Neo League 0201 - NL#0203: Bob vs Victoire

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Description: In the aftermath of her crushing defeat at the blades of Ahmya, Victoire visits the Southtown Young Fighter's Institute where she sets up a far more familiar battle with Bob Richards. No gimmicks, no interfering costumes, just good old fashioned, no-holds-barred, hand to hand fighting. The polite Canadian and the exceedingly arrogant French fighter may look like near polar opposites to one another, but in a dramatic battle before the eyes of the next generation an unlikely friendship blooms between them.

The Southtown Young Fighters Initative. This organization aims to provide the youth of Southtown, often already prone to street fighting, with a place to find training, discipline, and most importantly, role models that can encourage good behavior (and mentoring) among the up and comings.

And Robert "Bob" Richards really values that mission, even if the director was a bit ... skeptical, of Bob's influence in terms of good dietary habits.

Today's agenda is an exhibition match to demonstrate the skills of two reputable fighters (and also keep some angsty teenagers entertained instead of playing on their smartphones). Bob has already moved to the arena, dresed in an orange shirt, blue jeans, and suspenders today. The man is large...very large, standing at 6'4 and weighing well, well over 300 pounds. "Round" is a good adjective for him, and yet...

Bob does a vertical handstand as part of his warm-up, executing several push-ups, when he's finished, he flips, coming flipping for a perfect mid-air roll before a three-point landing. "I'm ready whenever you are, Miss."

Victoire knows Bob by reputation; whatever else she might be, she is extremely tuned in to the world of professional fighting. Others might be tempted to mock him or belittle his size, but she respects it. Or at least, she respects him. In others, such a thing might not be put to any practical use - but she has no doubt at all that Robert Richards and his Super Heavyweight status will be put to great effect. She just dearly hopes that she can prove it is, in fact, possible for her to beat a man of this size. She does not want to have to contemplate undergoing a similar training regime.

Victoire has been in discussion with the staff whilst Bob engaged with his warmup, and she too seems quite enamoured with the setup. She has her entourage with her of course; a full staff of people, some of whom are fussing over her even as she steps towards the ring. One woman in particular - around the same age as Victoire herself, wearing a finely tailored suit and with bright purple hair, seems quite concerned. "Do you think it is a good idea to get in the ring again so quickly, Victoire? Your wounds--"

Victoire waves her off with a carefree laugh, "Oh please, Marie. I know that you are not used to seeing me lose, but I promise, it will take more than one little girl with a few tricks up her sleeves to keep me down."

She walks, unhurried, to stand before her opponent. Though it seems that they are both eschewing the costume request of their host this time around. Victoire tightens her gloves, pulling them down harder onto her wrists. She is glad for that. She does not need the distraction after the previous fight's... unpleasantness.

"And I am ready as well, Monsieur." She says with a smile, "Naturally, I should like to declare that I will be donating my winnings from today's match to the institute! And when I emerge triumphant, I shall be delighted to share my insights with any young fighters who might wish to follow in my triumphant footsteps!"

Whatever else she might be, she's certainly... confident. Bob has over two hundred pounds and almost a foot of height on her, yet she stands there without even a single hint that she might be troubled by this.

Bob smiles widely. He seems to be more of a one-man-show, at least today, lacking the support crew or even a dedicated fanbase that followed him here. Well, mostly. As always, Bob seems to have his little entourage of admirers, who appreciate his style, his charm, his...appeal.

"Oh...I was hoping he'd wear the sexy Tony Stark costume again," one of the staffers says, her voice sounding disappointed. Bob, for better or worse, seems to have not heard it.

"How charitable!" Bob says. "You know, I think that's a great idea on both counts." He smiles pleasantly. "Win or lose, I'll be happy to offer some questions. But let's try and have a good match!" He assumes a fighting stance, rocking back on his foot and lifting his front foot a little, hands raised in a loose, clenched fist stance.

