Description: A rollercoaster match between the Ice Princess and the 'R' heir. (Winner: Kula)
Of all the places in all the world, for some reason the SNF crew decided it would be a good idea to have one of their fights between highly powered individuals take place at a Hall of Mirrors. Besides the cramped surfaces, it makes one wonder if superstition would take into effect at all during the combat. After all, break a hall of mirrors, and you'd be likely to be cursed with bad luck for several lifetimes.
Fortunately for Kula Diamond, she doesn't really buy into superstitions like that. She's too busy avoiding black cats, not walking under ladders, and picking four leaf clovers. For right now, the girl is crouched down in one section of the complex, reflective versions of herself surrounding her, pondering tactics and waiting for her opponent to show. They had barely been introduced before shoved to opposite sides of the hall to begin the fight. And the primary thought on Kula's mind? 'Why do so many male fighters try so hard to be prettier than the girls?'
Try so hard? Oh no, this comes naturally. There's no hairgrease or makeup (unlike other, eyeshadow-wearing fighters that are just too creepy for words...) enhancing the young Bernstein, he's just a product of good genes. Albeit... somewhat effeminate genes, apparently. The platinum blonde doesn't seem the least bit distracted by his own reflection as he paces calmly and steadily through the maze of reflective surfaces, instead paying attention to the angles that are reflected, the layout of the corridors... things that are rather difficult to tell in a place like this, but oh-so-important at the same time.
It seems like there's at least six of him anywhere he goes, but so far no sign of the little blonde girl he's supposed to fight. What /is/ it with his opponents? Barring Duo Lon, the majority of his official fights seem to wind up against little girls... but then again, the lithe teenager doesn't have a lot of room to whine on that account. Especially since some of them seem quite capable of beating him the hell up...
To be honest, if Kula hadn't been told that Adelheid was the offspring of Rugal, she never would have guessed. Rugal doesn't really come across as 'effeminate'. Especially not when he's pulled a block of concrete out of the sidewalk and smashed you in the face with it. As for 'the little blonde girl', she's dealing with another problem she hadn't expected. Having released a bit of chi from the mental dam she needs to keep it in check, her hair is now blue, but the resultant dip in temperature has frosted over several of the closest mirrors. She'll have to keep that in mind, as it might give away her position.
Waiting until she catches a glimpse of a reflection of the younger Bernstein, Kula takes a deep breath, and then raises a hand to her mouth, palm up. A small spiraling ball of chi forms over her hand as she watches carefully. A mental count of 'one, two, three' and then she blows softly across her hand into the energy she's formed, sending a spray of wind, ice, and snow down the hallway, freezing mirrors and creating a nice arctic blast of wind to let Adelheid know that he's not only close, but the fight can be considered officially begun.
COMBATSYS: Kula has started a fight here.
COMBATSYS: Adelheid has joined the fight here.
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Adelheid 0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0 Kula
COMBATSYS: Adelheid reflects Diamond Breath from Kula with Dark Barrier.
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Adelheid 0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0 Kula
Never would've guessed?!? Well hmph! Adelheid may lack the imposing stature and... sheer girth of his father, but the versatile family style is alive and well. To say nothing of fighting spirit. Adelheid's contemplative composure includes a degree of calm alertness... awareness, one might say. In a place like this, surprise and perception can be powerful elements indeed, which is why it pays to not be surprised when the air chills and the energy level spikes, and the corridor he steps into suddenly frosts with an icy spray.
His answer is quick and dramatic, a single palm stretching out chest level, a silvery disc arcing with grey bolts of energy coursing into existence in an instant. That shielding disc meets the spiral of wintery chi full-on, the barrier of oppositional energy throwing off shards of ice with a wild staccato tinkling against the surrounding glass. Then, Adelheid's open palm clenches to a fist, and the swirling barrier explodes outwards, energy dissipating right back the way it came, sending a shower of ice and silvery wind-chi coursing back towards Kula's position.
... which she helpfully gave away.
COMBATSYS: Kula fails to reflect Reflected Diamond Breath from Adelheid with Counter Shell.
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Adelheid 0/-------/----===|=------\-------\0 Kula
Ability to take Kula's attacks and turn them back on her? Yeah, Adelheid does seem to have that in common with his father. Duly noted. Kula hadn't expected her attack to simply be so ineffective in doing much of anything, which is evidence to her relative inexperience in combat. Fortunately, she has power to make up for it! The girl stepped around a corner to face her opponent just in time to see the black disk spiraling directly at her.
