Unholy Genesis - [UG:Round 2] RINGSIDE ATTRACTION

Description: Several thousand people were working in Metro Square when it first vanished. A thousand or so are currently holed up in the Il Paradiso Opera House, and it would seem another few hundred have made the Slam Masters Arena their temporary home. But a dark secret lies in the rafters of the arena -- a curious infestation. After a week here, the people are becoming incredibly lethargic -- and it's not just from the dwindling supply of hot dogs and hamburgers. And worse: Outworld tourists MILEENA and SKARLET happened to be in town with a few days to kill.

The smiling menace of Jedah Dohma is not the first to come across this verdant, bountiful realm, his taloned clutch upon the heart of Metro City coming, indeed, in the wake of a number of insistent caresses by an entirely different form of invader. Where oversized beetles and mutant locusts play at the Darkstalker's beckon call, the emissaries of Outworld possess a countenance far more familiar to Earthrealm's easily-shaken denizens... why, there are many who would bend a knee to Shao Kahn's favourite daughter all too willingly, were they to see only the half-truth and not the grinning maw of murderous intent. Perhaps this city has been fortunate.

If so, that fortune is turning. More than one realm can be invaded.

Separated from the filthy streets of earthly Metro by a line of barriers and strips of gaudy lightning, the interior of the Slam Masters Arena is an unlikely location for a bolthole. Perched beside so much squalor, it is a sight that attracts the eye, the ear and the pocketbook. How many fortunes have been made here already, for better or worse? How many shady dealings have been conducted between the unruly glamour of sports entertainment? Lives have been affected, fame and glory have been won, but few lives have perhaps been -taken-...

In the rafters above the arena where squat several hundred shivering forms, bundled in blankets and laid upon creaking z-frame beds, a delighted hiss sparkles on the chemically-charged air. Chirps emit from every which side as Outworld's unlikely princess unfurls her own talons, giggling softly to her fellow shadowy figure as she plays eeny-meeny with the poor, sleepy souls below.

"Time," she whispers, the foul yellow slits of her eyes flashing, "To kKill..."

It's rare, amidst the generally-moral denizens of Earthrealm, that these words are entirely literal. A moment later they prove so, as Mileena uncoils from her crouch, the fine-sprung motion of a predator made - not born - as she launches from the rafters into a gloriously acrobatic leap. Halfway to the ground she vanishes in a wisp of tainted violet chi, and crosses the remainining distance on spiritual wings, emerging in a second expulsion crouched in the midst of innocence.

"Yooou," her bizarrely-lilting, throaty voice invites, as she straightens to her full height, one set of clawlike fingernails scraping up her perfect adominals as the others reach to call onward a young teenage boy, all gawking baseball-capped splendour for his own part. "Come." He responds with a lethargy ill-suited to lust, staggering and swaying toward the princess' beautiful form.

He's mere feet away when a dozen voices begin screaming, his own included.

Mileena has indelicately removed his spleen, and holds it aloft, looking upward with a child's giddy delight upon her pale-skinned face. Ichor drips downward, spattering the finely-appointed material of her mask, dribbling down her throat. The princess, the invader, begins to laugh.

The screams intensify. Even in their soporific state, people are scrambling, running, a few shakily preparing to mount a counter-offensive that is liable to leave them severely lacking; and louder than ever, the locusts buzz. Energy floods the uncharacteristically-dingy arena, practically boiling within and without as chi both earthly and decidely not responds to this brutish show of power. This is how war begins; with atrocity, with a scream and a smile.

More than that, though. This...

...is how Kombat begins.

COMBATSYS: Mileena has started a fight here on the left meter side.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Mileena          0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Charlie has joined the fight here on the right meter side.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Mileena          0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0          Charlie

COMBATSYS: Baiken has joined the fight here on the right meter side.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Mileena          0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0           Baiken
                                  >  //////////////////////////////]
                                  |=------\-------\0          Charlie

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

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Mileena          0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0           Baiken
[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Skarlet          0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0          Charlie

The violence begins. The removal of an organ is never a bloodless affair, and the terrified screams of innocent people fills the arena. It starts as a dozen, but it raises to many times that. How much horror have these people had to endure in the past few days? Huddled together as though their numbers could provide them some protection from forces too great and terrible for them to really understand.

As the blood flows, it pools irregularly. Streams of it trickle into the shadows, and then, from that darkness, there emerges another dark warrior. Skarlet, clad in her crimson outfit, could hardly be mistaken for a defender of the weak. The blood that Mileena has spilled - that which isn't dripped into her gaping maw - runs to her feet, where it is absorbed. Blood. Fresh, but not entirely untainted. Skarlet can taste the corruption that threatened to seep into these people. It is... disturbing, to her. The blood of Outworlders, which makes up the vast majority of her form, is steeped in violence and carnage; it is blood aged by conflict, innured to violence, and near-impossible to shock with acts of brutality. This blood, though...

This blood has a different flavor. It is from a soul whose life had hoped to achieve more; the boy had never so much as raised his fist in anger before, let alone broken bones for his ambition. It quickens her pulse and sets her thrumming in vibrant antipathy to the corrupted energy which laced the stadium.

Stepping forwards, the red-clad ninja's eyes shine as the crimson fluid swirls up and about her. She will take this; that it was not shed for nothing, that some trace may linger before the life fades and moves on to new pastures...

But how would killing these people, who could not even conceive of defending themselves, serve Shao Kahn?

"Princess." She whispers, her voice as steel cutting through silk. "These ones are not Kombatants."

And she draws her tanto, raising it instead to the sky; to the locusts whose life force is indeed unlike anything she has sensed before, but which is of a far more familiar vintage.

Using arenas as temporarily shelters are hardly unknown. Even in more natural and less supernatural crises, they've been temporary shelters for those displaced by such things as hurricanes and other various acts of god. So that an even more uncommon crisis would force people into the SlamMasters Arena isn't so surprising.

That's not one Charlie Nash's prime worry. His is the very fact that this has happened at all. Having volunteered to dive in, especially after no word from Captain Glenn, Charlie was looking to regroup with him and his vanguard in hopes of reclaiming some sort of communication between the lost parts of the city and things back on earth. He didn't bring a large group with him, still not knowing what they'll find, but it was enough to cover each other's backs.

Having set up outside of the Arena, knowing there were shelters there, they didn't go in just yet. They needed to get their bearings and take stock of what the situation was. "Major, no signs of anything but those weird locusts we've already been seeing everywhere," one sergeant tells him, saluting hand against his helmet. Tching and adjusting his glasses, the Major himself clicked the safety on his rifle and set it down near their makeshift camp. "Any word on Glenn's unit?" he asks, prompting a shaking of heads from all gathered. "Alright. Lets make sure the situation in the Arena is stablized then and the refugees are fine before..."

Then the screams, loud enough to reverberate outside, echo from the arena, prompting the entire unit's heads to snap up as one. "...the hell?" the comms officer mutters. Charlie doesn't even need another second, before he's in motion, "SECURE THE EXITS BEST YOU CAN!" he shouts, running at full clip and leaving his unit to hopefully ensure that 1) innocents can get out, and 2) whoever is responsible for causing those screams stays put and gets what's coming to them. That and they likely couldn't catch up to the Major when he's in full alert like this....

Baiken's time in Majigen has been fits of intense violence punctuated by longer periods of getting out of the way and planning.

Baiken does not like demons. She doesn't like anything that smacks of the unnatural, and Majigen is about as unnatural as it gets; it is no surprise that she's here and even less of one that she's been waging what amounts to a guerilla war against some of its residents. Unable to strike at Jedah (yet), she has contented herself with going after some of the lesser beings and solving problems as she finds them. She tried to seal a suit of evil armour, and though she hadn't succeeded (yet), she will. She knows it.

But in the meantime she's doing some other scouting, and today that has brought her to the Slam Masters Arena. There's something off here, and she doesn't need her finely developed sense of danger to tell so.

She picked up the scent of a chemical some time ago, which is why she now has a red scarf wrapped around her nose and mouth that trails behind her in a decidedly ninja-esque manner. Chemical cleanup, however, is not something she can do a whole lot about.

Attacks, though. Those she is extremely qualified to interrupt.

Baiken is in the lower levels of the Slam Masters arena. She's not quite in with the civilians, but nearby, easy to overlook from the rafters; there are any number of places to hide out down here. She is moving before Charlie's alert sounds through the building, hand on her sword as she moves.

Baiken is not a nice person. She is a killer, and she doesn't care that she is one. But she kills monsters, and demons (or whatever) attacking stunned civilians are monsters. It is an unpleasantly familiar experience.

Whatever else Mileena may be, she is clearly this: a monster.

Through the darkening fabric of her mask comes the boy's life's blood, and she drinks shallow with lashing tongue, the hardening tip pressing to the taut material. It bulges outward, further spatters caught fast to soak immediately to hungry tastebuds. The sharp tang of iron sends a shudder down the vicious clone's spine; she's so caught in the moment she scarcely seems to register the apparition of her paradoxically far-bloodier vassal. Or perhaps she's merely so comfortable with Skarlet that she needn't... she certainly has no problem with gore.

When the golem's aggressively-feminine whisper reaches her very human ears, Mileena turns about suddenly like a startled cat, whiplike body bending lithely to bring her face-to-face with Skarlet without the need for a shift in footing; her torso turns, her neck bends, and that's enough. That alien stare intensifies, feline slits diminishing in a brief statement of fury. With a disturbingly regal air of admonishment, the princess emits a wet hiss against her mask.

It calms quickly, as does her demeanour, fierce expression softening as far, at least, as it can. She keeps moving sinuously, her neck muscles twitching as she tilts her face this way and that. Through this odd little dance she speaks, each word sibilant and measured as if it takes effort simply to summon up the vocabulary. Mileena is not one for complex speeches.

"ThEy will sServe," she says, chaotic tone distant as she pauses to glance back toward the disembowelled teenager, whose screams have diminished to a whimper. "AfFter all..." She moves again with that impossibly-violent grace, an apex predator in the primal element of her heart's desire, perfect frame twisting her back around and then brutally forward. One leg thrusts, the other lifts, and a gleaming stiletto heel impacts the fresh tear in her victim.

Her weight follows it through, and the penetration becomes a jackhammer. A simple, direct front kick that sends her bleeding prey back through the crowd and into the front row of steel chairs beside the arena's iconic ring. The noise is tremendous, and then he lies still.

Tittering, Mileena rounds on Skarlet again, stamping her heel down, hunkering over it with a feral eagerness hunching her spine and causing her readied 'talons' to twitch with barely-restrained excitement.

"To find the bEst ppRey, one mussst use -baiT-."

