Description: Den Den Town is the best place in central Japan for the latest and greatest electronics needs! Whether you're looking for a rough-around-the-edges washing machine or a top-of-the-line 8G Violet-Ray player, you're sure to find it on the streets of Den Den Town! There's also a great number of shops selling classics in the fringe culture -- anime, manga, and video games galore for the discerning otaku are available here. It's a far cry from the more suburban and mainstream locales that the Rumble In The Streets tournament has been featuring, but... perhaps you have a certain member of the HitBit board to thank for this little diversion. Alice and Elise will have more time to prepare for their fight if they agree to cosplay as someone whose name does not rhyme with Broguard. So who did they come as...?
Japanese pop culture sure loves a "rival." The idea of two relatively equally-capable personages or forces working in the same domain who have a love-hate relationship thanks to the tension over who's the best is a compelling storytelling trope, after all. And to follow that thread, if electronics and otaku districts in major Japanese cities had a "-tan," then Den-Den-tan (because Nipponbashi-tan is just unwieldy) would be the true rival character to Tokyo's Akihabara-tan. Same great taste (as it were), slightly different execution. For starters, Den Den Town probably features 1000% more Osaka-ben being spoken and more people in Hanshin Tigers jerseys.
It's a far cry from the last location where Elise fought in this tournament; both here and Yokohama's foreigner shopping district have that distinct consumerist, capitalism-uber-alles touch, but where Yokohama was all about fashion, Den Den Town is all about... well, denki. Which is to say: lots of consumer electronics everywhere. Which means lots of fanboys everywhere, too, and a hilarious clash of otaku subcultures is currently going down on the streets of Nipponbashi in the brisk afternoon air: plenty of nerds who want to buy the latest Gunpla are being jostled on the street by street fighting fans -- the jocks of the otaku world -- and everyone's cranky about it, except the people who are fans of both, because they knew to show up early, buy the Gunpla first, and are currently eating ramen from take-out bowls in seating they arranged well in advance.
Elise Harkness is not a fan of anime and games, nor is she really a fan of street fighting... the latter is more a thing she takes on as part of the job, being a performer and all. But she's a dutiful sort (when properly motivated), and so she took the injunction to show up at this event in cosplay seriously. Or at least, she thought she did, as she sits in the back of a black car which is slowly pulling up to the venue. "Finding something wearable was certainly a bloody challenge," she mutters aloud, to no one in particular.
When the car stops and the door opens, the Twilight Star fortuneteller is -- astonishingly -- not the first person out of the vehicle. She's preceded by the most stereotypical security MiBs you could imagine: slicked back hair, black sunglasses, perfect suits with knife-sharp pleats. One of them opens the door, and two others stand guard, casing the area, while Elise herself emerges.
If she showed up in cosplay, she certainly kept things low-key. Her outfit is quite plain: a duster, worn open, of a deep scarlet color, with a severe, almost Puritan-like grey dress with a high neck under it. From her bust line to mid-hip, over the dress and under the coat, is something between a corset and a corset-dress, in black, and a gold pendant hangs around her neck. "Gentlemen, really. You are making a fuss over *nothing*," the Scot says aloud... but her eyes are also scanning the area. Is something up?
Alice has been to Den Den Town before, but not quite under these circumstances. Nor was her last fight in this tournament under these circumstances. The one time before last might have counted, though - if nothing else, any fight with HitBot contains a truly ludicrous amount of electronics, and so does Nipponbashi.
She is a fan, though. Less for the gunpla, more for the fighting. She's been here before - to pick up old tournament tapes on video, for one. You'd be surprised how many old matches were recorded but don't always make the reruns - well, maybe you wouldn't be, but there's a place to get copies anyway if you know where to look and a lot of those places are in Nipponbashi (or Akihabara).
Unlike SOME PEOPLE, though, she doesn't rate a car. Or Men in Black. Instead she shows up with a pair of Rumble security guards, in blue and looking a lot more rent-a-coppy than anyone Elise shows up with.
And Alice took the injunction to arrive in cosplay seriously, apparently. She's not dressed like Terry at all. She's wearing decent cosplay. For certain values of 'wearing', and also of 'decent'.
Alice has done absolutely nothing with her hair, which remains as blonde, short and a little spiky as ever. The rest of it is red, and flowing... what there is of it, as it looks like a half-open backless kimono from the top and doesn't cover any more than her bikini bottoms below the sash, though there is some hanging fabric to partially obscure this fact.
'Mai Shiranui' doesn't rhyme with Broguard, and she's sticking to that.
Alice waves to the crowd, just like always, as she edges towards the enforced-open area. She gets a better reaction than usual. She isn't sure if she should be glad for that or not. It's clear that she spots Elise; it's also clear that she doesn't recognize the outfit, though she does give her a slight nod in recognition, along with one of her usual bright smiles.
