Springtide Rosalia 2021 - Rosalia #7) Fast Track to Gehenna

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Description: Rachel's musings while slouched in a chair, cheek in hand: "Well... that is unexpectedly unfortunate. It seems that altruist's friend wandered onto the Typhon Express. Even if the fiery kitty boards the train, it isn't as if The Conductor will permit either of them to disembark. He is always so jealous of his passengers. Still, with perhaps a little reinforcement, it might be possible to 'convince' him otherwise. The alternative is much too unpleasant to consider.

Romania, around the mountain peak known as Papusa- Unbenownst to the local populous, a girl had recently gone missing here. A japanese girl that loved the outdoors, and a girl that a certain Daisuke Kubo had been searching for. An elderly neighbour had mentioned it to him, the poor old woman lost her granddaughter.

In his search, the schoolboy would eventually stumble upon a sleepy train-station in the middle of the mountains. Everything about this place felt /weird/. It just did not make a lot of sense, none of it did. It was a single platform of aged grey concrete. A single rail going down the mountain, assumedly to the closest larger city- Petrosani.

But it is weird to have a train station without accompanying town or village. This place seemingly existed as it's own entity- Perhaps just a way to give hikers an easy way up or down half of the massive mountaintop.

In any case, the place was entirely devoid of people. And only a single, long, dark-green train sat on the station. It was a rusty and old locomotive- yet one with a fair bit of rustic charm. Apart from that, only one other thing would stand out.

On a lonely bench in front of a train, sits a large, purple outdoor backpack. A large, purple backpack...

...that matched the description that was offered to the boy. Yet, there is no missing girl to be seen anywhere.

Romania might not exactly be considered a very popular vacation spot. After the loss of one teenager going off to an overseas hiking trip, it may well end up being even less popular like this.

And skipping school to go overseas and chasing after the very same lost teenager by your lonesome also definitely seems like something most people just... would not do.

But perhaps Daisuke Kubo's brain just doesn't quite work right.

The japanese teenager with *strikingly* red hair probably has stood out quite a bit through his trip. And even more so here in the middle of nowhere, dressed up in a tight-fitting leather jacket, dark-grey cargo pants and surplus military boots as he is... along with the dark-red scarf that really should probably be a bit too warm to wear during this time of the year.

He almost definitely wouldn't go unnoticed on a bizarre train platform practically in the middle of the wilderness, too. The redhead picks up the backpack from the bench and just... frowns at it, in silent thought. This could not get *any* weirder.

And there's not even anyone around for him to question about the backpack or it's potential owner. Just... the train. The weird train waiting to set off from the station...

"...This is such a terrible idea."

The bag is slung over one shoulder-- and bravely, stupidly, Daisuke makes for the train to board it. It didn't seem like there were any signs of people... *leaving* the station itself by foot, so this is the only lead left for him. A big, weird, creepy train. Surely nothing will go wrong, right?


And the moment Daisuke would have entered the carriage, the train would /jolt/ into movement, a uncomfortably fast acceleration that'd make sure Daisuke would think twice about jumping off. It speeds up, speeds up and...

The metal exterior starts to creak and crumple, the metal being molded- or transformed into a different shape. This carriage's interior would be noticed first- a sort of shimmering haze falls over it. Some illusion being dropped as the before cozy green seats vanish to reveal regal crimson, damaged seats- They looked old, very very old. What would once have been a bright red looks more of a washed-out pink. With large tears in the fabric, and holes in the rotten wood, it is more then obvious that this place had not been maintained for a long time.

The outside world is what would change next, the Romanian mountainscape vanishing into grey skies, and twisted, warped black mountainscapes as far as the eye could see. Peeking over the edge and looking downward would reveal that the rails are perched high above the rocky ground with long, metal poles.

The train shakes- this train shakes and twists a lot, looking as if it would fall off the high railings to plummet into the pitch-black rocks. Thankfully, it never does- Always just barely correcting and stabilizing itself.

While the exterior is difficult to see from inside, the once old-timey looking green locomotive had transformed into a black mass of jagged iron, points raising up from the roof. It has a sort of gothic victorian architecture to it, with windows and decorations on the sides that look like they come from a church, rather then anything else.


The sudden takeoff does in fact jolt Daisuke, and *hard*. To the point even that he even ends up getting nearly tossed off his feet, and his back to slamming against the back wall of the carriage.

"Ow, ow..." At least it isn't so bad that he doesn't manage to keep his feet underneath him after the fact, even if he is left to just wincing and leaning back against the wall for a moment or two to get his head back on straight.

...Though he might very well doubt his well-being and consider the possibility of having suffered a concussion after seeing the change the interior of the train carriage and the environment outside takes. Somehow he gets the feeling that would be a *much* more pleasant alternative than this actually being some very real things he's seeing with his eyes.

"... Maybe I shouldn't have come alone..."

The young man tugs at the scarf coiled about his neck, then, pulling it to cover up the lower half of his face. Masking himself doesn't really serve much of a purpose right now-- it's not like there's anyone here who would recognize him in any way or form. But-- it does help with his own confidence.

