Neo League 0001 - NL#0037: Zach vs Zack

Description: It was bound to happen. There can be only one.

A Neo League film crew has been positioned about the courtyard surrounding the Radcliffe Camera, gathering a crowd of Oxford University students and general rubberneckers who recognize the logo emblazoned on the equipment. A battle is to take place here, but little do they know the stakes. For this League fight is not about cash, nor even about the wishes of those who fight for Heihachi's favor. No--

"Damn it, where is he?" growls the announcer to himself, checking his watch. "If he's not here in five minutes..."

This is a fight for one's very identity.

* * *

Deep within the Bodleian Library, seated at a fine oak desk is, by all appearances, an afro holding a massive tome. Several books are piled up next to it, with titles such as 'Hotel Management 101' and 'So You've Purchased Your First Island.' Finally the book is lowered, revealing that the afro has a face, one with a very large grin.

"This is it," the man says, rising to his feet and spinning in place before pumping a fist in the air. "Yeeaaahhh!"


Unfazed, he gathers up the books and approaches the glowering librarian at her counter. "Be cool, baby," he advises. "I gotta get out for a little fight, but lend me these, will ya? And root for me." He flashes another wide grin.

The librarian glares stonily for several moments before finally taking the heavy books from him. "Name, please," she intones.

He pauses a moment for effect, though what sort of effect he is expecting is impossible to tell. "Zack," he replies at last.

"Last name."

Zack stares.

"Last name, please."

Zack opens his mouth, pauses, closes his mouth, pauses, frowns slightly, then begins digging in his pockets.

"Is your name in your pockets?" the librarian asks wryly.

Zack just smiles.

* * *

"Finally," the announcer sighs as Zack -- wearing, it should be said, a powder blue suit festooned with silver trimming -- emerges from the entrance to the library at the last minute, leaping down from the steps toward the courtyard, landing in an acrobatic roll, rising smoothly to his feet, slipping, tumbling, dropping his books everywhere, faceplanting on the stone, lying there for a few long seconds, then lurching into a saucy reclined pose upon the ground as though planned all along. He then laboriously gathers up the books again and trots over to the announcer. "You're ready to fight, I hope."

"Of course, baby," Zack replies easily, setting his books off to the side. "And I know just how you can introduce me."

Moments later, he has sauntered to the center, grinning and waving at the crowd, as the announcer begins to speak into a microphone.

"Ladies and gentlemen, a fight for your entertainment! Today's battle pits Zach Glenn again--"

He squints.

"Zack Glenn!"

In one corner, you have a dandily dressed man. In the other, a slightly confused Marine in street clothes. The Marine could not believe his eyes, or his ears, when he got word of the card. It was... kind of surreal. I mean, what ARE the odds? The Marine steps into the area marked out for the fight, rolling his neck left then right.

There are... just a crapton of books here. He looks around, concern plain on his face. This... isn't the first library, part of him thinks. Or was it a museum? Either way, rampant destruction would be a terrible idea, right? Right.

"Good clean fight, right?" the psion asks.

"Hm hm hm."

Zack Glenn (?) stands proudly before his far more drag adversary as the announcer continues in the background, grinning widely with his hands on his hips.

"Ain't nothing clean about your look, baby," he replies, "no offense. I don't know how you got all up in this League business stealing my name while I was busy with my Island, Zack Island--" He pauses and stares for a few moments for emphasis, though again, it's not clear what's being emphasized. "--but that's about to change. This fight is just my first step on the path to having my wish fulfilled. And once this fight is over--"

He points at Zach.

"You're gonna have to give up your rights to that name!"

He grins widely, clenching his hand into a fist.

"The only Zack around here is me, Zack. Now you might be thinking, 'How could he have the same last name as me, too?' Ha ha ha! I DON'T!" he abruptly shouts. "But I will! Because I'm taking your last name as well. That's right."

He spins in place, adding a little flourish, afro swaying.

"Your name is gonna be all mine, baby."

The Marine blinks once, then twice, at the afro'd man. He looks a little confused for a moment. "Seriously," he asks, the confusion evident. "You want /my/ name? Have you /seen/ my credit score?" He rolls his left shoulder, then his right, a frown clear on his face. He snaps into a fighting stance, but it's not that generic orthodox boxing style stance that the Marine uses as part of MCMAP. It's more Detroit style if it's anything, but there's a looseness to it that you just don't see in a serious boxing stance, either.

"But I'm afraid I'm going to have to refuse your request," Zach says, a trace of a growl in his voice. "The name's not mine to give, ain't yours to take!" The Marine's fists snap shut, and sunlight sheathes his body from head to toe, spraying motes of golden energy across the arena.

The referee starts the fight, and Zach Glenn blasts across the distance and drives a fist coated with the power of his will directly into the other man's face!

COMBATSYS: Zach Glenn has started a fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Zach Glenn       0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Zach Glenn has ended the fight here.

