Mortal Kombat - Daniel Jack Investigates: The End! (Last Issue)

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Description: Daniel Jack has finally found the woman who has ruined his life. But I'm already past that. The deed is done. Never will I be betrayed by her again. Never will I suffer at her hands. I know in my heart that I have done the right thing. But society will not agree. I cannot allow myself to suffer more. So I will not. My only action left is a journey into the next world. I'm sorry Margerat. I'm sorry that I could never be the husband you wanted me to be. But that never excused what you did to me in.... The End. (The cover shows Daniel Jack in the middle of an apartment kitchen, bringing a cocked snub-nosed revolver gun to his head. Assisting him is the ghostly figures of The Scarlet Dahlia, the White Angel of Death, Lieutenant Lita, Fio Tessitore, and the Black Lotus, each in a strapless red gown, each surrounding him, each guiding the gun towards its destination at the side of his head as they embrace him. There is a trail of blood in the room, leading out of sight. ) (50 cents)

Shang Tsungs palace. The sky is dark and cloudy, with small droplets of rain pattering here and there in places. The wind is howling, its currents making the leaves on a nearby tree fly past the entrance in a rather dramatic manner. Lightening flashes between the clouds above, illuminating the sky and ground in bursts.

There, in the shadows near the entrance stands the Black Lotus. Her eyes, normally yellow with cat-like slitted pupils, are instead black orbs with a red slit down the middle, the souls her gem has consumed, the lust for more power and more spilled blood, starting to affect her physical body to say nothing of her (in)sanity. She is paying careful attention to who comes and goes, seeming to delight in the fact that so many seem unaware of her presence, while she is fully aware of theirs!

Daniel Jack still didn't understand why he was still hunting.

The detective was in a whirlwind on the island. At first, it was so simple. Get kidnapped, wake up in a cage, and then get dumped out. Then fight a princess, who was attractive AND wanted to kill you as a moral righteousness. It was so simple then. And then Sergei died. And then Daniel lost his hand. And then Lita died and everything came crumbling down. Death, island of death. Death hung so heavy on this island.

And that's why you must do something.

Listen to the Imposter, for now. This isn't just killed or be killed anymore. This is protecting the lives of your friends, your acquaintances, you allies, your cause. You are the last bulwark of fighters of your class now. You have come with the souls in the wake of your performance in the King of Fighters. You have fought two opponents in death match; one you spared to murder your ally Zach. The other you did not spare... and met the beautiful spider woman you lust for. You need to kill. Not the imposter for now, but the murderer of Lita. She killed Lita. ANd you must avenge her. You must claim her souls. You must.

She's here.

Daniel Jack stops dead in the throne room. His arrival was sudden. His garments was orange shirt and purple slacks, both silk. The motif of moths flutter upwards the outfit. And he just stands in the midsts of the palace, in the midst of the throne room, in the midst of the presence of Shang Tsung. Was he here? Was he not? No, someone was here, and Daniel... Daniel knew it. He did not know how, but he did. "You're... here." Daniel Jack states, looking around in the shadows. "You're here. The Black Lotus. The... killer..." Daniel Jack takes a few steps to come closer to the center of the throne room, orange and red energy cascading over his form as he falls into the defensive stance of Todoh. "Show yourself, scuzzy." He speaks aloud, his eyes dancing quickly around him.

"I'm here to challenge you to Mortal Kombat."

Oh? Oh ho ho! Isn't THIS an interesting change of pace. Not only is he aware of Lotus' presence, but he is specificly LOOKING for her!? Very Interesting!

However, it's still stupid on his part..... if he had any sense, he would avoid one such as her!

The lithe figure drops from her perch above, landing soundlessly before Daniel, eyes locked on him and grinning so wide her head may split open (spoiler: it won't on it's own). "So you know of me...... to whom do i owe this pleasure, little man thing?". Slowly, Lotus tilts her head to the side, eyes unblinking "The killer you say..... you sound so angry.... are you angry? heeheehee....."


You will soon learn that angry doesn't cover what Daniel has. Your arrival from the darkness is signing your death warrant. You are the fool, not him. You are the idiot, not him. Your only comfort now, is that the feelings that run through Daniel are a mercy. A mercy, in that instead of suffering slowly swallowing his bitter rage, you will be drowning in the white hot rage of a killer. You will die swiftly, you will be torn apart. You will-

"You will only experience RAGE." The detective suddenly states aloud, a red light burning in his eyes. The presence may be silent to the likes of Lotus, but the spiritual rage was boiling to point, as he continues with words that could not be his. "You will only understand RAGE. Your universe and existence, however brief it is, will be the wretched and putrid vomit of pure fury poured into you. You murdered Lieutenant Lita, my companion, my partner, my FRIEND!" The detective bares his teeth, as red and orange chi erupts around him, pouring into the earth. The ground trembles, as the red light in his palm burns so bright, that the outline of his hand bones are seen in stark contrast. The detective faces his palms at the Black Lotus, wriggling the fingers in his other hand. "This isn't vengence."

"This is JUSTICE."

COMBATSYS: Daniel has started a fight here.

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Daniel           0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Daniel equips a shining Rose Soul Shard.

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Daniel [E]       0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Lotus has joined the fight here.

