Description: Police are calling for vigilance and assistance from the community in locating a man who allegedly attacked an 18-year-old Southtown University College student yesterday evening. The College student found to have life-threatening injuries is now in a reportedly stable condition. Anyone who may have been in the area or has any information regarding this incident is asked to contact police as soon as possible. [Related Stories]:Source: Man Attacks Park Jogger.Follow us: @3NEWSwatch on Twitter | 3Nfacetime on Facebook (Division of Nippon News Network)
It was in Southtown that the monster known as Freeman had been spending his time for years now, dormant, living what would pass as his ordinary life, among the tunnel people of Southtown's sewers. He subsisted here, in a dull haze, the forces that had controlled him having let him wander and drift free of his torment. His mind was still warped far from that of his former self. The poverty was what pained him now, what little Freeman had left of his former self weeping as he starved in a subway tunnel amongst the other homeless.
As incidents happened, like the Majiken disaster and now this testing of the world with Shang Tsung's tournament, the idyllic European economy for a circle of ruthless investors was disrupted. And now, they needed to play their ancient games, the sacrifice of human lives via the vessel they had selected, former Scotland Yard Inspector Pendleton Freeman. His name cleared from the annals of history, his rank forfeit, and everyone that once knew him assuming him killed hunting a spectral killer, he was now their puppet. Every murder made against his previous will damned him, and every manipulation by these rich men above society's morals, but within society's highest circles, was to pull him further away from his humanity. A black wizard in a red temple somewhere in Britain roused Freeman with a spell of blood and wine, surrounded by men in black robes and masquerade masks, watching as the blood and wine mixed and bubbled into steam.
Freeman sobbed, before he got to his feet, and a pained laugh echoed throughout the tunnels, the homeless looking at their previous companion in fear as he stumbled, then shuffled, then walked towards the surface. As he stepped out of the innards of Southtown, he shook his head, the tendrils of black magick drawing him to a hero to challenge. He sensed her already, a pure woman of sacrifice and friendship towards others, just like him. A man that had lost his mind and become someone else. Freeman briefly considered that she could help him, before there was a whisper from a magus, and he decided that she must learn a lesson. The morale and the cause, however, were transposed in his mind.
Outside a park, as dusk set on a particularly crisp fall day, Freeman had stalked Hitomi, watching from a rooftop above the road across from the park like a gargoyle. He slunk downwards as the end of the day came quietly. He would not take his victim. But he would take others. He crept through the trails of the park towards the sports fields, watching a man jogging down a path ahead of him as he slunk along at a shocking speed for someone so wretched, his contortion already coming into play, making him seem a puppet.
The polyester/cotton surface of the ball ringing against her boot as she gently punts a high trajectory lob in back into the fray. The referee, the only teen or so aged girl seemingly laughing at the mixed bag of players descend into chaos with everyone chasing after the ball regardless of 'positions' or even teams. The swarm of children chasing the ball were all in mismatched civvies and ages, all just generally having fun chasing and kicking the ball without an objective in mind.
The Onechan was keeping some measure of control, returning the ball and keeping things going until the obligatory accidents happened or tears started to fall. Some of the children were younger and would get frustrated at being unable to get to the ball or trip and fall on the field. There was always that tiny window of opportunity to get to them and dust them off or convince them to keep going, to remind them that having fun was more important to them than crying right now, wasn't it? That big sister type seemed good enough to it that most of the parents nearby were engaged in talks with one another rather than watching over their children.
Hitomi for her part was getting all the workout she wanted if not the practice she'd intended. Overlarge crisp white (and obviously new) shirt which hung to her thighs, black shorts and grey socks pulled up high she was decked out in her college colours. Crimson red leather football boots kicking both forward and blurring into reverse as she runs back and forth around the outside of the melee; returning the ball to centre or chasing after it to return it after a wild pass.
It was exhausting stuff. No wonder referees needed to stay in such good shape if they had to try and manage to do this while keeping up with professional players.
Holding the ball for too long was her cue to weave her way through the group and try to steal the ball, she was after all the final boss of the soccer field and had to keep things fair and interesting by keeping the ball moving and the participants having fun.
She was grateful to these kids, didn't mind losing some practice time since it was far more refreshing to just watch kids who wanted to play for the enjoyment of it. Though it wouldn't be long until everyone left for go to their homes for dinner and she was alone again, you had to treasure moments like these when they were happening so you didn't waste them and could remember them fondly later on.
There's a low breath behind the jogger emerging from Freeman as he glides along after the man, Freeman's feet sliding over the ground effortlessly in his punk rock boots and his gaunt arms swinging about as if they were attached to his slouching torso by mere metal pieces. His orange hair hiding his glowing red eyes, the jogger can only see Freeman's pleased grin as he turns around. The jogger was just a pawn in this game, a man Freeman would've once called an innocent bystander. But now Freeman is an innocent, or are they both innocent? Are they both guilty? Or are they something...Else?
"Taste the gift of madness," Freeman whispers with a British brogue as he lashes his right hand upwards, edged black chi forming along the extended forefinger across the turning jogger's face.
