Shadaloo - Kidnapped! Dual Duel!

Description: Having let Whip and Vanessa out of their cages, Vega challenges them both to a battle for their freedom. Admittedly, he'd planned on letting them go either way - but having something to fight for makes one fight all the stronger!

Used to be, SNF was pretty safe..

Seriously! You'd fight on some giant circus wheel or on a mountain, and afterwards you'd go home, have a beer, and relax. This week was unfortunately slightly different - a small, delicate change made at the right locale, a team of infiltrated medics in a way that might not be noticed one time only - and three fighters had simply vanished after their matches. Shanghai'd to.. well, Thaihai'd, really. The locale might be difficult to place though - being underground, inside a walled 'cell' might make it a bit too plain to place.

When the two warriors awaken from their current drugged slumber, they'll be in open rooms that lead to a corridor. Vanessa may find it familiar as opposed to Whip, though the metal bars that were at Vanessa's door are gone this time, holes evident where they'd been ripped out - a nod to 'some' comfort. The rooms are sparsely furnished, cots and a small container of water and foodstuffs, bland but edible. Also, since they face each other, it should be eminently easy to strike up the standard conversations that occur with waking up in strange places, such as '.. Where are we?' 'W.. Why does my head hurt?' and '... We didn't make out, did we?'

Vanessa's awakening is similar to last time. Her eyes crack open. She groans, rolls over, wobbles to her feet...

...and finally processes where she is.

"...well," she mutters, shaking the grog from her head, "at least he was honest." She heaves a sigh, looking around and making sure there's nothing that looks like an 'obey the small-chinned man's every whim and pleasure' device.

No sign. Excellent.

She bypasses the food for now, though she does just grab the water supply and start drinking. It's been a while since she had anything to drink, let alone water.

While she drinks, she squints across the hall, at the door that she didn't notice before. There's someone on the bed. Is that--?

It sure is. Sprawled against the other bed is Whip, looking the most peaceful she's been in a while, and will be for a very, very long time. However, as innocent as young that girl looks asleep, it doesn't last for long, as her soldier's instincts quickly sensitize her to the sudden noise. There's someone movie. Someone speaking. Time to wake up.

Her eyes flutter, and the bleary world returns to the young Ikari only in half-focus. She immediately squints her dark eyes, gritting her jaw as a splint against the sudden rush of a headache. Scowling lightly, she shifts, one hand grabbing a handful of bedsheets that don't feel familiar. Her brows furrow, and a heartbeat later, her eyes open anew.

Not even an instant later, Whip is sitting up faster than a snakebite, reaching over her shoulder reflexively and drawing free her monstrous Desert Eagle. She holds it severely as her eyes roam the room, taking in its uncharitable, unfamiliar confines. Her mind races furiously. Where is she? What is this. The last thing she remembers is...

Whip's expression darkens. It's at that moment her head turns, orienting by some celestial cue to meet Vanessa's eyes just as the other woman looks her way. The Ikari startles visibly as she stares at her, looking like she's not too sure what to think. "--What the hell's going on?" is the first thing that pops out of her mouth, her voice a little cracked and muggy from disuse.

"Welcome," Vanessa says, holding her water up in a parody of a 'cheers!' motion, "to the Rock."

She drinks some more, greedily sucking down the entire contents of the bottle, and then glances at it, disappointed. "Jerk," she mutters, then tosses it aside, where it clatters to the ground. She sets one hand on her hip, in as close to a friendly, casual expression as she can offer while trapped within the citadel of the enemy, and steps over to the door.

Hers is unbarred, presumably because the bad guy assumes she is going to be just as unproblematic as she was last time. There's also that chance that he's /still there/, though...well, actually, he probably does know, so maybe he will be. She can't imagine there's no cameras.

"We're in the hands of...some...punkass warlord or another. He's made me fight him at least once before. I must have impressed him, he made me stay another round." She pauses, sighs, and then thinks to add, "But don't worry, it's not... ..."

Her face darkens, slightly. "That guy."

More than anything, Whip wants to slouch down against a wall, bury her face in both hands, and tell herself, 'This can't be happening.' Because maybe if you say it enough times, it'll become real. Nonetheless, whatever this is, it is happening and she doesn't have the time to get theatrical about it.

Other than the frown that's tattooed itself to her mouth, the young Ikari takes the news startlingly well. She's already swallowing back any sort of emotional response to this unusual, and even terrifying situation. Hell, she hasn't even had time to mentally process what happened one dark room ago, which still lurks on the forefront of Whip's stressed little mind. But there's time to deal with that later. Right now she needs to soldier up and get mechanical about this, in order to ensure there will /be/ a later.

