Neo League 0165 - NL#0165: Juliet vs Aranha

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Description: After receiving a letter from Juliet Pope, Aranha finds himself fighting at the Southtown Heritage Museum to see if there is truly is a flaw in his style and kicking off the 7th Season of the NL. (Winner: Aranha)

Dear Mr. Mason,

   My name is Juliet Pope. I have noticed that you and I are both participants in the latest season of the Neo League.

   I really enjoyed watching some of your matches in the earlier seasons. Your battle against Tsinghua was instructive, though it was your fight against Mike Bison which stays with me the most. As a fellow boxer, I do not approve of Mike's methods, and if I may say so it felt as though he exposed a flaw in your style.

   It is my belief that a battle against another boxer after all this time may be useful for you to gauge your progress as a fighter. I am certain that the experience would be a great learning experience for me. I am equally certain that between the two of us we could put on a truly enjoyable show for the benefit of the audience and the reconstruction of Southtown.

   If this offer sounds like something you would be interested in, please meet me at the Southtown Heritage Museum.


                  Juliet Pope

Her first official Neo League match.

Juliet ought to be nervous, she's pretty sure. She's participated in a few different fighting arenas, but the Neo League is one of those ones which gets a LOT of attention. Viewers all over the world, focused - right now - in the Hometown of Fighting itself, Southtown. She should be worried about making a fool of herself, or just messing up badly, but instead... she's, not? She's excited, sure. She's going to be crossing fists with a man who has fought some of the biggest names in fighting. But win or lose, look foolish or look amazing, she's going to take everything she can from this fight. There are no bad outcomes.

The girl is stood in front of an enormous T-Rex skeleton, where the museum staff have cleared away enough space for the fighting to take place and the cameras and lighting is set up to capture everything in its full glory. She might be a diminutive thing, but Juliet and her elaborate costume look right at home with the ostentatious backdrop. Her trainer is with her too, Gabriella - the tall, stern-looking former boxer in her red jumpsuit - has been talking non-stop... but for once, Juliet isn't really paying attention.

"It's gonnae be okay, Gabbie." She says, straightening, and crossing her arms across her chest. "Call me crazy, but I've got a good feelin' about this. Win, lose or draw... today, the whole world will get tae see what I kin do."

It started with a letter. No sooner than a few days after he registered for the 7th season of Neo League did Keith Mason aka. Aranha received a letter at his Southtown Apartment which served as his base of operations whenever he was in Southtown. At first, it was a raised eyebrow, then a head scratch in response. A few days later, he shows up to the Southtown Heritage Museum.

When the 5'5", scarred capoeirista makes his own appearance, He looks around to see there's no physical barriers and that it's taped off. Yup. Venue exposed one of his stylistic flaws since he won't be able to use the environment to his advantage. He had to laugh. His opponent did their homework.

Though his body no longer needs to warm up or stretch, he does so anyway. It was a part of the ritual he didn't mind. He then finally looks towards his opponent.

"Let's see if you can expose the flaw that another boxer had failed to expose."

Juliet smiles as she sees her opponent approach, and she walks closer - keeping a respectful distance between herself and the more experienced fighter, though she wants to get close enough to speak without shouting. She is starting to feel more and more at home; this arena isn't so dissimilar to the rings she was used to fighting in, and the promise of battle has her heart pumping already. The cameras are rolling. The modest crowd who have been allowed in to watch the space are murmuring. It's all going to kick off soon.

"Hah. No disrespect to you, at all, but Mike did kind of lay you out, friend." She says, and her tone is... strong. Confident. There's a swagger in her step, even; a world away from the polite and slightly prim tone she'd put in the letter. "But I'm a very different boxer to him. He's a heavyweight. I'm... well. I'm The Boxing Angel."

She winks, and gestures with her glove, "So, you ready for the bell?"

Aranha felt no need to exactly namedrop Steve Fox who was the first fight he fought after getting 'laid out' Mike Bison who like Juliet was also a boxer and who Aranha gave problems to. He rolls his neck letting out an audible crack. The stretching completed, he takes a hand to his shades and removes them, flinging them to the crowd. At this point, there's no use hiding that he's a darkstalker and she'll probably do enough head hunting that wearing them probably do more harm than good. His blue glowing eyes look at his opponent, sizing her up.

