World Warrior 2018 - World Warrior R3 L - Athena vs Ramlethal

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Description: Dispassionate living weapon, Ramlethal Valentinem faces the surprisingly successful idol fighter, Athena Asamiya, as the Top 8 of World Warrior begins to get chiseled down to its final participants.

Out of the original World Warrior hopefuls, the least likely participant to still be found within the tournament itself might be a tough call between the bipedal two-tailed cat and the celebrity idol pop star. And yet, here Athena Asamiya remains, against all the odds and expectations of the viewing public. Sure, she had some solid fighting cred to her name as a member of the winning team in King of Fighters 2016... but World Warrior was well known to be a drastic step beyond that in terms of the powerful competition showing out.

Yet somehow, the resolved teenager has fought on. Though she had suffered her first defeat at the hands (or swords) of her fellow unlikely warrior, a samurai cat, she had managed to scrape by one more round by breaking through the almost invincible defenses of the Illuminati tyrant, Urien.

Now she stands ready for another fight, each match one step further than she had ever anticipated managing to get when she first accepted the invitation to participate. As usual for this time of year in Germany, the air is crisp, rarely getting above 50F in the daylight, and dropping well below that at night. The sky overhead is clear blue now, though from the high vantage point afforded by the island-locked castle, one can see dark clouds encroaching from the horizon as yet another one of the region's relentless train of storms moves along on strong wind currents.

The Exhibition Yard was once a walled in dirt area set aside for combat demonstrations and challenges. Now it looks like a warzone. In several locations, the walls surrounding it have been shattered by the powers at play between the living legends who have fought here. One of the walls has some new 'doors' into the barracks where many of the contestants have been staying during their time at Strolheim. Two of the walls are perhaps a bit more concerning as the broken gaps of pulverized stone on those two sides open out into empty sky and a long plunge to the lake far below.

Craters, scorch marks, and patches of earth that look to have been melted into some kind of glassy stone mark the ground, all evidence of the destructive power brought to bear within these nearly broken walls. All for Krauser's amusement, it would seem, and to definitively crown the World's Strongest... At least out of those who decided to show up for the combat spectacle.

In this war torn arena, Athena Asamiya stands, waiting quietly, pensive for the next match to come. In the previous rounds since the tournament began, she had appeared in a new, pristine, showy but now too showy outfit. It was being streamed, after all, and she still had an image to maintain, fans to appease.

But over the course of the rounds, her supply of costume pieces to assemble together into something new have been exhausted, many of the outfits destroyed beyond use in her previous clashes against other World Warriors. This time, she's left to fight in clothing more befitting a civilian than a celebrity fighter - a white sailor style blouse with long sleeves and a red neckerchief tied off over her chest, wrapping around her neck beneath the classic blue collar. A navy blue pleated skirt at her waist, white ankle socks, and classic brown Mary Janes complete the ensemble.

It isn't really what she picks for fighting, but on the other hand, it is fairly compatible with her image anyway. Her manager back home will have nothing to complain about, at least. She does appear in need of a hair cut, however, as the lengthy dark violet tresses resting against her back and shoulders is cut uneven, shorter on the right than the left. In fact, it looks less that it was unevenly cut and more that a portion of her hair had been scorched off, the ends burnt, twisted, and still black in places.

The look on her face is troubled. She had always tapped into her opponents emotional energy in combat - it was one of the many secrets to her phenomenal success as a fighter in fact. But doing so with Urien had proven nearly disastrous... while it had fueled her with enough raw power to defeat the man, she had unwittingly picked up some of his violent traits while the link was sustained, a fact not realized until the match was over, her mind left reeling in the aftermath. Had that always been the case and she had simply not noticed before? Or was it something unique about that man? Should she be more careful about the way she utilizes her gifts for fighting? Perhaps she should be more circumspect about it in the future. She would hate to suffer a repeat of what happened /that/ match, at least.

Once more, she faces an unknown to her - a name on a list. Back home, it was her manager that saw to it that she knew what she as going into with each match, doing his damnedest to make sure she at least put up passable performances each time. But out here, left to her own awareness of who's who among the fighting elite, she's largely been at a loss.

Unbeknownst to the troubled teen, the storm clouds rolling in on the distant horizon are not the only dangerous thing lurking in the sky. High above the blasted war-torn courtyard a lone figure stands atop a small ledge on one of the castle's many old towers. Like some ancient gargoyle carved from the very stone upon which she rests, silent and unmoving, the dark-skinned girl gazes down upon the world below at the small patch of earth that will soon become the site of yet another bloody battle and the unassuming child that is to be her opponent.

The Valentine regards Athena with the same empty stare that she had been born with, a mask devoid of emotion, empathy, or regret. As always, her task is not to feel or concern herself with the moral implications of the actions she takes, merely to act upon the orders given to her by the Universal Will, the entity that she colloquially refers to as "Mother". It is the one sliver of irrational attachment that she allows herself and, were she to describe it in human terms, it could said that she takes pride in knowing that she is the right hand of such a perfect being.

And yet, despite all of the knowledge and power that Mother posseses, she still fears humanity. Though they have existed for but a single grain of time in cosmic hourglass, these strange anomolies have managed to amass absurd amounts of power and knowledge, driven by ferocious ambitions and bottomless greed. Though individually weak, save for a few rare exceptions, as a whole their species is a terrible threat, a plague ravaging everything it comes into contact with, devouring life whole to feed their endless hunger for more power.

It had been her intention to participate in this fight to gauge the strength of these monsterous creatures, to see what made these so-called strongest warriors special. She had faced many who could be considered powerful fighters, some who even rivaled herself in raw destructive potential, yet the majority of those who had given her difficulty had not even been human at all. Twisted existences corrupted by their own folly, feeding off the very lifeforce of the world around them.

The sight of such creatures, abominations that existed solely to sate their own lust for amusement and power, had disgusted her beyond measure. Likewise, the weakness of the humans she had faced left her feeling sullied for each of them had clung to their foolish belief that clinging to pointless sentimentality somehow made them stronger despite their clear and utter defeats. It made no logical sense. How could they deny the reality that stood before them?

She had come here hoping for answers, a confirmation that her resolve to follow Mother's will without question was the correct path. Yet all she has received for her efforts is uncertainty.

"Oi. Are you planning to stand around up here all day?!"

A familiar voice cut through the silence of her inner musings, cramming itself into her ears with the gentleness of a rusty nail. Though her expression remains stoic and unchanging, a faint twinge of annoyance threatens to make itself known in the monotone of her soft baritone.

"It is no concern of yours."

