[Toggle Names]

Description: He's just a misunderstood ghost. She's just a girl with peculiar tastes. Tonight, these two strangers meet on a train ride... to Hell! Casper and the Countess will face each other in a match beyond the bounds of mortality aboard the terrifying Ghost Train!

There was the constant sound of the engine churning, of coal burning, of smoke billowing, and the constant motion of this massive machine speeding along on ancient rails throughout the carnival. The seats were mostly empty, though here and there were shadows, the dark shape of figures in fine clothes sitting upright. Until the train passed a lightsource, and revealed a slumped skeleton, slack-jawed in threadbare rags. In the back was one skeleton who lay dead and forgotten, wearing only the ragged remains of some sort of gi, or some sort of ninja getup. Only slightly out of place amongst these forgotten people in their once-proud Victorian finery. Empty black sockets for rows and rows, save the ones covered in long dead cobwebs.

So who was responsible, for keeping this train running? And where was it going? Good questions, but those would remain unanswered for the time being.

Unlike the dark and well-disguised interior of the theme park ride, the outside of the Ghost Train looks like something out of a cheesy Scooby Doo episode. Bright green neon paint stands out starkly in the dim light of the late evening, illuminated only by the flashes of moonlight that manage to slither through the dense autumn clouds and the occasional old-fashioned iron street lamp installed along the locomotive's winding tracks. The lights seem designed to add to the spooky atmosphere more than provide any sort of actual visual aid to the passengers and to warn passing pedestrians where to avoid walking.

Tonight, however, there are no passengers aboard this popular attraction that count themselves among the living. Only those dusty figures of seemingly forgotten skeletons sit among the cobwebs in utter silence as the chugging engine tears at breakneck speed through the darkness around the perimeter of the circus.

A great deal of time passes without any signs of the prescribed combatants making an appearance. The old wooden clock mounted above the cabin continues to steadily tick away, counting down the hours with solemn duty. All around the circus the festive lights and cheers of the crowds steadily dwindle as the twilight dwindles into complete darkness. Eventually, no signs of activity remain within its brightly colored borders - none, save the ghostly train, its voyage uninterrupted in the dead of night.

The moment the old clock's hands strike midnight, however, something stirs within. A lonely old coffin, leaned haphazardly up against the front wall of the cabin, lets out a creaky groan of protest as its lid slowly swings open of its own accord. Several seconds pass in silence, the air stir and tense. Then, in the dim light of the moon flashing through the windows, something stirs within the box.

Small and slender and cloaked in a dress of midnight silk, a vision of unnatural beauty steps out of the coffin. The young girl's mouth drops open into a long silent yawn, her slender arms stretching lithely into the air in a very human gesture of drowsiness. The whole process of transforming from mortal into monster has thus far been a rather slow one. Ridding herself of old habits in her thinking and mannerisms, such as the need to breathe or shake off the lingering clutches of sleep, has been rather difficult.

Kira wipes at her face with the back of one of her fancy sleeves before finally blinking her eyes open to take in her surroundings. Her twin crimson irises glow faintly in the darkness, piercing through the gloom as easily as if it were the light of the midday sun. The interior of the train looks much as she remembers it upon boarding early that morning before the sun had fully risen.

Fortunately, the part of the legend about vampires turning into bonfires when exposed to daylight had proven mostly untrue. It is, however, thoroughly uncomfortable and incredibly draining on her powers to be active during the day. Perhaps that might one day change when she has had more time to fully grasp her own abilities. But, for now, there's no reason to test her limits, especially in an open venue such as this.

Folding her arms neatly behind her back, Kira strides into the center aisle of the train. The inhumanly graceful motion of her legs beneath the long spindly dress gives it an almost ethereal appearance as the hem drags across the floor, as if she is floating like some kind of apparition rather than walking. She smiles brightly as she slips down the length of the car, moving steadily towards the pile of skeletons at the far end.

