Master Championship - [R1] Athena vs Ryo

Description: The Kyokugen Tiger gets a first-hand introduction to the talents of the Psycho Soldier. (Winner: Athena)

Athena steps out into the arena, smiling cheerfully as she waves to her fans in the crowd. Bowing several times energetically in several directions, she then reaches up, pulling a thick lock of hair away from her face as she scans the arena more thoughtfully. With several steps, she casually surveys the area, still in her school uniform, oddly enough.

The Red Arena, pride of the Masters Stadium, once again plays host to a match-up that should be an intense and exhilerating fight, and then some!  The overhead spotlights are more or less unecessary, but nonetheless there is lightwork added to the theatrics as the fighters are announced, introduced, and invited to enter the ring.  A showdown in the morning hours, and while it's not quite sunrise, there is indeed a beach!  Walking towards the other arena entrance is Ryo Sakazaki, the Kyokugen Tiger, sporting his trademark orange Gi and looking to be in rather good spirits.  A wave or three is paid to particularly energetic cheering fans, and the subtle smile holds to his face as he takes his place in the Red Arena.  He angles his approach to intersect Athena's on the artificial beach, and hey, at least it's a softer place to land, one way or the other.  The karate expert squares off at one end of the stretch of sand, his smile holding through a polite, formal bow, hands together in front of him.  From that point, however, his features drift to serious, focused, a cool calm to his eyes and his face, and he drifts back into a ready stance, one hand low, one high, feet shoulder width apart.  He subtly shifts in his stance, clearly light on his feet and more than ready to move.

COMBATSYS: Ryo has started a fight here.
COMBATSYS: Athena has joined the fight here.

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Ryo              0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0           Athena

Athena smiles, and snaps her fingers before pink sparkles shimmer over her, altering her outfit to her fighting garb in instant. She raises a hand, waving to Ryo cheerfully. "Hello, Sakazaki-san!", before giving a cheery bow, and then she slips into her own stance, holding a hand out. "Let's have a good fight, okay?"

Well, that's certainly quite the trick!  And it confirms everything Ryo knows, and has heard, about Athena Asamiya.  This is going to be an interesting fight, indeed.  He doesn't wave back, but the lighthearted gesture does bring a hint of his previous smile back to his face, showing his serious demeanor to be little more than a coached focus, his alertness having little to do with his attitude.  And while he takes this seriously, dead seriously, there is no ill will or hostility mixed in with that intensity, "Of course!"  He readily agrees, "Osu!"  He salutes, and it's time to get this show on the road.  The energy of the crowd seems to almost hang in midair, at least to Ryo, as his feet shift in the sand, legs bending in a quick, fluid motion that reverses and launches him towards his opponent, the Kyokugen Tiger making the leap seem almost effortless.  While sailing through the air in his quick arc at Athena, Ryo's right arm draws back, his hand tensing for a powerful chop, fingers curled, and that ferocious fist-forearm-elbow strike leads his descent point-blank at the Psycho-powered schoolgirl, accompanied by a powerfully projected, "Hyaaah!"  No time to fool around in a fight like this, especially against someone who comes with such a fearsome reputation.

COMBATSYS: Athena dodges Ryo's Mouko Raijin Setsu.

As the attack comes at her, Athena seems almost oblivious... but as Ryo's strike lands, there's a "Teleporrrrrt!" and Athena's just... gone, before her blurred afterimage reforms some distance away, near the water. Following her cry almost immediately is her trademark "Psycho Ball!", as she crosses arm over arm, focusing a ball of psycho energy as she launches it towards the Kyokugen champion, leaving a wake along its rapid flight.  Apparently, she's not holding back either, even if her tactics are a bit predictable... for her.

COMBATSYS: Ryo blocks Athena's Psycho Ball.

