Mortal Kombat - Bereavement leave

[Toggle Names]

Description: The dead of Shang Tsungs island are ever restless but do not make a habit of roaming its paths and shores nor conducting rituals of their own. This is one tournament where death seems a small enough handicap that it is no longer insurmountable to those with sufficent motivation.

With Aranha eliminated from the Mortal Kombat tournament proper, it gave the capoeirista a lot of time to think, to train, to think some more. It also gave him an opportunity for his alternate universe counterpart an opportunity to talk to him, a lot. About their different training paths and especially about what happened in the against the Scarlet Dahlia.

That's what leads him to this particular beach. With blanket in hand does warm ups, strength and conditioning exercises, and various drills. After that, he reaps the benefits of having an alternate universe version of himself as a training partner. He spars with him which while they are similar they have overall different tendencies and the alternate universe version of him is actually a bit better. To an outside observer, it would look like he's playing a solo game of capoeira but to an observer with an eye for details, there seems to be more to it, like in the way he occasionally flinches as if hit or how sometimes his striking surface be it forearm, elbow, hand, shin and feet tend to snap back as if he landed the blow.

After a few moments, he stops playing capoeira and goes to the blanket to drink the water that he had in the canteen he had laying on the blanket. His forearm rises to wipe the sweat of of his brow as he glances around. He intends on taking full opportunity to rest before he decides to go it again.

The silent figure watching him from further down the shoreline, out in the water at first so she appears the least conspicuous she is only present intermittently, but each time it vanishes for that instant it is gone it closes more and more ground with each reappearance. Without showing any sign of having moved. Being dead took some getting used to, setting and keeping both feet in the world of the living instead of passing between Netherrealm and the world of the living. The two worlds seemed related, had similarities. The paths you had to walk and places you could get to or she found herself in when she stepped between; they were very different.


The voice sounds as it once did, possibly enough to recall or sound familiar. If it had been passed through a voice synthesizer to add such reverb would be a more pleasant solution than to hear a voice that sounded so unnatural coming from a living person.

The creature emerging from the water looking only so much like an abominable parody of a woman he'd once met. Only a diamond of cloth covering her breast and the upper part of her torso it does little to hide away the broad veins of sickly yellow that pulse beneath her skin. A single eye glowing orange and trailing over him and examining, up and down. She clearly wasn't human any longer.

Everything about her was darker or sickly and pallid of skintone. The darkness around her eyes makes one socket look a gaint hole in her face while that expressive and animate eye in the other socket burns like a ember amongst soot.The braces on the back of her hands bearing sinister looking spikes and the skull buckle at her belt.

She was a monster.

But the dead woman who was once Juri Han isn't on the attack. She was displeased with the intrusion, had been ready to kill and drown any invader. Smother them in water like she had been, until she realized she knew this person.

Her first reaction is suspicion.

"Why are you here?"

He was the intruder, she had no choice in her being here or not. For the moment at least she felt tied to this beach and it was a struggle to leave for more than a short time.

This was her grave, and he her first mortal visitor.

Each time Aranha thought he was coming here to train by himself he found someone else. Previously it was Alexis with whom he had pleasant conversation about how to proceed as well as each of their connections to music in their respective fight styles. Right now it's a bit different. If there was a female voice he didn't want to hear, it would be Fio Tessitore with the voice of Juri Han being a very close second especially after how the two parted company.

He turns around as he puts the cap back on his canteen and lets it drop to the blanket. His stance could be considered guarded and at the ready though he makes no aggressive movements.

What he sees is disturbing the person whe knew and suspected wanted to kill him was right here, right now and she looked like, forget 100 miles, but rather 1000 miles of bad road with her sickly skin tone.

He swallows back the urge to attack her right then and there. Due to his experience living in Bastion with a multitude of Darkstalkers he knows that there are decent folks among them. And while even before this, Juri had tripped his danger instincts, he owed it to them and possibly himself to hear what she had to say.

"I was working out... Why are you here?"

Kicking her feet through the water for the woman makes to leave the water for the first time, she's rather pleased at the sensation of sand between her toes and lingers more on the act of leaving the sea itself. She was more used to being drawn back to the sea or walking the skull decorated and harsh and craggy terrain of the other realm.

Water constantly dripping from her she makes no effort to dry herself on shows signs she feels the cold or chill. Her first reaction was to toy with him and make a comment related to his figure, but that urge passes quickly. She can see it in his eyes and knows it herself. She may have been gifted a second chance and come back from the dead but it hadn't done anything for her looks. Her beauty was tarnished, this body sucked and she regarded his and guarded stance as natural outcome of being confronted by yet another monster here.

