Mortal Kombat - MK Round 1: Baiken vs Scorpion

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Description: Some of us came to the island for promises of vengeance. Of recompense for some slight. A powerful agent from beyond the grave has risen, looking for someone. But there is another agent at play. SCORPION. BAIKEN. Perhaps you'd like to meet one another on the field of battle. Please. Make yourselves comfortable in the temple.

Scorpion had found himself unimpressed with this island as a whole, and even worse, his search for the Lin Kuei dog Sub-Zero had proven fruitless. So why had he boarded that ship, and why had he stayed? The only answer the spectre could come up with, was that he was being compelled to somehow. This new 'world' he was a part of, after clawing his way up from Hell, seemed to have endless rules and loopholes and technicalities. It made his head hurt trying to keep track of everything, but the thought of revenge kept him going. For himself...and for his family.

Currently he stood, garbed in yellow and black, his face hidden beneath a yellow mask and a black hood, his milky-white eyes staring unblinkingly at a painting on a wall. Everything here was priceless and expensive, and yet there was no warmth or comfort found in these halls. Truly, even a supernatural entity such as himself, found a place like this rather unsettling. And the sooner he left, the better.

Baiken did not mean to come here.

By which she means 'Shang Tsung's Island'. She did not volunteer for this experience. There was no tournament signup for her, and she never offered to follow Shang Tsung's directives; she simply appeared with her weapons. Here, in fact; in the temple, though thankfully neither on the main altar nor the coffin.

But once she was here, she stayed. She had reasons, even if she didn't care to tell anyone what they were. She'd stalked the island. And now, she's back in the temple, accepting her role as Kombatant.

Baiken did not warn Scorpion of her coming, and even he might have trouble finding where she came from, though now that she's here she isn't hiding at all. As he looks at the painting, she stands against one of the support pillars. She is smoking, a vaguely aromatic blend and heedless of the fact that you don't do that in a temple. She does not care enough about the sanctity of Outworld to be bothered. Her single eye is open and watching Scorpion.

After a few moments, she taps the ash out, grinding it underfoot on the stone.

The ninja didn't move immediately, just continued to appraise the artwork in front of him(some grand, opulent thing showing a mass battlefield from the Crusades...except the battle had obviously been finished some time ago. Red was a very dominant color throughout the piece), but finally the masked man slowly turned to regard the ronin. With a single sword hanging off of his shoulder, and what looked like a shorter wakizashi stuffed in the front of his sash(with some crystal red sheath), not to mention the kunai hanging off the back of his belt, it was clear that this man was armed and deadly. Absent mindedly adjusting the painted black wooden gauntlets he wore, he spoke softly towards the visitor.

"I've been waiting on you for a while. I pray your handicaps have not dulled your skills, swordsman."

His voice had a strange quality to it, all at once sounding distant, too quiet and too loud at the same time. Those horrible eyes had no pupils or irises, but somehow it was impossible not to feel them staring at you intently, even as he slowly closed the distance. It appears he wanted to waste no time. He idly wondered if she were as ready as he.

COMBATSYS: Scorpion has started a fight here.

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Scorpion         0/-------/-------|


Baiken makes a sound that could be amusement or good humour, but from her it sounds more dismissive. Anyone who calls her missing eye and arm 'handicaps' is someone who is underestimating her, which is fine by her. She is used to being thought of as a half-cripple, after all, or small and weak - Scorpion's most of a foot taller and probably weighs at least twice what she does. If nothing else, in a swordfight he has reach.

She tucks the kiseru into her robe, straightening it slightly. As Scorpion watches her, she rolls her neck, then her arm, loosening up slightly. Scorpion's white eyes don't faze her as she meets his gaze. Almost nothing does, and that's not even the strangest thing she's seen today. This island is unsettling enough.

"Let's get this over with," she says. "Then you won't have to wait any longer." Her tone isn't quite mocking but it's the next thing to it.

COMBATSYS: Baiken has joined the fight here.

