Description: Mitsuru Tokugawa has been seized after her ill-fated victory in a street tournament. Held by unscrupulous thugs, they have reached out to the Syndicate to see if it is worth ransoming her. When John Crawley shows up, he not only puts the lowlives in their place, but looks to put the spirited Mitsuru in hers.
"What's taking them so long?"
The question finally was dropped by the Japanese-Chinese man, sitting in the back of The Sleeping Dragon. The building has seen worst days; it hasn't seen better days in any memories. The main dining room was not where the focus was; it was one of only a few of the 'private' rooms. You would have to wind near the stinking kitchens to reach it, and always had a member of the 'wait staff' keeping an eye on it. But if you slide the paper door open, you'd come into a room with a round table, and plenty of space for guns, money, booze. It was popular for late night meetings, gambling, and in this, negotiations. What kind of negotiations?
THe kind that involve the teenage girl bound and gagged at the head of the table.
Generally, any story that opens with three men and a restrained teenage girl would not be fit for this MUCK, even if proper consents were acquired at the start of the scene. Yes, there were leering henchmen, but there was no risk of stripping and hosing down at this point. The background of this setting was simple: The girl showed up at a street fight tournament. She put on a good show, forced a win against a superior opponent, and ended up knocked out for her intention. The problem was, she was rich, and had a rich daddy. And she made that too clear. So the organizer and his two men cleaned her up, brought her satchel and her in, and bound and gagged her. Her eyes were closed. She was not asleep.
And the smaller of the two goons found out the hard way.
Rubbing his gauzed up fingers, he asks the question again. "What's taking so long, boss?" He groans, as the weaselly ringleader paces nervously in the room. "I made my call to my contact; they will make their call to their contact and then they will send someone out." He explains carefully. The ringleader was trying to put on a face. It wasn't working, though the other, uninjured man was quiet. "The Syndicate will send their best man, and we'll tell him, and we'll figure out what to do with her."
"Why don't we just give him to Snake Eyes?"
The other goon snickers ruthlessly, rubbing his legs a bit. The ringleader spits, heading to a decanter of thin rice wine. "THis isn't Hong Kong, and this some coked up wannabe actress fighter. Daddy's rich, and she hasn't caused any trouble. I'm just checking to see if we can make a little money." The ringleader looks back at the girl, and leers.
"Course, maybe she's interested in being a bad girl."
He had been working on his plane when the man arrived. John Crawley, elbow deep in the insides of his precious Fire Boy, tinkering as the sun shone. It was peaceful work, calm work, the work of a man after he secured the borders of an empire. He had put down ninja. He had, well, he had met Johnny Cage even. But now he was working with his hands. But he knew, he always knew that they would come for him and they would pull him back in. Because he was the Mad Dog (formerly) of the United States Marine Corps. And his fighting days were never done.
It was about a girl; bound up and captive in the hands of some thugs. A rich girl, with rich parents, and those parents could by the best saviors in the whole of Japan. Which is why the contact was here, in John Crawley's little hanger, where he just wants to work on his precious Fire Boy.
For a long time, John Crawley thought and looked without a word of agreement. His people needed him. So he would fight again. He would do what was needed of him. He would answer the call.
Sunglasses reflect his surroundings. The buildings pass by in his aviators. His lips pressed into a thoughtful scowl. His bare arms a little chilly from the lack of a heavier coat in the winter weather. He was on his way to the Sleeping Dragon. He would crash that party. And he would take names. Maybe he'd get to kick some ass along the way. If he couldn't be fixing his plane, he'd rather be fighting. The thoughts weighed on his mind as the car pulls up in front of the restaurant. It was time to go.
"Alright, where is this kid?" he bellows, storming through the restaurant, storming into the back meeting room. Storming in the way an American can storm. John Crawley was here, and he had a kidnapping victim to secure and to take payment on. He stops in the entryway, hands on his hips, still wearing sunglasses to hide his eyes. And making assessments of the kind of hard to see woman tied up gagged on the table.
John Crawley smiles. "Give me the intel."
The ringleader looks smaller, the moment John Crawley comes in.
Syndicate types were always intimidating for the riff-raff outside of the Syndicate. There was a gang war after all. You keep your head down, and you find opportunity. When the American strides in, the ringleader clutches his dirty glass. He tries to smile, trying to friendly with a grin missing too many teeth. It doesn't take, as he keeps his head low. He gives up, lifting up the girl's satchel, and dumps it out on the table. And there, he pulls up a small purse, and starts pulling out a card.
"Mitsuru Tokugawa, Seijyun High, uuuh first year student. She's just a kid." There is a muffled 'mmph' in response. The man opens up the wallet, showing the bills of yen. "But she's rich. She was talking about her father being loaded. She makes pot for our tournament, she won her round, fought some boxer, very close match. Would have called it a DKO if she wasn't refusing to go down. So rich kid, no parents around, no guardian out, and knocked out. We take care of the girl, and reach out to get some business questions. We get bad girls, they get knocked out, they are worth a little money. But good girls?" He gestures at the restrained Mitsuru.
"Good girls are worth an awful lot of money."
"So I reach out to my local agent. And now, here you are." He shrugs. "I'm interested in making money. Is there... do you see any opportunity for money here? I'm willing to negotiate any cut, I don't want to do anything without any authorization-" "Don't touch her though." The injured thug blurts out, gingerly touching his gauzed fingers.
"She's pretending to be asleep."
