Neo League 326 - #329: Acacia vs Luise

Description: Acacia Gillespie makes her return to the Neo League circuit, fighting Luise Meyrink at Grand Central Station, proving her number-one ranking was not in error. (Winner: Acacia)

Unlike her previous Neo League experience, the situation Luise Meyrink finds herself in is something rather different than girl-meets-fighting-world. In fact, the result is more of a fluke than anything else. As the executor of Detlev Meyrink's estate and business affairs while he's presumed missing, Luise frequently finds it necessary to leave her new abode in Southtown and travel abroad. One of the brokers handling the family's age-old investments recently summoned the German woman to Metro City in order to discuss stock choices and the creation of the Detlev Meyrink Foundation... a little plan Luise has been cooking up on the side.

However, as perhaps a less stupid version of a wastrel heir, Luise had plenty of time to sightsee while she was in America's most bustling metropolis. A morning romp through the Gugenheim, a quick lunch at Sardi's, some strolling through Fifth Avenue boutiques... quite a full day. As she was about to stride into Grand Central to catch a train back to her hotel, the Dancing Butterfly's cell phone rang.

And thus did Luise -- perplexed at the Masters Foundation's ability to know her whereabouts in advance -- is currently sipping a frothy cappucino inside the large central area of the Station, glancing at the ceiling while the tall windows let in rectangular shafts of cold, spring sunshine. Apparently they wanted to take advantage of the opportunity and contacted another fighter currently in Metro to meet her.

That other fighter being Acacia Gillespie. Who has ample reason to be in Metro. She's been travelling a while, training, getting her head together. But in the end, she was raised in Metro. So it's no surprise that she's ended up here first, at the end of her wandering.

What -is- a surprise... is how the Masters people knew she'd be in the city. How they managed to have someone literally waiting at her doorstep, at the old shophouse she still owns in town. It's not like she -told- anyone of her travel plans.

Chalk that one up to eternal mysteries.

Acacia doesn't dwell on it, though.

She comes strolling down the stairs from street level, just another face in the commuter swirl. Not a terribly remarkable individual. A short girl, dressed in a battered green Army jacket, sturdy clothes, and heavy combat boots. She wanders into the station, drifting through the crowd...

...until she catches sight of the other girl, across the open space.

She smiles, faintly.

The League wants to kick up publicity with an unannounced fight, out in public? Fun idea. Least she can do is oblige...

Knowledge that there's a fight on the horizon has not exactly cleared out the already-busy Grand Central; if anything, it's brought more idlers and spectators into the space... and the mostly lasseiz-faire Masters Foundation people are doing their best to cordon off the area, expecting the arrival of Acacia any second. Metro citizens crowd around the slowly but steadily expanding circular space directly under the rotunda with its depiction of the starry sky, the same depiction Luise is staring at when Acacia spots her from across the room.

However, Luise Meyrink doesn't need to be looking at someone to know they're there. She has quickly come to recognize and appreciate the mental 'sense' of a fighter... the different ways their thought patterns, even on a simple level, act differently than those of other people. They are, in many ways, different from what she considers her own... more primal, though not in a bad way. Simply by being herself, Acacia reveals her presence to the Dancing Butterfly, who stands up from her seat and makes her way through the crowd towards Miss Gillespie.

When she can get close -- and it's not hard, as people seem to just naturally want to make way for Luise -- the pale blonde extends her hand in greeting, only the faintest hint of her formal German accent slipping into her voice. "You must be the... how'd they say it? 'Mystery fighter'." No question involved in the statement; that implies doubt.

Acacia meets the German's gaze with a level look, sizing her up. She just stands there. Long enough that it almost, almost, starts to be awkward... before raising her own arm, accepting the handshake. Her gloved hand and fingers wrap around Luise's. A firm grip. Not forceful, not painful, but strong.

"Mm," Acacia replies, a hint of bemusement in her eyes, "guess I am."

Unlike Luise's, hers is an intentionally noncommital answer.

And then Luise arm-wrestled Acacia to the ground. In pudding.


The German woman's handshake isn't exactly powerful -- a trained fighter like Acacia can tell that Luise is no physical powerhouse -- it does have a certain... bearing to it. She doesn't hold it long, just enough to make sure the gesture is acknowledged (or at least recognized) before backing off toward the circle and turning to her opponent. "I must say, I'm meeting some interesting people in this 'Neo League'," she offers, trying to make conversation. Something in Acacia's demeanor reminds her of her last Neo League opponent... the girl who didn't earn the title 'Silent Assassin' with her eloquent performance on the Gedo debate team.

Instead, Luise simply allows a proper amount of time for Acacia to get into position, and then nods her head at the officials. "Well then... the best of luck to you. Let's give them a good show." And with that, the Dancing Butterfly gets into stance, leaning her torso back somewhat and... floating? Perhaps it's an optical illusion, but the points of the woman's toes seem to be just off the ground. Maybe it's the flicker of blue light, or the refraction of the sun off the blue-silver butterfly ornaments she wears. Yeah, that's the ticket.

