Description: Vega plots a trap for Charlie - after all, /someone/ needs to remind the Vigilantes who their true enemy is. Shadaloo, and all they represent. When factions collide, who will be left standing..?!
'There's been a report that Shadaloo's resurfaced. Drugs and weapons are being shunted into Abkhazia, details below - video intel shows this marking on it, sir.'
The Death's Head, wings ascendant behind it, in easy relief.
War zones are high-profit places, after all, and the border between Russia and its allies is a fluid and fluxing thing - one where the armaments of a rouge dictator intent on causing more chaos and destruction in the world can cause insumountable difficulties, and profits galore, to use towards other terrorist acts. Of course, it was only a matter of time before Shadaloo resurfaced - after all, the head of Shadaloo, Vega himself, had been seen in public how many weeks through Geese Howard's machinations? The giant chin, the scowl and psychotic grin - back after his defeat in Thailand, the rumors of his 'death' apparently quite greatly exaggerated. This specific meeting-time and place that has been uncovered is said to be one of the largest weapons shipments from Shadaloo, one that might turn the tide for Georgia and its allies, to allow what might be a simple crushing by Russia to instead turn into a lengthy, protracted war...
A /profitable/ war.
Justice... can never rest. Which means, of course, that it's champion - vigilante Lieutenant Charlie Nash - and his crack squad of expertly trained ex-soldiers can hardly so much as take a break between missions. With the assorted criminal activity from R and the Southtown Syndicate, as well as the mysterious new organization whose leader Nash recently faced down in a now-ruined town many miles east of here, Charlie has been delegating his most trusted men to lead missions in his stead more and more often... he simply cannot be everywhere at once.
But when Shadaloo rears it's head... the group whose corrupting influence on the United States Military caused him to become a fugitive, a man wanted in the eyes of the very government he shed so much blood and sweat protecting. Rugal Bernstein, Geese Howard, the strange, cloaked man calling himself a 'god'... these are evil men, without a doubt. But they do not compare to the complete and utter lack of humanity, of regard for human life, that the one known as 'Vega' possesses. He is, and always will be, the primary target in Lieutenant Nash's eyes... and so when intel caught word of a large Shadaloo weapons shipment and - more importantly - it's specific route through the Russian countryside, he simply could not resist leading this mission himself.
Crouched and clad in ghillie suits custom-made to camoflauge them in the mountainous terrain that the armed caravan of vehicles snakes through, Charlie and a small detachment of his best men - Guile excluded, Nash's XO no doubt leading some other important mission halfway across the globe at this moment - lay hidden, most of them with high-powered rifles propped up on rocks, staring at the convoy through the scopes atop their guns. The Lieutenant himself, however, doesn't appear to be carrying a gun on his person - although he has a medium-sized light-brown canvas backpack laying beside him - but he too stares at the convoy passing below, only with binoculars rather than a rifle scope.
"Wait for my signal - if intel is right, they've got enough ammunition and weapons in those trucks to start a small war... and a decent amount of soldiers to -use- them. We need to catch them off-guard... wait for it..."
All is quiet, in Shadaloo-land. After all, they aren't /expecting/ problems. No, no, most of the people in the convoy are quite unaware of the doom and destruction that await them at the hands of the Vigilantes, and their eventual fate as war criminals and terrorists. They're doing what they signed up to do - to further Shadaloo's business within the world. In this case, business is profitable, and business is good. Money, greed and power push these men, cowards to the core. When fighting breaks out, they'll be some of the first to surrender up their cargo.
Vega's planning on it.
They haven't been paid enough to die, they haven't even really been paid enough to be heavily injured. They've been paid enough to drive trucks, keep an eye out - and to bail and run for the hills at the first sign of trouble. Thus far, that's kept the convoy moving towards the drop-area. Thus far, the long line of trucks wends its way towards fate like a snake crossing the desert, though there's a tension in the air that bodes poorly - a crackle like the calm before a particularly violent storm. There's only one truck that's different in this convoy - but as of yet, well - the only difference that could be seen is that a woman is driving it.
Charlie's eyes narrow as he gazes through the binoculars pressed against his face, watching as the lead truck in the convoy continues to snake it's way through the road - cliffs rising high above either side of the path... The Lieutenant had very little prep time for this job, as intel was aware of the shipment only an hour or two before it was scheduled to be passing through the area... and his keen, analytical mind couldn't help but notice that - for the route of an important and rather large weapons shipment - it was rather susceptible to ambush. And it's -this- fact that keeps the usually calm and controlled Charlie somewhat on edge, even as he reaches inside his backpack and pulls out what appears to be a detonator. Something is up, and he strongly suspects a trap... but he can't very well let the shipment go through unimpeded, can he? No, the best he can do is ensure that he is here -personally- to deal with one of Vega's dolls, or his lapdogs Balrog and M. Bison, or.. god forbid.. the master of psycho power himself, -Vega-.
"Blowing charges in.. 5.. 4.. 3.." he counts down slowly, timing it perfectly so that when he reaches zero and presses the button on the detonator, the two loads of C4 explosives planted on and around the two cliffs that rise above either side of the road deposit a -massive- ton of mountain rock and debris directly into the path of the first truck, cutting off their advance. A second push of the button detonates a similar pair of charges near the end of the convoy, completely cutting off their escape. It's hard to judge how Vega's soldiers will react - whether he sent his most hardened men, or some rookies who won't have the -guts- to stand and fight against an obviously tactically superior foe.
