SNF 2014.12 - SNF: A Bloodstained Fist

Description: A fight on top of the Shinbara financial building gets out of hand when a mysterious man cuts in. Fortunately, Rose is able to "get with it" and "avoid being turned into delicious marinara sauce" before "Akuma destroys the building with his big meaty fist." (Rose wins, somehow. The building does not.)

The body slammed through the stage brutally. Timbers snap like toothpicks and plyboard shatters into thready teeth underneath the punishing weight. The other fighter was surprisingly light when he was broken in half, and were it not for the sheer speed in which he was thrown from his feet, the stage might have remained somewhat intact. As it is, his ragdoll form piles cataclysmically onto the twisted nest of wood and metal at odd angles, rendering what was one a very careful and planned commercial set into a warzone instantly.

The will and directive of gods and demons alike, the single character of "HEAVEN," is less painted and more blown across the man's resting place in his own blood, thrown violently from his body at the apex of a very, very brief struggle. If that man is alive, he is only barely so.

All things artificial will be trampled underfoot.

Rain has begun to spatter the desolated rooftop, the site of a light rainfall that has been brewing ever since his arrival in the city a few hours ago, from clouds that are more anger than anything else. The sky splits in a peal of thunder that echoes across the city. The cold and the wet has trouble finding him, as a heat drier than the deserts of Hell itself crawls off of his body in lurid red mists. Instead, the patter of rainfall is tempered with the creak of tightening hemp, as the fighter secures the ropes binding his hands, and paying no mind to the blood at coats them clear to his wrists.

He has tracked the presence--his fight--here, and will have no interference from those who believe they can provide anything more than a brief diversion for him. Scornfully, he looks down the body of the conquered, his glare as cutting as the sword. "...." If he survives, the crippled fighter may one day be a useful battle for him. And this other one... her minnowing will be cut down with the urgency of a pending death. It's purely for his own sake that the trash is left alive. A desire not to bother with the weak.. and a desire to cultivate the strong...

It is "survival" in its purest form.
Akuma is left with nothing but to wait, extending his senses out to their utmost.

This is not something which Rose expected when she came up today.

She had been using these organized fights to feel people out, to sense the passage of that man and his agents. She had felt him come quite close the previous day, though he had come just as she was departing - but Rose had felt someone else there, someone who filled her with hope.

Of course, when Rose had felt a passing wave of malice, she had thought it was Vega. Why wouldn't it be? He is certainly malicious enough.

Akuma can perhaps feel Rose's approach; whether simply by monitoring the passage of time or smelling the faint note of her perfume as she enters the building is not for her to know. Rose takes the elevator up, of course. Somewhere around the twentieth floor, she frowns slightly, having a sense of a bad impulse...

Then the elevator door opens with a quiet chime. Rose stares out with a moment of anguish in her eyes. It is poignant and profound, but almost as soon as it dawns, Rose wraps her own psyche in the firm grasp of her will. There is none of the subtle joie de vivre and willingness to play to the crowd in the woman once she steps out of the elevator: for, of course, there is no crowd, is there?

Only the bleeding and the broken.

The rain does not fall strongly on Rose. Her scarf is curled around her upper arms as she rests her hands on her hips. She does not, quite, look directly at the man; instead her gaze rests upon his bloody calligraphy for a full second.

"To whom are you writing?" she asks, and NOW her eyes do cut towards Akuma. And past him. The wind picks up, stirring her hair.

I should condemn his actions, Rose thinks: but somehow, I don't think he's the sort who would benefit from a lecture. And if I waste time...

COMBATSYS: Rose has started a fight here.

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Rose             0/-------/-------|

He can sense her, just as clearly as he would have had he been facing her. He has tracked her specifically all the way from China, and he is more than aware of the color, scent and taste of her fighting power at any distance. Truthfully, he makes no move to hide--there is no reason to--neither himself nor his act. Instead, the demon-like fighter takes great care to channel his anger down into a single white-hot point, blades of muscle in his back flaring underneath his ragged gi as he opens his hands over his root chakra, breathing outward to silence his surge of lethal intentions.