COMBATSYS: Zach Glenn has started a fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Zach Glenn       0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Zack has joined the fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Zach Glenn       0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Zack

COMBATSYS: Zack fails to counter Aggressive Strike from Zach Glenn with Cross Bazooka.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////      ]
Zach Glenn       0/-------/-------|===----\-------\0             Zack

Zack laughs, shoulders shaking as his opponent appears to become at least marginally irritated. "Baby, you're already a point behind. You gotta maintain your composure under all circumstances. A free tip from me, Zack Glenn, master fig-- wait."

Tragically, Zack's greatest weak point has been targeted.

"What did you say about your credit score?"

Money troubles.


Having promptly lost his composure, Zack's hands snap up a moment too late, and taking the punch directly in the face, he goes sprawling backward, the stone cracking beneath him as he rolls. But he just keeps on rolling until he ends up in a crouch and rises to his feet, laughing again and striking the same pose, ignoring the blood dribbling from his nose. "Not bad, baby!" he replies, eyes unfocused. "Not... bad at all."

He sniffs loudly.

The Marine is not content to sit back and wait for his opponent to regain his footing. Glenn charges in after the other fighter, taking a high leap. "Compose /this/," the Marine snaps as he summons another burst of psychic power, sheathing a leg in the energy.

Then, despite anything like physics or gravity, or even proper execution of technique, the psion dives towards Zack, leading with that power-clad foot aimed directly at Zack's head!

COMBATSYS: Zach Glenn successfully hit Zack with Meteor Kick.
- Power hit! -

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

"Fine!" Zack shouts back, still not quite able to look Zach in the eye. What's up with this boxer's strikes? He's never felt quite so mentally unsettled after a punch before. "I /will/ compose this!" And he strikes a pose, as though to prepare himself for-- composition.

His opponent lunges in, kick blazing. Zack narrows his eyes with a look of intense determination, focusing immensely. Calm exudes from his very form. He exhales, and zen-like tranquility seems to overtake him. All stress dissipates. Here, on the brink of great suffering, enlightenment is only a moment out of reach. Zack feels himself on the verge of attaining to wisdom that he--



Suddenly panicking, Zack again takes the impact full in the face and goes crashing directly into the Radcliffe Camera, the stone crumbling around him as the announcer winces, obviously more out of the knowledge of the cost of repairs than of any particular empathy. Zack lies in a pile of bricks for a while as the crowd stares on, flabbergasted.


Until, spitting incoherently, Zack lurches from the rubble in a cloud of dust and streaks toward his opponent, moving at last and swiftly at that.

"Baby, DJ Zack is 'bout--"

With a magnificent twist, Zack lunges into a powerful spinning kick, but even once he has landed, he is far from finished. With the first blow aiming to crush Zach's defenses, Zack then winds up with a punch, the air rushing about him--


--before unleashing a massive uppercut, emitting a veritable whirlwind.


COMBATSYS: Zack blitzes into action and acts again!

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

COMBATSYS: Zach Glenn blocks Zack's Zack Hurricane.

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

COMBATSYS: Zach Glenn dodges Zack's Devil's Twister.

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

Zach Glenn smiles faintly at his work, taking a certain amount of grim satisfaction from the results of the effort. He blinks quickly at the gust of wind, recalling his fight with Joe Higashi. Is this some kind of Muay Thai thing, with the wind? The psion doesn't have time to consider the thing as Zack charges in!

The kick is parried off of a raised arm, but the uppercut is already incoming. The psion twists as he watches the uppercut sail by. The Marine brings his right hand to a place just in front of his left hip, as if reaching for something. Zack may or may not recognize, or even realize that the motion is one of a man reaching for a sword at the hip. The Marine takes one step, then a second going past Zack, sweeping the right hand horizontally through the air. The hand is closed as if gripping something.

What that object might be becomes apparent fairly quickly, as a sword of brilliant energy flares into existance with the drawing motion as Glenn steps past the Muay Thai!

COMBATSYS: Zach Glenn successfully hit Zack with Claw Flare.

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

The world flashes white.

There, standing, are two silhouettes. Here, in a world transcending pain, there are no features, and there are no names. There is no need to battle. Here, in this place between moments, there is only endless peace.


Then Zack collapses, froth bubbling at his lips, twitching on the ground from the overwhelming agony of the psychic energy crushing his untrained mental defenses. His eyes roll back in his head as he wriggles around, which continues for a disturbing amount of time until he starts flopping so much he starts moving around, whereupon it becomes clear that he is actually doing The Worm, thereby even after all that managing to turn his fall into a vaguely intentional-appearing dance move.

"Aaaah ha!"

And it so happens that his flopping has carried him close to Zach, such that when he lunges to his feet, he has a chance to quite suddenly get the drop on his adversary, and quite literally. Zack's heavy fist swings down in a fierce overhead punch before he practically slides in. Three more swinging punches later--


--and he is ready to unleash a final explosive punch, this one aiming to send Zach right into the pile of rubble from whence Zack recently emerged.

