Description: A battle in an ancient burial ground gets blasphemous and sassy. There are no clear winners, though in the end, everyone gets in trouble... maybe. In the end, battle and rage overwhelmed curiosity -- just like it always seems to...

The fighters of Killer Instinct have a variety of reasons for coming to Southtown to compete in Ultratech's tournament. Money, glory, and personal vendettas are all fair game.

Brandon himself, originally joined the tournament for the sake of using the winnings to further support his private investigation agency back in Metro City. It was a good plan but then some unknown benefactor had to go and make it complicated. While he was in his hotel's restaurant eating breakfast, an unknown benefactor had left a message with the concierge to give him an envelope and in it was a message requesting that he go to an ancient burial ground to investigate the strange occurances and enough in Japanese yen to keep him on retainer for a week. Someone clearly knew him well enough to know what he'd charge them.

While Brandon wasn't in the habit of taking cases from people he hadn't met face to face, something about it piqued his curiosity and so while avoiding touching the money, beyond putting it in the hotel safe, he took a trip to the Burial Ground.

When he got there he receives a text saying that he missed his ride to the his tournament round. Wait... He wasn't informed he would be picked up from his hotel. What gives?

Sada Asai, of course, is here to win honor for her school. She may be the current champion of Seijyun High - at least, because Zaki's response to such things (and, indeed, most things) could be summarized as 'tch.'

And so, after her invitation came - and she went to the burial ground to wait for her opponent - she was pleased. Pleased at the infamy and renown she must be winning. Pleased at how soon she will doubtless be second only to Zaki, who, of course, must one day inevitably fall into despair. And also, where is her opponent?

He must be late.

Sada waits five minutes. At that point she starts stalking down the path - managing in her case to miss Brandon entirely - but now upon returning she sees a man there, who wasn't there before. He may get a dark glimpse of something sullen and angry, but it passes. Clasping her hands in front of her, Sada calls ahead, "Excuse me-- You are Mister Malone?"

As he walks around the Burial Ground, Brandon gets the sense of something not quite right in the area. The air doesn't move quite the way it should. The earth doesn't quite feel right. The energy around here is completely off and it makes his hairs stand on end.

He begins to extending his senses but just as he begins to put the feelers out, he hears the voice of a teenage girl. The concentration at least for the time being is thrown off and he has to abandon his attempt to sense what's going for now. At the very least, he has someone there to question.

"Yeah. That's me. Who are you? Are you the person who hired me?"

It's a slight gesture. One that may be easily missed but speaks to a readiness. He runs his finger across the small leather pouch clasped to his belt. He receives another text and he fishes it out to read it. It says that the burial ground is going to be where his fight his to take place. He mumbles to himself, "I'm already here, though."

Sada Asai smiles to Brandon. She clasps her hands in front of her. The smile is not very realistic but it's certainly there. "Oh, me? I am not, no. Excuse me, I don't think we have been introduced." She leans forwards to bow.

"My name is Sada Asai. I attend Seijyun H-"

Sada pauses, a full beat, as Brandon produces his phone in the middle of her introduction. That smile on her face stays there, but now, if anything, it's even more fixed.

"It isn't polite... to check your phone, you know. Especially during someone's self introduction... Mr. Malone."

A sense of being watched is behind her, but so is a familiar, cold and comfortable anger at everything and nothing. Sada smiles, showing her slightly too white teeth, just a little.

"My apologies, but it was important that I was updated on when and where my fight was going to be since they didn't see fit to inform me of either."

A pause. His lips curl into a bit of a frown as realization sets in.

"I regret that I didn't treat you respect. And I guess that would make you my opponent. If you would like, we could start all over. Or I could try to figure out something to make it up to you afterwards."

With that he opens the pouch clasped to his belt and pulls out a deck of tarot cards and shuffles them for a moment. The cards pulse with energy for just a moment before he returns the cards to the pouch. He takes a deep breath and then takes what looks to be an unorthodox fighting stance with one hand near the pouch and the other near his face.

Sada's lips smile a little wider. More of a slash over her face now. "As a matter of fact, I am-- Oh, are you here to read my fortune?" Sada asks, seeing the cards for a moment. Then Brandon's shifting into a readied stance, and Sada tilts her head, stepping forwards...

