2020-05-22 - Don't Turn Around


Another night at the fights but this time Kian gets a visitor.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Fri May 22 07:32:07 2020
Location: Underground fights

Related Logs


Theme Song



It's been a couple of weeks since Ranna and Kian were chased. Ranna should have been keeping a low profile but she's steadfastly refused to give up her job at the market and is still fighting at the Underground Fights. So far she's not had to move again, but she's expecting it and has taken to keeping a 'bug out bag' packed by the door.

Or window.

Tonight the fights are busier than ever with a grudge match between 'The Whisper' and 'Angel Eyes' the two top ranked fighters in the 'league'.

Ranna, or Ryoshi rather, has had several fights. Winning the first two easily and then they progressively tougher. She's just finishing her last match and it's not clear if she'll win - her competitor is bigger and just landed a solid punch to her jaw.

Shiranui is watching. Not in armor, that's too conspicuous but leaning against one of the stands in the back, looking down on the ring. He winces as he sees the blow land. She should be able to recover from that. SHOULD. She is little thing though and the man she's fighting is easily twice her weight and easily half again her reach. She really just needs to be better. And she is, but it's not clear that better is going to be good enough.

As to why he's here? Well betting on these things is a good way to supplement his income from illegal street racing. Diversification never hurt anyone.

There's also been rumours that people have asking about the little fighter, showing more interest in her and her companion than is … politic for these things.

Ranna spins with punch, spitting blood on the ground - then with one fluid movement, tumbles between the big mans legs - punching up with what strength she has. It stuns him for a fraction of a moment, giving Ranna the opening she needs to sweep his legs from under him and then put a choke hold on the large man. All she needs to do is hold it till it he taps out … or passes out. Either will do.

"Do not turn around." Comes a low womans voice. "The little hunter is flourishing much to The Orders dismay." Little Hunter - Ryoshi could mean Hunter in Japanese.

Kian closes his eyes and lets his battlemind go. It's a very handy psychic trick that lets him see without needing to turn around. So… he doesn't have to move. He simply stiffens a little. "That's unfortunate. The Order should really not abuse their biological weapons so badly. If you go to the trouble of raising someone to be a soldier, it helps if you haven't tricked them into believing in your cause."

His sword, obviously, isn't here. Too obvious. The TK amp that functions as a gun, though, that's in his jacket.

Clearly Kian's battlemind isn't well known. Behind him is an asian woman, about five feet six tall. "She was raised to believe in the cause. She was raised to be a soldier and she was a damn good one. *Is* a better one now that she is free."

The woman is all business and Kian can see the necklace she wears has a similar sheen to the scales on the braces that Ranna normally wears. That makes sense, likely. "We have a message for you and her. Given the others that have been sent have been ignored."

"Mmmmmhmmm? And what might that message be?" Kian sounds bored which is an affectation. He'll need to move quickly if this turns hostile but at least he can see what's about to happen. She was sneaky. But he is really good at dealing with unexpected complications. It's one reason he's still alive.

"I do tend to ignore messages that I think aren't trying to be helpful. Enemies so rarely have productive things to say. Particularly members of the Order."

"I don't know what she sees in you." The asian woman mutters. Kian can see the moue of displeasure as she speaks. "Who said we were your enemy? You should be careful about the assumptions you make. The Order *is* her enemy, now, but we are not."

"Tell her the Jade Farukon watches her chick and her heart swells with pride. There are other chicks that need to be freed from their eyries though."

"I'll tell you what she sees in me: I could have killed her and I didn't." In some ways perhaps he should have killed her. But he didn't. And he waited until she was un-murder machined.

"And are you not my enemy? I suppose an enemy MIGHT have tried to kill me. The Jade Farukon, eh? Is she going to start throwing things when I say that? And does she know where to find the jade chicks? Or am I going to have to guess or take out a craigslist ad?"

He's… not going to try that on craigslist. It's a cesspit. And a good way to get someone to try to rob you. That and, so he hears, dating apps. Not that he's ever tried that one.

"Yes, we know. We saw." the asian woman answers, glancing down at the fighting pit where Ranna is still choking out the big guy. The balance of the fight has slipped a couple of times, but Ranna's persistence is slowly paying off.

