NFG Season One - Sunshine City R3 - Brian Storm vs Ichika

[Toggle Names]

Description: Ichika and Brian Swarm face off in a factory in a match that's crackling with intensity - and exposed wiring. Meanwhile, the latest buzz is that a celebrity couple might be in the making. Who will win? Will both fighters survive the deathtrap-like stage for their battle? And will this be the best or worst date Lucky Chloe has ever had?

"Hm. I thought they'd at least turn the machinery off."

The noise in this place is deafening. It's also confusing. Trying to ascertain how all of these belts and tracks fit together would take quite some time. She's starting to wish that rather than bear witness to yesterday's travesty she'd instead come to scope out her own fighting arena. But what's done is done; she can't turn back time. What she can do is face forward and apply herself as diligently as possible.

The girl is at least in her fighting outfit again. With the notable addition of a band-aid across her right thumb. She takes a deep breath, and tries to steady herself.

Stay focused. Stay calm. Learn what she can. Three objectives.

"Can we get the lights turned up?" She asks one of the technicians, "This is surely going to look terrible if we can barely see each other."

There's a vaguely apologetic shake of the man's head, and she sucks her teeth. Alright then. A fight in a dingy factory where she can barely hear herself think, every corner is filled with traps to throw off her momentum and potential hazards abound... and she's going to be fighting one of the loudest, flashiest competitors around.

If nothing else, it should be easy to learn something. She's already wishing she'd brought ear protection, for example.


Obscured by the safety-unconscious lighting and moving machinery at the other end of the factory's main chamber, a silhouetted six-foot-five figure stands in the shadow of a roller of some inscrutable purpose. Looking down at his outfit, he does a final check.

Black boots: check.

Yellow tights: check.

Black codpiece: check.

Wings: check.

Thirty-five black leather belts: check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check.

Yellow elbow pads: check.

Mouthless yellow mask: check.

"ALRIGHT. Good... to... go."

The figure puts on the mask, then, taking out his cell phone, sends off a text.

'Looking forward to seeing you here! :thunderbolt:'

==*== PRESENTLY ==*==

There's a clattering sound from the shadows and a muffled exclamation of 'Oh crap!' in the darkness. A few seconds letter, a musclebound figure emerges into the light of the overhead fixtures before Ichika, scrap parts rolling away from his feet as he comes into view. Apart from yellow full-leg tights, yellow elbow pads, and the yellow mask with compound eye visors that hides his face from view, the wrestler is covered in a multitude of black belts, a black codpiece, black boots, and false insect wings on his back, creating an allusion that sits in the uncanny valley adjacent to the image of a giant man-bee.

"WHAT'S ALL THE BUZZ ABOUT?" thunders a familiar voice from behind the mask. "THAT'S RIGHT - IT'S BRIAN SWAAAAARRRRMMM!!!"

Stamping his foot, he causes sparks to shoot out along a naked wire running along the factory floor before exploding a pair of metal fans suspended on the wall, causing them to crash to the ground.


With that, Brian Swarm smashes his fists together, causing a buzz of electricity to crackle dramatically between them.

"Oh! And, uh, before I forget!

Brian pulls out a neatly-rolled-up black t-shirt, unfurling it for Ichika to see. It has a picture of Ichika's face in a fiercely determined expressioned, depicted by a professional artist. Beneath the face are the words 'BRIAN STORM,' but in kanji.

He rolls the t-shirt back up just as neatly, then offers it to Ichika.

"I think they actually got the name right on this one!" the bee-man says, sounding pleased.

Lucky Chloe had actually gone and done it! After her evening with Djamila, she had very bravely picked up her Paris Pink phone and called Brian Storm, the New Fighting Generation's flashy wrestling wonder. She'd been lusting after the lovely locked lad for weeks and when her crush even survived his brutal barbershop visit with Buford, she knew it was serious. Truth be told, she'd hoped he'd be the winner of the clean up campaign on the beach but Djamila had pipped him to the post. As fate should have it, it was her who persuaded Chloe to take the plunge, so it all worked out in the end!

