2019-08-16 - Out Of The Shadows Come A Stalker


There's a visitor from the Order of Si Fan in Staten Island. Ryoshi gets some visitors.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Fri Aug 16 06:44:03 2019
Location: Staten Island

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Theme Song




Staten Island is rarely quiet but up here, on the rooftops it's quieter, far above the streets above way from the traffic that seems to choke the streets even in the late of night.

Tonight, on one of the rooftops, a dark clad figure tumbles and leaps as a pair of bladed discs spin and twirl around them.

The figure is focussed and the movements are like poetry motion. It's a dance they're performing, one they've practiced often by the looks of it, nearly effortless.

Every now and then, the light catches their face - reflecting of the skin that's visible above the face mask they wear.

This is silly. The golden haired youth had said to himself as he had rode along on the Purple Line, taking it all the way to the end where it let out on Hylan Boulevard. The recent rail line offering a decent way for commuters to get back and forth between Manhattan and its environs.
Yet when it let him out, and the youth adjusted his backpack over his shoulder he had to admit to himself. "I… have never been here before." Though at least the talking to himself thing didn't get any weird looks.
Setting out with an easy step, Alexander Aaron stuffed his hands deep into the pockets of his jeans. His eyes cast upwards, thinking to himself… about how his father would attack this situation. "He wouldn't be doing this in the first place." Was, of course, the answer. But he takes a deep breath and hrms. He'd get upwards. Height. Somewhere to observe from a distance. Shouldn't be too hard, not too many actual skyscrapers as it were. A tall building. And hey Staten Island isn't /that/ big.
And with that he set off into the night.

As Alexander gets higher he can see someone else observing the twirling 'dance' of the figure with the two bladed discs. It's a man - short and broad and muscled - with a topknot and a pair of chains, one in each hand. Or maybe it's one chain and it's just really long. Either way it's got spiked projections on either end. He too starts to move closer even as Alex gets a bit more altitude. After a moment or so it's clear that he's moving in on the woman. And doing so deliberately from an angle that it's unlikely he will be noticed until he is quite close.

Alex can see the figure from his vantage point - he's not far from them after all. Is that the one he's looking for? As the figure sends the discs spinning out in opposite directions, they drop into a spinning crouch, turning and rising just in time to catch the discs that … return?

Those discs do too. Spin out from her and then return. They shouldn't do that do that but they do.

As the light catches her again, Alex can see the top part of her face - it is the one he's looking for.

Fate. It plays with people like that.

Ranna's next set of moves are incredibly complicated, flipping and spinning taking her closer to the position where the third figure approaches. No. She doesn't see them and … she doesn't detect them.

Of /course/ it would be one of the first buildings he climbed. Across the small street above a package store and a laundromat, both of which had seen way better days. But from his vantage point on the six story apartment building, he's got a good sight line to Ryoshi… and the nimble subtle individual who seems to be moving in on her?
Nothing is ever simple. He pushes off away from the wall and starts to run along the slender barrier that separates the rooftop from the void. His backpack keeps jouncing up and down on his shoulder as he moves, then he skids to a stop above a set of cables and several laundry lines. The building in danger, across the way and, for someone who doesn't make a habit of running across rooftops, might as well be miles away.
"Man," He says to himself. But then he amplifies his voice with his hands and yells out across the way. "Hey!"
"Hey there's a guy!" He points.
THelpful. If that doesn't help well he then starts to gauge the distance, and how much weight some of those cables might be able to take.

Alex's warning is… timely. Moments after he calls out there's a rattle of chain and a spiked cylinder flies right for the back of Ryoshi's head. It's the ONLY sound at the moment other than possibly the pounding of Alex's heart.

Or at least it's the only sound until something goes 'zzzzzap!' and a bolt of purple energy impacts on the building between Ryoshi and the other figure. THAT came from the nearby water tower. And… yes. There does appear to be someone there. Someone with what looks like a rifle. And a sword over his back.

Undeterred, the muscular chinese man - for that's what he is - whips his chain back towards himself and moves in closer, spinning both ends.

At the 'Hey', Ranna's eyes move in Alex's direction, though she doesn't miss a beat as she moves. This is instinctive for her, this routine? These moves.

The real warning comes just in time for her to hear the rattle of the chain, the small woman falling forward only barely avoiding the hit that would most certainly knocked her out or worse.

The discs spin out again, in opposite directions and fly round, aiming for the spot where the chinese man now stands. Ranna's fall has her tumbling and rising to her feet as Shiranui's shot hits the wall.

"Go back, Alexander. This is not your fight." She says quietly, squaring off against the chain wielding man. There's the slightest of frowns drawing her brows down.

