SNF 2015.02 - SNF: "I Want the Rocks"

Description: What should have been a duel between boxer Senna and swordmistress Aya is interrupted by the most intense rock zombie this side of a Left 4 Dead fanfic. Zabel's sudden entry to the scene doesn't seem to go over very well with the ladies, and the resulting three-way clash is so epic it'll literally blow your mind (3KO)

As the time draws near for the next fight in the Diamond Dragon Casino the stage lights go out, and the house lights dim, plunging the stage into darkness. An ominous silence would be appropriate at this point, but the sounds of various gambling machines continues to roll across the casino floor. Some people aren't going to stop for a little thing like a musical show, or people getting beaten up. Meanwhile, casino staff are moving lights into place, preparing to illuminate Senna and Aya once they step out onto the floor.

After a short while, the hiss of smoke machines kicks in, and mist begins building up on the stage, pouring over the edges to fade away as it cross the casino floor. A guitar note thrums out, briefly drowning out the hubbub of the casino. Then an amplified voice calls out. "Enjoy your money while you can... it won't save you!" And then the stage lights snap on in perfect timing with a sudden chord coming from the guitar held by Zabel Zarock, standing on stage. Shirtless, with leather pants and gloves, he immediately launches into one of his songs, gravelly voice and guitar work backed up by two cloaked figures further back on the stage, one playing the drums and the other doing bass.

A rock concert as the background for a fight--not bad, Senna has to admit. It certainly could be -worse-. She was half-expecting to have to defy an order to show up in formal dress. Which she would've done happily, but given the venue's choice of rocker, she feels safe in showing up in her usual fighting outfit. Which is not all that different from an everyday outfit--black tanktop, baring muscular arms, worn olive-drab fatigue pants and black combat boots--but her hands are wrapped like a boxer's. She doesn't have the gloves, though.

After Zabel starts up the show, so to speak, Senna is cued to go out, and so she approaches from her side, still looking out of place, just not so much out of place. Most fighters would advance doing some sort of flourish--jabbing, feinting, playing to the crowd. Senna? She's not like that. She walks out amidst the roar of crowd and music and stands in her spotlight, arms crossed, practically glaring at the crowds and everyone else. Already, she looks pretty much mad enough to spit hot fire.

She'd told herself she wasn't going to do this again.

SNF has been a back and forth experience for Aya Hazuki. It hasn't been all negative -- her bout with the European blademaster was intriguing, as was the opponent himself -- but there is something about the game show-y nature of this entire affair that scrapes across the battousha's nerves like a rusty file. It's interesting to watch, however. And then, because they're very savvy about this stuff, the SNF organizers sent an email to people who hadn't signed up in a time. They wanted to discuss this amazing opportunity! Did you want to win some money?!

"Huh," Aya had said, sitting in the still under construction lobby of the to-be-finished-soon community center in Southtown which she had unexpectedly become trustee of. "I do actually."

She doesn't need it herself -- an heiress, Aya is in the annoying 'set for life' category -- but directing those funds to the center's eventual use and development could be very useful indeed. And so Aya Hazuki found another reason to get up on the stage and parade in front of people with a sword.

When she appears on stage, however, she doesn't look much more pleased than Senna... though in Aya's case she seems more exasperated than outright angry. Plus she LOOKS a lot different than the last time she was on TV; the traditional kimono is gone in favor of a camisole/pants combo... though she does wear a kimono jacket open over her shoulders. "Well, this sho--"

She STARTS saying a hello to Senna, anyway. And then the rock show starts.

You can almost feel the deliberate slowness of her head as it swivels toward the rocker. You definitely cannot HEAR what she says over the din, however, although lip readers can see the definite outline of a '...welp.'

While there are quite a few people who don't care for Zabel's music, it's hard to say he doesn't have talent. There's some highly technical guitar playing happening on stage, along with all the fog, pyrotechnics and colored lights. Given the venue, he's not putting /everything/ he has into the music, but even without more elaborate preparations on his part the music is extremely catchy, and may leave particularly sensitive folks with a bit of an itch in their brains.

It's a bit hard to tell with him up there singing and playing, but Zabel is also watching Senna and Aya carefully. If they haven't figured out about his little rider on the contract for this evening, so much the better. He might even be able to get away with just letting them duke it out for a bit, then coming in to mop things up... but where would the fun be in that? No, he's just going to wait long enough to make the perfect entrance...

Somehow Senna feels like this is all... a setup. Of some sort. She is dubious and it clearly shows in her expression. But her expression is all she has to express herself. So she just -looks- at Aya, trying to convey that she's just here to make money. That this is a job to her, no different from 'enforcing' enemy territories or whatever unsavory things she does in the underbelly of Metro City.

The storm of sound doesn't faze her, and she raises her hands, crunching her hands into fists. There's no ceremony, no posturing, nothing like that. She just brings her hands up into her boxer's stance and begins advancing. Slowly, deliberately, focused entirely on just one thing. Beating the crap out of this girl. She hasn't tuned out everything around her--that's patently impossible--but it's definitely taken a back seat to her target.

Of course, such focus can be a -bad- thing, too...

