Dead Or Alive - DOA R1 - Whitney vs Potemkin

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Description: The tournament listing is somewhat inocuous, the qualifier rounds being a matter of simple formality. However, the devil is in the details. A heartless man with many different shadow connections meets the massive Zepp soldier in South Asia, and neither are there for the reasons listed on the signup tally. There's a lot of backchannel interest in the region, due to most of the Dead or Alive qualifier events being held there, and more importantly, the huge amount of corporate and freelance contractors being called to the region. The Mishima Zaibatsu has heard word that G Corporation may be entertaining a US-based corporate buyout offer related to the tournament, and have sent representatives to DOA to find out. Interestingly, Whitney will find Potemkin at the US Embassy in New Delhi. What is the relationship between Zepp and the US right now to host a career Zepp soldier at the tournament?

Smoke curls from the end of a cigarette held in the lips of a man at the base of a glass building. The smoke rises, twists and dances until it's lost amid the backdrop of clouds. The man remains. Tall, by some standards, the man stands out in little other ways among others in the US Embassy. He is just another American in just another suit, though the particular combination of brown blazer and powder blue shirt may stand out for its jarring lack of both taste and tailoring. His purpose here is not to be one of the countless diplomats maintaining delicate international stability. Stability is frequently the exact opposite of Whitney Saulder's purpose on the planet. Though this time, sowing discord is not even on the man's list.

For this time, he is here to fight in the name of the Mishima Zaibatsu. Nothing more than paid service. Nothing more and nothing less.

Whitney Saulder always preferred the simple and obvious lies. They were less painfully delusional than the ones most of the world around him spoke in. Such as the embassy grounds he stood on. A deliberate appeal to modernity and civilization; a tiny piece of one nation within the borders of another. How easy to respect sovereignty when it was so parceled within your strength. What difference, Saulder thought, was there between embassies and ancient kings holding noble scions hostage? He could find none. Not if the world would be honest of its base intention.

Still, he thought as he flicked the ash from his cigarette, he could see the poetic relationship he had with this embassy. As it stood a piece of U.S. soil within India, he was Illuminati standing within a Zaibatsu keeping an eye on the movements of global competitors within this tournament.

Saulder looks at the smoldering end of his cigarette, held overhand, considering very little despite the pensiveness of the moment. He has heard of his opponent. A soldier from a neophyte country. He knows of Gabriel's rise to power. The revolts. The reactionaries. It was all something that he had to know for the sake of his business. As though their needs for death were somehow more grand or noble than the casual greed of insurance fraud hits.

The only difference Whitney saw and felt was the former tended to pay more, and the latter was easier to clean up after.

The hired killer licks his thumb and pinches the end of his cigarette. The dog-end then placed behind his ear, he pockets his hands and walks around from his spot of solitude to make his way toward the pressing purpose of the moment, bloodsport.

The DOA tournament has no shortage of funds to make for a daring stage presentation. The site being an Embassy, no less, is evidence enough of this fact. Though in some regards the known presence of Zepp might suggest a particular purpose for this particular fight to take place on this particular spot. It is a possibility that Whitney Saulder must consider, but he knows he'll need more information on that regard before he makes his final assessment. For now, he finds the only thing that drives him from his ennui for this whole tournament charade is the idea of seeing just what sort of man is the great walking warship of Zepp. And if there is truth to a jingoist's loyalty.

He will not have to wait very long. The very ground begins trembling. A steady lurch that vibrates loose rocks and pebbles and then begins rattling nearby windows as the intensity increases bit by bit. The steady rumbling impacts having more in common with the approach one might associate with a T-Rex then a humanoid and yet on and on it continous, ominously, until the Embassy Doors are thrust wide open and a man - impossibly gigantic - completely fills the double doors up with his presence.

