KOF 2017 - Act 2: Mission 25) Avengeance

[Toggle Names]

Description: In another world, in another timeline, there would be no homeland for Baiken. No past, no present, and no real future. Just moments, drifting through time. But there is reality for Baiken, a present, a future. And the United Nations has just demonstrated that it was willing to take it away. By the time the United Nation's retainer, Sub-Zero, gets the warning, Baiken was already deep in a Gears base, knee-deep in the wholesale slaughter of Gears. And if Sub-Zero cannot stop her, she won't stop. She won't stop until all of them are dead.

The advent of war forced the UN to activate and reveal bases that hadn't been used in some time to hold their secretive projects. Some of them are ones people expect: depots of equipment for infantry, vehicles, missiles. Others... others are somewhat different.

One of those secretive bases has dropped off the communications grid about twenty minutes ago. No reason was given, and all attempts to rouse the base have ended in failure. It's isolated from other UN facilities by its location (wilderness) and by design, to operate independently without fear of being limited by the normal chain of command.

Which means someone has to go there and figure out exactly what the problem is.

Fortunately, it's not going to be a hard problem to identify.

From the outside, the facility - a short bunker covering a mostly underground laboratory and operations area - looks fine, except that there is no security. The guards have been killed. Some of the covering guns have been destroyed: cut, sheared through. Others were just bypassed. The doors have been forced open. Some sort of spec ops team, maybe?

And inside... It's bloody. The cause of the disruption didn't spare the lives of the soldiers on duty, though they were killed quick, not viciously - as much to get them out of the way as anything else. There are several dead, and it would be almost neat if it wasn't for the blood. Those are the humans, though, and they weren't the target - they were just in the way.

Her target was in the deepest parts of the bunker.

There are Gears there, the inhuman soldiers of the United Nations. Things that are almost human, and things that certainly never were; things in great number. Or they were great number, because it's here that the violence is worst, and the source of it becomes clear. Only one person is attacking this base.

Baiken, wild-eyed and in disarray, swings her katana in a brutal arc, taking off the head of an ogre-like Gear that was menacing her with a giant metal club. Before it even falls over, she kicks the corpse, sending it falling into a snake-like monster and obstructing its line of fire before it spat something at her. Her mechanical claw snaps out, dragging the snake forward so she can stab it in the eye, sending it reeling back with a reptilian screech.

Many of the Gears she killed before they could react. Some were still in cylinders or otherwise technologically constrained, and those she just murdered before they could do anything. Now she's fighting the survivors. "COME ON!" she roars. "Monsters like you don't deserve to live! If you think you can stop me, kill me!"

They're ... they're not doing so hot at that, honestly.

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

                                  >  //////////////////////////////]
                                  |=------\-------\0           Baiken

A secret UN base containing experimental monster soldiers going comm silent is clearly no big deal. It's likely just sun spots throwing off the radio waves. Or, well, that's what the half-ass plot of a low budget scifi film might try to explain. This is reality, however, and the UN hasn't become a global force for PEACE!!! without learning a thing or two about sabotage. Clearly something has gone horribly wrong, and so they need to send a team to deal with it.
the snake-like gear's horrible squeals fill the tech-crammed corridor, bouncing off of the walls as it flails in pain. These relatively new gears might not be a threat to an enraged Baiken, but your average soldier would likely be shitting his pants. Even a bullet to the head won't put some of them down. Still, there are limits to what even a tough gear can shrug off.
Like, for example, having its blood flash frozen into a solid.
A wave of arctic air howls down the hallway as a blue glow begins to shine behind Baiken, causing her shadow to stretch forward dark and massive over her shrieking victims. Said squeals are cut off abruptly, however, when blood, breath, and moisture from the air are suddenly flash frozen, the helpless monster's scales cracking as its insides expand, shattering their fragile prison to join the foundations of the ever-thickening wall of ice that forms before the enraged samurai, ceiling off any further progress down the corridor.
Though the blue glow soon fades, replaced by the wavering red of emergency strobes, the air remains bitterly cold. Cold enough that the ambient moisture in the air has grown thick, dropping to create an opaque layer of fog that fills the hallway up to the knees. Little droplets of water drip from the ceiling, some stretching into little frozen ice spikes, while others break free to drift groundward as wispy flakes of slush.
When the world has gone mad, and gods walk the earth, you do not send a mere security force to contain your problems. You send a legend.
Just such a figure stands not 20 feet behind Baiken, clad from head to toe in shades of blue and black. A hard black mask hides the lower half of his face, while quilted blue armor guards his torso, shins, and forearms. Above his mask, his eyes are a blank, frosted white, as if their original color has been consumed by the element he commands.
perhaps the monster hunter has heard of Sub-Zero, the deadliest assassin of the Lin Kuei. A warrior that has slain men and monsters alike. Has traveled to hell and back.
A warrior without mercy.
With relaxed insolence, the legendary assassin drops into a solid karate stance, one hand and foot forward, palm out, the other held back slightly in preparation to strike.
If Baiken wishes to continue her rampage, she will have to carve her way through the wall of ice. Certainly within her capabilities, given time. But with an assassin at her back?