With the snarling final syllable, spiking at the end into something approximating a high-pitched, if dramatically-fleeting, shriek, the statuesque Princess spins and lashes out with both arms, a searing flash of violet chi becoming filthy trails in the dank, chemical air as twin sais of pure energy are created and launched simultaneously. It may be a coincidence that they're aimed to savagely decapitate a man who, in addition to gaping dumbly down at a puddle of his own urine, separates the Outworlders from the subtly-charging Baiken. It could be fate.

More likely, it's a message from the instinctual, beautiful beast.

To the one creature nearby that smells interesting. That might -taste- interesting. Skarlet's displeasure has been noted, in truth, and Mileena is not keen on mere butchery either; not when she could have something so much more. Power appeals to her. It screams her name.

"Ccan't aNyone here answer a CHaLlEnGE?!"

Displeasure is a strong word - it isn't one that Skarlet herself would even be able to contextualize... but it might just be accurate. Mileena's savage acts shed yet more blood. There will always be more, that much Skarlet has learned in her brief time with her Emperor's Princess. It is a strange thing to her just to taste something so ... new. But there are familiar elements, and it is those that Skarlet seizes on. Mileena lusts for kombat, and she can sense the violent intent in Baiken's approach. The Princess will have her wish there... but there is another soul intent on intervening. One more noble, yet still far more violent than the cowering refugees who have become Mileena's 'bait'.

Without another word, the red-clad ninja simply bursts out of being...

When she reappears, it is as a sudden cloud of blood not two feet in front of Charlie. There's a warning sensation of disturbing energy a split second before the world is full of a fine red mist, which then coalesces into the ninja's body. Appearing crouched, she rises, and her eyes meet his behind his glasses.

Still silent, she raises her right hand in a fist, and brings it against her left palm before she bows to the Major. This is Kombat; there are rules. One does not intervene in another's affairs.

She means to ensure that the Outworlder understands that as well.

A few hopped turnstyles and some moves that would put some weekend traceurs to shame are what it takes for Charlie to book it as fast as he can toward the directions of the screams. After all, most arenas aren't meant to allow all but staff a straight line into the heart of the things. It's a good thing that Air Force issue boots are nice and sturdy too, for all the doors he's required to kick open, Steven Segal-style. But, after all, time is of the essence. The Major knows all too well what kind of violence can be thrust upon people in a matter of a minute. He can't afford to be slow here.

As he charges through the corridors of the arena, he gets the sense of something in the air, something he can't quite place. It's something he tucks away as a mental note for now, as he has other concerns for the moment. It's only when he finally busts through a vomitorium door into the main arena himself that he's forced to stop. And not just because he wants to take stock and map out a plan, no...he stops because a red cloud that appears in your path out of nowhere demands attention.

Dropping into a fighting stance, Charlie furrows his brow, and watches the red ninja that coalesces from the mist. Coagulates?...he doesn't know why that word came to mind before 'coalesce' until he smells the sting of copper and iron, and he places just what the mist and the woman who forms from it reminds him of. Scowling even more, he narrows his eyes toward Skarlet from behind his glasses. The bow unmoves him. "Sorry, but if you're keeping me from saving civilians under attack, formalities are going to be lost on me."

And it's true, Charlie is normally a noble soul, but noble doesn't mean formal. When something like the current crisis arises, formality goes out of the window in lieu of the direct approach. "SONIC BOOM!" comes the shout as Charlie snaps a whizzing right hook through the air. The strike is charged enough and fast enough to cause the air around his arm to collapse on itself, a pressure wave of supersonic speed cascading through the air straight toward the golem much in the same away of its namesake.

Baiken is easy to overlook for the first few moments of chaos. She moves around without being seen, sticking to the shadows; samurai or not, Baiken has no problem with ambushing certain kinds of opponents. She didn't come here for a polite battle.

But neither is she completely hidden. There's the sense of someone watching, someone who is more than the terrified citizens taking cover here. Baiken is still calm (relatively speaking) and settled when she removes the scarf, not wanting to fight with something wrapped around her throat that could be grabbed.

Mileena calls for a challenge, and Baiken - who is not afraid to be dramatic - takes that instant to appear.

The sudden blur of movement resolves itself into a speeding samurai, her right sleeve hanging slack, her left hand bearing a blade in a reversed, downward-pointing grip. Baiken comes in running, keeping her single arm raised as if defending herself for the approach, driving the sword in a sudden sweep as her arm uncrosses when she finally comes to a stop.

Her sweeping slash deflects the thrown energy sais, shattering one in a flash of broken chi. Baiken plants herself in front of the other man, apparently unconcerned with her own safety, her expression furious as she returns her blade to a guard stance, point upward now instead of down after a quick flourish where she shifts her grip.

She doesn't speak. Charlie probably gets the idea she's on his side, though.

Outworld's call - one Mileena is, for all her apparent childlike whimsy, all too content to offer up on behalf of her father and the glory of his throne - is answered soundly by the unlikely heroine, the embittered samurai's reverse blade striking true for salvation and justice. However fleeting that might prove to be. With one more answering a short distance hence, perhaps it will be enough; but for now, when Baiken's single eye levels itself upon the would-be invader...

She finds one hungry alien staring back at her. Beneath the mask, Mileena runs her tongue across fierce fangs, the ichor continuing to steadily drip down to her chest and beyond, rivers of crimson drizzling over smooth, firm flesh. Catlike eyes gleam, and a further hiss emerges, this one at once a warning siren and an enjoining kiai; for in its wake, the princess is gone. Only more of that tainted, virulent chi remains, the mirror image of this sudden stormcloud opening just above Baiken - and a touch behind. In the air above the arena floor.

There's no further word from Mileena than there is from her apparent foe. She drops like a spider freed from its web, a graceful tangle of limbs that first scatters the defended innocent - he's unharmed by a flailing talon, which strikes merely as a backhand to drive him off, and make a point - and then homes in upon the deformed femme fatale. No, the other one.

Baiken is greeted in savage style, an overhead pinwheel of the princess' arms driven to violent fruition by the dropping of her athletic weight to the floor. Stiletto heels shriek against plastic-covered concrete, tearing chunks into the resistant matting, as her first backfist strikes overhead for the right shoulder. Attacking from behind, she seeks first to bring Baiken to her level, stumbling her downward-- and then the second fist follows in swift kung-fu style, striking forward for the base of the spine. A stagger and a thunderous, outrageous blow to close the deal.

But her approach, deceptive as it was, may be too chaotic to serve Outworld well; it's a ponderous, complex engagement of this Kombat. Is Mileena truly so cocky, so certain that she can end this strange, powerful woman with a huntress' swift and sly destruction?

Behind the mask, she's grinning. Her heart is thumping. Quite simply, she is enjoying herself.

It takes little to please Mileena.

COMBATSYS: Skarlet negates Sonic Boom from Charlie with Krimson Blades.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Mileena          0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0           Baiken
[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////////  ]
Skarlet          0/-------/------=|=------\-------\0          Charlie

In the same instant that Charlie starts to form his power, Skarlet's hands drop behind her. Her reactions are lightning-fast, and the shockwave of energy streaking in towards her is met with a swirling motion to the side.

In the same instant, her hands snap forwards, and twin knives slash out to meet the shockwave. The metal of those blades sings with bloody promise, and the sound as sonic boom meets sinister edge reverberates through the space between the two fighters; a warbling echo of steel and the cracking air which briefly obscures them both behind a rippling cloud of dispersing energy.

When it passes, one blade is lodged in the ceiling, the other in the floor. Skarlet's eyes narrow, and she straightens herself to her full height, turning herself side-on to Charlie as she does. The woman's every movement speaks to her deadly intent. Charlie has announced himself by striking at her, he has declared his desire to violate the sanctity of Kombat. Skarlet may not agree herself with Mileena's methods, but that's a far cry from being ready to allow such sacrilege.

She doesn't say a word, but her stance speaks volumes. If Charlie wants to get to Mileena, he's going to have to go through this red-clad ninja... and he's going to need to do better than that to do it.

Charlie isn't about to believe that one Sonic Boom will be enough to knock someone aside unless he hits them perfectly. But he's not prepared to see the flash of steel that meets his Sonic Boom, the impact that sends both weapons into ceiling and floor. Frowning, he's pulls back his arm and gets back into his fighting stance. He has no concept of Kombat the way Skarlet does. He's not seeing this as some kind of sacred ritual. He's seeing it as a means to an end: the only way he can get down there to stop whatever sort of attack is happening is to get through this (literally) bloody woman.

Adjusting his glasses a bit, the Major shifts his weight a little. "Sorry, but I need to get down there, soon as possible," he apologizes....

Right before he charges in. Feinting a stepping kick, he brings up his arm to try and deflect whatever the mysterious woman in red tries to react with, then snap out with a flashing side kick, putting as much weight into the strike as he can. He needs to get her out of the way, even for a moment, so he can get down there. No sense fighting here longer than he has to.

COMBATSYS: Baiken interrupts Back Punch from Mileena with Sakura.

[      \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////   ]
Mileena          0/-------/---====|====---\-------\0           Baiken
[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////////  ]
Skarlet          0/-------/------=|=------\-------\0          Charlie

Baiken doesn't consider herself a hero or fighting for justice, but by some (very broad) standards she might count. The monsters can't kill anyone if they themselves are dead, after all.

Baiken's lips curl up in a highly unpleasant smile as Mileena comes closer to her. Exactly as she'd intended. She doesn't stop her on the approach, standing very still almost like she /wanted/ Mileena to hit her, though she evades the pinwheeling attack, taking a step to the side and letting Mileena pass behind her. Is she /letting/ her attack the way she wants to?

But when Mileena strikes from behind, Baiken reverses her blade, stabbing backwards without looking. Pink chi builds along the blade through the stab, exploding off in a shower of drifting light, like flower petals, as she strikes at Mileena mid-attack. Baiken is not strong enough to completely hold Mileena away from her when she does this, and having only one arm to do it with doesn't help; the blows rain upon her back, but she does manage to keep her footing, stumbling forward instead of falling as she pulls the sword back.

She turns to face Mileena afterwards. Hopefully the man has cleared out, because Baiken only checks for a moment; she's protecting the citizens mostly by keeping Mileena busy. She glances over her shoulder for a split second at Skarlet, who she can identify as a second threat, and Charlie, who... well, she doesn't know personally. Hmm.

It's too late to lay fresh plans once Mileena realizes she's only struck a single preybeast; Baiken's evasion is as deceptive as everything else about her, and made deftly enough that the subsequent attack is already coming. With the motion of her advance, it would be nigh-impossible for the beast to pull her muzzle from the closing trap now anyway, and she gets what she deserves.


