Athena - Rainy Day Diversion

[Toggle Names]

Description: A quiet afternoon in the aftermath of King of Fighters finds Athena Asamiya with a lack of anything to do. Fortunately, a lost traveler happens by to solve that problem. A brief spar for an audience of one is the perfect change of pace.

It's finally over.

The climb through the ranks of the King of Fighters has been a time of tension, stress, excitement, concern, worry, and exhilaration. Each round the Psycho Soldiers came face to face with fascinating opponents, each which have left a mark on young Asamiya's mind that will never be forgotten. From the possessed soul, to the precision danger of the master shinobi, to the most charismatic man she'd ever men, and to the dangerous soldier of misfortune... Each was a trial, a test, and a triumph.

And now she stands to be crowned champion of the world's largest Team Tournament alongside her fellow teammates. It had started as a journey of self-improvement and team unity building. Along the way, it became something else for Athena: a test of self, of putting herself up against dangerous odds time and time again and seeking to push forward until her current limits could be found. Only in discovering the cap of her potential could she hope to break through it and grow even more.

But in the aftermath of all the pressure, the maelstrom of emotions and expectations, there is quiet to be found. Miles from Stonehenge exists the tiny village of Avebury. The Psycho Soldiers had been given room and board on the second floor of the only public place to eat in town: The Red Lion. A quaint location, it matches the expectations one would have of a sleepy village pub. The ground floor is the restaurant and bar and there is even space outside where wooden benches and tables are available when capacity has been reached. The steep sloped ceilings of the three story building are covered in dark thatch, concealed by snow in winter, and often damp in the summer due to the frequent rainfalls.

Today is one such day - the sky is grey, overcast, and the precipitation alternates between drizzle and full on rainfall. It might not make for the best celebratory weather, but certain things transpire outside of the hands of mere mortals to control. Early afternoon, the interior is dimly lit and the somber weather outside does little to shed additional light in through the glass pane windows.

The interior of the pub has one curious attraction, maybe the only point of remote interest in the entire little village - in one corner the stone exterior of a water well rises up out of the floor. It is capped off by a wood and glass surface in order to form a table top where special guests of the pub can be allowed to sit. Right now, one such guest sits in the otherwise empty room, seated in a chair, leaning forward, elbow propped on the polished circumference of wood around the well's opening, her chin resting in the palm of her hand. Her violet eyes are drown down, gazing at her right hand, fingers opening and closing a little, as thoughts of her match at Stonehenge continue occupy her idle moments.

Her clothing is simple compared to her slightly more dolled up fighting outfits - a white, button up sailor style blouse with short sleeves, its collar and right breast pocket the color of crimson just like the star-bejeweled band in her hair, a matching crimson skirt, and black buckled shoes. The individual buttons of her blouse are tiny stars. As usual, her hair is worn straight and long, kept only in check by the crimson band behind her bangs.

The rest of her team are either upstairs sleeping or out checking out the rest of the village. The pub itself is closed other visitors for now, all expenses paid by the King of Fighters event budgets. The menu is Asamiya's to enjoy, as one helpstaff lingers around the bar just in case the famous fighting celebrity desires food or drink though for now her table is empty but for a glass of water.

Outside, the rain builds in intensity, drops rattling the windows for now. Inhaling then exhaling, Athena lowers her hand from in front of her eyes, leaving her attention to fall to the glass table itself, staring down into the depths of 100 meters deep well just on the other side of the transparent surface. Engravings on the table indicate at least one villager is thought to have fallen to their death in the well sometime in the past before it was sealed off. How curious, the girl thinks to herself, that there is not even a name offered by which the lost soul could be remembered.

Sighing softly, the violet haired girl glances at her hand again. None of the crackling energy that manifested during her bout in the finale is there. She had even made a trip back out to Stonehenge the day before yet everything was normal... no charged atmosphere, no electric current in the air, and no echo of augmented Psycho Power was to be found.

Dark purple eyes glance up toward a ticking clock mounted on the wall. The day is passing slowly, and in the sudden absence of tournament stress, she finds herself burdened with the loneliness of her thoughts. Maybe if the rain dies down, venturing out could provide a change of pace.

Zach Glenn had not even been passing through. Had not even been paying much attention to the King of Fighters after the semi-finals. That was a weekend to remember, for certain. He had not even known where the finals were, just the two teams involved. Things had happened a little closer to home, and Zach had focused his attention on those more immediate matters before deciding on a research trip to Edinburgh to help him consider some things.

Events on the flight in to the United Kingdom had conspired to force a major delay in London, and leading Zach to have at least a day before he could get a connecting flight. He had opted to road trip it instead. It would cost him about the same amount of time, really.

The errant monster hunter had rented car and, despite the whole GPS thing, taken a series of wrong turns. Getting back on course would add about an hour and a half to the drive, and had by bizarre coincidence, taken through Avebury. The psion was at a stop sign, consulting the map and finally breaking out the navigation app on his phone when he noticed the presences. No. Not presence, singular. Presences, plural. Three... four of them, to be precise.

Nothing... inherently dangerous about the presences. Nothing overtly hostile. But one of them, he had met before. Two of the others were... naggingly familiar. Zach found a place to park, and opened his umbrella after climbing out of the car. At this point, Zach took a deep breath, and sent his mind out searching. That would give him a place to start, at least.

There is but two roads in and out of the town of Avebury, forming a nearly perfect cross right through the town. Nestled in one corner of the cross roads is the Red Lion itself, easily the largest building in the entire village, with hits white painted walls and tall, steep thatched roof, it stands out as the likely destination for anyone wandering this far off the beaten path.

Of course, there is one other item of interest in Avebury - often described as Stonehenge's little cousin, there is a ring of ancient stone monoliths all around the central crossroads. No where near as massive or neatly organized as the more famous landmark, it is still a point of pride for the local folk to have half of their village surrounded by the scattered upright stones. A small museum down one of the roads is the only other public location in all of Avebury, and that seems to be where some of the sparks sensed by the latest arrival in the water logged city can be found.

No street lights or stop signs to be found, and parking is simply a matter of finding an open section of dirt out in front of the Red Lion. With the weather the way it is, no one appears to be outside, either. No farming will be done this day, no kids at play outdoors.

Of course, the pub is quieter than normal during this time of the afternoon. Usually, there would be a few locals also loitering around inside, but the King of Fighters organization paid good money to have the pub reserved for the champion team. Three days of rest and recovery have been budgeted and paid for, and on the fourth day, they will finally return home to Japan until the awards ceremony to be announced in the near future.

