P-BBB 2018 - P-BBB 2018 - Train Slayer 2000

[Toggle Names]

Description: With the release of Train Simulator 2019, the series has recently been analyzed as possible integration for the MotM setting, with the volume of train stations in the grid matching well with the volume of train stages in fighting games in general. However, to confirm that this will work with the playerbase, we need Chun-Li to act as the Mr. Conductor for the Shining Time Station within Sunshine City. But rather than Thomas the Tank Engine, a different sort of rail work comes in the form of I-No. But will the witch be the one unleashing her destructive rage on the trainyard, or will Chun-Li finally have enough of the train narrative? We'll never find out, because instead of any of this happening, I-No summons an enormous Gear fueled by suffering and regret and leaves Chun-Li to confront it before it can grow out of control.

On some level, it's beginning to feel like Chun-Li lives in the Sunshine City Trainyard.

It's ridiculous, of course: she has an apartment in Southtown and had a rental in Sunshine City when she was tasked to help keep a lid on gang violence. She spends plenty of time in the gym or in sparring rings, and occasionally manages to steal time for clubs, music, and movies. And then there was her extended stay in a secret laboratory under the tender care of Shadaloo which ended just a week or so ago-- and began directly after her /last/ trip here.

Nothing good has ever come of being here, and yet she can't seem to avoid it. Her /first/ trip was televised, a title challenge against King of Fighters runner up Duke Burkoff that took a sharp turn into an interrogation before /she/ took a hard fall towards a narrow defeat at the Syndicate brute's hands. The second, a response to an emergency call as Ryuji Yamazaki murdered his way out of police custody; even after managing to stop Yamazaki, the injuries he inflicted on her were enough to keep her at bay when Syndicate soldiers showed up to secure his continued freedom with guns and a getaway car. The third trip was her last-- before this one, anyway.

At least there aren't any cameras /or/ professional obligations here today, just the promise of an exhibition match on behalf of PanzerBattle:Brawl or Bust, a fledgling independent fighting organization with a focus on hard-hitting competition and heavy metal. The Trainyard - which sees occasional at best use for moving guns, drugs, and worse in and out of Sunshine City - has been set up to accommodate PB:BB's needs: several dilapidated locomotives form a circle around a fighting ring set up on a stage. Pyro periodically flares around the ring while Chun-Li idly stretches with a foot on the second rope. Train cars have been repurposed into seating, enough to fit a few hundred drunk and rowdy fans. Another hollowed out car serves as a makeshift tunnel over part of the track that leads from station to ring. Distorted guitars blare through the sound system in harmony with the pyro bursts, but there's no band in sight; another show, perhaps, when the budget's a little higher.

Chun-Li's in a blue tactical vest that's unzipped to reveal a midriff-baring Motörhead shirt, blue and black camo pants, and black combat boots. Electric blue's been worked into broad, dramatic pops around her eyes. Black lips and nails match the black leather around her wrist; the metal spikes jutting from those bracelets are unmatched. The name, plus the particular mixture of tanks and skulls adorning the invitation she received made it difficult to figure out what /kind/ of heavy metal to shoot for.

At least the name opposite of Chun-Li doesn't seem too alarming. It doesn't even seem familiar, really: some 'Miss X.' The no-name opponent plus the newbie fighting organization plus the heavy gimmick themeing means that, with some luck, Chun-Li will be pulling her punches against some amateur big fish recently tumbled out of their small pond.

A major downside is the sound system. They're clearly trading quality for noise, probably to cover up that they couldn't pay for quality. The wailing guitars regularly dance on the wrong side of the speakers' limits, hinting at the presence of someone drunk, high, incompetent, or unable to give a fuck (or any combination thereof) on the soundboard.

Chun-Li is left waiting with nothing but the increasingly rowdy crowd and the increasingly unintelligible music. Empty solo cups go flying onto the stage as multiple people try and fail to get coherent chants started. Sometimes it's frighteningly logical to hope for the sudden appearance of someone who wants to kick the shit out of you, but Miss X is frustratingly absent.

The speakers briefly (and mercifully) die as the tracks go to switch again. There's a longer pause this time, which the crowd immediately picks up on and begins screaming louder. The silence continues for an agonizing several seconds longer before a tone wails on -- weirdly clear, weirdly vibrant, very not like anything before it. It's not unusual for songs to start with guitar solos, but this one is abruptly indulgent.

"Are you fucking worms ready to CRAWL?!"

The pyros all go off at once, larger and fiercer than before. The belching fire and smoke makes it difficult to tell from whence came the woman floating down to alight upon the stage, guitar in hand and disembodied angel wings floating alongside her.

