Neo League 351 - #372: Acacia vs Shermie

Description: Shermie learns why you do not go and pick the person with the most points in the league to fight on a whim. (Winner: Acacia)

So - you want to get better. You /need/ to get better. What do you do? How do you handle that burning desire in your blood that says 'this is something you'll excel at, if you try'? How do you feed its insistent call over and over, without going crazy?

You push yourself to your limits.

This fight was planned out - Shermie had sent the invitation to the Neo League's leader, Acacia. She knew it would be a tough fight, but she planned on excelling at it, and taking those points for her own. The fact that Acacia wasn't still in the lead when they actually fought isn't really upsetting her - the fact that the girl she's going to fight /was/ the top is enough for her right now.

She waits at the arena, making sure her gloves and jacket are seated right - this time, she's focused and determined, and this isn't a joke for her in the least. No matter what displays she may have made on Saturday Night Fights, tonight she is going to prove them all wrong.

And maybe silence the howling in the back of her head, urging her on.

There's a down side to being the fastest gun in the West. It means every punk looking to prove something is gonna come after you.


That's what some might think, though. They might feel pride. They might feel irritation.

Acacia, though? That doesn't bother her. Those thoughts don't cross her mind at all. She's curious about Shermie's motivations. Of course she is. But she only cares insofar might give her an insight to the other fighter.

Because it's the fight that matters. Not the league table. Not the points. If it were, she'd have never agreed to fight Sakura. Not in the way she did, anyway. And she'd be resenting her old friend for knocking her from the league's top spot. But she isn't. Because she doesn't.

It's just the fight that matters.

Acacia steps into the arena floor, entering from one of the stadium's tunnels. The door seals up behind her as she makes her appearance. Overhead, the crowd cheers, the announcer shouts her name. Acacia, though, doesn't pay that any heed. Her footfalls are soft, soundless against the soil and grass. She walks through the forested area of the arena. The green camo patterns of her jacket blending into the trees. A purposeful tread.

She stops. Watching Shermie. Waiting.

Shermie doesn't say much as she watches Acacia enter from the forested area - her own stance in the sand letting the water lap at her feet. There's a long moment as she studies the girl, hair hiding her eyes and perhaps her emotions and motives as well. From arms folded in front of her, she slowly turns and holds out her arms. She won't do something so cheesy as urging the other girl on - she knows that just taking a combat stance will do the same thing.

Finally, she speaks, her voice intense, not angry - focused and determined. "Show me what you've got." It's nothing special, no insult, no invective - just a request. Show me what you're made of. Prove you're as strong as the points and the league say you are.

Help me get strong.

COMBATSYS: Shermie has started a fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Shermie          0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Shermie takes no action.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Shermie          0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Acacia has joined the fight here.

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

Acacia doesn't respond. At least not immediately. She remains where she is. Regarding Shermie. Her face is an impassive mask, unreadable. Her eyes betray no emotion. Nothing at all.

There is no tension in her stance. No wariness. No contempt either, though. Just...nothing at all, as she weighs the other woman. Deciding just what to make of her.

Then...Acacia nods. It's a small gesture, a tiny shift of the head.


Grass blades explode into the air, flecks of soil flying - an explosion as the ground gives way beneath Acacia's feet. Her combat boots pound into the earth, propelling her forward. One arm raised, on a straight-line path towards Shermie's torso, surmounted by a tightly clenched fist, clad in a tight leather glove.

COMBATSYS: Acacia successfully hits Shermie with Quick Punch.
- Power hit! -

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

The acknowledgement makes Shermie tense up - she knows what's going to come next. She knows that there's an attack coming, but she doesn't know /what/. She didn't do her homework on Acacia, she didn't plan for this fight beyond 'get in the ring'. And she certainly didn't expect the girl to be able to bench-press a truck! Shermie throws up a block as she sees the attack coming in, trying to knock the hand out of the way, only to see the fist plow past her arms, and crush into the center cutout of her blouse, a strike straight to her heart. Literally, in fact - the punch damages her spirit as well as her body, making her choke and gasp out, staggering. It's a testament to her strength that she doesn't fall over, and the fact that she swears the hit sunk her a few inches into the sand!