Boots tromp to the table. Glasses remain on, inside, at night, all times for John Crawley. His arms cross as he plants his feet before Mitsuru's table. Scowl plastered, he gives each of those little bits of information a perusal. The intel spread out on the table. A judgment call to make. His orders. His war.
He doesn't care about the small men. They're lesser. Goons to throw in the way. Not the dogs of war he calls on when the Syndicate needs him. But today they did good in finding a kid worth some cash.
"Tokugawa," he grunts, trying to resource the name in his mind. "Warlord. Soldier. A fighting man's name." He looks over at the bound up girl. He considers the wealth that might be behind it. And in taking the wallet, he pulls out the cash for his own vest pocket.
"You a good little girl?" he asks, slowly strolling around to Mitsuru's side of the table. He crouches down to get more on her level, his sunglasses catching the weak lighting in the room. "Good little girls don't put money down on fights. And they sure as hell don't go fighting in them." He rubs his square chin and hums to himself.
"I see plenty of money in here. Lots to be made," he comments, standing back up. "And you're a smart cookie for handing her over. Since the war, there's a lot of little people that don't know where they stand now. But you do."
John Crawley looks down at the girl bound up on the table. He grins. "But don't tell me what to do," he says, reaching forward to give the tied up girl a strong flick on the forehead with a curt, "Wake up, princess."
The thug looks like he -wants- to say something about that.
But the thing is that with men like John Crawley, you -don't- just speak your mind. You give advice, and they either take it, or they don't. Like when John takes the money out of the wallet? Every single man -winces- at the money going away. But you don't complain. You just let it happen. That's the privilege of being a Syndicate representative. You just go along. You just let him walk over, and poke the teenager.
And it's like a landmine.
Eyes snap open, teeth grit, and silver energy cascades. Mitsuru -was- pretending, and she was looking for the next chance. Her face was... less swollen than before. But in a moment, her eyes lock on to the American who hit her. And for that moment, everything in Mitsuru's power was focused dead on at him. Fight him, fight for her own life. And with that, she lunges.
Mitsuru falls over, chair and all.
She still makes sure to fall in John's general direction, though.
Mitsuru struggles in the chair, as the goons look at their boss. The ringleader rubs his hands together. "Okay, yeah, yeah, okay, so how are we doing this then? Are we- are we running this? Are you running this, and you give us a finders fee... you're the professional here, we are just looking to do it the right way!" The ringleader and thugs loom over Mitsuru. She bites down -harder- on her gag, staring daggers all around. And then, the one thug says it.
"You know, shouldn't we have blindfolded her instead of gagged her?"
A man like John Crawley doesn't take advice from thugs. He trained soldiers. He beat strength into them. He made them learn discipline. He would make any speak-out-of-line thug learn just as quickly to not question the Mad Dog of the Marines. He will flick the forehead of any little Japanese girl he damn well feels like. And if he happens to take girl's flopping headbutt into his gut for that flick then so damn well be it.
His glasses askewed by the falling Mitsuru and the suddenness of having her thump against him and then to the floor has John Crawley scrambling for his dignity. "Got some balls of steel on you, don't you, little girl?" he asks, pushing his glasses back to normal.
But business takes control of the situation. Crawley tugs at his vest and inclines his head to look at the ringleader. "I am the pro here," he reminds the two. "And the right way to do it is my way. The Syndicate'll handle all this. You just need to bring her to where I tell you and then forget you had anything to do with this and you'll get a cut."
He looks down at the girl on the floor and gives her head a tap with his boot. "Take the gag off. I wanna see what this spitfire's got to say."
The men look to one another, nervously.
John Crawley had a moment of lost composure. Maybe there was a moment of weakness. Maybe there wasn't. But as MItsuru hits the floor, the ringleader looks to the quiet thug. The quiet thug, looks to the mouthy injured one. And then, the injured one sighs, and begins to position himself right over her. He very, very carefully unties the gag from behind, putting a foot on Mitsuru to hold her fast. "Now don't you bite me again you stupid bi-"
And promptly howls, as he gets bit again.
The thug staggers back, grabbing his gauzed fingers as a fresh rush of blood comes. Mitsuru, spitting as she is free, starts yelling furiously. "You gosh darn stupid jerk holes I am going to pummel every single one of you stupid adults don't you know who I am? You think I have balls!? I am going to beat y-your b-balls so hard that you are going to cry! You and your stupid sunglasses! You stupid stupid idiots! You buffoons! You-"
She is interrupted, as the goon actually gives her a kick.
"-STUPID STUPID STUPID!" She sputters out, as the injured goon is restrained by his two companions. The teenager gives a moan of pain, as she writhes. The ringleader stares his injured companion right in the eye. "She's not our problem now! What are you doing?!" The thug fumes, shouting back, as the trio seem to almost -forget- about John Crawley. "She's my problem, she bit me twice, and you guys aren't even thinking through- I don't think- I mean-" And he gives a pained stare at John Crawley. "It- this didn't happen with the Akatsuki!"
Mitsuru, for her purposes, just gives a stunned, hacking cough, struggling to get the wind back in her.
That moment of weakness is past. John Crawley doesn't need to devote much attention to it. Not when he's laughing at the stupid thug finding a way to get bitten again. And he just keeps laughing while Mitsuru chews everyone out. The kick, that's just more reason to laugh and laugh and laugh like a boorish American. The little spitfire was showing herself to be a hell of a struggle. And it's funny when stupid pukes bleed.
