The crowd seemed pumped; it had been awhile since the last match and the bloodthirsty vultures were eager to see more fighting.
Schnee, a snow-white hedgehog with a love for combat, entered the spectator side of the arena, excited. "Wow! I can't wait to see Mac kick that other guy's ass! This'll be great to watch!"
Meanwhile, Mac's best frenemy, Kennedy the Chaos Tiger, followed behind her. His grey fur seemed to blow with the air as he sat down. "Agreed, Schnee. This is surely going to be an exciting match."
A little pink crow cheers Sanzu on. "You can do it, big brother! I believe in you!"
A dark blue bat in a cloak stands beside the pink crow with an annoyed look on her face. She certainly doesn't appear to enjoy being here. "Is this bird's mask on too tight? Bad enough that he made me come here and watch, but now he's just wasting everyone else's time too with his usual nonsense."
Schnee grunted. "Finally. The other guy was just wasting time."
The pink crow looks up at the bat with a sad look on her face. "Why aren't you cheering for big brother, Trance? Do you think he's going to lose?"
Trance looks away in embarrasment, "What? Of course not...it's just the heat getting to me is all! G-Go Sanzu!" Hurry up and lose, bird!
Kennedy looks at the very embarrassed Trance. "Hello, 'Trance.' It appears you know one of the combatants, and I don't think it's the one I'm known to be friends with." With a sigh, Kennedy continued. "Why is that crow being so strange?"
Schnee, who was close by, chuckled. "Damn. This is intense- *cough*" Some of the dust from Sanzu's attack had finally reached them. She looked at the pink crow. "So, you're the loser's little sis?"
"My brother's not a los-," the pink crow began to object, but she was cut off by Trance stepping in between her and Schnee, obscuring the little one with her cloak.
"You shouldn't talk to strangers, Miso," Trance advised, "just worry about cheering for your brother."
Schnee gave Trance a look that said "Huh?" "Who are you again? I just wanted to introduce myself. Even though our friends certainly aren't, we could get along..."
Kennedy walked between her and Trance. "Sorry about her. She is really hard to stop when she starts something." Schnee whacked Kennedy in the back of his head with her staff, causing him to wince.
Trance looked like she was going to say something, but she suddenly looked at what was going on in the arena.
Trance quickly covered Miso's eyes.
Schnee was losing her shit. "AW YEAH, BABY! FINISH THAT PSYCHO OFF!" Kennedy facepalmed.
When Mac finished Sanzu off, the two friends of his were overjoyed. "..He did it." They seemed to be talking in unison. "He actually did it."
Trance angrily glared at the unconscious Sanzu. "Moron went and overdid it. All of this for a few lousy memories. Humph."
Miso, her eyes still covered, tried to encourage her, though she sounded frightened for some reason, "a-at least big brother did his b-best...I just wish he w-wouldn't use that..a-attack."
Kennedy turned to the dark blue bat. She was giving off a gloomy aura. He sighed. "Ah, well. Your friend is a strong foe. Had Mackenzie not used to right things at the right times, he would've lost much earlier. Good job."
Schnee winked at the bat, giving a smile. "Yeah. He wasn't a crappy fighter, that's for sure." He WAS creepy, but I'll let the cat stay in the bag.
Trance blinked several times. Why are these people trying to be friendly with me when they got no other reason for sticking around? She began to drag Miso away. "Forget we were here. Come on, Miso, let's go collect your good-for-nothing brother."
"Okay...hey, Trance? You should try and fight in one of these matches!"
"I wouldn't be caught dead fighting meaningless battles in this heat," Trance objected.
The Bloodied Battle
Mackenzie entered the arena with a white singlet/short yellow shorts on. He really wanted to see the strength of Mobians, so this place was perfect. An arena where two fighters duke it out? Amazing.
He looked around the place, looking for his opponent. He made sure that his weapons were with him; his Gauntlet Gloves were on, and he had his katana and his twin handguns on a belt he struggled to keep on his shorts. This was going to be tough; at least, he hoped.
Sanzu waltzed into the sandy arena wearing a silver masquerade mask to hid most of his face. The black crow blankly stared at his opponent, taking note of the amount of weapons he had.
"A bit overkill, don't you think? The only junk I brought was myself," the crow dismayed.
