Neo League 526 - #549: Riko vs Zach

Description: Southtown Airport. But planes aren't the only thing flying today. There's also luggage, raw energy, and maybe a human body or two. The baggage claim hall is the site of this fight, a League publicity match between Riko Koganei and Zach Glen. But there's more than blows being exchanged. There's words, too. Zach has questions about the recent "Jinchuu" tournament. Can he beat a straight answer out of the ninja girl? (Winner: Riko)

Airports. Horrid places. Oh, yes, Southtown International Airport is better than most - Japanese efficiency at work in all things. The terminal is clean, brightly lit, reasonably efficient and well-designed. But even all that can't eliminate the /inevitable/ difficulties of modern air travel. Passport control at immigration. Security checks, customs...

...even a plush well-appointed hell is still hell.

Or at the very least, a slice of purgatory.

Certainly when you're stuck in a queue, or just standing round waiting for your baggage to emerge from the godforsaken underbelly of whatever goes on behind those conveyor belts, time seems to enter a zone where it has no meaning.

None at all.

Today,'s different. Just a bit.

The baggage claim section of the main arrivals terminal is abuzz with life. More than a few passengers have gotten their bags - and still ain't going anywhere. Unusual, to say the least. But perhaps not so unusual given the camera crews now setting up shop along one of the luggage belts. The big LCD screen overhead proclaims that there's /no flight/ unloading baggage at this belt. And the various banners among the crowd give the reason /why/.

Nothing like a Neo League fight to draw attention.

Oh, it's all publicity. Obviously.

But what a show, hm?

As the buzz from the crowd reaches fever pitch... all of a sudden, a loud siren pierces the air, a warning klaxon blaring at ear-splitting volume. And then the special conveyor belt whirrs to life, rubberized slats springing to motion. The familiar forms of suitcases and bags begin to emerge, clattering into view...

...except one of them bears a human form - a slim teenage girl, crouched atop a large piece of luggage. A girl wearing a bright yellow plastic raincoat, t-shirt, shorts... and huge stereo earphones. A distinctive figure, especially balancing as she is. Those are /in-line skates/ on her feet, but the fact she's perching on quite mobile wheels doesn't seem to perturb her in the slightest.

Riko Koganei grins, and waves to the crowd.

It's all about the show.

This must be one of the strangest match settings Zach has ever found himself in.

And he fought in the Jinchuu.

Zach is, in celebration of the occassion, wearing his bright orange Bao-esque outfit. He also has a box in his arms as he makes his way to the unloading ramp. He grins as he hands the box to one of the attendants. "Hold on to that for a moment, please," Zach requests as he steps with a slight wobble onto the belt.

"Miss Koganei. Nice to see you again. Your cake is in that box," Zach says as he points to the attendant. "Mind if I ask you some more questions while we do this?"

COMBATSYS: Zach has started a fight here.

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

COMBATSYS: Riko has joined the fight here.

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

Riko cocks her head to the side. She looks, quite deliberately, at the older fighter. Then she angles her head towards the crowd. Given the sheer noise that the spectators are making, cheers, shouts, and screams, it's unlikely any of -them- can hear what the fighters are saying. But Riko's eyes flit quite deliberately to the TV cameras trained on their moving battlefield...and the prominent gun microphones alongside.

She doesn't respond, at least verbally. She simply gets to her feet, balancing precariously on the suitcase beneath her. It sways a little as she shifts her weight, rattling down the conveyor belt. Riko shrugs her shoulders, giving Zach a sunny - but entirely wordless - smile.

COMBATSYS: Riko takes no action.

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

Zach grins, he knows what his next action MUST be, even if the ninja-girl surely must possess the agility required to foil the effort.

"When I got back to South Toen, I went flipping through my Japanese-English dictionary. Near as I can tell, Jinchuu translates to something along the line of 'if heaven will not judge, then we will.'" Zach flexes his knees, and launches himself forward with a spring and a purple flare of psycho power. "And if that is the case, then what were you guys passing judgement on?"

As Zach closes, he drop kicks the suitcase Riko is standing on, followed up quickly by a snapping kick to the sternum. Apparently he does not care what gets recorded or not recorded.

Riko can even use this chance to be all mysterious and cryptic if she wants.

COMBATSYS: Riko dodges Zach's Light Kick.

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

Plastic cracks beneath Zach's heel, the hapless piece of luggage breaking under his foot. It goes flying, smashing off the conveyor belt, ricocheting on the terminal floor. But the ninja girl isn't there. She's already in motion, arcing overhead. She lands on the actual belt surface, her skate wheels skidding against the black slats that make up the belt.

"Hmmm," Riko muses, pouting.

As she makes that thoughtful little sound, screwing her face up as if mulling over the answer... her foot shifts, tapping lightly against a clamshell suitcase resting alongside her.

