NiCO - Exhibition Match - Victoire vs NiCO!!

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Description: Word of an exhibition match between Neo League points leader Victoire Invaincue and a relative nobody with one draw to her name, NiCO, drew a remarkably large crowd out to the Brute Force Wrestling Arena in Nashville TN. But there's no telling which way this match will go!

All eyes seem to be on America right now. Whilst the New Fighting Generation project swirls around Sunshine City, in the far less glamorous city of Nashville, an exhibition match has been arranged between the peerless (by her own estimation, anyway) Victoire Invaincue, and the mysterious NiCO. Though there's plenty that could be said about Victoire, and it has, the woman can draw a crowd. It is quite a get for Brute Force Wrestling, who haven't had a packed crowd like this in quite some time.

"Of course, of course." She mutters backstage to her fussing hangers-on, waving them off with obvious irritation. "You do not need to tell me how to handle myself. A crowd in America is not so different to a crowd in France or Japan. So long as nobody tries to shoot me, oui?"

She flashes a smile. It is not returned. Her staff seem nervous and -- she doesn't really understand why. That worries her. They've seen her fight dozens of times. They should be use to it by now. What is so different about this person?

When she walks out, her themesong playing over a mash-up of her greatest victories; boots colliding with a variety of faces, impressive displays of acrobatic prowess with the French fighter usually suspended in mid-air during some wild flip or twist, to the tune of The Score's excellent Legend.

~Blood, sweat, I'll break my bones~
~Till all my scars bleed gold and~
~My name's forever known~
~Bang, bang, won't stop till we're legend~

She hops up into the ring and flashes a bright smile to the crowd - gold eyes sparkling as she raises the microphone to her lips, because of course she brought one of those.

"Nashville!~" She exclaims, "I have enjoyed your famous music, the Bluegrass, yes? And the food has been excellent, if a little lacking compared to my home." A laugh, to make it clear that she is joking. It only lands with some of the crowd but - impressively, it DOES land with SOME of them.

"I am excited! Naturally, you are all here to enjoy my skills this evening, but it is not so often that I step into the ring against someone who has so little track record! Let us all give her a hand! It will be my great pleasure tonight to demonstrate the unsurpassed beauty and skill of Invaincue martial arts to a Ms. ... Nico, I believe? I hope that I am pronouncing that properly!"

It's... difficult to say whether or not the woman is deliberately trying to undermine her opponent's confidence. Victoire just projects the impression that her triumph here is a foregone conclusion, but she seems earnest in her admiration that someone would challenge her! What would the world of fighting be without talented upstarts, after all? Those seem to be in this season.

NiCO had no handlers, no personal attendants, no staff. It isn't her first exhibition match. It isn't her first time to the States. It isn't even her first time in a wrestling ring. But it is the first time she can remember being -jealous- of her opponent's stage presence. Frustration would be hard to read upon her face though; as her only day-to-day companions are digital cameras and advanced artificial intelligence routines, she just doesn't... express herself much.

What she does express, though, is concern. Watching from the monitor in her waiting room, her brows furrow at the full-size stage microphone. She did not bring one, and she was not offered one. She did, however, bring an earpiece -- which she withdraws from the little pouch at her hip, and places gingerly into her ear. Lighting it with a tap, she intones a few directions into it, her gaze remaining firmly fixed upon her opponent's image.

"Execute this program."

And three point two seconds after Victoire's performance yields airspace to the challenger, the video shears into a series of rectangular swatches of chromatic aberrations. A half second after that, stock footage of the Great Dome of Massachusetts Institute of Technology is shown, with a beautiful blue sky and perfectly manicured grass. The sound cuts over to an audio track largely consisting of chirping birds. ... More accurately, it sounds like an -aviary- more than a natural representation of the MIT campus.

The entry doors swing open. Smoke clouds hiss outward. And the pristine stock footage is overlaid with a series of organic chemical structures -- fun stuff like formaldehyde, ammonia, nickel carbonate, arsenic. The sounds of birds crossfades out for a cacophony of scientific-sounding beeps and blorps, the screen fading to black

And that black is soon revealed as a silhouette -- which, once the virtual light source changes, shows a larger representation of the turquoise-haired woman dressed in white making her way through the entry door, smoke machines churning out clouds on either side of her. The bleeps and beeps give way to a string orchestral piece -- that appears to be an original, oddly, and lacking -any- of the hard rock riffs one might expect for the venue.