"Come now, my dear spectre. The mortals have all retreated to the safety of their dreams. It is the witching hour now and the time for the denizens of the dark to come out and play."

The train is running mostly smoothly, and as Kira steps through the cart, there is scuttling as spiders and other creepy crawlies start making their escape from the clearly superior predator. There is the feeling of being watched at all times, shapes and figures in the darkness that never seem to reveal themselves when searched for, and meanwhile, that pile of bones in the back seat don't seem to react.

Eventually, the train passes another of those old rickety lamp lights, and when the cabin is illuminated, that seat is entirely empty, and standing behind Kira is a large, muscular figure. He was dressed in mostly old shabby white, faded and covered in dirt and dried blood, with black accents here and there. Like the black hood over his head, with the white cloth mask covering his nose and mouth.

"I've no time for witches or games. Waste your own time if you wish, little mosquito."

Kira's forward motion comes to a halt as the light flashes over the now empty seat, her softly glowing eyes crinkling with amusement. A few months ago she would have found such supernatural tricks to be alarming. She would have reacted by throwing her back against the nearest wall and readying her weapons, paranoid survival senses kicking into high gear. But, ever since her death, the threat of violence and bizarre paranormal powers just don't seem to bother her all that much any more.

Slowly, the small vampire turns around to face her hulking opponent for the evening's match only to find herself staring into his stomach. She tilts her head back, forced to crane her neck quite a bit to peer up into the towering ancient warrior's face. Her diminutive stature continues to prove to be one of the few downsides of her new remolded body. Hell, she can barely even hold a full-sized rifle properly any more. Not that she needs to. The weapons upon which she had relied for her strength throughout her life just seemed primitive by comparison to the power that was 'gifted' to her through Lord Dimitri's embrace. She still isn't particularly happy about the means by which this strength was bestowed upon her nor the baggage that came with it but there's little point in clinging to outdated preferences solely out of spite.

"Ah," she says, with a soft sigh. "Little mosquito. The first in what I am sure will be a very long and tiresome parade of vampire jokes I shall have to endure for however long it is I manage to avoid being shuffled off to my eternal rest."

Kira purses her lips and lifts a hand to her chin, tapping one slender finger against it thoughtfully.

"I rate it a six out of ten. Not particularly original but it has a pleasant amount of bite to it."

Her lips slowly peel back into a deceptively endearing grin ruined only by the presence of the long curved fangs that are revealed beneath.

"Just like me."

"A joke? I thought it was merely a description."

Despite the words, there is a slight hint of something to the tone in his voice. Perhaps it could be considered humor, but only at Kira's expense.

But a moment later the ninja seemed to harden, shifting his stance to that he was slightly sideways, his left hand hanging down loosely, his right curling behind him in a raised fist, ready to strike. It seemed despite the sword strapped to his back, and the various weapons seen throughout his uniform, the weapons he most relied on were his hands and feet. The thick fingerless wooden gauntlets, and the kickpads made out of thick bamboo, even as those milky white eyes somehow took in the entire room. Despite the absense of pupils there was no question that he was staring a hole practically through her head.

COMBATSYS: Scorpion has started a fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Scorpion         0/-------/------=|

COMBATSYS: Kira Volkov has joined the fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Scorpion         0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0      Kira Volkov

The small vampire takes a step back as the ancient ninja puts his game face on, falling into the familiar stance of a martial artist preparing to engage a foe. Her smile remains fixed in place as she retreats, not out of fear or surprise but simple precaution. Old habits die hard.

His second attempt at a verbal jab earns much the same dismissive response. Kira sighs and shakes her head, shrugging her arms in an exaggerated fashion.

"Oh? Done with the banter already, are we? I suppose I shouldn't expect much more from an angry old ghost such as you."

Reaching into the folds of her dress, the undead mercenary queen withdraws a small object. In the darkness it is difficult to make out precisely what that thing might be - some sort of short cylindrical tube of some sort. The mystery is quickly dispelled, however, as Kira brings her unnatural powers to bear.

