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2 yrs ago
Current Oh, you know... Stuff.

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I'm cool.
"I wanted them to end quickly is the thing, but I may've overdone it, and I messed up on that last one."

He wouldn't have minded if Ryan quit, but he was clearly the kind of man that fought to the bitter end, no matter what it takes. It was admirable in one way, but not so great in another. What surprised Niko was that, with the preliminaries over, she was actually unsatisfied and feeling cheated in her wins. Niko smiled as she mentioned personal junk and introduced herself.

"Nah, it's just a nickname. I'm Niko, and I'm in the military, usually working in stealth and in the dark."

He offered her a handshake, glad to finally meet someone he hadn't freaked out with his sudden, forceful attacks.
He barely felt the impact of Ryan's final blows against the impact that was thrown against him. His body had already been on fire from the previous damage, though it'd be sore later. What bothered Niko later was, of course, that he'd let this man hurt him so. As he got upright and they were taking Ryan away, he shook his head.

Should I have been more defensive? No, that wouldn't have helped. He'd've just whittled me down and backed me into a corner, and I can't afford that. I've got to press on, really apply myself properly against my foes.

He stood up when they called his name. Well, his code name. It's what he entered himself as here. Someone might've felt it was a bit silly, some wrestlers have even weirder names, so could anyone blame him? Still, as anyone cheering died down, he looked at his fellow competitors in a manner to say 'There, see? Not so scary, am I?', followed by getting off of the arena ground.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Once things had been cleared up, the sixteen remaining fighters were gathered, and the announcer stated what was to happen from here on. Those who made it farther would be staying here in their personal facilities. The man suggested getting some rest and Niko chuckled, muttering "Good idea.". He was gonna need it. As everyone began to disperse, he noticed the punchy girl from before had made it through, as well, though she looked far less damaged. Heh... Lucky. He stepped over to where she sat, not willing to sit yet because what he wanted to do was find a whole lot of ice to lie on.

"I guess some had it easier than others. You must've dominated."
@Balthazar007 I just noticed you said Niko fell unconscious when it was Ryan.
Oh my god! Double Stuffs! How can we tell who the the real one is?!
Urrgh! He'd screwed this up, somehow. He wasn't sure how Ryan was able to intercept that well in his bloodied condition, but since one of the man's traits was clearly the ability to power through alot of pain, he'd managed it and now they were both hurting. He'd managed to put the man on the brink, but...kidney shot! God, the pain...! Niko recoiled from it, getting a small amount of distance as that part of him felt like it was on fire. Ryan boasted, but Niko could see he was unsteady. Dammit, this was what he wanted to avoid! He was trying to take him down with him! That reckless charge wasn't exactly fast, but Niko had little time to react to it.

Why not just let the mat do the talking, then?

He tucked and rolled into the man's legs to try and force him to trip overhead, and eiher the guy would fall flat and knock himself out or he'd even ring himself out because he just can't stop.

-Tuck-and-roll, Power 40
Hey, no problems, man. And good to hear things are looking up!
The shock of having produced an arm almost without thinking was followed shortly by how much everybody changed around him so quickly. The Elite Squad had carried itself as professional, courteous, and even friendly when dealing with him, like he wasn't so much a monster but ust another person with just another set of skills they could add to their own. After the light and the steam, however, Eren witnessed a transformation so swift that all he could do was stare. Levi and Sara were keeping the others from practically pouncing and killing him on the spot, the look in their eyes almost frantic, like they were looking at a threat or an abomination.

Which he was.

The entire time, they had been using their training to keep calm in a threatening situation, when in reality they were ill-at-ease, tense and under pressure as they were to escort a Titan around. They thought they had been mentally prepared for this, but they hadn't, and it showed. Even Kate had flinched at all this, though she didn't remain violent. She was currently glaring at Hange, who was anything BUT freaked out, at this point. No, of course not. She wanted to touch it, and even if Eren had the resolve to say no, she was gonna do it anywway. The result? She drew back her hands in pain, shouting that it was hot without the skin on.

"Well, of course it's hot. You can see the steam rising."

Berratement towards Hange - which she ignored - followed as she rubbed her hands in the dirt, and then proceeded to ask Eren a slew of questions about the arm, what he could feel, if he could make it move, etc. Eren looked down at the thing he was attached to, realized what would happen if he pulled himself free, and did so. Naturally, Hange still wanted to test it first, which left her in a panic, but then she noticed the spoon. All that noise and mess, and yet the Titan arm had performed something so simple, yet requiring actual manual dexterity that no regular Titan had any hopes to perform. She pulled it out - Again, it was hot - and her eyes lit up with many thoughts regarding what this meant as people watched the arm dissolve.

Crisis averted, everyone could calm down...mostly.

"I've got it!"

I mean, there were some things - some people - would would never change. And while the phrase 'Eureka!' was never going to be uttered, due to nobody here knowing the cultural significance, Hange Zoe's declaration was about as close to it as they could possibly get. She had figured it out, and it all lay within the event that occurred just now.

"Titans need the sun's energy to move. They're not nearly as active during the night as day. For Eren to transform, he must have sufficient light to suddenly create that thunder and change his form around him."

This was as good an explanation for why he didn't transform inside the well as any. In fact, they'd practically proven the given limitation in his power by doing so. Likewise, their keeping him in a dark room so that if he transformed, he'd just be stuck where he was prevented him from doing so in the first place. They could try again at night and probably get the same results, and then they'd be positive. But this begged the question for just about anybody or everybody: Why now? To this, Hange simply turned to Eren.

