Description: Potemkin is forced to politely explain to Anji Mito the meaning of the words 'Keep Out' when Anji comes calling at an old Zepp military installation in search of answers to a growing concern.
Zepp isn't exactly known for being welcoming. It's not necessarily the fact that it is a lost former Soviet Bloc state that is just -now- shaking off the shackles of that tumultuousera and all that entails. It's not even the rumors of the harsh regime that once existed here and the heavy industrialization and stories of experiments on super soldiers and rumor and whispers of explorations of forbidden and lost technology. It's might not even be the fact of its recent civil war and coup detat that has left the old regime in ruins and sees a hastily installed republic style government struggling to keep the citizens happy and the old guard at bay.
No, it's the very land itself. It's harsh. Unforgiving. Well exploited and mined and it simply doesn't want you here. It has no interests in visitors and those who would potentially take advantage of its unstable circumstances. The very wind seems to whisper 'Stay Out'.
But such warnings and feelings probably mean nothing to the brave and the bold and its hard to not notice and be curious about a barely lit, supposedly abandoned, warehouse like facility that sits alone, fenced off, in rocky terrain well away from the nearest city. Various signs posted in different regional languages and english can be found adorning the fence, warning against said brave and bold from getting braver and bolder then common sense should allow.
Standing in front of one of those signs, a strange silhouette highlighted by the gentle light of the moon looks past the curling, frayed metal fencing - only new enough to have gathered the faintest modicum of rust from the blistering cold, unlikely to be mended until it has fallen into much deeper disrepair. The figure smirks, and leaps gracefully over the barrier, landing with the wooden sound of clogs to herald his trespass, swallowed by the wind.
Gathering his hands into his sleeves, the figure hunches forward and runs towards one of the tiny satellite-station houses on the run-up towards the warehouse proper, putting his back to it as the clouds in the sky part briefly, throwing enough light onto the thin crust of snow to warrant hiding. It's only once they have gathered over the moon and sky once again that he ventures to take a peek around the corner and take stock of the personnel and defenses garrisoning this remote Zepp workstation.
Be it by skill, good fortune, or a combo of both, the visitor manages to evade notice and pass unseen by any potential security features that one might expect to find in a facility like this. Once in, taking stock of the situation becomes a matter of simple observation and quiet study.
Large trucks are being loaded with massive heavy crates emblazoned with the winged 'Z' symbol of Zepp upon them. Uniformed workers and soldiers alike move about to facilitate this carefully orchestrated loading process. Handling the cargo with extreme care but moving at a fairly steady pace to suggest that they are indeed on the clock here and wasting time and energy is not on the agenda.
In fact, it would almost seem as if this place is actually being gutted somewhat. There aren't that many soldiers around or general staff giving the sense of the location being de comissioned. The visitor arrived just in time on his lead as any later might have found an empty installation scoured of any thing worth noting.
And yet there is something..odd. Honed senses capable of feeling the ebb and flow of chi might pick up a flicker of 'something'. Its dormant, resting, but clearly there and being shipped out.
Tiny little pince-nez spectacles glint once the silent intruder has caught a whiff of this odd 'something'. In fact, as he intuited it, it was the entire reason he'd come out to this remote installation in Zepp in the first place. Even he had to shiver a little as the cruel breeze whipping up in the night hit his bare skin. Such was the price he paid for style.
At a critical moment when most of the soldiers hauling equipment into the back of the covered truck are inside and the overseeing C.O is checking the time and barking an order, the rustle of fluttering cloth and the clack of clogs muffled by snow see the sneaky figure to loop around towards a back entrance that could lead him closer to the flow of that mysterious chi.
Forced to stop once again due to the proximity of a Zepp door guard (cheekily taking a draught of a cigarette), the intruder attempts his next gambit to get into the facility. With a wave of his fan from around the corner, a fluttering, glowing butterfly, ethereal and surreal appears and flies on away towards the other side. Taking the bait, the guard is distracted and lured away just long enough for the trickster to slip into the door behind him into the warehouse proper.
Inside, however, there was more than he was bargaining for...
A prophetic statement, to be sure.