Ramlethal's gaze shifts sideways to regard the speaker, her golden amber eyes settling upon the disturbing features of the beachball-sized creature hovering at her side. Lucifero clacked his teeth at her noisily as he sucked in a deep breath, the twin halves of his yin-yang body of black and white scruntching up at her in a scowl. She knew that this would likely precede a particularly long-winded rant, one which would no doubt delay her arrival to the battlefield even longer, ironically.

She doesn't give the bloated familiar a chance to speak, instead delivering a solid chop to the center of its fat head. A foul blast of air hits her in the face as its mouth flies open to let out a screech of pain and fury but her power divests the creature of that opportunity, splitting it down the middle into its component parts. She looks at the two smaller orbs, each now a miniature monochrome version of the whole, utterly lacking in features save for a large toothy maw and a pair of motionless bat-like wings. They buzz about in small circles like a pair of angry bees threatening to strike but when the girl steps off the edge of the tower they dart after her with resigned obedience.

The Valentine's arrival to the battlefield is a quiet thing. Though the wind whips at her face as she drops in freefall from the upper stories of the castle, her momentum simply ceases to exist the moment before she should have put a fresh bloody crater into the already fractured exhibition yard. Bare feet alight upon the dirt with ballerina-like grace making naught but the slightest of crunches as the baked earth shifts beneath her toes. She tosses her head from side to side, idly casting the loose clumps of shaggy bangs from her eyes which had been scattered about by the fall, then turns deliberately to lock her gaze upon the fuku-clad pop star, her face a mask of utter neutrality.

Unlike the fiery disposition of the arrogant Urien, the Gear's presence could be described as little more than a cold empty void. It isn't that she has suppressed her feelings or trained herself not to give them away through training and discipline, like an assassin or sociopath might - there simply isn't anything there. Ramlethal regards her opponent in silence for several seconds, once more lapsing into an utter lack of motion that any normal person would find chillingly alien and inhuman, watching to see how this young specimen will respond to her sudden presence.

When Urien had come the now well-used venue to face her, she had sensed his coming well before she saw him, a tempest of rage quite palpable to the young sensate. When Ramlethal lightly touches down from what should have been a suicidal plunge from above, Athena barely notices her arrival at all. If she had not been looking across the courtyard, seemingly lost in thought, perhaps she would still be blind to the Gear's presence even now.

But violet eyes fix on the inhuman creature proving the girl is quite aware of the other's presence. There is an almost inquisitive look to Asamiya's expression as she gazes upon her opponent. The quizzical moment has nothing to do with any outward appearance of the command Gear, but rather the absolute absence of any feelings whatsoever.

With the power of all the opponent's she faced thus far came an aura of presence that almost demanded to be acknowledged. Rage, blood lust, confidence, or resolve - each individual a unique flavor, to be sure, but one that she felt with ease. The closest to the experience she sees in Ramlethal was the swordscat. Though his presence was felt, there was an even keel to it that seemed almost out of place for battle, a calm amid the chaos. But as she gazes at Ramlethal, setting her second sight to the task of trying to explore and understand her new opponent, she feels so little that for a moment she can't help but wonder if the problem is herself.

Testing, she lets down her psychic walls further, extending her unseen reach, trying to figure out this curious cipher. Is she a robot? Cold, unfeeling technology was certainly a blind spot to the girl, but robotics alone had never been engineered to the point that it could actually challenge her anyway. But Ramlethal is not a robot - not in the traditional sense, at least. No, there's something else at work here. If Asamiya had faced her kind in the war in Japan, perhaps she would better understand what it was she was looking at.

She blinks, realizing that she has stared in silence toward Ramlethal for far too long for polite company now. Straightening her stance, her arms at her sides, she bows her head toward the dark tanned woman, "Hello. My name is Athena Asamiya." It isn't often she introduces herself to anyone who doesn't seem to already know who she is, but with the empty void she's got standing before her, she can't even perceive the tinge of recognition so familiar that it is trivial for her to detect normally.

She lifts her head, eyes opening then. There is a pulse in time with the motion with Athena at the epicenter, invisible but certainly present, easily perceived by any fighter sensitive to fight at this caliber - at least, if they're human. An aura builds around the girl, a psychic pressure that fills the space around her, lending an almost larger than life charisma to the famous young fighter. Maybe Ramlethal can sense it then - why this slip of a girl has made it this far, that power that burns from within the furnace of her own soul.

Her mouth forms a half-smile, one that carries with it both a sense of sincerity yet also an acknowledgment that such cordial greetings between warriors at this level tend to matter little. After all, she just finished facing someone who's idea of an introduction was backhanding her across the face.

"Thank you for the honor of giving me this fight. I know we are both here to give it our all."

Her eyes flick to the bits hovering around Ramlethal, her quiet investigation of her opponent continuing, growing more determined by the moment to find something - anything - about what it was she was up against. This is nothing like the Empty Mind Jubei was able to obtain... but how could she possibly be here if she truly felt nothing at all? Is it possible to be this strong yet care not in the slightest?

Exhaling a breath softly, Athena resigns herself to the fight ahead, lifting her hands, one foot sliding forward slightly. Her right arm bends at the elbow, drawn back, her left hand extended, palm open. A simple, fundamental Kung Fu stance from which she can pivot into any number of techniques. Sometimes the basics are the best place to start.

Perhaps in battle, she will better understand what it is that makes this being tick. More often than not, that has been where she has seen emotions at their most raw, most pure, and most unguarded. If there is even a kernel of feeling in this curious opponent, she will find it.

"Here I go!"

The exclamation out loud is just an unnecessary warning born of habitual courtesy, as the young fighter's intent is readily apparent as she sweeps her arms back, rose-hued energy bursting down her forearms to collect near her hands.

Teeth grit as she takes a half step forward, planting herself, her arms sweeping forward and past each other, the pooled energy colliding into an explosion of light yielding a large sphere of churning psionic energy hurtling toward the stoic Gear. In normal venues, she'd cry her signature technique's name - it was part of the show, her fans expected it. But here, even with the silent cameras recording it all, thoughts of showmanship have been discarded. She cannot survive the slightest distraction.

COMBATSYS: Athena has started a fight here.

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Athena           0/-------/------=|

COMBATSYS: Ramlethal has joined the fight here.

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Athena           0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0        Ramlethal

COMBATSYS: Athena successfully hits Ramlethal with Psycho Ball.