The shadows around the vampire ripple as raw midnight power pours into the object, that darkness becoming somehow more solid and real around her hand for a few instants. A beam of searing neon crimson energy erupts from the top of the cylinder a few moments later, blazing with unholy power that somehow seems to absorb what little light exists in the train rather than dispel it. The shape of the weapon manifests itself into a coherent blade of dark magic taking on the a rather iconic form to anyone familiar with pop culture.

Kira pauses theatrically, her sense of melodrama wildly inflated ever since her descent into the underworld. The mercenary would never have bothered to give her opponent the chance to react in the past. Gloating is even easier to do over a corpse, after all. The transformation has done more than alter her body, however, steadily twisting her personality into something more aloof and regal than the crude yet practical woman she had been before.

"Very well, then. Let us dance!"

Despite all of the effort she went through to draw attention to her shiny new lightsaber (darksaber?), Kira's first strike in the exchange of blows comes from elsewhere. While being imperious and refined is all well and good, there's no replacement for a well-timed sucker punch. Old habits die hard.

Thrusting her free hand forward, the vampire's fingers curl up into a claw as she gathers a ball of shadowy power into them. That orb of unholy magic explodes a moment later, dozens of slender wisps streaking out to hammer towards Scorpion like a barrage of missiles. Each projectile takes on the shape of a furiously screeching bat as it leaves her hand, a sentient sliver of deadly darkness hungrily seeking out its prey. Within moments the interior of the train car is flooded with dozens of such creatures and they descend upon the spectre in a frenzy of screaming bloodlust, expending their short lives in suicidally explosive ramming attacks.

COMBATSYS: Scorpion blocks Kira Volkov's Vespers of the Damned ES.

[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Scorpion         0/-------/----===|-------\-------\0      Kira Volkov

Eyes narrow as Kira kicks into action, but he does not move when she gestures and creates the first bat creature. The nightmare figment screeches and squeals as it hurtles through the air, but before it flies into the face of the ninja, Scorpion throws up that left hand in a lazy backhanded strike, and splats the bat into sudden paste. And then there's an entire flurry coming toward him and the method is the same, throwing rights and lefts, fist impacting into beast until the entire train space between Kira and Scorpion is a mess of gore and ichor. Scorpion's own hands are covered in blood, some dripping down his fingers, most stained across the 'knuckles' of those gauntlets, but he didn't seem particularly bothered. Instead he reached out his right hand, fingers outstretched.

This was bad for Kira. All around the vampiress, on either side of her were skeletons, jaws wide open, and something in the air caused their necks to swivel, turning eerily toward her even as the very air shimmered and grew hotter, and hotter, and hotter. From each corpse, from the darkness of their eye sockets a yellowish orange glow could be seen, until that glow rapidly consumed each shape. During this time, the ninja only said one word.


And that was the only warning she got before each one exploded like napalm landmines, bones, clothing and the old wood and leather of their seats all turning into black charred remains. And between them, the space where Kira currently stood, a sudden inferno raged!

COMBATSYS: Kira Volkov dodges Scorpion's Hell Fire.

[    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Scorpion         0/-------/-----==|-------\-------\0      Kira Volkov


While many might utter such a retort with an obvious undertone of contempt, the young vampire's voice holds no such disrespect as Scorpion smashes his way through the maelstrom of dark creatures.

Her experience with the paranormal and weird is rather limited, her own induction into the world of spookiness having occurred only a few short months ago. Thus far, her request for council with one of the older vampires has gone unanswered, leaving her puzzle out most of her newfound powers and limitations without any guidance. The mercenaries under her command have been surprisingly understanding of the circumstances and even more surprisingly willing to spar with her as she attempts to get a grip on the dark powers flowing through her lifeless veins. But, as hard as they might try, they are only human and have offered little in the way of a proper challenge against which she might test her herself.

