Yamazaki - The Blood Stirs

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Description: Orochi's slumber is fitful in the wake of Justice's attack on Mt. Fuji. Yamazaki, perpetually experiencing the Riot of the Blood, senses the great serpent's presence intensifying. As he descends further into prophetic madness, he has a chance encounter with Leona and attacks her to draw out the potential latent in her blood. But Noel, directed by the Sacred Order to search for a missing agent, is on the scene to assist, and a new connection is formed.

From an alley beside one of the popular Southtown art district's quaint restaurant-cafes, low, unsettling gasps may be heard. Passerby quicken their steps instinctively. The echoes of that haunting sound threaten to strip the charming veneer from this bright, bourgeois setting. Japan is currently in danger it has not known for decades: the United Nations has utilized Justice to destroy much of Mt. Fuji as proof of their power to bring defiant nations to heel. All those going about their daily lives here must know, somewhere deep inside, that this pleasant everyday cannot last.

What they cannot know is that the attack on Mt. Fuji has awakened grave and terrible energies, the purview of ancient gods and spirits, that cast a secret and anxious pall on their souls. But Yamazaki knows.

The source of the gasps and abyssal grunts, he slumps against a wall, his sizable frame still looming at less than full height. Occasionally he scratches at himself through his dark clothes and chuckles, half-coughing. The blood that spatters him is hard to see against the fabric, but the scent is cloying.

"Comin' ... they're comin' ..."

There are no signs of any victims or struggle. It does not appear that Yamazaki has attacked anyone here, not yet. The gore upon him must have come from a previous fight, and whatever it was, it has further twisted the mind of even this irredeemably twisted individual.

"... Fire ... in my veins! Haa haaaa!"

At his barking laughter, a family planning on entering the cafe outside the alley decides to cross to the other side of the street instead, the parents blanching.

"Ha ha ha ha ha!"

Yamazaki leans back, and his expression, beneath now-tousled bleached blond hair, is one of sublime repose, his smile sated.

"They're finally gonna feel ... how I feel ... every day."

Good. /Very/ good.

It was a positive change of pace for orders - to ensure life still flowed within the veins of one of their own. A complete reverse from some of the more recent orders put out. And provided from Jin directly, which was usually quite negative, everything told. Urgent. The singular red word was all that was necessary for the beret clad woman to travel.

The beret now bobbed in and out of vision in the sea of people, metallic edge tilted half forwards and half backwards. The positively formal outfit of the NOL Lieutenant obscured the majority of her body, having others even doubt if it was indeed a she to begin with. Crisp hair only made it to her neck in slight strands. A heavy blue coat, clasped not just by four massive buttons on the front, was held by two ornate bits connected by belts, overlapping each other. Almost bell shaped, blues maixing with a fringe of the gold and the harsh metallic edges that were sleeves.

Now, she walks down Southtown's proper. Unable to feel his power, it meant that Alma would need to be found through mouth and foot. While one was reliable, the other would be far harder to use with so many of the people on edge. It was not something that she could sense as easily as others, but it was something that she knew.

A girl stared up at the mountain once more and froze. Could she feel something? Yamazaki's, presumably drunken fanatical ramblings, are heard but not acted upon. Not immediately.

The blue clad woman crouched before the girl, arm swinging free of the odd clothing of the NOL to place a hand upon her head, gently moving it back and forth. "I know everything is scary right now, but it'll be okay. I promise." Her promise, smiling to the girl, is empty.

Enemy Territory. That's the word that was used upon briefing by the UN. The Japan country in ernest is to be considered an enemy Territory, at war with the UN. The Tekken Force, the Jack Robots, and the surge of Dark Stalker Actvity was all briefed.

The burning flame that a few others felt as yet more stirred was not quite accounted for. Yet it was all just threats and concerns, tagged onto the rescue mission.

Standing up once more, Noel's form continues down the district, slowly. Eyes not yet falling upon Yamazaki and the threat he truly was.

The pleasant everyday hid the rumblings underneath. That much Leona Heidern knew. The fact she was called in to assist the other Ikaris was evidence enough of things being worse than all appearances. And that fact has made the otherwise calm and placid day around her all the more aggravating. Aggravating enough to make her itch.

It was more than simple awareness that made Leona itch. Not that she knew the reality of what happened on Fuji. And moreso did she not know of the reality of what it meant for her.

She had been out, nothing more than familiarizing herself with the area. Learning the lay of the land by walking and walking and walking. Once in a while throwing in a glower to keep attention focused away from her. After all, wearing fatigues, combat boots, little more than a sports top, and her vibrant shade of hair, she stood out just a little bit for those more at home among the shops and restaurants. What's more, she felt irritable, and felt it scrabbling underneath her skin. Despite her face not breaking from the flat semi-scowl, she still felt it inside. As she walks, she scratches at her arm. A gasp and she looks, at the ready to stare another person down.

