2019-08-24 - Like Sheep It's What The Hand Do


The Hand start to move on Hell's Kitchen

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sat Aug 24 21:37:35 2019
Location: Hell's Kitchen

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Ninja. Ancient warriors skilled in stealth and deception. They tantalize the western imagination and have for many years. When most people think of them they think of anime or if they're more studious they think of ancient Japan. What most people do not think of is drug dealers.

That is, unless you're the kind of person to be paying attention to recent events in Staten Island. There, a series of events has linked several secretive clans of martial artists to a number of high powered pharma-tech corporations and a nasty new street drug that has left a trail of bodies in its wake. It would take a premier detective to make the jump from there to Hells Kitchen, but the jump is there to be made.

Hells Kitchen is a long way from the crime and drug ridden hell hole it used to be. It has gentrified and the crime in the area has gentrified with it. That is what makes it unusual that there have been a series of drug related deaths in the area. Overdoses or a bad batch of heroin on the streets, the cops think. The official reports don't mention the shadowy figures stalking the night but the police talk about them in hush tones. They say that one of the Assistant DA's has even gone missing, though that hasn't made the news yet.

Tonight those figures have converged on one of the few remaining relics of the 'old' Hell's Kitchen. A abandoned brickwork building that used to be a garment factory. It has been long since condemned but its demolition has been endlessly delayed. Tonight, as in many nights in the past, lights flicker on in the second floor, dim but there. Surely just some of the homeless from another district finding shelter for the night. Right?

The pulse of Hell's Kitchen is familiar to the man in the dark and red. It has its own heartbeat and when something causes it to fluctuate there are those that sit up and pay attention.
It had taken time. Most of the early evening to run down the leads. Time and focus to corner the ones in the know, holding them against brick and stone while explaining to them precisely how fragile the human form truly was. Only a few demonstrations were needed. The attorney was the focus, the drugs secondary. But after a certain point pain makes the words and revelations flow free.
It led to that illuminated old garment factory. Its place of prominence against the city's skyline making the lights flickering all the more apparent. Daredevil has a hand against one of the old Manhattan rooftop cisterns, frowning to himself as he turned his head to the side. Something about this felt wrong. Felt off. But there was more to be found within the confines of the building itself. He broke into a run to cross the distance, making the leap. Landing.

The leap to follow the trail to Staten Island is there to be made. Ryoshi is following the trail trying to decipher her history - work out whether The Order has betrayed her or she's betrayed it. Tortured and confused, still in pain from her implants, the Order Ninja had made her way here tonight.

Her dark shrouded figure with a face scarf is perched on a building across from the brickworks, eyes trained on the windows on the second floor. It's near where Daredevil lands, so he might sense her presence - even as preternaturally still as she is.

So far, the ninjas have had to deal with the kids, and chips and guacamole. So far, the big bad hasn't made an appearance. Perhaps the ninja just weren't the attention of him. Maybe he just left it to the younger heroes to deal with, after all, there's rumors that he surely has to be near retirement age. But not tonight.

Tonight, Ryoshi has a shadow that she may not even know about. On a building near where she is, a second dark figure is watching her. And this one isn't interested in chips or dip.

Especially guacamole.

Three watchers in the silent night. Three sets of eyes on the building. Three agendas that run counter to the dark shrouded figures that have been making themselves felt in this part of town.

After just a few minutes of watching it is apparent that the lights were not simply evidence of transient habitations. There was too much activity and too much regularity to that activity. To the keen of hearing, there is the ordered clack of small, table borne machinery. Someone - a number of someones by the sound of things - is executing a rather ordered process. Something is being made.

The first floor door opens and two figures come out in dark clothing. They're dragging someone between them with a bag over their head. Whomever it is, they're limp. One of the dark figures produces a syringe and sticks the limp figure. The other carefully wraps the limp prisoner's hand around a revolver and holds it to their head. The dark clad figures are gloved. The only prints on that weapon would be the prisoner's. The conclusion of any medical examiner? That the prisoner got drugged up and committed suicide.

Someone looks like they're disposing of a problem.

