Nagase - Straight Flush

Description: Nagase's rather public showings in the Rumble in the Streets tournament may have deluded the Skull Cross forces into a false sense of security. But, as she shows, the Southtown Syndicate doesn't simply forget about the crimes of the past: it gets even!

Pawn Emporium, Skull Cross' primary fence operation in Metro City, operates a number of small stores across the city, selling stolen goods, and occasionally buying them and shipping them to other parts of the city. The primary location is where Eddie 'Fingers' Malone, former cat burglar, runs his business personally, and where all the most valuable items are. The store is huge, with an adjoining warehouse behind it, with a large parking lot and a big green sign with a dollar sign above the business name. Right now, in mid afternoon, business is humming along nicely, with Fingers inside minding the til along with his lower ranked friends, all a motley group of appraisal and merchandising experts, plus an experienced con artist for the marks that don't know how to deal with this sort of thing. According to the Skull Cross computer system, Duke's lockbox is located somewhere in the store, likely in the warehouse in the back, due to the value of its mysterious contents. In the back, away from the prying eyes of customers, a number of Italian mobsters hang about, playing cards. Their leader, a Made Man by the name of Tommy Lorenzo, sits at the table, smoking an expensive Cuban cigar and presiding over his dwindling stack of chips. He's a bad gambler, since his face is easy to read, which is why he's often so intimidating. Completely evil, violent, rage-driven man, this one.

Fifteen minutes ago, a Japanese customer in a baggy Columbia University sweatshirt entered the pawn shop with a fairly nice laptop computer, two years old with decent specifications. She seemed nice enough -- a bit aloof, to be sure, but it becomes patently clear that she fits the mold of an intelligent college student who really needs money more than an old computer. She occasionally pokes and prods at her iPhone -- top of the line, obviously a gift from her parents -- but seems generally disaffected with the goings-on of the pawn organization.
Perfectly, 100% normal, except for the wide-eyed rage that flickers across her face when she's told the amount she's going to be getting for her computer. Her hands flail out wildly as she begins to lose her composure -- but she soon realizes her animated gestures are pretty inappropriate, and commences some deep breathing exercises to calm herself down.
She does attempt to haggle the price up -- it would -seem- that the borderline violent behavior were a ruse to reduce the price. But she does accept the third number she's given, and walks sullenly out of the pawn shop with her phone in one hand and her money in the other.

The computer seems perfectly normal, though there are some interesting modifications to it. For one, the computer actually had -two- wifi boards attached. One functions normally. The other is attached to its own clock battery. It functions -- but it has an unknown secondary function.
On command, it will light on fire. Not violently -- but it will be more than enough to set off the Pawn Emporium's sophisticated smoke alarm detection system.
Right about... now.

Meanwhile, Nagase has shed her sweatshirt, and is wearing all black. She's already slapped repeaters on the camera surveillance system -- that was done weeks ago, while the search for her was still hot. She's supposed to be in Japan right now, after all! But now, safely in Metro City, she uses a mirror to look into the warehouse, waiting for the diversion of the fire alarms to grant her an opportunity. And with the right timing, the ninja will fling shuriken at as many of the gangsters as she can hit. Each star is each coated with fast-acting nerve agents, able to drop its target in a matter of seconds.

One of the pawn agents argues with Nagase calmly as Fingers watches over the edge of a magazine (an ancient copy of the British comedy periodical 'Crazy'), before he smirks as she leaves. He pats his friend on the shoulder for a good haggle at someone that clearly does not know the pawn business (the best practice is typically to leave once, then come back the next day). Then, a little later, the computer and a few other items are carried into the back for a more detailed appraisal, setting Nagase's plan into motion.

"Whadda fuck?" Tommy mutters as the smoke alarm goes off, looking up and around in confusion. Then, a shuriken hits one of his men as he's at the table, sending him crashing to the ground. Another Mafiaso manages to pull out his pistol as he stands, tipping the table over, before he's caught in the eye, screaming as blood spurts out and he fires his pistol into the air randomly, staggering backwards and to the ground. Tommy, meanwhile, he slowly turning around, the hellish orange-red ember burning at the tip of his stogie as he looks around in confusion, cards still in his hand. Then, he takes a shuriken to the chest, slapping his hand over it as his face goes lax, falling over. His cigar falls from his mouth and hits the ground, bouncing from tip to tip, before he slams into the ground beside it, unconscious with his eyes open.

