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Test Your Might
Summary: Moonrace versus Shura. Who will prevail?
Who: Gym Ghingnham, Fernando Albark
When: 31 March NCA 120
Where: Elpis Colony


Elpis Colony is a beautiful place. An older space colony with a rich history of cultural and military achievements, you can hardly look in any direction from inside of it without feeling like you've stepped into a much older, much less complicated world. It is peaceful, though wary of terrorist attacks that occasionally try and strike it. It is easy to lose oneself here for a time.

Gym Ghingnham has no such desire. He has seen it from within, briefly, while allowing the Turn X time to repair itself. Divine Crusader technicians were instructed to leave it alone, and he set out to see what life in space was like.

He was, ultimately, disappointed.

Now, the Turn X flies down the outside of the length of the colony cylinder, the pale green standing out against the gleaming surface. Inside, Gym Ghingnham waits, arms crossed, eyes open and watching the darkness ahead of him.

He does not know for what, but he already knows what course of action to take.

CURRENT BGM: Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn OST -- BRING ON A WAR


War.

War never changes.

In all its manifold forms, in its infinite shifting spiral of evolution, war has always held a single key, the key to all the races of the Spiral - from human to Radam to Shura and on ad infinitum for as many races as can be imagined. It is conflict - the center, the nature, of the ever-whirling spiral, that which drives these races forward unto forever - or their own demise.

And of those who are sensitive to its ebb, to its flow, of those whose hearts are forever linked to the beating of the drums of destruction, none know it better than the Shura. It is they who have refined war from mere conflict into art; they who have taken the martial arts to the highest level any living being can imagine; they who have subjugated their own gods with their bare hands. They are a race of destruction, whose only goal is to grow stronger with each passing battle, who kill each other even more frequently than mankind but with even more formal and structured rules to the nature of their wars. And their gods are titans, subjugated god-machines who consume their very souls - for what better way to grow stronger than to risk one's life with every battle one undertakes?

The gods know their own.

Valefar's blue fire is easily spotted as it streaks towards Elpis Colony, a shooting star on the horizon. It recognizes Turn X as one of its own, and yet not one of its own; Turn X is at once lesser and greater than Valefar, for though Turn X is man-made, it is not subjugated - it subjugates. Valefar, if the bound god could feel emotions, might feel jealousy. But what it does feel is anger.

It is the anger of its master, its pilot, its partner - Fernando Albark, who even now rides within its chest, its motions bound to his own as inexorably as the tides beat upon the earth. Fernando's anger is not the finely-crafted blade of his brother; it is a raging inferno, one that cannot be controlled - merely guided to its target. And today, its target is Gym Ghingnham, the one human on this world that Fernando feels a distant kinship for - the one human on this world that Fernando could call brother (Folka doesn't count) and mean it. Fernando's whole body trembles with excitement as he picks up on Valefar's jealousy (such that it is), nearing the Elpis Colony. Gym Ghingnham was a man who was as much Shura as human; had he been born into the right society, he would be the right hand of Alkaid Naash by now. Fernando has seen his strength firsthand...and now, seeks to test his own against the Sword of the Moonrace.

Valefar lands near Turn X, planting both feet against the rotating colony with a dull thud. Its motions are perfect, its stance clean; here is a man who lives for combat.

"Gym Ghingnham," Fernando intones, his voice shaking with the primal joy of one who is lost to his adrenaline, "I told you that one day we would fight. I can't think of any venue better. Are you ready?"

Fernando knew the answer. He knew this man.

Gym Ghingnham.

Sword of the Moonrace.


Gym's eyes turn upward. The blue fire of an approaching machine confirms his suspicions. He has seen this before, descending over Europe on several occasions. He has watched the god-machine do battle against other, lesser tools of war, tearing them asunder and scattering them to the winds before finally being overtaken. It is unsurprising; those who fight on this planet have begun to tap into their innate fighting spirit already.

Burning souls draw true warriors to one another. It is a fact of life, something that cannot be changed, no matter how hard some may wish it. As long as there are those who will ignite their will and hold their swords high, as long as there are warriors walking this Earth and any others, there will be conflict. As long as there is conflict, there will be war.

As long as there is war, there is change.

Gym unfolds his arms, resting his hands on the Turn X's controls at his sides. He waits for the Shura God to land on the colony cylinder, the Turn X's constant velocity controlled and slowed. It descends towards the cylinder and touches down lightly, the angular feet resting against the rotating metal surface.

