Unholy Genesis - [UG:Round 2] MONA LISA OVERDRIVE

Description: The mysterious Dr. Tessitore has seen to it that what length of Metro Bridge has fallen into Majigen be coated in an experimental polymer gel with little to no friction... and has unleashed the determined searcher Aranha, the seemingly carefree Rust, and the enigmatic so-called lover Zappa to fight together for the next round of the tournament upon this. With cultists and survivors watching from the sidelines on an incomplete bridge suspended over blood, who will keep their footing to see their way forward? (WINNER: Rus-- wait, no... Aranha?! Er... all right, looks like it's Aranha. We're going with that... moving on, then...)


- METRO BRIDGE - ARANHA, ZAPPA, and RUST each have different reasons for coming here. And while Aranha entered the tournament to get information on his sister, does anyone really know how the vampiric tournament staff was able to convince Zappa or Rust to join? Let's... not dwell on that for now, though the fighters themselves are more than welcome to wax poetic.

But they -have- convinced the three to take part in a daring battle atop the 3/4 of Metro Bridge that's made its way into Majigen. And as Dr. Tessitore proudly explains, the bridge is coated with an experimental polymer gel -- again, let's not dwell on where it came from -- that makes everything super slippery. Meaning the fighters will move faster and hit harder.

The bridge's footpaths have been lined with audience members for this fight. Some are residents, others are from the mysterious Hand of Dohma cult -- you can pick them out by the crazy signs preaching THE END IS NIGHT and other snappy abuses of grammar.

NOTE: Fighters will gain a +50% damage modifier due to the super-slippery surface! Don't worry about falling off the open end of the bridge, they've put up a fence. It'll probably hold.

"Dear Diary...
It seems like everywhere I turn, it's a nightmare! From the giant insects to what looks like monsters, I think that I'd like to leave sooner than later... yet the women here are quite attractive! It is just as the rumors had claimed, women dressed so scantily and wild that leave your mind in the gutter. However, many of them seemed to be dressed for Halloween and keep asking for my soul... I had thought that part of the rumor was just a joke! Mother, perhaps I am in too deep over my head in America... Though some here have said it could have been worse! What kind of place is this?!"

"G...go on the bridge?" Zappa asks, stuttering slightly as his body quivers and quakes - as he tries to decide to or not. Taking a step back, Zappa decides against it - especially as the staff, a rather buff vampire, stands in his way. "I know they said it would be fun, and others are watching, but you... you must understand, right?" Zappa implores the staff, a hand behind his head. "I am not a fighter at all! I only came here to be a lov-"

The large vampire man grunts - not all of them are classy - and shoves Zappa on the bridge.

"eeeeEEEEEEEEEEER!?" With his arms flailing, his body twisting, and legs trying to stop him, Zappa, simply pushed onto his back, ends up sliding to roughly the middle of the bridge on his back, staring up at the sky. "This isn't happening..." Zappa calmly explains to himself, slowly, carefully, getting to his feet - his legs almost snapping out from under him from the shaking that is going on down there still!

"Someone...", He turns to the audiance, "Would you ... would you like to change places?"

The audiance laughs - and a few things may be thrown! Oh, but there's only 3/4ths a bridge - and the blood river from before causes Zappa to zone out for a moment.

He's so going into the drink, he just knows it.

There's a sight up in the sky. There are so many things wrong with the sky that to be a sight in the sky is an accomplishment above all other accomplishments. It may either be an unsung triumph in human ability and effort, or a vigorously buried mark of shame. (It is probably not quite time to decide.)
Up high on the bridge, there is a silhouette of... black? Purple? Purplish-black? Hair, all the same, done up the way of a stereotypical geisha. Someone who seems like they're uncertain if they're dressed up as an auto mechanic, or a guy going out to the beach, what with the shorts and sandals... and the very old, ratty toolbelt filled to the brim with tools of the trade.
His arms are crossed as he stands precariously atop the apex of one support structure. A horrible chill goes through the air, and yet, he doesn't seem too uncomfortable by it.
"Yep, this looks like the bridge, I'd reckon!" He says cheerfully enough to no one. How does a man muster so much cheer into their speech in such a dreary, absolutely abominable place like this?
Pulling out a crowbar from who knows where, he takes a dive right off the top... only to hook the crowbar into the cable, wildly swinging down with such a sway that it looks like the crowbar's curved end might lose its grip at any moment. He draws closer, nearer, faster...
With a swing of his legs, he kicks up and out as he draws within a height that would be at the upper end of suspension of disbelief for a survivable fall - initial velocity accounted for - and cannonballs through the air...
Only to fail to stick the landing, spilling across the ground splay-legged and spinning about across the super-slick bridge surface.
He's yelling, but it doesn't... sound like one of terror?
"That young lady wasn't kiddin'!" He exclaims more like a thrilled child and not a frightened person who may or may not have just suffered a serious injury on that collective fall and slip. Slip and fall?
The crowds seem to look upon this man, collectively, like they're not sure what to make of his tone as he eventually kicks his feet out and up to stand up. He doesn't quite make it, slipping and staggering a few more times before he slip-skates to something resembling a standing position, left hand going for the length of pipe on his right hip. (Where did the crowbar go...?)
"Sorry I'm late," he waves a hand, "bunch of folks wanted directions to a bakery or something, they were all, 'grains, grains!'"
...That is probably not what they were asking for, but yet, here he is, in... good cheer, despite EVERYTHING SURROUNDING HIM INVITING THE EXACT OPPOSITE REACTION.

Aranha for his part approaches the fight location dutifuly. He doesn't give the vampires any sass. Especially since this time he's not being expected to fight while the architectural structure he's supposed to be fighting on is crumbling apart. He's grateful for small blessings.

