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    1. #1
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      Matrix Spar: Oneironaut vs. Mzzkc

      Oneironaut couldn't help but to glance around him, puffing away on the last half of a menthol cigarette. The street corner was a little more crowded than he'd figured it would be, countless people coming and going, the computer simulation creating a seamless rendition of strangers living out their daily routines. Exhaling twin plumes of smoke through his nose, he couldn't help but wonder how these digital strangers would react, once violence broke out, grinning out of the corner of his mouth at the thought. He sat perched upon the seat of a jet-black Ducati motorcycle, his two feet placed to the deck, holding the bike up with little effort.

      The long tail of his black leather trench coat hung down at either side of the bike, his arms crossed just lazily enough to allow him free movement of the hand which held the cigarette. Parked next to the pole of a busy stoplight, he had his glasses perched above his brow, enjoying the detailed imagery of the intersection before him. He knew it was only a matter of time before his opponent showed up, but he had no problem with taking in the scene, forever finding himself in awe of how realistic these simulations always turned out. Every new environment was worlds more impressive than the last. Behind his right leg, a single katana sat waiting, the hilt sticking up near the bike's exhaust pipe; scabbard secured down into a custom compartment on the bike's chassis. Patiently, he waited, diligently watching all of the unnamed, programmed pedestrians, waiting for any sign of his opponent, carefully scanning in all direction, so as not to be caught off guard.
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    2. #2
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      "Pfft!" Mzzkc spat, wondering who's bright idea it was to program insects into this simulation. The brisk air whipped violently across his face, pressing his sleek black glasses against the bridge of his nose. Cars blurred by as he wove between them, testing the speed of his deep blue cycle.

      He wasn't sure, but he could swear he was getting odd glances from some of the people lining the sidewalks. After all, it's not every day you see a man in a black leather jacket, katana strapped to his back, darting down the street with seemingly no regard for any traffic laws. He smiled at the thought. It wasn't too long ago that he would have had the same reaction. In an instant his smile was gone.

      At the corner of the intersection, some hundred plus meters ahead, was his opponent, Oneironaut. Stupid, stupid stupid! He thought, as Oneironaut watched his fast coming approach. With the element of surprise completely gone, Mzzkc concocted a new plan. Let's just hope he can see as well as I can here. Plotting a course through the heavy traffic well in advance, the engine roared as he sped up, pushing the limits of his bike to their max.

      As he flew into the intersection, in the lane farthest from his oppenent, time seemed to slow down. Mzzkc turned his head to meet Oneironaut's cool unblinking gaze. The simulated crowds around them, once going about their daily lives, appeared to be frozen in midstep. Only the cars between the two warriors moved sluggishly onward. With a wide grin, Mzzkc gave Oneironaut a slow two fingered salute. Then, as suddenly as it happened, time caught up with itself. Mzzkc continued onward, hoping his challenge would be well met.

    3. #3
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      The sound of another bike screamed above the hustle and bustle of the mid-day crowd. Oneironaut's eyes snapped to attention, peering through the mass of people off to his left, and coming to rest on the deep blue blur that came in his direction. Locking on target, his gaze seemed to slow time to a crawl, having all the time in the world to take in the sight of his soon-to-be opponent, watching him shift through the intersection just as his light turned red, acknowledging Oneironaut with two fingers before continuing forward.

      "Heh," Oneironaut chuckled to himself, taking one last drag off the cigarette before tucking it between his middle finger and thumb and flicking the butt off to one side, carelessly. Were he not paying attention, Mzzkc would have passed right by him, unnoticed, but Oneironaut had been waiting for another good spar for quite some time, his senses alert, and he wasn't about to be caught sleeping. Squeezing the clutch with his left hand, he kicked the toes of his right foot down upon the shifting peg, dropping the bike into 1st gear.

