Description: The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Heidern, having recieved intel on K's whereabouts during the lockdown of Southtown, decides to try to bring him into the fold for the decisive battle... one way or another.
K' is not one to stay in any location for very long. Southtown had been a reprieve, due to the density of the people and myriad networks of criminals that make it harder for NESTS to infiltrate. But Kula, that strange frozen girl, finally tracked him down. He had begun working with Maxima to move on, and his long-running teammate left the city to scout out another town a couple hours away... and then this Heihachi jackass swoops in and locks down the city. A brief scan of the perimeter confirmed that there wasn't any way out that wouldn't cause a lot of noise. The last thing he needs is a flaming attention draw, which will bring his pursuers and possibly draw reinforcements beyond his ability alone.
So he's bunkered down, in a worse mood than normal. And at length, he's had to slither out for supplies. What he intended to be a ten minute expedition has drawn on to an hour, as almost every single place is cleaned out. He can't even find toothpaste to eat at the moment. Anyone with half a brain could have picked him up, as the longer he was out the more impatient he got. Maxima isn't around to keep him sharp, and he's never been one to cower away from his problems in the first place.
At last, he's managed to buy a stale old hotdog from a food truck about to head off to resupply. It cost him every penny he had, and doesn't come with a single condiment. Striding into an alley to break line of sight, he tries to brush off an errant hair while plucking off a speck of mold from the dried-out bun. "Gotta be kidding me...!"
There was a time when Heidern would be sliding in behind K' in an attempt to silently gut him; the man has been a target for the Ikari Warriors for some time, due in no small part to his previous association with the NESTS Cartel. Heidern has desperately been tracking down any available Intel on the mysterious organization and finds himself remarkably blind - even for a guy with one eye.
Regardless of the young man's former status as target to the Ikaris, Heidern's hours spent considering the rapidly devolving situation in Japan and the unreliable nature of many of their former partners and assets have left him looking for more unusual 'partners'. He knows K' has no great love for NESTS - as much as one can know something in times like this. It's not much to go on, but it'll HAVE to do.
Once an enemy, now a potential ally. He seems to be finding them in strange places these days.
Heidern's head might be barely visible, for just a moment, around the corner of the alley's exit. The perfect spot. With a deft turn around the corner, Heidern takes several strides forward into the shadows of the alley and then stands backlit by the sun - his long coat draped over his shoulders. His back is rigid and straight, gloved hands in his pocket but muscles remaining tensed underneath his uniform. He doesn't know what to expect from this one. He doesn't exactly seem the most reliable soldier, not with that diet...
The word is no louder than necessary to carry across the distance of the alley. Heidern stands perfectly, waiting for his response.
K' is not a weak target; by this point, Heidern should know. A couple attempts have been made, to no avail. Yet the reports that came back indicated no desire to kill; a memorable case nine months back, a tailer was caught by Maxima and confronted. When defeated, the pair simply left, telling them to leave them alone. This went against the profile; information is that he's a NESTS weapon of war, brutal and heartless, and that they lost control. But all the evidence seems to be pointing to a much different reality... was that disinformation from NESTS itself? Were they trying to use the Ikari to clean up their own messes? Perhaps. But it does prove two things.
K' is rather strong. But by all combat assessments, without his partner, not on the level of the legendary assassin.
K' does pause, slowing down his stride. Perhaps it would be wise to retreat, here. There is no positive outcome to confronting this unknown. But within, the flame of anger licks up. Again...? What now? Well. He'll deal with all barriers to his freedom as he always has -- head on.
Shifting into the darkness, one hand still cradling his shoddy dog, a gloved hand raises and fingers snap. Flame simmers, casting an orange shifting glow on the alley. He doesn't recognize that silhouette. Is this someone new? "...What?" he finally asks. "If we're playing twenty guesses why you're here, I bet I only need one."