There's no mirth on his face. He normally might try to have a little fun with this but the stakes are just a little too high. He still hasn't heard anything from his sister quite yet. A look of focused determination appears on his face as he steps onto the bridge. He rolls his neck letting out a loud crack and then he tests the surface with one foot, then the next. Slowly, he makes his way to the center as he gets used it.

When he looks up again, he sees a dude with a geisha hair-do flying through the air and in the most epic of ways fail to land with absolute joy. He looks like he's about to say something but he gives up after a few seconds.

He then regards the man who seems like he doesn't want to be here with a nod. His sentiments are echo'd for different reasons one of them being, black people don't have the best of records in horror situations. This qualifies.

He takes a deep breath and mutters with a grim tone, "Ok... Let's get this over with."

"No, you don't understand....!" Zappa pleads to the vampires about. "I'm not even remotely a fighter... I take care of myself, but it's just the gym! I've never been in a fight ever. I can't expect to-" The vampire man crosses his arms, staring down. "You had /won/ the last one. I have my doubts that it was your /first/ time. You also most certainly /CAN/ fight." He states, "And you WILL." He helpfully adds.

"No... this isn't happening!" With a looks of disbelief, Zappa turns to Rust and Aranha - one who was silent, until he said 'get it over with' the other - was he insane!? "We don't need to get this over with. We shouldn't even star - and do you want to actually fight? Why would you ever..." he takes a step back away from both Rust and Aranha, legs shaking.

This is where everything goes wrong.

He trips, flailing, kicking off a bit too hard as he slips towards the edge of the bridge. The part /not/ there. "Wha-!? No, no!" It looks like he's about to go over!! "Mother!!!"

And then... he is gone.

It is in those moments that Zappa will not remember anything. S-ko's hand streaks out of the body, invisible to all but the most attentive of demons, those that can see what cannot be seen. A much less invisible razor like sword slams into the side of the bridge, digging deep into the metal and stone.

"PATHETIC." S-ko exclaims, as the form of Zappa twists, legs wrapping around, arms doing the same, bone and muscle morphing in ways that it should not. In what fits right at home in such place that Metro has become, Rust and Aranha would be treated to the form of Zappa, clawing it's way, like a beetle or spider, up the side of the bridge, throwing himself onto it like a catapault and landing on all fours - upside down, face 'smiling' and head twisted the wrong way around.

"YES. WE SHOULDN'T DELAY YOUR SUFFERING." Comes his voice now, different, focused and certainly not pleading and weak as before.

The form of Zappa lunges towards Aranha, back legs kicking off to send Zappa sliding on his back straight towards him. What he may not expect is the sudden size of the head to /expand/, growing massive and becoming at least three times its size for a brief moment - making the sudden rocketing headslam that much more potent, energy bleeding off him as he does so!

COMBATSYS: Zappa has started a fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Zappa            0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Rust has joined the fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Rust             0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0            Zappa

COMBATSYS: Aranha has joined the fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Zappa            0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Rust
[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Aranha           0/-------/-======|

COMBATSYS: Aranha blocks Zappa's Aggressive Strike.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Zappa            0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Rust
[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Aranha           0/-------/-======|

Aranha's jaw drops as he watches Zappa's body contort which makes way for a cringe as he watches bones and joints morph in ways that man is not meant move. His stomach turns and that food he ate earlier, it feels as though it's about to work it's way back out of his system in the wrong direction before he swallows that sensation down. He is /not/ about to puke in front of his opponents and not in front of the cameras.

He watches as the man crawls around like his name sake before landing right in front of him and powersliding right at him with an enlarged head. He's not comfortable enough with the coated surface to even attempt getting out of the way and so he covers himself up, and turns his shoulder into the blow before he's sent sliding backwards.

Aranha decides to rapidly scale up the bridge supports much like his namesake and Zappa just a few moments ago before he launches himself down a cable, with some residual polymer gel on his shoes assisting in enhancing his speed before he launches himself feet first at Zappa and then dropping into a roll, the momentum of which causes him to slide away the moment he's back on his feet.

The moment Zappa - well, the corporeal part of him - comes back up, those vampire sorts are already making the calls. Go. Fight.
It is a most gruesome sight, a disconcerting and unsettling one. No doubt among the crowds are aghast in horror. Well, the ones that aren't... used to this sort of thing. Aranha's reaction is perfectly natural, human.
Howard Rust, Jr.'s...
"Hmm." It is the sound of a man that once sounded completely divorced from any logical thought process putting up a reasonable facsimile of a grunt one would make when egaging the basic nature of logical thought. Is that what is going on, at all?
This, in place of one fighting to stop their lunch from coming right back out! While Aranha slides back, the man of the very strange hair speaks up.
"Say," he asks in a tone that is entirely conversational and not at all the sort of tone anyone should take to a guy screaming about suffering and moving about in odd ways with the strange growth of the head, the now second-most odd man on the bridge (by a narrow margin) finding it in him, in the heat of the moment, to... inquire?
"Sorry, I know we're all having fun dropping the gloves, but I gotta ask," he leans dangerously close to the sliding Zappa, slipping forward at a careful, measured pace as he brings both his hands on his knees instead of drawing the pipe, eyes slightly narrowed.
"What's your opinion of the classic Stanley Kubrick film, Dr. Strangelove?"
"Wait. Wait. Was that its title? It was... uh... that, or... How I Learned to Stop Worrying And Love the Bomb? One of the two... mid-sixties? Mid-sixti-- whoa!!"
What does this have to do with anything?! He seems to ask this with such sincerity despite being, unquestionably, in mortal danger...!
At minimum, he seems to at least acknowledge Aranha is coming in fast, comically lifting up a leg and then furiously running his feet to slip across the bridge helplessly in his attempt to get out of harm's way.
...The more mundane form of harm's way, at least.

