Moondyne - Mouse Hunt

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Description: Brandon's partner, Noboru tracks down Moondyne Mouse in Sunshine City, looking for the HitBit device.

The word is on the street that the explosion the other day was attached to a weapon's deal gone bad. That's what is generally known about it, some kind of gang-related violence. Which of course there is no shortage of in these parts. However those that are tracking the dreaded HitBit tech would also have gotten a rumor that there was a device of said technology there at some point, but no clue if it's gone now. So where is an investigator into such things to do? Scoping out the area around that site might have been a good place to start--it would give evidence of some kind of chi-users had been there, at least at some point. But where had they gone now? Whoever had taken it couldn't still be in the area... could they?

If there were any investigator qualified to examine a blown out shell of a building, it would be the Iron Mystic of the Miyama clan. In the pursuit of the very Hitbit technology that was stolen, he has destroyed more corporate-owned buildings than can be counted on one hand. Furthermore, as one of the resident experts on tracking down thieves, the mission is nearly tailor made to his skill set.
Suspiciously so, if one has a mind to be paranoid.
A full moon hangs fat and bright in the clear night sky, any clouds that might have once lingered chased away by the balmy summer breeze. Even after hours Sunshine City is hot, pavement releasing its collected heat into the air and feeding the shifting winds with warm upward gusts.
One such breath puffs its way from the floor of a trash-strewn alley, carrying smoke and ash up the face of a neighboring warehouse to swirl about the bulky silhouette of the Mystic himself, fluttering his lengthening hair around his masked face and blowing the loose bottom of his robe out from his legs. Arms folded across his stomach, hands gripping either elbow, he gazes down into the wreckage of the blasted warehouse across the way.
Even to his particular sight, a burnt building is little more than a burnt building. Lingering traces of heat, wisps of chi. The faint essence of panicked souls leaving their smeary shades across the canvas of the world. Marks that will fade, given another day or so, but for the moment they can be tracked.
Following the line of one particular signature, he traces its path into the building, mostly losing it within the tangled signals within, then back out into the alley. turning his head slightly, he follows the trail toward another blotchy spot of energy, its texture familiar to the shinobi, and mentally tags the meeting as some sort of collision, auras entangled.
Stepping casually out into space, he descends from the roof in a rush of flapping cloth, bare heels impacting the pavement with a dense 'THMP.' Though he has to flex his knees to absorb the impact, the bulky mystic doesn't even bother to uncross his arms.
Cord-bound feet move silently across the garbage-filled alley as he turns to follow the signals, tracing them around the corner of the warehouse and toward a still open window, which the big man enters by stepping up onto the ledge, crouched, and passing through without a sound, moving with perfect poise and balance.
If there is someone here, Noboru will find them. If not, he will find them later.

There is a sound of a car pulling away along with the laughter of women and the tell tale 'click-clack' of high heels echos down the alleyway. It's definitely a working girl, as one can see from the hot pink crop-top, cut-off shorts, fishnets and what look like quite high stiletto heels. Of course, she's also carrying a purse with her on a long strap. She's a very short woman with a blonde bob hairstyle, seemingly talking on her smartphone as she proceeds to walk right past Noboru, but notices him just as she crosses paths.

"Oh hi there darling, looking for some action? Want a date?" she says in a bright valley girl accent, bright as in 'spirited', not 'intelligent', of course.

"Watcha doing all alone out here without shoes on? Didya old lady throw ya out??" she giggled, her phone still on and speech chattering from it.

Poised with one foot on the window and one on the ground, shoulders hunched in preparation to step through, Noboru is brought up short by the distant sounds of a car offloading its passenger. Removing his foot, he turns away from the window and straightens up to face the sound of click clacking heels as they approach his position, looming over the comparatively tiny woman even with her stiletto boost.
Without shoes, wearing only his mask, tattered robe, pants, and some ropes, the big man looks like nothing more than a hobo ninja, or perhaps a hobo wrestler. Big enough and built enough to be menacing, but fortunately not nearly as smelly as an actual homeless man might be. But looks can be deceiving.
Mismatched eyes gaze down at the young hooker through the hair that drifts across his face, one cool and icy blue, the other milky white and scarred. What is visible of his face is not naturally friendly or welcoming, but hard, serious, with faint lines at the corners of his eyes from a decade and a half of hard life. He has eyes that have seen far too much, and still see more than most.
"Your offer is kind," the mystic rumbles with the faintest of Japanese accents, words pushed up from somewhere deep within his chest, "But I do not desire companionship this night. However, I would ask you a question."
As he speaks, Noboru runs his good eye slowly across the woman's form. To the laymen it might appear he is checking her out, gaze lingering briefly on chest, thighs, and heels. In truth, his eye is searching for the telltale sign of weapons. The ancient arts of the kunoichi are no mystery to him, nor are the various places that a woman might conceal something where a man could not. Many an unwary man's life has been ended by a poisoned dart plucked from between the seemingly inviting breasts of a Miyama assassin. But even as his good eye is checking the woman physically, his bad examines her spiritually. Piercing the veil between worlds, he gazes upon the true nature of the woman, seeking out what mysteries her soul might reveal.
"Do you pass through this alley often? What can you tell me of the night this warehouse was destroyed."

