training...
"Rugal...? No. He came at me like a beast. Clutching at his heart. Pathetic. I crushed him like an insect." This is said with genuine disappointment; after all, Rugal was the only person to defeat him in the preliminary fights beyond Athena's divine intervention. "He discarded his blade and came at me unarmed. It wasn't bad, but nothing compared to that crimson-haired warrior. You, though... heh! You've got a much less disappointing air about you. That's a well-refined soul you've got... Geese...!"
He lifts up both of his hands, purple aura shimmering about him. It's strange, feeling not quite like chi. But neither is it psionic or divine in nature; primal and unique. Like staring into an endless abyss; Azrael seems to breath, seems to move like a human, to LOOK like a human, but on every subconscious level he feels like some inhuman monster.
"Rugal left me wanting. I'll carve out what he lacked from you!!"
Geese's expression slowly curls into a sneer. He uncrosses his arms, taking a step to adjust his footing. His sandals clack on the weathered stone of the castle, which has taken more than its share of punishment from the recent clashes of titans. The tower has still been salvaged from where Rugal unleashed his full fury against Geese in the previous bout.
And when power surges, Geese's eyes narrow. While he is not energy his expert, he can sense that something is unnatural; odd. Experience tells him that much...but pride tells him to test it. To push against it and see the results. Perhaps this is his folly, but perhaps Geese has the strength needed to face down this monster and overcome...?
The Syndicate leader lowers his hands to his sides, fingers tigthening as his muscles seem to coil like a cobra, ready to strike or counter-strike in an instant despite the seemingly relaxed stance.
"Is that so?" Geese barks. "Then come on, show me that power!!!"
COMBATSYS: Geese has started a fight here. You cannot escape wrong death.
COMBATSYS: Azrael has joined the fight here.
[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > //////////////////////////////]
Geese 0/-------/------=|=------\-------\0 Azrael
Azrael steps upon the stone as well, beginning to approach Geese. The shadow of his aura is certainly impressive, but... this man did not beat Rugal. He certainly did not beat Akuma. It's literally impossible; he might not even be on par with Terry Bogard himself, a man who needs exceptional drive and circumstances to overthrow Geese. "Come, then. I'll see what you can do... you've got to beat me twice in a row, right? That's not very SPORTING!!" He then stamps down his foot, twisting into an overhead swing, fingers splayed as he tries to slam into Geese overhead and strike him down into the ground. ...Slow. And beyond that, utterly predictable. The power is impressive, but nothing at the apex of the world... is this some kind of joke?
COMBATSYS: Geese blocks Azrael's Weakened Palm Smash.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > //////////////////////////////]
Geese 0/-------/----===|=------\-------\0 Azrael
Geese's attention doesn't falter. As Azrael advances, Geese can certainly feel it. The disappointment is almost palpable. How did -this- man beat Rugal and Akuma? It must be some kind of trick. Geese's teeth clench.
And the palm strike is met with a solid forearm, Geese's muscles tightening as strength collides with strength.
"Is this all?" Geese says, "Don't insult me!" He leaps back into a short-hop, then thrusts his palm forward. Chi surges from it, erupting in a great sphere of wind that smashes forward in a quick air-burst of force.
"Did you fight the Demon with no more than this?!"
COMBATSYS: Azrael reflects Shippuken from Geese with Growler Field.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ///////////////////////////// ]
Geese 0/-------/----===|====---\-------\0 Azrael
That blow wasn't harmless, by any means. He's physically stronger than Geese still, no doubt. But that's a far cry from being a reasonable threat, which he is by all accounts not. Diffusing the force of his overhead blow, everything about the Mad Dog remains completely open and vulnerable. "Insult you...? Heh! So you also hate it when people come at you without everything they've got?!" Arms open wide as he states this, the purple aura surging stronger. That energy is sucked within, completely vanishing. A moment later, Azrael swings out an almost casual backward; a massive burst of billowing dark energy roars out like a missile, flying straight towards Geese where he tactically retreated. "You're right. This is me at my literal weakest...! I couldn't hold back my fangs any more even if I wanted to. Enchant Dragunov's maximum power sealing!!" Power seal...? Indeed, it seems those tattoos are some kind of shackle. It would make sense for someone to be controlled by such things, but the way Azrael phrased it was he is purposefully fighting at less than full power, a rather more... difficult to understand statement.
COMBATSYS: Azrael successfully hits Geese with Reflected Shippuken.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ///////////////////////////// ]
Geese 0/-------/-======|=======\-------\0 Azrael
The power is telling, but this isn't the first time Geese has met overwhelming power at World Warrior. No, that giant Abigail leveraged a massive amount of strength against him. Like Abigail though, Azrael seems to fight like a savage, wielding massive strength with finesseless simplicity. Even so, the power there is undeniable. Geese gives a few inches as he rides the impact from the first blow, but the Shippuken counter-attack hides it...mostly.
But then Azrael seems to take in with the raw power of his aura, hurling back a surge of power in return.
"This is tournament is for the strongest in the world--anything less but the best isn't worth the effort," Geese says tilting his head Geese's arms snap up in a cross-guard, but it's too slow and not quite enough. The dark power smashes into Geese with enough force to stagger him backward. He seems to refuse to yield too much ground, to give Azrael the satisfaction of grounding him. His sandals slide through the dirt, Geese staggering forward before righting himself.