The errant princess is genuinely surprised to find the blade suddenly impaled in her gut, her gurgling hiss containing a potent mixture of malice-imbued displeasure and an air of the honestly impressed. For all she's a feral, animalistic creation, her time spent playing with the unfortunate dwellers of two divergent realms has taught her a few things about being a person; and about being a Kombatant. Slitted yellow eyes flicker to the penetrating steel and back up to Baiken as Mileena staggers backward with a couple of over-hard steps, straightening up and twisting her torso to wrench the weapon free with no small amount of added pain.

Her expression, alien as it is, glazes briefly and then snaps to with renewed ferocity. A third step is made with a greater measure of grace, her torso continuing to turn until she enters a quick, fierce spin; the momentum gained benefitting further from the momentary tension of long, powerful legs, uncoiling like twin springs to launch the delirious clone upward.

Hidden in the motion, the lithely-dextrous motion of a snaking hand, drawing from some undisclosed and unlikely location her own countering steel. A long, slender sai of Outworld origin.

It's best not to ask where she finds her supply of such, or indeed stores them, but as she takes what almost seems a giant -stride- through the dim airspace overhead, Mileena raises the piercing tip and brings it down in time with her brutish fall to 'Earth'. With force that would drive the weapon into flesh and bone even were it entirely blunt, the questionably graceful inhuman creature seeks to plunge her sai into Baiken's shoulder and then leave it there, disengaging the hilt with a cruel flick of the wrist then rolling aside, scattering the frame of a refugee's bed as she comes up in a crouch, long leg extended to sweep her upright in the aftermath.

A hand finds her bloody flank and swipes at it, regarding the crimson-soaked digits with visible rancour before wiping them hard and furious down her mask. She giggles past her bloody handprint.

"YoU're -fun- to play wIth," she coos, lightly circling her hips, the messy hand now extending to curl a taloned finger to the brusque samurai. "Wwon't you dAnce some more? Ii want to feeeel you... mMmm," she cocks her hip hard, damaged tissue quivering, blood pumping anew - and shows every last sign of enjoying this effect. "TAste you. Ssso much bEtter than the weAkEr pprrey..."

COMBATSYS: Charlie successfully hits Skarlet with Light Kick.

[       \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////   ]
Mileena          0/-------/---====|====---\-------\0           Baiken
[     \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////////  ]
Skarlet          0/-------/---====|==-----\-------\0          Charlie

Charlie's kick lands cleanly. The ninja's attempt to get out of the way is not quite fast enough to manage it. What might concern him, in his desperate flight to get towards Mileena, though, is the fact that she was trying to get out of his way at all. No matter what else may have happened, Skarlet had no intention whatsoever of stopping Charlie from getting past her - at least, for a split second.

Because, as demonstrated earlier, Skarlet can teleport.

So she is knocked brutally to the side by the heavy blow, and bounces off the wall. For a moment she rolls, snatching up the dagger that had been left in the floor, and in the next instant, the hallway is once more filled with a fine red mist which leaves droplets of gore pooling where they had been moments before.

She returns to reality above Charlie, renting a tear in the skin of reality that she may burst forth from the wound. The woman's heels lead the way, aiming to drive heavily into the back of Charlie's skull and force him to the ground. If successful, the dagger she had grabbed will likewise be driven between the man's shoulders before she rolls off him, to once more stand between him and victory.

She's genuinely infuriated by what just happened; his continued attempts to intervene in Mileena's Kombat. Turning one's back to your opponent is an easy way to get yourself killed in the fighting pits of Shao Kahn; if the light glimmer of anger in her eyes is any indication, this is something she's going to teach the bespectacled hero herself.

COMBATSYS: Charlie barely endures Skarlet's Blood Drop.

[       \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////   ]
Mileena          0/-------/---====|====---\-------\0           Baiken
[      \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////        ]
Skarlet          0/-------/=======|====---\-------\0          Charlie

The clear divide in what Charlie and Skarlet see in this fight is clear in their reactions. Charlie isn't here to duel, he's here on a mission. He doesn't have time to waste on frivolous things. He doesn't see any honor in this, the honor will be in how many people he can save here. So it's clear, in his mind, not to try to fight this to a full resolution, but to fight it to an opening.

Unfortunately, the insult to Skarlet's honor doesn't go unpunished as she teleports and pounces down on him. As the dagger digs into his shoulder, Charlie cries out, gritting his teeth. He tries to carry through despite the wound, pushing on, but eventually, he's driven to the ground by Skarlet's attack, brought down with the bloody gouge in his shoulder. "ANGhh....."

Rolling over onto his side, he pushes himself back up to his feet and scrambles back, glowering and holding onto his bloodied shoulder. "Fine...you want to fight?" he asks with barely restrained contempt right now. Leaping forward, he tries to drive in with a flip, legs tucked in before his feet lash out, one after another, with slicing heel drops glowing with his own personal chi, trying to drive Skarlet down into the ground.

COMBATSYS: Baiken just-defends Mileena's Spite!

[       \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Mileena          0/-------/--=====|====---\-------\0           Baiken
[      \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Skarlet          0/-------/=======|====---\-------\0          Charlie

'Messy', is Baiken's first thought on how Mileena fights. She doesn't know this... person? Being? and has no prior experience with Mileena, but other realms - those she knows about. She is difficult to disturb but easy to upset, and Mileena is definitely doing that.

She sees Charlie make another attempt to get closer to Mileena, only to be blocked by a teleporting woman. Well, why not make it easier for him? She starts to edge that direction herself, not especially quickly; Mileena might not even notice she's having her position manipulated when she does it. But she's definitely trying to guide the fight that way.

More of her attention is on not getting stabbed, though. Unfortunately for Mileena, Baiken is really quite good at that. She twists her body sharply to the side, and Mileena's sai pierces part of her robe, hitting... well, it doesn't feel like flesh and it's not bleeding. Something that clinks... a chain, wrapped near her shoulder? It feels like it went through one of the links and was guided away from Baiken's torso by its angle.

It also means Baiken is in very close proximity to Mileena. Unable to use her empty (?) sleeve for anything at this range and with a sai stuck in a chain, Baiken strikes with her blade, a sweeping cut meant as much to force Mileena back a step so she has room to use /all/ her weapons (and, not accidentally, let Baiken keep slowly guiding the battle toward Skarlet) as anything else. She kicks someone's dropped spare clothes out of the way as she goes.

COMBATSYS: Mileena fails to interrupt Tetsuzansen from Baiken with Malice.

[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Mileena          0/-------/-======|=====--\-------\0           Baiken
[      \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Skarlet          0/-------/=======|====---\-------\0          Charlie

There's a strange grace to everything that Mileena does, but it's admittedly blurred beneath the mask of savagery; and there's no doubt that her mindset is at this stage ill-suited to anything more complex and beautiful to behold than wanton destruction, without particular focus. An adult in body and a child at heart, Outworld's vanguard is finding her match in the far calmer if no less brutal presence of Baiken. This may be the second time that Earthrealm has presented her with not just a challenger, but one more than worthy of being called such...

Appreciation is fleeting, however, and it has fleeted already. With the cyclopean samurai within her guard, there'd be no time for it in any case. Mileena's slavering maw parts beneath her mask, lipless mouth curving in an expression not of dismay but opportune delight - she sees an opening, and with the instinctive speed of a beast cornered she moves to capitalize, her frame tightening where appropriate to drop her down, down beneath the sweeping blade--

--but Baiken remains a step ahead. Two, perhaps. That step she seeks is found, the princess driven like a whipped hound spiralling in an arc of its own blood, the rotation of her frame only coming because her original intent was to use that against the samurai. It works for her instead, and the freshly-gaping laceration spouts Mileena's ichor across the screaming crowd, onto the central ring, even onto Charlie and Skarlet both. The conflict is being neatly penned.

For her part, Mileena steadies herself with a sudden outthrust of arms, her unreasonably-perfect body quivering as adrenaline pumps through her veins. Catlike eyes are wide and incensed, shot through with darker trails of yellow where blood presses against them from within. With a prolonged, frustrated hiss that becomes a feral scream she reaches for her mask and tears it free, the cry emerging with the froth of thick saliva from that lipless mouth as she screams defiance past what seems a thousand sharpened fangs. The monster is revealed for what she is...

And she may be bloodied, but she's not broken.

COMBATSYS: Skarlet blocks Charlie's Blade Slice.

[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Mileena          0/-------/-======|=====--\-------\0           Baiken
[         \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Skarlet          1/------=/=======|=====--\-------\0          Charlie

Skarlet is a blur as she twists herself around. That blade comes up to meet the slashing kick, and knocks it further upwards - the sharp energy slashes into her shoulder, and the followup meets her leg as it stabs around to knock it to the side, resulting in a second thin stream of blood from her open wound. Skarlet refuses to be knocked down, or to the side. She has to admit, though, that Charlie's strength is formidable. He would make a fine addition to Shao Kahn's arena.

"This is not a fight."

The woman's voice is soft, but it is inescapable. A hard razor drawn across the ears. There's an edge, there, that betrays her frustration at the way the battle has been conducted thus far; but perhaps the man is merely ignorant. She will correct this.

As she steps backwards to recover her guard, the ninja does not immediately press the attack. Instead, she twirls her blade, and sheathes it behind her back. Her right hand raises in front of her, fingers towards the ceiling, and the other hangs loose by her side as she once more squares up to Charlie. The difference is, this time, she speaks.

"This is Mortal Kombat. Now."

Her eyes close for a brief second. When they reopen, the blood has ceased to flow from her injuries; the shed fluid pours back across the floor, rushing towards her at an incredible rate as the skin reforms without so much as a hint towards the injuries she had suffered. Her eyes focus on Charlie's behind his glasses, and there is an unstoppable challenge there. One which must surely be known in the hearts of all warriors who seek to meet a goal greater than themselves in the heat of battle.

"Test Your Might!"

COMBATSYS: Skarlet focuses on her next action.

[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Mileena          0/-------/-======|=====--\-------\0           Baiken
[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Skarlet          1/-----==/=======|=====--\-------\0          Charlie

The Blade Slice ends up catching on Skarlets daggers, but Charlie can get the sense that he's staggering her, even as he's forced to backflip away and uncommit from that flipping kick. Landing in a crouch, he sets his jaw hard as he looks over to the mysterious woman. Standing up as she declares something about 'Mortal Combat', the soldier can't help but scowl even more. "You want a fight to the death?" she asks rather pointedly.

Reaching up, he gently pulls his glasses from his face as she seems to suck up the blood from the floor. He has to keep himself from whispering something about an 'aberrant' even as he tucks his glasses into a pocket. Finaly, he responds, eyes opening with a fierce determination.