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Athena           0/-------/---====|=------\-------\0        Ramlethal

The response that Ramlethal receives is not one that she had expected. Until now, every one of her opponents had either not bothered to share their name or had done so amidst boasts of skill or threats of violence, bravado and foolishness spewing forth in equal measure. This is the first time someone has thanked her for merely showing up and the Valentine isn't quite sure if the girl is trying to mock her in some fashion. Regardless of whether she is sincere or not, Athena's words are as pointless as all those who came before and the Gear answers them with silence.

The surge of power that comes forth as the blessed warrior gathers her will, however, does get a response. The exotic white lashes surrounding Ramlethal's golden eyes shift slightly as she narrows her gaze upon the celebrity, drawing upon the boundless stores of information locked away in the depths of the Backyard. Though not all of its infinite wealth of knowledge is freely available to her, Mother trusted her well enough to grant access to large portions, particularly those records regarding the inhabitants of this world.

Athena's power blazes brightly, her dark-skinned opponent unmoving and seemingly unworried even in the face of such awesome power. It is not until the sphere of sparkling energy is hurled in her direction that the Gear finally responds with something more than a faint twitch or shift of the eyes, one arm casually lifting up into the air. She holds out her hand, palm lifting vertically towards the projectile as if she might merely command it to stop by sheer will. However, a few instants before the shimmering orb makes contact a flat rectangle of glowing green light springs into being, acting as a shield against the psychic blast.

Or, it should have. Instead, Athena's attack passes harmlessly through the barrier, shattering in a brilliant blast against the girl's splayed out fingers. Pain floods through Ramlethal's arm as her flesh is assaulted by the strange energies. Slowly, she lowers the limb and twists it about, holding her still numb hand up near her chest to peer at it curiously. After a few seconds, she blinks and nods once, flexing the digits experimentally.

"I see. So that's what it is."

Cold eyes shift back up to regard the pyschic warrior once more, locking upon her gaze as if to draw the girl into that void of emptiness within. There are no signs of anger that come from the strange woman, no hints of worry or indignation that her defenses were so easily bypassed. It's like being looked upon by a machine devoid of any thoughts save those dedicated to its purpose.

Lifting the injured hand into the air once again, Ramlethal draws upon her own power and all at once the nature of her presence changes. Raw seething magical destruction floods out of the very air itself, pouring in like a raging tide to fill the empty vessel of her soul with undiluted energy. Verdant neon light flares to life around her hand, compressing into a similar but smaller sphere of scintillating light like that which Athena herself had used.

"Here I go."

Ramlethal mimicks the words uttered by her foolish opponent, her deep feminine voice as lacking in emotional inflection as her mind. The sphere of light explodes from her hands like a cannonball, zipping across the gap between them in a flash. Rather than tear a direct line to its target, however, the orb dips downwards and then rises up once again, twisting through the air like it has a mind of its own.

COMBATSYS: Athena blocks Ramlethal's Cassius.

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Athena           0/-------/=======|=------\-------\0        Ramlethal

Her attack launched, Athena's arms draw back, the youthful fighter straightening out of her forward lean, trying to keep her eyes on the battlefield. There was a hint of inexperience to her all-in approach to creating the potent projectile, a willingness to be vulnerable for a moment in order to devote every iota of focus to creating that psionic field. It's a strange flaw to exist in fighters at this caliber, to be certain.

But she has time to recover thanks to the range this time, seeing the attempt Ramlethal makes at dealing with her signature technique fail at the last moment. The success on her part creates a brief moment of euphoria, that sense that she can in fact fight this opponent, that she does belong here, perhaps yet another round. It isn't a sadistic spike of pleasure, by any means, just a tightening of her right hand. Okay, keep it going, she reminds herself.

Of course, it's right about then that she notices the utterly dispassionate way Ramlethal reacts to having been struck clean on, the way she lifts her hand to study it, no sign of torment, discomfort, or worry in her expression, and her psyche as absent from the world as it was when she arrived. No alarm? No desire to get even? No battle spirit or passion? She is certain it is not a robot she faces, yet all indicators strongly throw doubt at that conclusion...

And then like a dam burst, power of a different kind floods the Exhibition Yard, answering Ramlethal's call. The young woman's motions are calm and without vigor, but the destruction she weaves is anything but. In spite fighting beneath a bright afternoon sky, the idol fighter finds herself squinting for a moment at the bright churning light before its luminescence is compressed into the tightly controlled sphere of energy.

Well, this is something she can sense, at least. It's not an emotional echo, but something else - primal, raw, and fierce, as if the energy her opponent wields is everything the stoiic figure. Her own warning is echoed back at her and Athena grins, jaw set as she braces herself. It will be her turn to test her opponent's strength in a direct confrontation of pure energy.

Rooted rather than flighty, she grounds herself, centering her gravity forward as she braces for the worst. There is no outward sign of how she defends herself beyond the raising of her arms. Instead, she wrestles against the incoming bullet with her aura, consciously pushing it out and trying to disrupt the flow of the incoming attack.

It is certainly not her strongest area as a fighter, but she hasn't gotten this far without at least being able to muster some defense against destructive power like this. Her forearms take the brunt of it, white sleeves burned to ash as she is driven backward through the dirt, twin grooves left by her feet as she comes to a stop two meters later and gasps, the last vestiges of the attack splashing out into the open air around her.

Ramlethal's hand may have been stricken numb by Athena's attack, but right now, her own arms feel like jelly, dropping down against her sides, a painful ache coursing through them. That... was her opening salvo? If that had hit cleanly, it would have knocked her on her ass for sure!

Sucking in her breath, teeth grit, the student fighter's eyes sparkle with enthusiasm. This is a strong opponent indeed. "Okay!" There is almost, but not quite, a laugh to her voice. Left to her own emotions rather than weathering a storm cloud of rage or even a peaceful zen of one who as seen far too many battles, her own fighting spirit is allowed to project itself, and it answers with enthusiasm, an eagerness to fight someone strong even if they, themselves, seem indifferent to it all.

She bolts forward then, intending to close ground, finding herself wondering why Ramlethal is here at all? She doesn't sense a desperate need to prove herself, nor is there burning ember of passion for battle... But in the end, it hardly matters. This can be for herself, if not for her opponent, she decides as her well toned legs take her into the air in a forward leap, vaulting higher than even most capable fighters can manage.

Near the apex, she flips forward, tucking herself into a ball, and then, changing course suddenly, dives directly for the impassive woman. Given her diminutive weight, the pending collision would be nothing to worry about in the slightest. But with the way the idol's body becomes wreathed in a sphere of that same energy she had just lobbed Ramlethal's way, there is actual threat to the incoming dive.

A successful impact would have her landing in a slide, pressing down with her right hand, legs kicking out with a strong sweeping strike for the other woman's knees, hoping to deliver enough of a finishing blow to launch back to safety!

