Stray - The Dungeon Master Strikes Back

Description: The Dungeon Master, frothing with Jolt Cola induced rage at Southtown Syndicate, sends a team to rob one of Duke's rare art shipments. But that's just the feint. Because, via Stray, he's hired Elias Deacon, former IRS auditor and elite international hitman. Elias Deacon has one job: kill the ninja tailing the Dungeon Master.

Nagase was not happy about this. The hired assassin has probably burned through half of her advance already, simply to obtain information that may as well be a dead end. The kunoichi hacker had to act quickly -- at significant cost -- to procure a server farm capable of cracking into the US Marshals mainframe.

The mission: place the man she was looking for onto a Witness Protection Program list, and then abduct him while in transit. If that were the -sole- purpose for her being hired, it would have been a roaring success.

That asshole Duke tricked her, she realizes. Shaking the witness down for information was the easy part. The problem was, he didn't know anything. The first sign Nagase had that she was even being tailed was when the warehouse she'd diverted the US Marshal to... caught on fire.

So Nagase fled the two corpses and the smoldering wreckage of the warehouse with little sanity to spare. Nin-nin, and all that. She'd figured that the next place to go would be Southtown itself -- for with Duke operating in Metro City, the Dungeon Master's best move is to work on Duke's assets back home in Japan.

So here she is, perched on the rooftop of a tall building overlooking Southtown Harbor. One of Duke's shipments is about to come in. Art, ancient relics, artifacts from around the world that belong in a museum... and yet, they're being collected in a staging warehouse fully within the grip of Southtown's much more formidable defenses. However, the one crucial point now is... they're aboard a ship.

Nagase sips on her straw, enjoying the cool bubble tea treat as she reviews the display upon her wrist. Her electronic perimeter checks are all returning good. None of her alarms on the boat have been tripped. All that remains is for that boat to finish making its way to Pier 28, just a few hundred feet below her current location.

She pulls her jacket around her tightly. The spectre of the Ghost haunts her, but she can't let that bother her now, as she keeps her right eyeglass display zoomed in upon the incoming container ship.

The Dungeon Master has sworn revenge on Southtown Syndicate, and Duke, for foiling his perfect plans. Simply put, Duke cheated, in the Dungeon Master's mind. So, now it is time for revenge. After waiting a little over two weeks, it is time to spring the trap. A normal criminal operator would steal, destroy, burn, et cetera, in terms Duke would understand as a short term loss. This shipment of artifacts and museum pieces is an excellent example. But the Dungeon Master is far beyond a regular criminal operator. He has decided on a special punishment for Southtown Syndicate. He will break a finger. As the Dungeon Master activates a camera overlooking a harbor, he looks to another screen on his bank of Apple computer screens. One, in Comic Sans, reads 'Boss Fight'.

Four Korean Yakuza members ride towards the shipment, three of them on red Yamaha motorcycles, one of them driving a black SUV. They all wear red Oni masks, and wear black suits with red ties. The three on Yamahas have assault rifles strapped to their backs, the one in the SUV with a rocket launcher in the seat behind him, and a submachine gun in the passenger seat. They cruise towards the dock, at the exact time the dockworkers of Southtown Syndicate's corrupt unions are preparing to offload crates of cargo.

Mozart can be heard wafting out of a small black sedan down the street, that has been parked there for quite some time, at least three hours. Former IRS auditor, and professional assassin Elias Deacon sits in the driver's seat, quietly playing Sudoku on his Android. The smart phone vibrates, and Deacon slips it away. Standing five foot four and wearing black rimmed glasses, with a small goatee and mustache and closely cropped hair, he is not intimidating at first glance. He wears a standard accountant's three piece, black slacks and a modest yet comfortable black jacket, with a clean white dress shirt below it. A thin black tie is secured at his collar, hanging down over his chest and muscular abdomen beneath the shirt. He remains in his car, as he reaches into his jacket and pulls out a large, chrome revolver with a scope mounted on top. He opens the chamber, checks all six bullets, then spins it and slaps it shut. There is no trace of emotion anywhere on his face.

