The Bell Tolls - TBT Act 1 - Visions of Despair

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Description: With the gang violence happening locally and mysterious kidnappings happening overseas, teen hero and idol Athena Asamiya feels the inescapable pull of heroism once more. But before she can even rally the Psycho Soldiers together to stop this evil, said evil comes knocking upon her door. Literally. The Shadaloo Enforcer, M. Bison, descends on Athena quickly and violently, moving to simply punch her in the head until she stops moving. The reason: to kidnap her, just like the other children overseas.

There was an unsettling atmosphere throughout the globe. It was different than last year's UN-lead Gear invasion into the sovereign nation of Japan. That had been big, loud, and while confounding in its origin, unmistakable in its nature. It was war, clear and simple.

The events of late have been something else. Although no less traumatic for those affected, they aren't so wide spread, nor is it obvious what the connections are between them. Disappearances, kidnappings, rumors of something insidious afoot in Mexico. Grieving parents and worried loved ones are all over the news as stories about kidnappings continue to roll out of the United States.

More locally, the news feeds concern the increased presence of gang violence throughout Southotwn. Though innocent bystanders don't seem to be the target, the organizations that seem to be at war with each other are clearly not taking great measures to avoid collateral damage either.

The mood at the Southtown schools is pensive. It would be one thing if the spirited youth of the city knew who to direct their over-confident martial fury toward. It was easy to beat down the man-made weapons in the Gear incursion, after all, even if there were undoubtedly mistaken identities causing innocents to get harmed in the backlash back then as well.

But now? Coursework continues as usual, the teachers doing their best to maintain a sense of control over the increasingly distracted student body, but the minds of the students themselves are increasingly distracted with thoughts of trying to find a way to fight back against the gangs tormenting their city.

Athena Asamiya is no different. If anything, the atmosphere of uncertainty and undirected outrage in the schools is even more difficult to ignore. She can feel it in her classmates, she can see it in the faces of her teachers. People are scared... of something far larger than just the gang violence in the streets, yet just like herself, they don't know what it is they fear. In spite her training at keeping it all out, she can feel the emotions building around her, a suffocating cloud of anxiety that continues to build, worming its way into her own thoughts until she can take it no more.

Justice High nurses are no fools and the militaristic school has a reputation for busting fakers trying to shirk class by feigning sickness, but when Asamiya reports to the nurse's office, she has no problem convincing them that she should be excused for the remainder of the day. Pale with a slight fever, she is prescribed bed rest.

And so it is that Athena has left before the summer classes are out for the day, hurrying down the corridor out into the front of the school on the warm summer afternoon. Being outside, away from everyone else, helps a little as the girl pauses at the bottom of the large stone entry stares to take in quick breaths.

The mandatory uniform for Justice High students may make one female student look like the other at first glance - a black, button up blouse, long sleeved even in the summer, and a military orange skirt may not be the most flattering of outfits, but somehow Asamiya makes it work. Of course, her dark violet hair is a trait not shared by many students, worn long and straight down her back.

Sucking in another breath, she stands up straight, adjusting her shoulder bag, purple eyes focused on the sidewalk ahead that leads out to the street. Her off-campus home is not that far of a walk from here. Releasing a soft sigh, she starts along the way, pausing only long enough to fish out a large phone that she unlocks and peers at as she moves along, head down, attention on the screen, eyes flicking over the latest stories about the building trouble throughout the world.

It all has to be linked somehow... But what could possibly be common element behind all this trouble?

"Oh shit yeah! I get to kidnap a lady? Is she hot?"

A few moments later Mike Bison is informed who he is kidnapping. He is suddenly disappointed. "Oh, she is just a kid still. Why isn't the ninja poof being sent?"

He never got an answer really. He isn't going to really argue either because he is being paid and paid well for this job. He is still confused as to why he is being sent to Southtown still despite being told multiple times to stay the hell away from Japan in general.

He decides it is best not to think on things. Thinking isn't exactly his forte afterall. Despite that he knows where he needs to be and who he needs to kidnap. Athena Asamiya, not just a student that is adept with the use of psycho power, but also someone with quite a bit of fame to her name. Vega is very interested in her, but maybe not enough? The way the bossed talked about her he assumed a personal visit was in mind, but that wasn't the case.

Things are mostly silent as Athena makes her way towards her off-campus home. Time to let her sort her thoughts. Or at least for a few moments before there is something of an odd rumbling that is growing louder and louder.