The arrival of another fighter is an event of enough import that it breaks through the sotto voce discussion going on near Elise's car (which is now pulling away, having delivered its passenger). Alice's appearance is also... let's use the word "striking." It definitely pulls the eye, that's for sure (and for a few people in the crowd, probably some other body parts). As for Elise, she sees the energetic young woman's wave/smile and manages a smile back from a distance, while also muttering through her teeth: "So that happened."
The things she does for her friends.
Turning toward her must-be bodyguards, the Scot exchanges a few words that seem to either quell their fears or imply a paycheck would be not forthcoming, because they back away... to what feels like a minimum distance, to Elise's somewhat visible annoyance. Walking toward Alice, her duster and dress hem sweeping majestically along in her wake, the witch runs her hands through her hair and smiles at her opponent.
"I'm dreadfully sorry for the boys with the overactive imaginations, but... well. After my last appearance in this event, a few 'upstanding gentlemen' wanted to have words with me afterwards and wouldn't take no for an answer. No real danger to someone with skills like yours or mine, of course, but one can never be too ca--"
This is when a gunshot rings out in the distance.
As you might expect, everything that happens next goes on in a sort of molasses slow motion. The crowd panics, ducking back into cover for the most part. Elise and her bodyguards all turn toward the sound of the shot itself, looking shocked... and then the witch, moving practically on instinct, snaps up a hand. In a flash of violet, an honest-to-god magic seal appears in midair just past her palm... and locked in the middle of it, vibrating with suppressed force, appears to be a bullet.
To her credit, the witch appears to be just as surprised that she was able to do that as any of the onlookers, who -- despite their fear -- actually stare at such goings on unblinking.
As the MiBs who came with her rush off in the direction of the line of fire, Elise releases the seal, the bullet dropping into her now-extended palm. She simply stares at it for a second, before going: "Well, then."
Honestly, on an absolute scale, it's probably not that much worse than what Alice normally shows up to a fight in - given that includes a bikini and a short skirt, it would be hard to cover less while still being something you can show up in public in. But it's different, and different is exciting.
It's also something Alice is not having trouble moving in but doesn't /really/ know how to make the trailing 'tail' with the weights on it do anything other than flop around behind her. Oh well. At least it looks good without that. She actually likes Elise's outfit, recognized or not. It has style. It's just not Alice's style, not by a long shot.
Alice seems excited to get this started, so when Elise starts to talk to her. She nods, letting Elise finish before she speaks back. She gets about halfway through the first nod before the sound of a gunshot rings out through the February air.
Alice's instincts are not to panic but just to duck. She straightens up moments later as Elise's hand flickers violet, the seal appearing in midair just in front of it, a bullet caught in it like a fly in a spider's web...
She grins wide. "Sweet trick," she says, still brightly. "Must've taken a hell of a lot of practice." Maybe she thinks it's some kind of stunt...? Her confidence certainly isn't shaken, even when the MiBs run off. They needed to get out of the way anyway before any match began, so seeing them tear off doing... something isn't exactly a problem, now is it? Nobody has shot at her, even though she's seem some sketchy people watching her matches (and there was one murder, but it had nothing to do with her - she didn't even know about it until after it had happened).
A moment's pause to show that she's not panicking, and the crowd doesn't have to be either, and then Alice finally responds. "Well, then! Shall we?" Alice's dedication to her costume does not, apparently, extend to changing her voice or her speech mannerisms at all.
Obviously the place is abuzz, especially with Rumble security taking an additional active hand in the matter, folks fanning out in all directions. One comes up to Elise to check on her, and she unceremoniously dumps the bullet into his palm. "Take care of this for me, would you?" He blinks in confusion, but then wanders off to take care of it anyhow.
As the hurly-burly goes on in the background, Elise walks over to square off, distance-wise, with Alice. "Well... equal parts practice, luck, and natural talent, but thank you for the compliment all the same. I must say," she continues, and maybe the Scottish accent gets a little thicker here, subconsciously, "I normally feel quite safe in Japan as a... oh, what's the word. 'Gaijin'? But lately I've been feeling positively unwelcome given stunts like this. Almost makes you wonder if there's someone unhappy about our little fighting tournament?" She's all smiles. Apparently her confidence isn't shaken that much either. "Hopefully you haven't had quite so many run-ins with bad luck as I have."
After a bit, the Rumble commission reps walk over and indicate that if the fighters are willing, security feels it's safe to continue, and so with a nod, Elise turns to Alice. "I HAD wondered if it's because this... 'cosplay'... I picked is a little retro. Someone from the circus suggested I dress as some video game witch with a pixie bob that makes giant fists out of her hair? But honestly, she was all boobs and legs and I suppose her attacks make her get naked? The whole thing seemed so TAWDRY. So I did a little creative googling." She turns, twisting her hips to look down at her own outfit (and show off her curvaceous figure for the viewers). "I admit, I didn't think this Puritan-looking 'Witch Hunter Robin' outfit would work, but it's amazing how tight those old-style dowdy clothes will hug your figure, isn't it?" A smile, a wink. Hohoho.