"LAY DOWN YOUR WEAPONS AND STEP OUT OF THE TRUCKS, WE HAVE YOU SURROUNDED. ANYONE MAKES -ANY- THREATENING MOTION, YOU GET A COMPLIMENTARY .50 CALIBER ROUND IN THE CHEST!" the voice comes from one of Charlie's men over loud-speaker, the Lieutenant wanting his presence to remain unknown for the time being - and his voice would certainly be recognized by any of Vega's higher-ranking officers. Hopefully, the Vigilantes can end this peacefully... hopefully, Vega's men are wise enough to surrender.
High ground, and with their exit and escape both fore and aft cut off, the trucks are ablur with activity. A minor collision as brakes are applied and others do not see, a mess that quickly escalates into chaos below. Shadaloo's men - or at least, the men selected for /this/ mission are not nearly prepared to deal with chaos and surprise on this magnitude. There's a scramble for the doors, thrown open wide, the raising of guns - and then as quickly, throwing them aside. Hands go up, the deep blue of Shadaloo's uniforms seemingly drenched in yellow - fear and cowardice.
Is sudden surrender threatening? Is the complete capitulation of mewling cowards cause for alarm? Perhaps celebration, instead? It's easy to see the disarray already starting to settle down into a quiet underbrook of fear and trepidation - each man wondering what will befall him, when the chips finally are called in by the banker.
And yet - one truck slowly pulls out of the convoy's line, rolling forwards towards the mound of dirt that /was/ the path to the meeting place - if lights can be brought on it's driver's seat - it's empty now, the woman inside no longer to be found. The back of the truck's fabric cover flaps a bit - but that was just the breeze, wasn't it?
It couldn't have been something like someone exiting and moving to cover. Really.
As soon as the charges are blown and his men warn the Shadaloo soldiers below, Charlie watches the reaction carefully - the ensuing disorder as several of the trucks slam into eachother... the enemy seemingly surrenders, much too easily for a shipment of such supposed value. Almost immediately the Lieutenant knows that somewhere, Vega is laughing... It's a trap, but where's the threat? It certainly couldn't be the mass of mewling cowards, who have thrown away their guns in a scramble to avoid being caught with a rifle bullet from Nash's snipers located in the cliffs above. They offer no resistance whatsoever, as the same booming voice orders them to lay on the ground face-first and keep their hands behind their backs - whether they comply doesn't change the Lieutenant's reaction.
"I have a bad feeling about this..." he grumbles over the radio to his men, his voice gruff and tinted with distrust - watching as a single truck veers out of the convoy's line... and the briefest flash of movement catches his eye. There is a small pause after this statement - not something that the Vigilantes hear their fearless leader say too often, and so they take the words very seriously.
"Keep your guns on the soldiers... I'm going down to investigate - and you all better damn well be ready to get the hell out of here if things turn nasty.." he can almost -feel- Vega watching him, his willpower stiffling a shudder that should be running down his spine at the moment, but isn't. "I think -he's- here... and your guns won't help against -him-..."
"Dear god, sir, are you serious?"
"Just keep your guns on the soldiers and wait for my word..." he says, his voice regaining it's calmness despite the tense circumstances. Standing up and throwing his ghillie suit to the side, revealing his usual outfit of cargo pants and a yellow-orange vest underneat, the Lieutenant takes off in a quick run towards the edge of the cliff, leaping off of it and landing perfectly on the roof of one of the trucks below, caving it in a fair bit and no doubt frightening the soldiers surrounding it. Remaining crouched on the roof of the truck, Charlie surveys the surrendered soldiers from the higher ground, his gaze eventually turning to the one truck that veered off course... waiting, watching...
"Your move..." he says, barely a whisper.
There's new fright from the cowards whom Vega has given over to Charlie as a 'gift'. This was, after all, an elaborate display for the man and an offering to draw him out and back into view. To draw him back to Vega's shadow, to show him the correct place for his organization. That Charlie responds so /predictably/ saves Vega some of the trouble of simply killing Charlie's men until Charlie responds.
Watching, waiting, Vega bides his time - choosing the perfect moment to make his appearrance. It's not so much as stepping out into the light, to where he can be seen - no, Vega's power is such that he simply seems to /appear/, bathed in that inky black and purple psychic aura, the slight blurring of his form making his speed seem incredible. He stands near the truck, and with a simple hop and expenditure of power, he hovers above it, looking down at Charlie with his arms folded, grin wide on his face.
"It's been so long, Charlie. I still remember the last time we spoke." he says, the malevolent dictator's sneer palpable, the energy given off by his soldiers providing him power enough, for now. Certainly, riling Charlie up would help as well, though. "It only took a few days to take your attention - I thought it would take longer. I've... been sending reminders to the world, and it seems that I'd /almost/ forgotten your rag-tag band." His hands sweep wide, and he lands on the cab of the truck, facing Charlie, metal crumpling under his heavy boots. "This is to be an object lesson. Shadaloo is back - and no matter how you claim to fight us, the end will be the same. Inevitable. Your fate - determined."
His aura explodes around him, blackness swelling out and enshrouding the combatants, to block lines of sight for enemy and ally both - this time, it's Charlie and Vega. "Now... Come and face your destiny!!"
COMBATSYS: Vega has started a fight here.
COMBATSYS: Charlie has joined the fight here.