Stupid Japan. The collective ninja clans have been in an uproar over the supposed 'white ghost' of legend. If it were just a rumor, that'd be one thing, but this spirit has been manifesting in locations all over Japan, systematically dismantling one ninja clan after another. And without the ninjas to act as an active perimeter around the more entrenched yakuza clans, the political underpinnings of the entire eastern half of Japan have been destabilized to the brink of chaos. While Southtown Syndicate's power has been creeping outward, they have not been as quick to mobilize as the more marginalized factions of yakuza, who have swept in to reclaim the power voids left behind by the older, dying clans.

Not even Nagase's clan, descended from the Iga-ryu of centuries past, is exempt. As one of the youngest protagonists, each passing day means one less person Nagase can ask for help. But she can't let herself be bothered with that -- as a much more pressing threat exists. She has a payday to collect on, and it's looking her right in the eye. The Yamahas... those are a clear distraction. It's a shock and awe tactic, and the ninja actually spits in disgust. She may not have a direct line to the Syndicate's men, but she rests confident that they shouldn't need the warning, or the help -- these are trained men, the best in Japan, and they can certainly handle a bunch of armed thugs. "Now where is your trump card..."

And then she spots the man exiting his vehicle, her proximity alarms easily picking up on the notes of Mozart. Six bullets, scope... "Cocky son of a bitch to be packing heat in broad moonlight." Rolling her eyes, Nagase flicks her wrist, tapping on a small keyboard. "System access: Five-second delay, program Nagase-03."

And then she steps off the edge of the building, vanishing without a trace.

Five seconds later, pre-programmed explosives located in the concrete pillars surrounding the dock detonate. If she planned correctly, one of them would be directly beside the SUV, and woe be any of the motorcyclists who happened to be nearby.

But that's also the exact moment that Nagase's footsteps would be heard behind the assassin Elias Deacon. A small red trace of the kanji for the word 'Surprise' hangs in the air before the cocky kunoichi -- who has both ninjato drawn and at the ready, ready to plunge straight into the heart of her prey.

The frosted tips of the plucky kunoichi's hair sway about as she smirks up at the assassin. "Nice night for a moonlight chat... wouldn't you agree?"

COMBATSYS: Nagase has started a fight here.

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Nagase           0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: E. Deacon has joined the fight here.

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Nagase           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0        E. Deacon

The SUV is sent up in flames, the metal frame of the vehicle warping as the gas tank joins the explosive device, sending shrapnel in all directions. The three motorcycles, which had been moving in close formation with the vehicle, follow suit as they're peppered with fire and shrapnel, the Korean mobsters riding them skidding onto the ground at high speeds as their bikes explode or rupture into pieces. After the explosion, there's an eerie stillness, all four gangmembers dead.

One of the Apple computers shows a skull and crossbones, and the Dungeon Master slams his fist on his desk. He turns in his large office chair, steepling his fingers, as a cat meows in the background. He watches the screen labeled 'Boss Fight', a camera mounted on the dashboard of Deacon's car showing him the fight.

Elias Deacon slowly moves to a halt as he hears the footsteps. He doesn't turn, merely pointing his gun upwards in the air. He stands there, motionless, as his lips purse ever so faintly. He hears the kunoichi's words, before he spins around with a classic gunfighter manuever, pointing his revolver at Nagase and firing. A single armor piercing round exits out of the barrel of the gun, with a sharp gunshot marking the beginning of the exchange between the two. There is no surprise on Deacon's face, just the look of a skilled accountant crunching numbers while working a late shift at the office. He's very expensive to hire, and he always earns his money.

COMBATSYS: Nagase dodges E. Deacon's Pigsticker.

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Nagase           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0        E. Deacon

Chance favors the prepared mind, and Duke's preparations gave the ninja just enough time to stack the deck. Nagase had faith in the Syndicate guards' abilities, but the distraction wasn't meant to help them so much as ensure she could strike.

But, unfortunately, the use of her ninjutsu to bring her down from such a lofty height did take its toll on the young woman's speed, meaning that she couldn't just land a sneak attack on an armed man with as much confidence as she'd liked. But, this way she can at least gauge how her prey operates.

And he operates by raising his gun into the air, waiting for her to open her mouth, and then firing at the sound of her voice. Clever, but not quite quick enough. The speedy kunoichi twists to one side, the bullet whizzing harmlessly between her two legs as she cartwheels out of its reach. Instead, it slams into the pavement, blasting free a rather sizable crater and sending up a sizable plume of disintegrated asphalt dust. It was a dangerous evasion, to be sure, and one that, performed sub-optimally, could have resulted in an early and anticlimactic end to the ninja's blustery introduction.

