Description: A cautionary tale of how a man who plans to defile nature makes a wrong turn onto sacred ground.
It's gorgeous in this part of the world. Few human eyes could ever dare lay upon this place and call it anything else. Yet, it would seem that pilgrimages to this place - this little grove, almost easy to see as a footnote up against the edge of a shrinking forest in Northern Japan - are so rare as to consider the possibility that any imprint of one's shoe stands a chance to be one of the first steps taken in that very place in the soil in a long, long time.
A place where people, no doubt, had extensively been within the period of a long, long time ago. Wooden items, lovingly carved and distributed among the branches and larger rocks, seem both blessed by the cool open air that runs through into a grove and yet paradoxically protected from harsher elements by the surroundings trees, inhabitated by a clear natural fountain that would be invisible were it not for the water's movement. A small slice of paradise. A textbook picture to describe tranquility. A place of memories, of importance to someone, at some time. Many someones, what could have been many times in the past.
The sounds of a noisy combustion engine tear through the open air, a boxy shadow cast over the sun-kissed grove to herald the next pilgrimage of those who seek beauty, spiritual health, or simply silence as it sharply turns to a stop to a spray of green confetti from uprooted grass.
That's... not an example of a pilgrimage at all going on right now, is it.
Unapologetic in its vulgar march, leaving deeply entrenched swaths of brown underneath man-made behemoths of steel suspended by inflated rubber, two human beings in white hazmat suits disembark without even so much to pause and take in the once pristine wilderness about them.
The emerald grass of the sacred grove bends underneath boot-clad feet of the two human men. One is portly - a local, going by complexion and facial structure, shaved bald. The other, not from here, average in build and of caucasian descent, with short blonde hair. Both are wearing oxygen masks that otherwise obscure many of their facial features.
The verdant blades of grass are dulled underneath thick black boots, defiantly springing back up as though nothing had happened as the two pass towards the back of the hefty vehicle, revealing...
"No leaks," comments the portly local, "that's a relief."
Hazardous waste. It's not just the biohazard symbol. There's a whole lot of other warnings, markings, and instructions. Whoever packaged them did so with care to play with every letter of the law. A real dedication to lip service!
"We're pouring them into that stream," says the blonde foreigner, who on closer inspection seems to have a passing resemblance to one of those masked bank robbers from a while back in Metro City. Maybe it's a coincidence. "We're behind schedule. We don't have time to bury it."
"I don't like this place." The portly one says as they crane their neck across the details of antiquity. The wooden ornaments, the stick-based constructs, the bones and feathers of creatures that seem of a time long past, and yet fresh without the lingering scent of death nor decay.
"I don't like it either." The foreigner adds as he sets a ramp between the open back of the vehicle and the invaded grove. "That's why we're dumping them here. Just get the forklift."
Wordlessly, the two begin their toil. The foreigner takes the lead, the portly one wheeling along from behind with a great sense of unease about them.
An antler-clad pile of sticks, vaguely anthropomorphized, is shoved over by the foreigner if only for the crime of simply being in the way of a narrow path towards the water, its meanings meaningless in the name of humanity simply doing as it sees fit with the byproducts of its more risky manipulations of Earth's bounties.
The remote sanctuary is as idyllic as imaginable. The breeze flowing from the nearby ocean moist and full of life. The water flowing from the small spring as pristine as any fount on earth. Birds sing from the branches above and squirrels dart about through the grass, playing games with each other, following rules only they seem to know. At one point, a fox slinks out of the forest to take a drink of water before vanishing off to the other side. Resting quietly here would give one a front row seat to the natural world, a tranquil retreat from the noise and rushing of the modern world.
And all that comes to an abrupt end. The thundering roar of the truck's engine is enough to send the wildlife scattering. With a shake of branches and scattering of leaves, birds take flight, and every squirrel vanishes from the grass in an instant, none wanting to be audience to what rumbling beast approaches from the world of man.
As such, the glade appears empty as the truck comes to a stop and two men disembark to begin their dirty work - only the trees will stand vigil here for however long they will survive the aftermath of what is to come. Out of sight from any roads, only farmland exists on the other edge of the forest, the deed will be easy to accomplish without any witnesses or chance of being noticed.
Yet the sense of being watched can't be shaken, the weight of judgement that could hang heavy even over the most embittered vandal is everywhere. Yet nothing interferes with the laborious process. There is that strange sound of distant thunder though even though only blue sky is visible through the forest canopy. Maybe a storm approaches from the horizon? All the more reason to hurry, no doubt.
