Satsuki - Who Sat Me Down Here?

Description: A Doll stalks her potentially-psychic prey through Southtown's harbor. She gets a lot more than she asked for -- including a memory that never was.

It's a little out of the way for a pack of Gedo students to be walking. Southtown's Syndicate runs the harbor -- this is practically unquestioned. The Syndicate tends to have little interest in the petty squabbles of roaming gangsters -- the big money is in imports and exports. So what is a band of Daigo Kazama's kids doing so far out this way?

Four students are walking in a loose diamond pattern; it's not a fast pace they keep, but it's certainly indicative of a grand goal in mind. A tall boy stands left, his school-issued uniform nearly bursting at the seams to keep up with his growth. A not-as tall boy stands to the rear of the formation, chewing gum and sass-talking the girl to the right -- who is more than ready to pop him one.

The young woman in front is keeping the pace, her gaze lingering upon each of the buildings. Scanning, surveying, as if here for the first time. She knows what she -expects- to find, but reality... may offer roadblocks.

Their objective would seem to be a nondescript building. It's not a warehouse; rather, an office building of some kind, that seems to be in good repair despite being vacant for a year or two. The quartet makes their way to the alleyway beside the building. Light conversation ensues as the young woman in charge grows quiet and pensive: lost in thought.

One thing that Shadaloo has emphasized in recent days is the tracking of individuals with psionic potential; while Satsuki has probably had more than her share of psychic encounters recently, she's been deployed right back to Southtown to go back to doing just that. More often than not, these patrols of Southtown lead to a whole lot of nothing; picking up a single individual -- even a powerful one -- can be hard even for the natural instinctive sense of a psion.

Today, however, is different -- something makes this business much easier. A sense of... familiarity, perhaps? It's made it easy to pinpoint that sensation at the corner of her mental 'vision' -- and even easier to track it. She's found this group of four students, watching them carefully for a few moments; she sticks to the rooftops, letting them make as much conversation as they'd like.

She does not interrupt them as the woman in front goes quiet; she just waits for the right moment, gaze resting on her. This woman... Satsuki feels somehow like she knows her -- but nothing about that feeling adds up. She doesn't look like anyone the Doll has ever seen... Curious.

Miko -- the young woman dressed in both a girls' seifuku and a boys' overcoat -- is a bit disconcerted. She'd expected trouble. She'd expected someone to be here to ward her away. This feels... like a trap. She glances over to the tall boy, Kazuhito, who shrugs his shoulders.

Miko frowns. With a few whispers of invisible psychic energy, she gives orders to the three other students. If there were any other observers, they'd miss that signal though -- all they would hear is an abrupt end to Saya and Touji's conversation, and all they would see is the students fanning out to surround the building.

And once they're out of sight, there would be a -second- sign of the young woman's psychic potential, as she plants her hand on the doorknob, spikes the lock open with a brief burst of energy. Kicking the door open, she takes a hesitant look inside.

She doesn't seem to have noticed Satsuki, though. Not yet.

It's definitely her, Satsuki realizes as she watches Miko go about her business; those twofold manifestations of psychic potential along very different axes indicate a strong talent indeed. If she could be brought to heel -- or convinced to serve Lord Vega -- she would be quite an asset...

Satsuki inches closer to Miko on the rooftop, not yet dismounting her perch; it's not until she's squarely got her attention inside that she decides to take her opportunity for an ambush. The Doll won't have a better opportunity -- her target's entourage has dispersed to surround the building, and she herself has her attention forward rather than behind her...

Throwing herself into a high-speed forward spin, feet-first, Satsuki decides to keep her offense rooted in the world of the 'real,' rather than try to engage this clear psychic talent in a realm where she is an expert and Satsuki is... merely escorted along by something far greater than herself. There's no warning, no advance notice save what 'Miko' can feel instinctively; perhaps this, too, is part of feeling out the girl's psychic talents.

COMBATSYS: Satsuki has started a fight here.

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Satsuki          0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Honoka has joined the fight here.

