KOF 2017 - Act 2: Mission 16 - Made In Japan

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Description: Johnny Cage had it made. Made in Japan, that is. With a new movie announced and in production, he was ready to bust ninja, slap some shogun, and woo all the geisha in the latest action thriller. But Justice just had to mess it all up and nuclear laser everything. Now, the crew have been evacuated. A real ninja war has broken out. The Cage is PISSED. Instead of searching for the real culprit or those involved, he wrongly directs his wrath at the Iga Clan, which in turn draws the attention of Huitzilopochtli, a fierce demigod otherwise known as Kotal. Kotal meant to test the weakened seals of the mountain, but must contend with Nagase and some AAA actor with a grudge first, or else how will his konquest begin?

Panic. Shifting leylines had stripped away the Iga Clan's protective wards. Mt Fuji -- the largest and most significant of Japan's hundreds of mountaintops -- was lain bare for attack. Land purchased in blood centuries ago is up for grabs for the first available takers.

And Nagase, the profit-seeking ninja who claimed to have no further ties to the Iga Clan has nonetheless returned to repair the damage. With a small rebreather unit around her nose and mouth, the sprightly shinobi crouches on the branch of a tree, fingers splayed outwards near the surface of an ancient paper ward. The ward had been here for centuries, constantly serving a vigil against malevolent spirits. Frayed strands of energy flail ineffectively outward from the ward, singed by the atomic power of an unnatural weapon. Nagase concentrates deeply, fingers twitching from side to side as she weaves the pattern back into a cohesive matrix, able to provide its warding powers yet again -- for the good of the Clan, and for the good of the Earth.

A small indicator flashes on the amber lenses of her eyeglasses -- the level of background radiation in the area. Nothing fatal, yet... but prolonged exposure might not be the best idea. But everything for the moment is all according to plan -- a few more wards to repair, and she'll be able to take a break for the night.

As long as there are no intruders to take care of, anyway.

Bon Jovi's Wanted Dead or Alive is underneath the arrival of a set of tires that cruise into the area. From the way the wind blows, it's probably safe to say that the individual riding this motorcycle is going much faster than the song playing would have anyone that's in the immediate area believe. To those that may be actually paying more attention or watching on screens, they probably get to see the aerial view of this asshole that's making his entrance into the area that he's managed to get information to check out in favor of finding out what the hell is going on around here.

Or, most importantly, get to the bottom of why the filming of East Versus West II: Collision Coast has been stopped. Well, he actually does know the reason why and that has everything to do with the nuclear lasers and explosion of the Mt. of Fuji. These are all things that have made the individual on this motorcycle extremely pissed.

The motorcycle crunches over a piece of something priceless and sacred before it comes to a halt. Gloved hands turn off the bike and the sexy jeaned, leather jacket wearing celebrity known the world over shows the most pissed off face as possible as he climbs off the bike. His expensive boots kick up dust and as the unknown camera pans up his chiseled, yet clothed, body it becomes ever so obvious that there's only one man that would stand in the dead center of a radiation infested zone because he's not getting the attention he deserves. There's only one man that will stand up for the second part of the trilogy that will redefine martial arts movies for a whole new generation. There is only one man that still rocks mirrored sunglasses like they'll never go out of style.

"Hey Assholes!"His voice carries out over the area in a way that should drag out whoever this damn Iga Clan is. If his intel's any good. She was pretty, at least. That's all he really remembers. "Somebody better get out here and get this ass whipping! Or you're gonna end up dealing with something a lot worse than me!" He reaches up to pull his sunglasses off his face. They get tucked away into a jacket pocket. "My lawyers!"

Ladies and Gentlemen, Johnny Cage.

Located on a major convergence of mystical leylines, MT Fuji has always been a place of great interest to those who stand beyond the natural. Its great wealth of spiritual energies makes it an ideal place to create long-lasting wards, circulating raw chi out of, then back into the land in great circuits of power. This is no doubt why so many clans of ninja have chosen to hide their villages hear.
A wise man would realize that an open challenge shouted into such a place might have unpleasant results. After all, many of the clans that make there home here have done so for centuries, jealously guarding their sacred scrolls and special techniques. At any given time, one is just as likely to be within shouting distance of a clan specializing in the Healing Touch, as one fond of The Death Of One Thousand Thousand Scorpions.
Or, if one is truly unfortunate, they might draw the attention of something entirely different.
'Hey Assholes!'
These two words, shouted into the night, echo up the forested slopes in a way even the combined stereo and motorcycle did not.
'Somebody better get out here and get this ass whipping!'
A short ways up the mountain, a helmeted head lifts, and a set of glowing blue-green eyes focus in that direction.
Since his return to earth, Kotal has found much to admire in the progress of humans. Their ingenuity. Their vicious expansion across the planet. But what he has come to greatly dislike is their lack of respect.
Not ten seconds later, Johnny's challenge is met by a sudden brightening of the sky, the particulate that clogs the air no match for the sudden ferocity of the sun. The temperature in his chosen clearing begins to rise as shafts of golden light pierce through the gloom, illuminating the ash-dusted ground.
Through the sudden brightness, black and gold armor glittering against his turquoise skin, a giant strides into the clearing. With each step, the split jaw bones dangling from his skull-buckled belt clack and rattle, sacrificial knife swinging at his side and enormous saw-bladed Macuahuitl bumping against his back.
Halting a good 10 yards up slope, the god-like figure aims a stern frown down toward the cocky super star, his craggy face the very picture of patriarchal displeasure. Great hands balling into fists, he lifts one to chest height, glowing eyes narrowing just a touch.
"I accept your challenge."Kotal practically purrs, his voice the chesty growl of a lion, both ferocious and majestic. Despite its softness, there is real threat there. Hopefully it is obvious enough for Cage to pick up on.
"Your blood will make write for the insult of your words. Together, we will make this place a tribute to battle."

COMBATSYS: Kotal has started a fight here on the top side.

                 [ |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Kotal            0|-------|-------

Fuji-san may not be the -home- of the Iga clan, but as a key focus on the network of leylines stretching across the world and beyond, it is certainly territory worth protecting.

Even if protecting happens to be, in this case, keeping stereos and motorcycles at a distance. The sound of a lacquered wood sign -- having fallen in the earlier attack -- crunching under the tires of the motorcycle is enough to draw Nagase's attention -- as well as the attention of at least three other Iga ninjas in the area. Silent eyes turn towards the Western interloper, but not a one of the Iga budges from their perch in any substantial fashion.

Amber traces flood across Nagase's data-enabled glasses, squares zeroing in on the sunglassed Hollywood star's face. Instantly, his name and vital statistics are summoned to view by the Battle Disc System.

