Description: A fine candidate. A man has never fought me to a greater extent. A man can be rational, and by doing so, hand you the levers to his own loyalties. This one is ruled by unknown factors. He may be reasoned with, or he may not. We will see what he makes of our offers, then we will know for sure.
The Lovely Bubble had fallen on hard times as of recent. Finding a way to reverse its fortunes, the grandiose bath house had started hosting regular fighting exhibitions once the local sumos had been beaten out of the profession by a larger rival group. However, as it happens with these sorts of things, the syndicate had started becoming involved and well --
One guy is still floating in the nearby water, where the previous fighter had put him. He's certainly not dead from the way he's blowing bubbles in the water, but nobody has seen fit yet to fish him out, given the amount of money going on in the wagers.
Truthfully, the betting pool had become pretty volatile, as a few relative nobodies had exploded through the ranks of the impromptu event leaving a pile of three to one wagers in their wake and more than a few busted up bodies. At this point, money was literally being thrown at bookies, wadded up yen fluttering through the air at the edges of the roped off former sumo arena. Even now, people are still trying to enjoy a nice soak with all the commotion and guys getting beaten up and thrown into the water in the background. There are a few die-hards here, needless to say.
When he arrives, it's exactly on cue, stepping seamlessly from a group of high rollers and adjusting the cut of his lapel.
He's gotten to this point. And it wouldn't do for him to be anything less than exactly on-time.
Roland has made laziness an art form. This is a world of fighters; however, not everyone wants to reach the top. Hell, not everyone even cares about being noticed. Perhaps at one point, the solemn, stoic man had begun to flirt with the idea of making an effort. That ended along with his arm; although outwardly such a near miss with death seemed to hardly affect him, the end result has been a few years of mediocrity. He is an incredible fighter, by most metrics; the trick is to make sure he does it without being too recognized.
Roland has taken to changing up his look wildly between fights. Traveling across the world, infesting thriving cities with an excess of arrogant, upcoming talent. As someone who could easily get into a national tournament, most of his opponents are small fries. Still, he makes it look close; throwing, jobbing, making it all look good before he wins. Sometimes, he messes up. Pushes too far, and actually ends on the ground with his lights out. Or gets caught, and has to jump town early. Rarely, an actually /proper/ opponent enters the ring, and the painful ghosts of a life he almost had make it the most bittersweet of affairs.
Still, when you're at Roland's level, you can't just blend in forever. He might have no purpose, but that is a huge difference from having no use. Southtown has a sweet spot for Roland, and when he has a bit of a nest egg, or too much nostalgia, he comes back to the place he once left it all behind in an attempt to break out and make his name.
To just lazily job as usual, or so he intends.
Striding over to the edge of the pool, Roland is currently dressed in a nice purple business suit. It might be fancy, but he got it from a thrift store; it happened to fit. He does have on a distinctive cowboy hat, one of the few relics that could possibly make him readily identifiable. And, of course, the sleeve is rolled up flush with his right arm; he lost it long ago, a much more annoying calling card that's been increasingly making it hard to blend into these kind of circuits. Word gets around when you win too much, no matter the margins.
A foot extends a couple times, finally catching the other man sufficient to float him over. He crouches, grasping him by the hair, and yanking him out to drop his upper body across the water. A reassuring pat-pat to his upper back follows, before Roland slips back to watch. A clove cigarette presses to his lips, spark of green chi igniting it.
The atmosphere's bad here. He should probably split. Volatility means rapt attention, and rapt attention means he might be recognized. Slowly, carefully, the fighter starts to back up towards the crowd, peering towards the exit...
The slim, well-dressed man has sampled more than a few fighters of note in the proceedings here. While several of his targets simply hadn't made it to the event, the man had had more than ample opportunity to subtly change the outcome of several battles here to assure that challenges went as they needed to. Certain men in the club had had unbelievable strains of luck, only to meet a bloody terminus at the end of one fist or another. For most, more than his fist wasn't necessary, and he relished in the opportunity to stretch his limbs. Of course, the time had come to bring this tawdy little exercise to its end. There was only so long that he could keep tilting the results and matchups externally to avoid fighting anyone that would be too pointless.
He pulls the straps of his gloves tight, kicking at the accumulated grit of battle, feeling it underneath him absently. Blood mixes just fine with the grit of the humid room, chalk and teeth fragments. It isn't his first choice for a combat arena -- the company had much better gym space than this, but this was one of the few chances they'd received to track down someone from the Rare list. His department had spent no small measure of resources finding the man after he'd vanished off the grid some time ago, only to find him cropping up in these dimly lit piece of shit affairs. Only to find that same man trying to worm his way out of the event the moment it gets a little too hot. Well, it's to be expected, at any rate...