      The engine whined, right hand giving a few quick twists back on the throttle, popping the clutch and allowing the rear tire to spin a little over the hot concrete beneath him. Leaning himself to a sharp turn into the flow of traffic, he quickly launched off of the curb, kicking up through the gears and chasing Mzzkc's bike. A few short weaves brought him from behind the cars between them, Oneironaut closing in on Mzzkc's back. His right hand leaving the handlebar and falling behind him, he took hold of the katana hilt, unsheathing it and flipping it over to his left hand, holding it at the ready as he closed distance. Again, he sped up by choking the throttle with is right hand, quickly coming within about 10 feet from the back of Mzzkc's bike.
      Last edited by Oneironaut Zero; 04-08-2009 at 05:00 AM.
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    4. #4
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      Mzzkc heard the roar of another bike. Glancing behind him, he saw his opponent quickly closing the gap between them. The bike was at its limit. There was no speeding up. Shit. He's catching up faster than expected, Mzzkc realized, this is going to be tricky.

      Using what little time he had left, Mzzkc carefully studied the flow of the pedestrians on the wide sidewalk to his right. His bike was small and maneuverable enough to fit between them with relative ease, but did he really want to risk it? One wrong move and he'd trigger a boot, giving Oneironaut the win before the fighting even started.

      The buildings around them were getting taller and more spread out. I just need to get a little farther, he thought, making up his mind. Without so much as a warning, in one motion, Mzzkc veered his bike to the right, channeling his entire body mass through his knees and arms, and popped up onto the curb.

      The shouts and screams from the bystanders were delayed for only an instant as the program registered what Mzzkc was doing. In front of him, the soulless representations of people tried their best to dodge out of the way, but it was Mzzkc who was doing the dodging. Every movement was precise. There could be no error in his calculations.

      In a moment Mzzkc was on the far right of the sidewalk. His path mostly clear now, as people ahead of him had started bunching to the left, Mzzkc looked ahead, spotting another intersection, this one slightly less crowded. Perfect, he thought passively as he readied his blade for unsheathing. Between him and Oneironaut was an increasingly chaotic throng of people. Mzzkc planned to keep it that way for just awhile longer.

    5. #5
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      "Whoa!!" Oneironaut actually screamed aloud, dozens of frightened pedestrians streaming off of the sidewalk and into the street to avoid Mzzkc's sidewalk riding, stumbling straight into the path of his own motorcycle. Laying his sword across the handlebars, he stretched his fingers so that he could both hold the sword hilt and grip the left handlebar and clutch, right foot pushing down on the rear brake as he twisted into a skid, narrowly avoiding some of the people that jumped instinctively in his way to escape the seemingly reckless other rider. He swerved left and right, sloppily maneuvering around the pedestrians and losing speed. Oneironaut's bike was something of a powerhouse, but just a little too big to pull of the quick and nimble movements that Mzzkc was making. He knew he would have to keep it on the street for now.

      Trailing over to the left to put more distance between himself and the large portion of the crowd, Oneironaut had enough time to reach his sword-wielding hand up and over his shoulder, sliding the weapon down into a slit in the back of his coat. A secondary sheath lay on his back, beneath the leather trench - a tactical design he'd 'borrowed' from one of his favorite comic book characters. With both hands now free, he grabbed both handle bars tightly and leaned forward, cutting down on wind resistance and maxing out on his bike's acceleration. Soon he was up into fourth gear, then fifth, closing the gap and catching up to Mzzkc, running parallel to his opponent who remained on the sidewalk. A quick glance brought his eyes to Mzzkc, smirking out of the right side of his mouth while reaching up over his brow with his right hand and finally flicking the sunglasses down over his eyes.

      Up ahead, the end of the block was fast approaching. Oneironaut opted to stay in the street for now, and he was hoping Mzzkc would jump back onto the street at the next 4-way. Anticipating this to be Mzzkc's next course of action, he sat up in the saddle and reached his left hand back behind his head, grabbing the hilt of his katana once again and getting ready to engage his opponent, should the opportunity present itself.
      Last edited by Oneironaut Zero; 04-09-2009 at 12:13 AM.
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    6. #6
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      The intersection ahead was perfect for what Mzzkc had planned. At each corner were various buildings with several floors each. Directly ahead of him, across the street, was the side of a three story white brick office building. The large windows that lined each floor above the first reflected a dark steely blue in the glare of the afternoon sun. Each corner of the intersection had similar buildings, all of which cast their own distinctive glow on the busy street below.

