Neo League 570 - #579: Arika vs Sakura

Description: Canary Wharf, a large business and shopping district in London. Outside a very tall building. Which people are scaling down (at least from the 25th floor). The punk princess and the Ansatsuken Angel shine for the cameras, trading kicks, punches and... exorbitant amounts of chi (sorta!). But, there seems to be a lot more energy in this match than that which is tossed around with those Hadoukens! Could someone wind up making extra money working in ads for a brandname battery company? (Winner: Sakura)

Grey skies look dourly down upon the large business and shopping development in London known as Canary Wharf. Three of the UK's tallest buildings can be found here, but it's in front of the tallest one that a roped off area has been set up, and camera crews loiter. The tower at One Canada Square is not just a looming building for business either - it's had a place in quite a bit of pop culture, including a prominent role in the British television series 'Doctor Who', as well as a bit part in the movie 'Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix'.

The vertical Fleet Street has seen people attempting to scale up the building, race up the 4,388 internal stairs, and placing large bombs next to it in the hopes of knocking the building flat to the ground.

Today, the focus of the camera crews seems to be up.

Waaaaay up.

Though not brave enough to scale -down- the entire building, the punk rock princess is trying to make a grand entrance. Her journey is carrying her via ropes down from about the twenty-fifth storey, as opposed to dropping from the roof.

Arika's brave, not stupid.

When her feet finally hit the pavement, she spins around and blows a kiss at the nearest camera, then sets about unhooking herself from the rock-climbing harness she was wearing.

Kasugano's been personally acquainted with most of these sights and sounds over the past few days. Will she remember it next week? Maybe, maybe not, but she seems perfectly content with the knowledge now, though, and that's all that really counts.

But she's -really- not going to be outdone here. Sure, she listened nice and quiet when she was told what Arika was up to, but she'd kept mum on what =she= wanted to do until the time it actually happened. ... Mostly, anyway.

And that was wait, wait, =wait= until Arika had already touched down and started to take the harness off. Sakura's usually late =anyway=, so who would miss her?

It'd be hard to miss her =now= though. One of the cameramen would happen to notice movement back up on the 25th floor, where Arika's transit ropes originated. They'd get about two seconds to get into position before Kasugano =leaps= from the window, grabbing for the ropes in midair. She doesn't =keep= holding onto the ropes as she falls, but rather uses the grip to slow her descent just enough to not be fatal!

Perhaps a hoodie and a skirt weren't the =best= outfit for diving from the 25th floor, but at least she's not freezing too much -- her hands are kept warm, at any rate!

About fifteen feet from the end of the line, she grips the ropes tight and swings her feet out, kicking herself out of the dive and landing a fair distance away, her sneaks making a rather loud 'slap!' as she touches down.

The tomboy's grinning like mad though, ain't she? Cutting a slow turn back to Arika, she points her finger at the diva, as if to say, top that! But she simply keeps her mouth in that grin, soaking up the applause for a few moments as she casually hides the fact that, ow, her hands still sting!

After a moment, she gestures with an open (red) hand. "Shall we?"

COMBATSYS: Sakura has started a fight here.

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Sakura           0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Arika has joined the fight here.

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Arika            0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0           Sakura

"Show off," the diva mutters, quiet enough for the cameras not to really pick up on it. Kasugano's close enough that -she- might hear, but Arika doesn't seemed concerned with that fact at all. Quite possibly, were it anyone else, she'd be applauding right along with the crowd, but this is -Sakura-.

She doesn't need a bigger ego.


Being as though the hand gesturing to her is still burning hot with rope burns, the punk princess smirks. Easy enough to slam her hand against it, or yank on the ropes to attempt entangling her opponent, she figures.

Which is why she does neither.

Popping her neck to the side, giving her body a bit of a stretch, she grins. Swiftly, she spins to the side and thrusts a kick to the red target.

COMBATSYS: Sakura blocks Arika's Light Kick.