It is not quite evil that Rose senses--though any tide of violence is easily misinterpreted. The primal sensation baling forth from the wizened fighter is something beyond a moral polarity. It is like standing too close to a raging fire, the heat baling out strong, harsh, and unrelenting. A sledgehammer made of coarse sand pounds on the senses without any end in sight. Even when he focuses the scope of his violence down to a point, the sense only dims, it does not abate. A hot desert wind..

"It is the only law he understands," the sage reflects.

Looking upon the cataclysm he visited upon the younger fighter, the master of the fist is utterly still, only a single strand of the violent shock of red hair crowning his head moving, betrayed by the slow, hot breeze. It is dry, for being out in the rain. He surveys the blood-lined kanji severely, only thinking on it for a moment before continuing.

"I am writing an apology letter to your God for lining his house with trash."

Raising an open hand to his hip, locked in a furious claw, he slowly tightens it into a fist. The rills of dry force emanating from him tear away discretion, and break down the bridge leading over chaos. Slowly, but surely, all reason breaks away, in full retreat from him. "The age is filled with the weak and the helpless. Heaven has no room in it for the unworthy. If you are weak and nothing, you should simply cease to exist..."

"Learn this law well. I am Akuma, Master of the Fist. Your opponent today will be me!!"

He less moves and more explodes. Cordlike muscles bulging with the motion, the demon fighter rips free from his man-made moorings, crippling the grounds with his motion. He whirls with lethal speed on the psychic, his leg cutting out like a scythe to lay waste to her at once--his force is more than enough to cut down the small elevator house that she arrived from, ripping cement and steel to shreds as he wheel-kicks downwards, his aim going right across her neck through to her hip.

A direct hit would almost surely split her in two, if she were caught unawares.

Rose sucks a breath in through her nose.

"Well," she says as the dry and heated force pours off of the red-haired man, "I suppose I did ask." But that is the only intrusion she makes as Akuma explains himself. Rose does not move as she regards him. Then he names himself, declares his intent, and bursts forwards.

In a way he is beautiful, Rose thinks in the fraction of a second before she begins to move in response. It is good that she does not hesitate, because that kick would have ripped through squishy flesh and sprayed guts across the rooftop. Rose's reply was first, to crouch down slightly, and then, to leap up into the air...

Not just up: towards.

"It would seem that you seek to give me a lesson in the cruelty and violence which one man can wreak," Rose says as she vaults through the air, twisting her legs up, scarf wrapped around her arms.

"There was no need: I am aware."

Rose comes down after twisting around, having come remarkably close to performing a technique that she used upon Athena not so long ago - perhaps Akuma himself had seen it, or perhaps he had viewed it upon television. But it is not to be; Rose lands to Akuma's left, doubtless just as he is returning into a neutral stance, prepared to resume his massacre...

Rose reaches out with two fingers.

There is a sudden swelling /burst/ of light, dark blue and almost flamelike, from her fingers - if this man, this mountain, this burning desert wind given human form is not elusive enough, it may engulf him. Silently and painlessly burning, until Rose twists her arm one hundred and forty degrees.

Then the flame goes away.

What is the purpose of this? Well, such intentionality of motion is always subject to the outcome of one's enemy, but by rotating him that far, with this much force, Rose hopes to impart quite a bit of force to the man - enough to throw him some distance.

In specific, the distance that would take him over the side of the building.

Despite this, Rose speaks as she pivots. "Of course, I may have misunderstood you."

COMBATSYS: Akuma has joined the fight here.

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Rose             0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0            Akuma

COMBATSYS: Akuma blocks Rose's Soul Fade.

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Rose             0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0            Akuma

Parts of the elevator's wheelhouse are cleaved wide by Akuma's furious attack, concrete and mortar reduced to dust beneath his blisteringly fast kick. But it is only stone and air parted, not flesh and blood as Akuma had thought to. She is fast, as he might have expected, his body moving through the motions of settling, the heel of his waraji smashing roughly into the ground as he returns to his neutral combat stance.

