LLK Act IV.Fin - Fin : Rage Against the Machine

Description: Shadaloo sends a tank and a troop of soldiers to seize the Geese Tower lobby! Sadly they didn't have the budget to send competent or sane soldiers; instead they stuck lunatics in a tank, handed others assault rifles, pointed them at Cherise and Nagase, and prayed. Their prayers were not answered.

A large, beautiful lobby in a tower like this is typically filled with people that work in the building. People that carry legitimate, honest jobs and pass through the halls of Geese Tower without a care in the world. In this tower, a lot of business is conducted.

Lately, however, that is not the case.

Looking a little battered and discarded, the regular secretary at the desk near the elevators has taken time off due to the city of Southtown becoming a war zone, and maintenance will have a field day by the time they're allowed back in. Still, this does not deter one of the less-than-legitimate employees in Geese Howard's employ. Case in point, Cherise Bouchard.

Seated on that desk with her legs crossed, facing the entrance, the musician looks too well-dressed to be in the heart of a massive inter-factional war zone. Clad in a white blouse, a short black canvas skirt, and knee-high boots, she holds a magazine in her hands, squinting at the writing.

Engrossed, even.

A hand lifts to tuck a length of her silvery hair back behind her ear, the bracelets around her wrists shifting with each movement. Outside, a dog barks, another series of car alarms goes off, and newspapers take the place of tumbleweeds. For the city officials, this is perhaps one of the worst periods in the history of Southtown. For the French girl on the desk, it's yet another weekday.

NESTS and Shadaloo and 'R', oh my! Everyone's got an axe to grind with Geese Howard, lately, and the fact that they're taking it out on Southtown kinda blows. All that being said, it's meant that Iga ninja Nagase has had more than enough to keep her busy. In fact, she's spent most her her time right here in Geese Tower. Why? The war out there isn't just on the physical front. Sitting with her legs up in a cramped server room, slamming Jolt and the occasional thing of Bagel Bites (when pizza's on a bagel? You can have pizza anytime. True story!), maintaining the integrity of the firewall and all sorts of other nonsensical pseudo-IT lingo that means foiling hacking attempts and keeping the records of less... legitimate Howard Enterprises business out of the hands of evildoers. Or, perhaps, evil-erdoers.

Sadly, intel says that the invaders are going to make one last push into the tower, the city, and damn near everything else, because they are SORE LOSERS. That or they want to get home and watch all the stuff they've TiVoed. Either way, it means that the various remaining strong points for Geese's syndicate need defending, and Geese Tower itself has a variety of defenders. At the ground level, the lovely Miss Bouchard is supposed to be accompanied by the Shinjuku-styled technoninja.

Who's not here.

A few minutes pass.

Without any warning or explanation, a ceiling tile in the lobby rattles, moves out of place, and then falls onto the floor with a loud clatter. Upside-down, Nagase swings down, hanging from the hole in the ceiling this impromptu entrance has provided and looking around. She's also taking bites out of a Snickers bar, because she's going to need the sugar and carbs. "They here yet?" she asks, between mouthfuls of candy.

They say that housekeeping is like being caught in a revolving door. That's why when Shadaloo comes to clean house at the Geese Tower, they wisely decide to have a big fucking tank show them the way in. The fancy glass and metal portal to the building's lobby doesn't stand a chance.

After demolishing a good majority of the already-damaged entrance with a floor-rattling collision, the Charybdis skids to a halt in the center of the marbled lobby. After a moment where the vehicle is still, and partially obscured by all the dust and debris kicked up by it's explosive arrive, the tank raises itself up off it's treads, revealing it's true form as a sort of stubby biped mech. Behind the tank, a whole mess 'o drab Shadaloo shock troops swarm into the room into tightly-regimented formations and ready their weapons.

A tinny, vaguely British-tinged voice commands from the Charybdis commands the legions standing behind it: "SECURE THE AREA AT ONCE!" The turret of the weapon swings to the side, training on the two women, "I've got to go swat down a couple of bothersome flies."

"Sir, yes sir!" replies one of the assault troopers bearing a rank insignia on his Shadaloo-issued body armor. "You heard the man," the Lieutenant calls out to platoon of hi-tech soldiers at his back, the best equipped and most highly trained cannon-fodder Vega-Bucks can buy. "Secure the perimeter! Prepare to fire upon any target that does not comply!" The thunderous sound of armored boots striking the fancy marble floor of Geese Tower's lobby in unison rings out loudly through the room as the storm troopers file out to surround the women in a half circle two men deep. The first row of soldiers each drop to a knee with their fancy gauss rifles cocked and locked, with the second row standing close behind and ready to rock. The final steps of the shock troops ring out in silence as they quickly assume their positions to the last man. For a brief moment a tense falls over the Tower lobby.

Tension. Quiet. Hanging ninjas.

As Nagase drops from nowhere, the wire-slinging assassin continues leafing through page after page of her magazine, thinking about things that only she would ever make sense of; music, a review of her work as one of Geese Howard's people, K', and dinner plans with Mao-- if she's free.

Be it nonchalance or straight-up, sheer -arrogance-, the French girl merely lifts a finger without looking up from her magazine, pointing to the tank that quite literally slams through the front doors and leaves a scattering of broken glass and death. Letting out a sigh, Cherise sets her hands on the edge of the desk and pushes off with a hop, heels of her boots slamming against the floor in echoing collisions.

Cherise smiles. "Excuse me~!"

Fingers weaving together behind her back, the silver-haired girl can only smile politely at the men and the tank, shifting her weight from one leg to the other. If she's all there or not is up to interpretation-- but right now, RIGHT NOW? She takes a few steps forward before hooking her arm around in a broad circle, fingers spreading out to release a wide set of blades from her fingertips; paper-thin razors of silver energy that tries to rip into the invaders and show them just how good the Geese Tower's hospitality is!

