Description: First a pirate, now a ninja! Makoto's daily life is starting to get really weird. Did she walk away with a new friend or a future enemy? Only time will tell.
It was going to be a good day today.
Despite all of the headaches that had assaulted her in a multi-pronged coordinated attack yesterday, Makoto had ended up making a new friend as a result of her trials. The addition of this individual to her close circle of aquaintances brought the grand total up to...one. She's never been much of a people person; or rather, her social skills come from an age that has long since fallen to the inevitable march of time. Martial prowess is certainly a recognized skill in the modern world but most consider it a sport than a way of life and even fewer are willing to accept headbutts and karate chops as legitmate forms of greeting.
Gedo High is the one exception to this.
The stomping grounds of the city's outcasts and delinquents is rife with constant turmoil and infighting. Most of the school's population belongs to the gang that Daigo has created in order to keep the lot in line but even that vague sense of comeraderie only goes so far before you just have to choke someone out for being a tool.
There's one other thing that tends to set people off around Gedo High, a factor that until only recently, was mostly absent from the predominantly male institution: Makoto Kato. Though quite often mistaken for a boy herself, thanks to her tomboyish appearance and tendancy to speak with her fists, the young karateka has made it very clear since the first day she set foot onto the campus that she wasn't the kind of girl who is going to be pushed around.
Naturally, there are going to be people who disagree.
Standing out on the lonely and weathered street leading up to Gedo High itself, Makoto is currently engaged in debate about this very subject with several young gentlemen. From the raised voices that carry easily into the surrounding parts of the city, their discussion must have become quite heated. It doesn't take long before words are abandoned for the more traditional method of settling arguments in these parts.
The first punch is thrown by Makoto and it's a doozy. The mohawked gang member, who had until moments before been uncomfortably close to her face, nearly leaves his spiked boots behind on the road when the girl's tiny fist slams into his jaw. Sailing backwards atleast ten feet, the young man lands hard on his back and crumples, which prompts the others to unleash a wild variety of battle cries and dive for the lone martial artists all at the same time.
Makoto, despite these apparently stacked odds, is grinning like she hasn't done in years.
Today is going to be a good day.
Ibuki had been staring at the entrance gate to Gedo for nigh on an hour, seated upon a bus stop bench. Several had already come and gone, and yet she always remained. It wasn't merely vacant staring however, it was thinking upon matters which were important to her, namely how thin she was spreading herself. She was lost enough in these thoughts to neglect even her cell phone which she normally spent an egregious amount of time upon. It had buzzed incessantly at first, but had gradually ceased.
'But your obstacle is the eight of cups. Indolence; success abandoned from loss of interest. Travelling from place to place, and misery without cause. Throwing things aside as soon as you gain them.'
The reading from the world famous psychic had been a bit too on the nose. For every action was a reaction. Everything she did seemed to open up a new path of investigation, a new activity that she couldn't devote herself to fully because of how she wanted to live her life. Shaking her head, she finally pushed herself up off the bench. Whatever role Gedo High played in this internal debate was lost as she turned away from the school and started walking down the 'mean' streets in her Taiyo uniform, book bag draped over her shoulder.
The sounds of the brawl finally drew her gaze, as her pace slowed, then stopped. The boy was more than holding his own. He was a boy wasn't he? Ibuki had to squint before realizing 'she' was wearing the Gedo girl's uniform. 'Oh' she mouthed to herself.
Which is when one of the brawlers drew up behind the central figure as if he were about to blindside her by trying to clout her upside the head before placing her in a brutal hold to work her entire body. It was an all too common tactic, she'd experienced it herself, fighting a gang of Gedo boys who tried to make her submit using it. The girl showed no signs of seeing it coming, even if it was possible that she expected it entirely. The 'ordinary girl' makes an impulsive decision.
Something whangs that particular assailant upside the head so hard that he's immediately sent sprawling. As evidence that he was probably concussed from the experience, he immediately loses the contents of his stomach all over the side walk. The blunt kunai hits the ground with a metallic clang a ways off, spinning around like a hub cap that had just landed before coming a rest.
Her assailants may have no idea who threw it, but Makoto almost certainly saw the trajectory out of the periphery of her vision. The only place it could have come from, is a girl across the street who is just tapping away on her cell phone like nothing at all was going on. At least, that's what she wanted everything to think.
