Description: Two NOL Academy alumni (and one creepy robot sister in a bikini) meet in the waterpark's Cafe for Round Two of the Golden Angel tournament. Many tables are ruined in the process. (Winner: Clio)
The 'Cafe Angel' coffee shop; perhaps the most tacky, overdone 'cafe' in Japan - and the sight of Golden Angel's second round bout between two NOL Military Academy alumni.
Due to threats of legal action against the tournament organizers - and a stern refusal from the boy himself - the young, underaged Carl Clover is /not/ clad in the typical swimwear created by the 'Golden Angel' product. Rather, he's dressed in his usual attire; knee-high boots, shorts, long-sleeve white shirt, dramatic blue cape - which conceals the machinery strapped to his back - and a large top hat.
It seems his sister Ada, however, /insisted/ upon dressing the part. Across the chest of the slouched, shuffling automaton is a standard white swimsuit top with the words '#1 Daughter' imprinted (in pink lettering) on both cups - and a matching pair of bathing shorts tightly stretched over the giant, metallic 'skirt' that covers the bottom half of her frame.
And to nobody's surprise, Carl doesn't seem too happy with it - not even able to /look/ at his sister in such attire, he's turned to face away from her, arguing with Ada over his shoulder in harsh, unforgiving tones.
"...Sis, I don't know /why/ you wanted me to put that stupid stuff on you. You're beautiful enough already; you don't need to dress up like one of these tramps!!!"
A pause, then, as Carl suddenly turns his body to stare directly up at the blank gaze which Ada is presenting him with. Slowly, one of the machine's long, limp arms stiffens up, turning at the wrist to raise a palm towards the air as her head inclines to one side slightly. This is met with an immediate scowl on the face of Carl, as his blue eyes harden and narrow behind those round-rimmed spectacles of his. He waits to hear his sister's response - words that are only audible to the bizarre, slightly unhinged mind of Relius Clover's son.
"No, no, I won't listen to your excuses!!!"
Ada's left hand then joins the right, being lifted up to her side with the palm up. A creak of mechanical joints as the construct's neck tilts slightly to one side; stiff, expressionless face still staring directly at her younger brother in an almost humorously inquisitive gesture.
"...well, that's a fair point, but..."
The right hand drops back to Ada's side, while her remaining arm is kept up at chest level; the palm is closed into a fist, with the exception of a long, sharp index finger that points directly at Carl, then back at her own metallic chest. For a moment, the boy's teeth audibly grind together, his gaze sweeping the crowd of spectators as though he were looking out for anyone in the audience who might find this spectacle amusing. Seeing nobody laughing or chuckling at this exchange, he returns his eyes to Ada and points a finger right back at her in return.
"Enough!!! We can talk about this later!!!"
Several onlookers exchange puzzled glances at this one-sided back and forth between the cape-wearing boy and his silent, slumped 'robot' companion. There are a few hushed whispers involving the words 'strange', 'disturbed' and even 'demented' or 'insane' that - fortunately - Carl does not seem to pick up on. Keeping his arms folded over his chest, the young scientist is wearing a severe frown as he taps his foot.
No doubt he's waiting for the arrival of his opponent, so he can defeat them soundly (as is the Clover way!) before returning to his private room to properly scold his sister's appalling choice of outfit.
"This place is a trash fire," Clio mutters to herself, having found the location for the second of her fights in the Golden Angel Tournament. The tacky halos, the wings, the columns aren't bad, but everything else all rolled into a ball of vomitous interior design. It was disgusting.
Clio herself was in a two piece, a silver colored set of bikini briefs while the top was a halter style tricolore. Her purple water shoes were, of course, brought by her and stood out a bit from the rest of her color ensamble, what of it there was.
Of all things to miss, it would be something if Clio St. Jeanne missed the automaton shuffling along with her stage magician lackey. For a moment, Clio is reminded of Lord Kagura's personal boy and how sadly sadly far away she is from his genuinely amazing coffee.
"Hey, hey!" she calls out, then tilts her head as a collective of memories from a few years ago come back, and the look of that robot girl. And somehow the already pale Lieutenant St. Jeanne manages to find a new definition of the term.
"Carl?" she asks. "Carl Clover?" she shakes her head in disbelief and actually grins a bit. "Damn, I didn't think I'd run into someone else I knew while I was taking time here. You remember me? Clio St. Jeanne? My hair was way longer when I was in the academy, like down here," she waves her hand just above hip height. "Tried to pull off that hime thing for a while. Didn't work out. I was a few years older than you."