"Fernando Albark," Gym replies. "I thought I would find you here." His voice has a much more casual tone to it than the Shura's. He isn't tense with anticipation; he's relaxed, prepared in his own way. He lifts one hand off the controls and tightens it into a fist. "I was /born/ ready, Fernando."

The Turn X charges the blue Valefar without another heartbeat passing between them, going from a standstill to a bull rush immediately. It's left hand strikes forward, a closed-fist punch backed by the sudden burst of speed, racing forward over the colony's outer hull, the roar of the Turn X's engines quieted by the vacuum of space.

"Let me show you!"


COMBAT: Gym Ghingnham has attacked Fernando Albark. Test Your Might added to their queue.

COMBAT: Gym Ghingnham has missed Fernando Albark with his Test Your Might attack.

COMBAT: Fernando Albark has missed Gym Ghingnham with his Juurensha counter attack.


"Let's go!" Fernando shouts, and Valefar plunges towards its foe, feet moving like blurs across the colony's hull as quickly as Turn X approaches. The gods have met in Heaven, and now is their time to war; as Gym's fist whips out, so too does Fernando's, and Valefar's in kind. It is a parry of the sort only martial artists are used to, an open-palmed turn-aside of Turn X's might by a creature that once was perhaps its equal. Or perhaps not. Who can say?

Fernando's parry rapidly devolves into quick strikes; one after another, they strike around Turn X with the speed of a machine gun, undoubtedly turned aside or dodged by Gym's own skills. Fernando does not talk - but he does make a single, ever-heightening kiai as his wild machine god dance continues:

"ATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATA!"

Finally, the kata ends, but not so peacefully; no, Fernando's foot whips around in a brutal roundhouse, and so too does Valefar's, aiming to literally blow a hole in Turn X's stomach from the sheer force - though Fernando privately suspects that Turn X is much stronger than the rest of these human suits. Valefar's own feelings confirm that suspicion; regardless of the result, neither Valefar nor its dominator (or is that Dominus?) backs down. This is a battle some Shura would give their lives just to participate in. Fernando counts himself as blessed.


COMBAT: Fernando Albark has attacked Gym Ghingnham. Buttobasu added to their queue.

COMBAT: Fernando Albark has missed Gym Ghingnham with his Buttobasu attack.

COMBAT: Gym Ghingnham has missed Fernando Albark with his Do Not Engage Lu Bu counter attack.


The initial parry is something that Gym is expecting. He did not count on getting the drop on someone of Fernando's obvious skill, but instead wished to test his defenses. Now that he's seen what he can do, though.

The rising kiai is not met with one of Gym's own. He growls quietly under his breath, and the Turn X rises from the hull of the space colony, weaving side to side and striking back at the the Shura machine just as he's attacked. Each of the rapid strikes is deftly intercepted, turned aside with a brief hand gesture when they come at Gym's left side and blocked with the oddly-shaped forearm of the mobile suit's right. It floats backwards, just out of reach--

The foot of the Valefar whips in front of the Turn X, sweeping across it's body. The machine's Destruction Manipulator opens like flower petals, the five pieces snapping together around the side of the bird-like foot and holds on. The rotation swings the Turn X to one side, and Gym releases the foot, spinning around just once.

The Destruction Manipulator opens again, the five sharp points of it's 'claw' driven towards the Shura mech in a lunge and followed by the real left hand of the machine striking at the head in a cross punch. Gym knows that Fernando would be insulted if he were to give him anything but a real battle; he doesn't intend to pull any punches.

Well... perhaps just one. 'That' isn't ready for him.


COMBAT: Gym Ghingnham has attacked Fernando Albark. Moonrace Martial Arts added to their queue.

COMBAT: Gym Ghingnham has hit Fernando Albark with a glancing hit with his Moonrace Martial Arts attack.

COMBAT: Fernando Albark has missed you with his Juurensha counter attack.


First blood!

Thrown across the colony, Valefar nevertheless rights itself in an instant, springing off the metal and backflipping agilely into a combat stance. Gym's blows are met once more with that rapid-fire parry, that ATATATATATA of machine-gun turnasides; but this time, it's not quite enough. The Destruction Manipulator scrapes across Valefar's face, leaving a long, trailing scar where once was a perfect blue form. Oil - or something like it - trails out of the scratch for an instant as, inside the Valefar's cockpit, Fernando grins.

