Mortal Kombat - MK Round 3: Baiken vs Kitana

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Description: "Though the Emperor's daughter has frequently found herself in dire straits during the great tournament, she has proven herself many times over to be as resourceful and deadly as she is beautiful. It is my distinct pleasure to host PRINCESS KITANA in a brutal battle against the swordswoman BAIKEN in my throne room, where I will witness their konflict personally. I understand that the venerable warrior abhors the monstrous. I wonder how she will do when the threat presents a more appealing facade..."

The entry of royalty is rarely so small a ceremony or quiet an affair. The Princess, flanked by a minimum of guards and attendants makes her obligated greetings after her entry; retinue dispersing to obfuscate themselves away out of sight and mind. The princess makes her way to the centre stage, Regal and fearless while standing before her host the Princess is both well-mannered and respectful. She yet still manages to cut closer to the minimum required of her than that which would be expected. She had dined on his food and sat as his table, thus she would show the Earthrealm sorcerer and ally to the Emperor the manners of one of Outworld's royalty. Regardless of whatever she personally thought of the man and his interests in arcane and black magic; of study in unlikeable or impermissible fields registered as her instant dislike and caution regarding the man.

Shang Tsungs island, this entire place if it was as he liked or was inspired by his work or craft? Was an abomination.

It preyed upon her calm and the longer she spent here the more she missed the soothing calm and peace of Edenia. Greenery and woods which were not dangerous and ensorcelled, the dead could rest easy in a tranquil setting. There was no such peace here for the living or the dead, that such a setting should be the location for the Tournament to decide the fate of worlds was unfortunate.

Standing off to the side she is drawn to the view the throne room provides as an overlook of the island. Viewing the whole from the sweeping and grand vista she lingers at the edge seemingly lost in contemplating the view. She lifts a hand to tame and coax her hair back into place as the winds tease it. Hair pulled back into a long ponytail seemed the wisest choice given the arena she would be fighting in. her preparations were the best she could make.

Isolated as she was under the thumb of the sorcerer and her own handmaidens she had been able to gather no information on her opponent. She was going into this blind and that worried her but there was no path but forward.

Kitana was confidant in her strength but the fighters of Earthrealm had tested her to her limits at every opportunity. She had near died twice already. This battle was unlikely to be much different and the fact the Sorcerer himself was choosing to watch this one personally she was desperately afraid of what machinations were going on behind the scenes. If she died here, what was his next move?

Baiken's entry gets even less in the way of ceremony than the princess, for the simple fact is that she is not a princess. She is welcome, but only because of Kombat. Mileena once said she would be remembered when they fought next, and she's been making a name for herself in this ... event as well. Not necessarily the name she would have preferred, but effective enough, a hunter of monsters.

This place is Hell. It is the only Outworld Baiken has seen with her own gaze, and she does not like it. If this is a sign of what the ruler is like, she owes it to herself to see him dead to the best of her power. And now he's offered her a fight she can't refuse; Baiken hears it almost like a taunt. But if he thinks sending someone pretty or human-looking will make her hold back, he's likely to be disappointed.

Refusing all escort, Baiken walks herself into the throne room. Her single eye almost immediately moves to the (occupied) throne, of course; it narrows as she strides further into the room, showing a towering confidence in her stride. If it's real, she's brave to the point of foolhardiness; if it's false, Baiken is an excellent actor in at least this way. She seems to pay no attention whatsoever to the view. Her attention is on the distant throne...

...and the other important person in the room.

Baiken's stride slows slightly when she sees her opponent. She is momentarily taken aback by /something/ about Kitana. Her face almost immediately splits into a scowl as she finishes her walk in, now looking at Kitana, almost unblinking. The small soul shard she has - a disc of deepest garnet, nearly black - glitters in the hilt of her sword.

"So," she says. "Now he sends royalty against me. I'm honoured." Her tone is flat, aggressive, not polite or appreciative in the least. "Either someone is desperate or I'm to be taught a lesson. Tell me, Princess, which is it?"

Kitanas initial response is a slight widening of eyes and brow rise both at the lack of decorum and the bizarre questioning to which she has no understanding or context. Why was she being looked at so? Who was this 'he' and with an inference that he could command or 'send royalty.' Even her father who would match this description had no command over the drawings or match allotment of the sacred Mortal Kombat tournament.

She stands confused in the face of her accuser asking a question she cannot decipher let alone answer.

The fact the strangers attention lingers so on her host leads her to infer that perhaps the sorcerer himself is the 'he' her opponents speaks of, but even he wouldn't be so presumptuous as to use the tournament for his own personal gain or settling disputes? The faint tensing of facial muscle as her jaw tightens and eyes narrow while likewise turning to look at the sorcerer. It was plausible if it were but as it stood merely an allegation and no anything she could prove.