He refuses the terms outright. But judging from the way he reels his arm back, he isn't refusing to fight...far from it...but what he realizes is he needs to finish this NOW before he and his men can move in any further. That determination prompts a spike in his energy, one that pushes out toward his hands and feet. "SONIC BREAK!" The shout comes, another cutting hook that sends another charged pressure wave toward Skarlet...but then it's followed by another, flung out by an uppercut, then another from a backfist, then another from a spinning back kick. Four sonic booms, flung out straight toward the bloody woman, all at varying levels, trying to herd her in and make sure she gets hit by SOMETHING.

Baiken isn't calm. She's cold; her anger is channeled into a point, and that point is violence. Right now she is taking it out on Mileena even if she's not screaming about it.

Honestly, given Baiken, it's only a matter of time.

They're closer. She could probably interfere with Skarlet now if she wanted to - but Baiken refrains from doing so for a moment. Best to wait for the perfect time; she doesn't want to blow an ambush early when she can keep the pressure on Mileena. And Baiken's defensive techniques are doing just fine against her, keeping Baiken's flesh - well, not uncut, but at least with a limited number of cuts.

When Mileena takes her mask off, /that/ gets Baiken's attention. Her single eye narrows, and her face darkens slightly. More of a monster than she'd thought; a masquerading monster. Fine; she can deal with that, and deal with that with extreme prejudice.

Baiken does not let Mileena come to her under her own power this time. She turns her body, and there's another sound of clanking chains - and what looks like a box with several hooked blades attached on the end of a chain flies out of her empty sleeve, the claw-hand. Its chain must have been what Mileena hit before with her sai, but it seems intact enough when Baiken throws it at - just past Mileena.

And then Baiken reaches up with her arm, grabs the chain, and yanks it. The claw, which passed past Mileena, is now being pulled toward Baiken - and those blades are likely to catch and drag Mileena along for the ride!

COMBATSYS: Baiken successfully hits Mileena with Kabari.

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////////  ]
Mileena          1/-------/=======|=======\-------\1           Baiken
[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Skarlet          1/-----==/=======|==-----\-------\0          Charlie

The flap of pricey cloth - the finest on Outworld, as it happens - strikes the ground at Mileena's feet in mid-hissing roar, her high bootheels scraping a touch further apart as she recoils from her wildly defiant display and falls back into a battle stance. Or what passes for one, with the princess-- whatever weird agility she might possess, it doesn't come through in the way she stands, shoulders hunkered and legs just slightly bent, fingertips clawing the air. It's almost the stance of a grappler, at odds with the high-impact, acrobatic striking and rending she exhibits. For the moment, she shows nothing, regardless, Baiken ahead by crucial beats...

The chain is hurled, and it blurs past catlike eyes before they've fully found fresh focus. In the moment this occurs, Mileena's conviction is found and she starts forward, a springing half-leap leading to an approach that would promise pain. What happens upon landing remains a mystery, because in the instant her lead foot touches the floor, sharpened steel sinks into the genetic monstrosity's shoulder blades. She arches against it, more saliva dripping from widened maw and malicious stare boring down upon Baiken. Promising the pain that's been delayed.

And then she's hurtling forward only partly against her will, but certainly in loss of her better faculties. Her arms are flung wide, her legs still shaking off the agonies imparted upon her already-ravaged body by this latest assault. Ride she does, and it's only at the last instant that she rather ungainfully disentangles from the gathered motion, bucking against the grappling metal. She doesn't quite get herself free, but she does enough to elicit an incensed snarl from her lipless mouth, strengthening her fury and emoldening her...

...to simply try and latch on to the woman she's so rapidly approaching, all four limbs snapping like the jaws of a closing trap. The movement is delayed by necessity, her animal grace stiffened, but the strength is there nonetheless-- like a vice, if she can make it that far, she'll not only latch on but drag Baiken down with her, the pain of biting claws be damned.

She wants to bite in turn.

Snarling, almost rabid, the Princess of Outworld clamps down with her fifth effective limb, that terrible maw going right for the cyclopean countenance to rip and tear with furious fangs. She'll keep gnawing until she's thrown off, or until the bitter end-- though this opponent is exceptional, and in the tiny, rational part of her brain Mileena knows any contact will soon be done. It makes her all the more ravenous, and she tears with abandon. To feed. To taste.

To test not just her opponent's might, but her status as prey or predator.

More than one promising opponent has finally broken in the literal face of such an onslaught.

COMBATSYS: Skarlet fails to interrupt Sonic Break from Charlie with Flesh and Blood.
- Power fail! -

[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////////  ]
Mileena          1/------=/=======|=======\-------\1           Baiken
[                 \\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Skarlet          0/-------/=======|==-----\-------\0          Charlie

The very instant that Charlie says 'no', Skarlet surges forwards like a bloody tide. This is a description which becomes more literally true as she is met by a veritable wall of slashing sonic energy. Her attempt to punch Charlie on the nose and break his glasses instead means that she is essentially caught in midair by all four Sonic Booms at various levels. Charlie just said he didn't want to have a fight to the death...

... but as Skarlet bursts like a balloon full of blood, perhaps he might have moderated his expectations of the outcome there somewhat. The woman ceases to exist, and this time it isn't so that she can reform above him and attack.

The walls, floor, ceiling, all of it drips with gooey blood. Thick and semi-congealed, it takes a few seconds for the pools to join up again. When they do, Skarlet emerges from the middle of it - her legs still blood red and semi-translucent as she forces the magic binding her together to kick into overdrive.

She's NOT dead, it seems. But then, she's also rather clearly not human at all. What she actually is, is likely completely beyond Charlie. At least she doesn't seem too capable of keeping him from Mileena; until she can force her legs to act as though they have muscles in them again, she has rather more pressing concerns.

The Sonic Break does what it was meant to. He knew she wasn't likely to take his refusal of the challenge well. He wasn't quite expecting her to charge in quite as blindly as she did, straight into the barrage of Sonic Booms. When the result is her blood splattering on the walls and the ceiling, he frowns. HE already knows that it's likely not fatal, from the way she's been reforming before. But it's still a distasteful sight. Even as she reforms, he's definitely not comnfortable with the sight. But at the very least, he seems to have managed a way away from the stranger.

"Don't stop me," he mutters to the reforming Skarlet, before running past. He's intent on finding a way to the Arena, and while he's able to see the battle between Baiken and Mileena, it doesn't take him much to glean who's on who's side. "Keep her busy!" he shouts to Baiken, before trying to reach the refugees taking shelter in here. "Everyone, please head toward the exits, the Arena isn't safe anymore!" he shouts, trying to get people to head toward the ways out covered by his men. Skarlet, if she comes back, will be dealt with when she has to be dealt with.

COMBATSYS: Charlie takes no action.

[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////////  ]
Mileena          1/------=/=======|=======\-------\1           Baiken
[                 \\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Skarlet          0/-------/=======|==-----\-------\0          Charlie

COMBATSYS: Mileena successfully hits Baiken with Friendly Kiss.

[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////////     ]
Mileena          1/----===/=======|=======\=------\1           Baiken
[                 \\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Skarlet          0/-------/=======|==-----\-------\0          Charlie

puts her entire body into that pull, using every ounce of strength in her body to drag Mileena towards her and pull her off balance. She has to get it right the first time.

This is because Baiken drops the chain as Mileena slides closer, letting momentum carry her the rest of the way towards her. "Don't give me orders," is her response to Charlie, voice tight with anger and determination, but it doesn't seem to actually stop her from keeping Mileena busy - she's definitely doing that.

She just doesn't like being told to, even from someone who can apparently explode someone like a blood balloon. The fact that Skarlet is pulling herself together from that tells Baiken some things about her; she might have to break out some of the complicated techniques to help deal with it.

But first, Mileena. Apparently momentum carried her a little /too/ far. Baiken yells as Mileena bears her down; lighter than the other fighter, she is carried to the ground by her body weight and impact, though Baiken immediately tries to rise.

She doesn't manage it before Mileena applies fangs to flesh. Baiken manages to roll in such a way that the teeth don't sink into her face, but into her shoulder isn't all that much better. Another snarl, this time of more anger than anything else, and Baiken tries to turn her original roll into a continuing one, throwing Mileena away from her - unfortunately, she's likely to take a chunk out of Baiken's shoulder when she does it. It's messy, dirty infighting, and though Baiken isn't bad at it, it doesn't leave her with enough room to use her preferred weapons.

COMBATSYS: Mileena dodges Baiken's Medium Throw.

[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////////     ]
Mileena          1/----===/=======|=======\==-----\1           Baiken
[                 \\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Skarlet          0/-------/=======|==-----\-------\0          Charlie

In the hollow within her spirit, soulless as she may well be, Mileena senses the terrible impact upon her erstwhile minion-- and her own energies respond to the golem's expulsion, flashing native strains of violet as she falls atop Baiken and follows through with her ripping and tearing, peeling back the skin to reveal sensitive muscle beneath. She doesn't need to capitalize now, not going for vitals but at once enjoying the fleshy exterior and baring Baiken, flaying her, hungering for the inevitable spewing of fluid to follow. She likes to bleed her prey out...

The smell, the taste, it all drives her to an incensed, aroused fury. When the smaller, lighter creature attempts to cast her aside, she digs in deeper, latching on tightly to drain as much of the strength as she can-- and then, she releases all too rapidly. Flexing her athletic form, perfect vat-grown muscle straining in all the right ways, she bends like a reed through the roll that ensues, and lands upon her feet with a lipless smile cracking her maw.

Those fangs drip now with Baiken's essence, the pointed tongue emerging to further enjoy the sensation of devouring the cyclopean samurai. A murmur, a moan, sounds from Mileena's throat that's at once husky and childish, a lilt of ecstasy that's made all too sexual by the writhing of her body. It's brief, though; she means to capitalize upon the moment of weakness she's created, and lunges forward to catch the rising Baiken, setting her lead foot down and twisting into it, snapping her arm forward into a cross punch across the jaw. The kiai, a scathing hiss.

"You will -pay- for your iNsolEnce, maNling!" She exudes with full ferocity, following the first blow with another from the left, stepping through and leaning beyond the former extension of the right to drive a palm into the back of Baiken's skull, just above the neck. It's angled slightly upward, a nausea-inducing blow designed to create a further opening.

"You imPresss me, but -prey- you are! Prey you wIll aLways BE!!"

Dropping to a crouch, she reaches out to pluck at Baiken's legs with simple brutality in mind, clutching either knee and then rearing back and around, using main strength alone to haul the samurai from her feet and facefirst into the arena floor. She immediately springs to her feet, as if this were the end, rounding upon Charlie and the fleeing innocents.

"DEfY Us!" She crows, fingertips clawing tense at the chemical-soaked air. Her voice is shrill command, entering the languid skulls of every man and woman present. Overhead, locusts buzz. "ANd THeRE WiLL bE -NO- MeRCY!!"