He'd said yes! He would love to hang out with the singer. He'd invited her to meet him this evening at the factory. There'd been some confusion, since she initially thought he meant the dance club, The Noise Factory. One of the club's patrons had took pity on the popstar and directed her to the right address. Which is how she comes to be here.

It's not what she expected. It's dingy, dimly lit and there's a distinct scent of chemicals and metal in the air. Maybe this is what Brian is in to? Maybe he thought it would be a place they'd be undisturbed by any of her fans. Maybe...

She sees her date make his appearance. That's quite the interesting outfit he's chosen. She herself has dressed in a hot pink halter dress with matching sandals instead of her usual sneakers. What exactly is Brian supposed to be?

Then the blonde gets her answer. "He's a bee!" she gasps, alongside many other members of the crowd, who she can now see clearly as they emerge from the shadows to get a look at the bizarrely dressed Brian.

"Why are all these people on our date?" she wonders. "Oh, is this some kind of environmental protest? WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?"

When the bellowing starts, the girl squints up into the darkness. It's difficult to make everything out at first - then there's sparks, even more crashing metal, and... Brian lights himself up with his electricity. For a long moment, Ichika just stares. Open-mouthed. She didn't see the connection between bees and the factory. Or bees and herself. Or bees and Blaze. She definitely feels like she's missing some critical context here... but you know, even to her, she has to admit that Brian really looks the part.

It's all the belts. That is just the right number of belts.

And when he unfurls the T-shirt she can't help but smile. Okay. Fine. She's starting to see what it is people like about this guy. "That's very thoughtful of you. Thank you, Brian." She says, trying hard to show the same respect for American social norms as the American is showing for hers. It's a small thing, but it really does mean a lot to her. She takes the shirt, and carefully hands it to one of the staff. "Please take care of that. I will want it when we are done."

She can't keep the smile off her face, now. Turning back to Brian, she gives him her full and total attention. Bright blue eyes glimmer in the darkness, and her fingers curl around the hilt of her sword.

"The bee population has declined by over sixty per cent in the last fifty years!" She declares, bafflingly. She really has to SHOUT to make herself heard over the machinery, but she gives it her best... and Ichika definitely has a good set of lungs on her.

"Whilst you are my enemy today, BRIAN SWARM, and I shall give it my all to overcome you, it is important to remember that our REAL foes are the POLLUTING INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX which threatens biodiversity worldwide!"

The girl settles into a low stance, ready to draw her blade, cracks her neck, and grins. For all the serious, grim situations she's had to deal with lately - a fight with a wrestling electric-powered bee-man might be just what she needs to take her mind off it.

"Come, then! Let us see which of us tastes the STING OF DEFEAT, and who shall enjoy the NECTAR OF VICTORY!"

... okay, maybe she's laying it on a bit thick there, but, hey, she's new to this.

Brian pumps a fist as Ichika shouts out the phrases 'STING OF DEFEAT' and 'NECTAR OF VICTORY.' It's exactly the kind of thing he would have said if he'd thought of it first.

He's aware, though, that he's expecting a special guest appearance at this match. Lucky Chloe might have been on the young side, but he admires her work ethic, and, even moreso, her environmentally-conscious attitude, which has inspired his new image. Chloe has already shown herself willing to give her time and energy to help clean up the beach where he spent his youth, so he's determined to repay her by giving her an amazing date. And what could be more amazing than watching Brian Storm do his thing?

He signals his appreciation for her as best he knows how: he pulls out his smartphone.

BRIANSTORM: "Hope you enjoy the show! I'll :bee: seeing you soon!"

Text fired and phone stowed, he turns toward the sound of Chloe's voice and, spotting her pink dress, gives a perfectly-executed Lucky Chloe salute.

A bell rings out to signal the start of the match.