COMBATSYS: Athena successfully hits Ramlethal with Phoenix Arrow.
Glancing Blow

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Athena           1/-------/=======|==-----\-------\0        Ramlethal

Again, the girl surprises her. Ramlethal watches impassively as the young woman attempts to catch her return fire rather than avoid it, a particularly foolish choice if the paltry amount of aura she brings to bear is anything near her limit. That blast had been a mere sliver of the strength she could bring to bear if needed, yet it had forced the girl back like a sledgehammer. Disappointment, it would seem, is to be the theme of this contest.

While her speed would easily allow her to close the gap between them to press her offensive, the Valentine merely lowers her arm and waits. Logic would dictate that she expend as little time and effort as necessary on this exchange, ending it as quickly as possible, and indeed she considers unleashing her true strength without delay. However, there are no other pressing matters to attend to at present. Justice's death had cast the Gear offensive into disarray leaving the majority of the mindless soldiers to wander the world as little more than feral monsters. It would take time to assemble a new plan and then yet more to prepare for it. Until then, she is free to indulge herself and she finds these little contests to be oddly alluring.

Perhaps it is the chance to unleash her might against foes who do not immediately flee or die. She takes no pleasure from the wanton slaughter of human life, though perhaps a bit of satisfaction manages to slip past her guard. After all, it is her grand purpose to wipe out humanity and each life that she snuffs out is one step closer to realizing that goal. Still, it's like crushing ants one by one with her thumb - effective, but not particularly time efficient or challenging. It feels like a waste of her skills.

Despite the crushing blow that she had suffered in her ill-advised defensive manuever, the look in the teenager's face as she comes rushing towards Ramlethal is not one of fear but enthusiasm. The Valentine's gaze follows her into the air, her head tilting back to keep Athena within her field of vision while expending the least amount of effort. Once again, the monsterous girl remains stationary until the last possible second, her body suddenly shifting sideways like a chess piece being moved on a board as the blazing cannonball comes hurtling down at her.

Despite her speed, the edge of that field of pyshic power clips the Gear sending a fresh wave of gnawing pain through her leg. As before, she registers the sensation but shows no signs of it, merely altering her defense to account for the pop star's strange shift from fireball into sweep kick. Ramlethal's body cants forward, her feet leaving the ground as she seems to leap into a horizontal lunge over the second half of the attack. However, rather than obey the laws of gravity and come back down, the mysterious fighter simply hovers in the air above her.

There is a twisting sensation as reality bends to the exotic beauty's whims, her hand rising up as if preparing to strike out at Athena. Instead, the two orb-like familiars wink out of existence only to reappear an instant later at her side carrying in their grotesque mouths a matching pair of swords of truly ridiculous size. The upraised hand is swung outwards with a sweeping gesture and the right-most familiar responds to this command in kind, pivoting about in the air to bring the wedge-like blade it carries around in a massive slash at the teenager.

The Valentine does not sit idle while this deadly attack plays out. She moves, a sudden burst of speed completely at odds with the almost sloth-like demeanor she has thus far displayed carrying her around behind Athena in the span of a couple heartbeats. No sooner has the greatsword delivered its slash, carving a neon green trail through the air with its magical edge, than Ramlethal lunges in from the rear, ready to either cut off the girl's path to escape or catch her in the event she is unable to avoid the jet wing pretending to be a sword.

The Gear's hand lashes out, her fingers seeking out the soft flesh of the idol's throat with strength far surpassing that which her slender figure should possess. The razor-sharp teeth lining the bottom of her cloak, a small detail that Athena may have missed up until this point, wobble in anticipation, thick strands of ropey spittle dripping onto the blasted earth. In the unfortunate event that she is caught, the teen would find herself becoming very intimate with those teeth, who are quite keen to try and recreate the magic trick of sawing a pretty young girl in half.

COMBATSYS: Ramlethal blitzes into action and acts again!

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Athena           1/-------/=======|=------\-------\0        Ramlethal

COMBATSYS: Athena instinctively dodges Ramlethal's Forpeli.

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Athena           1/------=/=======|=------\-------\0        Ramlethal

COMBATSYS: Athena dodges Ramlethal's Bucado.

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Athena           1/------=/=======|=------\-------\0        Ramlethal

Now that she has entered the fray directly, Athena's mind manages to start setting aside the questions, the what-ifs, and the why's. Distractions, all of them. All that matters now is what she does and what her opponent does. Only by silencing that inner voice in her head can she allow the true extent of her combat potential take over. It's always been there, just below the surface of her thoughts. At times, she's felt less like she's training to improve and simply refining her ability to let what is already there out, as if her inexperience was holding something greater back.

Diving out of the sky, wreathed in that power she wields, she silences her thoughts, leaving space for that other to slip in and guide her hand. What choice does she have, facing an opponent like this?

The defenses of her opponent are strange to see in practice - she seems to wait until the last possible second before acting, and in this case, her split second movement left Athena only grazing her leg rather than colliding bodily as intended. She goes through the motions of the technique all the same, planting her hand, snapping her legs out, her skirt slipping up far enough to show a pleasing amount of thigh for the fans back home as her heel slams out only to hit empty air.

Normally she could rely on her psychic senses to place her opponents whereabouts, but trying to track Ramlethal through her surface emotions is an impossible task and instead she's forced to keep her eyes on the unnaturally moving opponent as she moves up and out of the way of Asamiya's strike and then proceeds to simply defy gravity.

The familiars blink out, another burst of energy that almost leaves Athena feeling a hint of nausea in her gut even without affecting her directly. That aura of hers is going to be a liability for sure.

Coming out of her hand stand, she's just rising to her feet as two gargantuan swords appear before her, putting to shame literally every other weapon she has ever faced in a match. If she had simply waited to see what happened next, she would have been subjected to a grievous injury that may have decided the fight outright. Instead, she's already reacting even before the right great sword so much as budges, leaning back, kicking off with her feet as the air is rent by the razor edged magic blade, the smell of burnt ozone left in its passing wake. Stray lengths of hair are vaporized in the viridian swath of destruction, but the speed of Asamiya herself proves to be just enough to not be sweep up in the far reaching slash.

Still, airborne, the penned in fighter is in no position to guard against or evade the assault coming in at her from behind. Twisting into a pivot in the air only serves to bring her throat around for easier grasping, doing nothing to actually escape the ruin intended for her. Her arms are raising up from her sides on path to cross over her head rather than intercept the crushing grasp coming her way...