"That's right, you putrid shits! You wanna see blood, you gotta SCREAM FOR IT!"

The woman touches down, red boots on the ring. The angel wings float off, disappearing into little sparkles of light and a few pink hearts. It's really difficult to tell if the bondage witch outfit is supposed to be for the show or not. Whatever the answer may be, her wide-brimmed hat obscures her face until she tilts her head up to fix Chun-Li with a wide-eyed grin.

"Hey, Xiang. You ready to get your sweet ass dragged through hell?"

COMBATSYS: Chun-Li has started a fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Chun-Li          0/-------/------=|

COMBATSYS: I-No has joined the fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Chun-Li          0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0             I-No

XIANG FACT #56: Chun-Li does not pull her punches with amateurs. This is a habit she picked up from her sifu, Gen, a horrible old man/wise family friend.

A quiet sigh escapes the stretching woman's lips as blissful silence falls over the arena. The odd solo cup flies by as her pre-fight prep sees her swaying this way or that, just enough to avoid contact. Waiting isn't a big deal, especially without the music. It's a startup organization; scheduling errors are to be expected. Unreliable competitors are an acceptable risk.

Brutally charismatic show-women are, as in any other corner of the fighting world, always a possibility, so the waiting doesn't make her anxious anymore than Miss X's appearance does-- though the pyro makes her tense for a beat, close as one of the sparkling columns is to her left ear.

Stretching continues through that beat and beyond it, but brown eyes affect a languid turn so they can take the woman in red in. Years of tourney and law enforcement experience come to the fore as she does her best to skim Miss X over like she's just whatever amateur this amateur-hour operation could find to throw in the ring with her-- just a report to be ground through and filed away before dinner. Just skin and attitude, bravado and style.

And floating, and angel wings. Spontaneous light shows and pink hearts.

And recognition, and a savage grin--

When Chun-Li finally gets a look at the witch's eyes - not just fearless, but /gleeful/ - her polite but wholly disinterested smile goes taut and grows-- through the threat, it grows, until there's a flash of pearly white.

"You're welcome to try, X," she replies while setting her foot on the ground and sliding into her stance, "but I'm feeling like today's /my/ turn to do the dragging."

Then she leans forward, slightly-- and she's gone.

And then she is distinctly /not/ gone, because she's right there in front of Miss X, attempting to drive her fist into the other woman's stomach.

"I'll be gentle, since you're new!" she promises. "Ish!"

COMBATSYS: I-No auto-guards Chun-Li's Fierce Punch.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Chun-Li          0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             I-No

There's something eerie about X's eyes. What that is only becomes apparent when Chun-Li is close enough to see that they're changing color, shifting wildly between hues both plausibly natural and wildly unreal. It's not something that contacts can do.

Chun-Li blurs into action while the mystery woman holds fast at her starting point. With a bulky instrument in her hands -- though she seems to be wielding it with greater ease than her frame and its size would suggest -- it seems like Chun-Li will have an easy time exploiting speed and experience to set up a series of painful lessons in weak points.

Seems like. When Chun-Li grounds herself to strike, X has somehow shifted her guitar into a new position where all she has to do is twirl it to the side in order to intercept the strike. The two remain clashed for a tense half-second, the woman's eyes narrowing as her cruel smile lengthens -- and then she flicks her guitar again and pushes Chun-Li away.

"I'll be gentle, I'll be gentle! How many times have I heard that one? That's what I hate about you, Xiang, you're so predictable!"

Miss X shifts her grip on her guitar, sliding her hand down its neck while her other hovers with anticipation over the pickups. There's definitely something unusual about it, as she's holding it with the ease of having a shoulder strap while there's no shoulder strap in sight. Her hat once more hides her eyes, though not that sharp grin.

"...unless someone pisses you off."

The woman slams her hand down into her guitar, playing with such sudden fury that what comes next almost seems appropriate: the pyros all explode again, and one by one the speakers surrounding the arena explode outward in showers of sparks. Yet the sound continues! The only explanation is not an entirely satisfactory one, as it's only afterward that the stage rumbles and splits apart to reveal another tower of amps: one that pushes up from the ground like a middle finger toward the sky.

Miss X stands atop it, still playing like mad. She leans back, dangerously so, arching her back until it's a wonder that she hasn't fallen right off her perch.

"CAN YOU FEEL IT, XIANG?! All your suffering! All your resentment! It's just waiting to SAY HELLO!"

Until now, the crowd was eating this up. A slutty metal witch talking shit and shredding madly while pulling absurd stagecraft? That's a fucking ticket sale! Until now, though, there wasn't an earthquake.