"This is Mortal Kombat. All stand as equals even if their natural state and status be royalty, peasants or even gods. To use something sacred and important to the fate of worlds to settle minor disputes? That would be tasteless and unconscionable."

Yet not impossible.

Kitana doffs her cloak. Ribbed metallic silver circles her torso, pulling taunt blue fabric over her breast, while billowing fabric sleeves are fastened to her bicep leaving her shoulders (like her midriff and thighs) bare. A waist cape falling sweeping behind her as she moves it speaks to a curious lack of modesty at the same time a strange stylized attempt at an exotic Arabian princess. There's little to no fabric that would get in the way of her moving or fighting, there was also almost nothing in the way of protective armour. A bell ornament hanging form and glinting in her hair is garishly out of place colour wise as it glows a faint lemony yellow.

"I promise you that I fight because this is to settle a dispute between our cultures and worlds. Which of our two forces is the stronger who can and will build a build a better world. Your realm is young and has produced many formidable fighters, but you walk a path toward destruction at your own hands. Or, there is the forces of Outworld who are ancient peoples and realms united under an eternal emperor who IS our law."

In truth, Kitana didn't know who would win the tournament itself. Outworlds champions were yet to play their hands and the furious fighting within the earthrealmers small community had weakened them. The path they were on however was clear, if they did not win and take hold of the earthrealm this thousand years then in the next the realm would probably be a blasted wasteland wrought against themselves by their own weapons and leaders.

It was, indeed, strictly a random shot in the dark. Baiken knows that Shang Tsung stated that the matchups are not decided by him, but she does not have proof of that and does not trust him enough to be comfortable taking his word for it. If he /could/ rig the matches, she assumes he /would/.

So she assumes that everything is weighted against Earthrealm; that while it may have a chance because of strictures even he can't violate, it won't be fair. But life isn't fair, so that's hardly a surprise. That doesn't mean you roll over and let it happen. If she was the sort to give up, she would have long ago abandoned her quest to hunt down That Man and his monsters for the sake of her own revenge.

"I'm sure it would be," Baiken says, in that tone that straddles the line of mockery. She says nothing else while Kitana doffs her cloak, eyeing the woman again. This time, though, it's more with a combatant's eye. Regardless of anything else, she expects anyone sent against her to be able to fight, and fight well.

She wants to spit at Kitana's words, but refrains, here and now. Her scowl deepens, though. "If your 'emperor's law' is what gets you a realm like this," she says, "I believe I'll pass on experiencing his exalted wisdom. But that's what we're here to decide, isn't it?" Baiken shoots another glance up at the throne, then back at Kitana. "I've already encountered you and yours on Earth. Once was enough."

Shuffling her feet, Baiken slides her left foot forward, keeping her hand resting on the hilt of her blade. She puts some weight on it, lifting the tip of her scabbard upward and depressing the hilt so that it almost, but not quite, points directly at Kitana. The red disc glimmers slightly in the throne room's light, apparently warmed and brightened by Baiken's hand half-covering it.

She does not rush. She is, apparently, waiting for the proper time - the signal to begin, the gong or whatever ostentatious device this throne room has. Baiken is, apparently, going to fight by the rules for all her mockery and disdain.

COMBATSYS: Baiken has started a fight here.

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Baiken           0/-------/------=|

COMBATSYS: Baiken equips a gleaming Garnet Soul Shard.

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Baiken [E]       0/-------/------=|

"Gets you a realm like thi-?"

The princess parrots the words back as if tasting them and trying to find out what this Baiken might mean by it? Was this woman under the erroneous assumption the sorcerers island was a part of outworld? Shang Tsung's island lay between the realms and was barely accessibly by either realm unless allowed by the sorcerer.

"I have no idea what it is you speak! Such as you speak of would violate the rules of Mortal Kombat and be worthy of costly penalties if it were true; and as I have never laid eyes upon you before. It is a /slanderous/ and /vile/ lie."

This woman she was confronted with babbled nonsense proving she knew nothing of the her situation or the tournament while not proving wise enough to hold her tongue when doing otherwise would prove have proved beneficial.

Was she aware of the vanguard? But they were being so careful and keeping their activities to a minimum.

Kitana is suitably unimpressed by the wordplay and offended by both the ignorance and flippancy of the woman; but the dismissal of her Emperor's wisdom? That in of itself was reason enough for battle - or an execution.

The thing blades dropping out of her sleeves and into her waiting hands, the metallic scrape as the blades unfurl into beautiful and simple fans with complimentary colour to her outfit. The spines of the fans gleam and show their still keen razors edge as light plays across them. A delicate looking weapon on first appearance the princess folds the first up in front of her face, a demure action that doesn't fit with the fury in her eyes or the venom in her words.

"Dog, I hope your strength of arm is greater than your strength at reasoning. Else this match will be short indeed."

