Christmas Bash - Match 10 - Main Event

Description: A fight in one of the ancient battlefields of the Roman Empire. A classic good vs evil fight of epic proportions that ends with Eiji and Rugal snagging the win with a comeback against Dhalsim and Chun-Li. (Winners: Rugal and Eiji)


Once the centre of a glorious empire, this ancient city stands striking monument to the achievements man has made, and can make. Ruins of various states can be found throughout the surrounding region, but no single building can match the unprecedented glory of the renowned Colloseum. Long the central hub of gladiatorial combat, its dusty floor having seen countless battles among the most bloody-minded of men, it is only too fitting that in the twenty first century this structure should play host to a clash of titans within the world of modern street-fighting.

It is late evening and the moon is hanging low in the sky, casting a cloudy glow over the city that would do little to brighten proceedings by itself. However, on each side of the mighty architecture have been erected vast scaffolds mounted with floodlights - towering above the high walls to send a vibrant glow across the set battlefield. It would be scant shy of natural daylight, but for the unusually elongated shadows and the slighty ethereal effect presented by the arena. Somewhere among the row upon row of stone seats sits an announcer's table sponsored by Southtown's Duck Pond for purpose of this Pay-per-View, and various ninja cameramen can be glimpsed - perhaps their skills may even be enough to catch the odd close-up of tonight's action.

The crowds are bubbly, sending out chants for their favourite fighters - and unsurprisingly, perhaps the most cheered-for due to her spreading fanbase (putting the shout out to Li Xiangfei, yo!) and many tournament apperance is the woman hailed as the strongest in the world. Currently she moves through one of the tunnel-like corridors leading from the lower levels of the arena up onto the well-maintained dirt floor. Breathing deeply to focus herself, she knows this fight will be challenging - regardless of the strange assistance on either side, neither of whom she has heard a great deal about, her encounter with Rugal Bernstein has primed her for quite the encounter. Her mind must be at one with her body, and.. she feels well prepared. Her training has paid off recently and has now been given a willful shove forward by the advice of a certain psychic.

Chun-Li is dressed unusually as she steps gracefully out into the bright lights, clad in a black sleeveless catsuit though still bearing her recognisable bracelets and hair buns - these done up in gold ribbons rather than the oft-used white cups. Around her torso, strapped tightly over the skin-tight material, is a lightweight body-warmer garment, in equal part for modesty and additional padding, without causing too much deficit to her trademark speed. Heeding the cries of the crowd, the Chinese beauty walks the distance to the central point of the colloseum's floor before ducking herself into a low to each of the four major compass directions; hands pressed together at her chest.

Then, she awaits her comrade and challengers...

COMBATSYS: Chun-Li has started a fight here on the left meter side.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Chun-Li          0/-------/-------|

[OOC] Rugal will pose the Announcers, because he's just. That. Cool.

COMBATSYS: Eiji has joined the fight here on the right meter side.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Chun-Li          0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Eiji

COMBATSYS: Rugal has joined the fight here on the right meter side.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Chun-Li          0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Eiji
                                  >  //////////////////////////////]
                                 |-------\-------\0            Rugal

COMBATSYS: Dhalsim has joined the fight here on the left meter side.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Dhalsim          0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Eiji
[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Chun-Li          0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0            Rugal

Rome. It's always been a source of admiration for many. The capital of the great Roman empire, an empire which conquered much of the continent of Europe, and even spread its influence down into the edges of Africa. Certainly, a force many people who feel the innate desire to conquer aspire to, or revere, even. An empire that was the greatest of its age.
In the end, the TRUE conquerors know it's simply something to inevitably /outshine/.
The announcers are standard for a televised event. A bit energized, maybe, but they're paid to be. There has been no random ambushings of these announcers, not for this event. Far too important, after all. The announcer, complete in a nice suit and slicked back hair, stands up suddenly; his grin shines with artificial whitening, even as he jerks one calloused finger to the left side of the ring. "That's right, ladies and gentleman! It's the daaaay you've been waiting for! A clash of titans, an epic event that won't soon be forgotten! Because tonight we bring you, in this most ancient of arenas... THE STRONGEST WOMAN IN THE WORLD, CHUUUN-LIIIII!!" The man leans in, to confer about something with the other announcer. Brief murmurs of 'sounds Indian... Dawl-sim? ...' can hardly be heard over the roar of the crowd, before the man stands erect again, his grin once more plastered on his face like clockwork. "And with our favorite femme fatale is DHALSIM!"
In a slow, dramatic motion, the announcer's finger turns, to point towards the opposite side of the ring, where another figure emerges. "And, their opponents... former host of the King of Fighters, RUGAL BERNSTEIN!! And with him, EIJI KISARAGIIII!"
Slow and practiced, casual and confident, is the way in which Rugal enters the arena. His lips are twisted in a rather charming and comfortable smile as he strides in, the coattails of his crimson suit trailing behind him, right hand buried into his pants pocket. Eyes, normal and cybernetic, gaze at Chun-Li, and he dips stiffly in a bow. A mockingly respectful one, to honor... the Strongest Woman in the World.
This shall be fun.

This even, this pay-per-view, may very well be the biggest event to come to poor Rome in some time. Unlike its counterpart Greece, it can't boast the hosting of the eternal flame to draw thousands of nostalgic spectators. In fact, were it not for the Vatican, one could say that the city is in a bit of a tourism slump. Today is a wonderfully refreshing change; usually folks come to simply stare lifelessly at dull rocks, uncaring of the effort put into constructing such a large work over two thousand years ago, before trucks, before cranes, before magic. Well...we're still a ways off from that last tool, but still. But yes, today, the seats, or at least the sections deemed safe enough to populate, are filled with all sorts of people bundled in warm clothes, some families spreading blankets across their laps or with little ones nestled in their arms for comfort. The view is nice, especially for those smart enough to bring binoculars.
The second part of the first team, or the good guys, as those privy to important details may view them, has long since been in the arena proper. Very few people actually know of him, compared to those rooting for his partner, and likely even fewer think much of him now that they've actually laid eyes on him. All around the walls, there are small stepladders set as equidistant as possible from each other, numbering ten in all. Dhalsim is on one of these, looking quite happy to fraternize with the common folk. Children are squealing as they try to pull a cheek or a finger, trying to make him stretch as they'd seen on TV. Of course, it doesn't work, but he takes it in stride anyway, assuring them that they'll see all they wish to soon enough. Good wishes are bestowed upon the spectators he speaks to, amazing some with his speech. In fact, more than a couple of reporters covering the event have found their way to him, too. It seems that people just simply can't believe that he has and still plans on devoting almost all of his winnings to the unfortunate people in the area, beyond what he sends home to his own nation's starving orphans. No, there is no motive here, no tax breaks, none of that. Of course, a good many of the more ethical people in the area look upon the yogi with immediate admiration.
Finally, his name is called, and the underfed Indian man turns and goes back down those steps, moving back toward Chun-Li. In the meantime, his faded, tattered orange toga is leisurely untied and removed, set on one of the large chunks of rock that still litter the arena floor itself. His expression fades the closer he gets, and by the time he reaches his partner's side, his lips are thin and level, both of his eyes are dull and seem to be still. A breath is drawn in through his nose, his chest clearly showing just how little protection his lungs are offered before he exhales quietly through his mouth. "This may prove to be very perilous," he states simply, looking directly at Rugal himself. Very little could possibly hide the man's persona from the yogi's sharp eye and insight. His

Very little could possibly hide the man's persona from the yogi's sharp eye and insight. His head turns now, facing this Strongest Woman in the World, allowing his dry lips to turn slightly upward at the corners. "But we must persevere. There are many people depending on us."

All have gathered but one fighter now. Instead of making his presence known early on the ninja has remained in the shadows to silently watch the other fighters. Rugal he has fought with and even worked for not long ago, but the his opponents are both people he has yet to test his skills against. The old man doesn't look too dangerous, but his partner shall be the problem. Yes, Eiji knows about Chun-Li well enough. It is a target most people aren't willing to pay the price for in fear of an assassin not being good enough to actually gain the kill. A price Eiji has set rather high as well if they wish to use him to kill the Strongest Woman.
Finally he decides to make his presence known and a few feet to the left of Rugal smoke begins to slowly swirl about and condense into a cloud. As it dissipates the rather short ninja stands up fully with arms crossed over his chest and emotionless gaze fixed on both of his opponents. "They look quite pathetic." he says only loud enough for his opponent to hear as he uncrosses his arms and starts to adjust the red fingerless gloves and then takes a deep breath to steady himself while red energy starts to envelope his left hand. "Let us make this short and sweet for them."
And just like that the ninja is already blurring forward. To hell with waiting for an announcer to say when the fight starts. He doesn't care about the pay or the exposure anyways. What he wants is to feel the thrill of inflicting pain and having his prey fall before him. He pushes off his feet to launch himself forward, a leg slinging outwards to aim right at the fragile looking ribcage of the yogi and slam into it rather harshly.