Skarlet is not the sort of warrior to rush when it isn't necessary. She had thought that the man intended to interrupt the Kombat between Baiken and Mileena. Although his words are a little annoying, they aren't a true cause for concern. The Princess had only intended to use the weaklings as bait; she has no further use for them. She did not, as Skarlet understood it, intend to lay any claim over the hostages here.

So she resists the urge to stress her newly-reconstituted body and teleport again. Instead, she runs after Charlie, and as she does, the coloration returns to her body. Clothes distinguish themselves from flesh, and her form becomes less fluid, more solid. As much as she is unconcerned by Charlie's words, she is still embroiled in Kombat with him, until he leaves or she can no longer fight.

Utterly silent and descending from above, she intends to hasten the conclusion of that question. Surprisingly, though, it is not with her blade. Both heels aim to stab down into Charlie's shoulders, and if she can get that landing perfectly, she'll clamp her thighs around his head.

This would then be a prelude to a brutal SNAP to the side, and a roll to bring her next to the outworld Princess. Compared to the screeching and warbling Mileena, Skarlet makes a disturbingly quiet counterpoint. There's no less lethality in her bearing; if anything, there's more - Mileena seems to be having to much fun to try and outright kill her opponents. Skarlet has just been doing everything she can to put Charlie down. They make a stark contrast.

That's if, of course, all goes according to plan. She might not particularly care about Charlie's apparent intentions, here, but it is a vicious and potentially lethal series of moves; if there was any appreciation at all for the respite Charlie chose to gave her, it surely doesn't show through now!

COMBATSYS: Charlie blocks Skarlet's Brutality.

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////////     ]
Mileena          1/----===/=======|=======\==-----\1           Baiken
[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////            ]
Skarlet          1/------=/=======|===----\-------\0          Charlie

Charlie isn't so concerned with Baiken's dismissal. Long as it gives him time to help evacuate people, it doesn't matter why Baiken's fighting for now, long as it's the right person. He's got more pressing things than fighting just to fight. More as he's able to get the hostages away, the more he feels the need to look back.

He knows he only bought himself some time from the blood woman, but he hasn't forgotten about her completely. He keeps watching his back, hoping to heard more and more people outside.....

But when she descends, he's ready. He's able to bring his arms up to stop her as her heels try to stab down on his shoulders. THe twist doesn't snap his neadk away, but it does force him to roll away, the painful strikes enough to get his attention and reaggrivate the deep stab wound from earlier. "NNghh...you really don't know when to quit, do you?" he mutters. He glances back to the fleeyng hostages, trying to keep his body between them and Skarlet. "I don't care if you're getting your jollies out of fighting, but I have a mission. Go find a way to get your bloodlust off somewhere else," he says, making sure the hostages know he's on their side, as well as goad her further. Better he take the shots than them....

COMBATSYS: Charlie issues a challenge!!

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////////     ]
Mileena          1/----===/=======|=======\==-----\1           Baiken
[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////            ]
Skarlet          1/------=/=======|===----\-------\0          Charlie

COMBATSYS: Charlie focuses on his next action.

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////////     ]
Mileena          1/----===/=======|=======\==-----\1           Baiken
[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////            ]
Skarlet          1/------=/=======|===----\-------\0          Charlie

COMBATSYS: Mileena dazes Baiken with Kombo!

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////           ]
Mileena          1/---====/=======|=======\=====--\1           Baiken
[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////            ]
Skarlet          1/------=/=======|===----\-------\0          Charlie

It might be sexual for Mileena, but for Baiken it is pain.

Baiken has had years of experience dealing with pain, though. Pain is a warning; it is information. It does not control her anymore. She doesn't let it - even when it is extreme.

Unfortunately, being able to push away pain doesn't mean you're completely insensible to it, and it certainly doesn't stop Mileena from brutally smashing Baiken around. The punch smacks her in the jaw, and it makes Baiken reel for a moment, as does the follow-up palm - but it's being smashed into the floor by raw strength that really does it.

It is easy to forget that Baiken is actually quite a small woman; she is a good half foot shorter than Mileena and probably thirty pounds or more lighter. She's tough - but she's not unstoppable, and her opponents almost always outreach and outweigh her. Picking her up is effective. There's not much she can do to deflect the floor.

Baiken just kind of lies there for a moment. Mileena (and the others) would be forgiven for thinking she was unconcious - but then Baiken stirs. She rolls, more or less flopping onto her side before pushing herself up. Her hand reaches out for her sword, which she grasps, gripping it so tightly her knuckles whiten.

She can't make a decent assault like this. She takes a moment to wait for things to stop blurring and wavering (Baiken doesn't get double vision because she doesn't have two eyes, but that doesn't mean things stay still when she's this out of it). She focuses, increasingly laser-like, on Mileena. "Consider yourself defied," she gets out, though it's hard. "Monster! Do you think you'll live?"

This may be bad.

It's still hard for Baiken to focus, but she tries; she lunges forward, essaying a quick thrust with the blade. But what starts as a thrust turns into a wild slash as she changes her mind, considering it a better chance to actually connect - and for someone who's just been hit in the face, Baiken hits hard even if her accuracy leaves something to be desired.

COMBATSYS: Mileena parries Baiken's Fierce Strike!

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////           ]
Mileena          1/--=====/=======|=======\======-\1           Baiken
[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////            ]
Skarlet          1/------=/=======|===----\-------\0          Charlie

Kahn's capricious daughter is not concerned for any claim she might make over the fleeing Earthlings; rather, she is intent upon making a scene, on pushing a greater claim - that which her royal blood may hold over both these alien realms. To be undone in Kombat is one thing, but the embarassment and shame of losing a clutch over prey so weak as to be cattle, rendered insensible by whatever strange sorcery has been worked upon them by Outworld's rival invaders...

...that she will not bear. It drives her to distraction. At once, it sharpens her.

Wild feline eyes take in Skarlet's aborted fatality upon the second of their opponents; the one, the princess realizes now, who is the most heroic. In Baiken she might even find a kindred - another who fights for the thrill of battle, who kills because it drives and strengthens her. That coldness, that calculating force, even in such a small frame... yes, she distantly muses, even as she rivets her attention upon the bespectacled Vigilante, that one is not her enemy. This pacifist, who dares to scatter her beloved golem to the winds and then cry foul for bloodlust? He is the one upon whom she should be exacting vengeance most cruel. He is the one she must release.

She watches Charlie over Skarlet's shoulder, reaching out with one hand to lightly brush her blood-forged minion's back. The touch comes in tandem with Baiken's own eked-out challenge, and Mileena is distracted enough to at least glance the way of her erstwhile foe.

"Do you think..." She says with a curious, relative calm, the braying warble gone from her tone. Something approaching a maturity replacing it. A dark purr. A chill threat: "That your friend shall?"

Baiken's charge is met with an upraised set of talons, the feint brushed aside as she instinctively, unerringly meets the broadened slash instead. Sidestepping into a deft pirouette, Mileena keeps her nails upon the blunt edge of the reverse blade, diverting it beyond the crown of her skull, lank hair stirring in the wind left behind. That feline stare fixates momentarily on Baiken's single eye, unblinking for the instant in which they meet, and then she's gone, entering a spin made harsh by a virulent flash of violet chi. It covers her, absorbs her...

...then flings her out into the dank, locust-blighted air far above Charlie. Toothy maw bared with a savage hunger, the Princess of Outworld descends with a charged flash of motion, streams of violet following her into a down-angled kick, a sharp and stunning boot to the skull of the would-be hero below. Upon impact, the energy encircles her in another searing cloak, and she apparates a second time behind him, still airborne, now twisting through a tight flip to bring a single stiletto heel crashing atop that blond-haired skull. The other sets beneath her.

"Sskarlet..." Hisses the princess, setting herself back to the floor almost gracefully. Regal, she tosses her head, lifting a hand as if to bestow the greatest honour upon her nearby compatriot. "Finish him."

Skarlet doesn't really understand what Charlie means. 'Get your jollies?' The man seems to think she's getting something out of this, and the phrase actually makes her cock her head to the side, raising an eyebrow in quirked confusion. No, she doesn't really understand all the fine nuance here. At least she's showing no interest in the civilians, though. Instead, she slowly, deliberately draws her blade. She even speaks - the second statement she's made to Charlie.

"I, too, have a mission. It is not up to you to decide whether you are willing to have your might tested, warrior of Earthrealm."

With veritable speech by her standards given, Skarlet stabs herself in the stomach, and tears the blade along her abdomen. Her free hand gathers the blood which flows from the gash, gathering it into her palm in a tight, swirling sphere. The orb burns with malevolent chi, totally inimicable to human life. The energy, in fact, would seek to drain Charlie of his blood, draw his essence into her and leave him a withered husk.

He'll have the opportunity to discover this himself first hand when she hurls the ball of krimson energy forwards at him, hurling it with all her strength to impact powerfully with his stomach, where it will burn, sizzle and twist.

COMBATSYS: Charlie blocks Mileena's Boot Down EX.

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////           ]
Mileena          1/-======/=======|=======\======-\1           Baiken
[                 \\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////              ]
Skarlet          1/------=/=======|=====--\-------\0          Charlie

COMBATSYS: Charlie fails to interrupt Blood and Tears from Skarlet with Somersault Kick EX.

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////           ]
Mileena          1/-======/=======|=======\======-\1           Baiken
[                 \\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////                  ]
Skarlet          1/---====/=======|=======\-------\1          Charlie

Well, he got...everyone's attention now, it seems like. That's...probably not good. But then again, right now, it's that or let them continue to run unchecked, and while the blood woman seems rather focused and restrained, the one with the feral eyes looks a LOT more dangerous and unrestrained. Something about her that raises the hairs on the back of the soldier's neck. His eyes flit between the two, though he's focused mostly on the golem for now. THe one who has the unerring focus on him. He hunkers down, ready for their responses, knowing the people behind him are still trying to filter out.

Then the flash of violet comes, and Charlie is forced to bring his arms up, stopping the downkick aimed at the crown of his head. Grunting, he's able to deflect the kick off, and when the other comes, from a different angle, he's able to swing his arm around to stop it again, even as the tingles and the reverberations through his forearms travel through the rest of his core.

Unfortunately, Mileena's attacks leave him open for Skarlet's reparte, and when she tries to blow out that orb of chi straight at him, he tries to respond with a trademark Somersault Kick, hoping to cut through the ball and straight to Skarlet. Unfortunately, having to deal with the feral woman left his timing off, and the blasts collides into him before he can get the kick off completely.

