KOF 2017 - Act 3, Mission 31 - The Tragic School Rush

[Toggle Names]

Description: Honoka, in her guise as third-year student Miko Kobayashi, has united with students from Gedo and Pacific High Schools. With the V-Gage indoctrination leaving the students fully susceptible to psychic suggestion, she remains embedded within the crowd, a wolf in sheep's clothing, as the students march in protest of Japanese nationalist forces, right into the heart of Mishima-controlled territory. Students who aren't under her sway, though, might take offense to students being used as human shields -- both against the Mishima organization, and as a prelude to assassination of the Command Gear!


Citizens cower in their homes as heavily armored vehicles thunder through the streets. Some are painted in the familiar Mishima colors. Others are in the olive drab of the Japan Self-Defense Forces. Their raw power is undeniable, unquestioned. The citizens of Southtown may fear their presence -- and yet, they can rest with the reassurance that the armored vehicles are there for their own protection. That even if there -is- a winged, nuclear-capable demon, that the corporate interests of Mishima and the government-backed Self-Defense Forces are the folks best capable of handling the threat.

Besides, citizens here by the Harbor are used to the noise. When the transit system isn't shut down, the Kanzuki Railway cars thunder by without fail, every 35 minutes from sunup to midnight.

And, without warning... here comes the KR 7-Line locomotive now.


The calamitous sounds can be heard even here, as five dozen students wince in shock, staring in the direction of the harbor. The traincars derailing were loud enough on their own -- heavy wheels pulverizing bricks and concrete, slamming into the metal rails placed by a saboteur a short time earlier. But the sound of the lead car slamming into the Komatsu Light Armored Vehicle is nothing short of impressive. Tempered glass tinkles as it is rocked loose from its frame. Armored plates dent and cave as the mass of a passenger car slams into the vehicle. Tracked wheels buckle, shear sideways from the unexpected impact -- the sound of fingernails on chalkboard magnified umpteen thousand times. The three-dimensional plus-signs known as "Czech hedgehogs" spear through the body of the vacated traincar to no avail -- they can do little to stop the tide of reinforced metal as it grinds across the city streets, scraping deep chasms into the asphalt all the while.

The tightly-wrapped bun of Miko Kobayashi's hair is nigh invisible within the small sea of students as they observe the sights, just on the small rise west of the athletic field. At 5'5", she might be considered average height among the Gedo students wearing light grey shirts and black skirts or trousers. The Pacific High students, though, trend much taller, with coiffures of blonde hair and red towering above the browns and blacks of the Japanese natives.

For a moment -- there is silence.

And a moment later, the students share looks with one another, murmuring in consensus. They begin to march across the field.

Thirty seconds into their march, the sound of armored military vehicles can be heard stirring into motion once again. The low tones of a main battle tank, off in the distance.

More urgently, the higher pitch of a much more mobile vehicle wheels into view. A Type-87 Reconnaissance and Patrol Vehicle pulls to a stop just outside the eastern gate of Pacific High. Its barrel points towards the athletic field -- and the hatch opens on top, long enough for a soldier with a pair of binoculars to get a good view of the students.

An undercurrent of panic ripples through the students.
A moment later, it passes.

The amplified voice booms through the air, courtesy of the recon vehicle's speaker system.

Another ripple of panic.
Yet the students continue to march.


Miko Kobayashi flicks a knife out of her sleeve, twirling it upon a finger. A glance is passed towards the Pacific High football team -- and the students begin to spread out. In the next few seconds, the students fan out to cover almost twice the area.

There is no third warning. The sound of the anti-personnel launcher would follow an instant after a canister-shaped object is lobbed over the Pacific High walls, following a long, wide arc.

The students each pull out their hankerchiefs -- for every Japanese student knows where their hanky is -- and places it over their nose and mouth.
The students begin to disperse in a wider pattern -- all of them running towards the military vehicle, except for the Pacific High football team.

The canister begins spewing out pepper spray, spinning in mid air. It would have less effect on students with hankerchiefs. But the billowing clouds would distribute much more of the choking gas as it hits the ground, spinning about...
If one of the aspiring offensive linesmen hadn't leapt right onto the canister the moment it sought to land in front of him. He lands on top of it, smothering the canister into the ground, all while his eyes begin to tear up, and his nose begins to flood.
An instant later, a second linesman leaps on top of him, adding even more security to the riot-control measure. Their sacrifice ensures the canister won't be spreading out any more of the gases...

Miko runs along with the students, just another hankerchief-covered face in the crowd -- made more distinctive only because of the red-haired youth next to her. Touji Matsubara -- a familiar acquaintance of Miko's -- runs right alongside her, his own shirt unbuttoned and fluttering freely as he continues jogging briskly towards the gate.

The sound of anti-air missiles erupt from their launchers, hissing out plumes of white smoke as they stream outwards, racing to catch up with the airborne, nuclear-capable demon screeching southward towards Dream Amusement Park.

Time is of the essence, notes Miko, as her eyes track the Command Gear in her flight. For the moment, the rushing scores of students still have initiative against the stunned soldiers -- but how long will that last?

It has already started.

The sound of the soldier's booming voice amplified by the loudspeaker echoes throughout the area surrounding Pacific High, distorted into a tinny warble as it falls upon Ryuko's ears. She pauses only for a moment to pick the words out of the air, her cybernetic senses tuning into the audio frequency, unscrambling its muffled message into something intelligible amongst the background noise of all hell breaking loose. Her muscles tense, the girl's expression becoming even more agitated than it had been when she realized what it was she had stumbled upon with her successful recovery of one of the V-Gauge units. Her fingers tighten upon the sheath of the sword in her hand and she resumes running as fast as her legs will carry her towards the athletic field of Pacific High and the source of the tragedy about to unfold.

The V-Gauge was, for lack of a technical explanation, a mind-control device. Using subliminal techniques to implant suggestions and information, it slowly altered the perspective of those subjected to its devious programming until their beliefs about certain pieces of history were aligned with a very specific intent. Considering the state of education at Gedo, she wasn't terribly surprised at how effective this method had proven to be. How many of those delinquents and layabouts were familiar enough with history to spot the inconsistencies? To notice the subtlely biased view points? It was only by chance that she happened to be something of a history nut herself that she was able to pick up on the pattern, but once it had revealed itself, the true goal of those responsible for this system had become abundantly clear.

Under normal circumstances, Ryuko would have immediately taken her findings to the government or perhaps the local news. However, with the world crashing down around Japan's head, there was no one there who had the time or inclination to bother with some uppity schoolgirl offering a wild conspiracy theory about one of the most popular developments in recent history, particularly not one from the disgraceful Gedo institution. For the first time, Ryuko regretted throwing away the opportunity to sign up with a more prestigious school. If she'd been a member of Seijyun, there'd have been /someone/ she could talk to about this.

There was little time for remorse and she wasn't about to sit back and let something awful happen. The last few days had been spent infiltrating the groups of students who she were certain had been the subject of this brainwashing, doing her best to quietly poke and prod answers out of them that might lead her towards something concrete. Those efforts had borne fruit eventually but, to her horror, she'd learned that the climax she had feared was coming was going to go down this very afternoon!

Ryuko grits her teeth in a mixture of effort and frustration as her legs begin to burn from the effort of running several miles without stop. Naturally, the trains were packed to the gills as people continued trying to flee the city in the wake of Justice's warning that a reckoning was coming to Southtown. Her parents had insisted that she too prepare to depart, but in a rare moment of disobedience Ryuko had instead opted to do whatever she can to stop the dark mastermind behind the V-Gauge from using her friends and fellow students for their own twisted ends.

"Faster...! I have to be... faster!"

As she puffs the words under her breath, Ryuko's body begins to shimmer and glow with a faint blue outline. The world seems to slow down around her, a phenomenon that typically occurs when she is in some sort of danger, though now it would seem that her incredible reflexes are keyed in on the danger that she perceives elsewhere. The teenager becomes a streak of muted colors as she scythes through space and time, tearing across the green astroturf of what is soon be to a battlefield if someone doesn't do something about it.

Letting out a fierce wordless cry, Ryuko's blurred form darts into the crowd, zigzagging through them like a neon bat out of hell, only to plow into the pair of football players currently laying atop the gas grenade like a ballistic missile. There is an explosion of blue light that blossoms outwards in a shimmering circle from the impact point and both of the heavy-set foreigners are sent flying away like a pair of crash test dummies. Covering her face with the back of her arm, the Gedo girl scoops up the now exposed canister and turns to hurl it back into the crowd, hoping to delay them atleast a little bit.

"Hey! What are you doing?!" Ryuko turns her cyclopean gaze upon the dazed soldier atop the APC, glaring at him with teenage disdain even as her eye starts to water up, jamming a finger towards the man. "Keep firing! They aren't in control of themselves!"

From the initial release of it, the Chairperson of Taiyo High had a bad feeling about the V-Gage Educator. Something about it had just seemed off to her. Maybe she was set in her ways (wait, isn't she too young to be set in her ways?), but something about replacing good old-fashioned rigour with a virtual reality machine just didn't sit right. And that's before you factored in the way students who got sent to V-Gage detention were acting. The burning spirit of a Taiyo student - indeed, of any of Southtown's students, even those rabble-rousers at Gedo - was replaced with something different, something altogether abnormal. So, she did what any good student body president would do: she observed, waited, and watched, and used what little pull she had to avoid using the things herself. "Something about chronic migraines," the school nurse said, and shrugged. Iincyo would remain part of the student body not exposed to the insidious psychic conditioning of the V-Gage.

As things rapidly spiralled out of control in Japan, she silently thanked all her lucky stars that she had kept all her mental faculties intact. She had a feeling she would need them in the coming days. She watched, she waited, and she practiced her Saikyo-ryu on her own or with a few other students, preparing for the day she would need to use it. And apparently, that day is today. Until now the chaos of the world has seemed almost distant, she reflected. No longer - a train derailment, and now a direct attack on the student body. She can't let this stand! But more pressingly, the Pacific High students are acting... strangely. Surely there's a better way to prevent the spread of tear gas rather than diving on it like a grenade?

