Unholy Genesis - [UG:Round 1] LIVING HISTORY DAY

Description: The Metro City Museum of History was hosting a great number of prized historical artifacts the week of its fall. The MCPD evacuated the Museum itself in plenty of time, but the curators were not allowed back into the museum, which meant many of the priceless artifacts were caught within the anomaly as it expanded. Among them - a priceless set of samurai armor, said to grant unspeakable power to the person who wears it. Three parties are keenly interested in the artifact: RYU HAYABUSA, who wants to secure the armor for the good of all mankind. BAIKEN, who knows of the armor's dark legacy and wants to purify it of evil. And KATANA of the MAD GEAR GANG, who just thinks it would be a bitchin' upgrade to his current set. As the fight rages on... the dark aura of the armor itself will begin to cloud the minds of those around it, inciting the ancient class battle between the NINJA and the SAMURAI.

The upheavel of Metro Square and the subsequent crisis with the enigmatic Jedah Dohma naturally has incurred Mad Gear's full attention. Especially because their boss, the 'legitimate businessman' Belger, makes his headquarters in the Square itself. This would have thrown the gang into complete chaos if not for the efforts of their top bosses, particularly Rolento. An expedition was mounted and communications were re-established; their boss was still alive and taking advantage of the crisis by attaching himself to the human resistance forces at Il Paradiso - something that would easily further boost his credibility with the city as a stalwart, heroic community leader.

But for the rest of Mad Gear, the old man was clear: clean the trash out of his city.

Katana was all but eager to serve his 'shogun', venturing out to fight the demons whenever they surfaced. Mad Gear may not be big players like Shadaloo, but this was THEIR turf, one they knew VERY well. Combined with Rolento's knowledge of guerilla strikes, they were steadily mounting brutal attacks on Darkstalkers whenever they found them - their own brand of street justice.

Today, having heard of a special suit of armor at the museum, Katana decides it will be a kick ass addition to his collection. A suit of armor that will REALLY put fear in the hearts of Mad Gear's enemies, and further show everyone his true heritage! The doors burst open as the giant man in makeshift football pad armor strides into the deserted museum. It's moody...a good time for reflection. Surely there are others after this armor! Frowning, he utters a phrase because it feels right to: "Queso-coo wah chick are a naughty." He forgot what it means but he's pretty sure it has to do with courage.

Baiken found her own way to the demonic dimension. Perhaps it isn't a surprise that Baiken was drawn to it - not because she has any interest in Jedah's 'offer' but for reasons of her own she hasn't bothered to tell anyone else.

Those reasons may involve killing Jedah, or at least getting rid of this... place. Thing. It disgusts her. The Darkstalkers, the demons; she wants no part of it except to end it. But if she just runs in, sword flailing, she will be the one that ends up dead - and while Baiken doesn't rate her life very highly, she hasn't gotten her revenge yet. She can't throw it away before then.

This means she's worked her way around the outside, to places of interest inside Majigen. One of those places is the museum. She knows of something here that needs to be dealt with before the demonic atmosphere awakens it.

The museum is not /entirely/ deserted when Katana enters. Baiken is already there. She is in fact already near the armour, though she hasn't done anything with it; she is staring at it, her single eye narrowed in distrust as she considers the best way to deal with it. She has a kiseru because the one thing the museum staff cannot do right now is tell her to not smoke.

At the sound of someone else approaching, her head tilts. She hears it, all right...

The world is in disorder, the balance of power being shattered by the actions of the archfiend Jedah. With Metro City shrouded in this dark power, its citizens have fallen to panic and chaos. All around the world there is an undercurrent of fear: if this could happen to Metro City, what is it that keeps London, Beijing, or Southtown safe?

Ryu Hayabusa is called into action. The moment word reached the Hayabusa Clan of this attack on the carefully maintained order, the Singular Super Ninja was required to respond. Travelling halfway around the world, he has entered Majigen with the task of hunting down Jedah and putting an end to his plans with the the efficient lethality that ninja have been long famed for.

There is one problem in all of this: he needs to actually locate Jedah. The archfiend has created his own kingdom, set loose a great many lesser fiends across this walled off portion of Metro City, and has not quite yet set up a fortress of his own to act as a permanent throne.

And so Hayabusa has been left to hunt.

This hunt has lead him to the Metro City Museum of History. A bright spark of fiendish power calls forth from the building like a beacon. Like a shadow he moves through the halls, silent and unseen, the famed Dragon Sword sheathed across his back, and the long, intricate shape of the Lunar Staff strapped in place as well as he glides along the shadows of the upper balcony.

For the moment he simply observes.

Katana approaches the armor, finally noticing he is not alone. The man, as he steps into some ambient lighting shining in from the otherworldly skies outside, looks to have been in some street battles before this - his jeans and shirt are torn in some places...and crusted with dried blood in others. He unsheathes both of his katana from his back, flourishing them in an effort to look extra tough. "Hmmm...it seems I am not the only one to have an interest in this armor!" he declares.

Ryu's presence goes completely unnoticed, though Katana would insist he could root out a ninja by smell alone three rooms away. Once he gets a good look at Baiken, he is intrigued. Another Japanese warrior! The robes, the fancy pipe...that look! Could it be a...GENUINE SAMURAI? His heart starts beating faster, but he remains composed. He slaps his hands together and does an exaggerated bow. "Sue me mason. Konbandwagon. I am pleased to meet a fellow warrior. My name...is Katana!"

He spins both swords in both hands before stopping them as they point straight up. "However...that armor...is MINE! As a member of Mad Gear, the rulers of this city, it is my destiny that such a fabulous armor be worn by my self. If you are here to claim it...I suggest you turn back now."

Baiken looks sour when she's actually addressed.

This isn't much of a change. Baiken almost always looks sour.

Baiken puts her kiseru out, tapping the ashes into a trash can in exactly the way you're not really supposed to, because it can cause a fire. Since nobody is actually adding any trash, she figures it's probably safe enough. "Your Japanese," she says, in English, "is atrocious. And your name is not Katana." Nobody's name is Katana. That's ridiculous.

Her eye remains slightly narrowed. "I think not," she says. "Do you think I would give it to anyone? Especially some idiot I have just met? Leave; this isn't any business of yours. Find something more appropriate to do. Like getting a less ridiculous helmet."

She does not - conciously, at least - see Hayabusa. But her eye roves anyway. She's suspicious; she's looking for someone or something even if it's not him. Perhaps she's already seen one or another of the demonic Darkstalkers in here. If he doesn't act, he'll get spotted sooner or later. And it's pretty clear she has intentions with the armour...

A confrontation.

It's a mild one, but the other two parties seem to be interested in the armor. Under most circumstances Hayabusa would be content to allow them to squabble as they pleased, it's not his place to govern all of humanity, but there is something about the armor. The longer he waits here, the more obvious is becomes:

This armor was that source of fiendish power.

Even from this distance Hayabusa begins to sense the way that it calls out, corrupting those around it in an effort to find a new host to bear its cursed power. An aura of pure hatred swirls around it, begging for an opportunity to spread its vengeance across the world.

This is a power that must be sealed away.

Breaking from his cover, Hayabusa suddenly flies from the balcony, his feet barely making a noise as they greet the floor of the lower hall.

