Mortal Kombat - MK: Surprise Challenger SAWDUST Vs. Munin

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Description: Munin Arshe, having seen what lies beyond after one's own death, has had little chance to do much but reflect upon the futility of her efforts and insignificance in the battle to save Earthrealm. This, for whatever reason, appears to be the unlocking criteria for a special challenger battle? (This log description is as lost about this development as you are...)

A cold wind blowing through the wastes tonight, a bit harsher than usual. The dark, purplish misma that fills the dire space is thick, almost tangable. Small reflective eyes peer from the darkness as the more base and instictive creatures that exist here skitter and crawl about, seeking warmth, food, or both. One of the old stone fortifications, however, they seem to be avoiding.

Almost as if they are afraid of it.

It is rather clear, with the surrounding bleakness as a contrast, that someone is there due to the faint flicker of light from within. A traveller seeking shelter more than likely, with a fire built within.


"We have to do this."
"Come on! We don't have much time."
"If you want to, who am I to say no?"


The traveler that yet clings to their continued existence after it was removed - and returned - by the circumstances of the deadly kompetition, may yet hear footsteps far more in line with... humanity. Humanity, or the strange appearances of those that do not identify as such. It could be either. It would be either...
They may have a sense of being seen. Discovered? They might hear noises from above, but any silhouettes visible through the mist - if any such windows even exist from within the fortification - are fleeting at best. Has she been found by the sorceror's own agents, to have her very soul klaimed?
Voices. Too quiet to make out, but they seem to be a recognizable tongue? Have other refugees decided to invite themselves to the secluded flame within, to the one who has crossed the veil of life and dea--
Before that thought can be completed, there's a sharp yell, followed by the heavy sounds of someone - two someones - jumping down into view, blotting out the light from outside as it rises in the vaguely human shape of a fully grown man in loose-fitting clothes, arms bare. The face is hidden underneath a beige bandanna that runs through everything beneath their eyes. In fact, the uniform, primarily, seems to mostly be stripes of beige cloth over black.
It's very familiar, somehow, like this manner of dress is somewhat common in these parts...? More alarmingly, there's a much younger boy in the dirtiest, torn rags. A servant, plucked from their insecure quarters...?
"Right here!" The older one calls, holding the younger boy - a young teenager - close by their left arm. No chance to say 'hello,' no hesitation, nothing, as they stare down the one who finds shelter and comfort by the fire. "This boy will be... claimed? Claimed. Yep. Claimed."
"Help. Help. Help," the boy repeats, not making eye contact with Munin as they squirm within the man's hold.
The free hand points towards Munin - hm, that wristguard seems like it's bulged out a bit? Maybe it's not important. "Want to have your soul claimed too? Because I'm the evil ninja named... Sawdust!"
(The voice acting for this Mortal Kombat is horrible.)
"He'll kill me," the boy's voice trails off, ever weaker. "Help."
Trouble appears to have found our traveler.

COMBATSYS: Rust has started a fight here on the right meter side.

                                  >  //////////////////////////////]
                                  |-------\-------\0             Rust

"Eh?" The masked ninja looks up towards the thin air, before looking back towards Munin. "It says... er, uhhhh, don't look up too closely." So claims R-- Sawdust. Yes, Sawdust. That is very clearly their name. (Sigh.) Clearing their throat, they hold their ch-- hostage, I said hostage! They're holding their hostage ever tighter, who struggles feebly. Half-heartedly, even. Maybe they're resigned to their fate.
Nonetheless, in the context of all that has gone on... does Munin have it in her, in the approaching climax of these darkest days for Earthrealm and its weary warriors, to save this child from this strange masked ninja of a beige hue who is apparently referred to as Sawdust?

Movement can be heard from within the shelter. The sounds of boots or shoes on stone, and rustle of clothes as a figure moves to the entrance and comes around the corner into view.....

Munin does not look herself should either of them seen her previously..... the whites of her eyes are jet-black, her glowing purple irises unmissable even in the gloom as she locks onto the pair. Her face is gaunt due to some minor malnutrition as of late, with bags under her eyes. All she heard outside of something about killing was the call for help, and that she can absolutely not let pass!

With a glare at the attacker she rushes headlong forwards, moving like a cloud and trailing blackish-violet smoke in her wake! "Let him go!"