      The six-lane intersection itself wasn't nearly as crowded with traffic and people as the previous one. Nevertheless, it was busy, and it was about to get a whole lot busier.

      The engine of his own bike blaring, Mzzkc could, only just, hear the whine of Oneironaut's steed, as it tore down the street in tandem with his. A quick peek confirmed it; They were neck and neck. This is gonna be a close one, Mzzkc smiled, running the numbers again in his head. He shifted in his seat, preparing for the maneuver he was going to make. He started to run the numbers again, but stopped himself, knowing full well the conclusion of his estimates. I'm going to be feeling this tomorrow, but man will it be worth it, he thought excitedly.

      In mere moments the intersection was upon him. As he began his flight into the traffic, now flowing perpendicular to him, he made a note of Oneironaut's approach. Letting up on the throttle as he left the curb, he made a slight adjustment to his course to avoid any possible collisions. This new path had him on a collision course with the solid wall of the office building before him.

      As Oneironaut quickly closed the gap, Mzzkc, entering the second lane now, had already begun to put his plan into action. In one fluid motion, Mzzkc had pushed himself up into a crouched position. Right foot on the handlebars, to keep himself flying straight. Left foot on the seat, keeping balance. His arms were bent at the elbows, one at each side of his hunched body. And his head was turned, eyes closely watching Oneironaut's movements. . .

    7. #7
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      Oneironaut's eyes flitted back and forth; from Mzzkc to the light flow of traffic that was crossing his intended path in the intersection. He doubted that Mzzkc would continue down the sidewalk so, ripping the sword back out of the sheath with his left hand, he prepared to converge. Well into fifth gear, with RPMs to spare, Oneironaut worked out his timing, checking for gaps between the cars that were traveling the perpendicular street. Though his bike might have been too big to weave between the pedestrians on the sidewalk, he knew that he was more than capable of some quick feats of two-wheeled agility, when it came to dodging traffic.

      Taking one more quick glimpse to his right, he saw Mzzkc perch upon the bike in a crouch. He had the feeling the man was going to try something, but he still had no idea what. The urge to make the first move all too compelling, he suddenly swerved to the right just as the two bikes hit the intersection, narrowly missing an oncoming car at his left side, and shouldering toward Mzzkc's bike.

      Careening into range, Oneironaut crossed his left arm across his body, readying the sword defensively at his right side. Hoping to give the impression that he would be attacking with his sword, and having inched just a half step in front of Mzzkc's bike, Oneironaut quickly shot his right foot out toward Mzzkc's front wheel. A collision with such force would surely cause Mzzkc's bike to lose control with little hope of recovery, possibly sending him wobbling straight into the oncoming wall of the building across the street. He kept his sword poised, awaiting to parry any possible counter attacks that might be following his kick.
      Last edited by Oneironaut Zero; 04-09-2009 at 02:55 AM.
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    8. #8
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      The following excerpt from Mzzkc's personal journal detail the event from his perspective:

      Middle of the second lane. The enemy draws closer, blade at ready. The way he holds it would hinder his technique in an attack. Entering the third lane. Close enough to touch the sleek black metal of his bike. He pulls slightly ahead. Action: A foot flies at the front wheel. Reaction: Detachment.

      Detachment from the bike: Everything I am goes into the legs. Left leg springs me upward with immeasurable force. Right leg pushes back with even greater force. I tap the right handlebar as the bike continues forward. It begins turn into the enemy.

      Detachment of my blade: I glide up, pulling out katana, but keeping it in scabbard. The wall approaches. The target window is above me. Below me the enemy deals with the present I left. I pay little attention. My backwards momentum keeps me out of range. Regardless, I hold my sheathed blade defensively in my left hand.

      Detachment from myself: My body curls as the wall closes in. Hands make initial contact. The arms begin the task of converting the momentum. The head tucks and lets the right shoulder hit next. I perform a vertical forward roll. The technique converts most of the forward momentum into upward momentum. Not enough to stop my body's spine from popping and lower ribs from breaking. That was expected. The roll almost completed, my body prepared to strike. Feet hit the glass at the bottom of the window. My sheathed blade struck the center. The pane shattered. My body entered the window. Small glass shards cut my exposed face.

