Description: In the first place standings of the Neo-League? Cracker Jack. In the second place standings? Sie Kensou. The teenager had surged to the lead undefeated, where Cracker Jack had to earn his place with wins, losses, and draws. The pair meet at the old Crow Cabin by the Cliff. Will Kensou continue his streak? Or will Cracker Jack put him in his place? <Winner: DKO>
Cracker Jack had needed a break. A break from life, routine, order, discipline, rigid habit in general. He had spent a month in a motel somewhere on the outskirts of Montreal, where there were rumors of sasquatches and extraterrestrials and deep woods marijuana barons. But Cracker Jack was never superstitious, despite not being entirely closeminded. He just thought that if one of these odd occurences ever fell into his lap, it would be sheer luck, and not any conspiracy. Jack's reliance on luck as the factor that determined the universe was the one thing that kept him from going insane with the path of his life and the crimes he had committed and the ramifications towards his personal salvation, or lack thereof, later in life. It was never a plan to Jack, or even something he had much control over. Just luck.
After unwinding and observing chaos for some time, among the tourists and locals in Quebec's backwoods, Cracker Jack felt refreshed. He could go back now. All that complex systemic work pulsing through his mind, driving him to drink and smoke and get high and have those nightmares where he was a rabbit in a hunter's trap, they were gone. Now only dreams of killing monsters attacking him, the childhood fears of gangsters that had plagued him since he was young. His power was back. And that meant he could fight again. And Neo-League had a match for him, just waiting when he returned to his apartment in Vegas. Kensou - the second place contender in Neo-League. From everything the Shadaloo files implied, this kid was a prodigy for his age, with good but not great genes, and a ton of hard work. Cracker Jack had never worked hard at anything in his life. He never felt stress from working, he felt stress from dodging and conning and clawing. That wasn't work, that was survival. Jack never built towards anything, and he had always realized he'd never understand it. Jack pondered, as his Shadaloo handler drove him to the isolated cabin, if that's what the difference between heroics and villainy was. A hero works for his abilities, a villain develops them out of necessity. He contemplated it because it made him feel good, not because it was true. One of those rare moments of self-delusion a nihilist needs to prevent him from breaking down and getting emotional at the wrong time. No, Cracker Jack needed order. And fighting was his order, with its ebb and flow.
Crows scattered in all directions as the black Jeep approached the cabin, Jack looking out the window quietly at how eerie the sight was. He climbed out of the vehicle with his bat in his hand, getting a cold, spooky shiver, as if he was being watched. He looked around, seeing nobody. He didn't like that feeling, the feeling of the paranormal, with its implications of punishment from behind the grave. And, of course, of being punished when you were in the grave. Jack slowly walked towards the cabin while his driver got out of the vehicle and lit up a cigarette, Jack having foregone tobacco for quite some time for clean lungs. Maybe he'd never need tobacco again. But it made him angry, the lack of jerkish satisfaction from a smoke.
Kensou needed a reason.
The Psycho Soldier had been living up to his name, an endless enduring student, only taking breaks from his studies to... to fight. To destroy. To champion. To uphold Justice High as the greatest. It was the only thing that would drive Kensou, day by day. It wasn't even the very ranking and standing that was driving him; the fact he was second place was simply a detail. The most valuable thing was who he fought, and how it glorified Justice HIgh. It was an obsession, a drive.
The fact he was brought forward against Cracker Jack was no coicidence.
Kensou was in the house. He had been in the house for over an hour now. The boy was garbed in a school uniform of Justice High. He was repeating the fight that was going to happen in his head, again and again. There was a cameraman in here, and a judge. They were... they were quiet too. Unnaturally quiet, with pale skin like death. They were here when Kensou got here. The schoolboy might have been unnerved, at one point. But he was too driven, too focused on what was going to come. How he would defeat his opponent, to glorify Justice High. It was an obsession. It was a drive.