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Scorpion         0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0           Baiken

Baiken has her rituals and behaviors, so does Scorpion. Mainly, the muscles in his body loosen up and he takes a more liquid, versatile stance that allows him to react in whatever way is best. He also begins pacing, circling around the samurai while clenching and unclenching his fists. He makes no sound when he walks, gives no evidence that gravity or physics treat him the same as the average karate fighter just starting to learn about their chi. No, Scorpion moves like like a veteran, someone who's, more or less, mastered themselves.

As he slowly, lazily circles around the swordswoman, he passes past a stone pillar...and doesn't appear on the other side. Instead he's running directly behind the woman, running and leaping off of the pillar she herself had been leaning against moments ago. Springing through the air, he throws a sudden kick for the side of her skull, a quick hard snap just to remind her what pain felt like. Despite the power he exerts, this kick wasn't powerful, it was just a test, part of a game. And when he landed, he'd land flawlessly. And again, without making a single sound.

COMBATSYS: Scorpion successfully hits Baiken with Low Kick.

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Scorpion         0/-------/-------|==-----\-------\0           Baiken

Baiken doesn't stand lazily, but she does stand without tension as Scorpion moves. She turns, carefully, to keep him in view; she does have a blind side, and though it doesn't bother her very much, it is something she is aware of. She doesn't want to let him disappear into it.

And then he does anyway - or does he? That movement was so fast as to be unnatural. She spins, locating him, and actually manages to spot him as he descends from the air - but not fast enough, and his snapping kick catches her on the side of the head.

It didn't hit hard enough to knock her out. It didn't even daze her, really, not for long - it stung, but that was all. But Baiken's eye narrows as her respect for Scorpion grudgingly goes up a notch. If he can move that fast, he's someone to watch; an actual threat, not a walk in the park. It changes her attitude almost immediately.

Her own counterattack is fast. She leaps, too, as he lands - but she doesn't try to hit him from the front. She actually leaps over him in a somersaulting flip, drawing her sword as she spins. When the slash comes, it's upward from the back as Baiken is momentarily almost upside down, an effect of her finishing her rotation and ending up behind Scorpion and facing away from him - though she spins quickly to face him from behind, scowling.

She is almost always scowling, but this time it's in concentration.

COMBATSYS: Scorpion blocks Baiken's Ouren.

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Scorpion         0/-------/------=|====---\-------\0           Baiken

COMBATSYS: Scorpion equips a warm Blood Red Soul Shard.

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Scorpion [E]     0/-------/------=|====---\-------\0           Baiken

Scorpion had decided to say something, when he turned around to face his opponent, only to find her leaping and flipping through the air. Instantly he reacted, and his experience and reflexes paid off this time. When her sword came up, Scorpion reached behind his right shoulder, drawing his own blade at the same time as he twisted and pivoted his body. The sound of metal on metal filled that temple and sparks flew from the clash. That saved his neck and body from being sliced into like a dead pig, but he still rolled away to save himself from any further damage. And when he came back up, there was blood dripping down from the man's right bicep, a somewhat deep cut showing that he didn't get away from the ronin's attack completely unscathed. He was looking down at the cut, before looking up at his opponent. And he proceeded to nod once, in respect.

Then he was crossing ground, and this time directly dashing at his pink-haired opponent. His sword already drawn and gripped in his right hand, it might be surprising that he also drew the short blade in the red sheath, and soon he was swinging sword and blade in a flurry of feints and trapping swings, strokes designed to be parried and blocked to allow for the REAL attack: a slashing swing that was aimed for the woman's stomach. It appeared that a vengeance ghost's respect came at a price!

COMBATSYS: Scorpion successfully hits Baiken with Doom Slice.

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Scorpion [E]     0/-------/-----==|====---\-------\0           Baiken

After Baiken's aerial slash, she doesn't let up. She's in constant motion once she touches down, getting her back towards one of the pillars so that Scorpion can't easily come at her from behind again. This pays off immediately, in that he doesn't; instead he's rushing her from the front, which at least mean she sees it coming.

