Rolento - Initial Assessments

Description: Rolento's attempt to hire a Geki ninja was intercepted by Ibuki's offshoot. Ruthlessly hunted by El Gado while trying to reach Rolento, the madness of the world she's found herself in is only beginning to reveal itself...

Mad Gear is doing well; but that doesn't mean a whole lot for Rolento Schugerg. Amongst everyone within Belger's employ, he is the principal mercenary. Hired for his tactical mastery and ability to train individuals, it has been a two part exchange on his part: He gains a safe haven away from Interpol and other world organizations, and a steady flow of income on top of it. Not far from the Metro City bridge is a warehouse where he keeps his base of operations, a three story affair with a massive lift. It's intended to hold shipping containers for sea vessels, but has been completely retrofitted as the heart of the future U.S.P.L.; United Soldiers for the People's Liberation.
He would not be with Mad Gear forever. Although he admired the vision and passion of a few, it still remained only a stepping stone... and an opportunity.
One such opportunity was negotiated through the Geki clan. Despite his villainous nature, the reason that they accepted his request for someone was twofold. Rolento is amongst the best instructors in the world in martial pursuits... and he was undoubtedly the strictest disciplinarian. Forcing her to work harder in the ninja world should help her escape the contrasted half-life, or so they might hope.
Metro City will be her home away from home a few days a week, although such is negotiated enough to not interfere with school or other social activities through the world-phasing powers of 'ambiguous timing'. Her initial mission is relatively simple...
Enter the main warehouse building and find him. Without being seen. It should be trivial, if not for dozens of men in different colored outfits. Some perform very thorough surveillance of the perimeter outside and the roofs. Those within the sea of crates, huge containers, girders, shadows and ventilation shafts are in the midst of body-breaking drills. Only two people are of a danger in finding her out...
Holly Wood, the Metro City-born former punk in a red outfit. He's resting on the third level where Rolento is, clipping at his nails while reclining with his feet on a table. A well-built man of handsome features, the clue to his perception is when he hurls a knife, striking a fly three meters away and splitting it in half. Not to be trifled with, but Ibuki would put his fighting capacity considerably below hers. It just means she has to bother trying.
The second is another matter. An Arabian with a nasty scar in dark green, wearing a crimson scarf. He's simply leaning against a wall, giving off a killing intent that could be felt two dozen meters away. Unlike Holly Wood, El Gado is a legitimate concern. Best not get near.
And Rolento himself is yelling at a dozen people in red, striding back and forth as they perform the same drill with a knife. His arms are behind his back, wearing yellow with a red cravat, and a long baton held. Stance proud and strong, stride perfect and strict, there is no mistaking the aura of a leader in this motley crew.

~Earlier: Elsewhere~

It's always fascinating, how much one tries to run from their past, how frequently it catches up to him. While Master Enjo was no longer part of the Geki clan, he was once considered their number two. Second only to Geki Alpha, until the day when he broke ties violently. Thus every now and then, one of his old contacts passes along a request that is meant to reach the Geki clan, conveniently arriving upon his lap instead. His bespectacled confidante simply crossed his arms and huffed a breath, "Is Mad Gear really the sort of organization we want to get involved with?"

The veiled Master lowered the request, responding with a voice that's so blessedly neutral, but anything but, "Have you forgotten what we are, Sanjou? We can't exactly claim a moral high ground here." His gaze turned to stare at the smoldering brazier in his chambers. "We've sheltered her from the realities of the world for too long. This will be an excellent trial for her."


Metro City wasn't exactly her home turf, and she was going in blind, without any resources. Part of the challenge here was improvisation, so other than Kunai and smoke bombs she wasn't given any of her normal tools for the mission. And thus the kunoichi went back to the basics. People like think of Ninjitsu as 'fancy techniques', but in reality, on it's most basic level, it was the art of controlling the environment.

That meant a few things. Getting a sense of the layout. Understanding how many people were within, their patrol routes. Their attentiveness. Their blind spots. The dozens of men drilling were only tangentially a concern, given that their focus was on each other, and the drillmaster rather than their environment.

No the biggest concerns, were the two who were actually paying attention, who carried themselves like they'd be an actual threat to her well-being if she were spotted. From her position, she watches as he neatly bisects the fly with a wince that carried beneath her half mask. And the other one. Well, she didn't need the demonstration to know how dangerous he was.

Deciding that their attentiveness was too high to take the high route through the windows or the ventilation shafts, she eventually tore herself away from the high window once she got a feel for the layout. Instead she took a hop down, and picked the window of one of the warehouse floor offices. Seeing that it was locked fast, she sighed to herself and went to the undignified task of rooting through the reeking garbage until she found a newspaper. Rolling it up, she dampened it in a rain gutter, before using it to smack the window as hard as she could.

The glass shattered, but within the office, the sound would be so muffled that it wouldn't be carried within the main floor. Reaching inside, she undid the latch and opened it up, finding herself in a darkened, nearly unfurnished office, filled with little except file cabinets. A desk covered with manifestos and bills of lading. Unrolling the newspaper, she grasped some tape on the desk, then placed it over the unbroken window, taping it on several sides, enough that the moonlight would no longer filter through.

The door was trickier. From this angle, it was all a matter of timing. Holly Wood had a vantage point where he could possibly see it from up high, but the other man couldn't. Crouching down low, she waited for the drills to become appropriately loud with boisterous battle cries, and finally undid the lock. She waited for him to look /up/, where she knew he'd be looking for any signs of infiltrators, then crept out of the door herself, closing it with nary a sound, before pressing against the shelving that would hide her presence for now. Now to get up to the third floor.