He sometimes would distract himself by swapping Cracker Jack with Athena.
The sound of the jeep catches his ears. The cameraman and the judge was gone. They had... where had they been. Kensou steps through the interior of the room, knocking over a table as he rose up. What was he sitting on? The entire place was rotted, the scent of mildew was overwhelming. He staggers forward, the hazy fantasy oozing over him feels the overwhelming need to escape. Kensou emerges from within the cabin, staring out at his opponent. The crows come to a rest, as the rain steadily begins to trickle down. The words from the student are cold, and demanding.
"Are you Cracker Jack?"
"Does the Devil enjoy shitting?" comes a soft reply from Cracker Jack, his bat propped up on his shoulder. He grins crookedly at Kensou with his right eye hidden by his hat, his left eye staring at Kensou through between his lionesque mane's forelocks. Jack looks Kensou up and down, noticing the Justice High uniform and stopping a decent distance from the kid. "I hear you're pretty good," he says, breaking the awkwardness of their first meeting. "Me, I'm okay. But you're good." His hand pulls the bat off his shoulder with his fingers before he swings it around to loosen up his arm, then clutching it in his palm firmly and practicing a wobble from side to side to loosen up his shoulder. "You know what I got on my side, though, Ken?"
Cracker Jack turns to face Kensou with his left side, bat held in reserve in a standard baseball batter footing. "I've got experience. And do you know what you're going to do?" He raises his bare left hand, gloveless unlike the right, and pokes his hat up so he can look Kensou in the eyes, a softness to them that belies the glare his face seems to imply. "You are going to go balls out apeshit, like kids always do when they're trying to prove themselves to someone. It's from trying to get pussy, all men do it, whatever your pussy happens to be. It could be a girl, could be a raise at work, could be a meal if you're starving. But when you do that?" Cracker Jack lowers his hand from his hand, sticking his left hand out in a gun. "You don't /think/." He clicks his thumb down. "And then bang."
Cracker Jack shifts the bat down, to place the tip on the forelorn ground in the grass he stands in as it's gently blown by the wind kicking up as rain wets it and weighs on it, becoming slick. "I'll let you come at me. Let's see if you can entertain me, schoolboy. Maybe that hot teacher with the tight shirt will give you a couple extra decimels on your grade point for beating up a mouthy asshole like me." A big grin parts across his face, sadistic and sexual. "They all hate my kind, because we mess with them." His left eyebrow beats a tic upwards momentarily. "If you don't already know why, you'll figure it out later. In about, say, ten years?"
COMBATSYS: Cracker Jack has started a fight here.
Cracker Jack 0/-------/-------|
Break his neck.
The thought crosses Kensou's mind as Cracker Jack opens his mouth. JUst a fleeting thought, just an image. A picture that flashes past, a brief rise of rage and cruelness that surges up into the head of the teenage. It was what flickered. A singular moment of fury, striking straight at point as he stares at the man.
The rain begins to fall.
The strangers were in place around the pair, both in the trees with the crows. They were staring across, watching like birds. Kensou stands fast, twisting up his nose in rage. As the grin comes, the boy actually takes a step back, unnerved for a moment. Another glimpse of depravity overtakes him. And once again dies down. "I..." He sputters, the rain dripping down on him. "I... I'm old enough to.... I mean..." The speechlessness of the schoolboy endures, as he fights to understand what he really wanted to do with this man, in his heart. Kill him. Tear him apart. Beat him to death. Murder. Murder. Murder. His heart rises up, floating to the surface of the boy's soul.
And he begins to take his stance.
Spreading his arms apart, Sie Kensou lowers his body. HAnds open, he inhales, and exhales. The images of hate and rage and fury and bitterness fade, leaving only resolve in its wake. His heart told him that he should fight him. "Look, lets just get this over with." The boy states firmly. One hand forward, one hand back, he gestures towards the batman, head cocked.
"I have papers to write."