The trains circled to make the arena and box seats groan in protest as their makeshift platforms bend and twist. Some of them begin to pitch to the side with aching slow certainty. The hundreds gathered to watch two women beat the shit out of each other are now screaming and fleeing. Miss X only asked for the screaming part.

The bellowing roar of something beyond the trains hints that maybe Miss X isn't the primary concern right now.

As the crowds continue to run for the exit, a humongous, skeletal hand rises over one of the trains and clutches tight. The roof buckles inward as it grips and pulls, hauling the rest of itself up -- the rest of itself being a shambling tower of rusted machinery atop a hideous gray face with enormous eyes and a thin, lipless mouth. Dozens of pennants like suit ties drift in the breeze across its bulk, and a sickly-glowing green gem is set into its tortured forehead.




The thing opens its thin mouth again, letting out a keening shriek as it pitches forward. Girders and wheels and engine parts come flying off its rusted shell, showering the arena with debris.

COMBATSYS: Punishment Due has joined the fight here.

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Chun-Li          0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             I-No
[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Punishment Due   0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: I-No gathers her will.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Chun-Li          0/-------/-------|====---\-------\0             I-No
[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Punishment Due   0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Chun-Li blocks Punishment Due's Dirge of the Forsaken.

[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Chun-Li          0/-------/-----==|====---\-------\0             I-No
[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Punishment Due   0/-------/-------|

She's /this/ kind of unknown amateur; of course. Chun-Li has the quiet satisfaction of an increasingly plausible hunch to warm her as X intercepts her strike, casual and cruel. The buffeting winds of sharply dispersed kinetic energy ruffle hair and vest alike on their way to setting the ropes beyond her rippling. There's a little bit of shuffling once the moment passes, after which she manages to set herself in a low, sturdy stance while continuing to slide a few feet back from the woman in red. Space is good: X may be /that/ kind of amateur, but Chun-Li is still--

-- essentially--

-- confident in her speed, so getting a little distance to study the woman feels like a reasonable luxury. Peering past knife-edge hands, brown eyes do a thoughtful down-and-up at the first part of X's weirdly, increasingly familiar banter, then brown brows knit through the second half. Bemused or no, she holds Miss X's gaze.

Color changing eyes, Jesus Christ. She's fighting an unknown with weird energy powers and color changing eyes. She should really consider a manager. Managers, she's pretty sure, tend to have more time to advocate for things like 'up front notice when matched with newcomers who have freaky-ass power and/or eye shit happening' than she does.

Not that she would - or does - shy from the challenge, but a little forewarning would be /nice/.

"That seems like a trick question," she replies with quirked brows. "A trick question with a really, weirdly specific framing-- I mean." Another, more curious onceover.

"I feel like I'd remember it, if I'd met you," she continues as a wary edge slips into her voice, "and well. Here we /are/. Who--"

Miraculous metal drowns out questions and makes Chun-Li grimace.

"-- THE /HELL/," she bravely attempts after a couple seconds spent gripping her ears and frowning, "/ARE/ YOU?! WHAT EVEN--"

A tower of amps!

/She's playing on top of a tower of fucking amps/ and she's still shouting like she /knows/ Chun-Li--

The trainyard groans, bends, and twists its way out of the rational world. Screams sound right on time with panicked footfalls, drawing brown eyes wide open. Miss X works the strings and stage like the devil herself, casting wicked power chords through the black, dawning realization that Chun-Li is probably about to watch an awful lot of people die. That even if she can save a /few/ of them, she's powerless to protect hundreds from destruction so abrupt as what's being wrought by--

-- by--

what the fuck!

"What the fuck!"

Roaring has a way of cutting through metal-scored melancholia, especially when it emanates from Things Not Meant To Be. The rest of Chun-Li's body pivots with her head, towards the-- /thing/, with its weaponized debris. It lurches forward and she hunkers down, tucking her head protectively behind her forearms and batting incoming machine parts away with quick, sharp strokes. "What did you DO?!" she demands without looking at the tower. "What IS-- Jesus!" A shuddering breath is released and bruised, lightly bloodied arms fall. She takes off running, only to leap after a few steps and clear the ring ropes. Blue and gold chi swirls from the calves down, flaring brightly for a couple of seconds until a flying somersault brings her right leg crashing towards one of those skeletal hands and wrists. If she manages contact, the impact point will be marked by a colourful column of energy.

There are more questions for Miss X, but they'll have to wait 'til after there are fewer monsters around to get in the way-- until she's sure they aren't the only ones to leave the Trainyard.

COMBATSYS: Punishment Due blocks Chun-Li's Hazanshu.

