2020-05-26 - Split Second Timing


An out of hours visitor to Kens offices leaves many questions

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Tue May 26 06:51:42 2020
Location: Staten Island

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It had been an interesting time returning from inside the barrier. Ken and Barbara have yet to discuss that further but they've been busy since their return. There was damage control to do - which is still in progress, the chase through the streets of Staten Island and subsequent damage, had left Batgirl and Silver Samurai persona non-grata.

The mood of the police towards them is not great, but it's not terrible - they won't be shot on sight, which is something?

Tonight though, there's a disturbance in one of Kens offices in downtown Staten Island. Someone, or something, tripped the alarms. Silver Samurai. Batgirl is enroute to investigate. Oracle tells him.

I have feeds from your building management system. That's sure to make him happy. I'm not seeing anyone on the feeds at the moment but the alarms and motion detectors are indicating movement towards the executive suite.

That's where Ken has his office.

"I'm nearly there." Ken is just walking into the building in his usual getup. He takes the executive elevator and scans the RF key to make it go to the executive suite. He'd really rather not fight in one of his offices but he does have both swords. At least with this building he can just… refuse to have the police involved. Nothing to see here. That's just our… security.

"How did you get in- Never mind. Let me know if you see anything."

I have access everywhere. Oracle answers. It's a digitised, modulated, voice but he might imagine he can hear Barbara's 'tone' in the response. Still nothing but the motion detectors to Suite 134A have been activated. That's your office isn't it?

Whatever is going on, that's nearly a beeline for his office.

The elevator door opens to the executive suite - it's a waiting room style setup but very … Japanese. Sparse, but nice, a couch and some chairs for people to sit in, desk for the admin and beyond that Kens office, among others.

Ken can see the door to his office is open - he had left it shut and locked hadn't he? There's a 'shimmer' of the light, more like a distortion than anything, across the doorway - heading towards the window.

"How annoying." The Samurai says when the VI says it has access everywhere.

Without answering Oracle Ken steps into his office and draws his blade. "Whatever you are you are not welcome here." The shimmer in the air is answered by a glowing field around his blade and he slices. This is not a one hundred percent effective solution especially not if he's dealing with something intangible but hopefully it will stop whatever it is from getting out the window.

If not Batgirl might have to chase it because he sure as hell can't.

Oracle actually chuckles at Smaurai's comment but declines to comment further.

"I'm sure I'm not …" There's a flicker and a woman in a black and blue, nearly skin tight, suit appears. "… but I didn't come for the welcome, I came for you."

Kens not going to have to chase her, she's right here.

The woman has slightly dark skin, here features though - hard to say her ethnicity. She speaks perfect Oxford english though.

"I figured the best way to find you, was to find your den. And I was right. Here you are …" On her back she carries a pair blades and Ken can tell from the way she holds herself, she's trained.

Deliberately, she pulls the blades from her back and holds them at the ready. It seems she's come for just one thing.

"If you wish to talk I advise you to drop the blades. Otherwise…" Ken will just use the ones he already has. "Also, I generally prefer that people make an appointment. My secretary is going to be very put out if I have to rearrange my schedule because of this."

Now he's stalling because he knows Batgirl is coming. Of course she might know that too but having a second person here would not be a bad thing. If nothing else it makes subduing the woman an option. One on one? Ken will prefer to just kill her. And that WILL be hard to explain to the police if it happens in his office.

"I didn't come to talk. I came to deliver a message." The woman says, smiling brightly. "Unfortunately, you might need to rearrange your schedule when I'm done with you." She's confident. Either she doesn't know about Kens skill and ability or she's stupid, right?

"Ah, you're waiting for your partner to arrive …" She probably guessed that because Ken hadn't moved his gaze or emoted - had he? Either way, her blades strike out in a masterful motion - there can be no doubt from the way she moves that she's well trained.

"Dance with me, Samurai. Don't worry, you won't kill me … I was trained by the best, you might recognise some of the techniques." Ken might, as the woman moves he can see the influence of his own teachers in her forms. And she's not pulling many punches either - though she's not struck to hurt him, yet.

Samurai swats away the blades but the opening strokes do betray a the level of training he's dealing with and that's worrying. Even more worrying is the fact that she does indeed know that Batgirl is on the way.

"You should have left it on the machine then…" He says as he backs up and puts his hand on the second sword that he wears. The more dangerous one. Let's see if she knows what this is. And what his drawing it might mean.

More worrying for Ken perhaps, is the way the woman slides her blade avoiding the swat and comes in again with another combination. Even as Ken goes to reach for the black blade she 'tsks' - it's like she can see his moves just before he does them.

"Are you going to tell me if you draw that you have to take blood with it? Wouldn't you rather try your skill against someone your own calibre? And not just brute force it?" Her blades move beautifully as she launches the attack. It's almost perfect the form she uses - but predictable.

Batgirl is three minutes out, Samurai. She'll be coming in from the roof. Because of course she will.

