Neo League 0001 - NL#0053: Gertrude vs Sakura

Description: Neo League calls fighters out to all sorts of places. Sakura Kasugano faces off against Gertrude Verhangis in the depths of a Russian steel foundry, a place almost as dangerous on its own as the fighters are themselves! (Winner: Sakura)

So what has Gertrude been up to lately?

Well, after Seishirou totally ruined her outfit, Gertrude has been trying to find a replacement before she hits the fighting circuit again. Things have gotten so terribly serious lately, and what had been a promising, uplifting career had... stalled, hard.

She's still sure SOMETHING was going on at those schools, too, but good luck proving it.

Now we find her standing before several massive metal bins, wearing workman's clothing. Denim overalls, thick workman's boots, safety helmet and all. She's sweating like a pig already, and the fight hasn't even started yet!

"Well this should, at least, be good training..."

Sakura just has two rules for her fighting career. One: Always accept a challenge. (Actually, that pretty well fits in with her life philosophy, too.) Two: Always fight in her seifuku, as much as possible. Okay that's not really a -rule-, more like a guideline, but she does wear the red white and blue outfit to the strangest places.

Like, say, a steel foundry in Russia. Okay so she's got a black fur-lined coat over it, but it's not long enough to hide that she's got her typical schoolgirl outfit on and it isn't closed to boot--the foundry is a pretty warm place what with all the molten steel around.

Sakura walks up to where Gertrude is and grins. "Are you the challenger?" she asks, her tone bright and friendly, raising her right hand--already padded with the fingerless glove she favors--in greeting.

Gertrude walks out to meet Sakura, and the taller German woman gives a loose wave, "Yeah, that's me!" She says, adjusting her glasses and trying to ignore the way they are fogging up. It really is quite obnoxious, but you have to go where the money is - and today that means Russia. Ah well, at least the vodka is good.

"So you're Sakura? Just a heads up, but I've already been beaten around by enough schoolkids to know not to take you lightly. I'm going to give you my all!"

She sounds like she really means it, too. Most of her more ferocious opponents have been around Sakura's age; she might not have believed it six months ago, but now, she wouldn't be surprised if this girl were capable of anything!

Sakura laughs at the proclamation, though not in a mean way. "I've seen fighters even younger than I am, so, I get what you mean. And, hey--" She gets a little serious. A little.

"I'd be absolutely insulted if you didn't give me your all! I'm not gonna hold back either, so... we'll have to see who's the best!" A sharp nod, and Sakura retreats back about five yards.

Tightening her gloves and securing her headband, Sakura raises her hands into position--and then drops them to her sides, pumping her arms back and forth as she bursts into a run to close that gap. Stopping about five feet away she plants her left foot and hooks her right around in a high roundhouse aimed for Gertrude's temple.

COMBATSYS: Sakura has started a fight here.

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Sakura           0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Gertrude has joined the fight here.

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Sakura           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0         Gertrude

COMBATSYS: Gertrude dodges Sakura's Medium Kick.

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Sakura           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0         Gertrude

Gertrude smiles as she takes up her own stance. Legs just a little apart, arms raised. When Sakura comes running in at her, though, the mirth fades a bit. Sakura might not be wearing as 'sensible' an outfit, but that just means she's able to move that little bit easier.

"That's the right attitude! Now don't get cocky!"

When the roundhouse comes in, Gertrude crouches down low. The heel passes within inches of her head regardless - her size makes it that little bit more difficult to stay out of the way - and as she rises, the larger woman pivots, bringing her heavy, booted foot around in a matching roundhouse of her own.


COMBATSYS: Sakura blocks Gertrude's Spin Heel.

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Sakura           0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0         Gertrude

Sakura's already recovering, and the improvement in her tactics and reflexes is showing; as she comes up her arms already in place to receive that heavy, booted foot. The sound of the impact seems to ring through the foundry, but Sakura doesn't rock at all. Dropping her hands to her waist, she positions them in a familiar pose--shaped like claws, about a foot apart.

The telltale white-blue glow of her chi flares up like a fluorescent bulb seconds later, expanding to the size of a beach ball before, at point-blank range, she fires it--at point blank range.

The shout might be more impressive than the actual technique, the built-up power leding her voice a touch of the arcane and mysterious as it echoes strangely on her cry of "HADOOOOOOOOOOOOUKEN!!!"