Whip listens closely to Vanessa, though her eyes turn away, busy assessing her own body. She's still in her combat wear, and all her weapons are where they should be. She even checks the clip in her gun. Almost full. Whoever this Punkass Warlord is, she has just mentally downgraded him to 'Some Nutso Psycho' who keeps his prisoners armed.

It's only when Vanessa uneasily stresses it's not 'That Guy,' that Whip looks back, the look on her face flushed with apprehension. They could only be so lucky.

Soon enough, her dark eyes fix on the long corridor that lies ahead. "Well," she replies, "as much as I'd like to stay and order room service... I guess they want us to go that way." Holstering her weapon, she already begins stepping forward. "I want to get the hell out of here."

The corridor isn't very long - after all, it wouldn't do to allow people to build up feelings of trepidation or worry. /Too much/, at least. Vega has a flair for the dramatic, so he's just been sitting in the dark since he was told that the doses of sleeping agents would be wearing off 'soon', hands folded under his (tiny) chin, resting his head there and simply waiting.

Nothing really to look at, a few inches above six feet, thin build, grey hair and pale eyes. Eastern European by looks, wearing basic black in a slightly classy cut. Once they enter, the lights will come on, illuminating the padded walls and floor of the training center, and Vega will move to stand, to speak. His voice still has the quality his old voice did, easily built to echo within the almost-empty chamber, always an impressive orator.

"Welcome - again, for one of you. I promised that this would be brief, and your time would be yours after the opportunity to test yourselves. I'm certain you must be frustrated, angry by my treatment and hospitality. Please..." He holds his hands out wide, a grin sliding onto his lips. ".. Feel free to express that displeasure. When you've finished, there will be an escort back to where you came from. Alternatively, if you do not /wish/ to assist me in this endeavor... we can simply sit and stare at each other until the end of time."

Vanessa hums, watching Whip for a time, while the much younger woman prepares herself.

"He wants us to fight him. I almost got him down alone, but..." She frowns, shaking her head. "I don't think he was going at me full throttle. I doubt it's coincidence that we're both awake at the same time, either. We're gonna have a fight on our hands."

Vanessa is much calmer, outwardly. Of course - she's had years, now, to perfect this mask of playful indifference, to hide her boiling rage. It's always so hard, to say how the Boxing Queen truly feels. "When we're out," Vanessa offers to Whip, as the somewhat shorter woman begins to walk away, "I'll get you something to drink. We've both earned it - and I need to talk to you, anyway."

But with this offered, the duo make the short walk the rest of the way to the main chamber, Vanessa already hopping back and forth to warm up her feet. "So, handsome," Vanessa quips, in a more sly tone than she was using before, "Do you just sit around in dark rooms all day waiting for beautiful women to put fists in your face?"

she doesn't sweep directly in to the attack...though the attentive will notice that her guard is up.

COMBATSYS: Vega has started a fight here on the left meter side.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Vega             0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Vanessa has joined the fight here on the right meter side.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Vega             0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0          Vanessa

COMBATSYS: Whip has joined the fight here on the right meter side.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Vega             0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Whip
                                  >  //////////////////////////////]
                                 |-------\-------\0          Vanessa

"I'll need a drink," Whip mumbles as she walks, mostly to herself. She's already on automatic pilot.

Most certainly, if it were Vega's old face that Whip were currently staring at, she'd undoubtedly be locking every single joint in her body and tasting a bit of horrified bile in her mouth after all she's read about him and Shadaloo in Ikari intel. Instead, she only looks at him now much more calmly, much more thoughtfully, trying to place him in her mental Ikari Warriors databank of bad people. She comes up blank. Her bad mood only sours all the more.

Her steps drawn to a pause, her body language visibly on guard, Whip stands as a graver, moodily counterpoint to the impish Vanessa, the Ikari unable to dredge up the patience or the acting skills to appear otherwise. She's confused, she's displaced, she's far away from home, she's already halfway down the road toward mental collapse, and she's really, really pissed off.

All of Vega's false pleasantries rolling off her like oil on water, Whip merely narrows her eyes in response to his grin. He wants to fight them? That's it? He's taken them prisoner to test their mettle? Who the hell /does that?/

"Whatever you do, Vanessa," Whip entreats, her eyes never leaving the hospitable psychopathic warlord, "don't break his jaw. I want to ask some questions after this is done."