Hitomi and the children can hear a scream from the trail near the field, as a gibbering wild moan of pain and fear extends from the forest. A man in a blue jogging suit stumbles away from the trail, half-running, half-stumbling, wobbling his arm out as he clasps his face. Blood gurgles from between his fingers, one of his eyes oozing optic fluids as he produces a gutteral, labored moan in a struggle to breath, his nose slashed to ribbons. He reaches out at the children playing soccer, before he collapses.
The setting sun in the trees behind him across the view of the city, Freeman stands in place, staring at Hitomi with that grin on his face, the jogger before him. As the jogger crawls away, the trees of the park seem darker, murmurs of ghosts coming from them as little red motes swirl about in the darker spaces of the light forest.
Freeman slowly raises his finger again, this time without the tree. The long, ghoulish digit extends from his hand, pointing at Hitomi. Freeman remains there, his shoulders askew and his left arm hanging down limply, as if Freeman was a scarecrow come to life and thirsting for chaos.
With the scream Hitomi screeches to a halt, ramrod stiff as if frozen in mid step yet poised and resting on the balls of her feet; the natural inclination was to run when hearing a blood curdling scream. If someone had been injured however then she should go and offer what assistance she could, even then though the children were milling and confused or scared stiff. Some already choosing to burst into tears and bawl for lack of a better response and no way to really reassure them.
The response from the parents borders on paralytic and is most certainly confused until the jogger emerges, the free flowing blood from his face and fact he topples forward is enough that Hitomi swallows her doubts and takes a step toward. The man obviously needed medical treatment and they were- No, everything about this was wrong and the man was still crawling even though he had fallen and was obviously greviously injured. He was trying to escape something; her eyes are unwilling to begin the gradual process of actually turning in that direction. She can feel it in her gut that she isn't going to like what she finds there.
The onechan spreads her arms wider, seemingly inviting but more importantly it was obfuscating with her body interposed between the children and the scene in front of them. Her swivels her head around to bark over her shoulder at the children in a voice like she'd never used before.
"Go! Back to your parent's. RUN HOME!! ...please."
Hitomi did not want to be here; where she trails off she's begging them to run. Willing the parents to sweep in and scoop them all up and away so then -- she can run away as well.
The finger pointing at her chills her to the bone, but she's caught in a situation where moving aside or flight would be worse than the alternative. Or whatever this thing was it was already coming for her. Why did this crazy stuff keep happening to her?
"Wh-What do you want?!"
She can't keep the trembling out of her voice, she was well past worring about appearances and more about what was going on and why people were being hurt.
The gaunt rockstar serial killer's head slowly twists on his neck at the question, before he chuckles, a sick sound that wouldn't qualify as sinister. Sinister would require intent or method, not just the pure madness of a wounded, abused animal. But then he tosses his head back and the laugh exits through his nose, oscillating several pitches upwards, the danger of this man now clear. He begins strutting forward, as if emulating a female supermodel's movements, his arm dropping to his side and his shoulders pivoting as he stands behind the man trying to escape. He reaches down with his arm, grabbing the jogger by the hair, and yanking him up to his knees, the man screaming and sobbing and begging incomprehensibly.
"The question isn't what I want, sweetling. It's what you want," he whispers, but the words come across between the two of them, the entire field, as if it was declared loudly. Some foreign force amplifies about him, as the jogger screams with such agony that it positively churdles the heart of anyone nearby not born of the strength of discipline to save or take a life. Freeman lifts the man higher, off his knees, forcing him to release his face and showing the nasty cleave through it. Blood pours, now, before Freeman throws the man aside, his purpose fulfilled.
Freeman's walk becomes that of a revenant, now, moving towards Hitomi with a smooth swagger, masculine finally. "Why these children?" he gestures, sweeping a hand at the retreating children and parents. "What are they to you? You can never have a child, you know." His tongue slakes along his lips. "Not after this." Black chi wells up around his hands, and the red motes from the forest gather around him, as he tosses his head arrogantly to reveal his eyes. They bore into Hitomi's across the distance, a red light in them that glows repulsively, with an opulently decadent look to his shoulders, despite his display of obvious poverty.
COMBATSYS: Freeman has started a fight here.
"What- what--are -wh?-"
None of this made the remotest bit of sense. She wanted to be far, far away from here and this to be another nightmare she was going to wake from... annnny second now. These were just children, crying and fearful, It didn't matter whose they were; if she was the only adult close enough to protect them she would have to do for lack of some police or a friendly neighbourhood superhero.
This intruders lifting of the man off the ground was an unsettling display of strength from someone so slight, the wounds he was taking pains to exhibit turned her stomach but at this distance she couldn't tell if were some kind of prosthetic fakery. What if this were all a huge sham just to get at or provoke her further? She was uncertain, conflicted.
The parents rushing in to grab up their own little ones or grab children by the hand and drag them away weren't so divided on opion of what was going on. Nor were they in a position to stand up to this man, they were nearly as defenceless as the children and their fear resonated with her own. There were people more suited to things like this; who picked out jobs or careers where they wanted to protect people. She just had to hang on until help like that came.
