Neo League 0165 - NL#0185: Juliet vs Roland

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Description: While Juliet's rising popularity gets her a big crowd, Roland quickly makes them despite him in this furious waterpark battle.

It would be an understatement to say that relations have been strained between Juliet and her "family" since she stood up to them. That was a few weeks ago now, though. A routine has been settled into. Gabriella takes her away for most of the day, keeping up her training, and Juliet only shares space with her adoptive parents at breakfast and dinner. They, meanwhile, continue to negotiate and handle the business side of the arrangement. Though Derrick had been unnerved by his unwitting brush with NESTs - and still doesn't comprehend how very badly that could have gone if Juliet had proven more interesting - he is, as ever, primarily concerned about his bank account.

'Dear Mr. Brown

I represent Juliet Pope, currently third ranking in the Neo League season. As you are no doubt aware, she is an up and coming fighter who has the ability to reliably pull in the crowds. We are seeking a competitor to help bring said crowds in to the Golden Angel Waterpark. They're quite generous with their sponsorship. We need to move quick, though. So we're prepared to be generous as well and offer a fifty-fifty split if you are available ASAP. Frankly, that's probably too nice of us given your lower standing in the league right now, but begger's can't be choosers, right?


-Derrick Pope.

Juliet herself is more excited by the prospect of the park than anything else. She's never seen a theme park in person before, and this place is AMAZING. The girl is practically bouncing on the spot as she waits for her opponent in the shadows of the enormous waterslide. And it looks like Derrick wasn't exaggerating about his daughter's ability to pull a crowd. The perpetual underdog that she is, there's hundreds of teenagers here - mostly girls - who have come out to see her fight. It's, actually a little unnerving for her to be in their gaze without the lights of the stadium to keep them in shadow, but she's not going to let that get to her! She's here to fight, first! She can worry about the kind of example she's setting second... right?

Roland is a simple man, in a lot of ways; for the most part, he used to want the money from Neo League. Yet after a rather extensive surgery and the addition of a new arm, fighting is becoming more then a ready means to repay debt; he's starting to enjoy it again. Find it a hobby. He was always good at it -- even if he knew he'd never be top of the world, which made him always care a lot less about genuinely trying to improve.

Roland's made a name for himself in being a very showy fighter; he's starting to get some interest again. And the many negatives attached him him have, as a result, not been quite so obvious. It does help that he's not exactly an awful person to look at, only a little bit late as he strides into the ring proper. Wearing a worn leather cowboy hat, matching trenchcoat, and a five o'clock shadow; although rumors stated he only had one arm, he seems to currently be sporting /two/, his right wearing a black glove...

"Oye, oye... the heck? You already got this many fans?" He sounds legitimately jealous. "I've technically been fighting for years... guess being super inconsistent and mostly underground's not doing me any favors..."

The diminutive girl detaches herself from the fussing of her trainer as she strides over to meet Roland in person. She smiles, and gives a helpless shrug of her shoulders. "Aye. Well, it isnae like I'm a total wean, ye ken." She says, scratching at her silvery hair with one boxing glove, "I've been fightin' in Scotland fer a while, but I think they like th' costume an' the story. There isnae many fighters out there like me, I guess." She does seem genuinely embarrassed at the implication that Roland is feeling showed up. She doesn't doubt for a moment that the man is probably far more deserving of the crowd on his own merits than she is; she's at the start of her journey, he's... if the rumours are even halfway through... Seen Some Shit. But life, unfortunately, isn't fair in that regard, and fighting crowds don't often care about the comparative skills.

It's all about what they identify with, and as Juliet squares up to Roland, it is easy to see what they see in her. She's a tiny slip of a girl in an impressive costume, facing off against a man almost a full foot and a half taller than her... and she doesn't look like she's got an ounce of fear in her. Quite the opposite, really. She's excited. She doesn't know what she's walking into - it could be anything. But in a matter of moments, she and he will be proving their worth in a language that only the two fighters will be able to comprehend. She can barely wait!

But she DOES wait - and she offers her gloves for the traditional boxer's welcome, too. "If ye want a hand on ye socials, I'd be happy tae lend it to ye after the match? But let's not keep the fine folks waiting, eh?"

