2020-02-29 - Unpaid Dues


Silver Samurai to the rescue when Avery's past comes back to haunt her.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sat Feb 29 09:10:33 2020
Location: RP1 - NYC - Outskirts of Mutant Town

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Theme Song



It is a rather weary and desperate Avery who leans against a wall in the lee of a dumpster, heart thumping as she works frantically to bind up several cuts with the tattered remnants of her hoodie. Whoever these guys are, they are tenacious! Highly skilled too, and — unfortunately well informed. They've been pushing her hard enough that she is unable to risk using her powers anymore, too low on calories - she /might/ have one more port in her, but…she's fatigued, she's injured, and exhausted…it will be the last one, and then that's it.

Panting for breath as softly as she can, the girl checks her water bottle…empty. Frustrated, she tosses it away, and then she hears the sound she /least/ wanted to hear - the approach of motorcycles. Worse, the sounds are coming from each end of the alley she'd hoped to shelter in.

A sigh, and then the girl stands and takes a defensive stance, she still has one baton, but that is it. Baton and grit - all she's got left, but damned if she's going down without a fight. "Come on then, Avery Aaronson be not one to meekly accept her fate, brigands."

The bike on the outside edge is a sweet thing, high tech, and the man steps off it is slender, whipcord thin and preternaturally graceful. He smiles. "You are brave, little one, but no match for the Daisho. Our employer was quite specific." As he says this he draws a katana.

Whistle-clang! An iron arrowhead bounces off the flat of the katana. It is attached to an arrow, as is the natural way of such things. About fifty yards away there is a man on another motorcycle - a honda - with a bow and a quiver full of arrows, a set of riding leathers and a demon-faced mask covering his lower face.

"Believe me when I say I put that arrow exactly where I wanted it. And believe me when I say that the next one will not go on the flat of your sword."

He sounds angry and short in ways that only the Japanese really can.

The arrow hits hard, the weapon knocked from the man's hand to embed itself into the wall of the alleyway the man is facing. He is dressed in a thigh length slate grey leather jacket, and matching riding helmet, the visor mirror sheened. He turns his head halfway to face the archer. "This is not your business, archer." Not like he knows the bike rider on sight after all. "Move along, tend to other concerns, this is nothing you wish a part of."

From inside the alley the second biker dismounts, though Ken likely cannot see him, and draws a pair of ninjato. Ken may very well hear the other man's voice. "Kill him, I'll deal with our target."

Avery is shocked then elated when the arrow strikes with a lovely belling of steel on steel, and far happier when that familiar voice is heard. "They be not normal, Samurai-San!" She shouts, and then rather than wait for the other to engage, moves to scamper upwards, a last ditch burst of energy to try and parkour to the roof that ends rather badly when the other man drops his swords and rapidly fires darts at her - she dodges several, more than a dozen, but…yeah, she's hit…and then falls a good fifteen feet, bouncing off the dumpster she'd sheltered behind to lie very still.

The man they are after smoothly dismounts from the bike and approaches at a walk. The blades are assessed. They look like they're made of metal. That'll be fine. When they reach range to strike a glow surrounds the bow and he swipes up, as if he is going to fight with it. What happens instead is that the bow cuts the swords in half. The aura switches off and Samurai tests how not normal they are, trying to trip them up so he can get further.

"You will find-!" He calls out. "That it will take more than your lackeys to deal with one who has mastered Zanji Shinjiken Ryu!" The Way of the Sword and Bow. The ancient arts of the Samurai.

Both of the men are dressed in identical outfits, and with nearly identical builds it is hard to tell them apart side by side. The sword in the wall tears itself free when the first man extends his hand. The second watches his swords cut in half, and then nods. "So." He says, and then produces a pair of sai, traditional sai actually - not sharp. Both men start to circle the Samurai widdershins, Avery face down on the street of the alley, hair lank with sweat and draping over the trash and detritus. The dart in her back must have been drugged and with her metabolism it hit harder and faster than one might have expected.

"Last chance, 'Samurai-San', this is /not/ your fight. The girl owes a deep debt - we were hired to collect her. Step aside, there is no need for you to die."

One thing is certain - these men are very very skilled, and they move with a synchronicity that is…astonishing.

The Samurai spins his bow a couple of times and turns, eyeing both. They seem will trained enough to coordinate their attack. Best, then, not to let them. The moment he strikes the other will move in at his back, but that can't be helped. He goes for the one with the sai, and his bow glows again. This time he just swings right at the man's chest. Any normal being, even most supernatural ones, would be cut in half by the tachyonic field. Of course Avery HAD just warned him that they might not be normal - or even his brand of weird, but nothing ventured nothing gained.

He still has to get at their master.

When the other one comes at his back - inevitably, it's a very tempting target and he knows - Samurai kicks out. He has been doing many on one fights since before he was a hero. He is well used to their rhythm and rhyme.

