Neo League 676 - #685: Alma vs Gabriel

Description: The devastation of Sichuan, China due to the earthquake in Wenchuan County has inspired a charity League Fight between the first two fighting volunteers for it: psychic prettyboy and champion of virtue Alma Towazu and devoted follower of the Church of the Worthy Cause Gabriel Kai. But these two have a lot of history between them, and have not fought in some time. Who has grown the most? And, more importantly... what does this mean? (Winner: Alma)

Wenchuan County, Sichuan, China: Near the epicenter of the quake. Much rubble remains uncleared as all efforts go towards rescuing those still trapped for days, as the country reels from the shock of the damage, requesting charity from their citizens and abroad which in turn as been freely given. But there is more than one way to give charity-- and thus this charity Neo League match, heralding the return of Alma Towazu to the circuit once again.
Standing atop the perilously broken and uneven concrete that will serve as his battleground, once a supermarket and now debris -- he checked beforehand to make sure nobody died in here, fearing the disrespect he might evince -- young Alma gazes down with soft eyes with those who have gathered to watch. They are of a surprising number, and not merely because this is China: for one, many of them having lost everything and relying on the support of the state and their fellows, they are unable to go anywhere and terrible bored. Perhaps if this destruction had been from human violence, this spectacle would be tasteless. But gazing out at the crowd, Alma wonders if perhaps this show of strength is a reassuring reminder of the power of humanity in the face of the capriciousness of nature.
He raises his hand and smiles, and the crowd cheers.
Then again, maybe they just want to sell his autograph on eBay.
~ Who, I wonder, is my opponent? ~
Hearing of the nature of this match he volunteered with no questions asked; every element of this fight calls to his passion. But who was first to answer the call...?

Only one person would take the call of charity. Someone whose heart was so pure that any desire at all would be thought of as sin. The very act of life, eating, taking things from other people, it was all.. not a very easy way to live. Somehow the Crusader of life managed to remain pure even when none around her seemed capable of likewise remaining thus. She was, a paragon of virtue and thus would join in this charity match. Kai Gabriel accepted the call and would of been there early, way early, before Alma likely, except that this call was received late. She had to scramble to arrive at all and on time was just not possible. What then makes her even more late is she has to apologize to everyone for being late. This includes organizers, agents, managers, cast crew and finally.

"Towazu-san, please accept my deep apologies for this late arrival," Gabriel states as she steps closer and gives the deep bow you might expect of someone who was actually polite. That is if you consider how nasty she could get for apparently no reason what so ever.

Alma sees her then, slowing making her way to the crowd as she apologizes inordinately. Another man would be bewildered or concerned; but anyone looking into his eyes then would perceive a man entranced. The time she takes is nothing ot him; his eyes follow her through the mass of people, his current situation for the moment completely forgotten. The handsome young model watches with lips parted as she ascends to the uneven ground of their match-- but when she bows, he snaps back to reality, and eyes widening slightly, his usual quiet elegance is subsumed by an atypically flustered countenance as he bows hurriedly himself. "Ah, no... it's... no problem at all, Kai-san."
It was so long ago since they met, but somewhere, deep down, he feels as though nothing's changed. At this moment, looking at her, it appears that Alma does not recall his time with Xiangfei where he never thought about Gabriel at all, or you know, the part where she stabbed him with a sword and he almost died. No, whenever he is with her, her aura of mystique pervades his very essence, and he must struggle to think any wrong of her. So obscured her nature is, so hidden under layers of awkward politeness and esoteric religion. Her aura tugs at his senses constantly; who is this strange, beautiful girl?
In sum: Alma has a thing for crazy women.
"I have heard you... joined the 'Pure Hearts Team'."
Why do you think he likes Ingrid so much?
"I regret that we couldn't have worked together more, but..."
Alma grins softly, eyes open and friendly, a little more eager and less mellow in Gabriel's presence-- if only a little, as his voice remains quiet and his body relaxed. Yet there is that certain light rising in his eyes as well, for however much she might charm him...
"Now that you're competition, I want to see how you've improved."
Stronger is the love of the fight.
"I warn you, though, Kai-san: I have improved a great deal myself."
Here, for justice, the sacred clash of souls!
"Please," he says with all solicitousness, feet shifting and stance straightening as he awaits the young woman's approach, "do your best."
The crowd begins to cheer again.

COMBATSYS: Alma has started a fight here.

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Alma             0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Gabriel has joined the fight here.

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Alma             0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0          Gabriel

She doesn't need to be told. Gabriel never did anything less than her best and sometimes, she did more. She was driven, every act she took toward a purpose: Saving the world. Too bad her idea of saving the world was what many would call destroying the world. This was a fact often lost on her because she didn't have any time to listen to the nay sayers, for she knew that evil could infect many a soul. The Crusader of Light gives a cursory bow and looking more stoic than polite now goes into her open palm stance, so Alma doesn't want to attack? She does.

Gabriel moves in and tries to reach for Alma, grab his collar, he's wearing a shirt right? If he's Anji'ing it.. Anyway, she goes to give him a solid turn around slam.

