Rumble In The Streets - [Rumble W1] Skullomania vs Natsu

Description: Little did anyone at the Twilight Star Circus realize it, but as the host for one of the Rumble in the Streets tournament bouts, they were about to play host to three intruders. The first invader: a Gorin High volleyball star. The second: a hero poised to prevent an alien invasion. And third, well...

Natsu doesn't ride bicycles much -- she much prefers walking. But she signed up for this silly little tournament event, and she's going to see it through. So when the Gorin student saw the little notification come up on her phone, there were really two options for following through -- and her dad and mom had -just- left her alone for the day.

Which means option 2: the bicycle. It's been a long time since she's ridden her bicycle out of the city, but the Gorin volleyball captain continues to remind herself that these sorts of trials are all part and parcel of the life of a fighter. Right down to the catcalls, when the tomboy forgets she's wearing a skirt and stands on the pedals to make it up the slight inclines a bit more quickly.

After a good twenty-five minute ride, she's finally here -- and it seems that the crowd got the notification about the same time she had. Her jaw drops at the size of the crowd as she freewheels her bicycle off the highway and into the capacious parking lot of the Twilight Star Circus, gawking at the dozens upon dozens of people -- several hundred? Several thousand? It's so hard to tell!

Ayuhara has seen ads for the circus all over the place, but had never actually ventured up to visit. But she won't be stepping beyond the portable metal fences surrounding the actual circus grounds from the parking lot, not today -- for the Rumble in the Streets attraction is set up in the parking lot.

Banners with the Rumble In the Streets logo hang from telescoping posts, positioned at regular intervals around a formal rectangle marked off in the dusty parking lot. It's cold out, and yet, the only addition to Ayuhara's uniform - a white sailor-style shirt and green skirt, with high-top volleyball shoes - is a pair of white stockings.

Natsu grimaces somewhat at the display. Despite the crowds raving to get a piece of the action, there's... so few of the things she's used to in larger events. Like cameramen -- there's just two people with digital SLR cameras. And lights -- there's no need for those at 3:30 in the afternoon. There's an official: a half-Korean, clearly wearing the black and white stripes marking his role as a referee. But aside from that...
"Well, this is a bit humble," she mumbles to no one in particular, as she walks up to the referee. "Natsu Ayuhara, reporting..."
The official smiles back at Natsu, and gestures to a folding table alongside him, with five black matte bands, a little thicker than credit cards.
Natsu reaches out for the widest band -- the headband. And gulps lightly at how -cold- these things are. "... So we're supposed to put these on before we fight...?"

Of course, since Rumble in the Streets is an official fighting tournament, medical staff being nearby is essential. And that's why an ambulance without the flashers or sirens drives towards the circus, coming a long way from the town beyond. It's followed by a news van with a satellite dish on top, with 'Channel 107 News! ACTION!' painted on the side. Someone has called Southtown's local tabloid news team here, to cover this. Who could that be?

The ambulance parks with its back to the fight area, and the rear doors open as a very short reporter in a too large powder blue suit gets out of the news van, wearing big glasses and a cheesy anchor haircut. There is also a camera man, much taller, with an X-Files t-shirt. On the back is an alien's face, 'I Want To Believe' above it in block letters. The quickly move to the back of the ambulance.

The medics step out of the back and pull down a stretcher with someone laying on it, covered by a white cloth. One of the medics appears to be an actual doctor of some sort, although from the crazy, distant look in his eye, his specialty could be called into question. The normal medic, an EMT, pushes the stretcher gingerly a few feet, as the insane doctor follows alongside.

"Doctor! Doctor! Is Skullomania prepared for this fight?!" the little Japanese reporter asks, putting a hilariously large microphone with the Japanese kanji for 'truth' in the doctor's face.

The doctor spreads his hands, giving the camera a deadly look that silences the reporter. "Skullomania has been prepared for this fight by sleeping overnight in the morgue, under heavy sedation, and is quite ready to battle for glory. I have seen to it myself." His voice has an echo hollow tone to it. Yup, it's a morgue doctor.

The reporter turns to the camera, grinning too wide to be genuine. "That is right, folks! Skullomania, mysterious skeleton hero, has been prepared for this fight using cryogenic techniques, just like the aliens use when they travel between planets!"