COMBATSYS: Munin has joined the fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Munin            0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Rust

The boy, upon sight of the sudden dance of shadow against the backdrop of somber flames, seems to get enough of an upper hand to get behind their captor, swinging their body weight where the right forearm leads up against the oncoming warrior of darkness.
"You want him?" Asks the palette-swapped ninja, a slight turn of the head, "I don't know. I think I'll take him! Like a son. As though I were his father. Yep." He clears his throat, the gesture far too reserved and comfortable for the stirring fury and uncertainty behind the woman's blackened eyes. There is something truly chilling about the way Munin moves, and yet...
"You'll have to take him aw-- back, by force!" Suddenly, with a crouch, Sawdust throws up their right fist in one of the most favored strikes in all of Outworld culture, so ubiquitous as to be mandatory for all who would claim to be a warrior...
...An uppercut.

COMBATSYS: Munin dodges Rust's Fierce Strike.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Munin            0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Rust

Sawdusts uppercut meets nothing but air, seeming to pass through Munin head, her form dispersing into a fine mist as it is struck!

The illusion having served it's purpose, right behind it is the REAL Munin, not at all looking happy! Moving in without pausing duet o her off-balance opponent, she gets in close, brings up her arms, and tries to wrap them around his upper arm, bring him around in a hard throw! In response to his words, she says nothing directly, though the vicious look in her eyes conveys more than words could.

She won't let someone else die while she still stands! The shifts and misspoken words go undetected in her efforts.

COMBATSYS: Munin successfully hits Rust with Power Throw.

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Munin            0/-------/-------|==-----\-------\0             Rust

It doesn't take much effort on Munin's part - her emotional turmoil turning to resolve notwithstanding - to huck the beige-clad ninja into one of the walls of the derelict structure, which finds its integrity loosening further with that great impact of palette-swapped cloth (and flesh) against brick, a few stones even falling loose.
Mysteriously, the boy - briefly freed - stands with a blank expression towards his seeming rescuer. Maybe he was also caught off-guard by the very illusion before him? Being a deer in headlights is not uncommon. With this opening, he should run, shouldn't he?
Or has fear overtaken him...?
"Ow." The ninja murmurs as he pulls himself along back to a stand. "So, you really mean to fight, eh?"
He doesn't wait for an answer as he comes in with a short leap into an extended leg that goes for Munin's chin.
"Great!" He sounds almost elated by this, somehow. Maybe he'll sound elated when he gets horribly cut down to bloody chunks.

COMBATSYS: Munin endures Rust's Light Kick!

[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////    ]
Munin            0/-------/-----==|==-----\-------\0             Rust

Without hesitation, Munin surges forwards once again, eyes on her target as his attack comes in. She doesn't seem to even try to dodge, instead merely moving to take it on the cheek.

*THWAP!* It connects cleanly, and her head snaps a bit sideways with the impact before slooooowly turning to face him again seemingly none the worse for wear. Her eyes pulse brightly for a moment with her head tilted slightly, as if to say 'was that all? MY turn!' without even having to speak, before literally splitting in two, one attacking from the left with a palm strike to the face, the other from the right with a sharp kick to the knee!

COMBATSYS: Munin successfully hits Rust with Mirror Image.

[    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////        ]
Munin            0/-------/---====|====---\-------\0             Rust

The palm strike to the face does as imagined and advertised, the head and upper body being thrown back as the palette-swapped ninja Sawdust finds their footing less sure against the uneven, broken stone ground that has long since been in the process of being reclaimed by whatever passes for nature in these parts, blades of grass of sickly colors tickling against the boot-clad heels as Munin's illusory kick to the knee crashes against the side of his leg, seeing it shake an--
Wait. Illusory kick to the knee, and he's...
That's weird.
That second one's not real, but yet, he buckles against it like it actually did hit him? That's very strange. Maybe he has some kind of unfathomably rare allergy to illusory kicks to the knee? It could be that this illusion is so utterly convincing that he truly believes he's being kicked in the knee, but, still, that might yet stick out like a sore thumb as he falls forward into a crouch.
"F... ahhhh," the boy flinches and covers his mouth as he watches his captor fall to a disadvantaged position.
"Ahh, you'll have to do better than that it," so boasts this Sawdust as he shakes out his head and rubs at his cheek without missing so much of a beat, turning his head back to his hostage who seems to have stayed put so far.
Moving in against the adept of the shade, one hand reaches out to try and grab Munin's arm, then direct her over an outstretched leg towards-- no, angled just a bit away from the campfire she has going.
So, towards the wall, then.