That was the primary motivation behind her entrance into this public spectacle in the first place. Here, she can cut loose without having to worry about harming one of her own. Of course, she hadn't expected another legitimate monster to be her opponent. While a useful opportunity, it raises the irritating possibility that someone within the SNF organization is aware of her true nature. But, that is a worry for another time.

The demon's hellish retaliation is swift and equally impressive. Kira's eyes widen slightly as the skeletal figures she had assumed to be props suddenly surge to life at their master's command. It doesn't take much imagination to figure out what he his intention is and the bellowed command only further cements it.

Focusing her power inwards, Kira attempts to use one of her newfound powers to escape this unpleasant scenario. The deep black silk of her dress suddenly seems to come alive, flowing like ink over the exposed flesh of her pale face and flaxen hair. The vampiress becomes a thing of pure living shadow and as the flames erupt all around her she flows into the floor, slipping hastily to the rear of the train car as an inferno blossoms where she once stood.

Stepping out of a darkened corner of the cabin, Kira strides back into the open as casual as you please, once more cloaked in her human form. The vampire snuffs out a small patch of flame crackling merrily on the back of her hand with a quick puff of breath, flashing that deceptively pleasant smile at the ninja once again.

"You fight dirty," she says, a hint of playful reproof in her soft voice. The blazing saber in her hand spins around in a circular flourish that leaves traces of neon light lingering in the air like a glow stick at a rave, carving sizzling chunks out of the nearby benches. "I like you more already."

The wooden floor beneath Kira's feet cracks sharply as she pivots on one foot, supernatural strength propelling her into a rapid lunge at the ninja. The deadly neon blade of her sword carves a wide path of destruction before her, flowing from a single horizontal slash into a series of rapid pirouettes and flashy spinning cuts that turns the area around the small vampire into a hazard zone.

COMBATSYS: Kira Volkov successfully hits Scorpion with Sanguine Choreography ES.
Glancing Blow

[       \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////////  ]
Scorpion         0/-------/--=====|===----\-------\0      Kira Volkov

After the hooded vampire escapes the trap, the ninja doesn't appear to move, or scan the room, or take any kind of precaution. Was that a strategy of his, to conserve energy and utilize patience and wisdom? Was it a failing of what he was, some sort of delayed response normal to spectres and wraiths?

A hint arrives in his response to Kira's lunging attack. Though he doesn't turn his head or even seem to 'notice' when the girl appears elsewhere and chides him, the very second she swings that awesome spectral blade he is moving, pivoting on his heels and facing her direction. The blade slices into clothing and even draws blood, but not as deeply as perhaps she was hoping on account of his flipping through the air. Even in that limited linear space, his agility was not one to be denied. And even as he lands he's drawing the blade kept on his back, and soon there is clashing. Magical dark saber versus ninja blade forged of Hellfire, and the winner it seems is neither.

But even as he blocks attacks, he is looking for openings and the very second he sees what he thinks might be one, he lunges the tip of that blade forward, into what he hopes will be the midsection of his immortal undead opponent.

"I am not a fighter. I am an assassin."

COMBATSYS: Kira Volkov counters Doom Slice EX from Scorpion with Tyrant's Decree.

[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////   ]
Scorpion         0/-------/=======|===----\-------\0      Kira Volkov

Yet more of the fancy old benches of the Victorian-style rail car are carved up into little more than ruined piece of firewood as the blazing beam of dark power scythes through the air in an elegant combination of control and showmanship. Never in her wildest dreams could Kira have hoped to pull off such flashy moves in the heat of combat when she was alive. Hell, she wouldn't have even considered wielding such a dangerous weapon. That saber has just as much potential to slice her own body up as anyone else's if she should fumble it or botch the recovery from a swing.

Kira the vampire, however, moves with fluid inhuman grace, seeming to casually control the deadly swing of her blade as if she has been using it for decades. Scorpion's own supernatural reflexes see him clear of the worst of its devastating strikes, reducing what could have been a bisecting slash to little more than a light graze.

