Neo League 0120 - NL#0129: Fumiko vs Bob

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Description: A battle between the bulge and the bushido as swordswoman Fumiko Abe takes on American heavyweight Bob Richards. The two tango in an abandoned train station in Japan, a perfect platform for the trails that both of these combatants have before them in their pursuit of Neo League Fame.

Robert "Bob" Richards is uneasy. He is always a big man, but something more metaphysical weighs heavily on him following the incidents in Mexico. His walk is a bit slower than usual, more intentional. He scratches at his beard thoughtfully as he steps onto train platform through the double doors out front. Each footfall echoes through the mostly abandoned train station.

Despite his best efforts to help, he was derailed by some mercenary or another and kept from giving Kasumi the assistance she needed to help those kids. Even now he's not one-hundred percent certain of their fate, even as daring raids by Interpol, the Ikari Warriors, and others helped liberate many of the captives.

Powerlessness is not a new feeling to Bob. Even as a martial arts prodigy, he's had his share of struggles with opponents above himself. The battle with Vega, and the feeling that he stood no chance even after defeating that mechanical monster thrown at him still lingers. Bob, however, is not one to stand by an accept defeat.

And he's also not one to let these things tear him down and work on other people. Instead, Bob is here for one thing today: to have a good, clean fight with this newcomer. Iron sharpens iron, as the saying goes. If Bob wants to help next time, he must improve.

He rolls his neck and straightens his gloves, going through a quick stretching routine as he waits.

An easy victory. Too easy. The start of Fumiko Abe's journey in her second season as a Neo League competitor has been, to her, a lesser endeavor. A dirty child with potential, but a failed ego. She took a win as it came, but it left her hollow. And a hollowness not tempered by the rage of success she has otherwise felt.

But this new challenge, the next in her path, is one that is not an unknown, it is a figure of competitive skill that she simply did not face in her last run to the league finals. And thus, she looks forward to seeing the art form of a true competitor showcased against her own.

In white, hair white, she walks with a deliberate pace through the abandoned but not station. Her hair tied, flowing behind her as she shakes it clear and looks toward the big man that will prove her opponent.

"I am Fumiko Abe, I look forward to seeing what you have to show me. I hope that I shall not disappoint you," she introduces with a short bow. Her body loosens, but her eyes harden. She slips into her ready position, hand checking the hilt of her blade. The ascent has begun, but perhaps today is when the true climb begins.

COMBATSYS: Fumiko has started a fight here.

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Fumiko           0/-------/------=|

COMBATSYS: Bob has joined the fight here.

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Bob              0/-------/-------|>------\-------\0           Fumiko

Bob runs a hand through his hair and shakes his head, letting his curls realign just a bit. When Fumiko arrives, however, he straightens up to his full six feet and five inches of height, and Bob gives her a pleasant smile and a firm nod.

"You have quite the repetition preceding you, miss," Bob says, "I hope that I can provide you a suitable challenge, but I hope you won't mind if I go all out. Seems disrespectful not to against such high talent." Though some might take his words as a slight, the earnestness of Bob's delivery and the evenness of his tone seems sincere.

His shift into a fighting stance seconds the opinion. Bob's arms are held up in a tight, boxer-like stance and his feet are planted firmly apart like a karateka.

"I hope you're ready," he says, his excitement spilling into a smirk before he surges forward with downright deceptive speed for a man of his height and girth. Bob's first attack comes in a sweeping grab, his hand striking out like a claw to try and grab Fumiko's arm. If he does, he pulls her forward into a swift palm strike to knock her back, then tries for a yo-yo approach of a second pull that leads into a sweeping leg.

COMBATSYS: Bob successfully hits Fumiko with Quarter Deck.

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

A big man. And a polite one. Fumiko is significantly smaller than the girthy Bob. But his smile, his earnestness, and his talk of respect in going all out are all things that Fumiko appreciates to see in an opponent. Though part of her is surprised, that, of all the opponent's she has faced, it is a very round American that showcases the competitive spirit and politeness she was hoping for.

"Anything less would be an insult," she tells him, readying herself to take position and strike when the moment is right. But she is caught off guard. Bob is big, but he moves with a precision and speedy skill that she isn't expecting from someone with his frame. She can't get to her blade in time, she's grabbed and pulled into a sharp strike. A heavy blow leaves her reeling. And her small size is little to be pulled back and swept to the floor with a heavy and dull thud.

