SNF 2018.06 - SNF: Big Rock Candy Mountain

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Description: Taking place in a train car, it is filled with the most noble of clown archetypes: Hobos! While less comical than their circus counterparts, they make a decent audience for the SNF match. Fumiko, the iaijutsu expert, boards the train, ready to appreciate the natural artwork of Americana. Amongst the hobos, however, is the Sacred Order Acolyte Rosalind. Armed with her own infused weapon, it is a clash of swords and whips as the train travels across the midland USA.

From the streets of Osaka. To the fabulous relic of the Great Wall. The stunning nightscapes of Italy. All the way to America's heart. Traveling the world and seeing combat head on has opened Fumiko Abe's eyes to a different world of competition, of strength, and style. She had seen much in her travels for demonstration and for art. But never had it been so visceral and so potent as her stepping onto the stage for fighting.

If only the catalyst of this grand experience were alive today.

The normally wealthy Fumiko had been to Chicago, and to many other parts of the United States, in the past. This time, however, she stands aboard a rail car. One traveled by the destitute and the vagabond. This, she felt, was a chance to see a desolate beauty different from the high class and high tech cities. A certain nobility she had heard dwelled among these ranks.

And perhaps, she felt, the nature of her traveling, goaded as it was by the commissioners of these contests, allows her to demonstrate her own art to a people that would otherwise never get the chance to see it in person. At least, not on the world level as she has found herself.

Not wanting to short the audience a proper demonstration, Fumiko has on her usual formal outfit and has once more eschewed her wooden swords for steel. Steel that she checks, standing sentinel and patient as the world outside the rail car clatters by.

As battle was, so was the rough and rugged landscape that rolls on past Fumiko's attention. Hopefully her opponent would prove as appreciative of the art all around them.

Seated atop a stack of shipping dunnage, Rosalind von Eisenschloss appears both a part of and distinct from the small throng of humanity around her. A brown trenchcoat affords her some ability to blend in with the vagrants on the train, at least to casual observation, but to closer inspection, her appearance is far too careful and clean-cut to mark her as anything more than a train-hopping hobbyist.

The view of Americana passing by the rail car's exterior is the focus of the German knight's blue-eyed gaze, but in truth it's at best a distraction - her mind's eye is fixed on the gallery of emotions presented by the gathering of young gutter-punks, middle-class wannabes, and aging die-hards, trying to piece together stories from the mental undertones in a sort of psychic people-watching.

So caught up is she in the anticipation mounting all around her that she nearly forgets that she's supposed to be taking part in its source.

Rousing from her reverie, Rosalind rises, her short black hair and the belt of her coat whipping lightly with the train's movement. Wordlessly, she undoes the buckle and buttons of her trenchcoat, then shrugs free from it, swinging it to land atop a box with the same motion.

There is no longer any mistaking the lady von Eisenschloss for the train-travelling element around her as she stands revealed in her black armour, segmented sword at her hip. The train-hoppers edge back as the knight draws her weapon, holding it low at her side. She turns directly to face Fumiko, locking her with an expressionless, penetrating gaze.

The corners of Rosalind's mouth turn slightly upward as her face softens. "It's quite beautiful, isn't it? A shame that we are meant to interrupt it." She raises her sword in a sort of salute. "I am Rosalind von Eisenschloss. I believe we are to do battle."

A knight appears. Clear and outstanding to the natural Americana of the rail ways. Fumiko lifts her head from her focus and looks toward this woman. She takes stock of her challenge. The dark hair, the armor, the weapon. Fumiko bows toward the Lady of Eisenschloss. "You do not find your style beautiful?" she asks, sincere in her words, "A shame you cannot respect your technique."

Fumiko turns her hip toward Rosalind. With a click, she showcases a glint of the metal of her two blades. "I see you are using steel. As am I. My name is Fumiko Abe. It is my pleasure to demonstrate my style for you and for the people of the world."