Recoiling and covering her abdomen with her hands protectively with that last threat the girl turns pale as a sheet. What kind of sick and twisted thing, was it dredged up from her nightmares? Was it some kind of stalker who was put up to this because of those fans of Marduk? If- if it was all just a dream that was tormenting her so she needed to take control. If it were the latter then she just needed to hang on until the police arrived, the harassment and letters and things needed to stop.
It made problems for everyone around her.
"Do you think that's funny? To say that kind of thing to a girl?"
It doesn't matter that it was directed at her, because it was it made her afraid... Terribly so. But the thought he would say something like that to any girl at all made her angry. If it were all an act or her really were a sadist who wanted to hurt or scare a girl so! and so believeably?
She'd smash him flat and THEN wait for help.
Hitomi plants her feet and raises her arms to defend herself but makes no move to go on the offensive, she didn't want to fight especially not in whatever this was. She was a tournament fighter who liked competing against friends and people she could respect; not monsters.
COMBATSYS: Hitomi has joined the fight here.
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Freeman 0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0 Hitomi
COMBATSYS: Hitomi takes no action.
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Freeman 0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0 Hitomi
Freeman stands in place, staring at Hitomi with a dark grin as the parents and children vacate the park, his hands open at his sides, nails that could be considered grotesquely effeminate glimmering with the black shadows that dance about behind them and between them and about his palms. That's all Freeman has for her for a long while that takes merely moments but stretches into an eternity in a shade's dance, the red motes...Whispers, comes a faint angelic voice, when one struggles to name them...Swirling around his body, seeming to come from his eyes and flow from them, despite no visual connection.
"Funny?" he hisses as he begins stalking towards Hitomi, her martial arts stance all the signal he needs to begin his surgical psychological torments. He has not carved up a soul inside a body for years, but the hunger is back, and it burns in his tortured psyche so badly. Images flutter about in his mind's eye, as if from a twisted memory that never existed, yet was in his past. And the future reflects the same. "I don't find things funny, Hitomi," he whispers, leaning down to pick up a turf spike from the park ground. "But I laugh." He wraps his hands around the stake, looking down at it quizzically, as if frowning in thought. But there is a blank look to his jaw, as if no thoughts are coming.
"You have a foe you need to fight, and he mocks you so cruelly," he says with a soft whine, on the surface a function of sympathy. But then the grin, and the grimace, and then a gulping as he looks up at her from betwixt his neon locks that fall about his face. That dispels the notion of anything remotely human, or even animal. Some sort of insect-like gesture, when faced with carrion. "That is where I come in." He looks across the field, to the side, before his head snaps to look at Hitomi and hurls the turf spike, directly at her chest.
"I will teach you."
COMBATSYS: Freeman successfully hits Hitomi with Thrown Object.
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Freeman 0/-------/-------|==-----\-------\0 Hitomi
"I don't have anyone I need to fight!"
It was a plaintive whine, an absolute truth. Why wouldn't they accept it and instead listened to that she had somehow impeded 'him' or used 'feminine wiles.' She didn't even know how to use feminine wiles! He'd lost, Marduk had lost to her in fair combat though she was loathe to call that an actual match. She had been afraid of him and fighting with no holds barred for over half the match. It was a disgrace she wished someone had the courage or forethought to stop.
"I don't care what he says either, but please stop bothering the people around me. Nobody's reputation is worth this. Please."
It wasn't. Jira-sensei was already filtering out the worst of the mailed items before it got to her, police were regularly involved and there were plenty of times people just called things out at her out of nowhere. It wasn't worth mixing people up in this feud that she was refusing to take part in. No comment, no comment, no comment. Don't react to the threats and let them think they were getting to her.
How he came in? What did he mean by that. She wished he would stop moving like that, looking like her so, and her feet kept shuffling backwards of their own accord. She didn't want this whatever he was offering.
She turns her head to glance in the direction he did, with the spike in his hands that was making her nervous but he didn't even seem to be looking at anything particular in that direction. The spike grazes across the back of her arm and jabs painfully into her chest, recoiling and stumbling back she drops her defensive stance and the stake remains lodged where it landed, buried just deep enough in her in her flesh to remain.
He stabbed her? He threw the spike at and struck her with it. Shaking hands rise to remove grip and then remove the stake with a sharp tug. It was still dirty form use and now bloody. The pristine new shirt no longer so she is absolutely horrified. This didn't seem like a prank anymore, not even a bad one tended to involve stabbing.
This wasn't a match. It was a fight and she wanted nothing to do with that! So she backs away carefully, hand still covering her wound she was under no obligation to fight and this guy was clearly focused on her. He knew her name and was a fan enough of Marduk to be willing to attack her openly and in broad daylight. There's probably no limits he won't sink to-the child she bumps into falls onto his rear and continues to sniffle quietly on the verge of tears.
No, oh no-No-NO. Why didn't he run with the rest?
COMBATSYS: Hitomi takes no action.