Her simple statement resonates throughout the room. She still has no microphone but the one on her earpiece. Accordingly, the adaptive noise suppression is noticeable on the fringes of her voice -- but it seems to do the job well enough, as she's perfectly understandable.

"Yes. You pronounced 'NiCO' correctly. Good job."

That is the bulk of her self-introduction. She remains quiet as she continues the rest of the walk to the ring, letting the music do the heavy lifting.

As she approaches the ring, she shows no apprehension or delay -- simply leaping up to the ring level, bringing one foot to the level, and then the other, sliding effortlessly beneath the bottom rope and pulling herself up.

It is worth noting that she is short. -Very- short. That might be more apparent once she rises, and her short stature is now comparable to the height of the ropes.

"Let us hear a big round of applause for WeGo Public Transit for bringing me here today."

There are crickets chirping.
It -might- be part of NiCO's AI-conceptualized intro package. Hard to say.

" -- And Nashville Gun Shop, on Antioch Pike. For all your... firearm needs."

That garnered some muddled cheering, at least.

NiCO's expressionless face seems unmoved by any of that. She simply looks back at Victoire with the same dead eyes as before. And she steps to the center of the ring.

"Thank you for the warm welcome. I do hope you can provide some interesting data for my analysis of your fighting styles tonight."

And, oddly, she slides her foot backward, keeping her shoulder forward -- and drawing her hands back. It's an unusual fighting stance -- to the point that NiCO's next question is:

"Have you fought a practitioner of Pencak Silat before?"

COMBATSYS: NiCO has started a fight here.

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

Good to her word, Victoire claps when NiCO appears. "Oh! Very good! That was most ~avant garde~" She enthuses as the shorter woman makes her way to the ring. Compared to many fighters, Victoire really isn't that towering; just 5'8. A little more than average, perhaps, but not one of the fighting world's behemoths. Compared to Nico, though, she certainly looks the part of one. But she is not one to judge on appearances like that. She knows quite well that formidable fighting talent comes in all shapes and sizes.

Casually, she discards the microphone over her shoulder where it is caught by one of her staff. She's still smiling, even in the face of NiCO's decidedly cold opening. She is, perhaps, starting to understand why her people were concerned. There is something in those eyes. She has seen such coldness before... but she had triumphed over it then, she saw no reason to think a creepy gaze would make the difference here.

"I will promise you this." She says, touching the golden V broach on her vest with two fingers, "If it is data you wish, you will have seen nothing so splendid as my style before. Relish it! It will teach you many things!"

Even without the microphone, playing only to NiCO herself, she keeps it up. She raises that hand up to the ceiling in the V for Victory symbol before she, too, lets her right leg fall back, raises her arms into a guard style reminiscent of boxing.

"Non, I cannot say I have had the pleasure. They say there are as many styles of the art as people who practice it, so I doubt it should have helped me much if I had!"

She smiles, teeth catching the light... and then, the bell!

COMBATSYS: Victoire has joined the fight here.

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

And without missing a beat, Victoire surges into motion.

There is just no hesitation in her. From pleasant conversation to a dashing offensive all at once, the woman closes the short distance between the pair in an instant, only to suddenly pivot - what had seemed to all the world as though she were going to bulldoze right through her diminutive opponent becomes instead a spinning kick!

A full 360 degree swirl which carries her the last crucial distance, Victoire lets out a cheery, "Ha-HAH!" As she goes, aiming to crash her booted foot right into the side of NiCO's head. It'd probably be more of a shoulder hit on most opponents but... well, she's hardly going to worry about that!

COMBATSYS: NiCO blocks Victoire's Spin Kick.

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

Avant-garde, yes. NiCO nods to that. That was one the keywords she'd fed into her artificial intelligence algorithm. She is pleased that it seems to have made more of a lasting impression on her opponent than on the audience of the Brute Force Wrestling Arena audience. After all -- Victoire's impression is the only one the researcher is interested in that the moment.

"Indeed," notes the Finn, one hand snaking up to adjust her eyeglass frames. Polycarbonate lenses glint in the light. It might seem as though the bookish fighter is unprepared, for a moment, for even as the bell dings, she seems unmoved and unprepared. Her fighting stance almost feels -too- rigid for use in the ring, especially against such a motivated and outgoing competitor.