And not entering a fighting stance at all! She puts a hand on her hip instead, her schoolgirl skirt in xtra-long swishing slightly. She stops herself, arm's reach from Brandon, barely. Her free hand comes up to touch her lips with a fingertip.

"Can you tell me, Mr. Malone... If we really ARE being watched, by something...?" Is she talking about the cameras?

Or about a subtle premonition Sada can feel in her acid-etched bones!?

COMBATSYS: Sada has started a fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Sada             0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Brandon has joined the fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Sada             0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0          Brandon

While it's not a fighting stance as one would know it, the investigator can read from the confidence with which she strides forwards, that she's ready to fight as well. He need not feel bad while striking her.

"I don't usually use this particular deck for readings though I suppose I could after the fight... Preferably away from here."

After he gives his answer to the fortune reading he can feel the air shift subtly and he can feel the goosebumps forming on his skin. He shudders slightly and then that's when she asks about being watched.

"Odd that you ask about that. It was something I was about to look into right before you got my attention. It can wait. This is my primary business right now."

With a flick of his wrist, a glowing card appears in each of his hands. Quick eyes will notice that it is the High Priestess card in one of them just before he slashes out with it leaving a short ranged crescent beam in its wake to slash at Sada's abdomen.

COMBATSYS: Sada dodges Brandon's II - The High Priestess.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Sada             0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0          Brandon

"Tch," Sada says, just like Zaki! Her eyes narrow as she says, "What a boring answer. You seem really BORING, Mr. Malone. I'd thought someone who came to Southtown wouldn't be so BORING. I mean, we're about to fight in the middle of a cemetery."

Sada sniffs. "At least try to get into the spirit--" Oho!

Sada lunges forwards just as that bursting strike glimmers in the air, putting her own precious kiskhes out of the line of sight of that short-ranged but unsavory beam. She hooks her own arm forwards, smashing ahead to get Brandon, hopefully, into a sharp, twisting armlock. The kind that can break bones if you aren't careful.

"What's your business, exactly?" Sada says, either way, her voice a little slow and loud - as if she's speaking to someone who doesn't quite understand.

COMBATSYS: Brandon blocks Sada's Figure Four Armlock.

[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////   ]
Sada             0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0          Brandon

"I don't recall mentioning being here for your amusement."

And just as the crescent beam fades from of existance, a little of sleight of hand removes the High Priestess card from view just before his arm gets snagged and the lock put in on his arm. He flicks the other card out of view quickly enough that he can grab his wrist to keep the arm from going too far. After that, he struggles to slip from her grip and when he does, another card appears in his hand.

"Private Investigation and any other information would be covered under Client/Investigator privilege."

He then takes the card and stabs her stomach with card. With the chi reinforcing the card, it should hurt a bit more than one would expect a tarot card would, used in that fashion.

COMBATSYS: Sada dodges Brandon's Random Strike.

[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////   ]
Sada             0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0          Brandon

"Bo~ring~" Sada sing-songs at that reply. Her hateful little eyes narrow with amusement even as Brandon wriggles out of the arm lock. She takes a half-step back then, skirt rustling. "Oh, is there some kind of an investigation here? Do you usually fight with the tarot cards, or is that just a thing you're -"

This one makes Sada sweat. She actually jumps backwards, landing in a momentary handstand and tumbling towards the middle range, that bursting card exploding in thin air. But Sada, sadly, is left some distance away. She wipes her forehead with her hand.

"Are those special tarot cards? Do they have powers, or do they just explode?" Sada then asks, with feigned innocence. She steps backwards, still without raising her guard visibly. Her hand's held funny.

"I can do that too," she then says, before pitching her hand forwards. What's in it is... sweat. Being struck with the sweat of a schoolgirl, while perhaps enticing to some such as the Ryouhara clan, is not normally a major health hazard. What is perhaps more notable is that the sweat screams and flashes into fiery, clinging life as it flies forwards -- but maybe that /is/ normal.

COMBATSYS: Brandon fails to reflect Glow Bomber from Sada with IV - The Emperor.
- Power fail! -

[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////       ]
Sada             0/-------/------=|==-----\-------\0          Brandon

The questions... All of them are to things that Brandon would rather keep secret. The fact that he pre-charges his cards to keep himself from ripping himself apart with his own energy. The fact that if he does put the cards away that he is desparate enough to want to take his opponent down with him.

