Description: With rogue Gears and angry Darkstalkers running amok in Japan, Leo Whitefang has chosen to lead a small group of Sacred Order soldiers in defense of the city of Southtown. However, it would seem that his methods are not quite in keeping with the expectations of the NOL's more militaristic members.
Monsters, monsters, monsters...
It seems the world is simply not content to allow a moment of rest and peace and turmoil needs to be the constant status quo. No sooner has one war ended does another series of protracted challenges rise up to put the strong to the test. Fortunately for the world - and unfortunately for the upsurge in creatures of chaos - Leo Whitefang is more then willing to step forth and be at the forefront of restoring order to a world in desperate need of it.
Nevermind the fact that the bulk of The Sacred Orders military forces have been recalled home in the aftermath of the war. He does what he wants. None should have more freedom then that of a king, is what he would say..except he's no king. But he at least thinks that way. Either way his sense of independence has paid off for a few city blocks at the edge of the business district as what appears to be the aftermath of a monster attack greets any newcomers to the area. Leo has no particular name for what these things were. Oni..? Ogres perhaps? A pack thuggish creatures that descended up on the outskirts of Southtown in search of human flesh only to find The Greatknight nearby with a small entourage of Sacred Order soldiers that remained with him. The battle was swift and fierce as Leo leapt to the occasion and with some of these oni captured or dead and the rest having scattered back into the wilderness, the Knight's-Captain busy's himself speaking to a burly soldier as others attend to any civilians who were harmed in the swift struggle.
"SOLDIER!" demands Leo, "I do believe that our actions today will do some good in easing the criticisms levied against The Sacred Order!"
"Yes, Sir Whitefang!" responds the soldier, though one can almost imagine the proverbial 'sweatdrop' appearing next to his helmet.
"But.." Leo admits "I do believe it would have been better if some media was actually present as well.. Oh well. These people have my permission to tell of our glorious deeds."
"Yes, Sir Whitefang!"
"Glorious deeds? Like endangering the lives of the citizens of Japan by failing to bring these attacks to the attention of the NOL?"
A voice calls out from behind the towering figure of the Sacred Order's greatest knight, berating him openly in his moment of triumph. Despite its brazeness, the voice is both soft and feminine, almost like a wisp of cloud floating on the breeze having brushed across his senses only by chance, yet in that moment when it touches his mind it rings out clarion and clear as if the words had been whispered directly into his ear. Any attempt to turn and seek out the source of this castigation would result in there being no one to be found save the members of the Sacred Order themselves and the handfuls of civilian onlookers - atleast, on the ground.
Some twenty feet or so above the battlefield, a young woman hovers in the air as if standing upon some invisible surface. A large heavy greatcoat of dark black and embroidered gold hangs around her like a shroud making it difficult to tell precisely what sort of build she might have underneath its thick folds. Her long snow-like hair is capped by a tall parade hat, also black but with a golden lion surrounded by rays of light emblazoned upon its front in a polygonal crest. Dull crimson eyes peer down at Leo from beneath the brim of that hat, her brow clearly furrowed with the slight hint of scorn in a manner that manages to look both upset and dismissive at the same time, like some noble woman who has discovered an ant scurrying about her breakfast table.
"Leo Whitefang, one of the Sacred Order's supposed elite," she continues, slowly floating down from her lofty perch to alight upon the ground some handful of steps away from the large man, her hands clasping behind her back as she takes up a parade rest stance. "You were given leave to operate in this area but I do not recall being informed that you were authorized to take personal action without alerting the NOL of any potential dangers that you encountered."
Her frown deepens slightly though it's hard to tell as the lower half of her face is mostly obscured behind the high neck of the greatcoat. She sweeps one arm out towards the nearest group of bystanders, gesturing at them.
"Look at this. You allowed these people to remain while you conducted combat operations? What if something had broken through your lines? What if your squad had been wiped out? They would have been entirely at the mercy of these creatures."