For her own part, Athena continues to sit lost in thought. She has long since made it a practice to keep herself closed off from the world when not needing to draw upon her powers to fight. At times, it has caused her come across more aloof than she realized, too removed, too detached from even natural levels of empathy anyone should be able to feel. But risks are too great - the risk of unintended influence, the betrayal of thoughts meant to be hidden, and most importantly, the idea that by not walling herself off, she makes herself a target to those sensitive to finding others like herself.

As such, she pays no attention to the sound of a car coming to park outside, the sound of its engine barely audible over the patter of rainfall. It is the first car she's heard come by in over an hour of lingering downstairs, but a wandering tourist is hardly enough to break her from her quiet reverie at the very unique Water Well table of the Red Lion pub.

Zach is okay at keeping others out of his mind. For the most part. On the other hand, his mental defenses run more along the lines of 'castle on a hill' than 'bunker in the ground.' Some of that is unintended; the power at his disposal makes masking its presence difficult even at the best of times. Some of it, however, is very much intended. Zach is not afraid of who or what he is, nor is he particularly concerned about people knowing either of those two things. Despite the questionable legalities of monster hunter, Zach Glenn has always been most comfortable operating openly.

Glenn looks around for a moment, homing in on the most... well... present of the presences he picked up on. He walks up to the Red Lion pub, and peers intensely through the windown. His eyes go wide in recognition when he spies Athena Asamiya sitting alone in the pub. This may have started out as a series of pratfalls meeting coincidences, but there is no /way/ Zach is letting this opportunity pass him by. He heads over to the front door, stepping under the awning. He shakes the water loose from his umbrella before closing it, spotting the 'Reserved' sign as he does so. He frowns slightly, thinking.

And then he simply knocks on the door.

The knock at the door is unexpected. The locals all know better, it's not like there were more than 50 people within miles to even tell about the few days of unavailability anyway. And the sign should be enough to encourage anyone else to be on their way. But the people of Avebury aren't unfriendly either. What if he needs directions? (clearly) Or is in need of some kind of help?

The single helpstaff leaning behind the bar glances toward the lone patron after the knock, giving her an apologetic shrug as he pushes to his feet and starts toward the door. A tall, lanky young man, he seems to be balding young, his dirty blonde hair receding from his scalp unusually far for someone who appears to be in his late twenties at best. He's dressed in a simple white long sleeved button up shirt, a thin black vest that hangs open, and black trousers. His look toward Asamiya is answered with a quiet smile and nod of acknowledgement. Of course he has to see why someone is out in the rain knocking on the door. It would be rude otherwise.

His footsteps against the polished wooden floor would be easily heard even above the smattering of rain drops against the awning. A bolt turned, a door opened, and Zach would be greeted by the employee with a friendly enough smile as he leans out to glance over toward the parked car as if maybe to see if anyone else is in it, "Hey there, mister, we're, ah, closed, do you need any help?" His tone is friendly and at ease. This place does get its revenue from tourists a lot of the time, after all, no sense in souring someone on the World Famous Red Lion pub.

Zach's pretty much alone in this part of the Kingdom. Any family he has is about eight hour

Zach's pretty much alone in this part of the Kingdom. Any family he has is eight or nine hours north of here. Zach is wearing a long coat over slacks and a polo shirt, the coat still largely dry thanks to the umbrella. The American follows the glance towards the car before turning back to look at the employee. He smiles softly, looking a little embarrassed, a touch uncertain.

"Hi," he says is a polite tone, confident but not loud about it. He jerks his chin towards Athena before continuing. He doesn't bother explaining how or why he's here; it's not relevant. "This is going to sound wierd, and I'll understand if I am refused, but I was wondering if I could get a moment to talk to Miss Asamiya," he says. "I'm not a reporter, if it helps."

"Oh?" the local villager asks as the new arrival begins speaking. When he continues on to explain that the nature of his inquiry involves the young celebrity fighter enjoying... or not enjoying her quiet time alone, the barkeep pauses, lifting his and to rub his cheek thoughtfully. "Well..."

Leaning back inside, he glances over to the young patron with a shrug toward the door, "Bloke here says he would like to talk to you, Miss. Says he's not a reporter." he pauses. "If that helps." he then adds, relaying the message along as accurately as possible.

There is no sound heard from inside, but the young man backs up from the doorway, offering Zach a ready smile, "Come on in then, sir. Would you like me to get your coat?" A coat rack just inside the door is the likely destination of the offered assistance.

Upon entering, Zach would find that the person of his present interest has not moved from her seat, her back to the far wall, now sitting up straight rather than slouching against the table, "Jeremy," she calls over, "A glass of water for me and, ah, whatever our new guest would like."

Zach's friendly greeter gives the girl a nod. Zach would have no trouble sensing his inner infatuation with the pretty young champion from Japan. Whether or not she has picked up on it is another question entirely.

Zach would find the girl walled off even as she studies him, her smile quiet, friendly, her hands on her lap now.

Zach shrugs out of the coat, offering it to the young man with a grateful smile. "I'll have a water as well," he says. "It's a long drive to Edinburgh from here," he adds as he glances Jeremy over with something akin to curiousity, followed by understanding. He glances back to Athena, making his way to the table.

Zach's presence is, well, stable. His movements certain. It would not be difficult, between the bearing and movements, along with the public fights Zach has been in, for Athena to make his as a fighter in his own right. On the other hand, Zach's movements are almost deliberately non-threatening at the same time. Athena seems cautious, and understandably so.

He bows slightly by way of greeting. "Zach Glenn," he finally says, by way of introduction. "I saw your fight in Italy. Against Team USA, I mean. It was very impressive."

Zach's coat is hung with respect on the coat rack before Jeremy returns to the bar to fetch clean glasses per his two client's requests, making furtive glances toward the two as he does so.

The young fighter is reserved but not unfriendly, sizing up Zach with careful curiosity, making no outward attempts to pry. As he introduces himself with a bow, she gestures at the seat on the other side of the odd well-cap table, "Oh, you were there?" she replies. "It was quite a match. Please, join me."

Jeremy wanders over, setting the two glasses of water down, then wiping the clear glass table off once even though it was already perfectly clean, before finally retreating back over to the bar. Given how quiet the pub is, even with the rain outside, unless the two start whispering, he's probably going to easily overhear their conversation. But that's just the way things are in quiet little places like this.

"After the first round of that match, I knew I was in for an uphill fight," the girl continues after a moment, fingers wrapping around the clear glass without lifting it yet. "But you know about those kinds of things first hand, yes?" she inquires back, violet eyes sparking a little with amusement. It's nice to have a distraction now. After all the excitement of the tournament and finals, the days have seemed particularly long as of late. She can't help but wonder if Zach even knows the finale already played out, but she also doesn't bring it up.

