Description: As an intermission, two dinosaurs have been contracted to make use of the Appalachia Regional Skate Park's treacherous GRINDWAY. The park's most popular attraction, the GRINDWAY features a number of hazards, including spring-loaded trap panels, pressure-sensitive lights, balance beam hazards, and sway panels. Even without the traps, there are a dizzying array of rails and obstacles set at multiple levels throughout the GRINDWAY! [ Winner: Honoka ]

According to social media, dinosaurs are the new black. With the aid of costumes available over the Internet, talented performers can transform themselves into human-sized tyrannosaurs or raptors, perfect for astounding and/or terrifying small children and gullible adults! Sure, paleontologists may pooh-pooh the costumes for not reflecting the international community's current contention that most dinosaur species had feathers, but damn if the life-like scaled textures don't look like they were pulled straight out of Jurassic Park, eh?

It's a step up from rubbery Godzilla and Mothra suits, at any rate. Honoka Kawamoto is no stranger to dressing up as a giant lizard, and in fact, she sees it as a fun challenge. The raptor suit she's got on now is even more of a challenge, weight-wise, than the roughly-humanoid costumes she's donned in the past -- it's weighted differently, allowing for a more accurate reflection of a dinosaur than the comfort of the wearer. It's really more of a puppet than a costume, considering the way the head is allowed to swivel about. She wears a black bodysuit underneath the puppet/costume, her feet, legs and hips separated from the raptor's digitigrade legs to preserve the proper illusion.

In the relative safety of a rented trailer, Honoka has been practicing her motions in a mirror, ensuring that her gait is representative of the actual creature involved. It's not perfect, but it should be more than enough to sell the illusion. At showtime, a trio of Twilight Star stagehands emerge from the trailer with the Honokaptorex in tow, guiding the raptor and its skateboard towards the infamous Grindway -- a gauntlet of obstacles.

( Ugh, ) she thinks to herself, ( this is going to be a challenge - even for me! I wonder who they conned into fighting against me... )

Test the subject for enhanced motor skills.

It was circled, underlined twice and put into bold font. 16 point bold font. Without wanting to think of anything in particular, it came down to the decision of entering the top test subject into the SNF - after all, legally it was set up that 'anything goes'. Legally it was set up that the mega-corporation would only gain from this test. That they would get data. That the subject would get experience. That the scientist and caretaker of this specific creation was going to get a whole day off, claiming how hard it was to think and set up such a thing.

Everyone would win. Especially the viewers.

Honoka, dressed in a raptor suit, would notice something. Maybe. A cage, off in the corner, that wasn't full. At the same time a far more realisticly suited Raptor, crossed with a slight techno-motif, was waiting already at the beginning of the track.

Eyes immediately focused towards the similarly 'dressed' dinosaur, claws writhing, claw tip at a time, and oversized talons. Whomever wanted to make such a costume clearly put a lot of work into it - and was quite edgy. Especially in their act. No sooner that Honoka would be deposited, the Honokaptorex on the skateboard in place, would have Riptor attempting to communicate with them. A screech, high-pitched and quite loud, followed by a hiss and a snap. Hiss hiss snap.

In all truth, it's communication.

A call to devour them around them. To follow them in a feast. To turn on them and submit, to follow her, as she is the alpha-matriarch. All that would likely fall on non-raptor laden ears.

Talons slam onto the board and lock against it, providing stability beyond simple skill derived by humanity! Coincidentally, the others, assisting in the SNF, have backed away from Riptor after the screech. They are already getting a bad rap from being very confrontational.

Honoka had seen the cage earlier -- she notices these sort of details. But she had figured it was just part of the attraction -- an easily-spotted element to give the truth to the deception that these raptors are real. It's all part of an elaborate deception that high-stakes performers -have- to do, to continue staying relevant in the eyes of their audiences.

Then again, in the pit of her stomach is an anxiety she hasn't felt in quite some time. The notion that all isn't the deception that it appears to be. That maybe, out of all the people here, perhaps Honoka is the one who was misdirected here. For there's two possible ways she can go about judging the raptor that appears before her: one, it's a -very- convincing act, or two, it's not an act.
The vocal talents... well. It could be pre-recorded, perhaps. Honoka's raptor head tilts to the side at the sounds. While one crew member fumbles with a twin-stick game controller, the raptor's face contorts into the appropriate animatronically-driven facial gestures for 'confusion'.
Then Honoka gets a better look at the fact that there are no human legs visible. -All- the costumes have legs. It's the only way you can walk with even a remote -approximation- of reality.
Unless this person's in a -robotic- costume, she supposes, but from the... peculiar emotional signature she's getting from her compadre...