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Honoka           0/-------/-======|-------\-------\0          Satsuki

COMBATSYS: Honoka blocks Satsuki's Spiral Arrow.

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Honoka           0/-------/-======|-------\-------\0          Satsuki

This is too easy, Miko keeps telling herself. Too easy. There's no one here, for one -- maybe it truly is abandoned. The door was not a challenge, she realizes -- sure, she overdid it, massively.

Her hesitation is predicated on the expectation that, surely, someone rigged the place with a silent alarm? She'd started to step inside when an unfamiliar... presence can be felt behind her.

It's at this point that Miko decides to rush -inside- the building, and slam the door behind her. She's not able to latch it though, heck, she's barely able to interpose it between herself and the Doll before she gets to feel the force of Satsuki's weight brought to bear on the door. What happens is a chain reaction -- Satsuki kicks the door, the door exerts force on the exit bar, the exit bar pushes on Miko, and the Gedo uniformed Miko gets squished against the wall.

Grunting with the exertion, air forcibly expelled from her lungs, Mik takes a moment to steel herself, before deciding that one good shove deserves another. "You've got some NERVE!" she shouts -- shoving back hard agains the panel, and hoping to catch her unidentified agressor between a door and a hard place!

COMBATSYS: Honoka successfully hits Satsuki with Random Weapon.

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Honoka           1/-------/=======|====---\-------\0          Satsuki


Sure enough, that shove on the door catches the Doll, just as planned; she tries to roll out of its path, but it's too little, too late, and the door smashes into her legs. There's no howling in pain, though, no crying out, even though the hit sounded hard enough to crack bone and tear muscle -- just the tiniest involuntary gasp of pain.

Pushing the door open wide enough to get out from behind it and then slamming it shut behind herself, Satsuki locks eyes with Miko, fists clenched tightly. "Switching to evaluation mode," she declares, as if those words have any meaning to the woman she's attacking.

For an instant, she hesitates; after a shot like that, who wouldn't? Indeed, part of her is saying to retreat -- that she's already assessed the woman's psychic potential, found it significant, and that should be that. But... there's no sense in leaving a job half finished, is there?

Her hand moves down to her blade, resting on the pommel; with a high-speed draw, she brings it out... but its presence is a feint. The /true/ strike comes a breath later, not from the blade but from her leg, aimed squarely at Miko's midsection and threatening to pin her to the wall for a followup strike with those big red gauntlets, which might just be familiar to her victim.

COMBATSYS: Honoka blocks Satsuki's Strong Kick.

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Honoka           1/-------/=======|====---\-------\0          Satsuki

Miko pauses just enough to savor the satisfying crumple of flesh and bone between the door and the doorjamb. Sweet revenge for a sneak attack, as far as she's concerned -- even if the would-be attacker doesn't even make a sound from it.

Okay, maybe that concerned her just a little bit: her heartbeat elevates just a bit more as she realizes her attacker isn't totally incapacitated. And she realizes that the door trick won't last forever.

Giving the door another quick kick, she backflips away to a safe distance, her Gedo overcoat flaring to either side from her graceful motion. When she lands, though, she's not cowering, and she's not showing fear -- and she's not hiding it either. Invigorated, she's holding two short metal rods, one in each hand, with a length of thin chain suspended between them. Her heartbeat is accelerated, but her psychic batteries are also getting a workout, as her three compatriots receive word of the attack.

Locking eyes with Satsuki, she echoes, "Switching to..." But then she remembers where the coldly analytical speech pattern had been heard before. And seen those gauntlets.

Besides that one brief glimmer of recognition, though, there's no warm reunion planned. Miko's been attacked. Miko will defend. A gaze flickers to the blade, but she recognizes it as a feint -- moving instead to catch the Doll's kick on her nightstick-sized rod. Shifting her weight, she crosses both rods to catch the followup strike.

The strike is not without fallout, though -- one tip of the rod carves a four-foot-long canyon through the sheetrock wall, the Gedo student's steel-toed boots squealing a complaint against the concrete floor.