She doesn't seem as bothered by the chatter between Carl and his robot. It's just, well, she's met the boy's father and it all just seems all too acceptable in this case.
"So it looks like we're the ones going at it. I mean, I saw the first name, but I wasn't expecting this. Say, after all this, you want to get some ice cream? My treat."
Carl might not have the firmest grip on his own mental health these days - a side-effect of his attachment to the Nox Nyctorus 'Nirvana' - but he still possesses the keen, analytical mind and photographic memory one would expect from the son of famed genius Relius Clover.
Though she was /several/ years ahead of him (even with Carl's early entry into the Academy due to his amazing scientific acumen), he does remember seeing the woman from Metro City around the school on numerous occasions - although they never really had any reason to speak to eachother.
Hearing his last name spoken aloud is /never/ pleasant - carrying with it reminders of the father he both despises and seeks to impress - but seeing an old, friendly face from his school days goes a long way to defusing his bubbling anger with Ada's choice of attire. One gloved hand is lifted up as he waves cheerfully towards Clio; he hadn't bothered to check the match-ups himself, beyond figuring out /where/ he was meant to be for this match.
It's a pleasant surprise, considering some of the other attendees he could be facing. He'd heard things about some 'Jezebel' character in particular, and he certainly hoped he doesn't have to meet her anytime soon!
Ah, and then there's the wonderful offer of post-match icecream, rather unexpected from someone he's about to be fighting. Oddly enough, he seems hesitant to respond with an affirmative; Ada always was rather possessive and protective of her brother...
Carl raises one hand and taps his chin with the tip of his index finger, quirking his lips to the side as he ponders the offer. He has no love for the Novus Orbis Librarium as an organization - particularly after the embarrassing scene at the recent Alumni Party - but Clio had certainly never done anything to upset or belittle him. She always seemed fairly nice, along with many of the other older students during the time he was enrolled in the Academy.
A glance is shot over his shoulder at the looming form of his 'sister', trapped in that ancient weapon which his father tried to 'improve' by adding the soul of his only daughter. For the first time since they entered the cafe, the blank eyes of the construct look /away/ from Carl, head turning to one side in obvious disagreement with the idea.
"Oh, Ada, there's no need to be jealous..." he whispers under his breath, before turning his attention back towards the young woman standing in front of him. A toothy smile is offered, along with a big thumbs-up with his right hand, as he replies directly to her - perhaps a bit /too/ enthusiastically - "Sure, Clio! Sounds great!!!"
The boy then turns his head left and right, noticing the silent stares of the audience - perhaps stunned by his sudden change in behaviour and demeanor. The unhinged, borderline lunacy of moments earlier had been replaced - in a flash - with friendliness and cheer at sudden's Clio's appearance in the cafe. Many of them seem visibly unnerved when the cold gaze of Relius' son falls upon them.
Shrugging, he looks back towards Clio and turns the thumbs-up gesture into a sharp snap of his fingers; at that noise, the massive, slouched frame of Ada shuffles forward a few steps. Moving from slightly behind him, the large construct now stands directly at his right side, neck creaking to mirror his cold stare straight across the cafe towards the NOL soldier.
"So, I guess we should probably get started, huh?! Sis says she's ready!!!"
COMBATSYS: Carl has started a fight here.
The presence of that robot girl and what it means is not entirely lost on Clio, though the specifics elude her in regards to Carl's having one of Nox Nyctores. Though she's entirely familiar with their reputations and what they do to their wielders from her study into the reasoning behind Jubei's bounty. She'd be far more up to helping and not fighting if she knew of the extent of the bond situation in front of her.
Clio was never one to fight for a crowd. She was trained to fight with the focus on her opponent, so she isn't the greatest showman when it comes to prepping for a proper go at it. She points to fingers toward Carl and grins. "I'll hold you to it. And no holding back, I want to see what you've learned since school. Even if I don't have my weapon."
Clio leans forward, swaying back and forth on the balls of her feet, judging her angle and approach. "Surprised they even let you in with that," she says, pointing to the robot figure. "Then again, I never did ask if I could use my chain. Just felt a bit wrong for these pro-type deals." She talks to keep herself focused. She chatters to find out bits and pieces of what she is up against. Planning her motion and moves.
Let the audience stare and wonder at the boy's change in mood, though Clio hadn't really noticed just how sullen he had been a moment ago. All she does see is someone finally putting on their game face. It's not something she's unfamiliar with. Clio sees Carl's shift in demeanor as someone ready and willing to go the distance, not as a bubbling threat of his mental stability.