Fernando knows, too, that Gym would be insulted if he held back. The Shura inherently knows what to do, and the bystanders in the colony are of no interest to him - all that matters on this battlefield, at this instant, is Gym Ghingnham and Fernando Albark. All that matters is the wild dance of twin machine gods among the stars.

Fernando's hand whips up, as does the Valefar's, the larger machine moving to grab Turn X by its strangely-shaped head, to close around it with the god-machine's fingers, and to slam it brutally through the colony wall with the destructive force of a meteor.


COMBAT: Fernando Albark has attacked Gym Ghingnham. Ryu Rendan added to their queue.

COMBAT: Fernando Albark has missed Gym Ghingnham with his Ryu Rendan attack.

COMBAT: Gym Ghingnham has missed Fernando Albark with his Turn X Slam counter attack.


Where Valefar goes, Turn X follows. It keeps right on it's opponent's tail, right in it's face, always within arm's reach. The pressure is on, and Gym shows he means business, spilling an oily blood into space.

The fact that that thing /bleeds/ is a bonus. It excites Gym in a way that few other factors of this battle could. Seeing your opponent's blood is a privilege for the skilled, and those who fight on foot. Mechs rarely have any internal fluids that you don't have to go to the core to find. It lets him know that, yes, this thing, this Shura God, is able to satisfy his bloodlust for a little bit longer.

The Valefar's hand grasps the head of the Turn X and pushes, bringing it towards the colony wall. The motion is flawless, and Fernando has the head clutched in his grasp without fail. The outer wall of the colony buckles and cracks open like an egg, the mobile suit pounded through the first barrier between the inhabitants and space--but it's armor, made of a mysterious metal, hasn't taken a scratch.

Still, Fernando seems to have the Turn X right where he wants it!

Now if only the head was still attached to the rest of it.

The Turn X thrusts it's hand forward, using the magnetic field it can project to pull Valefar with it, holding it in it's grasp for just a second. The Destruction Manipulator comes in front the other side to slam into the Shura machine while they fall 'downward,' towards the second layer of the hull.

Turn X intends to have the Valefar beneath it when it hits the next layer. The head slips free of the hand, the material seeming to shift under it, and reattaches with a flash of it's golden optics. Gym's laugh follows, echoing over the connection between them.


COMBAT: Gym Ghingnham has attacked Fernando Albark. Going Down! First Floor: Housewares - Camping Supplies - Wrong End Of The Commercial District added to their queue.

COMBAT: Gym Ghingnham has missed Fernando Albark with his Going Down! First Floor: Housewares - Camping Supplies - Wrong End Of The Commercial District attack.

COMBAT: Fernando Albark has missed Gym Ghingnham with his Buttobasu counter attack.

COMBAT: Fernando Albark has activated a spirit command.


As Gym laughs, so too does Fernando, even as Turn X's head slips free of Valefar and reattaches to the primary mobile suit. What an amazing machine. So full of surprises, so full of power. Gym was a lucky man to have such a powerful god at his command.

"A neat trick," Fernando decides even as the Shura machine is knocked through layer after layer of colony, ripping through the metal like a hot knife through butter, "I hope you have more!" The Shura's foot whips up to plant a strike right between Turn X's knees before Fernando manages to get free of the tumbling jumble of destruction, using the momentum from the kick to springboard off the colony and get away. Fernando clenches his fist, and so too does Valefar, as it lands upside-down on the spinning layer. Valefar springs forward, hand drawn back, going straight for the metaphorical throat of Turn X - the chest, or so Fernando hopes. His hand lashes out, and suddenly, the blue fire emerges, a dragon wrapped around his fist. It's an innovation on Kishin So Shogeki, one Fernando's been waiting to try out...and Gym seems like the perfect guy to try it on. Who knows, maybe he'd be honored as the dragon ripped through his unit. Assuming he didn't have some other trick to evade it.

COMBAT: Fernando Albark has attacked Gym Ghingnham. Blood For The Blood God added to their queue.

COMBAT: Fernando Albark has struck Gym Ghingnham with a major hit using Blood For The Blood God!

COMBAT: Gym Ghingnham has missed Fernando Albark with his Do Not Engage Lu Bu counter attack.