Whirling on Ichika, Brian gives one nod of his mask before picking up a copper pipe that somebody's left lying around for no clear reason, brandishing it opposite her as if confronting her as a fellow swordsperson.

"As one of us is the bee in this situation, I believe it shall be self-evident who shall be tasting the sting of defeat, Kasumoto-san!"

Then, thundering forward, he swings the pipe at her twice, the copper crackling with blue electricity as he drives it toward her!

COMBATSYS: Brian Storm has started a fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Brian Storm      0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Ichika has joined the fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Ichika           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0      Brian Storm

COMBATSYS: Brian Storm successfully hits Ichika with Light Random Weapon.

[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Ichika           0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0      Brian Storm

Okay. Now she needs to calm down and get her focus again.

The break where Brian gets out his phone is helpful there. Blending this kind of high energy stuff with an actual fight is... tough. She was pretty happy with her opening gambit, but she wasn't sure where to take it from there. When the pipe is brought to bear, she returns the nod with one of her own.

"You're not going to make it easy for me to keep my cool, that's for sure."

A certain lightness in her tone. One that won't last for long.

She holds her ground when Brian comes rushing in at her with the pipe, turning to the side, she tries to dodge around the weapon - and takes it square on the shoulder. There's a grunt as the energy discharges into her, the second blow catching her on the backswing before she can recover her footing. She sucks in a deep breath, clenches her jaw, and there's that intense expression of hers.

The girl looks just like that nice new shirt she's been given.

She leaps. The blade is drawn and strikes in the same fluid motion. A bright blue arc of chi follows the katana as she aims to cut right across his upper body, and she doesn't stop. Striking out over and over again, the grim space is a lot more like The Noise Factory all of a sudden; strobing blue slashes as she aims to drive him back with everything she has.

Before, she's tried to build up to this sort of thing. Not any more. She's going all out right away; the girl's words of a moment ago might have been playing into his cheery performance, but there's no theatre in the girl any longer.

COMBATSYS: Brian Storm blocks Ichika's Lambent Assault EX.

[    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////   ]
Ichika           0/-------/------=|==-----\-------\0      Brian Storm

"Sometimes, the best way to keep your cool is to let it go," B. Swarm states with the wisdom of a surfer well beyond his years as he clashes with Ichika.

There's no time for further aphorisms, though, as the young sword fighter leaps at him, trails of blue dancing dangerously at the daredevil. He maintains his two-handed grip on the pipe as he fends blow after blow - with each strike shearing another length of copper from the metal armament as he wields it defensively. With his weapon rendered a handful more useless than a newly-minted penny, Brian is struck along a bicep, losing two leather straps as a narrow cut begins to slowly weep red.

"I see you're not holding back," Bee-rian declares, mask turning momentarily toward his fresh injury before back to Ichika. "I'm glad to see it. Give it your ass, Kasumoto-san!"

Apparently Brian, too, is up on the latest lingo.

"Because I know I will!"

Spinning forward, the masked wrestler throws his arms out to either side, electricity arcing around his extended limbs as he somehow rushes toward Ichika while whirling like a propeller - aiming to crash his fists or forearms into the younger fighter repeatedly!

COMBATSYS: Ichika blocks Brian Storm's Fister Twister.

[     \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////    ]
Ichika           0/-------/-----==|===----\-------\0      Brian Storm

"My... ass?"

Ichika blinks, genuinely confused. She's heard many things and learned many truths in this competition. Most of them unfamiliar to her. If it was almost anyone else, she'd assume that she was being mocked for the way Genie had decimated her with her rear end in the previous bout - but, she doesn't get that impression from Brian. He's so relentlessly uplifting. She's not even sure he is capable of making fun of another person. So... what was he trying to say, exactly?!

The katana snaps back as Brian starts to spin. She takes shelter behind it, weathering the Storm's (Swarm's?) flurry of fists as he does a passable impression of the very fans he had destroyed with his entrance. No. Even as he beats out a frantic rhythm on the steel of her blade, she still can't fathom what on earth he was talking about.