Graceful touch of the ground with the fingers on one hand and Clio is off like a shot toward Carl. Staying low, she's running far forward on the tips of her feet, cutting through the cafe like a shark after chum toward Carl. She turns that momentum into a wheeling kick, foot creating a rolling wave of violet flame as she comes down for the boy's big top hat.
COMBATSYS: Clio has joined the fight here.
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Clio 0/-------/-------|======-\-------\0 Carl
COMBATSYS: Carl blocks Clio's Strong Kick.
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Clio 0/-------/-------|======-\-------\0 Carl
As Clio urges him not to hold back, Carl's bright smile disappears in an instant - replaced by a smirk that seems almost menacing in nature, along with a slight narrowing of his cold eyes behind the frames of his glasses.
"Oh, don't worry about that..."
For a brief moment, there's a vaguely sinister tone in the otherwise bright and cheerful voice of the young boy; almost as though he were channeling the spirit of his father. Yes, he truly is a Clover - despite his best efforts to run away from his legacy.
"Huh? I never go anywhere without my sister!!!"
Anyone who really knows Carl Clover, knows that the tournament organizers would have to /kill/ him to seperate him from Ada. At the very least, he certainly wouldn't have agreed to enter this tournament - even with the promises of the grand prize - if he weren't able to bring his sister with him.
Clio rushes into action, as the boy folds his arms over his chest in preparation for the attack to come. He doesn't even bother to gesture or look towards his sister, confident that the construct will throw itself in between her brother and that whirling, downwards-angled kick...
...but Ada isn't moving, and Clio's foot is crashing down towards his head with only fractions of a second left to react! Having to take matters into his own hands, the golden machinery strapped to his back springs into action; one long, metallic limb moving his cape to the side to place itself into the path of the kick, while Carl shields his face with his own arms, just inches away from being struck.
The robotic limb absorbs most of the force, but the power of the impact is still enough to buckle his knees as reverberations from the strike travel through the metal, and into his own spine where the device is strapped to.
A quick sidelong glance is shot to his sister, who has remained completely motionless; pleading blue eyes flashing towards her as he shouts for her assistance.
Finally, at his vocal urging, the giant construct moves into action - both long arms coming up to chest level and clapping together with a metallic *CLANG* that echoes throughout the cafe. As her massive hands impact eachother, a swirling vortex of black energy is shot out towards the NOL member; twisting the air about it, as the projectile moves the short distance towards her position.
COMBATSYS: Carl successfully hits Clio with Volante.
-* CRITICAL HIT! *-
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Clio 0/-------/----===|=======\-------\1 Carl
The robot moves quick, Clio finds, as it interposes itself at the last moment. And what's more, there's little time for Clio to react when the thing slams its hands together and create a whirling torrent of power and air to fling Clio back and bouncing over the tables with a start.
A string of wild cursing as Clio picks herself up off the ground and shudders at a plate of omelet that's managed to get over her. "One. . .one sec," she says, trying to avoid retching as she wipes the egg from herself and settles her stomach.
"Damn, that was something, but maybe try hitting me yourself instead of relying on her?" she says, walking back around, looking a little green about the face and neck.
"Seriously, why a cafe?" she wonders aloud, getting back into position. She doesn't seem to be taking things totally seriously, after all, this isn't life or death to her. It's just a tournament exhibition. And now her stomach's in the middle of turning flip flops that she focuses down on Carl and makes for one more quick darting run at him.
Back and forth she feints, twisting this way and that before it's a sharp backhand swing that finally spins down for Carl, the momentum carrying Clio with her action.
COMBATSYS: Carl blocks Clio's Random Strike.
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Clio 0/-------/----===|=======\-------\1 Carl
"Nice one, Ada!!!"
Carl sounds downright overjoyed by the effects of his sister's assault, his voice accompanied by a certain brightness in his eyes which seems out of place - considering the fact that the woman he's fighting is someone he bears no ill will towards. It's almost a gleeful look, but it's being held back by something... perhaps the last few traces of a conscience that the boy possesses after so much time spent in the presence of the 'Nirvana' construct.
After all, bloodthirstiness and cruelty are known side-effects for the bearer of that ancient weapon; whether Carl himself is aware of this fact, or not. In fact, it's likely this entire encounter could have played out quite differently if Clio weren't so friendly and polite to the young Clover. Had she pointed out the bizarre 'relationship' obvious between him and the machine he seems to believe is his sister, he likely wouldn't be holding back his sadistic pleasure at watching her fly away from the vortex blast.
Turning to Ada, Carl raises one hand in a high-five gesture... it takes the construct a moment to lift her own heavy limb in reply, but flesh eventually strikes metal in a momentary gesture of celebration at their successful attack.