[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Chun-Li          0/-------/-----==|====---\-------\0             I-No
[    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Punishment Due   0/-------/------=|

"What did I do?" roars Miss X like she's on the edge of laughter. She sweeps aside her guitar with her arms wide open, the last notes wailing into a discordant fade. "Don't you mean what did YOU do?! Keep up, Xiang!"

The beast is large and clearly not fast on the reaction front. Even if it was, such a ponderous and haphazard bulk cannot be easy to maneuver around. As Chun-Li approaches, it doesn't seem to notice, still focusing on climbing over the train. The car buckles beneath it, compressing down so that the monster is effectively plowing its way through rather than climbing.

The somersault connects -- but, in the explosion of energy, the monster shrieks and cringes back into its shell. The energy burst shears off rusted armor, but it seems to be mostly ablative -- and, bizarrely, there always seems to be more of it.

The thing shudders. This is the only prelude to it thrashing about rapidly, flailing its arms and strangely-shaped body in an attempt to dislodge Chun-Li. All these actions do not hint at some great intelligence. It seems more driven by reaction than by some specific agenda.

Meanwhile, Miss X shifts her guitar back onto her hip again, bending the strings as she plays a more rhythmic melody. A casual solo for a casual audience, one might guess. Sparkles of energy float around her, some of them briefly taking up those same heart shapes before dissipating.

"Hit it harder, Xiang! FASTER! Where's those lightning legs?! Fuckers like this need to be shown who's in charge before they decide you're their bitch!"

COMBATSYS: I-No gathers her will.

[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Chun-Li          0/-------/-----==|=======\-------\1             I-No
[     \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Punishment Due   0/-------/------=|

COMBATSYS: Punishment Due successfully hits Chun-Li with Wail of an Untimely End.

[      \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Chun-Li          0/-------/---====|=======\-------\1             I-No
[     \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Punishment Due   0/-------/----===|

"Which one of us has the guitar, lady?!"

Chun-Li lands but her blow doesn't, exactly. Not the way it /should/ have; enough to peel some armor off and nothing more. "What the hell IS this thing?! It's--"

Perched atop skeletal fingers in a crouch, Miss Xiang scans over the monstrosity until-- she reaches-- its eyes.

Unblinking, unearthly.

Fit to lose herself in.

Something shudders.

Is it staring back at her...?

Can it /see/ her?

The way the witch of Amp Mountain sees her...?

Chun-Li shudders as the world grows cold and shifts beneath her. The latter thing tells her, dimly, that she should move-- and eventually, she even bends her knees like she's ready to do it. But it's /so/ cold, and--

-- what /did/ she do?

Flailing arms and jutting metal send her flying back to the ring, where she bounces and rolls across the mat. It takes her a second of lying there, panting, dwelling -- trying /not/ to dwell -- before she stirs and groans her way to her feet. Miss X gets a bemused, frustrated look, then she turns a determined glare towards the monster and takes off running again.

Maybe she's saving the lightning legs for a better moment; maybe, now that she's heard what X wants, she doesn't want to give it to her. Either way, a dead sprint across the ring ends just before one of the four posts with a pivot and a thrust kick that sends dull, metallic thunder crashing through the trainyard. It's enough to rip solid metal from its mooring and snap ring ropes free of turnbuckles, enough to turn a stabilizing post into the fanciest javelin in Sunshine City, fluttering and screaming towards the monster's torso.

"Are you SERIOUSLY," she shouts over the din, "playing COACH now?!"

A momentary pause as her leg is reflexively drawn back into defensive readiness.

"Like, it's vaguely helpful," she decides aloud, "unless you fuckin' SUMMONED this thing, but /SERIOUSLY/?!"

COMBATSYS: Punishment Due endures Chun-Li's Large Thrown Object.

[       \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Chun-Li          0/-------/-======|=======\-------\1             I-No
[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Punishment Due   0/-------/--=====|

The beast continues to shake and shudder even as Chun-Li is successfully dislodged. There is no spark of understanding in its wide, dark eyes. It could as well be a machine if it wasn't so obviously and hideously fleshy... in certain parts, at least.

Chun-Li, for her part, is given some time to accomplish what she will. The crowd has evacuated by now, which is a small blessing and perhaps a credit to the PB:BB's emergency planning capabilities.

"What, you don't wanna BOND, Xiang?" crows Miss X from her seemingly invulnerable perch. Train debris has fallen around her tower, but not a single bit has struck. The green-sparkle-pink-heart aura around her is growing more intense by the moment. A veteran of weird Shadaloo bullshit like Chun-Li can probably catch on by now that the stronger that aura gets, the more chaotic and difficult to draw upon the chi in the area becomes.