The body on the stretcher suddenly sits up, and the blanket comes off, revealing Skullomania in full fighting attire. He mechanically turns to the side and steps off the stretcher, stepping to the ground and Frankenstein-walking towards the fight with the news crew following, microphone pointed towards him. "I will demonstrate the power of heroism, for Southtown, and for glorious President Barack Obama, leader of the free world," Skullomania states coldly, his hands balling into fists.

COMBATSYS: Skullomania has started a fight here.

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Skullomania      0/-------/-------|

Natsu pulls the headband onto her head, shivering at how -cold- the thing is. The chilly winter air is one thing when she's been driving a bike through it, but it's something entirely different when she's applying cold technology to bare skin.
The Gorin student has secured all but one ankle band in place when the ambulance and news van come blaring up. The crowd goes -nuts- over this, gawking at the news spectacle of the mysterious new arrival ... and the intensity kicks all the way up to -twelve- as soon as the feared Skullomania is revealed to be the figure on the stretcher!

Natsu Ayuhara finds herself spellbound by the scene, jaw hanging open. It's not until several -dozen- people have turned their cameras away from Skullomania to record cellphone shots of her that she realizes she'd still had her foot propped up on the edge of her chair.
And that she's still wearing a skirt.

Cheeks flushing red, the Gorin student latches the band shut and springs back to her feet. Withdrawing a volleyball from her bicycle, she nods to the fight official, squinting at Skullomania.
"... Hey, who said -you- got to be the one fighting for Southtown?!" belts out the tomboy, hoping her defiance can claim the audience's attention away from the things she considers 'distractions'. "Do you even -live- here?!"

COMBATSYS: Natsu has joined the fight here.

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Skullomania      0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0            Natsu

Skullomania's walk gradually becomes smoother as the crowd goes into a frenzy, the effects of being in a deep drug-induced meditative state overnight in the morgue wearing off. As he reaches the fight area, he allows inspection for the referee, indicating he's already wearing the headband and wrist slash ankle bands, the doctor having apparently slipped them on en route to the circus. As the referee backs off, he turns his head to the crowd, waving his arm smoothly to silent that section, then looks to the other section, waving his arm again, the other half going silent. He looks to Natsu as she shouts at him. "Allow me to respond," he says, voice carrying in the winter winds with due ardour.

There's a flash of bright orange chi, and he begins the strangest dance over, elbows bend and fists up at his sides, pumping them up and down below shoulder level as he shimmies his hips back and forth, thrusting his pelvis each time. He puts his arm out towards Natsu, pointing all his fingers at her as he jigs his neck to an imaginary beat and pulls his arm in a horizontal wave to either side of her. As the crowd pauses in confusion, a variety of sounds ranging from cheering to laughter to gasps coming out of them, Skullomania strikes.

The Skull Knight charges forward at Natsu, blasting quickly across the dirt with his red scarf trailing behind him and the chi energy licking behind him as it fades away. He drops to the ground as he nears her, attempting to slide directly between her legs, then palm stand behind her off the ground and plant both feet directly on her buttocks. If successful, he will then backflip off her, forcing her to the ground as he lands behind her in a cunning acrobatic maneuver.

COMBATSYS: Skullomania successfully hits Natsu with Skullo Space.

[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////   ]
Skullomania      0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0            Natsu

Natsu just... stares. The Gorin volleyball captain's used to getting attention of the crowd, sure... but it's through complete and utter victory, rather than the extreme level of grandstanding that Skullomania's able to pull off. Even in the shadow of a big top where thousands of people are fooled into buying overpriced circus chotchkes, Natsu is completely and utterly out of her league when it comes to leading the eye...

Which is why, when the Skull Knight charges at her, the volleybrawler is expecting a frontal attack. One that she could punch, or swat, or bump out of the way -- or even one that she could leap up and spike out of the sky. Not one that drive right between her two legs.
This is an uncomfortable theme for a teenager to experience, and it's one that's probably going to make mad bank for the web sponsors of the tournament, somehow.

Natsu stumbles forward as she's kicked in the rear, hands windmilling out to either side as she stumbles for balance. To her credit, she's still got the presence of mind to pinch hold of the volleyball in her right hand as she staggers, wobbles, and eventually faceplants into the dirt -- and it's just another moment longer before she continues to roll with the momentum, spinning herself back to her feet in a low crouch.