It's not particularly hard to wait for Holly Wood to drop his guard. The danger in him is not that he's keeping watch, but that he innately has an incredible instinct and high perception. Eventually he turns completely away to reach for a Twonkie snack cake nearby, allowing Ibuki to slither out and then hide herself. To his credit he does glance in her direction almost immediately after the motion, but there's not the slightest hint of suspicion as he begins eating heartily.
What becomes troublesome is that in her assessment of the surroundings afterwards, El Gado is gone. No matter how much she slithers and squirms and slinks to peek, he's vanished. Did he hear the breaking window after all? Perhaps Rolento told the man someone would be trying to get in...
And his job is to intercept her.
This is proven to be the case when the patient ninja finally sees the man stride from the office, holding the newspaper she used to break the window as well as a piece of glass. Tossing both aside, he slowly licks his blade before casting his gaze up to the rafters. He knows she's here, but not where. Ninja vs. Assassin. Is there truly a difference? El Gado is Rolento's right hand, a master of guerilla warfare, both in urban and jungle and desert surroundings.
He walks past a large shipping container and then is not seen again. Her test to reach Rolento just got a little more difficult... intuitively, the path she's taken from the door is the optimal one. That means El Gado is almost certain to try it first...!

The game changes a touch when the more dangerous man strides right into the office. It's one thing to suspect someone is coming. It's another thing to know that they're already here. There's plenty of things one could do in these situations. Heading for the circuit breaker comes to mind, but the sudden chaos would free up a few dozen men. Right now she just has to worry about two. One more than the other. The sudden anxiety as the man comes out of the office, and disappears from view is considerable, a beat of sweat forming upon her forehead. And yet, these are situations she was trained to remain calm in. Looking one way, then the other, then up, she knows that he's likely to come from one of those directions shortly.

So instead she takes a different path. Being a girl, she was more slender than the average man, so she chooses to squeeze uncomfortably between two of the less tightly packed crates on the lower shelf, looking one way for signs of El Gado, before finally sidling out into the aisle one row over. She then doubles back towards the office while moving low, before taking the less than optimal route. The one unexpected, since it would put her briefly back in 'Holly Wood's' view. Peaking out from behind the corner, she waits until she believes he isn't looking, before crossing over just beneath the catwalk. It was a less than ideal position, as right now she could see the soldiers training, but neither El Gado nor 'Holly Wood.' but just the soldiers at various stages in her drills. Taking her lengthy top knot, which would be a liability for this, she stuffs it down the back of her dogi securely.

Lightly she hops up to a beam making up the warehouse wall, to spring up to the underside of the second floor's catwalk. Thankfully the construction was sound enough that the metal didn't reverberate when she did so, and she grasps ahold of the support beam under the catwalk. Her legs swing up, before pressing at a side support beam to hold her completely pressed up against the underside of the catwalk. Hanging upside down really wasn't that difficult once one got used to it. If all goes well she would use this new vantage to try to get a new perspective on El Gado's current location, before she would even dare to move any further.

If there had been a meter with a red filling eyeball, Holly Wood got to the very limit of it. This time he only looked away a moment, and Ibuki caught him. He saw motion, and half-raised out of his chair to peer in her direction. It took a long time for him to shrug and sit down. Inwardly, she'd know this would have failed if the man had any ethics. He seems to be exceptionally lazy, and resumes working the nail file. A more competent person would have sounded the alarm or had a sweep initiated to be safe. Maybe telling that to Rolento will buy her some bonus points.
The rest goes uneventfully. From her new perch, she eventually sees El Gado drop down into sight, perched on the corner of a building. He's actually a very small man, short and no less slender, with the benefit of further lacking other obstructions. His knife is still held in his hand, running his thumb across the edge lightly as he looks around in the opposite direction. It seems he presumed she'd take an indirect route, but one that was linear. Doubling back was the right call. She's got some time to start ascending... if he turns around, the gig is up, and she probably doesn't have long until then!

Ibuki has to resist the urge to sigh from relief as Holly Wood gets up, then sits back down. With him at least, she had some margin for error in his overall attentiveness. With the other, El Gado... there was none. As she sees him take his position back in the corner atop a crate, she initially holds her breath, daring not to even allow her chest to rise and fall from where it was pressed up against the underside of the cat walk. Silently she tries to calculate his maximum throwing range with that knife in her head. Weight, balance, distance, skill. She didn't like her odds if he caught sight of her, even with how fast her reflexes are.

And now she had an even narrower window. Right now two things counted. Speed and silence, a perfect balance of it. Too much caution and he'd eventually be looking right at her. Too little... and while she'd probably make it to her objective, she didn't know what state she'd be in. One handhold after the other, she quickly moved on the underside of the second floor catwalk, until she got to the edge, and climbed up, to crawl beneath the gaps in the side rails. Rather than falling flat on her belly, she instead decides to just move low, trying to keep beneath the shadows of the third floor catwalk. Until she reached the ladder.

The window El Gado's /attentiveness/ gave her was a small one, so she couldn't wait too long, but she still waited until Holly Wood looked properly bored, and she wasn't in his field of view, using his /inattentiveness/ to give her another small window. She then climbed up the metal ladder one rung at a time, on the back side of it. Finding her way on the underside of the third floor catwalk, she moves a little more deliberately. Up until now, she was paying attention mostly to El Gado and Holly Wood, but the drillmaster? This Rolento. From what little she knew from his record, sneaking up on him wouldn't be a trivial task. Fortunately, the objective was just to make it to him, not /ambush/ him, right? That'd be suicide anyhow, given the number of people in the room. Startling him in a manner that would get him to react as if it were an ambush, was probably similarily unwise!

