Neo League 426 - #430: Tran vs Soma

Description: In which an already-harried Soma Travedi learns not to underestimate the drama of one Richard Tran, M.D. (Winner: Tran)

One of the first things Soma Travedi did when the resistance forces began to take back Thailand was to get into Bangkok and turn on his cell phone. Cell phone towers, of course, are prime targets if you want to keep communications under your thumb. He had a number of messages, many from his publisher, at least two from the BBC, and perhaps the most important one, a text message from his contact with the head office of the Special Crimes Directorate in Switzerland simply reading: "WHERE ARE YOU".

He had a lot to answer for, and doing it over the phone -- especially an unsecured line -- was unthinkable. Thus Soma took a brief leave from the resistance forces and, with ICPO assistance, made his way across the continent, through China and into Russia. A recently-opened bureau in Vladivostok was the only location with enough senior personal that had both proper clearance and governmental okay to meet with him, the Chinese being as insular as always.

The port city, bright white and green against the blue of the Sea of Japan, rolls by outside the window of his hotel as the undercover agent packs his things and gets ready to board a plane to Shanghai. Explaining his sudden involvement with the resistance forces wasn't easy, but his part in the freeing of the captive Thai military leadership certainly spoke in his favor.

He was perhaps 10 feet out the door of the ICPO branch when he got the call that a Neo League match could be arranged while he was in the area, and would he accept?

Never mind the fact that he just faced down the overboss of the Masters Foundation in combat a scant few days previous, Soma was ready to accept, even if it just meant ingratiating himself to the Foundation for future work dealing with them. Thus he stands now on one of the long quays overlooking the port, brushing dust from his black jacket. There's not much of a crowd, beyond the cameramen, and Soma's own luggage sits off to the side, guarded by a Neo League intern. Looks like he's ready to get moving as soon as this is over.

Of course, on the other hand, Dr. Tran's path to Russia was pretty simple. It went a little something like this.

'Hey, league dudes. Give me as many matches as you can.' 'Okay, but you might have to end up in some weird place.' 'Fine, whatever.' 'We might have to throw you up to Russia again.' 'I said fine, god, just do it, what's wrong with you?' *click*

Rudeness is not without its cost, however, as Dr. Tran approaches, bold and full of life, dressed in nothing but a speedo. It's...sort of a rebuke, right? Kind of? Except he's not acting like it at all.

"Alright, time to wreck a chump! Let's go, hardcore!" Dr. Tran is most certainly pumped up today, heedless of whoever's watching.

There's a moment where Soma *hears* Tran's words, but appears to be looking *past* him, as if they were spoken by someone, anyone else, but probably not the short, be-speedo-ed individual currently standing in front of him. Perhaps it's lucky for Tran that, in summer, Vladivostok is roughly the same temperature as any transtemperate maritime climate zone allows. Still... a speedo.

The ICPO agent processes that Tran did indeed just say he would, quote, 'wreck a chump', and he glances at Tran with... well, 'incredulity' doesn't exactly cover the range, but it's certainly the closest bloody word there is. "Well," the dark-skinned, black-clad young man says, almost as if needing the chew the word over a bit before it leaves his mouth. He is, interestingly, accentless; perhaps he's American? "Well. Good to see you're enthused." If you can't say something nice... after all, the weird ones are usually the trickiest fighters.

Shaking out his hands, Soma glances over at the fight officiant, who nods, then says in a loud, clear voice: "Ready? FIGHT!" Turning to his opponent, the ICPO agent doesn't waste any time; he ducks in quick and, with the index and middle fingers on his right hand, makes a quick nerve-point jab toward Tran's side. Nothing fancy. "Best of luck."

COMBATSYS: Soma has started a fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Soma             0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Tran has joined the fight here.

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

COMBATSYS: Tran dodges Soma's Quick Throw.

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

Spinning about ninety degrees, Dr. Tran hops backward to Soma's side, letting the jabby fingers whiff past his moderately defined torso. "Ah, ah, Suit, hands off. This here's reserved." Tran's hand comes up to wag a finger warningly, seemingly oblivious to the secret agent's general shock. Perhaps he's just used to this sort or reaction, or maybe he's just stubborn enough to forcefully not give a damn. It's hard to say, really.