And a surge of confidence is just what he needs to push himself off the wall and brave stalking further down the carriage. Further down the train.

So why was Rachale here? The answer may surprise you!

It probably wouldn't, but it might.

Like so many fighters, Rachale got an invitation. And while she's not the sort to normally get fancy invitations, let alone actually respond to them, this one cost her nothing but a trip to an abandoned, run-down lot that was not very far from the place she was staying anyway.

Given that the lot was empty, she was not expecting to be picked up by a train of any sort. How had it even *gotten* there? Suspicions raised, Rachale had brandished her invitation and demanded answers.

And that had gotten her on board the train, escorted to a seat despite her demands and promptly ignored.

Or that's what she thinks of it, anyway. She hasn't seen anyone else - alive, dead, or otherwise - since she was brought to her spot. The invitation might be real but she was increasingly not thinking well of the transportation to it. The train hadn't stopped, either, which she was sure of - she'd been waiting for it.

Until now. It *had* stopped, and Rachale had gotten up, trying to find an exit. Forget the invitation; she'd take her chances with normal transportation on the way home. The jerk as the train started up again got her to swear and plant one hand on the suddenly-decrepit bench for balance, and that's probably when Daisuke sees her as he moves down the train: a brown-skinned, auburn-haired American in bike shorts, a laced top, a headband, and carrying a pair of doubled tonfas.

"What the hell was that?" Rachale demands of Daisuke. "What did you d? Who are you, anyway?" So maybe the mask was useful after all.


The red-head's bright green eyes are still left visible above the scarf used as a makeshift mask, and they're now slightly widened as they stare at the american with... er, unique weapons.

"What do you mean what did *I* do? I *just* got here!" The masked teenager huffs a bit and waves his hand dismissively while he sets his hand against one of the benches a few rows down from Rachale for supporting himself, feet still shaking a bit underneath him.

"... ANd I could ask the same from you, honestly. Who are you and what are you doing here?" Maybe he figures she might have *some* idea just based on the fact that she was here before him.

Rachale certainly has weapons. She points one at Daisuke when he speaks back to her.

"I," Rachale says scathingly, "have an invitation. I'm supposed to be here. Except this piece of junk doesn't make any god damned stops! The only time it did is when you got on." She's making a guess, but it's an educated guess; she didn't see or hear Daisuke before, she does now, presumably he got on at the last stop.

"And it didn't look like this before that, either. So - what did you do? You're lucky I'm not blaming you for - " She waves her hand at the rest of the train car, just as it jerks around a sharp turn again and she has to brace herself. "Anyway, spill. And take that mask off! I want to see your face when you talk to me."

Indeed, Rachale would have gotten to meet a short, gaunt man that would have escorted her to her seat, dressed in a navy-blue, weathered conductor's uniform. He only introduced himself as 'the Conductor'.

How appropriate.

Because this train seems to be deserted, except for that hunched-over and feeble-looking ticket puncher. And when he had passed by again to check on the woman, she vanished- And he had walked on, in a slight fit. He had walked on until he finally stumbled upon the two quarreling persons. The man looks downward, as he holds his hat- covering his face. Finally, he speaks out in a weak, trembly voice to adress his passengers.

"W-Welcome to.. to the Typhon express.. hee-hee."

He leans against the metal wall of this cabin to support himself, as he catches his breath. "P-Please, enjoy your stay until we.. arrive to our destination. *cough*" The man could only be described as sickly, his voice belongs to that of a middle-aged man, trembling and pained as it might be. "I- I would strongly arrive you to remain in your seats until arr-arrival.. yes."

The thus-far faceless man chuckles. "W-Well, just... look at you two little l-love birds. The- the Typhon Express is a perfect g-getaway for romantic couplings with our.. exquisite dining and travel experience.. I am sure your stay will be most pleasant.. D'ahaha."

"Uh..." Daisuke stares back at Rachale while she yells at him, blinking a few times akwardly. "...Wait, invitation? What do you mean... you were invited here? For what?"

He even takes a single step back away from her when the double-tonfa gets pointed at him, wincing. "Er... I'd rather not? L-look, I'm just here to--"

But then arrives... The Conductor.

Letting his conversation with Rachale drift off, Daisuke leans to the side to peek past her at the hunched-over man. "Typhon...?"

And he damn near sputters over what the creepy little man says. Suddenly he's extra glad for the fact that he's wearing a mask! "Wh-wha-...?! No! It ain't like that!" He protests with a rapid wave of his hand in front of himself. "We literally just ran into each other! L-look, anyway..."

Stepping up forward, he tugs the purple backpack over from his shoulder, holding it out as he moves to get past Rachale... unless she has some kind of protests to give about *that*. "I'm looking for someone. Did you see someone who had this bag get on?"

"Yeah, to an event. What, you weren't?" Rachale gives Daisuke a look-over. "Guess that makes sense, you don't really look like the type." Nor does she, of course, but at least she knows it. She hears footsteps behind her - slow-moving ones, not inherently threatening.

Rachale turns, slightly, to face the Conductor. "THERE you are!" Where was he before? Rachale doesn't know. Her eyes narrow at the demand to stay in her seat. "This place is a dump. I'll stand if I want to."

