Description: Truly Baiken has proven herself a master amongst masters with her long standing title defense of the Blue Master Belt. For too long has she held onto the belt, and who better then to challenge her for it then the legendary second fiddle Andy Bogard. His brother Terry may be more famous, and have more accomplishments, but that isn't to say Andy is a slouch! The two will duke it out above the River Thames upon the famed London Bridge. Who will walk away with the belt? Who will be left floating away in the waters below?! (Air Force personnel receive half off tickets for a walkway side view!)
This isn't the first time Baiken has had to fight on London Bridge. It isn't even the first time this year. It's a landmark that's big enough to fight on, so people want to fight on it; if it wasn't big enough to fight on, she's pretty sure that they would fight in front of it instead.
She doesn't see the appeal. Tower Bridge is much nicer. London Bridge is just kind of there.
The fight is *supposed* to be in the middle of the road, so that the Air Force personnel (and other people with more money) can fill in the walkway and get pretty close without actually being likely to be hit. Baiken is not on the middle of the road. She is standing on the walkway railing directly overlooking the water in exactly the way you're not supposed to. She has her pipe in her hand, it's lit, and... well, apparently pre-battle smokes are a thing, even if you are a somewhat anachronistic magic samurai. Or perhaps especially if you are.
This means she's closer to the crowd than she usually is. Baiken usually completely ignores whatever crowd has turned up to watch her or her opponent fight, and honestly she's pretty much ignoring them today too, but hey, at least some of them have gotten their money's worth even before the belt defense begins.
Andy Bogard is still feeling the burning desire to fight and grow stronger after his defeat, once again, at the hands of his brother. He's been burning the candle at both ends, flying back and forth across the globe to attend fight after fight, with barely a breather in between. It has been tough. Especially with no dedicated staff to help aid him in his training. He often spends entire flights covered in rotating ice packs to try to reduce the swelling and bruising, while using meditation and Shiranui massage techniques in order to reduce the pain of his muscles.
But, still, he continues to persist. And here he is now, in London, for yet another match. A "shodown" in the classic sense. Samurai versus ninja. It's bound to be entertaining for the audience, if nothing else. Andy, on the other hand, is feeling a little more apprehensive about facing yet another fighter who relies on weapons to do battle. It isn't that he thinks less of them. It's just that it's harder to slap ice on a wound created by a blade than an injury created by a solid punch. Such is life.
As for the man himself? One moment he is just there. His very image simply flickers into existence in the center of the bridge, lowered down into a three-point crouch, with one hand lifted in a classic ninja pose before his face. His azure eyes open, and he peers at his smoking opponent as he stands up to face her.
"I am Andy Bogard. I will be your opponent for this match. Please do your best."
The young, blonde shinobi bows at the waist to the surly swordswoman.
Anyone who has watched Baiken fight - and she assumes Andy is one of those, because at this level why wouldn't you do some research about your opponents - knows that it's not just the blade you have to watch out for. Her fist and feet, plus other hidden weapons, are just as dangerous.
Baiken does not turn around until she has tapped the tobacco out of her pipe and into the Thames. It's not the dirtiest thing in it.
Then she does. She still has the kiseru in her hand; she spins it once before hooking one finger around it to stop it as she looks Andy over. Well, she thinks. This ought to be more interesting than some of the people SNF makes her fight in twos and threes, because they can't stand up to her alone; it's part of why she made it into World Warrior, even if she'd ultimately lost her matches. She's pleased to see someone skilled as her opponent.
It doesn't show on her face. Baiken hops off the ledge and toward the road, where the fight was originally supposed to take place, tucking the kiseru inside her robe somewhere as she does. "Good," she says. "It's been a while since anyone dared challenge me for this belt."
Baiken rolls her neck, then rests her single hand on the hilt of her sheathed sword; without drawing it, she tilts the pommel forward slightly, letting the scabbard point out behind her. She's ready, even if she looks casual; it shows in the way she's set her feet, in the feel of her aura.
COMBATSYS: Baiken has started a fight here on the right meter side.
COMBATSYS: Andy has joined the fight here.
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Andy 0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0 Baiken
"To be honest..." Andy says, as he rises out of his bow. One hand lifts up, curling his fingers around the back of his skull as he scratches at his scalp. He offers up a small grin, and continues, "I don't really care about the belt. I'm only here to fight a strong opponent, and learn what I can. My only goal is to get stronger and perfect my technique. Itsumo osewa ni natte orimasu!!!"