COMBATSYS: Gertrude blocks Sakura's Medium Hadouken.

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Sakura           0/-------/-----==|==-----\-------\0         Gertrude

The quick defense is noted, but more than that is the technique Sakura comes back at her with. Gertrude is a total fighting nerd; she knows a great deal about many different styles, but it is tough to get a read on a roundhouse, that's fairly generic. There's only two other fighters in the world she knows of who use THAT stance when gathering energy, though, and that raises the hairs on the back of her neck.

Surely, though, Sakura is just copying something she thought looked cool on TV though, right?


The shouted cry makes Gertrude's eyes widen, and on pure instinct, she brings her arms around to defend. The impact still skids her bodily across the floor, and she has to grunt, straining as she pushes back against the power, and is finally able to - clumsily - disperse it to either side of her. The naked astonishment on Gertrude's features might be flattering as she adjusts her glasses and just stares at Sakura.

"Where the hell did you learn THAT?!"

COMBATSYS: Gertrude calculates her next move.

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Sakura           0/-------/-----==|==-----\-------\0         Gertrude

There's an unmistakable element of pride in Sakura's expression--even though Gertrude defended herself against the Hadouken. Briefly, she flashes a V-sign with her right hand. "Figured it out myself!" she says, and while it could be a brag she doesn't sound like she is. And really, that's the truth.

"C'mon now, no time to be standing around!" Once again, Sakura goes on the offensive--rushdown seems to be her default mode, which is unsurprising in a young fighter with more talent than training--and so she lunges forward.

She leads with several left jabs, the sound of them sharp, snapping, before finishing with a nicely-delivered right cross. It's really more of a boxing combination, which certainly lends credence to the claim that Sakura is self-taught.

COMBATSYS: Gertrude fails to interrupt Aggressive Strike from Sakura with Rising Knuckle.

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Sakura           0/-------/-----==|===----\-------\0         Gertrude

Self-taught. The world is full of prodigies, and that's just utterly horrifying to Gertrude. She'd struggled and fought and scrapped every day of her life, dedicated herself utterly to the art of fighting - and yet, she'd have absolutely no idea where to start in mimicking that famous technique.

Sakura comes in hard, and Gertrude fails to read her opponent. She'd been expecting an Asatsuken strike. The boxing combination throws her for a loop. The first few blows hit her dead on, and she tries to steady herself, twisting, and shouting out "RISING--"

At which point Sakura hits her in the mouth hard enough to drop her to the floor with a gasp. "... /damn/."

This, perhaps, could be considered a failing of Sakura--she doesn't hit downed opponents. Seeing Gertrude go down does give her a bit of satisfaction--she's not into hurting people, per se, but there's workman's pride in effect here. But she also backs off, fading back about seven yards.

Sakura's style -is- primarily Ansatsuken, but she has taken influences from just about every martial art she's ever encountered--from boxing to lucha libre to kung fu. It's one of those things--part of her prodigy is her ability to amalgamate and combine.

Once again, her hands drop to her sides, elbows pointed in and fists outwards, and as she intones a low, rising, voiceless tone, blue slaashes of energy start swirling up around her legs.

COMBATSYS: Sakura taps into her inner strength!

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Sakura           0/-------/-======|===----\-------\0         Gertrude

When Gertrude rallies, it is an impressive moment in its own right. She can see that Sakura is building up to something - and she wants to stop that. If she doesn't, she's swiftly going to be overwhelmed by the schoolgirl. That much has already become abundantly clear. She can't afford to let Sakura dictate the pace of the match!

Whether or not she can do anything about it is another question entirely. For such a large woman, though, Gertrude is capable of bursts of impressive speed. Leaping from her crouched position on the floor, she brings her arm swinging around, a wide, sweeping chop which aims to impact Sakura right at the point where her neck meets her shoulder.

This is, naturally, coupled with an explosive shout of "HIYAAAAAH!!" As she tries to resume her stance, regain her footing and knock Sakura to the ground all at once. IF she does... the schoolgirl better not wait around, because in a fight, Gertrude doesn't always have nearly so many scruples if she doesn't think she can afford them!

COMBATSYS: Sakura instinctively blocks Gertrude's Utopian Crusher EX.