Dirt has -completely- caked the front of her shirt from where she fell, staining the green skirt a more earthy tone. But the tomboy seems less concerned with that than she is of not looking completely incompetent at this 'fighting' thing. "Spoken like a true politician, I guess!" she hollers back, leaping high into the sky. She doesn't plan to close that distance herself, though -- but rather, she plans to toss the volleyball ahead of her, and then slam her palm into it, hammering the white spherical object right into the skeleton-costumed one! "HERE WE GOOOOO!"

COMBATSYS: Skullomania blocks Natsu's Tokkun Spike.

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Skullomania      0/-------/-----==|==-----\-------\0            Natsu

As Skullomania sees the volleyball come into play, he performs a flawless, almost choreographed triple backflip to give him more room to work with the attack. He lands just in time for Natsu to spike it at him, and leaps off the ground, so it doesn't hit him in the head. He kicks both legs up and to the sides, the volleyball impacting directly into his crotch, where it bounces off his suit's reinforced codpiece, directly back towards Natsu. The crowd howls with laughter as he lands on both feet, wiggling his shoulders. "I am more a politician than you know!" he shouts with a faintly higher pitch, feeling the impact of the hard spike in his pelvis...And other regions. "Thanks for loosening me up!"

Skullomania charges forward at Natsu, hands flat and to his sides and his head craned forward and looking at the ground as he makes quick and small running mince-steps at Natsu. As he gets within six or seven feet, he hops up and kicks his feet out, right hand going to the ground as he cuts through the dirt on his knee, attempting to slide into her legs. His palm then spikes into the ground, based upon his success and the distance necessary to keep him competively close, without making himself open for being knocked down or stomped before he can get back up.

COMBATSYS: Skullomania successfully hits Natsu with Skullo Slider.

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Skullomania      0/-------/-----==|====---\-------\0            Natsu

Triple backflip. -Triple backflip-. ... And then he pretty much -lets- the spike bounce off his codpiece. Natsu glowers -- this guy's showing off is actually starting to wear on her nerves. And the fight's barely even -begun!-

But the volleyballer is not going to give voice to her concerns. She's already given more fanservice than she'd have preferred, and the thought of her giving an on-camera meltdown is... Well, it's a bad reminder of the time she almost drowned, for one thing. She lands from her aerial spike, collecting herself and drawing back for the subsequent attack -- only to find herself dealt another low sliding attack from the skeleton man. The lanky teenager attempts to lower herself, but her giraffe-like legs don't seem to be wanting to agree with her on this chilly day -- and she finds those legs knocked out from under her again.

This time, without having to worry about the volleyball, Ayuhara is able to catch herself with both palms, sparing her uniform shirt from another brush with the dirt. Gritting her teeth, she twists her body, aiming to swing her legs in a low sweep maneuver, hoping to clock the speedy Skullomania right in his painted-on teeth! "Hrraaaa!"

COMBATSYS: Skullomania interrupts Medium Kick from Natsu with Skullo Head EX.

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Skullomania      0/-------/---====|======-\-------\0            Natsu

Skullomania sees the low leg flying at his head, as his hand digs into the ground and stops his sliding advance. Dust kicks up around him in a plume, and he bends his elbow, head moving backward faintly. As the foot comes screaming in, he thrusts his arm straight and slams his forehead into the foot instead of his face. His right knee positions him upright, and within a moment's time, he's leaping upwards, his head spinning to slam into Natsu's with a side headbutt, spinning around acrobatically. He spirals upwards, leg sweeping out to balance and slow the inertia of his rotation at the apex of the purely vertical leap.

Natsu is -not- having the best of luck here today at the Twilight Star Circus. Tons of people are cheering brightly at the sidelines, amidst the colorful banners advertising the roaming circus, as well as the other luminous sponsors of the HitBit tournament series.

But they are almost all cheering for Skullomania and his dynamic appearance, making Natsu look like a complete punching bag instead. It's true -- her instep had crashed into his forehead -- but the Gorin volleyballer can't help but feel like she's getting a raw deal -- even though she does have some local fans who are gasping in dismay from the exhcange. She rolls back, both hands snapping to her forehead in pain.
It will be blatantly obvious -which- of the people assembled here were watching the view from Natsu's own Hitbit, at this point, as they'll suddenly recoil backwards in commisseration from the pain of seeing it practically live.

