Description: A quiet weekend abroad is interrupted by what seems to be nothing more than a thuggish vandal... who turns out to be far more than that.
Though nobody would accuse Metro City of having lazy days, the general tempo throughout the MC Mall is surprisingly easy-going. Loose crowds of shoppers roam the carpetted foot paths from store to store, filling the air with a cheerful clamor of conversation that echos back from the high ceilings. Occasionally a brief blast of music will roar forth from one of the edgier shops, quickly muffled behind the closing door that all stores playing music are required by law to have. Mayor Haggar may have to come here on weekends to spoil his favorite daughter, but he'll be damned if he has to put up with all that noise. Who names a store Goth Issues anyway, and is that drug Paraphernalia they're selling? HRRRRM...
Moving away from the shops, the air-conditioned expanse of the food court is bright and open. Having done away with the carpet for obvious reasons, the tiled floor and towering white pillars give the space an expansive, airy feel, made all the more appealing by the smells of fried corn dogs, Chinese take out, fresh slices of pizza and MEGABUN(TRADEMARK) glazed sweet buns served hot out of the oven. About half of the tables are currently filled, with the majority of the people here being teens of various ages and backgrounds, all coming together to group up and talk shit about each other like they learned from the movies. It's beautiful in its own way, the entire scene given a faint golden glow by the mid-day sunshine slanting down through the skylights.
The skylights, and one gaping hole.
Large shards of safety glass rain down upon the diners below as one of the sky windows is shattered by a violent impact. Those caught beneath the debris scatter in a mild panic, unsure of what exactly might be happening. Those further from ground zero have the luxury of gazing up through the hole to see the figure of a man wandering by, pausing just long enough to swing something into a second skylight and send more glass cascading down upon the quickly emptying court.
"HAGH. HUUAH Ha Ha Ha Ha..."
Hunching forward over his scarred middle with the sun beating down upon his back, Bryan Fury smirks down through the empty frame with sadistic glee. Shoulders shaking with poorly-restrained laughter, he pulls his wooden baseball bat back through the hole and wanders on to the next one, combat boots thumping softly against the sun-faded tar. Unusually for him he doesn't appear to have any knives, grenades, or high-caliber automatic weapons about his person. Just a sleek black leather duster worn open over jeans, and the Louisville Slugger held comfortably in one fingerless-gloved hand.
Surrounded by humming AC units, ventilation fans, and no shortage of electrical and broadcasting machinery, the psycho killer rears back, lifts his bat high over head, and brings it smashing down through a third pane of glass, the resulting smash drawing forth another wave of ominous guffawing from deep within his guts.
He appears to be having a good time.
While Southtown, Japan might be the competitive fighting capital of the world, Metro City, USA, is a very close second. The state-side metropolis has its fair share of large scale fighting events that draw people to the venues either as participants or viewers, and the density of dojos, boxing gyms, and training centers is not that far off from its counterpart on the other side of the globe. One could feel it in the air whenever something big was happening in the fighting arena, that almost contagious fervor for the sport that had swept the globe only a decade before...
One mid-league tournament was cause enough to draw the Mugen Tenshin exile out from Southtown to visit the American Metropolis, though not as a participant but rather in support of her friend and ally in the shadow world, the Dragon Miko Momiji. With the event finished in the morning and Momiji resting and recovering from her bouts, and the flight back to Southtown not departing until tomorrow, Kasumi was left to spend the rest of the afternoon on her own.
The opportunity to buy some American fashion from the source was too good to pass up, however, and what better selection than the vast array available at the Central Metro City Mall itself. A few shops in and she had already changed up her attire. A thigh length denim skirt from Swish, a long sleeved snug sweater with alternating horizontal light blue and richer blue strips from Hollister, a white, light weight squared off bolero jacket worn open over the sweater that only extends down to her upper abdomen from Loft, thigh-high white socks from Cotton On, and bright red sneakers with white trim and laces from Urban Outfitters combine to form a simple yet flattering outfit with a Western flair.
Other than her bangs, the young woman's soft, coppery brown hair is pulled back into a loose, free flowing pony tail at the back of her head by a long, blue ribbon done up into a bow. Honey-brown eyes take in the sights of the mall as she moves past a few other shops, the bag in her left hand filled with the clothes she had brought with her from Southtown. Stopping briefly just to the side of the flow of foot traffic, she closes her eyes, taking in a long draw of breath, smelling the scents of food wafting from the restaurants and food court stands not far away. Opening her eyes, she leans her head from one side to the other, right hand resting near the base of her neck as she considers veering off the main stretch to get something to eat.
Seconds later, Kasumi steps into the food court, smiling at the thought of getting something delicious from the many options arranged all around the area. A bite to eat, then back to shopping, then check in on Momiji, then-
The relaxing itinerary is cut short by the sound of smashed glass as granules of translucent safety-glass come raining down into the open area. The yells and screams are immediately contagious as panic sets in almost immediately. Confusion spreads rapidly as the eyes of anyone not actively fleeing the rain of diamonds starts to look up to observe the source itself.
A vandal is visible through the now completely open spaces in the ceiling as a second window is reduced to small pieces that soon rain down after the first batch.
Kasumi glances to her sides, immediately scanning people around her to see if anyone seems to be acting in cahoots with the vandal. This could be a distraction, something to draw attention while someone else undergoes something more nefarious than property damage... but nothing stands out in her preliminary survey. This brings the girl in blue and white's attention back to the glass wrecker himself, focusing a bit more on ascertaining what might be going on.
People can lash out at breakable things for a number of reasons. It could be a destructive yet innocently motivated outburst following a frustrating life moment, a bad breakup, a loss of a once in a life time opportunity, or some other life event... It could be someone acting out in violent rage against the mall itself, either for what it represents or because of some more personal connection to the property... recent firing, perhaps?
But in studying Bryan for a moment longer, she can't quite match his demeanor to anything like that. No, he just... seems to be having fun? The entire catastrophe seems to be entertaining him, not just the act of smashing glass, but to send it raining down on the hapless crowd, causing the panic, the scurrying about as everyone tries to get clear of the falling fragments, the pandemonium as people try to understand what is going on.
Another glance about for a moment before she takes a step back just before the onrush of fleeing patrons floods over where she was standing. She remembers perfectly where she saw the door leading to the stairwell - not the open, winding staircases for customers, but the concrete enclosed stairs for janitorial staff, maintenance workers, and others who keep the mall operational behind the scenes. Points of egress are always something she makes special mental notes of, wherever she might be.
Ninety seconds later and she bursts out of a door onto the roof of the mall, dropping her shopping bag from her fingers as she sprints over to the area over the food court. Hopefully it hasn't been for nothing - hopefully the hoodlum is still here!
Her approach might not be easily heard over the thrum of HVAC systems working hard to keep the building's air circulating, but the shout of "Hey! Stop that!" is a lot harder to miss.
"Someone's going to get hurt!"
Sliding to a stop, hands raised in front of her in something of a ready stance, she silently fills in the rest of the thought:
'Like you, if you don't cut that out.'
Bryan Fury is a man of many skills. Or, at least he used to be. These days he's more of a monstrous corporate Cyber-Zombie with a very limited set of skills, and unfortunately for Kasumi, listening is not one of them. So it is that she manages to get out 'Hey! Stop--!' before the bat falls a fourth time, mostly drowning out the rest of the words and showering the nearly empty food court with a much less entertaining rain of glass. Gazing down at the dwindling streams of fleeing people, Bryan taps the bat once, twice into the gloved palm of his other hand, smirk slowly flattening into a blank stare. It is that stare that he lifts to level on Kasumi, turning slowly to face her with unblinking intensity.
Up this close it is abundantly clear he is not a healthy man. His once olive skin has a pale, bloodless pallor and his washed out blue eyes sit sunken slightly into his skull. Scarred face completely still, he considers the girl that stands before him. Girl? Woman? Definitely more of a girl. Not unwise, but still too youthful to be anything else. And yet none of that even registers to Bryan. Not her youth, nor her beauty. Not even the threat that might linger just behind her opening words. No, the only thing that he notices, is that she's taken a fighting stance.
Without a word or a blink, the psycho sweeps his bat hand back over his shoulder and chambers a throw, giving the kinoichi just enough time to realize what is about to happen before he hurls the sturdy length of wood spinning in over end...
Just past her right shoulder.
Wood impacts metal with a loud crack as the bat shatters against the side of a humming HVAC unit, caving in the fluted vents and shoving them back into a fan mechanism which tears itself apart in a painful screech of warping metal and grinding gears.
And of course, Bryan finds it hilarious.
Shoulders shaking with another wild, cackling belly laugh, the cyborg places one hand over his stomach, hunching forward with mirth even as he steps toward the ninja, no good intentions visible in his oddly dead eyes.
COMBATSYS: Bryan has started a fight here.
COMBATSYS: Kasumi has joined the fight here.
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Kasumi 0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0 Bryan
A breeze rushes along the rooftop as the shinbobi slides to a stop and takes in a closer analysis of the destructive individual. Ponytail tousled in the open air behind her head, blue denim skirt swishing about her thighs, Kasumi looks both calm and alert. Adrenaline should be pumping through the veins of anyone confronting an unknown threat like this - even in a city full of trained fighters, most of them have honed their skills on practice mats or in the relative controlled environments of most arenas, where there are rules to define the limits of the battle and officials to enforce them. Up here, there is nothing of the sort, yet as the girl waits to see if her shout has at least put a temporary halt to the destruction, jacket flapping against her side from the currents, she seems perfectly composed.
