NFG Season Two - Odyssey R1 - Like Night and Day

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Description: A demon hunter and a Gear, the light and the dark. Just like Helios and Selene, the gods of the sun and moon, who run the heavens on chariots. So why not have these two fight on a chariot-driven platform speeding through the streets of Troy?

Cue Indiana Jones-style map of the Aegean Sea, a little red line traveling from a dot labeled The Mermaid near the Dardanelles across the west, up past Thessaloniki in eastern Greece, and off to the west overland to the city of Ioannina, almost to the other side of the (admittedly small) nation of Greece.

Zoom in a little further and we find ourselves in a pavillion set up on the city's southwest edges, outside the town proper, set up near crumbling remains of Ottoman fortifications from a much earlier time in the area's history. A dirt access road nearby will lead today's festivities to their actual setting: the old Stavrakiou-Marmara roadway, which leads northwest to the tiny nearby town of Marmara through the rolling greens and browns of Greece's scrubland hills.

Zoom in just a little bit further than THAT and we find an even more specific version of this fight's venue: a wooden platform connected to two old timey chariots, each drawn by a single horse -- lower than the historical standard, but the old highway wouldn't accommodate four horses. Men in ancient Greek costume stand in the chariots, getting ready.

Zoom in just a LITTLE bit farther, and we see a hand petting a horse's nose... okay, too close. Bring it back out a little bit.

To the apparent consternation of the animal handlers, NFG officials, and various other bickering adults, Arisa Hawkins is standing next to one of the chariot horses, stroking its neck before giving it a few pats on the forehead.

"Miss! I'm certain you shouldn't be doing that, miss!" shouts a heavily-accented local NFG Europe employee, bustling over to shoo her away.

"Oh come on! I'm Texan. I know how to pet a HORSE, guy," Arisa responds in a huff, brow furrowed. As if to back this up, the horse gives a little nicker before looking with unexpected directness at the NFG official.

This person, who has spent their entire career indoors, finds this spooky. "PLEASE MISS I DON'T WANT TO GET FIRED."

Sighing, the American gives the horse one last pet. "Yeah yeah alright. I'll see you after the match with some carrots, my guy," she responds, directing the last (thankfully) at the horse and throwing finger guns before turning to wander off toward the side of the platform itself, where she's ACTUALLY supposed to be.

Roxana is feeling distinctly nervous. Not that anyone would know it. On the outside, she's perfectly poised, dressed in a long turquoise silk dress with slits up either side and a deep v-neckline. Around her neck is a silver chain with a silver crescent-moon pendant hanging from it and silver cuff-style bracelets adorn her upper arms. On her feet are a pair of flat silver sandals. She's been told she's playing the part of someone named Selene, goddess of the moon. After researching the role, she couldn't find a clear depiction of her costume, but several did seem to represent her wearing this colour and as it's one Roxana herself is fond of, she's chosen to go with it. Her long jet-black hair is styled neatly into a scorpion-style braid, which is probably a fashion choice and a way to keep her tresses from falling in her face. It does also look like it could do someone some serious damage though, if it smacked them in the right (or wrong) way.

Her opponent for today, the Texan named Arisa has been given the part of her sibling, god of the sun, Helios. She supposes their relationship must have been rocky to say the least if they're going to be beating each other up. It's true that Roxana spent a lot of her own childhood fighting with her siblings, so she can relate to the situation. She can't help be curious whether today's match was arranged after the New Fighting Generation organisers read her interview, where she suggested Arisa as a possible rival. She'd pretty much picked the girl at random, honing in on her guns, but in reality she knows little about her and is looking to learn more. Combat will be an excellent way to do that.

The trip from The Mermaid Cruise Ship has been a relatively smooth one, though Roxana is surprised how far they have journeyed for their match. She's secretly impressed with how much effort the competition have put in to making the locations as authentic as possible. Whilst Arisa fusses over the horse, Roxana moves up quietly behind her and says in a soft voice. "Have you ever ridden in a chariot before? I have a feeling we may be in for a rocky ride."