"So tell me, you're supposed to be..." Tran pauses, and retracts his finger. "Hell, who are you supposed to be? A fighting accountant? Hm." The doctor's face takes a thoughtful cast, and he moves back in to bring both of his hands down together, an overhand smash right up in Soma's...well, his chest, really. Damn height difference.

COMBATSYS: Tran successfully hits Soma with Strong Punch.

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

Does the comment throw him off guard? Or does the height difference make him misjudge his defensive attempt? Either way, the result is the same; Soma attempts to brush back out of the way and gets a two-fisted smack right in the stomach for his trouble. Wincing, the ICPO agent backs off, putting a hand over where that punch connected. That... stung. Apparently the guy's got some fight in him after all.

Well, good. No holding back, then.

In a single motion, Soma flicks his right sleeve, a bright silver dagger of unusual make falling into his grip readily. Planting his foot, Soma inverts the hilt and then all but *throws* the blade at Tran... but the hilt stays right where it is, a length of high-strength wire lashing out towards Tran with the blade on the end, like a whip. If Soma can get the wire to wrap around a limb, he suddenly yanks upward with one hand, sending Tran skyward... and then snaps out the wire-dagger again, dragging Tran from midair right back down to the ground. "In point of fact, I'm a novelist."

COMBATSYS: Tran blocks Soma's Wishing Star.

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

Ah, good to know Tran's initial assessment was right. Just because this guy's visually more impressive, with his fancy clothes and his...wire daggers? And his...his stuff...basically Tran is confident in his awesomality being able to take Soma on and out. It's only reinforced when he gets yanked upward off his feet, spinning through the air more or less out of control. Then the wire-dagger comes in again, and Tran actually reorients himself in mid-air, coming down hard on his feet in a crouch.

"That's not nearly as cool. Nobody reads books anymore, anyway." It's not really true - hell, Tran actually studies in his off time. With books and everything. It's just a pointless barb, to hopefully throw his opponent off-balance.

Tran takes a lunging step forward, trying to take advantage of any openings that may or may not arise from it, bringing his fist forward in a arcing underhand motion, snapping it forward with all his might should it connect.

COMBATSYS: Soma endures Tran's Quick Punch.

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

There's a faint grin on Soma's face as Tran wriggles out of that attack, the undercover agent reeling the dagger back in even as Tran falls; by the time the good doctor hits the ground it's not even visible anymore, apparently stowed back in whatever hammerspace sleeve it came from. "That's really going to harsh my publisher's mellow," Soma responds placidly. It's certainly possible to distract him with barbs, but they likely need to hit a little closer to home.

Tran's fist, on the other hand, DOES land close to home; in fact, it lands right in the proverbial breadbasket. However... it, and Soma, go no farther than that. His hands are already moving, glowing black-limned silver even as Tran's hand retracts. Pushing his fists together in front of him, the two forms of energy gathering in Soma's palms -- 'knives' made of that same silver light -- jam together at the 'hilts', forming a two-bladed, semisubstantial weapon which Soma, with particularly blinding speed at such close range, looks to simply cleave Tran in two with. Lucky thing it's not 'real', right?

COMBATSYS: Tran fails to reflect Ashvinau EX from Soma with Dr. Tran Doles Out the Harshness.

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

Slowly retracting his fist, Tran cocks his head. "What, are you saying you publish hippy books, or something?" This probably costs him quite a bit, as it delays an already risky move. The chi is building, but Soma's energy is already slashing through his chest, and the doctor frankly doesn't even come close to doing anything about it. The force, real or imagined, is still enough to send him spinning backward, where the doctor uneasily comes to a rest.

He wipes the blood off the very real cut in his chest, not exactly deep, but not too shallow, either. "Oh." It's all he says. Truth be told, Tran seems kind of...stunned, at the moment, like he's just not sure what to make of things.

