Description: Still sore, both physically and emotionally, from her defeat at Daigo's massive fists, Makoto moves to fresh hunting grounds to blow off some steam; specifically, the atheletic yard of Pacific High. Naturally, one of the students takes exception to the rude visitor, but an unexpected twist awaits them both.
Pacific High, evening, late afternoon.
Winter's chill permeates the air, growing ever stronger as the sun begins to coast below the horizon of towering skyscrapers and apartment complexes that comprise the view of Southtown from the school. By now the fading light combined with the numbing chill has driven most of the students away from their clubs and social gathering places towards the more comfortable atmosphere of their homes or the warmed interior of the academic buildings. A steady flow of bodies streams through the open gates that seperate the schoolgrounds from the streetside like a school of fish migrating to warmer climates. Upon hitting the broad road the gaggle of teenagers quickly begin to disperse in various directions, ducking through alleys and turning onto smaller pathways as if it were a river branching into countless tributaries.
Strangely, one small fish appears to be swimming against the flow, stubbornly flopping through the thick crowd back in the direction of the school. Cries of surprise and annoyance ring out in a steady succession as the short figure pushes its way up the middle until she finally breaks free from the press of bodies to stand boldly in the open yard.
Makoto glances around with her trademark stern frown plastered squarely across her face, glaring in mild annoyance and challenge at anyone who happens to so much as glance her way. The karate gi that adorns her body in loose folds stands out sharply amid the crisp school uniforms, just as she had intended for it to do, and she makes no effort to hide the large bamboo pole leaning against her shoulder.
Saying nothing, the martial artist turns and stalks across the open pavement of the courtyard in a direct march towards the more appopriate venue of the atheletic fields situated on the grassy side of the premises. Once she has reached roughly the center, she plants the long staff into the ground and draws a flat wooden placard out of the interior of her uniform, casually slipping it onto the single nail driven into the surface.
Written in a smooth and obviously hand-painted script of flowing kanji the sign boldly proclaims:
DECLARATION OF CHALLENGE
Accepting All Comers!
Makoto crosses her arms and stoically turns to face anyone who might have followed her out of curiosity or annoyance. She sucks in a short breath and bellows loudly, her voice easily carrying all the way back to the gates.
"Makoto Kato, master of the Rindou-kan Martial Arts Dojo hereby declares formal CHALLENGE to any who would dare to face its MIGHT! Is there any among you with the COURAGE to face me in HONORABLE combat?!"
"Roy's not here."
That's the first thing that gets said when Makoto starts screaming her challenge; the assembled athletes look at each other slightly nervously, considering the circumstances. There are some hushed whispers; one distinctly says, "Let's just get out of here." Another, "She's crazy. Is she gonna just start punching if she doesn't get her way?"
The whispering gives way to total quiet; the football team begins to back away from the athletic field. The soccer club -- all five members, and the next to have field access, according to the schedule -- is already gone. They're not gonna get to practice either way, when this kind of thing happens.
No one seems to have the mental wherewithal to object, for a while, but no one takes the challenge, either. Then, all at once, a brassy voice with a distinctly American accent explodes from the locker rooms.
"Tch -- I'll take you on!"
The cheerleader strides forward, not yet changed; she currently wears only her usual Pacific High uniform, which rarely sees much use once the school day is over. "We're trying to PRACTICE, you martial-arts movie reject!" There's a certain amount of nice that Tiffany can usually muster... but this is her /one chance/ in the week to stare at a bunch of huge biceps getting Gatorade poured on them, and it's already ruined!
Stomping right up to the challenging dojo representative, Tiffany takes up a firm fighting stance. No gloves, no uniform -- just a clear readiness to fight. "This whole thing's kinda weird... what EXACTLY are you trying to prove, anyway?" She wonders briefly if Makoto even understands the random English that enters her speech, but the thought passes quickly.
Makoto's dedicated march to reach the grassy fields of Pacific High scream CHALLENGE(!!) even before the sign goes up, and the call goes out. While one pursuer Makoto picks up trails her from outside the school in, rather than in from amongst the multitude of escaping students and staff, he seems to pursue her more out of curiousity than any umbrage. When you're older than dirt, you learn to appreciate free entertainment; that's his story and he's sticking to it. In her focus and churning up that pre-fight fortitude, it's likely Makoto won't even notice the diminutive old man until he's perched on the topmost of a bank of bleachers overlooking that challenge field.. if even then.