But, despite such a formal and polite entreaty to take care of him, Andy Bogard is truly a ninja. No sooner than the words slip from his mouth, and he's dashing forward so fast that a trailing blur follows his image, until he's closing the gap on her. He knows that she has her sword, as well as an assortment of other tricks up her literal sleeves, so it is best to try to set the maai, himself, and close in to a distance where he is comfortable fighting, but she will be hard pressed to make good use of her weaponry. It's a theory.
So, suddenly, Andy is within the one-eyed beauty's personal space, and lunging forward to drive his palm not just to her chest, but through it, as if his true target were, in actuality, her back. His entire body lurches forward as he adopts a wide spread, low stance, and leans forward, so that his entire body's force and weight is thrown into that palm strike, without sacrificing his own stability and balance.
COMBATSYS: Baiken blocks Andy's Hirate Uchi.
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Andy 0/-------/-------|==-----\-------\0 Baiken
The whole reason Baiken joined the belt competitions was for exactly the same reason Andy has just admitted to; she thought it would be the easiest way to find people of her caliber to practice against. She gives him a very slight nod at the polite statement - it might be something approaching respect; sometimes with Baiken, she goes out of her way to hide that before she's actually fought someone.
And he's /fast/. Baiken expected Andy to rush in; she knows enough about him to know that he relies on his speed as much as anything else. It's still somewhat of a shock just how fast he is. Just having heard about it isn't the first-hand experience that she needs to really get the measure of a fighter.
Baiken takes a half-step back as Andy covers the entire distance between the two of them, raising her arm to partially deflect the palm strike. She does not actually /deflect/ it so much as absorb some of the impact; it forces her back another step by sheer momentum, but he's still so close that he's got the positioning he wants.
Or, he is briefly, anyway. Baiken sidesteps so fast /she/ appears to blur, circling around Andy with her empty sleeve trailing like a banner and partially obscuring the movements of her body. Baiken delivers a kick as she circles around, a sweeping strike that uses her own movement to hopefully knock Andy off his feet or at least disrupt his perfect stance.
COMBATSYS: Baiken successfully hits Andy with Mawarikomi.
-* CRITICAL HIT! *-
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Andy 0/-------/----===|====---\-------\0 Baiken
She manages to catch his palm strike, which is surprising. He was certain that he'd be faster than her, and that this opening gambit was a sure fire success. Is there that much distance between them that this fight, too, will be a one sided affair, as so many of his recent matches have been?
She's proving just as swift as him, and when she sidesteps, Andy is hard pressed to keep up with her. His head turns to the side, and his eyes track her movements, despite it, though. He pivots, trying to maintain his facing, and to lower his guard down to intercept her sweeping kick, and deflect it before it topples him. But, she is swift. Possibly faster than him.
Andy is left unbalanced as his feet are taken from him. He falls onto his back. Hard. His shoulder makes an alarming crack sound as a lightning flash of pain consumes his body. He grunts, teeth gritting, but he rolls back on it, and immediately to his feet.
And then he's off of his feet again. This time, he's soaring sky high, leaping back as if he might be trying to retreat in a dramatic fashion. At the apex of his jump, the Human Weapon twists in the air, spinning around, only to come out with a thrusting elbow so powerful that it redirects his flight into a rocketing descent at Baiken. His blue eyes become fierce, yet as cold and hard as glacial ice as he locks on to her.
As soon as Andy lands from the elbow dive, regardless of its success or failure, the man pushes the assault. His feet barely even graze the ground before he's back in the air once again, turning his body sideways and spinning into a lashing out overhead kick that uses all of his weight and force to drive his foot into her face and topple her over. A perfectly executed doumawashi kaiten geri.
COMBATSYS: Andy successfully hits Baiken with Genei Shiranui - Uwa Agito.
- Power hit! -
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Andy 0/-------/---====|=======\-------\0 Baiken
If Baiken is as fast as Andy, it's only in very short bursts. Once she gets behind him, sweeping kick complete, she doesn't have quite his mobility - she's not slow by any means, but she depends on power and trickery at least as much as her speed, and it's not her focus the way it seems to be for Andy.
She would not, for instance, have tried an aerial assault like Andy's. His air control is fantastic; when he reverses his upward momentum into a downward blow, she is left open to the staggering blow, driving her into a stagger, hunched-over. It's the perfect opportunity for him to follow up.
And he takes that opportunity, driving Baiken to the ground with a colossal kick. Baiken smashes into the ground and immediately rolls, half-dazed but moving on sheer practiced reactions; even unable to gather her thoughts, her body has been trained to know what to do. It takes her some distance away from him; not far, but far enough that she can rise before he's on her again.
