KOF 2019 - Prelims 2 - The Mongrels vs Team WTF

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Description: A battle for the ages between legends and and upstarts alike in scenic North Carolina! Team WTF faces the fearsome duo that is Team Mongrel! Explosions, ninjas, waterfalls!


The King of Fighters sees a lot of venues, some showcasing the grand archetecture of Europe or vast ruins of ancient civilizations. Others show nature in its majesty. The ring is set up on the shore of Fontana Lake, at the base of the Nantahala Water Falls.

Crews scamper back and forth, checking cameras and lights to ensure that this production is worthy of the King of Fighters name. The weather is incredibly cooperative, sunny and in the low seventies with not a cloud in the sky. Bleachers, hastily constructed, are filled to capacity with spectators with what promises to be a clash between some up-and-comers and at least one legend of the fighting community.

Zach Glenn is, prehaps uncharacteristically, in a great mood this afternoon. He is wearing blue jeans, a grey t-shirt, and those odd fingerless gloves that he was seen wearing in the previous round. They had not gotten a proper shakedown in anyone's opinion. He bounces lightly on the balls of his feet, testing the rebound of the ring as he looks around to take in the surroundings.

It would be fair to say that the psion had waited two lifetimes for this specific opponent. He was going to enjoy it as best that he could.

COMBATSYS: Zach Glenn has started a fight here.

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Zach Glenn       0/-------/-------|

The good mood of the Glenn Psion is not missed by his teammates. Nor is it missed by the very cousin that one of his teammates has been keeping in contact with. Head wrapped like a car crash victim, Michael G. Weller sits off on the sideline with a phone pressed to his ear.

"That's right, he's smiling. Mmhmm. Yeah. I mean, if you say so Take.... It's.. not creepy at all. Sure. I planned on it. It's going to be exciting for sure."

Eventually Crash Test Dummy Michael hangs up the phone, and leans back in his chair, reaching down to grab another ice pack from a large cooler placed beside him. The icepack is gingerly pressed against his fairly swollen face. He wants to enjoy watching this fight. Zach is an expert, and his opponent one as well. There's a lot to learn by watching these kinds of people wage battle.

Here comes Terry Bogard!

The Legendary Hungry Wolf makes his way through whatever crowd and crew happens to be in his path. He is, as almost always, wearing his humble smile and offering handshakes and stopping to take pictures with anyone that might request. He's not all about the fame but he's more than happy to give the people a moment of his time. Sure, he has a match to fight but sometimes it's better to give back than to receive.

Eventually, he gets himself to the ring and is up and over the ropes without even touching them. There's a somersault involved. It's awesome. He even sticks the superhero landing, his own meaningful fingerless glove crushing into the mat. He lifts his gaze, eyes almost covered by his signature trucker cap and grins. "You ready for this?" is offered with a bit of a teasing tone.

Leave it to Terry Bogard to be the least intimidating version of his own Legend right now.

COMBATSYS: Terry has wandered into the fight here.

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Terry            0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0       Zach Glenn

"I guess we'll find out," Zach replies calmly. "I've been looking forward to this match," he admits. "I had a good friend who would have given just about anything to fight you, but I'll have to do it in his place."

The bell rings, and a golden glow covers Zach's body as he dashes at Terry with surprising speed. As he closes, a cylinder about the length of an escrima stick appears in the psion's right hand.

This is swung in a wide arc, as much to improve his chances of connecting as to try and gauge Terry's reflexes!

COMBATSYS: Zach Glenn successfully hits Terry with Sweeping Strike.

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Terry            0/-------/----===|=------\-------\0       Zach Glenn

Terry spends a little bit too long in his superhero landing stance. Too long because it takes him a moment to get to his feet fully and backpedal to get out of the way of that psionic escrima stick of a cylinder... that catches him right upside the head. There's a wince and the spinning of Terry's head to the side as the impact rocks him a bit harder than he was expecting.

"Uh... any chance your friend still available?" Terry takes a second to check his lip and make sure he's not bleeding yet. "Because /ow/."

These banterish words are only used to offer some bit of distraction before rushing for Zach and spinning inward to aim his shoulder in Zach's direction. He puts enough of his weight behind it to see if he can't launch this tournamental opponent into the air for potential juggling!

COMBATSYS: Zach Glenn blocks Terry's Power Charge.

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Terry            0/-------/----===|==-----\-------\0       Zach Glenn

Zach catches the incoming shoulder as it comes up, using some of his own strength and psychic power to dull the impact. He manages to keep the distance to a minimum however.

"Depends," he says. "You'd probably need some sort of a spirit medium."

The psion snaps out a left straight aimed at Terry's jaw, more of that psycho-kinetic force mailing his fist as it flies!

COMBATSYS: Terry blocks Zach Glenn's Quick Strike.

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Terry            0/-------/---====|===----\-------\0       Zach Glenn


Terry brings an arm up quickly to catch the brunt of that energy fused punch that was aimed for his jaw. There's a moment in which Terry turns to look at Zach and the tournament fight is forgotten in favor of being a good human being. "Sorry about your friend." There. Respects have been paid.

Terry pushes himself away to give himself a little bit more room to work. He doesn't need that much, though, because as he steps back he spins on one heel and offers a swift kick towards Zach's chest to see if he can't kick things up a small notch!

COMBATSYS: Terry successfully hits Zach Glenn with Medium Kick.

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Terry            0/-------/-======|=======\-------\0       Zach Glenn

Zach can't close his guard quickly enough, and the kick catches him cleanly in the chest. The smaller man sprawls onto the mat, and Zach rolls over his shoulder to regain his feet. He nods once in acknowledgement of the statement before launching himself toward Terry in a low tackle.

If he can make the grab, Zach will take the Hungry Wolf to the mat before laying into Terry's head and shoulders with a flurry of soul-powered punches!

COMBATSYS: Terry dodges Zach Glenn's Rough and Tumble EX.

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Terry            0/-------/-======|======-\-------\0       Zach Glenn

Terry drops to the mat when he sees that Zach's headed for him. It's much quicker to just roll out of the way and back up to his feet than to take the tackle and block. It just gives him more room to work.

Terry's back on his feet pretty quickly, he swarms up an arm full of chi and slams his fist down into the mat, sending a wave of orange chi off in Zach's direction. Here's to hoping he can catch him before he recovers from the botched tackle attempt.

COMBATSYS: Zach Glenn overcomes Power Wave from Terry with Quick Shot EX.

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Terry            0/-------/-======|=======\==-----\1       Zach Glenn

Zach stumbles slightly from the missed tackle, throwing a glance behind him to see the oncoming blast of chi coming right for him. He spins quickly, one hand stretched out as several motes of light enlarge into baseball-sized spheres.

The psion fires them all at the blast. On a one for one basis the spheres do not stop the Power Wave, but each shot dissapates the wave a little, chisling away at the attack, leaving enough of them to get through and threaten Terry!

COMBATSYS: Terry barely endures Zach Glenn's Quick Shot EX.

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Terry            1/-----==/=======|=======\===----\1       Zach Glenn

Energy riddles across Terry's chest as his Power Wave gets blasted through. Terry has nowhere to go so he just takes a step forward to prepare for impact and gets sent rocking back against the ropes for his troubles. He winces through the spherical pain and shakes his head to try and clear it up.

There's still a smile on his face, though, before he bounds off the ropes a little. A couple of steps and then he's in the air, twisting and aiming a punch of the more fierce variety at Zach.

COMBATSYS: Zach Glenn blocks Terry's Fierce Punch.

