Description: Athena Asamiya's star seems to be on the rise as the young fighter has shot up through the fighting circuits with incredible alacrity. But she soon finds out that there is an upper limit to her ascent when she battles the veteran martial artist, Lee Chao Lan, in an airborn chinook. Dangerously cunning, he opens her eyes to ways people fight. It's only fair that she show him what resolve can do. (DKO)
Every fight worth having was tonight.
High above Metro City, a massive cargo helicopter flies overhead. A modified Boeing CH-47D Chinook, it was loading to the teeth with cameras, sensors, and lights, scanning across the whole of the cities, at all the official fights taking place across the city. And yet, it was not the only helicopter in the air. Another, smaller one, was keeping close to it, filming it from a distance with its own camera equipment.
For the fight within the Chinook.
See, within the helicopter, was a massive interior cargo bay. Normally, it held countless servers and equipment to support the vast filming gear used. But that all was moved aside, and cordoned off. Technicians were still working on it, but the main bay was now... almost completely clear. The only things left were the countless crude seats lining each wall, each with a buckle for it. After all, the Chinook was designed for moving personnel as well as cargo.
And two of those personnel were sitting across from one another.
One of them was a silver haired man known as Lee Chaolan. And you wouldn't know it, but he looked a lot younger than he actually was. He was clad in an indigo vest with a face of a unicorn on the back, and apparently hell-bent for leather based on the pants he was wearing. The man holds in one gloved hand a bottle of champagne. And in the other gloved hand? A glass with which he refilling right now. Pouring the bubbly drink into the glass, he takes a graceful sip from the cup. "Aaaaaaah~" He sighs, savoring the drink, casting a cheeky glance at across the helicopter interior before motioning the glass towards his counterpart.
She was a rapidly rising legend. Only in the fighting circuits for six months now, and Athena Asamiya was fast becoming a household name. In houses that followed the world wide phemonenon that is professional fighting, that is. Which is all the houses that matter, really. Half a year ago, she was a new face in the fighting circuits. Young looking, pretty in a 'Girl next door' sort've way, her background a blank slate, her style some blend of Kung Fu and energy attacks. Such dreamy eyed newcomers to the fighting world were hardly rare.
What was rare was how decisively she was winning her rookie matches. Bout after bout left her moving on with hardly a scratch against the lower rungs of fighters. It became abundantly clear that to get any fight worth filming out of this incredible prodigy, event organizers were going to have to throw her against more skilled, established fighters far sooner than a girl her age had any business facing.
Seated across from Lee now, her hands rest on her lap as she waits. Her demeanor is calm but it's not too hard to read that unique blend of anticipation and trepidation that can be found on the faces of so many young fighters that have not quite gotten used to the cameras, the crews, the publicity, and the pressure of professional matches. A far cry from sparring, or quiet, low key bouts in their local communities, these young prodigies discover the world of fighting is quite different than they expected once they step foot on the world stage and face established martial artists such as the calm, relaxed executive who has no doubt done this kind of thing hundreds of time.
Adding to the nervousness of his opponent is the venue itself. To date, she has never fought on anything more spectacular than stages, arenas, rings, fields, and sandy beaches. The thought of engaging in battle in such a wild, unstable platform as this wingless aircraft is, well, it has her really rethinking this entire course in life actually!
Lee's opponent is dressed in a deep red and pink ensemble - a pink, short sleeved blouse worn beneath a red, open vest, joined with a red skirt with opaque red tights worn beneath. Pink ankle high stockings and red buckled shoes complete the look, her hair adorned with a red comb with a yellow star, and a necklace of violet beads worn about her neck.
Now and then she lifts her hands, fiddles with her red fingerless gloves, making sure they're on snug for the twentieth time. At Lee's gesture, the teenaged fighter gives him a friendly smile and a nod of her head, no doubt appreciating the distraction from the worry going through her mind. Will she ever get used to this? This man is the most renown fighter she has engaged in a one on one fight against, following her terrifying team battle against the likes of the once-Emperor of Muay Thai himself.
The massive aircraft has reached its cruising altitude, zipping around the city, taking in the incredible sites of the various matches actively taking place all around Metro. This will be a fighting event to remember, one way or another!
"I feel I will learn a lot from this match. Thank you for giving me this chance!" She would have spoken more quietly if not for the noise of the twin engines necessary for keeping this metal beast aloft.
Coordinators are now ushering the fighters to their feet. Things are only seconds from getting started!
Did Lee Chaolan have renown?
The legendary Silver Demon? He had more fights than many had within a lifetime of them. Since he was an orphan, he came into the world with fighting, and as a Mishima, it only became more brutal. And yet, for Lee? It was only a hobby. But the fact remained that Lee had a full lifetime of experience to show Athena; people who were watching in would know that the young girl would have an opportunity to truly learn from the Silver-Haired Demon himself.
And yet, Lee was much more interested in his opponent.