Hands held loosely beside her once she has fully straightened, Chun-Li watches first the approach of Rugal, her eyes narrowing just perceptibly and a light frown creasing her brow. His power has been sampled - and then some - although the situation may not have favoured her as much as she would have liked, and now they face each other upon neutral ground. Upon equal terms. Daunting as the prospect of a rematch is, it is also very stimulating, and the woman's frown is soon replaced with the ghost of a smile. Flexing her fingers inward toward her palms, and then releasing them slowly, the Tai Chi mistress takes a final deep breath before glancing sidelong toward the man she is to fight alongside.

...a yogi. That explains the name and the hints she was able to gather during her flight to Italy, but now she sees this 'Dhalsim' she feels a sudden surge of comradery. The man's aura is almost palpable and his manner is so stoic and controlled - it is something she can both respect and admire. "Indeed. A pleasure to meet you, Dhalsim." Her gaze bores into his intensely for a moment, before she turns away with a slight broadening of that smile. "I have faced this man before; I'm sure together we can succeed." Another darting sidelong glance causes a slight widening of her eyes noting the sudden incoming prescence of Eiji.

"...good luck!" The words are hastily delivered to the mysterious Indian man before his partner surges forward past the rushing ninja, seemingly letting Dhalsim's abilities speak for themselves as she focuses herself upon Mr. Bernstein, ducking low as she runs in. "I didn't expect a rematch so soon, Bernstein! HYAH!" Slinging herself forward under his guard, she reaches out with one arm to grip the suited man firmly by the collar, aiming to yank him to one side before dropping to a crouch and then rearing up with a thrust kick to the chin - her way of a greeting to the arms dealer. "SEIYA!"

COMBATSYS: Rugal endures Chun-Li's Strong Throw.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Dhalsim          0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Eiji
[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////////     ]
Chun-Li          0/-------/------=|==-----\-------\0            Rugal

As a nice contrast to Chun-Li, Rugal looks all too amused with the proceedings today, and her approach. It has not been too long, has it? No, not long at all since they last met, and Rugal introduced the woman quite /firmly/ to his power. As such, the only way he can greet her, is with a grin, and a soft chuckle. The Tai Chi mistress, again. This seems to be a repeat of his encounters with Kain. But he won't allow that embarassment to happen again. So, as he straightens, he offers Chun-Li something relatively simple: "I hope you provide a better challenge tonight, World's Strongest Woman!"
There's not even a flinch at the sudden appearance of his partner; he has known Eiji Kisaragi from before. Both as a minion of Krauser and as a... business associate. Which is why he does not stop grinning, or keep his eyes off Chun-Li, as gray smoke wisps about the ninja. "Let's not understimate now, Mr. Kisaragi! But please..." His legs spread, and his lips press close in a smile that draws out arrogantly across his mouth. "... show our friend what pain really means."
The announcer doesn't even have time to finish before Eiji is on the move. Bernstein... simply stays put. "Have you gotten stronger since we last met?" He is curious to know. To taste Chun-Li's power again. "Let's see!" And then, she flies forward, and Rugal doesn't even TRY to react. Instead, he is yanked, and that kick SLAMS into his chin, snapping his head upwards - upwards with a grin. "GOOD!" He doesn't stagger. He's braced himself, to snap out a hand, and GRIP tightly around Chun-Li's neck, before lifting her... and smashing a powerful fist right into her face, to send the martial artist flying through the air.

[OOC] Dhalsim says, "Chen, make the spoof buffer larger, please. :("

COMBATSYS: Dhalsim dodges Eiji's Heavy Kick.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Dhalsim          0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Eiji
[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////////     ]
Chun-Li          0/-------/------=|==-----\-------\0            Rugal

Indeed, Chun-Li could, if given time, be someone that Dhalsim could associate with. He feels nothing of the raw malice that eminates from Rugal and his impatient part-timer. It's hard not to pick up on the slight shift in the woman's composure when she sets her sights on her opponent; why this happens, exactly, he doesn't know. They could be old lovers, old enemies, it could be anything. Whatever it is, the yogi's smile fades to a small frown in what he feels. Even if just a little bit, he surmises that the opportunity to fight Rugal is a selfish pleasure, no matter how bittersrweet it may be. He'll be sure to speak with her shortly about such self-destructiveness.
That time isn't now, however. He would like to give the young lady some words of advice, but Eiji doesn't seem to want to grant him that luxury. His lips draw tightly and then relax, eyes blinking only once. It's time to concentrate on the matter at hand, here. His chest, as Eiji correctly observes, is frail by the ninja's standards. The arms framing it lift up, palms touching over his head with the fingers pointing upward, his plain-looking bracelets sliding down to nearly his elbows. His feet remain planted where they are, and his upper body shifts. As if not truly connected to the rest of his frame by anything but skin, his entire torso turns and shifts backwards, simply bending just out of the foot's way. Instead of snapping back into place, the rest of his body follows it but a half-second later, one foot moving back and planting into the ground as the other snaps out sharply, aiming to trip Eiji up. A swift downward swing of both arms toward his back would help the poor man's momentum, quickening his fall.

COMBATSYS: Eiji dodges Dhalsim's Strong Throw.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Dhalsim          0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Eiji
[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////      ]
Chun-Li          0/-------/------=|==-----\-------\0            Rugal

Always think a few moves ahead, that is the philosophy the ninja follows. It allows him to not be taken off guard as easily. Even so seeing someone being able to bed in such a way as Dhalsim is still enough to cause Eiji to hesitate just for a brief moment as he sails hands on the ground of the fighting area in a rather graceful manner. Perhaps looking into the yogi would have been a good idea afterall. "Perhaps you will be a challenge afterall." he quietly murmurs and he quickly leaps over the incoming attempt to trip him and he flips in the air to land back on the ground then spring forward to throw himself towards Dhalsim again.
As he fires foreward he begins to flicker and a fist comes around only to go through the yogi as Eiji's image fades away. To most untrained people it simply seems as if the ninja has disappeared, but it is his quick movements that allow him to remain unseen to most of the fans. To them it seems that he simply flickers back into existence behind Dhalsim as he attempts to grasp the yogi and toss him skywards. If successful the ninja goes skyward as well to grasp Dhalsim out of the air and fling him back down at the ground rather harshly.

COMBATSYS: Chun-Li blocks Rugal's Scorpion Blow.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Dhalsim          0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Eiji
[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////      ]
Chun-Li          0/-------/-----==|===----\-------\0            Rugal

Chun-Li feels the full weight of her strike hammering Rugal's head upward, but somehow holds her back from immediately swinging away to plan her next move. There's a noticeable hesitation as a shockwave of dawning recognition runs through her mind, informing her that he took that blow a little /too/ well - and while this comes too late to save the beauty entirely, as she lowers her leg and sways to face her opponent it gives her the warning she needs to remove all tension from her body, just for a moment. So she's scooped up as a dead weight, wincing slightly against the pressure about her neck. But that pressue is deadened somewhat, and when the man's fist hammers toward her eyes she grits her teeth and /wrenches/ her powerful form backward with a sudden tensing of every muscle she can command.

"Nnngh-ya!" Ripping away from his grasp at the instant of impact, the Strongest Woman in the World is forced to deal with a momentary spark of pain as she narrowly avoids the painful blow. But avoid it she does. Curling into a handspring flip, dust kicked up by the application of her palms, she lands upon her feet a short distance from Rugal only long enough to draw in a quick breath. Bright gaze focusing determinedly upon her foe, she snaps into a dramatic stance before rushing forward, raising herself upon one leg shortly before impact - her upper body poised upon this single point of balance.

"YA!" Such a posture is perfection itself for the sequence of kicks she now aims, beginning with a targeted strike from her black-booted foot, aiming to stagger Bernstein with the quick blow to the midsection before her limb becomes a blur of motion. "YA! YA! YA! YA! YA!" Kick after lightning fast kick is aimed up and down the full length of his body, an explosive volley that is less damaging than it might appear - but more than enough to demolish his defences and set the stage for her domination...

But he has proved himself a deft defender previously. Can she break through so early?