"It's kind of my schtick."

When the fiery sweat goes flying at him, he barely gets out an, "Ewww," before it's right in his face. He makes a new card appear at his finger tips. The Emperor. And in front of it a glowing shield looks like it was about to form but he's just barely too late for it. The sweat puts a hole right in his white fedora and he hisses in pain as he stumbles backwards and feels it burning skin.

He eventually gets feet under himself again and he mumbles. "I must reiterate... Ewww."

"Oh, are you saying I'm disgusting? I've never heard that one before," Sada says, raising a hand to have her pinky finger rest on the lower lip for a moment and half-veil her face. "Completely new... utterly original...!"

She swaggers forwards. "I was born this way, you know. I suppose that you could say it is... kind of... /my/ shtick. So, what did you say brought you out here... Mmmmmister Malone?"

Sauntering closer, she asks with a little pout on her face, "Were you summoned here by anyone in particular? This entire thing is very mysterious, Mmmmister Malone." And she gets close enough to add insult to injury with a sudden swing of her hand, which would be almost playful if she wasn't a. kind of putting oomph into it, and b. aiming it right against Brandon's jawline.

COMBATSYS: Sada successfully hits Brandon with Beat the Cheek.
~ Cruel hit! ~

[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////          ]
Sada             0/-------/------=|====---\-------\0          Brandon

"No. You're not disgusting. I'm saying having body fluids spontaneously combust is kind of... Ummm... yeah. Nevermind. Forget I said anything."

He can sense the energy coming from her as it makes a beeline for his jaw. He steps into it but the oomph of the slap is bit more than he was expecting. He goes into yet another stumble and is knocked completely out of position to take advantage of close proximity to deliver a shot of his own.

He takes a deep breath. The temptation to draw directly on his power is great. Only thing stopping him is that the fact that even though she's irritating she's not dire enough threat to justify taking the metaphysical gloves off and putting his own body at risk in the process.

He makes six cards appear in his hands and clasps his hands together and absorbs the energy into his palms before releasing the cards and axe handle smashing the teenager in the head. It's highly telegraphed and wild but at this point, Brandon doesn't care.

COMBATSYS: Sada dodges Brandon's Deep Strike.

[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////           ]
Sada             0/-------/------=|=====--\-------\0          Brandon

The six cards appear as Sada steps back. She looks downwards and sees that energy getting absorbed with wide eyes. It is, in fact, heck of telegraphed, and unfortunately for Brandon that means Sada is able to abruptly duck super low as he pulls off a Jim Kirk special.

Somewhere, a Rocket Man sheds a tear.

Sada from her low position doesn't have a ton she could do, other than maybe bite some ankles. She rises upwards with a twist at the hips, aiming to get her shoulder into Brandon's armpit and then hurl him down INTO AN OPEN GRAVE --

There are no open graves. (That would be incredibly hazardous!) But there are closed ones.

COMBATSYS: Brandon counters Quick Throw from Sada with IX - Hermit.
- Power hit! -

[         \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Sada             0/-------/--=====|=======\-------\0          Brandon

And when Sada rises to connect her shoulder to his armpit she might have a moment to notice that there are suddenly two Brandons. One in front the front with a vacant expression and the one in the back with a bit of a smirk holding up The Hermit card. After that, the illusion of Brandon swings for the fences slamming his energy fist right in the jaw before fading out of existance.

He had no clue how satisfying it would be to connect with something but he doesn't have a chance to really savor that moment since he detects movement out of the corner of his eye but when he turns to look nothing is there.

He can still feel that wrongness on the edge of perception but while he fights he can't really do much about it.

He sighs and then returns his attention to the fight he has right in front of him.

WHAM! And so, Brandon Malone punches a schoolgirl right in her talkhole.

Sada's face makes a weird squinching mixture of 'what??' and 'ow!!' as the fist connects. The skin of her face ripples, the magic not helping it. She is thrown backwards, landing on her back and skidding out on the ground in silence - between graves, thankfully. We don't need zombies to add to this.