Another sound as the brittle wreath of woven wood scatters against the ground, twigs crunched beneath a heavy, rubber-covered foot - was someone in the trees? Were the men being watched? No one seems to be there now.
A screech of a large bird echoes down from above and a shadow is seen passing by briefly. The gentle ocean breeze shifts suddenly, the wind now rolling down from the tall mountains to the north, bringing with it a frigid, unfriendly atmosphere as if all sense of welcome to the grove has been withdrawn for these two interlopers.
Something heavy crashes through the canopy above, sending leaves and branches raining down as the creature comes to rest, suspended in the air by two large, brown feathered wings. Hovering in the path of the two 'working men' is a bird of prey. Its flapping wings allow it to stay strangely steady in place in their path and its talons end in nails that look like they could easily rend a man's flesh. The screech that comes from the creature is far from inviting and might have occupied the two men's attention for longer if it were not for the voice that would speak up from behind them.
Urgent, yet incomprehensible words issue forth from the small native looking woman behind them. Young, clothed in a white tunic with a geometric red and blue border and white trousers with a matching pattern along the cuffs, the black haired witness to this crime against nature gestures frantically at the two men before pointing behind her toward the truck that brought them here. All told, their company looks somewhat spooked. The words from her mouth are gibberish - a local dialect no doubt - but her manner of dress, all the way down to the red moccasins on her feet, are in line with the customs of the indigenous people of Hokkaido. Only the wide cuffed wrist guards seem strangely out of place.
Turning back to the men, she waves her hands back toward the truck again. The only thing remotely comprehensible might be a slip of Japanese - bakemono - a monster, a word she's repeated more than once.
The large raptor heaves its wings once more, lunging over the men to descend on the girl whom extends her arm to allow the carnivorous creature to alight on her forearm, flapping its wings a few time to steady itself before folding them behind its back and staring at the suited men.
Well, that explains the armguards at least.\
The ignorance of these two men, though to different extents, are both bleak reminders of humanity's apathy, arrogance, and greed. The foreigner seems heedless of the enviornment's chill, the dark shadow that flits overhead, or what history is crushed under his boots.
The local's resolve wavers visibly upon the visage of a brown hawk. Complete ignorance may not be among one of their many sins, halting in their march towards the water with a ninety-degree turn of the first of their cargo to the sight of that hawk with talons bared. Something resounds deep within the human psyche of this one, as if certain cues had been spoken and heard.
Both are uniform to the cries of human speech, human protest in inflection.
A witness. They have half-formed words informing the other of this, but find themselves talked over by the frantic yelling, the pointing back towards their truck.
The foreigner finds himself crouching to avoid getting a face-full of hawk as the creature goes to take their rest upon the flared-out wristguards of a young woman whose intensity of speech communicates a base understanding that things are not going to go according to plan.
"We can't stay here," the local asides, hands raised up as he backs away from the forklift as if an attempt to avoid guild by association which would fool absolutely no one, "as long as they can't identify us, we can just--"
"We're making time to dig," says the foreigner, "go get the shovel--"
"We're paid to dispose," so coldly reminds the foreigner, as chilling a declaration as the very air that seems to have told the two men they've long worn out their welcome. A man so uncaring, unfeeling to the nature that speaks around them...! "So we're disposing another body with the barrels. That's our job--"
"She's just a girl," the local seems apt to reason, maybe even the reaches of humanity deep within, suddenly raising his voice, "it's a misunderstanding, young lady!"
The typical politeness one might expect of the Japanese, like the suited-up local, seems to fall to the wayside in the name of expediency as he draws ever closer - the very appearance of a man-sized, man-shaped blob dressed in who knows what single uniform colored material, the only window to there being a familiar creature at all being around head-level.
Foolishly, hands raised, the local seems apt to attempt to lay hands on one shoulder - already risking ire by the bird of prey resting upon her forearm. "Please, take your falconry elsewhere, our work is... very important to the env--"
For as disconcerting as the frantic accidental witness might be to the two men who just wanted to dump hazardous toxic waste in peace and quiet, the entire incident is abjectly bewildering for their animated, hawk bearing company. Her blue-grey eyes dart around rapidly, taking in the two figures, their forklift, and the large truck that brought the party to what is supposed to be an untarnished corner of a world preciously low on such sanctuaries.
In front of her are two humanoid figures. They could be demons - when dealing with the twisted experiments of the darker forces of the world, one can never predict just how unsightly the results will be. If so, she will destroy them without compromise. Them, and their armored, roaring monsters! But there's a chance that they are people... how long has it been? Is this how fashion has changed? It's the most unflattering attire she's seen since she had a chance to watch a demonstration of those giant helmeted diving suits that had recently been invented. These two look like walking water bladders!
