Dead or Alive - New Blade Gospel, pt. 2

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Description: Deep in the bowels of the DOATEC HK headquarters, blasts rip through the complex. Somewhere above, shinobi from all corners of the world war with corporate agents and nightmarish cybernetic assets. Even further above, the sky falls. However, Daisuke still has a mission to accomplish. Somewhere in this facility Raiza has found her way into the middle of a war, and Hideo Shimazu is still lost somewhere within. The entire situation is incomprehensibly dangerous, with evacuation alarms and imminent impact alerts blaring throughout the facility. Searching for Raiza or the missing teacher, Daisuke runs across a mysterious man in the bowels of the corporate labyrinth, clearly injured, but carrying files taken from the holding cell areas. The thing is, Daisuke even seeing him here is a loose end. And Daisuke needs to get past him.

Daisuke was supposed to wait.

Honestly, he wasn't supposed to even be in Hong Kong. But after a great deal of insistence, he persuaded a certain ninja friend of his to let him come along this far at least. But once it finally came to DOATEC's facilities themselves? There wqs no longer any ground given by his friend.

He was supposed to wait.

He did for a while, too. Watching over one of the entryways into the giant, sprawling building from a vantage point. But then-- pandemonium. Explosions rocking the building itself and the surrounding areas. Signs of fighting.

He was supposed to wait.

But he just couldn't follow that order anymore.

So amidst all the chaos, assisted by a forcefully expanded psychic senses to form an effective radar over the building and people in it, Daisuke - in his pseudo-superhero garb that's mostly just a leather jacket, a scarf and a crimson half-face mask - has snuck inside to weave his way through the maze-like halls and stairs, occasionally dipping into dark corners to wait for either active battles or transitioning response teams to go past him.

Nevermind that the aforementioned expanded radar sense is activeky *frying his brain*. But hey, can't make an omelette without setting some eggs on fire, right?

Well, he would say that anyhow, but let's be honest here, he can't do that for very long without actually killing himself. But things seem to be relatively calm here on these two floors, so he's allowed himself to turn it offz while he stubbornly sprints his way up a long hallway with *way* too many turns and doors leading to entirely uninteresting offices or storage rooms.

His destination shouldn't be too far. Just got to get to the stairs at the end of this hall...

The world burns above. The crashing down of Capital in a war between technocrat and shinobi. Scores are settled, powers are unleashed, and the dogs of war reign over the hearts of the warriors clashing above. A glorious paean to justice, to vengeance. . .

To hogwash.

Whitney Saulder's cigarette bounces in his pursed lips. His fingers dance over shreds of paper, holding and pinning strays, taping words of mangled missives thought destroyed. He is their twisted resurrectionist, and their second life awaits them in a nearby folder. He creates a new order within chaos. Order of a type that will be useful to generating further chaos down the line. The status quo continues, the dance goes on.

A spot of blood drips from his forehead and stains the document. The man curses in a spark of annoyance, a rare emotion felt. Not yet recovered from his tournament performance, Whitney Saulder had further still found the resistance of some of the corpses to be an annoyance. Not a trouble, but an annoyance. Something that Whitney Saulder was finding lost it's meaning after the third time he acknowledged the emotion.

He had enough, not so much and no so precise as he would have wanted, that he could still influence Mishima while funneling further notes to the Illuminati. It was an audible, but he would play it. He only needed to extract himself from the situation.

A shudder, a falling piece of cheap ceiling pressboard, a reminder that he should be moving sooner than later. That his oasis of the lower decks just meant more to fall on top of him.

Saulder's frame lurched with a rare unaffected limp. His pace bringing him out to the corridor among the lab and office mazes. A place where he had thought he was alone.

Which it turns out he is not. Someone else appears to have come down.

Once more Whitney Saulder felt himself growing annoyed.

Small pieces fall down from the ceiling, but that doesn't seem to slow down the masked teen. Well, mostly just because none of the debris really ends up falling on *him*, mind. He'd probably end up having very different ideas about how advicable it is to just keep charging ahead blindly.

Something else might be about to affect that preconception, though.

A sharp, skidding turn around the corner-- and almost immediately after, Daisuke brings himself to a stop, with his eyes widening out above the cloth mask.

The sight of a mildly-bleeding man stood there in the middle of the hallway.

This is what he gets for gambling on not needing to be stealthy anymore.