The fighting world is filled with all types of physical forces. Legendary giants. Hugo. Abigail. Zangief. This? Is entirely something else. Potemkin's gigantic body looks like it compacts the massiveness of a sherman tank into human form and the green and gold of his military dress, the glow of his eyes, and the massive chi-tek gauntlets on his hands doesn't help. He literally seems to squeeze and unfold himself from the entrance of the building and then once outside straightens upt o an even larger height as he slowly bears down on Whitney.

One Week Ago. The Presidential Office of Gabriel in the newly minted Republic of Zepp. Eastern Europe:

"I know I need not stress to you the importance of our presence during this tournament Potemkin.. You understand all to well but it bears repeating, nevertheless. Though we work towards our seat at the table, it does not mean that we simply permit others to do as they will when the trickle down effect potentially places our sovereignty in jeapordy."

The speaker, the hawk nosed and sharp mustached President Gabriel. He looks on his protege, literal battleship of a man, who looks on with an unusually thoughtful and pensive air as he considers the regional map of the tournament and the notes on those being gathered and the activities that lie underneath. "I understand." he rumbles slowly while raising his helmet. "The necessity of our presence has become even more obvious to me following my meeting with Secretary Dickison."

"The arrangements have already been made. They are expecting you. Report back immediately once you've identified any suspect material and ascertained the threat level."

There is a pause and then Potemkin lifts his helmet up towards his head, "Understood."

Back in the prsent, the Zepp champion stands opposite Whitney and lifts his arms up and then back down again. His immense limbs flex, sending a shockwave rippling through his entire body as biceps that give the impressions of Buicks sewn under his skin bulge up monstrously. "Code 4595605381 - Potemkin is here. My mission parameter is to defeat you. Try to survive."

Hands in pockets, standing at a faint slump; the tired-eyed man observes the world with cold calculus. He gauges the titan before him. He sees the presiding might. He knows the fervor and cause as stated by he simple words. The direct presentation of power and potential. A mighty weapon brought to bare. He considers, certainly an objective was given. One that, Saulder suspects, even gave this walking battle engine a feeling of purpose and pride. But ultimately what Saulder sees is a statement made by a man behind a desk wrapped in his flag.

'Come see us, oh nations of the world. Come see what we are able to do!'

Whitney Saulder offers a shrug to the behemoth Potemkin. "A great deal of offensive might brought for a single man," he says, sniffling once and gently rubbing the space under his nose with the wrist of his blazer sleeve. "You Zepp have a very curious diplomacy."

He rocks back once on his heels. He looks aside. He takes a shuffle-bump step, a limp forward. His hands return into the depths of his blazer pockets. "Forgive a curious man," he prefaces a statement more commentary than truth-seeking, "But is it true that you traded one form of slavery for another? A glorious revolution?"

He licks his lips and though his posture denies it, the very presence of his man's capacity to fight is made clear when he has a small, distasteful, false laugh. "I'm sorry, we're supposed to be punching each other now, are we?"

COMBATSYS: Whitney has started a fight here.

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Whitney          0/-------/-======|

COMBATSYS: Potemkin has joined the fight here.

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Potemkin         0/-------/-------|======-\-------\0          Whitney

"If you have a complaint regarding these matches - then I am sure you can lodge it with the proper offices. One expects that by joining a tournament you would be prepared for surprises." answers the goliath to the first comment.

Potemkin brings his flexed arms down and hunches over, widening his legs and lifting his arms slightly into a readied grapplers stance. His massive back hulks up and his shoulders spread out wide, as if Whitney were now facing the front of a semi truck. "As to the rest - We have not exchanged slavery for slavery. Proper perspective is in order. I am more then happy to teach you."

He seems unperturbed by Whitney's attempts to rattle or heckle him and instead merely awaits him though the sheer pressure of his rising battle aura can be keenly felt.

Dull and dreary eyed Whitney Saulder sucks on his teeth when he gets the answer he expected. The self delusion of the righteous ran deep to Saulder. They did, he surmised, require this lie to maintain the very principles they used to obfuscate the very real outcome of their glorious rise to freedom: that others must bleed for their benefit.