"So they sent you to punish my failures, Shadow-Stalker?"

Far enough away, chances are Alexander didn't hear too much of the words passing between them. Though it's unlikely he would have heeded them. But the kick of energy from the shot, the sound of its mechanism, that draws his attention for the moment.
The backpack is dropped behind him, its fall causing its contents to clink and clank a little before he picks up the pace. His windbreaker is pulled off as he rushes, balling it up and tossing it over his shoulder as he navigates the several rooftops between his and the one that supports that water tower on his side of the street.
A quick glance is spared for Ryoshi and her opponent. Snipers take precedence however.
Planting his hands and leaping over a dividing wall, Alexander plants his feet on the gravel of the rooftop and rushes to the Water Tower. Sniper's set up, probably not alone, might have a spotter. No spotter on hand, he'll have secured the nest which means… possible boobie trap.
Those thoughts running through his head he makes it to the base of the water tower and begins the ascent. Though only using the first run of the ladder to help /propel/ him upwards as he leaps, snaring one of the supporting struts and spinning up to it, regaining his balance, and then trying to leap frog up toward the top of the tower as quickly as he can.

The figure at the top of the water tower reacts with surprise to Alexander's quick arrival or at least that's the most likely interpretation. He is covered in some kind of concealing garb that is black with a golden hex grid atop it and leaves no skin exposed. There's armor and a hooded leather overcoat over that. He DOES have a sword on his back - along with what actually looks like a handgun that has a holographic 'extension' to it to turn it into a rifle. On interruption though he immediately turns and holsters the weapon, backing away slowly. Odd behavior.

Down below the broad Chinese man spins his chains. "You've disappointed the Order one too many times, Ryoshi. Now you're just a loose end and I am here to tie you up." His chains spin, now converging on the slight woman from opposite sides.

The Chakrams don't stop moving and for anyone watching, they'll see the edges of the blades reconfigure into wicked serrations. They're designed to cut and cut and deeply - not just slice.

There's no time for her to give thought to Alex, though Ranna notes his movements vaguely. If the youth thought on it - the woman hadn't reacted to the sniper shot - hadn't tried to take cover and make herself less of a target.

As the chains converge on her, Ryoshi drops low ago, tumbling forward to inside the chains arc - Alex has seen her do this before. However, instead of grabbing and trying to throw the stout combatant, Ranna drives a fist into his groin as her discs spin into to his head.

No. She doesn't play fair.

Crouched atop the lip of that tower, bright blue eyes taking in the details of the figure before him, Alexander straightens up a little to point at the man and he says, "Hey." Whether greeting or declaration to seize the man's attention, he repeats it louder. "Hey!"
And then he snaps into action by saying, "Quit it." He repeats it for emphasis. "Quit it." As if the ninja sniper will take such admonishment to heart.
For a moment Alexander's gaze slips to the side and partially away, before it returns and he says. "Look, just get out of here, but ditch your guns, man. I don't wanna hurt you but I can't have you taking pot shots." Reasonable.

"Kind of need the gun." The man says. "Also, she's in trouble and I'm not her biggest problem." The ninja-sniper crouches and then leaps backward in a flip. His boots puff purple smoke and as he descends the weapon comes out again. "Let me help you down to her area though."

Zaap! Zaap! The watertower takes two shots to it's supports and starts to lean. Oh. He didn't…

He did. It's going to tilt down right in Ryoshi's direction. It's PROBABLY not going to crash into the building but Alex may be well advised to jump onto the rooftop as the angle gets less floor like and more 'steep mountainside' like. The… rooftop where two people are having a martial arts duel.

Shadow-Stalker, for that appears to be the name of the man with chains, takes a spinning jump himself to avoid the worst of Ranna's counterstrike. He uses his chains to slow his momentum and carries through on his spin to bring one end of the chain to maximum extension and sweep it right at the small woman's legs. That's before possibly both are distracted by the suddenly leaning watertower coming in their direction.

Ranna is quick and she's used to using her small stature to her advantage, keeping inside the swinging range of her opponents. Her fist hits air as Shadow-Stalker jumps, he'll take a blow from one of the chakrams as the twin discs fly out over the rooftops again and then come flying back.

It's then that Shiranui uses his boots with the puff of purple smoke that he 'steps' on. Ryoshi winces, her steps falter and the chakrams clatter to the ground, as the end of the chain wraps about her ankle.