His laughter cuts short when he hears that word. 'Akatsuki'. Somewhere in the distance, the faint sound of an jet engine screams and the heat in the air builds around the American.
A bolt of napalm orange heat sears the air, cuts across the brow of the goon with a mouth bigger than he can handle, and blasts into the wall with magmatic intensity. "The Akatsuki are dead," he growls, turning slowly to face the thug. "They lost the war, boy. Just like you all lost the big one. But it's okay, just like before you got someone coming in to show you all how it's done."
His boots sound off on the floor as he approaches where Mitsuru lay. There he crouches and gets a little closer, but still out of teeth range. "Well, well, well, little lady you got some spunk," he tells her. "But you want to know how much I give two fat rat asses about you biting that guy?"
He snaps, the Mad Dog showing what he is, a searing blast of chi rockets from a sudden, turning fist and it barrels straight for the heart of the twice-bitten thug.
"That's not what I hea-"
The thug's dim thoughts are interrupted, as the slash of energy comes out. The thug is staggered, unsure of what he should be doing. The other two stand back, knowing that their trio was about to be a duo. And when the blast comes, the goon is nearly sent -through- the walls of the restaurant, collapsing into a heat. The ringleader looks in slack jaw. "We'll- we don't need him." He stammers out, drinking an empty glass nervously. The quiet thug looks in disgust, as he goes to do what he can for the injured one. Mitsuru, however, had John's attention. And looking at the show of power, she had only one thing to say.
"You think you scare me?"
Mitsuru scowls up at the ex-marine, face scrunched up. AS the anger boiled up, she almost seemed to get her wind surging back. "You think you are hot p-poop that you don't give two rat butts about anything? I beat up a champion boxer, you don't think I can fight you? I don't even need dadd- my old man to save me. You don't even n-n-need to tell him anything! Once I feel better, I'm going to bust out of these ropes, and smack all of you around. I'm not going to let some... some... -American- push me around." Mitsuru writhes a bit, wincing as she flexes. She wasn't ready to bust out just yet. Instead, she throws out a passing shot.
"I bet those are prescription sunglasses too!"
A searing satisfaction in the aftermath of the blast. John Crawley's strained smile looks a grimace of dark pleasure in the suffering of the second-rate stooge. The smoke rises from his fist and John Crawley takes a deep inhalation of the air in the aftermath of "battle". "Love that smell," he says, chuckling to himself. "Victory."
He runs his tongue over his bottom teeth and looks down to the girl still on the ground. "You wanna be my victim?" he asks, "Wanna fight me? Go right ahead. Oh wait, you can't." He laughs and slaps his knee before looking around at the other thugs, and their ringleader. "Hey, you, think of it this way, all of your boys make a bigger cut now that that punk is decommissioned. Just get this kid into a ride and bring her to a Syndicate safehouse. Not this rinkydink takeout joint."
He paces back and forth, turning to lean down again toward Mitsuru. "I am not just some American, kiddo, I'm a God's Damned Marine. I will storm you like Iwo Jima you try anything." He takes off his sunglasses, the cold distance in his eye wide and wild. "You look like you're getting ready to fight. C'mon, little lady."
The glasses go back on and he stands up. "I'd let you know that little girls that fight don't get girlfriends, but, looking at you I don't think you're in that kinda market, are you?" he taunts, goading her. He wants to see this get wild. And if it tears up these goons in the process, ah well, that just means less finders fee to pay out.
Everything was starting to slip.
The ringleader just wanted money. Easy money. And the SYndicate was supposed to be easy money. But John Crawley made it clear that the Syndicate was going to decide just how easy it was going to be. And as the American exchanges with the Teen, the ringleader looks warily at Mitsuru, and then at John. "Uh, which safehouse? The only one, uh, the only one we know of is that... club. And they have a strict rule about what kind of girls you can bring in- really strict rule, no kids." He was rubbing his fingertip nervously, as his quiet henchman was hoisting up the mouthy thug over his shoulder, trying to ease him on his feet-
Mitsuru snarls out, writhing more. "I'm not some schoolgirl lesbian! You think I am some soft stuffed animal for some stupid Seijyun High princess?!" Mitsuru's struggling was getting worse. "You think I'm scared of some -soldier?- Y-you're"
And something shifts.
The bindings seem to be getting weaker. Some fire feels inside Mitsuru. Wisdom? Insight? Understanding? Something -clicks- in her head. ANd she keeps talking, keeping the fire hot. "You probably quit before it got real dangerous! Real soldiers die for their country! Cowards quit and join gangs and stuff! You're just some- you're just some poseur!" Mitsuru sprays out, as she -bursts- the ropes. "You're just pretending to be cool!" Mitsuru doesn't quite get herself up into a stand. But the quiet thug looks wide-eyed at the ringleader. And the ringleader himself?
Stares wide-eyed at John Crawley, trying to figure out the next move.
The Syndicate had plenty of easy money. The easy profit was always in taking advantage of the stupid and the weak. For all his apparent boorish madness, there was a method to John Crawley's approach to things. He was a gang barely capable of holding onto a teenage girl with a PG-rated vocabulary. He saw a group of weaklings that had to jump on someone that was already beaten to hell and back just to barely hand them over. These pukes weren't worth the table scraps they'd get from the Syndicate.
His goading the girl was half to prove that this gang couldn't pass muster. The other half was simply because John Crawley wanted a fight. "You wanna get dangerous, babe? Then lets get dangerous," he tells her, head inclined and glasses reflecting the uncertainty of the room that stands at odds with the total certainty of John Crawley.
