Neo League 326 - #347: Riko vs Tran

Description: Subway violence. You know how it goes. Especially at rush hour. Trains are packed, people are stressed. You can hardly breathe. Tempers flare. It's such an enclosed space, so many things can go wrong. Especially if your name's Riko. Or Tran. (Winner: Riko)

Normally it's really hard to find an empty subway car during rush hour. Really hard. Actually impossible. Especially in Metro City. Considering how packed trains usually get around here, the proverbial sardine have an empty car? Pfft. Ridiculous. Unheard of.

Not even if there's a bleeding corpse lying in the aisle or something. He'll just have to shove over like every /other/ commuter.

The Metro Subway is hardcore, man.

But today, today...there's an empty car on the train. Actually, there's more than one vacant car. Actually... the whole train's empty. Completely vacant - except for two passengers. Just two.

You see, this train's been chartered by the Neo League.

Up in front, the train driver very carefully keeps his machine on an even keel... and idly wonders exactly /what/ prompted him to volunteer for this. Hopefully those fighters won't blow up the whole damn train... that's impossible... right?


Probably right, anyway. Of course, one of the fighters in question is Riko Koganei. Who's still kinda-sorta wanted for questioning by Scotland Yard, after that whole explosive demolition of a bridge in London and everything. But that was just a misunderstanding, honest.

Riko stands at one end of the central subway car. She rocks back and forth, the wheels of her in-line skates rolling against the floor. Finally, she clapses a hand round one of the poles intended for commuter stability...and stretches a little.

Preparations complete, she hops back, then grins at her opponent. Folding her arms across her chest, just underneath the slogan printed across her torso:-


There is no place on earth too hardcore for Dr. Tran. From the deepest trenches in the ocean to the highest mountain peaks, from the brutal frigid northlands Dr. Tran's own kitchen! Believe me, if you'd ever been there, you would know what a frightening place it is. Right up there with being in the heart of an erupting volcano.

In comparison to this, the Metro Subway is nothing. NOTHING. Tran's caused incidental property damage to way more expensive and dangerous things than it! Also maybe a couple of things that less expensive and dangerous. Like, a lot of them. He even paid for most of a few of them!

In any case, the man himself is standing opposite in the train car from Riko, looking none to pleased. You see, he's been presented a terrible dilemma by his small opponent's t-shirt. On the one hand, nothing defies Dr. Tran and lives, especially if it gives him the opportunity to take his revenge on all of teenage girl-kind. On the other hand, destroying the t-shirt may have terrible, terrible consequences, striking a deadly blow against his psyche.

Unable to find an easy answer, Tran folds his arms across his chest and stares at Riko. "Alright. I guess I'll just have to wing it! Come on, then!"

"Improv's cool," Riko quips, grinning from ear to ear.

With one hand, she produces a stick of gum, pops it in her mouth, then throws the wrapper over her shoulder.

Her other hand drops to her waist, and the iPod clipped to her shorts. She flicks her fingers across the player. The screen lights up. Music begins blaring from the headphones looped round her neck. She doesn't actually have them over her ears... but the volume's so loud they crank out music anyway. Like miniature speakers.

"But the best kind of improv..."

In a sudden, fluid motion, Riko drops to the floor of the subway car. One foot slashes out. The hard plates of her skate crash into the pole she was hanging off a moment ago, one of the vertical steel tubes to help commuters stay on their feet. Riko, though, she's got other plans. Like breaking it completely free of its mountings. And catching the thing as it falls.

She grips the metal rod near the end. Twirls it round. Stabs it at Tran. Like a spear.


COMBATSYS: Riko has started a fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Riko             0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Tran has joined the fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Riko             0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Tran

COMBATSYS: Tran blocks Riko's Improvised Tactics.

[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////////  ]
Riko             0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Tran

Scowling in an effort to offset Riko's good cheer, Tran takes a step forward, meeting the ninja's charge head-on. "I've already got a plan!" He barks out a quick laugh, and then rams his palm into the end of the pole as it strikes toward him. It hurts, but Tran grits his teeth and closes his hand around it, getting a firm grip.