Baiken's reaction is to try to maneuver around the series of slashes. She parries a few of the feints, and she favours a surprisingly strong parry for someone her size; she doesn't try to lightly guide the blade away from her and use the contact as a guide for her evasion, she swings strongly to try to actually manage a hard deflect. And she's strong enough to do it, which is only a surprise if you haven't ever seen her fight before.

But it means she's a hair slow when the real slash comes, because she commits to her parries. She knew that some were feints, but that doesn't mean she can recover in time. The blade gets under her defenses and cuts into Baiken's stomach, deep enough to draw blood but not deep enough to disembowel her. Still, the red stains her robe almost immediately, and she growls, deep in her throat.

Even the wound doesn't stop her. Having already committed to strong strokes, she attempts another; turning her body slightly so that her left side is towards Scorpion, she swings from her right hip upward in an arc and puts her entire body into the turn, a single powerful blow accompanied with a kiai.

COMBATSYS: Baiken successfully hits Scorpion with Tetsuzansen.

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Scorpion [E]     0/-------/--=====|=======\-------\0           Baiken

COMBATSYS: Scorpion channels the spread of the lightning nerves.

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Scorpion [E]     0/-------/--=====|=======\-------\0           Baiken

The attack landed but that didn't mean Scorpion had any time to celebrate, because a fraction of a moment later the samurai's blade was traveling up diagonally across his torso. The ninja was already leaping backwards to avoid the slashing blow, and his outfit was made from treated animal hide underneath thick quilted cloth. All these factors combined meant that he wasn't cut immediately in half, but there was still a shocking spray of blood through the air even as he was sent hurtling and flipping from the sheer impact, and hit the ground on his back. There he laid for a moment groaning, his sword knocked from his hand and clattering off in the distance, even while the wakizashi remained.

Baiken might notice a strange thing, the ghost bringing the knife quickly up, and running the flat of that shining blade through his own blood before stabbing it down into its sheath. Hilt and sheath both glowed briefly, and he was back up to his feet, kipping up in an impressive display of agility. His eyes were now glaring hatred at the woman, and she might feel the temperature raising rapidly. To the point where things shimmered in the distance, even as the yellow-clad ninja raised his right hand, open palm. And he spoke one word.


As if on cue, from beneath the woman's feet flames would lap upward, Hell itself revealed for a fraction of a fraction of a second before the ground was solid once more. But the woman would still have dancing flames to contend with. Not very pleasant.

COMBATSYS: Baiken blocks Scorpion's Demon Fire.

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Scorpion [E]     0/-------/--=====|=======\-------\1           Baiken

Rule one: Never relent.

Baiken puts her entire body behind that slash before almost ritually returning her short katana to its scabbard. (And it is a little short, because Baiken is of course incapable of ever holding it in two hands and thus had it made to very easily be used with one.) She doesn't speak, but then again in combat she rarely does.

But that doesn't mean she's stopped. As soon as it's sheathed, she moves forward to minimize the distance between them. She has a plan, and it apparently involves getting into arms' reach with Scorpion. Him blooding his own blade is noted, and though she can't figure out why he's done it she has some ideas. Some kind of magic; she can feel the edge of it -

And when Hell erupts around her, she's ready for it.

Baiken throws herself forward, not touching down on the stone floor until the gateway vanishes. It leaves her scorched but not caught in the full wash of flame - though the roll did cause the wound to her stomach to bleed a little more intensely for a moment. Still, she rises to at least her knee, bringing the scabbarded sword up in a surprisingly fast arc to bludgeon Scorpion's legs out from under him and let her rise to her feet uncontested. Or that's the idea, anyway.

COMBATSYS: Baiken successfully hits Scorpion with Random Strike.

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Scorpion [E]     0/-------/=======|=======\=------\1           Baiken

Scorpion returns to his senses after the geyser closes, but not in time to react in time to prevent his legs from being swept out right from under him.


A bit less...dignified than he'd been thus far, when he landed hard on that stone floor, on his shoulders and neck, but to his credit he quickly recovered. He rolled in-place to a kneeling position, even as he rocketed himself upward fist-first. That uppercut was aimed for the ronin's chin, and he moved in a blur of speed that wasn't usual, even for a quick fighter such as himself. She might notice the weapon on his sash glowing once again, before he attempts to send the poor girl airborn. That landing probably wouldn't be pretty.