"Oh yeah, I walk this beat all the time, c'mon--lets have some fun," the lady takes one of Noboru's very large and muscular arms in both of her much smaller, slender ones.

"Oooh, look at these huge muscles, you must work out," she grinned with a nod, lips painted red. Her reddish brown eyes traveled up the man's muscular arm and bicep, then to his shoulder and face, grinning at him. "I know a place just down the street if you wanna go there with me, it'll be a really fun time..."

Of course, as soon as Noboru might look away, with his stoic self not seeming to mind the eager lady's propositions... he might see out of the corner of his eye... a white tail? Just for a moment, as a flicker.

"I know I'm not a very big girl, but in this business I find that is an advantage..." the valley girl accent shifted, sounding more... European.

When Nobu's gaze returns to the girl proper, he might notice she definitely didn't have ears that big before, now large pearly mouse-like buck teeth sported over her red painted lips. That's no call-girl, it's a mouse in disguise!

"C'mon loverboy, lets just get to know eachother a little better!" she grinned wickedly.

There is very little resistance from the hulking shinobi as the girl clicks right up into his personal space, slender arms sliding through the slight gap between his biceps and chest. There is only the watchful stare of his eyes, chin tilted down, and the patient stillness of a man used to moving at his own pace. The only real movement comes from the slight shifting of his attention to keep her in sight, and the hot gusts of wind that catch at his hair and robes.
Beneath the scratchy wool of his robe, Noboru's flesh is hard and unyielding as the stone they stand on. He may as well be a statue, and could be mistaken for one, if not for the slight, rhythmic pulse of his heart, and the slow expanding of his chest. Could he also be a cyborg? Some sort of experiment? What sort of hellish training would a man have to put himself through to harden his body to such an extent? If nothing else, it explains the noise his heels made when impacting the ground. He must be incredibly dense, and not in the dumb way.
The deep, rumbling grumble can be felt vibrating through his ribs as he continues to watch the mouse, idly studying the creature revealed beneath the illusion. Not a Dark Stalker, but something else. Something synthetic, designed to be this way. And yet, not a gear. A truly synthetic creature, electronics rather than flesh and blood, all layed bare beneath the all seeing eye of the mystic.
With a move far too casually to be so strong, Noboru allows his arms to unfold and reaches across his body with his right hand, attempting to close steel-hard fingers firmly, but not painfully, around the small creature's right arm. Gently he attempts to pull her off of him, muscles that can bend steel or shatter stone shifting as he extricates himself from her grip while keeping careful hold of her slender limb.
"I am Miyama Noboru," he informs her with simple formality, head remaining bowed to gaze somberly down into her face. it does not appear she has caught a very playful man this evening. "For three decades I have trained. perhaps one could call this working out. But yes. I think that you should show me to this place, where we will talk."
The icy clarity of his blue eye has not warmed in the slightest, showing no flicker of fear or surprise to find an armored mouse girl grinning toothily up at him. But neither has the grip on her arm fallen away. Those fingers that hold her so gently have crushed skulls as easily as a normal man might crumple a soda can. It is only his ritual politeness that now holds him in check, the muscular assassin nothing if not honorable.

"Bonsoir, Noboru! You were trying to catch a mouse, but it appears the mouse has caught you," Moondyne giggled, the whore outfit sticking around for a few moments longer, namely as she took the stiletto heel clad foot of hers and drew it up along the man's shin and knee, flirtatiously. She keeps her arms around the one that's picked her up, dangling from it.

"So, cheese hunk, what is it on your so-called mind that I can assist with this evening?" her long white tail swayed about beneath her, hanging down between her legs.

"Speak," she leaned in closer, lips smacking a little, her eyes bearing down on his.

"When last I held a combot in my grasp, I removed its head from its shoulders and delivered it to the one whose likeness it had stolen." Noboru informs the slinky mouse girl, voice as deep and calm as a mountain lake. Feeling the tip of a foot slide up over his knee, he extends his arm up and out, dangling her high from one hand without apparent effort. His arm isnt' long enough to keep her from toying with him, but at least she'll have to stretch for it, and he can keep a better eye on the tail that dangles down between her legs.
"If your words are honest, and you cooperate, I will not harm you."
There is a pause then, blue eyes flickering across Moondyne's armored form, skipping to the tip of her tail, then returning to her face. The wind continues to blow, carrying with it the sounds of distant traffic.
"You have stolen a piece of Hitbit technology. Such a thing is dangerous, and will be abused by those who do not deserve the power it grants. You will give this to me so that it may be destroyed."
it is not a question. This man, for all his manners, is clearly a warrior. Judging by the size of him, and the old scars that cross his chest, visible beneath the thick matt of hair, he is no stranger to violence.

