Mortal Kombat - MK Round 1: Kain vs Rose

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Description: A German and a Gypsy step into a ravenous and unnatural, desecrated hellscape colored by endless war to do epic battle. It feels like there's some kind of symbolism here... Either way, presented for one's viewing pleasure is near-Mortal Kombat between several philosophical contenders. (Winner: Kain)


Rose finds herself feeling chilly. Sitting upright, she looks round herself blearily. Instead of a tasteful bed in her seaside apartment in Genoa, she is, instead, surrounded by ominously silent monks who gaze at her from beneath shading hoods.

Despite the disadvantage of her sleepwear, or lack thereof, Rose is able to project her voice quite clearly. "What," she said, "is the meaning of this?"


Rose was able to scare up a replacement for her characteristic yellow scarf from somewhere - perhaps creating it by sheer will from ambient motes of cashmere and dye - but the rest of her costume, or perhaps, Kostume, is borrowed and modified from local materials. A dark purple quilted-embroidered vest (no undershirt) and leggings, plus a pair of black boots that were probably someone else's originally. What happened to that person? Well, they apparently didn't know how to fight in high heels.

Thus she appears when matters are explained to them by Shang Tsung, including the declaration of who shall go where, and why. At that time, Rose had looked towards where, she felt, the man was standing, one hand toying with the shard of malachite on a copper chain that she was given and has, thus, worn.

Which leads things, then, to


which is when Rose steps down the winding path into this rotting example of forestry. As her nose wrinkles at the subtle residual stink of corruption from - oh, no, it's not that subtle at all, Rose decides as the faint breeze shifts and the festering animal carcasses reach her. The woods themselves are full of skeletons and less decomposed remains dangling from above in a bloody-brown visual chorus. The woods themselves are wracked with puzzle-maples of menace and horror.

It is quiet enough as Rose steps deeper into this dark space that she can hear the leather on her boots creak. Then something rustles in a bush; Rose doesn't startle but her head does tilt sharply to look that way.

"Ah," Rose says, with forced levity in her tone. "It's like Venice."

It's a stark contrast to Rose's arrival and subsistence on the Island, Kain's lifestyle here; at least, that's the image that's portrayed. Crisply tailored shirts and finely pressed suits are his ensemble still for Kombat, the statuesque German seemingly unwaveringly committed to maintaining his urbane image even with little evidence of any kind of the personal staff normally employed by the wealthy and influential. He stands alone to hear Shang Tsung's words, his visage all but unreadable, stoic and restrained.

The psychic might find his mental fortress much the same-- ordered, calm, an ironclad force of will seemingly cooled by ice. It's enigma that extends to the Kombatant's spiritual center, the essence of his power, as well-- to truly delve into Kain's chi, his warrior's heart, is an effort even for one such as Rose. It's as if at once peering into the very burning center of a blinding sun, and through the absolute darkness of the void that surrounds it.

It's cloth of black and crimson that adorns Kain's lithe, powerful frame this day in the woods; or is it approaching night? In the somewhat ironically named Living Forest, under the canopy of dying limbs and unnatural foliage, the dim haze cast through the woodlands' winding, macabre paths renders it all much the same twilight. Heinlein makes no secret of the footfalls of fine leather as he approaches Rose from somewhat deeper within this land; a totem to decay with the facade of nature. Kain has come to wonder if the entire island isn't much the same monstrosity.

"Not even similar in a century, when the City of Canals has been devoured by the sea, its landmarks rendered as a modern Atlantis." A testament to the epic nature of the very forces this realm mocks spoken in smooth baritone notes. Kain bears the crystalline token he seemingly arrived on the island with-- a large platinum coin etched intricately with a coiling serpent. An ancient dragon with an eye of blood red, its inner light only amplifying as it's clasped in the German's gloved palm, suffused with indigo-edged flame he summons to that grasp, casting crimson glow in all directions; summoning a spark in his matching eyes.

While not a psychic, those eyes see more than they should-- or perhaps more aptly, the man who gazes out of them senses it. The tides of the cosmos, the essence of the fused starstuff that is the mortal shell; the potent spirit behind it. What he thinks of Rose, one can largely guess only by his words, "Now here we have the look of one prepared for this crucible." Kain moistens his lips, lowers the medallion to his side, extends his other gloved hand politely, with a half bow. "And perhaps wise enough to already regret it." The smallest half of a smile graces his lips. That graceful, gloved hand beckons Rose forward.

