Description: In the depths of Somalia, Shadaloo works to extend a tendril of influence into land that the Lord of Battle has marked as his own. After far too long, Rugal's most enthusiastic herald is allowed to slip her leash and remind Shadaloo that they don't, in fact, rule this world unchallenged. One might imagine that Vega's least loyal servant was sent there entirely to be the lucky recipient of that message...
With an annoyed grunt, Juri slaps at the side of her neck for what must be the hundredth time in the last hour. Normally, her efforts are more of a show of annoyance than any actual attempt to shoo away the buzzing pests - the damn things are more stubborn than ol Butt-chin - but this time there is a soft crunch as her palm comes down. The sensation of something hot and sticky spreads quickly between her fingers.
The young girl holds her hand out in front of her, dangling it loosely over the ground. Thick globs of brackish brown goo dribble down her fingers along with shattered bits of what looks like an oversized beetle. Snarling in disgust and rage, she flicks her hand vigorous to the side a few times but the gunk proves just as annoyingly resilient as the insects themselves.
Glancing around for something to assist in removing this filth, she spies a duffel bag lying discarded next to one of the small tents. It isn't hers but that's never stopped her before. Rooting around in the sack, she snatches the first piece of cloth that she finds and promptly proceeds to use it to wipe vigorously at the mess.
"Stupid oversized bugs in this stupid backwater shit hole..."
Lifting her gaze away from the mess, Juri sweeps her eyes across the landscape, directing her scorn once more at her surroundings. For the most part, what she has to look at is a massive hole in the ground; a mine, technically, but a hole nonetheless. Nearly perfectly rectangular in shape, the gaping chasm stairsteps down in several sharp tiers towards the bottom with large wide ramps carved into the sides to allow for easy passage between levels.
Along the upper edges of the mine, a handful of small squat compounds serve as the operations center for the whole project. Beyond those, surrounded by heavy chain link fencing and barbed wire, a small tent city expands across a solid chunk of the sun-blasted plain. Despite the absurd heat, the place is bustling with activity. All across its various ledges, dozens of small figures can be seen hard at work in the mine, some operating cranes and drills while most are relegated to wailing away at big chunks of rock with old fashioned pickaxes and hammers. Yet more shapes move quickly among the tents, scurrying to-and-fro in pursuit of some likely important task that she couldn't give the slightest shit about.
Juri does not want to be here. She had made that very clear, both to the unfortunate underling who had delivered the orders to her and to basically everyone stupid enough to get within kicking range for the last three days. There is nothing to /do/ here! No television, no radio, and certainly no internet. Even worse, no /air conditioning/, which is by far the most egregious sin.
Thus a bored, sweaty, miserable Juri has been doing her best to encourage the local overseers to finish up whatever task required her presence in as hasty a manner as possible. There have been attempts to try and placate her, of course. Her small personal tent is stuffed full of bits of tribute - bottles of cheap swill that she's only mildly certain might be alcohol, half-melted candy bars, a few weather and faded novels in some language she never cared to learn, and a deck of old cards. Complete garbage to her but apparently priceless treasures to these poor losers.
An annoyed voice calls out from behind her and she turns to regard the owner, a towering angry black man, with a look of utter contempt. Suicidally undeterred by her glare, he stalks closer, gesturing at the bug-smeared piece of cloth in her hands.
"What are you doing? That is my good shirt!"
Juri glances down at the ruined cloth for a moment and then casually wipes another smear of crud off one of her fingers.
"Was," she says, glancing back up at him with a bored expression.
The man's face screws up into a mask of rage as she blows him off, veins bulging on top of his bald head. Again he displays an utter lack of regard for his own well-being by taking a few steps closer, his fingers balling up into tight fists. Aww, he's trying to be intimidating. That's cute.
"Now listen here, you little bitch!"
His hand extends forward, a mitt large enough to engulf her entire arm coming to rest on her shoulder. Juri's reaction is swift and merciless. A searing blaze of neon violet power carves a vertical line straight up from the ground as her foot snaps up in a sharp kick. The line of energy bisects the huge man right below the shoulder, cleaving his arm clean off the joint with a single strike.
A shriek of utter pain and terror explodes from the man's throat as he stumbles backwards, clutching at the bloody stump wildly. The girl's gaze lingers on the mortally wounded idiot for a brief moment before shifting to her shoulder, where the arm still clutches tightly to her body in a death grip. She frowns and swats the limb aside, leaving her already sweat-stained t-shirt spattered with droplets of fresh crimson.
It has been a long time since Vice was let off the leash. Since the World Warrior tournament, Rugal had been content to sit back and marshal his resources; to sit in the background of the world as other powers played out their petty squabbles on the main stage. There had been the odd motion here and there, of course. The occasional intervention which required a violent and bloody reminder of the potential of "R" to defend what is theirs, or the rare fighter that her Master required to be brought to him so that they could be properly tested and then added to the collection. But for years, Vice has been kept on a very short leash indeed.
But that was all coming to an end, now.
Shadaloo had decided to try and muscle in on "R"'s operations within Somalia, and that just couldn't be allowed. It wasn't surprising. Shadaloo was the bigger, meaner, more widespread group. But Somalia was practically Rugal's backyard, in so far as the Blacknoah could be said to have one. No government, just a thousand different warlords bitterly fighting one another to be top dog? Was it truly any surprise that "R" worked tirelessly to ensure that the wars never stopped?
Besides. There were uranium deposits to be mined. In a nation with no functioning government to even begin to keep watch of it. Oh, no no no. Rugal couldn't let Shadaloo's greedy hand close around a prize that lovely.
