Description: ...Every Stupid Kool-Aid Drinking Mook -- Some Random Hallway. "On occasion, the gods can only be satiated by a battle of ferocity against skill. IORI YAGAMI. KEN MASTERS. You'll do battle at the foot of the subterranian throne of our current champion, Goro. Perhaps seeing the bones of all those who came before will inspire you." *whispering noises* "What? Again?! So be it..."
Some anticipated the dawn of MORTAL KOMBAT, some embraced the challenge and the risk with open arms. Ken Masters, on the other hand, has a bit of a problem with people telling him what to do. It was all off to a bad start from how it started, with a bunch of freaky ninjas rustling him out of bed and throwing him into a portal, only to be surrounded by MORE ninjas, and dosed with enough knockout gas to fell several decently sized horses. When the Blonde Battler comes to, he's dressed up like some ascetic monk, anointed with some kind of janky Outworld oil, and told he's been entered in the deathmatch from hell for the fate of the Earth, and all that jazz.
To go here and listen to the same old bastard Ken told off -last week- when he was more kindly invited tell him who to fight; maybe to the death. Ken made just enough of a scene objecting to -that-, swiping another monk's sash to tie back his hair, and forcing his way the hell out of that particular ritual chamber for his outspoken rebellion to get back up the chain, whispered here and there among competitors just by virtue of who the man is, most likely. Masters disappeared into the castle hallways, getting the lay of the land on his own terms-- and maybe coming to terms, himself, with just what he's gotten himself into.
"God damnit." Ken observes eloquently, pressing himself into an alcove as... something.. in a robe passes by as he turns his mobile back off to conserve battery. Even the Masters satellites aren't sending their backup emergency signal, out here in the Outworld boondocks.
Whatever signals Ken Masters puts out, it is his defiance to Shang Tsung and the desire to have him represent Earthrealm (or change his mind, if he is so inclined) for the next - and most important - kontest for the future of where Ken kalls home. It is not an invitation to turn down lightly... such defiance will not be met with acceptance. It is not a decision to be made without being fully aware of the consequences.
One of the many consequences comes in the form of being harassed by underlings. Guards. Well, mostly guards. There's a few priestly sorts - more like cultists - their features obscured in thick purple robes. Insignificant, in passing. Maybe even insignificant, in practice. Most would see fit to leave the kombatants alone, barring certain circumstances.
"Where do you think you're going?" Comes an unremarkable voice as one such robed figure steps towards the alcove in which Ken escapes to.
Well, the voice is mostly unremarkable. The throat is strained. Strained like someone did a number on their throat recently. Who cares about the history of a nobody, though? There could be any reason they have a sore throat.
"You should show some respect," the hooded figure says as they... go into a fighting stance? Is raising their fists and making little circling motions with them what passes for a viable stance in these parts? It seems more... street thug rough than what anyone would expect for the servants of Shang Tsung.
"You were chosen to fight. Do you instead choose to die?" A threat that ought to have more weight behind it, but... doesn't. On the other hand, there's technically nowhere to run...
"And we're supposed to fight who that creepy-ass pedowizard tells us to, kill or be killed by them, and that's going to save the Earth?" Color Ken skeptical. Where has he seen this guy before? Dark eyes focus on the Henchman, puzzling out the nondescript man's purpose here. It was probably too much to hope for that Ken might get out of the palace unmolested; or find an ally. Optimism seems to hold little sway in this world. "Yea, that sure does seem legit." Masters throws Henchman a fervent thumbs up that does not at all dip its tip in sarcastic drippings.
"What about -any- of this earns your respect?" The Blonde Battler inquires, arching one black brow. "I fight on my terms." Ken notes defiantly, cracking his knuckles in the opposite fist. "And whoever wants to kill me is going to have to work for it." -Who- he ought to fight here is a bit of a mystery, though.
The entire affair seems nefarious and wrong to Ken, and right now he'd give about anything to see a friendly face, instead of Henchman's. The paranoia might be showing, a tad. This whole thing's somewhat exhausting.
Looking upon the face in the hood doesn't really show much. Just... some guy. Caucasian, by Earthrealm standards. Is he originally from Earthrealm? Most of Shang Tsung's elite guard and servants don't have any visible features whatsoever.
There's also a glint of blue between the toes of one of his feet, but, that's probably nothing? Maybe a piece of jade got lodged in his foot at some point.
