Logs:Vent Fight - Crushing Atmospheric Thunder
Home to the Vent Fighting arena, this cavern has the size of a small stadium and tiered rows are carved out of its dark orange stone. The arena platform itself is indented into the floor, providing decent views for any and all spectators. A moat of water surrounds the circular ring, a definitive out-of-bounds area. It's quite hot in the Vents, as one would expect thanks to the heating system located below the area. The past decades have seen the vent fighting stadium retrofitted with Korian crystals laced with various magical effects in order to better protect the viewers and decrease the risk of actual death occurring during events.
It’s mid-evening on a Saturday and the seats at the arena are filled with a very decent crowd. The air is stuffy and humid and the cavern is abuzz with the rumbling din of multitudinous voices. The previous bout, bloody and full of action, seems to have increased the spectators’ thirst and excitement for what is yet to come. As workers clear and smooth the platform out from the last match, the next contestants wait at opposite ends of the ring. While the nervous anxiety of the crowd is palpable, this would hardly be the fighters’ first times in the arena.
“It’s time to return to your seats and quiet down, patrons -- the next match will begin as soon as staff gives the all clear from below,” a dulcet, masculine tone announces through an amplifier.
“Borraco and Gisling kept us on the edge of our seats that entire time! And what a spectacular fight it was!” This excitable and more feminine-sounding voice contrasts starkly with their accompanying commentator. “I never thought I’d see the day when --- “ a sudden high pitch scratching squeal interrupts the message and a few thunks follow before the announcer comes back on. “Haha! Sorry about that! I just did fall out of my chair! I never thought I’d see the day when Borraco would throw such an accurate cast! He must have been training very hard over the past few weeks!”
“The next round of fighting is about to begin. Please join us in welcom --”
“--iiiiin welcoming Sasha Alexiyevna -- great name, by the way! -- and Skia Revitone to the ring!”
Sasha walks into the scene, their paw-like hands raised up into the air at the announcement. The youth wears a pretty sleek looking outfit, meant to evoke both modern style sensibilities while having very little to hold onto for an opponent who was particularly grabby. The young wilder lowers their hands and makes a couple of demonstrative swipes in the air to show these retractable claws mean business.
"Always ever so fashionable, wouldn't you say folks?" This from the suave voice, remarking on Sasha’s clothing.
“I can’t wait to see them in action! I love underdogs -- er, under...cats?”
Compared to Sasha, the garb adorning Skia is minimal at best. There's certainly enough fabric to cover the fleshier and more sensitive parts of the magi's body, but it doesn't look like there's much to protect her from Sasha's claws. The crossing bands covering her body as well as her tight shorts are made of a darkened leather - as is a glove on her left hand. It's in this hand that Skia holds her wand at her side and her clenched grip on it contrasts to the otherwise relaxed stance of the fighter.
The raucous cheers and hisses of the loud crowd continue as referees approach to ensure that each fighter’s equipment meets regulation. Whether it’s for show or legitimate,Skia appears to get in a somewhat physical altercation with her official. It’s short-lived but certainly makes for good drama the spectators are happy to eat up.
Sasha rolls their eyes at hearing the announcer's quip about undercats, but otherwise does not seem to react much. They show that they are using nothing out of the ordinary to the official and in fact, show that they are using nothing but their own body and the clothes that they are wearing for the fight. The teen watches a bit skeptically when Skia gets into an altercation with her ref, seeming not to have yet learned the importance of theatrics. By reputation, though, Sasha generally seems to love fighting for its own sake. They start to approach center ring.
"Well, it looks like Sasha is ready and raring - or is that roaring? - to go!" "Indeed, and it looks like despite the rough start, Skia has been cleared by the ref."
True to the announcer's statement, the female magi appears to be all set as her approach to the center of the ring exudes confidence. Skia's eyes are set on her opponent in a glare as the announcers count down from te to begin the match.
"Ten. Nine. Eight. Seven. Six. Five. Fou--"
“We’ve talked about this -- you can’t start the matches like that. It confuses the fighters.”
“I’m soorrrry, I just get so excited! Look, it’s starting!”
When the rather hyperactive announcer finishes rapidly counting down, Skia blinks and furrows her brows; it appears her harsh countenance is momentarily broken by her confusion. She spares a glance towards the judges table before she processes that, yes, that was the actual beginning of the bout. As she turns back to face Sasha, the magi raises her right arm in front of her face and raises her wand and pivots to run and put distance between herself and the wilder.
Sasha is seemingly not at all confused by the countdown, their movement starting the moment they hear go. While Skia tries to create some distance, they move in to close it with quick weaving movements to prevent themselves from being an easy target with the plan of keeping the caster off guard with their supernatural physical abilities.
"Oooooh, the cat's out of the bag now! Look at that wilder go! Sasha’s ready to get their claws on Skia! She doesn't stand a chance against those quick moves!"
With Sasha chasing her, Skia dives at an angle towards the floor of the arena, bearing the impact against her right shoulder. Turning on her side, she aims her wand in Sasha's direction and levels a Physics blast at them. Although it's quite narrow in vertical spread, it covers a cone-shaped area horizontally. There's not too much force behind it - perhaps just enough to cause Sasha to stumble.