COMBATSYS: Scorpion channels the glare of the vicious eye.

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Scorpion [E]     0/-------/=======|=======\=------\1           Baiken

COMBATSYS: Baiken dodges Scorpion's Uppercut.

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Scorpion [E]     0/-------/--=====|=======\=------\1           Baiken

As Scorpion rockets upward, Baiken throws herself sideways, and a lot further than one might expect from a simple evasion. Because of Scorpion's speed, it's /still/ close; his fist passes by her face close enough that she feels it brush her pink hair as it streams out behind her, but not quite enough to let him grab it.

She's moving practically from one pillar to another; after the leap she runs the last few steps, ending about twelve feet away from Scorpion, spinning suddenly with a clink of chain -

Wait, chain?

A strange object drops out of Baiken's previously empty sleeve. It looks like a flattened box on the end of a chain as thick as two fingers, which connects to something further up the chain - maybe her shoulder. On the other side of the box from the chain are a trio of rough hook 'fingers', the 'hand' causing the clinking as it descends on the chain. Baiken grins, sudden and fierce. NOW she's ready.

Baiken uses her free hand to spin the 'hand' on the chain once and throw it at Scorpion. Past Scorpion, really - because she yanks with that hand, trying to catch the hooks in the back of his shoulder and drag him toward her by main strength, positioning him just as she likes it. "Come here!"

COMBATSYS: Scorpion blocks Baiken's Kabari.

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Scorpion [E]     0/-------/-======|=======\===----\1           Baiken

She may have planned to throw past the ninja, but he had other ideas. Disappointed that his big punch didn't land, he nonetheless pressed the advantage that her tactical withdraw gave him. He stalked toward her even as she unveils her surprise. And the ghost instantly dashes into it. His left hand is on her right side, and he brings that arm up to 'catch' the trajectory of the weighted metal box. The chain wraps around his gauntlet, and those spikes hit the palm of his hand with vicious impact. But his fingers closed over the crude weaponized 'paw', and his eyes narrowed. When she pulled, he flexed his impressive muscles and remained right where he was even as the fingers of his right hand twitched just a little- the only tell for what was about to happen.

"You dare?!"

moments later a kunai was traveling through that dark temple, hurtling out a lot faster than the monstrosity she threw at him, coils of dark brown rope following behind as it tries to hit it's mark. And behind that, Scorpion's voice would echo off of the thick walls in a decidely lower octave, rage and fury behind every single word. If she wished to appropriate the techniques of the Shirai Ryu, he would have to show her how to do it properly.


COMBATSYS: Baiken blocks Scorpion's Spear EX.

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Scorpion [E]     0/-------/-======|=======\===----\1           Baiken

The 'claw' is, thankfully, not especially sharp except for the points. Baiken decided not to risk accidentally cutting through a target, plus she tends to blunt it anyhow by using it to grapple things that aren't her opponents - like ceilings, pillars, and streetlights.

As a result, it doesn't cut Scorpion, though it might leave some punctures if he grips the caught claw a little too tightly. When not thrown with force or perhaps spun around, it's not a terribly effective weapon.

Baiken snarls, "I dare to fight back. Does that frighten you?" When he throws his spear, Baiken realizes he's still holding her claw - and so she does something unexpected. She tries to pull on it again - but this time she hops first.

Rather than pull Scorpion to her, instead Baiken pulls herself to Scorpion, using the momentum to turn her body slightly. His own spear clips her shoulder (the one with her living arm) but cuts a long line across it instead of impaling properly. It's bloody, but survivable, and now she's hurtling at Scorpion.

She touches down right in front of him, blade out. Her swings are sudden and violent and accompanied with a roar - one horizontal left to right, another right to left, and then a massive overhand suitable for cutting the particularly weak right in half. Scorpion is safe from that, but it's still a hell of a blow, and now there's something red glittering in her sword, embedded in the kashira of the blade; a disc of red crystal in the cap on the pommel, shining in the soft light of the temple.