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Terry            1/-----==/=======|=======\=====--\1       Zach Glenn

Things are happening and hopping. A legend enters the ring, and the depths of hunger in which either party have for a good fight is not one that can be sated easily. They don't need further (re?)introduction on that front. Let's go to the sidelines, where Michael just got himself another cold pack.
Sasquatch puts /in/ another cold pack as he somehow manages to obscure himself behind the dimensions of the cooler. Where these cold packs come from is a mystery. (Let's not make it a yourstery here, take my word for it. -Editor)
An explosive clash between opposing energies - those of the Earth, those of the soul - delights the crowds. A Power Wave and a Quick Shot together do little to stop the two from coming face to face.
So, as regrettable as this subject is to now cross... where is Howard Rust, Jr.? He's late. There are some serious fines in play if he's a complete no-show, but when does this man ever take anything seriously?
Suddenly, a growing shadow looms over the cooler, and...!
Oh, no, that's just a hawk.
All right, this one! This shadow. This shadow that grows, a looming presence overhead whose noise betrays their...
That's an airplane.
(Before anyone asks, there's no bizarre visitors foreign to even Outworld with convoluted relationships to the way things are there.)
The stage has been set for a sneaky ninja appearance, a dazzling underhanded display of the mastery of stealth and manipulation of perception, and so...!
Rust, Jr. casually walks up, dunks a gloved hand into the box, and plops down on a seat next to Michael like nothing happened.
"Oh wow, that is Terry Bogard, huh," says a man at least a decade and some change out of prime as he flicks open the thing he got from the cooler. He holds it up outwards in a toast, and brings it up towards his face.
"(That's an ice pack...)" Sasquatch says, as they rummage inside deftly to grab a beer. "(Didn't you want a cold--)"
"Yep! It's fine, it's fine, eh?" He says as he applies an ice cube directly to the side of his head. He exhales peaceably.
That's enough o that nonsense for now.

Zach turtles up, catching the punch on his shoulder, the force and weight of the strike sending a shockwave down his arm as he skids back. "Hold still!" he growls as he reaches for Terry with the hand that isn't numbed.

The hand falls short, but the aura around the hand stretches and grows into a fascimile of the psion's opening grip and seeks to grab the Hungry Wolf in a crushing grip before hopefully pulling the larger man in for a headbutt!

The has-been handyman ninja visibly cringes and flinches at... the impact of that? It does kind of look like Terry's punch might've hurt, blocked or no.

COMBATSYS: Zach Glenn successfully hits Terry with Shining Finger ES.

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Terry            1/--=====/=======|=======\=======\1       Zach Glenn

Holding still seems like a bad idea when in the middle of a fight for tournament justice. However, Terry Bogard is not quick enough with his arm to stop the grabbing of him with such a crushing grip. The next thing he knows he's being slammed into by the skull of Zach Glenn's powerful headbutt.

Terry only breaks free due to gravity and the way his body staggers back into a vicious stumble. He almost loses his footing but manages to somehow stay on his feet. His own face is leaking from the impact of the headbutt.

Since there's now some space between himself and Zach, Terry takes a couple of steps and leaps into the air, flipping forward and towards Zach, aiming a one-legged dropkick towards this here opponent. Time to show off. Just a little.

COMBATSYS: Terry successfully hits Zach Glenn with Crack Shoot EX.

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Terry            1/-======/=======|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2       Zach Glenn

The Crack Shoot slams down on Zach's collarbone with thunderous impact. Sheer resiliance and a slight rocking under the impact prevent it from breaking and ending the match right there, but only just.

The psion lets out a low growl in pain as energy flares around him, but stays aware. His hand reaches up to grab the leg to hold Terry in place for just a moment, before driving a heavy downward punch with a psi-mailed fist aimed at slamming Terry to the mat with a similar impact!

COMBATSYS: Terry fails to interrupt Power Strike from Zach Glenn with Star Dunk Volcano.

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Terry            0/-------/-======|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2       Zach Glenn

Terry Bogard has been in a lot of fights. Some for trophies. Some for street cred. Some to save the city of Southtown. Which is why, when Zach's energy flares and his leg is grabbed, Terry goes for the rising knee to kick off one of his more popular moves... only to have that energy of Zach's force his knee back down and out of the way.

There's only a brief moment for Terry's eyes to bug out slightly before that psi-flavored fist takes the Bogard down to the mat. Where he crumples into a pile of Southtown Hero.

He stays down for just another moment, long enough to take a breath, before he uses those gloves of his father's to push himself back up. That's the thing about Bogards. They always (almost) get back up. Wobbly fighting stance and all.

Zach has fought for money, for trophies, some to save himself, some to save worlds. One could theorize that he saved the multiverse at one point. This informs his strategy in the moment.

Zach is following up the move, quickly, as he drives in and takes a short leap even as he chambers another soul-powered fist. He doesn't want Terry to have too much time to breathe here, and keeping up the offensive seems like an excellent way to do that!

COMBATSYS: Zach Glenn successfully hits Terry with Heavy Swing.

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Terry            1/------=/=======|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2       Zach Glenn

Terry's hunger and determination is the stuff of legends. Even when he takes a nasty spill, the crowd isn't the sort to treat it like he's been bested. They anticipate great things to come, and even the announcer types are showing eagerness and excitement for the next stage of this back-and-forth brawl of a bout.
Rust Jr. winces in what seems like one of those few lucid moments where he might be able to appreciate the severity of that situation, fist against knee, as his teammate takes decisive control of the momentum of the bout.
"(My knees were knocking,)" says Sasquatch behind the cooler. "(You going to send a tablet to your tribe on that one?)"
"Ha ha ha... ahhhhh, no, they know where I'm at, yep...!" The Canadian handyman ninja laughs as he presses that ice pack against the side of his head. He hasn't been in a fight, has he? Then again he does seem accident prone at times. (Many times. (All the time.))
"(Then again... there was that time a tablet for us ended up with you, that wasn't cool of who delivered that,)" Sasquatch reminisces as Zach moves in to further press his offensive, "(that sure was nice of you to go out of your way to deliver it...)"
"Ha ha!" Jr. laughs, independent of that swing finding purchase against Terry, eyes looking away. "Aww, I remember that inside," blending sentences and thoughts again, "gee, wonder how Alexis is doing..."
"(I never got to ask, hey, just to say this from out of the cold... are you some sort of messenger among humans? Going out of your way to deliver misplaced messages like that...)" Sasquatch asks as he peers from behind the cooler, closer towards where Jr. sits.
"I'm an adventurer! Also that's just a right kind thing to do, eh?" Jr. puts on a winning smile.
"(That's true, that's cool of you...)"

Soul Energy! Psi Energy! Whatever it is... it /hurts/. His head gets knocked on a swivel and his body spins right after it. He damn near goes into and through the ropes but somehow he manages to find enough of his core to stop himself from tornado-ing out of control.

And that's it. That's all he does. He just rights himself back up straight. As straight as he can make himself. And he just stands there. Fists clenched. Cap slightly askew. Bleeding. Swaying from the loss of... energy? Blood? Both?

And from his fingertips and his sneakers, the swirling and gathering of his own delicious chi.

COMBATSYS: Terry turns his cap backwards and gets serious!

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Terry            1/--=====/=======|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2       Zach Glenn

Zach lands lightly on his feet from the punch, hopping back a couple of steps as Terry tries to regain some energy. That is not a thing Zach is interested in allowing, and collects a mass of energy in his hand.

The energy squashes and twists into a shape that resembles a blunt claymore sword that Zach is holding by the hilt as he reaches back. A whip-like motion involving his entire body follows, and the psion launches the construct at Terry with terrifying force!

COMBATSYS: Terry blocks Zach Glenn's Caladbolg.

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Terry            2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2       Zach Glenn

Terry can almost hear his father's voice as his hands drop from the twisting of his cap. His facial expression has lost the jovial nature that he entered this fight with. He's kicked it up a notch or two and there's going to be some kind of hell to pay.

The question is whether he or Zach are going to pick up the check.

Terry watches as Zach's own energy becomes a construct of a weapon and it gets sent in his direction. He doesn't move so much as he brings his arms up, using his own chi surrounded forearms to take the brunt of the psi-swords actions. He still winces from the pain but he managed to let his chi tank most of it. He doesn't even acknowledge the half-step he was slid backwards.

"Come on. If you're gonna' hit me..." Terry's eyes spark. A quick flash of the same chi he's been messing with all fight. A twisted combination of blue and orange that's gone just as quickly as it showed up.