Sasha indeed stumbles a bit at the Physics blast, and they veer off to try and regain their speed advantage, now dropping to all fours and looking more like a wildcat in their movements. They turn in a tight arc to approach Skia from the side opposite to her wand wielding hand, claws extending for a swipe.
"I'm-on-the-edge-of-my-seat!" The feminine announcer exclaims breathlessly.
"Again?" the even-toned co-commentator asks.
"Yes! Again! Is Skia down for the count? Is Sasha going for the kill? I-mean-not-the-kill-you-know-what-I-mean-but Skia has never been so easily taken down! Is the end of her career?! Aaah!"
Parts of the crowd are going wild while others stare in stunned silence as Sasha seems to have bested the magi fighter so quickly. However, during the momentary pause created by her opponent's hinderance, Skia manages to quickly prop herself back up onto her feet by scooting backwards, just barely missing Sasha’s dangerous attack. Skia hurriedly aims her wand again at the wilder, this time trying for a more powerful blast.
Instead of attempting to dodge away from the attack, Sasha continue to rely on speed as a gap closer, dashing in and attempting to grab Skia's wrist and redirect the aim of the wand directly upwards before the more powerful spell can go off. Should they manage a good enough grip, they attempt to pull Skia towards themselves and strike for the magi's gut with the opposite fist.
Sure enough, Skia finds her wrist soon caught in her opponent’s paw. Keeping her tight grip on her wand, she turns to the side and places her free hand on the inside of her elbow. In a single motion, she wrenches harshly down in a bid to break Sasha’s hold on her. At the same time, the magi is bringing her knee up towards the wilder’s pelvic area where it coincidentally knocks into the incoming punch, throwing her off balance.
Sasha gives a feline looking scowl when Skia's knee interrupts their punch, and their tail swings wide in order to keep them properly on balance to continue their fast-paced pursuit of the magi. They pivot to swing their mighty leg in a roundhouse kick at Skia, their tail again helping them to keep their balance.
The magi manages to plant her feet securely on the ground and regain a fighting stance. With a grunt, she quickly targets the side of her waist nearest Sasha with her wand. The leather on her outfit shifts, widening and thickening at the spot the wilder's kick is about to strike. It's too slow though and Sasha's foot connects instead with Skia's unprotected side. The impact causes the fighter to stumble and lose her footing.
Sasha seems momentarily excited to have landed a solid hit on the mage, but even with the momentary pleased expression they do not let up on their assault, instead unleashing a flurry of blows that show some amount of actual martial arts training, their aim to land some punches on other relatively unprotected parts of Skia’s outfit.
Skia isn't a tyro to hand-to-hand combat herself, although she certainly isn't advanced as Sasha. The female magi manages to dodge, deflect, and block a fair amount of the wilder's attacks. Still, most of her opponent's strikes find their mark. Her grip on her wand remains tight and as she's knocked to the ground by Sasha's onslaught, Skia points her want towards their feet and fires off another Physics blast, trying to slow them down for a moment.
Sasha is knocked down to the ground in turn by the physics blast, but even from their downed position they seem just as intent in continuing to keep Skia on guard rather than allow her to freecast. With one hand propping them up, they snap their other forward to try and grab Skia's wand hand and wrench the casting implement from her.
"Look at those cat-like reflexes!" the bubbly announcer remarks as Sasha snatches the magi's wrist with their paw.
"Quite impressive! We've seen Sasha fight before, but in hand-to-hand combat. Having them on the field against a magical opponent appears to be even /more/ thrilling."
Skia practically growls at the wilder, her grip on the wand as tight as it can be. It's likely that Sasha would either have to use their claws or pry the magi's fingers from the implement. On her back as she is, Skia attempts to wrap a leg over Sasha's back in a bid to roll them over.
Sasha does not just practically growl at Skia, but absolutely growls in return, teeth snapping once in front of Skia's face, likely in a bid to intimidate her. They hold onto Skia's hand still as they are rolled over and don't even seem to resist being pinned, instead opting to 'rabbit kick' at Skia, their back claws extended.
The grin that comes upon Skia's face as she flips her opponent is replaced by a grimace as she gets kicked in the chest. Sasha's claws, while mostly skimming over the leather straps, do find purchase near the magi's waist and dig in. This causes Skia to loosen her grip on the wand which is then swiped from her hand by the wilder.
Once Sasha gets the wand out of the magi's grip, they swing their arm with a long range throw to get the wand far, far away from Skia, then attempting to kick Skia off in the other direction, kip-up and present their body as the obstacle between the caster and the wand.
Although the bloodflow from Skia’s wounds is slowed by the healing magic laced into the Vent’s Korian crystals, the pain remains undiluted and the grimace on the magi’s face shows that. As soon as her wand is gone. Unlike Sasha, she isn’t as quick on her feet and rolls over before jumping back up. Sneering at her opponent, Skia immediately rushes the wilder, right shoulder lowered and bearing towards them.