Victoire smiles, "A good match, of course! Of course. There is no other kind of match when Victoire Invaincue takes to the stage!"

Reaching up, she brushes her hair back briefly - and then the bell is ringing to signal that the fight can begin, and the woman is suddenly bursting forwards in an explosive rush. Maybe she feels like she has something to prove. Then again, this is Victoire. She always feels as though she has something to prove.

She comes charging in headlong towards the much, much larger man - and then suddenly she's jumping forwards, leaping to cover that last gap and hitting the ground in a forward roll which, when it unfurls, has her swinging upwards from the floor with her shiny heel leading the way.

The intent is simple: smack that boot of hers right into Bob's chin. Reasoning, perhaps understandably, that this is likely not an angle of attack her opponent is liable to see coming!

COMBATSYS: Victoire has started a fight here.

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Victoire         0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Bob has joined the fight here.

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Bob              0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0         Victoire

COMBATSYS: Victoire successfully hits Bob with Ascendant Heel.

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Bob              0/-------/------=|=------\-------\0         Victoire

"Of course!" Bob says, still smiling. "Your reputation precedes you!" She's not the only one who keeps up the circuit, it seems!

Bob is on his feet immediately, ready to block low. His guard tightens, his arms brace to sweep in and intercept. What he doesn't seem to expect is a shot from the ground to his chin, and Victoire's heel shoots right over his guard and into underside of his jaw, knocking him back in a stagger as he spins away from the hit.

Bob lands in a spin, his boots sliding across the floor as he rights himself with a pivot to end his backward moment and prepare him to close back in. He starts with what looks to be a forward slap, but as Bob swings his mitt in he goes for a grab instead, trying to get hold of the smaller fighter's arm and give her a jerk toward him---one that hides the real strike of his palm heading to her face from the opposite side. If that connects, Bob reels her back in, sweeping his leg to try and catch the back of her knees and flip her legs right from under her.

"Nice roll," Bob says, "good angle of approach. You aren't making this easy!"

COMBATSYS: Victoire interrupts Quarter Deck from Bob with Reverse Boot.
- Power hit! -

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Bob              0/-------/---====|=------\-------\0         Victoire

Victoire simply doesn't stop moving. It's one of the things that really defines her style. Even as Bob is reaching out to grab her, she's moving into the grab - and as he hauls her in, she twists around. The palm comes in for what is, quite suddenly, the back of her head - and she slams her heel into the open palm, forcing it back and using the heavier, sturdier bulk of her opponent as a foothold to lift herself bodily, completely, off the ground as he tries to sweep her legs out from underneath her.

Infuriatingly, it means that when she lands it is with only a slight chuff of exertion, and a dazzling smile. Her gloved hand brushes once more through her hair, and she is coming in again, veering to the left on the approach this time as she replies to the far more ameniable conversation than the one she had 'enjoyed' the previous day.

"Of course, my friend! Are we not champions, you and I? If it were easy for either of us, it would be a great disappointment!"

Bob's attack is suddenly reversed as Victoire demonstrates not just poise, but flexibility and precision in her shift, parry, and counterstrike. The heel impacts Bob's palm with such force that he's immediately throw off balance and pushed back by powerful legs, spinning to the ground and going into a tumble to regain his balance. When he's back on his knees, he shakes his hand with a pained expression.

"Very impressive!" the big man responds, "and I'm not sure about champion---on my part at least, but I do what I can! HUP!"

The rotund fighter goes in fast this time, striking with a gut punch, then a fast face punch. Each strike has a rhythm, precision to it. A knee strike to the middle comes next, and pop spins out of it into a high kick toward the head.

COMBATSYS: Bob successfully hits Victoire with Combination Bitter.
- CRAZY Hit! -

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Bob              0/-------/-======|=====--\-------\0         Victoire

This time, Victoire's flashy style shows some of its weakness. Her attempt to simply push the gut punch out of the way doesn't work, resulting in her instead pushing the punch right into her own face - followed by a second punch right there, which staggers her. The knee bends her back over, and the kick strikes true, knocking her briefly to the ground with an audible THUMP. She gasps, and then - grins. Excellent. This was the kind of speed and power she had been expecting! She would have preferred not to have made things worse on herself but -- Bob is a difficult man to predict.