The thuroughly soaked man breathes shallowly as Roland drags him out of the pool kindly, but seems more or less insensate to attempts to revive him. He'll survive, but he's clearly had his bell rung hard.
"DEON!" the man calls across the arena to Roland as he finally backs away. He's using whatever mock name Roland came up with to avoid recognition in this llama's ass of a fight club. The sudden harshness belies him, an otherwise perfectly pleasant individual, who takes great care in his thin expression sharpening his words very little. "My apologies for the rowdiness thus far. I've done my best to keep the affair tidy for you, but.." he trails off without any further explanation, finally smiling that knife's edge smile of his.
A whirling period passes, a chill in the room that belies the heat from the bath. He waits exactly one beat before continuing. The soles of his boots squeal slightly as his stance spreads. "You came all this way," 'Jota' comments, tilting his head only a few degrees. "Would you really be thinking about leaving now? It's going to be fun. And only washed-up people leave before the tea is set out. Wouldn't you agree?"
That slight stance change is the only indicator that the fight's already started.
"I'm sure, if you think about it carefully enough, you'll realize that your other options aren't so great."
COMBATSYS: Magi has started a fight here.
There's probably not many people of interest left outside Roland. It would only take one attentive watch of him fighting to see just how skilled he is at... half-assing it. Even an absolute professional would have difficulty determining his true skill when fighting against what is clearly trash. He's made an art out of the performance of battle, of making money with the least amount of effort and risk. He's certainly found the perfect venue for someone of his talent to maximize risk to reward.
Roland freezes when he's called, a number of heads turning towards him. A brief glance over Magi tells him clearly that... this isn't a man to mess with. Nope. He's been around the block enough to know when something reeks of effort, and that's for damn sure not why he's here.
"Y'know... I'm just feeling the joint out... Roland says. Before the fight organizer comes over to whisper to him, something that Magi doubtlessly arranged. This fight is primarily about duration. The longer Roland lasts, the more money he'll make. Winning... is just a bonus. If he just goes a few minutes, then lets himself go down... wow. He'll make a mint. The resolve flickers into his eyes then, adjusting the rim of his hat.
"...but I can't let these people get disappointed!!" he calls out with a fierce point in Magi's direction. Swarmily, Roland walks into the middle of the arena, then strides up to within only a couple meters of Magi.
"Listen here, pal. I'm here to win." he boldly lies. He takes a slow draw of his clove cigarette, looking Magi up and down from the close proximity. "My only question is this. How're we gonna determine who goes first? Wanna flip a c--BOOYEAH!"
Bolting forward, with a shimmer of green energy, Roland swiftly brings a booted foot up in a graceful arc. Aiming to sink the steel-tip of it right between Magi's legs. It was a remarkable feint. There was zero indication he was planning some kind of ambush; and it seems he can use his own aura to amplify his speed and strength, a talent that normally requires excessive practice to even be tapped into.
It almost offsets the crude simplicity of that kick. He's... not been formally trained in them, much.
COMBATSYS: Roland has joined the fight here.
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Roland 0/-------/-======|======-\-------\0 Magi
COMBATSYS: Magi blocks Roland's Medium Kick.
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Roland 1/-----==/=======|======-\-------\0 Magi
Interestingly, one would imagine that it would be easier to manipulate the flow of a small tournament than a large one. After all, a large tournament has more resources and is more stringently regulated, so it would involve more money, correct? In his time, Magi has determined that not to be the case. It's all too often that smaller, less above-board gatherings such as these where even the mildest of corrections -- a spiked bottle of water here, an amended fight rule there -- can feel more like extortion schemes than simple bribery. Of course, the difference between a large above-board event and ones like -this- are deceptively simple: Those running the latter know what they can charge to turn a blind eye.
And though the rest of the event was rendered farcical by the gerrymandering Magi was all-too-happy to ply with the margins, the burst of speed that Roland exacerbates in the start is pure fighting. A moment prior, Magi met the bold con with a casual and demure demeanor, all too accomodating for the brash and colorful genius and spending no moment in trying to interject, letting the organizer talk for him. In fact, he doesn't speak much more at all, as he simply never has the chance. The only indicator that he's surprised by the man's sudden explosion of speed is a sudden quirk of his brow.
Magi recognizes the attack immediately. The simplicity itself is to be complimented, the genius leaping at him like a madman to level his groin with one well-placed blow and no warning. It's the sort of attack that ends fights before they start, putting most people on their faces in a second. But it's a little ... much for the moment. A shift to the side - as Magi does - will glance the arc of that boot into his retreating thigh, driving him back and stealing off a touch of his opponent's power. It's an impressive strike, but ill-fated.
But then, given what he knows Roland was just told, he must absently wonder if that was the intention.