Thinking fast, Kula extended out a foot, channeling chi through it and then kicking fast to create an upward spray that quickly condensed into a barrier. Planning for it to take the blow and allow her to send another projectile flying, Kula was caught quite unawares when the disk sliced neatly through it and impacted against her, sending her thudding back against one of the mirrors and onto her butt. Seems sometimes power isn't enough. "Owie," the girl says softly as she flinches, and then pushes herself up slightly, looking back up to see what Adelheid's next action is.
"Ice." Adelheid takes a moment to contemplate to himself, but just a moment, as the returned blast of chi rushes back towards Kula. He traces a finger along the frosted mirror, eyeing the ice on his glove, as Kula's barrier springs to short-lived life. That surge of energy is the proverbial call back to reality, and the young Bernstein is back in motion. Darting forward and slightly aside in a stutter-step for the next corridor, that quickly becomes a feinting offense once his own attack defeats her defenses... blue hair, interesting... all this ice is definitely something Adelheid hasn't seen, and all his attention is on his opponent. Analyzing, but also just trying to keep his bearings in this crazy funhouse.
Which the lithe platinum blonde seeks to use to his advantage, his charge flowing into an upwards leap, the young Bernstein nearly grazing the ceiling of the admittedly somewhat constrained hall, his reflections thrown wildly askew as he flips in midair, seeking to simply bring his heel down on top of Kula's head. So far there are no words... just what the setup demanded. Ambush, attention, and of course... a little bit of disorienting tricksiness.
COMBATSYS: Adelheid successfully hits Kula with Light Kick.
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Adelheid 0/-------/----===|==-----\-------\0 Kula
Already slightly disoriented by the total lack of depth perception, Kula blinks as Adelheid isn't where he was a minute ago. Surprise is quickly replaced by common sense as Kula attempts to roll out of the way of an incoming foot, but it still tags her and slams her back against the mirror. A nice crack forms up the length of the mirror, causing Kula to glance up and back slightly worriedly. She doesn't want to be the first one to crash through one of these, she's pretty sure the sharp edges will hurt.
Kula's quick jump back up to her feet...doesn't happen, though. Instead, the girl seems determined to make use of her being low to the ground, and pushes off the mirror to slide slightly across the slick ground she's created. She brings up her foot, and kicks swiftly at Adelheid's knees to knock the young man off-balance and onto the floor.
COMBATSYS: Adelheid blocks Kula's Medium Kick.
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Adelheid 0/-------/--=====|===----\-------\0 Kula
Adelheid lands on lithely bent knees, holding there a moment as Kula rights herself, poised to drop to a ready crouch as Kula slides in low. As he drops, a gloved hand meets Kula's leg, stopping its momentum painfully against a similarly braced leg but the crouched Bernstein... he doesn't move. Away, at least.
The hand that helped deflect the sliding kick shoots upwards, Adelheid seeking to quite simply grab Kula by the front of her uniform, and heft her up as he rises, easily lifting the girl up by that one surprisingly strong limb. Should his grip be found, Adel would follow through by twisting sharply, bringing his right fist around in a brutal straight for the blue-haired ice princess' ribs, "Impressive technique." Adelheid murmurs, either way, the cameras hidden in the mirrors providing an excellent panorama of the many angles of Adel and Kula as they square off.
COMBATSYS: Adelheid successfully hits Kula with Scorpion Blow.
-* CRITICAL HIT! *-
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Adelheid 0/-------/-======|=====--\-------\0 Kula
The blue-haired girl is hefted up, and the fist impacts rather painfully into Kula's ribs. Kula's attempt to bring a hand up to catch the fist simply wasn't fast enough, it seems. The girl visibly cringes, and something in her body audibly snaps. Underneath the standard leather, there'll be a bit of visible bleed from the broken rib that's now poking at her painfully. "Good," Kula says between gasps and blinking back tears from her eyes, "...ow. Good job." Still, Kula isn't ready to give up yet.
Still held up in Adelheid's grasp, Kula's eyes seem to harden as some of that NESTS programming kicks in, and the girl suddenly twists, her right arm coming to grab Adelheid's left. She spreads her feet apart so they impact the mirrors on either side, and freeze quickly against them. She then twists to break free from Adelheid's grip, the sound of ice-covered shoes scraping down the mirrors filling the air. As Kula twists, ice-covered claws also form over her hands, and she suddenly lashes out at Adelheid as she spins around once, twice, three times, aiming to dig them in deep and knock her opponent back some.
COMBATSYS: Kula successfully hits Adelheid with Claw Bites.
