Neo League 465 - #468: Sergio vs Hotaru

Description: Hotaru and Sergio have a showdown on a hill just outside of the Metro City Mall. It's the first fight of the new season for both fighters, and they're both ready to show the world what they've got! (Winner: Sergio)

Time for an all new season of Neo League! Hotaru was a strong contender in the previous season, managing to climb her way up to number two after a long sequence of upset draws and well fought wins. In fact, though there were a few close calls, the girl has never actually /lost/ a match in the league. Which is why the moment the next season started, Master's people got busy right away in encouraging the girl to make an appearance. Small, cute, stylishly acrobatic, Hotaru's appearances are pretty good ratings draws.

Today's venue is another mall-staged fight. Always a popular place to hold exhibition matches, since they tend to sell tickets great on the fly to mall shoppers too. The sight is outside, on a field with a gentle hill in the middle of it. It's safe. Generic. And easily repaired in case of damage. Apparently the officials have seen enough of Sergio's combat techniques to figure out where matches involving his abilities should be held...

The area is cordoned off with cameras set up all around. Bleachers, seating, and even people planting down blankets that got here earlier enough to snag some prime real estate are all on sight to watch the upcoming match.

For Hotaru is's a bit of a surprise as to who her opponent is. The very same individual she encouraged to check into the leagues. She thought he'd start smaller... local exhibitions, little matches like that. Not jump right into the big circuits. Idly tightening one of her red hair ribbons while she waits off-center from the middle of the location in which they are to fight, the girl shakes her head idly with a faint smile. She's worn dark colors today - forest green pants and blouse with an accompanying red-orange shade of vest. She clearly remembers the nature of Sergio's chi attacks, it would seem.

Sergio had only two Neo League fights before the season ended, but both of them resulted in wins. Whether that means he's a strong contender for the current season or not is probably up to the individual, but if you ask him it does. The Italian is about as far away from being like Hotaru as you can get. He's tall, ruggedly handsome, brutishly slow in a fight, and completely lacks finesse. Still, he'll probably draw some fans once he gets deeper into the league.

The area of the fight has Sergio pleased. Neo League fights, after all, require fighters to pay out of their own pocket for damages made to locations. Tearing up the ground is going to be much better than tearing up the floor of some fancy(?) mall. He arrives about on time, not late but not early. He gives a grin into some of the cameras, and makes some confident gestures towards them. Might as well play up the crowd, right? If he wants to make money enough so that he won't need a normal job he's going to need to attract fans.

When he finally sees his opponent, he stops for a moment. "Uh oh." She'd pretty much trounced him the time they'd fought in the YFCC, but then she had reason to really pound on him hard then. Not that she'd be less 'brutal' in a league fight, come to think of it... Confidence! Have confidence in yourself, Sergio! So she beat you once before, maybe that means she'll underestimate you now. ...but don't count on it, or you'll get a nasty surprise! But maybe... Oh screw it just be true to yourself and try to beat her up. He grins at her and waves, entering the cordoned off area.

Her hair ribbon tightened, Hotaru's hands find their way to her back, where the clasp while she waits patiently. The girl looks calm, composed, a faint smile persisting on her face even if her blue eyes observe Sergio with a fair amount of intensity. She remembers their last exchange of blows well enough. What the man lacks in refined style he makes up with pretty impressive brute force and a high amount of endurance. For a fighter like her, that's a pretty imposing challenge. She'll have to be on her toes.

She's quiet while Sergio plays up to the crowd, getting some reaction from the lady folk no doubt. The girl takes the time to glance over the audience, her smile warming just a little. She knows that these matches are for a crowd, even if playing up to them isn't what motivates her. "You decided to jump right into things," Hotaru states with a laugh once Sergio has turned his attention to her.

With the match about to start, there isn't a lot to catch up on with the foreigner, however. And before long, the Kenpo artist crosses her arms in front of her, exhales, and slips swiftly into a ready stance, one arm raised and forward, the other raised and bent back. Bouncing light on her toes, she's quite used to fighting on grass, so she doesn't have to worry about any unusual circumstances about this fight at least!