Baiken flings out her claw as she rises, the four-'fingered' hand flying straight toward Andy's shoulder. If it hits, it clamps on, so that when she yanks on the chain he's pulled along with it, over to her; it has the side effect of making it harder for him to get away for a few moments if he's caught by the grabbing claw, as she'll be attached by the chain on the other end. Her face has blood on it, but it doesn't stop her slightly mad grin as she really yanks the chain.
COMBATSYS: Baiken successfully hits Andy with Kabari.
! VENGEANCE !
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Andy 0/-------/=======|=======\=------\1 Baiken
That was a good hit. At least that is something, isn't it? If nothing else, he has that. He got the best of her, at least that one time.
Regaining his footing after the spinning drop kick, Andy Bogard doesn't look pleased with himself at all. He looks focused only on the fight at hand. A good hit or not, he's not about to go counting his chickens before they've hatched. Not with a title holding fighter with as much credibility and prestige as this woman. He knows that she's not going to give up the fight so easily.
And she proves him right. That clawed hand comes shooting out at him, and as deft as he is, for some reason, he is unable to escape it. Though he moves to the side, it still catches him by the shoulder and digs into flesh. He grasps at it, and as she yanks the chain, he braces himself, pulling back against it in a tug of war.
Fine. If she wants him to get in close, he'll get in close. His resistance to the chain is abruptly ended, as he flashes forward at her with blinding speed. As he nears her, he clamps one hand over his other balled fist and draws both back, so that, as he slides into her, he can unleash a powerful elbow smash that uses the strength of both arms, as well as the force of his momentum.
COMBATSYS: Baiken blocks Andy's Zaneiken.
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Andy 0/-------/=======|=======\==-----\1 Baiken
Baiken's grin broadens when she feels the clawed fingers clamp around his shoulder. Exactly what she wanted; he's not going to get away from her quite that easily. She braces her heels as she pulls on the chain, dragging him closer -
Which isn't even needed, as Andy throws himself at Baiken in a rush of speed. It means he's moving under his own power rather than her control, which is probably better for him, all things considered. She loops the chain around her hand but stops pulling, instead using her chain-wrapped hand as a defense against the incoming elbow.
She's honestly not sure if this was a good idea or bad. Baiken feels the chain bite in to her hand as she blocks with it, and the sheer speed he's moving at drives her back - she's not in much risk of running out of space, London Bridge is pretty long, but it does make her feel like she's giving up an uncomfortable amount of ground. Plus, the chain hurts. She's going to have bruises all over her fingers later.
But it means that she still has him in her grasp, and now he's much closer so she can use much less slack on the chain. Releasing the chain entirely, Baiken grabs at Andy's collar with her hand, leaping into the air if she grabs it; she aims to smash him straight down into the ground, landing on top with a stomp as the 'fingers' of the claw finally unhook from his shoulders. "Keep going!"
COMBATSYS: Baiken successfully hits Andy with Himawari.
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Andy 1/------=/=======|=======\=====--\1 Baiken
She still manages to anticipate and defend herself against his zaneiken, and this only fuels the stirring rage that is now starting to overcome Andy. He's so ineffectual. Every single match. He might get a lucky hit in here and there, but so far, every single match he's had recently has been a never ending series of just being overwhelmed by people who are nearly flawless, while he is a mess who stumbles into nearly everything thrown at him.
Why? Why is he so weak? Why is he so helpless?
As if fate wants to prove his very point, when Baiken reaches for him, the Bogard brother shifts his stances, sliding his feet into a position that only offers up a sliver of his side to her, while he simultaneously attempts to use that narrowed profile to evade her grasp. And it fails. He's caught, and lifted from the ground as she leaps with him, and is sent hurtling back to the ground. His only consolation is that he manages to roll to the side just in time to avoid her brutal stomp to try to finish it.
He rises back to his feet, practically snarling and frothing at the mouth. His eyes have gone completely dead and lifeless as they stare at Baiken without blinking. He looks detached from all but the anger growing in his turbulent soul. Blood pours from his shoulder. His blonde hair is matted with it on the back of his head. He's bruised and battered, and his knees are trembling.
But, he won't give up. Not yet.
He launches forward at her again with a guttural shout, and delivers a flurry of rapid fire attacks. A super fast spin, and he's delivering an elbow strike leveled at her face, which he follows up with an immediate palm strike. His other elbow comes around, attempting to cut her brow, if nothing else, so that her one good eye will get filled with blood. Then, he throws out a thrusting double palm strike to her body, attempting to shock her and leave her staggered.