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Daniel [E]       0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0            Lotus

COMBATSYS: Lotus equips a shining Dark Red Soul Shard.

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Daniel [E]       0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0        [E] Lotus

This garners momentary look of concern from Lotus..... a look that quickly vanishes into a sneer "So let me understand this.... everyone is on an island, fighting tooth and nail, with slaying the opponent fully endorsed and full of pretty little incentives..... and you're MAD someone actually did what they were SUPPOSED to do? HAAAAAAAAAHAHAHA! Oh, your cute.....". The sneer becomes a grin "Didn't you know....? There IS no true justice.... " her slitted red-glowing eyes abruptly bulge "...... only PAIN AND BLOOD!". With that, in a blur of motion, Lotus rushes Daniel, slashing with her metal-clawed hand at his lower leg in an attempt to cause an injury to slow him down!

COMBATSYS: Daniel channels the veins of the burning blood.

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Daniel [E]       0/-------/-----==|-------\-------\0        [E] Lotus

COMBATSYS: Daniel fails to interrupt Disabling Swipe from Lotus with Jumping Jack Flash EX.

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Daniel [E]       0/-------/---====|=------\-------\0        [E] Lotus

The energy was hot now.

"Scum and piece of glass." The detective snarls as the energy whirls around him. "What you are supposed to do is rot in a shallow grave." Daniel almost felt like she made a good point. But he couldn't see that point. No, as she rushes in, the detective dips low, as energy floods around him. Surging with power, a soul burning within him, he attempts to lunge in tandem, attempts to seize her, attempts to catch her in mid-slash of those fiercesome claws.

But she was a moment too fast.

"Your souls!" The detective snarls as he takes the cut in the leg, ripping up a fresh injury upon his flesh. Stumbling backwards a moment. "I should have never let you crawl for so long like a worm on the earth. I'll take those souls from you, and bring them back." The thoughts were flying by, Daniel couldn't even see them. The words he didn't even grasp, the images he didn't even see. It was too fast. Steadily, it dawns on Daniel that something, something must be wrong. There wasn't a chance to hold on to that, as he was already speaking again. Speaking without... thought.

"Who do you serve?!"

Passing Daniel, Lotus does a quick flip to bleed off momentum, manuevering around sideways. The deep red gem set into the gouged-out chunk of her chest seems to glow in the lighting of the room as she moves "Gee.... all that rightous talk about justice and avenging someone and THAT is the best you can come up with? Come ON!" She shakes her head "I see the truth of you for what it REALLY is...."

She leaps in close, and vanishes in a blur. Her next words are right in his ear in a whisper "Words like those make you no better than me". She vanishes again, suddenly beside him from another angle "You want POWER....." and another angle "you want CONTROL......".

Appearing from above, she drops down "COME AND TAKE IT THEN!!". Landing, she slashes at his side with one of her knives before attempting to leap away! ".... or die in obscurity!".

COMBATSYS: Lotus successfully hits Daniel with Random Strike.

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Daniel [E]       1/-------/=======|=------\-------\0        [E] Lotus

So lets see what's going on, scuzzy.

Black Lotus is a knife nut, that much I can tell. Cat eyes, fangs. Just a little beastly. Very beautiful, in a kind of Basic Instinct kind of way. Definately would have sex with her, but like, I would make sure to keep her away from the screwdrivers. And she's gone. And she's back. Okay, she can either move really, really fast, or she can teleport. You can do something more than just lash out wildly, you know. You need to chill out on the offense there and get your center. Just because you know how to fight, doesn't mean you know how to fight right. She's repositioning above you, you're already attacking a shadow aaaaaand-

And now's she's disemboweling me.

"GRAAAAGH!" Was the howl of pain as Daniel, lashing out an arm at the last place he heard her from to seize her. Instead, she was diving out of nowhere, and unleashing a deep, fatal cut right into his kidney. There is a moan of pain, as he grips his organs, to stop them from rolling out. And just like that, he wouldn't feel pain. Only the thrill of murder would fuel him/ "I will take you! I will tear you to pieces! I will- I will-"

Oh no no no no, you're doing it all wrong.

Let me take it from here scuzzy.

"... Oh god, what's going on with me." The detective gasps, keeping his hands on the flapping skin. The assassin was already moving. That was almost the least concern there. For a moment, he could think. But he couldn't act. No, he was acting independent of... himself? For the briefest of moments, he was the sub-conscious. He had to focus. He had to kill her rip her tear her souls free- Orange energy surges in both hands. Pivoting, one hand lashes out while the other keeps his organs in place. And there, with poorly pixelated graphics, the detective unleashes a wave of orange chi, slashing through the air towards Lotus. He didn't have to call out the name. But he felt like he needed to. To remind himself of himself. To perserve his identity. Something was very, very wrong right now.

"Kasane Ate!"

COMBATSYS: Lotus blocks Daniel's Kasane Ate.

