Hein - Chessmaster: Ke1 Bb4+

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Description: The rooftop office of Geese Tower. A discussion between the crime-boss and his servant regarding recent events, certain rumours, and questionable loyalties; set to the backdrop of Mr. Howard sparring with three of his minions.

COMBATSYS: Hein has started a fight here.

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Hein             0/-------/-======|

COMBATSYS: Hein has ended the fight here.

COMBATSYS: Syndicate Thugs has started a fight here.

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Syndicate Thugs  0/-------/-------|

They say a man's home is his castle, but seldom is this statement as true as it is for Geese Howard. Geese Tower looms high over Southtown as a symbol of both the wealth of Howard Enterprises and the power of the man himself. Here he lives like a king overlooking his domain because, in truth, Geese would have it no other way. He has fought tooth and nail to get here, and he intends to do whatever it takes to remain.

But it will not be easy.

NOL has set up shop in Southtown, bringing his absolute control into question by their very presence. His half-brother Krauser has challenged the world to come face him with his World Warrior tournament after a long silence. His subordinate Duke currently vies for the coveted title of "King of Fighters," and tugs hard against his leash in doing so. But worst of all--worst of all--Geese recently faced Terry Bogard and lost. Once was a fluke, an underestimation of Terry's drive for vengeance. A second defeat is troubling. Could he be getting soft? Rusty? If so, Geese intends to reforge his technique in the crucible.

Geese is dressed for combat in his ornate gold-embroided and red pants. His uniform shirt hangs loosely as he tightens his bracers. He takes deep, mediative breaths.

"Hein." Geese says simply. "Are they ready?"

While within the confines of Geese Tower, the man who once unquestionably ruled Southtown - and almost /certainly/ will again - is seldom without his domestic servant, the well-practiced and ever-professional German butler known only as 'Hein'.

Now that well-dressed, bespectacled man - an almost feminine look in his polished attire and delicate features - is standing some distance away from his employer. Beside one of the elaborate golden statues surrounding the office, he stands tall and firm; inclining his head slightly before responding to the query of Geese:

"Of course, Mr. Howard," states the German butler with a monotone voice that is almost robotic in nature. Clearing his throat, he puts two fingers of one immaculately-gloved hand into his pursed mouth and lets loose with a loud, shrill whistle that cuts through the cool, January night air.

Almost immediately, three individuals step out through the metal doorway that leads up to Geese's open-air rooftop office. Felix, Kakihara and Erwin; three of the Syndicate's men on the street - all of them competent fighters, but not /so/ valuable that they would be missed should any of them take an unfortunate tumble off the roof.

Such things happen with alarming regularity in Geese Tower, after all.

The trio begin to spread out around their boss, that blonde-haired American who managed to subjugate Japan's largest city with terrifying ease in his youth. Word of Terry defeating him had gotten around the ranks, and there was worrying chatter that the old man was getting weak with age and the comfort that came with being at the top for so long.

They do not /know/ it, but Hein had heard such words from their mouths, specifically. It's this reason that they were selected by the butler /personally/ for this unfortunate task.

Let them see how wrong they were.

"I believe these men should be suited for the task," Hein continues, just the slightest hint of a smirk playing at one corner of his mouth as he offers his employer a stiff bow. Taking a quick step back, he remains within speaking distance - simply clearing the way for the fight to come - as his ice-blue eyes continue to watch the form of Geese Howard. The expression on his face shows none of the interest that he has invested in the matter; he'd been watching Mr. Howard for some time, himself. It was in his very nature to wonder...

/Was/ he truly past his prime? If so, it could prove... interesting.

COMBATSYS: Geese has joined the fight here. You cannot escape wrong death.

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Syndicate Thugs  0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0            Geese

Geese continues with his second bracer, slowly sliding it into place.It's the practiced, instinctual motion of someone who has done it for years--no, decades. He watches the the three men enter with a careful eye, his head tilted just slightly in their direction.

"I would expect nothing less," Geese says curtly. He slides his feet across the polished wooden floor of his office, assuming a wide stance. He straightens his shoulders and crosses his arms over his chest rather than assuming a ready stance to block or guard.

"Duke has made it to the finals of the King of Fighters," Geese says. "What do you think he hopes to accomplish?" For a butler, Hein has proven himself observant. Calculating. Clever. Even a man like Geese needs advisors, sometime. Only a fool acts without a majordomo.

