The Black Dragon - Black Dragon R1 - Target Of Opportunity

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Description: Chaos. Panic. Disorder. Most people would call that an emergency. For others, it's just the recipe for a good time. With all of Southtown pushed to their limits trying to deal with the dark stalker attacks, one man has decided that this would be an excellent opportunity to pilfer some of the nicer goodies from a local warehouse. What's a good mass panic for if you can't profit off of it, after all? The fact that this warehouse belongs to the Southtown Syndicate - well, you can only get in trouble if you get caught, right?

Monsters on the loose! Mass panic, and chaos everywhere! The metropolis of Southtown has much to fear from the hordes of darkstalkers running rampant. The Syndicate is normally neutral to darkstalker encounters, considering the deal brokered with demon lord Jedah Dohma. But even if the particulars of that deal were public knowledge, this new faction of unleashed darkstalkers no longer seems beholden to the Majigen lord. Incursions have been... frequent.

Until recently, that is. After the security of two warehouses was put to the test, Syndicate higher-ups began to demand an increase in security -- and -fast-.

Which explains the current plans of the Syndicate's dedicated IT Ninja -- and the several high-voltage electrical coils installed at regular intervals around the perimeters of each of their downtown harbor warehouses. Each coil stands several meters tall, and strung between them are high-tension cables, spaced apart like some sort of Tesla-inspired wrestling ring. The sparks arcing down the length of the cables -- plain to see in the midst of a moonless night -- assure that anyone attempting to get past these coils without first disarming the system runs the risk of dying to fatal electrocution -- but hey, as long as there's a sign alerting one of such a fate, it's legal, right?

Leaving such a system turned on all the time, though, would make the transfer of goods in and out of the warehouse an impossibility. So, of course, -someone- has to be on hand to personally supervise the disarming of the system. And tonight, that someone is the aforementioned tech-ninja, Nagase.

"Muahahahahaha!" cackles the bumblebee ninja as she throws off the massive bladed switch that controls the power for the ridiculously overamped security system. "You may now pass! But don't dawdle unless you want your kibbles and bits fried off! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!" Nagase raises her fist imperiously at the cargo truck driver who, until now, has been waiting patiently for the little ninja's theatrics.

But now that the system is inert -- with only the faint scent of ozone to remind one of the danger that exists -- the driver feels free to roll his eyes, expel a sigh, and kick the truck back into gear. With a roar of a diesel engine, and a heavy lurch forward, the truck begins hauling its cargo through the tall bay doors of the warehouse...

Nagase taps her foot as she waits beside the door, her amber glasses superimposing a digital heatmap of the truck's contents over her view. It may be dark for the casual visitor, but the tech-ninja's augmented infrared vision can cut through just about any darkness. She may look like she's goofing off, but she's nonetheless keeping a close eye out for intruders.

Chaos. Some rampaging ninny has let loose a bevy of animals over the city of Southtown and everyone with a stake in the game is making for the streets to keep from losing their ass. A city on the edge of another battering from an invasive force. Worried and frightened and locking themselves down. But many are fighting back against these monsters. Some are standing strong in the face of adversity. Some are defending the weak and the innocent from things beyond the pale.

Some are getting paid to be here.

"Alright, lads, let's do what the Dahlia paid us to do!"

Kano, head of the Black Dragon's secular wing, gives the command. And then he immediately stands back to let a pair of cronies go at the fencing with angle grinders.

The thug himself strolls around, flanking, heading along the perimeter with a few more lackeys in tow. "That's a big boy, gonna take a while, but still think they need to go a bit slower."

He looks back at the two flunkies. Thick men with guns, faces obscured by animal masks. A solid second passes before Kano points his cigar at the gates. "Get in there and fuck shit up!"

As the two realize their mistake, they surge toward the heavy truck in a blind desperation, fumbling with their cheaply made weaponry while Kano follows, scowling, muttering under his breath, "Drongos."

A slow door, two distractions charging forward, while the main even slices through the back door, Kano puffs on his cigar as he takes his time just in case the two idiots manage a sliver of success before he has to lift a finger.

COMBATSYS: Nagase has started a fight here.

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Nagase           0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Kano has joined the fight here.

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Nagase           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Kano

And that, Nagase thinks to herself, is the beauty of interconnecting surveillance devices together into a cohesive network. Just because the big scary electrical fence is down doesn't mean the cameras were -- and just because she's looking one way doesn't mean she lost awareness of the other directions.