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Daniel [E]       0/-------/-----==|==-----\-------\0        [E] Lotus

Bloodshot red eyes and that vicious grin peer at Daniel as he suffers with the injury, Lotus stopping a moment to drink in his agony. She can sense the war raging within him, hear it in his words. "Tear me to pieces.... don't make promises your body can't keep". She walks around him slowly, keeping several feet away from his reach "In some ways, you may be WORSE than me.... can you taste it? the violence? the BLOOD!?". She didnt' completely expect the sudden projectile, and it's all she can do to throw her arms up to defend, the energy slamming into her forearms and the waves dispersing around her body, leaving bloody gouges in their wake. Her arms part to reveal her none the worse for wear.

The gem set into her chest begins to glow once more.... "Almost got me..... still.... i wonder how long you can keep up. Will you keep control and die here.... or let that bloodthirst run wild! It might be the only thing that can SAVE you!".

With a blur of speed, she seems to vanish again, striking from multiple angles, intent on drawing blood through sheer number of cuts!

COMBATSYS: Lotus channels the strength of the killing fist.

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Daniel [E]       0/-------/-----==|==-----\-------\0        [E] Lotus

COMBATSYS: Lotus channels the glare of the vicious eye.

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Daniel [E]       0/-------/-----==|==-----\-------\0        [E] Lotus

COMBATSYS: Daniel blocks Lotus' Slice and Dice.

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Daniel [E]       0/-------/----===|===----\-------\0        [E] Lotus

Oh, Daniel was suffering.

As he pulls away his other hand though, with the aftermath of the Kasane Ate buying him some breath, his organs doesn't spill out. No, it was held in by a thick line of scar tissue. Internal chi. Daniel wasn't just flash. He was tough as nails, and once he put his mind to it, he could reverse even the worst of- oh god don't move too much it will all pour out. Crimson energy flows over his body as his opponent snaps back with wild-eyed psychotic glory. A little back, Daniel would be sputtering with the same gusto. But here's the thing.

Daniel's behind the wheel again.

"Listen scuzzy, maybe we got off on the wrong foot." The detective begins, a twinkle coming in his burning red eyes. What the fuck are you doing. Returning to his guard, he continues with an almost smooth candence. "You killed Lita, I gotta do something about that sure. But you seem like a real cute thing. You have something to do with cats? With the claws and eyes and fangs, you got a cat thing about you." Daniel manages to give a quick wink before she slips out of sight. "What's your story, sweetheart?"

No, seriously, what the fuck is this. She isn't a sweetheart. She's a vicious killer who murdered your friends. You must SLAY HER and take her precious souls. You need her power, you need to CONQUER HER. Like holy crap, where the hell do you get off?

Well she has a balanced figure. Keep the knives away, and she's a pussycat.

You can't just put your dick in every cute troubled monster girl who is forced between worlds you FREAK.

I'm not going to put my dick in her I'm just appreciating an uncommon form of beauty.

Daniel realized that he was responding to something. That was... bad. But Daniel was behind the wheel now. As that gem glows she's coming with speed and power bring up the bulwark, the detective refuses. He will use his own guard, his own pacing for now. She vanishes out of sight, and in a flash, she is upon him. The detective, palms and arms ready, wiggles the fingers in one hand as this time, he deftly catches and deflects the slashes of the knife. The shift to defense was noticable. The detective was fixing his footing. He could feel that pain, yes. But he wasn't exposing himself now is the time to strike.

Okay, go for it.

After the fifth cut, the detective moves out. Lunging after her on the pass, he leads with a bone shattering palm strike with the left, aiming to strike her downwards. If it connects, then the detective would follow up with a hand chop with the right, bringing a wave of red and orange energy with it. At that point, with both hits, Daniel would have her in place. And the detective would promptly follow up with three point blank energy slashes, unleashing cut after cut after energy cut right into the woman, right into the flower woman. To rip, to tear, to kill. To avenge. No, not avenge.

To bring justice.

COMBATSYS: Daniel channels the strength of the killing fist.

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Daniel [E]       0/-------/-----==|===----\-------\0        [E] Lotus

COMBATSYS: Lotus channels the fortress of the steel will.

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Daniel [E]       0/-------/-----==|===----\-------\0        [E] Lotus

COMBATSYS: Lotus parries Daniel's Ragtime Riot EX!

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Daniel [E]       0/-------/----===|====---\-------\0        [E] Lotus

If Lotus wasn't already moving at high speed, she would likely be reduces to a smear on the wall by Daniels attack. She just by luck is in the right place at the right time to see the palm strike incoming and tilt it upwards. Since the hand chop then has further to go to strike, she is in position to put her wrist up, the metal bracer deflecting the impact of his wrist as the strikes impact point is now behind her, the wave of chi imbuing it causing an explosion of orange behind her!

Taking advantage of the momentary open guard, her gem once more glows ominously, and she stabs at him multiple times with her daggers, aiming for major veins and arteries in his arms, legs, and neck with precise stabs before flipping backwards several times to regain distance, hit or miss.

She looks both confused and amused at the same time "I am what i've been made to be, silly. Oh, sorry about your girlfriend. If it's any consolation, she didn't go quietly. Rather tasty, actually!". She grins at Daniel after saying this, eyes boring into his, wide and wild "Should i tell you what i did to her? I'm sure in the state you seem to be in, all the talk of killing you are doing, you would LOVE to hear it!".

Lotus stands there with her arms held out, knives to the sides and head tilts slightly off-center

COMBATSYS: Lotus channels the strength of the killing fist.