When the Daredevil rises, he's actually noticeable. Most likely from the one that he had sensed. His head turns slightly, looking down and to the side. Three fingers are held to the side, counting down to two. To one. That's when those doors open below and the figures emerge with their intended suicide.
Soundlessly Daredevil takes three strides, plants a hand on the wall bordering the rooftop and propels himself into the air directly above the two would-be murderers. As he drops he snaps an arm around, sending a baton twirling to ricochet off of the heads of each one, /thwok-thwok/ and then he lands on them heavily.
Against the night it's just the merging of three shapes into one, though only with one rising. He quickly grabs the intended murder victim and shoulders. Intending to depart as quickly as possible and stow the prisoner somewhere safe.

Ryoshi frowns, unaware of her tail - though the Order Ninja would kill for some Gauc and chips right now. As the scene on the first floor unfolds, metal scales flowing over the backs of her hands to form straight edged chakrams.

Then she's off, following Daredevil - swearing softly under her breath as she notices him. The leap between buildings should be impossible for a normal human and yet, Ryoshi tumbles and lands in a perfect three crouch before entering that room steps behind Daredevil.

As his baton twirls out, one of her Chakrams follows, aimed to … kill.

Just as the chakram goes flying out, there's a whistling in the air as a batarang flies through the night sky, and there's a loud metal clang as batarang meets chakram, and both of them go tumbling to the ground. Rising from the shadows, the cowled crusader takes out his grapple gun and fires. Not at the door. No, that's not his target.

It's aimed fully at Ryoshi's waist to wrap around and snatch her off the ground in a Bataduction.

The Goddamn Batman does not approve, little Ninja Girl.

The CLANG echoes in the night. The very, very silent night. There's no response at first but then the sound of someone hurriedly coming down the stairs from the second floor. As Daredevil makes off with the prisoner and Batman makes off with the Ninja at least the entire area will be clear except for the KO'd guards when whomever is coming down arrives.

There's a cargo container at the edge of the lot not too far from where DD did his thing. That makes an ideal place to examine the prisoner. It's the ADA. Charlie Cox. But… something is wrong. At first The Man With No Fear might think Cox is dead already. No heartbeat. No breathing. Warm enough to still be alive though. But then there's other things. The texture of the hair is subtly off, and the skin as well. This… this doesn't quite feel like a person. And yet, if an ME were to examine it, they'd say that it died within a few minutes of right now. What. The. Hell?

From whatever perch Batman makes off to he will be able to see - if he's not fully focused on Ryoshi - half a dozen people come out of the door. All of them are clad in black like the first pair of guards, save one who has a topknot and is bare chested and carrying a pair of fighting chains with spiked ends.

"Wo cao…" He barks. "Spread out. Someone was just here…"

As the ninja guards spread out a couple of the lights on the second floor dim. But there is still movement and the clack of small hand machinery coming from up there.

And right at about that time Ryoshi gets a headache.

For a brief moment Daredevil had stopped, hand dropping to the baton on his hib, but then the Batman is, as ever, a step ahead. The batarang makes that hard stop, and then when he swoops… the vigilante in the red lets slip a small 'heh', barely heard.
But then he's rushing to that cargo container, setting the… curiosity down within and he stops. Frowning, his masked head tilts to the side as he roughly draws a glove off his left hand and then takes a moment to examine. A touch, gauging the skin's consistency. His head turned to listen to the lack of vital signs, fingertip running along a major artery.
Definitely not right. A hair is plucked form the being's head and he strangely enough runs it over his tongue. Entirely off.

"What the hell…" Ryoshi growls as her chakram is knocked off its trajectory. It doesn't quite hit the ground, it wobbles and redirects as the small Order Ninja is snared and lifted.

There's another growl as the chakram returns - it's arc aimed for the grapplings gun cable. Ryoshi's attention though is drawn to the top knotted man and that gets a string of profanity from her. "Daddy Bat had better let me dow——"

She doesn't finish that sentence as the pain arcs through her head. "Nggggh."

Daddy Bat apparently is nowhere near as talkative as Nightwing, Red Robin, or any of the other number of Bat younglings that Ranna has met so far. Stepping out of the shadows, the dark clad knight reaches up and grabs Ranna by the ponytail and yanks it up. He's not doing this to get her attention. Instead, he has a small screen embeded in the gauntlet of his other arm, and he's doing a quick scan and X-ray of Ranna's head and her gritting pain.