But cartwheeling has the advantage of allowing the kunoichi to build up momentum -- for as both feet touch down onto the pavement, she is instantly coiled and poised to strike. And so she launches herself forward, lashing outward with her ninjato in a puncture wound straight for the --

No. It's a feint. The kunoichi is faster than that, and she uses the momentary confusion to try and lash her arm around the assassin's gun arm.

And if she manages to cinch that, she'd aim to pry the arm away from him, using her own shoulders as the wedge -- and break it at the elbow.

COMBATSYS: Nagase successfully hits E. Deacon with Combo Grapple.

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Nagase           0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0        E. Deacon

Elias Deacon, from his position half facing Nagase, rolls forward to avoid the ninjato, skidding with a twist to fully face her with his smoking pistol in his hand. Then, comes the grab for his gun arm, Elias' face impassive as he's grabbed. His arm is yanked away from his zone of comfort by the kunoichi's shoulder thrust, before his arm is snapped at the elbow. A hollow grunt comes from Deacon's throat, as his finger's jerk into extension and quiver, gun falling to the ground. The right side of his mouth pulls to the side in a half-frown, as his left hand swings around to grab Nagase's shoulder, bracing himself on her while she recovers from the motion to snap his arm.

Elias pulls his wounded right arm back, his forearm hanging limply as his bicep flexes to make up for the lost strength of his full limb, while his left arm slides to grasp the back of her hair and shove her face forward. Then, with a low hissing exhale, he swings his right leg around to stomp on one of her heels, jamming his polished black shoe's heel into her Achilles' tendon. The move is quick, simple, and painful. He says nothing, shows no hint of his interior mind, and moves with quick precision. He stares balefully from behind his glasses, although his nostrils flare, indicating he's in a fair deal of pain.

COMBATSYS: Nagase blocks E. Deacon's Hamstring.

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Nagase           0/-------/------=|==-----\-------\0        E. Deacon

"Man, you picked the wrong night to pull -this- job," teases Nagase as she spins away from the man with the broken elbow. The sprightly teenager is quick enough to sense the muscles shifting beneath her, but she's not quick enough to break free before being snagged by the hair. "Oww! Help, somebody, this man's trying to--"

The quick-witted teenager is close enough to be able to guess when her attacker is going to be moving next. The pull on her hair hurts, and the sudden shove forward is enough to destabilize her, but the stomp... that doesn't land the way he wants it to, because the speedy kunoichi interposes the heel of her other boot right against her attacker's stomping foot at a precise moment, glancing it aside into a graze across her heel rather than the tendon itself.

It all happens in the blink of an eye, and it -does- result in Nagase spinning like a top. "Pfft! As -if!-" But she uses this to her advantage, maneuvering herself so that she spins -around- her attacker, aiming to get around behind -him-.

And should she be successful in that, the aim would be to leverage his shoulders forward, knocking him to his hands and knees. At which point Nagase would saddle up: twisting up onto his back as if riding horseback while facing backwards. Using her weight and leverage to keep him down, she'd slam the bottom of her fists into his derriere a half-dozen times in rapid succession before letting loose with a two-fisted strike -- standing up so that she can then send him flying forward, face-first to the ground.

COMBATSYS: Nagase successfully hits E. Deacon with Hunting Peach.

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Nagase           0/-------/----===|======-\-------\0        E. Deacon

Elias Deacon pulls his heel back after the attempt at jacking her tendon is foiled, but he isn't fast enough to counter her motion to get behind him. He's shoved forward, knocked onto his knees and fingertips, before she jumps onto his back and begins pounding his glutes, which are whipcord thin and hard, despite him looking like a man that spends a lot of time in an office, sitting in a comfortable chair. The final slam sends him onto his face, glasses falling off. He remains there for a moment, hands spread out on the ground. Then, slowly, he puts his glasses on, and rises to his feet, pushing with his left arm as his right jostles about uselessly.