"Heh...Enchant Dragunov...?" Geese asks, raising his brow as remnants of smoke billow away from his chest. His teeth are clenched in consternation. "So is magic the secret of your strength, then?" The way Geese asks seems snide, almost condescending...but there's curiosity too. Perhaps envy in there as well, or at least that desire for even greater power.
But then Geese is moving forward again, ducking in low. One hand snaps up toward Azrael's armpit, the other palm thrusting toward his waist. If he gets hold, Geese transitions into a sweeping overhead throw, aiming to toss Azrael his head. Even as he does, chi surges, the throw encored by a thunderclap and a flash of lightning!
COMBATSYS: Geese successfully hits Azrael with Raimei Gouha Nage.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > //////////////////////// ]
Geese 1/-------/=======|=======\==-----\1 Azrael
"Secret? There's no secret to my strength. I was born this powerful. Enchant Dragunov is a seal I had placed on me that allows me to decide what portion of my strength I use. Because I have no interest in dominating opponents... I want to relish combat, drive someone to the brink, and feast on them as they fight for their life...!!" Crimson eyes widen in an almost insane way as disturbingly pointy teeth spread into a broad grin. "This first round is a test, Geese... The crimson-haired man required my absolute full power. As did Rugal. But you're the final meal. Show me what you have... if you beat me now, then you'll have to beat me a second time. I don't trust the strength of a loser like you!! I assumed Rugal was strong the second time... and look where that got me!!"
An attempt to block the attack from Geese follows, but he slithers past, grappling perfectly. He's dense, but no moreso than a human; but the report feels strange. Muscles should be tearing, joints should be quaking, but slamming down Azrael felt oddly empty. And his response is too fast. There is no hesitation as he brutally swings out in a backhand, aiming to strike Geese straight across the face with simple ferocity. A normal person would be staggered, disoriented, affected too much to respond immediately after connecting to the ground.
"Hahahah...!! That wasn't too bad of a hit!! Good, keep it COMING!!"
COMBATSYS: Geese fails to counter Weakened Swift Backhand from Azrael with Oni Hanmon.
-@- Dazing Hit! -@-
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > //////////////////////// ]
Geese 0/-------/----===|=======\==-----\1 Azrael
"Tch..." Geese says. "Strength should be earned, seized by blood and sweat! What does a monster know about effort?" Geese snaps as he transitions into his throw. Even so, the words seem to eat at him.
"Some kind of monster like that green-haired woman...I should have known!" Geese throws his arms to the sides with confidence. "But I will not let you stand in my way of reaching Krauser---no matter many times I have to strike you down!"
But Azrael's reaction is unnatural, too fast, too readily recovered. It catches Geese off-guard---or it would were it not for his well-honed reflexes. The Syndicate reacts by instinct rather than thought, sweeping toward Azrael with an arm-block to buy enough time to thrust his palm toward Azrael's face in a devasting counter--!
But no, the blow is too strong. It's too fast for Geese to react properly. The backhand smashes past Geese's arm and against his jaw with with bone-rattling force, throwing the blond man off balance and into another stagger. He reels from the impact, taking several steps to avoid going over entirely.
"You're right. I didn't earn any of my strength. And what of it?!" Azrael states with a deep laugh. This was a miscalculation, primarily. Geese had no way of knowing that the Mad Dog was immune to pain, immune to damage, immune to even something as basic as his brain being shook by an impact. The brief gulf between following through with the lightning-infused blow and grasping the incoming fist caused his maneuver to fail, and when Azrael hauls himself upwards, he's... unscarred. His pristine white jacket is singed, but there's nothing on his tattooed flesh, no blood in his grinning lifts, no pain in his eyes. His aura's dropped, replaced by some oppressive weight... what happens when it runs out? Does that mean Geese wins? Did others fail because he is truly the immortal monster that rumors claim?
"Pathetic. This is why I'm giving you a practice round, Geese. So you can understand what I am." His aura surges, clenching fingers into fists repeatedly, laughing in a manic fashion. "I have none of the weaknesses of the flesh. I do not feel pain. I do not take damage. I cannot die. You must suppress me with sheer power. If I was trying right now, then the gulf between us would be too much. ...And I don't want another easy win...!!"
A tilt of the head follows, crimson eyes narrowing to slits. "Or are you going to blame me being too strong, instead of you being too WEAK...?!"
COMBATSYS: Azrael takes no action.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > //////////////////////// ]
Geese 0/-------/----===|=======\==-----\1 Azrael
Geese shakes his head again, then spits out a mouthful of blood. He lifts up, his vision likely still blurred and his ears still ringing. Slowly he rises back up to his full height, runs the back of his palm across his mouth, and flicks the last of the stray blood away.
"Unrefined power. A piece of iron used like a bludgeon when it could be forged into a sword." Geese steps again, widening his stance. "But that'd strip that challenge for you, wouldn't it?" Tch!!" His voice drips with ichor, the Syndicate leader's fury---and frustration---welling up inside.
He snaps forward again, striking forward with an open palm. Even as he does, however, his leg sweeps out, going low to try and hook the back of the Mad Dog's knee as the palm strikes forward to drive him down in the wake of the trip.