COMBATSYS: Hotaru has started a fight here.

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Hotaru           0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Hotaru takes no action.

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Hotaru           0/-------/-------|

Sergio grins to Hotaru and moves to whatever the designated distance apart is supposed to be- or rather what he things it is, which is probably close to normal but just a bit off one way or the other. "Yea, I learned last time that messing around with you gets my butt kicked, right?" He stretches his arms and legs a bit, and then drops into his brawlers fighting stance.

About that time there's a ringing of a bell, a loud cheer, and an announcer bellowing. "FIGHT!" It's always exciting, no matter how many times he goes through it. ...well, for now anyway. What happens next has to be one of the most predictable things ever. Sergio launches towards Hotaru with all the speed he's got, and jumps into the air, aiming a flying kick for her upper body, attempting to knock her back, slam three punches into her, and then aim a palmstrike at her that stops just short, and then releases a powerful burst of water. Smart move with the dark clothes, Hotaru!

COMBATSYS: Sergio has joined the fight here.

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Hotaru           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0           Sergio

COMBATSYS: Hotaru dodges Sergio's Breaker.

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Hotaru           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0           Sergio

As Sergio gets into his own ready stance, Hotaru's smile narrows, replaced by an expression that suggests she's trying to read him as a fighter more than just casually shoot the breeze. The audience, the announcer, the bell, all that slowly gets tuned out as Hotaru puts her mind on the fight at hand. Some fighters can take their combat lightly, bringing to bear overwhelming power against their opponents, but when someone can't handle being struck very well, they have to be on their toes from start to finish.

"Well, I wasn't trying to hurt you so much last time as..." Hold him still so that they could call in the authorities! But let's not dredge up bygones, shall we? The fight is in motion next and the girl's eyes fixate on Sergio, watching for how he will begin. The jump kick is avoided by taking a step backward... and for a second, she thinks that's all there is to it, and is about to go back on the offense when she catches notice of his fist coming forward. A split second correction allows for her to back up again out of punching range, making it easy to avoid the blast that comes at the end.

All that hopping around leaves her a little off balance, but the girl corrects for it quickly enough, left foot slamming down into the grass behind her in order to propell herself forward, taking to the offense now as she tries to catch him offguard. Small hands reaching out to grasp for his own much larger arms, starting with the one that was punching.

If she can get a grip, the girl will twist his arms a little to lock them into giving her the leverage she needs in order to stomp right up the front of him, delivering a sequence of attacks that individually might not hurt to bad, but collectively will add up, before backflipping off his shoulders to land back down a little distance away. "Ya, ya, ya!"

COMBATSYS: Sergio blocks Hotaru's Shin-Jou Tai.

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Hotaru           0/-------/------=|=------\-------\0           Sergio

Sergio is going to play this one safe. He knows she's in a pretty good stance to attack him once his kick and following punches make contact with nothing but air. "Hah, no need to mention it. It just means you're a dangerous fighter, and I can respect that!" He shows his respect by turtling, immediately crossing his arms horizontally the moment his attack is over. The arms are grabbed, but Hotaru'd find herself almost completely unable to do anything to him, his powerful defensive stance keeping him grounded. The kicking walk up the front of him actually succeeds however, battering him backwards a bit, the feet hitting hard against his chest; it should be really obvious to her that his muscles are clenched up tight for it. That could have hurt him a lot more than it did.

But because of his solid defense, he's now in a pretty good spot to attack, as Hotaru's hop back occurs when he's able to attack. And that's exactly what he does, going for a ridiculous power move, dropping down into an even more powerful stance, pulling back his arm, and then thrusting it forward with great power, the ground where Hotaru is trying to land suddenly rending beneath her as the ground rumbles and then bursts forth, huge amounts of water bursting up and tearing chunks of the field along with it. See, Sergio figures that if he's going to be in a specifically disposable area, he might as well use the technique they're there for! "HAAH!"