"Thank you though. It took everything I had to make it through that round."

Zach nods. "I was there," he comfirms. Zach frowns a bit. She's either picked up on some glimmer of his talents or she hasn't, and Zach's concern raised by the memories of what he saw at the fight lead him to ask the next question.

"This is going to sound a bit personal," he says with gentle seriousness, "But is... is everything okay with Momoko?" he asks. The look on his face is one of obvious concern. "She... seemed really preoccupied with something, given the situation... and given what she's capable of..." Zach scowls slightly. "Given what she can do, it was a little troubling to see." Zach knows the source of the power that every single Psycho Soldier wields. The name is not just for show.

When he warns that his next question might skew personal, Asamiya leans her head to the side slightly. She's no stranger to interviews, so maybe she thinks that's the direction this is going. Maybe he wants to ask about her past? Reporters always want to know the secrets behind the wall of her twelfth birthday. Who are her parents? Was she an orphan? Where was she born? What does she remember from her pre-adolescent childhood? The questions are always answered the same, a polite smile, and a firm 'No comment.' Maybe this young man is going to take a stab at prying at the mystery that every fan of Asamiya has to be wondering?

The girl braces, already prepared to brush off the question, but what comes out next is not at all what she was preparing for. "Wha-" she stammers at the first question, caught off guard well enough to not answer further immediately as Zach continues to elaborate.

Violet eyes blink more than once as she looks at the American, sitting up straight now in her chair, mouth presenting the first hints of a frown. "What-... are you spying on Momoko?" She swore to the younger girl that she would protect her from all threats no matter the cost. Maybe that's why she's even more defensive all of the sudden?

Bringing her hands up, she rests her elbows against the edge of the table, fingers folded together. "Momoko is doing fine. Events like that can be stressful... there is a lot of pressure to do well, to not let down your team."

Athena exhales softly. "Sorry," she catches herself, deciding to approach this from a less immediately strong reaction, "Do you know her from somewhere? Friend of the family perhaps?" She reminds herself that the girl does have a life outside of the Psycho Soldiers. Like Haru, she doesn't live at the run down apartment where Chin, Kensou, Athena, and Bao reside...

Zach starts backpedalling quickly, realizing what his misstep was. "I wasn't spying," he answers quickly, his hands raised and palms towards Athena in a placating gesture. "I was /at/ the fight in Italy," he clarifies. "It... wasn't hard to pick up on, given where I was in the audience." Zach slows down, taking a deep breath. Zach looks away from Athena, his thoughts a jumble of emotion as he tries to logic his way through the mess he just made.

"The answer to your last question is complicated," Zach says. "There's not an easy answer to that that does not also make me sound insane," he says, a bit bitterly.

"Hey, is that guy bothering you?" Jeremy calls over from the bar where he is leaning over, bored, only picking up bits and pieces of the exchange, but unable to follow the details, leaving him to read faces and expressions more than understanding what is said. Athena lifts a hand from the table to wave back toward the man, giving him a ready smile and shake of her head, letting him know that he needn't worry about anything for now.

Her attention shifts back to Zach, hand lowering back to the table to join her other one. She nods slightly as he says he was at the fight in Italy and that from there he was able to pick up on what the younger girl was going through, eyes searching his face as if trying to evaluate him each moment, attempting to determine how much she should be trusting the stranger.

"I understand you would be able to perceive her mood." the girl finally states, her answer still vague as to how much she's letting on but at least seeming allow for the possibility she understands that aspect it. "But you will have to do better than that in explaining your more..." she hesitates, looking for the right word, "Directed concern." They are speaking about a child that sees her as her mentor, her example, and Athena has sworn to protect her. It's any wonder the subject matter seems particularly sensitive to navigate.

Zach raises an eyebrow at Jeremy's concern, but his face shifts into a mask of non-expression until Athena waves him off. When Athena wants more information, Zach leans back in his seat, running a hand through his reddish blonde hair as he lets out a long breath. "The closest I know how to explain it is..." Zach frowns a bit. "I have an additional set of memories. Of another life... or another world. Like a parallel universe." Zach looks Athena in the eye, then looks away. The tale is outlandish at best, but if Athena is bothering to extend her senses toward him at all, she can pick up that if it is not the truth then the man in front of him completely believes that it /is/.

"That man met that Momoko," he explains. "There are... enough things similar between that life and this one... that I can sometimes use it as a sort of guide. It's not as great as it might sound, either." Zach scowls a bit, knowing that he'd rather not be talking about this but that he is in fact committed. "But in Italy, she was..." Zach fumbles a bit, wobbling his hands to indicate that he's not sure which words to use, which apply. "I'd almost say depressed."

Zach looks Athena in the eye, finally, getting to more comfortable ground. "People like you, like Momoko, like me? Our powers come from our hearts, our minds. Our state of mind matters more for people like us than it does for most fighters, and in a lot of ways, it's easier for us to stumble... to misuse our abilities. This world can be a pretty dark and scary place in a lot of ways." Zach looks down at the table, his hands held tightly together. "I didn't want the darkness to claim her."

To his credit, the young fighter maintains a faint smile as she sits across the table from Zach, her hands still clasped together. At this point, she can't help but probe, to let down some of her own psychic walls and extend her awareness. It isn't a thing she likes doing - invasion of privacy has been something old man Gentsai has warned her off of time and time again, and the obedient student has done her best to comply. But the talent is there, certainly, and right now, she needs to understand the level of threat implied by the man seated across from her who seems to know way too much.

Jeremy's curiosity and urge to protect her is sensed in an instant, the barkeep as easy to read as a child's book, but her primary focus is on Zach Glenn. Detecting lies is not so easy as it might seem, but it is possible to look for a dissonance between expression and sentiment, to suss out nervousness or inconsistences between what is presented and what is withheld.

"Like dreams?" she asks after a moment of digesting his explanation. The idea that intuition can evolve to the point of being nearly prophetic is not a foreign concept to her even if it isn't something she's ever witnessed without room for doubt. But dreams doesn't really align with what he's describing, what he's using as a supposed guide when possible.

"She was, yes," she finally allows, wistful smile returning finally. "But she's doing better now." She pauses, eyes averted briefly, "It was... not an easy problem to overcome."

Her brow furrows slightly, her curiosity piqued by his discussion of their gifts and the risks inherent therein. It sounds a lot like the lectures Chin has given to her throughout her life so the ideas are certainly not new. "Your concern about her is appreciated." That much she seems to accept even if the explanation behind it may continue to be something harder to process.