The doctor yanks it toward himself in an effort to send Riko off-balance, and at the same time perhaps lending some momentum the following blow, a quick hook aimed at the side of the girl ninja's head. "WIN!"

COMBATSYS: Riko dodges Tran's Quick Punch.

[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////////  ]
Riko             0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Tran

"Good for you!"

Riko's retort is bright, clear...with only the -faintest- trace of sarcasm.

She keeps grinning, even as Tran grabs her makeshift weapon and -pulls- her off her feet. But this doesn't seem to perturb Riko. Not in the slightest. With amazing agility, she twirls round the steel rod like a gymnast on a bar. Tran's punch misses her...

...and one of her feet comes up as she continues her spin, skate-clad heel heading towards the doctor's skull.

COMBATSYS: Tran fails to interrupt Light Kick from Riko with Random Weapon.

[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////    ]
Riko             0/-------/-------|==-----\-------\0             Tran

This girl is fast, there's no doubt. Agile, too, looking at the way she goes around the rod. However, Dr. Tran has a cure for that! Spinning around the other way, rod still held in his hand, Dr. Tran attempts to clock Riko but good, right in the whatever the hell he can manage to hit.

The fatal flaw in this plan would be the fact that by the time he gets kicked in the head, he's only spun about halfway around. Staggering away a couple of steps, Tran steadies himself on his pole. He reaches up to rub his head with the other. "Hrmph..."

"Hmph yourself," Riko shoots back. She touches down atop one of the subway car's seats, crouched like some kind of teenage ghetto gargoyle.

She narrows her eyes, her gaze riveted on the torn-off pole resting in Tran's hands. In a faux whine, Riko complains, "No fair, that was -MY- weapon. You STOLE /my weapon/."

Riko jerks her head in a shake, just as the music pulsing from her headphones hits a particularly discordant riff.

She looks petulant. Pouting. Almost sulking. Which is the point, really. Appearances are important in this game. Keeps the enemy from noticing what you're really up to.


COMBATSYS: Riko gathers her will.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////    ]
Riko             0/-------/--=====|==-----\-------\0             Tran

For the first time, Tran grins. He turns around, staring Riko right in the eyes. That alone probably won't be very effective, though, on account of how Tran's gaze doesn't instantly kill those it falls upon. YET.

"Oh, I'm sorry, little girl. I didn't realize it was so important to you." Flipping it up into the air once or twice, the doctor swings it around to point at Riko. "That being the case, though..."

Tran rears back and flings the bar around, sending it whirling sideways through the air. "Have it back!"

COMBATSYS: Riko blocks Tran's Large Thrown Object.

[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////////     ]
Riko             0/-------/=======|==-----\-------\0             Tran

A solid CLANG, echoing through the train car. As the steel bar collides with Riko's forearm. She winces. That hurt. It'll leave a bruise.

But that's better than the alternative, considering if she /hadn't/ blocked...well, better an injured arm than an injured face.

Moving swiftly, she catches the pole as it falls. Then whips it up and around, twisting it with as much flourish as she can muster in the close confines of the train car.

Riko remains crouched on the back of the seat, striking a dramatic pose. The polished steel of her improvised weapon glitters in the bright light of the train car - the kind of harsh white flourescent illumination unique to subways.

"You know," she drawls, "just what women want, huh?"

As she speaks, Riko quite deliberately /chews/, working her gum round the inside of her mouth. Very important to keep a cool and minty state of mind. Yeah, Riko's cool. She's in control. That's what she tells herself anyway. While watching Tran like a hawk.

COMBATSYS: Riko focuses on her next action.

[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////////     ]
Riko             0/-------/=======|==-----\-------\0             Tran

As if he gets asked this all the time, perhaps as often as several times a day, Tran notes, "Women are crazy for me."

He pauses, unsure of where, exactly, to go from here. So soon, and already such an awkward lull in the action. "So, uh..." Tran scratches his head, and then leans against one of the still-intact poles. "Give up yet?"

COMBATSYS: Tran gains composure.

[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////////  ]
Riko             0/-------/=======|=------\-------\0             Tran

Riko purses her lips, flicks her tongue, and blows a little bubble of gum.