And of all the countries in the world that she's worked in, Vice loved this one more than most. Hard, bitter, war-hardened people. Murderers. Ruin. Where her Shadaloo counterpoint was harassed by bugs and miserable without her luxuries, Vice was never bothered by biting insects. The poisonous Orochi blood has its advantages there. Nor did she have to camp in some miserable tent; she undertook her scouting from the luxury of a stealth helicopter piloted by someone who knew very well that his continued existence relied upon not pissing off his passenger.
It hadn't taken long to confirm the Shadaloo presence, nor the muscle that Shadaloo had assigned to secure it. Vice knew of Juri, of course; anyone with a bounty greater than hers earned a kind of professional ire. It got her excited. But if there's one thing "R" is good at, it is making an entrance.
So Juri murders her ally...
And then that precious tent bursts into flames.
With the scream still reverberating through the camp and the sudden interruption to her monotony, it might be possible for Juri to miss the sudden change in tenor. The background hum of industry is, quite suddenly, interrupted by the sound of staccato gunfire - but all of that is taking place down in the mine proper, where a small gang of extraordinarily well-equipped mercenaries are moving with absolute precision to massacre as many miners as they can in as short a period of time as possible.
Far more pressing is the sound of Juri's precious bottles of alcohol exploding within her tent, and those few remaining luxuries going up in smoke. If the man who had approached her was suicidal, what does that say about the state of the person who has done this? Surely, they couldn't be stupid enough to stick around -- wait, no, there they are.
The woman who emerges from the flaming wreckage stands tall and well-built. Her elegant red dress and perfectly-coiffed hair gives her the look of some kind of professional, but the smile on her lips... that's almost feral. There's some distance between herself and Juri, the dying man pumping out his lifeblood between them, with the 'secretary' illuminated beautifully by the arson.
"I love Somalia."
Vice takes one step forward, and then leans down, running her hand through the arterial spray from Juri's former lackey. She brings the blood to her lips, and there's a ~shiver~ of pleasure from her, but not once has she taken her eyes from Juri. Vice might have a decade on the younger fighter, but she didn't get to live her long life of ultraviolence by letting her guard down in the presence of her fellow monsters.
She opens her mouth, as though she's about to continue speaking--
And then she's ducking down and low, rushing forwards with disconcerting speed given her heels and the blood-slick ground. A wild laugh on her lips, as she swings around, sleeve stretching out deceptively fast to snare Juri in just the same place that the dying man had grabbed--
But if SHE makes contact, she's not stupid enough to keep the hold. Instead, Juri will find herself being flung around with impossible force, into the flaming wreckage of her once-home. It is only AFTER she's made her attack that she offers any even vague explanation.
"This whole country is SOAKED in blood, and idiots like you can never stay away! HAAAA! I LOVE IT!"
COMBATSYS: Vice has started a fight here.
COMBATSYS: Juri has joined the fight here.
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Vice 0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0 Juri
COMBATSYS: Juri dodges Vice's Deicide.
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Vice 0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0 Juri
And suddenly all hell breaks loose.
Juri has only a moment's warning as the battle computer in her eye suddenly flares to life, chirping away in the back of her mind like a starving baby bird. The explosion that engulfs her tent makes her flinch, if only briefly, one arm rising to shield her face against the intense wave of alcohol-fueled heat. Her loose clothing flutters madly in the shockwave, long black hair that she hasn't bothered to style up billowing out behind her like a flag in the wind.
When her arm lowers away from her face, Juri's expression is no longer one of boredom. A snarl of pure rage twists her lovely features into a mask of terrifying fury, pure psychotic violence bubbling up from deep within her twisted soul. She tosses the ruined shirt aside and glances down, her attention focusing on her right leg. A large shard of glass protrudes from the teenager's thigh, a bit of shrapnel launched haphazardly by the unexpected arson. With a hiss, she yanks the offending object out, wincing at the pain as the sharp edges slice into the soft flesh of her hand in the process.
Juri doesn't like pain. Hypocritical as it might sound, suffering is best enjoyed when one is inflicting it rather than receiving. A life of hard suffering and blinding rage has rendered her more resistant to injury than most girls her age. The incredible power granted to her by the eye cranks that up to near demi-god levels of durability. But that doesn't mean is doesn't still fucking /hurt/ when something manages to slip past her defenses.
Then, in a bafflingly unwise move, the person responsible for her pain chooses to reveal themselves to her.
Juri's expression becomes pure thunder as the red-headed woman emerges from the flames to /taunt/ her of all things. She couldn't give the faintest of fucks about the dying man or his coworkers. Not even the bursts of controlled gunfire rattling off in the distance matter to her in the least. Her full and undivided attention is now the exclusive property of this fucking dead woman.
The sudden shift from creepy blood licking to attempted cheap shot does not manage to slip past the girl's notice this time. Vice's arm whips forward in an unnatural blur at incredible speeds. But you have to be several notches past incredible to catch the Spider napping now that she's aware.
Juri moves. It isn't a wild evasive leap or a showy martial dodge. Her stance shifts subtly, her shoulder inching slightly closer to the snake-like sleeve as it comes crashing into her. The moment she feels contact, the teenager simply changes directions, yanking her flesh clear of the grasping fingers beneath that stretched out limb by a hair's breadth. The maneuver is not without a price, however. Vice is too quick not to claim some sort of prize. With a loud tearing sound, the thin white t-shirt rips clean off her body, the tattered fabric going up almost instantly as its flung into the raging inferno.
"Someone's getting a little handsy for a first date!"
Juri sneers at the older woman, both hands coming to rest on her hips without a hint of shame. A thin black sports bra keeps her bits from being exposed by that unfortunate exchange, not that it would have slowed her down were that not the case. Wouldn't be the first time she's tangled with someone while half-dressed.
"Let's see how much you love it when I rip off those slinkies you call arms and beat you to death with them!"