Natsu seethes as she pushes herself back to her feet. Though she's... definitely feeling this fight, as bruises are already beginning to well up on her shins, and now on her forehead as well. "... Never was much for politics..." she grumbles, fighting to keep from showing the dizziness invoked by that last strike to the head. And for the moment... she bides her time, one hand pressed to her pounding temple, while the other remains low to ward off another low strike, should Skullomania attempt one.

COMBATSYS: Natsu gains composure.

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Skullomania      0/-------/---====|=====--\-------\0            Natsu

Skullomania lands on the ground gingerly, before bouncing backwards and away from Natsu on his toes. As she takes a break from their little duel, which has so far given him the advantage, he punches his right forefinger into the air, left hand braced on his thick belt. A spark of orange chi explodes from his fingertip in a flare, causing a resounding 'ooooh' from the audience, before Skullomania starts shaking his butt and dragging the chi-flame on his fingertip from his left hip, back into the air.

As Skullomania does this, the chi on his fingertip gets brighter, slowly beginning to slide down his finger and encompasse his fist. He feels power surging through him, as the last of the sedative in his system is flushed out by his auric chakra causing his natural fatigue toxins to vanish, as energy surges into his system from his teeming mitochondria.

The Japanese reporter from Channel 107 News turns to his camera with the fight behind him, the dancing Skullomania in view over the reporter's left shoulder. "As you can see, Mister Skullomania is summoning the power of the extraterrestrials to bring unity to this fight! World peace is within our grasp always, if we just give it this chance! This is the Age of Aquarius, truly!" He then nods very rapidly, mouth wide open as he grins with his teeth apart.

COMBATSYS: Skullomania gathers his will.

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Skullomania      1/-------/=======|=====--\-------\0            Natsu

Natsu eyes the crowd warily -- she's on edge. The Gorin volleyballer feels like she's being judged -- by her family, by the onlookers, by the folks at home, even by the circus cast and crew. ... Wait, where -are- the circus cast and crew, anyway? It's true that the show is not until much later tonight, and it -is- a cold day so that they're probably tucked away inside the (relatively) warmer big top than out and about in the freezing cold. But still, Natsu passes a glance over to them -- before realizing that her opponent is invoking his chi capabilities. What a jerk!

The volleybrawler charges forward. It seems like she would be about to leap into the air again, but she's got no volleyball in her hand this time -- rather, it's just a means to an end, as she throws herself forward.

It might look like she's aping Skullomania's style, and in a way, she kind of is -- as she breaks into a low slide. The cold dust spills out of her way as she approaches, though instead of trying to go -between- the skeleton-man's feet, she's aiming to stop just short of them.

So that she can rise to one knee, channeling the bulk of her forward momentum into a fierce chop to the knees. It might not seem like it thus far in the fight, but the lanky Gorin student has quite a bit of strength in her shoulders -- enough to force more than a laugh out of Skullomania if her attack lands like she hopes!

COMBATSYS: Skullomania blocks Natsu's Sliding Receive.

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Skullomania      1/-----==/=======|=====--\-------\0            Natsu

Skullomania locks eyes with Natsu as she charges, continuing to dance, putting a little extra saucy rhythm into his shoulders as they poke up and down. His dance does not cease as she drops to the ground, his chin tilting upwards and jittling around as he wiggles himself to the disco beat. And then, finally, when the chop comes in, his leg jerks up and he twists, taking the blow to his lean, strong calf instead of the knee. The force spins him around, and he ends up facing sideways.

"Are you ready for some aaaac-tion?!" he shouts, before he slaps his hands to his sides and twists his shoulders with a swift pivot. He jumps at the crouching Natsu in close quarters as he torques his shoulders opposite to the way he had them pivotted, becoming a living, spinning missile that charges at Natsu with a very long, lunging path, the top of his cranium leading as he comes at her like a flying fish charging a boat.

COMBATSYS: Natsu interrupts Super Skullo Crusher from Skullomania with Knock It Off!.