An eyebrow arches. Molars grind, as she completes the restoration of the ward.

And if that was loud as the American could bellow, she would happily have gone back to her work with another ward.

But, lo and behold, the American was not the only interloper. Light lances through the gaps in the treeline, leaving razor-sharp shadows in their wake.
Nagase shuts her eyes, instead relying on the enveloping warmth of the upswell to give her guidance. Not one, but two intruders. One of them is loud to her ears -- the other is loud to almost -all- of her senses.

Hopefully, her former clanmates are paying attention.

The tree branch upon which Nagase was perching shudders, snapping back to its former position.
And from a spot equidistant to both Kotal and Cage, Nagase appears to 'fall' into position upon a branch of similar height. Crouching, the kunoichi removes the rebreather, allowing it dangle from the neckstrap.

"Hey you two! This ain't your private fight club, it's our -home-, and -both- of you guys are trespassing. You got about sixty seconds to scram before my buddies here spring out from the shadows and fill you full of sharp and pointy things.

One hand is placed innocently upon her curled knees. But, as she casts her electronically-augmented gaze over the two interlopers, she lets her other palm rest casually upon the panda-shaped hilt of the ninjato slung from her hips.

COMBATSYS: Nagase has joined the fight here on the right meter side.

                 [ |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Kotal            0|-------|-------
                                  >  //////////////////////////////]
                                  |-------\-------\0           Nagase

COMBATSYS: Nagase calculates her next move.

                 [ |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Kotal            0|-------|-------
                                  >  //////////////////////////////]
                                  |-------\-------\0           Nagase

"First rule of Fight Club is that Fight Club sucks."

Johnny takes that moment to toss his very personal opinion in the direction of the peanut gallery that's decided to weigh in on what's about to go down. He doesn't look in that direction but his words are certainly sent off to layeth the snarketh down.

Johnny's attention, though, is fully on the arrival of Kotal. He doesn't know his history beyond whatever historical fiction movies he's done so he doesn't recognize the arriving person that seems to have chosen this opportunity to be the target of Cage's Rage. He smirks and takes a few steps in the direction of Kotal because that's what smug actors and fighters do. He's not worried even if he can tell that this is going to be some bad news. He's too much of himself to allow himself to look like he's worried about fighting anyone. And, of course, it's time for him to do a little acting.

"Hold on there, Mummy Returns. While I wouldn't mind kicking your ass all up and down this mountain, I think you need to understand exactly what I meant by 'Asshole'." Johnny smirks. "You see, in America, Asshole means a big ugly dude with skulls on his belt and a really bad case of foot acne." Cage's grin grows even more since he's spouting off some choice snark. And stalling. Long enough to be able to shrug his shoulders a but and step into a bit of a fighting stance. It looks lazy but maybe it's supposed to. It's always hard to tell with Johnny. "Oh. Wait. That's you, isn't it?"

Johnny holds up a hand and motions for Kotal to 'Bring It On'. "Come on, Golden Child. Let's dance."

Either Johnny's hoping there will be a sudden arrival of American soldiers running over the horizon or he's about to go toe-to-toe with some terrifying looking dude that's decided to be all up in his grill. Either way, Johnny's eyes narrow a bit in the midst of his taunting display. Focus, Cage-san. Focus.

COMBATSYS: Johnny Cage has joined the fight here on the left meter side.

                 [ |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Kotal            0|-------|-------
[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Johnny Cage      0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0           Nagase

COMBATSYS: Johnny Cage focuses on his next action.

                 [ |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Kotal            0|-------|-------
[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Johnny Cage      0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0           Nagase

First, Nagase arrives with her threats. Then, hot on her heels, the foolish actor that started this mess starts to slow walk his way up the hill, sassing all the while. The combined assault is enough to shift Kotal's stern stare into an ever deepening frown, brows pulling together beneath the upper beak of his glittering eagle helm.
"Such insolence. Has the world so quickly abandoned all respect?" The idea seems to put a sour taste in the relatively young god's mouth, the harsh edge to his great booming voice hinting at a desire to spit.
A shake of his head sends the brilliantly colored feathers of his helmet to swishing across his broad back, expressive face losing its frown as he glances up toward the blazing sun above, glaring down upon them like an eye of wrathful fire.
"Very well. If you have forgotten the old ways, I will teach you. Once, men died with honor. But you will die in pain." Extending his right hand toward the heavens, the great warrior channels power directly from the sun. As he taps the near limitless well of energy flowing down from above, the color of his eyes shift from bluish green to a radiant gold. The raised scar-like markings across his body blaze to life in a similar shade, dim for now, but growing visibly brighter.
"By the power of the sun!" Kotal booms toward the heavens, and a large stone disk materializes in his upthrust hand, a skull at its center and its edges carved with glowing golden runes. Though it must weigh quite a lot, he handles the disc with ease, bringing it down to chest height and sighting upon Cage.
Powerful muscles bulge along chest and shoulders as Kotal snaps his right arm out, sending the stone projectile humming through the air toward Cage's center mass in a blaze of scorching energy. Nagase he will deal with soon enough. And after her, her friends.

"You just wish you were half as ripped as Brad Pitt, that's all."

Nagase rolls her eyes -- as much as she -wants- to continue sassing Cage's face off, she spends a much larger slice of her time focusing on what the Golden Boy is working around with. The tech-ninja finds it necessary to squint at Kotal just a bit longer, until she remembers she can shade her glasses. As the lenses darken, she calls over her shoulder to Cage.
"Listen, help me kick this guy out, and I'll get you some kickass extras for your next flick. Deal?"

She finds her eyes wanting to roll back even -further- in her head at Kotal's condescending diatribe, but... well, priorities. "Look, you just -lost- my respect, bucko. See, here in Japan, you're s'posed to take your shoes off =before= you step into someone's house, so don't keep moving the target on me, comprende? You are -trespassing-, and..."

That jerk just -ignored- her, moving on to attack Cage without any regard for her -own- condescending diatribe.
This guy talks about respect but he knows nothing about professional courtesy? The nerve!

Nagase doesn't even wait for Kotal to begin recovering from his attack. Using the tree limb's natural springiness to impel her forward, she launches herself at Kotal's back -- and if she manages to score a grab around the oddly-colored man's ribcage, she'd continue her forward momentum upwards! As the two sail upwards in a high arc, Nagase would spin him around as well, keeping the pair locked on target for a headfirst plunge into the forest floor! Of course, she'd be seeking to slam the taller Kotal into the ground while she springs away...

COMBATSYS: Kotal successfully hits Johnny Cage with Sunstone.

