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For a while, the children of fallen heroes started to work in the shadows as the new X-Men. Not all that long ago, the latest incarnation of the X-Men was brought down in flames by Division's efforts. Team members captured, Agents killed, Cosmic fire everywhere... It seems as though the days of the X-Men have come and gone once again. Or have they?
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|SHIN Y. HARADA||
Posted: Jul 1 2016, 07:45 PM
Shin gazed vacantly out the cab window at the passing shops, the bussle of pedestrians folding umbrellas and milling among the sidewalks. The droplets of water refracted the lights of the city, bending and mixing them as they join together, streaking to the edge.
Japan had recovered well from the destruction of the M wars. Despite the cataclysmic "natural" disasters that had devastated the islands the people of the rising sun had rebuilt with a fervor that left the western world well behind. They had been able to leverage their peace time riches to gain materials and labor from other ravaged countries looking to bolster their failing economy. A benefit of the distruction had actually given the country an almost clean slate to build on. The civil planning and reconstruction efforts were well planed and strategicly implemented. The results spoke for themselves, a thriving economy, luxury tourism industry, one of the strongest navy's on the globe. There were still areas that needed work, slums, ghost towns and ruins, but the majority of Japan was a shining example of progress.
Shin had already given his driver the night off and it wasn't until several hours later that he noticed he'd not carried the Fruity Oaty Bars acquisition papers home. Rather than call his driver back into service, Shin opted for a cab. It was a trivial inconvenience to retrieve them, but his lack of attention to such important details irked him. Shin had been concerned by Uncles push to move Blue Sun's main headquarters to Shanghai. Such a move would further the interests of the cartel, but would most likely interfere with Blue Sun's corporate growth. Japan was on good terms with both China and the United States and even with the recent sanctions Japan had imposed much profit was to be made from remaining neutral.
Shin smirked at his reflection as the thought of centralizing Blue Sun in Chicago instead crossed his mind. It would annoy Uncle in a very satisfying way. The new American headquarters was still under constructin, a towering testimony to Japanese productivity. Before the end of the year Blue Sun would dwarf the Chicago skyline. Besides he'd always enjoyed America.
His musings were interrupted by the announcement of their arrival at the office. Shin gave the driver a hearty bonus to wait. The Kewi looked at the the amount entered and promised in broken Japanese to wait the week if needed.
"I will only be a few minutes..." Shin assured the caucasian.
Shin purposely strided up the massive steps to the main entrance. With gloved hand he pressed a green button on the control panel. A series of multi colored lasers and scanners played over his body for a few seconds as Shin spoke his name. A beep accompanied the green light on the door lock allowing the CEO access. The main lobby was dimly lit and dead quiet. Security bots outlined the perimeter, potentially deadly displays of samurai armor.
The heels of his Armonie echoed his steps as he crossed the reception area. The elevator began a whirring noise as it made it's decent to the lobby. Shin hummed a popular 21st century tune that seemed to resonate with the machinery.
The business man rocked back and forth in time with the music playing in his head. He would make a brief stop at legal before continuing to his office. The doors opened to a bussle of activity. The cleaning bots were busy with the floors and windows while a few straightened and tidied up the offices, dumping trash and recycling bins. Akira's office sat open as a bot cleaned the floor and another dusted the shelves lined with legal books. Shin quickly shuffled through the papers on the desk and signed and initialed in the proper places. Akira would be pleased in the morning. Shin shuffled around the cleaners and back to the elevator punching up the top floor.
There were only three large offices off of this reception area. Shin's was the largest, the others belonging to the vice president and the chief officer of research and development. When stopped mid hum as the lights to his office did not automatically turn on. The hairs on the back of his neck stood up. He picked up his tune again albeit quieter as he scanned the room with out looking like he was scanning the room. Reaching his desk, Shin was sure he'd located the intruder. How someone could have gotten past the towers security was unfathomable to Shin. Outwardly relaxed Shin's muscles were taut as violin strings. In one fluid movement he snatched a bo staff from the wall with one hand, vaulted over the desk with the other. He spun in mid air landing before the intruder and thrusting with the bo staff towards the midsection. He hoped to capture the intruder without resorting to his powers. He hoped for immediate answers, and his tachyons gave unpredictable results.