"Oh you dick," Alexander says after the rifle fires and the water tower starts to sloooowly lean over and begin to lose its place upon the roof. Inside the cistern water sloshes back and forth while steel gives way beneath it and to the side, metal twisting with a shrieking turn as bolts come free and spatter to the ground.
Then the water line breaks, ages old brackish water trickling out even as Alexander makes that leap down to the roof. Though for now the sniper is ignored as he manages to catch one of the legs of the falling tower, "Please be empty, please be empty!" Grabbing onto it and /straaining/ the blond youth is dragged several feet leaving skid marks in the gravel of the rooftop until he's pulled up right to the side of the small wall on the side of the building, wedging his feet in there and trying to at least slow the fall of the tower, pulling it back as best he can…
And crazily enough it seems he's able to effect it. Though far from easily. Yet this effort does leave his back entirely exposed to the ninja-sniper.

Someone must be listening to Alex's 'prayers' because the water tower is indeed mostly empty. And he DOES indeed stop it from crashing onto the fight and subsequently onto and then THROUGH the roof of the building. Or down onto the alley or street below. Or anywhere ELSE it would be highly inconvenient.

And Alex may worry that the sniper will take a shot at his back. And were he looking at the sniper he might indeed think that justified because he's lining up another shot in Alex's direction.

But when it goes off it wizzes over his shoulder and strikes the chain wielding man just as he's about to follow up on his success. Rather than wrapping up Ryoshi's neck, he is sent sprawling which gives the chakram wielding ninja time to recover… and Alex time to enter the fray.

Ryoshi can't spare any attention for the water tower though she might send up a prayer to a deity as the tower crashes down with a thunderous roar. She's trying to disengage her leg and get her chakrams back as Alex 'skies' across the rooftops. She's not seen Shiranui, but she knows he's there - there's only on person that can cause her so much pain.

The Chakrams tremble on the ground as Ranna's mind reaches out and then they're spinning again, back to the womans hand as she rolls to the side - using the distraction that Shiranui provides. Not that she realises it's him that did that.

One chakram arcs out at the topknotted man, impossibly fast and hard. A direct line, right at him. The small woman isn't messing around.

With a heavy /grunt/ of exertion, Alexander manages to arrest most of the fall and then with a great /oomph/ he twists it around as he seemingly grows stronger and more able to manipulate the large structure. There's a creak as more pieces break off and then a _ka-wham!_ as the large water storage container thunders onto the roof likely waking up everyone in the building.
He then spins around, wide-eyed and scowling. Alex proceeds to point at the water tank sitting there, then points at the ninja sniper, then points at his eyes… then points back at the ninja sniper.
That done he spins around and now he breaks into a run and /leaps/ into the void between his rooftop and the one upon which Ryoshi battles with Shadow-Stalker, aiming for the latter.

The sniper, whomever it was just sort of cheekily salutes and packs up his weapon. Then he disengages. Or at least that's probably it and not 'running away'. Whatever the case he leaves Ranna and Phobos to their fate. Or rather, to their adversary.

Hey, Ryoshi's tried to kill him before, he's more than done her a solid on this one.

Shadow-Stalker sways just enough to avoid the oncoming chakram, the double ended chain swinging again - ready to snare Ryoshi and end her.

Alex's headlong run puts him on a collision course with Shadow-Stalker and that chakram. It might worry the youth to see the metal disc as it hurtles towards to and then … veer away. Leaving Alex to knock Shadow-Stalker off balance.

"Alexander." Ryoshi grunts, calling the Chakrams to her hands again.

Shadow-Stalker stumbles forwards and then past Ranna. Back towards the shadows. In the opposite direction that Shiranui just left.

Landing and skidding to a halt, Alexander spins as he slides past Shadow-Stalker, one leg extending to slow his charge and help him get back to his feet with a smooth uncurling motion. His hands come up as he readies himself… only to espy Ryoshi's opponent rushing past her and making a break for it.
There's a momentary swirl of ashen energy around his hand as he reaches out to the side, fingers closing as if grasping something unseen. Then he brings his arm up and around in that smooth practiced motion she saw him make when she had first met him. It summons the gleaming silver-bladed sword to his hand and sends it flashing across the distance, twisting as it's thrown toward the fleeing Shadow-Stalker.

With Shiranui making his exit, Ranna winces again and her chakrams falter in the air. This time they don't drop but it's all the small psi-ninja can do to keep them under control. By the time she recovers, Shadow-Stalker is gone.

The gleaming silver blade that Alex manifests spins out and scores a glancing hit. When the youth looks, there'll be a trail a blood to the roof edge and that's where it ends.

"I told you to leave." Ryoshi grumbles at the blonde. "Shadow-Stalker would have killed you without a second thought. Where is Shiranui?"

So very, very grateful the small woman is. Really.