"Ah!~ The pleasure is all mine, Athena Asamiya." The silver-haired martial artist sing-songs, sifting the champagne within the glass. "I very rarely get the opportunity to face such a hot new star like yourself. And such popularity is not unfounded, oh no~." He takes another elegant sip of the glass. "I have heard about what you had done to Sagat, after all. It is safe to say, young lady, that both of us will be learning a great deal by the end of this fight." He gives a wink at the idol, as several red warning lights come on throughout the cargo bay.
"Aaaaah!~ That is our cue~"
Lee Chaolan unbuckles himself, as the hatchway doors of the Chinook begins to open. Outside, the smaller helicopter was now fluttering in place to watch within. It seems this is how they were going to film this; not just with cameras inside the helicopter. This may create a new dimension of danger. Even Lee did not seem quite ready to handle the opportunity to fall out of an open helicopter. Struggling to stand up right, he stumbles from his seat. "How clumsy!" He states, easing his footing as the open air of the city stretched out from the open cargo bay. "Perhaps I shouldn't have had so much to drink before this fight!~" The silver-haired demon muses, a small smirk coming across his face as he looks out to the smaller helicopter. . .
Before he downs the rest of his glass in a quick gulp.
Her smile remains courteous and warm, eyes bright with excitement that can't possibly be quelled by the nervousness she's feeling. But his open compliments provoke a quick blush barely visible on her cheeks in the poorly lit Chinook interior. Such open praise is still something she's getting used to. Life under Gentsai's tutoring was a humble affair - an existance of simplicity, training, study, and then house cleaning to keep the place tidy in spite being inhabited by an old drunk and a buncha apparent orphans.
"Thank you," she replies, managing to speak clearly in spite her nerves distracting her. She swallows, her smile becoming a bit sheepish as he mentions the bout against Sagat. That was really mostly that rugged Dash's work. "Well, I wouldn't read too much into that..." What if the Tiger's wrath had been directed at her instead? Would she have lasted nearly as long as the stalwart flame wielder? Or would she have crumpled at first strike? She feels relieved she doesn't have to know, but a touch of regret that she doesn't know her limits yet, having as of yet been undefeated in her short but impressive career.
When the lights glow, Athena glances around anxiously. This is the moment, she thinks, gripping her buckled seatbelt tightly before finally unsnapping it. She's on her feet even as the doors begin to open and a rush of air explodes through the large vehicle. The girl grips a handle hanging overhead, looking to the side, violet eyes widening. She appears just as surprised as Lee at the way this match is going to be recorded. Hopefully neither has a fear of heights, but... isn't this incredibly risky?
Asamiya swallows then closes her eyes, sucking in her breath. Unlike the bout against Sagat, there is no huge crowd bustling around her, no mass of thoughts or emotions to block out. It's just her, her opponent, and the minimalist crew aboard the vehicle. Eyes snap open as she taps into that unfathomable well of energy, bracing her feet to adjust for the sway of the vehicle as her hair and skirt are whipped about by the wind. "I trust you will be okay to continue," she states. She's come a long way - she doesn't want this fight cancelled because her opponent is too inebriated to fight. Of course... she knows better than to discount a martial artist's abilities that easy. She does live with the epitome of drunken Kung Fu himself, afterall!
COMBATSYS: Athena has started a fight here.
COMBATSYS: Lee Chaolan has joined the fight here.
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Athena 0/-------/------=|======-\-------\0 Lee Chaolan
Was Lee Chaolan this tanked?
The executive looked more than a little tipsy on the cameras now locked on him. And yet, the twinkle in his eye doesn't die out, that smirk doesn't fade. As his opponent- and she was his opponent, ultimately- moves forward from her feet, he looks back towards her. His slacks also whip in the wind, and seems to make him sway. As the older man takes a step towards Athena, to meet her challenge, he drops to one knee. "Whoops~" He sings, as he drops the bottle of champagne. The bottle doesn't break; no, it seems to spin around, as it slides straight towards Athena's feet. Chuckling at himself, Lee Chaolan tosses his hair with his now free hand. "Let me give your first lesson, young lady."
"You can never read too much~"
And he explodes to life.
The martial artist surges upright, lunging low and fast Athena. Blitzing forward with incredible agility, the man's eyes sparkle in full force. Gone was the grogginess, gone was the stumbling. Lee was much more sober than he had let on, and now, he was right up next Athena. But he stops cold, that smirk on his face as he looks down at the young fighter. Both hands up into a guard, he steps to the side, shifting momentum at the last second. He was moving back now, to give him time to lash out a kick with his right leg, straight for Athena's legs.
And he drops the kick short.
The foot falls straight down into a step, the Silver Demon side steps again. A feint, another change in approach. Circling around the girl, he unleashes another feinting kick, moving into another circling kick. And in turn, the bottle continues to spin on the ground, sliding on the ground. Lee keeps moving, trying to keep Athena between himself on the bottle. As the bottle comes to a rest, Lee finally commits to an attack. Tossing the glass cup with his other hand into the air past Athena's ear, he snaps out a straight kick aiming for the young upstart's abdomen.
It isn't a kick.