"Exciting, very exciting!"

She swings around, then, aiming to crack her boot into the side of the larger man's leg. A second kick follows as she pushes herself up from the ground, getting back to her feet via the expedient of kicking itself - and then, improbably - she aims to put those gloves of hers to use by simply grabbing the man by his arm and hauling him across her shoulders?!

The fireman's carry is a move that demands she take the full weight of her far larger opponent square across her shoulders and - even if she manages to land the move perfectly, the strain it takes on her will be immediately apparent by how red-faced she is throughout the act. But she is determined! And if she can just get him UP there, dropping backwards so that he hits the ground should be FAR easier to accomplish!

COMBATSYS: Bob fails to interrupt Kick Combo from Victoire with Giga Jacker.

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Bob              0/-------/-======|=====--\-------\0         Victoire

Bob doesn't linger on the small victory, as Victoire remains elusive! His boot contacts the ground, he widens his stance, and gets ready to strike back at the Frenchwoman as she readies her counterplay. As she goes for the grab, he tries to thrust forward and bodyslam her with her superior girth until--

Victoire's superior leverage vaults him up onto her back and, with strained though she might be, she delivers a mighty slam that floors him for a moment, leaving the big bruiser wincing from the impact.

"Not bad," he wheezes, "not bad at all! Those are some impressive muscles you have there, miss!"

The close range fighting is definitely a spectacle - and one which has thoroughly achieved the goal of making the disillusioned teens pay attention. Certainly, neither warrior has (yet) used the bright and shining effects that would go along with flashy displays of power; no brilliant flames or gaudy sparkles here. What there is, in spades, is technical mastery on both sides. Bob, with his immense frame and punishing blows, has landed fewer hits - but Victoire is having to work twice as hard to make herself felt through his natural bulk.

"I have trained for this my entire life." She says, a rare pause as she needs to recover from the drop, turn, and face him again. "And that is why I cannot be defeated. Victory is a state of mind, and I have honed it perfectly!"

A less charitable person might point out that she suffered a very definite defeat extremely publicly and recently, but such things are not for her to dwell on. Instead, she comes hurtling in again - relentless in her assault upon the far larger man as she aims to crash the sole of her boot directly into his gut - a single solid kick to punctuate her heartfelt declaration.

COMBATSYS: Bob blocks Victoire's Medium Kick.

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Bob              0/-------/=======|======-\-------\0         Victoire

Certainly some bored teens are probably asking questions like "Where are the fireballs?" but the more observant of the crowd seem to be watching every move, waiting to see what happens next in the displays of technical mastery and physical conditioning. Bob's chest rises and falls as he catches his breath, but then the man plants his hands on the floor and pushes back into a rising retreat. He adjusts his foot again, tapping his boot twice, and slips back into his fighting stance, albeit worse for the wear.

"That's the type of attitude I like to see," Bob says, "That blending of physical and mental discipline--that's the real fighting mindset!"

The next kick meets Bob's crossed arms, pushing him back. He adjusts, sidesteps, and his hand tightens into a fist.

"Intentionality is what I'm talking about. There's a purpose to all of it," he seems to be speaking as much to the audience as her. "The training, the diet, the mental conditioning, all to make you the best you can be."

He strikes forward with a solitary punch in retort. "Isn't that right?"

COMBATSYS: Bob successfully hits Victoire with Medium Punch.
-* WILD HIT! *-

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Bob              0/-------/=======|=======\=------\1         Victoire

The blow slams hard into Victoire's jaw with a resounding CRACK; the woman had been moving again, getting her momentum rolling, only this time she had managed to roll right into the attack. There's some sympathetic 'ooos' from the crowd, but Victoire herself doesn't look put out by this. It is rare that she meets someone who takes her meaning in what she says. Her heart is singing with it. Yes, she's prideful - arrogant, even to the point of ridiculousness... but it is because if she pushes the possibility of failure from her mind, it cannot touch her. It allows her to shrug off - say - incredibly painful punches to the face and not yield to them.

