Description: Kula finds herself trapped in Southtown, with no way to escape. Calling for a temporary truce, she follows The Beast of Prey to a central underground train station. There, she discovers a brother: Nameless. Nameless has no interest in Kula leaving, instead wishing to enlist her in ensuring the people of the city remain trapped and sentenced to nuclear abolition. Tensions further escalate as while certainly Nameless and K' cannot agree, Kula must choose one or the other, or her own lonely path between them.
Kula might have been excited by the prospect of working with K', but the reality of the situation is a little depressing. He told her to remain at a certain place at a certain time until he eventually bothered to contact her. Nine days pass with nary a word, before he finally seems to melt in from the shadows of the alley adjacent, having a few bandages on his face amidst healing bruises. "C'mon." he states a little sharply. Any hassling about the course of action is met with nothing but his back and hunched posture, as he begins to pick his way through the city with purpose. There's a coldness to him, a distance, that she's been struggling with since the first time she tried to incapacitate him with lethal ice. What's up with that?
The main new item of note is a radio, dangling from the back of his belt. As the city boils in the wake of approaching Gears and other violent rioting, the perimeter is at an all-time low. Through the train station, there should be almost no military resistance. "Those Ikari assholes told me they'd take down the comm network." K' finally says as he finally pads into the area, smoothly painted concrete floor stretching out. One train is parked here still, but otherwise the remaining lines are vacant. Not a soul is present, of course, no civilian wishing to risk being this close to Heihachi's no-contact zone. "We bust through whatever resistance they have, I radio in the evac point is open, then you can get the hell outta my life again. Scurry back to your precious overlords for candy and... head-patting, or whatever the hell you think makes all this worth it."
Were she a thrill-seeker, a pint-sized daredevil, this would be the entree of a full course dinner. The meat and potatoes of danger and toeing lines, fraternizing with her enemy, unknowing whether this disobeys direct orders or not. Tasked with dragging K' back to NESTS, never once was it stated that in a survival situation, the winter siren couldn't 'use' him...
Kula just doesn't see it as 'using', almost able to term a mutually beneficial relationship between them as 'friendship'.
But she knows her superiors would never approve.
The ice doll frets, because she's no disobedient creation. She frets as much as a child with limited emotional ability possibly can, her only consolation the simple arguments that led to the temporary truce in the first place. Everyday at noon, not once did Kula miss the appointment to meet, a silent effigy in front of the ice cream shoppe, pretty and still. After time passed, she moved on.
To someone so dependant on instruction, it's like losing touch with NESTS all over again.
Lo, on the ninth day, when she arrives for another fifteen minute vigil, his white-haired head pokes out from the dark. A normal girl might feel relieved that she had not been abandoned or forgotten about. Kula's just happy that he's clearly secured the necessary information that leads to their escape. It wasn't so wrong to rely on K', maybe...
Following him, he's not so much taller than her that Kula needs to trot in order to keep up, but occasionally his long strides require two to compensate. The first question to tumble from her lips is what she will need to do, and if there's a way to assist The Beast of Prey, but his cold shoulder is something legendary. What has she done to deserve it, the chilly princess wonders. Mulling over previous meetings, he has less to say now than before.
Of course, she notices the radio, which from what the little lady knows about electronics, looks to be short-range. Two city blocks, at most. Her strange, insulated shoes click audibly upon touching floor, strawberry blonde hair swishing and cascading down her back as a quick assessment is done of the surroundings. There are multiple hiding places in the train station... K' interrupts her thoughts, and Kula turns to peer into his face, violet eyes owlish. "Y..yes," she stumbles, finding agreement awkward in this moment, "I will do that."
"But you already know you are going to see me again, so why are you being so rude?"
Yeah, she... doesn't get the whole Anti-K' thing.
"You will never see him again, sister."
The voice calls out over the train yard. A familiar voice, too familiar to both of them. A calm voice, or at least, trying to be calm. The contempt was barely restrained in the throat, the heart of the voice. The presence was still. But the building aura was growing. There is a shift, a flicker of movement on top of the train. And then, it rises, emerging into a full stand.
And the teenager looks down at the duo.
The teenager stands in black leather, his athletic frame constrained.The necessities of a NESTS uniform. A white streak across half his hair, black for the rest. In one hand, a silver-white glove was stretched over it. The other, black. He stares down with brown eyes, his expression grim, as his cloak billows behind him, caught by some unfelt wind. The Nameless Result of the Zhe Project, the lone survivor. The brother of both K' and Kula. He narrows his eyes at the former.
"K-Dash." The nameless teenager says with restrained disgust.
He sweeps his arm, his glove shifting and recoiling, a flicker of crimson fire boiling out, encircling him with smoke."The endless disappointment of our family. I do not understand how you could still walk free. You were in our clutches, you were... enough. You will always be a black mark to our family, a shameful, idling loser, wasting away any potential as an enemy to your family. The only good you've done...is brought Kula to me, to safety." He leaps down, landing in a three point landing, before rising up. He extends his hand towards Kula, the one not constrained by Isolde. "There may be hope for you yet, K-Dash. Come, sister."
"We must do the right thing."
There's a look of mild confusion when Nameless makes his appearance. K' left before his project bore proper fruit, and in the time on the run since he's not had the doubtless pleasure of running into him. Immediately there's a shift to a defensive stance, and Kula might notice that the leather-clad figure shifted to shield her, as if to protect the young assassin from danger. Such was an impulse, and in most minds baffling. She's hardly in need of protection after all, especially not by someone she's supposed to be taking in.
But K' recognizes the uniform of NESTS. And more importantly, the reflection from a mirror. Although the hair styles might be different, there's a disturbing and somehow violating familiarity looking upon the other individual. "NESTS was never my family. You two might buy into that bullshit rhetoric, but no matter how fancy the leash, I'm not interested. You want to take the girl? Go ahead. Take her and get out of my sight. I'm here to save lives, not waste my time on fights."
