Description: In the depths of Strolheim, the paths of two men cross. Though brothers by blood, it has been many years since these two men fought. Geese has long lived in fear of his younger half-brother...but how have the two changed since so many years ago...?
The World Warrior tournament is over; Geese Howard, a man some thought might have faded in the midst of the next generation of fighters, has proven his technique and strength to stand at the apex of all who chose to participate and prove themselves publicly as the mightiest men alive. Strolheim is oddly quiet when Geese would come for the final bout; empty and dark in the midst of a sun just about to set. Deep, harmonic music thrums out, hauntingly beautiful and perfectly played. Great double doors, when opened, would reveal the vast throne room that has housed the apex of the Strolheim name for many generations. The long stone hall terminating in a raised throne, with a grandiose organ stretching high to the tapered ceiling almost a hundred feet up in Mittelbirge's castle.
Currently, the purple-haired warrior is dressed in his full fighting outfit. A crimson suit bodysuit of reinforced leather and harnesses, with large golden sections upon it. Pectorals, shoulders, and upper back are fully adorned. Hips down to the mid-thigh and both shins up past the knee sport golden segmented armor segments as well, with a massive cape pooling behind the bench where Krauser plays.
Geese might have briefly wondered the reason for the delay in fighting this man, after his victory over Azrael. But today is the anniversary of Rudolph's death; supposedly striking down his father and killing him in a single blow following Elza's funeral. Countless observers expected Wolfgang's loss, but instead he sits as the strongest in the house's recorded history.
Nobody else inhabits the expansive room, and Krauser's head does not turn when Geese deigns entry. Only the somehow sad and morose musics of the thrumming pipe organ, Krauser's expression neutrally somber.
Geese steps through the doors with a measured gait. The surface expression says confidence, even bravado, but there is unease here. Despite braving the greatest fighters in the world and emerging victorious, the history here bodes ill. Some might think that besting a monster like Azrael would fill Geese with confidence and a sense that no opponent could stand before him.
But they would be fools. They do not know Krauser as Geese does. They did not feel the sense of utter defeat that he did all those years ago.
Geese is dressed in his gold-etched red hakama and white gi as he crosses the corridor. It is a wordless walk, silent save for the footfalls of his feet across the floor, which are all but drowned out by the organ. Even so, Geese continues his walk, moving to the center of the room and standing there in silent appraisal.
"The sounds of a funeral dirge..." Geese says, looking up at the organ. "Is it intended for me...or for that man that began all of this?"
The song continues for a few minutes more. This is not a sign of disrespect to Geese; Krauser is not so overt a person. He seems intent on finishing this euology, and only when the final pressed chords fade away in a solemn echo does he respond.
"In death, the height of one's accomplishments live eternal." Krauser says, simply. "Father will go down in history as worthy blood. It is rare for outsiders to become Strolheim; grandfather Michael's loss of his son and wife is the true reason for all of this. There is only one aspect of you... Geese... that I cannot ever forgive..."
Slowly he raises, whirling about to face the other man. Heavy footsteps thump, metal on stone, until he reaches the long rug stretching the length of the hall towards the throne. He turns to face Geese, having the same aura, the quiet menace, that he held when barely a child all those years ago. Eyes are hard and intense, stance that of a ruler, not a warrior.
"Selfishness." he states, firmly. "Something you must have gotten from your mother. For Rudolph knew full well about sacrifice. Elza asked him to join Strolheim, to become a man of legends, as her husband. And he accepted, even if it meant leaving you and Maria behind. Love... love has been second to honor and duty for all of human existance. It is part of nobility. Something you know nothing about."
Fingers slowly curl into fists, broad shoulders rolling in a shrug. "I can see it in you, still. The insecure, selfish envy. You were born of a man strong enough to join Strolheim, and still you came here, to rage at your father, an impudent child who understood nothing. Your destiny was death. ...And he let you live."
"...And to this day..." Krauser's eyes narrow in sheer distaste. "I bet you do not realize the scale of that gift. Or how greatly it poisoned me on father's weakness...!!"
Geese takes several deep breaths, his chest rising and falling as the symphony continues. He crosses his arms over his chest, looking deep in thought for a long moment. When Krauser turns, he snaps to attention, his eyes open once more.
He is silent for a uncomfortably long moment.
And then, Geese begins to chuckle to himself.
"Nobility? Blood? Still words as empty as this castle!" Geese sweeps his hand dismissively. "When you defeated me here I thought I could walk away from it all and give up the past, but it still haunted me! That smug look from you, and that damn, judging look from my father. To think that he would walk away to live like a king, and then offer me mercy here as if it could make a difference!" Geese tilts his head up.
"But it seems we agree on that man's weakness, now. So what, is that why you destroyed him finally? Because of his weakness?" Geese sweeps his arms out to the sides, gesturing once more at the castle. "Was his blood not worthy enough for all this? For Strolheim?"
"Is that what you remember?"
Krauser looks like he might spit on the floor, if he weren't so judgemental. "How the world must look from those riddled with emotions. I was the only one of clear mind here that day...!! For all your grand legacy, your hive of power in Southtown, I still remember you. Glaring through burning tears, fists clenched and quivering, as you laid those accusations upon father!! Judgement... ah, he may have been a good actor in your eyes, but the wounds they ripped upon him were clear as day to me!! That is why I fell upon you. I knew he would not. I saw you as no warrior, and you proved it true. Do you imagine we had a fight, Geese? Is that what is burned in your mind's eye that day...?! No!! You kept trying to surge past me towards HIM, and even an infant of the Strolheim arts could fell so reckless an opponent!!"