Demon-hunting requires keen situational awareness at all times. After all, supernatural beings have any number of ways to hide themselves from the senses, sight being only one option. Anyone who plans to face the undead (or worse) in battle must know themselves and any threats at all times--


Okay well Arisa just screamed and jumped backwards from someone sneaking up behind her to start a conversation so I guess we'll say her mother prioritized firearms training in her regimen. Maybe 'good zanshin' is in the advanced class.

Turning sharply, the blonde finds herself face to face with her sleek, silvery, quite good looking opponent, and the anxiety of the scream she let out bleeds off her face instantly, replaced with a smile. "OH hi! No I haven't! We don't have those in America, I don't think!"

The narrator pauses for a moment, imagining Texan chariot races, a chariot playing "La Cucaracha" with big steer horns on the front of it, and needs to take a second to get their breath back.

Rampaging on like the rolling boulder she is, Arisa looks Roxana up and down and gasps, bringing her hands to her mouth. "OH NO were we supposed to come in costume?! UUUUUUGH they've got time to HASSLE ME ABOUT HORSES but not to tell me to come in costuuuuuume ONE SEC."

Turning away from Roxy, there's a brief flurry of motion on Arisa's part with her back turned, before she reverses that and faces her opponent again, having folded -- in a ridiculously short amout of time, and with supplies from seemingly nowhere -- an origami sun out of orange paper, which she has somehow fastened into her hair. "THERE. Sun god rizz in effect."

There's a brief moment where this whirlwind of a human being simply beams a smile at Roxana in silence, but that moment is indeed very, very brief.

"Your hair is AMAZING. Want to get battling?"

Roxana blinks her big dark eyes as Arisa cries out and then takes a stealthy step backwards. "I didn't mean to scare you." She insists, standing on the spot now and smiling serenely at the blonde. "I've never been on a chariot before either." She confides, seeming slightly shy about climbing in. "So I am guessing we have one each and then have to stretch to attack each other?" Her expression is serious now, as she sizes up the situation.

The question about the costume has the girl from Nebraska nodding. "I just thought they'd expect it." She explains. "Nobody insisted upon it but they seemed to be suggesting we were playing the parts of the people in the myths." She shrugs, the smile returning. "I think the sun in your hair will do just fine. Thanks for saying you like mine, by the way. She runs a hand down its length , sending it swinging around her shoulders.

"So have you ever fought in public before?" She wonders. "It'll be my first time. I almost couldn't eat my breakfast but I thought I better if I wanted to have some energy for the match."

She starts to edge cautiously closer to the chariots, inspecting the setup. "I like your costumes." She compliments the Greek men.

"Nnnnnnope to like all of those questions," Arisa responds cheerfully, stepping away and walking toward the area behind the chariots, where the... well, let's be real, it's wooden planking on wheels. Safer than fighting on the chariots themselves, but by a factor of like... five, at best. "No breakfast, no public fights, definitely not fighting on chariots." A pause, and then Arisa looks over to the NFG guy from before who shooed her away from the horses. "We're NOT fighting on the chariots, right?!"

"No, miss," the poor guy (probably an intern) says, before turning to Roxana. "You'll be fighting on the wooden platform, miss. The chariots are just there to pull it."

"That's what I thought!" Arisa says, before jumping into the air and landing on the wooden planks with briefly unsteady legs. "OH GOOD IT'S WOBBLY. Haha, this is going to be nuts. How is anyone supposed to fight like this?!" Contrary to the CONTENT of her words, the Texan actually sounds more excited than worried. She briefly extends her arms straight out, like a novice surfer trying to balance on their board, before nodding in satisfaction and turning to Roxana, slamming one fist into her opposite open palm a couple times. "Alright, Lady Goodhair, let us do the thing! I promised that horse some carrots and I take my debts very seriously!"

Roxana seems rather relieved that they won't actually be fighting in the chariots. She hadn't wanted to complain at such an early stage in the competition but it had seemed risky at best and downright terrifying at worst. She follows Arisa's lead, stepping on to the slightly unsteady platform and testing her balance. After swaying from side to side somewhat, she seems to reach an equilibrium. She's glad she decided on the flat sandals though.