Just as Bob has warped his body in the pursuit of the bulk he needed to perfect his techniques, she has warped her mind. She may not conceptualise it in quite that way but - there is a kindred spirit here, she can sense it! And it brings out the best in her.

"Precisely, my friend!" She declares, "Together, let us show the next generation what you can do when body and mind... join together in one harmonious whole!"

There's a note in her voice; a glint in her eye. The woman's declaration rings around the room, and in the very next instant she is surging forwards with the weight of expectation on her shoulders. She can see this victory - she can grasp it, she need only use her hands to seize it and it will all be hers!

She powers forwards with a truly unstoppable momentum behind her, aiming to grab Bob around one heavy leg and wrench him off his feet - if she can just get that initial wrenching movement going, he will find himself being swung around once, twice, three times, before beind released into the air--

Only for Victoire to join him there, spin him back so he is facing the floor, and then guide him down to it with both heels in his back for leverage!

COMBATSYS: Bob blocks Victoire's Royal Parade.

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Bob              1/------=/=======|-------\-------\0         Victoire

Bob briefly seems concerned at the impact--only briefly, as the man knows Victoire, now, as much as one can know another fighter just through the meeting of fists. Even if the blow was serious, she won't want to be pandered to or pampered. She'll want to work that out after the match is resolved, if anything. His intuition is only proven correct when she is back on her feet and moving to snatch a win in the next moment.

"That's right!" Bob echoes, but he is swiftly cut off as Victoire goes for the legs, vaults Bob into the air, and whips him around for a triple swing into a mid-air setup! The blond lets out a loud "Whoooooa!" as he's suddenly airborne, and the Frenchwoman is descending with a double-heeled blow.

But Bob has gotten his bearings, this time, and intercepts the blow with a steely cross-guard with both arms, riding the impact down so hard the floor seems to rattle a little bit as Bob is wedged between it and Victoire's powerful blow! But as the two separate, Bob is on the move again, curling into a ball and rolling along the ground to get the distance he needs to get on his feet, get momentum going, and charge back into the fray.
%He charges forward first with a wind up, then a powerful straight punch aimed for a body blow. From it, Bob seems to be intended to slide past Victoire with the momentum, changing his direction to come at the Frenchwoman again from the other side, this time with a running start into a two-handed, explosive palm strike. 

COMBATSYS: Bob blitzes into action and acts again!

[              \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Bob              1/-------/=======|-------\-------\0         Victoire

COMBATSYS: Victoire parries Bob's Fierce Punch!

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Bob              1/-------/=======|=------\-------\0         Victoire

COMBATSYS: Victoire blocks Bob's Granchi Cannon.

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Bob              1/------=/=======|==-----\-------\0         Victoire

It's the kind of ballet that seems almost as though it HAS to be choreographed! There's audible gasps from the audience as Bob manages to brace against his arms. Even in this, though, Victoire refuses to slow down for even a second; she is in sync with him as he rolls, turning and striding into the punch with the confidence of someone who WASN'T just laid out by a far less powerful blow mere seconds ago.

Ducking around with it, she spins and raises her leg to clash with the palm - her knee striking in firmly against the palm strike in a powerful THUD which reverberates through the fighting space. There's a smile on Victoire's lips; a true freedom in this moment of perfect synchronicity. Bob had seen what she was doing and responded perfectly; her instinct had likewise not let her down on the riposte. It felt as though this battle would only be decided when one of them faltered, and the woman's expression spoke volumes: she was not about to yield!