Yeah, Riko thinks, this Dr. Tran guy's a confident son-of-a-female dog. Ego the size of a Freudian theory. He's definitely mocking her. But that's okay. Since she's mocking him too.

All's fair. This is war.

"Nah," Riko replies, "I'm just crazy."

She moves. Leaping off the chair and towards Tran. The metal rod flashing out before her, as she drives it like a lance.

The rapid beat of an electronica track pulses from her headphones, a compliment to the rhythm of her motion. Which is to

COMBATSYS: Tran interrupts Fierce Strike from Riko with Quick Punch.

[       \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////////     ]
Riko             1/------=/=======|===----\-------\0             Tran

"Huh. Too bad." Calmly watching as Riko prepares herself and then charges at him again, you'd think the doctor doesn't have a care in the world. Why, it's as though a child is attacking him! Because, of course, that's sooooo far off the mark.

Still, it doesn't take a lot to turn to a sturdy metal rod into a threat, so Tran really should probably do something here. When Riko's latest attempt at impaling him with the rod seems like it's inevitably going to hit home, Tran shifts his weight and falls off of the pole he was leaning on. While he still gets pegged in the shoulder, the force only serves to spin him around fast enough to slam his fist into Riko's ribcage.

Quickly using his other hand to shove off from the pole, Tran crashes lightly into the wall, not nearly hard enough to hurt. Looking fairly at ease, he replaces his grin, temporarily lost in the moment of effort it took to punch Riko. "Alright, how about now?"

"Still crazy," Riko gasps, between breaths. She clutches the pole with one hand, half-kneeling on the train car floor. Where she landed in the wake of Tran's interception. Her other hand clutches her side, massaging her abused ribs.

"And MAD!"

Springing to her feet, Riko skates forward. But well before she reaches Tran, she slams the metal rod into the flooring. Scraping it all the way back to vertical - precisely its original orientation. Then she swings to the side. Running up a seat, onto a window. Up the side of the train car...

That's when the steel pole flickers blue.

And so do the wheels on Riko's skates.

Abruptly, she /accelerates/, completing the circle. Racing in a high-velocity spin-kick.

COMBATSYS: Tran blocks Riko's One Hit Wonder.

[      \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////       ]
Riko             1/------=/=======|====---\-------\0             Tran

"Temper problems, eh?" Tran, of course, is perfectly qualified to diagnose such things, being a doctor who has never lost his temper in his life. Ever. Really. "You should really get some therapy for that, I know a-" Tran cuts off briefly as Riko comes at him quite a bit sooner than he expected - that speed boost can really throw a guy off. He barely manages to get his hands up, taking the kick on his forearm. The impact knocks him back a step or two, but then he's quick to recover. Taking another step or two back, he coughs.
"As I was saying, I know a guy." Tran watches Riko, waiting for a response. Of course, he's also watching for certain other key actions, but Riko doesn't have to know that.

COMBATSYS: Tran focuses on his next action.

[      \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////       ]
Riko             1/------=/=======|====---\-------\0             Tran

Ah, but who watches the watcher?

Riko touches down lightly, in the car's centre aisle. She eyes Tran.

Flickers of blue chi dance up and down the metal rod in her hand. A faint smell of ozone wafts into the air, as molecules ionize, shift...

Riko grins. "Know 'im? Biblically?"

The electricity builds, reaching fever pitch. She thrusts the rod... it /explodes with light/...

A lot of light. An amazing amount of acrid blue light.

Before it fades, there's a clatter of metal as the pole hits the ground. Not an attack, not one at all. Just the distraction.

The real attack comes from above Tran. From where Riko's clinging to the roof of the train, hands clutching one of those straps. Kicking down, wheeled feet descending.

COMBATSYS: Tran interrupts Improvised Tactics EX from Riko with Large Thrown Object.

[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////          ]
Riko             1/---====/=======|=====--\-------\0             Tran

There a lot of choices here, paths for Dr. Tran to take. Observing the energy coursing through Riko's rod, the man reflects for only a few moments, before deciding to save his unique brand of fireworks for later. Instead...instead, it may well be time to go for style over substance. If she wants to attack him with the rod, he'll respond in kind!