"Think about it! After we finish up here, we could go hit the showers and find a way to work out all the tension of this near-death experience -- or, I mean, if you die, you'll need someone to be your widow at your funeral, right?"

The Sunshine City Javelin Special goes hurtling through the air. Unfortunately, the beast has seemingly decided that Chun-Li is its bitch (don't say Miss X was entirely unhelpful during this fight) and has decided to come scrabbling across the arena, dragging itself by its wizened hands. The javelin buries into the armor, a spurt of glowing green 'blood' (blood?!) oozing out from between the rusted plates.

But now it's upon Chun-Li, lashing out with an immense palm-slam and raking its hand across the arena, trying to catch the woman up in its fingers so it can hurl her into one of the train cars. This is a much more specific kind of malice than the thrashing earlier.

"Anyway, if you're too much of a pussy to throw down, I guess you can just try to survive until it burns itself out! You'll probably get smashed to pieces by then, but a plan's a plan, huh?"

COMBATSYS: I-No gathers her will.

[       \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Chun-Li          0/-------/-======|=======\====---\1             I-No
[          \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Punishment Due   0/-------/---====|

COMBATSYS: Chun-Li endures Punishment Due's Requiem of Merciful Endings EX.

[            \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Chun-Li          1/-----==/=======|=======\====---\1             I-No
[          \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Punishment Due   0/-------/-======|

Indeed: on her other outings, chi flowed readily from the scrappy flora eking out an existence amidst the disused tracks and cars. At the edges of her perception, she could feel the soft, steady pulse of life thriving against the odds, so eager just to /be/ that it leapt free with nearly every blow. Now?

Now she just feels fortunate that the PB:BB managed to take care of the crowd, because /she/ sure as hell wasn't cutting it.

Now, there's the frustration she's gotten so familiar with from her outings here, and rather than the comforting thrum of power begging to be taken, she has the violent ROAR of power hungry to take for company.

She feels monstrous eyes upon her, /through/ her, judging every last mistake, reflecting moments of weakness in mirrors almost as big - if not bigger - than she is.

And she feels an immense palm snatch her from the ring while she's preoccupied with Miss X's affect. This is arguably the most important of her many feelings right now, because it's the only one that ends in bruised ribs and a ringing skull rather than existential trauma. She doesn't stop until she hits the far wall of a train car, then bounces-- then rolls right back up to her feet, wobbling and refusing to fall.

"I'm," she softly exhales while dragging herself forward and bracing in the car's doorway, "I'm not..."

Syndicate gunfire and squealing tires briefly, dimly puncture the chaos unfolding outside as she remembers Yamazaki getting away while she-- watched from a train car and bled internally.

"I'm not a--" She swallows and winces just a little as metal gently bends on either side of stiff, quaking arms. "I'm /not/ too much of a pussy to throw down."

That defiant exhale is followed by a sharp, controlled inhale. The next breath that comes out is accompanied by a flickering, blue-green swirl as chi billows out from the depths of her spirit and /demands/ to be matched. By scrappy plants, fleeing audience members, rampaging monsters-- even crude witches, if skimming from whatever mysterious energies power a woman like Miss X is even possible. Dual coloured ribbons flow towards that distressed train until there's a bonfire raging within-- until it's no longer enough to contain a woman eking out an existence amidst the dark and disgusting underbelly of the world.

"And the /least/ you could do, if you're gonna be an /asshole coach/," she calls to Miss X between breaths, over the hum of gathering power, "is wait until I'm /done working/ before you start hitting on me." Another breath-- and then she's gone.

And then she isn't, because she's somersaulting towards the monster again, intent on driving her heel into the patchwork hell of its body--

-- and if she hits, she'll be gone, /again/, when the violently churning chi surrounding her rushes to the point of impact and detonates, casting wave after towering wave of chi racing outwards.

Punishment Due falls asleep.

Punishment Due wakes up.

COMBATSYS: Chun-Li successfully hits Punishment Due with Tensei Ranka.

[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Chun-Li          0/-------/------=|=======\====---\1             I-No
[                 \\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Punishment Due   1/----===/=======|

Miss X screeches her hands down the strings of her guitar, drawing out a hideous wail that ends with a sudden silence. She leans forward over the edge of her amp tower, looking after where Chun-Li has come to a bloody resting place.

"What's that, Chunky? I can't hear you! Lemme turn this down!"

The woman stomps on the top of her amps. The idling noise dims. She leans forward even further, unnaturally balanced on her tiptoes, and turns her head with a hand cupped to her ear. "What are you--"

Chi swirls up from nothingness, a supernatural updraft that presages Chun-Li herself rising from being laid low. Miss X rocks backward onto her heels, clutching her hand to her chest as if her breath had been stolen by the sheer scandal of it all. Even from this distance, her irises glimmer vibrant shades of blue and red.