"Hah! That all you got, TOUGH GUYS?! Who else wants-"
Makoto's unusally upbeat retort to the assault gets cut off in the middle as something blurs at the corner of her vision. She isn't quite fast enough to see the projectile in flight but the solid crack of impact a few inches behind her head and the resulting concussion was certainly not something she did.
And that kind of pisses her off! This is her fight! Who would dare to interfere?!
The tomboy's gaze shifts to the small piece of metal on the pavement nearby, eyes narrowing on the weapon, then across the street from the direction in which it had come. Only one person there but she doesn't have time to investigate just yet. Rather than become deterred by this random intervention, the other Gedo punks just grow more frenzied.
Two of the gangsters come at her, one on either side, and they grab at her arms in an attempt to hold her steady while the third rushes in from the front to punch her in the gut. Distracted as she was, the tactic seems to work and Makoto coughs as a pair of brass knuckles dig into the hardened muscles of her abdomen.
"Grhk! Why you little...!"
The unfortunate lad who had delivered the blow recoils as his 'victim' drives her forehead against his skull, clouting him into unconsciousness with a single blow. The others stare in horror at this but before they can realize the depths of their error, Makoto gives a tremendous heave and thrusts both fists up into the air, driving them into the jaw of each teen and they join the rest of their small crew as unconscious piles on the street.
The Gedo girl stands there huffing for a few moments; not out of fatigue but rage. A faint tint of red is visible in her cheeks to mark the raw anger that had been welling up inside both from the interruption and the cheap shot. With one of those matters settled, the other is now up for dispute.
The fallen kunai is collected and Makoto marches directly towards the Taiyo student who thinks she can play innocent with that phone of hers. It's not hard to imagine that another Gedo student would bring something crazy like this to the school but since there are literally no other people around at this point in the day, that kind of narrows down her suspects.
"Hey you!" Makoto makes no attempts to hide her approach or the annoyance in her scowl. When she gets close enough, she jams the kunai at Ibuki's face, thrusting it into her field of view. "They may not have seen it but I did. YOU threw this. I know you did so DON'T pretend!"
It was a brutal battle, and over quickly. She was only able to watch the last few moments out of the corner of her vision to keep up the facade, but she had to marvel at the ferocious intensity that the girl at the center of the fight had put up, that left her the last person standing. Maybe she had worried over nothing after all.
She had started to walk again, at the non chalant pace of someone who is just 'minding their business' when she heard the voice of the girl that was showing off Rindoukan supremacy nearby. Ibuki at first feints looking up, then looking around as if she couldn't place where it was coming from.
That is until the kunai is shoved right in her face. 'Busted.' she thinks, her eyes crossing as she looks at it. "Uh..." The phone is slid into her book bag, as another hand rubs the nape of her neck, just behind her gloriously long top knot. The girl was so sure about it that trying to deny it seemed like it was unlikely to do anything. The awkward smile she flashes shows teeth, "Look. Any chance you could just forget this ever happened?" A beat, as she drops her arm, making no move to take the kunai, "Please?"
Makoto's frown deepens at the sheepish behavior. First this girl interferes then she wants to play coy? It's an insult to her honor! No way she's letting it slide that easy.
The tomboy leans in close, bringing her face within a few inches of Ibuki and glowers. "That's not going to happen! See, I bet you're a martial artist. Probably a good one based on that shot. But you stepped in when you WEREN'T wanted. So you're GOING to meet me behind the school gym and we're going to find out who is the TOUGHEST around here. Got it?"
The kunai is thrust into Ibuki's hand and the stout little karateka gives her one final glare before turning and stalking off down the street towards Gedo High's gates. She doesn't give any time for a response and within a few seconds she vanishes onto the school grounds.
Did she say... gym!? Ibuki freezes, as the gym was where she had made her escape with Fury before. What if someone recognized her!? Yet there wasn't any good way out of this. Her appearance was quite distinct, if this girl decided to go looking around Taiyo for her again. She sighs in resignation, "If you say so." The kunai is thrust into her hands, and she glances around, making certain noone is looking, before it vanishes using a little sleight of hand.
She walked after Makoto in an unhurried manner, lacking any real enthusiasm, as she follows her beyond the school gates, and beyond to the area behind the gym. This would be an interesting experience, she'd never fought in her school uniform before. Wearing shoes alone hindered her more than she'd like to admit, which she learned in the fashion battle. Part of her is tempted to just throw the fight. Take her licks, let this girl have her bragging rights, and then go home. That's definitely what would happen right? Right?