Not to be denied, the mercenary queen pushes her attack, dancing lightly after the elusive Oriental revenant to harass him further. This time her foe meets her strikes with a blade of his own, the Hell-forged sword clashing against her dark magic with a spray of molten power.

Ever on the watch for openings to exploit for a killing strike, the assassin maneuvers as best he can under the withering hail of slashes until the exact moment he has been waiting for presents itself. But, even as he lunges into what should have been a devastating strike into his opponent's belly, she displays yet another of the fel boons granted to her by her undead nobility.


The faint glimmer of wicked magic within Kira's eyes suddenly flares in intensity, her irises becoming blazing circles of blood red power. Her gaze locks onto the assassin's empty white eyes, staring deep into the damned soul that exists within. Her hand thrusts forward, palm out, in the universal signal for 'stop' and for a brief moment that flicker of noble authority compels him to heed her demands.

That moment is all she needs. Kira sidesteps quickly, the tip of Scorpion's hellish blade held fast mere centimeters from plunging into her flesh. With a haunting girlish laugh, she slips around and behind him, snapping her own glowing blade up into his unprotected side even as the compulsion releases him.

"How unfortunate for you, old one. You cannot kill what is already dead!"

Scorpion does his best scarecrow impression, standing rigid and waiting frozen, and only when 'released' does he react. The blade plunging into his side earns a snarl even as a ghost's blood sprays along the interior of that cart. Clearly the ninja is in pain, clearly he's wounded, but he doesn't react like a normal human would. It seems there is something there deeper than flesh and bone, something else guiding his actions.

Because as Kira starts to withdraw that blade Scorpion is reaching his left hand around to grasp at her wrist, and not just grab. There is a small blade that he aims to draw along her wrist, opening up veins and arteries and hopefully, doing some bit of damage to this girl. Vampires run on blood, so perhaps starving her may yield some results.

Regardless of how successful his ploy is, he spins around in real time to end up behind her, trying to grab her around the waist, lift and suplex her into the rickety wooden table between two booths, where sat an old ashtray and long decaying playing cards. Between the dead wood and the thick glass, that's multiple opportunities for lacerations, for cut skin, for real substantial damage.

COMBATSYS: Kira Volkov just-defends Scorpion's Kombo EX!

[            \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////////  ]
Scorpion         0/-------/=======|===----\-------\0      Kira Volkov

Moving with unnatural speed fueled by centuries of hate, the ninja from hell whirls around to make a grab for the arrogant vampire's arm even as she withdraws. Kira's reaction to being grabbed is much different than what one might expect from the slender waif that looks to be one of the long lost members of the Addams family. The girl's knee snaps up into Scorpion's chest, her silky dress struggling to accommodate such a motion. Before he can bring his blade down across her wrist, she leans back and kicks away, twisting her arm to the side to break his grip.

Such a maneuver could never have been performed by anyone other than an expert in-fighter. No matter how much speed and strength her undead body might give her that kind of escape comes only from training and technical knowledge. While she might look like some kind of creepy fairytale princess thanks to Demitri's twisted power, the decades of experience she possesses from her mercenary career remain.

Apparently unsatisfied with the brutality of such a simple strike, Kira finds herself under duress again almost immediately as the crafty ninja slips around behind her in the same motion. Thick powerful arms engulf her slender waist and this time there isn't even a contest against the devastating takedown. Scorpion lifts her as if she were a child and both assassin and vampire crash noisily into the table.

Yet again, however, the little leech proves incredibly difficult to pin down. Kira's body becomes a seething mass of shadows even as her attacker sends her hurling into the furniture. Wood and glass shatter apart into a deadly spray of splinters and fragments but, while deadly, such mundane objects are of little threat to the child of darkness. Flowing like living water, the shadowy blob slithers across the floor retreating to the rear of the car. As she reforms into flesh and bone, Kira can't help but laugh again, her voice strangely melodic and pleasant despite her nature.