She assumes a solid, bent legged, checked arm position. Her hand held just hovering above the hilt of her blade. Her long hair, white as a sheet, waves in the breeze caused by the train's motion. She is focused, steady as her blades, anticipating and excited for the fight ahead. It pushes down the roiling emotions buried at the core of her being. Because the fight is focus. The art is life.

"I promise to show you the respect you deserve in this competition," Fumiko promises.

COMBATSYS: Fumiko has started a fight here.

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

Rosalind's sword arm lowers, the tip of the weapon sweeping lightly a couple of times through the air before pointing toward the floor of the car. Her lips purse in thought briefly before she replies. "I do not consider my style beautiful. I view it more as a tool. Practical, perhaps, but it is incomplete. I appreciate this opportunity to refine it, however; perhaps one day I will be able to create some beauty with it."

Rosalind solidifies her grip on the hilt of her weapon, taking hold of it with both hands as she shifts into a fighting stance, the blade held low. She gives a slight nod to the offer of respect, raising her weapon slightly in a show of preparation. "I will endeavour to do the same for you. Shall we begin?"

COMBATSYS: Rosalind has joined the fight here.

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Rosalind         0/-------/-======|>------\-------\0           Fumiko

Fumiko nods once toward Rosalind's assessment of her style. "Your weaponry may be a tool. As is the brush to an artist. But the technique you wield is what makes it art. Please, show me what it is you can do."

Smile fades to stern focus and Fumiko darts forward. A quick cut toward the right, her sneakers scraping on the sawdust and wood floor of the old railcar, she sharply takes a corner as her poised wrist makes for a motion. A sharp angle, a slash, a quick cut toward Rosalind's midsection, a light tinny sound of the blade singing when its drawn.

COMBATSYS: Rosalind blocks Fumiko's Positioned Strike.

[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Rosalind         0/-------/-======|>>-----\-------\0           Fumiko

The movement is fast; the cut much more sudden than the longsword fencing of Rosalind's youth. It's all that she can do to tilt her blade in the last moment to deflect Fumiko's strike, filling the train car with the shearing sound of metal on metal before the katana's edge clips off of the chain mesh protecting her midsection. In response, Rosalind whirls backward in an effort to pull away from the blade and its wielder, and as she does, the blunted blade of her weapon goes... strangely limp, for one unfamiliar with the device.

For a moment, it might almost appear that the sword's blade has been destroyed by the impact as it fractures into pieces. With a second spin of her body, though, the nature of the weapon becomes evident, the segments suddenly aligning into a tail of metal as they snap out toward Fumiko's feet like a metal whip before reeling back in along the flexible metal spine supporting them toward the sword-whip's hilt.

COMBATSYS: Fumiko endures Rosalind's Evasive Strike.

[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////////     ]
Rosalind         0/-------/=======|>>>>>--\-------\0           Fumiko

Such an interesting defense. It's enough to give Fumiko pause, to see Rosalind's blade appear sundered in such a curious way. Then it seems to come to life, a whip of metal in a flowing cord.

Slashing, but something without a great deal of weight to it. Fumiko defends by simply moving past the pain, through the efforts of Rosalind and gets straight to the point of her follow up attack.

Fumiko darts over the whip blade, her shoes gashed and gaffed but the quick-draw artist seeming to be undeterred as she uses the moment to step in close. She turns her wrists at odd angles. Swinging outward, drawing not one but two blades in a single step. Both of the weapons, one short and one long, slash outward in a cross pattern as though to simply batter and put their target off balance.

COMBATSYS: Rosalind dodges Fumiko's Goryo's Wrath.

[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////////     ]
Rosalind         0/-------/=======|>>>>---\-------\0           Fumiko

One of Rosalind's eyebrows raises in an arch as Fumiko moves in over the retracting whip-blade. The slithering of the steel accelerates as the daisho is drawn until the German fighter's sword snaps back into place, the weapon's renewed rigidity narrowly allowing it to intersect the path of both the katana and wakisashi, parrying the attack as Rosalind is pressed onto the backfoot, sparks flying from the clash and sending the audience of train-hoppers to the corners of the car.

