Description: It was inevitable. The participants in the Trouble in Paradise tournament and their friends are assembled on the beach for a rousing beach volleyball competition. Numerous nets have been erected for the purpose of allowing these mighty warriors to display their-- let's go with skills. But in insisting that this beachball battle take place, the host ignores the warnings of his associates that inclement weather looms. Suppressing the rumors of a typhoon warning, Mad King Zack recklessly proceeds with his pulchritudinous plans. The day is clear as the guests gather, but for how long? With the winds slowly rising, the game promises to be extreme indeed ...
The moment we've all been waiting for has arrived.
Niki Beach is flush with folks today, its white sands dotted with numerous temporary volleyball nets and brightly-colored beachballs. Zack surveys his kingdom from a perch high above, a temporary structure like that of a lifeguard's post representing his towering throne. Here, at last, he has gathered as many of the participants he has muster to do beach battle in the only contest that matters: swimsuit-clad volleyball.
Needless to say, the tourists that have flocked to Zack Island for its grand opening have gathered as well, providing more live spectactors than normal, though they are not to be outdone by the ubiquitous camera crews, who are definitely present for this event.
The skies above are blue and the sea around is calm. Whatever faint rumors some may have heard of inclement weather seem to have been unconfirmed. If you squint into the distance, you may see what looks to be stormclouds brewing far off -- but why would you look away?
"Haaaa ha ha ha ha! Oh, /baby/!"
Zack sure isn't.
"This is what I'm /talkin'/ about!"
Laughing merrily, flashing blinding white teeth, Zack, resplendent in neon green swimming trunks and space ace sunglasses, fiddles with the turntables that have been hooked up to his glorified high-chair. Speakers installed in the base of it blast out the music that he DJs, possibly so as to form a defensive barrier. It's quite the set-up he's got going on for him up there, and quite the investment he's put into this event occurring right now, here amidst the masses on Niki Beach.
Time to really put on a show.
Natsu Ayuhara was already here at the island -- when she'd heard of all the tourists flocking to the volleyball courts, the Gorin athlete couldn't -not- be in attendance! The Southtown student's already been playing v-ball against a few of the tourists -- playing in one pickup match or another for a while now. So far, no one's been playing for keeps, of course -- though, it would seem that her presence is a definite boon to whichever team the amazonesque player is on! She's acoutred with a suit known as the Andromeda -- available in Zack of All Trades, of course! -- a black one-piece with teal trim lining the sides and hips, leading its way to the shoulder straps. The quiet volleyballer may have been a fish out of water for most of the cameras up till now, but there ought to be plenty of shots of her cheerful smile, now that she's truly in her element!
The only thing Johnny likes more than volleyball is watching hot babes play volleyball, which is what he's here to do. The movie star arrives with some of his entourage trailing him like cans on strings attached to a newlywed's car; they are just as annoyingly noisy too. This time he's wearing a skimpier speedo in a hawaiian pattern and not much else besides comfy sandals. Upon arrival he is greeted by the tourists, and he gives them the customary waves, blown kisses or autographs. Ah, now maybe this would be a normal relaxing party for once.
Miss Ayuhara is far from the only creature uncomfortable in this environment. In every sense, Zack Island's distinctly... welcoming ambience is ill-suited to a woman of God, and whilst Amy Johnson may be unorthodox within her role - indeed, she's found her own amusement here, even on important business - she has conducted herself poorly by the peculiar standards of Zack Island. Is she a good volleyball player? Who knows. It may be a question that goes unanswered, or she might surprise herself again.
The Templar is here with a different purpose. To prostrate herself before the King.
Fiercely proud, Dame Amy could not allow her presence here to continue without begging forgiveness for her ill judgement and subsequent near-immolation of the almighty 'Zack Attack'. To this end, she moves briskly through the crowd upon the beach, clad in a rather sober blue-toned, short-sleeved wetsuit with her long, dark raven locks caught in a loose ponytail behind. Her freckled cheeks, like much of her, have been reddened by the blazing sun, and she glistens with high-factor tanning lotion.
That part's probably in keeping with everyone else, at least. Less so her muscular, small-breasted frame and the rather boyish stride that carries her to an audience...
...not with Zack, because as she drives a path through the crowd she comes face-to-suddenly-nonplussed face with an orangutan in a suit. There are certain situations that knightly training does not prepare you for. This would be one of them.
To hell with it. Amy's a resourceful girl.
"Ah--" Like Indiana Jones proving the penitent man, she drops to a knee in the sand, bowing her head in a swift show of respect to the pot-bellied-yet-completely-austere-and-respectable creature. "Mr. Secretary." Why, she's even done her research. Looking up, she meets the ape's stare with stormy blue eyes, unable to keep just a faint flicker of self-effacing mirth from her unpainted lips. "If you'd be so magnanimous, I beg an audience with the King." Her chin lifts with an expression of pride totally unsuited to the fact she's speaking to an ape that probably only speaks, you know, ape.
"I fear," she sells it like a champ, her expression devout and sincere, "I have been remiss."
Dr. Richard Tran normally would not be here, being otherwise too busy serving Sada as her slave for the rest of the island's festivities, as he regrettably(?) agreed to do to reparations(?) for the other(?) Tran forcibly exposing her breasts(?) to the world on international television.
In a rare fit of pity, however, Sada has deigned to give him the day off, after his encounter in the wake of his most recent match, which culminated with a plummet into Zack Island's infamous Double Undersewer, and an encounter with a strange shark woman Darkstalker who was eerily eager to perform oral sex on him, and became violent when refused.
The good Doctor tromps down the beach, staring into the middle distance, limbs stiff and motions mechanical... and then, as if passing through some invisible barrier as he nears the party, his mannerisms relax, and his motions become fluid and natural. His path happens to take him past where Natsu is gleefully playing volleyball, and his steps slow to a halt, his attention drawn by the ongoing game.
He watches quietly until the end of the current serve, at which point the two solidly NPC-handsome young men on the team opposite Natsu excuse themselves to get some refreshments, AKA Jagerbombs.
Dr. Tran, seeing his opportunity, strikes. "Good afternoon, Miss Ayuhara," he greets, stepping onto the court opposite Natsu. Today, his board shorts are neon green. "Do you mind if I play a few with you?"
"I can be your partner, if you want," offers a young woman who had been sitting and watching. Tran looks to her thoughtfully, and then back at Natsu.
"I'm sure that won't be necessary," he declares, a small smile creeping across his face.
"Bitches /love/ confidence," Kirsten Geary assures MMA superfan and Talking Dead sensation Phil Brooks.
And what of Zack's lovable partner, Lee Chaolan?
Lee Chaolan is sitting by the beach, dressed in his violet speedo. Another violet speedo, if one remembers the outcome of his yacht adventurers. And yet, in spite of the disasters, he was pleasantly relaxing on a beach chair, a pair of silver sunglasses on his head.
As two Violet Girls rub his body with suntan lotion.
For the most part, he shouldn't be distracted. That is, until, that one black-haired lady with the freckles comes slipping by. Sitting straight up from the deep body rubbing, he lowers his shades, idly staring straight at the woman as she chats up the hot young orangutan that Zack was working with. For some reason, Lee Chaolan just couldn't keep his eyes off the strange young lady. Though really, why wouldn't he keep his eyes right on the woman?
After all, she had character art now.
Paradise is not for everyone. And sometimes, one person's paradise is another person's hell.
Such has been the case with one "Scratch" Carter. The sun was bad enough that she had serious sunburns by week 2. Then came the first fight. Now, the fight wasn't so bad (outside of nearly being disemboweled by a Tiger Uppercut from the Emperor himself. No, the hell was having to wear an awful tye-dyed full body suit that was out of fashion in the 70s. THe fact that she had to be seen in that was....well, lets just say that the after-fight interview footage involved a lot of getting into a producer's face to the point of being nigh-unusuable even in post.
And then the second week...a volcano. A freakin' volcano.
(CONFESSIONAL: "Who's ****ing idea was it to fight in a ****ing VOLCANO?!" scowled Scratch, covered in burn cream, wearing a sheer shirt over her bikini top as she stared into the camera. "I just...is everyone in charge of this ****ing thing insane?! No, seriously, I have half a mind to walk up to this Zack guy and call him on his ****!" Walking off, Scratch knocked over her stool....before popping her head back into the camera's view. "AND ZACK DOLLARS ARE BULL****!")
And with the volleyball tournament starting, and Zack in a place he can be pinned down, it doesn't take long for the skater to march over to the beach, wearing a sheer white shirt over another darker bikini top, and (thankfully) beach shorts that are much less embarrassing than the other costumes she's had to wear. Trudging her way closer to the stage, she scowls and tries to find the sight of the owner himself. "HEY!" she shouts, pointing toward him once she finally catches sight. It's probably youthful indiscretion and impulsiveness that causes her to stomp straight toward the man himself, but she promised to give a piece of her mind, and dammit, she's not about to back down now!
Fortunately for her own sanity, Natsu has not been following the escapades(?) of Dr. Richard Tran. It's been taking too much of her focus to keep from going absolutely postal on the nosy camerapeople -- which, it would seem, is also a good reason for her to keep from going off on Tran as well.