He knows where this is headed, and it's all headed for a fun time. He's already lifting his fists, close in and combat ready by the time Mitsuru is up on her feet. "Government took my wings all because I took a missile to the eye. No way a man can live like that," he explains. "No man gets between me and the sky."
He pounds his fists together and waves a beckoning hand toward Mitsuru. "We're in a restaurant, little lady, after I beat your ass, why don't you promise to show me how you cook?"
COMBATSYS: John Crawley has started a fight here.
John Crawley 0/-------/-------|
The 'gang' didn't know what to do, other than stay out of the way at this point.
Huddling in the corner now, they clear the way as Mitsuru finds the strength to break out, to rise up. If she was smart, she might have tried to run for it. Call for help. After all, that's what she was supposed to do. She was a kidnapped victim. But the thought doesn't even cross her mind, as she rises up. As the man lifts her fist, Mitsuru balls up her own hands into the same. She eases up on her feet; another adult to fight. Ex-Marine. She was hurt. She wasn't unsteady. But as the black-haired teenager steadies on both legs, the words come out.
'Why don't you promise to show me how you cook'
Mitsuru doesn't even think past that. There is a snarl from somewhere deep in her throat, as she launches a full forced straight punch from the right, throwing her whole force into it, right for the man's jaw. She was bruised, battered, and tired from a full boxing match with a middle-weight champ. But there was just something that bit hard in her. Show him how she cooks. Show him how she cooks. The afterglow of each thought comes with a pair of follow up punches, shorter jabs from the left and right, aiming right for the center of mass.
She can't even muster words at this point over that.
COMBATSYS: Mitsuru has joined the fight here.
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John Crawley 0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0 Mitsuru
COMBATSYS: John Crawley blocks Mitsuru's Strong Punch.
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John Crawley 0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0 Mitsuru
No one was going to run. No one was going to haul ass and tactical retreat. And no one would call out for any help. Not that any could come quick enough. Crawley would put this girl down, drag her off to his hanger, and pocket whatever cash he could take for himself. Cut out the middle-man in all this fuss. It was all a perfectly rational plan, because if this girl could take these locals, then he didn't need them around anyways.
His arms held up, he steps back with each thumping blow. Close enough in combat for Mitsuru to see herself reflected in the lenses of his glasses, the blows fall heavy on his tightly couched defense. Short grunts, half bracing, half excited, over the burst of force coming from this kid.
"Woo!" he cries out before he turns up the heat to bring the offense to Mitsuru. He does so much in the way she came to him; heavy haymaker blows that piston right and left with each rolling step toward the girl. A striking combination to drill pressure on her face and neck. "Keep that guard up, soldier," he calls out with mockery in his voice.
COMBATSYS: John Crawley successfully hits Mitsuru with Fierce Punch.
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John Crawley 0/-------/------=|====---\-------\0 Mitsuru
The worst part, was that the ringleader knew that John was absolutely right.
The Syndicate Man didn't even have to say it out loud. The ringleader could see the whole thing getting out of control. He was afraid of this. He was afraid that the Syndicate would just cut him out. But the problem was, he had -no- control over this. At best, Mitsuru would be their problem. The Ring Leader didn't want to fight MItsuru. And neither did his thug. But Mitsuru?
Mitsuru wanted to fight.
Mitsuru's spirit was overflowing now, as silver energy was building slowly. She was injured already, but as she hurls out those staggering blows, she has enough mind to recenter herself. Already, her footing felt solid. Her temper was flaring. But there was a small reality she had to contend with.
She was fighting an ex-marine.
The counter-attack comes fast and furious. Mitsuru struggles to throw up a guard; but she's never figured out a guard in all her fights. She could block -one- punch, and she does. But all that does is bring her two limbs over, exposing her to a straight barrage as he comes hammering in. She takes the remaining blows to the face, only forcing minor glances on impact as she refuses to stagger back. She refuses to give John space, as she leans forward. She takes an extra hit for the effort.
But it was enough to jostle her words from her throat.
"I'm no -soldier!-" Mitsuru sputters out, as she turns hard after the final sock to an already pre-bruised face. She slams in a hard right cross, to force space. "And you aren't either. Missile to your eye? I've nev- I've never heard anything so -stupid!-" Should it connect even a bit, she would follow up with a swift flailing of the left to hook across John's gut, and promptly lift him up and over to slam him on the table. "You're a liar and a fake! You're a- You're a phoney!"
COMBATSYS: John Crawley endures Mitsuru's Thunder God Fist.
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John Crawley 0/-------/----===|====---\-------\0 Mitsuru
Now it was a fight! Let the wimps see what was beyond them. Let them cower and let them give up their tribute. It was one thing to beat down some unruly upstart civilians, or to trash their local protector ninja. It was another thing to put those gangland pukes in their places. They might start to get ideas about the old ways. They might start to give some help to whatever scraps were left of the Akatsuki. They might get the wrong ideas.
So that's why once in a while you needed to give them a little shock and awe.
The close in fighting, the feel of flesh to bone. Striking hard on a kid probably half his age. He doesn't care. She may as well be another recruit to break under his training regimen. Show them that they can't just ignore the power of hand-to-hand combat. But the girl denies him, calls him a phony. She just doubts everything around her
"You wanna know how real it gets, babe?" he asks, tucking into the blow. He closes in, rolling with the lift, his body slams on the table and the whole thing comes cracking down, scattering gangland detritus to the ground.
