Neo League 526 - #547: Zach vs Frei

Description: Zach and Frei fight it out in Russia! Fireworks ensue, but only one can come out on top! (Winner: Frei)

Although it's gone through a few name changes in the past few decades, St. Petersburg is actually one of the more beautiful locales in all of Eurasia. Thus when then the Neo League folks called up Frei to remind him that the second 'season' had started (a fact he did not know about) and to offer him a match out in Russia for the second time in his Neo League career, he was eager to accept. Southtown was becoming full of troubling memories and thoughts lately, weird things to think about... a little European vacation would do him good.

Fast forward to now, a chilly Russian afternoon under a cloudless blue sky and the bright, cold sunlight of autumn. The setting is Catherine Palace, a baroque-looking building of the same blue and white colors one might find in the sky. The NL crew is setting up a cordoned area in front of it on the wide brick pathways outside the palace, and there's actually quite a crowd here. Local promotion has brought out the Russians, but the use of a landmark as a place for the fight is bringing in the tourists as well.

And Frei? He's sitting on a folding canvas chair off to the side, drinking from a steaming thermos of green tea. He actually doesn't look like he dressed for the chill at all: still the normal ensemble of jeans and a long qipao-type shirt, even the wooden sandals. Out of some deference to the weather, however, he appears to have added a woolen knit scarf of gold and red. And yes, should one look close enough... there is indeed a Gryffindor house crest on one of the tails thrown over his right shoulder.

Zach is wearing a black hoodie today, along with the jeans, sneakers. He tops the look with that big orange hat he found on the Suiryuu. He thought it a humorous touch, given this is the first fight he has had on dry land in quite a while. He's never =been= to Russia before, and is looking around with wide green eyes in wonder at the surroundings.

It is only after he nearly trips over the cordon, nice and large given one of the combatants, that Zach notices Frei. He pulls an embossed card out of his pouch, and looks it over. "You Frei?" the American enquires.

Depending on Zach's familiarity with Japanese culture, there is something about Frei's posture and manner that makes him seem like... well, like an old man. He's drinking his tea from the thermos' cap-cup thing with both hands, eyes closed, and takes a sharp inward breath after each sip, sitting with his ankles crossed. He even smacks his lips once or twice, though that's more because they're chapped than anything else. But by *contrast* his physical features don't make him look much older than 19, if that; the blood rushing to his face with the heat of the tea is making his faint freckling visible.

When the young American approaches, the monk blinks his eyes open, then looks up and smiles, screwing the cap back on the thermos and setting it down. "Guilty! I guess that either makes you Zach, or someone to collect my overdue library books," he jokes, stretching both arms over his head languidly and then rising from the chair, hopping on his heels for a moment. "Love the hair."

Zach blinks once, not sure what to make of the man's comment. Or his attitude, for that matter. "I don't know about any library books, actually. That'd be one dedicated librarian." Zach nods once "I'm Zach," he says as he tucks the mane of hair back under the large hat. It feels odd bunched up in the hood of his sweater. He leans once to the right, then again to the left to stretch out a bit, flexing his knees twice each before nodding to Frei as he slides his feet about shoulder width apart.

"Ready when you are, then."

COMBATSYS: Zach has started a fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Zach             0/-------/-------|

A slow grin spreads across Frei's face at Zach's comment. He seems to be a kid with good humor, and that suits Frei just fine. Too many dour youngsters on the fighting circuit nowadays. "You never know. I've seen that 'Hurricane Hime' girl fight... she seems like the type of 'librarian' that would track you to another continent to get an overdue book back..." Of course, the crowd's getting restless. They came to see some pyrotechnic fighting action! Little do they know that with these two fighters they're about to get their money's worth and some to spare.