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Vega 0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0 Charlie
If there's one thing Charlie isn't in the business of, it's putting his men's life at risk without reason... as soon as he suspects that Vega may, in fact, have crawled out of whatever hole he was hiding in to lay this trap for the Lieutenant and his men, he made the choice to put his own life at risk - to throw himself down into the path below, rather than risk having his men come with him to properly detain the Shadaloo soldiers laying face-first. First and foremost, this is -his- fight... and he won't have any of his men dying because of his quest for vengeance... not if it can be avoided. And indeed, against a foe -this- powerful, they would serve no purpose but to die by his hands... even among the most well-trained and experienced fighters in the world, only a handful could hope to stand any chance against the might of Vega's psycho power. It's just fortunate that Lieutenant Nash is one of these talented few.
His discipline and willpower causing him to remain outwardly calm and collected as the target of his quest, the man for whom he holds so much hate, seemingly appears out of thin air directly next to the truck that Charlie is now standing atop. But inside, he can't help but be struck with a quick burst of panic - one that is immediately stifled, supressed by his years of experience in dealing with potential death. If he has to die at this man's hands today, then so be it - for it will be a death that came about out of a sheer desire to bring the most evil man alive to -justice-.
He listens to Vega's speech, eyes narrowed behind his trademark spectales, brow furrowed as he listens to the words this disgusting individual spits out. "Get out of here, now..." he says into his radio headset, ordering his men to disband from the cliffs above and head back to the helicopter stationed only a few miles from here. If he loses to Vega this day, he doesn't want the madman hunting down his men - no, he'll do his best to, at the very least, hold off the would-be dictator long enough for his men to escape, and carry on his quest should he not return. His message delivered, Charlie throws the radio into the blackness that now surrounds him and Vega - seemingly cutting them off from all that is around them. He has little worry in his mind that the Shadaloo soldiers who were so quick to surrender would be brave enough to pierce the blackness and attack him from behind, so the Lieutenant's full attention is on Vega.
He's only been this close to the man a few times, and each time it reminds him of why he spends so much energy on his journey to bring him to justice. He -radiates- evil... inhumanity... violence, rage... everything negative about the human race is hovering directly in front of him. He only has to reach out and -strike- it.
"Shut up and die..." hisses the Lieutenant, in a rare display of emotion his voice practically -dripping- venom, his hatred of Vega palpable... which may, unfortunately, only serve to fuel the Shadaloo leader's power even moreseo. Nevertheless, the Lieutenant takes a few quick steps forward and leaps into the air, spinning around as he does so to deliver a flying side-kick, aimed directly at the dictator's chest, aiming to bring him slamming down to the ground...
This is it... this is what Charlie has been searching so hard for... the chance to bring Vega down once and for all - how nice of the Shadaloo leader to provide him with this opportunity.
COMBATSYS: Vega interrupts Heavy Kick from Charlie with Psycho Crusher.
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Vega 0/-------/------=|=======\-------\0 Charlie
Opportunity, perhaps. Ability - that remains to be seen.
Charlie's right in one thing, though - Vega thrives on negative emotions. The hate that Charlie has is more than enough to make Vega powerful, in addition to the fear of the Shadaloo slugs about them, already starting to scatter as Charlie's men do. After all, in a battle of titans, one does not stay at Ground Zero. It's suicide, in the best of times, and insanity in every other situation. the meeting of Charlie and Vega will probably end up destroying everything in a large area - and collateral human damage is the least of Vega's worries.
He grins wickedly as Charlie hisses out his challenge and leaps into the air - Vega's been expecting and waiting for this moment for some time. As Charlie lashes out, Vega's power re-coalesces, the area suddenly visible again, Vega's body itself quickly surrounded with the epic aura of his psychic power. It blazes brightly as the Shadaloo Dictator hurls himself forwards, into and /through/ Charlie's boot, letting the impact strike him - but catching the leg before full extension. Instead, he inflicts his aura on Charlie, every bit a ravening beast in its' own right, clashing at his psyche and searching for hooks and ways to crush and kill his spirit. Vega lands lightly on the ground, the truck behind him set on fire by his passage. What of Charlie? What of Charlie indeed. "Perhaps you shouldn't throw out challenges you cannot back up, Charlie.." he chuckles..
Well, Charlie would have to be a damn fool if he really thought it would be -that- easy... after all, he is facing down one of the most feared men alive - and rightly so, for he commands a power that may one day be enough to shake the very earth itself. If men like Lieutenant Nash don't stop him first, the world as he know it will, in all likely, be under Vega's command - and it is that thought that drives the Vigilante leader onwards.
But perhaps he was a bit too... hasty - perhaps he should've stayed back and let his powerful adversary make the first move. But such is the extent of Vega's power that he is occasionally able to drive calm and analytical men like Charlie to make rash decisions, to his benefit. Even before the Shadaloo leader strikes out, Nash can -feel- the energy gathering around him, like a storm building up strength, ready to stab the sky with lightning and shake the earth with thunderclaps... but darker, infinitely more evil. It is the power of hatred -itself-, and all of it is levelled on Lieutenant Nash, his boot crashing into Vega - but at a terrible cost, as he is driven backwards through the air with a force that would no doubt -kill- a normal man, or even a lesser-trained fighter. Even the truck erupts into flames from the burning power unleashed by the attack - the fire purple, radiating heat that even -feels- unnatural.