The raptor Honoka shakes her head. No, it's not a collaboration. No, people will -not- die here.

<< Tranquilizer darts might be a good idea, >> she suggests to her Twilight Star staff. << This one's a real raptor, somehow. >> It would only occur to her staffers as an idle thought -- a voice given to the muddled thoughts in their heads, that only becomes more real as they look to one another in concern.

Four wheels clack down onto the concrete flooring. And then one clawed-and-human-heeled foot steps onto the board, shoving it into motion. The Honoka raptor swings its tail and spreads its forelimbs for balance, lowering its head to reduce wind resistance as it rockets towards the opposing raptor.

"Ladies and gentlemen, we have a special treat for you!" The skate park's announcer is mugging it for the audience -- some of whom are terrified, and others... are even more terrified! "... Skateboarding dinosaurs battling for supremacy of the Grindway! You can only catch it here at Appalachia Regional Skate Park!"

The raptor Honoka steers her board askew from her opponent, but it's only in an attempt to gain more altitude: Honoka twists around in an attempt to lash the weighted bulk of her tail at Riptor in a quick and powerful slam!

COMBATSYS: Honoka has started a fight here.

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Honoka           0/-------/-======|

COMBATSYS: Riptor has joined the fight here.

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Honoka           0/-------/-======|======-\-------\0           Riptor

COMBATSYS: Honoka successfully hits Riptor with Power Strike.
- Power hit! -

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Honoka           0/-------/=======|======-\-------\0           Riptor

It's just a cage.

Just a cage. Nothing bad ever comes in cages. Hamsters. Birds. Genetically modified raptors.

The confusion on the raptor's face is enough to cause the tail to flick outwards in aggitation, another hot screech erupting from the prehistoric project, eyes like daggers as the slits of skin contract to show such aggitiation is quite real and clear.

Only one person is really in danger of dying there, in all reality, and it is most certainly not Riptor. Or /is/ it.

For as the four wheels clack onto the concrete flooring, unaware of the words exchanged by humans - but they are working together. They are against her. This is enough to understand. Once the skate park's announcer makes it clear that the battle is beginning, Riptor's tail flicks back and forth. Words mean nothing to the predator.

Not until a shock, sent from the watching, and safe, controller barrels through the beast. With a screech of pain and hatred, one taloned foot scrapes against the ground and digs into the cement. It's no surprise that Riptor instinctively ducks as she takes off.

Of course, Raptor's are not skaters. They are adept at learning, understanding, and the initial shock causes a screech of surprise - more-so as Honoka takes advantage of the situation and lashes the weighted bulk of the tail at Riptor, causing the Raptor to immediately wipe-out, rolling off the board with a roar and screech of immediate hatred.

Where humans would have to catch up, even after the impact, as powerful and effective as it was, Riptor's driven by something more primal. An instinct within it that, in the midst of the roll, allows it to rolls to it's talons. The board, riderless, finds a massive form of dinosaur -pouncing it-, catching up on foot before using the additional momentum to steer the board towards Honoka - and her legs, mouth twisting along the odd neck to clamp down against Honoka's ankles, threatening to bite clean through the metal in the way as well.

It has a special grudge, now.

COMBATSYS: Honoka instinctively blocks Riptor's Ankle Bite.

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Honoka           0/-------/=======|=======\-------\1           Riptor

The Twilight Star Circus usually takes a month or so to pick up a new act. Honoka wishes it wouldn't take so long, but the fact of the matter is that the other circus performers take much longer than she does to shift gears. Dancing bored her, clown acts bored her, trapeze acts bored her... and now even juggling itself is starting to lose its luster. But tooling around on a skateboard is a fun challenge, as is flailing around as a dinosaur.

Within the confines of her costume, the Ainu woman smiles as her tail thwacks against the raptor -- a rare moment of opportunity. The raptor will definitely have more tricks up its proverbial sleeve.

The audience was petrified. But upon seeing the two raptors clash against one another, it seems the dam finally breaks -- they're able to laugh and enjoy it as the entertainment it was intended to be. The announcer's hamming it up, too...