Neither of these men alone is on par with the samurai, where they truly shine however is in how perfectly they work together, it is almost like two bodies guided by one mind, one soul, one will. The sai wielder, clearly the short blade of the Daisho set, twists aside and having seen what happened with his swords does not even try to parry that glowing bow. His jacket is cut, a line of crimson dribbling the width of his chest as the blade still manages a minor wound, too pale flesh cut — and then mending itself even as Ken watches.

Indeed the other moves to strike at the exact moment his counterpart leaps back, are they tethered? That's what it would resemble as he aims a slash at Ken's neck. A slash quite ruined by the stomp to his chest that sends him sliding back a couple feet with a *whoosh* of air displaced from the impact. "You fight well." Observes the long blade of the Daisho. "Perhaps instead of fighting we can come to an arrangement?"

It takes Samurai a moment to regain his balance. He shifts the bow to his left hand and reaches down to just thumb the tang of one of his katana out of the scabbard. His hand goes to the hilt, ready to draw but he holds for just a moment.

"I am open to that possibility. What are you offering for your life?"

That is not, Ken knows, the offer that is being made. He is ever so slightly an ass. But the blade he's about to draw, while a compliment in the sense that he thinks he might need it, is also a CLEAR escalation in skill and power. He's much better with a blade. And MUCH more dangerous.

These men keep circling, never stopping their movement, never giving a moment where one is immobile and vulnerable. And their steps are perfect mirrors. They also recognize the escalation. The short blade looks to Ken. "What is this girl to you? She is deeply indebted, the sins of the father are carried - in this case - to the daughter." Even as the long blade nods. "We are mercenaries, but we are not without honor. We are willing to split the bounty, a sizable fee. All you need do is stand down and we will trouble you no further."

And then both together. "If you decline, then we will, regretfully have to see who is survives, the Samurai or the Daisho."

Ken tosses the bow lightly aside and draws the blade. In his other hand he holds the scabbard. Both of them he twirls around him and then drops into a low/high guard, staple of a two bladed style (which is honestly unusual for a swordsman of his training).

"In that case, I decline."

Both blades glint with the power of his mutant genes and he goes right for short blade in a storm of steel.

"So." The Daisho states in one voice from two bodies.

And then the storm strikes, and the short blade is sorely beset. He bears up fairly well, going full defensive striking to deflect the flats of the blades attacking him - not that the tachyonic field discriminates. What is interesting is how the man's hands conjure weaponry from elsewhere just as he needs them. Even so, his efforts are cut short when one of his arms is cut clean off just below the shoulder. Bright red blood spurts, then the spray slows, and then it stops…all in seconds. Both men hiss in pain, and the short blade leaps back a good twenty feet to land with remaining hand flat on the ground as he slides backwards.

The long blade gestures, and the severed arm leaps into flight back to his counterpart, he snatches it from the air and presses the stumps together…the hell?

The long blade concentrates, dropping his physical sword and then manifesting one of pure force. Whether or not it is impervious to the samurai's power…is yet to be seen.

Samurai takes the opportunity to drop one knee and concentrate on Short Blade. The blade of force is a concern as is these being's regenerative ability. But how well does it work when they're in several pieces. It's no effort at all to attempt at any rate. And diced short blade will make delaing with long blade and his force sword easier.

Speaking of which, Ken spins on pure instinct to block the back strike that should be coming. Much of swordswork is knowing what your opponent's next best move is and moving to counter it. Someone might occasionally make a sub-optimal move to throw such predictions but in life or death fights, the penalty for making a sub-optimal play is usually instant loss of the bout - and one's life in the process.

The Samurai's block is textbook, and does indeed intercept the descending blade of pure white energy. Truly it is a good thing that Ken's sword is sheathed in the power of his mutant genes - his gift proves more than equal to the task of blocking the blade, and it is clearly painful in the extreme for the long blade, as sparks fly at every point of contact.

Arm reattached, the short blade leaps to the attack once more, conjuring weaponry of plain steel as needed, in this case twin kukri…only to end up diced into several pieces, the central mass sort of caterpillars to one of his legs, muscle and sinew and tendons…veins and arteries and nerves reattaching, and then drawing the limb close to reattach it. It is a slow process, and a very painful one.

And the pain is something the two seem to share.

Short blade is out of the fight for the moment, though one of his hands is already dragging the arm towards the body, indeed, all the severed parts wriggle, and thump, and bump awkwardly towards the main mass.

"I can do this for a very long time…" The Samurai says as he turns his full attention to Long Blade. The mass behind him is a bit unsettling but it is out of the fight for the moment and so he has no choice but to put it from his mind. "I can reduce both of you to piles of yakiniku and if you cannot die… I can make you wish that you could…"

He cannot cut through the long blade but he is still an extremely accomplished swordsman and he has effectively two blades. Sure one is a wooden scabbard but it wouldn't matter if it were a pool noodle. It still cuts like a lightsaber in his hands.