Sada sits upright. It's a little slow. She's putting a hand on the side of her face. "You... Huh?! What was that?? Did you duplicate yourself, somehow!? That's cheating, as- er- that's cheating!! You can't bring yourself to a fight -- you made me wait and now there's two of you!"

She covers her face. Is she - going to cry?

No. Sada is vigorously rubbing at the underside of her eye. She moves her hand aside, her voice growing more guttural, "/I can do tricks too/." She inverts her eyelid, which is gross.

Blood squirts - even grosser.

Then it catches fire and streaks with renewed force right at Brandon. EVEN GROSSEST?

COMBATSYS: Sada successfully hits Brandon with Haemolacria.

[         \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////               ]
Sada             0/-------/-----==|=======\-------\1          Brandon

Did he just make a woman cry? Ok that's not gonna look good on video. He may even look worse than his former mentor, the Lady Killer.

And then he sees what she /really/ is up to. The blood squirts from her eye and suddenly goes ablaze. He barely manages to get out, "No. Just... no," before hitting dead center on his chest leaving blood stains and singed holes in his formerly pristine white tie in equal measure.

While normally he would hold his tongue on this particular subject, Sada had been irking him all fight and so his normal filters don't really come into play.

"Man... I would seriously hate to see what you'd do to a tampon."

He lets that image seep into his head, there's a short pause and then he shudders instantly regretting having said that and now is in dire need of brain bleach. He takes a moment to breathe as he pulls his deck of cards out and begins shuffling them before returning them to his leather pouch.

COMBATSYS: Brandon revitalizes himself using his energy.

[         \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////               ]
Sada             0/-------/-----==|=======\===----\1          Brandon

Sada reaches her feet just as Brandon drops that particular bomb. She is, momentarily, aghast.

It is humiliating to bring that up. Sada feels the faint atavistic urge to weep. Unfortunately for Brandon (or fortunately? maybe he wanted to get her mad! sure, maybe that's the ticket), this immediately translates into fury.

"You lewd foreign asshole!" Sada says. That feeling of being watched comes back to her, not helped by Brandon's speculation. She stalks forwards, leaning ahead, hands clenched into fists at her side. "How could you think or say that kind of a thing --!"

Drawing near to hand, she suddenly leaps forwards, aiming to hook Brandon around the neck and twist round and start choking him. "You should DIE!!" Sada is not that intellectual right now.

COMBATSYS: Brandon dodges Sada's Choke Hold.

[         \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////               ]
Sada             0/-------/-----==|=======\===----\1          Brandon

On one hand he didn't mean to piss her off, nor did he in particular want his mind to go down that path and in fact, he looks like he wants to vomit but holds himself back through force of will. On the other hand, pissing her off made her more sloppy and wilder which in turn made it easier to react to. Plus, she's too pissed off at him to call him boring now.

As she leaps forward at him, he sidesteps much like a matador out of the path of a raging bull. A glowing tarot card appears in his hand as he slams her face with a palm strike. It looks to be a five of wands.

COMBATSYS: Sada parries Brandon's Power Strike!!

[         \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////                ]
Sada             0/-------/---====|=======\===----\1          Brandon

Sada's RAW RAMPAGING FURY gives her the power to resist this incoming five of wands. She doesn't get up on Brandon but she does pass him, like a bull. He extends his hand and slams it forwards. Sada turns her head, glaring with one bloodshot eye, and puts a hand on his upper arm in turn.

Purely, and solely, to flip herself upwards. Upwards and over.

Her hair splays out. A few droplets of blood fall from her face and drizzle on the ground. What's her game here?

To land on Brandon's back - where her momentum will make up for her smaller, if acidic frame - and bear him down to the ground, hopefully. Her hands lace down to try and lock under his chin, and if he isn't careful she'll jam her knees into his armpits too.

The legendary submission move! "Hgnnh-!!"

COMBATSYS: Brandon blocks Sada's Cobra Clutch EX.

[          \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////                  ]
Sada             0/-------/--=====|=======\=====--\1          Brandon

When she touches him, he's immediately on guard. After all, previously she made what look like a playful slap feel fairly painful. That touch becomes a flip over and when she gets up on his back, he tucks his chin so she can't lock in the strangle hold. He can't do anything about the knees digging into him. At least, not right away.