"I'm ready whenever you are."

He wanted to get this started and put season 6 fights behind him. He reaches out towards Juliet and beckons her to come forth.

COMBATSYS: Aranha has started a fight here.

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

And so the bell rings.

Juliet doesn't seem put off by the eyes. It takes a lot for her to get intimidated by how an opponent looks. Given how small she is, past a certain point, everyone must seem equally intimidating. She doesn't hesitate, either. The bell rings, and the girl dashes forwards as quickly as she can to close the gap between herself and the capoeira fighter. There's a little wariness in her approach; she's painfully aware that he's not likely to just sit there and let her punch him, but she needs to close the distance and keep momentum in her favour as much as possible if she's going to come out ahead here.

The girl's left fist lashes out in a wide arc, followed quickly by the right, then the left again, circling as she goes to try and herd the larger man back as much as she can towards the limit of the arena and that giant T-Rex.

COMBATSYS: Juliet has joined the fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Aranha           0/-------/-======|-------\-------\0           Juliet

COMBATSYS: Aranha blocks Juliet's Divine Combo.

[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Aranha           0/-------/-======|-------\-------\0           Juliet

The Dancing Spider shells up as the boxer closes the distance on him. He holds his ground as the gloves rebound off of his arms doing little more than rocking with the impacts on his guard. A little smirk appears on his face as he then sways in front of her. Granted she does manage to crowd the capoeirista who'd rather operate from kicking range.

Seeing as Juliet is a bit closer than the capoeirista would like, Aranha jabs an elbow towards the boxer's stomach to encourage her to back up before planting his foot on her torso and then shoving her away with said foot with a front kick.

COMBATSYS: Aranha successfully hits Juliet with Kick Combo.

[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////       ]
Aranha           1/-------/=======|=====--\-------\0           Juliet

Not a fantastic opening, that's for sure!

Juliet's fists bounce off Aranha's guard with little evidence that he's all that bothered. She twists as he riposte's against her, but the elbow catches her square in the stomach, and then his foot shoves her rudely backwards. The impact is heavy, and enough to make her grunt as she aims to recover her guard. She hadn't been lying when she'd said she was a very different boxer to Bison - hell, she's a very different boxer to Steve, for that matter. Nowhere near as able to take a blow as the two large men.

But nor is she backing down.

Pushed away and forced to give him room, the girl's gaze hardens as she locks on to the swaying man. "There's those kicks." She muses, "Well, this was never going to be easy..."

And then she's leaping into the air, swooping upwards as though those costume wings of hers were actually real. Both hands swing down as she descends, aiming to crash both gloved fists right into the top of Aranha's skull from the rather more unorthodox angle of attack!

COMBATSYS: Aranha interrupts Angelic Overhead EX from Juliet with Bad Beat.

[    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////            ]
Aranha           1/-----==/=======|=======\-------\1           Juliet

The capoeirista is no stranger to attacks coming in from above. Not even counting the fights he's taken on in official settings, he's seen attacks come in from above during rodas and even in street fights. It's only the fact that it's coming from a boxer that would give him pause.

Aranha takes a slight step forward and to the side, letting one of the gloves off of his shoulder allowing her to fall face first on his left elbow. That elbow is then followed up with a slashing right elbow before he drops low to grab both legs and drive his shoulder forward into her thigh to dump her on her back. He then shuffle steps to the side in a circle so he can attempt to avoid getting cornered.

"That was pretty interesting."

The attack ends with Juliet taking a heavy blow, hitting the ground hard and with all the grace of a sack of potatoes. She doesn't stay down for long, but even so the reversal clearly took a lot out of her. She weaves as best she can, bouncing back on her heels as she tries to get some momentum back under her. Interesting was a good word for it. The approach was unconventional for a boxer; that didn't necessarily make it effective, though...

"You're really good." She says, with a smirk growing on her lips. "I knew you would be, but, wow. I didn't expect it to be this hard just to make an approach." The smirk becomes a full on grin as she straightens, and taps her boxing glove against her own temple briefly, "But don't count me out yet!" She exclaims, "All I need... is a miracle!"