There's a reason Heidern made this trip personally this time; and it's not just the importance of recruiting another skilled fighter for the fight ahead... but rather, in case K' proved to be more unpredictable than expected. Though him and his partner have shown remarkable restraint in the past, the Ikari CO is re-thinking all previous conceptions - and he's not about to send another one of his soldiers, even the more reliable ones, into a meeting with K' or Maxima. He needs every man and woman who can carry a gun in fighting shape.
Stepping forward, his long strides carry him down the alleyway with remarkable speed even at what must be a casual pace for such a lanky individual. He pauses again a fair distance from K', but close enough for his face to be lit up by the flames. One could hardly confuse that eyepatch, that beret, that stern 'I haven't smiled Rugal KILLED MY FAMILYYYYYY' expression that he carries around with him at all times...
"You might be surprised," he says in a gruff tone, as his face becomes visible in the light, "There's a saying about desperate times. You ever hear it, kid?" He pauses, as if to let that sink in, then continues - still keeping his body tensed, his hands in his pocket, his one eye narrowed firmly on K'. "Don't know about you, but I'd say these days qualify."
The hand lifts higher, flame brightening. K' has just the faintest ghost of discomfort to his face from sustaining the fire; he normally only brings it forth for a few moments, and any kind of maintaining is uncomfortable even with the boosted control of his glove. His shades refract the light in a rainbow sheen, and after some solemn seconds tick by, "...who the hell are you?" Maxima would know, immediately. He'd also be a hell of a lot better at things like negotiation. There's a reason that the rogue agent primarily does the heavy lifting when it comes to upfront combat.
"...desperate times require desperate measures? What're you going on about?" There's a snap to his voice, a rudeness, an insubordination. It's not like Ralf being playful, but a serious, deep-set disrespect. "This city's fallen to shit. Bunch of world powers throwing weight around, with this city caught in the middle. Not keen on it blowing up while I'm still in here..." Not if he can't do anything about it, at least.
Heidern grunts in disapproval at the words given in reply - but then, what could he have possibly been expecting? That disrespect, that flippant attitude - had he wasted his time coming here? If the situation weren't so dire, he'd move to detain K' immediately - but with things being what they are... his help could be valuable, if that apathetic exterior could be broken through.
"Don't be an idiot, kid," he says harshly, taking an additional step forward, "The world is going to hell. You think you can stay out of it? I'm telling you, that's NOT happening."
Glancing down for a moment, the General shakes his head and speaks in measured, professional tones as he finally identifies himself to the youth, "Codename: Heidern. Commanding Officer, Ikari Warriors."
His good eye narrows, and he pulls his hands out of his trenchcoat's pockets, folding his arms in front of his chest as he stares down at K'. "And you're either with us, or against us," he says standing in-place, back stiff, boots together, completely still. He's not leaving without an answer. And one option is a hell of a lot easier than the OTHER.
There's an obvious bristling from K' when he's called an idiot, and that hard shell can almost be visibly seen by the keen eyes of the Ikari going stubbornly harder. He turns to spit to the side, finally flicking his palm closed and dismissing the flame. "World's been going to hell as long as I can remember. And one thing I learned... in the end, it keeps on turning. I'm more concerned with myself..."
Of course, at that statement, there's a shift in demeanor. Slowly the younger fighter exhales, shoulders rolling back in a creak of leather bodysuit, pulling up his silver cross and giving it an idle rub with his bare finger. "Commanding Officer...? That means you're the head..."
"Of those Ikari bastards!!" Without any hesitation, K' then launches himself forward. A surprising quick dash to bring him the remaining distance, before he kicks upwards, lashing out his knee in an attempt to strike Heidern in the chest. His other hand moving to grasp and then hurl, trying to toss the other man further into the alleyway. "That means if I kick your ass, your bastard followers will leave us alone, right?!"
"But get one thing straight... I'm not for or against you. I'm out for MYSELF!!" Somehow, he's still holding on to his hotdog. Will it survive the conflict, though...?