COMBATSYS: Sub-Zero has joined the fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Sub-Zero         0/-------/------=|=------\-------\0           Baiken

Baiken withdraws her katana from the snake's eye, snapping it in an arcing slash toward the side of its neck with a roar -

She hits something about as hard as cordwood, as the snake is already starting to freeze. Baiken withdraws her sword before it is frozen in the expanding wall of ice, taking a hopping step backwards to avoid an attack from that angle - at first she's thought it was something one of the Gears has done. There are enough of them with elemental abilities that she would believe they would make a wall of ice to thwart her, and she doesn't believe anything would stop them from sacrificing each other either.

But no. That energy doesn't /feel/ like the Gears'.

Baiken turns away from the wall of ice, the growing fog swirling around her legs as she does. She is still holding her katana, which is starting to rime over with frost, but her claw has vanished back up her sleeve where it came from. Her single eye blazes with fury. "You? They send an /assassin/ to stop me?" she growls, pointing the tip of her blade at Sub-Zero. He's still too far away for her to strike unless she rushes him, of course.

Which is exactly what she does. Baiken takes several swift steps and lunges, driving her katana - the edge of it twinkling with pink chi - in a thrust that turns into a sideways slice as she passes Sub-Zero. She follows it up with a kick, trying to drive him toward the ice wall. "I don't care WHO you are. Get out of my way if you want to live!"

COMBATSYS: Sub-Zero blocks Baiken's Rokkonsogi.

[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Sub-Zero         0/-------/-----==|==-----\-------\0           Baiken

Silence is all that Sub-Zero offers in response to the accusatory jab of Baiken's sword. Unreadable gaze locked on her, he waits to see what her first move will be. She is not altogether out of range options, as they both know.
And yet she charges.
The air between the assassin's fingers snaps and hisses as dual daggers of ice form in his hands, his movements quick but not pressured. This is not the first time he's faced down a vengeance-fueled warrior with a sword.
Catching Baiken's pink-edged blade on his left dagger, he guides the thrust away to his right, ice sliding over steel as both warriors twist passed one another. Her spinning kick scythes around, but he dips his right elbow and steps into it, catching the blow on his bicep and muscling forward in an attempt to shove her off balance.
Standing This close to the frigid assassin, she can likely feel the ground frosting over beneath her feet, floor growing slick and grainy. Every breath plumes thick with mist, the very air itself painful to exposed skin.
But more dangerous still is the man.
Having gained himself a moment to act, Sub-Zero launches himself into Baiken with a flurry of stabs. Both hands flickering in and out, he thrusts his daggers toward her face, chest, throat,thigh,gut, chest, chest, stomach, and chest in rapid succession, a rushing clinch of violence that ends when he brings his right knee up in an attempt to hammer her crashing back into a sliced-open pod lying half-destroyed against the wall of the hallway.

COMBATSYS: Sub-Zero successfully hits Baiken with Polar Puncture.
- Power hit! -

[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////////  ]
Sub-Zero         0/-------/----===|====---\-------\0           Baiken

Baiken is fast, but she's also been fighting; Sub-Zero is fresh, and even if the soldiers and the Gears were not up to challenging Baiken individually there were quite a few of them.

She is an instant too slow to prevent Sub-Zero from striking her; her parry a beat behind and unable to force Sub-Zero hard to the side as she'd intended. The ice knives spear her; she feels the chill sink into her bones as they penetrate her flesh, leaving bloody injury behind. But the injury is not enough to stop Baiken - even when she's slammed into one of the pods with a grunt of pain, already broken and emptied of its contents, she does not stop moving for more than a split second.

Half-obscured from Sub-Zero's vision by thick, icy mists, it may be a surprise when Baiken's chained claw whistles out from the pot at Sub-Zero - well, a visual surprise, that she has it is hardly a secret nowadays to people who have studied her fighting style. She tries to clamp it onto his shoulder, drag him close to her, but she doesn't stab him if she gets him to her.

Instead Baiken literally grabs the pulled Sub-Zero with her real arm, and with a little hop forward, attempts to slam him with all her strength directly on the bloody, icy floor. She's a lot stronger than she looks, apparently.