She waves to her two opponents, smiling cheerily. "Thanks for the game! You were both great!" It seems like her pick-up partner decides to take the hint, around the time Dr. Tran shows up. Maybe -she's- been keeping track of him.
Confidence? "... Well, the teams would be balanced now..." she calls back, tossing the volleyball lightly into the air as she strides back to the back of the court.
Catching the ball, she then underhands it over to Dr. Tran beneath the net. "Looks like it's your serve!" she announces with a confident grin.
She has every reason to be confident, after all. Even if this -is- her opponent for the week's scheduled match, she sees no reason not to participate in a friendly match!
What is a competition without a crowd? There are many tourists that have dwelled within the island and they are having a time of their lives. Cheers flood the skies as their loud jovial energy reaches out even towards Zack. People are around. People are happy.
The energy is everywhere.
.... Don't mind a burly dark-skinned man in the midst of the crowd, holding a sign that says, 'Fight Fight Fight'. He is totally some ordinary man that can easily be lost in the crowd(if he wanted to).
The burly, muscular man, in his well over six foot stature, his well-toned body for all to see. What he is wearing is just a simple set of blue swim shorts. Held in his other hand is a thin hotdog.
Keith is interested in watching the ongoings.
Tran catches the tossed volleyball with a laugh. "Well, just go easy on me," he calls, as he slowly and deliberately checks his footing. "I haven't played volleyball since high school."
His request made, he takes a moment to tighten and adjust his shorts... and then wipe his hands clean of sweat... and then check the wind by licking his finger and holding it up.
Then, and only then, does he toss the ball into the air and whack it from underneath with his clasped-together hands, sending the ball up in a slow, lobbing arc to Natsu's side of the court. A small child could probably return that serve. (And will, if you ask some people*! (* Tia))
As Zack merrily transitions between songs up in his lofty abode, down in the sand, the eminent Griswold pauses to regard the woman prostrating herself before him, blinking his wet round eyes. The inscrutible primate scratches himself contemplatively, hooting quietly as though thinking aloud.
Dame Amy's fate depends on his judgment.
At last, bobbing his head several times, the orangutan digs around in the sand for a moment before withdrawing a half-buried trumpet, which he shakes off by swinging it around before raising it to his lips.
"Griswold, baby, what's up!?"
Immediately, Zack's attention is drawn toward the kneeling knight. Amy has been granted an audience with the king despite her trespasses. Truly, the ape is magnanimous.
"Oh, you found me a babe!?" He sits up in his throne and pushes his sunglasses down his nase, grin widening so as to defy physical constraints. "I know I made you the Secretary of Dat Ass for a reason! Hey, bring her closer! What do you need me for, sweetheart? All that is mine is yours."
He pauses for a moment, then, as he tears his eyes from the scenery, as it were, and focuses more closely on this visitor, sparing her some of the precious time he is otherwise devoting to these noble games.
"Wait ... I know you."
His tone turns grave.
"We've met in my dreams, haven't we!?"
He may have hit his head on those bottles a little too hard.
"Oh! And you brought a volleyball teammate, too!?"
That line is jovially directed to Scratch, whose brusque greeting is gloriously misinterpreted. King Zack spreads his arms wide atop his mighty throne.
"My Majesty demands a game of doubles!" he proclaims, before jabbing a finger in Amy's general direction. "But /you/ need attire more fitting to the game!"
Wetsuits, apparently, are insufficient.
==*== EARLIER IN THE DAY ==*==
Sweat glistened over Caoimhe's normally fair skin, now darkened and mottled by sun and the dust still clinging to her body from the aftermath of the incident that had begun in the Gemstone Suite and demolished a sizeable portion of the hotel. There had been no time to bathe, nor time to sleep: there was too much work to do, too much to think about. And then there had been the decision. The one that led the Special Forces Sergeant to find a shovel and start digging.
"So, why /are/ you digging such a big hole, anyway?" an interviewer had asked her, accompanied invisibly by a member of Zack Island's elite ninja camera crew, who was making sure to catch every angle of the redhead's sweaty body as she hefted clods of sand and dirt over her shoulder.
"It has to be big enough for Tia Langray," Caoimhe said with a hint of dark derision in her tired voice, before jabbing the shovel viciously into the earth.
==*== NOW ==*==
Now freshly showered and clad in her camouflage-patterned bikini, wearing a pair of dark sunglasses to hide the circles under her eyes, Caoimhe arrives at the beach loaded to bear. With one arm, she's carrying a rather enormous picnic basket, a beach towel, and a surfboard, while in the other she's got a huge red beach umbrella. Given the apparent, perhaps unusual absence of her partner, she's decided that rather than engaging in the action just yet, it's time to set up a camp for recon.
Finding an empty spot near Zack's beachside throne, Caoimhe sets the basket down with a heavy 'whump' as it hits the sand, drops the umbrella, then unfurls the towel, which billows out to a size of several feet in one direction and about a dozen feet in the other. She jabs the umbrella into the sand upright and spreads the canopy with one rough motion, creating a space of shade that covers the entire towel, then finally moves the basket onto the towel and flops on the soft surface in a lounging position.
For once, Caoimhe Delaney is relaxing. So... what happened to Tia?
And suddenly Lee is not simply in a land surrounded by attractive women, regardless of their art status.
Ryu Hayabusa is suddenly standing behind Lee Chaolan as soon as the camera draws back from him staring a young woman engaged in conversation with an orangutan. His laid back beachware has been replaced by serious clothing... which strangely in these circumstances means he looks like he's wearing a cut up surf suit as a body stocking clings to his frame, the arms removed to high up on his shoulders. Which is not to say they are bare, sleeves seem to have been made from the excess material, and a number of belts seem to be in place to hold the whole thing together.
"Mr. Lee," his voice seems to flow forth mere moments after he's been revealed, likely in an effort to create that weird effect where the other party of the conversation says something like "I didn't see you there" after jumping in surprise. The writing of this scene is mediocre, but there's a good chance that won't be what's said.
Jira is a bit later on arrival, but this wasn't as important as the yacht trip she supposes... that and this swimsuit (with appropriate Zack Island stamp of approval) took -forever- to squeeze into. And Jira looks like she had to do a lot of squeezing to fit into that suit. Her geta squash into the sand with every step, but the resonating, silent 'boin' sounds coming from her movements drown out her footsteps. She sees cameras... and Zack, and some girl he's calling out.
Largely unconcerned, Jira walks up to where Amy is and looks pointedly at Zack. "Wonderful Zack-sama, did you have this volleyball tournament organized beyond 'show up and bump some balls'?" she asks, holding up a card which read that line as the script. 'Bring your swimsuit and come to Niki beach, be ready to bump some balls'.
Tran's apology only draws more attention to the fact that he's -way- out of Natsu's age cohort. "Ahaha..." she responds more out of politeness than anything else, "I'll try to keep the pace fun for both of us then..."
The moment she'd tossed the ball to Tran, her eyes had been affixed to it. No amount of manipulation, save outright teleportation, could sway her focus -- that's what years of practice on the courts will do. ... She is a little weirded out by how slow the ball's trajectory is, but she matches it by bringing her fists before her in a slow, casual dig.
And then, once the ball's under her control, she sets it back into the air, sailing it right over the net. Not -fast-, per se, but a good 50% faster than Tran had lobbed it to her. She's at least familiar enough with his skills to assume -some- sort of reflexes from the good Doctor.
"How... have you enjoyed it here so far?"
Blinking when she's pointed to before she has a chance to give him a piece of her mind, Scratch just ends up staring at Zack a bit, trying to process things. "Wait, what...." She then looks to the court...and scowls even deeper. "Oh hell no."
Pointing straight at Zack, she climbs up on to the stage toward Zack's 'throne', glowering all the more. "I don't know what kind of circus you're running, you crazy piece of crap, but I'm not jumping through any more hoops for you, not after I had to fight in a ****ING VOLCANO!" She's really hung up about that part, isn't she? "And I'm not here to be some kind of meatshow either, and don't tell me any ****, I saw the kind of suits your crew was trying to push!" she shouts. She's not about to back down at this point, even amidst the glory of Zack's grand volleyball spectacle.
Johnny wanders across the beach. He comes across the big man holding the fight sign and figures him to be another fan looking for an autograph. Why even hold a sign out anyway? "Hey, thanks for watching, pal," he says, scribbling his signature on Keith's sign in permanent marker. He then walks past without even a second glance to approach Zack's area. "Heyyyy, Zack, you sure know how to put together a party! I gotta say, I've been really enjoying the past few weeks! I mean, it's been really nuts and sometimes uncomfortable but overall? I'm impressed!"
Then some crazy chick comes yelling about volcanoes at the host. Whatever. He gets distracted by Caoimhe. "Hey, I know you. The military chick from that fight. How you doin?" he asks, grinning at her.
That's what Amy Elizabeth Johnson dearly wants to do, in spite of all her better judgement and the tender mercies demanded of her faith. She's walked in a number of circles, but in absolutely none of them has 'babe' ever been an appropriate term for her personage - although, in fairness, she's heard it more than a few times at various clubs and free parties. She wasn't always a knight. Never, ever, though...