Once there, Ibuki lays down her book bag beside a tree, stretching out a leg in an exaggerated manner and putting a hand on it. She didn't really need to warm up for a fight, but it would help sell the fact that she was more inexperienced than this girl thought when she crumpled beneath the first punch. "So, any rules? I'd really just like to get this over wi..."
Any further words are cut off by the hand across her mouth. Out of the corner of her eyes she saw sunlight glinting off metallic claws, showing surprise at how blatant the ambush was. "You'll be coming with me." The ninja in the purple dogi gave the girl in the Gedo uniform a look of contempt, "Your presence here is unfortunate but I suppose it can't be hel..."
That's the moment he let out a yowl of pain, as the girl he was holding bit his finger. Simultaneously something clinks to the ground below. Smoke quickly billows up, obfuscating the pair. There's a thunk of flesh against bone, before a tan blur shoots up out of the cloud, coming to rest on the toes of a single foot on a telephone pole overhead. And what's present is obviously the same girl as before, "Damnit!" She curses aloud, "You Geki jerks really have the /worst/ timing! Do you have any idea what you've done!?"
As the smoke dissipates, the same ninja as before kneels on the ground, one hand rubbing the area where the kunoichi had buffeted him on the head. Casually he flings a bladed kunai whose edge has been dipped in poison at Makoto, deeming her as someone who isn't a threat, that can be finished off quickly. This is likely a mistake on his part. Ibuki's own arm is already moving, and a sliver of metal races out in an attempt to intercept it! Will it be in time!? Does it even /need/ to be, given that this is Makoto?
"Rules? The only rules are those of HONORABLE combat! You do understand what that means, right?"
Makoto had been staring in the opposite direction the whole time, arms crossed over her chest as she gazed off into the forests that surround small school located on the edge of the city. Whatever preparation work her opponent needs is irrelevant to her own readiness so she just lets Ibuki do her stretches, apparently unconcerned with having her back to a person who she's going to be fighting in a few moments.
The addition of a new voice grabs her attention. Whirling around, fists already raised to fend off a potential surprise attack, Makoto is instead greeted with the sight of something she's only seen on television and comic books. The karate fighter stares blankly for a moment. Is this some kind of a joke?
She gets her answer in short order when Ibuki performs her quick escape and Superman change manuever. Practically forgetting that the Geki goon is still there, Makoto takes a step back, openly gawking up at the girl on the pole.
"What the heck! You're a ninja?!"
This distraction almost proves fatal. The poisoned blade whistles through the air at the short tomboy, bursting from the fading cloud of smoke in a flash of steel. Fortunately, Ibuki is much more on the ball than the karateka and her own quick reflexes saves her from getting skewered.
Makoto glances down at the pair of kunai and finally snaps out of her surprised daze upon realizing what just happened. "HEY! You dirty... JERK!"
The purple-clad assassin doesn't get a second chance. Roaring in anger, the Gedo girl throws herself at her assailant and brings her fist crashing into him in a direct assault. The ninja reacts as swift as might be expected, bringing his arms up to deflect what should be a basic punch but the impact is closer to that of a small freight train. There is an audible crunch as knuckles meet vambrace and the goon goes flying backwards as if launched out of a cannon at a nearby tree.
'What the heck! You're a ninja?!'
Well the answer was obvious, but the explanation would take far longer than she had right now. And one would definitely be necessary. There's a sort of mental sigh of relief as the kunai plinks against the other one, sending it's aim wide. The girl had put her in an awkward situation, but she certainly didn't want her hurt!
Though it was becoming increasingly obvious that if not for the sudden 'You're a ninja!?' distraction that it might not have mattered. She can take care of herself.
And even Ibuki has to wince at the bone-crunching punch she delivers to the other ninja. In a way, she felt sorry for him. He really had /no idea/ what he was going up against here. After fighting the ghost of the Ryouhara, and the mysterious kunoichi she suspected was from the Mugen Tenshin clan, a rank and file Geki didn't feel like much of a challenge in comparison.
Before he could recover from the Makoto express, she flips right off her perch, somersaulting through the air, before she unfurls her body. Two feet drive into where his collar bone ought to have been, but instead he's already vanished. Her impact into the bark of the tree with a crack, as she kicks off it, using the backwards momentum to take her where she suspected he was.