                 [ ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Kotal            0|-------|=======
[         \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////////  ]
Johnny Cage      0/-------/-======|-------\-------\0           Nagase

Cage is in the middle of watching every move that Kotal is making like a Top Gun. He's focused and even looking like he does on the cover of some of his DVDs or like he does on some of his movie posters. He looks really good. Like he's about to do some kind of epic fight sequence with special effects and everything. There's even some epic rock music playing in the background of his mind. Which is why he's smiling like there's not a thing wrong. Like he's got this entire thing under control.

Then Brad Pitt is mentioned.

Cage pulls his attention away from Kotal at the exact Wrong Moment to look up and in the general direction of the Anti-Cage Fan. "Hey! Brad Pitt is an acting genius! Let's not with the objectification of his manly physique!"

Johnny wraps up the defense of his fellow actor and turns back around to see Kotal and realizes, immediately, that it is far, far, far too late. A gigantic energy flavored stone projectile the size of Stonehenge (at least that's how it looks to Cage) is already in the air and spinning towards him like a Divine Frisbee of Death. Cage doesn't even have time to react with more than a pair of wide eyes for the inevitable close-up as that stone smashes dead into his body. It bowls him right over, knocking him backwards and takes him clear off his feet. He's airborne long enough to spin around and he smacks into the ground, face first and rolls for another couple of feet... skidding as well. In the midst of the cracking of bone and the sound of absolute pain, there's also the sound of a pair of glasses being crunched completely too hell.

Johnny flips himself over and blinks his eyes open, blood from the internal bleeding oozes from his mouth and his face is already starting to bruise. "I gotta' start keepin' stuntmen on retainer. Ow."

Johnny struggles up to his feet when he realizes that somebody else has decided to join the fray. The Brad Pitt disser. "Deal me in, UnAmerican Ninja!" Johnny takes off in a run that he probably shouldn't be doing but there's a couple of wobbly steps but he's headed for Kotal. Considering that Nagase has taken the high road, Johnny drops into a slide the moment he gets close up in Kotal's personal space and attempts to get his leg sweep on!

COMBATSYS: Kotal endures Johnny Cage's Sweep.

                 [    |||||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Kotal            1|-------|=======
[         \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////////  ]
Johnny Cage      0/-------/=======|-------\-------\0           Nagase

COMBATSYS: Nagase successfully hits Kotal with Hyperdrive Nagase Spiral.

                 [       ||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Kotal            1|-----==|=======
[         \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////////  ]
Johnny Cage      0/-------/=======|=------\-------\0           Nagase

Though the towering sun god faces down two opponents, both full of sass and with their own particular set of skills, he seems supremely unconcerned. And why shouldn't he be confident? He has the pleasure of witnessing his disk strike Johnny squarely in the chest, detonating in a flash of scorching energy that blasts the actor back down the hill ass over kettle. He may have no idea who Johnny Dep is, or how great his abs may be, but he does know combat.
Veins pulsing ever brighter as the sun beats down upon the clearing, temperature rising at an astounding rate, Kotal takes a single step down the hill, cloth-wrapped foot crunching heavily into the filthy grass. The fact that Johnny is already back up and running promises a good fight, and at least one worthy sacrifice.
Taking another step forward, Kotal braces against the much smaller man's slide, leg planted like a tree. Johnny impacts him with unmitigated force, shin cracking hard into the side of his left knee, but he does not go down. In fact, it seems as if the ancient Aztec will lumber right on through the attack, right foot lifting, poised to come down on Johnny's chest in a no doubt bone-grinding stomp.
Fortunately for the sarcastic super star, it is then that Nagase makes her appearance.
Thin yet surprisingly strong arms loop around the sun god's chest from behind, and he is hauled away from Johnny's prone form. Hoisted up, up into the air by the ninja-assisted leap, Kotal lets out a grunt of annoyance, reaching back to grip at Nagase's head even as he is inverted. Refusing to be humiliated without consequence by such a mouthy slip of a ninja, Kotal attempts to clamp down hard on the top of her skull and tear her violently from his back, hurling her ahead of him toward the ground just moments before he impacts head-first.
A great cloud of ash is blasted into the air as hundreds of pounds of warrior plough into the mountainside, Kotal tumbling twice down the slope before managing to dig his fingers into the rocky soil. Sliding to a halt, he levers himself up onto his left hand and knee, right foot planted, and begins to rise, ash sluffing off of his now fiercely glowing skin.
He does not say a word.

COMBATSYS: Kotal successfully hits Nagase with Melahuac.

                 [        |||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Kotal            1|----===|=======
[         \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////        ]
Johnny Cage      0/-------/=======|====---\-------\0           Nagase

Brad Pitt is a genius.
"/I knooooow/, right? Respect for the classics!"
Nagase does not even stop to think about the retort -- after all, her entire -point- was that Fight Club was a decent movie! Can friendship blossom on the battlefield after all?

While she was certainly impressed by the solar-powered stone, she... really can't afford to let herself be distracted by the grandeur of such things in mid-battle! Presuming she survives it, she'll have plenty of time to analyze the data that her Battle Disc System is recording for posterity. If she were to think of things while spinning Kotal around, well... she might just spin out of control.

Which seems to be what Kotal is attempting.
And succeeding, as the massive hand clamps down onto her head as if it were a basketball.
"Hey, ease up on the 'do!" she chirps out -- to no avail, as the tech-ninja -fails- her dismount roll and is flung =hard= into the ground. Her bones are stretched to their limits; plumes of earth, branches, and saplings go flying as the surprisingly-heavy slip of a girl lands with a thud. Nagase's Battle Disc System suffers a brief systems malfunction, the screen going black for a few moments while it reboots.

"Ughh..." she bemoans, pushing herself out of the earthy crater she'd found herself within. "No frickin' respect..." But as soon as her BDS is back online, she snaps her fingers.

Four symbols appear on her lenses.
O - shi - o - ki.

And all of a sudden, Kotal will find not one, but -two- Nagases in his peripheral vision -- though each is partially transparent. Both are wheeling kicks into his shins, from opposite vectors -- and then both will leverage kicks from the opposite leg into his thighs. Higher and higher the kicks will land, a percussive sequence intended to land squarely upon each of Kotal's tenderest pressure points...

And then the overclocked Nagase will backflip away, flip-kicking into Kotal's jawbone from both directions at practically the same instant!

Cage is already on the ground still. He's even in a little bit of pride-pain from the way his sweep attack was simply tossed aside as if he were kicking a wall. Hell, it kind of felt that way too. Still, though, Johnny spins around in the middle of getting his sweep as unimpressive'd as possible and rolls himself into a new position.