Oh dear, this guy is definitely going to kill me. Dying right here in front of my sister is probably what I deserve, anyway.
Mac shrugged. "If you think that's too much, I'll unequip Angel, Taser and Static." He took his belt off, throwing it to the ground. "I could beat you weaponless, but I want to go at my full potential. Now, when shall we begin?"
"Don't feel the need to handicap yourself just to give me a chance. Before we start, I'd just like to ask you one question...are you a hero?"
"Bah. Sometimes, sometimes not. But what does that matter, here on the field?" Mac gave a tone of "I'ma win this thing" in his voice.
Sanzu doesn't seem satisfied with this response.
"What kind of half-assed answer is that? Either you are or you aren't."
Mac sighs. "In my opinion, I am. Is that enough for ya?" Lightning surged around him. "Why do you care, anyway? Are you one of 'em GUN bozos or somethin'? Whatever."
Sanzu doesn't answer any of Mac's questions, instead he just stares at the tiger, absorbing in every detail of him.
It was a good minute before he said anything. "As a hero, you leave a lot to be desired. Your outfit is far too plain and your personality is all over the place, though I get the sense that you're the overly-aggressive type. Heroes that easily get angry tend to lose their cool and make mistakes." He looked disappointed, as if Mac somehow managed to fail a test without doing anything.
"Well whatever, let's see if your powers are at least befitting of a hero."
Mac gives him a confused look before shaking his head. "Let's just get this started!" He fires two lightning bolts at Sanzu and began dashing at him.
Sanzu just stood there, and was consequently struck by the lightning.
"O-OH, TH-THIS BRINGS ME B-BACK!" he excitedly yelled despite the pain, laughing through the agony. He seemed to be in is own little world at the moment.
Max looked even more confused than ever, but he decided to ignore the crow's... behavior. As he bolted over to him, he jumped up and attempted to kick him with his left foot.
Sanzu once again does nothing and gets sent sprawling across the floor by the kick. A crack can be seen on his mask as he laid on the sand.
Mac facepalms. "Are you going to do anything? I'll let you make the next move, for I'm getting annoyed."
"Oh how kind of you, hero. I don't deserve such chivalry."
Sanzu stood back up and sluggishly approached Mac. The way he was moving, leaving himself so obviously open to an attack...was he just playing games? Or was this part of some strategy? Either way, it was clear that he wanted to be attacked.
Mac smiled. "Gave you your chance. Now it's time to die." His black gloves turned into black gauntlets with ammo on them. They cackled with electricity as Mac tried to punch Sanzu in the face. "Are you pleasured by this?"
Sanzu doesn't stop Mac and is pummeled in the face. The force of the attack splitted his mask in half, letting Mac finally take a peek at the demented look on Sanzu's face. Despite all of the pain he had allowed himself to go through, the crow wore an intense grin and was struggling to keep himself from laughing.
"If this keeps up..."
Mac was about to make another move, unfazed by Sanzu's face. "You're pathetic. You have nothing on you. I might as well just kill you now." Charging up energy in his palms, Mac fires a beam made out of electric energy at Sanzu.
"Ah. I see. So that's how it is."
A sudden change is seen on Sanzu's face after hearing those words from Mac, from demented to cold. Just before the attack is launched, Sanzu grabs Mac's hands and forcefully directs them upward, causing Mac's beam to fire above both of them.
"You're no hero after all. You're nothing but worthless trash who tried to kill a guy in front of his sister. Oh well, I think it's time that we got serious. After all, you've made all of these horrible memories, it would be a shame to not let you experience the fruits of your labor."
I think I'll start off with the memory of you kicking me to the ground moments ago.
Sanzu quickly let go of Mackenzie and pointed his hand like a gun at him, firing a marble-sized projectile at his chest. It would have the same impact as getting punched.
"Point Blank...Memory Magnum."
Max easily dodged the blast by ducking, staring as he watched it go behind him. "If you were scared of getting killed, you shouldn't of come. I didn't say I was a hero for everyone, just in my opinion. If you judge someone based on whether they're a hero or not, you got the wrong tiger."