A glance is done to the trainer, then back towards Juliet. Almost jealous, really. He peers at his own empty corner; although he's something of a sponsorship with Ultratech, that mostly involves them attacking him with raptors, thus far. "There's a reason I'm here, too... this is like, the brawling capital of the world. Wanna make a name for yourself, you come to Southtown." He curls and relaxes his gloved right arm, very subtle whirr of mechanical joints beneath.

Still, both are fearless about size. Roland only recently climb Mt. Abigail after all, and let's just say he ended up falling off the summit. Gloves...? He researched the name a little bit. He's against a boxer... the gentleman's fighting style, they say. "Kay." He reaches out to tap his right fist, but doesn't do much to take a stance. If anything, he seems entirely... not ready. Her every fighting instinct would scream that he's vulnerable, almost helpless, hands settling casually in his trenchcoat pockets -- even though the fight has clearly started.

Then again, Roland is a wake-up call to just how varied the fighting world can be...

The referee gives the signal and the fight definitely has started. Juliet is a lot of things, but when it comes to fighting, at least, she's not an idiot. Roland doesn't LOOK like he's ready to fight, but the guy just told her he'd been doing this for years. And in the underground circuit, too. Juliet has fought in those kinds of matches, and they aren't pretty. She much prefers the bright glare of the sun and the watchful gaze of the cameras, but there's no way she trusts that he's anywhere near as harmless as he looks.

So the girl wastes no time. Dashing forwards, she ducks this way and that, and then she's bringing her left fist around in a wide arc - aiming to catch Roland on the side (probably his arm if he keeps his hands in his pockets!) and use the momentum to scoop herself around behind him and dance backwards - she's being wary, cagey even. If there's one thing she's learned in the Neo League so far, it is that she doesn't have the luxury of underestimating anyone!

COMBATSYS: Juliet has started a fight here.

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Juliet           0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Roland has joined the fight here.

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Roland           0/-------/-======|-------\-------\0           Juliet

COMBATSYS: Roland blocks Juliet's Sacred Check.

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Roland           0/-------/-======|-------\-------\0           Juliet

Roland simply darts his green gaze left and right. He seems able to keep up with her evasive movements, focus primarily on getting a feel for the younger girl. Although his method of blocking is unorthodox; with his hands still in his pockets, he twists around. Her gloved fist instead slams into his mechanical elbow; he's sent skipping backwards from the momentum, giving an approving grunt. "Bit of pepper, huh...?"

Still, he knows a bit about taking advantage of foes. Drawing his hands free, he clenches them into fists, and then advances on Juliet. He's rather quick, even if his actual footwork is not quite so technical... he's proficient from excellent balance and intuition, but it's hardly perfect. "Take THIS!!" He rears back his right arm...

Then twists, aiming to swing a fierce, brutal kick to the side of Juliet's knee. Every single indication was that he truly intended to punch... even his stance seemed poorly suited for it, but there's definitely no lack of strength or speed to the attempt, green energy sizzling around his shins in the motion. Boxers, after all, rarely have to worry about those kind of hits below the belt! Seems he's no compunction about going for a style's potential weakness...!

COMBATSYS: Roland successfully hits Juliet with Medium Kick.

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Roland           0/-------/=======|======-\-------\0           Juliet

And Juliet falls for it, hook line and sinker.

Going for a low blow is generally complicated by the fact that Juliet is so very short, but the kick helps to mitigate that. The energy burns into her as the girl's attempt to pull back is completely negated, and the strike slams painfully into her leg. She grunts, but the girl doesn't fall down. That... had hurt. A lot. More than she would have thought possible for a guy like him to toss out at her so casually. But he'd said he'd been fighting for years - apparently that wasn't an exaggeration.

"Tricky bugger, eh?"

The comment on each of their fighting styles given, the girl grinds her teeth and then lunges forwards. She puts her all into the approach; if she lets this guy zone her out with his legs as so many others have done, she's not going to have a chance to turn the tables, so she aims to just get in nice and close, delivering a simple, single jab right for Roland's mid-section with her right, her left arm dipping down - perhaps to ward off any further knee-related injuries...