And yet, as Victoire's boot swings towards her shoulder, the Finn is somehow quick to react, one arm unfolding from the inward stance, winging upwards to allow her forearm to redistribute the weight of that kick along the lengths of her arm and shoulder. Much preferable to a boot to the head.

Even still -- she's forced to step in the direction her shoulders are pointed, from the sheer force of the kick. Twisting ninety degrees to account for Victoire's new position, she comments without inflection: "Showy, leaves you off-balance..."

Lowering her leading arm, she thrusts in with a palm strike from her trailing hand, aimed at center mass. If she connects, she'd take another half-step forward, aiming to swivel the back of that hand up and into Victoire's breastbone -- a brief wake-up call to show that the 4'9" researcher can pack a punch when she needs to!

COMBATSYS: NiCO successfully hits Victoire with Fierce Punch.

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


The force of the palm strike takes Victoire visibly by surprise. She knows better than to underestimate a small opponent for being small; but she had not expected NiCO to be capable of such crushing force with so simple a maneuver. The second blow sends her staggering to the mat, and right away the crowd are stunned into silence. Victoire's attack HAD been flashy, and impressive, and arguably it had left her off balance - she would prefer to say that it left her opponent tempted to strike such that she could capitalise on it, but... she is hardly in a position to elucidate upon her strategy as she rolls across the ground and back to her feet.

"Excellent!" She declares, "I can see that I will not have to hold back against you! That is a relief!"

There's a certain, manic, glint in Victoire's eye as she hauls herself back and into the ropes. Certainly, the initial exchange had not gone as she had hoped - but she doesn't stay back for long. This time, she physically leaps into the air, coming down with both feet aiming to plant squarely in NiCO's chest.

If that lands true, she will use the smaller woman as a springboard, leaping back OFF her to land with a pirouette and a flourishing bow.


She's, certainly not showing any humility after that first exchange, that's for sure.

COMBATSYS: Victoire successfully hits NiCO with Grand Dropkick.

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

Many researchers can rightfully be accused of living a sedentary lifestyle. NiCO is not one of them -- her regular workout includes a thoroughly disciplined regimen involving regular workout, training drills, and applied combat exercises. She's quite familiar with the arrangements of a wrestling ring such as this one. And she's learned a number of ways to apply her techniques with as much focus and impact as necessary -- with not an ounce more. Waste not, want not.

She shifts her stance, unfolding her hand so that she can press the bridge of her glasses up with her index finger. Avant-garde? Still.

As she draws her hand away, she cooly removes the earpiece, slipping it back into her hip pouch. Her voice resonates flatly, "Ah. You were holding back before." Her confirmation is delivered as a statement, lacking the typical tonal markers that would suggest a question in context.

But, that one hesitation, that momentary distraction from the fight, would be when Victoire decided to move. Ropes are familiar; fighters -using- them is less so, and NiCO furrows her brow for a moment in decision. For a moment, Victoire might be able to see the lights glinting off NiCO's eyeglasses.

The angle is too steep. She opts to throw her shoulder to the side -- but the indecision costs her, as Victoire's boots land just a little off-center, blasting the aqua-haired researcher off her feet and bouncing her shoulderblades off the mat!

"Nngh..." she grunts, proving her face is -not- just an inhuman approximation of one. She actually does have expressions, it's true! Rolling sideways, she twists to her feet with a small cough. Brushing the dirt she can only -presume- had been present on her jacket, she notes coldly, "A higher angle of attack. Coinciding with the lights. Interesting."

She slips into the odd little stance from earlier: leading with her shoulder. She pulls her right glove snugly into place -- and a small crackle of electricity can be heard.

"Have you been fighting long, Miss Invaincue?" asks NiCO as she starts striding close. When she's within three feet, she suddenly steps forward, lashing her leading hand out with a backhand into Victoire's stomach. She'd then follow up by driving the heel of her trailing palm into the same area, and would then jacknife-fold her elbow at Victoire's chest. Her sequence of attacks would end with two abdomen punches, each empowered by a violent surge of electricity!

COMBATSYS: Victoire blocks NiCO's Induction Coil.