"I cannot allow either of you to unleash the cursed power that flows through that armor. Leave now before its corruption can overwhelm you."

COMBATSYS: Katana has started a fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Katana           0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Baiken has joined the fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Katana           0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0           Baiken

COMBATSYS: Ryu Hayabusa has joined the fight here on the top side.

                 [ |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Ryu Hayabusa     0|-------|-------
[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Katana           0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0           Baiken

Katana grips his swords tightly. "It /is/ my name, woman!" he shoots back. "As for this helmet...I used every ounce of my shop skills learned in high school - one of the few things I learned in that filthy gaijin institute - to craft it!" He points at it with pride. Now he was mad. No one disrespected a Mad Gear boss! The power in the armor wouldn't have much of a hard time corrupting a particularly delusional gangbanger.

He suddenly shifts his attention to the ninja that appears. This was incredible, a real life ninja clad in black! His excitement was curbed by a simmering anger, however. Especially when the ninja announces his intentions. "You think to tell /me/ what to do? A Mad Gear OG will never listen to a coward who slinks in the shadows, fighting without honor!" He spits on the floor in Ryu's direction.

He feels compelled to shift his anger to Ryu, even though he was raring to go at Baiken just a moment ago. He doesn't know why, but he doesn't care. "I'll spill your blood here, then deal with the cyclops later. Come face true steel!"

Perhaps ironically, Baiken wants to do the same sort of thing to the armour as Hayabusa does. If they worked together, they'd have a better chance of it.

The problem is that Baiken does not like working with others, especially people she doesn't know. And she has had a very bad few days. She's not particularly interested in giving people the benefit of the doubt - Ryu, Katana, or both.

Baiken spits to the side before regarding Ryu with distaste. "As opposed to letting you touch it, I suppose," she says, irritated. "I don't have the patience to do with the both of you. Get out before you do something you'll regret."

Cyclops? She stares at Katana's back, her eye full of hate. It is a small mercy she does not lash out at him when he's looking away (or laugh at him when he speaks, honestly, which she is about a half step away from doing at all times). She rolls her neck instead, resting her hand on her sword hilt and taking a step toward the armour. The intent is to keep Ryu (and Katana) away from it. She doesn't bother to hide it.

Being outnumbered is not the problem for Hayabusa that it is for many other fighters. He has been forced to battle his way through armies of soldiers and fiends alike in his missions to protect the world from supernatural threats.

This is somewhat different. The man in the samurai armor on his own, or even with a group of his usual thugs and minions, would likely not be enough to overwhelm the Dragon Ninja. The one-armed woman, is another story; she has the poise of a true veteran combatant. There is more to her than would meet the eye.

"It is the duty of my clan to contain such fiendish artifacts so that they do not pose a threat to the world. I am sorry that you are unable to see reason, but you have been warned," Hayabusa says in a resigned tone. There will always be those who cannot see reason, even when their actions place their own soul at risk.

With a flash of movement, the ninja master is in motion, rocketing into the air. In a blur of motion, the Lunar Staff slides off his back, gripped low on the haft as he flies down toward the one-eyed woman. It's a rocketing swing aimed to either knock her to the ground or force her off to the sides away from the fiendish armor.

COMBATSYS: Ryu Hayabusa equips the Lunar Staff.

                 [ |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Ryu Hayabusa [E] 0|-------|-------
[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Katana           0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0           Baiken

Katana watches the ninja and the scarred woman start to go at it. He edged closer to the armor itself, feeling even more compelled by the power it seems to be radiating. Yes, THIS was a prize. He could wear this and...no more would he fear the police or the shadow of Haggar. He would be the most powerful gang boss in Metro City! The most notorious samurai in the Western World! He would look magnificent, especially when he took it with him to Japan. Oh, and the battles, yes! So many battles in that armor! Cutting down all that underestimate him!

He grits his teeth as he waited for a chance to strike. After Ryu pulls out the staff, Katana charges, coming in from the side as he gives a great, drawn out battle cry before slicing at the ninja's flank with one of his swords. "BONZAAAAAIIIII!"

COMBATSYS: Baiken blocks Ryu Hayabusa's Power Strike.

                 [ |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Ryu Hayabusa [E] 0|-------|-------
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Katana           0/-------/-------|==-----\-------\0           Baiken

Baiken is one of the best swordswomen on the planet. People have seen her fight ever since she started to move into the fighting tournaments for practice she could get nowhere else; there weren't many people who were actual challenges to her who weren't involved in it but were still willing to fight her.

She just doesn't always look it. She has one arm and one eye. That makes it easy to overlook her, to think her maiming cripples her in a way it does not. Right now, for instance, she's just kind of standing there, waiting. "Your clan? Your clan sends you /here/ and you want me to trust you? I don't need to work with you. I can handle this myself!"

Ryu doesn't disappoint her. He charges in. Baiken doesn't even draw her sword, pressing down on the hilt so that the scabbard swings out; she uses the wood casing to swat aside the incoming staff strike; she's not entirely successful, and the wide swing thumps into the side of her leg, but with its force somewhat dispersed by her use of the scabbard as a blocking tool.

It stings, and she has to take a hopping sideways step to avoid falling over, but it doesn't send her flying as Ryu had hoped. Katana's charging in gives her enough cover to take another step, then stomp her foot.


A green chunk of chi flips up from the ground, spraying pink chi that dissolves into cherry blossoms in a wide arc - but possibly not before it impacts Ryu, launching him upwards and backwards! (Also, Katana probably does not want to lumber into it, but that's his own business; she's aimed it on his far side, at least.)

COMBATSYS: Ryu Hayabusa just-defends Baiken's Tatami Gaeshi!

                 [ |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Ryu Hayabusa [E] 0|-------|-------
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Katana           0/-------/-------|==-----\-------\0           Baiken

COMBATSYS: Katana successfully hits Ryu Hayabusa with Jigoku Scrape.

                 [   ||||||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Ryu Hayabusa [E] 0|-------|------=
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Katana           0/-------/------=|==-----\-------\0           Baiken

Saying that Hayabusa's clan sent him here would be somewhat of a misnomer. Ryu Hayabusa is the head of his clan, the Master Ninja of the Dragon Lineage. One can only say that his clan gives him orders because he resolutely follows the traditional mandates of the Hayabusa Clan. He is gifted with the strength to defeat powerful evils that threaten the world, and to ignore his responsibilities would be a failure of self.

There are other failures; allowing oneself to lose composure, to allow pride to overcome reason is utter weakness. As his staff is knocked aside, Hayabusa immediately rolls backward to give himself some room. This provides him with plenty of opportunity to see the on-coming chi and be ready for it. As it approaches, he lunges the tip of the mystical Lunar Staff forward, sheathed in what seems like misty moonlight, and the cherry blossoms are snuffed.

If he were fighting one opponent, that would have been an excellent maneuver, unfortunately there's still Katana to contend with, and that maneuver leaves him open. Attempting to keep the reach advantage of his staff, Hayabusa starts to hop to the side, but the sweeping slash of the energized "samurai" is too quick, cleaving a red line in his side.