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Freeman 0/-------/-------|==-----\-------\0 Hitomi
Freeman continues to stalk forward, smoothly and arrogant moving, now striding, at Hitomi, his palms back as if he's dragging his knuckles on the ground. "Listen," he whispers at her, ignoring the child behind her and the fear in her and the confusion and everything else. He just stares at her, his hands moving up before him as he extends his fingers and shows her his palms, hands wrenched back and forearms upturned, as if his hands are a venus flytrap being torn apart in the process of budding from a human body.
"You cannot hide from the fiends who torment you, just like you cannot hide from me," a low murmur comes from him, as his gait slows, and he spreads his arms apart, displaying his open chest, pale flesh displayed where grey cloth doesn't drape across it. He holds himself in a crucifix position, head hanging to the left instead of the crucifix's depiction of Christ's head hanging to the right. "But I only want to make you strong. He wants to destroy you." Standing in place, he stares at Hitomi, his hands slowly curling inwards, his claw-like nails digging into his palms as blood ever so slowly drips to the ground. "I was weak once. I believed in the works of man to save people. I tried to be that man. But do you want to know the essential truth of this world?"
His mouth frowns, before breaking into a plastic grin. "We are all the same, and a good person can become an evil person, simply with the action of another." He drops his arms and gestures at the child behind Hitomi, crooning forward with his flexible back, his finger crooked at he gestures at the child. "This child has a heart full of hatred now. And he could become a murderer. Or he could become a soldier. Or he could become a priest. Or?" He looks back up at Hitomi, a pained look on his face.
"He may die from tears, if one does not help him, as I am helping you." Freeman looks genuinely concerned, his face showing some semblance of humanity, even if it is merely in the musculature, not the rest of the image of the 'man'.
COMBATSYS: Freeman takes no action.
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Freeman 0/-------/-------|==-----\-------\0 Hitomi
one of the first lessons they taught new students was that the first and best option when confronted by an opponent was to defuse the situation or simply run away. The training was harsh and students usually picked up a physique that would allow them to escape harm should the need arise or defend themselves if necessary.
At a more intermediate level Senshi Do training is very demanding. You push yourself until you think you've reached your limit. First your body wants to stop, but your mind keeps pushing you. Then your mind wants to stop, but your spirit keeps you going. You endure the pain. You persevere.
Marduk had hurt her, much more deeply than she cared to admit, but she had a handle on that and was working through it. She would endure and it was likely only until he and his fans chose some other thing to be upset over and became bored with her lack of response. She had a handle on all that and she wasn't planning on breaking or going anywhere no matter how big and famous the bully.
Who THIS bully was however she had no idea, she can't believe his words when his actions are so very different, alien. He actually said he was on her side for some reason but she didn't want that. There was nothing here she could really believe and everything about the guy creeped her out.
"I refuse to acknowledge anyone who'd hurt people like this. I won't allow it; you're not on my side!!"
She didn't know how he'd take it. She might just be making her situation worse but her position was clear. Her palm bumps into the boys chest where he stands behind her, she forces him back now with a bloody handprint clearly visible on his light coloured hoodie. The boy can grow up to become whomever he wants to be, his fate isn't prescribed or set in stone, nobody gets to trample on anyone's dreams and hopes and claim they're helping, let alone someone literally slashing and stabbing people.
She would do her best to restrain him. Nobody else needed to get hurt today. The swift pumping of her arms and readying herself she draws her arms against one another and resets into combat stance. Stopping him wasn't her job, but him being here was her faultc she had to take responsibility for it.
COMBATSYS: Hitomi gathers her will.
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Freeman 0/-------/-------|======-\-------\0 Hitomi
Freeman blinks once, slowly, before his grin turns into a smooth, serene smile, as if he were a mother talking to a child, the juxtaposition incongruous for obvious reasons. "Girl, nobody's on anybody's side. We're just people. Until we're thrown into a swamp. And then?" He begins snickering, sounding like he's partially sobbing as he hangs forward, arms limp, before he throws his head back laughing. "And then we're sinking!" There's a deep exhale, as he looks at her, the sobs having produced no tears. "And the more you try to cling together in the swamp? The deeper you sink." He grits his teeth at her resolve, now annoyed. "Let me show you how to wade, girl."
Freeman's body swirls with black magicks, a chi drawn from an otherworldly source, the same that tortures him and shapes him into this being slowly, as he charges forward. His legs bound as if they're made of rubber, slashing his hand out at Hitomi. But it's aimed far too soon to strike her, and instead claws infront of himself, as he shimmers into darkness amongst the setting dusk, and suddenly appears behind her, with the child between the two of them. His hand slashes at her back, right between the shoulderblades, his chi turning his fingertips into blades. He deliberately attempts to splash Hitomi's blood all over the child and baptise him in fear.
"The child's soul is mine, if yours won't be!" he screams in a sudden rage, that sounds like a victory even in the attempt.
COMBATSYS: Hitomi blocks Freeman's Morbid Angel.
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Freeman 0/-------/------=|=======\-------\0 Hitomi
She can't get a read on this guy, his behaviour was erratic, twisted and alien levels of bizarre. Maybe he was an alien!! She'd never heard any stories like this before. Crazed alien fighter invades a local park... it would explain the way he moved and their possible obscession with an odd human celebirty. Also his complete failure to understand, Humans survived no matter the situation or environment. Past, present or future they'd continue to struggle on to survive, try to realize their own dreams and pass a future down to their children that was better than they had. Sinking wasn't an ending, it was something to overcome and work together to combat.