She leans forward into the lunge, falling forward into a low profile that would be the prelude to a dash in, instead of that though she sweeps her body around and up to add that much more force into the one handed sequential lobbing of both razor sharp fans. If her opponent were a swordsman, she would feel them out before engaging in close.

Her fury had not dulled her wits and caused her to abandon her own logic and way of doing things.

COMBATSYS: Kitana has joined the fight here.

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

COMBATSYS: Kitana equips a luminous Lemon Yellow Soul Shard.

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

COMBATSYS: Baiken dodges Kitana's Power Intrusion.

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

Baiken is an experienced hunter, but she has thus far been more concerned with things making their way to Earth. She has not bothered to venture outwards herself, beyond a short trip to the world Jedah called home. She hates it all equally. It makes it easier.

She knows perfectly well that this is not Outworld. Shang Tsung may not be the ruler of Outworld, but she expects little more from them. Her previous encounters with Mileena and Skarlet a year ago or more, Outworlders who admitted to performing some kind of action before Mortal Kombat, have not left her kindly disposed to the other side in this conflict.

"Dog, am I? I've been called worse." Baiken shifts her stance slightly when the fans come out, leaning forward slightly, more aggressive. "At least dogs are useful. What are you, then? Decorative? Or merely hiding your ... power?" That /is/ a taunt; Baiken still expects skill and power from Kitana. But here she's thinking of Mileena's face, not Kitana's.

None of her previous opponents have used fans, but Baiken expected them to be thrown as soon as she saw them - they're the right size, seem to be the right weight though she wouldn't know for sure unless she grabbed one, and her opponent's stance and style suggests acrobatics and speed over raw power. That means tricks.

Her forward lean turns into a sudden step forward, then a sidestep rather than rushing headlong into the second bladed fan. Experience pays off as Baiken takes those critical sideways steps, /then/ rushes toward Kitana the rest of the way, her hand on her blade's hilt the whole way.

At the last moment, she halts, her sandaled feet sliding just slightly on the floor. But while Baiken's body stops, her arm does not; drawing the blade and slashing upward in the same motion, Baiken puts all the strength of her arm and the force of her momentum into a single crushing blow, returning the blade to its scabbard on the return.

COMBATSYS: Kitana blocks Baiken's Tetsuzansen.

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

The blade connects, colliding with a third blade concealed in that voluminous sleeve with a peal of ringing steel turning almost immediately into a harsh grating from the two opposing forces. The pressure against her forearm, forcing her own blade against her skin and tweaking her wrist the princess reacts quickly enough to hop and thus bleed away some of the attackers force. Raising an empty hand one of the weapons which had missed Baiken earlier leaps off the ground to circle back to Kitana's grasp.

"Those who are useless or weak cannot hold power in Outworld. Let alone be decorative."

Her words are frosty, if that however was her attempt at repartee rather than this appeared to be a colossal mismatch in terms of each woman's respective abilities. The scratch on her forearm itched and she could feel the rent in her sleeve brushing up against the wound. She had lost her chance at first blood but she was weighing up what her opponent could do. With just one arm that strike had been strong and swift, but the fact it had included both a draw and sheathing the blade after the blow was struck.

Why did she not retain the weapon? The sword was nearly useless in the scabbard and a huge risk if Kitana were to get in close enough, two short blades would make the large movements required to clear a long blade from sheath very difficult. All that with only one good arm? It made no sense to her.

This was something Kitana could not explain or reason out to herself. The answers were not clear and her response is to resolve to be more careful. She didn't understand this manner of fighting but was educating herself blow by blow.

Very well. She should test that.

The blades closing in her hands from fan to sharp knives the princess's attack is direct. Getting in close however she isn't much closer than she should be with knives he instead strikes with fist and knife hand poking and prodding at blind side and not she strikes with ridge hands and jabs both in precise jabs to her opponents torso and occasional strikes up at the face.

Which would she react to, how fast? Would she try to use the sword even now?

COMBATSYS: Baiken blocks Kitana's Rapid Jabs.

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

Perhaps it's not too surprising. Iaido is a long-established style, if slightly unusual to see done by a professional, and a blade like Baiken's excels at it; it isn't as long as a standard katana that can be used one-handed or two for the simple reason that Baiken will never need to use it with both hands, but is still far larger than a knife or even a wakizashi.

But more importantly to Baiken, it's that she only has one hand. When she is holding a sword, she can use it for nothing else. If she had a free hand, it wouldn't be a problem - but she doesn't, so it is. She either cannot do a trick like Kitana's retrieval of her fan, or has kept it a secret.

"Heh," she half-laughs, a choked sound that doesn't actually sound like she's particularly amused despite the reaction. Baiken says nothing else. She tends to speak very little when she fights; what she's already said tonight is practically a speech from her.