COMBATSYS: Dhalsim dodges Eiji's Falling Star.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Dhalsim          0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Eiji
[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////      ]
Chun-Li          0/-------/------=|===----\-------\0            Rugal

COMBATSYS: Rugal blocks Chun-Li's Hyakuretsu Kyaku.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Dhalsim          0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Eiji
[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////       ]
Chun-Li          0/-------/-----==|====---\-------\0            Rugal

Aaah. She responds just a swiftly as ever! Rugal's hands find their mark, lift, but before the finishing blow can strike... he finds himself swinging at air. It's too his credit that he does not stagger, but he's really hardly surprised at the suddenness of the maneuver. If she hadn't managed to overcome it, he would be rather surprised - and very disappointed, to be sure. Despite his stagger, he is quick to recover, rolling his shoulders back as his feet stamp backwards across the ground, sending him reeling back and further away from the Tai Chi fighter with a certain amount of grace and style. His eyes have remained on the Strongest Woman in the World, so that, when she comes rushing towards him, he is more than adequately prepared.
Whatever further plans Chun-Li had for Rugal in this strike, they will have to wait. It might not have hurt if it struck R's leader, but he doesn't even give the woman an opportunity to shine. Instead, when the foot comes to lash out at him, the initial strike? Rugal's lips split wide in a wide grin, lifting a single leg to intercept the blow knee-first as she comes flying. He doesn't even stagger. Instead, he seeks to do something relatively simple. His right hand curls up, and in a sudden act of movement, he presses INTO the assault on him before it can continue any further. That fist lashes out in a strike, intending to slam into the woman's sternum with a titanic amount of force to send her crashing /right/ into the ground beneath them.

Dhalsim's leg clips naught but air, causing his body to turn almost uncomfortably. At least, it looks uncomfortable, with the extent of which his ankle turns. The attacking foot returns to the correct side and steps once more, his toes spreading slightly as the dirt is pushed to tiny dunes between them. Even as Eiji lands and bounds back into action, the yogi doesn't budge from his spot. Both of his arms bend at the elbows so his hands can press together at the palms, mimicing their earlier state, with straightened fingers pointing upward. These are held just before his chest, and his expression remains ever stoic, even as the ninja supposedly comes rushing in for the punch.
Dhalsim, apparently, is not so easily fooled.
The Indian stands his ground as the afterimage passes through him. The reaction takes place in little more than the blink of an eye: both of his legs lift, bending at the knees. His body, however, remains suspended in midair. Ankles cross knot themselves with his knees in a fashion most uncomfortable to onlookers, and when Eiji comes in behind him, his corporeal form simply ceases to be. Some can swear that they saw a dull bluish-violet light before he seemed to implode into nothingness. The process is reversed a moment later far away from Eiji, standing still between his attack and the wall. His posture remains straight and his eyes have closed, allowing him to sharpen his focus and draw upon the powers granted to him by a lifetime of mental training.

COMBATSYS: Dhalsim gathers his will.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Dhalsim          0/-------/---====|-------\-------\0             Eiji
[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////       ]
Chun-Li          0/-------/-----==|====---\-------\0            Rugal

Some form of teleportation as well it would seem. At least once this fight is over the ninja will have plenty of information on this odd old man. Standing back up straight after missing his target Eiji turns to face Dhalsim as his eyes narrow on him. His urge to quickly eliminate this man has changed to the urge to just inflict pain. Dhalsim is too calm...too docile. He needs to feel fear, to scream in agony, to be the perfect prey before he moves on to have fun with Chun-Li if she still is still standing by then.
Instead of relying on trickery the ninja once again speeds forward towards the yogi, he then leaps up and over to land on his back on the ground then push off on his feet to slide forwardand between the legs of the yogi and then sprining upwards to slam both feet against the old man's chin.

COMBATSYS: Rugal successfully hits Chun-Li with Medium Punch.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Dhalsim          0/-------/---====|-------\-------\0             Eiji
[       \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////       ]
Chun-Li          0/-------/--=====|====---\-------\0            Rugal

[OOC] Chun-Li!

As strong a defence as she remembers, and Chun-Li does believe herself ready to deal with whatever might come her way. Her attack made a mockery of, she lowers her leg quickly and begins to shift sidelong in a darting step, lithe body bypassing the incoming blow - but somehow she misjudges, the slightest of errors seeing the strike nail her with something close to precision. The full effect is only prevented through speed of thought, as the world's strongest woman corrects herself in the air with a rotation of her form, a sharp expulsion of breath marking the effort this consumes.

Landing in half-crouch, there is little wasted time. A quick glance goes to either side to affirm the positions of Dhalsim and Eiji both, a trained eye marking their intent. Then, with body bending at the waist in a willowy motion, the ex-Interpol agent extends one arm smoothly, fingertips brushing delicate trials through the dust before they firmly press down upon the hard ground beneath. Swaying her legs into a sweeping movement and twisting around athletically, she ends up with her tightly bound hair scant inches above the floor before her legs snap out to either side.

"SPINNING BIRD KICK!" This final action triggers the beginning of her attack proper - the entire process far quicker than its complexity might suggest - as with a shove off her extended hand she whips herself into a thunderous rotation, boots lashing around as she forms a hurricane of pain on collision course with Rugal Bernstein.

COMBATSYS: Rugal fails to interrupt Spinning Bird Kick from Chun-Li with Genocide Cutter.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Dhalsim          0/-------/---====|-------\-------\0             Eiji
[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////            ]
Chun-Li          0/-------/-======|=====--\-------\0            Rugal

She may be fast, but Rugal is not someone to be underestimated. It seems she still does so, though. It seems they both do. His hand impacts against Chun-Li's frame in a sudden movement, and though he doesn't send her straight into the ground as planned, he knows his movements have done enough damage for now. So, he merely straightens again, rolling his neck in a slow, leisurely crack as he watches Chun-Li fly and land once more. He does not look at the other two. He trusts Eiji is taking care of things properly. If all goes well, the pair should be done soon enough. His fingers flex, twitch.
He'll not count that as a definite, however.
She comes again, and this is when Rugal makes his own fatal error. Eyes narrow, as he rushes forward to greet Chun-Li with speeds super human. But he underestimates... just how FAST the World's Strongest Woman can be. He gets right into her defenses, but just as he is about to move, he is slammed into, repeatedly, by those kicks, strike after strike landing solidly on the man's chest and sending him flying through the air. Now that... was his mistake.
And it will not happen again. It's a testament to his skill that he manages to correct himself in mid-air, landing in a slight crouch, but on his feet. He straightens, frowning ever so slightly. "Very well then!" With a shrug, the man's crimson jacket falls to the ground, crumpling in a pile of blood-red behind him. He grips his white shirt, and YANKS, tearing off the fabric and revealing black military fatigues and mesh beneath... and grinning lips beyond the tatter of clothes that falls between himself and his enemy.

COMBATSYS: Eiji successfully hits Dhalsim with Heavy Kick.

[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Dhalsim          1/-------/=======|=------\-------\0             Eiji
[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////            ]
Chun-Li          0/-------/-======|=====--\-------\0            Rugal

Is that all it takes to enrage Eiji? Simple stoicism? If Dhalsim disapproved of Chun-Li's desire for vengeance, then he must downright loathe Eiji's lust for malice. But no, that's not really it. Loathing is something that is almost beyond the underfed man. It's more pity than anything. The poor man might not have any idea what he's doing to himself, spiritually. Perhaps, after this, he'll see the power of yoga and turn from the path of ruin.
The power of yoga, however impressive it may have been thus far, can only do so much. Eiji's approach is much faster than anticipated, the rage fueling his leg too great to be simply shrugged off. Unheard to the audience, but surely noticed by the ninja and the yogi himself, ribs sound off in audible cracks. Amazingly, they don't break outright; simple fractures run across his ribcage in thin lines. First, his upper body is pushed back, then the rest of him follows. His limbs flail helplessly as he's sent flying back, useless to top his momentum in the least, nor can he rely on teleportation again, with the sheer amount of concentration required to keep from crying out in pain from the cracks and pressure against his sensitive organs. The flight itself isn't bad. It's the sudden stop against the heavy stone wall behind him that's really painful. Despite being so light, he leaves a sizeable crater in the rock behind him, causing further harm to his upper body. His skin is thin as well, evident from the mild flecks of blood spotting the impact side. His body drops to the ground like a rag doll, his knees to the side with his torso twisted and his face in the dirt, almost completely still. Frail may not even begin to describe the old man, after a display like that.
First, one arm lifts up, open palm pressing against the dirt. Its counterpart is soon to follow before legs right, pushing his hips up even as his upper body stays bent over completely...and twisted sideways. It looks horrible. As he rights himself, he breathes in, chest swalling and ribs separating. The drawing in of breath is stopped shorter than he'd have liked, however. It really does hurt to do this, and even as his hips contort to their proper alignment, his cheeks puff in a rush of air, a small spart lighting just beyond his lips and shooting toward Eiji, swelling into a large ball of mystical flame in the process.