"Kill another, and you will find yourself in a cell with them." he says in that darkly gravelled voice. "Want to fight, you do it my way. And I see about fixing your head. If not, then I will treat you like any other criminal scum."


There's a shockwave from something striking near the center of the group of people that was in the process of fanning out and someone has landed there in a three point crouch. Most of the ninja have gone sprawling but the big one with the chains is still upright. "You." He says to the newly arrived figure.

"Me." The figure snarks back and then jumps again up to the second story and INTO the window. And that's when the sounds of fighting start.

It's at that moment that Ryoshi's expression of pain reaches them.

"We've got company." He says as he spins a chain and hucks it in Batman and Ryoshi's direction. It's QUITE long.

The rest of the Ninja draw blades and begin moving toward that noise. They can't SEE either the Bat or Ryoshi. They're too well hidden. And they haven't accounted for Daredevil at all which means HE has an open view of their backs.


Someone just let off… something like a gun on the second floor.

Rising from his crouch, Daredevil slides his glove back into place, adjusting the fingers by interlacing them and then zipping it up to tighten it into place. Then there's the sounds of loud commotion, causing him to scowl slightly and turn his head away as if to shield from those shockwaves.
Whatever this thing is, it'll have to wait.
He slips out of the cargo container and then rushes along from cover to cover, closing the distance quickly with the building where the sounds of battle become louder and louder. He catches a boot on the side of the wall, leaping upwards and then grasping the gutter spout with one, hand. It's enough to help him ascend and ascend quickly, seeking the rooftop and perhaps to get a better angle on the engaged parties.

"Ngggghn" Ryoshi grits out again as her ponytail is tugged, she normally makes sure her hair is secure so that can't happen. "They're The Hand. They're already dead, you big dark idiot. Killing them is the only way to stop them." She manages to spit out. The chakram manages to nick some of the cable and returns to Ranna hand as if by magic.

"Shiranui…." That sounds like a curse from the small ninja.

And then the Bat disappears into the night - leaving Ryoshi to tumble to the rooftop, just as the end of the baton flies over her head.

Rolling to her knees, the dark haired woman hefts the blades in the direction of topknot - far more powerfully than she be able to.

The other fighting chain whirls and knocks many of the blades off target. He's using his weapon as both an attack and a shield. The other ninja are climbing toward her now. They're using 'claws' (devices like brass knuckles but on the palm) to get up the wall at her. And they're moving fast. She needs to relocate. Or fight.

Daredevil can cleanly seen the action on the second floor. There's someone there fighting five or six to one. And there's a bunch of people around the tables. They're not moving. Despite the life or death fight going on around them. They're not moving. They're just… making something…

Heartbeats. Many of them, but with the slow pace of the well-trained, the focused. Tell-tale hints as to who they are and to what order they belong to. It's enough for Daredevil and as the man is beset, he makes his choice. With a _flip_ he leaps off of the roof and down to land amongst the foes on the second floor, landing upright and standing tall with his hands at his sides.
He draws those batons from their housing, links them together with a click as they extend into the form of a staff with a whisper. Then the staff twirls in a blur around and to the side where he holds it in his left hand.
His head tilts slightly, not quite looking at the other combatant that had been menaced by them and he says in that low tone. "I hope you're worth this."
And it's then that he moves.

Ranna has to push past the pain in her head. Whatever Shiranui did when he beat her senseless affected the implants she has. She's not armoured like the others - wearing fabric garments. Her ability is her agility and skill in directing those blades of hers.

As her chakrams are knocked off target, they change direction and whirl towards Shadow-Stalkers back. Ryoshi will fight dirty - a live Order Ninja is better than a dead one. Oh wait. Shadow Stalkers from the Order too. A live *Ranna* is better than a dead one.

"Of course I am." She manages to grit out as she squares off in a fighting stance, waiting for those ninjas to join them.

Where the *hell* is Shiranui.

"You'll have to judge but I'm got for at least twenty bucks." The other guy is moving fast. Faster in many cases than SHOULD be possible. Past Olympic athlete levels. His blade splits in several places and he whips it out around someone's legs. Ranna will FEEL that.

Daredevil has other problems though. He's attacked by half the people in the room when he arrives. Blades. One of them has a Kama. They are ALL very, very good.