COMBATSYS: Rust takes no action.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Zappa            0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Rust
[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Aranha           0/-------/--=====|

COMBATSYS: Zappa blocks Aranha's Sky's the Limit.

[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Zappa            0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0             Rust
[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Aranha           0/-------/-======|

Aranha scuttles up the bridge before launching himself down the cable! It's with that gel that Aranha comes crashing down towards Zappa! The odd 'thing', which at this case best describes Zappa, is struck, though rolls /with/ the assault, body becoming covered in the gel, sliding to a stop as it digs the hands and feet into the cement of the bridge to stop.

It clearly dosn't seem too worried - not yet.

"YOU CANNOT RUN FO-" Though the words stop.

They hang in place as howard Rust Jr's speaks up, conversationally. The head that was twisted away towards Aranha does not turn with the body - it simply /snaps/ to face Aranha, the body standing up secondly so that he can face Rust. "WHAT." It asks, plainly, S-ko sparing what little time her patience has. There is not many.

However, though Zappa is far away, S-ko slightly /confused/ for a moment, the body shifting, twitching as it faces away and yet towards both fighters - somehow - it wavers in place. What does /not/ waver in place is an odd object. A dog sitting carefully nearby Rust, following him. Now, what would a dog want with Rust?

It opens its mouth wide. "Why, I did so enjoy it!" Skullpuppy states, "I watched it with my old family and it was jolly good!" The mouth closes. The sound comes from /around/ the dog. The dog which is black in color. The dog that has a see-through skeleton.

The dog that is now /ejecting it's skeleton forcefully towards Rust/, as if barfing it up. "GOOD BOY."

It looks like Zappa has a few tricks beyond jut body modification! As the two would find out.

Aranha's player may have found a new trope for the character. 'Only Sane Man.' Too bad he doesn't have enough room to fit it in the @doing.

He looks at Rust talking about old movies when they both just watch the guy twist his body in ways that man was not meant to twist. He facepalms for a while. Long enough for the vampires to wonder if he's about to tap out from the insanity he's being subjected to right now.

And then he watches a translucent black dog projectile vomit it's skeleton right at Rust.

Aranha's voice is soft at first but gradually increases in volume as he says, "No no no no no no no. Oh /hell/ NAW." He tries to regain composure but he fails miserably. "I know I did /not/ see a dog just vomit its body." He looks at Rust. "Yo, homes. You're a slice short of Metro City pizza. And /you/..." He turns towards Zappa. "The shit you do just ain't natural."

He shudders visibly and then he whirls around lashing a chi spider web towards Zappa, because right now, he's unnerving him way more than Rust is.

COMBATSYS: Rust dodges Zappa's Dog Attack.

[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Zappa            0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0             Rust
[    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Aranha           0/-------/-======|

The man visibly winces at that single 'WHAT' when he regains his footing, as though this response were more disconcerting than... everything else around him? "Ah, don't worry 'bout i--"
Someone talks, a ways away. Someone who did enjoy it? He snaps his fingers and turns that wince to a smile, as though he accomplished... something. At this point, it is perhaps best not to ask questions when the answers themselves threaten to be even more brain-bending in a land where nothing makes sense any more.
Except to this man, apparently.
"Oh! Good. Nice!" He sounds overjoyed at the response, as he holds a hand out to the two of them to turn and face the source--
And then he seems confused.
"Huh." He comes face to face with the semi-translucent black dog with a visible skeleton on the inside. He casts a look back over to the others. "Never you two mind, I--"
The skeleton is ejected forcefully, and reflexively, he leans back with a legitimately surprised yelp. There is no mistaking it! Something has actually caught this man off-guard, at long last!
What train of thought was going on shall remain a mystery. Maybe it is for the best it is buried into the mists of time. Or in space. Giving this nonsensical sense of logic a space funeral may be warranted.
He over-compensates the lean back and unceremoniously falls flat on his back, sliding along the frictionless goop as he goes to draw the pipe with his left hand.
It is quick, but it is hard to say it is done with anything resembling grace as the pipe is held up high for a split-second. It is an image that may conjure an odd sense of deja vu for someone here.
A pipe, held like... a sword, maybe...?
There's precious little time to ponder any of this, considering the direction of his slide and touch of flailing puts the entire form of one Howard Rust - and his pipe - on a collision course with Aranha's legs.

COMBATSYS: Zappa overcomes Web Shot from Aranha with Hai Kaerimasu.

[    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Zappa            0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0             Rust
[    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Aranha           0/-------/=======|

Aranha is mostly left /alone/. If only for the moment because Aranha is most certainly not the target of Zappa - more specifically S-ko. To be exact, both Rust AND Aranha is the target for S-ko!

So it is acceptable that Aranha watches, firsthand, what he is dealing with. It is arguable if he truly understands. Zappa... does not particularly know himself. S-ko more than knows. She created this 'tightly knit' band. If it could be called as much. The shadow-puppy, upon vomiting it's skeleton, inhales it as if it was silly string, sucking it up into it's small, simple timid body. "Cheerio!" The dog yawns, lays down and...!

And then vanishes. The energy creating such a thing disappearing into the nothingness around them.

S-ko smiles, ragged hair covering her eyes, head matching Zappa's own. It is a delicate balance. The care and cruelty of the host she dwells in, if she could call him a host. It is closer to say victim with what she does to him so very often.

