Brandon - Salting the Earth

[Toggle Names]

Description: While there's a lot of work to be done to repair the still closed off Metro City Park, he finds interference in the form of a rocker salting the already barren earth. Afterwards, there's an invitation to something big going down in Southtown.

Brandon was at it again, checking up on the ground of Metro City Park. The barren landscape still cursed by having, for a moment, been touched by Majigen. Moving from rotting tree to rotting tree, occasionally kneeling down to the ground examine the dirt.

After a few moments of examining things, he moves about the park taking samples of twigs, bits of dirt, and other remnants of the park that once was.

He rises to his feet once more, sighs and leans against the fence. With a gesture, a tarot card appears in his hand and begins to glow as he flicks it across his hands and down his knees and shins. Locations on his person and his clothes that were once dirty were now clean. With another gesture, the card was now gone. He adjusts his white fedora and then looks around the park once more, resting before he heads back to his Private Investigation office.

It's hard not to notice the brown-skinned man, as he knocks apart the section of fencing. He was dressed in ragged jeans, black for the pants, green for the jacket vest. A red mohawk of long dreads sticks from his otherwise shaved head. Hung around his neck was a rusted electric guitar, dinged up and scratched far from its red paint. At his side was a 30 lb sack of road salt. It would be one thing if he was subtle about getting in. But he was spending a good minute stomping apart that section of fence under his boots.

After it was broken down, he strides out into the park, heaving the sack up with him. When he glances towards Brandon, ways away, he gives the shittiest sneer, as he stops at the first patch of seeds and shoots. Placing the bag dowm, he rips it open. Imagine one's surprise, when he begins scooping up fistfuls of the salt, tossing it around like birdseed on the faintest signs of life and recovery.

He looks up as he hears the sound of the fencing being moved. He raises an eyebrow at the man as his eyes move from the man himself, to the clothing, to the guitar, to the bag of road salt. His eyes bulge open as he mind jumps to the conclusion of what he's here to do but he doesn't act on it until he actually watches it happen.

"Really? This ground is already cursed and in addition to fixing that, I now have to deal with you throwing salt on it? What are you thinking?"

He moves closer to Crock as his hand moves closer to the pouch as he tries to determine whether he needs to fight and if so, whether or not he needs to remove the bindings on his power. Either way, the arcane PI does not look pleased.

When Brandon speaks up, you can almost see the joy glowing from the stranger. He finishes up the fistful of salt, chucking it straight at the ground, he pivots over towards Brandon. Adjusting his guitar up a bit, he keeps that sneer burning. Up close, his studs and piercings are more clear, distorting his expression. This wasn't the look of a man who got caught. This is the look of a man who was relishing the challenge.

"Well jeeze man, you caught me! I guess I'm not thinking at all. What a god damn fool I am" The stranger states, taking a step towards Brandon. And another. "Must be the booze or the speedballs, but I thought I was seeding the garden, plow and tend, HAH!" The scoffing laughter boils out as he stops dead, as he muddles with the tuning. "Or maybe this whole fucking place is in a cage. You think about that? You think land like that deserves to be in a cage? Oh, sorry, what was I think?" He was getting more and more anxious, as there is a... shaking from him. That smile was coming. And he was working on his guitar more and more, tuning it. Despite the lack of an amp. What was he up to?

"It wouldn't be in a cage if it could be repaired. And you're making it worse by salting the ground."

He pauses for a second as he glances to the bag of salt and then to the man again. The man who is now tuning his guitar all dinged up.

"Of course, if you really cared about that, you wouldn't brought 30 pounds of salt. If you wanted a fight, you could've just met me at a fight hall, or a challenge me through Neo League. Sure I didn't sign up but they have my number. Or came up to me as a man and challenged me here and we could've agreed on a time and place."

He then glances at the pile of salt with slight annoyance on his face. Thankfully, it's something he can fix with a relatively small amount of power.

"Instead, you act like an immature brat that acts out just for attention. Honestly, I should just walk away."

He turns his back on him, but there's a readiness to him as he extends his senses outwards, just in case this man decides he wants to attack him while his back is turned.

The stranger was transparent. Yeah, he wanted this. He wanted all this. "Oh, I brought more than 30 pounds." He scoffs. But Brandon keeps driving that screw in. He can barely hold it together, the stranger, Brandon reads him so clearly. He wanted a fight. He watched him. And he annoyed him. He slapped him in the face. But that wasn't enough for the first blow. He stops his tuning. The stranger could just keep it together, as the PI turns around to leave.

But when he talks about him being a brat? That breaks the sneer straight into a glower. The moment Brandon's back is turned, it's like a tripwire. "You think this is just about you, isn't it?" There is a stomp, the sound of movement, of jeans rubbing against jeans. He was charging. "Your brains are just so straight, you golden beacon of shining hope stretching all across the city!" The man doesn't even unhook the shoulder strap, as he jams in the edge of the battered guitar, attempting to hammer it in a jab straight for Brandon's back. "You're the bastard, you know it?"

COMBATSYS: Brandon has started a fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Brandon          0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Crock has joined the fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Brandon          0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0            Crock

COMBATSYS: Brandon blocks Crock's Medium Strike.