"U-uhm," he lets out after roughly ten seconds of tense staring back at the older man, trying his very best to not lot any nervousness slip through into visibility. "I don't suppose you would just... let me past while you go get yourself bandaged or something?"

The boy's foot shifts nervously along the floor, his posture subtly lowering.

"...Would you?"

A boy in a mask stands alone. Whitney Saulder can guess one of the shinobi. A wastrel, separated from his peers and left adrift in the tombs of the laboratory. Whitney Saulder ponders his supposition. He ruminates on the potential drifts of causality from this moment. It is his job to be an actuary. There are risks and benefits to any action.

Actions such as being alone with Whitney Saulder.

The cigarette dances in lips that don't speak, mouthing thoughts in subtle pulses as the tired eyes run over the surroundings. The mind behind them weighing the purpose of his moments, with the prickling annoyance that tingles in his hands. His fingertips scream for use. He inhales, a long drag that threatens a great deal of the lifespan from his cigarette. The exhale comes from his nose, a rolling smoke. A gimlet eyed dragon wounded and annoyed looks at the young man.

"I don't think so," Whitney Saulder finally answers. He speaks slowly, deeply, with the considered tone of a man coming to a satisfying solution. "You're one the ninjas, aren't you. Long way from your friends. I like ninjas. They're good people. Family oriented."

A short suck of air and a nod that has a bounce to it as Whitney looks to his side and drops the folder in his hand. It lands with a gentle pat sound. While Whitney rubs his fingers, clenching them until the knuckles pop and limber. "They like justice. And I think they'd get even more if one of their own was tragically lost down here."

The cold blue eyes look at Daisuke and Whitney Saulder asks, "Do you think you can kill me, boy?"

Definitely not the answer Daisuke wanted to hear.

Honostly, the extended silence was already tipping him off to an impending unfavorable response. Something overall was off about this guy. Something incredibly dangerous.

That intuitive feeling made a drop of sweat of nervousness slide down off his brow.

Green eyes flick down, for half a second, to the folder as it lands on the fllor, and without even realizing it, he swallows with growing anxiety behind the mask.

Does he think he can kill him?

"...I don't even want to fight you,"

The redhead states plainly, but under the subtle threats in thr oldet man's posture, he is instinctively adjusting his stance, too, as fight-or-fliggt instincts try to bubble to the surface.

"I can't say I get why, but you're not really even giving a chance to just ignoring each other, are you? I don't really care who you are and I'm in a hurry, so please just--"

A snap decision, without any thought behind it. A sudden bolt or motion, and the faux-shinobi is sprinting down the hall, towards Whitney.

"--get out or the way!!"

COMBATSYS: Daisuke has started a fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Daisuke          0/-------/-------|

Whitney Saulder removes the cigarette from his lips. He looks down at the burnt end, rolling the filter between his fingertips. A flick sends the ash away. He licks his thumb and pinches the end closed before sticking the smoke behind his ear. "At what point did you think what you want matters?" he asks, annoyed enough to let the mask of self slip free. Dead eyes look at the redheaded young man with distant disdain.

His hands slip into his pockets, his posture slouching. He blinks slowly at the charge. His head tilts forward toward the coming assault.

COMBATSYS: Whitney has joined the fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Whitney          0/-------/-======|-------\-------\0          Daisuke

Daisuke curses internally at this man. For not moving. For slowing him down. For making him have to fight. The hallway is much too narrow for him to simoly go *around* him. Shit, he gan't even catapult himself over him with a psionic explosion without embedding his head into the ceiling!

So the only option is to charge forward-- abd eventually lean his shoulder into it, in the best mimicry of a rugby player he can muster. But that wouldn't be enough. He needs more than the weight of his body.

And the answer to that comes in the form of a burst of cyan energy coating the air around him, turning him into a sprinting fireball.


COMBATSYS: Whitney blocks Daisuke's Blazing Charge.

[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Whitney          0/-------/-======|-------\-------\0          Daisuke

A fiery burst of brilliant energy. Something holding a familiar appearance to Whitney Saulder. This ninja had a certain potential that Whitney has seen before. The tired-eyed killer makes a small, non-committal hum at the notion of confronting it yet again. This power.

The larger man doesn't even move his hands from his pockets. Rather, he deems to lean his shoulder into the sprinting burst rolling toward him. Smacking hard into the force, Saulder's feet plant and hold firm, the soles of his shoes leave dark streaks on the lab floor when the two slide.