Baiken does not seem unduly hampered by her blind side. She has fought for a very long time with it - in fact, she has never fought without it, as she lost her eye before she made her life into the constant onslaught of combat that it is. While she is legitimately blind on that side, she turns her body again and again, forcing Kitana into a circling pattern around the center of the throne room.

And the blind side is the side with the blade and the arm; Baiken is missing her right arm but her left eye. She blocks several of the fists with her interposed arm, a surprising amount of strength for someone as small as Baiken is. She prefers to dodge the blades, letting her body accumulate bruises rather than cuts. As of yet, she is not bleeding.

Baiken suddenly does shift to an attack - and not with her arm but with her foot. She kicks, suddenly and hard, trying to take Kitana's legs out from under her; if she manages it, she follows it up with a stomp before getting some distance between them, a step or two at least. It lets Kitana shift to knives if she wants, but gives Baiken enough options that she considers it the better end of the trade.

COMBATSYS: Kitana full-parries Baiken's Strong Kick!!

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

The thunderous clapping of her rapid assault meeting a still firm defense sounds like the applause the other occupants of the throne room are not likely to give the fighter. Were she to be watching this battle form the outside it would be fascinating enough to earn her interest, as one of the participants she was finding it a defence quite difficult to penetrate and that was rather frustrating.

The circling pattern Baiken forces Kitana into is one she flows into as naturally as walking. Her torso twisting to continue her targeted and precision attack even as he continues to stalk around her opponent as if led but expending no effort in keeping up with it. A baguazhang practioner it falls right into her wheelhouse.

Everything moves in circles, perfectly balanced.

As Baiken breaks with Kitana's measured and methodical circling the kick out at her feet is met with an abrupt change in the size of the circle Kitana was walking instant pivot. The circles woven on the spot to entangle and then flick up her calf behind Baikens knee and prevent it being withdrawn; the princesses arms continuing winding around her body with the same speed and flow as her circling. As though dancing with her partner rather than a fight to the death she finishes with hands held behind her and angled away from her opponent she is seemingly wide open and unprepared despite her defensive actions.

Vanishing in a cloud of violet sparkles the princess releases her hold and takes away the meagre support she was proving. Reappearing behind Baiken as the sparkling light congeals, it is with her arms still raised to the heavens the eruption of blades back into her hands while already coiled up to strike. She swings down and across raking her now open fanblades across the indefensible back of her opponent.

The only warning the sound of the blades opening from compact blade to slicing fan.

COMBATSYS: Kitana channels the strength of the killing fist.

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

COMBATSYS: Kitana successfully hits Baiken with Magnificent EX.

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

Baiken's defense is not unbreakable but it is resistant. She knows what she's doing, and she simply doesn't seem to care about minor pains and injuries. She's willing to take a beating to avoid a stabbing. Or however that figure of speech goes.

Baiken does not intend to keep the circling up forever. Her attacks tend to be in straight lines rather than curves and this doesn't benefit her. But letting Kitana strike her from a position she simply can't see from is even worse. Her expression darkens as she realizes, even if she's the one making the movements, she's being manipulated - almost as she kicks, in fact.

And that's when Kitana meets her best success. Baiken's leg is momentarily trapped, and though she can free herself almost immediately, even an instant is an eternity in a fight. She doesn't lay a foot on Kitana, and her second attempt meets no more success than the first.

This is because Kitana has disappeared completely. Baiken opens herself; she listens, and is already turning by the time Kitana strikes downward.

This means that the blades dig into the side of Baiken's back rather than straight down her spine, though the difference is rather academic given the damage it does. Kitana tears into the smaller warrior, ripping bloody wounds down her back, starting near the center but ending near her hip. It's a grevious wound for many; enough to convince them to stop fighting even if it does not kill them.

Baiken doesn't even cry out.

A hiss escapes her lips, through her teeth, but that's the only sound she makes. Her previous scowl is now a snarl as she finishes her turn with a step back, her empty sleeve whipping up and outward at Kitana's face and neck even though the ragged fabric is harmless.

And indeed it would be harmless if that was all it was. But from inside the sleeve extends a pole - a pole topped with a yin-yang disc, and the disc with a handful of knives in a pattern familiar enough to Kitana, given her choice of weapons.

Baiken jabs it sharply, then rakes it downward at Kitana's front even as blood trails down her own back. The fan of knives spreads out into a whirling mass as she goes, almost buzzsaw-like as it spins. Baiken's wounds /hurt/ - but she's doing her best not to show it in front of Kitana, and her best is very, very good. Years of practice.

The pole vanishes back up Baiken's sleeve as she lowers her 'arm' after the assault. She must be mad indeed - or more pressured than she wants to admit - to pull out her tools so early.