Iincyo catches up to Ryuko just as the cyborg girl pitches the gas canister back where it came, stopping to catch her breath. Not everyone can be part machine, after all. She quickly assesses her. A Gedo student, but not what you'd expect from that school... Well, the enemy of my enemy, right? Iincyo's shoulder-draped coat flutters in the wind. "Something weird's going on here, and I'm not sure antagonizing the soldiers is the way to fix it! Students versus military... I don't like the sound of that." She scans the crowd, noting the way they seem to move as one cohesive whole. It's like something out of a movie - you know, the one where a bunch of aliens form the students and faculty of a school into a hivemind?

"We need to figure out who's controlling them before this turns into a massacre." She scans the crowd for anyone acting... differently.

If there's anyone who's experienced this whole nightmare firsthand in more ways than one, it's Yuri herself. She's been investigating herself with others and at least once gotten into trouble. Even while she was at home protecting the Kyokugen Dojo (she was supposed to be resting, but Yuri refused to leave the dojo unguarded) she was met up with a mysterious young man who accused her of being in on it, and was beaten pretty badly. Regardless, there's no keeping Yuri down at all. With all that's going on with this mysterious experiment and now Japan being threatened, Yuri's really into it now!

On Yuri's school turf, there's protesting galore along with soldiers trying to keep things under control. It may not be safe here for the average civilian, sure, but Yuri's no ordinary civilian. In fact, a soldier nearby asks what she's doing here and that it's not safe for civilians. Yuri smirks and says, "I'm no civilian! I am Yuri Sakazaki and I'm a master of the Kyokugen Karate style! One of the best of the best there is!" She lowers her eyebrows into an evil grin. "Now I suggest you move aside or it's butt-kicking time!" Apparently, the soldier is caught off-guard by this whole demonstration of arrogance and backs off. They never prepared him for THAT in boot camp!

Now there's tear gas coming out, and pepper spray too. Fortunately, Yuri's already got a handkerchief up to her nose and her mouth. It protects her somewhat, but she can tell that things are really getting out of hand here. She looks around for anyone she might recognize in hopes of gathering a few allies on the spot for an impending battle.

Why is it impending? Simple, Yuri's not about to sit around idly and let everything go to hell. This is her country and she's going to help protect it in any way she can! Not to mention, this whole V-Gauge experiment thing needs to come to an end right here and right now!

"Attention everyone!" Yuri calls out in hopes of gathering familiar people to her side. "This is Yuri Sakazaki and I'm here to help! If anyone knows who I am, I'll find you! We can do this!" Even in the darkest of times, Yuri always manages to encourage those who are allies of hers. Will it work though?

COMBATSYS: Honoka has started a fight here on the right meter side.

                                  >  //////////////////////////////]
                                  |======-\-------\0           Honoka

COMBATSYS: Touji has joined the fight here on the right meter side.

                                  >  //////////////////////////////]
                                  |-------\-------\0            Touji
                                  >  //////////////////////////////]
                                  |======-\-------\0           Honoka

COMBATSYS: Iincyo has joined the fight here on the left meter side.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Iincyo           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0            Touji
                                  >  //////////////////////////////]
                                  |======-\-------\0           Honoka

The patrol officer raises his eyebrow at the high-schooler without military gear loudly insisting that she is not, in blind defiance to contrary evidence, a citizen. "... Yeah, yeah, sure, but you--"
More insistent pleas for attention. The corporal's index finger drums lightly and patiently upon the barrel of the weapon slung around his arm as he gives Sakazaki a brief once-over.
And he acts in complete dissonance with his years of military background of opposing against boastful self-important loudmouths by... simply standing down. After all, harming a child with a mouth like that might be a lightning rod for the opposing forces -- and not only that, it would make him a pretty rude!
He flashes a sardonic grin, stepping aside for the martial arts princess, as his co-worker uses a set of bolt cutters to open up the gates of Pacific High to allow her entrance.
"Right away, Miss Sakazaki."

A moment after she steps through the wrought-iron gate, metal slams shut.
And a moment after that, the Reconnaissance and Patrol Vehicle's engine roars to life, butting up against the gate to shut the students in.
Contrary to injuring students, keeping all the students secured in one place -is- one of the soldiers' stated priorities.

The students have not ceased in their gate-charging. Sure, they had been told to stay cordoned off with their families. Sure, they -could- have listened to directions, to head home with their families. But they had a goal, a mission. The armies of Japan would not succeed against a force that could level mountains with a mere thought. Only hearts and minds can do that -- and it was up to -them-.

Miko Kobayashi is right in the thick of the crowd. No longer wearing the long gakuran coat she'd 'acquired' from that third-year boy, she blends right in the gray and black uniforms storming eastward across the Pacific High Athletic Field...
Well, she -had- blended in, until a cyan blur whipped across her view to send her loyal Pacific High tacklers flying. For while her fellow students are breaking ranks, scattering away from the spreading fume clouds in abject fear, her reaction is different one.
Eyes glare at the familiar face which presents itself just a short distance away: the mysterious girl that Saya had fought so long ago.
Lips are moistened. "She's going to get us all killed...!" she whispers hoarsely under her breath. And, as her nose twitches with the scent of the pepper spray, she sweeps a hand over her nose and mouth.

Beside her, the red-haired boy -- who Ryuko might recognize as Touji, one of Miko's crew -- accelerates his pace. Snarling, his eyes smolder with rage as he approaches -- though, in all honesty, that might be partly due to the pepper spray choking at his lungs. If it weren't for his insane drive, he might lose heart!

"What the hell are you DOING?! KNOCK IT OFF!"

As Touji closes, he'll drive in with a wild, lashing hook punch aimed at Ryuko's sternum. He'll seek to follow that with a powerful, underhanded punch to the abdomen. His momentum would carry him forward into a thrusting knee bash -- at which point he would seek to grab hold of Ryuko and bodyslam her sideways onto the turf!

The soldiers have not neglected to take notice -- in fact, the gunnery officer had been pulling up a pair of binoculars just as Ryuko was shouting at him. But while he draws back, one other student catches his eye -- a young woman with her hair drawn into a bun.

For Miko Kobayashi has shifted her glare to this soldier.
The deceptive psion is not immune to the effects of the riot control fumes -- in fact, the suffering of the students around her is increasing their effects to an even more potent degree.
It's just that she has a way to slough off the trauma -- to displace it onto someone else.
And with that baleful glare -- and a palm extended his way -- she displaces it onto the gunnery soldier.

Nausea slams into him as surely as a tsunami -- the psychic backlash from dozens of students' pain and terror cresting into him at once. He clasps a hand over his mouth -- but it is not enough to stop him from angling sideways and vomiting the remains of his lunch all over the side of his patrol vehicle. The horror of realizing that his actions caused such agony, in turn, triggers his own agony, short-circuiting past his military training and drawing him into a pit of nauseated ennui.

And the students rush forward -- their burden reduced, their spirits lifted.

Miko draws her hand back, her focus broadening once again as she jogs across the field -- dismayed to find that many of the crowd has charged on past her. With only a few stragglers around to give her cover, she has a clearer view of the surroundings -- and it is then that she notices that two Taiyo students have entered the fray. The famous loudmouth Sakazaki... and some girl she's undoubtedly seen at the Saikyo-ryu dojo once or twice.

Yuri Sakazaki... is loudly offering her assistance.
And yet, Miko does not let her joy show.
Caught with less cover than she'd like, she pumps her finger forward, aiming straight in the direction of the amusement park. "... Don't just stand there! We need to stop the Gear before she destroys Japan!"

She expands her invisible presence -- calls upon the conditioning implanted in the students around her. Many of them, in fact... Saikyo-ryu students, thanks to a special promotion from fellow student Himeko Kashiwagi some time back.

All around her -- but mostly ahead of her -- the crowd roars in cries, echoing those heard at the dojo itself so many times -- "ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORAAAA!"

Stop the Gear -- before it destroys us all!

COMBATSYS: Honoka focuses on her next action.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Iincyo           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0            Touji
                                  >  //////////////////////////////]
                                  |======-\-------\0           Honoka

COMBATSYS: Ryuko has joined the fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Iincyo           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0            Touji
[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Ryuko            0/-------/-------|======-\-------\0           Honoka

COMBATSYS: Ryuko blocks Touji's Dogfight.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Iincyo           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0            Touji
[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Ryuko            0/-------/------=|======-\-------\0           Honoka

Ryuko remains stationary after making her dramatic arrival, unsure of what she can do to help keep this maddness from spiraling any further out of control. Her gaze shifts back and forth across the multitude of students, most of which she doesn't even recognize, which means they're probably not from Gedo. One of her many talents is a knack for keeping track of that sort of thing to an almost unnatural degree, remembering names, faces, and personal details about people who she's only met once in passing as if it was told to her just moments before. Here and there she spots a familiar face but no one who she might be able to rely upon for assistance, which means most of her hope rests on the JSDF troops to use appropriate measures to corral this uprising.

"You have a better idea?"

Ryuko responds to the rebuke before she even turns around to see who is speaking, her voice muffled behind the sleeve she is using to cover her face. Upon rounding to face the Chairperson, the Gedo student's eyebrows raise slightly in response to the sight of the small statured girl. Despite the chaos around them, she manages to look relatively calm, which is a feat unto itself and enough to convince Ryuko that she's probably not under the same control as the others as that seems to rely upon emotional manipulation.

"Heh," she says, grinning. "It'd sure be nice if that worked... but I don't think there's a convenient puppet-master whose strings we can cut. This is all the result of subliminal suggestion. I'm not exactly an expert, but I get the feeling it's going to take a bit of force to calm these people down. That tear gas seems like a pretty good start."

Her attention, like that of many others, is drawn the sudden boisterous outcry that comes from the far side of the field. Squinting through the haze of tear gas, she soon lets out a loud groan upon recognizing the owner of the voice. Just what she needs right now, a hot-headed loudmouth to stir things up even worse. Fighting spirit and the power of comraderie is great and all but right not things need to get /less/ pumped up not more. She ignores Yuri pointedly.