He shifts sideways, away from Kula and Nameless both, but his own crimson gloved hand is poised in obvious preparation. Damnit... this could get messy, if the two of them try to take him down together. With Maxima stuck outside the city, he'd be hard pressed to escape, let alone failing a mission that eyepatch-wearing asshole forced upon him. Last thing he needs is more fuel for the Ikari to want his head, after all...
Just as K' is aware of how pointless it is to shield a living weapon, Kula is genuinely surprised by the gesture. Surprised and confused, because this is an entirely new experience... Up until her enemy hands her off like an old newspaper in need of recycling. Doesn't she have any sort of say?
The alliance may be broken, when her 'cohort' shifts to the side. Visible to the ice doll now is a face familiar, one that she has known almost as long as Foxy and Diana. "Brother..." she says in relief, pleased to have confirmation that NESTS hasn't forgotten her completely. In the rest of what the nameless youth offers, small minds hesitate. "What is the right thing? Are we not leaving?"
Her violet-eyed gaze flickers from one to the dedicated experiment before her time. Clasping her hands together in a manner both demure and innocent, perhaps it is a way to hide the slight tremble of fear. "It is not safe here," Kula murmurs, "I do not want to be in Southtown, can we go?" It doesn't matter if she accompanies Nameless or K', by this point.
But the ice princess does look to The Beast of Prey, once again. It's more pointed, sorrow and understanding intermingled. His freedom is too important to him to join them. A breeze not only stirs the cloak of the unnamed project, the Anti-K''s hair billows gently. The temperature begins to plummet. Kula does not accept, rejecting her brother with a firm shake of her pretty little head.
A distorted mirror.
Clones were, ultimately, similar after all. All from their host body, the glorious Krizalid. But Unlike his biggest brother, Nameless lacked the true sadism of what he knew was the original. In it's place, was cold-blooded, self-righteous dedication to the common good, to the family. As K' stands between himself and Kula, however, contempt erupts from his face. It was almost a perfect reflection, at that moment.
Not that either party would truly admit it yet.
"Watch you language around Kula." Nameless chastises, as he looks to his own sister, his expression softening. "We... cannot leave just yet, Kula. We must keep the people in Southtown, Kula." Seeing the glimmer of fear, Nameless steps forward, attempting to comfort his sister, bringing a hand to her shoulder. "I... I know it's hard to stay here, so far away from our family. But even now, the nuclear sword dangles over our heads, as both the UN and Japan lock themselves into a stalemate. The world is weak now, Kula, and positioned to finally expose itself to all it's hypocrisy! And as long as people stay here, As long as Southtown keeps it's people trapped within, The UN will never blast this city, even as the armies surround it. The UN will choose to grind it down,piece by piece, dust by dust." He tightens the grip in his free hand. "And if they finally decide to unleash oblivion.... They would never regain their souls. There is no greater call for courage than now, sister. You have no reason to listen to..." And he turns his head.
Nameless releases his sister, and steps alongside Kula, glaring at K'. "Save lives. Our Lord and Savior demanded that we -choose- for the right, choose our fate, choose our destiny. And what do you choose? 'Save Lives,' 'Don't want to fight.' Empty, substance-free dreams of a wandering outcast. You are a loser, K'. A shiftless loser, a drifting parasite." Already, energy builds over him, as his shimmering white glove begins to writhe. "But I am reasonable." THe teenager says coldly.
"Run away, and hide, while we set our future."
There seems to be a return of the glance from K' at Kula's ambiguous statement. That it was not sent directly at Nameless wasn't lost to him. Of course, where K' is settled in the sea of genetics from the broad testing that resulted in both dubious and successful projects is unknown. He was amongst the first, a former human with the precise DNA required, and nothing more of his old life mattered to the scientific minds in NESTS. Not that such nuances matter to him, nearly so much as the man looming above...
Although there's a tension running through K' at that, when the ambitions are finally voiced. "Keep them... in here?! What the hell are you talking about? There's no point in risking innocent lives, you jackass!!" Although K' is hardly the most empathetic of people in the first place, even beyond Heidern's coercions he's not one to overlook countless women and children being /horribly nuked/ by an angry Justice. "People WANT to leave. And I'm going to do whatever I have to so people can choose for themselves!!"
His crimson hand lifts up, swathing with flame before he flicks it off and brushes fingers through his roguishly handsome hair. "Choices, huh? Fine. Kula... you just stand right there. I'm going to shut this guy up. Then we're going to finish the mission. Break open the makeshift wall, so people can leave. That's your way out of Southtown...!!"
The weight of the world, it seems, drops itself heavily upon her shoulders. His touch does not bring comfort, although she's drawn to the emotion of delivery, listening to Nameless in rapt attention. Her expression screws gently. "I do not know what you are talking about." Kula struggles, trying her very best to keep stride, but falls so far behind that she has to plead, "Explain it to me in terms I understand!"
Instead, K' shouts down the proposal, loudly and not heeding the warning to keep his language in check. When so simple, Kula can comprehend. Gloved fingers threaded together and clenching tightly, her eyes widen to saucer-like proportions. "What courage is there in a death sentence? Will we not die as well, brother? And if the people rise against us..." She is an assassin...
Raised with no heart.
But Kula has never once killed an innocent person, or one weaker than herself. Aren't the citizens of Southtown weak, as Nameless so describes it?
"Brother, this is a risk that we should not take. Let us return to NESTS together." Unwilling to be the blockade, nor is the winter siren their saviour. That is not Kula's purpose. If the walls should fall in the escape, why does it concern her?
Nameless is at the girl's side, glaring. She can feel the energy, the hatred, building, filling the entirety of the subway tunnel as the animosity ramps up, Kula trapped between them like some helpless damsel in distress. With a whip of her cascading sheets of strawberry blonde hair, the strands instantly turn a sky shade of blue. Interposing herself, both arms lift and she faces neither. "Don't fight!!"
Because... because isn't K' her... temporary 'friend'?
Because isn't Nameless her brother?
Kula doesn't know any other way to resolve the issue except through violence. How does one talk through a problem? Could she even be capable of mediating?