Evaluation mode, huh? "Do I get a copy when you're done?" responds Miko.

Just before surging forward, swinging the rods in a barrage of blows, before tossing one rod downwards -- aiming to loop it around Satsuki's leg so that she can then pull up sharply and bring her to the concrete floor once more.

COMBATSYS: Satsuki blocks Honoka's Shitumbe Marapto.

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Honoka           1/----===/=======|======-\-------\0          Satsuki

Bringing her blade up and then ducking low a moment later, Satsuki does her best to guard against the onslaught from the rods; though the first few hits blow through her guard, and that last looping strike with the rod does indeed manage to bowl her over, it manages to hurt a whole lot less than taking the whole of the assault cleanly.

"Answer dependent on result of encounter," Satsuki replies, in a total non-answer; it's perhaps in the interest of clarity that she appends a moment later, "Current situation indicates 79% probability of negative answer."

Hanging back at first, the Doll begins circling Miko, watching her as carefully as she can. There has to be something about this offense she's missing, some fundamental truth of it that she's not understanding and needs to know to defend against it... but she can't pinpoint it, and accordingly, all she can do is stick to her own offense.

At long last, she decides to use her true asset -- her blade -- to its fullest potential. Stepping in after the apparent Gedo student, Satsuki lashes out with the weapon twice. The first slash comes a little lower than one might expect, aimed for Miko's stomach; the second, meanwhile, sees the Doll ducking low before bringing the weapon /up/ in a maneuver designed to play with the psion's expectations.

COMBATSYS: Honoka interrupts Heavy Strike from Satsuki with Medium Strike.

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Honoka           1/--=====/=======|=======\==-----\1          Satsuki

Miko is -not- pleased by this. Her sudden and direct onslaught was out of direct response to the bladed weapon being drawn. Ever since an encounter in Niigata, she is -not- eager to get sliced to bits, after all. Dropping Satsuki to the floor was enough of a sign that her impulsive attack worked, though, and she backs away to a distance, twirling the rods about in her hands once more -- not for the flash and panache, but to reacquaint herself with the balance. The short staves are -not- her preference, but with the vacant office space, the longer rods would be a liability.

Miko recalls an earlier encounter with the May Doll in which she expressed a similar sense of precision, and an equally similar lack of humor. Perhaps she can use the verbosity to her advantage -- and contemplates a strategy in advance.

Sure enough, a sword strike comes -- and sure enough, the strike comes. Miko allows it to strike forward, but only as the blade crosses the threshold of her seemingly open defenses does the plan come to light -- Miko suddenly jerks the staves out to either side, the chain snapping taut between them to redirect the blade to glance across her ribcage. It's not a clean hit -- the blade glances off of a kevlar plate concealed beneath her seifuku -- but it is enough to force the wind out of Miko's lungs.

But, screwing one eye shut from the pain, she moves forward with her initial maneuver, lunging forward to slam her rod into the join between Satsuki's neck and shoulders. Having pivoted sideways in the maneuver, she lets her left-hand rod drop, slipping out of the way of the menacing sword. "Tch. I was really looking forward to that," she notes with little more than a sneer, once more raising her rods defensively, and taking a pacing step back to compensate for the added reach of Satsuki's sword.

This has gone sour /fast/ -- Satsuki is already on her last legs, and that fact isn't lost on her in the least. Miko seems to have her number... in much the same way that that Marine did, really. There's a strange common thread to Satsuki's recent encounters with her enemies -- and one she doesn't particularly much like, insofar as she has emotional reactions to anything.

The rod strikes Satsuki's shoulders, and she sags but does not /quite/ fall; she clings to uprightness by its barest edge, body clearly wanting to give out but brain refusing to acknowledge the signal. She can't cede that much -- not yet, not with so much ground to make up.

"... Target armored," Satsuki says calmly. "Piercing." She seems confident -- insofar as her neutral tone can convey /any/ emotion -- that she'll be able to turn this around, suddenly. Perhaps now that she has the measure of Miko's defenses, she thinks she can pierce them?