"DID YOU THINK THIS WAS A GAME?" She asks of Rust Jr, though the words come from Zappa, her head roughly where her head would be - if she would be visible. Aranha may catch a flicker now and again - that there is /something/ there. It is only the most attentive that do so.

"YOU WILL SEE MORE. THEN YOU WILL SEE NOTHING! NATURAL?" An unnatural chorus of laughter, of multiple 'voices' comes from Aranha, "WHAT IS MORE NATURAL THAN DEATH?!" The spider web of chi is lashed towards Zappa, but the man suddenly stands tall, twisting around in a Jo-Jo'esque pose, flexing even. What is he doing!?

A flash of light, orbs surrounding Zappa light up as a razor like blade whips into existance, slashing apart the spider-web and continuing forwards, flipping over and over towards Aranha, blade burning with whatever energy source powers him. Perhaps one of many.

"YOU WILL BE WELCOME TO LEARN!" He spins as the sword does, body whipping around in the air towards Aranha following the sword in the goop. In reality, S-ko is holding that blade... and she is taking /both/ for a spin.

COMBATSYS: Zappa successfully hits Aranha with Hai Kaerimasu.

[    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Zappa            0/-------/-----==|-------\-------\0             Rust
[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Aranha           0/-------/=======|

COMBATSYS: Aranha fails to interrupt Power Strike from Rust with Roundhouse Kick EX.

[    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Zappa            0/-------/-----==|-------\-------\0             Rust
[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Aranha           0/-------/---====|

As stated in Aranha's previous fight, Capoeiristas detest being attacked in the legs. Aranha can see the pipe coming and he tries to throw a roundhouse kick at his head before he can fully connect with the strike. His timing is off and his leg is taken from under him. Meanwhile, that sword the angry spirit is sending his way, right through his spider web. His body, which happens to be rag dolling in the air because of Rust's pipe swing for the leg, is in no position to avoid that sword and the spirit weapon pierces him while he's in mid-air.

He hits the ground and he's slow to get up. It's a little difficult what with a energy weapon sticking out of him and having taken a really good shot to the leg.

Given the way the man's eyes widen, he does appear to understand - in full - how close he is to getting sliced across the neck as he glides against the ground on an unstoppable death march (...or slip 'n slide) against Aranha. It is an unquestionably narrow miss on his part, as the body of Zappa slides by with that blade of light in tow (and soon, in Aranha).
Coming up to a seated position, he reaches a hand out towards the Dancing Spider as the spirit stabbing victim flies back in mid-air.
"It's all right," it really kind of isn't, "I've had pizza in a lot of places," He belatedly relays to Aranha's observations about his certain confirmable level of sanity as he kicks his legs up to not at all convincingly regain his standing posture, staggering and waving his arms like an idiot to maintain balance. At least it seems to be working?
"A game? Oh, no, nothing like that," so claims the man of the strange hair, stranger worldview, and... well, so strange strange is no longer a word. In fairness, maybe he's not yet strange enough to get a doctorate in the field. Maybe a bachelor's? He speaks quietly and humbly as he comes face to face with the contortionist man saying unkind things.
"Actually, I owe you an apology," begging for mercy? No, it's back to being more conversational. "Almost called you something you weren't, that's right silly of me to think you were a-- well, water under the bridge there, eh?" More like blood. Why is he apologizing to someone who has already invited them to die?
The expression on his face sits at a strange medium between confidence and comfort, taking the pipe in both hands as he draws (slides) nearer in something that approaches a sort of equilibrium in balance...
...No, it doesn't, he slips on one foot as he comes within striking range of the man of inhuman movements and unpredictable chaos.
Rust compensates by flinging a foot up in a wide kicking motion to cover for the slipping one, spinning about into a second with a forward thrust that - against all sense - gives him a bit of backwards momentum upon swinging it.
He seems to straddle the line between comprehension and obliviousness, dangerously ambiguous in demeanor but crystal clear in body language.

COMBATSYS: Rust successfully hits Zappa with Girder Sway.

[          \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Zappa            0/-------/-======|=------\-------\0             Rust
[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Aranha           0/-------/---====|

Given the way Aranha goes 'down' as it were, Zappa is ... well he's not the one that can say things! S-ko, however, feels that Aranha had received /exactly/ what was coming to him. "AS DESERVED." 'Zappa' declares, coming to a stop by splashing against the side of the bridge and having the blade sit at the side, twisting in the air, bleeding off energy and possibly /actual blood/ as it pulled itself free from Aranha.

Lucky him.

Yet it is as Rust faces them both now that, with Aranha away, there would be a focus for his understanding. "NEVER." Comes S-ko's response to Howard Rust, "BOTH OF YOUR BODIES, UNDER THE BRIDGE." Such harsh language! Yet Rust does not let such language weigh him down.

Not as Rust compensates by flinging his foot up into a wide kicking motion, slamming it into Zappa/S-ko and sending the duo sprawling, Zappa crashing backwards having attempted to crawl away and out from the downwards motion.

It wasn't fast enough - not with the goop all around the two.

Yet even as Zappa crashes backwards, arms and legs simply push to the ground and /push off/ - the man moving through the ooze as if he was some sort of worm or snake, energy suddenly spreading out from him, burning his body - but S-ko deems it necessary. He pushes off as he grows close to Rust, the bottom of his body suddenly disappearing into... the top of a mouth and tongue!?

Aiming to give him a tongue lashing, Rust would suddenly be worrying about the energy covered, instead of saliva, tongue that is aiming to send him head over heels!