COMBATSYS: Kain has started a fight here.

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Kain             0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Kain equips a glowing Blood Red Soul Shard.

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Kain [E]         0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Kain takes no action.

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Kain [E]         0/-------/-------|

The sense of Kain's approach is not hard to suss out. He is a bit of a bright light, even if Rose is able to feel his coming well enough that she doesn't feel a strong need to probe further. Still, she watches with both overt and occult senses as he comes near, his clothing a crisp, efficient reminder of the world they have both so recently departed.

Rose folds her arms lightly. "Ah, but I don't know if that will come to pass, my dear Mr. Heinlein. You assume in that century that the people of Venezia will simply let their city fall into the past." Rose's eyes turn down to an unidentifiable quadriped remain before her. "I may disapprove of how well they keep their canals, but they're not so passive as to let their city sink without a fight."

She takes in a deep breath - largely, it must be said, through slightly parted lips - at the rest, dipping her head slightly. "I must look a sight, mustn't I? Oh, it can't be helped. I didn't ask to be summoned, but it would have been terribly convenient if they could have let me pack a few things." Her eyes come back up to meet Kain's. "I'll have to find some other way to make an impression, I suppose."

Kain bows then and Rose returns it - and Rose's eyes narrow slightly when she sees, along with that glitter of red in his hand, that he's yielding the initative to her. The first whimsical thought in her mind is: Perhaps without makeup I /do/ seem weaker.

The graver thought is: He expects he can defeat me... and he may be genuinely correct. Soul Power may have its limits here, in this realm so near the verge of nothingness. Rose's head tilts back as she considers Kain for nearly a full second without any significant motion at all. Then she takes a deliberate step forwards - another - #3 puts her within the zone of genuine peril, the space where a kick could reach her - but she takes a fourth step yet despite this, moving with sinuous ease.

Her arms are held at a tense angle. It looks faintly preposterous but it, as well as that wrapping yellow scarf, leave her with few openings, and it is not from up high that her attack comes. Her leg snaps up, a testing snap of a kick towards Kain's thigh.

The green malachite on that necklace gleams. "So how was YOUR journey here, if I may enquire?"

COMBATSYS: Rose has joined the fight here.

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Kain [E]         0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Rose

COMBATSYS: Rose equips a flickering Malachite Soul Shard.

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Kain [E]         0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0         [E] Rose

COMBATSYS: Kain blocks Rose's Light Kick.

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Kain [E]         0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0         [E] Rose

"Man builds on the floodplain, and mourns when it floods. Even the finest engineering cannot thwart time and chance forever." There's no pleasure in that observation, the inevitability it seems to suggest. "And how often do those who hold the purse strings favor the finest engineering?" That sly ghost of a smirk appears once more, alongside a scarcely breathed sigh. Perhaps the elegant European underestimates the psychic for her stature, or her dress, or her gender. Perhaps he's merely that vastly overconfident in his own abilities, even locked here between life and death, where the very spirits of the land scream out for release that never comes.

Perhaps Kain is simply a gentleman; what some might call a character flaw driven by the circumstances of their meeting. Maybe, the enigmatic German simply wants to see what the equally mysterious psychic warrioress is capable of. "Only a fool judges another by the clothes on their back." There's also that-- which conveys all sorts of implications about the sorts of people his own attire is meant to influence.

The matter-of-fact words are spoken calmly as Kain drops low, one flexed arm catching that rising leg and stopping the momentum dead, the stinging impact reverberating subtly through that deceptively formidable lithe limb. Adaptive and demonstrating graceful efficiency of movement, Kain's weight shifts with uncanny alacrity into a singular twist, bringing a reaving leather-clad heel around in a sweep kick that could unseat a charging horse.

And that's before the plume of midnight-hewn flame rips a white-cored arc along the kick's path, its bite at once burning and icy; the hungry essence of starfire ripped from some forgotten galaxy as if it were an effortless proposition.

COMBATSYS: Kain successfully hits Rose with Medium Kick.