COMBATSYS: K' has started a fight here.
COMBATSYS: Heidern has joined the fight here.
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Heidern 0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0 K'
COMBATSYS: Heidern counters Knee Strike from K' with Killing Bringer.
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Heidern 0/-------/-----==|==-----\-------\0 K'
No laugh, no scowl, no visible reaction from Heidern is noticeable apart from a single grunt somewhere between frustration and disappointment - he'd half expected this, which is why he took the time to come himself. As K' launches into action, Heidern's remaining eye tracks every movement the youth makes - his gait, his speed, muscles tensing in preparation for the strike.
He knows the attack is coming; and even then, he remains still for a fraction of a second more to consider the situation... before he throws himself a half-step forward to meet the former NESTS project head-on.
Weeks ago, this encounter would've been perfectly natural to the Ikari CO... but today, the grizzled veteran can't help but hold out a little bit of hope. Hope that K' can still be made to see the light.
As he steps forward to greet the incoming knee strike, Heidern twists his torso a few inches to the side, allowing the incoming knee to pass by him harmlessly. At the same time, one gloved hand is thrusting out with deadly, unnatural speed - stabbing it towards K's midsection and gripping the youth tightly for a moment, lowering his tone due to the close proximity as he makes another appeal to reason.
"I already told you, DON'T be an idiot! You want to die TODAY? For NOTHING?" he growls, as his hand comes back to his side, inching back - hoping the display may have humbled K' in some way... but hardly relying on it, his feet now in an obvious fighting stange, both hands held out in front of him.
"Choose your legacy! Coward? Fool? Or WARRIOR?!?"
What's this...? K's a little impressed Heidern's coming to the forefront. However, he's working on almost no information here. Only one thing really rings in his mind: Maxima told him to never fight this man one on one. He told him to run. ...Shoulda known that wasn't going to happen, though. The knee misses, and then there's a brutal hiss of pain in his ribs as leather proves little barrier to those well-honed fingers of the Ikari's head. When they tear free, he lands unevenly, staggering to the wall and hissing as he grasps the bleeding wound.
"I don't want ANY of those!!" he growls out, twisting back towards Heidern. He rears back his left hand before pausing. Sliding forward on a leading foot, he then whips his gloved fist upwards, attempting to impact Heidern in the ribcage with a sharp, compact hook. It's got surprising force to it. Hearing reports is one thing, but K' has a wealth of practical battle instinct and incredible instincts, on top of a physique that's incredibly well-suited to the battlefield. There's little signs of proper technique or finesse, but he has few wasted actions, making it difficult to predict him and turning what might be a weakness into an asset...
The cause of that feint, though, was since he didn't want to punch with the hand holding the hotdog. Whether Heidern attributes it to cunning or not is up in the air.
COMBATSYS: Heidern dodges K''s Fierce Punch.
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Heidern 0/-------/-----==|==-----\-------\0 K'
The fist passes through air, Heidern moving like a ghost back into the shadows of the alleyway - the dark seemingly enveloping the man for a moment, the only thing visible in the darkness is his remaining eye, staring outwards with an angry glance.
"You kids just don't learn, hrm?" he grumbles, sounding almost personally disappointed. He hadn't expected this to be easy, he'd even expected a fight... but if he can't find a way of getting through to K' - he might have to bring him down, after all. And Heidern is not looking to dispose of potential allies, not when the situation is so bad. Not when they need EVERYONE, Ikari or not, they can get to fight.
"We don't always GET what we WANT!" he growls, rushing out of the darkness back towards his opponent, two long strides carrying him the distance with a grace that seems odd from a man his height. He can't help but notice the man is still clutching that hot dog... it's almost insulting, but if he wants to treat this affair with the same apathy he seems to view the global crisis with... it'll just make things that much easier.
"Sometimes," he says sternly, lashing out with a gloved backhand to try and literally slap some sense into K' - aiming to strike him across the cheek - as he continues, "We have to do what's NECESSARY, whether we like it or NOT."