They begin to speak and her eyes flick between them, the girl falling quiet, lowering her hawk bearing left arm a little as she stands up straight. No one is making any quick moves, which gives her time to reconcile the countless points of confusion without having to act immediately. Why are they here? Who would have the gall to trample the totems and markers of this sacred site? And what is to blame for that horrendous noise being made by their beast of burden? Its roar is so steady... is that just how it breaths?
"You... here... belong... don't!" she stammers out in halting Japanese, squinting a little as if struggling to recall to mind how the more common language of the part of the world she once knew works and sounds. She shakes her head, as if aware that it didn't come out sounding right at all. Why is she so rusty at it? She was fluent in it before! "Leave!" She points back toward the large truck with her left hand, seeming to hope that gestures will communicate more than her awkward Japanese.
The Japanese half of the duo begins to approach from her left and she pivots just slightly as to be able to keep an eye on him from her peripheral vision. She can hear the dismissive tone in their voice even if the accents are making a precise understanding of their words a little tricky to understand for sure. It's time to show them that she is serious, a force to be reckoned with.
Some things never change.
The girl's right arm reaches behind her at the level of her waist, gloved fingers closing over... empty air. She moves her hand a little and tries again, eyes widening slightly, finally looking down and to her right, clearly expecting something to be there beneath her near waist-length straight black hair.
The shadow of the much larger figure looms over her, the man clearly trying to steer this confrontation in a way that better aligns with what small kernel of morality still exists within him. He discovers very quickly just how protective the large raptor is, however, as the hawk immediately leaps off the girl's arm with swoosh of powerful, flapping wings, taking to the air and pivoting right back around on him with a loud screech of protest, talons extended.
The commotion is enough for the girl to slip just out of reach, recovering from her lapse in focus. Her response is swift, both of her small hands snapping out to grab both of his extended wrists, pulling herself forward and swinging low, sliding right between his feet to come up behind him, leaving him face to face with a hovering, very angry bird, and its presumable falconer behind him.
Lifting a moccasin-clad foot, she delivers a swift heel to the base of the fellow's spine to knock him further off balance, the bird refraining from assaulting him directly, as if obediently awaiting instructions to do so as it manages to flap backward half a meter while retaining its approximate position in the air.
The local man shrieks before the hawk that takes flight. The sharpness of the talons may be of concern on levels not readily apparent to the young protector of the Earth. He cowers before the bird, ignorant of the girl's movements in the name of protecting himself from one of nature's fiercer creatures of the sky.
Enough that one of nature's fiercer creatures of the land, the girl herself, effortlessly disposes of him. Bent forward, he stumbles a number of steps forward before planting his face against the grass.
There is no drag marks to be seen across the vibrant grass, as though it now stood in unison to resist this very intrusion.
Shrieking, the local scrambles up to his feet and goes into a short jog as if reconsidering the whole ordeal. Monsters can be cowardly creatures when faced against something above them on the food chain...! It may be due to their nature as predators that they can truly appreciate such a difference. Even enemies of nature must yet obey some of its rules...
"That's enough," says the foreigner - a truer foreign element. The local, understandably, looks and speaks somewhat like someone who conceivably lives somewhere vaguely in the vicinity of these lands.
This one, the one who must be from far further away, does not, moving in behind the eager and agile youth to lock his right arm around her left, an attempt to coil it around and lift upwards to bar its freedom of use.
"We'll make you a nice garden," he says, structuring words in ways she may not be familiar with but the undercurrent of malice is something that's universal across cultures and lifestyles, "get you a good look at it from six feet underneath."
Have these creatures so readily forgotten their place, among the very land they now inhabit? So far removed from familiarity...
COMBATSYS: Henchman has started a fight here on the right meter side.
COMBATSYS: Nakoruru has joined the fight here on the left meter side.
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Nakoruru 0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0 Henchman
COMBATSYS: Nakoruru is empowered by Nature's Indignation!
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Nakoruru [E] 0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0 Henchman
COMBATSYS: Nakoruru blocks Henchman's Surprisingly Effective Arm Bar.
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Nakoruru [E] 0/-------/----===|-------\-------\0 Henchman
Facing the man she just kicked over, the raven-haired lone protester to the environmental catastrophe on the verge of happening here watches him scramble to his feet and back away, the second thoughts he was having moments ago now replaced with third thoughts! She frowns faintly. They do seem to be men and the inanimate objects they were using to move things around don't seem to be beasts at all, but rather some kind of elaborate contraptions that continue to belch noxious fumes of their own into the violated grove... The containers are covered with symbols she's never seen before, but if their nature was innocuous, she wouldn't be here, would she?