"His ambition. His strength. His vision." The simple, cult-like response. Single-minded, in some ways. Is that all it takes to win him over? It seems flatter than humanly possible, as far as motivations go. "Those who possess all of the above... they're the only ones worthy."
Worthy of what? Is it some kind of high honor to be served by this guy, or...
He breaks out into a set of juicy coughs, doubling over for a moment before returning with another simple, generic, communicative statement to whatever end the sorcerer's plot dictates.
"You're to fight Iori Yagami," a violent dude, to put it mildly, "within the throne room of the prince. Do you still defy the Divinement?" His fists raise in that rough way again. The only possibly threatening thing about it is the sincerity in which he seems ready to swing those fists.
"So this whole thing is a vision of the FUTURE. The DESTINY of all kombatants." Kolour Ken unconvinced. The Divinement. Masters openly scoffs. "So where's Iori Yagami?" It seems like a fair question. "I bet he's waiting peacefully in this stupid throne room and not telling all of you to get stuffed." Masters MAY have heard of Iori.
"Ambition and vision are negative traits when colored by selfishness and psychosis." Ken semi-calmly observes, "Strength, only of merit in those who pursue purity of purpose." Ken may have been paying more attention to Gouken than the old master often thought. There's a martial code to the lifestyle the young champion was raised in-- one he clearly nearly reveres.
"Here's what I see in my future." Ken crosses the distance to the challenging-stanced Henchman in the blink of an eye, wheeling on one anchoring foot to drive the other heel in a high, wide forward arc, crossing the last span of distance with its impressive, violent reach as that heel seeks to drive itself into Henchman's face.
"Ken Masters vs. Every Stupid Kool-Aid Drinking Mook -- Some Random Hallway." It's a fight ticket for the ages.
COMBATSYS: Ken Masters has started a fight here.
Ken Masters 0/-------/-------|
COMBATSYS: Henchman has joined the fight here.
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Ken Masters 0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0 Henchman
COMBATSYS: Ken Masters successfully hits Henchman with Inazuma Kakato Wari.
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Ken Masters 0/-------/-----==|====---\-------\0 Henchman
It's also a heel to the face for the moment. Not quite the ages, but in an existence defined by moment-to-moment, it warrants more immediate mention. Ages are better defined by the deliberations of bored people in the future.
This is more the moment of people in the present with a heel that might bore into their skull.
The strange, un-noteworthy cultist's upper body contorts and hits the walkway ground on his back with a crack that forms on the floor. (Also, in his back. Ouch!)
Sputtering anew as they crawl back up for further nominal opposition, all that can be said largely has. It may no longer be important to say where one stands - only their fists.
There's a few sort of cautious-looking punches, mostly rights, thrown almost randomly in Ken's direction as the figure sidesteps a bit towards their left. That's an opening for Ken to try and run past, if he's of the mind.
COMBATSYS: Henchman successfully hits Ken Masters with Probing Strikes.
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Ken Masters 0/-------/----===|====---\-------\0 Henchman
Ken seeks to get the measure of his opponent by weaving through that flurry of strikes-- to launch a quick reprisal of his own. In this case, however, Masters gets a fistful of Henchman here and there, clobbered in the skull and forced to soak several bruising impacts to stay in close proximity.
Hold fast Ken does, stepping in on his right foot to sweep the corresponding elbow in, a brutal bone-led uppercut aligned squarely with Henchman's skull. "HAAAH!" It's a study in opposites, the flair and precise skill exercised by the Ansatsuken disciple standing in stark contrast to the volatility and chaos of his adversary's 'style'.
Flight on foot with cultists in pursuit seems likely to get away from him fast-- and so Ken fights. "Look buddy I'm sure you've got troubles-- I mean look at this gig. But I do -not- have time for this." Time may be infinite; Ken's patience, not so much.
COMBATSYS: Ken Masters successfully hits Henchman with Fierce Punch.
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Ken Masters 0/-------/---====|=======\==-----\1 Henchman
There is a fist coming in for the face. The cultist guy, whoever or whatever he is (who cares), pops up in height to stand straighter and gets another shot to the throat. (Another? Wait.)
There is a great, juicy, throat-crushing gag as they stagger off, clutching their throat and otherwise making a big deal about being punched in the throat by a man whose style name has something to do with murder. What was he expecting? Really.
"Throat, again!" There's murmuring that is, strangely, coherent between gaggings as he finds himself careening a number of steps away to catch himself from flopping over.