A large hand grasps Krauser's shoulder pauldrons and whirls, hurling it away. It lands, hard enough to crack the ground, a few meters away to leave his upper body bare. "For all of father's great prowess in battle... Elza was never his true love. You coming here... you are what killed him!! You are what killed him as a WARRIOR! If I have any regret, it is not ending your life that day. But honor, duty... it was his decision, even if I knew it slew him."
Krauser's fists slam together. "And I did the same. When he heard Maria passed... then, Elza as well... he was done. People say I killed him in one blow because I was so mighty. But it was because father had not practiced for years. He yearned for death. And I granted it to him. In doing such, he is not remembered as the weak man only I know he became. And every year, I honor the memory of who he used to be. Not the man he became. I, too, wished to test myself against Rudolph. And you took that from me...! You, and the weakness of the heart!! It has no place on the battlefield, no place in a warrior's blood! I have fathered no heirs... because seeing you and him... Strolheim's blood lay tainted now. If that is the case..."
"I will crush you here. And this empty castle will forever be a shrine to our legacy. The legacy of true warriors, in the end!! But worry not. You, too, shall be allowed to sleep forever in the tomb of Mittlebirge's burial plot."
"I'll chisel your gravestone. Sleep well..!!"
Geese listens silently as Krauser retells the story. His teeth clench. His fists ball tightly, not because of the slander, but because of the truth of it. Whether Geese acknowledges it or not, his impact that day was greater than he could have imagined, but the mark Geese's father---and his loss--left started a chain of events that made Geese the man he is today. That feeling of weakness has driven him against all odds to carve a great empire for himself, and to become a martial artist of utmost skill.
"So is that the story of Strolheim? The story of a man whose sense of duty lead him to abandon his wife and child, then die of a broken heart?" Geese's clenched teeth slowly turn to a smile.
"Then I have learned from his lesson after all. Such connections can only bring weakness and death!!"
Power surges around Geese, blue-white wind rising around him like a whirlwind as he focuses his chi. It is effortless; a storm from within the calm.
"Here," Geese says, "If he could not provide the challenge you desired let me stand in his stead! I'll let you reap what he sowed that day with his act of mercy!!"
Geese sweeps his hand forward, the ambient chi ripping around it before issuing forth in a sweeping wave of blue-white energy that surges across the stone and up toward the stairs.
COMBATSYS: Geese has started a fight here. You cannot escape wrong death.
COMBATSYS: Krauser has joined the fight here.
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Geese 0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0 Krauser
COMBATSYS: Krauser negates Reppuken from Geese with Blitz Ball Kadan.
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Geese 0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0 Krauser
"You learned your lesson? Is that what you tell yourself, Geese?" Krauser's voice sounds earnestly amused by this. "Is that why you did the same thing to Rock...?! Hahaha! You cannot change your heart, Geese. Never!! Even your father failed, and he was a far greater man. It brings me pleasure, Geese... knowing how much pain you must still suffer, and how much you ruined your own life, dismissing your own love all those years ago!!"
His right fingers spread, and a sudden whirling ball of energy manifests. Krauser twists, hurling it like a baseball, and it connects with the ground-based flare of energy. A great explosion erupts, cerulean and orange, leaving a broad smoking crater exactly between the two warriors. "Your strength is not your own. Jeff Bogard... He was a strong man." Krauser reaches up to touch the cross-shaped scar on his face. "Him, and Hanzo Shiranui. He had the potential to stand on the apex, but he refused. He chose to live a life with love, and family. All the things people like me cannot. Jeff was weaker than me, and fell... but I saw no regret in his eyes. And you... you slew him, to conceal the secrets of his master. Your insidious nature, gnawing like cancer at the heart of what true fighting is, every day since I let you live...!"
"Except... perhaps... for your son. He has the strength of blood. He chose love, did he not...? Just like you did, at his age?! And for that, you judge him and cast him out...?!"
Geese's teeth clinch again. One can practically hear him hiss through them. "Suffer? I have built an empire. I have defeated all comers! Tell me, what remains outside my reach, Krauser?!"
The two projectiles crash, exploding into a sphere of energy. Even as it fades, Geese is on the move, powering toward Krauser as he dashes in close.
"Do not speak of him!" Geese says, "He is weak, like I was, but maybe his hatred of me will push him to be more than just trash--!"
Geese raises his hand high, gathering chi in it, he swipes down with an empowered chop, slicing down and forward from overhead.
"Hatred of my weakness brought me here, didn't it? To overcome the Lord of War and the Mad Dog in your tournament? Are you disappointed it was not one of them, Krauser?!"
COMBATSYS: Geese successfully hits Krauser with Hishou Nichirin Zan.
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Geese 0/-------/---====|==-----\-------\0 Krauser
"Hahaha...!! Defeated all comers? Says the man who has failed and fallen, quite literally, so many times in life...?! You dare speak with such arrogance HERE, in the walls of Strolheim, against a man who has never once lost in his decades of war?!" The space between them vanishes, before the ferocious flash of Geese's hands rip across the other man's well-groomed torso. The energy sizzles away, leaving a gouge that bleeds -- more progress than was visibly made against Azrael, no doubt. Such was no accident, forearms raised but compensated by the superior agility of the smaller warrior. "Hatred... love... fools!! Such has no place on the battlefield! Power must be constant, never in flux. Terry Bogard... you... Rock... it is like a wild storm. Sometimes you are mighty, sometimes you are trash. You cannot call that FIGHTING!!"
