Neo League 426 - #435: Aranha vs Soma

Description: Aranha and Soma have an impromptu Neo League match on Taiyo's Rooftop. The two fighters impress the crowd with their acrobatic feats, Aranha runs on the shoulders of the Taiyo students. In the end, they both go all in neither comes out a winner. (Draw Match)

One night in Bangkok and the world's your oyster. Twenty-eight nights in Bangkok and you would really like nothing more than to wipe Thailand itself off the map... which Vega nearly did.

Having accomplished all he could in defense of the country on Interpol's behalf, Soma Travedi packed his things and returned to Southtown to get back to his 'normal' job. His reports from Thailand for the BBC were enough cover to keep people from becoming too suspicious about his absence from the fighting circuits... and the events surrounding the end of World Warrior made many suspect that the agent-novelist's next book may be about tournament shenanigans.

But you can't wander off for a month and not expect it to go totally unnoticed, so the first thing Soma did on returning to Southtown was put in a call to the Neo League people, placing himself back on the active list full-time and requesting a match in Southtown as soon as they had the opportunity.

Fast forward to today, where the black-clad undercover agent is currently atop Taiyo's roof, with the NL camera crew and a small but enthusiastic crowd of high school observers during the lunch period.

For Aranha's part he has kept quite active in the fight circuit, though he hasn't been doing as well as he would've liked. Of course fighters in Southtown are a different breed from those he's grown accustomed to in Metro City and various locales throughout the United States.

His losing record would probably mean less in the way of ratings and as a result less and less call backs from the Neo League staff but he seemed to impress the audience with his match against a fellow Capoeirista Momoko and so Neo League had called him back once again to see what he can do against the fighting novelist.

A man with his abilities doesn't need to take the steps up to the rooftop. That would be too mundane. Instead, he climbs up using a narrow area to provide support on both sides to get up to where the second floor is, moves along the ledge to a flag pole where he leaps up on that. He takes a few moments to back track and then runs along the flag pole to give him a running start allowing him to take a few steps onto the wall and push himself up enough to catch the ledge and then he pulls himself up to the roof top.

He begins walking over to Soma with a smile as he pulls his Oakley Thumps out and slips them on. "I suppose you're my opponent. I go by Aranha."

Now that's new. The movement off to the side might be missed by the crowd, but any trained fighter is bound to notice it, and Soma does. He watches Aranha's unusual entrance into the 'arena' with some interest, acrobatics being a staple of Varma Kalai training as well. Never mind the fact that seeing his opponent in physical action beforehand -- even if it's more mundane physical activity -- is telling... whoever this man is, he's nimble, strong, and has good reaction time. Useful things to know.

"Soma Travedi," he replies, shaking Aranha's hand if it's offered. His eyes dwell for a moment on the young African-American's collection of scars, before he swivels his gaze back up to the young man's face. "That was some impressive stuff just now," he offers, and it's the truth. While he might not have the midair agility of a trained Parkour-ist, Soma has rebounded off a wall or two in his time. He knows quality when he sees it. "Hopefully this will be a good match for you."

"Ahhh... The author. I've been meaning to pick up one of your books but I haven't had the time recently. Nice to meet you." He extends his hand to meet Soma's in a handshake however his left hand almost unconsciously raises upward to guard. A habit formed from his experiences in Capoeira.

"As long as you can keep this fun, I don't think it'll be a problem. No sooner as Aranha releases Soma's hand, he flips backward to give Soma time to prepare as he sways left and right in ginga before dropping down into a handstand and begins spinning rapidly like a tornado with his feet open and ready to smack the novelist in the face with them.

COMBATSYS: Aranha has started a fight here.

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Aranha           0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Soma has joined the fight here.

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

COMBATSYS: Soma parries Aranha's Inverted Tornado!

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

Yeah... he's flippy, alright. A part of Soma is glad for it; he's been focusing on training up his speed, particularly his talent for really putting on the bursts of nearly superhuman velocity that have really helped him out in previous fights. Aranha is going to put all of that to the test, and so as his opponent steps back to prepare, a grin spreads across Soma's face, the too-white smile a weird contrast to the dark tan of his skin tone. "I'll do my best," he says.

Then there's a swirl of feet coming right for his face, and the Fighting Novelist doesn't have time to think up some elaborate defense. Instead, he simply dives right into the attack, snapping out a hand and, in some acrobatics of his own, doing a brief handstand on Aranha's foot as it spins through the air. Without a word, he flips off and dives right for his opponent, his other hand outstretched and crackling with a haze of silver energy, lined with black. Lashing out, Soma attempts to drive his Psycho Power-charged nerve strike right into Aranha's side, at the same nerve bundle that makes a charlie horse so painful. "Hyah!"