Should he make the footplant, it will become obvious that it isn't a real kick. The impact will be precise, and above all, restrained. Lee wouldn't be slamming into Athena, he would be comfortably getting good leverage with the young lady's gut. Leverage for what? To bring his other leg into the air, to hook it around, and to slam it straight into her face, to send her flying to the floor of the helicopter.
Away from the open hanger door, of course.
COMBATSYS: Athena blocks Lee Chaolan's Mist Trap.
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Athena 0/-------/----===|=======\-------\1 Lee Chaolan
The rolling bottle catches her eye, the girl glancing down for just a moment. She doesn't know better. Her primary training experience has been alongside the honest in heart among the Psycho Soldiers or fighting against fellow rookies, new to the fighting scene. Why not glance at the bottle? Maybe Lee would appreciate it if she picked it up and moved it out of the way? No sense in either of them tripping over the obvious hazard, afterall.
It was only a moment. But that was all he needed. Some might consider it cheating, perhaps, that she realized his intent a split second before his first strike swung out, violet eyes widening, the girl looking up just in time to see him move - yet, that move in and of itself poses no actual threat in spite making the girl flinch, drawing back, mouth agape. What kind of tactics are /these/?
He slips over the cargo bay floor as if it was glass, his movements smooth, the trajectories of his attacks almost impossible to predict. The bewildered look on Athena's face betrays how unprepared she is for these kinds of tactics. Sure, sifu could be hard to read with his staggering and wobbling around, but his small sature somewhat limited the range he could be a threat, always giving her a slight chance to read his unpredictable moves in time.
Lee affords no such luxory, nor is he challenged by height or reach. She dodges when he strikes, thinking each attack is the one meant to bowl her over. The glass flies past her head and she overreacts, twisting to the side right into the foot he plants against her abdomon. But it isn't with enough force to inflict severe harm as she had expected at first -
No, that attack comes next, the girl just barely getting her arms up in time, allowing her guard to absorb the shock of his real kick. The force is still enough to send her staggering, her back hitting the wall of the chopper, her legs nearly tripped out from beneath her by the cheap seating there. But Asamiya musters just enough grace to recover, sliding forward herself, sucking in her breath, "That was..." she doesn't know what to call that. She's a little offended at such deceptive, brazen tactics! But she won't be driven to anger so easily, she convinces herself.
"Eye opening," she allows through gritted teeth, already half crouching in the process of speaking. She has some tricky techniques herself, she thinks, even as she springs into the air, flipping to plant her feet against the cargo bay roof.
In the narrow space they have to work in, it could be hard to avoid the sudden dive, as the teenaged fighter plummets on an angled course for Lee himself, attempting to bowl into /him/, her body surging with an aura of psychic power in the process. "Arrow!"
If she finds a gap in his guard, she'll handplant and kick out with both feet in an attempt to finish the technique, though that does leave her having to recover her balance for a fleeting moment afterward!
COMBATSYS: Lee Chaolan dodges Athena's Phoenix Arrow.
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Athena 0/-------/----===|=======\-------\1 Lee Chaolan
Lee could see the confusion.
It as sweet fruit to him, as the kick sends Athena staggering. Not truly crippling, but merely enough to wake her up. With the feint unleashed, though, both Lee and the glass comes crashing down. As the broken glass spreads, he lets out a chuckle, resting his cheek on his knuckles. Looking over at the recovering Athena, he just shakes his head.
Lee Chaolan chimes, bemused by the reaction. That smirk does not fade as she takes to the air; he does, however, make a forced, audible gasp. As she gets into the position, the Silver-Haired Demon swings his legs. Momentum comes surging forth as the agility of the older man manages to keep in pace with the Psycho Soldier's own. One of the executive's own feet manages to just graze the bottle, letting it spin again. As Athena comes rocketing down, he manages to make it to a crouch. In these closed spaces, he had very little time to react.
He only barely makes it in time.
The Psycho Energy slightly grazes his arms as he tumbles aside. Rolling across the floor of the helicopter, his back hits the shards of broken glasses, the pieces embedding in the vest. Raising up his seared arm, he deflects one of the follow up kicks as he rises back up. Taking the force from the blow, he pushes himself back up to a stand. . . and clear of the second follow up kick.
The man was impressed.
The impact alone would have left the martial artist staggering. But the energy. . . that was what had Lee Chaolan wary about this fight. Even the slightest touch stung from this girl. Shaking his arm, he looks down at Athena, galloping a bit as he already moves on her, to exploit the opening she had made. "No, Athena, that was more than eye-opening." He states velvet soft.
%"It was outright cheap!~"
Lunging in again, he slams a heel down, immediately next to where Athena had landed. He had given her another warning. . . or more false attacks to respond to. Now positioned where Athena was once again between the bottle and her, he looks down at her, head slightly cocked. "Tell me, Athena, am I offending you with such tricks? Honesty is important for a celebrity~" The executive jests as he pivots off the heel slam to take to the air. Leaping up, he hurls down his other leg into a sharp heel smash towards Athena's ribs, to send her right towards that bottle. All while roaring out a kiai shout, in sharp contrast to his soft voice before.