But the people aren't looking at her. Leona strops scratching, she looks at this ragged person. The gore on him. The blood. Her fingertips dig into her palm as she focuses on the blood. He doesn't look hurt. Her heart rate picks up in her chest as she leaps to a conclusion. Muscles tense, she breathes deep. She watches, tense and coiled as a snake ready to strike. Wholly focused on the blood.

Yamazaki's eyes, aimed to the sky, snap wide.

His head swivels toward Leona. He runs a long tongue under and over his lower lip. For all his murderous appearance, the gesture is peculiarly contemplative. Then he straightens to a slight hunch and blithely strolls out of the alley. Those citizenry unawares enough to stay in proximity quickly shrink away.

A monster has emerged from under the bed, effortlessly, as though the faith that it feared the light had always been a lie.

"Feels good, huh?"

The gangster grins at Leona, ignoring everyone else in the vicinity. The grin lingers too long after the mirth fades from his eyes. Those eyes gleam dully, glassy, intoxicated. Yet his diction is sure and confident. He doesn't speak like a drunkard or addict. But he smells like a killer.

"Sometimes I thought I was getting closer all on my own. Every once in a while, someone would put up a real fight. And I'd look inside them afterwards, trying to see if they had what was inside me too. I knew that I'd know it if I saw it. But I'd never find it. I'd get angry ... so angry."

Yamazaki smiles pleasantly, with just a hint of nostalgia.

"But now I don't need to look anymore. Because it's coming to us, right? Finally. Every day's gonna be fun. Fun for everybody."

His eyes flash as he surveys the retreating crowd. "You all love it when the blood flies from your fingertips! You all dream of doing it! But you've never understood, never really got, just how good it feels! So you've never taken the plunge!" His gaze returns to Leona, his smile gone. "But when it comes to us, they'll get it. They'll feel like we do. And it'll be fun every day."

He spasms, eyes bulging.


Military. Eyes track to Leona - it's hard not to make her out. Weather Noel knows of the Ikari Warriors, or their current alliances, is to be decided mainly by the higher ups. At the moment, Noel is focused on her own mission. It wouldn't be a surprise that there would be others present. Not at this time. The entire world seemed to upheave, thrusting the willing and unwilling alike together. Even if you sat at the side, what was coming was like a tidal wave. Only now, even the highest perch may not be enough.

Nosy as she can be, Noel's gaze lingers on Leona as she gives the presumed drunk man an audiance. The 'drunk' strides out, clear and even as day. It is only then that Noel recognized the man. The woman in blue's step faltering as she stumbled into a man before her. "My apologies..." She declares, bowing to him, head tiliting towards the the man and soldier more directly now. The crowd falters back around Noel.

Clad in the colors of the Sacred Order, she does not step backwards. Not as those around her begin to grow more worried, including the girl she had attempted to reassure moments ago. Face once more clouding with uncertainty and doubt, the bright colors of her outfit no longer matching the bright colors of a smile. He continues to speak. Yamazaki speaking more to the crowd than the soldier, but the soldier was his intended audiance. Noel turns towards Yamazaki after making her decision.

Jin would no doubt hear of it. She would no doubt hear from him shortly after. Even still...

"Sir. You are causing a disturbance..." Yamazaki, that was his name, wasn't it? It was best if she didn't speak the name of the 'beast', it was decided, "Please cease your actions or ..." Or what? It was a guaranteed response. Indecision strikes, "Please cease your actions at once." Aha.

Leona's eyes fixate on Yamazaki. Her eyes dart, focusing in on the spots of blood, and then to the man himself. Her heart quickens, a brief memory to a time past. Brazil. She can hear the blood rush in her ears. Her foot slips back reflexively, stabilizing her, turning by degrees to a more stable footing. Her head lowers. The man speaks to her in a way different from his words. A mixture of fear and rage inside of her. Her fingertips dig into her palms.

Heart beating faster and faster. Leona's chest rises and falls. Her muscles tense and ready. Her eyes widening. She licks her lips and leans forward.

And then the words of a small woman cause everything to wash away in a moment of clarity. Another voice speaking up. She loses her tense posture and looks toward Noel. She doesn't recognize the small woman, or young boy, she couldn't quite tell with the big coat and hat. It didn't matter, but the distraction helps. Leona's attention snaps back toward the man coated in blood. She assumes a more natural stance, one hand held in check, another raised and ready, edge like a knife. Her feet planted.