COMBATSYS: Sub-Zero blocks Baiken's Himawari.

[      \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////   ]
Sub-Zero         0/-------/--=====|======-\-------\0           Baiken

Who is to say whether or not the mists hide Baiken from Sub-Zero's sight. She is a skilled warrior, fast and unreasonably tough. A worthy match for the legendary assassin's skill. But that is all she is. He will not be so easy a target as the men she slaughtered.
Relaxing control of the ice in his daggers, Sub-Zero allows them to crumple into bloody slush, the crimson substance splattering the frosty ground around his feet. In nearly the same moment his left hand snaps up, gore-smeared fingers catching the chain just behind Baiken's hook hand, halting it less than an inch from his face.
A puff of mist rolls from beneath the assassin's mask. Surely she knows better than to use such a trick on him? Does she not know of the spectral ninja that stalks him?
Maintaining his grip on the claw, Sub-zero moves forward into Baiken's reach, ignoring her hand as she grabs a fist full of his vest. Dropping the hook, he begins to focus, the air around his body growing colder, colder, sub zero...
Driven backward into the ground, the legendary warrior exhales, stomach crunching up beneath Baiken's hand.
In pain?
Mist roils off of the assassin's booted feet as he brings both scything up from beneath, rolling up onto his shoulders with the force of the double kick aimed for Baiken's center mass. Not only will she have to contend with the force of the blow, she will also have to endure the bone-numbing chill that rolls off of the warrior who is attempting to smash her off of him and bounce her off of the spike-encrusted ceiling.
If successful, Sub-Zero will use the force of the kick to flip backward to his feet, falling effortlessly back into his ready stance.

COMBATSYS: Baiken blocks Sub-Zero's Freezer Burn.

[       \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////////     ]
Sub-Zero         1/------=/=======|======-\-------\0           Baiken

Baiken uses a claw on her chain, not a spike. Totally different.

Baiken manages to get a hand on Sub-Zero, but that's all. He twists as he goes down, turning it into a two-footed strike, but Baiken is aware that she's not likely to be stunned; she felt him slip out of her grip and control his own landing, after all.

So she's at least partially prepared for the impact. Sub-Zero does indeed launch her up but since she's prepared for it, it isn't uncontrollable; she throws her chain claw upwards, slamming it into the ceiling even as she's still rising to meet it. The chain goes slack, then starts to straighten as she descends...

Baiken hangs about five feet over Sub-Zero, dangling from the ceiling by her chained claw. Snarling, she lashes out in all directions with her katana, trying to get a blow when Sub-Zero escapes from his current position. "You're going to stop me from killing THEM? What's it to you? Why do you even CARE?"

COMBATSYS: Baiken successfully hits Sub-Zero with Random Strike.

[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////////     ]
Sub-Zero         1/----===/=======|=======\-------\0           Baiken

Half way through his backward flip, Sub-Zero senses that something is wrong. He can not see the woman hanging above him, but the impact was not that of her body with the ceiling. He is in danger. But upside down, with his back to the swordswoman, there isn't much he can do.
One of Baiken's wild swings carves a deep gash from the Lin Kuei's left hip to the center of his back, bloody droplets freezing into hard little crystals as they spray across hunter, wall, and floor. the wound does not continue bleeding, however, the hard layer of ice that had been meant to shield him spreading over the wound and sealing it shut.
Booted feet hitting ground, Sub-Zero dodges back from a second swipe that comes inches short of beheading him, empty palms looping passed one another as he makes a quick circle of them before his body.
The air lets out a shivering wail as moisture is pulled in from all directions. Mist flows up into the vacuum created between his gloved hands, followed soon by shards of ice and bloody slush from the floor. IN the blink of an eye the corridor is a frigid cave, visibility clear, faint traces of ice still clinging to the walls and ceiling...
Tensing his body into a low, twisted crouch, his hands shift the swirling mass of pulsating blue energy in against his right hip.
Then, he uncoils.
Hurling the energy toward Baiken, the legendary assassin focuses his will through the icy particles, forcing them forward upon a river of his power. Layer upon layer of frigid particles stream toward the woman in a condensed ray, the cold burningly toxic as it rushes toward her body, attempting to engulf her. To spread and consume.
Let this be his reply. He has no words otherwise for the enraged woman. His clan is on retainer to the UN. Their enemies, are his enemies. He will fight for the honor of the clan. For the honor of himself.

COMBATSYS: Sub-Zero successfully hits Baiken with Arctic Blast.

[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////               ]
Sub-Zero         0/-------/----===|=======\====---\1           Baiken

Baiken remains hanging to the ceiling for a split second longer before she releases her claw's grip, dropping to the floor as the fog starts to clear.

