Killer Instinct - [KI:Round 2] BLOODSTAINED FLOOR

Description: Making her way aboard as a replacement for her deceased master of the Shunpatsu Ryokuken style, the cutthroat Kaede understands more than most the sacrifices one has to make to get what they want. However, she's managed to get a ride to Europe in a containment cell, a specialty ship made for transporting a very important combat asset that was in Southtown on an unseen mission. The smell inside the ship is horrific, and because of the opaque glass walls, it's hard to tell exactly what is being transported. As far as Kaede is aware, she was assigned a bye in the tournament. But there's no such thing in real life. A cascade of screams flood the interior of the ship. There is the sound of gunfire, and the scent of charred flesh. A fire breaks out, and blood sprays across the glass. As an internal suppression system kicks in, you might realize, with some concern, that getting into the tournament is going to be harder than expected.

The earsplitting shriek of handlers being mauled fills the small containment area. Somewhere, someone has to have a seperate expense account specifically for handlers being lost to stalker units in Ultratech's ledgers. Especially when it comes to Riptor.

It started someone inocuously. The fire that broke out on the ship as it flew across the sea was enough distraction for the handlers--the only crew aboard the ship save the pilots themselves--for the interlock systems on the twp inch thick polycarbonate panels to be damage by the suppression systems. At least, such was the cascade of reasoning. The bone-splitting slam that happened just before that seemed to have something to do with it as well--something about the creature charging its confinement, finding some sort of circuit.. but that's really just your imagination, right?

Some sort of freakish zoo animal wouldn't be that smart, right?

The entire area is washed in yellow light from the overhead emergency alerts, along with the blasts of white gas. Curtains of the gas descend to suppress the fire in the effective area. While halon suppression was banned years ago in Montreal for environmental concerns, it wouldn't surprise that a company like Ultratech might still be using it--or something worse. The exact mixture of whatever it is will slowly start to give you a headache if you spend too much time underneath one of the suppressor nozzles.

All of that is ultimately secondary to the headache you're about to find in the form of a claw sheath on the walkways, once apparently used to discharge and render impotent a very, very large saber style claw.

Kaede was, to tell the truth, pretty excited when she got an invitation.

All right. Technically, the invitation was not addressed to her. This did not stop her from accepting it on his behalf, seeing as Koichi Hayashi was dead and never going to accept another invitation ever again. And so, 'regretfully', she informed Ultratech of this and volunteered to take his place.

And that's why she's here. On a containment ship, with a bye, which she certainly wasn't expecting; her master must have impressed them more than she knew. And she /had/ been going to accept the trip gracefully, bad smells or not.

She had hoped for a quiet flight. She's going to be disappointed.

Kaede slipped out of the room /she/ had been in when the noise starts. Banging, alarms - if there's a problem, she's not going to sit in her room and wait to be told about it, she's going to go out there and find out what the hell is going on.

Apparently 'what is going on' is a fire. It smells, and this explains at least a few things to her. Kaede doesn't know what the gas is but she makes a point of going around visible clouds when she can, skirting the edges of the effective dispersion of the suppressor nozzles.

She pauses a moment to make sure her hair is in its tail, and only then advances into the weird lighting. It doesn't take her long to progress to the point that she finds the claw sheath, which actually takes her several seconds to identify because she is not accustomed to thinking of anything with claws like that. She bends, carefully, to pick it up, which is the clue she needs.

Guess they were carrying more than a zoo animal or some security squadron, she thinks to herself. Kaede looks around, suddenly uncomfortable with the alarms, and edges toward the closest wall so nothing can get behind her.

The bizarre lighting conditions wash away all color around--it's hard to tell if the gunmetal grey path one walks is really grey or magenta. After the initial reports of shrieks and suppressed gunfire, the place is dead silent. Entering the containment bay proper, curtains of the halon derivatives obscure the clear view into the bay. The only thing in the center is that large polycarbonate containment cell, big enough to dominate one whole end of the bay--after all, these ships aren't really that big to start with, and a 14 x 14 cell in the middle isn't going to improve matters any. There is a visible spine of machinery dangling from the center ceiling of that bay where something used to be plugged in. It was previously gently curved. Now, it's bent at an odd angle and sparks emanate from the stray molex hanging from it.