Chun-Li disappears, flicker-fast, and Miss X crows into the microphone that isn't clearly apparent anywhere on her person: "You see what I mean, Xiang?! You just need someone ON YOUR ASS!"

But guitar witches are likely a secondary concern compared to the aggressive assault Chun-Li is visiting upon the massive hulk of a monster that is, even now, crawling toward her. It lets out another piercing shriek as it senses the chi coming close, once more drawing upon that hideous strength to skitter with unnatural speed toward its prey.

It is a brute. Chun-Li is, even wounded, faster than belief. She drives her heel into the sickly-green gem on its forehead, and then kicks off backward before it even has time to begin flinching back. Flat eyes unblinking, lipless mouth screeching, the thing throws itself forward in a rage to chase her, but the coruscating explosions of chi drive it backward again and again and again. Rusted metal sloughs off in weirdly-shaped chunks, more and more of it disappearing as it tries in vain to pull itself through the onslaught.

What is left, by the end, is a quivering mass of green-bloodied flesh, gray and purple like necrotic bruising. It shudders, already collapsed on itself, and for a time it seems to be finished.

"It's not," says Miss X.

It's not.

Assuredly powered by horror movie mandate, the megabeast sucks in a wet, hungry breath as it pulls itself through the debris of its ruined shell, metal gouging and gashing its body as it tries to upend the entire arena and use it as a club to hurl Chun-Li aside and then batter her into the ground.

Miss X's amp tower is finally felled, but the witch leaps sprightly into the air with contemptuous freshness. She twirls with easy poise, hanging at the apex of her jump in a physics-defying float, surrounded by the sparkles and hearts of her chi.

"IS THAT ALL YOU GOT, XIANG?!" she roars. The angel wings rez into existence alongside her, turning to reveal amps hidden in their bases. "STRONGEST WOMAN IN THE WORLD, BITCH! SHOW ME!"

COMBATSYS: I-No gathers her will.

[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Chun-Li          0/-------/------=|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2             I-No
[                   \\\\\\\\\\\  <
Punishment Due   0/-------/-----==|

COMBATSYS: Punishment Due successfully hits Chun-Li with Tomb of Desperate Measures EX.

[                       \\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Chun-Li          1/-------/=======|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2             I-No
[                   \\\\\\\\\\\  <
Punishment Due   0/-------/-----==|

Obscured by crashing chi, Chun-Li ricochets from skull to stage and tumbles until her back is flat against a silent amp.

"You've been on my ass since you got into the ring," she exhales between jagged gasps. Sometime after the second go 'round of lunge-repulse between the creature and her chi, she allows her gaze to roll towards the mysterious guitarwoman. "Still not gonna work with me," she ruefully murmurs, "are"


it's /not/.

It's not, and as it reemerges from the bloody ruins of the twisted trainyard, it wants nothing more than to use the arena /itself/ as a weapon against Chun-Li.

And this is a problem, because Chun-Li is in the arena.

Chun-Li is unbelievably fast, but once she and everything around and below her begins to twist, the value of her speed rapidly deteriorates. Where can she go if there is no ground to stand on? When up and down are up for debate? Speed buys her a few seconds of impossible sprinting across a swiftly tilting arena, keeps her from plummeting instantly... but then what?

Chun-Li has also been called the World's Strongest Woman, and as her world comes to a halt at 180 degrees, she makes a bid to put her speed to the best use she can, to augment that strength as the arena's shadow falls across those parts of the 'yard that weren't incorporated into the weapon or its wielder: powerful legs bunch and explode, launching her to the ground like a tactical metal dart. She rolls through the growing shadow and bounds to her feet. Blue and gold chi briefly flickers along her arms as she sinks into a rooted stance, then snaps her forearms together--

-- and doesn't die.

She's buried beneath metal, canvas, earth, and urban decay, but she isn't /dead/. Her breathing's erratic, casting wild coruscations through the rubble with each pulse. Every inch of her is fire, broken glass, and regret-- she /tried to block a fighting stage/.

But she didn't /die/.

So after a few seconds, the debris shudders and chaotic ribbons of chi snap to attention. Shuddering becomes rumbling, becomes garbage flying in all directions for a few seconds more-- then funneling straight upwards as the source of their disturbance bursts free of her temporary tomb's remnants, still at 180 degrees but spinning fiercely of her own accord. The debris continues with her for a couple revolutions before falling to the ground as the chi is drawn into a tight focus around her legs and feet. Once the energy's in place, the woman /soars/ towards the creature--

-- towards those eyes, those horrible, lifeless mirrors of regret--

-- and tries her best to blind them in a storm of violent kicks and stormy, slashing chi. Unleashed spiritual fury howls, and it's cut with laughter.