|ANTIGONE M. STARK||
Posted: Jul 27 2016, 12:57 AM
Antigone tossed the foil wrapper from the stick of pineapple flavoured gum now in her mouth into the nearby trash can, the opportune moment she had been waiting for had finally arrived. Casually, though quickly, crossing the street and approaching the Blue Sun building Tig used her ability to control technology to gain access to the billion dollar company. While she could have just shut down every last aspect of the security system, she opted to alter only as much as she needed to slip around the building undetected and unrecorded. This would require some level of concentration to maintain but should it come to it, she would not be able to fool the human element for too long. Her physical disguise was primarily tech based and only covered the face and voice portions and it could not be counted upon for perfect eye/finger print scans. Not to mention Antigone’s Japanese was rusty at best.
For her infiltration, Tig had borrowed the identity of one of Blue Sun’s employees from their human resources department. Admittedly, it had been the employee’s name rather than her position, build and tendency to occasionally work odd hours that had made Antigone choose her. Kimiko. It didn’t seem to matter how far she went or how long she was gone, everything still seemed to come back to that rag-tag group she’d left behind. She could bury ‘Gizmo’ just as deep as she had ‘Overwatch’ after the Alpha Flight incident, but no-matter what it was always going to come back to the X-Men. That was something else she would just have to find a way to live with.
All of the research and recon she had done in the last seven days strongly indicated that she would have to make her way to the CEO’s office for best initial access to the system. The elevator was only several floors up when she entered the building and suggested it should come down to meet her as quickly as it safely could. The timing ended up being perfect as the elevator doors opened just as she approached. During her brief wait for the elevator, Antigone looked down at her gloved hands and flexed the fingers on her left hand. She had come to miss the cybernetic limb which had over the years become her perfect multi-tool. It was unlikely that she would need to use even a quarter of the modifications she had made to the prosthetic, but it had been nice to have everything literally on hand just in case.
She had been tracking a hacker collective for the last two and a half months after they made the mistake of trying their hand at breeching ARC Corp’s security. Antigone had managed to stop them from breaking through all of her barriers, but while she had been fighting them off a seemingly unrelated hacker had managed to gain access to the servers. There was no way of knowing how much the rogue had seen or copied before Tig had personally forced them out and slammed the door behind them. She had placed the task of dealing with the rogue on One and Six so she could focus on the collective. From there she had followed every trail she could back to the collective but couldn’t get close enough to take them down without alerting them to her cyberpathic presence first. All of her tracking and surveillance pointed to them attacking Blue Sun in the next 46-72 hours, hence her interest.
Upon exiting the elevator on the top floor, Antigone reluctantly released her technopathic hold on them. She was going to need that extra bit of effort to ensure that the trap she was about to install would be undetectable, while keeping her presence equally undetected. It was doubtful she would be interrupted by a human element as Blue Sun was thoughtful enough to have a robotic night-janitorial staff. Making a beeline for what she knew to be the CEO’s office she technopathically disabled the main lighting, opting to use the light from outside to see. From what she could see of the decor, Antigone wasn’t sure what to make of Mr. Harada. He was either a history buff or a total megalomaniac, or possibly both... Like her dear old friend Konnie VD. Taking a seat in the incredibly comfortable seat, she took off her hard-shell motorcycle backpack and fished out the few physical elements she was going to need.
After setting up she had dove headfirst and deeply into her work, she quickly came to realize she was going to have to apply the same steps on and through three other spots. Antigone was so deep down the well, and blocking the upperlevel security so well that it wasn’t until the elevator returned to the top floor that she became aware of how imminently screwed she was. The installation wasn’t done yet and she was going to have to stall whomever had just arrived for as long as possible. Using her abilities to shutdown any external sign that the CEO’s computer was on, Antigone essentially held her breath as she listened to the quiet humming praying it belonged to the VP and not Harada. No such luck and being on the top floor meant no real escape options other than the door.