Hands came from pockets and fingers fiddle at cuffs. "I have no complaint," he clarifies, "I'm only stating the facts before me. I find that sort of hegemonic posturing a matter of interest."

Finishing his pointless fiddling, distraction for distraction sake, he puts his hands down into his trouser pockets. Despite his earlier statement, he does not seem keen on punching. Rather he stands, and he talks. "Forgive me if I'm missing the perspective you have. What is the difference between pack mule and show pony?"

A roll of his neck, and he shuffles forward. His scuffed old dress shoe hits the ground and his ankle rolls. Or more, his knee bends with that roll and a crashing wave of a sweeping leg cuts for Potemkin's ankles.

COMBATSYS: Potemkin just-defends Whitney's Crushing Blow!

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Potemkin         0/-------/-------|=======\-------\0          Whitney

Oh boy. One of these types.

Painful and ironic in that his last major battlefield outing he encountered a man for whom the ennui of existence was so great no words concerning duty, dedication and honor had any sense of impact or feeling to him. The encounter left Potemkin frustrated and unable to wrap his mind around that type of thinking while also grappling with his own sense of inadequacy against the intruders capabilities and the weight of the expectations of his country on his performance.

And now here we have..Whitney. And begins again.

"Must fate constantly pit me against fools who have no sense of duty and obligation and who lack any sense of pride? IF you can't tell the difference between serving an opressive force and serving one that values freedom then perhaps it's not my place to teach you..."

The kick lands and Potemkin simply stands there, weathering the blow with all the impassiveness of the fortress walls he resembles in scale. He barely moevs and doesn't blink. However, Whitney quickly finds himself engulfed in a massive shadow as the giant looms overhead, fist balled up and chi-tek gauntlets creaking from the pressure of the flesh within as they flex and then the fist comes rushing down in a blur of movement like an incoming sledgehammer.

COMBATSYS: Whitney just-defends Potemkin's Quick Smash!

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Potemkin         0/-------/-------|=======\-------\0          Whitney

Duty. Obligation. Pride. Words Whitney Saulder is familiar with. A lifetime ago, identities past, he tried to be a good little soldier. They would give purpose. They would give direction. Whitney Saulder sees that brief moment a sobering lesson in his naivate. However, the cold-blooded killer did find connections and contacts in that regimented web of lies and self-delusion.

Whitney would have found it adorable if it weren't so banal.

"The great myth: dulce et decorum est pro patria mori," Whitney recites with bland disaffection. But his languid posture obfuscates his poise. That crushkng fist comes down. The force of that pressure thundrous. And the force meets a resistance that against odds can manage to hold it back and glance it aside.

Whitney Saulder's blazer is torn, the brown revealing the blue shirt underneath and the pale skin underneath that. "What have I to be proud of?" he asks, "Why should I feel these things? Do you eat pride? Can you drink duty? Would these things have been impossible as a laborer? Or do they come from your uniform?"

Whitney Saulder studies the great soldier of Zepp. He posits aloud, "If I break your shell, what will your eyes show me of the man inside?" And with a skip, he jumps to Potemkin's wrist before hurling himself with a twin cannon of a knee at Potemkin's head.

COMBATSYS: Potemkin endures Whitney's Painful Nuance.

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Potemkin         0/-------/-----==|=======\=------\1          Whitney

The impact is a resounding *CRAANG* as the helmet and head of the giant is forced violently to the side and Potemkin reels backwards slightly from the force of the blow. For all of his prior posturing and complaints regarding the visual difference between himself and Potemkin, it's readily apparent that there is some reserve of physical power and force possessed by the man that makes him a threat to Zepp's walking one man battalion.

Potemkin staggers, adjusting his weight and bracing against the blow with movement that quakes the ground and sends cracks spider webbing in various directions beneath his booted and armored feet.. and then he suddenly moves, spinning a gigantic arm forward and up with a huge hand reaching out to try and grab for Whitney before the man can ride the momentum of his own attack back down towards the earth and away from the giant. Instead, his gauntlets whine as a chi-tek shell is loaded and the behemoth seeks to envelop his opponent with a massive hand.