The knee she had used to parry the palm strike suddenly unfurls, and she aims to wrap the extended limb around the far larger man, swinging him down to the floor with her heel. Should she manage that, the motion will not stop! Instead as her right foot touches the floor again, her left will arch upwards--

And the woman will complete a backwards moonsault, a graceful arc carved through the air to splash herself bodily over his midsection. If this were a wrestling match, he'd be in a thoroughly pinned position! -- Of course, this isn't a wrestling match, and he's unlikely to do her the service of staying down just from that, even if she is rather proud of her reversal.

COMBATSYS: Victoire successfully hits Bob with Crowning Moonsault EX.

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Bob              1/---====/=======|=====--\-------\0         Victoire

Bob can't help but smile with the excitement of the intricate dance of attack and parry, assault and counter. Victoire's movements speak for themselves in regards to her skill, and the whole exchange frequently pushes Bob to the limit despite the difference in size and bulk. He watches the lift, the flip, the acrobatic moonsault--

But his reaction is too slow, his block short. Victoire slams down upon him and takes him to the ground with a heavy wheeze as the wind is knocked out of the blond man. In fact, it takes him a minute to catch his bearings, Bob clearl being winded (and bruised) from the frequent exchanges where Victoire has managed to come out on top!

But he idoes not seem to be done yet, as Bob instead widens his stance, adjusting his footing and getting ready for his next move. He steps and adjusts, sliding his boot along the ground as he transitions into a spin, then another, then another deft twirl before his feet leave the ground and the huge fighter transitions into a spinning overhead kick using all that gathered momentum!

COMBATSYS: Victoire endures Bob's Grater Langouste.

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Bob              0/-------/----===|=======\===----\1         Victoire

It's a fascinating demonstration, really. Fighting is a blend of instinct and calculation; something where one has to listen to the call of one's spirit but cannot get swept fully away in the emotion of the moment. As Bob gets back to his feet, Victoire notes the shift in his footing and as he demonstrates the full breadth of his speed as well as his power, she realises that there is simply no way she is going to get out of the way of this. Nor is she going to be able to arrest his momentum and disperse his assault; her knee is still throbbing from the clash with his palm, and that's the greatest tool she has for such things!

Her eye glimmers with excitement. "Ah, mon amie! I see now, of course, THIS is the strength of your style!"

Because everything Bob has worked for is demonstrated in it. If he was a man of slighter build, this would be nowhere near as intimidating. Instead, she is forced to simply push forwards and take the blow head on.


Victoire's comparatively slender frame is plowed into the ground and she ricochets from it, but she is not entirely helpless. In the moment of impact she is - barely - able to direct the course she is sent hurtling along. And she comes right back at Bob with all the force of a hurricane.

Spinning as she comes, that outstretched leg of hers aims to give back as good as she got - one, two, three swift revolving kicks into the large man's midsection before she finishes with a single outstretched kick upwards to his chin - increasingly desperate to ensure that this, THIS, will be the move that he can't get up from.

"But THIS, will be my triumph!!!"

COMBATSYS: Victoire successfully hits Bob with Triumph Undefeated.

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Bob              0/-------/--=====|==-----\-------\0         Victoire

As Bob delivers the kick, the tide of the battle seems to turn in his favor, however briefly. When Victoire rebounds, the tide recedes, once again turning the battle toward Victoire. While Bob is not prepared to intercept the attack head-on, the strength of his style and stance show through in this moment.

The kicks strike true, no doubt, but Bob has turned his solid footing from that blow to his advantage. Using his weight and strength to his advantage, he pushes into the blows even as Victoire evades his block, softening the blow by stifling just a little bit of her momentum. He staggers, pushed back by the blow, but he does not yield yet. Not quite yet, at least.

Instead, Bob powers forward again, stepping into another kick without relenting. This one is simpler, less polished, but more direct,.

"Perfect!" he compliments. "I was expecting less from what I heard about you!"

COMBATSYS: Victoire interrupts Medium Kick from Bob with Helix Driver.