And with that, she's dancing forwards again. This time, though, she's perhaps a little warier, taking a more classic approach as she steps up, and aims to deliver a corkscrewing jab, presenting as little of her frame as possible for retribution, and already starting to move her weight back and away as she recovers her guard.

COMBATSYS: Juliet successfully hits Aranha with Wonder Jab.

[      \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Aranha           1/----===/=======|=======\=------\1           Juliet

Even as the boxer dances in towards him, the capoeirista likewise dances though neither forwards or back but rather, to hold his position within the bounds of the fighting area. He was content to play into the cliche of the spider inviting the fly into the parlor for now.

"It's often the difference between seeing the footage and seeing it up close and personal."

"The jab doesn't leave him much time to respond to anything else. He attempts to weave out of the way snapping his head back but not quite having much of an effect otherwise. It was hard for Aranha to say which was the bigger contributor to him not feeling much in the way of damage. The toughness built up from a rough upbringing or his unwanted enhancements that improved his durability. Either way, Aranha wasn't exactly phased by the jab itself but his gut was telling him it may have been a set up. Attempting to reposition so a damaging follow up would be harder to perform, he sidesteps at an angle away from her power hand before snapping out a kick to her lead shoulder.

COMBATSYS: Juliet blocks Aranha's Light Kick.

[     \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////              ]
Aranha           1/--=====/=======|=======\===----\1           Juliet

Juliet's guard recovers pretty quick. Maybe she had been intending to slug him with her off-hand, but as he moves around and swings out that quick kick, she moves with him, and her arms catch his leg, forcing it back and away. She is, genuinely, enjoying this. As she'd thought at the start, win lose or draw she's learning an incredible amount. The way he moves is fascinating. Playing in to her natural impetuousness too - she's eager to get in there and start swinging. She's giving him the opportunity to respond every time. But she just can't bring herself to break that pattern. She wants to know if THIS approach will work, if THAT blow will be the one to turn the tables. It's intoxicating!

"I hope you didn't think I meant I knew everything about your style because I watched a few matches!" She exclaims, "No way! To tell you the truth, I expect I'm going to wind up eating a lot of mat in the League." And there's a truly ferocious grin pulling its way onto her lips as she shares that fact, "But I'll give it my all anyway, maybe I can surprise you!"

And with that she swings back around, looking for all the world like she is going to lead with that raised right of hers, until the last moment where she suddenly pivots and brings her left around for a crashing cross, aiming as best she can for Aranha's jaw.

COMBATSYS: Juliet successfully hits Aranha with Cross Punch.

[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////              ]
Aranha           1/--=====/=======|=======\==-----\1           Juliet

Aranha ended up biting on the feint and ducking right into the cross which in turn makes him stumble back. He shakes his head and smiles. He definitely had to remember that for next time.

"Not bad. Not bad."

He started dances from side to side in ginga before he let his energy go down to his hand before spinning around and lashing out with his arm. He's done this movement hundreds of times. His hand has only done this once before. In the fight with Olivia where he got eliminated from last season's tournament.

"Again? It's happening again!?"

His hand burns engulfed with lava chi as he once again releases a spider web formed from magma chi sending it to Juliet. His face takes on a look of disbelief.

COMBATSYS: Juliet interrupts Web Shot ES from Aranha with Heavenly Cross EX.

[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////                   ]
Aranha           1/=======/=======|=======\======-\1           Juliet

The hairs on the back of Juliet's neck stand on end. There's something in Aranha's confusion which has her on edge, and when he releases the burning web of magma, her fears are fully justified! The girl's eyes widen, but she doesn't have time to dodge, she doubts that her guard would be enough to protect her from the oncoming wave of burning power either, that means there's only one open left remaining to her!

Gritting her teeth, her fist glows with brilliant white power, and she turns into the attack. "Power..."


Proclaiming her intent, a declaration of her will, she thrusts her gloved fist forwards and DRIVES herself through the oncoming energy. The girl still screams as it burns and sticks against her costume and body, but her blazing fist smashes through the web, and makes firm contact with her opponent - a burst of blinding white light briefly illuminates both fighters beneath the T-Rex, and when it finally clears, she's left panting for breath, mildly singed, and glistening with sweat.

"That... stung."