Her initial flinch and raising of her arm to defend herself against the attack changes to puzzlement as he opponent disappears, the hitch in the boys throat behind her is enough she turns to punch upwards in a spectacularly aggressive defence. Her forearm wedged against his descending arm the shock of having been cut and bleeding from a simple hand strike was new. It's unexpected and plays across her face as a mixture of surprise and shock as the trauma starts to set in. It's only a light wound, hardly enough to stop her in her tracks but it's also an education in what she was up against.
Shoving hard with her free arm against his chest she aims to destabilize him as she steps in and lurches into a chest height rising knee strike and slinging herself into the straight punch afterward to knock him away.
He wasn't getting anything off anyone if she could help it but especially the boy. The more he blustered and threatened something the more she firmed her resolve, he would not get it.
Not a single hair on the boys head.
COMBATSYS: Freeman fails to interrupt Tenchi Kaibyaku from Hitomi with Nightmare.
- Power fail! -
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Freeman 0/-------/-----==|=======\=------\1 Hitomi
Freeman is pushed backwards, grinning at Hitomi with his lips creeping apart to display his gums, the rictus nature of the grin showing that it is a look of aggression instead of amusement. And then, the knee slams into his chest, before the punch slams into his jaw and spins him around and away. He stumbles diagonally away from Hitomi, falling to the ground on his side. He curls inwards briefly, into a fetal position, before he rolls onto all fours and slowly pushes himself to his feet, his back to her. He breathes slowly, his left hand on his ribs where the knee hit, his head hanging down. He does not turn around, merely facing away from her, standing there as he emits a ragged, canine breathing sound, but inhuman with some sort of demonic hatred caught in his throat.
"Is this why...Craig Marduk was so offended by his loss? You have purity of purpose..." He slowly looked at her as he turned his head to regard her over his shoulder with a single eye, barely visible from between his flowing hair. "But do you have the vision that comes with pain?" he asks, his tone that of a Christian monk discussing metaphysics with an initiate.
She didn't get it. He was still going on about Marduk but seemingly talking to himself or perhaps over her head. She'd set her mind to something and now she was going to accomplish it, if that counted as 'purity of purpose'? Then surely everybody was capable of it.
As for her right now, she just needed to come up with a way to restrain a dangerous man with painful and cutting knife hands. Which! Not as easy to work out what kind of hold or grips she could use which wouldn't get herself slashed to bits as she might've hoped. All she needed was to wrestle him to the ground in such a way he couldn't slither out of the hold or turn the knife hands on her.
She couldn't just stand here and do nothing, she had to act.
waiting for her opponent to rise she begins her run, the cleated soccer boots digging into the field to give her just that little bit more traction as dashes at him only to lunge in for the grab. Grappling at the same time side-stepping and trying swing herself around behind him to establish -a full-nelson?? Wrestling hold in which her arms pass under her opponent's armpits and secure a firm grip from behind with her hand seizing the back of freeman's neck.
Hitomi was no great innovator and a tournament fighter she was more used to a catch and release style of fighting. Not holding on to a knife edged maniac.
COMBATSYS: Hitomi successfully hits Freeman with Strong Throw.
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Freeman 0/-------/---====|=======\=------\1 Hitomi
Freeman starts laughing again, this time a sick, wheezing chuckle, his shoulders heaving, as Hitomi charges forward. He does not resist as the full nelson wraps around him and forces him into a craned position. Hitomi can feel his bones and muscles and cartiledge wrenching from the manuever, his head forced down as his arms come up, his hands hanging limp off his wrists. "A fight is always simple, isn't it?" he grunts, barely registering pain as a human would register it, instead allowing the two of them to stand there. He turns his head to the side against the hands interlocked behind his neck, whispering, "But what would it take for them to respect you? You know who I mean." His left hand slowly balls into a fist, even as he doesn't fight the hold behind that. "Them."
Freeman swings his arms into an angle as he curls forward in the full-nelson, and his leg lashes out at Hitomi's foot inside the hold, hard. And then, he pulls his arms inwards and attempts to wrench Hitomi about with the shock of the stomp to her soccer cleat hopefully loosening the hold, to lift Hitomi over him and slam her onto the ground. His body is neither taut nor slack as he does this, his form playing at different, odd neurological densities inside his shifting body.
COMBATSYS: Hitomi endures Freeman's Heavy Kick.
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Freeman 0/-------/--=====|=======\======-\1 Hitomi
Hitomi knew she was in for some pain trying to maintain this hold. He stamps down hard on her foot and her face contorts in agony, registering the hurt and wondering about how bad the injury was. The grunt that escapes her lips is hardly a squeak in comparison to how much that must've hurt. Hitomi doesn't give up however and the two are left struggling slowly apart, she unwilling to release him and also unable to maintain her hold on someone so slippery. It doesn't stop her trying no matter how he tries though with every inch he struggles free it becomes more and more dangerous with the reach he has with those hands of his.