Oh no....oh no..... "OH YEAH!" Mike Bison shouts as he bursts through the all of a nearby building that Athena is approaching. The big black boxer is just giving a dumb grin as he brushes debris off of each shoulder. "Hey girl! I'm the welcome wagon and I am here to take you on an adventure!"

The lone student slows to a stop, eyes lifting from the conversation scrolling by on the screen of her device well before her ears pick up any auditory cues of impending trouble. Standing still, both hands on her phone, Athena glances over her shoulder, focus lingering for a while behind her, tracing over the corners near the buildings. It's understandable to be on edge, with the way things are lately, but it's even harder to catch her, of all people, completely off guard.

Her attention shifts to the way ahead, coming to rest on a solid wall that most definitely does not feature any entrances or exits. Yet, anyway. A faint frown crosses her features as she lowers her phone in her left hand, her right hand reaching across the front of her to adjust how her shoulder strap hangs on her left shoulder.

In spite the lack of anyone in sight, she starts to take a step backward just as the sound of destruction starts to be heard. Her expression flicks to a state of open bewilderment, clearly aware of something coming yet unable to figure out from where right up until the moment bricks go flying out the path of Mike Bison's explosive entrance. Shock and awe register as Asamiya's first reaction while the new arrival takes time to brush pulverized stone from his shoulders as he hadn't just rendered a solid wall into fine powder by way of saying hello.

It seems impossible to her that she is this man's point of interest, but he clears up any uncertainty on the matter the moment he speaks. Black shoe-clad feet start to scramble backward as Asamiya shoves her phone back into her shoulder bag on reflex.

"I won't be going anywhere with you!" she shouts back, heart already racing. This isn't like the fights she practices at all, where friendly or at least professional words are exchanged, where she's given a moment to prepare herself, to unlock that wellspring of power harbored deep within.

"Don't you come near me!"

All the day dreaming of being prepared to fight off an ambush go out the window when faced with the vivid, real life exposure to the idea. She had never considered how confusing the initial shock of something like this would be, how elaborate plans or confident bravado can go right out the window the moment some huge man comes literally exploding through a brick wall!

COMBATSYS: Athena has started a fight here.

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Athena           0/-------/------=|

COMBATSYS: M. Bison has joined the fight here.

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Athena           0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0         M. Bison

The big boxer doesn't seem to really be listening to the shouts that he won't be touching her. Sure he won't be touching her in a naughty sense, but damned if she will deny his glove clad fists from roughing her up. He just sneers a bit and gives a roll of his eyes.

"Yeah yeah. Sounds like all the ladies. 'Oh no. You can't have this or that! I am big and strong!'." he says mockingly then limpwrists with one hand before giving a shake of his head.

"Look, this isn't like you got much of a say. You don't want to come quietly so you know what the alternative. Sorry, but not sorry. I was hoping you would resist."

Beating up a schoolgirl? Not his usual style, but it has been awhile since he got to throw fists so who is he to complain? At the same time he is taking Athena for granted. To him she is just a school girl. There is a reason why Vega wants him to kidnap her, but well he just figured it is just that whole weird fetish the boss has of wanting to be a young girl. Hey, you can't complain too much when he pays well.

"Now come here!" he surges forward and he gives a quick little jab right at Athena's jaw to give her a taste at what he can do and make her perhaps regret that fact she angered him enough to strike.

COMBATSYS: M. Bison successfully hits Athena with Light Punch.

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Athena           0/-------/--=====|-------\-------\0         M. Bison

He still has her attention when the powerful boxer first starts replying to Athena's protests, expressive purple eyes taking in the man's retort and the implication that he's an old hat at this kind of thing. But as he continues speaking, he might find that she's stopped paying attention to him all together.

Her posture has shifted, now standing up straight instead of recoiling, head bowed slightly, hands balled into small fists at her sides. And her eyes are closed, her expression losing layers of its alarm as a look of concentration overtakes her. At a glance, it might look like some kind of desperate attempt to ward off an impending panic attack considering everything that's happening around her all of the sudden.

A psychic pulse explodes out from around the small target. Given the amount of time Bison spends in the proximity of the most dangerous psychic monster in the world, he may be too inured to such things to notice the unseen, psionic presence radiating out from around the famous idol fighter as she breaks down the mental barriers she maintains to keep her own power in check. Senses heightened, awareness of the seething disregard the man sent to fetch her holds for his target, and of course, the ability to weaponize her power in an instant all become accessible... about a split second to late.