COMBATSYS: Cherise has started a fight here on the left meter side.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Cherise          0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Charybdis has joined the fight here on the right meter side.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Cherise          0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0        Charybdis

COMBATSYS: Invader2 has joined the fight here on the left meter side.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Cherise          0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0        Charybdis
[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Invader2         0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Invader2 has joined the fight here on the right meter side.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Cherise          0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0        Charybdis
                                  >  //////////////////////////////]
                                 |-------\-------\0         Invader2

Well, no sooner has Cherise responded nonchalantly to Nagase's question, has a giant technological marvel and a gang full of gun-toting yahoos made their appearance and, coincidentally, a complete and total mess of the Geese Tower lobby. Nagase, still hanging there, stuffs the rest of the candy bar in her mouth and chews rather too heartily, trying to stuff the last of her snack down so she can get down to business and start smashing things. "Man," she mutters, dusting off her hands as a Snickers wrapper floats gently down toward the ground. "One little turf war and look at property values in this neighboorhood. Right through the FLOOR. It's super depressing. War is so sad."

Suddenly, shurikens.

It's as if they were always in her hands, a fan of perfectly round, Catherine's wheel-like throwing stars that appear in Nagase's palms. Still hanging, the Iga scion starts hurling them into the crowd of mooks, moving her torso from left to right as she peppers the invaders with projectiles, making a "Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch!" noise like a lawn sprinkler before hitting the end of the arc, turning back to the starting point, and doing it a second time.

COMBATSYS: Nagase has joined the fight here on the left meter side.

[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Cherise          0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0        Charybdis
[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Nagase           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0         Invader2

No sooner do Nagase and Cherise whirl into action does the biped tank bring it's chain gun-capped arm upwards and across in a wide, arcing motion, indiscriminately spewing hot lead from the weapon's spinning barrels. The cacophony of copper casings hitting the floor beneath the tank is outpaced only by the dull roar of the shells tearing up the expensive Italian marble pillars that support the lobby. Somewhere in there the pilot makes an attempt to actually hit Cherise, but when you're firing about 1700 rounds a minute one's accuracy isn't exactly sterling. "HAVE AT YOU!" The pilot of the tank cries.

COMBATSYS: Invader2 blocks Cherise's Argent Claw.

[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Cherise          0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0        Charybdis
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////   ]
Nagase           0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0         Invader2

COMBATSYS: Nagase successfully hits Invader2 with Shooting Star.

[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Cherise          0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0        Charybdis
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////      ]
Nagase           0/-------/-------|===----\-------\0         Invader2

All eyes are on the French girl as she slips down off of the desk and saunters into the center of the circle of death, her boot heel rebounding off of the marble floor loudly. The Lieutenant's sharp eyes and battle hardened senses are locked on to the girl as she smiles. What is she planning? Is she surrendering? No one would be foolish enough to fight at a time like this, not when they're surrounded by a platoon of soldiers and one of the most advanced battle tanks ever created... would they?

"HIT THE DECK!" the officer bellows a split second before the thin blades of energy lance out toward the shock troops, decapitating a couple of the kneeling soldiers whose reactions weren't fast enough to put them prone on the ground with their peers. As the front row of storm troopers lie prone with their gauss rifles trained on the French girl the second row replaces them by taking a knee behind. "FIRE AT WILL!" the lieutenant roars, pointing at Cherise emphatically as he pulls a futuristic looking pistol from a holster on his hip to join in on the fun.

Unfortunately for the crack squad of soldiers, Cherise's flashy attack drew most of the focus away from the peppy ninja hanging above, and the barrage of shuriken bite into a good number of the kneeling troopers, sending them stumbling backwards in showers of sparks as the projectiles puncture their hi-tech body armor and leaving them writhing in pain on the cold marble floor of the lobby. Even as their comrades fall, the rest of the platoon unleash a barrage of lead upon the French girl; errant bullets sending up puffs of rubble as they strike the fancy marble columns and walls.

COMBATSYS: Cherise blocks Charybdis' Heavy Chain Gun.

[    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Cherise          0/-------/-----==|-------\-------\0        Charybdis
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////       ]
Nagase           0/-------/-------|==-----\-------\0         Invader2

COMBATSYS: Cherise parries Invader2's Killing Field!

[    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Cherise          0/-------/----===|-------\-------\0        Charybdis
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////       ]
Nagase           0/-------/-------|==-----\-------\0         Invader2

As the blades of silver energy leave her fingers, an odd twinge builds at the back of her neck. Her eyes widen, her smile pulls into a curved, psychotic arc. Her fingers twitch and wiggle as she assumes a readied stance-- though you couldn't tell without a simple glance, what with the way she seems relaxed. Then her pupils widen, dialating beyond what they should. Immediately constricting, the color of her irises has taken a noticable shift from blue to silver.

It's like she can 'see everything.' All five senses are sharper, and the clarity to which they all percieve... Taking a step back and gripping the large desk behind her, Cherise flips behind it and uses it much like a shield to stop or otherwise slow down some of the gunfire. Military grade firearms and furniture are not good bedfellows, however: Shots rip and rake through it, some grazing and taking shallow bits out of her arms and legs; bits of red burst from her side as she hisses through her teeth-- and then she laughs.

She laughs, laughs, and laughs.

Standing up from behind the desk, seemingly none the worse for wear, her fingers run along the bloody, ragged hole in the side of her blouse before they rise to her mouth. Licking them slowly, she puts her boot against what's left of the desk and breaks it into little more than a speedbump.

That's when the gunfire starts.