COMBATSYS: Geese successfully hits Azrael with Grounding Throw.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > /////////////////// ]
Geese 0/-------/---====|=======\=====--\1 Azrael
"That's the difference between you and me. You want to stand above everyone else. I just want to be on par. Heh. A good fight's one where the opponent has a chance... you're not one for that, are you?" Azrael seems to make no meaningful effort to evade, leg caught and palm slamming him down into the ground. His expression never changes in the slightest, seeming perhaps grudgingly satisfied. It might be a bizarre situation, as this fight appears to be nothing but Azrael's judgement on how hard Geese hits. As a man who stands near the apex of the world, it might be more easily swallowed if Azrael was looking down upon him. But there's no sense of that... only a hopeful expectation that's not quite being filled. "But of course... I prefer to fight at full power..." He rises up once more, flowing with a laugh, twisting back his hand and clenching it into a fist. "And if I can't find any as I am now... why the hell would I care about making myself STRONGER?!" He swings then, all force and no elegance. Although he may be restraining his speed and power, it's clear that his durability is unaffected, as few alive could possibly shrug off those blows in the same manner he has thus far...!
COMBATSYS: Geese counters Weakened Gigantic Smash from Azrael with Chuudan Atemi Nage.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ///////////// ]
Geese 1/------=/=======|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2 Azrael
Geese breathes heavily, the corner of his mouth curling from a snarl--into a smile? In a moment, he laughs, sharply and harshly. Bitingly, even.
"Hardly! Iron sharpens iron, as they say! My strength has only come from overcoming all challenges! A man without drive is nothing if he cannot constantly push himself even higher!" Rolling his neck, Geese lowers his arms once again, opening his stance wide as if to bait Azrael to come at him.
When the punch surges in, Geese shifts, going below it this time. His arm snaps up from the side, striking the underside with a backfist that redirects it upward. With the brief opening Geese moves on instinct, his muscle memory from countless drills transitioning him into a sweeping circular aiki-jujutsu throw that hurls Azrael---that invulnerable beast that he is---across the castle grounds.
"Perhaps we're more alike than you think...do you know I spent the qualifiers? I took Krauser's invitation and I waited." Geese paces around, circling slowly. "I waited for a worthy opponent. For someone worth my time who could offer me a challenge. Someone who could refine my edge so I would be ready for Krauser. I expected Terry Bogard. Ken Masters. Even Ryo Sakazaki."
Geese's mouth curls. Others came. Some were worthy opponents, but others were just trash! A familiar sentiment, isn't it?"
It's surprisingly easy to redirect Azrael's strength. He's probably within the same ballpark as Abigail. This is high praise, but it's nothing beyond what the masterful kinetic manipulation of Geese Howard can manage. He spirals head over heels, landing on his back and skidding away. In a split second he's back on his feet, laughing heavily and rolling his shoulders. "I already found a fight worth coming here for... someone who required my full strength!! How long has it been since I removed every last shackle?! The red-haired warrior. And Rugal... I thought he would count. But someone broke him before I got to bare my fangs. And you..."
Azrael slowly turns around to face Geese, placing his hands in his pockets. "You aren't strong enough. ...Strong enough to have a lot of fun, but you aren't what I was hoping for. You're weaker than both of those people I conquered. Weaker than that cat. Whatever...! I forfeit this round." He spreads his arms wide, energy rippling over his form. "I'll fight you near my maximum. How's that...? Don't make me regret it, Geese...! Rest. Rest as long as you want. When you think you're ready, I'll come at you without holding anything back!!"
Suddenly his energy seems to surge. "Enchant Dragunov... Level One." His tattoos blaze brightly, and his power jumps up significantly. Before, he was perhaps at the level of a world tournament fighter; Ryu, Ryo, Terry, Kyo. But now he stands well above them, and an attentive eye would see that some of his tattoos have vanished.
"Enchant Dragunov... Level Two..."
Half of his tattoos are now gone. The ground rumbles, the sky darkens slightly, and a sudden buffet of that strange, alien energy rushes forward to impact Geese. He's not far below Howard now. Almost on par. Muscles are tense, veins bulging, tendons strained. Wild eyes seem satisfied, like someone wearing heavy armor or tight bindings finally being released.
"Enchant Dragunov... Level THREE."
Another upwards surge. ...In terms of raw power, of energy reserves, he is now above Geese from a physical standpoint. Abigail is well below, in terms of being a physical powerhouse. Cracks splinter beneath his feet, as he begins to laugh in a manic fashion.
"Enchant Dragunov... LEVEL FOUR!!"
His tattoos seem to entirely vanish. And his power is no longer something easily measured. The sun above seems to struggle to penetrate through a dark haze, a golden orb in the distance. Clouds have vanished, thrust away by the pressure of his aura. The ground quakes heavily, the sand shifts and hisses, and his crimson eyes seem like that of an apex predator. Now, he stands amongst the very strongest in the world. But his technique is still utterly absent. Yet how much can his speed, his power, his indestructible body compensate for that?
"Take your time... I'm ready when you are!!"
COMBATSYS: Azrael gains composure.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > //////////////// ]
Geese 1/------=/=======|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>-\1 Azrael
Geese raises a brow at the shift. This whole fight has seemed unnatural and odd. Azrael certainly seems unstoppable in terms of his raw ability to take punishment, but his skill is lacking. To think that a raging bull---even one as powerful as Azrael is---could take down both Rugal and Akuma seems impossible.