"I was looking to kill whoever was getting too close. This point is dangerous, even if I didn't find you... there's still the demon living here."

She accepted that he was a demon now, there was no other explanation. Compared to Akuma she was simply a shade and yet another in a long line of victims.

"You risk your life of your own accord just being here. There is nowhere safe on this island yet still you walk into the most dangerous areas. If you would be here, make yourself useful. Pick up some more wood as you make your way down the beach as you head south."

Her tone is rather emotionless, almost depressed though she does raise her voice for emphasis as she continues.

"If you try to run you won't get far, There aren't many places on this island I haven't found my way into."

It wasn't an empty threat, The last time he'd met her she was nowhere near as strong as she'd become. He might wind up trying her, but... In her current mood it didn't matter. The only the places with the strongest wards and most complex defences kept her out. Their entry so complex and maze-like in defence or impenetrable of ward she could not enter. Just one more name to add to her mental list and take her vengeance upon later.

This one man was unique in that he was one of the few people she'd met who wasn't currently on her list. He'd saved her life and then endangered it and left her in a horrendous situation. There was nothing between them. No debts owed, the good and the bad balanced out perfectly.

There are so many questions running through the mind of the capoeirista. Kill someone who got too close? Why is she choosing not to kill him right now? What the hell does she need the wood for? Who the hell is this demon she's talking about. With her bearing and confidence, she at least believed herself to be significantly more dangerous than when they last met. What had changed? At the very least, getting the wood was an opportunity for more information.

He heads towards the south slowly to indicate that he's not running. He approaches the drift wood from wrecked ships, broken cargo crates, and the like and he incorporates it into his training, lifting a whole bunch and then as he walk towards her he rocks from heel to toe working the calf muscles with the bunch of wood acting as additional resistance. As he approaches, mulls over in his head whether he wants to ask what the wood is for or more about the demon. Considering she seemed to think the demon was dangerous, he decides to ask after that.

"What about the demon? What information do you have on him?"

The undead is quiet, contemplative or just unwilling to talk for the moment she lets the silence pervade between them. How did you separate and explain anything about your murder from the trauma of being killed by them. In her experience she'd run across more than her fair share of the worlds dragons and monsters, things that rose from obscurity to crush or snatch what they liked with no-one capable of stopping or matching them.

The stink surrounding the pyre smells of rotting flesh, she'd spent days trawling the shore for the obvious pieces of her body and parts who just might've once been Juri Han. She was the only one who'd care enough to give herself a proper burial after all.

"I thought- he was a madman with great power. Someone whose intensive training had driven him insane but the fruit of his effort and that sacrifice was still there. It seemed like it might be fun before I crossed fists with him."

Thoughts which had possibly lead to her inevitable death. She wasn't ready to take on a world class monster like Vega and even he had been killed by the Demon who occasionally dwelt here. She made a single, terrible mistake.

"I was wrong. He is a demon."

The trees were bent well away from the shoreline like some fierce force strom had beaten them, partially uprooted and fallen in some places, the coastline forever changed and the spine of a broken boat still jutting out of the sea close to the beach. Some distance ahead a small pile of beams and logs is piled high, layer upon skeletal layer. A very simple structure made out of what is to hand. Dried dead leaves, fronds, dry rope and slivers of wood for kindling.

"That is why I died here. I did not suspect he was that strong until it was too late. Then he went and killed 'the mighty' Vega, I searched for years even looking for a method which could do it. He just had so much power at his disposal he just could."

Juri folds her arms across her chest, while explaining herself but gives her right arm a flick up gesturing with a brisk flowering of splayed fingers, all of it gone in a instant... a poof of smoke.

When she glances back over her shoulder at him she bothers to force a faint smile.

"I wouldn't cross him if I were you. Or let anyone you care about do it."

For a moment, the Dancing Spider wasn't even sure that the Taekwondo Spider was even going to respond but when she finally does, wow. It's a doozy. He's quiet as she tells her story since she's freely giving intel. Interrupting her doesn't seem like a particularly good idea.

When Vega is mentioned he doesn't have the context to understand who he is... At first. That's when Aranha's alternate self makes his presence known. The Dusty Yellow Soul Shard carved into a spider begins to glow. As it does so, the Aranha of this world relives the fight with Mike Bison and taking a blow that fell elephants and desperately attacking Vega and watching him casually avoid him multiple times as he bounced between guard and Vega in a bid to clear a path for escape. He felt the realization that Vega could squash him without even thinking about it but felt no need to because Mike Bison had already softened him up enough.