COMBATSYS: Baiken equips a warm Garnet Soul Shard.

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Scorpion [E]     0/-------/-======|=======\===----\1       [E] Baiken

COMBATSYS: Scorpion blocks Baiken's Tsurane Sanzu Watashi.

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Scorpion [E]     1/-------/=======|====---\-------\0       [E] Baiken

COMBATSYS: Scorpion channels the veins of the burning blood.

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Scorpion [E]     1/-----==/=======|====---\-------\0       [E] Baiken

"Your theft is noted, ronin. Your own techniques are as predictable as they are uninspired."

The ninja in yellowjacket colors could spit venom when he wanted, and he stood ready even as the girl hopped towards him with a furious attack. With her own chain and 'hand' clutched in his left, he took a very specific method when it came to parrying her sword strikes: He raised his left arm, ducking and weaving his body away, as he used her weapon to block the dangerous threat of her other weapon. The sound of metal on metal clashed throughout the temple, the force of which caused the ghost's left arm to nearly go numb from the heavy impacts. It wasn't doing the lethal damage that a sword should, but if he didn't act swiftly she wouldn't be the only one without an arm.

And so on her last attack he ducked beneath her, using that strength of his to try and spin her around, using his grip on her chain to pivot and try and hit her with an improvised judo-based maneuver. He wanted to slam her facedown on the temple floor. And if that worked, then he'd quickly drop down to one knee and bright his right elbow downward, the point aimed at the back of her neck and her skull, repeatedly. Quite possibly a concussion if it hit at all. Which would be bad news for her. But at least in the commotion, his left arm would relax, letting her weapon clatter to the ground.

COMBATSYS: Scorpion successfully hits Baiken with Kombo.

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Scorpion [E]     1/----===/=======|====---\-------\0       [E] Baiken

Baiken's blade locks, momentarily, with her own claw. She pulls it away. "Theft?" Baiken grins... well, she's showing teeth and her lips are pulled back. That means it's a grin, right? "I steal from nobody. Imagine what you'd like. I don't really care what you think."

She isn't lying. Baiken has never fought any of the Shirai Ryu before; she is entirely self-trained, having made her own style to suit her body out of sheer dedication to the blade and her vengeance (some might say obsession). She has no sword master, and never has.

As she goes in for the last slash, Scorpion ducks low, spinning her by her own chain. Something clinks, as if the chain was clattering against another metal object in her sleeve, but he manages to twist her over if he pushes on her body as well (the chain is too long to swing her down by it alone when she's this close). But she goes down, his elbow impacting the back of her head and smashing it into the floor.

Baiken rolls, but it's clear that she's not moving quite as fluidly as she was moments ago. She's dizzy, half-dazed, but fighting it out of sheer stubbornness. Also, her nose is broken from where it hit the floor. Sliding the blade back into its scabbard, Baiken snaps her claw arm out.

But not at Scorpion. She hooks it around a support of the upper level, pulling herself up and along in an arc. She uses her new momentum to try to kick through Scorpion like some sort of Bionic Commando and get some distance so that she has a moment to recover. She actually yanks her nose straight, though it's sheer agony to do.

COMBATSYS: Baiken successfully hits Scorpion with Strong Kick.

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Scorpion [E]     1/-======/=======|=======\-------\1       [E] Baiken

The first blow struck Baiken clean, but luckily for her she rolled away directly under the second elbow strike. That one ran into the ground and smashed stone, causing a spiderweb of impact even as the ninja sprang back to his feet. Idly and casually he flexed and shook that arm to let the dust trickle off, and quickly tightened his sash as Baiken threw that claw of hers into the ceiling. Unfortunately for the assassin, he hardly had any time to react as moments later the samurai's two feet were slammed into his chest, causing him to fly backwards from the sheer impact of the collision. His attempts to land gracefully failed entirely as he staggered backwards, finally stumblind and landing square on his back.

