Neo League 0064 - NL#0067: Keith vs Ryu

Description: The CWA has the honor of hosting a Neo League match to the league newcomer - but highly accomplished - Ryu. His opponent, Keith Walker, a street boxer of mysterious origins. The two are host to a battle that brings both to the brink... but what that brink actually entails, the other would not have immediately suspected from the onset...

"Weeelcoooome to the Capcom... Wrestling.... ASSOCIATION!!!"

Thunderously loud cheers shake the floors of the mechanically covered stadium. This is the home of the eight wrestling conferences. The stadium, traditionally used for the wrestling matches, is being used for another purpose.

A fight of a different flavor.

There was a big name event going on: Neo League. Although the place is normally used to house wrestling events, the chance of the facility being used for a Neo League match is an opportunity that even the administrators would not mind jumping in on.

The current stage is set within the Ring of Destruction, a pristinely crafted arena that is a 30x30 ft area. Double row of steel fences hold back the crowd.

Along ringside is the commentators' table. On one end is a tall, lanky, blond-haired individual who seems rather excited to see things underway. By his side is a short, stocky black-haired Russian with that gruff appearance.

"Good evening everyone, I'm Jimmy and this is Slikov. Neo League is being hosted for today's event."

"Ay, let's take a look at the fighters."

At the center of the Ring of Destruction is a massive, burly individual. His back is currently turned, hood shrouding his face. His eyes are more or less looking past the audience, instead gazing upon the ceiling. The escaped experiment keeps his gaze leveled along the fences, observing their designs while having a coin thumbing through his palm.

"...So, this is the arena of choice."

A smirk forms underneath that shroud.

"Not too shabby."

The mysterious boxer is an eye catcher. His great size, the contemplative nature that appears to stand in strange contrast to their physical form may communicate. He would be, for a short time, the only figure for eyes to lay upon within the latest event to be hosted by the Capcom Wrestling Assosciation's primary stadium.
Emphasis must be placed on 'short.'
For being the second man to show to the ring, there seems to be a marked difference in the other challenger in this bout.
Sure, there's the name - a name that has yet to be announced formally (and perhaps pronounced incorrectly, as there have been some very creative enunciations throughout) - the name of the most recent winner of the prestigious-beyond-prestigious World Warrior tournament. A name already known, a visage that has grown ever familiar in popular fighting circles.
Today, he becomes notable for jumping his cue to enter. He walks down the path from the lockers beyond to the arena at a steady, unwavering pace and is already three-quarters of the way to ring when his name is called. Pyrotechnics go off to an absence of a warrior coming through the entryway, because he already has some time before.
If it is impatience that guides this faux pas in personal presentation to the masses to be entertained, it would be a disservice to the intense focus of a young man who knows already what he's here for, what he seeks.
Clad in a well-worn white gi top of ripped-off sleeves with pants that fare somewhat better, a noted lack of shoes, and a headband that flutters to some imperceptible, unfelt breeze... the young Japanese man does not showily leap over the ropes. Every motion of his highly toned form moves with purpose. Moving just enough of the outer ropes to pull himself in.
Jimmy and Slikov alike are probably annoyed that they have to skip a few of the titles they came up with for this man because he kind of jumped the gun on the introduction they so carefully planned out...
"I seek a challenge," says this man in greeting as he raises his handguard-clad fists in a ready stance. He has no microphone to speak of. His voice should rightfully be drowned out by microphone feedback, cheering crowds, or any other ambient noise to be had from audio equipment doing what it's built for. This statement would be no doubt heard by the other fighter, flying in the face of such logistics about how well that sound count travel with all of this interfering noise.
He does not seem even the slightest intimidated by the other man's far superior size or the sense of mystery that the hood would lend itself to. His eyes remain locked on the fighter ahead of him, his facial expression... unmoving. Purposeful. No doubt, no hesitation.
The way his feet bounce against the canvas of the ring, he believes this is all that needs to be said, odd as it seems for him to choose to stand over by the ropes as opposed to meeting directly in the center with the latest challenge before him.

Admittedly, Keith had been trying to keep his composure. It is rather difficult when there is a collective mass of raw emotion filling the air. Exictement, cheers, the chants and vibrant energy. Keith should feel good about this. However, that feeling is pressure that can weigh down on an individual. This is the Curse of his Psycho Power.

Despite this, Keith does lift a hand to his brow to wipe the sweat that has been forming from trying to manage the pressure of his Empathy. He takes a deep breath, then he exhales a sigh.

And of course, there is another presence of energy that fills the air. Keith keeps his back turned, not quite interested in facing the man yet. He is more or less focused on keeping himself calm and enjoy the serenity that he is putting himself in. Deep down, that is starting to fade with that desire for combat lingering in. There is that rumbling need for a fight and to exchange blows that beckons him. It is the feeling alike a gladiator within the Colosseum.

Upon the legendary warrior's arrival into the ring, Keith closes his eyes and listens for the man's desire. That coin continues to run along the palm of Keith's hand as he lets the inward silence carry through the roar of cheers. In an instant, the coin is flipped up into the air.

"A challenge you'll get then."