"Not /all/ the time, Vanessa. After all, I do occasionally need to take time to look for other strong fighters. There are more than you'd expect, and more yet to come." He lies smoothly, pacing a bit as he watches the two prepare in their own unique ways. He'd studied Vanessa's style before - both on tape and in person now, the woman famous enough to have been seen once or twice, at least. The in-person battle, well.. Much more interesting, truth be told.

"She did try to break it the last time, actually - I think you'll find me a bit more resilient than that, though." He doesn't say her name, here - it's doubtful that it would rattle Whip, sadly. He's affecting a bored, almost lazzes-faire attitude about this fight, but inside he's thrumming with anticipation, nerves on fire with the tension inside his body, ready to leap forwards and engage. However, he has a new part to play, the magnanimous man, not the devilish dictator - and as such, he simply stops, standing between the women and the door out, a placidly neutral stance with his hands behind his back. There, he waits - and behind him, his fists begin to glow with a dark purple and blue aura - one of those 'tricks up his sleeve', perhaps?

COMBATSYS: Vega takes no action.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Vega             0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Whip
                                  >  //////////////////////////////]
                                 |-------\-------\0          Vanessa

"Well," Vanessa sighs, theatrically. "You're asking me some pretty tough stuff, kid." She cocks an eyebrow, smirking. "Maybe I'll make you treat me to a round, in exchange, then."

She hops between her feet, swings her fists lightning fast a couple times, says, "OK, let's get this party started!" and then--

She's seen that glow around his fist before, and she has no particular desire to experience its touch again. She moves, blurring across the distance and toward Vega. It's the same way she opened the last fight - indeed, Vega would know, it's how she likes to open most fights, a move that lets her skip across the distance between her and her enemies and land a solid blow in the opening seconds.

It's a consistency in her fighting style, a dangerous kind of thing for any fighter. On the other hand, it's consistent for a reason: It /works/.

COMBATSYS: Vega has saved the state of this fight.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Vega             0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Whip
                                  >  ///////////////////////////// ]
                                 |-------\-------\0          Vanessa

COMBATSYS: Vega has left the fight here.

                                  >  //////////////////////////////]
                                 |-------\-------\0             Whip
                                  >  ///////////////////////////// ]
                                 |-------\-------\0          Vanessa

COMBATSYS: Vanessa has left the fight here.

                                  >  //////////////////////////////]
                                 |-------\-------\0             Whip

Leather creaks as Whip fists her gloved hands, her dark eyes lanced straight on Vega -- and almost seeming to stare straight on through him, homed on the exit that he barricades with his own person. They have to fight for their freedom... it's got to be one of the most absurd propositions she's ever heard in her life. If she gets through this, Ikari is going to have to look into this. And him -- whoever he is.

For now, she just concentrates on that legendary patience of hers, making sure it cools every indignant ounce of her temper down. She can't lose her mind like last time. The perpetual migraine she has beating a tattoo right into her orbitofrontal lobes sure isn't helping.

An instant after Vanessa movies, Whip follows, charging from the other side as she tries to coordinate their simultaneous attacks. One quick hand reaches for another, larger holster at her back, and comes free bearing a fifteen-foot bullwhip, its length cracking viciously. Dashing to one side, she attempts a quick strike of her weapon at Vega's legs, its barbed tip immediately trying to snare whatever it can reach. Grimacing, she pulls if there's the instant of connection, all with the attempt to throw the man violently off his feet.

COMBATSYS: Vega blocks Vanessa's Dash Puncher.

[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Vega             0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Whip
                                  >  ///////////////////////////// ]
                                 |-------\-------\0          Vanessa

COMBATSYS: Vega negates Snare Whip from Whip with Psycho Shot.
Glancing Hit

[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Vega             0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Whip
                                  >  ///////////////////////////// ]
                                 |-------\-------\0          Vanessa

Oh, so close! Vega is more than amused that Vanessa has decided to 'open' with the same move she did before. Predictability, indeed! He doesn't /quite/ decide to punish her for it, though the thought is there. Instead, he meets her move with his own, his hand catching her fist before it can power through to his face. Up close, he gives her a whispered little 'Ah-ah-ahhhh", and a tsking sound before he releases her hand. His head whips around - where /is/ that other person..?