Opening and closing the fingers of her hand, she slips one foot forward in the grass. Something still feels off, but she can't put her finger on it. Neither mand has any visible weapon she recognizes. They can't possibly be serious threats, can they? Compared to the marauding devils she faced, and the passive, powerful menaces she had stood before in the past, nothing here seems to compare!
The confidence in the bulky fellow is already on the verge of breaking - she can see it in his eyes. He lacks a warrior's spirit, it will just take a little to push him over the edge. Lifting her right hand, fingers closed into a fist, the girl gets ready to call for Mamahaha to engage - nothing too serious, a nice clawing, maybe a beak slash or two. It won't take much, she thinks to herself.
But she doesn't get her chance, her left arm caught from behind by the one who had not made a move against her before - the one she could tell was the more forceful between them. His grip is firm, his small statured opponent hardly able to put up a fight against his secure hold. "Ah!" The cry of hurt is real. How long has it been since she had felt pain? With his leverage, he has her secured, standing over half a foot taller than the target he's wrangling. "This place, not yours," she grimaces, trying to pry herself free but to no avail.
Standing on her toes to try and relieve the pressure, teeth grit before she finally kicks off the ground, flipping sideways to counter the hold on her arm, landing on her feet a second later with her limb no longer wrenched behind her.
He might still have a hold on her forearm, but that might work against him as the girl snaps her right hand forward, pointing at him directly.
To say that the hawk was eager for this moment is an understatement, no sooner than the first syllable of her name escapes the girl's lips and the large bird dives straight for his upper back, talons extended. The large bird of prey would attempt to slash at first, but it wouldn't retreat, insisting on buffeting the head with its wings. It might be enough to buy Nakoruru time to free her arm, but she isn't intending to retreat either. If the hawk provides an opening, she will be right there to capitalize on it!
COMBATSYS: Nakoruru successfully hits Henchman with Shichikap Etu.
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Nakoruru [E] 0/-------/---====|====---\-------\0 Henchman
The foreign invader scowls behind the odd screen between himself and the rest of the world. There is something menacing about the way he exhales. Just as the environment itself seems to have adopted a chilled air to voice its collective displeasure, so too is so much expressed by one that believes themselves arrogant to the sanctity of this very land.
"What's a Mam-aaaghrrrll!" Something sharp pierces his back. Something weighty, something fast, and now something making all sorts of loud, unpleasant wing-flapping noises that pierce whatever outer shell this manner of man wears (also, because a few holes have just been punctured in it).
The smaller young woman is released immediately in the confusion, hands at first ineffectually covering himself as the loyal hawk predates upon the opening as they have their food... and their enemies.
"I-I'll get the shovel!" The local finally seems on board with at least that stage of the plan as he tries to run back to the giant metal construct with all haste and panic. The forklift and its terrible contents are left off to the side, forgotten.
The foreigner's attention seems far more occupied upon the attacking hawk, swiping his hands at it without much success. It's like nature's fury given form, every beat of its wing a reminder of its endless bounty underneath where it surveys... and its mercilessness. An overbearing feeling that reinforces the roughly constructed words of 'this place, not yours.'
His hands are grasping for that hawk, but within moments, his head sharply turns back towards the other problem in the equation.
His eyes widen...!
COMBATSYS: Henchman focuses on Henchman's next action.
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Nakoruru [E] 0/-------/---====|====---\-------\0 Henchman
Her freed, the smaller combatant shakes her arm a little, clearly feeling lingering pain and a bit of numbness from the twisting she suffered. But she doesn't back away, doesn't leave the bold animal tormenting the despoiler to fight this battle for her. "Who you are?!" she exclaims back at him. Is he a herald of things to come? A forerunner of more strangely covered men just like him?
That one is falling back is something she notices but doesn't do anything to stop. It is just like the bands of craven bandits she's faced before - if they fought in unison, they could be dangerous. But they are easy to scatter, like dried leaves upon the forest floor, their morale snapping easier than a brittle twig.
She is on him immediately, capitalizing on the opening created by her loyal companion. She may not know where her blade is, but that doesn't mean she's helpless! The moment he raises his hands, thinking either to smack the brown bird from the air or even recklessly try to seize its legs in his hands, the small guardian lunges, both of her hands seeking his wrists.