COMBATSYS: Dhalsim successfully hits Eiji with Yoga Fire.

[         \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////    ]
Dhalsim          1/-----==/=======|===----\-------\0             Eiji
[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////            ]
Chun-Li          0/-------/-======|=====--\-------\0            Rugal

The ninja twists about in the air and lands gracefully on his feet and he stares down the yoga master with a rather large grin playing across the features of his face under that mask. "Yes, feel pain. I want you to scream as I break every bone in your body." he hisses and lets Dhalsim get back to his feet instead of continue his assault. To him the other two fighters have been forgotten for now. Chun Li and Rugal are of no concern to him now that he smells the scent of blood coming from Dhalsim's wounds. He then bursts forward to strike at the yoga master only to get enveloped by the large flame expelled from the older fighter.
The body staggers as it gets consumed and smoke envelopes the burning figure and as both flames and smoke fade nothing is left on the ground aside from the light imprints of the ninja's feet as well as some ash. More of a distraction as a figure moves from the stonework of the old structure and Eiji leaps from high above to decend on Dhalsim with hands clapped together and raised high in the air as the reddish flames consume his hands when they get brought downwards intent on cutting open his opponent across the backside and causing more blood to flow.

Chun-Li uncurls from her renowned whirlwind of kicks with much the same grace as she entered it, legs cutting a downward trail one at a time to set back to the ground and bring her torso around by simple extension of physics. The landing can be disorientating when the assault has misfired in any way, but on this occasion the Tai Chi mistress finishes in a perfect crouch, one hand back to the dust as a reassuring point of balance. She pauses there, watching Rugal in one corner of her gaze and the duelling yogi/ninja pair in the other, sparing a sidelong smirk toward the other as he taunts her back into the fray. For all his heinous crimes and the hideous myths surrounding his activities, there is something any true warrior can appreciate about the man's fighting spirit - but then, this is the same spirit that drives him in his defacement of Justice.

"Your will does you credit, Bernstein," the woman murmurs to this regard, downcasting her gaze for a moment before setting it fully upon her comparatively distant partner. "But your disgusting attitude does not. Follow me if you must!" Last words coming in a breathless rush, the world's strongest woman flows to a standing position, hands shifting to her hip where they partially clench to fists - an action which might at first glance suggest the forming of some energy attack. But nothing comes forth and there is no telltale surge, the woman simply darting a brief look toward Rugal, then turning upon her heel and making to sprint in close to the criminal overlord's malicious teammate.

However. This rear assault on the leaping ninja does not last long, Eiji seemingly disregarded as with a flicker of her gaze and a small, knowing smile Chun-Li turns about - feet shrieking through the dirt to kick up a gigantic cloud of dust. With the slamming down of a steadying palm, she is off toward her chosen opponent once more. Closing on Rugal at a blistering dash, she ducks her left shoulder down - keeping her arms to one side, and aims to firmly check him off his feet with a violent lunging motion, both arms lifting with the momentum...


COMBATSYS: Rugal blocks Chun-Li's Medium Throw.

[         \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////////     ]
Dhalsim          1/-----==/=======|===----\-------\0             Eiji
[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Chun-Li          0/-------/-======|======-\-------\0            Rugal

"My will? I suppose." She is mistaking /will/ and /power/ though. A fatal flaw, one that he will teach her of once more, if he has to. As it is, though, he simply prepares once more, the fluttering remains of his nice, white shirt drifting to the ground with a slow, swaying motion as he looks towards Dhalsim and Eiji. "It seems your friend is a bit worse for wear. If you think /I/ am a monster... simply wait until you see Mr. Kisaragi in action. He has a penchant for causing as much pain as possible -- sometimes even after his opponent's defeat." An attempt to distract it may be, but he wouldn't say it if it wasn't true. Personally, he looks forward to seeing Eiji humiliate and destroy his new playmate over there. But he has things to focus on.
Mainly, a Chinese woman dashing at him like a speeding vehicle. His eyes return once more to see Chun-Li rushing at him, and he laughs. A single hand clenches, and at the last moment, he dips in, and THRUSTS forward. Despite Chun-Li's running start, Rugal has the benefit of tremendous strength on his side to counter the force of her charging and keeping him from losing his balance with nary a wound to show for it. There. That settled...
... Rugal leaps into the air, over Chun-Li, to land far away from the woman with a simplistic effort. He lands on a chunk of stone, hands shoved into his pockets and head cant curiously to the side. "You seem rather passionate about this! Good, good! Hopefully Mr. Dhalsim is as passionate as you. I would hate to see him fail so soon." A hand lifts, to beckon Chun-Li with an eager chuckle, that crimson, cybernetic eye staring intently on the woman. "Though... that's none of our concern, is it?"

COMBATSYS: Rugal focuses on his next action.

[         \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////////     ]
Dhalsim          1/-----==/=======|===----\-------\0             Eiji
[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Chun-Li          0/-------/-======|======-\-------\0            Rugal

COMBATSYS: Dhalsim interrupts Mist Slash from Eiji with Yoga Strike.

[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////           ]
Dhalsim          0/-------/---====|=======\-------\1             Eiji
[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Chun-Li          0/-------/-======|======-\-------\0            Rugal

As soon as Dhalsim releases the ball of flame to the wild, he slouches down, only slightly, however. Hoping that his attack will keep the ninja at bay, he takes the time to assess the state of his poor body. His chest is the cause of most of his pain. His back, much less so. Some joints ache with a dull throb, most notably at his waist, but that too fades with it being aligned properly. That's not bad, though. Being more aware of his injuries, he's able to more effectively separate the signals of pain from his psyche. Mind over matter indeed: to him, the sensations quell before they're little more than tiny suggestions in the back of his mind, mere inconveniences rather than anything if importance, allowing him to resume controlling his body, instead of letting it control him. He stands up completely straight again, looking as calm and prepared as he was in the beginning, if not blooded on his back, and sure enough, small rings of slightly bluish hues have begun to crop up about his torso where he's been bruised. He's as ready as he'll ever be, now, and just in time.
Eiji's feint, once again, would be effective against many people, surely. The yogi is alert and aware, sensing the warm, forceful swell of malice coming from above. His head lifts just enough to look up at his attacker, but instead of pulling back, he actually leaps upward to meet it. His vaulting is slow, and his body turns end over end in a slow flip. The ninja's hand scorches slightly against the back of his leg as it swipes down, splitting skin that, in a few seconds, will begin trickling crimson. Before that, Dhalsim's feet reach around, one planting in his attacker's face, the other curling around behind his head. The Indian's own body is higher than Eiji's now, and as if carrying a momentum that belies his thin body, continues spinning. Eiji has no recourse against this in the grip his head is in, pulled with the spin to see sky, crown, ground, and sky again, just before his back crashes heavily against the earth, with Dhalsim standing directly on his face. A small hop away is sure to push the downed head harder against the ground.

There was no thought of ever being caught by such a frail fighter, but even if he his guard is lessened and he finds himself caught by the yoga master there are no signs of panic as that cold and emotionless gaze stares right into the pupiless eyes of Dhalsim. He then gets thrown around every bit like a rag doll. HIs body flopping about rather lifelessly each time it is swung about and it crashes limply on the ground with the yoga master on top of it. And then the body begins to grow warm as Dhalsim soon finds the form under him melting away into nothingness and leaving him standing on the ground of the fighting area once again.
A faint chuckle of amusement echos around the large area and smoke swirls on the ground again as slowly the ninja emerges from it as the smoke curls about his body like shadowy tendrils. "Excellent, so you can inflict pain." he says sounding quite enthralled and amused. "Then come and show me everything you have old man and in return I will allow you to experience true pain and let darkness consume you." He straigtens himself and then slips into a fighting stance with both hands out before him as his fists erupt in reddish energy again mixed among the smoke that coils about him. "Come at me."

COMBATSYS: Eiji focuses on his next action.

[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////           ]
Dhalsim          0/-------/---====|=======\-------\1             Eiji
[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Chun-Li          0/-------/-======|======-\-------\0            Rugal

[OOC] Hotaru wobbles.

A monster? A brute? A murderer? Perhaps all of these things and more, but Rugal's words fall on ears only listening for signs of action as Chun-Li backpedals away from the tall man after her unsuccessul attempt to topple him. Drawing inward to stoicism and total focus, she gives a single shake of her head, not sparing a glance backward once the jibes are directed toward her teammate. He seemed to have the situation under her control, and the sounds echoing from across the Colloseum only suggest a confirmation of this - but she will not check, for she has other things in mind.