COMBATSYS: Luise has started a fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Luise            0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Acacia has joined the fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Acacia           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0            Luise

Another fighter might speculate on this. Try to analyze exactly what Luise is doing. Try to dissect her strange stance, her technique...

Acacia just watches, with an impassive expression. Across from the other girl, across the space in the station, she adopts her own ready pose. A far simpler thing that Luise's. Feet apart, bent slightly at the knees. Arms raised, fingers loosely curled, a guard position.

"Good luck," she says. Then she waits. Seemingly on the defensive.

Though when the League announcer, standing in the crowd, calls the start of the match...

...Acacia -moves-, lunging forward, flowing from her stance into a headalong rush, one fist slamming forward like a piston.

COMBATSYS: Luise blocks Acacia's Quick Punch.

[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////////  ]
Acacia           0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0            Luise

It's not the speed of Acacia's attack that takes Luise by surprise. She's actually quite used to young female fighters being fairly fast on the draw. However, most don't deliver that sort of punishing strength with a mere jab, either. Twisting her arms, the Dancing Butterfly puts both hands up palm-out, one behind the other, absorbing the blow of Acacia's fist with a wince of pain. "Not bad," she compliments sincerely.

Hoping to take advantage of being in close quarters already, Luise doesn't waste any time counterattacking; instead, she lets one hand drop and snaps out the other for Acacia's shoulder or shirt collar, whichever she can get purchase on. If she manages to do so, Luise suddenly twists and sweeps her hand around, using Psycho Power to invert the girl into a dizzying horizontal spiral that should leave her on the floor, flickers of deep blue light dancing around her in the process.

COMBATSYS: Acacia counters Helix Prelude from Luise with Icon of Stone.

[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Acacia           0/-------/-----==|====---\-------\0            Luise

Acacia's eyes widen, fractionally, as she's swept off her feet, thrown into a dizzying spin. The world blurs, washed away in blue light ...

But she fights the disorientation. Instinctively, she reacts. She summons her own power, throwing chi into her body, suffusing her form and muscles. She falls, yes. But as she does, she -lashes- out, slamming a rock-hard forearm into Luise.

When Acacia hits the ground, she does so in a controlled roll, rising in a tight crouch. Watching Luise warily.

Hmm. A dance partner that doesn't want to dance... not Luise's cup of tea. She oofs, exhaling sharply at the sudden reversal, but she's not floored by the blow just yet. Still, that did sting quite a lot... taking physical attacks has never been the Dancing Butterfly's forte, after all. She decides not to press the attack right away, watching Acacia carefully for a moment, trying to get back into the rhythm of the fight... and trying to get a read -- physically and otherwise -- on the stoic Gedo student's state of mind.

COMBATSYS: Luise focuses on her next action.

[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Acacia           0/-------/-----==|====---\-------\0            Luise

Acacia meets Luise's eyes. She can feel the other girl studying her. Trying to find a flaw in her technique. Trying to break it down.

A faint smile crosses Acacia's lips. Just a tiny one. A faint twitch of the lip. She can understand -that-.

For her own part, she isn't subjecting Luise to the same scrutiny. She's no combat genius. She's far more reactive than proactive. She's got a few suspicions with regards to Luise's style, some guesses... but they're not important right now.

No, now's not the time to think.

She presses the attack. Springing out of her crouch, charging forward. Arms set in a tackle - not to cause damage with the impact, but to knock Luise off-balance.

COMBATSYS: Acacia successfully hits Luise with Quick Throw.

[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////            ]
Acacia           0/-------/-----==|======-\-------\0            Luise

Perhaps Luise should have studied a little harder. Acacia smacks into the lightweight German woman with some force; only Luise's impressive agility turns what could have been much worse into something managable at the last second. Still, it's not enough to eliminate the damage, just to keep it from having any unpleasant complications. Drifting back a step, the Dancing Butterfly bites her lip. This could be going better.

But if offensive isn't going to work, then one must shift strategy. Throwing caution to the wind, the pale blonde sweeps forward, hoping to catch Acacia by surprise while she's still recovering, and does a little dancing of her own, attempting to catch the younger girl's arm, then spin and deliver a kick to the back of her shoulders before spinning away. Beautiful if it works, one supposes...

COMBATSYS: Luise successfully hits Acacia with Light Kick.
- Power hit! -

[    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////            ]
Acacia           0/-------/----===|======-\-------\0            Luise

Acacia stumbles forward, nearly driven off her feet by the powerful impact to her back. An involuntary hiss escapes her lungs. She sways, almost falling, before recovering her balance. Barely. She wasn't expecting that. This woman is fast, agile. More graceful than she'll ever be.

Her boot soles dig into the platform flooring. Acacia spins round, trying to track her opponent. Where -is- she? She eyes the circle of spectators, the station architecture...


Instead of rushing, Acacia raises a heel. And slams it down. Out of deference to the Metro Transit Authority, she doesn't do this as powerfully as she usually does. And out of concern for the spectators, the effect doesn't travel as far as normal.