The interior of the warehouse is much more boring at least. Most of the crates have already been loaded although there are still organizational aspects taking place. Checklists being checked and other assorted more mundane elements as the last of the cargo is sorted and organized.
But such mundane activity is hardly worth noting. Not when an incredibly deep voice rumbles out, addressing the visitor with a deep profound bassy intonation that is just shy of being unintelligible as it rumbles into the very pits of the stomachs of any who listen.
"Well done. You've managed to evade attention for quite some time but I'm afraid here is where I'm going to have to ask you to leave..."
Abruptly, like an incoming meteor, an absolutely gigantic figure drops into view, descending from a second level overlook to drop behind the stylishly dressed visitor with an impact that undoubtly triggers seismometers some distance away. Dust and debris plumes upwards around the colossal form before an audible creak and flex of monstrous slabs of muscle sends a shockwave out that rips away the dust cloud to reveal the fortress sized Potemkin. The prateorian soldier blocking the exit from the warehouse behind him with his tremendous girth and his gaze glowing and glowering as it peers at Anji from the shadowed depths of his helmet. A barely repressed blazing cauldron of chi boils about him. Seething like a furnace within his tank sized body and through his armored gauntlets.
"Hmm...aren't you cold?"
"Only because of the cold shoulder I've been greeted with," the figure replies in spritely fashion, the folds of his hakama and sleeves only just now settling from the impact that Potemkin's landing made. Despite his bravado, once faced down with the gargantuan mountain of a soldier and with the worklights inside the warehouse quickly being turned to their location, there was no one on Earth that could fail to feel dwarfed and threatened. Anji Mito was no exception. He holds up his hands as if to say 'I'm caught!'
But the smile that he gives Zepp's finest soldier isn't one that says 'I've surrendered.' Rather, despite being cornered like a rat, he still seems confident that he can get what he wants out of this scenario. "I have every intention of letting you finish up here in peace, after I've confirmed one little thing that has been bugging me since I started seeing it on live broadcast..." he trails off, taking a couple of steps back and looking over his shoulder.
"You know what it is, right? Chi surges from warriors across the world, which only begins once important advances with Chi-Tek research tech-forward nations like Illyria and Zepp are developing hit a turning point. I'd almost be happy enough confirming a little theory like that by seeing you lot packing up your research station equipment and moving it back towards the capital - but it's like getting half an answer. Don't you hate that? 'Why is the sky blue - well, because that's what color it is!' Shouldn't parents try harder?"
Anji gives Potemkin a toothy smile. "Just one look, it's all I'm asking!" He claps his hands together and bows his head under them, but such a gesture could easily be taken to be mocking as it would be in earnest.
One gets the sense of the giants eyes narrowing. It's not exactly seen visibly given the nature of the face shield and mechanical goggles but a slight shift in his stance would indicate that he indeed has some awareness of what Anji speaks of. As to the rest of the intruders comments, Potemkin merely mmms, the sound a low rumble like some sort of idling engine of a military trawler. He gives no answer to Anji's comments though his body language and lack of answer may be one in and of itself. Then--
"If all you wanted was information then perhaps you should have simply called the Zepp Information Hotline..."
Was that a joke? He said that completely serious sounding. Practically deadpan. Or maybe there -is- an Informational Hotline..
"You have trespassed and possibly seen things that are not meant for the eyes of strangers. I cannot allow you to have a 'one look' much less actually leave until I ascertain the security risk you pose."
There is an abrupt hissing sound and a loud clanging noise as his gauntlets lock down firmly onto his massive hands and charge their internal cartridges. "You would be wise to lay down any armaments you have and be ready to be taken to a holding cell.."
"Hey, hey, hey!" Anji says in feigned alarm, his shoes clacking as he takes one or two more steps back. His wrists flick, and from his sleeves he produces two fans, which he unfurls and raises in front of him in a traditional Japanese fan dancing pose.
"If assessing my security risk is your stodgy way of asking me to fight, I accept!" he exclaims, seeming all too happy to oblige him. "Just start thinking up an excuse," he says a little more intimately, his eyes narrowing as his strength surges and his muscles tense. He spins around to gain one modicum of distance more before he settles into a much deeper stance and begins to fan himself, ready to go at any time.
COMBATSYS: Anji has started a fight here.