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

Victoire looks like she might be moments away from bowing to the crowd as NiCO gives her assessment of the attack. She's distracted, though, thanks to the questioning. "Oh, oui oui!" She declares, brightly. "Ever since I was a child. It has not been an easy journey to the top--!"

She snaps to attention, and, well. One would need to be a bit of a fan of Victoire to understand how unusual this is for her, but she makes a strong, concerted effort to defend herself. Her gloved hand pushes away the backhand, then she twists around to catch the palm. The elbows meet a crossed guard, and, when even this is not the end and two more punches come, she raises her knee to take the blows there, lest they otherwise crush through her overtaxed arms.

She smiles, brushes her hair back into place behind her ear, gold eyes glimmering.

"Electricity!" She declares, "Ho ho! You are full of surprises for such a tiny fighter, marvellous!"

Victoire is... not as stupid as she seems. Following that assault, she can feel how numb both arms AND one of her legs have been rendered. She needs to recover. But it is against her nature to back off. Instead, with her opponent up so close, she reaches out to grab the diminutive technomancer around the waist and scoop her up. If she can't back off and she can't defend, there is always the other option...

If all goes according she'll find Victoire's grip shifting so that she can more firmly apply her grasp, and then drive the woman into the ground with her full weight seeking to tax NiCO's back and shoulders as much as she had assaulted her arms. This researcher seems to rely quite heavily on careful positioning and application of force; let us see her do that from her back!

"And yourself, Ms. Nico?" She continues, conversationally, "For how long have you graced the majesty of the ring with your presence, hm? I am thinking more than once or twice, non?~"

COMBATSYS: NiCO blocks Victoire's Supreme Powerbomb.

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

Perhaps asking Victoire to talk about herself was a bit of a dirty trick -- not that NiCO would consider such a thing to be beneath her. "Mm. Supportive parents." For a brief instant, there -might- have been the barest flicker of a perfunctory smile.

Still... while NiCO might not be expressing herself much, she can appreciate the effect that Victoire's words have upon the crowd. Her charm and stage presence are unmistakable -- even moreso in contrast with NiCO's own deadpan observations. NiCO makes a mental note to determine how to best leverage Victoire's strengths at a later date.

For now, though, the Frenchwoman's fighting abilities are what interest her most. The Finn's escalated attacks are met with an increasingly rugged defense -- and a subsequent rebuttal in the form of a clinch to the waist. "Hm. Surprising..." Rather than try to fight it, the researcher leans into the motion. Twin tendrils of electricity arc down the lengths of her arms -- though their effect may not be immediately clear. What will -become- clear in later review is the fact that NiCO's elbows and heels hit the ring's canvas a split-second before her back lands, distributing the kinetic impact across a wider surface area, mitigating the damage for her momentarily numbed arms. The aqua-tressed researcher grunts with the exertion, but she's able to use the rippling canvas to aid herself in twisting free of Victoire.

Snapping to her side, she kicks back to her feet, driving her shoulder at the nearest rope.

"Approximately three years..." she notes dispassionately, "... with a considerable gap. Duties have kept me busy." Rocking against the ropes, she suddenly thrusts forward, narrowing her eyes in focus. But rather than plotting for another strike, the diminutive fighter leaps upward, aiming to trap Victoire's neck between her calves. NiCO would then seek to use her rapid momentum to twist about sharply, grab hold of Victoire's arm, and use it as leverage to wrench the taller woman to the canvas!

COMBATSYS: NiCO successfully hits Victoire with Phrenic Nerve Stimulant.

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

"Just three years!" Victoire exclaims, "Well, that is very impressive, if you keep it up, no doubt you have quite a career ahead of you!"

There's no attempt by the taller woman to get out of the way or prevent the technomancer from coming up to meet her. Instead, as she is grabbed, NiCO can feel the woman shift to simply try to roll with the twist. Again, she is surprised though; there is more to the hold than simple grappling technique, and Victoire's brow furrows in mild irritation as she finds herself taken to the mat and pinned.

"As to family." She continues, returning to prior part of the conversation with, considerable strain in her voice. "When one's talent is clear, the support of others is not necessary! There has never been doubt that I am, a Champion, you see?"

One doesn't need to be a fighting genius to see that NiCO has gotten Victoire in a very difficult position, but the talk of her adversity - even if it is only alluded to - helps a great deal. There's a moment where it seems as though every muscle in the French woman's body goes taut, and then she simply powers through.