And then he laughs. Well, chuckles. Close enough. Rachale hates being laughed at, even though his read is completely wrong.

Rachale's frown turns into a scowl. "He's not my type. And that's it. I am done with this train, I am done with this Rosalia. Next time we get to a stop," she growls, "I am getting off and going home. Are we clear?" She takes a half a step forward, body language threatening - Rachale is a bully and while she does not have any particular desire to beat up an old man, she does not have any problem with him thinking that she's about to.


"You got on to give someone their bag back?" Rachale sounds incredulous. "I mean, come *on*."

"A-Ah. I see... Romance blooms on the Typhon express, is all... Sorry." He apologizes, and sound genuine at it. He turns his hat towards Rachale. "I- I am sorry that you have your complaints about the *cough* Typhon express. Please.. fill out this form and mail it to.."

"Oh dear. I forgot the adress.."

"N-No matter, that is perfectly understandable. Until the next stop, yes. I will do *cough* everything in my power to make the j-journey pleasant until then.." After adressing Rachale, he turns to the boy- Not with his face, but with his hat. He seems really adamant about not showing his visage. "Aah.. Yes. The backpack. We.. do have a third passenger, indeed. She.. looks a bit like you- Eastern, that is." He falls silent for a moment, before exhaling a gasp.

"Oh dear, I am very sorry for that rudeness. I did not mean to be... It's just been so long until I've had passengers, see?"

He breaths out heavily, worried, almost. "But I am sad to announce that the girl is in the.. in the medical carriage. She- She hit her head, see?"

"I'm.. afraid that I cannot allow visitation at- at this point. She is rather ill. Oh dear, oh dear oh dear. So very ill. Poor girl.."

Daisuke just gives the briefest glance sideways to Rachale over her response to the conductor. Probably better to just let *that* one go. But what he can't let go is the words she actually has to give over him and his concerns over the backpack. "It's... it's a little more complicated than that," he mutters.

He's remarkably much calmer than the american, though, when it comes to addressing The Conductor. Though that does not stop him from keeping his eyes narrowed with overt suspicion at the strange man the whole time.

But at the mention of a third passenger, he perks up. And when he's told that they're in the medical carriage?

"What?! Hey, no, absolutely not!" He stomps further past Rachale then -- almost intending to keep going right past the Conductor too, at that. "I'm absolutely going to have to see her! I need to make sure she's okay... and then get her back home!"

"Yeah? Good," Rachale says, temporarily mollified.

She doesn't know who Daisuke is talking about, and frankly doesn't care; it's not her business, she never saw anyone else on this thing and she certainly wasn't responsible for anyone hitting their head. Nor is she altruistic enough to bother checking on someone specifically, without a reward involved.

But something about this feels off. Rachale has always trusted her instincts. For a long time, they were all she had. If something is wrong - if she feels suspicious - better to act on it than ignore it. Plus, nothing about this place is normal. Not the train, not the way she got on it...

"Hey, old man," Rachale says, addressing the Conductor. "Move your hat. I like to see someone's face when I talk to them." She reaches out, trying to tug the hat aside so she can actually see the Conductor's face.

"Uwah? Oh dear- there it goes.."

He mumbles, as he watches the hat float down to the ground. He looks a little sad- but, that sadness would likely not be the priority of interest.

Simply put, he looks horrible- He is almost all bones, with only a paper-thin layer of skin- skin that is literally translucent. Giving a good peak at the eyeballs and full row of rotting teeth behind it. He only has a few plucks of black hairs, spread around haphazardly around his scalp.

He looks more like a corpse then a man,

Yet, he crouches down to fetch the hat as if nothing's wrong. Only turning toward Daisuke to answer his pleas. "I- I am sorry to say that that won't do, /mr. Kubo/. She needs her rest- and I will be adamant in enforcing that-- *cough, cough*" The coughs are a grating sound, guttural and disturbing. "I.. would ask that.. you remain in your seats and act nice to the staff.. Please, act nice."

"You will be able to see the girl when we arrive, good sir. Please, have patience."

"Wha--" Daisuke's advance halts, and he recoils back a bit when The Conductor's face is revealed. ...Or what passes for a face, anyway.

Suddenly that crawling, sickening feeling assaulting his psychic senses make *so* much more sense now. And the fact that he gets called by his family name just makes him even more unsettled at that. At least Rachale was invited here, but for him to know his name...?

"Wh-... how did she get hurt exactly?" He mutters from behind the scarf, slowly clutching the fingers on one hand closed, into a faintly-shaking fist.

"...And what if I insist?"

Rachale was expecting any number of things, but she isn't entirely sure 'zombie' made the list. She doesn't recoil so much as tense, her hand gripping the tonfa bar more tightly.

But she doesn't strike. Yet. She caught him referring to Daisuke by name; though she doesn't recognize it, it's easy enough to tell that he reacts to it as if it was his own.