But as for the men who are gathering? Geese does not strike or attack. No, instead he raises one hand, fully extended. He beckons to them with his fingers as a arrogant smirk creeps onto his weathered face.

"Come on."

Even though all three of these men had spread rumours - inspired by Geese's recent defeat at the hands of Terry Bogard - about him being 'past his prime', they nevertheless look from one another with hesitation in their eyes as Mr. Howard shoots a glance towards them.

They've all been paid a sizeable amount of money for this task, but that doesn't seem to be putting them much at ease as they realize that this spar is - in fact - going to happen. In fact, they seem like they've just woken up out of a deep sleep to some kind of troubling reality, and Felix even seems to be openly sweating.

Hein's face remains as calm and impassive as ever, his eyes never leaving the impressive frame of his employer... the Syndicate henchmen are far too low in station to earn his attention, after all. And as far as he's concerned, they may well be dead men already.

Wouldn't that be a pity.

"He grasps beyond his station, Sir," replies the servant, not missing a beat before smoothly uttering his response. As though he'd practiced an answer to that exact question more than once in the past. The rising enforcer and brute always caused Hein no small amount of distaste with his nature and lack of respect.

"Far be it from me to tell you your business," he continues, a twitch on his lips the only sign of his enjoyment with this line of questioning, "But I would watch him. Closely."

= = =

At Geese's beckon, the three thugs seem to grow increasingly nervous... it takes the first of the - Kakihara - several moments before springing into action. As the other two men continue to pace around to either side of Mr. Howard, the most headstrong and bold of the trio charges straight ahead.

There's no bellow from his mouth, no words spoken - the fear has clearly taken grip, and he's likely acting out of some sense of duty, or desire for payment, or just blind instinct. Rushing ahead at a speedy pace, the Syndicate goon plants one foot firmly on the roof and spins on his heel - aiming a savage roundhouse kick that whirls through the air towards Geese's head in a flash.

Now that one of them has finally begun the attack, the other two - Felix and Erwin - share another cautious glance, before they too begin to approach... but far slower, waiting to see their boss' reaction to the initial kick.

= = =

"Perhaps," the butler finally offers, politely, as the three Syndicate fighters spring into action, "It is time to sit Duke down for a chat?"

COMBATSYS: Geese counters Medium Strike from Syndicate Thugs with Gedan Atemi Nage.

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Syndicate Thugs  0/-------/-----==|====---\-------\0            Geese

Geese's eyes follow the three men as they hesitate. To him, their fear is palpable. He can see it in the way they move, their reluctant moves forward and their nervous circling. As they move around him like wild dogs looking for an opportunity, Geese stays stoic, calm, even arrogant. He exhales.

"His strength has made him arrogant," he says to Hein. "He has climbed quickly and his strength has dulled his sense of danger."

Kakihara sweeps in with a strong roundhouse while Geese's stance remains neutral. For a moment, the kick seems poised to strike Geese in the shoulder. In the next, that observation if proven false. Geese's ducks in low and his arm snaps in a block that catches the thug's leg with a swipe. His fingers wrap around the man's pantleg and Geese pulls him forward, plants his other hand under the Kakihara's armpit, and Geese throws him through the air with a single, circular motion. The man flies as easily as someone might toss their jacket onto a couch after coming in from the cold. Geese simply sweeps his arms in a circle and resumes his neutral stance.

"Your hesitation is weakness," Geese barks, folding his arms across his chest once more. "I thought you were convinced this old man had lost his touch. What are you so frightened?" The laugh that follows is unpleasant. Barking.

"Fight me with resolve or don't fight me at all. There is no room here for cowards!"

The roundhouse is caught out of the air, and Kakihara tossed to the side like some small toy by the sweeping circular movement. For a man his size and age, Geese shows a grace that combines with that sheer physical power to make him a ruthless, almost unbeatable opponent. Certainly, that fact plays no small part in the reason he's held control over a city as volatile as Southtown for so many years.

= = =

"Yes," replies the German butler, cold blue eyes watching the action... or, that is to say, Geese's reaction to other men's manuevers. As mentioned, he'd been wondering much the same as the others have after hearing news of his master's defeat against the son of Jeff Bogard - was Geese slipping, or was it simply a twist of fate? A single, unfortunate mistake made against that upjumped hobo? He's watching for signs of slowness, weakness, uncertainty from his employer...