A tactical error. The Mad Gear thug may be a fool, but he isn't unskilled. The Dragon Ninja's tactics change as the staff slides back into place across his back and the Dragon Sword glides free of its sheath. In one smooth motion, Hayabusa brings the hilt of the blade flying forward, catching it in flight to grip it in both hands as he attempts to shatter Katana's faceplate before twisting the sword in hands and drawing it down in a sudden chop to the shoulder.

COMBATSYS: Katana blocks Ryu Hayabusa's Blade of the Wisdom King.

                 [    |||||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Ryu Hayabusa [E] 0|-------|-----==
[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Katana           0/-------/-----==|==-----\-------\0           Baiken

Katana stays well away from the cherry blossoms until the ninja dissipates them - they look nice in this battle, he must admit. The hilt of Ryu's sword slams into his faceplate with a loud clang, rattling his head and leaving him with a bloody lip. The strike to his shoulder, however, is blocked with his katana, slowing the descent of the Dragon Sword until it barely bites into the shoulder. He still visibly struggles against Ryu's strength - it's his first time facing a real life ninja, and he didn't expect one to be so...SOLID.

"I will pay you both to leave and let ME have this armor!" he says, still with his put-on 'formal samurai' way of speaking. "Mad Gear is well connected! I...I will kill MANY demons with it. Our shogunate will be wiped clean of them. Isn't that baller? Isn't that what you would want?"

He shoves Ryu away - he's still built like a footballer. Speaking of football, he charges Ryu with his shoulder pressed forward to tackle the ninja into one of the other curios in the room - a glass case of some old Japanese scrollwork, in this case.

Baiken looks at Katana like he is crazy.

That may be because, from her perspective, he is crazy.

"No," is her one-word reply to offering to buy the armour from her. Not that Baiken is too good to take money for something she cannot, technically speaking, sell, but more that she's not going to sell him /this/. Just the thought of him wearing the armour disgusts her, and makes her a little upset.

She is in fact getting agitated, though it's not immediately clear; Baiken tends to let it build for a time before exploding dramatically in a violent burst of fury. "Tch." She finally does draw her blade, holding it in a reversed grip.

It looks like she might be holding back for a moment, but that rage builds in Baiken, and a few moments later she charges; she holds the blade across her body, defensively, while rushing in, only to slash once as she actually gets closer to Ryu. She'll keep him away from it, and then deal with Katana, who is (after all) almost certainly a much easier target.

Plus, she doesn't like Ryu. She never liked people like him. The fact that Baiken cannot clearly explain what 'people like him' means is irrelevant right now.

COMBATSYS: Katana successfully hits Ryu Hayabusa with Medium Strike.

                 [       ||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Ryu Hayabusa [E] 0|-------|----===
[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Katana           0/-------/-----==|==-----\-------\0           Baiken

COMBATSYS: Ryu Hayabusa dodges Baiken's Suzuran.

                 [       ||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Ryu Hayabusa [E] 0|-------|----===
[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Katana           0/-------/-----==|===----\-------\0           Baiken

Pressure. Even Ryu Hayabusa is not immune to the effects of being overwhelmed on all sides by opponents. He's certainly more capable of resisting the effects than many other fighters, but it is a challenge.

Unable to force back his opponents, he doesn't really have room to maneuver, there's no time to avoid the tackling charge of the much larger, armored man, finding himself slammed back into a case, surrounded by the sound of shattering glass accompanying the destruction of historical treasures.

This should put him at a disadvantage against the surging slash from the otaku's temporary partner, but Hayabusa moves with a surge of speed, ducking under the sweeping arc of Baiken's blade and making a dash for more open ground.

Once he's managed to open some more room between him and the duo, he kicks up into the air, twisting around as both hands lash out to the kunai sheathed along his thighs. In a frenzied blur of motion, the air in front of him is filled with gleaming, flying blades, precisely targetted at his foes.

COMBATSYS: Katana endures Ryu Hayabusa's Four Rings EX.

                 [       ||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Ryu Hayabusa [E] 0|-------|---====
[      \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Katana           0/-------/---====|===----\-------\0           Baiken

Katana knows Baiken's look; he gets it a lot. He chooses to ignore it, his building bloodlust focused on the ninja. He felt GREAT. He felt in the element! He could cut down a million ninja, like those idiotic Western action movies that protray Japan so negatively. He just wanted to see the blood run from Ryu's veins, and he wanted MORE of it. He had no idea why he was feeling like this, but he didn't care.

Kunai? Laughable. He would show this man he had no fear. He thrust his arms out and bellowed wordlessly, as if challenging the man. Two kunai sink into his unprotected thighs, three actually puncture his chest armor - he can feel their tips dig into his flesh. His jeans become stained by blood, and he knows his chest will be running with it too. He grunts, staggering to the side until he steadies himself with one katana like a cane.

"Time to gut you, pig," he growls. The formality starts to drop. He charges for the ninja, both swords held out to stab into him. If successful, Katana will knock Ryu to the ground and drag him across the floor until reaching one of the walls of the room. As he does, flames will ignite over Ryu just before the football samurai slams him against said wall.

COMBATSYS: Ryu Hayabusa successfully hit Baiken with Four Rings EX.

                 [       ||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Ryu Hayabusa [E] 0|-------|=======
[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////   ]
Katana           0/-------/---====|====---\-------\0           Baiken

Knives rain down around Baiken - and despite all her skill, all her many options, this is something she has few effective responses to. She throws herself to the side, trying to get behind a display (looks like some swords; nothing fancy, only historical items), but she does not get there in time. Several of the kunai impact Baiken, thumping against her body and drawing blood from the impact in a dozen small wounds.

Baiken growls, deep in her throat. She crouches behind the display of swords and sheathes her own, reaching up with her good hand and grabbing one of the historical items. She draws it down behind the display where she crouches, letting Katana go in for the slam before she does anything else.

A moment later, and the entire katana comes flying at Ryu Hayabusa, followed by a second and a third. Baiken will never throw /her/ sword, because her sword has sentimental value to her. But she will quite happily throw a bunch of random swords she finds lying around. She tosses a couple of the kunai back for good measure too, the ones that stuck close enough for her to reach.

COMBATSYS: Ryu Hayabusa dodges Katana's Daikyou Burning.

                 [       ||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Ryu Hayabusa [E] 0|-------|=======
[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////    ]
Katana           0/-------/---====|====---\-------\0           Baiken

COMBATSYS: Baiken successfully hits Ryu Hayabusa with Large Thrown Object.
Glancing Blow

                 [          |||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Ryu Hayabusa [E] 1|-------|=======
[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////    ]
Katana           0/-------/---====|======-\-------\0           Baiken


Speed is the only advantage that Ryu Hayabusa might be able to make use of if he hopes to come out of this victorious and prevent this cursed armor from being allowed to reawaken. The Hayabusa Clan could most likely contain it, keep it locked away so that its fiendish seduction is unable to lock its grip onto a fertile soul... but before that can happen, he needs to actually get out of this in one piece.

Adding up the speed, the super ninja leaves the Dragon Sword resheathed on his back, opting for mobility over reach as he clears Katana's charging blades with a carefully timed leap. Unfortunately, this places him in the air as Baiken lets loose with a flurry of blades. Before he manages to touchdown with the ground, some of the blades manage to score red cuts along his bared arms, even as the bulk of the blades pass by once he manages to get to ground.

He's been locked down, but its not enough to keep him out.