After the sword rips itself out of his body the capoeirista slowly gets back to his feet, and glances down at his clothing, clearly not pleased with the fact that he has that wierd polymer all over him. Between the fact that Zappa, unnerves the living daylights out of him and the fact that Rust whacked his legs he's absolutely livid.

He takes a moment to breathe... To focus. The worst thing he could do is to let his anger control him right now but it gave him focus. He had to take in the situation and put it in a heirarchy. Zappa was clearly out for blood and that definitely trumped Rust's(probably unknowing transgressions against him)

The focus was away from him at least for the moment and so he needed to plan and get ready to rejoin the battle.

COMBATSYS: Aranha studies the situation for a moment.

[          \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Zappa            0/-------/-======|=------\-------\0             Rust
[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Aranha           0/-------/---====|

COMBATSYS: Rust fails to reflect Medium Throw from Zappa with Exacting Measurement.

[          \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////          ]
Zappa            0/-------/=======|=====--\-------\0             Rust
[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Aranha           0/-------/---====|

The tongue slurps up the aging man of a rather tenuous grip on reality - or perhaps just an off-center set of expectations thereof - a strange sensation enveloping him as the tongue curls itself around him.
"Whoop! This one's somethin' else, nothing to sneeze at in." He is waved about in the air, wrestling with it a little as it seems the life might be squeezed out of him just from this unnatural body configuration of perfectly natural danger.
His right arm slips out. He is covered in that slippery polymer...
He snaps the fingers of his free hand, as though he has a brilliant solution in mind. One good, hard push down against the tongue, the rest of his body slips right on out thanks to all that sliding around in that slippery muck.
Cannonballing into the air a great height, he goes inverted in the air at the apex, crossing his right forearm and resting the pipe up against it. One of his eyes close, his tongue sticking out. Drawing back his left hand far, as he starts to descend he seems to be gauging... something.
A complex, almost entirely uncharacteristic amount of focus for someone like him comes to mind as he works out - in a flash - exacting measurements. This space, this speed, this angle! One good thrust, as he comes back down... he draws the pipe straight back...
He appears to forget to account that whatever point he's aiming at, this writhing, twitching, contorting mass of horror and insanity that Zappa has become probably doesn't need to conform to any standards of gemoetry, trigonometry, or whatever sort of discipline this man seems to employ in what could have been an attack of opportunity off an admittedly clever on-the-spot escape by his standards.
The tongue ends up catching the pipe to go through with the original intent in a much simpler, less drawn-out motion, sending him bowling into a crowd. A cultist gets knocked over the bridge.
The cultist screams in elation, throwing up the 'V' signs in both hands as he free-falls into the drink.
The rest nearby seem more keen to punt the man back into the slippery bridge as he tumbles forward in a daze, butt straight up in the air while he slides face down.
"Tht dnnt whhk." He observes, voice muffled because he's face-down against the slippery goo.

The slurp sends Howard Rust free-flying - only to find that man was not meant to fly. Only to fall. As Zappa's body begins to reform, twisting about to legs again, the tongue is instead lashed out a second time, whipping Rust into the crowd, bowling him over! It was never meant to give him /that/ much of a tongue lashing - yet S-ko is more than pleased with the total result. A /worthless/ cultist. A wounded man and ... has she forgotten something?

"IT DID NOT." S-ko states, simply. "ARE YOU TRYING TO DIE?" There is no malice in this question, it is simple and straightforwards, Zappa twitching, writhing as he stands and reforms, finally hanging back, body swaying rhymatically as if someone was swinging a finger back and forth to a tune.

Yet there is still another there - Aranha, specifically.

The face does not twist around - rather the stomach, facing Aranha, studdenly bursts open - eyes and a mouth on his 'stomach' speaking to him. Standard stuff. "DID YOU DECIDE TO TRY?" S-ko asks, "TO GET BACK UP? EVENTUALLY, YOU WILL NOT STAND AGAIN." The statement is clear. There is a hawking sound before something - a gal-bladder?! Some sort of organ is hawked towards Aranha, falling at his feet. The mouth -deforms, vanishing.

S-ko is clearly 'fond' of Aranha, or whatever Zappa might be. The organ slides to a stop near his feet.

"YOU ARE AMONG FRIENDS, THOUGH. YOU WILL BE MORE LIKE THEM SOON." Zappa grasps his head, writhing as suddenly three ghosts pop, one by one, into existance, floating about Zappa, the man writhing still in place as the three ghosts twitch. "Hi!" "Yo!" "Well met!" They all decree, before Zappa thrusts forwards, throwing himself in the goop and rolling towards Rust.

The ghosts do the same. "DO MY BIDDING!" Comes the cry of the tumbling body, sliding and rolling, the ghosts do the same - one takes to the air, shooting skywards towards Rust in a wide overhead dunk, "We'll be best friends! Here I come!" The other charges straight forwards! "You're hanging with US now!" He cries! The third of course, vanishes. And then appears behind Rust - and explodes! "AH! Parting is such sweet sorro-" SPLAT. Gone like that.

Zappa... he's rolling in below.

Clearly S-ko is bound and determined to draw the aggro of the Dancing Spider. With her grotesque antics and her constant threats(using Zappa as a mouthpiece of course), Aranha would rather put Zappa down and lose the fight than to deal with anything else Zappa's body could dish out. He says with voice filled to the brim with annoyance, "Do you /ever/ shut up?"

Aranha breaks out into a full run toward the possessed victim. Once close, he holds up an index finger and moves it along Zappa's sight line before pointing off to the side. Meanwhile, he has a hand glowing with blue chi covering it already waiting close by. He then brings it across Zappa's face with, if it should land, a loud, echoing, slap the likes of which have started feuds. "What did the five fingers say to the face?"