She has his attention. Maybe now they can-
The bat whips toward her as Kasumi slides her left foot along the thin layer of gravel coating the layer of tar on the roof, twisting to the side as the projectile hurtles past. Face swivels back for an instant as the projectile smashes into the perfectly serviceable machinery and, in a chain reaction that probably just further serves to entertain the vandal, reduces it to a twisted, metal ruin, sparks spilling out of the opening where the fan once spun.
Fluidly, she turns her face back toward Bryan, body moving with the motion as she adjusts her balance to be lighter on her feet, more ready to be responsive, eyes finally settling on his.
"This didn't have to go any further." she announces back. Her voice is level, a hint of regret at the action she now knows she will have to take, a bit of heat for the wanton destruction that seems to amuse him so, but far from hostile.
While she was not entirely reluctant to lend her own skills to contain this outburst of destruction, there would assuredly be more local forces ready to deal with it soon enough. She wouldn't find any pleasure in hurting this man, but she could at least subdue him until others better equipped to deal with him and whatever his issues might be arrive...
At least that's her first thought. The pale skin is readily noticeable in the mid-day sunlight, giving him an almost sickly pallor... yet his physique was not that of a feeble man. Tight, sculpted muscle, forms a figure that is built for battle not a hospital... whatever sickness might afflict him, she suspects it isn't physical in nature.
She'll take him down quickly, she tells herself. As powerfully built as he is, he undoubtedly underestimates the Mugen Tenshin prodigy. It's easy enough to do, looking at her. In spite her athletic body, there is almost an aura of innocence about her - something not associated with someone who has seen the years of combat training she has, someone who knows what it means to fight for your life, what it means to take another... A softness to her eyes coupled with curves in all the right places - one could hardly fault someone for considering her ready stance to be all show.
"Don't resist," she encourages as she melts from stationary to moving in one smooth motion, lunging in quickly to eliminate the gap between them. "And you won't get hurt."
Well, not too bad, at least. She is going to try and drop him right now, after all.
Moving to get within range for both of her hands to clamp down tightly on his closest forearm, Kasumi is a blur of blue and white. If she succeeds, she'll push off the ground with her feet, leaping from the surface of the roof open and over the significantly taller brawler, trying to yank his arm along with her. If uninterrupted, she'll drop down to her feet behind him, having wrenched Bryan's arm up hard against his shoulder until the limits of normal physical physiology will either force him to be yanked down onto his back against the rough roof surface or possibly tear his arm free of the nimble aggressor's grasp.
Should his back hit the ground from the ninja's technique, she would retain hold of his arm, stepping down against his shoulder with one foot, clearly intending to secure her grip further in an attempt to completely subdue him on the ground!
COMBATSYS: Bryan just-defends Kasumi's Medium Throw!
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Kasumi 0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0 Bryan
If you say any one thing for Kasumi and her Mugen Tenshin techniques, say that she's fast. Despite all outward appearances, the girl was trained by one of the oldest ninja clans still alive, and it shows in the fluid grace and speed with which she moves. One moment she is giving a short speech about her regrets, posed just so in the face of the mad man's cackling advance. And the next she's already upon him, small hands latching onto one leather-clad forearm as the other hand is still pressed against his middle.
And yet, it isn't Bryan who's underestimating his opponent.
Boots scraping noisily over gravel, the silver-haired man spins 180 degrees with the momentum of her leap, forearm twisting violently in her grasp. Ending the motion with a sharp downward jerk, he tears himself free just before her vividly red shoes alight upon the rooftop, the two of them face to face beneath the golden light of the sun.
Well, face to chest, really, as standing this close to the man really drives home just how much bigger than her he is. Not an uncommon thing for the nimble fighter, but with 9 inches of height and well over 100 pounds of solid mass separating them, all she can really hope is that he's either dumb, or slow.
The smirk is back.
Empty eyes staring squarely down into hers, Bryan pulls his bloodless lips apart to show teeth. Up here, alone, the only sounds come from the distant call of the crowd, the sparking hum of ruined machinery sizzling over the ever-present rush of traffic, and the rough exhale of breath hissing through his savage grin.
Core flexing with the quick, blunt explosion of sound, he brings his free hand rocketing up from his middle, curling it into a fist just moments before the leather of his glove would drive squarely into Kasumi's pretty face.
He isn't slow, but whether or not he's dumb remains to be scene. At the very least he seems to have no compunction smashing his fist into what is likely the cutest face he's ever come across. That, more than anything, might inform the shinobi just how this fight is likely to go if she can't take control.
COMBATSYS: Kasumi blocks Bryan's Medium Punch.
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Kasumi 0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0 Bryan
She realized mid-air that he knew precisely how to defend against the vaulting attempt to pry him to the ground. Rather than let her use his shoulder as a fulcrum to apply her grip strength and plunging momentum against, he turned with her, giving his arm free reign of motion without any risk of being yanked off balance.
To react in such a way suggests training or uncommonly good instincts.
Immediately, the kunoichi begins to reassess her opinion of this vandal. Standing right in front of him now, she releases a soft breath before pulling in another. She had thought plying her ninjutsu would be enough to overwhelm the strange man without too much fuss, but those thoughts have been completely dashed after testing his defenses for herself.
"What are you even doing here?" she asks the man who has had nothing to say to her the entire time, still trying to wrap the entire scenario in a nice, rational box with a reason that would make sense.
He answers with his fist, a lightning fast blow with dangerous power behind it from out of no where. No winding up, no stepping into it - simple arm and torso strength is enough to deliver the strike.
Sucking in her breath, Kasumi brings both of her arms up to block the blow. The thud that announces the defense is a little too solid to be just muscle and bone cushioned by two sleeves from her white jacket and cozy sweater. Bracers? Forearm guards? It seems even dressed casually, trying to blend in with the other teenage girls simply going about her life, the shinobi is still prepared for combat.
Her sneakers slide back against the gravel, leaving a small plume of pebbles and dust that has likely not been disturbed in a long while. Lowering her arms, her expression has changed, eyes focused, no longer with a tinge of reservation. She had a new appreciation for the threat he represented now... It would mean using techniques she would never deploy in a friendly match.
A step back might suggest that she's intending to retreat, having realized the folly of interfering with the man's good time. But when her foot touches down from a second backstep, both legs tense before Kasumi springs herself into an upward flip right back at Bryan, right leg snapping up as she descends back down an instant later, executing a jumping forward splits, attempting to smash her heel against his collarbone or chest.
Unless prevented, the flexible fighter would land in her splits on heel and toes, one hand pressed down on either side, seemingly vulnerable to an immediate counter strike while she'd need to recover.
But it's from that low position that the girl in blue suddenly vanishes, leaving behind a swirling gust of light pink sakura blossoms and the faint scent of a cherry grove.
She reappears six feet back, on her feet, already dashing back in on Bryan, showing no signs or intent to disengage as she pivots to the left, slamming her right hand forward, aiming to drive her open palm upward into Bryan Fury's throat with crushing force!
COMBATSYS: Bryan endures Kasumi's Tenrai Kyaku Chifu.
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Kasumi 0/-------/-----==|=------\-------\0 Bryan
Chest rising with slow, focused breaths, Bryan's only answer to the kinoichi's question is a slight broadening of his wolfish smile. Far from displeasing him, the solid THUMP of his knuckles striking armor only seems to feed his chaotic energy, an eagerness rising up within him that can be read in the forward shift of his posture, the tensing of honed muscles visible beneath his open coat. The thrown bat, the sudden jab, these were just probing strikes. Tests of the girl's abilities as surely as her grab was of his.
What he's discovered seems to excite him.
Stepping forward to mirror her retreat, the menacing psychopath has very little time to defend himself when she reverses direction, springing into a splitting flip that would intrigue most men for very different reasons. But Bryan is a man of singular focus and limited pleasures, and well-formed thighs hold little appeal for him now.
Swaying slightly to one side, the monster leans into the kick, taking it on his flexed trap rather than the fragile collarbone beneath. This also leaves him in a perfect position to act as she lands before him, one booted foot planted beside her forward knee and his other already beginning to swing forward, aiming a devastating kick at the underside of her chin.
A kick that hits only air, stirring up the cherry blossoms left in her wake as she vanishes like a proper ninja.
Bringing his boot stomping down into the spot she so recently occupied, he powers forward through the scattering gravel, faded blue eyes locking on as she re-appears before him in a dead sprint. Tilting his chin down at the last moment, he takes the rising palm square to the mouth, soft skin slapping hard into lips and bared teeth. It's enough to rock him just a bit, head forced back, but not near enough to stop him as he powers into the blow, stepping forward with a quick pivot of his shoulders to drive his right fist in under the palm strike and hammer her slender middle with one, two, three, four liver shots as quick as she can blink. Precise, powerful blows with enough force behind each to stagger, the mad man moving with a veteran's ease. His breathing, the sharp exhales with every blow, and how he places his feet with each step to give him a solid platform to strike off of. This is not his first fight. Probably not even his hundredth. Whoever he is, why he is here, one thing is abundantly clear.
Bryan Fury is a menace, and he's found his next good time.