COMBATSYS: Kensou has joined the fight here.
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Cracker Jack 0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0 Kensou
Cracker Jack watched all the pain and hunger and negativity encompassed in Kensou's nose, the subtle gesture a thousand word tell. And Cracker Jack actually laughs at this. Not at any evil, disturbing revelation about Ubermensch philosophy or other devilry, but the mere image of a Family Guy animated Vega sitting on a throne, muttering, 'Something something Dark Side'. He takes a quick breath, watching the anger get replaced by teenage uncertainty. And then, Jack gives an affirmative nod as Kensou represses the killing rage. A quiet 'good' between rivals, as star crossed and fate opposed as two people could ever be at that moment, and only in that moment.
Cracker Jack observes the stance, judging that Kensou is quick on his feet, if he's going to hold a hand back and in reserve instead of a more balanced stance. Cracker Jack lugs his bat up with an uncanny amount of extra burden given to the otherwise light object, as if Jack is already bored and tired, before he begins charging forward at Kensou. It is almost a slow charge, despite all the speed involved, his heavy footfalls making him seem like a rhinocerus instead of a man. He knows that Kensou will try to sidestep or pull back, so he aims at the hardest part of the body to move out of the way with a horizontal swing to make a sidestep more difficult. He aims a low, one handed bat swing at Kensou's stomach, attempting to slam him in his abdomen with a hard bastard sword swing.
COMBATSYS: Cracker Jack successfully hits Kensou with Batting Hero.
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Cracker Jack 0/-------/-----==|=====--\-------\0 Kensou
It was obvious, wasn't it.
Kensou was having more and more of the images. Spirits of rage finding an opening, the toxic resentment slithering up again and again. Hate, hate, hate. Kensou was finding a chance to make the foul air seep out in the open. And yet, as the man comes surging at Kensou, the boy tightens the grip on his hand. He already prepares the roll, diving in hard towards the batting hand. Throwing himself forward, he nearly slips the bat.
The blow comes with staggering forward, catching him squarely into the side of his gut. knocking a gasp out of the boy. Groaning in pain, the young man is sent hurling wildly through the air. The chaos comes briefly, as the expected agility comes into play. Kensou flies to the cabin, twisting his body around to control himself up. He couldn't stop the full force of the bat.
But he could make himself land smoothly against the wall of the cabin.
With the pain comes balance. Wrenching his body with the impact, he slams against the wall with all fours, and with a twist, slams right back. Launching off the wall, the very cabin shudders, ready to collapse on the rebound. Flying through the air, the boy ignores the wind beaten out of him. He was nearly gagging from the pain. But he couldn't hurt. He couldn't let himself hurt. His school needed him to reach out to her, to save her. His school.
Kensou hurls out a flying elbow, the joint attempting to smash straight into the Shadaloo's agent's face. Whether it struck or not wouldn't matter. Because Kensou would keep attacking, keep throwing out the next blow, a knee. If he hadn't been knocked clean out, either of them, he would finish up the aerial assault with a finishing kick. Three blows, all thrown out.
Before he would even hit the ground.
COMBATSYS: Cracker Jack blocks Kensou's Ryuu Renga.
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Cracker Jack 0/-------/----===|=====--\-------\0 Kensou
Cracker Jack grunts with a frown in satisfaction as the bat hits flesh, although a blow to the guts isn't quite as satisfying as a blow to a harder part of the body, especially those cranium shots. But he's just warming up. Jack isn't particularly surprised as the kid goes flying at him after practically bouncing off the cabin wall, shifting backwards onto his rear heel to defend. The elbow successfully slams into his face, but it doesn't phase him as much as it would a lesser man, the brawler used to taking shots from drunks who focused too much on the face. Always going for the direct personification of what pisses you off, that's your standard bar room brawler. They hate people seeing them at their worst, drinking and carousing. Then, the knee strikes him in the shoulder, but he manages to slap his left arm into the blow, turning it aside, before the kick lashes out at his face. He twists away and turns his back on Kensou briefly as he bends forward, the kick flying over his torso as he hunches forward.