But then, the Mad Dog makes his proclamation. The Enchant Dragunov is released, and power soars higher and higher. The dust and loose stone tossed aside by the surge in energy forces Geese to shield his face from the gathering storm, but he steps forward and braces himself against it rather than backing down. When the surge in power stops, Geese looks on in the closest to awe that Geese might express. This sort of power is rare. Even Rugal tapped it briefly, injured as he was earlier.
But then Geese scowls. "So be it!" he says, crossing his arms. "Wait for me then, War Dog, and I will make it worth your while!"
There seems to be no injuries on Azrael; only a drop in energy, whatever that even means. "Hah...! You better." he declares, before... dropping to the ground immediately and crossing his legs. There's no judgement here. There never was. What will decide this fight is skill and technique; whether Geese can use such to offset the force of nature before him. A man who destroyed Rugal while berserk, and took down Akuma's earnest full-powered attempt to kill him. Perhaps those watching from the cameras will judge Geese, but this is the last obstacle before facing Krauser in the final match.
Within a minute, it's clear Azrael is fully recovered. He feels precisely as he did at the onset; there's little hope for even someone partially immortal to compete. A minute later, and he's asleep... head lolled forward, arms crossed, snoring audibly. It seems the contentful rest of someone after having a good meal, not caused by boredom or impatience. As long as he wants was right -- Azrael can remain in a torpor like this for days or weeks, and the time that passes will seem the same. There will be no doubt that Geese challenges him at full power, and likely with a better plan of attack against the unique warrior. He allowed Geese to fight him and win the first round on purpose -- he does not wish for victory. He wishes for a good battle. And now, all the pieces are in play for Geese to provide it...!!
Though hardly thought of as a sage, Geese's mastery of the flow of chi and his understanding of energy is second to none. His study of Hakkyokyseiken gives him the knowledge he needs to tap power unknown to some men. While Azrael naps unceremoniously, Geese secludes himself for meditation. He takes only a brief time to set his injuries, and the rest of break is spent focusing his mind and honing his chi. Hours pass, maybe days. The time is lost to both men in their own ways.
But eventually Geese returns. Even in the face of such a titan, he refuses to yield or admit defeat. No, Geese Howard seems set to emerge victorious or lose in a battle that draws out all of Azrael's monstrous power. When Rugal faced him it was in a weakened state, still recovering from injuries afflicted by Akuma. Much like Azrael, Geese saw Rugal's weakened state as an insult---vengeance or not, it was a travesty to defeat the Lord of War in such a state. Their rematch will come some day, but for now, Azrael stands before him.
As Geese approaches, his sandals crunch the remaining grass beneath his feet. He slips off his white gi, revealing the various scars and beneath from his many battles to get here. With a sweep of his arm, he tosses the gi away, letting is whip in the wind and settle on an ancient outcropping some distance away. He appraises Azrael for a moment.
"So are you ready, Mad Dog? I've come back for you!"
When Geese finally returns, Azrael has clearly not moved a muscle. His shoulders continue to rise and fall with slow, even breaths and snores. Leaning forward, his blue hair obscures his face. He has absolutely no guard or awareness; then again, why should he? An attempt to pierce his heart or snap his neck would merely wake him up. It is like a lion in the open praeries. What do they have to fear? There is simply no need to be vigilant.
"...?" Azrael's waking is not nearly so determined. He rubs at an eye and yawns deep and wide, gradually clamboring back to his feet. "You ready, then?" Mentally, it's clear that Azrael isn't. He's still vaguely disoriented, and far from having the mindset of one prepared for battle, he looks more distractedly hungry than anything. "Then come at me."
It seems that the Mad Dog doesn't consider these moments of lethargy a weakness. Geese has two options here; allow him time to compose, or prove to him why his assessment is wrong...!!
COMBATSYS: Azrael has left the fight here.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ <
COMBATSYS: Azrael has joined the fight here.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > //////////////////////////////]
Geese 1/------=/=======|=------\-------\0 Azrael
COMBATSYS: Geese has left the fight here.
COMBATSYS: Geese has joined the fight here. You cannot escape wrong death.
[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > //////////////////////////////]
Geese 0/-------/------=|=------\-------\0 Azrael
Geese rolls his neck, stretching his muscles and working his shoulder to get ready for the second round. His time of focusing seems to have done small wonders for him; he seems renewed, as if whatever rituals he put himself through have reinvigorated him completely. The wounds are still there, but they do not seem to bother him now.
But Azrael's lackadaisical rise to rejoin the fight seems like an insult, a challenge for Geese to demonstrate why he should be feared.
"Tch! Perhaps this will help you work off your slumber!"
The Syndicate leader leaps at Azrael without warning, drawing a hand up over his shoulder. He strikes down and forward with a sweeping chop, blue-white chi enveloping his hand in an instant as he cuts forward with the slash.
COMBATSYS: Geese successfully hits Azrael with Hishou Nichirin Zan.
- Power hit! -
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ///////////////////////// ]
Geese 0/-------/--=====|====---\-------\0 Azrael
Well, this goes about as optimally as Geese could hope. It was no act of course, and Geese roars forward without any hesitation or mercy. Crimson eyes widen, and the look in his face is one of satisfaction. "Yes, that's how it should be... this is a battlefield!!" Dark purple miasma roars around him defensively, the only true measure of useful defense he can manage.