Stealthy truth be told, Gen just picked the perfect moment to hop the fence just as deceptively daintily as he waits now, perched like the world's oldest bird of prey whilst balancing just a touch too gracefully on one slippered foot then the other. The old master is cloaked in fine silken robes and hakama of the darkest greens and golds yet somehow all but oblivious to the bite of that bitter breeze that confirms impending winter all too clearly, one bare and gnarled hand stroking forcefully, thoughtfully through his long, stark white beard.
Gen could care less for the school-affiliated athletic clubs (or athletes) but when Tiffany moves forward and drops immediately into fighting stance? Well, color the simple, not-mysterious-at-all local chef's interest piqued. He all but floats through two gentle lunges to wobble forward and ultimately retain his balance midway down the bleachers instead, folding his arms patiently behind his back as he observes.
Much like a rampaging rhinocerous, Makoto tends not to notice subtle things when she's got her blood up for a fight; things like the chill of the weather that has everyone wrapped in their warm jackets and sweat pants, or fading sunlight that would likely have sent everyone home soon enough even without the cold, or the bird-like old man casually leaping around on fences and bleachers.
You know, small things.
The fighter herself is wearing nothing more than her dojo's traditional uniform, feet bare and apparently nothing more than a thin red training bra girding her against the wind beneath it, the smooth curve of its fabric visible in brief flashes as the air stirs her clothing. If the cold affects her in the slightest she doesn't show it, her expression a grim mask of determination and focus. The whispered questions regarding her sanity and intentions reach her ears but like a boulder in the center of a flowing river they simply part around her presence, harmlessly washing away in mere moments. /Words/ have no effect on her. Only true fighting spirit will speak to her soul and she makes as much clear through the narrow-eye glare she gives the air infront of her, aiming it at everyone and no one in particular at the same time.
It is not until the buxom cheerful loudly declares her acceptance of the challenge that Makoto's ears perk up, her head turning to regard her would-be opponent. She gives the tall American a once-over, doing nothing to hide her scrutinizing gaze nor the unimpressed look that quickly replaces it.
"YOU intend to face me?" Tiffany atleast knows how to take up a decent stance which causes Makoto to ponder for a moment. "Understand that this shall be an HONORABLE battle, foreigner! I shall hold NOTHING back and I expect the same from you!"
Makoto drops into her own combat stance, one hand drawing back against her side while the other presses against the air infront of her in a loose claw. She lets out a sharp steady exhale, focusing her ki in preparation for battle.
"If you truly think you are a match for the MIGHT of Rindou-kan then come and show me your resolve!"
COMBATSYS: Makoto has started a fight here.
COMBATSYS: Tiffany has joined the fight here.
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Tiffany 0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0 Makoto
COMBATSYS: Makoto focuses on her next action.
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Tiffany 0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0 Makoto
"Honorable battle?" Tiffany seems totally incredulous; on the one hand, she's started fights with people from other schools... but that was because they were doing something weird or suspicious! Never has she ever encountered a circumstance where someone just sets up on the front lawn and declares, proudly, 'FIGHT ME.' She takes a moment to simply let herself be baffled... though she'd got to admit, there's something incredibly compelling about the drive Makoto displays.
She cracks her knuckles slightly, breathing in through her nose and building up a little mental fortitude. She opens her mouth to ask something -- something about the weirdness surrounding the schools lately, something about... no, she realizes -- it's like asking an alien for directions. Makoto is /too/ out there, even if she's the right age to know anything about the schools.
Getting herself into the groove of battle, Tiffany rocks back and forth on her feet for a few moments; she isn't /quite/ sure how to approach the fighter. She knows nothing -- and there's no real impulse to aggress yet, given that Makoto isn't acting weird, so...
She settles for a single, quick, probing punch with a gloveless hand, mentally bracing herself for the possibility of broken fingers and nails. "Why's this such a big deal to you?" she asks, now that she's finally got something /resembling/ bearings on what a Makoto even is. Tiffany, of course, has never thought much of anything was a big deal, so Makoto's drive is /totally/ foreign.
COMBATSYS: Makoto fails to interrupt Quick Punch from Tiffany with Fukiage.
-* CRITICAL FAIL! *-
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Tiffany 0/-------/-------|====---\-------\0 Makoto
Makoto answers the girl's question by dropping her guard and moving into a short warm-up routine, both arms tucking in neatly against her sides as she concentrates on pushing an invisible object infront of out slowly outwards. She closes her eyes for a moment and takes a deep breath before saying, "My father was a great FIGHTER and I have sworn an OATH to restore the honor of his style! Not that I expect a FOREIGNER to unders-"
The sound of the approaching punch reaches her ears only a few instants before Tiffany's fist ploughs square into her jaw. Makoto barely has time to snap her eyes open and turn, hurriedly bringing her own arm up to launch a counter-attack but she's far too late to change the tide of events. The boxing punch catches her completely off-guard and she staggers backwards from the impact of the blow, arms pinwheeling in the air to keep from tipping all the way over in an embarrassing display.
