Description: In his final fight for the qualifiers, Duke approach the leader of the Southtown Syndicate, Geese Howard, to battle at his own tower. Geese, ready to meet all challengers, soon gives his lieutenant a lesson in humility that he won't soon forget.
How dare he.
It was an open challenge. Anybody could come. It was the World Warrior. Duke heard it, and knew that he could come when he was ready. When his victories were worthy. Even with the festering wound on his chest, still bound in bandages, he knew that it was time. He would come, and he would challenge. His arrival at the tower came, he gave his name. No admittance, he is told.
But not unless he shows his watch.
He knew who he was. The crime boss waits in the elevator, garbed in a daring black and orange ensemble of light cotton suit, already stinking up the elevator with the stench of sulfur. He knew, and he was making him work for it. The elevator pings, as it reaches the top.
And Duke emerges from the open doors, bellowing out.
"Geese Howard!" He rumbles.
"I have come to challenge you!"
And Geese? Geese has had his own share of violence. Perched at the top of Geese Tower, he has taken on all comers. Challenges from both Heidern and Baiken pushed him to the edge of defeat and past it. The crime lord put out the challenge with the determination that he would face all comers, crush the opposition, silence hints of rebellion, and hone his edge in preparation for the upcoming confrontation with Krauser. It will take everything he has to conquer that man. The one man whom Geese Howard has ever feared, even in the slightest.
And now, Duke has come. One of those damned rebels. Those barking dogs who have sensed weakness and, in their arrogance, tried to strain against their chains. In a way, Geese admires that sort of resolve. It is that hatred which drives men to strength. Strength with which to seize greatness.
Geese is already waiting when Duke arrives. He is clad in his ornate red and gold martial arts pants, but without his white gi shirt today. Instead he stands shirtless, his scars from the previous encounters with Heidern and Baiken still fresh.
"Hah," Geese says, raising his head slightly to look at Duke. "So the barking dog -- is that Krauser called you -- has decided to raise his head. I understand my message from Hein wasn't enough to convince you. Instead you decided to disappear. I thought maybe you'd went into hiding." Geese raises his arms in an idly shrug, rolling his shoulders.
"But no! Here you are. You know that escape is not an option. Not for someone like you."
Geese paces, his feet tapping heavily across the wooden floor of the arena. He crosses his arms over his chest.
"Do you really think you can defeat Krauser?" Geese asks Duke. "Do you think that your trip through Hell is enough to prepare you to fight that man?"
Duke body burns already with flames of his rage.
Every step forward comes with greater weight, greater impact, as his eyes transfix coldly at his boss. He was an upstart, a rebel, a challenger for the authority of the lord of the criminal empire he dug his nails into.
And he wouldn't even see him from the door.
Duke's own scar burns as he approaches him, staring at the arrogance of Geese with his own smoldering contempt. He cracks his head to the left, to the right. "Hell?" Duke snarls, his yellow eyes burning. "I have been to Strolheim, and back. There is no hell that men on earth can muster that I cannot handle." Duke's body erupts into a pillar of fire, as his pounding steps stop. "I have defeated enough to come before you. How many times have you lost? I have smelled the blood in the water, and it's time for you to be tested. Not for the World Warrior."
"But for our business itself."
"Come on, Geese." Duke rumbles, as he brings up his guard. "There is no piss-wet butler to hide behind now. You will pay for your insults, you will pay for you arrogance. And you will learn your place, Geese Howard."
"Come face me."
COMBATSYS: Duke has started a fight here.
COMBATSYS: Geese has joined the fight here. You cannot escape wrong death.
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Duke 0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0 Geese
Geese can feel the pressure. The change in the atmosphere is palpable as Duke stomps his way across the rooftop office. Duke stares daggers at Geese, but Geese returns them with lofty arrogance. His arms are still folded across his chest.
"Good," Geese says. "I would expect nothing less from you, even with your showing in the King of Fighters." But Duke returns the insult with one of his own. Geese scowls.