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Arika            0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0           Sakura

And Sakura's =expecting= her to attack that hand... because she was trying to play the part of the old master. There's a reason to her rhyme! That'd be why she pulls her hand away and blocks with an upraised knee, instead of playing the fool and blocking with a curled fist, because that'd hurt all the much more, natch!

It's this confidence which allows her to meet the kick with a prideful smirk. "C'mon, you can hit harder than that, can'tcha?" she quips, as Arika's momentum forces her to hop backwards a bit. She plays it off well, though, hopping twice more before spinning into a whirling roundhouse kick aimed at slamming into Arika's shoulder. A brief flash of her skirt wouldn't hurt, either, in exchange for making her fans wait for the Ansatsuken Angel's appearance, after all! "Hyaaaaah!"

COMBATSYS: Arika dodges Sakura's Strong Kick.

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Arika            0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0           Sakura


Foot hits knee, and Arika drops her leg back to the pavement with a shrug. Sliding her foot back, her arms come up in a defensive stance, in case Kasugano decides to send a limb toward her face - she's come to watch for these, since everyone seems to enjoy leaving pleasant little bruises on her cheek. With two hops before the spin, she's got a fairly decent idea of what is about to happen, and she simply drifts her body backward and twists to the side to avoid the roundhouse.

She tries not to let the foot get away from her though.

Hands snap forward, her body lunging behind. The punk princess is making an attempt to take hold of Sakura by the ankle in order to yank her off balance.

COMBATSYS: Arika successfully hits Sakura with Medium Throw.

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Arika            0/-------/-------|==-----\-------\0           Sakura

And with her ankle hanging way up there to be grabbed, Kasugano tries to pull back and away! ... It's a bit awkward to do that when all her weight's forward like that, though, and Arika's able to catch and drag her off-balance. Great, so now her hands sting =and= her ankle hurts! "Uwaaa-aah..." she staggers, tossing her hands out to either side for balance.

Just short of falling over, she manages to regain her footing, and as soon as she can, she snaps another sharp turn, whistling a harsh judo chop at Arika's side. Judo's not really her style, no, but she's relying on the element of surprise! ... And on the force being distributed across the =side= of her hand rather than the palm. Ouch! "Hnnngyaaa!"

COMBATSYS: Arika blocks Sakura's Fierce Punch.

[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////    ]
Arika            0/-------/-----==|==-----\-------\0           Sakura

Drat! Arika really was hoping that'd drop Kasugano to the ground so she could get in a good elbow drop. The girl proves to be too sharp for that, however, and manages to regain her footing before the diva can make her move. As the side of the hand whistles toward her with the Judo chop, she manages to slam her arm down to stop it from crushing into her ribs. It hits bone though, causing her to grit her teeth together.

They're fairly close, so anything she does now is going to be difficult to pull off without her opponent being prepared. Twirling to the side, she allows her feet to hop back and forth in a devious pattern of swift movement. Arika spins back toward Sakura, her body pirouetting as much as possible before her foot snaps toward the girl's back with a pop-y little roundhouse.

COMBATSYS: Arika successfully hits Sakura with Rhythmic Roundhouse.

[    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////      ]
Arika            0/-------/-----==|====---\-------\0           Sakura

No such luck with the toss, but at least the Ansatsuken Angel's follow-through is having an effect. She pulls her hand back, shaking it a bit -- even though she was the aggressor there, bone-on-bone contact still smarts! It may have smarted a bit too much for her to focus, though, as Sakura finds herself whirling about to face Arika... and manages to get smacked in the back just as she's turning! Tumbling forward, she finds herself catching herself on one of her palms. ... Oops.
"Nngh, I look like such a gimp!" she mumbles under her breath as she scrambles back to her feet, taking caution to get out of Arika's way as quickly as possible!

But if there's one thing that can make those raw palms feel better, it's the sensation of her favorite technique coursing through them. Kasugano steadies her footing once again, shaking her head. "It's time to step into the big leagues, now, Arika!" she quips, her hands glowing a brilliant blue-white, matched only by the intensity of Sakura's toothy smile! Sakura whips her hands forward, sending a torrent of coruscating energy rippling out to engulf Arika! "HADOOOOOOOUKEN!"