At Anji's decleration, the soldiers, who up until now had been calmly observing, begin to take more agressive stances but Potemkin raises a hand up. "Continue with the loading procedures. The President will be very displeased if we fall off of schedule. I will deal with this and the interrogation.."
There's also the fact that he's already determined that the soldiers here are no match for this stranger. Himself, on the other hand...
Potemkin steps forward and brings both of his huge arms up and then down into a massive double bicep pose although one gets the sense that it's some sort of Zepp militarized soldier version of one as opposed to some bodybuilder contest. It doesn't stop his biceps from bulging and looming up, casting shadows and giving the impression of a sedan sewn under his skin and straining the threads of his uniform.
"Code 4595605381-Potemkin: Preparing to engage." he rumbles before hunching over, seemingly swelling up ever larger with each breath he takes as his back hulks up and his huge arms settle at his sides, hands ready to reach crushingly for Anji.
COMBATSYS: Potemkin has joined the fight here.
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Potemkin 0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0 Anji
With a flick of his fans, raising one high over his head and one low, Anji steps in deeply towards Potemkin's personal space in one smooth and mysterious motion, as if he were beginning the steps to a dance rather than a battle. Nevertheless, his attack is the real deal - a swirl of blue-green energy from his inner chi encircles his step in.
Nevertheless, the attack is a pretext for his true intention, which is to change the space between them and gain some distance, as he pushes off with his heel from the concrete to put himself in more open air, where he thinks he can feel comfortable not being crowded by the behemoth he's facing down.
COMBATSYS: Potemkin blocks Anji's Hitoashitobi.
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Potemkin 0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0 Anji
The easy going and charismatic nature of Anji is not lost on the walking fortress. And then there's the fact that he's openly challenging and engaging a monster like Potemkin in action. He's either insane, or as good as his cool confidence seems to be implying.
Possibly both. This potential is not lost on Potemkin either. But that burst of incoming chi does indeed say that Anji is the real deal.
However..the behemoth is no slouch either. His massive body braces against the force of the assault and the burst of blue green washes over him like a cresting wave that is then pushed apart by the goliaths massive arms.
As Anji dances backwards, Potemkin lunges in after him with a leaping assault that takes his massive body into the air and then back down again, crossing the distance in a sudden burst of speed that defies his massive size and both of his fists plummeting downward towards Anji in a double fisted piston like movement.
COMBATSYS: Anji fails to counter Mega Fist Shift from Potemkin with Sou.
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Potemkin 0/-------/-----==|====---\-------\0 Anji
Potemkin's titanic girth bearing down on Anji from above is enough to make him regret creating the distance between him in the first place. In alarm, he flicks his fan open wide to display the diamonds printed on the Zessen Outrage, and with a circular motion attempts to flick himself past the trajectory of those enormous fists in a spin.
Unfortunately for him, he was not counting on the massive force that was being brought to bear on him. He caught too much force from the other side of his fan, and this sent him careening across the ground, completing almost two revolutions before he is able to hop and right himself, blinking in shock at his miscalculation.
The entire warehouse shakes. The thousands, literally, of pounds that is Potemkin's impossibly muscled and armed body and the force of his barely restrained strength sends a shockwave rolling out that actually upends some onlookers from their feet. The Zessen and Anji's own skill blunts enough of the assault to keep him from falling completely under the gargantuan fists of the Zepp titan and as Anji rebounds away, Potemkins huge body goes into a slouch, propped up by a single oversized arm and then he pushes up towards a crouched position, bent at the knee and raising one arm up to point at Anji while bracing it with his other arm.
"You have made a grave error. It is my duty to defend my country and its secrets.." he intones before suddenly seeming to literally merely flick his middle finger..save the force of the flick and the behemoths superhuman strength is such that a pressurized burst of air blasts out from him and sweeps out over the area to race violently at Anji.
COMBATSYS: Potemkin successfully hits Anji with F.D.B..
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Potemkin 0/-------/----===|=======\-------\0 Anji
Anji, already on his backfoot, has found himself being utterly dominated by the herculean power that Potemkin is bringing to bear on him. He only just has time to get himself to his feet properly - crossing both fans in front of him, he takes the burst of air from the super-soldiers finger-flick F.D.B on the brunt.