Flicking the hood off with one hand, the other hand snatches up the coin and he slips it into his pocket while his entire body turn around. Lifting his arms up to take his boxer's stance, he starts positioning his body to slightly weave side to side, catching his own rhythm of patience.

"I wanna see why you're the legendary warrior."

COMBATSYS: Keith enters the arena, to the roar of the crowd!

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Keith            0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Ryu enters the arena, to the roar of the crowd!

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Ryu              0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0            Keith

COMBATSYS: Keith focuses on his next action.

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Ryu              0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0            Keith

The smaller of the two radiates but one thing in earnest, a thing already picked up upon and acknowledged. His words have no hidden meaning or subtext, speaking absolutely true to the heart and soul. The man that Keith stands before, far beyond all the accolades this man has already garnered so early into his career as a fighter...
Is that he is a fighter. From the arenas to the streets and everywhere in between, no environment could ever hope to drown out, nor mask, who or what the karate gi-clad man is...
...Or how he views the psychic before him. Another fighter.
The speed in which Keith gathers his bearings is not lost upon Ryu as the bell sounds to a series of long and drawn-out catch-phrases to entice the gathered masses. They have their favorites, their names to call. (That some of them sound like 'Marvel' and some sort of query in regards to this 'Marvel' is to be given no further regard by anyone.)
"It seems we've both found what we're looking for," Ryu speaks these words in that calm before the flying of fists. The speed in which he appears to take in what subtle body language Keith's stance may communicate borders on incalculable. That he even speaks at all may suggest that spoken word in its entirety is a second language to him.
Some outside fight analysts may ask yet as to why Ryu would risk suddenly moving in against someone with far superior wingspan to himself as he moves across the ring with a comfort as though accustomed to the way it sinks and rises to the force applied to it from things as simple as footsteps, to more vulgar disruptions like falling bodies. If one didn't know better, one would assume he moves on this canvas as though one would a familiar home's floor.
With a sharp kiai, he swings his back leg inward and low, looking to strike against Keith's legs with a simple, quick, low-angled standing short kick.

COMBATSYS: Keith blocks Ryu's Light Kick.

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Ryu              0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0            Keith

Patience is one of Keith's biggest strengths. He is definitely not a fool and has no means of underestimating his opponent. Truth of the matter is that Keith is well aware that he is the underdog in comparison. There is quite a work ahead of him, but one does not become a great fighter by just taking on those weaker.

That is why Keith is currently ready for what comes his way. Ryu, after all, is a skilled fighter that is very difficult to calculate. However, Keith knows that it is the exact reason why he has to exercise patience. He moves his body, keeping that good rhythm while assessing Ryu's movement.

That is when he strikes.

Upon Ryu pressing forward with the low kick towards his own legs, the boxer moves downward to crouch himself low in position of meeting with those knees. His arms press outward, shooting the meaty part of his forearms to guard against that harsh kick that threatens to waver his stance. The impact leaves a sting on the arms, visible wince seen. However, it is better than the alternative results. It does knock him out of his focus.


Immediately pressing up, he finally puts his legs to good use in his legwork. He weaves his head in while taking a step towards Ryu while bringing his arms up. The arms lift up to quickly snap his body to help drive the punch, his fist is flying to strike Ryu at his cheek.

COMBATSYS: Ryu just-defends Keith's Swift Stance!

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Ryu              0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0            Keith

The care in which Keith chooses to wait and pick his shots may be something Ryu has already gleaned - this could be why he has chosen to push the offense, striking with a lower kick to force Keith's posture down low to test a skilled boxer's exemplary defense and strong footwork.
Retracting his leg back to his ready position with a speed afforded only by those comfortable and skilled to threaten their own balance to confidently deliver a standing low kick, he's ready to meet the counter-offense with a raised forearm.
He takes it a step further, drawing back a leg to stabilize himself and lean back from the punch. The timing is exact, the defensive gesture forming within moments of when the punch would have made contact. His body moves with the punch of the far larger man, turning a solid blow to the face to a gentle shove. Ryu gives a bit of space in this, appearing to opt more for a safe disengagement rather than a sure offensive opening.
This fact is not lost on commentators fast enough to the draw to see this. (Commentators of such reaction and insight are not many.)
To call it a complete disengagement would, in fairness, not be entirely true. His facial expression unchanging - not mocking of currently holding the momentum this early into the fight, not derisive of how he managed to read the swift counterstrike of a skilled boxer, but a man who seeks more. Not more because of a sense of being unsatisfied...
To ask for more, his body language offers more with the rearing back of the arm that was not part of his just narrowly performed defense, striking forth twice in one single motion. A straightforward punch that curves downward and manages to renew its momentum for a second blow in its true nature as an overhead strike, as though working with the posture and position his first assault had led Keith to adapt to with another wordless grunt.
Most ordinary people viewing this would have their reactions catch up to the fact such a timely and exciting defensive maneuver happened, but what of the next exciting trade of blows between two men of strength and technique?

COMBATSYS: Ryu successfully hits Keith with Sakotsu Wari.

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Ryu              0/-------/--=====|===----\-------\0            Keith

There is a good deal of resilience in the opponent as the impact of his punch is met with the defensive gesture. The raised forearm meets with the fist and is quickly moved in with. It is an interesting tactic that the veteran fighter is using against him. Keith raises an eyebrow at first, but then an appreciative grin is followed suit.