Johnny stays crouched as he watches Nagase do her thing and he actually raises an eyebrow. He's impressed but doesn't want to be in the way. However, he's certainly going to back her up. This big divine dude is definitely somebody that's going to be annoying to deal with. So it's only right that he join in the fray and back up the Brad Pitt fan. "Kick his ass and I'll tell Brad to call you!" There. He's tossing some cheering on from the sideline. Perhaps even hoping that will fuel Nagase's fighting skills.

"I've said it before and I'll say it again..."

Johnny pushes up from his crouch and takes a couple of steps. After the first step, there's another Johnny Cage behind him. And another one behind that one. And another one behind even that one. Each Cage that appears in this trail seems to be a half-step behind in the motions of the previous Cage. On that second step, he turns and raises his leg into the air. As this happens, a red hue overtakes the Stunt Cages that are trailing behind him. The moment his leg is up and extended, Johnny Cage's inner heroic chi takes over and sends him sliding across the 'battlefield' in Kotal's direction with magnificent speed... and hopefully timing right with Nagase and her Mirages to put some serious hurting on this godly fellow.

"I /am/ the special effects."


COMBATSYS: Kotal endures Johnny Cage's Shadow Kick EX.

                 [          |||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Kotal            1|--=====|=======
[          \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////        ]
Johnny Cage      1/------=/=======|-------\-------\0           Nagase

COMBATSYS: Nagase successfully hits Kotal with Punishment Mode - Mirage Assault.

                 [              |||||||||||||||| ]
                 Kotal            1|-======|=======
[          \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////        ]
Johnny Cage      1/------=/=======|-------\-------\0           Nagase

Clambering slowly back to his feet, Kotal straightens once more to his full height of at least seven feet, the giant warrior seeming distressingly hale for having taken both attacks so squarely. But though he is insanely tough, and clearly just as strong, he is not fast. A fact that becomes all too clear when he turns to find Nagase gone, and feels the sharp pain of two feet striking him simultaneously on his cloth-wrapped shins. What would have been his first step forward ends in a stagger as kicks pelt him from all directions, booted feet striking his thighs, ribs, back, and stomach. But still he stands, greenish lips pulling back from perfect white teeth as Nagase harasses him, the series of attacks nothing more than a swarm of bees pricking the hide of a bear.
Two final kicks drive into Kotal's jaw, left hand swiping viciously toward the Nagase there but missing as she flips away to safety. But, lucky him, there is a quickly approaching target for him to vent his frustration on.
Rounding upon the line of red-imbued Cage's, Kotal sweeps both hands back over his right shoulder to grip the cloth-wrapped handle of his enormous Macuahuitl. Staring fiercely down at the oncoming actor with golden eyes, he powers forward into the kick, Johnny's foot impacting his tensed abs with a meaty 'THMP' and a flash of red. But it is not enough to knock the oncoming god back. In fact, as soon as the red flash has dissipated, Johnny might realize that over 300 pounds of glowing, pissed off sun god is looming over him, saw-bladed sword raised high overhead.
Kotal's roar of effort causes the surrounding trees to sway back and the earth to tremble, sword descending in a single, overhead strike that, if it does not cleave through Johnny, will surely rend the earth in twain. Hell, maybe it'll do both.

When Brad Pitt was famous, he was also younger.
He's older now.

Now, though, Nagase's starting to feel the burn, listing from side to side as the kunoichi's two images reconstitute into one. Not only was she slammed into a crater, she's also super, super woozy as a result of forcing her body to move so fast she was in effectively two places at once. Sure, part of that was due to her leet Iga-ryuu training, and the rest was helpfully coordinated by her bespoke Battle Disc System... but the fact remains that it drains a whole lot out of her. One hand snaps to her temple, while the other is placed before her in a warding gesture.

Part of her wondering just how many radioactive particles were in that last gulp of air. Will it really matter... if she loses this fight? Will her clan even -acknowledge- the sacrifices she'd made? And... will Duke even give a damn, with that silly tournament on hold?

Blinking lights on her BDS display snap her back to the game. Kotal is clambering back to his feet, and that means it's go time again.

"Watch out, Cage!" She definitely wants him to win this one, because having one of those giant sawblade swords embedded in his head means he's probably not going to want to make that phone call.

... And Nagase figures she can help improve his chances! "Nin-nin!" She shadowsteps forward again, slamming the heel of her boot into the back of Kotal's knee. An instant later, her boot will erupt in a burst of Iga-ryuu flame: a charge that explodes like a firecracker! But the quick ninja would stay in motion all the same, gripping securely onto Kotal's belt, and harnessing her forward velocity into whirling him sidelong into one of the many trees nearby! Remarkably, there -are- still trees nearby -- though that might change after she slams Kotal's bulk into it!

COMBATSYS: Johnny Cage interrupts Tenchalli from Kotal with Nut Punch EX.

                 [                |||||||||||||| ]
                 Kotal            2|<<<<<<<|<<<<<<<
[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////        ]
Johnny Cage      1/---====/=======|-------\-------\0           Nagase

Cage can't believe the Shadow Kick didn't take this dude out. The incredulous look on his face is one that makes it very clear that he's not liking the way this script is playing out. "What the--?" There's only a moment in which Cage is hopping backwards and giving himself a little bit of room to try and figure out just how in the hell this dude tanked that Shadow Kick.

"Oh, right. You're like a God Among Awesome People. I forgot."

Johnny's annoyed snark is hopefully being used to distract Kotal enough that there can be some attack from her. He's used to being the bait and people wanting to bash his face in or obliterate him from the Earth. Just ask his ex-wife. No, seriously, people want to hurt him.

Nagase's warning pulls him out of his own Inner Narration to realize that there's a giant saw bladed sword of death over his head and Johnny freaks the freak out. "No thanks!" Johnny's quip is as quick as he is as he drops down into the splits and hauls off with a glowing fist of green energy to crack Kotal right in his divine nuts.

Granted, the moment this happens, his hand cracks and maybe even crumples a little bit on impact. And the shoulder of his extended arm catches part of that blade's swipe, ruining the expensive leather and putting some slash marks down his arm.

COMBATSYS: Kotal interrupts Medium Throw from Nagase with Coatl Strikes.