Left on the ground, Fumiko blinks. Simple, but direct and effective. She smiles. This, of all fighters, might be one that she can feel the flow of art with. She spins herself up and to her sneakers. She takes the moment, sweeping and striking with a wide, arcing scythe of a cut. Testing the waters of combat, and the mettle of the big man.

COMBATSYS: Bob endures Fumiko's Bamboo Splitter.

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

"I'll be honest," Bob says as he backsteps away. "I don't have much experience going up against swordfighters, but I'll give it my best shot." That pleasant smile returns again, especially as Fumiko vaults back into her feet. The blade comes in and Bob sidesteps, moving to intercept the blade with his mass. It tears into the orange shirt he's wearing and catches the flesh underneath, provoking a hearty grunt from the experience.

But even so, Bob uses the leverage of his positioning to pursue another opening. He steps up, raising his foot high, then aims to step against Fumiko's belly and kick her away with a strong forward kick before she has time to reposition.

"Nngh," Bob says, rubbing his side. "...yeah, swords are a new thing. This will take some getting used to."

COMBATSYS: Fumiko blocks Bob's Medium Kick.

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

"I used to bring wooden ones. I was told," Fumiko holds her tongue when she cuts. Slashing the air, taking part of the big man's mass with the razor edge of her blade. "It was dishonorable to the fighting community."

The close leverage is a style Fumiko is familiar with. Take the pain, use it to inflict more. She could respect Bob's approach. But she was ready for it. And much of Bob's strike is absorbed by the hard scabbard of her sword. She exhales sharply, feeling the shock of pain through the sheer force of the kick.

"Then allow me to demonstrate my art!" she calls out to Bob. A twist in her motion, two blades drawn as one. A heavy swing for Bob's midsection with twinned attacks. Short and long blade making a wave of metal for Big Bob's Belly.

COMBATSYS: Bob blocks Fumiko's Goryo's Wrath EX.

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

"Heh," Bob says in response to wooden swords, "some people do like to look a gift horse in the mouth, I guess." He's drawing away after the kick, recentering his stance and bouncing on his heels slightly without ever giving up too much of his footing.

For a moment, he thinks back to Yoshimitsu. The way his blade cut was...different. That creeping psychic power like Vega...but less wicked. Fumiko's sword is dangerous, but a different sort of dangerous. Finesse and raw strength instead of strange powers. Before he can linger further on the idea, she's barreling down at him with both blades at the ready.

The big karate fighter approaches it differently, this time. He somersaults forward into a rolling advance, surprising flexibility combining with his semi-round shape to give him good momentum as he tumbles. As he rises out of the Spinner Ball, he plants himself into a wide guard, catching the blades against his forearms as he moves in. There's still enough catch to draw some blood, but the severity is much less than if he'd taken the strike head on. In his next step he powers into a low gut punch, trying to wedge himself in too close for a counterattack.

"Such speed and precision...I'm really impressed!"

COMBATSYS: Fumiko interrupts Lyonnaise Break from Bob with Flashing Blade.

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

While many fighters have honed their instinctual command of chi into a flashy, vibrant combative power that many the world over adore to see splash and sparkle on their FightTube streams, Fumiko Abe's technique is pure and simple and direct. She has power deceptive to her size. She has precision and form. There may be others more spectacular, but Fumiko Abe would argue there are few more polished than she.

Bob rolls toward her, he's close, and very fast despite his size and shape. She's cut him, but not to where she needs to push him on the defensive. There must be a moment to strike. And she seeks it out.

He comes in close, low, to knock the wind from her. He compliments her. She sees her moment. Her blade flashes off the lights above.

Step through, and strike. Close, but not a hair on her hair touched. The reach of the blade, held at angle, slashing heavy across Bob's arm and chest. She steps through like water. Only the click of the blade locking into the scabbard to be heard in the smooth stroke.

"I have only begun," she contends. "But thank you. You're polite for an American."

"Hrgh," Bob's words are really non-words; a shapeless outpouring in response to the cut. Blade splashes from the wound on his arm, and his shirt sports another cut that's slowly darkening. Bob nearly tumbles over, taking a moment to inhale deeply, then exhale. His boot rises and falls as he nearly stumbles over, taking a moment to realign his footing.