"Your attempts to rattle me are wasted but please, keep spouting your poetry."

Should the hands enclose a rapid fire discharge of fiery chi occurs accompanied by Potemkin's crushing strength, ending with a fiery explosion that booms throughout the embassy.

COMBATSYS: Potemkin successfully hits Whitney with Heat Knuckle.

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Potemkin         0/-------/----===|=======\=------\1          Whitney

Risks must be taken to gain an idea of oppositional strength. In many ways, Whitney Saulder considers himself an actuary. He engages opposition of his employers in order to determine what they are and what they are capable of. One service being offered to the Mishima Zaibatsu. The base offerings.

A good determination means both the Zaibatsu's enemies and in turn the Zaibatsu are easier to predict. Elements the Illuminati will be certain to exploit in the future. A game of service, to service, for service.

But with the opening salvo fired, Whitney finds himself giving away more information than he should. He takes a crushing grip and a burning force. One that hurtles him far and back, streaking like a comet and crashing as a meteorite.

For a time, he thinks of the cold desert nights. A scarred and scared young fool of a woman. He wonders if she still makes mistakes. Likely.

Little worse for wear but the state of his suit, Whitney picks himself off the ground and dusts himself off before starting forward with that shuffling limp of a gait that he likes to affect.

"I don't waste time on pointless trash-talk," Whitney says as he approaches. "Why do you dodge my questions? They're more important that anything my body offers."

He pulls the dogend from his ear. Somehow, the half spent cigarette survived the throw. Whitney jabs the filter at the corner of his mouth. "You're demonstrating yourself. Strutting in a military burlesque for the world. Who do you think is watching? Do any of those allies have your delusions of honor and duty?"

Now Whitney's stay out of his pockets. He moves with a purpose. Rushing Potemkin and once more going for the jugular. t

He strikes for the eyes of Potemkin's helmet. Swift, strong finger jabs. And to ring bells despite the armor, he finishes a flurry with a clapping palm at just where he supposes ears should be.

COMBATSYS: Potemkin blocks Whitney's Blind Assurance.

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Potemkin         0/-------/---====|=======\====---\1          Whitney

Continued adjustments to his pressure suit and uniform have resulted in a protective faceplate that covers Potemkin's features. The menacing design does much for the intimidation factor if arms the size of small cars isn't enough..but it also has the added benefit of goggles to shield his eyes against the eye poke whilst the helmet continues to resist assaults against it despite the ringing inside of Potemkins ears.

The behemoth grunts and leaps backwards i order to disengage from his assailaint. The earth shakes and rumbles as he touches down and then crouches low while rumbling: "Your body is an important offering. This is a tournament, remember? And defeating you means that I can be one step closer to determining the risk factor here and the nature of the chaotic affairs brewing in this region. If your intention is to distract me from that or rattle me with questions you very well already know the answer to, I will be forced to disappoint you. You may have chosen to walk this path and look upon soldiers and honor with disdain but I have not. What I do, I do for my comrades and for the future."

With that, the behemoth springs, leaping upward and clearing the distance towards Whitney in a towering jump. Both of his massive arms haul backwards and then lurch forward as he descends with violent pistoning force.

COMBATSYS: Whitney fails to counter Mega Fist Shift from Potemkin with Dreams Deferred.
- Power fail! -

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Potemkin         0/-------/-======|====---\-------\0          Whitney

A force of ideology. A power of belief. The strength of purpose. All the drives of Potemkin pitting against the dark void of disdain that is Whitney Saulder push past the waiting force of the killer. The crashing weight slams down with crushing force. The ground threatens to break. The man being pummeled into the ground withstands.

With that purpose, Whitney Saulder is driven into the ground with a force he's not felt since a Desert night long ago. A quiet grave dug with a fist. A deep furrow ploughed into the earth. And with the crashing thunder down, Potemkin has an opening and a moment of silence. The killer is moving still, the fight not yet over.