"Did you watch the en eff gee last season?" She asks Arisa. "I remember the fight on the bus with Brian and Buford. That was kinda crazy! I think that was the only one on the move that I recall."

She continues the conversation in the same soft tone. "Will you be okay without food? Maybe someone has a cereal bar or something." She searches the faces of the officials, all who remain strangely silent. "Although who knows, perhaps it will be the smart decision to keep your stomach empty." She starts to giggle a bit, her hand moving to her mouth in a girlish manner.

"So we are both new to all of this then. I'm sure we will do our very best and make ourselves proud." Her gaze shifts to the gesture the Texan is making, slamming her fist into her palm. "It seems you are ready for action. Just give me a moment and I will be too."

A look of concentration appears on Roxana's face as her frame starts to transform. Black chitinous armour forms over the top of her head, upper face, shoulders, arms and legs, followed by the addition of claws, pincers and a scorpion tail, that pokes through a previously unseen gap in the back of her dress.

"Okay. I'm good to go!"

COMBATSYS: Roxana has started a fight here.

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Roxana           0/-------/-======|

COMBATSYS: Arisa has joined the fight here.

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Arisa            0/-------/-------|======-\-------\0           Roxana

Okay so, a reminder: Arisa is the daughter of a demon hunter and an oni. She's certainly no stranger to the supernatural. Still, when you haven't exactly been out in the wider world -- especially the wider world of pro fighting which, even at the neophyte stage, attracts some Weird Stuff -- you can be surprised, and 'hey my opponent is a scorpion now' sure does count as 'surprising'.

"WHOA OKAY WHAT" is Arisa's shouted response, because... well, she's surprised. And she's a human (mostly) so it's natural that her surprise is one of shock rather than pleased wonderment for a second, but to her credit as a person, once non-autonomic systems cut in her reaction isn't 'kill it!' but rather a sort of glitter-eyed fascination. "Okay that's NEAT. That's like, uh... stuff Dad likes. Sentai show with the bug hero guy." There's a moment where Arisa frowns and snaps her fingers in the air distractedly, before having her 'aha!' moment and beaming up at Roxana. "Kamen Rider! Sorry, my dad's Japanese and LOVES to watch TV from back home so I got to see all kinds of wild stuff as a kid." A pause, then a gasp. "Wait ARE YOU A SUPERHERO."

At this moment, the charioteers crack the reins, everything starts moving, and with a cheer, the NFG folks sound the airhorn for the fight to start.

"I have never fought a superhero before," the Texan says, powering through as if Roxy had simply said 'yes I am totally a tokusatsu heroine'. "Well good luck and nice to meet you, LET'S FREAKIN' GOOOOOOO!"

Reaching down to her side, there's a brief blur of hands and color in front of her as Arisa draws paper from... SOMEWHERE... and folds it into... an origami parasol, of all things? Holding it at her side, almost like a spear, the Texan's onmyoujutsu causes the paper umbrella to suddenly erupt with an aura of spiritual flame, before Arisa rockets across the limited space on the makeshift stage to jab said parasol right into Roxana's stomach... and the Gear may be surprised to find out that Arisa's jutsu has ALSO given that paper considerably more resilience and stopping power than the material would suggest; the impact is easily like getting jabbed with a hefty quarterstaff's end.

COMBATSYS: Roxana blocks Arisa's Nanten Jutsu - Tobihi.

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Arisa            0/-------/------=|======-\-------\0           Roxana

To the untrained eye, Roxana may seem to have taken the transformation she just made in her stride. On the inside however, her heart is pounding and she's letting out a silent scream. Not because it's the first time she's ever transformed into the part-woman/part-scorpion hybrid that currently stands before Arisa. That's happened thousands of times. It's because it's the first time she's ever done it outside the safety of her childhood home. Only her parents and siblings had previously witnessed this incarnation of Roxana.