She weaves back and forth, blade between herself and the Gedo ringleader, held in a defensive stance; she wants to keep Miko guessing at what she'll do until the last possible second. Even she doesn't quite have an offensive plan just yet...

... but when it hits her, she puts it into action immediately. Going into a spinning hop forward, Satsuki shifts her grip on her sword; as she completes a full rotation, she snaps the blade out at high speed, hoping to blow through the Gedo student's guard with pure force.

COMBATSYS: Honoka just-defends Satsuki's Axle Spin Thrust!

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Honoka           1/--=====/=======|=======\==-----\1          Satsuki

Miko keeps her distance, a rod in each hand. The chain between them jangles with each time she raises or lowers a rod in response to Satsuki's probes of her offense. "... Yes...?" responds Miko, wondering why Satsuki's bothering to state the obvious.

Then it hits her. It may not be terribly obvious, but she's becoming steadily aware that Satsuki is but one soldier among many. Miko has been in periodic contact with her students all throughout the battle -- being from Gedo; they certainly carry knives of some sort -- and Miko inherently knows where they are. She can only presume that something similar -- technological, likely -- must be keeping Satsuki tethered to her central command.

Which means that any advantage Miko has can only be temporary. This needs to end.

Miko can sense the hesitation in Satsuki's maneuvers, and she prepares her reaction. The spinning hop is the sign she's waiting for -- Miko hops backwards. She expects that any attack will make better use of the long range of her sword, and -slashes- are inefficient, which means...

Thrusts. And Miko, unlike most of her opponents, has 'circus performer' as a day job. And she is quite flexible. She bends her left knee, dropping into a low stance, her right leg staying extended. Her back arches, and the keening blade passes deliriously close to her right cheek, enough for the psion to see her her skintone reflected in the blade.

It doesn't hit her, though, because her arms have stretched to either side, the chain proving to be the only thing keeping the cutting surface from striking Miko at all.

The chain will be of no further use to her, though: the friction from the blade's sharp edge is enough to cleave the chain in two. The rods are useful as blunt weapons now, but less so as the nunchucks they'd served as. As the chain falls, the performer psion releases her coiled energy, springing back and away in the moment of indecision.

"Do you have enough for your report yet?" comes Miko's sharp-tongued response, as the tails of the Gedo longcoat settle once more around her knees. It doesn't seem that she'll be waiting for a response though: her hand extends, her rod twirls a tight circle as if casting a magic incantation.

And in a way, she sort of is. The net effect of the concussive force that erupts from the tip of her wand will be a tightly-wound burst of psychic energy. If it connects, Satsuki may find herself experiencing a certain sudden sense of nausea-inducing vertigo -- a memory of motion sickness from a time long ago.

COMBATSYS: Honoka successfully hits Satsuki with Ishirishina.

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Honoka           2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|=======\=====--\1          Satsuki

There has been no moment in Satsuki's life -- all few months of it -- in which she has experienced motion sickness or vertigo. ... why, then, is this sensation so familiar? Why, as that burst of force sends her reeling, does this feel like something she's known all her life...?


Blade meets blade, and a brunette no older than ten pushes with all her might to try to parry a strike from a man who shares many of her features. Her mop of brown hair shifts back and forth as she rocks on her feet for that extra bit of force, committing everything to the parry.

Then, all at once, the world swoops out from underneath her. Careful review would indicate the blade resisting hers abruptly /stopped/, dropped to the ground, and the tiny young lady swept up into the air, spun twice, and then deposited to the ground in a forceful toss.

- NOW -

Satsuki hits the ground hard, staring up at the ceiling of the dimly-lit building; this time, she doesn't kip up quickly -- doesn't immediately find her stance right where she left it. Her gut twists -- but more than that, her mind reels. Something is wrong here. Something hurts in a way it shouldn't.