The Divine Crusader defense forces in Elpis are finally getting up off their asses and trying to figure out what the hell is going on. The breach in the colony walls signals an attack, but they don't detect anything except two hard-to-make-out contacts apparently engaging one another and going /through/ the colony. They're getting dangerously close to actually breaching the inside...

...which Gym does not seem to care one bit about. He ceases his descent when Valefar manages to actually get away from the tangled mess of carnage that they are, watching the Shura for just a moment before he gets barreled into. The fist doesn't seem to do much damage, but the blue dragon that manifests does; it strikes the scarred chest of the Turn X and blasts into it, knocking it further inward--

"It wouldn't be a good fight if I /didn't/," Gym roars in response, alarms blaring inside the Turn X. Colony hull breach imminent, cease activity, reverse thrust--

Inside the colony, citizens are surprised to see a major intersection explode upward. Pavement shoots into the air alongside numerous automobiles, the bleed-over from the dragon incinerating those nearby immediately. The hole in the colony starts to draw the air out while they come /in/.

Gym rights the Turn X and points it's Destruction Manipulator straight down. The beam emitters start firing, a barrage of rapid-fire yellow energy blasting through the sides of the hole in the ground and widening the yawning chasm. He rakes it down the street, punching through the ground and tracking the Valefar with it's sensors instead of sight to try and draw it out.


COMBAT: Gym Ghingnham has activated a spirit command.

COMBAT: Gym Ghingnham has attacked Fernando Albark. Destruction Barrage added to their queue.

COMBAT: Gym Ghingnham has struck Fernando Albark with a devastating critical hit using Destruction Barrage.

COMBAT: Fernando Albark has counter attacked for a solid hit using Ryubutsu.


Where'd he go, Fernando wonders? This situation was rapidly becoming more and more interesting, as Gym disappears into Elpis Colony; really, these space colonies were a fascinating place. Humans ran out of room, and produced new places to live; the Shura ran out of room, and went to take somebody else's. It was the kind of distinction that Fernando probably would've found much more fascinating if he was:

A) A historian, and

B) Not getting fired on from above.

Fernando's hand whips out, blue fire coiled around it exploding forth in dragon form; the dragon explodes through the pavement as Gym's destruction barrage crashes down on Valefar, leaving holes all throughout its arms and legs. Leaving its blood on the ground, Fernando doesn't even hesitate; he offers up more of his life force to the hungry god-machine, which eagerly accepts his offering with gluttonous greed. The blue fire spikes around him, but Fernando does not move; instead, his hands whirl in the air, conjuring images of an archaic spellcaster below the ground. The power gathers in Valefar's hands, the blue starfire reduced to twin pinpoints of light.

"KISHIN SO SHOGEKIIIIIII!"

Fernando punches twice in rapid succession, and two more, far larger, dragons roar up through the ground. These are not so kind as the last two attacks; they seek to burrow into Turn X's very electronics and overload them from within, digging through circuitry and things more arcane like terrible burrowing monsters before exploding forth on Fernando's command:

"EEEEEEEEERUUUUUUUUUUPT!"


COMBAT: Fernando Albark has attacked Gym Ghingnham. Kishin So Shogeki added to their queue.

COMBAT: Fernando Albark has missed Gym Ghingnham with his Kishin So Shogeki attack.


The blue fire licking out from beneath the hole-filled ground gives it away. Gym gets the feeling that he's about to see something even more impressive--and he is not disappointed. Valefar's dragons burst from the ground, giving away it's position and giving Gym a clear shot at the Shura God below.

But first, he should take care of these. The dragons rear up over the landscape and dive at the Turn X, which meets them with what might be a mechanical grin, it's eyes flashing once again. It raises the Destruction Manipulator and opens it's five-pointed weapon, levelling it at the first. A crack of thunder echoes through Elpis Colony, lightning bolts leaping from the Destruction Manipulator and ensnaring the first of the two dragons. The crackling, writhing grasp twists and bends it, breaking it down into unformed power and drawing it into the Destruction Manipulator.

The second is caught by the left hand. It holds it like a snake, and the dragon tries to burrow within through electronic pathways and gaps in machinery... but it cannot find any. The hand and arm that hold it is entirely solid, with no joints, no servos, no /nothing/. The impossible grip holds it below it, and the Destruction Manipulator points downward--

Fernando calls it to erupt! The energy blast goes off in the air, and a tornado of swirling light and howling sound fires downward, catching it in it's embrace. It passes over cars and buildings just as it does the blast, and the light of the destructive force that Valefar commands flickers and dies, drawn into the Turn X like the first. Buildings lose power, cars sputter and go quiet, and personal electronics on those foolish enough to still be nearby simply die.