Just as the blinding blue light washes over the subway car, Tran turns to rip another rod straight off of its base. It helps, a little, as one eye escapes most of the light. Luckily for him, it just happens to be enough to for him to spot Riko falling downward toward him.

The doctor's kneejerk reaction is to awkwardly turn and fling his pole straight upward. In this case, if one were to picture Riko as a projectile, then Tran's attack would be enough to slow her, but not stop her. He still gets knocked to the ground by the force of her impact, even if it's not quite the kind of impact she was expecting.

She really should have rigged that pole to self-destruct or something. The way Tran's turning her own impliment against her...well, it's getting really irritating.

That's what Riko thinks. Just as the thrown rod slams into her gut. Totally unprepared for it, the girl bounces -back up- from the sheer force of the impact, hitting the roof of the train car. Denting the steel.

Then she drops as gravity resumes command. Falling down towards Tran. Seemingly dazed, out of control.

Until she vanishes again, just before she's due to smack into the doctor. Vanishes in another burst of electric blue energy, a wave that washes over the train.

Except this blast isn't just pure light. This blast /stings/.

Riko skids in a rough crouch across the subway car, polyurethane wheels scraping against the flooring. Her aura sparking from the discharge.

COMBATSYS: Riko successfully hits Tran with Houdini.

[          \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////               ]
Riko             0/-------/-----==|=======\-------\1             Tran

Looking upward from his position on the floor, Tran grins. He could turn this right around on Riko, but he's having fun here, doing nothing but punching and otherwise getting all physical. In a way, he just wants to see if he's capable of it. Thus, his reponse is simple and completely foolhardy - he leaps upward, fist raised, preparing to uppercut Riko through the roof if neccesary. Except, uh, Riko's not there. Shit.
Exposed, the energy sweeps over the doctor, crackling and burning and blackening his clothes. Still, he lands on his feet, albeit unsteadily, before turning to find Riko again. "Alright, kid. I'm getting impatient, here, so let's finish this."
It seems he means it, because Tran is going all or nothing, charging at Riko and then whirling about, tilting back and driving his heel toward her in a massive donkey kick. It leaves him exposed and vulnerable, but that's a risk he'll just have to take.

COMBATSYS: Tran successfully hits Riko with Heavy Kick.

[                 \\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////                ]
Riko             0/-------/-======|=======\=------\1             Tran

...and, ow.

Feels like she's been hit by a jackhammer.

A pneumatic jackhammer. One of those construction jobs.

Riko's actually in a position to make that comparison. Since, y'know, she's been pounded by one of those things before. She's Seishirou's student, after all. And Seishirou has very strange ideas about constitutes training. Most of which violates the Geneva Convention.

But if anything, Tran's kick hurts /worse/ than the jackhammer.

Maybe she'll write a paper about that later. Relative blunt traumas and subjectivity thereof.

For now, Riko's too busy watching the world spin.

She hits the floor of the car. Rolls away.

The music blaring from her headphones was already fast. Now it becomes absolutely insane, blasting like a jet fighter with afterburners wide open, drumbeats crashing like full-auto gunfire.

All of a sudden, her eyes clear. Her awareness focusing to laser sharpness.

Riko lunges. Skating low to the ground, tackling.

COMBATSYS: Tran endures Riko's Riko Rocket.

[                  \\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////                  ]
Riko             0/-------/-======|=======\==-----\1             Tran

Twisting back around, withdrawing the mighty hammer that is his foot, Tran doesn't have a whole lot of time to ready himself for whatever Riko's got coming next. He chuckles, despite his battered and blackened body. "Get ready..." He's one to talk, since she comes in blazing like a, well, like a rocket.
Spreading his arms, Riko's low attack knocks his feet out from under Tran. He goes down flat on his face, palms slapping noisily against the floor. It's finally time for some real collateral damage. Without missing a moment from the time Tran goes down, a perfect circle around his fallen form, calling forth a massive burst of steam. It rises up with explosive force, actually going so far as to blow a hole in the roof the car.

COMBATSYS: Riko blocks Tran's -Q- is for Dr. Tran.

[                     \\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////                    ]
Riko             0/-------/=======|==-----\-------\0             Tran

Too fast.