It would seem that Potemkin has the advantage but he's experienced to know that this can turn on a dime at any second. There have been many times that it has. So tactically, the colossus opts to continuet o keep the pressure on, heightening his agression with intention on pushing towards a swift end to this match.

Whitney's constant needling and barrage of questions coupled with his judgemental silence has something to do with that as well. Must soldiers always be so questioned? Can it not be as simple as loving ones country, comrades and ideals enough to fight for them? Clearly not.

"I suggest you stop worrying about my motivations in my service to my countrymen and instead concentrate more on the here and now. You're here to fight in a tournament aren't you? Or, perhaps, is there something more to your presence here that you'd care to share?"

A probing question of his own, perhaps, but who knows? Perhaps Whitney will oblige. Either way..Potemkin springs forward. He clears the distance caused by his previous assault in the space of a hearbeat, thundering infront of Whitney like an impacting meteor. Both of his hands scope down to try and grip the assassin and haul him up..and if successful..Potemkin leaps again, vaulting skywards with his opponent in order to lead to a multi-storied backbreaker with his thunderous strength unleashed.

COMBATSYS: Potemkin successfully hits Whitney with Potemkin Buster.

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Potemkin         1/-------/=======|====---\-------\0          Whitney

A constant, pressuring force. A devastating weight that barrels onward. Tearing through the seemingly limited defenses of a smaller man in a suit. Ground breaks and rises with the pure mass driving down in front of Saulder. Light as a normal man is, he's easily pulled to the air and crashed back down with a wet, cracking pop.

Aside, thrown and discarded. Whitney Saulder lay in a degree of pain, true, but it registers as simply that inside of him. And that distinct numbness is what drives an exhausted, burbling fury inside of Whitney Saulder.

From the heap in which he lay, Whitney Saulder pushes himself up and to a knee. He shakes his head and pats himself over. He finds a near destroyed pack of cigarettes and pulls one out to put between his teeth. But the big man was talking now. How interesting.

A spark when Saulder flicks out his lighter. And he starts a new smoke. "Am I?" he asks, cigarette bobbing. "Is that why I'm here?" He stands up and starts to remove his blazer. "That is what I signed up for. That is why we fight. But is why I'm here? Is it why you are here?"

The blazer hits the ground. Whitney's fingers dance quickly to undo his cuffs, and rolls the sleeves up. He looks at Potemkin and gives a waving hand to challenge the giant.

"Sometimes on these long talkative animals are laid fists of huger silence."

COMBATSYS: Whitney gains composure.

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Potemkin         1/-------/=======|===----\-------\0          Whitney

"You first then.."

Again, Potemkin bears down, lunging in with force likened to a semi truck cab thundering down the streets. He studies Whitney as he does so, considering if the man is attempting to out last him and force him to use his own stamina up to its limits while he simply endures. It's not an impossible strategy. It takes alot for this behemoth to move around and maintain aggressive action. He -can- tire..if one is capable of lasting long enough to see it happen.

"Why are you here?" he questions matter of factly while lifting a massive palm up and then smashing it forward and down at Whitney, attempting to crush the man into the ground and pin him there momentarily. If he manages to smash those cigarettes that's just an added bonus.

"And speak plainly."

COMBATSYS: Whitney counters Quick Smash from Potemkin with Refutation of Reason.

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Potemkin         1/---====/=======|======-\-------\0          Whitney

'Speak plainly.'

"My friend, I do nothing but," Whitney maintains, hands falling in a shrugging gesture. One that he holds and waits, open and stupid for the wave of might that Potemkin comes with. Bearing down with that massive fist.

Then he moves, sliding with a dangerous ease. His worn dress shoe scrapes the sundered ground. Two arms hug Potemkin's mighty wrist. Whitney Saulder's legs plant. And with a mountainous strength, Saulder turns. That same resilience he has shown in the battering put down by Potemkin rises up in this sudden moment as the giant of Zepp is rolled into the air to crash to the ground with thunderous crash.