Fortunately, her she quickly finds something else to focus her attention on - or rather, it finds her. Touji's bellowing outburst gives her enough warning to spot the angry student coming at her through the chaos of the crowd and she whirls around to face him, shiftingly seemlessly into a combat stance. His barrage of strikes is each neatly deflected, punches blocked with forearm and sword sheath, the knee to her midsection meeting the hard edge of her shin instead. The familiar sting of clashing bodies ripples through her frame instantly toggling the switch in her mind that cues into personal danger.

"Tch. Doesn't surprise me that a knucklehead like you would fall for this nonsense!"

When Touji goes to grapple at her, she intercepts him with her foot, planting it square on his chest and kicking the scrappy fighter away from herself to create a bit of distance. Her sword emerges from its sheath with a soft hiss of metal as she spins in place, whipping a full 360 circle with the blade that leaves a glowing blue contrail in the air around her.


The glowing edge of her katana discharges its neon payload into the air infront of her compressing the wind into a spiraling tornado that rushes forward to engulf the goon and potentially any other students that might be standing a little too close to their scuffle. It also has the effect of clearing out the worst of the gas around Ryuko, siphoning it into itself and concentrating it into a potent noxious mixture within the miniature cyclone.

"So where's Kobayashi-sempai? I doubt she'd let you roam very far off your leash!"

"Well, not a literal puppetmaster," Iincyo replies, and that's all she gets out before she and Ryuko are interrupted by a volley of events all at once: first, a Sakazaki shows up, and the Chairperson makes a mental note to watch Yuri's skills with Kyokugen karate. Always on the lookout for a new style.

Second, a guy barfed on his car. That makes Iincyo drop her calm demeanor and wince; her own stomach gurgles in sympathy. Maybe there was something in the gas that got to him...? She takes a handkerchief from her pocket and ties it around her face as a makeshift mask. Better safe than sick, she supposes, even though her eyes are starting to sting a bit.

And last but not least, the only other person she saw here who seemed to look sane, Ryuko, nearly got tackled by some delinquent with an open shirt, a rowdy demeanor, and a hearty Saikyo-ryu battle cry. One shock after another, and a quick backstep is all that saves Iincyo from being caught in the middle of Ryuko and Touji's scuffle - though with a swift boot to his chest and an actual frickin' sword, Ryuko seems to have the upper hand. "Kobayashi? Not a name I recognize," she questions, but without asking for an answer.

Still, lots of things are made better with a little room to breathe. She attempts to follow in the wake of Ryuko's windy thing with a low kick of her own, trying to send Touji back another step or two. Nothing fatal, just a feint. Maybe this fellow martial artist could be made to see reason, or at least have a little discipline instilled in him...

Yuri ignores the person's so-called respect for her and finds herself in the middle of everything. It's literally gone to hell and back. She doesn't know entirely what to make of it, but she's doing the best she can to keep focused on things. Eventually, she finds Honoka and Touji within the area and realizes what's going on. At least somewhat of what's going on. It's crazy as hell, but Yuri knows she needs to keep going.

Someone yells that they need to stop the Gear before she destroys Japan. She doesn't know what the "Gear" supposedly is, but she has the sense that it's not a good thing. Especially given that it's intent on destroying Japan. She clenches her fists and cracks her knuckles. "Whoever or whatever wants to destroy Japan is gonna have to go through me!" Sure she seems small, but she's got a lot of courage and strength within her.

"Don't know who's behind this," Yuri comments as she focuses on the general situation, "But they're gonna have a hard time trying to deal with me!" She moves close to Miko to show she's on her side and that she's in this whole battle fully.

COMBATSYS: Yuri has joined the fight here on the right meter side.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Iincyo           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0            Touji
[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Ryuko            0/-------/-------|======-\-------\0           Honoka
                                  >  //////////////////////////////]
                                  |-------\-------\0             Yuri

COMBATSYS: Yuri focuses on her next action.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Iincyo           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0            Touji
[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Ryuko            0/-------/-------|======-\-------\0           Honoka
                                  >  //////////////////////////////]
                                  |-------\-------\0             Yuri

COMBATSYS: Touji blocks Ryuko's Tenryuko Shippuken.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////////  ]
Iincyo           0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0            Touji
[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Ryuko            0/-------/-------|======-\-------\0           Honoka
                                  >  //////////////////////////////]
                                  |-------\-------\0             Yuri

COMBATSYS: Touji blocks Iincyo's Light Kick.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////   ]
Iincyo           0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0            Touji
[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Ryuko            0/-------/-------|======-\-------\0           Honoka
                                  >  //////////////////////////////]
                                  |-------\-------\0             Yuri

Miko Kobayashi gives the artilleryman one more look, just to make -sure- he's causing enough problems for his fellow recon soldiers to keep them from launching another volley so soon. Before long, she's running at full speed again.

"Yes!" she cries back. "A Gear rained down nuclear fire on Mt. Fuji! And she's flown to the park now!" Sure... there's some crucial details missing there, such as the fact that there are actually -two- Gears now, and the one at the park isn't the same as the one who attacked Fuji, but that much verbiage would make for a super confusing battle cry.

"So if you want to help Japan, get these crazies off our backs!"

Meanwhile, Touji is right there front and center dealing with the people who would -stop- the assemblage of mind-controlled students from rushing the gates -- and the Gear beyond them. Sure, he's seen Ryuko before and has some inkling of how she fights. His punches are deflected, and his knee is directed away from the young woman's midsection. The kick that follows is all it takes to rob him of the last of his forward momentum.

"What a -knucklehead-, yeah?! So dumb, maybe I should just take a big ol' whiff of this!" Contrary to his stated idea, once he notices that the katana-wielder is swirling the tear gas around, he draws the hankerchief back over his nose and curls both forearms in front of him. He takes the brunt of the vortex's impact upon his meaty forearms -- a forceful, biting strike that leaves red welts on his arms, batters him backwards -- and even forces his boots to carve ugly ruts into Pacific High's well-manicured sports field.

"MMmrh! Mmyou mmrazy mmmmch!" he shouts back, voice muffled by the hankerchief as he screws his eyes shut. Doubtless, the tear gas is having -some- magnified effect from the increased concentration -- just not so much to distract him from the Taiyo student trying to slam her foot into his shin. He plants his boot further into the divoted dirt, reinforcing his shin against the incoming attack -- with an aggravated glare at Iincyo. "Mmmt mmyou mmmooo!"

By this point, Miko and Yuri are closing on the other two combatants, implying the answer to Ryuko's earlier question about Touji's leash (it's pretty dang short). She, too, needs to pull the hankerchief over her nose and mouth -- but as she's not breathing in the same noxious air Touji is, that won't stop her from shouting back.

"Ahh, Miss Tenjin! If you could kindly -knock that shit off-, we have more important matters to attend to!"

It also won't stop the Gedo-uniformed Kobayashi from somersaulting into the air -- or from scything her foot down onto Ryuko's shoulder, aiming to bring her down with sheer momentum. Miko doesn't commit the entirety of her momentum into the kick, though: she aims to keep rolling after with the move with the intent of reaching those gates!

Touji, for his part, is no slouch either! He's still pinching that hankerchief over his nose, but that won't stop him from lurching forward -- or sideways, as the case may be! He launches his shoulder sideways at Iincyo, hoping to slam into her with his bulk and knock the fellow Saikyo-ryu practitioner down -- much though he'd prefer not to, she's in his way!

"ORA ORA ORA ORAAA!" shout the rest of the Gedo and Pacific students, as they continue to rally onward towards the gates of Pacific High! If there's any response from the soldiers on the other sides, it would be hidden by the broadside of the recon vehicle...

COMBATSYS: Honoka successfully hits Ryuko with Random Strike.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////   ]
Iincyo           0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0            Touji
[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Ryuko            0/-------/----===|=======\-------\0           Honoka
                                  >  //////////////////////////////]
                                  |-------\-------\0             Yuri

"I'd really appreciate it if you did!" Ryuko shoots back, giving the angry student a grim smile. "It would make this a whole lot less painful."

It would seem that her tactic of pushing all of the gas onto Touji's side of the field had a noticable effect as the students are forced to stop and move around the suddenly dense cloud of vapor. A minor victory but atleast it proves their minds haven't been so thoroughly taken over that they can ignore basic pain instincts. Which means those soldiers need to be shooting more of the stuff!

Turning around to glance at the APC while her new-found ally distracts the rowdy redhead, she finds that they are infact not doing that for some reason. Her eye narrows as she clenches her teeth in a harsh glare but before she can shout at them to get their act together, another familiar voice calls out to her from the crowd which demands her attention.

Ryuko whirls around, bringing her arm up to intercept the flying kick but she is a few moments too slow to get it high enough and the full weight of Miko's attack crashes into her from above. The impact sends the student tumbling backwards onto her duff but she rolls with the fall deftly, hopping to her feet in a single smooth motion a few feet away. The glowing antennae on her head shift slightly as she turns her gaze upon the older girl with obvious digust on her face, the battle routines keying up in response to Ryuko's negative emotions.

"Hmph. Sorry, but even if I thought you were telling the truth - which I don't by the way - /and/ I wasn't aware that these people have been manipulated for some nefarious purpose, I /still/ would not let you get past me without a fight! High school students are not soldiers! It isn't our job to be fighting some...crazy war machine, especially not one that has the power to put a hole in a /freaking mountain/! Are you insane?!"

As if to prove that she has no intention of backing down, Ryuko whirls and unleashes another quick pair of tornados at the army of students attempting to flood past her alongside her upperclassmate sending fresh bursts of the tear gas swirling into their midsts even as she races after Miko. The cyborg's ability to accelerate, as she demonstrated during her dynamic arrival to the battlefield, is disturbingly high. She closes in on the other student within a few seconds, zipping past her in a blue blur of motion. Her blade lashes out as she crosses infront of Miko, a flash of silver admist the neon that stings at the back of her knee in an attept to take the leg out mid-stride.