Hopefully the lumbering size of the otaku samurai is enough to leave him open as the Super Ninja lashes out at him, twisting around as with a sudden kick as he attempts to bury one of the kunai deeper into place with his heel.

COMBATSYS: Katana interrupts Medium Kick from Ryu Hayabusa with Tengu Walking.

                 [            |||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Ryu Hayabusa [E] 1|-----==|=======
[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////    ]
Katana           0/-------/-======|======-\-------\0           Baiken

If Katana was not so focused on killing a ninja, he would be truly awed by Baiken's sword-slinging techniques. Many times has he tried such a thing, only to either hit the wrong person or wind up with the thing clattering to the ground only a few feet away, often broken. To master sword throwing...will require intense training. Perhaps one day, he will reach that level. But not today. Not while Belger holds sway over his mind.

Still feeling like he can take on the world by the armor's influence, he spits a wad of blood out as Ryu comes at him again. He sniffs, and seems to let the kick connect with one of the kunai embedded in his leg. It sinks deeper, tearing up meat and sinew; he yells as a fresh wave of pain hammers it's way up to his brain. But, he suddenly performs a handstand...on his swords.

No self-respecting samurai would REALLY be seen using their swords this way, and yet, here he is: a beefy American Man balancing almost completely vertical on his swordpoints. More than that, he begins WALKING on his swords, stabbing his way up Ryu's leg and then his torso until he does a quick flip to get behind the ninja.

Baiken doesn't actually practice throwing swords, so it's almost ironic Katana wants to do so based on seeing her throw them. Mind you, she throws pretty much everything /else/...

Baiken doesn't come out from behind the display until the display is mostly bare. She still has her own sword, scabbarded neatly at her side, but no others. If she looked irritated before, she looks more so now, her face twisted by anger.

"What's the matter," she asks of Ryu. "Disappointed that you couldn't get to the armour on your own? I'm here to deal with this thing once and for all - and that includes stopping thieves." That might be a backhanded warning for Katana as much as Ryu.

What Ryu /really/ has to deal with is Baiken lunging out from her hiding spot. She jumps into the air and comes down, foot-first, into a jump-kick; a springing one as it turns out, because if she connects with Ryu she bounds off, launching herself up above the displays and hanging onto what appears to be a rack of overhead lights.

COMBATSYS: Ryu Hayabusa counters Strong Kick from Baiken with Mekkyaku - Ranryu.

                 [            |||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Ryu Hayabusa [E] 0|-------|-----==
[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////            ]
Katana           0/-------/-======|=======\====---\1           Baiken

Katana is not a man that Ryu would normally respect. He is a tool for evil purposes, and allows himself to cloud his own reality. An imperfect soul. What the master ninja can admire is that the giant gaijin samurai is willing to absolutely commit despite personal risk, and he manages some creativity with his weapons, perhaps by not actually knowing the correct way to use them.

There's absolutely nothing Hayabusa can do as his attack is ignored so that the Mad Gear minion can lacerate his leg. Hayabusa's only saving grace is that his modern ninja attire is at least somewhat protective or else he'd be limping after this.

As for Baiken... Ryu isn't one for idle chatter during a fight. It is important to remain calm and ready, never allow yourself to become enraged, and don't waste breath. It may be that the one-armed samurai might have been attempting to destroy the fiendish armor, but her reckless behavior and short fuse do not instill any confidence that she would have been successful. No, she'll need to be removed from the picture as well.

And so as Baiken comes flying at the ninja, he leaps into a spinning kick that knocks aside his attack, landing flat back on the ground as she's left to defy gravity for a moment before he launches her back up with a sudden uppercut. As the arc draws her up toward its peak, he pulls back into a ready position, surging with readiness, and then flies forward in a shoulder tackle that propels the samurai across the museum floor, crashing through display cabinets and educational signs.

Katana hears the jab at him taken by Baiken, after his little sword-balancing act. "I SEE your point, or at least half of it!" he retorts, putting one hand over an eye. His bravado also seems to be increasing as the fight goes on. He watches the ninja tackle Baiken through some display cabinets; in the future there is going to be a very sad curator, and a horrified Katana at realizing he was accomplice to wrecking superior Japanese artifacts.

Now though, he just wants more blood. His jeans and shirt are now dark with his own blood seeping from the kunai wounds, but it isn't enough. He raps his left fist against his head to psyche himself up, then runs after the other two. His body aches but he ignores it, trying to find that slippery shinobi in the wreckage...then making a grab for him.

"You have no smoke bombs or shuriken? What sort of ninja are you?" he grunts. He tries to then toss Ryu over his shoulder.

Baiken does not, in fact, end up hanging from the lights like she'd intended.

Instead she finds herself slammed across the floor. Baiken curls up into a ball reflexively, and that means she has a tendency to go /through/ displays instead of slamming into them and stopping; she goes through a display cabinet, hits the ground, rolls, takes out an entire set of poles holding up ropes to keep kids away from a different display, and eventually comes to a stop against a pillar.

The artificial tree sitting next to the pillar tilts and lands on top of Baiken, because of course it does.

Baiken, before, was fighting back her rage. Maybe part of her knew it was somewhat unnatural, or maybe she just wanted all her wits about her when she dealt with the armour. But right now she is /furious/ at being made a fool of, and her target is exclusively Ryu Hayabusa. She rises, shoving the tree and some other debris off her. She is bloody, battered - but ignoring it as best she can.

Baiken runs back toward the battle. She ducks low as she gets closer, her sandals sliding across the tile rather than coming to a stop, and she shakes out her empty sleeve. Or, as it turns out, 'empty', because something that looks like nothing so much as an axe head with a spike point falls out of it, attached to a chain. It clinks as it hangs from her sleeve.

From the crouching position, Baiken swings the axe-head upwards, sending a vertical slash Ryu Hayabusa's way! She starts yanking the chain back into her sleeve with her free hand afterwards, returning the brutal weapon to its resting place as she rises from her sliding crouch.

COMBATSYS: Ryu Hayabusa dodges Katana's Quick Throw.

                 [            |||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Ryu Hayabusa [E] 0|-------|-----==
[              \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Katana           0/-------/=======|=======\===----\1           Baiken

COMBATSYS: Baiken successfully hits Ryu Hayabusa with Youshijin.

                 [                  |||||||||||| ]
                 Ryu Hayabusa [E] 0|-------|-======
[              \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Katana           0/-------/=======|=======\=====--\1           Baiken

It's time to retake control of the fight.

If ever Hayabusa is going to have an opportunity to succeed in this fight, he needs to maintain battlefield control. Hoping to get range on his side again, he brings the Lunar Staff to bear once more, spinning it a few times to ready himself for the oncoming storm that's about to hit him.

First comes the taunting of Katana. Hayabusa refuses to allow any of it to pull him out of his focus, instead planting one end of the staff on the ground and using to vault backwards away from the Mad Gear representative.

And once more he finds himself facing punishment as Baiken is in position to take advantage of his airborn position. Seemingly out of nowhere, or at least out of a sleeve far too small to reasonably contain it, an axehead on a chain comes flying up and catches Ryu full on, blasting him off toward the other side of the museum arena.

This isn't good.