COMBATSYS: Baiken successfully hits Kitana with Zakuro.

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

The force she threw into that last attack was more than her best, it was the perfect opportunity. Her opponent moved as she would have willed it and paid a terrible price in blood. Her fan blades had bitten deeply though you would not know it from the way her opponent continued to move, one used to suppressing their pain or life and death struggles?

The fabric slapping up at her face is odd enough that Kitana makes to dodge, she's nimble and fast so the chances of the fabric striking her are negligible. She was unprepared however whatever it was up that speeds up and stiffens the sleeve then spears out at her.

Stepping back the Kitana speeds away moments after the blades flower and grind away at her. Sliding to a stop she does so with one shoulder forward and leaning aside from that unexpected blow. It's as she straightens the damage becomes apparent though, a wide gash in her shoulder beside her neck the flesh where muscle there is distorted and now featuring a thin gap, the gash continuing down her front where blood enough spilled to paint the blue cloth black and spoil the silver gleam with a wet red shine.

She could see it now. Some kind of hidden arsenal concealed on the other woman's body and if it could strike from elsewhere on the womans body or only that sleeve the trickery was much less likely to catch Kitana by surprise a second time.

As she straightens Kitana tests her arm on the wounded side for range of motion, she was not debilitated overmuch and the battle was far from over. Her intensity rises sharply as she gauges the threat level posed by her opponent with this new information.

"An interesting toy."

She recalled some festival tools like it when she was younger and partook in such things. An adult's toy she supposes; in replacing paper with blades made for a novel but not more effective weapon. It was just exotic and surprising. It vaguely reminded her of her own spinning fans, a deadly and colourful flower.

With her good arm she hefts one of her fans and winds back to give it a throw, this time however with she launches just the one fan and though it flies true the way it curves in trajectory and flips to rotate, it's as though it were being guided. Subtle corrections in wind buffeting and guiding the spinning blade it actually feints. Will it strike high or low? (answer: High, into that sleeveless shoulder, repaying in kind a wound for wound)

COMBATSYS: Baiken dodges Kitana's Regal Assault.

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

The tool retracts into Baiken's sleeve as if it had never been, afterwards. It /is/ a hidden arsenal, and at least part of why Baiken does not feel that she is a worse fighter with one arm than she would have been if she'd kept the other.

The other part, of course, is skill. Monomaniacal focus will indeed get you quite far.

"Hardly a toy," is Baiken's response, "but call it what you want; I don't really care." She does not seem like she's immediately going to use it again, at least; she does not jab her free sleeve at Kitana nor sweep something else out of it to strike with. She is pleased by the strike, at least.

Instead, her hand is on her sword hilt as she moves forward. Baiken is - either by choice or necessity from the wound - advancing more slowly than she was before; not a rush but a deliberate stalk. The fan comes spinning at her, whirling and shifting in flight. Baiken knows there's no point in trying to dodge that closely; it seems like it would just curve and hit her anyway.

She draws her blade, striking not at Kitana but at the fan with the speed of her drawing. Even if the fan /does/ manage to reorient, it's been knocked out of line, batted at an angle that Baiken hopes is unrecoverable for a moment or two. It would hardly have been an effective strike against a person (she used the flat) but for deflection it's plenty.

Sword in hand, Baiken holds her arm across her body with the blade pointed down, as if she was protecting her face and torso from frontal attack. This lets her actually accelerate into a few steps' worth of sprint; she hooks the blade around, striking while holding it as if the thing was a gigantic knife, a sudden cut that is more disorienting than deadly.

COMBATSYS: Baiken successfully hits Kitana with Suzuran.

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Baiken [E]       1/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|=======\====---\1       [E] Kitana

The thrown fan deflected Kitana suddenly realizes as her opponent stalks forward that her sole remaining weapon is clutched in the hand on her wounded side. Handily up to the task of any kind of brisk defence she begins a hasty backpedal before having to catch herself. If she retreated too far from her weapons they would be beyond her reach to recall them and she truly would be disarmed and vulnerable.

Curse her foolishness allowing herself to be caught in this situation.

The fan from her left hand falls to the ground several feet away, the small hilt and guard-less blade not up to the task of protecting against such a blow when used sigularly. Kitana reeling away sideways with the force of the strike staggers away a few feet. Blood petals settling and falling at her feet where she stands hunched over; Yet she rises regardless of the severity of the wounds, the new slash horizontal across the old and running just above the womans breasts. The arm clutching at the wound trembles as she struggles with the pain but won't let it overcome her reason. She was not a brute, nor a trickster, she fought with her mind as much as her speed or weaponry. If she allowed herself to panic or made bad or disorderly decisions then she deserved what was coming. Death perhaps.