He almost doesn't react in time, the crack of the whip as it's tip breaks the sound barrier quite loud in the empty, large room. Does it wrap up his feet, throw him to the ground? No, no - Vega hops upwards, throwing a blast of purple and black energy at the length of the whip, knocking it back, limp. "Fascinating. This should be a true test of my abilities. Please.. continue." He lands lightly, watching the pair, seemingly unruffled.

Vanessa, up close and personal, has her hand caught and held - her predictable attack withstood with a nearly casual ease, though she's pretty sure that level of force was still at least a little unpleasant for the strange man. She meets his whisper with a grin, and a murmured, "They don't always catch on, slugger...not bad."

Of course, Vanessa's a fairly technical boxer - but a boxer she remains. There are only so many ways she can surprise a man like Vega when she works exclusively with punches. Still, she has the opportunity to think of something now, while he's distracted with Whip - just that instant where he's busy taunting--NOW!

She slides in again - blurring across the gap between her and Vega faster than her feet should be able to take her, showing up right behind him, and throwing a hard punch right at the back of his head.

Whip nearly forgets her own anger when she witnesses this strange man -- who is already demonstrating himself as a competent opponent -- dismiss her best weapon with a brisk aside of energy. Her surprise, however, doesn't get to last long. Eyes narrowing, jaw setting, she takes a split second to wonder: is it chi? That would be just perfect.

Chi gets on Whip's nerves.

"Hmmf," she replies to Vega's genial reply, taking all his buttery diplomacy with a grain of salt. But, she doesn't move for long, and the reason why becomes all-too apparent. With Vanessa at her peripherals, Whip tries to remain as much a distraction to Vega to allow the redhead to get the moment she needs. It's only when the Ikari is sure -- or hopeful -- that the boxer has her moment, does she move again herself, hoping she has a moment before his attention is returned. Whip swiftly collects Voodoo and snaps it back out a split-second later.

However, instead of aiming directly at the madman, she cracks her weapon at the underground room's ceiling, nabbing one girder that secures its main foundation. And she takes a running leap. s Vanessa moves from behind with a fist aimed at the back of Vega's head, Whip comes up at the front, swinging by her whip with both booted feet aimed right at his face.

COMBATSYS: Vega endures Whip's Hook Shot.

[     \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Vega             0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0             Whip
                                  >  ///////////////////////////// ]
                                 |-------\-------\0          Vanessa

COMBATSYS: Vega interrupts Hook Punch from Vanessa with Psycho Wave.

[       \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Vega             0/-------/----===|-------\-------\0             Whip
                                  >  ////////////////////          ]
                                 |=======\-------\0          Vanessa

Now, this is true challenge. Vega has been eagerly anticipating the pair going 'for broke', as it were - and the fact that they both continue to leap into the attack, well, it shows their determination and drive. It's a pleasing thing to be faced with, the devilish dictator looking almost /happy/ as he stands in the way of their attacks. Whip's leap and launch is watched, waited - the powerful psychic seeming to ignore Vanessa - at least for the moment.

There's a instant where it looks like he might easily be hit by both attacks - after, though it becomes rather obvious what he does. He takes the hit to his face with aplomb, and twists his head in time to the momentum. The extra spin the move gives him allows him to bring his body to bear on Vanessa before her attack gets through. There's an explosion of purple and black energy, the result of him drawing his hands through the air, raking energy from his soul and stuffing it right into Vanessa's face at a point blank range. "Hah! AGAIN!"

Vega likes stopping her with that. She can tell it's coming when he doesn't even try to dodge - an enemy of his caliber, of course, would've at least sensed her, even busy. Plus, he let Whip kick him in the face, which means...

She's sneering at him even as he unloads a blast of that vile, noxious energy right into her face. Her eyes tear up for reasons only Vega would know for certain, but the Boxer refuses to relent. She snarls, defiant, and shaking her head savagely as she skims away, shifting back and forth across the distance between her and Vega, covering ground in long spurts --

--and then she swoops in one more time. This time, her grins are gone. She's sneering, energy gathering around her fists as she suddenly yells, "I'm not the only one getting REPETITIVE, freak!" She lashes her fist at the side of Vega's head.

She sneers a laugh as the sparks around her hand suddenly spiral, gathering air and dust around them into a thick typhoon of whirling power - and she follows up that first punch by driving that spiral right into Vega's head.

Sometimes Whip hates the way her mind works. She hates the way she can analyze things faster than she can attack them. Like now, when she seems to suddenly figure out that something is very, very wrong -- even before her boots snap forward at Vega's face. He's not moving. He's not doing anything. He's /smiling./

This isn't going to go well.