It appears that the only choice the ice princess has is to put them both down and decide for herself.
The nameless teenager tilts his head towards Kula, keeping his focus on K' as he falls into his defensive stance; his gloved hand up, his fingers writhing. His teeth was gritting in frustration. First it was K', the outcast parasite of NESTS. And even Kula was babbling and nattering like a frightened puppy? Nameless had a duty, he recognized his duty, and he was going to carry it out. As he readies to lunge in...
Kula finally stands between them.
Nameless's face turns red. Brow furrowed, he glares daggers not at K', but at Kula. "Now is not the time to act like a -child- Kula!" Nameless scolds his sister, circling slowly. "This isn't like a spat between K9999 and I! This is destiny! It's a necessary sacrifice we must make! But it seems you can't understand such things. Once we deal with our traitor..." Nameless tightens his fist. "I will put it in words you will understand!"
And Nameless launches himself into the air.
Lunging at such speeds that it was barely visible, the NESTS assassin explodes over Kula, bounding over her. Back turned to Kula as he lands, he hurls himself at his brother with breakneck agility. Snapping at him as he recovers from the landing, he unleashes a precise, back kick aimed squarely at the throat of K'. A quick, dispatching move that could eliminate a lesser person. Against K'? Well, it may take him off guard.
Just long enough for the Anti-K' to deliver the coup de grace.
COMBATSYS: Nameless has started a fight here.
COMBATSYS: Kula has joined the fight here in the center.
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COMBATSYS: K' has joined the fight here.
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K' 0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0 Nameless
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COMBATSYS: K' interrupts Medium Kick from Nameless with Crow Bite.
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K' 0/-------/---====|==-----\-------\0 Nameless
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"You can't reason with a maniac like this." K' states through grit teeth in Kula's direction, not daring to spare looking towards her. "There's a reason I always have to do force...!" One of them happens to be Maxima not being present, the sole bastion of diplomacy available to the offputting errant NESTS project, but that's beside the point. A smooth stance is taken, as K' snaps his fingers and ignites his right hand, grimacing as flame blooms painfully to life and licks down his forearms. Heat begins to seethe from his body, eyes narrowed behind his glasses at Nameless up above.
"Leave her out of this... she doesn't have to hurt anyone if she doesn't want to!!" This is the first time K's actually spoken about Kula in a fairly direct way. But it seems that his rage at the moment was directed regarding her. Nameless flows through the air, and the original prototype is ready. "You have a choice, Kula..."
"Don't let these bastards make you think you don't!!"
And then he bolts forward. The kick impacts his slender shoulder, violently shrugged away. His hand, already prepared with fire, then unleashes a terrifying storm as he roars upwards. Whirling, almost serpentine plumes flow around him with a great burst of Kusanagi-stolen sealing flame, as he hurtles airborne while aiming to drag Nameless along for the ride, and at the apex twist around to unleash a devastating aerial kick, the remnants of his painful fire whirling behind as he aims to send him flying towards the side of the nearby train...
Only a meter to the left of Kula herself.
For only a moment, time stands still. The girl intervenes between the bastions of hostility, the fluttering tresses settling as undisturbed as the water they imitate. Each breath escapes from Kula with frosty inclination. Mist hovers at her lips before it is whisked away by the warmer air. Her scarlet irises flit back and forth, Nameless to K', K' to Nameless.
When her brother's voice rings out and speaks her name, however... The last vestiges of a struggling hope for a peaceful resolution die. Kula sighs and scowls.
Denounced as a mere child, regarded like some frightened pup, she is furious. Did Nameless forget that while he may live over and over again, Kula has but a single opportunity to experience the world? Her penchant for self-preservation is understandable, and his declaration that he will deal with the traitor contradicts her own mission: To bring K' home.
She wants to go home!
There's agreement in her stance that reasoning is impossible with a 'maniac', not at this juncture, but force is something else entirely.
He vaults to great heights, leaping clear over her head and lashing out to kick K'. Although the speed is as inhuman as Nameless himself, the renegade has been labelled dangerous for a reason. Clawing up in a fireball of pain, their traitor brother boots his opponent at the train car not far away. Kula, aware of the trajectory, doesn't flinch as the other NESTS operative soars past.
Her pale face is an inscrutable mask, but beneath the surface lies a well of emotions stirred by words and memories. A choice, there's no need to hurt anyone. Fight from the heart. It's a bit much, when the ice doll is so unequipped to manage or define such things, but upon reaching a conclusion, the Anti-K' turns fully to the reason that she was created. "Sorry..." Kula hangs her head briefly, perhaps mourning what short-lived truce shatters completely into pieces. The metal accents of her gloves shimmer while she requests the aid of winter...
Calls it to her in the form of sleet and snow.
The ice princess' hand becomes a growing shard, an extension beyond the fingers encased within. While the ice pops due to thermal differences, it will remain solid long enough to reach K' and skewer him through the thigh, if possible. Deadly efficiency, but lacking in malice, this is because Kula values her family, even the crazy one who wants to trap them in this doomed place so they can rot away along with everyone else.
Nameless will be next...
Nameless did not even register what he had done wrong.
As his aerial assault is met with a burst of flames, his attack momentum stalls. The fire itself draws an instinctive shell up his arm, mitigating it slightly. The kick though? That sends Nameless gasping as he crashes into the train car's side. Collapsing to the ground, hitting a roll, he groans. Falling into a stop, he peers up, eyes transfixed first to K', and then Kula. Her mask deceives Nameless well; the emotions he was used to with women was fear, and obedience. He does not see the true intent of his sister; only that she was already attacking K'.
For his purposes, he misunderstands Kula.
Rising back up, the nameless teenager draws forward his hand. "Do not be sorry, sister." He states firmly, already building speed. "He already had his chances for redemption. He already had his chance for peace. But he squanders it. Let us finish him quickly, so we can being our work together!" Nameless suddenly surges, as he breaks into a full run.
And he is upon K' again.