The glowing fist smashes through the capoeirista sending him flying before he skids to a stop just barely within the marked area of the fight boundaries. He's a bit slower to get up. He takes a deep breath and looks at his opponent.

"Normally, I would have advised against doing something like that but in this particular instance, I'm glad you did that. I hate causing destruction of an area unless it was intentional. Especially during league fights. I hate getting dinged on my fight purse for stuff that's, usually, avoidable."

He gets back into ginga, dancing and swaying as he gets himself together, visibly shaken by the display and then he slashes out with a glowing roundhouse kick, this time it was blue, and it was was followed up by a similarly glowing, jumping roundhouse, he then turns his back to Juliet for just an instant before he flipped backwards and then slams a final blue chi engulfed foot down upon the Boxing Angel's head. It was as if he wanted to prove to himself that he could still use his energy the way he was accustomed to.

COMBATSYS: Juliet blocks Aranha's Aggressive Dance.

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Aranha           2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2           Juliet

"Sometimes, you can't run from something painful."

After she's said the words, Juliet pauses. She's surprised, really, to find that she truly means that, too. There are a lot of painful things in her life, and trying to ignore them has never made them any better. The moment her will clashed against that burning chi, she knew that it had been the right choice. Not because she cares about the fighting purse or anything like that, but because she was facing the situation dead on. She wasn't shirking from it. That she had overcome it was good, but it would have been the right thing to do even if the web had overcome her fist.

The girl looks like she should be on her last legs as Aranha renews his assault, but she... isn't. She stands tall and proud, and as he lays into her, she meets him in turn. Her braced forearms smash into his first kick, then his second, and finally his third. The blazing power crashes against her guard and she stands resolute against it. It's taken a while to find the flow of this fight, but she's getting there, at last. She's found the moment she was waiting for.

With the last kick still thrumming through her arms, she rolls her shoulder back, and both fists again glow with that inner light. "I don't control this either." She says, though she's smiling, as that power grows. "The fact is, when the moment feels right, I just have to let it out. It's... serendipity. Do you know what I mean?"

Though whether he does or not, she isn't lying. The moment is right. Maybe she'd rather hear his answer, but the girl HAS to move, and move she does. Following him up, her body burning with that glorious white light as she twists...

And aims to HAMMER him square in the jaw.

Whether she succeeds in the uppercut blow or not, Juliet will sail into the air, and at the apex of her flight, carrying the Spider or on her own, all of that pent-up energy detonates out of her fist in a shower of sparkling feathers, joined by a literal chorus of singing angelic voices as she descends back towards the stage.

COMBATSYS: Juliet successfully hits Aranha with Miracle Uppercut.

[                       \\\\\\\  < >  ////////                      ]
Aranha           2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|>>-----\-------\0           Juliet

Juliet may have found her miracle. Whether or that was enough to secure a victory was a different matter altogether. The capoeirista had let his leg lag a little bit on the first roundhouse and he hopped a little higher than normal on the backflip kick. Maybe it wasn't enough to notice in the heat of the moment but it might be visible if someone were to study fight tape and compare it to his previous fights. While it was originally meant to intimidate into making evasion a more appealing option, it had the unintended side effect of him being slightly unbalanced when the uppercut came in. Juliet will notice that the uppercut itself didn't connect in the ideal location to carry him up in the air to max height and so he was dealing with it a little bit better than she might have wanted. There still was a matter of the energy that came along with it. That still hurt. A lot.

The capoeirista rises to his feet, rubs his jaw, and tries to pull himself back together enough to respond.

"I'd rather not rely on miracles and serendipity. I'd rather bail myself out through my own wits and skill. If I waited for miracles, I'd be dead."

That's when he launches himself at Juliet with blue glowing feet as he delivers kick after kick, going through the various kicks of capoeira. Outside crescents, inside crescents, wheel kicks, roundhouses, side kicks, and the like. At the end of the kick clinic, he tilts into a handstand before lashing out with a finale of spinning kicks delivered from the handstand before returning to his feet.

COMBATSYS: Juliet just-defends Aranha's Royal Flush!

[                       \\\\\\\  < >  //////////                    ]
Aranha           0/-------/<<<<<<<|>>-----\-------\0           Juliet

"That's the thing about Angels, Aranha. We make our own miracles."