...and he finds none.

This realization doesn't show on his face, however; he simply remains calm, impassive, only the slightest of smirks present.

"He goes too far. Fearlessness serves it's purpose," he states, and then pauses to let that thought hang in the air - one eyebrow coming up in an arch before he continues, "I'm simply worried he might no longer fear of /you/, Mr. Howard."

= = =

As if spurred on by their employer's goading words, Felix and Erwin move as one - each approaching from either side of the blonde-haired American with quick steps... there is no finesse in /their/ motions, just the strength and speed that comes with youth and impressive physiques.

Acting like two linebackers assaulting a quarterback holding the ball, they rush towards Howard from opposite direction with shoulders lowered - aiming to pin the head of the Syndicate between them with a pair of mirrored midsection tackles. Their comrade - the first man who attacked - is groaning slightly some feet away as he slowly pushes himself back to his feet.

COMBATSYS: Geese blocks Syndicate Thugs' Multiple Tackles.

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Syndicate Thugs  0/-------/-----==|====---\-------\0            Geese

"Then perhaps," Geese answers, "it's time that he is reminded of his place." The blond man rolls his neck with an audible pop, turning it left, then right. He does not uncross his arms. "A hunting dog may take on a bear, but if it snaps at its master it must be brought to heel."

Geese watches carefully as the two men try for a pincer attack. He bides his time, his muscles tensing in anticipation. When they crash, Geese's reaction is reflexive and instantaneous: his arms snap up to attention, his muscles taut as he presses into each's shoulder with his forearms, bending his knees to brace himself. He holds them back by raw strength and superior leverage for a moment, then suddenly steps back out of the pin. With that same motion, Geese's hands snap up to try and grasp each man by the side of his head and slam the two each other with a crack.

"And what about Krauser?" Geese asks. "Has he made any further moves?"

"Well spoken as always, Mr. Howard."

The compliment comes out smoothly in that same practiced, almost musical voice of Hein - hardly even a trace of accent from his German heritage and upbringing, owing to study in the finest language schools around Europe. His eyes, behind those thin-framed eyeglasses, continue to regard Howard's every movement with an interest that hardly seems to show on his casual, professional face.

Indeed, he's found the actions of Duke to have crossed the line some time ago. Questioning orders, forcing Billy Kane's hand in one encounter, and now acting like the KoF finals had raised him to some new height... anyone with the observational skills that the domestic servant displayed could tell one thing: the enforcer was no longer happy with his place at Geese's back. He hungered for more.

And a hungry dog is a dangerous thing, indeed.

= = =

Erwin and Felix find their charge halted suddenly by the thickly-muscled limbs of Mr. Howard, then crashed against eachother, sending them falling to the roof with a thump. They're hardly out of it; and it seems that Kakihara has recovered entirely. The third man, perhaps unseen, has stood back up behind his employer's back.

Shaking his head, the Syndicate thug charges his boss from behind, aiming to wrap both arms around the man's thick midsection and hold him in place... just long enough for Erwin to stumble back to his feet - the last man still dazed on the ground - and attempt to level a combination of punches at Geese's chest from the front, as Kakihara desperately tries to hold the blonde-haired American crimelord in place.

= = =

"Herr Krauser seems to be content to sit... and wait. His lapdogs," Hein says that last word without a trace of irony in it - though many would consider him to be nothing more than the same, only for Geese Howard instead of the Head of House Strolheim, "Have been busy, seeking out 'worthy' opponents for the World Warrior tournament."

That immaculately plucked, thin eyebrow above the butler's right eye raises even higher before saying the next words:

"I assume you shall be attending? He seems to have grown no more humble with age; it might be that someone needs to teach him /his/ place, as well."

COMBATSYS: Syndicate Thugs blocks Geese's Improvised Throw.

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Syndicate Thugs  0/-------/----===|=====--\-------\0            Geese

COMBATSYS: Geese fails to counter Hold and Punch from Syndicate Thugs with Joudan Atemi Nage.

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Syndicate Thugs  0/-------/----===|======-\-------\0            Geese

Geese maintains his focus despite the conversation. He seems to be approaching the three thugs with such little effort that discussing business with Hein is well within his faculties.