"Hah! You speak to me of arrogance, yet here you are. Are you sure you have what it takes? If so,"
Geese throws his arms wide open, sweeping them across the city skyline, like a king looking upon his kingdom. His arms drop, but then he raises the left up toward Duke.
He curls his fingers, beckoning.
"Bring it on. We'll see if this dog can bite."
COMBATSYS: Geese takes no action.
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Duke 0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0 Geese
Duke holds himself back.
Fists clenched so tight, he could feel the skin breath. Heavy, stilted breaths rattle out, as his nostrils flare. Teeth gritted, the pressure does not break, as the slight on his KOF performance... cuts deep. As Geese asks if he has what it takes, the skyline around them all?
Duke does not hestiate.
The crime boss thunders straight at his boss, the dark skinned titan roaring as he hurls himself forward. There is an audible crack within as he slams his left and his right; both fists flailing violently with unrestrained fury. Duke would then leap, the full force of his relentless attack coming to bear into a front-flip drop-kick, slamming his legs down as he lands on his back. A reckless, brutish assault, hardly becoming of anything less than a thug.
But a thug augmented by the powers Duke had...
COMBATSYS: Geese blocks Duke's Barrel Round.
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Duke 0/-------/------=|==-----\-------\0 Geese
"Hm," Geese snorts, his chi gathering and wind whipping around him as he brings his power to bear. Duke charge builds up power and the dropkick comes, but Geese is ready this time. The Syndicate leader brings up both arms, crossing one over the other and catching the dropkick against the sturdy crossblock. The force is enough to rattle the rooftop, but Geese bends his knees, braces himself, and stands firm. He inches backward only slightly before his heels grind in.
And then Geese pushes back. The movement is fast: much faster than a man of his age and build should be capable of. He shoves against Duke and even as he does his hand sweeps forward in a blur that goes for the throat. If he takes hold, Geese would then hoist Duke up off the ground--lifting him one-handed despite the man's size and power. With a surge of power, he tosses, snapping forward with a punch to send him back away.
COMBATSYS: Duke endures Geese's Ko Satsu Shou.
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Duke 0/-------/---====|====---\-------\0 Geese
Even as the power builds around them both, a lifetime of finesse and strength clashes with rage and brute force, the cataclysmic Duke opening with a rage-filled assault. Every blow is caught with deft skill, and as the final kick comes, Duke is pushed back, landing on his back. Already as he rises, Geese was on his throat, crushing it in his grasp. Duke groans as the bones crack, as he is easily tossed and smashed backwards.
Duke would not let himself be sent away.
Immediately as he is released, as his bones twist and warp under the blow of Geese Howard, he instinctively hurls back with bellow rights and lefts, three alternating body blows directly back into Geese. "Is this what you wanted?" Duke snarls. "Is this all the great emperor can give?" Duke unleashes an uppercut, before swinging his leg up and around, to smash the limb hard into Geese, before finishing the assault with a rising knee with the opposite leg.
"Bow down to me, Geese!"
COMBATSYS: Geese fails to counter Hell Bomber from Duke with Gedan Atemi Nage.
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Duke 0/-------/------=|=======\-------\1 Geese
Even as Geese delivers the chokehold and punch, he can feel Duke's determination. His drive fills the air itself with unrelenting pressure. Howard snarls, gritting his teeth as Duke barrels out of the punch and back toward the crimelord, closing the gap in a moment. Geese twists, repositioning himself to intercept the blow. His hand sweeps out and pushes the first body blow back--
But the second thunders into his ribs with a crack. Losing his momentum, Geese takes the second blow to the ribs. It buckles him forward just enough that Duke's heel drops down on his right shoulder, driving him forward into the knee, which is punctuated with a wash of blood and spittle.
Geese staggers back, planting a palm on the hard wooden floor and the other on his knee.
"Hah!" he turns, spitting the rest of the blood in his mouth onto the floor in defiance. He looks up at Duke, his teeth clenched.