"... then Hit. Me."


COMBATSYS: Terry adjusts his gloves.

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Terry            1/-<<<<<</<<<<<<<|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2       Zach Glenn

Terry is clearly looking to set Zach up for something big. That works; Zach is kind of doing the same thing. The difference here though? Terry is being defensive, being passive. Zach opts for more offense. His grandfather had drilled, beaten really, into Zach the idea that if someone taunts you? You can give them what they want without giving them /exactly/ what they want. Terry wants a big flashy move, and while Zach is willing to oblige with some offense he's not about to leave an opening for Terry to exploit.

"I think I'll keep being me," he says. "Just as hard as I can."

Zach charges in before sliding to a halt just inside Terry's punching range and delivers a quick jab that has a flickering of soul power added to it, aimed right at Bogard's nose!

COMBATSYS: Terry dodges Zach Glenn's Light Strike.

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Terry            1/-<<<<<</<<<<<<<|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2       Zach Glenn

Terry narrows his eyes to try and keep up with Zach. Yeah, he's playing a little bit of strategy here but that's because he doesn't want to go out like... his little brother when he's fighting /him/. That'd be embarrassing. On a few levels.

Terry watches Zach come in with that jab and moves to step out of the way. He doesn't go far, though, instead opting to stick close and offer a nod of impressedness. "That's what I like to see. A man in control of his emotions." There's even a moment for a brief 'thumbs up' from Terry. Perhaps as a distraction from what is next to come.

Terry's movements lead from the thumbs up to an almost thumbs down as he drops towards the mat, flipping himself upside-down and spinning his body as he launches towards the sky, aiming fists and feet in the general direction of where he last remembers Zach being.

COMBATSYS: Zach Glenn blocks Terry's Rising Tackle EX.

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Terry            1/-<<<<<</<<<<<<<|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2       Zach Glenn

Zach slips back a slight distance, robbing Terry's strike of a lot of impact. The raised guard, forearms catching the rapid blows, blunts it a little more. Even still, it is enough to drive Zach back a bit on his heels.

"Thank you," he says, "But please stop thinking you need to hold back against me."

And then Zach closes the distance again, coming in low before the Hungry Wolf can complete hs landing. More of that amber light gathers around Zach's left fist as he drives a three-quarters uppercut directly at Terry's body. If it connects there will be a blast of force as Zach unleashes the energies collected there!

COMBATSYS: Terry dodges Zach Glenn's Explosive Strike.

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Terry            1/-<<<<<</<<<<<<<|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2       Zach Glenn

Terry can't really account for things that are happening in his direction while he's spinning in the air. It's just unheard of! The only thing he can really do is try to move while he's descending. And by the luck of the not-so-Irish, Terry Bogard manages to shift his body just the hair he needs it to move to stop himself from being blasted by powerful energy punches. Y'know, the ones he's been getting hit by.

Of course, the results are still that Terry ends up smacking into the mat. But he rolls back up to his signature crouch and takes to the air with a return quip, "Who's holding back?" as a show of Zach being respected by Terry in this fight. Not that he needed to but Stripes Earned!

Oh yeah, Terry aims an incredible DIVEKICK down towards Zach.

COMBATSYS: Terry successfully hits Zach Glenn with Diving Kick.

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Terry            2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2       Zach Glenn

Zach was not expecting the kick from *quite* that angle, showing he still has a thing or three to learn. The kick catches him cleanly in the chest, and sends the psion flying to the rope. Zach catches them, barely, and the ropes are the only reason he stays on his feet.

Zach stays back for a moment, considering the situation a bit as he regains control of his breathing as he spits some blood out of his mouth. This is not going to go for much longer; both fighters are starting to burn themselves out. It's just a matter of making sure that Terry burns out *first.*

COMBATSYS: Zach Glenn catches his breath.

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Terry            2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>-\1       Zach Glenn

They're all just waiting for the big final explosive moves to happen, now. Jr. may or may not be paying so much attention, for he's looking out towards the scenery rather than the fight now with a weirdly wistful look on his face. From his younger years, an adventurer. He's been a lot of places... including places that maybe aren't considered 'places,' and yet the natural wonder of the place never seems to fail to elicit a smile.
"(So if you got a tablet meant for somewhere deep in... some place frigid to the soul--)"
"You bet!" He answers. Maybe he wasn't hearing the question.
"(You're not just blowing snow? Wow.)" Sasquatch seems impressed, in the wake of Terry nailing that last diving kick. "(Wouldn't even keep a tablet if it brought you so many permafrostly riches, huh...)"
"Yep!" Rust Jr. smiles an earnest, honest, genuine smile. "A message means a whole lot, eh? It's the you that can be where you can't!"
"(Words to etch on a tombglacier, eh?)" Sasquatch reaches into the cooler to deposit another cold pack. Where is he keeping cold packs that are not in th-- you know what never mind
"You bet! A message from someone, no matter how far away they are when... you know, space, or feelings," he presses that ice pack further against the side of his head. He's been rubbing that side of his head a lot this entire KoF arrangement, "really knows how to find their way into someone's heart... yep, no matter where it might be then..."
"(Aww. Sappy. I'm hailing up...!)" Then Sasquatch tries to blow his nose on... uh.
Let's not say who that belonged to, or what that was, things will be better for that.

With Z-Glenn taking a moment to catch his breath, that gets an opportunity to go on the offense. He rolls his shoulders a bit to get himself centered and pushes his offensive in a moment that looks clean out of what could've been the beginning of this match. He's not sure if this is the part where the momentum swings his way but he's definitely going to make it seem that way.

Terry gets in close and ducks down into one of those signature crouches again. He moves quickly and with some oomph behind it, aiming to put a little stank on the uppercut that's aimed for Zach's chin!

COMBATSYS: Terry successfully hits Zach Glenn with Rising Upper.

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Terry            2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2       Zach Glenn

Zach rocks back under the force of the uppercut, letting out a grunt of pain under the impact. He staggers back against the ropes, and leans against them for a moment. He tries to get the arena to stop spinning as he considers things.

There are... a *lot* of Terrys (or is it Terries) in the rings at the moment. Zach isn't sure which one of them to hit, and Bogard is not going to give him the time he needs to figure out which Terry is in which ring.

Okay, then. Time to hit *all* the Bogards.

Zach regains his footing, and sweeps open hands out to his sides at shoulder length and scattering dozens of motes of light around the ring as he does so. Each of those motes of light elongate into several knives and swords and clubs. The blades do not appear sharp, but there are a *lot* of them. One such weapon, a Confederate States cavalry saber, appears by Zach's right hand and former hunter snatches it out of the air without looking at it even as he dashes at Terry. A swingle swing, and the weapon disintegrates on impact or the finish of the swing. The momentum of Zach's charge carries him past the Hungry Wolf, where a heavy club awaits the psion. He snatches the weapon and charges again with a heavy overhead swing. The cllub vanishes and Zach stops past Terry again. Another weapon, another dash, and Zach becomes a blur as he uses each and every weapon floating in the ring!

COMBATSYS: Terry blocks Zach Glenn's #Claiomh Solias+#.

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Terry            2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|-------\-------\0       Zach Glenn

All My Terries. Next on FightTV.

But for now, Terry Bogard is feeling pretty good about the solid hit he landed on Zach. At least, he /was/. Then the psionic energy started doing that thing where it becomes a vicious cycle of pain and anguish for the Legendary Hungry Wolf. He almost seems to whimper as he sees the Amassed Armory of Energy Weapons all over the ring.

Terry looks around and there's not a place that he can go. Not good.

When Zach starts moving at speeds that should be considered unlawful and get him a ticket from the local state police, Terry Bogard clenches his fingerless gloved fists and covers himself up as much as possible. There's nowhere to dodge so he leans on attempting to protect himself from the vicious onslaught as much as he can. His body rocks left to right and back again but he keeps his head covered and sways with the movement of his body to make sure that he doesn't go down. He can't go down. Not yet. Not first.

Not at all.