Not to say she has -solutions- for the wrecking crew that just arrived, per se... just that she has eyes on it. And -- ears, in the case of hearing that damn name. Dahlia. Gulp.

Alerted to the new danger, Nagase quickly taps her wrist, barking out a quick order: "Guys! Get off your asses, we got trouble!" Five seconds later, floodlights snap on, dumping enough halogen rays onto the darkened alleyways to make even a vampire think twice. But that'll be four seconds -after- the tech-ninja swipes right three times, loosing a trio of shuriken out towards the nearer of the two distractions. The third shuriken is packed with a small capacitor, and once it hits it will transfer a powerful electrical charge to the target!

The instant before those floodlights snap on though, Nagase will have already shadow-stepped forward. Or, more accurately, she'd be shadow-stepping to a spot right beneath the second grunt -- perfect positioning for her to sweep the leg, with an aim of bringing him down.

Once she rises, though? She rises with a finger outstretched towards Kano!

Now, with the benefit of an overabundance of light, she grins back at the Aussie. "Hey, cool eye, buddy! Does it -work?- Because you missed like -all- of the signs telling you losers to take a hike!"

The bumblebee ninja then leaps into a high backflip. At the apex, she flicks out a series of three more ninja stars -- this time aimed directly at Kano! Should the ninja stars hit their mark, Kano can surely expect to get a taste of the electrical charge from her earlier strikes...

There is the sound of doors hinging open. And before long, a trio of Southtown Syndicate gangsters spills out from the warehouse, providing dance partners for Kano's crew...

COMBATSYS: Kano overcomes Shooting Star from Nagase with Bloodthirsty EX.

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Nagase           0/-------/-------|===----\-------\0             Kano

Well well well, turns out this place was worth protecting by the Syndicate after all. And here all Kano was hoping for was a little toe-in-the-water of Southtown property. He's still walking when the trio of shuriken thwip thwip thwip into the goon; who shortly thereafter falls to the ground frothing from the electricity coursing through his body. The other is fine, Kano thinks, as the goon leaps for the side of the truck, gun in hand ready for the jacking.

Kano has other fish to fry, a sparkly little thing that's got enough brains to focus on him instead of the distractions. "Bugger," he mutters, flicking his cigar aside while she taunts. "Nice toys, sheila, but I got some of me own."

The three shuriken rain down toward Kano, but with a flash, the Aussie thug whips out a heavy bladed knife with enough force to simply scatter the smaller shurikens aside while en route for the bumblebee ninja. While in the background, the sounds of gunfire beginning to be traded report off into the harbor night.

COMBATSYS: Nagase dodges Kano's Bloodthirsty EX.

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Nagase           0/-------/-------|===----\-------\0             Kano

Cybernetics are cool, and deadly. She'd hoped to score a solid hit on the big red eye, but as soon as he brags about his own toys, Nagase's already biting down hard for his rebuttal. Sure enough, the trio of metal clangs is enough of a sign that her opening gambit missed its mark -- and, preemptively, she slaps her hands together. By the time the heavy knife makes its way over, the ninja -- having shadowslipped upwards in the meantime -- is no more than a series of shadowy afterimages. The knife cuts through the shadows as if they were made of the smoke from his cigar!

"-Dammit!- I knew I should've went with the kunai..." The sound would come from over Kano's head, a split second before her oversized carbon-fiber boots come crashing down onto his shoulders. Should she land the way she -wants- to, she'd be able to leverage her fall speed into twisting Kano right off his feet. With her armored boots sandwiched around his head, she'd seek to plow him into the ground before leaping to safety, with Kano's sternum as a springboard!

COMBATSYS: Kano counters Medium Throw from Nagase with Dirt Counter EX.

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Nagase           0/-------/-----==|=====--\-------\0             Kano

The poor, poor cigar sitting on the ground, barely enjoyed. And Kano having just wasted a perfectly good knife by hurling it at a sneaky ninja. It's enough to make Kano bare his teeth in annoyance as his eye glows a violent red.

"Alright where . . ." He looks up, the talking girl gave herself away. She was coming in for the kill, but the brute would be ready for her. He's fast, and strong with a heavy, swatting hand. It rips and grips at Nagase's ankle. He yanks her down while he himself jumps upwards at her. The attack is trained, it's honed, but it's far from precision or refinement as he puts everything into a meaty, heavy shoulder tackle that he rides to crashing Nagase into the pavement.