Ducking left and right, twisting here and there, Cherise seems to negotiate the gunfire from the infantrymen without a second thought. No new wounds come remotely close to landing on her-- and with one broad swipe of her right hand, a spark of silver energy reacts with the last burst of rounds flying toward her chest. It creates a loud, electric-like SNAP while her fingers close.

When her hand opens again, she drops those bullets, caught.

Lunging forward, her right arm swishes through the air, letting loose with a swish of light chasing after her. She attempts to dive clear through those remaining footsoldiers, dart right by them before her hand closes tightly over her weapon-- the wire, leading back toward one of those soldiers and the wire attempting to seize his arm. With a sharp tug, Cherise tries to pull him in toward her before thrusting out her palm, charged with energy-- and blast him in the chest with enough force to send him flying!

Peppering people with shuriken is nice, but it's going to get boring fast. Never mind the fact that Nagase can't celebrate her victory over body armor because she suddenly puts a hand to her fox-haired head and winces, grimacing at the heavy feeling of blood pooling there from being upside down for the past few minutes. "Argh, head rush, argh," she mutters, grimacing. In a sinuous movement, the Iga scion unhooks herself from the area above the ceiling and drops down, landing on the tile floor with a sound that... suggests considerably more weight to her than the lithe form suggests. Of course, staying where she was meant that Cherise took the brunt of the initial assault, but it's looking like the silver-haired woman has things well in hand. Smiling, she turns to the soldiers in expectation of the devastation Cherise is about to unleash. "Well! You've caught the attention of a pretty lady. Isn't that *nice*."

Of course, then there's the elephant in the room. Or rather, the tank. Realistically speaking, the difference isn't that big.

A hand comes up, touching the side of Nagase's orange-tinted Lennon glasses. Inside the frames, her cybernetic systems pop up a nice, Robocop-y HUD. In spite of herself, the technoninja whistles; the Charybdis is a piece of work, and the readouts show it. Shadaloo clearly put their best technology to use on that thing, this much is clear. The armor, in particular, seems problematic... but, suddenly, a grin spreads across her face. Any tank so technologically advanced has GOT to run on very complex software. Software run by human beings. Human beings who are probably soldiers, not programmers.

Tee hee.

A hand whips up, twirls, and the back of the yellow armor-like protector on Nagase's wrist pops up like a discman. Why? Because it's a CD she's holding in the other hand, which she slams down into the Battle Disc reader and then closes the lid. "I, on the other hand, enjoy playing with toys a little more. It's a failing of mine. What can you do but blog about it, boo hoo." And then she leaps at the tank, looking to, quite frankly, punch through the plating around the main gun. But the punch itself isn't the real issue; it's that the cybernetic systems in her protector suddenly look to fire tiny electrical leads into the chassis through the hole, connecting to the tank's systems and, in a split second, uploading two things:

1.) An extremely nasty virus that, should Nagase get a clean hit, would send systems berserk and slowly eat away at the tank as the computers go haywire and
2.) An mp3 file.

One TINY little part of that custom virus, should it start to wind its way through the tank's systems, is that all the internet speakers suddenly start playing "Funkytown".

Mweh heh.

COMBATSYS: Charybdis dodges Nagase's Strong Punch.

[    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Cherise          0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0        Charybdis
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////       ]
Nagase           0/-------/-------|==-----\-------\0         Invader2

Charybdis is still laying down suppression fire on Cherise, chaingun barrels red with excess heat, when Nagase makes her move on the vehicle. You fool! Charybdis is running on Mac OS X! Haven't you seen any of the Get A Mac ads?

Not that it would have mattered anyway, since the tank-mech deftly maneuvers itself out of reach, the treads on it's stumpy legs reversing with a screech of hard rubber on slick marble. The sudden change of direction cause Nagase to whiff her attack right in front of the tank's turret, while also leaving her at point-blank range for a counter-attack. She's so close that she'll be able to actually see the comically-large shell being loaded into the breech of the cannon's barrel.

COMBATSYS: Cherise successfully hits Invader2 with Argent Striker EX.

[    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Cherise          0/-------/-----==|-------\-------\0        Charybdis
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Nagase           0/-------/-------|=====--\-------\0         Invader2

The Trooper Lieutenant's eyes widen in surprise as the silver haired girl manages to dance through the hail of lead and break through the ranks of his soldiers. "No!" he mutters in shock as she seems to pull one of his best men toward her by some sort of magic or invisible force before sending the sergeant rocketing backwards through one of the few unbroken panes of glass that line the entrance of Geese Tower. Glancing around wildly, the officer can sense the signs of his unit's morale starting to break.

"FALL BACK INTO A DEFENSIVE POSITION!" he commands, the strong timbre of his voice shocking his men back into action. "HOLD THE PARIMETER, MEN! REMEMBER OUR ORDERS!" Random bursts of covering gunfire sound throughout the room as the Shadaloo shock troops fall back toward the outer ring of the lobby, using marble columns, leather furniture, whatever they can find for defensive cover as they attempt to carry out their orders.

COMBATSYS: Invader2 focuses on his next action.

[    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Cherise          0/-------/-----==|-------\-------\0        Charybdis
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Nagase           0/-------/-------|=====--\-------\0         Invader2

The wire creaks, groans, and yet holds true when she drives the man out the window. With a swift tug of her wrist and a deft gesture, the wire seems to animate all on it's own, slackening off the man's wrist and reeling back toward her bracelet. She straightens up while still laughing, blood-flecked lips full and marked with nothing but absolute hilarity.

"Orders?" she asks, accent as thick as ever.