The blow rakes across Azrael's chest, but there's no feel of give. None at all. It's not like striking something invincible; merely a strange lack of report. When the cleaving chi vanishes, shredded white fabric dancing in the air, his bare chest remains unscarred. But attentive eyes and senses will know his energy just took a dip... presuming such is his endurance, then he's not truly insurmountable, at least in short durations...!
Of course, his response is immediate. One knee raises up, sliding his hands back within his pockets. His heel, heavily empowered by his unusual energy, drives out in a straight kick towards Geese's ribs. It might be one of the more surreal experiences for Geese, one of the greatest technical masters to ever live. His stance, his balance, his weight, the way he tenses his muscles, all of it is pedestrian. It's not a lack of training or ignorance; it's the pure, basic kick of someone who is doing only that -- a kick.
Yet the speed at which it bolts out, the power that billows the air, is unfathomable. Every flaw, every weakness, is almost completely offset by the sheer monstrous strength that Azrael possesses. He seems to be entirely operating on physical ability, to the point that he feels no need to even instinctively fight optimally; and seeing it firsthand, Geese can likely fully tell that this listless nature might be entirely justified... for it is far from easily shrugged off.
COMBATSYS: Azrael successfully hits Geese with Valiant Crush.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ///////////////////////// ]
Geese 1/-----==/=======|======-\-------\0 Azrael
Geese can sense it. The energy is alien to him, but in his years of study and countless battles, Geese has come to know its flow quite well. Azrael may be unique, but some of the movements and shifts are common. As the blade of his cutting strike rakes through the Mad Dog's aura, Geese can feel the give. Even so, the lack of a scar, or even a bruise, is enough to humble almost any man.
But Geese Howard's pride is not so easily brought to heel. With a sharp exhalation he hops back from Azrael, but the beast follows him. In an instant that kick rips through the air like a cannon shot. Geese tightens his taught, moving reflexively to intercept. Its blinding speed is hard to follow, even for Geese's trained eye and superior reflexes.
The boot smashes into his rips with a crack, sending the Syndicate leader reeling across the courtyard in a slide. Spit and blood flies from his mouth as he practically doubles over, but at the end of his slide Geese plants a hand to keep himself from falling face down in the dirt. He takes several deep breaths, each labored, but each drawing in chi and realigning himself. In the slightest mistake can be devastating against this monster's power; he can see that now. The first match was truly a game to him.
Geese rises up, wiping blood from his chin with a thumb. "So this is the Mad Dog's real power..." He exhales, his voice rumbling as wind whips up around him. His arms are crossed in an X-shape in front of him, then he lowers them to his sides with his fists clenched. The wind subsides with a sharp gust.
COMBATSYS: Geese focuses on his next action.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ///////////////////////// ]
Geese 1/-----==/=======|======-\-------\0 Azrael
"Hahaha... you took that hit well!!" Azrael roars out when Geese is sent flying. A moment later he kicks after, closing the gap in a heartbeat. His tattered white coat trails like a cloak behind, hefting up his legs and slamming down with earth-rattling force directly before the smaller fighter. Stone splinters beneath, sand and dirt obsfucatingly kicked up between them. One hand almost casually reaches down to grasp the ground. "Maybe I should go..." His frame tenses, muscles bulging out as eyes widen. "A little faster?!"
And then he sweeps; all he did was grasp the ground and flip his hand. But suddenly, a huge mound of stone and debris goes hurtling towards Geese point-blank, little more than an overwhelming onslaught of kinetic force with matter along for the ride. A great explosion would go off like a pile of TNT, and how Geese rides out the wake remains to be seen...!!
COMBATSYS: Azrael dazes Geese with Seismic Impact!
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > //////////////////////// ]
Geese 1/--=====/=======|=======\-------\1 Azrael
Azrael's compliment hardly falls on deaf ears, but Geese surges with anger instead of pride. He's still tensed and focused, even as Azrael spilts the earth and practically pulls the earth itself up as a projectile. The onslaught of debris rips through the ground like a tidal wave, and Geese has little option but to steel himself and attempt to press through.
"You damned monster!"
Geese says, overtaken by the wave in a great surge. For a moment, the fight seems over, Geese lost in the sudden storm. His lungs may be full of loose earth, buried alive in the wake of overwhelming power...
Until suddenly the dust parts, split in two by a sudden surge of chi. Blue white projectiles rip through the lingering cloud, Geese still obscured as his counterattack fires forth in two sharp retorts.
COMBATSYS: Azrael endures Geese's Double Reppuken.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > /////////////////// ]
Geese 1/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|=======\==-----\1 Azrael
"Hahaha!! What's so monstrous about me?! All I am is STRONG!!"
The double reppuken roars forward, and Azrael's response is seemingly to flat out ignore it. He braces himself and... moves. To most people, it seems teleportation; in the midst of the motion, the roaring onslaught of masterful chi explodes halfway between Geese and Azrael, and the gargantuan figure is standing only a meter away, twisting himself to expose his back.
But no. There is a footprint deep in the stone where he just stood; and even though Geese might have barely registered it, all he did was dash forward; as if for just a second, he went all-out to show he is not nearly so lumbersome an opponent, as opposed to someone who literally has no interest in avoiding attacks. His only weakness has been how relatively easy it is to strike him; does that imply such is a conscious decision...?