Isn't family wonderful?
By this time his opponent is getting back to her feet - Carl finally turning his attention back to the young NOL soldier as she cleans herself off. It /does/ seem rather impractical to be having such a potentially devastating, property-damaging match in the middle of a crowded cafe, but...
...this whole /tournament/ seems fairly bizarre to Carl. If it weren't for the grand prize, he likely wouldn't even be here - certainly not once he got a look at the swimsuit that hte 'Golden Angel' product manifested on his sister's already perfect body.
"Of course I rely on my sis!!! What else is family for?!?"
He sounds almost offended by the suggestion that he fight without Ada at his side; after all, if he couldn't rely on Ada he doesn't know /what/ he'd do - and that feeling extends far beyond the fighter's arena, as well.
Once again, he remains standing with his arms crossed over his chest as Clio moves back towards him with great speed. There's no doubt that if he didn't have that giant construct at his side, this wouldn't even be a remotely fair fight. She's quicker, more graceful, and stronger than the young boy - bookish and scientific, rather than possessing the spirit of a fighter - could ever hope to be.
The backhand swing lashes out towards him, and Ada suddenly moves her left arm into the path of the strike - the giant mechanical frame blocking the impact in a flash of motion.
Bound as he is to the 'Nirvana' construct, Carl himself feels the shockwave of force travel through his own body as the swing CLANGS through the robot's arm... but it's far less than he would experience if he had caught that with his /own/ frail body.
His right hand comes up, the elbow of that arm still clutched in his left palm, and he snaps his fingers once more. At this sharp noise, Ada swings her own left arm up in a vicious uppercut towards Clio - the long, talon-like metallic nails of her hand raking through the air towards the young woman.
COMBATSYS: Clio dodges Carl's Automaton.
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Clio 0/-------/----===|=======\=------\1 Carl
Clio is no stranger to the rush of adrenaline that comes with pushing toward a victory. And besides, most of Clio's pain is in her belly after getting tossed and turned the way she had. Plus the eggs. She hates eggs. In the middle of the fight, the sound of her hammering against the heavy metal of Ada just strives her on as an encouraging beat.
The force of her spin is turned into a rolling dance. "Not this time!" she calls out to Carl, too quick and nimble to allow herself to be caught off guard so easily a second time. But still, she knows that the robot hits hard and hits faster than she expected. Maybe she shouldn't be so focused on attacking the puppeteer, but the puppet.
Clio shakes her hair out and runs her hand through it. "She's quick, I'll give her that, and strong," she tells Carl, resuming her curious fighting posture. "But I do wonder how she handles a more direct assault."
Clio is off like a shot once more. She dashes forward and takes a flying leap toward Ada herself, a heavy diving missile dropkick intended for Ada's chest, to play pool and use Carl's sister as the cue ball to clatter off Carl himself.
COMBATSYS: Carl dodges Clio's Deep Strike.
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Clio 0/-------/----===|=======\=------\1 Carl
There is no reaction from Ada as her wild swing misses it's mark, the deft and agile woman rolling out of the path of that massive limb. Carl's 'sister' merely drops the arm back to her side, shoulders slouching once again as her head droops down to stare directly at the ground underfoot.
The boy seems genuinely pleased with the compliment paid to his sister; he is constantly impressed by the strength of the 'Nirvana' weapon, even though he doesn't recognize it as such - truly believing that his sister's soul and mind still live on in that construct.
And then, a fresh assault to deal with, and Carl's ice-blue eyes widen in surprise - magnified all the more by the strength of the prescription in those eyeglass lenses. It makes him look positively bug-eyed and almost comical as his mouth drops open, left watching Clio's staggeringly fast approach.
Carl lets out an exclamation of shock at the savage attack that is leveled towards his sibling; clearly expecting Ada to be caught in the path of the blow, due to it's speed and velocity...
...that is, until his sister moves into action without any gesture or vocal command.
With a speed that is rarely shown, the mechanical creature swoops backwards at an angle. Turning into a spin of it's own, 'Nirvana' reaches out with both hands to gently scoop Carl off of the ground - eliciting a small squeal of glee from the boy - as it moves out of the path of Clio's diving dropkick. The spin continues, until Ada suddenly comes to a halt just a few feet away from one of the many cafe tables - where her brother is carefully placed.
With Carl safely deposited on the surface of a nearby table - boots both firmly pressed into what appears to be a giant plate of hashbrowns and bacon - Ada turns back to Clio with her eerie, blank face. Tilting her head up slightly, the construct suddenly dashes forward at a speed that might startle their opponent. No longer shuffling about, the giant machine rushes across the smoothy-polished floor of the cafe...