Just a grunt is given though, no reason to tell him to repent or confess because more or less Alma iss a pretty pure guy. She's only felt the need to purify him once and what do you know, she did!

COMBATSYS: Alma dodges Gabriel's Strong Throw.

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Alma             0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0          Gabriel

Yes, he's wearing a shirt... for now.
But Alma protects both self and shirt from wear and tear as he deftly evades her grasp, his own smile slowly fading to be replaced by a more serious visage as his clear eyes sharpen, heart pumping to the roars of the crowd. Here is the essence of Hiten-Ryu, that with the passion of his Soul Power he has so capitalized on and transformed to his own ends. Herein lies his strength; herein lies the potential that he has developed on in so many ways, expanded so far to become the man he is today.
He won't be denied.
Springing nimbly to another chunk of rock, avoiding the many small and irritating pitfalls of the earthquake rubble strewn beneath their feet, Alma spins quickly mid-leap and kicks hard and low, aiming to powerfully sweep Gabriel's legs out of under her, sending her painfully crashing to the uneven ground.
He won't let up the pressure.
He has to see what she has to offer now!

COMBATSYS: Gabriel blocks Alma's Heavy Kick.

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Alma             0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0          Gabriel

Instead of falling to the ground, Gabriel ducks in anticipation of the attack and turtles, bringing her legs together in a crouch and arms around her knees to protect them. Alma kicks her head on but doing so against her guard gives her the benefit of protection and not falling over to the uneven ground. The only downside of the defense was where Alma's foot connected it hurt, hurt now and throbbed afterward. Taking too many hits in the same place, without the benefit of some rest would take it's toll in time. She needed to be careful.

He was going for the same sort of thing she was, the chance of having a heavy hit connect early on. It wasn't a bad strategy but it wasn't going to work either, she was convincered her defense, often the more solid side of her attack, would not falter so easily.

In response Gabriel reaches for Alma's leg, it has to stop against her body and thus gives an opening, though not a great one to grab and twist, trying to bring him to the ground with a painful joint lock. Green eyes fix on Alma while to counter weight her action she stands. Mobility for later on, an attack for now.

COMBATSYS: Alma blocks Gabriel's Strong Throw.

[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////////  ]
Alma             0/-------/------=|=------\-------\0          Gabriel

His soul fuels his body, and gives him the momentum he needs.
Alma's kick impacts but not as powerfully as it could have due to Gabriel's defense. But as her attempt to grasp his leg afterward demonstrates, his tactic was more than simply to hit her hard at the beginning of the match; he sought to give himself a springboard for an even fiercer follow-up. For rather than /stopping/ where his kick lands, Alma seems more to bounce off, only touching down on the rock he had leapt towards for a split-second before he spins the /other/ way, aiming for where Gabriel's guard is currently not.
Such a complete reversal of momentum seems preternatural, at least until the source of his added boost of speed is revealed-- the force-defying Psycho Power that ignites around his right leg as he foot tears towards her like a shooting star, the comet-like strike aiming to impact powerfully against her head and take her off her feet entirely.
His eyes flicker with the color of the white flame, intertwined with pinks and purples, that wreathes his striking limb.

COMBATSYS: Alma successfully hits Gabriel with Shooting Star.

[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////          ]
Alma             0/-------/---====|======-\-------\0          Gabriel

Ahh psycho power. Gabriel didn't actually have a name for it, but she knew it well enough anyway. She also knew how it felt to get punched, which happens when Alma uses his foot kick to hit Gabriel upside the head. That part hurt a lot too. The whole attack brought her to her knees and maybe there was a weakness in the mind, or a weakness in faith, it was hard to tell, either way Gabriel is momentarily forced into something of a crouch before she can push up now toward a standing position again.

Strategically speaking the result was not that surprising. She was hit when Alma came in fast from a superior position, but Gabriel was going to go ahead with her method of attack. She pressed her force by trying to move into his face. She tried to get her hands around him before sprining into the air. The intent was to drag him and then wheel him around into the ground, guiding the model to hit as hard as she can, honestly, not that hard of a hit, but remarkably more painful if she can get a clean hit than if he can roll with it.

COMBATSYS: Alma interrupts Angel Rising from Gabriel with Divine Intervention EX.

[      \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////                 ]
Alma             0/-------/-======|=======\===----\1          Gabriel

Alma moves with his attack, noting without looking at her, from the flickering sense of her aura in the back of his head, that she has dropped to the ground but has not yet fallen, giving him reason to believe a counterattack will be immanent. Gritting his teeth a little from the effort of pushing both body and mind to the limit in speed and power, Alma reaches out instinctively with his other foot and manages to get a grounding on a piece of rubble just as the flames vanish from around his leg-- and exits his spin just in time to see Gabriel already upon him.
Her arms wrap around him, and there is a moment where he almost loses his footing as she begins to lift up and carry him into the air; if he had been a moment slower, she would have done so, and there would have been little he could have done to stop her. But his heart is steeled and he is already prepared-- for as he brings out his right hand, it becomes apparent he has already summoned an infusion of his power into it, and her closing in makes it a simple task of placing his palm to her forehead before a searing beam of light appears to pierce directly through her skull and out the back, the stream of light thin and focused and only visible for a moment but the force of it enough to disrupt her grasp and carry her yards away over the broken concrete.
Standing poised and noble atop a jagged rock, snugly fitting clothes shifting in a slight breeze, many are compelled to applaud.
It takes a few moments of this dramatic reverie, however, before Alma realizes that Gabriel sort of kind of was embracing him, and, concentration evaporating, he begins to blush slightly.