Darkness reigns. It is broken by a multicolored gleam, the stained glass-like visor over the eyes of the Turn X glowing bright. The rainbow of colors passes over it, a symphony of chimes joining the light. It spreads through the narrow lights in the scar of it's chest, the 'X' that it may well get it's name from illuminated.

The night flashes impossibly brightly. A massive beam of yellow brilliance erupts from the Destruction Manipulator, lancing downward at the ground and the Valefar beneath it. Proximity alone sets buildings aflame and incinerates human beings, their dying screams lost beneath the hum and pulse of the beam weapon. It carves through the scattered holes they punched in the colony, working it's way outward, a lance of light against a backdrop of stars.

Whether or not Valefar is still standing or is reduced to stellar dust is entirely up to the Shura within.


COMBAT: Gym Ghingnham has activated a spirit command.

COMBAT: Gym Ghingnham has activated a spirit command.

COMBAT: Gym Ghingnham has attacked Fernando Albark. Destruction Rifle added to their queue.

COMBAT: Fernando Albark has activated a spirit command.

COMBAT: Gym Ghingnham hit Fernando Albark with a glancing hit with his Destruction Rifle attack.

COMBAT: Fernando Albark has missed Gym Ghingnham with his Kishin Ken counter attack.


Darkness reigns. Darkness, except for the massive beam of yellow brilliance that just exploded out of the other side of the colony, cutting across the black velvet space...and the blue glow that is rapidly ascending within the beam, cleaving it in twain with its very passing. And that blue glow is exactly who Gym would think it is - Fernando Albark, literally pushing aside the Destruction Rifle with Valefar's bare hands. As he ascends, it fractures, further and further; though Valefar's hands are burning black, the beam is scattering, slicing through the colony like a yellow Deathbloom. Chunks of ceiling fall. Cars explode. Pieces of land are simply ripped away. The destruction is unmatched, unmatachable.

Yet still the Shura God ascends. Its blow narrowly misses Turn X; its aim is just a bit off from the glare of the Rifle. But Fernando doesn't miss a bear. He lands as the colony shakes, foot whipping up to kick Turn X square in the back and - if possible - knock it off its footing. Any lesser being would be shaking in his boots, or (more likely) dead.

But Fernando? Fernando is trembling with joy.

"You're amazing, Gym!" Fernando calls over their mutual radio, "Amazing! Hahahaha!"


COMBAT: Fernando Albark has attacked Gym Ghingnham. Keotsu no Keri added to their queue.

COMBAT: Fernando Albark has missed Gym Ghingnham with his Keotsu no Keri attack.


The blue glow that ascends towards Gym cannot be anything but Valefar and Fernando Albark. The split beam parts and rains death on a phenomenal scale, cutting ragged scars away from the site of the conflict in either direction as the Valefar continues upward. It's astonishing that someone has that sort of power in this universe.

Gym is /ecstatic/. He laughs again, letting the beam dissipate, fading into a narrow, flickering stream of energy that dissipates and vanishes in seconds. The Turn X twists sideways and lets the return strike go past it's side, eye to eye with Valefar for just a moment. The light filtered through the stained glass visor does not waver.

"You aren't bad yourself! It looks like I'll have to /try harder/!" Turn X catches the foot on it's upper arm, bending it's arm to flip the Shura God and slam the Destruction Manipulator into it's chest. It drops out of the sky like a meteor, away from the scene of their destructive entry and down to the green grass and blue waters within a park. Guided with the Destruction Manipulator, Turn X tries to part the surface of the waters with Valefar at high speed and smash it back into the ground... not that that would stop it.

"Your spirit can be seen through your fists, Fernando! I can see it burning with a warrior's rage! But my spirit and my fists--"

The Destruction Manipulator lights up, even beneath the water. The sudden pulse of destructive force and the massive surge of energy comes out as a cone of raw power, forced and concentrated into a cone to engulf the Shura God. The lake simply evaporates around them. Does Fernando have another impressive power to turn to?

"--they ROAR!"


COMBAT: Gym Ghingnham has activated a spirit command.