Ryu Hayabusa is bleeding, his muscles faintly screaming as he struggles to retake control of this fight. He pushes back up to his feet, sucking in a deep breath as he attempts to regain his center. Injuries mean nothing. Fatigue means nothing. A well-honed soul overcomes the fraility of humanity.

COMBATSYS: Ryu Hayabusa gains composure.

                 [              |||||||||||||||| ]
                 Ryu Hayabusa [E] 0|-------|--=====
[              \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Katana           0/-------/=======|=======\=====--\1           Baiken

Katana circles Ryu slowly with his swords raised and at the ready, covered in small bits of debris from charging around the museum like a bull in a china shop. He could tell the ninja was getting weaker - now he just had to outlast him. He wishes to rest too, to focus, but something in his mind tells him not to. No rest, not until these other two lie bleeding on the floor! He steps closer to Ryu and performs two diagonal cuts with his swords, an x-shape across the ninja's chest. "HYOOOOOOOHHHHH!" he howls.

Baiken keeps all sorts of stuff up her sleeve. It's a regular box of mysteries.

The axe-head vanishes up it as Baiken tucks it away, which takes her a moment.She's good at doing it quickly, though, as she's used to doing it while under attack. In this case it's easier than usual, because Ryu is trying to refocus, recenter, and recover - which means he's not attacking Baiken right that moment, and she has a moment.

Baiken lets Katana take the lead. It's fine by her if he gets himself battered and beaten going after the ninja. She's decided to keep her mouth shut, whether in unconcious similarity to Ryu or just because she doesn't have much to say is unclear. She ducks behind a row of poles holding up a rope like the ones she knocked over briefly, darting under them and coming at Ryu from behind.

Which is why he might be somewhat surprised when a foot whips out, low, trying to trip him to the ground as it hooks around his ankle. If she manages to down him, Baiken stabs downward, aiming at his shoulder rather than something vital - enough to convince him to stop fighting, certainly not enough to kill anyone except possibly from shock. Or that's the idea.

Baiken doesn't always bother to restrain herself, but in Majigen, she's saving her murder for the obvious monsters - angry or not. Her sleeve flaps loosely as she backs up after the strike, blade still held ready.

COMBATSYS: Ryu Hayabusa parries Katana's Medium Strike!

                 [              |||||||||||||||| ]
                 Ryu Hayabusa [E] 0|-------|=======
[              \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Katana           0/-------/=======|=======\======-\1           Baiken

COMBATSYS: Ryu Hayabusa counters Armed Combo from Baiken with Moonpiercer EX.

                 [              |||||||||||||||| ]
                 Ryu Hayabusa [E] 1|------=|=======
[              \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////                 ]
Katana           0/-------/=======|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2           Baiken

Even in the destruction winds of a typhoon there is a peaceful center if one knows where to look. Despite the gravity of this situation and the constant threat from both opponents, Ryu Hayabusa doesn't allow himself to lose control. The moment you are unable to find your peaceful center in a fight you have already lost, and there are those who will take their advantages and become cocky, leaving themselves weak in what should be a moment of triumph.

By the time the two samurai have made their decision to approach him, Hayabusa has already recollected himself. He is ready for what may come his way. With the Lunar Staff in his hands he may still be outnumbered, but he has the advantage of reach. He's fought squads of soldiers and packs of fiends, he still has a chance against these two.

As Katana approaches, he's already ready. Baiken has consistently chosen to allow the gaijin samurai take the lead, using his size and boistrous nature as a distraction, taking advantage of any openings the ninja master leaves in his defenses. This time, as the giant swings down with his swords, he catches them on the haft of the staff, twisting around with ease, he uses all of the force that Katana attempts to put into his strike to send him stumbling off in the other direction, and to send the ninja himself flying directly at the one-armed woman as she springs her ambush. The spear is clasped low near one of its pointed heads and again he summons forth the glow of moonlight around mystic weapon as he slams it into Baiken's chest before she can even get into range to strike at him.

Katana seems alright with being the wall of meat between Ryu and Baiken - perhaps one can thank his tunnel vision for it. He certainly seems to be enjoying himself, though his expression is sometimes hard to tell, shadowed as it is under his helmet. He is sent stumbling back after Ryu shoves him away with his staff, freeing the ninja to counter Baiken's move with one of his own. He admires the way the true samurai handles herself...perhaps, he wonders, the key is to get some visible battle scars.

He sets upon Ryu again, once more attempting to impose himself straight up close and personal. He attempts to blow past Ryu's defense by stabbing both katana forward, trying to skewer the ninja in the left thigh and the right shoulder simultaneously.

The key might be scars. Baiken certainly has those in spades.

Baiken is not a large woman. She frequently has the disadvantage of reach, something that she makes up against unarmed opponents with her sword - but that's no benefit when fighting someone bigger than her, armed with a long weapon.

The blow impacts her chest and holds her off; her sword fails to connect at all, skimming off the staff as she barely scrapes it before being pushed backwards. She felt that one, and while it didn't (quite) crack a rib, she's not exactly breathing easy.

She snarls. Having managed to keep ahold of her blade, it would be easy to lash out with it, and that is the route that Baiken decides to take. Sliding across the tiled floor, Baiken raises her sword to eye level, changing her grip on it slightly to shift the angle of the blade. She takes a deep breath in and holds it, giving Ryu an instant to react (and Katana, too).

Baiken comes in with a hard horizontal slash. "TEN!" she yells, flipping the sword in her hand so she can swing it through the backstroke, slashing just as powerfully the other way. She's being slightly heedless and definitely reckless, going for power above finesse. "CHI!" she continues, before winding up for an absolutely destructive overhand slash, starting from over her head and ending in a half-crouch with the blade low and tilted up slightly. "JIN! Begone!"

COMBATSYS: Ryu Hayabusa dodges Katana's Power Strike.

                 [              |||||||||||||||| ]
                 Ryu Hayabusa [E] 1|------=|=======
[              \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////                ]
Katana           0/-------/=======|>>>>>>>\-------\1           Baiken

COMBATSYS: Ryu Hayabusa just-defends Baiken's Tsurane Sanzu Watashi!

                 [            |||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Ryu Hayabusa [E] 1|------=|=======
[              \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////                ]
Katana           0/-------/=======|>>>>>>>\-------\1           Baiken

The only way to achieve victory when outnumbered is to control the field of battle, to close off your own weaknesses and pry open the defenses of your opponents. Position yourself so they can't surround you, so that they get in their own way.

At least for the moment Hayabusa has managed to take control. He's had room to breathe by knocking aside both of his katana-wielding opponents. He has some uncertainty about their unwillingness to harm each other, which makes positioning all the more difficult to use to his advantage.

Speed, technique, and experience are still strong advantages in the moment. As he's once more placed in the center of destruction, he steels himself, lightening his foothold on the floor, ready to press back into any hit to lessen the power transferred into his own body. This light stance also leaves him completely ready as Katana charges again, spinning to the side as both blades graze past his body, letting the giant man fly past like a narrowly dodged train.

And then it's Baiken's furious assault. Like a leaf on a wind, he allows all of the furious strength brush him aside. With each slash, he interposes his staff, catching the blade on an angle and falling back. It's like a graceful ballet, or some expertly choreographed weapon drill.