Cracker Jack isn't paying much attention to Kensou as he turns around, wrapping his left hand into a fist as he moves to face the Psycho Soldier. As Kensou lands, Jack twists out with a savage uppercut aimed at Kensou's jaw that simultaneously leaves his body open, thrusting upwards at Kensou's solar plexus with the expectation that the jaw will be right above it, since that's all Jack can see in his temporarily crouched posture. And then, as he follows through, he stands up again, now off balance.
COMBATSYS: Kensou blocks Cracker Jack's Dashing Upper.
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Cracker Jack 0/-------/---====|=======\-------\0 Kensou
Kensou couldn't escape it.
As the relentless assault comes roaring into the bouncer, the martial artist is left with a full frontal frenzy with no escape, no recovery. Practically throwing himself into the brawler, the surge back with the uppercut comes with explosive force.
And the teenager can only bring his hands to catch it.
Practically caught in a clinch, the boy throws up a palm across his body. Crossing his other arm across into an X, the punch slams hard into the center of the hand. The hand itself slams into the cheek, blackening and swelling it from the sheer force. Kensou is knocked up and away, landing squarely on the porch of the cabin.
And immediately he surges back again.
The sheer agility of the martial artist was coming into full bear. The rain begins to pick up faster, the cries of crows filling the stormy air. Kensou was beginning to become drenched, his cheek growing fatter and fatter. Eyes burning, he just stares dead on with his opponent, hurling through the air.
This time, his body was burning.
Violet energy burns brightly over him, the psionic energy flowing from within. Bringing out another elbow, he drives his fist into the palm of his hand. Sailing through the air at crackneck speeds, the energy condenses at the point of his elbow, right at the tip. Kensou was flinging himself at full speed again.
Aiming right for the opening that Cracker Jack had left right open.
COMBATSYS: Kensou successfully hits Cracker Jack with Ryuu Sohgeki EX.
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Cracker Jack 1/------=/=======|=======\-------\1 Kensou
Cracker Jack is left wide open for the psionic elbow into his chest, his eyes flickering wider as his jaw is about to go slack but is never given the chance. He crumples forward as the leveraged limb is driven into his chest, sputtering out spittle and phlegm as he chokes on nothing when his lungs are forced empty. He stumbles backwards a few steps, nearly tripping, before falling to his knees, huddling on the muddy ground amidst the grass as he drops his bat into the long green locks of wet grass and runs his hands over his chest to see if there are any signs of fractures. He looks up through his wet hair, his jaw slowly moving to shut itself as blood leaks out the side of his lips.
Cracker Jack puts his right hand on the ground, staring up at Kensou as he slowly sucks in a ragged breath, then exhales with as much smoothness as possible after sustaining that type of blow. He pushes himself to his feet, reaching up to his head and removing his hat, dropping it into the grass so he can remember where he placed it. He pushes his shoulders back and his chest forward to get his full breath back, grunting and flexing his neck as he feels the pain of the blow still with him moments after. That will be the mother of all bruises in half an hour. He charges forward at Kensou, pulling his right fist back with a clear telegraphed straight punch, thrusting his fist forward at Kensou in an effort to overwhelm the quicker fighter's defenses with sheer force.
COMBATSYS: Cracker Jack successfully hits Kensou with Fierce Punch.
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Cracker Jack 1/------=/=======|>>>>>>>\>>>>---\1 Kensou
A straight out brawl.
The surging elbow riots straight into the flanks of Cracker Jack. Kensou was hurling himself into the fray again. And in the fray, he faces the another close clinch in. Kensou was fast, that much was clear. But there was a counter-balance to all this speed.
It was not enough in the face of pure Shadaloo might.