...and as Ada nears Clio, one arm rears back before being thrust forward - a combination of stabs aimed towards the NOL soldier's position with those long, deadly-tipped metal nails that pass for fingertips.
"Sorry!!! She's got a mind of her own sometimes!!!"
COMBATSYS: Clio dodges Carl's Con Fuoco.
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Clio 0/-------/----===|=======\-------\1 Carl
Speed, strength, agility. Clio has half a mind to consider Ada her opponent in this fight and not Carl. Not that Clio actually finds a problem in having to combat a robot girl. After gears, demons and other things, it's not the strangest individual she's put herself up against.
The kick missed, but in the end, it was mostly done simply to test out the speed of the robotic sister. She kip-ups back to her feet as Ada has finished depositing Carl in the breakfast.
"You're fast," she talks to the robot as it dashes near her. Each strike scythes the air. Each thrust jabbing and stabbing, trying to predict where Clio St. Jeanne will be, but the erratic and acrobatic St. Jeanne is just a hair away from each strike. But it's taking effort to stay ahead of it all, and it's not getting any easier on Clio to keep from being tagged by the overwhelming force of Ada's offense.
Seeing the writing on the wall, Clio leaps into the offensive. She hand plants over a booth, twisting herself up and over, trying to put herself between Ada and Carl. A quick circle on the floor and she drags her fingers up and toward Carl. A spark ignites like a match being struck and a splashing gout of violet fire roils up and at the young teen.
However, that isn't the extent of the onslaught, Clio St. Jeanne comes through the flames, rolling forward like a wheel in the air, her heel being brought down on top of Carl like a fiery hammer.
COMBATSYS: Clio blitzes into action and acts again!
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Clio 0/-------/----===|=======\-------\1 Carl
COMBATSYS: Carl blocks Clio's Whipflash.
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Clio 0/-------/----===|=======\=------\1 Carl
COMBATSYS: Clio successfully hits Carl with Heavy Strike.
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Clio 0/-------/---====|=======\===----\1 Carl
COMBATSYS: Carl gains composure.
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Clio 0/-------/---====|=======\==-----\1 Carl
As though Ada actually /heard/ the woman's comment about her speed, the construct simply nods it's head slowly - even as it continues it's forward rush, lunging and thrusting through the air with that massive arm in a desperate attempt to strike Clio /even/ once.
And it fails, the natural quickness and combat training of the NOL soldier allowing her to evade every single blow that is tossed her way.
"Wow, you're quick too, Clio!" shouts the boy, from his place on the table several feet away - obviously quite impressed at the agility on display from his opponent...
...and then, his mouth drops open slightly as he notices that the NOL soldier is leaping /between/ himself and his sister. That alone is cause for alarm, since he relies on Ada for the majority of his offensive /and/ defensive manuevers.
To be cut off from her assistance, even if just for a moment, could prove disastrous for the young boy.
Once it becomes clear to Ada that her target has broken off and headed to attack her brother directly, the automaton slows it's assault and turns back towards Carl. Unfortunately, the speed and exertion poured into that whiffed combination of attacks have sapped it's reserves momentarily, and it's steps are slow and plodding once again.
It looks like the son of famed scientist Relius Clover will have to deal with this one solo!
Whipping his cape in front of him, the material seems to block most of the heat and intensity of the sparked flame... but that only seems to have been a distraction - and his defensive technique leaves Carl utterly blind to the follow-up.
Clio's heel strikes him dead in the shoulder through his cape, a brutal *CRACK* sounding out from the boy's frail body as the impact sends him crashing downwards - upending the table he was standing on, scattering hashbrowns and bacon all around the general vicinity. His body hits the ground harshly, and continues to tumble end-over-end for a sizeable distance.
Eventually skidding to a stop on the smooth floor, Carl seems to be reeling from his opponent's combination assault. It's only Ada's sudden appearance at his side, offering a hand down towards the fallen boy, that makes him finally glance upwards - one lens of his glasses having shattered from the impact against the hard floor.
Taking the hand of his sister, Carl stands up straight with a whining groan of pain and frustration. He reaches up and yanks the ruined eyeglasses off of his face, tossing them onto the ground and grinding them under one of his knee-high boots as he scowls across the distance towards Clio.
Ada's large, metallic palm reaches out and pats her brother on the back a few times - gently and lovingly - as the construct's head inclines down towards him, expressionless face betraying no emotion. Carl Clover's chest heaves up and down with angry breaths, as his face begins to redden - both hands clenched into fists, shaking at his side.