Or that's the idea.

As Sub-Zero channels the mist into his hands, the icy corridor remains icy in one sense; the edges where her claw has dug into the ceiling have frozen over, and the mechanism that causes her grip to disengage are iced over, unable to clear as they're supposed to because of the sheer speed of Sub-Zero's manipulation. It opens, but too slowly, and she finds herself stuck to the ceiling for an instant longer than she would like.

On the battlefield, an instant is an eternity.

The river of ice hits Baiken just as she finally manages to unhook from the ceiling. The impact is enough to send her sliding across the too-slippery ground, the energy wrapping around her, trying to freeze her solid. She feels the cold in her bones, a dull ache every time she moves, turning to sharp when she exerts herself.

But it's not enough. She won't let it be enough.

Baiken screams her defiance - and frustration, with having to fight Sub-Zero instead of hunting her rightful prey. It's a wordless scream, but is the only warning Sub-Zero gets before Baiken /blurs/ with speed, tearing across the distance between them in no time at all. She's moving so fast she's barely more than a smear in the air as she gets to him, passes by him, all in the same motion; she spins her blade in her hand as she returns to a more human pace, setting it back in its scabbard with a quiet 'click'.

And it's then that Sub-Zero might realize, if he did not manage to deflect or evade it, that she's dealt him an impossibly fast single blow. It was so fast that his body takes a moment to assert itself before the wound really opens, painful and brutal.

COMBATSYS: Sub-Zero blocks Baiken's Tate Shunmaku.

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////                ]
Sub-Zero         0/-------/--=====|=====--\-------\0           Baiken

In the face of Baiken's shout, Sub-Zero remains an enigmatic wall of indifference. Mist drifts out of the air between them, impacting the floor and billowing out to once more obscure their shins.
Said mist is immediately blasted apart as the enraged swordswoman comes charging through it, a mere smear of color moving faster than the untrained eye can follow. There is very little time to react. But very little is not none.
Right foot planted forward, the blue-clad assassin thrusts his will down through his own body, a thick rime of frost forming along the outside edge of his quilt-armored forearm. At the same moment he twists violently to the side, lashing out in an aggressive block that impacts Baiken's sword just as it draws level with his body. The frost gathered across his limb explodes into sharp little fragments, blade continuing through to tear a ragged gash through cloth and skin alike. The force of the exchange throws him off of his feet, mist falling away from the walls to hide him, and she continues passed.
For a moment, all is quiet. The fog slowly shifts. The base buzzes and sparks with busted machinery. Red emergency lights pulse.
Appearing wraith-like out of the mist at Baiken's right shoulder, wounded forearm sealed in a bracer of ice, Sub-Zero attempts to loop the icy limb around Baiken's throat and grip her skull in both gloved hands. If he can secure the hold he will continue the motion by dashing behind her, directly toward the wall on her left.
No, not toward.
Booted feet finding easy purchase, the legendary assassin runs right up the wall, attempting to wrench Baiken's head violently around as he flips up and over her, falling backward into the mist to gain leverage in throwing the swordswoman back up the hall by the head, away from the wall of ice. Unlike before, even if he vanishes into the fog he will soon rise again, wounded, but no where near done fighting.

COMBATSYS: Sub-Zero dazes Baiken with Front Throw!

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////                    ]
Sub-Zero         0/-------/--=====|=======\-------\0           Baiken

Speed alone isn't enough to end the battle. Even paired with skill and strength, Baiken knows that it is no guarantee that she will be able to disable Sub-Zero. A lesser warrior, absolutely, but against someone of Sub-Zero's skill, nothing is a guarantee.

Still, there's a moment of satisfaction when she feels the blade smash through ice and into flesh. Not a killing blow, then, but not nothing, either. She'll take it.

Even if she has replaced her katana in its scabbard, that doesn't mean Baiken is no longer able and willing to fight. She's never truly unarmed, and she's dangerous with or without a blade in hand. Just because she doesn't see him immediately doesn't mean he's not there. The silence is a lie; all she has to do is find him -


Sub-Zero came up on Baiken's right - not her blind side, but the side with no arm. It's harder for her to raise anything from her sleeve to interpose between his arm and her skull. She tries anyway, whirling, but her body - already injured from the battle - betrays her; she is not fast enough to stop him, and she feels her head being wrenched around in an unpleasant manner as Sub-Zero literally runs up his wall of ice.

Baiken slides when she smashes into the ground, turning it into a semicontrolled roll. She ends up on one knee, sword-point against the ground, before she pushes herself up. She's dizzy from the roll and dazed from the neck-twisting initiation, but she's hunting Sub-Zero anyway; she stomps her foot, and a vertical eruption of chi blasts out around and just in front of her as she tries to catch him, approaching the wall before doing it a second time.