"Is it really -that- important, Zach-san?"

The suitcase handle flips up, hooking round Riko's foot. She spins round, pirouetting like a demented ballerina, her raincoat fanning out behind her. And the suitcase goes with, spun into the air at high speed - and straight towards Zach.

COMBATSYS: Riko successfully hits Zach with Medium Fling.

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

Zach takes the suitcase right in the face, sprawling out of the conveyor belt for a moment. He kips to his feet, his face reddened from the impact as he regards Riko with a lopsided grin. "It's a matter of intense curiousity," he replies gravely. He rides the belts for a moment, sizing Riko up.

She's just so dodgy on those fancy skates of hers, after all.

COMBATSYS: Zach focuses on his next action.

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

"So I see," Riko replies, brightly.

She's still several feet away from Zach, still standing on the belt as it rattles its way onward, sketching a nice fat loop around the heart of the arrivals terminal. In the background, the crowd continues to cheer... but Riko's eyes are focused keenly on Zach. She grins, again.

"But really, really, does it -matter-, Zach-san? It doesn't affect you, does it?"

As she speaks, her footing shifts. Zach's right, the little ninja girl is agile. And from the keen look in Riko's eyes, she's well -aware- of what Zach is trying. Watching her carefully, warily, looking for an opening. It's the kind of tactical analysis she approves of. Subtly, Riko inclines her head, acknowledging the point.

She does this even as she speaks, her banter entirely separate from the message communicated by her gaze.

And apart, as well, from the motion of her feet - as she once again moves a skate-clad foot. This time not kicking any sort of luggage at Zach. Oh no - what the wheels of her skates dig into is the slats of the conveyor belt /itself/, ripping a section completely free from its mountings, exposing raw metal beneath. The chunk of rubberized plastic blasts towards Zach. Not the most lethal of projectiles, but sent on its way with sheer unadulterated /speed/.

COMBATSYS: Riko successfully hits Zach with Sudden Fling.

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

Zach takes the slat in the stomach. He is not used to fighting in =normal= matches, and this hardly qualifies as normal. He staggers back a couple of paces, regarding the girl for a moment.

"You have a point there, but given that I was shot at, cut up, beat up, and nearly drown at least twice, it =did= affect me on some level. I think one or two answers are only fair, neh?"

Zach dashes again, using the luggage as stepping stones of sorts to attempt to negate the conveyor's momentum before leaping at the younger woman. He twists in the air, that trademark beach-ball of violet soul power spinning to life in his palm even as it is being driven at the girl's chest!

COMBATSYS: Riko dodges Zach's Impulse Flare.

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

"Saaaaaa," Riko murmurs, drawing out the syllable. Her voice remains politely detached, distantly contemplative... even as Zach comes charging at her, leaping over the bags strewn over the belt. Her voice is casual, but her eyes track his movement.


But... enough?

Riko moves.

The blazing whirl of spiritual energy casts a strange illumination over her face and body, her eyes glittering with reflected light. Her raincoat, her hair, the fabric of her t-shirt, swirl with the close proximity of the deadly pulse.

But it doesn't touch her. No, Zach's headalong rush falls short, just barely short, as the girl leans to the side.

And then she thrusts her own hand out, fingers reaching for Zach's wrist - just above the hand clutching that sphere of soul-forged power. Aiming to grab and fling him bodily from the conveyor belt, down to the terminal floor.

"But answers are what you make of them."

COMBATSYS: Zach parries Riko's Quick Throw!

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

Zach's eyes light up. An opening! His empty hand snakes out, snatching the wrist of the questing hand. The Impulse Flare still sparkles in his ready hand.

"True," Zach admits, "All I know, is that I put myself at considerble risk, and got paid a decent sum for it." Zach yanks on Riko's arm hard to bring her in even as he is driving the soul-blast at the Leaf Ninja. "But I can't help but think there's more to the story than just that. So I'm curious."

COMBATSYS: Zach successfully hits Riko with Impulse Flare EX.

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

An explosion of light. A release of spiritual energies so strong that everyone in the crowd can feel it. A manifest power that smashes into the ninja girl with the force of a jackhammer. She intended to send Zach flying. But it's her that makes the trip, instead. She tumbles to a halt on the terminal floor, lying on her side.

Quickly, though, she levers herself up on one elbow, then her knees, then her feet. One hand drifts to her midsection, as she cracks an eye open. Her lips twitch, ever so slightly.

That -hurt-, it did.

Of course, Riko reflects, as she bundles up the pain and pushes it from her mind...she was expecting that. After all, didn't she -personally- collate the sensor data from the tournament, regarding this 'Zach Glen'?


Riko laughs, lightly, sounding only faintly short of breath.

"You came...and you were judged."

Her voice lilts through the arrival terminal.