"So I see," Bob says, wincing as he runs his gloves over the latest cut. "But don't worry--" his boots tap on the cement flooring as he recenters his stance. "I've still got a few tricks of my own."

Bob steps forward into a strong haymaker, throwing a grounded power punch that puts weight, strength, and karate technique into a sharp, resounding blow. It's a strong enough attack in itself, but the surprise comes in the follow-up.

Because right out of the punch Bob transitions from punch to hook, shooting in low with his other hand to try and hook Fumiko's arm, pull her forward and off-balance, then launch a simultaneous upward knee and downward elbow with Fumiko caught in the middle. Aiming for a momentary stun, Bob would then try and hook Fumiko's arm over his shoulder, apply pressure pressure swiftly to the below, then whip her around into a sweeping low kick trip.

COMBATSYS: Bob blitzes into action and acts again!

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

COMBATSYS: Fumiko dodges Bob's Fierce Punch.

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

COMBATSYS: Bob successfully hits Fumiko with Eye Opener.

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Bob              1/--=====/=======|=======\===----\1           Fumiko

If her opponent were so easily bested, Fumiko would not be impressed. She doesn't care to hold victory so easily. She needs to see challenge. More like the Darkstalker, more like Mike Bison. Each loss is a sign that there were others out there, others that could win. That maybe, maybe she couldn't have turned the tide had she picked up her sword to use in ways other than empty demonstration.

That, without her idleness, Kenji may yet be with her.

She steps aside the strike with a dead eyed stare to the middle distance. She isn't home right now, the moment out of her head. Disassociated from the combat around her.

Because of that, she isn't ready when the second strike comes, grabbing her, pulled forward against the knee. She coughs out, spittle and breath expelled from her lungs. She's lifted, twisted and hooked around. Left spun and scattered on the floor of the old rail station.

There she sits for a moment more. She shakes her head and spins up to her feet. Her breath is fast and scattered. Her eyes look around. Half in rage. Half in uncertain grief. Her hand grips the hilt of her blade. And then her eyes slam shut. Her breathing slows.

The moment to strike is not now. Not in this moment. She has to control herself, calm herself, and center herself. Her art must be perfect. She must be the warrior she is. The competitor she can be.

COMBATSYS: Fumiko enters a meditative state.

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Bob              1/--=====/=======|=======\====---\1           Fumiko

Bob steps back, heavy footfalls echoing briefly. He carries himself with agility, but there's only so lightly a man can move when he's Bob's size. He knows that he can't give her too much room. She's a dangerous opponent, dangerous enough to take on some of the best fighters in the league. Even so, Bob doesn't revel in putting the screws on someone. Even when he fought Vega's Cyborg, it was in the interest of protecting himself and helping those kids.

His gloves creak as he clenches his fists. He looks at Fumiko with concern, clenching his teeth for a moment.

"I hope you've not to deal with too many rude Americans," Bob says, "Someone with your skill deserves better. I mean," A pause, "Everyone does, but what I'm saying is you've earned your place in any match-up, if you ask me." Bob rubs his side again, wincing just a bit. He doesn't dig deeper for now, however, instead opting to move back into the fight. It only seems decent.

This time Bob goes in with a low elbow, aiming to crash into Fumiko's side before transition ing into a hip toss. It's got less finesse than some of the earlier manuevers, but it still has that dangerous combination of speed and weight.

COMBATSYS: Fumiko interrupts Combo Grapple from Bob with Kamae Tachi EX.

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Bob              2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|====---\-------\0           Fumiko

Silence there from the swordswoman. Fumiko Abe's breath steadies. Her hand loosens its grip on the handle of her long blade. She rests as still as the leaves before a storm front. At peace, she finds the moment stretching on into eternity. All the time in the world to consider her motions, her performance, her mistakes, and her losses.

She hears the creaking of his gloves. She hears the stepping of his heavy foot. She feels the lightness to him, despite his mass. She is impressed. He moves in ways that he shouldn't. He is negative space in physical form. A picture made by what is not there. But she cannot take the moment in time she finds herself within to be impressed with polite artistry. This is competition.

She visualizes herself in a rolling field. The sounds of a densely packed city all around her. Juxtaposition. But peace.