The reason why the peculiar uplink is bent is because there's an immobile body at the foot of it, a man dressed in all black fatigues bearing the Ultratech logo, and a taser rifle lay near him. 'Him' is used in the loosest possible fashion, because it's hard to make out the gender at this moment. It would be sincerely helpful if he had a head. Needless to say, the containment bay is a complete mess.

Of course, the ground isn't just slick with halon. The gelid feeling underneath your soles is kind of like walking in a slaughterhouse. The lights are washing out the crimson patina, but with new revelations, it's extremely clear what you're walking in. That claw was capped for a reason.

Right around that point, a red laser light traces up the contour of your leg, making out the silhouette of your body. Something--something huge--snorts, causing a visible change in the halon curtains directly ahead. A crackling talon taps the metal at its feet, capped in nothing but frying blood. One yellow reptillian eye focuses in the dark as the light from its scanning system makes out your body even in the limited visibility. It snorts again, this time louder.

Then an unearthly growl not heard in 66 million years fills the containment area.

COMBATSYS: Riptor has started a fight here.

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Riptor           0/-------/-======|

COMBATSYS: Kaede has joined the fight here.

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Kaede            0/-------/-------|======-\-------\0           Riptor

Kaede has many talents, but she cannot see in the dark. The lights help her see but not make out details, not with that colouration. This is a shame, because she could really use some details right about now.

Kaede has been in fights before. The majority of them were in a ring. Some of them, including one particularly brutal one, were not. She killed a man in that one, and not pleasantly. But she has never been in a war zone.

This is a war zone.

To her credit, Kaede does not lose her lunch when she sees the body. She does go slightly pale, but with the lighting, who's going to notice? (He certainly isn't. Where he's gone, he doesn't have eyes to see.) She does pick up the taser rifle, and spends a moment looking at it before realizing she has no idea how to load the thing; she could probably manage firing it. Once. If it's loaded. She's not going through the corpse's pockets for ammunition.

And so she puts it back down. It's unpleasant to walk. She knows what it is, now, and Kaede starts moving back. She doesn't want to be here. Maybe she can barricade herself somewhere where this /thing/ can't go, maybe in with the pilot - is there a pilot? Or is it on autopilot? Kaede realizes she does not, in fact, know how to land a transport if it comes to that.

But the eye finds her first. It can find her. She thought it was an animal, but animals don't have laser targetters, but that /eye/, and that roar... Kaede's response is instantaneous and would give excellent credit to her in most situations. She draws in chi with an almost tangible pressure, feeling it build in her body, pushing down through her arms, to her hands as they stretch slightly forward toward the eye, projecting it out through her palms -

This produces a jet of flame. Two, actually, one from each hand, and a brighter sphere of fire in between them. The two jets spiral around the central bolt, apparently confining it, holding it together as it flies through the air straight at that eye. The side jets leave a helical pattern in the air as they travel, and the whole triple shot explodes into a great sphere as soon as it impacts. This probably sets off more halon, if it's not already on where the fire ends up.

Kaede uses the distraction, and possibly the pain, to dart backwards. She's looking for somewhere narrower. Why? Because she's smaller than it is. Probably. She hopes.

COMBATSYS: Riptor endures Kaede's Helix Flame.

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Kaede            0/-------/-------|======-\-------\0           Riptor

The huge lizard lurches up to its full height--some six feet in and of itself, as large as a man and much longer--as it regards the new target within its view. Claws that only superficially resemble the hands of a human twitch, tipped in the same crackling, glowing power that that murderous sickle claw emanates. Energy crawls all down the length of its spine, the light casting a horrible glow off of its stippled hide, and lighting up its silhouette deep into the halon-like clouds. Only once the entire predator is in perspective does it make it clear exactly how small the containment was to it. No matter how large the cell looked in the cramped confines of this ship, the lithe killer is larger, longer.

The containment hold, for reference, is in the rear of the ship, and the piloting area is likely to be more up front, past the jump area where rows of soldiers would have been carried. For the most part, there seems to be no change to the ship's course, speed, or direction, and mostly, the fire seems to be put out. ... mostly.

