Rugal - Tale of Two Kings: To The Pain

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Description: With Heihachi returning from his vacation, Fujimura moves to settle some debts and earn goodwill for her boss. The Owl instructs one of the Hawks under her command, Takawashi, to investigate mysterious disappearances at one of the Mishima Zaibatsu's weapon facilities. When he arrives, he soon discovers the cursed Vinnie Romero has descended upon the shadows of the facility, snatching the mercenaries to feed the Innocent. And with Vinnie being nearly immortal, he is forced to commit unspeakable acts to protect his soul... and appease the Vengeful Child before she takes the Tekken Force squad as an offering.


"After securing our assets in the Business District, we will consolidate the projects that are still relevant to Heihachi-sama's vision and liquidate those that no longer concern us. With Duke Burkoff gone and the various Yakuza clans going to ground, we have an opportunity to bring the influence of the Zaibatsu back to its former glory."

It was easy to mistake the Zaibatsu's most powerful woman for some sort of robot or android. Not only was Fujimura's soft voice mechanical, but her face remained expressionless, her body and the skirt suit she wore lit up by the various screens that showed parts of Southtown behind her. Her posture was all too perfect, her hands folded demurely behind her back. She had a pistol in a holster at her hip, which offset her whole style, but she barely ever touched it.

"Takawashi," she addressed one of her Hawks, the Tekken Force's highest position before Owl. Hawks wore red where the Crows wore black and the Falcons wore gray, and they answered only to their Owl, one of the five ranks of Heihachi's Parliament, a rank Fujimura held. She was not only the first woman to hold the position, she was the youngest, and for many ambitious Hawks who had put their name forward, this success left a bitter taste in their mouths.

"There are reports of Crows assigned to our armanents assembly facility disappearing throughout the past several weeks," she told him. "One of the Crows report having seen the ghost of a little girl, and another has reported seeing an unathorized man on the premises. You will head there, take command of the armanents assembly facility and eliminate any threats in the vicinity."

It was easy to mistake Fujimura for a robot, but Takawashi was able to see the challenge in her eyes.


The facility is on high alert. The alarms aren't blaring anymore, but red lights flash over and over again. Vinnie's glad for the silence. It made the place feel less like Hell. The broken body of the man in black armor writhes in his grip, gloved hands wrapping around Vinnie's wrists to try and pry them off his skull. His wide eyes stare into Vinnie's own, tears spilling down his face, his brain's way of trying to soothe him, to get him through this moment.

Vinnie wishes the tears helped, but he found out decades ago they were useless, especially as his own dry and dreary eyes lift over the Crow's head to the ghost of the Innocent, watching him with a smile on her face that Vinnie despises. He won't say anything to the man. What use would that be? He does him the only favor he can now and breaks his neck with a flick of his wrists, watching the body spill to the ground.

"I'm done for a while. He was the last one," Vinnie tells the Innocent, and when she begins to giggle, his jaw clenches, muscles he didn't know he had twitching with fury.


There was a time when Takawashi would have been the second greatest soldier that had ever served in the Tekken Force.

The lean, muscled man with the thick eyebrows and burning stare had a violent and burning spirit, and arrogance around him that gave him a reputation of both hubris and excellence, a thin tightrope that he balanced on through the own strength of ambition. There was a time when he would have been chosen for the Parliament. There was a time when he would have the wind god fist of Heihachi Mishima. There was a time where he would be one of the leaders, a guide and commander that would direct the forces of Japan, the will of his master.

But instead, this was a time when Fujimura was his superior instead.

Takawashi could think of a hundred thousand different choices for the betterment and furthering of the Mishima Zaibatsu's well being than being a janitor to clean up missing Crows. Especially on what amounts to what is called 'ghost busting' duty. He had thousands of opinions, hundreds of slurs about the choice of command.

But Takawashi would still carry it out to the best of his ability.

Takawashi arrived, brought every Falcon at the facility to his office, and collected as much information he could. When he reviewed their reports, he believes them. A Crow had seen a little girl who seemed like a ghost, and there was another man who was on the premises in an unauthorized manner. He would not belittle the reports, no. The reality was that men had gone missing, morale had fallen because of the rumored hauntings, and more importantly, the same loss of morale was causing significant manpower loss on the actual factory-workers side of things. Takawashi was not interested in the rumors, not directly. What he was interested in was where the sightings were, any patterns. Maps of the facility, passages, access points. There was a problem in the facility.