Nameless steps in, launching his leg hard towards K's face as Kula aims for the thigh. Another kick; this one form the ground. He sweeps his leg up high, aiming to connect with K's neck. Should it hit? He would pivot, slamming it down hard with a rending, ripping kick to bring down his opponent. Staggering fast, and undeniable power. He was withholding his flames for the moment.
But already, the heat around him was building. %
COMBATSYS: Kula successfully hits K' with Medium Punch.
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K' 0/-------/--=====|==-----\-------\0 Nameless
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COMBATSYS: K' blocks Nameless' Shigure.
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K' 0/-------/-======|===----\-------\0 Nameless
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Well, that's the opposite of what K' wanted. He expected Kula to stay out of this as desired, and it's only her manifestation of ice that makes him spare a critical moment. She lances out and he scarcely leaps backwards, as it rips through his thigh and leather in a spray of blood. A deep curse leaves him as he lands back once more, unable to bear weight on the limb. "What the hell...?! I should have expected... you'd backstab me...!" Kula would see it, then. Not the face of fear or desperate begging, as she has bore witness to endless times.
But a face of someone who feels betrayed.
But he can't dally with such things for now. He brings up his forearm, and Nameless' foot slams into it with enough force that K' is sent skidding almost a meter to the side. His forearm bones ache, a hiss of pain leaving him. The second blow is met by a weave forward, hitting the top of his back and sliding downwards. Despite Kula's attempted strike, he focuses on Nameless. If he has to fall here, then he knows Kula will bring him in alive. And that, at least, is a fate he might survive.
Given that Nameless has descended, there's only a momentary opening. K' kicks off slightly, twisting his body like a coiled whip, unleashing a crimson metal-knuckled fist to try and drive it right into Nameless' ribs, right over the liver. Hard enough to hopefully at least crack them, outside the ungodly pain such a blow would do...!
The expression of the porcelain doll is blatantly misinterpreted, so she ponders why. Had it not been clear? Her apology was meant for the traitor to their cause, and yet Nameless seems to think it conceding to his will, a vocalized intention to assist him. "..." Kula's back looks impossibly straight, as though a steel rod supports her spine. As the girl's arm retracts slowly, gracefully, the ice snapping off her fingertips and vanishing before it hits the ground, she watches K' and sees...
A new feeling not understood emerges unbidden, twisting up the pit of her stomach.
"You said I have a choice..." whispers the wintertime siren. Nameless streaks through the station as a blur, the wind disturbed in his wake. After the pointed tip of the ice spear grazes K''s thigh, the efforts spurred by opposing motives work against him well. Kula does not follow-up, hesitating, possessing no desire to dogpile upon a mutual enemy. Instead, while the dual-haired youth commits to action, she capitalizes on weakness to strike the young man hard from behind.
It could be that Kula's NESTS-grown brother will avoid one or both, but they happen simultaneously. K' attempts to bury his fist into ribs; she uses a step to add momentum to her punch, to incapacitate quickly and bruise the kidneys. Do clones have kidneys? They're not... normal, so...
Thin shoulders tremble at what she's done, even TRIED to do. "My decision..." Kula struggles to firm her jaw, but her face otherwise holds no warmth nor the chill at her command, "If we cannot leave peacefully, and if you insist on hurting my brother, K', then I will stop you both through any means necessary."
This little princess made a promise... Aren't promises meant to be kept? "Stupid. You two are so stupid." Kula breathes, muttering fiercely to herself.
COMBATSYS: Nameless blocks K''s Medium Punch.
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K' 0/-------/=======|====---\-------\0 Nameless
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COMBATSYS: Nameless dodges Kula's One Inch.
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K' 0/-------/=======|====---\-------\0 Nameless
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Nameless couldn't even see Kula's treachary.
To betray the teenager, it would require agency, independence. As he descends, he steadily grows aware that Kula was moving not into K', but towards... him? Her turn telegraphs her intentions. And yet, it wasn't a backstab in spirit. At least, to him.
It was simply a misunderstanding.
Colliding with his brother, Nameless's opportunity to react was narrow. Against a straight punch, and a neat assassinationg strike into his kidney, he favors the kidney over the front. As the counter-punch comes, the teenager is already moving, already catching the incoming strike in his palm. Pushing back with the blow, he swiftly lets it carry him backwards. The sucker punch comes, aiming squarely for Nameless. The teenager twists around, his eyes locked on Kula...
And he escapes.
Feet sliding on the ground, the momentum carries him back. Whipping his cloak forward, he raises his gloved hand. "Your brother, Kula? Our brother, you mean! You foolish, confused girl!" Nameless begins, as he brings his other hand to his icy glove. "You are the stupid one! You are too simple and naive; you cannot understand the righteous of my cause! And if you need a demonstration."
ANd pulls off his glove.
"Let me show the fires of my conviction."
The forbidden flames of Kusanagi erupt over his flesh, blackening it instantly. Nameless grits his teeth, shuddering under the horrific flames that already was daring to consume him. The fire burst and burns, spreading up his arm, boiling his skin and flesh as plumes of energy rip into it. He transfixes his gaze not at K', but Kula. "Is this proof enough of my cause?"
"How much more do you need to hurt me, sister?"
COMBATSYS: Nameless ignites the flames.
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K' 0/-------/=======|=======\=------\1 Nameless
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"...You're damn right she's confused!!" K' says through grit teeth as his sharp punch is masterfully deflected. In many ways, when it comes to short bursts of speed, he outstrips his brother in that arena. Although it takes some preparation, he can unleash techniques where time almost seems to stand still for others who bear witness.
"I think I get it now... you're not evil, Kula. This is just all you've ever known. Every second of your life, a den of snakes has been whispering in your ear. Telling you how this world works. Telling you how family works. But that didn't kill your heart, did it?! That's why I couldn't bring myself to hurt you when we first met...!!" Although he has never been a murderer, K' has not had many issues breaking the legs and arms of people who try to assassinate him to try and send a message. This truly is cruel. Does NESTS know that he cannot fight at full strength against Kula? He even sees... something familiar inside her. Someone dear and important to him. She isn't an opponent that he can just defeat. Eventually, she'll win against him. Win before he can bring himself to remove her as a threat.