"Yeah, this place is sketchy as shit," Rachale says. "I knew I shouldn't have come. Fancy event was a trap, was it? What, did you summon us here to eat our brains?" This time she does poke the Conductor with her tonfa. "Stop the train. You're a conductor, you can do it. We're leaving. Or I'm leaving, at least. Kubo can do what he wants." Including chase down his phantom girl, if that's his goal; Rachale sure isn't going to stop him!


"no no No No NONONONONONO" He screams out, as the pair make their decisions and accusations. "Don't- leave- no, I won't let you leave- You won't- you will only leave.. when the train stops.." And then, he starts chuckling. A horridly disturbing sound, guttural breaths coming from the back of his throat. "And I can't make it stop! It just goes round and round, and round and round! Always going round until someone is invited on.."

"The girl- The girl. The girl the girl the girl the girl. She tried to leave, But I could not let her! I could not let her leave, you see? Where would she go, where did she come from? I had to make sure she couldn't leave! Insisting won't do you much good, mr. Kubo.."

He spreads his arms, as a crackle of lightning zaps out of them. He looks stronger now, more confident- his posture is upright, and while his hat his back on his head, he is showing his face.


COMBATSYS: The Conductor has started a fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
The Conductor    0/-------/-------|

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

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Rachale          0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0    The Conductor

Before, Rachale didn't strike.

That was before the Conductor started screaming that she would never leave, that nobody would ever leave, and electricity arced between his arms; that was before he got aggressive. He might not have laid a hand on her or Daisuke yet, but he's clearly getting ready to.

And so her reaction is pretty much what it is to most of her problems; Rachale hits it.

Specifically, she lowers her shoulder and rams into him, trying to knock him off-balance before he can do whatever he is about to do; he's so skeletal and bony that Rachale is pretty sure she has the size advantage, and she'd rather not wait around to let him charge up with electricity any more.

If she downs him, Rachale follows it up with a foot stomp try to make *sure* he stays down. "Damn monster! I don't hate everybody, but people like you make it hard sometimes!" This gives Daisuke an opportunity - whether to fight or to flee is up to him. (Rachale is expecting flee, because she still doesn't know who he is.)

"Ghh--!" Daisuke takes another instinctive step back. The electrified skeleton... thing, is just so LOUD. He's halfway tempted to outright slap his hands to his ears to cover htem up, but it doesn't quite come to that.

It's certain now that everything about this horribly *wrong*. And he can't get out of this that easily, much less get his neighbour's granddaughter out without a fight!

"I--" He starts, only for Rachale to take the initiative before he has the chance. He blinks with some faint surprise-- but then that passes away when he realizes, no, actually, this makes *perfect* sense just judging from what he's seen of this american so far.

SO, no. Daisuke does not flee. His fist tightens further, and he jumps to the side, stamping one foot onto a bench and the other to the top of the backrest to bring some elevation for him -- and an angle past Rachale.

"I don't know you, but--" The tightened fist opens up suddenly, with a surge of electricty-current like crackles of blue-green energy spiraling around his arm. "I've got your back! Let's break through this zombie or whatever the hell it is!" THe opened palm thrusts forward, and with it comes a mass of energy gathering upon it, launched out in a bolt over Rachale's head and at the Conductor.

COMBATSYS: Daisuke has joined the fight here.

[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Rachale          0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0          Daisuke
[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
The Conductor    0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: The Conductor blocks Rachale's Rock Breaker.

[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Rachale          0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0          Daisuke
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
The Conductor    0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: The Conductor endures Daisuke's Soul Arrow.

[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Rachale          0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0          Daisuke
[    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
The Conductor    0/-------/-----<<|

"How Violent- Violent!"

He screeches out, as that shoulder-ram attempts to slam itself into his body. At that point, a moldy cushion flies from one of the chairs- before it plants itself against the Conductor's chest, absorbing Rachale's impact as he only marginally staggers back. He completely ignores Daisuke as he charges up, his bolt of pure energy exploding against the undead's shoulder- He seems barely bothered, if anything, he only speeds up: Reeling back his right arm, putting it over his left shoulder before violently back-handing Rachale's face. A burst of sapphire-colored thunder would burst free to shock her. "Do you not understand?! If you leave. I'll be /ALONE/ Again!"

"Do you want me to be Alone again?! How Cruel! How Monstrous!"

COMBATSYS: Rachale dodges The Conductor's Return To Your Seats.

[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Rachale          0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0          Daisuke
[     \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
The Conductor    0/-------/----<<<|

Expecting Rachale not to punch something that is threatening is a losing proposition. It really does make perfect sense. It's how she's lived her life up to now, and she's not about to stop!

The Conductor's hand snaps out at Rachale, but she's already moving; swaying backwards, she takes an additional step to stay just ahead of the electrified slap. The hand comes so close she can feel it move the air in front of her face. "I don't really care what happens to you. Stay alone for all I care!"

"Hey, you're a little suspicious too," Rachale snaps back to Daisuke, "but you're not actually in my way, so you're ahead of this asshole!" Letting the Conductor throw himself off-balance with the big slap - or at least leave himself a little more open than he was before - Rachale drives her double tonfa forward, trying to plant a powerful blow right into his stomach. "So if you wanna help, be my guest!"