The immediate response succeeds in an ear-shattering roar from the creature, who exhibits no natural defenses against explosives or fire to that respect, beyond the natural defense the blasts of halon provides. It seems almost to be distracted by the overhead suppression systems--almost. Because with the sudden rush of wind and the curtain of orange flesh rippling past, the feeling of speed and momentum is undeniable, like being passed by some great leviathan in the ocean at night. It doesn't slow from the fire, it doesn't distract. It only moves. And when it moves, it weaves between the halon flows swiftly, the blasts cooling the angry ragged flesh and exposed wiring from its hide.

Even worse, it seems to be using the flows and the sidewinding motion to disturb its silhouette. To make it unclear what direction its facing, or if it's even retreating. It's like it knows that it is unique, that no one has ever fought anything exactly like it before. And it's using it to its advantage.

Kaede only has a scant few moments to escape through the narrow doorway leading back into the jumprooms before the--creature--attacks. A thing of sinew and steel alike, it seems more liquid than flesh in that moment it bursts through the narrow doorway, even its domineering frame twisting as it roars, claws slamming into the steel catwalk as it bounds off the ground and leaps towards Kaede, exposing those wicked talons and all of its unreal weight towards slamming her into the ground and cutting into her immediately. It's incredibly fast and fluid, the kill only the work of moments. This was how the others died--underneath the full weight of the thing.
Evisceration would come only seconds later.
There is only eyeblinks to respond.

COMBATSYS: Riptor successfully hits Kaede with Talon Rake.

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Kaede            0/-------/----===|=======\-------\0           Riptor

The pilot had better keep piloting, is all Kaede has to think on the topic.

Honestly, she's not giving it a whole lot of thought now that something big and frightening is menacing her. Kaede would like to think she's brave - and, really, she is. She can handle a lot of crap without a problem. She's not completely unflappable but she's at least mentally strong.

She was not expecting to fight a goddamn dinosaur. She has no experience in this - none at all. If it can tell, she doesn't really know how to fight it; she can't feel its energy, she has to guess where its weak points are rather than having them drilled into her for years. Kaede is very glad she's not a grappler, at least.

But... that's not a regular dinosaur. Dinosaurs do not have wiring, and Kaede catches a glimpse of it as it passes her. A robot? Or a cyborg? She's leaning toward number one just because the possibility of a cyborg dinosaur is worse than someone who's invented a robot to look like one, but parts of it look fleshy, too...

She doesn't get any more time to think before it's on her, and fast. Kaede's first instinct is to cover her stomach, and it's a good one; the cybernetic dinosaur rips down her side, tearing the gi - it's meant to protect her from stray grabs, not stand up to the determined shredding of a monster.

Her second instinct is to explode.

Not literally, thankfully. But the chi that Kaede was building up in her blasts out of her in all directions, shrouding her in a shockwave and probably throwing the monster right off if it doesn't realize it needs to hold on. Kaede begins to gather the energy back up afterwards; the wisps of flame and power that surround her drawing back in, forming a faintly visible aura around her; this doesn't help the lighting situation. Her hand presses against her now-wounded side as she staggers back, bumping against a wall, but at least she can probably defend herself if it comes at her again. She's not sure there's anywhere /to/ escape it on this thing.

COMBATSYS: Riptor blocks Kaede's Aura Burst.

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Kaede            0/-------/---====|=======\-------\0           Riptor

A robot? It would be easy to believe, as glimpses of the creature reveal themselves in flashes of the emergency lighting--metal spines run along the creature's back, serrated struts lifting in response to bioelectric stimuli, both from the raptor's current target and the creature itself. It is a thing of exposed metal, energy, and motion.

While on top, the energy-laced claws rip into Kaede's gi, cutting into flesh beneath, but they do not have the easy, familiar bite of chi with which all fighters beyond the rank of novice have found themselves intimately familiar. No. This sensation is sterile, unforgiving, unabated by the intensity of the aura building from the older fighter's chakras. This thing--was it engineered to dispose of fighters? It begs the question... what exactly was Kaede's master going to be invited here for anyway?