She leapt over his attack, and though he has seen her fight, her moves are not recalled by memory, moreover a certain sense of 'awareness' the hellish battle lord possesses. War is war. A raised shoulder means an outstretched fist. A lowered hip means a swept leg. This means that he does not react from memory moreover potential--he does not know what was, he only cares for what is. The demon's fists ball at his sides as she lands in his dead zone, and he is prepared to attack, raising an elbow as if to drive it through her eye.

However, before he can, a burst of coruscating bluish flame grips onto him. He knows very well that it lacks the bite of real fire, but the psychic force that accompanies it is enough to remove agency, as there is no bone that Akuma can break that will end the hold on him. He is thrown fiercely, tumbling end over end in what would have been the world's shortest fight. However, in the midst of his sailing toss, he is able to get one leg beneath him, scraping against the grip of the ground beneath him by one toe.

It is enough.
"The only lesson I wish to teach..."

The demon grips the ground as if locked to it fiercely, slamming both balls of his feet down until he roots himself in place, his bones and body jarring with the motion, kicking up dust as his soul burns. She speaks to him so elegantly, so calmly. A delicate scent passed over him the moment she landed, the scent of her perfume. Her manner and her beauty both fail to move him, as he takes one step forward, leaning into an immediate counterblow. He moves as a shadow might.

" the one that ends with your back broken."

Akuma responds to re-gaining his footing by rolling into a blade-handed chop that takes him down to a single fully-committed knee as he moves to cut into her like an executioner's axe. There is not much made of flesh that can guard against his singular anvil's deathblow--the force is enough to crumple the concrete beneath him, and will, when his strike finds it. It is just shy of bisecting. Just shy.

COMBATSYS: Akuma successfully hits Rose with Weakened Zugai Hasatsu.
- Power hit! -

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Rose             0/-------/--=====|==-----\-------\0            Akuma

There isn't much of flesh that can endure such a blow, no.

Rose takes the chop on the shoulder despite an obvious initiation of a dodge. It slams her down and it slams her hard. The effort to roll /away/ means that Akuma's concrete-shattering force, to a certain extent, goes through her - and every moment that spreads out such skeleton-destroying force makes it easier. Makes it more endurable.

'Easier' and 'more endurable' here are, of course, relative terms. Rose feels her left lung partially collapse and blood flies out of her lips as she coughs, smashing into the ground, pivoting her hips and rolling loose. The scarf around her arms glitters in the falling rain as she coughs once.

"This seems," she forces herself to say, "a rather poor way to render a lesson." She forces herself upright, despite the bleak realization that this is not something she can simply dispose of by hurling it out the window. But how often has that ever worked? she thinks wearily, even as the lights of Geese Tower flick on in the distance.

It's a reminder, however subtle, that the world is greater than this battle.

"If you seek to use me as a lesson to a third party," Rose says, even as she makes herself step towards Akuma - the first step is the hardest, the rest much easier - "I am afraid that I must decline. And if you intend to instruct me, you have already set me a poor example. After all," and here Rose's eyes cut towards the fallen fighter -

"What, exactly, has he learned?"

She is not far from Akuma now. Longer than a leg, but not so far away that she could not be reached for - ah, but that's why you keep that distance, isn't it, so that you can see the blow coming. Rose feels a certain sparkling tension in her gut that is not purely from the forceful dissipation of any gallstones inside of her: all of her resources are awakening, focusing on this problem.

Rose slides her scarf off one arm - and it snaps up in a sudden luminous neon-green, wrapping around her forearm as she lunges forwards. The billowing swath of the yellow fabric expands outwards, glowing and shockingly disruptive to the touch, a burst of preternatural color in this bleak and gloom-shrouded landscape colored only by blood.

COMBATSYS: Rose successfully hits Akuma with Soul Spiral.