Given Geese opted for an overhead blow, Krauser does the same; flowing near, he rears up his right arm, massive muscles flexing. Then swings down in a brutal blow, cutting through the air as he aims to drive it into the other man's collar. In terms of power and speed, he is certainly below Azrael. Yet his technique, ability to read the opponent, skill, all are countless levels above.
"Fighting is a sacred art! The world has forgotten that. And such is why there are none left worthy to inherit Strolheim's name. That is why I held this tournament. To see what this world had to offer. The rampaging beast, Azrael. The raging god-killer, Rugal. And you, the selfish king of Southtown... Monsters, each and every one of you!!"
COMBATSYS: Geese counters Death Hammer from Krauser with Gedan Atemi Nage.
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Geese 0/-------/=======|===----\-------\0 Krauser
"Tch...such defeats are in the past!" Geese says, "like a tempering the blade! Iron sharpens iron, Krauser! Even you know this!!" Geese's arrogant, wide-mouthed smile appears as he draws blood, but in the next instant, he has backstepped, shifting his positiong for the inevitable counter strike.
"Each loss has taught me the value of victory and pushed me to greater heights than before! What do you know of struggle?!"
With the brutal hammerblow comes down, Geese feels its presence. His mastery of Hakkyokuseiken and the flow of chi guides him. This energy is massive, but not with that monstrous, unknowable power of Azrael. This can be moved against, redirected.
And so Geese moves by reflex, unthinking as his trained body shifts, sidesteps, and brings his forearm against the side of Krauser's only tensed arm. Geese syncs his fingers into the sinew and turns in a smooth, circular motion, redirecting the force away as he transitions into a sweeping throw to hurl Krauser across the chamber.
"On this, we agree," Geese says, sweeping his knuckles across his chin. "You call me a monster, but I understand power. Technique! Hakkyokuseiken...Aikijujutsu...When lost here those years ago I sought out the greatest teachers, so that I might master their styles my own!"
"Hnngh!!" Krauser is caught and hurled over Geese's shoulder. He slams hard on the ground, armor upon his legs appearing to be incredibly heavy; how he could even fight with those discarded pauldrons might be questionable. Perhaps that is admission of Geese's skill, that he does not wear himself down. Despite the way the ground buckles, he still shifted, rolling with the blow, surging back to his feet. It was a much different feeling than turning Azrael's own fangs upon himself; most fighters would have likely been much further harmed by that story.
"I do not wish to hear that from you." Krauser seethes, bringing up his forearms once more as he shifts to a more striking-based approach, contrary to Geese's own flowing throws. "For you of all people to consider your failings a source of power... surely you jest. For all you have done is so you will never taste defeat again!!"
Rushing forward, Krauser does an expert feint. It seemed his towering form was going to strike at Geese's chest, but instead he moves to grasp him by the collar. Twisting to launch him off-balance, in order to burst upwards into a rising knee and slam right into Geese's face with a roar.
"I do not judge the weak for failing...! It is the responsibility of the strong to prevail! Noble, true warriors bear that burden. People like me!"
COMBATSYS: Krauser successfully hits Geese with Dangerous Thrust.
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Geese 1/------=/=======|====---\-------\0 Krauser
Geese stands, arms held distant from his sides in his neutral readied stance. To an untrained observer his stance might seem lax or even foolish, since it lacks the armed readiness conveyed by boxing or karate. The expert, however, recognizes Geese's stance conveys the freedom of movement needed for his sudden counter attacks and throws. His arms are held so to allow to respond to any angle, high or low.
It is not enough to prepare him fully for Krauser's counterattack.
Geese's arm snaps up for a forearm block, but Krauser's speed and power exceed his own in that instant. The feint draws Geese's attention long enough for Howard to leave his neck exposed, wherein Krauser can grab him by the collar and knee him with enough power to force the air from his lungs before smashing Geese in the face. The smaller of the two men staggers backward in a series of steps, wrist and flat of his hand pressed against his bleeding nose as he lurches forward.
"And what a burden to bear..." Geese says. "Those at the top draw challengers like vultures waiting for their chance..." The Syndicate kingpin raises his hands in front of him in a pyramid-like position, then channels his chi, which rips up in a frenzy of wind around him. After gathering it, Geese raises his hand and beckons Krauser onward.
"Come on. Show me that strength you pride yourself on!"
COMBATSYS: Geese issues a challenge!!
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Geese 1/------=/=======|====---\-------\0 Krauser
COMBATSYS: Geese enters a trance-like state.
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Geese 1/----===/=======|====---\-------\0 Krauser
"This is *my* strength...!" Krauser states, firmly. "Not the power I found... that's what you truly desire, is it not? I have found a deep well of great potential. One that can ascend a true warrior to greater heights. Yet there is no point in destroying you with your own methods. Perhaps for the Mad Dog, or Rugal, or the legendary demon... but you? Hah...! Revel in this, Geese. Only that grants you hope of victory!! If you want the secret... you must force it from me!!"
Krauser then slides backwards, spreading his arms out to either side. Fingers splay open, and his chest glows bright orange, ribs superimposed. Lightning-like tendrils ripple down his arms as he gathers two great balls of seething energy within his hands. "Endless challengers... are only ever a disappointment!! The curse if being so strong you can never test it..."