Ryoshi is attacked. She's now four versus one and there's a bigger problem. She's lost Shadow-Stalker.

Though not for long. Somehow, impossibly, or at least very improbably he leaps from above her less than a minute after having vanished, chains whirling.

It's a blur of movement as the lines have been drawn. Sharp precise impacts and strikes lashed out between highly trained individuals. And in such surroundings, with such a crowd, the staff is ideal.
As Daredevil drops low the tip /thwoks/ hard into the shin of an oncoming rusher, the sharp stop of the impact letting him swing around the other end with added momentum to bounce it off the side of the head of another which leads to another crack to the neighboring skull of the next.
It's a whirlwind of motion, dust kicked up by the shifting footsteps of the fighters, bladed weapons ringing when they connect hard with the metal of the staff, whispering as they slice through the air so near to the Daredevil as he twists. There's the slightest tear as his chest piece is torn open partially, a thin angry red slice wells just a droplet of blood. Shallow.
Yet they've drawn first blood.

Ryoshi falters as Shiranui uses his power, taking a hit that she wouldn't have normally taken. Blood blossoms on her sleeve and she swears in a most unladylike fashion.

The chakrams though - one she holds in her hand and uses as a melee weapon, blocking and parrying to keep her attackers at bay. The second seems to have a mind of its own as it whirls through the air, hitting assailants to remove them from her sphere.

Realising she can't see Shadow-Stalker, the Order Ninja somersaults and barely removes herself from under Shadow-Stalker as he falls on her.

The chakram in her hand lashes out, trying to sever at least part of the chain.

The rooftop suddenly becomes very, very crowded. Daredevil is now on it. There's six - er, make that three active ninja - and Shadow Stalker. As the ninja drop he gets more and more aggressive. One of his chains is severed. just below the spiked end but it's still a very heavy, nasty bit of metal and he keeps whirling it around. He's got one on each side now. Lashing out at Daredevil's legs at the same time he tries to brain Ryoshi. Repeatedly.

Whatever's going on IN the building, it just went silent. Dead. Silent.

Just as the wind whispers around that hurled length of chain and weight, Daredevil's ducking under the counter swing of one of the other ninja, leaanning back to get out of the way, but it lets him /slam/ his staff down just in time for that chain to wrap around its end instead of his leg. When it tightens and retracts it takes that half of his quarter staff with it.
Leaving the man in the red and black with only the upper half, which he snaps forwards, wrist loose and twisting to make sure when the stick bounces off the skull of the ninja in front of him, he can move fluidly to the side and bring a two handed smashing blow towards the sword-hand of one of the other remaining ninja.
Not a fatal or finishing blow, but hopefully it might be enough to shatter a wrist, send the sword up into the air, and into Daredevil's waiting hand.

Ryoshi doesn't spare a thought for Shiranui at the moment, that damn chain keeps her moving. "Taking the ninja's seem to power him…" she grunts, dropping into a sweeping leg kick and raising that chakram above her head to deflect the next blow.

The other chakram is still in the air - spinning out dangerously and careening back towards the topknotted warrior. Not to hit him but to try and take the heavy end from the chain. With any luck, the razor sharp edge of that blade should shear through it.

There's still two Ninja up not counting the one that Daredevil just 'disarmed' for his sword. On the plus side, Daredevil now has a sword. On the down side…

Ryoshi does manage to shear off the other spiked end of the chain, leaving Shadow Stalker with just a pair of chains to fight with, bereft of their more dangerous extensions. For such a large and broad man he's surprisingly agile as he tumbles to flank Ryoshi and tries to get her leg or arm tangled up. Even without the spikes the heavy chain strikes will hurt. And if she gets tangled of course, SHE can be taken for a ride.

One Ninja tries to distract Daredevil while the other aims a kunai right at Ranna's face trying to give Shadow Stalker the opening he needs to get the entanglement.

That commandeered sword flashes out and up, just in time to make the block of that flickering kunai, a soft 'tink' signalling the fouled shot even as the movement ends with Daredevil now at Ranna's back for a bare moment. He holds the blade ready, staff reverse-gripped as he turns his head slightly to the side, "Let's trade." He murmurs.
And then he completes the twist slipping in front of Ranna in the same moment he's hoping that she's fast enough to turn and face those last remaining ninja.
It's a clean spinning movement, with his tip of the half-staff /clacking/ onto the rooftop, his hand flat upon it's grip as he uses it as a way to flip up and to the side, getting a clean long-legged kick aimed square at Shadow Stalker's head.