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Adelheid 1/----===/=======|======-\-------\0 Kula
Aw crap, wire-fu in a funhouse... it's difficult to track, but harder to avoid in this proximity, and as the girl writhes from his grasp amazingly under her own power, Adelheid can't keep up with the slashing blades of ice chi, the frost-biting blasts cutting into him painfully as he's driven backwards, cracking yet another mirror as his shoulder rebounds off the glass. Landing with a grunt, he nods towards Kula. Simple and respectful, and yet despite the sudden infusion of pain he just got answered back with...
Adelheid smiles. The light in his dark eyes burns just that much more intently, as he resettles his energy, concentration purely on the blue-haired girl as he shuts out the other distractions, the frost-numbing in his chest that's slow to pass, the light blood from several of the bolts... now this is getting interesting, "Kula..." it sounds almost like he's musing aloud, "Fate's sense of irony, or someone's bad nickname?" Despite the bluntness, there doesn't seem to be hostility to it.
COMBATSYS: Adelheid focuses on his next action.
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Adelheid 1/----===/=======|======-\-------\0 Kula
...and just what's wrong with Kula's name? She -likes- her name. If he wants a freaky name, he should talk to K' or K9999 or Zero or ...well, there's no end to the freaky names at NESTS. She's relatively certain one of the scientists there is named Irys. S. Korn, and the cafeteria woman is Carreen D. Sturgis. But enough about names.
Kula flexes her fingers, shattering the claws and letting them fall from her hands before she shifts her stance and then suddenly charges forward, performing a classic fake right, move left, then kick off the wall to spin back around to the other side of Adelheid, ducking low and then suddenly slashing upward with her hand, a few remaining ice shards hoping to give him something else to think about along his backside.
COMBATSYS: Kula successfully hits Adelheid with Behind Slash.
- Power hit! -
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Adelheid 1/=======/=======|======-\-------\0 Kula
Hey, Adelheid doesn't know anything about that. Though it's not like NESTS is /that/ far removed from 'R', minus the whole genetic engineering thing. ... after all, Adel does have a girl's name. Damn Rugal and his eight-year-old's sense of humour!! But yes, in the here and now, Adelheid is getting his rear handed to him by an actual girl, rather suddenly. Kula's feinting maneuver throws Adelheid's guard off, and as he twists, all he manages is to take the clawing slash in the ribs, the shards of ice tearing gashes in the skintight grey shirt he wears, and sending him staggering back up the corridor.
Gritting his teeth, Adelheid lifts his dark eyes to Kula, locking his gaze on the 'real' ice-princess down the maze. It's about time he added some of his own formidable chi back to this fight, and that comes in the form of a sweep of his booted foot, swinging around with a twisting flourish as a gout of silvery wind energy blasts forth around his feet, launched outwards down the narrow corridor in a wave, easily waste-high. The ragged-edged lance of shearing winds cuts the space between Adelheid and Kula in an instant, the funhouse mirrors distorted further by the chi's violent course through the air.
COMBATSYS: Kula dodges Adelheid's Reppukyaku EX.
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Adelheid 1/-======/=======|======-\-------\0 Kula
The 'ice queen' as it were, seems prepared for Adelheid to launch something at her after that attack did more than either of them expected. Showing a level of agility normally only found in the Matrix and Final Fantasy: Advent Children, Kula pushes backward as the blast surges towards her, and then jumps, flipping backward to plant her feet against the mirror behind her, and reaching up with an ice-covered claw to grab hold of the ceiling. With her feet freezing against the mirror and her hand holding her in place, Kula watches the blast come down underneath her and impact the mirror she was using to brace herself. Between the cold, Kula's feet impacting it, and the blast, the mirror quickly shatters, and Kula swings down to land on her feet, letting go of the ceiling and landing in a crouch. Kula then rushes forward, reaching to grab hold of Adelheid and pull him off balance, flipping him over her shoulder and into one of the already-cracked mirrors to see if she can't send him through it.
COMBATSYS: Adelheid fails to interrupt Quick Throw from Kula with Omega Genocide.
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Adelheid 0/-------/-======|======-\-------\0 Kula
Clearly this turn of battle is starting to wind Adelheid, as Kula seems to be one step ahead of him at all times. The young Bernstein has an idea to put an end to all that, but... it's one that never sees fruition. Still recovering from the blast of energy doesn't stop Adel from re-centering his chi and narrowing his eyes at the incoming Kula, but seeing her and timing things right are two different things, and as he leaps up to intercept Kula....