Instead of answering, he follows the slap, and the question, with a spinning side kick to the ribs.

COMBATSYS: Rust negates Kaette Konaide Kudasai from Zappa with Tools For The Job.

[            \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////           ]
Zappa            1/-------/=======|=====--\-------\0             Rust
[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Aranha           0/-------/---====|

"Ahhh," drones the man who should probably still be drooling in a daze after that brutal toss and slide on his face as he rather clumsily - maybe even almost helplessly! - falls over onto his back.
"That's a question! I don't know why anyone would try, per se, one day or another, most people are gonna find they had the biscuit, sooner or later!" He coughs once. Most? Looks like he has a bloody nose after that spill from earlier.
He doesn't quite manage to stand back up, for the same reason he had first escaped the grasp of the tongue (if not the second) - he's so thoroughly covered in slippery gel now that it's a challenge to even get right side up.
The invitation to be among friends seems to get some reaction out of him. His face is actually too goopy to really read if it's a smile, or terror, or what.
With a surprisingly delicate, deliberate motion for a man made of big, showy, maybe even oafish movements more than not, he manages to clasp his right hand on four tools.
"You like table tennis? I'm rather fond of that," he replies as - with the flick of a wrist - he sends two of them to the first one flying in high. It pierces through them, detonating the spectre at a safe distance.
"Sorry, hope I didn't get your floor all dirtied up comin' in to visit," he says as the remaining two are flung with absolute precision through the one coming straight ahead, spearing through number two and setting that one off.
That's his entire handful, and the third one appears just behind. He seems to lose track, looking at either side except behind---
The third one is cut off by the crowbar that falls on top of them. Really? That same crowbar? From the beginning? It took that long for it to come down? That's just straight-up providence. Given the way he visibly shrugs, maybe he just wrote the third one off as having decided to just go about their business as he stands along up.
He almost looks like a man ready to stand tall against all that could come his way, one hand on his hip, the other holding the pipe as he holds it outward to try and find where the crazy man went.
"Now, where'd you go off to--"
Zappa collides from behind, taking him out from under his feet. Miraculously, he catches himself on his free hand in a single handstand...
Nope, slippery gel prevents this catch, and he's caught in a loop of single hand-stand into foot landing for a little while. He might have ultimately escaped unharmed, but it seems like it'll take a moment for him to find his balance after the fact.

COMBATSYS: Zappa fails to interrupt Dead Man's Hand from Aranha with Umareru!!.
- Power fail! -

[                 \\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////           ]
Aranha           1/-======/=======|=====--\-------\0             Rust

COMBATSYS: Zappa can no longer fight.

[                 \\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////           ]
Aranha           1/-======/=======|=====--\-------\0             Rust

The index finger moves along his sight line - if he had eyes to see. Empty, blank eyes stare at Aranha.

That is fine, though, Aranha. S-ko is watching. As he breaks out into a full run, the hand glowing blue as it is, Aranha intends to slap Zappa. The 'man' as it was, grasps his head, writhing back and forth. Even after crashing into Rust. He comes to a stop where Aranha could get to him, as he still 'stands'.

All before something terrifying and amazing happens all at once.

As the hand comes in close, Zappa's back erupts once more - but far more violent. Three objects shooting out with unparalleled speed. The burning energy surges through Zappa, three centipedes shooting out, hissing at Aranha as the strike slams into Zappa - causing all the hissing energy centipedes to lash out, growing so close as to scathe his face - but not actually /strike/ him, before they wrap around Zappa - S-ko and Zappa ending bound - before they are struck by Aranha's kick, Zappa tumbling and skidding to the end of the bridge before he is stopped by a bump on the bridge.

There is no more writhing after that, solidly 'out for the count' as it were.

He does not writhe back up.

One day, when Aranha gets highly involved with the activities of the Full Moon Society, he will think back to this day and he will remember why he does not like fighting paranormal beings. They don't quite follow the visual cue rules that humans follow. That said, while the attempt to distract with the finger didn't quite workout as planned, the connection with the face with those five fingers and palm did.

"Finally... There's beautiful, blessed silence."

Aranha then turns his attention to the pipe wielder and takes a stance. With the pain in his leg and the quite slippery ground he doesn't trust himself to go into ginga. He inches in closer and closer and then he lashes out with a spinning back heel kick to the side of Rust's head. The gel coated ground providing a little extra momentum to his spin.

COMBATSYS: Rust blocks Aranha's Change-Up Kick.

[                 \\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Aranha           1/--=====/=======|=======\-------\0             Rust