COMBATSYS: Sergio successfully hits Hotaru with Whitewater.

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Hotaru           0/-------/---====|=------\-------\0           Sergio

One way of dealing with Hotaru's airborn style of fighting is to just keep blowing up the places she's trying to land, perhaps! Her kicks were delivered but they didn't really dish out much of an effect. Which leaves him all the better a position to catch the girl when she's coming down from the backflip from off his shoulders. From the airborn perspective, she can't even really tell what in the world is happening until she crashes into the big mess, getting pelted by watery enery and large chunks of the field.

There's no recovering from that kind of landing, and all the girl can do is wait for it to be over, finally splashing against the grass on her back with a gasp for air, arms spread out at her sides. "O-ow," the girl wheezes, getting her first sense of the kind of power Sergio can bring to bear here. Rolling over onto her side, she glances at the wreckage caused in the field and swallows nervously. She can't take a lot of strong attacks like that. She'll have be a lot more careful about playing around in the air against him, she muses, finally getting to her feet, water pouring off of her at the same time it begins to evaporate, cheeks reddening a little at the increased attention the fight seems to have gotten all the sudden with that opening exchange of attacks.

Breathing in deep, only to cough a little, the girl slips back into her ready stance, taking a moment to collect herself, figure out how to adjust to dealing with this guy.

COMBATSYS: Hotaru focuses on her next action.

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Hotaru           0/-------/---====|=------\-------\0           Sergio

Ok Sergio, what's the plan? Congratulations, you've landed a really hard hit on Hotaru, and it seems to have taken a lot out of her! But she isn't out, in fact he wouldn't even call her down at this point. Perhaps his attack on her was simple luck, or maybe his idea of rending the ground beneath her was the ticket to success. However, one thing pervades his mind. The last time he fought her he rushed and rushed and rushed until he was warn out and tired, and she beat him all the while.

That is one aspect to Sergio's fighting style. One. He has, in fact, two. It's time for him to invoke plan B. When rushing someone down doesn't work, turtle like a complete ass and let them wear themselves out against your Iron Defense. So as Hotaru gathers herself up to prepare to beat the living hell out of him, Sergio hunkers down, grins at her, and just waits. "Alright, you've seen what I've got now. The crowd seems pretty excited...why don't you show me what you've got, eh?" Is he goading her? You bet your life he is. This fight is a matter of pride.

COMBATSYS: Sergio gains composure.

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Hotaru           0/-------/---====|-------\-------\0           Sergio

Hands coming up to brush aside stray hair falling down in her face, Hotaru breaths in deeply then exhales. There's a faint, strained smile at his goad. Compared to earth rending watery explosions, everything she has to dish out seems pretty tame by comparison. Not that she should let that bother her, but it does mean she has a long, uphill fight ahead of her.

Eyes close for a moment as he hangs back, the girl centering herself, trying to shed the doubts that keep distracting her. Before finally she goes on the offense again, charging forward, leaping off the ground into a spinning hop through the air, dishing out two rapid, windmilling strikes aimed high to direct his defenses there... as a distraction for the second attack that comes lower - a powerful palm press aimed toward his stomach, the girl leaning into it with all her body, leg, and arm strength, while her other arm snaps out in the opposite direction to act as a bit of a counterweight to keep her footing.

COMBATSYS: Hotaru successfully hits Sergio with Soushou Shin.
- Power hit! -

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Hotaru           0/-------/-======|===----\-------\0           Sergio

Hotaru seems to have come up with the perfect plan of attack. If he's going to hunker down and try to just absorb the hits she sends his way, she can use maneuvers that simply powers through his attempted defense, or bypasses it with feints. It's the latter of these that works, the two rapid kicks getting met with ready forearms... and the following hits breaks his guard perfectly, moving under his arms and smashing his exposed stomach. He lets out a grunt of pain and is blown backwards by the series of attacks, and eventually rolled right down to the ground. "Ergh... that didn't work."