Wild, rattling, triumphant laughter. Chun-Li might be about to die, here, because of course it'd be here. Everything hurts, and if she can't at least take the monster with her, that woman's going to keep shit-talking her while it happens. Whether /she/ lives or dies, it /must/-- it /will/. Because she's the Strongest Woman In the World, Especially If You Piss Her Off. So, she laughs.

And when the storm finally draws to a close and she's upright, leaving her airborne for a weightless moment, she casts a glance down towards the witch daring to be shown something and smiles big enough, savage enough to bare bloodied teeth.

"You managed to ask about my legs too, right?"

Tank-shredding limbs are cocked and loaded, then lightning flashes towards the monster's eyes. Dozens - hundreds? - of blows fly in the space of seconds, each kissed with a crackling blue corona. Chi arcs erratically from the storm's second wave, flashing over train cars and arena remnants alike until Chun-Li throws a final, thrusting kick, then drops out of the air, towards a hard, crouched landing amidst what's left of the trainyard.

COMBATSYS: Chun-Li blitzes into action and acts again!

[                        \\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Chun-Li          0/-------/-======|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2             I-No
[                   \\\\\\\\\\\  <
Punishment Due   0/-------/-----==|

COMBATSYS: Punishment Due endures Chun-Li's Spinning Bird Kick EX.

[                        \\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Chun-Li          1/-------/=======|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2             I-No
[                         \\\\\  <
Punishment Due   0/-------/-======|

COMBATSYS: Chun-Li successfully hits Punishment Due with Hyakuretsu Kyaku EX.
- Power hit! -

[                        \\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Chun-Li          1/----===/=======|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2             I-No
[                                <
Punishment Due   1/----===/=======|

The decreasingly metal, increasingly blood monster continues to flail around with its makeshift club like an overgrown toddler, shrieking and thrashing until it has beaten its wielded weapon into smithereens. Even then, it lashes blindly, slashing and raking at the ground in a largely futile attempt to find the buried Chun-Li by random chance and further mash her into the ground.

The thing eventually begins to calm -- relative to what it seems to be capable of, anyway. This means instead of haphazard violence, it begins to methodically bash its way through the various piles of rubble around the arena, pausing occasionally and turning its head as if it were listening for screams.

Above, the guitar witch narrows her eyes. Her hands stray along the length of her electric-blue guitar, one hand traveling up the neck, the other resting on the strings above its pickups. Still, she does not play. Not yet.

The rubble on the other side of the ruined arena shudders. The beast drops a hunk of train and pushes itself around to look after the noise with glassy-eyed malice. It raises its arms and, with another gurgling shriek, reaches with freakish elongation to pull itself closer.

But Chun-Li is aggressive and swift and focused, a hurricane of kicks and chi that crashes upon the monster's face, causing it to recoil from sheer shock of pain. The howl of energy and laughter is more than enough competition against its bloody cries.

As the beaten but unbowed Interpol agent lingers in preparation for her next attack, as the monster blearily and single-mindedly drags itself closer despite the ruined pus-mess of its left eye, as the guitar witch floats above it all with her thrumming magics and angelic backup--

Chun-Li speaks. I-No smiles. Thinly, but there.

And then the Megadeth-class Gear "The Punishment Due" is visited by the world's only pair of Megadeth-class legs. The monster's face craters inward by a thousand dents in a thousand flashes of heel, pounding the face of living weaponry until it doesn't look anything like a face anymore. The thing's screaming becomes more and more inhuman until there is nothing left that sounds like a creature's wail, but instead only the staticky screech of equipment.

Its long, spindly arms reach and swing wildly and without purpose, neon green blood pours and puddles, and the very earth beneath it seems to give away under the sheer caustic presence of its death throes. The arena rumbles and splits inward, metal debris both large and small groaning as it is all pulled down into the thing's final resting place. A plume of dust kicks up, obscuring the way out of this final, deadly obstacle course -- if there is one.

COMBATSYS: Punishment Due can no longer fight.

[                        \\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Chun-Li          1/----===/=======|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2             I-No

COMBATSYS: Punishment Due successfully hits Chun-Li with Gravestone of Final Acts.
Grazing Hit

[                            \\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Chun-Li          2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2             I-No

Chun-Li's landing place isn't as stable as it looked a second ago, before there was a creature dying and taking the ground with it.