Magi seems satisfied.
He moves quickly in response to the sudden burst of speed, moving slightly against Roland's momentum at his ankle, leaning his body weight away at the top from Roland and rolling his hip along the axis of the man's brutal and crude assault. He's destabilizing Roland at a highly technical level, burning off the man's speed by sacrificing his hip and moving him -- ever slightly -- off axis. It's the sort of move you'd expect from a man who's wearing a suit that likely cost more than the fight organizer's education. A highly technical move, which--
It's easy to get lost in the reeds at the genius level, intuiting the nature of any move in an eyeblink. It's also easy to fall victim to preconceptions about a man just by looking at him. The problem is, most of the technicality of his defense is an afterthought. An afterthought to when the technically-smaller man whips out his off-hand to try and snatch Roland by the shoulder mid-groin-smash. If Roland isn't deadly fast, the agent will waste no time to knee him in the side, force his guard open, and then punch him square in the neck in an eyeblink.
Make no mistake. Magi respects this. There is precious little more art or beauty in what he does than what Roland does. Technical elegance and form are just an afterthought, small things to be disregarded in the business of beating someone to within an inch of their life.
What's more immediate is that Magi is very evidently not a sport fighter, and he hits without any compunction as to the wellbeing of a man.
COMBATSYS: Roland full-parries Magi's Combo Grapple!!
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Roland 1/----===/=======|======-\-------\0 Magi
It was a good kick. He seems to be using his own chi to offset the lack of technique; to a meticulous man like Magi, it must seem such a waste. Were he to even have a moderate amount of serious, long term training, he might have been a person of note in the fighting world. What strange, circuitous path lead to him trying to ambush people with crotch kicks in a failing sumo bar? Probably has something to do with that lack of an arm.
Magi's hand snaps up, and Roland subtly shifts. The result is not immediately apparent, until the other fighter finds that although he gets a good handful of starched, shoddy purple jacket, none of the bone or flesh beneath is gripped. His response is a swaying undulation. Ducking down and to the right, the jacket slips off, exposing his blindingly lime-green button-up undershirt. That fist sweeps past his face, as Roland twists around and easily discards the remainder of the jacket; he's no second arm to hang it up.
Before his forehead SNAPS out. Green energy ripples; his timing is meticulous, that moment when the jacket has to be let go. He can amplify his speed; all calculations about where he might be in the immediate future vanish, as he aims to casually strike his forehead right upon Magi's face with a great *crack!* of green lightning.
Smoothly, his now-free arm shoots out, to catch Magi by the throat. His left leg sweeps, trying to hit him in the side of the leg that should still ache from the first kick... while twisting forward, a modification to a basic throw Takuma burned into him years ago, a display of technical skill to slam the other man hard upon the stone ground before he skips back.
Most people watching probably completely missed the multiple levels of skill that just passed between the pair in the blink of an eye... although there's probably little doubting now that Roland's genius has been completely applied to winging it, and he's doing such at a pretty competitive level.
COMBATSYS: Magi endures Roland's Spanish 21 EX!
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Roland 1/-======/=======|======-\-------\0 Magi
The exchange is often referred to as 'the grip of four hands' by scholars, often referencing two men pulling in opposing directions with a rope. Magi is grimly aware of the shifting complexities of the affair, and the crossed hands that trade. The street fighter slips out of his grip quickly, whirling loose of his jacket and leaving it in Magi's grip, moorless and over-extended.
He has just enough time to clutch the jacket tightly before he's put down.
To a certain degree, the executive was impressed. For a moment, he was keenly aware of the man's position in space, and then everything went white when the brawler hit him in the face with amplified speed and dazzling reaction time. The result of the lightning fast exchange, which most in the crowd simply weren't capable of following, is that Magi's stance is broken, kicked out from under him and the brawler is dancing away with a colorful flourish, the executive's suit rumpling as he's smashed into the ground with a huff of exposed, bald effort as the result of a modified inner reaping throw.
Or such was the idea.
Magi slams into the ground hard, but rolls quickly with the assault, whirling after the retreating brawler. As he recovers, he snaps one hand free, pushing off the ground with his other, the click of something audible reaching his wrist. You can hear it -- the faintest pitch of something, a soft whine in his hand, something metal there before..!?
The key is, Magi never let go of Roland's discarded jacket. "Barely an honest effort," the executive hisses, more from exertion than aggression as he whips the thrift-store antique garment loose by the sleeves, draping the tails in the whirling motion to conceal his blow as he tries to snatch Roland's single remaining arm with the loops of fabric, trying to lasso him with one hand and -- cinch! -- the jacket's sleeve powerfully around the brawler's arm, to pull him off-balance for one sick moment, to meet his wide-armed cross to the middle.