One kick later, the young Ikari quickly disentangles her weapon and lands softly to her feet, looking fiercely up in time to see her nameless marauder turn right on Vanessa. The colour drains out of Whip's face, her expression fixed between sympathy and horror. Before the rage returns, and strong.

"--You're a goddamned psycho!" Whip snarls, Vega's polite eloquence mostly unreturned. Widening her stance and switching to the offensive, she revives Voodoo with a sudden crack of its length, a turn of her arm redirecting her weapon straight back at Vega. Similar to before, her whip's cutting length tries to nab him in a tangling snare, and for two reasons.

The first is to try to hold him long enough for Vanessa to make her attack. The second, if her catch should stay that long, is so that Whip can follow it all up with a sudden wrench on the line, lunging forward at the same instant and trying to meet the man with a sudden, flying roundhouse kick straight at the head.

COMBATSYS: Vanessa successfully hits Vega with Gaia Gear.

[              \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////////  ]
Vega             0/-------/--=====|-------\-------\0             Whip
                                  >  ///////////////////           ]
                                 |=------\-------\0          Vanessa

COMBATSYS: Vega dodges Whip's Strength Shot - Yuuetsu.

[              \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////////  ]
Vega             0/-------/--=====|-------\-------\0             Whip
                                  >  ///////////////////           ]
                                 |=------\-------\0          Vanessa

Vega will answer in a moment. Right now, he's probably picking teeth out of his lips. Yeowch. One of the problems with smack-talking is that pain that comes out of being /wrong/ or /slow/. Vega's not quite able to react fast enough at the brilliant explosion of energy, the glowing fist crashing right into the side of his face, as it did before. This time, however, he seems /much/ less pleased about it. Not smiling any more, no.

He's standing stock-still afterwards, theoretically an easy target for Whip's incoming attack. He allows himself to be wrapped up by the whip, but when she wrenches the line, everything goes slack, his body seemingly fading out of the way, leaving her whip empty. He reappears in a blur of purple and black behind where Vanessa just was, his pale grey eyes looking towards Whip for only a second, the unspoken message very clear.

I'll be with you in /just/ a moment.

He then growls under his breath, and tries to bring his foot up and around in a three-chambered kick, seperate, powerful strikes aimed at her knee, hip and kidney. Enough pressure points hit with the power of his strikes, augumented by Psycho Power, and she'll probably fall. At least, that's what Vega believes. "That.. was costly!"

COMBATSYS: Vanessa fails to counter Strong Kick from Vega with Puncher Vision EX.

[              \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////////  ]
Vega             0/-------/-======|-------\-------\0             Whip
                                  >  ////////                      ]
                                 |=======\==-----\1          Vanessa

Vanessa's grin returns, pleased by Vega being struck--but no, he's coming, so fast. She knows he's strong, but with that strength comes as slowness. She can just about...

"Oh no you don't!" Vanessa howls. She pushes off the ground, gliding across the distance at lightning speed. He can move fast, but Vanessa can be, too, and she blurs across the remove between herself and Vega, even as he does much the same. She rears her fist back to drive it straight into Vega's gut, sniffing a sharp boxer's snort which turns into a "HUAGH" as she gets a boot to her knee, and then her hip, and then her kidney. There's horrific crushing and crunching sounds with every strike, and Vanessa literally /bounces/ away from Vega, struggling to breathe.

What the--?!

There's few words that could describe the look on Whip's face, as Vega simply seems to dematerialize /out/ of Voodoo's hold and regroup elsewhere. Her eyes stare one big, wide, confused highway. The left twitches a little in its socket.

Maybe it's her mental state, playing tricks. That can't be--

But Whip shakes away her disbelief. There's no time for it. There's NO TIME. Pulling back her emptied weapon, she looks up in time to -- have her expression mirror every single one of the attacks that unleash on poor Vanessa. The Ikari isn't so stone-faced and battle-weary that she doesn't cringe with pain every time the redhead gets hit.

An instant later, a very angry Whip is charging at Vega's turned back, trying to move as soundlessly as she can manage, trying to verge on him while his attention is still stolen. Her whip is coiled harmlessly around her own shoulder, forgotten for now as one hand draws forth a wicked knife from her own person, thumbing it furiously into a reverse grip. With narrowed eyes and one quick, sliding step, the Ikari tries to bury the blade deep into his lower back.