There is no mercy in the creature, nothing that would make this easier, no sense of pity to capitalize upon. Only the hunt, the kill, and the feeding. As it rakes into Kaede, its weight pinning her in place, slavering jaws snap down at her, ripping at pieces of her collar, and leaving very distinct un-robotic streaks of blood-dripping saliva as it goes. Its breath is putrid, and leaves a patina of sick moisture of the skin. Only when one has a spare moment to think can it occur that the hunter-killer is confused by the force and power of the aura she is beginning to build, and the snapping bites taken out of her collar were likely aimed to be attempts at ripping out her windpipe before she could respond.

Inches away from being eviscerated. Centimeters from having your neck bitten through.

The blast does less to damage the raptor more than it does islodge her. The agonizing shriek that is response borders on offended, the monstroud thing blown free from Kaede, forcing it into a defensive curl to absorb much of the heat and force across a ionized surface isolating the fire from its skin, spines crackling the whole way. Even now, the creature is whirling, a second, strangled cry ripping across the bay.

However alien it might be, it is easy to anthropomorphize a sufficiently intelligent creature. It sounds almost human. Almost feminine.
The parts that are missing are what make her inhuman.

Her throat opens as she rises against her, revealing rows of jagged knife-like teeth in the interim. She moves fast, reponding without thinking. Even as Kaede gets to her feet with the protective aura between them, the creature's maw is already gone. In its place, tongues of fire, the horrific creature breathing a firestorm after her to combat the otherworldly glow. Does it know what chi even is? The kiss of that primal fire... it tells a much different story than those claws previous. There is spirit there. There is a living, breathing, thinking creature in the predator.

And she means to burn you alive and eat you whole.

COMBATSYS: Riptor successfully hits Kaede with Flame Breath.

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Kaede            0/-------/-======|=======\==-----\1           Riptor

Even more than most fighters, Kaede focuses on her chi. Watching her fight is a dead giveaway; she excels at gathering it and expelling it, even if her style does not lend itself much to sustained uses; she tends to discharge it significantly and explosively.

The fact that there is less from the... thing... than Kaede is used to is immediately and uncomfortably noted. It is /different/ than she's used to. She doesn't like it.

And the question of what they wanted her master for has occured to her, too. That he was wanted for a tournament, she'd believe immediately. That he was wanted for whatever this is... well, it seems like there should be more to it. But Kaede doesn't have time to spare to think about it right now. There are more pressing concerns.

Like not being eviscerated or dismembered. Those are good first steps... and that came uncomfortably close to her neck right there. Still, the explosive aura is good for /something/, pushing Riptor away from her with wn uncomfortable scream. Well, there's no point in being quiet anymore; Kaede yells back, more in fear than anything else.

The fire breath hits Kaede's aura... which bends /in/. There is something there, and Kaede can't keep it away from her by willpower alone. Flame licks over her... but flame she understands, flame she's used to. It hurts, but it's understandable; it isn't the mindless fear she had for a moment on facing a predator instead of a human being.

Kaede gathers the aura that exploded off her to a point, holding it in her hand like a sphere of pure fire. She lets the power flow through her, flicking the sphere up to her fingers. Kaede jabs forward with it, a two-fingered jab that would be painful but not really damaging.

The jab isn't damaging, anyway. The white-hot eruption of flame that jets out from her fingertips on contact or even near-contact, on the other hand, absolutely is; a bar of fire so bright it hurts to look at, expelled in a short-range beam. It makes it about two feet before guttering out, but when it's being jabbed at point-blank range, two feet is more than enough. Kaede lets out a kiai when she does it, a primal sound.

COMBATSYS: Riptor endures Kaede's Blast Lancer.

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Kaede            0/-------/=======|=======\==-----\1           Riptor

The world of something understandable--some might call such an animal being able to wield such forms of chi a blaphemy, a bizarre freak abomination. Then again, the company might think to refer to it as 'profit in motion.'

With no other clues as to what schemes Ultratech might have even had in shiping Kaede along with an alpha of this caliber, there is only the fight. This is different from any battle in an arena, the tempo is completely different. There's no room for strategy, no room for thought about rules that don't exist. When one is fighting just to survive, there can't be anything else.