Her eyes do snap open just before his fist slams out, but in the face of the incoming speed and power behind the attack, there's simply no time to act. Struck in the jaw, the featherweight is sent reeling back along the sidewalk, feet skidding over concrete before she staggers a couple steps to catch herself and regain traction.

If she had never been in a fight, that blow alone, hardly possessing a faction of his true striking potential, very likely could have laid the uncooperative girl out cold. As is, the shocking sting of the impact is more than enough to clear her head of any lingering confusion about what is happening here. Eyes narrow as she shrugs her left shoulder, dropping her back to the ground, planting her feet in the process. Both arms sweep back behind her as vibrant, violet energy the same color as the energy utilized by the boxer's well paying employer, surges down her forearms toward her open hands.

In performance fights, she'd call out her signature technique's name loud and clear as she sweeps her hands back forward, Psycho Power trailing from her limbs as she does so. It's all about building a brand, an identity recognized and known throughout the world. It gets the audience engaged and fans inspired.

There is no such cry here, only the sound of air burning around her as her arms swish past each other, crossing in front of her, the collected energy in each hand smashing into a single sphere of vibrant power now hurtling back toward Mike Bison with the speed of a fast pitch.

If he has ever had the misfortune of being the boss man's sparring partner, maybe he'll be familiar with the kind of pain behind the young woman's incoming projectile - searing, not physically but mentally, it is the power of ideas and emotions forged into a weapon every bit as formidable as his piston-like punches, and right now it is hurtling for his chest!

COMBATSYS: Athena successfully hits M. Bison with Psycho Ball.

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Athena           1/-------/=======|===----\-------\0         M. Bison

There is a thing working for Vega. Bison is all too familiar of the odd power the big man wields and over the years working for him he has learned to sort of sense that odd power in his own way. Maybe because it tingles in a different way than the energy that other fighters use. He could tell Yoshimitsu was an odd more ways than one.

And after that fist connects he finds that release of energy coming his way. He can be swift on his feet, but he is in a position it is best to buckle down and just try to absorb the ball of energy. That ball of energy quickly makes him realize why Vega wants this girl.

The energy impacts and despite getting his arms up it does little and the blast sends him staggering back severals steps and he barely manages to keep himself upright. "Shit, okay now I got what this is all about."

He cricks his neck and takes a moment to regain his footing before he surges forward. Athena may want to keep him at a distance, but he isn't going to make that an easy thing to do. He is big and beefy, but he can move quickly and she already knows those fists are something to avoid.

"Beep beep! Here comes the Bison train!" he shouts as he just comes in with a bit straight punch looking to slam into Athena's chest.

COMBATSYS: Athena blocks M. Bison's Running Straight.

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Athena           1/----===/=======|===----\-------\0         M. Bison

The follow through of the unleashed projectile has Asamiya leaning forward, arms crossed in front of her for a moment, head lifted so that her eyes never lose track of her opponent. The Psycho Ball collision generates no sense of satisfaction on her part, no false impression that the one attack alone would be enough to lay out this attacker.

But it's a start.

The nature of Athena's violet hued power might give Bison an idea of what this is all about, but the teenaged fighter is still just as clueless as when he first burst into view. The only difference between then and now is that she's no longer letting it distract her. This is a fight unlike any other. This isn't about a performance, a show, entertaining a crowd. It's the ugly, unmentioned relative of the fights she normally does - it's beat or be beaten, nothing less.

Stray sparkles of that violet power trail from her finger tips as she recovers, pulling her arms back across the front of her while Bison regains his footing. Sucking in her breath, she roots herself in her well practiced Kung Fu stance, a posture that affords her the chance to be evasive, attack, or simply try to weather the storm depending on what is coming her way.

In this moment, what is coming her way is a whole rocket fuel powered fist and right behind it, the strongest boxer in the world, delivering all of his striking power and expertise in a blow leveled straight for the girl's sternum.

Her arms whip into position as she bunkers down and simply tries to survive the blow. Like his opening jab, the impact sends the girl reeling over the concrete, though this time her stance allows her to correct or it, leaning forward to offset her momentum without losing her balance even as her arms flail out at her sides, her guard well and truly shattered by the superior force.

A cry of alarm echoes off the street before she finally finishes righting herself, a powerful, painful throbbing numbness surging through her forearms, the long, black sleeves concealing the bruises already there - mirrors of the scraping mark on the side of her jaw from his first introductory punch.