COMBATSYS: Lee Chaolan successfully hit Athena with Silver Slash.
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Athena 1/----===/=======|=======\===----\1 Lee Chaolan
She slides to a stop after her risky diving attack, coming to rest in a half crouch, one hand against the surface of the cargo bay, opposite one knee. She could feel in her tumble from the low clearance ceiling that she hadn't managed to connect cleanly, though when rolling as she was, it becomes difficult to make out the specifics of just how he escaped her trajectory - few have ever accomplished that before.
All she has at her disposal are three imprortant facts:
A) She didn't connect.
B) She doesn't know where Lee is that very instant.
C) Her hair is whipping around out of control ever since they opened the cargo bay doors. If she had the forsight or the tip that the fight would be so windy, she would have had the good sense to bind it up into a less free style than she has right now!
Finding Lee is her first priority in that triology of troubles, however, and the young psychic is pushing up to her feet quickly just in time to spin and face the veteran martial artist as he speaks, violet eyes settling on him, her expression wary. That he is exceptionally skilled is a point being drilled in repeatedly by their exchanges. That he fights in a manner completely unlike anything she knows how to handle is also becoming abundantly clear. His coying exclamation causes her cheeks to flush just a little. That WAS cheap!
She lifts her hands, focing herself back into her well practiced ready stance. It's a good point to be, a familiar, controlled posture to sooth her nerves. At the same time, he is immediately in front of her again. She's too uncertain to attack, perhaps having expected his initial approach to include a strike of some kind. She shifts her arms to start blocking, especially at the level of her face where he had targeted last time!
Is he offending her? He demands honesty - on their honor as celebrities - and she hesitates, forced to enter a deep consideration regarding the feelings welling up in her. She IS feeling angrier, now that she thinks about it. That he won't feign to fight her honestly IS rather offensive! "Actually, I do have to say that-!"
The kick to her ribs is unlike anything she has ever felt from a single physical strike before. Folded over his foot, the diminutive fighter goes flying, arms extended, feet having left the floor all together. Her trajectory actually has the young fighter crashing down atop the bottle with her upper back, the sound of glass giving way audible even over the cacophony of wind roaring through the bay!
She slides far before coming to stop, the top of her head bumping against the wall just below one of the jumpseats, but none of the actual pain she is experiencing is from that judging by the way her right hand goes to rest against where his foot had connected cleanly, her face scrunched up in a grimace of pain.
Holding her breath, her face flushed red from the sharpness of the experience, Athena rolls onto her side and slowly pushes up to her feet, only then noticing the shards of glass dropping down from behind her back. The two layered blouse and vest protected her from many of the bottle's fragments, but a few did manage to cut deep, leaving cuts through the fabric that have drawn blood as well. "...ugh..." she manages, not so wordy now.
Still, she has the capacity to continue; of that she is certain. She hasn't given this match everything she's got and she refuses to give in until she has! She needs to recollect herself, though. He's kept her off-kilter since the start. The way he presented himself before he become the relentless blur she's facing is completely different from the man she sees now. The Silver Demon, is that not something she heard mentioned earlier? Sucking in her breath she realizes it hurts to breath. Did a rib break? She might be recovering from this for quite a while? But for now, her back is to the front of the cargo bay, far from the dangerous open doors. And now she is going to do as she was trained.
Thinking through Lee's tactics won't be enough. She needs to concetrate on what he is doing... and why he is doing it. She needs to pick up on those subtle queues often released by others even without them knowing it. An intense focus beyond simply concentrating - almost a subconscious link to the most surface level of intents.
Standing up straight, she lowers her hand from her side. It won't do to be looking so wounded, she decides. "This has certainly been enlightning thus far," she finally manages between pained gasps for breath as slowly she lifts her hands back to a readied stance, hair whipping about her shoulders and threatening her view. There's little to be done for that but simply concentrate and sense his movements, Asamiya concludes.
COMBATSYS: Athena focuses on her next action.
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Athena 1/----===/=======|=======\===----\1 Lee Chaolan
When that kick makes contact, you can almost hear the gasp from the audience.
While Athena had not reached the level of renown as several other fighters, the girl had her following. The mist trap wasn't too bad, even though it looked like it threw Athena for a loop. But when the jump kick comes, the crack is heard on the microphone. That would be enough for the people watching Athena fight. But when she rises, the camera zooms to her back. And there, they see the blood. For all the praise of Athena being a young new fighter, the sheer, callous brutality of the strike causes both living rooms, bar rooms, and the internet to explode with disgusted outrage.
And Lee Chaolan doesn't even blink.
The man lands on both feet, and turns, back turned to Athena. The smirk isn't gone, as he rolls those shoulders. Running his fingers through his hair, he lets the wind pull at his vest. Content with the aftermath of the strike, he finally turns to face down Athena, pulling guard back up.
But Athena wasn't ready to charge in again.
Lee Chaolan's skill and unpredictability had finally forced Athena to come to a standstill. In only a few scant seconds, he had completely turned her training upside down. And now, she was paying attention. She now understand that while she had put down the Tiger of Muay Thai, that the Silver Demon had finesse where there was raw power, cunning where there was iron will. Putting his thumbs on his belt loops, he straightens his posture, casting a knowing glance towards the external helicopter.