COMBATSYS: Bryan successfully hits Kasumi with Vulcan Cannon.
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Kasumi 0/-------/--=====|===----\-------\0 Bryan
As Kasumi attempts to jockey for position, Bryan almost keeps pace with her every step of the way. The in-step and forward lean both serve to deny her attack some of its intended impact, but still leaves her free to complete her acrobatic landing. A split second later, his foot swishes through the space she occupied and the Mugen Tenshin princess comes darting back in for a follow up strike, hoping that in the blur of motion any attempt to defend himself will be off target.
She didn't anticipate that he wouldn't try to guard at all as her hand slams out and he moves his lower face into its path to cut off her strike for his throat. A sharp pain in her palm leaves her confused in the moment - it won't register until later that the trickle of blood in her right palm is from openly striking his upper teeth in the process.
For now, she has far more pressing concerns, as his counter attack comes before she can even draw back her extended arm. Forward leg tensing, foot planted, she attempts to draw back. But his fist hits home, the blows coming so fast that she doesn't even realize she's been struck until the second impact, when she begins to fold at the waist into the strike. She's already struggling to keep her footing when the third blow comes, zeroing in on the same undefended target, knees buckling, left hand moving across her belly to try and block any additional hits.
The fourth sends the shinobi stumbling back, body bent forward, left hand over her live, mouth agape. Small, tiny steps executed on reflex alone keep her from completely losing her balance and falling onto her back as she quickly regains control. It wasn't that she was a stranger to pain - her childhood had been full of every form of hardening against attacks possible for a growing girl, but lean abdominal muscle did little to cushion the pummeling her internal organ just took.
A pained, choking gasp escapes her lips the moment she has her balance back, left hand pulling away from her side. There isn't time to nurse her wounds, she's seen enough to know his aggression will not soon relent. Unlike the durable fabric of the training outfit she wore to her public matches, the sweater was not remotely designed to deal with the kind of blunt force trauma Byran was dishing out, as evidenced by the open hole on the right side of her belly, smooth skin showing signs of abrasion even before the inevitable bruising begins to set in.
In spite the setback, the resolve in her eyes is no less certain. Her counter attack is only slightly delayed by the recovery from his strike, but in terms of execution, it's still a challenge to keep up with. Stepping forward, she plants her left foot, twisting her torso to the left as she snaps her right leg up, stocking-covered leg aiming to drive a solid side kick into the vandal's lower ribs. The intent would be to move with the follow through, however, continuing to spin to the left, launching off with her left leg with so much force that she is completely airborne, thrusting her left leg out to drive the sole of her red sneaker for the mad man's face. "TOH!"
Her right leg would unfold first to serve as her landing point following the nimble, swift two-pronged attack aimed to potentially drive the taller combatant back against an adjacent humming HVAC unit. This time, no questions, no demands, only a drive to put him on his back foot for a moment, to hopefully create a weakness she can further exploit!
COMBATSYS: Bryan blocks Kasumi's Medium Kick.
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Kasumi 0/-------/-======|===----\-------\0 Bryan
The fourth blow lands and Bryan lingers, watching Kasumi stumble with fixed fascination. Eyes wide, the maniac slips a slightly greyish red tongue between his teeth and laps the blood from his uppers, bottom lip split but not oozing. Something about the taste seems to intrigue him, head tilting briefly before he drops his chin and takes a stance of his own.
Twisting to present his left shoulder like a boxer, he tucks his chin and brings his left hand up, gloved knuckles bobbing and twitching in an almost teasing manner. Right arm up and chambered beneath his chin, he continues to grin wide and wolfish at his recovered prey, craving her oncoming rush just as much as she craves the hits she'll try to land.
"Come On." he grunts, voice rough with disuse but clearly excited none-the-less. Eager for violence.
Fortunately for him, violence is something the young ninja is willing to provide.
Braced to meet her, Bryan drops his left arm to catch the thrust kick on a tensed bicep, shuffling back a step to bleed off the worst of the force. She certainly has legs for kicking, a fact she attempts to prove again with a leaping followup from the other foot.
A dip of his knees bobs the taller fighter just beneath the spinning strike, left hand snapping back up to guard as he sweeps his right in behind the blow and smacks his palm hard against the bare skin of her inner thigh. Thumb hooking behind the leg and fingers digging in, he flings his hand forward with all the speed and force he can manage in such a brief window of time, lending an extra bit of twist to her landing.
A quick step forward in the other direction brings him up on her right side just as her foot touches ground, right hand dropping in a sharp, downward strike for the flash of fair skin visible through her torn sweater...
Or so it appeared. Aborting the feint well clear of landing, Bryan finishes his step with a duck and lunge, left arm snaking out to slip around her front and drag her in tight against his side, clutching supple hip to solid ribs as he powers upright in an attempt to sweep her off of her feet and parallel to the ground. Unless she can escape the side hold he will twist hard to the right, sweeping her stockinged legs through the air and gathering enough momentum to launch them both into the air, tossing her up and out before him only for both strong arms to loop beneath knees and shoulders, gathering her into a leather-clad cradle as they plummet back to earth, her arched back leading the way into a hopefully painful collision with the gravel-strewn roof.
COMBATSYS: Kasumi counters Gravity Drop from Bryan with Momiji Otoshi EX.
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Kasumi 0/-------/=======|=====--\-------\0 Bryan
His aggressive defense establishes the pattern she had started to recognize thus far. He doesn't seem the sort to just bunker down under pressure, waiting for his opponent to exhaust themselves against his guard like some larger opponents might. But he is also not one for taking damage recklessly unless he believes he can create an opening in the process. It's a dangerous combination of confidence and strength - he won't be cowed by flashy techniques, nor will he retreat from the threat of harm, which means the only thing that has any chance of working is the delivery of truly debilitating attacks.
She had already made the mental shift early on, from trying to subdue someone in way over his head to trying to take down someone who has proven to be every bit a match for her in hand to hand combat without her holding back. The ninja's training left her well versed on striking to disable, but thus far, he had proven too capable for an easy take down like that. She would have to soften him up first and hope he didn't manage to secure more strikes that the blows to her stomach he had already landed.
The interference with her momentum is effective, adding more force to her full-bodied twirl than she had trained for. Her landing was, inevitably going to be rougher for it. Normally she could land and continue attacking without any interruption, but this time her foot lands hard, remaining planted as it spins on the loose pebbles. She must get her balance before she can do anything at all or her next move would be disastrous!
This is all the time the crazy brawler needs to slip in, eschewing blunt striking force for a chance to demonstrate his menacing strength in other ways. Her right hand sweeps down, a defensive reflex to the feint, clearly fearing any further punishment to her organs after the first taste of it, even as her foot has yet to fully secure traction.
It's more than enough for him to lean in and get a hold of the featherweight fighter, hefting her with ease as her eyes go wide and a cry of alarm betrays her surprise in the shift in tactics. The kunoichi's only chance to avoid a painful landing with the roof is the instant he uses his grip to toss her up, attempting to reposition the girl for the intended one way trip back down.
Proof that he's got a lively one on his hands comes in the way Kasumi spins herself along the length of her body, going from face up to face down, both hands grabbing hold of his right arm in the process.
"HAAAH!"Using her hold, she folds herself in at the waist, bringing her feet in to plant against his side under his right arm,, her grip preventing a timely defense this time. Knees bend, the two falling back toward the roof in a dizzying plunge before the ninja kicks both legs out, releasing the vandal's arm, sending him flying toward the metal shell of one of the HVAC units while she launches herself into a graceful, upward, single flipping arc before dropping out of the air to land atop one of the other machines.
A soft exhale of breath is choked into a startled 'Huh?!' as she becomes aware of the effect the top-side fan is having, blowing her denim skirt up around her waist, leaving the remainder of her thighs above the stockings uncovered as well as her faint pink panties with thin white elastic hem. Reaching down with both hands to push down against her skirt in front, the briefly flustered would-be heroine hops down off the unit to land back on the solid roof with a soft thud before rising back up to being ready.
She knows full well that one risky blow won't be enough to really subdue the strong brawler, but at least she bought herself a split second to think. Such as wondering what the source of his unnatural skin coloring is? Or what he was really trying to get out of the window smashing? Was it all to provoke a fight with anyone in the vicinity... just like this?
Caught up in the savage thrill of it all, Bryan is caught completely off guard by the speed with which Kasumi adapts to her situation. For most fighters the window between being flung upward and caught would be far to short to make use of. But with the litheness of an eel the supple ninja twists herself through the air and finally manages to take control, using him like some sort of demented springboard and flipping away to safety.
Thrust sideways through space, Bryan's left shoulder impacts the metal unit with a loud THONK and CRUNCH of crumpling metal, the thin steel definitely not designed to have well over 200 pounds of cyborg thrown into it.
Tucking his arms and legs, the big man drops away from a sizable dent in the coughing contraption and hits the roof in a roll, gravel flung out in all directions as he ends the first rotation by surging straight up to his feet. Grey grit clings to the black of his duster, and he's probably got a pretty good bruise forming under the protective layer of leather, but other than that he seems perfectly fine. In fact, as his piercing gaze sweeps around to stare up at the girl where she landed with feet planted and skirt fluttering around her waist, that damnable smirk still tugs at the corners of his mouth. Reduced slightly, lips closed, but present.