"You still don't seem to understand, do you? Such tactics might be fit for dispatching the living, but if you wish to bring me low..."

Kira's voice trails off as she holds her arms dramatically out to either side. The darkness in the train begins to move in impossible ways, twisting and flowing towards the young vampire noble as if drawn to her embrace. The silken surface of her dress grows somehow richer in its tone as the shadows flow into her and her eyes once more glow like hot crimson coals in the void.

"You will need something much more impressive than that!"

COMBATSYS: Kira Volkov absorbs power from the shadows!

[            \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Scorpion         0/-------/=======|=======\-------\0      Kira Volkov

Anticipating her movement, Scorpion launches forward, pivoting his body through the air and launching his leg out in a spinning back kick, aimed at around her ribs.

COMBATSYS: Kira Volkov just-defends Scorpion's Back Kick!

[            \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Scorpion         0/-------/=======|=======\-------\0      Kira Volkov

Despite her warning, the assassin launches yet another conventional attack at the vampire even as she swells with dark power. Perhaps his hellish might would be enough to actually wound her, should he land a solid blow, but again and again the young vampire noble proves more than capable of withstanding his strikes.

A spinning kick that likely could have taken the head off of nearly any mortal victim stops dead against the barrier of shadow that rises up to intercept him, a miniature tidal wave of raw darkness that splashes upwards from the pool of inky power around her feet. The shield recoils against his attack, shoving the ninja backwards a few steps, giving Kira the room necessary to launch her own strike.

Darting forward in flow of motion, blazing sword clutched in both hands, the vampire raises her blade up near her shoulders like a baseball batter preparing to swing. The deadly saber comes crashing down in a simple but powerful overhead slash, a flash of crimson light capable of carving through darkness and flesh with equal ease.

COMBATSYS: Scorpion blocks Kira Volkov's Encarmine Reaper.

[              \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////////  ]
Scorpion         1/------=/=======|=======\-------\1      Kira Volkov

Kira swings wild, and Scorpion is ready for it, bringing up his own blade in a flashing of sparks, before he uses his strength to push her blade away from him, to try and condition her to respect his space.

"Why are you not utilizing your technique? Shadows and bats cannot fight all your battles for you. And the rivers of hell are full of strong, confident warlords who never learned, or adapted."

As he speaks he takes a single breath, relaxing his shouldes and standing a little taller. Even that moment of meditation was all he needed to get a better handle on the situation.

COMBATSYS: Scorpion komposes his thoughts.

[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////////  ]
Scorpion         1/-------/=======|=======\-------\1      Kira Volkov

Kira meets the bind with her own supernatural strength for a few moments before being pushed back, hopping nimbly away to avoid any attempts at reprisal. Her caution proves unwarranted, however, as the ninja takes that momentary reprieve to center himself. Even angry hell assassins can require a moment to catch their breath apparently.

"They seem to have served me well thus far."

The vampire's weapon hums quietly as she whips it through the air, spinning the glowing blade around in the air in a dangerous and complex series of flourishes. Clearly unafraid of hacking off one of her own limbs, Kira smirks at her masked opponent, her expression and body language haughty and aloof.

"But," she says, tilting her head at him in acknowledgement. "Perhaps you are right. After all, who would know more about killing than someone as old and deadly as you?"

The searing neon of the dark blade vanishes in an instant, the glowing saber sinking into the hilt of the weapon once more. Kira takes a step back, her arms slowly rising up at her sides once again. As before the darkness around them responds to her wicked decree, flowing into her body from all directions. This time, however, the shadows do not simply merge with the young woman's form but begin to engulf it.

For a few moments it seems as if she might be preparing to melt into a cloud of shadowy energy as she has done several times, perhaps to quickly launch herself at the assassin while seemingly immune to his attacks. Instead, the inky midnight flows up and over the vampire's body as if it were a second skin, coating her in a layer of rippling dark power. Her face becomes a featureless mask, a demonic visage that leaves only her eyes, now completely ablaze with crimson light, uncovered.