This is the secret she hadn't wanted to reveal upon her first afternoon on The Mermaid. It's not like she didn't realise it would become quickly apparent once the matches began but for a short time she wanted to be treated like any of the other contestants and not be gawped at. Not that she really needed to worry on that count, with the presence of Max and Tanwen in the ship's atrium. Roxana is not outgoing like them though. Whilst perfectly pleasant, she's naturally an introvert and had no desire to start running around or showing all her party tricks.

"I'm not a superhero." She laughs lightly, her voice still sounding the same as previously. "I'm just...well, Roxana. You can call me Rox though, because people I know personally do and since we're about to fight each other, I figure we're about to get pretty close.

As the horses giddy up and the show gets going, Roxana lets out a yelp. "This is really happening then. It's lovely to meet you and good luck to us both!"

The paper appears, to Roxana's fascination and soon becomes a beautiful parasol. As it bursts into flame, the dark haired girl gasps, which turns to a grunt as its shoved into her trim tummy. She manages to tense her taut muscles just in time for the damage to not be too destructive but she definitely feels the jab. "You're very skilled with paper." Roxana remarks. "I think I'd trust you to make me a dress out of it."

Turning her back on Arisa, Roxana swings her tail, in a manner reminiscent of how she moved her braid earlier. As it sways from side to side, she starts to spray poison from it at her opponent, which could potentially cause a lot of pain, particularly if it was to get in Arisa's mouth or eyes!

COMBATSYS: Arisa blocks Roxana's Scorpion Spray.

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Arisa            0/-------/------=|=======\=------\1           Roxana

Alright, poison spray does feel like it should have been expected from a scorpion lady with a scorpion tail, but as both Arisa and Roxana have said themselves multiple times in the past few minutes, this is their first real time doing this in both cases. Thus it's hard for the Texan's cloud-grey eyes to not go wide at this. "Ohhhh heck OKAY okay okay..."

Unlike a certain other NFG fighter with a variety of weapons at her disposal, Arisa's origami creations persist once she's done with them... and it's very helpful that she attacked with a PARASOL. Pulling it back to herself, the demon hunter actually just... opens the umbrella and holds it in the path of the poison. Which... well. Jutsu reinforcement aside, it IS still a paper umbrella, and much of its surface area is quickly sizzled or rotted or whatever-ed away by the poison; the rest splashes around, or simply circles around, the parasol's relatively limited space, causing Arisa to hiss in pain as drops get onto her arms, legs, and even a bit of it on a cheek.

Once she's clear, the Texan hurls the parasol to the side, where it goes rolling off into the distance, quickly left behind by the speeding charioteers (paper's biodegradable, it's fine). "I should have been expected that but I wasn't, holy heck. This is actually pretty hard?! They made it look so easy in that first season, right?!" Apparently Rox wasn't the only one who watched NFG season 1.

Arisa, however, is not to be deterred by a little poison. From seemingly nowhere -- apparently 'hidden weapons' is also higher on the training list than 'situational awareness' -- she produces a length of light chain and a grappling hook, which she swings the end of around a bit in one hand. "Never tried making an origami dress before," she admits, thinking, before... well. Before slipping foward into close range and swinging the grappling hook around, attempting to snag Roxana's ankles and yank backwards, pulling the scorpion Gear off her feet. "Could be cool!"

COMBATSYS: Roxana blocks Arisa's Quick Throw.

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Arisa            0/-------/-----==|=======\=------\1           Roxana

Roxana peeks over her shoulder as she shakes her tail, just in time to see the parasol protecting Arisa from some of her scorpion spray. "Oh, clever idea." She praises. "It's good to have things that are both beautiful to look at and have a useful purpose."

The hisses of pain don't escape Roxana's ears and she does purse her pillowy lips momentarily before giving herself an internal talking to about the importance of not being deterred if she causes discomfort to her opponents. After all, if she's going to be competitive then it's bound to happen.