Sasha is happy to meet Skia in more open hand-to-hand combat, their movements seeming to always be about keeping between the direction the wand is in and Skia. They attempt to meet Skia's shoulder directly with their hands, seeming confident in their physical strength in this situation, and if this successfully stops her they try and get one leg behind her to push her back over it into a pin.
"Oh wow! This fight is winding up for Sasha but winding down for Skia - she must be so pissed!"
The wilder grasps Skia's shoulder with ease and their strong push causes the female magi to tumble backwards over the extended leg. As she falls on her back, Skia brings her knees in towards her chest, ready to kick her opponent.
Sasha starts to lower down to catch Skia in the pin, but the extending legs pushed back against them manage to break their hold. They quickly try to grab onto the nearest part of Skia, which just happens to be one of those kicky legs.
As her opponent grabs her leg, Skia brings the other foot to stomp on Sasha’s gripping paw. In the same instance, the magi twists her body from side to side in an additional attempt to break free of the wilder’s grasp.
The second stomp indeed breaks Sasha's grip, and Sasha is right back up to their feet. They emit a feline growl again, still trying to block Skia from getting by, but now resorting to quick swings of their claws to do damage and encourage the magi's surrender.
Once Skia breaks free, she rolls over to stand herself up. This has the unfortunate result of putting the wilder behind her back - a decision that Skia likely regrets immediately as she is suddenly assailed by sharp claws. This only seems to slow her down momentarily, however, before she starts running away from Sasha in a bid to go wide around the wilder and pick her wand back up from where it had been thrown.
Sasha glances back to the wand upon seeing Skia moving in the wider arc. Instead of chasing her down, they start in another all-fours run towards the wand in a direct run to attempt to get there first with the plan to pick up the wand and throw it again this time to somewhere inaccessible rather than just a wild throw.
"And the wand is gone, folks!"
"Woah! Is that even legal?!"
"It sure is!"
Skia doesn't appear all that fazed that her wand has been thrown out of reach and instead changes direction to engage Sasha again.
Sasha turns towards Skia in order to face her head on now, tail twitching lightly in anticipation of their preferred fighting style: up close and personal. The younger wilder dashes forward to meet the magi, claws extended to swipe at her viciously.
While Skia runs towards Sasha, she unbuckles one of the leather straps from her outfit and wraps on end of the flat piece of leather around her left wrist. As soon as she’s within striking distance of her opponent, the magi whips it at the wilder in a horizontal attack.
“Is THAT legal?!”
“If the referees and judges cleared it.”
“And here I thought that rad get-up was just for show!”
Sasha, seemingly surprised, bends back to avoid the whip and raises their arm to protect against the weapon. The young wilder takes a lash on their forearm but doesn't seem displeased by this development, only seeming to enjoy it more for the added dynamic of the fight. Now, careful to avoid the whipping leather, Sasha watches Skia with predatory eyes waiting for an opening.
"Come /on/!" Skia barks viciously at the wilder as her first strike misses before she whips the belt at Sasha again. It looks like the heat of the arena has the magi sweating and that her wounds are slowing her down, the blood now dripping down her waist and legs. "Let's /go/, you freak!"
The fur on the back of Sasha's neck starts to bristle at being called a freak, and their lips rise to bare their teeth. They raise their left arm just to take a second lash and close distance again, punching hard with their right. "Alright then," they growl under their breath, "by popular request..."
As Skia winds her arm back to lash the leather again, she takes the full brunt of her opponent's punch. Sasha's aim is true and their fist lands against the magi's side where the open scratch wounds are bleeding. Reflexively, she cries out and brings both her hands to cover the impacted area.
While Skia is momentarily stunned, Sasha yells out as they grab Skia. They start to cry one of their catchphrase finishing moves for the benefit of the crowd. They tighten their arms around their target in a vicelike grip. "CRUSHING!" The young wilder hoists Skia up. "ATMOSPHERIC!" And then back down in suplex. "THUNDERSTORM!" It's necessary for any young fighter who wants a following to be a little bit dramatic, even if the red tinge in Sasha's ears at yelling something so ridiculous reveals their true feelings to any nearby observant people.
"HOLY GEEZ! Did you see that? Did you see it? Did Sasha just take down Skia? What was that?! Geez!"
"Well folks, it looks like --"
"--Did you see it?! It was like CRUSHING! ATMOSPHERIC! THUNDERSTOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORM!"
"Quite a florish at the end!"
"Crushing atmospheric thunderstorm!"
"I think that's their catchphrase - I'm not sure they'd like you to go around using it as yours."
"Crushi--Oh." There's a moment of crackling silence on the speakers. "It was still really cool, though! And it took Skia DOOOOOOWWWWWWWWNNNNNN! And that's all you need to know, folks! Give it up for Sasha!”
It's clear to the crowd and the judges that the match is over and the former is going wild, hooting and calling out. Some loud person shouts "Go cat!" and a few others scattered throughout the stands pick it up as well. Skia, meanwhile, rolls onto her side and curls inward.
Sasha throws up a victory pose for the sake of the crowd. They look down to Skia a moment in a look without much emotion, and then start towards the exit of the ring.