COMBATSYS: Aranha dodges Soma's Sagittarius EX.

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

Of course, Aranha has to be there for that happen. When he felt Soma perform a handstand on his foot, he was able to see something had changed. As a result the Spider, immediately aborts the spin and drops under the nerve strike as he gets the feeling that he dodged the bullet figuratively speaking.

He then pulls his body back up so this time, he balance his body on his elbow with head just barely off the ground attempting to punish the missed nerve strike with a snapping kick from his left leg.

COMBATSYS: Soma blocks Aranha's Short Kick.

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

Landing in a crouch, Soma winces as he feels his hand connect with nothing but concrete thanks to Aranha's timely evasion. The resulting counterattack doesn't give him a lot of time to work out any more elaborate defenses, either; the snap kick heads toward him as he stands and, in a swift and somewhat surprised motion, Soma throws out a forearm, the attack somewhat deflected. The undercover agent winces in pain somewhat, but then shakes out his arm and grins at Aranha. "You've got good moves," he notes.

Flexing his fingers, Soma flicks one sleeve and drops one of his own unique weapons -- an elaborate-looking silver dagger -- into his right hand. "Of course, I have a couple of my own, too." He feints a quick jab toward Aranha with the dagger, but then turns and seems to slash out as a followup... but at too great a distance to connect. The reason being? The blade suddenly flips free of the hilt, attached like a whip through a length of wire, and in a flash of metallic silver the blade makes one orbit around Soma's body, looking to strike out at Aranha in the process.

COMBATSYS: Aranha blocks Soma's Saturnalia.

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

Aranha doesn't have enough time to recover from his own attack and then evade Soma's whipping blade attack. So he doesn't move out of the way. He just snaps out the right leg to intercept it before twisting out of the position. "That was interesting. Let's see what else you've got."

He quickly returns to a standing position but he's not in it for too long. Instead, he's whipping a glowing blue foot around in a roundhouse following it with a glowing spinning jump kick and then following it up with a back flip dropping a glowing foot on top of his darker skinned opponent.

COMBATSYS: Soma interrupts Aggressive Dance from Aranha with Light Kick.

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

Aranha's attack is complex, which works both for and against him in terms of Soma's defense. The swirling, dance-like kick leaves little room for evasion and his arm still smarts from the last attack he fended off, but walking right into that blow seems more than a little bit stupid. Instead, he sets his foot back and tries to blunt some of Aranha's momentum. The Dancing Spider's first aerial attack crashes into Soma's shoulder, but thankfully the undercover agent is able to keep himself from falling over.

"If you insist!" Soma responds, and as Aranha's backflip speeds toward him he suddenly lashes up and out with his own leg, driving a high-angle kick at close range right into the capoeirista's oncoming body. Stumbling back a few steps afterwards, Soma winces a bit in pain -- that stung -- but doesn't seem too much the worse for wear.

He seeing the impact from his initial attacks being blunted slightly disappoint him but not enough that he's not enjoying the fight. He still keeps going with the attack determined to see it to the end. And that proves to be Aranha's mistake. When the back flip comes he's completely vulnerable to the lashing kick and is pretty much shoved away.

It is Aranha's agility that allows him to twist his body to catch the ground with his hands a large smile on his face as if indicating that he knows a secret. "Not bad. Not bad at all..." He doesn't move from that handstand waiting for Soma to come in.

COMBATSYS: Aranha focuses on his next action.

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

"Could say the same to you," Soma says with a faint smile. The fight has been high-speed, high-energy... the Taiyo students in the background are eating up the wu xia-ness of it all, and their response is infectious. Aranha's a good match and a skilled fighter, so Soma is having a good time... and, perhaps more importantly, can lose himself in the physical world of fighting and forget the troubling emotional events of the Thai problem for a little bit.

Seeing his opponent hanging back, Soma doesn't take any chances. He flips the dagger in his hand around and stows it back in his sleeve by whatever arcane trick he uses to do such things, and then reaches into his jacket, withdrawing a single throwing spike... a small, barely-pointed object designed more for aerodynamics than doing any particular damage. "Heads up!" With a flick of the wrist, the dark metal spike speeds through their air at Aranha.

COMBATSYS: Aranha dodges Soma's Thrown Object.