...did she yield herself to someone like Zack. Swallowing the headstrong Warrior of God AND the inner belligerent teenage goth chick kicking and wailing with fury that she's putting herself through this nonsense, the raven-haired Templar ducks her head one more time, reorientating her kneeling posture enough that she's facing the Island King himself and not the wise and benevolent Secretary of Dat Ass.
"My Lord," she speaks clearly and with noble warmth in her voice, looking up with stormy blue eyes thankfully reflecting the burning sunlight and thus completely disguising her disgust with the situation. Humility, Amy. You've got this! "I fear not in your dreams, but--" Oh, she doesn't actually get time to respond. Her mouth hangs open as she darts a glance toward Scratch and then down at herself, as if just now realizing what she's really let herself in for. "Oh, I'm not. I mean, I don't--..."
She looks toward the waiting nets, and an all-too familiar face. Suddenly she's smiling, in spite of the blush creeping up her cheeks as she's effectively told to damn well strip. Here? In front of all these people?
The Templar draws a breath, her none-too-impressive chest inflating before she releases it in a heaving, and actually very relaxing sigh. Dextrous pale fingertips drift to her navel and up the length of her suit's zipper until she reaches her collarbone.
"I fear his majesty King Zack will need to forgive me, but," she grips the wide, waterproof hoop and tugs, the wetsuit parting into gaping teeth. Zzzzzzzzip. "I don't carry spare clothing. What you see, my lord..."
The wetsuit falls away, and to the surprise of everybody (this IS Tia's player, you guys) the lady knight is actually wearing something beneath. Not a great deal, though: black, lacy boyshorts and a matching bralette that provides little support. It didn't really need to, before, and well, she's lacking in this regard.
Far from unpleasant on the eyes though. The few freckles across her shoulder, and a beauty mark on the upper curve of her left breast only flatter her further. Though her cheeks are more deeply flushed, she steps out of the heavier garment without particular shame, throwing Zack a sidelong half-grin before diving forward toward the court--
--literally, as it turns out.
Before her knightly ally (?) can react to Natsu's spiked volleyball, Amy gets her palms beneath it and sends it right up and over the net, landing in a combat roll that brings the lingerie-clad knight back up to her feet and ready to play.
Her gaze finds Natsu, a swift wink send along with the descending ball.
"Hope you don't mind me butting in."
Especially because the fourth player seems more intent on being angryviolent. Er.
Lee Chaolan was nearly ready to rise.
And why wouldn't he? Those muscles, that form. Those curves were subtle, not too over the top with giant clownish breasts and over-inflated buttocks. No, this was a woman who could birth children, and raise them to be warriors. Lee wanted to go over there, stand right between Zack and her, and immediately ask for her hand in marriage.
Instead, there was Ryu Hayabusa.
"Oh~" He sighs, adjusting his position in his beach chair. Crossing his legs, his two girls return to slathering the lotion over his muscled body. "You are... you are the crazy ninja, right? Crazy Zhin, I think." Was the idle chatter from the executive. A gust of wind blows over him, blowing at the back of the scanty clad ninja. "There is a beautiful woman over there-"
And Lee Chaolan nearly faints.
The beautiful young lady was -disrobing- right there before Zack. Sure, she was wearing something underneath. But for Zack to get the attention of a woman that fair, that gorgeous, that outrageous? Already the volleyball was beginning, and Zack was securing all the flirting. Lee motions his hand at Ryu, trying to wave him away. "I am sorry, Crazy Zhin, but unless you have something very important to tell me..."
"I have to secure myself a true beauty!"
"What? What? What's happening? Why's this skank fucking up my game?" demands Kirsten Geary. "You can't just-- you can't just /crash other people's volleyball games./"
"Um," offers Adam Devine(?) from the back of the room. "I think that's Amy Johnson. She's a Templar, and Dick--"
"I know who Amy Johnson is!" snaps KG. She turns her gaze back to the monitor, eyes gleaming. "I'm gonna bang her, too."
"Oh, my God," exclaims Marvel writer Phil Brooks in disgust, leaning back in his chair and looking away.
"NO IT WILL WORK THIS TIME!" shouts Kirsten Geary, frantically mashing buttons on her controller, because she doesn't actually know how to control Robo-Tran, and they just have Frank do it from the computer and let her think she's playing.
Tran is stunned into a few seconds of, staring at the Amy-out-of-nowhere in surprise. And then he blurts, apparently shocked into total earnesty, "Wow, you look... incredible." All thoughts of volleyball are, at least for the moment, forgotten.
The encounter and interaction between everyone is noted by Keith. He looks rather amused, looking between the teenagers that have participated and the other people. However, what Keith did not expect was to see a very familiar face.
There is a recollection of how the fight went down. There is the brief recollection of Keith losing himself to madness. In that moment, Keith tenses, yet maintains his grin. He doesn't say anything.
To see Johnny Cage just autograph his sign, Keith cannot help but crack a smile.
Zack is attentive to the concerns of his subjects.
He just also has-- other concerns.
"Zack Heart Attack!!"
Thus it is that in the very middle of Scratch's indignant denunciation, right as her diatribe reaches a volcano-hot fever pitch, Zack ceases to pay any attention whatsoever and focus all his energies on Dame Amy, who has obeyed his royal command to strip before his very eyes, eyes which are bugging out so hard they threaten to burst through the rims of his sunglasses.
"My kingdom is yours!"
This probably means that Amy is forgiven.
"Griswold!" he calls to his orangutan attendant in a fit of passion. "Search through my treasury and find a suitable reward for this noble woman in preparation for her coming match!" The treasury is Zack of all Trades. With an ook of assent, the trumpet-bearing primate scampers off. In the opposite direction. Well, if he keeps going straight, he'll get there eventually.
By the time that Zack remembers that Scratch was shouting at him, she has finished, so that he is able to turn to her with a fresh grin. "So glad you're having such a blast, baby!" he exclaims down at her. "But Natsu-chan is gonna struggle without you! If you win the match," he adds extravagantly, "I'll do whatever you wish!!"
There, that will surely resolve all problems for good.
Such that he can fraternize with Johhny Cage. "Johnny! Baby! My man!" the King enthuses, as excited as he is to see Cage as he is for beach volleyball, which is saying something. Fame breeds fame, and Johnny, for all his questionable cinematic glory, has brought the viewers that Zack craves. "Your words complete me! My island is yours, always and forever!" At this rate, like seventy people co-own Zack Island.
But his grin slowly fades as his gaze turns to where Johnny is walking, approaching none other than Caoimhe. Transfixed, despite the beginning of the double game he craves, Zack reverently removes his sunglasses to regard the redhead. There is an ache within Zack's heart as he sees Cage speak to her, a pain where the funk should be. What is this feeling, ooh, this groovy feeling, baby? Could it be--
"The balls didn't bump!!"
Zack blurts this out instinctively, before pausing, blinking, and turning to look at Jira with a blank expression.
"I-I mean ... I'm sorry, baby, what was that?"
The Gorin athlete's attention span is focused on the rectangle specified by the boundaries of the volleyball court. It's a good thing for her, because the sight of a Templar peeling herself out of a wetsuit would probably distract her to no end.
It's impossible for Ayuhara -not- to notice her insinuating her way onto the court, though, especially when the ball is suddenly and rapidly intercepted, sent back her way. If Natsu has a teammate, she doesn't know about it yet, for she suddenly leaps to the side to intercept the ball. It's rote mechanics at this point -- collect her hands in front of her, bump the ball into the air, and deal with it. Amy's quite a bit faster than she had been planning for, so it takes a bit of wind out of her, but from her eager smile, it seems this isn't such a bad thing, really!
Out of respect to the challenger who confidently proclaims skill at the sport, Natsu leaps into the air after the ball, smashing a spike right back at Amy. It's a fraction of the strength she -could- return with, but that's still Pretty Darn Fast by most people's standards.
"My name is Ryu Hayabusa," the ninja says. There is no annoyance at his name being remembered completely and utterly incorrectly. It is a man of weak will that allows himself to be overwhelmed by the words of others. Perhaps this (as well as the fact that he is not a scantily clad woman) is why he is so poorly remembered by the co-King of Zack Island. None of his interviews for the Trouble in Paradise crew have been all that noteworthy. Even as awkward as he is at talking with others, they haven't found any way to coerce his words into a made up rivalry.
"I would normally bring this to Zack, but..."
Ryu Hayabusa, still covered in sweat, his body speckled with volcanic dirt, his clothes showing clear signs of experiencing a fire quite recently drops down from the very sky behind Zack. The Island King has set himself up on a balcony with a telescope, aimed down at the shallows of the beach where some of the unimportant background eye candy is /bouncing/ in the waves in a manner reminicent of opening cutscenes designed to show sexy island behavior.
"Zack... I've completed my scheduled battle on the volcano, but while I was there I noticed that your volcano is being afflicted by an unnatural aura that seemed to be unaffected by any form of ninpo and-"
"Totally Zackalicious, baby," interrupts the island regent. "Just leave it on my bed, these surf angels would weep if their king gave up on them now!" He doesn't even look up as Hayabusa stands there awkwardly.