Stopping at the edge of the building, his sneaker resting on the edge of it. He leans over, casting his gaze downward and hoping to see the Shadow-Stalker. Yet there is no sign of him. He frowns as Ryoshi offers several words to him in a grumbling tone, enough to catch a glance from him sidelong. A glance that is coupled with a raised eyebrow.
He holds out his hand to the side and as if out of nowhere that blade returns to his hand. The youth brushes the flat of his hand along the blade, wiping what blood or grime there may be, then 'sheathes' it in the nothingness to which it fades.
"I heard you." His smile is there a little, mainly in those bright blue eyes, "But." He looks over towards the building and points. "I saw a guy taking shots, I thought he might have been this guy's buddy. So I tried to catch him. But he shot the water tower out from under me."
A breath is taken as he looks back to her, "So I stopped the tower from falling, then he shot a few covering shots to give you some help. I then came over here and now you're caught up."
A beat and his eyebrows raise, "So hi."

There's no sign of Shadow-Stalker nor of Shiranui.

Ranna sighs as Alex joins her. "Well you found me, I suppose. That's the challenge I set you, wasn't it." Her eyes slide to the watertower and back to the youth. "That was Shiranui. Are you sure he was providing covering fire? I wouldn't expect that."

"We should depart here, though. People have a habit of calling the authorities. Oh. Are you alright?"

"Oh yeah, m'fine." He turns to face her and nods, "I'm reasonably sure. He had a chance to take a free shot at me, and then at you." Alexander flares one hand to the side as if brushing that away. "And yeah, I'm pretty sure some people in that other building are probably calling the police now."
"But." He says as he folds his arms over his chest and meets her gaze. "Last time we talked I was a bit confused. And I tried to figure it out. Talked to some of my friends."
He then uncurls a hand as he speaks, "I think. Now I'm not sure, I don't think I've experienced it before. But I think I might have a small crush on you."
Then, perhaps at her expression, he says. "Yeah I know, right?" He says as if it confounded him too. "No idea why."

"We should go." Ranna turns to lead them onwards. She'll use the fire stairs on the side of the building, no fancy tricks to bridge the gaps between the buildings.

She makes the shadows before Alex makes that admission and she turns to look at him, dark brows rising above the mask she wears. "That's not possible. I told you. It's complicated." It's a statement of fact for the woman as she stares at him. "You probably like that I beat you and haven't experienced that before."

"Hey, I know it's messed up." Alexander slides down that fire escape, taking them four at a time or making a quick hop to catch up when needed. "And if I recall correctly, I won." He corrects.
It's once they hit the alleyway, him landing with a faint thump and then pausing to make sure they're relatively clear. "But give me a second here." He turns to look at her and meets the gaze of the masked woman should she grant it.
"In the abstract, I know that I'm most likely all messed up. The first time I met my aunt, she made a pass at me. I was twelve." He extends a hand ticking off notations to the crazy, "Before that I lived for several years with the Japanese God of Evil and he used me to try to kill my father and my family."
For a moment there's a small smile there, but there's also a sincerity to the youth's words as he looks to her and tries to just impart some aspect of what is what with him, "Since then I've lived trying to be the person I /think/ I should be? And with relationships I've never actually felt the need to… pursue someone?"
He crinkles his nose and looks away, then looks back. "But there's something different with you. And I understand it's complicated and crazy, and trust I don't intend to like follow you around like a puppy. I was just hoping to get some insight since this caused something. And it's a little… piece of the puzzle?"
There's a pause and even then there's a distant siren to be heard, "So yeah."

Ranna hits the ground much more gently than Alex. There's almost no sign of her passing in fact. "Your aunt made a pass at you? When you were twelve?" He can see the look of distaste in her eyes at that. "The Japanese God of Evil. I'm unfamiliar with an Order that has such a leader." No, she's not thinking deity, not at all.

She doesn't stand there long though. Keeping moving away from that building, keeping the shadows. Normally she wouldn't be here at all. "What insight do you want? I'm an older woman, Alexander. You're a young man. Nature … will exert itself … at your age."

"Agh!" Alexander's frustration can be heard as he walks out after her, /completely/ ruining her attempt at stealth by keeping up with her but making no attempt at sneakiness at all. A glance at him and she might even catch him with his hands on his head as if trying to figure out the way to get through to her.
So, of course he admits to everything in a way none of the Bat Family ever would. "I'm the God of Fear! My dad is Ares, God of War! My family are a bunch of crazy messed up chuckleheads who have spent their immortaliy just messing with each other like… like jerks!"
He darts forwards into the shadows and steps in her way. "I didn't ask for any of this, and every moment of my day is spent trying to be /normal/ and screwing it up. But then for some reason I saw you and I felt normall-er? Normallish? And it felt genuine."
As he'd been speaking his words had grown emphatic, tinged with laughter that also has a hint of exasperation, nothing near madness strangely enough but more of a reasonable being… just stuck in crazy circumstances. Then he stops walking and he looks to her, "So I don't expect you to feel anything for me, Ryoshi. I just… I need some hope that I'm not completely all over the place as a… mortal? Person? Whatevers."