Perhaps more chilling, however, is the complete lack of interest he shows in her accidental show. She knows how attractive she is. That, as much as anything else, is a tool she could use if she chose to. And yet there is no lust in the stare that he levels at her. No disgust, or judgment at all. Only a deadened sort of fascination. The sort of look you might expect from a child poking something slimy with a stick, only deeper, more profound.
Drawing in a long breath through his nose, the monster revels in the pain of his battered shoulder. Kicked, then slammed, it aches deliciously as he rolls both back, shrugging out of his coat and tossing it carelessly to one side. The sun beats down upon his muscular back, adding soft color to skin gone dead and bloodless. Skin that, hasn't, bruised...?
Giving an idle tug to the length of red cloth tied around his left upper arm, he basks in the contrasting feelings of heat and air on his exposed skin. Letting out the breath, he smiles, then steps forward to approach his opponent, having given her a couple of seconds on the ground while he luxuriated in the moment.
Staring fixedly into her eyes, Bryan steps casually up to her, strolling to a spot just outside of punching range. And just like that, with almost no warning aside from the slight huff of a barely restrained chuckle, he plants his stepping foot and pivots, left boot sweeping up in a high arc toward the right side of her jaw. At the same time his gloved hands lift, adopting that same boxing guard even while balancing on one foot.
Whatever martial art he knows, it clearly specializes in kicks.
COMBATSYS: Kasumi full-parries Bryan's Medium Kick!!
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Kasumi 1/----===/=======|=====--\-------\0 Bryan
Against some opponents, there are often moments in the fight one might describe as being in a neutral state - neither on the offense or defense, both wary, each trying to figure out how to execute their next attack without opening themselves up to counter attack or leaving themselves caught out of position. A moment of tension, planning, where options are calculated, weighed, discarded, and embraced.
Against this man, no such moments exist. At no point has he shown any indication that he will stop advancing toward her, that he will cautiously evaluate the situation and try to anticipate what she will do next. He simply just keeps on coming, swinging, attacking, engaging without hesitation.
Which is why, when she lands on the flat roof surface again, she is already prepared for his approach, never letting herself think that she will need to figure out how to close the distance herself - he'll do so with apparent glee just fine. She has also observed that he doesn't chamber his strikes like some might, avoiding telegraphing intent until he's already in full swing or strike. It makes dealing with him a test of intuition, reflexes, and perhaps a touch of luck, knowing she may have to commit to a course of action without certain knowledge of what's coming next.
Such is her response when he gets close enough to attack - not quite punch, she's sure, but definitely kick. One of the risks of kicking is that by design, at least one leg ends up off the ground, which means for an instant, mobility is almost nonexistent. And it is in that instant that she acts.
Flirting with disaster, before she even knows the angle of the incoming strike, the shinobi leans forward into a lunge, closing the remaining gap from such a low angle that he would have had to strike down at a steep angle to even target the smaller opponent.
What comes next is a blur - possibly one of the fastest attacks even the well-experienced brawler has ever witnessed first hand. Even the fastest cameras would be unable to discern precisely what happens as Kasumi's right hand reaches for his right wrist, pushing up hard on his arm while twisting her body to the right, both legs bent, one knee forward, the other almost bent to the ground, both feet planted, every muscle in her body tense, ready to spring into an explosion of force.
The next instant, she's launched herself forward with every iota of speed and power she can muster, blurring past the man while delivering a devastating elbow strike to his stomach with her left arm, instantly followed by a knife-handed strike with her right hand at the precisely same point of impact, the two blows registering as one to any human nervous system while the kunoichi power slides a few meters beyond, leaning hard into the follow through as she bleeds off the momentum.
The Oboro Gake - the most fundamental, well-honed weapon in the Mugen Tenshin exile's arsenal.
Of course, if he does somehow defend against the lightning strike, she'll be vulnerable - either caught in front of him off balance, or behind him still recovering from her slide.
But is defense against this speed even possible?
COMBATSYS: Bryan endures Kasumi's Oboro Gake EX.
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Kasumi 1/---====/=======|=======\-------\1 Bryan
Bryan's left boot tears through the air with a violent fwoosh, the speed of his kick a turtle's crawl in comparison to the speed with which Kasumi dives beneath. Even still, in the stutter-stop blur of slowed time she can see the way his muscles begin to tense beneath his skin, ridges of power standing out taught as he braces for an assumed impact. Feel the way he begins to lean with his kick, right arm shoving off of her lifting grip to increase the rotation of his spin, much as he'd done to her not two exchanges back.
It isn't enough to avoid the blow. Hell, the minute shift in posture isn't enough to bleed off more than a token amount of the power that hammers into his flexed torso with bone-vibrating force. But it is enough to change where that kinetic energy is directed, and where it takes him.
Time blurs forward to keep pace with the kunoichi's final skid, dust flung out in her wake like the rooster tail of a speeding watercraft. At the same moment, Bryan is whipped around by the force of her strike, turning a would-be tumble into a spinning pivot that brings his kicking boot scything down in a heavy smash, stance in tact as he faces her exposed back.
"Huah ha hah hah hah!"
The mad chortle tears itself from his battered belly with manic glee, rising up behind her as he lunges after in a taunting echo of the strike she just landed. Hurling himself forward with a violent twist of his shoulders, he brings his right crashing down toward the center of her shoulder blades. As strikes go it isn't nearly as fast as the Oboro Gake, but the unrestrained power of it has a fright factor of its own.
If the first, crippling strike to her spine manages to land, the monster will whip his torso in the opposite direction, gloved left fist hammering down toward the pretty blue ribbon at the back of her skull. If the shot to his guts hurts it isn't slowing him down. Stomach heaving with that insane cackle of his, the only signs that he's even been in a fight are the red abrasions across his abs and his split lip, silver hair shot through with dust. No bruises. No faltering from pain. If her assessment is right, she's going to have to land a finishing blow sooner rather than later. Something Has to give.
COMBATSYS: Kasumi guards against Bryan's Cobra Fang.
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Kasumi 1/-======/=======|=======\-------\0 Bryan
In spite the kunoichi's clean blow, there's no time to even exhale. The speed with which he's back on her is so fast that it almost makes her question if she had even hit him at all. Most foes she had faced would be crumpling to the ground, or at the very least folded over from the precision delivered hammering to their gut Bryan just weathered. Yet she both senses and hears his move across the rough pebble-strewn rooftop and knows just as before, the seemingly unstoppable threat will be striking out again just as before.
His opportune strike seems indefensible. Leaning forward, body twisted at the waist, right arm tucked in tight, left arm raised up and behind her, in no position to defend... But the Mugen Tenshin prodigy has built a reputation for accomplishing the seemingly unthinkable in her public fight appearances, up to and including her incredible upset victory at one of the largest King of Fighters tournaments ever held. Surviving the impossible has kept her one step ahead of the dangers that stalk her in the shadows as well. Lightning reflexes coupled with equally fast instincts are the only thing that makes that minute difference here, as Bryan's fist comes smashing down toward her undefended spine.
Rather than try to push back against the momentum of her power slide, taking the time to unwind her torso and pivot in to face him with minimal odds of success, she instead surrenders to it. Her right leg, forward and bent sharply at the knee, buckles to the right as Kasumi twists into a controlled fall. Pulling her arms in at the same time, the entire desperate measure is just fast enough to intercept the brute force impact with the ninja's bracer-armored forearms once again.
Of course, without her feet planted, without the help of her leg strength, there is no hope of actually staying planted against such kinetic force. With a pained gasp, the smaller fighter is slammed down against the roof in a slide along her upper back, legs kicking out at the air before she comes to a near-rest two meters further away.
Moving before she can give the pain time to register, she scrambles, pulling her sneaker-clad feet in and pushing down with her left hand to launch herself back up to standing before she even comes to a complete stop, dust swirling about her figure as she rises once more to the ready. Though she can't see it, she can imagine the back of her small white jacket is in tatters after its run against the roughest grade sand-paper ever, but compared to the trouble she'd be in if he had landed his disabling blows, there's really no time to mourn its early demise.
More pressing is the growing uncertainty as to whether the unrelenting madman she's facing can even be stopped. In theory, everyone can be brought down under enough punishment... but while there was evidence of her blows on his exposed torso and face, he did not behave as a man hurting like he should be, nor had he slowed down in the slightest. Honey-brown eyes blink once as she takes a split second to examine the places she had struck him, particularly when it comes to his visibly battered torso. Maybe her mistake is thinking he's vulnerable in the same way as a normal person would be... but he is human, isn't he?
Time to aim higher, she decides.
When Kasumi launches at Bryan again, it might seem as if she's resorted to desperately throwing herself at him, launching herself into a small hop, arms raised, almost like she was thinking she could simply bodily tackle him to the ground. Instead, her arms seek his strong shoulders, intending to use them as a means to direct her momentum upward, tucking her legs up close against her body as she attempts to plant her feet against the zombie brawler's face.
From there, should she manage to perch there briefly, hands on his shoulders, feet against the front of his face, she'd kick off with all her leg strength, driving all her leg strength against his head while vaulting backward into a high flipping arc with aims to land around three meters away and possibly buying herself time to catch her breath before he closes again!
COMBATSYS: Bryan dodges Kasumi's Combo Grapple.