It's a technique that Charlie has felt before - and perhaps it is this fact alone that prevents him from blacking out due to the sheer pain. No, instead he grits his teeth, his body landing in a heap a dozen or so feet away from the truck, using all his willpower to keep his wits about him. If he stays down now, there's little doubt that Vega will -not- relent, will press the advantage and -kill- Charlie. And, well, he would -hate- to disappoint the men under his command. They're expecting him to return to headquarters, beaten and bloody perhaps... but ultimately alive. He -can't- fail them, these men who threw away their lives, their careers, to follow him on his quest for justice. He -must- win.
Pulling himself to his feet as quickly as he can, given the immense pain that still courses through his body, the burning sensation that just -won't- go away, Lieutenant Nash lets out a cough, expelling dust from his lungs as he throws his spectales to the side - one of the lenses cracked from the impact. "I don't..." is his only response, before rushing forward - ignoring the pain, ignoring his singed clothes that still smolder and burn with every step... his only goal, to grab hold of Vega by the shoulders. It's a one-in-a-million shot, given the distance and the sheer speed of his opponent, but should his grasp be successful, the Lieutenant will grab Vega in an under-arm chokehold and deliver six brutal knee-lifts into the dictator's gut, before tossing him to the side with a grunt.
COMBATSYS: Charlie successfully hits Vega with Knee Gatling.
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Vega 0/-------/-----==|=======\=------\1 Charlie
Vega has started to move by the time Charlie has thrown his glasses away - but he's overconfident. Easily lulled into the belief that he can and will crush Charlie beneath his heel, Vega takes his time to face the warrior, the leader of his 'nemesis' group, the Vigilantes. Those that take the law into their own hand, to force their will on others. Really, it's the same as Shadaloo - just with a bit less death. He's slow to turn though, and finds a arm wrapped around his shoulders, spinning him into Charlie. Face to face, Vega's blank white eyes stare with a fierce intensity, the Shadaloo lord attempting to eel out of the way - only to fail. Wide with shock, he suddenly takes kick after kick, the knees slamming into his stomach, knocking the wind from his sails, and sending him to the ground with a hurled toss.
Just as Vega lands, he seems to fade, a bad dream dispelled for Charlie, a demon vanquished. Or is he? That aura, that haunting fear that is his calling card seems to linger, and his laugh, choked and gasping, is still heard. In the air around, it hangs, lingering like the stale odor of death at the site of a massacre. Eventually, it forms into words, and coalesces as Vega reappears behind Charlie - but squanders his advantage by simply /talking/.
"You're good. So very good - a worthwhile opponent, but doomed to fail. You know that, don't you? I can see it in your soul, Nash.. That fear that no matter /what/ you do, I'll win.."
COMBATSYS: Vega gathers his will.
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Vega 0/-------/=======|=======\=------\1 Charlie
His eyes tracking Vega's path through the air, Charlie is ready when his foe seemingly disappears into thin air - he's seen this vanishing act from the Shadaloo Lord before, and it comes as no surprise to the Lieutenant when he sees it put into use in this battle. After all, this is more than a fight between two of the greatest warriors alive - it is a battle of ideals, two opposite ends of the spectrum struggling against eachother. On one end is order, justice and righteousness... the other end stands for chaos, corruption, and evil in all it's forms. This... is one conflict in a series of many that will one day decide the fate of the world itself.
His gaze scanning the area around him as Vega's laugh echoes against the sides of the massive cliffs towering above him - but when the Shadaloo boss re-appears, he -still- manages to reform -behind- Charlie. Why he doesn't press the attack in the split-second it takes the Lieutenant to whirl around and face him, who can say? Perhaps Vega's power -isn't- limitless, perhaps he -needs- that moment to regain his strength. Whatever the reason, it has spared Nash a surprise attack on his flank, and allows him to roll backwards - creating some distance between the two even as the evil dictator spouts his malevolent speech.
"Whatever the outcome..." says Nash, weighing his words with a calmness that seems odd given his current situation - face-to-face with the epitome of hatred and death, "It doesn't matter if I fail. Because there will -always- be the good, the just, to stand up against men like you. If I fail in my quest, another shall take my place... You can't stop us -all-, Vega. It is -you- who is doomed... this world won't -let- itself be controlled by a man like you!" Indeed, Charlie Nash is not Vega's only opponent, and the Lieutenant firmly believes that, should he indeed die by his foe's mighty hands, another of his fellow crusaders would one day defeat Vega once and for all. Be it Chun-Li, Ryu, Guile, or any other of the many mighty warriors who stand against gross injustice... -one- of them will bring Shadaloo to the ground. They -must-, for the sake of the entire planet.
He gives his opponent a split-second to consider this, and then throws a right hook out into the air - still several feet away from Vega, it's obvious he doesn't intend on hitting him with the fist itself... no, it's the crescent of chi energy that comes hurtling forward from the arm itself - the bluish-orange energy hurtling towards the air towards Vega, intent on exploding in a painful concussive blast not unlike that of a frag grenade... should his opponent not pull another disappearing trick.
COMBATSYS: Vega overcomes Sonic Boom from Charlie with Psycho Shot.
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Vega 0/-------/----===|=======\=------\1 Charlie
"Whatever the outcome.. the world is /doomed/, Charlie..!" Vega's cackling taunt is thrown back at the Vigilante, Charlie's words redirected, added and twisted into a weapon. "The world /hates/ order, justice - the strong rule, imposing their will on others. You do that yourself..!" With a laugh, he prepares for Charlie's assault, his body hunkering down, hands coming to his sides.