He peels her fingers from his chin feeling her sweat eat into his chin and finger tips. It isn't a pleasant sensation. His finger tips flare up and his hand glows a faint yellow as he pries her hands away. Eventually he breaks free of the hold and dashes away from her as card appears in his hand right before he flings the card right at her feet. It detonates at her feet expelling a massive ball of light. When the light fades away, all that remains is a Tower card.

COMBATSYS: Sada dodges Brandon's XVI - Tower.

[          \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////                   ]
Sada             0/-------/--=====|======-\-------\0          Brandon

Sada's touch is at least not laden with more of that surplus sweat and disgusting blood and other fluids. She's not exactly a nice presnce, smelling kind of like a living chemistry lab right now -- but then -- He breaks free!

Sada lands on her backside, kicking up to her feet again. Just in time to see that card appearing in Brandon's hand.

"You aren't a very nice guest in Japan, Mr. Malone," Sada says.

The card flies. It hits home, smashing into the ground. There is a tremendous burst... and when that burst fades, that grave there has been quite emphaticaly and thoroughly disrupted, a shallow crater in the ground, dust wafting everywhere. No one, of course, could have survived that much dust. Right?


Surely not. Holding the fallen grave marker, Sada is already swinging around - and she lets go, hurling that stone of sacred memory at Brandon with an incoherent little snarl already. Can he get away in time?!

COMBATSYS: Brandon dodges Sada's Large Thrown Object.

[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////                   ]
Sada             0/-------/=======|======-\-------\0          Brandon

"To be fair, you haven't been the most gracious of hosts, by calling them boring."

And that's when the grave marker chunk comes flying at him. He dives for cover and the large chunk smashes into another grave marker. The energy of the burial ground increases in negativity. He feels as if the both of them are not welcome here. He's feeling slightly nauseous due to being highly sensitive.

He slowly rises to his feet and at this point, he just wants to drop her so he can get his investigation over with. Sooner he gets the information he needs, the sooner he can get out of here.

He takes a deep breath, pulls a card and thrusts it out right for the stomach before delivering a kick to knee and then picking her up and slamming her down on her back.

COMBATSYS: Brandon successfully hits Sada with Charged Combo.

[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////                    ]
Sada             1/-----==/=======|=======\-------\1          Brandon

Sooner or later it works. Sada makes an honestly kind of hilarious face when she tries to pivot away from that card and instead gets a burst of force in it. After this she gets kicked in the knee - hoisted and slammed down -

She, at least, is thriving in negativity. "Shut UP!"

Sada doesn't seem to have a more coherent answer to make than that. What she DOES have, however, is the ability to throw herself forwards. This sudden tumble is aimed to put her between Brandon's legs... /and past them/, to leap up behind him. She twists as she does.

Her goal: To get her hands in his hairstyle and her feet in the small of her back. The first one to go backwards, the second to go forwards.

COMBATSYS: Brandon interrupts Hair Pull Backbreaker from Sada with XIII - Death.

[                         \\\\\  <
Sada             1/------=/=======|

COMBATSYS: Brandon can no longer fight.

[                         \\\\\  <
Sada             1/------=/=======|

Brandon only has one thing to say as she knocks aside his fedora to grab his hair.

"You first."

He holds up a card and on it says Death. Energy from the card forms create the illusion of the Grim Reaper brandishing a scythe. His body bends backwards in very painful ways causing him to scream right before the Reaper swings the scythe and connects with the teenager's back, hacking deeply.

He passes out, not being able to handle the pain. Meanwhile, the illusion of the Grim Reaper fades away. Unfortunately, his departure from this burial ground will be a bit delayed.

"Ghhh--!!" Sada, perhaps, is cut - she certainly bleeds. And unfortunately for her, while her own abilities may not affect her own body (otherwise she would be... less... alive), they do affect the air.

Screaming, she flies out, landing three grave-rows over with a loud resounding THUD - as if striking the earth as a bell itself.

Perhaps she was the last to hit the ground? Such matters may be a mystery for the observers to decide.

Log created on 19:46:57 08/18/2015 by Sada, and last modified on 08:04:05 08/21/2015.