With a secure enough hold, she would pull hard, either yanking him off balance toward her, or pulling herself in closer depending on how sturdy his poise upon the grass ends up being. It is with a leading knee she attacks, springing up slightly to deliver the blow to his stomach. "Abomination!" There's a big word she seems to know quite well. The lithe fighter does not know what defenses the foreign material covering his body provides, but she will try to find out!
Her right arm would release its hold as she would try to deliver a follow up hook punch to the side of what she is pretty sure is his head, still yanking with her left arm to keep his balance perpetually challenged, before swinging her arm back to plant an elbow against his sternum and try to finish pulling him over her shoulder to the ground!
One thing is clear - the tunic-clad young woman knows martial arts. And they don't seem to be the kind designed for friendly competitions.
COMBATSYS: Nakoruru successfully hits Henchman with Enbu Go Kyaku.
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Nakoruru [E] 0/-------/---====|=======\-------\0 Henchman
The young woman puts her superior leverage to use when she's the one that dictates the pace of the engagement. Taken by surprise by the tag-team element of hawk and friend, she may yet find that more than just one's morale can snap like a brittle twig. For his greater size and indeterminate bulk - the /thing/ that he's wearing and/or being enveloped by is very thick, somewhat hard to move in - it proves easy to keep him off-balance with every jerk, every strike, every element of a honed routine meant to take down those who overstep their boundaries.
The grass seems like it parts underneath where she drives him into the ground, as though to ensure all that meets this so-called 'abomination' is the cold, unfeeling stone that supports the rivers above it, the plant life that rests in its bosom...
...and blow metaphorical raspberries at those who would abuse it, such as this one.
"Girl," the foreigner wheezes as he struggles to rise, on all fours for a time like a beast before rising up to this big, blobby-looking parody of a man, "what kind of world do you think this is?"
The local peers out from behind the van, holding up the shovel, before thinking better of calling attention to himself. Maybe he has caught the reflection of light off the hawk's eye and has started to think better of it.
Stepping forward, obviously drawing back his left hand in a telegraphed motion speaking of much, much less developed technical skill than the one who would fight for the beauty and sanctity of the earth itself, he might yet prove a match in ferocity, the desire to see this undesired element in the way... not be there.
If his compatriot's actions are of any indication, it may prove more a matter of conviction. No one else can be seen as far as the eye can see, nor as far as the wind can be heard howling - who would stand to deliver nature's punishment in its time of need?
COMBATSYS: Henchman successfully hits Nakoruru with Sucker Punch.
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Nakoruru [E] 0/-------/=======|=======\-------\0 Henchman
Now that's a question she understands. The words are basic enough to be understood even through the accent that feels so unfamiliar. And the phrasing... yes... she understands that question quite well. Yet, it might be one she's least equipped to answer. The reaction is immediate, eyes widening slightly as she finds herself wondering that exact thing. She looks around, attention flicking over the forklift, then the truck, then back to the foreign invader. Just... what kind of world IS this?
The trees she recognizes. The crisp air rolling down off the mountain is mostly as she remembers it, cool, even in the summer months. The grass, the stream... these things are and have been. Familiar. Comforting.
And then there are the alien elements. Nothing about them is natural. Metal, and some kind of flexible, squeaky material that tears easily... loud devices that seem intent on demanding attention by way of obnoxious noise even when they are just sitting there... She has... /no/ idea what kind of world has spawned these things. And the barrel shaped containers? Just what were these men doing with them here? "I-" she stammers, only to find herself answering to a well placed sucker punch that catches the smaller fighter in the face. Reeling back, a worried scree is called out form the bird that has already disengaged to circle the glade, a worried protector watching over its grounded companion.
The grass gives her the traction she needs, her moccasins finding grip, saving the featherweight from getting knocked over all together as her right hand comes up to rest over her right eye as she staggers another step back. Left eye glaring back at the remorseless man, she catches her breath, realizing that these exchanges have taken more out of her than she would have expected. That doesn't seem right. Compared to the tyrants she toppled, this man seems... normal enough? Feeling further bewildered, she pulls her hand away, resolving to stay focused.
"Really I don't know." she finally manages to express, her Japanese becoming slightly more confident by the moment, even it still a touch awkward. The old familiar tones are coming back to her as she hears them and tests them upon her tongue.
She will figure it out. After she has stopped these men from whatever it is they were doing! A swing of her right arm toward the truck is all the hawk needs to pump its wings and take itself toward the man hiding behind the monstrosity with a shovel. While the hawk won't chase him around the corner, its hovering presence might be enough to keep him from thinking of coming out to help his partner in crime.