After a few precarious wobbles, Makoto manages to right herself. A hand goes to her face and she works her jaw back and forth a few times, blinking against the array of stars that have suddenly appeared in her vision. "Hey! I wasn't READY, damnit! Are you TALKING or FIGHTING?!"
Getting the drop on her opponent... isn't /exactly/ what Tiffany had expected, but the young Ms. Lords just accepts it and moves on. She neither defends it nor feels bad about it; it's just part of life, and hey -- everything seems to have worked out so far! Rocking back and forth on her heels, the blazer-clad Tiffany says, with a little hesitance, "... Both? Like -- do you /not/ talk to the people you fight?" She blinks for a few moments, watching Makoto try to right herself.
It's at about that point that she realizes she needs to keep her offense up -- just because she got the drop on Makoto once doesn't mean she's going to /keep/ pressuring the Rindoukan master in that manner. It's not easy to get into that frame of mind, though... Something feels off about this fight, she thinks briefly. Her gaze very briefly moves near Gen, but doesn't actually spot the chef-assassin-master. She shrugs, writing it off as her own nerves getting to her.
Come on, Tiff -- take it easy! And just like that, she's right back into that carefree, bubbly state that informs so much of her approach to fighting, rolling her shoulders and gearing up for a maneuver that often catches people more than a little off guard. Her /stance/ is a boxer's -- low, arms up to guard -- so this one always throws people for a bit of a spin...
Pressing forward, she asks, "So, like -- how does it /lose/ honor?" before going into, of all things, a cartwheel. Both of her legs extend outward, pressuring Makoto with a slight pinwheeling effect during the cartwheel. She's remarkably good at /stopping/ the motion, too -- she draws neatly into a defensive position... assuming she gets the chance to stop under her own power, anyway.
COMBATSYS: Tiffany successfully hits Makoto with Groovy Wheel.
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Tiffany 0/-------/-----<<|=======\-------\0 Makoto
Makoto scowls at the blonde girl but shrugs off the question. "Talk is meaningless! Show me what you can do with your FISTS!"
The karate girl drops back into her stance, both arms coming up defensively. This time she's ready. THIS time she won't be made a fool of! THIS TIME - the boxer kicks her?!
Tiffany's carthwheeling strike comes in from above like a hammer blow as the smaller girl weaves to the side in an attempt to avoid the punch that never comes. Makoto realizes her mistake quickly but her style isn't designed for swift manuevers and the pair of kicks land solidly against her body, the first slamming into her shoulder and driving her downwards which gives the follow-up a clear shot at the top of her head.
A dull thud rings out across the field when the cheerleader's powerful kick connects but rather than fall into another daze from the strike the girl just gets angry. Gritting her teeth against the pain and humilation, Makoto lets out a roar of fury and launches herself at her opponent in an attempt to catch her before she can slip away. Seeing that she's already fallen into a defensive stance, the karate fighter simply reaches out and grabs at Tiffany's arms attempting to pull her towards herself with a single powerful tug.
With both of her hands occupied and both legs planted firmly on the ground for power there's only one obvious weapon left at her disposal. Rearing her head back, Makoto /slams/ it towards the other girl, using her own forehead like a battering ram!
COMBATSYS: Makoto successfully hits Tiffany with Tacchuu.
-* CRITICAL HIT! *-
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Tiffany 1/-------/=======|=======\-------\1 Makoto
To, and fro, the old master's dark eyes track Tiffany and Makoto, a quiet and thorough reading of every subtlety of each technique and the intricacies of impact. White brows arch at this piece or that-- once or twice there's even a ghost of an amused little half a smile on the spectating chef's wrinkly features. He paces side to side with the brutal back and forth, chuckling lightly to himself with the sudden escalation in hostilities.
Free entertainment, indeed. There's a certain grim satisfaction already etched into the deadly, diminutive Chinese elder's expression: his quarry for this particular jaunt could not have been better chosen. He scarcely looks where his feet are falling as he gracefully darts hither and yon along the bleachers, dropping down a level here and there to get a closer look at the action.
Where other fighters Gen might (begrudgingly) consider peers often put off auras and entrances politely described as 'grand', the old man is a whisper on the breeze, a rust of wind across a gap that's vast, scarcely recognized or realized until and unless it's fully sensed, confronted. A void, a gap, a subtle murmur of nothing where the very winds of life are swallowed whole and abruptly into an unassuming shell with a very fine beard. He seems contented to stay on the outskirts of the conflict for the moment, but perhaps not to remain indefinitely unseen-- if the hawklike pattern holds, the possible confused geezer may wander right out onto the field in a moment.