"I think that I'm beginning to understand why you consider your sword work an art," Rosalind says as she takes a short hop backward, holding her sword upright in a defensive posture and bending her legs into a low stance, her gaze locking onto Fumiko, as if searching for something deeper than the other swordswoman's next move.

COMBATSYS: Rosalind calculates her next move.

[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////////     ]
Rosalind         0/-------/=======|>>>>---\-------\0           Fumiko

Too slow. Wasted effort and the armored swordswoman is deftly away from Fumiko's strike. A failure of her craft. A surge of angry pride boils inside of Fumiko's stomach as the weight she puts into her swing finds no resistance. Instead, the force is bled off into a turn and a resheath as Fumiko once more takes her stance and position.

Words, sharp? Insulting? Again Fumiko feels a spark of anger at initially perceiving her opponent's words as insulting. After all, she missed. She missed clearly and cleanly and that does not speak well of Fumiko's talent.

But Fumiko Abe does not follow through on misguided anger and pride. Not now. She swallows her gut reaction and closes her eyes. A calm, steady breath. Her eyes open. Centered, she discards the wasted effort and tries to begin anew.

COMBATSYS: Fumiko enters a meditative state.

[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Rosalind         0/-------/=======|>>>>>>-\-------\0           Fumiko

Rosalind's head cants slightly to one side as her eyes glint for but a moment. Her eyes narrow slightly, her stance straightening as she raises her lead sword arm, gripping the hilt with her right hand and letting the left arm fall to one side as she points the toothless tip of the weapon at Fumiko. "Art is a reflection of the inward self, is it not? But you're hesitating."

With a sudden forward step, Rosalind spins and thrusts the weapon much too soon to hope to connect, but the blade leaps from the hilt like a metal viper, lunging at Fumiko - or, more precisely, just to her left, aiming to miss the iaijutsu practitioner and sail past her. Then, in utter defiance of probability, the segmented blade would curve back around like a living serpent, aiming to wrap around Fumiko's middle before a hard tug from Rosalind would pull Fumiko back toward her.

COMBATSYS: Fumiko Toughs Out Rosalind's Lamia Coil!

[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////////  ]
Rosalind         1/-------/=======|>>>>>>>\-------\1           Fumiko

Temperance is not hesitation. Fumiko's calm and steadied breath rises and falls as the spike of anger and grief ebb with each moment the tension in the air stills. "One cannot rush art. A falcon may dive quickly, but it still must know when to dive."

Fumiko lightly touches the hilt of her blat when Rosalind lunges for her. She remains still when the whip-like blade hurls behind her. And still all the more as the whip coils about her and pulls her forward.

Fumiko smiles.

The pull brings Fumiko close, and close is where she wishes to be. She bides her time, takes the pain of the bladed string, all for one goal. To be the one that causes a greater deal of pain in return.

With Rosalind's assistance, Fumiko hurtles toward her opponent and a that crucial moment does she strike with a wide swathing scythe of a strike, uncoiling with the tension of the whipblade.

COMBATSYS: Rosalind fails to counter Bamboo Splitter from Fumiko with Steel Constrictor EX.

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Rosalind         0/-------/=======|>>>>>>>\>------\1           Fumiko

The whip coils inward, pulling Fumiko rapidly closer. At almost the last moment, Rosalind loosens the snake-sword's grip, preparing to transition into another attack. Fumiko is faster, though, taking advantage of the momentary opening to strike out toward Rosalind, catching the knight defenseless and cutting her across the arms and midsection. A hint of a grimace pulls at Rosalind's otherwise focused features, and she edges back again as the whip snaps wildly away from Fumiko. One particularly scruffy-looking member of the on-board audience edges away as the whip writhes on the ground for a moment, before sliding back into its blade configuration with a click.