COMBATSYS: Heidern successfully hits K' with Jab Punch.
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Heidern 0/-------/-----==|===----\-------\0 K'
Damnit. He's good. It's like Heidern's somehow seeing ahead in time, remaining just a step past... it's frustrating. And more importantly, he's not sure the best way to offset it. What would Maxima do...? Inside his head, the hulking figure materailizes. 'Run, dumbass! That's what I said to do in the first place!' Go to hell. His hand adjusts, gripping the hotdog more securely in the non-gloved hand, orienting it to be partially blocked by the majority of his body.
And then the gloved hand finds a place on his cheek. It comes fast, knocking his sunglasses askew, and leaving K' momentarily stunned. He pauses, shifting backwards and then adjusting them back into place, bright red fingerprints welling into being. "..." His mouth slightly opens. "...did you just SLAP me?" The sound is... well. Definitely of one who's been shocked out of his normal mindset. But his teeth grit, before he flexes his hand. Flames ignite along his fingers, running up his arm. Heat builds up around him, seething like a furnace.
"Don't preach to me, when you're part of the PROBLEM!!" K' then shifts, stamping a foot forward before swishing up a whirling ball of flame. He expects Heidern to avoid it. Doing anything else would be a shock. But then K' jumps up, sweeping out a scorching kick. He impacts the mass of prepared fire, and sends it hurtling towards where the man is liable to shift evasively, in an attempt to slam into him with a great explosion. "I've been doing what's neccesary as long as I can goddamn remember! You wanna reason with me?! Tell me I can take you off the long list of people ready to stab me in the back the moment I try to live my life!!"
COMBATSYS: Heidern just-defends K''s Second Shoot EX!
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Heidern 0/-------/-----==|=====--\-------\0 K'
The Ikari General can sense the power behind all of these blows, the sheer strength and anger with which K' lashes out... it's an impressive showing, to be sure, and one that only reassures Heidern that he was not completely wrong in approaching the youth with an offer to join the fight against Justice. That kind of ability, that kind of anger, could be valuable if focused in the proper direction.
IF. If not? It's just a liability, and the fastidious General will NOT allow unknown elements to remain in the field. Not when there's this much to lose. K' either signs up, or he gets left bleeding in the alley.
"Part of the PROBLEM?!" growls Heidern is sheer outrage, his voice betraying serious emotion for the first time in this encounter - a rare gesture of passion from the usually stern soldier. "Me and my people are the only SOLUTION!"
As the wall of fire comes flying down the narrow alleyway towards him, it's clear by the sheer SIZE of the blast that there's no way to evade it. Not even for a swift, skilled commando like himself. So, he doesn't evade it. Instead, his hands coming flying up suddenly - his olive trenchcoat slipping along and off of his arm. It meets the wall of fire halfway between the two opponents and is vaporized in an instant.
But when the coat burns away, Heidern is visible directly behind it - having rushed forward into the projectile with his trademark quickness. His long, uniformed arms cross in front of him as he continues to rush ahead and into the flames - a crescent of blue chi guarding him from any harm as he rushes THROUGH the projectile.
Growling, "ENOUGH!" as he slides forward, Heidern speeds up again suddenly just as he approached K's front - attempting to slip imperceptibly BEHIND the fighter and cut numerous gouges in his back with the deadly, razor-edge of the soldier's practiced hands.
COMBATSYS: K' blocks Heidern's Backstabber.