      I return to myself as I enter the office. I was unable to stop my fall onto the floor. I got up. There was screaming around me and outside. I smelt something burning.

      I brushed myself off. My glasses were broken. I faced the window. I took a reverse Haze posture to the left of the window, facing left. My blade was sheathed. The scabbard now in my right hand, my left hand gripped the hilt. I waited.

    9. #9
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      The wait wouldn't be very long at all.

      Mzzkc's bike had just begun to come in toward Oneironaut, when his foot collided with the front tire, veering the man's bike off to the far right and just barely missing a couple of people jaywalking a few feet from the crosswalk. Oneironaut had calculated a possibility of this turning into a foot battle. The only thing he hadn't worked out was where Mzzkc had planned on taking the fight. He got his answer, though, his eyes snapping skyward to see his opponent fleeing the soon to be trashed motor-bike. On pure instinct, just as his own bike was about to hop the curb on the opposite side of the intersecting street, Oneironaut dropped his attacking foot down upon its peg and then pushed off with both, his own body taking to the air in a last-ditch attempt to follow Mzzkc to the higher level of the building.

      Though he, like Mzzkc, had a super-human vertical leap, his forward momentum wouldn't allow him to clear the lower level entirely and dive straight into the now shattered window. He was close enough, though, to kick his feet out in front of him, catching himself in a vertical wall-run, almost straight up the face of the building. Thick, steel-toed boots gripped the wall, a couple of quick steps up the stone surface directing him to the window - but his approach was sloppy, as he wasn't quite expecting the manuever before he made it. He just barely completed the 'run' up to the shattered glass opening, taking a forward dive and allowing the momentum of his head to carry him into the building. Swiping his left arm from right to left, he dove straight toward the waiting Mzzkc, slashing his katana straight across the plane and aiming for Mzzkc's chest as he dove forward through the gaping hole in the crystaline building-side.

      Below them, the two bikes crashed violently into the stone wall at full speed. Twisted metal and carbon-fiber went flying in all directions, a single jet of ignited gas whisping into the air as a bright orange fireball. Above street level, the digital bystanders on the second floor scattered, clearing a path for the two supposed madmen who had just come flying in through the window, Oneironaut's body still horizontal in mid-flight, having been catapulted toward his opponent, led by a purposeful slash of cold silver.
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    10. #10
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      The flash of sharpened steel entered Mzzkc's line of sight. Oneironaut's head followed. He's really following me? I didn't think he'd be so rash. The element of surprise was his again. That had been the entire point of the chase. He had planned and adapted each event. Modifying his precise actions based on Oneironaut's reactions. The final goal being a chance for a surprise strike. By leaving Oneironaut's sight, and creating a seemingly welcoming entrance, he had achieved this.

      He had taken his current stance based on his prediction, of about 70%, that Oneironaut would come through the window attacking right handed, right to left. What he was about to do was a totally unconventional form of iaijutsu. Possible only within the confines of a simulated reality. This move had once saved him from an agent. He ended running from that fight, but if he hadn't severed that hand, there would be no way he'd still be breathing today.

      If his plan was successful, the best case scenario for Oneirnaut would be a lost limb. If Mzzkc was truly lucky, the next move would end the battle. Mzzkc was luckier than he could have ever hoped for. A right-left attack and a body without any means to change its course. The fact that he was doing it left handed only made things more interesting. His training took over.

      Moving at a high speed, ridiculous by anyone's standard's, except maybe The One's, he swung his back foot out and around, closing the gap. As he shifted his mass, from one foot to the other, his stomach screamed in protest. He ignored it. As Mzzkc moved, his blade broke free from its sheath. The long, cold, glimmering steel, virtually weightless, thanks to the open slits down the sides, cut diagonally upwards. The blade accelerated toward Oneironaut's chest cavity. At the same time, Mzzkc flipped the scabbard around in his right hand, grasping it like a second katana. He brought it up, over his shoulder and around his head, and pointed it downward, ready to parry Oneironaut's blow, if it even managed to finish its journey.