COMBATSYS: Senna has started a fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Senna            0/-------/------=|

Aya's not really a rock and roll kinda girl, but it's not as if Zabel's performance is truly a problem. Just not her style... and the noise level does make it more or less impossible to communicate with her opponent. Of course, one look at Senna's countenance tells the Japanese woman everything she needs to know about the level of conversation she is likely to get out of her opponent, anyway: precisely nada. "I suppose," she says aloud, as Senna comes right at her like an approaching iceberg, "talking would be meaningless anyway."

With a shrug, Aya reaches to her waist, and in her hands is the dark wood saya for her weapon of choice, the katana... specifically her family blade which has served her well all her life. Putting it in her left hand, she rolls her neck a bit and then nods at Senna. "Well, in the event that you can hear me, good luck to you. And if you can't, well... you'll figure out what I meant soon enough."

Then she kicks off the ground, flashing forward swiftly toward her opponent. In contrast to her muscular, slow-moving opponent, Aya is all lithe and nimble grace, dashing at Senna in a low run before coming just short, planting one foot, and then pivoting into a swift circular kick at the boxer's shoulders. Just testing the waters.

COMBATSYS: Aya has joined the fight here on the left meter side.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Aya              0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0            Senna

Up on the stage, the intensity of Zabel's music has actually been increasing, and his lyrics are getting pretty hard to understand with the speed with which they're coming out, but the last bit comes out clearly enough. "-back from Hell!" The guitar rings out, and then there's a sudden deafening cracking noise with an electrical flash, while smoke engulfs Zabel on stage. Suddenly a pair of eerie red lights shine out through the smoke, and then a figure bursts out at furious speed, guitar held high.

His lower body is moving at such blurring speed that it's hard to make out much in the way of details, other than that there's something very sharp in there, spinning at high speed. It looks somewhat like Zabel... with a great deal of flesh missing, exposed bone, and his hair styled into long spikes. There's a skeletal grin on his face, and he's letting out a cackling laugh as he zooms toward Aya. "Let's get this started, ladies!" Given Zabel Zarock's reputation, the crowd seems considerably less freaked out than one might expect. Up close, though, it may be harder to buy his appearance as a costume.

COMBATSYS: Zabel has joined the fight here on the top side.

                 [ |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Zabel            0|-------|-------
[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Aya              0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0            Senna

COMBATSYS: Senna parries Aya's Medium Strike!

                 [ ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Zabel            0|-------|-------
[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Aya              0/-------/-------|==-----\-------\0            Senna

Senna cannot properly say that she harbors the same intent. Her eyes flick to the side as Zabel interjects--quite literally. And if she were someone focused on honor and a fair fight, then she'd protest. She likely will if--no, when--Zabel turns his attention to her, but with him coming in for Aya, she has no protest. And she doesn't have time for it, because Aya's coming in immediately. She has appreciation for that, at least. She isn't a woman who likes to waste time.

Senna looks muscular and slow-moving but her reactions are on point--she waits until what looks like the last moment to push-block Aya's kick, identifying the most awkward point and capitalizing on it. She surges forward, seeking to get inside Aya's react with a muttered, "F**king -hate- weapon fighters..." She had some bad experiences. Granted most of them were knife fighters, but the principle of the thing... as she surges in she starts hammering at Aya with a rain of left jabs, a shotgun-like blast of rapid fists that is cut off with a right straight that keeps her moving forward for a quick second.

COMBATSYS: Zabel successfully hits Aya with Loudness Screw.

                 [ ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Zabel            0|-------|-----==
[     \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Aya              0/-------/-----==|==-----\-------\0            Senna

COMBATSYS: Aya parries Senna's Shotgun Driver EX!

                 [ ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Zabel            0|-------|-----==
[     \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Aya              0/-------/----===|==-----\-------\0            Senna

Apparently, it's everyone's day to pick on poor Aya. As her kicking leg effectively bounces off Senna's guard, the swordmistress falls backwards just in time to see... uh, it's not entirely clear WHAT she's seeing when it comes to Zabel's sudden introduction into the fight, since the rocker is attacking in a whirlwind of limbs that don't seem like they should bend that way and bones that don't seem to be staying inside his body and... well, you know how it goes. Taken by surprise, she attempts to mount some sort of guard against Zabel's strike but has too little time to make it happen. Considering she's recovering from delivering a strike of her own, this is pretty poor timing, and Aya is smashed to the ground in a groaning heap.

And of course, when she gets back on her feet, Senna is *right there*, having not required any time to recover, herself. But interestingly enough, Zabel's attack gave her time to prepare herself, even if she were flat on the ground a second ago. Swaying her body backwards, the flurry of jabs sweeps JUST in front of her face as Aya then plants her back foot and then pushes FORWARD, ducking in quickly under the straight that shears by so close Senna can feel the swordmistress's ponytail brush against her fist.

When she rises, Aya does so without words... in her right hand is a sword, but not *her* sword; it's a blade made entirely out of scarlet chi flame that Aya intends to sweep right through her opponent's body, which might... hurt, unless Senna gets out of the way!

As the fight really gets going, the cloaked drum and bass players on stage, largely ignored at this point, suddenly collapse. But they collapse straight downwards, the robes just falling into piles on the stage with no apparent sign of anything inside them. If someone was watching very, very closely they might spot a shadow flicking across the stage from the robes toward Zabel, but it's over in an instant. Zabel, meanwhile, lands from his assault on Aya, and is standing still for at least a moment. His fingers appear skeletal, his bare feet have what look more like talons than toenails, and a good chunk of his abdomen seems to be simply missing, with sharp bits of rib sticking out from his chest. Zabel could probably be a bit more subtle about his true form if he really wanted to, but given how his abilities work it might not be that helpful. Showmanship, being able to mask himself with a more presentable form, and the fact that there's quite a few really freaky fighters out there anyway help to keep most people guessing.