Down, he laughs and somewhere in the distance, the wind up of turbines announces the hazy air wavering of chi power building. "I'm gonna rain hell on you, child!" he laughs and bursts up toward Mitsuru. A kick upwards with enough force to bounce off a wall, still near attached to Mitsuru, as his fists glow with heated power to smash the girl bodily against the ground.
COMBATSYS: John Crawley dazes Mitsuru with Napalm Drop!
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John Crawley 0/-------/---====|=======\-------\0 Mitsuru
Mitsuru didn't even think she was fighting for her life.
She was just fighting. There was a... detatchment from the danger she was in. An unreality. She thought she was actually being a superior fighter as she lifts up the ex-marine, and slams him down. She doubted everything around her. Always doubting. Because everything was so fake to her. And yet, before she can even recover, John Crawley was exploding straight up. The kick actually connects as she gets her footing, blowing past any defense she can muster. She rebounds off the wall, the long teenager bouncing back in time for a fist to smash her straight into the debris of tables, chairs, and refuse.
ANd hell is rained.
The slam comes, and everything was swimming. She was tougher than this, she thought. But not really. Never, really. Spirit could carry a lot of things, but the combination, the relentless pacing. Mitsuru can't see, she can't think straight. She can't muster anything, any shape as the roar of the turbines echos in her ears, in her mind. She sees shapes. She hears thoughts. Was she helpless? Where were the soldiers. Were there Gears hammering down the bunker doors. Why were there Gears hammering down the doors? Why were there Gears? Where was Daddy? Where was Mommy? Where was everyone? Where were the soldiers? Where were the soldiers? The power builds up inside, as the chi flashes.
And she fires.
The arm flails out, it might even look like a tantrum before an attack. Hurling out a blast of energy point blank, she unleashes a blast of energy. In comparison to John, it was unrefined, unshaped. She actually babbles out, mindlessly. Rage? Spirit? She wasn't afraid anymore. Never afraid anymore. And yet, the shadow of fear comes out from the heart, in a shape that maybe John Crawley had seen before. A trauma, surfacing.
"THEY'VE LEFT US!? WHERE ARE THEY!?!"
She throws out another blast, another. She was throwing them wildly, blindly. Panic? Pressure? Or something, some attack to get her to rise up. She was blinded. But she was forcing into a stand, a crouch- something. A stray blast goes so wide, that the gang scatters as it erupts into a wall. With both in a clinch, it was not hard to get around the room. THey still couldn't escape. But as the quiet thug grunts as he carries his partner along. The ringleader?
Actually curls up in a ball, trying to hide behind nothing.
COMBATSYS: John Crawley overcomes Flash War Dance from Mitsuru with Mega Smash EX.
-* CRITICAL HIT! *-
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John Crawley 0/-------/---====|=======\-------\0 Mitsuru
In war, every fight is life or death.
John Crawley was a soldier without a war. Stuck training snot-nosed recruits. His violent tendencies and his skill gave him the name Mad Dog, and Killing Machine. Time and again he was willing and able to show that he had no compunction about ending his enemies. And they used him to train. He was better for them to be a fake enemy than to be the hero he was. The man bad enough to destroy all of America's enemies.
They turned on him, so he turned to the Syndicate. His old friend, the notorious Mr. Big, getting the word in edgewise. Now he had enemies. He had a war to fight. And today, he was warring against a scared little girl. But he warred all the same.
The world explodes around him. Shrapnel flies left and right. The light of the blasts shines off his sunglasses. And all John Crawley does is lick his lips in anticipation. To hell with the thugs, let their world be brought down. This was war, and they were best remembered as rank and file casualties.
The ex-marine steps forward, wading into the oncoming fire. He reels his arms back, air warps around his fists, searing heat builds. A two fisted punch straight for the oncoming flares of chi, the air ripples and heats as he blasts a fiery ball of chi straight through Mitsuru's traumatic rage.
"No one's coming for you. Just you and me!"
COMBATSYS: John Crawley successfully hits Mitsuru with Mega Smash EX.
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John Crawley 0/-------/-======|=======\==-----\1 Mitsuru
Just you and me.
The blast connects the moment she rises up, catching her squarely in her chest. She gasps, as she is fired straight back into the wall again. This time, the plaster collapses, and she goes through, slamming into the hallway between restrooms. Now, there was a problem for the rest of the building. Witnesses flee the scene, knowing seeing things means trouble. Even the wait staff ducks out, as Mitsuru writhes on the ground, whimpering. The whimpers build into a snarl again, as she rises up, leaning her back hard against the impacted wall.
At the very least, she was shocked out of her nightmare.
"Shut up! SHUT UP! Soldiers are worthless, and so are you! Soldiers run away from danger. How many times did you run away from the danger zone? How many times!?" Mitsuru babbles out wildly, as the gang stares through the hole in the wall, mouths agape. Mitsuru tightens her fists, tensing up hard as she steadies her feet. She was breathing hard. Her.. her entire body hurt. Even the bandages binding her body was getting torn up; her jacket was falling apart. She wasn't wearing shoes anymore, sandals. But she refused to back down. Hands balled into fists, chi energy cascades over her body as focuses her spirit.
"Who the heck do you think you are!?"
COMBATSYS: Mitsuru gathers her will.
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John Crawley 0/-------/-======|=======\====---\1 Mitsuru
Gone in the blastwave. Send the panicked crowd to scatter. Tear it all down. John Crawley sends a girl hurtling through walls and he stalks afterward, ready and willing to press the attack. The air ripples with the heat of conflict and the rage of the battle. John Crawley lives for it.