He picks himself up, and gives Hotaru a huge grin. "I keep underestimating you. It's not because your small either, I know you're a powerful fighter. I didn't expect you to be able to hit me so easily when I was ready for it." Or so hard, really… Well, time to get things under way! After he's up off the ground and done talking, Sergio moves forward to attack, moving forward and swinging a simple but effective right hook right for Hotaru's jaw, water streaming out behind his fist as it swings.

COMBATSYS: Hotaru dodges Sergio's Medium Kick.

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Hotaru           0/-------/-======|===----\-------\0           Sergio

His compliments elicit a small smile from Hotaru, though she tries to not let them go to her head. After all, they could just be meant to trick her into a false sense of security. She /did/ strike him with one of her harder combination attacks and he seemed to weather it fairly well. Though the tricky feint nature of the assault did do its job in slipping past most of his defenses.

"Thanks," she replies, a slight dip of her head accompanying the reply. But that doesn't mean she isn't ready and waiting for the incoming sock toward her jaw, the girl taking two steps back and leaning to the side to let his fist fly harmlessly by along with its watery trail.

It's no surprise that Hotaru takes this moment to attack back, attempting to get a quick hold on that outstretched arm. If she can pull it off, she'll use his own momentum to pull him forward while she turns around at his side, driving her foot into his back in an attempt to send him to the ground while still holding his arm in such a way as to wrench it a little. With his height advantage, it might end up being a pretty risky trick, but she has to try!

COMBATSYS: Sergio interrupts Quick Throw from Hotaru with Old Faithful.

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Hotaru           1/-------/=======|====---\-------\0           Sergio

Warning Sergio, warning! She's trying to grab you and throw you to the ground, right after you've attacked! This gives Sergio very little time to think. He mentally goes over his few options. In truth, some of them are pretty darn good. Perhaps not 'sure shots' in any way, but he does have a few choices that are decent. He also has some moves that throw caution to the wind and go all out.

Right, lets go all out. Sergio thrusts his left hand into the air, the one he hadn't just punched with, as Hotaru grabs his right, and at the base of his feet a geyser of water shoots from the ground straight up into the air, drenching Hotaru and flinging her up into the air. This is perhaps unpleasant when she's flung up /while attached to his arm/, but he simply bears the pain as she slips off. That could have been pretty bad if it'd had failed, but it didn't so lets not think of that!

"Heh heh, no problem. This is a lot closer than it looks, isn't it? I mean, one second you have the advantage, and the next I do. One wrong move and Wham! You're on your ass and in trouble again."

Grabbing hold of his arm means she's committed to the attack... which doesn't work out so good when the very ground beneath her feet errupts, sending the girl airborn, her fingers clenching tightly in an attempt to spare herself the subsequent fall. But they splip loose easily with all the water being thrown around here and Hotaru is thrown up and back down onto her back where she lands in the wet grass with a squishy thud.

"Ermph," is about the best she can manage as a reply as she rolls over onto her side, using the position to get back up to her feet, arms extended a little as she allows the previous assault to evaporate, mouth clenched slightly. From all she can tell, he's manhandling her pretty good. Dealing with an opponent who has enough control as to project attacks from nearly any direction is something she's not sure she knows how to handle.

All she can keep doing is strike back though, and hope to keep quick enough on her toes to avoid the next place his power originates from. Faster, she tells herself. Need to get faster. And with that, her feet slam against the wet grass as she moves back onto the offense, leaping into the air with a spinning momentum as she lashes out with her foot hard toward his head this time. Attacking his muscled chest seems to not really phase the man at all - she might have to just aim higher. "YA!"

COMBATSYS: Sergio interrupts Light Kick from Hotaru with Medium Kick.

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Hotaru           1/-----==/=======|======-\-------\0           Sergio

Sergio's remembering something important from the last time he fought her. Back then she had spent a lot of her time with counter attacks and blow trades, making it so that he's unable to prepare any kind of real defense against her strikes. If it worked so well for her, why couldn't it be the same for him? Not only will it deny her the chance to defend as it did him, it'll allow him to meet the attack when he's prepared for it; the worst-case scenario being easier to deal with lighter than it would otherwise.