She uses the sounds of the men drilling below, and synchronizes her movements with their battle cries. She's not going to wait until she is directly beneath Rolento, given that... dozens of pairs of eyes in the room were on him directly. Just to get close enough to hop over the catwalk and sound a 'Mission Accomplished.' once she closes the gap a little. ...Yeah she'd better have a Kunai ready, just in case Hollywood decides to throw that knife.

It seems Ibuki has managed the perfect balance. By the time she's settled where she wants to wait for Holly Wood, El Gado's looked around the bottom level and become satisfied that she's not there. She ascends the ladder only some seconds before he's perching on a girder, scanning here and there before moving on. He, as well, is avoiding detection, making the game somewhat more even. But he knows the destination she's heading towards. The mistake... was he went higher, believing she'd drop down from the roof mesh and metal. Coming from below grants her victory.
Rolento, however, doesn't so much as glance in her direction. "Well done. Judgement: Grade B-. Had conditions been slightly different, you might have failed. ...But El Gado was genuinely trying to track you down and kill you."
During this conversation, one of the men's lunge with the knife falters, as he misplaces his step. A brutal CRACK of the baton hits him in the forearm, breaking it. He drops it with a cry, before catching himself and standing at attention.
"You will never make it into the Berets if you cannot handle a single flawless drill. /Dismissed./" The man yells out "SIR, YES SIR." before grasping his knife with his good hand and quickly fleeing. The remaining eleven continue their work.
"We shall now begin the combat assessment."
Unwittingly to Ibuki, who has likely given her full attention to Rolento -- especially after that assault on a man -- El Gado never stopped 'playing'. He drops from the rafters a few meters behind Ibuki, landing in a three-point stance without so much as a whisper in the noisy environment. Languidly he rises, slowly drawing his blade from a sheath in his lower back. Step by step, as if walking an invisible line, he approaches the young ninja from behind. Right when the statement 'combat assessment' is finished...
He snaps out a hand to grasp Ibuki by the chin, lift it up, and slice her throat.
Of course, she's not so slow that this would work. But the intention was clear. That was no feint. That was no spar. The strange, dark-skinned Arabic just tried to cut her open in a decidedly fatal manner...!! And he's much sneakier than she might have thought, to boot!

COMBATSYS: El Gado has started a fight here.

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El Gado          0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Ibuki has joined the fight here.

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Ibuki            0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0          El Gado

COMBATSYS: Ibuki blocks El Gado's Power Strike.

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Ibuki            0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0          El Gado

As Ibuki hops up on the railing beside Rolento, landing on the toes of one foot, she exuberantly cries out, "Ha, Miss-" Which is when Rolento says something. It sounds like he's grading, /her/!? He's not even looking at her. There's a sort of cognitive dissonance there as she processes it before she takes a step forward, jabbing a finger towards him and making an indignant statement. "Hey! I may be in school, but where do you get off giving..." She then points the finger at herself as she leans forward, ".../me/ a grade!?" A beat, "And that was at least an A effort!" ... Well actually probably not, on second thought, if she actually had to self-evaluate. But this military guy in his fancy little beret wasn't a ninja, one of her instructors, so it was the principle of the matter!

He's not even paying attention to her though, he's focusing on the one soldier who messed up the combat drill, so she crosses her arms and fumes, until... "Wait, combat assessment? You seriously think I..." Which is when El Gado shows that he was the cat in the cat and mouse game all along. Out of the corner of her vision, she sees just a glint of dim warehouse lighting on metal out of the periphery of her vision. Fortunately, it's just enough for her to react. His strength is enough that she doesn't manage to stop the chin lift in time.

Her arm however, was already moving. His knife slices across one of her leather armguards that rose to deflect the blow, driving in deeply enough to cause a superficial laceration there, but she deflects the blow away from her throat. Narrowing her eyes as she realizes just how deadly serious this is, she flips onto the nearby guard rail, perching there for just a moment, before she somersaults into the air.

From there she'd extend both legs as she corkscrews towards El Gado, attempting to drive both her feet against each shoulder in a vicious double kick. If successful, she'd immediately spring away towards the higher rafters he'd been hanging from. Holding on with her uninjured arm while she surveys the cut to her other, to make certain it didn't cut anything vital. "Damnit! If that's the way you want it, then fine! Wouldn't be the first time I've been in training like this!" And it certainly wouldn't be the last time either.

COMBATSYS: El Gado dodges Ibuki's Hien.

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Ibuki            0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0          El Gado

After the violent lash of metal is thrown towards Ibuki, the audible rip of it tearing through leader is a segueway to utter silence. All of the sounds of shouting and training have stopped now, and the men have begun to flock around; leaping up to crouch atop cargo crates and boxes, standing at attention in three person files, all simply forming a loose arena. There's plenty of ninja-like navigation, but Rolento himself has similarly turned his attention on the pair. Not an instructor...? That gaze on her probably feels more like one than she's had her whole life! Never has every breathe, twitch of tendon, flex of muscle been so thoroughly appraised, undoubtedly. But he says nothing all the same, dismissing the sass that would have had any other soldier killed.
For the same reason that Holly Wood lives; a person of talent is allowed privaleges above the rank and file. Assuming, of course, she passes the testing and initiation...
Leaping backwards, there's an immediate backflip from El Gado when the spiraling kick takes place, passing beneath him close enough that she feels the brush of his fabric. His eyes shift, before twisting a hand and snapping it. As Ibuki dangles, risking a look at her arm, she'd see the shine of metal flying towards her, aiming to sink into her left thigh to the hilt -- another knife!
"Assess your wounds when criticality is important." Rolento instructs. "A simple clenching of the fist will tell you whether tendons were affected. Your training has been lax, if a glance away from an opponent is not potentially fatal...!!"

COMBATSYS: Ibuki dodges El Gado's Thrown Weapon.