Twitch. Leo's towering form does not do well at hiding his agitation and his foot begins to tap as he hears the words of the NOL representative. As her words bite into him, his annoyance grows but he refuses to look openly look her way, though a series of lightning quick glances does reveal her location to him after the initial surprise of the use of her abilities to so clearly speak to him from that distance. Arrogance and self confidence can be a form of art, though and one Leo is well practiced at and so in a tone that clearly says , 'I don't know her and therefore she is not worth knowing' he addresses his subordinate first:
"SOLDIER! There appears to be a floating girl who is attempting to berate us. Am I mistaken, or are people not supposed to be floating? MORE IMPORTANTLY ..people are not supposed to be berating me."
"You are correct, Sir Whitefang!" responds the knight. He pauses and then adds, "However..um..if I may be so bold to remind you of the NOL.."
"There is no need!" interrupts Leo who finally casts his eyes upwards towards the NOL represenative, but someone manages a dismissive look despite the fact that she has the high ground both literally and perhaps somewhat legally.
"As you can see, young lady, nothing of the sort took place and victory was achieved. THEREFORE it can be presumed that my decisions were just and correct and able to quickly attend to a situation that did not permit a swift evacuation of the civilians due to the situation we found them in." he allows a deliberate pause and then adds, "I was not aware that the NOL had become the official arbiter of all things in Southtown related to the defense of its people. No doubt other organizations would disagree."
Katarina's eyes close and her brow twitches slightly at the roundabout manner in which she is addressed, unused to being ignored as if she is little more than some unimportant rank and file soldier. She allows the jester to finish his capering before she looks at him again, the arrogant frown on her face growing a couple of notches deeper. The hand she had extended towards the civilians is retracted, taking its place behind her back once more as she shows how much better she is than this baffoon by remaining calm and disciplined.
"That's First Lieutenant Katarina Shimotsuki. Of the NOL's First Division of Engineers and liason to the Intelligence Branch as well head of the Shimotsuki House of the Duodecim," she retorts haughtily, rattling off her rank, position, and family status like badges of honor. "Not 'floating girl' or 'young lady'."
She glances from side to side, noting the various corpses laying strewn haphazardly about the street, some of them quite close to the gaggles of civilians. Her nose wrinkles at this but she offers a smirk to leader of the Sacred Order's small group of troops, shaking her head from side to side.
"Hmph. Bodies simply left where they fell. Disgraceful. Or were the Sacred Order not aware that certain varieties of these creatures are capable of regennerating themselves? Again, you endanger lives with your incompetance while strutting around like a peacock."
The girl holds a hand up into the air and makes a quick gesture with her fingers. The air around her begins to shimmer for a moment as a dozen glittering swords take shape out of the aether, hovering around her like a cloud of angry bees waiting to strike. She turns and points to each fallen monster, one by one, and at her command one of the magical blades lances out like a missile to impale the creature through the heart. Katarina slowly completes her spin as the last blade buries itself into chest of one of the captured monsters. She shifts her hand to the long fountain of hair, idly brushing it over her shoulder with a flourish as she faces Leo once more.
"As expected of rank amateurs," she preens with a dainty smile. "Disagree all you like but it's quite obvious that you lack the necessary character to do the job properly."
A mixture of gasps of surprise rises up from the crowd. Some from the civilians, some from the Sacred Order soldiers. All of it at the swift and brutal action of the First Lieutenant as she mercilessly dispatches what was left of creatures, with more then a few attacks whizzing right past the Sacred Order Knights, with perfected precision, to strike home against the targets they had taken into their custody. The civilian gasps are more from the suddenness and shock of it. There's no real disapproval en masse as much as confusion and an odd disquiet. NOL, is, after all on home territory.
But the Order soldiers are clearly momentarily confused and thrown off and an uncomfortable disturbance makes its way through them as they look to Leo.