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Rose             0/-------/-======|======-\-------\0            Akuma

Akuma almost goes straight through with the motion. When he feels the pliant resistance of flesh and bone beneath his hand rolling away from the blow, he doesn't stop. Even as she falls away, he doesn't stop. It is only until he comes this close to caving in the ceiling beneath their feet that he stops, his hand hovering only an inch over the roofline, stopping himself cold. Slowly, his head tilts forward, following Rose's path of retreat with soulless red eyes.

A slow sound, like the mountainsides grinding against one another, escapes his throat. She struggles to recover before his blow as he slowly stands before her, assuming a martial forward stance against her. His stance is unweighted, implying no particular aggression towards her except the attack he's already carried out. "Be silent. I've come a long way. You waste my time thinking about what is being taught, what you can learn. Of what you can take and what you cannot have... a pitiful sentiment. With that much, you'll be nothing more than the whetstone that I test my axe on!!"

The whirling shield slams into Akuma, breaking the fighter's stride and rhythm with pure energetic force. Her soul blooms underneath the pain, as he expected, and his body pays a toll for it, crumpling underneath her lithe-limbed blow as it drives into him powerfully. He takes the lunge head-on, with very little attempt to evade it, almost as if he'd had no mind to defend it anyway. It is because he can sense her strength, that force of spirit burgeoning, no matter how delicate her words might be chosen.

"The only thing you should concern yourself with is survival!!"

Instead of retreating from her, Akuma welcomes her, spilling his own blood as he leans in, wading into her lunge in a brutal clinch. He tries to find her outstretched arm, a terse vise-handed grip that will see her bent over his knee. Even as he does so, he will try to stretch her over him like a skin over a drum, putting force across her body and specifically, the blow he had just inflicted to her shoulder. It comes just as he moves to cut into the curve of her back with his martial blow, moving for all intents and purposes as if he literally intended to split the psychic in twain at the waist, or stretch her in half.

There is no room for anything else for him. Grace and class cannot exist in a maelstrom.

COMBATSYS: Akuma successfully hits Rose with Weakened Shurettou.
~ Cruel hit! ~

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Rose             1/------=/=======|=======\=------\1            Akuma

Rose tenses up as she's grasped and twisted around. How astonishing, she thinks; he hasn't even lost a bit of muscular control underneath such a barrage of Soul Power!

Then she relaxes utterly.

It is a good trick, and it is why drunks often fall off buildings and receive only minor cuts. Rose sucks in a deep breath, lets it out, and this would seem absurd, save that it makes the tension in her body even weaker. Then, Akuma smashes down -

There is a loud pop. Rose moves in a way she really shouldn't (and this is where a rippling, liquid effervescence around her wrist lets her slide loose, a brief flash of sparkling pink) and hits the ground, grinding along it. Agony pours down her front with dull heat, and even as she leaps to her feet, it runs down her back. She may have avoided being ripped apart, but there is still over-flexion and the huge bruise that she can tell is spreading over her back, beneath the cloth, where that man-monster struck his blow.

Rose almost has her back turned to Akuma. She has at least the confidence that she would feel him coming.

Her mind reviews what he said, and something seems to pierce through the cloud. Perhaps Akuma can see it in her stance; the anger that had risen up at the sight of that mute, perhaps dead form of a mangled fellow fighter is still there, of course. And it would be wrong, perhaps, to call this a 'fighting spirit' exactly. But SOMETHING was realized.

Even if the guess may be wrong.

"Well," Rose says, "alright then --" and then she does twist on her heel, going down low as she closes distance, crouching down low and slinging her right arm around to try and aim a blow on that majestic tree-trunk that is Akuma's thigh. But much like Abraham Lincoln, she has a tool to aid her - that glittering Soul Power filling the cashmere fabric of her iconic scarf! Sweeping from the inside out; does she hope to topple him?

Her eyes come up to meet Akuma's. Even Rose can't hope to prevail in a staredown, not right now, but there is a silent communication there: I think I've figured it out.

COMBATSYS: Akuma blocks Rose's Aggressive Strike.