"Well struck," Rosalind says, her tone remarkably pleasant in spite of the toll the blow is taking, evidenced by the intensifying of her breathing.

The strike finds home. Fumiko twirls from the torque of her strike until her sneakers touch down with a scraping squeak on the wood and sawdust coated floor. The end of her spin coinciding with the distinct click of her long blade once more sheathed and inside of its home.

"Thank you for your kind words and understanding," Fumiko says with a short nod. "I have met many interesting people on my journey to put my art to a practical demonstration, but you are one of the most polite that I have met. And your style is distinctly clever." Her happy, distant smile steels into a thin lipped sterness, however, as she slides slowly back into her combat stance.

"I would greatly appreciate a less physically trying conversation with you afterwards. Perhaps over tea. But for now, I promise to show you the respect deserving of a competitor."

Fumiko is off like a shot, shoes tapping briskly with each fevered step as Fumiko closes the gap. She gets to where she feels the point of impact will be greatest and lunges past Rosalind. In motion, like liquid, her blade slides from its sheath. The blade seems to move in an afterimage as it cuts upward toward Rosalind's breast. A flurry of chi, harmless, remnants of pleasant memories in the shape of faintly existing cherry petals dance in the air in the aftermath of Fumiko's slice.

COMBATSYS: Rosalind blocks Fumiko's Scattered Petals EX.

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Rosalind         1/-------/=======|>------\-------\0           Fumiko

Rosalind's eyes remain on Fumiko as she speaks. The iaijutsu fighter's words draw the slightest smile from Rosalind's lips, but it doesn't meet her eyes; they are completely intent on watching for the next move. She tenses as the other fighter surges forward, her blue eyes widening as the afterimage blurs in front of her. She only barely manages to twist as the sword slices toward her chest, presenting the better-protected pauldron of her left shoulder to sustain the impact, sending her spiralling backward to land on the sawdust-covered floor with a heavy thud as the petals of benign energy fall around her.

Raising her sword arm to cover a cough in the crook of her elbow, Rosalind pushes herself up on her other elbow. Then, with a bend of her wrist, she points the tip of the weapon just above Fumiko's head, loosing the blade to spiral through the air before lodging in the roof of the train car. The weapon then rapidly pulls back together, lifting the knight off the floor with surprising force as she curls her body to brace for impact with the ceiling. As the back plate of her armour hits the ceiling, the segments of the weapon combine back into a solid sword, which she yanks from the roof before dropping down on Fumiko with a gravity-assisted overhead strike.

COMBATSYS: Fumiko dodges Rosalind's Crushing Strike.

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Rosalind         1/-------/=======|>------\-------\0           Fumiko

Fumiko stands in the wake of her attack with her eyes on her blade. The steel glinting in the light from outside the rail car. Steel on steel was always something that made Fumiko cringe just a little bit at potentially damaging her weapon. But thus was the cost of a fighter's lifestyle.

Fumiko resheathes her blade and gives a look back toward where Rosalind had landed after being scattered. A clever attack, moving and utilizing her surroundings. A real warrior's attack to be open and aware to using the environment. Something that Fumiko herself lacks awareness of.

The downside to the forcefulness and theatrics of the strike is it allows Fumiko that moment to compose herself and for her to make the most of her time. Darting to the side, she's clear when Rosalind crashes to the ground with her sword. A near silent scamper follows as Fumiko runs toward the wall of the rail car, leaps up, skips off of it and over the head of a watching hobo.

She lands nearby and rushes past Rosalind. In passing, Fumiko's left hand flicks. She off-hand draws her smaller wakizashi to slice at the joints in Rosalind's armor. Not stopping to determine the hit, focusing more on moving and retaining her positioning and footwork.

COMBATSYS: Rosalind blocks Fumiko's Evasive Strike.