Instantly the room experienced a brief wave of 'cold' as Scorpion found himself dazed and unfocused. All too soon, however, that room became an oven as the man on his back began screaming in fury. His hands balled into fists, his muscles flexing even as he brought both elbows down on the ground, adrenaline(and something else) surging through his body even as he leapt to his feet again. Heat was almost coming from the man's hands and body, even as he kept them low. Moments later, all color drained from the man. The yellow of his quilted cloth turned shocking white, his skin turning grey and his blood went from bright red to black. If that wasn't shocking enough, his form began to...come apart, as if he were just the ash replica of a man, now blowing away in the breeze.

He wasn't gone for long, however, appearing from her blind side with a wooden-gauntleted punch thrown right for the samurai's face.

And incredibly, that was just the setup, because the man turned into 'ash' again, moments later flying right in front of her with an uppercut aimed for her chin. This time, however, that fist was covered with crackling Hellfire that would quickly spread to more than just the underside of her jaw if the punch connected. It was as if he were upset about something.

COMBATSYS: Scorpion successfully hits Baiken with Damnation EX.

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Scorpion [E]     1/=======/=======|=======\===----\1       [E] Baiken

COMBATSYS: Baiken channels the veins of the burning blood.

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Scorpion [E]     1/=======/=======|=======\======-\1       [E] Baiken

Baiken passes over the fallen Scorpion, landing across the temple, nearer one of the almost shrine-like collection of candles and other items that Baiken hasn't taken the time to examine. She cannot smell the incense or the sickly-sweet smell of old death through her broken nose, and is momentarily grateful for it.

She turns, expecting Scorpion to follow her. And indeed he does, though not in the matter she expected. Turning to ash is not the normal way to get around.

The fist hits her solidly on the blind side of her face, fast enough that she doesn't react. Rattled and partially dazed, Baiken staggers, knocking over a number of candles as the uppercut strikes home. It doesn't launch her, but it does ignite her, causing her to roar in pain - and, though she'll never admit it, something else. Fear.

Fire... she remembers fire. And it's the only thing in this world or any other that she fears dying from.

Sheer adrenaline snaps her out of her daze as she feels the burning spread. Baiken grips the hilt of her sword, the red crystal in the hilt shining as her hand tightens on it - and then she vanishes in a blur of motion. Scorpion can turn into ash; Baiken cannot, but she can move so fast that the human eye can barely track her.

In the same motion that she moves, Baiken draws the blade, slashing a single mighty blow at Scorpion in passing. Her body is moving too fast to be seen as anything more than a shapeless blur; the sword is barely even that, a flicker of light in the temple and nothing more. Scorpion may not even realize he's been hit, if indeed he has been, for a moment or two.

She reappears, perhaps ten feet past Scorpion. Baiken has moved so quickly that she's put the fire on her body out, but not before the burn spread across her face and down to her shoulder. Her blade is half-out of the scabbard as she appears, but she clicks it gently home a moment later.

/Then/ any injury she caused becomes very, very clear, as it spurts blood in a dramatic spray. Or whatever Scorpion has instead of blood; Baiken is no longer quite sure.

COMBATSYS: Baiken channels the strength of the killing fist.

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Scorpion [E]     1/=======/=======|=======\======-\1       [E] Baiken

COMBATSYS: Scorpion channels the glare of the vicious eye.

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Scorpion [E]     1/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|=------\-------\0       [E] Baiken

COMBATSYS: Baiken successfully hits Scorpion with Tate Shunmaku.

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Scorpion [E]     2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|=------\-------\0       [E] Baiken

The man who was once Hanzo Hasashi was fast, agile and quick on his feet. His time in Hell turned him into something more than a man, and less than one too. His strength, his speed, his reflexes, these things were superior to his mortal prowess, but he still was not capable of the whirlwind blur that approached him. He was in the middle of preparing a stance when it looked as if though Baiken stepped and appeared behind him.

A drop of blood hit the ground, immediately sizzling as blood fueled by hatred and the Netherrealm came into contact with cold stone. Scorpion staggered forward one half-step, more blood trailing down his body and down his legs, pooling in his tabi boots and hitting the ground with similar results.