"That... wasn't... NICE!!!" he seethes and hisses, through clenched teeth - and the cheerful tone is gone, just like that, replaced with a harsh intensity that seems almost creepy coming from such a seemingly innocent young child.
Turns out the puppet is still tough, but the puppeteer is the weaker one after all. With a flash of flame to distract, Clio's finally found purchase against her diminutive opponent. Her heel follows through and hits the ground. The table soaring upwards. It tumbles over her and crashes behind her, sending the still lingering arcane fire into a bright blow out and settle.
Clio watches, standing, smiling. She rolls her neck when the metal sister joins Carl again, to placate the irate and hurt boy. "Fighting normally isn't," Clio says quietly. "But it's just a competition. Just think of the ice cream."
And then she dashes forward, fire engulfing her hand as she brings it hooking sharply downward toward Carl's crown, twisting at the last moment to angle toward the spot she's already kicked the boy. To repeat the force of the last blow and follow up with more focused pain. Fighting isn't nice, and Clio isn't one to let her opponent get their breather in.
COMBATSYS: Carl interrupts Fierce Strike from Clio with Fermata.
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Clio 1/-------/=======|====---\-------\0 Carl
Still clearly fuming with anger, Carl Clover - now robbed of the majority of his eyesight, with those broken spectacles under his boot - is forced to rely on instinct and the motions of vague blurs for the remainder of the fight.
Fortunately, his mind is as keen as ever - albeit clouded by bubbling, stewing rage after that vicious combination assault knocked him off the table's surface. When Clio rushes back in, he can see her shape moving towards him; and that flash of firey energy illuminates his vision, letting him know that she's getting closer.
Rather than attempt to step out of the way, the boy simply stands his ground - hands still clenched into fists that are shaking down at his side - and stares with narrowed blue eyes at his attacker... with seconds to spare, he opens his mouth wide and lets out a loud yell. One word; high-pitched, filled with frustration and - perhaps - a slight tinge of desperation.
This shouted statement leaves his mouth, and spurs Ada into action once more. No longer patting the young boy on the back, the automaton takes two long steps towards Clio - coming between the NOL soldier and Carl - while it's right arm burns from fingertip to elbow in the same swirling energy which formed the vortex projectile earlier in the fight.
Clio hit Ada dead in the chest, the flames spreading across the construct's metal armour - the psychic feedback rushes into the mind of the young scientist and elicits a low, pained groan... but it's certainly preferable to having the blow impact his own frail body once again.
And before St. Jeanne is able to pull back, that long, chi-infused arm is suddenly thrust out and up in a powerful - and shockingly quick - uppercut that strikes Carl's attacker in an effort to knock her away. Ada's shoulders remain slouched, the other arm still dangling limply at her side; only a upwards tilt of her head upwards accompanies that brutal counter-attack.
His unique connection with the Nox Nyctores weapon causes Carl to wince with pain, even as Clio's flaming hand is intercepted by the automaton. Beads of sweat form on the boy's brow, dripping down from underneath his top-hat as he grits his teeth - focusing in an attempt to keep his control over the construct fighting on his behalf.
"You... made her... ANGRY."
Despite all that, the kid's robot is fast. There's a seething "Fuck!" somewhere shortly after Clio's fist meets the robot. A fighter on a class above most people, it still starts to hurt after you've punched metal a few times. Even if this is just some exhibition fight. Perhaps it's time to check with Makoto about getting some sort of protective hand guards for when Clio isn't able to use her chain.
The stray thought of shopping aside, it's a moment of stillness before Clio realizes that the robot's gotten faster. A set of claws in the gut, a lifting. Why is it always people trying to uppercut her in the air? It's starting to become a running theme in her life, she realizes as she arcs near the top of the cafe.
Only this time, there's no chain for her to pull a counter attack. She rolls in the air and makes a graceful land on her feet. Arms out like wings, bowing slightly. A perfect recovery.
And then she drops to a knee.
Now it was hurting. Before, not so much, but now she's feeling the course of pain through her body. The kid was getting overly excited about all this. There were people around. How much of this was showmanship and how much of it was a danger to the audience. She closes her eyes and swallows, her fingers draw a small circle, mimicking the magical formulas she has marked on her chain. It's a two on one fight, but Clio might have a way to, at least, make it appear that the odds are more in her favor.
From a knee to a three point stance, Clio makes note of the layout and approach to her targets. Boy and robot, robot and boy. She slaps the ground, over the place where the imaginary circle was drawn. And with a fading afterimage, she rushes forward, vanguarded by another gout of violet fire. A short wave rolling outward toward Carl and Ada.