Whirling, the first of the basketball-sized orange orbs is hurled towards Geese with incredible speed, the air bellowing. Hit or miss, the incredible destructive explosion would annihilate everything within a few meters -- only it's not the end, as Krauser then roars to throw the other, trying to capitalize on Geese's defense of the first.
"IS SOMETHING YOU SHALL NEVER WORRY ABOUT!!"
COMBATSYS: Geese blocks Krauser's Blitz Ball Joudan ES.
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Geese 1/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|=======\-------\0 Krauser
"Tch..." Geese says, "such arrogance even now. Don't worry," Geese smiles like a madman. "I'll be glad to take it from you!"
Geese powers forward, rushing to close the gap between himself and Krauser with a low run. As he sprints, the first of the orbs rips through the air. His eyes narrow and Geese snaps into a block, stopping suddenly as he throws up both arms in a cross-block but then is lost in the explosion of power. The second punches through it, smashing into a second explosion that scatters the dust lingering from the first and begins things over again. For several lingering seconds, it seems like Geese have been obliterated by the sheer power of it all.
Until Geese punches through the dust and debris, resuming his run. He is burned and dust-covered as the Syndicate kingpins defensive aura starts to fade once more. His advance is low, aiming to sweep up and under Krauser's guard, where he throws two heavy palm strikes against the taller man, attemping to open his guard to where he can thrust a hand up and under the pressure point of the armpit. From there, Geese aims to hook his larger half-brother, then rotate on his hip into a brutal slamming throw.
COMBATSYS: Krauser blocks Geese's Crushing Throw.
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Geese 1/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|=======\-------\0 Krauser
"Rushing forward... how appropriate. A style that capitalizes upon controlling the opponent, discarded...!! As before, you might be a challenge if you fought me properly!!"
The grapple grips upon the large man, but he shifts, whirling a metal booted foot in a half moon past Geese. The stress to the joints and pressure points causes a grunt of pain, and a heavy bow forward, but... it seems this man, too, is an expert on grapples and throws. "For now, I have you right where I WANT you..."
It's then that Krauser leaps backwards, high into the air. Disengaging...? Why would he do that, when his ferocious style should mean having Geese within arm's reach is optimal? But the stance he takes... should be quite familiar. Although not seen by this man, but the one-eyed warrior who opted to steal it. The air erupts in a crack of force, walls beginning to shake, as Krauser's hands and feet glow bright blue at the apex of his jump.
His intonation resonates through the halls, whirls of dense electrical energy surging to suffuse his entire being. Hundreds, no, thousands of hours of training are evident. The secret arts of Strolheim are not much inferior to the arts that Geese himself stole. Before both arms thrust forward, and a great sun of cerulean power manifests into being -- perhaps twenty feet around, igniting the tapestries upon the wall and blackening the stone.
It hurtles down like a comet, surprisingly fast for the size, aiming to engulf Geese entirely before detonating -- blowing out the walls, annihilating the pipe organ and roof, sending smoking debris billowing out to land for hundreds of meters around. Leaving only the throne, surrounded by jagged debris and twisted shards of the pipe organ, somehow spared the destruction...!!
COMBATSYS: Geese blocks Krauser's Kaiser Wave ES+.
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Geese 2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|====---\-------\0 Krauser
When Krauser calls out Geese's erratic, desperate movements, Geese snarls seems to intensify. The often arrogant Hakkyokuseiken seems to have been muted by the observation, at least for the moment. The two struggle for only an instant in reality, but it feels like an eternity to Geese before Krauser overpowers him and breaks from the hold.
And Geese's eyes widen when Krauser leaps back, gathering an obscene amount of power for the coming Kaiser Wave. Even were Geese not familiar with the move, the sheer amount of power here would be enough to make another man tremble. It is, in a way, a reminder of The Terror he faced with Azrael.
And as the wave surges forward, Geese is left with few options. He elbows slide back as he clenches his fist on a focusing stance, concentrating all his power. As the unstoppable Kaiser Wave nears, Geese sets his shoulder, crashing into it with no other options. Surely, this is foolish. Even an attempt at dodging would have been wiser.
The Kaiser Wave continues, ripping through the hallway before exploding with the force of a bomb and clearing almost the entire room.
But when the dust clears, Geese stands, hunched over with his arms swept out to the side and behind. His chest rises and falls heavily, energy still seeping off of him. The path of the Kaiser Wave, meanwhile, is cut behind him and slightly to his side, its directed path clearly matched before the explosion. Was this desperate redirection the true power of Hakkyokuseiken...or just fate smiling upon Geese?
He silently rises, regathering his power once more. He snaps his fists to the side, power concentrated within them. He crosses them over his chest in an X-shape, his power concentrating until it becomes dense enough to glow around his fists.
And with it, Geese surges forward again, falling into that same desperate charge that Krauser chided him over before---but he does so with resolve. The flurry of blows that follows is rapid, one after another in a furious combination.
High right toward the jaw. Left body blow. Knee to the diaphragm. Right body blow. Low kick. Swinging overhead kick. Another body blow.
Finally, Geese draws back, gathering power. With it, he thrusts forward with both palms, his chi erupting into an surging explosion of power.
COMBATSYS: Krauser attempts to counter Deadly Rave from Geese with Ateminage.
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Geese 0/-------/<<<<<<<|=====--\-------\0 Krauser
COMBATSYS: Geese reverses Ateminage from Krauser with Chuudan Atemi Nage.