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Ibuki            0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0          El Gado

As Ibuki gets leapt at, she twirls around on one arm, monkeybarring backwards to backpedal. There's an audible sound of fabric as El Gado's knife sinks into the baggy part of her pants just above the knee, but misses the knee. With her injured arm, she reaches down, and plucks it out, allowing it to clatter below. She has an audience now, but... Rolento's instruction rings above all. It's good advice, but she thinks it's priorities are a bit off. "Cut is close enough to where the brachial artery becomes the radial artery. That takes precedence over the tendons. I can fight with one arm."

Swinging on her one arm from her current position, like some trapeze artist, she performs a flip into the rafters, landing again on one foot. "I /can't/ fight for longer than thirty seconds if either gets nicked and I don't know it happened to tourniquet it... furthermore..." She leaps down mid-statement, though given the distance between herself and El Gado, it takes her some time to make it up.

Ibuki didn't fit the grim and silent ninja archetype. In battle, if she could, she was a talker. She could focus on talking /and/ a fight enough to split her attention. Attacking mid-statement was a good way to take down someone with a hostage, for example, while they were focusing on the words. It also made people think /she/ was distracted and look for openings that aren't there. She feints first with a palm strike towards the guerilla specialist. "...Armguards are on tight. If it was hit, the blood wouldn't spurt."

She raises her arm in an axe kick, for another feint, a couple of light taps intended to make him think the follow up attack was coming where it wasn't. "It'd trickle down beneath the arm in a torrent. You'd bleed to death without knowing it if you didn't look and fasten something." The leg curls back up against her body, as metal flashes in her hand.

But even presenting the Kunai was another feint. In reality, the leg was the bigger threat. Suddenly it flies out, charged with a ninjitsu technique that gathered her chi within her foot. It lashes out with a series of whirlwind kicks that trailed streamers of azure energy. Two were aimed towards his mid-section, but then she suddenly drops the knee of her balancing leg. The final one is aimed at the back of his knee cap, in an attempt to hobble her foe.

COMBATSYS: El Gado counters Tsumuji from Ibuki with Assassin Trap.

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Ibuki            0/-------/---====|==-----\-------\0          El Gado

"You can check for arterial wounds without the need to visually confirm. The feel of blood squirting out is sufficient. You made a mistake." Rolento continues, undeterred, walking slowly along the edge of the group and continuing to watch. He can already tell the capabilities of the girl in the brief skirmish, athough he hides the excitement brewing within. Face an utter mask of wretchedly scarred stoicness, white eyes pinning Ibuki with their intensity.
El Gado has not said a word, and it's pretty clear he's not going to. Instead of approach at a rapid clip he's begun to slowly edge near, one hand behind his back and the other holding his weapon upwards wardingly. In terms of speed and technical skill, he might be her better. This is an uphill battle against someone with as much battle experience as the prodigal ninja is old, in situations no less dire.
But then Ibuki approaches, and suddenly El Gado moves. He hurls something in front of her; a mechanical scorpion. She inadvertantly steps on it in her attempt to move in for a palm strike. Immediately a net erupts upwards, hooks lashing out to dig into flesh and clothes. It is a metal wire, nothing that can be swiftly cut with a kunai...
And El Gado rushes forward while she's vulnerable, twirling his knife before shifting to stab her right in the stomach. "Good." he whispers in her ear at last, close enough for the heat of his breath to be felt in her hair. And then a heel to her stomach, brutally kicking her away to likely tumble, still caught in the horrible mess of his trap. How cheap!
He's already approaching, but not with undue haste, expecting her to remain vulnerable for a few seconds longer...
"You are full of small openings. Like a splinter, El Gado will rip into them. I would do less defending your mistakes, and focus more on avoiding dying...!!"

The scorpion is tiny. Tiny enough that while she's wrapped up in her offensive that she doesn't see it. When she steps on it, there's a sudden motion where she tries to rock backwards, to leap away. The explosive force with which the hooked net is launched though can't be denied. Her baggy clothing is something of a savior here. It prevents /all/ the hooks from making it into her flesh, but it still hurts like the dickens. Suddenly she finds herself biting down on the inside of her lip to prevent herself from screaming.

Her initial reaction is to bring a kunai out, but the wire is metallic, and the cut she makes isn't enough to get her out of it.

To her credit, as he tries to stab her stomach, she turns, and the blow glances off the meet of her lower ribs instead, turning a possibly fatal injury into a flesh wound that simply hurts. /A lot/. Now there's a muffled shriek that comes out of her lips, burbling enough that the men below would hear what sounded more like a wounded animal than a girl.

The kick that follows does hit home though, and she's suddenly launched along the catwalk, sprawling into a tangled mass of net and girl. And yet, instead of panicking, she stays calm. Right now there was some distance between her and El Gado, and she intended to make certain there was more of it. Even hooked in a net, all it takes is a flick of the wrist, as it's aimed for one of the gaps in the net.

If El Gado was taking advantage of her small openings, then she could take advantage of the small openings in his trap. Afterwards, she tries to find the bottom of the net. And she tries to tear the hooks out from there onwards. It hurt, ripping them out of her flesh like fishhooks, as she grunted each time it came out of her flesh or clothing but it was better than than stay vulnerable. Getting one limb free took priority, then she'd have more to work with.

COMBATSYS: El Gado negates Kunai from Ibuki with Low Assassin Knife.