"Contests of skill are engaging." Ken says as he parries and turns to put his back to one of the walls. Yes. Predictable. "But I prefer winning…"

His smile behind his mask is invisibly but she'll hear it in his voice as he swings that blade without drawing it. The whole thing, scabbard and all, whistle toward her shoulder. And she knows that any time he wants it can go from a wooden covered club to a light saber. All it takes is a moment of will.

"Tell Batgirl to hurry if she doesn't want to miss all the fun."

She does it again, the black and blue suited woman, predicts Kens move and moves herself. Seriously, this woman seems to know what Ken is going to do even as he does.

She doesn't try to parry his blade or connect with it - the scabbard whistles past her as she dances back. "So do I. And when one has beat all the others, one has try the best." Is that why she's here? To prove she's the best? That seems frivolous … but maybe?

With the scabbard covered blade in action, the woman drops and sweeps one of her blades at Kens ankles. She doesn't seem to be worried that she has the window at her back.

"I am many things but the best? I'd be flattered if I didn't think you were trying to distract me…" Ken whirls both blades in a synchronized, opposite fashion, one up, the other down. He bats the blade away as she drops and then follows through with a downward stab that will go through the floor if it doesn't also go through her.

Well. It could do both. She'd best be quick on her feet.

"And I do not distract easily."

The blue and black suited woman … anticipates Kens move. There's no way she could be that fast - and she was moving, out of the way before he went into action. Another attack and she's out of the way as he makes his next move.

"One of the best, on both sides of the aisle. Your record is legendary but that's only part of the reason I'm here."

What happens next, happens in a blur … the woman turns to face the window, swinging her blade as Batgirl hits it, feet first and tumbles.

The blade slices the armour she's wearing - it doesn't draw blood if only because the blade is not sharp. As Batgirl rolls out of the way, a foot comes down on her back … and the woman turns back to Ken. "Ah. Your partner. I saw that happening you know."

There had been no indication that Batgirl was making that move.

Telepath? Or someone with a gift to instinctively react to combat moves. Either way it makes this woman a very dangerous threat. Ken flicks the scabbard on the still sheathed black blade and it slides free an inch. "Last warning before I take steps that cannot be un-taken."

Put down her weapons, that's the warning. Or Ken will use that which has been given into his care. He doesn't coordinate with Batgirl. If she can read moves like that coordinating is pointless and she'll figure out something, Babs will.

"You don't want to know why else I'm here?" The woman taunts, kicking Batgirl hard in the stomach as the redhead moves. After that, Batgirl doesn't move at all - she saw enough the fight to have the same opinion as Ken.

"Operation Aurora Borealis, Oracle." She speaks to the VI subvocally. She'll work something, Batgirl will. It might not get Ken killed as well.

"You have displeased many people, Samurai and I'm the message." She launches her next attack just as Oracle says in Kens ear I presume you can fight blind. Close your eyes.

The lights in the room glow more brightly than they should be able to. It *should* dazzle the other fighter if only for a split second - and that's all they'll have before the lights explode.

Ken can, to a degree, fight blind. He is, like most humans, at a significant disadvantage when he does so. But he can do it for a short period of time. And so he does close his eyes and ducks. He doesn't try to counterstrike. He simply rolls under what appears to be a leap attack and comes up after he knows a blinding flash has gone off.

And then he unsheathes the black blade. The sense of palpable evil fills the room as he launches himself into a two bladed attack with both blades charged. It doesn't matter if she dodges. Unless she is literally physically superhuman, he's simply going to attack until she has no room left to dodge. And if she tries to block… well, she'd best hope she cna. If not things are going to get… messy.

The woman does leap at Ken, letting him roll beneath her - she twists though, moving to keep herself from being cornered. "Oh, very good. Not that it's going to help …" She laughs as the blade is drawn. "Can you feel it, Samurai? Can you feel how it calls to you?"

She seems aware of the black blade and now … well, she seems a little crazed.

Batgirl doesn't say anything when the blade comes out - she can feel the oily, palpable evil that exudes from it though.

She's managed to move so she's not kicked again.

The woman doesn't try to block, though - just lets Ken attack. Let's him drive her back to that hole where the window was. With a laugh, she glances over her shoulder and blows Ken a kiss. "It's been fun, Samurai. You'll be seeing me again …" And she jumps. Out the window.

Ken looks out the window and then looks about the office. He's going to need to go through it thoroughly to make sure that nothing is missing and critically, that nothing has been added. Very slowly he puts the blade away. It's a visible effort. "See if you can have her followed." He says to Babs and then takes a breath.

"She knew every move we were going to make." This very significantly argues in his mind for simply having her shot from a great distance. Some habits die hard.

Already on it, Samurai, but she's gone invisible again Oracle answers for Batgirl. The last I could get was a glider had been deployed before she disappeared.

"Well resourced too." Batgirl answers, slowly pulling herself to her feet. That nick in her suit will need to be repaired, her back and her stomach will be bruised. "But she did. How? Has she been studying you? She seemed to know who you are and … the blade…"

She's watching him, struggle to put that blade away "It's getting harder each time, isn't it?"