COMBATSYS: Munin fails to counter Medium Throw from Rust with Blink Strike.

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Munin            0/-------/-======|=====--\-------\0             Rust

As Sawdust moves in for the grab, Munin takes a step back, leaving an afterimage illusion where she HAD been standing to take the grab and confuse him. However, he is just fast enough to grab her before it forms! The illusion dissipates, and she gives a suprised look just before being thrown into the wall with a dull *THUMP!*, headfirst! The impact dazes her a moment as bright lights fill her vision and her ears ring, lying on the ground!

With the distance afforded between them now, the hefty-looking generic beige ninja moves to the boy's side, gently taking his arm back close to him.
"D-Do something!" The boy's worries grow increasingly hushed, to the uncaring violet wastes that surround them at all angles.
"Oh, I will!" The new challenger Sawdust says as he stands, puffing out his chest. "You stay down, and all that is good and right, like m-- this child, will... probably have a lot of bad things happen!"
He turns a glance towards the young boy in his clutches. It sounds like he's about to say more, but...
She could just... kind of up and punch him while he's talking, couldn't she? Show him for arrogantly thinking he has such the upper hand to pontificate over the fallen form of the woman whom calls darkness and deception her closest allies.
He's making it all too easy to leave such critical openings when a child's life is at stake!

COMBATSYS: Rust assists Munin.

[         \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////        ]
Munin            0/-------/-======|=====--\-------\0             Rust

Dazed as she is from impacting the wall, Munin doesn't manage to hear and/or process the continued inconsistancies. All she knows is there is an opening!

One she takes BEFORE getting up!

From the floor, she makes a throwing motion, and a crescent-shaped projectile of shadowy chi flies from her hand towards Sawdust! Then with a shift of smoke and shadow, almost appearing like fluid, she goes from prone to standing. Eyes locked back on her target and his 'captive'

COMBATSYS: Munin successfully hits Rust with Shadow Wave.

[          \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Munin            1/-------/=======|=======\-------\0             Rust

The crescent flies towards the enemy ninja, who does have a significant window of opportunity - and, in spite of the close-quarters nature of their environment, ample space - to move aside. However much or little skill this foe boasts, that the darkness washes over him without all that much effort does seem...
Well, let's not dwell upon this. Munin has been beyond the veil of life and death. In this world, there is no sense looking a gift horse in the mouth. A clean strike is a clean strike, no matter how terribly delayed the reactions to one's movements may be as they flip and falter over to the left, rolling across uneven stones jutting out of the ground that proves just as painful to maneuver as that very hit.
"Oof. Ahhhh. Kkkkkkth." Pained groans and hissing follows, but, thanks to the way the head is hidden underneath cloth, there is little to truly gauge just how injured this man might be - whether he might even be just toying with her before unleashing some great, powerful forbidden technique or not goes unanswered.
It may be in everyone's best interests that Sawdust not be allowed to show the very possibility of this, given the circumstances, as once again his hostage stays put and hides their mouth with their hands.
Bringing his left hand up against his right forearm guard and tugging it down for reasons that remain obscure and unclear, he helps himself up thanks to a gap in the walls providing a good place to set a hand in which to find balance anew.
"How much is Earthrealm to you?" This seems to be a question asked in earnest. Maybe he's offering her to join sides to the winning team? Possibly? He comes in with a series of kind of standard punches. A left hook here, a right straight there... nothing particularly stand-out.

COMBATSYS: Munin blocks Rust's Random Strike.

[            \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Munin            1/------=/=======|=======\-------\1             Rust

Using absorbs or deflects the strikes from Sawdust with her forearms, taking note of his fighting style.... and veeeeery slowly starting to notice the gaps. The question, however, takes her slightly off guard. She lurches back suddenly to avoid one of the strikes, such is her distracted suprised. Glaring, she responds "of what worth is anyones home to they who live there? I DIED trying to protect it, before i could even START protecting it!".

This seems to bring out some fury in the small lass, and as she ducks a punch, she picks up a discarded piece of stone from a collapsed wall and swings at him with it!

COMBATSYS: Munin successfully hits Rust with Random Weapon.