This lifts him straight off his feet, causing him to shout "Oi, oi!" in alarm as the overwhelming strike lifts him into the air and deposits him several meters back, his arms utterly shivering from the impact of the damage they'd taken simply in repelling the lethal strike.
Nevertheless, he wasn't much of a quitter. He decided to take a different tack. With an elegant swing of his fan from the shoulder and the wrist, his chi manifests in a curious, glowing blue butterfly that advances meanderingly towards Potemkin from across the gulf that had been created in them. "Shitsu..." he intones, seeking an inner calm from it.
COMBATSYS: Potemkin endures Anji's Shitsu.
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Potemkin 0/-------/--=====|=======\-------\0 Anji
The ground thunders and cracks under Potemkins steady juggernaut invoking advance as he drives Anji further and further back into the warehouse. Behind them both, the soldiers continue their rapid loading of the last of the cargo crates with others continuing to watch the fight and wisely keeping their distance.
As to Potemkin, he soon lunges forward, jumpingo the approaching butterfly with an audible grunt as it slams home into his vast torso and ripples its effects across his body and into him as well. His visage is expressionless due to his helm but beneath said helm his face twists into a look of annoyance and frustration..but he doesn't stop.
"You would be wise to surrender now before this goes any further." he advises before attempting to lunge forward and reach for Anji and if successful grab him and fling him violently towards a stack of crates.
COMBATSYS: Anji counters Dismissive Toss from Potemkin with Kou.
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Potemkin 0/-------/=======|=======\=------\1 Anji
"Don't be ridiculous! The second act is just starting! Don't you want to keep dancing?" Anji says through grinning, gritted teeth even as a tiny bead of blood runs down his forehead, and flicks his fans out to his sides.
Slipping underneath Potemkin's massive, grasping hands, Anji's dip and step in almost puts him on his rear end. But from there, after quickly deflecting his bulk with a push of his forward-facing fan, he begins to rise into the air, a whirlwind conjured from the revolutions of spin he has begun. It lifts the both of them into the air, cutting brutally around the both of them as they rise.
Finally, at the very apex of their attack, Anji slams both fans forward into Potemkin's bulk with the formation of a blue sphere of glowing chi, to send him careening towards the ground.
This was..surprising to say the least. Simply managing to thwart the giant attempting to grab you can be a great accomplishment but the follow up? Getting Potemkin off the ground against his will and in the grip of such an assault? That is a mythic feat worthy of note. He's not exactly easily moved, even by those of great physical might.
As he goes crashing back to the ground violently he once more triggers an earthquake but this time it is not of deliberate action and he emits a loud grunt as the ground craters under him.
But he rebounds quickly. To quickly considering his bulk. There is a sound of mechanisms being unlocked and cartridges being loaded. His gauntlet hisses and steam gouts outward from opening vents and shifting plates.
And an instant later his hand lunges up and forward towards Anji, seeking to grasp him before he touches down cleanly and manages to dance away and should this succeed a burst of fiery chi in addition to his grasping strength would result as expended cartridge shells fling forth from his gauntlets after the discharge of energy.
COMBATSYS: Anji just-defends Potemkin's Heat Knuckle!
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Potemkin 0/-------/--=====|=======\=------\1 Anji
Catching his second wind was what battle was all about! Anji's mildly laboured breathing, even inside the warehouse proper, fogs in front of his now-rosy cheeks, but he feels like he's on the verge of laughing with exhiliration and glee for having met such a powerful opponent, and such a good man! The natural terror that should have gripped him from seeing that tree-trunk arm reaching out to grab him for what would doubtless have been a killing blow inside that locked and loaded mechanism can't stop him now.
Instead, he uses one of his fans in a gentle, almost loving gesture, and closes Potemkin's fingers into a fist just before it can grab him. Framed thus by the red-orange gunbarrel gloves, he decides to make his best attempt at diplomacy. "I'm Anji - Anji Mito! You've got to be the war-hero of Zepp that they always talk about - Battleship Potemkin!"