[    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Brandon          0/-------/-----==|-------\-------\0            Crock

The detective probably didn't even need to extend his senses outward to detect the attack. The stomp, the sound of jeans rustling. This stranger is about as subtle as a wrecking ball. He counts the steps and then turns as his guard forms into the Philly Shell and he redirects the guitar jab with a shoulder roll. The force sends him stumbling backwards with a hiss of pain.

"No. It's about trying to return this city to something approaching normalcy after some nutcase with an agenda left this city scarred by his ambitions. Instead, you've done nothing but provoke and lash out. Destroy, just because you think it would get a rise out of me. You've done nothing to change my opinion. If anything, you've proved it."

Now that this is self-defense, he can respond in kind. A tarot card suddenly appears in his hand. The Empress. All of a sudden, Brandon's entire body glows as he charges right back the guitar wielder.

COMBATSYS: Crock endures Brandon's III - The Empress.

[    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////////     ]
Brandon          0/-------/----===|===----\-------\0            Crock

"Normal?" The man spits out as his guitar stabs comes out. His technique was... raw. Unrefined. It hurt, yeah, but as Brandon neatly reacted, the man only gives a moment to unstrap his guitar free, ranting on. "A little patch of green in a concrete and steel prison is what people call normal now." Brandon's counter attack comes roaring forward, as his words wash over like hot water. "You don't -know- me man. Just like you don't know what's good, you don't know anything!"

The card is flashed, as surges in at him. The guitar player turns his weapon of choice around, gripping the neck as he takes the straight body-check hard from Brandon. Up close, there is a tremble, an aura that breeches the detective's own energy. The punk hisses in pain, but that hiss becomes a screed. "This whole city deserves to salted, don't you get it!?" He finishes with a two-handed overhead guitar smash, aiming to club Brandon straight down into that bitter earth.

COMBATSYS: Brandon counters Fierce Strike from Crock with IX - Hermit.

[       \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////           ]
Brandon          0/-------/=======|=======\-------\0            Crock

As quickly as that card appeared in his hand, it suddenly disappears and is replaced with another tarot card through sleight of hand. It's quick, but he manages to directly pump a bit of his energy into his card to enhance the spell further. Where there was one private investigator there are suddenly two as the guitar proceeds to go right through a light based illusion of Brandon while the real one takes a step back. As for the light based illusion, it swings a nasty looking haymaker right for the jaw before fading from existence.

"You're right. I don't know you. I only know what you're presenting. And congratulations, you've forced me to slightly modify my opinion of you."

With a flick of the wrist, the Hermit card is gone as he returns to the Philly Shell.

"You're now presenting as a maniacal, possibly homocidal, brat."

The stranger groans, as he is once again outplayed. Bringing his guitar down hard on the illusion, he smashes through it. In response, the shape counter-punches, knocking the punk reeling. Staggering backwards, he steadies on his guitar. As he looks up, grabbing his swollen jaw, his face twists up at those words.

That gets the man cackling. He brings his guitar around, and begins to pluck the strings. There is no sound, short of the twang of thin metal. Nothing. No music. "The name's Crock. That's C-Rock. And yeah, Yeah! I'm maniacal. I'm homocidal. And I'm on the edge, bleeding on both sides of the razor blade." And there is a flow of energy, from within, from below, as the guitar begins to growl, sound running around it. "That's it, that's it fucker. Yeaaaah. You know what I think? I think this whole city should be a patch of green. Everything, scoured down to the stone bedrock. A slabe, a scab. You're just part of the problem, though. You want to smear your scum on this land, so you can paint it like every other plain and simple city. You're pathetic. You're done. You're gonna hear my song." The ground begins to shake, as the sound builds louder and louder, invisible waves of energy bouncing and rebounding back to the guitarist.

"And it's going to be the sound of this planet."

COMBATSYS: Crock charges his next attack!

[       \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////           ]
Brandon          0/-------/=======|=======\==-----\1            Crock

Well then. It would appear that his analysis was a bit on the nose with C-Rock. With this stranger now talking about destroying the entire city. Well that ups the stakes significantly. Since the stranger's talking about turning the city into a patch of green, he starts to wonder if he should stop holding back.

While he internally deliberates on this, he can see, hear, and feel all of that energy rebounding and moving. That makes his decision for him.

"I see..."

He doesn't say anything else as his body suddenly flares up with a pale yellow as the Philly Shell is abandoned for a Peek-a-Boo boxing guard. Before, he had been pulsing small amounts of his actual power into his cards. Now, he was fully releasing the restraints.

COMBATSYS: Brandon taps into his power directly, surrounding his body with a bright aura.

[       \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////           ]
Brandon          0/-------/=======|=======\==-----\1            Crock

"You're cutting loose, ain't cha?" Crock sneers, as he builds the crescendo up. He could sense the shift too. But the strumming continues, the rhythm thumping. There was a pulsing in the air now, as the cacophony of his drone builds up. "You know this is just the warm up. I'm going to be hitting the big show in Southtown. Everyone's invited. Even you. Every city is going to be a smoking plate of glass, hurling and boiling in the shape of an L." Another wave passes, another pulse. The ground was beginning to crack now, thin fissures building around Crock's feet. "That's my cue." And he leans back, throwing his arm back. "Have a nice flight, detective."