"Jackson?" "Sir?" "There's a situation with Fingers. It's Southtown Syndicate. We need a package recovery." "On it, sir." Several blocks away, a muscular, trim man that looks like he could be a police officer moves briskly out of a small house, towards a black Ford LTD with state police grade parts. The car makes a *woo-wuh* as he unlocks it remotely, before he slides into the seat and starts the engine. Action Jackson slips on a pair of aviator shades, and peels out of the driveway into the street, heading for Pawn Emporium.

Nagase moves quickly, slipping through the window. This particular plan has been a couple weeks in the making: up until this point, her network repeaters were reassuring Stray's custom network that everything was 100% normal. It's clear that the man's paranoia has a backup plan; no matter -- Nagase knows she's on a time limit.
But really, so are they. Her network repeaters are now in overdrive, as not only are they repeating their video streams -- they're repeating -copies- of their data streams, deluging the custom-engineered network with multitudes of perfectly-viable data to keep things as convoluted as possible -- and buy her some more time.

The tech-ninja does not rely on purely technological measures, though. Once she's through the window, she translocates to the door barring entry to the pawn store proper. She secures it soundly, slapping some fast-drying epoxy on the seam for good measure -- and then dropping a canister of caltrops on the floor.
One blur of motion later, she's repeating the process on the door next to the loading dock.
And then she places a more substantial explosive on the loading dock's roll-top door itself.

Site secured, she glances over her prey. "Smoking'll be the death of you," she mumbles, picking up the stogie as she grimaces from the smoke.
She strides over to the storage facility. Codes aren't a big problem for the hacker, and neither are locks, when one has epoxy explosives. Within a few seconds she's gained access to the inside of the security cage. She hums while she glances up and down the shelves, like a kid in a candy store.

And then she finds the box.
And she takes a draw of the stogie, blowing out the smoke onto the box, whilst keeping a close eye on her personal surveillance suite's sophisticated scanners. Couldn't hurt to check for traps before reaching for the goods...

True, the entire network at the Pawn Emporium is reporting all-clear to Stray's network. But that doesn't change Fingers and his staff sending out a flurry of calls at the sound of gunshots to the background. They look to Fingers, as he loosens his collar. "Just wait, guys. Stray'll have a specialist here shortly." Fingers saw this coming. He knew Southtown Syndicate would make a run on him eventually, and that their cleaner was precise. But he knows everyone in the warehouse is probably dead. He knows, that could have easily been him, if he had been in the backroom checking on stock. Maybe it's time to ask for a payraise.

The smoke drifts over the lockbox, revealing a grid of criss-crossing laser beams, making half-inch diamonds. They appear to be wired to a floor panel that Nagase just happens to be standing on, wired with high voltage in case someone tries to take the box without first inserting a pair of keys into two electronic locks on either side of the box.

Action Jackson pulls up to the warehouse in his LTD after rapidly racing through traffic and swerving into the parking lot. He gets out of his car, and moves around to the trunk, pulling out a Mossberg shotgun, already prepped with shells. He turns around, slowly approaching the warehouse, listening to the fire alarm go off and the silence from inside. The doors are closed. Not good.

One problem after another. Nagase analyzes the electric eyes watchdogging the box, and begins to prepare a plan. She tugs a small spool on her belt, and pulls out a hook. Eyeing the cage above, she takes a firm hold of the cord attached to her hook, and then translocates to the ceiling of the cage.
Once in place, she secures the hook to the cage, and slowly lowers herself down closer to the box.
Nagase then reaches to her back, pulling one of her paired ninjato from its sheath. Just to check, she prods the front surface of the box with the flat of her sword blade.

Sure enough, the floor panels that she -would- have been standing on begin to hum with the high power current.

"Tch. Amateurs!" grumbles Nagase under her breath as she sheathes the blade again. The upside-down tech-ninja gives herself a bit more line, then reaches out to place her greedy little gloves upon the box, lifting it away from its comfortable nest of laser lines...