He knew too well what he has done.
He knew he just broke at least one rib. He knew what that bottle was for. And worst of all, he was not even slowed down. The energy of that last assault should have, and would have, left a less experienced martial artist winded. But Lee Chaolan was fine. He just tilts his head back, eyeing the injured Athena with light bemusement.
"Yes, it has, for both of us!~"
Lee's tone isn't overtly mocking, but it is impossible to take the sing-song tone seriously either. Flighty and fey, he chuckles a bit to himself. "You are actually fighting quite well! The fact you are still standing is a testament to your training!~" He praises, dropping his guard in order to open his arms. " You must tell me who your master is... if you haven't already! I haven't really been paying too much attention~" He puts up his fists, the man dropping his casual stance to return to the Mishima-style guard. His tone deepens, becoming much more serious and focused. "But remember, this is no spar! Can you handle it when an opponent like me, does whatever he can to win? If you think you can't, you can forfeit now. Otherwise?~"
And his stance changes.
He spreads his legs apart, one forward, one back. Crouching his legs low, he leans back hard, keeping his center fixed on his back foot. Bringing his right fist up, he holds in front of his chest. And his other hand? Is now beckoning Athena to come towards him with two fingers. Lee Chaolan unleashes a wink.
COMBATSYS: Lee Chaolan gathers his will.
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Athena 1/----===/=======|=======\=======\1 Lee Chaolan
She realizes just how bad it is when she consciously considers that she can barely feel the pain of the cuts on her back. There is a faint sting that barely registers compared to the agony in her side, it matters not in the slightest. He doesn't advance on her either. If one were to ignore the events leading up to this moment, it would seem to be a small brush of mercy for the wounded fighter - a chance for her to pull herself together and get back into the match.
But as she squints through the sharp ache accompanying her breaths, she is completely certain that his hanging back is nothing of the sort. Up until now, he has been aggressive, bewildering, in her face at every turn. Now he is changing the pace. Even in not attacking, the Silver Haired Demon seems to be controlling the pace of the fight.
There is a sting in her pride when she notices him pandering to the camera for a moment, but she quickly fights back against it. But even will can do nothing to flush the pink from her cheeks or the tremble in her fingertips as she prepares herself to act again.
His words are complimentary in spite all that has happened, but his open posture makes clear what kind of threat he believes her to be. Or is that what he wants her to think? She's never faced anyone so confusing in combat in her life! "Master-" she starts to reply, flinching only a little at the spike of pain that effort provokes, "Gentsai is the one who has brought me this far."
Her eyes narrow at the shift in tone. He's right. This is no spar. This is a battlefield. A warzone. Why should it follow the rules she expects it to? Is victory achieved by any means possible any less a victory? Perhaps... depending on the weight one places on honor, she tells herself. Or is that simple foolishness? Right now it's hard to tell.
His stance shifts and she continues to work on her breathing. She can move she decides, she'll just have to ignore the pain. "You haven't got me yet," she replies, spirit coming back to her voice. It would be easy to dismiss him if he was simply cheap tricks. She might even be able to see through a rookie fighter getting by with such tactics. But someone with his pure skill, combining finesse with powerful deception, it's another thing all together. But now she's focused.
Her friends will be watching, she knows. They will be worried about the injury she took. She needs to put on a braver front for them. She can't have them fretting over her so. "Actually," she replies, mouth curling into a faint smile, the blush from her cheeks fading slowly. "It's clear I need give you my best-!"
She pushes off from the wall behind her, bolting forward, her arms trailing behind her back, rose hued energy surging down her limbs with a brilliance that illuminates the entire cargo bay in its light.
A split second later, she's a red and violet blur, moving far faster than her feet alone should be able to carry her. "You haven't seen anything yet!" For all his deceit, does he not merit her best effort? Do not her fans, her friends? She isn't here just for herself but for all of them!
By the time she seems to stop moving, her arms are already slamming forward, bringing her hands together, each bearing a phenominal amount of energy that Athena intends to collide directly over her opponent's body. The impact would be a huge surge of crushing, psychic power against which almost no guard would suffice!
COMBATSYS: Lee Chaolan blocks Athena's Round Psycho Reflector EX.
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Athena 1/---====/=======|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2 Lee Chaolan
Lee had long experience in make him hard to read.
Just as quickly a friend as a foe, the executive has long been a wild card, in both personal and family affairs. And this fight was, ultimately, just personal business. As Athena focuses harder on Lee Chaolan, attuning to him, she will begin to get small glimpses in emotions. Flickers of mirth, calming and soothing, pours from the martial artist. Not the aura of a fighter, or at least, not a normal one. Was it truly how he felt? Or was it a front. It may not matter, as Athena bursts with energy. With her surge straight towards the grey-haired fighter, the speed and power was overwhelming. This was the power that struck down the Tiger of Muay Thai. Almost no guard would suffice.