"Perhaps they'll appreciate your, ah, homegrown choice a bit more, eh, hen? Regardless... ready when you are."
COMBATSYS: Elise has started a fight here.
Alice is fluent in three languages (English, Japanese, and violence). She uses English to make it easier on Elise, even if it makes some (but not all) of the fans less able to follow.
"Oh, like I'm not? Look at me," she says, with a grin, because it's very true; Alice doesn't look Japanese at all, even though by her name (the Nakata part, not the Alice part) she presumably is, at least in part. Blonde and green-eyed is not a particularly Japanese combo. If she claimed she was from Sunshine City, nobody would think twice that she had heritage from anywhere else. "There's a few creepos around, but nothing too bad... uh, usually."
She still thinks it's some kind of stunt, though her certainty on that front is wavering slightly. Not enough to really change her mind, but enough that she's thinking about it. Alice at least waits for the okay to be given before she does anything, chatting while she waits instead of pushing for the match to begin.
"Right? I think I know who they mean." Alice isn't The Best at videogames, but she doesn't completely ignore them, either. "You look good in that, though. It's all in how you wear it." Given she accompanies that with a shake of her hips that gets the 'tail' to moving (oh, so that's how you do it), she puts a little more into those words than she might have meant without it. "If you're good, you can make anything look good. Or nothing." She winks right back. She feels right at home.
Alice does, at least, wait for the bell to be sounded - something Rumble Inc is good at, though half the time in her early matches it was done by some guy with a soundboard, which was a little less dramatic. Either way! Alice doesn't act before it goes off.
But as soon as it does, with almost no warning, Alice moves.
Alice's assault, from several steps away, is sudden. She rushes toward Elise, looking like she's going to just charge the woman - but at the last moment she drops low, switching to a slide on her hip. It looks impossible, or at least improbable, but the sudden wash of chi from her toes to her hip both shelters her bare leg from being ripped up on the ground /and/ makes her heel hit with a good deal more force than it otherwise would. "As you insist!"
COMBATSYS: Alice Nakata has joined the fight here.
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Alice Nakata 0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0 Elise
COMBATSYS: Alice Nakata successfully hits Elise with Burn Charge.
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Alice Nakata 0/-------/------=|===----\-------\0 Elise
'If you're good, you can make anything look good!'
All too true.
The suddenness of Alice's assault takes Elise off guard, which is probably at least partially responsible for why her attempt to sidestep it, ballet-style, doesn't work out. The sliding strike briefly sends the witch off her feet, but at the last second, she slams a palm down onto the pavement, snapping herself back standing in a flurry of fluttering coats and skirts. Of course the damage has been done, by that point, but at least she's not flat on the ground. That would just be embarassing.
"Well said, hen," the witch says to her opponent with a smile. The earnest, energetic ones... so cute. It's a thought Elise can't stop herself from having. Sadly, that thought is usually followed by a very dark inner voice adding: 'suckerrrrrrrr.' But that's neither here nor there.
"My condolences on the, ah, 'creepos'," she says, bringing a hand to her chest. "It's 2016, after all. Isn't the world supposed to be more cosmopolitan? Not all about the, ah, 'old ways'."
Bringing her hand up, Elise makes an elaborate gesture, and between her knuckles appear three throwing knives... a familiar sight to anyone who watched her fight with Ayame. Shortly after their sudden appearance, each knife begins to glow a silver-limned purple. "Of course, sometimes the old ways really are the best."
And with that, she hurls the knives at her opponent, one-two-three... but the trajectory on each is 'bent' JUST enough so that avoiding them all might be a bit of a challenge!
COMBATSYS: Alice Nakata blocks Elise's Dyrnwyn.
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Alice Nakata 0/-------/----===|===----\-------\0 Elise
Alice Nakata vaults upward after impacting with Elise - not to jump, just to get herself back to her feet for the inevitable counterattack. It took longer than getting stomped on (which happens more often than not when she tries the baseball-slide-like attack), which means she wants to be up again so she can use her legs and have some gosh-darned mobility. Elise wants to stay on her feet; Alice wants to get back there, too.
"Right?" Alice definitely falls into the 'energetic' category. Possibly less of a sucker than expected... though maybe not, it's hard to tell that from her pre- and mid-match conversation. Or flirting. Or whatever it is.
She didn't watch the fight with Ayame, though. Alice is... lazy isn't the word, but she doesn't do research. She can tell you a lot about famous fighters, but Elise - who is less inclined to join tournaments - is a lot more of an unknown. This means the knives surprise her. But if there's anything Alice can handle, it's a surprise.
With a should, Alice sweeps her arm, moving with it. One of the knives goes past her, but the other two she deflects with the side of her arm. Which would be mostly okay except for the silver and violet glow around them. That she wasn't expecting. And that stings more than the knife flats did.
"Ow ow ow," Alice yelps, even though the injury was not that great. It kept her from moving in immediately, though, so even if it didn't do much to put her down it did its job; Alice's approach is slower this time, though not much more careful, as it consists of a left-footed spinning kick once she's close enough to perform it; a wide sweep, as much to push Elise off-balance as actually do some damage, though she won't complain about the impact either.