And that's probably exactly what those bastards are planning. Giving her the form of a kind little girl... what a disgusting low blow.
K' suddenly kicks off the ground, and for a split second, he dashes, appearing in front of Kula. He's completely open. All his attention is focused now on Nameless. For the second time, he holds up an arm defensively against her. Yet this time, a choice. Not mere instinct, born from his long forgotten memories of his sister. "She's not your sister, damnit. Nobody would turn their hand on one. Family isn't genetics...!! Family is love! And a twisted beast like you..."
"Doesn't know ANYTHING about love!"
A rather sharp accusation made, as he brings up his own forearm, surging with power. His entire arm becomes a pillar of whirling energy, sweat billowing down his face, before he whips it out and snaps his fingers. A great eruption of energy balloons, descending towards Nameless with whirling force, intent on overwhelming him with the rage of the glasses-wearing fighter!!
The ever-burning flame of the Kusanagi.
It connects them all to one another, like blood.
But showing her that which she hates, focusing upon the girl as if he's meaning to use purifying fire against her, does Nameless no favours. In the plumes of orange and red, Kula sees no proof of righteousness.
Kula recoils, lip quivering, visibly upset. Snowflakes, sleet, and shards of ice whirl around her in a blizzard that gradually takes form. Frost builds on the padded shoulders of her leather jacket, translucent and pure. Strands of blue hair freeze into razor-sharp blades, because she's a living weapon. The Anti-K'. Everything can be used to harm, maim, or even coldly murder an opponent...
She wouldn't kill the youth with no name, however. Hurting her brother is difficult enough, not that Kula did, when he avoided the punch that could've easily caused internal bleeding. The sight of the bright conflagration searing his flesh earns a touch of sympathy for Nameless, but that's all.
Simple, naive, confused... It is unsurprising that they both regard her in such light. Childish indignation builds like bile in her throat, but there's no need to shout. K' defends Kula. Her entire world turns on its head. Of course she's not evil, and NESTS took pride in their culmination of science and technology by depriving her of emotions... But don't Diana and Foxy still love her? Isn't Candy her friend? They protected her, the doll that was never intended to know of hearts or mercy. The renegade does the same...
Despite acknowledging the reason for her appearance, her innocence, the traitor shields Kula by using his own body. She might attack him, as he's well aware. Crimson eyes widen, tearing her gaze away from the seething gouts of flame. "Why are you--" she starts to mumble in bewilderment, but K' cuts her off with words that resonate in all she understands about family. The ice princess recently resolved to bring each to a kneel... Now she doesn't act. "Nameless, is what he says true?" Even her, because she raised a hand to strike.
With the temperature plummeting, her calm is a frozen lake. Beneath the ice is where the real danger lies, in waters that steal the strength from limbs and breath from lungs. Looking back isn't possible, her path is set. "I cannot allow you to continue--!!" The energy surges, reaches, unable to grasp the burning inferno released by Kula's defender. "No, wait!" Foolish, but all the teen can do is hope she grabs K' by the arm afterward, dousing him with her aura. It's like taking the coldest shower, and then some.
COMBATSYS: Kula focuses on her next action.
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K' 0/-------/=======|=======\=------\1 Nameless
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COMBATSYS: Nameless just-defends K''s Air Trigger!
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K' 1/-------/=======|=======\=------\1 Nameless
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A righteous fury builds within Nameless's heart.
The teenager believed in the ideals of NESTS. The hopes, the declarations, the dreams, the desires. He believed it was a greater good, that he was a tool for a greater good. He believed that there was incredible sacrifices made. And above all, in the end? He would have the love of his life returned to him in full form, in the same shape as Kula herself, his own sister. It would be a paradise, his paradise, his reward for his service. Love, as a fundemental, drove Nameless. So when K' declares that he is lacking in it?
Nameless's resolve only strengthens.
"Love, K'?" The nameless teenager states back in disbelief, as the fires around him build. Expanding out, K's own flames surge at the teenager. For a moment, there is conflaguration, only the consuming stolen flames mixing together. And then, a sharp his. In an easy movement, the teenager replaces Isolde, replacing the glove. And in a single burst, Kula may see the fires replaced by ice. Tendrils of ice snap out into the flames, consuming them in a cloud of steam as the fires are stopped cold. The cloud expands around him, concealing his position, where only the shadows of his shape wrap around him.
But his words continue.
"What right do you have to deny us our love, when you denied yourself it? What love have you shared with us? Were you praising Krizalid, when once again he reached the peak in reviews, in performance? Were you sharing with. Where is the love now, K', when you lie to Kula, and do not give the guidance and support she needs? She's a child, K'. She's in a frightening, broken world that needs to be cauthorized, and you are there to tell her that she's alone, that she should be afraid, and you're the only one who cares about her?" The steam begins to part, as Nameless steps forward.
"That's why you tried to lead her astray, isn't it?"
"You've never given us the love we deserve. You've never given us anything we deserved. You've only resented your place in our family, and when you saw the moment to escape, you took it. And you've now realized how painfully -lonely- it makes you. How alone you are now, having burned away all your connections, all your links to your family. You are a parasite, K', you only crave love, and can't give what we needed from you. And now, you want to twist Kula into the same. To be -your- source of love, -your- source of support. And the only way you can, is by twisting her view into your view. FOr her to be as lonely as you are. And ultimately, to turn her again us. Not just my sister, but our sister. Because despite everything you've done, I still consider you family. Because once, we could all love each other. We aren't the ones who turned our backs to you, brother."
"You turned your back on us."
Nameless charges forward at K', charging forward at him with a low, swift slide. Keeping his balance even, he attempts to drive hard into K' shins in a crippling, disabling strike, to position himself ruthlessly up into his face. Kula may be confused, she may drive the spike into his back. But as he turns his eyes at her in midattack, there was a shadow of sadness in his self-righteous assault. Was it true? No. Nameless wanted to bring his family back together.
But he could never convince K' to return back to his rightful place.