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Kain [E]         0/-------/------=|==-----\-------\0         [E] Rose

Kain goes low, blocks her kick, endures no doubt the shivering ripple of coruscant force and then makes his own motion - a sharp kick that smashes right into Rose's calf with that plume of icy-hot energy trailing behind it. Rose loses feeling in her opposite foot for a moment, and there is a look of momentary astonishment on her face as she plummets.

This did not, it seems, go as planned.

Rose is, however, much like the city of Venice - no, not in the sense of being full of stinky animal meat, but in the sense of being flexible and willing to do anything to avoid going down too quickly by half. Her scarf shimmers with that conducted light, forming a spiral shape that catches and bears her as her other foot comes down, leading to her twisting round and presenting the opposing side to Kain as she vocalizes, "Well!" Momentarily favoring the leg he kicked, she says, "And certainly, not forever."

Her head tilts back as she smiles, faintly. "But nothing lasts /forever/. Just long enough."

Rose's example here, perhaps, is the spiral her scarf is on, which seems to tighten upwards - to lift itself upwards as Rose raises her arm upwards, twirling the length of yellow fabric like a ribbon and snapping it to rest fully in her hand. It slides up her arm like a gauntlet, wrapping quite firmly as Rose sways to the side, letting the unfamiliar heel of her borrowed boots skid across the floor of the forest.

"As for clothes, they do tend to send a message. But sometimes we don't realize what that message is," Rose says as her yellow-wrapped arm swings round, hanging rather loose in the elbow joint. "So you're quite right. You should take these things with a grain of salt."

Her necklace gleams.

Rose thrusts her arm in, throwing herself behind it. Her palm is held out and her arm is held with a tension but not a tightness. It might look like she's going to slash with her nails or some other preposterous assassination technique EXCEPT that that rainbow light erupts outwards, away from her mostly-bare arm, billowing out and reflecting with a thousand subtle hues and sparkles in that drill-like spiral. Touching it is a synaesthetic surge of force -- though it MIGHT make that new red gem feel a bit funny, too.

Who knows! Rose is only guessing. You have to start your journey empty, like the Fool.

COMBATSYS: Rose channels the glare of the vicious eye.

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Kain [E]         0/-------/------=|==-----\-------\0         [E] Rose

COMBATSYS: Rose successfully hits Kain with Soul Spiral.
- Power hit! -

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Kain [E]         0/-------/---====|====---\-------\0         [E] Rose

"Long enough is largely a manner of perspective." Though some things fall in the 'clearly not long enough' category; such as Heinlein's adept run at engaging the formidable psion. At least, from his own perspective. "Which may be a matter of choice or circumstance-- much like the binding of a book." There's something about the old adage of judging a book by its cover that applies interestingly to the gilded veneer of 'civilized' society; from a certain point of view. His time to contemplate grows short with Rose's quick recovery, and the furious spiral of psychic energy that accompanies her assault.

For a moment, it looks like Heinlein might be prepared, gripping the medallion tightly and shifting to one side, bracing himself against the impact. This second exchange Rose's punishing power tears through that formidable guard, ample recompense for Kain's singular brutality as he's launched skidding back across the ground, finding his footing on something somehow both parched and sodden at once.

Ignoring the marks his fine suit gets in the process of stopping his tumult with a controlled skid, Heinlein pushes past the pain and grits his teeth, flames suffusing his form as he rises, his breath coming in a deep and steadying rush. One deceptively forceful, finely gloved hand reaches out for the Psychic, seeking purchase on her throat, from which point Kain would none too gently heft Rose up, black fire erupting in an agonizing plume around her skull as she's heaved to the side, more shockwaves of starfire bursting forth all around her; as if from the air itself.

The endpoint, should the enigmatic German have his way, would see the Seer blasted soundly into the side of one of those unnerving trees with the tortured faces.

COMBATSYS: Rose blocks Kain's Schwarze Schleife.

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Kain [E]         0/-------/-======|=====--\-------\0         [E] Rose

Any further questions about the scales of time or the nature of clothing are thrown aside when Rose finds herself being grasped by the throat with more of that unfortunate plume of hellish hot-cold fire wrapping around her. She spreads her arms apart as she rises. Superficially she is not blocking at all!