COMBATSYS: Vega blocks Whip's Medium Strike.

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////////  ]
Vega             0/-------/=======|-------\-------\0             Whip
                                  >  ////////                      ]
                                 |=======\==-----\1          Vanessa

Seemingly satisfied with the way that Vanessa goes down, Vega watches her impassively as she struggles to rise, to fight again. He'll be waiting for her, oh yes. Eagerly, one might say. His grin has started to come back, that sick sort of amused smirk that plays along his face like a man who's just found the perfect scheme. Is it possible that Whip will be able to attack him from behind?


There's a split-second reaction, Vega reaching behind himself and catching the blade in his grip. Blood flows freely from the cut that's inflicted, but he seems to care less about it, and more about his opponent as he looks over his shoulder at her, his eyes having gone from pale grey to almost white. "I haven't forgotten, you know." he says simply, and then just explodes into motion, his free hand reaching over his back, going for her head. If he can grab it, well - she'll feel a powerful burst of that psychic aura he carries face-on, and then be chucked away towards one of the walls of the training center. He's convinced he's in control now - and more willing than ever to express it.

Oh yes. That hurt a LOT. She was going to give him a piece of her mind so hard he wouldn't have stopped before he hit the far wall, but instead she was the one eating siding. And now...

...she's going to need a hospital after that one, and no mistake. She spits, and is not entirely surprised to find the puddle that forms is more red than it is clear.

She doesn't speak. She doesn't have the breath - it hurts to breathe. It hurts anything. But she won't go down like that. She won't give him the satisfaction of dispatching her that easily. So while Vega is busy dealing with Whip again, Vanessa shoves her knee under her belly, chokes down a scream, and then shifts the other up, rising, wobbling, just a bit, shaking on her legs as her knee refuses to quite move as she tells it to--

She finds him. Sees him, there, and despite the wounded knee and screaming kidney and shattered hip, she moves in full defiance of all expectation and probability - sweeping across distance, just a little slower this time, but still fast enough that hopefully, her appearance in Vega's guard is a complete surprise... is the fist heading for his face, and the follow-up, and the one following that, a series of speedy, harsh, steady strikes, ending as she swings back and forth, weaving to make it harder and harder to tell what she's going to do--

--and launches one final fist in a brain-rattling uppercut toward Vega's jaw.

COMBATSYS: Vega successfully hits Whip with Strong Throw.

[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Vega             1/-------/=======|=======\=------\1             Whip
                                  >  ////////                      ]
                                 |==-----\-------\0          Vanessa

It happens so fast. Even Whip, with all her training, with all her practise, and with all her skill, can barely even see it coming. One minute, she's realizing with widening eyes that he's stopped her knife but an nerve impulse away from sinking into him -- stopped it with his own /bare hand./

And the next... she's finding herself bounced harshly, painfully off one of the room's unyielding cement walls, making a loud, fleshy impact of bone and skull before she collapses straight into the ground. The Ikari blacks out on the spot, blood pooling from where she lay.

But Whip isn't so lucky; her peaceful unconsciousness never lets to last for very long. Either because the genetics tampering compliments of NESTS or her own force of will, reality returns her her in a painful surge, not unlike a fist across the head, and her brown eyes flicker open. She feels little but cold and blood, and her head doesn't feel like it should.

It's hard to focus her vision, and Whip isn't too sure why, if it's because of the how badly her head hurts or that hot blood keeps oozily greasily into her eyes. Either way, she can hear Vanessa getting back up, attacking out one ear, and she can't let the other woman down. She has to get back up.

And, as Vanessa's last lethal fist comes careening in towards Vega, his only delivery from that last strike is the bloodsoaked, furious, and resurrected Whip, who tries to intervene the first instant the redhead is finished. Like the changing of the guard, she tries to bring up the second wave of their combined onslaught, lunging at the man and calling forth the wicked length of her bullwhip. Her arm snaps back and forth, trying to catch him in a flurry of constant, ripping strikes, then, with one sharp twist of her body, changes hands, the whip-bearing hand pulled away as the left comes in, gripping another of her series of serrated knives. In one quick, practised slice, she tries to cut a deep, brutal groove up his body. A soldier's Y-incision.

COMBATSYS: Vega dodges Vanessa's Champion Puncher.

[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Vega             1/-------/=======|-------\-------\0             Whip
                                  >  ////////                      ]
                                 |==-----\-------\0          Vanessa

COMBATSYS: Whip successfully hits Vega with Sonic Slaughter DP.