"So, let us try something new, shall we?!"

The shadowy demon's mouth opens, revealing it to be a maw of jagged shadowy serrations behind which there is naught but an infinite void. Kira's head tilts back in a primal howl of bloodlust as another surge of darkness swells up behind her. Seven inky tendrils emerge from her back like the head of the legendary hydra, twisting writhing things borne from the deepest nightmares.

With a thrust of her hand, Kira commands the array of midnight tentacles to attack. Acting in chaotic unison, each of the squiggly limbs turns its attention upon the assassin, seeming to collide with each other as they thrust forward with blinding speed in their attempt to skewer him upon their wickedly pointed spear-like tips. Rather than interfere, however, as the business ends of each thrusting tendril make contact the limbs begin to bleed together, merging into one single gargantuan unholy lance.

COMBATSYS: Kira Volkov successfully hits Scorpion with Dread Regalia ES.

[                      \\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////////  ]
Scorpion         1/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|=====--\-------\0      Kira Volkov

The deadman is stabbed and impaled, the lance going right through him and almost sticking into the far wall. It's clear how devastating this was, but Scorpion still had one last trick up his sleeve. Grabbing the lance he forces himself to be stabbed even further, moving closer to the vampiress with his kunai in hand. With an angry shout, he thrusts the kunai downward, to try and stab it into her shoulder. If that worked...

COMBATSYS: Kira Volkov blocks Scorpion's Nether Gate.

[                      \\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////////     ]
Scorpion         0/-------/---<<<<|======-\-------\0      Kira Volkov

He wouldn't find the purchase he was looking for, and quickly sidestepps left, ripping his body from the lance as more blood sprayed across the entirety of the cabin.

"Not bad."

For a moment, Kira is taken aback at the sheer recklessness on display as the skewered assassin pulls himself further onto the impaling spear lodged completely through his torso. Of course, after a moment of thinking about it he actions become slightly less insane. No doubt the deathless killer's physical form is much like her own, nearly impervious to any lasting harm. Whether his complete disregard for his own well-being is a result of understanding that simple fact or simply being so utterly hell-bent on venting his violence at whatever gets in his way is unclear.

Regardless of why he chose to engage in such ballsy behavior, the vampire is once again impressed by her opponent. However, as impressed as she is, Kira has no desire to see what the ancient spectre of vengeance has in store for her. As the deadly kunai is thrust down at her with violence in mind, the shadowy demon sweeps one of its midnight arms up to intercept the motion.

Though successful in preventing him from lodging his weapon deep into her flesh, the swift and bold attack is brazen enough to finally earn the assassin his first taste of vampire blood. Two inches of the sharp dagger bury themselves into the inky void of the demon's body and a spray of thick black ichor fountains into the air in reply. With a hiss of pain, Kira swings her arm out to push her attacker away but she needn't have bothered. Unable to get enough purchase to follow through with whatever fiendish assault he had planned, Scorpion once again proves how little he cares about the damage to his own flesh as he tears free from the dark spear, showing the train with gore.

"Impressive," Kira says, taking a step back from the wounded assassin, her tone completely genuine.

Any mortal that had suffered such a wound would likely have died outright. They certainly wouldn't still be in fighting shape. Yet if his injuries hamper him in the slightest, the revenant doesn't show it.

"I don't suppose you do contract work? I could use a retainer with such... determination in my employ."

The messy tendrils rapidly retract back into Kira's body as she speaks, bringing with them the pleasurable taste of fresh blood. A small shiver runs down her spine at the sheer potency of the wraith's vital essence. Goodness, do all supernatural creatures have such wonderful vitae? If so, it's a wonder why any vampires bother feeding on humans.

The stain of midnight power recedes from the vampire's body along with the tendrils leaving her deceptively innocent young body standing at the center of a wave of bloody destruction. Kira brings the hilt of her blade up to her forehead in a mock salute, firing the weapon back to life as she lifts it up over her head. The neon saber swells with fresh power and then swells again, seeming to double in size. With a haughty grin, the girl takes a single step forward, putting extra power into her swing as she slams the oversized blade down at the air in front of her.