Keith had anticipated Ryu attempting a retaliation. That was the purpose of the footwork: Give him a better position. At least, the intent was to weave out of the way to provide a better timed counter. What was not anticipated was how quickly those blows came. Keith is paying for that dearly.

The straight forward punch curves down to strike his cranium, leaving the rhythm of his footwork left in dischord as his body twists uncomfortably upon impact. The overhead blow sends Keith's head twisting downward. With enough force, Keith reels his head back to get him back to his feet so that he does not completely lose balance.


Unfortunately, Keith's body winds back, losing that balance. His arm flung to the side. ...Until he positions himself to plant to firmly plant itself to the arth. That is when his arm tightens into a fist and then he shifts his body forward.

He swings his right arm out, seeking to take a bold swing of that massive arm towards Ryu's head.

COMBATSYS: Ryu blocks Keith's Haymaker Punch.

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Ryu              0/-------/-======|===----\-------\0            Keith

The superiority of Keith's wingspan cannot be understated, nor the technique in which he turns his body to give that much more reach to his strikes. There is a decisiveness to it that even one in a better position with the fight's momentum must respect - a respect that Ryu has in spades as he brings up a similar defense.
It is successful, if not as smoothly timed or artfully redirected. Against opponents who can muster incredible force behind their blows, the line between 'successful defense' and 'getting struck in the arm' proves to be a very, very thin line that in this instant blurs as Ryu flinches. His feet slide back with the force of the blow as Keith successfully pushes Ryu back into an outfighting range.
An arm is briefly shaken out for that moment of space between them as if in acknowledgement for this thin margin between the concepts of a successful defense and merely getting hit in the arm. Keith still has plenty of fight left in him - a fact that Ryu never held in his heart to doubt.
Ryu, even with this reset of the scuffle to a relatively neutral position between them, appears to keep favoring a bit more aggressive of an offense as he lifts up a leg and swings up into the air in a wide circular motion...
...he doesn't come back down. He whirls forward with a series of these spinning kicks, the lights, colors, and other distracting flashes that surround and blur in his vision with his rapid movement doing nothing to diminish his sense of where he is, where Keith is, how fast he's going, how many rotations...
"Tatsumaki Senpuu Kyaku!" This complex string of syllables is shouted without a break in the middle of all this, looking to drive as many spins as he can into the cerebral boxer.

COMBATSYS: Keith blocks Ryu's Tatsumaki Senpuu Kyaku.

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Ryu              0/-------/=======|====---\-------\0            Keith

Why did Keith perform an attack that was rather slow and probably not the best tactical position? It was perhaps a desperate attempt for Keith to recompose himself. It was also likely a desperate attempt for him to pull himself back into the fighting rhythm that was knocked out of him. It was a foolhardy decision, but Keith was willing to take that gamble.

Momentum was also a key factor.

Nevertheless, Keith's massive arm strikes against Ryu, managing to strike along the arms as the haymaker makes its impact and allows the larger boxer to reposition himself back into his rhythm. The brawling boxer is weaving his head with the motion of his movement, catching his breath to synch in with everything else.

That is when he witnesses Ryu coming in. That leg is lifted and that momentum drives the legendary fighter to meet forth with that blurring kick. Both arms lifted, the guard is in place for Keith to brace himself against the strike. The impact of those kicks making within the rapid rotations is rather exhausting to the man's defenses. However..

Keith will not yield.

With a foot pushed forward, Keith moves himself straight forward within a blur, seeking to break through the distance between himself and Ryu. As if seeing the motion of a kick as an opportunity, Keith is now driving his fist out to swing across the ground, aiming to knock Ryu out of the mid-air as his fist sears through the ground and up into the air, aiming to drive the fist against the seasoned fighter's stomach.


COMBATSYS: Keith successfully hits Ryu with Drill Upper.

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Ryu              1/------=/=======|====---\-------\0            Keith

The Tatsumaki Senpuu Kyaku's true strength as a technique is, when performed low enough to the ground - effectively from the ground! - with perfect timing and balance on the part of its practitioner, there is nary a moment of vulnerability. Few can withstand the disorientation of the rapid spinning kicks and still be on their toes.
Ryu's instinct the very moment he senses his opponent is not fully upright is to jump straight up off the canvas to clear the uppercut.
He doesn't quite clear it. For his decisive action to move seamlessly from his dizzying approach to a vertical escape, it is to Keith's virtue that his choice to push back hard and fast ensures the uppercut - missing the mark of a standing man in the gut - at least tags him as appreciably hard in the shin with largely equal worth in result.
Caught in midair, without a firm grasp on the ground he chose to surrender in his bid to slip over Keith's counter-offensive, Keith's physical strength gets a visual measure in the height in which the World Warrior pops up before the Earth's gravity can take him back.
While hindsight may paint him as an undiscovered wonder among fighters in the wake of the World Warrior, it's easy to gloss over the rough spots he endured in his bouts to the top. Even he had a close call when Birdie wrapped him up. He seemed ready to go down when Mike managed to land two clean hits on him - none were ever known to withstand three. Gen nearly paralyzed him where he stood when he got a knifehand in on his solar plexus. Geki was close to having a match called in his favor when those claws struck deep in one of his shoulders. To say nothing of his final matches in Thailand...
One thing has been certain every time...
Ryu will not yield.
He lands smoothly as one can imaginably accomplish with the ache that runs through one of his legs into a crouch, the canvas shuddering with his return to the ground. Gritting his teeth as he supports his weight and stance with the leg not struck, he instead uses said leg to reach forth at such a length it may rub up against the accepted human limitations of flexibility as the foot sweeps forward against the canvas to meet foot to foot, one hand looking ready to push back up at a moment's notice.