[            \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////                ]
Munin            1/-----==/=======|=======\=------\1             Rust

"But that's why you fight here with--"
There's no punctuation needed to emphasize the sound, feel, and visual of what transpires.
The piece of stone should, by rights, take an entire piece outside of the skull of this guy on impact. It's so brutal that even the captive flinches and jumps, yelping on an impact before crouching and covering himself underneath his thin, youthful, weak arms. Munin could be assured that he appears exactly as helpless as he looks, and yet...
...This aside, the enemy ninja that is supposedly named Sawdust - where do these names come from? - only manages to stay aloft on their very feet in ways more common of the thicker, more brutish sorts in the fighting world after one or two roughly cartoonish spins across the imbalanced ground of a once proud structure that has long since fallen to ruin before any one of them were born.
Half-crouched over, the strange ninja who will be forgettable the next time some other oddly-colored ninja in this exact same get-up happens by rests their right hand against a knee.
"And here you are anyway, fighting... yep." It's hard to tell if he's laughing, or coughing, or anything that comes out of his throat. "You better!"
With that, he straightens up in time to thrust out a leg.
That leg, underneath the clothing, seems like it might be awful skinny for the body type, though. Any curiosity involving this is better left resolved after dealing with the fact there is a thrusting kick being tossed for Munin's midsection.

COMBATSYS: Munin counters Strong Kick from Rust with Combo Grapple.

[            \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////                    ]
Munin            1/-------/=======|=======\===----\1             Rust

Munins hands move in a blur, catching the kick in her palms. She narrows her eyes at this strange warrior, before spinning his foot with both hands, one pushing one way, the other the opposite to get a good top spin, spinning the strange ninja several times in the air and allowing him to simply land hard on the rocky ground before her. Planting a foot lightly on his neck to try to hold him down, she stares at him thoughtfully...... this one isn't like the others she had seen before her untimely end..... something feels off "What are you getting at?". She seems to have, but in fact has not, forgotten the 'hostage', who she is keeping mental tabs on in the meantime in case he might be a plant, and moving on her from behind.....

The mysterious ninja's body seems to rest in sheer defiance of the concept of gravity when Munin gets a foot on his neck, the rest of himself somehow pointed... upwards? Like there's such a bend between where her foot rests and the rest of him that it just can't help but stick upwards. (The things a spine does for a mere sight gag...)
There are many questions, and the one that Munin speaks is probably one of the first ones that ought to be answered.
"Oh, it wasn't clear, huh," his voice is muffled due to his face being pointed towards the ground, and only put in writing with clarity for the sake of the reader, "sorry."
The boy does not seem to see it fit to approach. Munin could be assured that he is absolutely no threat. It is strange that he doesn't run and hide now, but then again, where could he run? It's dangerous out there, with a lowercase 'd' because that is just proper English writing rules. No one would give a demerit in this situation if one were to say Dangerous instaed, at which point one could say that yes, it is that with a capital 'D.'
This is Digressing.
"What I mean is, ahhhh, uhhh are you willing to suffer, for the sake of the world, the SAWDUST DUSTER POKE OF DUSTING!!!"
Which is really just a sharp finger poke thrust just up against the knee, a bit above the cap. Maybe it's meant to be some kind of nerve strike, and not at all a random zany finger poke. This is absolutely a ninja of the Mortal Kombat persuasion, 100%, and it might even turn Munin to d--
No, it won't, but it's rude and very uncomfortable if she allows it to happen.

COMBATSYS: Rust successfully hits Munin with Weapon Jab.

[              \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////                    ]
Munin            1/------=/=======|=======\===----\1             Rust

Blink. Munin peers down at her knee, one eye twitching in discomfort. He does indeed hit a nerve in the knee! She stares at his hand for a beat, jabbed into her leg, before hopping back, staring at him "That wasn't even trying...... whats your deal?". She looks between the kid and the ninja, looking curious and angry at the same time. The fact he hasn't retreated, at least to where her camp is, has not been lost on her.....

"Start talkin. I want answers".

COMBATSYS: Munin takes no action.