With that last hit he's back near Katana. The Mad Gear thug isn't as experienced as Baiken, but he's far from a non-threat. Perhaps now is the time to attempt to put the otaku down. The leaf becomes like stone, his feet planting firmly on the ground as his fingers clench on the haft of the Lunar Staff before he draws the long weapon along his side, low enough that the metal tip creates sparks along the ground. As the arc nears his front, all of the motion is drawn upward, aiming to connect firmly into Katana's chest and send him flying up toward the ceiling.

And like a flash Hayabusa is ready to meet him at the top of his arc, both arms clasping around the larger man, taking hold on the staff pressed firmly against the westerner's back. With a wrenching of his body, both begin to fall back toward the museum floor, spinning like a bird of prey having clutched its prey midflight. It is not merely the floor that they fall toward, though, instead the target is a display of spears raised up toward the sky.

COMBATSYS: Katana blocks Ryu Hayabusa's Izuna Drop.

                 [              |||||||||||||||| ]
                 Ryu Hayabusa [E] 1|------=|=======
[                  \\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////                ]
Katana           1/------=/=======|>>>>>>>\-------\1           Baiken

Katana zooms past Ryu, having failed to hit the ninja once more - perhaps this is the man's true shinobi power finally shining through? Katana is now concerned he will be eliminated...and thus unable to claim his prize! No, this CANNOT happen! That beautiful, alluring armor will be worn on HIS body! No more gaijin sportswear. Perhaps, with it...he could even become Belger-sama's right hand man...and potential successor. This idea pleases Katana greatly.

His head is put back in the game when Ryu turns on him, though. The staff comes up and smacks into his chest. The kunai wounds are no longer bleeding, but the hit brings fresh agony nonetheless. He yells as he's flung upwards. When Ryu grabs him, he forgets about his swords (now on the ground) and curls into a defensive ball instinctively. The Izuna Drop sends him straight into the spears. None fatally impale him, and his defensive posture prevents any major organ damage...but several of them do stick in his back. When he rolls to a standing position, he's hunched over, breathing hard and looking like a porcupine.

"You are...strong...but now I will show you one of my sacred sword techniques!" He picks up both katana and wipes the blood off them using his arms. With a flourish, he musters the rest of his energy into running at Ryu in full speed. The first slash is aimed at Ryu's left arm, the second his chest, the third a diagonal chop...then he finishes by grabbing at Ryu to hurl him into the air, jump up, and slash the ninja back to the ground with both swords. "MAID OH NO MIRAGE!"

Under ordinary circumstances, Baiken would be impressed with someone managing to deflect and evade her series of blows. Under ordinary circumstances, she thrives on challenge, and the fact that she's found someone who /can/ give her a good fight would be a positive. She needs to train and improve and she knows of no other way to do it.

Those circumstances do not include Majigen, and those circumstances /certainly/ do not include proximity to this armour. Instead of being impressed, Baiken is furious. Instead of a desire to improve herself, she's filled with fury at being thwarted, at least for the moment.

Baiken lets out a growl from deep in her throat. She flicks her blade sideways as if flicking blood from it before sliding it back into its scabbard, flexing her fingers afterwards before balling up her hand into a fist. This gives Katana the time he needs to try to launch Ryu.

She helps... sort of.

Baiken launches, from her empty sleeve, a fast-moving black object. It's hard to see what it is for an instant, but it's revealed a moment later: an almost box-like 'hand' with hooked, bladed claws for 'fingers'. Unable to actually grasp with it, as it has no thumb, she throws it past Ryu's landing point, letting it bounce off the ground, the chain connecting her to it rattling against the floor.

As Ryu descends, Baiken yanks on the chain with her free hand, hard, with a grunt of exertion. The claw lifts up, whipping back towards her - and, if she timed it right, hooking into Ryu and dragging him over with it!

COMBATSYS: Katana successfully hits Ryu Hayabusa with Meido no Miyage.

                 [                  |||||||||||| ]
                 Ryu Hayabusa [E] 1|----===|=======
[                  \\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////                ]
Katana           0/-------/-------|=======\-------\1           Baiken

COMBATSYS: Ryu Hayabusa blocks Baiken's Kabari.

                 [                   ||||||||||| ]
                 Ryu Hayabusa [E] 1|---====|=======
[                  \\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////                ]
Katana           0/-------/-------|=======\-------\1           Baiken

And there are times when speed and experience aren't quite enough to overcome the odds being stacked against you. Reach or otherwise, he simply doesn't have it in him to keep avoiding the freight train that is Katana forever. All he can attempt to do is mitigate the suffering. With each swing of the gaijin's swords, he twists back; he's not able to avoid the blades, but none of them seem to slice as deeply as one would expect, even as they leave gashes across his flesh. Even being knocked into the air isn't enough to throw him completely off balance.

No, when that claw comes back in at him, he's managed to vault backward, letting the giant metal monstrocity connect with his feet. With an upward twist of his body, he actually seems to step off of it, rotating in mid-air for a moment before he comes back to the ground, landing in a crouched position as he returns the Lunar Staff to his back.

Baiken is a problem, but he simply can't continue to let Katana walk all over him. He begins to charge forward, low to the ground, his right arm folded in tight across his midsection as if warding back some pain, but the intention becomes clear as he comes to a halt in front of the gaijin. All that way he'd simply been focusing his strength. In a surge of motion, his hand surges forward, the back of it aiming to connect with Katana's stomach and send him soaring.

COMBATSYS: Ryu Hayabusa successfully hit Katana with Soryu EX.

                 [                   ||||||||||| ]
                 Ryu Hayabusa [E] 1|---====|=======
[                         \\\\\  < >  //////////////                ]
Katana           0/-------/---====|=======\-------\1           Baiken

To Katana, Ryu's dash is a blur - one moment he sees the ninja before him, the next, Hayabusa is suddenly in his face. "Ah!" He is in the midst of swinging when Ryu's backhand slams into his stomach. BAM! The armor caves to the blow and all the wind is knocked out of Sodom's diaphragm with a long, wheezing gasp. He is knocked off his feet, flying across the exhibit room and into the next one - African tribal wood carvings. He bodychecks a display case and it shatters under him, leaving the giant twitching amid broken glass and wood statues, staring up at the cieling.

"Mad Gear...will never die!" he gasps, struggling with sweat pouring down his face just to sit up. He has one of his swords...the shame of being beaten twice now by real Japanese fighters begins to weigh on him. First a schoolgirl Ryu, now a ninja? Will his gaijin blood never let him be on par with them? He has one chance. He must make a statement before unconsciousness takes him.

"My prize is so close...yet these peasants impede me...such is the struggle!" He haiku's, before throwing his sword at the ninja.

COMBATSYS: Katana has reached second wind!

                 [                   ||||||||||| ]
                 Ryu Hayabusa [E] 1|---====|=======
[                          \\\\  < >  //////////////                ]
Katana           0/-------/---====|=======\-------\1           Baiken

Baiken /is/ a problem. She's a pain in the side, at least, one of the irritating ones that never goes away.

She doesn't precisely /let/ Ryu deal with Katana, but she certainly doesn't stop him, being involved in reeling in her claw arm and putting it away. The impact is sufficient to send Katana flying, but it also means that Ryu has to move past Baiken to do it. He knows it, and she knows he knows it, so it's not going to take him by surprise that she's there, but it does give her a moment to act when he can't see exactly what she does. It helps that she's over near a broken display, giving her some momentary cover.