Well, Tiffany /was/ going to show her what she can do with her fists (and feet!) but then she got grabbed and pulled in by those arms, and from there, well... suffice to say that things don't go very well. Distantly, it occurs to her that the best way to deal with a situation in which one is being grabbed is a headbutt, which makes perfect sense if what you expect is to be thrown to the ground.
Unfortunately, instead, she gets headbutted... when she is /already/ gearing up to headbutt, with a much softer, more delicate head than the one streaking for her. The net result is that when Makoto finally lets go, Tiffany stands stock-still like Benkei at the bridge. There's no actual sense of much of anything behind those eyes for a little while.
... but when there /is/, it's accompanied by a low, wordless whine that builds in both pitch and intensity over time. Tiffany is not a fan of pretty much anything about this situation, and would really like to discourage Makoto from trying something like that again -- and more to the point, she's hurting /bad/.
The possibility of something weird about the situation is totally out of her mind now, given that she's suddenly been given countless good reasons to focus entirely on the Makoto in front of her and the situation as she sees it. She needs, more than anything, to build up a head of steam...
... which starts with getting a clean, solid hit. She can see what Makoto's strategy is, or at least, its broad strokes... and really, what she /needs/ is to outpace it. To that end, she rears solidly back, pinwheeling her arm a few times to build up a solid head of steam. With each rotation, her fist starts to sparkle a little more.
Once she's more sparkles than fist, she swings forward as forcefully as possible; it's a big risk, but one she thinks will see her through. No -- one she /knows/ will see her through, with the utmost certainty, as she slides forward with the raw force of her punch.
COMBATSYS: Makoto interrupts Very Groovy Punch from Tiffany with Abare Tosanami Kudaki.
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Tiffany 1/--=====/=======|===----\-------\0 Makoto
Makoto's battle cry rings out as her head slams into the cheerleader's dome, propelling herself forward at the same time as she pulls the girl's arms down, lowering her guard and yanking her closer in one swift and decisive motion. A disturbing crack blasts through the relative silence of the battlefield almost like a gunshot and every voice that wasn't already quiet goes deathly still. Eyes go wide and mouths hang agape among the spectators, some freshly fallen open while others are frozen in the midst of speaking.
Tiffany's pained whimper is the first thing to break the calm as her attacker takes a step back, arms flexing against her sides in an almost instinctive follow-through motion. Her expression remains grim and stoic but there is a distinct hint of satsifaction in her eyes that was not present before. She takes a moment to exhale slowly as she did at the beginning of the fight, gathering more ki to her body, but this time she doesn't make the mistake of closing her eyes. They remain focused /very/ intently on the boxer.
When Tiffany falls into her build-up motion, Makoto matches it with a ready-stance of her own. The breeze stirs up around them sending a fresh blast of cold air among the spectators but somehow it seems to cause the karate girl's gi to billow with much greater intensity than it should, the long yellow hachimaki tied about her neck fluttering like a flag at noon.
The look of confidence in the foreigner's eyes doesn't escape Makoto's notice as she throws herself into the rocket-slide punch. That level of certainty only comes from someone who is either extremely skilled or overcommitted to their course. She recognizes it easily because it is very same look she herself has.
Crouching in a faux-defensive posture, Makoto appears to prepare to take the blow head-on but at the last second propels herself into the air - away from her opponent! Flying backwards like a bullet, she careens directly into the only solid object present within the small impromptu arena: the bamboo pole she'd planted earlier. Her hand latches onto the slender cylinder, both feet slamming against its surface to steady herself as the flimsy rod creaks precariously under her weight and momentum.
The warrior girl's battle cry once more pierces the stadium as the pole reaches the limits of its flexibility then promptly rebounds in the other direction. Makoto flings herself into a flying dragon kick and the hardened surface of her heel catches Tiffany square in the waist, folding her sideways with the force of the blow and her own speed.
Before the buxom blonde can even realize what has happened, a knee rises up to smash into her gut. "Tosa!" The blow physically lifts her off the ground and another rising freight train disguised as a foot adds further power to the upwards velocity. "Nami!"
She sails in a lazy arc through the air and Makoto rushes to add one final devastating blow to the dazzling flurry of pain. She scoots forward in a single burst of motion, arms spiraling around in circular yin-yang pattern until they come to rest at her hips in the traditional horse stance. The unyielding rock of Makoto's fist drives upwards like a pnuematic piston just as the cheerleader falls, slamming square into the girl's gut with a resounding thud.