And then comes a cold reality. Kano has more than one knife. A stabbing, upward, close in, where the Australian reeks of beer, cigars, and sweat. He sticks Nagase with another of his blades, chuckling low and satisfied with himself.

Nagase is fast, and she knows it. Her speed and nimbleness are easily on par with the quickest in the world. And yet her mouth runs more quickly -- and that can be a serious detriment in a fight against a fighter of Kano's caliber. Hurled out of the air, she finds herself tackled into the ground and left with a bladed memento of her very own.

Coughing, she springs back to her feet. And then, finding herself thoroughly soaked in man-scent, she soon finds herself wafting her hand in front of her nose as she edges away. "What the hell, do you just bathe in other people's sweat? God almighty, I hope an Old Spice truck drives by so I can bodyslam you into it...!"

This time though, she's learned her lesson -- and has kept running her mouth -without- chaining into another attack. No, as she backs up, she nearly gets ambushed by the cartel members she'd sweep-kicked earlier -- and just for good measure, gives him another spin-kick to clear space for herself. And in the midst of her turn, she punches a few buttons on her wrist.

From there, she hops to the cab of the truck, and leaps from there to the roof. Crouching over the edge, she juggles the heavy knife in her hand, wiping off the blood (her blood) onto one of her baggy sleeves. "So, uh... Black Dragon, yeah? Whaddaya think about that Kira bitch aping your name? Or did you cultist wackos just forget to renew your trademark?" The ninjette twirls the knife about, frowning at the balance. Why would someone make a knife that isn't balanced for tossing? Geez...

But while she's waiting -- her advanced AI is taking extensive notations on Kano's battle readiness, his physical parameters, and the surrounding area. A small meter on her eyeglasses reads '40%' and climbing. And another meter shows a slowly climbing gauge as well -- the progress of a compact analgesic compound working its way through her veins.

COMBATSYS: Nagase calculates her next move.

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Nagase           0/-------/----===|=====--\-------\0             Kano

Kano cracks his neck as he pushes back to his feet. A sigh of contentment and a lazy scratch at his sideburns while he watches the girl. His eye glowing, the internals fixating past Nagase to the goings on at the delayed truck. Longer it stops, the better chances he has of taking everything down. Time's on his side here.

"Been busy. You want to give me a good washing?" he taunts, hitching his pants up with his thumb. "We can hash that one out after I get my new house set up."

His good eye does narrow at the comment about the Black Dragons. He spits and snarls. "That slag thinks she can steal the name of the Dragon, she's got another thing coming." He starts to roll his shoulder. And his focus settles on Nagase.

"But I got other things to settle up on first."

He throws himself toward Nagase, skipping a step, he rolls forward with a heavyweight wheel kick aimed square for the top of Nagase's crown. A sharp strike planned to crack open an egghead.

COMBATSYS: Nagase fails to counter Penal Colony from Kano with Trick Spiral.

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Nagase           0/-------/=======|=====--\-------\0             Kano

Nagase's disgust is made pretty clear by the way she -barely- manages to stifle the urge to vomit. "Nah, 'mate', you're so bad off, anythin' short of -fire- ain't gonna cut it."

From her vantage point atop the truck, it's easy to see the reaction she's garnering from Kano. Ticking people off is often something that works to Nagase's favor. Especially when she's setting the Black Dragon up for a trap... or so she thinks.

It is clear that, at one point, she had planned to make good on her offer for bathing him in flames, for her hands start to ignite the moment Kano's boots left the ground. It's just that she wildly underestimates the agility and power Kano puts into his strike -- so much that when she reached out to try and redirect the kick, she miscalculates the leverage needed to put her plan into motion.

Resulting in the kick plowing right past her, clocking her on the skull, and sending her careening across the upper edge of the van -- before finally teetering off it, like a novice skateboarder who hasn't quite mastered grinding. Tumbling to the ground, she lands... right on top of the one she'd sweep-kicked earlier. Not that dude's day, either.

"Ugh, see..." she grunts, rubbing her bruised face as she peels herself away from Kano's guy. "... That's the thing, she -did- steal it. Why are you pissin' about with us an' not her?" Nagase spits out a glob of blood, hopping backwards to get some blood circulation going again.

And then she straightens up, looking at Kano with mild skepticism. And then... her eyes widen. "... Wait, wait, wait, you're hoping to set up -shop- here? For -Dahlia?-"

Despite her still-bleeding wounds, she flashes a catty grin, as if she's about to drop the punchline on the biggest joke the world has ever seen.