Forcing herself up, Victoire aims to use her size advantage to the maximum - standing with NiCO still applying that straining pressure across her shoulders, so that she can grab the woman by the legs with her uncaptured arm, wrench her around and up into the air, then stamp her foot before bringing it sharply upwards to connect her heel to NiCO's mid-section in the descent.

It is certainly a flashy-looking combo, but, zut alors, this is a difficult fight! The toll is definitely clear on her now; impeccable hair mussed and sweat starting to stain that elegant outfit of hers. Goodness, she hadn't imagined she'd actually have to start making new techniques up on the fly to deal with this one!

COMBATSYS: NiCO endures Victoire's Kick Combo.

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////            ]
Victoire         1/------=/=======|=======\-------\1             NiCO

"Not interested." NiCO's reply to the suggestion of a fighting career is delivered so quickly, one would be forgiven for missing it within the tumult of combat and the flexing of the canvas surface. She is, however, still listening intently, even while her legs remain firmly locked around Victoire's neck and shoulders.

Before the researcher can respond to the notion of becoming a champion -without- familial support, however, she finds the Frenchwoman lifting her up. This... brings about a flustered brow from the now-elevated Finn, who, upon seeing that her submission hold isn't bringing about a submission, releases her hands and lets Victoire do as she will.

Well, kind of. She pulls her hands into a particular gesture, first two fingers outstretched with her ring and pinky bent. The electrical nodes at her palms begin to hum at a particularly low frequency; a barely-visible surge of electricity crackles down the length of her white jacket. NiCO yields to the wrenching force, gritting her teeth at the struggle. Victoire may find, however, that the Finn's muscles are slightly more taut than before as she's wrenched away. And when that boot makes contact, it's more akin to kicking metal than a small-statured bookworm. Clearly determined, NiCO stares at Victoire as she's kicked back down -- a determination to not only -endure- the attack, but turn it into an advantage. As NiCO slams into the canvas, her body is stiff, unyielding.

That changes, as the stable hum turns into a chaotic, turbulent frenzy of overlapping frequencies. Boots slam down onto the canvas at roughly the same time as NiCO's body. And now, released from the electrical reinforcement field, NiCO's better able to leverage the momentum from being kicked into the canvas, using the spring-laden material to rebound back to her feet in an instant. She comes right back at Victoire, shoulder-first, lightning-wreathed hands trailing behind.

"Titles are property," she states coldly.

And in the next instant, she slams her hands forward, bringing both her electrical nodes to bear as she unchambers both fists in a tandem punch at Victoire -- one set of lightning-infused knuckles to the upper sternum, a second to the stomach!

"Meant to be taken."

COMBATSYS: Victoire Toughs Out NiCO's Oscillating Transformer!

[                    \\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////              ]
Victoire         1/--=====/=======|=======\=------\1             NiCO

The decision is one that Victoire can respect. There is, in fact, a small nod of approval given as NiCO sees that she's not escaping the counterplay and, rather than waste energy and a doomed defense, rides out the storm instead. The woman's words are a touch confusing; if she didn't want a career in fighting, why would she make this challenge? Why would she care about gathering data at all, if not to put it to use? But such questions are not things she is going to get into right now. Still. Frustrating to think that someone who could fight well enough to give even Victoire Invaincue trouble would be so dismissive!

Victoire flashes a smile renewed as the woman closes.

And both hands HAMMER into abs which are - it turns out - hard as iron. The discharge of electricity still hurts, of course, but Victoire doesn't so much as flinch. Instead, her arms are already moving as her booted feet grind hard into the ground, rooting her in place with strength that is, quite frankly, unnatural.

"I quite agree!"

No defense from her either; she was simply moving before the blow had even completely struck so that she can try to grasp NiCO by the wrists and - well - if there had been any suspicion that she was still holding back, that is surely dispelled now. She so rarely gets to complete this move in the wrestling ring for which it had been designed - she simply has to now!

She'll FLING NiCO into the left hand ropes, dashing to follow up with her. "Titles simply come to the best of us!"

A second grab, aiming to swing the tiny technomancer around and hurl her into the back set of ropes before she can fully recover from the first.

"Champion! Medalist! Title-holder! What do these things mean but VICTOR?!"