"I can't say what the little hunter will do at that name. You might want to gird your loins just in case. An enemy would have slid a dagger between your ribs instead of talking to you … and yet here I am, weathering your obnoxious behaviour and your insults."

"Not Jade Chicks. There is only one of those. These others are …. similar though. I wouldn't recommend Craigslist, there's all sorts of unwanted people on that but you might want to check the shipments at the docks."

"And here I am weathering your fortune cookie advice instead of putting a psybolt between your ribs." Kian replies and finally points his weapon, under his arm and without turning, aimed right at her chest. She cannot imagine he can do that by accident. He must be able to see her somehow. And then the weapon goes away.

"You may not be an enemy but I have a decent idea who you are, and you cannot imagine in your wildest dreams that I have forgotten what happened to the Project. That I have forgotten what people did to the Project." There's another short pause to let that sink in. "But I will pass on your message and check the docks. Next time you want to talk to me, don't sneak up behind me."

Kian can see the flicker of surprise as the weapon appears but it disappears just as quickly. "And you blame my people for what happened to yours. We know you do." The woman shrugs even as she assesses the man. How had he seen her?

"If you want the little Hunter to live, you'll do this. If you don't, you won't be able to stop what happens next. Next time, I'll put an ad on a dating app."

There's a flicker of shadows and the woman disappears from Kians battle vision. There one moment and then … just gone.

The crowd around the ninja roars as Ryoshi finally wins - her opponent has passed out on the mat.

She'll be waiting out the back, to meet him - it's a bit of a routine when he comes to the fights.

The main event fights are not really of interest to Kian, especially not after a conversation like that, so he slips out the back to find her after collecting his winnings. He generally comes out ahead. He doesn't just bet on Ryoshi and sometimes he bets against her just to keep anything from getting too suspicious. He knows how to read fights. And importantly, he knows how to read when someone is throwing a fight. This scene is, after all, for criminals.

Eventually though he makes his way to the back entrance to this network of service tunnels. Funny how no one ever comes down here to check, isn't it?

When Ryoshi comes out, she's in jeans and a hoodie - the hood pulled over her head to shade her face. Glancing up at Kian as he lounges there, she joins him. "There you are … I hope you bet on me in that last match."

This close to her, Kian can see the swelling on the right side of her face, the mottling of colour and the blood. She's cleaned herself up of course, but she took real damage from that fight. Even her lip is split and it makes her lisp a bit.

When she's sure their alone, she takes out her winnings and start to count. "No problems with people following us?"

"Course I did." Kian says. His own winnings are pocketed. They're not what she earned but then this is a side gig for him. Mostly he races and he's starting to think that's a tad more civilized.

"Depends on what you mean by problems. Does the name 'Jade Farukon' mean anything to you?" He'd been warned to watch out for her reaction when he said that, so he says it at a distance.

Ranna's earnings are big and she puts them away once she's counted. Well, almost - a small portion she hands to Kian just as he asks that question. She freezes, her face … goes as stony as it can.

"Where did you that?" It's so flat and so not like Ranna. Shoving the money at the other Ninja making him take it, she turns away and punches the wall, hard. Her knuckles bleed. "Which of her lackey's did she send?"

Kian almost dodges the money but one cannot let that go to waste so… he doesn't. "Not sure. Asian lady." As if that's helpful. "She said that they'd been watching you and were proud of you but that others needed to be freed. And she implied that bad things would happen if they were not freed."

The reaction makes him suspect that it was a message from her mother. Ranna has a… complicated relationship with her mother, as evidenced by her bleeding fist.

At least she didn't throw the punch at Kian. And she wouldn't have let him dodge the money - that's part of what she owes him for the safe houses he let her use. She doesn't like to be in debt to anyone.

Flexing her fist and drawing in a hissing breath of pain as she does, the smaller ninja doesn't face the taller one.

"Asian lady could be anyone, Kian." she mutters. "We're all Asian." Except Ranna. Ranna is more … middle eastern in her features.

"Watching me. Waiting to see if I'll die conveniently and not embarrass them further." That's not true and they both know it. It's likely that Marthe Pryde had organised for Ranna to get her armour.