"Where was this power when you fought the ninja?"
Duke should be crushing him.
Even his most brutal assault, hammering into Geese, overwhelming him was the momentum he needed. To stun Geese, to slow him down. And yet, even with all that power, all that force... he did not feel the sensation of breaking the man. He felt the ever present arrogance, to pure pressure of force. Even as he spills the blood, as he was on his knees.
He reminds him of his public failure againt Kasumi.
"Shut up!" Duke roars back, as he stomps after Geese. "How can you dare insult me for my loss, in the wake of your losses. Your own failures! Your own humilations before your own brother!" Duke's rage burns like a candle, the fire having been exhausted in the last wave. And yet, as his bruised form staggers forward. Unleashing a skeleton-shattering kick, he drives his limb deep at Geese, attempting to run the soles of his shoes into his head. "You have been broken!"
"So be -broken!-"
COMBATSYS: Geese blocks Duke's Medium Kick.
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Duke 0/-------/------=|=======\-------\1 Geese
Geese may be older now. His physical power is still at a peak, far beyond what most men will ever achieve. Duke has humbled him here, physically, but Geese's will goes even beyond that. The man's towering arrogance seems to have no limit, no ledge from which it can be struck.
Geese snaps back with an elbow, smashing his forearm against Duke's boot to direct it as he rises with renewed vigor. The blow is enough to crush a lesser man, but Geese takes it in stride by meeting power with power and brutality with precision.
"This is it," Geese says, his lips curling into a wicked smile. "This fury! This drive to strike down your oppressors has taken you this far!" He shoves back against Duke, breaking the clash with a shove.
"But you lash out like an angry child," Geese laughs, deep from his chest. "This is your limit! Your weakness!"
Geese surges forward, one hand going for Duke's collar and the other for his belt in a flash of motion.
"Your anger is a tool, but you let it lead you around on a chain! Even Krauser can see it!"
COMBATSYS: Duke endures Geese's Raimei Gouha Nage.
# Disabling hit! #
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Duke 0/-------/-======|=======\==-----\1 Geese
Geese hands wrap around the cloth, his fingers gripping into the fabric. With a mighty kiai, he lifts Duke over his head in a single, fluid motion. Chi surges around him, gathering with Geese as a focal point of power. One can smell the scent of ozone. Howard turns on his hip, bringing Duke around.
A great lightning bolt crashes down to punctuate the impact against the floor. Thunder rattles the windows of the building. The lights flicker briefly.
Geese's skill was overwhelming.
Every blow, every ounce of rage and anguish that Duke could muster was flaring back into the man. And yet, the hottest fires of his anger were a mere candle to the likes of Geese. His superior had brought so much suffering and misery to the world, and has received just as much in kind. Duke was not a wry opponent, a cunning taunter. All he had at Geese was anger and power.
And Geese had just as much to muster.
Geese seizes Duke's collar, and the crime boss refuses to yield. Even as the other hand comes to his belt, he stands fast, defiant. Lifted high into the air, he already was ready to brace against it. And then, the lightning rips through his body. For a moment, Duke goes limp, his body jolted and shocked in a single moment. He lays motionless on the ground, the electrical energy coursing over him, the burnt remains of his suit jacket falling from his body.
And Duke rises again.
Chest exposed, glistening with sweat and blood, the rended scar is finally revealed. Oozing with black blood, the heaving form of Duke struggles to breath. The stench of brimstone was impossibly strong now. He was weak, so weak, and struggling to even stand. The lightning had crossed the heart; the scars over his body showed just the path the electricity took.
"Do you think I am not aware that he will see this now?"
Duke's heavy steps come struggling back, as his flames surge over him. "You will be -damned- for your insolence, Geese. You will be damned by my power!" Duke slices his leg upwards, audibly slices as the burning chi gives it almost a blade-like edge. Should it connect? The crime boss would immediately follow up with a second slice, this time across, to -cleave- a cross pattern deep into the flesh of the Syndicate Master.