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Daniel [E]       0/-------/----===|====---\-------\0        [E] Lotus

COMBATSYS: Daniel blocks Lotus' Exsanguinate EX.

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Daniel [E]       0/-------/---====|====---\-------\0        [E] Lotus

She was fast.

Daniel Jack's assault burns out, as the detective finishes in prime footing. It was a relentless assault that was eluded, certainly. But Daniel Jack was not giving up the tenacious ground he was on right now. He was behind in this fight, he had a wound that threatened to be torn open at any moment, and he only managed to get the barest of blows on his opponent. This is what happens if you hold back. You can't hold back. You never can-

Oh lord she's countering.

The moment of an open guard closes suddenly, as Daniel catches the knifes with his palms again. You'd think after you had your hand cut off, you'd stop that. The daggers rip into them, leaving deep cuts into them. He... he didn't think he could do that again, without them closing up. Blood falls to the ground, as she slips back. Already, Daniel was taking his steps towards her following up. Don't respond to her words you freak. "Made to be-"

"Wait a minute."

"Are you artificial, sweetheart?"

The detective rushes back after her, leading with another palm strike, another hand chop. The hand chop from the right is chained with an elbow jab from the right, the detective stepping in to pivot. Daniel would then promptly sweep his left hand around, to grab Lotus by her other arm. And there, he would pivot again, this time to force her facedown to the ground in a nasty jointlock in her right arm. All with a piercing question.

"... Do you happen to know a Doctor Tessitore?"

COMBATSYS: Daniel successfully hits Lotus with Skiffle Drop.

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Daniel [E]       0/-------/-======|=======\-------\1        [E] Lotus

Before Lotus can answer, Daniel is on the attack! She manages to stop the first two strikes, but is taken by suprise when he outright grabs her, and twists her into a joint lock! She grunts in pain, but smiles even wider nontheless "Ooohhh... NOW we're talkin! Is this how you treat ALL the sweethearts you know, deary?". A giggle follows "I've known a lot of doctors. Guess your gonna hafta job my memory!". With her held hand, she opens her fingers, revealing the pointed metal tips on the gauntlets, and despite being help, pushes backwards, trying to drive all 5 tips into his stomach!

COMBATSYS: Lotus channels the glare of the vicious eye.

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Daniel [E]       0/-------/-======|=======\-------\1        [E] Lotus

COMBATSYS: Lotus successfully hits Daniel with Deep Strike.

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Daniel [E]       1/-------/=======|=======\-------\1        [E] Lotus

Oh, great, he wasn't getting a straight answer.

At least Daniel could read the zombie. He couldn't get a bead on this crazy dame. Still, as she holds her in place, she responds with claws right to the gut. The detective's eyes go wide as he tries to catch it with the other hand... to no success. The claws dig deep into his organs, tearing at the fresh scar that was barely keeping his organs inside rather than out you fool you will die and fail and waste and let the whole ofthe world lose and nothinginess and oblivion and loss. The detective grits his teeth, as he forces himself to stay in this fight. Tersely, he replies, as he release and raises both arms up. "Oh, don't worry about it then."

And the detective surges with crimson and orange energy.

Both hands high, the energy surges into a singular climax. He lets her stay close. Looks like this was it. Chi energy builds around him, and then, collapses. Slamming his arms down, a shockwave explodes around him, ready to consume Lotus in the blastwave. If she didn't whisk out of way fast enough? She would be swept up in the cascading shockwave that would carry her across the throne room.

To smash hard into a wall on the other side.

COMBATSYS: Daniel channels the glare of the vicious eye.

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Daniel [E]       1/-------/=======|=======\-------\1        [E] Lotus

COMBATSYS: Lotus channels the fortress of the steel will.

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Daniel [E]       1/-------/=======|=======\-------\1        [E] Lotus

COMBATSYS: Daniel successfully hits Lotus with Chou Kasane Ate.

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Daniel [E]       1/---====/=======|=======\====---\1        [E] Lotus

Unfortunately for the madwoman, she is unable to right herself to bring up her guard. While the gem on her chest DOES begin to glow, the wave hits her full-on, sending her flying into the wall across the room, cracking it, and leaving a humanoid-shaped imprint when the smoke clears.....

Clearly decent damage has been done as she pulls herself free, her grin faltering and a trickle of red seeping from both her mouth, and from around the gem. Her clothes are decently torn in places, and while bruises appear to be forming around the edges of injuries, they seem to heal right before Daniels eyes! In response she flicks her wrist from her belt, a throwing dagger spnning quickly towards Daniels face! Fast, effective, and direct!

COMBATSYS: Daniel channels the glare of the vicious eye.

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Daniel [E]       1/----===/=======|=======\====---\1        [E] Lotus

COMBATSYS: Daniel channels the strength of the killing fist.

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Daniel [E]       1/----===/=======|=======\====---\1        [E] Lotus

COMBATSYS: Daniel interrupts Pinprick from Lotus with You Got Jacked! EX.

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Daniel [E]       0/-------/---====|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2        [E] Lotus

She was...