"In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire," Saulder recites in a steady, sonorous tone. His hands leave his pockets. They shoot for Daisuke's wrist and for his throat. To take ahold and crush, and to bring the young man down with a vicious punctuation of the moment. Simple, direct, and with lurching power behind his broad and calloused hands.

COMBATSYS: Daisuke dodges Whitney's Violent Grapple.

[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Whitney          0/-------/=======|-------\-------\0          Daisuke

Daisuke's face might be concealed from thr bridge of his nose downwards, but just that look in his eyes, while his energy-propelled arm and shoulder press into the man with little more than a casual skid to show for it, is enough to give hint to what the boy ia thinking.

It goes something along the lines of 'What the hell is with this guy?'.

And then comes a widening of those green eyes, in the instant Whitney's hands leave his pockets.


He can usually feel emotion in people. It's one of those accursed things he still hasn't gotten proper control of. Sure, he can feel a sliver of Whitney's *motions* in his head, but the rest of the usual stuff? He feels very little of.

And that is frankly scaring him shitless.

It shows in the panic lean back of his body, that seems almost something his body does on it's own without any input from the brain but nonethless manages to snap his wrist away and lean his throat just *barely* out of reach of those fingers. It damb bear even comes with a stumble. And a certain realization.

Those fingers carried death with them.

That realization comes with another near-panicked act. A graceless, forceful turn of his body that carries his fist to swinging wildly for the other man. There's no flair or even real technique. Just an act of pure instinct for needing to get *the hell away* from this man as quick as possible.

COMBATSYS: Whitney counters Medium Punch from Daisuke with Refutation of Reason.
- Power hit! -
# Disabling hit! #

[              \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Whitney          1/----===/=======|=======\==-----\1          Daisuke

Licks of emotion yield only an ashen taste. A dull, prickling static of the signal that Daisuke may normally feel. Crackling and distant and cold. The frustration that Whitney Saulder feels is ancient and physical; little more than survival instinct lashing at the world around it. Knowing he entered a fight less than optimal, the kernel of primal need shouts to be done with it; to go home and lick wounds.

Whitney Saulder is a man in control of himself, in spite of his posture and posing's suggestion. And when Daisuke shows panic and flails, Whitney Saulder's predatory nature is quick to capitalize. A strong hand wraps tight around the graceless wrist. Knuckles turn white with tension. Whitney Saulder rolls, tucking his shoulder down low under Daisuke's ribs. He lifts, the boy goes up, the force of his fist pulls him forward and into the air.

Wielding Daisuke like a club, Whitney swings the young ninja to the ground with a thudding, crunching, crack. He holds long enough to look down, and then with a new lurch of his body, he flings Daisuke aside. Dashing Daisuke against the wall and leaving him to fall against the floor with unceremonious disdain.

"You walk into a warzone for what?" Whitney Saulder asks. "Vengeance for your clan? To prove yourself? No. You aren't one of them, only wearing their mask." His hands slip again into the pockets of his trousers. He slouches. He ponders.

"Will they mourn you if you die here? One more among the statistics of Doatech's bottom line?"

Just this push. Just this push is what he needs and he can shove himself away and re-evaluate, is what Daisuke thinks.

And then Whitney's cruel hand crushes that plan entirely.


That's all the sound of protest the boy manages to get before all the air is driven out of his lungs and he loses the sensation of ground from underneath his feet. There's not even enough time to properly register the pain at first before he's already swung around like a ragdoll. There's just a breathless gasp-- a sound that is overriden by the crack of the floor underneath the weight of his own body... not to mention the likely crack of some of his bones.

He probably feels like they might have turned to dust. And by the time he's tossed to slump against the wall, he likely looks just like a bloodied ragdoll, too. Some kind of cut opened up on his head amidst it all, and rivulets of crimson are leaking down from his hairline to stain his forehead and brow as he slumps down on his butt with a weak wheeze making it's way up from a lung that can't quite decide if it's collapsing or not.

Words. He can hear words. They don't fully process first. Everything his brain is doing seems to be on a delay.


A hacking cough. It takes Daisuke everything he has to not let his body just vomit up blood straight into his mask.

"...don't care about any of that..." he mutters, managing to force his screaming body to set one palm against the ground. Shakily pushing himself back against the wall enough to slip one foot underneath him, and begin the arduous, painful process of bringing him at least vaguely upwards from the floor.