"I have no limits!"
COMBATSYS: Duke knocks away Geese with Swivel Gun.
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Duke 0/-------/=======|=======\=====--\1 Geese
The clash of titans grows ever more intense. Geese's is mighty, certainly. He resides at the summit in terms of power and skill. A rare few men and women in the world have a chance to challenging him. Duke? Duke is shaking that mountain. Scaling the jagged cliffs toward the summit. Few men could do this much damage to Geese, and even fewer with such ease.
But Geese intends to make him pay for each insult in blood, and he refuses to give him the satisfaction of admitting to Duke's power.
"Damned?" Geese says with a snarl. "Don't make me laugh! I would conquer Hell itself!"
And Duke surges with flames. Geese meets him head on as it to challenge the man's might. His resolve.
It is foolish. Duke's slicing kick tears Geese's chest open with a spray of blood. The Syndicate leader staggers back a single step, leaving him open until the second kick completes the X on his chest. The impact drives Geese back with a ripple of force and sends him smashing into the ornate furnishings decorating his wall. The wall collapses around him, dust spreading out. For a long moment, it seems that the fight is over.
And then the wind picks up.
Wind sweeps through the rubble, chi surging around it. Geese smashes through it, rippling with power. He raises both arms over his head, crossing them as the blue-white chi focuses into a center point above his head.
"No limit? Don't make me laugh! I'll show you just how far you have to go! RAGING!"
Geese slams both hands down, pushing the whirling ball of wind-chi down. It explodes outward, ripping through the floor in great, jagged blades of cutting wind.
COMBATSYS: Duke blocks Geese's Raging Storm.
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Duke 1/------=/=======|=======\-------\1 Geese
Duke lands crassly, nearly falling off his feet on the impact. He was overextended, out of place. And yet, as he forces a recovery, Geese was already preparing his slam. It was it. It was the Raging Storm. As both arms lift up, the crime boss brings his own arms up, shielding himself as the frightening chi cuts to the bone, tearing into his limbs as he is driven back. Driven back.
But not broken.
He was growing exhausted, outright fatigue by his endless, brutal assaults. He was breathing hard, releasing his blood-soaked arms, the ragged limbs barely keeping their flesh on. "This is the moment I've been waiting for, Geese." Duke rumbles. "Since you took her away from me, I've been waiting for this change to wring your pathetic neck from your head." The crime boss snarls, as he swings his bloodied, burnt, and lacerated limbs at Geese, swinging with wild, staggering sweeps. And there, together, he -slams- them hard, unleashing the full tsunami of chi energy straight for Geese, attempting to blow him back, blow him away, blow him right fo the edge of the building.
So close, he could almost just throw him off even... R%
COMBATSYS: Geese blocks Duke's Sledgehammer.
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Duke 0/-------/------=|=======\=------\1 Geese
"So it all comes back to revenge," Geese says, breaking into a laugh. A rattling, maniac's laugh as he steps gradually toward Duke. His sandals click across the floor, blood dripping from the great X-shaped wound on his chest. "Do you know how many have come here seeking my blood for lost lives? You're hardly the first."
The chi wave erupts, ripping across the rooftop battlefield. It surges toward Geese like a tsunami, but Howard shifts his stance. His feet spread and he surges with power. He tosses his arms in front of him, locking them together in a block parallel to the wounds from before. The wave smashes into him and drives him back, back toward the edge of the rooftop.
But then Geese shouts wordlessly, pushing back against the wave into it splits around him. His arms smoke, burned from the strain, but he does not fall. Not yet.
"You will not be the last. Her death has given you DRIVE. It's pushed you to become stronger, to grasp power so that you can have your vengeance!" Geese shows his teeth.
"She has done more for you in death than ever did in life."
Geese sweeps his arms in a great circle. Blue-white chi swirls like a dust devil, gathering around him as he focuses his will. He waits for Duke, practically baiting him to draw closer, to finish the push off the rooftop. Duke has unprecedented strength, but Geese is calculating. Ruthless.