But that noise--
The resulting explosion between them is of the sort that hits in the bones. There is no nerve or muscle that does not feel the invisible bloom of pure sound that ripples out from something in the executive's hand. It's enough to break up any nascent thought in the head, leaving any idea of what to do or how to move by the wayside. It is certainly enough to shred the cheap jacket between them to pieces. It is something of a charitable nod to his opponent, for reasons not yet readily apparent. The cracked ground disagrees.
COMBATSYS: Roland blocks Magi's The Advocate ES.
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Roland 1/-======/=======|=======\-------\0 Magi
It's clear that thus far, Magi's not surpassed Roland's expectations; he is a planner, a schemer, a tactician, and as long as he's got the time to improvise some manner of game plan, he's going to stay within his comfort zone. "We all got different ideas of winning!!" The jacket sweeps towards him, but he manages to dart aside. Still, for a reason that cannot be pinned on anything but instinct, he brings up the limb right after, entire body shimmering with green chi.
The great sonic impact slams home right after, sending him staggering back a couple meters. His shield warbles and crackles, clearly badly effected, but it still absorbed the brunt of it. Roland's bag of blessings are not bottomless, and Magi's own fighting aura clearly proved itself superior there.
"Ow." Roland comments, simply. Before he holds up his hand, fanning out his fingers. Clenching violently, five green spindels of energy thrust out, each perhaps the size of a throwing dagger. "C'mon, I'm not the sort to fight this long... most woulda been done already. Can't you go easy on me?"
He then snaps out his hand. "One. Two." The green bolts zap out, aiming to impact and stick into whatever they land upon, if possible; clearly destabilizing once they leave his hand. "Three-four-FIVE!" The moment the last one impacts, all of them would explode into fierce, green fire in tandem, Roland placing his hand on his head and leaning back fakely off-balance!
COMBATSYS: Magi blocks Roland's Deuces Wild.
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Roland 1/---====/=======|=======\-------\1 Magi
"Barely honest," Magi repeats, the moment he has an opportunity, bleeding off the spare momentum gained from the sonic boom by taking a single step forward, resting on his forward boot for just long enough to get his bearings, the man's jacket held in his left hand. At least, what's left of the jacket, anyway -- the blast he conjured was more than enough to shred it, but less than enough to mangle it, absent capturing the brawler. He stares closely at Roland, watching the emanations of the green shield, the shimmering jade field being one of the keys to the street hustler's style. With distaste, he notices that a crack runs through the aura, top to bottom--
The executive absently removes his broken sunglasses, tucking the frames away.
"But then, is it really worth the effort in a place like this to put on a real show?" Magi asks mildly.
He flicks what's left of the jacket into the air between them as the card-like bolts fan out across him. The bolts are not true constructs, losing coherence quickly when they get too far outside of the man's field of influence. It's an obvious rough point, an unpolished facet. But it is also calculated, the dismantling explosions forcing space between them, and driving the executive back. The sharp clack of his collapsible baton sounds, though he doesn't bring it to bear just yet. He doesn't try to capitalize on the feigned weakness, whether he sees through Roland's facade or he simply isn't interested in pressing any imagined advantage, it is simply not clear.
Instead, he produces another pair of shades, slipping them on officiously.
"But then," Magi comments, smoothing out an errant crease Roland put there only a few moments ago, "with what these little dime store events are paying, I'm not surprised." He says so in full earshot of the fight organizer, who might plainly seethe at him, except for exactly how much Magi is paying him to prove the point. The side note might be enough to make Magi's intentions much clearer for Roland, in that he's not interested in beating him, not in the slightest.
"Imagine what you would be able to buy with actual real adult money," Magi comments, before lifting the bass rod, whose end is shivering to the point of not being able to place it in a distinct coordinate. It's silent yet, but then, he's not going for hard power right now. Proving the point doesn't need it.
Magi seems to almost effortlessly conjure a wall of force from his baton, cutting down the space between them. The blast is casually inserted, as if he's doing so to give Roland something to think about. He certainly is staying within his comfort zone. Obviously.
He isn't being paid to go past it.
COMBATSYS: Roland full-parries Magi's Witch Noise!!
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Roland 1/--=====/=======|=======\-------\1 Magi
"I don't think you get it..." Roland says, starting to bob from foot to foot like a boxer. "My goal is to last. If I take you down too fast, or you take me down too fast... then I lose." Technically, he's right. Although certainly, the enticement via the rules to this random brawler likely gave little credit to the potential of him actually winning. He shouldn't; not from a rational, predictable standpoint. Metrics versus metrics.