. Leo..on the other hand..bristles with the rising tide of a heated lion like temper. It emerges, not as a roar though, but as a simmering growl of disapproval, restrained by true understanding of the situation they are all in, despite his arrogance earlier.
"I did not realize that The NOL earned its accolades by mercilessly slaying captives who had surrendered and agreed to return to their homes and to possibly pay reparations for their actions.. For one who speaks so candidly about what we know or don't know about our foes, perhaps asking as a new comer to the scene before administering judgement would be a mark of wisdom as opposed to the showcase of aggressive youth begging for attention and acknowledgement."
Brat. Well he had enough sense of mind to not call her that aloud but.. he may as well as if he had of fired the word into the air and spelled it out with fireworks it would have been more subtle then the tone of his voice.
"Perhaps I was wrong to think that The Sacred Order and NOL could have common grounds and goals? We do not blindly execute prisoners of war after all.." He makes a sudden gesture with his hands, signaling the SO soldiers to start to gather themselves and fall in line.
The NOL officer laughs, her voice soft and melodic like a musical wind chime despite the clear derision laced through it. It takes her a few moments to regain her composure, though she hides it well behind a hand which is lifted to cover her mouth.
"Oh dear, you truly are naive, aren't you? Do you believe this to be some sort of peace-keeping operation? A simple bit of rebellious disquiet between otherwise peaceful residents?"
She glances around at the strewn corpses of the slain monsters, making a show of inspecting them as if seeking out some particular detail or object.
"Hmm. How strange. I don't see any picket signs. And, oh dear," she nudges a corpse with the toe of her fancy boot. "This one appears to be quite dead. It seems you were rather content to use deadly force against this poor fellow. But I'm rather certain that the others like him who, upon realizing that they were outmatched, suddenly came to realize the error of their ways and peacefully agreed to return to their 'homes'. This was most certainly not some ploy to save their miserable skins so that they might attempt to prey upon the weak while the braaave knights who claim to be acting in defense of the city casually turn their backs upon these utterly reformed and misunderstood beasts."
If sarcasm were a physical thing, Katarina would be gleefully wielding it as one of her magical blades right now, slashing and stabbing mercilessly at the assembled Sacred Order trooops. She slowly pivots to face Leo once more and holds her hand up in the air, her fingers extended. As she closes them into a tight fist all of the swords she had cast out before shudder and then rip themselves free from the bodies, zipping back over to hover around the young woman, drifting in a lazily rotating circle around her waist.
"Allow me to elucidate. These creatures are, at best, vermin. They exist to kill and to feed and they pose a clear and present threat to the well-being of the humans for whom you should hold much higher regard. If they were truly concerned with co-existence then they would not have attempted to attack these innocent civilians in the first place."
She gestures at the remaining captives but the hovering blades remain inert, the motion nothing more than a simple indication of focus.
"If you want to cart these little beasts home and dress them up like pets, by all means, but if you plan to release them back into the wild to threaten the citizens of this nation once more then I have no choice but to deal with them properly, since you will not."
The sense of 'Oooh' hangs in the air. The knights shift nervously, their very purpose and ego being shredded apart by an artful butcher at the cutting board.
But Leo is not done!!
"Strange that an international organization seeking clout in the world has such narrow minded, small thinkers amongst its best and brightest." Leo deep voice interjects, bolstering the mood of his soldiers as it seems this isnt' enough to back him down yet. His pace quickens, regaining its thrumming rhythm as slight smile to crease his features, "Certainly, an organization dedicated to putting its best face forward doesn't have people in leadership who blindly pre-judge all situations they come across without first actually investigating it. "
Leo turns with a flourish of his coast and spreads his arms to indicate the fallen attackers, "FOR EXAMPLE - Not all monster attacks are driven by the same motifs. There are different types and sources they demons, darkstalkers or something else entirely!"