As the blazing arc of blue-orange chi washes out towards Vega, the dictator brings his dominant hand forwards, fingers spread wide. He focuses his Psycho Power in to a point, a layer just around the hand, 'catching' the energy of Charlie's attack, the Sonic Boom, in his grip. He lets it linger there, so Charlie can watch the effort he puts into stalling and stilling it. Then he cackles, and power upon power explodes from his hand, overwhelming the projectile and blasting out in a ball of energy back at Charlie. "Noone can stand against me! Remember this!!"
COMBATSYS: Vega successfully hits Charlie with Psycho Shot.
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Vega 0/-------/--=====|=======\==-----\1 Charlie
"The only -will- I impose..." states Charlie calmly, as he watches his crescent of chi spin towards his hated rival, "Is on men like -you-, who seek to corrupt the innocent. Who seek to sow the seeds of disorder and death amongst those who deserve better!"
Any further words, however, are cut off as he watches the Shadaloo Lord seemingly... pluck his projectile out of the air, as though it were -nothing-. He's seen some impressive displays of power before, but grabbing hold of such an unstable blast of chi and then snuffing it out without so much breaking a sweat is.. well, it ranks among the top, that much is certain. But if Charlie is thrown off-guard by this act, he certainly doesn't show it - and although the fact that he is unable to successfully defend himself against the counter-projectile that Vega throws his way -may- betray some surprise on his part, he takes the blow remarkably well. It doesn't so much as knock him backwards - the Vigilante leader simply standing his ground and -taking- the blast of psycho energy to the chest. Even without enough time to dodge the projectile, it seems as though he was at least able to brace himself against it's impact - not even rewarding Vega with so much as a grunt of pain. It's like trying to reaction out of a granite statue, and the Lieutenant can only hope - deep inside - that it frustrates the Shadaloo Lord to some degree.
"Come on..." says Nash in his deep, gruff, Snake Plissken-esque voice as he spits on the dusty ground in front of him, narrowing his eyes on his opponent as he watches the man's cape ruffle in what little breeze their is. Watching for any muscle movement, any tell-tale signs of an incoming attack... anything, that might help him gain an edge in this fight. "Come and see what justice -feels- like..."
COMBATSYS: Charlie focuses on his next action.
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Vega 0/-------/--=====|=======\==-----\1 Charlie
So strong. It would be a shame to just /kill/ him...
Vega can't really move to destroy Charlie's body. No, no, he has to do more. He has to crush Charlie's /spirit/. That requires skill, thought and effort - things that Vega is willing to invest some time to do. It takes time to chip away and erode the will of a warrior so strong, but it can be done - just like a mountain can be weathered down over time.
Frustrated indeed, really - Vega enjoys seeing the effect his power has on people, and to be shown a lack of reaction such as this, well - it's annoying. Ire-inducing, even. Vega isn't willing to lose his temper /yet/, though, hanging on to rational thought with his normal hair's breadth of control. It's a rare thing, this long in a battle - but again... Charlie is something special.
"As you wish, Charlie.." Vega's cackle comes again, the Shadaloo lord stalking towards the other warrior, each step leaving an imprint in the ground, sinking into the surface, just a bit, each time. Leaving his mark on the world, just in a smaller scale than he plans to, in the end. "Show me this /justice/!" With that, he puts his hand on one of the trucks, ripping the bumper free with a casual curve, and chucking it directly towards the Vigilante's leader. Metal and chrome tumbles towards him, and Vega starts to move behind it, seeking to capitalize on where Charlie /will/ be afterwrads. After all - Vega's a psychic.
COMBATSYS: Charlie overcomes Thrown Object from Vega with Sonic Break.
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Vega 0/-------/--=====|=======\==-----\1 Charlie
If it's Charlie's spirit that Vega seeks to crush, he'll find it even -harder- than merely destroying the man's physical body... but it's clear that if -anyone- is capable of exerting enough doubt, enough fear and hatred to do so, it would be him. For -he- is the one target of Nash's quest for justice that he actually -hates-, and might possibly -kill-, if given the chance... no doubt, a fatal crack in the rigidly moral stance that the Lieutenant normally takes. It could be too much of a risk to simply attempt to arrest the Shadaloo Lord - not only because of the sheer improbability of actually restraining him, combined with the high escape chances and the political clout he holds. Should the man ever find himself in front of a real court, there is little doubt in Charlie's mind that Vega would be found innocent of his countless crimes against humanity... such is the depth of corruption that he has inflicted upon this world. Perhaps it -would- be better... if Vega were to -die-... Even if it were to mean his ultimate victory - his destruction of an honest, just man... driven to murder a downed opponent.
Should it ever come to that, Charlie Nash will have to make that decision - in the meantime, he has to stay alive himself. As the piece of the truck comes hurtling through the air towards him, the Lieutenant doesn't move to dodge it - though he has ample time to do so, simply due to the bumper's weight as it travels through the air. No, instead he meets it head on with an attack of his own, throwing out two right hooks, a left, and a leaping spin-kick - all of which aren't meant to impact the projectile itself, but rather launching out four sonic booms, the first of which strikes the piece of truck and absolutely -demolishes- it. With all the force of a C4 charge, the -single- sonic boom is enough to send sharp shards of steel hurtling outwards through the air - all of which Charlie is deft enough to avoid. And that's not to mention the -three- remaining projectiles, all of them headed towards Vega himself, now that the bumper is out of the way.
COMBATSYS: Vega blocks Charlie's Sonic Break.