But she - and no doubt Kain, too - knows that there is more to life than what you do with your arms, legs and torso. As his burst fires, there is a shimmer of light that supplements that black fire, a hot dusty nebula in that dark eternity, as Rose is blasted, yes -- but not away! She rises upwards, making a "grk" sound in the hollow of her throat ('well, so much for chatting for the moment,' she thinks to herself) and twisting round in midair.

It's an inexplicable motion in some ways, because her momentum comes from nowhere. (Well, not nowhere. From within her very soul.) In others it's quite understandable; she presses her legs together and throws them upwards, as if she's doing gymnastics. Both of her hands come down to press gently at either side of Kain's own head, at his temples. This might be romantic.

There's a burst of turquoise-violet light from between them, though, perhaps sending a synaesthetic burst of sheer force through Kain's mind at the same time that Rose brings her not-insignificant weight down behind him, possibly carrying him backwards by the head in the process.

That was probably less romantic. (But not NOT romantic!)

COMBATSYS: Rose successfully hits Kain with Soul Drain.

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Kain [E]         1/-------/=======|=======\-------\0         [E] Rose

It's the interlude that every boy and girl dreams of, past a certain age; right down to the exotic backdrop, an ancient forest unlike any other. Who could help but be swept away in the moment?

In all truth, the kind of exchange it proves to be is exactly the sort that one should expect in the oppressive wilderness of this otherworldly isle-- the savage pain wracking his brain as he hurtles through the air is, in fact, exactly what Heinlein had anticipated in coming to this Kompetition. An expectation only redoubled on first contact with Rose.

It all happens in a flash, the moment he fails to evade that touch the same it all goes wrong for Kain, the explosive psychic energy disorienting him long enough to be flung; harshly enough to force the German to replay the scenario in his head a moment in the process of gaining his bearings. But gain them he does, the statuesque blonde shaking off the wrongness of their surroundings alongside the pain, centering all his analytical attention on his adversary as he gathers breath once more.

"I see I was not mistaken about your prowess." Kain observes without judgement, something less than pleased and more than dismayed. Crimson eyes narrow, another deep breath steadies him-- black flame courses along one arm and up his shoulder. A concession that nod of respect was clearly not.

COMBATSYS: Kain calculates his next move.

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Kain [E]         1/-------/=======|=======\-------\0         [E] Rose

Rose lands in an awkward sort of three point crouch, but Kain is sufficiently thrown that her moment of vulnerability is not met with a swift kick in her posterior or any other punishment, and it is a very thin moment to begin with. Soon enough she's on her feet, spinning round to face Kain properly again, and she favors him with a small smile.

"Your flames are quite memorable," Rose finally says, with effort, reaching up with her left hand to rub her throat. "I'm afraid - I may be a bit terse now. I hope you - won't hold it against me." She does breathe in though even as that black flame ripples along Kain's shoulder, up from his arm.

Rose answers this with a shimmering emanation. It's hard to say just where the luminosity comes from, and indeed other than how it makes her scarf sparkle and flutter in the passing air it wouldn't stand out all that dramatically, /though/ the light of gathering Soul Power does rather contrast with this cheerful and sunny location in which they have been placed.

It does seem to be pushing away the stink of the dead animals. Maybe that's just getting used to the scent, though.

"I asked - about your journey, because I envy - that you could bring your luggage with you," Rose says, without breaking her guard, her poise, or ceasing that upwelling gathering of force. "Perhaps - I've been put in steerage? And here - I always strive to tip well."

COMBATSYS: Rose gathers her will.

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Kain [E]         1/-------/=======|=======\===----\1         [E] Rose

"I might say much the same." Kain admits simply. Of course, Rose doesn't use fire-- but the sentiment is similar indeed. The power she gathers draws that analytical eye to further consideration, and it's unlikely that consideration is granted due to any scent-repellant effects. "It seems to me some of the 'invitations' to this kompetition were far friendlier than others." Heinlein observes, her query answered more by those conclusions than actual knowledge of each circumstance.

Perhaps, had he refused to come on the boat he took to this island, another means would have secured his participation; or attempted to. It's less terse than implied, perhaps, but concrete answers-- if indeed he has any at all-- will have to wait. The flames around Kain only build, conjured forth in further intensity each moment that passes, his own unearthly light filling this otherworldly place and in tandem with Rose, creating quite a lightshow indeed.

