Neo League 676 - #700: Domino vs Hotaru

Description: It's been a long time since the famous Domino and the well known Kenpoist, Hotaru Futaba, have faced off. But as the pig-tailed fighter gets back into Neo League fighting, that quickly changes. Facing atop a dusty, creaky old rope bridge in Central America, the two fighters find dealing with each other's speed to be a tricky matter. ( Winner: Hotaru )

Though she was an active participant in prior seasons of Neo League, after a series of fights that had her exhibiting far more violent behavior than was normal for the young Kenpo artist, Hotaru Futaba had vanished from sanctioned fighting entirely for over a month. Only recently had she begun to gradually work her way back into the weekly Saturday Night Fight circuits and finally it seems that whatever was to blame for her time away from the Neo League as well has come to an end as the girl ones again enlists in Master's fighting rosters to test her skills against experienced fighters around the world.

Normally a fight slated for Central America means bad news for anyone who is more accustomed to temperate weather like the pig-tailed fighter. Humid, sweltering heat tends to define the experience for outdoor matches in the tropical nations near the equator. And truth be told, today is no different. There is, however, one alleviating factor that may serve to reduce heat induced fatigue...

The match is to take place on a moderately wide, old fashioned rope bridge spanning a low section of a river gorge. The ropes are dusty; the boards dated, and there is some question of stability in the old bridge. But the drop to the river below is a mere twenty feet, so it isn't too terribly high risk to battle upon the suspended bridge. Thirty feet upriver a wide waterfall sends thousands of gallons of water plunging into the river below, sending a fine, refreshing, cooling mist into the air that drifts over the bridge itself.

Taking a couple careful steps onto the bridge from her side, Hotaru seems to test it at first, tapping her feet on some of the boards, taking gentle, hesitant steps forward, swaying along with the motions of the bridge itself. It seems like it's not about to collapse in an instant or anything, so the girl looks a bit relieved as she moves further out onto the seven foot wide bridge, moving closer to a third of the way across.

She pauses there, taking in a deep breath, leaning her head back to stare up at the sky, gazing up at the tall, moss covered cliffs that rise up on either side. 'Well,' she ponders to herself, lowering her head and closing her eyes as her hands get busy retying the red ribbon that had gotten loose in her right pig-tail, 'this isn't so bad after all.' Facing off against Domino after having not even so much as run into the famous wrestler has her wondering a lot of things. While she had encountered Arika during Jinchuu and in a subsequent Neo League match, she can't remember anything of the young man since their ordeal in Thailand. "Has it been that long already?" she ponders quietly, realizing that the war itself was not far from being a year ago in her past. Lowering her hands to her sides, the girl merely tries to get used to the give and take of the old rope bridge.

It doesn't take long for Domino to arrive after Hotaru from the other side of the bridge, robe worn open with the hood down casually. The crowd out here isn't spectacular - in fact, Domino didn't even see any spectators present. So apparently this one will just be on t.v. Ahwell. It's just as well out here. He has to warm up to the.. uh.. warm.. weather.. as it were, and loitering around for the sake of fans would likely be troublesome.


The young model pauses a few steps onto the creaky boards and shrugs out of his robe, fair skin fully exposed to the sun. The robe is then cast behind him to safety, and he proceeds on further along the boards, amethyst gaze evening on Hotaru and expression somewhat humorless. He most definitely remembers her. From Thailand.. her friendship with Alma, ugh.. he's not really thought much about her since Thailand, though. So this might be a fun new start.

As she is joined by her opponent on the bridge, Hotaru opens her eyes to take a glance toward the other end of the bridge, watching as the popular model shrugs off his robe and casts it behind him to the path that connects the steep cliffside trail to the bridge itself. She cracks a faint smile, leaning her head to the side just slightly, "Been a while," the teen fighter remarks, left hand coming to rest at her hip for a moment. "Hope things have been all right for you." She remembers well some of the sore feelings due to her friendship with Alma - perhaps a bit of well wishing will mollify things a little.

Another breath taken in as the girl glances toward the waterfall to the side, greatful for the mist but also aware that it's going to gradually dampen them over time too. Maybe she'd just as well jump down into wide, shallow river below and get properly cooled off! Shaking her head, trying to get her focus back on the fight ahead, the girl looks toward Domino once more.

"Here we go, I suppose." An official on either side of the bridge completes affixing the cameras to the cliff side and gives the fighters a shout to start when ready, and Hotaru breaths in deeply, crossing her arms in front of her then exhaling slowly and unfolding them as she turns her right shoulder toward Drake, bringing her unclenched hands up into ready positions, prepared to strike and defend, the young martial artist takes a moment more to center herself.