Meanwhile, the forest champion is back on the offense, refusing to be intimidated by the blow he landed. It is from a meter out that she drops into a low crouch, planting her hands in the cool grass, and swings her legs forward, attempting to kick the man's shins hard enough to take his feet right out from under him, delivering an invitation to return to the hard ground that is equally disinterested in his presence here!
COMBATSYS: Henchman blocks Nakoruru's Medium Kick.
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Nakoruru [E] 0/-------/=======|=======\=------\1 Henchman
"Yet?" The foreigner might yet see on the same level of confusion as the young girl he has shown nothing but malice and contempt for (which does not look to subside any time soon), taking one step back and casting a look off towards his partner. He raises a finger, as if to ask him. Maybe it's time for the local to weigh in.
The local peers out every so often to confirm the hawk's presence, shaking and uncertain. The shovel is clutched tightly, as though the one thing between him and the hawk. (He is not even confident about the steel of the strange horse.)
The low kick comes in reasonably clean in his moment of distraction. For Nakoruru's confusion, there is no shortage of clarity on the nature of what must be dealt with. The only mitigation available to this man (or monster?) before her is that he catches himself in a vulnerable crouch after tripping back, one knee and his left hand hitting the cold stone that didn't seem to like him being there the first time either.
Could these two men be considered friends? One seemed more interested in trying to defuse the situation rather than go through with the grimmest aspect of whatever their mission is. Compare and contrast the maiden and the bird, whose wills seem to act as one.
Some evidence of a unifying purpose between them, however fleeting as a means of convenience to whatever end they may have involving these strange containers and that unnaturally noisy construct, comes in the form of the local yelling and hurtling the shovel into the air.
It goes far too low to be any sort of meaningful threat to Mamahaha as it twirls, then skips across the stone ground up against the upper thigh of the bowed foreign man(?).
"If you really don't know," he says as he clumsily grasps at the handle. Not even the earth beneath him would allow the wedge to find purchase and be a reliable crutch, nature's unspoken assistance to its champion, "let's sum it up."
It may be less ability, and more a driving compulsion, that sees this man rise for a destructive cause. Who benefits from despoiling nature, depriving the creatures and even other human beings of food, water, shelter, and beauty? What kind of world is this, that one can find /worth/ in propagating? These are questions he doesn't seem intent to ask of himself, hefting the shovel.
The level of technique observed in the way the shovel is held does not speak highly of this being's ability any greater than of its character (of which one would find lacking), but the protector of nature could not mistake the glint in their otherwise nondescript blue eyes for anything else.
Swinging it wide horizontally around head level, this is a blow with what should be a humble instrument of labor with intent to concuss, disable, maybe even kill, as a streak of cold iron paints its fleeting image against the blue skies.
Much like a world she knew, there were those who could communicate fluently just from the stroke of a weapon. The words spoken before her in pantomine are thus foul, derogatory, and altogether the intended punctuation of a statement.
For one backed by a greater word, spoken in the oral tradition through the ages, this could not stand to be the last say.
COMBATSYS: Henchman successfully hits Nakoruru with Disorienting Blow.
-* CRITICAL HIT! *-
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Nakoruru [E] 1/----===/=======|-------\-------\0 Henchman
The momentum of her low thrust kick lends itself to rocking back to her feet quickly, pushing off his shins to rebound her feet cleanly beneath her, rising back up to her feet in one smooth, uninterrupted motion. He had already experienced some of her striking potential, the small combatant somehow managing to compensate with lack of stature with precision, combinations, and, like the last attack, using her whole body to lend power to her blows. Of course, he managed to clobber her solidly with that effective, straight on punch, so how tough could she even be anyway?
A sidelong glance is cast toward her companion in arms, the loyal hawk playing warden to the other criminal. The bird has yet to chase the man around the metal monstrosity - perhaps simply because the young falconer has not asked her to. Every time the local man peeks around, putting his limited courage to the test, he is greeted with another ear splitting screech as the lengthy wings continue to keep the animal aloft between him and the other two engaged in battle.
She's just in the process of looking back toward the more immediate threat when the shovel thunks down, rebounding against the ground to come to rest against the hired operative. Having slipped back to evaluate the lay of things, the beribboned champion of the grove is too far to prevent him from seizing the handle and lifting the crude but effective weapon. Sliding her left foot forward, she leans, as if preparing herself for the strike to come. An improvised weapon like that? That has to be swung long and wide? It should prove to be no challenge for her to deal with such a transparent attack. Preparing, she reaches her right arm back slightly, near the level of her waist, winding up for something to handle this decisively. "For me, you leave no choice." she murmurs, showing no inclination of being run off like the larger local by the truck would have certainly preferred.