That is, until the the moment Kakihara gets the drop on him. At first, it seems as though his fate will be the same as before. The man slips his arms around Geese's midsection. Geese reacts instinctively, reaching back to try and plant his hands on the back of Kakihara's neck and throw him overhead back to the ground. Perhaps age is catching up to Geese, however, as a moment's delay leaves him vulnerable to Erwin's assault.

The fist catches Geese in the midsection, buckling him over with a heavy thump against his ribs. It gives Kakihara the reprieve he needs to grab hold of Geese from behind, leaving him vulnerable long enough for a second punch to strike Howard in the chest, and a third to catch him with a smack against his chin.

Perhaps Geese was arrogant to assume Erwin down already. He spits out a bit of blood, but he seems undeterred.

"Better," Geese says. "You will need to work together if hope to stand a chance." Geese suddenly slips out of Kakihara's grasp, twisting his body deftly to slide away and backstep away from the two men. When he does, Geese runs his thumb across his jaw from where he took the punch just a moment ago.

"It seems like a suitable challenge," Geese seems to hesitate for just a moment. Is it dread of facing Krauser? "And the perfect opportunity to reassert control. Not just over Duke. Mishima's downfall will draw the vultures. It's only a matter of time."

There's the briefest flicker of /something/ that passes over Hein's face as Kakihara grabs his employer around the midsection, and the man is punched from the front by Erwin. Who can say what it was? Amusement? Shock? Some kind of sadistic glee?

The well-polished and professional German is an expert at concealing his emotions, and so it passes before an observer would even be able to register it - let alone puzzle out it's true meaning.

= = =

Geese slips out of the midsection grapple, breaking the hold to step several feet back from the trio. Felix has now returned to his feet, and there's a series of glances shared by the Syndicate thugs that seems to point towards one shared thought: they can /do/ this.

It seems that the arrogance of Duke extends far beyond the enforcer himself; even the street-level men of Mr. Howard's empire clearly need to be brought in line. No doubt to see such a thing would please Hein greatly; as well as give him the opportunity to ingratiate himself further into the fold as a trusted advisor and loyal servant.

Moving as one, the three gangsters once again split off to begin to circle their boss - eyes darting between each other and the American man who rules the Syndicate, as though each of them were simply waiting for a signal from the other men.

= = =

If Hein picks up on Geese's hesitation in addressing the issue of Krauser, he certainly doesn't show it; two gloved fingers coming up to push his silver eyeglass frames further up his nose. Conveniently, his hand disguises the twitching of a smirk; gone by the time he moves his hand back to his side.

"A safe bet, Sir," he replies in that almost robotic - yet oddly beautiful - voice, "Forgive me saying so, but surely you know. The men have been talking, ever since that crass boor Terry Bogard last paid a visit."

Felix shoots an angry glare back towards Hein at that comment - no doubt he knows it's implying that /they/ were some of those who'd been spreading such talk. The German only responds with a slight, sideways tilt of his head and a sudden blink.

Moving with the same graceless and brute force that each of them had displayed thus far, the three thugs all charge towards Geese - Kakihara attempting to knock him off the ground with a leg sweep, so that Felix and Erwin can pile atop of him with their heavy, thickly muscled bodies - dropping elbows onto their employer as they do.

COMBATSYS: Geese blocks Syndicate Thugs' Pile On.

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Syndicate Thugs  0/-------/----===|=======\-------\0            Geese

"Talk?" Geese asks Hein. "Even a weakling can talk. It's easy for them to speak of how Geese Howard is losing his touch, of how he might not have the hold on Southtown he once did." Geese's eyes narrow. Kakihara goes for a leg sweep, but Geese steps into the blow, stopping it with force against force. He does not buckle, leaving him well-braced and position to turn aside the first elbow and stop the second with a sturdy forearm block.

Despite it all, Geese remains stoic and focused, even as his voice rises with anger. His arrogant stance from before has been tempered by the possibility of an actual challenge. Alone, these men would prove little threat. Together, they may have the resolve they need to actually pose some sort of danger to the leader of the Southtown Syndicate. Perhaps, in a way, it is a painful reminder of his recent loss to Terry.