And, she's on her again, to hurl her backwards over her shoulder and into the front ropes - the ones the audience has the best view of.

"And I am! Victoire! Invaincue!"

A triumphant declaration as she flips forwards once, twice, three times, to bring both booted feet down in a perfectly-synchronized kick; intending to smash into and pin NiCO on the floor below her as she bows to her audience.

Flashy? Victoire may have gone beyond and into the realms of *garishness*.

COMBATSYS: NiCO dodges Victoire's Royal Parade.

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

It's been widely said that professional wrestling is, horror of all horrors, 'fake.' There are those that believe that idea, and there are those that contest it. But regardless, wrestlers simply can't do their job unless they play the part. And that takes a measure of physicality.

NiCO has that physicality. With focus, she can reinforce her body, allowing herself to take on feats that only a select few of the audience members could. With determination, she can grapple, strike, and maneuver with the best in her field. That is an achievement in and of itself, over and above any titles conferred, as far as NiCO is concerned.

NiCO lets out a brief murmur as her fists slam into a surface akin to an iron-hardened defense. She pulls her numbed fists back, flexing her fingers to stimulate blood flow.

It's just that, as she does this, Victoire is able to latch hold of her wrists. NiCO frowns; to be fair, it could be because of the words that accompanied the motion. But in the very next moment, she finds herself hurled into the ropes.

The path of least resistance is to simply jog along, allowing the elasticity of the ropes to bounce her back into harm's path. And when she finds herself face-to-face with Victoire? She's flung again, in another direction.

The very notion of "pro wrestling" confounds her. Showmanship and pageantry are skills, certainly, that Miss Invaincue possesses in great abundance. But these are not skills NiCO holds any personal love for. And as she hurtles towards Victoire... she can read the recipe before the meal is finished cooking. With a dead-eyed look, she leaps onto Victoire's shoulder. It's a common thing for wrestlers to help each other out: perhaps Victoire notices, perhaps not.

But Victoire should -definitely- notice that NiCO's hands hit the mat first. And that she'd log-rolled to the side before that showy, crowd-pleasing flip could reach completion, such that when that boot slams down two centimeters left of NiCO's shoulder, she'll have the researcher's cold stare to look at instead of a pained expression.

The crowd falls silent for a moment.
NiCO blinks once.
"They mean nothing."

An instant later, NiCO slams her heel at the back of Victoire's knee. And if she manages to fell the (relative) giant, she'd wind both her legs around the captured leg, planting her hands behind her so that she can twist the Champion limb into a figure-four leglock.

"Unless fame is required to justify your existence."

COMBATSYS: Victoire interrupts Medium Throw from NiCO with Helix Driver.

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

Victoire is visibly startled when her boots collide not with NiCO herself, but the mat next to her. Of all the things that she had thought might be the outcome, once the chain of buildup had begun, a simple failure to connect is not one of them. "Nothing?" She repeats, in the moment before her leg is taken out from under her. But, just as NiCO had found her way through Victoire's assault, the woman rolls with the takedown, and this up close and personal, she does have the edge in sheer mass if nothing else. It's a bit unique, really; she's used to fighters bigger than her or around the same level, it's rare that she's the one trying to make the most of her size advantage.

"Titles are a measure of victory! Victory, is everything! Nothing else in this life matters, but claiming the win!"

Getting her hands on NiCO is easy enough, and this time the technique leaves far less room for crafty maneuver as she sandwiches the woman's head between her thighs and grabs her tight around the arms and legs, pinning her tight.

The strain is really getting to her now. Her heart is pounding and she *knows* she doesn't have much more to give, but as she leaps into the air and spins, she redoubles her resolve to give everything that she has.

Which has her crashing back down to the mat with staggering force, her breathing coming harder as she releases the woman back to the mat and huffs.

"My point, I think, is made, non?~"

The battle was close to finished. Between NiCO's barrage at the start of the fight, and the continual hammering throughout, she estimated that Victoire's defenses to be approaching a buckling point. It would have made the tacit researcher so happy for the vainglorious Champion to tap out against such a widely-known grappling maneuver.

But the Lightning Technomancer's estimates are far from infallible -- a point underscored when she finds her hold reversed. Eyes widen as her sleeves, leggings, and head are pulled into the aggressive embrace, her resistance proving ineffectual at such a close range. She grunts -- though it isnt' clear whether she's responding to the pressure or to the discourse.