[                    \\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Vega             1/------=/=======|-------\-------\0             Whip
                                  >  ////////                      ]
                                 |==-----\-------\0          Vanessa

"You're good - but perhaps you'd best lie down for a moment, Vanessa." Vega's calm voice is given in as she steps in towards him, the fluidity of his form shown in the way he begins to blur, motion after motion of repeated dodges, hand slaps at her punches, catching them and redirecting them away from the points where she aims. He's intent on staying upright, through all of this, but he can't be helped but to be forced back a step, then two. He lunges for her, as she starts to skip back, his hands glowing darkly..

And Whip is upon him. Off-balance by the efforts of the attack, he can do no more than suffer through the blinding lashes of her bullwhip, black clothes ripped and shredded. Blood flows beneath as carves into him with her knife. For a second, there's a flicker of uncertainty, shock at the sudden influx of pain. But he embraces it, channels it into power, his eyes opening wide as he reaches for her hand again. "That... almost hurt." he hisses out, his grin flecked with blood this time.

Unwilling to let Whip go, but needing to do so, he releases her and then lashes out towards his other opponent, his body moving in a simple blur, flipped into the air. She's seen something /like/ this move before, the last move that rended her unconcious. But instead of trying to land feet first, he flattens out and brings his free, bloody hand on down and aimed at Vanessa's head. After all, two of them is just a bit much to have to deal with at once!

COMBATSYS: Vanessa just-defends Vega's Somersault Skull Diver!

[                     \\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Vega             0/-------/=======|-------\-------\0             Whip
                                  >  //////////                    ]
                                 |==-----\-------\0          Vanessa

The agony clears. Just an instant - she can still taste blood, can feel the way her legs don't move like they're supposed to, can sense that things are happening in her midsection that would've killed anyone weaker than she.

And she /grins/, as the world becomes a clearer place for just that tiny fraction of a second. She sees it - the perfect moment. "Lie down...?" she husks, barely able to get the words to form. He's coming...coming...NOW!

Vega's hands crash into Vanessa's forearms, and then the girl sweeps backward, rolling away from the blow organically, buying herself just enough space to escape.

And as Vega comes down without a Vanessa underneath him, the Boxer capitalizes, charging right back in, fists pulled back. One falls, one rises, both trailing golden energy that sweeps just a little bit forward before dissipating - not enough to make it a proper projectile, but more than enough to make it /burn/.


For the barest instant, Whip nearly steps into Vega's target... but he passes her by as though lamb's blood had been painted across the Ikari, instead blurring with incredible speed to take vengeance on Vanessa. Released, the younger girl droops, panting a little wetly, staggering under a new rush of pain. She tries to follow his trajectory with her eyes, but her eyesight keeps wanting to fog... get blurry around the edges.

She knows her body isn't going to hold out for long. Dragging one leg, she forces herself back into the fray.

And, just a heartbeat, a breath after the redhead's onslaught, there's a gravelly voice sneering at Vega's shoulder. "You... should listen to her." And there returns Whip, looking pissed off where she isn't covered in blood, following suit with the boxer and trying to stuff her own gloved fist right at his head.

COMBATSYS: Whip successfully hits Vega with Strong Punch.

[                         \\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Vega             1/-------/=======|-------\-------\0             Whip
                                  >  /////////                     ]
                                 |=------\-------\0          Vanessa

COMBATSYS: Vanessa successfully hits Vega with Forbidden Eagle.

[                             \  < >  /////////////////             ]
Vega             1/------=/=======|-------\-------\0             Whip
                                  >  /////////                     ]
                                 |===----\-------\0          Vanessa

Fascinating. Stronger than they appear, skillful, quick - Vega may actually have more of a fight on his hands than he'd planned. In fact, the Shadaloo dictator may be looking at his first.. dare he think it..?! His first /loss/! Luckily, he still holds enough cards to make it a minor setback, the training he'd set himself something fierce that he'd have to remember. Er, if he can convince them to not kill him afterwards. As he starts to move, he's thrown off balance - something he'll blame on the padded floor for now, but later will be revealed to be his own miscalculation. His own effort not enough to get himself out of the way of the golden glow that burns the cuts on his chest clean, or the fist that comes through and cracks against his cheek. Knocked to one knee, ignomious, the Shadaloo Lord stays there for a moment. Then, he fades.