The voice is distant, distorted -- but warm. 'You can't commit like that,' it says, chiding her. 'You wanted to win that lock-up so badly that you forgot it could end any other way. Remain mindful of the whole world.'

The source of the voice picks the child up again, and even though this is a much more gentle hold, though she's not ready for it; her head spins. The combination of repeated motion and sheer exhaustion leaves her feeling sick as she's carried to -- her bed? home? When next she's fully cognisant of her surroundings, her body hits cushions, and she curls up, eager to rest.

- NOW -

Snapping up, still dizzied, Satsuki lets desperation set in and overcommits, rather than learn the lessons that that memory dredges up. After all -- she has to reject them, doesn't she? They're an impossibility. Just as before, she's too eager for the outcome she seeks -- and not mindful enough of her surroundings.

Trying her best to make up lost ground, Satsuki hurls her whole body forward, sword-arm first, whirling in circles; she offers Miko no more words, no answers -- just violence. Even with the immense pain she's feeling, her expression stays eerily blank.

COMBATSYS: Honoka blocks Satsuki's Spiral Slasher.

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Honoka           2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|=======\======-\1          Satsuki

The human mind -- within it lies a processing engine faster and more accurate than any computer yet constructed, and a database far more extensive than the sum of recorded history. Tapping into memories on demand is something that far outstrips Miko's ability, yet triggering them is a simple matter -- all due to the need for the mind to correlate each new piece of information with all the rest stored within it.

Miko certainly didn't intend to access memories locked off by a practioner of psycho power far greater than herself. But if it leads to the incapacitation of her aggressor, then more power to her. Miko's response to Satsuki's disorientation is a simple smirk, and a renewed readying of her stance, rods raised to the ready.

As the blades come whirling towards her, Miko frowns. She's regretting that the blade between her rods had been sheared. She has another pair of rods, but retrieving them -now- while Satsuki is reeling about... no. No time. She raises her staves, parrying each blade as best she can -- but dealing with an attack so forceful, so invigorating, so -dynamic-... it's hard for Miko to even keep up. Each sword slash is met by her metal rods, but she doesn't manage to completely avoid damage -- the blade slides, nicks her fingers hands in some cases, slips by and catches her on the shoulder. The final slash is enough to catch on the remnant of chain -- and thusly rips the rod right out of her grasp.

But before the discarded rod can clatter on the floor, another pair of rods -- these, longer -- has been retrieved from the inside of her long coat. And with a flurry of motion, Miko twirls the three batons rapidly about, rearming herself fully. She will -not- be caught off-guard again.

But nor will she be letting Satsuki get close. Not as long as she wields that sword. When the batons stop spinning, Satsuki will find that there is one for each of Miko's hands.

And the third, detached rod, had been winged straight at Satsuki.

COMBATSYS: Satsuki dodges Honoka's Large Thrown Object.

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Honoka           2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|=======\======-\1          Satsuki

The careful, conscious sort of fighting Satsuki usually does has stopped dead, at this point; she's so off-kilter that all she can really muster is sheer aggression, just pressing in toward her opponent. She whips herself into a quick sidestep around that oncoming third rod, not wanting to give any ground while also knowing that if she doesn't defend herself she's going to collapse.

One red-gauntleted hand clutching at the side of her head, Satsuki tries her best to keep the offense on Miko -- her gaze finally starting to regain some more focus, but not much. The other hand, still holding her blade, brings the weapon around into a parrying stance, and for an instant, it looks like she's going to come in for another big kick, like before.

As before, though, she's trying to play with Miko's expectations; the real attack comes from the blade, Satsuki's hand whirling it back /out/ of that parrying posture and into a quick, low slash. "... Do not plant falsehoods in my head," she whispers, voice low and threatening.

COMBATSYS: Honoka dodges Satsuki's Medium Strike.

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Honoka           2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|=======\======-\1          Satsuki

Miko's eyes move pointedly up to the red gauntlet that Satsuki raises to her head. On her first visit to Southtown, Miko had told her, perhaps she shouldn't wear these in public, as they might attract attention. Brass knuckles, she had reasoned, were illegal, and these seem substantially more deadly.