                 [                |||||||||||||| ]
                 Kotal            0|-------|-======
[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////                  ]
Johnny Cage      1/=======/=======|=====--\-------\0           Nagase

There is a saying that the elderly often pass down to those too young to know better: 'Don't poke the bear.' One can only surmise what these wise sages might tell the youngster that chose to repeatedly insult and belittle the bear, before punching it in the nuts. 'Get your will in order.' would be a safe guess.
Then again, can Cage really be blamed for going all out? Isn't this guy some god of sacrifices and blood and what not?
It is impossible to tell whether the uncomfortable sound that echoes through the clearing issues forth from Kotal's testicles, or Johnny's knuckles, but the result is the same. The massive warrior's craggy face flinches, sword shifting off course to tear a bloody path down Cage's arm before hitting the earth with enough force to cause the ground to jump and tremble.
Tilting his chin down, Kotal stares into Johnny's face, eyes alight with radiant flames, lips tilted into a severe frown.
"Your blood is poison." Kotal grunts with rough dignity, as if such a thing were a sick burn. "You sully all those you touch."
With that, and the cry of 'Nin-Nin' from behind, Kotal wrenches his sword free of the earth and whirls in a flutter of feathers and man-skirt, completely disregarding Cage's continued presence behind him.
As he spins, Kotal's tattoos let out a pulse of blinding light, his lumbering movements gaining a sudden ferocious speed. Before Nagase's foot can even make contact, she finds the huge man baring down upon her, sword descending in another earth-rending overhead swipe. Fortunately, its viciously serrated edge finds her armor rather than exposed flesh. Unfortunately, it begins to cleave through said armor almost immediately, the pretty ninja given a ride on the edge of his sword that terminates with her violent impact with the earth. And, as if that weren't enough, the weapon is immediately torn free, shifted into a lazy left-handed grip, and swung backhanded with casual brutality, the hulking god using the flat of his oversized weapon to smack Nagase tumbling off down the hill.

Nagase chokes back laughter, even as she's launching into her attack -- both from the smartaleck response, and the -much- more injurious one.
Part of her wants to just stop fighting and sass-talk Cage.
It's a pleasant fantasy.
But it's not an impulse that the tech-ninja will be able to act upon at the moment. Her speedy sneak attack is met not with purchase upon the back of Kotal's shin, but with his sword dropping like a guillotine.

Her eyes would leap out of her skull if they could. But luckily, her arm snaps to her defense, saving her ocular organs the trouble. In a cloud of yellow paint and pulverized titanium dust, the macahuitl cleaves clear through Nagase's fortified armor, completely wrecking her hasty defense and bringing her to her knees. She screams out in agonized pain -- because who wouldn't?! Tears form in her eyes -- even with adrenaline pushing back on the impulse to cry, the fact is that the =impact= alone was enough to shatter bone -- let alone the force necessary for splitting the armor. Her battered arm hangs limply before her, panic and disbelief flooding through her as she furtively checks her AI assistant's damage report.

A moment later, two yellow armor plates fall to the ground with a clang, cracked and ruined beyond ready repair as she begins to push away. Can't stay put -- have to keep moving! Filled with trepidation, Nagase starts to push back to her feet, but the lateral swing of the ancient weapon clangs against her -- another loud clash that echoes through the trees, as the nimble ninja is thrown unceremoniously to the wayside. Her body glances off one tree trunk before slamming into a second.

Her stance sagging, Nagase pushes away from the tree. Shallow breaths begin to fog her glasses, forcing her to look over their rims at the conqueror Kotal. Her body shudders in anger at the urge to stand again -- complaining with every single movement that doesn't result in her just falling over.

She's clearly favoring her left side as she lurches forward.
"=His= blood is poison? Heck, would that mean your blood is tequila, or does that make it like... Sunny D or something?"

Nagase grits her teeth for a moment, lifting her broken arm up. With a strain, she manages to flick her hands together. And as she leaps forward...

She vanishes.

Kotal might be able to hear her approacing from the left -- springing off a supple branch.

But then he'd hear her from the right, springing off an entirely diferent tree.

He might -not- hear the tiny ninja -- ignited in the furious orange flames of her Iga-ryuu ninpo -- plummeting towards his back, arcing her arm around his neck, and -- literally and figuratively -- swinging around him.

If she manages to secure the attack, she'd be leveraging her double-sprung momentum into hurling him into a twisting, turning gyre -- and slamming him face-first into the dirt once again.
Searing him with her fiery chi the entire time.

Johnny Cage is still in pain from the sword but the fact that he managed to punch a god in the nuts is going on his highlight reel. Somebody around here has to have a phone and been recording. If this doesn't go up on FightTube... well, he's going to have to post it himself. That's for damn sure.

Cage rolls backwards and up to his feet, smiling the entire time. Yeah, his hand is in so much pain right now that he probably shouldn't be wanting to use it for anything violent ever again but he's certainly not about to let Nagase handle things on her own. No. He's felt the Divine Sack and he knows that there is more to this God than meets any of the eyes. Johnny Cage doesn't just play a hero, he is one.

"Don't worry about a thing, Crouching Ninja, Sassy Dragon! Johnny Cage is right behind you!"

These words of encouragement are hurled at Nagase as Johnny takes off into a bit of a sprint. He's closing up space between them but since he spots Nagase going in for some chi inspired move... he decides to add a little Chi of his own to the mix. That crumpled hand that's in pain seems to glow green faster than normal as Cage skids to a bit of a halt. His arm goes back, almost like he's bowling and he has time to offer some more of his witty one-liners.

"Johnny Cage Whoops Crusty God's Ass - Scene One! Take One. Action!"

And there goes the ball of energy, hurled into a swirling motion and tossed in the general direction of Kotal. It's better to play the ranged game when your partner is getting up close and personal. Even Johnny Cage knows a /little/ bit of strategy.

Okay, not really. He saw this in a movie once.

COMBATSYS: Kotal blocks Nagase's Aerial Spiral.

                 [                  |||||||||||| ]
                 Kotal            0|-------|=======
[              \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////                  ]
Johnny Cage      1/=======/=======|===----\-------\0           Nagase

COMBATSYS: Johnny Cage successfully hits Kotal with Out Take.

                 [                    |||||||||| ]
                 Kotal            1|-------|=======
[              \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////                  ]
Johnny Cage      2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|===----\-------\0           Nagase

COMBATSYS: Kotal issues a challenge!!