Leona's eyes, steady, mouth in a flat line, speaks in a measured tone, "I don't get excited."

Yamazaki glowers in the silence that follows Leona's curt words, his eyes fixed on her face. Noel's command goes ignored. The retreating public is forgotten. The quiet is brittle. The only question is how it will be shattered.

"Haaaa ha ha ha ha ha!"

Rare tears come to his eyes as Yamazaki laughs uproariously. "Good! That's good! Ha ha ha ha ha! Good one!" He sighs, tilting his head to gaze at Leona fondly. He nods slightly, pursing his lips. "Of course. You don't get excited." Nodding to himself again, he slumps, almost deflating. "Doesn't matter to you." His arms dangle, his body folding over. He appears to be about to crumple up into a fetal position.


Until his arms blur.


With surreal serpentine movements, both his arms writhe and stretch, crawling toward Leona like nightmare creepers. His left fist hammers toward her face, the right hooking around to strike at her lower jaw, only for the left to then whip back and attempt to blast another punch in her gut.

"Haaa ha ha ha ha!"

He rears back, laughing without a smile, eyes bright with rage.

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

                 [ |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Yamazaki         0|-------|-------

COMBATSYS: Noel has joined the fight here.

                 [ |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Yamazaki         0|-------|-------
[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Noel             0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Leona has joined the fight here.

                 [ |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Yamazaki         0|-------|-------
[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Noel             0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0            Leona

No response. Not from Yamazaki. Only from Leona, who glances over to her wordlessly before she once more focuses upon the brutal man, covered in blood and gore. The smell is thick. One that she has experienced more than she has wanted to. She is not unaware of the smell.

Additionaly words between the two are exchanged. The soldiers words cause the man to simply lose it. It wasn't the answer he wanted, that is for certain. Without knowledge of how strong the soldier may be, how much she might be able to fight this specimen of human threat, Noel puts Leona's chances at success at minimal. Noel's own are far under that, potentially in the impossible territory. Already focusing on Yamazaki's movements, Noel relaxes for half a moment.

His arms. They blur a split second after she notices the movement. Noel hopes the soldier notices as well, especially the way they hammer towards the woman's form. With the chances so low and the stakes so high, the crowd potentially retreating is not enough. He was within a heavily civilian based area. It can't be left unanswered. Even if they were not 'allies of the UN'. "You leave me no choice...!" The coat is discarded with a runic flash, "Bolverk!" Hands reach out to empty sky as green runic circles glow before her hands. Chi builds up before them as the physical objects emerge, created from thin air, the two massive handguns grasped, the circles banished with the slam of both gun butts togethers, a cross formed for a brief moment, even on top and bottom.

With Yamazaki busy, Noel leaps off the ground, spinning towards Yamazaki's form to land atop him, the red streamers trailing her. If she lands, she attempts to hook her legs about his neck and bend backwards to twist him away from Leona, before kicking off and swinging with Bolverk to increase the distance she gets from him!

COMBATSYS: Yamazaki successfully hits Leona with Serpent Slash.

                 [  |||||||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Yamazaki         0|-------|----===
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////        ]
Noel             0/-------/-------|=======\-------\0            Leona

Too relaxed. Too much time spent trading words. Her arms went up, but the disjointed motions and speed of the man put her off. Not, she would lie to herself, the focus the man put on her. Each hit slams Leona back. Bursts of pain in her face and her stomach. Her neck snaps back before she doubles over. Arm draping, she realizes this isn't a fight she can take simply. If she moves, or strikes, or. . .

The other woman jumps in. A distraction, or an ally, or both. Leona can't waste time considering personal politics. She crouches low and surges forward. Her right hand trails low, just barely above the ground. A glowing force surrounds it, flaring up and sparking like a knife along the pavement. While Noel is going high, Leona is going low. She snakes in close, swings her arm in a wide scything motion with her chi infused arm. The blade of energy sparking.

COMBATSYS: Yamazaki blocks Noel's Type VIII - Return Fire.

                 [   ||||||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Yamazaki         0|-------|---====
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Noel             0/-------/-------|======-\-------\0            Leona

COMBATSYS: Yamazaki barely endures Leona's Ground Saber.

                 [    |||||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Yamazaki         0|-------|---====
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Noel             0/-------/-------|=======\-------\0            Leona

Yamazaki's attention seems fixed on Leona and on launching his vicious and unnatural assault. But as Noel leaps close, his terrible gaze turns to her, his eyes rolling in their sockets. He hunches, bracing against the sidewalk, and though her legs hook about his neck, she is unable to move him. At the moment Yamazaki loses focus, Leona rushes in, slashing low. He grunts as her bright hand cuts across his thick legs, but he doesn't flinch, seeming not to feel the full effects of the attack.