Plunging the white hot coruscating spear of fire deep into the raptor's midsectionthrough her skin you can feel the deep bass rumble of her pregnant shriek, and the harsh, short bark of anger is deafening at this close range. The impalement is brutal--and hot, slick blood courses free from the wound and over the hands. However, getting that close--the raptor's made no attempt to evade or elude the former apprentice in her direct attack. Maybe because she tires. Maybe because she's hungry. Maybe because she can smell fear. And most simplest of all... maybe because she wants you closer.

The response is immediate, a rush of muscles tightening with visceral speed. Plates interlock as others seperate, to the point where any stray finger out of the way on her hide might get caught and mangled. What she does is take a step around, whipping a muscular neck around to try and clamp jaws on Kaede's arm, or any stray fabric that presents itself. It's hardly a killing bite, but the forces involved are enough to violently jerk the new master off-balance, the teasing tug just enough to buy a second of time.

A second being all it takes for the raptor's spine to separate into sections. A second for the hunter's length to triple, flesh segmenting around a cybernetic spine to whip around 180 degrees. It only takes a second to plunge an articulated, electrically charged blade at the tip of the creature's tail into the elder fighter's midsection three feet deep. If Kaede loses her balance, even only for a second, she'll find herself hoisted aloft on a sprear of flesh and metal, as if suspended by some great scorpion.

Only a second is necessary to start losing the battle for survival.

COMBATSYS: Riptor successfully hits Kaede with Tail Stab.

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Kaede            1/----===/=======|==-----\-------\0           Riptor

This isn't an arena fight. Kaede can feel the difference; there's nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, and nowhere for her to tap out and end this - not that she does often when it comes to violence, but sometimes you're just beaten.

But being beaten here probably actually means being eaten.

Kaede has one single advantage over some of her compatriots in this: she has fought in a life or death struggle before. It still only involved one other person, and it /was/ a person, but she remembers what it was like, w hat it felt like, even though she wasn't convinced that - even after everything - her opponent was trying to kill her.

It's still not the same. This isn't a person. It's a thing, a freak; Ultratech might be able to profit off it, but Kaede is at a loss to see how. It doesn't really matter, because whatever the answer is, she still has to deal with it.

The bar of fire winks out after several long seconds. Kaede is breathing heavily; not from the exertion of the maneuver in particular but simply off the sheer energy and effort in the battle. She had hoped that it would be enough to, if not kill the thing, convince it to run off and hide and lick its wounds. She had thought predators did not usually fight to the death.

Apparently, she was wrong.

The yank is enough to pull Kaede off balance. She doesn't fall, but she is pulled enough - enough for the spearing tail to drive into her flank. It doesn't hit dead center, which is good because she /wouldn't/ survive that, but it pierces her side, driving into - partially through - her body.

Kaede's scream is louder as she is pulled up, painfully, brutally. She struggles, lashing out; while she can't manage a beam like the one she just used, she starts gathering her chi again, the air around her beginning to ignite as she fills herself with it. Kaede reaches forward, toward Riptor's body; she realizes, at this point, it's more 'down' than 'forward'. The aura moves with her, extending her reach, letting her drive a fist made of flame down at the dinosaur, one surrounding her actual fist.

The aura bursts on contact, if indeed it does, a shockwave blasting from the point of contact. Not enough that Kaede starts losing her power, but enough to remind the monstrosity that she's not beaten yet. Maybe this is how Kaede goes out, but if it is she's going to do it in a bang, under her own control, not the raptor's.

COMBATSYS: Kaede successfully hits Riptor with Firestarter.

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Kaede            1/---====/=======|===----\-------\0           Riptor

It is peculiar. For all of her intelligence, the raptor-like cybernetic organism seems to be missing all pretense of fear, as if those concerns were cut out of her a long time ago. Purpose-bred for the kill, the creature calculates, she teases, she hisses and snarls warily, but she does not run. So like a human, there is some sense of pride, of calculation behind those focusing saurian eyes.