The feeling is...familiar actually, something he's conscious of even as he strains not to scream out too loud in pain, mostly for show for the sake of the hostages. The burning that tries to drain his blood and siphon it off reminds him of a certain aberrant...the one with the scythe...


They think he's her friend?

"Him? I don't even know his name!" Baiken recovers from her poorly aimed slash, returning to a more neutral position to avoid leaving herself open any more than she already has. She isn't precisely amused by it, but the fact that they can't even tell friendship when they (don't) see it - that's a weakness. They seem to be able to work together regardless, though.

Left to her own devices, Baiken has a moment to do that more complicated thing she was thinking of. She gathers her chi, though she doesn't immediately use it; a flare of power more felt than seen as she concentrates, waiting for the perfect moment. One or both of them is going to come after her. She knows this.

Still holding it in, Baiken rushes. Her head isn't perfectly clear but it's better than it was, well enough that she can tell where her opponents are and deal with them appropriately. It's the same rush she used right at the beginning, or something that makes no real difference; her blade held defensively, point-down, her arm crossed in front of her face. The blood running down from her injured shoulder is new, though, as is all the battering she's taken.

When Charlie goes down, Baiken moves past him, almost over him, and drives her palm directly out - toward Skarlet. She yells one word as she does: "BAKU!" The Seal.

A Japanese character, scribbled out of nothing but pink-violet chi, appears in front of Baiken, partially interposing itself over Skarlet (at least, that's the idea). The sealing character is more than just an interesting light show, though; it binds chi and mystic energies, making them sluggish and slow to respond. She can't seal Skarlet away, or banish her, but she can at least be a horrible inconvenience to her, binding and restricting her energies' flow.

That done, she tries to keep her single eye on Mileena, who she expects to be the one to take it out on her first given their previous encounters.


It's not a word that particularly figures into Mileena's vocabulary, nor that of the average Outworlder, but it's one she's heard used by a number of prey. An alien word, she can draw her own conclusions about it-- and find every one of them lacking, as much as she would the truth. Love, friendship, trust, these are all things that every being is better off without. There is only the eternal struggle for power, the lust for blood, the need to be strong and unyielding. And, perhaps most pertinent to Mileena as she stands, the desire to be entertained.

To care about the man whose blood is now boiling, his face a rictus as he weathers the assault...

If Baiken does not, then she only rises in the princess' estimations. This does nothing to save her from the rage in feline eyes as their stares meet once more across the battlefield, over the stricken form of Charlie. Mileena's reaction is near-immediate, her languid drift toward Baiken carrying her past the Vigilante with animal urgency and sinuously feminine grace, one foot weaving around and in front of the other, her arms briefly raising to caress his shoulders and face in passing. A murmur leaves her lips, but it's distant; sexuality oozing only because some deeply-lodged physical mandate bids it. Her gaze remains intent, her purpose all too clear...

Baiken's arm extends, she launches her seal, and rivets in turn upon Mileena.

The Princess of Outworld moves like a bullwhip, going from a languid approach to a rushing onslaught. Her savage maw splits in a broad grin, blood and saliva lashing forth with a rough outbreath, and then she's upon Baiken, forcing herself in as close as inhumanly possible...

Before coiling around her, snakelike. Using all her limbs, slick as they are with the ichor still draining from the wounds imparted by the samurai's punishing blades, she winds around and over the other, smaller woman. Carrying her own weight, she moves too well and too swiftly to throw Baiken to the ground-- rather, she aims to mount her and then bring that weight momentarily upon the shoulders, flexing into an acrobatic handstand, long, long legs curling overhead.

"Aand -what-," she near-whispers, her hiss a croak at the last as she swings herself down and around, bending like a reed once more. All that strength, contained in devastatingly feminine curves and hard, honed muscle, is brought to bear in the points of her knees as she releases Baiken only to collide with crushing force against her lower back. Through the haze of agony, if she succeeds in imparting such, she finishes harshly, "Is -your- name, wWarrior?!"

There is no concern for Skarlet; they are not 'friends' either. Because they are not so weak.

COMBATSYS: Baiken successfully hits Skarlet with Baku.

[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////           ]
Mileena          1/-======/=======|======-\-------\0           Baiken
[                       \\\\\\\  < >  ////////////                  ]
Skarlet          1/=======/=======|=======\-------\1          Charlie

Skarlet doesn't even fully understand the word 'friend'. It is an alien concept to her. The closest she'd reliably be able to get is 'ally' which, doesn't quite work the same way. What she does understand is energy. As a creature of pure magic, Skarlet senses what Baiken is doing - but she doesn't comprehend why. A sealing technique will only make Mileena more angry, surely? The Outworld Princess is one you should put down hard and fast - binding her would just make her more excited. But she is not the one locked in Kombat with Mileena; she should not judge the demon hunter's strategy.

Even though Mileena has attacked Charlie, she's startled when the sealing technique hits her instead. She is caught in the symbol, and her eyes widen in shock. Instinctively, she tries to push out against it - her arms spread to either side, and swirling crimson power coils about Skarlet's limbs as she tries to break the seal... but Charlie has already placed an immense strain upon her body. The more she struggles, the less coherent she gets. Her limbs go from creamy white to a bruised, ruddy purple... and as she snaps her head back, the rest of her skin follows suit. When Charlie had blown her up, it had been an immediate explosion from which she'd pulled herself together...

Baiken's technique is crueller. Skarlet literally melts, losing her physical form until she is nothing more than a puddle of blood. For a heartbeat, all might be thinking that Shao Kahn's bloodhound has finally been dealt with; sealing magic is a deadly art when employed against a creature who is herself little more than spells woven into shape.

But then again, Skarlet has already made one dramatic reappearance, and the puddle flows towards Charlie in a goopy torrent. She might have lost her body, but Skarlet is not going to let that mean she allows this Kombat to get any more diluted!

Four lashing tendrils of blood grow from the puddle, aiming to coil about Charlie's limbs. If she can get a good grasp, he'll be wrenched up into the air over the gory fluid. Either way, the semi-translucent figure of Skarlet reforms, legs still merged into one pillar and body looking more like a silhouette than with the usual fine detail. There is one exception, though: her tanto, which is clasped tight in her hand, blade shining malevolently in the light.

If she has managed to wrench Charlie above her, the ninja will waste no further time. This Earthrealm Warrior has proven himself a worthy adversary; but he is distracting from the Princess' battle, as is she. Shaken though she is in the aftermath of Baiken's sealing technique, the bloody ninja will simply stab deep into Charlie's abdomen, and rip downwards to lay claim to his life fluids, before dropping him once more to the ground, and turning her eyeless gaze towards the demon hunter and her Princess.

COMBATSYS: Skarlet successfully hits Charlie with Make It Rain.

[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////           ]
Mileena          1/-======/=======|======-\-------\0           Baiken
[                       \\\\\\\  < >  /                             ]
Skarlet          0/-------/---====|=======\=====--\1          Charlie

Charlie is still recovering from the intense pain of that blood-draining orb that had burned into him. His stomach felt like someone had slammed a flaming sledgehammer into him. It was mostly grit that wills him back up to his feet afterwards, trying to muster up his stance again. He can't let the hostages get involved, even at the risk of his own body. It's probably a good thing, in that sense, that he's still their focus.

Not that it makes the result any better, as before he can get his bearings and track the weird blood-using woman, he's caught by lashing tendrils from below. Eyes widen as he's suddenly bound up by ropes of blood, struggling as he's held up prone for the rising Skarlet. Gritting his teeth, he continues to struggle, even as he's held up even higher, then cut through by her tanto. A roar of pain escapes the Major as she just about tries to gut him. Blood pours from the ugly wound, raining down just as she had hoped. He feels his own life draining from him, even as he's dropped to the ground.

"This....isn't over." The grunt comes from a man who should already be dead, Charlie straining to get back up despite the pouring wound in his stomach. He's on the verge, but damned if he's going to let it end like this. "MED EVAC..." he manages to shout out to his men outside, loud a bellow as he can muster right now, before a last ditch effort snaps out, a somersaulting slash kick just like before. Twisting his body, he moves backward while somersaulting forward, legs cutting out one after another with the glow of the same energy that had powered his Sonic Booms. One, then another, then another, trying to pay Skarlet back in full with the kind of technique that won him accolades in the US Martial Arts Championships. Here?...it might salvage a moral victory at best, but even that will hopefully be enough.

COMBATSYS: Charlie can no longer fight.

[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////           ]
Mileena          1/-======/=======|======-\-------\0           Baiken
[                       \\\\\\\  <
Skarlet          0/-------/---====|

COMBATSYS: Baiken dodges Mileena's Fiendish.

[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////           ]
Mileena          1/=======/=======|======-\-------\0           Baiken
[                       \\\\\\\  <
Skarlet          0/-------/---====|

Baiken cares about Charlie inasmuch as he is useful to her; she's good, but she doesn't give herself great odds fighting both of these Outworld demons (or similar) at once, at least not if they were both fresh. Beyond that, he's a fighter, and he can clearly take care of himself at least fairly well.

Plus, he jumped into it. He apparently has at least /some/ experience with monsters; it's not like she's dealing with a completely inexperienced soldier over here.

She does not care for him as a friend, having never spoken more than a half dozen words to him or so. Baiken prefers not to get too close to people. Then neither she or they are disappointed.

Baiken hasn't precisely dismissed Skarlet, but she's weakened, more than Baiken was expecting; she thought to slow her down, sap her vitality, not cause her to deform and have to pull herself back together. She can be left to Charlie for a moment, because she expects Mileena to come at her right about -


Baiken throws herself into a forward roll when Mileena tries to clamber onto her to use her weight to bear the samurai down. Mileena is left with a momentary grip of cloth, and then not even that as Baiken slips away entirely, leaving a trail of blood from her injuries as she somersaults forward.

She comes up quickly, blade back in her hand. She spins, feinting a slash at Mileena, but that's more of a distraction than anything else, not meant to hit at all. More tellingly, Baiken raises one of her feet off the ground, then stomps downward, hard.

"It's Baiken," she says, voice flat. Then, louder: "TATAMI GAESHI!"

A green block of chi flips up as if she'd put her foot on one side of it - and it's right underfoot Mileena, where she might be literally thrown into the air! Even if she gets a step or two back, the chi tile sprays a pink blast of energy, a secondary attack almost as powerful as the first (if less likely to throw her into the air).

COMBATSYS: Mileena blocks Baiken's Tatami Gaeshi.

[                 \\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Mileena          2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|======-\-------\0           Baiken
[                       \\\\\\\  <
Skarlet          0/-------/---====|

Warriors of Outworld and Earthrealm become entangled in this strange, tertiary plane, this infestation on the face of their true battleground. Not for the first time, Mileena and Baiken are found dancing through the brink of mutual destruction, slippery, calloused hands of the princess brushing only a rapidly-fleeing kimono as the samurai acts a beat faster than she. That lick of blood carries upon the passing winds, and as the princess turns it glances across her cheek. Her tongue is swift to dart, slurping it up with relish, her catlike pupils dilating. Eyes narrowing.