Trundling over to stand regulation distance from Zach, the monk shakes out his hands, tightens the fanboy scarf around his neck, and then nods to Zach. How odd... the clothing has an almost Terry Bogard kind of look to it. And he is American... a brawler? Lately the monk, who is really more interested in chi than martial arts, has been taken more to trying to analyze an opponent's style, taking fighting a little more seriously... though it's hard to take it LESS seriously than he does. "Good luck. Show me whatcha got!"

COMBATSYS: Frei has joined the fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Frei             0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Zach

Zach eyes Frei warily for a moment, looking for a good angle to attack from. This idea gets discarded pretty quickly; Glen's always been pretty straight forward.

"I've met her. Fought her twice, actually. But if you insist on seeing what I have..." He brings up a hand, sparkling purple energies flaring to life at his mental command. Whatever it is, it isn't chi. This may become even more readily apparent when several baseball sized globs of the stuff come flying at the older man, "Then I'll just have to oblige you, I guess."

COMBATSYS: Frei blocks Zach's Warning Shot.

[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////////  ]
Frei             0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Zach

While he really knows nothing about Psycho Power per se, the monk in question is a chi expert; while there are many more powerful, few are more knowledgeable. So he does indeed sense that what he's seeing head toward him at a nice clip is not, in fact, chi. Maybe Zach and Alma are related? Perhaps not. In any event, the monk is content to stay on the defensive, 'catching' the spheres on his arm, which flickers with a haze of gold light; some of the spheres burst against it, others pelt Frei in the shoulder. "Well, that is the polite thing to do," he says with a smile.

Bringing his arm down, the monk takes a deep breath and then turns to Zach. "Gettin' a crazy sense of deja vu here," he murmurs to himself... noting that his last fight in St. Petersburg was against Alma, and ended with an on-screen kiss... though that's not likely to repeat itself. Driving forward, Frei turns and attempts to grab Zach's arm, unbalancing him; if he can pull that off, his other hand whips around and applies a pinpoint burst of wind chi toward Zach's stomach, turning a typical throwing technique into something a little more interesting.

COMBATSYS: Frei successfully hits Zach with Medium Throw.

[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////       ]
Frei             0/-------/------=|====---\-------\0             Zach

Zach yelps slightly as Frei yanks on his arm before sending him bouncing and skidding across the arena. Zach slides to a stop on his stomach, looking up at Frei.

"Wouldn't want to be considered rude, I guess," Zach says with a slight grunt as he pushes himself to his feet. He considers things for a moment, before charging the older man at a full sprint. Moments before Zach would either have to lower his speed, or his shoulder, the wanderer drops to the turf forcing him into a slide aimed at Frei's ankles!

COMBATSYS: Frei interrupts Heavy Kick from Zach with Hadou Souran.

[     \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////                 ]
Frei             0/-------/---====|=======\===----\1             Zach

Zach seems like a nice guy... a high-energy fighter, too, the kind Frei enjoys having bouts with. Plus the slide catches him a bit by surprise... kind of unorthodox, but considering that if he goes down his noggin's going to be bouncing off the brick pathways they're fighting on, pretty effective too. "I think you're very polite so far!" the monk says in an earnest tone, as Zach comes running right for him...

...and he doesn't get out of the way. To the casual observer this must seem like the stupidest defense in the world, but a careful watcher might notice that even as Zach's foot smacks into Frei's calf, sending him off-balance and toward the ground, the monk's hands are glowing white, with a flickering brightness of rainbow colors around each. Twisting his body in midair, Frei heads toward the ground... but rather than landing on his head, he lands in a crouch, face-to-face for the briefest of moments with Zach, wincing in pain at the impact on his legs... but more than able to throw both hands out and lash out at his opponent with a person-high shockwave of prismatic-colored chi with that familiar trademarked name: "Haaadoooukeeeeeen!"

Zach is squashed between the floor and the chi-blast. It hurts like nobody's business, eliciting a loud yell of pain from the shorter man. The cap is sent flying off of his head and dancing across the pavement. However, there is something of a smile on Zach's face as the psycho-power flares to life, shredding the black hoodie as well as the underarmor long-sleeved shirt underneath it.