"...he was overwhelmed by his kingly duties." It's not really a lie. Hayabusa has simply come to the realization that there's no hope of him getting through to his friend.
"As you are his companion in this endeavor, and your duties are less overwhelming," he hopes, "I believe you are the best person to bring this information to..."
Dramatic camera shift. "Something unnatural is afflicting the volcano."
This endeavour started pretty awkwardly, distantly muses Amy, but it's looking up - she gets to make amends by playing a friendly ball-punching game with a good friend and colleague. Thinking absolutely nothing of flirting outrageously with a man who's completely safe - after all, they got drunk and took vows to save the world together - the raven-haired Templar pauses in a testing double-bounce upon her bare feet to toss totally-Tran a bright smile and a relaxed wink, her nose bunching up all cutely.
"Thanks, Doctor Dick. Eyes on the game, though."
Why would they be anywhere else? Clearly it's herself she should be talking to, at any rate, as an instant later she's subject to Natsu's blazing return. Ruining her cool entrance with a rather useless, 'ah!' she throws up her left arm and wards the ball off with a solid forearm - which would be great, if it was someone attempting to punch her in the face, or she had the presence of mind to AIM the ball.
Instead, it goes flying toward her partner.
In all the confusion of competitive sport, she fails to clock Zack's glowing pronouncement of admiration or the scampering departure of fair Griswold. Clearly, whatever she just missed will not come back to astonish her at a later date or result in any embarrassment, discomfort, or the necessity to reveal even more flesh in public.
The bikini-clad lady from Boston tilts her head up from where she's lying on her side when she hears herself being addressed. One eyebrow creeps upward as she takes Johnny Cage in from behind her sunglasses, lips quirking for a moment as she snaps out of some sort of reverie, then curling into a slow smile. "Oh, Mr. Cage. We haven't really had a chance to meet, have we? The name's Caoimhe Delaney, but you can call me C.J." She sits up and starts rummaging in the picnic basket beside her, pulling out a cooler that occupied a section of it.
"I hope that Lightning Spangles is feeling better after our match. Beer?" she asks as she opens the cooler, pulling out a cold bottle of Guinness and holding it up to Johnny. She blinks her green eyes behind her sunglasses when the Monarch of Zack Island approaches, raising her other hand to adjust them as they slip a little when she glimpses King Zack. Her cheeks redden slightly, and she clears her throat. "Oh, hello, your Majesty," she says, almost breathlessly.
Jira is fixated on Zack and his antics... she is largely unconcerned about the stripping or the screaming scratch, other than they receive attention first and that Jira is trying to be a good sport about the volleyball match.
Enough that she holds back the urge to pick up the annoying scratch and dunk her in the sand before giving Zack a fistful of her thoughts. "I asked you, Zack-sama, how you planned to have this tournament done." she states plainly, giving her usual polite smile and pulling down the straw hat from her head and over her back, waiting for the reply.
Johnny accepts the beer, opening it by placing his tricep on the cap and twisting it, the cap coming off effortlessly. "CJ, I like it. Who? Oh, Jezebel, right. Uh..." Johnny thinks back to the casino bit. Then him having to practically carry the starlet back to her cabana. "She's uh...been alright. Yep." In truth, Johnny is starting to worry about her performance. She was a mess. After the tournament, he may have to just cut all ties.
He's about to say more when his head whips back towards Keith, mouth slightly open as his brow furrows. He goes back to CJ, still looking puzzles. Okay time to recover. "I like a woman in uniform, ya know. You special forces? No wait, Navy SEAL.":
Some days, you wonder why you bother to try?
That's what it feels like when Scratch finds her words falling on deaf ears, as Zack is more concerned with the fact that the black haired woman is stripping otu of her wetsuit. Facepalming, the punk just finds herself breathing sharply, trying to count to 10 like the usual anger management exercise goes. Breathe, girl, breathe....
And that goes straight out of the window when she realizes that Zack hasn't even bothered to listen to a word he said, and somwhow interpreted her exposive diatribe as some kind of praise of the festivities. "...do you even listen to ANYONE that isn't your own d-" she shouts in the King's face, stopping short of what she really wanted to say before growling and turning on her heels. "Screw this ****!" She would just straight outright leave....
If not for her hastily-paired partner, addressing the Co-King of the island far as something, though she couldn't make up what. "The hell...." So rather than match straight off and try to stay away from the crazy for the next few days, she makes her way around, trying to find a way to...eavesdrop a bit. Maybe.
Lee's expression takes on a curious shape.
As Ryu explains something wrong with the island, a crack of thunder breaks out behind him. Literally, not just dramatically. Boy, that storm line on the horizon is really getting close. Lee Chaolan himself pauses, looking Ryu in the eye. He doesn't lose the smirk.
But his eyes spoke of something much more telling.
Sitting upright, Lee Chaolan motions for his two girls to leave. With a quick pat on the butt, he turns back, looking towards Zack, his partner in crime. He just... watches him, that same curious look on his face, as he talks about bouncing the balls. Lee removes his sunglasses completely, neatly folding them up as he turns back to the ninja.
"Please, explain Ryu Hayabusa~"
It's beginning to look as though Hayabusa had put his faith wisely into the hope that Lee would be a more reasonable person to talk to than Zack.
Not that it was that difficult to be a more reasonable person than Zack. It's not so much that the funky fighter was rude so much as that he was essentially from another planet in his manner of personal thought and action.
"I should preface this with the fact that I am very experienced in dealing with threats not viewed as little more than myths. I have faced dispatched greater fiends, and even fought my way into the heart of the Underworld... This is not paranoia, but experience when I say this."
He pauses for a moment, aware that sometimes people need to take a moment to absorb facts like these.
"While I was scouting the volcano prior to a match I was arranged to participate there, I discovered that the draining aura around it was not natural heat. I have fought inside actual volcanos and been able to protect myself completely with ninpo techniques. Despite being on the surface, and not even exposed to magma, I could summon no ninpo that warded off its effects. The only way for that to be possible is something supernatural in origin."
"R-right," stammers Tran, turning his attention back to the game, and away from Amy's solid 7 of a body. It's a good thing, too, because his dear Templar colleague nails a volleyball right towards him, like a dumb idiot.
He's on top of it, though; Tran bounds into the air to catch the incoming volleyball with his glorious eight-pack abs (wow, apparently Tran gets ripped when he gets a pump going - how did Amy never notice before?) Behind him, there is a brilliant starburst, and then the ball erupts off of his torso with seemingly more force than it had going /into/ it, and rockets through the air towards Natsu's side of the court, curving impossibly up over the net and then dipping back down in a dive towards the sand.
"Well you sure escalated that quickly," comments Phil Brooks, friend of the Nerdist.
"Well what am I going to do, /not/ spend the meter?" scoffs Kirsten Geary.
Zack practically screams this at Jira, leaping to his feet, which in his current precarious position perched atop his vantage point is highly inadvisable. He slips on his own turntables, causing the music to scratch, lands in a dangerous bridge position teetering on the edge of his own high-chair, pauses there a moment to scratch the record a few more times deliberately with his toes, and then falls, hurtling down toward the beach.
His fall becomes a swan dive, plowing into the sand next to Johnny and Caoimhe, somehow sinking right into its depths from the force of the impact and disappearing entirely. There is a moment of lingering silence as Zack lurks underground. But then, inevitably, he bursts up from nowhere with a spray of sand, somehow now by Caoimhe's side, apparently having burrowed the rest of the way. He rises in a kneeling position, his crown askew and grin unrepentant, to look up at her flushing face.
"Hello, my darling," the King replies, his voice suddenly quite calm and composed. "I knew I'd heard a bomb go off. It was you, blowing up my heart." His gaze lingers on the gift he bestowed upon her which she now wears. "Ain't you dressed to kill."
He turns, grin passing by Johnny Cage to alight upon the volleyball game continuing now. "Are you enjoying the dou-- alas and azack!" he suddenly shouts, lurching to his feet. The furious Scratch has stalked off, refusing to join Natsu's team and pursue whatever wish she might make of Zack. "Natsu-chan has no teammate still!? Can she withstand the might of doctor and knight!?" That lingerie is truly mighty.
Abruptly dramatic, Zack falls to his knees in the sand, clutching at his hand.
"Who can aid her!?"
He really wants this game of doubles, doesn't he?
Thunder booms faintly in the distance. In the vicinity, the winds begin to gradually quicken.
Natsu looks back and forth between the two grown-ups. They're... conversing, somehow, and not playing the game. She'd -tried- to converse, and, well, that just didn't go so well. But, for now at least, the varsity player is acquitting herself well against both Tran -and- Amy -- to the point that she's able to strafe sideways and extend her left arm to deflect the attack from Dr. Tran's washboard abs back into the air.
Her eyes cross, as she -knows- Zack's talking about her in the background, but Ayuhara's resolve doesn't waver. She just gives a little hop, and drives the volleyball at the sand between Amy and Tran. One of them'll get it, she's sure.