COMBATSYS: Keith dodges Ryu's Medium Kick.

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Ryu              1/------=/=======|====---\-------\0            Keith

Although Keith did not get the intended point of the strike, the fist did make purchase enough for the intended goal. Overall, he met the objective, which was disorienting the fighter. Keith would take that, after all. It is an advantage to him.

However, that advantage will be used to exercise the patience to see where Ryu lands and capitalize from there. Upon Ryu hitting the ground, that landing upon the canvas encourages Keith to move towards Ryu rather quickly, aiming to close the distance between himself and the gi-wearing fighter.

"Heh, let's see..."

As Keith moves, he already sees that Ryu had taken to trying to strike Keith to prevent his step. However, Keith quickly expected the counter, instead desiring to plant his step accordingly and spring himself off of the ground. This would put him out of harm's way and instead allow Keith to quickly close the distance between himself and the fighter.

Pushing himself towards Ryu, he is attempting to shove his entire weight upon the smaller framed fighter, intending to 'spear' him into the ground.

Should Keith make purchase, the larger fighter is intending to allow his fists to communicate with the World Warrior Champion. Repeatedly. Like bongo drums.

COMBATSYS: Ryu fails to interrupt Ground n' Pound from Keith with Shoryuken.

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Ryu              1/------=/=======|=====--\-------\0            Keith

The mental gymnastics that go between two fighters in their choice of positioning within a fraction - of an additional fraction - of a second can border on the incomprehensible beyond the basic idea that they are moving around and hitting one another. How much does one anticipate another's movements - when an approach may well be a feint? - when there is an almost infinite variety in the ways someone can choose to approach?
Ryu stays knelt as Keith chooses to take his temporary leave of the ground. A fist clenches itself tight.
The conversion from outstretched kick into a tight, compacted crouch with a fist threatening to shoot upward... the ever-familiar uppercut. This one, one so powerful that one hardly has to put their legs into it when mastered beyond the need to allow the body the space to let it rise. Even among those of far lesser reflexes, cameras begin to flash en-masse when they even think they hear the 'sh.'
Standing upright and allowing the strength of his punch to take over, he rises... and Ryu's fist just glances past Keith's flank. However Keith plans it, the way he throws his body weight down allows him to just scrape past perhaps the single most famous leaping punch technique on the planet.
Soon, Ryu's visage disappears under Keith's bulk as the canvas violently shudders under the forceful tackle. Keith's assault from there is utterly relentless. Each blow adds more stimuli to a psyche that would otherwise shut out the distractions of their environment. Where there was just a plane that consisted of himself, Keith, a somewhat wobbly ground, and rubbery barriers...
Blinding lights not meant for a fighter to stare upward at from on the canvas blare the intent of vulgar intrusion into his eyes, leaving spotty imprints in his vision as each strike from Keith slows his ability to refocus himself. One of his hands is uncomfortably pressed up against his abdomen, sandwiched between Keith and the rest of Ryu with one leg bent upwards. His free hand - the one that failed to connect with the Shoryuken - slowly clenches anew.
None would dare count Ryu out of the fight so soon... certainly not himself.

It was a risky gamble, but Keith was willing to make his bet on it. Overall, Keith took the chance of takling Ryu down. Unfortunately, Keith also knew that he was letting his guard down and likely jumping into what could be a devastating blow.

Sure enough, the moment he hears the word 'SHO'

~ Shit. ~

Keith sucks in a breath, now letting his mind go blank to brace himself while shifting his weight down with the intent of accelerating his weight down to drop onto Ryu. It is by that gambling luck that Keith manages to actually tackle Ryu down.

He made purchase.

The moment that Keith can feel the body weight against Ryu while the noticably lack of feeling of his stomach getting caved in by the might of the fist, Keith now has Ryu in his clutches.

Fist after fist had struck against Ryu with the intent of beating his head like a drum. After the assault ends, Keith finally pulls away from Ryu and he takes several steps back from the fighter.

Keith lifts his hand up, motioning for Ryu to get up.

"Not a guy to beat someone while they're down. You deserve better than that. Let's go, homes."

COMBATSYS: Keith focuses on his next action.