He would solve it, with a nearly perfect scheme.

The alarms came preemptively. Takawashi did false pairs, as a mean of triggering a rapid alert. Keep two men paired off, but far enough away where one could not assist the other. When a Crow disappeared, that triggered the mobilization. To say that morale sunk even further was an understatement, since Takawashi was all but declaring he was going to sacrifice one more man to resolve this problem. But it worked. When a man disappeared, it was reported in a seconds, not minutes. The alarms came on, to mobilize. And more importantly, the maps, reporting back to a team lead by a Falcon. Operations and direction. Where the attacker struck, and how many points he had to escape. Circles drawn on the map, round and round. Crosses as Falcons take their men to block off escapes. Careful chatter on the radio, as Takawashi himself took a hand-picked selection of the finest Crows, with a single Falcon for support. Moving through, in full combat gear, rifles trained down, the team of seven moves steadily through the Service Tunnels. The other end was sealed off. There was no way out.

A voice rises up.

'He was the last one,' followed by giggling. Found him. There would be one opportunity for sound. Takawashi had a nearly flawless plan to finally catch his prey. He murmurs the signal to the operations team. The only warning of what would come next, was the red alarm lights stopping. Ichi. Ni. San. And there is a sudden surge of movement and sound, as the full force begins to rush towards the source of the words and giggling, as the nightvision visors activate.

As the lights of that part of the facility immediately shut off, casting everything into the pitch darkness.

Seeing in the dark isn't an ability Vinnie actually possesses. While the Innocent's vast psionic powers granted Vinnie strength, reflexes, and especially durability beyond that of any normal man, when all the lights go out he's the only one in that tunnel blind. But Vinnie's stopped being afraid of the dark a long time ago. In some ways, it's a comfort, as the Innocent no longer is in his line of sight. Even with their nightvision goggles, the squad approaching him doesn't see her, only the lone man standing over the body of their comrade, looking sightlessly at nothing.

She can see them, though, the Innocent. She watches them even now as they approach the tool of her vengeance. Vinnie hears them but doesn't bother turning. He's given up before she's even had any satisfaction at all, really. The Innocent is ancient, though, and had learned long ago that warfare wasn't always physical, wasn't always substantial. Sometimes, warfare is more than just blood and iron. If any of the men could see her now, they'd see her smiling.

They hear her instead.


Their radios play the haunting song, a little girl's voice a dirge over their radios, laced with static with sporadic volume that somehow enhances the melody rather than ruins it. Whatever terrible cliche the Innocent is trying to unleash here, her other goal is fulfilled by Vinnie finally, finally turning to look at the men hunting him head on, or at least face their direction, eyes blinded by the dark scanning it with a grim frown plastered across his dreary features.

"You should run," he tells them. He means it as a warning, not a threat, but the resigned, exhausted way he says it isn't enough to convey that at all.

Don't be afraid.

Falcons and Crows become afraid, when dealing with the supernatural. But Takawashi was convinced there was no supernatural. Everything was natural. Nothing existed outside of it. Vinnie was just a man. He used misdirection and subfertuge to confuse and control his men, the facility. The girl? The giggling, the radio hijacking? Even as the gallop of feet slow down, even as the charge ceases from his soldiers, Takawashi does not even let the terror grip his heart. They don't -see- the ghost, but they hear her. But for Takawashi, the fact he doesn't see the ghost only strengthens his resolve more.

It really was all a trick.

The shape of the corpse banishes the remainder of the fear into hot anger. A corpse, yes. A body. Death. This man brought death, a murderer, an ambush predator. He slows down, as the other men start to hesitate. Takawashi is cautious, slow, winding up his rifle. Takawashi's radio was giving him away, the music revealing how close he was. Clever. But it was too close now, for clever to work. Oh, he hears the warning. But he made up his mind. He was going to stop this nightmare right. "It's too late to run." Is all Takawashi gives out as he attempts to take control back from this guile, this trickery, as he attempts to give Vinnie a swift rifle-butt to the head.