The dude was quick. In the door one moment and bouncing off shit and grabbing a weapon the next. Tig looked up at the man with an innocent doe-eyed expression all over the holographic face. Raising her hands slowly to show she was unarmed, Antigone equally slowly pushed to her feet and took a tentative step away from the CEO’s seat while being acutely aware of the bo staff's proximity. She doubted he could do any lasting damage to her with it, but it wasn't like he presently knew that. Blowing a pineapple flavored bubble at him, she pulled together enough Japanese to taunt the man who believed himself a badass. “The fat man walks alone. ” Antigone abruptly used her considerable strength to kick the deskchair at the actual employee before doing a standing back handspring and taking up the iron kanabō leaning in the corner.
|SHIN Y. HARADA||
Posted: Jul 27 2016, 10:27 PM
Espionage! The word sprung to the forefront of his thoughts as the young woman looked at him. Was she merely a saboteur, bent on destruction or was she here to acquire the highest level of corporate intelligence. She flashed him such an innocent look that he couldn't help the wry smile that came to his face. Her innocents somehow lacked authenticity. It wasn't as if he'd stumbled across her in the wrong restroom, this person was sulking in the shadows of the CEO's office, HIS own office.
The women raised her hands above her head and slowly stood up, followed by a cautious step back. Shin appraised the woman before him as they silently faced each other. Standard black, almost cliché outfit. She was light of frame, calculating in her movements. Her stance while wary gave no hint of being intimidated, further confirmed by the bubble formed at her lips. When the woman popped the bubble the oder of pineapple intensified. This was one of the things that had alerted him that something was amiss. The pineapple smell had been in the elevator too, the woman's hair and clothing appeared dry. She hadn't been in the building very long then and probably a loner.
Shin's smile broaden as he spied the backpack resting on the leather chair. He'd have to see what she was up to. <“The fat man walks alone. ”> Her Japanese was thick and did not flow, an obvious gaikokujin then. That was all the time Shin had to process the cryptic quote before the spy punted the overstuffed chair at him.
Instinctively he blocked with his staff but the force of the impact made him stumble back. Evidently there was much more to this little girl than just a high rise thief. Mutant? Enhanced? Cybernetics? The source of such strength didn't matter what mattered was the threat level just went up a few notches. Maybe tachyons might be needful after all. He could always restrain her and wait for her to wake up.
The women had armed herself with a kanabo made of iron. The old maxim 'Giving a kanabō to an oni' flashed through his head as the woman took a defensive stance. The weapon weighed nearly 10kg and she brandished it as easily as Shin did his light bo staff. While he could easily conduct the tachyons through the iron, he thought given the woman's strength and the mass of the weapon avoiding contact would be in his best interest.
<Churchill survived.> Harada called out as he rounded the desk. Why the woman had use the code phrase from World War II Shin did not make sense, unless she was a Nazi?
<Who are you Gaijin? Why have you come to Blue Sun? > Shin asked making a few feigns, taking measure of his opponent. He kept his words short and simple, not knowing what the interlopers native language may be.
|ANTIGONE M. STARK||
Posted: Aug 15 2016, 04:40 AM
She gave consideration to switching her holographic false identity over to the one she'd nabbed from a Division, but deemed it too early. After all, there was still time to kill before before her security updates and hacker trap would be fully in place. Besides, just because he knew she was an out of towner didn't mean her disguise was entirely ruined. Especially since he didn't seem to recognise Kimiko from HR. Then again, Mr. Harada appeared to have a fair poker-face.
She had just kicked a massive chair at him and was easily wielding a weapon that someone her size would normally have a little more of a problem with, yet even with his appraising looks he did not seem overly concerned. Was it because of of his connections? Or was it something else? The reasoning didn't really matter to Stark as long as it didn't come back to bite her or her other interests at a later date. He replied to her choice of phrase, and in turn she smirked. Antigone had more been referencing a movie that came out years before she was born, but the Nazi connotations could work well with the Division cover story.
< You are literally half the man Churchill was. > Tig laughed almost mockingly, removing one hand from the weapon to pat herself on the stomach. She re-gripped the kanabō firmly in case one of his feigns was real while mirroring his slow movements to retain the distance between them. Harada asked the mundane, 'to be expected' questions. She kept with the Japanese as best she could, while mentally kicking herself for not upgrading the, already outdated, nano-mask to include an auto-translator. Just as she had feigned innocence she tilted her head to the side and blatantly faked confusion.. before asking him an obviously bullshit question in return. < Blue Sun? What do you mean, 'Blue Sun'? Isn't this Red Bull? >
|SHIN Y. HARADA||
Posted: Sep 16 2016, 12:00 AM
As grounded in scientific method and reasoning as Shin was he couldn't shake the nagging suspicion that he was standing before some kind of Oni. The effect of tachyons on a mystical fell into the realm of the unknown, though the way this dance was going he may need to find out. He was certain of one thing, the creature before him was not Kimiko. For one thing Kimiko was very articulate, as opposed to the short bumbling speech of his adversary. Secondly Blue Sun had a pretty thorough employee screening process, and while it may be lacking in the supernatural review, Shin felt confident that the psychology portion should rule out industrial spies. On the other hand, could possession imbued enhanced strength?