Case in point, as far as keeping his abilities on the down low... Zabel turns a skeletal grin in Senna's direction. "Don't like weapons? Sucks to be you tonight!" He leaps easily into the air, doing a front-flip as he flies toward Senna with one leg raised. From most fighters, this would be a prelude to an axe kick. And the motion Zabel makes is more or less the same. The difference is in the bone spikes that suddenly erupt from his leg and then begin rotating along the length of the limb, turning it into a giant buzzsaw.

COMBATSYS: Zabel successfully hits Senna with Skull Sting.
- CRAZY Hit! -

                 [  |||||||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Zabel            0|-------|---====
[     \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////    ]
Aya              0/-------/-----==|====---\-------\0            Senna

COMBATSYS: Senna fails to interrupt Futsu no Mitama EX from Aya with Jolt Hammer.

                 [  |||||||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Zabel            0|-------|---====
[     \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////           ]
Aya              0/-------/---====|=====--\-------\0            Senna

The turn of events goes spectacularly badly for Senna. Her instinctive reaction to someone -buzzsawing- at her--literally buzzsawing--is to try and dodge. But fortune--the lights, the noise, whatever you want to call it--interferes with her. Instead of juking left, as she should have, she goes right, and that was the wrong direction. She screams as this--whatever it is--tears into her. She's stumbling away and she still has Aya incoming.

Reflexively she strikes out with a fist, looking to cut Aya's attack short, but the pain makes her cringe and that puts her fist off target. Of course there's also the matter of the golden pachinko ball that comes out of nowhere to just... make it all that much worse.

Staggering back, Senna reaches up to her wound, touching it gingerly, then her dark eyes turn on Zabel. She isn't sure -what- he is--zombie, rocker with a weird fetish, or... whatever, but she's definitely got a new enemy now.

So that happened.

As soon as it was clear that her attack struck home and no reprisal was immediately incoming, Aya does a swift backward somersault away from the melee, retreating to a position of greater safety so she can analyze what just went down. So the rock... thing?... decided to get involved, but at least he's an equal opportunity offender at this moment. Senna, on the other hand, is clearly looking to him with an eye for revenge, which is plain on the woman's face. And frankly, Aya wouldn't mind taking a shot at the sudden interloper herself.

On the other hand, she's not 100% sure she wants to get drenched in explosive... pachinko balls?... right now, either.

Turning toward Zabel, Aya inclines her head a bit as she tilts her body forward into a battoujutsu stance, sscabbard held in her left hand. "So," she says casually to Zabel, before gripping the hilt of her blade with her right hand and in one flashing silver arc, drawing the blade in a burst of blue-white... while standing quite far away from the zombie rock god. This isn't as big a problem as it sounds, because the path of the strike causes a wave of ice pillars, jagged and erratic, to stream from the swordmistress to her target.

Over the crackling of ice, she finishes her thought: "What's your deal, exactly."

COMBATSYS: Aya successfully hits Zabel with Hyouga.

                 [      |||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Zabel            0|-------|-======
[      \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////           ]
Aya              0/-------/--=====|=====--\-------\0            Senna

Before his foot touches the ground the bone spikes retract into Zabel's leg, keeping him from managing to get himself lodged into the floor. A good thing, too, as a wave of ice comes racing his way. It doesn't actually end up helping, though, as he's not able to get out of the way in time. The front of the wave of ice pillars catches him in the chest, sending him sailing backwards. He bounces once off the floor, then flips around in mid-air to land on his feet. He looks down at the guitar in his hands, then makes a disgusted noise upon realizing that it was smashed by the ice. It's not so much the destruction, as the fact that it wasn't from breaking it over someone's head.

Zabel tosses the broken bits aside, then looks at Aya. "It's not obvious? I'm metal, baby." He gives a skeletal grin, disturbingly long tongue lolling out for a moment. "And the thing is, it's not metal if it's not-" As he speaks a dark purple shape suddenly surges up out of the floor around him, engulfing him and cutting off the last word before suddenly vanishing into the floor. A split second later, though, a similar shape suddenly bursts out of the ground much closer to Aya and Zabel leaps out of it, lunging at her with one arm. "-brutal!" A sharpened spike of bone erupts from his palm as he strikes, extending even as his arm continues the motion toward Aya.

Senna has a moment when Aya and Zabel turn to each other. Naturally she should take it to take stock of herslf but instead, she acts upon instinct and desire, lunging forward. Her goal is simple, her target right there, direct. And...

It is the back of Zabel's head. She roars--it'll be lost, or almost lost, in the roar of the crowd and the sound of the band, as she leaps on a long, low arc forward, her right hand pulled back.

She doesn't know if Zabel's going to sense her coming or what, but she hardly cares--her blood is up, literally (it's splattered across her torn-up tanktop), and she won't really be satisfied until she sates her need for revenge. It's not a healthy position to be taking, mentally, but truth be told, there isn't really much about Senna's life that's 'healthy'.