Honoka can't be bothered to pay attention. Raptors have excellent hearing, but trapped in this costume, she does not. She hops back onto the board, only to find that the technologically-augmented raptor is barreling towards her, leaning low.

That's when Honoka coils, dropping low. Uncoiling, she hops upward and kicks the board into the air. The spinning board flips about in the air and collides with Riptor in lieu of Honoka's ankle -- though there is one notable downside to the exchange:
Honoka still collides with Riptor, bowling over top of the theropod while using the weighted head and tail to counterbalance the maneuver. It still hurts -- she can't account for all the doodads clamped onto Riptor, after all -- but after the exchange she lands shakily on her feet, spreading her claws wide.

One problem: she's without her board, though its wheels do clack onto the concrete. A good sign: she notes the board's position for later.
Honoka's always been good at improvisation though. And she has one thing a real velociraptor would not: the ability to belch forth a prismacolor fire, pink and purple intertwining together as Honoka projects her will forward. As far as the audience can tell, it looks like it's coming out of the raptor's mouth! And if it impacts Riptor, the wave of intense nausea that washes over her will be more than enough to remind the velociraptor that Honoka is a real and legitimate threat.

COMBATSYS: Honoka successfully hits Riptor with Ishirishina.

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Honoka           1/----===/=======|=======\-------\1           Riptor

It turns out that raptors may have went extinct for a specific reason.

It looks, however, that the real raptor may be suffering to subsist in the current century. For, while everything had been going 'well', that is to say, a stray hit would not throw it off, it turns out that this is not entirely true in after multiple assaults. Even if the announcer is hamming it up, Riptor's mind is focused on very few things.

Limited brain power focuses on more how to survive as fortunes shift, Honoka coiling and dropping low, managing to prevent the clasping teeth from impacting against Honoka. Even as they bite down hard, retracting as they cannot find purchase. At the same time, Honoka improvises, belching forth a prismacolor fire of pink and purple and reflects her will.

Whatever that would mean to Riptor.

It screeches, running towards Honoka with disregard of the colored light-show, one leg on the board and the other attempting to whip, body and tail, towards the assault to prevent it from really impacting in any relative way.

It's not enough. The wave of intense nausea is increased, likely, from the uncertainty from Riptor of /what/ is going on. In truth, the pain is quite real. Yet it's a million little instinctive things that add up to a certainty. The other raptor is clearly not real.

The other raptor, whatever it may be, is not delicious.

Yet whatever is inside would likely be worth killing, solely now, for what it has done.

Flailing at air for a moment as it shoots past, grinding against the wall, tail showering sparks about, Riptor is clearly unhappy with the current circumstance. That isn't to say that it is done. Sparks fill the arena as the tail slashes a light, causing part of it to flicker.

There's almost three exact moments that, from the stands, you would see the raptor twist the board towards the other Honoka-saurus, the dominant predator, doing a kickflip, and lashing out with the talons towards the back of the other raptor's neck.

Riptor, damaged and potentially insulted, doesn't know such words. However wounded they /might/ be, Riptor doesn't quite - because such thoughts do not even rise. The natural order is survive or die - and Riptor is clear which it is focused upon.

COMBATSYS: Honoka interrupts Talon Rake from Riptor with Armed Combo.

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Honoka           1/---====/=======|=======\==-----\1           Riptor

Honoka grimaces. While many of the kids think the spectacle of two dinosaurs going at each other tooth-and-nail is awesome, the fact remains that they were supposed to be doing tricks on skateboards! And Honoka's is... on the other side of Riptor. It's tough to do tricks when you're not even on a board.
Inside the minds of her support staff, a message wafts in, as light as a zepher. << We should send another skateboard her way... >> No different than if they had thought of the idea themselves, the staffers move to chuck three more skateboards across the concrete battlefield in a chaotic formation.

Honoka glances about, through the patch of black mesh sewn into the costume's neck. She takes careful note of the positioning, even as a very unhappy velociraptor is maneuvering about for another pass. Sparks fly -- and within the costume, Honoka's jaw drops open. ( Now -that's- a cool visual... ) she thinks to herself, just before a light pole is sliced into by those razor-sharp talons.
Honoka gulps back any thought of amazement. Those nails are lethal! Out of the corner of her eye she spots a skateboard rolling her way, and takes a half-step to the side to rendezvous with it. And in the same motion, she angles off to the side, bringing one forelimb high to ward off those talons as she leans her weight onto the rolling skateboard.