The creatures quip about Churchill added another layer to the case for the demonic. Did this Oni walk the Earth during the Second World War? Shin vaguely remembered stories of Oni summoned to fight the West during the last two World Wars. The Hand were also said to worship and employ demons, though Shin's cartel supposedly had an alliance with the Red Assassins. It was this train of thought that lead Shin to postulate the reason for the creatures presence. The answer given was confusing at best.
< Blue Sun? What do you mean, 'Blue Sun'? Isn't this Red Bull? >
Shin was unable to keep the look of confusion from his face. Was the creature toying with him? Was it referring to another demon, the mild cheap western energy drink, or an actual bovine? Insanity was another option, and the more likely.
The creature was obviously toying with him. It had yet to make a truly offensive attack. Keeping Shin occupied seemed to be the focus of this little dance, so the sooner he stopped the music the better off he'd be. It stood to reason that what the creature wanted would not be in the best interests of Shin and his company.
Twisting to the side Shin attempted to put some distance between the creature and himself. Pitching the staff javelin style at the creature allowed him to scoop up new weapons from the wall.
His hands grasped a chigiriki, and with a quick twist released the weighted head from the metal shaft. Shin let the chain drain from the handle. This should give him the advantage of distance as well as the possible entanglement of his opponent. If things got tight Shin figured he would ramp up his tachyon field allowing it to flow down the metal weapon. Hopefully Oni are vulnerable to tachyons.
|ANTIGONE M. STARK||
Posted: Oct 17 2016, 06:46 AM
Antigone could not refrain from silently, though blatantly, laughing at the CEO's confusion at her reply. The man had an excellent confused face. He had very expressive eyebrows. If she were to make a list of the most attractive people she'd ever personally gotten into a physical altercation with, Harada would have easily made it into the top ten. That particular train of thought ended when he hurled his staff at her as though it were a javelin.
Rather than try to deflect the flying object with her own weapon, Tig ducked and dodged. The stupid thing brushed her side and the American frowned. Apparently Shin was no longer interested in their conversation. Having to fight him wasn't the problem, it was having to draw it out without actually causing him harm. Injuring him wasn't something she was interested in doing. But when a person can pick a fight with a speeding car and win the chances of hurting someone else by mistake skyrocketed. Eyeballing his new weapon of choice she internally groaned. < Oh come on. >
The chain on it was promising though. Sending a electric charge through it and into the man would more or less work as a taser and incapacitate him temporarily should it come to that. < It would be a shame to damage this beautiful office during hot sweaty combat. Wouldn't you rather submit now and save yourself the embarrassing defeat and office repair bill? > Their placement in the room was not ideal, not with the giant window behind her. It was a straight, unobstructed path right to the concrete below. Sure she might survive the fall, but there was no way she would be able to get up and walk away immediately after. The only upside was that it kept her close enough to the computer system that she didn't have to really strain her control over it.
She took a few playful steps around to the edge of the desk. It moved her closer to the door, but she was farther away from her backpack. There was nothing in it that would point its finger at her screaming Stark was here so it could technically be left behind if need be. "Or perhaps, you could simply take off your shirt and make it a show. It would certainly be reason enough not to hurt you too badly." She spoke in English with a French accent, and by the time she stopped talking Antigone had used her powers to alter her digital disguise to look like Division Agent Claude Sulpice. The face, hair color and voice were Claude's while the hairstyle and black on black attire were all Antigone.
|SHIN Y. HARADA||
Posted: Oct 27 2016, 10:45 PM
Shin was beginning to see a pattern in the creatures feigns, it was almost as if it was moving to inaudible music. The choreography was fluid but not quite random. The CEO took his place and began swinging the head of his chigiriki in time with the music. As he got into the rhythm he could almost hear it, like a low humming or far away chant. They began to move around each other again.
< It would be a shame to damage this beautiful office during hot sweaty combat. Wouldn't you rather submit now and save yourself the embarrassing defeat and office repair bill? >. Shin believed the tone mocking, the creature attempting to anger him.
