Neo League 570 - #584: Hotaru vs Zach

Description: Atop the Great Wall of China, Hotaru and long time acquaintance Zach Glenn, face off in a savagely short, brutal Neo League battle. The girl seems ruthless in her aggression, leaving the poor young man badly hurt and walking away with indifference to his condition. ( Winner: Hotaru )

The Great Wall of China spans thousands of miles, rising over hills, descending into valleys... a giant serpant of bricks laid out across the countryside. Atop a stretch of it is where the Neo League has arranged for a match to take place. Off to both sides of the wall is a carpet of trees for as far as the eyes can see.

Which... isn't really that far, for the area is shrouded in heavy clouds, the aftermath of a passing storm. The air is moist and cool and the bricks of the wall are still wet from rainfall from thirty minutes ago. The sky is grey with clouds and fog seems to conceal much of the area beyond a certain point.

Standing atop the wall, Hotaru stretches her arms out at her sides, exhaling softly. Another match, another chance to prove to her brother, to Kurow, to everyone who has ever seen her that she isn't weak. Willing to go to any length to show the world, she isn't terribly concerned about whoever her next opponent may be.

At first glance she doesn't look any different than one would expect, but for her hair hanging down against her shoulders, the characteristic, perky pig-tails she's usually known for no where to be seen. Her expression is quiet, as if she has a lot of weighty matters on her mind.

Zach's is slightly different as well; instead of the mid-back length that it was when these two fighter's met the first time. Zach has taken to wearing the hair neck-length of late. The ball cap and street clothes, however, are still there. Glen's face is not a look of concentration but of wonder; he's never been here before.

As he walks up to the kenpo fighter, he stops short and tilts his head to the side. Something... is different. The younger girl's attitude reminds him, vaguely, of that sort-of job interview that they had before Zach started working at the YFCC.

Zach waves, "Hiyya, Hotaru." Zach smiles softly, "I like what you've done with your hair. It looks nice."

"Thank you," Hotaru replies, merely nodding her head just slightly in acknowledgement. Her tone is a little short, but she doesn't sound annoyed, merely distant, her blue eyes coming to focus on Zach once he has drawn near. Wind whipped up by the aftermath of the storm tousels her hair and ruffles her sleeves slightly as she looks the young man over.

But the sense that something is really off might come next as Hotaru smiles just a little... only there's no warmth in the expression, "I'm not really sure why they arranged this match. The outcome is inevitable." Definitely not normal bantor for the typically supportive fighter, to say the least. "But I suppose we can make it look interesting nonetheless."

She exhales softly, turning one shoulder toward Zach, standing firmly in a solid stance that suggests no interest in moving around swiftly like she normally does. Raising her hands in front of her, one more forward, the other lower, bent at the elbow as if ready for striking or secondary defense, "I hope you learned something new since last time..." That faint smile fades away, the girl regarding him with a remarkably somber expression.

COMBATSYS: Hotaru has started a fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Hotaru           0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Hotaru takes no action.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Hotaru           0/-------/-------|

Zach's smile turns to a look of concern. Something /is/ off. Some days, he wishes he had abilities like Alma. They would, undoubtedly, come in handy in situations like this. He watches Hotaru slide into a new stance.

Strangely, this does not phase the wanderer all that much; after all, he is finding that evolution of style is part of organized fighting. He shifts into a stance that Hotaru, as a Kyokugen fighter, might recognize. For all his talk of not taking lessons from Ryuhaku Todoh, there is a certain similarity in the stance.

"Won't know till we try, right?" Zach says with a certain amount of determination. Psychic fire bursts around Zach Glen as he eyes Hotaru. His power is what is going to prove decisive in this match. He just has to be able to deliver that ending strike.

Whether or not he actually can, however, is a matter of debate.

COMBATSYS: Zach has joined the fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Hotaru           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Zach

COMBATSYS: Zach gathers his will.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Hotaru           0/-------/-------|====---\-------\0             Zach

"If you say so," Hotaru replies back to Zach's comment about trying, as if in her mind the fight is already over and the young man she has treated politely in the past is hardly worth her time or attention. The stance she recognizes immediately, however, "Oh please, you really are learning from old man Ryuhaku?" the girl asks, finally laughing once, the sound curt and cold, sounding dead in the somewhat concealing clouds.

Shaking her head, she clenches her hands into fists then unclenches them, stretching her fingers just a little. "Hope you're ready." She watches the power build up around him, as if he was getting close to unloading some kind of attack. So be it, the girl seems to decide, as she charges forward straight at him, sliding into a spinning kick aimed for his chest, "YA!"

If successful, her right leg will snap back down and she'll step in on Zach, following up with a knee toward his stomach with her left leg and finishing by shoving back at his shoulders with both of her hands, the entire sequence somewhat abnormally aggressive for the young fighter who normally sticks to hitting and running.

COMBATSYS: Hotaru successfully hits Zach with Heavy Kick.
- Power hit! -

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Hotaru           0/-------/------=|=======\=------\1             Zach

Zach tries to get an arm in the way. Something. Anything. However some changes are more intuitive, easier to impliment than others. Stoking his inner powers leaves him vulnerable in a lot of ways.

Hotaru's kicks all find their marks, sending the young man stumbling back. Yes, there is not much doubt about it. Something's definitely different here. He eyes the girl. "It's either learn, or suffer his presence," Zach answers flatly. "Are you... okay?" Zach asks as he takes a short hop forward and fires a right straight at Hotaru's face. More psychic flame ripples along his arm as the punch is fired.