At any rate -- the time to consider that is mercifully short; NiCO barks out with pained agony as she's slammed into the mat, blocked from tempering the damage with any of her usual foils. Her breath rasping through grit teeth, she grasps for the mat, clawing herself to one side.

Grappling, she decides, would not be her most confident vector to success. She steps back to her feet, drawing her hands back in a resumption of her shoulder-forward stance from earlier. Fingers curl around one another, a slight twitchiness in the motion betraying the tacit researcher's rattled nerves. She admits, "Perhaps so," while she awaits Victoire's return to her feet.

There's one more thing though.
For 0.78 seconds, NiCO smiled.
And then it's gone, in a blur of motion.

NiCO surges forward once again, snapping a high toe kick out at Victoire's face. She would continue with the momentum, lashing forward with a lightning-charged palm strike to center mass, hoping to stun her opponent for the coming storm....

COMBATSYS: Victoire fails to interrupt Voltaic Capacitance from NiCO with Reverse Boot.

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

COMBATSYS: Victoire can no longer fight.

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

She would then step in again, plunging both palms forward into Victoire's ribcage, unloading a high-amp charge into her and digging her fingertips in -- after which point she would then claw outwards, violently! Leaving only the briefest of gaps, NiCO would surge forward again with a staggering left uppercut to the abdomen...

NiCO's face lights for a lingering moment with the crackling electricity forming in her right palm.

"You've convinced me. Victory -is- everything."

And NiCO slams her right hand forward, channeling the full force of her battery into a crackling thunderbolt that stands to blast the Champion right off her feet!

To her credit, Victoire faces the palm strike with the same savoir faire she has faced the rest of the fight. As it comes in, she begins to pirouette - but alas, before she can lash out with her boot and remind the researcher that she is a kickboxer as much as she is a wrestler, the palm hits home and she is brought to a jerking stop by the electric jolt.

"Sacre bleu!"

She has about enough time to get that out before the rest of the energy is unleashed into her and she is, indeed, lifted forcefully from her feet. As it turns out, there are limits to how far boundless confidence alone can get you. Further than most would have managed, maybe; she certainly succeeded in making a good show of things regardless...

But the woman hits the ropes hard, and though she tries to entangle her arms with them, to stay standing even after that -- no. The spirit may be willing, but the flesh is charred and at risk of suffering cardiac arrest.

"Ah, well." She mumbles, "Next time, of course, of course..."

She slumps to her knees, and a moment later, her cheek hits the floor. There's a pause from the audience, as though they aren't really sure how to react to that. And then, naturally, being a wrestling crowd, they break into cheers of appreciation anyway - it had been a good show! And there's always something satisfying about the 'underdog' coming out on top!

... even if there's more than a little confusion amongst the gathered audience as to who the underdog was really supposed to be, there.

NiCO draws in her breath after her final strike. All trace of emotion sinks once again beneath an impassive mask, as she folds her now-discharged hands behind her back, lifting her shoulders and chin to make the best impression her four-foot-ten frame can allow. It's a dignified stance, which probably bolsters the confusion of the crowd gathered at the Asylum, who came expecting much more of a wrestling spectacle -- perhaps thinking that 'Lightning Technomancer' was just a fancy stage name like 'Brian Storm' or 'Hurricane Hime.'

Still. The Technomancer wriggles her nose. The urge to adjust her glasses is strong, and yet she fights it, staying fast in her determination to prove a theory.

3.32 seconds later, she gives into her compulsion, raising both index fingers and re-seating the glasses upon her nose.

"I spoke in error." she comments, turning her gaze to the fallen Victoire, the splayed fingers of her left hand remaining near her glasses for what's sure to be the moment shared most on the media...

"In this case, 'victory' leaves me hungry for more. Until next time."

By the time the announcer rolls onto the stage with a microphone, ready to proclaim the victor in person... NiCO, caring little for pomp and circumstance, is already making her way to the back ropes for an exit.

COMBATSYS: NiCO takes no action.

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

COMBATSYS: NiCO has ended the fight here.

Log created on 11:04:45 08/07/2023 by NiCO, and last modified on 12:00:45 08/08/2023.