Most people expect Baiken to use her drawn sword or her trick arm almost exclusively. The majority of her maneuvers do in fact involve them. Baiken occasionally plays into that stereotype, and today is one of those times.

Moving out of directly behind Ryu (mostly to get herself out of the way of Katana's wildly thrown sword, if Ryu moves), Baiken grips the side of her scabbard and swings it out, still attached to her sash. It swings low, aimed at the side of one of Ryu's knees, a sudden blunt impact that is a lot more concentrated and - well, hard - than the side of her foot.

Baiken has her hand on the sword hilt the whole time. She expects, or at least hopes, that Ryu will be tripped by the unorthodox attack so she can follow up properly. Judging by the expression on her face, if he isn't, she probably intends to hit him regardless.

COMBATSYS: Katana successfully hits Ryu Hayabusa with Thrown Weapon.

                 [                      |||||||| ]
                 Ryu Hayabusa [E] 1|-======|=======
[                          \\\\  < >  ///////////////               ]
Katana           0/-------/---====|=======\=------\1           Baiken

COMBATSYS: Ryu Hayabusa breaks through Random Strike from Baiken with Art of the Piercing Void!

                 [                        |||||| ]
                 Ryu Hayabusa [E] 0|-------|-======
[                          \\\\  < >  /////////                     ]
Katana           0/-------/---====|=======\=====--\1           Baiken

Having dealt with Katana (or so he thinks), Hayabusa turns to put all of his attention into defeating the remaining threat that stands between him and his duty to contain the fiendish armor. Under other circumstances he might have attempted to reason with her, she had made some claims that she was planning to destroy the artifact, but all through the fight he'd seen the way its power coiled through her mind.

Either that or she was a violent brute by nature, neither was a good sign when dealing with a corrupting power that wanted to throw the world into a new era of violent chaos.

At this point he knows she is coming, and his hands drop to his side as he prepares for her. In the darkness of the closed museum, it's quite difficult to see just what's happening. The chi he summons does not glow, it coils in what little light is remaining, consuming it with the endless hunger of void. It begins as a small spark of pitch, all but impossible to see.

His carlessness, however, soon catches up with him. With his attention divided, he doesn't notice the threat of Katana's blade flying out him before it's too late. His only option is an effort to hop to the side, but with his refusal to let go the power he's summoning, he's not agile enough, the blade catches him in the thigh, dropping him to one knee.

And then Baiken is moving in from a new angle, attempting to use this fresh distraction to gain the advantage. Unfortunately for her, his concentration is like a perfect pearl. As the scabbard comes in for his other knee, he twists in place, and suddenly thrusts the emptiness directly into her chest. He seems to ignore the pair of the blow, focusing only on slowly shoving the violent darkness into his opponent, letting the power of nothing tear away at her flesh.

Katana resists every ounce of his body's impulses to quit. He struggles to his feet, trying to focus his gaze on the ninja. The armor's allure helps drive him further, as he slowly walks away from the display wreckage and back into the main exhibition area. Even as Baiken strikes at Ryu with her scabbard, and Ryu counters by concentrating shadowy chi to shove into her gut, he still moves methodically back into battle. Once he has his prize, oh, the stories he'll tell his home boys around a barrel fire!

This time, he waits until Ryu is pre-occupied with Baiken before moving. The ninja may find the gaijin's big sweaty arms wrap around him. "The ninja is here. Fast as a shadow's...shadow. Crumples just as easy!" He attempts to lift Ryu over head, jump into the air, then slam him onto the ground like a victory touchdown dance.

It's a little bit of both. Baiken is a bundle of tightly controlled rage at pretty much all times; she burns hot and long.

Of course, the aura doesn't seem to be doing much but making her short-tempered. The lashing out is all her; she showed some moments of viciousness in her official matches, too, even if she wasn't quite so ... intent on it. Ryu might be able to work with her, under most circumstances. These just aren't them.

Baiken has finely tuned senses for chi. She struggles at feeling the /nothing/ that Ryu summons - until it slams into her chest, blasting at her. She hisses, showing pain for the first time in a while; Baiken is very good at shutting out pain, at simply ignoring it until the moment is passed and she can rest.

"Nasty, isn't it," she says, before making a sharp gesture with her only hand, lifting it off the sword's hilt to do it. Baiken stomps, pressing her single hand forward, doing - something - with her fingertips. She drags them through a pattern.

The pattern reacts. A Japanese character appears in the air before her, shimmering pink, at the same time that Baiken releases her indrawn breath with an explosive "BAKU!" The word means sealing, and Baiken lives up to that; the symbol draws in the chi, or lack of chi, like it was being pulled toward a vaccuum. It keeps pulling, tugging painfully on Ryu's chi; it won't kill him, but it's certainly exhausting and highly unpleasant!

Baiken steps back, letting Katana do his work. She's breathing a bit harder; that's not a simple maneuver for her.

COMBATSYS: Katana successfully hits Ryu Hayabusa with Daimyo Throw.

                 [                            || ]
                 Ryu Hayabusa [E] 1|-------|=======
[                           \\\  < >  //////////                    ]
Katana           0/-------/-======|====---\-------\0           Baiken

COMBATSYS: Baiken successfully hits Ryu Hayabusa with Baku.

                 [                               ]
                 Ryu Hayabusa [E] 1|-----==|=======
[                           \\\  < >  //////////                    ]
Katana           0/-------/-======|====---\-------\0           Baiken

He'd nearly managed, despite the odds. Perhaps if the gaijin samurai hadn't had the strength of spirit (or stubborness) to keep on fighting he could have finished this against an single opponent, but his attention is strained, and while his own spirit may wish to keep on fighting, his body is reaching its limit.

Trapped in a pincer maneuver, Katana manages to snare the ninja. He struggles to pry himself out of those muscular arms to no avail, finding himself crashing into the floor. Despite the surging pain, Hayabusa keeps his voice from crying out. He fights to rise back up to his feet...

...only Baiken is ready for him. The chi pulls at him, threatening to tear him to pieces, yank his very spirit from his body. There's no fighting back against this.

And then it's over, and he falls to his knees, barely managing to prop himself up with one hand as his tumbles forward. Bloody, bruised, exhausted, this fight has gone out of his favor. There's no chance he'll win if he keeps in this, not against the both of them. No, his only hope now is that he's underestimated Baiken. If the one-armed woman truly can dispel the fiendish curse on the armor, then the result will be acceptable. If the gaijin wears the armor...

Well, he'll need to make plans for that, but for now he needs to get out in one piece. In a flash of motion, suddenly billowing smoke fills the main floor of the museum, blinding the two samurai. It lingers in the air with a choking presence, and when it clears enough to see again, Hayabusa is nowhere to be seen.

COMBATSYS: Ryu Hayabusa takes no action.

[                           \\\  < >  //////////                    ]
Katana           0/-------/-======|====---\-------\0           Baiken

COMBATSYS: Ryu Hayabusa can no longer fight.

[                           \\\  < >  //////////                    ]
Katana           0/-------/-======|====---\-------\0           Baiken

The clash between the samurai on the front lines and the ninja behind the battlefront is an epic ideological struggle: honor on the battlefield, versus the need for expedient dispatching of the enemy.