      It would take some kind of a miracle for Oneironaut to survive this one.
      Last edited by Mzzkc; 04-10-2009 at 02:38 AM. Reason: Commas

    11. #11
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      Oneironaut had expected to see Mzzkc, when he vaulted up and into the pre-shattered window, but he was slightly surprised to see the man having already slipped into such a solid stance. With his own, left-handed slash moving from right to left, he saw Mzzkc step in toward him, closing distance. As if time itself slowed to a jog, just to point out to him his error of leaving his body so open to attack, Oneironaut's focused gaze followed Mzzkc's hands, seeing the left rip the katana from the scabbard and send it slicing around in an upward arc, aimed directly toward his chest. Mzzkc's form was perfect. It was a textbook diagonal slash that would have made any seasoned samurai envious.

      His eyes widened, their anxiety hidden behind the sleek black sunglasses. In that split second, Oneironaut knew he had but a single prayer; his free, right hand. Trailing his own sword's horizontal slash, his right hand launched out in front of him as well, hoping to overshoot the razor-edged steel heading up toward his chest, and go straight to the source. His forward momentum carried him through the air like a missile, Oneironaut's black, fingerless glove reaching at full arm's length toward the hilt of Mzzkc's sword. At 6'2", Oneironaut had considerable reach, pressing downward just at full extention in an attempt to intercept the upward swipe of Mzzkc's hand, not allowing his opponent's blade to swing up high enough to sink into the horizontal plane of his own, flying body.

      A hollow chock sound called out; Oneironaut's katana blade cutting into Mzzkc's blocking scabbard, his own attack effectively nullified - though, in this instant, his attention was on his desperate attempt to keep Mzzkc's swiping hand from getting full elevation. With the help of his 'flying' momentum, his blocking hand fell into position, just barely clearing the approaching blade and creating a wall of his own body weight that would keep the upward slash from reaching him. Tucking his head downward, Oneironaut rolled his upper-body forward, being sure to keep his right hand down low, between himself and his opponent's sword-wielding hand. The tip of Mzzkc's sword, however, seemed it would get just high enough to slice a thin line through Oneironaut's undershirt and diagonally down his chest and stomach, just deep enough to spill a few spatters of blood upon the ground beneath his wild, flying arc.

      With his body twisted slightly to one side so that both of his arms were at his front left - one attacking and one defending - his forward roll took on sort of a sideways rotation. His upper body remained closer to Mzzkc as he passed what was now the man's back, Oneironaut whirled his legs around to land the improvised flip as if it were the last half of a btwist, the long tail of his trench coat fanning around him. Both heavy boots landed flat, his body now off to Mzzkc's right side, but facing his opponent straight on, so as not to be caught at another disadvantage.

      Oneironaut took his time before rushing in, this time, granting himself another moment by taking a step back or two. That was way too close, he thought to himself. Glancing down at the front of his own body. His black undershirt had a gaping, diagonal slash beneath it, and the blood was already starting to coat the fabric. Even though he could feel the simulated sting of the laceration, he looked back up with a crooked grin, giving off a slight nod to Mzzkc.

      "Oh, you're good," he said, obviously enjoying the challenge. "I think I might have to be a little more careful with you, from now on."
      Last edited by Oneironaut Zero; 04-10-2009 at 12:58 PM.
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    12. #12
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      "You're not bad yourself," Mzzkc stated calmly, turning to face his opponent, "That was supposed to take you out." Mzzkc gestured toward Oneironaut's slowly dampening undershirt with his still dripping blade. He smirked, lowering his blade and scabbard, taking a seemingly relaxed stance "It will, too, if you don't kill me before you bleed out."

      Mzzkc needed to stall. Normally, he'd be up for a straight duel, best swordsman wins, but after that stunt he pulled his ribs were telling him otherwise. He realized Oneironaut had been able to pull it off thanks to his powerful legs. Mzzkc didn't have the luxury of brute force. All of his power lay within carefully practiced and rigorously perfected technique.

      He still couldn't believe Oneironaut had managed to stop that one. I should have used a reverse grip, Mzzkc thought, kicking himself mentally, Oh well, I've still got a few tricks up my sleeve. Mzzkc wasn't kidding though. In less than an hour, give or take, Oneironaut would die. Mzzkc just needed to survive until then, or at the very least wait until his opponent couldn't stand on his own two legs due to blood loss.