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Geese 1/-----==/=======|=======\-------\0 Krauser
Geese still stands? There's no denying the man's potency when it comes to enduring powerful chi. That blast was not merely force, but also finesse, condensed and masterfully built. Deflecting it in that manner is no small feat, despite the damage it clearly did to the older warrior. No response comes; it is in this moment that the judgemental looks cease, and his huge form flows into a defensive stance. There is no doubt that his half-brother proved himself worthy of facing him at this point. Whatever the journeys they took, one of duty and one of abandonment, the only thing left to speak with is their fists.
Yet perhaps that scolding should have been better heeded. There is power within Geese, but what he lacks is range. Two trunk-sized arms thrust out, and the first of Geese's punches stops a few inches shy of Krauser's chest, grasped by face and shoulder. Ankles spread through the broken stone floor, before he roars, surging as he attempts to haul the smaller man upwards into a devastating backwards suplex...!!
Geese's fist meets Krauser's superior reach overcomes. The blond man, older but smaller of the two, strains against Krauser's overwhelming strength as the concentrated chi for the blow starts to fade. For a moment it would almost be ridiculous, like a child struggling against an adult. It is then that Geese remembers his failure all too well. His inability to overcome Krauser and the desperate, haphazard blows of an unruly teenager who was nowhere near as powerful as he thought he was.
And then Krauser starts to lift. Geese's feet leave the ground Krauser's transitions effortlessly into the devastating suplex.
Geese's reaction is reflexive and without time to truly think. To do so in this moment would be defeat. Instead, Geese's hand snaps out, clutching Krauser's extended arm. Geese digs his fingers into a pressure-point, leveraging those years of training to strike it with precision even when under duress. It is not enough to fail Krauser--it would never be, but it gives him the instant he needs.
Geese lowers just enough for his feet to touch the ground. His leverage restored he shifts with a circular sweep, spinning with the suplex but shifting his and Krauser's positions with his mastery of energy and motion. There is a spin and the suplex turns into a sweeping aikido throw, Geese remaining balanced while Krauser is instead the one sent flying.
There's a brief grunt of pain once more, a twist, and then the huge form is sent spiraling away. Much of the grand throne room is demolished, but the skidding form of Krauser comes to a stop in a crouch not far from the ancient throne behind. Slowly he rolls his shoulder, dull pop heard as the socket settles back into place; he made no expression despite the likely agonizing injury inflicted upon himself. "You are strong." he admits, tone little different than it was at the onset. "...But I wonder. Is your path the one that ended in your greatest strength? What if you had remained with your masters, instead of coveting their techniques and erasing them? If you did not fear competition, but thrived on it? The potential of your blood... should be higher. For I still stand a step above...!!"
Krauser then roars as his body erupts into orange flames. Muscles bulge out, powerful swells building up within. Straps and leather audibly stretch before snapping, his golden hip armor falling away. "The end for one of us... draws near...!!"
COMBATSYS: Krauser gathers his will.
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Geese 1/-----==/=======|=======\====---\1 Krauser
As the grand throne room continues to be destroyed, Geese likewise shows the signs of a long and intense battle. His gi is torn and loose, even moreso than usual. Cuts, bruises, and even burns show on his body. He paces around as he and Krauser face off with one another in a brief respite from the intense violence.
"You are every bit the man I remember. That terrifying power has only grown with age..." Geese shakes his head at Krauser's accusations. "No. Tung Fu Rue...Jeff Bogard. Each had their chance, but chose only to stand in my way." The power erupts, and Geese raises his arm to shield himself from the glow and surge of power.
But even so, Geese advances with steady steps. As Krauser gains power he refuses to back down. He steadily approaches, drawing back and throwing an open palm strike--!
But the strike is merely a feint, Geese sweeping his leg to try and catch Krauser behind the knee. The two maneuevers are in such rhythm and have such synchronicity that they almost seem to be one smooth motion, striking forward while sweeping the leg.
COMBATSYS: Krauser blocks Geese's Grounding Throw.
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Geese 1/-----==/=======|=======\=====--\1 Krauser
Krauser continues to regenerate his wellspring of power as Geese bursts forward. The feint is caught, and once more the pair's bodies lock in a brief clash of strength and technique. In the end once more the younger brother's superior physique allows him to shove Geese backwards, before taking a firm step forward. One elbow, still swirling with fading golden fire, lifts high in the air. The crimson of the setting sun basks the churned landscape in an almost ominous lighting now. "Hah! So many people in this world tell you your path is wrong..." He drops it, trying to slam it right upon Geese's eye. Surprisingly sharp and quick, trying to stagger the smaller figure backwards. "And you grant them death!! When will you be satiated? When your greed destroys you from the inside out?"
COMBATSYS: Krauser successfully hits Geese with Aggressive Strike.
# Disabling hit! #
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Geese 1/---====/=======|=======\======-\1 Krauser
Shoes sliding across the floor, Geese stabilizes himself with a bending of his knees when the attack is repelled. Before Geese can move or respond, the elbow descends. It smashes into his head with stunning force, and Geese is forced to stagger back and away while clutching his face. When he rises up, blood runs down his face, his eye closed.
"They know nothing! You lecture me here, now, when the House of Strolheim is built on a legacy of blood. Why else did they bring our father here, but for his power as a mercenary? Some would have called him a terrorist!" Geese snarls. "Perhaps it's in my blood, or perhaps this is the real legacy I was left with!"