Except Lee Chaolan's.
To be fair, it barely suffices. Athena would see it in the turn of his head, the narrow of his eyes. The slight fading of the smirk. Several tells of the body language come as the executive suddenly focuses ALL of his attention on what was coming to him. The whole posture shifts as he leans forward, bringing his enticing hand over to catch the blur. The full force of Athena comes bearing down on the nimble martial artist.
And he is sent reeling
"Excellent~" Is the cry as the man's expert footwork comes into play. The crushing psionic power hits the forward arm, and it comes like a trigger. The Silver Haired Demon slides back briefly, before stepping back deliberately and dilligently. He doesn't fight against the full rush of energy surging over him, the explosive power like a hammer into his arm. He retreats, letting the energy flow past him and around him, never into him.
It isn't enough.
He feels his left arm burning painfully in a second, before turning into a tingling numbess. The numbness spread erratically over his body, lashing out at his shoulders. He struggles to rotate, as the aftermath of the energy continues to cascade. The forward limb goes limp, as he finally forces himself around to Athena's flank.
In the other hand, a silvery light begins to grow.
The Psycho Soldier could finally get to see a clear action from the martial artist. She had hurled herself into the Hitman stance. Using his forearm as a pivot, he had rotated around her. And now, he was taking advantage of it. The gambit of his block had resulted in one arm temporarily becoming useless. But at Athena's flank, he was building up his power and energy into a weak point he had created earlier: The girl's rib cage. His power coming to a head, he doesn't lose any other words as he lashes out a single, precise palm strike, aimed for the weakest point in the girl's body
COMBATSYS: Lee Chaolan successfully hit Athena with Death Touch.
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Athena 2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|>>>>---\-------\0 Lee Chaolan
There is always a risk in executing such an incredibly explosive attack. The sphere of Psycho Power unleashed from her arms as she tries to bury Lee blocks the smaller fighter from his site and him from her site. All she can see is the blindingly bright rose hued crackling orb of surging energy. An attack of this magnitude was more than enough to defeat many of the opponents she had encountered on her climb to this level. But even as she executes it, she knows better than to believe it enough to finish the cunning veteran.
No. He was definitely made of tougher stuff than that.
But she could hope that such a large attack would keep him busy, keep him penned in long enough for her to figure out her next step. She hadn't planed that far ahead. Maybe she should have.
If she had not found her focus moments prior - if she hadn't made absolute certain to concentrate on every miniscule detail she could perceive - she wouldn't have even noticed that he had slipped around and his brutal attack would have launched into her side without even an iota of defense on her part. So flawless is his technique.
So this is what it is to fight masters at this level, she thinks to herself in an instant, as she releases the crushing sphere of psychic energy from her control and begins to whirl toward Lee, arms already snapping back in a bid to defend herself. This is how far I still have to go.
She sees the crackle of energy, she has the vaguest sense of the destructive kinetic power his palm possesses as it surges toward her side, she even knows where he is aiming. Because of course that is where he would aim.
This is war.
Her arms are moving. The strength of her limbs alone can't possibly be enough. It is there just before his hand reaches, between her hands; a shimmering shield of that same resolved pink. He might notice - she isn't looking at his hand. No - her violet eyes are fixed on his face. Nothing shy of utter, unbreaking resolve can be found there. And it is against that resolve made manifest that his palm crashes.
The small shield, a half-foot in diameter - is absolutely not enough to stop his strike cold, as much as she would have wished it to be. But even as it shatters, psychic energy rendered innert simply by the magnitude of the kinetic energy it just absorbed, he will know without any shade of doubt, that it was enough to make the barest essential difference in the exchange to follow.
His precision technique continues onward to strike her torso. The impact is even worse than his snapping jump kick from before. She feels, without a doubt, the damage done to her ribcage this time. She will definitely be getting treatment from these injuries for a long while. Her mouth opens, a breathless gasp escaping as every ounce of air in her lungs gets forcefully ejected. The back of her pink blouse directly behind the point of impact explodes outward a moment before she too goes flying, her back slamming against the cargobay wall with a resounding thud.
She should be crumpling to the ground after that. But she refuses to fall. Her eyes have never left his face. The storm of energy that explodes up around the girl is unlike anything she has shown him thus far. A seemingly infinite well of Psycho Power cascades up, answering her call, summoning two swirling, concentrated spheres of that energy barely restrained.
She can't utter a sound, she hasn't the ability to breath, her hand lifting up admist the storm. A staggering half-step forward is taken. All of that incredible display of energy concentrated up into a single point above her head. And then it is launched, hurtling toward him in these tight quarters, her finger pointing the way for the Psycho Powered homing missile to go!
COMBATSYS: Athena successfully hits Lee Chaolan with Shining Crystal Bit+.
[ \\\\\\\\ < > ////////////// ]
Athena 0/-------/---<<<<|>>>>---\-------\0 Lee Chaolan
Lee meets eyes with Athena, briefly.