Fortunately she was right, some of their basic tactics were getting downright predictable. He drills towards her from above, with claws extended, and she only barely manages to avoid it in her upwards flip. Gracefully both hands make contact with his shoulders, grasping his dogi, and giving a vicious spin which spoils his intended landing, sending him in the opposite direction. Her foot makes contact with the back of his neck, and she quips, "So predictable. You've got a ways to go!" as he falls.
He hits the ground hard a short ways from Makoto, raising a large cloud of dust, he bounces, but quickly rises. Seeing mission failure imminent, the wise move would be to flee. Instead he sees red, and leaps towards Makoto, intending to make a fatal claw strike.
Makoto does not look amused by being drawn into a sudden ninja ambush. Her punch hits with a wealth of anger and outrage behind it and if not for Ibuki's swift move to capitolize on the surprise that her strength has created in their opponent she'd have been right on top of him again.
Instead, she's forced to sit back and watch while the two acrobatic fighters play out a short and deadly dance. She has to admit, it's fascinating to watch. While her attacks are quite brutal in their effectiveness she's never been forced or even considered attempting to strike an opponent in a fashion that might leave permanent injuries. These two aren't playing around.
Unfortunately for the Geki, Ibuki is way out of his league. Her deft evasion and reversal plants the minion square at Makoto's feet and he makes the rather grevious mistake of attempting to assault her with a deadly weapon for the second time.
Makoto glares at the ninja without even a trace of fear in her expression. He might as well have been trying to play chicken with a rampaging bull. At the last second, mere moments before the claws would have torn into her flesh, the karateka ducks and takes a step forward. Her shoulder drives into the much taller man's gut and it stops him as cold as if he'd run into a brick wall. Unleashing a fierce kiai, Makoto wastes no time in delivering the finishing blow, driving her fist straight up into masked jaw of her assailant like a pnuematic piston.
The result is much the same as the first only this time the blow sends the hapless goon blasting into the sky like a bottle rocket. He gains a good twenty feet or so of altitude before gravity reasserts itself and the unconscious killer comes plummeting back down to land with an unpleasant thud.
As Ibuki lands upon the ground near the tree, she catches sight of the final evidence of his reversal of fortune at the hands of Makoto's vicious fists. Up goes the ninja. Is he going to keep going!? Nope. Finally his downward arc begins. Down goes the ninja. Even she winces as he hits the ground, and stops moving.
She whistles audibly. "That was pretty bad ass." Walking warily up to the unconscious ninja, she plants a foot on his forearm to pin it, before sliding the claw off his hand. She then begins the pat down. As she talks, she's slowly creating several small piles of kunai and smoke bombs. And even one Grappling Hook. Where did he even hide that!? She's quick enough that it's hard to tell. "Thanks for your help." While it's quite possible she could have handled it herself. She didn't have to.
As the pile continues to grow, she looks up at Makoto, her tone takes on a hint of awkwardness again as she repeats her earlier request, in the form of a pleading question, "Now that you've seen all that. Don't... suppose you could just, let this all go, and forget it ever happened?"
Makoto drops into a combat stance, remaining wary until it's clear that the Geki ninja is well and truly out of the fight. When the /other/ ninja starts to give him a thorough frisking she frowns and crosses her arms in a 'I'm not going anywhere' posture.
"Like heck I'm going to just pretend that didn't happen! There's /ninja/ crawling all over my campus! I didn't even think ninja were still around until a few minutes ago!"
She eyes the piles of gear being laid out on the ground and makes a disgusted face. Ugh, bunch of low down dirty tricksters. Even when she watched those old action movies about samurai and feudal lords she's always hated the sneaky assassins. Now she's got /two/ bonafide assassins right in front of her.
"I'm keeping my EYE on you," Makoto says very firmly, jamming a finger in her direction. "For all I know you two are BOTH up to no good! And don't think I've forgotten about OUR fight, either!"
She listens while carving up the grappling hook rope, and using it in order to bind his hands and feet. She does a good job. He's soon not just tied, but hogtied in a position that would make it difficult to escape unless she missed one of his implements. Her thoughts on what Makoto was saying? 'Crap'.
That pretty much made this nearly the worst case scenario. Fortunately Ibuki's clan wasn't comprised of wholly ruthless people. She puts up a hand, waving it at the jammed out finger, "Wait! That's just the thing, ninja do exist! I mean..."