The young looking Hokkaido native's response is fluid and perfectly timed, her right arm snapping up in a smooth arc, her body pivoting to the left as she steps into the attack with the intent to deflect and leave the man reeling as his blow is knocked aside...
And if her fingers had closed on the handle of the weapon she had trained all her life to put to use, it might have played out exactly the way her reflexes expected it to.
Instead, the unarmed swing of her right hand does nothing to stay the swing of the shovel, and her forward step, intended to both add momentum to her maneuvering, but also put her close within striking range, only serves to turn the back of her head to the shovel head's path. The success of his strike is rendered loud and clear with the metallic ringing of iron against bone.
Driven to the left, the defender in white is taken clean off her feet, flying a meter or more before dropping into the unexpectedly thick carpet of grass that had not seemed to be quite so lush a moment before. Rolling sideways, she comes to a disheveled rest face down on the ground. It would be reasonable to expect that to be the end of it - if the thorn in the foreigner's side wasn't dead, she would at least be incapacitated, an easy target finish off either way so that he could be about his business.
Immediately aware, the hawk keeping the loca at bay suddenly zips forward into a loop that brings it rushing back over to the fallen fighter, its warcry taking on a concerned edge as it comes to hover three meters in the air over the brained girl. Yet, for all of the bird's commotion, she doesn't make any motion to attack the shovel knight responsible for the blow, merely facing him and flapping her wings as she maintains her hovering position over her perceived ally.
That it wasn't a lethal strike is reflected by the eventual stirring, gloved hands moving, fingers running through the blades of grass as she starts to push herself up slowly. Maybe she knows she doesn't have long, groggy and unaware as she might be of her immediate circumstances. Blood trickles down the back of her neck and around to her throat from a gouge no doubt left by the painful impact. Her breaths come in pants as she tries to lift her face toward her assailant, eyes widening slightly as pushes herself up to her hands and knees.
A twin flash of vibrant, wildly chromatic energy explodes out from around the kneeling girl and the bird of prey above her, "Mamahaha, please!"
As if having waited to hear that call with every essence of her being, the fierce predator dives from the sky with intent to kill, talons stretched, vibrant energy coursing around the hawk's body. Her course sure, her resolve every bit as unbreakable as the girl who issued the call to arms, Mamahaha aims to smash directly into the chest of the man, sharp nails seeking to hook into the curious material of his suit while the entire rainbow of chi trailing the bird like a comet would come crashing down into a singular explosion of summoned energy large enough to obscure the toxic waste vandal from sight briefly were he unable to escape the raptor's wrath.
For her own part, dizzy as she may feel, the maiden of the forest struggles the rest of the way to her feet, hand resting at the back of her head briefly.
COMBATSYS: Nakoruru successfully hits Henchman with Irusuka Yatoro Rimse EX.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > / ]
Nakoruru [E] 0/-------/-----==|======-\-------\0 Henchman
What other smaller creatures were left with courage to be in the presence of an immediate predator and the strangely-dressed intruders all flee at the very sound of the shovel's impact.
The blade hits the dirt. It is rejected by the topsoil, and has to settle with laying flat on the ground for someone among them to suffer the inconvenience of bending down to retrieve it.
"It's done," the foreigner says with a tired, agitated tone, an immediate dismissal of an important aspect of the entire encounter with a slight limp as he gestures back to the forklift, "let's get back to work."
The local only gets one step out from cover before the cry of the hawk - mourning? Rage? - sees them think better of it, to continue to spectate in cowardice.
An eyebrow quirks under the see-through screen of the damaged rubber-like outfit at the stirring...
When the heroine beseeches, the knave bolts.
He does not get more than four paces - no, three-and-a-half - when the raptor strikes. He could not have outrun the hawk even if he had thirty or forty! A miracle of nature's bounties coalesced into the form of one of its more majestic predators, the lights dance across the visual spectrum into a near-blinding finale. In that moment of impact, the local over yonder might have seen the shedding of the material that adorns the man, and a dark crimson that would be lost within the harmonious colorations in a balance unwitnessed by human eyes for... a long time.
There is a loud scream, lost to the hawk's cries in part. One would remember if they heard it again, but why would one hear this exact same thing once more? It sounds as much a death rattle as any other that escapes the throat in its final moments of service.
