Description: Mortal Kombat is named for the understanding that a terrible fate will usually be dealt to the loser. Munin Arshe, one of the unfortunate losers, is left to rot after being executed at gunpoint in her battle against the forces of Outworld. Ryu, en route to a fated battle with a friend, happens upon the fallen... there is but one grace, one miracle, that can be bestowed, but would the price be willingly paid with Earthrealm at stake?
The halls of Shang Tsungs palace. A grand place that has seen many battles over the course of centuries. In one of the western corridors, one battle occured very recently! So recently, in fact, that the remains have yet to be cleaned up! It IS a big place, after all, and a lot is going on all over the island.
Munins body lies on the floor of the side corridor. Despite the internal injuries, the cause of death is evident by the red mess that is her head, which is still full of bullets from Erron Blacks gun, though he himself is nowhere to be found. Footsteps can be heard several rooms away, more than likely the servants dispatched to clean up the human mess.
'I must admit that some consider me a connosieur of the mortal arts.'
These were the words of the sorcerer, as he decreed the next kombats that would follow.
'I cannot place your styles, but it takes no special eye to tell that they are kindred...'
Ryu, head tilted downward as he ambled the halls of Shang Tsung's palace, eager to keep control of his somewhat oversized bare feet to simply keep moving, to keep walking, to avert his eyes from unnecessary bloodshed...
'...and that they are capable of much, much more.'
Ansatsuken... it is a dangerous art with its roots in killing. A tenet he has rallied against, and continued to uphold, to what could be his detriment. A strike that could have laid out I-No was pulled back - in turn, he was brought to unconsciousness, surviving through sheer resilience...
'I've taken the liberty of repairing the bridge leading to the outlands of the island for the both of you, RYU,'
The words echo. One, louder than others...
Ken Masters is here. His lifelong friend... he, too, has been pulled into the fray, and now... more than ever, even after months of battling against the terrible influences implanted within him...
'Perhaps the rigors of true kombat will determine the limits of your abilities.'
The words of the sorcerer, though they speak of curiosity, feel tinged with the echoes of a deep-seated, well-knowing mockery of the situation. The sorcerer has witnessed the wandering warrior struggle with the dangerous impulses that yank at his psyche - it is only able to be kept in check so much. His fists are clenched, ready for battle at a moment's notice.
The servants give Ryu a wide berth. Some that might have started to approach the site of a kombat's konclusion do not seem to want to press the issue that he might be in the way. No matter what, he can only delay the inevitable - the warring influences as they are, he will meet on that bridge. He will meet with Ken Masters, his best friend, in Mortal Kombat...
A foot comes before the body of the fallen kombatant, Munin Arshe - grisly victim of a gunman's execution methods. Dressed in grays and blacks, she would seem largely forgettable in the backdrop of the island. This island has no shortage of dead. Though teeming with dangerous life, it, too, feels it reeks of decay and ruin... and yet.
An eye is drawn towards the bloodied necklace at the base of what would have been a human neck. The mustard yellow gem is the only thing that escapes tarnish by dried blood, dim sparkles of life...
Ryu strains to keep his feet from going another step. He is compelled to keep moving. It would be unwise to keep the sorcerer waiting - Kombat is sacred. One's first priority, above all... but with the grit of his teeth, he regards his own soul shard.
A warm magenta. A twisted purplish hue, suggesting an overwhelming influence that would even give the Elder Gods trouble to overturn. The Satsui no Hadou - the Killing Intent - hungers for fatal battle. It has found it here. The souls within, they chatter vulgar challenges, egging him on to greater heights in the simple act of violence. Souls of fallen warriors, themselves, who gave their everything to battle.
Then, that of the grinning violet monster, Vega... who seems all too eager to treat this body as another puppet, even with the continued resistance. Of the three, he yet seems more intent to keep things to some semblance of a task. Destroy the Outworld fighters. All your enemies must perish.
Ryu's eyes cast themselves down to the fallen form again, to that mustard yellow. A strange sort of magnetism could be felt between them. He knows not who this fallen fighter is, but it feels as though an invitation. A welcome, open door... he closes his eyes in semblance of what meditation he can muster under these circumstances.
...She is dead. Death, that is cessation of living. An absolute end...
But no, it doesn't need to DON'T LISTEN. FIGHT. KILL. THIS KEN WILL BE BLOOD ON YOUR FIST.
Ryu's eyes shoot wide again, a cold sweat running down his brow as his fist lowers. All the forces within compel him to move to the next battle. No delay shall be tolerated...
...To fight Ken like this... he won't...
YOU WILL NOT SACRIFICE STRENGTH. THAT IS FOOLISH. YOU ARE A FOOL. THE DEAD ARE INSIGNIFICANT. THERE IS NO FURTHER BATTLE TO BE HAD. LEAVE. FIGHT.
"No," Ryu whispers, straining himself as the hand twitches... and tightens.
GO. KILL. YOU WILL KILL. KILL. OR BE KILLED.
YOU WILL NOT BE KILLED. WE WILL NOT ALLOW THIS.