He breaks eye contact to glance down at the shield of energy. His eyes flick back to Athena. The smirk does not fade, as he shatters through it. Death Touch could rip through nearly any defense, smashing through shield and arms as cleanly as breaking concrete blocks. Athena's shield is no different, as it cracks through it. The only benefit is that it slows the impact down. And in a single blow, he shatters bone and breaks the hearts of a growing fanbase, as he sends her hurtling away.
That should have been the end of the fight.
As he draws himself back, recovering from the blow, he tilts his head up, looking down at the defiant stand of Athena. He doesn't break eye contact either. The wind of the exposed air was fluttering through his hair, his demeanor was coying. He wanted to see her stand up from that. He does not show sympathy. He does not show sadism. Just bemused indifference, looking her in the eyes that were locked into his own.
Then the two orbs of energy burst forth from her.
There is no longer a smirk from the silver-haired fighter.
There is, instead, a grin.
The same focus as before comes to the forefront. Everything moves in controlled union, in response to the two orbs merging together into one. Standing fast, he readies up his right hand, his left still dead from the last blast. He waits, watches, easing the timing as the ball of energy is launched. With flawless timing, and expert stepwork, he sidesteps, easily dodging the blast, in spite of these close quart-
The attack homing in.
He keeps moving. He keeps moving. He just keeps trying to dodge the undodgable. He struggles to bring his other arm up. He can't block anymore. Lee Chaolan runs straight into the side of the helicopter bay, planting a foot on one of the seats as he stares at the ball coming at him. He tries to jump off the wall, to jump over it. Or maybe to roll under it. It isn't clear, as when he makes the last ditch effort to evade the blast..
It surges straight through his body.
"Guhk!" Was the groan from the martial artist as he slams into the chairs of the helicopter, smashing them from the side. The entire vessel lurches from the impact, as it tilts heavily towards Lee's side... and then heavily to Athena's side, as it compensates. The Silver Demon grabs his chest, as everything, for a brief moment, is gone. Everything was gone. Lee Chaolan's entire body just seems to... be gone. Lee Chaolan's mind is a haze, his focus disconnected from the world. The sheer force of the psycho energy was... remarkably different than the force of chi. Lee Chaolan collapses forward, as the cameras outside zoom in on the Silver Demon... and then the bloodied Athena. Was this a DKO? Was either fighter still in the fight? The executive's leg twitches
And he slowly staggers up.
Lee Chaolan was no longer faking being drunk. He still felt like he was 5 feet above his body. Everything was... not functioning together. The psychic assault was certainly a fresh new experience for the martial artist. There was no external injuries on the fighter's figure, except for a fat bruise on his left forearm. But underneath the skin, the damage was subtle; targeting his soul, his nervous system. Lee Chaolan looks at his right hand. It was spasming, trembling uncontrollably. He blinks slowly, before he turns back to Athena. And on his face, was that same grin that she had brought upon her face earlier. And he holds up that trembling hand into a thumbs up. And he winks at her.
He sweeps his feet on the debris, sending them sliding across the ground towards Athena. It was starting all over again. He approaches Athena, his guard up, his eyes locked on hers. Striding forward on uneasy legs, Athena could easily see that the executive was not fully recovered from her overwhelming blast. Struggling to keep focused, he finally reaches her, the rest of the debris tinking around her legs. He decides to end this, as he snaps a lightning fast kick by his left leg, right towards the girl's ribs again-
And fakes it out.
The foot drops, as he pivots. His right leg snaps around into a high kick, aiming squarely for the girl's shoulder. Not the face; while he had every right to hit the face, he did not want to ruin that for her as well. The stay in the hospital for both of them would be enough. Whether or not the kick lands squarely, however, won't stop the follow-up: A straight punch right towards her abdomen, with a finishing, if teasing low kick with his left leg right to her shins. He coult put more pressure on her ribs. He wouldn't, though.
It might kill her.
COMBATSYS: Athena interrupts Excellent Combo from Lee Chaolan with Psycho Sword EX.
[ \\\\\\ <
Lee Chaolan 0/-------/--=====|
COMBATSYS: Athena can no longer fight.
[ \\\\\\ <
Lee Chaolan 0/-------/--=====|
The bullet of psychic energy now airborn, the girl's hair falls back down to the level of her shoulders, now only tousled by the fierce wind rushing around them rather than the more visible currents of power she was channeling moments before. It takes everything she has to stay conscious, to stay focused, to wield the guidance necessary to bring that precision attack in on her target - the Silver-Haired Demon, Lee Chaolan.
The pain coursing through her is almost enough to make her not even realize she had connected with her ultimate technique. Realization becomes more clear as the chopper itself begins to sway, knocked one way, then knocked back the other. If her back was not already against the bulkhead of the aircraft, she likely would have toppled to the metal floor in the process. Instead, she braces, pushing back with her feet, using the wall as the support required to stay upright. She isn't done yet. She told him he'd get her best. Her fans, her friends - they deserve nothing less.