Twisting around, Cherise takes a sprint toward the Trooper Lieutenant himself. She moves at a fast, decent clip, eyes still shining with that odd silver light. Taking a few steps ahead, the wire-slinging agent of Geese suddenly ducks low and sprints, closing the distance-- or more aptly, CRUSHING the distance between them in a few powerful strides.

Spinning a bit in place, Cherise jumps. Twisting in the air, her left leg lashes out in what would ordinarily be a powerful kick-- but only the ball of her foot tries to touch him. Silvery energy extends from her leg like a spike, attempting to jar the man, painfully, from the inside-out!

COMBATSYS: Charybdis successfully hits Nagase with Strong Shot.
- Power hit! -

[     \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Cherise          0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0        Charybdis
[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Nagase           0/-------/---====|=====--\-------\0         Invader2

Hm. Well. Being able to SEE a giant shell being loaded into a cannon doesn't actually help you much when it comes to avoiding said shell. And in truth a huge cannon shell isn't really designed to mess up the *human body*; it's far too large for soft targets. But boy, if it manages to connect with someone, that someone is going for a ride. Nagase, a bit preoccupied with frustration at her virus attack going unsuccessfully, doesn't give the giant gun much thought for that very reason. What kind of idiot would fire it at close range against a single, small, human target?

The resulting shell proceeds to send her through the lobby wall. It's all very Wil E. Coyote, SUPER genius.

For a while, the Nagase-shaped hole in the wall does nothing but crumble silently.

Then a toilet comes flying out of it, aimed directly for the tank, water flying everywhere.

Nagase follows it out of the hole, looking extremely annoyed at having been hurled head-first into the first floor bathroom. "UGH. That was HIGHLY UNPLEASANT."

COMBATSYS: Charybdis overcomes Large Thrown Object from Nagase with Steel Snare.

[     \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////////  ]
Cherise          0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0        Charybdis
[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Nagase           0/-------/---====|=====--\-------\0         Invader2

After sending Nagase through a wall, the tank is about to turn it's attention back to Cherise when a toilet comes flying out across the lobby. It nearly decapitates one of the Lieutenant's men on it's path towards Charybdis; he's fortunate enough just to get clipped in the side of the head, sending him down for the count. The human shield slows the porcelain commode just enough for the pilot of the Charybdis to see it out of the corner of his eye (corner of his monitor?).

He fires the hand of his grappler arm at the toilet, snatching it out of mid-air. "YOU'LL HAVE TO DO BETTER THAN THAT!" Comes that irritatingly voice out of the tank's PA system. Retracting the claw arm slightly, the mech gives the toilet a few softball windup-twirls before cutting the line and sending it back from wence it came. With that taken care of... "IDIOT!" He punts the downed grunt of the way, towards where Cherise and the Lieutenant are dueling.

COMBATSYS: Invader2 fails to interrupt Argent Raid from Cherise with Bonesmasher.

[     \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////////  ]
Cherise          0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0        Charybdis
[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////                     ]
Nagase           0/-------/---====|=======\-------\1         Invader2

A grim frown sets on the Lieutenant's face as Cherise tears toward him; grim, yet determined. The officer had been in his share of battles, and he is no stranger to action. He served with valor in Shadaloo's Thailand campaign and was even awarded a metal by Lord Vega himself. But the platoon leader is no fighting prodigy, his skills and experience are the result of years of hard work and dedication, and he can't help but feel a dagger of fear and imminent doom as the young French prodigy runs him down.

"REMEMBER YOUR ORDERS MEN! FIGHT ON!" the Lieutenant calls out to his men as Cherise leaps, the fingers of his protective gloves flexing in anticipation of the impending attack. "FIGHT ON!" he roars as the gray haired girl's leg streaks toward his midsection. The battle hardened leader's arms rise in an attempt to catch the girl's foot before spinning her bodily into a nearby marble pillar, but the spike of silver energy blows back his grasping hands and slams into his gut with unnatural force. Dropping to his knees as bursts of gunfire sound in the background, a gout of blood erupts from the lieutenant's mouth and his insides turn to jelly before he slowly falls forward onto the marble floor.

He tells them to fight on. He tells them to remember their orders?

As the man falls, Cherise's arms drop to her sides, silvered eyes wide while her smile quirks a little bit. She turns, even-- turns to address the other soldiers. "Hmm. Did I kill you? I did not think I hit you that hard," she says, almost ... curious? Turning her attention to the other soldiers, her weight shifts from one leg to the other with a slight cock of her hip, hand set upon it. "If you take him to the hospital, maybe you can go get the hole stitched up?"

Stepping back into the fray, the girl with the silver eyes moves among them one more time. This time, her attack is much simpler, much more direct. Stomping her foot down on the abused marble floor, her other leg swings up for a powerful roundhouse kick, one meant to clobber another soldier squarely across the side of the face!

COMBATSYS: Nagase blocks Charybdis' Steel Snare.

[     \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////////  ]
Cherise          0/-------/------=|=------\-------\0        Charybdis
[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////                     ]
Nagase           0/-------/-======|=======\-------\1         Invader2

You did NOT.

Only ninjas can throw toilets! Ninjas and people from Metro City! To have her projectile sent back at her is the greatest of sins and Nagase is furious! FURIOUS I TELL YOU. "Oh, hells naw," she mutters, before lunging back with one fist and, as the toilet comes her way, thrusts it forward with all her might. There is a resounding combination of *clink!* and *clang!* as her protector-covered fist smashes right through the projectile, shattering it instantly. Of course, she's then smacked with toilet shrapnel, which stings kinda sorta, but that's NOT THE POINT HERE. The POINT is that she destroyed it rather than get hit in the face by it. The MORAL VICTORY is the key point.