COMBATSYS: Iincyo blocks Touji's Aggressive Strike.

[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////   ]
Iincyo           0/-------/------=|=------\-------\0            Touji
[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Ryuko            0/-------/----===|=======\-------\0           Honoka
                                  >  //////////////////////////////]
                                  |-------\-------\0             Yuri

As Touji shoulder-tackles into her, Iincyo finds her ability to focus on the fight her around her sapped away, zeroing in on the fight she's found herself in. Luckily Ryuko's wind effect has stopped the rest of the students from their suicidal rush, but this guy - who ... did he just willingly breathe in gas fired from a riot canister? To prove a point...? - anyway, this knucklehead lowers his shoulder to shoulder tackle her, a move she's more than familiar with. Iincyo brings her arms up as he approaches, and attempts to spin Touji off of her to deflect his force - but forgets to account for his greater bulk, as well. The chairperson finds herself knocked aside, her arms stinging in a way that says she's probably going to be bruised tomorrow.

Reaching out at the last second and snagging him as he goes by, Iincyo gets one hand on his shirt collar and another on his shoulder, and that's all she needs. Leveraging the force of Touji's rush, she attempts to redirect him again, bringing the raging knucklehead up and over her shoulder - and flat onto the ground.

Keeping a steady focus on everything, Yuri tries not to let her mind wander or her gaze move away. She plants her feet firmly into the ground, trying to appear strong and fearless. Then again, when it comes to Kyokugen Karate, it's so awesome that you have to be strong and fearless! (At least according to Yuri.) Not to mention, the chanting of "ORA ORA ORA" is really rallying Yuri's motivation to fight big time. She manages to fully get into her stance, albeit bouncy as it might be, yet still remains with a fierce attitude towards everything. It's obvious Yuri's really ready to rumble.

While Iincyo is busy fending off her attacker, Yuri decides to go on the offensive in an attempt to catch her opponent off-guard. She cracks her knuckles and says, "Here I come!" Before she rushes in towards her opponent. There's nothing special here, as Yuri's just getting warmed up. Instead, she attempts to drive her fist into Iincyo's stomach. "Let's see you tough this out!"

COMBATSYS: Honoka blocks Ryuko's Medium Strike.

[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////   ]
Iincyo           0/-------/--=====|=------\-------\0            Touji
[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Ryuko            0/-------/---====|=======\-------\0           Honoka
                                  >  //////////////////////////////]
                                  |-------\-------\0             Yuri

COMBATSYS: Iincyo successfully hits Touji with Morote Seoi Nage EX.

[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////////     ]
Iincyo           0/-------/-======|===----\-------\0            Touji
[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Ryuko            0/-------/---====|=======\-------\0           Honoka
                                  >  //////////////////////////////]
                                  |-------\-------\0             Yuri

A wave of students sweeping across the Pacific High field -- the beauty of unified thought and purpose. And then suddenly, the perfection is violently disrupted, two disruptive arcs carving a swath through the center. Some dozen students are knocked backwards, taken off their feet from the sheer impact of the cyclonic strikes, and left to deal with the choking gas of their aftermath. Tears in their eyes, the students cup their hankerchiefs over their noses and mouths, and struggle to get back to their feet. The waves reroute where possible, minimizing the herd's exposure when possible. The shouting of "ORA ORA ORA!" continues at reduced volume -- with uncertainty creeping into the voices of those nearest the tear gas. Fear and confusion begin to assert their hold.

Miko Kobayashi grits her teeth as she continues to run. She may be helpless to do anything to -slow- the cyborg's technology-assisted celerity, but that's not to say that the psion doesn't -feel- the anguish of those around her. In what seems to be a fit of nervous energy, she clasps her right wrist, kneading at one of the buttons on her blouse sleeve. "One could call -you- a war machine," she notes to the one-eyed girl racing in front of her, flicking her right wrist down in urgent haste.

A five pound weight slips out of her sleeve in the process, its path scribing a line straight down to the center of the earth. In its wake jangles a length of durable chain -- a length that bends into an arc as the blade slams into it, sparks flying from the clash of metal

The blade's path is knocked downward, but the splash of blood shows that it still took a bite out of the upperclassman's bare leg. Caught in mid-stride, Miko leans onto her other side, rolling with the blow as best she can amidst an arc-shaped blur of dark steel.

She rolls out of her brief tumble, channeling her momentum into the whirling chain as she rises back to her feet. Turning her teared eyes to face Ryuko, she lashes out with the chain, her voice ragged. "A machine capable of wiping out the best and brightest of two schools, with technology unknown to the world."

The weighted chain lashes out in a chaotic flurry. Four successive strikes, with disarming swiftness, aimed at the join of Ryuko's neck and shoulders. "Would you prefer to be assassinated? Or reasoned with?"

But while Miko is dealing with that, Touji has a Chairperson to tackle! While it wouldn't be a =willing= ingestion of tear gas, he nonetheless got a big ol' whiff of the stuff in his clash with Ryuko -- and it's pretty clear that his eyes are starting to turn red as he whirls around to face Iincyo for a second strike. But that's when he finds that the slight girl has latched onto his collar -- and a moment later, he finds his world flip-turned upside down. Or maybe that was just him!

Pain lances through Touji as he screws his eyes shut, his breath forcefully expelled from his lungs by the blow. And with his eyes, nostrils, and throat inflamed from the tear gas, maybe one can forgive him for momentarily losing his grip on the situation!?

Touji leaps to his feet, eyes still shut from the pain. His uniform shirt hangs open, his bare chest dripping with chemically-induced sweat as he pitches forward. "RRRRRYAAAAH! What the hell was that, -JUDO?-" He whirls around with his fists balled and his eyes shut, akin to a wild animal searching for its prey. "Get back here, I'm not finished with you!"
The blinded beast hears the sound of sneakers shifting about in the grass.
And he lunges for the sound, swiveling his right fist and then the left in two wild hooks aimed at knocking out his prey.
The person he heard was not Iincyo, though -- but another Taiyo student: Yuri Sakazaki.
His fists won't know the difference.
But if he hits, his very next motion will be to slam his shoulder into Yuri, lifting her right off her feet -- and then arc about so that when Sakazaki lands flat upon her back, his shoulder will be right there driving into her abdomen. "ORYAAAAA!"

COMBATSYS: Ryuko dodges Honoka's Shitumbe Marapto.

[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////      ]
Iincyo           0/-------/-======|===----\-------\0            Touji
[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////   ]
Ryuko            0/-------/---====|=======\-------\1           Honoka
                                  >  //////////////////////////////]
                                  |-------\-------\0             Yuri

The sudden appearance of the weapon within Miko's grasp is swift enough that Ryuko doesn't have time to alter her strike to account for its presence. Rather than attempt an awkward last-second adjustment, she simply completes the attack, allowing the heavy edge of her blade to grind against the chain for a brief instant before her speed carries her past the other student and out of range.

"If you're hoping to beat me with flattery, you're off to a good start! Can't say the same for your fighting though."

Ryuko grins, her expression full of disrespectful cheer, turning that teenage beligerence of hers on her peer without any difficulty. She whips the katana in her hand out to the side, casting the faint traces of blood off its edge with a casual flick of the wrist before sliding it neatly back into the sheath. The entire motion is fluid and takes only few instants, seemingly ingrained into her muscle memory from countless hours of practice, though the sheer speed of the action speaks to a level of hand-eye coordination or spacial awareness that borders on the savant.

"Unknown technology? The heck are you talking about? This is just a cybernetic prosthetic. Sure, it's pretty cutting edge - and stylish - but hardly world shattering..."

Ryuko's lone eye widens as the chain extends in the other girl's grasp, possessing a fair bit more length than she had expected. Almost as if to prove Miko's point, the widgets on her head begin to hum with a faint shrill whine, bright neon purple light flooding through the LED lines along their base. The world slows down to a slow crawl as her senses heighten to inhuman levels giving Ryuko the necessary time to react to the sudden barrage of wide whipping swings that threaten to bludgeon her head in. She ducks and weaves with impossible alacrity, almost as if she can predict each strike before it happens, but even with that advantage the broad swaths cut by the chain cleave dangerously close.

"Wow, you really need to work on your negotiation skills! Join or die?! Kinda makes it pretty easy to figure out who the badguy is here, you know?"

It's pretty clear that talking isn't going to work on either one of them here. Also that staying back where she can be attacked without being able to strike back is a pretty bad tactical strategy. Normally, range is her friend in a world of punches and kicks but where weapons are concerned the sword is dead average. Time to get in there.

Shifting her motion into a forwards dash after the final blow is avoided, Ryuko closes the gap almost instantly, her body once more becoming a glowing blur. She angles her approach towards Miko's off-hand side, using the fact of her own southpaw stance to easily strike at the awkward angle with full control over her swing. The blade dances out of its sheath with a sharp hiss of metal and a flare of neon blue as it traces a bi-secting arc towards the girl's midsection, but rather than immediately retreat to its container once again, Ryuko follows through on the slash and brings the scabbard up in an overhead smash, using the heavy metal as a weapon in its own right!

COMBATSYS: Yuri successfully hits Iincyo with Medium Punch.

[      \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////      ]
Iincyo           1/------=/=======|===----\-------\0            Touji
[         \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////   ]
Ryuko            0/-------/---====|=======\-------\1           Honoka
                                  >  //////////////////////////////]
                                  |-------\-------\0             Yuri

Focused as she is on Touji, Iincyo is entirely taken by surprise when Yuri slugs her directly in the gut. The wind is knocked out of her in a solid "whoof" of air, and she stumbles backwards a step or two. Luckily Touji took that moment to, in his blindness, go after the wrong person, or this would be a clobbering. The "ora ora ora" rings in her ears as she stands up, and she mutters "muda muda muda" under her breath almost involuntarily.