COMBATSYS: Aya fails to interrupt Power Strike from Zabel with Tsubame Gaeshi.

                 [     ||||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Zabel            0|-------|=======
[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////           ]
Aya              0/-------/-======|=====--\-------\0            Senna

Well that's new.

The little trick with the seeming teleport doesn't necessarily give Zabel a huge advantage, but it certainly is curious, from Aya's point of view. For most of her life, the swordmistress didn't pay much attention to the spiritual arts when it comes to combat; she acknowledged their existence, of course, and respected them, but was more interested in pure study of the blade from her POV. And then suddenly she woke up one day with the voice of the spirits in her ear, as it were, and a whole new level of understanding opened up in front of her. Whether she wanted to have it or not.

The important thing is, she's slowly starting to take stock of these tricks people do... and the man behind the proverbial curtain.

For whatever reason, Zabel's comment about 'metal' sticks in Aya's head, makes her decide to take a silly risk. Trying what she does against a fighter that is coming in from an awkward angle at a high speed is not the best time to try and intercept their strike, and Aya knows it. But part of her is trying to get into this 'fight as showmanship' thing and, frankly, the combat quip she had in her head was too good to pass up. UNFORTUNATELY the timing is not in Aya's favor; Zabel's strike actually hits her striking arm as she draws the blade, sending her strike wide and forcing Aya back a few steps.

Collecting herself and re-sheathing her blade, the battousha watches the zombie with a raised eyebrow, keeping her quip to herself. The only thing that might betray her is that, for a second, those green eyes flick to the side, watching Senna approach him from behind. It'd still be pretty satisfying to see the boxer put one in the back of the rocker's head.

COMBATSYS: Zabel counters Straight Punch from Senna with Death Phrase.

                 [     ||||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Zabel            1|------=|=======
[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////                 ]
Aya              0/-------/-======|=======\-------\1            Senna

Whether it's the flick of Aya's eyes or some other indication, Zabel starts spinning around as Senna is closing in on him. As he does so he makes a quick gesture with his hands and there's a blur of motion as something seems to shoot up from the floor toward his hands. And then all of a sudden he's holding a guitar with a Union Jack paint job, and a tiny version of his own head on the end of it. Senna's fist is flying toward his face now, but the ghoul just grins, one hand falling toward the strings of the guitar.

There's a wail from the guitar, and a visible pressure wave of sound expands outwards, first slowing Senna's assault, then actually launching her backwards. The sound echoes around the casino, and probably leaves most of the audience's ears ringing, to say nothing of Zabel's opponents. And then he simply opens his hands, letting the guitar fall and vanish as it strikes the floor.

Senna wasn't prepared for that. She reaches--and reaches--and it seems for a half-second, longer for her as time stretches out in her perception, that she's going to -reach- her target. Then...

Then everything snaps back to reality and she isn't anywhere -near- Zabel. No, she's... flying in the opposite direction, slamming into a tall stack of monistor speakers, cracking them with a resounding slam.

She stays embedded in them for nearly a full two seconds before falling out, slamming down onto her hands and knees, breathing heavily. "N... no fucking way," she growls, under her breath. She's hurting--hurting quite badly, actually--but she still manages to get back to her feet. Slamming her fists together, she points at Zabel. Clearly she's marked him. No thought given to Aya at all.

It looks almost impossible but she bursts forward, throwing a swift combination--left right left right straight.

But that's just a closing-in attack; once she gets in, she continues her assault, hammering at the ghost rocker's defenses with a solid set of right hooks.

COMBATSYS: Senna blitzes into action and acts again!

                 [     ||||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Zabel            1|------=|=======
[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////                  ]
Aya              0/-------/-======|=======\-------\1            Senna

This situation is... complicated now.

For starters, Senna's having a really rough time and Aya is not sure she wants to strike at the boxer while she's vulnerable and attacking Zabel. On the other hand, the zombie rocker is proving to be incredibly tricky as an opponent and the swordmistress isn't sure she wants to go all in against him, either, even with Senna running interference. In fact, the whole situation feels weird for a woman used to thinking of fights as "duels;" she had this problem fighting Hayato Nekketsu alongside Natsu Ayuhara as well... on SNF, no less.

For a moment she seems paralyzed by indecision, until she suddenly blinks and says, seemingly out of nowhere: "Oh, right. Split the baby."

Hopefully that's not going to be in the highlight reel.

Surging forward with similar speed to Senna, Aya grips her scabbard in one hand and dives right into the fray, the thing she seemingly DIDN'T want to do. But rather than focus all her energy on one target, she explodes into a flurry of motion, making a sudden, vicious drawing slash in a silver arc toward Zabel... while then flinging out her scabbard via the sageo, the scabbard cord, to wrap around any of Senna's exposed limbs while she attacks Zabel, intending to slam her to the ground using the cord as a very short-range whip.

COMBATSYS: Aya blitzes into action and acts again!

                 [     ||||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Zabel            1|------=|=======
[            \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////                    ]
Aya              0/-------/-======|=======\-------\1            Senna

COMBATSYS: Senna successfully hits Zabel with Rapid Combo.
-* WILD HIT! *-

                 [          |||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Zabel            1|---====|=======
[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////                    ]
Aya              0/-------/-======|=======\-------\1            Senna

COMBATSYS: Zabel blocks Senna's Double Hammer.