The fox-haired ninja glances over at Cherise as she dusts porcelain dust off her shirt, and raises an eyebrow. "It's... it's good to enjoy your work," Nagase says. This is code for, 'bitch is crazy, I am not getting involved'. Instead she turns back to the tank.

Battered as she is, the Iga scion doesn't feel like attacking... not without backup. Instead she'll wait for Cherise to finish devouring the appetizer and then they can get this thing done together. Or, the tank will self-destruct and kill everyone.

Either way, Nagase's going to pipe SOME awful music in there via hacking if it kills her. Maybe some Manilow.

"Oh Mandy," she hums to herself, cybernetic-enhanced eyes tracking the Charybdis carefully. "You came and you brought artillery..."

COMBATSYS: Nagase focuses on her next action.

[     \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////////  ]
Cherise          0/-------/------=|=------\-------\0        Charybdis
[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////                     ]
Nagase           0/-------/-======|=======\-------\1         Invader2

Charybdis' chaingun starts to spin up again, ready to send another barrage of fire at Nagase, but at the last moment, the gun just seems to spin, expending not a single round. Instead the mech trudges over to the fallen Lieutenant and kneels, as best as the bulky machine can, by the prone man's side. The crude grappling arm of the tank grasps the soldier gently, lovingly. "B-brother...." comes the tinny voice from within the machine, sounding on the verge of complete emotional collapse. "Look at you... you're a mess..." the pilot says, in disbelief. The chaingun arm brushes a few stray locks of hair out of the man's face, back under his official BISON BERET.

As carefully as it picked up the Lieutenant, the Charybdis sets him back down, pivoting to face the two lady defenders of Geese's Chapel of Love. You can almost see the bolts of the machine rattling in anger. The surviving members of the strike force pause, hestitating for a moment as it appears their leader is too grief-striken to continue.

But then... "YOU HEARD HIM. FIGHT ON! KILL THESE TWO WHELPS." The voice has a calm fury to it, punctuated by the variety of missiles and extra machine-guns that emerge from hidden panels and ports on the machine as it activates it's +destroy mode+

COMBATSYS: Charybdis gathers his will.

[     \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Cherise          0/-------/------=|=====--\-------\0        Charybdis
[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////                     ]
Nagase           0/-------/-======|=======\-------\1         Invader2

COMBATSYS: Cherise successfully hits Invader2 with Heavy Kick.

[     \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Cherise          0/-------/-----==|=====--\-------\0        Charybdis
[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////                         ]
Nagase           0/-------/-======|=======\===----\1         Invader2

A hush falls over the Shadaloo shock troopers as they watch the battle tank tenderly sees to their fallen commander... well, all but the trooper whose head was almost just twisted off by Cherise's roundhouse kick; he fell to the ground with what sounded like the Wilhelm Scream. For a moment it seems as if they might break lines and flee, but the tinny, yet furious voice projected from the higher-ranking tank commander manages to stir them back into action, if only for the moment.

A great roar rises from the remaining members of the assault platoon as they each sprint away from the French girl and unclip a high-yield, focused-detonation grenade for their battle harnesses and send them in the direction of the girl that took out their leader. The ten or twelve smooth grenades bounce and roll toward their silver-haired target to rest scattered around her feet. A sense of satisfaction and justice emanates from the remaining squads of troopers, positive that no one could survive the blast that is to come...

COMBATSYS: Invader2 can no longer fight.

[     \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Cherise          0/-------/-----==|=====--\-------\0        Charybdis
[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Nagase           0/-------/-======|

COMBATSYS: Cherise blocks Invader2's War Crimes.

[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Cherise          0/-------/---====|=====--\-------\0        Charybdis
[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Nagase           0/-------/-======|

Grenades, grenades, grenades.

She was put into a situation like this once. She didn't like it at all-- put into a situation where it was quite literally life or death, when she found herself strung up with grenades at the hands of Rolento Schugerg. Even if she's never one to plan that much, she's swift and smart enough to react accordingly.

In this case, the French girl opts to grab the body of the trooper that she kicked damn silly before it can fall. Trying to seize him by the front of his flak jacket, she twists herself around to place his back to the explosives while she pushes off with as much strength as she can manage in her legs.


Due to the proximity of the explosion, even with her defensive manuvers, Cherise can't completely escape the burst. Pushing the unconscious(?)-- she doesn't check to see if he's dead or not-- man off of her, the French girl slowly rises to her feet. The color in her eyes slowly bleeds back from silver to blue.

Setting her hands on her hips, the wire-slinging assassin can only grin. "Need a hand, or are you managing all on your own?" The question is asked as she turns her attention the tank with an intent stare, as though she were trying to see through it, to pierce the armor with her gaze alone. "I've never fought a tank before..."

COMBATSYS: Cherise focuses on her next action.

[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Cherise          0/-------/---====|=====--\-------\0        Charybdis
[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Nagase           0/-------/-======|

Okay, now the tank is crying big manly tears and this is just too weird for Nagsae. She watches the hook pick up the man with a slight twitch in her eyebrow, which means she misses the glorious pyrotechnic display that is Cherise kicking ass. What the hell is going on here? "Do they have... frat boys piloting this thing or something? Good god." But the stupid thing doesn't actually try to ram her or fire anything her way, which in Nagase's book = a good thing. Thus she decides to take advantage of the situation best she can. With a smile, she turns to Cherise and shrugs. "Well, if you're bored, feel free. But I think I got this under control." She then turns to the tank and waves her hand, as if in farewell, a gesture accentuated by her addition of: "Bye!"

Then she disappears. Literally. Sight and sound, she goes from there to not there in the literal blink of an eye. A combination of Iga ninja jutsu and good old fashion cybernetic technology lets her move around almost entirely undetected... though who knows what fancy gadgetry they've got on that damn tank.

