Description: Once the storm has passed, Nightwolf gives Raiden a brief explanation of how the modern world works and what are their biggest current threats. It is then decided that the best way to reach to mortals is to use the media, because handing out invitations to mortal tournaments is so passe nowadays.
When a God tells you that they are going off for a stroll, you get out of the way and tell them to enjoy themselves.
That was pretty much what the Sin Eater Nightwolf had to do when Raiden decided that the best way to rediscover Earthrealm was to head into the nearest city to witness the advance of man with his own eyes. Although the shaman could not argue with the reasoning behind this as Raiden /desperately/ needed to get re-acquainted with the realm he once swore to protect, Nightwolf would have preferred to accompany him, as he is well versed in the art of traveling amongst mortals undetected.
He didn't get the chance to voice his protests before Raiden was gone, and so he waited in a more secluded part of Southtown that had a definite rustic air about it. Southtown Village would not only provide a more familiar environment for the God of Thunder to travel, but it would also help Nightwolf to calm his nerves as he sat worrying of what may befall Lord Raiden as he walked unchecked in the nearby city. The shaman had realized by now what was the God's problem, he was probably still stuck in the memory of his last incarnation, which was surely hundreds upon hundreds of years ago. Things had changed.. and he had a lot to explain to the God of Thunder.
Currently, Nightwolf sat crossed legged at the base of a sakura tree, sipping on some tea. What else could he do but wait for Raiden's return? Besides, he was surely worrying about this too much. What could possibly threaten Raiden in Southtown? Aside from running into the Syndicate.. or some Illuminati enforcers.. or even Shadaloo agents... or maybe more Darkstalkers.. or Outworld invaders??? AAAAAAH!!!
Raiden has thankfully gotten his lightning under control, and it no longer influences the environment around him. So no more storms following him around, no more lightning randomly striking the ground where he stands-- none of that. Which is probably good for the village, because huge bolts of lightning randomly striking the ground in a place where there are a lot of people is always a bad thing.
Also thankfully, nothing really weird had happened on Raiden's walk. Well, comparatively not-weird, anyway. Aside from the odd meeting with Frederick, after Raiden had concentrated on getting his effect on the local electricity under control, all that had happened is that he'd gotten a few weird looks. But it had been a valuable learning experience. Amongst other things, Raiden had learned that the whole city seemed to be covered with manmade lightning now. Which could prove a boon in the future, if he ever needed extra strength for something.
Nightwolf would get a split-second warning of Raiden's approach... a slight sizzling of the air, the smell of ozone, and the feeling of the hairs on the back of his neck raising the way they would if lightning were about to strike. And then about ten feet away, gentle blue lightning strikes the ground-- if lightning can indeed be gentle-- and the form of the Thunder God appears, as if growing from the lightning itself.
Being a fighter, the Sin Eater is well accustomed to making split second reactions. Or split second decisions in this case as he was taking a drink from his tea when he felt the electricity in the air and wisely decided that the incoming presence didn't warrant him spitting his tea and getting into a fighting stance.
His prediction proves right as a visage that gives him much relief appears before him, recognizing the familiar shape of the Thunder God. Nightwolf rises from his seat before setting his cup down on the grass to greet the Thunder God. "Haokah." It seems that Nightwolf has reverted to calling Raiden to a name he is more familiar with, hopefully the God will be okay with that. "How were your travels?" He asks, knowing that Raiden probably has a lot of questions.
Nightwolf also motions to the ground for Raiden to sit where he has a handmade blanket, a tea set, some food, and surprisingly enough, a laptop. The Sin Eater has been at this job for quite a while and is well prepared.
Raiden becomes aware of Nightwolf's presence quickly, and offers a polite nod to the greeting. He seems okay with Nightwolf calling him the more familiar name. It's familiar to Raiden too, somehow, even if he doesn't know how he knows it, or when he was called it. He also accepts the invitation to sit. Heading over to the blanket, he lowers himself to sit down. Though he gives the laptop a dubious look. Not because he doesn't like it. Because he's a little afraid his proximity is going to damage it. Hopefully not.
"Questions? Yes. I have many," Raiden agrees. "So many that I do not know where to begin." Always candid and honest, was Raiden. "The world has indeed changed so much from what I remember." Which also confuses him, since he doesn't actually HAVE any memories of walking the world. Yet he has an instinctive understanding of things, and the world as it is now does not match up with his understanding.
"Perhaps the memories will return, in time." Wonders Nightwolf out loud as he takes a seat before Raiden, on the opposite side of the blanket. He suspects that because the Thunder God has a mortal body now he will be in need of eating and pours him a cup of tea whilst sliding some bread and hummus, always good for what ails you as far as Nightwolf is concerned.