                 [            |||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Zabel            1|---====|=======
[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////                    ]
Aya              0/-------/-======|=======\=------\1            Senna

COMBATSYS: Aya successfully hits Zabel with Fierce Strike.

                 [                |||||||||||||| ]
                 Zabel            1|-======|=======
[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////                    ]
Aya              0/-------/-======|=======\=------\1            Senna

Senna charges back in with some more speed than Zabel gave her credit for. He tries to back out of the way, but she lands a clean hit to his jaw, causing his head to jerk to one side. At the same time the slots on the Moneyrock light up and begin spinning. Zabel's head continues to get knocked about by Senna's punches, although they're having less effect on the rest of his body than might be expected. It seems pretty likely that from the way his head has moved a couple times that his spine should have snapped, but it doesn't appear to have caused him any particular distress. Certainly he's not paralyzed, because he manages to finally lift up his arms in time to at least partially absorb the follow-up series of right hooks.

Defending against that, though, means that he's not paying attention to the flashing lights and sirens as the slots on the Moneyrock stop, and doesn't notice Aya coming in. The slash of her sword lands cleanly, though without much blood, and sends him staggering back... right into a number of those exploding golden balls that have started raining down. A smoking Zabel goes flying through the air before crashing to the floor in a heap. And then he pulls himself back to his feet, looking far too unconcerned for someone who just got smacked around like that. He reaches up to grab his head with both hands, twisting it slightly from side to side for a moment, though any noises made from this action are drowned out by the crowd, and then he more or less looks fine, aside from a thin gash opened up in his side by Aya's blade.

"I actually felt that! Hope you've got some more where that came from!" Zabel raises one hand, and a few of the lights overhead suddenly shatter as bolts of electricity shoot down from them into Zabel. His eyes flash and he gives another cackling laugh, then begins sprinting in Aya's direction. Crackling with electricity, he leaps into the air toward her, bone spikes erupt from his legs. The lower half of his body then begins rotating at high speed, turning him into a spinning, electrified top with razor sharp edges, flying right toward Aya.

COMBATSYS: Aya successfully hits Senna with Sayagari.
Glancing Blow

                 [                |||||||||||||| ]
                 Zabel            0|-------|-======
[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////                      ]
Aya              0/-------/=======|=======\=------\1            Senna

At least the wound she received earlier has stopped bleeding--she's not leaving a trail of her blood on the floor anymore. Adrenaline is powering her through this, but she's close to the ragged edge, riding along it with stubborness and tenacity. (Yes, those are basically the asme things.) For a moment, she's coming out of the satisfaction of having finally pummeled Zabel, though she can't help but notice that he's... still standing. Not that she's particularly interested in looking as though she's just -killed- somebody in public... but that's a bit disturbing.

Certainly disturbing enough that she reacts a microsecond too slow to Aya's thrown scabbard. It wraps around her good limb and she has a moment to go 'eh?' before she's tugged down.

She actually manages to roll with the impact--but it means landing on her bad shoulder and that sends a fresh wave of pain down her arm. With a deep growl she flips her stance and drives for Aya with a right hook aimed for her head. She's not interested in pulling punches.

COMBATSYS: Aya blocks Zabel's Death Voltage.

                 [                |||||||||||||| ]
                 Zabel            0|-------|-======
[                 \\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////                     ]
Aya              1/------=/=======|=======\=------\1            Senna

COMBATSYS: Aya parries Senna's Hook Punch!

                 [                |||||||||||||| ]
                 Zabel            0|-------|-======
[                 \\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////                     ]
Aya              1/-----==/=======|=======\=------\1            Senna

Aya herself might not be interested in showmanship, *per se*, but she's clearly managing to put on a show either way. Considering she's now the target of multiple assaults instead of the aggressor, it behooves her to be as on point as possible, and Zabel's rather flashy way of getting his attack underway is the perfect impetus to take a breath and really just... concentrate. A good iaijutsu or battoujutsu fighter has to be painfully aware of the presence of others, but when her chi abilities mysteriously awakened, with them came a heightened version of that sense. It takes a moment of focus to turn it on, but when she does?


Zabel is the bigger, flashier, more immediate threat and Aya puts her all into a defensive measure against his electrical whirlwind of limbs, bones, and voltage; gritting her teeth, the swordmistress interposes the scabbard of her blade between herself and Zabel, the buzzsaw-like strikes slamming against her guard repeatedly. The sensation is... unpleasant; the impact is still jarring to muscles, and the numbing-yet-searing combination of that lightning doesn't help. But she works through it... just in time to see Senna coming right at her.

What happens next is strange, yet apparently bizarrely effectve: Aya ducks low and actually *turns her back* on Senna. The result is that the boxer's punch once again shears the air between the two fighters by mere millimeters... but it also means that Aya is now in an offensive crouch, *under* one opponent's striking range, and pointed *right at Zabel*.

Aya takes enough time to say, "Allow me to show you *my*... 'metal'."

Then she's gone.

When she seemingly reappears a fraction of a second later, having kicked off the ground and sped away from Senna, Aya is practically already inside Zabel's guard, preparing to do a drawing slash that will take her right THROUGH him, shortly before the entire path of her strike (including where Zabel is currently standing) erupts into whorls of green chi-formed wind blades.