The door to the back of the warehouse explodes, accompanied by a shotgun blast. Action Jackson pumps his shotgun, a smoking green shell falling to the ground as he steps through the smoke and into the building. There's a dark, grim look on his face as he looks left and right for the thief, holding his boomstick in his hands. He begins briskly walking towards the security cage where the package is, his yellow work boots plodding along the dusty concrete floor. He steps past a dead Mafiaso with a grimacing frown, spotting Nagase in the cage with the box in her hands.

"Bitch!" he shouts, baring his teeth.

"That belongs to Skull Cross!"

COMBATSYS: Nagase has started a fight here.

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Nagase           0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Action Jackson has joined the fight here.

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Nagase           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0   Action Jackson

The upside-down ninja gulps as she hears the explosion. She grits her teeth, then swings forward and starts to lift the entire box -- the thing's a bit heavier than she'd thought. Which will pose a problem, as it's a bit too heavy for her typical ninjutsu tricks.

"Skull Cross, huh?" She pulls the box close to herself, then jerks herself upward sharply, just enough to loosen the hook securing her to the celing. She drops down to the last shelf, running on the edge of the shelves with the box while keeping her eyes on Action Jackson. "What'd you guys do, pick that name out of a comic book?!"

Once she reaches the entrance, she hops down and slams her palm into the floor, cradling the box to her chest with her free hand. A twin helix of flames blossoms forth from her hand, racing along the floor like a man-eating Slinky towards her boomstick-wielding opponent. "Unrelenting fiiiyaaa!"

COMBATSYS: Action Jackson Toughs Out Nagase's Unrelenting Fire!

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Nagase           0/-------/------=|===----\-------\0   Action Jackson

Action Jackson squints behind his aviator shades at Nagase. "Nobody likes a smartass." He begins stalking forward towards Nagase as she maneuvers around inside the cage, before she reaches the opening and slaps the ground. The twin helix is disregarded as he stomps forward, the fire striking him and running over him as he just walks through it, growling. It burns up his denim jeans and muscle t-shirt, but he barely seems to react to the pain, instead flexing as his veins bulge and he turns the shotgun towards Nagase.

"Stray sends his regards."

Jackson pulls the trigger on his shotgun, discharging a blast aimed at Nagase's legs, to take her to the ground and slow down her combat movement. It's not a wide blast of buckshot, like a sawed off, but instead a tight circle of accelerated metal, like the kind police officers use to take down dangerous suspects.

Jackson pumps the shotgun at his side after firing, another green shell popping out and clinking to the ground, smoking.

COMBATSYS: Action Jackson successfully hits Nagase with Hot Lead Injection.
Grazing Hit

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Nagase           0/-------/-----==|====---\-------\0   Action Jackson

There's a lot of things in column A that would apply to Nagase: smartass, bratty, ninja, thief, hacker. So there's plenty of things the walking, talking 80s action star homage would find distasteful about Nagase. But right now, the thing that might disappoint him -most- is how she doesn't just keel over in the midst of her shotgun blast. She still needs both her elbows to hold onto the box, but that makes the particular ninjutsu seal for teleportation too difficult to use. She realizes that trigger's about to pull, and anticipates the motion, twisting sideways to get out of the way. It -looks- successful...
Right until Nagase's pivot is -counteracted-, sending her skidding back to the floor. One hand slaps against the concrete floor, several smoking gashes carved across the back of her tactical vest. Lucky for her, she's rarely pinned herself to Iga-ryu traditions when it comes to simple personal security.

"Well, at least -Stray- is a gentleman..." she comments wryly, one eye wincing shut from the pain. Smirking, she drops the lockbox to the floor, and with one firm shove she sends it skidding across the floor towards the convenient exit Jackson had left her.
And then, unencumbered by the safe deposit box, she simply... vanishes.

But then Jackson may find that she's actually teleported right in front of him. With one kick, she aims to clear the boomstick out of his hands. But with the opening she aims to create, she'd be latching both legs about that arm, and whipping Jackson around into an armbar, the kunoichi employing her full (short) height as leverage against the sweeper's right arm. "Hnnnn!"

COMBATSYS: Action Jackson endures Nagase's Combo Grapple.