Hopping a step back, he raises both fans and channels his chi into them. The Zessen takes his power and warps itself to his wishes, larger in front of him. When he throws them out in front of them, they will form a beautiful japanese print pattern holding the world between them, revolving dangerously.
COMBATSYS: Potemkin fails to interrupt Issei Ougi Sai from Anji with Potemkin Buster EX.
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Potemkin 0/-------/=======|=------\-------\0 Anji
Recklessness. That is what Gabriel would say. That is a trait that Potemkin can't quite shake. The need to occasionally thrust himself needlessly into dangerous situations or to underestimate the threats before him while over estimating his own skill in that particular moment. There are times when being reckless can be a boon but this is not one of those times.
Distracted by the ease in which Anji avoided his grasp, his charismatic and almost joyful approach to the battle and the sudden expanding of the Zessen into a whirling chi infused assault is all abit much for him to take in at once. So he simply lunges in, heedless of the danger and his huge arms reach out - only for the fans to simply overwhelm his offense with their own and drive the mountainous soldier backwards and to the ground with a thunderous impact. Bits and pieces of his gauntlets are shorn free along with shreds of his uniform, revealing the brown colored flesh beneath.
Potemkin goes into a roll, ending upright and using a single fist to slam into the ground to arrest his out of control movements. "It would seem I have paid some price for underestimating you.." he rumbles.
The fans return to Anji's hands, and he stands up more forthrightly once he's sure that there's a gap wide enough to talk in the middle of the chaos. He clicks the Zessen shut and then holds one out towards Potemkin. "Damn right! But I underestimated you, too. So let's try out a coda we can both accept." He lowers his fan and brushes off his front of the dust and debris from the floor he'd accumulated from being tossed around like a ragdoll.
"I can't respect secrets - but I can respect you. And I think, in the end, we will both want the same thing when chi-surging naturally escalates. So hear me out! I want to get to the bottom of the phenomenon. I have a lot of stops I need to make as I look into it. I'll share anything that I learn with you and your country - provided you let me go, and keep me in the loop!"
His training tells him to charge in. To make the attempt. An unconscious Anji brought before President Gabriel can also talk or be made to talk.
His instincts hold him back. This is wrong. He's no savage attack dog. The man wants to talk so he gives him a chance to talk.
"..You may not respect secrets but there is a necessary evil in this world and keeping secrets could be seen as one of them. We have reasons to not want knowledge of the technology we possess to escape out into the world at large and people we are sworn to protect.."
But there's no ignoring Anji's warning either. Potemkin straightens up to his full height, folding his gigantic arms and looking away from Anji in thought while also searhing his memory. "Still. Chi flare ups..." Perhaps it is time for him to do some investigating on his own.
"Very well. I'll let you go, Anji Mito but I make no promises on sharing state secrets and information yet. That isn't for me to decide. But it should be enough that I will let you leave this place, free."
Anji smirks, and pushes his glasses a little bit higher up onto his nosebridge, as they'd been knocked askew. "You're saying that now, but I think you'll find that when the time comes, you'll want us all to put our heads together. Your boss, too, right? I'll look forward to then. See you!" Anji doesn't intend to give Potemkin any time to reconsider - he has his license to leave, so he's taking it. In truth, he wasn't sure if he could actually overcome that hulk of a warrior, and he didn't want to test it and wind up inside of a cell. He turns his shoulder and gives Potemkin a little wave over it as he saunters off, confident the other soldiers won't stop him, on Potemkins orders. In truth, it could be pretty annoying to look at.
Begins one of the soldiers but a grunt from Potemkin immediately silences him.
"It's fine. I'll explain to the President." he responds with that tone of voice that says, in his own polite menacing way, that this is above that soldiers pay grade.
Anji's departure is indeed annoying but Potemkin, despite his appearence and his duties, is a man that desires and seeks peace over war and if there was a way to end this fight and there is nothing truly lost here then so be it. He simply gives another rumbling, "Hmm.." and then turns and begins stepping away in the other direction, trusting the embaressed security guards to keep an eye on Anji and make sure he leaves the facility.
COMBATSYS: Potemkin has left the fight here.
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COMBATSYS: Anji has ended the fight here.
Log created on 22:07:55 08/16/2021 by Potemkin, and last modified on 01:42:03 08/17/2021.