But Geese's brow furrows. His drive, that hatred of his own weakness that spurred him to climb out of the gutter, to make himself into a billionaire, and to hone his skills into those of one the greatest fighters the world has ever known resurfaces. His chi makes the air heavy as he concentrates his power. Blue and white energy whips around as Geese draws back his hand. The power gathers in his palm, weaving together into a solid presence. He sweeps his hand forward, the power rushing out in a great wave of energy that rips across the polished floor toward Erwin, aimed at breaking the thugs ranks.


COMBATSYS: Syndicate Thugs dodges Geese's Reppuken.

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Syndicate Thugs  0/-------/----===|=======\-------\1            Geese

Hein notes Geese's quick response to the information that his men have been spreading certain rumours; perhaps it's a sore topic for him? Maybe this entire matter - the World Warrior, Duke, even this spar with these three lackies - is about asserting his dominance once again? Certainly it's something for the German to ponder in what little free time he gets, while under the employ of Mr. Howard.

"Oh, certainly," he says calmly, perhaps in an effort to appease his master, "I have no doubt it is simply noise from the rabble. It's merely my duty to bring these matters to your attention, as always."

= = =

As the deadly Reppuken comes tearing across the roof, it certainly does it's job to break up the trio of Syndicate street-men. Erwin dives straight into Kakihara, the two men tumbling to the surface below with a heavy impact - both of them have the breath knocked out of them by their hasty escape.

Felix, however, seems to be more prepared; a roll to the side carries him out of the path of the projectile, which continues in a straight path onwards until fizzling out some distance away. Through it all, Hein seems to be making notes in some unseen journal in his head; how his master moves, how quickly he reacts, how potent his techniques are.

He certainly seems every bit the Geese Howard that Hein accepted employment under all those years ago. But it certainly pays to keep an eye on such things... because one never knows, when he might begin to slip down the food chain in /more/ than just hushed, whispered rumours among the men.

That rolling enforcer Felix - once clear of the blast - comes back to a standing position with a speed that seems entirely at-odds with her sheer size. Likely it's the adrenaline of being in what might very well be a life-or-death confrontation with Geese Howard that drives him beyond what he might usually be capable of.

A few long strides carry him the rest of the distance towards the boss, and his right hand swings out in a massive haymaker punch leveled straight at the American crime-lord's jaw.

= = =

"I take it Herr Krauser has already sent you an invitation? You won't be needing to seek out one of his 'Lieutenants', as they call themselves?" asks Hein from some distance away, still standing as still as the golden statue which he remains beside.

COMBATSYS: Geese counters Strong Strike from Syndicate Thugs with Oni Hanmon.

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Syndicate Thugs  1/-------/=======|-------\-------\0            Geese

Geese punctuates his response with a short, crisp, "hm." "Of course, Hein."

But then his focus is turned back to the three men. As they scatter in the wake of the Reppuken, Geese has transitioned back into a readied stancee once more. His hands are held extended at his sides, but he works his fingers, muscles tight like a coiled spring.

"Of course," Geese says. "I understand that Billy has received one as well." Geese waits, watching as Felix powers forward at him. He does not move to block of dodge -- not yet, at least. Felix continues bearing down on him, surging in close with the powerful haymaker at the ready.


The motion is swift and decisive. Geese snaps out with his hand, grasping Felix's face with fingers like a vice. He lifts the man up one-handed in a demonstration of terrible strength before slamming him down against the wood of the office with a bone-rattling slam that carries enough force to leave an indentation.

"But," Geese says suddenly. "This may be the perfect opportunity to test Duke's loyalty and ambition. To see how far he has come."

Hein's ice-blue eyes focus sharply as Felix is lifted off the ground by the face; that is certainly the Geese that the denizens of Southtown have feared for so long. The man who held the city in an unshakeable grip, whose men ruled the streets and whose very name spread terror into the hearts of those who would oppose his machinations.

Perhaps he had simply grown a bit complacent with his position, the German decides. An old lion must occasionally rise up out of it's slumber to put fear into the rest of the pride, after all.

"I daresay Duke's ambition need not be questioned," he states matter-of-factly, though with all due deference and respect owed to his employer, "But loyalty?"

He lets that word hang in the air for a few moments, as the two remaining Syndicate goons begin to plan their next move and approach. Felix seems completely out of the fight after that vicious counter-attack, laying in the indent that the impact left on the roof's surface.

= = =

Kakihara and Erwin take a step or two apart from eachother, and then rush forward as one. No cheap tricks this time, and without the third man they're unable to fully encircle Geese to potentially throw him off his guard. No, it's clear the remaining two are beginning to get a bit /worried/ about the situation...