The hapless girl bows around the impact for a few agonizing moments before the upwards force launches her skywards a second time to fall unhindered to the mercifully soft ground.
It takes a second for Tiffany to even realize she's being hit; she knows she's come up empty-handed, but 'why' is a harder question to grapple with. That incoming kick is the last thing on her mind when it hits -- and it feels like she's been hit by a car. She bends double, and stays there, leaving the knee a free path to smash into her gut. Her eyes bulge out, and as the momentum of the blows radiates out from the site of the impact, her hair seems to flutter in a nonexistent wind.
She can't even breathe as she's carried up into the air, thoroughly rattled; she when that fist catches her to finish it, she feels almost sick. The blonde at least takes a second to breathe... but what is she supposed to /do/ against force like this? What /can/ she do?
The only thing that comes to mind, for her, is to push forward with everything she's got... but can she even really manage that? Prying herself off the ground weakly, Tiffany starts to stagger forward, weaving side to side from sheer agony. She breathes in, once -- and then hops forward.
"So, like..." She starts to speak, but then reminds herself that Makoto's not actually going to answer; their fists are the only thing that matters. Accordingly, she changes her approach; rather than ask a question with her mouth... she'll ask that question with her fists.
Or, well -- her legs.
With another, more forceful hop, Tiffany aims herself legs-first toward Makoto's shoulders; even though she's already revealed the power of a cheerleader's legs, she still thinks she can catch the young karateka off-guard with them in the right circumstances...
Her intent appears to be to get herself seated neatly on Makoto, which -- given her sagging, irregular gait -- is a pretty roundly preposterous effort on its own.
COMBATSYS: Makoto parries Tiffany's Groovy Screw EX!
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Tiffany 0/-------/-----==|====---\-------\0 Makoto
Unfortunately, Makoto is on a roll now and once a rampaging bull starts to charge the only reasonable thing anyone can do is get out of its way. High on adrenaline and confidence from her successful manuever, the karate girl faces the incoming attack with a reckless cry and charges -into- it.
The long shapely legs are batted aside with a forceful chop, pushing them to one side as Tiffany flies through the air. This also has the very unpleasant effect of leaving her completely open for that short moment where her body hangs in the midst of its downward arc and Makoto wastes no time or sympathy in hesistation as her opponent sails by mere inches from her face.
Reaching out for the foreign uniform shirt, she attempts to snag her target right out of the air, already bringing her knee up to greet the girl's stomach yet again. Should this attack connect, Tiffany will find herself thrust violently into the ground on her face with another wild punch coming down straight for the small of her back like a hammer striking at an anvil.
COMBATSYS: Makoto successfully hits Tiffany with Araiso EX.
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Tiffany 0/-------/--=====|======-\-------\0 Makoto
Things are getting interesting-- it's more obvious in the violent exchange between Tiffany and Makoto, the breakneck brutality with which the student of that harsh karate from an autumn school turns its withering influence outwards against the unsuspecting, but remarkably capable boxing cheerleader. Curious and curiouser. Gen's left the bleachers behind as the battle nears its final stretches, less concerned with the outcome than with continuing his patient perusal of each element on display, eyes following the girls' fists and feet, stance and silhouette.
It's perhaps at once more and less creepy than the typical leering the poor ladies get throughout the megalopolis, and by this point the old man doesn't bother to hide the uninvited critique, perhaps half the field behind him that lay between the bleachers and the bout as he paces the perimeter of that conflict with absolute absence of apparent concern for his health, well being, and hipbones. Thin brows on a wrinkled backdrop arch as reprisal becomes fuel for the last scion of the Rindoukan's unusually rampant fighting energy-- and then those eyes squint at Tiffany, a thin smile creasing the corners of Gen's lips, silent chuckles shaking the diminutive man's shoulders as he rocks back on his heels to watch a moment more.
When she sees those hands reaching for her, Tiffany immediately takes a deep breath -- and that makes all the difference in the world. It gets knocked right back out of her within moments, her body quaking as that hammer blow brutalizes her back... but she's not /worse/ off, at the very least, than she was before it. Well -- other than all the agony, one would suppose.
She starts to pry herself back up off the ground, but doesn't quite manage it; she's still impossibly low, her stance downright /squat/ in comparison to its previous state. For a minute, she thinks about this as a problem... and then it hits her exactly how to take advantage of it.
Staying low, she whirls around on her heel, building up a head of steam -- and a fistful of sparkles, for that matter. Fist wreathed in energy, she swings it out in a high-speed back knuckle, aiming dead-on for Makoto's jaw as she uses that excess momentum to get herself the rest of the way to a full, standing position. Even if she's losing it -- by miles and not by inches -- she's perfectly content to stick the battle out to the bitter end.