"Augh." Hissing noises. Deeper breathing. Writhing. Not too sympathetic, probably, given this is an Outworld goon who is in it for Shang Tsung's cause, but...
Ken can get a better look at what's between the toes of one foot there while he's staggering about. It looks like a blue tag! Huh. It has a dim glow to it. Whatever that means. If it means anything.
"You got time... to... hold still!" There is a forward lunging punch-thing. It's not too bad as far as lunging punches go, in terms of distance covered. He'd almost be coming from the corner of Ken's eyes. Almost.
Ken's eyes are too good for that.
COMBATSYS: Ken Masters blocks Henchman's Peripheral Vision Lunge.
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Ken Masters 0/-------/--=====|=======\===----\1 Henchman
"Not damn likely!!" Ken protests, doing anything but standing still as he drives one flexed arm against the lunging strike, driving the impact aside and once more coming in all but face to face with his foe. Masters has little sympathy for his kidnappers and captors, and while there's a fair bit more for the brainwashed and entranced beneath them, it doesn't extend to allowing himself to be detained just now. This has nothing at all to do with any fear of facing Iori Yagami in a fight to the death, mind.
Vaulting all but off that blocking limb, Ken twists a full three-hundred sixty degrees in the instants it takes him to ascend and bring that rotorblade about in line with Henchman's skull once more. This time, the singular wheeling heel is applied horizontally; oh, and with an added plume of orange-cored crimson flame, the volatile-edged torch driven solidly in at the Henchman.
"Time to give it up!!" Which might be more his situation, in reality, but hey-- this is the first guy. Still, Henchman -can't- be getting paid enough for this! Or is he a true believer?
COMBATSYS: Ken Masters successfully hits Henchman with Senpuu Nata Otoshi.
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Ken Masters 0/-------/=======|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2 Henchman
What compels anyone to throw their lot with any of the great evils of the world and beyond? These are good questions. Questions that might be worth delving into, were they of people of significance greater than whoever this is.
If this person - or prop, more like - has an answer, it gets intercepted by spinning heel of flame that strikes right in the face, with the expected violent results.
There's something familiar-sounding about the scream that comes as the robed figure is wreathed in flames while flying through the air, illuminating the hallway in the power of the earth that Ken channels into fire. One would expect the entire body to burn to ash right then and there, the way the flame so readily obscures the body's and cloth's form into a round, almost blobby human shape before the form of the awful generic lackey - still robed, unfortunately - bounces violently against the hallway, daring to besmirch any fabric with scuffs, or even blackening from what licks of flame jump from the flying body.
"KEN MASTERS WINS."
"...That form, that style, it's... just like the one that fought Kotal... could it be?" The mumbling of the perfectly ordinary cultist is soft, almost a whisper, but those words might ring far louder in Ken's ears than any other.
That form, that style, just like...
It has to mean /that/, doesn't it?
COMBATSYS: Henchman takes no action.
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Ken Masters 0/-------/=======|
COMBATSYS: Henchman can no longer fight.
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Ken Masters 0/-------/=======|
Well. Ken is a bit surprised as the Henchman makes no further move to oppose him, and then reaffirmed by the cultist's words. "So he -is- here." Masters murmurs, as much to himself as to his fallen foe.
Whether this fight 'counted' in the metaphysical tally of this sick tournament is of little concern to Ken just this moment-- instead, he turns his attention towards the pair of mooks charging up the hallway, driving into them in a fury of fists and flame, a rich golden crackle of energy beginning to suffuse his aura.
... To tie itself in to the magic binding his spirit here.
To the young Ansatsuken warrior, a deep fire re-awakens within, a reason to charge forth into great risk, greater peril, and maybe even the greatest possible sacrifice... all in the name of a true friend. None of the guards or priests present, in a futile effort to get Ken to behave, will stop him as he sets down a path lined with fire... and blood.
Meanwhile, the lackey Ken just dispatched gets up and continues to rub his throat, nursing it as he saunters off both pathetically and yet, on some level, rather casually considering the incredible amount of pain inflicted upon him in a small handful of precise attacks.
"Toughest gig in some time," he mumbles under his breath. Whatever it is, it is bound to be beneath notice.
Another test for one's might awaits...!
Log created on 20:07:20 09/26/2016 by Henchman, and last modified on 02:02:14 09/27/2016.