"Eren, what were you doing before this occurred?"

"I was reaching for the spoon I'd dropped."

"Exactly. You were in pain and now you had sunlight, so you needed some kind of clear purpose, and then POW! A giant arm is grasping the spoon. It isn't even bent."

This further proved that not only could they predict and prevent unexpected transformation, but they could reliably know that Eren had actual control, that in fact he needed a reason to, or else it might not happen. So, it was kind of fortunate - to Kate's mind - that there was probably nobody more focused on killing the Titans as Eren Jaeger. It was an obsession, much like her own work, which reminded her...

"Aunt Hange, I think it's time to show them..."

"Show them? Oh, right! Yes, we should."

It was time for the demonstration, though first...Eren would be meeting an unexpected duo.
Apart from the fact that distractions were a part of life as is, at no point did Asagi wish to lash out at someone making an honest mistake. After all, she had had her own mistakes in the past. Certainly it would've been hypocritical for her to get on the case of someone who'd had some kind of circumstance punish her, already. We are, of course, speaking of the very obvious cyber-limbs Nina was sporting. There were those that got cybernetic augmentation merely for their benefit, and hopefully that wasn't the case with her, because Nina seemed like a decent sort who - quite clearly - just wanted to be a helpful member of the team. Such things should be encouraged, and therefore so should their training. So no, she was actually fine with the interruption, and as they settled into taking out more robots, the computer would need time to adjust to their double-act, which was giving Nina the time she needed to get use to it. She had marveled at the complexity, though.

"When you work for government, you get the good shit."

Of course, Nina also stated that she didn't really want to stay for too long, as she'd been busy - or busied - with some kind of interrogation and her main equipment wasn't with her at the moment. Wait, a crossbow? This, Karine had to see. While the other woman was talking, she set a camera search to identify a weapon on the premises. Sure enough, there was a heavy crossbow that looked like it could penetrate certain armor-plating, especially if it had explosive bolts.

"Kind of an unusual thing to carry, if you ask me. Still, I shouldn't be on too much longer. Someone'll say I'm not doing my actual job."

Of course, even the use of such a hefty device would mean nothing if it held no drain on your own stamina. As much as all this action barely used Asagi's stamina, she noted that Nina was barely phased in here. The special legs no more tapped her organic side than it would Karine herself. After a moment or two more, though, the Japanese woman sent the silent command to disengaged the program. All at once, the robots would go as limp as mannequins, sometimes just dropping in place like ragdolls. It was fine, though. Something you didn't notice in the dark was that after a robot is 'killed', they don't just pile up, but quietly slink away with a 'dead' mark on them. Even if knocked off a limb from some super-strong attack, they had modular parts that disconnect before breaking, most times, and they'd collect them as they left, where possible. These ones would clean themselves up as they headed back into the walls, as well. The room would soon appear like an empty storage space now as Asagi straightened up, pulling off the VR gear.

"That's enough, for now. My name's Asagi."

And now, Nina could clearly see that it wasn't just the woman's limbs that were replacements, but also her eyes, which were red in color. At least her eyelids were intact and that she could blink. Not blinking would've been a bit too freaky, let's be honest. They were about to engage in a few pleasantries here, talking, but then Asagi paused as she got an automated report, basically like Robocop would. Her HUD put text to the screen and had an audio backing, courtesy of Kazankova.

ALERT


Takai Shunsen injured during pursuit of Iwata Honomi. Iwata presumed dead. Report follows:

"It's Kaz, the whole situation is absolutely fucked! Whatever son of a bitch gave you the intel on this shitshow in the Exclusion Zone is a fucking traitor, you walked us right into a goddamn ambush! The building was rigged to blow and I count at least four dead civilians and there's probably more. Get medics over here now damnit! And tell the fucking morons in Intelligence that I hope they all fucking choke to death!"

You could easily see the transition on her face from friendly conversational Asagi to professional on-the-job Asagi as her momentary glare at nothing changed to her turning to Nina with a serious look on her face, addressing her with a tone that matched her expression.

"Get your equipment. I'll be refilling my weapons here and I'll meet you back in the corridor. We may have an internal situation."
Time passed, and with it, so did some matches. Niko spent his time watching those who were fighting, observing them and their styles as no doubt alot of people were of him. People were wary of what he'd done, so far, and he ddn't blame 'em, but...Niko felt kinda' bad over it. Even still, that didn't curb him from watching and appraising his potential opponents. While his leg was starting to feel a little better, it was aching a bit, but at least it wasn't serious. Serious would be, perhaps, the word for his next opponent.

Ryan had been the epitome of improvised combat and dirty play. Anything that hadn't been in the rules, rules which he must've studied to get some actual loopholes for, he was basically exploiting. Not that the rules were entirely explicit on matters. They were basic ones to keep everything fair between people. That said, because he wasn't so much as skilled as hardy as hell, he'd gotten through his last match looking like Doomguy at 10% health, and we mean classic Doom, where he has a face, not modern Doom, which was essentially Doom 4.

This was the guy that Niko had beeen called up to fight, and as much as other people were relieved not to be fighting Niko himself, HE didn't really want a piece of Ryan. The guy might do something unsportsman-like, such as make it impossible for Niko to continue, should he overpower the guy. That was why he definitely needed to overpower him, and quickly. On 'Go', Niko ran forward, dropped his hands down, and flipped so that both legs were flung first at Ryan's mid-section to foot-slam him hard enough to either down him quickly or send him right out of the fighting ring!

-Vaulting double-foot strike, Power 80
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