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Ryu              1/------=/=======|=====--\-------\0            Keith

The beating was - is - nothing short of savage. The head is a popular target for a reason in fights. A good strike there is enough to debilitate and disorient. To hinder vision with a well-timed blow to the eye. To smash a nose and make it that much harder to breathe. To rattle the mind, to damage one's sense and grip upon the situation. Oftentimes in the fighting world, all it takes is one ill-timed blow for any of those to lead to something more deadly... or even permanent. The blow that retires you - or cripple, or kill! - is never one a fighter can predict.
None of those blows would be that today. The way the spots in his vision quickly fade as he seems to recenter himself while he hardly has a hold of his center of balance, being caught on the canvas of the ring with a larger man having a go at him.
Whether because he was given space or not, it is eerie just how... calm, yes, calm, that would sum it up... Ryu seems by his face alone given how many he just suffered to his head, pushing up off the canvas smoothly into a stand with hardly a delay. There is no head shaking to recalibrate himself. He's already bouncing on his feet again, arms held in that ready position. The blinding lights that stared down upon him from overhead are mentally cast aside to a young man so well-conditioned to shut out outside distraction. His expression stoic, his eyes narrowed, it should seem the classic facial expression of anger... but yet...

"Such restraint." so Ryu speaks. His voice is firm, though it seems so quiet compared to the roars of the crowd upon seeing Keith get such a strong upper hand upon the Ansatsuken warrior. How can he even be heard over any of that? He just is. "There's no need to hold back."
The world grows ever empty to his perception. The lights fade to indistinct blotches of irrelevant color. The crowd's cheering and announcer commentary dull to an easily cast-aside slurry of things he acknowledges as outside noise and little else. His inner balance finds stability anew upon a canvas that shakes with every heavy step, finding firm purchase and comfort as to where he stands.
"I'm here for a challenge... and now it's clear," he says with renewed vigor, "I've found one."
To the psion, this may be the happiest he's seen someone in a while even without all the usual outward signs of someone showing such genuine joy. (That this joy is ultimately centered around an art of violence... that may be a discussion better saved for another time.)

COMBATSYS: Ryu focuses on his next action.

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Ryu              1/------=/=======|=====--\-------\0            Keith

Keith is just waiting, getting himself mentally warmed up and focused in the fight while waiting for Ryu to get back up to his feet. Ryu is trying to come to and Keith knows it. The man is very well-conditioned.


Keith lifts an eyebrow, lifting a hand to scratch his head with a curious look on his face. There is a grin that forms a moment later, "Nah, man. That's respect." Keith has a bit of a rule when dealing with fights. He believes in giving what he is receiving. Given that Ryu is a fighter of principle, Keith finds a tremendious amount of respect in that.

Had Ryu been someone else, Keith would not hesitate to stomp him while he was on his back.

"Don't get me wrong. I have my own set of rules." He lifts his shoulders with a shrug, and then he tightens his fist while running straight towards Ryu. "Round two!"

Keith is moving in towards Ryu with both arms extended out towards the fighter. He reaches over to take grasp of the shorter fighter with both arms shooting to wrap over the fighter's waist and then shift his body back.

Keith is intending to suplex the stoic fighter and give his cranium a message.

COMBATSYS: Keith successfully hits Ryu with Medium Throw.
+=+=!= Power Slam! =!=+=+

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Ryu              1/-----==/=======|=====--\-------\0            Keith

The respect between them, differing in the ways it is expressed and the hows and whys, is clearly mutual. This nuance may be lost upon the crowds that are just here for the violence. Ryu's name has drawn a sizable crowd who wants to see more and more of this great, mysterious fighter that has made their name for themselves as the winner of the World Warrior tournament.
His reaction to the grasp seems technically sound, looking to push off of them with a shoving elbow and leap back. In reality, the decision to let his feet move off the ground is what does him in - foregoing where he stands in an attempt to dash back towards the ropes, the end result is that Keith has no resistance for the suplex in question.
There is a loud, satisfying SLAM to be heard 'round the entire stadium of Ryu's body hitting the canvas. The way it shudders, the less informed might assume the ring is in danger of being broken apart under just how hard both bodies hit it. The cheers of the crowd grow ever louder as the excitement begins anew...
The sheer strength of this great slam is likely what loosens Ryu out of Keith's immediate grasp more than any technical ability to roll himself back up to a stand, bouncing a short distance where space could now be put between the two of them. The wind is emptied from his lungs - in reality, his back had hit a hard, solid part of the supporting structure underneath the canvas. Few men, even among those as strong as himself, would be able to shrug that off.
His mind empties of the shock of pain as he's back onto his feet. To grasp a hold of nothing, to shut out all distractions from the purity of the fight itself... pain is one of those things that attempt to tether one away from such focus...
He keeps his mind upon Keith, the first of what he hopes - no, knows! - will be countless challenges to come in the fighting world. Drawing his hands back, he brings the latent energies of the world into the void of space between his two hands in a familiar glow.
Leaning forward a bit further than he traditionally would with this stance, it is a measure necessary to stay standing with the canvas' dips and movements under their collective weight. The glow - a bright blue - glows ever brighter as it gathers in his hands.
With the space now afforded between the two of them, Ryu unleashes in full one of his great advantages he might yet have over the towering and powerful Keith, thrusting both hands forward parallel... one high, one low, palms open and fingers curled...
He unleashes the circular ball of blue energy that roars forth to close the space between them in its path towards Keith's position, the legendary Ansatsuken technique that rounds out his core disciplines in movement. Keith has done well to protect against the relatively safe advance of the Tatsumaki Senpuu Kyaku, and showed that he could overcome the Shroyuken (and thus stand a chance)...
Even with this final introduction of the third and most iconic technique, the ferocity in which he shouts this name should be more than proof enough. Keith may be landing strong, clean blows, but he's still got a lot of fight left in him.
They both do.