"But it is interesting to me how you see yourself as apart from the world. Special, I suppose... I would argue that the state of everyone's mind matters equally." she continues, "There is nothing special about us. We are not set apart from the world, we are in it. The same traps that we might stumble into exist in the paths of all men and women, fighter or not. The same harm we can cause, others can as well."

Athena shakes her head, eyes closing briefly, "The things Momoko has been through could happen to anyone, it is only the magnitude of the outcome that urges any extra care, but the attention she merits is deserved by all. But believing ourselves special is the first step toward that very danger of misuse you caution against."

"More concrete than dreams," Zach answers in a tone that suggests that he only /wishes/ that were the case. "But it's good to hear that she's doing better," he agrees. To Athena's credit, Zach listens when she dives into her case about how the pair are not any different, or special, when compared to everyone else.

"We /are/ special," he says after a moment. "Not in any way of entitlement or anything. But it's a simple fact that most people cannot /do/ what you and I can." Zach looks at Athena, then at the table, looking through it as if revisiting the thoughts. "Though, yeah," he admits, "The... talents run in my family. It's something of a tradition to use them to help people where we can." He looks back up at Athena, "Perhaps to remind us that we /are/ in the world. I hadn't really considered it from that angle," he says.

"Many people can do things I can't do too." Athena replies without hesitation. These lines of thinking, they are not something she is making up as she goes. She's clearly thought about them before and perhaps even been mentored along this way of thinking by one concerned about what the alternative path could be. "Everyone brings their own gifts to the whole. It's dangerous to think that ours are more special than anyone else's. Is it not a tyrant's pride that leads one to think he needs to be elevated to that point because he knows best for everyone else?"

The girl shakes her head slightly, hands slipping off the table to rest in her lap. "The way you phrase things, it makes me worry about where your mind is, what your path has been, and more importantly, where it is going. How will your talent be put to use, I can't help but wonder. Your..." she hesitates, "Visions or portents, I hope that you are using them in the service of others. A powerful gift like that... shouldn't be for your own gain."

Finally her fingers seek out of her glass again, lifting the water to her lips to take a sip, continuing to watch Zach. Her encounters with those sensitive to the thoughts of the heart have been rare, yet this is the first time she finds herself uncertain about what one is doing with them.

"Sorry," she finally adds, smile returning, her tone and expression apologetic. "It's something I find myself drawn into thinking about a lot. I didn't mean to drag you into a discussion about such things. But then again..." she grins just a little from behind her glass, "I didn't come looking for you."

"It isn't for my own gain," Zach says factually, no trace of defensiveness. "I try to use my abilities to protect those who can't protect themselves," he says. "Sometimes I even succeed," he says a bit more soberly. "And sometimes things happen that... I don't really have any basis to work with. Like what happened in Metro City." Zach takes a deep breath, putting those memories behind him.

"And to be fair, I didn't come looking for you, either. I was on my way to Edinburgh, to visit some family, and took a wrong turn. It added an hour and a half to my drive," he says, in a half grumpy tone. "I was trying to get to a good place to turn north, when I picked up on you and your team. I recognized Kensou's presence; we had met before the tournament. In a Neo League match. I'm glad he's turned a corner on whatever was bothering him, by the way. You were just the first person I found. I honestly didn't come to here to seek you out."

"That's good," Athena replies softly regarding the exercise of his talents, falling quiet then as he continues. "Success is important, of course, but so is the heart of desire in trying to do what's right. It's good to meet someone who feels similarly." she offers as a reprieve from the negative feelings that thrum with resonance at the mention of Metro City. Given the catastrophe that rocked the world in that city, she can only imagine that is what he is referring to.

He takes a moment to explain his own travel itinerary, provoking a soft nod of acknowledgement though he'd probably easily pick up on her raised eyebrows at the idea that one would get lost this day and age, the very concept of being lost with a phone handy certainly a foreign concept for the teenager. "Maybe the weather is messing with your GPS?" she offers worriedly, "I'm sure Jeremy could give you some directions."

She nods again as he insists he didn't come looking for her. "I see," he gets in reply, another sip of water taken. "A happy coincidence then. At least I can assure you that both Momoko and Kensou seem to be doing better since you last met them."

"Or maybe I could actually /use/ the thing," he says with an abashed grin. "It... works a lot better when you actually use it." Zach takes a swing of his water, looking thoughtful. He looks outside at the weather, then back to Athena.

"I was wondering," he says, "If it's not too much to ask, I mean, would you do me the honor and pleasure of a sparring match? I mean, if you still have the finals to get ready for, I'll understand if you don't want to. It's just a matter of personal curiousity, since I didn't get a chance to fight your team in the King of Fighters."

As he admits to not using the GPS, Athena's grin widens, "Oh. I, ah, yeah, that might explain it too." Silence hangs for a moment, his glance toward the inclement conditions outside drawing her attention that way as well before her focus goes back to the lost traveler.

He brings up the idea of a sparring match and Asamiya sits up straighter, her hands slipping to her lap after placing her water back on the transparent tabletop. An invitation to spar? The thought provokes a spark of excitement at the idea. Impromptu fights have been a rarity in her life, and even the few she's had tended to involve someone launching a hostile attack against her or something she had to try and protect. Only one other time was she invited to participate in a random, off the cuff, unsanctioned match, and that experience had been enlightening indeed.

"The finals were three days ago," she answers, sounding a touch sheepish at telling him that, as if a little surprised anyone in the world managed to escape that fact. Her left hand lifts to rub against her right shoulder where her arm had been dislocated briefly, a reminder of the frighteningly effective opponent she had gone up against. If he had caught her just once or twice more... Well, every match had its decisive moments and likely every fight going forward will be equally laden with instants in time that can determine everything. Such are the risks fighters take in such dangerous sport.

"I have recovered from them." She pauses then, processing something else he said, "Wait... you participated in the tournament then?" She leans back in her chair, hand lifting to her chin, finger bent as she considers. There were a lot of new faces in the event, people she hadn't known of before, but there were only so many with his stature and bearing, "Aah... Rhi... Rhin... nerch? Was that you?" She nods her head slightly, "Your team was impressive, I thought for sure that..." She shakes her head, "Well, nevermind that."