COMBATSYS: Sakura successfully hits Arika with Large Hadouken.

[            \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////        ]
Arika            1/-------/=======|======-\-------\0           Sakura


Arika had definitely not forgotten the techniques of Kasugano (having been shown them quite fully in Thailand - perhaps not -all- has been forgiven after all?), but it seemed to have slipped her mind how intensely painful the bloody balls of blue-white could actually be. The blast sends her sprawling backward, leaving her kneeling on one knee with the other raised to lean her elbow on. Her head droops forward, and she takes a few ragged breaths before pushing herself back up to her feet.

Pain wracks through her body, but she clenches her fists at her sides and pushes it away. She'll just have to worry about how she feels -after- this match. Sprinting toward Sakura, her arm juts outward and attempts to loop about the other girl's waist and flip her down to the pavement. There's nothing really special planned after that, just a simple toss.

COMBATSYS: Sakura blocks Arika's Medium Throw.

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Arika            1/-------/=======|=======\-------\0           Sakura

Well, that Hadouken was Psycho Power, it's not -quite- the same! In a sense, Sakura was -more- powerful then than now, but it doesn't change the fact that she's still got a quite powerful battery of chi at her command. Kasugano smiles approvingly as her Hadouken slams into Arika, wiggling her fingers as the tingly aftereffects of her chi channeling wear off.

The distance between her and Arika gives her some time to avoid the mad sprint from Arika -- a forearm raised at just the right moment is enough to fend off the looping snare, forearm colliding with forearm instead of a more favorable waist.

"Man, are you =always= this quiet in a fight?" chirps the Seijyun U student as she spins evasively to the side. Ducking low, she starts charging at Arika, aiming to catch =her= around the waist with her arm. "Guess you got all the yackety-yak out of your system already, huh?" If she manages that, she'd hop up with Arika, only to use her shoulder as a fulcrum over which to bend Arika's waist upon landing. She's seen it on wrestling shows dozens of times, but had never tried it before! "Hup-taaaa!"

COMBATSYS: Arika counters Medium Throw from Sakura with Dominant Diva.

[            \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////            ]
Arika            0/-------/-------|=======\=------\1           Sakura

Even as Sakura is attempting to latch about her waist, the punk princess twists about to situate herself behind the girl, and lock an arm around her forehead to hold her in place. In order to further secure her, Arika reaches her right foot around Kasugano's, slipping it front and center.

"Oi ain't always this quiet," she points out while wrenching her opponents body backward. "Oi just ain't got nothin' to say."

Great conversationalist while fighting, she ain't.

With Sakura sufficiently locked up, the punk princess' free hand bends into a claw-like shape. Grabbing and twisting into her opponent's abdomen, she smirks. More and more pressure is applied until she finally forces the skirted girl to the pavement on her side.

"Get the feelin' tha'cha like a lot of banter to distract your opponent..." Yes, she's laying the Cockney accent on quite thickly, but that's only natural when one is back in their home surroundings.

Kasugano blinks as her hold is reversed... maybe =this= is why she never really got into wrestling much! "Uhh?!" she replies, startled as she's suddenly jerked about, and pulled into a submission hold. Ow! She's not really used to =this= kind of hold, either... and is quite vocal about her dislike, yelping as one might expect!

But, mercifully, she's tossed to the pavement and pushes herself back to her feet, doubling over at the waist just a wee bit. "Ugh... well... maybe I do, maybe not! So what?" Not really the best retort she could offer, no, but she's also had the wind knocked out of her somethin' fierce!

So... when the going gets tough, the tough get to ganking moves from their close friends. In this case, Sakura will be demonstrating the latest from the Kanzuki-ryuu school: leaping forward into what seems to be a knee strike, before her foot suddenly swivels up and out to crack into Arika's chin! "Mujin Kyaku!"