The nameplate reads, simply: Hannya, the armor of hate. The nameplate for a sword in the same display case reads: Kien, the blood-sucking sword.

The aura between the two is strong -- in fact, all throughout the fight, its aura has become insidious, suffocating... intoxicating.

The two artifacts should have been kept separate. This will become known in hindsight, for the glass case surrounding both artifacts shatters due to the unbearable pressure from within. As the foul aura reacts with the acidic-scented air of Majigen, the aura manifests as a dense cloud of blue-green smoke.

The smoke begins to adopt the form of a human. And a hollow, malevolent laughter echoes throughout the room as the suit of armor rises -- and the accursed sword rises as well into a ready, combative stance.

Katana does another exaggerated bow as Ryu does his smoke bomb exit. Katana looks like he's waghed a one man war against an entire feudal army, but he still stands...if only barely. Suddenly, though, his initial spirit seems to run out as the physical pain sets in. His entire body feels like it's on fire, pushed to the limit. He feels tired...very tired. Yet, victory is within sight. If he could only keep that frankly terrifying samurai woman from hitting him once...

He turns on her, swords at the ready, when the laughter fills the room. "What?" he looks around, then at the armor as the glass case shatters. "Oh shit!" He looks at the armor, and the aura, then at Baiken, then back at the armor.

Ah, he gets what this means. "This must be the result of the Shinsplinto spirits congratulating me on my performance, and that they are bestowing the armor upon me." He slaps his hands together and bows deeply. "Thank you spirits...only you recognize my true heritage."

Baiken's symbol vanishes in a cloud of pinkish sparkles, fluttering almost like cherry blossoms on the breeze. It lights up the smoke with an eerie pink light that looks downright bizarre for the few seconds the two coexist.

Good riddance, Baiken thinks, before her eye shifts to Katana. He's going to be a problem. Someone trying to /take/ that armour just can't stand. She has something to do with it, and now that Ryu is gone, she can actually do so. Though maybe she ought to wait a minute or two to recover, given she's already used a smaller version on Ryu himself.

She turns - and then there's laughter.

Baiken whirls the rest of the way, her eye narrowing at the cloud. She knew it had a power, but she wasn't expecting this. "You," she informs Katana without looking in his direction anymore, "are an idiot. Get away from it! You can't handle something like this and I'm not going to clean up your corpse."

She draws her sword again, holding it in a one-handed mirror to Kien. Apparently she, at least, is ready to fight - even if she looks battered enough to not be much of a match for a demon.


The booming voice is loud enough to send a shudder to the glass cases of the other remaining exhibits -- the ones -not- broken by the preceding battle. The voice commands respect -- demands it. And the booming voice seems to be completely ignorant of the respect offered by the two who have apparently awakened it."

But there -are- spirits, as Katana has noted. Two will-o-wisps, nigh invisible throughout the fight, become slightly less translucent now, in contrast to the dark aura billowing from the armor. The blue-green smoke begins to solidify into the flesh of a human -- nay, the well-muscled flesh of a -samurai-.


Two terrible red eyes glow beneath the smoke filling the kabuto. A fearsome light paints the facial features of a long-dead creature into the very shadow.

And then the very -armor- grows a face as well, the lacquered surface distorting into eyes, a nose, and tremendous teeth. Its cavernous maw begins to move in sequence to the words, as the flat of Kien rests back upon the shoulders of the armor.

"My blade..." continues the voice, coming from both the human's head, and from Hannyo's mouth. as it becomes more corporeal, "thanketh thee! And for doing it great honor... in vanquishing the foul ninja..."

The samurai spirit takes two graceful strides forward, bowing its head. The eyes beneath the helmet are hidden from view as it closes its eyes, but the fiery orbs upon the armor fix upon Baiken and Katana in turn as the samurai strides past. Confident... with the swagger of a true battle-hardened warrior "... Thy blood shall not be the first it tastes on this night!"

The diaphanous wisps float along after the samurai, glimmers of faces briefly visible in the cold blue flames. After all that has been fought here... the samurai spirit stands resurrected.

The urge to strike the armor -- to challenge its very right to existence -- is likely strong. But the overwhelming -restraint- exhibited is clear -- palpable, in the sheer pressure of air surrounding the armor as it strides purposefully towards the exit. The voice continues, resounding off the flat museum walls. "That... honor... is the greatest I can give to thee..! For when next we shall meet, it will be as enemies..!!"

Katana is about to retort when...the armor comes to life! He stares, taken aback as the form of a man...no, a demon, starts to fill it, and then it SPEAKS! Katana is simultaneously awed and terrified. He picks up the sword he threw at Ryu earlier, brandishing them defensively as the creature speaks. Thanks? Sparing them? This was all hard for Katana to comprehend. Was he not going to get his prize?

"But.../I/ wanted that sick armor!" he protests weakly. The temptation to fight this creature passes, and Katana lets it walk on by. Perhaps...this was the wiser path. Surely, Rolento would agree. Rolento! He has forgotten all about him, and his other Mad Gear comrades as well! "Hmmph. It seems I was consumed by bloodlust from this creature. Demon, let it be known, the Mad Gear Gang rules the city your kind has stolen from us. We won't take that sitting down!" He sheathes the katana to his back and bows at Baiken stiffly. "From one true samurai to another, it has been an honor to see you in action. Die Jew boo desk."

Katana begins to walk away. He will meet up with his fellow bangers. "I just hope Damnd-san is alright!" He says aloud.

Meanwhile somewhere in Majigen, Damnd is sitting on a ruined couch, ripping a bong with some Scarab Beetles. "Hahahaha I don't know WHAT de fuck is going on!" he exclaims.

Baiken's grip on her sword tightens as the thing - the armour - speaks. She expected this even less than it moving under its own power. It's a more powerful artifact than she thought; she may not be /able/ to seal it alone.

For basically the first time tonight, she actually wishes she hadn't run Hayabusa off.

She takes her frustration out on Katana. "And you think you can handle it? Someone like /you/? If you tried to grasp something like that, it would devour you, and you'd deserve it. Someone /that/ idiotic barely deserves to live!"

Baiken stops raising her voice in preparation for the screaming that never quite came when she forces herself back under control. Settle. /Settle/. She needs to kill this thing, then bind it. But she can't do it today, not after the beating Hayabusa gave her, and maybe not even without that; she didn't come prepared for something this big. She needs preparation. Setup time. Recovery time. All of it boils down, ultimately, to /time/.

"You are an abomination," she snarls. "Your honour is meaningless. Don't expect any mercy. You'll never leave this twisted city alive."

Baiken cannot teleport, and she isn't a ninja so no smoke bombs are involved. She has another way out; Baiken throws her clawed arm up at the ceiling, where it lodges. She pulls herself up by it, using her arm to yank herself a good three feet up, getting her foot in the loop of the chain, and repeating the process as she ascends.

That thing, she thinks to herself, is going to be a target.

COMBATSYS: Katana has left the fight here.

[                    \\\\\\\\\\  <
Baiken           0/-------/---====|

COMBATSYS: Baiken has ended the fight here.

Log created on 19:29:24 04/10/2015 by Baiken, and last modified on 22:28:26 04/15/2015.