(Focus on good habits, she thinks. Fighting stance again.) Iincyo drops back into a basic Saikyo readiness stance and squares up against Yuri. Maybe it's not entirely fair for her to take a shot at her when Touji's misguided rush is on the way, but this is clearly well past fairness. "Are you the one leading these students, then?" she inquires of Yuri, her legs coiling like a spring. "They're just going to get themselves killed this way!" With that, she springs forward, turning sideways and letting her legs lash out in a flurry of flying kicks.

COMBATSYS: Honoka instinctively blocks Ryuko's Tenryuko Souken.

[       \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////      ]
Iincyo           1/-------/=======|===----\-------\0            Touji
[         \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////    ]
Ryuko            0/-------/---====|=======\-------\1           Honoka
                                  >  //////////////////////////////]
                                  |-------\-------\0             Yuri

COMBATSYS: Iincyo successfully hits Honoka with Lightning Stance.

[       \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////      ]
Iincyo           1/------=/=======|===----\-------\0            Touji
[         \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////        ]
Ryuko            0/-------/---====|=======\-------\1           Honoka
                                  >  //////////////////////////////]
                                  |-------\-------\0             Yuri

The rapid lashes of Miko Kobayashi's kusari-fundo fall short, bringing a look of concerned consternation to her face. She chalks it up to that neon-laced technology combined with Ryuko's inherent speed and makes a note to study it further throughout the fight. She brings the weighted weapon back into a more steady and controllable orbit as she paces back towards Touji and Yuri, trying to keep from getting separated from her allies.

"Laughable, but direct. It's called 'metaphor,' sweetie -- perhaps you should look into it."

Ryuko's blade flies out of its sheath, carving a cerulean swath through the air. An instant later, a shower of white-hot sparks announces the clash against Miko's length of chain, buoyed on each end by one of her hands. The sweeping scabbard blow is met in similar fashion, the chain pulled taut as it rises up to meet the weapon. But that chain cannot fully stop the weapon's descent; rather, it can only guide it away from Miko's head, bringing the remaining force down upon her shoulder instead.

The upperclassman flashes a feral grin, even as her upper frame is forced downward from the mighty strike. "The point, Ryuko-chan, is that it -sucks- to be judged on the basis of appearance alone." The length of chain clinks as it pushes up against the scabbard, Miko peeling out from under its weight and taking a stride towards Touji. "The military sees the Gear as nothing more than a mute weapon, rather than a living, breathing being that can be reasoned with. And when you treat a person as a beast..."

It's at this point that the beastlike Touji's misdirected assault slams home. Miko grimaces with dismay -- "Touji, stand dow--" -- only to see that Iincyo is making a charge of her own.

There is time for reason and thought, and then there is the heat of combat.
Miko leaps in front of Yuri, her kusari-fundo trailing behind her as she interposes herself into Iincyo's path. She balls up her fists, as kick after kick slams into her defenseless back, air wheezing out of her mouth with each strike. The series of blows is powerful enough to overcome her sense of balance, sending the acrobat skittering forward and eventually sending her tumbling to the ground.

As Touji and Yuri take their scuffle to a whole new level, Miko whirls back to her feet, arms windmilling out to either side for balance. The chain pulls taut between her hands, while the kusari-fundo begins to whirl with the remainder of the spinning momentum.

"Does -she- look like -leader- material?!" Pitched forward and breathing with mild exertion, the Gedo upperclassman nonetheless manages to exude a healthy (or is it unhealthy) amount of contempt for the attack on her friend-of-convenience. "If you just want to beat someone up, just get it out of your system. On me. I insist."

With barely a glance passed over to Ryuko -- for she's sure that the speedy girl can catch up at -any- moment -- Miko takes one menacing step towards Iincyo. And in that step, she extends her left arm outward, bringing the whirling chain closer. Unfettered, the chain wraps about her arm like a serpent, pulling sharply and yet falling perfectly into place. Biting her jaw shut from the pain, Miko nonetheless coils the chain around her arm, allowing the weighted end of the chain to fall into her palm before pulling her hand shut.

"Just don't expect me to hold back."

And with one single, fluid gesture, Miko surges forward -- not with a series of blows, but one solid and -determined- punch -- weighted with several pounds of chain -- aimed precisely for Iincyo's center mass.

And as Miko commands the attention of the two who would stand in the path of the crowd, the rest of the students regroup and reroute, resuming their charge towards the east gates of Pacific High.

(Yuri and Touji branched off to a second fight for scheduling purposes --ed)

Up until now, during almost every fight that Ryuko has been witnessed participating in her weapon of choice has been the wooden training sword which she carries around the school. Though more of a club than a sword, she's shown herself to be remarkably proficient at its use, smiting gangsters, delinquents, and trouble-makers of all kinds throughout the last several months of daily school life. Even when forced to resort to her actual blade, she's made an obvious effort to wield it in a backwards grip, using its heavy but still blunt back edge to deliver her blindly quick strikes.

%tNow, however, it is the business end of the weapon that she brings to bear as she strikes out against the arrogant girl who leads these poor students to what can only be disaster. There has always been something about Miko which she didn't like, some odd feeling that the girl was far more dangerous than she let on. There was never any origin point which she could place her finger on as the source of this wariness but, as ever, her gut instincts had proven to be true. The combination of the sudden drawing of such a deadly weapon, which she wielded with killing intent so casually, and the manner in which she so readily resorted to the sort of ultimatum reserved only for the likes of zealots and tyrants made it pretty clear to Ryuko that the person she faced was someone who needed to be dealt with - decisively.

Her strikes are swift and hard, showing no measure of the restraint which she had used in the practice match with Touji. Even as they are turned aside by the deft movements of Miko's chain, they bite into her weapon with such intense ferocity that the air between them is briefly illuminated by the clash of steel. The brief but muted impact of her sheath with the elder classmate's shoulder fails to bring her any satisfaction from the blow and the swordsgirl dances away before any retaliation can come her way.

Unexpectedly, her opponent attempts to lash at her with words once again, rather than her chain. Ryuko's expression reflects her surprise at this choice and her eyes brows furrow as she takes up a defensive stance, allowing Miko to speak though she stands ready to react to any trickery.

"Wha... are you... serious?" She blinks in momentary confusion at the sudden shift in topic, staring with her lone eye at Miko as if she had gone completely out of her mind. "Now you claim that you're doing this to... protect that thing's /feelings/?! The monster that is, at this very moment, poised to kill hundreds of thousands of innocent lives?!"

She can't help but laugh in open derision at the very idea of this person giving two shits about someone else's feelings, her hand leaving the hilt of her weapon to grasp at the side of her head so as to make sure it's still screwed on right and she isn't completely imagining this nonsense. So stunned by this is she, that Ryuko doesn't immediately give pursuit when Miko turns to intercept the sudden clash between her mysterious ally and the loud-mouthed idiot, who once more has managed to make herself a nuisance by attacking the completely wrong target.

Unfortunately, the punchline to this awful joke is that the students are still marching mindlessly forward without anything to get in their way. Damnit, what are those stupid soldiers doing?! Leaving her ally to deal with Miko for a few moments, Ryuko turns and makes a mad dash across the field towards the APC. Sweat starts to pour down her face from the extended use of her powers but she doesn't allow the faint burn of fatigue to slow her down. Leaping high into the air as she draws close, the student throws herself onto the roof of the squat vehicle and unceremoniously drags the commander out of the hatch, dumping him over the side to the grass below.

"Sorry, but I need to borrow this! Make way!"

Dropping her feet straight down into the open hole, Ryuko vanishes into the armored car, landing square on top of the crewman manning the weaponry. He lets out a cry of surprise at suddenly having a young girl fall right into his lap and she turns to give him a wink over her shoulder, grinning devilishly.

"Don't mind me, just thought I'd drop in."

Turning her attention to the console infront of her, Ryuko's eye dances across the various buttons and switches, hoping that her bizarre intuition is right this time also. She reaches out to grab what looks like some sort of joystick and tilts the aiming monocle over her face, letting out a triumph yell as several gas canisters ripple into the air at a pull of the trigger. Emboldened by her success, several more of the tear bombs rain down into the vanguard of the student mob, each successive burst of choking vapor exploding further and further back into their ranks.

"Hey, Kobayashi-san! If you want to cry a river over some crazy monsters getting picked on, let me give you a hand!"

COMBATSYS: Honoka successfully hits Iincyo with Crushing Strike.

[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////       ]
Iincyo           2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|=======\===----\1           Honoka
[         \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Ryuko            0/-------/----===|

Iincyo is caught off-guard by Miko entering the fray directly to absorb the hit meant for Yuri, and briefly has enough awareness to think, "why is everyone trying to punch me in the stomach today?" before Kobayashi punches her in the stomach with a pile of chains. The chairperson buckles, retaining just enough awareness to back away a few steps.

"Leadership material? ... Probably not. You have a point, I will admit." Iincyo gets back to her stomach, wincing. Yeah, that's probably a broken rib. Or two. Or several. "However, I am not here to 'just beat someone up.'" She pivots, gathering her energy so she can fight through the pain. Anyone watching might have noticed a briefly visible flare of chi around her -- perhaps she's learning to tap into something? "I am here because a large amount of the student body, made psychically vulnerable, is marching to their pointless death to fight a threat they can probably barely comprehend." Iincyo tries to point decisively, winces again. Shoulder's got something messed up too, she note to herself.

"I am here to find -- and stop, if possible -- the mastermind behind these events." Inhaling sharply, she dives towards Miko with a sweep kick. "Which you seem to be," -- a kick aimed for Miko's midsection -- "if your bruised ego" -- spinning punch -- "at not being picked out as the leader is any indication!" Ending with a boot to the head and another of those weird chi flares.

COMBATSYS: Iincyo successfully hits Honoka with Lecture Attack EX.

[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Iincyo           0/-------/---<<<<|=======\===----\1           Honoka
[         \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Ryuko            0/-------/----===|

COMBATSYS: Honoka reflects Small Thrown Object from Ryuko with Kamui Atemka.