COMBATSYS: Keith just-defends Ryu's Hadouken!

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Ryu              1/-----==/=======|=====--\-------\0            Keith

Keith intended to get the fight going again, respect aside. After all, Keith wants to know all that there is to the fighter. Given that Ryu's name is the undisputed champion of the World Warriors, Keith is itching to fight. Call it a reminsicent feeling. However, Keith cannot remember why.

...Why is this feeling familiar?

Nevertheless, Keith made the impact with a very satisfying suplex. After all, just because Keith respected Ryu doesn't mean that he'll hold back. ...In fact, it means the opposite. Keith will give it his all, but he is not going to humiliate the fighter at the process.

Things get alarming fromhere. Keith knows that posture when he sees it. He even knows what that bright blue glow means. That is why Keith positions himself. He lifts both of his arms up in preparation to brace against the powerful force of chi that manifests.

And then it comes, the hadouken is sweeping out towards Keith, motioning forward to rush over his body. Keith stands strong, letting his breathing regulate how he'll anticipate the attack.

Only for a sudden burst of energy to run course along his body. It just about jolts to life as he twists his hands to smash against the chi, dispersing it a moment later.

... Even Keith is at shock upon revelation. "...Hm."

Keith gives a thoughtful look towards Ryu, "I guess I should go all out. ... Hate doing this, since it's not worth killing myself over, but...." Wait, killing himself over?

In the instant, Keith reaches for his pocket to pull out a small syringe gun. He places it over towards his neck, and pulls the trigger. This triggers the injector to run the serum into his veins.

In that instant, his eyes flash cyan.

As he lifts a hand up, a force of psychokinetic energy explodes out towards Ryu as a wispy, cyan aura manifests from his palm. "Hraaaaa!"

COMBATSYS: Keith successfully hits Ryu with Brute Force.

[                 \\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////       ]
Ryu              1/---====/=======|=====--\-------\0            Keith

To watch even the Hadouken be swat aside! To focus out the sound of the crowd going wilder and wilder over Keith's successes proves an increasingly herculean task - it starts to border on the likes of Sisyphus. Ryu seems to be contemplating throwing another one for sake of forcing Keith onto his toes in making him work for his next offensive, but as the moments pass it seems more and more that Keith has an answer to just about all his options.
Now he may be caught up in that excitement too. What more could there to be learn of this man! How fortunate it is that he could truly cross paths with another warrior. Where many would start to express frustration and despair, this whole exchange seems to have the opposite effect. Were he of any less focused on the matter, he'd be internally bubbling over with excitement about how much he'd love to tell Ken about this man--
The words of another fighter reach his ears, and confusion creeps upon the honed psyche of a focused warrior.
'It's not worth killing myself over.' What do those words mean? Curiosity does not shut itself out, for these words... they seem strange to the wanderer whose body language appears to suggest otherwise. Keith is a straightforward man, to his understanding. What could this mean--
His eyes widen. He is aware that some take differing paths to strength. Rather than condemn them, he instead places faith in his own - a life of wandering, training, and fighting, but to see this happen before his eyes...
The novelty of this works well in Keith's favor, from a purely detached, tactical view.
There is no predicting what comes next. From where Ryu stands, an instinct sees him clench a fist and prepare to ward off an assumed forward assault when those eyes glow cyan. So many questions, but he can only give one answer.
This answer does not satisfy what forces Keith now commands in that instant, as Ryu feels a sharp shoving sensation upon his person. With a gasp of surprise, he is only caught by a turnbuckle that buckles under how hard he hits it. It snaps clean of the ropes and up against the steel fence barriers. A few spectators even vacate their seats under the thought that the fence might not protect them. The CWA spares no expense on ring construction - to see a part of it go to destruction in this manner is suggestive of one of two things.
Exciting things are happening...
Dangerous forces are afoot...
"I... I see it now." Ryu says as he staggers back up to a stand. Once more, he finds a renewed wind in himself as he re-ties his belt. A moment of some of the greatest happiness he could find in recent times starts to take a dire turn for the serious. His injuries are starting to mount, but with another deep breath, he refocuses himself upon staying in the fight.
Daring to close the distance again against someone who has proven a more capable close combatant compared to himself, he holds one hand forward and draws back a fist as he gathers strength. The light around him seems to dim, in a fashion, legs spread apart for a solid stance with a lowered center of gravity.
Behind this fist, suddenly, he feels an overwhelming sense of responsibility. Keith may be a match for him. With whatever just happened, it seems there's deeper things afoot. With this cocked fist, he prepares a mighty blow...
With a sharp kiai, the fist flies forward in a punch so fast, so powerful it seems to warp the light a black color. His fist should be streaking red - but there is an inky trail of black as such power behind this fist stands to render the air asunder.
5tTo whatever end Keith may threaten to lose himself, Ryu vows to help set straight... one decisive strike at a time, with this focused straight punch.

COMBATSYS: Keith endures Ryu's Fierce Punch.