COMBATSYS: Roland fails to interrupt Wonder Jab EX from Juliet with Roland Rocket.
- Power fail! -

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Roland           0/-------/=======|=======\-------\0           Juliet

Roland is a proud kicker of ankles, when the fight warrants it. There's nothing too low for him to apply a swift, energy-empowered boot to. Still, he aimed for a rather critical spot; where the joint would be most strained, and least supported. It seems he's quite good at low blows, if nothing else. "Hey, cutie. Fights are all about winning. And I!" He jabs his thumb into his chest. "Will do anything to win!!" Okay, the reaction from the crowd is probably pretty sour at this point.

He then twists, sudden falling to the ground and planting his hands down. Drawing knees to his chest, twisting in preparation like a corkscrew. "ROLAND..." he begins, as the boxer dashes towards him. He then launches upwards, but... it's pretty obvious. It's not too hard to dart to the side, and then unleash that fist right into his ribs. "ROCKETOOF!!!"

That was like hitting a sandbag! He was all perfectly lined up for it. Still, it does prove from the report that he's rather solidly built. This squirmy fighter's one hell of a core, and he lands on his back before just... staying there. He's actually not moving to get up... but there might not be a ton of moves for even a short boxer to use on someone who's just lazily prone. However, she might not notice the small metal dart stuck into the ground nearby.

"Ow... lemme just..." he winces. "I'm down." There's a brief few moments where the coordinators try to decide if Roland is actually /forfeiting/, but quickly make it clear things are to continue. One punch to the stomach is not exactly a fight ending proposition...

Juliet does NOT approve of any of this. Not the words, and definitely not the actions. "Winnin' ain't everything." She says, "It isnae even th' main thing. The main thing is givin' it yer all an' gettin' back up when you get knocked down." It's the kind of childlike view of fighting which must seem hopelessly naive to a man who has lost his arm to the brutalities of this 'sport' and its associated culture. Juliet simply doesn't see the darkness in the world, yet. As far as she's concerned, this is a competition; but one where the true opponent is one's self, pushing for improvement on form and style which can only come with direct competition.

"Will ye please stop playin' th' fool an' show me what ye got?"

It's an earnest request, but there's no denying the frustration in those sharp crimson eyes of hers as she glares at the older fighter flopping around on the floor. She definitely hasn't noticed the dart, either. But she is giving him her full attention. And in fact, the more he plays up, the more intense that focus is becoming. A faint white light starting to shimmer on the girl's skin as she tunes out the jeering of the crowd and the confusion of the referees, ignores the waterslide she'd coveted looming over them both, and gives herself entirely to this moment of battle.

COMBATSYS: Juliet is shining bright.

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Roland           0/-------/=======|=======\-------\0           Juliet

"What? That sounds like masochism..." Roland murmurs, crossing his hands over his stomach once it becomes apparent Juliet's not going to immediately pursue him. A brief breather, just staring up at the distant sun. Hearing the sounds of the water park. The disappointing yelling of the crowd. "This is just a job, to me. A performance, at best... I do kinda envy that sort of passion, though."

Knees draw up and he then kicks from the ground, a kip-up landing him in a crouch. A hand presses down on his hat to settle it back into place. "Is that what you want...? Me to just throw out my ultimate, badass signature move on you?! I mean, I could. I'm not sure what kinda learning experience that'd be, though. Oh!" Roland opens his arms, and a green shimmer starts to flow over him. "Are we aura buddies, maybe...?"

Then he kicks forward. It's the first time he's genuinely attacked. He's remarkably fast, and with the enhancement of his energy, a solid step up what Juliet had just seen from the kick. This move is one he's practiced countless times, and it shows. His right arm clenches, but yet again it's an expert feint. Instead he drives his knee up, trying to hit Juliet in the midsection and fold her over it. His right hand then strikes out, that prepared chi aiming to catch her by the face... before twisting to hurl her straight down before him, with a brief delay before a rather violent explosion of emerald chi would let loose!!

"This is my FOURTH best move!! Gotta work your way up the menu!!"