[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Iincyo           0/-------/---<<<<|====---\-------\0           Honoka
[         \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Ryuko            0/-------/----===|

Miko doesn't seem -particularly- put out by Ryuko's apparent inability to follow along with her train of thought; after all, it wouldn't be the first time. Trying to hold discussions while simultaneously deal with a multitude of attacks isn't helping.

To Ryuko, she offers a condescending smile -- preferring a blanket response rather than try to address the specific charges individually. With the students making their advance, there's no -time- for a lecture, after all. "It's clear that the Art of War is beyond your grasp. But it's quite all right, we'll have plenty of time to discuss this later."

As Ryuko streaks off to go play soldier, Miko can't help but offer a smirk back at Iincyo -- moreso, in that the performer seems to have inspired the chairperson to new heights of determination. The flares rippling away from Iincyo are reflected in Miko's eyes as she calmly twirls her arm, unwinding the coils of chain in preparation for a follow-up strike. "-Psychically vulnerable?- A -mastermind?- And here I thought Ryuko-chan was the only one with a colossal misunderstanding of what's happening here..."

Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh. The kusari-fundo whistles through the air, establishing a constant rhythm. Iincyo's accusations fly fast and furious, but the whirling weight gives her the confidence of a metronome.
And then a commander is thrown out of a hatch.
And Miko's jaw tenses.
She's -that quick?-

Iincyo lunges in with a kick -- by itself, nothing to be terribly frightened of. The words themselves are nothing the talented psion can brush off, given enough time and breathing room. Miko's bifurcated inattention is obvious as she lazily turns the spinning weapon towards Iincyo in a warding gesture. But that terrifying chi that accompanies each of Iincyo's blows -- a power that the Saikyo-ryu practioner herself might not even be aware of -- proves to be more than enough to sweep her kick -under- past the gap in Miko's whirling defense -- to knock Miko's leg out from under her. As the swept Miko lists forward, the weight embeds itself nearly 10cm into the pitch, as the jangling chain begins to fall. And Miko is then left vulnerable for a kick almost forceful enough to cause vomiting -- ready payback for the chain-wrapped punch delivered mere moments earlier.

Bruised ego? More like bruised -everything-, as a flaring fist and a kick to the head finish off the sequence of blows. Each time that Iincyo's chi-wreathed blows slam into her, Miko lets forth a cry as if someone was pressing her hand into a hot grill. But that -final- blow is enough to send her staggering backwards, nearly dizzy, and nearly about to fall over entirely.

"You... you don't understand anything at all--!"

The crowd lists sharply to one side, then another -- as if connected by one singular, driving thought.
They resume a moment later, their pace slowed somewhat.

After a momentary struggle with the taut chain, Miko pulls the weapon free, backpedaling another few steps to account for its not-insignificant mass. But while she fixes a glare on Iincyo, her attention is on her flock.

The weight swings around. Miko begins to whirl about like a rhythmic gymnast twirling a ribbon -- only with the chain instead, being much heavier. The menacing whirl begins to glow with a brilliant purple light -- energy that would resemble flames if one were able to freeze time for but an instant.

She can't keep her eyes focused on Ryuko, but she can keep her mind focused. She hears the *thoop* *thoop* *thoop* of riot control canisters being loosed on her obedient flock.

And with a mighty toss -- a motion that pitches Miko forward so high her feet leave the ground -- she releases the chain.
Miko clamps her jaw tightly, knuckles turning white with the stress of holding her hands into a firm claw-like gesture.
The spinning disc of energy lashes outward, aiming to intercept the biggest cluster of rounds possible -- sweeping the mass into its gravitational, maelstrom-like pull.

And just as the mass is intercepted, Miko suddenly whips her hand forward.
Toward Ryuko, and the patrol vehicle.
And the spinning disc of energy -- and its payload of pepper gas canisters -- hurtle towards them with heinous speed.

Miko lands, shoulders pitched forward as she finally exhales a breath.

"I'll be damned if I let =any= of you hurt my friends...! We =will= succeed!"

COMBATSYS: Ryuko blocks Honoka's Reflected Small Thrown Object.

[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Iincyo           0/-------/---<<<<|====---\-------\0           Honoka
[              \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Ryuko            0/-------/-======|

With the zeal of a kid at an arcade cabinet aiming for the high score, Ryuko liberally doles out the ammunition as she unloads the peace keeping vehicle's payload of riot grenades as fast as the machine will allow her to do so. Several of the coke-can sized canisters arc with ballistic trajectories into the foremost ranks of the zombie students, hissing noisily as they spin about on the ground, spewing more of the noxious gas into the air. Finally, there's enough of it to start forming dense clouds which noticably slows the mass of teeming bodies, but without taking out the person behind them it is a temporary measure.

Ryuko gives the bewildered soldier another wink and a quick wave as she scrambles out of the APC, it's ability to assist her expended unless she plans to start running people over. She almost catches the whirling mass of psychicly-infused chains right in the teeth as her head emerges from the hatch. Her eye widens to roughly the size of a dinner plate upon finding herself staring down the deadly mass of energy and grenades with only a few moments to spare before they collide with her face.

Once again, it is her unnaturally sharp instincts that save her from incredible injury. Unable to consciously process a thought fast enough to make any sort of decision, Ryuko finds her body moving entirely on its own, as if directed by some unseen puppet-master. Her sword flies up without even leaving the sheathe to create a barrier of solid metal infront of her, intercepting the shimmering buzzsaw at the last possible moment. The impact rips her completely out of the hatch, sending the girl scraping on her back across its roof as she desperately attempts to hold the monstrous weapon at bay. Only upon hitting the edge of the flat surface and tumbling backwards onto the grass does she push clear, sending it and the grenades up into the sky with a hard push, where the entire thing detonates only a few moments later.

Ryuko hits the ground hard, the wind knocked out of her by the rough landing. It takes her a few seconds to regain her sense and heave in a new lungful of air, only to cough it back out again almost immediately. With a groan, she rolls over onto her knees and slowly rises to her feet, staggering around the side of the armored vehicle where she pauses, clearly winded by the ordeal.

"Shut... shut up...!" She shouts, still breathing heavily. Her head rises up far enough to allow her to glare at the other girl, her gaze boring through the intervening students and clouds of gas with laser precision. "You don't... get to use that word! No one would treat people... who they considered their friends... the way you do! These people are just... just pawns to you!"

COMBATSYS: Ryuko gains composure.

[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Iincyo           0/-------/---<<<<|====---\-------\0           Honoka
[          \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Ryuko            0/-------/--=====|

Even though the counterattack is not aimed at her, it's all the chairperson can do to get out of the way in time to dodge the return volley of gas canisters that Miko flings back towards Ryuko. She glances over her shoulder at her erstwhile ally as she edges backwards into a safer position, and is dumbstruck to see Ryuko's sword move on its own to intercept the bulk of the canisters. Technology sure was amazing, when it wasn't doing things like brainmwashing the greater Southtown high school community.

As Ryuko berates Miko, Iincyo assumes a wary combat stance. This Kobayashi girl had already proven she could hit like a Mack truck full of other Mack trucks when she wants to, but her weak point seems to be her temper. "Tenjin is right, you know. Willingly sacrificing your 'friends' means they're not really friends at all; they're pawns." She balances on the balls of her feet, preparing for what's to come next; she slips into a familiar, easy breathing exercise, designed to keep one going in a long fight - because it was looking like it was going to be a long fight.

She glances at Ryuko meaningfully as she does and begins slowly moving towards the amazing cyborg girl's position. Perhaps if the two of them worked together, in tandem, they could get through this after all.

COMBATSYS: Iincyo gathers her will.

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Iincyo           1/-------/<<<<<<<|====---\-------\0           Honoka
[          \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Ryuko            0/-------/--=====|

Miko laughs.

Behind her, Touji has been knocked unconscious by one of the cylinders that managed to make its way through -- and easily a dozen of the other students are in various states of collapse due to the hazy clouds of crowd-suppressing chemicals wafting across the field. And still, the others continue to charge -- bought some time thanks to Miko's interference.

And she laughs -- because she had been too distracted to respond to Iincyo's earlier comment. "You sure have some interesting theories about my role in this effort. Pawns require a ruler. Do you see a crown on my head? A bullhorn in my hand? Was I -elected?-"

Miko smirks, as a flame of purple light flicks into her open palm -- a threat in place of the discarded length of chain. As Iincyo starts to back towards Ryuko, Miko advances to keep the distance constant, idly swirling the purple flame around in her hand.

"Friends?" she shouts, her voice easily clearing the distance to the prosthetic-enhanced Gedo student. "What do you know about -friends-, anyway? It's been obvious to me since day one that you only treat Gedo High as a series of animate punching bags. And you think you have the right to berate -me- for using people as pawns? Please!"

The fragmented student pseudo-militia continues to charge forward, even as some of its "soldiers" writhe about on the ground. And Miko, though lagging behind, strides with them.

"You want to talk about friendship, maybe you should think about the pain and suffering -you're- inducing upon them. You've injured over a -dozen- today. I've only hurt you two. Some Chairperson you turned out to be."

The violet flame dances in her palm, as she draws it backward. And then, as Miko focuses more intently upon Iincyo, the blossom of psychic fire doubles in size.

Her hand slams forward. And the blaze whips around into a torus of energy, rippling forth to close the distance to Iincyo.
Should it hit, the concussive impact of the blast would be more than enough to knock her backwards. But more importantly, the torrent carries a psychic payload: it could very well trigger a wave of nausea not unlike that of the pepper spray.

"My friends and I know what we're getting into. What kind of leader would -you- be, -Iincyo-, to -selfishly- defy the will of -two- school bodies?"

The brief reprieve is enough for Ryuko to get a second wind, her flagging endurance receiving the time it needs to recover enough to get her back into the fight as the three of them exchange harsh words. She glowers ferociously in response to the accusation, standing up to her full height once again as the heat of her emotions bolsters her spirit yet further.