"Eat... THIS...!" Power surges within Azrael's right hand, boiling up to a purple shine. He then lets out a great snarl before twisting, unleashing a monumental punch. The kick at the onset was an idle motion; but this... Azrael has actually built up strength, and is throwing true force behind it. The difference, beyond speed, is presumably going to be very, very painful...!!
COMBATSYS: Geese counters Black Hawk Stinger from Azrael with Oni Hanmon.
- PREDICTABO! -
# Disabling hit! #
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > //////////// ]
Geese 0/-------/<<<<<<<|=====--\-------\0 Azrael
Staggering out of the dust cloud, Geese brushes away dirt, blood and sweat. He coughs twice, rising back up to his full height, but Azrael seems unfazed. Even the Double Reppuken fails to breach his defenses, and in a moment the onslaught resumes. Azrael seems to vanish, moving in an instant from one point to another.
Power surges around the Mad Dog, and Geese's eyes widen. His muscles tense. He inhales sharply. Is this fear? Can even the leader of the Syndicate be taught dread by Azrael's immense power? It seems true as the monstrous fighter winds up with an earth-shaking punch ripping through the air with the force of a sonic boom.
But Geese remembers fear. He remembers his crippling defeat at the hands of Krauser. He recalls what his driven him thus far, through battle after battle. Through both victory and defeat in World Warrior. His aura surges and tigthens, Geese's aura seeming to collide with Azrael's, mapping out the direction and force of the blow even with the Mad Dog's tremendous speed and power.
Geese surges low on unthinking instinct, tapping reflexes trained over countless years of conflict. As Azrael swings around, Geese goes under the arm, pressing under the strike as his aura collides with the void-like energy of the Cannibal. The Hakkyokuseiken master thrusts forward with an open palm, his fingers tensed like steel. He wraps them around Azrael's face, pushing upward in a dangerous gambit before slamming back downward in a ground-shattering one-handed throw.
There's a look of legitimate surprise when Geese manages to slither around the blow. Yet this is not the negative surprise of the prideful unseated, or the arrogant proven wrong. It is that of someone who truly, fully hoped for this exact thing to happen. Energy strikes into him, penetrating straight through like a bolt and roaring behind. The hand finds him, and a moment later he slams into the ground, the sizzle of his clothes burning from the energy strike still audible and acrid in the air.
Yet a moment later he's laughing. Even that mighty blow did nothing to stall him. His stamina has dipped below Geese for sure, but to one with no ability to gauge an opponent's true fighting capability, he remains unscarred and relentless. How many fighters lost all hope merely trying to confront this creature, truly thinking it impossible? Is it? All Geese knows is that he'll eventually run out of... whatever it is. The ability to absorb damage? Is that what's taking place? One can hope...
"YES!! This is it!! The burn of emotion!! The desire to kill, or be killed!! Excellent... more! Feed me MORE!!" With a wild cackle he brutally swings out, a backhand aimed to simply strike Geese an open some space, a gesture that would be harmless in a standard exchange, but against Geese could still easily land a couple broken ribs...! "I'm getting fired up, now... you're prideful, but not arrogant!! That's good... you learned from our first fight!! Maybe you'll actually be able to take me down!"
COMBATSYS: Geese blocks Azrael's Quick Smash.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ///////////// ]
Geese 1/-------/<<<<<<<|======-\-------\0 Azrael
Geese backsteps smoothly away from Azrael as he completes the throw. His eyes are wide and maddened, his teeth bared. Danger or no, Geese seems a challenge here as well. As a man who has strived to reach the top, always seeking greater challenges and to conquer his foes---this battle offers a thrill like no other. Each blow is enough to destroy his body, but he is unafraid, driven by his pride as a fighter.
The next blow comes, and Geese reads the movement of the auras even though he cannot fully parse Azrael's speed. His blocking arm snaps up, braced by his opposite arm, and it directs the backhand up and over. It's still a bone-creaking, muscle-rending blow, but it lacks the smashing power it would have had if he'd taken it directly.
"Hah! Only a fool would underestimate your power now! Allow me to show you what I've learned!"
Geese snaps forward from the block into a limb-twist, aiming to lock Azrael's arm. He can't depend on the man to submit to the pain of a joint-lock as a normal man, but instead pivots around to his shoulder as fulcrum to swing Azrael over his head and across the castle grounds.
COMBATSYS: Geese successfully hits Azrael with Rebound Throw.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ///////// ]
Geese 1/-------/=======|=======\=------\1 Azrael
Sliding backwards, Azrael seems no less manic; yet this is his natural state of things. How unique his life must have been; instead of training, all he had to do was apply more power, more speed, until his opponent was matched and overwhelmed. Perhaps some in this world seek perfection, but that is not the case for the Mad Dog. He desires combat, thrives on it, feasts on it, and in many ways he considers his power -- one many in the world would yearn for, kill for, wish for -- an aggravating burden.
"That's right... I've seen countless strong foes butt their head against an iron wall. You're no fool!!" And then, Azrael makes a mistake. He steps upon a fragment of stone, and it breaks beneath his weight. There's a look of surprise as his stance shatters, spreading out hsi arms to catch his balance. Geese is no fool to such openings; the massive man is gripped and then brutally hurled after being twisted around, bouncing twice upon the stone before sliding into the sand a distance away.