Elias looks over his shoulder at Nagase out of the corner of his eye, not moving, besides a twitch of his right hand's fingertips. Then, he spins about with a high crescent kick aimed at her face, a mere two inches too short to make contact, merely a feint to throw her off guard. His leg spins down and hits the ground, before he jukes forward and sidelong at her, his other leg jamming out backwards with a nasty mule kick. His leg flies upwards, the sole of his shoe aimed at the base of her ribs along one side, attempting to jam the force of the blow into her lung and diaphram to knock the wind out of her.

After the spinning manuever, he slides around to face her again, left hand up with his fingers outstretched and curved at the ends, ready to attempt a counter to her next move. He's frowning faintly, nostrils still flaring as his elbow screams in pain.

COMBATSYS: Nagase counters Medium Kick EX from E. Deacon with Tricky Rounder.

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Nagase           0/-------/------=|=======\-------\0        E. Deacon

Nagase vaults away from the man with her final pound, laughing all the while. "Ahahahaha! Seriously, when are you gonna decide to quit and go back to your day job, pencil-pusher?! You're just not cut out for this line of work!" She lands on a heel -- not the one that was just grazed, naturally -- once more nudging her glasses up along the bridge of her nose.

Statistics from the fight filter in, with key portions of her opponent -- and herself -- shown in infographics inset on the periphery of her eyeglass display. Red lights illuminate a small percentage number off to the side, until she dismisses the readout with a small hissing sound. She can suspect a kick is coming -- because why risk the arm needlessly?

And so, when Elias crescent kicks at her face, the kunoichi is ready, leaning backwards to bring her face just out of view. But that leaves an opening, and a rather obvious one, in that she's twisting off-balance. It's a damning mistake, and it's one that a trained assassin like Elias would be more than capable of exploiting. That mule kick would be perfectly poised to knock out the weak link -- the already-injured leg from before would be the one supporting all her weight, and it would -really- freaking hurt the way she's angling downward.

But then she disappears from view.

And thus, Elias would find the key difference between fighting a run-of-the-mill assassin and fighting a -ninja-. For as his mule kick collides with nothing more substantial than a few wispy strands of smoke, he's about to find that the spin kick thrown by the diminutive kunoichi is landing right where she'd intended it: the small of his back.

All things considered, it could've been a harder hit. But Nagase is floating like a bumblebee, and stinging like one too -- all to piss the man off.

Leaping onto a nearby tie-down pillar, the ninja laces her hands behind her head, as if this were no less serious than a leisurely stroll in the park. "Look, you're out of your league, pal! Just take me to who hired you. Double-crossing can mean a bigger payoff for you, okay? You win, I win, we're all one big happy back-stabbing family. Sound good?"

Elias Deacon sees the smoke after righting himself from the dual kick, his eyes flicking to his right as Nagase reappears behind him. The spin kick hits his lower lumbar and he is knocked down to a knee, exhaling hard as he lowers his head. He sucks his lips and cheeks against his teeth as he pauses, dealing with the pain of his elbow, before he slowly rises to his feet. He looks up at her, on the pillar, reaching out with his left hand and pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose, watching her. After she gives him the offer, he reaches to his tie, and loosens it. He slides out of his black jacket, and removes his tie, dropping it to the ground atop it. "I don't think so," he states clearly, with a Serb accent.

Elias runs forward, and jumps against the pillar mid-stride. He runs up the pillar for several steps with his fast feet, in a classic parkour manuever, before he springs off at the apex of the structure, right beneath Nagase. His left hand snatches out with an attempt to slide two fingers into her mouth, behind her upper teeth, and yank her along with him as he flips. It's a shocking, jarring move, one that will drag her to the ground with him once he lands from the inverted flip. He's slightly off, because of his right arm not being available to balance him, but he's compensating for it nicely.

COMBATSYS: E. Deacon successfully hits Nagase with Face First.
# Disabling hit! #

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Nagase           0/-------/-----==|=======\-------\1        E. Deacon

It's against the law to record someone without notifying them -- but that's probably one of -many- reasons Nagase tends to avoid letting the local constabulary pull records on her. But with the Serb accent being a pretty significant one, the man's first words are noted and tucked away within the electronic surveillance suite that is just one component of the tech-ninja's arsenal. The other, of course, would be the parkour maneuver that allows him to sprint right up the pillar.