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Sakura           1/-------/=======|===----\-------\0         Gertrude

Sakura 'grounds' herself when she's gathering power like this--both literally and figuratively. For someone who's usually more agile and fragile, it's a risk; generally she has to take whatever her opponents throw at her. But it doesn't mean she's -defenseless-.

That chopping attack comes in with a crazy amount of speed and power--and despite Sakura's grounded state, this one -does- manage to rock her even as she gets her arms into place. Many attacks would not be able to move her at this point--this one actually makes her stumble three steps to her right.

"Yow!" comments Sakura, maybe the only comment she -needs- to make, and from this close she really only has one response--whirling herself into her spinning, flying kick attack, the (not yet) famous Shunpuu Kyaku, using her right leg as a battering ram as she seeks to almost scythe it through Gertrude--repeatedly--rising and falling.

COMBATSYS: Sakura successfully hits Gertrude with Shunpuu Kyaku.

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Sakura           1/------=/=======|=====--\-------\0         Gertrude

Gertrude thinks she sees what Sakura is doing - powerful, single blows are something she understands well. Veteran viewers of Gertrude's fighting style (so, people who watch League matches obsessively regardless of who is fighting) will note that almost all of her own techniques are singular, powerful blows. There are exceptions, but they are rare.

She brings both arms around lightning fast, aiming to catch Sakura's foot in mid air, and... that's where theory gives way to reality. The momentum keeps Sakura going, and the foot impacts heavily with Gertrude's chest, sending her stumbling back a couple of paces. "Hoo!" She exclaims, shaking her head, "Alright. Lets kick things up a notch."

Gertrude is not a woman who intends to go down easy. Cracking her neck, she steps right back into Sakura's comfort zone, and this time, she aims to mix it up. Rather than go for a single fast blow, instead, she strikes her palm forward...

In a bluff! Some might call it a dirty trick, but her aim is instead to bring her forehead colliding HARD with Sakura's own skull, and if she can connect there, sweep the legs out from underneath the schoolgirl to put her on her backside. "Yeah, well, only a sucker does the same thing over and over expecting a different result." She mutters to herelf.

COMBATSYS: Gertrude successfully hits Sakura with Rapid Grapple.

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Sakura           1/---<<<</<<<<<<<|======-\-------\0         Gertrude

Sakura has to -work- in her fights. She might have the tools and the talent but she -doesn't- have the experience or overwhelming power to make fights 'easy'. And Gertrude isn't making it any easier. The larger woman's feint is devastatingly effective; Sakura defends for the palm strike and then gets crushed into the sweep by the headbutt. With a cry of pain she rolls backwards, popping back up, blood streaming from her nose. It might be broken--she'll find out later.

Reaching up, she wipes at her nose with a finger, then looks at her hand. Yup, that is in fact her own blood. She's feeling pressured, not to say overwhelmed, and so she falls back upon what she knows--blue-white energy flaring in her hands, but to a smaller size--maybe the size of a volleyball--before she flings it forward. No shout, this time, but the energy is still there...

COMBATSYS: Gertrude fails to slow Small Hadouken from Sakura with Large Thrown Object.

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Sakura           1/-<<<<<</<<<<<<<|=======\=------\1         Gertrude

If there's one thing Gertrude does have on her side, it is her experience. She'd been expecting Sakura to come back with an uppercut - when a second small ball of power is thrown, though, she's not totally blindsided by it. Unfortunately, long experience has taught her that she really doesn't have many options for dealing with energy blasts regardless. The fireball might look small, but she knows that it'll still pack more of a punch than most physical blows the schoolgirl could sling at her.

So rather than try, Gertrude jumps up and grabs one of the heavy barrels of molten metal. There's a gasp from the crowd, and a grunt from Gertrude...

Whose aim is off anyway. The barrel hits the floor with a heavy crash, missing the fireball by half a foot. The fireball is not so considerate, hitting home and sending Gertrude really again. "Ghck..."

Closing back to physical contact range is probably not the smartest idea for Sakura. Gertrude is stronger -and- faster. But to win by sitting back and forcing Gertrude into a ranged game is not something that Sakura has even thought about--a tactical failing on her part and possibly one of her honor. She isn't thinking about 'how to win'--she's thinking about how to -fight-.

So the schoolgirl's feet pound on the steel catwalk again, and then she leaps, arching her back like she were a bow pulled taut, fists clasped together. The arch of her bsck looks almost impossible as Sakura arcs into the air and then plunges down.