Glancing toward the barkeep who has never quit trying to figure out what the two are talking about, Asamiya calls out, "Jeremy, can we-"

"Yes, yes, everything is already insured," he states, coming out behind the bar, "You can use this area over here." he gestures toward the larger, open space forming the front angle of the pub. "Let me just move these tables and chairs." He grunts, starting to tug some of the wooden furniture off to the side to get them out of the way. "Are you sure you should be doing this though," the balding local asks, worry in his voice, "You just had that big fight after all!"

Already on her feet, hesitating not in the slightest the moment he said they could use the open hall, Athena laughs lightly, "I'm okay. It's just a spar after all!" Her spirits seem lifted at Zach's request, as if she had been eager to experience again the thrill of being challenged, of continuing to explore her own capabilities.

Closer to the barkeep now, she takes to helping him move everything out of the way. Here, the ceiling rises two floors as the second level does not extend over this area. A great wooden chandelier hangs down on a thick rope to provide dim light in the hall. A fireplace burns warmly in the western end, but otherwise, all obstacles are eventually cleared.

"Thanks Jeremy," she states, giving the slightly infatuated fellow a friendly smile which is enough to bring a light blush to his cheeks as he runs his hand through his vanishing hair, "Anything for you, Miss Asamiya. It's, ah, my duty!"

"Rhydderch," he supplies as he gets to his feet, slightly embarrassed that he missed the end of the fight. He watches Jeremy scramble a bit to clear some space, a faint grin on his face. "Also his pleasure, if I don't miss my guess," he says just loud enough for Athena to hear as he grabs a couple of chairs. He sets the furniture down, rolling his shoulders, followed by his neck.

"Can I get your take on something," he asks. "Did you meet Daniel Little during that fight?" Zach slides into a stance that at least superficially resembles a boxing stance before bouncing lightly on the balls of his feet.

COMBATSYS: Zach Glenn has started a fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Zach Glenn       0/-------/-------|

"Ah, right." Asamiya replies to the corrected pronunciation. It definitely wasn't something that rolls easily off the tongue for her, to say the least. The hall cleared, she strides toward the other end of the hall and turns to face Zach directly. She pauses for a moment, lifting her right hand and glancing at it briefly, her focus lost as she contemplates if she will see a similar phenomenon as what happened at the finals. She doesn't feel any of the same energy in the air around her now - that almost sense of intense static presence that necessitated pushing against by exercise of will. Even then, it had infused her attacks, making her rounds in the finale shockingly brief.

But if it happened again, she would need to call off the spar. This is a different battleground than the one she was in three days ago... it should be okay, right? She bows her head briefly, hands brushing against her crimson skirt, eyes closed, standing up straight as she takes a moment to ready herself to fight.

When the girl's violet eyes snap open to focus on Zach again, there is something different about his sparring partner. An undeniable presence that radiates out from the psychic celebrity. It would be less obvious to those not sensitive to such auras but even Jeremy would know that something had changed. Swinging her arms up, hands open, she extends her left hand, palm forward, bending her right hand at the elbow and drawing it back as if prepared to strike. Her left foot slides forward as well as she exhales softly.

She is alive now. Her barriers drastically lowered, her senses allowed to expand outward, her power ready and eager to be drawn upon.

"No." she answers regarding his second question. "He was missing." Her breaths are controlled, her relaxed but ready stance allowing her to prepare for anything without draining her resources early.

"Their team was disjointed. I believe it cost them the tournament." she declares after another moment, eyes blinking once. "But their accomplishments are still remarkable." She nods slightly, indicating that she is ready to be tested, to be allowed to express herself in the pure arena of combat. "Why do you ask?"\

COMBATSYS: Athena has joined the fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Athena           0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0       Zach Glenn

COMBATSYS: Athena takes no action.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Athena           0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0       Zach Glenn

Zach's eyes narrow, an excitement racing through his veins as Athena prepares for the fight. It's not hard to see how she brought her team as far as they got. Unlike Athena, Zach's energy seems to focus inward, like a river being dammed or a horse being yoked.

"Missing," he asks, the concern evident in his voice. "That..." Zach exhales slowly. "I know... I -knew- the man," he says after a moment. "He's under a lot of different stresses coming from a lot of different directions. I'm worried about him," Zach says, even if Daniel Little manages to piss him off on a regular basis.

Then Zach charges, leaping toward Athena in a low arc. Glenn spins once, lashing out with the heel of his right foot for Athena's shoulder as he does so!

COMBATSYS: Athena dodges Zach Glenn's Sweeping Strike.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Athena           0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0       Zach Glenn

Unlike some fighters, Athena is not a great student of what other skilled martial artists display in their public matches. While she enjoys watching broadcasts when time affords, between her own academic burdens, training, travelling, and match preparation, there is not a lot of time afforded to idly enjoy seeing what others are up to in their bouts. As such, even though she has managed to place her sparring partner among the fighters she followed in the King of Fighters tournament, she is not confident she knows exactly how he actually fights.

Her own teammates all exhibit a blend of martial arts blended with bursts of their own psychic potential, with her own style being the most reliant on the vibrant energy that so readily answers her call. Only Haru deviates with his use of a rather unconventional weapon in his matches.

So it stands to reason that she expects something similar from Zach Glenn. His boxer stance suggests comfort with melee strikes, especially with his arms... and there will probably be some demonstration of his own power... "His chair was covered in rusty nails." Athena mentions somewhat matter-of-factly. She doesn't know what to make of it but she can't imagine the intended interpretation is supposed to be a positive one. "I think your worry might be well placed."

When he slips in, he defies her initial expectations with even his first attack, not swinging with a strong blow from his arms but rather slamming his foot out, attempting to catch her in the shoulder. She reacts almost an instant before it even seems possible for her to read the angle of his incoming foot. The lithe fighter weaves out of the way of Zach's heel, leaning in and staying close as his foot narrowly misses her shoulder, grazing along her short sleeve.

The exchange happens in almost an instant as she attempts to apply equal pressure in return, her right hand snapping out, seeking a grip on Zach's extended leg. If that contact is made, he is at risk of finding himself pulled with sudden, powerful telekinetic force as the smaller fighter would attempt to whip him up and over by his limb and deliver his upper back to the polished wooden floor of the hall. He would know in an instant that it wasn't by way of muscular power that she attempts to use his momentum against him, her arms too lean to suggest that kind of brute force potential.

If successful, she would kick back a few steps, both giving him room to recover but also making sure that she isn't caught off guard by instant retaliation.

Off to the side, Jeremy chimes in before the exchange has even been seen through, "Yes!" only to catch himself and cough, bringing his hand to his mouth as if clearing his throat. He doesn't want to exactly draw Zach's ire by picking a side here, even if his bias is obvious.