Leo folds his arms in full on podium mode, as if he's speaking from an elevated height, with a grand backdrop behind him and a podium before him emblazoned with his seal,
"THEREFORE - encountering one such attack, one is not to presume that the circumstances are all the same and as such temper ones use of force accordingly. That is justice and righteousness!"
Leo sweeps with his huge arm to indicate the felled creatures, "These Darkstalkers were staging an attack based on an admittedly false belief of their nearby territory being in jeopardy and -some- were more blood thirsty and willing to kill than others and paid the price. Those who were willing to surrender were given that chance, even those who did so out of fear! It is still, nevertheless, surrender."
Leo pauses and then gestures magnanimously at The First Lietunant, while smiling once more, "I suppose..NOL doesn't..train you all well enough to consider these things and just sends you off as attack dogs in which case..you do your job well, yes.."
Katarina hesistates for a moment, apparently taken aback by the insinuation that she had been too brash and hurried in her assessment of the situation, but her ego recovers quickly and she gives another haughty laugh, closing her eyes as she tilts her face up in a dignified manner.
"Hmph! Naturally, a foolish mutt like you would be quick to accept such an obvious lie! Is that all it takes to overcome the vaunted soldiers of the Sacred Order's elite, a simple sob story? Ha ha ha, truly pathetic!"
The girl turns to the side, throwing her arm out towards Leo in a dramatic pose as the wind seems to kick up at just that moment, fluttering her long locks of silky hair out behind her like a cloak. She grins at him with the confidence of someone who has taken the upperhand against an inferior foe who has yet to realize their error!
"How ironic for you to speak of making presumptions, for if you had merely relayed this situation to the NOL, you would have been made aware that this location has been a hotbed of darkstalker attacks for several days now! Do you think that I simply stumbled upon this battlefield by chance? Fool! I have been patrolling this section of the city for days, you merely happened upon this particular incident first!"
She laughs at him again, her soft voice ringing clearly in his ears through some sort of magical amplifier despite the distance between them. Her expression settles into a smug smirk, certain that she has claimed victory with this revelation.
"Your 'justice' is nothing more than a fool's folly that will lead to ruin!"
The Greatknight recoils slightly at that but it's not so much the words this time as it is the girls overall demeanor. A sense of something truly troubling him passes over his features like some sort of shadow and he then turns and sternly addresses his knights. "Finish helping with the civilians until...NOl deigns to arrive en masse, since this is a repeated problem locally that they have yet to..quell."
He then turns back towards Katarina and says, "Perhaps you are not wholly in error in some of your statements. I do choose to harbor a sense that, if given the opportunity and incentive, people will choose to do right over wrong. At the same time I'm no fool. I'm prepared for the worse and well able to attend to it. The bodies around you and the safety of your civilians should make that clear, if you were not so blindly arrogant to assume this was all luck..."
Leo takes a deep breath and looks around before adding, "I've heard it said that people will often assume things of others based upon what they know about themselves. If you treat with lies and mistrust you are more likely to assume that of those you meet and be dismissive of opportunities to the contrary. The chance to learn of others or give people the chance to prove themselves or even take steps towards new horizons is hamstrung by that sort of thinking, First Lieutenant. I hope that is not the face of NOL.." he pauses but then adds, tone deadpan, "But as you are a First Lieutenant, you clearly have much to learn and a ways to go so perhaps there is hope yet.."
The young woman grinds her teeth at this rebuttal, her golden victory stained by the insinuations that she is anything but perfect in her logic in dealing with this situation. True, it's entirely possible that what Leo had told her was on the level. Perhaps after repeatedly being pushed back, these darkstalkers believed themselves likely to be attacked and had continued hostilities on that assumption. Ofcourse, their reasoning is of little consequence. All that matters is that they are a threat that needs to be dealt with.
"Do not presume to judge me upon my age, especially when you flaunt your ignorance so casually! The Sacred Order might tolerate such wild flights of fancy from its ragtag bunch of would-be heroes but we of the NOL understand how to obey orders and maintain discipline. You know, little things such as /properly reporting incidents so that they may be dealt with/."