Aranha may yet be dipping his feet into this, but this other man that stands before him - this taller, fatter, older, uh, more shameless man - seems to act with a certain amount of comfort in his situation that no man on earth should. It is not a man who has shut out emotion into some zen state of one-ness with the universe.
It's more like an enthusiastic worldly tourist. He kind of looks the part. He also looks like he's been in a game of twister, what with how he somehow tangles himself up in a recursive attempt to stop his momentum after that collision against his leg. Moments later, he can catch a glimpse of that strange man in white lying still.
"I didn't catch what you did," he said, "must've been a heck of a blow," he says in a friendly tone - with a little bit of labored breathing for good measure, he is still bleeding out one nostril - as he comes up to a standing position.
Aranha, with what stake he has in all this, comes in severe and without rest. The kick is met with a raised right elbow, and it is of such respectable strength that the man's unarmed arm flails upwards, sending him into a spin on the gel.
He goes to a three-point stance to kinda-sorta catch himself. It is impossible to ever come to a full, complete stop on this goop, but he manages to slow his velocity to a glacial crawl as he whistles loudly, shaking out his arm. There's a visible bruise on his elbow.
"Exciting, ain't it?" He asks with a smile, wiggling the fingers of his now goopy right hand.
Moments later, he shoots it across the shaft of the pipe. It is quick, precise, and without wasted motion to flick the gunk off of the pipe and his hand. Almost like, with a little focus, his very hand were hydrophobic, unallowing anything to stick against it.
He veers back from the pendulum of silliness to sincerity, casting a picture that should be strangely familiar even if plenty other items of this picture... don't quite match up to what expectations there may be. His name is not obscure.
"My name's Howard Rust, Jr., nice to meet you," he says, as he steps forward, spinning the pipe in his left hand as he swings up high, advancing forward against the slick goo to add momentum to it. It's a strangely familiar gesture.
The rest of it is decidedly not, in some sense of it, taking the pipe in both hands and going upwards in a corkscrew motion, a rising spinning pipe uppercut for Aranha's chin as he takes to the air once more with a certain panache that should not be possible for a man that appears genuinely out of shape.

COMBATSYS: Aranha dodges Rust's Cement Mixer.

[                   \\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////              ]
Aranha           1/--=====/=======|======-\-------\0             Rust

"I wouldn't call it exciting. I think the words I'd use would involve liberal usage of expletives."

This guy was the type of person that gave Aranha fits to fight. A combination of crazy and skilled. The crazy ones were always the hardest to predict. And the ones who were most likely to attempt to take someone down with them. He focuses himself and lets the feeling of the adrenaline flow through his veins. His eyes are incredibly focused and he seems a bit lighter and fluid than he was a few moments ago.

When he hears the construction ninja's name that feeling of deja vu hits him much like the pipe did to his legs earlier in the fight. He nods in response before introducing himself, "I go by Aranha. Nice to meet you." His voice doesn't convey that joy. In fact, it's the tone of someone who has a task that needs to get done.

Rust comes in with a rising pipe uppercut and Aranha leans backwards into a back bridge and then kicks over, flipping him back onto his feet. The Dancing Spider is all business. He then proceeds tp throw a hard roundhouse kick across the jaw. He then kicks back the other way hooking the heel behind the neck and then dropping his body weight downwards to pull him face first to the ground.

Somewhere in the crowd, a spectator could be heard shouting, "FACE DOWN, ASS UP! BITCH!"

COMBATSYS: Aranha successfully hits Rust with Face Down.

[                    \\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////                          ]
Aranha           0/-------/--=====|=======\=====--\1             Rust

Coming down from that landing, Aranha's roundhouse kick is timed without nonsense or hesitation. It it is thrown in that perfect moment between one landing and one being able to mount much of a defense. The kick comes in from what is a blind spot, thanks to the rotation, and the man goes spinning and staggering thanks to the gel that just makes standing still nigh-on impossible.
He almost slips out of range of that hooking heel, but Aranha's dancing movements in tandem with his environment see him through, smashing his face into the bridge's new, shall we say, paint job and adding a bit more red to it.
Face down, ass up.
...The problem is, it doesn't quite completely stick. The gelled ground doesn't give enough under the force of it. The man's head being slung down is angled as such that he tumbles forward in a somersault a few times rather than go completely flat on his face, but the results of it are all clear as day as the man eventually... well, halts his tumble, if not his momentum, as he slides away in a kneel.
"Yeah," he nods imperceptibly, given his back is turned to Aranha, "I can sorta see where you're... you're comin' from," he coughs and sputters once to get some of that gunk out of his mouth. He doesn't seem like he should be able to get up, after that - he probably shouldn't.
Maybe the fact he's largely managed to land upright has deluded him into thinking he's still up for another blow or two to the head, if he hasn't already somehow reached the threshhold of just how dumb someone can get after so many concussions in a row.
"Don't you worry about... none of it," he says as he comes up to a stand, turning around to face Aranha on unsteady legs, like someone just learning how to ice skate, "life's fulla... things!"
He turns around and squats, taking the pipe in both his hands. "Lots to see, out there, but..."
He seems to shake where he squats... in mid-air? Like he's... sitting down...?
"Maybe not all of... it's pretty, heck, for..." For example, maybe? He doesn't say it, he coughs again once...
And then he surges forward without any real obvious force pushing behind him. He's just simply gliding forward. Aided by the gel underneath, or something else...?
He keeps sliding forward, his lips vibrating for a bit before he speaks again. His eyes aren't narrowed out of... anger, fear, hatred, or anything, it's almost like...
"It's all worth... seein'!"
He says this as he threatens to plow into Aranha, looking like he could keel over at any time. Like a stiff breeze should come through and push him over. In terms of physics, one blowing against him might be enough to stop him...
Nonetheless, he seems intent to plow himself into Aranha, carry him a significant length of the bridge at a mighty dangerous speed, and - eventually - tumble backwards to lift him by the feet and fling him back the way they came.
...Which direction is he going, though...?

COMBATSYS: Rust successfully hits Aranha with Bulldozer.

[                             \  < >  /////                         ]
Aranha           1/-------/=======|====---\-------\0             Rust

Wait.. Sitting in mid air? Lips vibrating? Bulldozer noises? Aranha's so absolutely confused that he just does not know how to handle this. He's watching this guy practically give the laws of physics the middle finger and all Aranha can do is watch in disbelief... Until he gets plowed over by that insanity and launched into air.