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Rose             1/-======/=======|=======\=------\1            Akuma

Yes, that's right.
Akuma can sense the burgeoning 'spirit of the thing, itself' of Rose bloom, the critical moment when she goes limp beneath him and is almost broken, that moment where body forces her spirit to understand what her mind refused to. Only by just barely avoiding being ripped into tatters can she understand the meaning of the fist. He descends upon her with pure force. It's not something that can be discreetly rebuffed, nor is it something that can be discussed calmly over a cup of tea. There is no reasoning with chaos.

And she survives, as he knew she would. He would not have travelled this far if he expected anything less. Any concession made is only in the faintest of degrees--she can sense the dam in the tide of intention he holds fast. Slowly, as she gives in, she may find herself able to see through the haze of blood and violence permeating the air. His focus is so singular, so clear, that it shines like a beacon over everything else. An unrelenting aggression. A will to destroy enemies until nothing is left. It is a superweapon he harnesses... but it is not him, not precisely.

He is a person whose only concern is with the fight.

With unclouded intention, Akuma reacts to Rose's sweep, the slim cashmere-enforced arm cutting into his iron stance enough that he is forced to retreat with an angered growl. Flashing with light, the length of fabric slips in and cuts him deeply, leaving a friction slash and a spatter of his blood on the ground. He recovers only by ceding ground, not falling only by that much. His stance like crossed bands of steel, he strengthens his resolve and force, channelling it all into one single titanic motion. In a single, fluid motion, he throws his weight forward, crossing his palms and letting loose a blast of power from the nexus between them.

The blast of energy crackles with black lightning as it cuts through the space between them. That energy, that black force of pure violent intent, will land in the middle of Rose with the same weight and force as a thrown spear of black iron and thunder if she doesn't move to circumvent it. Blisteringly fast, and trailing the same dry, intense heat as his own aura, that black force will root square in her so-coveted soul if she finds herself distracted for even a moment.

Akuma says nothing, only meeting Rose's stare with his own demonic and inhuman countenance.
How far must you fall to gain the strength of the fist?

COMBATSYS: Rose reflects Weakened Gou Hadouken from Akuma with Soul Reflect.
- Power hit! -

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Rose             1/=======/=======|=======\=------\1            Akuma

Rose does not have, perhaps by definition, that evil intent. Petty matters, such as anger or desire? Perhaps. The flesh is heir to many ills. But she is free of that consuming rage which blinds many. Often she wonders if it's a weakness, but today it is more of a strength.

Her head tilts as she straightens up, not pursuing Akuma as he yields a step or so of ground, perhaps wary of some feint. (Would he feint? she wonders. Fighting is often so nuanced... and a man who would paint a character in the blood of an innocent is not immune to the concept of dramatic presentation.)

What she gets is different. Black and luminous, it flies towards her.

With fluid ease, Rose whips her scarf up, breathing out at just the right time. A ripple of light flows down that scarf, this one a bright violet that shines in the rainy darkness as the black force strikes it.

For a moment, that iron strike hangs in the air.

The purple flows into it - and with a scream like a blacksmith's quenching, it moves back the way it came, now brighter and threaded throughout with Soul Power.

Having done this, she allows herself a moment's breath, watching the reversed hadouken trace its way back towards Akuma. "You've given me quite the burden, you know."

COMBATSYS: Rose successfully hits Akuma with Reflected Weakened Gou Hadouken.

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Rose             2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|=======\====---\1            Akuma

After setting loose that punishing force, Akuma breaks stance. Unlike most, he doesn't stop, or wait to gloat over his opponent's plight. He has no interest in destroying his enemy's spirit with anything other than the might of his fists. He's already moving quickly after Rose, even as she looses that scarf from her neck. It's really only when she completely overturns his attack that his advance is checked. "!!" Though he pauses to regard the force of hadou, he understands, at some level, that it his own force, nearing perfection after years of being honed on others' skulls. He can only buckle slightly as the blast javelins into him, finally causing a spray of blood to shoot from rows of too-sharp teeth as it slams into his middle.