But Magi is still checking out Roland at his best; and he continues to show why he's considered an interesting potential asset. "I'm not greedy!" Roland says, simply. "I've got plenty of money to get by." 'Get by.' Not be happy, most like. He's a history of being a gambler, and although he's successful at that hobby, not to an extent where this lifestyle can be maintained by picking up a prize every month or so. He's watching Magi, meticulously; and when the assault comes out, he instead goes straight up. Curled up into a tight ball, he flies just barely over that assault, before landing upon the ground and sliding, like someone trying to take first base, right up to Magi's legs.
Oops. He probably shouldn't have said his name. But still, one hand plants down, coiling up like a serpent. It's probably clear what he intends a moment later. He lunges up in a spiraling kick, green energy whirling around him like a dynamo, trying to hit Magi right in the chin!!
COMBATSYS: Magi interrupts Roland Rocket EX from Roland with Backhand ES.
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Roland 1/=======/=======|=======\=====--\1 Magi
"Of course it is," Magi replies to Roland's goal very matter-of-factly.
"If you were too incompetent to understand your job, I wouldn't be here."
Therein lies the slightest concession. Insofar as Magi is concerned, most of the interesting individuals in this event have already been removed, either by him or through sets of circumstances to which they have been thus far unable to circumvent. Roland is, to date, the only one who's actually made it through his tilted rankings to even get this far with him. Most of the others who washed out, like the wet chap on the side of the arena who Roland rescued from the drink, will never know who or why they were even here, or what it all means. For most of them, it will simply be 'Tuesday.'
"Only in the sport fighting industry do they incentivize being a loser."
To that end, the executive's goal was in fact not to hit Roland measurably, but to put him on a back footing, and force him to deal with a problem. However, it would seem the wily rogue isn't too keen on letting him have the last word, and the bass wall Magi conjures is simply -vaulted- over, circumventing the issue entirely to build up all of his strength and force into a bald and bold assault rocketing right up into his face. Or at least, that's how it played out in any one of a hundred other scenarios with any one of a hundred other amateurs, knocked flat by unmitigated moxie.
Magi isn't having it.
"Not while I'm talking."
To a certain degree, the man in the suit is pre-eternaturally fast, and he whips the rod around in his hand to block with the steel of his baton, and for all of the world is concerned Roland might have simply crashed into an iron wall an inch in front of him with barely little more ground given. At which point, Magi opens his hand and moves to give the uppity fighter a harsh crack across the face with the back of his hand. And he hits concerningly hard, hard enough to put most other fighters on their ass, and as if to remind Roland of a few important things. The most important lesson of all: There is a price for getting too clever.
"Ahem," Magi continues, collapsing his rod in one hand, and disappearing it with a flourish of nonchalant legerdemain. He straightens his jacket while he still has the opportunity, tugging at the lapels swiftly. "As I as saying. Only in the sport fighting industry."
He continues on with his point. "In this business, you can be good, but not too good. You can be strong, but not too strong. They'll tell you to win, but there's ... really no incentive to excel, is there? There's only enough room for a given few at the top, who are selected more for their photogenic nature and 'name' than their raw talent. Karate, Silat, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jujitsu...Hakkyokuseiken," he rattles off. "It's all a big club, and if your skills aren't backed by a mouthful of syllables, you aren't invited. And everyone else is just there to be the no-name getting told 'great job, come back next week.'"
He pauses again, thoughtfully.
"But, if you were really thinking on it - and I know you are -" he minds, raising a finger to his lips to indicate a shared secret. "....there are much better ways to adapt and evolve. And much better paying ways. Ah, well. For the show .. shall we continue?"
"That's the thing... this is an industry. It's a job. I think it's damn foolish to get too obsessed about it being anything more then that... big ole recipe for heartache, wouldn't you say? I'm good at fighting, and it's a good time to be alive for that."
Concentrated entirely on the kick, it's thus a shock when his mouth just gets casually violated. "Nnn!!" He lands across his back in front of Magi, slower to whirl and push back up to his feet in the aftermath. Rolling his jaw, spitting blood to the side, his askew cowboy hat is righted with his good arm.
"I'm not sure what you're playing at, buddy. Only that you're trying to recruit me. I'm listening... but no promises you've anything I care about to offer!!" Rushing forward, green energy once more shimmers, amplying Roland's motion. He comes in slow, and then brings up his arm as if to strike. At the last moment, it whirls into an attempted headlock, trying to yank Magi forward to unleash two green-infused knees right into the middle of the face, before whirling around and trying to shoulder-throw the man back-first right into the middle of the pool of water.
"Either way, the more time it takes you to talk, the more I'll cash in tonight!! With a bonus if your ass ends up on the losing end when I'm done!!"
COMBATSYS: Magi blocks Roland's Sleight of Hand.
