|King Beef Initiated to Grade 2, picking up Invocation and the Great Form Spirit ritual; he also successfully summoned and bound a F3 great form plant spirit which endowed him with Regeneration.|
In which King Beef settles an old score and takes his first steps to regaining the championship belt.
King Beef entered the shadows in order to gain fighting experience after losing the Seattle Superheavyweight Championship Belt to a cyclops fighter named Odysseus - ever since then he has dreamed of revenge against the fighter who took his title from him. Having acquired a lot of experience recently, he is now ready for his rematch.
Following the events of his last run, King Beef wakes up from a truly heroic K-10 crash (see: All I Want for Christmas is K-10 for more information, though the title should be self-explanatory). He finds that he has presents waiting for him under the tree, including one from his fixer, The Man - it's a pay-per-view access ticket to the title bout for the Superheavyweight Championship, and an invitation to come watch it at his gym. After feeding his cyberwolf Princess Sparkles her Christmas dinner he heads out to meet with The Man.
The fight is a truly spectacular one - the current defender, Mercury, is a large and powerful fighter, but he ends up having the belt taken from him by a giant mystic adept calling themselves Apollo. While watching the fight, KB notices the giant employ a technique that intrigues him (State of Purity) which he takes note of. After, The Man asks if KB feels ready to take on a fighter like that - he says that he thinks he's ready, that he has a shot at the belt, and The Man agrees - in fact, he's even set up the first leg of his comeback tour.
The Man tells King Beef that he's managed to track down Odysseus, the cyclops adept who took the belt from KB before losing it himself not long after; evidently he fell out of the professional industry after burning out for cyberware muscles and ended up in the underground fighting circuit brawling in cage matches for syndicates in Tacoma. The Man has set KB up with a fight there, lending him a trio of CU^3 to broadcast the proceedings with the hopes of spreading the word that the champ is back and ready for another shot at the title.
After arranging for a proper entourage and a limo to take him to the fight club in style, King Beef rolls up in a cheep tear-away suit with his adoring fans ready for the fight of his life. He is met by a sneering mafioso, who declares that he lost a lot of money on KB when he lost the belt and will look forward to seeing him get killed by "Nobody". Slightly puzzled, he makes his way inside to witness the cybercyclops dismembering his opponent while his optic drone records everything to the booming cheers of the crowd.
Making his way to the ring, King Beef spots a very old distracted-looking man near the ringside holding a towel but not really paying attention to the fight - he is Mickey Marciano, and his focus will soon be drawn to the mighty minotaur mysad as KB makes his grand enterance to a jeering crowd that literally throws perfectly good tomatoes at him. Undeterred, he steps into the ring, manifesting his new mentor's mask (the golden pelt of the Nemean Lion, draped across the shoulders of a Streetwise Hercules) as he goes.
The Man has told King Beef that he wants a nice exciting fight - no taking the opponent down in a few seconds, but a real scrap that will get the crowd's blood pumping and keep people excited to see what happens next. His opponent, now calling himself "Nobody", is an enormous cyclops who fights with his occular drone out of his head just for fun, with obviously cybernetically enhanced muscles and a wired reflex system; he is also a carrier of HMHVV III after a ghoul tore out his original eye, a fact which KB is not aware of. With this in mind, the round breakdown is as follows:
Round 1: FIGHT! Nobody is wired up and on betakami, so he beats out King Beef on the initiative track and opens things up with a brutal haymaker which King Beef is forced to block, putting him on the back foot (or rather hoof) right away. He decides to pre-emptively block, fighting defensively for perhaps the first time in his career, adrenaline surgeing and throwing out his own haymaker which is blocked in turn by Nobody. The cyclops responds by going on full offence, throwing a vicious punch which KB barely manages to dodge - the crowd cheers, while the old man in the tracksuit and derby hat stops watching an AR recording and begins paying attention to the fight. KB manages to deliver a solid strike to his opponents abdomen, however he ends up struck right back in his solar plexus and knocked on his ass, ending the round 0-1 for Nobody.