And here the ninja thought she was giving herself the advantage, rather than her opponent -- meaning that for one much-too-short moment, the accountant-assassin is able to silence Nagase's prattling.

Having fingers pried into the roof of her mouth is bad enough, but getting herself slammed into the pavement is pretty bad too. The Iga kunoichi log-rolls to the side, pressing up from the ground with both hands and spitting up grit and grime. She is -not- pleased about having random guys shove fingers into her mouth. "... blegh..."

But for the time being, she staggers backwards, her eyeglasses once more flickering with a running tally of statistics on the conditions of the two fighters.

"Your mission's already failed, guy. What's it worth to you, anyway? You're missing a -huge- payday."

Her electronic counter-measure suite flickers. Her eyes tilt to the left at one particularly juicy bit of info, bringing a brightened smile to her face, before returning to the man before her. "Did you forget? This town isn't kind to strangers trying to boost its stuff."

COMBATSYS: Nagase calculates her next move.

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Nagase           0/-------/-----==|=======\-------\1        E. Deacon

Elias Deacon wipes his fingers on pants, before extending his left hand with two fingers outstretched, his thumb tucking over his ringfinger as he stares at her. He stares her down as she watches him, letting her speak as he grits his teeth from his throbbing elbow, the pain growing dull as his forearm twitchs, hand balling into a fist from crippled, shuddering fingers. "You are my payday," is all he says, as a dark, flat statement, watching her quietly. He's being careful, knowing that she could easily launch a deadly counter attack, and that he should consider his next manuever very carefully.

There's a faint shift of the grit atop the sidewalk he stands upon, as his feet shift. His body tenses, before he explodes forward in a blur of motion. He leaps off his feet at her, spinning once asymmetrically between them. His left arm whips around to grab her by the side of her head and throw her to the ground, before he lands and swings his foot forward, a smooth forward kick aimed at her head, leg whipping upwards, before it swings back down with the heel aimed at her face. It's considerably more wild than his other attacks or defenses so far, but it is still performed with tight control. But perhaps he is getting slightly annoyed.

COMBATSYS: Nagase interrupts Curb Stomp from E. Deacon with Hyperdrive Nagase Spiral.

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Nagase           0/-------/---====|=======\=====--\1        E. Deacon

'You are my payday', he says. Nagase crosses her eyes at the man. She'd just promised him -double- his asking price -- never mind that she has no idea whether Duke will actually deliver that promise. 'Cause it sure as heck won't be -her!- "C'mon, DOUBLE PAYCHECK. It's simple math, man!" She even holds up two fingers in a taunting gesture, just to show that even the sassy brat gets this.

But then the man blurs forwards at her. Nagase drops all pretense at trying to reason with the assassin at this point, slamming her palms together and extending her index fingers. Her fingers lace, as she spreads them apart slightly, then flattens her palms once again to draw them over top one another. It seems like a meaningless gesture, to anyone who doesn't know the Iga style of ninjutsu...

But, for the moment, it doesn't seem to save her. And it doesn't even seem like she acknowledges what's about to happen, as she -lunges forward- into the assassin's clutches. So it's true: her head is gripped by his left arm. And she -is- in fact thrown downward -- at least, her upper half is.

It's what her -lower- half was doing that poses the peculiar problem for Mr. Deacon, as the ninja had thrown the considerably greater mass of her hips and lower abdomen around his hips. Once again, she will find himself on his back -- though this time she continues rolling around his body until she faces his chest again, and wraps her arms about his abdomen.

It's just that this time, he's spinning out of control, for the nimble kunoichi is a master of momentum as well. She pulls him around, twisting him into a rapid spin as the pair helicopters higher upwards. And at the apex of the leap, Nagase inverts, steering his head towards the ground.

Landing headfirst on the pavement at this height would likely -kill- an average person, but Nagase has a better plan in mind. She doesn't want to snap his neck, after all -- she's able to direct the man so that his shoulders are ploughed into a set of shipping crates full of freeze-dried goods left nearby. She springs free of the man before the critical impact, flipping away to land in a three-point stance just beside the crates.

"But hey. Interrogation is -another- art at my disposal. You're taking the hard way, make no mistake about it!"