      The downside was, since a cut from a katana is so fine and clean, Oneironaut probably wouldn't feel too much pain unless he moved excessively. Luckily, each exaggerated movement would bring Oneironaut that much closer to his end. Mzzkc could exploit that. Mzzkc could make Oneironaut do all the work for him.

      Mzzkc smile disappeared. It was replaced with a very serious stare, piercing Oneironaut's glasses, penetrating his eyes, looking ever deeper into the very fiber of Oneironaut's being. In a flash, he threw his katana and sheath into the air. As they floated there, gravity yet to take it's course, Mzzkc turned his body into a forward facing stance, right leg stretched forward, his weight rested on his other bent leg. As he did this he brought about his right hand, grasped his Katana where it twirled at eye level, this time in a reverse grip, blade facing the ceiling. Simultaneously his left hand darted out, proper fingers wrapping around the end of his sheath.

      His stance was set. The mune followed the run of his forearm. His arm and blade framed his piercing gaze. His scabbard lay parallel to his extended right leg. Mzzkc was ready for any attack Oneironaut could throw at him. He only had to say the words: "So, what are you waiting for?"

    13. #13
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      Oneironaut gave a nonchalant shrug of his shoulders at the comment about how the last move should have taken him out, the grin on one side of his face spiking just slightly higher than before. "Ah, well. What can I say? I'm just full of surprises." His chest burned rather intensely. He had half a mind to look down at himself to examine the wound, but he would play it off for as long as possible. Rather confident that he'd gotten enough height to keep the slash from digging in too deep, he would take the moment to rely on his assumption that he had more than enough time to finish the fight before blood loss became a problem.

      He only watched in silence, while Mzzkc flashed his way into a new stance, Oneironaut's lips curling upward on the other side, as well, birthing a full-fledged smile across his face. He knew full well that Mzzkc's question of what he was waiting for was meant to egg him on into attack. Part of him knew that he would be a fool to rush in again, after getting a taste of Mzzkc's cunning, but the other half of his persona was confident enough to find just as much comfort in sticking to the offense as it did when holding a patient, analytical defense.

      "You know," he replied, flicking his left wrist upward and flipping the sword so that it rotated one time in the air before landing silently in his right hand. "That's a good question."

      Giving the initial impression that he would rush straight in toward his opponent, Oneironaut made a diagonal dash to his right, stretching his now-free left hand out to one of the cubicles and grasping at a cup full of pencils. Following through with a full rotation of his body, Oneironaut continued forward, closing the distance between himself and Mzzkc. Within striking range, he thrust out with his left hand first, holding three pencils in his clenched fist, each one sticking out from the spaces between his four fingers. What would normally be a punch toward Mzzkc's face was now a three-pronged stab of sharpened lead, Oneironaut planting his left foot before him for striking power. With his left hand aimed directly forward, his right arm - blade in hand - came swiping in horizontally. It slashed the sword at full length, from his right to his left, around the height of Mzzkc's midsection.

      The attack was two-fold. The pencil-wielding hand stabbed powerfully at Mzzkc's face while the other hand dragged the sword toward his midsection (from Mzzkc's left). It would cross beneath his punching hand, traveling a path that would span the entire area in front of him, at waist level, with all possibility of spilling his opponent's guts. Arguably, any evasion he could see Mzzkc resorting to would leave Oneironaut enough time to adjust for any possible counter-attacks.
      Last edited by Oneironaut Zero; 04-14-2009 at 12:39 AM.
      http://i.imgur.com/Ke7qCcF.jpg
      (Or see the very best of my journal entries @ dreamwalkerchronicles.blogspot)

    14. #14
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      Are those. . . pencils? Sure enough, as Oneironaut made his approach, Mzzkc could make out the points of three newly sharpened pencils jutting from O's fist. Well, that certainly ups the risk a bit more. Undeterred, Mzzkc held his stance, watched, and waited.

      As soon as Oneironaut planted his foot, Mzzkc moved into action. Everything happened at once: a drop to the ground --assisted by the program's artificial gravity-- a sweep into Oneironaut's left leg --performed by his right foot-- a powerful swat at O's fast approaching sword hand with the scabbard --which if successful, would break a few fingers-- and, finally, a horizontal slash directed at O's unprotected left side.