A kip-up and Kano's back onto his boots, all swagger still in him. The gleam in his metal covered eye is bright and hungry and sadistic. He strolls around, thumbs tucked into his boots. Spitting to the side, he circles around to look at the girl picking herself up off his goon. He grins at Nagase.

"Blondie's got inferior product," he tells the woman. "And the Dahlia's paying good money for a bit of disruption. Seems she ain't over what your bosses did to her operations." He casts his attention off to the side building. "Course, if a better offer came my way. . ."

He gives Nagase a pointed look. "How much are you worth to your bossman, girlie? And how many pieces do I got to send to be serious?" his asks in his accent, but the joviality slicks away to a more cold and vicious reality. His next movement is quick, shuffle in, ducking down, a strong arcing sweep of the legs to take a bit more speed out of the jumpy ninja.

COMBATSYS: Kano successfully hits Nagase with Sweep.
- Power hit! -

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Nagase           1/----===/=======|=------\-------\0             Kano

Nagase laughs, rubbing a finger across the bridge of her nose. "Well, she kinda -earned- that asskicking from starting shit on our turf. Not unlike, uh, you!"

Though, when Kano provides a counter-offer, Nagase raises her hands -- half in wary defense, half in negotiation. She glances to the periphery of her augmented glasss, taking note of a particulary grisly alert popup. Growing pale, she arches an eyebrow. "... Seriously? Two fatalities already and you think we're going to -pay- you to piss off?"

As Kano gets close, she starts backing away, keeping a careful distance. And when he makes ransom threats, Nagase shakes her head with disbelief. "Nah, he likes his money too much to spend it on me. Kinda on my own here!"

And then Kano closes in -- causing Nagase to flutter-step backwards. It's just that there's a delivery crate in the way, blocking her escape. And that's when a sweep kick knocks her armored shins right out from under her, sending her crashing -into- the crate with a shower of splintered wood!

"UGH!" she ughs, spilling over sideways as the splintered wood finds its way into her less-armored abdomen and thighs. Wincing, she bites down -- and plants her palm on the ground. She whips her other hand towards the ground -- and an instant later, a smokebomb detonates, instantly cloaking her from view.

"Bring us her head and we'll think about it, though!"
The voice comes from -all- directions.

And an instant later, Nagase herself is on both sides of Kano simultaneously. An overclocked attack bolstered by the techninja's advanced battleframe, allowing her to flicker between two spots at once! If all goes as planned she will bring her twin swords to bear, slashing at his sides, alternating with punishing kicks and pommel strikes for a furious, brutal combo, culminating in a double backflip kick to send him flying into the air!

COMBATSYS: Kano fails to counter Punishment Mode - Mirage Assault from Nagase with Survivor's Kounter EX.
- Power fail! -

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Nagase           0/-------/----===|====---\-------\0             Kano

Always got to be looking out for number one. Even if this little bid for power under the cover of this all being a pay to play gig for the Dahlia. Kano wasn't exactly known for his loyalty, and as much as ever he was open to offers from anyone that might be likely to win in a given confrontation.

And with this guard ninja in his grasp, he could at least figure out just how giving the Syndicate would be with a little pressure. If not, it wasn't a big loss.

"I don't do freebies, love," he tells her, his eye glowing bright as the smoke billows around him. Calculating, judging, he surges to the side, chuckling self-satisfied with his approach.

But his fingers close on smoke and shadow. "Wha?" he starts to question before a slash cuts at his side. Lurching, he twists, each swing, each countering slug finds shadow and lands moments too late. Each time he misses, he staggers under a heavy strike or a cutting slash.

Ending it is a sharp clanging strike as kick catches enough of his chin to send him up and back, crashing to the ground, cracking through a pile of pallets that had sat ready for loading. Leaving the Aussie mercenary to collect his thoughts on the matter.

Battered, bruised, impaled, sliced... All in all, it's not an unusual state of existence for the plucky tech-ninja, considering her penchant for striking first and doubling down with each successive sass remark. But even when she's on the verge of collapse, she still has the unblinking, unfeeling military-grade AI at her command, and its expansive knowledge of her combat capabilities.