And once more through the fire does Clio come. Kicking off a table, a heavy hook aimed for the young man's face. Or wait, a seemingly second version of Clio from the other direction sliding in to clear out Carl's knees. Or perhaps the real attack is the third, roaring throught the flames, Clio's fist cocked back for nothing more than a simple hard blow to Carl's face. Three heads from the hound of the NoL.
COMBATSYS: Carl blocks Clio's Cerberus Rush.
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Clio 0/-------/-------|=====--\-------\0 Carl
There's a deep exhalation of breath from the cape-clad boy, pausing to wipe away the sweat from his brow with the back of his right arm and staining his long-sleeved white shirt.
His opponent now taking a knee some distance away, it gives Carl - positively dripping and wheezing with the great effort required to keep his Nox Nyctores in battle for such an extended period - a moment to compose himself. Ada falls limp as he takes his mind off of controlling her movements, both arms dangling as the construct's head dangles - blank eyes staring directly at the polished floor of the cafe.
But not very long; and his shoulders are still rising and falling with deep breaths as Clio comes rushing back towards him. Sweeping one hand from his side, Carl points an index finger wordlessly at the blur dashing towards him...
...an unspoken command, as Ada's neck suddenly snaps back up to stare at the NOL soldier that is - once again - coming in to attack her little brother. A quick slide across the floor moves the massive, looming construct in front of Carl Clover - his own tiny body absolutely eclipsed by the wall of metal.
There is no noise from the Nox Nyctores as it absorbs the various attacks from the young woman; all the sounds are coming from the lips of Carl, small groans and grunts of pain as he's forced to one knee from the psychic feedback slamming back into his mind. It's only sheer determination and force of will that enables him to remain conscious, his brain alight with agony as his connection to the automaton causes him to feel just a fraction of what Ada might. But he's no stranger to mental trauma, consider his own painful life up to this point.
"Alright... time to take matters into my own hands, I think..."
Carl's voice is barely recognizable as that of the happy-go-lucky young boy who had wandered into the cafe, arguing with his sister about her ridiculous swimsuit. His tone is far more mature, no longer seething through clenched teeth but noticeably colder and more resolute... darker, in a way that might be unsettling when one considers who the words are coming from.
Certainly not the speech patterns of a typical young and cheerful boy.
Leaping up into the air, one gloved hand reaches to grab his long blue cape to whip it aside - revealing just a portion of the golden machinery strapped to his back. As soon the mechanism is visible, Ada suddenly ducks low - allowing Carl to leapfrog over her back towards Clio.
The small construct on his back whirrs into action, shifting metal lashing out in a vicious point to stab directly into the body of the NOL soldier repeatedly. The boy's face remains calm and impassive during this - except for a brightness that shines through his ice-blue eyes...
...one would swear, if they didn't know better, that they were the eyes of Relius Clover.
COMBATSYS: Carl successfully hits Clio with Allegretto.
[ \\\\\\\ < > ////// ]
Clio 0/-------/----===|=======\-------\0 Carl
Throwing it all at a child. It's ridiculous, stupid, but somewhere inside of Clio she knows why she's doing what she is. She spent a lot of this fight, an exhibition, trying to have fun. She's seeing now she's underestimated the young guy. And it reminds her of, well, herself, and how she would've felt in her situation five or so years ago.
A young girl, barely past ten, walking along in a bouncy step through the darker parts of Metro City. Her nose is bleeding. Her jeans are torn and knee scraped. Tonight she just fell. This wasn't the time she took a bottle to the face, or had a fully grown man kick her in the stomach. It won't be like the knives or nearly breaking her own hand the first time she took up a chain. But it's a night that sticks in her memory.
She had just fallen from the lowest level of a fire escape. Turns out people don't bounce all that much off concrete. But she toughed it out and wandered, walking the pain off, and at times throwing up since it took her mind off the pain. But she had to be out there. To do things. The heroes. The fighters. They all did this kind of thing, right? Who would she help just by sitting at home and reading more of the stories her mother told her.
After all, the name her mother took for her and her newborn girl, St. Jeanne. She was still in her teens when she lead armies. And now, a young woman, and Clio's just a lieutenant in an army she isn't full certain is being lead by the right leaders.
She knows of herself at Carl's age. Going to the military academy. Helping her direct her sparking need for a target. For a fight. To make friends and socialize. To pull herself out of a mentality that would've lead her to self-destruction. And at Carl's age, if someone she was fighting didn't do everything they could to show her respect for her talents, she knows she'd have loathed them, too.