Her lank hair swishes as she unnecessarily evades the feint, raising her arms, the left cutting a backhanded swathe across to a satellite position that proves equally unneeded. The attack comes from below; she's so busy watching that cyclopean face that she almost misses it.

Suddenly, the arena floor is erupting and Mileena is being launched by the outer residue of the summoned energies. Had Baiken not already demonstrated her sealing technique, the princess might be totally unprepared. As it is, she gets her guard around and down, dropping all her limbs beneath her like a falling feline - palms and toes becoming wards, some of her own violet chi gleaming to sickly life by way of further barrier. The ensuing explosion of meeting fires throws her higher still, washing heat against her lithe form, stunning her as she's forced to turn a horizontal rotation of her half-Edenian body to so much as weather the blow.

When she comes around, it's with a sharp yell that becomes a hiss through her alien maw.

"BaIken!" She pronounces, hurling her arms out in cruciform and then behind her, swandiving back toward the fray as Charlie rises in dissonant parallel with his own technique. Hers is more simple, robust and unflashy; she simply lifts a knee, the rear leg trailing back with her arms to form an aerodynamic foil. And the princess falls toward the samurai's skull, kneecap-first.

"Your nAme shall bE reMembEred when we -rUle- this world!!"

It's the closest she's liable to come to admitting she likes someone. It's a compliment, really!

COMBATSYS: Charlie successfully hits Skarlet with Somersault Justice.

[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Mileena          2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|======-\-------\0           Baiken
[                                <
Skarlet          1/----===/=======|

Skarlet is still straining to deal with the suppressive energies crackling through her body. Given time, the powerful magic that makes up her being will overcome the binding, but it is a painful and distracting effect. Charlie's blood helps to reinvigorate her... but it is not enough, when the warrior of Earthrealm stands to give her his last. It is an effort she is familiar with; on their last legs, warriors will often give it their all in an effort to delay the inevitable.

She tries to flow around the first kick - and she fails. The energy slashes deep into her, and she hisses as blood sizzles and boils. The resulting kicks spray more of her corporeal form about the arena, and after the last has finally hammered home, she exhales. As she does, pink energy leaks from underneath her facemask. Her body finally regains its color, and its shape, but she is kneeling and she does not get up.

The blood splattered throughout the arena slowly begins to seep back towards her; far more sluggish than it had throughout the rest of the fight. It will take her a few moments to pull herself together, and longer to be able to stand properly. She is in agreement with Charlie on one thing, though, and when she speaks her voice sounds far more... human, somehow. There's emotion in it which had been sorely lacking in the harsh, steely rasp of her dulcet tones before.

"No, Warrior of Earthrealm, it is not over." She murmurs. "This was merely... the first round."

COMBATSYS: Skarlet takes no action.

[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Mileena          2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|======-\-------\0           Baiken

COMBATSYS: Skarlet can no longer fight.

[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Mileena          2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|======-\-------\0           Baiken

COMBATSYS: Baiken dodges Mileena's Front Kick.

[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Mileena          2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|======-\-------\0           Baiken

The Somersault Justice seems to finally put Skarlet down (for whatever definition of 'down' you want to use for someone who is basically humanoid blood). But after the final kick, Charlie collapses. After all, few men could really stay standing after being gutted and nearly disembowled completely. Collapsing on his side, he only manages a glimpse of his unit, storming in cover formation into the arena, as the capable hostages seem to trickle out to the last for now. "Major!" one shouts, training his rifle onto the prone Skarlet, the others backing off as they see the fight between Baiken and Mileena. "Sir?" one asks, kneeling down to him and taking stock of his wounds.

"Stablilze the situation...don't get involved...just...make sure everyone else is safe," he manages to groan out even as a couple more get a makeshift backboard to carry their commander out on.

Of course, with other inhabitants still here, and the fight between the samurai and the monster still going on, it's hard for the worried soldiers to not keep their guns trained, just in case, you know.

Charlie calls for a medevac. Good, Baiken thinks. He's not dead, and Skarlet appears to be unwilling or unable to fight anymore. The soldiers don't worry her; she knows ways out of here she's entirely sure they're not going to, they'd have to get lucky to take her down before she can escape (she would rather not fight the actual humans around the place).

That means she can focus entirely on the threat of Mileena - and Baiken knows that she is a threat. With the additional space opened up by the chi, she moves, backing towards a wall so that Mileena can not come from behind again (and, in case Skarlet is actually faking, to cover her back from further assault).

"Not interested, monster. You deserve nothing but a death!"

Baiken presses herself against the wall, letting Mileena dive. She pushes herself along it at the last moment; Mileena is certainly skilled enough to avoid faceplanting into the wall but it does mean she is not presented with Baiken, who is now a step to the side.

Baiken springs away from the wall, launching herself past Mileena - almost over her, in fact. She puts her entire body into a forward flip, slashing with the sword as she bounds overhead, trying to hit Mileena in the back with a rising slash as she finishes her rotation and starts running, once again trying to clear some distance between the two.

COMBATSYS: Mileena dodges Baiken's Ouren.

[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Mileena          2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|=======\-------\0           Baiken

As one hero falls, it fails to register on Mileena beyond a scathing side-glance as she lands from her deceptively-brutal swandive. Her long, powerful legs bend forward as she meets the floor, sending her into a brief skid away from the wall until she extends the left and spins her arms inward, palms open in distinctively-martial formation - reminiscent of an Earthrealm Northern Kung-Fu Style - and focused about her core. It's a curiously technical display from the savage princess that is also brief; those feline eyes have slipped from the downed Charlie - and the blood golem who disembowelled him - back to the cyclopean determinator much closer to home.

The dark strands of Mileena's hair are tossed with a brusquely-playful hand as she straightens up from her half-split, meeting the incoming slash with a swaying weave that carries her within a couple of inches of the tip and the scything blade. She doesn't once remove her alien stare from the woman beyond, the motion requiring more effort than appeared-- but still, communicating well the resilience of spirit that the beast is finding as this bout wears on.

This began as a game; it is now Kombat, in truth. A worthy foe. A worthy battle.

"ThEn you do me the gReatEst hoNour," hisses Mileena as she turns to track her fellow kombatant's dash, easing into a sinuous, spine-twisting motion that becomes a rapid series of scuttling sidesteps - then a series of flips, the princess gracefully springing between beds and piles of scattered clothing. A handspring here, a cartwheel there, and then she's falling nimbly through the air at the business end of a trained rifle-muzzle. The soldier behind is given a dismissive sneer, and with a flash of violet chi she is suddenly behind him, talons closing on his shoulder.

"Call -oFf- these FoOlS!!" She suddenly screams fiercely, wrenching the poor man backward and tossing him into the arena seating. With savage fury she rounds upon Baiken, baiting her in with a beckoning claw and then darting forward, a second flash of violet chi bringing her into proximity-- but not now face-to-face, striving instead to nip at the ankles, dropping into a low, spinning crouch that casts out first one strong leg and then the other, hammering at the shins. Striving to bring the samurai down; down to her level, down to a devastating finale.

"Let uss FInISH this...!"

COMBATSYS: Baiken blocks Mileena's Sweep.

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////               ]
Mileena          2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|=======\-------\1           Baiken

They're not /her/ soldiers. Baiken can't give them orders, and she doesn't; if they can't figure out that it is probably not the best idea to menace an angry demonic person if they can't or won't kill her, that's going to be their problem.

Baiken is less amused by the battle than Mileena. It's deadly serious; she is not here to amuse herself, she's here to deal with Majigen in the best way that she can - cutting down some of the demons and evil beings within. She tried to seal a suit of armour, and now she's fighting Outworlders; in her own way she's doing her part.

She does not fall for the bait. Baiken doesn't advance, though she may be planning to do something with her trick arm. Or maybe she's just waiting for Mileena to charge her, as she's been shown several times to be quite impatient - and in fact here she comes now, albeit by a mechanism less mundane than 'running'.

Baiken guesses correctly. She is in a half-crouch when Mileena appears in front of her, her blade used as a guard. She can't evade the assault from this angle, but her lowered center of gravity means at least she's not falling to the ground as she takes the impact on the flat of her sword and the inside of her arm. It stings. She ignores it.

"Fine! If you want it to end, I'll scatter you to the winds!"

"TEN!" Baiken uncoils all at once, bringing her sword in a wide sweeping slash as she starts to rise. She reverses the blade in her hand at the end of the slash and cuts the other way too - the first one left to right, the second one right to left from her point of view. "JI!"

She ends it with a single mighty overhead slash. If she had both hands, they would both be on the sword's hilt; since she doesn't, she merely overextends, putting every bit of force she can muster behind the blow. "JIN!" she finishes, an explosive shout.

COMBATSYS: Mileena endures Baiken's Tsurane Sanzu Watashi.

[                        \\\\\\  < >  ///////////////               ]
Mileena          2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|-------\-------\0           Baiken

Majigen wasn't really a factor for Mileena when deciding whether or not to come here; which might seem odd, but the truth is that the locale does not matter. The enemy does not matter. All that's important is paving the way for an invasion - an outright, bloody konquest of Earthrealm and all the manlings that inhabit it. Majigen occupies much of the population's consciousness at this time, and it poses a threat... or, conversely, might well prove a worthwhile distraction. Whatever else she might be, the Princess of Outworld is exactly that. She's royalty, she's a patriot, and she's a forward acout for the most terrible war this plane has ever witnessed.

Every angle must be explored. No stone left unturned. Every face maimed.

When Baiken poses a stalwart defender once more, Mileena's snarl is equal part martial spirit and animal displeasure. One half of her alien physiology screams to meet the challenge, desires it and even enjoys it - the same part of her that also seeks to play - while the other acts only as a wild thing prevented from its next meal. Instinctive, vicious and yet cold, she rebounds from the pair of kicks by springing to her feet, stance ready without forethought. Everything prepared.

But she's also a member of Kahn's regal household, a creation of his inimitable bloodline. She has a warrior's pride beneath it all, and she means to show every world outside her own what that truly means. Which is why, when Baiken unleashes the totality of her enviable power...

Mileena, bloodied as she is, weary as she grows, takes it on the proverbial chin.

Her maw splits in a noiseless roar, and the blade bits deep into cuts already made, scattering organs uncomfortably within and sending the bright spray of crimson ichor without. Blood pumps so hard now that it darkens even as it sprays, royal purple coming too fast to be cooled by the air. The cuts that follow fling Mileena every which way, her statuesque form indeed strewn to the winds - there's not much of her left when the last comes, to the eye, her flesh hanging in ribbons and the bloated, slimy mass of organs now quite visible. Her breath is ragged, coming in thick rasps, but she meets the final blow with an upturned chin and fire in those feline eyes.