When she reappears, it's... hanging off the ceiling, Strider Hiryuu-style, over the top of the Charybdis. Still smiling, she makes a quick series of kujikiri gestures with one hand.

SUDDENLY: Fire. LOTS of it, erupting outward from Nagase's position on the ceiling in massive, coruscating waves of red and orange, an inferno of chi looking to put a serious strain on that machine's armor. And Nagase? Like heat shimmer, once she's made her attack, she too is gone again.

COMBATSYS: Charybdis blocks Nagase's Stealth.

[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////   ]
Cherise          0/-------/---====|=======\-------\0        Charybdis
[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Nagase           0/-------/-------|

Charybdis is shrouded in a firestorm of chi that would reduce most men inside heavily-armored biped mini-tanks to cinder. NOT THIS MAN INSIDE A HEAVILY-ARMORED MINI-TANK, HOWEVER! Shadaloo saw fit to make his uniform entirely out of the same materials as the world-famous "Ove Glove" oven mitt (as seen on television), the unmarred armor of the minitank holds, AND he stays a comfortable 72 degrees. Technology is a wonderful thing.

The remaining flames are quickly doused by a barrage of high-pressure jets of water, fed from the capsule on the tank's back, that spread out across the lobby like sparkly clear lances. As Nagase, as ninjas are wont to do, seems to have disappeared, the fire is concentrated upon Cherise.

What is left of the body of Cherise's human shield slides across the marble floor to rest bleeding at the feet the last remaining shock troop sergeant. The sergeant looks down at the man's shattered body in horror for a few moments before screaming "RETREAT!!!" The rest of the Shadaloo troops follow suit. These girls are more powerful than they look! Gathering up the bodies of their fallen comrades, including that of the Lieutenant, the invaders quickly abscond out of the crater in the wall made by the battle tank, whose imagined gaze they all pointedly avoid.

COMBATSYS: Charybdis successfully hits Cherise with Water Cannon Suppression.

[            \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////    ]
Cherise          0/-------/--=====|======-\-------\0        Charybdis
[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Nagase           0/-------/-------|

Oh. My. God. Water cannons, with the clothing that she's wearing?

... Well, she can buy new boots to replace Shihong's later, so long as her partner doesn't find out about it!

Still, the concentrated burst of water slams into Cherise's stomach despite her best attempts to stay light on her feet, the force of the good ol' simple H2O propelling her backward, through the unconscious and possibly dying soldiers, slamming into what's left of the lobby receptionist's desk with a distinctly loud grunt, wind knocked from her lungs from two sides.

Running her hands through her hair, drawing it away from her face, Cherise Bouchard ignores the ruined cosmetics on her face and the cold cling of her blouse, standing up with a squeal of her boots' soles on the marble floors and only lets a feral grin start forming on her face. She takes a run toward the tank, sprinting despite the slick floor, and springs into the air.

Driving her leg against the tank with a hard stomp of her boot, Cherise tries to drive her peculiar energy through the hull of the tank and try to directly disrupt the systems the hard, brute-force way.

"Come out, boys, and let me play with you~!"


It's not as if the Iga ninja specifically WANTED Cherise to get soaked with the water cannon or anything, but considering her assaults on the Charybdis so far have not exactly be rousing successes, Nagase felt that a brief tactical retreat to get her ducks in a row was not uncalled for. By the time she reappears from the fire-mirage her last technique has conjured up, she's well across the room. In fact, she's sitting behind the reception desk, pretending to check her email, twirling around in the secretary's chair. "Man... of all the times for Twitter to be down! Fuck you!"

Then Cherise slams into it at the speed of a wet t-shirt contest, leaving Nagase staring at her for a moment, apparently not too shocked at this turn of events.

"Man, you are the worst tank crew ever," the ninja states as she gets up, looking to follow up Cherise's attack with her own assault, leaping across the distance to try and grip a particularly loose piece of armor plating and just rip it the hell off with cyborg-enhanced strength! "I get 35mm shells and she gets a firehose just because she has great tits? That's BULLSHIT." Rip rip rip!

COMBATSYS: Charybdis blocks Nagase's Strong Throw.

[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////////     ]
Cherise          0/-------/--=====|=======\-------\0        Charybdis
[          \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Nagase           0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Charybdis fails to interrupt Argent Raid from Cherise with Grappler Drive.

[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////          ]
Cherise          0/-------/-======|======-\-------\0        Charybdis
[          \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Nagase           0/-------/-------|

While the tank may have been touched by emotions like "rage" and "grief" earlier, now it seems anything but. All business once more, the silver machine rumbles in idle, sitting there as Cherise recovers from the burst of water. Within the tank, its pilot is probably leering at the young Frenchwoman unhealthily.

But it's momentarily distracted when Nagase 'reappears' behind a desk, checking Twitter. A bit of anger swells within the tank pilot. They're not taking this seriously, are they!? Not when his fellow men have fallen and they're here trying to be all menacing and shit!

"ARGH!" the tank replies with a furious rumble. Nagase's assault and young rage is met with a scoff, followed by a tinny, staticy, "Well I'm not ready to meet Chris Hansen, little girl!" She yanks and pulls, but the tank bucks, attempting to dislodge her grip and throw her off.

That's when Cherise kicks at the unit and tries to stomp some PSYCHO POWER into the machine. Though a cannon lifts and seems to ready what appears to be a claw-like device, it doesn't fire off; instead, the energy lances through and gets to the pilot, causing him to thrash a bit before he gets back to his controls.

"Ugh, you're just WOMEN!" he scoffs. "Women aren't going to stop ME!"