And now Carl makes his attack, again that damnedable sister of his taking the blows for her younger brother. Leaving him open enough to catch on to which Clio is which and to take charge of the situation. Still green around the gills, beaten and starting to tire, she's barely a step away from being skewered by the violent assault. Cuts open, skin pricked. Not quite the type of piercing that Clio doesn't mind.
She hisses, almost yowls, in pain, pushing backward and holding onto the parts where she's been gouged the most. Knee turned in, shoulder's slumping. She looks back at Carl. She smiles to him. "You did good, Carl. Remember, I'm promising ice cream after this. I think we have things to talk about," she tells him. "I just want to let you know, I respect your skills."
She's battered, but she isn't down yet. Like a streak, Clio blurs back toward Carl. A shadow of flame distorts the air around her hand. It's a fast punch, faster than even she normally moves, the direction and movement flickering like the madly dancing fire and shadow her hand seems to be made from.
COMBATSYS: Clio successfully hits Carl with Stygian Fist.
[ \\\\\\\ < > // ]
Clio 0/-------/-----==|=======\-------\1 Carl
The mechanism strapped to Carl's back suddenly pulls back once the sharp limb of the machine strikes his opponent. Although his vision remains blurred by his lack of eyeglasses, the young bounty hunter still manages to land in a crouch - one gloved palm pressed down to the floor just to keep himself from collapsing, as he attempts to steady himself with a few deep breaths.
"Oh... okay!!! Sounds great!!!" he says, cheerfully - and with a bright, beaming smile that seems to sparkle in the lights of the cafe.
The dangerous air coming from the boy seems dispelled in an instant, with that promise of post-match ice cream driving out the anger and dark thoughts that had been bubbling up in his mind. Unhinged and disturbed he might be, but he is still a young boy underneath is all - and one who hasn't experienced anything resembling friendliness for quite some time.
Life can get rather lonely when one only has the old memories of a happy family to keep them company; it might still be possible - despite everything that's happened to him, and the influence of his father's machinations - for Carl Clover to have something remotely resembling a normal life...
...or maybe not.
Even though his rage seems to have been defused, he remains in the fight - even though his forehead is still knitted and sweating with concentration. The amount of effort that it's taking to maintain control over his Nox Nyctores for this amount of time - along with all the physical damage it's absorbed on his behalf - is clearly taking a mental /and/ physical toll on the boy.
Ada shuffles towards Clio from behind, lifting up her arms and interlocking all of those razor-sharp fingers to form one giant fist. The construct seems poised to bring both arms down in a hammer blow towards the NOL soldier's back...
...until Carl is struck with that flaming fist, knocking him off his feet in a daze. His body flies up into the air several feet, spinning backwards until it strikes yet another cafe table, knocking a fresh plate of food all over the once-clean floor... landing in a pile of baked beans and fried eggs, Carl seems to be out cold.
And with his temporary loss of consciousness, Ada herself seems to have the strings suddenly cut... not only do those lanky arms suddenly fall back by her side, but the entire frame of the construct slouches over so hard it begins to /tip/ forward...
...all of it's substantial weight crashing down towards the floor, just where Clio St. Jeanne happens to be standing. Hopefully she's keeping an eye on her surroundings!
After all, someone has to wake him up and drag him to the ice cream shop. Mmm, vanilla.
COMBATSYS: Carl can no longer fight.
[ \\\\\\\ <
COMBATSYS: Clio dodges Carl's Synchronized High Speed.
[ \\\\\\\ <
And with that, it's over. "Sorry, Carl," Clio says, standing up full again, wiping her forehead off and looking at Carl and the downed table. She nods. "Oh, you still got some?" she asks, Ada, cheery in that winded and worn sort of way. A post fight high of adrenaline making much of the world feel better.
She looks back down at Carl and the pile of food he's in. And the eggs. The wobbling, the smell. She turns and stumbles away, retching and not even noticing as the robotic sister slams onto the ground in the space she had just moments ago been standing in.
The victorious Lieutenant of the NOL uses her prodigious speed to carry her to the nearest restroom. Vanilla, chocolate, whatever Carl wants will be his eventually. Clio, for now, has taken too many hits to the belly and been confronted with that one thing most people have that just sets off their nausea senses. She'll be back around in a few moments once she's done losing what little lunch she has.
In retrospect, Clio will end up laughing at what's happened in this fight. Seeing it as being just as dignified as a place like the Cafe Angel deserves.
COMBATSYS: Clio has ended the fight here.
Log created on 23:26:59 01/29/2018 by Carl, and last modified on 00:52:47 01/31/2018.