She's playing for time, that's the end game here; at some point it's too dangerous and foolish to continue this and let herself be stabbed.
Her release is abrupt and she drops low as if crouching toward her injured foot, anyone with any sense however can see the arm cocked and ratcheting up tighter and tenser, muscles quivering with strain. It's an absurdity of an attack; pure brute strength focused and in a single devastating closed fist strike - to the abdomen.
A martial artist spending minutes focusing before striking a rock or tree to demonstrate their power and controlc but the girl was clearly intending to punch on through her living and breathing opponent.
He was touching on nerves. What would it take for people to like her? She didn't know. People asked to be friends or do things together with her all the time but nobody ever made an effort to keep contact or took her busy schedule and training as an affront that she didn't want to spend time with them. She was always alone, but always receptive. She'd find people she wanted to be with her and liked her for who she was.
To be respected by bad people who didn't like her for what she was? that was a dark and gloomy place in a world where she'd care to focus on it, such a lowering of her expectations and goals. She wouldn't settle for that.
And then she threw that absurd punch at him.
COMBATSYS: Hitomi successfully hits Freeman with Fudo-Fujin.
- Power hit! -
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Freeman 1/------=/=======|=======\======-\1 Hitomi
Freeman stands over Hitomi, his hands open and his palms facing her, standing there with his mouth open as he breaks the full nelson. But as she rolls through it, his eyes slowly narrow into slits, the serial killer taking on a serpentine quality. And then, comes the massive punch to his stomach. It slams into his gut and he keels over it, sent flying backwards with an upward bounce off her fist that quickly turns into a backroll and leaves him hitting the ground in a rubbery fashion, bouncing a few paces as he digs into the earth haphazardly. He leaves a trail of irregular scuffs in the turf behind him, laying on his back. And then, slowly, he climbs to his feet, not even pausing to recover from the move, like some horrible mechanical man now, driven forward by clockwork and brass gears.
"View that blow as the ending of your previous life," his voice rattles, his diaphram clenched from the blow, but he's still talking, driven forward by a hideous strength. "And this is the beginning.
Black energy swirls around him in all directions, the sky darkening behind him as crows fly about with red eyes, their shapes ethereal and noncorporeal, as he slowly stalks towards Hitomi, tendrils of black ink reaches out from around him towards her as he inexorably stalks forward. It is not a charge, but it is more rapid than his body would seem, time dilating around him as he slashes both hands at Hitomi, one after the other, aiming at her throat. And then, the darkness enscounces him, first a penumbra and then an umbra, an red eye visible with perfect symmetry where his forehead once was.
And a moment later, the dark energy flashes away.
COMBATSYS: Hitomi interrupts Creeping Death+ from Freeman with Tensho EX.
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Freeman 0/-------/-======|======-\-------\0 Hitomi
Hitomi was really hoping that would be it, he wouldn't be getting up after being hit that hard. That was the hardest and most focused attack she could even throw. At a level where she was just starting to be able to break stone, even a hulking behemoth like Marduk had suffered greatly after she landed it.
Everyone but this guy, who appeared to be shrugging off having thrown so far away. It was like a horror film watching the monster keep getting back up, but at least he was slower this time; seemingly angrier. Maybe she had hurt him.
In her attempt to stand upright once again she suddenly winces when unconsciously putting weight on her foot. That wasn't good. She hops in place to reorient herself ready to face this. Whatever the hell this was?! Encroaching and consuming darkness advancing upon her threatens to swallow her whole, if it weren't for the things moving around the edges of darkness she wouldn't even be able to faintly see those clawed hands. Was it obfuscation, hiding how he intended to strike or was that and actual hole she needed to avoid? She had less than good experience dealing with these large scale chi attacks. She didn't know what they did or how they worked.. just how much they hurt. Not that she could flee anyway with much more than a hobbling run.
Fine, if she couldn't retreat she'd have to counterattack
The fingers reaching for her throat and that one baleful red eye looming above her she has nothing else to aim for and use as a target. This close to the darkness theres a complete absence of light and detail, only the stinging presence of those blades reaching for and touching her flesh as she moves toward and into it.
The spinging launch comes with fist extended and upraised as she vaults into the uppercut at the underside of his jaw and propels both fighters high into the air where she arm continues to push and extend upwards to throw him higher still. Her spiralling descent to the earth elicits a sharp cry as she lands on her wounded foot but at least it had seemed to work.
The agonizing wide strips of wounds winding around her torso and across her back indicative of just what kind of damage she might've sustained if she hadn't reacted so.
She was bloody, her shirt torn and hanging open in places to reveal those nasty wounds beneath even as the white fabric stained black. The entire time she keeps staring at the fallen (man?) hoping he doesn't have it in him to rise again. She makes for the boy, hands coming to rest on his shoulders she tries to offer a reassuring smile despite being so hurt and drained. They needed to go, in the very least the boy needed to go home right now. She would stay and wait for the police. Or just try to hold out that little bit longer.