Arisa herself appears to have no such qualms. As the chain, and more concerningly the grappling hook come hurtling towards her ankles, Roxana feels it wrap around them, threatening to force her off her feet. She manages to stay upright but not before the hook has dug into the flesh that is below the armoured area of her legs. She winces and tries to wiggle free from its grasp.

Once she manages this, she turns to face the Texan again, her expression neutral. Rising into the air and starting to spin, she seeks to slash Arisa with an overhead attack using both claws. She'll then look to slash again, this time vertically, whilst throwing herself into a backflip and then landing on her feet.

COMBATSYS: Arisa attempts to interrupt Spinning Scorpion from Roxana with Random Strike.

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Arisa            0/-------/----===|=======\====---\1           Roxana

Despite her partial supernatural heritage, Arisa doesn't have any of the sort of abilities people might call 'superpowers', compared to Roxana's array of scorpion-like skills. That doesn't mean she's helpless; it does mean she has to rely on training, sharp wits, and being quick on her feet to deal with danger. Or at least, that's probably what an experienced fighter might tell her.

What is actually happening in Arisa's head, however, is her mother's sage advice from years of successfully fighting off the undead and profane: 'Go full throttle from the jump. You gotta be a shark, kiddo; keep moving.'

Thus when Roxana decides to go on the offensive, the Texan decides not to drop back and hide from it; instead, she yanks the grappling hook back and stows it, before her hands blur into folding more origami creations. Specifically, a pair of ninja-to: short Japanese blades made from rose-pink paper.

The first pair of claw strikes slam into Arisa's shoulders, as she charges INTO their path rather than away from it, and if the hisses of pain were distressing to Roxy, the look on Arisa's face -- and the sharp grunt of pain -- after that are also gonna be an issue. What's MORE of an issue, however, is that between the first and second set of claw strikes, Arisa crosses her arms in front of her with both onmyoujutsu-reinforced 'blades', striking in an X-shape to deter the followup. The blades aren't actually sharp -- it's a bit like taking a small-ish baseball bat swing instead, but that might hurt plenty!

COMBATSYS: Roxana reverses Random Strike from Arisa with Scorpion's Embrace EX.

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Arisa            0/-------/------=|==-----\-------\0           Roxana

Roxana is part surprised and part thrilled at Arisa's readiness to rush towards the danger. The nerves she'd experienced before the start of the fight are gone now, replaced with excitement. As the grappling hook moves out of play, yet another wondrous creation comes into play. This master craftswoman is a genius of sorts, her skill astounding and delighting Roxana equally.

"Pretty." She murmurs softly, admiring the rose-pink of the blades.

As the scorpion-woman's claws connect with the sun god's shoulders, she sees the discomfort displayed in their expression. Her fellow American is a fierce fighter though and finds the strength to focus on defending herself from what's to follow. She might not have been expecting what does however.

As the two battle babes brawl, the blonde may notice four extra chitinous limbs sprouting from her black-haired opponent's sides as the insect part of her imposes itself further on her form. She wraps them around Arisa, along with her human arms to pin her in place, and then stabs her in the back with her stinger, injecting her paralyzing poison in the process. Her back then arches acrobatically as she slams Arisa in to the ground with her full force.

Hmm. Well, that's concerning.

While the ability to deflect an opponent's attacks does not seem particularly uncommon in the fighting world, the ability to do it in the split second that someone is attacking you is a different situation altogether. Arisa barely has time to get out a "What the--" before Roxana has not just slammed her to the chariot-drawn platform, but given her a poisonous sting for good measure. Specifically, a paralytic poison.

PROBLEM: much like the origami parasol before it, Arisa's briefly paralyzed body literally rolls RIGHT OFF THE SIDE.

For a fraction of a second, everyone -- the drivers, the viewers watching via camera drone, the NFG Europe employees frantically making sure the Texan signed her waiver -- are stunned. Did Roxana just accidentally win the fight all in one go by ring out?!

Then there is a *CLINK!* sound and a clever observer will notice that the just-deployed grappling hook has now latched onto one of the rear wheel axles.

And the chariot has a cloud of dust growing behind it. Why?