Adel is instead grabbed and sent flipping around, crashing through the pane of glass with much aplomb, the sharp edges cutting into him further as he crashes in a heap against the funhouse wall. He's a bit slow getting up, from that, all that gathered energy dissipating and leaving him apparently winded.
The camera angles, of course, dutifully shift away from the broken mirror and the Howard Enterprises equipment concealed there. Suspension of disbelief, and all. The editors have it easy with the new delay to the live feed... no more Mai Shiranui wardrobe malfunctions.
Kula's stance shifts again as she watches Adelheid crash through the mirror. Normally, you'd think she'd charge after him, but she seems slightly more relaxed now. She's breathing a little heavier than before, but doesn't seem to be too tired to continue the fight. She waits for Adelheid to emerge, and then skates forward again, spinning around and bringing her foot up to aim at Adelheid's ribs. Normally, Kula's light frame wouldn't do much to hurt anybody, but it's only when her foot is in motion does Kula channel a bit more chi down her leg, an inch-thick layer of ice forming over it to add to the momentum and impact.
COMBATSYS: Kula successfully hits Adelheid with Medium Kick.
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Adelheid 1/-----==/=======|=======\-------\0 Kula
Slow to rise, and slow to regain his bearings, there are about 8 Kula's charging him at the time he looks up, and only some of them are from the funhouse mirrors. The blue-haired girl's kick catches him squarely in the ribs as he rises, adding impact to injury as he lurches backwards, gasping for breath. His own ribs may not have snapped, but... By this point, it sure feels like they may have. It's certainly proving a bruising experience.
That more or less winds Adelheid and takes the fight out of him, save for one defiant grab for the front of the ice queen's uniform on his way down, hitting one knee and holding that post for a moment, almost as if he intends to use Kula to right himself...
COMBATSYS: Adelheid can no longer fight.
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COMBATSYS: Kula dodges Adelheid's Gigantic Pressure.
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Kula slowly rises to her feet, and then calmly brings a hand to knock Adelheid's hand to the side, letting him grab at empty air. She takes several steps back, breathing heavily, and then stumbles back a few steps as her body suddenly reminds her of her rib. She flops down onto her back against a mirror, and puts her hand on her side, focusing her chi to send some cold into there to numb the pain a bit, and she'll happily just wait there for the crews to arrive and carry the two fighters out. But she will say, just loud enough for Adelheid to hear, "Good job." Then she closes her eyes, putting back up those mental dams to hold in her chi, her hair slowly shifting from blue to a dripping wet blonde mess that sticks to her head and leather outfit.
Oof. Adelheid slumps forward to one leather-gloved palm as he tries to keep himself from just faceplanting on the ground, the floor of the funhouse now littered with broken glass and the sheen of passing moisture from the rapidly dissipating icebath. The young Bernstein nods once, shakily, towards Kula, "You as well. Powerful." Which translates to educational, in the platinum blonde's book. He pushes back and drops to a sitting position, his back thudding dully against the intact mirror beside him, drawing a momentary wince from Adel, "Where did you learn that?"
The question comes followed by a deep, steadying breath. The display of innate icyness is something new to Adelheid, after all. He considers Kula quietly, resting one arm atop a bent leg.
Kula blinks several times as she regards Adelheid. She can't simply come out and say 'oh, I was genetically engineered to be able to control ice in order to be the counterpoint to K' in case he should betray our ultra-top-secret-nobody-has-heard-of-organization and they wanted something capable of putting him down, so they manipulated some of Kyo Kusanagi's DNA and combined it with several others and grew me in a tube'. For one thing, who would believe it? For another, it would probably be the last time anybody ever saw Kula Diamond again once word got back to her superiors.
Instead, Kula simply smiles, showing that side of her which acts much like one would expect of an immature teenager instead of a combat machine, and shrugs. "I dunno, I've just...always been able to. I don't even really think about it anymore." Kula raises a glove-covered hand as an example and rubs her fingers together, creating a light sprinkle of snowflakes that drift to the ground. Then Kula looks around, and says, "...I hope it isn't going to cost too much to fix this place." Could've been worse, though. Could've been much, much worse.
You'd be surprised just what someone like Adelheid would or wouldn't believe... after all, Rugal /is/ on that whole megalomania and immortality kick... it's like steak and eggs to these people. 'R' may not be bent on meddling with superscience (think of the consequences!), but... as is, all Adel knows is that the seemingly-innocent girl is hiding /something/. It's a lot harder to pull off that sort of act with him, but he returns the smile, albeit slightly, demeanor relaxing along with the rest of him as the sting ebbs slightly from blissful, stationary rest, "They must've known it'd happen." Adelheid observes, glancing around at the broken mirrors with a shrug.