Bob is next to her. He hits her. Her eyes open. Flashes of steel, the short blade, a circular cut. Spinning away, her white hair whips like a cascading brush. She turns, cuts, turns again. She is a whirlwind, leaping back and forth, her body rolling about Bob's width, leaving slashing cuts in her wake. A dust devil. The weasel wind. A scything maelstrom that only ends with Fumiko present in the world once more, sheathing her short blade, face half obscured by the fall of long white hair over her eye.

Bob realizes a few fleeting moments too late that he's taken the bait. He positions himself for the counter attack, juggling offense with caution to try and leave himself in a better position. By not committing to either, he soon finds himself caught up in the whirlwind, a spinning set of slashes, both violent but someone tranquil. It's a finesse and artistry that's uncommon among many of the violent brawlers Bob has faced.

And the attack is enough to floor him in a slash of blood and a spit-filled cough. It takes him several moments to get back to his feet, planting his elbow and lifting himself up.

"Ugh...walked right into that one," he mutters under his breath. But in a moment, he's redoubling his efforts, respositioning to try and close the gap. He sprints in low and guarded, throwing himself forward to let his momentum carry him. He swings out with a sharp left, but feints into a right grab, going for another joint-lock. If he gets hold, he pulls into an upward elbow strike with the initial left, then an over-the-shoulder arm twist and elbow lock. Continuing his motion, Bob then tries to spin Fumiko in front of him, pivoting into a spin kick to the back.

COMBATSYS: Bob successfully hits Fumiko with Cooler Shaker.

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Bob              0/-------/<<<<<<<|=======\==-----\1           Fumiko

A moment lost in the rush and rage of conflict. She flit like the wind, and stepping out of it, she stands, herself open to the tidal action of combat. She has inflicted pain, but her opponent is like Bison in his physical intensity. Someone capable of a great deal of power and longevity. She isn't ready for him, or his speed, when Bob has opened himself to the power within.

The air is struck from her lungs. She jolts stiffly into the lock. Twisting forward, wrenched and wracked and sent forward with a violent kick. Pain and stars as she hits the floor with a short cry of pain and disbelief.

"Yes. This is your strength," she says, wincing under her wounded arm. She picks herself back up to her feet. Her eyes burn with a wild intensity. "Let me see everything you can fight with!" she calls out. She turns, dashes forward. A sharp, straightforward cut, violent in its intent, practiced in its form.

COMBATSYS: Bob blocks Fumiko's Fierce Strike.

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Bob              1/-------/<<<<<<<|=====--\-------\0           Fumiko

Bob short hops backward with a heavy thump. His breathing is labored and heavy, but he keeps his resolve. Fumiko has been everything he'd expect from a third place finish in the Neo League. Going up against combatants at that level as she did is evidence in itself that this fight would take everything Bob could muster. Even so, iron sharpens iron. This is the way to advance and improve.

The sweeping cut slashes in, and Bob puts up both arms in defense. He takes the brunt of the blow with his elbows, already cut several times over the course of the fight. As he does, he pushes forward, aiming to shove Fumiko back and off-balance. Riding that momentum forward, Bob shifts into a strong, two-handed palm strike. Vaguely like karate, it resembles sumo almost equal in its form.

"Same to you! Let's see your best!"

COMBATSYS: Fumiko blocks Bob's Granchi Cannon.

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Bob              1/------=/=======|=======\-------\1           Fumiko

A thrill as steel strikes flesh and bone. Fumiko's white outfit gaining streaks of red from her opponent. Underneath, her skin already showcasing a patchwork of bruising she will carry into the near future. This was a challenge. Her ascent is here. Her climb and proof that her positions in the League is well fought for and well worth it. All was in this moment as combatants draw their all against one another.

He moves in towards her. She twists. He claps his palms against the flat of her scabbard. The force drives her back, but the momentum of the mountain of a man drives him closer to him.

"Sumotori," she remarks, knowing smile on her face. She can feel the thrum of pain in her body. She knows the moment of truth is at hand. She focuses her all on her opponent. And comes the strike.

A single, fluid step. A blade. Petals of pink chi energy flit and flutter in the wake of the swordswoman. Her blade is sheathed. The cut has come. But has it hit its mark?