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Vega 0/-------/-======|==-----\-------\0 Charlie
Deep in his heart, Vega can sense that killing intent. It's one he holds on his sleeve, wears out where all can see and sense it. Vega kills for no reason, as needed - and sometimes spares people long enough to let them see their lives derail. He's even been known to walk away from those he's caused to beg for death. All to suit the mad, twisted whims of a crazed dictator. Without being able to /search/ Charlie's mind, Vega simply senses the change in intent, and inside he crows, pleased. So much power and energy thrown into destroying him - Vega could not be happier at this moment, no matter the outcome of a few seconds from now...
The impact meets Vega's guard, aura-shrouded hands catching and slapping the first, slower impact aside and into one of the trucks nearby, which explodes. The second, third and fourth batter him, knocking him backwards, staggering but not dropping him. Breathing heavily, he recovers his breath, eyes narrowed, but that damned demonic smile still on his bloodied lips. "I... I'm impressed. You .. are more a challenge today than when we last met. It will be.. a shame.. to kill you." He gathers himself, returns to standing, and then beckons Charlie forwards, into the maw of the beast itself, into the heart of Vega's power. "Come and show me that rage you have inside, Charlie.. I ... wish to see it."
COMBATSYS: Vega gathers his will.
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Vega 1/-----==/=======|==-----\-------\0 Charlie
"You're not as scary as you think, Vega..." says Charlie gruffly as he watches his series of sonic booms impact upon the insane dictator - well aware that his attack does not have -nearly- the effect that he had hoped it would, the force of the chi enough to stagger the Shadaloo Lord, but it is hardly the fight-ending blow that the Lieutenant had hoped for. Nevertheless, Nash is far from finished - he has been hunting this man for too long to let any doubt enter his mind... if he dies, he'll die -fighting-. He'll die for -something-, which is more than most people in the world can say, when their time comes. "You see, you may be the most -disgustingly- inhuman man I've ever met..." he says, pausing for maximum impact, "But I've met someone -more- powerful... And you just don't have what it -takes-... to frighten the -strong-.."
He is referring, of course, to his showdown with the mysterious cloaked stranger - in a now-ruined village not too far from this very spot. A man he stood against and -defeated-, a battle that has given him the confidence that he -can- bring Vega to his knees, as well. This war is -not- as unwinnable as the Shadaloo Lord would have Lieutenant Nash believe - and that knowledge steels Charlie's resolve. He shows no fear, not even in the face of earth-shaking power. No fear... no doubt... only a desire to bring this man to justice... and a strong undercurrent of sheer -rage-, that he does his best to ignore. Don't give in... It's what he wants...
But the Lieutenant's will is only so strong, and so when Vega goads him on, he can only pause for a moment before charging forward - letting out a loud bellow that echoes off of the cliffs surrounding them, a rather uncharacteristic outburst for the Vigilante leader. Perhaps Vega's mind games -are- having some effect on the ex-soldier... perhaps he -is- succumbing to his rage... or merely using it to his own advantage. Regardless, he closes the distance in a split-second - his powerful legs carrying him towards his foe in a flash, both arms reaching out and aiming to grab hold of the mad dictator around the waist. If he's able to get a solid grip, Charlie will move behind Vega - grabbing him around the midsection from behind and lifting him up and backwards, slamming him neck-first into the solid, rocky ground below.
COMBATSYS: Vega endures Charlie's Dragon Suplex.
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Vega 1/---====/=======|===----\-------\0 Charlie
Whatever happens, Vega wins. That much, the dictator is certain of. He's gotten under Charlie's skin, inside his soul - tainted it with the hate and rage he's famous for. No matter what words Charlie uses to deny and deflect it, in Vega's mind, he's already succeeded in making the man just /that/ much more like the Shadaloo Lord, deep inside. Willing to kill, willing to destroy for some undefined 'goal'. No matter how he hides it, Vega can sense it, trying to worm its way to the surface - and inside, he's pleased.
As Charlie steps into the attack, throws himself at Vega in all his might and fury, the Lord of Shadaloo moves /with/ Charlie, allowing himself to be 'caught', to be thrown down to the ground in such a manner, to impact with a shuddering thud and crunch of broken metal and scattered crates. The armaments he lands on are destroyed, metal and rock digging through cloth and biting into flesh. He accepts the pain for what it is - simple reminders of his power, the sting of Charlie's effort not enough to shake his own resolve. And there, crashed in such a heap - he laughs.
"You're weak, Charlie. Wanting. Left alone, you could never find your potential. Left without me to fight, you would be lazy, slow - /this/ is what I have given you. And now.. I take it all away." He gathers himself to his feet, and then blazes with power. Every bit of his psychic aura is drawn out, pulling on his emotions, those of his opponent - and using them to surround him. The aura is brighter now, hideously powerful - and /this/ time, when he launches himself towards Charlie, the words said are signifigant, pulled from his very soul, and hurled at Charlie's body much like the Shadaloo dictator's own body is, buoyed on a cushion of sheer psychic power.
"FINAAAAAL... PSYCHOOOO... CRUSHAAAAA!!!"
COMBATSYS: Vega successfully hits Charlie with Final Psycho Crusher+.