Miko frowns. Satsuki's current weapon is substantially more of a threat, and =explicitly= forbidden by Japanese law. And also worthy of a bit more of her attention.

"Okay, you've convinced me. No more falsehoods. Promise."

The blade is brought to a parrying stance. Tactically sound -- but as the battle has been moved away from the tight quarters of the entry hall, Miko does not consider it as much of a threat. The blade still represents the best chance for Satsuki to strike, and while Miko does flinch in anticipation of the kick, it's the followup that she responds to.

She considers that the only way for her get her feet out of the way of the strike is a rapid backflip. The lower hem of the overcoat falls away with a shearing sound -- Miko's going to have some explaining to do on that part -- but the Gedo student is able to flip out of the way, landing low in a five-point crouch, clutching both her rods in her leading hand.

And then she suddenly springs forward, aiming to catch Satsuki's uniform just below the collar.

And if she manages that, she'd fall backwards, slamming her boot right into Satsuki's midsection and using it as a fulcrum to fall backwards. But she'd also take the opportunity to lance a spear of psychic energy through her. No memories this time -- just gut-wrenching pain to go along with the memories she'd just triggered, while rocking backwards to propel Satsuki into the air, and then the concrete floor.

COMBATSYS: Honoka successfully hits Satsuki with Wakka Pururuse.

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Honoka           2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2          Satsuki

Unfortunately for Satsuki, the memories might have been the better option. Caught and pulled in, she can feel her body giving out at just the boot; when that spear of raw force of self follows it, her eyes snap wide and, for an instant, she goes limp. She can't do anything about the toss as she flies through the air, hitting the ceiling before hitting the concrete and ending the fight in more or less the position in which she started it: next to the door, in agony.

As she slowly draws back up to her feet, she considers rushing in toward Miko and trying to finish her off -- but that's not constructive, and it's not the point of their encounter, anyway. Besides -- there's a much better use of what little energy she has left: running.

With a vicious single slash, she cuts the door neatly in half, buying herself exactly enough space to crawl under it and then start hobbling away. She's hurting for certain -- getting away is going to take some very real effort -- but at the very least, she has the /chance/ to escape... and accordingly, she's taking it as best she can.

COMBATSYS: Satsuki takes no action.

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Honoka           2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|

COMBATSYS: Satsuki can no longer fight.

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Honoka           2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|

Miko swings her legs around to her side, again taking a three-point stance for a moment as she assesses her opponent. She locks eyes with Satsuki for one brief instant, the blue contact lenses doing little to diffuse her intentions, nor dull her fighting spirit. She draws in her breath as she rises back to her feet, batons once more a blur of motion as she redistributes one to each hand.

And then Satsuki turns. Miko continues watching Satsuki, but her pupils dilate. If the Doll is still mindful of her psychic energy, she might notice that Miko is now a bit more concerned about her three companions -- she sends an urgent demand for them to hit the dirt, and not be seen. It's quite possible that she may have alerted Satsuki to their presence in such, but... well. They're armed.

With a sharp intake of breath, Miko stands anew. Her adrenaline fading, her heartbeat slowing with the passing danger, she takes note of the dampness on her shoulder, the cuts therein. She looks at fingers, similarly red, and takes note of the droplets spattered upon the floor.

A local protocol, she reminds herself while reaching into her pocket for a cloth hankerchief, has not yet been established for these sorts of occasions. Tossing it to the floor, she blots out the stains. AB is far from uncommon, but there's no taking chances. She glances around, noting the slashed door, the gulley carved into the wall... serviceable damage.

"Wh-who the hell -was- that chick?" blurts out Saya as Miko strides out of the building, her belongings retrieved from the floor.

"Someone I met once."

She'll give it a few days before visiting this building again.

COMBATSYS: Honoka has ended the fight here.

Log created on 18:16:24 12/23/2014 by Satsuki, and last modified on 23:22:37 12/23/2014.