COMBATSYS: Zach Glenn blocks Athena's Psychic Bit.

[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////   ]
Athena           0/-------/------=|=------\-------\0       Zach Glenn

Zach rides the wave of psychic force that flings him across the room. Jeremy's cheering, though understandable, does not bother Zach in the least. In a lot of ways, he's background noise for this fight in Zach's mind. The throw sends Zach stumbling back into a wall with none-too-gentle force. He shakes the cobwebs loose even as he strides forward.

"That's... troubling," he agrees. "Something to look into later," he supposes. Zach chambers his right arm, driving a heavy, downward punch aimed at Athena's torso. Oddly, Zach has not thrown even a speck of psychic energy yet. There's plenty in the former Marine. It's like a beacon, almost, but it's entirely self-contained at the moment.

COMBATSYS: Zach Glenn successfully hits Athena with Heavy Swing.

[     \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////    ]
Athena           0/-------/--=====|==-----\-------\0       Zach Glenn

"But why were you already worried?" she asks, pulling her hand back, fingers curling then uncurling as the spent psychic potential is exhausted in trying to slam Zach to his back. His recovery proved far too elusive, earning him a much smoother landing than his opponent clearly had in mind for him. But the setback isn't dwelt upon, the fight is young, her spirits high, and the intense challenge being presented is all she could have asked for on the slow rainy day indoors.

The psychic boxer seems to bristle with energy yet none of it is surging into his attacks in the visible spectrum. The technique is unlike anything Asamiya has seen - driving his power inward, augmenting his already admirable martial arts skills with additional striking force. As she realizes that's what at the heart of the style she's witnessing, she comes to respect his string power more. When he comes in again, the intent is there to weather another close exchange and try to find an opening in his guard to counter attack.

But as she shifts her arms, left and right bracing in front of her, the smaller fighter's stopping power is simply not sufficient to deal with the impact, his fist finding a clean shot through her broken guard. There's no mistaking that for all her ability, the teen fighter makes for somewhat a soft target as she is sent sliding back from the shuddering impact against her sternum, reeling before catching herself from falling over.

The ache demands attention but she consciously ignores it, eyes snapping back to Zach with renewed determination to catch him. A jump back seems to be an evasive maneuver at first, but her feet and left hand find the wooden wall, Asamiya springing forward back for Glenn, tucking herself forward into a steep dive right back down toward him.

A human canonball from the likes of Athena would hardly present a credible threat to any hardened fighter, but the sheath of rose hued Psycho Power that erupts over her might be a legitimate problem as she tries to crash right down into Zach, hoping to smash through his guard and leave him open... and should she find a chance, she'll transition with flawless grace into a hand spring kick, trying to drive a foot into his stomach and knock him away - perhaps it's payback for that stinging punch!

COMBATSYS: Zach Glenn dodges Athena's Phoenix Arrow EX.

[      \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////    ]
Athena           0/-------/---====|==-----\-------\0       Zach Glenn

"Because that man has a nose for trouble like no other," Zach says. "And despite any differences he and I might have, he's a good man."

Athena comes in quickly, that psychic cannonball all but screaming against his senses as she closes. Glenn quickly takes two shuffling steps away from Athena's landing space before simply leaping clear of the follow-up kick in order to evade the whole thing neatly.

He lands lightly, considering for a moment the way she moves versus the way that he moves. Plotting out potential lines of attack, possible ways she could counterstrike. "I'm not entirely sure he will accept any help I might offer."

COMBATSYS: Zach Glenn focuses on his next action.

[      \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////   ]
Athena           0/-------/---====|==-----\-------\0       Zach Glenn

Coming up out of her slide, Asamiya whirls around to find Zach's new location. That he proved quick enough to escape her last attack is a testament to his reflexes and speed of evasion, she muses, still trying to get a sense of how exactly he fights. Her window of opportunity to learn the other fighter's style is narrow as ever if the force behind his clean hit is any indicator.

She's wary at first as he hangs back, slowing down for the first time yet in the match. "If he is the kind of man you say he is," she considers, drawing her arms back behind her back, light red energy coursing readily to answer her call, "I hope you can help him. Why would such a trouble magnet not accept assistance?" She grins fainly, "It sounds like he needs it more than anyone."

A forward step is taken, bringing momentum to her next attack, her arms swinging from behind to forward in a practiced, smooth motion - it is a technique she has practiced thousands of times, one of the very first visible manifestations of her power years ago. Her hands sweep past each other, the energy coursing through each colliding to create a singular sphere of churning energy the color of fallen rose petals as the ball surges for Zach from where Asamiya stands.

It is pure, concentrated psionic threat, something he is definitely not a stranger to, decisive in its ability to wither fighting capacity from fighters caught by it though incapable of rendering direct physical harm on its own.

Perhaps it is for their audience of one that the girl calls out her signature technique with such a ready grin, a habit reserved for crowds rather than quiet, lonely fights.

"Psycho Ball!"

COMBATSYS: Athena successfully hits Zach Glenn with Psycho Ball.
- Power hit! -

[       \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////        ]
Athena           0/-------/=======|=====--\-------\0       Zach Glenn

"He's proud," Zach admits, "And I suspect that my concerns for him mirror his for me." Zach says, not really realizing that until he had given words to it.

The Psycho Ball comes flaring in. Zach decides to show some cards himself. He prepares a thin barrier of Soul Power that slides along his body in a sheath of golden energy. He does not, however, have any time to mount more of a defense than that. The sphere of psychic force slams Zach into the wall behind him even as it causes his world to go white in shock for a moment.

He lands, slumping before dropping into a slight crouch as he tries to catch his breath. Suddenly, Athena gets more of a sense of Zach's energy levels as he simply stops channelling them internally. "Let me try that," he says, that smile of fierce enjoyment on his face as he thrusts his right fist forward in a punching motion. A sphere of sunlight surges off of that fist as it hurtles towards Athena at breakneck speeds!

COMBATSYS: Athena reflects Caladbolg from Zach Glenn with Shield Psycho Reflector.

[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Athena           1/------=/=======|====---\-------\0       Zach Glenn

Her attack hits true but not cleanly. Even if her eyes hadn't caught glimpse of the sudden illumination lighting up the hall, her senses would have told her it was there. Even Jeremy is looking at Zach with renewed interest now, especially as the unexpected arrival has demonstrated that he can keep up with Asamiya's renown speed. Drawing her arms back from her attack, eyes never leaving her opponent for an instant in order to avoid creating windows of unnecessary vulnerability, the girl draws back a step while slipping back into her ready stance - a simple Kung Fu posture of preparation, easy to strike or defend from.