[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////////  ]
Rosalind         1/-------/=======|>------\-------\0           Fumiko

Even with the sharp edges of her sword's blade retracted, the force of Rosalind's descent finds the weapon splintering into the floor of the compartment and sticking in the wood for a moment as her opponent moves past her. With a slight twist of her shoulders, Rosalind manages to reposition such that Fumiko's wakizashi slices into the metal plate along her upper arm instead of cutting into the more vulnerable joint of her armor.

With her opponent behind her, Rosalind's awareness of Fumiko becomes more the focus of her mind's eye than her vision. Her physical eyes turn to what's ahead of her - mostly, large stacks of shipping crates. With a sharp yank, she frees her sword from the floor beneath her and rises, then thrusts the weapon ahead, letting it fly once more into serpentine form, the blades of the final segment of the weapon popping out as it reaches out to stab into the middle box of a stack. With a growl, she pulls with her entire body, heaving the shipping container free from its place as the whip pulls tight. She sidesteps the crate as it flies at her, then lets the weapon go slack again as the box flies at where she estimated Fumiko to be.

COMBATSYS: Rosalind successfully hits Fumiko with Large Thrown Object.

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Rosalind         1/----===/=======|>>>>>--\-------\0           Fumiko

Turns out that in very cramped positioning, it is very hard to move out of the way of large incoming objects. Fumiko is further unfamiliar with facing very large and very heavy things. The container clangs and crashes and clangs and catches Fumiko in its tremendous tumble. And thus Fumiko learns that gravity is working well as it should.

Tossed an battered, scattered and banged up. Fumiko picks herself up among the hay and dust of the hobo car. Said hobos now scrambling to find themselves new perch and purchase with the addition of a shipping container's worth of seating.

"That was," a long, healthy pause from Fumiko as she searches for the right words, "Interesting style. You are a very, very strong woman, Miss Rosalind." Indeed, Fumiko Abe is more than impressed with the physique on display from her opponent.

Alas, she cannot let this impressment be the end of her. No, the Iajutsu artist redoubles her efforts, focuses her mind, and lashes out toward Rosalind once more. This time, she feints with her strike, instead of swinging with her dominant right, she draws the short blade with her left for a cunning cut.

COMBATSYS: Fumiko successfully hits Rosalind with Left-Handed Draw.

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Rosalind         1/----===/=======|>>-----\-------\0           Fumiko

"A knight... should be strong in mind and body, as a swordswoman should be deft and graceful," Rosalind replies to Fumiko's compliment, unable to fully hide the pain in her voice between heavy breaths. She starts to raise her free gauntlet to deflect the expected cut from the katana, but a moment before Fumiko actually draws the wakizashi, Rosalind abruptly shifts tactics, stepping to the other side in an attempt to evade the short-blade attack.

Despite the seeming anticipation of the feint, though, Fumiko is still faster than Rosalind, and manages to land a telling blow to one of the weaker points in the knight's protection along the forearm between her armguards and gauntlets.

Wincing as a cut is opened, Rosalind shifts her grip on her weapon, taking hold of it in both hands. The weapon's tail starts to reel into the hilt as Rosalind suddenly rushes Fumiko with a close-range charge. The hapless hobo who had taken to the displaced crate as a new place to park quickly scrambles off as the box slides back toward Fumiko and Rosalind, the latter attempting to body check the former into the box as it does.

COMBATSYS: Fumiko interrupts Improvised Slam from Rosalind with Flashing Blade EX.
- Power hit! -

[                     \\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////        ]
Rosalind         1/----===/=======|>>-----\-------\0           Fumiko

Quick strikes, strong strikes, moments taken when they must. A strong offense with precision. Studied motions that for most of Fumiko Abe's life have been done for display and for showcases of a traditional form of combat arts. Now put to pragmatic use.

She smiles at the compliments from her knightly opposition, but Fumiko is not one distracted by compliments. Rather, she feels she must step up to earn the praise from what she considers the true combatants of the world. And as the knight rushes in, Fumiko finds the precise moment to prove her mettle.