"I've always spoke plainly. The world is too tied up in narcissistic delusion to listen," Whitney Saulder says, exhaling a ribbon of smoke from his mouth. "I was paid to be here. I'm on contract."

The giants impact causes car alarms to ring and windows to shatter as the earth craters under him and he tumbles backwards into a deep groove of his own. By some miracle, his helmet stays on but his glowing eyes visibly narrow as he shakes his head and then staggers back to his feet.

"Hnn..hired? By whom and to do what? Advance in the tournament? Why?"

He straightens back up and then adds, "You are more durable and stronger then any would have guessed at. I'm well aware that not all power is as clearly visible as my own." Steam hisses from his gauntlets and he reaches up and lightly begins to unbutton and loosen his uniform. The technology woven into his pressure suit loosening a touch to allow his muscles to visibly expand and audibly creak - standing out like bas relief against his garments as if he were slowly releasing their bindings abit more.

"So forgive me in advance for this."

His massive legs flex, sending him racing forward in a sliding dash for Whitney while his massive arms pull back and then suddenly lunge forward in an attempt to slam together with Whitney between the two fists in a seismic inducing display.

COMBATSYS: Potemkin successfully hits Whitney with Hammer Fall EX.
- Power hit! -

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Potemkin         1/---====/=======|======-\-------\0          Whitney

A shockwave ripples through the air. The grounds of the U.S. Embassy shakes. Stone and grasses tear up and roll forward. Crumbling and cracking earth splits, shredded by the quake causing strength of the pride of Zepp.

And at the center of the blow is the killer, Whitney Saulder.

The cacophony of the crush echoes off the walls of the embassy and rings out into the city streets. Rumbling, rattling and roaring, it peaks and then falls into silence.

"In all my dreams before my helpless sight he plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning."

Words spoken before the man who said them pushes up from the rubble he is left in. Torn, blood rolls from nose and lip. Tired eyes, dead-inside from long before the fight began, look up at Potemkin.

"If you truly want to know, just look at your own purpose with honest eyes. What do all dogs of war exist for?" He speaks with a wheezed pseudo laugh. And he lurches forward, almost seeming to stumble. Rolling toward Potemkin with grasping hands that fumble. But they move with purpose hidden behind the faulty limps and clamboring climbs. Enough to close in, and before swiftly going again for the big man's helmet and throat.

COMBATSYS: Whitney dazes Potemkin with Dissonant Mercy!
- Power hit! -

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Potemkin         1/---====/=======|=======\==-----\1          Whitney

It's like slamming into the side of a battleship or a vault door. Potemkin's massive body seems to enlarge, widening, bulking up as his physique bulges like earthquake were taking place beneath his flesh.. almost welcoming the attack as his arms spread wide only for the assault to sheer into him with such force that a wave of disorientation and confusion washes over him as his body attempts to brace itself and compensate for the assassins technique. His defensive posture is nearly overwhelmed but he holds his ground desptie cracks racing through his helmet and up along his gauntlets and coolant systems.

"Hngh!" he grunts, unable to even get solid words out until he finally reaches forward and attempts to embrace Whitney once again. Chi blazes into a bonfire of energy around his immense hands before being vented out from the sides of the gauntlets as the chi-tek mechanisms open and discharge a burst of energy.

Again, Potemkin leaps. This time attempting to drag Whitney up with him towards heights that far exceed his last jump. The arena falls far below them as they ascend and then plummet downwards, a fiery meteor.

"Heavenly! Potemkin! Buster!!!"

COMBATSYS: Whitney just-defends Potemkin's Heavenly Potemkin Buster!

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Potemkin         0/-------/----===|=======\==-----\1          Whitney

Tough skin. Great muscle. Powerful chi. All of these fantastic strengths held by great combatants and warriors the world over. But even the biggest, strongest of humanity still tended to have one weakness; they needed to breathe. The sound of that grunt. The little noise of discomfort. It sang as a choral hymn in Whitney Saulder's ears. It rang to his bitter, cold and distant pocket of all too human isolation. Potemkin questioned as to why Whitney was here and now in this confrontation. Any price and any employer's interest pales in comparison to the moment that Whitney hears the struggle for air.