Ryu, with a gasp, thrusts his fist straight up high into the air, casting a sickly and unnatural light from the sky against the magenta gem within... and clenches tighter. He won't allow them to have their way with Ken...!
NO. STOP. WHAT ARE YOU DOING? THIS IS FOOLISH. FOOLISH. WHY? THIS ONE MEANS NOTHING TO US. THIS ONE IS NOTHING TO YOU--
"No fighter," he whispers aloud, "is... nothing...!"
The souls try to resist. They cry in their maddened anguish. For lack of a corporeal body to call their own any longer, they took residence within the magenta shard in-set within one of his handguards. It shines ever brighter as he brings his fist up one more time, attempting to exert the desire - paradoxically! - to stay his hand so that this fist will seek live combat, to triumph anew, to be sated by the blood of the fallen before them...!
"TORAAAAAH!!" A great cry echoes through the halls of Shang Tsung's palace, earning turned heads and even a few readied spears. The call of a fierce warrior is one heeded... feared, by those meeker. 'Meek' is not an adjective any would apply to the members of Shang Tsung's elite guard, or the fanatical clergy doing their profane rituals.
The fist is brought down upon the necklace that hangs about the stump of neck that is Munin's head. A colorful reaction begins between both shards - the mustard yellow, the magenta...
On impact, they combine into swirls of opposing energies. The clashing souls of Munin's blessing from the Elder Gods, met with a match of Ryu's own... there is a soul-rending scream of anger from those souls forcefully ejected from within Ryu's jewel-like blessing.
Munin's body is given the push, by eldritch magics, to begin to pull itself together. To free itself of obstructions that otherwise would render a human body impossible to keep living...
To bring her back to life, and the battles that follow.
The eldritch magics unleashed begin their grisly work. Slugs work their way up and out of the flesh to drop to the ground harmlessly. Bone and muscle, blood and sinew, it all begins to flow and knit together. Reverting from inert biological matter to a living breathing person! Soon, nothing is left of the prior bloodshed but a faint red stain on the floor, and on Munins clothes.
After a moment, violet eyes, with a faint glow from within, slowly open. They look around the room, taking it in, the hint of memory returning as Munin looks over at Ryu..... realizes he is much taller and gaze slowly up to meet his own eyes with mouth agape. Munin promptly sinks to her knees as her hands shake like the dirt during an earthquake. She puts a hand to her head, feeling it renewed, but at the same time remembering.... everything. Every injury.... the fear and scramble to escape.....
Though now alive, the mortal mind is not entirely ment to know death like this, at least not easily. Thankful as she will be once her words return to speak them, for the moment she is clearly in shock.
In that moment, power - a precious commodity, in a land where strength means all - is sacrificed for mercy. Could it truly be considered a selfless act, knowing what was being exchanged in order to enable this miracle?
A tall shadow is cast over Munin. She may get a sense of something far greater than just the silhouette of a man. Something under the surface. Something... worrying. Violet eyes only catch a glimpse of Ryu's own in passing, as he is now turning away...
His feet, with some resistance, move forward, past servants who have since vacated the hall to allow Ryu to pass in peace.
PROVE SHE IS WORTHY OF LIFE. So screame the surviving soul, the sole survivor. YOU SACRIFICE POWER FOR NOTHING. WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH? YOU ARE LIKE A CHILD! REFUSING TO SEE THE REALITY BEFORE YOU.
Ryu's fist tenses to the point that his fingers could dig through to the palms and impale them. He does not turn back to face Munin. Though angry, the jeering of a soul that craves violence is less noise to deal with than an entire chorus of four. Yet, a sacrifice of strength. A sacrifice of power - but a sacrifice he's willing to make, for the sake of at least two.
Between that, the Killing Intent, and the gnawing commands of Vega, it's an uphill battle to re-assert his will. He knows that this alone will not spare Ken of harm if worse comes to worse, but if he's to face his friend in these circumstances... he'll do so with a calmer mind, if only just.
As Ryu leaves Munin behind, he renews his resolve through the cracks of displeasure and disappointment with his choices - reservation at all the wrong times, they would chide. The dimmed glow of the magenta light from his hand is a lower volume. It is not muted.
Carrying burdens upon his mind and shoulders as he wanders towards the bridge, there are the final words of what the sorcerer spoke of the arrangement ahead that bear repeating...
'Remember that the elder gods judge you at every step.'
It takes a moment for Munin to register that Ryu has turned and started to leave. Within the whirlwind in her mind, even through all the emotions and remembered sensations, his choice to revive her does no go unnoticed. Pushing the words out, she manages to speak "Th-thank... you.... for my life....".
She latches on to the fact that by her code, she owes Ryu bigtime for this. A few minutes after Ryus departure, Munin pulls herself to her feet shakily. The glow in her eyes burns brightly as her course is now set. This will not be wasted.
Nor shall it be forgotten..
The minions of Shang Tsung finally enter the room, fear of their master overwhelming any worry about Ryu. When they do so, they find the room empty.
Log created on 23:13:08 10/05/2016 by Ryu, and last modified on 12:36:45 10/06/2016.