After another small burst of smoke, the double dopplegangers disappear, resolving into a singular Nagase once more -- raising her wrist, and tapping rapidly on the wrist keypad. "Giving up just ain't in my nature, pal! It's about sendin' a -message-." She draws her breath as another dose of medicinal healing is pumped into her veins -- and standing back, she flashes a quick shrug. "And maybe it's not yours! Honor's a thing, I get it!"

The shrug, though, is just a way to get her hands to either side of her -- the easier for her to unsheath both ninjato once again. For despite her talk about honor, there's really no way she's going to let the trash-talking Kano get a second wind before she can get a few more pokes in. She launches forward, slashing in a hard downward diagonal with her right sword, then cleaving horizontally with her left. She'd then pirouette forward for a second diagonal strike, this strike sheathed with a burst of golden flames. The final attack would involve teleporting herself behind Kano and unleashing a blistering slash down the broadside of his back, triggering a triple cascade of orange flame!

COMBATSYS: Nagase successfully hits Kano with Assault Mode - Last Blade.

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Nagase           0/-------/--=====|======-\-------\0             Kano

And once more, the punishing assault continues. Kano's caught with the swords, caught with he punishing blows. Struck back, struck hard, struck too fast to react. He's still getting up when she's on him. Sparks fly off the plated face. Blood flows freely. But the Black Dragon does not yet go down. Even blown up in the torrenting gouts of flame, he falls back, retreats, escapes.

"You're point's made," a somewhat sullen, flat tone comes from around a container. Where Kano retreated away from the fire. "You got a lot of toys though. Love to see what they do. Could make a mint off bootlegs."

But he doesn't come around the container, or even above. No, his eye lights. A glowing, angry red amidst the dance of flames. And then Kano Krashes through the heat. "C'mon then!" he cries out, reaching forward with a violent, face grabbing force.

His intend is quick, clear and bloody. To smash Nagase's head against a shipping crate before lifting a big ol' boot, with a big ol' blade what comes from his heel that's aimed for the soft of Nagase's belly.

COMBATSYS: Nagase interrupts Kombo from Kano with Hyperdrive Nagase Spiral.

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Nagase           1/------=/=======|=======\=------\1             Kano

Surprisingly, Nagase doesn't even flinch at the idea of her tech being lifted or bootlegged. "Yeah, it's crazy impressive shit. Top-shelf self-learning adaptive AI, but it's slippery as hell." Partly because she didn't so much build it as -borrow- it, and the AI has evolved past her capacity to replicate, and she'd get a kick out of watching someone like Kano -try-.

Still. It's one thing to converse with the enemy, something else entirely when Kano charges through fire and flames to dash her head against a crate. Instantly her amiable expression is transformed back to an angry rictus mask, as she throws both her armored forearms in front of her face. Kano will grasp, instead of her face, the loose sleeves around her gauntlets -- and Nagase will hitch both her knees up! Meaning that when she -does- get slammed into the shipping crate -- and boy does she howl when -that- happens -- she'll uncoil like a spring to ensure that Kano is appropriately discouraged, from a leverage standpoint, from smashing -too- hard.

And when that pressure relaxes for his second strike, Nagase quickly drops her feet, leaping forward and using her expert ninjutsu skills to ram her shoulder into his belly, launching the both of them into the air!

"Why the hell can't Black Dragon just work -with- us, geez? Always gotta be startin' shit!" She says this, of course, while maneuvering herself to Kano's less stabberific side, and then to his back. But that just means that he's free to stab her in the shins with said blades, just north of her armored boots. "Ow, dammit!"

At the apex of the leap, she'll invert Kano and herself so that both are heads-down towards the ground. Entering a dizzying downward spiral, she ignites a twin helix of flame as well!

The only difference is that Nagase will be able to kickflip away from Kano before he lands -- and then stagger away to assess the damage to her leggings.

"Ughhhhh...!" That part was screamed. But the rest... well. Maybe Kano hears the mumbling, maybe not... "I am so -sick- of this bitch work! I could have been rollin' in big bucks in the casinos, but -nooooooo-, my skills are sooooo valuable here! Dammit..."

Crashing and burning. Cracked down on his head, the metallic sound rings. But it's not the worst beating he's taken. The big guy over in Zepp was a lot worse than this. Still, it's a groan that comes from his aching body. And as he kicks back up onto his feet, he spits a gob of blood and mucus to the pavement to clear his mouth.

He laughs and pushes himself up off his knee. He smells blood in the water, but more importantly he smells an opportunity. "Workplace troubles?" he asks with a broken grin.