Geese raises both arms, chi gathering in a sphere of power. He draws it up with both hands, shouting:
The power is slammed downward, erupting in great jagged spikes of wind-chi, each carrying shearing force like a hurricane.
COMBATSYS: Geese successfully hits Krauser with Raging Storm.
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Geese 1/-------/=======|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2 Krauser
"Your father was chosen for the strength of his fist. It was the weakness of his heart that undid centuries of our house...! He should never have come. Elza should never have scioned the next generation. Neither of us should even exist...!! Whoever murdered Grandfather's wife and child...!!" He almost begins to speak of something else, before deciding against it. Momentarily overwhelmed with his own emotions, the preparation for Geese's own unique, well-honed assault catches him off-guard. Forearms raise, and the wicked lashes of spiking power impact him. He vanishes amidst a spray of rubble and stone, tatters of scorched rug and wall hangings falling around. When it settles, Krauser has a few heavy burns scorched into his torso once more. Yet there's something that Azrael never had in him. Resolve; for the first time since this fight began, the burning will of someone who wishes to reign supreme.
"That move you used earlier..." he then murmurs. "Do you know why I countered it so easily?" Krauser crosses both of his arms before his chest, his eyes billowing. "It is your father's signature move. The Deadly Rave. Your execution of it was faultless... but Strolheim's noble house has taken it as well. The Kaiser Wave no longer reigns at the height of our peerless techniques. Behold...!! While you fretter away with the shells of techniques...!!"
His fists ignite into orange fire, surging before he parts them. "I have taken his legacy, and I honor him by wielding his weapon at true heights... BEHOLD...!"
And then Krauser bursts forward, twisting his right arm back. With a roar he swings, aiming to slam his burning fist straight into Geese's chest in the same way he attempted earlier. For Howard, someone who incorporated and kept this move for all those years, his words are not empty... It is truly a ferocious advancement, and beyond anything else, backed by...
The unlimited desire for victory...!!
COMBATSYS: Geese counters #Unlimited Desire# from Krauser with Joudan Atemi Nage.
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Geese 1/-------/=======|-------\-------\0 Krauser
The next few moments are heavy. The tension rests like a weight. Geese is silent as Krauser speaks, holding his tongue for a precious few moments. His eye remains firmly closed, the blood starting to dry around it. Is it from a headwound, or did Krauser claim Geese's eye with the last blow? For the moment, it matters not. There is far more at stake.
Geese can feel Krauser's drive to win. Azrael seemed disinterested, even bored, under the most dire of situations. Krauser desires to win. This is a duel of honor, not a idle pasttime.
"--tch. The Deadly Rave is hardly my most fearsome technique! Perhaps--"
Geese is silenced by the sudden surge of power, Krauser charging forward like an unstoppable force. In this instant, everything up until now appears before Geese. Every battle on his ascent.
His defeat at the hands of Terry Bogard at the height of Geese Tower, the one that was almost the undoing of everything. The second defeat, still etched in his mind. His battle with Rock, where Geese showed him mercy, a fetter of his feelings for the boy that refused to be loosed then.
And countless battles after that. Defeats by Baiken and Heidern. A devastating loss to Jubei. Victories over Adelheid, Abigail, that damned succubus, Morrigan.
He sees his second battle with Jubei, this one leading to his victory. His defeat of Ramlethal, then the Lord of War himself, Rugal. Lastly, there was that monster, Azrael, the Mad Dog. All of them a great struggle, an intense test of everything Geese has strived for, every obstacle he has overcome in his quest for power.
And yet, the memory most present in his mind is that first battle with Krauser, all those years ago. A teenaged Geese, a young street punk seeking vengeance against his father only to be defeated and nearly killed by a Krauser who was barely a child. That, more than even the Terror, lingers in his mind. In this instant, that moment seems to be repeating itself as two aged men battle with everything. In the face of such an overwhelming technique, Geese's own---no, his father's own---given perfection by Krauser's superior form and physique.
Geese reverts to basics. The "no mind" as Jubei might call it. An action based on instinct and trained reflex rather than thoughtful, strategic reaction. The fist comes for his face like a freight train, and the countless drills echo through Geese's mind. Countless kiais shouted against countless opponents, real and imagined. The fist is centimeters from his face and he can feel the burning chi on it. The reaction comes.
Geese's forearm smashes against Krauser's elbow, redirecting the blow so that it scrapes against his face, his ears ringing from the proximity of it as wind rushes by them. Geese knows the Deadly Rave, understands it fully. The flurry of blows that will likely come will not stop until he is as broken as the throne room. He does not give them time to come.
Instead Geese's palm strikes out for Krauser's diaphragm, striking a single-precise blow to force the wind from his lunges. Even as he strikes Geese turns, redirecting Krauser away from him in less a true throw as a shove to escape death.
His chest rises and falls heavily, sweat and blood drips from his brow. He is rendered mute by the sheer pressure and the knowledge of the fate he so narrowly escaped.
Ah. Krauser can see it, then. Training; for all of Geese's pompous words and arrogance, deep in his body beats the heart of a warrior. In this brief exchange, a mighty fist deferred through Geese's elbow, for a split second they are no different at all. The blow slams home, although testament to the relentless nature of Krauser he slams a foot forward and swings a second time, yet Geese is already out of range. A bloody exhale follows, ignited fire leaving his hands as he braces himself on the floor with something nearing a laugh. "Well done...! Hahaha...! So you are not entirely a pretender. Well, then."