It's not fast enough to carry her out of harm's reach -- in fact, the talons embed themselves deeply with a mass of foam rubber, PVC tubing, and the lithe juggler beneath. Honoka bites back a yelp of agony as the first talon strike pierces through the costume, striking the shoulder rather than the intended neck...

Off at the sidelines, one Twilight Star staffer nudges his companion in the ribs. "See here, check it out. Remember the last few shows? There wasn't any blood, and it just didn't sell... This time, we put in blood packs for extra show!

Red Karo syrup explodes into Riptor's forelimbs, the sugary confection saturating the velociraptor. It wouldn't taste the same, but it appears close enough in consistency to wow the audiences! But when the spray clears, it will be a bit more clear what happened in the exchange, for Honoka has not only grabbed onto the wrist of the second forelimb, but has also been carried backwards by the skateboard's momentum. And Honoka capitalizes on that, leaping off the board for a moment and sending her weight in an acrobatic twist. Honoka's feet slam into the underside of Riptor's throat, and her grip on the forelimb allows her to twist the true dinosaur sideways into the concrete!

Completing her side flip, the Honoka-saurus lands on another rolling skateboard, steering it to come back around. The audience... appears to have liked the exchange, somehow -- though it may have to do with the gash running down the Honoka-saurus' shoulder joint, along with the missing piece of the costume and the appearance of blood...

The only one doing tricks is the reptile from the past, which happens to fall in line with humans are poorly trained monkeys. That is why Ultra-tech does not employ them as the focus of their tests, but rather as the care-takers. A thousand normal humans are not worth one of their precious projects. Especially if they make money in the exchange.

One fore-limb slams into the the side of the arm, talons scraping but not making direct contact. Especially as the assault barely wounds the lithe juggler, scraping into everything but in the aspect. Even with their intent known.

This is not, at all, acceptable for Riptor. A test subject, the best of the various proto-types, being thrown about like a gecko or common lizard. Even with the darkness to guide it, the second limb is grasped and, with the momentum of the skateboard behind it, Riptor is kicked in the throat, twisting the dinosaur onto the concrete and sending it rolling and sprawling from the assault.

Instinct, as always, kicks in - but it is far too late for it to have any effect in a battle so thoroughly lost.

Yet Riptor is, as anything may be, a cornered beast. With what little strength it has left, the thoughts awash the project. Metallic chunks overloaded or damaged as the beast takes longer to rise than before, the skateboard forgetten in the corner as it rises once more, claws ripping into the concrete to allow it to get up faster - head and neck swinging as it dusts itself off as Honoka-saurus is absolutely demolishing Riptor.

Riptor screeches once more, what little control remaining slowly being lost as the instincts take full control, eyes narrowing and then widening as the tail on the back of the creature begins to spin and twist, damaged devices whining into motion upon the will of the project.

Once more the board is leapt upon, but only for a brief moment as it shoots past Honoka.

The pass that is made, however, is not the important part. It's the tail that lances out as it passes, attempting to shoot straight towards the midsection of the other Raptor, the Honoka-raptor-saurus, and drag it against the concrete, into one of the 'totally rad' fire traps that they had set up.

It would prefer uncooked meat, but there are sacrifices for everything.

COMBATSYS: Riptor successfully hits Honoka with Tail Stab.

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Honoka           1/-======/=======|=======\-------\0           Riptor

The Honoka-saurus skates around the park at high speed, rolling along one of the raised inclines and then jumping the board up to glance across a grinding rail. She angles her head back to look at Riptor, as the controller-equipped staffer manipulates the face into a simulated smirk. It's... enough to draw a few approving chuckles from the crowd, if nothing else.

Sparks fly as the skateboard grinds against the rail, and in another kicking motion, the skateboard separates from said rail, sending Honoka on a collision course with Riptor. But this time, the primeval terror gets the best of her: the powerful tail thrust into her is much too fast to avoid, and much too powerful to mitigate. From outside, the impact looks horrendous enough: the dinosaur jacknifes around the blow, head and feet both carried forward by momentum while the tail and hips are rocked backwards. If it weren't for several layers of foam rubber and leathery skin facsimile, the tail might have punched a whole clear through Honoka.