As if her prescience and speed weren't already proof of how she had made it this far in the brutal tournament, her next trick explains a lot, the nimble Kung Fu artist vanishing into an explosion of rose-hued sparkling motes, afterimages of the girl streaking toward and then possibly /through/ the Command Gear, inflicting another painful brush with that energy of hers.

Unless prevented, Athena will spin out of the desperate evasion a few meters behind Ramlethal, arms out at her sides as she seeks to reclaim her balance. More motes of spent power spill off from around her, serving both as part of the spectacular looking performances the young fighter puts on, but also anchoring her physical self back to this reality, her mind only just catching up with the miraculous escape she just mustered.

Violet eyes seek Ramlethal then, while also eager to not be caught in the shadow of those collosal blades coming for her a second time!

COMBATSYS: Ramlethal blocks Athena's TELEPOOOOOOOOTAH!.

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Athena           1/-----==/=======|=------\-------\0        Ramlethal

The series of events that unfolds before Ramlethal's eyes defies all of the predictions she had carefully laid out. Her two-pronged assault, something that has made short-work of even the likes of supernatural creatures such as herself, utterly fails to connect with her target. The girl reacts with speed and grace far beyond anything a human should be able to manage, moving so fast it almost seems as if she knew what was going to happen before the motions were played out.

No matter. The blade was only the opening strike. The Valentine actually shows a bit of surprise as she some comes in from behind, her eyes opening slightly wider as she finds that her carefully laid trap has been turned against her by a power she could not predict. The shimmering wave of energy that used to be her prey darts directly at the Gear and she has only a few moments to shift her momentum, diverting her course to the side and out of the direct path of the unknown. Her arms up come defensively, a barrier of light forming infront of her but teleportational energies do little more than spark and fizzle as they past right through both it and her, leaving naught more than an odd tingling sensation behind.

Slowly, Ramlethal lowers her guard, peering over her shoulder at the reformed school girl with a blank look. The brief moment of shock that had registered on her face is gone, though the sensitive psychic might have picked up on the short but definitive trace of emotional activity as she phased through the Gear. There is a spark inside that void, though it is a small pitiful thing, forgotten and untended.

Taking a moment reassess her opponent, Ramlethal quickly modifies her earlier conclusion that she can afford to take her time with this match. Whatever the source for these strange powers might be, they make her dangerously unpredictable. Speed and strength have always been her forte, as well as planning around known factors. Adjusting to variables such as this on the fly is much harder. Common sense would have her retreat until further data can be collected, however, to do so would forfeit her place in this tournament. She will just have to be cautious.

Dropping back down to the ground, Ramlethal rounds on her opponent, facing her properly once again. She leans forward slightly and her body is suddenly in motion, floating on the tips of her toes at the idol without hesitation. Her hands lift into the air in tandem, the slender fingers of each crooking into make-shift claws that come down one after the other in a pair of rapid slashes. Dull grey magic explodes from the Gear's hands as she swings, the steel-like strength of her fingers carrying with them a secondary threat of raw blazing swathes of power.

COMBATSYS: Ramlethal successfully hits Athena with Power Strike.

[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////        ]
Athena           2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|==-----\-------\0        Ramlethal

Coming out of her desperately needed and successful teleport, Athena is just starting to reorient herself with the world when Ramlethal is already upon her again. Her arms still throbbing from the first time she tried to withstand the destructive power wielded by this unique opponent, the young fighter's options are frightfully limited under the immense pressure placed on her defenses. There will be no teleporting again after just having come out of one, and she can't hope to match the stoic woman's brute force.

Her legs bend at the knees again, Asamiya kicking back, trying to outdistance the incoming lunging aggression. But the effort is in vain this time, the magical construct manages to finally catch her prey, clawed hands slashing into and through fragile cloth and just as fragile flesh beneath it, eliciting a cry of alarm from the teenager as she comes to landing out of her tardy escape with a pained gasp.

With merely a swift but restrained exercise of her physical strength and destructive energy, she has landed a savage hit on the girl. Asamiya's legs buckle, her arms lifting up to cross over the center of her torso as scraps of white cloth shorn from her blouse rain down around her. Considering what a relatively light attack from Ramlethal managed to accomplish, it only becomes more clear just how dire Asamiya's situation was when she was pinned in by the two far more dangerous attacks only moments before.

The twin slashes have torn a gaping hole in the front of the girl's blouse just below her chest, the skin beneath stained with blood welling up from the raking wounds inflicted. Asamiya's cheeks redden, flushed with pain, but the resolve in her eyes doesn't waver. If anything, she seems to become only more serious, teeth grit as her hands clench.

She had felt it in that brief moment of contact - she knew now that what she faced was not a mechanical soulless contraption, in spite how alien she seemed to act. There was a soul somewhere in there, proof of life. It answered some questions, yet sparked countless more. What is she? Who is she? Where does she come from?

The news reports of last year flicker into her thoughts - they had described them as soulless automatons wrought by science unchecked. Is this one of them? Were the claims wrong? Is this a Gear?

She forces her arms to unfold. There is no chance to deal with the injuries right now and, deep as they are, she very well might lose the capacity to fight all together from blood loss if she is slow to act.

Sucking in air between her teeth, she stands up straight, trying to ignore the fresh new pain the movement causes, her arms at her sides as she closes her eyes and lets all hell break loose.

A visible storm of Psycho Power erupts up around the girl, rose in color, and as bright as the noonday sun overhead. Swirling currents of energy build almost instantly as Asamiya closes her eyes briefly, exercising her will to shape and forge her weapons from this nigh infinite wellspring of pwoer.

Two orbiting spheres, so dark violet as to almost become black, manifest around the girl, surging through a helix-like path up and down all sides of the girl.


Her right hand snaps up, eyes opening to find her target. All the gathered power becomes compressed over her head, the twin spheres becoming one as her incredible will compresses more and more power into the potential attack.

She swings her arm forward then, finger extended, her own body blown back a meter from the backlash of power sent hurtling toward the deceptively young life she faces. A trench of earth explodes up in the wake of the psychic cruise missile's wake, creating a linear plume of dust between herself and her opponent.

Just like Ramlethal, this attack proves her opening salvo was only a fraction of Asamiya's full potential, and just like her, she has no doubt concluded that she can waste no time in trying to secure a victory against a foe that seems capable of tearing her in two if she ever gets her hands on her!

COMBATSYS: Ramlethal parries Athena's Shining Crystal Bit EX+!