Albeit, pool noodles are too floppy for his tastes in fencing.

"Is the girl worth it, really? I'm rather enjoying this. I can see this hurts. You know the moment your partner is half assembled I'm just going to ginsu him again, right?"

The mental game is often as important as the physical one in these contests.

It is a very subtle thing, but…the threat to ginsu them both actually gives the long blade a momentary hitch, it is very very subtle, but /that/ threat seems to sink home. Which if caught will be quite interesting indeed.

Dry spaghetti would be a much better choice! A bit more rigidity.

That slithery mass of vivisected man is slightly less than half reformed. A good thing too considering Ken's threat. Short blade speaks. "Brother…" And the long blade nods. "…agreed."

He steps back then, and hands raised with the palms shown he unsummons that force blade. "Very well, Samurai-san…" This time said without the sarcasm he displayed the first time. And really, these two are a VERY scary team, not many single fighters could cope, Avery sure couldn't. "…we will stand down this fight and withdraw."

IF Ken lets them, that is.

Ken does, actually. The moment the blade is gone, the Samurai steps back. He doesn't see the point in needlessly hurting these men. This man. Whichever. If he could kill them without resorting to extreme measures they'd both be dead by now. They've offered to withdraw. If they'll keep their word he will give them a warrior's due.

The demon masked man flicks the blood off his blade, sheathes his sword and bows. Slightly.

"Very well. I will grant your request for hegira."

They won't know what that means. They'd have to be MASSIVE nerds to know what that means.

But they should get the notion that he's going to let them go.

Long blade inclines his head in thanks, then looks to his brother, making abrupt gestures to push limbs along faster, and then moving to offer his brother, apparently, a hand up. The short blade sighs at his destroyed leathers, and then shrugs with a resigned sigh as he looks once to Avery's fallen form. Still, the long blade made the offer, and strange term or not, the Samurai accepted. He too offers a nod, even a half bow to Ken.

He turns then and moves to the other high-tech cycle at the back of the alley, and mounts up even as his brother turns and mounts his. "This is not over, Samurai-san. We will return our fee but we were not the only ones tasked with this. The girl /owes/, and the debt will be claimed."

Warning given, he and his counterpart both will depart in opposite directions.

Avery is still unconscious on the ground. And she's rather beat up - still - she managed to almost get away from these two, not too bad considering her skill and theirs, though—why didn't she just teleport away? He knows she can, and yet she didn't.

"Gaijin." Ken says in a way that makes it clear that is NOT a compliment. He walks over to Avery and sort of gently slaps at her face to see if she can be roused. If she can't he's going to have to get her off the street and trying to wrangle an unconscious person on a motorcycle is just asking for trouble.

And that's BEFORE he's spotted by the cops.

"Zeal. Wake up. This is not the time or place for a nap."

It takes some doing, but eventually Avery wakes, her first instinct to start and look wildly around before she realizes who's there. Eyes of hazel are almost grey, and there's nary a fleck of gold visible to them. "I am sorry, Samurai-san, I was not strong enough." It clearly pains her that she wasn't.

Another thing that pains her - the pain she's in from multiple cuts, numerous bruises, and oh yeah…the point her back hit the dumpster when she fell, that feels just great even after a short lay down.

Weak as a kitten, Avery nevertheless tries to sit up, and will do her best to get to her feet, though she'll likely need some help. "I…who were those men? They just…attacked me as I walked home from the clinic, the one with the katana — he used a smoke bomb, it…fuzzed my wits, drained my power…had to run…"

A sigh. "I don't even know them."

"I do not know. But they spoke of you owing some kind of debt. Well, no. They spoke of your father owing some kind of debt and you were to be made to pay it. I am afraid the danger is not passed." That her power could be drained is interesting. Ken helps Avery to her feet and considers.

"I will call Batgirl. We can meet her now if I can get ahold of her. She should be able to find a safe place for you to recover and work out next steps."

There's a LOT of blood behind him. No bodies though. That's a physics puzzle to be sure, how they could lose that much fluid and still be moving about.

"A debt…that, makes sense." Avery looks to the Samurai. "They did not seem to be Russians to me." A soft laugh, followed by a wince and an arm protectively curling about her ribs on the left side. Yeah, bruised or worse more than likely.

"Thank you, Samurai-sama, I am in your debt for this most timely intervention."

She is a little glad, more than a little, that whatever army got slaughtered at least had the courtesy to police their spent soldiers. Very polite.

"I needs must train more, clearly my skills be lacking still."

She nods acquiescence. "Pray do call my liege lady, if you will." Hopefully she's not fired!

"Training is not everything." There are some things you can't simply train around, like hard limitations on powers. Having said that… "But yes. You will probably wish to train more. Come. Over by the bike. I will make the call as we ride."

And with that, Ken shepherds Avery onto his bike and takes off. The less they're seen hanging around the better. After all, apparently the game's afoot.

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