Round 2: FIGHT! After being slap-patched and auto-doc'd, King Beef is ready for round 2 - Nobody is still faster than him, but he is able to pre-emptively block the predictable opening strike this time before adrenaline surging and going on the attack. The two superheavyweight titans throw devastating blow after blow at one another while money changes hands among the fight club patrons and the jaded old man starts to cheer for the minotaur to "hit him, fragging hit him!" - KB obliges by cracking the ballistic glass covering the cyclops's empty eye socket, so the cyclops responds by clinching him before employing his Ti Khao manuver and slamming his striking-callous'd fist into KB's face from a superior position, brutally breaking his nose and very briefly knocking him out cold in the process.
Round 3: FIGHT! King Beef awakens to the autodoc patching his wounds as the old man slap-patches him back onto his feet. After a pep talk, KB decides it's time to break out the big guns - he speedballs K-10 and accelerator, injecting the concoction as the old man looks on in shock before taking 4 physical damage from the drug interactions and going berzerk. Nobody grins with glee, injecting himself with K-10 as well, and the two square off to riotous applause from the crowd.
Once again Nobody is slightly faster, but KB manages to block before returning with his patented ELECTRIC PUNCH, winding Nobody and putting him on the defensive - that doesn't last long though as he goes on full offence and puts the minotaur into a clinch. He's able to avoid KB's incoming blow before preparing another brutal strike - this time a finishing move to rip out KB's spine and show it to him before he dies. The minotaur has other plans however, avoiding the attack by the skin of his teeth before uttering a final gratuitous taunt to his old rival before putting his fist through Nobody's chest, tearing through it in an explosion of blood to thunderous cheers.
Unfortunately for King Beef, he is now bleeding profusely because of accelerator and is covered in blood which, unbeknownst to him, is carrying strain III of HMHVV. Thankfully KB manages not to get infected through his open wounds, and he has enough presence of mind to slap a dopamine patch on himself in order to calm down from the berzerker's rage he is in from the K-10, while the old man hits him with a trauma patch to stop the bleeding. Claiming Nobody's Rockblood Signature armoured shirt as a trophy of his victory, KB soaks in the adulation of the crowd before the accelerator crash hits and the hallucinations start.
KB witnesses Nobody begin to get back up for a rematch, followed by the entire crowd horrifically morphing into twisted copies of the cyclops - an unliving army which he cannot possibly hope to fight. He bellows in terror, tearing his way out of the cage and smashing blow-ing his way through the walls of the locker room and out the side of the building, proceeding to go on a rampage through Tacoma as he blacks out.
Waking up in an allyway covered in garbage, KB finds that a soft rain is falling as the sun rises. He rises to his feet, sore and hurting but feeling renewed and with a new sense of purpose. As he prepares to go back to check on Princess Sparkles, the old man from the club emerges into the allyway to find him standing there. He launches into a tirade about how KB is a bum, how he has all the gifts and potential in the world and is wasting them fighting washed-up killers while has-bins like him look on. For literally the first time in his life King Beef actually takes the time to consider the consequences of his actions, and the old man seems touched by the reaction - his face softens, and he invites KB inside to watch the footage of the fight, as well as the Horizon News Network coverage of it. The two end up bonding, and he subsequently agrees to train King Beef to live up to his true potential.
A day or two later, after learning a bit of Greek and meditating in his lodge on the spiritual art of Invocation, King Beef puts his previous research into the nature of plant spirits to the test by summoning a small incarnation of Gaia before imbuing it with mana through the new technique he has learned - he achieves a truly astonishing number of net hits, managing to bind the spirit to his will as well before commanding it to endow him with the regeneration power, and the world trembles just a bit at the thought...
- Initiation to Grade 2 (Invocation: Great Form Ritual)
- Quality Reward: Sensei (Unarmed Combat)
- Contact Reward: Mickey Marciano, C2/L4 Semi-Retired Boxing Coach
- Gear Reward: Rockblood Signature Armoured Shirt w/ AR Fashion, R6 Non-conductivity, and YNT Softweave
- +2 CDP
- +1 Public Awareness
- +1 chip on The Man