That glow around her had never faded, not completely. She's, surprised, when Aranha still has enough left in him to come back at her full-force, but the girl is moving with impossible grace. There's no other word that really describes it. He shows her all of those incredible kicks, and she wards him away with split-second perfect movements. It is as though she knows where he's going to strike before he does, and she moves with it in perfect harmony to push and guide the lashing legs and feet away from her without letting them bring her down. The light surrounding her finally flickers and fades with the last of those kicks; and with it, the eerie precision of her movements abandons her as well.

She stumbles as she comes out of the guard position, out of breath and barely hanging on. She's never done anything like that before. Even the words she'd spoken ... she didn't know where THEY came from. But she doesn't have time to let herself get distracted by such deep inner mysteries! She needs to finish this fight!

And so the girl lashes out, more or less completely wild, running in as hard as she can to try and capitalise on the moment whilst she still has it.


And with that, she SLAMS her head forward as hard as she can, hoping to make painful contact with Aranha's stomach!

COMBATSYS: Aranha dodges Juliet's Devoted Headbutt.

[                       \\\\\\\  < >  /////////                     ]
Aranha           0/-------/<<<<<<<|-------\-------\0           Juliet

The capoeirista raises an eyebrow not only at the words spoken but the precision with which she wards off his attacks. In fact he expected her to attempt to handle his kicks in that fashion. Attempt being the operative word there. He anticipates her hand going in each and every location but not quite at the timing she was managing it. It felt surreal even though he was experiencing it at that moment.

He then moves forward attempting to finish the fight though it would not be in the spectacular fashion he had hoped for. He spins out of the way of the dashing headbutt, dancing around it and towards her rear. He then leaps up and attempts to stomp down upon her back aiming to take advantage of the fact that she allowed him to get outside of her field of view.

COMBATSYS: Aranha successfully hits Juliet with Change-Up Kick.

[                      \\\\\\\\  < >  ///                           ]
Aranha           1/------=/=======|>>>>>--\-------\0           Juliet

Juliet doesn't see the counterattack happen. She figures, the moment her head fails to make contact, that it is probably going to come; but she's not in a great position for understanding what she's dealing with. Though she tries to move out the way, she only succeeds in changing the exact spot on her back where Aranha's heel drills in. The much larger man's foot smashes into her spine and she grunts, knocked to her hands and knees. Sweat drips down her face. Darkness begins to encroach on her vision.

But she's... she's not, unconscious, yet, right? She can still pull it back...!


Rising from the ground as fast as she can, the girl puts everything she has left behind that one final blow. Her fist rises up in a similar arc to the miracle blow that had nearly swung the fight back in her favour...

... but though she manages to swing wildly in Aranha's direction, there's no glowing light. No strength in her legs to carry her into the air, either. Hit or miss, having given absolutely everything she had right up to the last moment, Juliet will finally collapse into the sweet embrace of unconsciousness.

COMBATSYS: Juliet can no longer fight.

[                      \\\\\\\\  <
Aranha           1/------=/=======|

COMBATSYS: Aranha dodges Juliet's Uppercut.

[                        \\\\\\  <
Aranha           1/------=/=======|

After seeing how Juliet plowed into him with uppercut earlier and then after seeing how she deflected his attacks with perfect timing to the point that it felt like she knew where he was going with each attack and when. Even with him attempting to manipulate the timing of where her hands went and when. There was something that was made abundantly clear in spite of her slow start in the beginning.

He had severely underestimated her and he was not about to let himself fall victim to his hubris yet again.

As he steps back from the stomp she suddenly is back on her feet and Aranha taps into something deep within him that he doesn't usually call upon unless he's desperate and with sudden look of focus he anticipates the uppercut and launches himself into a back handspring with the gloved fist only inches from chin before he leaped backwards, his back arched, then his palm hitting the ground pushing off to land on his feet once more.

He looks down at his fallen opponent, gasping for air, before he finally gets himself together. Maybe she did find a flaw, not in his style but in the person himself.

COMBATSYS: Aranha has ended the fight here.

Log created on 16:39:28 04/22/2021 by Aranha, and last modified on 14:57:35 04/26/2021.