                 [                    |||||||||| ]
                 Kotal            1|-------|=======
[              \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////                  ]
Johnny Cage      2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|===----\-------\0           Nagase

Standing tall and indomitable, tattoos pulsing with energy and golden eyes bright with the fury of battle, Kotal looks every inch the unstoppable war god he claims to be. Though he has been tossed through the air, smeared with ash, and punched in the testicles, he continues to loom over the battlefield, Macuahuitl held easily in his left hand. He may not understand the constant sassy references being tossed back and forth between these humans, but he WILL make them kneel.
"Cease this insufferable prattle and Fight! Have mortals so quickly forgotten the honor of combat?" voice booming out over the clearing with clear displeasure, Kotal turns to cast a blazing gaze up slope, toward the recently blasted peak of the volcano. "You shame yourselves, tainting the battleground with mindless levity. Are you warriors? Make War!"
Inspiring, or silly as the speech may be, it gives Nagase time to overcome the pain of her broken arm, the nimble ninjette beginning the first of her teleporting feints just moments before Kotal raises his heavy sword overhead in open challenge to all.
One bounce, two bounces, and Nagase comes plummeting from above, impacting the sturdy god squarely between the shoulders. Her fiery aura roars over them both, lightly scorching the giant's hide, but her spinning grapple meets the solid barrier of his right forearm. Throwing her slim form over his shoulder for the flipping toss, the wounded ninja impacts Kotal's right bracer, robbing her of all momentum. Fortunately, he is still moving a bit sluggishly after his last supercharged attack, unable to grab at her before she can escape him.
So caught up in Nagase's distraction is Kotal, that he doesn't even notice the fist-sized ball of green energy until it strikes the side of his helmet, rocking the towering figure sideways on his feet.
For just a moment, Kotal looks dazed. Could they finally be wearing down his defenses?
If so, they haven't quite managed it yet, for the huge man twists back around to face Johnny with a bellow, left hand snapping forward like an Olympic gold medalist. This has the horrifying effect of sending his oversized serrated sword spinning end over end through the air, blood-wet blade glistening in the blazing sunlight as it buzz-saws its way toward Cage's chest.

Nagase is able to recover from her failure to fell the tattooed giant by relinquishing her hold and twisting her hips at the last instant. Rubber soles slam into the bracer, deadening the shock and giving Nagase a springboard to leap away to relative safety.

Taunting has two purposes for the ninjette -- not only does it serve to demoralize her opponent, it also keeps her in a steady emotional high. It's times like this, sailing through the air with flagging energy reserves, that she needs the morale boost most. So while Kotal can feel free to berate her for berating him, it's certainly not going to stop her! A hint of a smile remains upon her face, even as she bounds away, flipping around so that she can land in a three point crouch.

Well, a two-point crouch -- her right arm hangs where it -would- for a three-point crouch, but she's barely able to feel it by this point.

"Look, my village kicked me out 'cause I wouldn't shut up --"

The sound of rapid footfalls and the roaming voice of Ninja McSassytights makes it clear that she's taken off running again, sprinting in a wide arc around Kotal -- and keeping far out of range of his long limbs. But it's also setting forth an expectation that she'll strike from behind, as she has a history of timing her attacks to coordinate with Cage's attacks for maximal output.

"-- So you may just wanna bail when you've had enough, sunshine!"

The next strike doesn't come in the next moment.
Or the moment after that.

Just as the doubt of whether there will be a true followup from the evasive ninja begins to emerge, the ninja bursts from the shadow of a nearby tree. Her boot -- wreathed with brilliant orange flame -- blazes towards Kotal's ribcage, rippling flames convecting the air in their wake. And her hand latches out with an attempt at wrapping around his wrist; if she's successful, the unbalancing strike combined with the nimble ninja's entire length would be enough to leverage his arm out of place.

If it were any lesser man, the grapple would be enough to dislocate his shoulder -- as well as slamming the figure to the ground.
Against Kotal, though...

COMBATSYS: Kotal successfully hits Johnny Cage with Impitzoyo.
- Power hit! -

                 [                   ||||||||||| ]
                 Kotal            0|-------|---====
[                        \\\\\\  < >  ////////////                  ]
Johnny Cage      2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|===----\-------\0           Nagase

Bad things happen when you're Johnny Cage and you throw energy balls at Gods. Especially ones that come with snark wrapped around it like there's no hope for the future of mankind. Leave it to Mortals to attempt to talk their opponents to death in the way that Johnny Cage is just dropping one liner after one liner after punchliner. It's insane.

The smug celebrity is pretty sure that he's managed to knock the socks off this godly being and is already in the process of preparing for some epic closing line and a little bit of celebration when he realizes just what kind of terrifying attack is headed in his direction.

Either Cage just can't find the energy to move or Kotal has one helluvan arm but the Serrated Sword of Death cuts through the air and damn near through Johnny Cage. At the very last moment, Johnny's able to leap backwards, throwing his arms up in front of him with a blast of green chi energy, as if trying to block the blade of death. His arms are protected from getting cut off by the chi but they get thrown apart and leaves his tattooed chest exposed. Which looks more like a trainwreck mixed with a car accident by the time that spinning blade finishes with Cage.

Cage hits the ground and doesn't move for the longest moment. He's just down. Like he's dead. Blood is all over the place because sharp edges hurt and Johnny Cage finally stirs. First, a finger. Then a hand. And finally he starts to push himself up to his feet. It's a wobbly stumble that makes him look like he's on his last leg. Blood damn near pours from his body but Johnny Cage is eerily silent. His eyes are narrowed and he seems to be trying to focus and harness everything that he has left.

Johnny Cage runs on adrenaline and runs straight for Kotal. He balls up that hurt hand into a fist and skids in close enough to aim three powerful punches to Kotal's Never-Netherrealm. Each one harder than the last. And should there be some miracle of this actually happening, Cage is primed and ready to leap into the air and come down with a devasting elbow to Kotal's back!

COMBATSYS: Johnny Cage successfully hits Kotal with Ball Buster.

                 [                       ||||||| ]
                 Kotal            1|------=|=======
[                        \\\\\\  < >  ////////////                  ]
Johnny Cage      0/-------/---<<<<|===----\-------\0           Nagase

COMBATSYS: Kotal interrupts Power Throw from Nagase with Cuazquia.