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Ibuki            0/-------/---====|=------\-------\0          El Gado

"Anxiety. Panic. Precisely the reaction El Gado's attack is meant to cause. Your instinct to cut is correct, but that very instinct was prepared for. However, I commend you for suppressing such, and avoiding a more fatal blow." Rolento allows, continuing to be the commentator to the little fight. Like countless crows roosting in the darkness, dozens of eyes watch nearly unblinking. It's a high level exchange, but it appears that irrevocably El Gado is squeezing out an advantage that's difficult to overcome...!
When the kunai suddenly flicks in the air, El Gado is already moving. There's a limited arc that she's capable of maneuvering to gain enough momentum to throw. The blade he has in hand is suddenly flicked. And the near-miraculous occurrence takes place of his blade striking the kunai hard.
A spray of sparks sends the knife spiralling upwards and the kunai down, El Gado leaping over it; had he not, it still would have sunk into his leg, ripping a tear through his own baggy green pants. Reaching back he's unsheathed two more knives, hefting them overhead like some kind of mantis, only to growl as he strikes down with all her force while Ibuki struggles to free herself. The scorpion is remarkably heavy, likely lead, an annoying tether that clings to the grill of the floor now and then...
Can she evade what is doubtlessly a lethal impaling from the man, or will she manage a miraculous escape?!

Ibuki had to marvel at El Gado's speed and reflexes as he deflects the knife. He'd be a good ninja, she thought absently. At the same time also thinking how frightening it was that he likely /didn't/ have ninja training, yet was giving her a run for her money so far. She needed to change that, and quickly. Thinking upon it. She holds her breath, and allows something of her own to drop out of her sleeve. It was a tiny ball that erupted into an obfuscating cloud of smoke.

And yet, she couldn't /really/ escape from that net with some sort of ninjitsu trick, could she? The thought might occur to the crowd though, to her opponent, that perhaps she could. And that's what she was perhaps counting on, hoping he would overextend to quickly advance on her position. She remains entirely silent, just listening to his foot steps, and then, out of the cloud of the smoke a vicious side kick would erupt forth, intending to hit her opponent clean in the solar plexus moments before the rush of air caused in the wake of the kick would cause the smoke to clear.

She only had one limb free, but she'd made it a foot, instead of a hand. If her attack connects, she'd try to use the gap in timing, to tear the hooks out of her sleeve and cast the net over her head. Two limbs free would be better than one after all.

COMBATSYS: Ibuki successfully hits El Gado with Medium Kick.

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Ibuki            0/-------/--=====|===----\-------\0          El Gado

While El Gado might be lacking ninja training, he was personally instructed by Rolento himself. If anything, this is showing what a person with talent can achieve when under his focused efforts. Although his standards may be set impossibly high, with a mere two people standing out in the entire army he is creating for himself. No comment is made on the sudden waft of smoke, the fortuitous obsfucation causes a twin CRACKs as his readied blades strike metal instead of her flesh.
Both person tries to sense the other within as sight is lost. Of course, El Gado has the advantage here with the rasping metal, but it only gives a sense of direction as opposed to distance. Believing he has her located when she moves to attack, he inadvertantly charges right into a kick, thumping him hard and causing him to skid backwards on his toes, three extended fingers grasping his uniform where he was hit. A few heavy coughs follow as the smoke dissipates and the wretched scorpion is finally fully dislodged, although she'd be rather scratched up as a result. "..." For once Rolento says nothing, which must mean she did well.
The assassin then rushes forward, coming in low with both arms extended behind and the blades held outwards. Attempting to lunge to close the distance, a furious onslaught of slashes follow, seamlessly turning the attack from one into a feint for the other. It is more raw speed than force, no singular hit liable to do much, but if she's caught into his pace she might find herself wearing a dozen crimson slashes as a result...!

COMBATSYS: El Gado successfully hit Ibuki with Medium Strike.

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Ibuki            0/-------/=======|====---\-------\0          El Gado

When El Gado is staggered backwards, Ibuki restrains herself from another sound of relief, as she manages to tear away the hooked net from another limb. With her right leg, and left arm free from the net, she's still in a precarious position, her movement hampered considerably. And thus, when El Gado moves at her, quick as a serpent, she tries to spin to the side in order to evade the first slash. Only to get caught up in where the hooks caught into the back of her dogi.

It leaves her open in the midst of the onslaught that follows. Despite that, she tries to parry aside the blades as best as she can, but there's only so much she can do to knock them aside. One grazes against her flank, tracing a deep line across it, missing her kidney only by a few centimeters. Another quick strike catches her in the shoulder, which she turns aside before he can really drive it home. It at least does her credit that while she's taking hit after hit, that she's preventing them from becoming fatal strikes.

Despite the pain as well, if anything she seems to be growing calmer, more focused. More tenacious to hold onto life for just a while longer as he capitalizes on his advantage. Soon there's not even a grunt when his knife cuts across her right elbow, but simply a dangerous look in her eyes. With only one arm free, she has no time for pretense, as that strike comes, her foot lashes out, lightning fast to try to hook behind his leg, and attempts to sweep it and him to the floor. Pulling against the net, she'd try to plant her knee to the center of his chest. Drawing back a palm, she strikes forward. And yet... it stops short when it reaches his chest.

It seems ridiculous, was she showing him mercy? But no. She was simply gathering strength. If all goes well up to this point, then it would suddenly clench into a fist, releasing an explosive spherical burst of azure chi with the intention of... hitting his vitals and breaking the catwalk beneath him, sending them careening towards the second floor one below. It was sort of a desperate move, wasn't it? But it was certainly bold.

COMBATSYS: El Gado blocks Ibuki's Raida.