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Heidern 0/-------/-----==|======-\-------\0 K'
"Yeah. That's the problem with people like you. And NESTS. And Shadaloo. You all think you're the goddamn solution...!" Of course, he hadn't expected a chi-imbued swish of clothing to dissipate his attack. He tried to build up a perfect ambush, but... still not enough?! Yet perhaps surprisingly, those keen eyes follow the incredible speed of the rushing figure. His right hand flicks down, and a gout of flame bursts between himself and Heidern. Fingers can't rip in as deeply as desired without taking more damaged than given, as he evasively twists and strikes away the assault in the same motion. Rips are through his leather, but far less than was intended. "Even now... I'm just a tool to you, aren't I? A weapon. That's all I ever was to anyone...!!" Except Maxima. He, at least, showed him that one can make their own destiny. K' brings up his right hand, fingers flexing together to build a sudden wall of flame. And then he shoots through it, his gloved hand shaping the remnants of his stolen Kusanagi fire and arcing out. A brutal, lashing whip of condensed energy strikes out, in an attempt to carve Heidern across the chest and ensure he does not escape this fight completely unscathed!!
COMBATSYS: K' successfully hits Heidern with Second Whip.
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Heidern 0/-------/---====|=======\-------\1 K'
At the mention of HIS organization being lumped in with the likes of NESTS and Shadaloo, Heidern stiffens noticeably, his eye widening as he glares daggers at K' - lips pulling back in a scowl, a rare sight for the usual impassive, neutral-faced CO.
"We protect the innocent! We fight for honor!" he shouts, his voice audibly full of rage at the mere notion that the Ikaris are ANYTHING like those those monsters.
We... also get punched straight in the face - his momentary lapse in concentration coming back to bite Heidern in the ass, as K' punches through another wall of chi-flame to land a brutal strike on the center of Heidern's chest.
The impact knocks the man back several steps, skidding to a stop with his leather boots scraping the concrete below. "We're all soldiers, kid..." he hisses, hand clutching at the smoking impact-spot on his chest, "What matters..." he continues, moving back into a fighting stance but not taking any steps forward. Maybe there's still a chance...
"..is what we fight and die FOR. You were a weapon the minute you were born. Might have just taken you a while to figure it out. You want to be a boy too afraid to fight? Or a MAN brave enough to fight for what MATTERS?"
COMBATSYS: Heidern calculates his next move.
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Heidern 0/-------/---====|=======\-------\1 K'
"You're an assassin... where's your honor? It's fine when the ends justify the means, doesn't it?!" K' states, panting lightly. Damnit. What is with this guy...? He moves like lightning, and strikes with the precision of a surgeon's scalpel. At least he actually hit him. Good; looks like emotions aren't his friend. Apparently, riling up Heidern is the best way to counter that methodical execution...
"What matters to me... is freedom." K' states, gritting his teeth. He then brings up his right hand, hotdog shifted to the side. Now it's warm at least, as he ignites flame and then shifts his stance. "And I'll fight whoever tries to dictate how I'll live...!!"
And then he moves. It's a strange technique; a momentary buildup, before suddenly even Heidern's eyes might lose track of him. He's coming right after the front of the man, but this is a feint. His goal is to actually appear /behind/, then flick back his engulfed hand.
"If you can't understand that... then this is the only way we can talk!!" A moment later, there's a great explosion leveraged right at Heidern, intent on overcoming him and sending the entire alley momentarily into bright crimson and orange.
COMBATSYS: K' successfully hits Heidern with Crimson Star Road.
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Heidern 0/-------/-======|==-----\-------\0 K'
"At least I recognize my place in this world," growls Heidern in reply, standing back and watching K' with a keen eye as the front of his uniform stops smoking from the fighter's previous blow.
Any hopes he might be able to talk it through after demonstrating his skill to the boy is shattered the moment K' seems to build up a strange energy and then... disappears from Heidern's sight entirely - blurring past the otherwise observant mercenary General as he re-appears, suddenly, behind the soldier.
Heidern barely has a moment to half-turn his head, before his entire body is engulfed in bright, engulfing flames - the explosive force of the blast knocking him back into one of the brick walls of the alleyway. The impact of his body against the surface, rocked backwards by the energy, is enough to crumble brick - and the waves of flaming chi continue to wash over Heidern, causing a noticeable grimace.