COMBATSYS: Juliet interrupts Sleight of Hand from Roland with Heavenly Cross.

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Roland           1/------=/=======|=======\====---\1           Juliet

Now it's Juliet's turn for it to seem like she drops her guard. As he moves to attack her, the girl's arms drop down, and there's a gasp from the crowd - shock that she is apparently just letting him come at her. And indeed, the knee to her midsection... hurts. But she hasn't been idle. Roland's energy clearly comes so naturally to him that it is barely an effort for him to use it at all. For Juliet, it's much more than that. It takes her those several aching heartbeats to pour the power she needed into her gloved fist...

But when his hand comes to grab her face, she pulls backwards, and that right hook of hers HAMMERS into Roland's temple. A detonation of blinding white light separates the two fighters at the point of impact. Though Juliet is left breathing hard, sweat glistening on her body from the exertion of her assault, the girl is still standing strong, and wipes her hand across her lips as she stares the older fighter down.

"Is tha' right?" She asks, "I think, yer lyin' tae yerself, Big Man. I think, ye been playin' tricks so long, ye dunnae know what's, really draggin' ye back here at all."

That was a pretty good clock.

Roland's head snaps to the side, hat knocked clean off his head, and sent spiraling down to the ground. He takes a few long, luxuriant moments of forgetting where exactly he is, that strange and painful energy lancing to his core. "Ow..." he admits, staggering backwards and rubbing blood from beneath his nose. "Hah... maybe you're right? Here... I'll give you something a little more straightforward!"

Roland then holds out both hands, before clenching his fists. Eight total green energy blades seem to thrust out from between his knuckles. Before he skips backwards, spreading his stance. And then begins to hurl them with a snarl, launching a furious volley; yet none of them would immediately detonate, seeming to stick and burn intensely instead. Only once the last one is thrown would he snap his fingers, causing them to spontaneously erupt all at once. "DEUCES WILD!!"

COMBATSYS: Juliet blocks Roland's Deuces Wild.

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Roland           0/-------/---====|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2           Juliet

The flung daggers are a revelation all of their own. Juliet, though, is not about to be outplayed! That brilliant white light of hers is all around her now, her heart racing as she steps into the assault. Her boxing gloves lash out this way and that, one after another punching the daggers out of the air where they stick into the ground - never coming close to the crowd - and detonate behind her. Around her. Just doing this is difficult enough. Each dagger burns as she swats it aside, but the girl's intense will to show what she is made of refuses to let her back down even for a moment.

The assault has nevertheless slowed her down considerably as she aimed to close the gap with Roland. Her voice is clear when she speaks, though. Her whole body thrumming with pent-up energy.

"There can be no secrets between fighters." She says, "There can only be our truths. You have let me glimpse into your heart, Roland Brown. Allow me now, to show you mine!"

If Roland hasn't watched her previous fights, he should at least be able to tell from the crowd that this is likely to be an intense moment because every single person watching is now staring with baited breath - this is surely the climactic moment for Juliet, the single blow on which the match will pivot!

Because she is suddenly tearing forwards, her right fist leading the way as she aims to cover those last few steps of ground, and then HAMMER her fist into Roland's jaw with all the force she can muster. It's an impressive amount, too. A brilliant white trail left by her fist as she aims to take the other fighter up into the air with her, so high that it might just seem those costume wings on her back are for more than just show... before, whether he is with her or not, Juliet will unleash the power within her in a brilliant detonation of shining, glorious light and a choir of heavenly, singing voices...

And then descend back to earth surrounded by a cloud of shimmering white feathers.

COMBATSYS: Juliet successfully hits Roland with Miracle Uppercut EX.

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Roland           0/-------/---====|>>-----\-------\0           Juliet

They were at least not literal daggers... chi ones are much more fancy, after all. "What...? The heck kinda cheesy saying is that?" Roland wonders, when she begins to lunge forward. Still, he's taking things seriously, clearly. With a tension and flex, he ignites his own chi in earnest. Muscles tense, tendons press out, amplifying his speed significantly. The main mistake, perhaps, was not trying to dodge. Forearms cross, brace, but he severely underestimated the raw force behind the girl.