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Skullomania      0/-------/---<<<<|=======\-------\0            Natsu

It's hard for Natsu to really -keep- staring Skullomania in the eyes -- his costume is just so... visually jarring for her! But she'd much rather look the man in the eyes than pay attention to any of the -rest- of his gyrations. She'd considered calling out his unorthodox fighting style, but... well, she's -much- too self-conscious about her own style in front of this tough crowd.

Are you ready for some action, she's asked. Natsu squints back at the human missile that comes rocketing towards her. And while it's -weird- for such a thing to be taking such a low parabolic arc, it just so happens that Natsu has a good track record of dealing with round things sent flying her way. She stays low to the ground, waiting for the very last moment. And then...

She surges upwards, slamming her shoulder into the spinning missile as she derails it from its path. From the way her feet fly out like a rag doll's, it looks like she got hit a lot harder than she did -- especially as she's knocked back a good ten feet from the impact. But Natsu's fans will realize that she's actually taken full advantage of the technique to mask her own rebuttal: she's gripped onto the fabric of the unusual fighter's chest, holding on tightly to the fighter as she joins him in flight.

And in mid-air, she grits her teeth, holding on tight with her left hand, as her right hand wheels back.
SLAP! With the palm of her hand smacking into Skullomania's jaw.
SLAP! As the knuckles of the back of her hand crack against his head from the opposite side!
SLAM! As the pair falls onto the ground together, side-by-side...
SLAP-THUD! As Natsu slams her hand against Skullomania's head, hammering it into the hard-packed dirt of the parking lot, taking the opportunity to detach herself from the man.

Panting heavily, she leaps back to her feet, letting her arms hang low before her. That did a number on her shoulder... but from the enthused smile spreading across her face, it seems she's finally found -some- measure of hope for her performance in the encounter.
The answer to his query seems to be a 'yes', in other words.

Skullomania is sent flying backwards along with Natsu as she charges into him and takes him on a magic carpet ride. He makes nary a sound as the spinning is stopped by the shoulder ram into him and his chest is gripped, his limbs flying around him from shock as they sail through the air. His arms and legs then surge to life as the slapping and backhanding start to pummel him about the head, grabbing her and wrestling as they fly to the ground. Then, he's slammed right into the pavement, leaving a faint crater below his skull.

Skullomania allows his world to slowly align back into the right stratas, as his blurred double vision syncs again and he sees Ayuhara's feet in front of him. He rolls onto his back, and kicks up to his feet with an acrobatic move, beaten and bloody but with a fresh reserve of energy, both in terms of his fighting rhythm, and in terms of his well of stamina to fight with. "Ha! What a rush!" he exclaims, the mask hiding the blood leaking out of his mouth. He hops from one foot to the other to bring himself closer to Natsu, before his heel flies through the air with a rapid roundhouse aimed at Natsu's jaw. "Wha ha ha!" he shouts, twisting about on his foot like he just started the fight!

COMBATSYS: Natsu blocks Skullomania's Stepping Upper.

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Skullomania      0/-------/--<<<<<|=======\-------\1            Natsu

Natsu watches the alien-fighting champion springs back to his feet, but her stance doesn't give any particular acknowledgement to it -- she knows the man is unpredictable, so staying in her tried-and-true volleyball stance is -probably- the best course of action. The only response she has is to step back and way, putting some extra distance between herself and the man, to make it easier to deal with.

It seems the game is afoot, now, as Natsu now has the space she needs to read the skeleton-man's attacks. Fancy footwork doesn't mean as much as the subtle shift of balance which suggests a high kick -- and it's easier for her to deal with, swinging her forearm up to ward off the roundhouse kick.

So he's as fresh as a summer day now? More power to him, thinks the volleyballer as she sways with the momentum, so as not to impart -too- much stress on her limbs. As it happens, though, Skullomania's placed himself in the perfect location for her to clasp both hands together and give him a volleyball-styled bump to the abdomen -- strong enough to jacknife him backwards and put some more distance between the two again if it lands. "Hrraaaa!"
Yeah, she's not much of a talker.

COMBATSYS: Skullomania blocks Natsu's Medium Punch.

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Skullomania      0/-------/-<<<<<<|=======\-------\1            Natsu

Skullomania's kick rebounds off Natsu's forearm and he flies around in a mirror opposite of the motion to reach her, landing with a sidelong look at her. The double handed swing flies in at his abdomen, and he thrusts his posture rigidly straight with his back arched and his chest thrust out, his abdomenals braced as they flex against the incoming blow. He emits a grunt as it connects, although it could've been much worse if he wasn't ready for the assault.