Max jumps back at least ten feet to get some space between them. "If you want to get serious..." He picks up the belt he had thrown on the ground earlier and takes out his guns, Zip and Zap. "Then let's get started." He fires projectiles that appear to be bullets, but in reality, they are energy blasts. One hit would knock a person onto their back.
"Your opinion doesn't matter anymore. Just because you can kill people doesn't mean you should. That's the kind of excuse a villain would make."
Sanzu watched Mac pick up his guns and kicked up enough sand to create a sand cloud in order to mess up Mac's accuracy. Just in case, Sanzu dropped to the ground and fired another projectile from his hand at the source of the energy blasts that flew past him.
Mac eyes got sand in them, causing all of his shots to miss. He was hit by Sanzu's projectile, sending him onto his back before he quickly got back up on his feet. "Oh boy... I've got an insane one." He created a field of energy around him, blowing all the dust away. "An insane one that's pissing me off."
He took his katana Angel from his belt and pointed it at Sanzu. "At this point, I don't give a damn about what you say. So stop wasting your breath and fight me. Your speech can wait for later." By slashing his blade at the air, twelve waves of electricity were shot at Sanzu.
"Well, you aren't wrong. Every breath I take is indeed a waste. But still, I can't let an insult to heroes like you walk off scott-free."
This time, the memory of him electrocuting me with lightning. I just need to keep replaying the memory.
Sanzu puts a hand to his forehead and closes his eyes as devasting waves of energy emit from him and spread out across the sandy floor. Each wave collides with the electricity, cancelling them both out. However, he continues to replay the memory after all of Mac's attacks were repelled, causing another wave to go after Mac. The tremendous force causes the sand to shift, making it hard to stay standing.
Mac was knocked back twelve feet by the attack, but the memory didn't seem to faze him. He flipped in the air and landed on his feet, struggling to keep balance. "You're a mind attacker, ain't ya? Let's see if you can do that if you can't catch me!"
Mac started running circles around Sanzu, firing rounds of shots from Static and Taser. He was running so quickly, it seemed like there were twelve hims.
This guy really doesn't understand my power at all. I guess it shows how pathetic I really am. I'll just use up this memory. That'll buy enough time and I won't need it after this match.
A small vein formed on the crow's head, complimenting his now-strained look. Even so, the shockwaves continued to emit from him continously. Unlike before, the waves tore right through Mac's projectiles instead of getting cancelled out with them, meaning that they were getting more violent at the cost of adding more mental stress on the crow. It doesn't seem to matter that Mac was running circles around Sanzu, as since the waves were being emitted from him like ripples coming from a rock thrown into a puddle, they would eventually meet him no matter where he was in conjuction with Sanzu.
The second the waves appeared, Mac jumped into the air - very high up, so that the waves would miss him. There were no longer afterimages, but Mac continued to fire.
Sanzu, his eyes still closed, didn't notice that Mac was no longer on the ground until he felt a projectile hit him, sending him flying on his back again. This caused him to stop using the shockwave attack.
Guess I'll still have that memory for a little longer, but I'd rather use it up now.
"Such amazing power and skill, and you're just wasting it for your own purposes instead of doing actual good with it. What a shame," Sanzu grimaced as he got back up. "Just looking at you right now is making my stomach turn."
Knowing that Mac was in a vulnerable position while in the air, Sanzu's hand formed the expression of a gun once more as he fired several projectiles at Mac. As he was using the same memory that was fueling the shockwave attack, the projectiles were much larger than before.
Mac was knocked out of the air, his guns sent flying. When he landed on the ground, a small crater formed. He smirked. "You ain't half bad." He quickly fired fast beams of energy at Sanzu before running behind him and attempting to punch him in the back of his head. "Can't keep up now, hotshot!"
This time....I won't need to attack to counter you. I'll just use these memories for a different purpose. The one where I got shot just a moment ago...
Suddenly, Sanzu is sent sprawling across the sands again before Mac could even hit him. It was if he just forced himself to experience getting shot by one of those projectiles again. Unfortunately for Mac, without Sanzu in front of him anymore, he was now in the path of his own energy beams.
"This ability to forcefully attack myself with my own memories...I normally only use it in training to test my endurance. I guess even someone like me can come up with a decent idea every now and then."