                 [                       ||||||| ]
                 Kotal            0|-------|-------
[                        \\\\\\  < >  //////                        ]
Johnny Cage      0/-------/<<<<<<<|======-\-------\0           Nagase

Kotal's blazing gaze follows the path of his sword only long enough to watch it hammer through Johnny's guard and into his chest, blood fountaining into the air. If he had but the time, he would finish the mortal now. But there is still one more to contend with.
One that he can not find.
Though Nagase's words drift upon the steaming wind, he sees no trace of her. Slowly his great eagle-helmed head sways left, then right, craggy features set in a hard frown of concentration.
Surely she would not run. Not so close to the conclusion of their match?
No. She must be hiding...
"Up the stair path," Kotal chants quietly, "to the fire's edge. Let this field of battle be cleansed of deception."
With Kotal's words, the pounding rays of the sun redouble. The temperature kicks itself up another twenty, thirty degrees. Where the shafts of golden light pierce the ground, grass begins to smolder and spark, quickly catching flame. The rest of the clearing is spared this fate only due to the ash that still hangs heavy in the air.
Still Nagase taunts him, choosing to come forth only when she is ready. It is likely fortunate that she does, for Kotal does not hear Cage stirring in the distance, slowly regaining his feet.
And then, Nagase is upon him.
Powerful muscles flex beneath Kotal's scorched and battered hide, golden tattoos letting out another violent discharge that fills him with speed beyond anything the pair have seen thus far. Like an enraged bear he hurls himself forward toward the danger, Nagase's foot glancing harmlessly off of his tensed abdomen. Both arms outstretched, it is easy enough for her to gain a grip on his thick wrist. But that only makes it harder to pull away as powerful fingers close upon the front of her outfit and drag her forward to crash into his wall-like chest. Arms as thick as tree-trunks then clamp around her in the most deadly of hugs, inhuman strength brought to bare as the war god begins to squeeze. To crush and grind. To destroy.
Completely oblivious to Johnny's charge, Kotal is caught flat footed by the first punch that rises up between his legs. Much like the first time this technique was used, the mighty crunching blow forces a wince of pain from the god, but the strength of his hug only increases. The second blow lands just as hard as the first, drawing a grunt from the mighty warrior and a redoubled effort to squeeze the guts right out of Nagase. The third, however, seems to break through some threshold of pain, the still faintly glowing god allowing Nagase to fall free of his arms as he staggers forward two unsteady steps, passing right over the wounded ninjette. This change in position grants her an excellent vantage to witness Cage leaping over her to hammer an elbow hard into the nape of Kotal's neck, driving the mighty giant down to one knee.
Hunched forward with his right fist braced against the earth, Kotal draws in two lung fulls of choking air, the clearing already half filled with thick black smoke. And then, slowly but relentlessly, he once more begins to rise.

If it weren't obvious before, the disparity between Nagase's size and Kotal's is made brutally apparent from the way the kunoichi is plucked out of the air like a mere plaything. She had started to wince when her foot slammed into the giant's abdomen. But when she's hauled up by the front of her yellow dress, though, her beleaguered lungs let loose a yelp of surprise. And when crushing force slams her into Kotal's tattooed chest, all other thoughts are shoved completely out of her mind as forcefully as the air is evicted from her lungs.

Her eyes screw shut from the pain -- not that she needs to pay much heed to the critical alert messages flashing upon her electronic spectacles. Her ribcage warps and creaks, undefended by the yellow armor provided to her extremities. Pain increases even more as Kotal's grip is redoubled -- to such a degree that even one more instant of stress would see the bones shear in half, fatally puncturing her lungs and ending all hopes of a pre-mortem redemption from her clan.

But Johnny Cage never lets down a damsel in distress.
Nagase falls to her knees, lungs filling with lifegiving air. Glazed eyes rise up to see Kotal get pegged in the neck, but for the moment, she can do naught else but focus on the comparatively blissful act of breathing -- as if she needs to consciously will the oxygen back into her bloodstream.

The sound of Kotal's heavy mass thudding into the forest floor is like an earthquake to Nagase, in such close proximity. Triggered by the sudden response, her BDS starts an electronic pump; pure adrenaline begins to course throughout her veins. Her eyes gain lucidity once more. The threat of Kotal rising back to his feet is imminent. And with a panicked, deer-in-the-headlights look towards Johnny Cage, she can think of only one thing -- raising the index finger of her left hand to him in a warning.

"Don't cop out on me, Cage -- serious!"

And in the very next moment, her hand balls into a lightly curled fist, raises slightly, and then slams downward to the dirt.
An instant later, Nagase vanishes entirely from view.
The eyes deceive -- only ripples of air betray the blisteringly fast motions of the beleaguered kunoichi as she leaps back to her feet. Bootprints press into the dirt, with no Iga ninja in sight.

And then -flames- blossom, from seemingly all around Kotal. A swoosh here, an explosion there -- a fiery line of impact all around. Each one would be of only mild danger to Kotal...

Until one of the gouts of flame is cleaved in half by the straight edge of a ninjato blade. The superheated blade scythes in a diagonal slash across Kotal's back. And an instant later, a second blade -- similarly heated -- would carve a line upwards in a converse direction.
The blunt force of an armored fist comes next -- sweeping into Kotal from a third vector.
A moment later, the triple impact of heavily-armored boots would slam into him from three different altitudes.
A knee strike follows -- followed quickly by a backflipping kick, punctuated by a vertical crescent of fiery orange flame.

COMBATSYS: Nagase can no longer fight.

                 [                       ||||||| ]
                 Kotal            0|-------|-------
[                        \\\\\\  <
Johnny Cage      1/-------/<<<<<<<|

Johnny Cage knows a lot about heroic moments of victory and while he's recovering from using a bunch of his energy to try and bust the god's balls, there's something else that wells up within him that he's not really sure how to handle. Most of the time, his fights are filled with style and a moment or seven of showing off. Something to make the people watching love everything that's happening... and, more importantly, him. There's a certain flair to the way he fights. But this time... it's different.

This time, Johnny Cage cares.

Even Johnny Cage can't explain why he feels something different inside of him when Nagase shouts in his direction. He feels almost like he's been smacked with a Power Up from one of the video games he's done voice acting for. It's almost as if he's been given a new breed of heart. A new passion for what he's doing. A new reason to make sure this violent divine bastard gets what he deserves.

Johnny Cage whistles loudly from his position and looks to be fueled by pure adrenaline. He still looks like death warmed over but he's definitely standing up straighter and looking more the part of a man that's ready to do some serious damage. Or at least try to. He hopes the whistle grabs the attention of Kotal, as well as gives Nagase time to do her thing, because he's doing a little timing of his own.

Even without the trails of himself behind him, Johnny Cage makes haste with a run in Kotal's direction. "Hey Asshole! #476! Revelations 3:16 says I'm about to Kick. Your. ASS!"

Johnny's probably suicidal getting in this close but he's certainly going for broke when he slides in so close that it almost seems like the nonexistent camera has gone inside the body of Kotal to show the bones as Johnny reaches out to grab the violent god and pause long enough to wink at him and then starts wailing on his face and head with a series of punches, elbows, spin punches and whatever else he can find the energy to do. It's just straight up beatdown time.

Somebody GIF this. #CageBeLike

COMBATSYS: Nagase successfully hits Kotal with Punishment Mode - Stealth.
- Power hit! -

                 [                            || ]
                 Kotal            0|-------|-----==
[                        \\\\\\  <
Johnny Cage      0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Kotal just-defends Johnny Cage's Kasting Kall!