<"A little redecorating can be good for the soul. It keeps us from becoming creatures of habit.> Shin mocked back allowing a light smile to cross his face.
The Oni circled around the edge of the desk. Shin wondered if the creature was going to bolt for the door. If it tried he was sure he could snag a leg with the flails head and send a burst of tachyons up its backside.
"Or perhaps, you could simply take off your shirt and make it a show. It would certainly be reason enough not to hurt you too badly." The creature taunted back in English, though the accent was French.
As it spoke Shin attempted to suppress his surprise as the oni's features morphed into a Caucasian. The request was as equally odd and though he did not loose his place in the dance he was genuinely perplexed. Was the oni now attempting to seduce him? While both faces were indeed pleasing the fact that the face was changeable was more than enough to not entice him.
Shin's analytic mind took stock that the creatures facial features and voice changed but the overall physique remained the same. Oni of legend were massive creatures, what advantage could be gained from taking on this diminutive female form? Was it simply deception?
<"Try as many faces as you wish Oni, it matters little. I will defeat you. "> Shin taunted in flawless French.
As Shin pondered these questions and several more he allowed his surprise to show. For a brief moment he broke the rhythm of the dance allowing the head of the chigiriki to bang into the floor, slacking the chain. The look of mock shock plain on his face as he glanced back at the flail. The on I, already beginning a fein decided to press its advantage. To late it realized the mistake as Shin twisted under the blow, utilizing his momentum and the bounce of the flail head to lash his weapon around the oni's. As the head and chain entwined around the kanabō his expression changed to one of cunning triumph. The gambit had worked perfectly.
Shin willed his tachyon flow to his hand and allowed it to flow through the metal to his enemy. The metal gave off a familiar silver glow. The same glow that had inspired his grandfather's nomenclature. The effects of tachyons were always unpredictable, factoring in the possibility of magic... Shin just really hoped this would work.
Unknown to Shin, his opponent had also taken advantage of the conductivity of the weapons. As Stark unleashed a charge of electricity through the club and down the chain it encountered the tachyon field. The tachyons supercharged the electron flow resulting in an electrical explosion that would shame a lightning bolt.
A blinding white flash that Shin could see even with his eyes closed was followed by a deafening boom and shock wave that tumbled the CEO over his desk and blew out the windows. The arcing electricity had started several small fires throughout the office and fused the flail chain to the club. Within seconds the fire suppression system activated and a mist of water poured forth.
Shin's tachyon field did much to shield him from the brunt of the blast but he found himself unable to release the chigiriki as he was bowled over the desk and across the floor. The momentum carried him across the floor and out to remains of the window.
Shin's fall came to an abrupt stop nearly dislocating his shoulder. The mutant let out a cry of pain. The long kanabō had lodged itself crossways in the window frame. Dangling from the fused chain Shin no longer wish to let go. He looked up to the window as rivulets of water began dripping down and the curtain fluttered among the broken glass.
With a grunt Shin swung his other arm above his head grasping the rod above his other hand. He carefully climbed up the weapon, all to aware of what would happen if his lifeline slipped. Reaching the top Shin proceeded to knock away some of the broken glass before crawling back into his office.
Surveying the destruction Shin warily wondered what became of the oni. His shirt hung in shredded rags from his body, his chest showing a red, raised welt. He did not know if it was from a burn or impact, but the water spraying from the sprinklers soothed the pain.
Among the dimming firelight Shin made out the familiar black suit. Grabbing a katana from the remains of a case he approached the still form. He wasn't quite familiar with the proper way to dispose of an ogre, but figured decapitation was a safe bet.
Moving around the body of the creature he looked on yet another face. Where the others had been attractive, even beautiful, this one transcended them both. She lay there sodden, flames illuminating fine features and damp matted hair. She looked angelic, thoughts of demons fled from his mind as a tenderness stole over his heart. He was sure this was her true form, there were fresh scratches and sooty smudges among the delicate features. He looked to her chest, noting the gentle rise and fall, revealing life. Wisps of smoke and exposed circuitry were visible between her breasts. Technology and not magic was this girls secret. Shin surmised that he'd received the brunt of the blast.