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Nagase           0/-------/------=|=======\-------\0   Action Jackson

Action Jackson watches the safe deposit box go skidding away, momentarily distracted, before he sees Nagase appear before him. The kick sends the shotgun flying out of his hands, before she latches onto his right arm and sends him flying to the ground. His arm bends backwards, fighting her the entire way, as ligaments and joints strain, Jackson growling in pain as his left hand holds the ground, preventing him from completely giving in. He looks at her sidelong, up along his arm, as his hand suddenly grabs her by the forearm.

Jackson pushes himself off the ground, his arm wrenching forward in the process instead of giving way, as he attempts to swing around with his left hand with an underhanded punch to her stomach to shock her. And then, his right arm surges out of the hold, grabbing her under the armpit as the left joins in, picking her up and hurling her across the room with a mighty bellow.

COMBATSYS: Nagase fails to interrupt Bonesmasher from Action Jackson with Nagase Spiral.

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Nagase           0/-------/----===|=======\-------\0   Action Jackson

Nagase grimaces at the man flounders about in her grip -- she knows it's only leverage that allows him to hold for as long as she has. But when he falls to the ground, she realizes he's probably knows the concept of a ground game, and starts to twist about so that she can springboard off the floor.

She narrows her eyes once she finds herself gripped. Too late, she curses under her breath, and suddenly finds herself wrenched into a gut punch. Naturally, she finds her grip faltering entirely: her feet scrabble for purchase on the slick concrete floor.
That's when the followup lands, as she's hurled across the room, much further from the box than she'd hoped. She slams against the wall in a blow which is -sure- to alarm the customers who may or may not have fled from the fire alarm yet...

Grimacing, she coughs into a balled-up hand, slowing her slide down the wall so that she has something to springboard off of. "Anyway, /Skull Cross/ stole it from /us!/ So let's just drop it, and I might give you some free fashion advice, hm? Y'know, something from -this- decade?!"

Action Jackson slowly stalks over to his shotgun, bending forward and grabbing it on the ground, before rising up and turning to face Nagase. He slowly moves towards her, dragging his feet lazily as he gathers his wits and recovers from that armbar. "Negotiating with our leadership would've been wiser than going to war," Action Jackson responds curtly, as he offers her a dour frown. He swings the shotgun around again, as she leans against the wall, firing the boomstick with another resounding boom. It's from farther away this time, the shotgun pellet spread out and less lethal, but more likely to hit.

"I get paid either way, ninja."

COMBATSYS: Nagase blocks Action Jackson's Medium Shot.

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Nagase           0/-------/----===|=======\-------\0   Action Jackson

"Eh, negotiatin' is overrated," is Nagase's reply, as she casually reaches to the ninjato stashed upon her back. In one fluid motion, she leaps from the wall and unsheathes the blades. In a whirling frenzy of cold steel, a number of the shotgun pellets are struck aside, though a few embed themselves in her tactical armor, drawing forth a protracted gasp of agony.

"Last chance though! The more of you jerks I kill, the higher I get paid!" That's of questionable truth; it's not clear whether her nerve agent was lethal. But it's a moot point, as she springs back to her feet. Hopping back and forth from one foot to the other, she suddenly leaps --
And reappears, inverted, with her palms planting down onto the sweeper's shoulders. She'd grip tight, and use her momentum to continue flipping herself forward -- taking Action Jackson with her on an express route to the concrete floor!

COMBATSYS: Action Jackson blocks Nagase's Medium Throw.

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Nagase           0/-------/-----==|=======\=------\1   Action Jackson

As Nagase flips into the air at him, he tracks her, watching her deflect buckshot. And then, she disappears, once again, this time midair. As she appears above him and grabs his shoulders, he's pulled off his feet heavily but quickly, and thrown downwards. He slams into the floor on his crossed arms, grunting as his muscular arms take the brunt of the impact. He sets his shotgun aside as he presses his palms to the floor, looking sidelong at Nagase's legs.

He swings his left hand out at Nagase's upper ankle, attempting to grab it. If he finds purchase, he pulls it as he rolls onto his back, with the intent to flip Nagase over him and onto her face, wrestling about on the ground with techniques meant to take down a violent suspect in his previous job as a state trooper.

COMBATSYS: Nagase dodges Action Jackson's Takedown.