COMBATSYS: Sakura successfully hits Arika with Medium Kick.

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Arika            0/-------/---====|=======\==-----\1           Sakura


Arika's head gets snapped back, her body deciding to follow with it, thanks to the power of kick. Her feet slide along the ground, but she thankfully doesn't go airborne. She does topple backward, and has to catch herself with her hands to keep from smashing her head against the pavement. "Ow," she manages, lifting her head up. The back of her hand wipes across her mouth checking for blood, catching a trickle of it along the right side.

Grimacing, she kips up, giving her body a small shake in order to limber up the now-tense muscles. Deep blue eyes narrow upon Kasugano, and she takes a deep breath. Balling both hands together, she swings her body around to build up a great deal of momentum before batting the double-fists toward Sakura's cheek.

COMBATSYS: Arika successfully hits Sakura with Fierce Punch.

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Arika            0/-------/---====|=======\====---\1           Sakura

"Yeah, I hear that..." quips the (barely) younger teen in reply to Arika, brushing her chin with the back of her hand. Pavement isn't the best fighting surface: it's hard on the feet, and it's even harder when you scrape yourself off it! So she can definitely sympathize...

When the taller of the two brings an axehandle to bear upon Sakura, one would =think= she'd be quick enough to get the heck out of the way... but no, her fatigue causes her to get decked somethin' fierce, sailing to the curb and hitting the pavement in a low tumble. Her rolling stops when she juts out one foot, grimacing somewhat as she kicks back to her feet. You should be better than this! she scolds herself, drawing in a breath through clenched teeth. Even still... she nods approval. This is a closer fight than Arika may have wanted to believe possible, and the brief, almost imperceptible smile on Sakura's face ought to be enough to communicate to Arika -- and likely, =no one= else -- that Sakura's earlier cheerleading was correct: she =does= have a chance to win.

Mind, the energies surging at her open palms are likely to communicate an entirely different story, not through verse, or body language, but through sheer concussive force. The blue flames swirl into raging orange at Sakura's side as she packs the ball of chi into a smaller, more focused parcel. "Shakunetsu!" Her brief smile disappears as she unleashes the blaze towards Arika with a cry of "HADOOOOOOOOUKEN!"

COMBATSYS: Sakura successfully hits Arika with Medium Hadouken EX.

[                        \\\\\\  < >  //////////////                ]
Arika            1/-----==/=======|=======\=======\1           Sakura

A closer fight than she may have wanted to believe possible, but the diva still has her doubts that she can defeat the Ansatsuken Angel. Granted, she has fared better against her than while the girl was working with Shadaloo in Thailand, but that means little in regards to the ultimate outcome.

This is proven by the vile concussive force of blue flames that blaze toward Arika, sending her body crashing backward. Feet leave the ground, her body becoming airborne for several seconds before she manages simply drop out of the air and become one with the pavement. Her shoulders hit first, once more stopping her skull from cracking open like a coconut, but they skid along the ground tearing up skin, and leaving her with a nice bit of road rash.

Wincing, starts to pick herself up and calls out, "Bloody 'ell! Try not to kill me."

Every bone in her body is aching now. Her breathing heavy and ragged. A thin sheen of sweat graces her brow. And she's still pushing herself to continue despite the fatigue that is beginning to settle in.

Back on her feet, she begins to stalk Kasugano. Moving ever closer, until her hands reach out in an attempt to yank her opponent toward her while swiftly lifting her knee to nail the other girl in the stomach.

COMBATSYS: Arika has reached second wind!

[                      \\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////                ]
Arika            1/-------/=======|=======\=======\1           Sakura

COMBATSYS: Sakura interrupts Femme Fatale from Arika with Shou'ou Ken.

[                             \  < >  ///////////                   ]
Arika            1/-======/=======|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2           Sakura

There may be cameras around, but Sakura considers this to be more akin to 'training' than an actual competition. Sure, she's giving it her all... but when =doesn't= the tomboy give a fight everything she can? It'd be downright =rude= to do any less, she's realized. So for Arika to make it as far as she has is definitely something!