Stunned momentarily, the bleeding demon is forced to regroup, bringing his arms through the motions of re-marshalling his disrupted chakra. "A rare ability, to turn back my 'Satsui no Hadou'. Hrmph. It is as I have thought..." he mentions, opening his hands. There is an eerie feeling in the air as the thunder overhead splits the sky.

"You will do."

Suddenly, it's as if a string is cut, and a dam breaks for it. With all pretenses removed, the Master of the Fist launches himself into the air, cutting through it with his airborne kick. He attacks with such force and alacrity that he doesn't actually ever hit the ground, his kick carrying him through 360 degrees of motion and far beyond, a whirling blade of black force filling the air with rippling tides of killing intent as he bears down on Rose, to make use of further escalating amounts of his power...!!

COMBATSYS: Rose deflects Tatsumaki Zankuu Kyaku from Akuma with #Soul Satellite#.
- Power hit! -

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Rose             0/-------/-------|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2            Akuma

Rose wonders for just a fraction of a moment.

She had hoped to send him off. Perhaps to throw him to the street where gravity or a piece of high speed traffic would do the work for them. She has been considering the fastest way to call rescue helicopters that would not involve hanging a 'murder me' sign on her neck for the last two minutes...

But she turned it back. This strange man and his horrifying power, like a demon from Hell or a god from Olympus...

"'Satsui no Hadou,'" Rose repeats to herself, softly. Her words are clear. She does not react to how 'she will do,' because she is bracing herself, spreading her arms, sliding her scarf up along her shoulders. It looks like a taunt, almost, her hands curling upwards.

Two orbs come out - a counter barrage? An effort to vault back, to cover an escape with projectiles? As she exhales out with sharp force, they blossom into spheres. Rose then folds her arms in front of herself, lowers her head --

The spheres spark to sudden solar brightness and orbit her, their rotation clockwise - in opposition to Akuma's own motion!! They accelerate, and Rose lunges inwards, leaning ahead as her scarf whirls around one arm. Moving in close without heed, she does take the step of diving down low, one of her unruly locks of hair brushing against Akuma's ankle.

The spheres trail behind her.

Contact with the orbiting dyad is inevitable. The very touch burns, with electrical synaesthesia, a burning feeling like the memory of sunburn. It is not genuinely hot - if anything, it's slightly cooling. Once they touch Akuma, their balanced orbit becomes degenerative, accelerating around a central point that trails around Rose. Closer and closer they move, passing without touch through his body until they meet in a single, blinding explosion of unseen light --

Rose has, for her part, slid past Akuma, landing in a crouch. Sweating, trying not to pant too hard, she shifts herself to look towards him, scarf still held ready.

She has no words to say - it all depends on what happens to next. Faintly, she hears her heart beat. Not as fast as she'd have thought: how odd, she wonders.

It is almost impossible to imagine that the Master of the Fist could be overcome. Once a fraction of his full power was released, most people simply dissintegrated against him. Past a certain point, a plateau where no further improvement can be had until an opponent could be had capable of standing up to the fearsome power of his Satsui no Hadou. And to think on it, to think that such a frail woman could fight him, a psychic of little renown. It would have almost been enough of an insult to spit at.

But he'd sensed in China that the power at the root of her and a few others was something he'd rarely encountered before, only in a few spineless worms stepped on in ages past. A power that came directly from the soul. The prospect of battling someone with this sort of power intrigued him above all else...! Bringing her will and force to the forefront, striking her until she understood the meaning of "life and death." Until she learned to come at him with something real.

That made it worth holding back.

For a shining moment, Akuma's scything kick careens into Rose's guard, almost taking off a single lock of her hair with the violent wind-splitting force of his crackling spin. But as his black force makes its way into the storm of psychic spheres, he shouts out in rage, attempting to strike down the spheres right up until the moment they pass through him, paralyzing the demon's body, and finally breaking him at the center of a collision of twin suns, a massive psychic explosion that eclipses him entirely, an earsplitting roar broken off behind the sound of shattering glass.