Just like Zabel. This was... this was an extreme case no it is isn't yes it is. She wouldn't stay down, would she? No matter how hard he tried, she wouldn't. Unless you kill her. The detective approaches her, already closing the distance. His soul gem erupts into a full crimson light as he begins to pick up speed. Unless you kill her. Unless I kill her. Unless... she was throwing a knife at him. Lita trained him how to avoid that. Lita helped him. Lita Lita Lita justice Lita. Daniel had to bring her back, along with Sergei. And there was only one way. If he killed her. Yes, kill her. The knife closes in.

And Daniel rips through it.

Knife tearing across his face, he surges past the dagger to grab the woman by the neck. He gets the vicelike grip on it, as he stares into those beautiful eyes with a withering glare. The detective carries her through the air as he rises up, bounding in a leap that trails with crimson and orange. Spiralling, he reaches the apex of the ascent... before rocketing straight down, in a blink of an eye. A shockwave rips through the throne room, as he craters Lotus straight into the floor, driving her into a singular slam straight down into it with skeleton shattering force. The detective hangs over her, without a moment of footing lost. Both hands come out, energy flowing to his finger tips. A rising chorus of laughter runs inside him, refusing to be let out

And he can hear them now.

Lotus, still recovering a moment from the prior hit, is completely taken off-guard. She begins to laaaaaaaaaaaaaugh as she is carried int othe air, and aaaaaaaall the way back down. Loud insane laughter echoing throughout the room!

As Daniel is fully in the descent, she angles herself with her daggers dacing up, and braces for impact! With luck, he might impale himself with his own velocity!

Impact occurs, driving her into the ground, the hard surface on one side, the blazing chi on the other! She very nearly blacks out..... However, after a second, her body pulls back just enough, her enhanced biology keeping her alive despite the massive trauma she just endured!

A faint giggle escapes her lips "I can smell it.... you're giving in.... giiiiiiiiiving in....." from the floor she grins widely, trying to pull herself slowly and painfully into a sitting position, her body bleeding and fractured in multiple places.....

COMBATSYS: Daniel blocks Lotus' Spider Bite.

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Daniel [E]       0/-------/-======|>>>>>>>\-------\1        [E] Lotus

No, he couldn't be giving in.

Holding over her, there would be justice. The knives surge upwards, as she refuses to stay down and you know she refuses to stay down because she cannot stay down. You must kill her, to save the world. You must kill her, to save your friends. If you die now, then all your friends will stay dead. You are the only one left to save them. And the only way you can save them... is by killing her, right now.


There wasn't anything to give into. Daniel wasn't going to give in. Seconds become minutes become hours, as he feels himself growing distant. There will be peace amongst Darkstalkers there will be unity there will be-


There will be a time when Ayame Ichijo, a young woman who has dedicated her life in fighting Darkstalkers, would not need to be the only one to defend the world. There will be a time where that young lady will be free to pursue a normal life. She wouldn't have to murder, she wouldn't have to kill. She would be normal. And that time will begin starting now. Because Daniel Jack can take the mantle of defending the Earthrealm from real monsters.



Daniel Jack holds steady, grabbing both knives by the blades. Energy boils over him, as he rips them aside. With a deft, steady gesture, he slashs at the air before him, a wave of chi slashing outwards in a broad arc. She was going to get away. He knew it. But silently, with the grim glower, Daniel unleashes the energy. He needed to stun her, just long enough. To hold her in place just long enough. The crimson light burns in his eyes. He could hear the call of blood.

And he was just about to answer it.

COMBATSYS: Lotus channels the spread of the lightning nerves.

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Daniel [E]       0/-------/=======|>>>>>>>\-------\1        [E] Lotus

COMBATSYS: Lotus dodges Daniel's Mikansei Kasane Ate.

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Daniel [E]       1/-------/=======|>>>>>>>\-------\1        [E] Lotus

On the ground, Lotus peers up at Daniel, grinning, bleeding, seemingly broken..... shaking...

While not untrue, there is juuuuust enough life left in her yet....

As he relocates her daggers points to another direction and goes to finish her off, she lets go of the weapons, and rolls backwards with a shoulder roll, dodging the attack entirely! Coming up from her roll, her arms blur, flinging several dozen throwing daggers in sequence at him, the last two aimed for his eyes!

COMBATSYS: Daniel blocks Lotus' Poison Rain.

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Daniel [E]       1/------=/=======|-------\-------\0        [E] Lotus

Blood for blood.

Blood will run rich. Daniel was the blood. And now, even as she escapes, Daniel knows her fate is sealed. The detective knows it. A rich clarity comes over him as she releases her weapons. Daniel knew fatigue was crawling on him. And yet, he still advances. He still advances in the face of blade after blade after blade is hurled his way. The detective curls his arms around, catching each blade in them, the blades digging in deep. Almost immediately, he feels the venom running into him. This was death. This was the same death that Kitana gave him. The same death that Zabel gave him. Death, after death, after death. His advance stalls, as he falls into a backstep, as the last two daggers are flung to his eyes.

And he brings down his foot.

The daggers in his arms fly out, along with the broken rubble beneath flying up. The two blades are caught in mid air with each hand. Orange and red chi envelope them as they float, descending slowly to the ground. The detective stomps through the mists of the poisoned daggers, plucking the knives from midair to hurl straight back at Lotus in a barrage. Teeth gritting, body oozing blackened blood, the detective crawls back from the edge of death with debris and dagger, piece after chi laced piece. Returning the very attack back at her.