But even as it is -- she still spits up blood within her costume, doubling over from the impact as the dinosaur costume is thrown clear from the skateboard. The skateboard itself goes flying, sailing high into the air, as the Honoka-saurus sails backwards, making a sick and painful roll as the dinosaur whips about like a log -- right into the trigger of a scorching trap, the momentary gout of flame instantly charring the leathery scales a crisp black.

The costume is... beginning to show signs of the damage. The leather has been ripped away from the tumbles on the concrete in places, and not every surface benefitted from the placement of blood-packs. It's pretty obvious that it's a costume and not a living, breathing creature as it pushes back to its feet: the joints are raw, the support structures showing through the foam-rubber flesh. That, and it's head is beginning to droop low...

Honoka grits her teeth. And snaps her forelimb out to the side, snatching the skateboard out of the air.
The head bobs first to one side, then the other. A neck crack. The audience appreciates the gesture, at least.
The skateboard clatters to the concrete again. And Honoka hops onto it, pumping herself forward. One, two three strides -- and then she leaps into the air. She's not as fast or as nimble as before, but she's still got plenty of fight in her --

And plenty of -bounce-, too -- as she leaps upward, pitching herself into a spinning pirouette. If all goes according to plan, the tip of her tail would thwack into Riptor's head, knocking it aside -- and the onslaught would be followed up with a savage rain of blows as she brings a fierce palm strike with the left foreclaw, follows it up with a clearing swipe of the right foreclaw -- all to gain unopposed access to the torso. With that accomplished she would attempt to latch hold of Riptor and leverage the skateboard's momentum to carry her forward -- and slam her into one of the spring-loaded traps on the side wall of the Grindway!

COMBATSYS: Riptor dodges Honoka's Urara Kando.

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Honoka           0/-------/-======|=======\-------\0           Riptor

The natural world is brutal. While Honoka's life has hardly been roses and cheap call-girls that know how to give you a good time and are clean, Riptor has been bred, manipulated, worked upon and created for but one purpose.

Ultratech does not create failures. It does not reward incompetance. It does not feed those that are worthless.

As the skateboard flies upwards, the scent of blood fills Riptor's nostrils. The impact solid, unlike the previous. The Honoka-saurus is swung into the fire-trap, pyrotechnics 'all the rage'. Now, they are anything but. Raw joints from the Honoka-saurus are clear - and Riptor's tail uncoils, longer than it should be, before it re-forms, snapping in place and spinning to a correct position, steam leaking from the parts of Riptor that are cleared to vent such things.

Facing down Honoka, knowing now, that it is not what they /actually/ appear to be, Riptor's eyes narrow at the form within, mouth eyeing the flesh underneath the scales hungrily, the blood that had been spilt clearly enticing to the alpha predator.

It moves. Riptor can see the creature, costumed, move to its feet. She does not understand the pieces. Not the context. Even less the purpose. However Honoka-saurus seems alive. Quite a bit of fight left in them, still. It would need to be corrected. A roar from Riptor reverberates forwards as the creature twists the board to face towards Honoka-saurus, which rises skywards. Momentarily surprised, it is only as Honoka begins to spin that the raptor finally breaks the rules. The board is thrown upwards towards Honoka as the tail slams into it, the entire beast ducking impossibly low as it dives right and to the side, twisting it's form about and then continuing forwards, away from the spring-loaded trap but never-the-less fast, claws digging into the concrete, talons scratching the ground as it sprints forwards, up and down a side ramp, before lunging towards Honoka's 'claw' with it's mouth again, over and over, in an attempt to rip and crush whatever limb that may reside there.

The 'skating' had officially ended, and Ultratech's press statement would be clear.

It's in the contract.

'If either organism inside of the contest leaks blood, either from impact, combat or otherwise, Ultratech is not-responsible for any life, limb, or property lost due to this. Ultratech shall not reimburse any for any direct or indirect damage caused due to this possibility'.

In the mean-time, Riptor's wounds leak a different kind of blood, black and thick. Almost oil like in some locations. Red and thick in others.

COMBATSYS: Honoka dodges Riptor's Fierce Bite.