Noticing the rippling abdominals of Doctor Richard Tran was never the prime directive in Amy's mission upon Zack Island; recruiting him away from the possibly-grasping claws of his former employers, and thwarting any other ambition they might have to silence him and preserve the sanctity of their clandestine organization... that was far more within her remit, but a goal in which she's been successful. She can start looking for others, if she chooses, above and beyond chasing down that rogue robot clone.
Because this is a playful social scene in which rules - and walls - are made to be broken, Amy is woefully-dense when it comes to immediately rationalizing that the slobby, drunken doctor -wasn't- hiding a rockin' body from her over the past couple of days, and is instead at least somewhat appreciative when she observes his impossibly-athletic save of her pathetic fumble. "Well," she murmurs, recovering herself with a winding stretch of her right arm, pushing against the same shoulder to further loosen her joints in preparation for the next shot. "How -did- they ever let you go, Doctor?"
Oop, there's said shot. She darts closer to totally-hot totally-Tran, intercepting the ball with a duck of her leanly-muscular frame to rise beneath with a double-push that sends it high toward the front of the net. Stormy blues cant to her partner, her head twitching to further drive home what should be obvious-- he needs to go get that.
As he moves past her, ignorant of the fact they're engaged in a life-or-death competition, she'll catch him a quick jolt of her hips. Ka-bump.
"Oh well, you're mine now." Beat. She snorts a laugh. "Or possibly Alma's."
Lee Chaolan is listening very, very carefully.
Not even sexy Amy, with her character art (can you commission swimsuit Amy?), could pulls Lee away from his focus. A passing glance towards Scratch is the only thing that pulls away the Silver-Haired Demon's attention. And yet, his smirk conceals what he was actually thinking. As Ryu mentions a 'supernatural' presence, Lee's eyes narrow, as he nods his head.
Lee Chaolan rubs his chin, looking off to the distance, as the winds begin to pick up more and more. The waves begin to crash against the shore now, as the water grows more and more choppy. "It is very good that you mention this to me, Ryu. As you know, with my partner's 'new' wealth, it was very difficult to get the needed insurance for this island. And without any insurance, why, we couldn't have this incredible island adventure! Naturally, I found it well worth my while to help out my dear friend, and even put out the required insurance on this island in my name; after all, as Zack's partner and legal co-owner, why would I not help out my friend?~" Lee Chaolan pauses a moment, looking back at Zack as he falls to his knees.
"Have you told anybody else about this?"
"Definitely Alma's," laughs Tran, as he closes in on the net. "But I'll let you--" He springs into the air and slams his closed fist into the volleyball, spiking it down, towards Natsu rather than the sand. Maybe he feels bad that she's having to play two on one?
"Okay, if I hit her I get to go to first base, right?" asks Kirsten Geary.
"What--" stammers Phil Brooks, husband of AJ Lee, "What the fuck-- do you even--"
"-- fight him for me, if you want," Tran allows, as he drops to the ground and scrambles into a defensive position. "Unless you're hinting at a lifestyle of butt-based domestic abuse, at least."
Speaking of butt-based domestic abuse-- "Oh, have you two met?" he blurts, jerking his head at Natsu.
There are a great many important aspects to being a ninja. Or at least the sort of ninja that Ryu Hayabusa is, which is less peasant assassin and more superhuman agent of world saving. One of them normally happens to be a strong ability to read people, especially when those people are plotting evil actions that put many people in danger.
However, it's already been mentioned that this is essentially a comedy scene, and so for the sake of the audience at home, for some reason Ryu completely misses all of the very subtle hints that have been provided to him suggesting that, perhaps, Lee Chaolan does not have the best interests of everyone on the island at heart in this matter.
Not that one would want to besmirch his reputation.
No, instead, for the purposes of this scene, Hayabusa is comforted by the fact that Lee seems to be taking this matter seriously, which is more than could have been said for Zack.
"I attempted to inform Zack, but as I already said, he was otherwise occupied. I also warned those involved in the fight on the volcano, so that they wouldn't put themselves in unnecessary danger."
Well...no one seems to have noticed her. That, or they're too distracted with....well, the general eccentricities of what usually happens when Zack is around.
That gives Scratch some chance to get closer, trying to eavesdrop a bit more on Ryu and Lee's conversation, trying to keep a low profile along the beach and get her ear closer to the conversation. She can't make out much though, from the general noise and funk of the entire event. IT doesn't help that Ryu isn't exactly one to raise his voice either, that she knows enough of from the little time they've teamed up together.
She does pick out something about 'draining' and 'supernatural', and rolls her eyes a bit. Sure, the fight in the volcano went quick, but as far as she knew, that was a consequence of...well, fighting in the heat of a freakin' caldera. What did she know about fighting in places people generally aren't supposed to be hovering around to begin with?
She does scowl a bit more, as she hears words that always give her pause: "Have you told anyone". It might be her experiences dealing with corrupt people in Metro City, but she generally ends up immediately suspecting anyone who dares utter that kind of phrase. "Shit," she mutters under her breath, trying to find some way to sneak in closer and get a better ear.
Johnny Cage is hitting on her. Somewhere, Caoimhe's brain is making note of this fact and filing it away like a souvenir. However, the rest of the processing power of Caoimhe's motherboard is currently occupied with trying to formulate a response to Zack's attentions - mayfly-like as they may be.
He's using bomb metaphors. It's like he really knows her.
She clears her throat once more before giving a nervous, tight-lipped chuckle in response to the 'dressed to kill' line.
"Haha. I don't know if 'dressed to kill' is the right way of putting it. I mean, I haven't actually killed someone while wearing a swimsuit before." She rubs the side of her neck. "Pretty sure it's always been in battle dress, actually."
Her last remark probably goes unheard by Zack, though, as he's already exclaiming about Natsu's need for a partner. Caoimhe tilts her head a little to one side.
In moments, the tall redhead has taken up a position beside the even taller volleyball player. "Delaney, reporting for duty! Do you need a hand, Natsu?"
She's not joining in just because Zack commanded it. She is, after all, a strong and independent woman. Obviously, she just thinks Natsu could use the help.
She's probably not trying to show up the woman who stripped right in front of Zack, either.
Natsu shakes her head in simple reply to the totally-true-Tran's query. No, she hasn't met Amy before, and... well, is she competing? Natsu has pretty much no clue. "Can't... say I have," she responds, as the ball clips narrowly by over the top of the net. She sets the ball up into the air -- -hiiigh- into the air -- and that should be enough to send it back over to the Tran and Amy side of the court without providing too much challenge for her two opponents.
Whoa. Where did she get a partner from all of a sudden? "... Sure," she allows, stepping to the left to make a bit more room.
Ayuhara is sure -something- more is going on, and maybe with a partner, she might be able to focus a bit more onto it now...
"Fight Alma for the right to your doubtless pure and virtuous body?"
Amy's dark brows lift as if she's seriously considering this, which given that we're at a Zack Island beach party and everybody on the localization team is drunk and horny is entirely possible. Her gaze shifts to Natsu, watching the skilled teenager with keen interest as she sets up the ball - clearly holding back, to judge by the effortless nature of the motions. Perhaps staying focused on the game is helping, but for the most part the Templar is at least striving to do the same. They sense the same thing though.
Something's wrong. A prickle at the nape of the neck, a chill on the breeze. A--
"Hold that thought."
--ball she can probably get to if she's quick. "A pleasure," gasps Amy, trying to both half-watch Natsu - because it would be rude not to finish introducing herself - and the ball as she backpedals, tossing a good bit of sand into lacy lingerie in her haste. "To meet you. I'm Am--eehha!!" Realizing she's not six feet tall and can't hope to imitate the girl's volleyballing moxy, she takes off in a desperate leap, stretching up to get her fingers on the ball and at least try to force it forward so her partner--
Wait, where is her partner?
"I am totes enjoying the view, if that's what you meant, Zack," Johnny answers with another easy grin, lounging back on a beach chair in his speedo and watching some girls play volleyball. "Too bad my partner couldn't make it, she's been feeling a bit under the weather." In truth, Johnny was glad he could spend ONE day without Jezebel tailing him like a pet. It was starting to get annoying.
Amy's partner is, as it happens, leaping throug the air towards the exact same ball she is. Trn, at least, realizes what's happening just as it's too late to do anything, and his eyes widen in shock.
The two slam into each other in midair, limbs entwining in a fleshy, chaotic tangle. Tran's face ends up smushed into Amy's breasts, her quadricep ends up pressed into his crotch, it's just, it's all just a mess.
The two hit the ground in a pile. A heartbeat later, the volleyball slams into the sand next to them. Another heartbeat later, Tran bursts out laughing like an idiot.
It probably is better that way.
Besides, how the hell do you 'eliminate' a ninja for knowing too much, least of all the one Ryu Hayabusa. There are not enough flying eagles in the world to bring down that ninja. At the very best, Lee Chaolan could pay Wesley Snipes or whoever that ninja was to fight him. But it is Ryu Hayabusa.
Ryu Fucking Hayabusa.