Somewhere over the rushing roar of adrenaline in her head is awareness that he threw out a name - Bison. A student of fighting herself, the name is not unknown, attached as it is to one of the more famous deaths in sanctioned combat since the explosion of professional fighting. How all the pieces fit together is still a mystery to her, but at least she has an identity to attach to the man.

Gritting her teeth, Athena doesn't shirk re-engaging him directly, rushing in to meet the man's momentum, her right hand enveloped by a surging sphere of Psycho Power. Surrender is not an option, giving in to the pain of his strikes cannot be allowed. Is not this thug representative of the very kind of evil she has always said she would stand against?

She ducks in low, sweeping her arm out to her side before springing upward, right arm slicing upward through the air, attempting to clip the man with her psionic gauntlet. If not prevented, the nimble fighter would suddenly vanish at the apex of her ascent, reappearing in the air directly behind Bison as she stomps out with both of her feet in order to launch herself even higher up.


The power coursing over her right arm has only continued to blossom, becoming a sun of violet, crackling energy as Asamiya raises it over her head... then swings her hand down, directing a meteor of Psycho Power directly for Bison, attempting to crater the man into the concrete!

COMBATSYS: M. Bison endures Athena's Athena Explosion EX.

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Athena           0/-------/-======|=======\-------\0         M. Bison

There certainly isn't anything pleasant about Bison. The way he is grinning and doesn't seem to have a care in the world he is punching a high school girl is proof enough of that. As to why he is doing it? The only real way to possibly find out is being captured and that is probably not high on the priority list for Athena.

"You know. For a small little chick you can take a punch. Kind of glad about that. Now I know I don't have to pull my punches anymore." Those words are probably alarming. If he has been holding back so far there is good reason why he has the reputation he does. He may not have any fancy energy or a facinating style, but his pure, unadulterated power is a spectacle itself.

"So I...." The big man gets little time to say much more. Athena isn't attempting to run, but instead come right at him. He just grins and steps forward to meet her. Only she disappears at the last moment and leaves Bison utterly confused. "What in the hell? Where did...."

He spins about with arm cocked back ready to punch, but then his gaze travels upwards to see Athena and that blast of energy just around the time she looks to bring it down on him. She is much too fast and there is little option other to stand his ground. "BRING IT!" he roars and actually punches at the energy that comes crashing down onto him.

The punch doesn't do anything and the force is driving him to the ground as the concreate under his feet spiderwebs and starts to be pushed downward along with the big boxer. He shouts loudly with a mix of defiance and pain when being enveloped by the blast before it finally fades away.

Breathing heavily and driven to his hands and knees inside the crater created by the blast and his own weight being pushed to the ground Bison just looks enraged as he slowly starts to get back up. A boon perhaps for Athena as he probably isn't as focused as before, but at the same time getting caught by the raging bull that is Bison will be very very bad news.

"Tch, you bitch. Think that fancy shit is going to take me down and everything is going to be fine?" he growls a bit and surges forward once more. A big punch looking to slam into Athena's gut to knock the air out of her before a his left comes upwards in a uppercut to the jaw. The final blow is a powerful straight much like the one he tried to deliver earlier. "I'm gonna cave your face in and your next show can be at a freak show!"

COMBATSYS: Athena dodges M. Bison's Hard Pressure.

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Athena           0/-------/-======|======-\-------\0         M. Bison

The momentum of her ascent leaves Athena lingering airborne for a moment, though it'd be all but impossible to even see her what with the car-sized Psycho Power bomb plunging out of the sky toward Bison. And of course, as the psionic boulder rolls down toward him, she can't see him either, can't see the defiant way he punches into her attack, as if demonstrate his lack of fear of whatever she can muster...

But she can sense it. That defiance. The reckless disregard for her power echoed in his roar as she falls back to the ground herself, knees bending slightly as she lands a few meters away, long hair falling into place against her back a split second later. She's landed facing the beast of man who's temper she has managed to inflame with her attacks. The flare of rage within him is felt even across the distance, not as a physical sensation but one more bordering on empathy, and as he rises to his feet, she stands up straight as well.

It's always a risk in her fights, the way she forms those psychic connections with the opponent she faces. That unseen, barely perceptible tether can be an asset - it gives her insights, flashes of inspiration. It can fuel her own excitement and energy, an echo of the thrill of the fight her opponent feels. But it also has dangerous side effects.