Lurching forward and catching himself on one knee, Heidern lets out a brief, subdued chuckle. The kid is good, no doubt about it. Seems he just needs the proper push. Now, why won't he fight for something other than his damned pride?
"All that power," he mutters as he remains on one knee for a moment, staring up at K' now that the flames have disappated, "and you're just going to run and hide while the Justice Gear subjugates the planet? I won't allow it, damnit! Did NESTS break your spirit?! Stop and THINK, damnit!"
Reaching back with one hand on the alley wall to brace himself, Heidern pushes off of his kneeling stance suddenly - his lanky body springing up and into the air. The sailing Ikari CO gracefully clears the distance between himself and K', and as he passes the fighter he reaches out with both hands...
"Or I'm putting you down, NOW!" he reaches gripping him around the neck and spinning two full 360-turns, Heidern doesn't unleash the full intensity of the technique, but he does attempt to draw some blood from the kid's throat all the same. He needs to REALIZE the seriousness of this situation. He either dies now, dies fighting Justice, or he WINS.
There is no fourth option.
COMBATSYS: Heidern successfully hits K' with Neck Roller.
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Heidern 1/-------/=======|====---\-------\0 K'
"...Who said I want to let those things do what they want?" K' growls out. There's just a flicker of impotent rage there, the annoyance of someone who feels powerless. He can't just go and challenge that monster. Even with Maxima, it's likely a death sentence. Inwards, the gears do begin to click. Not alone, no. Not with the allies he currently has. Yet it's somewhat difficult to trust the words of an organization that was intent on your head until this moment.
Which is made all the worse when Heidern literally goes for said head. A lunge backwards is woefully insufficient, and two whirlwinds send him staggering forward, grasping the new flows of blood. His hotdog-hang trembles slightly. Shit. This guy really would kill him. There's no doubt about it...
Suddenly flames ripple up K's back, the white text reading out 'A BEAST OF PREY' in all it's glory. Shining across myriad buckles, as he twists towards the other man. Pain is obvious, but he grits his teeth and bears it as it starts to congeal in his hand, shining brighter and brighter.
"This... isn't over yet... show me what you got!!"
COMBATSYS: K' issues a challenge!!
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Heidern 1/-------/=======|====---\-------\0 K'
COMBATSYS: K' charges his next attack!
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Heidern 1/-------/=======|=======\-------\1 K'
Once the two full turns are complete, hands slicing around K's neck the entire trip, Heidern simply lets go and effortlessly somersaults into a standing position some feet away. He does a swift about-face and clicks his heels together, keen eye observing the damage his technique caused. The kid CAN'T have much left in him, he determines... and yet, he's still standing. Still holding his ground.
"If you stand by and let more innocent people die, then you're just as guilty as the monsters who unleashed this weapon!" growls Heidern without a sense of humor in his voice - though he's obviously cracking a joke at K's expense, detesting the apathy of someone who could stand by and do nothing in the face of such a monstrous threat to world peace. "Mercenaries, assassins, terrorists - call us what you want. We go are the only deterrent for those with no recourse. We stand between innocent lives and war, death, mayhem..."
As K' visibly charges his energy, one corner of Heidern's lip turns up in a brief smirk. He can't help but respect the staying power, if nothing else. "Gotta lotta heart, kid..." he grumbles, and then takes a few determined steps forward.
Suddenly, one hand is raised, pointing directly at K' in a forceful, perhaps intimidating gesture, the remaining eye of the mercenary General shining brightly in the dim light of the alleyway. Something inside him stirs, decades of experience coming to the fore to put forth an authoritative front towards his opponent. "YOU need to stop this. I came to TALK, boy."
And then, just as quickly, the second hand comes up - a crescent-shaped blue wave of chi emenating from the man's long forearm and shooting swiftly down the alleyway towards K', crackling as it travels.
"But you just won't LISTEN."
COMBATSYS: Heidern successfully hits K' with Cross Cutter.