Before falling to one knee, right before her.

COMBATSYS: Lotus parries Daniel's Mean Business!

[                        \\\\\\  < >  /////                         ]
Daniel [E]       0/-------/-----==|-------\-------\0        [E] Lotus

Bloodshot cat-like eyes, bleeding profusely from the edges, stare unblinking at Daniel. He has finally done it, Lotus' senses tell her!

He's finally given in to his demons!

She pulls another pair of daggers from all the ones around her belt, and as Daniel begins to throw her thrown weapons back at her, she rushes in, deflecting them to the side as he sends them at her left and right. The walls to either side are lined with them as she redirects their trajectories! "Thats it. GIVE IN TO IT! BLOOD FOR BLOOD!".

Leaping towards him as she deflects the last one, she drops the held daggers used to protect herself and brings her claws once again to bear! "EVEN IF YOU WIN YOU LOSE!".

COMBATSYS: Daniel just-defends Lotus' Catch the Prey EX!

[                      \\\\\\\\  < >  //////                        ]
Daniel [E]       0/-------/-----==|-------\-------\0        [E] Lotus

He was.

Daniel Jack felt himself falling inside himself. He could see things more clearly than before. But he felt... apart. Let the souls take the wheel. Let them finish up on the hard stuff. Daniel was better at the set up anyways. They were too reckless. But Daniel was balanced, controlled. As the barrrage comes back, the woman was deflecting them aside. The souls felt fear. But Daniel didn't. Daniel knew. As she brings out the claws, the detective's hands moves at his command. Still bearing deep lacerations, still soaked in blood. Both are seized by the wrist, both are grabbed. Daniel stands fast, staring into her with a stony expression. Daniel had done what he needed. And now, it was their turn. "Blood for blood, sweetheart."

And Daniel grins.

A feral grin spreads across his face as the stoic visage breaks. The detective leads with a palm strike with the left. And then, a hand chop with the right, aimed straight for the collarbone. The detective explodes with another hand chop with the left, and then, a hand chop with the right. The detective was forcing in a furious chain of hand chop, attempting to chop down Lotus like cordwood. It was a fiercesome, relentless assault. He would tear her down.

He would end this.

COMBATSYS: Lotus blocks Daniel's Zoot Suit Riot.

[                      \\\\\\\\  < >  /////                         ]
Daniel [E]       0/-------/-----==|=------\-------\0        [E] Lotus

With another feral grin, the battle is joined in close! Lotus manages to lean out of the way of the opening palm strike, the air rippling as the force of it passes. She then catches each chop at the wrist with her own wrist, enduring only small bits of the total sum of Daniels attacks. One that she narrowly dodges leaves a furrow in the stone wall beside the pair as the barrage continues!

Once he has a pattern going, she abruptly ducks, swinging up her leg and aiming a kick at his throat from a low angle in the hopes that he won't realize the move before it's too late!

COMBATSYS: Daniel interrupts Crushing Strike from Lotus with Mad Jack Crack.

[                         \\\\\  < >  //                            ]
Daniel [E]       0/-------/--=====|===----\-------\0        [E] Lotus

The detective's footwork stood fast.

Staring down at the woman, the twisted gaze was only burning more. Daniel was in the back, watching his furious assault coming. She was backed into a corner, trapping in the niche. And he wasn't over-extended. Daniel Jack watches as she dips down low, and then... oh really. He recognizes the move. Sort of. He knew where it was aiming for. The problem was?

Daniel wasn't in a state of caring.

The blow connects hard with the neck, enough to make an audible snap. Something was crushed, as blood trickles over his lips. The problem was that Daniel wasn't reacting with defense in mind. That Daniel was parked away. No, the souls wanted one thing, and one thing along. To kill her. As the leg connects with the man's neck, a hand comes up to trap it against his neck. It is pinned down, as he bring his other hand down upon her thigh. And there, a final step coming in to fix his foot against her pelvis. Three points of weakness.

And he begins to twist.

It is a slow wrenching, starting at the hip joint, wrenching it from the socket. And then, the other hand tightens it grip. Another twist, and the knee joint is dislocated. Twisting his head down, to fix it hard, the final hand, the one pressing right by the ankle acts. And the counter attack finishes as the foot is wrenched from the socket. Only then, does Daniel finally release.

She wasn't going to stand from that.

From the snaps, mixed with the laughter, it's almost hard to tell Lotus is in extreme pain. Proceeding each snap is a giggle, then following each snap is a screech of pain that once more devolves into laughter, and so on. The limb falls limply as it's released, though Lotus hasn't let this opportunity go entirely without thought.....

With the last of her strength, she pulls one last dagger from her multitude, aiming as best she can and throwing it at Daniel. Her throw is off enough she isn't even sure the sharp bit will connect rather than the blunt end. Either way, it's all she can do before consciousness leaves her, lying there in a messy bloody broken heap, with her parting words: "Even if you.... win.... you lose....".

While still alive for the moment, she is unconscious, still with a half-manic grin.....

COMBATSYS: Lotus can no longer fight.

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

COMBATSYS: Lotus successfully hits Daniel with Thrown Weapon.