That attack is not exactly one that Soma can pull off with a trivial amount of effort; even as Tran stumbles back, he's left in the 'slashing' pose, his hands lowered near his knees and his head bowed somewhat as his torso leans forward. Slowly, he stands back up, his 'weapon' disappearing in a short flurry of silver and black sparks. He pauses, not saying anything for a moment, Tran's sudden discomfort trailing on the edge of his senses. For a man who has, since minute one, radiated self-confidence (or something like it) rather like a neutron star, the ICPO agent is left a little concerned.

Thus, when he follows up on his attack, it isn't with anything fancy. Ducking forward, he snaps up his right leg in a quick, weak kick to Tran's side rather than his head or injured chest. "Actually, I write murder mysteries and spy thrillers, and in two cases a book about a stripper who knows Tae Kwon Do."

COMBATSYS: Soma successfully hits Tran with Light Kick.

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

Staring downward, it takes Tran a minute to really get back into things, again too late to be able to effectively react to Soma's attack. It batters him to the side, making the doctor stumble a few steps, before managing to catch himself. It also does a pretty good job of snapping him out of it - the down side is that now he looks pretty pissed off.

"Murder mysteries, huh? There's no mystery about this, but it's about to become a murder!" Dashing back toward the Fighting Novelist, Tran reaches around to try to grab Soma in a light bear hug, more to hold him still than anything else, and then drives his knee upward, once, twice, three times, before pushing away.

COMBATSYS: Tran successfully hits Soma with Light Kick.

[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////                ]
Tran             1/-------/=======|=======\==-----\1             Soma

It's not even the kick. It's the lame in-fight dialogue. Soma just... blinks at Tran, confused at that statement, and thus doesn't notice the grab attempt until it's too late. Desperately, the ICPO agent tries to squeeze out of Tran's grip only to find himself very, very poorly positioned for the knee shots that follow. The first impacts on his hip, spinning him somewhat; the next two land right in his KIDNEYS, sending him stumbling back across the quay, eyes watering.

That hurt. An awful lot. There's no offensive from Soma in the meantime, for sure; instead he just tries to gather his wits and find out where, exactly, this entire affair went wrong. Plus for such a little guy Tran hits ridiculously hard. "I bet you have a lot of pent-up frustration to work out," Soma mutters, not to anyone in particular.

COMBATSYS: Soma gains composure.

[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Tran             1/-------/=======|=======\=------\1             Soma

"What do you think I'm doing?" It's not like Tran ASKED to be sent to Russia in a speedo. At least, not specifically. And he's got other troubles, besides, like the constant waves of crazy fighting schoolgirls, and trying to keep Elle from killing herself, and the general worries of being a leading member in a nefarious criminal mercenary operation. It could break lesser men, surely.

But Dr. Tran, despite his appearance, is a mighty man, a pinnacle of greatness among mortals! "Now just fall down and stop moving!" Or, well, a pinnacle of /something/. Either way, the doctor's going for broke, pursuing Soma and kicking a foot directly upward, in a surprising show of flexibility. The hard part comes afterward, though, when Tran forcefully slams it downward toward Soma's shoulder, putting all of his weight into it.

COMBATSYS: Soma interrupts Heavy Kick from Tran with Wishing Star.

[                   \\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////                  ]
Tran             1/---====/=======|=======\====---\1             Soma

"Don't wanna," Soma says, forcing mock petulance into his voice. It's not as if he dislikes Tran -- there's not a lot there to base an opinion on after a mere 10 minutes or less of acquaintance -- but something about the doctor, something about his *demeanor*, rubs Soma the wrong way. It's just the way he moves, or talks, or *something*. The undercover agent just wants to put him down, though there is a part of his consciousness somewhere behind the currently acting reptilian forebrain that wonders what, exactly, is the REASON.

Regardless, when Tran's kick comes in for a landing, it does indeed slam into Soma's shoulder... but rather than knocking him to the ground, Tran is left with his foot sitting on the ICPO agent's body. Soma's violet-blue eyes flash dangerously as he grins at Tran, his opposite arm sweeping up in one swift motion and knocking Tran clear into the air, his palm driven right into the Doctor's chin. Before he can land, however, Soma twists and, lashing out with one wire-dagger, snatches Tran from midair and all but slingshots him across the pier. "Back off!"