"I don't know about /best/, but they're certainly the /shiniest/ if that's what you mean by them!" Much more sidestepping and Alice is likely to get close to the edge of the cleared space. She likes to move around when she fights, which is a problem when there's a crowd where she wants to move.
COMBATSYS: Alice Nakata successfully hits Elise with Spin Kick.
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Alice Nakata 0/-------/---====|=====--\-------\0 Elise
Maybe the gunshot shook Elise more than she let on or showed, because she's certainly not doing terribly well on the 'defending herself' front today. The witch attempts to fade backward from the arc of the spinning kick, but misjudges how wide it goes at the farthest point; the result is that Alice's foot slams into her torso, sending Elise stumbling back more than a few steps, gingerly putting a hand palm-down on her stomach and wincing. "I guess it's going to be that sort of day," she mutters, mostly to herself.
With a shake of the head (which not coincidentally sends her long hair twirling about; you'd almost think she's planning this) she gets back upright into stance, taking a breath. "I'll take that as a compliment," she says to Alice with a faint smile. "I think it was one, at any rate." This is a very straightforward individual, so it doesn't seem particularly likely that Alice was attempting to be backhanded with her compliment. Probably.
"That said, hen, if it's 'shiny' you want, I am more than happy to oblige." Brushing her hands down the front of her jacket, Elise brings one hand up, and it erupts into a much brighter version of that silver-purple glow that surrounded the knives.
Her heeled boots *click!-click!-click!*ing on the pavement, the witch closes the distance between herself and Alice with surprising speed, given that she doesn't seem to be the most athletic fighter in the world. And then she does a very, very simple thing: she reaches out and attempts to grab Alice's arm with that glowing hand.
COMBATSYS: Alice Nakata parries Elise's Dainslef!!
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Alice Nakata 0/-------/=======|-------\-------\0 Elise
Of course it was a compliment! Alice, like a lot of teenagers, has her attention drawn by shiny things. And really, when you think about it, isn't this the shiniest of all?
Alice hops to recover from her own spin kick, but seems to have been prepared for the impact; it's not the first time she's delivered one and it won't be the last. She brings her hands up in a lazy-looking but probably actually useful guard, especially because she doesn't usually use her hands to attack very much. They're more defensive tools, thanks to her taekwando background.
"Nice!" Alice doesn't take her eyes off those hands. If it was her, she knows what she'd do next, and though Elise isn't her, she can at least make some guesses. Grab is not her first guess, but when the hand reaches for her, she can tell that's what it is.
Alice /is/ fast. She grabs before Elise can, one hand clenching around her wrist. Alice rolls backwards, trying to pull Elise with her. Pulling another girl on top of her is probably interesting for the audience but not actually all that useful in and of itself.
Or it wouldn't be, except Alice /keeps/ rolling, doing something complicated and tossing Elise up. This is good! Less good is when Alice pushes herself upward with her suddenly-free hands, spiraling her body and kicking directly into the sky.
Or, more accurately, directly into Elise. Hopefully. It makes the tails of the costume fly outward by centrifugal force, unless it's centripedal, Alice has no idea; either way, they flare outward. "RISING... DRILL!"
COMBATSYS: Elise dodges Alice Nakata's Rising Drill EX.
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Alice Nakata 0/-------/-======|=------\-------\0 Elise
The thing about awesomeness, apparently, is that it becomes a bit of an arms race. The expression on Elise's face when Alice grabs her arm at least conveys the right combination of 'surprised' and 'impressed' that suggests the young girl made an impression, at the very least, but the part where Elise goes flying and then Alice just kicks her repeatedly does not exactly go as planned. Righting herself, the Scot makes a quick, waving gesture with one hand, and another magic seal of violet light appears... BEHIND her, and slightly toward the ground. Nowhere near Alice, in fact, which makes the entire affair seem sort of pointless...
...UNTIL Elise kicks out with one foot and said foot lands on the seal as if it were a solid object. The effect lasts barely any time at all -- maybe a fraction of a second -- but it's enough so that the witch now has, well, an additional jump's worth of height and forward velocity. Visually, it's all very impressive; she vaults forward *over* Alice's rising body so that they shear past each other by mere inches, before Elise's flip has her land on the ground with a *click-clacK!* of heels on the pavement.
Turning back toward her opponent with a dramatic, Farah-esque flip of her hair, Elise smiles. "Well, usually dancing comes *after* dinner, but feel free to treat me to something nice when we're done here," she says.
Knowing that Alice is quite light on her feet, Elise doesn't waste any time; as the girl heads back toward the ground after that attack, the witch draws back her right hand, as if pulling an imaginary shortbow... and in fact, a faint shimmer of silver in the air actually *suggests* the shape of a bow, with -- of all things -- yet another throwing knife hovering in the air in the place of what would be a nocked arrow, her left hand gripping the actual 'bow'. With an impish cry of "Catch!", Elise looses her arrow, the knife flying across the distance with considerably more force than merely throwing it could provide.