"Can't have the name, but you can have that!!"

COMBATSYS: Zach Glenn blocks Zack's Funky Paradise.

[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////                        ]
Zach Glenn       0/-------/=======|>>>>---\-------\0             Zack

The Marine is not really fooled by the movements. He's ready when Zack gets his feet under him. Zach parries each of the hammer blows on his arms, wincing as he slides back under the assault. But the Marine weathers it as he skids to a halt just shy of the pile of bricks.

He lets out a deep breath as he shakes his arms loose. "Nice try," he says. "But I'm keeping the name!"

The Marine charges forward, lowering his shoulder in an attempt to tackle Zach to the ground before driving an alternating combination of soul powered punches right at the other man's head!

COMBATSYS: Zack counters Charged Combo from Zach Glenn with Slash Elbow.

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////                         ]
Zach Glenn       0/-------/--=====|=------\-------\0             Zack

Zack, eyes glassy from the psychic assaults he has suffered but still somehow alert, grins again as Zach charges forward, apparently untroubled that his all-out assault has failed to penetrate his opponent's defenses.

"You're gonna try, baby--"

As Zach lowers his shoulder and attempts a tackle, Zack reaches forward as though to catch or block his opponent, but instead seems to guide him forward.

"--but it ain't gonna work!"

Only to then guide Zach downward, as Zack slips back and, pushing his opponent's head down with his left hand, twists like a tiger and hammers down with his right elbow against the back of Zach's head, a dangerous stunning blow that sends the marine crashing to the ground.

"Not against the /Zack Attack/."

He spins back and strikes a flamboyant pose.

"That's me, Zack," he adds. "Not you."

The Marine is driven to the turf, his vision swimming from the dizzying blow to the head. The psion gets a hand in front of him, catching himself from falling on his face. "Nice one," he gasps as he wipes the sweat from under his chin. He waits for Zack to do the fancy pose. He dashes in close again, clenching his left fist to his side, spinning energy swirling around @emit

The Marine is driven to the turf, his vision swimming from the dizzying blow to the head. The psion gets a hand in front of him, catching himself from falling on his face. "Nice one," he gasps as he wipes the sweat from under his chin. He waits for Zack to do the fancy pose. He dashes in close again, clenching his left fist to his side, spinning energy swirling around the fist as he skids to a stop.

"My turn," he says. "SOARING DRAGON!"

Zach Glenn leaps directly skyward, driving that energy-coated fist directly for the Muay Thai's jaw with enough force and momentum to send the Marine skyward!

COMBATSYS: Zach Glenn successfully hit Zack with Soaring Dragon EX.

[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >                                ]
Zach Glenn       0/-------/--=====|======-\-------\0             Zack

Zach and Zack ascend into the sky together.

Perhaps the two of them will continue onward and upward forever. Up there admist the clouds, there may be a place where the two fo them can dwell in harmony, where names will no longer matter, where indeed all names are shared. In that utopian kingdom, in that dream-like future, the two of them could be friends.

Also, Tina Armstrong would be there dressed as a bunny girl.

Maybe that world would come to be--


If Zack would just quit.


But he can't stop, won't stop, even as he sails up through the air, even as he can no longer feel his limbs from the strange power coursing through him. Propelled above Zach by the rising uppercut, Zack flips in midair and slams his feet down on Zach's shoulders, a shocking midair recovery. Reaching down to grip Zach by the head, he begins attempting to furiously knee his adversary in the head and body, aiming to not let go until he's landed at least three. But on the fourth, his numb fingers slip from Zach, and Zack finds himself falling back.

No, he's not falling. He's flying. He's free, free at last, Lord almighty, free at--


COMBATSYS: Zack can no longer fight.

[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Zach Glenn       0/-------/--=====|

COMBATSYS: Zach Glenn dodges Zack's Nightmare Stand.

[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Zach Glenn       0/-------/--=====|

Zach reaches up for Zack's ankles as they come down, and simply shoves the Muay Thai away from him, sending both men to the floor. The Marine lands in a low crouch, gasping for air as the referee counts Zack out.

The psion stands up stright, pumping a fist at his side and sending a scattering of sunlight motes away from him, as if dismissing the aura. He looks at his fallen opponent, a grin playing on his features.

"I guess that settles that," Zach Glenn says before walking out of the room.

COMBATSYS: Zach Glenn has ended the fight here.

Zack lies still upon the stone, his bright clothes strewn with dust and rubble. He is still for several long seconds as the announcer chatters in the background and the Neo League crew begin wrapping up filming.

Until, slowly, his trembling fist rises into the air, clutching in its grasp a crumpled piece of paper. Between his fingers, should anyone peer, can be read:

'Zach Glenn'-- with a circle boldly drawn about the second word.


Log created on 21:15:26 01/04/2015 by Zach Glenn, and last modified on 04:34:48 01/05/2015.