Exploding forward in a sudden surge of motion, Juri closes the gap between herself and her prey almost instantly. Her leading leg begins to blaze with the unmistakable aura of Psycho Power as she flicks it up into the air. In a reversal of the same move she had used to disarm the idiot worker only a few moments ago, the teen's heel drops like a guillotine at Vice's shoulder, searing violet power carving a vertical line in its wake.
COMBATSYS: Juri successfully hits Vice with Fusatsusen.
~~ Alluring Hit! ~~
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Vice 0/-------/-======|===----\-------\0 Juri
Vice proves to be a lot sturdier than the unfortunate worker. The heel connects clean, and there's blood, but where Juri is probably used to people screaming in pain when they are struck by her heel and power... Vice cackles with a barely-restrained glee. There is no indication whatsoever that she has even the slightest care for her own safety. Instead, the very fact that Juri is able to hurt her so much gives her hope; she'd been vaguely concerned that the teenager would just be broken in half and then she'd have to go home unsatisfied. Nope. Her ability to evade the opening gambit and give back as good as she got tells a monster as experienced as Vice an awful lot about her target. She could count on one hand the number of people in this world she would expect to be able to pull that sequence off reliably.
Now she wants to see if Juri can keep it up.
That might be the main point of difference between Vice and her newfound nemesis. Juri loves to inflict pain but has no taste for it herself; for Vice, it's fun whether she's dishing it out or taking it. Oh, she PREFERS to grind her opponent beneath her heel and feel them snap, but Juri's strength calls to her. The selfish power burning in her heel calls to the beast raging inside the Orochi-blooded warrior. "That's the thing about me, little girl." She hisses, "You think I need my arms to kill you? I'm a snake. I'll just swallow you whole!"
And all that Orochi power bled out into the world from her wound is suddenly coallescing. The sun itself disappears beneath the darkness as it spreads around the pair of warriors. Juri will have just a split second to realise what is happening before Vice is lunging upwards, aiming to grab the girl and snare her, drag her into the ground.
Even Juri's augmented vision might not be enough to penetrate the darkness of Orochi's power. Blotted out, there is nothing but a sense of ancient and oppressive malevolence. A force that is totally, and completely, antithetical to human existence. Later on, this might even be a moment to think of - Juri has no doubt seen many of the most powerful beings that walk this Earth, but where someone like Vega is a very human kind of demon, driven to dominate and control... the power lurking inside this woman is something else entirely.
There is no negotiation with Orochi. No grand design. No final plan. There is only the plain and simple desire to scour the world of man clean. And it is that pure drive which stains the very world black as Vice attempts to make good on her promise.
COMBATSYS: Juri blocks Vice's Cannibal Corpse.
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Vice 0/-------/-----==|====---\-------\0 Juri
As it turns out, Juri is more than capable of keeping step with her new dance partner. Though, arguably, she does so by cheating. The girl's left eye suddenly flares with a shimmering purple energy as the world starts to dim all around them. Though she has never encountered this particular form of attack before, the Feng Shui Engine was designed not only to analyze data but make predictions based on its vast array of stored experiences. As such, when the darkness closes in, she is ready for it.
In many ways, her own power might be considered the polar opposite of the vile Orochi blood. Where it exists to purge the world of all human life, her own strength is that born out of the forge of her spirit and will. What is Psycho Power if not the raw stuff of a human soul made manifest? Hopes and dreams. Ambitions and desires. Love and hatred. Though there might be a whole lot more of the darker elements of humankind blazing within Juri's black heart it is still a pulsating source of pure vital energy. Life.
Those two powers pit themselves against one another in a brief clash of raw will. For a moment there is naught but blackness as the oppressive inhuman energy engulfs the two women. But a single point of light suddenly pierces that veil of utter emptiness, bursting through the void like a lens flare in a Hollywood action movie. The curtain of inky night is peeled away like old paint from the canvas of reality to reveal the two combatants once more.
Juri still stands, her hands extended to hold the ferocious monster at bay. A pair of ugly bite marks mar her slender arms, the wounds weeping thin trickles of blood that are matched on the serpent woman's snarling lips. The teen struggles for several seconds, direct contests of strength having never been her strong point despite the incredible power she can bring to bear. Eventually, her arms seem to buckle and Vice is allowed to lunge forward for another taste of her flesh, teeth raking across the girl's shoulder as she twists to avoid it, only partially succeeding.
"Agh, fuck! What the hell is wrong with you?!"
Fresh pain brings yet more anger to the surface. Snarling like a wild animal, Juri shifts her weight and pivots, falling back from her attacker in what might seem like a retreat. But in a display of exceptional agility, the teen's leg snaps up and comes down towards Vice's neck, attempting to hook over the back of her head and drive her face-first into the sun-baked dirt.
"You want a taste of something? Eat /this/, bitch!"
Should she manage to give the crazed cannibal a taste of the floor, she throws on a little spice on to the dish by leaping up and driving her heel square into the small of the woman's back, putting her full weight behind the debilitating blow.
COMBATSYS: Juri successfully hits Vice with Assatsu Geri.
~~ Alluring Hit! ~~
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Vice 1/-------/=======|=======\-------\0 Juri
Is it really cannibalism when you aren't the same species as the target? As far as Vice is concerned, these humans are beneath her. She might share the same general shape, but her Orochi blood is strong. It would have to be, to withstand the kind of impacts that Juri is slamming into her again and again. Any one of these blows would have killed a lesser woman. But not Vice. She's hooked and driven into the dirt, sure. The teenager even manages to slam her heels into her spine. But Vice is rising up to her feet regardless. If anything, the energy that this girl is putting into the fight is spurring her on, really getting her blood pumping.