COMBATSYS: Kula interrupts Shinonome from Nameless with Behind Slash.
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K' 1/-------/=======|=======\==-----\1 Nameless
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There is not one burst of steam, but two. Kula wraps her arms around the offensively lit limb in front of her. As the air coalesces with a rush of fresh snow, smothering the blaze swift and suddenly, they're shrouded together in mist. The entirety of the train station transforms; it becomes a foggy space occupied by terrifying shapes pulled from children's nightmares. It's so dense that the ice doll loses all track of K' when he wrenches his arm from her grasp.
But it is only temporary.
Until the vapour cloud dissipates, the general whereabouts of Nameless can be determined by the direction his deep tenor heralds from. Her pretty little head swivels on the axis of her neck, staring at the grey, willing it to evaporate faster. To spite Kula, the fog lingers on.
She can only protest weakly, finding herself in accord more than at odds. "He did not lie to me!"
"All K' wants is freedom!"
"He has not twisted me or led me astray!"
The curtain around K' and Kula lifts when the nameless youth slides in, as if inviting him to take centre stage in a grand play of misdirection. Instead of finding the intended target, the vicious strike collides with the winter siren, his sister. She took the traitor's place, protects him in turn, wincing as her shins bruise instantly, welts left in the wake. They face one another. "Brother, is it love when you do not respect my wishes? The things that I want to do? Please, let me go home."
His sorrow is hers, reflected back upon him by the crimson eyes of the Anti-K'. A solid, crystalline spear thrusts upwards from a puddle on the floor, to pierce Nameless through the shoulder. Any means necessary, it was not an idle threat.
That Nameless had within him this level of emotional strength does genuinely surprise K'. He thought him like Kula, an empty shell, some puppet who wandered about doing the bidding of powers he had no capacity or inclination to understand. Yet the force of resolve bearing down on him as his fiery onslaught is simply dismissed makes it apparent just what he is facing. Teeth grit in annoyance. It's much easier to deal with someone who's merely a tool. This kind of opponent...
He'll have to grind them into the ground. Well, that's about the usual method, he supposes.
"Don't put words in my mouth, jackass. I've done nothing to her but ask her to not be a sheep. She doesn't know this world. You guys never gave her a chance to. It's up to her to decide if it's worth abandoning or not!!" Love? Yes, he wants love. But not from these beasts. He knows in the back of his mind what they took from him. That he does have real, true family hiding somewhere in this world. Perhaps Nameless and Kula are different. Born in a cold tube, weaned like rats in a lab, lacking the foundation of humanity that allowed him to fully break away...
And then the arm is felt being grasped by K'. He expects an attack, responding out of sheer instinct. As she lashes forward in defiance of Nameless, so too does the weapon act. On training burned into his mind and nerves; striking out towards Kula's back viciously, and only in the aftermath catching himself and realizing what he did. "...!! Damnit!! I'm fine, I said not to interfere!!" He doesn't make it apparent that the assault was an accident at the start, however. Hardly the most perceptive of individuals, the potential for a catastrophic misunderstanding isn't getting through the haze of battle and annoyance this fight is building up...!
Now, he was seeing the glimmers of treachory.
The poison seeping into Kula's mind, the innocence turns against her own good brother. The nameless teenager would not stop, as Kula moves to protect K'. If she chose to stand in his way? So be it. But as she intercepts, the sadness in his eyes turn to rage. Already, K' was stabbing her in the back. As the blow connects with the teenager, driving into his shoulder, he gasps, stumbling backwards. He grips the fresh wound, staring at Kula.
The attack was worse than anything else.
"Freedom? He wants only what's good for himself, without concern for the betterment of mankind! He's using you! And- And I am sorry, Kula." He grips Isolde again, as he transfixes his eyes on Kula as his brother stumbles into him. Nameless felt a love between his family, even in K'. But that love came with a condition; that every one played the role they were given. For Nameless, time spent on K' was wasted, when if he only understood... they could be whole. The glove is ripped off again, as Nameless turns towards Kula.
"You will live, sister.
There are no accidents. He rips off the glove, as the flames explode once again. Whether or not she escaped K's attack, did not matter. The teenage simply chooses to pour the stolen flames directly into her, to let them surge over her. Only for a moment, however; the wave dies down as he reseals his arm. And he speaks so softly.
"You are blessed with that luxury."
COMBATSYS: Kula endures K''s Second Knuckle!
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K' 1/-----==/=======|=======\==-----\1 Nameless
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COMBATSYS: Kula blocks Nameless' Sawarabe.
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K' 1/-----==/=======|=======\===----\1 Nameless
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This progressed beyond the point of catastrophic misunderstanding long ago. While K', for the most part, seems to grok her intentions despite temporary misgivings, Nameless cannot. Every utterance bounces off preconceived notions and ideals, like he's entirely unable to accept them at face value. The dual-haired youth has his own plans; he expects Kula to follow without complaint. It's frustrating, as the emotion transitions from artificial to genuine, because the ice doll isn't about to give up. She doesn't know the meaning of futility...
But if she intended to soldier on, by will or by force to convince him, a blazing hit that plants itself directly between her shoulder blades does not aid the endeavour.
Teeth grit together, her jaw tight as she weathers it with tears of pain freezing on her cheeks. Feeling the heat penetrate through protective layers that begin to melt, the design on the back of her jacket bubbles, breaking up the exaggerated heart while the leather separates from itself. Kula has to take a step forward to find steady footing, lest she wind up pitched in a dive. Her sky blue hair remains oddly unharmed, billowing gently with a white flurry.
Head turning to regard her attacker, the stare is searching, attempting to read his thoughts. Kula learns nothing...
She refocuses; Nameless remains the larger, more immediate threat. A swath of flames roam along his arm at the removal of Isolde. Kula practically dances on the spot, wringing her gloved hands. "I /hate/ fire!" she squeaks.
When the conflagration reaches her, it seems to wash over the innocent princess who is told that she will survive, that she was blessed with such luxury... And her brother is proven right. The power reacts, boiling steam rising from an icicle prison. Kula is a statue, trapped within, eyes closed to the world...