[              \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Ibuki            1/-------/=======|=====--\-------\0          El Gado

The frenzied onslaught continues, almost beautiful in it's perfect rhythm. The song of death, a dirge of assassination that one of Ibuki's skills can appreciate. While she begins to flow into her own mental state, shunting out the distractions of an average girl where such obviously offers no advantages, El Gado similarly becomes more precise, a final slash thrown at her throat that's scarcely avoided by the abrupt rush downwards and likely steals a few stray hairs.
As a result, he finds his legs swept out, thumping down heavily upon the grill floor. What truly saves him here is that slight pause; the same moment that granted the assault it's terrific power also allowed him to thrust up, interposing the edge of his blade before her hand. The eruption of energy still works as intended, blasting him downwards; ruptured steel parting beneath him with only a grunt of pain, ripping open the shoulders and sides of his uniform to reveal dark flesh. Backflipping once, he lands in a crouch upon a shipping crate on the second level, the area around his chest similarly blasted open by the ruthless chi.
A moment later, the broken blade of his knife clatters beside. He tosses the hilt away, before drawing yet another and looking upwards. Only to suddenly lunge upwards, pressing both feet to the adjacent metal of the support beam and hurtling towards Ibuki -- trying to time it for when she's liable to leap down to continue the fight, so he can press both feet to her stomach and hurtle her towards the corner of a cargo container in a manner she couldn't recover!

COMBATSYS: Ibuki blocks El Gado's Medium Throw.

[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////        ]
Ibuki            1/------=/=======|=====--\-------\0          El Gado

While it worked somewhat as expected, he was able to block the main thrust of his blow with the flat of his knife. The catwalk ruptures, and El Gado deals with the change in the environment as masterfully as she might have expected given how he's been handling himself so far. She's given a few seconds as a breather during this time, and she uses it to take her kunai and pry up the scorpion's legs from where they're tethered into the floor. /Great/ now she just had to deal with a lead weight, and two limbs caught. Make that one limb, as she works out the hooks from the baggy part of her other leg.

And while she could use this scenario to free herself entirely, sudden inspiration strikes her. She leaps down upon him as he expects, taking the net and weight with her, attached to a single hand. And he's already ready for her. As he leaps at her, she wonders if she's made a mistake, as she suddenly curls up her legs to cover her abdominal muscles. The thunderous blows land against her calves near her knee with a crack, her teeth clenching in pain, as he tries to hurtle her away.

Instead of allowing that follow up, she swings her still caught arm, hooked net and all, heavy lead weight leading towards the upper body of the man who entrapped her in it in the first place. Instead of escaping entirely, she intended to use it against him and entangle his upper body within it, locking the two together!

COMBATSYS: El Gado blocks Ibuki's Light Random Weapon.

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////          ]
Ibuki            1/------=/=======|======-\-------\0          El Gado

The two impact mid-air, a crisp noise of equally acrobatic individuals. Each movement and thrust, this well-honed assassin has proven himself to be Ibuki's equal, although after the smoke bomb such has begun to erode away... perhaps being so close to severing his prey has made the man hasty, but it doesn't seem he expected her assault. The hooked net whirls around him, causing a small grunt when pulled taut. Tumbling down with Ibuki, the pair likely equally thump on the heavy metal cage of the floor. Although he immediately discards the upper part of his uniform, leaving only a few stray hooks in his flesh. It's clear he has been cut many, many times in his life. "The strength of no modesty." comments Rolento from above, before leaping down. He lands deftly on a nearby girder, continuing to watch. Yes... this is well above even his expectations. Pulling the netting taut against Ibuki to slacken it on his form, his knife is reverse-gripped, before he literally cuts himself free in a few brief slashes and throws it back at Ibuki before charging after, intent on spiralling through the air and clamping both his legs down upon her head and shoulders in a makeshift frankensteiner, trying to take final advantage of the net weighing her down!

COMBATSYS: El Gado successfully hit Ibuki with Takedown Drop EX.
Grazing Hit

[                  \\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////          ]
Ibuki            1/----===/=======|======-\-------\0          El Gado

Some people only start to shine in the face of adversity. Ibuki is one of those people. She thumps down hard upon the floor in synch with him, watching as he simply tears his uniform off to divest himself of the net. As Rolento calls down, despite the life and death struggle she still fires back, "Easy enough for you to say! You're not the only maiden here in a warehouse of guys!"

That's not important though, she was focusing on her opponent now, as he tries to pull her in like a fish on a line. It hurt, given how many hooks were still in her flesh, but she bears it as best as she can. It's when he cuts himself free, that she's thrown slightly off-balance, and she uses the opportunity to tear the hooks away from her flesh with one final gasp. But he's already spiralling at her, And Ibuki tries to bend over backwards. She manages to avoid him catching ahold of her neck, just barely, his legs instead wrapping around just under her shoulders, and taking her on a ride downwards to the floor.

Fortunately, her kubiori, her neckbreaker technique was something she had practiced for ages not only performing, but trying to escape as well. Since he didn't have her neck, instead as he uses his weight to bend her over backwards, she puts a palm against the ground, the muscles of her shoulder bulging and straining as she tries to keep up and prevent her neck from crashing against the ground. She doesn't quite manage, given her light build against him, it's only a matter of time, before she gives out, her palm slipping and her shoulder cracking against the ground just as audibly as the yelp they all hear.

In the face of this however, she doesn't panic, despite the fact that his legs are locked against her. Instead she tries to jam her elbow against his knees, trying to see if his grip would grow slack. Slipping out from under him on the slippery warehouse floor, she would then try to climb his well muscled form, scampering up him like a tanuki to his back.

Instead of trying to grip his neck however, which is what she feels he would be expecting, she tries to use the twirling motion of her climb to throw him off balance, then spring off him. If all goes well, as she moves in the air, she would snap a vicious axe kick towards the back of his neck, a stunning blow meant to take the fight out of him and knock him further away from her.

COMBATSYS: Ibuki successfully hits El Gado with Uki Yami.