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Kasumi 1/-======/=======|=======\-------\0 Bryan
Though the opening elbow whiffs entirely, passing just over the Kunoichi's shoulder as she allows herself to fall into a tight twist, the followup fist impacts her guard with satisfying force. As the light-weight fighter is sent skidding away with her legs in the air, Bryan takes a moment to hunch forward over his front knee, right hand braced atop it. Chest expanding with deep, slow breaths, he shudders with a couple last, scattered chuckles, fingers of his off hand probing at the scraped skin where he was elbowed. Exploring by touch, he stares absently down at the ground before him, jabbing stiffened fingers against skin to explore the dull throb that pulses through his body, the sickening ache of bruised internals tingling through his dulled senses.
It's an interesting feeling.
Lifting his gaze just in time to witness Kasumi spring lithely back to her feet, the cyborg straightens up and meets her gaze, taking in the calculation there. Still grinning, he lifts both muscular arms and spreads them wide, inviting her in, taunting her with his wordless dismissal of the skill she's shown thus far.
Really earning that double kick to the face.
Holding the pose, he leans back slightly as she springs forward,chin tilting up as if to expose his throat. Faded blue eyes lifting toward the sky, he huffs out a breath, feeling small hands land on his shoulders, slender yet strong fingers digging into muscle to secure a grip.
It is then that the cyborg finally decides to act. Arms sweeping in from either side, he sweeps both hands in beneath her rising legs, gloved palms vanishing beneath her skirt to clap against light pink fabric. Grabbing a double hand full of squishy yet muscular kunoichi ass, the uncaring brawler adds his strength to that of her cute girl abs and flings her lower body straight up into the air, her sneakered feet passing well over his head.
A scattered chuckle huffs out through his grin as he steps forward beneath her, shrugging off her hands and reaching up to snag the back of her denim skirt in one hand. If he can get a grip on the swishy material he will give a sharp tug down and to the side, dragging her out of the air and flinging her away toward the already dented and sparking HVAC she tossed him into such a short time ago. It is this, more than the physical nature of their growing relationship, that causes him to let out another cackle, tickled to death by the simple irony.
COMBATSYS: Kasumi full-parries Bryan's Quick Throw!!
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Kasumi 2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|=======\-------\0 Bryan
She knew he would meet her aggression with aggression, the pattern having played out consistently enough that she knows she can't expect him to flinch or cower, no matter how impressive her technique or relentless her pressure. All she can try to do is make herself difficult to predict, to find angles he isn't anticipating, either by thought or deadly instinct. This time she thought she had him as he recklessly extends his arms open in the face of her advance.
Feet leaving the ground, her fingers find purchase on his shoulders as intended. Drawing herself up into a ball with the momentum while leaning back slightly, she was prepared to aim her feet into his face for a dual-pistoning impact with all the shinobi's strength combined. Maybe that, at least, would be enough to drop him at last.
Instead, he responds with an unorthodox approach unlike the more traditional defenses she had encountered when attempting this before, turning her momentum against Kasumi with clearly unapologetic grip on on her toned behind, pushing up at the right moment to render her kicking feet completely harmless.
Startled, the kunoichi finds herself briefly unable to correct for this unanticipated outcome, caught mid-air, hands losing their grip and the rest of her body having nothing to press against in order to counter the inertia already dictating her direction and velocity. Snapping her arms out, she attempts to spin herself around, deciding it would be better for her to be face down with a chance to defend herself with her arms or knees, than stuck with her back exposed for even a split second.
But she never gets the chance. Even as she gets ready to twist her arms, shoulders, and waist into a concerted effort to flip herself around, she finds herself mid-air flight jerked into an immediate course adjustment back the other way by the band of her skirt around her waist. The lack of give in the band itself is perhaps the only reason her skirt didn't end up down around her legs in the process, though the snaps keeping it snug were certainly tested in the process. Another startled sound escapes her lips as she's flung toward the damaged metal box.
Gritting her teeth, the ninja once again demonstrates her mid-air alacrity, twisting herself into a controlled feet-first impact against the buckled metal, legs bending at the knees to absorb the force...
Only, she isn't intending just to diffuse the potential energy of her landing and drop back down to the roof. Instead, her face lifts, eyes locking on Bryan, teeth grit, jaw set. It's now or never - she has to try and put him down. Every second she stays in close quarters combat with him is flirting with disaster she can't afford.
Kasumi rockets back at Bryan, twisting to the left to bring her right leg forward, bent at the knee, before jamming it out hard, with all her momentum and leg power applied to a blow for his sternum.
That alone might not be enough to even give him the slightest pause from what she's seen so far. But it's only a start as she tries to use the impact to launch herself back in the air as well before suddenly vanishing into another swirling whirl of sakura petals like before. When she next appears, Kasumi is dropping from above, aiming to drive her elbow into his collar bone on way to landing on her feet in front of him.
She doesn't hesitate for an instant, still certain that is hardly enough to even stagger the unrelenting zombie, dishing out a quick knife hand strike toward his stomach with her right hand before vanishing again. It's clear now that she's trying to keep him guessing, trying to open him up to something bigger.
Her final gambit comes as she reappears, already mid-dash, twisting to the left, left hand aiming to twist any defending arm out wide, leaving him vulnerable to her slamming her right hand out in a right handed open palm strike, trying to sink the heel of her hand deep in just below the center of his rib cage.
All of that, just to shatter his guard if possible. It's only then that Kasumi pauses, winding up, twisting to the right, body tensing, a half second pause in her assault as she transitions into the real attack.
As before, she explodes forward, aiming to drive another elbow into his chest. This time, however, instead of power sliding to a stop, she launches off the ground with her feet as if to flip back toward him, only to vanish again into even more raining blossoms. She reappears for a blink of the eye mid-way back to him before she's gone again. Becoming as hard to follow as her namesake itself - Mist - Kasumi reappears in front of Bryan again, left leg planted, body leaning to the left, right leg snapping up as she unleashes several kicks along the left side of his body - knee, shin, side, chest, neck, and head, in the span of a quarter second.
She vanishes again, one final swirl of cherry blossoms, to reappear on Bryan's right side, right leg planted, body leaning hard to the right, left leg already raised, knee bent, a final, dangerous kick chambered.
Slamming her leg out, she attempts to smash her foot into his face one more time.
Tsukuyomi - a fight ending assault chain she would never use in a friendly bout against another human. But this match was unfriendly from the start, and her opponent was far from human. There was no room for holding back, for second guessing how far is too far!
COMBATSYS: Kasumi successfully hits Bryan with #Tsukuyomi EX#.
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Kasumi 0/-------/-------|=======\===----\1 Bryan
There are men alive today, likely at least a few within 100 yards of this very rooftop, who would pay good money to have Kasumi glare at them like that. What is it the perverts are always saying these days?
'Step on me?'
Grinning back with wolfish anticipation, Bryan brings both arms flinging up to accept her flying kick on a simple crossed guard, sliding back a step to keep from getting bowled over by the force of it. An instant later and she has vanished, the scent of cherry blossoms wafting past him as dull blue eyes flick from left to right, scanning.
Not in front of him, or to either side. That means...
A quick step to his left saves him from the worst of the dropping elbow, the strike landing hard on already battered muscle. Boots scrape through gravel as he adjusts for the force, swaying to bleed off momentum as one small hand flashes in beneath his guard to jab him hard in the gut. Not a blow that would normally draw his notice, but off balance, body having already sustained a couple of heavy impacts this fight, he is forced to sweep his left foot back in an abrupt brace or risk toppling to the ground. And yet, even then his muscles are beginning to tense, power gathering as he prepares to counter attack.
Right up until she vanishes. Again.
A rough breath of frustration rasps its way through grinning teeth as the cyborg loses track of her in the swirling cascade of sakura petals. But whatever wicked path his mind walks it isn't entirely without reason. He doesn't need to remain reactive. All it would take is one hit and...
Uncoiling in a sudden burst of speed and power, Bryan blasts his fist through the empty air to his right, predicting a move that the kunoichi is one step ahead of. Striking nothing, he is completely out of position when she reappears to his left, dashing out of nowhere and catching his arm just beneath the elbow, continuing his strike into a sideways stumble that ends when her right palm explodes against his ribs, bone giving beneath the blow as he is thrown sideways to crash shoulder-first into the side of an already ruined AC unit.
And yet, even with the sound of cracking bone ringing in the air, she knows it won't be enough. The break didn't feel right. What should have resulted in a soft spot of floating rib was instead firm, dented, yet resistant as if his ribs were held together by some sort of interwoven mesh. Able to crack, to shatter, yet still supporting one another as a greater whole.
Rebounding away from the ruined machine, Bryan whirls his entire body around into a vicious roundhouse punch, fist parting the hair just above her ducking head as she lunges in with an elbow strike that smashes into his sternum, a loud THUMP vibrating through both of their bodies as she knocks him right back into the machine.
Smile having transformed into a malicious snarl of rage and frustration, the silver-haired monster shrugs to his feet. Left ribs dented, skin of his chest torn to show a glimpse of the bloodless greyish-red muscle beneath, he seems perfectly willing to keep fighting. But while pain can easily be ignored, disorientation and structural damage can not.
Chest heaving with angry breaths, the sharp-eyed killer throws himself forward to meet his nimble opponent, ready and willing to take whatever she is about to dish out if only he can drag her fragile body out of the air. But rather than the violent clash he so craves, all he gets are more, fucking, flowers. With every brief glimpse a rain of pink petals is left in her wake, surrounding the mad man in a veritable storm of swirling blossoms.