Mac smirked. "Pathetic." He simply caught his blasts and fired them at the now vulnerable Sanzu cockily, but with extra energy he charged in them, they were a bit stronger. "You really think I would use a technique I don't know how to defend against?"
Sanzu uses the same memory and is sent further sprawling out of the way of the beams again.
"I was at a disadvantage before because I hadn't the means to dodge your attacks, but this memory is exactly what I needed. Sure, I'm hurting myself doing it, but it beats the alternative."
I wonder how long this guy can keep up these powerful attacks. It's basically turned into an endurance match to see which gives out first: this memory or his power. He may be undeniably stronger than me, but everyone has a limit.
Sanzu started to get up again, intently watching the tiger. Up to this point, he had used the memory of almost every attack that Mac landed on him as a means to fight back. It seemed he was determined to only use the memories created from this fight to defeat his opponent...perhaps that was why he had allowed himself to get beaten up at the start.
Mac stopped firing the beams. They weren't fast enough. If he got close, he would be making a risky move, but- "Of course." He shouldn't have wasted energy like that. Now, if things got tight, he would have to use High Tension. If I keep firing those blasts, I'll be pooped... Mac smiled as he equipped his guns and put the "Bullet" feature on. The shots would be weaker, and he'd have to reload, but it was worth saving energy.
And with that thought, Mac fired rounds of bullets at Sanzu.
Sanzu watched Mac pick up and meddle with his handguns, though he couldn't tell exactly what he was doing due to being so far away.
Looks like he caught on...guess he isn't as dumb as I am.This ability puts very little strain on my memory unlike my actual attacks, so I could realistically keep this going for the rest of the match. However, unlike my actual attacks, this ability physically harms me, so I could end up putting myself out of commission. That just leaves me with one course of action.
Just as Mac began to fire off his rounds, Sanzu turned to the right and used the memory once more to launch himself in that direction. A bullet managed to puncture his leg during the maneuver, but the bird kept himself composed as his wings began to flap.
Damn...should have known that someone as incompetent as me would still end up shot even after forming a plan. Even so...I'll use this pain to take you down!
Sanzu's reckless launch in the air turned to a controlled flight as he soared across the ground, aiming to get in close to his opponent. As he flew, the sand began to pick up again, obscuring Mac's view of the bird. As the dust got in his view, Mac shook his head.
"Not this time, buddy." he clapped hard enough to send it all at Sanzu, giving him a clear sight and angle. Mac then jumped in the air and began to fire even more rounds at Sanzu.
With the sand now directed back at him, Sanzu would be somewhat cloaked, and coupled with how fast he was flying...the bird was hard to hit. Even so, another bullet pierced Sanzu's chest.
As long as it isn't fatal...I can take the memories of each blow and use them against you. Even someone like me won't be killed here, and all you can do is keep fueling my pathetic assault! The crow rose from above the cloud of sand and swooped at the airborne tiger. Sanzu attempted a grab at the vulnerable tiger's leg. On success...it would seem that nothing happened? At least, other than him throwing the tiger down at the ground. But still...
As soon as Sanzu grabbed his leg and smashed him to the ground, Mac was upside-down. He decided to use this to his advantage, dropping himself on his hands and starting to breakdance. Betcha that he didn't see this one coming! He's a smart one, though.... I'll have to think of something, fast.
For the first time since Mac had tried to kill him with the laser blast earlier, Sanzu was smiling again, and it probably wasn't at Mac's dancing.
"I'm very sorry that someone like me has to break this to you...but letting me touch you just then was a very big mistake. That was my Painful Palm attack. Now I'm going to show you the fruits of our endeavors...the memories that we've created this match, you get to experience them yourself."
The memory of the bullet piercing my chest.
Mac would suddenly feel as if he just got shot in the chest...though no wound would appear. As soon as the tiger felt it, he stopped, which should've sent Sanzu flying. He got onto his knees and clutched his chest, expecting there to be blood. There wasn't.
"This is creepy." Mac started to think, seemingly lost in thought. He seems to be using invisible attacks to harm me... I guess there's one thing that'll let me defend against them! Mac put his palm out, and suddenly, he was covered in a cyan aura. "Let me show ya something, punk." His hair turned turquoise, and his fur was the same color as his aura. "This is a little present from me to you."