Instead, as Noel leaps away, the gangster's hand snakes toward her, deflecting the swing of her suddenly manifested gun as he reaches. Should he be able to seize her before she repositions, his hand will clench crushingly around her throat and pull her close, pressing his wide and blood-flecked eyes against hers before throwing her to the ground at his feet.

Either way--

"Ha ... haa ha ha ha ha!"

He'll have fun.

COMBATSYS: Noel blocks Yamazaki's Strangle Lift.

                 [     ||||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Yamazaki         0|-------|-======
[    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Noel             0/-------/-----==|=======\-------\0            Leona

Mid-flip away, Noel can see it coming. That arm that unnaturally snakes through the air, lashing out farther than it has any right to. Towards her.

Good. The other woman was injured, deeply, from what Noel had seen. This was her best chance at being okay. Bad. Noel can't help but regret, just a tinge, what she expects to feel. This is made all the more clear as that hand reaches towards her throat. The woman lands just as the arm reaches her. One of the twin guns of Bolverk is slid in between her neck and the hand as she's pulled closer shaking, the magical weapon wide enough that the grip only slowly bleeds her of oxygen instead of denying her even the faintest breath.

Even then, the need for air is clear - and instead of being entirely helpless, Noel is able to respond. The gun that isn't being used to save her to breathe is raised towards Yamazaki's midsection, the trigger pulled. Almost as expected, a burst of energy erupts from it rather than a slug - an expanding runical detonation of chi against his form, followed up by another, and one more as Yamazaki releases his grip.

Once more, distance is made - and as that distance is made, music to his ears would be heard. Coughing, hacking, a heavy gasp followed by a few labored breaths as the woman finds the air she so desperately wants and needs free to her at last once again. Her neck is sore, likely to bruise, and it is harder to breath. It comes though. Breath after breath. "Too close..."

The man's focus is off Leona and on Leona's unexpected partner. An extra, needed moment for Leona. She sees the danger Yamazaki presents. She feels the throbbing pain in her face and gut. Worse, she can feel the man's very presence makes her skin crawl. She wants to lunge forward and go for his throat. To put her hand through his stomach and pull everything out just for irritating her. She swallows the burning rage building inside of her. For now at least. She has to, for the sake of the people around her and the blonde girl trying her best to help her.

Leona holds back, ignores the drumming of her heart that wants to pull her immediately into the fight. Instead, she watches, observes, and readies herself to strike for the most efficiency. She hews close to the control taught to her by her father.

COMBATSYS: Leona assesses the tactical situation.

                 [     ||||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Yamazaki         0|-------|-======
[    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Noel             0/-------/-----==|=======\-------\0            Leona

COMBATSYS: Yamazaki endures Noel's Type XI - Optic Barrel.

                 [         ||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Yamazaki         1|-------|=======
[    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Noel             0/-------/---====|=======\-------\0            Leona

Yamazaki inhales deeply through his nose. The moment that Noel slips through his grasp, he turns away from her as though dragged. Tilting his head slightly up at Leona, he huffs again, taking in her scent despite the distance. He begins to chuckle again, hoarse and grating, lips twitching with the ghost of a smile.

Noel's chi bullet slams against Yamazaki's midsection, his body jerking with the impact, and he coughs mid-chuckle, spittle flying. Yet his eyes do not stray from Leona. If anything, they brighten at the new sensation.

The killer has nothing more to say. He lunges in at Leona, heedless of her careful assessments. Given his monstrous reach, it's not obvious how close he will come to attack. But this time, his arms do not stretch as his hulking form approaches. His right hand twitches, and from his sleeve emerges a glinting blade.


The roar becomes a kind of shriek halfway through as it accompanies the arc of Yamazaki's swing, aiming to slice cruelly into Leona's midriff.

Just as she escaped, Noel found herself already plunging right back towards the reach of the man. Leona, of all, was the one he was focused on. The soldier had something she wanted - and Noel still wasn't quite certain Yamazaki's goals or aims. Was he not underlined as 'unpredictable' unless violence was involved? The man was certainly known for it, most of all.

"What are you gaining from this!" Noel finally spoke up, requesting an answer that, however pointless it may be, finally weighed on her. "You talked of blood and violence... but what does it have to do with everyone here?" Her voice still wavering from the impact about her neck not long ago. Her body twisted forwards as she took off after Yamazaki, foot after footfall of her boots leader her towards the monster in the guise of a human, Bolverk held up in both hands at her sides as she closed the distance

Finally growing closer, she spun around - the tassels of metal and red streamers whipping towards Yamazaki to catch his attention, possibly, before the twin barrels of Bolverk were whipped into the man's side. Shortly after they would be fired point blank, barrels touching against skin, marking the flesh with runes before detonating in gunfire.