Maybe it's the backdrop, too. It's been far too long since she stalked the streets in a coup, or bore witness to the Lord of Battle's armaments being put to good use. The gunfire down below is already starting to die out, as "R"'s mercenaries begin to retreat, but the blood and death in the air, the conflagration raging behind their battle, hemming both fighters in to the precipitous drop at the top of the mine... oh yes, there's a lot to enjoy in all of this.
"What's the matter? Not having fun?" She growls, "HAH! That's the problem with humans like you. Rip out that pointless eye. Throw away your hope! Learn to despair. Otherwise, you're just a slave to passion. And that... PISSES ME OFF!"
Does it make sense? Maybe, maybe not. Vice is perfectly sincere in her declaration, though. Evidenced by the fact that the woman is suddenly hurtling forwards at top speed, and this time, there's no stopping, no trick, no sudden darkness to obscure her movements.
Instead, she aims to just grab Juri by the face, and hammer her into the ground with a shocking amount of force. If the ride begins, the girl will find her vision obscured by a growing, sickly grey energy as her body is dragged through the flames as an impromptu firebreak.
The entire wild ride finished off with a forward flip, still holding her opponent ... off the side of the cliff face, Vice perfectly happy to ride Juri down into the chaos below, where she'll SLAM the younger fighter's head into the ground to break the momentum with an eruption of white-grey energy bursting into the sky, painting a leering skull over the camp for a brief moment.
COMBATSYS: Juri interrupts Obscura from Vice with Kaisenrenkyaku.
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Vice 0/-------/-======|=======\==-----\1 Juri
Juri bounces away from the fallen snake as she feels it continue to slither about beneath her foot despite a stomp that should have broken its back in twain. The look she gives Vice is one of hatred, but also no small amount of confusion. In her experience, women were very rarely of any real threat. Yet another example of wild hypocrisy on her part for sure but no less true for that fact. Of the many people she's fought and crushed beneath her heels, none of the women had managed to ever put up anything resembling a good fight. It's such a deep held belief that she doesn't even bother trying to seek out female opponents any more, much preferring to smash the often over-inflated egos of the macho men who tend to be drawn to the art of martial combat.
This woman, however, is taking hits that even Vega would struggle to shrug off. And she's /enjoying/ it. That's the part that pisses Juri off the most. Half the fun of being powerful is making those she crushes beneath her feet squeal and grovel for mercy, begging her for the boon of simply being allowed to keep living. It's an intensely pleasurable sensation to have that kind of power over life and death. And this... /thing/, whatever she is, is ruining Juri's fun by being even crazier than she is.
The word human being dropped in a manner that suggests Vice believes herself to be otherwise does not go unnoticed. That might explain her unnatural fortitude. Doesn't make her like it any better but at least she doesn't have to worry about having lost her edge. Monsters don't react like people, after all. Though whether this woman is a dark stalker or something else entirely, Juri is going to make damn sure she learns how to scream before this is over.
There isn't any time to engage in counter-banter as Vice hurls herself in a murderous rush towards the girl. Yet another aggravating moment of this fight. Had this been a typical fight, she might have managed to squeeze in a witty quip anyways, but Vice's raw aggression doesn't give her any room for cutting corners.
Juri lowers herself into a defensive crouch as the Hakkesshu of Darkness lunges for her, her arms lifted in what looks like a protective shield in front of her body, the bite marks still bleeding gently. But once again the teenager proves that she's much trickier than she appears despite her youth. She doesn't bother to lean on the Eye's power this time beyond the passive energy boost that it grants her. While she certainly isn't ashamed of wielding the deadly battle computer to her advantage, perhaps being called slave hit some kind of a chord deep inside. She feels compelled to prove herself to this creature, to show her precisely what she can do by the virtue of her own skill and courage.
When Vice reaches for her, Juri doesn't fight back save to interpose her arms in the way of the deadly grip. The powerful momentum sends her tumbling backwards upon impact, half falling and half dragged towards the blazing wall of flames for a few tense seconds. But as she rolls, Juri's body twists, the motion changing as she lashes out with one foot at the side of her opponent's ankles. The blow catches Vice before she can react, literally sweeping her off her feet midstride.
But it doesn't end there. Planting her other foot on the ground, Juri uses their inertia to whip herself into a spinning dervish. Raw power as bright and blazing as the flames around them traces a full circle through the air as the girl's heel slams into Vice's midsection like a hammer. A miniature whirlwind of psycho power engulfs them both as she continues to spin, lifting the two women up and over the flames and into the pit of the mine.
Juri briefly inverts as her violent pirouette brings her around for a third strike, the vortex dragging the snake in closer after every strike. One last thunderous kick catches Vice across the jaw and sends her finally spinning away from the maelstrom to land however she may on the hard rocky ground. The Shadaloo assassin's landing is a good deal more graceful, her feet finding purchase in the sloped walls of the mine's outer ramp as she sleds her way to the bottom in a cloud of dust.
"Well? That all you got?"
The girl holds her arms out to her sides, sneering at the Orochi woman with a look of raw contempt. And to think she was worried for a moment! This damn heat must be making her go soft in the head.
"You call yourself a snake but you're just a pathetic worm wriggling around in the dirt at my feet like everyone else!"
"Is that all I've got? IS THAT ALL I'VE GOT?!"
Vice rises up to her feet, and throws her head back in a wild laugh. There sure is a lot of blood now. The woman's clothes are practically soaked in it. Darkstalker? If Vice could read Juri's mind she'd likely be adding even more reasons to beat this girl to a pulp. Orochi's blood runs deeper than any pathetic mutant freak. Those so-called monsters still have human hearts, still feel some connection to the mortal world. The monster raging in Vice's core is so much more than that.
Simply put, she has no right to be laughing, not after the beating she's taken. She should be crushed, broken and cowed by the clearly superior power that Juri wields. She's not, though. The woman's eyes are tiny pinpricks as she stares down Juri, and her tongue slithers out over her lips to taste her own blood.