"I never hold back." She says, seriously. "But I'd sooner give you my sword than, that."

And then the girl is leaping backwards - her sword moving from guard position to attack as she aims to catch him as she retreats - hoping to end with her combat boots touching down onto one of those conveyor belts to let it buy more distance for her.

Hopefully she's not going to get crushed by a sudden random piston. That would be awkward.

COMBATSYS: Ichika successfully hits Brian Storm with Evasive Strike.

[     \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////        ]
Ichika           0/-------/----===|=====--\-------\0      Brian Storm

Brian's reaction to Ichika's reaction to Brian's reaction to Ichika's enthusiasm is illegible behind the insectoid mask that covers his face. Perhaps it's for the best for everyone involved. After all, what expression could possibly be the appropriate one for the miscommunication unfolding besides a completely neutral one?

"It's a metaphorical ass. The ass... of the soul," Brian starts to say, before his explanation is cut mercifully short when his failed attempt to divert the cutting motion of Ichika's blade results in it slicing a thin diagonal line across his chest, sundering two more leather straps to fall in pieces to the factory floor beneath him.


Pursuing his opponent, Brian runs alongside the conveyor belt, putting more and more effort into keeping up with the rolling motion that carries Ichika away. It's a good several seconds before he finally leaps onto the conveyor belt himself and is suddenly approaching at nearly four times the pace he was before. He lunges forward, trying to grasp for one of Ichika's arms, intent on pulling her around to force her into a run in the opposite direction, an Irish whip that would send her backpedalling along the conveyor belt, discharging electricity into her in the process to disrupt her own bodily control and keep her trapped on the conveyor. If he succeeds, he'd wait for a moment for his chance before hopping up to latch onto an overhead railing above the conveyor, hands on either side of a 'CAUTION: DANGEROUS MACHINERY AHEAD' sign, before turning around like a gymnast on a bar and awaiting Ichika to be conveyed toward him!

Lucky Chloe likes to put on a showstopping performance but even she is awed by the athleticism and star quality of her date's display.

So she may have been confused and bordering on angry when she first arrived here but now she's starting to enjoy herself. The wrestler's text promises something to come later and he did the Lucky Chloe salute! She'd swiftly snapped a shot of that for her social media. It's probably going viral right about now.

She's also impressed by Ichika. The flashy blue energy, the enthusiasm and determination on her youthful face. This is someone who wants it bad and is prepared to battle to get that. The idol respects this attitude.

Pulling up a crate and carefully sitting down on it, so as not to flash too much flesh, she fixes her aquamarine gaze on the action. She's buzzing to bee here!

COMBATSYS: Ichika dodges Brian Storm's Brian Whip.

[     \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Ichika           0/-------/----===|=====--\-------\0      Brian Storm

With plenty of time to watch him catch up to her, Ichika gives a firm nod of her head as he gets up onto the belt with her. As surreal as it was, being charged at top speed by a giant black and yellow bee-man was, in fact, part of the plan.

She brings her sword up beside her as though fully prepared to try and block, and then - when he's committed himself to the grab - she leaps forwards. Not remaining rigid and responsive, she instead passes underneath his grabbing hand, between his legs.

When she hits the other side of the conveyor she turns, and in the very same motion he finds the sword being brought down in a vicious overhead chop right between his wings, all of the momentum she has prepared suddenly arrested and put to work trying to slam him forward.


This had seemed like a great plan to reverse the reach advantage he enjoyed on her and put her back in the position where she could set the tempo of the fight. And maybe it was! But, now that she's actually here, she can't help but wonder if her ears are playing tricks on her, or whether the constant grinding, whining, smash-smash-smash of machinery is actually getting louder...

"What do they even make here, anyway?" She wonders aloud, squinting ahead of the conveyor to try and see what is coming up for both of them if they are't careful.

"... Scalding steam and exposed wiring?!"

COMBATSYS: Brian Storm blocks Ichika's Artful Slash.