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Heidern 1/---====/=======|=======\===----\1 K'
He's going down here. K' knows this already. However, the least he can do is try to drive Heidern with him. He holds up his hands and continues to build up and condense his strength... narrowing his eyes. It might become apparent a little late that he fully intends to sacrifice himself in this exchange. "Then I guess what you're saying... is I'm not innocent. Heh." He allows something of a smirk at that.
"I'll stop... once you eat THIS!!" The blue energy blows out, although K's own response is rather shockingly simple. His flames compact inwards, his hand glowing bright now with infused power. Grasping his sunglasses, the blow strikes him straight in the chest, dissipating as it rips through leather and blows past to rake across his leanly muscled frame.
And then he flings his sunglasses through the air, spiraling rapidly, intent on smacking Heidern right in his good eye with them...?
COMBATSYS: K' can no longer fight.
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COMBATSYS: Heidern fails to counter Empowered Chain Drive EX from K' with Killing Bringer.
[ \\\\ <
Ping. The sunglasses then hit Heidern in the face, as desired. This is just a feint. But K' is already shifting into the same position he used before -- the one where he seems capable of superhuman movement. His foot presses down, before kicking forward. He reappears in front of Heidern, unleashing a brutal blow to the midsection with his searing fist, slipping past his normally masterful attempt to evade and reverse it.
But his vastly amplified movement has not ended just yet. A hand reaches up, the world seeming almost frozen to mundane eyes, taking his sunglasses and slipping them back on his face. Heidern likely still locked in the response from the opening blow...
And then he swings and kicks, unleashing a devastating onslaught. He's going for sheer speed, little force between any individual one. But he seems to be speeding up more and more, sharp hooks, knees and kicks barreling into the slender assassin. "Haaaa...!!" he roars, igniting with fire as his fists begin living burning imprints and small explosions. Every last ounce of his dying fire thrown into it, with a ruthless desperation. And then a last sharp right hook to Heidern's face, before he shifts to place an open hand barely an inch from Heidern's stomach...
And then he unleashes a sharp, ground-shattering blow, the force blowing past Heidern instead of sending him away, splintering the concrete of the alley floor. The last of his power then builds up, before he roars out his defiance and unleashes a final right straight, impacting Heidern in the face and hurtling forward a short distance to send him flying towards the end of the alley.
Only to immediately stagger and crash into a nearby dumpster, sliding down and finally dropping his singed hotdog on the dirty ground, panting heavily as blood drips in heavy spatters beside. "Fuck... not enough... not quite... enough...!!"
"I guess so," comes the quick, cool reply from Heidern in regards to the 'innocent' comment as he watches his blue energy strike K' - the opponent making no visible movement to get out of it's path. This alone concerns the observant soldier, but even that sense of anticipation doesn't prepare him for such an unusual trick.
The sunglasses strike him, one arm of the frame hitting him dead in the good eye and knocking him back a half-step - one gloved hand rising up to clutch at it, completely obscuring his vision. For just a moment. But for someone like K', a moment is more than enough time to take advantage.
Before Heidern is even fully processing the underhanded trick - one he would no doubt applaud his own soldiers' using, in it's simple brilliance - he's rocked with a devastating blow to the gut. And again, before he can move his hands down to cover his midsection, the unnaturally fast NESTS-enhanced youth is already unleashing an unstoppable flow of punches and kicks, knees, seemingly everything he has to throw at the lanky mercenary.
And he's simply knocked around by all this, his vision still blurry and the full speed of an enraged K' too much for his weakened senses to even begin to keep up with. There's an attempt to counter one of the blows with another palm thrust of his own, but it's overcome by the sheer relentlessness of the combination attack.
The charged blast to his stomach and the final blow to his face finish the brutality - sending the Ikari flying back towards the very mouth of the alleyway. He lands roughly on the concrete and rolls numerous times, his uniform ripped and hopelessly filthy from the trip. He comes to a skidding stop, his stomach on the alleyway floor... and then, he groans as he pushes the palms of his torn gloves onto the ground.