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Vega 0/-------/-------|=======\-------\1 Charlie
As soon as he grabs hold of the dictator, Charlie knows that it is simply the will of the Shadaloo Lord to be caught by his attack - he made no motion to evade, none to counter, nor block... he simply -let- himself be thrown, rather violently, into the hard pile of debris that the truck - still flaming with purple, unnatural fire - has left strewn about. The laugh just confirms this fact, as Charlie rolls to his feet just in time to hear the words come out of Vega's mouth - words meant to shake his confidence, to rattle him into making a mistake. To make him -believe- that, this whole time -he- was in control... that every step of this fight was decided by the crimelord, and not the Vigilante leader - a fact that Nash, quite simply, refuses to believe. He's just trying to get inside the ex-soldier's head, just trying to throw him off his game. Ruin the same confidence that has allowed the Lieutenant to cause such pain to the Shadaloo Lord over the course of this battle. No, were Vega truly as powerful as he would have Charlie believe, this fight would've been over in the first few seconds.
"You.. will.. -try-.." says the Vigilante leader, each word spoken between gritted teeth, his hatred of the man standing in front of him practically boiling over - and it is only through sheer force of will that he holds back, rather than rushing in foolishly into the attack that Charlie -knows- is coming. He can once again sense great power gathering around his opponent, even -moreso- than from the pyscho crusher he unleashed at the very start of the fight... this... this is a killing blow if there ever was one, and by the time Vega is finished bellowing out the name of the technique - already halfway towards Charlie - the Lieutenant has prepared himself, crouching low momentarily before rolling suddenly to the left.
It's far from a perfect dodge, but he manages to avoid the actual physical impact of Vega's spiralling form - instead, he simply finds himself horrifically burned from the pyscho power unleashed by the Shadaloo Lord's ultimate technique. It hurts, even to someone as tough and experienced with pain as Charlie is - it's enough to cause a sharp grunt of pain, the first real sign of agony that the Lieutenant has shown throughout the entire fight... but he can't help it, the bizarre power that Vega wields burning his skin with it's purple flames, the heat seemingly radiating throughout his entire body. He -should- be dead... but he isn't. He still finds the strength to stand, and when Vega finally lands from his final psycho crusher - perhaps expecting to turn around to the sight of an unconscious, or possibly dead, Charlie Nash - he finds the Lieutenant rushing towards him. -He should be DEAD-.
But he isn't - and although every step is sheer agony, although the psychic flames still cause him almost unbearable agony - enough to cause anyone weaker to black out, if not go into shock and die. Somehow, Charlie finds the strength to unleash a sudden string of blows upon the Shadaloo Lord's body - aiming a quick combination of punches, followed by a few knees to the gut and then ending with a leaping spin-kick to the jaw, all in the time it takes for him to yell out, "CROSSFIRE BLITZ!"
COMBATSYS: Vega blocks Charlie's Crossfire Blitz.
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Vega 0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0 Charlie
Vega hasn't killed Charlie yet?! What gives! The dictator must be getting slow in his old age - or else he's just toying with Charlie, letting him think that victory is in his grasp. Anything's possible, when Vega is concerned. The demonic despot lands lightly, turning to face Charlie again, wounded and weak - showing the effects of his battle with the Vigilante's head. He's certainly no better off than Charlie, but sheer pride will nt allow him to admit it, not even to himself. Losing is impossible, in this case. No matter what, Charlie will be made to suffer through this - and Vega will walk away at the end, triumphant. As Charlie launches into his attack, Vega roars out a challenge and meets him in mid strike, his hands coming up to intercept the punches. Each kick is caught against his shin or thigh, matching movement to movement - the final spin kick knocks him backwards - but he still stands.
He still stands.
"This has been... enjoyable, Nash. You've been given your lesson. I do not think you'll .. forget it." With that, he murmurs a subtle command, a throat mic taking it to the woman hiding in the distance. 'Blow the trucks.' Arund the two fighters, explosion after explosion rocks the air, the trucks full f ammo and weapns going up, thanks to strategiclly placed charges, intent on making the area a dead zone - with Charlie and Vega in the midst of it. As fire and smoke starts to swell upwards, Vega steps towards Charlie, red and orange highlights causing crazy shadows to fall against his face. He draws back his hand, and attempts to catch Charlie by the face. There's no subtlety here - no, no, just power.
COMBATSYS: Charlie dodges Vega's Medium Throw.
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Vega 0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0 Charlie
Charlie can hardly believe the -speed- with which Vega reacts to his sudden and swift onslaught of blows - he certainly wasn't expecting his opponent to be able to recover from such an exhausting technique -that- quickly. But, once again, the Shadaloo Lord proves to one of his greatest rivals precisely -why- he is such a threat to the world. Precisely -why- he must be fought with every ounce of strength that the Vigilante leader - and those that follow his ideals - can muster..
"Where's Guile when you need him.." whispers Charlie under his breath, not loud enough for Vega to hear - more for his own benefit, than anything else... actually, he knows precisely where Guile most likely is at this very moment, leading a mission in Bolivia against Rugal Bernstein's organization - a group that the Vigilantes have taken an increased interest in lately.
When the explosions begin, Charlie steadies himself - widening his stance as the earth shakes violently around him, the cliffs surrounding the convoy depositing even more rubble upon the now-ruined road that the weapons shipment was travelling on. He certainly wasn't expecting -this-, but if he had any doubt that this was a trap from the very beginning - which he really doesn't - then this is proof positive. Setting explosives on their -own- trucks, it's clear that Vega was expecting Vigilante interference... showing that the Shadaloo Lord is indeed a tactical mind on-par with Charlie's own.
But this fight isn't just about tactics and strategy at this point, it's about the desire to -win-... the drive to defeat the other man, each standing on seperate sides of the moral spectrum - but both equally as passionate about their goals. In many ways, the two are not unalike, both consumed with desire - only with Vega, it is a desire to rule the world, and with Charlie a desire to see men like Vega brought to their knees.