A sobering thought.
What if your skill simply isn't enough to scare her away?
What if it's not so much 'her' as it is ... 'you?'

Hauling Kaede bodily off of her feet, the spines crawling along each individual section of that cybernetic tail raise in anticipation. Each section rotates independently of one another, drilling into the young fighter. Seeming to sense that the blow was inexact, the raptor seems to be trying to aggravate the injury in the explosive heiress as she hefts her prey effortlessly, talons scraping up long corkscrew shavings in the metal beneath her pads in an absent show of anticipation. Tilting to one side in a bird-like motion, one eye tracks her suspended body as Kaede struggles, a red scanning beam flicking from its jawline to sight the elder fighter.

The scanning beam is distorted as a fist-sized blast of flame cuts through it.

Exploding on her neck, the creature roars angrily, body going low to absorb as much shock from the blast into its frame as possible instead of its vulnerable and bloodied jugular. Suddenly, the tip of its tail spreads, the bladed strut at the end cutting (literally) Kaede loose from its suspension and very likely dropping her roughly to the ground. The raptor whips around angrily, trying to snap at an exposed cable leading from her partially burst neck. In her throes, she slams into a port door near to the jump seats. Her weight is many times what an animal her size might normally be from the cybernetic equipment limning her frame, so when she hits the door, metal welds pop and break, causing the entire affair to dent outwards, exposing the light from outside the ship through the cracks in the failed seals. It takes only a second for the creature to get a grip of the exposed cable and snap it free, sending the bloody wiring scattered across the walkways.

Looking up from the door, the glare that the raptor fixes on Kaede is nothing short of vicious annoyance.

A hiss. A roar. She goes low, moving across the ground with angry purpose towards Kaede. Then the creature leaps into a full out forward flip, the bladed spines along the ridge of its tail folding out to form a deadly spiked bludgeon. At this point, it wouldn't be too forward to say that she's trying to cut Kaede right in half...!

COMBATSYS: Kaede interrupts Tail Flip from Riptor with Gemini Phantom.

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Kaede            0/-------/---====|=======\===----\1           Riptor

What if it is her...?

No, Kaede thinks. It can't be her. She's given everything - done /anything/ - to get to the point she is now. She knows there is a long way to go before she takes her place amongst the best in the world. She can train, can learn, can improve.

But she'll be damned if she lets herself get outsmarted and outpowered by an /animal/ until then.

Still suspended on the tail, Kaede's focus intensifies. Through the agony as the tail drills, she draws in what power she can, but she can't help but let out another one of those pained sounds, a little less loud than the last. She's running out of air.

Kaede falls when she's cut free. She lands on her back with another splatter of blood, and it looks like she might not be able to get up for a moment. But something drives her. Fear of being attacked by the animal, perhaps; sheer terror.

That's only part of it. The other half is sheer determination.

Kaede takes as deep a breath as she still can as she forces herself to one knee, then all the way up. She's staggering, weakened, but absolutely refusing to give in to defeat. She has enough power; all she has to do is let it build, then let it loose...

Riptor strikes Kaede. There's nothing Kaede can do about that; the razor tail lashes, catching Kaede on the shoulder and carving down and in, toward her midsection. But at the same time, Kaede bellows - and this time it's not all pain; there's something else behind it, a kiai full of power.

This time, she's actually using one of the secret arts. A second Kaede forms, but this one is made entirely out of rippling flame and pure chi. It won't last long; it charges the cybernetic dinosaur, hitting like something solid and burning all at once.

It is angled to start driving Riptor back toward the door she damaged. The flame-image of Kaede makes it six steps away from her before it /detonates/, going off like a small bomb; the shockwave blows the real Kaede's hair back, tugging bits free from the tail. She feels heat on her face and pressure against her skin.

For the cybernetic terror, it's going to be far, far worse.

The tailslash is like being cut into with a sawblade made of lightning--each blade that runs up the armor plating along the hunter-killer's spine is individually charged by some unseen power source, biting into the nerves with every ragged cut. It's very easy to see how someone could get cut in twain by the aggressve outburst--and the story of Kaede could have ended there, in a fit of pique by some inhuman predator with almost-human intellect. Were it not for her secret arts.