Terry's arms bleed from the various attacks but his gloves keep his hands protected. As if a father's love was put into them. A father's love that protects those hands that are built for protecting the people of Southtown.

When that last energy weapon is struck past him, Terry peels himself out of his protective shell and leans against the ropes. For just a moment. He's trying to get his bearings. Trying to understand what just happened to him. Trying to even figure out how he's still able to push off the ropes and stand up somewhat straight. Even his cap has been knocked even more askew.

"Hey Zach. Quick question..." is offered through a coughing smirk as Terry leans back and gathers up chi energy into his core. People watching probably know this position to be the set up for something big. Something familiar.

"Are you okay?"

Terry's fists glow with the blue chi that may be recognizable to many. He lunges towards Zach with what i s probably the remaining energy to move in his body. The signature BURN KNUCKLE is put into effect as he tries to clean Zach's clock with the initial impact... which is followed up by a tidal wave of chi-motion that aims to put Zach out of Terry's misery.

This fight has taken so much out of both of them. Terry's not even sure if he's going to be standing after such an explosive display.

COMBATSYS: Terry can no longer fight.

[                      \\\\\\\\  <
Zach Glenn       0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Terry successfully hits Zach Glenn with #Buster Wolf#.

[                                <
Zach Glenn       1/-------/<<<<<<<|

Zach skids to a halt by a turnbuckle in a low crouch, his breath coming in hard gasps. That move took a lot out of him, and the feedback from the strikes tells Zach that whether or not Terry is still on his feet will depend on the willpower of the Hungry Wolf.

Then he hears the question, a glance over his shoulder telling him everything he needs to know. He just needs to survive this one strike. A technique every bit as destructive as the one he just unleashed on Terry, even if it was less precisely focused. He manages to turn around, but cannot get back to his feet to manuever.

Zach throws both hands up as he summons every last scrap of power he can manage, and summons up a barrier around him. Yellow and violet light clash against Terry's blue as he barely catches the fist with both hands. But it isn't enough. The blast slams into Zach, blowing the man through the corner post and out of the ring with a heavy impact. He doesn't get back up as the referee counts both men out.


COMBATSYS: Zach Glenn takes no action.

COMBATSYS: Zach Glenn can no longer fight.

(insert paragraphs praising the intricacies of psionic swords and abstracts of wolves that bust here)
(many paragraphs)
(holy crap)

The next round starts ten minutes later than regulations state because the crowd is /that wild/ about what just happened. The announcer can't even be heard. The announcer CANNOT BE HEARD.
It is madness. It leads to an equipment check that bears no fruit and it leads into a death spiral of assuming something is wrong when it isn't because THE ANNOUNCER CANNOT BE HEARD OVER THE CROWD.
It's so loud that Sasquatch is now hiding inside of the cooler (somehow). Too noisy. Once Zach is brought back, he'll have an ice pack or two for him but won't have a whole lot more to say or share because the sheer noise of the crowd is just too much for the cryptid.
Next up, Howard Rust, Junior. Up until about a decade and some change ago, he was a famous adventurer and a highly skilled fighter with his, um, unique take on ninjitsu.
That was then. Now...
"Yep... guess it's my turn to drop the gloves, eh?" He laughs as he steps towards the ring set about the Nantahala River. His physical conditioning is... troubling. He's clearly let himself go over the years, with that gut of his. His manner is cheerful, even outright oblivious. Yet, there is one small touch that might be chilling to the perceptive.
His toolbelt - well-worn over many decades of use - is loaded to the gills with all sorts of handyman tools. They should be heavy, they should be clinking and clanging. To say nothing of the length of pipe, his weapon, through one such pocket like a makeshift sheath.
They make /zero/ sound.
Not a peep.
A sign of someone capable of such a feat that they can move without doing so... a someone who is a nearly 50-year-old out-of-shape wash-out of a has-been, wearing sandals like they were just out on a summer vacation and not, you know...
PART OF THE MOST PRESTIGIOUS TEAM TOURNAMENT IN THE WORLD. (Let's not talk about the time he became the World Champion belt holder. The entire fighting world wants to forget that episode.)
His hair - black, though it does seem a bit purple under some lighting because of an error on behalf of the universe's colorist - is incredibly healthy and full in spite of every biological reason to be the oposite of this. Somehow in that ten minute downtime he has a weird, asymmetric hairstyle more fitting for a woman of far younger years, with one side done up in a bun and the other in a braid. It's, uh. Very weird.
"Hm, yep, that'll keep that where," he murmurs as he takes his hand off of the bun and, in his left hand, smoothly draws the length of pipe shoved through a busted toolbelt pocket.
...Scratch that, not so smooth. It gets stuck.
He's still trying to draw it by the time the 'ready, go' thing looks poised to happen.
The commentator types are derisive about the guy right from the start, even before the match begins.

COMBATSYS: Rust has started a fight here on the left meter side.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Rust             0/-------/-------|

Fighting in a ring surrounded by raging waters sounds like Cody's idea of a good time. The great thing about being in prison is, you don't have to limit yourself to the same old scenery day in and day out - you can always bust out and wander around someplace new. Well, a great thing for someone like him, that is. Being incarcerated hasn't stopped Cody from participating in the King of Fighters, especially with something fishy going on with the Syndicate in his home town. Maybe getting through this will help take his mind off his current life situation.

Unlike Rust, Cody's handcuffs do rattle as he enters the ring, running a hand through his messy hair as he yawns. Also in contrast to his opponent, he rarely takes the time to comb his hair nowadays. Or shave, as he looks pretty stubbly. Thirdly, he doesn't seem to be packing weapons...although a few bulges from his jumpsuit indicate he might have a few goodies taped to his body.

He leans against his side of the ring as Rust tries to unsheathe his pipe. "You good, man?" he asks in a nonchalant tone. He doesn't even seem that hype after the double KO, much less the eclectic appearance of the one he's about to face. He did just fight a talking cat.

COMBATSYS: Cody has joined the fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Rust             0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0             Cody

"You bet!" Jr. replies cheerily almost to the point of cutting Cody's question off, as if by reflex - almost by insistence, as he struggles to get his weapon out...
When he does, he draw the pipe upward with a metallic 'shing' like it were a blade. Though it's a pipe. His own father was beyond famous for using a pipe as their weapon of choice - to the point that there's a non-zero chance Haggar might have a few small cues just from cultural osmosis.
Then Jr.'s shorts fall down, revealing the diamond print boxers he's got on. Iiiiiiit's not a good look for him, but that smile and laughter doesn't fade.
The referee ceases to care, they're already ten minutes late.
Across the rocky ground, Jr. somehow manages to make being on sandals with his shorts around his ankles work (for a given value of what this word means), taking the pipe in both hands and swinging into...
Huh, that's a softer nudge for what looks like a strike. Is it?
Whether the prison jumpsuit elicits much of anything about this man's opinion of who he's standing before, it doesn't stop him from partaking in one technique that seems sort of silly - trying to hook the end of the pipe into Cody, heft him up, and swing him away.

COMBATSYS: Rust successfully hits Cody with Wrecking Ball Swing.

[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////    ]
Rust             0/-------/------=|====---\-------\0             Cody

Cody assumes his ready stance when Rust's boxers fall - this also does not elicit much of a change in his sleepy expression, only glancing briefly at the goofy print, then back up at the man. He wonders if someone in the organization that's running this show is having a joke at his expense. This can't be right, can it? Of course, he doesn't have much time to ruminate on the fact, as Rust is now advancing on him quickly with that pipe of his.

The prisoner makes a motion to evade the strike, but he miscalculates; he's instead suddenly snagged by the sleeve of his jumpsuit and hoisted upwards, before the pipe smacks him directly in the chest and knocks him backwards, the blow resounding with a solid metallic reveberation. Cody smacks back against the corner post of the ring, slumping down with a grunt. He clutches his chest as he gets back up, wincing from the sting of the impact. "Damn...guess that serves me right for not paying attention, huh?" he remarks, mostly to himself.