COMBATSYS: Alice Nakata blocks Elise's Almace.
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Alice Nakata 0/-------/=======|=------\-------\0 Elise
Alice was clearly not expecting Elise to make a platform with a seal for her to stand on - not for even a split second. She ends up spinning past the other woman with what is probably an expression of surprise on her face.
It's kind of hard to tell, because of the spinning.
Either way, Alice lands successfully, and Elise lands successfully, but they're now in the opposite locations; Alice has her back toward open space, and Elise is getting closer to the edge of the area that's been cleared for the battle. She spins once more almost pirouetting as she faces her opponent, leaping /again/ as she takes to the air.
The arrow-like projectile hits one of Alice's feet. Since she regularly deflects things with her legs, and she was trying to kick at it, it's not as bad as it could have been, but it stings (a lot!) and it clearly messes with her flight. What was going to be a clean flying kick ends up being slightly off-angle, and she comes down hard - maybe harder than she meant to, maybe impacting Elise a little less precisely than intended. "Ack!"
There's still a hundred pounds of descending girl coming down foot-first, though. You don't need to be perfect to have it sting.
COMBATSYS: Alice Nakata successfully hits Elise with Strong Kick.
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Alice Nakata 1/-------/=======|====---\-------\0 Elise
Either Elise is cursed, or Alice is particularly lucky today, because the disrupting impact of the knife, combined with the girl's immensely telegraphed downward arc, should make getting out of the way of this almost-a-kick fairly easy for a nimble fighter like Elise. And then a heel catches on a cobblestone, or the wind is blowing the wrong way, or someone takes flash photography... SOMETHING goes horribly wrong, and for all intents and purposes Alice *bounces* off the witch, who ends up on her back on the street. At least her backwards arc onto the pavement LOOKS really dramatic; in fact, every time she's been sent flying has LOOKED really fancy, with both the dress and the longcoat fluttering with the breeze of passing.
Getting to her feet, however, the witch does everything in her power to keep composure, brushing a hand through her long hair, which SOMEHOW sits entirely perfectly on top of her head despite all this activity. She's just got one of those sorts of hairdoes, apparently. "Well. You've certainly got a way about you, hen, and there's no mistaking that," she says to Alice with a smile... a sort of too-sweet smile, in some respects. Probably because inside a voice is saying: you signed up to rub elbows with Diet members, not _this_.
But a sense of duty can be a thing.
"Why don't you show me what else you've got in that bag of tricks, hmm?" Elise says carefully, tilting her head, then making a 'come hither' gesture with one languidly extended finger. Alice has been the star so far, so... if she's to make a show of it, trying to upstage her seems a little silly. Why not let the Bogard fangirl take it to the nines, as it were? And after all, her back is to the almost-literal wall; while there's no hard and fast 'ring' in these fights, the crowd of onlookers means that if she retreats much farther, Elise is going to be literally in the arms of a handful of dudes with bags from that Gundam shop.
This is not a desirable outcome.
COMBATSYS: Elise gains composure.
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Alice Nakata 1/-------/=======|===----\-------\0 Elise
It's probably the luck thing. Alice has shown in her previous fights both that she's surprisingly good and that she's pretty lucky on top of that. She just handles things well under pressure, more than you might expect for someone who comes off as an air-headed teenager a lot of the time.
She's not dumb. She can tell that Elise doesn't like her, or doesn't like the fight, or possibly (probably) both. But Alice smiles just as sweetly right back as she lands, taking a moment to adjust the... well, it's not a sleeve because there isn't one, and it's barely the side of her Shiranui outfit because there's not that much of that, either. The shoulder? That'll do.
Dusting her arm off afterwards, Alice keeps that smile on her face. "Why don't I?" she says, and when Elise makes the 'come hither' gesture, Alice blows a kiss at it. She knows how to play to a crowd... unless she's playing to Elise, which is a whole different barrel of worms. Pick one.
And let it never be said that Alice didn't put on a show.
She actually gives Elise a moment to recover, because she's stretching out a little. Once again she comes in high, but this one is a more practiced kick; she gets it briefly above her head before putting her entire body into the rotation, scything her heel downward in a vicious arc toward Elise's upper body. "THUNDERCRACK... KICK!"
Alice is mostly hoping that when Elise tries to get out of the way of that, she doesn't do it in such a way that /Alice/ ends up in the Gundam shoppers' arms. Or in the Gundam shop. That isn't any more desirable to her!
COMBATSYS: Elise blocks Alice Nakata's Thundercrack Kick.
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Alice Nakata 1/-------/=======|=====--\-------\0 Elise
Drama: it powers fighting.