Keeping distance from the man only seemingly made Leona a larger target... and Noel, however capable of keeping that distance, couldn't find it in herself to do so!

COMBATSYS: Yamazaki successfully hits Leona with Eviscerator.

                 [          |||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Yamazaki         1|----===|=======
[     \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Noel             0/-------/----===|=======\==-----\1            Leona

Focused, ready, alert. And yet it's all for not. A slice at Leona's exposed midriff. Blood flowing as she's cut mid-movement. She goes still. Her hand touch the cut at her stomach. She looks at it, her blood. She looks back to the man who cut her. The one that laughs. The one that talked about being excited.

He was right.

Leona can't hear herself screaming when she surges for the man. She can't hear herself laughing as she reaches for him. To get close, to get in against him. Her hands spark with eager, violent energy. She tries to get close. To give Yamazaki a taste. To show him that, yes, perhaps she can get excited. Explosively so. Should she get in close enough to get a grip, he'd be blasted back by the explosives she ready to plant and set off against his chest.

COMBATSYS: Yamazaki dodges Noel's Type II - Bloom Trigger.

                 [          |||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Yamazaki         1|----===|=======
[     \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////              ]
Noel             0/-------/----===|==-----\-------\0            Leona

COMBATSYS: Yamazaki barely endures Leona's Revolver Spark EX.

                 [                 ||||||||||||| ]
                 Yamazaki         1|-======|=======
[     \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////              ]
Noel             0/-------/----===|==-----\-------\0            Leona

Yamazaki's eyes dance as the blood flies: first hers, then his own.

His cruel hands are too swift to be warded away from Leona's flesh, but too slow to stop the soldier's ferocious counterattack. He howls as the explosives rend his chest, his dark coat shredding to reveal skin mottled with dripping wounds. He shudders. "Yes," he rasps, "yeesssss!" His eyes are painted with ecstasy as Leona, however momentarily, gives herself over to vengeful fury. He opens his maw to speak again, tongue lazily dangling.

But Noel's questions, her sense of justice and reason, interrupt whatever the madman was about to say. In the moment that he senses her approach, Yamazaki's expression flickers. He jerks aside abruptly, narrowly evading Noel's point-blank blast as he slides along the pavement. Seemingly lucid, his gaze sweeps the area, taking stock of his opponents, the horrified stares, the charming street, the cafe behind him.


He looks up at the second floor of the cafe, where a small balcony overlooks the street, supported by two posts that frame the first-floor entrance. Transfixed onlookers flinch back at his stare, beginning to withdraw itside.

"You're cute."

He's looking at Noel now.

"You wanna know too?"

Know what he knows. What Leona knows. What he's shown she knows, if only she'll admit it.


But he is already close. His breath is hot on Noel's face as his hand snakes out to grip the back of her head, fingers digging into her skull, preventing her from looking away. If she cannot slip from his crushing grasp, Yamazaki, swift as a shadow, will hurtle toward the cafe entrance, aiming for one of the balcony's support posts.

"The answer's in the blood."

If she does slip free, it will already be too late for him to stop his momentum. With or without Noel, he will slam into the post, half of the balcony collapsing atop him as people scream and hurl themselves indoors to avoid falling to the pavement below. He shouts to be heard over their cries.

"That mountain of corpses, erupting with blood!!!"

Should Noel be unable to escape, Yamazaki will heft her up, grinning maniacally as the balcony collapses atop her. Raising his other hand to place it gently against her belly, his body will then convulse as his own blood bursts forth from that hand like a gory drill.

"Burning blood calling us to kill!!!"

His apocalyptic pronouncements ring above the cacophonous collpse.

COMBATSYS: Yamazaki knocks away Noel with Yondan Drill.

                 [                  |||||||||||| ]
                 Yamazaki         0|-------|----===
[                  \\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////              ]
Noel             1/--=====/=======|==-----\-------\0            Leona

Something changed.

Written in her eyes, burned into her mind, the sight of Leona's blood flowing causes a brief spike in Noel's heartbeat. She feels for her. Noel will have to ... do ... better? The gunshots are loud, but there's screaming. Screaming from the woman, so silent, up until then. Laughing not long after. The detonation so close to Noel, directly atop of Yamazaki, causes Noel to look away. Eyes shielded from the blast as ears buzz, ringing from the explosion. Yamazaki's form protects her for the moment.

He makes up for such a mistake. '-ute' ? 'You'-- c-te' ? She understands a bit better.