He longed to reach out and touch her, to move the soggy strand of hair that drooped over her eye and cheek. The curse of his power, his inability to touch another swept him in a wave of melancholy. Shin was a very disciplined individual and had been able to push aside any such feelings for all the years since his wife's passing. With trepidation he set the katana down and knelt near the fallen form.
<"Oni, can you hear me. "> Shin asked solemnly in French. <"I will not fight you anymore.">
|ANTIGONE M. STARK||
Posted: Jan 26 2017, 06:03 AM
He was edging on funny given the circumstances, she had to give him that. The fact that he was slipping into her rhythm did not go unnoticed either and in all likelihood the weapons on the walls were not just for show. He could fight and that was fine, because so could she if she absolutely had to. Apparently, this was going to be an ‘absolutely had to’ kind of night and he was just waiting for an in.
Rather than respond to his french banter with more banter, Antigone simply laughed. Somehow it just seemed more appropriate. There was also the part where French was not her strongest suit. As amusing as the encounter was, her hacker trap was almost in place and she wanted to get out of there before anyone else showed up to the party. There was a little voice in the back of her head telling her to just get it over with. All she needed to render the CEO unconscious was for their metal weapons to touch. Harada let the head of his weapon hit the floor, and that was when and how she knew it was time. What followed somehow went in slow motion and high speed all at once.
Antigone couldn’t be sure who really made the transition it was all too quick and her brains were soon momentarily scrambled. There was the sound of the chain on the metal kanabo and the sting of her palms burning as she sent the electrical current through her hands into the metalworks. The electricity hit another equally near unstoppable force causing an explosion of bright sparks. As the energy fields collided, Antigone was thrown backwards into the floor to ceiling bookcase hard enough to wreck the case and temporarily knockout the Stark heiress.
The world came back to her in bits and pieces at first, starting with the pain of fractured ribs knitting back together. At least she wasn’t coughing up congealed blood again. Though her eyes were closed, she had that sense of being watched by something predatory and the feeling of not being alone. It was this combined with the silence that she only encountered when some sort of EMP knocked her cyberpathic tendencies out. She generally anticipated the violence to continue but instead her adversary spoke softly, it took her a moment to process what was being said.
There was a ringing in her ears and her eyes wouldn’t quite focus. No it wasn’t that her eyes were unfocussed, it was that they were healing from having been burned by the explosion. From the corner of her eye, just past the shadow of the man she could see a bright blur that looked an awful lot like fire. The sensation of being rained upon suddenly made much more sense. Antigone coughed and laughed painfully, responding in English. “That’s good. I’d hate to have to kick your ass.”
Antigone wiped the matted hair off of her face and took a deep pained breath. The smell of burnt electronics only brought the realization that her nano-mask was dead and her disguise was gone and the sensation of bioelectricity beginning to gather on her skin let her know her electricity regulating tech was fried. Whatever that was, had not been a standard pulse, she vaguely recalled a silver glow. There was something tickling the back of her mind, in the place where all of her years of research into mutants lived. Silver. Harada. Weird energy.
There was little she could do against a Tachyon attack. At this point her options were few. She had no control over his computer system and no way of knowing how close she was to nabbing those corporate hackers. She had a feeling that touching him would only end up with another explosion and more fire, so knocking him out and taking off would require a little more finesse. The alternative was to come clean, or at least partially clean, and hope for the best. With another laboured cough she moved her hands to her regulator harness and felt the technology as though she were reading braille. “You fried my regulator, you dick.”
Antigone went to sit up but only made it to propping herself up on her elbows. Even with her blurred vision she could tell the man was also in rough shape from the blast. She internally laughed, she had jokingly suggested that he take his shirt off and it seemed as though the blast had had similar ideas. Rubbing her eyes one at a time, so that she would be able to keep one on the kneeling man at all times, she added on a secondary thought. “You might want to consider overriding the sprinkler system before you get yourself electrocuted. ” Stark couldn't quite decide whether or not his turn for the merciful was suspicious or not. Was it because he recognized her, the way she often recognized people she had read about? It didn't seem or feel all that likely. Her surname had a habit of making certain types of people hostile.
|SHIN Y. HARADA||
Posted: Mar 28 2017, 05:42 PM
Shin watched as the woman's eyes began to flutter, consciousness apparently returning. The sharp details of her face faded in flicker of the dying flames as he asked solemnly in French <”Oni, can you hear me?” > He paused as her eyes opened focusing on his face.