In response, he reaches back into his jumpsuit, the sound of tape tearing off skin heard as he pulls his OWN pipe out and taps it against his palm. "Hey, I can do that too, y'know." He lunges for Rust, attempting to grab him and throw him upwards into the air. "

"Let's have some fun!" Upon coming back down, Cody will swing the pipe to also smack his opponent in turn. "Home Run!"

COMBATSYS: Rust dodges Cody's Toss & Smash.

[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////////     ]
Rust             0/-------/------=|===----\-------\0             Cody

Cody's sentiments are a 1-for-1 match with the medical insurance providers when going over this man and his everything ever.
Pipe for pipe, Jr. grins a bit more at the prospect. "Can you?! Aw, neat, show m--"
Cody does grab a hold of him, and he makes a cartoonish grimace on his face as he's yanked up into the air. It's uncomfortable but not inherently damaging, stand-alone, as he's hurled up into the air...!
'Home Run!' Cody swings, and...
...comes up just shy, displaced air whipping around Rust Jr. as he lands in a /handstand/ a short ways away. His shorts slide back down.
the tools still don't jingle or jangle.
His return to a ready stance is less graceful, doing a backwards tumble with a grunt of exertion that momentarily breaks past the surface of cheer and enthusiasm before his free hand grabs a handful of tools from his toolbelt - three screwdrives - and throws them forward with such speed and accuracy that they seem poised to strike somewhere Cody might also be stowing away an additional weapon.
As if the threat alone isn't being hit by screwdriver-kunai, but having the screwdriver-kunai hit something else that will also then push into Cody by proxy.

COMBATSYS: Cody overcomes Tools For The Job from Rust with Snipe Shot.

[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////      ]
Rust             0/-------/-------|===----\-------\0             Cody

"Aw, man, it worked on the ninja cat guy," Cody complains. Maybe he needs to hit the batting cages.

He taps the pipe against the ground as he waits to see Rust's next move. The handyman bit does seem mildly interesting, and Cody wonders how he keeps it all from making noise; maybe this man, too, is some sort of ninja. This makes him think of Guy, and his frown deepens. Seems like a lifetime ago.

But echoes of the past stir action in the present, and as the screwdriver are hurled at him, Cody reaches into the breast of his jumpsuit and flings out his own answer to the screwdrivers: three prison shivs. One made of a toothbrush, one a sharpened butterknife, and one a straight razor taped to a popsicle stick. Each clang against the screwdrivers and knock them out of the air; one of Cody's may wind up in Rust's body in the process.

COMBATSYS: Cody successfully hits Rust with Snipe Shot.

[      \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////      ]
Rust             0/-------/---====|====---\-------\0             Cody

Shivs clash against screwdrivers. One of them pops into the air to come down into the rock near one of Cody's feet. At his leisure, he could retrieve it and admire some of the understated work on the way the screwdriver shaft is cut and adjusted in order to give it an interesting aerodynamic character. It's got a good grip to it. Might be fun to throw it at someone else down the line.
Rust Jr. reaches out to grab the one of the three sharpened items that does come his way, catching it effortlessly within his palm with a flashed grin.
"Oh, that's nice, that's a good thr--" he opens his palm to drop the toothbrush.
The toothbrush doesn't fall out of his hand.
Ohhhh, he thinks, he did effortlessly catch the toothbrush in his palm! The crimson stain of blood blends within the black of his gloves because oh yeah, it's actually well into his wrist.
"Ha ha haaa... ow." The 'ow' is understated as he has to pull it out and let the bloodied thing go where it will. It's an awkward moment.
An awkward moment is all he's getting, taking grip of that pipe back in both hands, stepping up, and swinging it around hip-level as he slightly overcommits, overbalancing with one leg raised up in the air as he nearly trips over the butterknife on the ground.

COMBATSYS: Rust successfully hits Cody with Power Strike.
?!? Weird Hit! ?!?

[    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Rust             0/-------/---====|======-\-------\0             Cody

Cody smirks when the toothbrush sticks into Rust's palm. "Now, just sayin', you might wanna go get a shot after this is over," he says in regards to the makeshift knife.

Rust comes at him with an awkward swing, which Cody attempts to block. Well, attempts being the key word. The imbalanced nature of the swing is precisely enough to maneuever past Cody's guard and slam into his side, right in the ribs. Cody grunts in pain and staggers away from the hit, leaning slightly as hot pain shoots up to his neck. "Uuuugh." He spends a few moments with his arm clutching his side, before he stands up straighter and circles Rust. His own pipe swings out to catch Rust in the back of the leg and hopefully knock him on his face. "That pipe there...reminds me of a certain mayor...you dad types all go to the same weapon store?"

COMBATSYS: Rust just-defends Cody's Medium Strike!

[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////        ]
Rust             0/-------/---====|======-\-------\0             Cody

"Yep! Up to date on shots! Thanks, buddy!" The thanks sounds entirely genuine, all this said somewhere at a fuzzy point in time within this sequence. Jr.'s footing is already compromised, and it seems something of a slam dunk for Cody to come in for the knees as this staggering continues for the entirety of Cody's predatory circling of his prey. The older man is in a position of weakness in terms of stance. When he pirouettes after stepping over the butterknife /again/, that presents the back of his legs for Cody's pipe.
The pipe swings...
...and with Jr.'s free hand, he holds a hand up. Two fingers curled inward, a thumb across then. Pointer and middle fingers raised together in a familiar, stereotypical ninja hand seal...!
His pipe stabs down at the ground to block Cody's swing.
Cody's swing powers past that. He's younger, stronger, faster.
"Huwaa?!" It's what comes next that's more impressive as Jr.'s balance is taken out underneath him, his entire body tumbling with the overcome pipe defensive into a showy single handstand cartwheel, clearing that low swing...


The DMV of some Nowheresville in Oregon.
"A 424. A 424. Calling for A 424." Says a bored DMV worker. An overweight sixty-something woman just going through the motions, as the fight continues onward on a crappy old TV - one of the first flatscreens to ever make it to market. It's a wonder it still works.
A school-aged boy with a portly physique and a french fry hanging out of their mouth like a cigarette comes up with a stack of papers to the booth.
The overweight DMV worker looks down upon them and snorts. "Are we doing this again?"
"I've consulted with several attorneys," says this school-aged boy, "they couldn't tell me one way or another if I'd have a case if you turned me away for being a minor enough times that the required paperwork would be past deadline... and honestly this is kind of a fun thing to talk about with my homeroom teacher."
The DMV worker rolls her eyes. "Where's your parents?"
"My mom doesn't get off work until well after you close, ma'am," says the school-aged boy as he slaps down a stack of papers, "so I did them for her."
The DMV worker asks the next obvious question. "And your dad?"
"You've been looking at him for the last few minutes."
The DMV worker gives him the blankest look.
"On the television, ma'am."


It's an impressive bit of acrobatics! It is also amateurishly overcommitted to, throwing away an excellent counterattack opportunity from an awkward position for Cody. The only good things that can be said about it are 'it looks impressive' and 'technically avoids harm.'
Then they slip and hit the ground low. A bad position, forcing him to a disadvantageous position if Cody moves in quickly enough--
"Ahh, can't speak for the rest of 'em, but I believe in recycling, eh?" He quips as he swings the pipe outward from low against the ground, sweeping at leg level towards the fullest extent of his very reach. "Foundation Layer!"

COMBATSYS: Cody blocks Rust's Foundation Layer.

[     \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Rust             0/-------/---====|======-\-------\0             Cody

Cody is surprised at such a strong defense from this...admittedly shlubby working class hero from who knows where. He'd guess Milwaukee. He watches the man cartwheel and it ALMOST looks cool. Almost. He whistles and rests his pipe across his shoulders. But the man has Cody thinking - mainly about trades. Perhaps in another life, he could have been a handyman too. If what Haggar said was true, about the possibility of freedom...would that door still be open? Could he learn a trade like a regular joe and get his life back on track?

He still muses over this as Rust goes low. Cody also goes low, using his pipe to block the strike and save his legs from the brunt of the impact this time. The clash still causes the two metal instruments to press against his legs, but it doesn't hurt QUITE as much.