COMBATSYS: Aya successfully hits Zabel with Kamaitachi EX.
- CRAZY Hit! -

                 [                      |||||||| ]
                 Zabel            1|-------|=======
[                 \\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////                     ]
Aya              1/----===/=======|=======\=------\1            Senna

Her attack taking her swiftly past Zabel, Aya rises, back still turned. Her kimono jacket flutters behind her as she slides her katana into the saya, intoning in her throaty alto, "It's not metal... if it's not brutal."

As Aya's sword connects with Zabel the Moneyrock begins flashing again, and the slots start spinning. The zombie has time to look down in confusion as the blade slices through him, and the slots stop spinning with perfect timing such that the jangling of the bells coincides with the blast of green chi launching Zabel off the ground. He sails through the air, only to meet more of those golden balls coming in the other direction and being engulfed in a more mundane explosion.

After a few moments, though, the smoke clears and Zabel is, somehow, still on his feet. He's got a deep cut on his chest, and a number of abrasions as well... but even as he stands there, they seem to be fading away, and the cut is already sealing itself. Not a good sign for his opponents. But, if one were to pay careful attention, they might notice that the glow in his eyes has begun to dim, and one even flickers out for a moment. "Oh, that's cute babe. But you know, swords..." He hunches over for a moment. "...they're so old-fashioned." A tremor runs through his body, and the lights in his eyes flare up. The rocker already had a fairly muscular build, at least where he still has muscles, but they bulge outwards, making him several inches taller and considerably buffer, while crackling electricity plays over his flesh. "You need to keep up!" Another shape shoots up from the floor, and suddenly Zabel's right hand is engulfed by a chainsaw, with a blade nearly as long as he is tall. And then he's shooting across the casino floor toward Aya at high speed, cackling madly while swinging the weapon in blurring arcs.

At this point, Senna kinda feels for Aya--though Aya is arguably better-equipped to defend herself against a madman wielding a goddamn -chainsaw- on his hand. (How did he even -get- that?) Senna briefly wonders, before she's occupied with other matters. She's now experienced some of both Aya and Zabel's brands of fighting and, on the whole, she'll take a fight against someone who is not an insane death metal zombie with limbs that morph into industrial tools to be used as weapons--or--or whatever is happening.

Her actions are driven purely by the desire to survive without getting torn up anymore--she's already going to have to go to the hospital to get the torn up flesh fixed up, though fortunately like most fighters she heals pretty well. Fortunately with Zabel focused on Aya, that gives Senna a clear line to Zabel's back, one she takes with a lunging straight punch, coming in slightly off-center to try and help disrupt his path a little--though with the wide swings of the chainsaw it may not matter.

Unfortunately, the last time she tried this, Zabel, how would she term it--oh yeah. He effed her shizz -up-, so she's not putting herself into it as fully as she did last time, trying to hold back some measure of defense--though what can she do to -defend- against that?

COMBATSYS: Aya parries Zabel's Ultimate Undead!

                 [                     ||||||||| ]
                 Zabel            0|-------|-------
[                 \\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////                     ]
Aya              1/---====/=======|=======\=------\1            Senna

"Do I?"

To call Aya's mood glacially calm is to express onesself in a very punny way. Why? Because as Zabel approaches her with a... let's be real, that a freakin' impressive chainsaw... she doesn't panic. She wants to. But instead some voice in the back of her head starts whispering instructions, or something of that nature. With a whip-like motion of her arm, she snaps her blade free of the saya, holding it in front of her, jaw set. Preparing to meet her foe, the swordmistress raises one eyebrow says, evenly, "Perhaps you..."

There's a crackling sound, a mist in the humid air, and suddenly the blade in front of her is entirely encased in a really, impressively thick layer of chi-formed ice.

By the laws of narrative necessaity, Aya finishes her sentence: "...just need to chill."

Chainsaw meets ice-coated blade in a really fantastic way. On the screens above, the slot machine visuals are briefly replaced with INCREDIBLY dramatic visuals of Zabel's wild expression as he attempts to chainsaw through Aya's defense, and Aya's cool (sorry) smile while the chainsaw kicks up sparks and shears off chunks of ice while it powers through the improvised defense.

However, eventually the time that Aya bought by basically freezing (sorry) Zabel's attack in place for a bit pays off, and she performs an impressive backflip away from him, flicking the ice from her blade as she does so. On the way DOWN from her flip, with the chunks of ice still in midair, she lashes out with a circular kick that sends them flying toward Senna even as the boxer leaps at Zabel. "Nothing personal!" Aya shouts, in the process.

COMBATSYS: Zabel dodges Senna's Medium Punch.

                 [                     ||||||||| ]
                 Zabel            0|-------|-------
[                 \\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////                     ]
Aya              1/---====/=======|=======\=------\1            Senna

Zabel's grin drops as he finds himself chainsawing into ice instead of flesh, then turns to a frown as he glares at Aya through the sparks and haze of ice crystals. As Aya leaps away Zabel's muscles begin to shrink back to their previous state, and the chainsaw drops from his hand to vanish into the floor as it falls. His hands clench into fists for a moment, but then he relaxes. With good timing, as being lost in anger might have resulted in a punch to the spine... which makes a very easy to spot target on Zabel.