"Is it," she wonders over static and destruction, "is it /dead/? Is--"

Does it matter, when she /will/ be if she doesn't /move/?

With narrowing eyes, Chun-Li lunges into the breach a beat before it can claim her. This way, at least, she can choose a landing point-- even if that means deciding on the fly whether attempting to balance on a flimsy length of metal is better than trying to grab the earthen spikes jutting from a nearby wall.

It's not a great choice, but she values having it. The metal proves stable for as long as it takes her to alight upon it and make her /next/ choice, which leaves her swinging from-- is it a monstrous vein, or a audio cable...?

She tries not to think about it. There are decisions to be made, acrobatics to be wrung from a beaten shell. Rapid footfalls take her across a few feet of wall; a falling girder takes her to a dangling ring post; shimmying down a snapped ring rope leaves her smack in the middle of a plume of dust jetting up from the depths.


Violent coughs wrack her body and tiny knives rush past her eyes. Her fingers spasm-- she slips--

-- and there aren't any decisions to be made, the rest of the way down.

At least she was close to the bottom when it happened. She still isn't dead, even if she doesn't look up to stirring up any storms, now.

COMBATSYS: Chun-Li takes no action.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
I-No             2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|

COMBATSYS: Chun-Li can no longer fight.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
I-No             2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|

The hole collapses in on itself. Chun-Li does her best to navigate the chaotic death knell, but it's like trying to survive a blender by jumping really fast. The world grows darker as Chun-Li is pulled in deeper and deeper -- and, more distressingly, buried beneath more and more rust.

The pain is immense. In times like this, with exhaustion creeping up and nothing but darkness to navigate by, time can grow difficult to follow.

But then, the settled mass of metal groans anew. A light shines between the shifting steel, hinting at daylight. Though, is it from the wrong direction? Did Chun-Li somehow get turned upside down in the collapse?

A hand reaches out from the light, grasping, seizing upon her wrist -- and then Chun-Li is pulled into a whiteness too bright and pure to be daylight.

"Shit, you're heavy."

Chun-Li is nowhere. Nowhere is an endless expanse of white. The only relent from this monotony is the shape of the guitar witch looming over her. Well, for a certain value of looming. She's actually got Chun-Li in her arms. It's almost tender.

"I mean it's probably ninety percent ass, right? Gotta be."


The witch is walking somewhere. Somewhere is a hard thing to suss out right now, because nowhere doesn't have somewhere because it's nowhere. Still, she trudges on.

"Don't try to talk. You had a big day! Taking down a whole megadeth class all by yourself." The witch tilts her head to the side, narrowing her eyes in consideration. Her irises filter through from forest green to pastel blue to neon pink. "Of course I woke it up early for you. All those fuckin' death matches you have around here were filling up its meters real quick. You ever see a fully-juiced megadeth class? Fucker would've eaten half the city."

The witch comes to a stop. She braces her stance, shifting her grip on Chun-Li just enough to jostle the other woman. Looking down, her eyes swirl through another series of pastels and neons. Her bright red lips become a lopsided slash of a grin.

"Well, I'm gonna go hit the showers. I promise I'll think happy thoughts about you. Say hi to Rose for me."

The witch lowers her arms, allowing Chun-Li to roll forward and fall -- and keep falling, through where the floor would be, through the whiteness, until she abruptly lands in a wheeled bed in a hospital hallway.

All the hospital staff are very confused. It's not great. At least Chun-Li is a celebrity.

COMBATSYS: I-No has ended the fight here.

"... god."

For an Interpol officer, Chun-Li is not great at doing what she's told. Of course she tries to talk. It takes a while spent groaning, shallowly breathing, and barely shifting in the witch's grasp, but she tries.

"You are-- hh-- /infuriating/."

It's strained and soft, but she tries. At least she sounds /tired/, more than mad. Good-natured, to the extent that she can manage it-- which, given the amount of time she's spent bruised and broken in the wake of violence, is tempered by the questions still swirling in her head more than the ubiquitous pain. Perhaps even grateful. And kind of annoyed, still, but so it goes; as introductions go, this was a tense one.

"I'm, nngh-- /gonna/-- see you... again..."

The promise trails as she falls until there's just silence, and the soft thud of a body hitting a gurney. And the patter of feet shuffling over linoleum, and crackling PAs, beeping monitors, and shallow, wheezing breaths rattling from badly strained lungs.

Chun-Li is a celebrity, which means it may be a little while before she escapes the memory of being found semi-conscious and laughing in a California hospital, on the other side of infuriating catharsis.

Log created on 19:30:58 11/27/2018 by Chun-Li, and last modified on 14:24:08 11/30/2018.