COMBATSYS: Makoto parries Tiffany's Very Groovy Knuckle!
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Tiffany 0/-------/---====|=======\-------\0 Makoto
And Makoto is right there to bring about that bitter end. Still hovering over the flattened cheerleader, the Rindou-kan master refuses to fall back as her opponent rises, fully intending to stay up close and personal where raw power is the deciding factor. The boxer hits hard for sure but Makoto is on a whole different level and it shows with every bone-crunching impact.
Tiffany's sparkling fist slams into a soft fleshy target as she brings the back of her hand around in a whirling strike - but it is into the karate girl's open out-stretched hand that it sinks rather than her jaw. Makoto's fingers snap closed over the boxer's own, slamming shut with steel vice-like power as she stares into the pretty blondes big blue eyes for a long meaningful moment.
Then that wrecking ball of a fist comes slamming in again. Makoto lets out a fierce kiai as she steps into her punch, releasing her hold on Tiffany so that she can bring her other hand up to assault her as well. A trio of rapid-fire strikes explode into the cheerleader in blurs of dusky sun-tanned skin but that short delay might be just enough to give her an escape!
COMBATSYS: Tiffany dodges Makoto's Yamase EX.
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Tiffany 0/-------/---====|=======\-------\0 Makoto
The instant she feels a hand on her own, Tiffany /reels/ back; she knows what that means, and she knows much, /much/ better than to try to pressure it in a moment like this. When that step forward and kiai comes, she's almost too relieved -- because she's managed to outpace it by just a hair.
The time for conservative offense has totally passed, and Tiffany knows it; she needs to commit, commit, commit. Maybe even /over/commit. Her legs feel like they're on fire, but she doesn't even think about letting up because of it; indeed, it makes her want to use them all the more, because she's /sure/ that caving to the pain is what Makoto wants her to do.
Totally out of her usual groove now, Tiffany fights with the pride of her school; it's this that gets her to step forward, roll her fists around each other slightly, and then bring her leg up in a big cheerleading kick. It's a last-ditch effort -- a leg she sticks out in the perhaps-vain hope that, because it's not coming from a fighting tradition at all, Makoto won't know what to do with it.
Well... that, and Tiffany's really proud of her legs, even when her whole body hurts a lot. It seems to be a hit with the /spectators/, at least.
COMBATSYS: Makoto blocks Tiffany's Heavy Kick.
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Tiffany 0/-------/--=====|=======\-------\1 Makoto
Amazingly, Tiffany's plan works just as she hopes it would. Well, perhaps not /entirely/ as well as it could have but the bizarre high kick following the whiffed punches drives her attacker onto her heels, forcing her to throw up an impromptu defense against the high kick.
With her momentum shattered, Makoto frowns deeply in a mixture of annoyance and concentration as she weighs her next move. The foreign girl has already shown that, if nothing else, she can take some punishment -and- dole it out skillfully enough that those long legs of hers are to be respected. Reach is an advantage not to be ignored in a fist fight and it's something she's been forced to compensate for.
A moment of uncertainty plagues her mind. What other tricks can the cheerleader pull out? But Makoto smashes those doubts into powder with a fierce growl. There is room for such frivilous thought!
Gathering her spirit as the anger within her surges in intensity, the karate girl drops into a low horse stance and lets out a deep kiai that slowly builds in intensity, starting deep in her chest until the power flows through her in a coursing river. The air around her stirs to life of its own accord and a powerful updraft ripples the folds of her uniform in a torrent of invisible energy. Clearly, she's preparing something... but what?
COMBATSYS: Makoto gathers her will.
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Tiffany 0/-------/--=====|=======\=====--\1 Makoto
At the very least, Tiffany's gained Makoto's respect... or at the very least, Tiffany's /offense/ has gained Makoto's respect. She bobs back and forth for a few moments, considering whether to go in on Makoto again as she sees her gathering herself. It seems like a bad idea, she thinks, on reflection; if she goes in with too much force -- or really any at all -- she exposes herself to the credible threat of some serious pain.
Then again... the time for 'trying to avoid exposing herself to serious pain' has passed entirely. /Now/, she has to worry about protecting herself entirely. Ducking low, she considers going for that same hyper-wheeling backspin again...
... but ultimately decides against it, coming up with a very similar back-knuckle wreathed in sparkles, but without just about any of the windup. Varying up her offense, she thinks, will keep Makoto on her toes... and ultimately do right by Pacific High.
The fact that /Makoto/ is the one who really needs that honor, for her own sake, doesn't even register; to her, it's about representing her school! Besides -- who would ever think that hard about it?