Because holding onto the chain of the grappling hook, a hastily-folded origami shield under her feet, Arisa Hawkins is SURFING BEHIND THE CHARIOTS.

"NOT GONNA LIE," Arisa bellows, to be heard over the sound of two chariots, two horses, and possibly Roxana's conflicted inner monologue, "I FEEL LIKE A TOTAL BADASS RIGHT NOW."

Of course, she's ALSO covered in bruises and tiny little muscle movements in her face suggest that the young woman is more than feeling the effects of Roxy's toxin (a Roxin?)... but powering through is apparently just what she does.

For a moment, Arisa appears to be content to just surf along behind the chariots, possibly because pulling herself closer appears to be a time-consuming effort one handful of chain at a time.


A rock appears in the road. Low enough so that the chariot and platform will pass over it without problems, but which the impromptu shield-sled will -- thanks to the upward angle -- be sent into the air by. Which is exactly what happens.

The shield hits the rock, sending itself and Arisa flying back TOWARD THE CHARIOT; the origami shield flies off into the distance as Arisa kicks off it into an upside-down, action movie cartwheel as she draws two SMGs -- both of wood and black metal with a "charm" of sorts hanging from the grips, a star of blue topaz and a rose of yellow quartz -- and aims them at Roxana, unleashing a hail of (NFG-mandated) blanks. Yeah, a blank isn't gonna shred you or pierce like a standard bullet... but it's still a bullet and it can hurt a hell of a lot in this kind of situation!

COMBATSYS: Roxana blocks Arisa's Blue Topaz and Yellow Rose.

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Arisa            0/-------/---====|==-----\-------\0           Roxana

When Roxana sees the rolling Texan, she holds her breath. She hasn't broken the blonde has she? Albeit aided by the momentum of their movement. When she sees the perky lass pop back up to perform the inspired recovery, followed by the film-worthy stunt, Roxana lets out a throaty laugh, loving the drama of the scene.

"Perfect. You look like a total badass!" She grins gleefully, the gesture perhaps seeming a little grotesque, seeing as she's still in super-scorpion mode.

Roxana spots the rock in time to cry out but not rapidly enough to do anything about it. Her opponent hurtles back in her direction in a splendidly spectacular manner. "What's this now?" She wonders as she sees the charms start to form.

She doesn't have to wait long to get her answer, as the deadly duo of guns are pointed in her direction, complete with their exquisite pieces of quartz proudly dangling from them. A barrage of bullets come flying towards her. The majority bounce off her armour and she starts to swipe at the others with her pincers and claws. Her efforts to defend herself are admirable but a few of the blanks still get through, leaving what will surely be some nasty bruises as souvenirs.

As her extra limbs retract, Roxana finds herself needing a breather from her showy antics. Propelling her petite form forwards, she strikes out at Arisa, aiming to smack her in the neck with one of her claws.

COMBATSYS: Arisa blocks Roxana's Medium Strike.

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Arisa            0/-------/-======|=====--\-------\0           Roxana

Thankfully, despite being new at this, Arisa has enough strategic acumen to know that anything she did on her way BACK to the chariot was going to need to -- even if it missed -- put Roxana off her game, because if you've never LANDED on a moving object after a midair cartwheel before, it's pretty freakin' difficult.

The Texan lands, guns still drawn, in a crouch, just as Roxana comes in for a claw swipe (beheading this early in the relationship?!). Brows furrowed with effort, Arisa effectly catches the blow on the gun with the yellow rose charm on it, the blow sending ache-inducing vibrations down her arm and, worse, twisting her shoulder and wrist in a pain-inducing way. Better than a claw chop to the neck, but still pretty painful.

Stowing the guns (somewhere... how is she doing that, given her outfit?), Arisa takes a few deep breaths and looks at her opponent carefully. She didn't notice before -- she was too busy rolling off the platform -- but NOW she sees Roxana's ability to manifest extra arms and adds it to the growing list of problematic things about this fight. The other one, already on the list, is the poison; she's clearly still feeling it, though thankfully most of it has been metabolized off already. "You got a lot of tricks in that bag yourself, y'know," Arisa says to Rox, with a grin. "Mama would call this excellent training, probs."