His head lifts up, to set his eyes on Whitney.

Bright, unnaturally glowing eyes, forced wide open to stare straight ahead.

" for someone."

COMBATSYS: Daisuke calculates his next move.

[              \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Whitney          1/----===/=======|=======\==-----\1          Daisuke

Whitney Saulder's chest rises and falls with a steady rhythm. His flat expression holds no concern for the bleeding young man, and even less interest in the answer that was given him. "That isn't an answer," he tells Daisuke.

His tongue runs over his teeth, Whitney Saulder can feel them itch. "What are you here for? Payment? Seeking some degree of validation? Some hope for a girl? Delusions of heroism?"

He exhales deeply and lurches forward. A sudden burst of speed. The man rolls low and tilting at an angle. His hands slip out of his pockets and stiffen into grabbing claws. He swings his thumbs toward Daisuke's eyes with a series of sharp stabs before opening wide and swiping with a great clap aimed for Daisuke's ears to send a ringing throughout Daisuke's head.

COMBATSYS: Daisuke dodges Whitney's Blind Assurance.

[              \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Whitney          1/----===/=======|=======\==-----\1          Daisuke

Validation? Hope for a girl? Delusions of heroism?

Something about all that sounds familiar. Daisuke's brain can't quite catch up to it though. He probably has a concussion and a half.

Why was he here?

The question rings in his head on repeat while his eyes stare at the thumbs thrusting towards his vision in slow motion. That doesn't seem right. He wouldn't just calmly and slowly bring them in to him like that, would he?

'Oh. I guess this is what they call a near-death experience.'

Funny that he should be able to think that so clearly when things such as his reasons for being here escape his mental grasp.

But to hell with it.

The redhead's head suddenly sweeps down, so quickly and suddenly that it might almost seem like he was slumping down again in a loss of control of his own faculties. But he doesn't fall the rest of the way even after he's slipped down below Whitney's arms. ONe foot stubbornly presses itself down against the floor to force his body to not be taken by gravity, while the other-- that one presses back against the wall behind him.


A surge of stubborn motion brings his arms crossing in front of his head -- and an explosion takes place at his feet. An explosion to launch his body forward, while a thick layer of energy flashes into being from his arms to coat his entire front. It's more visible than during his first charge at the man, like a riot shield suddenly held in front of him, made from burning psionic energy.

One that flies straight at him from point blank.

COMBATSYS: Whitney fails to counter Blazing Slam EX from Daisuke with Dreams Deferred.

[                    \\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Whitney          0/-------/----===|=======\==-----\1          Daisuke

Whitney Saulder felt it was time to end this.

The boy's charge looked simplistic. A rage fueled surge to cut down with the right applications of force. It was tiresome. It was plain. He would make this quick.

He swings forward, the weight of his body surging into the blasting young man. His hand open, ready, to grip and wring the air from the pseudo-shinobi's neck.

But there is brilliance to the survival instinct of young Daisuke. A power birthed from within that overcomes the dull, empty void of strength that is Saulder's simplistic abyssal presence.

The force of the energetic shield pushes hard, crashes through, and brings the big man hurtling through the stagnant air of the lower labs. Slamming into the wall, cracking barrier, plaster and drywall falling in dusty pieces to powder Saulder and the ground around him. A wheezing snap of fury escaping from the suited man, blood running rough down the corner of his down turned lip.

And most importantly, his cigarette falling from his ear to bounce off the tiled floor, falling to rest aside his shoe.

Daisuke goes right through the wall with him. But with the solidified psionic barrier formed around him - and Whitney in between him and the wall - he doesn't suffer much of the impact himself. Once through, he effectively bounces off of the older man, and into a roll across the floor, between the tables and shelves littering the lab the two ended up into.

'Can't stop--!' The thought rings through thr boy's head, both out of desperation and thr more analytical underdtanding that he can't waste this chance here. His roll across the floor ends in his hands and feet stamping onto the ground, anf skidding a fee inches further before he's swinging his weight back into a running start. To sprint right back to Whitney.

One hand extends out, and from the palm of it comes a burst of cyan energy -- forming a long beam of it that might have been *meant* to take the form of a seord, but remains too unstable to look like anything but a raging gout of oddly-colored flames. It comes with bright, glowing lines of energy along the exposed portion of the boy's head that may or may not correspond to veins in his skin -- steaming with a burning overflow his body wasn't designed to handle.