Ranna breathes a sigh of relief as the end is severed from the chain. That's one threat down but the other threat is still bigger. And has a topknot.

With the kunai flying at her, Ryoshi starts to sway back only to find the movement blocked by the red suited mans back. Her eyes widen - then the kunai drops. "Trade …" She twirls and sends the chakram she's holding hurtling out and calls the second back to her hand. Hopefully through the ninjas head.

The kunai does indeed go through the ninja's head. As in, right through it. As if it were a sack of rice. The ninja drops to become a pile of ash and dust in a set of black pajamas. The sudden switch catches Shadow Stalker off guard too. He stumbles back and brings up a length of his chain to defend himself against any follow up strikes.

"That was rude." He says in heavily accented english. "I wouldn't have figured the Man With No Fear' to be helping a cold blooded killer like her."

A shot rings out and something purple impacts and sublimates on the roof near Shadow Stalker. He swears in Chinese and back off further. "You win this round though, Ryoshi. You and your Devil-Friend. But I haven't forgotten our little appointment."

The blade snaps forward into line, ready and set to engage further with the Shadow Stalker. The man in red clenches his jaw, tendons bunching for a moment as he takes a read on his surroundings, realizing the subtle change in atmosphere.
"We might not be friends, but I know who my enemies are." Daredevil straightens up a little, though the blade is held at the ready with the half-staff making a quick twirl through its range of motion. Yet if this one is departing, for now, Daredevil isn't inclined to chase. There are other matters to attend to.
Like what is going on downstairs.

"If I'm a cold blooded killer it's because I'm what you made me." Ranna retorts, calling her chakrams back to her hands. The splash of purple has her wincing a little. "Shiranui …" Her eyes scan the area where the shot came from.

"You have my thanks for your assistance." Ryoshi murmurs to Daredevil, rolling her eyes at the theatrics with his weapon. "This was likely a drug operation." Is all she says and starts to head downstairs.

Ryoshi wants to know what's going on there too.

Now where is Shiranui.

Shadow-Stalker turns and bolts. He's surprisingly agile and in short order he's gone. There's no other sign of hostiles anywhere.

There's movement near the bottom of the building and… that's… Charlie Cox, the person that Daredevil just recovered dead. Only very much alive and walking out of the bottom floor door. Along with a number of other people. They look… dazed. None of them are making a sound. And behind them is a man in a full face covering… something that is black and has a gold hexagonal pattern on it. He's got a blade in his hand and some kind of gun in the other.

"Done playing with the Hand up there?"

"That man." Daredevil gestures with the sword in his hand, towards the recovering Charlie Cox, "Was dead."
He then turns his head slightly to the side. Listening for a moment, standing there getting the lay of the land. Most likely the situation is close to being fully locked down. So he'll live the two of them to mop up as he leaps off the side of the building.
There's a faint scuff/scrape as he lands, rolls, breaks into a run moving to try and intercept the awakening ADA. And if he's able to reach him in time he'll say, "Mr. Cox."

"Done playing with their victims?" Ryoshi shoots back. At least Shiranui's not using his abilities. Her arm hurts and there's blood dripping down it, the fabric of her garment turn and ragged.

"He doesn't look dead now. Are you sure you weren't mistaken?" That's to Daredevil. Hello Ranna - making friends everywhere. Following the red suited man down, somersaulting neatly and in ways no ordinary human should be able to, the brunette lands on her feet, not far from the man in the mask "What was done to them, Shiranui?"

"You mean possibly that dead man?" The masked figure points a sword to where Daredevil had left the other Charlie Cox. "I'd take a close look at that but I think you'll find that it's not quiiiiiiite a person."

The figure speaking to them, apparently named Shiranui, has his voice modulated. None of the others speak. In fact none of the others seem to realize that there is a conversation happening. Once Shiranui stops herding them they just sort of stand there like… sheep.

"Drugs and surgery to remove their voice boxes. Psychological trauma. The Hand and the Snakeroot both 'recruit' manual labor like that. And they prefer if their manual labor never tells anyone anything."