Aranha once again finds it difficult to get back up. The pain in his body is just telling him to stay down but through sheer determination, he gets back on his feet. He takes a deep breath and he's suddenly on the move, darting past Howard Rust, Jr. His entire body flares up covered in blue chi as he launches off the cables, the supports, the spectators, and what remaining cars that happened to be left on the bridge. Each attack at a variety of different angles all directed to a specifc location. That same knee the tool ninja whacked on him.

No. Aranha hasn't forgotten about that yet.

COMBATSYS: Aranha can no longer fight.

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

COMBATSYS: Rust narrowly escapes Aranha's Joker's Wild!

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

On his back, sliding and spinning against a surface that just does not want to allow anyone any form of stability whatsoever, Aranha should have the upper hand when he finds it in him to spring back. The handyman ninja is prone. A position of weakness. A master of such graceful, powerful movement such as Aranha, able to work with and strike from so many angles many fighters struggle with, goes in hog wild.
Joker's Wild.
The bright blue glow pierces the otherworldly coloration of this realm that is the worst place this side of New Jersey, and with it it is Aranha's determination given form. It is a sight to behold.
As he comes in, Rust curls his ring and pinky fingers inward, thumb clasping them, as the remaining two fingers are held straight, clasped together.
The timing is unreal, tossing and turning his body with every movement. The dance is a sight to behold, hard for the human eye to follow between the brightness of Aranha's chi against this bleary backdrop where few have hopes of seeing sunlight again... and the surprising agility of a man who looks like he should get off the couch more.
It's a flash into this man's peak, of his defensive acumen. At his best, no defensive stance has a weakness, no attack is too fast for him to move against, no strike too severe for him to stand against, no energy too overwhelming to push back. All of them, in some form, come into play as he works himself back up to his feet as a matter of narrowly avoiding each of Aranha's final strikes.
At the end of it all, Aranha slides past him, spent, and Howard Rust, Jr., stands tall, right hand still clasped in that ridiculous cliche gesture.
"Our winner," announces one of the vampire types... he takes his time to say the name.
Howard looks back down to Aranha, lowering his hand to help him up... when he stops and considers (and also slips to a knee, because of the goo).
"I think... I think I know that look in your eye, right there. Moment ago. Yep. You bet," he says, tapping a finger to his chin, "you shoulda said so... buuut...."
Is it too late?
The vampire spreads out his arm in a wide, showy gesture, as if commanding the poor future meal-- I mean humans - to understand who they should be thanking for sparing them.
Putting the pipe back through the toolbelt, he kneels down to Aranha and acts fast, tying... something around one of his legs. He looks over his shoulder... hey, they're really close to the border, where that fence is. Beyond the fence...
"He who will continue to represent your pathetic, cowering selves, which I say with all due respect... Howaa---"
"Ah, he's still kicking me! In the shin! Ow. Hell of a fighter!" Says Howard Rust, Jr., calling out with one hand.
With the other, he is totally and obviously manipulating a string tied around Aranha's foot to 'kick' him in the shin. Over half of them miss.
The vampire falls speechless.
"...What are you doing?"
"Getting kicked in the shin, yep," he says all too calmly with a smile, "wait, I mean, ow, ow, ow." It is convincing no one. At all.
"He is... not," the vampire disapproves.
"Yes he is! See, his foot is moving. Right there!" He continues to tug the string over and over, fruitlessly.
"What is your angle?"
"Getting kicked in the shin!"
They are at an impasse.
"You are not getting kicked in the shin. You are victorious, and are most obviously, I am sorry to say, making a giant fool of yourself."
"Hmm. Maybe you're right," Howard looks off to the side, free hand to his face.
He smiles.
"Aaaaah he just kicked me so hard he knocked me through the feeeence!" He says as he pulls the string in a way the foot clearly misses and launches himself at the fence.
It holds.
He tries a few more times.
The vampire facepalms, and accidentally leaves claw marks in his forehead. He's new to the vampirism thing, forgetting about that.
"Now you're not even trying to preten--"
The vampire disapproves, as he looks away. Then, he realizes an issue. The camera stopped pointing at them.
"Camera," the vampire sneers, "over there!!"
Howard acts fast, using what tools he has in his belt - there are plenty - to work through the fence. Chain link sections, wire cut. Boards with nails, quickly removed with the prying end. Just enough to make an opening.
"Our WINNER, who is being as big a FOOL as they come, of which the world of cowards and complacent SHEEP will soon see..."
The camera pans over to see... Aranha, laying there. Rust is nowhere to be found.
Except for a hand in the shot.
"We can see your hand!"
"Oh, sorry," says Rust, as it disappears. Wait, what's he holding onto?
"Despite his best attempts, the winner is clearly--"
"Aaaaaaaaah I'm falling to my death aaaaaaah," this is even worse, and horribly acted, "he kicked me so hard I am to fall into the depths aaaaaaaah"
The vampire goes silent again. He looks into the camera, sadly, as though an immortal who is defeated. And also has claw marks in his face, because of the ill-advised facepalm.
"Oh, I give up. Yes, yes, Aranha... magically won by not kicking one of the survivors into the sea of blood, I have eternity to live and it is better spent not associating with... PEOPLE... of that calibur."
Aranha will probably be tended to. Zappa, most likely, if other forces don't cart him off. For the most part, the crowds disperse...
Rust, though, moments later.
"Okay, uh. Hey. I think I'm stuck," he says to the absence of anyone present, dangling precariously for his life with only screwdrivers being used, stabbed deeply into the edge of the bridge, as his only lifeline. He's in a little deep, "sorry to be a bother, but could someone pull me up?"
...He'll be there for a while, but he won't give up hope - for him, or for whatever compelled Aranha to fight for his life.

Log created on 17:21:42 04/17/2015 by Rust, and last modified on 07:58:09 04/18/2015.