Unaware of the message garbled from Operations, unable to penetrate the ghost's haunting song.

COMBATSYS: Takawashi has started a fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Takawashi        0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Tekken Force has joined the fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Takawashi        0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0     Tekken Force

COMBATSYS: Vinnie has joined the fight here on the top side.

                 [ ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Vinnie           0|-------|-------
[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Takawashi        0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0     Tekken Force

COMBATSYS: Takawashi successfully hits Vinnie with Black Eye.

                 [    |||||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Vinnie           0|-------|-----==
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Takawashi        0/-------/-----==|-------\-------\0     Tekken Force


The blow catches Vinnie right in the face, causing his head to snap backwards before the rest of his body follows. The bloody-handed man hits the ground with a thud, having tripped over the corpse of their compatriot, and for a moment he DOES see, though it's just the static he presumes are the stars old cartoon characters are supposed to be seeing when they're knocked silly like that. The pain is there and all encompassing, but pain's long been something Vinnie's lost any real concern over. He's okay with this, being beat down. Why not?

But the Innocent isn't. Others are trying to get a status report, but the radios belong to her, now. And when she sees Vinnie's on the ground, she decides something has to be done about that, too. The body he spilled over is pulled by an unseen force from underneath his legs, and he groans in protest when he realizes what's happening. He struggles to his feet, but the body is lifted up and off the ground into the air, before being flung right into Takawashi's direction violently.

COMBATSYS: Takawashi blocks Vinnie's Large Thrown Object.

                 [    |||||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Vinnie           1|-------|=======
[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Takawashi        0/-------/---====|-------\-------\0     Tekken Force

It was supposed to be perfect.

As Takawashi delivers the coup de grace, the illusion was meant to end. The nightmare was over. The intruder was smacked down, humbled. As he stands over him, he doesn't even register the girl in the darkness. How could he? Holding his gun defiantly over the man, there is a shout. The Hawk turns, and sees the remains of the missing Crow rise up, and slams into him. Bringing his gun in front of him, the weapon is broken in half as the mercenary commander is sent smashing back into the wall of the tunnel. Grunting in pain, Takawashi bellows out over the radio interference.

"Get him!"

Panic breaks out, discipline strains. The Commandos start throwing themselves at Vinnie, the man now feeling the weight of the soldiers bearing down on the haunted victim. They were still straining to hold onto this belief that this was all normal. Ignorant of the darkness, of the Innocent. Not even rationalizing how the corpse, maybe it was that psycho power? Maybe. The soldier pile on Vinnie, as Takawashi steadies himself out, dropping the remains of the broken gun. As he focuses, the voice cuts through the radio interference.

"... Sec..... ...get... ...owe..."

Takawashi taps his radio, trying to break through the singing as the Tekken Force team struggling to try and restrain and subdue Vinnie in the darkness.

When dimly, the emergency red lights flicker back on.

COMBATSYS: Takawashi focuses on his next action.

                 [    |||||||||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Vinnie           1|-------|=======
[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Takawashi        0/-------/----===|-------\-------\0     Tekken Force

COMBATSYS: Vinnie endures Tekken Force's Dogpile Takedown.

                 [          |||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Vinnie           1|---====|=======
[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Takawashi        0/-------/----===|=------\-------\0     Tekken Force

When the first soldier crashes into Vinnie, he sends the former gangster into the floor. As the others begin to subdue and bring him down, he can feel their bodies crushing him, putting immense strain on his bones. He can feel his breath stolen away. He's suffocating, his body reflexively sending futile signals to his brain. He gasps for air that doesn't come, but his heart doesn't beat any faster. No, it slows, it calms.

This is fine. He could use a break, anyway.

When the lights flicker on, Vinnie's bleary eyes catch sight of the Innocent staring down at him, her body seeming to cling to the ceiling. Her eyes are accusing.


She doesn't so much as speak as conveys that message coherently to Vinnie with eye-contact alone, and then an immense pyschokinetic explosion with Vinnie as its epicenter is unleashed in an attempt to send those on top of him violently in every direction.