A moment later the large man rises, rejuvenated from the brutal onslaught from earlier as both his forearms raise in another striking stance. Before his braced foot stamps down, launching Krauser forward into a raising knee; twisting his entire body around with a snarl, whipping out a kick towards the side of Geese's face blinded by the earlier elbow...!!
COMBATSYS: Geese blocks Krauser's Kaiser Dual Sobat.
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Geese 1/-------/=======|=------\-------\0 Krauser
"You are definitely every bit the monster I remember," Geese says, running his fist across his jaw. "Had Strolheim not taken everything for me and set me on this path, perhaps we would have trained together. Hah!" Geese practically spits when he laughs, those words still leaving bitterness in his mouth. "I thought you a fool when I came here, but I see those were not empty words. Even with such luxury around you, your drive for strength is as real as any other's!"
But before Geese can speak further, Krauser is upon him once more. The man's stamina seems limitless as his resolve gives him renewed vigor. The knee strike comes for Geese's stomach, but the Syndicate kingpin blocks it with his forearm. The follow-up kick comes high, but Geese is on the defensive once again. He stops the stops the blow with a meaty crack of bone and muscle as forearm meats Krauser's powerful leg. As the two separate, Geese steps back.
"But my empire is one built on strength. Southtown needs order and balance. I shaped that slum into something great, bringing its gangsters under my heel through fear and intimidation! Even now men like Duke and Mr. Big threaten to throw it into chaos as they strain against their chains. I refuse to let them destroy what I built, no matter who I must defeat along the way!"
Power surges through Geese once more, his chi cresting like a wave. He throws one wave like that from before, then a second in its wake.
COMBATSYS: Krauser just-defends Geese's Double Reppuken!!
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Geese 1/-------/=======|=------\-------\0 Krauser
"Hrmph. I do not endorse your methods, Geese... but your strength is genuine. You have earned my respect to stand before me!!" If nothing else, the pair have at least exchanged the unsaid words of two people who dedicated themselves to power; far different journeys, perhaps, but this has been no one sided brawl. In fact, Krauser has been driven to disadvantage; he tried to crush Geese like an insect early on, and is paying for that hubris now.
"And I am the Emperor of Darkness... You control Southtown, but I have stretched around the world. For much the same reason as you, I imagine...!! Even if your vision is so small!!" When the first reppuken is built up, Krauser shifts backwards. The second builds it up, but gave too much time for the other master to prepare. He spreads his stance and wells with orange energy, using that extra half-second to draw in a sudden infusion of strength. "HA!!"
Sweeping out, a backhand impacts the energy ball. It diverts, searing just around the huge figure and then burning to the left of the throne, exploding a distance behind and casting it in a dark blue light. A moment later Krauser is upon the villainous bird opposite. Both hands attempting to grasp Geese by the throat and heft him up, crushingly hard, before slamming downwards to slam his tailbone into Krauser's armored knee. Violence and strength, honed to an edge with technique; the finale of this fight for Krauser, having displayed his greatest attacks, now falls to the endless hours of lone training and honing, a relentless beast pressing the assault!
COMBATSYS: Krauser successfully hits Geese with Cliffhanger Drop.
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Geese 1/----===/=======|==-----\-------\0 Krauser
One eye still shut, Geese remains stoic as Krauser speaks. In many ways, the two of them are alike. In others, far different. In this meeting, however, their skill has proven a close equal.
Though the gaps sharply widens as the Double Reppuken is deftly parried, each blow redirected with a smash of empowered chi. Krauser is upon Geese in the next move, lifting the man before he can even react to counter or defend. Howard is instead lifted and dropped upon Krauser's knee with boneshattering force. He chokes on a howl of pain as he tumbles off, collecting dust from the floor as he tries to widen the distance between them once more.
But even then Geese rises again, climbing back to his feet. His fingers dig through the debris as he pushes himself back up to his knees, then into a hunched position, then fully upright once more.
"Then perhaps I should widen my ambitions..." Geese says, clenching his fist. But then the man suddenly surges forward, going in low. He strikes upward, aiming to catch by Krauser by the throat and then, in a display of tremendous force, hurl him upward?
COMBATSYS: Krauser guards against Geese's Rashoumon+.
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Geese 0/-------/-------|===----\-------\0 Krauser
Geese follows through with his strike, launching Krauser into the air with the lifting throw. As he goes airborne, Geese focuses his power, sweeping his hands and gathering chi. The power focuses, centering into a great sphere of wind-like power. He draws it back behind him, setting one leg forward as Krauser falls back into his path, the focused energy compressing further...
Until finally Geese thrusts forward with both palms, smashing the sphere toward Krauser in an eruption of power.
And then, Krauser realizes; Geese had been saving a card all along. The Deadly Rave. The Raging Storm. Both maneuvers that he was in many ways familiar with. A normal person would be broken after impacting Krauser's knee in such a manner, and the monolithic German warrior hefts up his arm in preparation for a cleaving final blow. Instead, he's caught by the neck, making a sound of surprise before being hurled into the air. Spiraling head over heels for a moment, there is nothing to this defense but everything that Krauser is; skill, instinct, physique. At a defining moment when most any other would be lost, he summons a swell of power and then crosses his forearms just before the massive impact. He's sent flying backwards, hitting the ground on his back and skidding, rolling to a stop a few meters away.