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

When the spike is hurled at him, Aranha thrusts his hands into the ground pushing himself up into the air up and above the spike with a loud clap at the peak of his upside down jump before landing back on his hands again. He walks on his hands until he's closer and then suddenly drops one foot on the ground while he pushes Soma backwards with the lifted foot.

Sure, it's not one of his favorite moves but even he had to acknowledge the utility of it in that he could use it to dictate the pace of the fight. "HA!"

COMBATSYS: Soma endures Aranha's Change-Up Kick.

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

That's... an unusual kick. Soma is, at first, not entirely ready for it, either; the handstand walking is impressive but also very confusing. Thus when he realizes what Aranha is actually *doing* it's too late to get out of the way or block, so he doesn't bother. Instead he twists his body just so, taking all of the impact of the unusual kick but none of its momentum; the effect is like punching a crack into a brick wall. It hurts, but the wall isn't going anywhere.

Giving a little grunt of pain, Soma spreads his hands out to the side. "Not bad," he admits... but for a moment, his eyes go from their normal purple-blue color to a mix of silver and black. There's a certain degree of precision and focus that one needs to fight the way Aranha is fighting, and Soma just... intends to *borrow* it for a while. It's not so much a physical change but a change in mindset... a way of thinking 'just so' that he's awakened to by a momentary flash of insight. The silver fades from his eyes even as it grows in his palms, however, into two semi-substantial daggers of silver-black light. "Soul Fencer, set..." Soma murmurs, before driving forward and slashing at the Dancing Spider with both blades, each leaving a sparkling trail of silver in their wake.

COMBATSYS: Aranha interrupts Gemini from Soma with Sky's the Limit EX.

[              \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Soma             1/------=/=======|=====--\-------\0           Aranha

Aranha sees the attack but unfortunately he does not have time to move out of the way of it. It's just too damn fast of an attack. The first slash goes across his stomach as he leans away from Soma's attack grunting as even just grazing his body has a painful effect on him. But fortunately the evasion of the second slash keeps the attack from hurting even worse.

Aranha doesn't have much time to respond and the walls are far away so what does Aranha do? He goes to one of the students and vaults up pulling himself up and then he begins running over the crowd of students drawing inspiration from Tony Jaa's Ong Bak before pushing off the final Taiyo student and propelling himself feet first right at Soma. Don't worry, no Taiyo students were harmed in this act of awesome.

Well, that's not entirely expected, now is it? When he feels the second slash hit air, Soma looks up just in time to see Aranha rebounding off a Taiyo student and heading right for him at impressive speed. There's not a lot to be done about it but enjoy a brief moment of admiration at his opponent's inventiveness, and then go crashing to the rooftop behind him once the kick hits home.

It takes a second for Soma to get up, wiping blood from his face after that hit, but he's not broken just yet. Cracking his knuckles, he doesn't waste time on dialogue; instead, he ducks forward in a crouching run and then twirls at the last second, coming in from a different angle altogether and ramming two fingers from his right hand toward a nerve point at the base of Aranha's neck.

COMBATSYS: Aranha interrupts Quick Throw from Soma with Rasteira.

[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////            ]
Soma             1/----===/=======|=====--\-------\0           Aranha

Aranha doesn't have much luck getting out the way of this attack either but he leans away, only slightly blunting the effect of the nerve strike however in the process of moving away from it he forces Soma to over extend himself. Aranha takes advantage of this by hooking his foot around Soma's front foot and then pulling it from under him causing the knife fighting novelist fall downward in a painful split.

"Whoa! That was close," Aranha says in an almost singsong type of voice as he begins his retreat away in a fast spin to give himself some breathing room to deal with whatever Soma has planned next.

Soma, at least, has some grace in recovery; splits are second nature to someone who trained primarily for flexibility and precision, and he snaps back into a standing position with little effort. While it may be true that he's taken the majority of the damage dealt in this little tete-a-tete so far, he's far from being beaten... but a strategic re-evaluation of the fight is probably in order, so he doesn't counterattack just yet. "Like a freakin' superball," he mutters to himself, watching Aranha very carefully.

COMBATSYS: Soma gains composure.

[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////            ]
Soma             1/-----==/=======|=====--\-------\0           Aranha

Aranha did have the advantage in this fight but he knew that it could change in a heart beat. Aranha's SNF against Luc was proof of that. It only took one attack to turn that fight from a one-sided affair into a nail biter. And the fact that Soma is stopping to gather himself is not something Aranha wants him to do.

In fact the Dancing Spider spins himself around attempting to whip a heel around with authority as he attempts to step things up a bit. "So far this fight has been fun. Lets finish this out with a real bang!"