With this in mind he does what he seems to do best- take risks. She comes in fast, jumping into the air and coming at him from above. But there's one slight edge that he has. It took her just a bit of time to pick herself up from the watery blast, and this gives him just barely enough time to make his move. When she comes down and aims for his head he jumps into the air and delivers a spinning side kick, the feet of the fighters impacting one another at exactly the same moment. There's two differences that allow Sergio to come out on top. First is that the muscles in his body are tightened up and ready, and the second is that water fires out of his heel, thrusting her away with both kinetic power and watery thrust, pushing her away before her feet can really sink in. Oh, and his legs are probably longer as well. He lands in the ground, doing his best to make it look like he took no pain from her kick at all- something that's not true at all, and drops back into his brawling stance, watching her carefully. He can't get away with that sort of thing forever.

As he leaves the ground, the girl tries to adjust for it, but her trajectory is set, and there's little she can do to keep from getting stopped short. Her own foot lands, but barely, but she gets bent over his foot and subsequently blasted back by the chi that follows it up.

Splashed and kicked back to the ground on her back, Hotaru rolls a couple of times before coming up in a crouch, one hand planted against the grass to keep from falling over, breathing hard as she tries to keep herself together, water dripping from her hair to the ground below. This guy is like some kind of bottomless well of chi, the girl muses. She's hardly ever seen anything like it!

Rising slowly to her feet, the girl exhales, catching herself with her hand against her knee. Running at him over and over is wearing her out fast, especially since it seems to just result in her getting slammed back again and again. But she can't win fights by just standing still. Rolling her arm out to her side, bathing it in a vibrante, dark blue aura, the girl charges up her own chi based attack. She can't fling the stuff around like he can, but she can at least try what she's got. A step forward is taken and then the girl swings her right hand forward, discharging the small projectile toward Sergio's chest. "YA!"

COMBATSYS: Sergio blocks Hotaru's Hakki Shou EX.

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Hotaru           1/-----==/=======|======-\-------\0           Sergio

Bottomless well of chi... if Hotaru had said that out loud, Sergio would have definitely taken that as a huge compliment. The change of tactics on Hotaru's part isn't surprising to Serigo. He was expecting something like it to come his way rather soon, in fact. Not necessarily in the way it did, but some sort of attempt to change things up so she can get her pacing back. The Italian, of course, has no intention to let that change of tactics of affecting him.

She moves forward, and fires off a blast of her blue chi at him. Ok, try to try something interesting here. He's seen others do things similar on television, so maybe it'll work. He holds his hand out towards the energy as it comes towards him, and then bathes it in his own, hunkering down almost as if he was going to release a whitewater, but with his arm already forward. The energy impacts his hand, eating away at that coating of water around it. Eventually it blows through... but when it does it hits one of the hardest parts of Sergio, and it's power was depleted a great deal by being forced to pass through the energy barrier. He stays low, shakes out his hand, and moves once again into a totally defensive stance. Ok, so it didn't work out /quite/ as well as he had hoped. He's seen people like Kain completely nullify incoming attacks that way. Sergio... isn't Kain. That hurt.

COMBATSYS: Sergio gains composure.

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Hotaru           1/-----==/=======|=====--\-------\0           Sergio

Hotaru watches her attack splash against him with practically no impact, blue eyes blinking with some surprise at his ability to combat her projectile directly with his own power. It would be hard to miss the uncertainty in her expression by then, the girl holding back, and exhaling a long, quiet, resigned sigh.

COMBATSYS: Hotaru gains composure.

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Hotaru           1/-------/=======|=====--\-------\0           Sergio

Hmm. This could either be good or bad for Sergio, depending on how he plays things out. He's ahead, it should be pretty obvious to both of them. ...on the other hand, she's powerful enough to be able to turn things like this around at a moments notice. Sergio isn't exactly unsure of what to do in this situation, but it gives him pause. She is tough. She can probably use this very tactic and defeat him soundly if she's willing to stick to it. On the other hand, a look of uncertainty can be the perfect feint to try to get him to let lose with an earthshateringly powerful, and slow, attack.