As Alice's kick slams down toward her, Elise's arm snaps up... and around her forearm, a spectral shape in the form of a old highlander's targe suddenly appears in a whorl of violet light. The ninja-clad girl's heel slams into it in a shower of purple sparks. Elise is gritting her teeth, sweating; despite how showy and fancy this looks, what most people don't realize is that creating that sort of energy form is not without cost. The shock of Alice's kick isn't negated; it's merely buffered, then redistributed. It just LOOKS shinier than blocking the kick kenpo style.
With a twist, Elise spins to her left and lowers the right half of her body, directing the remaining force of Alice's kick towards the ground, while the witch herself lets the mystical shield fade and does a quick backward hop. It doesn't give her any particular advantage; Alice will almost certainly land on her feet and Elise needs too much recovery time to capitalize on this immediately. But it does mean she's not about to be accidentally bearhugged by a mecha otaku, so: worth, as the kids say.
However, the Scot doesn't wait that long to go back on the offensive. Even if the shield is gone, the violet glow of light around her right hand, the edges flashing silver, continues to swirl chaotically about. "Shouting the names of your techniques does seem like a particularly Japanese tradition. I've never quite understood it. But it does give you a nice dramatic effect."
Stepping forward with her right foot, Elise *lunges* at Alice, attempting to shove that glowing hand right at her... but she in fact, stops JUST shy of her opponent, maybe a few inches. The mystical light suddenly flows down her hand, becoming another magic seal that hovers in the air between the two fighters. "Come, mirror of fate!" the witch says aloud, getting into the act, before bringing forth her *left* hand and slamming it, palm first, into the seal... which shatters into a cloud of glass-like shards of light, each looking to pierce from a million different angles. At this close range, it may be a challenge indeed for Alice to evade them all!
COMBATSYS: Alice Nakata fails to interrupt Gram from Elise with Buster Drill.
~~ Alluring Hit! ~~
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Alice Nakata 0/-------/----===|=======\==-----\1 Elise
It certainly is shiny. Alice wasn't expecting to run into a /magical shield/ (by this point she probably should have been, but the actual making-it-a-shield part was new). She hits it and hangs there for a moment, her weight pressing down on Elise's arm until she is guided downward.
Alice does land on her feet, though she doesn't stay there for long. Not because she jumps again; she just doesn't stay still, juking to the side. She apparently wants to press her attack while she's in close, and she just might have the opportunity to do it. Or so she's hoping.
"Well, it's tradition," she says, with a bit of a grin, as she moves into something else even as Elise starts to form another seal. Alice sees it coming and has a split second to turn away, abort whatever she's planning and protect herself. If she really tried she would have a decent shot at backing off or absorbing the worst of the impact with her arms.
Unfortunately, Alice is really feeling the fight - and that means she's taking risks. She presses on.
Pressing on is a mistake.
Alice slides toward Elise. It looks like she's going to go low again, like that baseball slide-like kick from before, but the cloud of razor light is low enough that when she starts to rise up, she comes up right into it. With a yelp, Alice rolls aside, but it's too late; the thousands of fragments strike and rip at her.
Because they're energy, the piercings don't all leave blood behind. Alice looks battered (and she hurts! that wasn't delicate at /all/) but she's not possessed of shredded legs. But it /did/ shorten the hanging part of her costume some; there's some scraps of cloth left behind, and some of what's left is holed. It doesn't show anything indecent, really; it's just the decorative tails that got ripped up, but it means when she spins back to her feet, it's a whole lot shorter than it used to be.
And now Alice is breathing hard. This is turning from going all her way to a serious pain. "I walked into /that/ one..."
It's almost as if Elise can read her thoughts?! And at least when she says what she does, the witch's voice sounds genuine, perhaps for the first time since the fight started. "Don't worry, eh, hen? I'm not so crass as to shred a girl's clothes on international pay-per-view. Lord knows, I've read the comments on enough FightTube videos to know the words to *that* song." As an afterthought, she says, with a raised eyebrow, "Don't ever do that, by the way. Read the comments, that is."
Even in a fictional world, there are certain constants.
"I think we got off on the wrong foot, lass, perhaps," Elise says, tilting her head. "I'm sure you can tell that this fighting thing isn't exactly my favorite thing in the world. But I've learned a lot doing it. And you... you're a performer born, I can tell. You've got the spark. You might want to consider a career in the circus someday," she adds with a wink, before whipping out a hand, a knife appearing in it as if by... well, magic. A little sleight of hand, but the perfect thing to get the crowd going. "Consider this an unofficial interview, maybe?"
There's a flash of light and the blade in her hand suddenly flares with silver-purple glow, before Elise flings the knife at Alice with a flick of the wrist. It flies across the distance well enough, but if it hits its target, it sort of... falls to the ground? Certainly, it doesn't have enough force to pierce skin. But if Alice doesn't get out of the way, the violet glow flows from the blade into the girl's body... and as soon as it does, Elise makes a hand gesture off to the side, as if waving something away. What Alice would find, in *that* situation, is that her body flies in the same direction!
COMBATSYS: Alice Nakata blocks Elise's Hrunting.