...particularly since Felix is still not moving, and barely seems to be breathing on the hard ground.

Each man strides towards either side of the Syndicate crimelord, attempting to grab his wrists - Kakihara on the left, Erwin on the right - and use their grip to flip their boss onto the ground in a double-arm toss.

= = =

"Loyalty might be something he needs to learn, again. You know how men like him get, Mr. Howard. Forgetful," says Hein, finally finishing his earlier thought.

COMBATSYS: Geese blocks Syndicate Thugs' Medium Throw.

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Syndicate Thugs  1/-------/=======|-------\-------\0            Geese

Geese lingers only momentarily after teaching Felix his place. Instead, Howard moves smoothly back into a neutral stance, reaching up to adjust his bracer once more. His attention turns toward Hein, as the Syndicate leader seems convinced that he has nothing to fear from an immediate counterattack.

"Yes," Geese answers coolly. Before he can speak further, the two men move in once again.

The two men grab Geese, one by each arm. For a moment, he seems like he's caught off guard. The next, he smiles.

And then Geese backsteps, moving away from them. They pull at his arms uncomfortably, but not with the impact they may have hoped. Geese breaks free from Kakihara, slipping his wrist out of the man's grip with a slippery twist and pull.

With his hand free, he takes hold of Erwin by tugging him forward with the arm he was holding and twists his arm, turning the man's wrist painfully to throw him off balance. If he succeeds, Geese reaches out with his other hand to grab him by the shirt and toss him into a forward flip toward Kakihara.

"Too bold!" he shouts. "Engaging your opponent where is strongest...pathetic!"

Geese's attention turns back toward Hein, finishing his thought from before: "World Warrior may prove an excellent teacher," Geese smiles at this as if he's amused at some unspoken joke. "He simply needs to be steered toward entering."

COMBATSYS: Geese successfully hits Syndicate Thugs with Medium Throw.

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Syndicate Thugs  1/----===/=======|==-----\-------\0            Geese

Hein simply shakes his head, left to right, once as he watches the two remaining men try and /toss/ Mr. Howard to the ground... those fools; surely they must realize that such a thing is only within the realm of possiblity to a very select few? The fact that they - two common, albeit strong, street thugs - were capable of such a feat... well, it beggars belief.

"Tch," comes the slightly-disappointed scoff from the manservant's pursed lips, before that veil of almost mechanical emotionless once again covers his face.

= = =

Erwin is tossed onto his fellow gangster, the pair landing in a heap with a heavy THUD. It seems, for the moment, like all /three/ men are out of the fight.

The butler takes this opportunity to begin speaking once again, as all three men on the ground slowly begin to groan and pull themselves back to their feet. No doubt Geese will allow them to do so, in the hopes of them proving to be a worthy challenge yet.

Though who knows how merciful the Syndicate Boss is feeling today?

= = =

"I'm certain he could be easily goaded into attending. If you wish, I could speak to him; I don't think he likes me very much," Hein pauses at that last statement to show a rare, genuine smile of amusement.

Yes, the brutish enforcer certainly seemed to have little regard for the domestic servant that he likely viewed as something of a foppish dandy at best, and a groveling lapdog at worst. Fortunately, the opinions of such peasants never did seem to bother the stoic German individual.

"Or perhaps you'd rather speak to him directly. I could summon the man here, if you prefer."

= = =

The brief discussion has given Erwin and Kakihara the opportunity to regain their composure and draw themselves back up into a crouch. Suddenly, their hands flash into the pockets of their vests - the two men clearly no longer concerned about treating their employer with the proper respect...

Two knives flash through the air as the pair each toss a large blade directly at Mr. Howard.

"Hm. How rude," notes Hein, standing off in the distance.

COMBATSYS: Geese overcomes Multiple Knife Toss from Syndicate Thugs with Shippuken.

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Syndicate Thugs  1/----===/=======|==-----\-------\0            Geese

Geese's brushes his shoulder off after the toss. While "ragdoll" might be a bit cliché, it does describe the ease with which the man throws them quite well. Between his perfectly practiced technique and his considerable physical might, he the leader of the Syndicate handles such feats with terrible ease.