Well damn.  Teleportation is going to make this a good deal trickier, particularly if she's quick enough at it to avoid one of his fastest techniques.  Ryo lands in the sand, feet sliding a few inches in the soft ground, pushing the granuales away under his heels.  He stabilizes his stance in time to prepare for Athena's projectile, however, his arms thrown up over his head in a crossed position, the Psycho Ball detonating painfully across his forearms.  Despite the force of the strike, it seems to barely phase Ryo, who stands resilient against the Psycho-powered strike.  Still, he's got to reassess his angle of attack against an opponent who may be the fastest fighter he's faced yet.  He doesn't especially want to keep the distance, and the projectiles flying, however.... There's a power to the girl that he just isn't interested in testing at a maintained range.  Maybe that teleportation takes a bit out of her, or at least, it's something he can learn to exploit.  The Kyokugen warrior takes several sprinting steps forward and leaps, once more closing the distance between himself and Athena in midair.  This time, there's no hint as to his intent until just before he lands, his left foot striking out in a quick snap-kick at his lightning-fast opponent, level with her collarbone.

COMBATSYS: Athena dodges Ryo's Light Kick.

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Ryo              0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0           Athena

Athena steps back into the shallow water, backing up, and as Ryo leaps, she waits... and then hops herself, passing out of the way of his attack and passing over him just as she touches down. Suddenly, her jump seems a little short, and her butt looks like it's going to connect with his skull... a short bounce, it seems, to try and keep him off balance. It seems she's inclined to avoid Ryo rather than try and hold fast against him, noticing his relative power and the hard quality of his strikes, and use her speed to her advantage.

COMBATSYS: Athena successfully hits Ryo with Light Kick.
COMBATSYS: Ryo endures Athena's Light Kick.

Another stunningly quick dodge.  It looks like disappearing isn't Athena's only method of totally nullifying his attacks.  Still, Ryo's not going to let that discourage him, at least not yet.  His options are growing substantially more limited, though.  If he can't poke her down and outlast the nimble fighter, he'll just have to get lucky, or rely on a foul-up.  The incoming leap looks like something he can manage, and a little pain for a possible gain is not something he's adverse to trying, and so he simply focuses, head rolling with the impact of the blow, and in fact using it to set him into his next move, dropping back to a crouch in the sand, "Hien!" he calls out, pushing off with his powerful legs and launching his frame into the air in a straight line, this time level with Athena's chin, "Shippu!"  Regardless of the outcome of the first hit, a straight left foot to the face, his right leg comes around in a vicious roundhouse, this one liable to connect with the side of the skull, with a yell of, "Kyaku!"  the follow through intended to carry him back to stable ground, his target being one of the stepping-stones he's no doubt moved himself over.

COMBATSYS: Athena dodges Ryo's Flying Gale Kick.

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Ryo              0/-------/-----==|-------\-------\0           Athena

Athena spins about as she lands, and then hops back repeatedly, the foot passing inches from her face as she evades each attack... barely. As he lands, she smiles, complimenting, "Good!" However, she immediately takes a simple step in, turning sideways and raising her arm to her firm shoulder ram, gathering a surprising amount of power in a fairly short distance. There's a "Haa!", as a short kiai. Despite her seemingly untouchable status, it's Ryo controlling the pace of the fight, and throwing in a hard move like this might be an attempt to change that.

COMBATSYS: Athena successfully hits Ryo with Fierce Punch.

And change it she does.  Ryo comes down ready to hop back a stone away from the damnably fast Athena, but she's just too close, and too ready for it.  The powerful ram crunches into him with no small amount of force, and he sails backwards as much from impact as intent, managing to flip his feet back under him as he lands at the edge of the water, splashing into the shallows and lifting a hand to wipe the trail of blood from beneath his nose.  So she's strong as well as fast.  This is strangely reminiscent of other recent fights for Ryo, though he had dared to hope that the lightning speed would mean that she wouldn't be able to smoosh his head quite as efficiently.  So much for that.  This approach isn't working at all, and certainly, the pacing is now in Athena's favor.  Instead of coming in again, he reaches down for that extra 'oomph', his feet straightening to his sides under his shoulders, arms slowly dropping to waist level as his palms open and turn outwards, and a deep focus enters his being.  Those sensitive to such things would feel a massive gathering of Chi even before the visible cues appear, and when they do?  A swirl of blue-white energy encircles his feet, the flame-like aura sweeping up through his being from the ground and out, dissipating just above his head, and infusing the Kyokugen fighter with a substantial charge of new power.  He's going to need it.