In the end? That's -exactly- what he does. He remains in his power position, and begins dredging up some more power from within himself. It might seem like he's strained himself to the limit, but in reality he's nearly as fresh as he was at the beginning of the fight. He pulls his right hand back... the ground rumbles. It should be completely obvious what happens next. ...and then something weird happens. He thrusts his hand forward alright, but rather than coming at the base of his feet, a massive surge of water wells up from beneath the surface of the ground /behind Hotaru/ and attempts to catch her completely off guard.

How many people can attack you from behind with chi when they're in front of you? Sergio can.

COMBATSYS: Sergio successfully hits Hotaru with Whitewater.

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Hotaru           1/---====/=======|=====--\-------\0           Sergio

One would think with the chance she had to catch her breath, the girl would have a better feel for being aware of where the next build up of chi is coming from. But she's watching Sergio. Not the grass behind her. The attack strikes cleanly, the girl only vaguely becoming aware of the misdirection a moment too late, getting blasted forward and slammed to the ground where she slides several yards. There is a gasp as she slowly starts to push herself back up onto her feet, but she's wobbly by now, body trembling as she struggles against the pain from yet another devestating attack. He was toying with her last time. Of that much she is certain. Maybe it was being indoors. Perhaps that caused him to hold back some of his destructive power. But out here, with what she's being blasted with, the girl feels hopelessly out of her league.

Breathing in, all she can do now is try to deliver some final attack before he finishes the fight with some other spectacular display of power, hands tightening as she charges in toward him, leaping into a flip through the air followed by a knee dive toward his shoulder. If she manages to connect, she'll follow up with a swing of her left leg to deliver a second strike toward his head, before she backflips away to try and land safely, taking another risk at her landing spot being destroyed before she gets there.

COMBATSYS: Sergio interrupts Rengeki Shuu from Hotaru with Old Faithful.

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Hotaru           1/-======/=======|=======\-------\0           Sergio

Sergio's strategy seems to have prevailed, this time. The attack from behind seems to have gotten Hotaru pretty good, and that much he can tell. The wobbly legs, the expression on her face. It's enough to tell him that it's time to go from battling his heart out to sealing the deal. The last time he fought her he was fighting his best- but in a different matter. Sure, he's just as full of confidence as he was then, but that time he had -severely- underestimated her. There's also another important fact; this time his wild gambles paid off, last time they'd caused him to fall on his face.

When she comes at him from the sky, he reacts almost without thinking; his hand shoved straight up into the air, a geyser of water shooting up from the ground to blast Hotaru only moments after she slams into his shoulder, the Italian actually giving very little concern for his own personal well-being. He sees a chance to potentially end the fight, and he takes it. He stumbles back a bit after the water flies skyward due to the knee smash to the shoulder, and then immediately puts himself back on guard. Lord knows there are people that can do some crazy things when it looks like they're down and out.

The yet another fountain of watery chi more than seals the deal a Hotaru is knocked clean out of her attack right after the knee strike lands. There's no attempt at recoverying in mid-air from the blow. What strength she had to even try something like that is already gone.

Landing on her back several yards away, it's pretty clear that the girl is completely out cold this time, her arms sprawled out at her sides even as the watery remnants of his attacks evaporate away.

COMBATSYS: Hotaru takes no action.

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

COMBATSYS: Hotaru can no longer fight.

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

Sergio waits for Hotaru to get back up and come after him again. And he waits some more. And then the announcer calls it, the fight's over, and Sergio's won. The moment it is the medics come rushing in for Hotaru. And then Sergio grins and holds his fists in the air, clearly jubilant for having defeated someone who he'd had trouble with before. He goes over and grins into the cameras some, shadowboxing at them and flinging some weakened water around. It's his first win in the new season, and it's time to make a name for himself!

Log created on 16:50:14 09/03/2007 by Sergio, and last modified on 22:19:24 09/04/2007.