Freeman is sent flying into the air by the punch to his jaw that breaks through the waves of darkness, a high-pitched scream of a banshee heard resounding in all directions as the black force is sent flying asunder. It is not him, the sound coming from all directions, as if it is the air itself howling. Freeman flips and about in the air, hurtling about like a ragdoll, his body shaking and convulsing in mid-air. He flips about as he comes down a distance from Hitomi. He does, however, do one concerning thing.
He lands on his feet.
Freeman, his body sagging like a broken doll, staggers at Hitomi, and suddenly, as he arches his back, a giant skull of black inky hatred bursts out of his chest, launched bodily at Hitomi as if it were his very soul lashing out at her.
And a black soul it is.
COMBATSYS: Freeman has reached second wind!
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Freeman 0/-------/------=|======-\-------\0 Hitomi
COMBATSYS: Hitomi blocks Freeman's Overkill.
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Freeman 0/-------/------=|=======\-------\1 Hitomi
Hitomi twist and spins around to meet the onrushing attack with an underarm volleyball style swing, a solid connection even as she leans aside; it hurts so bad, 'like hell' but all she had to do was interpose enough of herself and deflect the remainder upward far enough to turn it aside, away from the boy.
She wasn't giving up just yet either, this was no sacrifice play in response she begins the stamina draining and intensive trial of pushing herself forward despite being in the path of the attack. Her arms screaming with pain as she drags herself along and up the path of the beam in an accelerating run while ignoring the pangs of pain and weakness in near every limb, the body on the verge of failure thought for the moment at least she could ignore the pain side of things.
When she's close enough she starts to totter to a stop rather than a controlled one. The number of her wounds and the mounting cost was rising dramatically, she couldn't afford to let him get away. Just a little further was all she had to manage. A mantra that keeps her forging ahead no matter how little the energy she had left.
"Ya-ahh!!"Both her driving down and inward, plunging toward Freemans centreline again she punches simultaneously with both arm. Knees falling back and locking her legs into a horse stance the impact enough to generate a pressure wave that stirs her fringe. Nothing had changed, she is still terrified and wished she was anywhere else, this kind of fighting wasn't her nature. She'd rather be cooking good food or spending time with some nebulous good friend. But she was the only person who was here and could do this, so it fell to her to do it without complaint.
At any cost she'd stop this.
COMBATSYS: Freeman blocks Hitomi's Morote Zuki.
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Freeman 0/-------/-----==|-------\-------\0 Hitomi
Freeman's chest smokes after the explosion of wrathful energy, a slow breath drawn after he recovers from the force of the pulse of chi sent at Hitomi. And then, as the pair of fists come in, Freeman draws his arms across himself in an X, the punches impacting into him and pushing him backwards. There's a revolting feeling to his arms as she strikes him, his bones themselves turning to rubber, before they stiffen out as he flicks his arms out and tosses his head to the side, hair flowing out of his eyes.
"It does not matter which one of us wins this fight, poppet," he says with a smirking smile. "You have already sensed something stronger inside you, and it is not heroism born out of valiant nature."
He lashes out with his left hand, aiming to grab the side of her neck, thumb pressing up into the jaw. "Your will is born out of horror of what I am, not of what you could be." His other hand sweeps in then, with a slash aimed across the martial artist heroine's face with his slashing fingertips.
COMBATSYS: Hitomi counters Gore Fest from Freeman with Komon.
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Freeman 0/-------/----===|=------\-------\0 Hitomi
She once learned something important about heroes. Her grandfather had spent a some time with her and explaining lots of things about old photographs she never understood. It all flew over the head of such a young girl and they were old pictures of things and people she never knew and didn't understand. She did understand some of his stories that were relatable and able to be simplified down to a level she could follow.
A small girl struggles with concepts like military rank, borders and battle but can grasp intimately a meaning as simple as 'This..? It was for protecting my friends.'
A pretty and shiny ribbon that all the same tended to make her grandfather a little sad and quiet. How he won such a thing wasn't important to him enough to relay to her. The values and things that mattered deeply to him and the short time they would have together, he would try and impart those.
Heroes can be anyone, they're just people afraid of losing their friends or doing what has to be done regardless of the risks. Heroes are afraid, not better than anyone else. Sometimes they're the most afraid, people without a way back or any other hope or way out but to try. Those courageous heroes of myth and legend surely exist and there are people like them or who inspired them but people like them suffer and die like everyone else.
The hand holding the side of her keck has it twisted so, tangled in her short hair, but it contorts in a spasm and releases the hold as her own gripping the wrist exacts a more technically effective pressure on the vulnerable wrist. The scratches on her cheeks well up and bead with blood but she holds his gaze and slowly tries to force the hand back.
"I'm not a hero, I'm the most cowardly person I know."
Her fear just couldn't stop her. Afraid people wouldn't like her, that the food she prepared was awful or that her clothes were too hideous to appear in public, afraid she'd actually have to fight someone for real and actually hurt them or be hurt in return. She preferred safety, set rules and fair play because it was nice and simple.
"This is about doing the best I can and my conscience."
Instilled virtues given to her by her parents, her grandparents all the people between who had crossed her path. She was the good girl, the one who always studies, always takes the hardest and most self-sacrificing route to spread the most happiness. Until it hurt.