Instead the zombie barely even has to tense his legs before launching himself into the air, seeming to almost float as he flips up and over the chunks of ice flying toward Senna. "Okay, I admit it. You're good. You should feel honored, you're making me have to actually try for this!" And then he twists his body around again, lashing out with a sweeping kick toward Aya. Seems he might be holding a bit of a grudge! And while the sharp nails on his feet would make the kick pretty unpleasant anyway, it becomes both more dangerous, and more surprising, as his foot shifts into a skull with a gaping mouth that attempts to bite into Aya even while it's being smashed into her.

COMBATSYS: Senna interrupts Hyouga EX from Aya with Anvil Breaker.
?!? Weird Hit! ?!?

                 [                    |||||||||| ]
                 Zabel            0|-------|-------
[                     \\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////                     ]
Aya              1/=======/=======|-------\-------\0            Senna

Unnoticed by Senna, the Moneyrock continues to do its thing. Zabel turns away from her, which is, well, frustrating, but she doesn't have time to deal with that--Aya's betrayed her! ... or, okay, not -really- betrayed her. It's not like they're on the same side or anything like that. Senna reacts instinctively to the ice flying her way--she lunges forward, roaring, and punching.

Her bare fists literally blast the ice to mist as she lunges for Aya--and just as she's about to really lay into Aya with a vicious combination--a hook punch to Aya's temple, and another -- well, she won't be able to tell, because the pachinko balls start exploding all around her and she can't help but jump back, having to cut her combination short. She's breathing hard, and her eyes are flinty, eyeing both her opponents with nothing short of naked anger.

COMBATSYS: Aya dodges Zabel's Strong Kick.

                 [                    |||||||||| ]
                 Zabel            0|-------|-------
[                     \\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////                     ]
Aya              1/=======/=======|-------\-------\0            Senna

Now that IS surprising, on a number of levels. Dashing straight into the oncoming bursts of ice is not how Aya expected senna to react, though on reflection later she'll realize that she probably SHOULD have. That unexpected move gives Senna considerable leverage against her opponent and Aya is caught flat-footed, the first few blows of Senna's combination sending her stumbling backwards. Which is good, because this means she's thrown clear of the flurry of exploding pachinko balls which... at the very least keep Senna from leaping right at her.

She turns around to see what Zabel is doing and finds him *literally* right behind her, a skull/kick combination about to really make her evening pretty miserable. Acting purely on instinct, Aya throws herself to the side in a tumbling dodge. It is inelegant, and she lands badly, wincing as her ankle protests, but it's better than taking that blow right to the face, which she was perilously close to doing.

Sliding upward to her feet, Aya looks around. Everyone in this fight is hanging on tenaciously. She should be strategic about this, though... Senna probably has more in reserve than Zabel does, who's been getting hammered by both sides.

What she hears herself say out loud is: "But there's something about you that just makes... me... UPSET." Even Aya is surprised to hear it come out of her mouth, apparently. But she still takes her sheathed sword in hand, looking at Zabel. And then, well... she vanishes.

This might seem like an old trick -- she's tried it once before -- but this time, she's not intending to go THROUGH Zabel. She doesn't even draw her blade. Instead, she twists and delivers a VERY high angle kick, aiming for the bottom of Zabel's chin, intending to straight up launch him right into the sky.

If she lands that blow, she follows it by vanishing a second time. When she reappears, it's in midair ABOVE Zabel, where she performs another kick, sending him toward the ground like a volleyball spike, before vanishing a THIRD time. Her final reappearance is on the ground, where she ideally intercepts a falling zombie with a fierce drawing slash in a flashing arc of silver.

COMBATSYS: Aya successfully hits Zabel with Amakaze.

                 [                          |||| ]
                 Zabel            0|-------|----===
[                      \\\\\\\\  < >  /////////                     ]
Aya              0/-------/-======|-------\-------\0            Senna

Aya's foot connects with Zabel's chin, and for a moment his neck actually stretches before the rest of his body starts rising along with it. It's actually surprisingly easy... he doesn't weigh nearly as much as someone of his height and build should. He's actually able to start composing himself in mid-air, but that doesn't help much when Aya is suddenly right above him, kicking him back down toward the ground. And so he goes rocketing back downwards, only to be met by a sword slash. The blade bites deep, briefly catching on bone before the force of the blow shoves Zabel aside, sending him crashing to the ground on his back.

The zombie remains on the ground, staring up at the ceiling with a frown on his face, and the red lights in his eyes flickering. "Shit..." he mutters to himself. Any individual wound is not a particularly big deal for Zabel, but keeping his body together after dealing with a number of them starts causing issues if he doesn't have a chance to... recharge. And this is not the place to do it. Still, there's appearances to be kept up. Zabel rises smoothly to his feet, the most recent slash already knitting itself together. "Well girls, it's been fun. But it looks like the devil's calling. He looks forward to seeing you all soon!" And then he laughs again, as a blinding flash of red light bursts around him. Mostly obscured by that, the purple shape from earlier reaches up out of the floor, engulfing Zabel and then whisking him away. And this time he doesn't reappear.

COMBATSYS: Zabel takes no action.

[                      \\\\\\\\  < >  /////////                     ]
Aya              0/-------/-======|-------\-------\0            Senna

COMBATSYS: Zabel can no longer fight.