'You wanna know too?' Finally, she can hear, "Of course! What did you do to he-" Too close. Her beret, her head, are grasped as she tries to pull away, to slip out. The hot breath makes her flinch somewhat. However calm she may be, whatever front she may have, there is none as those fingers clench around her, "Let .. go!" Hands drop Bolverk as they claw against those fingers digging into her skull, eyes growing wider as she stares at Yamazaki.

Bolverk clatters against the ground, Noel taking to the air with Yamazaki. It is not in her interest. It is not by her choice. Yet she has an answer. The balcony collapses atop Yamazaki. The balcony collapses atop her, as well. Piece by piece. Mountains of corpses, erupting with it? Madness or an explanation, Noel has no time to dwell upon it. Her body strikes against pieces now as they fall, Beret doing little against concrete and metal, body struck brutally. Gashes and bruises are clear, but the worst, Noel realizes, is yet to come.

A hand is placed against her stomach.

There is a gasp - a bringing of air into herself as that 'bloody drill' bores against her lightly armored midsection. It tears and grinds against fabric, rending it quite easily - but centralizing it on her lower midriff. The flesh fairs better - but not by much. Internal damaged begins to mount - fingers on her hands, hanging limply burst to life, extending outwards and up, the pain gradually overtaking her. Soon, her hands begin to clench.

Bolverk vanishes from the ground.

A pained scream begins the 'justice lady's words, but it is not the beginning and end of her words. "No... D-DispaUUGH..." The pain is unbearable. Focus, "ed in mankinds dark-" She coughs, it's blood. "hour...Ara..." She feels faint. Her vision swims. If she cannot... "Bolverk! Unleash!"

He would not let go. She could not go away from the drill. She would have to put distance. Bolverk appears in her hands, hanging limply for a moment before turning downwards towards Yamazaki's feet. The triggers are hammered with each and every instance of her strength left, each and every blast kicking her opwards, muzzles twisting towards a larger section of Yamazaki as she's pushed farther upwards by the kickback, each shot ringing one after the other.

For a moment, Noel would be rising, self-sustaining her vertical height and then-some by firing downwards.

"From Monsters like you... we'll protect...!"

Two heavy blasts in unison are fired as she flips backwards, landing unsteadily on her feet - barely able to stay up afterwards, red adorning her midsection and the corners of her mouth, staining the white, blue and gold of her Sacred order outfit.

Explosions. Gunfire. Shouting. Words. All things ring distant in Leona's ears in the immediate aftermath of her close in attack on Yamazaki. She had lost part of herself to the itching inside of her. the rage. And she hurt the man. And in doing so she proved him right about her. She did know.

The words, gunshots. Leona shakes from her moment of reflection. The man speaks to the blonde woman and attacks her. The font of blood. The tearing of the small woman. The concrete crashing and clattering around.

This was her fault. She hadn't focused. She hadn't kept control. She hadn't done what she needed to do to avoid more people being hurt because of her. But the smaller woman still fought, still kept going. She wasn't down yet. Leona took control of herself again, breathing steadily. And she new what she had to do to do. She needed to end this.

Not as talkative, she throws herself back up to Yamazaki. Her hand goes for his wrist. She tries to get a grip on him with one arm. Her other, reeling back, hand straightening to an edge. Chi builds up around it, coating her forearm and hand with a burning blue energy. She thrusts her hand forward. If Yamazaki wants to stab people in the chest, he can feel what it's like when someone else can do the same.

COMBATSYS: Noel successfully hits Yamazaki with Bullet Storm.

                 [                      |||||||| ]
                 Yamazaki         0|-------|-======
[                  \\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////               ]
Noel             0/-------/---====|==-----\-------\0            Leona

COMBATSYS: Yamazaki fails to interrupt Leona Crash EX from Leona with Shouten.

[                  \\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////               ]
Noel             0/-------/---====|=====--\-------\0            Leona

COMBATSYS: Yamazaki can no longer fight.

[                  \\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////               ]
Noel             0/-------/---====|=====--\-------\0            Leona


Yamazaki's manic grin twists in puzzlement as he squints up at his writhing captive. His savoring of her pain is interrupted by her enduring resolve -- and by the gun that has somehow reappeared in her hands. The killer is forced to release her as glowing bullets join the shower of balcony bits, raising his hands to ward them off. Some of them he is somehow able to swat aside, yet the majority slam into his chest and shoulders, sending him staggering back.


He stumbles toward Leona, his smile turned to a grimace. Acting on furious instinct, he launches a quick uppercut towards her, but this plays into the hands of his calculating opponent. He chokes and sputters as she seizes hold of his arm and with her other hand spears him through. He rips free only to stagger and fall to the ground.