COMBATSYS: Hotaru has started a fight here.

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Hotaru           0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Hotaru takes no action.

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Hotaru           0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Drake has joined the fight here.

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Hotaru           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0            Drake

Hotaru's conversational attitude does alleviate a little bit of tension. It at least sets the precedent of attitude here, and Domino seems amiable enough to starting over, in a way. So he replies with a casual, "Had its ups'n downs."

His smooth shoulders lift in a small shrug, then grants her one of those small, charming smiles. "Guess so."

And then they're called to fight.

Rather than going into his irregular fighting stance, he dashes across the rope bridge, legs pumping to propel him in a blur to Hotaru. His arms pull back, looking as though they might be gathering energy...

..Only that isn't the case. The moment he's within range, his arms lash out to attempt hooking around Hotaru's waist to suddenly yank her in against him. Streamlined muscles crank, trying to crush the other teen in a relentless bearhug, amethyst eyes narrowed on hers.

COMBATSYS: Hotaru dodges Drake's Blackout.

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Hotaru           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0            Drake

His response is met with a slight nod of implied agreement, one of those half smiles that implies 'Yeah, I know how that can be', her thoughts drifting over her own struggles in the earlier months of the year. But that's behind her now, she reminds herself, recalling her friends' encouragement for her to move forward and quit drowning in regrets and might've-beens.

Shaking her head, she remains in her ready stance, blue eyes attentive, knowing her opponent to be swift and capable. And then the match has begun, Drake approaching swiftly in an attempt to draw the girl up into a punishing bear hug. It is by reacting at the last moment possible that Hotaru slips just out of reach, leaning back, left leg stepping back with the motion, putting her torso out of reach of his grasp without sacrificing too much ground by over-correcting.

Retaliation comes just as quickly as she drops down into a lower stance, arms out at her sides for balance for a moment. And then she retaliates, hoping to catch Drake before he can recover from the attempt to grasp a hold of her by sweeping her right leg for his ankles, spinning with the momentum up into a second kick aimed higher toward his chest, trying to slip in the higher hit should he avoid the sweep in time. "Kya!"

COMBATSYS: Drake dodges Hotaru's Medium Kick.

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Hotaru           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0            Drake

Domino's arms whisk through the air without making purchase on a grab. He whirls around in time to see her leg firing off a sweep, which he quickly hops over. The follow-up kick is maneuvered underneath, the nimble wrestler keeping out of harm's way for the time being.

But as Hotaru is to punches and kicks, Domino is to grappling. Still within range, his hands lash out to to grab ahold of her and draw her into a forward headlock under his left arm. His right hand sets to her hip, and he yanks upwards, attempting to hoist her into the air and drop back in a snap suplex, landing her on her back.

COMBATSYS: Hotaru blocks Drake's Medium Throw.

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Hotaru           0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0            Drake

Drawing her leg back after her quick snap kick, Hotaru plants both of her feet, starting to draw back into ready stance from which to launch another attack. But he acts first, his strong hands getting a grip on her shoulders in time to pull her forward into the intended headlock.

But as he reaches to prop his hand at her hip in order to heft the featherweight off her feet he gets to see that she's quit the squirrelly one to lock down. Not experienced with wrestling, but just naturally flexible and experienced with a few techniques that work for close in fighting. One hand presses out against his stomach to give herself leverage to pry herself free, slipping her head out from his grip in spite the slight wrenching she experiences to do.

And then comes the strikes back, without retreating at all, her opposite hand drawn back then slammed forward with a direct palm strike toward Drake's chest, attempting to drive the wrestler back a little bit. If successful, she spins around once, bringing that same arm around a second time in a sweeping, backward chop toward his side, aiming for his ribs while taking a slight chance at exposing her back to him for a brief window. "Ha!"

COMBATSYS: Drake parries Hotaru's Medium Punch!

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Hotaru           0/-------/------=|=------\-------\0            Drake

Domino scowls as Hotaru works her way free of the hold, and he just starts to enter his stance when she begins the counter attack. Her first palm strike comes out, and rather than just taking it, Domino's hand flashes into action to capture it by the wrist to wrench it around to the side. Using her momentum and the wristlock for leverage, Domino guides the girl down to the boards of the bridge, where he finally releases the hold.

And in a flash, Domino has vanished.

Perched atop the edge of the precarious bridge's ropeway, Domino flashes the closest camera a cocky smile and pumps his fist into the air. He then vaults off the unstable perch into a double backflip, limbs spreading out after the second rotation to pull his torso taut and firm for impact against Hotaru - hopefully while she's still down, otherwise ideally to bring her right back down again.