Then they are all thrown into a hellish Winter Wonderland. The Arctic wind heeds her siren's call.
Not only is the subway tunnel as dazzling as if it were lit by fluorescents, the Anti-K' glows like a beacon. The crystal shatters into deadly particles, and more materialize out of the air as the mastery of winter's chill breath is firmly hers to command. Kula embraces the heavens, the blizzard stirred into frenzy. Frost extends its withering touch to K' and Nameless indiscriminately.
The storm descends in a terrible fury. It's blisteringly cold, her might perfected by years of study and experimentation. Blades of ice select their targets, miniature rockets programmed to shred each regardless of Kula's naive disposition. The fight will end!!
COMBATSYS: K' endures Kula's Freeze Execution!!
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K' 2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|=======\===----\1 Nameless
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"You're damn right I want what's good for myself. That's what life is, you bastard. Finding your own place and being happy. Not living some poorly scripted farce you all are eating by the handful!" His eyes widen when he sees that Nameless is turning his attention towards the assassin, however. The burst of flames causes him to widen his eyes behind his sunglasses, as a stange dredge of emotions boils up. Attacking her, so cold-hearted. After calling her sister?
"You piece of trash..."
The storm descends, and roars across the surroundings. In an instant the ground, multiple columns, and the train itself are covered in thick hoarfrost. They rain down and pierce into K', but he is merely charging through, ignoring it. Going all-in to defend is the rational thing. The sane thing. And he knows very well...
That's precisely what Nameless is going to do.
Kula will see it then, the sudden flare of heat and fire behind her. K' hurls himself through the air, glasses struck by a shard and shattering them, baring his eyes to her for the first time. There's rage within them, but also... protectiveness? Something deep and genuine, and that he's shown her more than once. He's flying right in her direction, entire crimson gloved hand flaring white-hot and suddenly melting away the storm for a meter around him.
But he passes her; his rage is not directed at her. He descends on Nameless like a meteor, as he opens wide the entire deep storm of his power. Fire blooms to take up his entire arm, searing the black leather away to show only red, angry skin.
"IF SHE'S YOUR SISTER, YOU'D NEVER TRY TO HURT HER!!"
And then he swings. He slams his fist into the icy ground near Nameless. And then the world explodes. A great pillar of fire shoots skywards, detonating the roof of the train station. The heat is immediate, and in a split second Kula's manifested energy is gone. Water splashes down, vaporizes, steam blown away by a constant wave of force.
K' stands in the midst of it, barely a shadow, as he roars, unleashing everything he has as the great monumental pillar of fire glows brighter, broader, trying to utterly annihilate Nameless with a long, sustained fury. Then it cuts off with a final crack, leaving blackened ground and a significant crater, as K' cries out in agony and collapses to a knee, grasping his twitching arm, glove still burning visibly red hot...!
COMBATSYS: Nameless blocks Kula's Freeze Execution.
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K' 0/-------/-------|=======\===----\1 Nameless
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COMBATSYS: K' successfully hits Nameless with #Hyper Chain Drive EX#.
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K' 0/-------/-------|=======\====---\1 Nameless
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It was for her own good.
Yes, she hated the flames, but she would learn later that it was only because he, Nameless, truly loved and cared for Kula's well-being. It was frighten her, it would hurt. But she would learn and understand. Recoiling, he turns back to Kula, hoping she could at least learn her limit. Instead, he senses the tingles of the incoming icescape. Eyes wide, the nameless teenager raises his gloved hand. ANd there, his own ice begins to manifest, pouring out from Isolde's power. A smaller Kula, a personal Kula, one that would always obey him. The ice pours out, and around, consuming and concealing around him as a protective shell. The perfect freeze cuts deep, the slivers coming through and driving into Nameless's body, before the shell can complete. But as it finalizes, the shards of ice actually blend with Isolde's own, the assault coming to a close. Bloodied and bleeding, clouds of frost come from over his lips. The icy shell, for the most part, is able to hold fast against the sheer cold from Kula's assault.
It is far less effective against the flame.
The first blow from K' shatters the shell, smashing apart the shield. Off balanced and exposed, he struggles to bring Isolde up for a second shield. This one is quickly turned to steam, as the cloud of mist bursts around with the eruption. There is a snap in the assault, as the teenager lets out a miserable groan... before finally, his brother stops. The ragdoll form of him hangs on the ground. Rolling over, he looks at his brother, skin blackened, bruised, and bleeding. And yet, bringing a cool glove to his face, he wipes away the pain, for a moment. "Because she is my sister... I would do anything for her own good. I'd break her, and take her home. I'd do things... she would never forgive me for, because it was for her own good. I'd even give my life to set her on the right path, brother." He groans, staggering into a half-stand, before falling to one knee. He grips the glove with his good hand. He draws in a deep breath. And exhales. And smoothly, he removes the glove, his voice low.
The conflagration spreads up the nameless teenager's arm. Flesh boils, as he grits his teeth in agony. And yet, he rises up into a stand again, the inevitability consuming driving him forward. Striding towards Kula and K', he stares defiantly. Violet red flames spreads over him, as the eruption builds. The conflagration crawls over, with himself in the epicenter, as the forbidden, stolen flame... consumes. Up the arm, across his chest, across the whole of his body. He stares hollow, a smile in the crook of his lips. He shuts his eyes as the fires cover him...
And he slams his arm down.
Collapsing downward, the explosion of fire rips across the whole of interior of the trainyard. Gone was the frozen sheen, and with it was a boiling hiss. And the fire burns, and burns, and burns; the air chokes, the heat blazes, twisting the metal, searing the concrete. A boisterous, unstoppable fire. And then, just as soon as it erupts, it dies down. And there is nothing. The epicenter was only a singular shadow, the shape of a teenager, burned into the concrete. Only ash...
Amongst a single, quicksilver glove.
COMBATSYS: Nameless can no longer fight.
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COMBATSYS: Nameless successfully hits K' with Rinkou.