COMBAT: Gym Ghingnham has attacked Fernando Albark. Shining Finger added to their queue.

COMBAT: Gym Ghingnham has struck Fernando Albark with a major hit using Shining Finger.


<Radio: E - Shadow-Mirrors> James Heller transmits, "OH, AND AN EPIC HIT WITH THE SHINING FINGER!"

Fernando goes to dodge, but he's just a hair too slow; Turn X's arm wraps around him and throws him down into the water, and the surface erupts; Fernando can feel the heat as Valefar's body is literally starting to melt, its bizarre alien blood-oil evaporating from the very force of the strikes. The two are united in their desire to prove their unstoppable strength to Gym, to this man and his god-machine they both consider their equal. But it is Valefar who sees the way out first, slamming its elbow backwards before the full power of Shining Finger can explode its head and falling below the colony's...ruins' level. Fernando blinks for just a second as Valefar takes control, his own arm moving in motion, but the panic that his god might be loosing from his reigns disappears like the morning dew as he and it are once more united, bursting through the ground; grass sprays everywhere, all over the dessicated surroundings.

Fernando clutches his hand as blood - his blood - pours down his eye. Valefar does the same; its own oil rushes over, perhaps in sympathy, perhaps simply by coincidence.

"You want to hear a roar...?" Fernando asks slowly as the darkness is consumed once more by sapphire starfire; Fernando releases his hands, rotating them once as he and Valefar begin walking towards Gym, "Then pay close attention, Gym...I'm going to show you the ultimate technique, and let you experience the wildfire of my soul! KISHIN KEN NO OUGI! LET'S GO!"

Valefar's walk suddenly changes; no longer a colony, but a psychic backdrop, echoes of a dead homeworld, of dusts sweeping across mountainous deserts as far as the eye can see. It is a mere illusion in the eye of the mind, but it is a primal terror - a power all Shura know, for it is their terror. Their home. The home that made them strong.

"ATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATAT!"

Valefar plunges forward, each strike stronger than the last; each blow grows exponentially - first a bullet, then a machine gun, then a cannon, then a bomb, until even the missed blows are strong enough to feel like explosions. Fernando's kiai continues to increase as his speed and power do as well, pouring all of the fire of his soul into this blow - this attack, this perfect and all-encompassing attack. Finally, a last blow is struck, and Fernando's foot rises; the dusty homeworld disappears, replaced by the darkness that all creatures once called the Unknown. And the words appear in that mindscape, the echoing words of perhaps the god that had been dragged into this world to serve Fernando as his unit and partner, as his servant and perhaps as his friend. Fernando's foot lashes out, and so too does Valefar's, all the power of the soul released into this blow as Fernando cries out those words written in every language the mind can host and then some:

"KISHIN GOGEKIIIIIIII KEEEEEEEEEEEEN!"

Valefar lands, skidding to a halt and tearing up the last of the trees as reality reasserts itself over the mindscape; Fernando is panting, Valefar is bleeding, and they are both exhausted. But they resume their fighting stance, and Fernando is still grinning from ear to ear.

COMBAT: Fernando Albark has activated a spirit command. COMBAT: Fernando Albark has attacked Gym Ghingnham. Kishin Gogeki Ken added to their queue. COMBAT: Fernando Albark has struck Gym Ghingnham with a devastating critical hit using Kishin Gogeki Ken!

The Valefar's escape surprises Gym--but not very much. Fernando Albark is proving to be an opponent that he can call his equal, or at the very least a worthy challenge. He should not be surprised that the Shura found a way out of what, for many others, spells absolutely certain doom.

The Shining Finger vaporizes the lake and scorches the earth all around it. Grass wilts and dies as the outer edges of the burning energy washes over it. Trees shed their leaves. The few animals remaining foolishly nearby flee, lest they be consumed as all else is. A massive crater forms where the lake used to be, the bottom smooth as glass and blackened like volcanic ash.Turn X turns when Valefar emerges from beneath the dessicated land. It rises up out of the crater and faces the Shura God, it's eyes still burning, the mark on it's chest still shining bright. It raises the Destruction Manipulator, pointed forward, settling down on level ground with it's arm extended.

Waiting.

The mental illusion startles Gym. He has had no experience with such things before, and it throws him off-balance in a way that little else can. The psycoframe in the Turn X resonates, beginning to tune to the correct wavelength to counter it, as if the machine itself is sensing what is occurring and seeking to protect itself and it's pilot.