Her foot drives into the hull with a powerful stomp, the energy transmitted through the boot sending a tingle through her leg-- and probably a painful jolt through the nervous system of the man hidden inside the tank. Landing in a half-crouch, standing still on the frame of the tank itself, Cherise turns her attention to Nagase with a broad, all-too amused grin.

"Drink your milk, get plenty of sleep, and don't sit in front of those screens all the time, and perhaps you would look as good wet, no?" she asks with her accented voice, winking and waving a finger.

Cherise Bouchard? Take a tank seriously? Surely, you jest.

Further than that, she takes a step ahead, stepping up onto the top of the tank itself and starts searching for the hatch. Barring that, she turns her attention to the hull again, drawing her arm across her chest before swinging it out wide, HARD, directly down at the hull of the Charybdis.

Silver blades again burst out of the tips of her fingers, the blurry energy trying to eat through the armor as though it were made of paper. She shows no mercy-- and that's what she was paid for.


What the hell is going on here!

There is a tank! Cherise is making fun of her! Someone's just called her jailbait! And she's can't update her damn Twitter to complain about ANY of this, so the fox-haired Iga ninja is currently working herself up into a serious nerd rage right now! So much so that she backflips off the tank to land on the floor across from Charybdis and the continuing assault of Ms. Bouchard. Shrugging, she tries to look wry, but she's also tracking the tank's moves with those digital readout lenses of hers, looking for any weakness she can find to exploit, so it doesn't come off well.

"I look plenty good dry, _thank you very much_," she says primly, bringing one hand up. Again her fingers dance in that crazy voodoo ninja stuff that you see so often on the TV and internets, and which in fact she did just a little bit ago before making a huge-ass burst of flame appear out of nowhere. What she follows it up with isn't quite as big, but it is fire all the same: slamming her hand into the ground, a ball of fire the size of a small dog suddenly bounds away from her in an unpredictable pattern, bouncing back and forth before looking to slam into the tank's treads and knock down its mobility some.

"Unlike some VEHICLES I could mention I am also STREET LEGAL," she adds. You should have thought that statement through more, Nagase.

COMBATSYS: Charybdis endures Cherise's Argent Claw.

[              \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////              ]
Cherise          0/-------/=======|=======\-------\1        Charybdis
[            \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Nagase           0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Nagase successfully hits Charybdis with Unrelenting Fire.

[              \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////                  ]
Cherise          0/-------/=======|=======\==-----\1        Charybdis
[            \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Nagase           0/-------/------=|

"GRAGH!" is the coherent response from the tank as both Cherise and Nagase make their assaults, a blur of psychic energy otherwise slashing and rending through thick silver armor while Nagase forms her yap-yap dog fireball and strikes a tread, causing the machine to sag heavily to one side as it smokes. For a moment the machine looks like it has seen better days, almost pitiable as it sits there.

"NO! NO! You girls aren't going to be the end of me! I have to fight for the honor of Shadaloo and my boys!" The tank jerks and jostles a bit, sparks spitting as the rapidly-failing tank clambers back upright and proper. Its front arm pincer-like hands open and close menacingly.

"AND THIS IS PRETTY LEGAL, LITTLE BOY!" the pilot roars, those arms flailing wildly in some vain attempt to pinch the hell out of Nagase and Cherise repeatedly, jabbing and stabbing before it'll attempt to grab one of them in each pincer and throw them into the nearest wall.

COMBATSYS: Charybdis successfully hits Cherise with Grappler Panic.

[                      \\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////                  ]
Cherise          1/----===/=======|-------\-------\0        Charybdis
[            \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Nagase           0/-------/------=|

Sparks, everywhere! And now a claw hand careening out of the tank starts trying to grip, rip, and tear at the two girls that have been delivering a painful beating to the exterior of the tank. It's a little surprising-- and one of them sweeps right out, snaps at the French girl, and tears cuts and gashes, ripping holes in her shirt and more importantly, in her skin.

The claw snags Cherise around the waist, ending with a painful throw that sends her across the lobby and slamming into one of the walls with a gasp before dropping to the floor.

Cherise doesn't hesitate to start standing up immediately, her eyes wide and her fingers touching the bloody wounds. Licking the tips of her fingers, her eyes briefly-- again-- start to hiss and glow with that odd silver color, overlapping the once-blue color to her irises. A slight wind swirls up around her, and the French girl sets her gaze on the Charybdis.

"Hurt me more..."

Springing from that position in a burst of movement, Cherise thrusts out her palms, driving both against the hull of the tank. She pushes off from the ground, legs thrown wide as she arcs up and lands on the top, slamming her foot down on the surface as hard as she can. The musician starts darting around the surface of the tank in swift, even movements that makes it look more like a dance. It's an impromptu version, it's a little unorthodox...

But every single strike releases a large burst of that silver psychic energy.

COMBATSYS: Charybdis successfully hits Nagase with Grappler Panic.

[                    \\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////                  ]
Cherise          0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0        Charybdis
[                    \\\\\\\\\\  <
Nagase           0/-------/-======|

Nerd rage is bad for you! Don't fight angry. Why? Because when someone calls you 'little boy' to incense you and then tries to grip you with big Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robot arms and fling you around the room you're NOT GOING TO BE PAYING ATTENTION because instead you're considering the various ways in which you are going to disassemble this particular vehicle and use it to build other things. Hanging window planters. Modern art sculpture. Things like that. The Iga ninja processes at the last second the fact that the grappler arm is heading her way and tries her damndest to get away by running *up the wall* nearby, but it's not enough. She gets twisted, jabbed, and then finally flung through the plate glass leading to the outside of the building in a tinkle of shattering panes.

Outside, Nagase crawls out of the rubble and dusts herself off, looking at her yellow armored protector glove. Okay. She didn't want to do this... but if that's how the tank wants to play then that's how it's going to be.