"Lemme show you my take on that one," Zach says as he thrusts both hands forward in that manner that all but screams "SHIIIIIN-KUUUUU! HADOOOKEN!"

That's when the person-tall column of radiant purple energy surges out of Zach's palms, aimed at Frei's chest!

COMBATSYS: Frei blocks Zach's Burst Stream.

[       \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////                   ]
Frei             0/-------/-======|===----\-------\0             Zach

...well, crap.

Frei had expected some sort of reprisal from the young fighter after that attack, which is one of his most powerful... he had not expected *this* reprisal, which is actually a little scary given the special effects that accompany it. Getting out of the way of the attack, probably not such a great plan because Frei's not built for speed. He COULD weather it to strike at the young fighter on the other side, but many battles with Alma have made Frei cautious about people with 'this' energy... he's relived enough past experiences and had enough sudden emotional shifts as a result that he really is not in a place to just take that on the chin.

There is a third option, and that's the one Frei takes. Hands still glowing somewhat from his previous attack, he shuts his eyes for a moment and then, spreading his arms wide, swings them in toward his face. His arms and then crossed over his body in a classic guard... but his movement also springs up a shimmering field of silvery light that is between him and the oncoming rush of purple doom. Zach's attack powers through the shield of light in an instant, shattering it... but in doing so is a little weakened in strength, so that when it hits Frei's actual body, he can weather that particular storm a little more effectively.

Uncrossing his arms, he opens his eyes again and doesn't attack, merely watching now-shirtless Zach and getting a weird feeling in the pit of his stomach. "Yeah," the monk murmurs. "Definitely getting that weird sense of deja vu."

COMBATSYS: Frei focuses on his next action.

[       \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////                   ]
Frei             0/-------/-======|===----\-------\0             Zach

Zach winces a bit. He had hoped for more out of that than what he got. He slowly pulls himself to his feet, shaking himself loose a bit, bouncing on the balls of his feet once or twice as he looks across the way at Frei.

" gotta be kidding me," Zach gasps as he tries to calm himself down, and put himself back together somewhat. He doesn't make any moves against Frei at the moment.

COMBATSYS: Zach gains composure.

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Frei             0/-------/-======|=------\-------\0             Zach

Centering himself, Frei takes a few deep breaths. The kid's still got fight in him, which is good, even if he seems a little discouraged. Getting back into a... passable, if something unorthodox, tai chi stance, he grins a little at Zach. "You've got quite the lightshow going on," the monk says, with a tone of... approval? Something of the sort. "I like it. You can probably tell, I'm a little flashy myself."

Cracking his knuckles, Frei hops on his feet once. "Case in point!" Ducking forward, he drives at Zach low, then suddenly makes a pivoting step with his right foot and throws both palms out at his opponent, unleashing a spherical burst of orange-red-gold chi at close range. It's not that strong, but it is quick... and hey, if it connects, it also feels warm to the touch! Just the thing for those chilly pre-winter outdoor fights.

COMBATSYS: Frei successfully hits Zach with Hizashi.
- Power hit! -

[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////                       ]
Frei             0/-------/-======|=======\-------\0             Zach

Zach is once more sent flying, the brick pathways scraping and scratching at exposed skin as the young man bounces across the arena. Power covers Zach, but seems to allow the brick to do some surface damage to him. He pulls himself to his feet, gasping from the pain that screams across his body.

"Th-thanks, I guess," Zach says even as he starts to run in on his opponent. He leaps into air, spinning once as he thrusts out an open palm. A veritable beachball of psi spins into existance in the outstetched hand even as Zach tries to hammer the globe into Frei's face!

COMBATSYS: Frei interrupts Impulse Flare from Zach with Hyoushou Rengeki.