As Bison's temperament flares, so too does that of his smaller target. The girl's teeth grit, her hands clenching into tight fists. When he first burst into view, she was completely overwhelmed with surprise. When he socked her in the jaw, she found herself jarred into focus. Now, though, she feels something else - anger. This rage is different than the self-loathing implosion of seething antipathy she echoed in the presence of the monster known as Urien. This was something else - it burned red hot. It was directed outward rather than inward, fueling an ember of fury building toward the menace shouting something back at her.

She barely processed his words, his threats, his violent implications, but she understands them because the feeling behind them is far harder for the young psychic to miss.

Her expression, her posture shifted into one of indignant rage at the threats hurled her way. "If you value the one brain cell you have left, you had better start running!" she exclaims back, the words bursting forth before she even realizes what she's saying.

He rushes in, aiming to make good on his face crushing threat, and she moves as if on auto-pilot. The speed she demonstrates is remarkable, but the timing is what is truly exceptional, acting too fast to have been waiting to see what he would do. Her evasion is fueled not by foresight, not by a glimpse of what was to come, not even by instinct. She moves around his strikes simply because she knew, in that brief moment, what she would do if she were him.

She twists around the blow toward her stomach, the fist nearly the size of her torso just narrowly missing her in the process. She leans back under the uppercut, his hand swishing through the lengths of her hair but failing to connect. And then when he aims to finish with that devastating straight of his, she's simply gone, a flurry of violet sparkles left while the young fighter instantly reappears two meters behind Bison, echoing after images of her instantaneous relocation the only clue as to where she had gone.

She takes to the air in an instant, springing up with all the talent of an acrobat prodigy, before tucking herself forward into a ball and diving right back down toward Bison. Of course, the threat of a hundred pound girl tumbling into him is hardly any threat at all, but the corona of violet energy that envelops her the instant she surges toward him might be.

As before, there is no crowd pleasing (or cringing) cry of her technique's name as she attempts to crash directly into Bison's chest, subjecting him to the surging aura of Psycho Power swelling around her. And if successful, she'll transition into a handspring kick targeting the much larger opponent's forward knee, attempting to use the impact not only to stagger him but also to serve as a springboard to launch herself back away from him!

COMBATSYS: M. Bison fails to interrupt Phoenix Arrow from Athena with Screw Smash.

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Athena           1/------=/=======|=======\-------\0         M. Bison

All that power thrown behind that punch and it seems Athena is smart to get out of the way. She ducks and weaves better than any boxer he faced in the ring and that final straight finds not Athena but the nearby wall that explodes indwards from the sheer force behind his blow and begins to collapse. "Tch..."

Bison has to step back to keep from having any debris fall on him as he turn about. "Think you are some hot stuff. Hah. come on girl. Even if you get me others will come. The boss wants you and he tends to get what he wants." He still won't give way to who he is working for. There is no need to. She will find out eventually. Perhaps not tonight, but maybe the day when Vega himself comes calling if he desires Athena's power that much.

He shows no fear when she comes careening right towards him at high speed and enveloped in psycho power. Showing fear is weakness and Vega will not tolerate that. That is why Bison just glares and rears back with a fist as Athena looks to impact square in his chest.

He starts to throw the fist forward, but Athena comes in more quickly than he anticipated. His eyes bulge and rubs crack from the impact as he is taken off his feet and sent flying into the crumbling side of the building he just punched in an attempt to take the girl down. The building rattles and starts to come down to bury the boxer under it. Athena should feel relief, but that anger she could feel from earlier is still there. An overwhelming outward rage that wasn't quashed at all with Bison being buried under that rubble.

Debris flies everywhere again as Mike Bison bursts free and he starts to fight his way out of the remains of the building. "Not enough! Come and get it! You're going to have to kill me little girl, but you don't have the guts!"

One thing's for sure - no one is going to be able to look at the aftermath of this encounter and not realize that a battle took place here. More brickwork is sent flying as Bison tumbles into the already damaged structure. It seems the building has had enough of this, however, and attempts to retaliate with a collapse on top of the brutal boxer.

Having landed her launch-off kick, Athena comes out of a back flip to land on her feet, standing up straight again to look toward the pile of rubble now occupying the space by the powerful man. As the dust of obliterated stone starts to clear, giving her a clear view of the mound, the sight suggests that she can relax. That she can let down her guard a little. She's done enough.

But the backlash of emotion she had been feeding off when launching into her last attack is still there. Inferno hot and threatening to scorch everything around it to ash. The intensity builds as another explosion of bricks removes all lingering doubt as to whether or not her attacker still had it in him to come after her.