Skullomania leaps into the air directly at Natsu, his hand shooting down to perch a finger on the crown of her head as he flies over. He pushes off her head and performs a delicate half front flip, landing on the ground behind her on his hands. He springs off the handstand and lands some distance from her, turning around to face her again as he emits an unintelligent bellow, thrusting both fists in the air repeatedly as he surges with orange energy rippling around his forearms.

COMBATSYS: Skullomania gathers his will.

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Skullomania      1/-----<</<<<<<<<|=======\-------\1            Natsu

Natsu doesn't watch much tokusatsu. Sure, she watches whenever Sakura invites her over, but more often than not, Natsu uses the movies as an excuse to catch up on her backlog of text messages. So whenever she finds her volleyball strike used as a springboard for the man to sail over her head, the reference will be completely lost upon her -- though of course she can appreciate the level of martial skill that Skullomania brings to the table.

At one point, folks inside the circus seemed to have gotten the message that some actual fight action is going on, as a few of the cast and crew, dressed in warm coats, seem to be wandering out of the safety of the big top to watch the fight entertainment. It's good to be a passive observer, for once!

Natsu, though... she's not sure what to make of Skullomania's apparent skullduggery. What could he -possibly- be trying to do with a crazy shout like that?

Natsu's breath becomes obvious, manifesting as steam clouds in the cold air. Charging like a bull, she finds herself plowing straight for Skullomania, stopping short as she wheels her foot around. She's too incensed at his continued mugging for the audience (which, by the way, they are TOTALLY EATING UP) to remember that she's wearing a skirt. He'll see London, he'll see France, he'll see Natsu's... high-top sneakers crashing right into his chest, hard enough to propel him into the air. And if that lands, she'll wheel about and spring up from the ground, meeting the tokusatsu star in mid-air and lashing a palm strike against him once, then again, before slamming both her hands into an overhead spike!

COMBATSYS: Skullomania fails to interrupt Rival Launcher from Natsu with Skullo Dive.

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Skullomania      1/----===/=======|-------\-------\0            Natsu

Skullomania's aura of chi flashes into existance around his entire body as he dashes to meet Natsu, coalescing around his upper body as he hurls himself forward in an attempt to perform a leaping dive and tackle her to the ground. The maneuver backfires, however, soon after he's off the ground, as her foot slams into his chest from below, sending him flying up into the air like a sack of grain tossed out of a truck.

Skullomania sees the entire world spin around him as he sails through the air, before he emits a deep 'OOF' as Natsu meets him in the air. The palm strike pushes him sidelong, before he gets spiked downwards. He flies to the ground face first, slamming into the concrete and bouncing off rapidly. His legs bicycle twice as he falls to the ground, and just lays there, stunned.

Natsu isn't exactly a fresh spring chicken; as she lands, it seems she could use another break, ribcage heaving with each successive breath. Her hands hang a bit lower to the ground compared to her last strike, but considering that she can sense the unmistakable power of Skullomania's vast wellspring of energy... well, she knows better than to just turn over and let him claim victory, that's for sure.

Ayuhara -does- offer a quiet smile, though, taking a moment to sift her fingers through her hair. She's practically shining with moisture from the exertion of the fight, and the need to keep moving to ward off the cold, but it's not just that -- she's also glistening a faint yellow from an inner wellspring of her own. Whatever it is with Skullomania...

"... I think I recognize you now..." she starts off, as she begins taking long, loping strides to close distance on her opponent. "You're from..."
A pause.
"... Slamfest, right?"
Skullomania's biggest fans feel need to boo at her for that slight.

Gritting her teeth at the sudden invocation of fan rage, she throws caution to the wind -- and just leans down, aiming to sweep down with her palm and give her opponent a healthy slap to the head! "C'mon, you got fans here, don't tap out yet!"

COMBATSYS: Skullomania interrupts Medium Punch from Natsu with Skullo Dream.

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

COMBATSYS: Skullomania can no longer fight.