As Kensou recovers from his charge, he stands over the stunned bouncer, regaining his feeting as he glares down. Breathing hard, he steps back firmly, controlling himself. Every step comes with the careful pattern of precision. He was expecting a wild blow. Instead, the surge up was just as precise as the footwork. Kensou's agility flings around, straight into Cracker Jack.
And straight into the straight punch.
Where Kensou was attempting to parry the oncoming blow, the martial artist was simply facing someone who was in fact more experienced. The blow comes with the staggering power, hitting alongside the chest of the boy. It wasn't a direct it. It should have well been. The strike sends Kensou stumbling backwards, the teenager groaning as he feels the ribs crack by a mere glance. Sucking in the wind, he sputters out, body drenched
"You can't win this."
That was the statement of fact from the martial arist as he grips his ribs. "I stand for Justice High. I stand for -something-. I stand for what matters." The words come out, and they are not his words. Not really. Releasing his ribs, he sweeps his arms again, arms swaying. A balance struck.
And he throws himself once again at the man.
Kensou charging forward again, hurling himself violetly again. Taking to the air, both were overwhelming the other with a relentless stream of attacks. The ground was turning into mud now. Kensou was content with the flying knee, a sailing knee that hurls through the air straight for Cracker Jack. Not a face, not a body, not an anything. Just a man.
Just a man in his way.
COMBATSYS: Kensou successfully hits Cracker Jack with Medium Kick.
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Cracker Jack 1/---====/=======|>>>>>>>\>>>>>--\1 Kensou
Cracker Jack exhales through his teeth as the punch connects, dropping down to a lower stance as Kensou is sent stumbling away. He looks at Kensou with positively demonic eyes as that sadistic grin returns, breathing slowly. "Can't I?" he asks in response, before Kensou charges forward after his brief statement. The flying knee slams into his jaw and sends him flying backwards as his head snaps backwards, his wrists briefly going limp as something shorts inside his brain for a moment. He impacts the ground limply, before he regains his senses and tightens his body back up. His head lolls to the side, spotting his hat. And he knows, that's where his little buddy is. Luck is indeed a lady tonight.
"You don't understand something, kid," he says on the ground, as he reaches for his bat, and swings it in his hand as he sits up, stabbing it into the thick morass to stand up as if it's a cane. "You can stand for something all you want. But when you're hungry for something? When you've starved to death while other people eat?" His muscles flex as he summons his inner hatred, the kind of fire he's had all his life that he uses for moments like this. "It's better than being a great man like you drive yourself to be." He steps forward, swinging his bat in both hands at Kensou's head. "It turns you into this!" he shouts with a roar as the bat flies through the air with a low whistle, the sweet spot of the bat aiming to use Kensou's head for a home run, straight off his shoulders.
COMBATSYS: Cracker Jack successfully hits Kensou with Home Run King.
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Cracker Jack 0/-------/----<<<|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2 Kensou
It was only a matter of time.
As the knee comes hurtling in, the senses of the teenger was heightening. The knee lands squarely on the jaw. But as the boy lands, he fixes his gaze squarely on the man. Every blow had come with equal blow. Each strike had flowed into another. Back and forth. Back and forth. The tide was power into power. Kensou recovers in time for Cracker Jack to make his words. As the man rises, Kensou readies himself. He sees that flex. He sees that power. He braces. He readies.
And he is struck.
The blow comes as Kensou leaps. It was, in the balance of the action, meeting with the same strike that was coming. The bat comes, and the martial artists was in the air. He did not clear the distance. He did not clear the weapon. The blow comes with bone shattering force, and Kensou is sent hurtling into a spin. There is no control this time. The teenager is sent hurtling into a wild spin, sent hurtling into a death spiral. He flies away from the cabin, away to the crows. Instead he has landed in the mud. Landing in the mire, the child simply lays down into the slime, face down. He writhes. The crows watch, hungrily. The strange men watch too. There is pain, and silence.