Chopping aside a stray brick that almost catches her in the head, she clenches her hands again, teeth still grit, lips drawn back a little as she glares violence back at Mike Bison. She will hurt him again, she tells herself. She will take him down. And then she will make him talk. And if he won't talk, then she'll take down the next one to come after her. And then the one after-

His words scythe through her maelstrom of thoughts, his declaration refusing to be ignored.

He won't stop coming unless she kills him...

This isn't a contest. This isn't a show. There isn't a point where both fighters, having given it their all, agree that the match has ran its course and it's best to stop there. The impact of what he is saying hits the girl like a hammer, cutting through the thoughts of burning anger like a wave of ice cold water. Visibly, the girl recoils, right hand drawn up as if to ward off the idea of it, her mouth opening in protest then closing without managing to let a single word surface.

If she beats him now, will he just keep coming? Will she have to watch every step she takes, check every corner? If not him, what of the others he promised would come? Is this the type of situation Kain Heinlein had warned her when she encountered the enigmatic man on the road to victory in the King of Fighters tournament? That stepping into this world - this violent world of monsters and the heroes who stand against them - would require such drastic action?

Maybe that's right. Maybe that's what it takes. The rage broiling off of the man fills her own soul with the desire to lash out, to exercise that strength of hers. What is the point of power if she can't use it to protect herself to the utmost degree? Why hold back? The young woman's eyes flash with an uncharacteristic ruthless resolve as she stands up straight, hands white-knuckle tight.

"Do you really want to find out?"

A storm erupts around Athena Asamiya, a whirlwind of violet energy forming a burning aura at her feet. Even in the bright, noonday sun, the power casts an illuminating glow against the ground and walls around her.

"If I have the guts." she snaps, presence building. "To..." To kill him. To take a life. Intentionally. Is it justified? Even in self-defense? The only time she ever thought someone had died as a result of her combat skills was on the island of the damned, where the embodiment of murderous intent plunged into the abyss right after trying to pulverize her into a bloody smear... But that had been his own doing, not hers.

This was something different. This was murder - the deliberate taking of life. Maybe she could do it. Maybe she could unleash a powerful enough storm of Pscyho Power to utterly annihilate the psyche of a living human being. But is that who she is?

No. No, get control, this isn't the way she thinks, this isn't her emotions and feelings. Focusing, she steels her mind against the influence of the violent man. She needed to stop him first. Then... then she could figure out what to do next, when her mind had cooled from its current cacophony of violent intent.

She's taken too long, in that there can be no doubt. But at the same time, the ambient energy around her crackles with dangerous potential. Only the very bold or very foolish would try to brave the storm!

"You'll see! I can stop you in my own way!" the youth exclaims back from within the eye of her own storm.

COMBATSYS: Athena issues a challenge!!

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Athena           1/------=/=======|=======\-------\0         M. Bison

COMBATSYS: Athena focuses on her next action.

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Athena           1/------=/=======|=======\-------\0         M. Bison

Battered, bruised and some blood trickling from the corner of his mouth. Bison has been in worse shape, but it doesn't make it any easier to keep going when he has had a whole damn building dropped on him. He is moving purely on adrenaline. And even if the punches aren't all landing it seems he is getting getting some hits in with his words.

There is more a sneer on his face than anything. Stopping him her own way? "Then what? How long can you stop me? You think the cops are going to be able to contain me? I'll kill a man to escape without a problem. Once you kill someone it becomes a lot easier. Take it from an expert kid. It is a good life lesson." He says and that sneer turns into a grin.

"You self righteous types all the same. That makes it more fun when I do get to punch you types out." His rage glowing red hot and needling at Athena even as she stands her ground. She is brave, but she may be foolish to not run away right now. Bison is standing, but could he give chase for long? Anger and adrenaline only lasts so long. Lingering is a dangerous thing.

It seems Bison was done talking. He steps forward. His movement starts slowly at first, but then he starts to pick up momentum as he looks to quickly close the distance between himself and Athena. He rears back once more, but this time the first blow is more of a feint to throw Athena off. Something possibly distracting enough she might not notice the big left cross looking to slam into her side. "Stop me! COME ON!"

COMBATSYS: Athena interrupts Body Blow from M. Bison with Psychic Attack EX.