COMBATSYS: Ryo gathers his will.

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Ryo              1/-----==/=======|=------\-------\0           Athena

As she connects, there's almost a shine as Athena's hair flies up for a moment, an invisible flow of Psycho Power welling up within her. As he tries to focus, she then slips forward, and gestures towards him with both arms. Chiming pink sparkles shimmer forth, apparently intended to try and fling him over her head with telekinetic force. Trying to take the initiative, she flushes a little, admitting, "Sorry!", as if a little ashamed to do so well.

COMBATSYS: Ryo blocks Athena's Psi-Throw.

How do you avoid what you can't really see?  Or sense like Chi?  That's the newest conundrum faced by the Kyokugen Tiger as he feels the tangibly intangible force surround and fling him.  Instead of avoid it, however, he rolls with it, landing on the other side of Athena with an almost visible shockwave, the force of the throw dissipating outward as much as inward, and leaving him without the full crushing impact of the move.  Still, it plants him on one knee, leaning forward on his left palm, and he turns his intent gaze upwards at his opponent, pushing back to his feet with a deep intake of breath.  A slow kata puts him back and ready stance, and his right hand turns palm-upright, fingers motioning in a 'Come and get it' gesture, "Ora ora!"  he invites, apparently not out of this fight quite yet.  At least in his own mind.

COMBATSYS: Ryo focuses on his next action.

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Ryo              1/----===/=======|======-\-------\0           Athena

Athena bows to Ryo in turn, apparently taking his signal as a sign not to hold back. After all, the last time she did that with a similar fighter, he walked on her. Swinging her body out of the bow and slamming both palms outward, a surge of pink psycho energy erupting from her powerful enough to send her skidding back on her heels through the sand. "Psycho Shoot!" In the instant it travels, the wake of the larger, more explosive projectile is much more dramatic, sand spraying up in its wake.

COMBATSYS: Athena successfully hits Ryo with Psycho Shoot.

Explosive indeed.  The psycho-powered projectile crashes into Ryo with about as much grace as a tractor trailer pile-up, sending waves of agony through him as surely as it ripples the water, and sending him head over heels through the air to splash down in the shallows.  An initially hesitant hand reaches for the nearest stone, dragging him back towards a standing position.  Okay, note to self, maybe taunting her in wasn't his best idea.  But hey, he didn't expect her to be able to channel energy like that /too/!  Does this fighter even have a weak point?  Maybe if he could -hit- her at all.  It's hard to tell without that little clue.  Muscles tense and he tries to regain his footing, but it's a gradual sort of thing, and really.... It's a demonstration of strength that he can get up at all.  Of course, what to do once he's up?  That's a matter of a bit of mental contention, especially with the distance he currently has to traverse.  He just doesn't have it in him right this minute.  Maybe once the arena stops spinning.

COMBATSYS: Ryo takes a breather.

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Ryo              2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|=======\=------\1           Athena

Athena then dashes in after the fireball with rapid steps, apparently got giving Ryo too much time to breathe. Seeming - if anything - even faster than normal, she lunges at Ryo with her elbow, but from the looks of things, it's only a strike meant to set up a longer combination.

COMBATSYS: Athena successfully hits Ryo with Psychic Nine.