No, Lee Chaolan just nods along firmly, giving him a thumbs up. "Excellent~" The older man begins to unfold his sunglasses. He was well aware of Scratch, the strange girl listening in. It was too late for her anyways. "We wouldn't want to start a panick. I will start to talk with Zack about shifting the fights away from the volcano. I am sure our next fight won't be angering any supernatural spirits. Isn't it that cute witch girl and the girl with the triangle arm choke, versus Johnny Bravo and Hop A Long Cassidity?"
Lightning Spangles hugs her dakimakura tightly in the depths of her hotel room. Her makeup was running; her body reeks of dark liquor. Wailing, she clutches the body pillow tight; it seems that it was originally an Athena model body pillow (purchased from Zack of All Trades, of course), but it had been hastily modified to have a cardboard cutout stapled to it (Zack of All Trades) with a mask of the Hoedown Dillo glued to its face (Zack of All Trades). Drunk, Jezebel sobs heavily as she holds it tight on the floor.
"WHY CAN'T YOU LOVE ME JOHNNY!?!"
*BACK TO THE BEACH*
Lee Chaolan puts the sunglasses on his face. "Besides, Ryu." He states lightly, and still, matter of factly. "You should enjoy the weather while you can." Was the enigmatic statement. "I heard we might have some..." The older man leans back in the chair, as the wind begins to howl.
"Trouble In Paradise."
Zack, as promptly as he had fallen to his knees, has leapt to his feet. The game of doubles has commenced, as royally decreed, and truly, it is a feast for the eyes. He sighs like a lovesick schoolboy, placing his hand to his heart as his eyes grow soulful and soft, like the music now playing from his completely unattended turntables.
"It is a view," he replies to Johnny, "fit for a king."
There is Amy, the lady knight in lingerie, and Tran, a magnificent display of masculinity who might even be worth the beachballs touching, just once, so long as nobody knows. There is Caoimhe, a vision of loveliness who even camouflage cannot hide from his eyes (it's the wrong color camo anyway), and there is Natsu, about whom Zack's lawyers have advised him to metapose nothing.
"One which is to be best viewed from the vantage of a throne!!"
And with that, Zack is dashing away back to his ridiculous pimped-out lifeguard seat thing, clambering laboriously up to the top and wriggling his way up to sit down, which is pretty awkward to do what with the way his turntables are set up. Did he, like, sit down and then they nailed those in there?
Zack cries out in joy as he is able to gaze down from above at the game of volleyball now being played. It is everything he could have wished for, everything and more. There is nothing he could desire. This is it. This is his island. These are his people. He is their king.
The wind rises.
It has been rising steadily for some time now, but at this point, those present can no longer deny it. It blows in a sudden gust that sends the net rippling and threatens to turn beachballs astray, and the crashing of the waves grows louder and more resonant. That storm bank which was so far away not long ago seems to have accelerated in its approach dramatically, stealing closer at a speed that defies rationality. Thunder booms again in the distance, but Zack merely raises his voice to be heard over it, even as the wind whips against his body, threatening to tear the crown from his brow.
The gusts may complicate the game.
JOhnny sneezes. He recalls an old saying that if you sneeze, someone is talking about you. He smiles, leaning back in his chair; if it was true, he hopes it was someone hot.
The call of volleyball battle is too strong to resist. The pending threat of inclement weather is not enough to disuade the latest arrival from showing up eager to hit the courts. If a storm is browing, then the beach warfare will be conducted in the rain. If the wind howls, it is simply necessary to spike the volleyball harder. And if lightning strikes... well, just hope it hits one of your opponents instead!
Kasumi sidles right up next to Hayabusa in his attempts to actually conduct serious business in the most trying of circumstances. "Ryu!~" The shinobi in pink is hefting a volleyball between two hands to avoid it being blown away, a grin at her lips as she nods toward the courts, "Let's take on the winners, hm?"
Back to the basics with her present bikini - a warm pink white polka-dot number with lacy frills around the waist and along the scoop neck in front, her hair is as ever tied off into a ponytail worn high. A smile is offered Lee Chaolan as well, "If our gracious host doesn't mind me borrowing you for a bit, that is."
An intense shade of pink washes across Natsu's cheeks as she finds herself staring back at her completely and shamelessly entangled opponents. She starts to turn away, and seems like she might -- but it's not until her willpower forces her chin to spin -abruptly- to the side that she's able to lay eyes on her actual partner, Caoimhe.
"... I... that would be our service, then..." she stammers, crossing her eyes somewhat.
Most of her opponents are focused on playing, not laying (about).
"... That... wind sure is picking up," she notes, as her hair blows into her eyes.
Sada Asai comes
No, not like that, you pervert
Enjoying the wind
From the impending typhoon, Sada lets it whip through her hair as she walks on down from the direction of whatever godforsaken hotel she's been lodged in. Her goal is to acquire the drink called 'a Hurricane', and for some reason, she is in a visibly ebullient mood.
Even when she sees Tran mashing his fez into another woman's cleavage. If anything, it makes her giggle all the harder.
Completely might be correct, Miss Ayuhara; shamelessly certainly isn't!
When Amy goes down (shut up) it's with a startled gasp that only makes the situation worse, being that she's now expanding her unimpressive (but pretty, let's be fair) chest right into the clearly-acidentally present face of utterly-Tran. She's blushing about as hard as Natsu but in a more womanly way, because there's some undeniable pleasure in the contact - which almost seems to carry with it a faint surge of electricity. Shifting her thigh aburptly away, she lifts her hands and pushes herself free with a deft squirming motion that gives way too fine an impression of just how she is in the bedroom; she knows how to manuever a couple of bodies, that's for sure...
...in this case, it just happens to be in the -opposite- direction, her lithe musculature flexing the teammates apart as one of them bursts out laughing and the other tries to resist for all of two seconds with a wry, flustered-but-still-rather-damning smirk before the weird island spell overcomes her once more.
Knight Officer Amy Johnson, stern Warrior of God, giggles like a total girl.
"It's not the only thing picking up," she quips Britishly to the -actual- volleyball player on the other side of the net, stretching out her legs and torso in a way that's absolutely not at all whatsoever provocative, whilst simultaneously offering a hand up to Doctor Richard Tran: Swimsuit Edition. "I told you to keep your eyes on the game..."
Adopting a wide-legged stance, hands at the side, her athletic curves on prominent display as all the muscles of her body tense like those of a tiger coiling to pounce, Sergeant Caoimhe Delaney prepares to volley as if preparing for war.
And then everybody on the other side of the net derps out.
Delaney's posture relaxes entirely, and she rests a hand on her hip, leaning to one side. Her expression is practically unreadable, especially with her shades on.
"Understood. I'll take point on this one."
She calmly walks around the net, collects the volleyball from the sand, then saunters back to her own team's side. Turning nonchalantly to face the opposing team in spite of the winds starting to pick up, she waits until they've probably had enough time to disentangle themselves, then holds the ball up lightly on one palm. With a gentle toss just as the wind dies down for a moment, she sets the ball aloft, sending it well above the height of the net, tilting her head up and following it briefly with her eyes before turning her head across to Amy as she lowers her body slightly before springing gracefully into the air, legs slightly bent as she twists at the hips and draws back one arm. Her hand clenches into a fist.
And then she smashes that ball like it just called her mother a hooker, straight in the direction of the Templar, so hard that even the gusting wind can't restrain the sudden intent and fury with which the orb has been endowed.
"You're the one who can't stop staring at my slender, feminine hips," teases Tran, accepting Amy's hand up and wiping sand vigorously off his butt. "Sorry, sorry," he calls over to Natsu and Caoimhe. "The wind really is picking up, though..." he agrees, turning to look out over the waves. His eye catches the oncoming Sada as he does, and his expression shifts into a frown. "Hey, I might need to--" he begins, turning back to the game--
-- and then Caoimhe is serving oh wow she's really going ft OH JESUS--
Tran valiantly leaps to Amy's defense, leaping in front of her and slamming the ball straight up into the air, to keep it aloft. "All you," he calls to Amy, scrambling frantically out of the way.
The more Scratch listens in, the more worried she gets. There's just something slimy about the white-haired guy. She can't place it, but she finds herself tugging on her cyan ponytail nervously as she tries to get a better vantage to hear.
But not only is there just too much noise from the goings on, but the wind is....well, the wind is getting a little too hard to ignore. Looking up, the skater looks at the sky worried. "....." Even if she's a city girl, she knows those kinds of clouds don't just roll in without consequence. LOoking to each side, she decides to make a....tactical withdrawal. She'll prod Ryu about what she heard later, but for now? Time to get back to the hotel and ride out the coming storm....
Natsu's been playing volleyball pretty much non-stop -- she's perfectly okay with someone else taking the lead for now.
... Ayuhara is -impressed- by Caoimhe's form. The form of her serve, that is. And to see her correct for the wind with such assurance, such motivated ambition... well, suffice to say, she's glad -someone- else is taking volleyball seriously out here!
"Nice serve..." she calls out, raising a hand to her mouth as she then notices Amy and no-kidding-it's-Dr-Tran scramble to react. Hopefully no one gets hurt...