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Nagase           0/-------/-----==|=======\=------\1   Action Jackson

Anticipating the move from the way Jackson lands upon the floor, Nagase leaps backwards a foot with a taunting cry of, "Nah-ah-ah!" She smirks as she wags a finger at the man, breaking into a dash to the side as she aims to bring herself closer to that safe deposit box of hers. As far as she -knows-, the sweeper came alone -- but she's not going to leave that to chance. "System access: X-Ref 2-01 Beta..." she speaks aloud, before leaping into a somersault.

As she lands upon the fancy card table in a crouch, a top-down digital map of her surroundings is overlaid onto the lenses of her eyewear, providing a detailed view of everything - and everyone - in her area. But more importantly, she gets a detailed readout of her opponent's vital signs.

"Jackson, eh? Former state highway patrol... -very- interesting."
She winks back at the sweeper, moving to pick up a recently-dropped hand of cards. She turns the card around to show five unrelated junk cards, nine high. "Hope you drew a better hand than -this- poor schmuck."

COMBATSYS: Nagase calculates her next move.

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Nagase           0/-------/-----==|=======\=------\1   Action Jackson

John Jackson, Sergeant in the New York Highway Patrol. Sentenced to ten years in prison, manslaughter, domestic disturbance. Restraining order from wife and child. Multiple accusations of stalking from wife and living relatives since release.

Jackson stands back up with his shotgun in hand, walking towards Nagase to carefully slow the distance she just created, edging forward. He points his weapon downwards at the table, firing at the table itself instead of Nagase to knock her off her feet. "They call me Action Jackson," he grunts after he fires, pumping the shotgun and discharging yet another shell.

COMBATSYS: Action Jackson successfully hits Nagase with Quick Shot.

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Nagase           0/-------/----===|=======\=------\1   Action Jackson

Nagase frowns at the sweeper's trajectory. He's aiming too low, she notes. But increasing her focus onto such menial tasks also means she spends crucial fractions of a second that she could be using to get out of the way. Accordingly, she's peppered with the fragments of the table as they're blasted into her, instead of taking the full brunt of the barrage herself. She hurls her arms in front of her, but it's of no avail as chunks of particle board and playing card embed themselves in her tactical gear -- as well as knock her backwards.

She lands in another crouch, shaking her head. "Alright then..." she comments, tracing a symbol into the air before her. It's something in ancient, pre-war Japanese, but the ex-Sergeant won't have to translate it.
He'll experience it first hand, as the kunoichi springs forwards, aiming to lock her arms about the sweeper's midsection. She'll continue pressing forward if so, hauling the man off his feet, and disorienting him with an axial twist.
The aerial spin would continue, even as the pair twists about in midair, terminating with Nagase springing away from him as his head and shoulders are planted into the concrete.

COMBATSYS: Nagase successfully hits Action Jackson with Hyperdrive Nagase Spiral.
- Power hit! -

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Nagase           0/-------/--=====|=======\======-\1   Action Jackson

Action Jackson squints behind his sunglasses at the symbol traced in the air, before she leaps forward too fast for him to respond. He grunts as she charges into his abdomen and wraps her arms around him, backpedaling before being lifted up and around, holding onto his shotgun with knuckle white intensity. Then, she pull shim upwards, into the air, before she brings him headfirst into the ground. He slams into the concrete hard enough to leave a dent in the warehouse's dirty floor, a loud "AUGH!" ripping itself from his vocal chords. He flops to the ground, afterwards, with a concussion dimming his vision and disorienting him. Slowly, he gets back up, staggering as he does so.

Action Jackson looks at Nagase, his shades missing so his blue eyes can be seen, blood dripping down from his blond crew cut and getting in his face. He hisses inwards through his mouth before he runs forwards, attempting to shove the barrel of the gun into Nagase's knee and pull the trigger at point blank range, potentially blowing out her kneecap if it connects. Then, he can take her to Stray for interrogation.

COMBATSYS: Nagase dodges Action Jackson's War Crimes.

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Nagase           0/-------/--=====|===----\-------\0   Action Jackson

Nagase smirks as she leaves cracks in the concrete floor. That's -her- regards to -Stray-, she notes to herself.
Really, she should take the case and go. But with how tenacious this guy is, she doesn't expect her chances to be good. She -really- needs to incapacitate this man, one way or another.
It doesn't help that he's taking just about every opportunity he can to lay down a hailstorm of bullets. Once she sees the man rushing for her, she lapses into her native tongue: "Moooou, 'taku..." So persistent!