Vanishing from where she stands the woman reappears more than a dozen feet away, recalling the remaining blades to her as though she were a vortex sweeping them up she returns to her original place now suitably rearmed. The teleportation took focus and time, using it in battle was difficult and also taxing, The sudden change in what you perceived was also disorienting so it could be a double edged ability. She could not rely on it ye tit was the only effective movement she had discovered so far.
%Accumulating up all these wounds and she still had to keep prodding at her opponent to expose a weakness she could reliably exploit.

She begins her charge with a dash rapidly accelerating in speed as she swerves wide and begins to circle around in on Baiken. Throwing herself forward into a dive she changes trajectory and aims to land in the taxing handstand where she separates her legs into a splits and levers them around to either side of Baiken and then up under her arms to grasp at either side of the woman's torso. (An opponent with two armpits would be much easier to seize hold of) before whipping her up and over to crash down the top of her head or back of her shoulders.

COMBATSYS: Baiken channels the strength of the killing fist.

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Baiken [E]       1/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|=======\====---\1       [E] Kitana

COMBATSYS: Baiken interrupts Back Throw from Kitana with Sakura.

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Baiken [E]       1/-<<<<<</<<<<<<<|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2       [E] Kitana

Teleportation is a trick that Baiken can neither duplicate nor really anticipate. She can tell when Kitana is doing it, even an instant or two before she vanishes, but she can't tell where she's going, and she has no real way to stop her from doing it (unless striking her in the head when she tries counts, which is admittedly a possible solution to the whole thing).

Kitana vanishes, picking up her fans after the injury, and Baiken turns to match her. The blade stays out, now, as Baiken has not bothered to put it back in its scabbard; she must be intending to use it further, then, rather than something that requires a free hand.

"So," she says, her voice low at first. "Is that it? Aren't you the Princess? Show me /everything/ you have!" Baiken raises her voice as she speaks, until she's nearly yelling. "Or is this the best Outworld can send against me? The last time I fought someone like you, she put up more of a fight!"

This, despite the fact that Baiken is hurt, and hurt badly. If it wasn't for her willpower, she would be down, or at least slowed beyond what the still-bloody wound on her back enforces. That blow was powerful and expertly dealt and Baiken, for all her bluster, respects that.

"Aren't you going to tell me that you and yours /deserve/ to rule!?" The tip of Baiken's sword weaves slightly before she steadies it - not a sign of weakness, though it could be mistaken for it, but a consideration and reconsideration of the best way to approach Kitana for a strike, held in an instant.

Kitana charges. Baiken changes her strategy a third time - she will not have to go to Kitana if Kitana comes to her. The rush gets her in close, and Kitana makes her leap, getting her legs around Baiken.

But that's where it goes wrong.

Baiken's wounded side, the side where there is no arm, has /something/. Kitana can feel lumps, metal and wood all folded down against Baiken's side, but there's no armpit and nothing to catch hold on, causing her to drop slightly lower on that side when Baiken performs a movement with her torso; hard to explain, but close to something that would have been a shrugging motion if she'd had everything intact.

Ordinarily this would be no problem for someone as skilled as Kitana, but Baiken drives the hilt of her sword into Kitana's leg to force her to release it, too close to slash. She twists as she does this so that Kitana isn't grabbing Baiken from the sides, but diagonally front and back, turning her upper body to shift the angle.

And then she drives the sword in a stab /behind/ her, trying to impale Kitana's leg or torso as she either hangs or aborts the grapple entirely. Pink chi gathers around the blade, rushing down it to the tip and exploding off in a flurry of sparkles, drifting on the breeze like petals before slowly fading away.

What was the woman talking about? The blade piecing the back of her thigh bite bites in deeply , the move causes a flinch but also traps the princess. Her weakened upper body strength left her little options and the follow through was much too quick. The blinding pain and knock away caused by the explosive flood of chi sends her sailing away to land in a heap, yet more petals of chi pink and bloody red which remains. As the princess laboriouisly climbs back to her feet the reason for her struggle is clearly evident to all the onlookers. The massive rent in the back of her thigh pieces the leg entirely and blood trickles down to fill the boot on a leg it's a miracle and testament to her willpower she is still standing on.

When she tests the limb to see if she can still move on it she totters instead to taking a step.

That left little choice in how she could fight, her mobility was hampered and surely the blood loss would catch up with her soon enough. She was backed into a corner now and it forced her hand. Her shaking however is mostly due to the severity of her wounds.. but not entirely! She spits back at the redhead with a composure that's beginning to crack and appears to be failing.

"Deserve to rule? My father is the only one who can rule!! For ten thousand years I have watch him maintain that rule with his strength, punishing the wicked and lawless or those who would seek power for their own ends instead of the empire while raising up warriors fit to fight for it. None are perfect! But he finds use and gives a place to all who are deserving who come to him."