A plume of that dark fire races about itself as a flick of Kain's wrist, a graceful thrust of his arm sets paired meteoric bursts aflight, surging around one another in a whirlwind tumult of indigo starfire that races the space between them in a consuming fury, its tight spiral threatening to bisect Rose alongside the voluminous firebursts surrounding the projection.

COMBATSYS: Rose reflects Schwarze Flamme from Kain with Turquoise Soul Overdrive.

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Kain [E]         0/-------/=======|-------\-------\0         [E] Rose

COMBATSYS: Rose successfully hits Kain with Reflected Schwarze Flamme.

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Kain [E]         1/-----==/=======|-------\-------\0         [E] Rose

Rose purses her lips. "So it would - seem -"

And then he's calling his own light forwards. Ah, it's so bright...! The black takes on a positive quality, Rose thinks as she shifts her stance backwards, crouching in a way that's vaguely catlike for a moment. (The heels help.)

He's sending a flicking burst of light towards her. Rose has - no, not even a second, really, to plan ahead. The burst is slower than a bullet, but a lot of things are slower than bullets. Runaway tractor-trailers, for instance. Those are much slower, but you still get crushed.

Rose's fingers curl...

As the starfire reaches her in its indigo glory, she snaps her hands up with a sudden rustle of that yellow scarf. There's a blue flash. Something simple and bright, shading off between her hands with that unmistakably warm, almost organic-seeming hue of pastel blue, before that burst of starfire seems to rewind itself, as if aiming to go back home.

Of course now it has changed color itself, taking on that turquoise radiance, and it may also be moving somewhat faster than it did to begin with. And of course, if it can't hit the hand that threw it, it will be content to instead strike home somewhere else.

"Hah!" Rose exhales more than laughs.

Strike home the Schwarze Flamme does-- if not quite in the manner Kain had intended. As swift as the initial delivery, the reprisal is as a bolt of lightning, sudden and harsh. The force of Heinlein's own cosmic flame and the Soul Power redirecting it is enough to set the enigmatic European staggering, dropped back and then to a knee he's forced to haphazardly take beneath the boughs of carnivorous trees. Crimson eyes snap back to Rose-- and a ghost of a smile comes to Kain's face.

It's not that he's not pressed; for he most certainly is. One saving grace of her violent advantage, however, is the energy it's taken to maintain it. Energy that still bleeds from Kain in abundance, expresses itself in those midnight flames that never seem to burn him. He presses his attack, and as he does, it is as if he is a being of pure flame.

To say Kain charges Rose is an understatement-- he sweeps his arms before him, conjuring a tumultuous firestorm in their wake, a conflaguration that's then launched forward surrounding a leading flexed arm and shoulder. It's the voluminous maelstrom of extra-terrestrial chi that threatens to consume Rose, for as Kain seeks to blast -through- her he is awash in the stuff, a crashing wave of meteoric black flame.

COMBATSYS: Kain successfully hits Rose with Schwarze Panzer.

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Kain [E]         1/--=====/=======|===----\-------\0         [E] Rose

Rose breathes in - And Kain barrels towards her! As the recent song says, there is no rest for the wicked, and that burst of force smashes towards her and does not stop - oh, no, the followthrough!

He's learned the secret of followthrough!

Rose is smashed into dead on. She actually turns slightly into the incoming attack, but that is doubtless a reflex borne from an assessment that if you can't beat them, join them - if you extend force over a wide enough area, it becomes a loving hug, not an agonizing leatherpunch. That is not quite the case here, especially as Kain is not attacking her with the refined extraterrestrial force of hugs, but it does mean that Rose's gasp and the rippling wave of agony comes over her torso and upper legs, rather than JUST in - say - her right shoulder.

Now she does fly involuntarily. She ends up striking that very tree Kain had been aiming her at beforehand, her clothing smoking gently with impossible light's residue, and only landing at an awkward angle keeps her from being fully floored. The puzzle-maple convolutions of that hellish tree dig into her back anyway, making her arch in a manner doubtless pleasing to Shang Tsung but hopefully to nobody else.