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Roland 2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|=======\======-\1 Magi
Of course, Roland intuits what Magi expects him to, but continues to play with his lips pursed, promising him only the benefit of the doubt, and a hard negotiation besides. The executive doesn't seem to mind, gloved hands lowering to his sides. Though the shorter man begins a dramatic shuffle, settling into a highly mobile stance, he does pause mid-step to answer.
"I know," Magi replies haltingly, with a strange satisfaction. "We'll get there."
As far as the crowd knows, it's just two good looking guys doing a bit of smack talk.
The green energy surge is something Magi keys off of quickly, and he responds in kind, moving fast. He snaps out an arm to whip-block the expected strike, but by now he's learned not to overextend, and though Roland bursts up into his face instead, he drops that same hand, seamlessly transitioning to press block off of the rising knees with enough force to cause his boots to skid back over the slick tile. Following the transition of the battle seamlessly, he leaps over Roland with hand on his hand, following the line of the man's shoulder throw perfectly enough that spectators will have sure trouble trying to follow if it were intentional or not. But instead of going end over end, the man twists along a horizontal axis, boots squealing as he shifts from end to end in a complex run of footwork, finally until the ball of his back foot sits at the edge of the pool.
In Roland's hand is a business card, left there in the exchange. On that card is just a symbol.
In impolite company, Magi simply won't repeat the company's name aloud: Ultratech.
"I'm sure you've seen the commercials. And seeing as how I'm effectively paying you already..."
Magi moves. It's hard to say exactly how fast, because it only seems like it takes him one step to close the distance between him and the brawler. He relies on speed to clock Roland, in one form or another, because he whips out his fight in a brutal hook, trying to tag Roland not in the groin, or the face, or the neck. He's going to hit him square in the space where his missing arm is. If it lands, he'll hit Roland hard enough in the stump that he can feel it in his teeth. Interestingly, the foul of the blow is actually only a secondary effect. Magi is trying to see exactly how sensitive and defensive the nominally easygoing Roland is about his 'bad side.'
Failing that, he's going to find out exactly where Roland's arm terminates in that sleeve.
And then maybe he'll get to business.
COMBATSYS: Roland blocks Magi's Later Heaven v.2.
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Roland 2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|=======\-------\1 Magi
Damn; That's one of Roland's better moves. He has a few he practices, out of necessity, and it shows. Little flashes of potential round out his bag of tricks, generally used to cash out and move on to greener pastures. Of course, despite his performance, he's been aware since the first appraisal that Magi is no simple opponent. He's adapting, and he is faster then he's going down. That bodes ill for some things... but not others. A glance shows he's at two minutes... that's three hundred. If he gets to three, three hundred more... He can hold out to double his money, definitely.
"Oh...?" He does recognize it. Understand, precisely? Not so much. He's got no fingers in any pies, and only knows the same whispered myths and rumors of everyone else. Still, he knows the resources they have, and this is an... interesting confirmation of some things. It's tucked into his hat.
"...!" The response to this is pretty simple. Bracing himself, a sudden flash of green energy whirls from his shoulder. About an inch before proper contact, Magi slams into it, causing a crackle as it deflects away rather violently. "Alright... before it's too late to manage..."
Then Roland shifts into a meditative stance, maneuvering himself backwards. His eyes seem to shine iridescent, as muscles tense. He kicks forward, leaving a trail of after images. Moving in a strange way, smooth and deceptive...
A storm of punches and kicks are suddenly launched, trying to slam green-imbued energy into Magi again and again. None explode; much like the odd projectiles he used, it seems to linger and 'stick' where it makes contact. To progressively slow down the other man, before he sweeps into another takedown throw, a sweep of the leg and over-the-shoulder throw to launch Magi away...
"DING DING DING!!" Before the lazy energy would finally attempt to detonate in quite the emerald lightshow a few moments after, all at once!! Infusing, inhibiting aura flow, an oddly infectious tenacity that implies the unique qualities of the brawler's energy!!
COMBATSYS: Roland successfully hits Magi with Jackpot!.
-* CRITICAL HIT! *-
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Roland 0/-------/---<<<<|=======\===----\1 Magi
The wiry executive has proven to be just shy of a brick wall against the street brawler's measured aggression, reading his moves as easily and readily a his own are intuited, his otherwise flawless execution of the basics an ample check against the shifting, dynamic offenses his opponent has brought to bear. Roland can even read it to this extent -- since the fight's began, Roland hasn't managed to do a lot more than crack a pair of the man's shades. But then again, the inverse could also be said to be true. And isn't that really the point? 'We're not here to savage one another,' one would say.
The green energy that illuminates Magi's vicious hook blow tells the agent what he needs to know in an instant. The blow throws him away, sending the executive skidding away on his boots almost as fast as he entered Roland's defensive space a moment prior. He doesn't fight it; not overextending himself by even the slightest. Green light crackles from a jet black fighting glove, branches of light snapping between the leather as Magi mulls over the implications.