He was doubled over, his right hand clutching his midsection, even as his left hand went up to that black hood that covered his face. It was almost instinctual, as a needle of blood shot off towards the left, scalding a pillar even as Scorpion gasped. Another half-step. His hands and feet were shaky now. More blood.

He raised his right hand, seeing his palm and his fingers completely covered with his own lifeforce, his own plasma. He tried to straighten himself, tried to fight through what had happened...and the bloodworks began. Geysers shot off in any random direction, melting hard rock and causing steam wherever it landed...but instead of falling, he turned around even as he undid the ties that held his hood and mask up. With a simple pull, the disguise was lifted off his 'face' and went fluttering down, to the floor. And what was now staring at Baiken was anything but human. In the center of a ball of flame, the vague details of a white skull could be seen, its black bottomless pits glaring unblinkingly, even as it opened its mouth. And Baiken's entire world would be that of fire, if she didn't do something. It shot from his mouth, starting at her feet and quickly rising. It behaved like napalm, feeding on anything and clinging to you tighter than a guilty conscience at the scene of a crime. In this small temple of 'peace', an inferno was soon raging!

COMBATSYS: Scorpion has reached second wind!

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Scorpion [E]     0/-------/-<<<<<<|=------\-------\0       [E] Baiken

And through it all...Scorpion vanished?!

No, he was a distance away from her, making sure to appear in her limited line of sight. His mask and hood re-fastened, his face once again that of flesh and blood, instead of bone and flame. He was still holding his midsection, still standing in a less than strong pose, and it's clear that Baiken did some deep damage to the 'man'.

But he was standing all the same. Even after all that.

COMBATSYS: Baiken blocks Scorpion's Toasty!.

[                       \\\\\\\  < >  ////////                      ]
Scorpion [E]     0/-------/-<<<<<<|===----\-------\0       [E] Baiken

Baiken knows better than to assume her targets are down after that. She's sheathed her sword, but that doesn't mean she's done fighting; it only means she's shifted her focus for a moment.

And it turns out that, though the last time she did this the target /did/ drop, Scorpion did not. Not immediately. Bloody as he is, he keeps moving, and Baiken respects that. Even as his blood eats away at the inside of the temple, she stands, as impassive as she can manage.

Though, the revelation of Scorpion's face does a good deal to rattle her. She refuses to show it as much as she can, but there's a certain amount of shock there anyhow. "Monster," she growls, shifting her feet, preparing to dash despite her own injuries.

It's a good thing she did, because a moment later, she feels like she's running through Hell.

The inferno licks at her as Baiken forces herself to run through it despite the core of terror, the tiny part of her that wants to curl up and hide from the fire that she'd never admit existed to anyone. It burns; she can feel her feet scorching as she runs, the bottoms of her sandals smoking and charred, the fire licking at her legs.

But she does not stop. She has her arm held across her like she was guarding herself with it, sleeve dangling, and she doesn't cut at Scorpion so much as slam into him - or that's the idea, anyhow. He's still up - somehow, she has no idea how - but she's in a fury, and she's fighting with strength all beyond what it looks like she should be able to put out. "Go DOWN!"

COMBATSYS: Scorpion blocks Baiken's Suzuran.

[                         \\\\\  < >  /////////                     ]
Scorpion [E]     0/-------/<<<<<<<|====---\-------\0       [E] Baiken

It was clear that the ninja was exhausted, but even as the smaller woman barrels into him, even as her impressive strength causes his feet to skid across the stone floor as she pushes him backward, he's still able to sprawl from the tackle like any trained wrestler, his muscles and abdominals tensed even as his arms wrap around her to rebalance himself and prevent her from tipping him over. True, in this fight he wasn't able to demonstrate exactly how extensive his background and training were, but a warrior like herself would no doubt be able to recognize how many forms of combat the spectre truly understood.

And right now he was putting that wrestling skill to good use, trying to grab around the girl's waist and use that strength of his to lift her up into the air. If this worked he'd pivot, shouting out even as he hurled her back into the flames that even now were continuing to consume the lower stone structure of this temple. Priceless works of art and ancient things were being used as fuel by the mindless, dancing tongues of fire. And if Baiken wasn't careful, she might be added to that list!