"No more words?" Whitney asks, something like a smile reaching his face. It's an alien expression drawn on more from someone that's seen a chimp's grimace and made a few misinterpretations of its meaning.

"A paean to heaven?" he cries out over the rush of air. Held as he is in the titan's embrace, he rides upward to the sky, bound for the clouds above. "Tell me, tin soldier. . ."

The pinnacle, and in a monument to his own hidden strength, the deceiver that is Whitney Saulder pushes his arms outward prying enough room to escape Potemkin's grasp. He falls back in the air, Potemkin destroying the earth below, but doing so without Whitney Saulder serving as a crash pad. Rather, the man lands with a heavy, crouching crunch. And he stands up. And he brushes dirt off his hands before sniffling and slipping his hands into his pockets.

"When the light goes out in your eyes, will you be begging for mother? Or will you be praying to your self-serving archangel?"

With his question, he surges forward. A shuffling canon kick for Potemkin's chest. The thrust of the momentum carrying Whitney through, his arms coming out and if he so connects and unbalances Potemkin, even the giant soldier will find he can be hoisted and brought hard to the ground.

COMBATSYS: Potemkin blocks Whitney's Sundered Ideals.

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Potemkin         0/-------/----===|====---\-------\0          Whitney

Both of his massive arms come up, crossing before him just before impact, producing a loud resonating clang and a flashing flare of chi as Whitney's assault strikes the giants guard and then is pushed back as the behemoth spreads his arms wide and flexes his monstrous torso. Though battered he seems as if he yet has more within him to give though the fact that Whitney is keeping up with him says much to the giant.

The earth rumbles and roars as he steps forth from the crater of his previous impact and lunges after Whitney with a single hand, attemtping to snatch the man and yank him back towards him again.

"Your poetry is amusing but has finality to it that is unbecoming of this match. We are far from done." he rumbles before attempting to haul Whitney up and swing him around violently and into the earth while bracing his own body in the process.

COMBATSYS: Whitney counters Repeated Slams from Potemkin with Pointed Rebuttal.

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Potemkin         1/------=/=======|=======\-------\1          Whitney

A brilliant display of chi-tek energy that flares out in defense of Potemkin! The light bright and flashing. Halting the procession of Whitney Saulder in his tracks and opening the killer to the grabbing hands of Zepp's stalwart soldier.

A man mad of sterner stuff, Whitney is finding. A critical notation to make and report. Zepp is entering the fray, and is of considerable capability. Further, the technological capability is not something that should be denied. That matter will be documented and forwarded to multiple parties.

Work is far from Whitney Saulder's mind though, he finds the zealotry impassioned, but dry. He cannot seem to find a curious response, a soldier and a tool for yet another military junta priding itself on ideals it has yet to proven are separate from the usual power seeking. And so it's with a return of the eternal ennui-ridden frustration that he throws himself for Potemkin. A clang with his bounding off the enhanced cuffs of Potemkin's uniform, slipping through the giant's reach and drawing his hands from his pockets at the final moment of contact.

Both hands out, he reaches and does something simple, but direct. A sharp poke at the glowing spots that shine like targets; Potemkin's eyes.

The giants goggles and faceplate do much for protection against eye gouging or attempts to blind him but that doesn't make the attempt any more distracting or harmful in its own way as his forced into a a defensive stance and posture and a series of jerking movements to attempt to deflect the assault away that his own attack is rendered useless. Whitney's driving attack fractures his mask and plating and sends cracks through the reinforced materials of the attached goggles and Potemkin staggers backwards with earth sundering steps.

In truth his responses to Whitney will now have to wait as he attempts to regain control over this match..and it is unlikely he can say anything in this brief encounter that will shake the assassin or change his mind. Potemkin, despite doubts of his own self worth and capabilities, is still a dedicated soldier and loyal comrade to those who have fought for and given freedom to himself and to others. From where he stands, Whitney has chosen to not understand the signifigance of all that is left is to simply win.