And Kensou rises.
The teenager rises, forces himself into a full stand. Gasping for air, he gags, he chokes. But he forces himself to stand. He makes himself get up. "I'm not... you." Kensou forces himself to state firmly. "I am not... I'm never going to be like you. Like what you are. You are..."
Kensou sweeps his arms around in circles, one clockwise, the other is counterclockwise. Careful harmony. Careful unity. The violet energy flows from within him, along the arms. And around the arms, into the palms. The palms come unity. The energy comes into a center, the flow of power coming into a singular point within. Crossing his arms, the pure power holds for a moment within. And then, with a flash, it erupts into a single orb, shimmering violet as it flies from the boy. Rippling. Surging.
COMBATSYS: Kensou successfully hits Cracker Jack with Shinryuu Choukyuu Dan EX.
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Cracker Jack 1/------</<<<<<<<|>>>>---\-------\0 Kensou
Cracker Jack swings the bat on the follow through, before dropping his right arm down, shoulders slowly rising and falling as he breathes, wiping the spittle off his lips with the back of his sleeve on the opposite arm. He narrows his eyes at Kensou at the proclaimation of his value in society, all the humor lost in his demeanor. His fingers slowly tighten around the bat in his hand as he feels a deep, internal anger flow down into his arms from his core, his chest feeling tight with a faint hint of anxiety at Kensou's analysis. As he's working through this feeling of paranoia and uncertainty about his personal philosophy of social Darwinism and class warfare, never thought out intentionally but in moments of self-delusion, the deadly purple projectile is shot at him. It strikes him directly in the chest, blowing him off his feet and sending him flying backwards into the allegedly haunted cabin the crows roost upon. He slams into the wooden pillars of the porch, the old Japanese cedar cracking as his upper body slams into it and collapses beneath his weight unevenly. He shifts, staring upwards with a low, reflexive, "Unnngh."
Cracker Jack coughs and chokes as he pushes himself to his feet, slowly walking towards Kensou without his bat as the rain pours on him, drenching that lounge lizard suit he wears in defiance of modern day fashion, his own iconoclastic statement about the modern rejection of the disco and everything his hometown, Vegas, stands for. He lurches with one of his legs beginning to drag, but he pushes onwards as his black shoes dig deeper into the mud, his eyes fluttering as he falls to one knee, before surges to his feet shoulders first. As he gets closer, his fists start to swing, wildly and without reason, until he finally swings too far for his balance and collapses onto his side, emitting a spent wheeze and unable to rise.
COMBATSYS: Cracker Jack can no longer fight.
[ \\\\\\\ <
COMBATSYS: Cracker Jack successfully hits Kensou with Lazy Buffalo.
[ \\\\ <
He was scum.
The psionic blast unleashes, slamming hard into Cracker Jack. Gasping for air, the battered, bruised form of Kensou endures. He was too sinking into the muck. The rain patters down. His opponent strides through it. Kensou stands fast. He wouldn't let his opponent's speed catch him. He breathes faster and faster, waiting. Needing. His breath halts. And the fists come. Kensou dodges the first. The second. The third. And only the fourth... ironically, the fourth was when Cracker Jack loses his steam, loses his momentum... and changes it. A mis-timed evasion is all it takes for the final punch to hit Kensou squarely in the mouth. The teenager, lips bloodied, falls down into the muck with Cracker Jack.
And with it, Kensou also sinks into the mire.
The pair lay in the mud. Eventually, one of them would recover. Kensou stews in a heap of resentment and shame. The crows begin to flap. Or maybe, the judge and cameraman. Two pale figures stand over the pair of fighters. They are silent. They are watching. And soon, deciding.
COMBATSYS: Kensou waits for his opponent to make the next move!
COMBATSYS: Kensou can no longer fight.
Log created on 22:53:11 04/15/2016 by Kensou, and last modified on 12:16:54 04/16/2016.