Though it moves at the speed of thought, so too does Fernando Albark. The rising tempo of lightning-fast and thunderously-strong swings echo in both the desolate mindscape and the reality of Elpis Colony, the Turn X driven back with every hit. Each strike, gaining power as he gains momentum, is more deadly than the last. The fact that the Turn X is not crumpling like a tin can is a testament to it's resilient design.

The sheer force of the technique tears the mobile suit apart. The last of the swings knock the arms off of the battered, dented and warped suit, and twist the hip in a bizarre angle. It falls backwards and rises into the air as the final kick connects, the flash of language filling Gym's sight and the crash of the fist against metal sending his ears ringing.

Gym blinks. The mindscape vanishes. His eyes widen, the sound of the Turn X's alarms going off in unconcerned tones in the cockpit suddenly registering. He releases a joystick and runs his hand across a control panel, grasping the stick again and pulling backwards with a snarl that is heard over their connection. He's not dead yet.

The Turn X falls to pieces too slowly. It's torso splits into three, the back, front and hip each coming off of one another. The arms and legs crash into the ground around it before the torso hits the ground. The Kyaraps platform on it's back that has been idle the entire fight detaches from the rest, the beam rifle and bazooka still attached. It's head rolls off, completing the appearance that it has simply fallen to pieces like a cheap mechanical doll.

Suddenly, a lance of yellow streaks down out of the sky off to Fernando's left. The Destruction Manipulator floats there, open and glowing, flying back and forth and laying down a sheet of fire. It sweeps forward, streaking past Valefar at ramming speed, aimed to hit it in the shoulder and then ricochet back into the air on the other side.

That's about when Fernando will notice that the pieces are all gone.

The nine seperate components of the Turn X swirl through the air around Valefar. Megaparticle cannons fire, contained within each component, criss-crossing beams of yellow-orange. They never stay in the same place, crossing near Valefar or far away from it, always on the move, always making it hard to pin down where it will end up.

The Turn X Top, the head, floats in front of the Shura God. Lightning shoots from the bottom of it, it's eyes ablaze, the tendrils of electrical power whipping across Valefar's body. The rest of the pieces move close, a bizarre magnetic field suddenly springing to life, trying to grab the mech and hold it still. They close at top speed, ramming into the blue, grey and red god from all sides, squeezing it with a crushing grip that few can match.

And then, all at once, the megaparticle cannons fire. Some may liken it to being immolated in hellfire. They may not be far off with their comparison.


COMBAT: Gym Ghingnham has activated a spirit command.

COMBAT: Gym Ghingnham has attacked Fernando Albark. Bloody Siege added to their queue.

COMBAT: Gym Ghingnham has hit Fernando Albark with a glancing hit with his Bloody Siege attack.

COMBAT: Fernando Albark has counter attacked Gym Ghingnham for a solid hit using Buttobasu!


Fernando wipes his mouth free of the trickle of blood, and Valefar does the same. With Turn X destroyed, he had a moment to breathe, to regain his strength; though he hoped Gym hadn't died from the blow (the man was too powerful to let die), Fernando wouldn't've been surprise-

SURPRISE!

With a twist that borders on superhuman, Fernando's spine bends backwards, the Destruction Manipulator's beam very narrowly evaded by Valefar's motion - the heat still burns a big black scar across Valefar's chest simply by being so close. The manipulator flies down, and Valefar again dodges it...

And that's when Fernando realizes that all the pieces are gone.

And so begins the wild dance of the machine god, twirling and looping and backflipping through the dark colony; it times itself to the blasts as the area is lit up, giving a distinctly stop-motion-photography feel to the moves that can be seen as the destruction engine that is Turn X's nine components rip apart the colony. Fernando doesn't stop moving, even as the pieces close; at the last minute, his fist whips out, blowing a hole through the colony floor and disappearing, leaving Turn X to take the damage from the chunks of steel exploding upwards like cannonballs, the megaparticle cannons obliterating what would've been Valefar - but instead simply the air. But Valefar's not running away, oh no.

Valefar pops up behind Turn X, a trail of fire behind it as it aims to deliver a single brutal blow to the machine's vital points - such that they are - and paralyze it for its incoming assault. Should that succeed, Fernando's fists sweep out, reminiscent of - but vastly less powerful than - the Kishin Gogeki Ken. For this is the move that is the basis of the entire art.