"I've deduced." Continues Nightwolf as he takes another sip of his tea. "That it must be at least more than 200 years since the last time you walked Earthrealm, Lord Raiden. Had it been more recently my tribe would have no tales of a thunder spirit named Haokah." He stares with those blank eyes of his at the seated God before him. "It is likely that you visited us tribes of the plains last, for it was about that time when the tradition of the Sin Eater was developed. No doubt as a way to emulate your commitment to Earthrealm."
The shaman sets his tea cup down and draws the laptop close to him. "That is, strange as it may sound, mostly irrelevant for the moment. The advancement of humankind can be learned at its own pace, for it is the numerous factions that have developed over the years that should concern us the most. You see, Haokah, not all humans would come to the defense of Earthrealm where Outworld to attack us."
He opens the Nightwolf and starts to type in a few things. "Before we begin I would like to know what you found in Southtown. Did anyone recognize you, for instance? Asked you any questions? It is unlikely that only a lone curious Darkstalker and I sensed your return to this realm."
"...Perhaps," Raiden agrees. Though the thought of what he would do if they didn't crossed his mind. But... even if they did, would it be at all useful? Those memories... they were obviously of a time long past. It would behoove him more to learn of the world as it is now, as if he had no preconcieved notions of how the world should work.
Nightwolf's information prompts a slight frown of confusion. Two-hundred years ago? It makes sense. "That would explain why I remember the name 'Haokah'. Why I remember having been called that." The world seems to have changed much in that time! Two-hundred years isn't very long to a god, after all.
And the mention of humans that wouldn't come to Earthrealm's defense? Raiden actually nods, as if he expected that. "Not all humans have the strength to fight an invasion. Particularly not these humans. Many are caught up in merely being busy. That much, at least, has not changed. Only the signs of it." Instead of briskly walking along the streets with parcels they walk briskly along the streets with small devices in their ears.
And there's the question. Once more Raiden nods. "A man who called himself 'Frederick'. He seemed to know I would be a location I visited. He presented himself as a messenger of the 'Illuminati', and claimed they were the only people who could do anything about this invasion. He brought word of a ninja in red and gold who used souls to attack."
Nightwolf uncharacteristically chuckles softly when Raiden explains him that none other than the Illuminati where the first ones to approach him in his travels. "How very fitting." Mutters the shaman as he begins to access some files in his laptop. "I am sure this Frederick explained you why the subject of divinity is of great interest to them." The shaman does frown when the Thunder God says that they've had an encounter with red and gold ninja who used souls as a weapon.
"This must be the Outworlder that I've been hunting for some time. I've not been successful in tracking him just yet, his path seems very erratic, though it always brushes past people with evil in their souls." He recalls his loathsome experience with that woman Gabriel and wrinkles his nose in distaste. "He will be found soon enough, and when we do we will know more of what Outworld has planned for Earthrealm."
"It is unfortunate that most mortals do not know of the past." Continues the Sin Eater. "And are as such doomed to repeat it. Empires rise and fall as the cycle repeats itself and these times are not very different from ancient history. There will always be, as you know, humans that covet nothing but power."
The Sin Eater turns the laptop towards the Thunder God to show him a series of slides, it looks like Nightwolf has prepared a little presentation for Raiden. When he presses a slide a brief text appear about the organization followed by mug shot of their leader. "Haokah, these are the ones that are most likely to fight against us should an invasion occur. The big five as I would like to call them."
"The first is a local one called the Southtown Syndicate. It dabbles in mostly legal business, though it is common knowledge that their intentions are wholly self-serving. Their leader is a man called Geese Howard."
"Next is Shadaloo, a terrorist organization and public enemy number one. Their leader is a man named Vega."
"The R Organization is next, headed by Rugal. They dabble in the commerce of weapons."
"Heihachi Mishima, owner of the Mishima corporation. They are obsessed with creating powerful fighters at any cost."
"Finally it is Ultratech, they most innovative of the group. They specialize in technology and it is likely they incorporate such experiments to their fighters."
"Naturally there are many more factions, but these are the ones I know and the more likely to hinder our efforts."
"In a way," Raiden replies, of Frederick's explanation. "From the way he spoke, it seemed that his organization had been attempting to attend a god's descent to Earthrealm for some time. He did not say for what purpose. Though he seemed to indicate that it was for the defense of Earthrealm." Which of course, Raiden can get behind. Then again, Frederick may have only been telling Raiden what he wanted to hear.