Sure enough there ARE scars on all of their throats though that might be hard for the likes of Daredevil to see.

Daredevil tries to corral the 'Sheep-Cox' and withdraw a plastic strip from his belt. It's used to attach the wrist to the storage bin's handle and then he turns to face them. Without looking to either of them, more as if looking upon the space between them he says judgmentally, "This is disgusting."
No further comment is made for now as he starts to move toward the building itself, to go inside and start to find out what he can sense. To gather what intel that possibly can be gathered with what remains.
He knows they're likely on the clock with possible incoming authorities so he has to move quickly.

Ryoshi sighs. She's seen this before. "They're really here in New York and operational." is all she says. "And yes, it is." That's to Daredevil.

When Daredevil heads back into the building, Ryoshi glances at the people and then Shiranui. "What are you going to do with them? I suppose The Order was involved here as well."

"Not here so far as I can tell. But they're involved elsewhere in the city I am sure." Shiranui turns to follow Daredevil inside. Sheep-Cox isn't going anywhere. None of them are.

The place smells of mildew to start with. But also drugs. There's heroin here. But there's something else. Exotic plant compounds that he won't be immediately familiar with and at the mid point on each table there's a small… something. It's difficult to tell without actual eyes but it looks kind of like a shrine. There's incense burning. It's pretty obvious that the drugs were… sanctified or something as part of the process.

"This is what your people do, Ryoshi." Shiranui says quietly. "I don't think I caught your name, Diablo."

Yes he just called him that. What? It fits.

Samples are taken, small scrapings placed in small tubes that slip into a hip pouch. The altar is ignored for now, but the substances each get their time. He doesn't look up as he's spoken to, instead he answers simply with the words, "That fits as well as anything." So he's Diablo now. At least to Ryoshi and Shiranui.
It's only once the mundane work is done that he'll continue to do a search, though he gestures with a hand in the direction of the shrine and asks, "What significance is here to that?" He straightens a little, listening to the thumps of their heartbeats, the steady draw and release of their breaths.
Likely they don't realize exactly how closely they're being scrutinized.

"I … I don't believe you, Shiranui." Daredevil will hear the confusion, the uncertainity, in Ranna's voice. "That is not what we were trained for."

Looking around, it's the shrine that draws her attention "It's a shrine to the Beast. The demon-god of The Hand. A vile creature." beat "Diablo then, that's what we should call you?"

"What are the plants?"

"Can't say. They smell eastern though…" They do. And while Daredevil might not be able to ID them without some research first he can tell that they're either Tibetan or Chinese. In that general kind of area. That fits for the Hand. They're definitely from that general area.

"That's not what YOU were trained for Ryoshi. But it is what the clans want."

Another pause. "It looks like they were sanctifying the drugs to the Beast. Which is a bit strange. But they never do anything without reason. What's your interest, Diablo?"

"Mm," It's all the answer they get at first as he tilts his head to the side. Still listening. Still scrutinizing. 'What's your interest?' Daredevil turns and then roughly flips the table with a clatter and crackle of wood, sending things scattering as he tells them, "Not in Hell's Kitchen."
He starts to move away, double-checking the samples at his hip and then reclaiming his fallen baton from where it had fallen during the battle. He twists the two weapons together and they compress with a length of wire connecting them.
"Diablo works. Devil. Daredevil."
He walks out towards the night, batons still in hand as he lifts it up. One end fires a grapple line that uncoils in flight and attaches to the nearby lip of the next building over.
"Be here in two nights, same time. We'll compare what we find." As quickly as that, it's almost as if they've been deputized.
Then the line draws taut and launches him into the air.

"It's not what The Order stood for." Stubborn little thing that Ranna is. She jumps just a little when the shrine goes flying. "Daredevil, then. Ryoshi." Shiranui she doesn't introduce.

Then he's gone. "Maybe." the brunette says to the empty space he was just in. And maybe he'll come to find and her.

Shiranui was sort of already introduced when she said his name. The Ninja moves to head out. "I'm calling the authorities. Best be gone when they arrive."

And with a bounce that's sure to give her a headache he leaps out the window, kicks off thin air and bounds away along the rooftops and into the night.

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