She also won't temper her criticism, on that mark -- jesting as she may be. "Pfft! Try not to =die!=" she responds. She knows Arika can take a lot more abuse than that, simply because she =dealt= Arika much worse, and =then= some. Even still, it's worn Sakura ragged, and she brushes her forehead with the back of her sleeve, smirking her tomboy smirk all the while. She hurts, but she doesn't want to let it slow her down, as she had scarce moments ago.

But there's no rest for the weary, as Arika's stomping right back for her. Kasugano had started to back away, but once she realized Arika's attention, she decides to make the game easier for her by walking right up into Arika. Knee to the stomach? Sure, why not? She takes the knee full to the stomach... while delivering a pulled uppercut to the chin in the process, successfully transferring the momentum from Arika's knee, through Sakura, right back into Arika!

And then there's also the fact that Sakura was leaping into an uppercut of her own, such that once Arika's chin is lifted out of the way, Kasugano's =other= hand is crashing upwards into Arika, lifting =both= young women airborne! "SHOOOOU'OOOU KEN!" True, neither punch alone may have hurt as much as one of her usual Shou'ou Ken attacks, but the net effect is similar, as Kasugano's white headband flaps about from the brief helical journey into the air.

Truthfully, Arika wasn't -really- expecting her modified piledriver to catch Kasugano, but it was one of those instances where she just -had- to try and execute it. So she's not entirely surprised by the shocking uppercut that slams her head backward in retaliation.

No, what gets to the punk princess is the fact that she's brought airborne once more through another brutal punch. Her body curls into itself as she breaks out of the spiral, twirling and crashing to the pavement once more. As she lands, she rolls over onto her side and stays there for a moment, trying to refill her lungs with air.

Groaning, she makes two attempts to push herself back up to her feet. Arms shake, her body looking as though it's going to give out. Third time is a charm, but as she draws up to full height, she staggers a little. Did anyone catch the number of the bus that hit her? The pain is running rampant through her body now, and she knows that there is very little else she'll be able to do.

But she's got to try.

Once more, she treads toward Kasugano. Once more, she attempts to slip behind her. It is then that she attempts to lock on the half-nelson hold merely to hold her opponent in place while attempting to gather the strength to continue.

COMBATSYS: Arika has reached third wind!

[                           \\\  < >  ///////////                   ]
Arika            0/-------/-----==|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2           Sakura

COMBATSYS: Sakura blocks Arika's Punk Rock Breakdown.

[                           \\\  < >  /////////                     ]
Arika            0/-------/-----==|=======\===----\1           Sakura

Sakura twists back to face Arika after her punch, landing lightly on her feet. If Sakura can't get the adrenaline flowing, it just isn't a very fun match for her -- that said, this is a =very= fun match for the tomboy! Sakura's in the midst of a rush right now, no longer sluggish from fatigue, or rust from not having been in front of the cameras for a while... no, she's totally in the groove now, receptive on a nearly subconscious level to every change in her own condition, and that of her opponent. So when Arika tries to get -behind- her, well... nothin' doin', there, the girl's quick to pivot in time. Arika's stepping in for a half-nelson is met with another deft twist to the side, the grapple parried away with her forearm in one swift motion, her arm blurring with a faint after-image of chi. Sakura's always felt an innate connection to the ebbs and flows of chi, and it's at this point of the battle that she can feel this connection the strongest, leaping backwards to safety before Miss Fade can do her worst.

Grinning, Sakura doesn't even see the need to trash-talk at the moment: she's achieved the optimal level of oneness. The battlefield is where the tomboy is happiest, after all! But to simply -bask- in the moment is criminal -- she's got to continue fighting, to pay homage to the conditions that make it possible. It's with this in mind that Sakura puts up her dukes, lunges in quietly, and gives a boxer's good ol' one-two punch to whatever she can reach, exhaling sharply with each swing!