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Honoka           0/-------/-======|=======\-------\1           Riptor

Honoka's lawyers went over all the forms. They knew the risks, and they made sure said risks were communicated to the young circus star. She knew they were being protective of her -- that's their job. They knew it was a top-secret research project, and yet, they weren't ever sure which one. Secrets.
And yet... somewhere deep inside her, a fire burns. A fire with an unabiding hunger that yearns to consume everything before it. In one sense, it's very unlike the primeval animal before her. But in another -- Honoka really does seek to place herself in dangerous situations, to challenge herself.

There is no other feeling like it in the world, placing one's life at the boundary between life and death. Lawyers will never understand the thrill that goes through Honoka as her frame shudders from the impact of her tail across the airborne skateboard -- it was too weak and insubstantial to be Riptor. The first two follow-up swings are carried through out of sheer necessity, at least from a human perspective -- a stabilizing motion needed to keep her from losing all her balance.

Honoka twists sideways, following the sound of Riptor as she runs up and down a side ramp, mindful of the springboard traps along the wall that Riptor had narrowly missed collision with. Concrete dust explodes outward from Riptor's liftoff, and within the costume, Honoka's eyes go wide. A light pink glow suffuses her form.

The beast could tear her head clean off -- that's the fear going through her mind. Her heart pounds in her chest, her lungs raw and aching. Honoka acts with only the slightest hesitation, hurling her raptor head and upper torso to the one side, her feet angling back on the board to send it flying in the opposite direction. Sideways, her eyes go wide as she sees Riptor's teeth snap shut just bare centimeters away from her face, at the perfect height had Honoka not reacted with such alacrity. The faint pink aura burns, as Honoka knows she's got to make this count... there might not -be- time to react to a second snap from her theropod opponent.

That would be the sound of the spring-loaded mechanism firing, as Honoka's board impacts the hair-trigger activating it. The springs would hurt -- if Honoka weren't making -use- of them, launching herself rapidly in the opposite direction -- safely away from Riptor.
She arcs about in midair, landing wheels-down on an incline, and grinds the wheels out in a ninety-degree turn, turning to face Riptor once more.

The dino head sags, but within it, Honoka is smiling. She has to be confident.
And her confidence seems to be contagious, pumping up the crowd. "So -that's- what you use those for..." says one veteran skateboarder, who prior to now had apparently not figured out why all the death-traps have been placed in a skatepark. "Huh."

One leg pushes off from the concrete. The Honoka-saurus approaches once again. She leaps forward, aiming to swing her claws in four advancing strikes, aiming to batter down Riptor with a dizzying array of claw strikes -- the claws wouldn't pierce her hide, being -merely props-, but the force behind them would be substantial all the same. But should those land, Honoka would crouch down, holding herself close to the board as she twists about in an ollie with the intent to thwack her tail across Riptor's feet -- knocking them out from under her with the whip action of the costume's PVC substructure!

COMBATSYS: Riptor endures Honoka's Shitumbe Marapto.

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Honoka           1/-----==/=======|=======\-------\1           Riptor

The light pink glow that suffuses her form is a momentary distraction to Riptor, though it is one that, honestly, has more than its share of distraction. Enough. Just enough. The raptor head and upper torso of the Honoka-saurous manages to twist to the side, feet managing to angle back to the board, to send it away. Teeth snap shut, an audibly dissapointed hiss in response. Where what should be meat is nothing. A second and third snap, almost to test, sends saliva mixed with a form of venom or acid, towards the ground.

Honoka-saurous ends up quite the clever prey, launching completely away from Riptor. Eyes track her, dispite the movement, body already twists to follow where the circus actress travels, neck and head twisting more-so to follow it perfectly. Honoka makes it clear that everything will be alright - cheering almost, confident. The raptor stops for a moment. Riptor does not immediately follow Honoka. Eyes watch in particular what she is about to do, body on a hair-trigger response that has been bred into Riptor for millions of years, before humanity even set foot on the earth. The very moment that Honoka's leg moves, Riptor's talons click and tear into the cement, sheering it away as the blue claw catches and sends Riptor forwards in an almost inane burst of speed.

Claws. Claws tear through the air at speeds only accelerating due to the nature of the skate-o-saurus. Enough to damage, to wound, to betray Riptor and open it up to the onslaught of the tail, to knock Riptor down.

It would have went so well if Riptor's intent was to break the stride of the Honoka-saurus, to meet claw to claw, fang to fang. The claws impact as they are meant to, tearing into Riptor as it weaves in, Honoka-saurus crouching down, producing an ollie effect of a spinning dinosaur. Honoka-saurus would feel the impact, and see the legs go out from under Riptor.