Regardless of any business offer being made, Elias knows that any professional of any sort, whether a cook or a hitman, has their worth built on reputation. He can't doublecross, and he knows he's being watched by the Dungeon Master, and probably Stray, maybe even Black himself. Elias makes fifty thousand guaranteed, fifty thousand more if he kills her. Of course, if he's not being paid contractually, in advance, with full briefing, he won't even lift a finger to anyone else. Beyond simple self-defense, of course.

Elias senses the wraparound of his abdomen by her legs, but doesn't utter a single complaint as he's spun around into the air and slammed into the crate of dry food. His left arm pushes his head out of the crate, his glasses broken and lost. But, there's good news. He snaps his right arm quickly, feeling sensation in his hand again. It hurts to use, but that's a small gain. He rises to his feet on the crate, turning about to stare balefully down at Nagase. He slowly unbuttons his shirt, quickly and efficiently, watching her. He then discards it, standing in only his black pants and his dress shoes, his muscular upper body covered in black Cyrillic letters, with a black sword on his back covering most of his spine, pointed downwards.

Elias jumps to another crate, one that hasn't been smashed by Nagase or Elias, placing Nagase's back to the edge of the sidewalk's curb. He jumps down, very close, hoping to force her to step down a few inches without expecting it. He then lashes out with an upwards blast of his right palm, baring his teeth at the pain in his elbow. There's a faint sheen of sweat on his body from exertion, and of course pain, apparently pushing himself slightly beyond his comfort zone.

COMBATSYS: Nagase dodges E. Deacon's Aggressive Strike.

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Nagase           0/-------/---====|=======\=====--\1        E. Deacon

Nagase's consistent badgering isn't intended to bear fruit in the obvious sense -- she's gaining intelligence on the assassin with every word, attempting to determine just -how- professional the assassin is. It's clear that short-term gain isn't as important as long-term profit -- and that -is- basic bookkeeping, in a nutshell. She nods appraisingly as her offer is rebuffed, backflipping once to put herself at a fair distance to respond to whatever Elias might have in the wings.

... But then the reasonably attractive man with a Serbian accent starts pulling off his shirt. Why in the -hell- did he have to go pull off his shirt...?! The kunoichi's reaction is unmistakable, as she finds her eyes lingering over the... tattooed Cyrillic; nibbling on her lower lip is an unquestionably positive response. "Hey, don't open my presents for me! Rude!" In another time, another place, she -might- just have to buy this guy a drink.

But right now, there's no time on the schedule for a dance with this handsome devil. The sword... yes. Her scanners would have detected it, but the tech-ninja is having enough trouble actually -dealing- with the man to have taken notice before now. She's more focused on the advance, twisting to keep facing the man, but rather than fall down from the sudden curb as he'd desired, Nagase actually vaults five meters backwards in the blink of an eye, landing in another three point crouch. One knee to the ground, the other foot pointed to her right, she smiles back at the man, shaking her head.

"A sword, huh?" she asks, rising back to her feet. Her hands snap backwards, palms resting on the panda-head pommels of her ninjato. "You've been holding out on me." With a wink, the kunoichi suddenly...

Vanishes -again-.
And then she's rematerialized on his left side, live steel of one ninjato slashing diagonally down at his arm.
And then she rematerializes on his right, with a lateral slash to the ribcage.
Back on the left, driving a knee to the other rib.
Back on the right, wheeling a crescent kick into his shin.

The onslaught of attacks continues seemingly without end, as the young woman uses her ninjutsu skills to stay in constant motion, making it increasingly difficult for the man to hit her.

For she knows now that the man is pushed to his limits -- and a cornered beast is the most dangerous kind of all.

COMBATSYS: Nagase successfully hits E. Deacon with Punishment Mode - Mirage Assault.

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Nagase           0/-------/-------|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2        E. Deacon

Elias Deacon sees Nagase draw her ninjato, and flexes defensively, drawing his arms inward and his shoulders up, hulking himself up to withstand the blows. Veins bulge on his neck and his teeth bare themselves, one slash, then a second slash cutting his arms, blood spraying out momentarily against the flexed muscle. A knee hits his rib, and he shifts sidelong, before the crescent kick slams downwards into his shin, kicking his leg out from under him and knocking him sidelong to the ground. He continues to growl and struggle with her as she attacks him with her full fury. He curls his legs up as his arms cross over his face, momentarily giving the illusion of a fetal position. Fear? No.