[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////        ]
Athena           0/-------/---<<<<|===----\-------\0        Ramlethal

There is no surge of elation to be had as soft flesh and thin cloth shred beneath the terrible might at her command, no rush of euphoria or adrenaline to feed a primal bloodlust. Ramlethal is not like these creatures, she possesses no ancient instincts that twist her mind and soul to seek out the basic rewards of mental stimulus created by a body forged through millions of years of savage evolution. In some ways, she is far less than a human, though she would argue that this loss is not something to be mourned. She is an example of intelligent design and directed focus, a weapon forged for the sole purpose of destroying her foes and, if need be, dying for the cause.

Ramlethal gouges those rending wounds into her opponent without malice or mercy, casting the fragile human away in the same motion as she attempts to retreat. The Gear allows this brief disengagement, finding herself puzzled by the strange inconsistencies of the girl's skills. She had expertly avoiding the earlier strikes, moving as if possessed of some form of prescience or unmatched reflexes. Yet now she failed to avoid this most basic of attacks and in the process seems to have suffered far greater wounds than any other human who had faced her in combat thus far.

Cautiously, the Valentine remains at bay, watching to see what sort of tricks might be lurking up Athena's sleeves. Nothing in this fight has gone as she expects and this disruption of her predictions has started to make her hesistant to commit lest she find herself facing down another unexpected power.

It would seem, however, that staying at range has done exactly the opposite of what she wanted. Rather than remain safely out of the girl's reach, the Gear's reticence provides ample time for the idol to tap into the near bottomless source of her true powers, drawing forth the gift which has thus far been lurking in wait.

Slowly, the empty expression upon Ramlethal's exotic face starts to melt in the face of the awe-inspiring energy that rises up from within her foe. Her eyes grow wide, lips parting slightly in a faint gape as she stares directly into that blazing ball of raw mental energy as if seeing a sunrise for the very first time. The searing purple light casts her face in neon illumination, sharp shadows making the stunned expression stand out in an even more pronounced fashion.

"What... is that... light?"

The sudden shifting of Athena's arm seems to snap the Command Gear out of her trance, her eyes pulling away from the blinding orb that had captured her attention like a moth to a candle flame. A faint trace of what might be anger flares up within the raging torrent of magic swirling about in Ramlethal's empty vessel and her lips pull back in a ferocious snarl, shark-like triangular teeth glinting in the unnatural light. Even this overt display of emotion seems mostly empty, however, a parroted imitation of something the creature had once seen in a picture that lacks some obvious but inscrutible element that makes it look alien and unnatural.

Though every aspect of her experience and intelligence tells her that this terrible orb will spell her doom, Ramlethal does not flee from it. She wastes no effort errecting a magical barrier having already determined that such things offered little protection against this girl's powers. Perhaps if she were given some time to study the phenomenon she might be able to conjure up a new spell to ward it off more effectively but at the moment she has microseconds to work with, not days. Bracing herself against the worst, the Gear once more waits til the last moment, staring down the barrel of her opponent's attack without fear.

It would take an eye more honed than any normal human's to see what transpires in the next few instants. One moment Ramlethal is directly in the path of the oncoming wrecking ball of psionic destruction and then she isn't. The shimmering ball of power rockets past the Gear on a sparkling trail of destruction to unleash its fury upon the already ravaged castle walls. The Valentine remains standing precisely where she had been before, seemingly having not moved an inch from her spot. However, the faint acrid smell of burnt flesh and gaping circular hole in her oddly animated cloak tell a different story.

Wasting no time on dwelling upon what might have happened if she'd failed in her timing by even the slightest fraction of a second, the girl is already in motion by the time the purple artillery shell detonates behind her. She raises both arms, thrusting them forward at Athena so that they cross over at the wrists, her fingers splayed wide in some arcane gesture. The twin creatures floating loosely near her sides vanish into the aether once again, this time reforming as their reunited whole merely a few feet infront of the troublesome pop star, both swords clutched in its teeth at opposing angles. Though its mouth is too full to utter comprehensible words, the familiar lets loose a grating cackle as is starts to spin, quickly accelerating to blender-like speeds as it crashes towards her on a direct collision course!

COMBATSYS: Ramlethal successfully hits Athena with Trance EX.

[                   \\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////        ]
Athena           1/--<<<<</<<<<<<<|-------\-------\0        Ramlethal

With the amount of dislodged earth blown into the air by the mere passage of the psychic missile, Athena is in no position to bear witness to what actually transpired such that her attack did not connect cleanly. With the speed of the projectile, and the unerring aim her psychic sight affords her when launching it, the idea that it wouldn't have smashed clean into its intended target is almost unthinkable. Not that opponents hadn't found ways to survive it in the past, though it wasn't common. Some managed to bunker down and simply weather the piercing bolt, while the samurai cat decided, for reasons Asamiya still can't fathom, to charge straight into and through it. But otherwise, the accuracy of her technique was historically dangerously accurate.

The eradication of a large section of the wall out past Ramlethal makes it clear that somehow the impossible has in fact happened. Somehow, she missed.

Arm lowering slowly as the dust between her and her opponent begins to clear, the idol fighter looks thoroughly perplexed. In a costly moment of hesitation, she tries to comprehend what must have happened. If that barely present minuscule bit of emotion representing Ramlethal's take on anger had moved elsewhere, she could have had to accepted that somehow she translocated at the last possible moment just like she, herself, might have done. Yet she's still right where she last saw her, as if she had somehow figured out a means of absolute immunity to the Psycho Power Athena wields like a sledge hammer.

The dust begins to swirl as the massive blades manifest directly in front of Athena, scattering the light brown particulates to reveal a whirling blender of steel and that bright emerald energy that blurs into a shimmering discus as the colossally sized attack closes in on the teenager.

Apparently caught flat footed, there is no escaping it this time. Leaning back, arms coming up, violet eyes widened in alarm, it's all she can do to slam her palms out as if by simply believing hard enough she could stop the inevitable. There is an explosive flash of purple energy just beyond the small warrior's reach, a half-shell of telekinetic force that the whirling blade crashes into and then through, finding no small portion of its true destructive potential lost to that invisible source of friction, but even that is not enough to spare Asamiya the maelstrom, her voice crying out in a blend of panic and pain.

Given how much harm she had suffered just at the clawed touch of the Gear's earlier attack, there is reason to question the young fighter's capacity to even survive this attack at all. There would be no repercussions for the Gear from House Strolheim if she happened to deliver a lethal attack in the midst of the match. Asamiya had been warned that by accepting the invitation, she was entering an arena where death may not be the goal but was absolutely a risk with each step she took in the legendary tournament.