[      \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////            ]
Ichika           0/-------/----===|=======\-------\0      Brian Storm

As Ichika is bringing her blade down toward Brian's back, the bee-brained brawler twists toward her, causing his right wing to intercept the sword, reducing the injury to his shoulder to only a relatively-modest graze, but obliterating both of the wings on the right side of his costume, leaving him half the apian he used to bee.

"Pollution," he says grimly, rolling his shoulders as he adjusts to the sensation of life with only half a set of wings, "And pre-loved vests."

How does a factory make pre-loved vests, one may ask?

Imagine denim jackets sliding down the conveyor belt on which Brian and Ichika currently stand, through the automated stitching needles that approach. Then, imagine the large pair of robotic arms on either side of the conveyor belt further down the line reaching down, clamping down on either sleeve, then pulling violently apart until both sleeves rip away, leaving the garments with that marketable retro eighties look. It shouldn't be too hard to imagine; the machinery, for some reason, is doing just that right now, but without anything to latch onto and rip the limbs off of.

At least, until Brian and Ichika make it further down the line.

"Even I wore them, back in the day."

'The day' was last week at an eighties revival night at the Noise Factory.

Aware of the danger that both of the fighters are about to be in, the Rumble Bumble wrestler lurches toward Ichika, trying to deliver a toe kick to her midsection before pulling her around and grabbing her from behind - before bending back to helpfully suplex the girl off the side of the conveyor belt and onto the factory floor below!

COMBATSYS: Ichika endures Brian Storm's Strong Throw.

[          \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////           ]
Ichika           0/-------/--=====|=======\-------\0      Brian Storm

Ichika blanches as she sees what is up ahead. She twirls her blade, flicks it to the side to cleanse it of the small amount of Brian's blood she has thus far been able to shed, and then slides it smoothly into the saya at her side. There are a few options she has here. She doesn't like any of them, but she likes continuing to battle upon the conveyor belt least of all. The longer they stay here, the higher chance that their exciting debut clash against one another will turn into a statistic for OSHA.

So when he comes forward again, so does she. She actually grins as his foot connects with her mid-section, and the pair sail through the air. The impact with the ground is painful, but -- there's more to it than that. Those bright blue eyes of hers don't miss much. She knows, absolutely, that he had the same fear she did. And that he wanted to protect her as much as she wanted to get him out of danger.

"Haaa... Brian...!" She exclaims, bent double with the suplex and staring into his eyes, her hand still wrapped stubbornly around the hilt of her katana. "I misjudged you." Because there, on the beach, she had thought him vain and foolish; but no. There's something deeper beneath the carefree exterior.

"Now to show you, MY truth!"

And all at once, the girl is not in his grasp any more. One moment they are face to face, and the next she is behind him - and once again that blade of hers comes tearing out of its scabbard, imbued with her beautiful blue power.

She'd already struck him across the back once; this time she seems determined to follow up in a veritable hurricane of blows, a dozen of them painting a blinding pattern of dazzling azure in the dim gloom of the factory floor; as though she can force back the depressing nature of the place through force of will alone. The girl's teeth are clenched, her features soaked in sweat, and her focus... absolute. Even here, surrounded by the deafening rumble of American capitalism, she manages to seek it out.

Not calm, really. Not calm at all, in fact. But maybe... maybe she can do this, anyway!

COMBATSYS: Ichika successfully hits Brian Storm with Future Perfect.

[          \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////                   ]
Ichika           0/-------/-------|=======\====---\1      Brian Storm

"The only way to never misjudge others... is to never judge others."