There's a pause, and then her face goes white. "Oh, no. MAMA!" she suddenly says, shouting at a nearby camera drone. "If you got this on at the Hotter'n Hell, TURN IT OFF." The grin becomes wilder, as she turns to explain to Roxana. "We showed the first season at our barbecue place. Customers loved it, and so did I. S'why I'm here. But uh... I wouldn't mind if they only show the highlight reel of my fights, y'know. A girl's got some pride."

But with the idea of 'training' in her head, Arisa does note that what she learned from both her parents were exorcism arts: skills for dealing with... well, monsters. Not that she'd call a nice girl like Roxy a monster, but she's definitely something beyond human. [Obi-Wan voice] And that, Chancellor, is her special-ity.

"Right. Let's keep this goin'," Arisa says, before ducking low at Rox, hopefully under the reach of the claws, and then suddenly rises, opening her hand to reveal something she folded on the approach: a little origami penguin crafted from blue paper. Which... SEEMS harmless, as it just kinda floats there for a second in the air.

Arisa suddenly moved BACKWARDS after setting it, however, which should be Roxana's cue to move... because if she doesn't, the air around her will suddenly and definitively freeze solid, putting at minimum a very serious chill in Rox's bones, and chaining her in ice at worst!

COMBATSYS: Roxana dodges Arisa's Hokuten Jutsu - Hyoubaku.

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Arisa            0/-------/=======|=====--\-------\0           Roxana

The gun takes the brunt of Rox's crafty claw. Perhaps those charms are good luck! The Nebraskan seems calm that her move didn't go to plan and instead focuses on positioning herself for whatever might come her way next. She's finding Arisa an enthralling opponent so far and can't wait to see what the rest of the match will deliver.

Weirdly, she's starting to forget that they are even in motion and has adjusted remarkably well to fighting on a wooden platform. As a light breeze passes over them, her silk dress blows around her legs and brushes against her tail.

She feels Arisa's gaze on her and rewards her with a slight smile. "I think we both have plenty of tricks. I appreciate the compliment though. I was trained daily for many years."

That's definitely fallen off in the last few months though. Since she's been flying solo, Roxana hasn't had anyone she could test her unusual abilities against. Sure, she's been able to keep up with basic fitness training fine but finessing her fighting style has been somewhat of a challenge. That's one of the many things that appeals to her about the New Fighting Generation. She will be able to express herself without needing to conceal what she is capable of.

The black-haired beauty is a little bemused by the blonde's call to the camera. "I think your mama would love to see your whole match." She remarks. "I can understand it if you feel shy though."

When Arisa goes low before ascending again, Rox tilts her head, curious about what she's up to. As the paper penguin is revealed, she stares in awe. "It's so cute." She comments, her whole face lighting up in wonder. But then she remembers that as pretty as they may be, her opponent's paper creations aren't just for show.

Following Arisa's lead, Roxana drops backwards into a bridge position. Her agility allows her to escape the chilly atmosphere and prevent herself from becoming a prisoner of the ice. From this position she pivots into a handstand and uses her legs to kick out and hopefully send the Texan tumbling.

COMBATSYS: Roxana successfully hits Arisa with Strong Kick.

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Arisa            1/---====/=======|======-\-------\0           Roxana

Why wouldn't you want your mother watching? Well, for starters, how the fight is going for Arisa right now might be one reason.

Given her relatively small and light stature, the Texan is pretty quick on her feet, all told; she has to be. Roxana's evasion of the penguin shikigami isn't particularly unexpected. After all, the scorpion lady has shown herself to be relatively agile herself. What gets Arisa in the end, however, is the angle of Roxy's reprisal. A handstand kick was not what she anticipated, so the demon huntress's attempt to backflip away herself means she gets clipped and tumbles backwards toward the edge of the platform. AGAIN.