But travel it does, as the chi-fueled shockwave ripples out at ground level, radiating from Acacia's position to where Luise stands.

COMBATSYS: Luise fails to reflect Mass Breaker from Acacia with Treacherous Ballad.

[     \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////                   ]
Acacia           0/-------/-======|=======\=------\1            Luise

Well, that's not good at all.

She can *sense* the power coming in her direction, even if she can't see it -- even without her unique powers, that would be possible -- but apparently being able to sense it isn't enough. Luise's fingers begin to move in a circle, the manicured nails trailing blue light, just as the shockwave breaks, sending the light (and floating) Butterfly sailing back; only quick thinking saves her from spiralling out of the circle and into the crowd. Grimacing, she grips her arm. Some annoyance is to be expected at this sort of situation, but she's trying to keep her spirits up. "At least someone's putting in a good performance today," she says, without rancor.

Acacia shrugs her shoulders, philosophically. "Sorry," she says. She isn't mocking the German woman, just acknowledging the point. Acacia means what she says, but it's hardly an eloquent apology.

No. -That- kind of apology would be an insult.

One heartbeat, two, and then she runs at Luise. At the last moment, she thrusts with one denim-clad knee, aiming it at the German's midsection.

COMBATSYS: Luise endures Acacia's Light Kick.

[    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////                        ]
Acacia           0/-------/=======|=======\====---\1            Luise

Luise knows that this fight is pretty much lost, at least in terms of who's going to be on the mat at the end and who isn't. However, to the pale German fighter, that's only one dimension of the fight. The other is the performance... and while she may be losing in straight-out blow by blow, in performance she's not about to be outdone. When Acacia comes in to kick her, the psychic doesn't bother to move her body; instead, she waits for the blow to land and grips the Gedo student's leg, holding it fast. "No apology necessary. But you should be aware that a flower can be at its most beautiful even in the last moments of its life."

And even as she says this, eight small globes, translucent and glass-like in appearance, appear around Luise and Acacia both, ringing them perfectly. "Let me reward your efforts with this final symphony!" The rest happens in the blink of an eye, the eight orbs suddenly causing a massive spiral of white light -- as if drawn down from the stars themselves -- to lash out and envelop Acacia, pure Psycho Power in a blinding display of Luise's true power. Back arched, eyes closed, all Luise herself can manage is to murmur, quietly, "Ah... the light..."

COMBATSYS: Acacia Toughs Out Luise's Overture to Farewell!

[         \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////                        ]
Acacia           1/------=/=======|=------\-------\0            Luise

Yeah. The light.

It's blinding. Powerful. Worse yet, with energy at -this- intensity, Acacia can just barely recognise it. Not chi... at least not -normal- chi. Something like what her friend and teammate Megumi does.

Acacia's eyes close into slits, as the wave of power envelops her form. Throwing her jacket back, whipping her hair into disarray. It HURTS...

But she stays upright, she doesn't fall. Focusing all of her -own- energies into defense. She even manages to take a step forward. Then two...

...then as the light fades, she's -running-, almost on top of Luise, one forearm thrust forward, a solid bar of bone.

COMBATSYS: Acacia successfully hits Luise with Stonewall.

[         \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /                             ]
Acacia           0/-------/------=|====---\-------\0            Luise

The last thing that flits through Luise's mind, before the point of impact, is that there is something... not quite right about Acacia. It's not that she thinks of the girl as bad -- far from it, it's almost impossible to think of her as ANYTHING -- but instead that there is an unsettling mental vibe, hiding just below the surface... and that Acacia has striven so hard to better herself and to perform so well because of it. Perhaps, like the reviewing of one's life before death, the immediacy of the *danger* is what gives her the momentary flash of insight.

It's all over in an instant, the blow sending an exhausted Luise spiralling back into a newsstand with a loud crash, spectators scattering to get out of the way. One drawback of that floating thing... when someone applies force, you get bonus momentum.

When the proverbial smoke clears, the Dancing Butterfly is on both knees, hands clutching at her stomach. The fight is very clearly over, though the ref is looking a bit confused. However, when Luise looks up at Acacia, it is with a faint smile... though there is something sad in the expression as well. "Nicely done. Let's... let's meet again sometime. Just not in this setting. And..."

The woman's body is suddenly enclosed in a glittering sphere of deep blue light, like the midnight sky, masking her from sight. "...Congratulations." The sphere then disappears, and the woman with it.


It's not often that Acacia's drawn up short. Not often that she gives startled exclamations like that, even if what she said was terribly understated by the standards of shock. She blinks, then shakes her head slightly, surprised at being...suddenly alone on the dueling floor.

She barely notices, as the League announcer gets on the subway station's public announcement system, calling her name as the winner. She remembers to nod vaguely at the crowd. But she isn't really -there-. Her eyes return to the spot where Luise vanished.

"Hn," Acacia muses.


Log created by Luise, and last modified on 06:14:35 03/19/2007.