"So you're going to trap and hurt people just so you don't have to be alone?!" Daisuke yells back at the skeleton. "Even kill them?! What about the people you leave alone because you took someone dear to them awa- Ah?!" The boy's green eyes widen out when he realizes that his energy projectile barely did anything, and that the skeletal conductor simply charges on at Rachale. "Look ou--!"

And then, a breath of relief when his, uh, supposed fighting companion deftly avoids the electrified slap. "Good going!" He even calls to her... before she actually addresses him.

"... Uh... " THe teenager is briefly left taken aback by all that, mouth hanging slightly open while he stares at the woman... not that it can be seen with the mask, anyway. "...Thanks, I guess...?"

With a shake of his head, he re-focuses himself on The Conductor instead, and kicks his foot down into the backrest of the bench to launch himself over it, and at the undead(?) master of the Crazy Train, fist swinging out at the same time with Rachale's own tonfa strike. "D'ryah!"

COMBATSYS: The Conductor blocks Rachale's Power Strike.

[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Rachale          0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0          Daisuke
[      \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
The Conductor    0/-------/---<<<<|

COMBATSYS: The Conductor interrupts Medium Punch from Daisuke with Clear The Aisles EX.
- Power hit! -

[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////          ]
Rachale          0/-------/-------|=======\=------\1          Daisuke
[      \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
The Conductor    0/-------/--<<<<<|

The skeletal Conductor turns towards the boy, all the while that thick, thick cushion circles back around to absorb Rachale's Tonfa- yet a grunt of pain escapes between his nonexistant lips.

"Mean, so Mean! No Rrrrrespeecct for the common worker!"

He steps deep into Daisuke's punch as he flies toward him- swiftly after raising both of his fists and /slamming/ them down upon the boy, charged with electricity as it carries him down toward the ground, a shockwave of thunder rippling through the metal floor. "EEEEYAAAAH- Take that!!" The creature's strength is much greater then his feeble appearence would suggest, and Daisuke takes the brunt of that undead strength.



This cushion, Rachale thinks, is really obnoxious. How is it flying like that? It is starting to make her angry. Well, angrier. She was already upset to begin with.

"Sorry, buddy, but I don't think you'd want the bill. I charge people I don't like more. And as for *him*, I don't think he could pay at all." Rachale circles, trying to find a way past the Conductor's defenses. She has an idea as his focus turns to Daisuke, and rather than immediately attack, she ducks behind one of the benches.

She's not running, though. When the Conductor slams the floor, Rachale vaults over the bench back like she's in the world's most dangerous game of leapfrog; hands on the backrest, she practically throws herself several feet into the air and comes down in a two-footed kick directly toward the Conductor's skinny back!

If she hits, Rachale kicks herself off the Conductor (or his cushion) to get enough height to perform a spin kick, a horizontal whirl from a different angle to try to get around his defenses. Only then does she touch down, not far away.

Something is wrong. Daisuke can *sense* it. Sense the sudden surge of power within the abomination of a conductor. But his body is too commited in the motion, his weight thrown too far into the punch--!

"Gha-- ghhyaaaa?!"

The electricity spikes through the teenager's whole body even before the fists come impacting onto him, leaves him jolting and twitching in place before he's slammed down HARD. Hard enough to be sent down to the floor with a floor-cracking impact and bouncing off of it momentarily before ending up slumping down. Blood staining the back of his head and the hair there, dripping down onto the floor while he's left laying there, motionless.

"Ggghh..." Steam and smoke rise up from the redhead's body from the electric burns, parts of his scarf even visibly charred black while he merely lays there before The Conductor's feet. Twitching, shaking. Trying to work some control back into his fried body, some strength back to his legs and arms.

"Ghh-- Hhhaaahhh!!!"

A burst of strength or pure stubborness in the instant Rachale leaps over. It's not entirely clear if that is a calculated timing on Daisuke's part or pure coincidence, but the moment the undead conductor starts turning towards her, he's surging up from the floor and clamping his arms around his leg while bright, blazing energy coats up his own limbs. Pushing to jostle the monstrous being off of his own balance and towards Rachale's incoming aerial kick.

COMBATSYS: The Conductor blocks Rachale's Skyscraper.

[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////          ]
Rachale          0/-------/------=|=======\=------\1          Daisuke
[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
The Conductor    0/-------/-<<<<<<|

COMBATSYS: The Conductor barely endures Daisuke's Fast Throw.

[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////          ]
Rachale          0/-------/------=|=======\=------\1          Daisuke
[          \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
The Conductor    0/-------/=======|

"YES, YES! TASTE THE FLOOR, BO-" He screeches out, before Rachale's dropkick comes flying in- the cushion protects the conductor once again, the woman jumping off of the soft surface. "YAH- SO ANNOYING--" But from the corner of his eye, he did not see Daisuke sneaking in his attack- in fact, it seems to be successful, as the boy manages to chuck him into the air. The Conductor scrambles, even though he doesn't seem hurt- desperately putting his boney arm in the way of Rachale's follow-up kick. The two limbs clash, and while most damage seems to have been avoided, the undead's arm is blown aside as the kick flies through- before it hangs limply at the monster's side.