Elias rolls to the side and slaps the ground as his knees push off the ground, exploding back to his feet with his clenched fists pointed upwards, elbows down and bent as he flexes his pectorals and abdomen. THere's a savage roar of fury, before he swings out his right hand, in a solid backhand across her face to cease the flurry of attacks. He breathes heavy and low after the display of anger, squinting faintly without his glasses.

COMBATSYS: Nagase dodges E. Deacon's Black Eye.

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Nagase           0/-------/-------|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2        E. Deacon

Nagase is quick -- damn quick. But it comes with a toll. For even as she continues laying down slashes and strikes against the man, it may become apparent that she -is- getting slower -- if only by fractions. This is most notable in the fact that she isn't able to stop him from curling his hands up, even though she tries swatting his arms away: the differential in strength between the two is quite substantial.

She hops backwards as the fury reaches a crescendo, which is all the opportunity the man needed to catch his breath, and unleash his solid backhand. Nagase's eyes go wide for a moment, and her ninjato-laden hands sweep in front of her face defensively--
Only to leave behind a wispy afterimage of herself holding up the ninjutsu seal for 'escape', as the young woman appears another twenty feet backwards.

Her shoulders sag, her ninjato falling a few degrees beyond horizontal. She could use an energy drink, to say the least. "Look, Vlad -- can I call you Vlad? Vlad. I... I could -totally- go for you, but I just don't think it's gonna work out. You... you never -talk- to me any more. I remember the first thing you ever said to me... It was -so hot-."

Confident, and self-assured thanks to the distance, she holds up her ninjato like a picture frame. "I remember it like it was three minutes ago. 'I don't think so.' It got my heart thumping, let me tell you!"

But then Nagase slowly begins pacing across the street, placing her swords back into their scabbards, and glancing over her shoulder for a heartbeat to ensure no traffic is coming. "Vlad, if that is your -real- name and not one I just pulled out of my ass, I already know everything about your... 'Dungeon Master'. The last guy spilled everything he had. And I'm sure this guy's listening, because I hacked the encryption on his wireless signal about... three seconds before your shirt came off. Boss-man wants him dead, so..." She begins moving her hands slowly, gesturing as if she's trying to plead with the guy. "... It's -really- just a matter of--"

Timing. It's everything.
And in the blink of an eye, the ninja translocates just beyond Elias, continuing without missing a beat: "-- time." Hands slipping out of the seal gesture she'd happened to introduce on the sly, she makes a grab for his good arm, aiming to twist it backwards to wrench it right out of its socket. This rapid motion is exhausting the crap out of her. But with that hold, and one swift kick to the back of his knee, she hopes to drop him to the ground and put an end to this conflict. And, most importantly, get paid.

COMBATSYS: Nagase successfully hits E. Deacon with Quick Throw.

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////                          ]
Nagase           0/-------/-------|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2        E. Deacon

The Dungeon Master, at the revelation that he's been traced, spits out a mouthful of Jolt Cola, and begins shaking in fear as he watches. Stray's connection, meanwhile, traces to a cellphone tower on the outskirts of Metro City, and goes directly into an extremely well designed router with a landline into his network of computers around Metro City, making him much harder to trace. Stray clicks his tongue, as the Dungeon Master's frantic screeches come over his microphone line. Stray reaches out a purple gloved finger, and considers for the moment. Then, he depresses the finger, and the Dungeon Master's feed goes dead. Stray begins typing and flicking switches, before his own feed goes dead. A black cat nuzzles up to him, and he quietly strokes it with his gloved hand, writing the Dungeon Master off as a loss. He was a decent earner, but his work was too high profile to last forever. Stray pivots his chair about to a keyboard and monitor linked directly into the Skull Cross mainframe elsewhere in his base, getting directly in touch with Black to inform him of events, also sending a bevy of photographs and autorecordings of Nagase.

Elias Deacon couldn't care less about the Dungeon Master either, merely staring at her impassively. His arm is wrenched about and he's kicked in the back of the knee, falling to the ground. The longsword tattoo on his back is more visible now, done in black and purple ink, very intricate and expensive, and also pretty painful to get. His right arm on the ground, elbow screaming, he breathes slowly. He turns his head to the right to look at her out of the corner of his eye, blood leaking from his lips and dribbling to the ground. He stays there, on his knees with his dislocated arm held behind his back for a moment, waiting.