Then he sees a memory of sitting at home during the war and seeing on TV how Vega tore through groups of fighters. Fighters of the caliber of Zach who damn near killed him during this tournament. The caliber of Sagat who was once the World Warrior champion. It gave capoeirista a context for exactly what Juri meant.

"Oh. Shit."

"Shit? Heh, whatever. Shadaloo has been beheaded! The world stands on the brink of a war between two very different realms. I should have gone with my first instinct when I got here and gotten the hell out of here as fast as possible. Since I wasn't that smart..."

Bitterness, derision bordering on mockery of herself and her predicament. If only she'd done thing just a little differently she'd still be free. It would probably come down to 'earthrealms' own monster versus whatever the other guys had at their disposal. The only thing her dying here had meant was now her services were locked in, bought and paid for in exchange for this abominable new body.

If she welched and they took it back, she was history. The terms were incredibly one-sided.

"The party doesn't stop just because you're gone. There was a lot to catch up on and take in."

She had seen most of the major players so far now, had some inking of the manoeuvring that was going on behind the tournament. Shang Tsung and Quan Chi were the most interesting so far, the ones with more nebulous goals. The fighters fixated on the tournament and its outcome she wasn't interested in anymore. Win or lose some of the players were securing much more important positions of power and leaving the scraps till later. That was fine; she could do quite a lot with the leftovers Vega had left behind.

"Like the unpleasant task of burying yourself because nobody else cares enough to."

Her own fault there she guessed. The only reason anyone would even have looked for her body was to make absolutely certain she was dead. No family who would mourn her, yet curiously here there was at least a memorial statue that bore her likeness. That was another grudge she bore Akuma, the scumbag didn't even show enough respect to bury her. The /things/ she had dragged out of the water hardly resembled what she had been in life.

"You were ever the resourceful boy scout type, always prepared."

She recalled their brief duration as co-conspirators and partners in setting up the good Dr. Tessitore. His hatred for her but especially how well he had planned and prepared with tools and equipment. A talented and driven man, but one repelled by her personality AND her new body. Two strikes where usually she might only have had the one.

"Build me a fire and I'll tell you something good. It could be something good or bad depending on how you look at it. But it's information you especially would want."

If he valued information so badly she'd just dangle it in front of him to get what she wanted. In death she seems to have lost what small measure of patience she had for subtlety or negation. What little she DID have was information and the things she did want were numerous. Drawing the game out and teasing as she usually might just seemed petty and beneath her. Do what I want and I'll pay you with something you want.

He knows damn well that she is holding out information, stringing him along so she gets what she wants out of the deal. Of course, even though it's all stuff he probably might've done anyway. While he regarded her with caution, always wanting to keep her at arms length because his gut instinct screamed at him to be careful around her, she did nothing actively for him to have ill will towards her. If anything, he was even more cautious because she, as far as he knew, had reason to have ill will towards him. He was completely unaware that as far as her accounting was concerned, it was neutral.

He set to work, breaking down larger pieces of wood into more manageable chunks and then moving to his things sitting on the blanket. After rummaging through them he pulls out a lighter and sets the dried up driftwood ablaze.

He looks at the revenant taekwondo-ka and steps back and lets her mourn herself. He wasn't exactly the most qualified to deliver her eulogy and he could be totally off the mark with his analysis but she didn't strike him as the type who'd be appreciative of him singing Boyz II Men's 'It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday.'

Both the Aranha of this world and the alternate universe version of him had to admit that this situation was surreal. He was bearing witness to someone holding a funeral for themself.

"You think this is odd?"

She didn't mind if he did, it sure as hell wasn't something she'd ever considered before. Then again she'd never planned for anything after she was dead and gone, planning on failure seemed foolish and there was never any development of religion or spirituality in her family. Dead was dead. She didn't think she would care what happened to her body -- instead since she still existed, thinking and experiencing feelings, to the point she couldn't move on until this was done! She had no explanation for the feelings or framework to work through them.

Juri Han never buried anyone important to her before, both parents had their services while she was still hospitalized and kept in an induced coma while her damaged eye and brain were operated on.

Juri was making small talk as the fire grew stronger, she was undead of some description now surely though she wasn't afraid of the fire, that classic old bit of folklore didn't seem to apply to her. But she supposed in a timely fashion the 'Aranha' had lived up to his end of the bargain and she had her fire, when it built up strong enough she'd transfer it to the pyre and then this sad and miserable duty of hers would be ended.

"I guess you earned your treat."

Now there was a jab reminiscent of the old self. Her face betrays not a hint of emotion or triumph in the reveal. She was distracted.

"She is here on the island. Hidden away, yet pulling strings behind the scenes."