She sways a little on her feet, keeping time with a rhythmic flow of energy that draws her into the momentum of the battle as Zach catches himself from the impact with the wall. That he is still as swift as ever continues to be a testament that she is up against a fighter that could have undoubtedly done quite well in the tournament or any other fighting venue that he puts his mind to.

He promises to return the favor, finally pulling all that potential to the surface that she knew had been there. It crackles to life with a brilliant glow, the hall suddenly as bright as a cloudless afternoon in spite the gloomy conditions outdoors. Eyes widen as Asamiya makes her own snap judgment, clapping her hands together vertically in front of her then pulling them apart. The timing has to be exactly right - this is not a defense she can channel for long. "AaaAH!"

Digging deep, she forces a shimmering barrier of Psycho Power into the path of Zach's attack. The collision of forces is profound and it's enough to force the celebrity fighter to dig deep, sucking in her breath and bracing herself even as her feet begin to slide along the floor, sun-bright power churning around the circumference of her shield.

Gritting her teeth, she finally pushes back, forcing whatever power still exists in his attack back toward him even faster than it had launched. The successful reflection is completed with a gasp of breath as her will made manifest finally explodes into a thousand motes of pink energy. Already, perspiration rolls down her temples to collect along her chin, a byproduct of the exertion being demanded of her in the humid environment. Even her white blouse is showing signs, sticking against her back as she tries to collect her breath in the precious instant of time she she might have created.

COMBATSYS: Zach Glenn overcomes Reflected Caladbolg from Athena with Quick Shot EX.

[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////          ]
Athena           1/-----==/=======|===----\-------\0       Zach Glenn

Zach /knows/ the move Athena used to return his energy technique. Zach can't do that kind of thing. Yet. It'd take a lot of time, and effort, to learn his way around that one. His response is both decisive and elemental. He starts to move laterally, even as his left hand sweeps across his torso as if flinging something.

Which he did, kind of. More of that sunlight energy slams into the pink and gold sphere Athena sent hurtling at him. Zach's new projectile blasts clean through the old one as it continues, though weakened, towards the idol!

COMBATSYS: Zach Glenn successfully hits Athena with Quick Shot EX.

[          \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////          ]
Athena           1/----===/=======|=====--\-------\0       Zach Glenn

As fast as the returned threat may be, it isn't fast enough to catch Zach off guard. His response is immediate and effective enough, launching the precision bolt of sun bright energy, spearing through the blend of power threatening to collide with him. It travels faster than anything, travelling the distance from his hand into his target too fast for Jeremy to even understand what happened other than the fact that Athena is suddenly reeling back, forced back toward the wall by a jarring jolt of unmistakable pain.

Exhaling with a pained grunt, she steps forward, closing one eye as she draws upon her own will to shake off the pain. Finally exchanging psionic attacks with the American, the King of Fighters champion gets an impression of the magnitude of his own potential and it is undeniably significant. Compared to her own teammates, his is the second strongest manifestation of it she had encountered outside of her sanctioned battle against the enigmatic Rose.

"Impressive," she allows with a grin as she finishes shaking off the spike of pain. After everything he's put her through thus far, it's easy to tell just at a glance that the effort is taking its toll. But she won't slow down, she won't be daunted by the threat of exhaustion, as she bolts forward then, shoes clattering against the wooden floor as the smaller fighter closes distance. It is not often she gets to put her direct melee martial arts to the test, but after seeing Zach's in action, she can't help but want to try.

She weaves from left to right, attempting to maneuver in through his defenses, before slamming her right hand out from behind her head to forward, aiming to deliver a direct blow against his chest. It is unlikely to be the hardest hit he's ever felt, but maybe it will make an impression? "YA!"

COMBATSYS: Zach Glenn blocks Athena's Aggressive Strike.

[         \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////           ]
Athena           1/---====/=======|======-\-------\0       Zach Glenn

"Thanks," he says, sounding a little winded himself. "I try." Athena's talents are, well, considerable does not even begin to cover it. He's not entirely sure how this spar will go. For that matter, he's not entirely sure how a serious match would go.

Nothing for it but to move forward, right? Right.

Zach brings his forearms in front of him to catch Athena's strike squarely before twisting at the waist to his left in order to divert some of the force of the strike. His left arm, the lower of the two in the block, slides free first. More of that amber energy swirls around that left fist, resolving into what might appear to be a gauntlet of some kind. This is slammed directly at Athena's liver, hopefully slowing her down a bit more!

COMBATSYS: Athena interrupts Random Strike from Zach Glenn with Super Phoenix Infinity EX.

[            \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////                    ]
Athena           0/-------/---====|=======\=====--\1       Zach Glenn

Even though she possesses the ability to project her Psycho Power in the form of long ranged attacks, melee range is surprisingly where Athena seems to strive to be in most of her fights. Many would dismiss the slight girl as likely wanting to avoid her opponents, to keep her distance and try to kite them until they're exhausted.

They would be wrong.

Back in melee range, the girl strikes out with her hand, aiming to force Zach on the defensive. If it works, she thinks, she can transition into a follow up attack before he can even-

His propensity to guard and counter attack in the same smooth motion almost catches her flat footed. To the unexperienced eyes of Jeremy, he would not even see what happens as Zach's empowered fist comes swinging in, aiming to land a staggering blow to the girl's side. Her opponent was not wrong - it would be a potentially crippling hit, leaving her sick to her stomach and gaping for breath - any fighter under such conditions can be brought down quickly afterward.

Instead, again responding with speed that seems impossibly fast, either by intuition, foresight, or just plain plucky resolve, Asamiya bursts into Zach's chest, shoulder first, as she launches herself into a reckless attack. The celebrity fighter's entire body is enshrouded with Psycho Power as she collides, forcing it and her own physical strike to deliver as powerful a blow as she can practically land in a single hit.

Perhaps it's desperation, or maybe she recognized when Zach unleashed his psychic power into outward projections, that not giving him her all would leave her quickly overcome... Whatever it may be, she takes advantage of the high ceiling to surge upward with all her strength, potentially taking Zach with her.

It would be at the apex of her ascent that she would flip forward, arms out at her sides, the surplus energy answering her call spilling off her hands forming almost the shape of drifting wings as Asamiya finally drops back to the ground, the soles of her feet resounding against the floor.

Did she even get hit in that exchange?

The truth becomes abundantly clear a moment later as the girl gasps for a breath, staggering forward on unsteady legs, hand going to rest over her liver as she tries to keep her knees from giving out beneath her. Drenched now in the sweat of battle, she only slowly whirls around to face Zach wherever he might land, wincing as she forces herself to lift her arms and regain her ready stance even if everything in her body is suggesting she hasn't the energy to keep going like this!