COMBATSYS: Hotaru dodges Drake's Darkside Slam EX.

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Hotaru           0/-------/------=|=------\-------\0            Drake

She thought she was moving fast enough to avoid him being able to defend himself, let alone catch her strike mid-swing. But Domino's reflexes prove otherwise, his hand clamping down on her wrist, provoking a 'Yipe!' of surprise as he works with her momentum to twist her down to the bridge.

Down for a moment, Hotaru doesn't move at first, trying to anticipate the direction of the next attack - not expecting that Drake would be going for something even bigger to use against her. But no sooner does the rope spring back into place with a small dust cloud as Domino leaps off of it does Hotaru finally spring out of the way, landing on her toes in a crouch, fingers pressed lightly against the boards. The bridge sways some from the momentum of the two fighters moving so quickly around on it, but it remains seemingly sturdy enough.

There's only an instant of time to take in the situation as the Kenpo artist springs back for Drake, hoping to catch him as he recovers from his daring leap. Her hands are close, as if he had best anticipate an incoming double palm strike as the speedy girl draws close, but at the last moment she reaches for his wrists instead, trying to get a grip on him as he just did to her.

If she gets the hold she seeks, she'll twist his guard open in order to leave him vulnerable for the series of quick stomping kicks that come next, the young fighter ascending right up the front of him only to leap off his shoulders and land behind him if she's successful, "Ya, ya, ya!"

COMBATSYS: Hotaru successfully hits Drake with Shin-Jou Tai.
- Power hit! -

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Hotaru           0/-------/----===|======-\-------\0            Drake

Domino lands in a crouch the moment he sees no Hotaru underneath him, perched like a spider. He hops back up to his full height and whirls around to face the girl - only for his wrists to be caught this time. Wha?

The series of trampling kicks nail him, up until the last one that grounds him to the bridge with a sharp yelp of pain. He lays sprawled on the boards and groans softly.. before finally pulling himself back up to his feet.


But Domino is quick enough to try and turn things around again. Even if that was unbelievably painful. He whirls around to face Hotaru again, and does something different; like grappling with her. ..What? Anyway, his right arm attempts to hook her at the leg, left arm going to hook over her shoulder to snap her off her feet and torque over, driving her down against the board with him landing across her in a powerslam.

COMBATSYS: Hotaru parries Drake's Solar Eclipse!

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Hotaru           0/-------/---====|======-\-------\0            Drake

The moment the girl lands from her stomping assault, Hotaru spins around to face Drake. The distance between them isn't significant, but at the moment she's starting to think that she'd like to quit trying to contend with him in an in-close toe-to-toe battle. She's quick, even in close range, but there's no denying that that's where Domino is likely the superior fighter. If he can stay in close, making it harder for her to put her all into her swings and Kenpo strikes, she can't fight as effectively.

It is perhaps with that thought in mind that the girl draws her arm back, her forearm flaring to life with that blue energy anyone who's seen the Futaba girl fight has come to expect. Her plans to launch it to keep him at bay are interrupted, however, when the wrestler slips in close and hooks her leg. But Hotaru is going to have none of that, it seems, the girl pushing off the bridge with her opposite foot to spring into the air before he can grip her shoulder.

In the same motion, her right arm swings forward from her side, that built up energy ready to be unleashed. Accompanying the motion with a shout of "HAH!", forcing all of her will into driving the chi forward, she flings the shimmering blue projectile of concussive force down at an angle toward Domino, perhaps catching him in the back if he hasn't recovered from the lunge to grapple her quite yet. Meanwhile, she is poised to come back down from her leap into a landing a few feet away on the bridge.

COMBATSYS: Hotaru successfully hits Drake with Hakki Shou EX.

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

Her plan works out perfectly, unfortunately for Domino. He's nailed in the back by the blast with another pained yelp. Blasted against the bridge, Domino tumbles over a few feet. After a few seconds, he pushes himself up.. staggers.. then flops back to a knee again. Man, he's getting blasted here.

Giving his head a shake, Domino more slowly pulls himself up to his feet. One hand set on the rope 'rail' beside him, his other hand set to his knee, he narrows his eyes on Hotaru.

COMBATSYS: Drake focuses on his next action.

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

Touching back down on the bridge, Hotaru has time to brace herself in case there's follow up retaliation. While she was too busy spinning through the air to see the impact of her famous little chi ball, the audible response told her that it probably struck as she had hoped. Visual confirmation comes as her blue eyes take in Drake's condition, watching him pull himself up slowly with the help of the rope. The fight has had its back and forth moments, but the last bit has had her turning things around to her favor for now...