"Gahahaha.... Whoops!! That's something else. An opponent where being careless MATTERS!!" He's back on his feet then, body beginning to shimmer with dark energy once more. "C'mon... Satisfy me, Geese!! Fill my stomach... or I'll head to Krauser MYSELF!!"
Suddenly a burst of dark energy rips between the pair, heavy and condensed; it's a simplistic assault, but surprisingly fast, swirling with a hiss as it trails voidlike power within it's wake. Looks like he DOES have some ranged options, if he's a mind!
COMBATSYS: Geese fails to slow Phalanx Cannon from Azrael with Raigou Reppuken.
- Power fail! -
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ///////// ]
Geese 0/-------/--=====|=======\===----\1 Azrael
Geese wipes sweat from his from his brow as Azrael bounces and slides. "Every opening is a chance at victory!" he answers with a cocksure grin. "It takes more than raw power and speed to seize victory against me!
The power surges, splitting the void, and Geese starts to gather power of his own. Energy swells in his palm as the winds rip around violently, spooling into a ball of power in his open hand.
The blast of dark energy is too fast, too unusual even for Geese's profound understanding of energy flows. It smashes into his chest like a cannon shot, driving him backward into a skid before he collides with the half-collapsed remains of a stone wall. Blood sprays from his mouth, the Syndicate leader staggered by blow that slipped through his guard.
"That's a lie." Azrael says, straight and to the point. "There's nothing weaker than a skilled warrior blinded by pride...!" It seems that this declaration was accurate, as the attempt to merely overpower the roaring ball of bizarre chi ends in failure. A burst of debris and sand shrouds Geese for a moment. Azrael was in the far distance; and then suddenly he is there, standing nearly adjacent again. A second later there's a burst of wind and force -- did he just move so fast he broke the sound barrier? Feet sink into the ground like anchors, and there's sheer disappointment on the Mad Dog's face.
"I'm the strongest in the world. But am I the best fighter? That's what I'm here to find out. ...I thought you were smart enough not to CHALLENGE that!! Even you can feel fear... Geese..."
Suddenly his aura flares up. An immense, overpowering presence seethes out, his crimson eyes seeming to glow bright. "Anyone who has felt it once..." He then swings out, aiming to slam his fist into Geese's chest, twisting his entire body in a flow of tattered white cloth.
"Can feel it AGAIN!!"
The blow of chi aims to strike one of the most powerful and influential men in the core of his being. Instincts would be broken open and flooded. Seething out like freezing poison from head to tie. Fear. Helplessness. All implanted through the weight of fully seeing the gulf between raw aura and power. A lesser mind would shatter and lay broken on the floor; survivors of the Mad Dog who endured this, the utter apex sensation of a killer looming far above, only call it... the Terror.
COMBATSYS: Geese endures Azrael's The Terror.
-@- Dazing Hit! -@-
[ \\\\\\\ < > ///////// ]
Geese 1/--=====/=======|=======\=====--\1 Azrael
Geese coughs, splattering more blood on the stones. He hunches over, half-sinking, but his palm slams into the stone-wall. His fingers dig in, stabilizing him and keeping him on his feet. He raises his head again, but Azrael is upon him in an instant. The overwhelming aura is upon him in another as the Mad Dog's fist plunges into him, swallowing the world in despair.
Geese remembers being denied by Tung Fu Rue. Despite his exceptional skill, an unprecedented mastery of Hakkyokuseiken, he was overlooked as its successor and denied the deepest secrets of its style in favor of that spineless Jeff Bogard. Denied the power that he had worked so hard to attain. The sweat of his brow, stolen by a weak-willed coward!
He remembers his defeat at the hands of Terry, being humbled by the upstart seeking vengeance for his father.
He remembers facing Rugal, the overwhelming Lord of War bringing his full power to bear against Geese Howard to try and seize victory.
None of these are the Terror.
A young Geese, still a teenager, stands face-to-face with the man he hates more than any in the world. No, he is denied his vengeance by this newcomer---his half-brother, Wolfgang Krauser. Krauser seems barely a child but he is already a tower of strength and skill. Geese sees him still as a child, and charges forward.
The ensuing battle is devasting. Crippling mentally, if not physically. Years of training seem squandered as Geese is defeated Crushed despite his hard work, despite his struggles to survive in the ghettos of Southtown, despite his overwhelming hatred of his own father for abandoning him and his mother to die. The gulf is too wide, the summit too high for him to reach. He curses himself, knowing he will soon die as Krauser nears.
"Stop, boy!" calls Rudolph Krauser von Stroheim, the boys' father. "He is no threat. Let him live."
The words haunted him for years. Religion was no balm for them, his hatred still fueling his heart and driving him to train further. To build his empire. To do everything he can to overcome that man. In this moment, it all seems for naught. For an instant, he feels as if he is fifteen again and being brought to heel by Krauser. This is absolute despair, enough to grind a man's soul to dust.
But Geese Howard is no ordinary man. He has built one of the world's largest corporations. He has carved out the Southtown Syndicate as a great criminal empire equal to any other. He has honed himself into one of the supreme masters of the martial arts, the likes of which is equally by a small few. He will not yield here, not until he can face Krauser once more.