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Athena           1/-======/=======|=======\===----\1         M. Bison

The police can't stop him? It does seem like a credible threat. How would they contain someone who can punch through brick walls with his fists? How would they secure someone who could undoubtedly burst through restraints with muscle force alone? Athena blinks at his declarations, balking at the assertion that there is so much blood on his fists he doesn't think twice about taking a life.

Was that death in the boxing ring just the first of many? Pundits at the time called it an accident - surely no successful boxer would throw away his career on such senseless slaughter. But now she can't help but wonder if the murder that hit the new years ago was intentional. Given what she's seeing now, it could be. And he still intends to pulverize her with those same fists.

She exhales. She has to focus on the energy she's building. Forging willpower into a weapon made manifest is not a trivial feat even for one who has been tutored in such things, who has put so much effort into mastering it. Losing concentration could mean a very painful backlash. And opportunity to strike back.

He may have a point. But right now she just needs to drop him. Then she can figure out what to do next. Her hair billows about her shoulders, drifting on the visible psychic currents churning about her. He charges in to attack her in spite the presence of so much power around the girl. She knew he would, but even as he does so, she can't help feel a flicker of surprise at the abject recklessness with which pursues another opportunity to drive his fist into her.

She can think clearer now that she's fighting back the influence of his own anger, mastering that empathetic link that empowers her so without succumbing to the dark influences of the monster dispatched to collect her by any means necessary.

It's when he's in close that she reacts, sucking in her breath and with it, drawing all of the ambient psionic energy back into herself, her body wreathed in Psycho Power as Athena attempts to drive her shoulder into her attacker's stomach. As before, the physical threat is limited, but barreling straight into her shrouding aura of Psycho Power is not so easily shrugged off.

She thought to intercept him before his first blow, not knowing enough about the art of boxing to predict the left cross that he had chambered. Now that she isn't letting her own mind be contaminated with the burning hot anger that powers him, she isn't able to anticipate attacks that are less directed with the same ease.

She almost escapes his fist like before, but the teleportation happens a split second too late, leaving time enough for his hand to smash into her side with unstoppable kinetic force right before she vanishes.

She reappears behind him, stomping out with her feet against his upper back and shoulders, using his broad body as a means to launch into an evasive backflip away from him. The true threat of his strike only registers as he lands and sharp agony surges into her body. A cry escapes Athena's lips as she leans to the right, her right hand going to press against her side where her ribs were crunched by the blow. Staggering back a few steps, mouth agape, she finds herself speechless and breathless as she looks back toward Bison.

Her mouth moves as if to speak, but no sound comes forth as she starts to backstep away, hunched over a little and leaning to the right. It seems Bison managed to mute the idol singer for a moment, at least, as Athena's lungs try to remember how to do their job again!

Sadly it is not the time to ask questions such as if that death in the ring was an accident that lead to a downward spiral that created the man Athena faces today. Mike Bison was always known to have a bad attitude, but being a jerk and being a killer is very different. Right now she should more care about avoiding his fists.

He feels his gloved fist slam into the side before she quickly vanishes and the the swing goes through the air. "Dammit! Stop that!" he shouts right before she reappears and slams her feet hard into his upper back and sends him forward where he leaves his feet to slam onto the concreate face first. The impact isn't as hard as the previous ones, but at this point he is already running on fumes so he is slowing down that fiery aura of rage she can feel is lessening. He can keep shouting he is unstoppable, but she is slowly chipping away.

Back to his feet the boxer rises and he turns about. He points a gloved hand at her and he gives another evil grin. "Yeah it hurts don't it? Don't worry, I can do far worse. Just you wait."

He has no energy to speak of to use like Athena, but there is something off as he stands there. The rage that was starting to lessen starts to spike up again. His muscles seeming to bulge larger as he stands his ground and he takes a few deep breaths. He just stares at her with that big grin on his face. An unsettling look as he just starts to slowly step forward towards her. "Here comes the pain train."

COMBATSYS: M. Bison gathers his will.

[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////                      ]
Athena           1/-======/=======|=======\=======\1         M. Bison

The agony in her side makes her eyes water, blurring her vision of the battlefield every bit as bad as if he had socked her in the nose. Blinking her eyes to try and clear them, she keeps her right hand pressed against her side, cheeks flushed red from the pain delivered by a single, solid punch from the behemoth of a fighter. There is no doubt that were more of his blows landing, the teen fighter would have been debilitated almost immediately. But she hadn't gotten this far as a fighter just on being able to fling the kind of energy she does. Playing hard to hit, keeping stronger fighters from getting their hands on her or being able to land blows, all critical elements to her success as a competitor. And, in this case, as a survivor.