"Disappointing, but perhaps there's some fight in you yet." His attention turns toward Hein as Geese's feet thump against the heavy wooden floor.

"Bring him to me. I'll speak to him myself." A smile crosses Geese's countenance when Hein suggests that Duke doesn't like him very much. "That's unfortunate, then, that Duke has so few men in this organization that he -does- like. Perhaps it would do him some good to make more friends." Before he can speak further, however, there's the sound of men moving again. Knives are drawn, and Geese's head turns ever so slightly to watch them out of the corner of his eye.

"Do you think those will work? You've already lost."

The knives rush out, flying toward his back in the blink of an eye.

But with a rustle of cloth Geese spins on his knees, launching himself backward into the air and away from the blades. His chi surges once again, wind rippling through his gi as he thrusts a palm forward in a great flash of blue and white chi.


The orb of power rips through the knives with enough force to simply smash them aside. It keeps powering toward the two men, barely slowed by the effort.

COMBATSYS: Syndicate Thugs dodges Geese's Shippuken.

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Syndicate Thugs  1/----===/=======|==-----\-------\0            Geese

Hein bows to his employer, as the man makes it clear that he wishes to speak to Duke personally. Likely for the best; who can say how the efforts of the domestic servant to try and verbally goad the brutal enforcer into /anything/ might have gone? There was a fair chance it would end badly for at least one of them; though which, who is to say? It's likely that Duke knew little about the German's own martial skill... which is precisely how he's always wanted it.

The first non-professional utterance of the entire discussion comes out at that last part of Geese's statement; the idea of Duke making friends is enough to elicit a very quiet - but genuine - chuckle from his employee.

"He never did know how to play nice with others," states the butler with a wry smirk on his lips and just the faintest trace of amusement in his voice, "Not that he doesn't have his /uses/, of course. I will endeavor to bring him to you as soon as possible, Sir..."

= = =

It's the knowledge that they /have/ already lost that frightens the two men into drawing blades against /Geese Howard/, a foolish manuever even if he were to have his back turned... the simple act of doing so is such a grievous disrespect, such a shameful display in front of the gang-leader, that Hein would not be surprised if all three of these men were to meet with unfortunate accidents in the near-future.

Perhaps Hein could even arrange such a thing. Perhaps he's done so, numerous times in the past. Perhaps Mr. Howard, however, will want to deal with it personall.

Who can tell?

Regardless, the orb of energy knocks the flying blades to the side with an effort that surely puts the fear of god into the two men who still remain conscious. The look of terror in their eyes is certainly noticeable, even from Hein's position far away from the sparring match; it's enough to cause another brief glimmer to shine through his ice-blue eyes.

Something about seeing the rabble put in their place always /did/ bring him some minor joy.

Only through sheer adrenaline are the two men able to scramble to their feet and leap aside, just narrowly avoiding the blast of chi. They hit the ground roughly some feet away - the speed of their escape leaving no time for grace or finesse in their landing - and begin to pull themselves back up.

Finally, the two men let loose with the first audible noise that they've made during the entire match - their fright moved past 'scared silence' and into the realms of 'terrified bellows' as they rush towards Geese. They charge headlong with no skill or even technique, one going low and one high in an effort to finally knock the masterful martial artist off his feet... if they do manage that monumental feat, Geese will find a series of punches and elbows rained down upon him by the two, now clearly desperate, individuals.

Felix, of course, still seems completely unconscious from that brutal counter-attack earlier in the match.

= = =

"I do believe you've nearly finished with these two, Mr. Howard. Shall I prepare to dispose of them, or will we be... leaving them to their duties, once they recover?"

COMBATSYS: Geese endures Syndicate Thugs' Gangbang EX.

[                    \\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////           ]
Syndicate Thugs  0/-------/------=|====---\-------\0            Geese

When Geese requested Hein find some challenges for him, he expected little. Yes, while there are still strong fighters in the world--and many of them--few have proven worth Geese's time. Only a select number--men like Terry Bogard and Wolfgang Krauser--have proven a suitable challenge. This group, even with three of them, have barely managed to make Geese sweat.

And the fear that instills has now manifested in their reckless charge. Perhaps even Geese has his limits, or perhaps its their burst of desperate speed and strength as they fight for their lives. Perhaps it is simply a tactical manuever on Geese's part. Whatever the case, Geese is forced to meet them head on.