This impudent mongrel! Like Kotal, that former Mortal Kombat champion who had abandoned their world for hers. A man many worshipped as a god, perhaps he was one in that world. In hers she knew him as a trusted and admired General who earned his place.(As much as she liked the man she dreaded the greater than small chance that her father may decide to one day marry her off to him to cement his loyalty and security of the family. A bitter pill and faint jest now that her life were in such danger her worries about children and what kind of world they would inhabit were a pointless waste of the time spemnt entertaining those thoughts. Not everyone gets to live or second changes.)

In several thousand years of combat with her sister she had spared her sisters life constantly, time after time when she KNEW her father wanted to see her assert herself and claim to be his one and only heir by ending her sister. However Mileena was her sister, there was something still like a love or recognition between them, however faint. Perhaps she did think she had earned her place at her father's side erroneously, without a warriors nature or thirst for battle, or slaying of enemies and protecting the realm. Always the favoured daughter because she was ever victorious as well as beautiful and talented; She hadn't earned her position or climbed to achieve it, she was born into the royalty and had never really considered she might be unworthy or lacking.

"I would not spout such unless it were true. I am /here/ to stop your people from killing themselves and destroying your realm with your own foolish infighting. Only earthrealm! Amongst all realms resorts to such infighting and killing of your own, such injustice and conflict of beliefs without repercussion."

Their gods were weak or impotent, not willing to step in and not able to bring about a peace without running into conflict with other beliefs and ideals outside those tiny and narrow borders they called countries. The elder gods did not interfere, those beneath them also chose not to.. and at that same level, existed her father.

The hands tightening around the hilts of her daggers are cramping, she hadn't even realized she was doing it. Her lips peeling back from her teeth in a snarl and the stinging in her eyes was definitely the onset of tears. How she hated and despised this barbarian of a woman who had proven she knew nothing of what she derided and mocked.

Smoothing her face she tries to bury and erase that brief and uncontrolled display of emotion. That part of who she was wasn't for public display nor for the abominable sorcerer to see. Those admired few who were the royalty built walls around themselves to show only the exemplary behaviour and emotions that all their subjects should see and admire.

"King or Emperor! They must be greedier, laugh louder and be more furious than everyone else. It is exactly for that reason why his subjects envy and adore him. He exemplifies the extreme of all things including good and evil. And that's why the flame of wanting to be like the king can burn in the hearts of each and every one of his people."

Her pronouncement of this fact is with all her heart. If those be her final words then they were in service of her emperor and her family, there's nothing holding her back now, she could fly free.

The strangled growl and rising growl as well as the chiming song of the bell accompanies a gathering and rush of air centred on and around the woman. It whips at what is left of her clothes and scatters her blood to the four corners of the room but still it goes on and builds in intensity. The sudden thunderclap of air that suddenly occurs as the princess goes from standing feet away to crouched at Baikens feel and having the torrent of air suddenly shift to swallow them both like it was being exuded from the woman herself rather than gathered from the scenery around them.

Stepping up into the rising uppercut aimed at the underside of Baiken jaw.

COMBATSYS: Kitana channels the strength of the killing fist.

[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////                     ]
Baiken [E]       1/-<<<<<</<<<<<<<|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2       [E] Kitana

COMBATSYS: Baiken just-defends Kitana's Disrespect!

[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////                      ]
Baiken [E]       1/-<<<<<</<<<<<<<|>>>>---\-------\0       [E] Kitana

Baiken pulls her blade forward again after the Sakura strike, snapping it to one side. The blood mostly mists off it, leaving only a faint wash of red along the edge. She'll have to clean that later.

Her own wounds are aching. Kitana's attempted grab, successful or not, put pressure on the slash down her back and it's throbbing again. It's been a while since she's taken a single blow like that, especially so quickly. She needs to improve. But then, she always needs to improve.

"All the deserving," Baiken repeats, before she snarls, "Including the artificial creation of blood and spite that took advantage of chaos to kill? Including the /thing/ that also claimed to be a Princess of Outworld, when Majigen rose?" That was, of course, not Kitana at all; it was Mileena. But they look so much the same (except for, of course, the mouth) that they must be related, somehow.

"We don't want your 'help'," she spits. "We don't want your Emperor. Keep to your own realm. If that means we have to win this battle, I've no problem seeing that through to the end. No matter who I have to kill." Her eye slips to the throne once again.

But only for a split second, for she has no time for more.

Baiken can feel the pressure gathering. It's as much energy - chi, power, whatever Kitana cares to call it - as air pressure. She holds her blade before her, pink light gathering on it as she channels her own, holding it parallel to the ground. If Kitana is skilled - and Baiken has no reason to think she isn't, so she isn't trying to conceal it - she too can feel pressure building, but a different kind, as Baiken builds something of her own. A technique of some sort, more complex than what she's shown before - more complex than what most combatants use, to be honest.