She unleashes an impressive kiai as she falls, kicking her legs out in a wide vee as she brings those doubled fists down for Gertrude's head. Something of a risky manuever, to say the least...

COMBATSYS: Gertrude fails to interrupt Sakura Otoshi from Sakura with Rising Knuckle.
- Power fail! -

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Sakura           1/-<<<<<</<<<<<<<|=======\=------\1         Gertrude

The taller fighter sees her opening! Sakura is coming in from above, and that - frankly - could not be a better place for Gertrude's most famous clinch move. One can almost see Gertrude's eye gleam as she balls her right hand into a fist, and smirks. Alright, her body language seems to say, lets show the girl why tactics are important!

Twisting upwards from a standing start, Gertrude's fist HAMMERS upwards with all the skill and precision that years of hard work and training have forged into a testament to power. She digs as deep as she can for it - putting the whole of herself into the blow....

And Sakura's fists smash right down into her face anyway, knocking her to the ground and breaking her glasses all at once.

The blonde fighter is literally spitting blood when she gets back up to her feet, and it is a good thing that Sakura doesn't speak german or she'd be getting a crash course in foul language. This part of the fight may have to be censored in her home country!

Sakura's had some good luck in this fight--testing Gertrude's reactions and reflexes has been more in her favor than not. But she's not foolish enough to think it means she's the better fighter; she's got enough skill to recognize that Gertrude's been doing the right things, tactically. She springs away from Gertrude, using the momentum in her arms and practically leapfrogging away to land; spinning, she faces Gertrude again.

"You're... really strong," she says, sounding quite sincere about it; she's only been really hit once and yet she's had enough collateral damage that she'll remember the fight for quite some time. For a moment, Sakura pauses, then says, almost conversationally, "I said I wouldn't hold back, so..."

It's almost cheating but she pulls her hands to her waist -again-. Once more the familiar blue-white energy builds and expands--and seems thicker, more tangible somehow. When she releases it, it actually takes the form of a bullet, with a more pointed facing leading the way.


COMBATSYS: Sakura successfully hits Gertrude with Shinkuu Hadouken.

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Sakura           0/-------/---<<<<|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2         Gertrude

Knowing that something is coming only go so far when it comes to trying to think things through. Gertrude can feel the power that Sakura is gathering - it sends a shiver down her spine that fills her with dread. Gertrude does try to think her way through her fights; but how many options does she have when that much power is being thrown at her?

As the blast of blue-white energy zeroes in on her, all her options narrow to one. Even if she tried to withstand it, she knows she wouldn't still be standing. If she tried to punch through it, she's positive she'd fail. So she tries to jump, instead.

She's too slow, and the blast knocks her heavily to the ground with a grunt. She knows she's done - and if Sakura had stayed quiet, she might have just stayed down.

But Sakura gave her all she had; she had to give back as best she could in return, right?

Stumbling, Gertrude leaves a deep blue trail behind her as she runs across the ground, fists raised above her head. "Its.... not... ov...!!"

Bringing both hands down, she aims to bludgeon Sakura at least as much with the sheer bulk of her bull rush as anything else, and in the same instant, a blast of brilliant blue light explodes out of her, bursting and filling the world around her for a split second with raw DETERMINATION!


And then she collapses.

COMBATSYS: Gertrude can no longer fight.

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Sakura           0/-------/---<<<<|

COMBATSYS: Sakura blocks Gertrude's Perfection Hammer EX.

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Sakura           0/-------/<<<<<<<|

Sakura almost wastes some time with a celebration--but then she realizes--Gertrude is -still coming-. "W--whoa!" shouts the Ansatsuken girl and, instinctively, she puts her hands up--in time for Gertrude to crash into her and hammer down on her, releasing that pent-up energy. The impact is tremendous; Sakura's guard only barely holds, and after Gertrude collapses, Sakura can be seen shaking her arms out and wincing. "Ah, wow..."

Sakura looks up as League officials come in to make everything official and for the medics to come in and bows to them. With a smile she says, "When she wakes up please tell Gertrude-san that I was very honored to have fought her."

COMBATSYS: Sakura has ended the fight here.

Log created on 15:46:45 02/15/2015 by Sakura, and last modified on 00:29:15 02/17/2015.