As for what Outworld plans for Earthrealm? "Frederick also mentioned something this ninja said. 'Shao Kahn wants a war' were his words." He pauses, though, as Nightwolf begins his presentation. And he listens, processes the information, considers. He also shifts to be away from the laptop, not wanting to accidentally destroy it.
Though something does confuse him. "Why would they choose to side with Outworld if Shao Kahn invades? The humans in these organizations too will be brought low, perhaps killed and their souls taken from them. It does not benefit them to side with Outworld in the case of an invasion."
"Not necessarily, Haokah." Nightwolf is quick to point out as soon as Raiden questions the self-destructive nature of humans, as the shaman knew the God of Thunder would do. "Although it is very unlikely any of these organizations will openly support Shao Kahn, an invasion from Outworld to Earthrealm would create a power vacuum. It would give any of the ones mentioned the opportunity to usurp complete power of this world. If anything, there are many here in Earthrealm that would benefit from the chaos that Shao Kahn's armies would bring, as they would sell their protection to only those that would benefit them or even strike deals with this tyrant so that they could share power." He pauses and takes a deep breath. "If I am to be completely honest with you, Lord Raiden. I would not put it past any of these organizations to actively try to open a portal leading to Outworld if they think they would benefit from it."
Nightwolf rests his hands on his knees as he keeps the crossed legged position, debating a few things. "Haokah." He murmurs looking immensely sad for some reason, its a sadness that pierces through the veil of his stoic ever stone eyed expression, it restrains it only barely, but Raiden will be able to tell that it's there. "War is a business, and if Shao Kahn wants it there are many who would seek to If seek profit from this. If you would forgive my audacity, if there is one word of advice I can give you, it is to never underestimate how far humans will go for the sake of their greed. Believe me.. I know." Despite the fact that the skinwalker does not tell Raiden why is it exactly that he knows of this, the sincerity of his words and expression should be enough, at least in a spiritual level, for Raiden to tell that he is not kidding. Perhaps later when Raiden recalls his past lives, will he know what sort of history does Nightwolf have with greed.
As always, the hint of emotion quickly washes away from Nightwolf's expression, quickly returning to his ever intense and tenacious look of his blank eyes, ready and willing to do all it takes to save Earthrealm. "How should we best proceed?"
Raiden looks taken aback when Nightwolf mentions one of these groups actually being the ones to open portals to Outworld. "Humans have grown more foolhardy," he observes in a murmur, shaking his head. That's bad. But then, he remembers humans as children. Perhaps, like human children, humans as a whole must grow up. Children were said to be their most rebellious and self-destructive in their teenage years...
Oh yes, Raiden senses that sadness. Sadness that resonates beyond just being disappointed in one's fellow man. Sadness that goes down to true dislike of one's fellow man's tendencies. The kind of disappointment when one's brother hurts him to steal something from him that he could have gotten much more easily by just asking, but said brother preferred to hurt one for it.
"...You've seen much," Raiden observes. Even for the short life of a human, Nightwolf has seen much. Raiden can sense that. All the more reason his counsel is so valuable in this. Nightwolf knows humans much better. There's not a lot Raiden can say to comfort the Sin-Eater, though. Even if he DID know what one said in such a situation.
Raiden thinks about the answer to the question of what should be done. "Any of these organizations could just as easily be friend as foe. If there IS an invasion from Outworld planned, we cannot afford to fight them yet. It would leave everyone vulnerable. Since it seems merely telling the leaders of these groups not to ally with Outworld will not help, perhaps we could color their views of it. If they believe Shao Kahn would sooner crush them than ally with them, that he will turn on them as soon as he has what he wants, perhaps they will be less likely to throw their lots in with him."
Nightwolf wasn't fishing for pity from the God of Thunder, even if he had offered kind words of consolation, Nightwolf knows that the time for talking is long gone. Now it is the time for action, he has known so ever since he accepted the mantle of the Sin Eater.
"Then it is your duty to teach them, Haokah." The skinwalker adds to Raiden's comment of how foolish humanity has grown in his absence. "Because they have certainly ignored all of my words." Raiden's arrival certainly has sparked a small light of hope within the shaman, who had until very recently thought all will be lost soon despite his efforts. His sacrifices would have been for naught, had Raiden not arrived when he did. Now, they actually had a fighting chance.
"I expect I'll see much more." The shaman offers a sad smile once Raiden offers his idea of speaking with these leaders and reason with them. "This will difficult." Admits the Sin Eater "These men are not known for their willingness to speak with the public. Furthermore I do not know even know where they reside. It could take me years to track them all down and that is without considering the inevitable resistance they will put once they know someone is looking for their leaders. Fighting their assassins, the Darkstalkers and whatever Outworlders are already in this realm would be a daunting task..." He rubs his chin. "Perhaps.." And then his blank white eyes widen in realization. "Perhaps.. we can make a more public announcement."