And he -slams- his hand down, unleashing the power chord of all power chords. The earth splits open, shards of stone carrying along as the pulse goes agressive, the sonic energy swirlling around the splinters of earth. Whether it connects with Brandon directly or not, the riff would continue from Crock as he goes into a trance. Every note would come with the skin-shredding slice of stone, met with bone cracking sonic force, to carry Brandon up into the air. Crock would continue this feverish improvisation, before the sound cuts short. The juggling barrage would stop. Sweat on his brow, gasping a deep breath. "Incredible, just incredible. What a fucking high."

COMBATSYS: Crock knocks away Brandon with Empowered You're Harmful To Minors Mister Yuck.

[                  \\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////           ]
Brandon          2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|====---\-------\0            Crock

Whatever he was expecting to come, was not that. The sonic energy. Yes. The earth splitting open and slashing him with shards of rock with the thrum of every note, not so much. Energy and earth blow through his guard like hurricane filled with razors.

When Brandon stands up once again, his formerly pristine white vest, tie, and slacks have tears and bloodstains all over. He hisses in pain from the power chord from hell as he steadies himself. His hand reaches into the air as thirteen swords of arcane light form above him. Brandon's own energy tears at his body as he redirects that energy into those swords and then he points towards Crock and directs them downwards. They shoot to the ground attempting to hit him in rapid succession.

COMBATSYS: Crock blocks Brandon's #Astral Blades of Death#.

[                     \\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////                ]
Brandon          0/-------/-------|=======\=------\1            Crock

"It's a good color on you." Crock sneers, as he eases off his guitar. That look yields, when the sword comes out. He blocks the blade with his guitar, which earns another deep ding as the wire snaps, the strings breaking. Crock is blasted straight back into his sack of salt, scattering it all around and over him with piercing, stinging agony. He moans as he lands backfirst in his bag, writhing in the mess. He rises up, as he glances down at his guitar. He should be mad. He should be furious. So he is. Spitting on the ground, he rises up, shaking the salt out of him, the cuts and bruises and burns stretching over him. "But you got nothing. You OWE nothing. So. You deserve this."

He rushes in, moving as fast as his legs can stagger him forward. He swings his guitar upwards, aiming the base right for Brandon's chin. Should it refuse to connect, well, the rising pillar of stone that comes up with it might serve better to send both of them up into the air. There, the rocker would slam his guitar three times at Brandon, a ring of guitar riffs running deep into the bones with every blow that connects. The last blow would come with an overhead strike, ready to launch the pair of them straight into a crater right into the ground with a great screech of feedback. Ready to deface Brandon's work even more, as he tells Brandon what he is offering. "Nothing."

COMBATSYS: Crock knocks away Brandon with Shrieking Writhing Vipers Galore!.

[                             \  < >  /////////////                 ]
Brandon          0/-------/<<<<<<<|-------\-------\0            Crock

Between the arcane power tearing at his body and the vicious sonic and earth assault, he just doesn't have enough in him to move out of the way. It's unfortunate since he has the combination of earth and guitar and earth slamming into his body sending him up into the air where he is helpless against guarding against the combination of sonic energy and guitar slamming into him until he's left in a crater.

He's forced to take stock of the situation. The salt, unfortunate but he can fix that eventually with a ritual as long as it doesn't rain before he has a chance to address that. He also has to be /alive/ to do that. And that requires beating a hasty retreat.

He hisses in pain as he forms a compact ball of light in his hand and sends it directly at the eco terrorist rocker. When it gets close, it detonates in a burst of blinding light. When that light fades, Brandon would ideally be gone.

COMBATSYS: Brandon can no longer fight.

[                 \\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Crock            0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Crock endures Brandon's Dire Radiance but gets knocked away!

[                          \\\\  <
Crock            0/-------/--=====|

Life, death, terror. As Crock brings the last slam down, bringing the crater down, he watches as Brandon sets up the ball of light. And the man could be stepping away. He could be deflecting. There was a lot of stuff he could be doing. But when that light forms? The rocker stands fasts, and waits. He waits, to let the detective set up. "That's right, unload right on daddy." He purrs, rotted teeth grinning as the blast of light comes. He takes it.

And is sent flying. The punk is sent hurtling, blasted deep and hard by the purifying light. He lands on the scarred land, one more bloodied, broken scar in the Metro City park. He would be gone too, like Brandon. Less flash, less substance. But when people come around, the brief skirmish between good and evil was seen. Crock wouldn't be back around here. Brandon would. But it's okay. Crock got a taste of it all. Life, death, and fear. He did what he needed to do.

And the embrace takes him away, as he is buried by the last attack.

COMBATSYS: Crock takes no action.

COMBATSYS: Crock can no longer fight.

Log created on 11:37:45 03/16/2020 by Brandon, and last modified on 10:26:31 03/17/2020.