One thing that not everyone here has taken note, of though... is the -sand- freaking -hurts-. You know how they get cars nice and shiny? Blasting it with =sand=. So when an unfortunate gust of wind picks up, Natsu happens to be on the seaward side of the court -- and she's the first to get utterly -nailed- by it.
"Nnngrh..." she grumbles. It stings more than she really wants to let on, but she does raise a hand to keep any from getting into her eyes. "I... I think it might be about time for me..."
As if by magic, Tran's teasing pronouncement actually causes the Templar to check out ~dem hips~ with a measuring gaze that soon yields to a nod of approval. "Can't blame me, can you, sirrah?" She exudes with a playful lilt, turning away to watch Caoimhe's impressive setup and drive of the volleyball. Woah, more than impressive! Her eyes widen and she's aware she has about 0.2 seconds to react - the realization of which takes up all the time she has, at which point there's already a statuesque Asian doctor blurring past her vision to defiantly turn the tide of war.
"Delicate, feminine, and a valiant hero?" Gasps the Templar, placing a hand on Tran's shoulder as he scrambles, her nails briefly clawing his skin before she pushes away with a palm, driving he and she apart - in both directions, her feet ripping up waves of soft sand. This actually takes her away from the ball, which seems a mistake--
--until she whips her other arm outward, fingers unfurling as the winds pick up and carry the volleyball at a wild angle. Right into what seems like a very animate wisp of visible wind. Cartoonish, really. This odd phenomenon heralds a quick swipe of Amy's hand, and this in turn sees the lashing tendril of 'wind' dart toward the ball.
"How better to turn a maiden's head," murmurs the Templar, stormy blues tracing the volleyball's passage toward Natsu's flank and - perhaps, given the distraction of biting sand - beyond. She's confident enough to flick her gaze sidelong to Caoimhe Delaney, pursing her lips in-- wait, is she checking out the soldier?
"Without looking a little more like that. You've got competition, Dick."
Sada reaches the cabana bar (there has to be one) and obtains a big drink in a red plastic cup and, through the miraculous ingenuity of the Japanese schoolgirl, a cigarette. She looks over her shoulder and spots -
Her eyes narrow to snakelike slits for a moment... but then relax. "Oh Doctor!" she calls out, waving him over with a big semaphoring motion of the arm, even as the wind picks up and the sky darkens ominously.
Johnny watches the volleyball match between Caoimhe and her opponent; his money is on the former. Something about that disciplined nature...yeah. Johnny could really dig a good looking woman in the service. He doesn't quite know why. As he grabbed a drink, he decided he'd get some well-deserved sun and possibly a nap while the festivities wore on. He would daydream about getting that belt back from Nightwolf, and possibly challenging Ken Masters to a fight once the tournament was over.
Well, since none of that evil stuff about considering trying to kill him is audible, and especially because it turns out that all of it was in an effort to explain why it would be an outright terrible, and impractical effort to attempt to have him killed, Ryu Hayabusa is somewhat at ease.
"This storm brewing could be part of the threat. Since I've been unable to determine the true nature of it so far, I'd recommend you be ready to evacuate the island at a moment's notice, but informing the visitors without knowing the true extent would most likely be a mistake."
Ryu Hayabusa is in fact spending a great deal of time working the Zack of All Trades. He's given people deep advice that should offer them not only insight into obtaining the perfect purchases to give to their loved ones, but a deeper understanding of the nature of their being with which to better themselves. Some people have given him strange looks and found no help, others have been completely moved.
...Then Lightning Spangles burst in through the door with a cowboy hat on her cowboy hat. She's somehow wearing parts of three separate bikinis, and yet not enough to quite cover up the necessaries. In one hand she has one of those novelty cups designed to hold way too alcohol, which based on the stamps running along the rim has probably seen more use than the rest rooms near the buffet on Funky Triple Meat Zack Style Chili night. In her other hand she holds a duffle bag filled with Zack Dollars that seem to have been spackled with somebody's blood.
She doesn't say a word as she stumbles through the island shop, knocking over an XBox display and a postcard rack as she collects her purchases. The duffle bag is deposited unceremoniously on the counter in front of the ninja shopkeeper, and the former Disney Channel show host turns to weave her way back to the door, pausing as she catches sight on the magazine rack.
A tabloid proclaims that actor Johnny Cage has been "romantically linked" with young reality show star Tia.
The violence lasts for five minutes.
At the end, Ryu Hayabusa is left standing alone at the counter, having not moved in a way that suggests lazy animation budgets. Somehow a jetski, spewing fire from its waterjets, lays impaled on the magazine rack where every female face has been shredded off. Only one face on all the covers remains unscarred.
"Johnny Cage is a hack..." Hayabusa says with non-movement consistent with lazy flash animation.
~~~WE NOW RETURN~~~
And then Kasumi shows up to ask about a volleyball match.
"I'm afraid there are more important concerns on this island right now than a simple game. A great many people are depending on me for their safety and well-being..." Hayabusa says, arms crossed over his chest. "...And also my lunch break is over and I need to get back to the shop."
The Master Ninja launches himself up into the air with lightning speed, catching a cross breeze, he speeds off like a terrible special effect.
Jira, unsatisfied with the lack of answer from Zack decides to brave the weather, removing her sunglasses and inexplicably bulking up. She starts off slow, but quickly speeds up her sprint towards the water and. Shit, she slipped.
Faceplanted on wet sand, Jira's body decides to log-roll stage left to the Marina, hoping nobody saw that failure and her choice of exit. Her bust makes the feat of log rolling quite difficult, and boob impressions dot the sand in her wake.
Natsu's got her head in the game. She's got no time for dallying about; she never does. The court is a battlefield, the ball the most important weapon in any combatant's arsenal. As it's sent sailing over to the other side, Natsu's eyes are locked onto it. She watches the ball get blasted upwards by the shifting wind currents. Is that something Amy did, she wonders? Or...
The Gorin athlete does not have the time to consider such thoughts. Right now, the ball's back in her side of the court, and it's turning right past her. A twist of her shoulders, a collecting of her hands, and she's able to contort her body and hit the ball back into the air...
Just in time for a HUGE gust of wind to blast forth, filling her mouth and nostrils with sand. Dropping one hand to her knees, she raises the other to her mouth, coughing out the sand... but she's got the good sense to get off the freaking court, at this point.
She points off towards the nearest rest facilities -- it ought to be clear she -needs- to flee, even if she'd rather not!
"Yes! Yes! Yeessss!"
Zack crows in delight as his anointed queen blasts a mighty serve toward her frolicking foes, pausing only to spit out the sand cast into his face by the rising winds. He stands up upon his teetering throne, raising his hands high as he hoots and hollers. Beneath him the tourists begin to scurry, alarm slowly passing through the crowd as it becomes more obvious that this is no mere blustery day.
Zack espies the ninja princess and, taking his eyes off the game for the barest moment, he waves at her frantically with both arms.
"Look at me, baby! I'm on top of the world!"
The waters roil. At last, shouts and cries of alarm can be heard as the waves swell and explode onto the sands, reaching far farther than before, sweeping away parasols and chairs. Several volleyball nets are ripped from the sands by the wind, beachballs spiralling up into the skies to vanish forever. The tower beneath Zack's feet creaks back and forth as he laughs with glee, the glint of his crown fading as the sun is covered by darkening clouds.
"I'm the kiiiiiiiii--"
Even amidst the cacophony, the snap of wood is audible.
Like a tree felled for lumber, the wired-up lifeguard post upon which Zack is poised splits at the base, leaning with aching slowness before it tumbles, collapsing with a terrible crash and eruption of splinters. The damaged stereo equipment promptly bursts into flame, for which Zack's throne becomes kindling.
On the bright side, the rapidly rising tide which now promises to flood the coast will put out those flames very soon.
In the sand-strewn wind and jumble of wood, Zack is nowhere to be seen. But there, some meters away, glimmers his crown.
"Well, that's not fair," complains Tran, shooting a faux hurt look at Amy. "The steroids make hers bigger and mine smaller." He opens his mouth to say something else--
-- and ah, crap, she saw him. "One second, Miss Asai!" he calls, having to scream to be heard over the building wind. And then holy shit Zack's lifeguard seat explodes, and Natsu goes running off with a face full of sand and this is escalating REALLY QUICKLY.
The game forgotten, Tran grabs Amy's arm and pulls her close so he can shout to her, close enough to actually be heard, "We need to get to cover! And I have to go get her," he adds, turning to point at Sada.
Sada's exciting plan to put out a cigarette on Tran's hand is derailed when she sees a lifeguard tower collapse. She stares in surprise and awe, ripples appearing in her Hurricane as Tran focuses on saving some slattern instead of his proper mistress.
She sees a shiny thing.
Sada stalks towards it, staying low to avoid the wind. She may not be the fastest because she also has a drink to mind (it cost 1,000 Zack Dollars)
Not that Kasumi had super high hopes of Hayabusa /not/ being caught up in some dangerous plot that only he can prevent from destroying them all... but it was worth trying?