"Heh ... eh heh heh ... hangover."

Blood spilling from his mouth as it does from his wound, the gangster drags his shaking body to a standing position. But the eyes with which he regards his adversaries are more alert than before, if absent of regret. Yamazaki sinks low but this time does not attack. Instead he leaps, the sidewalk cracking under his feet as his heavy frame soars skyward.

Tattered coat rippling, he almost seems to float at the apex of his jump before landing upon the remaining half of the balcony he destroyed. The single remaining post supporting it and his weight creaks and groans. From the windows behind him emanate shrieks from the cafe's second floor as the remaining occupants flee for the stairs. Yamazaki ignores them.

"The mountain," he coughs, blinking the daze from his eyes. "The mountain of corpses is calling your blood ..."

He crouches and leaps again, this time reaching the roof. Beneath him the remainder of the balcony crumbles, the post snapping with the force as wood and brick noisily tumble to earth.

"... yours and mine!"

And with a swirl of his coat, he turns and runs.

"Haaa ha ha ha ha!"

The mountain of corpses calls for blood. A secondary claim of the peculiar phrase. Too often noted to be random. Yet as Yamazaki is finally driven away by the interference from Noel, but especially Leona, rest is not so easily earned. The rest of the balcony crumbles, leaving a damaged city-scape, a killer still on the loose, and Alma still not found. By all accounts, she had failed.

To follow after Yamazaki, it would be a mistake. Any shot she took would also endager others. Bolverk, hanging from her finger-tips, clasped barely within her hand, is silent. "Restrictions, re-engage." Noel exclaims at the end, Bolverk vanishing as the coat re-appears upon her form. It would cover the injuries that she had sustained, at least, from the outside. "At least I can still move without too many l-" Hack. Cough. A hand comes up to catch the inevitable blood that comes up from the impacts, blood, chi, and concrete having done terrible wonders to her form, inside and out. White gloves nearly coated red.

Finally, she teeters forwards, resting on one knee in the bell shaped coat. The city begins to spin anew. Maybe it was worse than she thought? But the other woman was fine now... worse for wear like herself, of course, but alive.

COMBATSYS: Noel has left the fight here.

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

Ominous words. Ones that Leona knew were right. It seems as though a lifetime passes before the balcony crumbles to the ground and even longer before Leona finally allows her hands and posture to relax. All the same, she stares into the empty void where Yamazaki was. A hundred thoughts should be in her head, but only one holds center stage.

"The mountain of corpses. . ."

Leona winces and doubles over, spitting and coughing. She pushes against the slice opened over her stomach. She swallows and lifts her head. A weak step forward, her body on autopilot as if she could keep up with the prodigious leap that Yamazaki had made. Head hangs again and lifts once more before she mutters a tired and defeated, "Damn it."

The girl! Leona turns, lifting herself too quickly, gasping when pain lances through her body. "You," she says to Noel, pointing with a hand stained by Yamazaki's blood. "Are you okay? Please not again," the questions come more for Leona than Noel. The thoughts run in her head, the same thing in her was in the man, and it again causes nothing but suffering and bloodshed.

COMBATSYS: Leona has ended the fight here.

Pointing towards her, a hand stained with blood - Noel glances over, half expecting for that hand to be turned on her before those questions are asked. "Sorry..." Noel immediately begins with, before her head, staring downwards raises and shakes a bit, "To make you worry, I mean." Noel exclaims as she finds her footing once more, wobbling to her feet once more. "It's more important that you're okay and... not like he was." However he was, that is. The blood curse may be something not yet shared with her in knowledge.

It may not have been considered a high level threat until lately.

Her head bobs as she glances away, looking at some of the destruction and the crowd about. The coat is lightly pink on the white sections of her stomach, but it's barely noticable. "Did anyone else get hurt? We'll need to make sure everyone is okay, too." Pause, She turns to Leona, bowing, "I didn't mean to make it seem like I'm ordering you around..."

A moment of emotion, compassion, and worry is gone. The stable, sensible question from Noel may sound like an order, but it's more helpful for Leona than Noel might know. Standing up fully, hand dropping, Leona looks around for a lot more bodies than there seems to be. At least, than there should be for what just transpired. "I'm not like him," she states, her voice easily sliding into a natural monotone, "And it appears no one is hurt. No wounded to report."

Leona's attention shifts toward Noel as she's in full ignore the gut wound mode. "You ran into danger. You're armed. Not an amateur." She looks away again. "Thank you. He could've hurt a lot of people without your help. Next time I won't let him run off."