And then, he jams his foot backwards at Nagase's ankle to break her grip on him, and her stance, as his right arm snaps to his pants, face turning red as veins bulge out of his forehead from pain. He draws a butterfly knife that flashes white steel in the city light as he opens it and snaps the handle into position, turning around and lunging at Nagase. He aims to plant the knife as deep in her ribs as it will go as he tackles his shoulders and head into her chest, the contact brief without his left arm to hold on. But still, long enough to stab her in the lung.

COMBATSYS: Nagase blocks E. Deacon's Armed And Dangerous.

[                    \\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////                          ]
Nagase           0/-------/----===|>>>>---\-------\0        E. Deacon

Nagase is a sneaky little woman. She's quite good with computers.
But she's not as good as she boasted she was. Rather, she's been -recording- the network traffic, in and out, the entire time. The traffic of a full audio and video feed is enough to draw notice, but in a city like Southtown, there's no -telling- which signals are which. Unless you can force a certain kind of action to take place, such as the crimelord suddenly pulling all of the plugs, causing every request and submission to be utterly and fully rejected. Network signal: dead.

Nagase smiles wryly as the network activity graph in the periphery of her vision shows the truth of the matter -- it's way too much data for her to parse now, but it won't take long.

"Listen, this has been -really- educational, Vlad, but I gotta say..."

She tilts her head -- for the man seems to be using her prattling as an opportunity to strike. Even though he's held at arms length by the kunoichi, his arms and legs are -much- longer. She opts to drop the arm, letting her ankle get knocked away as she redistributes her weight. She provides a small opening, but evading to the degree that she -has- just... isn't in the cards. She hops backwards, and with one smooth motion turns to withdraw the sword from her hip.

Metal clashes against metal, as the knife screeches its protest against her ninjato. The diminutive ninja is forced backwards from the sheer strength differential, however... and the sword is forced out of her hand!

The knife blade continues onwards, though at a very different angle from before, it manages to scrape across the kunoichi's gauntlet, burying itself in her left arm in the sudden confusion. "Ita-ita-ita-ita!" It'd probably do more, but the clash bought her enough time to hop backwards, sailing into a backflip which plants the young woman on the hood of the car Elias first arrived in.

Pressing her empty hand to the wound to stem the flow of blood, she bites back a few choice comments. "Yyyyyeah, as I was saying, Vlad... I got what -I- needed. Tell your dungeon master friend to show his face next time, if his mom lets him out of the basement long enough, maybe we could even cut a deal, hm?"

Just for good measure, she gives a good solid stomp to the roof of the car, before springing back and away. It's probably the most she can manage, though... as police sirens can be heard in the distance, the distinctive red and blue lights of patrol cars flashing across the building facades leading to the Harbor.

Nagase winks back, for the moment before she hops out of sight. She'd considered leaving a calling card, but it might just send the wrong signal.

COMBATSYS: Nagase takes no action.

[                    \\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////                          ]
Nagase           0/-------/----===|>>>>---\-------\0        E. Deacon

COMBATSYS: Nagase has left the fight here.

[                          \\\\  <
E. Deacon        0/-------/---<<<<|

Elias drops to his knees, swinging his flopping left arm infront of him. He grabs it with his right hand, emitting a bellow as he uses his joint snapped arm to snap the dislocated arm back into place with sheer force of will. He stands up, hearing the sirens, and moves back to his car with a power walk, although he doesn't run. He climbs inside and starts the engine, hearing the purr of the cop motor inside the remarkably humble sedan. He shifts into reverse, wincing at the pain in his arm, as he looks behind him and backs up in a U, before shifting into drive and powering down the street towards where the sirens enclose the harbor. He takes a sudden left, moving down a side street, his exit plan all along. Time to check into the safe house he arranged on the outskirts of town. He reaches upwards, pulling a pair of replacement glasses out and sliding them onto his face. He spits to the side, grimacing, before he cruises off into the night.

Log created on 17:48:33 01/17/2016 by Stray, and last modified on 21:53:32 01/18/2016.