She stops though, shoulders tensing. "Others that need to be freed? What on earth does that mean?" She's angry and hurt - emotionally and physically. "Others like me? Is that what she said?"

"They said they were proud of you." Kian says organizing the money and pocketing it. "And yes you're all asian. It's not like she gave me a name."

There's another pause as Kian goes over the conversation mentally. Had she said that? Yes. Yes she had. "Yes, others like you were her more or less exact words." What does it mean? He's really not entirely sure other than the obvious. The program was large, there are other programmed warriors.

"I wonder if they're all programmed to kill me on sight." He muses. That would be unpleasant.

"I wasn't programmed to kill *you* specifically…" Ranna points out, back still to Kian and still flexing her fist. "Proud of me. For what?" She's as much asking the spirits as Kian - cause he sure as hell couldn't know.

"Anyway, I wasn't programmed to kill you - just people like you." It sounds empty when she tries to justify it like that. "Did she use any code names? Identifiers? Locations? Or did she just say there were others like me." The smaller ninja, "If there are, they might not be activated …. " Now she's musing. "… even if they are activated … maybe we can deactivate them and …" she shakes her head.

"She said to check the docks, whatever that means." It could mean to investigate the cargo being offloaded or it could mean to check the offices or it could mean to check the ships there. Not a whole lot to go on but miss fortune cookie wasn't trying to be too helpful he suspected.

Probably has something to do with not wanting the fact that she leaked information getting out by being too specific.

"Maybe, if your friend the doctor helped though I still had to beat you to within fractions of an inch of your life for that to work, I should note."

Proud of her for what? Who knows. Flourshing probably but Kian doesn't opine. She'll just contradict him.

Ranna would argue with Kian, that's for certain. Mostly because she could and partially because she doesn't want to hear about her family. It's complicated. "The docks? That's all she said? Aren't there like a dozen in New York?" There aren't quite that many but there's only one set in the area they run in. "Well, I guess we can look at least?"

"Might still be a trap."

Finally she looks at Kian over her shoulder - her face is a mess. It's possible she won't be going to work tomorrow. "My friend the doctor? Isn't that a song?" she's thinking though. "What if he could get a jamming signal or something in place?"

"Yeah but there can only be so many that the Order are using. They can't be using the main port. Too much security, too many eyes on it. And they can't be using anything so small that they couldn't offload heavy cargo or people. So that narrows it down to something like four." The major ferry terminals mostly. One on Staten Island, one on Manhattan, one on Long Island and one on the mainland. The security will be decent but there are holes in it. Kian has used those himself.

"I mean if it works." Kian has no objections. "But even now I have little idea how your implants work. I know that I can disable them by causing head injuries. That's about it."

"We'll talk to Doctor McCoy." Ranna says quietly, shaking her head and then wincing. That hurts. "See what he thinks. He got all the information we had on them." Kian gets a dirty look for his comment though "I don't think that beating the living daylights out of someone is necessarily the best way to do things."

"Are you racing tomorrow night? If not, we can check out some of the docks, yes?" She wants to go tonight but she's starting to hurt more. Instead she's going to go home, take some motrin and have a hot shower.

"As a curative? No probably not ideal." Kian had after all not been trying to cure her when he did that. He'd been trying to beat her. Disable her. And if she had died, well, at the time he probably would have shed no tears.

"I am not. We can go check it out. At the very least even if we turn up nothing we should be able to hit two of the terminals." Which would leave only two left.

"You look like you need some ice."

"Good. Pick me up after work, then." That's if she goes to work, which she might not. People tend to look at her funny when she goes to work looking like a plum. "I'll buy dinner." Which might be chinese takeout on a rooftop somewhere.

"I do. In alcohol after I've taken painkillers and soak in a tub." She should worry about the drugs she's been taking and alcohol she's consuming.

"Want to join me?"

"I'll take a beer with you sure before I go." Kian usually does, and then goes off to do presumably ninja things. He does after all have to keep track of his various enemies and… do whatever it is he does to find those who brought the Project down.

But first, a couple of beers. That never hurt anything.

That just earns Kian a look from Ranna. "Come on then, race you there…."

They've got their bikes and both like to ride fast.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License