COMBATSYS: Baiken successfully hits Sub-Zero with Tetsuzansen.

[                    \\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////                    ]
Sub-Zero         1/-------/=======|=======\=------\1           Baiken

Perhaps it is the successful throw bolstering Sub-Zero's confidence, or maybe he simply feels the fight is drawing to a close. Either way, once he has regained his feet the assassin begins to move in, stalking forward toward his kneeling opponent.
He should have been more cautious.
From one step to the next, Baiken has exploded to her feet, summoning a pillar of chi almost directly beneath the frosty warrior's feet. Striking him dead on, it flings him toward the ceiling, shoulders smashing hard into the cement.
Rebounding back down toward the floor, Sub-Zero twists, putting his feet back beneath him, and meets the second blast of energy with forearms and shins. He can do little to mitigate the damage, but rather than being flung away like a rag doll, he turns the brutal impact into a neat forward flip. Springing off of the chi pillar, he descends upon Baiken from above, freezing energy leaving a glittering tail of flakes drifting through the air in his wake.
Uncoiling in a sudden, violent lunge, the assassin brings his right elbow smashing down toward the center of Baiken's forehead,a tempting to drive her back beneath the full weight of his descending body. His boots touch stone a fraction of a moment later, and he spins, left hand swiping through the air between them. The gesture seems oddly aborted and short until a 3 foot long sword of frost crackles to life in his grip, aimed to carve a bloody path down her body from right shoulder to left hip.
Continuing the motion, Sub-Zero spins out of the slash and leaps, both feet leaving the ground as he levers the full rotational force of his body into a spinning roundhouse kick, driving the heel of his boot toward Baiken's jaw with what is clearly intended to be bone-shattering force.

COMBATSYS: Baiken fails to interrupt Cold Steel from Sub-Zero with Baku.

[                     \\\\\\\\\  <
Sub-Zero         0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Baiken can no longer fight.

[                     \\\\\\\\\  <
Sub-Zero         0/-------/-------|

The fight /is/ drawing to a close. Baiken can feel that. Sub-Zero can feel that. When two people of this skill level meet, the outcome is anything but foreordained, but the tension as it approaches is a guarantee.

Baiken is breathing harder after her second wild burst of chi, but it did what it needed to; it covered her for long enough to rise, striking Sub-Zero and throwing him up and away. Or that's the idea.

Sub-Zero's aerial recovery is a remarkable thing. He comes down, and Baiken draws her chi back up, forming something else with it. It's not the wild bursts of instants ago, but something focused, something controlled - something far more practiced, in fact. A technique, and one Sub-Zero has not seen from her yet.

But forming her energy in that way is taxing, and a challenge. Sub-Zero plows through the half-formed glyph without slowing down, dispersing it like so much smoke, now free to drift as the pattern is disturbed. He strikes, slamming her downward, and as she starts to rise he slashes at her in great arcing sweeps.

"Damn you!"

Baiken lurches back, bleeding. Her single eye is filled with fury, and now it's not directed at the Gears, who she can no longer see behind the wall of ice - it's for Sub-Zero alone. The boot that impacts her jaw is the last problem, and it's enough to get her to fall quiet, though it's hard to tell whether her jaw is broken or just incredibly pained. She spits, once.

Before she can pass out, Baiken staggers away, vanishing into the fog and around a corner. She can barely keep upright, but she's not going to give Sub-Zero the satisfaction of falling at his feet - and she needs to find a place to hide before she passes out, or the UN is likely to kill her...

But he knows he's the victor here. There won't be any more murdered Gears tonight. At least, not by Baiken.

Sub-Zero's boots crunch down upon the frost rimed floor, white eyes staring after Baiken as she staggers backward with a curse. For a moment, a fractured hair in time, the fate of the swordswoman hangs in the balance.
But then she flees.
Releasing the frozen hilt of his blade, the blue-clad assassin allows it to shatter into bloody flakes, withdrawing his will with practiced ease. He has no need to fight any further. Let her live. let her run. Her bitter fury only stokes the fire of his legend.
Turning away, Sub-Zero vanishes into the mist, leaving the hallway abandoned. Bloody hunks of gear drip and crust. Electronics buzz. The overhead lights pulse read.
With a crack, the wall of ice that had guarded the end of the corridor crumples, releasing a wave of furious sound.
Someone else will be by later to clean up the mess.

Log created on 19:00:33 10/25/2017 by Sub-Zero, and last modified on 22:37:10 10/26/2017.