[                      \\\\\\\\  < >  /////////                     ]
Aya              0/-------/-======|-------\-------\0            Senna

Well. He's gone. Senna stands there for a moment, chest heaving, staring across the now-empty space at her original opponent. Who has the advantage here? That... that guy. That zombie rocker from hell... he did a number on the two of them. Maybe more on Senna, or at least that's how she sees it. That long moment passes...

...and Senna brings her arms up again. She's wounded but can still fight, and she proves it by marching forward, slowly and deliberately. Later she might actually process what happened, but she's seen too many fighters with too many weird abilities to be so put off as to not be able to fight.

It seems, at least, with Zabel's defeat, Senna's regained some of her grim countenance--she isn't rushing forward with anger in her eyes, but stalking forward, as if heedless that Aya has the better reach, and offering a classic one-two punch combination to the jaw, left jab-right straight.

COMBATSYS: Aya blocks Senna's Rapid Combo.

[                        \\\\\\  < >  //////////                    ]
Aya              0/-------/=======|-------\-------\0            Senna

The common belief is that weapon fighters are usually useless if disarmed. Exhausted though she is, Aya still has to deal with Senna, even after she sheathes her blade and Zabel makes what is an intensely dramatic exit, one so flashy even the somewhat laconic Aya has to acknowledge it, though she does so mostly with a raised eyebrow. "So..." she starts, turning to look toward Senna. "That was--"

One punch, the jab, slams right into Aya's jaw, turning her head, but the straight finds itself gently redirected to the side, Aya's upraised arm slipping up the inside of Senna's arm, pushing it away, before the two women are separated by Aya making a quick backwards hop.

"...was a thing," Aya finishes, blinking. That was a close call, but a solid foundation in the martial arts was useful for a last minute save. That said, her sheathed blade is back in her left hand once the two are separated.

"Well... that has been exciting, hasn't it?" she asks her opponent, with a genuine smile. "I mean, even by this show's ridiculous standards. It'd be interesting to have a match someday in a different setting, maybe."

She then raises her sheathed blade in a sort of salute, before rushing Senna as swiftly as she can, suddenly sweeping upward in a rising circular kick as soon as she gets close, which flows into two more, Aya's kimono jacket fluttering behind her as she makes three perfect, upward-angled kicks, looking to send Senna into the air.

COMBATSYS: Senna parries Aya's Amagumo!

[                        \\\\\\  < >  //////////                    ]
Aya              0/-------/-======|=------\-------\0            Senna

It's unfortunate that Senna is not really the type to engage with her opponents. She lost her 'passion' for fighting quite some time ago--now her boxing is a tool for her. It's how she makes her living, yes, but the fire that drove her to refine and expand those skills is largely gone. So she approaches these things like work.

It makes it difficult for her to make connections, which she would stubbornly insist that she doesn't need, though it means she ends more nights cradling a bottle of some sort than anything else. She still keeps fit because she has to; she's at least that disciplined, but the young boxer that wanted to take over the world of boxing isn't there anymore.

But she shows up in flashes, like when Aya's three kicks come. Senna deflects the first--and the second--and the third, as she jumps -with- Aya, seeking to fully capitalize on her opponent's airborne state and slam her back down to the ground with a hammering overhand punch from her dominant right.

COMBATSYS: Aya interrupts Double Hammer EX from Senna with Tsubame Gaeshi.

[                           \\\  <
Senna            0/-------/--=====|

COMBATSYS: Aya can no longer fight.

[                           \\\  <
Senna            0/-------/--=====|

Unexpected. The expression on Aya's face briefly registers both genuine surprise and, really, respect. The swordmistress knows her capabilities; she's a fighter of no mean skill whose speed and precision are one of her bigger strengths. To see Senna match those qualities so well is worth of respect. But it's ALSO Senna's opening to strike back, and now Aya has to deal with that.

The important thing to remember -- which the highlight reel will likely show -- is that even though she was engaged in a kicking technique, she *never let go of her sword*.

Aya has two entire kicking rotations to plan, which doesn't seem like much, but at the lightning pace of fighting, is enough; her right hand drops, her torso twists just so, and she mentally prepares herself for what's going to happen.

Senna's fist impacts her opponent as planned... but as that happens, Aya is also making a wide, arcing draw slash at her opponent, her blade surrounded by a concussive burst of wind that will make their midair separation all the more violent.

When Aya lands on the ground, like a meteor, she literally bounces off the floor, back arched, and doesn't get back up. But it may be that her opponent isn't going to land in any better a condition...

Indeed, Senna doesn't. She's always relied on a combination of skill and punishing power to do the job for her, that and a powerful stubbornness that often sees her staying up when others would go down--but there are limits. When she's sent crashing to the floor, it actually buckles under her impact, and she's flung upwards.

For a moment it looks like she might recover, land in a fashionable three-point stance, take the win in dramatic fashion--but that moment passes and Senna ends up face down, one arm tucked underneath her, the other flung outwards haphazardly, her legs splayed, unmoving. It was truly an epic fight, and while Senna wouldn't necessarily appreciate that, it's safe to say that the -crowd- does, as the roaring crests to a nearly unbearable peak.

COMBATSYS: Senna takes no action.

COMBATSYS: Senna can no longer fight.

Log created on 19:34:38 02/28/2015 by Aya, and last modified on 20:39:37 03/01/2015.