"There's NEVER enough, NEVER! This charnel house, it's just enough to wet my appetite! You think your life is worth anything more than theirs?! Come, let's quench this thirsty ground with our blood!"
If she were anyone else, Vice would be looking for an escape route now; she'd be taking her leave and letting Juri pick up the pieces. But she's not. Surrounded by all this death, the bullet-riddled corpses of the mine workers and the odd unfortunate mercenary who fell victim to the desperation of dying men, Vice is fuelled by the destruction.
She doesn't seem to be slowing down much, either. Though the distance Juri bought herself gives her more time to see this attack coming than the others, Vice is still moving with terrifying speed as she flows through the now-silent battlefield. The survivors have, wisely, decided to flee before they are caught in any further crossfire.
And just to add insult to injury, the Orochi-blooded warrior leaps into the air, flipping around in a gravity-defying backflip as she aims to snare Juri's neck between her thighs. None of the other approaches have hit clean, but if this trick does, then she proves she STILL somehow has enough in her to give out one more impressive display of terrifying prowess.
Because Juri will find herself being twisted back and slammed into the ground again, and again, and again, slammed repeatedly face-first into the mining equipment until Vice seems to get bored of that, leaps into the air, before descending knee-first to target the Shadaloo stalwart's neck, reducing the mining equipment and no small number of corpses to ash in an eruption of blood red energies as she does.
COMBATSYS: Vice successfully hits Juri with Negative Gain.
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Vice 0/-------/-----==|=======\=====--\1 Juri
Juri's cocky sneer fades into an annoyed grimace. Even after all that she's still talking shit? This is quickly becoming more trouble than it's worth. Then again, perhaps she's looking at things the wrong way. Even if this crazy snake woman doesn't want to scream for her, she's certainly managing to push the girl hard enough to make her actually try. Not many people manage that these days. Of course, she would have preferred a somewhat less god awful climate to have this fight in.
Divested of her shirt, Juri's pale skin is drenched in sweat, both from the heat of the flames and the exertion required to keep from being used as this weirdo's chew toy. While Vice has taken the brunt of the beatings thus far, it's the teenager who seems to be getting worn down more by the continued fighting.
No more clear evidence of this is necessary than the manner in which events unfold soon after. With so much ground between them, Juri has more than enough time to activate the engine and attempt to analyze Vice's intent. Dozens of scenarios play out in nanoseconds as the computer attempts to predict her trajectory, marking potential angles of attack along with probabilities as to which one the woman will choose based on her movements and the small amount of data already collected throughout the fight. So armed against her opponent, Juri allows a cocky smirk to spread across her face. Whatever this crazy bitch has in store for her, she'll be ready for it.
A sudden horrifyingly familiar crackle of electric static erupts directly next to her ear. Juri lets out a sharp cry of surprise, a hand going to her face as the eye spews an uncontrolled burst of energy out into empty air. Warning alarms screech, demands for immediate maintenance and reduced power consumption blaring like klaxons embedded in her brain.
"Agh! Not again!"
Juri's gaze sweeps up to regard the rapidly closing threat, her face a mask of frustration. Fuck it, she doesn't need the eye! She can deal with this on her own! Taking up a loose posture, the girl prepares to take evasion action but without the aid of the powerful computer to warn her of the danger she finds herself caught completely off-guard by the sudden flipping tackle.
That single word is all she manages to get out before an entirely new world of pain comes crashing down upon. Or rather, she goes crashing into the world, repeatedly. The wild back flipping slams send her face-first into the hard ground and then into the hard metal of mining equipment, each impact bludgeoning her face further and further into a messy pulp.
If she were any other teenager, such savagery would no doubt have reduced her skull to a sticky wet smear on the ground. But despite the agony she endures, Juri continues to resist throughout. Her hands cross over her face, offering what little shielding they can against the blunt trauma. Psycho power flares up around her arms in a defensive ward that keeps her bones from shattering but little else. When that final murderous strike unleashes its vile power in a reckless explosion of pure malice, the girl's aura flares up to meet it, her raw stubborn will keeping the destructive powers from simply annihilating her along with everything else.
Juri's face is a ravaged mess when she pulls her head up from the ground to glare at the snake woman, a feat that takes her a few seconds longer than it should. Dark bruises and cuts cover her in a patchwork of unpleasant multicolored splotches, the blood and dirt intermingling to create a layer of filth that clings to her skin. That she only looks like someone used her face for a punching bag with a cement block is a testament to the girl's absurd durability and skill.
Blood and spittle flies from her mouth as the teen pushes herself up to one knee, wobbling slightly. Repeated blows to the head are no joke, especially when they're strong enough to squish it like a ripe melon. Whatever death mojo was infused in that explosion certainly didn't help either. Juri's glare is pure murderous rage when it finally manages to focus on her target. Her lips peel back, eyes going wide as her pupils shrink to tiny dots of concentrated hate.
"GO TO HELL!!"
Looks like the time for quippy banter is over. Juri leans backwards, her body bending as if she might suddenly collapse from the pain. Instead, she kicks into a twisting acrobatic leap that turns her back to the Hakkesshu. The purpose of this bizarre action reveals itself a moment later as the girl's leg snaps downwards in a powerful kick.
A crescent of blazing power that is taller than the girl herself erupts from the wake of the motion. Like a shark's fin cresting the surface of the ocean, the towering blade of psycho power rushes towards Vice, shredding a perfectly carved trench through the solid rock as if it were no more difficult than passing through warm butter.
COMBATSYS: Vice interrupts Sakkai Fuhazan from Juri with Dokken.
-@- Dazing Hit! -@-
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Vice 1/-------/=======|======-\-------\0 Juri
COMBATSYS: Vice has reached second wind!