"Everyone here's a bunch of pansy asses," he comments. "You just gonna keep flapping your gums like some chick?" he calls out to Mitsuru.
Standing his ground, he punches his fists together. Distant cries of oncoming jet engines begin to scream a turbine scream. The air around the man wavers and ripples like asphault on a summer's day. John Crawley takes up a ready position opposite the battered and babbling Mitsuru. "You want me, babe? You think it's time to light it up?"
He looks over his sunglasses, madcap eyes stare for Mitsuru. "C'mon then, let's push it to the limit."
COMBATSYS: John Crawley gathers his will.
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John Crawley 1/-----==/=======|=======\====---\1 Mitsuru
Like some chick.
Mitsuru actually puffs up. She was bruised, battered, and swollen. But she -hated- that this adult, who was in fact kidnapping her, was treating her with so little respect. In a sense, he -was- treating her with respect. Treating her like a real fighter. But Mitsuru couldn't see that. She could just hear the words, and was blind to the actions. Mitsuru trembles in rage.
And finally, she explodes.
"I'm NOT a SEIJYUN HIGH PRINCESS!" Mitsuru shrieks, as she throws herself through the gap. Hurling in a single, straight punch like before, she drives hard in. There, she begins to unleash a staggering barrage of punches, growling her stolen lines. "ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA!" She snarls, as her hammering fists burn brighter and brighter with pure chi energy. Soon, the punches collapse into wild slashes, as her stance collapses. She begins unleashing wild, barbaric silver slashes, before breaking the assault with single uppercut to launch the ex-marine in the air.
COMBATSYS: John Crawley just-defends Mitsuru's The Path Of The Raging Demon!
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John Crawley 1/-----==/=======|-------\-------\0 Mitsuru
This little girl was putting more fight to John Crawley than most punks lately. Even if it wasn't the toughest fight he's had. The goddamn pretty boy Cage still had him sore over that one. But this girl was no Johnny Cage and she sure as hell wasn't Mr. Big or the top of the Syndicate food chain. She was just some chump kid who could be worth a fair whack of money if her daddy could be coerced to part with it.
"You won't be after I'm done with you," John Crawley retorts, standing firm as he waits for her assault. The cry of war and the fierce barrage comes for Crawley. But he's ready. He's an Ex-Marine training instructor, damn it! He's ready for a kid's fighting class.
Left, right, a knee block, a fiery fist of chi dispersing as John Crawley meets Mitsuru knuckle for knuckle. Each clash of fists showers in sparks of energy. The air wavers around Crawley, the silver light burns like phosphorous.
Punch for punch trades in for kicks when Crawley spots his opening. A forward surge, bodying the girl to give him the right room needed for a torpedoing kick, and after that a stunning barrage of follow up snap and roundhouse combination for some military grade footwork.
"How much'll your daddy pay to get his princess back?" he asks, "After I beat the pretty out of you."
COMBATSYS: Mitsuru blocks John Crawley's Overdrive Kick EX.
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John Crawley 1/------=/=======|=------\-------\0 Mitsuru
Mitsuru, to this point, still assumed that all lack of talent could be compensated by the burning spirit. When John Crawley masterfully meets her offense with a flawless defense, the final blow comes, there is -nothing-. The silver energy around her still lingers, giving her presence. But the immediate bodycheck followed by a kick launches her back out, back down the hall, towards the main interior dining space. SHe was stunned, body was now actually bleeding from the kicks and broken bruises. THe words hurt. But she was still mad, and the anger was her fuel.
It was the only fuel left.
"You are all morons!" Mitsuru gasps aloud, still finding the strength to rise back up as her frustrations vent. "He -doesn't- care. He'll- he'll treat this all as a learning experience. An -education!- Whatever you do to me, he'll just hope that I'll learn my lesson! That's what this all is, isn't it? He's already paid you to -kidnap me- so I'll be scared straight, huh? You think I buy that some jerk that looks like Tom Cruise in sunglasses just happens to be an ex-marine gangster for the Southtown Syndicate? This is all a hoax! This is all because Daddy wants me to admit he's right!" Energy surges in her fists, as she bellows out.
"WELL I WON'T!"
"You dumb... dumb!" She belts out as she fires forward. Both hands up, she lunges, attempting to grab the man by his shirt, and basically just lift him up. There wasn't finesse, it was just power; she wanted to heave him up and hurl him out into the rest of the restaurant; out on the main floor. She hated the closed spaces. She wanted out.
She wanted out.
COMBATSYS: John Crawley endures Mitsuru's Medium Throw.
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John Crawley 1/----===/=======|==-----\-------\0 Mitsuru
Burning spirit met with an equal force. A clash that saw John Crawley march out the other side with little more than some bloodied knuckles. He hadn't opened the girl up quite enough, not yet. He could tell there was still fight in her yet and he would drag every bit of that out of her doing more kicking and screaming than she already was.
"Maybe it'll teach your daddy not to let his baby girl out where she don't belong," he says, stalking, moving and baiting for his chance to strike. "Maybe he paid these chumps to pick you up from some show, but darling, take a look around you and do you really think I give a shit what they were after?"
He skip steps toward the girl, bracing against her when she pushes against him. And he balls up when he rolls backward out of the back room and into the floor of the main space. On his back, he slides until he can roll up and over his shoulder to get back to his boots. There, he gives to quick pumps of his arms to shake off the tucking roll.