"I said /shut up/!" She waves a hand through the air angrily as if to swat the insult aside. "You don't get it. You don't get it at all! Don't you dare think that I'm at all like you, treating people as little more than objects to be used for my own purposes! Sure, I joined Gedo because I wanted the challenge. And yeah, I've knocked plenty of skulls around in the year that I've been a student there. But I never once attacked anyone who didn't deserve it! Thugs, thieves, bullies - all of them were guilty of something."

The teenager takes a deep breath as she attempts to get her emotions under control, her eye closing momentarily to focus. When she opens it again, her gaze is sharper somehow and she levels it at the older girl as if it were itself a weapon. Though the rage is gone from her face, there is a clear sense of determination and lingering anger present in her frown and furrowed brows.

"And even with those people, I always gave them a choice. A chance to reflect on their actions and choose a better path. Many of them resisted but just as many more have learned from their mistakes. You think me a war-machine? A predator? No. I'm just some foolish girl who sees a better world for those that got left behind."

As if finding something suddenly funny, Ryuko's demeanor shifts and she lets out a quick laugh. Even the posture of her body shifts to one of casual relaxation as she rests a hand on her hip, head shaking back and forth a few times.

"These people weren't given a choice, Miko! Their minds were manipulated by that stupid machine! I'm not going to sit here and let you take advantage of them, no matter what excuses you make. Call me a monster! Call me a hypocrite! I'm still going to save them!"

Ryuko's form shifts yet again, fluidly sliding into her sideways draw-cut stance. She tightens her grip upon the hilt of her blade, the supple leather of her glove creaking softly under the pressure. She grins at Miko, a fierce and bold reflection of her spirit even as the student unleashes her torrential blast of psychic flame at Iincyo. An invisible wind rises up to engulf her body, her fancy clothes and short hair rippling in time with the currents of power as a neon blue aura flares to life around her.

"And I'm going to save you too! Even if I have to knock some sense into you the hard way!"

COMBATSYS: Ryuko focuses on her next action.

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////              ]
Iincyo           1/-------/<<<<<<<|====---\-------\0           Honoka
[          \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Ryuko            0/-------/--=====|

COMBATSYS: Iincyo fails to interrupt Ishirishina from Honoka with Front Stance.

[          \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Ryuko            0/-------/--=====|=======\-------\1           Honoka

COMBATSYS: Iincyo can no longer fight.

[          \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Ryuko            0/-------/--=====|=======\-------\1           Honoka

"Are they friends or pawns? Make up your m--"

In the face of the incoming blast of psychic energy, time seems to slow to a crawl, and Iincyo ponders for the first time if maybe she should've just left the cyborg to handle this on her own. Leave it an internal school affair, you know? Gedo vs Gedo. Maybe she could've tried to convince the soldiers to use more non-lethal means, or turned back the tide of students, or something. She's better at that kind of stuff than fighting, when you get down to it.

But she threw herself into a fight, and this is where it ends.

Iincyo makes one last ditch effort to evade, doing the one thing she thinks maybe Miko won't see coming, and tries to roll /forward/ - past the attack and into striking range - but underestimates the reach of her foe's attack, and is blasted backwards, past Ryuko, into the side of the APC with practically comedic force before slumping to the ground, unconscious and probably in need of major medical attention.

COMBATSYS: Honoka issues a challenge!!

[          \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Ryuko            0/-------/--=====|=======\-------\1           Honoka

As Ryuko reiterates her selfish demand for silence, Miko can't help but show a defiant smile in reply. Teenagers, insisting that the grownups (pretending to be teenagers) don't get it -- how rich! And yet, Miko does understand -- much more than Ryuko might believe. For, as far as Miko is concerned, she has only attacked the guilty, the thugs, the bullies, the ones who -started- fights. She -- and not Ryuko -- is the Robin Hood, inspiring the Merry Men to action against an oppressive force.

But while Ryuko rambles away, Miko is focusing on the psychic impact sent at Iincyo. As the torus slams into the chairperson, Miko feels it instantly -- a chill that sets her extended hand aflutter, before the exquisite flavor of Iincyo's pain floods into her. That smile just grows larger as the Taiyo student slams into the side of the APC with a resounding thud -- and the number of people actively questioning her drops to one.

Here -- she actually decides to heed Ryuko's request to shut up. After all, it will take a while for Miko to close the gap to the cyber-eared girl, giving her plenty of opportunity to let the diatribes soak in. War-machine? Predator? Miko shakes her head slowly -- it's not worth the effort to explain that the words were meant to describe the Command Gear and not Ryuko. She bites her lip, taking muted pleasure in the fact that the -bulk- of her student army is still able to run alongside her as she approaches the patrol vehicle...

Their minds were manipulated? "Ask us, Ryuko-chan. Ask us if we're okay standing behind madmen!"
The dark manipulator already knows the answer she'll get if -she- asks.

As Ryuko's grin grows, Miko takes stock of the situation around her target. The length of chain discarded on the ground. The soldiers, standing around in confused disarray. The now-unconscious form of Iincyo. Each of these could be a hazard for Ryuko if she were to lose awareness of her surroundings -- and each of them could prove to be an improvised weapon for the acrobatic puppetmaster.

"So, then..." challenges Miko, spreading her right hand out and dragging fingers through the air. Flames ignite from her fingertips, dragging long streamers of purple fire through the air -- flames that doesn't dissipate like it ought to, but rather trails along behind like a ribbon.

Miko balls her hand into a fist, snapping her hand forward -- and tugging the purple ribbon into a helical shape, with her hand as the center. As opposed to a length of chain, her hand is now sheathed by a length of psycho-powered ribbon, pulsing and radiating with raw, aggregated emotion.

The smile becomes a smirk, as Honoka draws her fist back, leading with her left hand.
"Go on, try to knock some sense into me."

And then she leaps high into the air, cresting at five feet above the ground, before plummeting downwards at Ryuko. Her right fist extends outward, aimed at hitting squarely in the sternum -- but if it lands, the coiled psycho power would multiply the impact of the punch with the sensation of radiating, searing hot energy.

COMBATSYS: Honoka successfully hits Ryuko with Sarak Kamui.

[                  \\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////              ]
Ryuko            1/----===/=======|=======\=------\1           Honoka

Ryuko's grin turns grim as the wave of dark power crushes the small girl who had taken up the fight alongside her, sending poor Iincyo crashing into the side of the APC. A pang of empathy runs through her and she has to fight against her nature to prevent herself from running immediately to the fallen student's side to stand protectively over her. She would do the girl's courage no favors by taking such a foolish action as the manipulative Miko would no doubt expect such a reaction, or at the very least, move to exploit it, and that would put Iincyo in the line of fire yet again.

"Fine. You asked for it."

For once it is Miko who takes the aggressive move and the gap between them closes as she draws her power into a whip-cord of pulsing psycho energy. Ryuko exhales slowly, centering herself even as the older girl's leap carries her high into the air, waiting for her moment to act. The shimmering lights of the cybernetic 'ears' on her head grow stronger and a fine whine of machinery teases at the edge of hearing as the implants spools up to their full power as if they too are tensely waiting to spring into action.

When the moment comes, Ryuko's body once more becomes a blur of neon light. She leans to the side, body flowing like water within the shimmering glow of her time-dilated bubble and for a few brief moments it looks as if she might once more escape the jaws of the psychic's devastating strikes unscathed - and then something goes terribly wrong. The whirling mass of purple fire shreds through the aquamarine aura like a drill and the bubble of displaced time pops with a violent explosion. The hammer-blow to her chest is almost pleasant compared to the clash of two alien forms of energy. Ryuko tumbles backwards in an uncontrolled fall that sends her some twenty or so feet away before she finally digs her fingers into the ground, skidding to a halt by main strength and force of will.

A thin trickle of blood stains the side of her mouth when she lifts her head to defiantly glare at the upperclassman, dripping freely down her chin to patter in droplets onto the grass. The girl attempts to stand but her first try fails and she collapses to one knee, only catching herself by planting the bottom of her sheath against the earth. With great effort, she rises and stubbornly takes up her combat stance yet again, hocking a wad of red-stained spittle to the side.

"Heh, that was a pretty nice punch. Not sure how you did that but I guess that's one more lesson to take away from all of this. Now it's my turn to teach you something, Miko. Something bullies like you never seem to learn. You might be stronger than me. You might hit harder than me. Maybe you'll walk away from this and get everything you want. But that doesn't make you right!"

The nimbus of blue power flares to life again as Ryuko shouts those final words, her entire body burning with energy as if it were a candle flame flickering in the wind. Her voice bellows through the air in a wordless scream of anger, pain, and determination, which only seems to whip the glowing aura into a greater frenzy as if spurred on by her fighting spirit. The large katana hisses sharply as she draws it from the sheathe, holding the weapon's hilt in both of her hands as she thrusts it high up into the air.


The blade traces a slow and deliberate circle as she brings in down and then around, going through the form of some elegant ancient kata, her weapon and body trailing streaks of blue light as if moving in slow motion. When the sword reaches the apex of its return trip into the air, the light seems to seep into the blade itself until the metal is glowing just as brightly as her aura.

"Ryujin no Ken!"

Ryuko brings the weapon close to her side, holding in a posture that might look similar to a baseball player winding up for a swing, but the stance is easily recognizable to anyone who is familiar with the old forms of samurai combat. She turns her head to focus her cyclopean gaze upon Miko once again, a defiant grin once more consuming her pretty features.

And then she moves.

The shift between her current position and Miko's body happens so fast that it might as well be teleportation. In point of fact, she never seems to move at all. There is no motion to track, no streak of colors or psychic presence to follow. One moment she is standing several feet away and the next she is directly infront of the other student, her blade carving a neon path into her side.


Again Ryuko disappears, popping in and out of reality only long enough to deliver her burning strike and vanish once more. She reappears behind Miko this time, coming at her in a sliding cut from the opposite flank with the same blinding speed and power.


The final blink deposits the girl some ten feet above her opponent and with a great bellowing cry she drops, bringing the glowing blue steel of her sword down in a simple but brutal vertical slash.


COMBATSYS: Honoka endures Ryuko's Hi-Ougi - Ryujin no Ken - Metsuryuha.