COMBATSYS: Vinnie successfully hits Tekken Force with Vengeful Innocence.

                 [          |||||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Vinnie           0|-------|---====
[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////       ]
Takawashi        0/-------/----===|======-\-------\0     Tekken Force

As the light returns, so does the horror.

As the forces struggle to subdue Vinnie, Takawashi looks at Vinnie's expression. Whether or not he looked fatigued didn't matter, it was what he was looking at. The Hawk's eyes cast upwards, following the gaze, and he sees her. The Innocent. The 'ghost' that was discussed before. Takawashi glances back down at Vinnie. "Get off him! Get off-"

Too late.

The dogpile is sent spinning, hurtling outwards. Some of the men land on the ground, tumbling down the tunnel back the way they came. Two of them smash into the ceiling; stunned on impact, they land with a sickening crack on the second impact on the floor. Takawashi curses as he drags one of them back up. Staggering towards Vinnie, he- he hesitates, being cautious. His plan had the intention to not have any serious fighting back. He pulls another one of the soldiers up. With one more having self-recovered, Takawashi finally rushes at Vinnie with three more. "Get rid of the girl! Now! Or we'll kill you!" Takawashi growls as the three men attempt to beat Vinnie down with their rifle butts. Takawashi himself keeps at the wings, looking up at the Innocent as he attempts a kick on Vinnie, an opportunistic blow to the ribs. He glances back down the way he came, where two more of the soldiers were struggling to rise, as the interference continues to hiss on the radio. Maybe it was better to retreat.

Maybe the men could cover his retreat.

COMBATSYS: Takawashi successfully hits Vinnie with Light Kick.

                 [            |||||||||||||||||| ]
                 Vinnie           0|-------|--=====
[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////       ]
Takawashi        0/-------/---====|======-\-------\0     Tekken Force

COMBATSYS: Tekken Force successfully hits Vinnie with Quick Weapon Butt.

                 [              |||||||||||||||| ]
                 Vinnie           0|-------|=======
[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////       ]
Takawashi        0/-------/---====|======-\-------\0     Tekken Force

When Takawashi's eyes lift and meet the Innocent's, she smiles her smile at him.

Vinnie doesn't get to his feet immediately. No, Takawashi's kick, as light as it was, crashes into his rib, and then the other men begin beating on him, too, even as he finally makes an effort to defend himself with arms lifting up to try and absorb the blows.

His defense is quickly overwhelmed and the blows land where they will anyway. He can feel one of those ribs snap and give, and it causes him to wheeze, but he rolls onto his hands and knees.

'Get rid of the girl', their boss says. If only. 'We'll kill you,' he says. A guy can dream. But Vinnie doesn't know these men, and doesn't know if they deserve to die. If killing a few saves the many? Whatever justification Vinnie makes, he's lurching forward, trying to tackle one of the three goons still standing to the ground if he can, and if he does, his head and that guy's head starts getting acquainted, over and over, with enough kinetic force to make short work of the Tekken Force helmet he wears.

COMBATSYS: Vinnie successfully hits Tekken Force with Tighten the Screws.

                 [               ||||||||||||||| ]
                 Vinnie           1|------=|=======
[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////            ]
Takawashi        0/-------/---====|=======\==-----\1     Tekken Force

Takawashi didn't want answer anymore.

The entire plan was getting out of control. Men were being- were being humilated? No, he was being humilated. And for what. Solving a security issue? Maybe this was a trap by Fujimura, to punish him. To build herself up. To belittle him. Terror begins to seep into his heart as he staggers back, Vinnie still refusing to drop. INstead, up close, the Falcon is seized by Vinnie. For a moment, he assumed that the headbutt attempt would be shortlived. But. But it breaks through. It breaks the armor. Takawashi's face contorts in horror. Maybe it was a machine. Maybe this was a cyborg, a psychic-cyborg wit ha ghost and-

there was no ghost.


What did all mean!? But the other men move slowly, their nightvision failing. As they return back, still cast in the dim red light, they look at their former Falcon in horror. When the man is finally released? His helmet and face is a singular unity, a horrible mess of flesh and shatter-proof glass. Takawashi falls back, arm held up. The other two soldiers bring around their rifles, as does the other standing two. Four men, plus Takawashi. Once the man drops? So does Takawashi's arm.