Slowly walking back into the building as Cherise collects herself, the technoninja takes out the old CD from the battle disc system, whips it over her shoulder, and slams a new one in before shutting the lid on the glove and looking at the tank. You can just SEE her eyes going +_+ behind those amber lenses as her lips curl into a tight, wry smile.

"You asked for it," is all she says.

Then she vanishes.

When she reappears, it is in strategically timed collusion with Cherise's fluid strikes; wherever the silver energy-wielding woman is attacking, Nagase is *not*, instead choosing a second angle of attack to make the tank split its focus. Each time she appears it is to deliver a single, armor-piercing blow with one of her ninja-to which happens to be plugged into the protector on her arm, linking it to her cybernetic systems. It's a second attempt at inflicting a nasty, system-disabling virus on the tank, but one that is considerably nastier the one before. The virus is that much worse; Nagase made it to take down NESTS and Shadaloo systems specifically, in fact.

The worst part?

If the virus takes hold, EVERY internal monitor starts loading a particular Rick Astley video. You may know which one. We'll let you work it out on your own.

COMBATSYS: Charybdis blocks Nagase's Punishment Mode - Poison Beat.

[                    \\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////                   ]
Cherise          0/-------/------=|=------\-------\0        Charybdis
[                    \\\\\\\\\\  <
Nagase           0/-------/----===|

COMBATSYS: Charybdis fails to interrupt Argent Rebellion from Cherise with Whirling Flail.

[                    \\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////                          ]
Cherise          0/-------/------=|===----\-------\0        Charybdis
[                    \\\\\\\\\\  <
Nagase           0/-------/----===|

COMBATSYS: Charybdis can no longer fight.

[                    \\\\\\\\\\  <
Cherise          0/-------/------=|
[                    \\\\\\\\\\  <
Nagase           0/-------/----===|

"Gyahahahaha!" the Charybdis' pilot cackles as the women are helplessly tossed about like a pair of maracas, entertaining the man somewhere within the hulking silver tank. "You think you've won!? That little girls are going to get the best of me!? I'll make you both pay for hurting my men and my brother!!" Each is thrown, left to their own fate. Meanwhile, Chary continues to smoke.

But just when the tank thinks it's all over and done, Nagase and Cherise come right back FOR MORE. You can almost feel the frown emanating from the silver machine as it stares both women down, its shining red mooneye shifting between the two.

Then they kind of attack in unison. Dealing with this isn't as easy as one would think.

Nagase lands and attempts to once again hack into the unit. It's partially successful, half the unit's internal displays showing the wildly hypnotic lifeless sway of Astley that nearly puts the operator to sleep. "No, Astley," he whimpers. "Not you!!" Charybdis bucks a bit, tossing Nagase harmlessly off, cutting the download into its systems short. "You think this is a game!?" he screams. "HURT YOU!? FINE I WILL!"

A pod opens, a small arm snapping out with a flail attached. It begins to wind up--

But Cherise stomps the crap out of the Charybdis.

"ARGH NO!" the pilot cries. "YOU'RE TOO FAT STOP--ARGH STOP--"

Static and white noise follow.

Above the two, Geese tower begins to implode on itself, his empire crushed underneath his ego's weight.

Stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp, and stomp. There's a few punches thrown in for flavor, though ultimately Cherise Bouchard is not going to wait for the tank to do it's worst. Once she's finished kicking, punching, and slapping the surface of the tank so hard and with enough psychically-charged power, Cherise springs off the back of the tank, dusting her hands off.

But ... what's going on upstairs? What's with all that rumbling, crumbling, and ... well, the sounds of what sounds mostly like a building falling down? Cherise's eyes go wide for perhaps the first time in her life, turning her attention to Nagase. "You would do well to get out of the building and run~!"

She's about two steps ahead before she stops-- turns back, runs to the receptionist's counter. Grabbing her abandoned, slightly wet magazine, Cherise Bouchard bolts out the front door of Geese Tower and does not stop running for anything, running over any abandoned cars and sliding over the occasional parked car roof.

Cherise Bouchard is a masochist. Cherise Bouchard is insane, by the standards of her peers. She is not, by any means, enough of an idiot to stay remotely close to a building that threatens to fall on their head at any moment.

All she does is run. Run for her life.

COMBATSYS: Cherise has left the fight here.

[                    \\\\\\\\\\  <
Nagase           0/-------/----===|

Nagase just Rickrolled a tank. With a sword. In her eyes, there should be some sort of prize for this.

Hopping off the chasis of the now-immobilized tank, the Iga ninja seems pretty pleased with herself and her co-worker for having defended Geese Tower against interlopers! That is, until a combination of the groaning metal and crumbling floor noises above her combines with Robocop-style WARNING! flashes in her in-glasses HUD telling her that effectively, this building is a lot like the ones in Rampage after the guy playing King Kong has climbed it and punched the window a lot and hopefully didn't eat any of the people because that is actually kind of gross.

In short, she is already turning to go when Cherise delivers that warning, because ain't no way Nagase is going to die for anybody, least of all Geese Howard.

At the very least, Nagase is a trained ninja. What this means is that she is particularly adept at moving from one place to another very quickly, especially when the 'from' is a dangerous situation and the 'to' is not. Covered in dust and slightly wet herself as she is, the fox-haired girl nonetheless starts bolting across the lobby, then the parking lot, then the *city*.

She's also making some plans in the back of her mind as she runs. It's more than just the actual building collapsing back there, after all...

COMBATSYS: Nagase has ended the fight here.

Log created on 20:53:25 05/31/2009 by Nagase, and last modified on 17:07:36 06/11/2009.