He's moving so fast. And he's communicating his intent pretty clearly -- he's -not- going to go easy on her, that's for sure. So rather than attempt what she -was- going to -- a complete counterattack -- she makes the decision to teleport herself out of the way, sacrificing what she can of her range to ensure a nimble escape.

Reappearing a good ten feet to her left, she pants heavily. This fight is taking -way- more out of her than she'd like to admit, and it needs to end soon if she's going to escape before Action Jackson's cavalry gets here. So she commits to unleashing one of her deadly ninja arts -- the 'Bunshin no Jutsu'.
In effect, she clones herself.
One Nagase would appear on his left, wheeling a armor-plated knee into his chest, slamming an elbow into his face, while another Nagase would appear on his right, smashing a counteracting kick into his hip and then snapping a knee up into his abdomen.
It's a very confusing affair -- and one that would culminate in him getting buffeted upwards from the blows, successively higher -- for her to finish in a flip kick that would send him flying to the back wall.

COMBATSYS: Action Jackson endures Nagase's Punishment Mode - Mirage Assault.

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Nagase           0/-------/------=|=======\-------\0   Action Jackson

Action Jackson goes stumbling through the space Nagase used to occupy as she disappears mid-blast, finding himself disoriented and panting for breath. He swings around to face her as she stands there, panting. A grin breaks across his features, and he pulls the trigger on the shotgun. *KA-CLICK*. Empty. His jaw drops as she splits in two, before he's smashed in the chest and face in one direction, going sideways, before the other clone smashes him into the other direction. Then, he's kicked up into the air over and over, before being sent flying into a nearby wall. He smashes into it, bouncing off and falling to the ground. A crate teeters near him, held up a shelf nearby, before falling atop him and breaking, assorted jewelry spilling out everywhere, along with wood and plastic bags containing various smaller baubles.

COMBATSYS: Action Jackson takes no action.

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Nagase           0/-------/------=|

COMBATSYS: Action Jackson can no longer fight.

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Nagase           0/-------/------=|

Nagase backflips away, her clone disappearing as she lands in that really badass pose with her palm pressed to the ground, her hips twisted as her feet turn to either side. "That's the end of the road, Jack...!" she quips, as the crate crashes down. She could make a bigger scene, but all she needed to do was keep the man occupied. She could -kill- him if she really wanted him out of the way, but a successful mission is more important than killing. After all, she was only hired to 'make every single associated loser regret every single mistake that brought them to their miserable state in their life.'" Stray...?
He'll get what's coming to him. After she collects her payday. She snaps a quick salute to her downed opponent, before clasping the safe deposit box to her chest once more, and sprinting off into the night. No shadowy jumps -- she'll have to conserve her energy until she can get to safety.

But how can she really be safe with Skull Cross surveillance all around? Oh, simple. Smirking, she leaps to the side of a delivery truck, triangle-jumping off it to land upon the roof of the Pawn Emporium.
"System access: Execute Escape Ell Zero Ell Omega."
Her ceaseless denial-of-service barrage on the Skull Cross servers takes a different form, as the video feeds are dropped back down to one. But instead of normal video service, a super-deformed artwork of Nagase's face is shown, with her pulling down her lower right eyelid and sticking out her tongue. No voice is included, but there is a particular choice quote from a famous comedian (that Action Jackson may just recognize the voice of, if he weren't frustatingly unconscious):

"... as soon as we find the cure for cancer
"We're gonna thaw out the Duke and he's gonna be pretty pissed off.
"You know why?
"Have you ever taken a cold shower?
"Well multiply that by 15 million times...
"that's how pissed off the Duke's gonna be!"

And right then... fuses blow. And then explosives detonate inside each of her network repeater devices, rendering each device completely inoperable -- and taking out each afflicted site completely off the Skull Cross subnet.
Perhaps it's a good thing she didn't target -all- of the Skull Cross assets.

Nagase leaps from rooftop to rooftop, confident that her pre-planned escape route is all clear.

Log created on 15:15:45 02/11/2016 by Nagase, and last modified on 22:05:59 02/11/2016.