As Ichika vanishes from Brian's grasp, the mouthless bee mask turns left, then right, then left again, rapidly searching for where the teenage kenjutsu prodigy has gone. Then, suddenly, a muffled cry breaks out from behind the mask as ribbons of blue and red trail from the bee-man's back, the wrestler caught out by Ichika's uncanny speed. Shards of wing scatter to the wind (what's left of it, after the destruction of two of the cooling fans some five minutes ago) as scraps of leather fall to the floor. Brian falls to his knees in pain, looking as if he might be finished - but the mask tilts upward as the sound of something swinging toward them starts to become louder and louder. He reaches a hand up - and suddenly, he's swept off of the floor, swung around on a hook suspended from a rapidly spinning crane by a metal cord and carried up, and up, and up as the reel retracts, the device intended to lift objects off of the conveyor and up onto a shelf three stories up and across the floor.

"Watashi wa nihongo o hanasemasenga," the masked man booms out to Ichika as he swings his legs up to pull himself onto the top of the crane and into a crouching position as electricity crackles around his whole body, "manabitai to omotte imasu."

And with that, as the crane comes back around overhead of Ichika, Brian hooks the hook into the belt around his waist and leaps off of the top of the crane like a mad bungee jumper. The electricity arcing around him creates an odd buzz, almost like an approaching bee, down to the doppler effect -

And if he should crash into Ichika after the multistory drop, as he appears intent on doing, Brian would wrap his arms under hers once more before both would be pulled violently upward as the hook reels in once again, only for - if his plan comes to fruition - Brian and Ichika to then both plummet back toward the ground in what amounts to a three-story suplex onto another conveyor belt!

COMBATSYS: Ichika blocks Brian Storm's Brian Lightning.

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////                     ]
Ichika           0/-------/----===|>>>>---\-------\0      Brian Storm

"Your Japanese is really very good, Brian." Ichika says, as she raises her sword back to a guard position. "Though, I think you mean hanasemasu."

This has been, intense. In every other fight she had felt as though she could take some time to steady her thoughts and chart a course through to victory. It is with some surprise that she realises here, no, she hasn't been doing that. She has been responding one moment to the next, fluidly reacting to the give and take of the fight without nearly the same rigid level of thought she usually tried to apply.

Maybe that's why it is going better for her? Something to reflect on later. Right now, there's far more terrifying things to ponder than what Brian is doing to her beloved language. Even if it would make the perfectionist tutors at her school blind furious with rage.

Namely, the fact that he's coming at her like a six and a half foot tall stinger missle covered in electricity. Now this is clever. Very clever. To think she'd ever thought this man a fool; he's FAR more skilled at using this environment to his advantage than she is.

She plants her feet, sets her jaw, and those bright blue eyes of hers take in the sight coming at her. She can see it so clearly it's as though his own electricity is a spotlight illuminating his descent for her. One might be forgiven for thinking that she's going to make the same error that has cost her fights in the past; attempt to meet this violence full on with her own and overcome it...

But instead, at the last moment, she leaps upwards and slashes with the blade not at Brian, but at the metal cord. His body collides with her in mid-air, where there's far less crushing momentum to worry about. Though she still winds up twisting around in his grasping attempt to grab her. She knows immediately that she doesn't have it in her to pull another another burst of impossible speed. But. This close, her sword's length is a liability, far too unwieldy to bring to bear in such close quarters.

Or so one would think. But Ayame had shown her a trick for exactly this situation.

Her left hand reaches up and she grabs the blade of her own weapon around the upper third. The metal cuts into her fingers; blood now runs down that blade in far greater quantity than the energy-sheathed weapon has tasted throughout the rest of the fight.

Why would she do this?

Because now, half-handing the blade, she need only pivot it and suddenly what had been a cumbersome metal bar between the pair becomes a point aiming to drive right into the thickest portion of those belts she can manage - a sudden impaling motion that only cost her. Well. One of her gloves and a bandage when all is done.

"Nghh... just, a little, more...!"

COMBATSYS: Ichika successfully hits Brian Storm with Painful Truth.