"Oh HECK NO," Arisa shouts as she attempts to right herself, hand emerging from behind her back with a silver dagger that she sweeps down and jams into the platform itself, HARD. The Texan flaps out beside the platform like a penant for a moment before hauling with both hands and swinging herself back to safety, slowly standing up, looking... well. Any experienced fighter could tell that there's probably not a lot left in the tank for her, as it were. Bruises are just part of the story; Roxana's poison has been steadily doing its work behind the scenes.


"Alright, Miss Scorpion Superhero. I might be down, but I'm not out, and I'm gonna show you just what happens when you bring two worlds together." Closing her eyes for a moment, Arisa brings her hands up in front of her, and in a single flipping motion, is suddenly holding an ofuda -- a paper exorcism charm -- between her upraised right index and middle fingers, her eyes opening. Her hands, including the charm she was holding, go through the rapid finger and hand movements of kujikiri and when they are done, Arisa holds one hand palm open, facing up: inside it is... well. An origami bullet.

Her other hand comes up, holding Blue Topaz, the Texan speaking with a clear and even echo-y voice as she quietly slots the bullet into the chamber. "Let you who guide warriors descend and be my vanguard!" she calls out, before sighting the gun at Roxana and firing. "Kyu kyu nyo ritsu ryou!"

Trailing purple and blue streamers, the lone bullet streaks out across the distance at the Scorpion Gear. Like the rest of her origami creations, it won't pierce through her or cut her like a normal bullet would... but it will still hurt a hell of a lot. More than that, however, is the onmyoujutsu curse threaded into it, which is going to have considerably more serious effects if it lands!

COMBATSYS: Arisa can no longer fight.

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

COMBATSYS: Roxana blocks Arisa's Hybrid Jutsu - Tansei Overdrive.

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

Roxana was hoping Arisa was going to go down but she wasn't expecting her to almost fall off their makeshift stage again! Thankfully for the Texan she recovers enough to think on her feet and save herself with the silver dagger. "Good thinking." Roxana says with a nod, somehow without losing her balance.

As Arisa addresses her, Rox listens, seeming to consider her opponent's words. "I look forward to finding out about the worlds together." She responds clearly and calmly.

When another charm is produced, Rox waits, biding her time before deciding what action to take. When she sees what Arisa has created, she suspects what will come next.

The gun is aimed at the scorpion-girl, now containing the paper bullet. She understands the first words that Arisa speaks or at least the sentiment behind them but the second phrase is lost on her. The spectacular streaming bullet shoots towards Roxana and she reacts fast, bringing her claws together to try and bat it away. Although this has the desired effect of protecting her major organs from any damage, it causes her to slip and she finds herself dropping down to her knees, clinging on to the platform. Her head hangs briefly causing her braid to brush against the floor but she doesn't let herself linger for long. She has a fight to finish. Rising again, she looks towards the Texan and can see that she's clearly suffering. "Arisa?" She questions, stepping cautiously closer towards her.

As the saying goes, the spirit is willing but the flesh is spongy and bruised. A moment or two had passed while the Texan stood in firing stance, ready to follow up, but in the end it doesn't seem like it's gonna work out; on her end, her vision blurs, and the poison -- which has been steadily doing its work all this time -- ends up being too much. She gets out a "...welp," before sort of slow-mo collapsing to the platform, unconscious. At least she didn't roll off the side for a THIRD TIME or anything!

Roxana starts to reach for the fallen gunslinger but the medical team beats her to it, using their experience and skill to aid Arisa in recovering from the poison and other attacks she has taken. The horses have come to a halt now and the platform is still, allowing the scorpion-girl to step off it with ease. She permits herself to savour her victory momentarily, a subtle smile the only evidence of how elated she feels.

Once on solid ground again, Rox reverses the transformation she'd made at the start of the match, returning to her previous human form. She straightens her silk dress, smoothes down a stray hair that's escaped her braid and then sits down by the side of the road until it's time to travel back to The Mermaid.

Log created on 11:43:20 02/18/2024 by Roxana, and last modified on 08:19:30 02/20/2024.