Chun-Li draws herself slowly onto one leg, the other bending at the knee and lifting beneath her partially extended right arm. The fingers of both hands tensing, curling to rigidly accustomed positions, the woman draws in a long breath. A deep gaze transfixes Rugal's own mixed optics and the woman's jaw can be seen to visibly tighten; her opponent seems ready enough, there is only one very simple and obvious question. At this moment in time, who can call upon the most skill and power to overwhelm the other to thus gain the upper hand in this battle? Scales may have swung with the Chinese beauty this far, but fate is fickle.

Releasing her gathered breath with a somewhat violent snort, apparently the woman feels herself to be focused enough to throw all caution to the wind. There's a noticeable upsurge in the strength of her aura as she shifts her single point of balance almost imperceptibly, then a far less subtle sign of manifesting energies makes itself known. *fwoosh* Concentric waves of blue-white chi wash off the woman in each direction from the centre of her very being, hammering up similarly structured tidal floods of arena dirt. Enough to partially cloud her from view as she offers Rugal just the slightest nod. "Then, let us truly test each other."

Her heart beats. Once.

"HOUYOKU SEN!" That cry comes loud and clear, tearing from her throat with a startling vigour that causes another burst of sizzling chi, this left behind in a dissipating mist as with a rush of winds the young woman launches herself forward at Rugal with a great pressure from her grounded foot. Her horizontal flight is halted only when her opposing leg snaps out to catch him with a staggering blow to the side of the side, this point of contact used to adjust her posture for what comes next, a violent flurry of kicks aimed up the full length of his body - much like an attack so well defended against earlier, and identical to an assault she used in desperation during their last encounter...

COMBATSYS: Rugal endures Chun-Li's Houyoku Sen.

[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////           ]
Dhalsim          0/-------/---====|=======\-------\1             Eiji
[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////                   ]
Chun-Li          0/-------/-------|=======\=------\1            Rugal

"SEIYAAAA!" Usually there would be no further comment after the initial kiai, but the force with which she feels her strike land is satisfying - the relatively titanic Rugal has been a challenging opponent to properly damage, and only now does she seem to have found his weak point. Delivering her first array of blows with this cry lasting upon her lips, it soon disappears in a strangled gasp of effort as Chun-Li gasps for breath and drops down low, switching limb positionings with a spin of her body to subsequently deliver another machine-gun round of powerful kicks from the left leg.

The icing upon the cake comes with a second spinning motion in the opposite direction, this time the woman not rising to her full height but remaining in a crouch for just a second longer. Then, as her opponent staggers backward she breathes out /hard/ and sways her right leg upward in a languidly phrased, but devastating thrust kick, the black leather of her boot smashing into Rugal's chin with enough power to break a lesser warrior's jaw clean in two.

Eiji is bad, yes. Rugal is not lying about that much, despite Chun-Li's lack of concern.
But Rugal Bernstein is far worse.
The scales have swung in Chun-Li's favor, and seem to continue to do so. She noticeably changes positions, and Rugal sees it. There is little that he /can't/ see now, that optic of his intently staying focused on Chun-Li. But for her credit... the woman is fast. Very, very fast. His eyes narrows faintly, but even as she prepares, even as she flings herself towards him with a rush of chi, Rugal... laughs.
He's not even fast enough to speak everything he might have wished to, or finish his calm, polite compliment. But where once Rugal was able to successfully defend against the woman's attacks, when last time he blocked and dodged each and every one of her assaults with unnerving efficiency, this time - this time, he is not so lucky. Her first blow strikes his chest, sending him staggering back. All the attacks pound into him, repeatedly, a flurry of kicks he can't keep up with that pound into his strong muscles and bones, send his body reeling in agony and makes dark crimson trail down his lip, a rivulet of blood for Chun-Li's effort. But through it all, through all the powerful strikes, Rugal begins to smile... and then, LAUGH.
His eyes have closed by the time the final attack SMASHES into his chin and sends him spiralling through the air. It does not break his jaw, though, and so Chun-Li earns more laughter, even as he flies through the air, and lands -- in a crouch.
When his normal eye opens, it is pure as the white of snow.
His form wavers. Blood-red chi has begun to sweep over his frame and so make him appear like a mirage in the heat of the desert. He wavers, blurs... and then, disappears. A rate of speed that is superhuman sends him propelling through the air, churning up ground beneath him as he snakes out with a single, free hand - to snatch Chun-Li by the face with a hand gripping with bone-crushing strength and skin-burning chi.

COMBATSYS: Rugal successfully hits Chun-Li with Gigantic Pressure.

[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////           ]
Dhalsim          0/-------/---====|=======\-------\1             Eiji
[                 \\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////                   ]
Chun-Li          0/-------/=======|=------\-------\0            Rugal

Chi and pain is Chun-Li's reward for having been so bold as to strike Rugal /at all/. The chi, as it burns her skin, feels perceptibly /wrong/. Something alongside Rugal's own power fuels it, something off. Something that could wake the most primal of fears in men. Of course, Chun-Li is a willful woman. Perhaps those fears will not effect her.
That's why Rugal keeps moving.
Even as that grip clenches with enough force to shatter lesser individual's skulls, even as chi sears into the martial artist's skin, Rugal continues on in a blur of motion that simply can't be kept up with. He is a blink, a fading memory on reality, before the Strongest Woman in the World finds herself barrelled into a wall of the Colosseum with an explosion of crimson chi. With unnerving efficiency, Rugal spins again, blinking out of existance to slam her into the OPPOSITE wall of the hallowed arena with another explosion. And once more, once more does he turn, laughing RIOTOUSLY as he shoves the Vigilante into another wall. The force behind the blow is the hardest yet, sending chunks of stone falling around him and his opponent as he completely decimates that part of the massive structure, and infuses /all/ that chi into Chun-Li into a column of blood-red energy. Energy that morphs and alters itself into the vision of a laughing skull before it dissipates, leaving Rugal to casually toss the woman to the side.

Try as Eiji might, Dhalsim remains unruffled by his taunts. Age and practice has bestowed upon him impressive wisdom, and thus, he's nowhere near as prone to succumb to the childish prattling of ruffians. It's likely for the best, too. For what the elder lacks in combat experience, his insight and self-control have taken up the slack in most instances. This one is no different.
Rather than rushing in, the yogi stays put and almost completely still. Both of his feet are close together, the feet pointed slightly outward. His posture is straight, and the most movement is from his chest, swelling and deflating in increasingly heavier breaths. Little attempts pull air in, just to be sure that his ribs will hold fast before pulling in a little more. Both of his arms fall to his sides, fingers outstretched to keep his bracelets from falling off entirely, then they ball up, his arms moving to keep the forearms level to the ground. A further gulp of air is taken in steadily, and now his ribs shift visibly beneath the skin. Tiny, almost inaudible snaps widen a number of the tiny fractures widen. Pushing away all sensations of pain, the captive air is finally released in a forceful rush, cheeks puffing once more as Agni's gift roars to life anew. The ground between Eiji and himself is lit with glorious flame, and shadows dance up the wall behind him, always shimmering as if alive themselves. This time, the flame is constant as if fueled by his compressed lungs, shooting out toward Eiji in a very long, flaring stream. Even far in front of him, the width stays relatively narrow, the path looking dangerously accurate toward the ninja's entire upper body.

COMBATSYS: Dhalsim successfully hits Eiji with Yoga Flame.

[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////               ]
Dhalsim          0/-------/---====|=======\===----\1             Eiji
[                 \\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////                   ]
Chun-Li          0/-------/=======|=------\-------\0            Rugal

Patient and unmoving the ninja awaits for Dhalsim to come at him, but instead once again he finds a blast of flame sent his way. Fire collides with energy and smoke as the ninja is enveloped by the stream and his figure seems to be incinerated by the blast. His body turning to ask as it starts to slump over and the wind blows the rest of it away. It is hardly enough to really keep the assassing down and out. "Is your fire all you have to rely on?" he asks while emerging from the stonework of one of the upper areas of the arena. "If that is all you have then you hold no interest to me. I will finish this." he murmurs and he then leaps forward and then bursts forward quickly while reaching out to grasp the yogi by his throat.

COMBATSYS: Eiji successfully hits Dhalsim with Steel Mantis Strike EX.

[                   \\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////               ]
Dhalsim          1/-------/=======|-------\-------\0             Eiji
[                 \\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////                   ]
Chun-Li          0/-------/=======|=------\-------\0            Rugal

[OOC] Dhalsim is one of the cool kids. 8)

Eiji wraps his hand around the fragile man's throat and then slams his fist right into the exposed stomach to knock him backwards. Rushing forward the ninja continues his assault with various punches and kicks that batter the yogi and eat through any attempt at a proper defense. His eyes narrow as he viciously beats the man down and then he swings his hand around to raise his hand up and then he swings it downwards in an arch that brings a new gash across Dhalsim's chest. "Lay down and die." he growls and grasps Dhalsim by his necklace and then swings him around to slam him face first into the wall of the arena and then stomp on head with the heel of a foot before pushing off and flipping back to land on his feet with arms crossed over his broad chest and a bit of a smirk under his mask.