"It wWill -eNd-," she spits, twisting into the fatal, final cut, allowing it to drop her downward, cleaving through her collarbone with a further gout of blood. How much does she have left? Enough, she would reply; always enough, until the end. Until death's embrace, Mileena of Outworld - the daughter of Emperor Shao Kahn - will fight with her all. It is her duty and her right. It is her delight, too. With a drunken titter she folds forward, then EXPLODES, virulent chi cascading off her form as she enters a spin, spraying fluid in every direction as she's launched beneath Baiken's over-extended form. RIPPING her legs from under her, if she can manage the delirious startup...

"When WE! SsSAY!!"

Blood-fleckled spittle lashing from her lipless maw, she rises to her feet and spins in the very instant that she reaches the other side, striving to dash her toppled opponent from the air with a pinwheeling of arms much like that earlier - a scatching backhand and a punishing forefist, striking with enough pure, unrelenting force to smash Baiken back into the ground and up again. On the rebound, Mileena spins through three hundred and sixty degrees and -pounces- like a hungry lion, howling with the furied passion of bloodlust as she leaps and strives to wrap her vicelike thighs around Baiken's neck. Both taloned hands strive downward, one gripping with cruelty at the damaged eye-socket, seeking to grip to the very bone and keep on pressing as she uses her weight to bear the cyclopean samurai down, down. To the ground. To the gutter. To her grave.


The word is spoken without rancour, and with surprising control - no maddened warble to her tone now, just a fierce word of command, a demand from one who might one day be called Empress. Who will, if she's ever to have a say - and by the same voice, she'll demand one. With the command delivered, her other hand makes its move, fingertips digging deep into the one working eye and closing fast, yanking and pulling and squeezing. A punishment worse than death:

The blindness of a hero, delivered with a wet expulsion of dripping goo.

In Kombat, there can be no mercy. One must stand and one must fall. So Kahn kommands.

COMBATSYS: Baiken blocks Mileena's Brutality.

[                      \\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////                  ]
Mileena          2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|==-----\-------\0           Baiken

Baiken overextended to finish that last slash, and she knows it - but decisively ending a battle is better than letting it stretch out. This one is already running long. Mileena is impressively resilient - and, honestly, so is Baiken, but she has limits and doesn't know where Mileena's are.

The fact that she's not /dead/ after absorbing so much damage is impressive... and a little terrifying. If Baiken saw any humans with wounds like that, she would assume them dead or mortally injured. With Mileena, she's authentically not sure. She still breathes, moves, and fights, despite everything.

Baiken is breathing hard as she recovers from the blow, clearly not at the limits of her endurance but able to see them approaching. Baiken does not recover fast enough. Mileena's assault to her legs strikes home, bowling Baiken over.

Mileena slams her around, but Baiken manages to move to absorb the worst of the blows. It hurts, and she keeps moving against her own will, but she's not unconcious - not even when Mileena manages to land on her neck and chest, pinning her against the floor.

Baiken twists her head in a way that looks uncomfortable, straining her neck. The first claw doesn't hit her eye but above it, tearing flesh and half-blinding Baiken anyway from the blood now streaming into it from the scalp wound. Ordinarily Mileena could feel around and manage to drive her thumb in anyway.

But this time, Baiken sees an opportunity.

The way Mileena has her legs near Baiken's neck and shoulder gives her an opening. She arches her back, lifting her shoulderblades from the ground, straining to hold Mileena's weight up. "Get off," she hisses, through her teeth, as something slips from where the chain was wrapped around her torso and the stump of her arm. There is a heavy thump as Baiken inches her body along the ground while pressing something from her sleeve against the ground to hold it in place.

And then there's a blunt object being pressed against Mileena's leg, aimed parallel to Baiken's body. Baiken can't move it fast enough to hit Mileena with. That's okay.

The dragon-headed hand cannon doesn't need to move very much to fire. It isn't loaded with anything solid; what comes out is more of a rush of flame and pressure, a short-range blast rather than a ballistic weapon. But right up against Mileena's leg, it's probably enough.

COMBATSYS: Mileena fails to interrupt Large Random Weapon from Baiken with Large Random Weapon.
* Attack Of Opportunity! *

                                  >  /////////////                 ]
                                  |====---\-------\0           Baiken

COMBATSYS: Mileena can no longer fight.

                                  >  /////////////                 ]
                                  |====---\-------\0           Baiken

Their limits have truly been tested - in the Flesh Pits, this contest would have the crowds incensed and screaming for more. More than usual, at least. Mileena is thriving on every motion herself, even as her worst intentions are eluded that duality continues - she is furious, murderous and yet strangely composed in her resignation that this of all battles on Earthrealm, has been worthwhile. The first time she's been not just challenged but -pushed-. They need to end this. One way or another, she thinks, as she attempts to roll away from the tangled into which she's fallen, hissing with the pleasure of finding fresh gore beneath her fingernails.

Her hands indeed scramble for renewed purchase, up until the moment that cold, hard object is pressed against her thigh. She shivers, letting out a sub-sexual moan that sets her body aquiver, uncomfortably warm and slick as it eases against Baiken. For a moment it seems like she won't even try to resist, and in that moment Baiken has already found the trigger.

At such proximity, the blast is going to be devastating; and that's what Mileena hungers for, that's what the denizens of Majigen and Outworld both hunger for. Here, in a world united by bleak and bloody purpose, the denizens of a different pair meet in kind.

There's a valiant effort as the squeeze commences, in which the gore-drenched princess attempts to buck her own, broken frame to divert the blast; more, she even manages to seize Baiken's wrist, wrenching with unruly, chaotic force to simply snap it back and send the blaze surging forth for its mistress instead. But it's too little, not soon enough, and the dragon's roar engulfs Mileena. Her leg gives way, and more, it's HURLED back, the weight of it and the gathered momentum dragging her impossibly-perfect, utterly-bedraggled frame across the arena floor, toppling and sliding, twisting and turning. She lets out a gurgling hiss, that becomes a lilting, disturbing giggle...

...and then there's a flash of searing violet. Folding chairs explode in every direction, scattering toward Charlie's men and the downed warriors who've done battle here. Skarlet will doubtless tend to herself-- she is no woman, and like no woman can she vanish, diverting her power through the leylines. She is nothing BUT power; it's an easy task, and the princess will never fear for her vassal. Mileena herself, on the other hand...

She does need to be protected. She does not disappear far; appearing in a dim alleyway outside the arena, licking her wounds and shivering against a filthy wall. Her eyes are alight with animal, primal emotion as she surveys her injuries - dragging the stump of her leg closer and leaning down to quite literally lick at it, tasting the blood already washing away in the rivulets of falling rain. Flopping back, she turns her gaze upward, at a passing swarm of locusts.

This world may not be hers yet, but she has found a challenge worth rising to.

Her father will be informed. Earthrealm will be brought to its knees. Another round awaits.

When the blast of fire surges from Baiken's arm, Skarlet nods her head. It is a subtle motion, but a meaningful one. She has watched countless battles from a similar kneeling position in her centuries of service, and she knows when a battle is done. The Princess is a ferocious kombatant, but even she has her limits, and Skarlet suspects that they have been reached. When Mileena makes her escape, she knows it to be true; she is only glad that she doesn't need to step in herself in order to rescue the Kahn's daughter. It is one thing to wish to preserve the sanctity of Kombat. It would be quite another to allow one of royal blood to perish before herself.

The bloody ninja rises, then, and steps forwards to stand before Baiken. Blood scattered throughout the arena is no longer flowing to her; she has taken what was hers already, but to take more? ... She will need time before she is ready to assimilate any other life into herself. Once more, she presses her fist to her palm, and she bows in respect to the cyclopean warrior.

"You are victorious." She says, softly. "The lives of these non-kombatants are yours by right of Konquest." She straightens, then, and looks upwards. She can sense the swarming enemies. She does not like the alien nature of these locust beings. She does, however, spare a glance to Charlie.

"I would assist you in defending your klaim, but the Earthrealm Warrior has weakened me too greatly. Until we meet again. I wish you luck."

The message of Kongratulation given, dark power swirls at Skarlet's feet. In an instant, she drops through the floor, and is gone. Mileena is right; she can, and will, ensure she is not destroyed ... but she will also go somewhat further than the bleeding Princess. It isn't anything personal, but until Mileena has had time to heal, she has no intention of risking the wrath of the Kahn's Daughter.

The battle is finished....not that Charlie's men get to really see the end, as Mileena's exit blasts them all back into walls along with the folding chairs blown into them. THankfully, the ones carrying the injured Major manage to avoid being blown down, even as one collapses from a chair clipping him behind the leg. Then again, despite the rather noisy and flashy exit, it might be of use to them, considering a few of them are forced to look upward as they extract themselves from the chair burial.

"What the hell are those..." he mutters, looking up...and scowling. "Sir, those locusts are in here too."

Grunting, Charlie looks up, trying to focus through the blood loss and potential shock on the locusts above them. "The same kind?..." There's something differnet about these, though Charlie can't place it, especially in his currently addled state. "Nnh...get everyone else out of here," he mutters as a precaution. He's not sure how many more are in here past the ones from the general area they just evaced. But something doens't sit right with him about the atmosphere either. Call it a hunch.

Baiken does not have a wrist on that hand, or in fact a hand on that hand. Perhaps that interferes with Mileena pulling it around... but more likely it's the fact that she's got it braced against the ground and it's stable enough to remain steady until she can fire it.

After the blast, Baiken does not rise, half-deafened in addition to half-blinded but aware that Mileena is gone. She struggles up after several seconds of just lying there, fighting off the daze from the blast. She doesn't even bother to pull the cannon back in; it remains sticking out of the 'empty' sleeve she entered the fight with, her real hand pressing against one of her wounds. By this point Mileena is gone, but Skarlet is not.

"Get out then," Baiken says, slowly and carefully to make her words understood, "unless you want to die." She doesn't care about Skarlet's code of honour (such as it is) but she's willing to take advantage of it. If there's no deaths in the night, that's about all she can hope for today.

She does not wait for Charlie's troops to get over to her. Having risen, she makes herself scarce; she walks, at a good clip, toward one of the concealed side exits to the arena normally used by staff rather than fighters or audience. Once she's in the backrooms, there are any ways she can get out of sight and treat her own wounds.

Baiken doesn't like doctors any more than she likes anyone else.

Log created on 16:53:27 04/18/2015 by Baiken, and last modified on 20:39:38 05/10/2015.