Behind Nakoruru, something shuffles through the grass... then away from it? A loud sound of impact, followed by another rise in volume of the strange metal beast's roar... which descends, sharply, into silence.
If she were to turn her head, it all seems to disappear as though a hallucination dispelled.
Even the grass where the round feet of the construct intruded appears to straighten and cover its scars to the point of invisibility.
The more outwardly wicked of the two appears little more than a bad memory, gone from the senses beyond some of the material being caught around one of the hawk's claws - the fragment of the hazmat suit bloodied as a grim souvenir. (If Mamahaha is so curious as to whether this unfamiliar piece of flesh - this odd, rubbery bit - is part of this world's natural food chain to establish whether it should predate upon more of them, that answer will come very easily with only a moment's experimentation.)
COMBATSYS: Henchman takes no action.
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Nakoruru [E] 0/-------/-----==|
COMBATSYS: Henchman can no longer fight.
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Nakoruru [E] 0/-------/-----==|
The effort of getting the rest of the way to her feet is a slow, clumsy process, and by the time she does so and turns to face the glade, only she, her avian ally, and the idling forklift remain. Quietly, she lifts her hand to touch the back of her head tenderly, wincing at the ringing still going on between her ears after that solid shovel thwacking. Crossing her hands over her chest, she begins to inhale deeply, relieved to have succeeded in driving the threats off. Unfortunately, it is at moment the cloud of exhaust left by the retreating device wafts over her, eliciting a spasm of sudden coughing that forces her to cover her mouth and nose as she stumbles forward out of the powerful smelling fumes.
The coughing seems to spur the victorious hawk into another cycle of concern, winging back around to the Ainu fighter with another alert cry. Recovering, a lean right arm is raised, giving her companion a perch on which to land. With talons digging into the thick wrist guard, the raven haired girl lowers her hand to smile at the bird, "Are you okay, Mamahaha?" only to notice the sizeable chunk of that strange material caught in the bird's claws. "What do you have there..." she muses in her native Ainu as the curious hawk begins pecking and prying at the material with her razor sharp beak. Attempts to tug it away are met with a short screech of complaint at the young woman, clearly claiming the strip as a victory totem for a job well done, the defiance eliciting a soft giggle of amusement from her handler.
Breathing in again, her arm held out to her side, the grove's defender looks over the hallowed location in quiet contemplation. The smashed totems as noticed, but it is the idling forklift that draws a frown to her lips. Hesitantly, she approaches the noisy device, the hawk on her forearm eying it with matching suspicion. The barrels on the lift continue to sit, laden with labels warning of countless environmental hazards. "We can't leave this here," she observes to her bird, glancing over what appears to be a seat placed before a number of levers she can't even begin to divine the purpose of, "But I don't think I can move it either."
Mamahaha chirps agreeably.
"I'm sure we can find someone to help. Let's go, Mamahaha." Turning, the battle tested fighter begins to wander along the direction that the truck vanished along minutes ago, the hawk continuing to enjoy the free ride on her arm.
"I wonder what year it is... hopefully it hasn't been too long." she continues to chat in her native tongue with the only company she has. "It would be wonderful to see some of our friends again. I hope they're okay." It doesn't take long to step out of the forest, much of the old trees having been cleared so that the rich soil of Hokkaido can be made available for farmland. Stepping out past the tall trees, the girl's eyes widen as she looks across a large field of beautiful lavender flowers for as far as her eye can see. "Wow..." she murmurs softly, walking along to ascend a small knoll to give herself a better vantage over the sea of light purple.
In the distance is the far off signs of civilization - a farming community, the architecture looking nothing like what she had expected to see. "People must be very hard working these days... to plant so many flowers," she marvels, turning in a circle to take in the sight. "I can't wait to see how the world has changed-"
Her voice cuts out only to be replaced by a roar in the air above, a massive metal winged object flying by overhead at unimaginable speed!
By the time the monstrosity of the sky has passed by, its localized thunder retreating into the horizon, the petrified girl has taken to crouching low against the ground, hands over her head, Mamahaha's wings extended over her upper back and head as well as the two wanderers from another time look up hesitantly to watch the agricultural aircraft shrinks into the distance.
Lowering her hands, she stands up slowly, the brown hawk folding her wings tightly against her body, watching the sky warily. "Mamahaha, I... am starting think we might have been away for a very long time..." Nakoruru murmurs.
COMBATSYS: Nakoruru has ended the fight here.
Log created on 17:37:18 08/27/2016 by Nakoruru, and last modified on 01:47:26 08/31/2016.