[              \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////                    ]
Munin            1/------=/=======|=======\===----\1             Rust

"Eh? Not trying?" His body flattens out when the pressure stops being applied to his neck by Munin stepping back. (Human spines really don't do that, but...)
"It's you who's not trying!" An accusatory statement is made through wheezes, groans, and other sorts of things that are also politely not being accounted for, for the sake of the reader, as he struggles to maintain footing when brought back up to something resembling a ready stance. How far is this going to go?
For any of them?
"Besides, I, uh... missed. For you are a great warrior!" So this strange ninja claims, this... Sawdust, which is not the name printed up on the lif--
"For the sake of this child, and Earthrealm... you must not explode into dust when I poke you again, because next time I will. Poke you. And you will explode at. Yep."
A finger is jabbed around Munin's neck. There he goes again.

COMBATSYS: Munin blocks Rust's Weapon Jab.

[              \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////                    ]
Munin            1/-----==/=======|=======\===----\1             Rust

With practiced ease, Munin knocks aside the poke. This is quickly getting anoying.... however, the kid is still watching..... she wonders something.....

She rushes forwards, grabbing at Sawdust as the shadows start to darken.....

If she grabs him, shadows start spreading across his body until he is entirely covered, at which point the inky substance would begin to compress him, squeezing slowly as she maintains it......

COMBATSYS: Munin successfully hits Rust with Ebony Void.

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////                          ]
Munin            0/-------/------=|=======\=====--\1             Rust

..... she stares at him as he, likely, struggles against the pressing darkness, knowing he can still hear her "You WILL tell me what i want to know.... or i'll crush the life from you! Who are you! What are you doing here?". She is bluffing, and and maintains the pressure at a constant 'uncomfortable', but the younger lad doesn't know that...... will he break 'character' and stop her, supposing that is the case? She waits to see.....

He... doesn't struggle all that much? Maybe the darkness is squeezing too tight to allow for that. Munin at least might be assured that this is not some fellow illusion master who has committed an empty hollow double in which to be ensnared. The signs of pain are there, the little flinches and other attempts of a body to correct the balance of its weight when it is not in full control of how it stands.
The kid cowers and even yells from the sudden gathering of the darkness, lifting up a foot as if to allow a shadow to run past it. Munin's powers are not those of comfort and warmth - they are of darkness and uncertainty, the absences of light and revelation.
Munin stares, but he doesn't seem to be looking her back in her eyes. This Sawdust looks a little lower... maybe he needs a reminder...?
"--worked," he mumbles out. There's only one thing there that there is to look at...
There's some more shuffling in his body langu-- resistance. That is absolutely resistance. Struggling, twisting... he manages to position his left arm somewhere within that mass, for what good it does. What is he going to pull out of his behind now, after an array of borderline incompetent strikes that Munin had so easily maneuvered around and overcome?
"S-See... for yourself!" For the stress in his voice as he is being squeezed both physically and verbally, he manages to fight about his restraints to do one thing--
"Sawdust Cloud!!" It's something of a blur, that Munin might catch sight of for a split second - somehow, a bag of something managed to be retrieved through the darkness, and hurled to the ground with enough power behind the throw that a curiously large amount of the landscape becomes covered in blinding, eye-, nose-, and throat-irritating dust.
It might even be sawdust?
In the confusion that follows, he seems to be able to wrest himself out of the squeezing, choking darkness at which point what remains is a whole lot of nothing to squeeze. The sound of footsteps are lost to the chilly wind that continues to howl about this land of unending, unyielding, unchanging tragedy, and with it, any semblance of reason behind tonight's interruption to Munin's continued bid for survival.
Munin's blessing of the Elder Gods, a necklace, casts a stronger light in its yellow hues in the wake of a battle that Munin largely waged in sincerity.

COMBATSYS: Rust takes no action.

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Munin            0/-------/------=|

COMBATSYS: Rust can no longer fight.

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Munin            0/-------/------=|

This latest turn of events...... an escape from her void technique, is unheard of!


Turning to face the kid, she says "come. lets hear YOUR story"

With that, Munin heads back to her campfire

It seems to be a trick of the shadow itself that the kid might yet be there, given his meek stature and how he spent almost the entire time cowering, hiding... but like the one who escaped the void, he, too, has disappeared.
Munin will be left to contemplate this turn of events by their lonesome.
As the pivotal tenth Mortal Kombat draws ever nearer to a close, what surprises are there left in store for those who yet live among the Earthrealm warriors...?

Log created on 18:35:40 12/28/2016 by Rust, and last modified on 14:10:52 01/31/2017.