COMBATSYS: Hotaru endures Zach's Medium Punch.

[      \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////          ]
Hotaru           0/-------/---====|=======\==-----\1             Zach

"Just fine," Hotaru growls, clenching her fist tightly as she watches Zach recover from the savage combination of strikes. Though with the way she seems uninterested in fighting like her usual self, that certainly could be called into question. His fist strikes out, laced with psychic flames that anyone with any sense would recognize as being bad news.

Instead of defending herself, the girl steps into it, his fist delivering a solid blow to her cheek as she turns her head at the last second, knocking her hard... But the turn also conceals something far more distressing than Zach's psycho charged punch as Hotaru's right forearm flares to life with a red-orange spiral of chi just over the surface of her skin, the coils flickering like living flame....

And then the girl turns her right shoulder back in toward Zach, swinging her right fist toward the young man's chest toward the same place she just kicked him. If he isn't fortunate enough to get out of the way, the entire chi broiling over her arm will discharge at once into a brutal explosion, the sort that might very well bore a hole right through flesh. "HAAH!"

COMBATSYS: Hotaru successfully hits Zach with Satsujinken EX.

[      \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////                      ]
Hotaru           0/-------/--=====|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2             Zach

Zach screams as the chi-empowered fist slams into his chest. Both shirts shred, as does the flesh underneath it. Blood splatters across the walkway as Zach stumbles and falls on his back. He gasps for air, his eyes wide. He never =could= deal with chi all that well. Blood continues to seep into the remains of his shirt.

What went wrong? Zach cannot be sure; he lack experience in combat. But this... this does not line up at all. He slowly, painfully drags himself to his feet, regarding Hotaru with one eye squeezed shut. His breathing is still ragged; he may need medical attention after this fight. "You're lying. You..." Zach gasps raggedly, "'ve changed." He brings a single fist back, tucking the arm by his side. "Was it..." Energy collects around the arm, solidifying into a gauntlet. "...somethin' I did?"

More purple fire bursts around him as he waits...

COMBATSYS: Zach gathers his will.

[      \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////                    ]
Hotaru           0/-------/--=====|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2             Zach

"Not at all," Hotaru remarks as she cooly watches Zach get back up to his feet. If there's any concern about the ghastly damage her last attack caused to the young man who's never done her any harm, it would be hard to tell for how indifferent she seems on the outside, blue eyes focusing on him quietly.

"I have changed," she admits, finally willing to speak more as energy begins to pile up around him. "I'm not the same as I used to be. I... realized that all this time I've been holding back, not fighting at my full potential. I'm so much stronger than anyone realized... No wonder my brother believes me to be so weak... I really was before... It's nothing you did, Zach. It's what I've done."

And then she's after him again, aggressive, ruthless, not giving him any break at all to even catch his breath. Her right arm flairs to life again, that deadly energy coursing over her forarm as she draws it back and... Reaches out to try and grab a tight hold on his right arm with her left hand so that she can twist and bend his limb into a painful armlock, all in order to leave his chest open as Hotaru brings her right hand forward and... if she manages to get him...

Lightly presses her palm to his bleeding flesh, unleashing that vile energy one more time - one final explosion to finish this ugly match for good.

COMBATSYS: Hotaru successfully hits Zach with Maou Satsujinken.

[       \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >                                ]
Hotaru           0/-------/--=====|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2             Zach

Zach screams as the chi-spike slams into his chest. More blood litters the stonework, only to soak in with the bloodstains of countless invaders and barbarians that lost thier lives on this wall. He coughs more blood up, befouling Hotaru's outfit.

Glen twists, and reverses the grip. "Then... let me," Zach gasps, " you what I've learned!"

The gauntlet flares to life, shining like a star as Zach twists once more and powers the psychic power-mailed fist into Hotaru's chest. The air around the two is blown away with such force that Zach's cap is blasted off of his head, and the dust and snow around them flies clear in a circular pattern around them.

COMBATSYS: Zach can no longer fight.

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

COMBATSYS: Hotaru stops Burst Strike from Zach with Kobi Kyaku.

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

As Zach comes in to show her what it is he's learned, Hotaru responds with decisive force, slaming her hands forward, a swirling whirl of red, broiling energy appearing as a barrier between her and the young man, absorbing the energy he meant for her chest as if it was merely hungry and he was the one to provide a meal to the gapping maw of the vile energy.

From behind the barrier, she simply watches the young man, blue eyes impassive as his attack is negated by the power she's launched at him. "It's pointless to continue, the gap between us is pretty obvious," the girl states, lowering her arms and allowing the shield to fade away slowly.

And then comes a wince as she turns away, hiding her face from him, clutching her right arm with her left hand as her shoulders slouch a little. There's a price to be paid for those attacks, she realizes, and as blood trickles along her forearm she's beginning to realize just how severe that cost really is.

Sighing softly, the girl starts to walk away slowly, not even glancing behind her to see if Zach is okay after the violent attacks she unleashed upon him. Just one more in her warpath, it would seem... following in her brother's footsteps.

COMBATSYS: Hotaru has ended the fight here.

At this point, Zach's eyes roll up into the back of his head as the flames go out completely. He slumps to his knees, then falls on his face. Blood starts to poll out around him, the wound still seeping.

He makes no move, no twitch.

Log created on 22:23:56 02/04/2008 by Hotaru, and last modified on 00:55:19 02/05/2008.