Not even relenting from that, Andy charges his open palm with flashing blue Ki and thrusts it at her chest to knock her back more. He leaps in, attempting to grapple her with his hands around her neck, and his feet digging in to her hips as if he were climbing her. Rearing back one hand, he slams another ki-infused palm into her temple, before he leaps backwards with a flip, and comes sliding to a crouching halt. If he manages to pull this off, Ki manifests around her as blades of blue light, slicing and tearing at her body like a hundred sword slashes from a ghostly assailant. As Andy stands, and slams his fists together, there is an explosion of built up Ki, which should put her to the ground, if nothing else.
COMBATSYS: Andy blitzes into action and acts again!
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Andy 1/------=/=======|=======\=====--\1 Baiken
COMBATSYS: Baiken blocks Andy's Kekiheki Haisui Shou.
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Andy 1/------=/=======|=======\======-\1 Baiken
COMBATSYS: Andy successfully hits Baiken with Bakushin.
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Andy 1/----===/=======|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2 Baiken
Speed seems to be one of Baiken's weaknesses, judging by Andy's approach and the fact that it's working surprisingly well.
While Baiken can deflect or avoid some of the strikes - she uses her still-scabbarded sword to parry - she can't get them all. Having only one hand is a disadvantage here; Andy can strike two places in her upper body at once, while Baiken can only strike back at one of them.
She ducks under the blow to her face (being short is an advantage sometimes) and manages to absorb at least some of the strikes, though at the downside of being constantly pushed away, kept off her balance. She can't find a good time to strike back or interrupt it as Andy's palm strike drives her off balance, leaving her totally open for the lashing waves of chi and the sudden detonation in her face.
It does put Baiken on the ground. She has landed on her back, blown away from the blast, and it's actually a strain for her to push herself to her feet - but she manages it, mostly on sheer determination. "At least you don't go half-assed," she says, before spitting to the side.
Her assault is sudden, and perhaps unexpected because it's totally unlike anything she's done so far. Baiken uses her fingertips to draw a character in the air, a complex Japanese kanji that is so archaic and stylized that it's actually very hard to read for modern speakers of the language. Fortunately, Baiken does not expect Andy to read it as it blazes to pink light:
"BAKU!" she roars.
If he contacts the symbol as it flares, he feels his chi, his essence... dampened. It's not damaged, but it's harder to push for a while; he feels sapped and exhausted, though he will shake it off in time. He just has to keep going that long.
COMBATSYS: Baiken successfully hits Andy with Baku.
[ < > /////////////// ]
Andy 1/-----==/=======|>>>>>>-\-------\0 Baiken
As Baiken proves to be defensive, Andy only grows more and more angry at his own ineptitude. Why can't he strike her? She has such obvious openings where, as long as he puts pressure on her to defend in one place, she has an entire side of her body that she can't defend. So why is he unable to capitalize on that?
Because he's nothing. He's weak. He's pathetic. He's worthless. He is a mere shadow of a shadow, unable to live up to any semblance of the legacy of his father, or his brother, or his sensei. He is a disgrace.
But then he breaks through and gets a hold on her. Finally, something. It isn't going to be enough. He knows it. He knows deep down that this match is already decided, even as she falls to the ground. She'll rise. He'll fall. It's the same story as it was with Rashid. Honoka. Terry. Every single opponent he faces is just plain better. Why does he keep doing this? He has no place in the world of martial arts. He's refuse.
"Don't patronize me. I've barely touched you..."
The words escape him as a growl, barely containing the torrent of rage and self-loathing that want to spill out. He can barely even move, and she's pretending that he even has a small modicum of skill? Does she look down on him so much that she has to offer such paper thin condolences?
He doesn't even know what she's doing, but he's just had enough. He starts to rush forward as she is drawing that kanji in the air, and in the process just runs right into it. It shocks his system, sapping his strength, his vitality, his ki. All of it. He releases a strained sound of agony, before collapsing to the ground.
He says quietly as he looks at the ground between his knees. He slumps, his arms limply resting in his lap. His shoulders sag, and his head hangs, hiding his face behind his disheveled hair.
"This match was a farce. It was obvious from the onset that I was no match for you. Thank you for the lesson."
With that, the ninja simply vanishes.
COMBATSYS: Andy takes no action.
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Andy 1/----===/=======|>>>>>>-\-------\0 Baiken
COMBATSYS: Andy has left the fight here.
> /////////////// ]
COMBATSYS: Baiken has ended the fight here.
Log created on 17:32:34 05/30/2018 by Baiken, and last modified on 10:20:16 06/04/2018.