He holds back, taking stock of the Kenpo artist for the time being and Hotaru wavers between holding back herself or staying aggressive as she normally is when fighting. Keeping the pressure on opponents is one of the core components of her style, however, so in the end it doesn't take much for her to decide to stick with that. Her expression is neutral, as she regards Domino seriously, fully aware that in a match between professionals, it doesn't take a lot for things to spiral out of control if one isn't careful.

Perhaps it's in an attempt to give him something he might NOT be expecting that the girl sprints forward next, risking closing that distance to get in close. She drops into a roll toward Domino's side from a yard and a half out, tumbling into a crouch right next to his side, her right hand snatching out to seek a grip on his forearm. If she gets the hold she's looking for, she'll rise up, bringing her left hand up to press against his chest to push hard, as if trying to drop him on his back, only to reverse the motion and try to whip him right back in the opposite direction to try and send him tumbling forward instead!

COMBATSYS: Drake dodges Hotaru's Medium Throw.

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

Domino studies her approach, from her tumble to her sudden raise beside him. It doesn't take a genius to know that a swift approach like that means trouble. So when she pops up and attempts to grab him, she's treated to nothing more than humid air. Domino whirls around from a couple feet further along the bridge.

Taking just a second to adjust his trajectory, Domino dashes back in towards her and attempts to, you guessed it, grapple her again! But this time, he tries to hook his right arm over her torso, left arm sweeping under her legs to hoist her into a cradled position. From there, he drops to hopefully smash the girl's back over an upturned knee. Immediately following this, one hand sets to her leg and the other hand sets under her chin, both thrusting downwards to force her spine into a sharp arch.

COMBATSYS: Drake successfully hits Hotaru with Star Breaker.

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

He sees through her attempt to catch him off guard with the swift tumble and grapple, slipping out of the way and leaving the girl lunging forward, fingers closing over empty air, blue eyes widening with a start of surprise. Eep! The wrestler response swiftly, catching the elusive girl before she can recover from her miss. Caught up in a cradled position for a moment, the girl makes a last second attempt to hook her arm around the back of Drake's neck in order to try and control the drop that comes next.

Her back smacks against his knee, provoking a startled gasp from the pig-tailed teen. Fortunately for her, her light stature is working in her favor there... though her flexibility is really put to the test when Drake presses down on her chin and leg, bending the girl backward further. Struggling against the applied pressure, her hands come up to try and grip Drake's arm near her neck, relying on all her strength to try and pry herself free.

At the same time, the girl twists to the side just a little, giving her the opportunity to try and jam her knee into Drake's side in an attempt to finish freeing herself, the close proximity limiting the strength she can put into it but also perhaps making it harder to avoid.

COMBATSYS: Drake parries Hotaru's Light Kick!

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

Domino continues trying to work the girl over in the submission hold.. but she's wriggling and pulling too dang much. On top of that, he sees her knee coming at him. So he takes the opportunity to release his hold on her and catch the knee behind the shin, then shoves her the opposite direction to roll her off his knee.

He makes a grab for her immediately, however, relying on her to be far too stunned and confused to fight back just yet. The hands aim to clamp down solidly on her shoulders, attempting to haul her to her feet and then lock her neck between his legs. Arms then hook around her midsection, hoisting her upside-down into piledriver position...

COMBATSYS: Hotaru blocks Drake's Total Eclipse EX.

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

And with the girl suspended upside-down, Domino proceeds with the Total Eclipse. Or that's the idea, at least. Anyway, his arms cinch down tightly around her midsection, grinding the girl's stomach in an inverted bearhug. See, this is the part where the audience would normally be going wild and crazy. But.. alas. There's a stark lack of audience. So he'll just have to settle with crushing her as tight as he can humanly manage in his arms, letting the blood flow to her head before beginning the second half of the Total Eclipse maneuver.

Her attempts to pry herself free are successful, in a sense, in that she's no longer having the flexibility of her spine put to the test as Domino shoves the girl off of his knee to have her land on the dusty bridge, boards creaking as she lands with a thump. Too daized to react swiftly, and hurting a little from the submission hold he had caught her in, Hotaru next finds herself pulled up, strong hands gripping her shoulders and drawing her forward.

Caught up into the piledriver position a second later, the girl finds herself recalling being seized by this technique the one time the two of them fought so long ago. It's tricky to contend with, the blood rushing to her head, her ribs being compressed by the crushing hold, her cheeks turning red. Teeth gritting, she knows she's got to free herself before he goes airborn or risk being slammed right against, or perhaps, /through/ the boards with dizzying speed.