<”I will not fight you anymore.”> He added gently, the French rolling off of his tongue.
The woman coughed and with a strained laugh responded in clear English ”That’s good. I’d hate to have to kick you ass”
Shin couldn’t help but smile at the feisty foreigner. She was definitely not in a superior position yet held on to a defiant strength, despite her playful overtones. He would still have to be careful with this one, lest she make good on her threat. Was she in fact English? Possibly American?
As the woman was racked with another coughing fit Shin began to wonder if she had any serious internally damage. Perhaps he should consider getting her medical attention. He had his own medical staff that could keep this incident quiet and still offer superior service.
Her hands slid over the damaged electronic device nestled on her sternum. ”You fried my regulator, you dick.”
Shin narrowed his eyes at woman’s abrasive speech. She was American. He’d interacted with Americans enough to know that they tended to utilize crass vocabulary, but it always annoyed him. He’d hoped that this woman would be a bit more refined. He’d expected a certain level of self control from someone in the espionage field.
The woman propped herself up on her elbows, despite her apparent pain her eyes held the hint of a smile. She proceeded to rub each eye individually, she was a cautious one he noted. Shin shifted back with as much passivity as he could muster. He wasn’t going to let his internal guard down but wanted to placate the interloper as much as possible.
”You might want to consider overriding the sprinkler system before you get yourself electrocuted. ” The woman casually offered.
Something in the arch of her eyebrow and the reality of the lightning storm they’d just went through made Shin believe her. Shin had to assume from her statement that she was the source of the electrical discharge. Evidently the device on her chest merely assisted her in channeling her abilities. He slowly got to his feet and walked over to an Edo period painting of a samurai battling a large serpent.. The frame swung out of the way revealing a control panel. After pressing several buttons the water from the sprinklers stopped.
”So do you have a name? Or shall I continue to call you Oni?” Shin asked as he turned back to the woman reclining on the floor a smirk gracing his face.
He doubted very much that the woman would actually give him her real name but the attempt did not cost him anything. As he turned towards his desk he thought he saw her tense. Was there something over there to make her nervous?
Water dripped from everywhere and Shin had a slight concern that the woman might short circuit again. A charred smell still hung in the damp air and he wiped his soaked hair back off his forehead. A chilled breeze danced across his bare back and made him shiver. His felt his flesh stand up as the outside air careened into his expansive office.
Shin smiled at her response and gave a slight bow ”As you wish.”
Glass crunched under his feet as he walked to his chair and placed it upright, one eye warily on his guest. The leather was scorched and soaked. Shin scanned the office, dimly illuminated now by the surrounding city. The once immaculate office was in shambles and he realized he would need to remodel. Already part of his mind was on who to hire.
Shin caught a jerky stealthy movement at the edge of his vision. He cursed himself for his laps of attention. Spinning quickly he grabbed a Yari from the wall and let it fly. The spear barely cleared the woman’s head but hit it’s intended target.
A figure dressed in dark scarlet shinobi shozoku barely made a grunt as the Yari stuck in the assailants shoulder. The assailant did drop his katana, which clattered at the feet of the young woman. Shin recognized the color of the ninja, this was a member of the Hand. Before the ninja could recover Shin drove a second Yari into the assassins throat.
”Are you…". Shin began but let the question drop as two more ninjas entered the doorway and he heard the crunching of glass behind him.
Wielding the Yari like a staff Shin stood close to the woman. Where they here to kill her for her failure? Was she with them at all or was this all just some really annoying coincidence. What would have transpired if he’d not felt compelled to return for the documents.
Shin allowed the tachyons to flow around him, bathing him in an ethereal silver shimmer. The silver glow danced up the mesh covering the handle of the Yari. He would defend this woman from them! If the servants of the Beast sought her life, whether for failing a mission or simply because she happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, it would be to his benefit to thwart them. Shin crouched low as they closed the circle, waiting for the right moment to strike.
|ANTIGONE M. STARK||
Posted: Apr 22 2017, 07:30 AM
As soon as Harada moved across the room, Tig took the opportunity to rub both her eyes at once. Her sight was coming back, but everything was still blurred. Fumbling around in a hazy world was nothing new to her, she had worn particularly thick glasses as a child. Glasses that occasionally ‘walked off’ on her. Antigone had never though she would be grateful for that Magooian life experience until now. She would be more grateful once her eyes hurried up and healed. In that moment Stark thought up a new bit of personal tech and had the logistics of it almost instantly worked out. However, it would have to wait.