"Open Fire!"

The carbine rifles begin to unleash a barrage, a wave of lead and heat attempting to rip down Vinnie. They wouldn't let him live. He couldn't, he had to stop this. He must stop this. Takawashi suddenly sparks a thought. The barrage pulls up, as he points to the ceiling.

"SHOOT AT HER!" He bellows, as the gunfire shifts to the ghost girl on the ceiling.

COMBATSYS: Takawashi assists Tekken Force.

                 [               ||||||||||||||| ]
                 Vinnie           1|------=|=======
[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////            ]
Takawashi        0/-------/----===|=======\==-----\1     Tekken Force

COMBATSYS: Vinnie endures Tekken Force's Strong Weapon Fire.

                 [                    |||||||||| ]
                 Vinnie           1|--=====|=======
[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////            ]
Takawashi        0/-------/----===|=======\===----\1     Tekken Force

Bullets were an old familiar friend of Vinnie's, and the barrage of lead paints the floor beneath him in blood, causing him to buckle over the unlucky Falcon who's face has become a pulp beneath him.

Come on, you assholes. Just a little more and Vinnie can get some sleep. Just a little more.

And then Takawashi decides to pull the guns off Vinnie and lift them to the Innocent, who stares at the weapons with a birdlike tilt of her head.

The bullets rip into her the same way they ripped into Vinnie. There's blood and everything, although its black, and unlike her constant companion, she doesn't buckle or react to it.

"Don't," Vinnie asks, but his voice is low under the gunfire, and the Tekken Force probably can't hear him.

But he wasn't talking to them.

The Innocent descends from the ceiling, floating down with outstretched arms reaching for one of the men near Takawashi. And if she touches him, it would be fortunate his armor covers his body, because he'd go pale, and start leaking blood out of his eyes, ears and nostris.

COMBATSYS: Tekken Force blocks Vinnie's Pocket Full of Posies.

                 [                    |||||||||| ]
                 Vinnie           0|-------|----===
[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////              ]
Takawashi        0/-------/----===|=======\=====--\1     Tekken Force

One of the soldiers almost escapes the touch.

Swinging his rifle, he pulls away. He trains the gun on her. Body shuddering. It was just a wing. Just a graze. He continues to shudder. The rifle falls from his hand, as he starts to claw at his helmet. Falling backwards, he makes a muffled screaming sound, before he finally tears off his helmet. Blood. Blood from his nose, eyes, ears. It was just a touch. Just a graze. Just a little red

His screams cut short as the gurgling smothers it.

Takawashi comes in from behind, attempting to use the confusion to disable Vinnie. Should he get his arm around, he would make a triangle choke, and lock in place. He had to be dead. Nobody could take that much gunfire and live. Nobody. Not one person. One of the soldiers was backing away, continuing to level his rifle at the ghost. He tries to take an opening, tries a burst fire. Try and kill her. Try and kill her. But not Takawashi. He was still focused on shutting down. The ghost had to be real. That's okay. Everything is fine. If he stopped the intruder, then the ghost would go away. Even as the static rips through. He would just squeeze, ignoring the blood, squeeze and pin him.


Takawashi's eyes widen in horror.

Unless he's possessed.

And if he is disabled, she would possess someone else.

COMBATSYS: Tekken Force takes no action.

                 [                    |||||||||| ]
                 Vinnie           0|-------|----===
[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////              ]
Takawashi        0/-------/----===|=======\=====--\1     Tekken Force

COMBATSYS: Vinnie fails to interrupt Nighty-Night from Takawashi with Violent Clinching.

                 [                     ||||||||| ]
                 Vinnie           0|-------|----===
[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////              ]
Takawashi        0/-------/--=====|=======\=====--\1     Tekken Force

The corridor becomes just a little messier as one Falcon unleashes a storm of bullets into the Innocent, causing her to stop pursuing the one she grazed and look down at herself. She looks back up at him, making a choking noise, more bile rising from her throat as she begins to drift in his direction at a leisurely pace, smiling through black-spattered lips.