"Oh dear, oh dear. OH DEAR. Why do you have to- give in at this moment, arm! Dammit! Stupid- limbs not doing their jobs! YAAH!"

"You! YOU did this! How /dare/ you. So mean!" He charges into her with his shoulder, barely any techique, yet a lot of strength behind it. He follows the attack up with another backhand trailed by a trail of sparks that launch outward with the swing's entire arc- lightning that aims to course through the fighter.

COMBATSYS: Rachale parries The Conductor's Stand Behind The Yellow Line!

[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////          ]
Rachale          0/-------/-----==|=======\=------\1          Daisuke
[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
The Conductor    0/-------/=======|

"So mean? You're the one trying to kidnap me because you don't get out enough! How many corpses do you have in the back room, huh? Like that girl?" Rachale shoots Daisuke a glance to check on his alive-ness status. Seems fine to her, at least for the moment. Good on him.

Rachale is in close, where she wanted to be, but that means she's also in reach of the Conductor. She jabs her tonfa up at an angle, a strange movement - it's not really aimed at the Conductor precisely, but the reason for it becomes clear a moment later with a twist of her wrist:

She catches the Conductor's arm between the two sections of the tonfa, like a prong, keeping the electrical hand safely away from her. Sort of safely anyway, she can feel the tingle running up her arm. It's an uncomfortable grip that he has to lift his arm to get out of, though Rachale isn't trying to keep him pinned for very long. Really, she can't, because when she brings up one foot it slides his arm out of the grip.

Of course, that doesn't stop her from driving her foot forward in a stomp kick that literally explodes with fire and force as her leg extends. "You're already *dead*! Lie down and die, won't you?"

Daisuke is, indeed, alive-- though he might want to be not so much alive at the moment. Steam still rises from him and his head is dripping with red that mixes with the crimson of his hair, down over each of his temples.

And yet, after defiantly tossing the conductor to the way of Rachale's kick, he just as defiantly, stubbornly works himself to standing up the rest of the way in the wake of the burst of movement. "Gh..."

Green eyes flick up over then with that, glaring at the abomination while his right hand extends to the side. Eyes suddenly taking on an otherwordly glow while currents of energy flash along his arm.

"How MANY?!" He growls out in an echo of Rachale's own question while energy amasses at his right hand. A fiery mass of it, extending outwards in a long, vaguely blade-like shape. Unstable mass at that, with how it constantly shifts and ripples, like it was made of flames.

Whatever it takes to channel it into that form, it visibly results in something-- less comfortable for Daisuke, too. The skin on his hand reddens and twists, and little cuts form along his fingers. But giving all of that seemingly no mind now, he stomps in after The Conductor, trailing just half a second before her fiery stomp of a kick, the blade momentarily illuminating the carriage with light as it's swept for the thing's back before it dissipates again.

COMBATSYS: The Conductor barely endures Daisuke's Blazing Slash EX.

[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////            ]
Rachale          0/-------/------=|=======\=------\1          Daisuke
[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
The Conductor    1/-----==/=======|

COMBATSYS: The Conductor interrupts Proton Kick EX from Rachale with Who And What's To Blame.

[            \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////            ]
Rachale          1/----===/=======|=======\=------\1          Daisuke
[                 \\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
The Conductor    0/-------/-----==|

"ONLY 5!"

He screams back. "I DIDN'T MAKE THEM INTO CORPSES- THE GIRL IS STILL ALIVE!" As the woman's foot grazes him, his entire body /surges/ with electricity. Electricity that makes his few hairs stand up straight as it courses through. His leg gets raised high-and "A-GAAH!" Daisuke cleaves through his back, a large, bloodless gash opening into his uniform and flesh- It obviously hurt him, yet, his motions are unhindered and his leg crashes down upon Rachale's chest.

"They die on me! We would just have met, and they would die! What can I do about that?! I'm doing my best, but they go pale- they turn all skinny, and then, they die! DIE!" It carries her to the floor, pinning her as he violently starts stomp down upon her with a lightning-infused foot. Five- Six- Nine times! Battering and frying her body before having her slide away with a final kick to the chin, sweeping low across the ground. He turns back to the boy- hollow eyes seething with rage.

"My uniform- my precious uniform! I'm gonna have to stitch it back together now because of YOUUU"

Rachale is not a very altruistic person. She's hurt people before, sometimes for not very good reasons. She enjoys violence in a way some people consider disturbing. She works for criminals and monsters, as long as they provide a paycheck. And yet the Conductor's casual dismissal of what he does makes her skin crawl. She's not being paid for this particular job, but she's not exactly going to feel bad about it, either.

Maybe she can pick up something if she can turn in proof of a zombie killer to the NOL? Hmm. Something to think about.

But later. Now is the time for fighting. "You make me sick," she says, as he whirls to strike her. Off-balance from her own kick, she finds herself going down as the Conductor stomps on her.

All she manages to do is roll in an attempt to get away, but it takes far longer than she'd like for him to give up his stomping and turn back to Daisuke. She's frazzled; the lightning did a number on her, and rather than immediately charge back in like a reckless idiot, she...