Breathing was no longer agony and moving seemed like it was an option again. Even with the sprinklers on and the carpet soaked through, staying on the floor could still be problematic. Even though standing wouldn’t guard her against her own electrical overload, at least her boots had rubberized soles which could lessen the overall damages. There was also the whole ‘escaping would be easier when upright’ thing. Antigone low-key checked to make sure that getting up wouldn’t cause more problems and chuckled at Harada’s questions. He didn’t recognize her. Good. “I think ‘Oni’ works just fine, don’t you?” She’d been called worse things by people she cared about, under more normal conditions.
She moved slowly and carefully, cautious not to cause the CEO alarm. Apparently their altercation was on pause while they recuperated from mutual cases of ‘almost died’. A cool breeze met her as she stood up, which momentarily confused her. Not only had she staked the place out, but she had seen the building plans. The windows didn’t open up here... Oops. Well, she had warned him he was going to have repairs to do if he didn’t back down.
The little bow was kind of cute but it didn’t throw her focus off. Hackers to catch, corporate espionage to prevent... Fucking tachyon shit. Antigone unlatched her harness and slid it off in hopes to salvage it later. If she surged before then, the tech would be DOA and or things would catch fire again. She had a temporary backup unit in her bag... which was on the other side of the room, presumably under some debris. “WHOA.” Antigone was about to say something snarky about the decor needing to be updated anyway, and try to get her stuff, when the man sprung back into action. “WHOA!”
Tig dropped into a crouch the moment that Harada ripped another weapon off the wall, throwing it in her direction. She wanted to yell ‘uncalled for’ at him over it, but the sound of something hitting the ground right behind her caught her attention. Still crouching she turned halfway around, first catching sight of the fallen sword then spotting the dark red pants and the man wearing them. She still couldn’t quite make out the details of everything but the red-clad individual had that spear-like weapon sticking out of their shoulder. Antigone’s hand was wrapped around the sword’s hilt and was moving in an upward motion before she even realized she was doing it.
Electricity flowed from her, through the sword and into a secondary red-clad ninja. Quickly pivoting as she stood, Tig was out of Harada’s line of fire by the time the person she incapacitated hit the ground. She saw another instrument of death fly past her into the asshole who’d snuck up on her. Being physically and technopathically blinded really had her off her game. Shit. That was why red ninjas were ringing some sort of memory bell. It was a tiny bit of information she had retained over the years, after learning it through SHIELD’s files. Not because it was important, but because ‘Daredevil is actually a blind lawyer’ was just too weird to forget. The stories she’d heard about the so-called ‘man without fear’ and typically had him fighting organized crime and fighting red ninjas all over Manhattan. What were they called again? The something or other body part guild of assassins?
This was so not the kind of shit she needed to be getting into.
Harada full-on attacking these people was a sure sign that they weren’t on his payroll. Or if they were, there was some definite disgruntlement on both sides. “Am I what? Ready to going full-Oni on these monkeys?” The only spot of good fortune was that it appeared as though she wasn’t going to have to fight the tachyon machine again. He was standing close, she could see his silvery shimmer in her peripheral. Stark adjusted her stance so that they were unlikely to accidentally bump into each other and set off another localized explosion. She had dropped the regulator harness when he had startled her, and now she kicked it behind herself and out of the way.
Antigone adjusted her hold on the katana as she calculated her odds in this situation. She was a punch-stuff tech-girl, proper katana usage was a little outside of her wheelhouse. A lead pipe? A candlestick? Basically any of the weapons from the game Clue. But a sword? Antigone silently decided that if she made it out of Japan in one piece, she would look into Harada and Blue Sun further. The red pajama boys didn’t come out of the woodwork for just anyone. Whether they were the real deal or a cheap imitation remained to be seen. “Well, this hardly seems fair. ”
She couldn’t tell how many of them there were in the dim lighting and their matching jammies. Brute force vs well honed agility and skill. Sure, she had training, but she was no ninja-assassin. “But hey, you assholes may want a pay raise after this.” It briefly occurred to her that they may have had something to do with all the hacking shit, or that the corporate espionage may have been a trap. Somehow, she couldn’t mentally make those dots connect under her current circumstances.