Vinnie's about to get up. This has to end, and maybe he can forgive himself just a little if he stops it himself. But then arms come around him and he grabs for them, his expression contorting. He's never been great with holds and grapples and it shows. He staggers to his feet and tries to rip the man off him with brute strength alone, but he just can't get ahold of him.

His distress causes the Innocent pause, and she turns to Vinnie but makes no effort to save him, watching with gleaming eyes.

For a moment, he stares at the ghost, rifle trained at her.

Pulling the rifle away, he withdraws. The Crow retreats. Fleeing. Running. Takawashi's mind was a blur. Ghosts. Whatever happened next- was he supposed to run away? No. He couldn't run away. As he struggles to subdue him, absolute terror seizes Takawashi fully. He could be next. He would be next. As Vinnie agonizes, he looks up at the ghost, and the- the gleam. It wasn't hate. Anger. The other soldier, the last one that had a rifle fight, turns to stare at the man his commander held. He levels the gun at Vinnie's head. Takawashi stares at the ghost.

And he suddenly understands.

"DON'T SHOOT HIM!" Howls Takawashi. "Hit him!" He bellows at the last soldier with the gun. "Make it-" He stares at the ghost girl. And he almost- he doesn't fully understand why he says it like this. But the thought felt so natural, so warm. With the man in his hands, a very tough man, but a horrible man who murdered and killed. And the ghost girl. He didn't understand why he said these words. But with the death and despair and horror in the dim red light, he states his command firmly, as the songs rasps through the radio.

"Make it hurt."

The Crow knew how to make it hurt. You use the thumbs, to make it hurt. Letting go of the rifle to hang from its sling, he takes his hands, and attempts to drive those thumbs into the eyes of Vinnie. Takawashi trembles, staring at the ghost girl. Make it hurt. He takes his hand, and attempts to force it into Vinnie's mouth. He would bite; he could bite. But he would pull at the jaw, drag it back, grabbing the teeth and gums, to keep pulling as the other would drive his thumbs into the eyes. Until he pulled the teeth from the roots, if he had to. Takawashi wouldn't break his gaze from the ghost. He would just stare in horror. IN horror. In horror, in desperate, he would make it hurt. He had to.

It wouldn't be worth it if it wasn't.

COMBATSYS: Vinnie endures Takawashi's Quick Throw!
COMBATSYS: Vinnie refuses to stay down!

                 [                       ||||||| ]
                 Vinnie           0|-------|---====
[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////               ]
Takawashi        0/-------/--=====|=======\===----\1     Tekken Force

COMBATSYS: Vinnie endures Tekken Force's Cutthroat Tactics.

                 [                         ||||| ]
                 Vinnie           0|-------|--=====
[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////               ]
Takawashi        0/-------/--=====|=======\====---\1     Tekken Force

COMBATSYS: Vinnie has left the fight here.

[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////               ]
Takawashi        0/-------/--=====|=======\====---\1     Tekken Force

COMBATSYS: Vinnie successfully hits Takawashi with Improvised Slam.

[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////               ]
Takawashi        1/-----==/=======|=======\====---\1     Tekken Force

Vinnie's eyes lift up at the Crow as he's all but strangled, his breath becoming wheezes, his once dry eye wet from the pain. He closes his eyes, ready to accept the bullet and have a vacation from this place. One Hell to another. He won't mind. But then Takawashi speaks and gives that command, his eyes open and he fixes a hard stare at the Crow standing over him.

Vinnie's no stranger to torture. It never was his style. He'd break a few arms and legs, but it wasn't his style. But he's endured it, made enemies over the years who would torture him when they found out it was more effective than murder. Vinnie deserves it. He know he deserves it. He wants punishment, really, as much as he doesn't.

But it doesn't hide the hatred he has for his tormentors, for the Crow, for the leader behind him, for the Innocent. He hated them all, and he fought with everything he had to make them feel the hatred too. He bites, he screams with fury and pain, and he never goes unconscious. It isn't until he's dead and his face is ruined does he stop fighting. The Innocent makes eye contact with Takawashi the whole time, and her smile only ever grows more delighted. When Vinnie dies, she just is gone. There's no fading away, she's just gone.