Except it was all wrong.

The talons should not be facing downwards, towards Honoka, but away. The form of Riptor should not be carrying itself through the assault, single-mindedly, but as she ducked, Honoka opened Riptor up to the instincts that run through all of her kind. A killer instinct, if it could be called that.

There would be a deafening screech as the pain inflicted upon Riptor draws scales and machines to be torn away, the hide of the predator damaged from repeated impacts and the form growing weak. Yet in that split moment, barely a heartbeat, Honoka would decide if she was the predator or the prey. If the talons latched onto Honoka, both Riptor and Honoka would roll forwards, coming to a stop with Riptor as the aggressor, talons raking against the Honoka-saurus before Riptor would flip backwards, the tail extending and digging into her to throw her skywards, probably to the cries of horror of the fans. Finally, a gout of flame, like some sort of dragon, would erupts upwards to catch Honoka as she would fall back to the cement below.

All finalizing with a horrible roar from Riptor.

COMBATSYS: Riptor successfully hits Honoka with Ultra Predator.

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Honoka           1/-----==/=======|=------\-------\0           Riptor

Honoka knew something was wrong. It's not that the blows were landing so well -- it's that her quarry had the look of a caged beast who knows something her jailer does not. The look of a beast who will endure a temporary hardship for a permanent reward -- freedom. And yet, Honoka has little choice but to see her attack through to conclusion -- to chain the motions forward in the way she'd practiced hundreds of times before. And if the beast does not move when she lunges in for the final blow, well, so be it.
And there it is -- the moment where the plan goes awry. Riptor took full advantage of the one moment where Honoka -could not- watch her attack. Honoka's first indication is the lack of sound. Her second is the talons piercing through the leathery hide and the foam rubber, spurting blood and Karo syrup alike as Riptor grabs hold of her. Honoka finds herself trapped like prey, her skin growing pale as she finds herself eye-to-eye with the ferocious beast, clutched close as she's whirled about; one half of the raptor-themed wagon wheel that barrels forward. Honoka's costume tail snags, causing her to spring forward again, right into those fearsomely sharp talons.

The front of the costume is completely ravaged in the ensuing barrage -- bits of syrup-coated foam rubber and pvc fly in every direction, the forelimbs and the upper torso ripped apart. Bloody gashes are carved across Honoka's torso, red wounds and raw skin revealed as stark contrasts to the black bodysuit that had covered them mere instants before. Honoka's face is revealed as the enmeshed neck tears away -- streamed with tears, blood trickling from her lips.
Grownups gasp. Adolescents stare mutely, unable to comprehend the level of violence they're seeing before them. Children begin to cry, averting their eyes.
Honoka is catapulted into the air from the tail stab, her decimated costume flapping about in the breeze in sync with her black hair and pink highlights. The fans are horrified -- they had figured at least -one- of the fighters was human, but now they're able to recognize who the fighter was -- the circus performer who had won the hearts of many in the recent Rumble in the Streets tournament. And to see her now -- gritting her teeth as she flies up into the air, striving desperately to stay conscious.

Her hands, freed of their costume, grasp hold of the costume. PVC pieces shear off, and foam rubber dangles about from mere threads of fabric.

Honoka tumbles about -- and lands in the fiery gout of dragonsbreath. The foam rubber ignites, burning away as she's blasted backwards from the heatwave. She skids to a halt -- dropping to one knee.

One eye opens as she pushes back to her feet, listing noticeably to her right side. Her black bodysuit is torn, shredded -- and miraculously still family-friendly. And yet, the pvc pipes are being spun about, as the juggler finds her groove.

She brings both PVC pipes forward. And with a sudden flare of pink-purple energy, Honoka extends both arms towards Riptor. Through her motions, the energy describes the shape of a star into the space between the PVC pipes.
It's not a skateboard trick. It's an act of determination.

Psychic energy rushes outward toward Riptor as a horizontal pillar -- wide enough to swallow her whole -- and possibly even -end- the murderous rampage before anyone else is hurt.

But even if not -- the Twilight Star staff are trying to get their hands on any weapons they can find, right now.

COMBATSYS: Riptor fails to interrupt Nochiu-o Kando from Honoka with Clever Girl.