One might think he were gone, but no - he's just gotten himself space. He's placed himself behind Whip and Vanessa, no longer between them and that promised door out. As he begins to speak, his hands and feet start to glow with that evil energy again, promising menace, death and destruction. "I believe I have seen all I need to see. I will be generous. If you leave now - there is a way to be taken to where you came from. If you do /not/ take this opportunity to leave, the jungle will have your bones. I thank you for your time, but I have no further need of you." By this time that aura is hellishly strong, swarming the room with all the bad mojo that Vega can offer up in a bluff of phenomenal effort. "I will even... show you the way!" With that, he launches forwards, hands trying to wrap up the two women, to carry them to the door in a blaze of psychic energy, and to forcibly /blow them out/ the stairs to the jungle above.

COMBATSYS: Vega can no longer fight.

                                  >  /////////////////             ]
                                 |-------\-------\0             Whip
                                  >  /////////                     ]
                                 |===----\-------\0          Vanessa

COMBATSYS: Vanessa blocks Vega's Psycho Crusher.

                                  >  /////////////////             ]
                                 |-------\-------\0             Whip
                                  >  ////                          ]
                                 |======-\-------\0          Vanessa

Vanessa smirks. "Hah. So, we were a little more than you were expecting?" She looks to Whip, trying not to let show the fact that she needs IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE, and instead says, "Well, in that case, I'll buy you a round, Whip, you did--"

Her eyes widen. She spins back toward Vega. She KNOWS that energy, knows it very well. She's going to need to talk to Rose about this, but for now, she needs to not DIE. But she can't move that fast - she could try, but, the odds of it working are so minimal...she goes with her gut.

"RUN!" she roars at Whip, and then throws her arms up in front of her, taking the brunt of Vega's force there. She glares and snarls at him, trying not to give up - trying to prevent Vega from the satisfaction of seeing her collapse, unable to take more.

She cannot keep him from his satisfaction. The energy is too strong, the rush of negative forces bombarding her senses too great. Her guard falters, and soon, so does she. Her best hope is that Whip will survive to drag her carcass to civilization! Or at least a decent pub.

COMBATSYS: Vanessa assists Whip.

                                  >  /////////////////             ]
                                 |-------\-------\0             Whip

COMBATSYS: Vanessa can no longer fight.

                                  >  /////////////////             ]
                                 |-------\-------\0             Whip

COMBATSYS: Whip interrupts Psycho Crusher from Vega with Desert Eagle.

                                  >  //////                        ]
                                 |=======\=------\1             Whip

Faced against a man who, ensconced in total darkness, revealed to himself as Whip's proverbial "father," the man and sole reason why she lives life an incomplete person. Kidnapped from the only world she knows as her own, from that sad, lonely little existence she calls her own life. Pitted against some psychopathic dictator, in God knows where and Gods knows when. And finally, brutalized and bloody, and barely able to stand on her own legs, she is now playing witness to the most terrifying unfurl of sheer /power/ she may have ever seen in her not-so-long-remembered life.

What's a Whip to do?

Blood dripping off her jaw, her left eye twitching, her right hand flexing, she stares at the tarrasque before her. Then she just pulls out her gun.

"Pleasure's... all mine," Whip gravels back, aiming her Desert Eagle dead center on the mastermind of all this insanity. She should be diving out of the way. She should be trying to escape this. She should... but she just doesn't want to. Too tired, too anger, and too mentally unhinged to care anymore, Whip waits until she can see the eye of the energy onslaught... and fires a clean shot straight on Vega.

It's hard to remember what happens right after that. She's not sure if it's a moment, or a few minutes, but Whip seems to wake up to find herself on the ground again, coughing up blood among other things. The pain tells her she's still alive. Ducky.

Picking herself up, the colour red draws Whip's one working eye. It's not blood she sees... but hair. Vanessa. She's not moving. But Whip still can. Without even thinking about it, moving on a natural instinct, the kind that makes her a perfect Ikari soldier, she reaches for the older woman. And, with a surprising strength that belies her tinier frame -- and that really shouldn't be possible of her -- Whip manages to pick the taller woman up, throwing her over her own shoulder and forcing their collective weight to her feet. The corridor feels like an eternity. She has to keep wiping at her eye, the only one not swollen shut, to keep the blood out of it... so she can see. But Whip keeps going on.

And the first smell of the open jungle, hot and musty and humid and suffocating and horrible as it is... is the best thing she's smelled in a long time.

Log created on 20:27:38 04/03/2008 by Vega, and last modified on 01:31:45 04/05/2008.