Slips away about ten feet to duck behind one of the seats again and give herself a moment to recover - and, more critically, a moment to watch how the Conductor moves now that he's damaged, to let him focus on Daisuke, who has just been promoted to bait. Rachale is certainly not running away from this battle. She's only a *slightly* less reckless idiot than it first appeared.

COMBATSYS: Rachale focuses on her next action.

[            \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////            ]
Rachale          1/----===/=======|=======\=------\1          Daisuke
[                 \\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
The Conductor    0/-------/-----==|

Daisuke slides across the flooring of the carriage by a pace or two in the wake of the slash of fiery energy, but quickly stomps one foot down to pivot himself to facing The Conductor again--

Or rather, The Conductor savagely stomping down on Rachale.

"Ah-- Stop it! Get away from her!" The young man calls out, immediately setting to run in and interfere-- only to halt his advance short when he's suddenly faced with the undead menace snapping to face him with that hateful glare.

The redhead's eyes flicker briefly to the way of Rachale, to get count of her retreat, before focusing on The Conductor again. He can't let him wise up to what she is doing now, can he? So, he takes a breath--

"You absolutely could help it."

Daisuke's eyes narrow to mirror the glare right back, even if it might not be as effective out of virtue of only *one* of them being an undead monster.

"But instead, you just held on to them selfishly. Held on and on and on without any thought to what they wanted, what they needed. Held on so tight you *broke* them. And just like that--"

A single forward stomp taken, and his eyes flare with a bright glow, energy crackling aroudn his body, arcing off of him and along the surrounding walls.

"You made yourself be all alone here again."

One hand lifts up high over his head while all that widely-cracking energy focuses into several points in the air around and above him; the glow in his eyes intensifying and the ambient leftover force in the air lifting the red locks of his hair to stnading upwards.

"We're all going to get off this train. And it's not that I have to go through you to do it--"

The focusing energy takes the form of translucent, cyan discs in the air surrounding him-- or maybe more accurately, 'portals'. Whirling in wild spirals that guide bright energy to glowing in their centers.

"You're going to have to go through me to stop it!!"

Daisuke's upraised hand is swung down, and that seems to signal the disc-portals around him into motion. Or no, rather-- to firing. Each disc spins wildly in place, flashing with light and rapidly sending bolts of energy from each flying across the carriage at The Conductor, like a line of automatic rifles saturating the air with ethereal bullets.

COMBATSYS: Daisuke successfully hits The Conductor with Soul Arrow Storm.

[            \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Rachale          1/----===/=======|==-----\-------\0          Daisuke
[                       \\\\\\\  <
The Conductor    0/-------/-======|

"Of course none of you would understand." He says, in a sad tone-, as he readjusts his arm back into place, staring down Daisuke. He doesn't seem to know how to respond to his accusations, so instead, he stays silent, grumbling a guttural noise, before..

"A-GAAAAAAAH!!" And he lunges for the boy, but in his blind fury, the portals around him go unnoticed. And before he could reach the boy.


A devastating barrage of pure energy, battering into the Conductor from every side. Bruising and breaking the bones below his skin. He yells again- not out of pain, but out of anger. He doesn't feel pain.

And at the end of it all- He is barely standing and on a knee. Close to being so damaged that he wouldn't be able to move. Yet, still attempting to dig the boy an early grave.


The screeching continues, launching arms- first toward Daisuke, both hands attempting chop the sides of his head. If successful, he would transition to grip Daisuke's skull. He would then /surge/ 3000 volts of electricity straight into the brain- feeding himself on the suffering of the boy, with the incredible pain this would inflict.

When Rachale was hoping for a distraction, Daisuke has provided one beyond what she could have expected. Her mental rating of him goes up one notch... and then back down slightly because of his loud attempts at being a hero.

Can't win them all.

But the fireworks really are an excellent cover. Not only are they bright and blinding, they do a fair amount of damage to the Conductor, judging by that yell. Her eyes narrow against the glare. When he goes in for the grab, that's when Rachale springs into action, vaulting over in much the same way as before. She hadn't expected that - she'd expected a strike, and she had been preparing to interrupt him while he was off-balance as he'd thrown himself before. Grabbing Daisuke is dangerous.

But this time she doesn't try a flying kick. She simply rushes in, trying to bowl the Conductor away from Daisuke with sheer momentum and raw physicality - he's a lightweight, bony as he is, and she thinks she outmasses him even if whatever power makes him keep going means he's stronger than he looks.

She follows it up with a series of powerful blows, striking left-right-left with a flurry of punches, their power amplified by the heavy tonfas she wields. "Ora ora!" Apparently some things are universal, even if you are from Metro City, because that's what she yells, though she finishes it up with "C'mon! Show me what you've *really* got!"

Rachale glances at Daisuke afterwards, once again judging his condition. She isn't the sort to ask. (He'd probably say 'fine' no matter what, anyway - which is fair, as so would she.)

COMBATSYS: Daisuke blocks The Conductor's Mental Wounds Not Healing.