COMBATSYS: Soma dodges Aranha's Strong Kick.

[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////            ]
Soma             1/-----==/=======|======-\-------\0           Aranha

Sadly for Aranha, Soma is not interested in getting kicked in the head anymore. With an almost lazy nonchalance, he fades backwards a step from the sudden swinging heel, the capoeirista's foot passing in front of him by mere inches. He makes it look easy, but that took concentration... and guts, since there was no small amount of force behind that attack. "I admit I'm having a good time," the undercover agent says evenly, "but you're right... no sense turning this into your dull, run of the mill sort of show."

Bringing his hands out to his sides, Soma once again summons the energy daggers he attacked Aranha with before. However, instead of striking immediately, he rams them together at the 'hilts', creating a double bladed, polearm like weapon that he swings through the air in lazy circles. "I dunno how much 'bang' this is, but what the hey, it's flashy." Twisting forward, the Fighting Novelist swings the weapon at Aranha in an overhead arc, the blade leaving a sizzling trail of silver and black sparks in the air as it passes.

COMBATSYS: Aranha dodges Soma's Ashvinau.

[              \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////            ]
Soma             1/-----==/=======|======-\-------\0           Aranha

And as much as Soma doesn't want to feel his kicks. Aranha wants no part of that weird energy. And so he reacts quickly performing a fast cartwheel to put him under the attack and when the attack passes harmlessly over him he pulls himself back into the handstand and then suddenly he wraps his feet around Soma's neck and pulls himself up and over, attempting to launch Soma up and over onto his back.

COMBATSYS: Soma parries Aranha's Strong Throw!

[              \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////            ]
Soma             1/----===/=======|======-\-------\0           Aranha

Well, it worked once, right? Why not give it another shot? Soma narrows his eyes, carefully watching the Dancing Spider's next move, and with a burst of superhuman agility he leaps up and over the intended inverted leg grab, landing with catlike grace on Aranha's own legs in an imitation of his Parkour technique from before. "I just remembered," he says with a too-cheery grin, leaping up and away from Aranha and, in midair, tossing another throwing spike... only this one glows with silver-black light and, when it connects, explodes in a starburst of Psycho Power. "I *do* have something that goes 'bang'!"

COMBATSYS: Soma successfully hits Aranha with Nova EX.

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

When Aranha feels Soma leaping off of his own feet he sees an opportunity and so he twists himself around as he goes to right himself but no sooner than he's back on his feet the energy spike blasts him as he tries to roll into it to create an opportunity but he's sent flying. The energy's burst sends Aranha skidding on the rooftop.

"Damn. You weren't kidding... What the hell was that anyway." He lets out a slight grunt as he brings himself back up to his feet and then he weaves from side to side as he moves in. And then he whips his foot around in a series of outside crescent kicks which are nothing but decoys to set up a quick snapping kick.

COMBATSYS: Soma interrupts Light Kick from Aranha with Sapta Rishis.
- Power hit! -

[              \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////                       ]
Soma             0/-------/-----==|=======\======-\1           Aranha

Perhaps he's in some sort of trance, engrossed as he is in the fight, but Soma is not confused by the feints at all; in fact, he stands there unblinking as they weave around him and then snaps out a hand, batting the final kick out of the way entirely as if it were a light tap on the face. "I keep having to see how fast I can go to keep up with you," Soma says breathlessly, flicking his arms and allowing his daggers to fall into his hands. With a burst of superhuman speed, he lashes out at Aranha with seven quick thrusts of the blades -- each one directed at a different nerve cluster somewhere on the Dancing Spider's body. The thrusts are shallow, barely enough to break the skin, but the steel making contact with the pressure points is pain enough itself... never mind the fact that the blur of strikes takes no more than an instant.

Hopping back a step, the daggers are gone as Soma assumes his stance again, watching Aranha carefully. The fight's not over, but some degree of trash talk is obligatory. "The answer is: pretty damned fast."

There's a short pause as Aranha doesn't feel those pressure points right away. It's only when he backs up that the pain finally sets in and he quickly drop to his knees. "Damn. You're pretty damn fast yourself. That hurt alot."

Aranha steps back trying to massage out the pain but it just won't leave him alone. He goes into ginga hoping that motion allows his muscles to relax and then he launches himself at Soma shouting, "Let see you try to keep up with this!!"