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Vice 1/-------/=======|======-\-------\0 Juri
That's the interesting thing about Vice. Whilst the Feng Shui Engine has absorbed the information of countless fighters... this woman isn't using martial arts. She hasn't studied any particular style, the precepts of her approach aren't based on any other Master. Quite the opposite, in fact. As the fight heats up, the older woman just leans more and more heavily into her instincts, letting the power of the beast inside her drive her movements on an instant to instant basis. Her blood is raging. The amount of damage she's taken, as quickly as she's taken it, has only been matched by Rugal. That's exciting! And where most fighters would be horrified that their attempts to mitigate that damage have failed again and again, where even the most singularly aggressive warriors would be starting to worry about the amount of blood loss and damage their bodies can sustain... Vice just wants MORE.
"YES! LET'S GO TO HELL!" She screams, "LET'S GO TO HELL TOGETHER!"
The enormous blast of psycho power dwarfs Vice, and any sane person should try to duck away from it; to at least shield themselves from it. But Vice doesn't move. She stares it down, her whole body trembling with barely-contained excitement. This power? Yes, this is the strength of will of humanity; the greatest expression of the will to survive against the odds she has ever seen. It bears down on her, intent on engulfing her.
The bestial scream that erupts from Vice's lips is entirely inhuman, and in an instant the woman snaps forwards. She throws herself INTO the blast, slamming bodily through it with every ounce of strength the Riot of Blood can give her. There's no way any frail mortal body should be able to collide with such an immense blast of power and come out intact...
But if Juri thinks the strongest people in this world are male, she's about to get a rude awakening. The wave of power bursts around Vice as she tears through the onrushing wave of energy, and her knuckles SLAM into the top of the teenager's skull, demonstrating forcefully the immense power backing up her completely illogical actions as she drives the girl into the dirt.
She should be done. There should be nothing left. But somehow, the woman is still standing. Towering over Juri, her elegant dress blasted apart to reveal the gashes and burns across her muscular flesh. Wounds which are already sealing closed as the power of Orochi floods her being.
This girl has such a strong will to survive... it will be Heaven itself to tear it apart! Oh, how she's missed this. Cooped up in the Blacknoah for so long, it feels amazing to finally let loose!
"More! MORE! GIVE me MORE! Come on! Get up! HIT ME HARDER! You're still alive aren't you? SO FIGHT! Don't even think about dying until I've broken every bone in your body! I haven't even STARTED on your legs yet, SO STAND!!"
Juri's world becomes a burst of tactile white noise as the blow connects with her head. Her limbs turn to jelly as the commands from her brain suddenly stop making any sense leaving her twitching strangely on the ground. She was already woozy from having her head used as a pogo stick but that last one seems to have knocked a wire loose.
For several seconds it seems as if she might not be able to get back up. The girl's fingers clutch weakly into claws that dig into the earth as she tries to push herself off the ground only to flop back onto her face again. Damnit, her body just won't respond like she tells it to!
Changing tactics, Juri focuses her mind towards the cybernetic connection with the Engine. It might hurt her ego a little to lean so heavily on the augmentation for assistance but sometimes survival means doing things you aren't proud of. It takes a few tries but eventually she manages to get a response, barely distinguishable through the haze of disorientation. Most of it is meaningless bursts of data that hits her thoughts like static but the important part makes it through - it's still functional.
Gritting her teeth, the teenager releases the fail safes. A fresh burst of nausea sweeps over her as the Engine starts to revs up, ignoring the safety measures that had restricted its activity after that short out before at her insistence. This might be a horrible idea. The eggheads at S.I.N. had made a point to ensure she understood that doing something this reckless could lead to all sorts of unfortunate and likely explosive consequences. But if this inhuman freak is going to be her downfall, she won't be going out like some mewling child unable to even stand up.
Lifting her head from the dirt, Juri fixes her furious glower on Vice. Bits of static start to crackle around the left side of her face but they're all but unnoticeable in the blazing glow of the eye. No longer a controlled pinpoint of light, the girl's socket is ablaze with a roaring purple flame, a physical manifestation of her seething hatred for this woman.
She hates pain. She hates being mocked. And most of all, she hates to lose!
"You want my legs?!"
The psycho flame erupts in a sudden blaze that spreads out to engulf Juri's entire body in a seething aura of power. Infused with a surge of fresh vitality, she slams her palms into the dirt with such force that a burst of dust explodes around the impact. Rather than rise to her feet, the girl twists into a handstand, her heels shooting out towards Vice in a rising kick.
"They're all yours!"
That roaring purple flame sheathes her legs as she strikes, erupting in a miniature explosion upon contact. Splitting her legs wide in opposite directions, Juri once again starts to spin as her momentum carries her forward into the assault. With each rotation she brings her heels slamming in one after the other, her body turning into a deadly pinwheel that carves a neon circle through the air.
COMBATSYS: Vice blocks Juri's Senpusha.
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Vice 1/-----==/=======|=======\-------\0 Juri
The blaze of power draws a hungry growl from Vice's lips. She might say that she's a snake, but there's something almost wolflike in the way she watches the girl get to her feet. Her arms are dangling loose at her sides as she shifts her weight from foot to foot. For all her recklessness, Vice doesn't rush in; her instincts are telling her that the girl is going to hit her again, but equally... she knows wounded prey when she sees it. She's drawn enough blood to slow the Untamed Beast down, at least a little. She might not be privy to all the strange goings-on with Juri's eye, but she doesn't need to be. She just needs to watch how she moves when she comes back at her.