[                   \\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////               ]
Ibuki            2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|=======\-------\1          El Gado

"Say what you will. If your appearances are more important than your life, then so be it." Rolento comments, as if it truly were as simple as that. Then again, there's a sense gender doesn't particularly exist for this man... at least, where that area is concerned. There's not a single female to be seen, but that might just be due to high standards and a very particular recruiting pool as opposed to being sexist. Far from it. Strong is strong... and Ibuki has already passed the most important test, in lasting this long and showing even a hint of her rough potential before El Gado.
The impact against Ibuki is still rather heavy, a surprising amount of force summoned from so simple a gesture. Knives might not be the forte of this man after all, it would seem. But he makes the mistake of trying to remain mounted atop the nearly-grounded girl, raising up his knife in preparation to thrust it down. The elbow causes him to falter, relaxing the split second needed for him to clamp upon a malleable wriggle that allows her purchase. Dropping one knife, he grasps her forearm before suddenly being struck dead on, spittle and blood spattering before him. His second knife is dropped, but somehow he redoubles the grasp on the woman's wrist all the same. "...HNN!"
Suddenly he snaps his head backwards, aiming a harmless but painful thump into Ibuki's face; to set her off-guard for a simple but brutal shoulder throw, trying to slam Ibuki upon her back in front of him before twisting the limb sideways and pressing a knee against it, a submission hold capable of permanent damage if improperly resisted. "...!!"
He's really going to try to kill her... that would be what's liable to run through Ibuki's head. This is not a game to him. If he wins... it will be at the behest of Rolento whether she continues to breathe. Would that be worse, in a way?

COMBATSYS: El Gado successfully hit Ibuki with Quick Throw.

[                       \\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////              ]
Ibuki            2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|=======\-------\1          El Gado

Words. Words. They all become white noise now in the brutality of the fight. As her wrist is caught ahold of, she intends to avoid it by an Aikido twist which would turn her body right over it like an axel. She never makes it, as his head moves forward in a merciless headbutt that thumps against the center of her face. It's quite painful, and she's almost certain that her nose is broken beneath the onslaught.

That's only the start though, not the end, as suddenly she finds herself in the air, a moment before she's brutally knocked on her back. Her limb is twisted painfully enough that even through clenched teeth, as the knee is pressed against it, her scream resonates throughout the warehouse.

It's interesting, how one's mindset shifts from 'This fight isn't for keeps.' to 'It definitely is.' And as the realization sets in, that he might in fact kill her, her mind seems to empty for just a moment. "W-Well if that's the way it's going to be..." On her back, she starts by using her flexibility to kick his elbow as brutally as he can, to loosen the hold, before scampering to her feet. Chest heaving like the bellows, every movement causing shooting pains throughout as blood pools at her feet. She concentrates for just a second or two, her chi gathering within her. Time felt like it was slowing down, before suddenly she dashes forward with only a slight hitch in her step from the earlier injury.

With frightening speed, her expert footwork tries to move inside his guard as she spins a vicious backfist that's aimed for El Gado's gut to start the long chain of techniques fueled by her ninpo. Turning around on one foot, a roundhouse kick is then aimed for his side, before the foot touches down on the ground in a fan like motion. Ducking down low, she then rises up, in a kicking motion aimed at his chin, the vicious chi fueled kick intending to launch El Gado into the air... if all went well. "...then take this!"

COMBATSYS: Ibuki successfully hits El Gado with #Hashinsho#.

[                          \\\\  < >  ////                          ]
Ibuki            0/-------/-------|=======\=======\1          El Gado

Ibuki flips over backwards from her flying kick, as she lands, pressing down with both legs before springing high in the air over her opponent looking more like a blue blur, a force of nature rather than a person. Flipping forward, one hand moves forward to stomp upon his face. Her other foot then lashes out against his collar bone. "My ultimate..." It's reasonable to believe he could defend against some parts of this aerial assault, but... all of them? She'd only seen one person manage that, and the Killer Bee... was unreal. The second stomp she uses to somersault backwards, and when she's facing El Gado again, in her hands appear to be two Kunai, but then as her thumbs twitch, they move out in a fan like motion, revealing that the number is closer to a dozen. "...heart-breaking..."

They're flung as a razor sharp rain, intending to punch right through El Gado's guard in mid-air. "...attack!" She respected the fact that he might be able to defend against all of those, even now, which is why she didn't relent. Instead she tucks into a human cannonball, before careening right at him. At the last moment she uncurls, a fist drawing back, as she aims a vicious chi infused haymaker right at his face, returning the favor from the earlier headbutt.

Not finished yet, she allows her descent to move past him. Since he'd torn off his uniform, she instead puts an arm around his neck, and turns him around mid-flight, driving a knee against the small of his back as she rides him all the way to the ground, slamming him into it. "...HASHINSHO!" Instead of pressing her luck however, she immediately springs right off, to evaluate exactly /how/ hurt he was. El Gado was proving himself to be almost monstrous in his competency so far, so she can't just assume that put him down! At the same time, she also knows that the adrenaline rush of her assault will run off soon, and when it does... she's likely to collapse from exhaustion herself.