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Alice Nakata 0/-------/--=====|=======\==-----\1 Elise
For all that she hurts (and she does) Alice manages a slight laugh at that. "Wouldn't be the first," she says, "given I entered a beach brawl... but this? This is the tail. It doesn't even do anything. I'm faster without it!"
Probably true. She doesn't have to worry about tripping on it. Why Mai fights with that thing dangling from her waist, Alice has no idea.
"The circus? Like clowns and stuff? I'm not really a clown kind of girl," is Alice's response. "Maybe some other kind of performer. Who knows?" It's not like Alice has thought about what she wants to do once she graduates high school. She used to want to be a nurse, but let's be honest - she's not going to be any good at being a nurse.
The knife flies at Alice. She does her best to intercept it with her arm - she even manages it, but that doesn't stop the glow from doing its thing. Alice looks shocked when it spreads across her limb - and then /shoves/ her back, forcefully, with enough force that she feels the jostle through her entire body. Alice manages to stay upright because it's her arm, not her torso, that recieved the impulse; she partially turns as her arm splays out behind her until the push ends, the glow still surrounding it.
Or, wait, that's not the same glow, is it? It's Alice's own, which is red and orange, flickering to life. It spreads across her arm, down to her hand, and Alice turns the spin that was imparted to her into a full whirl. She pitches the sphere of chi forming in that hand as she rights herself, throwing like a baseball instead of her favoured basketball.
She grins, showing teeth, as the chiball explodes into brilliant sparkles and a ripple of force. It makes Elise's coat billow dramatically, at least. "Come on, then! If you want to see everything, I'll show you everything!"
COMBATSYS: Elise reflects Power Shoot from Alice Nakata with Tyrfing.
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Alice Nakata 0/-------/-======|=======\===----\1 Elise
It isn't too much of a surprise that when it comes to physical power, Alice has the decided advantage... but in the realm of a more metaphysical bent, Elise can really show her stuff. Case in point: as the coruscant sphere of Alice's energy comes sailing toward her, the witch calmly brings her hand back up, making a quick gesture with one hand. Yet another one of those complicated-looking magic seals snaps into being, interposing itself between Elise and the incoming attack.
She looks confident, but this is more of a gamble than it appears at first. Vibrant, energetic personalities like Alice's often translate into impressive spiritual power. It's not just a matter of going 'ping!' and everything's fine. A technique like the one she's deploying is essentially a battle of wills. But in this case, the witch is willing to risk it.
For a moment, as Alice's shot impacts the seal, the two energies clash in a very dramatic fashion, both violet and red light spilling out to the side in such a way that nearby onlookers actually move back. Her posture doesn't change, but Elise's eyes narrow as she pours effort into this. The clash steadily erodes Alice's wave of force, little by little, until Elise suddenly yells, then slams her hand into the seal.
The result is that Alice's burst suddenly *changes direction*, heading right back at her, the red-orange energy threaded through with streaks of purple as well.
COMBATSYS: Alice Nakata parries Elise's Reflected Power Shoot!!
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Alice Nakata 1/------=/=======|=======\===----\1 Elise
Of all the things Alice has encountered in her fighting career, people who throw her own energy back at her are probably the rarest. She's seen it - you can't watch and not know people can do that! But it doesn't happen very often to her, so she's still surprised.
If it's a battle of wills Elise wants, though, it's a battle of wills Elise is going to get. Alice isn't psychic, of course, but she doesn't have to be; she forces more energy into her hand, causing it to spark with red-orange again. She clearly doesn't specialize in this. Which means she'll have to be lucky as well as good.
As the ball comes back at her, Alice swings her hand at it. Her hand hits the ball of energy, half-hers and half threads of Elise's power, and she can't absorb it; there's too much in there that's not hers. But she can disperse it, and the whole sphere shatters into wispy streamers and sparks in a way that clearly surprises Alice as much as anyone else, judging by the way she looks at her hand.
She's not winning a battle of wills. But she is apparently stubborn enough to not let anyone cheat with her own energy. Alice gives a grin. "Nice trick," she says, and means it. "Gotta keep up with me a little longer, though, I think. Can you?"
It's tired, now, more tired than she was before but not so exhausted she's ready to give up. She rolls forward, flipping onto her hands and literally cartwheeling; she tries a spinning high kick at Elise's head in a motion that keeps her moving on and past, going parallel to the crowd rather than directly into it or away. "C'mon!"
The crowd is almost certainly appreciative.
COMBATSYS: Alice Nakata successfully hits Elise with High Heel EX.
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Alice Nakata 1/---====/=======|=======\======-\1 Elise
It's very difficult to sass when you've been kicked in the head, which is precisely what happens. There's apparently something about Alice's attacks that just defies any attempt to get out of the way, or something of that nature. The blow sends the witch staggering away, doubled over; it doesn't quite put her on the ground -- not enough vertical momentum -- but it comes damned close, that's for sure.
But the kid just HAD to go and sass her.