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

It was over.

It had to be. Daniel Jack stands high above her. His mind a steel trap. His focus dead down below. She wasn't getting up. He was ready to step in... as a dagger comes out. He doesn't even give a full effort in defense. That part of the mind was far away. The dagger digs into his chest, and the detective continues his smirk as he steps forward. And then over. And then aside. And then down, as the detective suddenly, sharply collapses to the floor.

This can't be.

Daniel doesn't simply become a heap. "You lose." He groans, as he rips the dagger out. He could feel a burning sensation in the wound. Rolling over, he immediately crawls across the ground, squirming like a worm on his belly. His side was open again. He was exposed. The poison in his veins were crawling up on him. His body was past his point again. It was all a force of will. His attention was straight on the heap on the ground, still grinning, still driving. He was bleeding from countless places, but that did not matter. He had to win. She had to lose.

He had to kill her.

Daniel manages to place his hand on her foot. He tries to grab it, tries to pull. Maybe if he gets on top of her, maybe he could snap her neck, or... or something. Before she comes to. Daniel Jack keeps his hand on her as he tries to keep moving. And he can't. He tries to force his hand, and he can't. He hasn't have the strength. His will is still there, but the strength isn't. Slowly, it dawns on Daniel why everything was so hard, all of a sudden.

Because he was dying.

Daniel stares at the woman, as he lies there. His organs were out. He was bleeding. The only thing keeping his blood from pouring entirely out, was the venom clotting it. His nerves were growing numb. No, no, no. Not like this. He had to save the world. He had to help Ayame. He had to be the hero. He had to kill. Daniel tries to move again, but this time, his body puts no effort. He was paralyzed. He couldn't move. The detective focuses hard, as his eyes stop blinking. His breathing was so slow now, so hard now. If he stopped focusing, he would stop breathing. Even making his heart beat was a struggle. Pure internal now. He had to fight now. He couldn't let it end like this. He was so close. He pretends he grits his teeth. He pretends to stand. He pretends there isn't a tunnel of grey closing in. The words run through his head.

I'm not dead.

I'm not dead.

I'm not

The sound of labored breathing echoes throughout the vaulted chambers of Shang Tsung's Palace. It is not, however, the only sound -- for in the distance can be heard a solitary figure striding through the halls with purpose.

Click. Click. Click. The high heels of a most extraordinary woman, outfitted with a white lab coat -- still matted with blood on the sleeves and lapels.
The blood of the man lying there on the floor.
Lovely black tresses sway to and fro as the Italian darkstalker makes her presence known. Four spindly black appendages sprout from her back, casting the most interesting shadows in the flickering torchlight.

The woman's red eyes cast back and forth between Daniel Jack and the Black Lotus. The appraising gesture lasts long enough to tell the fel physician everything she needs to know.

She rolls her sleeves up, baring the spinnerets on the lower sides of her wrists.
"Well, I can certainly say that outcome was unexpected."
Spider silk ejects outward from her wrists in two streams. One stream heads towards Lotus. The other heads towards Daniel. Both are securely webbed to the floor by the gesture -- any thoughts of prolonging the literally life-or-death battle are put to a decisive end.
Neither has the capacity, as such.

Doctor Fio Tessitore does not even stop walking for this process.
"A shame, really... "

The red necklace wrapped about her neck jostles slightly as she kneels down beside Daniel -- clearly, the worse off of the two. Blood spatters the floor -- and the doctor is not squeamish.

Strands of spider silk fall to the floor -- the sticky fluid doing the job of immobilizing the fighters who might otherwise hurt themselves in protesting.
"Tell me where it hurts," she says, even though the wounds are obvious, even as she begins reaching into her lab coat for the necessary unguents and salves.

The detective's lips tremble.

The man still doesn't blink. He barely breathes. He barely has a pulse. He couldn't even turn to see the figure over him. But he feels the shadow. He feels the familiar silk ensnaring him. He feels... disappointed in himself. Fio is probably angry at him. He... was always screwing things up like this. What about his hand? Was it even working? Did he just undo all her hard work? He... he needed to prove something. He needed to do something.

He manages to wiggle his fingers.

You should have killed her when you had the chance. You could have taken her souls, and that would have been enough to destroy the Black Lotus. Or killed the Scarlet Dahlia. Just murder all the flowers. You had to hold back, didn't you? You were holding back. Well. There will always be another host. There will always be another home. You will like it here. You will like the power. You will

The detective's eyes blink once.


"I... am not... dead...." Was Daniel's most feeble of words.

The arachnid doctor's necklace gleams in close proximity to those of Lotus and Daniel. Triage, triage... who is hurt the worst? The wounds of Lotus are obvious -- dislocated leg, ravaged joints, but already her body is beginning to recover itself.
Tess would know exactly what the creepy little dynamo is capable of.

Daniel, though, is going to need a lot more work. He's conscious -- that's a plus. But as Daniel's face is reflected in the black sclerae of her eyes, the doctor gives a reassuring smile.
"Yet. You are not dead -yet-. But you will be if I don't stabilize you." If Daniel is focusing on her humanoid hands -- one of which slides beneath his cheek, cradling it lightly -- he might miss the fact that her four arachnid limbs have already begun poking and prodding various portions of his anatomy back into their proper places. With the webbing keeping his limbs from moving much in the way of protest, the work is done quickly and efficiently.