"Nnn," she grunts, hand lifting to rest at the point of impact of Death Touch, wincing in agony, the flush in her cheeks now from suffering rather than frustration. She feels sick to her stomach. She might be going into shock, she considers. She's never had tha that happen before. She's never been pushed to this kind of limit by anyone! Is he down? For several seconds, she believes - no wishes, that to be the case, her vision blurring as her eyes begin to water. Only adrenaline fueled resolve can keep her going at this point.
But no, he isn't finished either. He is getting up. He says something. Her ears are ringing too loud to hear him clearly, but the look on his face makes it clear what he just said. And for the first time this fight, she is driven to agree.
It really is...
A sharp bark of a laugh escapes her lips, air finally available to her to make a sound again. It's only one sound before pain cuts her off from making any further, but the look on her face, near delirious from pain, communicates the sentiment all the same. She's never had such an incredible fight in her life young career. Fighting was a means to an end, or so she thought. She was dedicated to it. But did she enjoy it, for the sake of fighting?
Until this moment, faced with the skilled veteran executive, she never would have been able to answer that yes, unconditionally... she /loved/ it!
Debris scatter around as he moves forward. This isn't finished between them. Her heart burns to show him that is true even as her body screams for merciful rest. "Nnn," she grunts, unable to utter a word, her right hand lowering. He's there now, his complex strikes impossible to read in this state. All she can do is attack back.
He might realize her intent as she leans forward, arm reaching down, one last powerful swath of Psycho Power coursing down her forearm, concentrating in a compact sphere of pink energy at the end of her hand. His foot cracks against her shoulder. That isn't going to help the recovery process. If she could cry out her move's name, she would. The audience deserves as much. But the only way she can speak now is through her actions.
His punch drives out for her stomach, eager to crush whatever remaining fight might exist in the girl. It would be more than enough. But at the same time her right hand slashes up, rose hued energy trailing behind, just beyond her finger tips, as she slices upward, pushing off with her foreward leg to further the trail of energy she'll cut through Lee.
Athena Asamiya never gets off the ground. His punch connects, driving her back with a solid thud against the wall, her lingering breath escapes her lips, her eyes losing their focus, her mouth agape, as at last the eager up and coming fighter crumples down against the corrugated metal and she comes to rest in a seated position, becoming still.
That was her best, she thinks to herself, as blackness encroaches in on her vision from all sides, a roaring in her head heralding the oncoming unconsciousness that promises her at least temporary reprieve from her wounds.
She has no regrets.
And thus is the riddle of the Silver Demon.
When you are one of the most renowned fighters in the world, how do you act? How do you behave? What are your roles, your responsibilities? For Lee Chaolan, fighting is almost a hobby. A lifelong hobby, where you were surrounded by a family of some of the strongest fighters in the world, following one of the most brutal martial arts in the world. For Lee Chaolan, like his wealth and his prestige, his talent in fighting was a matter of luck and circumstance. What would he be now, if he was still fighting on the streets of Shanghai as an orphan?
He could have very well been a Psycho Soldier, training under Chin.
And yet. Athena successfully learns the answer to the riddle. When you are one of the top martial artists in the world, how do you approach your art?
You simply enjoy it.
He adored this chance to meet a bright and rising star like Athena. He rarely fights a psionic fighter like herself, and the fact that he could see that iron resolve was invigorating. He learned that when he watches Athena in her next fight, he will know just what kind of fighter she is, what kind of heart she brings. And as he brings down that kick straight to her shoulder, he realizes another important thing that he will always remember, when watching her next match.
She fights like a cornered tiger.
Lee Chaolan did, briefly, consider that she might try and attack back. But he rejected it. Her options were to block, or dodge. Everything up to this fight was the Silver Demon putting pressure on her, making her feel trapped under his relentless assault. That she would work to protect her ribs, to prevent further damage, was what Lee banking on, and manipulating towards. When the hand slashes up as he punches the gut, he neatly assumes she was trying to block it, and failing.
Instead, she tears into Silver Demon.
The silver-haired executive grabs his chest. "Whoa!~" He exclaims, as she crumples back. The camera fixes on Athena, watching to see if she gets up. Pulling back the focus, it then moves on Lee Chaolan. His vest was torn open, though no mark was on his body. He grabs his chest though, as he begins to collapse in a similar heap, right across from his opponent.
That was the line.
The Silver Demon had already felt like he was controlling his body like puppet. Expertly, of course. But as the final slash from the cornered Athena comes, he feels like his soul is sundered. Perspectives were twisting, his body was hot in some places, cold in others, with pockets of numbness. He felt like a ghost, hovering over his body. The psycho powers had finally eaten away at him. His body spasms, twitches on the ground, as lays there. The outside camera crew watches, and waits. Was this going to have another comeback. Would one of them rise again. There is a long, pregnant silence. And suddenly, Lee's body moves.
His hand shoots up.
The camera from outside zooms on the hand.
With a flick, Lee Chaolan gives a thumbs up.
And the arm collapses down, the man finally succumbing to the psionic assault.
COMBATSYS: Lee Chaolan takes no action.
COMBATSYS: Lee Chaolan can no longer fight.
Log created on 23:33:16 11/07/2014 by Athena, and last modified on 01:47:18 11/10/2014.