She starts to reach out as she falls back, a swiping hook aimed at Acacia's head, trying to get a grip or purchase, not a punch.. Oh no, she's going to try and give the girl /her/ specialty - a nice little impressive bit of acrobatic crowd-pleasing and neck-twisting called the Spiral! Her growl and grunt of effort shows how much she's putting into it - desperation so early in the fight!

COMBATSYS: Acacia Toughs Out Shermie's Spiral!

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Acacia           0/-------/-----==|=====--\-------\0          Shermie

Desperation. Acacia can sense that.

She's calm, though. Controlled. Placid. Almost serene. And that's not just because she's got the upper hand right now, what with that powerful opening strike. No, that's just how she is. Acacia's no stranger to rage or anger. It's just that she's learnt to focus her emotions. There's a time and place for frantic reactions. Now's not the time.

Shermie grabs her. By the neck, at that. Too quick for Acacia to block. So she doesn't. She just lets her opponent gain purchase.

But her own feet dig into the sand, boots scuffing the surface of the beach. Establishing a foothold, establishing balance.

When she reacts, her movement is simple. Nothing so dramatic as Shermie's move. Just...a swift elbow to the other woman's gut, before she can disengage.

COMBATSYS: Acacia successfully hits Shermie with Strong Punch.

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

Anger's something that Shermie needs to work on. Those negative emotions make and push her to an edge that she doesn't really have a good way to work through. The fact that she is getting HOBEAT is perhaps enough to keep her from finding that focus that she needs. And boy, oh boy, does she need it. The elbow reminds her quite accurately that she's had dinner not too long ago, and just exactly what it was. Plus bile. The taste in her mouth is raw, arcid, and painful - just like the beating. It's not a fight anymore, to Shermie.

She's already lost. In her mind, she can see herself giving up. There's that voice - Yashiro, telling her she's got to do more if she wants to keep up with him - Chris, moving around the fights with ease. And then there's Shermie - and what does she have left to her name but just a whole lot of frustration and anger that she can't let out?

Something else.

Inside her, something pushes and pokes at her, forcing all that emotion up and out, setting fire to her blood with blue sparks. She's almost slumped against the other girl, and it's probably good that she can see it, see what happens. Behind her bangs, ligting sparks - blue-white light that heralds a change in the woman. Her voice is cool, collected and dark. "... That was before. That wasn't me - /this/ is!" And with that, she lashes out, faster than before. Her arms go for Acacia, and she attempts to latch on and then hurl the girl skyward. If she can - Acacia will be dealing with an explosion of blue lightning, Shermie launching herself into the air and bringing her knee around at the girl's stomach with an impressive force - powered by something /beyond/ Shermie - something she can only occasionally touch.

But it drives her constantly, all the same.

COMBATSYS: Acacia counters Lightning Leg Lariat from Shermie with Unyielding Stance.

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

Energy crackles. Blazing around the two combatants. Scorching the air with blinding light.

There's even a burning smell, an acrid stench. But not of cooked flesh, at least, not quite. It's the smell of leather. From Acacia's gloved palm. Gripping Shermie's knee, her fingers closed round the other girl's leg. The lightning just flashing around them, the force stirring Acacia's clothes and hair. But she isn't moved. Not even an inch. Having simply /caught/ the attack in a remarkable show of strength.

In a soft voice, Acacia repeats what Shermie said a moment ago. Her tone isn't mocking. Simply quiet, low.

"Show me what you've got."

"I have... nothing."

Shermie's angry. Angry about this piss-poor display, angry about the fact that she can't seem to find a way to make the girl more interested on the fight. Angry that her strongest attacks do /nothing/. She misjudged the girl, thought this was something she could do - but she was wrong. So very, very wrong. She's given her all, blown her wad. The girl isn't even /breathing hard/. Shermie's wheezing, the heart cutout fluttering in time to the pace of her breast. Somewhere, she can hear the vague cheering - and she knows it's not for her. It's for the winner - the girl in front of her. She's already lost, because she knows she's lost. Slowly, she shakes her head - it's just time to give in. To let it go, and just accept the defeat. She turns her head, and takes a step away from the fight, looking for the exit...

And then she just throws herself at Acacia - she knows she's leaving herself wide-open to counterattack, but she wants to make the girl feel /something/. Her hands go to grab at Acacia's hips, and if she can hold on, she's going to flip the girl up and over, to slam her into the water and HOLD HER DOWN AND MAKE THE LAUGHING IN HER HEAD STOP!