                 [                          |||| ]
                 Kotal            0|-------|-----==
[                        \\\\\\  <
Johnny Cage      0/-------/-------|

Lost in his own little world of testicular slaughter, Kotal manages to lumber back upright as the world goes to hell around them, grass bursting into flames and smoke clogging the air. His golden armor glitters dimly through the haze, lending flashes of sparkling color to his giant silhouette. But even the glory of precious metal pales in comparison to the monstrous god's eyes, which burn like twin suns as he turns to loom over his equally battered opponents.
Or well, to loom over one of them.
It turns out, Johnny's obnoxious whistle is unnecessary. So fixed upon the bloody actor is Kotal, that he completely disregards the fact that Nagase is no longer visible.
Taking a pounding step forward, Kotal bares down upon Johnny with murderous intent, tattoos outlining his hulking physique with an eery yellow glow. What is visible of his soot-stained expression promises a lot of pain in the cocky man's near future.
And then, the god is on fire.
Baring his teeth, Kotal lets out a growl of defiance as Nagase's ninja magics flare up around him, pounding the ground as he closes to meet Johnny half way. her sword slash meets no resistance save the tough hide of his back, parting leathery skin with first one, then another spray of thick dark blood.
And then the two men meet.
Johnny slides forward directly into the ancient Aztec's waiting hands, the brute grabbing the smaller fellow by the biceps and halting his beat down before it even has time to start. Meanwhile, a gauntleted fist is hammered in from Kotal's left, spiking him brutally in the ribs to no apparent effect. Blood continues to run freely down his back as he shows Cage his teeth, white and gleaming in the dimness, before reaching up in an attempt to clamp meaty hands around the brave man's throat. And unless he can fight free, or somehow resist, all of Kotal's considerable strength will be levered to force the actor down onto his knees, arms blazing with golden energy as he throttles him.
Kicks rain down on the god from all directions as Nagase continues to beat the ever loving shit out of him, one particularly brutal strike catching his helmet just above the brow and snapping his head to the side. But still he looms over Johnny, relentless.
"You Will Know Fear." Kotal rumbles down to his prey, just before releasing a massive pulse of chi from his palms in a bid to not only choke the man out, but leave him with horrific burn marks in the shape of hands around his neck.
Only once the energy is expended does Kotal sway, seeming to realize just how many times he has been hit. If he still has Johnny by that point he will toss him aside, glancing confusedly around. The world is spinning. Smoke chokes his lungs and the grass around him is soaked in blood. Where is he? What was he doing?
The huge man sways, tattoos growing dim...

COMBATSYS: Kotal can no longer fight.

[                        \\\\\\  <
Johnny Cage      0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Johnny Cage dodges Kotal's Tonaltzintli.

[                        \\\\\\  <
Johnny Cage      0/-------/------=|

Somewhere in the middle of the Nagase Tirade of Ass Kicking, Johnny Cage has managed to slip out of the grip of the Divine Angry God and moves out of the way of that attempt to crush his life and soul. He's quick when he needs to be and he's always trying to make sure that he doesn't get in the way when Nagase is performing one of her magical tricks of awesome.

It takes a while for Johnny Cage to show back up. There's some kind of stylish cinematic slow motion that may be around him as he takes long strides through dust and debris, walking over towards where Kotal has fallen. Or where he's swaying. Honestly, making a god sway is good enough to kind of make it seem like they have fallen. It's always extra awesome when there's been some assistance from other people too. However, someone like Johnny Cage just can't let things happen simply. There needs to be one-liners and zingers. It's almost like this guy lives his life like it's a freaking movie or something.

Johnny Cage goes into the pocket of his leather jacket, which is bloodied and torn in many places. He grabs a pair of sunglasses, that are not as broken as his original pair and puts them on his face. With a smug smirk, he crosses his arms as if he's being zoomed in on by cameras that don't exist. As if on cue, Kotal's dimming tattoos have given Johnny the opening he needs to drop his last line of dialogue.

"Lights out."

At some point, he'll remember to see about Nagase. But not right now. He's gloating.

Johnny would be easily forgiven for neglecting to follow up on Nagase, considering the confluence of special effects and the relatively inconspicuous special effector.

In fact, Nagase -stays- cloaked within her optical illusion jutsu for a few moments after the demigod and the actor extraordinaire conclude their exchange of blows.
... Though, to be fair, if either of the legends were to listen carefully, they would hear a low whistle sail forth into the air from a high tree branch, moments before the Iga-ryu ninja flickers back into view. Her right hand hangs limply before her, left hand wrapped around her elbow. She looks like death warmed over: now that adrenaline has left her system, all she's left with is an extraordinary amount of fatigue.

She doesn't have the breath to spare for a snappy rejoinder -- not that she'd want to rob Johnny of his Moment(tm).

After all, he deserved it.

Moments later, the branch she's perched upon sways lower, as a second Iga Clan ninja appears behind her, resting a hand on the exhausted tech-ninja's shoulder. A silent companion for now. The two keep watchful eyes upon the interlopers -- if there are any words to share, it will have to be after their departure.

A deep, grumbling grunt escapes from between Kotal's lips at Johnny's final one liner, the wounded god lifting one huge hand to press it lightly against a shallow dent in the left temple of his helm. When did he get that? Was he kicked?
Ah yes. this mortal.
Distracted by the throbbing pain in his head, and the lightheaded sensation of heavy blood loss, Kotal is in no further mood for games. Already the wounds on his back have begun to heal, but he will need time to recover. this battle has taught him much about the persistence of modern humanity.
"Your challenge has been answered." Kotal responds down to Johnny in a grumpy rumble, the gold light fading not only from his tattoos, but his eyes as well. Narrowing his now glowing bluish-green gaze down at the blood-soaked man, he just about manages to keep the displeased scowl from creasing his features. Almost, but not quite. "You have bested me this day. I will move to elsewhere upon the mountain. But when next we meet, do not expect such mercy."
The sting of the threat is robbed somewhat by the slight stiffness in Kotal's gate as he turns away, lumbering two long steps up slope. He may be a god, but even he has limits to how many times he can walk off being punched in the junk. Continuing to clutch at the side of his head, he smolders for a moment, fire gathering across the surface of his scorched, battered hide. then, in an explosive burst of flames, he is gone, taking with him the shattered remains of his dignity.

COMBATSYS: Johnny Cage has ended the fight here.

Log created on 17:35:07 10/09/2017 by Nagase, and last modified on 23:05:32 10/11/2017.