She puts heavy emphasis on the final sentence, glaring down her nose at him with a disdainful sneer.
"Only an idiot would point fingers at the NOL for failing to respond to a situation when we were not even made aware of it. If you want to cast blame at something for that, look no further than your own foolish pride! But you need not take my word on the matter. Perhaps you should ask these civilians, whose lives you put into danger soley for the opportunity to spread word of your 'glorious deeds', who they would rather put their faith in."
The civilians are given only a quick glance at that. No, Leo has no intention of doing that. Nope.
"You are twisting my words and my intention." Leo retorts this sharply, attempting to drive the stake home so to speak.
"As I said, we saw the situation and acted. Had we simply stood -by- then there would have been civilian casualties in an area you have already -admitted- is subject to heavy Darkstalker attacks and yet seems to not be reinforced for swift NOL response, therefore negating the -need- to have to call them in about something they should already know about and be prepared for!"
Leo pauses and then adds, "...As the Sacred Order would have been..had this actually been our jurisdiction as opposed to us simply performing a social service as an act of good will towards The NOl and the people of Southtown..." that last bit said with a big, big lion like smile.
He turns with a flourish of his coat to start to walk to his soldiers, "I would like to meet with your superiors before I depart Japan for Rome. You will arrange this." Not a request.
For a brief moment, Katarina considers giving the big oaf another piece of her mind but it has been made abundantly clear that trying to show him the error of his ways is like trying to divert a river uphill. The man seems to have an excuse for everything! But, rather than take the bait, the young officer stills her indignation and once more shows that she is more composed and respectable than the mangy-headed brute.
"As you wish. I doubt you will find them particularly more amenable to such brash and careless actions than I but if you wish to attempt to verbally joust your way out of the mess you have made, I will not stand in your way."
At around this time, the soft rumble of approaching vehicles begins to make itself known. A somewhat sizable convoy of atleast half a dozen jeeps and troop transports appears in the distance as it makes its way down the winding cities streets towards the edge of town where the Sacred Order had quelled the darkstalker attack. Naturally, Katarina had made the call before all of this began like a proper soldier but the remoteness of the location combined with the sheer size of the city and their rather over-taxed forces made quick responses something of a challenge.
The officer sighs but pulls herself up into a dignified stance as the cavalry arrives. "I will atleast say this. Your swift action in dealing with this incident did manage to save atleast a few lives. For that, soldiers of the Sacred Order, you have our gratitude."
She waves her hand in the air and with another quick twist dismisses the carosel of swords, scattering them into faint motes of light that quickly fade away into nothing.
"However, we will take over from here. Rest assured, the civilians will be seen safetly to their homes and the remaining creatures properly dealt with. Your service is appreciated but no longer necessary. Good day."
Such is overbearing self confidence and a sense of knowing what he does, when he does it and why he does it. One mans excuse is another mans certified sense of reality. Only a fool knows not what he does and has no reason for it. As far as Leo is concerned. It's all according to plan. All according to according to Keikaku indeed.
Which isn't to say that she didn't have him on the ropes once or twice, but as they say, never let 'em see you sweat.
Addressing his knights now, Leo nods his head in approval and satisfaction. "We are no longer needed here. We will return to the ship for now and continue to monitor." Their vehicles are a ways off and..uh..far less impressive as well. No sense in letting her get a look at them. Oh no.
Leo does pause, letting the other soldiers move ahead of him and head for the city outskirts, "Thank you, First Lieutenant. I look forward to speaking with you and yours again soon. Hopefully any follow up assistance can be more.,.organized, per your tastes. We will follow NOL's lead."
Yeah right, probably not, but with that he is mercifully finally heading off.
Log created on 16:41:16 01/03/2018 by Katarina, and last modified on 20:41:18 01/03/2018.