COMBATSYS: Acacia blocks Shermie's Shermie Shoot.

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

Water geysers into the air, as Acacia is thrown from the beach, slung fully into the drink. Beads of moisture hang in space, suspended in that instant. The powerful crash as Acacia splashes face down.

The thing is, she isn't submerged. She broke her fall, with her arms. Catching the brunt of the impact with her forearms and elbows, properly braced. Her face just barely above water. Then she -kicks-, backward, in the precise manner taught to all soldiers. There's no elegance to the move, no real grace. Just brutal piston-like efficiency, a combat boot lashing out behind her.

Contrary to what Shermie might believe, there isn't any contempt in Acacia's bearing. If there were, she really /would/ be mocking her now. Lashing verbally.

As it is, she's quiet. And she lets her attacks do the talking.

COMBATSYS: Acacia successfully hits Shermie with Light Kick.

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

For what it's worth, Shermie isn't really trying to dodge anymore, no matter what people might think. The slow side-step she made that only put her closer to the girl, and even as she takes those giant combat-boots to her side, it doesn't do anything to stop her from attacking /again/. While Acacia tries to recover, Shermie is just closing in again, using the water's weight to slow the girl down, to draw her own breath away and perhaps to buy enough of an edge to close in.

Shermie isn't moving very fast herself, though - the water clings at her calves, slowing her down as she goes for the girl - the attack pattern very close to before - 'Throw Acacia facefirst into the ground' seemingly the current plan that may or may not work. If she's lucky, nasty sand will do exactly what she wants to do. Or it may not - in the end, she'll live with it - right now, she doesn't /care/ either way.

COMBATSYS: Acacia counters Rebound Throw from Shermie with Icon of Stone.

[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////                          ]
Acacia           1/-------/=======|=======\=------\1          Shermie

Acacia, though, she cares. Her mind and body are still focused purely on the fight.

Though like Shermie, she moves on instinct. Purely on instinct. Without any form of conscious thought.

Unlike Shermie, her overwhelming drive isn't to beat the other girl's face in. But simply to react. For, despite her strength, the core of Acacia's school is /defensive/ forms.

And that's just what she does here. As Shermie swoops down, Acacia draws her own legs in. One denim-clad knee churns into the sand beneath the water. The foot of her other leg coils as well. She /springs/, sweeping upward. Before Shermie can get a grip on her, Acacia launches her arm in a spinning backhand. Driving not just her fist but her entire forearm across Shermie's abdomen.

And that's it.

Shermie can't handle getting hit in the stomach by someone who's got frozen hams for hands. And this girl hits like a freaking lead weight. Shermie should know, she's been hit with a lead weight before. (Don't ask.) Instead, she just feels her breath go out - and her own hasty angry fades as the pain takes over. She leans back from the attack, feet stumbling in water. She manages to stay up - but it's just barely.

"You win. Goddamn it, you win." She could try to be generous, but she's angry - not at Acacia, but at herself. "Don't know what I was thinking, trying to fight - I'm not trained, I'm not /anything/..." She turns on her heel again - this time, heading for the arena door, as the crowds cheer on the winner. Acacia.

COMBATSYS: Shermie takes no action.

[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Acacia           1/-------/=======|

COMBATSYS: Shermie can no longer fight.

[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Acacia           1/-------/=======|

Acacia rises fully to her feet. Water sluicing off her body. She stands in the shallows, watching Shermie go.

Above, all around the arena, in the glassed-off stands far above the fighting area, the spectators are screaming. Acacia's oblivious to that, though. Or rather, she specifically chooses to tune them out. Public recognition and glory doesn't mean much to her. It never has.

If there's any sort of validation she seeks, in combat, it's the more subtle kind.

So she feels a certain sense of...resonance with Shermie's bitterness. She doesn't know why the other woman is so angry. But she understands. At least, in part.

Acacia doesn't shout, but she raises her voice loud enough to be heard, carrying across the arena.

"A self-taught fighter," Acacia says, "is still a fighter."

COMBATSYS: Acacia has ended the fight here.

Log created by Shermie, and last modified on 10:58:19 04/28/2007.