At the crescendo of the blows, steadily moving to push Turn X further and further up into the air, Fernando finally delivers a blow to knock the machine into the sky...and then charges all of his power into his fist.

"KISHIN KEN!"

Punch.


COMBAT: Fernando Albark has attacked Gym Ghingnham. Kishin Ken added to their queue.

COMBAT: Fernando Albark has missed Gym Ghingnham with his Kishin Ken attack.


The inherent problem with attacking Turn X while it is attacking you like that is that it is, in fact, in nine seperate pieces. It is sort of like trying to swat a particular, individual fly in a swarm of them, all while they're buzzing around your head. You're more likely to strike and injure yourself than it.

This is the case right now. The Turn X bobs and weaves through the air--or rapid lack thereof, given the two large holes they've put in the ground--and the torso, nearest to Fernando's fist, zooms backwards away from it and narrowly avoids being struck down by the tremendous punch. The rest of the pieces scatter, getting out of arm's reach and moving down and around Valefar, circling overhead like hungry vultures.

The beams rain down again. they aren't aimed particularly well, but rather saturating an area and looking to pen in Valefar. Six components fire downward and sideways, limiting the Shura's mobility with a web of projected power. It keeps changing, mixing the pattern up to make it harder to dodge and harder to move.

From directly in front of the Valefar, the torso and head descend, crashing together. The eyes and chest-scar gleam as they connect, staring down the Shura amidst the storm.

The Destruction Manipulator comes out of right field, projecting a blazing beam saber from within itself, longer than the two mechs combined. It sweeps horizontally in a graceful and brutal arc when the web closes in before it connects to the main body of the Turn X, looking to pierce the armor of the Shura God on one side and exit on the other entirely.


COMBAT: Gym Ghingnham has attacked Fernando Albark. Destruction Manipulator Giant Saber added to their queue.

COMBAT: Gym Ghingnham has struck Fernando Albark with a devastating critical hit using Destruction Manipulator Giant Saber.

Knock Out! Fernando Albark's Valefar unit has become disabled!

COMBAT: Fernando Albark has counter attacked Gym Ghingnham for a solid hit using Buttobasu!


The inherent problems with attacking Turn X also include Gym Ghingnham being the pilot. Valefar's dodging grows increasingly more impossible as the beams come down, but slowly, ever so slowly, the margin shrinks, until finally the beams are actually touching Valefar itself; at that point, Fernando can no longer dodge - just as Gym desires.

The Destruction Manipulator comes in, and the blazing beam saber comes down. It is certain death; this is something Fernando Albark understands all too well. But it is not the way of the Shura to run from death.

Fernando's hand whips out. The beams penning Valefar slice its arm from finger to shoulder as it moves, lungingly...and grasps the Destruction Manipulator by the wrist, clenching it tight and squeezing with the force of death itself. Fernando closes his eyes.

"UUUUUURRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!"

Fernando's fist closes, explosively, as he aims to rip a chunk of the Manipulator out of its proper space - just enough to give him the moment to dodge. Fernando flings himself through the very scrapes of the beams as the manipulator finishes its descent, burning across Valefor's chest once more - a black X, a disturbing mirror to Turn X's own chest markings. And then it's gone, its foot crushing through whatever remains of the colony and falling into the black void of the stars.

Fernando has been unconscious since ripping the beam apart. Valefar's actions now are its own will, its own sense of self-preservation in the face of the combined horror that is Gym Ghingnham and the Turn X - the man-built god. It floats through the stars, its pilot contained within it, as it enters orbit...and does no more.

Gym has won this fight.


The Destruction Manipulator is grasped by the mangled Valefar. The supreme strength of the Shura God and the will of it's pilot are all that saves it from total annihilation. The span of heartbeats between the Destruction Manipulator's arm connecting to the torso of the Turn X means it hasn't fully connected yet; this makes it possible for Fernando to wrench it out of it's socket.

It moves just far enough to scar the Shura machine instead of cutting it in two. The Destruction Saber vanishes, the Manipulator closing. It's arm gets pulled back onto it by an unseen force, reaffixed as the twisted result of the explosion straightens itself, the nanomachines the Turn X is composed of hastily repairing the damage done. It begins to look like it's old self quickly.

"Fernando Albark," Gym muses.

The Shura yet lives, but Gym is certain he won't forget this. Next time, though...

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