Samurai glances over at Batgirl and frowns slightly. "I presume that was a rhetorical question, since I really have no way of knowing how she was doing it. If I had to guess, though, I'd say it was some more-than-human ability. No one reacts that quickly otherwise, even if she did know my entire fighting style forward and back. Which is… unfortunate. I don't really have a way to deal with those kinds of abilities and while I can certainly ask around, my ability to figure out who she is and what she wanted is also quite limited."

In short, he's got nothing and that's pretty damn frustrating.

"Yes. That was bound to happen. Using this has consequences."

"It might have been." Batgirl shrugs and looks around. When Ken checks his office he'll find an addition. A single Kuroyuri bloom - perhaps not a Japanese flower but in the language of flowers it means blessing or curse. Ken might guess which one.

Her name, according to the facial recognition I did, is Minako Fujiwara. I'm searching for her now but there's not much available on the surface. That's Oracle.

Ken might recognise that name. The last name anyway - Takashi Fujiwara was the leader of a HYDRA cell that Ken worked with, several years ago now.

"Mmmmm. She left me flowers. Not really my style." Barbara may well also know what it means. Batgirl seems to have a great deal of background knowledge about obscure things like the meanings of flowers.

"Minako Fujiwara. Hrm… Fujiwara isn't an uncommon name. But I did know a man by that name once. He was in HYDRA. He was… not pleased when I left. Well. Was caught. I am unaware of him having a daughter though. He was not much older than me, so for that woman to be her, she would have been alive while I knew the man."

Sure he might not have told anyone but… what are the odds? Anyway, the name isn't a dead giveaway. Plenty of people in Japan named Fujiwara.

"I would say not. Flowers might be my style, but not this one. Oracle, any signficance?" Batgirl does know a lot about obscure things but Oracle can generally find more. "I prefer roses if you're ever wondering." She quips to Ken.

Ken can't see Batgirls face of course, but behind that mask she's concerned about the use of that sword. She knows little about it, but she can see what it does to him, not to mention how the feel of it permeates a room. Still, he's not the type to be open about it.

"Probably not a daughter. She's not much younger than either of us - if I don't miss my guess, she was in her early twenties." Batgirl muses. "Sister perhaps. Wife? What happened to him, do you know?"

The Kuroyuri, or Fritillaria camschatcensis, is linked to the dual meanings of blessing and curse. Given what seemed like animosity towards you, I'm going to conjecture that she wasn't leaving you a blessing.

"I do not. He was still running the HYDRA cell when I was captured by the Japanese government and while I fought HYDRA during my time on the Big Hero Six, I never fought that specific HYDRA cell again. The Six was more concerned with major operations and regional leaders than individual cells."

Yes, probably a curse. One that Ken is going to ignore, frankly. Curses are only good if you can make them stick. "IN any case, I do not recall the man having any unusual abilities. Perhaps a relative might be a mutant or have submitted to an experiment, but that's conjecture at this point and that is dangerous. And in any case, it doesn't solve our problem of what to do with her if we encounter her again. Fighting seems pointless and my list of other countermeasures is very small." She did basically ignore everything Ken did. Well not 'ignore' but it didn't seem much effort to counter him.

"Might be worth finding out, if we can." Batgirl mutters. "Oracle find what you can on the woman and anything about predicating fights." The redhead stretches and looks around Kens office. "At least you have some countermeasures - and I hope you aren't including the sword in that."

"We'll work something out, Samurai. I'm used to being on the back foot when it comes to fighting. I don't know how, but we'll find something that will give you an edge. Knowing more about her, is probably a good start."

"And um. Sorry about the window…"

"I really don't. If I cannot match her in a fight and she decides to press the matter the only thing I can do is deny the fight. Beyond that…" Actually no countermeasures to being confronted right now.

"The Japanese government might know. They would have the relevant files anyway and if Takashi had ever been arrested then it would be certain that they would find out about his family." How that might go over with Japanese HYDRA is an open question and one that Samurai doesn't want to think about too hard. He isn't sure. HYDRA tends to break the rules of society unless enforcing them is convenient.

Ken waves off the apology. "I was going to have to submit an insurance claim anyway. I will be busy tomorrow with the board here though. They're going to have a great many questions."

"Or confound her senses, Samurai. Every ability has weakness, you know that." Batgirl puts a gloved hand on the Samurai's shoulder and squeezes a little. She's not usually so … physical … with those she works with. Even those she's close to. "We'll work it out, I promise."

That's a big promise and she knows it.

"I'll see about making some enquiries then. Legally at first and then through other … measures."

"About the only thing I can't help with is your Board. Unless you want the security tapes wiped, that is." beat "Are you staying here to clean up? I have my patrol to finish, but can spend some time to assist or swing back when I'm done."

"No, but once I am clear of here I do need to come back and respond in a more presentable set of clothes." He doesn't have a secret identity but he can't show up with swords and talk to the police for obvious reasons. So he is kind of staying here and in any case he's going to be busy, for a while.

"When you're done swing by. I expect it will be close to morning then. We'll see where I am at then."

"It normally is. I eat dinner as the sun is coming up, normally. Maybe by then, Oracle will have more for you."

With a final squeeze to the Samurai's shoulder the black clad redhead, fires her grapnel and heads out the window. Why bother with a door?

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