"That's all you got? C'mon. I'm just getting started!" he calls out a challenge and plants his feet. The air pulses around him, the screaming jets cry. With the first fist, it's a small fireball of chi that shoots off and blasts against the floor. The second is more aimed. Then comes the third. Then the forth. More and more an artillery barrage of chi punches that sear the air and walls and rain hellfire down upon Mitsuru.
COMBATSYS: John Crawley successfully hits Mitsuru with Atomic Smash.
- Power hit! -
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John Crawley 0/-------/-------|>>>>>>>\-------\1 Mitsuru
'Maybe it'll teach your daddy not to let his baby girl out where she don't belong'
Mitsuru feels something change inside her, as she finishes her toss. Something shifts, something... collapses. A warmth comes over her, as something inside her falls down. Maybe it'll teach daddy not to let his baby girl out, where she doesn't belong. She didn't belong in Seijyun High. She didn't belong in Gedo High either. She didn't belong in a bunker. Maybe all she belonged was in her room at home, where she could play all day and always have Daddy and Mommy there to love her and never leave her alone. Grownups are left alone. But baby girls never have to be left alone. Something cracks.
And Mitsuru's guard doesn't snap back together, when the barrage comes.
The blasts pierce the silvery aura around Mitsuru, blasting her into a maddening spiral. She tumbles in the air, her clothing burning and smoking. Her outfit was rags now; her bandages bleeding through and torn. Her designer pants and jacket was ruined. Her hat remained on her head, unaffected. Mitsuru collapses on the ground, moaning in pain as she takes the finishining hellfire full forced. Unguarded, unprotected. All in her head, screaming. 'Maybe it'll teach your daddy not to let his baby girl out where she don't belong'
And Mitsuru rises again.
She is slow at first. It's hard not to be slow, when your body is slowly becoming a single second degree burn. But teeth gritted, Mitsuru lurches back up into a stand. "I'm going to-" She growls, sputtering. "There will be no mercy. I am going to k-kill you!" She seethes, heavy, slow steps coming back forward. "I'm going to kill you!" She escalates, building into a manic frenzy. Her steps come faster and faster, and she leaps into the air. "I'm going to kill you!" Comes the decisive statement, as she -rockets- down with a diving kick, attempting to spike her heel right into the ex-marine, hitting with cratering impact. Something was flooding inside her. But what was confusing her was the spirit behind her words. She wasn't angry.
She didn't know what she felt right now, at all.
COMBATSYS: John Crawley blocks Mitsuru's Heaven And Earth.
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John Crawley 0/-------/-----==|>>>>>>>\>------\1 Mitsuru
At no point was John Crawley trying to train Mitsuru. He had no intent to teach lessons or to open Mitsuru up to realizations about herself. Not a moment since he arrived did he have any intent other than to find a fight and to tilt himself toward making some money off a rich kid. But no plan survives first contact with the enemy. In it's place, he ended up rooting out some worthless low rent potential Akatsuki supporters that needed culling and an angry rich girl that's given him a brawl.
But maybe, just maybe, down in the ex-soldier there still exists the fight trainer that he once was. Not that he was ever good at anything but mauling recruits, but he might still be in there somewhere. Because he just smiles with a sense of excitement when it seems that Mitsuru has been pushed past her breaking point.
"Now you're talking, sweetcheeks," He says, mouth bent in a cocksure grin when he holds his ground. The sharp kick weighs against him, his boots dig for purchase against the floor of the club. He's seen kicks like that before. He's got moves like that himself. So he shakes out the beginnings of the stings his arms and legs, turns, and kicksteps up off a counter to come spinning down with his heel crashing for Mitsuru's dome. A high flying kick paid back in returns.
COMBATSYS: Mitsuru breaks through Spiral Leg Bomber from John Crawley with Rumbling Death Spiral EX!
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John Crawley 1/------=/=======|=======\-------\1 Mitsuru
Mitsuru couldn't self discover.
Mitsuru craters hard, she has the momentum, and she has the rage. But almost in perfect tandem, the Ex-Marine was pivoting, bringing his leg up high as he takes to the air. Mitsuru's instincts surge, as she locks her eyes on the man. Silver energy surges, as -she- begins to turn, bringing her own leg around for a roundhouse.
She takes the heel full on, smashing right into her head. She almost blacks out. But she doesn't. She refuses, as she rises up, bringing her -own- leg around to intercept. No escape now.
She fires up with a hurricane kick, spinning as she brings a second hurricane kick, and then, a third.
Chaining the kicking barrage, the third comes down into a second diving kick, cratering the ex-marine to the ground. There, the final kick finds it's home: a foot hard on the marine's neck.
Mitsuru nearly falls over, blood trickling from her scalp. She catches herself, tightening her heel on John's throat.
"Now -apologize-, peasant!"
When you live on the razor's edge, you got to worry about getting cut. Pushing the girl to her limits has brought out the snarling beast in her and brought out the fight that the Mad Dog of the Marine Corps needed. The kick crushes hard. He's caught up in the hurricane. Caught in a tailspin he goes right round and around. But he knows he tagged her, he knows she's gotta be down for the count. He knows.
He soars through the air, crashes through a table, plates and wares scatter up into the air and come crashing down, further ruining and already pretty well gone floor plan. There he lay, groaning a long and low deep grunt of pain and surprise. His glasses are off, lost somewhere to the weight of his own body crashing down. "Sonofabitch," he spits the words, rolling back onto his shoulders and kicking up to his feet.