"Aww, good thing I'm way better than one of those," the mouse shrugged a little, with a smile. She gives a little squeak as she's hoisted up further and away from him, her entire body dangling from the grip he had on her arm. "Honest? Me?" she looked apalled at the notion. "I'm nothing but honest, see?" the disguise she'd been wearing fully fades away now, revealing the white and black armored form of the mouse bot beneath, reaching up as she slides a long-nailed finger across her lips, the red lipstick she'd been wearing disappearing along with it.

"Always totally forthright, I think, as for the device you speak of--I don't have it right now to give to you, alas--but why do you want to destroy it? It'd go for quite a bit on the black market, you know, seems like a silly thing to do," Moondyne tilted her head, as if trying to figure out why the man would want to do that, one brow raised.

"Were you bitten by a combot as a child?"

"The power to imitate and replicate any fighter in the world. To trap their essence in a metal shell. That is what Hitbit is." Noboru explains patiently, turning away from the street and setting off down the alley at a relaxed pace. Even with a mouse girl dangling from one hand his footsteps are eerily quiet, the essence of stealth drilled into his every movement.
"An army of replicants sold to the highest bidder. One that I would have to combat if it were ever used. It is better this way. And that is why you will take me to this device, and I will destroy it. Money means nothing. It is a way to show power without violence, to prove worthy of objects and status. It allows the world to run, but I do not need it."

"You know, you should really put some shoes on--pretty sure there is a load of broken glass over there--and probably some needles from junkies earlier," Moondyne, still dangling, related this as she strained her neck to look around and behind her, even as she dangled from Noboru's arm. It was a surreal and comedic kind of situation, just the type to find a mouse in! For the moment she was just kind of letting him carry her, sneaker-booted legs just dangling there.

"Say, you're not part owl, are you?" she asked off handedly, before blinking a little.

"Oh? you hate it so bad, huh?" she stared at him a long time, then seemed confused. "You'd think with how hardwired you humans are to destroy yourselves you wouldn't mind a thing like that, unless you really think you're /that/ unique," she smiled, watching his reaction.

Onward Noboru walks without care or concern, stepping neatly around bits of trash and scattered debris, though it is questionable whether even broken glass would penetrate his toughened skin. The placement of his steps seems almost automatic, each deliberately chosen to avoid anything that might potentially make a sound. Not particularly useful at the moment, seeing as both he and Moondyne are talking quite freely, but some habits are drilled in too deeply to ignore.
yet another low rumble works its way free of the ninja as he comes to a halt, standing stone-still in the middle of the alley. His blue eye blinks, once, as he gazes up at the talkative mouse. He has offered more words to this synthetic being than almost anyone else in recent memory. Usually by now he would be mid combat, powering forward on will and instinct. Perhaps that is why she does not struggle. Or perhaps not. Either way, something about this situation does not sit well with him.
The comment about being part owl is ignored, but what she says next seems to hold his attention.
"Crafted in the image of the gods, it is in our nature to find a place. But too often there are not enough places to be found, or we lack the wisdom to see that our place is already before us. I have found my place. It is protecting others from threats they have no power to withstand. In that mission I find purpose. To me, it is special. But what of you, machine? What is your purpose? Crafted in the image of an image. Have you found perfection, or do you struggle as your creators do?"

"You say that like I'm not, what if I told you I was a servant of Ganesha?" Moondyne grinned at the man, those large mouse-like buck teeth of hers shown off again. "He was a symbol of intellect, and removal of obstacles, after all, and speaking of..."

The arm under Noboru's hand soon glowed, long studs suddenly erupting from beneath his hand to prise his grip away from her limb! They are thankfully blunt, not spiked--and seem to just... appear from her form itself. Holograms?

"A man's gotta know his limitations!" she twisted herself to wriggle free, intending to start running as soon as her feet hit the ground--heading right for the main street! This mouse is on the run!

Noboru as bent steel in his bare hands. His grip has crushed skulls, mangled bones, and splintered wood. With his knuckles alone he has broken the face of a mountain. For decades he has worked to strengthen his body above all else.
Above all but his mind, at least.
spotting the build up of energy even before it manifests in the physical, the Iron Mystic has a choice to make. he could fight now. Possibly break the arm he is holding, bring this machine to its knees and force it to share all that it knows. He could learn, once and for all, if machines can feel fear.
Or, the subtle path.
Opening his hand, Noboru allows Moondyne to drop free before the spike can strike him, fading back a step as the mouse girl scampers away toward the street. As before, the passage of her chi is distinct. Her unique energy signature something all her own.
Fading back into the shadow of the building, he allows her a good head start. He will follow, but not soon. There is plenty of time still. In the end, patience will win out.

"Au revoir bare-footed man!" Moondyne is off, making it out of the alley and into the main street--where she has already disguised herself again, and is moving away from the area at a casual but smooth pace. It would take a while to track her down again. Till next time...

Log created on 21:22:48 06/22/2019 by Moondyne, and last modified on 02:42:38 06/23/2019.