And in this moment, it seems her own ability to survive is put to the test. Were she caught in the spinning blades for more than even a couple seconds, it may have been the end of her. Instead she explodes out the other side of the reaping projection, her body a tapestry of new injuries. A gash along her thigh through a wide slit on the side of her skirt, a longer slash down her back from her left shoulder, blood staining swiftly through the rent fabric.

It would be easy to mistake her charge into the open just a desperate escape from the whirling blades. The girl's eyes don't even seem focused on Ramlethal. Yet her course is clearly directly toward the dark skinned warrior and each of her hands is aglow with twin spheres of more of that rose-hued energy.

Perhaps it's recklessness that compels her to try and attack the living weapon directly, lunging in shoulder first to try and rock Ramlethal's guard, before transitioning into a sequence of strikes with those imbued hands of hers, or spinning into snap kicks or quick knees, all in an attempt to smash her way in past the woman's defenses!

COMBATSYS: Athena successfully hits Ramlethal with Psychic 9.

[                 \\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Athena           0/-------/--=====|==-----\-------\0        Ramlethal

Though there is little actual substance to the mask of fury that Ramlethal displays in the aftermath of only barely escaping what would have certainly been a crippling injury, the deadly pinwheel of whirling blades is nothing short of attempted murder. There is more than enough power flowing through the artificial body granted to her by Mother to eradicate any human she might encounter for that is very purpose for which she was made, yet even after experiencing several battles with unnaturally strong entities throughout the course of this tournament this is the first time that the Gear has experienced something completely unknown to her - fear.

Though it was but for a few passing seconds something inside of her had quailed in the face of that blinding radiance. Unlike the false sense of doom that Azrael's strange energy had created, a phenomenon that passed the moment that his fist left contact with her body, this sensation had come from within. Yet that is impossible for emotions are something that she does not possess, a weakness that had been purged from her mortal mind by the all-powerful artifice of the Universal Will.

Even now the monsterous girl struggles with the paradoxical nature of these two realities, her once stoic features locked into that look of twisted rage. This is a problem. There must be something wrong with her mind. Yes, that has to be the reason. That /human/ has done something to her, perhaps with that initial strike that she had been quick to dismiss as little more than another form of energy. A foolish mistake and one that she will correct from here on out.

Continuing with the string of improbable happenings, the murderous scything blades of Lucifero's mad dash at the pop star fails to deliver a decisive blow. Caught off-guard by this blatantly suicidal rush, Ramlethal's attempts to escape that touch of that dangerous purple light prove unsuccessful. The shoulder check does little to actually harm her but serves its purpose in tossing her into disarray as the lunge clips the Gear's side mid-turn as she tries to float out of the way. It offers only a momentary window of opportunity but it is enough.

The flurry of psychically imbued strikes hammers into their target with strange ease, Ramlethal apparently paralyzed with indecision as to how to defend herself against something that harms with a mere touch when she cannot ward it away. She bats aside a few of the strikes with swift well-timed slaps or manages to lean out of the way but it's clear that her martial prowess relies more on inherent reflexes and magical augmentation than technical expertise. In this category they seem relatively equal while the unstable Gear attempts to regain her wits.

It does not take long for the tidal wave to expend itself, however. Athena's stamina is finite and her body limited in how long it can sustain such an aggressive assault; Ramlethal suffers no such handicap. Though pain wracks her body with each strike it does not affect her in the same way as it might a human, merely acting as a form of warning that her body is suffering damage. That does not seem to stop her from acting as if the opposite is true, her eyes narrowing as her face scruntches up in a grimace, every blow punctuated by a soft grunt or gasp.

When the chance finally comes to break free, Ramlethal seizes upon it without hesitation. Athena's knee rises up from below, crashing towards the exposed torso of the Gear as it has already done several times. This time, however, it is not the soft nook of her ribs that it finds purchase in but the soft dark palm of the fiend's hand. The bright power of the pop star's inner light sears at her skin sending tendrils of agony lancing through her arm but it with her shield of blank neutrality once more in place that the Valentine stares into her foe's eyes, uttering only a single word in dull inflectionless monotone.


She makes no threats in that momentary lapse of action, no sinister promises of returning the pain that had been inflicted upon her by way of word or evil smirk. She simply acts.

Ramlethal's leg snaps out in a blinding streak of dark colors, her mocha skin shrouded in dull grey power as she drives her foot towards Athena's side. The strength behind the blow is considerable, more than powerful enough to crack the slender bones of her ribs, but it is nothing compared to the one that follows hot on its heels. Whirling like a dervish, the Gear spins a full circle in the blink of an eye, bringing the foot of her other leg up high overhead in a devastating axe kick. It drops upon the psychic's shoulder from above, absurd physical force combining with raw magical destruction to create a pulverizing sledgehammer.

COMBATSYS: Ramlethal successfully hits Athena with Senutila.
- Power hit! -

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

Athena hits her limit in being able to sustain the assault, her last blow coming slower, further enabling her opponent to finally recover her wherewithall well enough to ward it off. An exhale escapes the girls lips, a gasp born of exertion as she recoils out of the blocked attack in a bid to keep her own balance.

As part of the same gesture, she presses her hands together, palms flat, the energy she had been using to render her physical strikes actual threats expanding for a moment before collapsing back into the youth's limbs, as if being set aside for further onslaughts.

The unexpectedly calm 'Ow' is the answer she gets back when all is said and done. 'Ow'? That's it? The look in the girl's violet eyes suggested she was hoping for a lot more than that. She had thought to create an opening, or at least wear the enigmatic woman's strength down enough to steer the direction of the fight, but when that clearly doesn't seem to be the case, she's forced to reconsider her plans, deciding that she needs to disengage again, to try another tactic.

If the Command Gear had hesitated for a moment, she her scything kick might have been too late as Athena's feet begin to shift, muscles in her legs tensing as she prepares to spring back and away. She still has fight in her, even with all the cuts and bleeding gashes. She can still regain some kind of momentum-

The crushing leg hits with the force of a speeding vehicle, smashing into Asamiya's side right under her arm with no attempt nor chance on her part to guard against it. The give of bone beneath the impact of shin and dull gray energy is punctuated by cry of pain as the young vocalist starts to fold over, her knees buckling beneath her, face twisted in agony as stars flash across her vision.

She's no better prepared to deal with the axe kick that follows, the jackhammer impact against her shoulder smashing the smaller fighter face first down into the dirt of the cratered Exhibition Yard, dust exploding up around her as she lands sprawled.

She's still for a moment, her mind reeling at the fresh new hell her body is being put through, the piercing stabbing sensation of crunched ribs coupled with the burning torment on her stomach and her back. Everything her body reports indicates it's time to quit, that she's come far enough, but after her series of incredible upset victories, her journey in this event ends here. Making the top eight should be good enough, she can rest now, return home with head held high for what she had accomplished, knowing she could look Laurence Blood in the eye for not having wasted his invitation. That she could face her fans. She still had more to grow, but this had been a good fight.