He taunts her again as her lungs begin to fill with much needed oxygen, first by way of gasping breaths but quickly by way of more controlled breathing. She has to fight through the pain, she tells herself. She has to stand up to this thug. Already, the ideas born in anger of killing him as a means of solving her problem have been suppressed. That wasn't who she was.

But as he builds up his own power, almost seeming to become physically larger simply by amplifying his presence, Athena does likewise. Like before, she builds a storm, will projected into a swirling maelstrom of Psycho Power around her form.

"You're," she gasps out, inviting a new resurgence of pain just by moving. "Out of chances."

The idol Justice High student raises her arm up over her head, finger pointing, providing a focal point for all the manifested energy to collapse into. Surging, responding to the exercise of a will that would not be broken, the massive display of Psycho Power is compressed into a small singularity no larger than a soccer ball, the violets becoming so dark as to border on black due to the intense concentration of power.

"And now you fall!"

Athena swings her arm forward, finger pointing toward Bison, and as if responding to a command, the hyper compressed Pyscho Power launches toward him, a sniper's round of energy beyond the capacity of all but a very few people alive to generate.

A storm of scattered dust surges up in its wake, and the air around it is displaced, creating a localized sonic boom as it rushes back in to try and fill the void left by the speeding bullet on collision course, in inexorably, with Mike Bison.

COMBATSYS: M. Bison fails to interrupt Shining Crystal Bit+ from Athena with Crazy Buffalo.

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

COMBATSYS: M. Bison can no longer fight.

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

Ever defiant Bison continues forward. That build up of pyschopower about her would probably make most people want to run away. Bison works for Vega and he has seen what psycho power can do. Athena has a good grasp of mastery of it, but it is nothing that Bison has felt when near the leader of Shadaloo when he decides to unleash his terrifying power.

"Suck my fist!" He roars and surges forward looking to plow right through that energy and try to slam his fist into Athena. As tough as he is he just can't fight against the energy and while there is some resistance at first, the blast eventually wins and picks the big boxer off his feet and sends him flying away at high speed.

Someone's Dodge Ram better be insured because Bison slams into it and the metal gives way and wraps around him and is almost ripped in half from the impact. The rage that Athena can feel is fading away quickly now. It seems this time perhaps it was enough to stop Bison.

He is down, but he still breathes. For now the pop star has earned a moment of peace, but there is the sound in the distance and in the night sky she can see a copter heading this way. One that may be friend or foe, but far enough she has time to get away instead of finding out.

Athena holds her position for several seconds, leaning forward slightly, right hand out, finger still pointing. It takes well past ten seconds for her hair to settle back down against her back, and twenty more seconds for the currents of driven Psycho Power around her to wane, for the dusty wake of the precision fired Psychic Bit to fade. Breathing fast, perspiration rolling down her cheeks, Athena doesn't move, violet eyes fixated on the mangled metal mess where Mike Bison came to rest.

It was a brazen move to go charging clean into the attack that she's used to lay out many a fighter, but with every step, every charge, he demonstrated that either his loyalty to his employer supersedes his survival instincts... or he's more afraid of the one who sent him than the small psychic fighter he faced.

Whatever the truth might be, it's clear that somehow she's survived this encounter. Slowly, her arm lowers, the girl standing up, her right hand moving to press against her side. A wince of pain accompanies the motion. Running at full speed was not likely to be an option after that body blow. But now? Now she has time. And that approaching chopper is cause enough to simply retreat.

Taking a few uncertain steps back, she bends her knees to reach her shoulder bag with her left hand, hefting it up onto her shoulder, never once taking her eyes off the twisted metal wreckage Bison is using as a futon at the moment.

More steps backward are taken, putting greater distance between them, before finally she turns and hurries as best her cracked ribs will allow her, casting furtive glances over her shoulder as she hurries back toward Justice High.

Maybe Southtown police would be in over their head trying to secure a beast like Mike Bison. But the halls of Justice High are patrolled other students as proven in combat as she is, and of course there's the ursine-like Principle that lords over the school all together. For now, retreat back to school seems to be her only recourse as she finally fishes out her phone with a shaking hand.

COMBATSYS: Athena has ended the fight here.

Log created on 18:33:19 07/14/2018 by Athena, and last modified on 23:35:51 07/15/2018.