There are perhaps a handful of people on the planet who could even tell that there's a difference beyond the obvious flare of energy and power. Vice doesn't even SEE it, so much as she senses it. The girl is drawing on power that isn't just hers; there's more than human will here, there's something else. Mechanical and cold, and utterly antithetical to the Orochi power that burns in her own blood. The more she fights it, the more she feels it, and the more she senses it in Juri's movements, the more she can feel that the girl is crutching on power that is not her own.
That doesn't in itself make it easier to deal with of course. But she again moves into the swinging blows. This time, though, she twists and turns, arms slamming brutally into the psycho-powered warrior's limbs as she pushes them away, ducking down at first to catch the early blows then rising smoothly with the later ones. Even this mitigating impact is taxing. She refuses to let herself feel it, swept up in the demands of her fury, but the cost it is taking on her rage-fuelled body is obvious. Blood flows from cracked, burned skin, even if the wounds are closing up... Juri must know better than most that all such measures have their limitations, and their own price.
"Oh, I'm sorry, did I damage your toy?" Vice growls as the blows slam into her body, her voice low and dangerous, "If I smash it into a thousand pieces, will they still have a use for you, or will you be begging for scraps at our door?"
But, at no point in that, had Vice actually... moved away. She's still close, and the moment the assault stops, she is flinging herself forwards, summoning up all the remaining power she can muster.
The Orochi power EXPLODES out of her as she moves, aiming to catch and surround both fighters in the hateful energies. Yet another bright column of grey, eerie demonic light as she seeks to get a firm hold on Juri and HURL her into the ground. That would be bad enough; the force of the throw utterly shattering on its own merits, let alone with the swirling vortex of baleful spiritual power.
But that initial throw is followed by a sudden blur, and then Vice is descending from above, knees leading the way as she descends like some horrifying missile towards her target. That supernaturally-enhanced strength aims to punch the girl into the ground... and then unleash a brilliant crimson detonation - as though she is calling up the vengeful power from within the blood-soaked earth itself to finish the job.
COMBATSYS: Juri blocks Vice's Overkill.
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Vice 0/-------/------=|=======\-------\1 Juri
Once again, Juri finds herself unable to offer a comeback to the scathing taunts being hurled at her. In some ways, the thought of losing the power of the Feng Shui Engine is more painful than the physical harm that has been visited upon her by this vile witch.
It isn't just that she wants this power, though that is most certainly true. The thrill that comes from being one of the strongest beings alive, from knowing that she is all but unstoppable, free to live her life how she chooses - it's something she's grown thoroughly addicted to. The problem is that she isn't actually free; not entirely, at least. There is one person stronger and more cruel than even she, a man who seems to take undue pleasure in reminding her of the leash he has around her neck. If she is ever to be rid of that bastard then she /needs/ the eye and the power that it offers her.
Which means she needs to get rid of this damn persistent snake first!
A low guttural grunt is all the girl manages to get out as Vice comes crashed into her again. The surge of evil power once more clashes with Juri's fiery stubbornness in a brilliant flare of energy. Whatever weakness had momentarily taken hold of the girl is all but gone now, washed away in a flood of adrenaline and surging will. She still hurts, her face is still busted up, and she's got dirt in places she doesn't want to think about, but she's not finished yet.
Bracing herself against the terrifying strength of her opponent, Juri plants her feet in a wide stance. The initial grapple manages to connect, the woman's fingers digging into her arms like nails. Despite her preparations, the girl is once more hurled to the ground with a thunderous crash. A plume of debris erupts into the air around her and she barks out a sharp cough, a small spray of blood fountaining from her mouth. Fuck it hurts; but this time she was ready for it.
Sucking in a sharp breath, Juri rolls with the brutal throw and diverts the worst of her momentum into a backwards tumble. Her toes and knees scrape unpleasantly into the hard dirt as she skids to a halt, bringing her arms up just in time to ward off the second more devastating explosion of power as Vice crashes into the ground in the space where she had been only moments before.
The sound of a soft chuckle cuts through the cloud of dust left in the wake of the earth-rending attack. The girlish titter quickly starts to escalate in volume and manic energy until it becomes a full on bout of crazed laughter. Purple flame scythes through the haze of dirty air as Juri's eye sings with psychotic power, seeming to feed on her insanity.
"You must me joking! I'm having the time of my life! There's nothing like a good fight to the death to get my blood /boiling/!"
How long has it been since someone this strong was able to push her so close to the edge? How long since she had a real fight? And with a woman, no less! Well, something that looks like one, at least. Whatever, she'll take it!
In the illumination of her blaze eye, Juri's expression is one of twisted glee. Despite the busted nose and countless bruises ruining her typically pretty features, her mouth is pulled up into a manic grin full of blood-stained teeth. She isn't a little girl any more. Just another one of the monsters finally come out to play.
Exploding into a sudden burst of movement, Juri comes at Vice without warning. The Feng Shui Engine blazes a glowing contrail behind her as she rushes forward like a meteor of death. And she just starts hitting. It's difficult to tell where one attack ends and the next begins, each burst of violence flowing seamlessly into the next. Yet despite the wanton reckless nature of her assault there is still grace and skill behind it. She strikes only with her feet, utilizing the deadly leverage and reach that her limbs provide to hammer away at the Orochi servant, and with every strike comes the immolating touch of her burning will.
COMBATSYS: Juri knocks away Vice with Feng Shui Engine.
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Vice 1/------=/=======|-------\-------\0 Juri
"To the death? Tch. I'm not here to kill YOU. You're here to send a message back to your Master."
And that's really it. Vice knows who Juri works for. She knew, too, that she was the only person on this site who was actually important, in some way, to the Dictator of Shadaloo. If she killed Juri, well, as much as she'd like to do that, it'd cause more trouble than it was worth. This was about communicating between their bosses. Rugal doesn't want Vega stepping on his turf. It really was as simple as that.