It's horrible.

Takawashi never actually tortured a man with his bare hands. He has directed physical interrogations. But the feeling he had when he had a man in pain, caused directly by his hands, was not a rush of power or dominance. It was horrible. And when that man started biting back, he just grips harder. Killing a man by torturing him with your bare hands was a horrible, horrible experience. And to do it while staring into the eyes of a ghost, who enjoyed every moment of it. A young girl.

Who wanted him to hurt.

It felt like an eternity before Vinnie died. Takawashi didn't even realize it until until the ghost went away. When he felt the broken jaw hanging loose, he wrenched his hand gingerly from the maw. It was bloodied and torn; healing was going to horrible too. But once he and the Crow released the man, Takawashi staggered back, and leaned against the wall, gradually sitting down. He was staring, trembling. Of the team of seven, only two remained in any rational condition. The rest were unconscious, or even dead from the strength of Vinnie. Or the unlucky ones, who were mad from the psychic assault of the ghost child, like the man who was still bleeding, still howling and babbling. Takawashi was about to snap. Everything that has happened, the fear, the failure... The lone Crow begins to inspect the dead Vinnie. Takawashi suddenly jerks forward.

"No- stop he-"

The Hawk pauses, and clears his throat, fixing his composure. "Help the wounded, get a medical evac here. Forget about this- this thing." The Crow salutes, and begins to radio back. Takawashi stares at the unmoving Vinnie, waiting for him to get back up at any time. He can't stop shaking. Part of him feels he needs to discipline the soldier who fled. But why did this happen. Why was any of this happening. Why was this man, this thing preying on the men. Why here. What lead it to come here... The radio crackles. Voices come in now. Why wasn't he reporting back. Weakly, he speaks into the communicator. "There was something hacking the radio feed. We couldn't hear anything. Why did the emergency backup come on-"

"Fujimaru needs to speak to you, on your target."

There is a long, strained pause."

"Connect her through, then." Takawashi states in a strained tone.

"Takawashi," Fujimura greets over the line.

Her mechanical voice is a sharp contrast to the ghost's, devoid of song and glee. She's speaking Japanese, too.

"Deliver the remains of the American to the shrine of Raiden at Mount Fuji," the woman instructs. She calls him the American, as if she was aware of the man's identity the whole time. "Your men are to keep the events they witnessed tonight classified. Those who cannot be trusted, you will eliminate."

She doesn't bother telling him to disturb the footage. Where she is, back at the Operations center, showed the footage was all but useless to them. Most of the feed was static, and the nursery rhyme the Innocent sang distorted all the audio as well. Whatever she had heard about Vinnie she would have to confirm later in the debriefing. There's a long silence, before she adds, in that same emotionless voice:

"You have served me well, Takawashi. I hope to continue to rely on you."

It is emotionless, isn't it? There's no taunt in it, right? There's no slight?

She doesn't wait for a reply.

Takawashi begins to feel numb.

Its a crawling, creeping despair, in the shape of absolute rage, but too shocked to actually form into actionable anger. At the moment where Takawashi was barely understanding what had happened, and yet, here was Fujimaru. His commander. Telling him to dispose of the body at Mt. Fuji to Raiden. Like she already knew what he would find. Like she already knew what was happening.

Like she already knew what would happen.

Takawashi looks at the corpses of the men who died to carry out a vision that Takawashi cannot see. He cannot see what this does for the Mishima Zaibatsu. And Fujimaru has no interest in explaining why. Only that if the word got out, if any of these men talked about it, he would have to kill them. All there was loyalty. And Takawashi lived for loyalty to the Zaibatsu. There is no reply, as he stares at Vinnie. He would carry out his mission, as it was his duty. But.

He considers, for a moment, if there was a better duty to give his loyalty to.

The moment takes a long time.

And longer still, before he moves to finish up his mission. He couldn't tell anybody about this mission.

But there was going to be something he needed to tell his old friend, on how much more blood he was going to take.

Log created on 11:28:40 09/23/2022 by Rugal, and last modified on 16:46:57 09/26/2022.