When she straightens, rubbing her cheek with her left hand, Elise gives Alice a terrible smile. "Alright, then. I tried to play it nice, but if you'd rather the kid gloves come off, well."
At this point Elise actually does remove her gloves, throwing them off to the side, where they land on some poor dude's face with a leathery *slap!* sound. "I may not be a punching, kicking dynamo, but I've a few 'tricks' of my own, indeed." Whipping her hand down to the right, it's not just Elise's hand that erupts with violet light this time; it's her whole *body*. Some unseen wind makes coat and dress flutter dramatically behind her as the glow intensifies, and the witch kicks off the ground, driving for Alice.
And what is she trying for? Nothing complicated... she just wants to get a grip on the girl's arm.
COMBATSYS: Elise successfully hits Alice Nakata with Claimh Solais.
[ \\ < > //////// ]
Alice Nakata 2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|===----\-------\0 Elise
And, finding that grip, she gives Alice a terrible smile. "Enjoy."
That violet energy flows around the girl, creating... well, shackles of a kind, anchored into the ground, keeping her in place, as Elise closes her eyes and makes some arcane gestures. The seals she's created until now have been mostly two-dimensional, planar; now, she's weaving a sphere, an orb of mystical patterns that surrounds Alice on all sides.
When that spherical prison is complete? Elise places one hand on its surface and, her eyes snapping open, shouts a single syllable. From her palm, a burst of energy flies into the orb, smacking into the opposite side and reflecting off into another direction. Each successive bounce causes more sparks to do the same, until the entire thing is a rainstorm of ricocheting power that eventually collapses under its own proverbial weight, the entire thing exploding in a torrent of silver-violet, finally releasing its grip on poor Alice.
Alice is a known sassmouth. Sorry.
"Let's see 'em," Alice says, unable to stop herself - an instant before Elise bursts into radiant light. That definitely counts as a trick. Despite herself, her eyes widen slightly in surprise as it billows her dress and coat, and she narrowly avoids saying 'holy shit' on pay-per-view and also in front of a hell of a lot of people.
She expected something big. A laser. A giant energy ball. Maybe a huge seal. Alice wasn't expecting a grab, and a grab is what she gets. /Then/ Alice gets the seal she was expecting, but it's round, not flat; she twists as if trying to free her grip (which fails) and kicks at it (which probably hits because giant balls aren't noted for their evasiveness, but fails to actually do anything of note).
"What the f - "
The prison explodes into light and fury. There's really no other word for it; Alice lets out a yell from inside when she's hidden from view, little more than a silhouette somewhere in the middle of the haze of sparks bouncing off the walls - and, importantly, her. Each impact sends up more and more, and the light gets brighter and brighter as Alice tries to break free -
But the explosion of force frees her. Unfortunately, all it frees her to do is roll away from Elise, looking frazzled, battered and beaten. She tries to rise, but clearly has no hope of managing it, and after a few long moments lets out a long groan and sinks down, deciding to stay put until her everything stops hurting quite so bad.
Ow ow ow. She really needs to learn how to deal with this kind of stuff if she's going to stay in tournaments. And she was doing so well before last week, too!
COMBATSYS: Alice Nakata takes no action.
[ \\\\\\\\ <
COMBATSYS: Alice Nakata can no longer fight.
[ \\\\\\\\ <
It's not entirely clear if she can see it or not, but it might give Alice a little bit of comfort -- if she can see it now, or maybe later in the video -- that after all that, Elise is hunched forward a bit, her free hand on one knee to steady herself, taking big gulps of air. She wanted it to LOOK effortless, but it wasn't... and to be frank, the witch is really, really glad she doesn't have to put every ounce of her energy into not being knocked flat on her ass by Alice's punishing blows.
After a moment of that, however, the Scot pulls herself standing completely and lets out one last, long breath. Looking around at the crowd, she then inclines her head at Alice's resting place, and says: "Let's give her a round of applause." And the crowd, who got more than their money's worth out of this fight, respond enthusiastically indeed.
"And as for me," Elise mutters under her breath, while the audience's attention is on Alice, "bloody _ow_."
Making her way over to the production area, the Scottish witch has a seat, sloughing off the red coat that was her completely budget Witch Hunter Robin costume and fanning herself with one hand. While she's doing so, the MiBs from before arrive, complete with a panicked-looking dude in tow.
"Harkness-san," one man says, tripping ineffectually over the combination of the 's' syllable at the end of the name and the honorific together. "We found him a few blocks from here. This is the gunman from earlier."
THAT gets a raised eyebrow. Briefly, she glances around to make sure nobody heard that -- apparently, few did -- and then rises to her feet, looking defiantly in the captive's eyes. "Well! Isn't that _pleasant_. Bring the car around, please. I think it's time we had a little chat."
And with that, she and her bodyguards head off.
COMBATSYS: Elise has ended the fight here.
Log created on 16:34:51 02/27/2016 by Alice Nakata, and last modified on 11:48:23 03/01/2016.