"More normal." Ranna supplies as she glances at the youth and gives up on trying to sneak away. Taking his arm, the psi-ninja pulls none to gently into the alley and leads them down it. "If you're not going to be quiet, we're going to have to do this the hard way. Shadow-Stalker is still around and the authorities will be looking for people who might know what happened."

Reaching the end of the alley, there's a fence. Seven foot tall. Ryoshi, glances at Alex and smirks. Then leaps, to perch on the top precariously - giving him chance to find his way up.

"You're not very scary for the God of Fear, you know." She answers. Does she believe him? Well, it doesn't seem that doesn't, so there's that.

"Trust me, Alexander, in comparison to my life - you're doing just fine but if it helps, I'll be your friend."

"Yeah, yeah." Alexander says as he follows after her and then he takes a run to the fence, makes a leap and then grasps with one hand, pulling himself up nimbly onto the top section of a support post. Then sloooowly he lifts himself upwards, holding himself up just by his hand upon the top of that steel support, until he's upside down with two fingers supporting his weight…
And then he pushes off and flips to the ground on the other side, landing with his arms out to the side. Though at least he's lowered his voice. "I didn't want to be the God of Fear. Whenever I do something 'feary' it's horrible. It's terrifying. I show it to people and they hate me forever. Oh they say they want to see what their true fears are… but then they see it. For real, in front of them. The truth of who they are, none of the lies they have about themselves. And then that truth is there forever. And forever they see it with me there looking through their eyes."
He crouches then into the shadows of a nearby wall, the next best spot to continue their departure. "So no, I try very pointedly to not be frightening. I don't want to be hated." Those last few words murmured quieter still.

"Show off." Ryoshi accuses him at that feat of superhuman ability. She's got room to speak! When Alexander flips to the ground, so does she - nearly soundlessly. Not even her clothing give a rustle as she lands.

"People are liars. Of course they don't want to know what their worst fears are. But they lie to themselves all the time." At least she's not talking like a fortune cookie - like another ninja she knows does. She keeps walking though, letting Alex lead them to the shadows in the wall - it is then next part of their path.

"What is you want then? You have a gift, whether you see it that way or not, that you probably won't be allowed to deny." There's a bitterness in Ryoshi's tone that she simply can't disguise.

"I just," He stops and turns to face her there in the shadows and for a brief moment they're face to face with her masked features hidden. Just the eyes. His bright blue irises shifting between her own, as if seeking whatever the answer it may be.
His breath catches faintly and then his eyes lower subtly to look at the mask she wears as he murmurs, "I just wanted to know why, when I looked in your eyes then. Why I felt that I wanted to kiss you. Why I actually felt something when so many things before that has ever seemed just like…"
He looks back up into her eyes and then says, "Like so much pantomime. Why it was different."
He swallows slowly, breath being held as he seems as if about to say something else. But doesn't.

Ranna has to stop when Alex turns to face her. Dark eyes holding his gaze, she doesn't flinch. Does he find the answer he's looking for, she wonders.

"I do not know, Alex, why it was so different. Why it is so different, I suspect." She sees the subtle look at her mask, feels his breath catch.

"What is it you wish to do now, then?" She's not making this easy. She can't offer him anything more than friendship. She … just can't.

The small ghost of a smile that seems to drift over his features, it's an almost resigned thing as he lifts a hand there in those shadows to the side of her cheek. Not touching, though his fingertips can almost feel that fabric underneath them, the warmth of him being so near an almost palpable thing.
And then he speaks with that same wan smile, as if resigned to whatever it may be as he leans closer and whispers. "I have no idea what I'm doing." And such words, such truthful words have rarely been spoken even as the hand so close to her closes slowly without a caress. His eyes lower…
Then he turns away.

Ryoshi holds herself still, eyes watching in those shadows. She doesn't flinch and doesn't lean in.

"I will be your friend, Alexander." she says as he turns away. "Maybe that will help you feel more … human. More normal. That is, if you want that."

It's hard to tell if that's sorrow or regret that colours her tone as she pushes herself off the wall. "Come on. I know somewhere we can get hot chocolate. After I get change a bit and look more … regular."

She won't be offended if he decides not to. He's a young man, after all - and she just friendzoned him.

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