There's not a lot of time for it, truthfully; the response is immediate, and Roland cuts into Magi's own space. Or is it so? Magi notices an afterimage of the wily brawler shimmer out of existence, and his response is a severe one, belying the single raised brow that he shows in restraint. And, to Roland's credit, he is simply faster than Magi can keep track of at this level, and hitting the executive with all of that money-green energy seems almost trivial, if only that hitting him is harder than it looks, at first glance. Even un-blocked by the executive's iron guard, the hits that the man sees simply don't seem to find a hale and whole purchase. He moves like a sidewinder, and never seems to lose his composure, even when Roland is kicking the everloving shit out of him.
Roland finally heaves the smaller man like a trashbag, throwing him end over end, and to his credit, he -almost- recovers.
Right up until the energy pincushion he's become ruptures, stabbing into every one of his chakra points before Magi crashes unceremoniously into the bath tile, cracking it with his landing before he grips onto the groutwork, leaving a mangled red streak as he goes, only barely catching his knees underneath him as he tumbles, breathing hard. What was that about him not being able to do much a moment earlier?
The executive stands slowly, wresting control of his breathing as he pushes his glasses up the bridge of his nose by the earpiece. "Very good," he finally concedes, staring at his glove as he flexes his hand. "It's good to see our instinct for talent is still exemplary," he thinks aloud, before green energy branches from his knee to his midsection, almost causing him to crumple in place. "Had I not realized exactly what you were holding back, that would have been the end of my participation in this sideshow. But..." he states evenly, raising his arm, trying to roll the numbness out of it.
The implication is there. He was just waiting for Roland to show his hand.
He reaches into his sleeve, producing the collapsible baton again. He switches the device to 'capacity safety off,' and lets it pick up energy while he's talking. "I would take the opportunity here to fight you for real, but ... I need you reasonably whole, and sport fighting doesn't suit me. Money, of course, is one way to a man's interest. But you, I think, are right. Money comes easily enough when it suits you. For you, I think, we'll need to be more demonstrative. After all. Everyone, and I mean everyone is missing something that we can provide. Some of us just wear it openly on our sleeve. So. For the show, yes?"
Magi grins, raising the overloaded Ultratech baton.
And then, he unceremoniously breaks every watch face, pane of glass, teacup and pair of glasses south of Roland with a rippling bass boom that rocks the far wall of the bathhouse. Good demonstration, right?
COMBATSYS: Roland dodges Magi's 7km ES.
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Roland 0/-------/---<<<<|=======\-------\0 Magi
There's a difference between not aiming to win the combative part of this, and not being willing to take an opportunity. He gets a cash bonus if he goes out on top; that means, although it's secondary to running the clock, it's still /ideal/ if he takes down Magi in the end. He's sure the other man has been baiting him, wanting to see what he can do to cinch in the wind...
Well. He has the sense this is some kind of interview; and he's fully willing to show off his credentials!
Slowly Roland flexes his good arm, twisting one way, then the other. Every other time it's faded, but it looks like right now, the brawler's ignited it for a bit. Given the sweat on his brow, the way veins and tendons press from his hand, it's not something he can keep up for long.
"Let's close this show...!" This trick has been used too many times. Crouching down low, the brawler just kicks away; when the sonic boom goes off, making the whole crowd wince, he's not near enough for it to matter. Then he swooshes back, coming back into range with sheer speed.
Only to... just kind of try to punch Magi. There's nothing excessively WRONG with it. The form is okay. The force potent. But it seems intended to not be very threatening; here, most would try to close things out, and settle a win. Not go for far more force then is likely needed. Although his amplified speed still makes it somewhat dangerous, why would he--
Oh. A glance would show there's 20 more seconds until he makes the maximum amount possible via fight duration. ...yep. Even here, he's still got his priorities.
COMBATSYS: Magi blocks Roland's Strong Punch.
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Roland 0/-------/=======|=======\-------\1 Magi
"I suppose I wouldn't begrudge a man his vices," Magi supposes.
Oh, the bass rod's overload wasn't really meant to pose any real challenge to Roland. Hardly - it's a show move, as he stated only a moment prior. A demonstration, a proof of concept, as it were. The truth was, there are precious few techniques he would bother to use at this level of stakes and in front of this crowd, against this particular fighter. Magi has seen enough fighters to intuit when a man is capable of knowing enough to be a problem. And Roland... well. Admittedly, even Magi is surprised when the fighter seems to move all of that energy to his nerves, and flood outside of the arc of his bass rod, only to close the distance again immediately.
A gross miscalculation on his part, he wouldn't have expected Roland to push him as far as he had while still holding this much back...!