Lightning started to cackle in his hands as he threw balls of electricity up into the air. Lightning bolts were all aimed at Sanzu and fired.
Unfortunately for Mac, his line of thinking was off. This wasn't merely an invisible attack, this was a mental attack aimed to knock him out from the pain, and no physical protection could save him from it. Although the attack had felt like it was aimed at his chest, the truth was that the memory was tricking his mind, the real target of this attack. Every memory Sanzu used would now mentally damage his brain while making him think it was aimed elsewhere.
The flying Sanzu watched the tiger change colors. He was about to start laughing like he did before, but he immediately saw the blood steadily streaming out of his chest and leg.
This is the real endurance match. I have no means to dodge your attacks anymore, but you can't dodge mine either. This memory of blood pouring out of me...no, not just that. The beating I let happen at the beginning, the near-death experience with your laser, the bullets that punctured me...I'll use it all to protect myself and take you out!
Like before, Sanzu put a hand to his forehead and closed his eyes as shockwaves began to erupt from him again, holding back the lightning attacks. Unlike before, Sanzu was using multiple memories, and he looked like he could barely manage to stay conscious from the amount strain he was putting on himself. Not only that, but he was losing blood pretty fast. Just how much longer could he keep this up?
Mac, however, would feel the pain of ever memory that Sanzu had acquired throughout this match. Once Sanzu put the attack into effect, Mac was flopped on his back. He was panting heavily, which was strange to see since it looked like he hadn't taken any damage.
Get up, he told himself. I need to get up now. His body was tired; it just wanted to give up and declare Sanzu the winner. Mac, however, had a different mind from his body. You wanted this type of fight, and you got it. Are you content?
No, Mac said instantly. I won't be content - until - I - WIN!
Mac, sweating all over, slowly got onto his knee. "I'm... impressed... my good sir. You are certainly a capable fighter." Even more slowly, he got onto his feet, struggling to keep balance. High Tension was pushing his body forward. Had he not gone into that form, this would've been over.
"I see...you really are quite something compared to-"
It was at that moment that Sanzu's memories finally gave out.
A strange look appeared on his face, one that had yet to be seen: confusion. What was he doing here? And why was he bleeding?
He took note of what was going on. He was in an arena, his sister (and Trance for some reason) were cheering him on, and there was a tiger struggling to stand in front of him. He had to be in some sort of gladiator match...and he got into a situation where he used all of the memories gathered throughout the battle.
"I don't know who you are or why we're fighting, but you must have been something if you managed to force me to use all of my memories to their limits."
The crow clutched his chest, feeling lightheaded from all of the blood lost.
How did I get this wound? I bet I made my sister worry...I really am shameful.
Mac saw Sanzu vulnerable. This is it... this is what I've been waiting for! Time for the anticlimax of this fight! Using the strength he had left, he speed-walked over to his blade Angel, bolted over behind Sanzu, and tried to stab him in the heart, electricity charged in the blade.
It was very fortunate for Sanzu that he was still in the air, so there was still time, though he was losing altitude fast as his wings flapped slower due to him slowly fading from consciousness.
This guy has guns, a sword...this must be a death match. In which case, I should probably do my best to not get killed.
He had no memories left of this battle, so he had no idea what the tiger was capable of, but he could him see him grabbing his sword and approaching where he was going to land.
It looks like I have have no choice. I'll have to recall that memory.
As he landed, Sanzu clutched his face with both of his hands in preparation for the pain that was to come.
...I'm sorry, Miso.
It happened as Mac was about to stab Sanzu. Small, faceless crows emerged out of Sanzu's body as one black mass. They appeared by the dozens, then hundreds, then they quickly became uncountable as they swarmed the tiger, aiming to tear him to pieces.
"NO! THIS ISN'T GOING TO HAPPEN! NOT - LIKE - THIS! INFERNAL FLASH!" Mac was yelling fiercely, and an inferno of electric lightning and static energy surrounded him and created a blast that would hit anything within a 20-yard radius, destroying all the crows easily.
The crows were destroyed, though Sanzu was mostly spared by the blast due to them being in the way. More crows emerged from Sanzu to take their place (and they were instantly killed, since the attack was still going on). The bird himself seemed unresponsive to anything that was going on...he couldn't stop the attack. It seemed like this murder of crows wouldn't stop until one of them was dead.