"Is that not," she arches an eyebrow, "enough?"

That's the only warning. When she pronounces the last syllable. But before it even leaves her lips, she's once again in motion. Quickly, quickly, skating forward - matching the conveyor's motion and quickly exceeding it, taking her alongside Zach. As she moves, she extends a hand, her fingers latching on to something by her side...

...the push-bar of a baggage trolley, parked by the belt. Her muscles tense, her arm bends, and the trolley -blasts- into the air, four wheels leaving the ground... the steel frame swinging at Zach, still atop the baggage claim.

COMBATSYS: Riko successfully hits Zach with Improvised Tactics.

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

Zach is sent across the baltway, courtesy of Air Kogenei. He sits up, shaking the cobwebs loose as he regards the young lady.

She's strong, too. This does not sit well with the wanderer.

He picks himself up. He gives Riko a look that says he is not done with this conversation yet, but is willing to let it drop for the sake of punching. He stands up straight, eyeing his opponent with... maybe not anticipation, but perhaps a willingness to see this through.

Even if Riko is beating the crap out of him.

He twists to the side, tucking his left hand next to his ribcage as more energies flare around it. The purple glow intensifies as he mentally chooses his approach. The tension in the air is thick.

And then it snaps as Zach surges forward on a veritable explosion of purple, losing his hat in the charge. As Zach sails towards the cart-flinging ninja girl the result of the initial energy flare becomes clear as a massive, if slightly hazy-looking, gauntlet crashes towards the younger woman!

COMBATSYS: Riko interrupts Burst Strike from Zach with Metamysticparallectrolysis EX.

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

Riko's eyes widen, fractionally. She inhales sharply, before exhaling in almost the same moment - rapidly drawing air through her lungs. Her muscles are beginning to burn, oxygen debt creeping up. In a moment she'll feel it, in a moment she'll have to slow down. But not /now/.

Not with Zach heading towards her like an avenging angel, surrounded by enough raw psionic energy that even -she- can feel the oppressive presence. And she's got all the psi sensitivity of a brick.

But she's got Zach's measure.

Of course, Zach's been watching her too. Riko's sure of it. The look in his eyes - he's been measuring her capability. Gauging her speed and strength, just like she's been studying his.

But there's two things he hasn't counted on.

One: She hasn't shown her true ability in this fight.


Two: She's still got a grip on that luggage cart.

As Zach races towards her, she hefts it again. Swings it, the trolley wheels spinning in mid-air, tubular steel gleaming under the lights of the airport terminal and the ethereal flare of Zach's power.


Riko unleashes her own energies.

Unlike the psion, Riko Koganei is a chi adept.

Chi is the energy of the world, not the energy of the mind and soul. And the most obvious distinguishing the fact chi can manifest as elemental force.

In Riko's case, that element is electricity.

Spirit-forged arcs crackle over the baggage cart.

It's made of metal.

That'll do as a focus.

The entire trolley erupts in energy as Riko unleashes a surge of lightning at point-blank range, blinding forks of electrical power blasting forth at the very moment Zach smashes through the cart. And into her as well...

...but it's clear that Zach is the worse off for the exchange.

That would make two of these combatants, when it comes to psi-sensitivity.

Zach takes the cart full-on, and then takes another trip across the claim area. He bounces and skid to a halt against the side of the conveyor belt, his orange outfit showing patches of black and brown from the electricity.

Zach twitches occassionally, but makes no moves to get up and continue the fight. That would require his limbs obeying the order to move. Which they aren't.

COMBATSYS: Zach takes no action.

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

COMBATSYS: Zach can no longer fight.

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

The wrecked baggage cart slips from Riko's fingers. It rattles against the ground, the bent and twisted metal coming to a final halt. A faint smell of burnt rubber rises from the trolley, the tires lightly scorched by the ninja girl's electrical discharge.

She flexes her hand, rotating it at the wrist, and then moving her arm at the shoulder.


Riko looks over at Zach, her head cocked to one side. She waits for a few moments - along with the crowd packed into the airport hall.

Until it becomes apparent he isn't getting up.


Riko lifts a finger to her lips.

"'re right," she says, finally, her voice hushed and short of breath, "Zach-san. Jinchuu...there were reasons for that name. Reasons...plural. What I told you really -is- one. But for the others...well."

She smiles.

"We can talk again. Thank you for the cake."

She bows, then, her movements slower than they were before, but with a subtle spark all the same.

COMBATSYS: Riko has ended the fight here.

Zach looks over at Riko, his body unwilling to move for the time being. He manages a nod, and a smile.

"I'd like that," Zach replies weakly, "But if you'll excuse me, I'll just lie here a minute."

Log created on 17:02:36 11/08/2007 by Riko, and last modified on 11:18:18 11/10/2007.