COMBATSYS: Bob blocks Fumiko's Intercepting Strike EX.

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Bob              1/-----==/=======|======-\-------\0           Fumiko

"You think so?" Bob breathes heavily, still managing to smile. "I draw most of my style from modified karate, with a few tricks mixed in," He takes several steps back, grinds his heels into the flooring, and readies to go again.

It was coming down to the wire. Bob could remember being under pressure against that assassin--mercenary? He could remember tournament matches before he redefined his body. The battle against the Russian afterwards. Many fights down to the wire, but each one with its own unique spirit.

Bob slides his heel along the floor, working up momentum. He rotates, working up a spin. Once, twice, three times before unleashing a power-hitting backwards tornado kick with all that momentum and weight he can muster.

COMBATSYS: Bob successfully hits Fumiko with Grater Langouste.

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Bob              0/-------/------=|=======\====---\1           Fumiko

Three strikes. Three heavy hits. Enough to push her down, back, to drop her to her knees. The blows where heavy, but they were artful. She was smiling as she falls to the floor. She could drift away. It could be over. She was beaten handily.

Fumiko Abe felt her pride stir inside of her. No. Not so simply. Not yet. It would not be over just yet. Her heart stirs and she rouses to her feet. She lashes for Bob. Her blade flashes. She cuts one way and another. A violent two bladed storm of a cut that brings with it all the rage and guilt and fury within her. She will not lose, she cannot, she must not relent until the last moment is gone.

But there is too much spent. Too much lost. And she lowers her blades in the wake. It is done. But it is not yet over. And she is happy in that one lingering moment.

COMBATSYS: Fumiko can no longer fight.

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

COMBATSYS: Bob just-defends Fumiko's Under A Setting Sun!

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

Bob lands from the kick with a traditional karate style shout, a kiai as a way of releasing the pent up energy. He takes several breathes to focus, waiting for that pivotal moment. Will Fumiko keep fighting? Will she concede?

It is the former, and it comes with all that grim determination that she has brought all throughout the fight in a storm of two-swords. It takes everything Bob can muster to not be taken down as well. He plants wrist against wrist to push one swipe away, capitalizing on Fumiko's blurred vision and the toll the fight has taken. Another slash is deflected by taking a superficial cut to knock the blade away from the side. Her skill is normally too great for these things, but she, like Bob, is running on fumes.

He catches the last swipe between both hands, lingering there until Fumiko's strength gives out. Bob continues to breath heavily, dropping into his knee.

"Good...good match. Lets go get patched up, eh? I think you and I may have some things to talk about too, if you're willing."

This woman has a lot of anger. Bob can feel it. Good natured, but angry. Maybe there's nothing he can do to help, but if there's any chance...he has to take it. Sometimes, he tells himself, you just can't leave well enough alone, can you, Bob?

Head bowed, hair a fan of white over face. Fumiko is silent. She slowly, determinedly, raises to her feet. She falters to the side. She catches herself. She sheathes her swords.

A rushing in her ears. Blood. Embarrassment. Grief. Relief and Rage all together pulse off of the woman in great waves of silent seething. That moment of peace is shattered. She lives. She hurts. She should be happy she lost. She lost again. To an American. A big, fat American. But the relief she expected, she had from losing Bison. It wasn't there. It was not the same feeling that washed over her, when she felt that maybe it was over. That she was not a fighter after all. Fumiko was absolved of that guilt. And now, now to lose felt a dagger in her pride.

She stands with her back to Bob. Her face low. Her chest shudders when she breathes. She sucks in a pained breath. Each bit of air met with screams of protest from her pain wracked ribs.

He asked her something. She knows that much, but the sound in her ears drowned him out. She turns her head, peering through a part in her hair. Eyes wide, red, her face drawn, damp. Sweat or tears, it is impossible to tell the difference even if there were. "Perhaps some other time," she speaks distantly, turning, leaving the field.

Each step away from the moment brings a clarity. By the time she has reached the edge of the train platform, she is composed. She ties her hair back. She is an artist, and form is her art. She has appearances to keep. But more than points on a board, the loss has shaken Fumiko Abe in a way she has yet to understand herself.

Log created on 11:30:12 11/10/2018 by Fumiko, and last modified on 02:09:24 11/11/2018.