"Raaaaaah!" Power blooms, wind-like chi rippling around him like a tornado. It sweeps into a vortex as it gathers, zeroing in on a focused point. Geese sweeps his arms in tandem, channeling the power through raw will, discipline, and technique. It gathers into a compressed sphere as he draws his arms back, clutching the gathered power as a normal man might hold a ball.
"RASHOUMON!" Geese bellows, thrusting the sphere forward like a cannon-volley as the chi explodes with overwhelming force.
COMBATSYS: Azrael barely endures Geese's Rashoumon+.
! VENGEANCE !
[ \\\\\\\ < > ]
Geese 0/-------/-----==|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2 Azrael
Anyone who saw the pair, Azrael standing tall and confident before Geese spitting out blood, would think things are settled. He has no marks upon him, and without the ability to read his levels of energy, seems the exact same as the onset. There's long moments after Geese is struck where the fight could have been ended. But this has never been about who wins a 'battle'; something with rules, regulations, something that exists to be watched and judged.
Azrael wishes to face the strongest that Geese has. This will either spur him into such action, or the fight will be over as far as he is concerned. Eyes begin to lid, and a frown flows over his face. "...tch."
But then Geese rises, tapping into something Azrael has no ability to comprehend. A lifetime of effort, emotions, sacrifice. The people that Geese left behind, a wife and a son, and all that is left if he fails. Azrael is gambling nothing. He has no such hidden reserves to draw upon. And that overwhelming difference becomes important, at the critical juncture where Geese lashes out.
"Do it..." Azrael states, spreading his arms and firming his stance. "HIT ME!!"
The world seems to explode. A great roar of power wells out, cracking like an atomic bomb. When the blowing chi and roaring sound ends, there's a great crater in front of Geese. And in the middle of it stands Azrael.
He's still standing; only the majority of his pants remain on him. Dirt, sand, and other detriment rains down upon him, before his crimson eyes slither upwards and he grins. "That's it... that's what I wanted. Hahaha... a blow from a man who gambled his very soul on everything. Even that demon lacked it; he only had his useless strength like me. ...Excellent... that's the finest taste I've ever had...!"
"Here... is my parting gift..." Azrael's fingers splay out, before he intones a phrase that seems rather simple.
"Enchant Dragunov... CANCEL..."
Before, he had seemed a great fountain of power, blowing out like an almost literal ocean. Someone who grasped handfuls and splashed with it. Yet all of it draws within him suddenly; the level of power is the same, but now... it is entirely within his vessel. He blares like a sun of darkness and twisted indigo.
An eyeblink, and then Azrael stands before Geese. "This is the strength... that destroyed those other two..."
One hand extends, before he merely drops it down, trying to catch Geese beneath it. It is as if the Earth itself was descending behind. It might be perhaps a final challenge; diverting this simple blow...
Could Geese manage such a feat?
COMBATSYS: Azrael can no longer fight.
[ \\\\\\\ <
COMBATSYS: Geese counters #Patriot Apocalypse# from Azrael with Gedan Atemi Nage.
- PREDICTABO! -
[ \\\\\\ <
Geese exhales, hands raised before him in the sort of clam shape common to several styles chi-usage. Blood drips from his mouth as he takes several deep breaths, knees still bent as if frozen in the moment, still as a statue as he recovers from the tremendous effort. Azrael gives no such pause.
Suddenly they are face-to-face once more; Azrael moves without hesitation, without even a moment to think. The power is suddenly at its peak, all focused into a singular, god-killing blow. Geese's eyes widen as he faces death all over again, risking not only his victory but his very life in this one moment.
His reaction is instantaneous, a well-honed reflex. He snaps his arm forward, unable to stop the blow head on by any stretch of the imagination. His aura surges and instead he turns it away, attacking the descending fist from the side as he plants his palm against Azrael's ribs.
With it, Geese seeks to direct the man away from him, to avoid the direct hit---but even then he may have to face the devastation from even an indirect blow.
Indeed; diverting that much power is one thing. Even a battleship would skip on the ocean, if the force and angle was sufficient. In that split second, Geese would truly feel the utter strength that Azrael has, as it sloughs aside; brushing through a sleeve and seeming to vaporize the fabric. The blow slams into his ribs, liable to hurt the weathered fighter as he slams into the immovable mountain.
Just prior to his hand striking the ground, Azrael stops. It's purposeful; a great rush of wind follows, before his expression shifts into... grogginess. "Hah...!" He starts to stand up before grimacing, resting a palm on either knee. He looks somewhere between uncomfortable and exhausted now, drool running out of the corner of his mouth. "Nngh... I'm full..."
And then Azrael topples backwards, thumping into the ground. His eyes are shut, and a large bubble immediately forms as he begins to snore. Speakers shout out for Azrael to get up and resume the battle; this is repeated twice more, before a count to ten begins. This passes without incident -- and Geese is declared the winner.
Whatever meal Azrael wanted, Geese supplied without being killed. Forcing the monster into a torpor might not be the most satisfactory way to win compared to breaking them before his might, but... he has finally accomplished it.
From the shadows of the loser's bracket, Geese has risen up to become the victor of World Warrior. And next... the long awaited rematch with the only person to nearly crush and kill the ambitious man, all those decades ago...!
COMBATSYS: Geese has ended the fight here.
Log created on 20:39:00 05/01/2018 by Geese, and last modified on 13:07:06 05/05/2018.