When the new wave of crows were finished, Mac equipped Angel, the blade that allowed him to fly. He started to float into the air and blasted waves of electricity at Sanzu, getting weaker the second. This can go on for a lot longer - but if it can, it's certainly going to be a double K.O. if I can't keep this up.
The crows kept flying straight at Mac, consequently getting in the way of his attacks, and for each one destroyed another two took its place a second later. They were determined to tear the tiger apart.
Sanzu struggled to do anything as he was forced to relive whatever horrible memory he had recalled for this attack. The sand under him was red with blood.
"I d-didn't mean to...I'm so sorr...no stop..please don't..." he begged some unseen person from his past.
Mac started putting more energy in his attacks and moving more quickly. Now, instead of having the crows cancel out the attack, they tore through them. To finish him off, while the waves were splitting through crows, Mac flew down to Sanzu, who seemed to be distracted, and tried to stab him in the heart yet once again.
The closer Mac got to Sanzu, the closer he was to the source of the crows, which never stopped appearing to replace the fallen ones. Right as Mac was about to stab the bird, several crows flew right out of Sanzu and sliced at the tiger's neck. Mac grunted in pain and twirled Angel around, cutting up any crows who got near him.
The waves of electricity were nearing in on Sanzu; if he didn't do much, he would be effortlessly sliced in half vertically. That was Mac's plan. If I can keep the crows busy here, then I should be able to multi-task...
Even through the torment of his memory, Sanzu had an idea of what was going on around him. He could hear a devastating attack coming his way and Mac fighting off the crows right next to him, but he couldn't move at all or defend.
There has to be something...something that even someone as useless as me can do. Wait.. maybe...I've never tried overlapping a memory onto currently recalled memory before..I don't know what kind of effect that'll have on me, but it's worth a shot if it means I can act while using Murder Memory. I'll use that technique I use during endurance training...and the memory of the time my master sent me flying during combat practice.
Sanzu waited until the last moment, letting as many crows swarm Mac as possible to keep him from dodging his own oncoming attack, before having himself get launched away at a devastating speed. At his trajectory, the bird would very quickly go flying straight into the arena wall.
Mac sliced quickly enough to kill all the crows swarming him. Once the attack got to him, Angel absorbed it, and the energy that was inserted inside the blade caused it to go into it's next stage, Heaven. Sweet!
Mac dashed over to Sanzu, effortlessly slashing all the crows that appeared, and once again tried to stab him in the heart.
Mac wouldn't be able to reach Sanzu before he slammed into the wall. The force of the impact finally knocked the bird unconscious.
Mac, however, didn't stop, for he was going to fast, a surge of adrenaline in his body. In the finale of the fight, He took out Heaven and stabbed Sanzu in the heart with it. Finally, this is over. My opponent is dead, and I have won.
as soon as Mac finished that thought, a wave a blood splashed out of his chest, bloodying the sand. "Although he was insane..." Mac started, equipping his guns before shooting Sanzu in the head twice, just to make sure he was dead. "He was a worthy foe!"
Mac finds himself unable to stab or shoot Sanzu, as if some force is pulling his hands back. If he looked closely, he would see that the force is...the sand itself?
"The match is already over the moment he was unconscious, and I don't really feel like bringing people back to life if I don't have to. Cease your attack or I'll consider you in violation of the rules," the sand below Mac ordered.
Mac jumped in the air. WHAT THE- He stopped attaching. "Have it your way. I was told by a friend that this was a death match, but OK." This guy can resurrect people?! Geez... wouldn't want to get on its bad side.
"You would have been allowed to kill him had he still been fighting, but the match ends once one side can no longer fight for whatever reason," the sand sounded rather bored, as if it has explained this several times before.
"I see, O Wise Talking Sand That I Bet Is Secretly Some Kind Of God," Mac replied. "Alas, I am the victor. Thank you for letting me participate. I might even bring one of my friends here sometime!" And with that, Mac started to walk away.
Yeesh, how many times were there when I had to escape death? Whatever. Pretty strange, though... The only reason that fight was close was because he kept dodging my attacks. Hey, a good defense is a great offense!