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Honoka           0/-------/---====|

COMBATSYS: Riptor can no longer fight.

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Honoka           0/-------/---====|

The prehistoric beast, shorn from the constant abuse, still doesn't show signs of backing down. Instinct thrums in the back of her head, a never ending drive to survive. Followed only, however closely, by the hunger that lives on. As Honoka slams into the ground and skids to a stop, Riptor's mouth opens once more, sharp teeth framing eyes trained onto the bleeding and wounded form before her. Claws move, one by one, as before it in the air it almost tests each ligament to ensure they still work and will do their duty.

The tail whips around, meanwhile, and uncoils - drilling into the air to take out yet another stage light, the dull glowing of blue and the sparks from the machinery, damaged, built into Riptor.

Before Honoka even moves, Riptor is on the hunt. The slight streaks of blue and the sparks of talon tearing into metal and concrete is enough to inform Honoka that she doesn't have any more time to think and would have to react immediately - without even a slight interest in it's own preservation Riptor moves. An attempt to go for the throat of the being before it and, however damaged, likely wake up before it.

In nature, sometimes the fight only ends if, in the long run, one survives the morning after the battle. Riptor is certain that would be itself.

Yet the flare of pink-purple energy lights up the otherwise gloomy battlefield, providing an additional lightshow that is not made entirely in the prehistoric era. With a screech, Riptor leaps from the darkness - a roar that signifies it'll all be over.

The star catches Riptor in the midst of the air, tail whipping out one last time, uncoiling to take Honoka's head off - but manages to be just short. However close it may be, it would not matter in the end.

The screech takes a different tone, one that is foreign to Honoka and likely unexplainable, even if it is psychic energy. There's no hate in lizard brains - but there is fury. It burns off as the raptor is send skidding to a stop, disabled and unconcious, the swimming vision of Honoka in the eyes of the beast focusing before it finally collapses. If it lived to see the morning, it would not forget. It cannot.

The problem with contracts, especially ith Ultracorp, is no matter how much they should be killed for the safety of all, there are clauses. All of them are projects. All of them are owned by Ultratech. It's likely to pay back such massive litigation, they'd become a project themselves.

A wide-eyed Honoka hops backwards, arms snapping out to either side as makeshift balancing poles as the tail whips describes an arc dangerously close to her face. She can feel the heat from the whirling appendage, the scent of ozone still fresh in the ionized air from the recent upheaval of some rather expensive lighting equipment. Honoka lands on her feet, the tattered remnants of her costume still hanging from her legs, hips, and back. The raptor head sways back and forth with each heave of her ribcage, its supporting scaffolding having nearly destroyed in the last barrage of attacks. Her nostrils flare with fading panic; like Riptor, she's currently fallen prey to the primal urge to fight. However, in stark contrast to previous battles, she appears to have been the prey rather than the predator, so the adrenaline high is a bit... higher than usual.

And with Riptor falling unconscious, one wary eye is cast to her support staff -- thankfully, they -didn't- need to leap to her rescue at this time. Moistening her lips, she nods quietly and draws in her breath, rising to her full height -- there's no longer any need to stay hunched over in the simulated dinosaur pose at this point, after all!

The audience's applause is deafening. The thrill of a human facing down a primeval creature and technological marvel right before their very eyes is stunning alone -- let alone the fact that -both- of them were riding skateboards in some capacity. As relief washes over them, it practically floods over Honoka, rinsing away the adrenaline high. Her expression changes from determination to a warm and welcoming smile, and she bows back to Riptor, and then takes a bow to the audience bleachers as well.

"And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the end of our intermission! After a brief moment for drinks and refreshments, check in with the Radio Half-Pipe for our main skating event!" That... was an intermission? Apparently the schedulers really -are- clueless...

And now... it's now up to the lawyers to commence their respective feeding frenzies. Ultratech's legal staff is particularly smart about these sorts of things, but the Twilight Star legal staff should have an easier time of things, considering Honoka's role in -stopping- the mad velociraptor. But whatever happens, one thing is sure: the Appalachia Regional Skate Park will have a lot of repairs to carry out over the next few weeks!

COMBATSYS: Honoka takes no action.

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Honoka           0/-------/---====|

COMBATSYS: Honoka has ended the fight here.

Log created on 18:53:59 05/01/2016 by Honoka, and last modified on 20:15:48 05/02/2016.