Recessed away in the palace and lurking like a good spider should; Tessitore herself would only emerge when something was already entangled in her webs. Though that can't have been all under her own power and wit. The Sorcerer appeared to be cooperating with her at most, or turning a blind eye to her activities in the least. Her minions were much less subtle than the Italian spider herself.

(Jedah appeared the smarter of the tyrants as he's sent something expendable rather than risk his own neck.)

Aranha was a smart man; he'd catch on quick as to why that was both good and bad news. If she was here? His barely restrained curb stomping of the pretty Italian the last time was sure to be something the 'good doctor' wanted to repay.

He might want to finish the job, he -may- need to spend the rest of his stay here watching his back, how he would take the news Juri was vaguely interested. This time she wasn't offering to help or lead him to his quarry; history parodies itself as these events play out similarly and yet so differently to the last time they met.

Juri and Aranha didn't have many mutual acquaintances let alone a female one. So Aranha definitely understood quickly who the revenant was referring to. His lips curl downward. The fact that she wasn't offering to help him wasn't surprising. The fact that she was telling him was stunning in of itself especially considering their history.

As for the 'good doctor' wanting to repay, there was already an attempt via an underground fighting arena where Tessitore by either happenstance or by scheme had her creation matched up against him before he proceeded to curb stomp her creation. Only things keeping them a full on confrontation was the fact that Aranha wasn't at full strength after that fight and the fact that there were enough people around hostile to Tessitore herself that delaying their confrontation was a good idea for both parties.

"Thank you for the information."

It was obvious that he was not happy with this information but yet he wanted to keep his response measured. He knew he had a decision to make. Go after her now and risk being unable to provide strength to an ally for a final confrontation within the tournament or delay and risk having her coming after him at a later time or even worse seeing her force the same fate upon someone else that was forced upon his sister.

"Want me to stick around for the funeral or do you want to be alone for this? I will respect your decision either way."

Deciding the time is right Juri hooks a leg back and smashes and scatters the fire over across and into the tinderpile pyre, a shotgun cone approach to trying to light the larger fire. When the fats and oils starting caught fire as well even the damp and wet wood would burn brilliantly, snapping popping and hissing as it was consumed.

"Stick around? ..."

She hadn't really planned ahead this far. The pyre was finally lit but she was still caught-up in the ritual of it, not that she really understood why it was this way, but she would probably be here until the ashes settled.

"That's up to you, there's no free food on offer Just a fire to warm yourself at."

So long as you someone didn't mind the smell. She reaches down she picks up a hunk of burning wood that was just sitting in the sand she walks away from her own party just a few feet and lobs it up into the tarpaulin stretched between some trees. The whole area looks might have been a campsite she was using, with the flame licking at it it's not long before the campsite and the trees themselves are also beginning to burn.

"Me, I'm starting to feel better already. I already warned you this place was dangerous, probably even more so with this signal fire lit. Your life is in your own hands."

The flames would probably be visible a long ways off but most knew not to stray into this far into the demon's territory. His campsite being burned to the ground was also likely to get his attention. This whole time her eyes glowing orange it was impossible for them to gleam when she stared into the fire, instead burning with a greater intensity.

She said no words and conducted no ritual it was as simple as burning trash or leftovers, She had to do it however, it was the loss of someone or something she actually cared about. Odd that that loss was Herself but the need to grieve and somehow do something in response to that loss was overwhelming.

Her need for Vengeance and burning all that was 'his' to the ground, that was simply her announcing her intent.

After watching the funeral pyre. He remains quiet for a few moments to let the Taekwondo Spider do what she needs to do to mourn. But then, she reaches for the hunk of burning wood.

At first, he thought that it may have been her campsite. It wasn't like he had bumped into her while remaining at the quarters in Shang Tsung's Castle. When he sees her chuck the flaming wooden chunk at it, he realizes that was not the case. When she refers to it as a signal fire, it's confirmed. He does not want to be here. As far as he was concerned, information only has value if it can be passed along or acted upon. Juri had chucked a rock at the metaphorical hornet's nest and there was no value in getting stung.

"Fair enough."

As he gathered his things and readied himself to leave, he didn't know whether to wish her luck or wish for her failure. He believed that if the demon was as strong as she said, either killing him would take Earthrealm's nuke away but on the other hand he had potential take out someone that they would need in a fight against Outworld afterwards.

After a moment's consideration, he decides to let it ride and deal with the aftermath later. He has his own vendetta to look after. He makes his way back to the castle with a lot to think about.

Log created on 19:49:43 11/10/2016 by Juri, and last modified on 12:10:46 12/05/2016.