She powers through, striking him in the chin. Blood spatters out, as he's launched high into the air in a nice, graceful arc. She couldn't have landed the hit much cleaner! And the way he's glowing like a beacon really adds to the angelic aesthetic that she's managing. When the world erupts into white, he's launched down and just smacks into the ground, bouncing once and then ending up in something of a heap. "...ow." is all he remarks, simply.

That's an understatement, of course. He can feel that blow quaking in his entire body, but... remarkably, he manages to get up again, if rather less flashily. When Juliet settles down, he's plopping his hat back atop his head while spitting blood to the side. "...hell of a punch! Bravo... nothing but my tenacity's keeping me at it here..."

He then flows into the closest thing to a fighting stance he's displayed yet. Before kicking forward with his back foot, to remove the distance in a heartbeat. Again, it seems incredibly difficult to tell exactly how Roland is going to attack... before lashing out with an empowered right fist, aiming to impact Juliet right in her face. "ONE...!" His leg then sweeps, a violent motion trying to take her feet out from beneath, and cause her to be briefly airborne in a horizontal motion. "TWO!!" Then he stretches his leg straight ahead, building up a charge of his chi within it with a roar before slamming it down, trying to impact her with his heel and /slam/ her down into the ground, with a respectable explosion of energy roaring in all directions afterwards. "THREE! CARD! MONTE!!"

COMBATSYS: Roland successfully hits Juliet with Three Card Monte.

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Roland           1/-------/=======|>>>>>>>\>>-----\1           Juliet

Juliet's guard rises smoothly, but for all the sudden power she's demonstrating... she's not quite physically strong enough to keep up with Roland in the final analysis. The punch hits her guard, but her guard breaks, and she takes the blow clean to the face, her head whipping back - much to the crowd's consternation. In truth, Juliet may take some pride in the fact that, when she watches this back, she's clearly forced the man to fight her seriously; to use a proper fighting style and come at her with everything he has. Even if he clearly doesn't appreciate her heartfelt, overly dramatic declarations. Hell. Even she's not really sure where they come from when she gets into this kind of state in a fight.

Taken airborne, the girl cries out in the moment before she is hammered brutally into the ground and the eruption of energy flares about her. For a moment, it seems like that shouting declaration will be the end of it - but, as she'd said earlier, fighting... is all about getting back up, after you've been knocked down.

Still suffused with that shining white light, Juliet staggers to her feet. The girl is smiling serenely as she looks to Roland, and gives him a simple nod of her head, and then-- she blurs out of existence.

Only to reappear behind him with her fist stretched out before her. That final, wild haymaker is everything she had left, though, and whether it has earned her the draw, or whether Roland will be going home with a win, the light surrounding the girl winks out as quickly as a snuffed candleflame, and she topples forward into unconsciousness.

Any guidance on social media presence is going to have to wait for another time...

COMBATSYS: Juliet can no longer fight.

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Roland           1/-------/=======|

COMBATSYS: Roland blocks Juliet's Immaculate Haymaker.

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Roland           1/-------/=======|

Roland might think someone was down, normally... but this time, he's certain that the girl isn't through. He staggers backwards, still glowing with his own self-doping energy, bringing up his forearms to lightly cross in a defensive manner. Even when she gets up, seeming on the edge, he just stares, undeterred...

Had she not so thoroughly earned his respect, that last blow would have likely landed true. When she moves, he can't so much follow as just get a sense to the direction. Whirling around, both palms just barely intercept the fist, which still taps him in the face rather heavily, sending him skidding backwards. Dazed, he snaps his body back rigid, peering left and right... only to find Juliet sprawled on the ground.

"Damnit..." He wipes away a fresh stream of blood. "So this is what talent looks like when properly honed, huh...?" He ignores the clearly unhappy crowd when he manages to eke out the win. "...hrrmph. I need to find myself another master... ...and maybe start training properly, again..." And, more importantly, find a LOT of ice packs to apply. How many times did she slug him full-force in the face?!

COMBATSYS: Roland has ended the fight here.

Log created on 01:28:07 05/25/2021 by Roland, and last modified on 06:38:25 05/25/2021.