Cody notices the screwdrivers on the ground, and with some sleight of hand learned in prison, tucks them into his jumpsuit in a split second.

Cody drops the pipe and puts his hands up. "Hold up. Some guy shanked me a few days ago in that leg. Lemme make sure it ain't bleedin' again..." The prisoner motions lifting the pant leg to check...but this is merely a ruse. He suddenly launches an uppercut without warning, then follows with a haymaker swing to the face. "BINGO!" he cries. The ol' one-two suckerpunch; well, if Rust even falls for it. But it is a favored tactic of Cody's.

COMBATSYS: Cody successfully hits Rust with Zonk Knuckle EX.

[          \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////          ]
Rust             1/------=/=======|=======\-------\0             Cody

Cody gets a few extra seconds on his ruse, for the clash of pipes sees Jr. himself losing his grip on his, and it takes him a few seconds to slap that hand around to find some part of the shaft to pick up, for it tries to roll out of grasp. The ring is not entirely level - there is the faintest decline that sees things rolling if there's enough force applied. Case in point, this pipe.
The flourish that comes after this laughable attempt at reclaiming his weapon is discordant with the last few seconds, rising up with an agility and readiness that seems all too unreal.
"Ahh, yep, I sure know about that sorta thi--"


That fist comes faster than he can process, a culturally instilled kindness on his end exploited as the jaw clenches and tries to crush his very teeth on that uppercut. Bingo, indeed. Five in a row.
Okay, just two. No one questions Cody when he keeps score. If he wants to call it a bingo, he gets to call it a bingo, and that bingo gets cemented with that haymaker that...
...strikes and undoes that weird head bun on one side of his head.
There's blood.


I had one last job, lamented a deeply scarred, heavily-muscled man as he hits the hardwood floor of an unassuming home somewhere out in America. Blood pools from his mouth. It had to be this one. It had to be this one.
His attacker stood over him, fists clenched. His vision swam as a piece of paper fell from his grasp.
'MEDICINE TWICE A DAY - FIRST DOSE AT X:15.' A bottle full of pills, of colorful shapes pressed in the form of a cartoon character that is almost beyond this grizzled veteran's time.
He knew the pay was too good to be true. He'd seen so many years of conflict. Fought in a war, or two. Three, one off the legal record. His services were sought out by so many corners of the globe. Most of them... less than virtuous.
This was going to be my last one, he lamented once more as his focus sharpened.
'BINGO!' Cody's voice is heard from the television, along with two nasty-sounding strikes.
A hand came down upon the collar of the fallen man.
The hand of a young girl, single-digit age.
"Hold still!" She yells with glee as she faces the television.

BACK TO THE ACTUAL FIGHT (because what's going on in that house may be more accurately described as a massacre)

That's some blood that might be on Cody's knuckles. If it isn't, it's okay, the canvas will take it.
Jr.'s eyes are wide, his mouth agape, hand rushing to that side of his head as that bun is undone. Previously, he all but laughed off having a shank cut so deep as to get into his /wrist/. Something about this reaction... enough that he's dropped his weapon entirely.
"Y-Yep," there's a nervous not-quite laugh as he faces away from Cody (an invitation to get smacked again) as he waves his free hand off-handedly. Somewhere, that hand might get around Cody's scalp and shove him /down/, like a faceplant.
"Sorry... be right with, be right with at," he murmurs, unable to fix up his hair in the heat of the moment, as if an attempt to compose but not quite getting there.
One of the commentators belts out laughing.

COMBATSYS: Cody endures Rust's Brick Stacker.

[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Rust             1/------=/=======|=======\=------\1             Cody

Cody shakes his fist after the second impact; it stings. But it's a good sting. He looks at the blood on them from the skin busting open, as it has many times in his life. Most of said knuckles are hardened and calloused. But occasionally the skin breaks as if seeing action for the first time. It is one of the many feelings in a fight he relishes; covets even. He stares at his hand as Rust fumbles with his bun.

Cody looks at Rust, his morose expression unwavering. "You ever feel like...like you're just going through the motions?" he asks.

He doesn't even make an attempt to escape Rust's tricky grab. That hand gets a fistful of greasy blonde hair and down the prisoner goes, smacking face first into the ring. His nose breaks, as it has broken many times before. Blood gushes out as he lies there for a few seconds. Then Cody rises, sitting up and letting Rust fix his weirdo hairstyle. "Like you're just gonna get into fights forever. In different places, different people. With cats." He sighs. "I dunno man. I should be hyped, but...feels like I got nothin' left. Maybe this tournament was a mistake. I fought some crazy chick in the subway. Korean. I got...real into it. Maybe too much into it. Felt kind of guilty after, like I did somethin' skeezy."

Cody doesn't go for the pipe. Instead he pulls something else out of his jumpsuit: a blackjack. Where he got it is a mystery, but now he's trying to slam it into Rust's gut, then whip it again into his back. "...what's it like, havin' a real job? A real life? Do you even have those?"

COMBATSYS: Rust wards against Cody's Random Weapon.

[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Rust             1/----===/=======|=======\==-----\1             Cody

The cooler over on Team WTF's side peers open, and there's a pair of Sasquatch eyes peeking out, blinking, looking to the others, and then closing. "(Don't ask me, trail's gone cold on that one...)"

Where Zach and Terry had an explosive, exciting match between a legendary brawler and a man of incredible power, there seems to be a different energy in play. Something slower, something... a bit more raw. If Zach's and Terry's performance were like a professionally rehearsed dance, this is...
"Eh?" Is he just feeling like he's going through the motions? The fiddling halts, and the oddball of a man seems as a statue as the question is asked. A grin slowly returns to his face, as if fighting to exist on his face. If 'fighting' were better described as 'putting the rest of his face in a sack and beating it upside the, erm, itself,' drawing his hand away from Cody outright and giving him too much space (space that soon proves not to exist between them, he's basically about ready to join that metaphorical sack beating).
"Ahh... I like bein' in all sorts of different places, different people in," compared to the morose Cody, that moment of existential shock seems to give way to the usual oblivious cheer that encompasses this guy. He doesn't directly face Cody. Cody's got a pick of where he can draw that blackjack and go to town. "How can there be nothing left in a world like this? There's so much of it... never cease finding something new and novel where,"
He starts to laugh as he seems to be blending a sentence he's thinking with a sentence he's speaking again. It's as if the very idea of there being nothing left in this world, to this world, were just so /weird/. He straight up deserves that blackjack to the gut that comes at him.
He leans back... dodging? He's clearly out of the way of the strike but he holds up his hand to it as he turns to better face Cody, as if aborting an already succesful evasive manevuer for something else. Ward off? Ward off it is.
Cody smacks him solidly on his forearm like a scolding teacher of yesteryear might against the knuckles of a troublesome youth. "Ow." He shakes that hand out.
Cody doesn't give him time to let that strike soak as he fluidly, with the motions, goes right towards his back. He seems to lean into that with his right shoulder-- endure? Then he sticks his elbow out in what might be a clean parry motion were it not for the amount of force an empty shell of a man can fill into hands that feel there's nothing left, shoving Jr. forward and away. On his feet, but taking two solid hits to two different limbs in the process.
He doesn't really get a chance to fully do back up the bun, as blood comes down the side of his head.
"I got a family, yep! Three children. Ahh, wish I could show 'em more of the world," he grins as he finds the pipe he dropped, and kick-flips it back up to his left hand with a clumsy catch as his grip spasms some from that first blackjack hit, "wouldn't be here in this tourney if it weren't f--"
Microphone feedback deafens. It eats up whatever he was about to say, and fragments only can be heard after it dies down. "--glutton! That's when I knew, yep... bet they're all watchin' and cheering on dad, eh? Yep. Sooo,"
The talk - as it is - seems to put him back in either 'the zone' or 'some non-standard state of existence in which the concept of a zone does not apply but remains the closest intellectual equivalent thereof,' but either scholarly interpretation of this man and his comprehension comes to the same end point.
The point where he takes his length of pipe in both hands and leaps upward in a spiraling, spinning uppercutting motion.
"Cement Mixer!" He calls out the move name as he ascends.