His massive fist lunges up behind his head, body flexing and creaking with the expansion of mass and the bearing of his earth shattering strength..and then his fist hurtles forward just as his gauntlets once more open up and chi-tek shells fire, unleashign a huge burst of force to accompany his shockwave inducing blow.

COMBATSYS: Whitney blocks Potemkin's Judge Gauntlet EX.

[                     \\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////                      ]
Potemkin         0/-------/-----==|=======\-------\1          Whitney

In this moment, there is no repartee. Only the sound of two warriors clashing. A loyal soldier faces down a cold-blooded killer. The fist bursts forward blasting with a shockwave that cleans the smaller stones left from the fight off the battlefield. The sound of the chi-tek shells cover the physical, brutish huff of Whitney's body holding fast against the blow.

And as silent as he took the brunt, Whitney Saulder soldiers forth. A man looking beyond able; bloodied, dead eyed, disheveled and with a worn suit and tie flapping with tatters, he still moves on.

He shuffles for one more of those heavy kicks, again aimed for Potemkin's center of mass. The kind he has taken before. But it neve comes. It feints and drops down, seeing Whitney's arms tuck up and the whole of the man shoot hard for Potemkin's knees. Nothing more than a slight sleight, and seemingly little more than a closing in and tackle. Brute to brute.

COMBATSYS: Potemkin fails to interrupt Violent Grapple from Whitney with Heat Knuckle Extended.
# Disabling hit! #
-@- Dazing Hit! -@-

[                     \\\\\\\\\  <
Whitney          1/----===/=======|

COMBATSYS: Potemkin can no longer fight.

[                     \\\\\\\\\  <
Whitney          1/----===/=======|

The giant lunges high when Whitney goes low and it is Whitney whose connects first and whose seeming supernatural strength wins the day. Potemkin's gauntlets discharge a blast of chi that violently erupts into the air and unbalances the giant that much more and then the next thing he realizes he's toppling over, flipping over Whitney and back down again to crash violently into another crater that rips up around him and sends chasms spiraling through the area.

The battle took a rapid turn for the worse, seemingly at the last minute, but the behemoth is too stunned and battered to openly acknowledge that and instead simply lays still in the crater formed around his huge body. Still and beaten.

Goliath has fallen.

An unlikely David rises to his feet. His eyes close and he holds his arms out to his side to feel the air as it stills and the fervor of the fight leaves the surroundings. It will take time and money to repair the grounds of this embassy. But that matter is of little concern to any of the power players moving their pieces in this tournament.

Whitney Saulder lowers his arms. He opens his eyes. He knows when things are done. He has seen the fight leave a man so many times in his life. Scrape-step, scrape-step, he once more adopts a feint limp as he retrieve his tossed aside blazer. He considers it. He shakes it out. He slips it on.

Whitney Saulder adjusts his cuffs, tugging them ungainly from under his blazer sleeves while he walks toward where Potemkin lay. He stands for a moment, looking out at nothing too far away with an unfocused and distant stare. "I am a killer," he tells Potemkin, "Not a moral judgment, just an occupation. People like your Gabriel. They have people like me to do what they need to. They have people like you to lie for them about people like me. Not a moral judgment, simply a truth."

He pats his blazer and, finding nothing, mutters, "Fuck. . ."

He looks down and though he is incapable of feeling the emotion, he attempts to affect pity for Potemkin. "If you cannot see the lie of your master, then I ask you if you're so naive to think that the very powers he wants to impress in this world are as noble hearted as he." Cold again, the face looks away and Whitney Saulder starts to walk off. One more time he recites what he recalls.

"We wise, who with a thought besmirch blood over all our soul how should we see our task but through blunt and lashless eyes?"

COMBATSYS: Whitney has ended the fight here.

Log created on 10:39:27 01/05/2022 by Whitney, and last modified on 21:57:17 03/09/2022.