Riko tries to dodge. She doesn't get clear in time. The most she can do is throw her arms up, shielding her head and eyes. Curling up to minimise the...



No, not Tran's sex appeal. The steam. That's scalding, that is.

Riko tumbles, landing in an ungainly fashion. Still on her feet, amazingly enough. But flinching. There's angry red welts on her arms and most other bits of exposed skin, as her flesh does a very good impression of a boiled lobster.


Riko sets her jaw. She snaps her gum, air bubbles popping as she chews.

"Thanks," she says, dryly, "for the warning."

Riko attacks, then. Sliding forward, skates spinning. Tran's still on the ground - so she's trying to grab hold of his lab coat and just haul him along the train car floor.

COMBATSYS: Tran interrupts Medium Throw from Riko with Thrown Object.

[                      \\\\\\\\  < >  ///////                       ]
Riko             1/------=/=======|===----\-------\0             Tran

"Hoo..." Feeling kind of beat up, Tran's hoping that Riko was put down for good after that last attack. The snap of bubble gum tells him otherwise. "It never ends, huh?"

He doesn't offer up much resistance to being grabbed, which leads to a few bumps and bruises as he's dragged along, but he hasn't given up by any stretch of the imagination.

Shifting even as he's moved, Tran winds up bouncing on his butt, a glasses case in his hand. Gotta keep those sunglasses somewhere, right? Well, hopefully the case does its job well, because the doctor sends it hurtling toward Riko, trying to make her let go.

Of course, with all that momentum, Tran can't keep his balance on his butt much longer, and end up rolling off to the side. "How about now?"

Yeah, Riko lets go. Involuntarily. The impact against her arm, that forces her fingers open. She recoils, leaping back, cradling her arm protectively. Wincing at the fresh injury.

Of all things, she observes, a glasses case. Huh. She's almost impressed by the move. She appreciates improvisation.

Riko doesn't let that show, though. She meets Tran's challenge with a carefully controlled look:

A bright and sunny grin.

Riko flips through the air - and lands, skates-first, on the outer edge of a doorway, one of the openings to the train car. Her wheels adhere to the wall, as if magnetized.

Maybe they are.

She goes up the side. Backwards. Until she's nearly hanging off the ceiling.

"Nope," she chirps, "never the end!"

There's an edge to her voice, though, even if it isn't on her face.

Then she reaches out.

You know those advertisements they have inside trains? The long rectangular panels near the roof, running the length of the car? Riko rips one free, spins it round. She drops from the ceiling, plunging the edge towards Tran's throat.

COMBATSYS: Riko successfully hits Tran with Chaos Tactics.

[                      \\\\\\\\  < >  ////                          ]
Riko             0/-------/------=|=====--\-------\0             Tran

Full of spite to the end, Tran takes the advertisement directly in the throat, staggering backwards. His grin grows wider. "Wrong." It comes out half-choked due to the temporary difficulty in getting air out of his lungs through his mouth, but it's still clear enough to be understood.
Keeling over backwards, it seems like Tran is done. There's just one thing he's got to take care of, first. Windmilling one arm around, Tran brings his palm upward toward Riko's chin. The kicker: a flat disc of chi laid neatly across it, dull and grey. Whatever happens afterward, Tran goes down flat on his back, just barely concious enough to note, "You know, you seem kinda...familiar."

THEN he passes out.

COMBATSYS: Tran can no longer fight.

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

COMBATSYS: Riko blocks Tran's Operation - Dr. Tran.

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

Flat disc of chi.

Flat rectangle of plastic advertising space.

It's the sort of clash that legends are made of.

Or maybe not. But the purloined sign -is- what Riko uses to intercept Tran's final strike. Using it as a makeshift shield. The shock shatters the ad board... but it's not like Riko's particularly attached to it. Better it than some portion of her anatomy. Something she's literally attached to.

Riko rolls back a few steps upon landing, then tilts her heels to engage the brakes. She stops, looking down at the unconscious Tran.

She shrugs.

"Maybe you've seen me on TV?"

At that point, Riko turns her head. Looks up, directly at one of the cameras hidden in the roof of the train car.


COMBATSYS: Riko has ended the fight here.

Log created by Riko, and last modified on 19:54:49 04/02/2007.