But her heart insists she continue, that she try again, that she keep fighting. Tears blur her vision even as she turns her head to the side, spitting dirt from her mouth. Her right arm begins to move but trying to do anything with her left invites an all new level of suffering as the dislocated limb signals its complete uselessness now.

Her right hand clenches, the girl collapsing back down, no longer able to get back to her feet. But Ramlethal would have an instant to see that doesn't mean she is completely harmless. Sucking in her breath, gritting her teeth, blinding herself as she accepts the pain surging into her body, Athena shoves off with her right hand onto her back, before extending the limb out toward the dark tanned living weapon.

Palm directed at Ramlethal, fingers splayed, a massive detonation of Psycho Power erupts from just beyond the battered girl's reach. Nearly as threatening as the psionic bullet she had launched earlier, this massive sphere is far less controlled or focused, expanding out to several times the size of the one forging it with her will.

The release is no where near as accurate as the crystalline bit of hyper-compressed Psycho Power, but as a new rose colored sun is born in the courtyard, Ramlethal finds herself facing down one final attack.

The pain of even making the attempt does prove to be beyond the girl's physical capacity to withstand, however, and at last, her overwhelmed mind blacks out, her extended arm flopping into the dirt as she lays inert on the ground.

COMBATSYS: Athena can no longer fight.

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

COMBATSYS: Athena successfully hits Ramlethal with Psycho Ball Revolution EX.

[                       \\\\\\\  <
Ramlethal        1/-------/=======|

The Command Gear lingers after delivering her decisive strike, her body casting the fallen pop star into a dark shadow with the sun gleaming in the afternoon sky at her back. She makes no move to deliver a killing blow though it is not compassion that stays her hand but curiosity. Whatever power Athena possesses it is unlike anything that she has encountered before. Surely the Universal Will must be aware of its existence and yet that information had been withheld from her knowledge. There must be a reason and she intends to find it.

The bones that she had felt fracture beneath her feet tell her that the contest is already over. Regardless of whatever form of tenacity she might possess, atleast one of the girl's arms is now entirely useless and even the very act of moving at all would cause her considerable pain. Humans have limits and she had exploited the weakness of the girl's own flesh to render her helpless. All that is left is to take what she desires.

It is with this thought in mind that Ramlethal kneels down, hunching ominously over her freshly captured prey like a viper poised to strike. A hand reaches out, slender fingers that had already proven themselves capable of rending her flesh with ease opening wide as they seek out the back of the girl's neck. Thus it is with extraordinary ease that the psychic warrior's final determined assault finds its mark, her hand snapping up mere inches before the Valentine's surprised face moments before it is consumed in the brilliant burst of light.

Ramlethal simply disappears, her entire body consumed by the massive sphere of mental energy that explodes into being around her. The blazing purple light burns with the intensity of girl's emotions and desires, a roaring cascade of alien sensations and irrational feelings pouring into every hidden recess and deep crack of the artificial girl's soul. Her body becomes a pool of magma, a molten core to the freshly birthed neon sun, sustaining it as it consumes the raw power infused inside of her as fuel.

The attack is over almost as quickly as it had begun. The blinding pyscho power winks out, its fury expended and its task complete. No longer locked in place by the prison of hellish suffering, Ramlethal comes into focus once more. Still poised with outstretched hand above the body of her foe, the Gear remains motionless for several seconds as if frozen in place. Thin wisps of dark vapor rise from every part of her body, the once manilla surface of her strange outfit charred to an even deeper color than her own dusky skin.

The first hint of motion comes not from either of the girls but the great fat orb of the Gear's familiar. Lucifero floats cautiously towards the bizarre scene, his one good eye scruntched up with concern that is reflected in his normally loud and obnoxious voice.

"O-oi... are you... hey, don't tell me that finished you off?"

Several more seconds of silence pass as the creature waits, its misshapen face contorting through a mixture of worry and annoyance at the lack of response. It grows beligerent again, seemingly emboldened without the threat of Ramlethal's immediate retaliation.

"Hey! Don't you ignore me, damnit! You stupid girl! Do you have any idea how much trouble I'm going to get in if you're dead?!"

Grinding his oversized teeth as she once more offers no response, he gives a terrible growl and blasts towards the singed body of his mistress like a cannonball, clearly intending to simply ram her into wakefulness. He never gets there. Ramlethal's fist slams into the rounded center of the black and white creature's face, sending him sailing into one of the castle's nearby walls with a resounding crash that kicks up a fresh storm of dust. When it settles a few moments later, Lucifero's body can be seen implanted halfway into the stone a long tongue hanging out of its gaping mouth as it makes pitiful choking noises.

"You're too noisy."

Ramlethal rises to her feet, the movement slow and deliberate. Pain fills her every inch of the way up but as always it is little more than white noise in the background of her mind but the sluggishness of her body as a result of the injuries sustained is harder to ignore. Her legs wobble slightly as they struggle to hold her weight, the muscles too battered to respond properly. Eventually, she pulls herself upright, standing tall as the victor in this titanic clash.

The Gear stares down at Athena in silence for another few long moments, once more pondering her course of action. It would be wise for her to simply eliminate this threat right now, destroy it while it is defenseless and weak before it can become a hinderance in the future. That this would likely violate some rule of the contest with their match already concluded is hardly a reason to pass up the chance. She cares little for the outcome of World Warrior. Her only purpose here has been to see what strength humanity possesses. She has found her answer already, inconclusive as it might be, rendering further participation pointless.

"I have... questions that I still need answered." The monotone of her voice rasps out the words at Athena's unconscious form, speaking them aloud despite their inability to reach her. The explanation sounds shakey, as if the Gear is unsure of its merit herself and attempting to convince herself to do something she knows to be based on faulty logic. Nevertheless, she finds that she cannot bring herself to simply crush the life from this girl. Not until she knows more.

Athena's body rises from the ground, drawn from its resting place as Ramlethal lifts her hand in a simple gesture. Invisible currents of power envelop the unconscious Psycho Soldier and she floats towards the Command Gear only to be taken into her arms like a sleeping child. Reality seems to bend as the fabric of space and time distorts around the pair of figures their bodies becoming indistinct smudges of color before they simply disappear leaving nothing behind but a few fresh scars on the field of battle.

Log created on 18:13:33 03/25/2018 by Athena, and last modified on 04:19:27 03/28/2018.