COMBATSYS: Sakura successfully hits Arika with Medium Punch.

[                                < >  /////////                     ]
Arika            0/-------/--=====|=======\====---\1           Sakura



Arika's body slumps to the pavement after after being hit in the cheek and shoulder respectively. She's a bit miffed that she never had a chance to actually showboat that last attempt of hers, but she'll just worry about that later. Y'know, when she worries about the immense amount of pain she's going to be feeling about five minutes after the fight ends.

Exhaling in a frustrated manner, she still refuses to get up. It's part of who she is. Survival above all else. Keep going until she can no longer move. It's almost a mantra to her, and she keeps repeating it to herself, forcing herself up to her feet.

Kasugano doesn't seem to have gotten too far from her, so the punk princess stumbles about... and tries to get behind the girl again. Something has to be said for wrestling moves, since a lot of them seem to involve sneaking behind your opponent in an attempt to do bodily harm. This time her arm attempts to loop about Sakura's throat and crush as tightly as she can. Her knee raising up as she tries to yank the shorter girl backward with a great deal of pressure being added.

COMBATSYS: Arika can no longer fight.

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

COMBATSYS: Sakura dodges Arika's Diva Attaca.

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

Sakura doesn't remember wrestling moves being -quite- such a large part of Arika's repertoire the last time they fought. ... Then again, there's lots of things from that timespan she'd rather forget altogether. Still, she can't help but give Arika props for sticking in there as much as she does -- and this time, the diva's fighting for =herself= rather than for others, so Sakura can see her true fighting spirit.

It's rewarding, sure, but not so much that Sakura wants to get the life choked out of herself for it! Kasugano swivels to keep her side facing Arika, and when the diva lunges in, Kasugano dives into a tumbling roll to get out of harm's way. Or at least, =mostly= out of harm's way -- her shoelace had come undone throughout the fight, and the sudden movement caused her to, a: brush against Arika as she tumbles free, and b: fling her shoe off towards the nearest Neo League camera. Luckily, it misses the main lens, but only barely!

Kasugano leaps back to her feet, only briefly tapping a stark white sock to the pavement. "... Oh, geez... you musta pulled the lace when you grabbed my ankle..." she admits with a faint smirk, before raising her knee in a crane-style stance, akin to Chun-Li's maneuvers. It works great when one's lost a shoe, don'tcha know!

"Wow, can you cut it any closer, Arika? You're like the Energizer bunny over here!" Of course this line would be cut in the broadcast production, but ANYWAY... "Good fight, though, seriously!" comes the tomboy's candid praise. She's quite impressed!"Na na na nana na na na oo-whoa, oo-whoa-ah-whoa ah

Having missed the stranglehold entirely, the punk princess simply drops to her knees. This is, of course, going to leave nice matching tears in her cargoes, but she can always pass that off as 'stylish' until she gets a chance to head back to the club to change. Lashes fall closed over deep blue eyes, her body beginning to slump forward.

Thus, the only response Kasugano gets is a small grunt before Arika hits the pavement. She seems to be quite content to just lay there and catch her breath while the pain washes over her now. The medics will find that she's still conscious - especially when she tiredly raises a hand to shoo them away.

When Arika lifts that hand, though, Kasugano will take a moment to dash in and snag the weary punk princess's hand. Should she feel like gripping tightly enough, Kasugano would pull her back to her feet... but if not, a simple handshake would suffice!

Just the same, Kasugano doesn't want to dally for long. "Hey, good show out there!" she says, keeping her voice low so only Arika can hear. "I gotta shout out to the fans, but y'wanna get somethin' to eat in a bit? Kinda in the mood for some more local flavor..." And just like that, the adrenaline-addled teen's off dashing through the crowds. Sure, she hurts... but as long as she stays moving, she'll never feel it! Right?

COMBATSYS: Sakura takes no action.

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

COMBATSYS: Sakura has ended the fight here.

Log created on 18:07:47 02/01/2008 by Arika, and last modified on 04:21:30 02/02/2008.