The liver punch was about to land. Zach /knew/ that the hit would land, on some level. Athena's speed, and more importantly the raw /power/ she can wield with that speed, caught Zach flatfooted even though he was well aware of it. Zach's descent is as rapid and just barely more painful than his ascent, causing glasses to rattle with the impact. He lays there for a moment, gasping for air. He drags himself to his feet, wobbling slightly as he regains something approaching a stance.

The energy within is surging, calling out. All but /demanding/ to be used. He /could/ use it. Athena, to his estimation, could probably take what he could dish out. The pub, however, probably could not. Zach was not about to do that to Jeremy, who took a chance and did him a solid favor today.

A notch below that, then. Zach's mostly just curious to see if he can land the shot, really.

Zach's torso, hips, and shoulders, all twist and rotate as Zach chambers (and telegraphs) a right straight. More of that tawny power slides along the arm, starting its own rotation. Violet lightning sparks across the surface of the golden almost-drill as Zach readies himself. "Last shot," he gasps.

And then he charges, violet clashing with and complimenting the gold as Zach drives that piercing right straight directly at Athena's midsection!

COMBATSYS: Zach Glenn successfully hits Athena with Brog EX.

[                   \\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////                    ]
Athena           1/---====/=======|=------\-------\0       Zach Glenn

Face to face, at point blank melee range, Asamiya's options for defense are to either try and weather the storm or force herself into yet another painful attack head on. Considering what the last one did to her, and her dwindling reserves, an attempt at directly confronting the incoming attacks is completely out of the question. As such, she draws back, bracing herself as best she can, arms raised to protect her chest and face. As if already knowing that won't be enough, she pulls a shimmer of rose hued energy to the surface - a contesting force meant to blunt some of the impact potential of her sparring partner's.

If only she knew that trying to withstand the attack straight on was equally non-viable. His amber-charged fist crashes through Athena's defenses as if she wasn't even trying, colliding solidly with the base of her rib cage with crushing force. It's enough to fold the featherweight over as Asamiya goes flying back from the hit, back colliding solidly with the wall behind her, another resounding shaking of glass echoing throughout the pub.

Already, Jeremy has taken to ducking behind the bar, only just peeking over it to watch the spar he can't possibly take his eyes off of even if he is undoubtedly worried some stray mote of that power being flung by the two comes flying his way to likely catastrophic circumstances!

Hands over her stomach, Athena crumples against the wall, about to fall into a seated position on the floor before she catches herself. Gasping for breath again, the determined fighter shakes her head, gritting her teeth as she pushes back against the sturdy surface in order to bring herself back up to a leaning stand for a moment, one eye closed in a pained wince.


Slowly, Jeremy stands up, feeling a bit more confident now that the powerful strikes have slowed down for a moment. "A-are you okay?" he stammers toward Athena before glancing toward Zach, "You too, of course, haha." he runs his hand through his vanishing hair again, "You guys are as ridiculous as it seemed on the fight streams!"

Athena gives his concerned question a grunt and nod of acknowledgement, "Y-yeah, just..." she rubs her stomach again, "It's not every fight I see hits like that, eh heh."

Standing upright, the girl breaths in again. It's almost by reflect that she pulls more of her energy to the surface, a swirl of soothing pink building near her feet and spinning up around her, trailing more sparkling energy like a thousand tiny ruby raindrops over her. It's enough to dull the pain and rejuvenate exhausted muscles, both of which are sorely needed.

"A fight in the arena would have been something," she finishes. "Maybe some other venue, ne?" Holding back now, she doesn't reengage Zach immediately. Last shot he had called it - a decisive strike to make sure she remembered the spar by. Does he still want to continue? Even now, the young fighter's guard is at the ready.

Zach brings his fist back, and he wobbles a bit before simply sitting down on the floor. Athena gets the sense of that almost rampant energy being reigned back in. Even as he does so, Zach's breathing starts to get back under control, and some of the scrapes and bruises he had accumulated start to fade a little.

"I'm done," Zach says as he waves Athena off. "We should save something for when we actually fight on the stage. Jeremy shouldn't be the only one to get to see that." With that, Zach leans back, placing his weight on one arm as he turns toward the young man.

"If you'd be so kind," Zach requests, "Some more water, and bananas if you have them handy, please?"

COMBATSYS: Zach Glenn gains composure.

[                   \\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////                ]
Athena           1/--=====/=======|-------\-------\0       Zach Glenn

COMBATSYS: Athena successfully aids herself with Healing Aura.

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////                ]
Athena           1/--=====/=======|-------\-------\0       Zach Glenn

In a few minutes of swift, powerful exchanges, it seems both had gotten what they wanted. A chance to test themselves, an opportunity to bring forth that shared spirit of competition and resolve fundamental to each of their hearts. Slowly, and with relief, Athena lowers her arms to her sides, still catching her breath.

"A good point," she answers with a grin then a nod toward Jeremy, "No offense, of course."

The barkeep whews as the spar comes to an end. Nothing got destroyed, so that's good. All he has to do is move the furniture back into place and no one will be the wiser to the intense match he got a chance to watch.

"You bet!" he exclaims for Zach, reaching for one of the largest pitchers behind the bar and filling it up with crisp, cold water. A duck below the counter produces a few bananas as well.

Striding forward, Athena draws nearer to Zach, settling down on the floor nearby. "The same for me too," she asks the eager employee, "And a towel, please." Up close now, it's obvious that the humidity and intense exertion she was pushed to has taken its toll

Jeremy is eager to oblige, providing each of the fighters their own pitcher of water, bananas for nutrients, and towels. "That was an amazing display," he gushes, looking between both fighters equally now.

Asamiya laughs, the sound coming easily to her nearly always cheerful disposition, "Thank you for being such a gracious host, Jeremy." Attention shifts back to Zach then, "I hope you find out what happened to Daniel Little. I'm afraid I know nothing of him myself..." She wraps the towel around her neck, using it to wipe off her face.

COMBATSYS: Athena has left the fight here.

[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Zach Glenn       0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Zach Glenn has ended the fight here.

Zach takes a banana, nodding to Jeremy by way of thanks, and sets to it with a will before taking a tall glass of water. "I'll look into it," Zach agrees. Just as soon as he gets back to Japan. He could use the distraction such a mystery would provide.

Log created on 17:34:26 07/29/2016 by Athena, and last modified on 16:53:03 07/30/2016.