[                 \\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////                          ]
Ichika           0/-------/---====|>>>>>>>\-------\1      Brian Storm

Those who have witnessed Brian in action first hand may have seen what comes next. The buzz that the Storm (Swarm?) gets from pure, reckless action. The electric atmosphere that emanates from him as he performs his most daredevil maneuvers, only to suffuse him when he inhales once more. Lightning infusing his muscles, as he becomes the Storm incarn-


Ichika's blade finds him right as he's about to finish his transfiguration sequence, moments before his lightning reflexes can come online. It's a surprisingly understated utterance for someone who makes a brand of overstating everything, but it's also the first time that he's been properly stabbed by something that wasn't a sharpened metal straw.

"That... really... hurts," the masked wrestler gasps out, his body shuddering as sparks sputter from him, his aura trying to project the electric energy outward with sheer will in the face of rapidly draining consciousness. Yet, still, he doesn't seem ready to let go, as he reaches for Ichika.

"If I have to go to the hospital... can you tell Lucky Chloe... I said sorry?"

It's not until the six-foot-five figure drops to one knee that the glint of something flashing toward them appears again under the erratic lighting of the chamber.

As it turns out, the crane has two ends - with a second cabled hook opposite the first. That way, it's twice as efficient!

As the second hook catches in one of the belts across his back, Brian tries to grip onto Ichika, even trying to keep her from being able to retrieve her sword and cut the pair of them loose once again by pressing into the blade. If he succeeds, the two will be lifted up after all, a return to the quantum reality that could have been and was not, that would see Brian and Ichika hurtle three stories upward at breakneck speed before dropping back down onto a conveyor belt destined for a black abyss with a sign above it labeled 'RECYCLING' in bold red spray lettering!

COMBATSYS: Brian Storm can no longer fight.

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

COMBATSYS: Ichika instinctively dodges Brian Storm's Brian Lightning.

[                 \\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Ichika           0/-------/-------|

Ichika sucks in a deep breath at the sudden earnestness of Brian's words. Had she... gone too far? Stabbing the man in the chest does bring with it certain, uh, dangers. That's why she prefered to go for slashing motions; aside from the fact that it was what the katana was primarily designed for, it allowed for shallower cuts. "Y-you, you should be fine, I didn't...!"

Her eyes snap to the glinting metal in the distance.

There are times she reins in her instinct - like when it tells her to drive her sword through certain British fighters and damn the consequences - and then there's times she listens. As Brian is again torn into the air, she is already moving backwards. Bright blue light surrounds the girl; a brilliant shield which erupts all around her to prevent any last scrabbling fingers from getting a firm grip on her.

She watches as the handsome wrestler is sent up and away into the darkness. There's a flinch when she hears him hit the conveyer and the girl just, keeps following that instinct.

There's an almighty SCREAM from the belt as she plunges her blade into the side of it, forcefully jamming the mechanism - hopefully early enough that she can prevent the man from compounding his injuries with a who-knows-how-long descent into darkness. A second flinch from her follows though. It had taken her hours upon hours of care to tend her sword back to sharpness after using it for trash collection.

She really, really hopes she hasn't permanently damaged it.

"Well?!" She demands of the staff who - understandably - are somewhat stunned both by the display they've just witnessed and the expensive damage Ichika had decided to inflict on the factory *after* the fight was mostly over.

"Don't just stand there! The man has a date to go on! Get him on his feet!"

... ow, her hand REALLY hurts.

COMBATSYS: Ichika has ended the fight here.

Now that she sees Ichika has won, she can't stay away or quiet anymore. She teleports herself near Ichika without too much noise until she starts speaking. "You did it. Your big moment, your turning point, it's now! I am so proud of you." She grins. "I would pick you up right now if I wasn't worried to scar you or something." She pauses a moment after that, chuckling, but Ichika can see, she's really happy for her.

"Though that will be no time for release, there will be more training. More things to do. We will need another session. Not like now or anything. I understand you have other obligations and all. But keep it in mind."

She cracks her fingers and all. "I hope you still learned quite a bit from this. Yeah?"

The potential and the long run. When you're immortal, the long run makes the most sense.

Log created on 10:01:31 07/16/2023 by Brian Storm, and last modified on 20:06:45 07/16/2023.