COMBATSYS: Tiffany successfully hits Makoto with Groovy Knuckle.
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Tiffany 0/-------/--=====|=======\=======\1 Makoto
Tiffany's attack visibly provokes a reaction in her opponent but perhaps not quite the one she would expect. Instead of blocking or moving out of the way, Makoto once more steps into the path of the blow, thrusting her shoulder forward to catch the attack on the hard bone and barrel right on through. It's a good plan, one that's worked for her several times - but not this time.
The cheerleader's fist smashes a clean hit against her arm and slide in towards her chest instead of out towards the empty air which means all of the forward momentum that Makoto had been planning to put into her follow up gets added to the impact. She lets out a low grunt of surprise as the air is forcefully ejected from her lungs and her offense stalls out, sending the girl staggering back a step.
Once again Tiffany proves herself a competant opponent. Unfortunately, as the bruises start to add up and her patience wears thin, Makoto's temper begins to flare. Her perfect opportunity to deliver a stylish and decisive finish blow, ruined! Unconsciously her teeth begin to grind together and the power churning inside of her begins to turn into liquid rage.
Starting a faint pink flush, color begins to flood into the Makoto's face, quickly spreading throughout her body in an unnatural fashion until the small scrappy girl is literally bright red with furious power.
Howling her frustration to the sky, she throws herself at Tiffany in strangely well-controlled berserker rage, her motions faster and more brutal but still accurate and precisely timed. Makoto rushes in, preparing to deliver the finishing blow, which she starts by aiming a devastating angled punch at the space between the cheerleader's legs.
COMBATSYS: Makoto knocks away Tiffany with Seichuusen Godanzuki.
[ < > /////////// ]
Tiffany 1/---====/=======|====---\-------\0 Makoto
A cry of shock and sympathetic pain echoes through the onlookers as Makoto's iron fist careens unimpeded into the soft target that she has so ruthlessly chosen. Even without the extra sensitive equipment of a male down there, the sheer force of the blow is enough to fold the girl in half like a lawn chair which only sets her up for the -rest- of the attack.
...yes, there's more.
Makoto's other fist plows into another soft and obvious target when the cheerleader's chest is thrust in her direction involuntarily. A trio of resounding hammer-blows rock the blonde as her girls are used for speed-bags by the brutish tomboy and the force rocks her back onto her heels, leaving her open for the final blow.
Hunkering down to gather just that slightest bit of extra power, Makoto crouches as her arm flexes against her side and with a defeaning roar she thrusts all of that energy into a directed upwards punch against the base of Tiffany's jaw.
Try to imagine being uppercut by a speeding bus with rockets strapped to its hood while a constant stream of explosions propels it forwards at speeds hitherto unexperienced by man. Now imagine you got punched in the junk first /then/ hit with this abomination against the natural order of physics. That roughly sums up the experience that brings a close to Tiffany's encounter with the sole remaining practitioner of Rindou-kan Karate.
The cheerleader EXPLODES directly up into the air with impossible force as if some of those rockets are now strapped to her body. Makoto has enough time to hold her pose, fist thrust triumphantly upwards as she yells, "SEICHUUSEN GODANZUKI!!"
A few seconds later, Tiffany finally comes back down.
That first hit is downright agonizing for Tiffany; her eyes widen and she starts whimpering a little bit, not able to brace herself or even really take a breath this time. Her body quakes -- and then, abruptly, the series of bows /continues/. She wasn't expecting any followup whatsoever; when it comes, she feels her /mental/ guard crumple to an even greater extent than her physical guard.
One-two-three, her chest is rocked with forceful punches; surely, she thinks, /that's/ it. She stands, dazed, letting Makoto take as long as she wants to to gather up enough power to really hurt her.
She flies up into the air, eyes glassy; when she /lands/, not much has changed. Indeed, being more or less completely unconscious for the duration makes the landing much less agonizing. She's totally boneless, which means she offers no /resistance/ to the landing -- and in turn no real pain.
The cheerleader lies there for a minute, mostly unmoving; when she /does/ move, at long last, it's to sit dizzily up, looking at Makoto almost uncomprehendingly. Indeed, there's a smile on her face for a few moments... before she rolls over on her side, clearly not actually ready to face the world yet after something like /that/.
COMBATSYS: Tiffany takes no action.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\ <
COMBATSYS: Tiffany can no longer fight.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\ <
Makoto's fist remains firmly jams up into the air like a telescope for several long seconds as her battle-rage continues to spiral red-hot power through body. She breaths heavily, entire body heaving against the strain of her empowering technique, and it is a long couple of minutes before she can even think straight enough to talk.