By the time the sparkling light dies off, Akuma crouches on the ground, in a pool of his own blood, panting hard as his body crackles with bright violet light, the aftereffects of those spheres. The crackling flashes stab into his muscles, lighting up every nerve ending with pain. Akuma's eyes can't be seen, his head turned towards the ground until his fierce eyes were limned in shadow.

But by God, his mouth could be seen, a razor sharp shark's smile shown to Rose.

"Good... a worthy opponent. But now, I will test you to your limit...!" At that point, Akuma disappears entirely, a brief flicker of motion the sole determinant that he moved at all. When he is next heard, his voice is the same as if it were the sky itself, echoing in the air as if it were coming from Heaven.

"If you survive, you'll be worthy of a true battle!!"

At that point, the sky peals red thunder as Akuma drops from the sky in an eyeblink. While ostensibly, he is trying to hit Rose, his purifying blow is beyond the need of a 'target.' He punches straight through to the ground, causing the roof to crack and crumble, glowing red with pure heat and stress fractures, the power leaping in pure kinetic might radiating from his fist, and causing concrete and steel to crack as if made of glass. The stress fractures spread out from him like a spiderweb. And then he flexes his arm.


Rose will see that he doesn't actually 'paint' the "TEN" kanji per se. It naturally occurs in his attack, a true imprint of the killing will. She will be able to tell this because his resurgance of a blow spreads outwards from the centerpoint in a huge flash of crumpling superstructure. Akuma's blow is felt all the way down to the very foundations of the building, whose lobby explodes outwards in a rain of steel and glass out into the street. With support structures throughout the building bursting into fragments at that second burning hit, the entire building abruptly collapses, in freefall like so much sand.

In the end, even Akuma is eclipsed by the devastation. Rose, even if she manages to worm free of the blast radius of that strike, will only have chance few seconds to save herself and who she can before the entire venue crumples to the ground beneath Akuma's fist. Fear all that is man-made against pure, raw, unrelenting and fully natural might.

COMBATSYS: Akuma can no longer fight.

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Rose             0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Rose deflects Misogi from Akuma with Soul Reflect.

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Rose             0/-------/------=|

Akuma does manage to stir Rose's imperious mane with sufficient force to shear off a few strands of violet-hued hair. They are caught in the breeze, hanging eerily bright in the air as Rose breathes heavily.

Well, she thinks: He's smiling. That's good!

The thought occurs to Rose that, as wicked as he is, this man's primal dedication could be brought to bear against Vega - but before she can do more than concieve of this idea, Akuma speaks.

'If you survive.'

The blow comes down as the world goes sheer, stark, screamingly RED - Rose, on pure reflex, sweeps her scarf up. That power within her wells up again, for her soul acts of its own accord - guiding both body and energy to do what it takes to survive! A single shining violet-blue-green ray in a world of dark red deserty heat -

It's enough. Rose is spared further physical abuse, and the reflection spared those approximately behind her. Perhaps it bought the building an additional ten or twenty seconds of life; long enough for Rose to stand up, to see that character, to wonder...

And then to feel the rumble beneath her feet.

There is no time. Rose /feels/ outwards with another exertion of power, one that would light her up like a beacon if there are any psychics within a hundred kilometers, but such things must be risked. Few have survived; running hard enough to put screaming wires in her thighs, she is able to collect the fallen fighter (who she gives poor odds) and an on-site monitoring paramedic (much better, despite two broken legs and a rupture in the right arm).

At that point the building dies, yielding to gravity's embrace. A towering construct, beautiful and proud, and now one blow has brought it down.

How terribly Buddhist, Rose thinks as she starts to fall. Kicking off a piece of concrete, glowing with psychic fire, she slams through an office window, smashing through a cubicle and sprawling in the empty expanse of office-work. Fortunately for them, the office will, no doubt, be closed for tomorrow.

She lays there for several breaths, before reaching up for the office phone. Taking it off the hook, Rose considers just what to say as she pokes 1-1-9 with a shaky fingertip.

But that is a problem for another day.

Log created on 17:45:23 12/20/2014 by Rose, and last modified on 04:22:15 12/21/2014.