Staggering forward, he can only begin to lift his left arm when she appears to his left, body gracefully arched to deliver a hail of kicks up his injured side. Taking rapid blows to his Leg, side, and finally head, he stumbles, ear torn and left arm just managing to finish the failed blocking motion when she appears on his other side.
There is only enough time for their eyes to meet before her foot blasts him square in the face. Head flung back, the zombie topples backward like a felled tree, back striking the roof with a satisfying THUD of flesh against gravel and tar. It's the sort of kick that could break a man's neck, or rattle his brain. To take it square on like that would risk unconsciousness at the very least.
Lying there with his open eyes staring sightlessly up into the sky, the rampaging beast falls still. There are no twitches, no soft puffs of breath. Muscles slack, the corpse gazes up into the sun with arms flung wide, jaw having finally relaxed. In the distance, the sound of sirens rise above the general noise of the city, their warning cry insistent and high.
Exploding from the ground in a manic surge of strength and ferocity, Bryan's left hand lashes out and up for Kasumi's throat. Glove creaking , he attempts to latch his steely grip around her slender neck, fingers tightening as he drags himself to his feet like a living nightmare. Lips split and smashed, teeth bared, he lets out one long, hot breath into the beautiful girl's face before his free hand tangles itself in her hair, tugging a large clump of it free of the bow and gathering it into his fist at the left side of her head.
"DIE." he breathes, that single word holding all the enraged madness of the dead soul trapped behind his eyes.
Unless she can escape, Kasumi will find herself drug forward and down, face descending toward his waist. But where some men might have completely unrelated ideas about such an action, Bryan cares for only one thing. To bend her over just far enough to receive the full force of his right knee as it rockets up to meet her like an unleashed missile, the single blow packed with enough force to tear the featherweight fighter from his grip and send her skyward.
COMBATSYS: Kasumi auto-guards Bryan's Knee Blast.
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Kasumi 0/-------/-------|=======\===----\1 Bryan
The culminating strike of the Mugen Tenshin prodigy's combination held nothing back. Behind that kick was the combined force necessary to reduce facial bones to fragments or snap a human neck. For a moment, Kasumi continues to lean against the kick, leg drawing back as her knee bends before she lowers it to the rooftop to plant both of her feet.
Her breaths come deep and steady, not the rapid panting of one who has pushed themselves beyond exhaustion but rather the controlled ebb and flow of a marathon runner with miles left in the tank. Perspiration rolling down her temples or beading on her forehead speaks to a physiology not immune to the rigorous demands of combat. In theory, she could exhaust eventually, but even after the long chain of strikes, split second techniques, and dizzying bursts of energy spent in instantly relocating herself between attacks, the shinobi had more to give.
And good thing to - she could feel it even as she connected, the way his body didn't break or give like it should have. She had shoved her heel through armored training dummies that yielded more than Bryan's torso. Any thoughts that perhaps in a moment of panic she had gone too far, unleashing her full strength on someone who couldn't live through it, didn't last for even an instant.
But at least he's down? Three wary steps forward are taken, her arms still raised, body tense, eyes taking in the new damage visible on the surface of his indestructible body. There can be only one conclusion: if he ever was human before, he is no longer. A bloodless golem, something beyond normal biology keeps him moving, keeps his torso from being caved in by her strikes, his face broken by her kick.
"Who owns you?" she asks. One of the lords of Makai? or...
"One of the megacorps?" She almost spits the last word. "Did-"
Too close. She knew he wasn't dead, but to still be able to move so fast after that?
His hand surges through the ninja's hasty guard, securing a vise-like grip of her neck. Held fast, honey-brown eyes widening in alarm, Kasumi snaps up her hands to grab hold of his powerful forearm, planting her feet and trying to pull back while pushing away with her arms. But it's obvious in an instant a direct contest of strength even against just one of the reckless brawler's arms is not enough to pry herself free and the adaptable shinobi immediately switches tactics. Releasing his forearm, her arms raise up, hands clasping together over his arm as she prepares to slam her hands down in an axe-handle smash near his elbow. It wouldn't be enough to damage him much, but it would stand a solid chance of breaking his grip at least.
But she never gets her chance as Bryan's other hand whips out to sink fingers into gossamer soft, yanking a length of it free of her ribbon with a twist. A choking cry dies in her throat as she finds herself being pulled forward and down into an inevitable meeting with a savage knee strike. Arms drop back down, no longer intent on his hold on her neck, in what is likely to be a desperate defense against the devastating blow.
He demands her death, his voice carrying all the frustrations he must be carrying from whatever hellish fate he had endured before now, frustrations that prior to now were being unleashed against inanimate objects and a harmless crowd below, now directed at the one who decided to interfere.
And a split second later, a loud crack echoes across the rooftop, a shock wave radiating out from the two fighters, visible only for the rough pebbles it sends scattering as it moves. Bent forward, head held fast by her hair, Kasumi's arms are extended beneath her, the heels of her hands pressed together, the palms of both hands pressing against the undead weapon's knee, holding it at bay. The sleeves of her jacket and sweater have been obliterated up to her elbows, her sapphire blue arm guards now openly visible.
It may take a second to reconcile the exchange - the precise delivery of counter force to his rising knee to stop it before it could deal damage, the absorption of all its destructive potential into her now trembling arms, but the outcome is unmistakable as both defense and offense are frozen in a perfect stalemate.
Even the numbness in her arms isn't enough to completely block out the pain of the defense, and is more than enough to warn that she won't be able to use her arms for a while. Which is something of a problem, as he still has his hand in her hair, her body bent forward into a difficult position to attack from, in dangerously close quarters with the more durable, harder hitting brawler.
She needed to break away fast, and without the use of her deadened arms to aid her. Knees tense as she pulls down further against the hand on her head, before she launches herself upward, twisting into a leaping shoulder strike, targeting beneath Bryan's chin in hopes of having him see stars. Compared to some of her techniques, it's far from elegant, but it does rely far more on leg and torso strength than her arms, and works from her compromised position, serving as an example of how versatile the shibobi's arsenal truly is!
COMBATSYS: Kasumi successfully hits Bryan with Aggressive Strike.
- Power hit! -
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Kasumi 0/-------/-------|=======\====---\1 Bryan
He can feel it in the back of his teeth. That sweet, sadistic release that comes from inflicting pain on the living. He needs it. Craves it. Something to make this whole fight worth while.
Kasumi's hands strike his knee with numbing force, the echoing crack of the strike joined by a low, frustrated growl that rattles its way between his teeth. Chest heaving with quick, panting breaths, he tightens his grip on throat and hair and drops his knee away from her hands, muscles tensing as he prepares to ram it right back up and through her weakening guard.
It is her mortality that saves her. The soft skin of her neck slick with sweat, the sudden upward surge of her body slips her free of his left hand, right tugging painfully at her hair as she launches herself straight up into the air. Unfortunately for her, the grip on her gossamer locks is too tight, making it immediately apparent that her shoulder isn't going to make it to the bottom of his chin. Unfortunately for him, however, he left her just enough slack to tilt her head forward, ramming the top of her skull into the point of his chin with enough force to shatter a lesser man's teeth.
Head slammed back for the second time in ten seconds, he stumbles like a drunk, fingers tightening around their fist full of hair as he uses her to keep from toppling right back to the ground. Whatever magic or mad science powers him, the head shots do seem to be scrambling some sort of brain, if to a much lesser degree than she'd like. Enough impacts like that and she might be able to render him unconscious, or inoperable.
That is, if the complete loss of his sanity doesn't destroy them both.
Regaining his balance, the monster glares down at the girl still caught in his grasp, once dead blue eyes now alive with rage and madness. Skin split along the bottom of his chin, lips smashed, he lets out a growling grunt of a breath, then another. As he draws back his left fist, the motion of his shoulders transforms from the even heave of breaths to the helpless shaking of insane chuckles, laughter burbling up from deep within him as he brings his fist swinging around in a heavy haymaker square for the center of her eyes.
Releasing his grip on her hair, Bryan follows the opening left with a straight jab of his right toward the center of her chest, attempting to drive his knuckles past the supple softness and squarely into her sternum, to drive her back against the door of the cement shack she arrived through.
Still cackling like a mad man, the silver-haired cyborg lunges after her, both fists blurring into a vicious combination of One, Two, Five, Eight, Sixteen blows to her slender middle, any that miss impacting the door behind her with enough force to leave perfect imprints of his knuckles in the solid steel.
"HUUUH HAH HAH HAH HAH HAH!"
Head bowed forward against the shaking heave of his body, he bends himself almost double, choking on the laughter within, before unfolding with vicious speed, both feet leaving the ground in a leaping knee that will either smash the beautiful kunoichi through the steel door and down the stairs beyond, or crumple the door around his knee in a violent explosion of sound.
COMBATSYS: Bryan successfully hits Kasumi with Gattling Rush.
! VENGEANCE !
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Kasumi 0/-------/---====|-------\-------\0 Bryan
She never gets quite so far off the ground as she had intended, her shoulder slam turning into an awkward but not ineffective headbutt up into Bryan's chin as a result of his tight grip on her hair. The exchange of force is enough to stun her slightly, but it's clear that he got the worse end of it, head knocked back, stance becoming less certain as whatever occupies the inside of his skull gets rattled around a second time in rapid succession.