Alma in turn was frustrating her. She couldn't get much through though she was pretty sure she had properly analyzed the situation, she was just not fast enough to take them to her advantage. It was quickly becoming clear to her.
"You and Jiro-kun have both become very strong.. While I appear to have remained weak," her expression is one of near tense frustration,
"But the goddess has not forsaken me yet," Gabriel continues and rushes in to try and get a solid grip on Alma's arm. If she can manage.. Well she's going to give a speech anyway,
"Ye of detestible name and virtue, false apostle, you are bayed back into the abyss.. Deliverance!" cries Gabriel and attempts to get Alma in an arm lock behind his back before attempting to drive her free hand full of glowing purple power into his back. The affects of the previous attack still having shaken her greatly.

COMBATSYS: Alma interrupts Deliverance from Gabriel with Divine Intervention EX.

[         \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////                         ]
Alma             1/------=/=======|======-\-------\0          Gabriel

The Goddess works in mysterious ways.
Alma, despite his choice in names for his special techniques, does not have any particular faith in a god, although neither does he strongly believe there does not exist one. In his calm and mild way, he sees no reason to choose either way, neither flustered by the idea that a greater power might command his actions or know his heart nor frightened by the prospect that no such being exists. But he does elevate this world over the next, and he has developed, originally out of a kind of desperation against despair and now because he overflows with zeal, a kind of faith in and towards life, igniting his passion towards realization of the self and other and inciting a total immersion that can blur the distinction between mind and body, himself and the world, within him. What he calls 'sacred' is precisely the principles and the movement that makes life what it is and the world a possibility.
And sometimes, it carries him away.
He does not think. He does not speak. As she moves forward his soul is grasped by the moment and his right arm draws back as his left arm extends forward, gazing at her with all seriousness as she grabs it and speaks, of his strength and her weakness and her condemning of him. He understands every word, but for now they pass through him, for he is resolved: he will give himself up to this moment, strike as she does, and see who the world, through their power and their will, has chosen.
So he does.
"There is nothing to detest in me now."
And this time...
"My passion is true!"
The world has chosen him.
Reacting instantly to the opening she reveals as she tries to move around his side and strike at his back, his right hand lashes out and slams against her abdomen, sending another, fiercer beam of light tearing through her body.
By the time he becomes aware again of his surroundings, the crowd is shouting wildly, and he is safe, having torn her away from him by the blast once again. Shaking his head, he glances around dazedly to see where she has gone.
For she has been the one delivered.
The only question is to where.

Where indeed, physically speaking Gabriel only goes into the ground, but mentally her mind does travel. It was a residual affeect of the psy power. She couldn' quite put her finger on it but something was bothering her. Perhaps someone could tell, a psychic perhaps or an empath, but something about her past. A memory, it wewnt through her mind. She was also losing her strength, quickly, but there was a lot going on in her mind. Her green eyes glaze over and she fights to get to her feet. To her knees, ugh.. She pulls out her sword, it's not the sword Alma remembers, it's only a long shard of glass, sharp from top to bottom, it cuts her hand and crimson bleeds down the glass. The green eyes narrow as if she wants to strike, but she's gone, long gone, her opponent, no longer Alma, it's somehting else, something incommprehensable.

She falls back.. nothing comes of the memory as it fades from her mind.

COMBATSYS: Gabriel takes no action.

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

COMBATSYS: Gabriel can no longer fight.

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

Alma sees Gabriel rise from the ground, and perceives both what the audience does and does not. What the audience sees is the girl drawing out a long shard of glass, cutting herself in the process, and they go silent as they await what is to come. But what they do not see is how much glassier are her /eyes/, and this is what Alma gazes at quietly, sensing that she can see something that he cannot. Those who watch this fight might praise him for his courage, seeing him stand down fearlessly a fighter whose apparent violent intent is making the audience tense. But in fact this has nothing to do with bravery; he can see that her fighting spirit has already evaporated, and that her violent intent is no longer toward him.
~ Gabriel... what is it about you...? ~
She collapses, and he lowers his gaze thoughtfully, respectfully.
~ What do you look towards? ~
The audience is cheering and shouting again, and soon he will descent to greet them. The fight is over. But first he approaches her fallen form and kneels down beside it, carefully removing the jagged glass from her hand and wiping the blood away.
"We should talk... Gabriel."
It's been a long time, yes. He's grown a great deal.
But as he rises, having spoken to unhearing ears, and smiles out at the crowd, raising his hand again in salute, he knows one thing:
It's not over yet.
It might only just be beginning.

COMBATSYS: Alma has ended the fight here.

Log created on 15:21:50 05/20/2008 by Alma, and last modified on 23:55:15 05/20/2008.