Once again, it's a dual effort made, the girl struggling to take in a fresh breath of air against the pressure being applied against her lungs before she begins to struggle in earnest, prying one arm under his own arms before bending her elbow to try and pull back on his grip a little. Her feet aren't up to nothing either as the girl bends both of her legs, attempting to impact both of her heels against the top of Domino's head in a bid to catch him with a hit punishing enough to get him to let go.

COMBATSYS: Hotaru successfully hits Drake with Medium Kick.

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

Her kicking proves helpful to her cause, heels cracking against Domino's skulls. He drops her unceremoniously, hands lifted to his now throbbing head.

It takes a second to stabilize himself, but as soon as he has, he makes an attempt to close in with her and grab ahold of her head. Domino turns his back to her and tries to give the head a solid yank, attempting to flip her over onto her back on the bridge, performing a snapmare.

COMBATSYS: Drake successfully hits Hotaru with Fast Throw.
Glancing Blow

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

Dropped to the bridge, Hotaru scrambles back into a crouch quickly before spring up to full standing. That she doesn't want to risk getting caught up in another hold like Domino's famous Total Eclipse is probably evident in the way she immediately sets to trying to scramble back and buy herself enough room to try dealing with him some other way besides in close gambles.

She doesn't get far though before his speed proves the suprior for now, Hotaru's head caught, the girl wrenched forward as he turns his back to her. But when he tries to slam the nimble girl over his shoulder she kicks up into the motion, wrenched up and over him into a deliberate flip over the top of the male model, twisting around in mid air to come down on her feet instead of her back, her neck wrenched a little for her trouble but otherwise she made out not too bad off.

Taking a few steps back, it's her turn to take stock of the situation. She's slipped out of a few really close calls but she hasn't gone uninjured, the lingering ache in her back reminding her of that. But it seems she's setting up for something, the young fighter turning to the side, her back more toward Drake, her right hand on her left knee s she watches him over her shoulder, presenting what seems, perhaps, an easy target. But with the way her blue eyes have narrowed a little, it's probably not hard to conclude that she's not as vulnerable to being attacked as it may appear at first glance.

COMBATSYS: Hotaru focuses on her next action.

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

Domino frowns at her relatively unscathed form, and he shakes his head slowly. Man, this fight isn't working out well for him. But regardless, he's determined to keep it up until he just plain shuts down.

He observes her new stance and the look she's taken.. and he shakes his head slowly. Yeah, like he's going to just run at that? She looks perfectly ready to try and counter-attack him. So rather than just rush her like she seems to want him to, he turns and leans down, grabbing ahold of a plank of wood. Once grasped, he stamps his heel against the center of the board, and the plank CRACKSNAPs apart.

Now armed with a moderate length of wood, Domino whirls over at her and chucks it forcefully, scowling at her.

COMBATSYS: Hotaru interrupts Thrown Object from Drake with Ten-ren-ge.

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Hotaru           1/----===/=======|=======\===----\1            Drake

He doesn't take the trap and Hotaru allows herself a little bit of a grin as Domino shakes his head at her. Yeah, he's not going to charge at her and that's probably a safe call. The girl's striking Kenpo can pack a punch and lunging into a set up is probably not a great call. But when it becomes clear to her that he's got another approach in mind, the pig-tailed martial artist decides to take the action to him anyway.

The next attack comes blindingly fast, the girl pouring all of the energy she's got left into the sprint forward as he hurls the board her way. The wooden bridge segment plinks off her shoulder right when she's just about reached point blank range, provoking a soft hiss of pain, but it isn't enough to slow down the attacks coming next as Hotaru lunges into a series of rapid windmilling strikes, hopping and spinning into combinations, alternating between having her left arm lead, then her right, then back to left, targeting his chest, shoulders, ribs, stomach.

There is a brief pause before the last bit, as the girl drops into a low crouch, arms out at her sides, then lunges into a rising shoulder strike meant to finish knocking Domino clean off his feat. At the apex of her leap, she finishes with a final spin kick before dropping back to the bridge with a winded huff of breath.

Well, her aggression even at range wasn't too expected. So it really works in her favor, as most of the fight had been. The strikes each hit the model, hammering him relentlessly until he's airborne, then kicked solidly. Right off the bridge. He apparently has nothing to say, as he lands hard on the wooden planks of the bridge, sprawled. And the young model doesn't move anymore. That seems to be it for him.

COMBATSYS: Drake takes no action.

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Hotaru           0/-------/-----==|

COMBATSYS: Drake can no longer fight.

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Hotaru           0/-------/-----==|

Log created on 21:41:09 06/05/2008 by Hotaru, and last modified on 02:14:09 06/06/2008.