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

Skullomania pushes himself off the ground partially, with his hands, head tilted forward as he breathes heavily, feeling a little tired from the intensity he's put forth in this fight. The combination of various hard blows, and his constant acrobatics, are catching up to him. And then, Natsu slaps him across the face. He freezes, before there's the faint motion of an inward, then an outward breath, hidden by the mask.

Skullomania jumps to his feet and thrusts his fist into Natsu's face, before his left arm swings around from below with an uppercut. He swivels about to strike her in the stomach with a side kick, before he bends his knee inward and kicks out again, this time at her chest. As his leg comes down from the kick, he swings around with his hand, grabbing the side of her neck and thrusting her down to the ground.

He turns his back on Natsu and raises his fists to the crowd, who practically roar with excitement. Then, he stumbles sideways, before he falls over onto his side, unconscious. The crowd suddenly goes silent, murmuring in distress.

The Channel 107 News team quickly bustles in, walking up to Natsu and shoving the giant microphone in her face. "Natsu Ayuhara! Hello, Shi Sakumuru, Channel 107 News! Are you prepared to use those fighting techniques in case of alien invasion?" he asks, as the camera watches her, giving her very little time to recover from the jarring assault.

There seems to be some sort of commotion in the direction of the circus' big top. In fact... it seems that the circus has had some sort of pyrotechnical display cooked up for the finale of the fight.

Natsu winces as her slap connects -- only to find a fist landing in her face at roughly the same time. The lanky Gorin student is sturdier than she looks, as proven in her earlier rivalry against Daigo Kazama -- but that's not to say she's invincible. Far from it -- she reels backwards from the face punch, setting her up swimmingly for the uppercut that slams into her jaw. A series of kicks leads into a thrust that's more than strong enough to hurl the momentarily dazed Natsu at the ground, causing the schoolgirl's body to quite literally -skip- across the surface of the cold, hard parking lot.

Battered and bruised beyond compare, she begins to rise. Her cheek and jaw already starting to swell with the recently inflicted injuries, she pushes past the pounding pains in her abdomen as she quickly scans the parking lot for her volleyball -- only to find a news anchor suddenly -right there- in her face.
It's enough to make some of Natsu's fans jump back in mutual surprise.
Natsu, not having realized that Skullomania has already fallen over, is standing up on her tip-toes to look over Mr. Sakumuru. Not much is required for the six-foot-tall teen to see over the man, but it still puts her out of her fighting stance -- and, her body still pulsing with adrenaline for the fight, she even gives the man a firm shove to the side to get back towards Skullomania.

Only when she sees the tokusatsu star on the ground does she even acknowledge that the fight is over. "I... uh... alien... invasion?" she stammers, slow to come out of her fighting-induced haze. Standing once more at her full height, she combs her fingers through her sweat-soaked hair... all in time for the adrenaline to stop giving its injury-ignoring blessing. "I... well, yeah, in the case of alien invasion, I..."

As the medical officials rush out to tend to Skullomania, it becomes patently clear that no fireworks are forthcoming. And that the -fire- is starting to spread like, well, wildfire over the canvas of the big top.

With all eyes on Natsu, though: it's a few seconds into Natsu's lumbering attempt at public speaking before even she notices anything is awry. "... Hey, is -that- part of the alien invasion...?" she mumbles with a misplaced attempt to be witty, pointing at the blaze.

The circus staff, and almost -all- of the assembled audience, turns to look at the blaze. From how fast they are running, it becomes markedly clear that the blaze was /not/ set by a circus crewmember.

Natsu laughs... awkwardly, as the badly-injured volleyballer soon finds herself leaning on Mr. Sakumuru, who, like everyone else, is staring at the three-alarm fire. And unlike everyone else, he's wishing that the Amazonesque fighter hadn't chosen him as her leaning post.

COMBATSYS: Natsu takes no action.

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

COMBATSYS: Natsu has ended the fight here.


It takes about an hour for the fire to be put out, leaving part of the big top missing, and effectively leaving the circus's performances in limbo for the next few nights. With Natsu and Skullomania's immediate medical needs taken care of, they'll likely be informed that the arsonist has been located, and brought into the Southtown jail for questioning. But the real question is... what was the motive? Only time will tell...

Log created on 16:31:47 01/23/2016 by Natsu, and last modified on 22:42:04 01/23/2016.