Eye for an eye.

Tooth for a tooth.

Demolition of the body for demolition of a national monument.

Though it can hardly be said that the venerable Colloseum of Rome is the only thing damaged in the hell that follows directly after Chun-Li's otherwise successful attack. As the woman recovers from her final bone-crunching high kick, unfolding herself to a restful half-crouch to watch Rugal through narrowed eyes, she becomes aware only too late of the laughter sounding over her combination assault. Eyes suddenly snapping wide open, she is a fraction too late to act; the blur where once stood an arms dealer is already encompassing her in its horrific path. The beauty is snatched from where she stands, barraged with that hateful chi energy, the effect not unlike being reminded of every evil within the world... an effect eerily close to that achieved by Vega's form of Psycho Power, though nothing like as destructive upon the world's strongest woman. And finally? That powerful form, worshipped of late by so many fans, is crushed repeatedly into old brickwork that crumbles to nothing under the devastation.

It is testament to the fighters of the world, and to Chun-Li in particular, that the woman is even alive when she is released by her awe-inspiring opponent. Her heart beats still, though her breath comes ragged and dark patches upon her chosen garment show only too visibly under the floodlights. Pushing herself to her feet with a groan, one eye remaining closed for several moments after the other is cracked open, she looks up toward Rugal with an expression torn between determination, fear and utter loathing for this being. The attack itself was powerful, but the intent driving it sickens her very soul - who could say what effect it would have upon the nearby yogi?

...Dhalsim. It's with a guilty sidelong flicker of her gaze that the Tai Chi mistress lets her attention drift to her teammate. The teammate she has not directly interacted with since that first meeting. A quick mental focus ascertains that she is able to move, and so with a surge of pure willpower Chun-Li rises fully to her feet, reaching up to wipe a long trickle of blood from the side of her mouth. "..." Her eyes linger on Rugal briefly but then she moves with blistering speed, every last ounce of her fearsome resolution coming to play in moving her. To aid her partner, before it is too late. Perhaps Rugal's warnings /do/ count for something.

"SPINNING BIRD KICK!" Screaming the three words with breathless intensity, the young woman curls an arm out and down during her sprint, again using a willowlike bend and the pressure of deft fingertips to spin her to an inverse aerial position. Legs once again jarring out, though this time it causes a lash of shock through her recovering nervous system,. She spins in toward the back of the gloating Eiji's head with one more hurricane combo.

No, no.
This... this is not NEARLY enough.
It's the thought that courses through Rugal's brain as Chun-Li is tossed aside, as she falls to the ground with a meaty thud. His eyes open. The normal eye, brown once more, both turning to gaze on her. "You are still up." He states simply. "You are still alive." He knows that. Despite the power behind his last assault, he knows full well that Chun-Li is yet conscious, and yet able to fight. "Then you will stand up again, and you will face me." Eye for eye. But Rugal is certain Chun-Li's attack did not hurt him nearly as much as his hurt her. He turns once more, hands shoving in his pockets, even as he regains his breath. She opens an eye, then another. Her expression... causes utter DELIGHT. "Good. /Good/. You can still stand, can't you?" Please do. He's not done yet.
But her gaze flickers, and as hers does, Rugal's turns to look at the other two opponents. His eyes narrow briefly as Chun-Li rises. "Compassion will end up killing you." That's all he'll offer. He does not pursue her, as she rushes towards Eiji and unleashes her devestating signature once more.
"People who shout their attacks are such terrible cliches."
With this small amusement out of the way, he rushes once more. His target is not Chun-Li, though. Since she has decided to attack /Rugal's/ partner, Bernstein returns in kind. He runs forward, leaping through the air to smash a single knee into Dhalsim's chest. The attack in and of itself is relatively simple; it's the force behind the blow that Dhalsim should be careful of. Eye for an eye. Tooth for a tooth.

COMBATSYS: Rugal successfully hits Dhalsim with Medium Kick.

[                      \\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////               ]
Dhalsim          1/-----==/=======|-------\-------\0             Eiji
[                 \\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////                  ]
Chun-Li          0/-------/-======|==-----\-------\0            Rugal

Dhalsim's world is pain. As much as he might try to filter out the sensations of such, all his years of training have bolstered his mind, leaving his body in a visibly neglected state. Thin, light, bony.. Eiji was smart in getting close to dish such horrible punishment out with fists and feet. Crushing blows batter his already bruised body, slams wrack his skeleton and wreck him far more than such a small man should be able to withstand. Now stretching his focus thin, the ninja is given the pleasure of small old man cries of pain as he's just brutally punished for his crime of living. And just when he thinks it over? His face is mashed into the ground, pressing his face deep into the dirt. Things have gone horribly wrong in a frighteningly short amount of time.
But still, he stands. It's a slow process, and his hands push hard against the ground to extract him. There are no special tricks in how he stands. It's careful, slow, and deliberate. In fact, there's not even the slightest indication that he's pulling any of his usual tricks at all...even when Rugal comes screaming in at him. Still recovering from the recent assault, he has no way to keep Bernstein's knee from colliding with his sternum. There's another set of cracks as his ribs finally break, and his body flies back once more, sliding along the dirty ground in such a way as to grind dirt into all of those open scrapes. The man is, already, showing damage that, by all rights, should keep him down. It's amazing, really, that he still manages to move. Such is the yogi's willpower that one knee can lift, letting him put the flat of his foot on the ground. The other leg lifts up, swinging high and over, then beyond his head. The other follows, and he rolls back until he is, literally, on all fours. His head remains drooped and his face hidden, but even still, one can see his chest inflating. How is it that his ribs can visibly move under his skin, the clean breaks causing his bones to pull apart and not puncture the lungs beneath? Perhaps it's why his contortions have ceased, putting nearly all of his mystical yogi prowess into keeping them safe. Remember the stories of monks walking on coals?
The elder's head snaps up, eyes wide and pale as can be, his lips already pursed and cheeks puffing. Drawing upon the ancient god, he once more spews a gout of fire directly in front of him and merely a foot away. Upon touching the ground, it spreads like..well, wildfire, despite not having anything to feed off of. The edge quickly edges toward Rugal, growing wider as it does, the living flicks of flame reaching waist-height and growing still.

[OOC] Eiji says, "Here comes the pain. :("

COMBATSYS: Eiji parries Chun-Li's Spinning Bird Kick!

[                       \\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////               ]
Dhalsim          0/-------/----===|=------\-------\0             Eiji
[                 \\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////                  ]
Chun-Li          0/-------/=======|==-----\-------\0            Rugal

So now the yogi's partner has decided to interrupt with Eiji's fun. He is still on a rather big high from his complete dismantling of his opponent, but Chun-Li makes a vital mistake. Much like how Rugal said earlier, shouting out a move name when trying to get a surprise attack on an opponent isn't the brightest idea. This is why evil wins usually, because good is dumb. Well maybe just this instance that is the case. The ninja tchs lightly and he swings about to see the incoming woman and he leaps upwards and his foot touches hers as he pushes off of it and switches from foot to foot to balance on each kick in the hurricane before pushing off enough to backflip away and land a save distance away from Chun-Li.
"Ahh, Miss Chun-Li." he says in a rather cordial manner while his attention shifts to her. "I am glad to finally have some time to play with you." His voice echos as a copy of himself steps out behind him and then two more copies emerging from behind the current two. Each speaks to make a strange echo as they surround the woman and prepare to attack. "Now show me a good time!" they all cry out while charging forward. Hands erupt with bright red energy and all four clones lunge forward intent on stabbing that blade of energy right into Chun-Li. Of course three of the clones dissipate as the Eiji coming in from the right remains with his intent on stabbing Chun right in the kidney area.

COMBATSYS: Eiji successfully hits Chun-Li with Bone Cutter EX.

[                       \\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////               ]
Dhalsim          0/-------/----===|=------\-------\0             Eiji
[                      \\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////                  ]
Chun-Li          1/------=/=======|==-----\-------\0            Rugal

The planned coup de grace hardly succeeds in the manner Chun-Li had in mind on breaking away from Rugal - the ninja hardly looked the type to do much more than crumple in reactance to her strong series of blows. She gets so much more, feeling the pressure upon her soaring feet and noting every collision without much to change the momentum - her only other choice would be to cut off the attack and fall with Eiji atop her. It seems she underestimated her opponent based on Rugal's claims of brutality.. and in doing so she leaves herself wide open, unravelling into a crouch once she feels the contact diminish and rising with her arms snapping to a guard in preparation for what comes next.