A flash of light, a glint of blade and a step through strike that is over nearly as soon as it began. A heavy cut, angled, upward, toward an exposed joint. Just a moment of time that lingers as the white-haired swordswoman glides past the rushing knight.

And the blade is sheathed in the post step. Fumiko's hair waving like a banner in the railyard wind. Her face steady and serene. A peace in the heated flow of combat.

A moment away from impact, her head turned away to brace for the collision, Rosalind closes her eyes. A moment later, they open wide as the heat of searing pain flashes from her side. Left like a wounded bull charging into nothing, she is carried forward on her feet to crash into the cargo container, driving it with her momentum to slam into the wall of the rail car. Inertia slams her back in the opposite direction while Fumiko stands removed, sending her back to the sawdust-covered floor of the rail car. Her whip goes limp, splaying haphazardly across the ground, wrenched free ot the crate by the force of the rebuff.

A few splatters of blood mark the spot where she lay as the knight struggles back up to her feet. Her chest heaves visibly beneath the breastplate covering it as she stands nearly doubled over. Then, taking in a long draw of air, she straightens her posture, her side turned toward Fumiko as she looks toward the other fighter. The hilt of her weapon is held low as the weapon's tail slowly begins to writhe on the ground, seemingly of its own accord. The disparate segments begin to spin chaotically on the spine as they lift off the floor, flipping off dust, the whole thing rising like a snake until it floats, impossibly, in a ring near Rosalind's feet guided by a subtle circling of the knight's wrist, the spinning of the segments steadily aligning so that they form a whirling helix along the axis of the wheeling whip.

Rosalind's breathing steadies, her focus intensifying in spite of her injuries as her gaze fixes on Fumiko once more. "I believe you may have the advantage," she says with a pleasant tone. "Shall we finish this?"

COMBATSYS: Rosalind calculates her next move.

[                     \\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////        ]
Rosalind         1/----===/=======|>>-----\-------\0           Fumiko

The conflict continues. Fumiko breathes heavily in the wake of her assault. Though less wounded, she appears winded. Her mind and heart a void of emotion. Not naturally, forced, planned. To an empath like Rosalind, there are markers of a dam. A dam ready to burst. One that is creaking in the force of battle. A woman on the edge, using her art and the challenge of her opponent to keep the tides at bay.

Slowly, she turns. Fumiko allows Rosalind the time she needs to rise to her feet and to clear her head. "I will take you at your all," Fumiko states, "But I can see when a wounded serpent is coiling to strike. I may be an artist of form, but I am not na´ve."

Fumiko's posture and nature shifts. She twists and crouches, one hand hovers above the hilt of her long blade and the other checks the first. She shakes her hair out. Her eyes widen, nostrils flare, she is still as a cold steel rail.

Emotion winds through the cracks in the dam of combat's distraction. Grief. Grief and pride and rage. Waiting and biding and crystalline in tone and sharpness.

COMBATSYS: Fumiko enters a trance-like state.

[                     \\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////      ]
Rosalind         1/----===/=======|>>>>---\-------\0           Fumiko

"Very well," Rosalind says simply as she raises both her arms slowly, hands crossing over each other, the roiling steel plates of her weapon steadily winding and clicking into place as the blade forms anew, piece by piece, yet still seems to retain the liveliness it had while in motion, the energy in its potential state as she holds it as still as Fumiko holds herself. Though her facade is composed and the effort of preserving her body against the onslaught is clear in her stance, consciously, she is preoccupied with steeling her mind for what is to come - both from her, and potentially from her opponent, as she can sense the turbulence behind the wall.

In one moment, all is still, both women braced for an unseen flood as the countryside passes quietly outside the car.

In the next, there is an explosion of motion. Rosalind snaps her arms apart, and her blade leaps with all of its will from the hilt, darting out the window to one side. A moment later, the weapon's point flies back in through a gap in the ceiling, punching through the floor and disappearing again. The weapon continues to criss and cross its way through the car, the ultimate attack to come imminent, though the angle and moment of impact are not evident...