[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Ryu              1/---====/=======|=======\=------\1            Keith

This tone is rather low, as if only for Ryu to hear. "Honestly... I hate using this."

Keith is willing to admit. The Psycho Power that is awakened in him is ready to go. It is ready to tear him apart at a moment's notice. Keith knows that he is going to put himself in harm's way by using the powerful burst of the energy. Keith is certain that the fighter would likely admonish this sort of power.

"...Let's just say that there is not a choice in this power. ...So, only in desperation." Keith decides to keep his statement vague. There is a frown, almost of distaste of using the power. However, it is his. It is the power that was implanted into him. There was often that resonating power that was mild in sensing things. Now? Keith is forcing the ability to command it.

"You're a great fighter, so you deserve to see everything that I can do." Keith has a wide grin forming, "So, don't mind using it this time." It is uncertain how much comfort that Ryu would see in Keith's statement. However, Keith is feeling more alive. This is perhaps the time that Keith realizes that he may die here if he goes Live. He may never even find out who he is.

That's okay. The legendary fighter was his last opponent. For some reason, Keith feels that his time would be better known as someone who fought against Ryu and gave everything he had in this.

That is why Keith springs forth into action to meet with Ryu, face to face.

As he lunges in, that inky black burst of energy rockets towards Keith's chest, impacting against the center and nearly crack his bones, "Uggh....rgk!" Keith grits his teeth, then he lifts his hand up to sweep his hand outward towards Ryu.


A spark of cyan flames ignite into view.

....Then those flames cast out to ignite against Ryu's clothing, threatening to consume him.. These are not real flames that manifest, but that spiritual energy that have taken shape to rend against the fighter's will.

COMBATSYS: Ryu endures Keith's Ignition.

[                   \\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Ryu              1/--=====/=======|=======\-------\1            Keith

Ryu has many questions to ask of Keith - maybe as many for himself. He wants their all. No hesitation, no fear, only a fight among warriors where both stand to grow stronger. Up until today, his understanding of what it truly means to give one's all was narrow in its ultimate understanding. Sacrifice in tears, sweat, blood, and pain in which to grow stronger... it seemed simple. He would grow stronger with every victory, every setback - however rare 'setbacks' are for him - challenged forevermore with Keith's disclosure.
Keith speaks it of respect for him and his abilities. Ryu does not return the sentiment about the nature of what power Keith has. Is it worth pushing oneself so far with a power he has no choice in? A power he has no love for? He chooses to believe Keith is a man of great power and ability on his own merits. He had been a step ahead of him for most of this fight, something more than worthy of respect. That he sees Keith's confidence appear to falter in their choices, to let themselves seemingly be consumed by something... he does not feel convinced by the grin.
The Satsui no Hadou - the Killing Intent - stirs under the foreign, all-encompassing power that Keith has. Psionic power, the extension of oneself, a power he does not have full control over. What gnaws at him with every blow he gives, to push further and allow oneself to be succumbed into the fury of destruction and annihilation that an art of killing demands of those who have the potential to use it.
Can Ryu himself truly say he has a grip upon what stirs within him? Does he have the right to criticize this choice?
He only knows Keith from this very battle, merely a name that was given to him and a vague physical description by the fight's producers so he wouldn't mistake some other strong-looking individual as his opponent. In the flash of an instant, time goes to a standstill. Does he have a true right to tell Keith that the path he's walking is of destruction? That such an individual of great promise chooses to fight with power they openly state to despise, brought forth... the champion's road sees many meetings, and just as many partings. He may never see Keith again after any of this.
The grisly sight speaks almost certainly of a finality in this encounter, watching Keith ignite into that flame-like cyan light that represents everything he can't control. They threaten to wear down Ryu within the oncoming meltdown as a hand finds purchase upon his shoulder.
There is terror in the stands from this taste of uncontrolled power. Ryu, alight in this cyan flame, should by all rights writhe and struggle to not be consumed. It strikes against his very core - that discomfort that naturally comes from one who does not share Keith's gift of one's inner self given form and, most importantly, power.
Ryu does not relent, instead holding his posture beyond letting his feet spread apart. His shoulder pushes back wordlessly.
Keith, gifted with psychic power, can pick up on the slurry of emotions and unspoken words on Ryu's person as he brings both hands behind him once again. There is no ambiguity in what's coming next. His eyes close in focus, as if to shut out all else.

The people outside, barring those select few that may have that latent gift themselves, can only see a warrior on the ropes putting it all into one great, final Hadouken. An ultimate blow when it's all gone down to the wire, as Ryu's fights tend to. For a man of such nearly unmatched technique and potential, his fights are rarely blowouts.
The grisly sight continues, and his reserves of strength slowly erode under Keith's grasp. Flecks of red form ever briefly, but he maintains a semblance of composure. A dedication to purpose. He has no spoken words for Keith in response to their explanation and intents - a man who feels enslaved by their power and speaks as though he were at peace with making this fight their very end.
The true words in Ryu's soul, the emotions that run through him as he puts more and more of himself into it, are deafeningly loud as the blue - maybe even a bit more white - light of the Earth's energy given shape between the nothingness of his hands.
"Shinkuu..." His throat says. His heart...
"HADOUKEN!" It is not a roaring blue fireball with spiraling trails of energy that threaten to drill into Keith's person to clinch a victory from effectively point-blank, as it disperses the flame-like cyan energy that would wear him down.
It is Ryu's plea to allow him to help save Keith from what threatens to consume him, sparing zero expense in his reserves to this very explosive end - even as flecks of red dare to dance from his personage in its aftermath.
This fight must end now - or within moments of now - for the sake of a man he feels now as a kindred spirit...!