Slowly pushing himself up to one knee, Heidern takes a couple deep breaths as his vision slowly refocuses on K', obviously well past the point of fighting himself. And not a damned second too soon; Heidern isn't even on his feet yet. He hasn't been hit like THAT in some time. The world NEEDS this kid to fight Justice... he's too powerful to waste on the sidelines.
Finally, after a few moments of tense silence, a few coughs leave Heidern's mouth - accompanied by their fair share of blood, splattering on the dirty pavement of the alleyway. A small memento to this spot, yet another place where the Ikari CO almost fell in defeat... but managed to scrape through, by the skin of his teeth.
The thought is enough to, finally, bring a smile to the man's face, showing his bloody teeth. His voice comes out harsh, raspy, trying to keep any pain from being noticeable in his tone... but still, there's a roughness that isn't usually there. Visibly trembling as he regains his footing, he slowly returns to a standing position - though he's got one hand out to brace himself on the alley wall as he takes a few short, tentative steps towards his opponent.
"And what... did that... accomplish?" he says, pausing to cough again, "What's it going to take, kid? Hrm? A couple million dead? This whole country in flames? What?"
COMBATSYS: Heidern has ended the fight here.
There's a difference, here. Not much of one, but on the battlefield, vital. Heidern was able to eventually get up. But K' cannot... he's struggling to remain on his knees. It would be fairly trivial to walk over and lance him in the heart, if that was the way Heidern wished to end things. Oh, there'd be a fight, and it'd be messy, but he could do it.
"I dropped my hotdog. So not a whole fucking lot." K' growls out, spitting blood heavily. "I told you my price... haa... stop treating me like an unchained fucking monster. I just wanna be left alone...!! I don't mind you cutting my head off if I deserve it. But I can't help where I came from... and you won't find anyone who hates NESTS more than me...!!"
"Heh," a single, quiet laugh from the usually deadly serious mercenary, and he can't help but shake his head in amusement at the kid, "You're damned good. And you do it with style.."
He continues to shuffle over to his fallen opponent, still bracing himself on the alley wall with one hand, his steps short and each one causing an almost imperceptibly twang of pain through the man's body.
Finally, after a dozen or more steps, he stops above K' and looks down with a grim look on his face yet again. He could end it all now. Take one unknown player off the table. Not like he hasn't been trouble before.
And yet, Heidern instead offers a hand to the fallen fighter. "I don't give a damn about your past. Or why you fight. I just want you fighting the right enemies. The ones who DESERVE your anger."
There's an attempt from K', trembling though it might be, to get up. Anticipating something unpleasant, perhaps. But he's busy holding his side, blood still pouring from the vicious slashes to his throat. However, the hand that descends is no longer going towards his proverbial throat. "..." His ungloved hand grasps the fallen hotdog, other shifting to grasp Heidern and allow himself to be pulled upwards with a grimace. "I think you deserve my anger plenty." he growls out. "But right now, I'm not interested in sitting here until the city's a nuclear crator. ...Our baggage can wait until after."
"We can't change the lives we've led. All we can do is look to the battle ahead," he says, his voice grating as a line of blood dribbles down the side of his lips - grunting in exertion as he hefts K' to his feet. Though it nearly causes him to stumble back himself, Heidern slowly begins to regain something resembling composure, steadying himself (the effort clearly causing him no small amount of pain) as he looks the kid dead in the eye.
"You want my people off your back? You want to make NESTS pay for what they've done to you? Come with me, kid. Save the world, or die fighting for something you believe in."
"When this is over, if you're still feeling sore and you want a second round... you go RIGHT ahead. My men will let it happen, I promise that. In the meantime, we've got work to do. Welcome to the war. We're gonna need you."
Log created on 16:25:59 10/30/2017 by K', and last modified on 01:50:08 10/31/2017.