Nightwolf pulls the laptop towards him and types a few things, muttering something about terrible Wi Fi. "Here we are, the Saturday Night Fight website." He glances at Raiden. "Haokah, how would you feel about a martial arts exhibition?"
Raiden nods; that was one of the reasons he came to Earthrealm, wasn't it? To teach? Even if not, it feels like a natural thing to do. And humankind could only benefit from it. And it's not even in a boasting way that he believes this. As Nightwolf said, it's Raiden's duty. He listens to Nightwolf's assessment of the organizations. "Humans band together in like-minded groups. And the stronger wills always rise to the top of those groups. After leading for so long, it will be difficult for these leaders to admit they do not know everything."
And then the Sin-Eater is suggesting a martial arts exhibition? Raiden raises a brow. "A demonstration?" he inquires, looking to the 'web site'. He saw no webs or spiders, but this was hardly the time to question that. Rubbing his chin in thought, "Hmm... a show of power?" It seems a remarkably simple solution to it all. "It would succeed in drawing attention to us. Win or loss, many would seek us merely for the chance to challenge a worthy opponent. Though I fear I may injure potential allies in such an event." Breaking people is hardly the best way of recruit them. Except in fear of being broken again.
On this Nightwolf will have to vehemently agree and he nods. "I have seen far too many be corrupted by power. Even if they may have started with good intentions, it is inevitable that they will fall to the whims of mortality if they lack the wisdom to manage their positions." A glance to the side away from Raiden. "Many of these Darkstalkers are perfect examples. With nothing but time and power in their hands they succumb to hedonistic existences. It is always either too much purpose or a complete lack of it." A shake of his head. "The balance is completely lost in this world."
And yet, there is still hope. "The world has changed a lot in the last few hundred years, Haokah." Nightwolf explains. "Where before the martial arts were used exclusively for survival, now they are used mostly for entertainment purposes, with entire organizations and schools dedicated to prize fighting. The Saturday Night Fight event is the most popular, even sponsored by many of the organizations I just mentioned if I recall correctly. It will be the fastest and most effective way for our message to travel. It will remind people that the true defender of Earthrealm still watches over them."
Nightwolf smiles softly when Raiden sounds concerned about accidentally obliterating a fighter, even if it is a genuine concern. "Do not worry, Haokah. Humanity may not have grown in wisdom but it has grown greatly in power. Many of these fighters are remarkably tough to kill, it is very unlikely there will be a fatality considering the modern medical methods these organizations employ." Famous last words? Guess we'll see.
Raiden is not unaware of the irony. And a warning-- with nothing but time and power in his own hands, is Raiden doomed to fall to that fate as well? Will he be able to tell when the descent begins? Will he stray away from that precipice when it beckons, or will he hurl himself over the edge of madness with glee?
Ultimately, it doesn't matter. Not now. Time will tell. But there's no way to know now what will happen in the future. And there's also no reason to dwell on it. What matters now is this current problem. So, aside from a nod of agreement with Nightwolf's assessment, Raiden doesn't comment. Though his face looks troubled.
Though the explanation of how fighting works here in the 'new' world is surprising. "I would not have expected that, if power has grown faster than wisdom. I would have expected battles to be more deadly, in fact. But, I suppose that is a blessing." Tougher humans means he won't have to be too terribly careful with his opponents. And he may in fact NEED to use much of his power. But he's still going to be careful.
Though he is reminded of something Frederick said. "The one from the Illuminati. He mentioned that there would be those who would seek to prevent me from fulfilling my duties as protector of Earthrealm. He believes that there would be attempts on my existence." He can't really call it 'life', because... well, is he mortal? Hard to say. And Raiden's not really in any hurry to find out. "I am not afraid. But would this 'Saturday Night Fight' need to be done secretly?" Meaning, should he use a pseudonym? "Or would that defeat the purpose?"
Only time will tell. Raiden isn't the only one who might be doomed by the very nature of their existence. Nightwolf too, as a Sin Eater, runs the risk of straying from the path. Should he be successful in his journey and live to become truly powerful, he could succumb to all the sins he has eaten and become a demon himself. He, on the other hand, does understand the irony, because succeeding in his duty to defend all means running the risk of becoming into the very thing he hates. Only through failure can he escape his fate through death.. and to him that feels rather selfish. Ultimately, Nightwolf can take comfort that both he and Raiden have the one thing these madmen tyrants and hedonistic Darkstalkers lack. Balance. The balance to know when its too much to sacrifice for your purpose. Even if that balance becomes harder and harder to maintain as time goes by and power is gathered.