No words of reply right now. Her right hand snaps her scarf forwards, which Kain no doubts know full well is an augury of some more PSYCHIC NONSENSE occuring rather than the feeble flailings of some overstyled harpy. And sure enough the rippling yellow cashmere rises upwards, disgorging a shining jewel that moves, symbolically enough, through all the colors of these multihued shards others have worn around - blue, red, green, yellow, all of them. Gorgeous!

It does seem to be favoring green, of course. And also flying towards Kain's center of mass.

COMBATSYS: Kain blocks Rose's Soul Spark.

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Kain [E]         1/-======/=======|====---\-------\0         [E] Rose

It's a study in brutal exchanges as Rose and Kain test the extents of the other's power through epic collision. Soul Power and cosmic chi collide in a luminescent fireworks display at once standing in stark opposition to this darkest of forests-- and in perfect synch with what this place was built for. The kombat is fierce, and this time, Kain is prepared for the burst of psychic force, one shoulder squared against the onslaught as it rips around him, his fine suit fluttering madly in the breeze; to say nothing of his finely coiffed hair, wild in the warrior-made wind.

Kain has little time to appreciate the beauty caught in the midst of that stinging maelstrom, one arm shrouded in dark flame sweeping it aside as the spiralling blast ebbs, stepping through the rainbow to close the distance to Rose in the blink of an eye.

Despite forceful efforts to drive him at bay, Kain seemingly sidesteps that distance by lunging, perhaps translocating across it in a millisecond, all but appearing next to the psychic as his left elbow, wreathed by ragged edges of indigo fire, seeks to land a blow meant to crush bone; to scorch flesh.

There is no quarter asked, here at the razor's edge on the outskirts of a hungry land-- and little given, as Heinlein pushes himself beyond that ragged precipice heedlessly. Relentlessly.

COMBATSYS: Kain successfully hits Rose with Medium Punch.

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Kain [E]         2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|======-\-------\0         [E] Rose

As that fist slams directly at Rose's face, she stares at it once more.

Perhaps she questions her life decisions even as she leans forwards. If she were flattering herself she would say she was leaning into it, but her actual plan was to bring up her arms and cross-block it. Yet Kain is too fast!

Really too fast, she thinks as she moves in complicated ways within herself. Soul Power infuses her head enough that Kain's brutal, bone-slicing punch does not immediately rip her open and send her brains flying everywhere. She realizes nonetheless that she has made a horrid mistake when her head lurches forwards, and the blow nonetheless rips gashes in her scalp, sending blood gushing into that long trailing tail of purple hair. She feels her neck jerk forwards -

And -

She stands there, twitching for half a second, up to a full second. Her neck feels broken. She has some idea of what that feels like. She can feel weakness in the muscles of her legs, some in her arms. She raises herself upwards and there is a sick, dizzying SNAP in the back of her neck, enough that Kain himself can doubtless hear it. That was stupid, and Rose knows that too.

Except... No, she thinks. This isn't Soul Power making my cerebro-spinal fluid* gelatinously difficult.

Rose turns her head for a moment. There's one more POP as her skull sits back on top of her spine properly. She blinks twice, and looks at Kain. In that moment there is a clear expression on her face which transcends telepathic impressions: You and I both know, her face says, that that should have probably killed me.

Then perhaps she has a vision of the future, which, perhaps again prominently includes Kain doing it again, three times, into her face.

And that is why Rose dips forwards again and lunges ahead, that surge of Soul Power that had gone into her body to protect herself from an onset of aggravated and abrupt DEATH rippling outwards instead. She holds out her arm like she's going to tackle a lineman, buoying herself upwards afterwards with a sharp "Hora!" of effort, that malachite gem on its necklace twinkling maddeningly - and doubtless quite clearly to Kain - as the power rises.

If all goes according to plan a synaesthetic tide pours outwards after she clears Kain off the ground, to propel him towards the Forest floor. Or perhaps into one of those dangling, distorted corpses. (Rose will feel awful about that later - except, of course, that she hasn't joined them, and that's always a thing to be happy about.)

* - Rose learned this word from a book Alma left laying around about anatomy and physiology.

COMBATSYS: Rose channels the glare of the vicious eye.