COMBATSYS: Ryu successfully hits Keith with Shinkuu Hadouken EX.

[                   \\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////                          ]
Ryu              0/-------/--=====|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2            Keith

Walking on death's door. This is something Keith is used to doing. Keith, in the midst of using his Psycho Power, can feel the feedback lingering into him. In fact, it comes forth as an electrical circuit that runs along his body. "D--damnit...!" He manages a hiss, tightening his fists while trying to control himself.

On death's door.

Keith grits his teeth, narrowing his eyes at the fighter when the Ansatsuken practicioner faces the power of his Psycho Power.

"This is everything that I have."

More and more, the feedback is starting to get dangerous. Sparks of lightning are seem emitting from his feet.

Keith can definitely feel himself about to go live. He'll need to end the use of his power now. However, the fight is not over. He still has to deal with Ryu. He has to face down his opponent and give it everything that he has. In the end, Keith can feel it. There is the strong emotion that rests in Ryu. It is something that is darker inside. Just creeping. ...Almost like his own. And yet, in a way, it is drowned out by Ryu's determination. Keith cannot help but to be impressed in spite of himself.

Ryu's heart is placed into the very light that will save him.

...In turn, it'll save Keith.

That light threatens to consume Keith, who is now at the peak's end of going 'live'. "Haha... " His eyes widen as he brings both hands together, "I can-----"

Keith is engulfed in that entire light.


A loud, illuminating explosion spreads across the battlefield. The arena emits a bright glow as the hadouken make its mark.

...Soon, the smoke starts to clear.

Keith is standing there with both arms guarding him in place. "Heh heh..."

Until he drops to his knees and down towards his stomach.

"...You're pretty good."

COMBATSYS: Keith takes no action.

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

COMBATSYS: Keith can no longer fight.

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

Colors and sound fade back into his perception in the wake of the Shinkuu Hadouken making its mark - and ultimate acknowledgement of anything else at all even existing - as the escalating encounter subsides. Flashes of strobing lights, of streamers, of celebratory displays, as those on the outside catch on to the finality of this last attack by Ryu.
An attempt by a referee to hold up Ryu's arm goes largely ignored in favor of seeing to the well-being of a fellow fighter. It's in these moments that the clarity in which Keith regains himself may be tinged with outlines of terror. He no doubt sensed it, what lurks beneath. The approaching steps are ones without fear or hesitation. Movements of one that, under virtually any circumstance, would be one of someone intending to attack. To kill.
Ryu's face still holds that stoic expression that characterizes him. He, too, had just gone through one of the most harrowing encounters of his time. It is not one of relief, nor acceptance of a victory. The sense that there is something ongoing. Something that goes far beyond just the exchange of fists and energies both young men have at their command.
The man who stands to master an art designed for killing stands tall before the fallen Keith. His fists stay clenched up to where he stands before them. The tension that passes with this man's movement...
His right fist disappears, replaced by an open hand down before Keith. The referee fears for a moment that maybe Ryu recognizes it isn't over.
That's because it truly isn't.5r "Your fight's not over," says Ryu, offering that hand to help Keith up - and be the sturdy shoulder to lean on for however long it takes to help Keith get where he needs to (or, more likely, until medical personnel just take him away). Every aggressive word of body language has led up entirely to one of earnest mercy to a young man who seemed almost ready to give his life before him.
And neither is mine, he inwardly says to himself, met with new questions yet about the nature of mastering oneself. Keith opened his eyes further to what it means to be a fighter... there is much more yet to take in beyond the glitz and glamor of the arenas of the CWA.
They both have a long road ahead of themselves... but for today, Ryu will part with Keith a friend.
May their paths cross again one day, Ryu inwardly hopes, where they both can have a battle as masters not of their arts of combat, but of themselves.

COMBATSYS: Ryu wanders on to find the next challenge.

As Keith lies on the ground, he cannot help but to think of how long before the Psycho Power kills him. There is also the curiosity of being found in this situation, by two different people. One of them, Keith REALLY does not want anything to do with.

He just laughs.

He'll just lie here and let himself fall out.

That is, until a hand is extended out towards him.


A hand is offered his way. Keith does slowly move to push himself to his stomach so that he can take the hand that is offered his way.

"Neither is yours, it seems."

A pause is given, "It seems that both of us struggle with... something that may have been forced upon us." He closes his eyes, lifting an eyebrow while grinning, "However, I'm sure you'll soon overcome yours."

Keith is not sure of himself. If not the power, then something else. Keith cannot help but wonder...

What all was done to him?

Those thoughts are banished, for now. Instead, Keith feels that he can confide with a new friend.

After all, he'll need all of the friends that he can get.

Log created on 10:31:33 11/25/2015 by Ryu, and last modified on 19:35:37 12/08/2015.