It's sad, in a way. Juri and Vice might share some qualities; their love of violence, their insatiable rage, their prediliction for pain and suffering. But where Juri strains and struggles at her yoke, Vice has embraced hers wholeheartedly. Through Rugal, Vice finds meaning. The very fact that she WOULD stop, because he asked her not to go TOO far, was proof that SHE is in control, not the raging demon that has boiled out of her so strongly in this fight.
The second wind that Juri takes advantage of is again too much for Vice to keep up with. After the first, initial attempt to twist around a blow, the Orochi-blooded warrior stops trying. She is juggled, one impact into the next, over and over again, and part of her just drinks that in. She can feel bones crack and muscles tear. Luxuriate in the violence that she has drawn out of this teenager. And when she lands, heavily, to the ground... it looks for a moment like she won't be getting back up.
But then, of course, she does.
A wild scream, blood gurgling in her throat, and she aims to snare the girl by the face once more--
COMBATSYS: Vice can no longer fight.
[ \\\\\\\\\ <
COMBATSYS: Juri parries Vice's Obscura!
[ \\\\\\\\\ <
And unfortunately, she sails past Juri without laying a finger on her. But this time, the moment feels different. At last, Vice has reached the limits of her rage, the beast inside her no longer able to sustain this level of violence. She, however, is a very old monster, and not one who is without her animal cunning.
So she completes the move, and a detonation of that horrifying scarlet power tears through the mine as she impacts the ground. If Juri had been carried with her, it would probably have been a last painful mark to remember her by.
But she wasn't, and instead the earth itself is the one that suffers. With no other target to soak up the energy, a choking cloud of smoke and debris fills the space.
And when it clears, there's no sign of her. She isn't the Hakkeshu of Darkness for nothing.
There's a little something extra in the barrage of assaults that Juri lays into Vice, an edge of furious power that might not have been there before the woman spoke her final words. One word in particular sends white hot hate flowing through the girl's veins with such intensity that it almost blinds her. Not just because it pisses her off, which it does, but because she knows its true.
Yet even after a savaging such as she gives to the Hakkesshu on top of the bone-crushing assaults she's already endured, the damned bitch just /gets back up/. It'd be somewhat maddening if she weren't already enjoying herself. But rather than express anger at Vice's unnatural persistence, Juri just laughs again and takes up her combat stance, licking her lips with an almost sensual lust for more violence.
"Ahahaha! That's right! Keep fighting, you monster! I can do this dance all day!"
The berserker rushes at her again but the teen is in her element now, her fighting spirit stoked as the Engine feeds her with a deluge of nigh infinite power. If she really is connected with the earth itself then the snake will no doubt sense the invisible vortex of power as Juri seems to simply drink in the very energy of the world around her like a black hole, feeding off the life force of the planet to fuel the bonfire of her raging soul. It bolsters her, infusing her with a constant stream of vital energy, and the difference from before is obvious.
When Vice reaches out to snatch up the girl in her terrible grip once again, Juri is already in motion. Moving with the calm precision of someone who already knows what is going to happen, the girl casually pulls her head to the side and pirouettes around the oncoming freight train of pain. The soft touch of her bare flesh brushes against Vice's back as she pivots around the older woman in a suggestive fashion, hugging so close to her for a brief moment that her breath tickles the Hakkesshu's ear.
And then the moment is over and the two separate. Juri gives her opponent a little push from behind, a matador flourish to rub in the fact that she'd so thoroughly out-maneuvered her. A bit of playful teasing meant to further enrage the snake, to stoke her furious spirit into another outburst of easily manipulated violence that she can toy with. But it seems that their playtime is over almost before it began.
Juri lowers her foot to the ground, one hand coming to rest on her hip. She doesn't immediately lower her guard; she's devious enough herself to know better than to make that mistake. Her gaze sweeps across the ruins of the mine, scanning for any signs of movement or spiritual energy, but all she can see is death.
Dozens of miners lay scattered about in pools of coagulating blood their bodies riddled with bullet holes or torn to shreds by grenade shrapnel. She ignores the odd blip among the corpses, the fading life signs of someone who has yet to bleed out gasping for their final breaths. She has no empathy for such weaklings. Workers are replaceable anyways. There's always more bodies to throw on the pyre of Shadaloo's glory.
After a full minute standing around and looking for signs of treachery, Juri finally closes her eye and sighs. The crackling aura of power surrounding her dies out like a guttering flame taking with it the intense psychic pressure of her malevolent presence. It isn't quite as overwhelming as the pure crushing might of Vega but it takes some serious stones not to curl up into a ball of quivering jelly in the face of her full unleashed might.
Which is why when she turns to make her way back up towards the dirt ramp that will take her out of this disgusting pit, a lone figure comes tumbling out of his hiding place behind one of the larger crane, his face filled with barely controlled terror. Juri doesn't bother to stop or even regard the man as she passes by. Even from the quick glimpse she caught out of the corner of her eye she knows that it's the overseer.
Somehow the fat bastard survived. Probably hid behind a wall of bodies and played dead under the corpses. The stench of offal and urine makes her nose wrinkle involuntary, evidence of his reaction to being placed in direct danger. Disgusting. She'd kill him out of spite but her heart isn't in it any more. All she wants now is a bath and a pack of ice for her face and neither of those things are going to manifest out here.
"I'm taking the chopper," she says, uncaring for the man's stammered attempt at protest. "The pilot better be there in five minutes."
She slows to a stop, tilting her head just far enough to glare at the blubbering man with one eye, the Engine shining with just the faintest hint of twinkling power. The menace in her gaze and the promise of violence in her words needs little support from the artifice this time.
"If he isn't... I'll be back to find you."
Log created on 12:35:47 05/04/2021 by Vice, and last modified on 12:42:37 05/05/2021.