[                   \\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////                   ]
Ryuko            0/-------/------=|=======\=====--\1           Honoka

Miko had tested Ryuko before -- but never achieved a satisfactory answer to the question 'how fast can she go?' She's gotten closer to the answer here -- watching just how many meters the young woman could traverse in the blink of an eye. But she has to push further -- to see just how fast the girl can proceed.

A cocky smile is her answer, as she stands over top of her opponent, curling her right fist before her. As she rotates her palm upward, the violet flames dispel with a flare of light, threads of energy burning like embers into thin air.

She's about to get that answer -- and she refrains from interrupting Ryuko's monologue in order to get it, chuckling with manic enthusiasm. Her fists -- both of them, now -- clench, as she stands in anticipation.

"I'm waiting, then..."

Hi-ougi. When Ryuko's blue energy flares, the violet energy responds -- though, rather than wrapped around Miko's hand, the energy pulses throughout her veins. Arteries and veins glow with faint purple radiance -- shining even through the flesh of her skin.

Ryujin no Ken. As Tenjin's form flickers out of sight, Miko's veins react with a brilliant flare.

The next instant, neon blue bites into her side -- and as the flesh is pierced, the wound erupts with a mix of fuschia light and crimson blood. An instant later, the same thing happens on the opposite side, with even larger effect.

A half-heartbeat later, the pain reaches Miko's brain - and as her shoulders buckle forward, her jaw straining -- her knuckles burning white from being the conscious redirection of her pain.

And then the blade crashes down from overhead -- a riotously fast blade, slicing squarely through the puppetmaster's uniform shirt, left of center.
Tearing through cloth. Ripping most of the way through a bra strap. Digging into flesh -- and triggering a chain reaction of miniature geysers of blood as it tears its way down through her unprotected back.

Miko staggers forward, finally forced to release the agonizing cry she had been holding in. Tears forced to her eyes, she releases her hands, as the fabric of her blouse begins to split open in the back -- held fast only by what's left of her upper sleeve and the bottom of the garment.

Were Miko any less prepared, she could easily be in critical condition.
And yet, she hisses -- clamping her jaw shut again and drawing in breath rapidly.
The wounds are much less severe than they could stand to be. Her veins pulse with purple radiance -- and the furrowed wounds, too, begin to glow with that unnatural violet hue.

And... even with those deep wounds, she is still standing. Admittedly, she's pressing her palms to her knees -- but she hasn't doubled over. Not yet.

"That... wasn't bad. I'll give you that."

Her eyes flash with bright purple, as she takes five halting strides forward. With each step, the wounds on her back and sides glow with terrifying fury -- the radiance ebbing and surging as the wounds appear to be... stitching together.

"I'll consider what you've said," she notes -- completely unable to repress a smug, overconfident smile as she kicks at the ground.
A loop of chain is dug out -- and flips into her hand.
And with a quick tug, the rest of her kusari-fundo springs from the grass like a serpent.

She completes her statement while turning to face Ryuko -- a wild grin upon her face.
"But I can't make any promises."

With sheer, unabiding confidence, Miko lashes out with the chain -- positive that her speed can overcome the next time distortion in similar fashion. The weight hammers out -- chain vibrating with a horrible timbre as she swings time and time again for Ryuko's face and upper shoulders. Each swing has Miko closing the gap by one more step. But even if those miss -- her aim would be to get close enough to swing the chain around Ryuko's torso, pulling her close.

And -- despite the considerable pain on her scabbing wounds -- she would aim to pull Ryuko close and loop an arm around her head from behind.

"This fight is over...!"
And as she rocks backwards, she would aim to fall backwards, pivoting with the aim of slamming Ryuko face-first into the pitch!

COMBATSYS: Ryuko fails to interrupt Urara Kando from Honoka with Tenryuko Shoutenha.

                                  >  ///////////                   ]
                                  |=======\-------\0           Honoka

COMBATSYS: Ryuko can no longer fight.

                                  >  ///////////                   ]
                                  |=======\-------\0           Honoka

Ryuko lands in a crouch as the final slash makes contact, her eye half closed and her chest heaving from the effort of pushing herself that hard. In truth, she is just as amazed at what she has accomplished as Miko is. She always knew there was some strange power lurking inside of her, some wellspring of energy waiting to be tapped into. But she's still trying to come to grips with what she had done.

Time stood still, in the most literal fashion, as she had focused all of her will into the desire for more power. She wanted to stop Miko, to put an end to this madness. Not for her own sake but those of the students who would face whatever horror awaited them in the city. That included Miko too. Ryuko can't tell if she's suffered the same sort of indoctrination as the others or simply twisted the situation to push some personal agenda. Either way, it doesn't matter. All that matters is keeping everyone safe.

Incredibly - impossibly - her masterful display of time manipulation and swordsmanship did not fell her upperclassman. Ryuko's expression becomes one of surprise as she hears Miko's voice and she lifts her head to stare at the other girl with a wide eye. The wounds she had inflicted on her were telling though intentionally not fatal. It'd be pretty hard to call it a rescue if she'd disemboweled and dismembered the arrogant student. The cuts had been shallow, superficial, but infused with her own power. She isn't exactly sure what that means, precisely. What /does/ putting the essence of 'time' into a strike actually do? A question for another time.

"M-Miko... you... you can't be serious?! Your wounds...!"

She doesn't get time to expound upon her worry for her fellow student. The deadly chain whirls around and Ryuko's instincts take over once again, her body phasing out of sync with regular time as it whips through the space she once occupied. The cyborg doesn't immediately press forward to attack, reappearing some distance away, only to be assaulted even as she tries to talk her opponent down.

"Miko, wai-!"

Again she vanishes, mere moments before the heavy weighted ball would have shattered her face, reappearing behind the girl with a look of pain on her face. She breathes heavily, a hand pressed against her side as the exertion of rapidly blinking in and out of phase quickly starts to catch up to her. Somehow, she knows for a fact that using her power in this way will rapidly exhaust her. Still, she has to try, before this goes too far.

"Miko! Listen to me damnit!"

Ryuko blinks in only a few feet to her fellow student's side, her sword held at the ready, clearly at the end of her limits. She swallows deep gulps of air, sweat pouring down her face, but still she hesistates and it proves to be her undoing. The chain lashes out in a final counterswing and this time she doesn't have the juice to get out of the way. The metal whip encircles her waist like a snake and she is helpless against the powerful tug when Miko draws her in.

Ryuko brings her blade up as she stumbles forward, gritting her teeth in a final determined glower as she aims to strike at the older girl with another measured stroke, but her aim is spoiled by the sudden grip around her head. She braces as best she can but the impact of her face into the hard ground is enough to shatter her thoughts into a thousand tiny pieces, each shard rebounding through her skull like a piece of shrapnel. Dazed, she can only lie there, groaning, the fingers of one hand still clutched tightly about her sword while the other paws meekly at the ground as if trying to pull her up again.

"M...Miko... don't... please..."

Miko winces as she rolls away from Ryuko, wounds clearly not as healed as she may have been wanting to let on. As she pulls herself to her feet, she keeps her left elbow pinned to her waist, partly to limit abdominal movement, partly to keep her severed uniform blouse from flying open as she stands.

"I was never not listening, Ryuko," answers Miko, reaching for the cellphone clipped to her hip as she surveys the field.

The soldiers train their weapons on the students -- undoubtedly, they're not allowed to fire live ammunition, but there's no telling what will happen if they're sufficiently threatened.

"Just give me one moment."
Miko's eyes glaze over, as her stance slackens somewhat.
And the soldiers calm themselves -- lowering their firearms just moments before the first wave of students intersects with them.

The phone is raised to Miko's ear, as the weapons are pulled away from the shell-shocked, spellbound soldiers holding them.

"Keep the jammers going, a little while longer. New situation -- fifteen injured. Need medics on the field, ASAP."

While disarmed soldiers are led aside, Miko turns her attention to the field. So many of her so-called friends injured -- and in substantial amounts of pain. Yuri Sakazaki -- collapsed. And one new face -- Kazuki Kirigana -- trotting dutifully towards the APC.

Miko crouches down near Iincyo, speaking in a lower, quieter tone. "... I don't think you're a monster. And I don't think the -Gear- is a monster -- just a terrified, cornered little girl. And when you attack a cornered child with no comprehension of their own limits -- they will lash out."

A curious circle in the center of Miko's chest begins glowing -- not in the purple hues of before, but a more radiant, honey yellow. As the glow intensifies, it seems that it takes the form of another person -- slightly shorter, with much longer hair.

She reaches her hand out to Iincyo -- and tendrils of light begin suffusing throughout the fallen student's form as well.

"The only way to lure her out is to appeal to her humanity. To treat her like one of us. Not like a monster."

Miko and the second, ghostly figure, pull away from Iincyo, though remnants of that warm, radiant glow remain in around the Taiyo student, mending flesh and bone. The two turn their attention to Ryuko -- the soothing warmth flooding into her as well.

"We got off on the wrong foot. I think we're on the same side -- but if there's anything the V-Gage has shown us, it's that innocent people get trampled if they fail to stand up for what's right."

Miko rises to her feet -- a bit ahead of the second attendant soul. Long wisps of flaxen hair remain, a tenuous bond between the spirit and Miko. "If we don't stand up, we could lose everything. For good."

Kazuki and Touji slow to a halt a fair distance away. Kazuki shrugs out of his uniform jacket. "Kobayashi-sempai," he says by way of greeting, the jacket now draped over one arm. He looks around for a moment. "What exactly is going on around here?"

The golden, ephemeral spirit begins to fade away -- but the honey yellow glow continues to work its restorative wonders upon the two who had most recently stood against Miko.

Miko plucks the jacket from Kazuki's arm, beginning to drape it about her shoulders. "It's a lot to explain. Right now... we have to stabilize the fallen students."

Miko looks back to the east, a determined look in her eye.
"And then we move."

Log created on 21:18:50 11/11/2017 by Honoka, and last modified on 14:55:04 12/11/2017.