He leans his shoulder against the well dented shipping container, listening aside for the sounds of his men. The lens of his eye shifts blue, infrared signatures clear to his sight while he takes a little breather. "Sounds like you ain't appreciated," he says casually, as though he hadn't just tried to gut Nagase like a fish on multiple occasions. "Unless what the Syndie's got here is worth a lot more than you let on."

He sucks on his cheek, looking around to see for the heat signatures of everyone around him. "And you're looking awful tired there." The eye turns red and he starts to walk again, away from the crate, tossing a knife up and down and up and down. "Why don't you lay down and let Uncle Kano tell you a little story?"

COMBATSYS: Kano gains composure.

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Nagase           1/------=/=======|=======\-------\1             Kano

Through clenched teeth, Nagase manages to put a dozen feet of breathing room between herself and Kano before deigning to stop. The distance isn't any big deal for -her- to clear in a heartbeat, but she's hoping it will be enough to give herself time to react to a reversion of Kano's demeanor.

"Tch. Somethin' like that." Nagase grazes her nose with the back of her gauntlet, eyeing the numerous flags and indicators her Battle Disc System is overlaying on top of Kano right now -- every one of them warning her to watch herself. And yet...

Nagase's mouth hangs open, allowing her to take in more breath during the calm in the storm. She doesn't... -answer-, though it's not exactly from lack of trying. Blood loss being what it is, she finds herself at an impasse when it comes to actually putting her thoughts into words, for once. Because while she'd -love- to keep talking tough...

Kano's actually stopped to -listen- to her. And that's weird.

She rests her hands on her hips, one eye wincing shut as she leans onto the less-ouchy side. Finally -- something she can form a discrete answer to. "Ah, thanks, but I can think of -lots- of reasons why not to. Humor me." She offers a tart smile, and a wriggle of her nose. "Sup? I'm listenin'."

COMBATSYS: Nagase gains composure.

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Nagase           1/------=/=======|=======\-------\1             Kano

The ever trustworthy and earnest Kano has nary a duplicitous bone in his body. He didn't come to hurt Nagase. He came for money, real estate, a combination of both. It just so happens that hurting people comes part and parcel with the position. It's also his hobby. But certainly he did not think that morning when he was relieving himself that he would hurt Nagase. It's the details that matter.

Details like the wounds he can see, and the fact that he knows damn well the longer anything draws out the better chances he'll have to formulate an advantage. He doesn't need the technical knowhow to understand Nagase's gear. Just as he doesn't need to understand the underpinnings of magic. Or the technology of Zepp. Knowing the mechanics is secondary to knowing how to exploit resources. And that's a brand of intelligence Kano is very, very adept at.

The Aussie brute scratches at the scruff of his sideburns and grins with too many teeth. "Reasons?" he asks, "Only reasons what matter in this world. The Dragon's got what you need. /I/ got what you need." He counts off, raising a finger each time. "One, money. Two, survival. Three, anything else you could want is covered by points one and two."

He gestures, arms akimbo. "Look around you, world's gone topsy-turvy with all this. Ask yourself, you want the opportunity in front of you to make bank and sit on top? Or you want to be fished out the harbor cause you got stuck doing bitch duty?"

COMBATSYS: Kano takes no action.

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Nagase           1/------=/=======|=======\-------\1             Kano

Nagase's gaze flicks back and forth along Kano as he speaks. She notes that the warehouse, for all intents and purposes, is already compromised. There is ... almost no reasonable way that she can finish the job of taking down Kano -- let alone the rest of his krew -- in her current state. The Battle Disc System's AI concurs -- albeit, it pins the chances at even less than her own dead reckoning.

In short, the guy with the big mechanical eye thing makes a compelling argument. She eyes him with pursed lips, drooping her chin. It'd be... -easy-. So easy. To just lie down, as he asks, and listen to a story.

But then a finger taps upon her hip.
"The Syndicate gets me the money, sure." But they keep putting her on this menial guard duty, allowing the Syndicate's enemies to exploit her as the weak link. -Survival- is in question.

She takes a breath. And shrugs her shoulders. "And survival? That's my own responsibility." She smiles -- though the Stockholm Syndrome of being locked into a long-term contract with the Syndicate may be obvious all the same.

She takes two steps backwards from Kano, holding her hands up beside her. "Listen, I think I know where you're going with this. And -- right now? I can't. But I'm not gonna pretend like you wouldn't gut me like a fish if I raised swords again, so... let's just take a rain check, huh?"