How far should she go here? She decides on honesty, at least up to a point. "...they're not entirely unknown in the fighting circuits. I fight in them myself under a different identity! It's just, what we do outside of the professional? Noone's supposed to know we exist and actually do things outside of that. It has to be kept a secret! People can't know what I am else..." Her shoulders slump, "...else I'll have to give up on a lot of things that matter to me."
If Makoto is at all swayed by the plea for leniency it doesn't show in the hard frown that she gives in return. She goes silent for a few moments, considering something. It's certainly true that someone claiming to be a ninja showed up in the tournaments from time to time but then so did people wearing animals masks and spandex. It's just for show, right? Maybe not.
"Fine," she says, after a bit of deliberation. "I'll keep your secret."
The tomboy marches over to where Ibuki is crouched by her captive and leans down to glare at her up close and personal, like before. She apparently likes invading people's personal space.
"But I'm STILL going to be watching you! I don't trust you. And until I'm satisfied that you aren't some sort of sneaky backstabbing TROUBLE-MAKER then I'm not going to give you an inch!"
Threat delivered, Makoto withdraws and stands up to her full height once again. She glances at the unconscious Geki for a moment then turns away, as if to leave. However, she speaks again first, as if something just occured to her and she wasn't thinking it all along.
"By the way, those moves of yours were pretty cool. I'm DEFINATELY not going to let you off the hook for our fight. Not until we've determined which of us is the better fighter!"
Crisis averted. Or at least, so it seems. Her headache however is intensifying with every passing moment, especially once Makoto gets in her personal space, even bending backwards a bit in a 'whoa whoa' sort of gesture with her palms out. "Geez. Sneaky trouble maker? Wasn't I the one that got ambushed?" She lets out a long sigh. Then again, it was a rather weak protest. She 'had' performed a sneaky attack on that tough after all.
Ibuki puts a hand to her forehead as Makoto draws back again. And yet, it wasn't all bad. Was she actually complimenting her there? "Uh... well thanks. Your moves were pretty rad too. Just, we can't settle this where anyone could figure out it's me!"
Inspiration suddenly strikes her, as she walks over to her book bag, and fishes out a small piece of paper. Jotting down a name in Kanji, then a phone number below it she walks over to her, and holds it out her way, "Ever heard of Neo League? We could maybe do it there. This is the name I go by when I fight in it, so people won't figure out who I am."
It reads 'Akemi Hino'. Her voice drops a little, "Just... thanks, for understanding." There aren't many girls who walk around Taiyo high with such an absurdly long top knot, it would take Makoto almost no digging to figure it out if she were so inclined. After the paper is handed over, the hand remains extended, "The name's Ibuki by the way." She says in the same muted voice.
Naturally, she's heard of it but she's been too busy with school and local matches to do much towards making her presence known in that venue. The last fight she'd had they'd pit her against someone who was all sorts of tough and she'd been resolved to train harder so she never got humilated like that again. Finding out that the ninja girl was a part of this only added more fuel to that raging bonfire of determination.
Makoto accepts the slip of paper and glances at it, noting the name and the number. She's never heard of the former and the latter looks legit. Satisfied, the paper vanishes into her breast pocket and she nods at Ibuki reaching out to return the handshake with a fierce grip.
"Makoto Kato, master of the Rindou-kan Martial Arts Dojo. I'll be seeing you soon."
Even with her hands wrapped, and the leather vambraces in place the fierce grip causes her to feel like her knuckle bones were thrown out of alignment just from shaking it. Still she grits her teeth beneath her half mask and bears it. "Nice to meet you, Mako-chan." It might have been too familiar /right away/, but Ibuki she tended to be pretty casual with that.
Once released, she'd walk over to the fallen ninja, gripping him where he's hog tied. "Don't think you're off the hook either." She says unnecessarily, given that he's unconscious.
While she couldn't take him back to her clan's glade, there were other places he could be taken where one of the Elders might question him in private. Later he'd be dropped off at a police station where he'd be mysteriously charged with /something/ suitable.
Unfortunately for her, the thought of questioning him by herself... never crossed her mind. At least she made the ride suitably unpleasant for him.
Log created on 14:32:37 12/27/2014 by Makoto, and last modified on 18:51:52 12/27/2014.