And then it begins. Following it up with a palm strike, Athena's hair shortens as her outfit becomes a red fuku with shorts, giving a normal punch and then kicking outward as her clothes continue to shimmer and change, becoming a chinese dress with a short skirt, and then another, higher kick. As they become tights with a longer skirt, she punches out, before then slamming into him as she goes into her martial arts outfit from the last KoF tournament, before performing a swift high kick before then following up with her hop kick, the Renkantai. Finally, light shines from her as she halts in midair, and then as she lands, the pink energy goes away to reveal her school uniform. Halting before Ryo, she then finishes with a hard double-palm strike outward, finishing the combo with a knockaway strike!

Ryo is just coming back to his senses when Athena comes charging in, and as such, he's got just enough time to flail an arm uselessly in front of her elbow.  The first crushing blow knocks his blocking appendage aside rather painfully, and the resulting combination?  Well, it's a smashing success, to say the least.  Strike after strike pummels the Kyokugen Tiger back, re-opening nearly healed wounds and refreshing receeding bruises as he's smacked around quite admirably.  In fact, it's all he can do to hold to his feet, and even that doesn't look like it's going to be a lasting solution.  In standing his ground, he takes the full weight of the knock-away, sliding back only a short distance, and somehow managing enough focus to rush her a final time.  He's not going down without a final defiant strike, and his inner strength is at its impressive peak, unlike his utterly depleted physical state.  He's beaten, bloody, and probably has more than a few more serious concerns once this fight's over, which is now.  Still, he expends the full fury of his stockpiled energy in a vicious return combination, lashing out more on instinct and fury than tactical precision, a brutal flurry of punches and knee-kicks, directed high and low at Athena's ribcage and torso, "Kyokugen-ryuu Ougi!" he manages to shout, drawing on his last reserves and striking out again and again, each blow enunciated by a cry of, "OraoraoraoraORA!!!" and finishing in a double-uppercut, "Morataaaa!" he yells as the force of the strike propells him slightly into the air, but he doesn't land the strike on his feet, more crumples to the ground.  That really was... everything he had.  And he's going to have a lot of painful injuries to help him think this one through.

COMBATSYS: Ryo can no longer fight.
COMBATSYS: Ryo has left the fight here.
COMBATSYS: Ryo successfully hits Athena with Ryuuko Ranbu.

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Athena           0/-------/-======|

Athena is battered and blown away by Ryo's combo, and cries out before getting knocked into the hair, landing in a rolling heap across the beach. However, when the sand settles, she's the one back up again, as Ryo lands on the ground. "So that's your true strength...", she says, wincing slightly. She's far from out, but she hasn't been battered about like that since Geese did his own little dance on her jaw. And then, she doesn't a bow with a wide flourish, saying, "Thank you, Sakazaki-san.", before then turning to wave to her fans, doing her best to hide the 'owowowowow...'.

Unfortunately, Ryo's strength was brought to bear a bit too late into the fight.  It was just impossible for him to gain an upper hand with Athena always managing to be a half-step ahead of him, even when he was setting the pace of the fight.  His speed was simply not enough, and she wore him down quite effectively, putting the brutalizing finishing touches on him after he had been lulled into thinking he could withstand her strikes long enough to build up his own.  Still, there's a grim satisfaction in how hard he knows he hit her as he thwumps into the sand and consciousness ebbs in woozy waves across his vision, and he smiles ever so slightly as his eyes flutter closed.  One thing's for certain, this trip to Seattle has been as enlightening as it was painful, and Takuma's demands that he further his training despite admirable showings in other tournaments?  Well, they seem a bit wiser as the young Sakazaki lays on the man-made beach.  He can't answer Athena's gratitude just now, can't really say much of anything beyond an inarticulate little mumble, and he groans and shifts ever so slightly before giving in to exhaustion and pain, and lying where he fell.  He'll get up, he'll be okay... Just.... not right now.  Hit the snooze alarm, please, he doesn't want to go to school today.

Log created by Kobun, and last modified on 12:22:56 04/26/2005.