COMBATSYS: Rosalind successfully hits Fumiko with Slithering Steel.

[                      \\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////          ]
Rosalind         1/-======/=======|=======\==-----\1           Fumiko

A moment of peace before a torrent of rage. Another winding, clever attack. One that lashes and dances. For a time that feels indefinite, Fumiko Abe considers correcting her opponent, to explain that she should consider direct force more than cleverness when the lady knight seemed so directly strong. The moment feels indefinite, but it sadly is not.

Fumiko twists and angles her scabbard to deflect the blow. But now is when the intricacies of Rosalind's weapon can take full control of the situation. A winding whip of a blade is hard to simply bat aside. Instead, it's Fumiko that is battered aside.

A cry of pain, a flailing, a falling and a roll that twists and turns to a righting of position. A hole in her shirt. The dark clothing darker still for the blood that stains it. Staining it and growing. Hair wild and loose, Fumiko shakes her head, regains her footing. And looks forward.

The dam bursts. Visually the change is nothing more than widened eyes, quickened breath, and a spring-like tension all over her body. Nothing new for the Iajutsu practitioner. But mentally, emotionally, there is a torrent of angry fury. Inward, outward, a rage and grief and a loss. And each loss around the world making a mockery of the swordswoman. Even as she surges forward with a wild abandon. Her blades drawn as one, a heavy cross as one blade swings horizontally, the other vertically, crashing forward with a deadly intent.

COMBATSYS: Rosalind fails to counter Kamae Tachi from Fumiko with Iron Castigation EX.

[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Fumiko           0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Rosalind can no longer fight.

[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Fumiko           0/-------/-------|

As soon as the serpentine sword finds its mark, it begins rapidly recoiling through the car, desperately seeking its hilt as Rosalind sense the tidal wave crashing over the dam. Her teeth clench as the flood of emotion washes over her mind, the struggle to maintain control and defend herself from the threat to her physical being.

As Fumiko bears down on her, Rosalind's irises flash magenta. Her free hand sweeps off to one side, a faint glow matching the glint in her eyes surrounding it as her will begins to coalesce into force. Simultaneously, the sword, still loose but shortened to some six feet in length, snaps back as she prepares to thrash it against her oncomer.

Fumiko is faster.

Before she can execute her counterattack, Rosalind is cut across her body. The purple glow fades from her hand and eyes, her irises going cool and blue and wide. Her entire body goes rigid, shuddering, as she tries to force her feet to remain under her, her weapon dropping to the floor. Then, like a felled tree, she doubles over, collapsing to the ground, arms cradling her midsection, face barely held out of the dust and blood.

"I... yield," she breathes, before slumping yet further, rolling onto her side and exhaling as the detritus smears against her cheek and hair, her mind adrift in the flood waters while the excitement of the non-combatant passengers explodes like fireworks around her.

Fury, anger, regret and pride. A tide of emotion flowing out and away from Fumiko Abe in the wake of her final attack. Her hair hangs, white curtains in front of her wide and opened eyes. She is still. Both blades drawn and held down and out at her sides. Her chest rises and falls. The air around her crackles with potential.

And then it ends. Rosalind yields.

Tide goes in, and tide goes out. Fumiko's eyes close. And with it, she begins to close herself off. The blades are returned to their home. Her heavy breathing slows and steadies. With a toss of her hair and a brief touch, she combs it long and straight and away from her eyes once more.

Pride comes with the cheering of the crowd. Pride and radiant satisfaction. But it only sits on the surface. Regret and grief always remain. Regret and sorrow and pain ignored for the pride of skill and besting an opponent.

"Thank you for showing me your technique, miss Eisenschloss. It is very unique and impressive," Fumiko says, bowing her head just slightly before her opponent.

COMBATSYS: Fumiko has ended the fight here.

Log created on 11:36:16 06/09/2018 by Fumiko, and last modified on 12:01:34 06/22/2018.