"..." That is it, then. Geese's hand is fully dealt, as well. "Hrmph. ...That was the deciding moment for you. But it was not enough...!!" And then he raises, crimson circle burned into his forearms, other scars still etched upon torso and arms. "Now I shall show you... the secret strength that I have found...!!"
Suddenly Krauser's muscles expand. The air seems to billow and distort; it is like a subtle charge in the air, sending nerves alight, burning in one's soul. A sound like wind drawing, as Krauser rears back his arm, each vein superimposed. "This is what you truly came here for, is it not...?!" And then he charges forward, tearing up the ground behind him. Surging forward with spread fingers to grasp Geese by the face, and then twist to launch him upwards in almost exactly the same way he just used himself--!!
COMBATSYS: Krauser draws upon massive amounts of gigantic power!
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Geese 0/-------/-------|===----\-------\0 Krauser
COMBATSYS: Krauser knocks away Geese with To The Moon Blow.
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Geese 0/-------/--=====|=====--\-------\0 Krauser
Although this time, there might be no redirecting the force. Krauser's body roars with orange fire, but it's much hotter now, denser, crackling madly as the heat rushes up to buffet Geese as he descends from above. Before with a great roar he swings upwards with all his might, to slam his fist with searing intensity right into Geese's midsection. A moment later there's a great explosion, the orange energy bursting to the heavens, searing around in a growing pillar that melts the very stone to slag. It finally cuts off with a loud hiss, Krauser staggering and falling to his knee with a wince as his bulging arm begins to spasm and twitch, as if he's visibly fighting something...!
The Rashoumon has proven one of Geese's greatest techniques. With it, he overcome even some of his greatest woes, bringing them to heel with the massive concentration of chi, the overwhelming striking power, and the unstoppable leverage of his throws. Bringing them all to bear at once, even men as mighty as Duke, as Azrael, were laid low by it.
But here, is it is not enough.
No, here Geese cannot strike true and bring about Krauser's defeat. Instead, the man endures, soldiering through the blow with the unblemished resolve of a true champion. He stops the blow, and with it, sees Geese's final card. It awakens something in Krauser, a formidable power that he had kept secret all this time.
And in that moment, Geese has only one thought. Not of his defeat, not of the overwhelming force of the blow. No, Geese desires that power for himself. That overwhelming surge of energy where that was nothing. An overwhelming presence, suddenly brought to bear!
He feels his half-brother's iron grip upon his face, and he knows that his defeat is nigh. Geese curses himself as he's tossed into the air, the eruption of power rattling him to his very core. He can feel ribs crack and organs likely rupture. It sends him soaring backwards to land in a tumble, rolling across the ruins of the throne room before coming to a stop. For a long moment, he lays there, unmoving.
But then he suddenly plants his palm, digging his fingers into the exposed earth. He lifts himself up, if only barely, to look upon the aftermath with his remaining eye.
"D-damn it all..." Geese hisses.
"..." Krauser steps forward, snapping his arm violently to dismiss the last of the strange energy; it seems to visibly warble the air for a few moments like a shimmer of steam. "You're good! You fought well! I shall grant you your prize. The location of this dark power. I care not what it does to you... or this world. Your prize lies near Mexico City; I have let you taste it. Surely you can find where it is from there. But--hah. No. I've said enough...!"
And then Krauser's body surges once more with blue energy, spreading his arms and legs. "If you survive, that is. You may be the winner of World Warrior... but you are not yet the strongest in the world...!!" He then leans back, building up the power recklessly, surging and seething.
And then he surges his hands forward. This is not killing intent; it is a finishing blow. There is no submission within the halls of Strolheim, standing or otherwise. If Geese survives, he is free to go. A normal person would be disintegrated; but Krauser has seen enough of his half-brother to know that although this might severely injure him, his life-force is not quite so easily snuffed out these days. Not after studying certain scrolls...
The world flashes with cerulean, before a great plume of energy roars over Geese and the surroundings, blowing away one of the great courtyards and side-buildings of Mittlebirge castle. The distant mountains shine in the apocalyptic glow, before it winks away in the growing dusk.
And Krauser, wounded but confidently upright, strides to the standing throne. Turning, to sit within it with a grimace. He has perhaps set Geese on a path that could destroy the world, if he follows the stated trail.
But... it could also...!!
COMBATSYS: Geese blocks Krauser's Kaiser Wave+.
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Geese 0/-------/=======|=------\-------\0 Krauser
Geese grinds his fist in the broken stone, slowly rising back to his feet. It is unsteady--no, more than that. It is near-trembling, an act of spirit as much as it is an act of physically standing. Even so, Geese manages to get to his feet, hunched over and clutching his battered ribs. Blood runs from his mouth, but still he manages to raise his head to see Krauser.
"Mexico City..." Geese mutters to himself. "If this is the sort of power it yields...then perhaps it was all worth my time..."
The Kaiser Wave erupts through the castle, obliterating what little remains as it rips through the halls. As it comes, Geese spits, standing up straight to face it. Does he---spread his arms in acceptance? Has he gone mad?
As the wave fades, Geese is nowhere to be seen, swept away with it to parts unknown. Could this truly be the last of him the so-called King of Southtown? Surely no mere mortal could survive an attack like that.
But one can almost hear his mad laughter, echoing through the walls of the well-worn castle...
COMBATSYS: Geese takes no action.
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COMBATSYS: Geese can no longer fight. Is this the end of lovable Geese?
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Log created on 20:23:21 05/26/2018 by Geese, and last modified on 06:29:05 05/29/2018.