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Kain [E]         2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|=======\==-----\1         [E] Rose

COMBATSYS: Kain channels the glare of the vicious eye.

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Kain [E]         2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|==-----\-------\0         [E] Rose

COMBATSYS: Kain channels the fortress of the steel will.

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Kain [E]         2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|==-----\-------\0         [E] Rose

COMBATSYS: Kain interrupts Aura Soul Throw from Rose with #Himmlischer Sturm#.

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Kain [E]         0/-------/-------|=======\-------\0         [E] Rose

Whether Rose would have just been rendered dead by such a blow is much more of a question in Kain's mind; but there is no mistaking the all-out intensity of the kombat, the potential to cause grievous harm. A lesser warrior, most certainly-- but this being of pure Soul is another thing altogether. -Would- the enigmatic German cut Rose down, render that killing blow if given the option, unrestrained by her shard? It's difficult to say, given the man's stoic and as mentioned, enigmatic nature-- perhaps she should ask him!

As it is, Heinlein is on a somewhat tangentially related topic. "This horrific place..." nomenclature that extends well beyond the terrible trees surrounding them in the here and now. "I fear it may as well represent the very nature of the threat posed by this kontest." Kain observes rather dourly. "Relentless. Dessicated. Ravenous."

He's not blind to her gathering power-- indeed, it rings through his senses like a tuning fork resonating in pitch. It's a vibrational frequency he compliments; one that Heinlein amplifies, a brilliant golden coruscation akin to a flaring sun gathered between his cupping, gloved fingers. "It is good you are here, however inconvenient..." He's restrained, lifted from the ground, but something obstructs Rose's psychic grasp-- the crimson-eyed coin held firmly clenched in Kain's other hand flickers, then flares, discharging the entirety of its wrathful energy in that instant, as crackling arcs of red-white lightning surge up Heinlein's arm, into the gathering power in his hands, outwards with his flame.

It's an eruption that might have shattered Rose's grip even as she sought to hurl Kain clear-- but at that instant the sky opens up above her, columns of starfire swallowing Rose whole. "... it will take the might of many to oppose the darkness dwelling in -this- place." Kain crashes to a painful landing in a three-point crouch, kicking clear of the impact as the land around him is consumed in a maelstrom.

Those multihued blue-white waves that come from on high follow one after another, massive waves of energy taller than a man and several times wider that seem to erupt from the clouds themselves. The falling cascade of chi blasts burning holes in the forest canopy and erupting about the psychic as massive swaths of ground cover and carnivorous plantlife is purged in instants, as the ancient, murderous trees themselves scream in otherworldly agony, matter disintegrated in an instant, fused in the still-more-ancient fury of a distant sun.

The sky opens and Rose's first thought is: Well, I suppose this is how I die. Likely, anyway.

The light is pure and clean. The starfire falls down as Rose muses to herself as to what might happen to her, even as the first blast hits and smashes her down to the ground. Then the second, ripping through that space of the forest. A third, perhaps to grow on, as the trees and horrors scream and Rose is left laying in a cratered space, a sick sore feeling racking her body.

She feels her heart flutter a little. UGH, she grimaces to herself. Is that really what's going to happen here? She tries to sit up, feels her head and neck scream with pain, feels a sudden tingling numbness from about the middle of her ribcage down...

Flop. It's boneless.

Maybe Alma, Rose thinks. I could go to him now. That wouldn't be so bad.

And then the travails of Kombat reveal themselves to Rose, who had never even had time in this course of tournament conflict to think about her mission, about "That Man," about how she could be dying. Perhaps she had a limited guess that the organizers would somehow intervene. If nothing else she could lose consciousness and make it their problem. But the tang of blood in her mouth doesn't go away. If anything it gets stronger.

Her eyes flutter... and she opens them and finds that she is, if anything, feeling all the more energetic now. Perhaps it's delirium, she thinks as she pushes herself up to an elbow, feels her head sway a little -- and exhales with pained force.

"What I wonder," Rose says, as she rolls to her side, pushes herself up that little further - finds a knee, feels a spasm in her left calf, and straightens up rather than push it immediately. "Is if you have withheld... the full measure of your strength..."