COMBATSYS: Cody fails to interrupt Cement Mixer EX from Rust with Rapid Fire.

[              \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////                 ]
Rust             1/-----==/=======|====---\-------\0             Cody

"Yeah, well..." Cody replies. "Maybe it's new an' exciting for you. But I don't get the same feeling. To me the world is a square cell, three meals a day, working out in the yard. Keeping the others in line. Like I'm, like wearing these stripes is what I was meant for." Cody circles Rust as he flips the blackjack in his hand, waiting to see the man's next move.

The mention of family gives him pause. He ruminates on that, even as Rust's spirited advice is drowned out by the feedback. His frown deepens. "Family, sure," he mutters. He sure blew that chance.

Rust is moving; Cody pulls out a knife to try and intercept him before he completes the motion, but he fails! The spinning pipe uppercut smacks him in the face, stars exploding in his vision as he's knocked into the air. He spins head over heels before he falls, hitting the ring with a loud THUD. He groans, his head swimming as he rises to his knee. "Shit, that smarts..." he groans.

For all the ways this man seems - and may well be - detached from reality, the pipe strike feels purposeful enough in terms of force and will. Cody's knife strike doesn't find purchase in flesh, but that knife scars a shirt and grazes flesh before a pipe upside the face diverts that initial blow from doing anything more.
That's almost more than needs to be done to give Cody the technical win this round, for the man carries himself up high, angling away as he takes leave of his angular alignment to the ground and twirls a ways off.
He's about to go...


as he comes out of it. Commentators stand up, the referee is starting to make the motion to call for a ring out, when...
"Ah!!" A sandal-clad foot daintily touches against the turnbuckle and fights the laws of physics as the older man windmills his arms, bending backwards as he comes juuuuust shy of tipping over. If Cody had gotten a clean hit in that exchange, the carry-over momentum from that blow would've blown him right past that point of no return. He might even be there...
...and then he throws his free hand up, curling two fingers inward and crossing a thumb over them, placing a foot against the balancing leg's knee as he rights himself up. A moment of tranquil calm and balance that does not fit this man's appearance /at all/.
"You're out here now...!" The guy smiles. "One of the indigenous peoples in this part of the States calls this, in their tongue, the Land of the Noonday Sun! Ahhh... yep. I kayaked here with my family a long, long while back inside," inside what? He's blending sentences again, mind racing with nostalgia and ideas. "I mean, hey, we both got out and about, eh? Just takin' it all in..."
The initial pose he's taken on rebalancing himself, that is recongizeably ninja-ish. 'Legit,' as far as stances in the fighting world go. As he centers himself, however, the way he moves his body... while certainly within anatomical norms, achievable by the average joe...
Like the part where he leans forward to the point he's bowing over, releasing the hand seal gesture to tug at the ankle of a leg bending back, and sticking his tongue out as though he were trying to get it in his nostril while he rubs at the back of his neck with a pipe...
"Feelf fih fh fhhr fhn fnff fn fnn fh fhhf fhm fhhr!*" And then he tries to talk /while doing that/, as if this were part of some obscure discipline involved in channeling energy from the world around him and not a nearly fifty-year-old man trying to relive that period of life where each and every way one's body can bend and move were novel and entertaining.
In the middle of the decisive round of a match of the most prestigious team fighting tournament.
To a man who has lost everything, even the joy of having something, to their love of fighting.
how does someone like this exist

* 'Feels like the water can punch me in the face from here!'

COMBATSYS: Rust gathers his will.

[            \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////                 ]
Rust             1/=======/=======|====---\-------\0             Cody

Cody just reaches up to rub his head and give Rust an incredulous look as he continues to say feel good stuff, and then strikes a silly pose...and tries to talk with his tongue out. In all his years, the street fighter has not quite encountered anyone like this, and so far in this tournament he's seen some weirdos. But he seems to take it in complete stride. "I never been kayaking. Those things look dangerous. You know what I miss? Getting a beef and cheddar sandwich at this corner store where I used to live. Run by some Armenian guy, I think his name was Davit. Or maybe it was David. It was a really good sandwich."

He sighs and looks up. "Truth is I don't deserve that kind of stuff. I belong on the inside. All these people cheering it, kinda annoys me. Like I never got busted. They call me a hero, but they don't get what I been through, you know? I dunno why I'm sayin' this."

He approaches Rust and moves to wrap his arms around the acrobatic dad's middle, then promptly bend backwards to suplex him back into the ring. "He said I could get out permanently," Cody goes on to say, not specifying who. "Like all this could go away...but then what? What the hell else is there?"

COMBATSYS: Rust blocks Cody's Medium Throw.

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Rust             2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|====---\-------\0             Cody

"Iiii dunno why you're sayin' that either, but, hey--" There's only so much casual conversation that can go on betweenblows.
Rust Jr., mid-pose, starts to lose balance. He's wearing sandals, they are less than prime footwear for this sort of thing. Just as Cody walks up, his wobbling has him facing his back and that is a prime suplexing positon for him to be in.
A subprime position for Jr. himself in any circumstance even if there wasn't a suplex in the barrel. Cody has no issue in taking him off the turnbucke and back into the ring. Hands around gut, minimal resistance to being pulled, the so-called ninja flopping overhead as Cody suplexes him...
Jr., arms free, stabs the pipe into the canvas to catch himself. A hiss escapes his teeth as a reality of his advancing age creeps up his back (literally), and then creeps through his left shoulder. A creep... called a cramp.
A droplet of blood escapes from where he got haymaker'd not long ago, dripping onto the canvas.
A tiny little 'aaaaaaaaaaah' goes through him as he wiggles his legs quasi-effectually to try and clear the rest of the journey to wriggle out of Cody's grasp and get back onto his feet with a backwards stumble of two steps before he can stay upright.
Three seconds later, he's back to smiling like this touch of reality of his physical limits were just a bad waking dream. (The face he made is going to be on the highlight reel because that was the face of someone in no small amount of pain.)
"All this could go away... but then there'd be another. Nothing ever just becomes nothing... always something out there, yep, away from all of it." All of what, though?
He's still dealing with that nasty cramp in his left arm - which is his dominant limb. He tries to take Cody by an arm in his right, yank him over an outstretched leg, then turn and leap up a short ways to try and strike a knee into his back.
A jumping knee.
A jumping knee that, for Zach, may be familiar if he were conscious enough to watch this.

COMBATSYS: Rust successfully hits Cody with Armed Combo.

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Rust             2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|=======\-------\0             Cody

Cody stands back up after Rust wriggles free, rolling his neck as he prepares to keep at it. "Always something out there, huh..." he replies, sweat rolling down his face. "Maybe." He doesn't say anything else to that, instead choosing to focus solely on the rest of the fight. The blood that trickled down his face from his nose is drying, giving him a red half mask.

He tries to block Rust's grab, but the angle makes this difficult, and before he can even do so he's stretched over Rust's leg. The jumping knee slams into his back, and hard. Cody grits his teeth as he falls forward, pain shooting up his spine from the blow. The prison doctors won't be pleased with that one. Quickly Cody kicks his feet out and jumps back up, suddenly looking freshly invigorated despite the accumulation of hits.

The prisoner grabs for Rust's collar, and hoists him up to deliver a swift headbutt. He then pivots one leg around to pull Rust over his shoulder and slam him back first onto the ring floor.

COMBATSYS: Cody successfully hits Rust with Trash Out.