      At this point, Mzzkc's head and torso were bent over his left knee, just under the height of his sparring partner's blade, but well away from his recently augmented knuckles. His arms, leg, Katana, and sheath were all taking part in an everything or nothing attack. Mzzkc's body was in motion and, from here on out, there would be very little room for compensation. However, there was one more trick he had lined up, just in case.

    15. #15
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      The pencils stabbed nothing but a digitally rendered pocket of air, Oneironaut's target dropping far too low to be struck by them. It was more his intention to catch Mzzkc with the sword, having anticipated that the man would try to duck under the pencils. What he didn't take into account, however, was Mzzkc's speed. The rate at which Mzzkc dropped brought him just below the sword that was meant to intercept this very evasion. Indeed, Oneironaut's blade caught itself mowing down a small patch of Mzzkc's hair, millimeters above the top of his skull, during it's fluid travel from side to side.

      Even while on the offense, he was ready for a counter attack. He had let his bladed arm do its thing, while he centered his vision on Mzzkc's entire body, looking for an attack to come his way. Sure enough, upon finding himself genuinely surprised at Mzzkc's being able to duck under his sword, Oneironaut saw the kick jet out toward his own, leading foot. His lower abs contracted, drawing his left foot from the ground while tilting back on his right. The move came so quickly that it might have seemed choreographed, but it was merely a testament to his reaction time, as his mind was already half-expecting a counter attack. Mzzkc's foot slid, harmlessly, beneath his own; Oneironaut's other foot planted, but hardly supporting his full weight, at this moment in time.

      With his left knee raised before his chest - foot held high to avoid Mzzkc's kick - Oneironaut found himself having put so much attention into avoiding the counter attack, that he didn't notice Mzzkc's defensive maneuver, the bone-crushing sheath, whipping inward to block Oneironaut's attacking hand. His fingers smashed into the sheath, and for a fraction of a second, his entire arm went numb. His sword flipped violently from his broken fingers, rotating like a flat-spinning shuriken across their section of the office and shattering through a window, a few yards from Mzzkc's right side.

      Then came the pain. It struck up his arm like a bolt of lightning, drawing his eyes back up from his own, dodging foot, instinctively acknowledging the horrible sensation in his - now useless - hand. It was in that same instant, that he caught glimpse of Mzzkc's final attack, the sword swiping in toward Oneironaut's side. There was very little he could do, at a moment like this. His sense of balance was off, because he was 'jumping' (one foot) above Mzzkc's kick, his once-bladed hand now broken, and his other hand held out in space - pencils between his fingers - after having been dodged.

      Fighting off the pain for one last-ditch moment, he flexed his core once again, kicking his elevated left foot out to his left side, while it was still in the air. It was already in position to intercept Mzzkc's slashing arm. Blocking forcefully with the bottom of his foot, Oneironaut angled the foot down toward the floor, with Mzzkc's attacking arm right beneath it. Knowing that he would soon have another leg to stand on, Oneironaut kicked his once-supportive right foot up and off of the ground, while his left came down.

      His weight shifted for the last time. What had been a boot-bottom block of Mzzkc's horizontal slash, was now angled to guide Mzzkc's forearm toward the ground. Oneironaut's other foot left its perch with a mission, swinging in a vicious roundhouse toward the left side of Mzzkc's face. It was obvious that Oneironaut was swinging for the fences, on this one. He stomped downward, with all his might, upon his left foot, to be sure that Mzzkc couldn't slip his arm out from beneath, while whipping his own right foot around toward Mzzkc's left cheek. He could feel the anticipation rise within him, just for that split second. He couldn't figure how Mzzkc would get out of this counter attack with little less than a broken neck, from the force of the oncoming kick. If he was lucky, he might survive the head kick, but have his forearm broken by being stomped into the ground with enough force to crater the carpeted, concrete floor beneath it.
      http://i.imgur.com/Ke7qCcF.jpg
      (Or see the very best of my journal entries @ dreamwalkerchronicles.blogspot)

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