"Huh!" The tight gasp erupts from her throat even as the Strongest Woman in the World attempts to spin through the assaulting clones, making a swipe at one with a deft backhand only to find herself opened wide for the real shinobi to make his mark, blade sliding into flash with sickening ease. "Damn it..." she hisses out, breathless and giddy, and /almost/ falls over. At the last fraction of a moment her slump is reversed though, and with another gasp of pain she pulls herself free from the knife into a spinning motion that leads her to a closely drawn crouch.

Ironically seeming to bear Rugal's words in mind, the Tai Chi mistress hurls herslef up with a large effort, wrenching her open wound as the right leg snaps up to catch Eiji with a blow from the side to his chin. Hopefully he'll have a glass jaw, as there is no stopping there; when the first kick strikes it is followed by another as the force carries her new opponent into the air, a twist of the hip bringing an identical blow from the opposite leg. Travelling still higher, once more she swivels about to lash the leading leg forward once more - a final crack to the chin that comes accompanied with a vibrant flash of pale blue chi.

Stoic and determined, lost in a desperate focus she must fight to maintain, Chun-Li backflips away after dealing the final of three punishing strikes, preparing herself to land gracefully despite the potentially rough landing. Her gaze might then travel to Dhalsim and Rugal... if the yogi can only cause the difficult Eiji has caused her, this might still be won.


COMBATSYS: Rugal blocks Dhalsim's Yoga Stream.

[                       \\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////               ]
Dhalsim          0/-------/----===|=------\-------\0             Eiji
[                       \\\\\\\  < >  ///////////                   ]
Chun-Li          0/-------/------=|===----\-------\0            Rugal

Ah. Rugal failed to mention that Eiji is also brutally, efficiently skilled in dealing with attacks, didn't he?
More's a pity!
Rugal has other things to attend to, however. He feels the crunch of bones as his knee strikes solidly into Dhalsim's chest, crushing and breaking the man's frail and weak frame. It's satisfying, to hear that sound. It makes Rugal laugh as his feet touch the floor and his Indian enemy goes flying. He doesn't even bother looking at Eiji and Chun-Li. He knows that the woman likely went in there as arrogantly as HE had done when he tested the man, and is likely feeling the mistake for it. Thus, when he lands once more, he keeps his gaze focused on Dhalsim. This man is freakish, he has surmized, as he watches Dhalsim slowly recover. This man is a freak... but it doesn't matter. If he's strong, all is well.
"Get up faster, old man. I don't have time for dramatics. Either attack me, or don't." Despite the irritation evident in his voice, he smiles. He is amused, truly, at the other man's antics. Even though he knows, it's only a matter of time... before those unique tendencies of Dhalsim's fall through to the pain he must be feeling. Not yet though, is it? "Show me your power." No. Not yet. Which is all too evident from the man's puffing lungs.
His legs spread out. His flesh is sent alight with orange and yellow hues as from Dhalsim's mouth bellows an unnatural amount of flames. "A circus performer, I see." One hand flexes, clenches into a fist. Muscles tense, and suddenly - Rugal moves forward at breakneck speed, charging DIRECTLY into that gout of flames. Orange-yellow tongues of the inferno reflect in his good eye as he thrusts forward a single hand. In a stunning display of power, Rugal CHARGES through the flames, with naught but a few singes on his body as that single fist carries through, striking with a sudden, downward motion towards Dhalsim's unfortunate skull.

COMBATSYS: Dhalsim dodges Rugal's Medium Punch.

[                       \\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////               ]
Dhalsim          0/-------/----===|=------\-------\0             Eiji
[                       \\\\\\\  < >  ///////////                   ]
Chun-Li          0/-------/------=|===----\-------\0            Rugal

It's still not especially that Dhalsim doesn't /want/ to respond. In truth, were he in a better state, he would see fit to inform Rugal of his eventual downfall. Now facing the man's wrath, his pleasure in causing such pain is more than evident; it presses against his psyche. He knows he's dangerous, and he's only faced against him for a few seconds now. That single attack was horrible, and who knows how much more punishment he's able to dish out? He SEEMS to be in good shape, despite the beatings that poor Chun-Li has given him.
Now, it's obviously a struggle for survival. While not afraid of death, Dhalsim simply has too much to do. As he said, people are depending on he and his partner's victory. Pushing back with his hands, his feet dig into the earth and he ends up squatting, the skulls of his necklace clattering just out of harm's way. There's a passing expression of pain due to his chest as he moves, but its importance is shoved back again, surely astounding people with his sheer tenacity. His leap sends him slightly backwards, turning making a half-turn in the process. At the very apex of the jump, his right leg swings out and, as it does so, extends like rubber. The attack seems quick, rushed, as if he can only afford the focus to stretch the limits of his body for short periods now.

COMBATSYS: Eiji endures Chun-Li's Hazan Tenshou Kyaku.

[                       \\\\\\\  < >  ////////                      ]
Dhalsim          0/-------/------=|======-\-------\0             Eiji
[                       \\\\\\\  < >  ///////////                   ]
Chun-Li          0/-------/------=|===----\-------\0            Rugal

Pulling back the ninja chuckles low as he raises his blood covered hand and show it to Chun-Li. Too bad she didn't scream like he had hope she would. Then again he does not really expect a woman of her stature to give in to fear so easily. Even as she comes in to strike him the ninja is still chuckling right till that blow connects with his chin. Each blow she throws at the ninja lands solidly on him and sends his rather lifeless body through the air and to land in a heap. It was probably best he avoided taking the full brunt of that attack. The first punch was enough to cause him to switch out early and let the rather solid feeling copy of himself take the rest. Even then the clone fades away into nothing and a swirl of smoke starts to appear behind the woman.
"Very good. You deserve the title you have. But how long can you keep this up?" he muses as he leans in to whisper into her ear. HIs hand reaches out to seek the already wounded side of the woman and he then tries to clamp his hand down hard in it. "How long till I hear you beg for mercy?" If he can get a firm grip he just latches his hand on tight and starts twisting about in an attempt to open that wound even more and spill more blood across the ground.

COMBATSYS: Chun-Li dodges Eiji's Strong Punch.

[                       \\\\\\\  < >  /////////                     ]
Dhalsim          0/-------/------=|======-\-------\0             Eiji
[                       \\\\\\\  < >  ///////////                   ]
Chun-Li          0/-------/------=|===----\-------\0            Rugal

Chun-Li lands from her flight with only a soft grunt to express the stress rocketing through her heavily tested body. Both physically and mentally, the wear is beginning to take its toll upon both her tactical planning and her effectiveness - perhaps the signs are only slight, but they are certainly enough to make a difference. However. On rising to her feet only to hear that dread whisper in her ear, the Chinese woman only hesitates for the briefest of moments, waiting until Eiji's hand reaches for her wound. Barely able to draw breath, frozen with her eyes wide and staring into nothing before her, it takes the woman's full concentration to plan her intended motion.

...there. Bloody fingers touch the fresh slit but before any damage can be done the beauty suddenly breaks into a whirling pirouette, a slide of her right foot directing it enough to bring her around on Eiji's flank. Coming around facing away from him, she throws up her right hand - the wrist bearing that heavy spiked bracelet - and with a half-coherent kiai she /slams/ it around in a wide arc for the back of his head, sharp metallic points flying in to graze across the back of the man's skull. "SAAA!"

COMBATSYS: Rugal blocks Dhalsim's Strong Kick EX.

[                       \\\\\\\  < >  /////////                     ]
Dhalsim          0/-------/-----==|======-\-------\0             Eiji
[                       \\\\\\\  < >  //////////                    ]
Chun-Li          0/-------/------=|===----\-------\0            Rugal

For the sake of the people.
Such a pathetic excuse has never constituted victory.
There is hope, and then there is fact. Fact is, that Dhalsim's "hope" underestimated the skills of her enemy. And while she may not do so again, the first and only time was enough to send both Dhalsim and his partner into quite a downhill spiral. And while there is FRUSTRATION over the fact that he has failed to land his mark over some beaten, decrepit old man, Bernstein does not let this get to him overly much. In fact, he is quick to recover while Dhalsim... still seems to be attempting to sluggishly respond.
That attack is slow, despite the fact that Dhalsim seems intent on expecting it as fast as possible. As it stands, the wide, swinging, rubber-like leg is intercepted by Rugal's arm. It stings a little, but curiosity over Dhalsim's unusual abilities overrides that. "Fascinating!" That's all he offers, before he gives one, solid YANK on that extended leg, hoping to catch Dhalsim before the man can respond with a fierce upward punch delivered directly under the man's ribcage.

COMBATSYS: Rugal successfully hits Dhalsim with Scorpion Blow.