Hm? It seems Soma might be a little tougher than Tran thought, to take a kick like that standing. The amazingly suave doctor is more than aware that he's a bundled ball of pain. At least, that's what everyone says. He's willing to take their word for it. He's not willing to keep getting his ass tossed around like this, though. As the wire snaps home, Tran feels himself flying through the air, free like a bird.

Then gravity kicks in, and Tran crumples to the ground in a heap. Slamming both fists on the dock, he practically punches his way back up to his feet, and immediately breaks into a headlong charge back at his opponent. "It wasn't a request!"

Steam starts to build around the doctor's form, rising primarily off his fists. As he comes in close, ducking down, it all snaps into place, forming twin sheathes around his hands. With a final lunge, Tran delivers an exploding uppercut the likes of which should be more than enough to send Soma flying straight up into the air, with a sizeable amount of hangtime.

COMBATSYS: Soma blocks Tran's Here Comes Dr. Tran.

[                  \\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////                        ]
Tran             0/-------/-------|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2             Soma

And then, waiting for Soma to come down, Tran shouts out, "This is it! EAT A DICK!" He rears back, fist held ready, and then lashes out at just the right time to punch the living bejesus out of Soma, with enough literally explosive force to send the writer flying backwards into whatever may have the misfortune of being behind him.

That's... unexpected. Soma's actually up on his defensive game; he's not going to take too many stupid chances with Tran having hit what appears to be Mona Lisa Overdrive. However, it doesn't really appear to help much. The uppercut impacts on Soma's crossed arms in a hiss and explosion of steam, but it doesn't give the ICPO agent any air time... nonetheless, Tran's followup punch sends him skidding across the ground, still in guarding stance, his feet having dug faint troughs into the concrete of the pier.

It's just enough, and that much shows. Just enough to make sure Soma is more or less out of the fight despite not really being too badly KOed... it's mostly body fatigue. But he's certainly got enough in him to make one last stand. One dagger comes out again, held blade-backward in one hand. "Your insults... need serious work," the agent says glumly. Eat a dick? Sounds messy.

And then he's gone. Sort of; he's dashing forward with really impressive speed, hampered though it might be by his exhausted, but still pretty damn fast, the black and grey form mostly a blur until he gets right next to Tran. Wordlessly, he lashes out with the dagger seven times in rapid succession, each hit looking to drive the silver blade into seven separate nerve points around the torso and hips. The actual penetration of the blade is shallow; he's not looking to perforate, just to deliver ridiculously precise strikes one after the other.

Sadly, come what may of the attack, Soma steps back and tumbles to the ground with a thud, leaning back on his hands, the dagger clattering onto the pier. "...damn."

COMBATSYS: Soma can no longer fight.

[                  \\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Tran             0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Tran blocks Soma's Sapta Rishis EX.

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

"Oh yeah?" Tran slowly retracts his punch, gasping for air after the exertion. He figures he's got a moment after that, at least, seeing as how Soma went skidding backward. Distance is handy. Gives a man time to prepare, time to defend himself against an incoming ass-whoopin'. Tran still barely catches it, so fast is Soma moving.

Raising his arms, Tran hunches forward and tenses his entire body. He's not classically muscular, but he's well built, and he knows, realistically, there's still no way he's going to keep up with movement like that. A passive defense is all he can manage, and thankfully, in this case, it seems to work.

It takes the doctor a moment to realize it's actually over, anyway. He uncurls, bruised all over, but he's standing, and he's not about to fall anytime soon. "You need to work on your fighting." Ouch.

Limping past Soma, Tran adjusts his speedo (lest he mistakenly appear badass for a moment), and looks right at the Neo League camera. "Give me a break." Then he just moves on, hopefully to go put on a real pair of pants.

COMBATSYS: Tran has ended the fight here.

Log created on 23:54:16 07/03/2007 by Soma, and last modified on 18:32:34 07/05/2007.