The blase tone with which she responds suggests that she had kind of expected that explanation. Which says a lot for what the Master Ninja's reputation is like. "So... rain check?" she asks, as he vanishes up into the air to glide away just in time to avoid the incoming terrible typhoon.
Tucking the volleyball under one arm, she turns to watch the savage rounds of extreme beacn volleyball play out, especially noticing the un-missably tall Natsu Ayuhara... isn't she from Gorin? Kasumi's own teammates back at Taiyo have grumbled at great length over the court prowess of the volleyball captain of the competing school. Seeing the girl in action at last, Kasumi can certainly see why.
Turning her side to the wind, her ponytail whipping about her neck, she manages to hear the Island King's voice over the roar of the increasing storm. A broad, ready smile is offered with a wave back toward the precariously perched Zack. "Zaaaack! Come on, I need a partner for the next-"
The storm decides that it has permitted its last round of beach volleyball this day. Crashing waves, windshorn nets, and sandblasting blasts of wind should be clue enough that /this/ event at least has reached its inevitable disasterous conclusion. Finally accepting that there will probably be no game on courts now completely awash in seawater, she exhales. There is a fleeting flash of concern over Zack... 's crown, but once it shows up half buried in the sand from a retreating wave, she looks a lot less worried. That thing must be expensive!
Only a passing glance is cast toward the immaculate Robo-Tran in a final sweep of the area. At least it looks like Operative Agent Doctor Tran(?) is back in working order... word on the island about his last match was not pretty! With a shake of her head, Kasumi turns, vanishing into a swirl of petals that are immediately lost to the storm.
Well, that's distinctly unpleasant. The Templar's brief elation at scoring on the talented team of Gorin semi-professional Natsu and the pleasingly hard-bodied, businesslike Delaney is quickly blunted when the weather worsens even further. Her own raven strands pulling from their loose ponytail to dash against her eyes, at least warding off the more vicious stings of blasting sand, Amy braces her feet on the wildly-shifting beach and is turning to her own partner--
When he seizes her arm and yanks her toward him.
"Excuse you," she half-yells over the gust, stormy eyes bright and a grin on her lips. She loves bad weather - it makes her feel alive, her heart pulsing a fierce rhythm in counter-part to the wrath of God. Cheeks flushed and adrenaline thrumming through her veins, the operator behind Tran's machinations may not be aware that right now is likely the best chance she'll have of bagging the Templar...
But it slips rapidly through her fingers, all the same. Pausing to look toward the scrambling Sada, Amy curves an eyebrow in an expression that says it all: 'are you kidding me?' or more likely, given her chosen role, 'surely thou jest, sir?'
When her gaze rides back to Tran, it's with a teasingly-mocking laugh and a shrug.
"And what is she?" She shouts, cheeks dimpling with the mirth that is still, when you get down it, mostly mocking. It might not be knightly of her to think so but gosh, men are -lame-. "Your daughter?" Shaking her head, and holding back her hair as the wind seems to intensify even more, she adds only: "Good luck, Doctor! Thanks for the game!"
And before the last is out she's already dashing across the sand, hunkering low, her muscular frame resisting the pressure well and fighting back. If she encounters any distressed damsels (of either gender) along the way, she'll even give them a spot of assistance-- that's what she does, after all.
If only she knew what she was leaving behind.
KG never lets an opportunity slip through her fingers. "I'll tell you tomorrow," Tran shouts after Amy as she scrambles away. "While you're buying me dinner!"
And then the two go their seperate ways; Tran marches across the beach, apparently unperturbed by the force of the wind (what a panty-destroying badass), and straight up scoops Sada off the ground into a princess carry, turning and hauling her off towards shelter.
The coming storm is inevitable. Caoimhe knew this - she had been almost obsessively monitoring the weather patterns of the island's vicinity since her arrival on the island, when she wasn't busy obsessing about her clothing, or obsessively manufacturing her improvised explosives, or obsessively doing her morning laps around the island, or obsessively mapping as much of the island as she could, or...
Well, it hasn't been the most relaxed vacation. Then again, it hasn't been a vacation at all, as far as Caoimhe is concerned. Where was this going, anyway?
Right. Caoimhe knew that there was a storm coming. That's why she spent several hours earlier digging a below-ground storm shelter for herself and her partner, Tia Langray (see earlier). She'd also produced a makeshift bamboo roof for the enormous hole in the ground, then proceeded to pack enough food and drink to last for a few days into her picnic basket, secured a towel large and thick enough to serve as a makeshift blanket for two and keep warm, and located a beach umbrella because... well, she's got Irish blood and often burns like a vampire in the sun.
When Natsu knocks the ball into the air, Caoimhe follows it up, delivering a punch that sends it back across the net... and then up, further and further into the air, before finally heading out to sea. The auburn-haired woman's eyes follow it as she lands in the sand for a brief moment before she's suddenly blasted by a gust of scathing grit-laden wind.
The combat engineer dashes across the sand to snatch up her towel and picnic basket. The umbrella's already been blown away and is left to its fate. Hunkering down to resist another gale and putting a hand up to shield her eyes, Caoimhe grimaces. She should find her partner. There are a lot of people on this island, but she only had the time and energy to make a shelter big enough for two. Tia Langray may not be the best partner she could have asked for, but she's on her team. And you never leave a team member behi...
Slowly, Caoimhe's gaze drifts over to Zack's 'throne' as a different idea come to mind. No one could fault her for trying to save the owner of the island, could they? Especially when she'd have to go halfway across the island to fetch her own partner. Tia should be fine, right? Who knows how long the storm could last? She'd certainly rather be trapped in that enclosed space with...
And then, suddenly, the throne collapses. And with all the sand being kicked up, Zack is nowhere to be seen in the aftermath.
Only those looking directly at Caoimhe would be able to perceive the outcry, the sound of despair drowned out by the howling wind.
There's... no time.
Her eyes tearing - only due to the stinging sand blowing in them, surely - Caoimhe tucks her towel and her basket and charges toward the treeline, alone... and forlorn.
Sada can't hear herself being shit-talked over the storm of the incoming... ...storm, and instead focuses forward, her eyes on the prize. Ducking low, she reaches forwards, and then
Sada immediately smacks Tran upside the head. "You dumbass! You spilled my drink!" After this though, she bends over...
And just like Yomi she has enough fat in her body to stretch, and if nobody is faster, she's going to hook two fingers through that jeweled crown. To rescue it... yes.
= MEANWHILE, HALFWAY ACROSS THE ISLAND =
Tia Langray is, in a complete turnaround of her usual kind and forgiving persona, really pissed off and super, duper self-involved. Utterly blind - for perhaps the first time in her short, magnanimous life - to the suffering of others.
"DAMMIT, JACK, WHY IS THE HELICOPTER CRASHING?"
"B-B-Because it's very windy, M-Miss Langray! C-Could you...?"
Blinking hazel eyes against the ferociously-whipping winds, the future Empress of Muay Thai - who is missing half her teeth and still looks like shit following the events of Going Commando's last, wholesome matchup (though thankfully she's showered and no longer literally *smells* like shit) - glances down at her pudgy agent's hand. Which is inches away from her own, strong grasp, feebly clinging to the edge of the sleek, red and black helicopter's interior. The rotor blades are struggling above them. They really need to turn into the wind and let it carry them, or it's gonna be a rough landing. Of course, for Jack, if she can't spare one tiny display of selflessness...
The universe holds its breath as Tia considers performing one, solitary act of charity.
"Nah, you're alright!"
Somewhere in the hall of the gods, Lady Fortune cackles and scoops up her winnings, several of the more optimistic deities holding their heads in their hands and sobbing as they not only lose their money, but all remaining respect for mankind.
Tia pushes herself upright, bracing against the winds, and with a yell forcibly slides shut the metal bird's door. The pilot is ready to go, swooping into the gale and then riding it out across the expanse of Zack Island as Langray kicks aside three severed fingers, sticking her tongue out in childish disgust and making a 'blech' sound.
"Too much dead weight around here anyway. Where the *hell'd* Delaney get to?"
Throwing herself down in the back of the 'copter, she rides the storm like one of hell's own furies, suddenly and entirely bored as she looks out across the island. Thinking no more of anyone, beside herself.
Lee Chaolan doesn't respond to Ryu.
In fact, after his name drop of the tournament, he just... lays there. Arms behind his head. Sunglasses over his eyes, he just lays there. After all, he gave his last word. The winds begin to drone as the beach begins to become buffeted. The waves surge deeper, and deeper, and deeper up the shore. A mighty crash of foam comes.
And engulfs the beach chair of the one Lee Chaolan.
The Silver-haired executive lays on the beach chair still, the vessel being carried further and further out with the surf. And steadily, Lee begins to sink. In a moment, Lee too would be gone, out of sight, out of mind. But out there, as the rain begins to come down. Out there, as the herald of the torrents to come reign... Lee sinks beneath the waves. But not before a thumbs up is thrust into the air, above the the surface of the water.
Amongst the seafoam, one could swear to hear an "Excellent!~"
Log created on 21:03:37 02/13/2015 by Zack, and last modified on 03:29:11 02/14/2015.