COMBATSYS: Nagase takes no action.

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Nagase           1/------=/=======|=======\-------\1             Kano

Kards on the table. Kano scratches his sideburn with the edge of one of his knives. Each moment he buys time, the more he can watch the desperate and reckless group of miscreants and thieves. Sometimes the best shock troopers are just the ones that are hungrier.

He gestures with the knife when he speaks. "May not look the part, but I'm a wealthy goddamn man." Turns out being an international/dimensional weapons dealer earns a good deal of money when you don't care much for what side wins.

"And I don't mind spreading the wealth." He spins the knife and sheathes it as his eye shifts from blue back to red as it settles on Nagase. "But if it's a no, then I ain't gonna leave a loose end."

He launches himself forward. His head rearing back. Nothing flashy or highly technical, merely a brutal, crushing headbutt with an ironclad skull.

COMBATSYS: Kano successfully hits Nagase with Fair Suck of the Sav.

[                             \  < >  //////////////////            ]
Nagase           1/---====/=======|=======\-------\1             Kano

Nagase's Battle Disc System starts flashing a warning on her amber lenses the instant that Kano's eye turns red. It's good at picking up the subtle nuances that the upstart kunoichi might be too distracted to notice. Unfortunately for her, she's too distracted to notice either the tell -or- the warning.

"W-w-well I wouldn't call it a -no-, just that--"

She sees the shift in stance. And she starts to leap backwards -- but caught in mid-sentence, it's too little, too late. The fierce headbutt catches her right in the bridge of her nose. Lenses fold like a taco under the sudden and immediate pressure. The Battle Disc System, sensing a critical failure in structural integrity gives a plaintive audible warning -- one which, similarly, goes unnoticed by the shinobi as she reels backwards in pain, one hand snapping to her face while the other drops behind to catch herself. Blood spills between her fingers. She fumbles about, trying to keep hold of the lenses, unwilling to allow Kano to make good on his promise to salvage her bespoke tech rig.

"Nnh," she grunts, springing back off the ground with her hand. She squints hard, hoping to banish the black spots from her vision as she regains her footing. "I see how it is, yeah!" Her pitch is shifted a bit oddly -- though the reason why would become clear from the odd tilt to her nose as she pulls her hand away.

Still, she flashes a snarky grin, painted as she is with her own blood. "Enjoy your warehouse!" And in the next instant, she whips herself backwards, backflipping gracefully until she lands on the cab of the truck. The driver has, naturally, bailed long ago in the midst of the ruckus.

It's then that she slams her left palm -- helpfully wreathed in a twin helix of fire -- straight downward. Flames spill across the finish, but the heat ripples through the truck with a wrenching groan of metal. One more backflip -- and then Nagase's form extends backwards to impossible lengths, air and space folding to envelop her. An instant later, the truck's gas tank ruptures from the thermal stress, triggering a thunderous *KRAKA-BOOOOOOM!* And as the truck fire begins to rage, the tech-ninja disappears off into the cold night. Finding herself at the bottom of the harbor wasn't her idea of a good time either!

COMBATSYS: Nagase takes no action.

[            \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Kano             1/-------/=======|

COMBATSYS: Nagase can no longer fight.

[            \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Kano             1/-------/=======|

Spitting on the ground, Kano rolls his neck. "This ain't the time to be cautious, sheila. Offer still stands." He dabs a finger in a smear of blood across the metal plate on his forehead. He laughs at it and rubs his fingertips against his thumb. "S'all business, y'see, and I got to make it clear what I bring to the table."

He doesn't give chase. He doesn't expect that the little ninja girl would get a bundle of sympathy from whatever handler she had. Failure's failure, and now the Black Dragon had a toehold in Southtown. One with water access. And that means a pipeline from Sunshine through to Zepp. And as he turns to look back to the city wreathed in violence, Kano knows that means a whole new number of angry and frightened folks that'll need to blow off a little steam. And a whole bunch of organizations that'll need gear, weapons and meat. He'll bleed 'em all and make off like a king.

"Alright, ya bunch of drunken reprobates!" he calls out, swaggering his way back to his new warehouse home. He stands, arms out, triumphant, covered in the mingling blood of himself and his enemies. "Let's show this pisshole what the real Black Dragon is!"

COMBATSYS: Kano has ended the fight here.

Log created on 15:21:18 03/23/2020 by Nagase, and last modified on 21:00:23 03/31/2020.