The blows to El Gado's elbow cause him to hiss in pain and relinquish the hold, grudgingly; he tried to follow through and shatter her arm, but the leverage was lost from the first blow and likely only some extreme discomfort follows. Surrounding them now are those dozens of watchers again, amongst the rafters, girders, crates, and ground, having descended one way or another. Rolento stands in the light alone, hands behind his back and cold white eyes appraising. So at long last, she realizes El Gado is not playing...? She's lucky she survived. If she believed that the battlefield was fun and games, he would not have cared if she bled out in this warehouse like a stuck pig...!
As Ibuki comes closer, the man leaps away and lashes out with his blade, a few sharp cuts towards her face leveled before suddenly being struck dead center in the chin. "HNN..!" Launched upwards, he still manages to grip his last weapon, beginning to recover with disturbing speed. One such blow won't stop him...!
But all the others will. He manages another futile stabbing motion upwards, but both heels find his face. Knocked off-center, he's helpless to the next blow, then the next, mouth agape and eyes wild before he's struck with countless kunai, ripping across his half-clad torso and tearing holes within his remaining uniform.
The blow causes him to black out. Nothingness... until the explosion of pain from his back hitting her knee snaps him out of it, twitching now and then like an impaled insect. When she leaps away, he simply remains kneeled, before slumping forward, catching himself with his hand. "Hah... hah... hahah... hahahah...!"
Slowly he pushes to his feet, reaching behind and pulling out a small sack. Like a zombie, his crushed visage looming before, he dangles his good arm before weaving back and forth, knife loosely held. Somehow, it never dropped. Sand; it's sand he dumps out before himself, for just a second obscuring his entire frame. And he's gone.
Movement. Where? Where did he go? A man suddenly shrieks, erupting into blood from a slit neck to her right. A few moments later another tumbles down to her left, gaping wound in his chest. And then he's behind her, a black blur of raw speed, Aiming to wrap his legs about her upper body, pinning her arms to her chest... and then yank her hair backwards.
"DIE..." he hisses, moving to slash the blade in a single violent motion, before slowly going lax. And then literally falling backwards, to thump upon the ground breathing heavily...

COMBATSYS: El Gado can no longer fight.

[                          \\\\  <
Ibuki            0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Ibuki dodges El Gado's Scorpion Veil EX.

[                          \\\\  <
Ibuki            0/-------/-------|

Sand? What was he doing? It was like a ninjitsu technique, and yet Ibuki didn't sense... any sort of releases of energy. And then one man falls, from a slit neck and a torrent of blood. Ibuki raises her guard unsteadily , uncertain exactly what's going on. And then it clicks "You asshole! You're going that far as to kill your..." Another falls. "Kisama! You son of a bitch!" Normally she didn't go for gendered insults, but it fit in this case. She realized it was all just for a distraction. Or because the man was just simply that much of a sadist, with no value for human life. Either could happen. He's behind her.

While she's fast, she doesn't have the speed to get away from the initial assault. His legs wrap around her chest. Her hair is pulled back viciously, enough that her long top knot tumbles out of her dogi. And as the blade flashes forth to slit her neck. She just denies it. "No thanks."

Her hand catches ahold of his wrist, holding the blade at bay with a titanic effort. Normally she couldn't contend against his strength, but right now, she was fortunate that he was on her last legs. The blade is mere centimeters from the flesh of her neck, the blade suspended in mid-air, before he simply goes limp. As he tumbles to the floor, she falls down to her knees, gasping.

She's tempted to tear away the half-mask, nearly wretching from the thought of what almost happened. She doesn't. Instead she crawls over to El Gado, as he lays unconscious, picks up his knife, reverses it. And for a moment, just one moment, she's severely tempted to draw it across his neck while he's at her mercy. But she doesn't. After a moment's indecision, she lets it fall, the blade clattering against the warehouse floor.

"Damnit." She whispers, as she looks across at the two large pools of blood which had formed from the men he'd killed. A ninja who doesn't like to kill? That could be it. Maybe she just hadn't been forced to yet, even if she'd been initiated into the possibility that it could certainly one day happen. And while she's completely exhausted, she eventually pushes up to her feet, on shaky legs. "Don't you dare give me a grade for this." She calls out. "Keep that to yourself."

Nobody seems to particularly mind that El Gado just killed a couple of them. What sort of twisted organization has she been forced to join where people are not even glancing towards the bodies twitching on the floor? Then again, Rolento broke the arm of someone for making a single mis-step... it is no wonder so few people ascend here, when the level demanded is above the level 95% of the world can reach.
Rolento strides forward, twirling his baton before slamming it home into his open palm. "JUDGEMENT." he states, immediately after being told not to. "GRADE C+. SUPPLEMENTARY TRAINING SHALL BE PROVIDED." He then points a finger towards El Gado on the ground, still breathing fine but in no shape to move in the near future. "He... is a man I pushed beyond his limit. He will never get stronger, only weaker. But you, under half his age, with a shred of his experience, a tenth of the hours he has trained... just defeated him! EXCELLENT. You are just the sort of protege I have dreamed of!"
His arms extend upwards, as if praising the Gods themselves. "Your starting rank is Private, Third Class! Serve me well, and you will make it far within the United Soldiers for the People's Liberation! ...DISMISSED!"
The soldiers all around then immediately return to what they were doing, beyond a couple who drag the corpses off to wherever it is they go. Rolento as well leaps up, quickly reaching the hole Ibuki blew through earlier and settling himself before where the higher tier training will begin.
...Did all that just happen?

Two people just died.

And in return for downing the man who did it, she was told she was the protege this man was looking for, and given a rank Private, Third Class!? Were it any other time, she might have instantly indignantly replied, '/Private/! I'm not in the stupid military! I was just contracted out!'

It seemed like madness. Maybe that was why this gang was called the Mad Gear, even if he called his current group the 'United Soldiers for the People's Liberation.' What was that all about?

And yet, all of these thoughts, nothing stands out more than the fact that two people died. Leaning heavily against a crate, she takes a few of her arm wrappings, and calmly tries to move them to wrap around the worst of her wounds, of which there were many. The sheer number of them made her feel like she was going to swoon.

Two people just died.

What did Master Enjo really just get her into? Maybe later on she'd have the wherewithal to voice her frustration about her rank.

COMBATSYS: Ibuki has ended the fight here.

Log created on 16:47:07 01/16/2015 by Rolento, and last modified on 13:04:31 01/17/2015.