[ \\ <
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"You goddamn bastard..." K' growls down to Nameless as he speaks, barely standing himself. "That's not love at all... That's what you PROTECT her from, you asshole..." He moves forward, intent on delivering another blow, but instead crashes down and is forced to hold himself up, wincing at the pain as his glove works overtime to disperse the fire. Damnit. He put everything he had into ending things. What a tenacious bastard...!
The first to rise is Nameless. In a heartbeat K' manages to kick himself backwards, gaining some distance. Reeling, he can see what's going on. Some manner of suicide attack...? Shaking his hand vigorously, he reignites the fire of his glove again, before suddenly realizing what he's about to do. He glances towards Kula, before cursing. In a stagger, he manages to activate his hyper-speed dash, seeming to teleport. Perhaps he could have made it to safety.
Instead he places himself in front of the frozen girl. "Don't you remember... SHE HATES FIRE!!" K' then roars as he flings his own flames forward, building up a great explosive burst. Kula would bear witness to terrible flames blasting above her, beside her, but outside excessive heat, no actual harm would come. The black leather of K's back burns away, and when it cuts off, he is greviously wounded. Skin red, blackened in some places, glove housing a large crack down the back. Doubling forward and coughing up blood, he tries to stay on his feet.
"...damnit." he mutters, before collapsing face down into the steaming water, slowly managing to roll on his back and stare dazedly into the now visible sky, scraps of his leather outfit clinging to abused skin. Well... this is bad. One of the two assassins is still standing... and there's no way in hell he's going to be able to resist her taking him in now.
COMBATSYS: K' takes no action.
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COMBATSYS: K' can no longer fight.
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When the entirety of the tunnel is flooded with fire and flames, she stands resolute in spite of her fear. A girl as indomitable as the snow-capped mountain. There's an avalanche waiting at her back, figuratively speaking... To push further means incurring her frigid wrath. Kula WILL protect herself...
Not that there was any need.
Compelled again to ensure the safety of a child created to destroy him, K' becomes the sword. Wielded recklessly as if by a vengeful God, he's stirred to a palpable rage -- the traitor hurtles through burning oblivion of his own design, bringing fists and stolen power against the brother for a finale that's grand, blinding, and agonizing, all at the same time. He must hate Nameless, Kula thinks...
Retaliation is swift, like a second coming. A deadly parting gift, the inferno consumes the youth that was never given a name, and then spreads out of control. It flares so bright that Kula shields her eyes, and then it's eclipsed by the shadow of a man. Yelling, heat, choking ash. The conflagration reaches its last crescendo with a deafening bang, slipping away on a deadened note. Her cheeks feel burnt as if she drew close to the sun. Layers of leather are like the trappings of flesh, stuck to her skin and pulling painfully at the joints of her elbows and knees. Aside from uncomfortable sweat and sore lungs, the ice princess remains unharmed.
Pushing the fingers with metal accents through her matted fringe, scarlet eyes turn to the steam vapours that waft out a gaping hole in the ceiling of the station. Isolde clatters to the ground some distance away, and K' collapses. The only one left and capable is Kula Diamond.
Although this was her intention, it is nonetheless shocking.
She hastens forward to the silver glove, gathering it gently as she would an injured bird, recognizing its importance. Just beyond her line of sight in the dark, the cordon. The exit. Her heart quickens for a beat, anticipation fluttering in her chest. Kula sucks in a breath that stings, holding it.
No. She can't.
Instead of breaking through, Kula returns to the blackened husk of a subway station, and the seared, wounded person laying in the midst of it. Her 'protector'. For a second, and only just, she considers how easy it would be to bring him home to NESTS. How little resistance K' could muster... The Anti-K' gingerly lowers herself next to him, kneeling at his side. She cradles Isolde in her lap -- this is Nameless' beloved, and even she feels some special affinity towards it, as she did other failed attempts to recreate her success... But nothing like love. The ice doll only knows how to BE loved.
The stretch of silence may seem long, but it's actually quite short. For every emotion that emerges, Kula compartmentalizes it. There are the things she understands and those she does not. Many that belong to the latter category revolve around the traitor muttering, grey eyes cast skyward, awaiting his fate to be decided. "I will keep my promise, and leave you here," her tone is even, but her pretty face wears a hint of lingering sadness. The slight twitch of full lips suggest a frown.
Thick lashes cast themselves like a blanket of night over the crimson orbs. "Why you protected me, I do not know..."
"I am sorry you were hurt." Kula apologizes honestly, as heartfelt as some empty artificial life can.
"And thank you, K'."
COMBATSYS: Kula has ended the fight here.
This isn't really how K' wanted it to end. Unable to move with the assassin crafted to capture him ready and willing to drag him in. There'll be nothing left of him afterwards; dissected and taken apart, to remove his threat and figure out the intangible qualities that allowed him such unique control over the Kusanagi flames. When Kula returns he's managed to drag himself a couple meters away -- certainly not losing anything in the stubborn willpower department, but it's a futile action.
A spasm of pain runs through him, before K' slips down and thumps his face on the charred concrete, slowly rolling over with a growl of pain. "Sss..." It's not resignation, entirely, but if he's going to get a chance to escape, it won't be right n--
Leave him here? There's almost a breathless laugh from the rogue, propping himself up slightly with his elbows. "You're... made to capture me, damnit. Think of all the head-pats, hugs, and candy you'd get... if you brought me in." But then his eyes get far more serious. "Of course... that wouldn't happen. You finish your goal, they'd finish with you. Hahaha... me being free is the only thing protecting you!"
He thumps back down then, grimacing heavily. He'll have to drag himself somewhere else before the explosions draw the attention of Tekken Force, not that he's ever talkative in the first place. "After this bullshit is over... go to the park. I'll show you something... about your happy family." Then he rolls upon his belly, doing his best to start limp-dragging his way back towards the city.
He's going to punch Heidern in the face for making him do this.
Log created on 14:41:34 11/22/2017 by Kula, and last modified on 05:57:35 05/29/2018.