Aranha performs an outside crescent kick from his front leg which then drops to his rear leg. He shifts back and swings his leg around in a rear leg outside crescent kick which is quickly followed up by a trio of kicks where he touches the ground as he swings the heel of his rear leg towards his opponent's head. On the third of those particular kicks he cuts short and turns his foot as he drops it down on the ground before swinging his other foot at the head in a roundhouse kick-like motion though it's also done with both hands on the ground. Keith then shifts his weight over to the side swinging the unplanted foot up and over which though it doesn't hit, it generates momentum for the other foot to come back across. He performs a handstand and performs a series of rapid spinning handstand kicks. All kicks in this sequence are engulfed in blue chi. "Royal Flush beats Full House where I come from."

COMBATSYS: Aranha successfully hits Soma with Royal Flush.

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

Well, Aranha does get to see Soma *try* to keep up, and also has the satisfaction of seeing him fail to keep up, too. What really makes the PK Capoeirista's combination work is the confusing nature; Soma overcomitted on his previous attack, and is already a little groggy from being smacked in the head so many times. He tries to roll with it, letting himself get carried along by the attack, but that just doesn't work. The bevy of complicated kicks sends him crashing back to the ground a few feet away, groaning in pain. When he finally does get up, he once again wipes a bit of blood from his lip, hunching forward nad taking big, deep breaths. "You've been watching too much Texas Hold 'Em, kid," Soma jokes, mostly to distract himself. That HURT.

However, he's not down yet; with a yell, Soma ducks forward and then whips out his hand with incredible speed, the single motion dropping a dagger into his waiting palm, and then detaching the blade along its whip-like wire cord to again slice an arc through the air toward Aranha. At least the maneuver will keep some distance between the two... and if it brings this tense fight to a close, so much the better.

COMBATSYS: Aranha dodges Soma's Saturnalia.

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

It does what it was intended to do. Temporarily. It does keep him at a distance until Aranha manages to drop down on all fours right under the whip like cord rapidly crawling towards Soma much like his namesake, until he's close to Soma again and then he quickly twists his body over so his back is facing the ground setting himself up to pull up his body into a handstand once again but instead of spinning, he attempts to slam his legs into Soma from above with a series of kicks. "I prefer... 1-2-3-4-5... card stud." Counting off the kicks after they are delivered before attempting to back away while still in that handstand.

COMBATSYS: Soma interrupts Inverted Flurry from Aranha with Ashvinau EX.

[                         \\\\\  < >                                ]
Soma             0/-------/----===|=======\-------\1           Aranha

Aranha gets his 10, his Jack, and his Queen out, perhaps... but Soma is fully prepared to trump his winning hand. As the kicks come in the undercover agent is already moving through them, flowing like water with each blow so that it connects, but not nearly as bad as it might. "Before you lay down a winning hand," Soma grinds out through gritted teeth, his hands suddenly swinging upward with that same glittering polearm as before, the blade slashing once clear through Aranha's body in a swath of silver light, "you should make sure the other guy's not bluffing!"

However, when Soma staggers backwards from that confrontation, it's clear that even a lessened version of Aranha's attack just now was enough to leave him teetering on the edge of his ability to keep fighting. "Haa... god, that hurt..."

When Aranha is hit with the glittering pole arm he's sent spinning out of control to once again to end up sliding on the ground. He slowly gets back up to his feet. His body is wobbly as he continues to limp slowly towards Soma. "You know... Normally I'm better at reading tells."

He barely has enough in him to stand but he still throws himself into a handstand and whips himself around still not being able to bring around to it's full speed and not having it in him to bring himself to his feet after it's completed instead falling down to his side.

COMBATSYS: Aranha can no longer fight.

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

COMBATSYS: Aranha successfully hits Soma with Inverted Tornado EX.

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

Even if Aranha can't bring himself to attack at full strength, even half strength is enough given the situation. Soma threw everything he had into that final dramatic burst, but the result is that afterwards he's suffering from serious fatigue, not to mention a long series of boots to the head. Kind of like the one the Dancing Spider gives at the last second, the spinning kick smacking Soma in the side of head even as he tries desperately to roll out of the way; what he actually does is crash to the ground and roll to a stop.

It takes a minute, but he finally manages to sit up, clutching his head and wiping a hand across his face. "Ugh... damn. That was an... interesting fight." When it's clear to the NL people that neither fighter is going to make any miracle recoveries, he raises his hand.

"Ladies and gentlemen, this fight is a draw! Let's give our competitors a big hand!" And the Taiyo students, appreciative of this show, do just that.

COMBATSYS: Soma takes no action.

COMBATSYS: Soma can no longer fight.

Log created on 12:16:56 07/10/2007 by Aranha, and last modified on 19:47:09 07/22/2007.