[                           \\\  < >  ///////                       ]
Bob              0/-------/=======|=------\-------\0         Victoire

There is, perhaps, a flicker of irritation over Victoire's face at those last words. Expecting LESS? Then there is really only one thing she can do to answer such a challenge.

It's a small risk, but Victoire has faced these risks a thousand times before. Though her career has thus far been limited to Paris, with the odd sojourn to other nearby European countries, she really has been in many battles. She pushes into the attack and grunts as it impacts against her shoulder; but it is not enough to break her momentum. Her jaw is set, her nostrils flared, and the woman's hands grasp him with all the relentless determination she has shown thus far, right around his heavy gut.

"Then allow me!" She bellows, "To set my detractors straight!"

And all at once she is in the air, Bob spun in her hands so that he is facing away from her - his head sandwiched between her knees as she leaps, corkscrew-motion pinwheeling through the auditorium as she completes what has to be one of the most technically demanding wrestling moves devised. One which has the woman clinging as hard to him as she possibly can even as she drives his skull directly into the floor with an almighty crash - and even still, holding him steady and upside-down in the aftermath of it.

She has given this fight absolutely everything, every last scrap of will, spark of soul and shred of muscle she has. Every part of her aches. For these last few precious seconds, she does not even dare to breathe, as though doing so would give up those last pieces of her that have held together this long...

In that instant, the wheels begin to turn. He hears what Victoire says, but he doesn't seem to fully process it. Wait, what did HE say? Bob tries to recall, to rewind the moment in his head.

Bob was admiring her style, thinking about how practiced she was. Considering that despite what her detractors said, she was an exceptional fighter. Bob was also too polite to share that part. No, instead he was going to say how he'd expected nothing less than her strong showing. Yes, his intent was clear, but then...

"I was expecting less..."

Bob gets a look of horror at the slight. Not necessarily from the repercussions, but from the fact that he slighted her so, even if accidentally. Of course, then the retaliation comes, and perhaps it's a bit of both dread at what he said and also fear at the reprisal.

"Wait a second, I think I--whooooooa!"

Bob is lifted up in a great show of strength, held over Victoire's head, and finally slammed down with such force that the floor cracks beneath the two of them. For a moment, he remains silent, awestruck. And then, he speaks up quietly:

"So this is awkward," Bob wheezes, "but I meant to say that I expected nothing less." Pause. "...but we'll just go with that."

Bob sloooowly starts to fall over. He definitely seems to be out of commission.

COMBATSYS: Bob takes no action.

[                       \\\\\\\  <
Victoire         0/-------/------=|

COMBATSYS: Bob can no longer fight.

[                       \\\\\\\  <
Victoire         0/-------/------=|

Victoire lets the large man topple from her grip after he has given the explanation of what he had actually meant to say; and it's a little embarrassing on both counts. Would she have even been able to manage such an act of indignant violence in retaliation if he hadn't given her something to retaliate *against?*

It's a good question, and one that she is going to be mulling over for quite some time. Her victory was of course - of course! - assured from the beginning, but would it have come in this fashion if he hadn't riled her so? She doubted it. And she had seen the weight coming behind that kick. Things could have been much harder for her. Much harder indeed.

She rises, at last, and brushes her hand through her hair. "Yes, well." She says, "I think that, either way, we have our conclusion. Thank you, Bob, for the most enjoyable match." She gives a smile to the cameras, brilliant teeth shining as she produces a thumbs up, "And of course, I claim another win! Of course! Of course!"

When the camera lights wink off and the fight is done, it is then that she clasps Bob's hand and helps haul him back up to his feet. "You truly were an excellent opponent, my friend. I hope that I did not hurt you too badly? Come, now. Let us share the insights we gained from one another with this next generation, so that tomorrow we can sharpen ourselves against them as well, yes?"

COMBATSYS: Victoire has ended the fight here.

Log created on 16:30:01 06/20/2022 by Victoire, and last modified on 23:01:47 06/23/2022.