When the bright red finally begins to bleed out of her skin, returning it to its typical light brown, Makoto finally stands up straight and exhales long and hard. Her eyes slide over to where the cheerleader lies senseless on the ground and she stares at her crumpled form for a few seconds, an unreadable expression on her bruised face.
It isn't her custom to show concessions to an opponent. Sympathy and mercy are quick roads to WEAKNESS. Now that the fight is over, however, with her honor and supremacy firmly established things are a little different. The girl wanders over to Tiffany and kneels down at her side, inspecting the cheerleader's body for any severe injuries beyond what should be expected from an honorable match. Broken bones are always a possibility but leaving her alone and unconscious where she might further aggravate any such injuries would just be cruel.
"Oi. Are you still alive?"
COMBATSYS: Makoto has ended the fight here.
The Seichuusen Godanzuki. It's impossible to complete a study of the Rindoukan without analysis of its most horrific and sudden wilting hammerblow-- even if there's little inherent beauty in what blooms out of the reaping. It's still a large part of what Gen came here to see, and his pacing perusal of the fight to the exclusion of all other athletes on the field pauses mid-step to take it in. The impact rustles the old master's long hair, sends chill winds outwards in all directions rustling the stray leaves that have found their way back onto the well-kept grounds here and there. Gen, for his part, dramatically golfclaps with a distinct lack of awe etched on his aged features.
"Well. I suppose you did warn her." The whole 'going all out' thing. The old chef observes this of the vicious technique unleashed on Tiffany, leaving the cheerleader collapsed and her world quite incomprehensible. A moment is taken to pace towards the fallen teenager and squint at her anew, dropping a small, calligraphy-etched challenge card beside where she falls. A second is taken with rather spartan explanation and offered over to Makoto, "I want you to meet an idiot." He cheerfully tells her. "And treat him to the entire legacy of the House of the Autumn Bellflowers." He casually invokes her style, the bloodline's school, like it's -not- all but extinct.
Perhaps he was a fan-- though it's hard to predict of that enigmatic spectator. The cards are for street bouts in the block of the Genhanten-- free meals are offered in various prize tiers depending on how harshly one can beat a man named Yun Lee. Times are chosen entirely at random and not explained to the youth: but Gen knows he'll be working. Oh, Gen knows.
Tiffany's tough -- tougher than, perhaps, her cheerleader's frame might indicate. For the most part, she appears to be fine; her bell is pretty thoroughly rung, but she doesn't seem to have any serious breaks, and her successful carriage of the fight indicates that she probably doesn't have a serious concussion or anything.
After a few more breaths, she manages to roll over and sit again. Staring past Makoto, she murmurs, "'s' fine," before rolling right back over. A couple of other cheerleaders come over, moving to collect her and the dropped card; they give Makoto a carefully-neutral look.
No one seems to really want any more trouble from Makoto, at this point; the football team /also/ does its best to get out of the way, leaving the field to Makoto and the strange old man. This situation is rapidly outstripping the default tolerance level of weirdness here at Pacific High.
The addition of a new voice to the mix causes Makoto's head to snap up, eyes narrowing like a wary predator on the old man that now looms beside. Holy crap, she didn't even hear him coming. She didn't /feel/ him coming either, which is even more disturbing.
Reaching out to take the card from the ground, the Rindou-kan fighter scans its elegant surface with a mixture of curiosity and apprehension. It isn't until Gen speaks again, however, that she understands what the lettering means.
"An official fight invitation?"
Her first one! Did that mean her fame was starting to spread already? Had word about her battle with the man-shaped mountain that called himself Daigo already spread? Best. News. EVER.
A fierce grin splits her face for a moment as a surge of elation spreads through Makoto. She turns to peer down at Tiffany as her fellow cheerleaders come and collect the dazed girl, but she pays them little mind, her attention on the possibilities ahead.
After a few moments something else the old man said suddenly catches up to her and she whirls around to face him again, eyes wide.
"Wh--how do you know that name?!"
Where the old man had been, before Makoto looked away, there now rustle only leaves and turf. A chill breeze meanders across the grounds as the students take their leave, and so it seems goes the eccentric retiree. Hither and yon along the field would yield no sight of Gen, departing swiftly and with timing serendipitous enough to see him out of view in that passage of moments-- it's easy to question his presence at all, given their focus on the fight with one another. At least, it would be easy: if not for those prepared cards. The ones that promise the opportunity to almost literally beat incredible, world class xiaolongbao out of a mouthy upstart.
If Makoto wants her answers-- she'll have to follow the bait.
Log created on 21:50:56 11/07/2014 by Makoto, and last modified on 02:50:40 11/08/2014.