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Rust             2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|=======\-------\1             Cody

The crap is cut. Once Cody gets out of the vocal dance and goes for the collar, it's enough to start making lesser men holler. (A lot of the times for mommy. Older-fashioned sorts, their uncle.)
Cody catches him before he can stand back up after that leaping knee. There is a grin and a raised hand seal between their faces. Then Cody applies more than the RDA of one's forehead /into/ said hand seal, smashing hand into forehead and taking this guy's leave out of conscious reality for a while (...moreso than usual) as he hurls him back down into the ring, face-down.
The entire ring shudders. The crowd is desensitized to the impact for it is nowhere near the magnitudes achieved between Zach and Terry. Ring-side medics wince and go, yes, that's painful. More blood hits the canvas, painting a picture of blood, sweat, and tears. (Mostly the blood, though.)
"That might be enough to send Team... whatever their name is home," a commentator comes through loud and clear, "they're looking at a solid 4 points in the preliminary rounds, which might not see them advance depending on how the other match-ups go."
The referee's starting the count-out, even under signs of activity. Cody's strength is well-known, even for the unsavory circumstances. He's a hooligan, but he's a king among those types. No nonsense, all knocks. That looks like a knockdown. That looks like a knockout. The referee is about up to the eight count when they're looking ready to cut it short on the technic--
"Yep!" Jr. rises up, one eye shut and swollen as he thrusts the pipe against the canvas as a hasty means of getting up, and the refree looks cuaght flat-footed. "Now I know the saying's all 'no ifs, ands, or buts,' maybe.... may just be we include maybe in that, eh?" He staggers back, looking less and less convincing every passing second. Another knock like that would make it unambiguous.
One leg goes up against the turnbuckle as both hands dip into the toolbelt - his right faster than his left, owing to a cramp whose effects have not quite subsided moments after throwing the pipe up into the air. High, high into the air. Between his hands, screwdrivers. Screwdrivers that get thrown in waves of three.
And again, and again, and again, a veritable rain of screw drivers. At one point a screwdriver blade catches on the braid and undoes it. The man's luxurious, healthy hair - something so physically improbable that it may be considered a deformity - flares out as the toolbelt's contents come perilously close to empty.

COMBATSYS: Rust successfully hits Cody with Hard Day's Work.
- CRAZY Hit! -

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Rust             1/-------/<<<<<<<|=======\====---\1             Cody

Cody looks down as Rust falls, the blood around his mouth from his nostrils starting to mix with his sweat, so it doesn't completely dry. Another trickle of blood slowly drips down the side of his head from an earlier impact, which he ignores. He isn't quite convinced his opponent is not out yet; some fighter's instinct within him says so. The prisoner paces back and forth as the medics and referee come in, like a waiting tiger looking for his next meal.

Then Rust springs up. "Well well," he says. "Looks like we can still have us some fun for a little bit longer."

Cody clenches his fists. That right there looks like a lot of screwdrivers. More screwdrivers than he anticipated. They fly at him so quick he can't even block in time; the result is rather gruesome as the screwdriver tips stab into various parts of his body. Arms, legs, chest, one even grazes his cheek and creates a noticeable cut. After this, Cody looks like a human pincushion. He coughs up some blood and spit and drops to a knee, the pain is intense. "Gaaaah!" He grits his teeth, his body fighting the urge to fall unconscious. He stands.

With a burst of speed, he launches a jab straight for Rust's face. All his power is put behind it. It is said Cody's strength is beyond even most fighters in terms of its rawness; that if he would cease to hold back due to his desire for thrills, he may be a force of destruction. A glimpse of this rumor is perhaps displayed here, as he winds up another furious jab that seems to displace the very air. The third hit comes from a haymaker with his left fist, sweat beads flying off him as he throws the punch. Finally, he grabs for Rust again. Teeth gritted, eyes steeled with a fire that was once ever present during his days fighting Mad Gear, a fire that only comes out nowadays when he fights on his last legs, he drives his knee into Rusts gut twice like a steam piston, then hurls him as hard as he can onto the ground. After this exertion, Cody falls....

COMBATSYS: Cody can no longer fight.

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Rust             1/-------/<<<<<<<|

COMBATSYS: Rust barely manages to escape Cody's Final Combination!

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Rust             1/-------/<<<<<<<|

A gentle mist from the crashing waves of the nearby rapids fills the ring, a soft breeze causing the unbound hair to whip about in the wake of All Of The Screwdrivers. A small stream of blood continues down the side of his face, staining a trail through his predominantly blue get-up. Also, some of the hair gets in his eyes. There's a lot of it. That's what hair does when there's too much of it, and this man... has way, way, way too much of it. A hand seal is raised, one leg additionally raised.
"...You bet," he replies belatedly to the prisoner's assertion they can have fun for a little bit longer, "gotta make the most of every time you're out and ab--"
Cody doesn't let him finish. That first punch comes in fast. It's coming in right for when that Zonk Knuckle first struck into his head beyond the hair bun. What was once a tranquil, even oblivious smile gives way to something more raw, more primal.
There's no mistaking it for anything else - Cody's seen that look on guys he's taken out for the twenty-seventh time and up.
That's fear.
A first crouch that asks way too much of aging knees as that fist brushes past his scalp with a sting. The second punch doesn't even have to directly connect to knock him flat on his back. Even as it sails overhead from a blind fury, the displaced air throws this guy right on his back. He sits up and edges back into that turnbuckle.
His right hand balls up into a fist, clenching into itself, forearm held vertically. An impotent defense unto itself as his back is up against the turnbuckle. Cody's haymaker laces through the tight space between this and his face, and that turnbuckle behind him?
Gone. It's now going out camping and having a great time in the rapids! (It'll send a postcard.)
Joints pop noisily as though they don't want to flex or move any more as Cody gets his grip on him. Face to face, an aging man whose best years are by far behind him faces down the fury of a troubled young man who only knows violence, fighting, putting the hurt.
Jr. blinks once.
"...Ahh, sorry," FOR WHAT?
With a whirl - some sort of acrobatic /trick/ - as Cody yanks to pull him close for that final knee strike, Jr. straight up casts off the mechanic's jumpsuit top, leaving only the undersized white undershirt that can't hide his fat gut and a pair of suspenders underneath as he ducks away. He /barely misses/ getting kneed. If he were any closer, that knee would have shattered ribs. It could have ended a career that should have already ended roughly a decade ago on that very spot. The Metro City prisoner has naught but the top of a mechanic jumpsuit to hurl into the canvas - and nothing else left in the sequence.
Cody collapses from overexertion, and Rust Jr. deftly catches the pipe he had thrown up into the air moments sooner in a smoother catch than the lingering crackles and pops in his left arm would suggest, taking a short hop back as he re-enters a ready stance.
Cody doesn't get back up.
There is a stunned silence. Zach Glenn and Terry Bogard ended with such fervor among the audience that the announcer could not be heard above the gathered.
Nobody says anything for a solid fifteen seconds.
The referee can't believe it. The announcer doesn't want to say it. Sponsors dread it.
That happened.


A portly kid with a french fry hanging out of their mouth opens the door to their home. A young girl angrily yells at a television, showing a certain long-haired man throwing up a plank of wood and speed-painting a celebratory banner faster than the eye can see. On the ground...
A barely-moving, bloodied, muscled husk of scars who slaps a hand at their feet... before a fat, school-aged kid.
"...I can't... I can't do this," they whimper like they never shed tears in the last three decades of their life. "I've... I've seen it all, I've done it all... but that, that...!"
The rotund kid takes out a box of fries and slaps it a few times to get out a fresh fry. They pocket that, get out a ketchup packet, and squirt some at the end that's /not/ in his mouth, and he sighs. "Wow... that was the last chance of finding a babysitter." He looks over to the television screen where the younger girl continues to make all sorts of noise.
A flash of images showing the competitors of Team WTF. Zach Glenn, Michael, Sasquatch... and then one of Rust, Jr., who is facing the wrong way for a win screen portrait entirely. A quote can be heard.
"'The whole wide world... you got to bring as much of it back in your hands and share it when,'" then some meaningless numbers associated to things. Life? Time?
The kid with the fry in his mouth kneels down to the wounded veteran mercenary. "Could you come to me with the DMV instead? Um, we'll call it good after that..."
Yeah, this kid thinks internally, he's going to have to get creative about this.

COMBATSYS: Rust has ended the fight here.

Log created on 03:04:38 06/20/2019 by Zach Glenn, and last modified on 12:04:23 06/27/2019.