"I'm sure they can cover it." It's a wee bit caustic, but probably unlike Kula... Adelheid has a rather non-childlike perspective on the sheer amount of money an organization like Howard's can bring to bear. His other thoughts remain silent for the moment, apparently content to ponder.
Kula nods to Adelheid, and then sighs a bit, feeling better. And then she says, with a curious tone, "After they get us out of here and patched up, wanna see if they'll get us sundaes?" Kula's always one for making friends outside of fights...and even if not friends, there's never a reason to not have ice cream! Kula hears the footsteps of people coming, and then pushes herself up to sit up straighter. "They're usually pretty nice about that."
Sundaes? Well, obviously Kula /does/ have a thing for cold. Adelheid just kind of looks at the girl for a long, seemingly puzzled moment, before he simply says, "Why not." It's not exactly the norm where he's from, but... it's hard to think of a good reason to decline, and it does sound pretty good. He similarly pushes himself more upright with one arm, shifting a bit more of his weight towards rising, which he sets to doing before the 'medical teams' arrive. He'll be just fine, thanks. Pride perhaps, but oh well. Adel brushes himself down gingerly as he regains his footing, offering Kula a hand as well. Ice cream. So /that's/ the secret to her power.
That's right, the secret masters of NESTS are Ben and Jerry. K9999 actually resulted from a bizarre combination of combining Kyo Kusanagi's DNA with a tub of Chunky Monkey. Kula? She's almost thirty percent Phish Food. Kula looks at Adelheid, and actually blushes slightly at the fact that the young man who lost the fight is offering her a hand up. To be fair, she is the one with the broken rib, which causes her breath to hiss as she stands up after taking Adelheid's hand. Her other gloved hand stays on her side, still keeping it cold and numb. She smiles at him slightly, and then uses him slightly for support as well as providing it for him should he need it. "Thank you."
If Kula's ice-powers come from being infused with ice cream, well... K999 might be explained by snakes and snails and puppy dog tails, but Adel's not buying Ben and Jerry's. At least, not personally. Grocery shopping is for the common folk. Even if he is a bit battered, Adelheid's been through a lot worse in his day, and Kula doesn't exactly weigh much. The offered arm flexes a bit to take some of the strain off, though the platinum blonde pauses a moment as he's used as a crutch. One could pass it off as adjusting to make sure he's got his footing, Adel offering a nod in response to the thanks, and beginning off down the corridor at a gradual, but steady clip. No reason to look like they got the crap beat out of them totally, or anything. As is, it's blonde and blonder, and way, way too much dark leather.
It's almost subconsciously that Kula rests her head against Adelheid's shoulder as the two of them start to walk. It's strange how the girl can go from cold (emotionally and literally) combatant to touchy-feely-huggy teenage girl, just one more clue that something about her isn't 'right'. Mood switches like that usually either involve trauma or a -lot- of structured training. As for the affection? That comes from being raised by someone like Diana, who considers it regular to scoop Kula up and nuzzle her for no other reason than Kula isn't being scooped up and nuzzled. One can only imagine if Rugal would see this on the television, and whether he would choke on whatever mighty, mighty, manly drink he would happen to be consuming at the moment. Maybe he's like that one guy on the old science fiction show, and considers prune juice to be a warrior's drink. When they get to the med crew, Kula will slowly disengage from Adelheid, and bring up a hand to give him a small wave before she gets lead off to get treated for her injuries. "Remember! Sundaes!"
Conversely, Adelheid was raised by hired help, and Rugal. Who considers it regular to hurl Adel up and throttle him for no other reason than Adel isn't being hurled and throttled. Which isn't /quite/ as bad as it might sound, considering it's only been going on since the rather talented Bernstein reached his adolescence and really gained the ability to defend himself. ... Relatively speaking. Which is to say, the platinum blonde is neither used to, nor particularly comfortable with affection, despite his hotheaded sister's compassion. Kula has some things in common with her, on a surface level, but... well, the shift in demeanor is to one Adelheid hasn't dealt with often, and the strangeness is certainly observed. Stepping away and only half-cooperating with attempts by the staff to look him over, Adel returns Kula's wave, "I'll remember." It may not be the impression she'd have made on your typical teenager, but... this one's unique, and he's certainly intrigued.
Log created by Adelheid, and last modified on 21:30:12 09/02/2006.