"Power has indeed grown much faster than wisdom." The shaman agrees. "But it is fortunate that humanity has a way of being... easily distracted. 'To the people; bread and circus' is a popular saying. These fights keep the populace very entertained and it distracts them from the true troubles that plague the world. It gives many the tools needed to control the people." Nightwolf shrugs one shoulder not wanting to look like he is against the notion of prize fighting, he has on occasion dabbled in it too. "It is a double edged sword. Like anything humans make, it has its good uses and its bad ones."
As for that word of warning from their friends in the Illuminati? "He is correct." Nightwolf says quickly. "Once your presence is known to all there will be indubitably many a misguided soul that could try to attack you, simply because you are not 'their' God. It is why I would suggest to enter the fight with a fake name and only reveal your true identity when you think it will make the biggest impact." No, Nightwolf is not going to suggest a name for Raiden. He suspects the God of Thunder will be creative enough to come up with one on his own.
Raiden doesn't seem particularly inclined to judge Nightwolf for dabbling in prizefighting. Particularly if it's as prolific as he says. From the sounds of it, it hasn't progressed to the level of bloodsport merely for the sake of death (at least, not publically). And Raiden couldn't say he was any less violent when the mood struck him. "It is a double-edged sword I will need to be careful not to cut myself with. But this makes sense," he agrees.
And the confirmation of the warning gets an affirmative sound. "That is indeed what he seemed to be indicating." Frederick had mentioned his group were likely to be 'the only people likely to be even a little OK with' Raiden's existence. And that others were likely to want to eliminate new variables.
"The moment it would make the most impact? When my time in the battle is at an end, perhaps?" he inquires. As in, when either he wins or is eliminated from the competition.
All that could change should Shao Kahn manage to conquer Earthrealm. If things looked grim now, it did not even compare to what kind of horrors would be unleashed upon the world if the barriers were broken and the tyrant of Outworld were to make his way through here. Nightwolf is more than capable of tolerating prize fighting if it means favoring over its more brutal Outworld counter part. "Tread carefully now, Lord." The skinwalker warns, though his tone almost seems jokingly, which is strange for someone as stoic as Nightwolf. "You wield now the weapons of humanity, and those have the tendency of exploding on the hands who wield it."
Unknown to Raiden, the shaman had already been filling out the SNF application for the God. Its fortunate that the SNF officials didn't require a whole lot of information to participate. When Raiden wonders to the shaman what time would be best to truly dazzle the crowd, Nightwolf responds by turning the laptop to him. "That is something I cannot answer for you, Haokah. You will know best when to win the crowd to your side, either through an act of humble mercy, or a more spectacular display. Either way, simply know that humans tend to favor the dramatic far more often than anything more substantial." If Raiden were to look down on the laptop now, he'll see that Nightwolf is motioning for the part where he has to put his name. The time to act was indeed now.
Raiden senses the humor in the tone, and tilts his head. Though at the mention of the weapons of humans exploding in the wielder's hands, the corner of Raiden's mouth turns up in a smirk. "That I know well," he assures Nightwolf, an audible trace of wryness in his voice. Even without much knowledge of modern humans. "That much, at least, never seems to change."
And then Nightwolf turns the laptop to face Raiden. The Thunder God draws back, not quite trusting the device. But at least he can read what's on the screen. It's asking for a name input, a thin black vertical bar blinking in the little input area. And there is a board of letters below the screen, letters that he had seen Nightwolf pressing with his fingers. So that must be how the input was entered.
Raiden raises a hand. Looks between the tip of his index finger and the keyboard a few times, dubiously. Speaking of exploding in one's own hands... this thing isn't going to explode when he touches it, is it? He hopes not. It'd be inconvenient-- at BEST-- if he couldn't interact with human technology because he kept blowing it up. He's gotten his lightning under control, it should be all right.
As he brings his hand toward the laptop, he thinks. He remembers the names he's known by elsewhere. 'Remembers', actually-- he doesn't have any memories of being called these things... but somehow he knows them. And so he types out the one that's the least likely to get him looked at funny. Or, he hopes, give his identity away too quickly. Or worse, get him thrown out! Finding the letters is a bit of a chore-- why aren't they in alphabetical order? Nonetheless, he types out the name.
Log created on 14:08:07 12/08/2014 by Nightwolf, and last modified on 09:52:05 12/09/2014.