The agent stops the half-committed punch with the edge of his rod, bracing it against his shoulder from the higher blow and twisting down to favor a squarer, smaller, more rooted stance for security's sake. His limbs still feel like wet iron, but even this much won't get past him. The agent is nary driven back an inch by the lazy blow, as certainly both could expect. It gives him a moment to muse.
"Even now, I'm forced to wonder what you could do if you got your arm back.."
The executive breaks the tight space, pushing away from Roland and taking several steps back, breathing out slowly at first, then releasing everything he has in one short puff of air, as if at the end of a long bout of rigorous exercise. "But, that was your only chance," he tells Roland, with precious finality and candor. With all adieu, he raises his hand...
... and waves a surrender to the fight caller.
The bell rings. The payout, after all, is predicated on the idea that either Magi or Roland would be going down in the match, not that he wins. And at first glance, it may seem that only the bonus was structured this way, until one remembers that the organizers have proven to be notoriously corrupt, and will no doubt argue Roland into the dirt trying to withhold his hard-earned money. "One wouldn't begrudge a man a little wounded pride," Magi explains airily, dabbing the corner of his lip with a produced handkerchief, daubing away a fleck of blood and inspecting the evidence with some distaste. Oh, Roland will get paid one way or another, Magi is sure. But the game is never so simple as a man can make it. He isn't about to let Roland get off so easily.
"Then again. There's more than one way to get paid," Magi thinks aloud, turning to leave just as the crowd begins to get more than a little rowdy.
Okay. Roland's been done dirty. He was willing to entertain all this, fighting someone clearly here just to appraise him, even put in enough effort to impress the guy... only for his paycheck to get rescinded?! A surrender, here? Of all places? That just won't do. Even the strange comment about his arm, and the ability to get paid more, is not sufficient. The crowd is probably up in arms a bit, too; it had been close, after all.
"You wait one fucking second, you COWARD!" Roland calls out, pointing towards the other man. "One more... one more clash with the /ROLAND./ You survive or take me down, then YOU win. Hell. You win it 'all'." He leaves his first implication, there, as to the fact that he would even agree to all the hidden, unspoken text beneath.
"You've been half-assing it this entire time... give me your whole ass for five seconds." He holds out his palm, fingers splayed. "Unless you really are sure your ass. Just. Got. Pounded."
He tips his hat upwards. "I haven't even used my best move yet... don't you want to see it?" This, though... sounds serious.
Absolutely. Did you imagine this was a fair fight?
One hand graces the rope cordoning off the arena from the bathing areas and the crowd. All around the man in the suit, people jeer and toss their drinks into the arena, creating an insolvable mess that even now threatens the soles of Magi's boots. His touch lingers on the woven hemp, index and middle fingers hanging loosely from the rope as if the agent was truly put to a stop by Roland's outburst.
"....You know, men fight for all kinds of reasons," Magi reflects ambiently.
"Some for money. Some for the adrenaline. And then some..." he trails off, gesturing.
He hikes a leg over the rope.
"... but this isn't that sort of fight."
One nod to the fight organizer seals the affair, and several men start clearing the way for his exit. Magi is certainly not one to be swayed to a poor decision via an appeal to his ego. Certainly, not in the current situation. He is a man who means exactly what he says, and what he said was: That was your last chance. He's already beginning to disappear between reams of people. Roland might still be able to hit him, but he's going to have to punch his way through a lot of angry bystanders and bouncers in the process. "It seems," the executive observes as a man is elbowed not a few inches from his face, "that if you want a 'whole ass' fight, you'll just have to work for me first."
"Trust me, there'll be plenty of that. No loose lips, now."
Damnit. Roland won, but he didn't win. That's almost as bad as losing. His attempt to bait is just dismissed, which is the rational thing to do; Magi has nothing to prove, and has already achieved his goals. Leaving the fighter to show little for it beyond a lot of exhaustion and a fat lip from a good smacking.
Still... he's mindful of the card he was given. A number of dropped hints. To attack here, a man retreating in a fight concluded, would be about pride. About ego. He had that, once, he thinks... the embers thrumming make him sick, and he tosses it aside with a slow adjustment of his hat.
For sure... he'll look into it. Right now... he wants money. If Ultratech can supply that, and it's not more of a pain in the ass then these clown shows, they'll have the start of a beautiful relationship. Adjusting the blinding button-up shirt he has, Roland heads the other way; taking his paltry winnings, and intent on heading for the nearest bar to make it vanish.
Hell of a day... hopefully, it won't be yet another one he regrets.
COMBATSYS: Magi has left the fight here.
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Log created on 01:21:43 05/08/2021 by Magi, and last modified on 01:07:29 05/13/2021.