COMBATSYS: Baiken fails to interrupt Back Throw from Scorpion with Sakura.

[                        \\\\\\  <
Scorpion [E]     0/-------/-======|

COMBATSYS: Baiken can no longer fight.

[                        \\\\\\  <
Scorpion [E]     0/-------/-======|

Baiken may be exhausted, too. She's not showing it very much. She's absolutely determined, almost manic to keep fighting despite her mounting injuries and exertion. She should have dropped a while ago; it's a minor miracle that she's still battling at all.

Baiken knows how to fight back when she's grabbed. Her short blade is an advantage here, honestly; despite the proximity she can actually draw it, rotate it, and prepare to stab Scorpion to convince him to let her go.

She doesn't get a chance. Determination only goes so far, and she's a little too sluggish; she stabs, pink chi dancing along the blade, but by that point Scorpion has started to lift her, picking her up, throwing her into the flames.

Baiken yells as she flies, and impacts with a thump. She rolls quite some distance, caught in the fire as it dances around her. It's an inferno, and she can barely breathe.

She doesn't even try to fight. She can't, anyway. She can't see anything but wavering lights and smoke, and it's a wonder she held onto her sword at all; the only reason she did is because she's too stubborn to give up anything that's hers. Baiken starts dragging herself, forcing herself to keep moving despite the pain; she is going roughly away from Scorpion, toward the stairs downward she can just barely see as a dark but unburning blackness. She might even get there, if Scorpion doesn't interrupt her.

Moving like that opened up injuries, and Scorpion could barely stand. But slowly his fists clenched, and he started to compose himself. His wounds were healing as they spoke, the cuts instantly cauterized thanks to the boiling heat inside his body. Could a ghost even suffer from infections or illness? He had no idea, but it certainly wasn't going to happen today. And as Baiken started to crawl, the ninja started gathering his equipment, which had been scattered throughout the fight. His kunai, his sword, although he gripped it in his fist as he began to gradually limp towards her.

Baiken was almost at the stairs...until Scorpion's foot stepped gently upon her back. Right between the shoulder blades, just enough to exert his strength, without damaging any vertabrae. Slowly, he'd lower the tip of that sword, until it was hanging down next to her head. Of course, he'd choose her right side, so she could see what was happening while he spoke.

"You have fought well, ronin. Tell me the name of my opponent, so that I may remember her courage, and skill."

His voice was iron, his will was steel. It was as if he didn't even feel the pain and the lacerations wracking his body at the moment.

Baiken was planning to (attempt to) escape down the stairs to get away from both the flames and Scorpion. She may not like admitting when she's beaten. She may hate showing weakness. But she knows when to admit, at least to herself, that she can't fight any longer.

Scorpion finds her before she gets there. By this point she is out of the fire, but not out of where the fire might spread if it's left uncontrolled (and the priests don't put it out). She freezes at the step on her back, pressing her down against the stone. She can see the sword next to her head. She knows what that means, at least here.

Part of her wants to spit, to not give Scorpion what he wants. But instead she actually answers, not quite spitting the word (from pain and fatigue as much as anger): "Baiken." She uses no family name - nothing else at all besides the name that may or may not be the one she was born with - and doesn't give anything else. Her entire body is tense. She expects that sword to come at her, and if it does she has very little hope of getting out of its way, though she does intend to try if it comes to that.

She gives her name, and Scorpion nods, remembering the woman who took him to his limits. Moments later the foot was off her back, and Scorpion was slowly limping towards the woman's escape, finally sheathing that sword without looking. His blood still trickled down his fingertips, leaving a sizzling trail for Baiken to follow. Before leaving, the ninja spoke one more time, without turning around. His right fist was clenched.

"I have shown you mercy today, Baiken, and forgiven you for the insult you have paid the Shirai Ryu. But if I must fight you a second time, and I must eliminate you to achieve my goals? I will not show that mercy again."

And with that...he was gone.

COMBATSYS: Scorpion has ended the fight here.

Log created on 17:26:20 09/22/2016 by Baiken, and last modified on 11:14:08 09/23/2016.