Still, his extended arm holds her secure and thoughts of disengaging the dangerous position she finds herself in are once more put on hold. Eyes look up to watch his face, a thin trickle of blood seeping down her forehead from her hairline, no doubt from some laceration left by her unintentional headbutt, alarm visible in her features. Getting lost in the kunoichi's worried expression might be a weakness for some opponents, but for the bloodless brute, it doesn't buy Kasumi any time at all as her right hand brushes quickly against her left forearm brace. With her sleeves out of the way, she at last has access to some of the arsenal she had left untapped during the battle. It would be easy to miss the small, twin spikes jutting up around the forefinger of her closed fist, a hidden weapon clearly intended to add puncture wounds to her punches going forward.
And her immediate target is the inside of Bryan's wrist of his arm gripping her hair as she bends her elbow to chamber a piercing strike into unguarded flesh. Even weak as her arms are now, the needle-like blades could still deal serious damage if plunged into the ligaments of his forearm and might be enough to force him to release his grip.
Kasumi never gets a chance as his left arm hammers toward her face. "Huh-?!" Her right arm already chambered, she tries to move her left arm into the way but there simply isn't the strength or speed to do anything to stop him. He'd glimpse her brown eyes widening then squinting shut right before his fist smashes between them.
The full powered, unguarded haymaker is devastating as the kunoichi's head is slammed back, a mist of perspiration sent flying into the air. Her blue ribbon, already loosened by the violent pulling of her hair, is knocked completely free, releasing long copper tresses to spread out behind her head. And he would feel Kasumi's body go lax as she blacks out completely.
The right jab that follows is likewise completely unguarded, serving to slam her body backward against the steel door rather than mercifully let her fall. For the first two blows to the ninja's torso, there is no response at all from his target, only the sound of fists slamming against unguarded flesh. By the third and fourth, she has woken up, eyes no longer glazed over, even if her brain might still be reeling to understand what is happening as he delivers a rib cracking blow to her left side, forcing a pained cry from her lungs.
By the fifth swing, she has started to try moving, driven by reflex and an instinct for survival rather than any conscious choice, to try and avoid the battering barrage, but given her condition and the speed of his assault, it is hardly effective, with all but two of his strikes landing home, leaving two fist-shaped dents smashed into the door around the predominant indentation occupied by the shinobi. Each hit rattles the door's metal hinges, even beginning to sheer them as it is subjected to forces it was certainly never engineered to handle. And with each machinegun impact, scraps of fabric are sent flying as Kasumi's jacket and sweater are pulverized by raw, destructive force.
By the time he winds up for his finishing rising knee, there is no trace of the jacket she had been wearing before and her sweater barely has anything left, with some of it still in tact around her waist and scraps of it on her right side up and over her right shoulder to connect with what remains of it on her back. A bra the same light pink as she unwittingly shared before hugs against her chest, with a thin strap visible going up and over her left shoulder and decorative white lace running along the top arc of each cup. What skin isn't covered by that or her tattered sweater is covered in red marks that promise to bruise given time. But still she fights, trying to pull her arms up in time to protect herself when he delivers the final blow.
The violent slam spells the end of the door as it tears from its hinges and goes flying into the stairwell with Kasumi following it right behind. A rough tumble and crash later, it has come to rest in the first landing below with the young woman curled up on her side on top of it.
She's still for several seconds, mind trying to reboot from the trauma her body was just put through at the hands of the brutal vandal. But after several seconds, the Mugen Tenshin exile stirs. As bad as that was, it wasn't the worst she had ever endured in combat. Beneath a soft, girly exterior beat the heart of a warrior who had faced death in battle on more than one occasion and survived, overcoming impossible odds to triumph, because she simply wouldn't quiet.
Pushing down with her hands, she rises up to standing, left hand planted against the wall for support for a moment as she looks up the stairs, blood seeping from her mouth. A brief pause to wipe her right arm across her mouth to streak away some of the blood, she fixes her sight on Bryan once again.
"I'll finish this!" she exclaims back at him, proving that for all that, her legs were still in strong, working condition as she bolts back toward him, summoning the strength to launch herself into a forward arching flip. But if he thinks to guard himself against a possible flying kick, his response would be mistaken, as instead Kasumi attempts to seat herself right on his shoulders, thighs squeezing against the side of his head.
She would linger for a second to secure her balance, raising her right arm upward to steady herself, before dropping down backward, attempting to haul Bryan right up off his feet with her leg and abdominal strength, trying to send him head over heels, to launch him flying down the stairs to where she just came from while she lands in an uncomfortable but far less damaging seated position on the steps where she would be panting for breath.
COMBATSYS: Bryan just-defends Kasumi's Hien Saka Otoshi EX!
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Kasumi 0/-------/---====|-------\-------\0 Bryan
With every smack of flesh on flesh a bit of the monster's frustration is transformed into glee. By the time the final knee sends Kasumi tumbling down the stairs upon the dented remains of the door, his cackling madness has retreated back behind a slightly mangled smirk, faded eyes once more dead and curiously staring. Straightening to his full height, he draws in a long, calming breath and studies the girl as she lies curled upon the first landing.
Will she rise? Can she continue? The raw anticipation of it squirms uncomfortably within his battered zombie guts, aching just as sharply as his broken rib.
A soft breath of satisfaction hisses through his clinched teeth as the copper-haired ninja pushes herself unsteadily to her feet, faded eyes wide and staring as she lifts her gaze to his. The defiance in her stance, her words. She might not have much more left in her, but everything she has she is willing to give. No begging. No fear. Not yet.
His side throbs with pain, vision blurring a bit at the edges, but none of that matters. All that matters is the beautiful young woman charging up the stairs to meet him, hair and skirt flowing behind her as she springs into a graceful forward flip. The hallway may be swaying a bit around her, and that annoying insistence in the back of his mind might be ordering him to escape, to return at once for repairs. But none of that matters.
Gloved hands sweeping up from his sides, the battered cyborg intercepts her legs on their way down to his shoulders, leather-clad palms slapping into the back of either thigh. Still a bit punch drunk and operating at less than 100 percent, Bryan sways back a couple of steps to maintain his balance, fingers digging into supple softness to grip the powerful muscles just beneath.
It really is a shame there aren't any cameras around.
Aiming his dead-eyed smirk up at Kasumi through the gap between her thighs, the monster flexes his chest and shoulders, grey muscle pressing out against the torn skin of his chest as he attempts to force her legs apart. Far enough apart that her stocking-clad calves can pass to either side of his shoulders as he drops her out of the sky, one knee jutting forward to catch her at the fork of the legs, rough denim scraping against her inner thighs.
How many men would kill to have a girl like Kasumi riding their knee? Thousands of times more than would kill a girl like Kasumi riding on their knee. But as has been proven again and again throughout her life, she rarely gets the good end.
Right hand snapping up to get a grip on the first thing he sees, he digs rough fingers beneath the soft cup of the kunoichi's bra, pointer finger curling beneath the lacy top while the other three hook into the side, thumb pressing painfully into the springy flesh as he uses it to try and keep her from escaping. A simple shove thrusts her upper body away from his, arching her young form into a graceful back bend as his left fist draws back, torso twisting to create as much distance between fist and captured target as he possibly can.
Then, unless she can somehow escape it, a sharp tug on her bra will bring her whipping forward, shoulders twisting to bring his gloved fist whipping around in a single, savage blow to the right side of her head.
COMBATSYS: Bryan successfully hits Kasumi with Fierce Punch.
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Kasumi 1/-------/=======|-------\-------\0 Bryan
Her descent stopped cold a couple of feet from her intended landing, Kasumi takes a moment to even realize what has happened to find herself held aloft so. Eyes blinking, she looks down frantically, arms flailing a little to counteract the swaying of the man holding her aloft. Only then does she realize that the unnamed, undying brawler is holding her aloft by brute strength alone.
For a brief moment, from such a compromised position, she has no vector of further attack, unable to kick at him, nor bend forward to swing at him with her still weary arms. Gritting her teeth, the shinobi instead wastes no time trying to wrest herself free, twisting her upper torso one way while trying to wrench her hips in the opposite direction, then reversing the motion, likely doing no favors to Bryan's own attempts to maintain balance but not succeeding in breaking loose from the grip he has on her legs.
Readying herself to try escape a second time, she glances down to meet his eyes, locking with that cold smirk as her own alarm only continues to grow. Until she could get disengage and get back on her own feet, he would have control over this fight - and every second with him in control was beyond dangerous for her. He flexes, making his mind as to what to do with the ninja he's caught, and Kasumi finds her legs being pried open. Sucking in her breath, she tries to fight him with everything she has, muscles tensing against the force slowly pushing her thighs apart.
Shaking her head, long hair swaying behind her shoulders, anticipating the worst, she quickly shoves her hands down between her legs, palms directed downward, as her resistant strength proves insufficient to stop him from creating an opening that would clearly leave her vulnerable.