"I take it you both fought well. But in lieu of any, er, =official= verdict, I am going to consider it a tie."

She smiles sweetly, and then reaches into her pocket. A small remote control is removed -- one which Daniel has seen precisely -once- before.

"You are losing a lot of blood, I'm afraid... and my emergency supplies are limited to first aid. I have... only one method I can think of to spare you, Daniel."

Her sweet smile fades by a degree.

It wasn't the first time Daniel was helpless in her hands, humanoid or otherwise.

The detective is flipped over, as he could... well, he couldn't feel anything. There was a numbness in him. He had lost a lot of blood. But the venom... the venom was lethal. Anatomy could return, and there was always anti-venom. But his blood stream was practically a poison stream at this point. His eyes twitch, looking at a remote that was.... distantly remembered. The detective speaks hoarsely. "I am not.. dead... I am not..." R

A death rattle comes out of his throat.

Tears well up in his eyes, as he blinks once. "... Fio... I don't want... I don't want to die. Not here. Not like this." He tries to shake his head. He cannot. "Not like... I need to help people. I need to help you, and all your friends, and all your co-workers, and all the Earth, and everything. I am not done yet... I..." Daniel couldn't understand it, understanding was past him. The souls were ready to leave him. It was the end. He wiggles his fingers again.

"... I would even be okay with throwing up again, Fio..."

Tess looks over at Lotus, frowning somewhat. If the poor girl were conscious she would love to converse with her; despite the bad blood between Lotus and Daniel, it remains fact that Tess has close ties to both individuals, after all.

But no -- Daniel is the highest priority right now. The blood is clotting in an unnatural fashion -- it does not take Tess long to remember of Lotus' peculiar venom. She has a counteragent -- back at the lab -- but the only agent she has on her right now is more Type J blood. And that... is running out.

Tears come to Fio's face as Daniel chokes out those last words -- a surprise to her, even. She bites her lip, pressing her cold hand firmly against the detective's cheek with a lateral shake of her head. "Lotus did not finish the job, and you are still my patient," she answers reassuringly -- though never explicitly denying the possible outcome that Daniel speaks of.

She musters a dark chuckle in response to the joke. "Well, you're gonna have to vomit up that poison, I'm afraid. I am sorry."

A thumb presses into the button on her remote.
From deep within, Daniel will feel a sudden jolt of electricity. It may feel like his gut is being turned inside out at a rapid pace.
In a way, it is. Tess's arachnid arms pin Daniel to the cold marble floor as fibers which had lain dormant for months are reactivated by the electric current. The foreign material which had adapted to his insides... begins to take over, the corrupting influence coursing through him -- first as a liquid, then solidifying into organs of their own. And then latching onto Daniel's body.

A symbiotic lifeform that insinuates itself into Daniel's circulatory and lymphatic systems. A lifeform that feeds on the venom -- and feeds on Daniel's lifeblood for sustenance.

"Sadly... you seem to have forgotten my admonishment to drink some water..."

Tess coughs, holding back tears as she watches the Interpol agent's convulsing body. She is uncertain as to the results of this experiment. But to whether she shares that uncertainty... probably not.

Daniel was bad about the fluids.

Maybe if he had a bottle of water, he wouldn't be in this mess. It was far too late for regrets. At least he wiggled his fingers. He was a good patient on that note. He trusted Fio. But he had his faults. He could learn from them, grow from them, accept them. Still, the clinical bedside manner was there. Of course, at that point it was too late to consider about the water.

At that point, he was screaming.

The shrieks of agony stretch across the palace, echoing across the island as the detective writhes. This was before the pain reached him. There was something unnatural, something instinctively abomination happening. He had to scream. That was all that could happen. The pain comes in time, only intensifying the shrieks. For Daniel, it was the singular moment of the purest agony, so intense that he could not even numb it in banality. It began as the greatest suffering he had experienced. How far past it by the end, it was beyond even his comprehension. The pain would have killed him, should have killed him alone.

And something else comes.

The presence begins as a twisted, malevolent ocean of darkness swirling with violence, rage, hatred, and... and something else. A maddening presence, a malevolent presence. Something. The form of Daniel bulges as the energy flares around him. He rips free of the silks. His jaw protudes, as his teeth begin to burst out from his gums, falling from his mouth in gushes of blood and saliva. He was vomitting now, but nothing was coming. Instinctively, he takes his hands, his trembling fingers, and begins to tear at his chest. Deep, tearing lacerations, trying to tear at what was happening within. Screaming and screaming and screaming and screaming comes in endless waves, as his flesh stretches and ripples, as his eyes begin to bulge, ready to burst from their sockets. The horrors was here, in the heart of the palace of Shang Tsung. The horrors was in full force in Daniel's new, singular experience of a lifetime, of the purest torment.

And the screaming stops, holding in silence.

And then... a sound rises from the depths of the palace.

Somewhere between a slowly building cackle... and heaving sobs of terror.

It was finished.

Log created on 17:31:14 10/17/2016 by Daniel, and last modified on 12:25:03 10/19/2016.