When the Shadaloo Lord rushes forward, no doubt intent on taking advantage of the momentary distraction that the exploding trucks provides, Lieutenant Nash is ready for him - ducking low and moving to the left slightly, Vega's hand grasping nothing but air. Attempting to take advantage of this momentary lapse in defense, and his arguably superior close-quarters fighting skills, Nash attempts to grab hold of Vega's wrist with one hand, placing another on the man's shoulder. If he's successful, he loops one leg behind his opponent's and - stepping forward - aims to SLAM him down onto the ground with all the force he can muster, twisting the man's arm violently as he does so.
"Run out of tricks, Vega?"
COMBATSYS: Vega interrupts Strong Throw from Charlie with Knee Press Nightmare.
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Vega 0/-------/-----==|====---\-------\0 Charlie
He's crazy. That's really the only answer. He's always been crazy, always been insane - this latest explosion of power and rage is just the last fits of a broken mind, attempting to take down whoever and whatever he can at the same time. Vega will take the world with him, in the end. That much, he's certain of. The last time he was 'defeated', Thailand fell into chaos. The next time he strikes - the /world/ will fall. The explosions, smoke and fire and chaos that surround this small area will be reflected in the world. That much, Vega is certain of. /That much/, he will live to see.
He's not out of tricks... Not yet.
As Charlie grabs him, Vega begins to move. He flips upwards, allowing Charlie the gift of touching his counternance once more, then flipping up into the air in a somersault, taking him back just a foot or two. Then he flips forwards, time and again, giant feet slamming into Charlie's shoulders and head in a rain of knees and feet, metal shinguards finding their mark over and again. Each time, Vega laughs. Each time, Vega's spirit soards. Each time, he cackles madly in triumph. "FALL! FALL! THIS IS YOUR END!!"
Immediately, Charlie realizes his mistake - damnit, he finally let his hatred of Vega, his desire to see him defeated once and for all, blind him to the matter at hand. He should've played it safer, but he acted out rashly - something rather uncharacteristic for the Lieutenant who is, under normal circumstances, painfully careful in every action. It's what makes him such a talented fighter, and he threw it away in this battle, tosses aside his calm, analytical nature for brash actions and sheer -anger-... a sure sign that Vega has gotten under his skin, that he hates the Shadaloo Lord so -much- that not even his impressive willpower can contain his rage.
And it's this rage that leads to his defeat, acting too quickly, not planning for every counter-attack - enabling Vega to move with his grab, launching himself upwards in a somersault and then smashing down upon Charlie's head and shoulders with a series of brutal knee-drops, the metal covering the man's shins serving to make each blow -that- much more painful. But still, even with his flesh still burning on the inside from the psycho power of the man's ultimate technique, Lieutenant Nash does not allow himself the blessing of sweet unconsciousness. No, instead he allows the man's kneedrops to take him down to one knee, the Vigilante leader crouching as he looks upwards, watching Vega's descent for what will surely be a skull-caving blow...
"No... not the end..." he coughs, blood landing on the dusty, debris-ridden ground... and then, in one sudden movement, Charlie forces himself into one final act of defiance - somersaulting up into the air in a brutally powerful flip-kick, both his legs imbued with chi energy as he ascends to meet his foe's path downwards.
He may have lost this battle, but he will do his best to make damn sure that Vega isn't in any condition to take advantage of this fact..
COMBATSYS: Charlie can no longer fight.
[ \\\\ <
COMBATSYS: Charlie successfully hits Vega with Somersault Shell.
What's that, Lassie? Vega's verexerting himself and about to overreach his grip, because he's a megalomaniac wh can't accept that he's almost unconcious? ARF!
Vega has led himself to this moment - to the second where he's 'won', and only /after/ he sees Charlie down on one knee does he realize his mistake. He's falling forwards, to land one more knee strike when he sees Charlie come up. He's falling backwards, body spiraling away into the air as Charlie's foot impacts, the burning blue-orange wave of chi far and away more painful than the actual foot itself. It burns with the power of humiliation, of defeat... of lemons.
Vega lands somewhere in the smoke and fire - and for his luck, the Doll he brought with him is closeby, to take him to safety whilst he's unconcious, and to bear the brunt of his anger once he awakens. To have had such a victory /in his fingers/ and to lose it to overextending, to /hubris/...
It will leave an ashen taste in his mouth for many, many days to come.
COMBATSYS: Vega takes no action.
COMBATSYS: Vega can no longer fight.
Somewhere in the middle of his somersault kick, Charlie actually blacks out - the sheer exertion of unleashing such a powerful technique, combined with the pain that is coursing through every inch of his body, finally proves to be too much for the seasoned veteran of countless conflicts. This fight rates somewhere between torture by the Vietcong for a year and a half and death by gutshot on the pain scale, and the Lieutenant can only hope that his final blow was enough to render Vega unconscious for at least as long as it takes for Nash's squad to return with the evac chopper and get him to medbay back at the nearest clandestine Vigilante base.
Collapsing in a heap on the ground amidst the smoke and flame, the sounds of the chopper blades cutting their way through the air far off in the distance is the last thing that Lieutenant Nash hears before slipping into blissful unconsciousness. So close... he was -so close- to finishing Vega off...
But that's why there's always... next time, Gadget! NEXT TIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIME!
Log created on 23:32:05 09/26/2008 by Vega, and last modified on 04:48:32 09/27/2008.