A moment later and she's been dropped to his knee, her hands pressing down against the top of his thigh for a fleeting moment. Maybe this is her chance to -
His right hand snaps out, snatching a hold of her chest, fingers digging roughly into pink elastic fabric in order to hold her still. A pained gasp escapes her lips as she draws her hands up from bracing against his leg then. Perhaps misunderstanding his intent, her own left hand snaps up across the front of her to clamp down atop his gripping hand as she shakes her head again, "Don't you dare-" she protests, crimson already blossoming in her cheeks, eyes regarding him with more than mere anger as a maelstrom of emotions well up within the Mugen Tenshin exile.
But instead of violently yanking as she had expected, he shoves, spine bowing as her back arches, head leaning back, forced by the pressure. Another grunt as her legs clench around his knee, the young woman clearly trying to give herself leverage to prevent him from moving her around however he pleases.
But then comes the pull, her left hand still pressed hard atop his, her right hand raising as she at last sees his chambered punch prepared to smash into her.
But there's no way such feeble defense can stop what is about to happen, gloved fist smashing into the side of her head, sending another mist of perspiration and droplets of blood spraying to the left as her head and upper body move in the same direction with the kinetic impact. Only the grip he has, coupled with the pressure applied with her own hand, keeps her from being knocked free all together, though that invites a sharp pain of an entirely different kind.
Reeling back to upright not entirely of her own volition, her eyes are narrowed back at the violent vandal, partially out of antipathy for him and what he represents - another avatar of science unbounded - and partially because she's having a hard time keeping them open. It is rare the kunoichi has tasted the sensation of being knocked completely senseless, but neither is it completely alien to her. She knows when she's rapidly careening toward oblivion... She has only moments to act.
Trying to turn his hold on her against him, she wraps both of her arms around his extended one, drawing up her legs, bending them at the knees as she keeps her tailbone balanced on his knee, knowing full well that support could go away in an instant.
And then, leaning back while still hugging against his strong arm, she drives both of her feet up into the underside of his chin.
If she connects, her left foot would remain planted there to further wedge her slender body upside down against his chest, trying to maintain a death grip on his right arm, and then she would kick again with her right foot up into his jaw. "YA!" Again. "YA!" And again. "YA!" Five times in rapid succession. "YA!" Before her fading strength would wane and the kicks would cease, her grip relaxing...
COMBATSYS: Kasumi can no longer fight.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\ <
COMBATSYS: Bryan just-defends Kasumi's Mugen Tenjinsho!
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\ <
Were Bryan still a man, the red blush of Kasumi's cheeks and the hot indignation of her gaze might have given him pause. After all, there are other ways of letting off stress. Other ways of dishing out a pounding. But zombie cyborg Bryan doesn't even recognize the possibility, his leather-clad fist tearing through her weakened guard and hammering into her skull with a meaty THUMP.
Her upper body thrown sideways by the force of the blow, he can feel the stretchy pink fabric straining within his grasp, her slim fingers clinging to his own with desperate strength. There is a moment in which the fate of all man kind is balanced upon a knife's edge. Will it hold or will it snap? Will the bounteous bosom contained within the struggling fabric go free?
We gon' see some epic titties?
The hopes of all man kind are dashed as Kasumi is dragged back upright by the hold on her chest, bra in tact and drooping eyes staring up into the cyborg's face with dull disgust. Girly thighs that had tightened pleasantly around his own relax, toned arms looping around his own to hug it tight to her chest as she curls her knees up, chambering the kick.
Staring down at her past red sneakers and white stockings, the mad man bares his teeth, free hand lifting just in time to intercept the kick as her entire body uncoils. Palm slapping hard against her left heel, he guides the strike neatly around his chin, pretty legs coming to rest over his left shoulder.
His much deeper grunt cuts threw her own as he retracts his knee out from under her perching bottom and piles forward atop her, slamming her neck and shoulders violently into the ground and folding both captured legs up over her head. With her upper body trapped beneath her lower, chest squished and toes touching the gravel above her, he uses his bulk to keep her trapped beneath him, right hand finally relaxing his grip so that he can tear his arm free of the smothering softness that traps it. Taking complete advantage of her helpless state, the cyborg draws his right arm back, curls his fingers into a tight fist, and brings it smashing down into her face.
The violent blows hammer down with a regular, throbbing rhythm, each meaty thud punctuating the sound of sirens growing louder by the second. Loud whistles and radio sounds begin to filter up through the busted skylights nearby, first responders finally arriving on the scene of chaos below.
The open gash on his chest rubs sickeningly against the backs of her legs as he lies panting atop her, fist falling to brace within a pool of copper hair beside Kasumi's head. With the raw excitement of the struggle dying down, the urgent demand for repairs has moved into the foreground of his mind, demanding more of his attention.
Pressing down upon the ground, he levers himself off of the girl, leaving her folded where she lies. Without a second glance in her direction, he walks calmly over to his coat and retrieves it from the dusty ground, swinging it back around his battered body to cover up the worst of the damage. Fingers working to fasten it closed, he steps quietly over to the edge of the roof, glances over the edge with flat, emotionless eyes, and springs forward to fall out of sight.
If the cops are lucky, they won't catch up with him.
Gripping his arm, hugging it against her chest, Kasumi primed herself to deliver a potential knockout blow to the head of the juggernaut of a brawler. She had seen him dizzied - proof enough that there was some degree of vulnerability there, even if still far less than she'd expect in any human... but of course, that isn't what she's fighting here. Of that, she's quite certain.
But as she slams her feet upward, she experiences the dreadful confirmation she had already begun to suspect. Not only was he not falling over like one would expect, he seemed to be getting only stronger, faster, and even more durable. With lightning reflex, his free hand moves to intercept, deflecting her upward motion to an askew angle, her feet and stockinged legs launching up over his shoulder before dropping back down to come to rest against it.
A gasp of alarm escapes her lips as she finds herself in a precarious position. If she released his arm, it would only be to fall onto the ground on her back. If she keeps holding it as she is, she's leaving him free to decide how to respond. Perhaps if willpower alone wasn't pushing back against the curtain of oblivion attempting to close over her vision, she would have been quick enough to think of an escape, but one look up into the eyes of the man who delights only in violence leaves her frozen in indecision.
And a moment later, all choice of action is taken from her as he shifts, moving his leg and dropping her upper body down against the rough pebbles, then leaning forward, pressing down on the back of her legs to fold the kunoichi into a completely helpless test of flexibility, his dead weight alone enough to keep her from being able to even move in her weakened state as she winces in pain. Honey-brown eyes widened, she tries twisting right and left beneath him, denim skirt rolled up around her waist, but the effort does little more than dislodge some gravel and add small scrapes to her shoulder blades.
Held as she is, it's even hard to breathe, each breath coming as a quick, short pant, as sweat mingled with blood rolls down the sides of her face and fall to the rooftop.
She isn't going to beg him to release her, to plead for clemency - what understanding does a machine have of mercy in triumph? But the frightened glare with which she looks up at him betrays the bitter emotions sweeping through her fading thoughts.
When he pulls his hand free and draws it back, she brings her hands up in one last feeble attempt at defense, but the first blow hammers clean through, striking her in the face. Already at the edge of the abyss, the struggling Mugen Tenshin exile goes limp beenath him at last, arms unfolding and falling out wide from her sides, head resting against the unyielding roof, eyes only half lidded.
After the second hit, her eyes are closed, with the third blow being one in excess of the already decisive victory strike.
When he pushes himself up, she unfolds, upper body flat on her back, hips turned slightly to the right, legs together, one partially atop the other, arms still out at her sides, head turned to the right.
The building below is a beehive of activity when she bats her left eye open a minute later, her right eye too swollen and eyelid sticky with blood to even try seeing through. Kasumi's first sound is soft groan, head ringing so loud she can barely hear the commotion of police storming the building, of sirens surrounding the mall.
Gingerly, she rolls onto her side, then hands and knees, eye closed for a moment as she waits for the world to stop spinning. Spitting blood from her mouth a few times, she opens her eye again, glaring at the crimson spittle on the roof. Bastard. She should have been able to handle him! Maybe if she had been prepared for a fight... maybe if she had had her sword... but she shakes her head, copper tresses falling down along the sides of her head. She can't make excuses for being bested, it's only proof that she needs to get even stronger. If anything, she tells herself, grousing the thought of tasting blood for days, she's lucky to be alive. She has no doubt the unnamed battler has blood on his hands. It takes a killer to know one.
Sinking to a seated position on her knees, she lifts a hand to rub tenderly at her chest, noticing the strap of her bra down around her upper arm. "Tch." Closing her fingers over it, she pulls it back into place. She needs to get moving, the responders will be here any moment now, and she doesn't want to have to be stuck explaining anything about herself.
Digging deep, she stands, using the metal frame of one of the HVAC fans for support, and slowly, running her hand along the sheet metal surfaces, makes her way back toward the stairwell where she had left her bag of previously owned clothing in one of the store bags. A moment later and she's pulling a clean, white, school blouse down over her torso, arms working their way out the sleeves with more grunts of discomfort. Everything hurts, nothing can be easy. But at least she's alive to learn from the encounter.
Twenty seconds later, after preparing in the stairwell, the police rush up and out onto the roof as a helicopter comes flying in from the west. But while they find abundant evidence of a violent battle having taken place, with blood and structural damage in all directions, there is no one left behind to explain the freak violent vandalism at all.
COMBATSYS: Bryan has ended the fight here.
Log created on 17:38:13 10/09/2021 by Kasumi, and last modified on 04:22:32 10/23/2021.