As Kitana releases her wind, Baiken releases hers. A symbol starts to form in front of her, sheltering her from the air, working almost like a shield, but it's not done yet; Baiken stomps her foot as she presses outward, and the symbol brightens, firming visibly while reaching its full power. "BAKU!"

Baku: the Seal.

Baiken pushes it at Kitana, the chi technique wrapping around her. If she's not skilled or powerful enough to break it, it will temporarily dampen her powers - not remove them, for Baiken isn't capable of that, but weaken and disorient her - even render her unconcious in a blow, if Baiken is lucky enough.

COMBATSYS: Baiken successfully hits Kitana with Baku.

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

The seal stands glaring before her but it also crawls across her limbs, it felt as though it were constricting her chest and binding her limbs from the inside out. Not even the inner strength she has spent hundreds of Earthrealm lifetimes cultivating can escape its grasp; without any other power she can draw on the princess begins to slump.

Fatigued flesh and torn muscle alone, barely fuelled by her dwindling blood levels. Willpower alone was not enough to keep her standing.

Whatever this rubbish the women vomited out at her was she cared not a whit for it. Kitana knew nothing of these events and they stand as nothing but baseless accusations and false witness with no meaning behind them. Searching for meaning in the cryptic speech was pointless and she was already exhausted.

"Spluttering nonsense and heaping lies upon lies until the end."

Kssshrrr! It irritated her no end to be left powerless in front of scum who would dare slander her and her comrades so. She should set down her weapons and accept her death with at least a little dignity but there was none to be found in this arena nor did she consider her opponent in any way worthy of claiming her head. Strength enough to kill her, the famed princess of Outworld but there was nothing else there she could respect, just a slow witted woman with a strong sword arm and an array of tricks to compensate for her obvious disabilities.

With all the effort she can muster the woman lifts her good arm and turns to wave the fan behind her, the last vestige of her power enough to throw her body into her opponent for lack of any other options. There was no honour or dignity in dying here so she might as well go out tearing at her opponent with even the scraps of strength she had remaining to her.

COMBATSYS: Kitana can no longer fight.

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

COMBATSYS: Baiken blocks Kitana's Deception.

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

That was cold, hard fact. If Baiken could find Charlie, she could probably confirm it, but she hasn't seen him in ages (nor, to be fair, has she tried to).

"Believe what you want, Princess. You will anyhow. Maybe we'll speak again in another life."

Lowering her hand from the binding, Baiken remains alert. It's not over yet no matter how much it might look like it is - that's what caused her loss against Scorpion, something that she still has no idea how she survived. That's been the trend with all her battles. She's lived. She's never been sure how.

Kitana throws herself at Baiken in a last-ditch attempt, and - unlike in the match against Scorpion - she's ready for it. She catches the incoming Princess on her arm, not striking with the sword but simply trying to hold her off. It's hard, and she staggers back under the assault, but she does manage to keep Kitana away from her long enough for the Princess to fade.

Baiken lets her fall. With her sword already out, Baiken does not have to draw it, and Kitana has honestly given her very little reason to spare her. She has been aggressive, unwilling to listen to Baiken (to be fair, it's mutual) - everything you'd expect in a fight to the death among people so opposed to one another.

Baiken does not hate Kitana personally. She hates her as a respresentative of Outworld, and what Outworld seems to represent to her, moving in toward Earth; she hates the people of Outworld she has met and spoken to.

But, more importantly, she does not feel like giving Shang Tsung a show. Everything she knows about him is repellent. She may not want Outworld coming to Earth, but all she needs to do for that is to win the competition. Her dislike of Shang Tsung is more personal, after seeing what his realm and his amusements are like.

She even gets the impression that Kitana does not like him very much; when she made her first accusation, her first response was to narrow her eyes and look at Shang Tsung, not at Baiken. She didn't even deny it; she said it would be tasteless, not that she believed it hadn't happened. It may make Shang Tsung happy if she kills Kitana. His... announcement of the match suggested that he was rather hoping she died at Baiken's hands.

And so, when the stroke comes for Kitana, it is the flat rather than the edge of the blade.

Baiken slaps Kitana's side with the sword. It is painful, stinging - but not deadly. She may be unconcious or the next thing to it, but she will wake up later, when she's been treated, when she fights off whatever lingering effects of the binding still cling to her.

"I win," she informs the throne. Then she turns away, to make her way out. Baiken walks with pride even with her injuries; she ignores them as best she can as she strides away, unbroken and - for now - unbowed. She is having second thoughts already, but it's too late to change her mind.

She merely has to hope this won't mean something goes horribly wrong further down the line.

COMBATSYS: Baiken has ended the fight here.

Log created on 18:31:55 10/30/2016 by Baiken, and last modified on 17:51:41 11/01/2016.