Their blows connect solidly, smashing against Geese's well-trained muscles--but he does not fall. He wears the blows like a mountain -- even though he is more a tactical fighter than a powerhouse like Krauser. Each blow strikes heavily, rattling him just a little, wearing down his defenses. It is not enough.

Geese strikes at the first man with a rattling palm strike which he steps into, delivering the full force of his weight and power into the blow. It's enough to send the man flying with the impact. In a flash of red as he sidesteps, Geese turns to the second, sweeping his leg for the man's feet. From there, he hooks his arm under the man's armpit and to try and hurl him overhead in a mighty flip down onto the floor.

COMBATSYS: Geese successfully hits Syndicate Thugs with Combo Throw.

[                          \\\\  < >  ///////////////////           ]
Syndicate Thugs  0/-------/--=====|======-\-------\0            Geese

One of Hein's thin eyebrows arch up as Geese takes the brunt of the punishment doled out at him, not even making an effort to evade or block their attacks - absorbing the blows without being knocked so much as a single step backwards. Is the crime-lord making a point to the two men, or Hein himself? Perhaps he is just proving to /himself/ that he is still capable of toughing out punches that would easily stagger any lesser man.

Whatever the case, it's clear that the German man has taken it as some sort of confirmation... he may be older than he once was, but Howard is no less capable or physically imposing for that fact. Either of those two men would have an easy time flattening nearly anyone else, but Geese? Geese doesn't budge.

Erwin and Kakihara are so busy trying to put some kind of dent into their boss that they seem utterly unprepared to deal with his swift counter-attack. One of them is sent hurtling backwards with a palm-strike that sends the man's sizeable bulk flying backwards several feet, the sound of the CRACKing of ribs echoing up from the rooftop and into the open air.

The second man barely even realizes what has just occured, when his leg is swept out from under him and his armpit grabbed to deliver him with a sickening impact down to the ground - leaving yet another sizeable indent in the roof.

All three men are now laying heavily on the floor; seemingly all rendered into unconsciousness, in an encounter that took minutes at most. Breath rising and falling in their chests is evident even from Hein's spot some distance away, still standing tall beside one of those golden statues... but that's the only movement coming from any of the trio.

Hein might be inclined to applaud in any other case; but knowing Geese as well as he does, he certainly doesn't want to make it seem like his employer might need - or even desire - such approval from his servant. Instead, he simply takes a few quick, graceful steps towards the sparring circle with his hands held perfectly straight at his sides.

"Now that you've finished with the rabble... Rest assured, I will bring Duke to you as quickly as I can locate him, Mr. Howard. Were there any other pressing matters I might attend to?"

COMBATSYS: Syndicate Thugs takes no action.

[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Geese            0/-------/-======|

COMBATSYS: Syndicate Thugs can no longer fight.

[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Geese            0/-------/-======|

"If they recover, see to it that they learn from this," Geese says, waving a hand dismissively at the three men. "The only weakness here is their own, but they lasted this long...perhaps they are not completely worthless. Tch."

And with that, Geese makes his way over to a wash basin, taking a towel and dipping it in. He rings it out, wiping down his face as though he did not just brutalize three men, including fighting off a knife attack.

"Thank you, Hein. I trust that you can handle any trouble that might arise. That will do for now."

Hein's cold, blue stare moves off of Geese for the very first time since stepping foot onto his rooftop office; now, he glances around the ground at the three crumpled men. A slight inclination of his head to one side, as he wonders whether or not they /will/ recover - it seems as though his employer pulled no punches in dealing with them. As was his right, of course. Odds are good that the stoic, secretly sadistic German man would have urged for more, if he felt it were his place to do so.

"If they are capable of doing so, I will have them back on the streets working for you as soon as they are able. If not, they will be given... severance."

He lets that word hang in the air, as though it might mean something slightly more sinister than just two weeks pay and a reference.

As Geese wipes down his face and informs the servant that he is dismissed back to regular duties, he bows once again. Pressing the frame of his glasses up the bridge of his nose once he brings his upper body vertical once again, he offers a brief, barely-present smile to Geese before he begins to step towards the first of the fallen men... likely to check on exactly what sort of injuries they sustained.

"Thank you, Sir. I do hope you have a pleasant evening.

Log created on 20:22:11 01/16/2018 by Hein, and last modified on 01:19:55 01/18/2018.