He brings the 'blade' low as he approaches, the tip reaching into the floor -- but without actually cutting through it. No- this isn't a weapon meant to rend flesh and bone. For all the lack of control Daisuke might have over his own powers, he has still miraculously managed to figure out ways to take people down without lethal damage.

Either way, the 'sword' gomes swinging in from low below, brought up to strike for Whitney in it's upward arc.

COMBATSYS: Daisuke successfully hits Whitney with Blazing Slash.

[                         \\\\\  < >  ///////////////               ]
Whitney          0/-------/----===|=======\===----\1          Daisuke

A shattering slice. Yet without the physical release of blood spraying into the open. The truth of pain. The sanctity of feeling lost in the cripple pain of empty psionic unconsciousness. A thrumming threat to Whitney Saulder. Something that infuriates him more than some lost struggle. Robbing him of his knowledge. Taking away his seeing the truth of this self-deluded child.

He falls back, stumbling again into a wall. His ragged dress shirt torn wide, exposing his chest and the purple crosswork of bruising that covers his torso. With the fight against Kasumi, Whitney Saulder knows he doesn't have the physical ability to continue his rampage. It was, in his estimation, a poorly calculated risk.

Even he can make mistakes.

With a final, furious rush, the big American reaches for Daisuke. He hurls the whole of his body toward the young man. The rush is, simply put, a crippling demonstration of raw power. Hands with crushing force seek out a windpipe to squeeze. He swings his forehead down to knock the sense from the young man's head. A knee aiming for the small of the stomach to drive what ai is within Daisuke out into the world. A roaring tackle and brutalizing series of simple maneuvers. It is all the killer has left. All he can throw.

While nearby, files sit on the ground, details for a plan, seeds for a chaotic plant to grow from. The real importance of the moment.

COMBATSYS: Whitney can no longer fight.

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

COMBATSYS: Daisuke blocks Whitney's Savage Grapple.

[                   \\\\\\\\\\\  <
Daisuke          1/=======/=======|

The vaguely blade-shaped mass of psionic energy shatters nearly the instant it impacts with Whitney. But it's enough-- it was never purely about the physical contact in the first place.

Unfortunately, the backlash is still a very physical sensation for Daisuke while he is skidding past the older man. The boy can feel sparks through the arm that swung out the attack, like daggers being formed into creation in his center and trying to push their way out from within.

"Gh-- I--" He at least has the sense to turn around as quickly as he can, with the expectancy that his effort might very well not be the last strike of this fight.

He didn't expect Whitney to come lunging at him so quickly, however.


In that moment, it's all he can do to react at all. His left hand snaps up to try and intercept the hands aiming for his throat. Slamming a palm against that incoming grip to try and block the way to his breathways. While he does manage to ward off that fatal hold....

Whitney is simply stronger.



For all the determination he puts into it, there's not much he can do to dampen the force or the leverage. The price he pays for avoiding a crushed windpipe is the bones of two of his fingers crunching before the digits twist into ways they are not naturally meant to.

Before the skulls of the two collide, his other hand holds a palm out towards the assassin's chest. He doesn't have the focus or the time to send out any energy that would function as a counterattack, but there is a push of telekinetic force that leverages him aside and careening off. Daisuke himself is sent flying aside by the recoil, crashing through a desk or two while Whitney is left to collapsing.

"Ghuh..." The masked redhead has to take a moment to pull himself back up again. For all the stubborn survival instinct he managed to channel out, he's wrung out and hurt. Dizzied. After all that, he's practically moving through the office in automation. Not even thinking about pulling an abandoned jacket off one of the office chairs and stamping a foot down on it to let him tear a strip of fabric off. Not thinking about tying the same strip around his snapped fingers and tighten them to his middle finger. Not thinking about walking dizzied, bloodied self back to the hallway after.

...Or even thinking about thoughtlessly picking up the abandoned folder and sticking it under his jacket before moving on deeper into the tower. Does he even realize he is picking it up? No. His body is moving on it's own. He might very well not even remember he did as much until well after everything has blown over.

Presuming he survives that long with just his stubborn selfless ideals alone.

Log created on 12:00:14 07/18/2022 by Whitney, and last modified on 11:36:17 10/16/2022.