"I... I didn't mean to mean you were like him!" Noel latches onto immediately, bowing, "Y-you're absolutely nothing like him at all! I can tell, since he was happy abo-" HACK. Perhaps she's getting a bit over worked up about it. With a bit of blood seeping down the side of her mouth, the NOL woman does not follow up with another apology. Taking in a deep breath, pained, Noel nods to Leona's assessment of both the area, and herself.

The light pink begins to grow pinker, but Noel continues to ignore it. It's not life threatening - it's just going to bleed. After such an assault from Yamazaki, it was lucky she wasn't cored entirely. "That's right." She agrees with Leona, "Ah, it's not as big as you say. I couldn't just stand by and let him hurt everyone..." She doesn't comment about 'letting' him run off. If put into a corner, would he be even more feral? It sends chills down her spine.

"Ah... I have a favor to ask. I'm sorry to ask something of you but.. have you seen this man?" A picture of Alma is held up, fished out from the coat pocket - one of many.

Leona blinks at Noel. Her chin inclines just a tiny bit as Noel continues. The pinker skin takes a moment for Leona to process before she looks behind Noel to the fallen balcony. "You could've been killed," she states. A quick add for Noel's benefit, "Were you not prepared."

A little hum comes from Leona's throat when the picture comes out. "No," is all she says on the picture. It's curt and factual. She has not seen the man.

"Your uniform doesn't look police issue." Leona's cunning observation on Noel's dress sense aside, she almost lifts her arms to cross them before thinking better of it and keeping her belly covered. "Is he like the other one?"

As Leona looks over to the balcony, Noel does too. A rock falls, one final huge THUMP, as the two look back in unison. The statement is made. Noel has a statement also. "Even then..." It was close. Too close. She could feel the strength slipping from her hands, the pain becoming the entire world in which she lived in. Concrete, wrenched body, and a burning, writhing 'drill' from the man against her stomach.

Days have been better. They will get worse. She can almost hear Major Kisaragi claiming she SHOULD have been killed for getting involved in a matter that 'wasn't of importance'. The cold tongue, the frigid demeanor, the icy glare....

"Ah? .. Ah! Thank you for your help. Please, if you could, keep an eye out for him?" She doesn't look like a bad person. It's unlikely she was - and if Alma is in trouble...! The additional statement catches Noel off-guard, shaking her head. "I'm ..." 'From the UN'. A claim she could make before, but here, with everyone around her? Sacred Order is just as bad. Known for BEING a part of the UN... "From a different district." Her oh so clever statement, "He's from headquarters. I've actually never met him, but I hope to." For obvious reasons, "He has a different uniform from mine, as well."

The girl was a puzzle. A somewhat annoying one. But not unsympathetic. Leona listens, waits, doesn't bother emoting or anything more than looking mildly perturbed by the things going around her. "I'm not getting anything done standing here," she notes. "Can't help clean up. Should find. . ."

Trailing thought interrupted by Noel's sudden outburst and request, Leona snaps to an attention. She waits the stammering out before she just points out, "What does keeping an eye out do? What do I do when I see him?" She also adds. "Is it a uniform if they look different from each other?"

"A-ah! You're right I... and-" Noel glances about as well, interrupted in a way from her thoughts in response. With Leona asking such a direct and logical question, Noel answers them as quickly and directly as she can, obviously a bit flustered, "Well if he's in trouble... not that he might be! And if you do, tell him to contact headquarters, or help him... if he needs it and... I'm from a sister organization." Even if jumbled, the answers are direct.

With a bow, Noel, seemingly thinking she has screwed things a bit up, begins to turn and leave. "I'd really like to stay and help... I'm sorry." Already, she has to go on, pained as she was. If she returned injured without even really looking, Major Kisaragi... he'd be likely just as frightening as that man!

Leona holds up a still bloodied hand to try and stop Noel from just running off. "I understand!" she says with a hint of an exasperated sigh coming to her. "Who do I say wants the message relayed."

Leona, struck a brilliant idea that might help get her the information she needs, quickly adds. "My name's Leona. You should have that much."

"Oh! Noel. Thank you again Leona!" Noel had forgotten the most obvious of information in her hurry, to provide a name! Leona thankfully corrects this. It isn't much longer that Noel leaves the reconstruction - though she would have like to help. It wouldn't be good of an idea, currently.

Not being a construction worker, Leona doesn't much care to remain to get in everyone's way. She makes her way from the site, walking wounded but with a purpose. She has information to pass on to the other Ikari. There's a greater danger here than she understood coming in. And one that may have to do with her. She is not looking forward to how much talking this will entail.

Log created on 13:16:41 10/15/2017 by Yamazaki, and last modified on 20:17:33 10/15/2017.