[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >                                ]
Frei             1/------=/=======|=======\======-\1             Zach

Well. The crowd wanted flashy, they're going to get it. Deciding that this somewhat aggressive offense he's been toying with has some merit in this fight, instead of running away from Zach he just runs right AT him. Perhaps there's some kamikaze pilot in the Japanese half of the young monk's ancestry? Either way, it makes for a nicely theatrical clash, as Zach seems to be suspended in midair for the briefest of moments, the massive psychic attack crashing into Frei's upper torso in a whirl of energy. Barely visible through the spinning attack, however, is the narrowing of his bright green eyes, the clenching of his teeth.

And just as suddenly as before, the monk's arms -- left free by his decision to just walk into the blow -- swing up, glowing blue-white. A massive arc of ice crystals, searing the air with frost, slices straight through Zach's attack and continues on toward the American fighter. The shift of counterforces sends Frei sprawling backwards, landing in a crouch on the ground. Wherever Zach lands, however, it's likely he fared a little worse in that exchange than Frei did... not that you'd know it from the monk's heavy breathing.

Zach is knocked... straight up into the air. The shock of the impact, mixed with the cold, and heavily colored by Zach's frustration as his seeming inability to get ANYTHING accomplished against this man kick his power into over-drive. Zach's eyes go wide as he realizes what is about to happen. He hits the top of his arc, and tries desperately to rein the energy in, to prevent the explosion he feels is about to come.

Zach falls head-first at Frei, and realizes that the outward battle is lost, and the inner battle is almost as impossible at this point. He tries a different tack, he attempts to shape the explosion, mold it, so that it goes in one direction. That direction is back the way he came.

Unfortunately, the young man 'detonates' in Frei's face.

COMBATSYS: Zach can no longer fight.

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

COMBATSYS: Frei blocks Zach's Storm Flare.

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

Zach Zach lays on the ground, gasping for air. He's not standing up on his own anytime soon.

Even without psychic powers, something about the expression on Zach's face raises Frei's hackles, sets him on edge. Of course, the last time somebody exploded their power uncontrollably in St. Petersburg, it was him, not his opponent... perhaps this is the universe's way of paying him back for that. Either way, however, it means that the monk is 100% on his guard when the unusual American fighter comes hurtling back toward him like a comet, arms crossed over his face and angled upward, a shimmering but mostly invisible field of chi surrounding him like a shell.

The explosion of purple and invisible energy when they meet is pretty damned impressive.

But of course, there's no stopping that attack completely, and the remaining psychic shockwave actually shoves Frei's body backward across the bricks, kicking them up and out of his way as the force shoves the monk's sandals into the ground, gouging it. All is quiet for a moment, and then the world seems to restart again, having been frozen momentarily. Even if the person doing the exploding is different, the RESULT seems to be the same: the walkway around a Russian landmark more or less ruined.

But even as the announcer declares Frei the winner in the background, the monk isn't hearing him; instead he walks over to where Zach lays and ducks down nearby, giving him a concerned look. "You alright there?"

COMBATSYS: Frei takes no action.

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

COMBATSYS: Frei has ended the fight here.

Zach weakly flops over onto his back, staring up at Frei. Concern is apparent on his face, even before the younger man asks, "Who... who did I hurt this time?" The answer seems important to Zach, who looks battered, and a bit bloodied.

Chuckling, Frei just grins. It's hard to believe from the relaxed look on his face what mortal peril he was in just a few seconds ago. "Nobody," he says, with a nod of confirmation. "I've survived worse. Well..." He pauses, then looks over to his side, where the Neo League people are having a really heated argument with a few of the location curators, who've arrived to shout in incomprehensible Russian. Frei shakes his head, then turns to look at Zach again with a grin. "You did kill some innocent bricks, but they've had long, full lives, so I wouldn't stress over it."

Once Zach hears that noone (outside of Frei) was hurt, he simply smiles. "Good."

Zach passes out promptly after this single word is spoken, the fight taking its final toll on him.

Log created on 12:50:20 11/04/2007 by Zach, and last modified on 10:37:52 11/10/2007.