A solid explosive beam of raw black and crimson power erupts from the blade of the weapon, tearing down the center of the aisle in a wave of destruction. Floor board and benches and dusty old skeletons alike are ripped apart and hurled about as the deluge of crashes towards Scorpion in an attempt to put him out of the fight with one final surge of effort.

COMBATSYS: Kira Volkov successfully hits Scorpion with Phantom Black ES.

[                                < >  //////////////////////////    ]
Scorpion         1/------</<<<<<<<|======-\-------\0      Kira Volkov

COMBATSYS: Scorpion can no longer fight.

[    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Kira Volkov      0/-------/-======|

COMBATSYS: Kira Volkov blocks Scorpion's Nether Gate.

[       \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Kira Volkov      1/-------/=======|

The beam hits wide, annihilating everything in its path. Traincar erupts in energy and shrapnel, the light almost blinding.

When the smoke clears, there is nothing except the vampire and the night sky.

Well, that was a bit more dramatic of an outcome than she had intended. The vampire blinks at the aftermath of her magic, everything taller than a few inches from the floor having been blasted into flinders. Of her hellish opponent there is no sign. Either he too was rendered into a pile of smoking debris or the ancient ninja managed to slip away and avoid destruction. Considering the power that she felt dwelling within the revenant and how easily he shrugged off being all but split in twain, it's unlikely that she managed to destroy him.

Tilting her head back, Kira stares up at the cloudy moonlight sky with a faint smile on her face. Tonight had been the first attempt to test her powers outside of controlled conditions. Being pitted against a shade from the underworld was definitely a surprise but a welcome one as it turned out. If her power is capable of so easily contending with a being as old and experienced as Scorpion then she has already grown stronger than she could have possibly hoped.

Her eyes close and she inhales deeply of the frigid winter air so as to let it out in a long sigh. The curse of vampirism that has been foisted upon her has been a heavy weight for many months now. Had she any other means of attaining such power she would have most certainly taken that road instead. Alas, the luxury of choice was taken away from her.


The young woman's eyes open, twin pale crescents of ruby light within the darkness. She regards her weapon with new-found confidence, the neon blade quietly humming with fel power. A tool created out of haste and necessity. She hadn't been sure how well it would hold up under intense combat conditions. But without it, she had proven more of a danger to herself and those around her than any foe could ever be.

Perhaps her unstable control stems from a fundamental lack of knowledge regarding her own nature and that of her power. Yet, her request for an audience with those who might enlighten her has gone thus far been ignored. It might very well be that she will never get a response. If Demitri's treatment of one of his own progeny is any indication how vampire society operates then she might well be better off figuring things out on her own lest she be led into some trap meant to exploit her ignorance.

The plain looking cylinder in her hand is, perhaps, just a crude crutch designed by mortal minds but her success here tonight proved its value beyond any doubt. That willingness to embrace progress and cling to her human roots will be the advantage that she has over the ancients. A gun might give no cause for concern to a vampire lord but technology is capable of so much more. She'll show them precisely how frightening mortals have become since the dark ages when such demons last roamed freely.

"If I must be a monster," she whispers, her voice low and intense, the youngest vampire noble holding her deadly blade to the sky in quiet triumph. "At least I shall be a queen among them! Ahahaha!"

A swirl of shadows rises up from what remains of the floor, a cloak of purest midnight that drapes itself over the girl like a curtain. Her body melts into that patch of impossible darkness as it bleeds into the air in a splash of inky unholy power.

Out into the night she flies, a phantom on black wings, and in her wake leaves only the shattered remains of the deserted train as it continues its steady voyage through the night and the lingering echoes of haunting laughter.

Log created on 16:16:19 11/14/2021 by Kira Volkov, and last modified on 22:38:53 11/16/2021.