There is no martial art that she knows. She knows of these things only in broad generalities--the silhouettes prey tend to cut before she kills them. She even knows broadly which are more liable to attack and which are more likely to wait based on those silhouettes, their fighting stances betraying their behavior as surely as any smell. Her attacks are all cause and effect, call and response, predator and prey. It is her only true limitation. So when the burst of fire shaped as a copy of the prey--one that does not smell as her prey does--erupts forward, the momentary confusion and unfamiliarity is enough to check the creature's advance, the power of the driving ghost enough to press the raptor backwards, rolling her with a lack of dignity towards the exit.

Then the explosion.

A flaming beast slamming into it one more time is enough to break the door from the hinges handily. Blind with fire and anger, there is a vindictive manner to her, the burning raptor rabid with wild ferocity. The door tumbles away as the cabin decompresses violently, debris knocked loose in the fight flying through the door and battering the creature. Claws latch onto the edges of the door as she struggles against the suction, muscles flexing against a cataclysmic decompression from the sheer speed of the travelling craft. Almost ripping the floor from beneath them, long saber claws grip onto the grating in the floor, slowly levering the scarred and immolated creature back aboard through sheer strength. An unearthly snarl fills the cabin, even as catastrophic damage limits its breathing. Energy crawls across the surface of the raptor's skin, reflecting curious hexagon shapes across it. It limits the raptor's hide damage, mitigating bleeding and sealing the plates where the explosion ruptured her endoskeletal structure.
This isn't a fight to the death. It's a fight to the kill.
Yellow slit eyes focus on Kaede murderously.

Raising her claws, the raptor snarls, dropping low, taking two steps forward, opening her bloodied jaws, and leaping for Kaede's throat.

Suddenly, mid-leap, the beast's spine straightens as if hit by a bolt of lightning, yanking her out of the air and leaving her jaws to slam shut on the space just in front of Kaede's face, the squealing sound of slick reinforced enamel slamming against itself instead of flesh a bit like watching the gates of Hell close. The creature, whose long tail got caught in the seam of the damaged folding bridge that extends out from the door to the ground, hits the steel floor violently, legs churning against the air. Snapping again violently at Kaede just outside of her reach, the raptor looks back for a moment, engaging the splitting mechanism of its tail. This force is violent enough to break free the bridge from its remaining moorings. The entire module goes tumbling away into the abyss. And when its spine finishes snapping loose like an expanding baton, she follows, the raptor going low to grip into the ground, claws latching deep into plating. Plating that slowly rips up along with it, plates that are slowly carved through by enhanced claws.

Riptor's eye is full of savage promise as it watches Kaede angrily.
A moment later, the raptor is sucked out of the door, and into the beyond.

COMBATSYS: Riptor can no longer fight.

[                       \\\\\\\  <
Kaede            0/-------/---====|

COMBATSYS: Kaede dodges Riptor's Ultra Predator.

[                       \\\\\\\  <
Kaede            0/-------/---====|

Most people have not seen martial artists who fight in the same way as Kaede. She was willing to gamble that an ancient animal - either authentically ancient, perhaps, or a modern reconstruction - would not be able to tell what Kaede was doing. That the cybernetic terror simply wouldn't understand.

Apparently, she gambled correctly.

Shredded, nearly unconcious from wounds from an opponent the type of which she'd never expected to see, Kaede staggers backwards as Riptor lunges toward her. She doesn't quite throw herself backwards, because that implies a lot more control than she really has; she kind of lurches away from the rampaging predator as the tail stretches, caught in the door.

And then, all at once, Riptor gets pulled backwards. Kaede is too stunned to give it a little help when it shreds the door module; she's now pressing herself and bracing to hold herself in place while wind whips around her. Her hair is mostly out of its tail now, to say nothing of the blood and injuries.

Kaede pulls herself away from Riptor. But not before she gets one last look in its eye, just before it vanishes. She would collapse if she could - but she needs to get further in before she too makes an unexpected exit from the plane.

Log created on 21:49:44 08/26/2015 by Kaede, and last modified on 20:03:37 09/01/2015.