"For if you have not," Rose says, wiping her lips (which are now red with blood rather than lipstick, which DOES make a difference) on her scarf, "than I suppose that there is something else that is..."

Rose braces herself. She pulls herself up as much with Soul Power as with her body, rocking on her heels as she exhales and that light seems to radiate from every pore. And yet now that she's upright it isn't so bad, perhaps, she reasons, from these boots. Her scarf, wet with blood, twirls round her arms on almost its own accord, and her eyes turn towards Kain.

"At work, in this realm."

COMBATSYS: Rose takes no action.

[                         \\\\\  < >                                ]
Kain [E]         0/-------/-------|=======\-------\0         [E] Rose

COMBATSYS: Rose prepares to take her last stand against Kain!

[                         \\\\\  < >  /////                         ]
Kain [E]         0/-------/-------|=======\-------\0         [E] Rose

When Kain rises in the midst of the destruction he has wrought, he's surprised to find Rose drawing herself together, defiantly. "Perhaps your own will is bolstered by circumstance." the enigmatic European posits. "If you're asking if I'm trying to kill you; no, not necessarily. The attack is survivable." By a certain type. It takes efforts above and beyond to actually obliterate one such as these two, doesn't it? Perhaps had he continued... that effort indeed just a hair's breadth away. After all....

"My intention was to fight you to your breaking point, or to mine. No purpose is served by your death, here." But much, apparently, might be learned by beating her to within inches thereof. A small, sly smile spreads across his lips, "Regardless what warding may be in place. Still, you survived, and you stand. Impressive." Kain draws a steadying breath, himself-- now barely able to fight on, for his part. That exchange was clearly meant to finish it, and as he squares off against Rose anew, it's questionable how much more power Heinlein can summon-- one would think.

"Still, I don't suppose your concession would satisfy the arbiters of this kontest." Nor is it imminently forthcoming. There's a steeling of energy with that gathered breath, a growingresolve, and little lacking of alacrity as Kain twists and shoots forth one fine leather clad foot in a thrusting side-kick shrouded in white-cored, indigo fire.

That singular strike carries him the last spans of distance back in at Rose, striking foot aligned with her tangibly tortured ribcage as he seeks to steal her regained footing from her. The trees around them creak and groan in protest, limbs reaching, rattling, rending about one another in destructive pain that sends more splinters of wood crashing to the forest floor.

COMBATSYS: Rose fails to deflect Light Kick from Kain with Soul Reflect.

[                        \\\\\\  <
Kain [E]         0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Rose can no longer fight.

[                        \\\\\\  <
Kain [E]         0/-------/-------|

"My, being examined so closely," Rose says, tilting her head back in that slightly sickening way. "I am flattered to be subjected to such... testing." I am astonished at myself that I am being flirty right now, Rose thinks inwardly, but hey! Even a master of the mind may find surprises.

"Likely not," Rose says, bracing herself and twisting her scarf round - but it would seem that in a twist of enigmatic fate, being repeatedly exploded tends to slow your reactions somewhat. Rose twists her scarf around to try to parry that incoming kick, and it is not even partially successful. "Uh!" Rose cries out - and it perhaps confirms either Kain's assessment, the strength of this ward, or both that Rose only says 'uh!' in a feminine tone of pain rather than, say, 'gghhhk!!' or 'my lungs!'

Similarly, instead of exploding into a delightful dish of kielbasa cyganska in clairvoyant sauce, Rose spits up just a bit more blood and sinks to one knee, her face taking a moment to travel through an artful experiential demonstration of pain from both that landing and... well, everything.

She makes herself take a breath afterwards - and throws the scarf down to the ground, swaying sickly before curling downwards, only separated from a "collapse" by a limited amount of control on her impact.

Her vision grays for a moment - but no further.

She thinks. It was actually a few seconds. From the bloody and bruised heap that is 'her' on the forest floor, Rose mutters two final thoughts;

"This is disgusting."

And, "I hope you will be a gentleman."

Her eyes roll back in her head gently and she floats in that gray for a few sick moments. She will not feel this in the morning, but only because she will be unconscious for the morning. (Then again, that's most mornings.)

Log created on 20:13:26 09/13/2016 by Kain, and last modified on 12:38:40 10/02/2016.