[                            \\  < >  /////////                     ]
Dhalsim          0/-------/-======|======-\-------\0             Eiji
[                       \\\\\\\  < >  /////////                     ]
Chun-Li          0/-------/------=|=====--\-------\0            Rugal

That was the straw that broke the camel's back, it seems. As he's currently in midair, he can't do anything to keep Bernstein from reversing his momentum. The offending hand meets little resistance; bones have by now shifted out of the way, and with the lack of bulky muscles to stop it, the fist not only knocks the wind out of him, but a small gout of blood as well. So beaten is he that the fist punctures his midsection, creating a horribly vicious fist-sized hold in his body and coating the hand in deep crimson. The yogi's head tilts back, mouth agape and eyes wide, but he can't yell out. His lungs try to pull in air, but they're only capable of short, ragged breaths, if anything at all.
Gurling and gasping, the tortured Dhalsim lifts his head, staring at the face of Rugal. The man's a monster through and through, quite likely the most vicious, horrible man he's met to date, and his attempts? Nearly futile, he feels. Coughing once, weakly, he swings his arms around, not to hit Rugal, but to stretch far behind him. His dirty, calloused hands grip a large, fallen brick of ancient hewn rock, and as his limbs retract, so does the weapon return. If it causes to Rugal to fall on him, or even if the vile monster uses him for a shield, he won't even realize it soon enough, as he's only barely on the outskirts of consciousness.

COMBATSYS: Dhalsim can no longer fight.

[                       \\\\\\\  < >  /////////                     ]
Chun-Li          0/-------/------=|======-\-------\0             Eiji
                                  >  /////////                     ]
                                 |=====--\-------\0            Rugal

COMBATSYS: Chun-Li successfully hits Eiji with Medium Punch.
- Power hit! -

[                       \\\\\\\  < >  ////                          ]
Chun-Li          0/-------/-----==|=======\==-----\1             Eiji
                                  >  /////////                     ]
                                 |=====--\-------\0            Rugal

Such an upsetting thing. She managed to avoid her organs being twisted by the ninja. It annoys him really to no end, but what can one do? He is standing back up fully as the powerful blow from the femme fighter slams into his head and sends his head swinging tot he side with his mask being torn and knocked away in the process. He staggers back a step but then regains hi composure as he touches the cuts across the side of his head. "Our blood mingles with one another now." he says as he grins some and even though he is hurting his adrenaline is running on high. This is a woman he will have to go after another time when he hasn't expended energy fighting someone else to begin with. "Well miss Chun-Li I believe we shall meet again. For now I leave this fight." he tells her as the reddish energy starts to surround him. The energy grows bright and envelopes him completely, and then.....BOOM! That energy all explodes in several sharp blades that sling forward towards the Chinese girl in an attempt to cut her down.
Among the structure of the arena Eiji sits crouched some with hands resting on his knees and eyes fixated on who is left standing. The old man seems to be done as well and Rugal still stands for now. The result to Eiji is moot point now. He is done for now and he stands up fully to head off to nurst his wounds and prepare for the next time he gets to run into Chun-Li.

COMBATSYS: Eiji can no longer fight.

[                       \\\\\\\  < >  /////////                     ]
Chun-Li          0/-------/-----==|=====--\-------\0            Rugal

COMBATSYS: Eiji successfully hits Chun-Li with Steel Wave Slasher.
Glancing Blow

[                         \\\\\  < >  /////////                     ]
Chun-Li          0/-------/----===|=====--\-------\0            Rugal

Whump. As her braceleted backhand strikes and draws a slick of blood forth upon steel tips, the Strongest Woman in the World staggers a little, knees buckling beneath her, teeth gritting with determination to remain standing. Just the force of such a strike hitting has almost toppled her once more, but with a fierce glint in her eye she meets the mysterious shinobi's gaze as he directs his attention toward her. The words bring forth a bitter half-smile, one side of Chun-Li's mouth twitching upward in confused response. "...very well..." This comes equally unbidden, the barest murmur coming forth as acknowledgement of Eiji's promise.

Suddenly the situation comes down hard upon her conscious mind, and with a jarring shock the woman bolts up straight, lowering her arm at last and backpedalling frantically from the aura around her fallen opponent. "Hah!" It's a desperate exclamation as she whips her lithe form back into a series of flips, handspringing off the blood-spattered dirt to come around at the edge of the attack, breathing hard. Breath which stops with a gasp on sudden contact of an errant shard, the projectile weapon digging deep into her side and causing her to once more stagger, a hand going to wrench the blade free. Staring at it for a moment, Chun-Li lets it tumble from her fingers and turns blearily to look about the battlefield.

"/Rugal/." Falling like lead from her lips, one name comes to mind even through the bloodshot haze she now calls vision, the last glint of resolve in her dark brown eyes voicing an intent ot go down with one final warcry. "BERNSTEIN! THIS.. ISN'T.. OVER!" Screaming louder with each pace forward, it's with a shaky lack of grace that she bends at the waist, both hands going out to propel her into a less-than-perfect handstand. "...spinningbirdkick!..." Weak indeed, but somehow - somehow - the Tai Chi mistress digs deep and with a coughing choke she spins her form into a sidelong rotation, a final reservoir of energy pushing her forward into a third whirlpool of punishment.'s slow, telegraphed and predictable. But what else does have left?


COMBATSYS: Chun-Li can no longer fight.

                                  >  /////////                     ]
                                 |=====--\-------\0            Rugal

[OOC] Chun-Li says, "Blind dodges, Ruggles!"

[OOC] Chun-Li says, "No looking. o.-"

COMBATSYS: Rugal dodges Dhalsim's Random Weapon.

                                  >  /////////                     ]
                                 |=====--\-------\0            Rugal

COMBATSYS: Rugal blocks Chun-Li's Spinning Bird Kick.

                                  >  ////////                      ]
                                 |======-\-------\0            Rugal

What else does she have left?
Blood soaks Rugal's hand as his final strike against Dhalsim hits home. As his hand slowly withdraws, he stares at it. His eyes do not blink. He stares at his hand as dark red drips from his fingertips, splattering on the ground below. He stares. He stares, and slowly... his eyes close. Not out of horror, no. Because those lips of Rugal's draw out in a thin, inhuman smile, more monster than man. "... Heh. Hehehe." And he /laughs./
It's not an evil laugh, of course, in the traditional sense. Rather, the laughter that mocks Dhalsim, even as the man's hands reach behind Bernstein, is one of sheer HUMOR. Sheer amusement and elation over the ENTIRE situation. "THIS... /THIS/... is too funny!" That brick is grabbed, limbs retract, but Rugal doesn't even seem to notice in the SLIGHTEST. Not until the last moment, at least, as his eyes open. His laughter dies. His stare towards Dhalsim is harsh, condescending. "What do you think you're trying to do?"
A casual dip of his head brings that large slab of rock sailing over R's leader, towards Dhalsim's own face.
He dusts off his military fatigues. It's a casual movement, as he steps away from his fallen enemy, his gaze instead returning to his first enemy of his fight. His true enemy of this fight. "Ah! Chun-Li." He turns, hands shoving in his pockets as he walks towards her with a calm stride, each step sealing her inevitable end. "I see you made the mistake of underestimating Mr. Kisaragi. For being someone who seems to desire to do good, you certainly are arrogant, aren't you!" His chuckle is good natured, but dies off quickly enough. Mainly because of her words:
"On the contrary..."
That is the third time she has used this attack today. And for her efforts, Rugal raises a single hand, snapping it forward to CATCH one of those feet with narrowed eyes and a frown.
"... It IS over."
One, single movement intends to send Chun-Li flying towards Dhalsim, so she can see the sad state of her new friend, with the release of Rugal's grip. "You still do not understand! You are NOTHING to me." He's hurting, to be sure. But this... this adrenaline... is MORE than enough to keep him from realizing that. "And you will never succeed. Give up."

Chun-Li lands beside the unconscious yogi with a hiss of agony, her bruises, gashes and that one vicious stab wound - along with the prickling warmth of chi scalding - all conspiring at once to finally drag her under into blackness. Compassion glows within her red-spattered eyes as they alight on Dhalsim, but she turns away with a hard swallow, looking toward Rugal. Her mouth twists into a scowl and with what seems some great extension of effort she manages some parting words, "One day... you'll see… ngh..." Her eyelids flutter to cover her gaze completely and the woman's head drops the short distance to the dirt floor, her body noticeably falling limp a half-second later.

One day? He'll see?

Maybe. But today he'll be proven right for the second time running...

It has been a good day for evil.

COMBATSYS: Rugal has ended the fight here.

Log created by Eiji, and last modified on 05:36:46 12/12/2005.