The chi gathers into a tight ball, compressed into a single, lethal sphere the size of a globe. Geese bides his time, waiting for Duke to draw in close...
...then he thrusts it forward with both hands in a rippling display of force.
COMBATSYS: Duke endures Geese's Rashoumon+.
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Duke 0/-------/=======|===----\-------\0 Geese
He had no right.
As Geese twists the knife back at Duke, the crime boss bellows in a divine rage, an unending rage. Fury. Pure fury. Unstoppable fury. His everything was nothing but a font of the purest rage. Even as his flames witdraw, he was striding forward, charging forward at Geese. faster, and faster, as every word comes like a hammer into him. He imagined this conversation a hundred times. He -know- what he would say. He know he was challenging him.
And even then, he throws himself to the waiting jaws of death.
The blast of energy -rips- through his body, turning it inside out. His ribs, bones, and organs all blast from the severed open sliced scar, and out the back. Duke's momentum stops cold, as he falls to Geese's feet. He looks up, his eyes burning at Geese. He opens his mouth... but there is no air to power his throat. His eyes roll back. ANd he is still.
And for a moment, he is dead.
Motionless. Broken. The sensors could see his death. Duke's organs pour out from the torn open hole; lungs, stomach, intestines. Duke was more hamburger now than man, the full wretched force of Geese Howard severing a life link well past it's point. The quivering mass of flesh suddenly twitches. A light comes to Duke's yellow eyes, as his tongue lolls out. It was almost clear how far gone he was.
Before they all burst into flames.
"How dare you." Duke rumbles, clawing himself back into a stand. His entire body was aflame. His skin. His flesh. His organs. His bones. The full form was an elemental of violet-red flames, as he strides towards Geese. "How... DARE.... YOU" Was the last words, as he lifts his arms in the air. And there, with a gesture almost mirrored with Geese's own power, own shape, he -slams- his limbs down, unleashing a massive torrent of flame around him, a pillar into the sky, ripping into a cyclone into the air.
A font of the purest hate.
COMBATSYS: Duke can no longer fight.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\ <
COMBATSYS: Geese fails to counter Ground Zero EX from Duke with Joudan Atemi Nage.
[ \\\\\ <
Duke stands a moment, his body smoking, eyes transfixed ahead of him, breath ragged and stilted...
Before he collapses to his knees, palms to the ground, head bowed to the ground, as he can barely hold himself up.
Geese smiles as the Rashoumon smashes through Duke. It is a the wicked, arrogant smile of a man--or maybe a monster--who has watched pour all of his strength into a cause--even a noble one--only to be broken against Geese's own strength and tenacity. The joy of conquest and the knowledge of being able to take what one wants...that is what drives Geese Howard. He must conquer all obstacles. He cannot be denied.
He breaks into another of those monstrous laughs at Duke's accusation. The wounds on his chest, partly closed, drip blood onto the floor. "You hate the truth in it," he says in the dying Duke's ear. "There is no room for such connections at the top. There is only room for strength."
But then Duke ignites. He becomes a great conflagration of chi and unholy rage, driven only by his desire to punish Duke for his hubris. His callousness. His horrid indifference at what Duke has endured.
Geese snaps forward, his hand ready to intercept Duke and redirect him, to toss him off of the rooftop to the street below. He does not get the chance.
The flames are too much. They engulf him, surround him, incinerate him in their righteous fury.
Until the wind cuts through them like a knife, parting the flames like a candle in a sudden wind.
Geese stands in the clearing, palms outspread in a low horse stance from the release of chi. His body badly burned, yet he still stands. Howard breathes heavily, replenishing the air in his lungs after the inferno.
And then he steps forward decisively, unflinchingly. His fingers snap around the crown of Duke's head, lifting the broken man--or what's left of him--up off the ground to look him in the eye properly.