Hitomi swings her body around and into Freeman, the arm twisted up and folded over her shpoulder she throws herself into a straight forward over the shoulder throw and then swinging down hard she buries her fist in his face, punching his skull down into the turf with an audible thump.
In a tournament it would be little more than a rap, full points. She really leaned into that strike right now. She didn't want him getting back up since she could barely get back to her own feet.
Freeman gets his arm caught and wrenched about, his grip on her neck broken as he's flipped over her shoulder and slammed into the ground. His arm held and elongated for the punch to land, Freeman is punched right into the face, his nose breaking and his head snapping backwards. He fades to the grass, his left eye bright red with bursted capillaries as he points a hand up at Hitomi. "Conscience?" He begins laughing, and his hand opens to a palm, a lance of black chi flying out, right up at Hitomi from his position on the ground. He never identifies what amuses him about the concept, or if it even is amusement, as opposed to merely a bleak reflex from what used to be human inside him.
COMBATSYS: Freeman can no longer fight.
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COMBATSYS: Hitomi blocks Freeman's Full Blast.
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Scrambling to defend against the new attack Hitomi mounts a defence; desperate, strong and terribly ineffective. The spear like thrust of energy piercing her arm and penetrating beyond it the barrier of her arms no strong ward against energy let alone rasor sharp point; such that the elongated (if slightly more insubstantial) tip of the thrust is buried deep in her chest.
The strangled and anguished cry as the girl falls straight backward, curling up in on herself with her affected arm cramping and going into uncontrollable spasms, her chest feeling like a hole was bored into it and ice cold water poured into the resulting cavity. She was bleeding, less than she expected since she thought she'd be run clean through but there was more than she'd ever seen before.
Hitomi rolls over onto her front, sets her one good arm to the ground and tries to push herself back up. She can't stay down with someone this dangerous. Her life and more importantly the lives of others were in danger so long as this guy wasn't in a prison or something somewhere. (an alien research facility)
Instead she sinks further to the ground, even setting her forehead against the grass and pushing with both her neck and arm just sends her reeling sideways and eventually falling. Her body won't listen anymore no matter how strong her desire to keep going was. The spirit was willing but it just couldn't coerce any more strength out of this injured and bleeding body.
She, lost? What about the boy?
Lifting her head she grits her teeth and struggles to wheel herself around to look for--He was standing over and in front of her, between Hitomi and her attacker. His arms held wide in a familiar pose and facing off against a foe he couldn't defeat without a hundred years of training and a few more lifetimes worth of luck. The girl can do nothing but stare at him wide-eyed from her position on her side in the dirt.
This was heroism. It was also suicide. The wail of approaching sirens was music to her ears but what were the odds they would get here in time to actually help. Had she bought enough time? please stay down, please stay down.
Fullman's mouth pulls into a grin as his arm falls at his side. He begins laughing, a ragged, hoarse sound underneath the incoming sirens. His back arches beneath him as he clenches up off the ground, as if rising up possessed, before he falls onto the ground, his eyes slitting shut. Red motes swirl around him as his head turns to the side, and black energy surrounds him. There's a whisper in a Chthonic language around him, coming from the lips of an old man, before his body turns black. He becomes a murder of crows, the red-eyed birds cawing and screeching as they take off from the ground where he once was. Leaving a pool of blood behind them, they flap off towards the woods as a massed movement, leaving no trace of Freeman besides the telltale sign that he was there, his DNA.
It was all another nightmare she just had to wake up from to escape. He still had the energy for such a sick sounding laugh and was starting to rise from the ground despite all the damage she'd inflicted. Hitomi squeaks and recoils from the sudden head turn in their direction, but moments latter is left lying there stunned and silent as the crows fly off, an obnoxious cawing black cloud receding into the distance. This dream was frightening and weird; she didn't want to be having it anymore yet there was still a huge measure of relief that the guy was seemingly gone, how he'd left being new levels of horrifying -- was a real close second to how relieved she felt he -was- gone.
She still didn't know what the boy meant in this dream if it was one. He was still there and standing between them even if that weren't the most terrifying thing she'd ever seen she would have worried for him. The fact he was kneeling down beside her and reaching out to steady and hold her head, applying pressure to the side of her cheek and neck. She was just curious about him, why was he still here and why was he doing this?
Her eyes fall on the front of his bloody hoodie and she lifts a still bloody hand to indicate without touching it further. She felt guilty again about that, certain it was her fault though she was having trouble remembering how it had happened.
"You should s-soak that in cold water... when you get home."
His face is all screwed up like he was on the verge of tears again.
'Hitomi you idiot!'
Was that... Hiroshi? He'd grown a little since she saw him last. That explained the appearance of the mysterious boy in this dream! Groggy and weak she just wants to go back to sleep but she can't leave a kid alone when they keep crying like that. Not even in a dream. When blurring and indistinct figures of adults finally arrive and sweep in to take care of him though she can finally rest. It's been a tiring day.
Log created on 19:13:55 11/09/2016 by Hitomi, and last modified on 21:09:41 11/13/2016.