When he lands, he stumbles forward. That was one hell of a kick. Something impressive. No wonder the pissants couldn't handle her. John Crawley pumps his fists, reloads the guns, and finds himself looking at Mitsuru without the sunglasses on.
"Your daddy's gonna have to pay for a new pair of shades there, babe," he tells her. "And they ain't cheap."
He coughs, hacking, his throat throbbing from the kick. She may not have any shoes on, but she can put weight to her feet. No matter, he was locked on target. With both hands pulling back, they each gain a heated, hazy glow of a burning sunset. When he brings both hands together in a two-fisted punch, the fiery blast hurtles toward Mitsuru. "Light 'er up!"
COMBATSYS: John Crawley successfully hits Mitsuru with Mega Smasher.
-* CRITICAL HIT! *-
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John Crawley 0/-------/------=|=======\=======\1 Mitsuru
It was just like she imagined the rough life in the streets would be.
Fighting off her captors. Bashing through a dirty diner. Impressing some hotshot American gangster by kicking his glasses apart. When John Crawley pops back up, Mitsuru's haze is broken by a grin. She -feels- like she can handle anything that John could throw out now. Yes, the burns were crawling over her skin now; everything hurt to move, to breath. Even looking at John hurt, with the bruises and burns building wordless injuries more and more. But he rises up, and everything in Mitsuru was ready to slam him down.
Still, she wasn't ready when he explodes back.
The blast of chi was precise and powerful. Mitsuru was off-balanced, and exposed. She had no guard. But she slammed her limbs uselessly into the fire. Swinging wildly, she is easily blasted back. The fires consume her frame; the burns are magnified in the agony. Sailing through the air, she just thinks as she launched to the front. She will break into a tumble, and make her dramatic comeback. She flies away to the bronze and stone dragon statue in the front, ready to great customers. The real Sleeping Dragon. Rolling in the air, she makes her plan to rebound off, or smash through, and from the rubble and the debris, to rise up and make her true last stand.
She stops, short.
Mitsuru doesn't quite understand why she stopped short. She expected that she was going to break through the statue, to smash through them. She doesn't land, either. Oh, her feet felt like they were on the ground. But the angle was wrong. Her legs felt like jelly, she couldn't stand on them. But something was supporting her... in the center? Why was her body supporting her. She looks at the Ex-Marine dimly, her hand flailing around before touching her chest, touching the pressure that was keeping her up.
Touching the tip of the bronze horn.
Mitsuru's breathing tries to go faster. But breathing was very, very hard now. Too hard. Mitsuru tries to move, but moving required more air. She was on the statue. It was stronger than her. And all it took was the sharp bit. The front of her body was getting very warm, very wet. Drip, drip, drip coming down below. Mitsuru looks around, her eyes darting. It didn't hurt, except her lungs. Nothing hurt. She was invincible, right? Nothing like this could happen. But it did. It is happening. The facade is gone. She opens her mouth, as terror finally erupts over her face. A brief, short scream, gasping with the last bit in her lung, as the total awareness of what is reality pours over her.
Before silence comes, with bleeding unconsciousness.
"Oh shit! Oh shit! She's dead!" Comes the cry of the ringleader, who stares at Mitsuru. He circles around with his two thug, running out the front door. "I'm not going to be stuck with a young rich -corpse- here! You keep her!" Was the parting shot, as they flee the scene." Mitsuru was unconscious. Her breathing was ragged, and coming shorter and shorter as blood comes from her mouth. She wasn't dead, despite what the ringleader said.
But the easy money may have gotten more complicated.
COMBATSYS: Mitsuru takes no action.
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John Crawley 0/-------/------=|
COMBATSYS: Mitsuru can no longer fight.
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John Crawley 0/-------/------=|
Easy money. Come down to pick up a little girl. Hold the little girl until she can be passed off to the Syndicate to do all the work. Feel big without having to lift a finger. And now they were running scared, scattered by the reality of violence.
John Crawley wiped blood from his lip and stepped over a broken table. Each breath came hard and labored, but he still had more than enough to keep on trucking if those low-rent goons thought it better to fight than flee. But they were smart enough to leave this to the Syndicate. "Wimps," he spits in the wake of the fleeing Ringleader. "All a bunch of wimps."
He reaches Mitsuru while his hand digs into his vest pockets for an old, sturdy cellphone. "You would've beaten the hell out of these chumps," he mutters, "But that ain't saying much." He heavily taps out a number on the phone and turns around from Mitsuru, surveying the wreckage as he waits calmly on the phone.
John Crawley's a man with no compunction over death. "Mad Dog", "Killing Machine", epithets both that he wore with pride and clarity. If he had killed the kid? No bother. But she'd make it, he could tell. Just like when training the Corps, a little internal injury or a couple broken bones just weeded out the weak.
"Hey, this is Crawley," he says when the voice on the other end of the line answers. "I've got the girl. Send someone to come grab us. She needs some stitching up cause she got feisty." He looks back over his shoulder to the bleeding and the rich. "Sleeping Dragon. Some shithole near Chinatown." He hangs up the phone and buries it back into the vest pocket.
Once more, stepping over the broken and the battered diner trash, he puts his hands on his hips. The scorched and burnt, the battered and bashed, the bleeding and the captive all sit around him. Destruction, and disaster, and all of it smelled like one thing and one thing only.
COMBATSYS: John Crawley has ended the fight here.
Log created on 10:50:25 12/26/2019 by Mitsuru, and last modified on 10:48:25 12/30/2019.