[            \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////                 ]
Rachale          0/-------/-------|======-\-------\0          Daisuke
[                       \\\\\\\  <
The Conductor    0/-------/-------|

The turret-orbs eventually dissipate, and left with the sight of The COnductor down on his knee, Daisuke takes a step forward, intent on finishing the job.

...But unfortunately the undead horror has other ideas. The redhead's eyes widen briefly with surprise when the thing surges up -- and his arms immediately move up, as if entirely on their own without any conscious input from himself. Levelling them in the way of the inward-chopping arms, the young man grunts sharply from the force of them hitting in--

And then groaning out from the sharp jolt of the electricity surging through The Conductor's arms. He might have prevented the grab, but there's too much power coursing through the thing, even without direct contact he can feel it.

But off the corner of his eye he can see Rachale moving in.

"You're done!!"

Keeping his arms wresting against those of The Conductor's still, he rears his head back -- and then swings his entire body inwards, aiming to smash his forehead right into that skeletal face and send him off of himself. And more importantly into Rachale's assault!

COMBATSYS: The Conductor endures Rachale's Flashing Sun.

[            \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////                  ]
Rachale          0/-------/-------|====---\-------\0          Daisuke
[                             \  <
The Conductor    0/-------/---====|

COMBATSYS: The Conductor interrupts Spirited Headbutt EX from Daisuke with Next Stop - Hell.

[            \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////                         ]
Rachale          0/-------/-------|=======\===----\1          Daisuke

COMBATSYS: The Conductor can no longer fight.

[            \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////                         ]
Rachale          0/-------/-------|=======\===----\1          Daisuke

While he was taking grip of the boy, Rachale was moving into place-

And again, the undead overestimated his resilience.

The redhead slams those heavy weapons into his back again and again. The few intact ribs he had shattering under the pressure as he is forced to let go of Daisuke. "NO- NO- You can't do this.." For the final time, he falls to his knees. All the while the boy is mounting the final assault, his head reeling back.

Yet, the undead had a final burst of power up his sleeve, as he uppercuts the teenager's chin to launch him into the train's roof. It came out so fast- His arm raised upward after the strike, disjointed from the impact.. and the monster collapses. Almost literally just a pile of squirming broken bones.


COMBATSYS: Daisuke takes no action.

[            \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///                           ]
Rachale          0/-------/-------|=======\=====--\1          Daisuke

COMBATSYS: Daisuke has reached second wind!

[            \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///                           ]
Rachale          0/-------/-------|=======\=====--\1          Daisuke

Daisuke's vision turns white.

He probably didn't even fully realize what happened. One instant, he sending his head to striking his and Rachale's shared opponent, and the next-- everything hurts.

It shocking on it's own that Daisuke's jaw doesn't outright shatter from the impact, but it is certainly enough to send him flying up with a wild groan of pure agony and displace the scarf used as a mask. Before he even has a chance to recover from it, he slams back of the head -first into the roof of the carriage before falling back down again, just as violently.

The boy doesn't even twitch after he's hit the ground. He just lays there, face down and limp, with a small puddle of red forming underneath his head.


THe fingers of his right hand twitch against the floor, blindly trying to grab at something. He can't stop here. How could he? That person he came to get back is still here. He can't leave them.

Not that getting up is... easy. Just lifting his now-unmasked head up a few inches is enough to cause an averse reaction in his system -- and force blood up his throat to be vomited down onto the floor.

The Conductor goes down, and Rachale decides to ensure he will *stay* down with a final powerful kick, aimed to send him across the train car and well out of their way. He won't be getting back up from that, at least not any time soon.

Then she turns to Daisuke. He's up, which is enough to get some credit and even some grudging respect from Rachale. That was a hell of a blow he took and being able to rise after it (bloody spit or not) is impressive.

And so, she offers a hand, crouching to help him to his feet. "I'm going to get off this goddamned train," she says to him. "Pull the emergency brakes, whatever. You can find your girl and then get out, too. But I wouldn't take too long, in case he's got friends."

And as the two celebrate their victory- With Daisuke planning on looking for the girl.

It seems as if he wouldn't even have to go through that trouble. Because a black shroud surrounds them, enveloping them and blurring their vision before..

They'd be back home. Daisuke, in front of the grandparent's house- the missing girl laying on the ground next to him. Waking up, but thoroughly dazed. Rachale would not exactly find herself in the lot she departed from- instead, she'd be at her home. Unfortunately, much time was not granted for the two victorious fighters to talk, but they might have yet been able to exchange a few sentences. The girl looks up towards Daisuke, muttering a confused. "K-Kubo-Kun?"

But the train? The train would keep going, as it always has. Keep going round and round in that blackened mountainscape, the location of which unknown. The Conductor's bones stitching themselves back together until motion was possible again. The undead walks to one of the outside sections between carriages- sitting down on the edge.

"It- It's just us again, is it?"

COMBATSYS: Daisuke has left the fight here.

[            \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Rachale          0/-------/-------|

Log created on 12:08:47 06/07/2021 by Rachale, and last modified on 12:17:16 06/23/2021.