"How dare I?" he says lowly, only one eye open. "I dare I?" Geese says with a sneer. "I have given you power. A drive to become strong so that you could claim vengeance. I gave you wealth and men to command, and you come here like a dog snapping at its master's hand."
Geese snaps his arm, tossing Duke across the rooftop. He steps slowly, following the man to where he lands.
Duke tries to resist.
He struggles, he fights to stand. And yet, he was helpless. All attempts to resist Geese, as his boss survives and stands, collapses the moment he is snatched in his grips. Staring up at him, Duke still manages to curl a sneer of defiance. For a moment, it almost looks like his fire was ready to blow again, right into Geese's face.
And he is hurled away for his efforts.
Geese tosses him across, the reality is too much to bear. Duke was a slab of meat; his remains struggling to pull together. Duke crawls on the like a feeble baby, his limbs unable to coodinate. "B-bastard!" Duke spits back, blood coming from his mouth as he eases off the ground, a mere inch, struggling to not drown in his own blood. "I will... I will not... be your dog..." He groans, casting his eyes back up at the approaching Geese.
Geese steps toward Duke. He too is battered, burned, and bruised, but the Syndicate leader still stands. Perhaps he too is driven by his anger, refusing to relent even when pushed to the very limit.
He stands there, looking down on Duke with contempt. His arrogant sneer looming over the battered and broken gang leader. Looking down on him, even after that spectacular display of power. Even after pushing Geese to his own limits.
"Hah! Of course you won't. What use do I have for a disobedient dog?" Geese lifts his foot, bringing it down on Duke's arm as he tries to rise up. Howard leans in as he does, drawing closer.
"But what can you do about it? You came here and gave this battle everything, and this," Geese sweeps his hand across the rooftop--and over Duke, "this is all you could manage. There is no victory except absolute victory. You have failed."
"I... am not done yet, Geese."
Duke rumbles, as he pushes himself up further. Despite the pressure, the arrogant, ruthless cruelty, Duke still struggles. Pushing against Geese's foot, sticking his chin up high. Already, his organs were drawing in.
"You can't do this forever."
Duke transfixes those yellow eyes back. "Your empire will crumble in your own feebling, aging grasp. You can't live forever, Geese. And I will endure. Piece by piece. And it will be all mine. You don't think we see... we see your weakness. You can't even control your family..." Duke heaves, attempting to grab Geese's ankle, attempting to build himself back into fighting.
"Terry has already taken your son away from you-"
There's a momentary pause. Geese looks at Duke silently. His teeth clench. His knuckles pop.
"I have no son."
Geese hand snaps out to grab Duke by the hair. He hoists the man up one-handed, despite his injuries, and proceeds to drag him across the rooftop. The two of them near the edge of the rooftop. He holds Duke over the precipice, dropping him briefly and then snapping to grab Duke by the throat instead. There is no chance of dropping him that way. Not until he is ready.
"They can try," Geese says with a sneer. "I will conquer all challlenges. Let them throw their lives away as you have." Geese's grip loosens slightly.
"Live or die here, it's of no consequence to me. Geese's mouth curls. "You can crawl away and hide like the dog you are, or you can challenge me again. The result will be the same!"
And Geese lets go, tossing Duke from the rooftop
"Not even death can defeat me!" he screams, "I will conquer it as I have all other obstacles!"
Duke is cut short, as Geese heaves him by his hair. Body limp, the strength escapes him as he is held over the edge of the building. Duke stares back, lips in a curl of rage. And yet, when the hand comes around his throat, Duke begins to struggle. He knows this. He understands this. And choking, unable to respond, he writhes, like the thug he was. He finally is able to speak again. ANd he only has enough time to muster three words.
Duke's roar in defiance echos around the tower... before coming to a sudden, sharp silence, far below.
COMBATSYS: Geese has ended the fight here.
Log created on 18:31:17 02/24/2018 by Duke, and last modified on 19:58:18 02/26/2018.