Nights and Ninjas

September 07, 2014:

Ninjas attack Alexander in Lincoln Square. Kitty is there to help.

Lincoln Square

Characters

NPCs: Lockheed

Mentions:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

The skyline of Manhattan is obscured by the heavy hang of low flying clouds, the great skyscrapers blocked partially from view by the threat of rain and the subtle haze of the moon's glow from high above. It's just enough to cast a subtle haze upon the world that is only disspelled by the gleam of streetlamps in the night. Yet throughout the city there are oases of light, bastions of illumination that give the city its reputation of never sleeping.

One such bastion is Lincoln Square. Surrounded on three sides by those tall, almost Romanesque, buildings they bracket a steady burbling and bubbling fountain square in the middle of the wide stone courtyard. The fourth side is open to the street, foot and wheeled traffic moving past with a steady hum and rumble. Yet at this late of an hour the traffic has fallen off some, though still there.

Tonight, the young man known as Alexander Aaron has chosen this locale to be the place where he procrastinates from his studies. Sure there's a heavy textbook in his lap as he sits there on the edge of the fountain, yet he finds himself giving in to the temptation to people watch, his thoughts not upon the subject matter before him.

Perhaps, if he were paying attention, he would have noticed by now the eyes upon him from afar. From upon the rooftop far above, a trio of men in black with their faces hidden look down upon their target, that ver same Mr. Aaron.

It's a lovely night to walk your dragon. Or, at least, go out for the evening to explore the city and bring Lockheed along. The Upper West Side is relatively safe to walk around with no destination in mind. There's still some time before she has to catch the last train back to Westchester. Lockheed lays curled about her neck like a living, leathery stole, curious and happy to be about.

As she passes through the Square and the fountain, she glances at the man with the textbook, but she has no reason to give him any more of a second glance than that. It's Lockheed that looks up toward the men in black on the rooftop. He perks, setting Kitty on edge.

From afar, dressed as he is, Alexander does not stand out too terribly. The jeans, sneakers, and white t-shirt is almost the ubiquitous uniform for the casual American these days, much like the toga was to the Romans. Sure there's a certain handsome curve to his features, but at this distance it's hardly remarkable.

What might be remarkable would be the faint air of potential, the edge of tension that most people would be oblivious to. It's something that might be enough to bring the eyes upwards as Alex sits upon the edge of the fountain. Enough to cause a furrow to the brow when one gets that subtle feeling of being watched. Whatever it may be, however, it's much more likely to cause the dragon to become aware. Something's not right. On the air is a strange scent, oil used to sharpen blades, steel, and… blood?

It's in that moment when the first attempt begins. The target is the man at the fountain. The initial strike is made by four individuals walking nearby. Their paths were timed perfectly to bring them each within striking distance in that same instant. There's no warning, just one moment two men in suits, an older woman, and a seemingly overweight man strike. The woman feigns dropping her purse at Alex's feet, and when his eyes follow the movement of the object… there is the flash of steel.

The already wary Lockheed gives a screech when the woman drops her purse. Picking up on Lockheed's nervousness, Kitty is quick to move. Maybe this means nothing, maybe the guy by the fountain will freak out. But, better safe than sorry. This feels familiar to her - like she's back in Japan again.

Lockheed launches himself off of Kitty's shoulders, taking to air. Kitty sprints, quickly bringing her to the man by the fountain, passing right through the overweight man - who will feel very uncomfortable at that. She materializes only long enough to try and grab for Alexander and phase them both.

Time seems to slow down for them, the handbag falls ever so slowly, the small slim blades are drawn, one unfolding almost like a whip. There are no emotions in the eyes of the attackers, it's as if they were commiting murder with all the emotional investment one has in filling out a survey. There's a blur of movement, a whisper of steel slicing the air as the woman's bladeslices around…

And suddenly it stabs straight through the heavy Chemistry textbook that was brought up just in time. Kitty is only a step away… two… even as the young man who seems to be their target falls backwards instinctively, bringing the trapped blade and the textbook to the side to block that second strike with a resonant /clang/ of steel upon steel. But the third and fourth attackers have a clean angle and their weapons are brandished with malevolance.

Only suddenly then Kitty darts through the man in the heavy padded suit, causing him to stagger back in utter surprise. The other attacker's blade makes a clean arc through the air, only to have it pass through them as suddenly they're both incorporeal and standing amidst the water of the fountain yet somehow not getting wet.

The young man she just saved turns his head to the side and suddenly they're face to face. From afar no he wasn't remarkable, but up close now… he is terribly handsome with precise angellic features like a seraph fallen. Yet those eyes of his, they gleam faintly of crimson, giving him an almost wicked look to him. A look that's disspelled when he tells her with a smile, "Nice trick."

Kitty is quickly backing the pair up, keeping her phasing going the whole time. They can try to attack them, but they might as well try hitting ghosts. She keeps a firm grip on the handsome man, blushing faintly. "Thanks. It, uh, kinda looks like you have people trying to kill you," she tells him as if he might not have noticed.

Lockheed swoops out of the sky, clawing at the man in the suit, causing Kitty to quickly look toward her friend. "So, make a break for it, or do you want to find out who these people are and why they're after you?" It's something she's leaving up to him. They can also stay there in the fountain for awhile and wait for them to get bored and leave.

Again swords whisper past them as the attackers leap into the fountain after them, yet each precise blow slashes naught save water. His eyes turn back upon the attackers and she can feel the tension enter his shoulders as he scowls. "Yeah… looks like." Even as the four disguised ninja move to bracket them as if making ready.

A glance is given her and he tells her evenly, "Let me go, and if you're inclined… try and take one alive." And in that moment if she's so inclined he'll break away from her and suddenly he is charging two of the attackers, leaping cleanly out of the fountain after kicking a splash of water into the eyes of the woman and then swirling around cleanly to uncoil a whirling kick into the abdomen of the other man, lifting the man into the air off his feet and sending him hurtling back bodily.

Kitty's not the type to kill without asking questions first. Who knows who these people are or even who Alexander is. "I'm not planning on killing anyone," she tells him firmly. But, at his request, she lets him go. She's not here to keep anyone hostage or keep them from defending themselves against those attempting to hurt him.

She keeps her own insubstantiality for long enough for Lockheed to swoop at one the men in business suits, biting at his hand to drop his sword. As it clatters to the concrete, she becomes solid, snatching it up and then phasing again as the other attacker in waiting slices at her. She pushes herself through the man in front of her and then becomes solid - cracking him on the back of the head with the butt of the sword. He falls to the ground unconscious as she settles to a defensive stance, pointing her sword at the other man.

There was nothing in the brief about a tiny dragon, nothing at all. So the look of surprise registers as genuine as the man is bitten and drops the blade, pulling his arm back sharply from the animal. It's just enough of a window of a chance for her to get the drop on that other in the padded suit as she again phases through him, causing him to recoil in shock… only to have consciousness stolen from him by the short sharp /smack/ of the swordbutt to the back of his head.

As for Alexander the one man he kicked falls upon the hard stone and concrete courtyard, sliding some distance then lying motionless. The young deity swirls around and snaps into a perfectly executed defensive stance, hips turned with one hand forward and the other back. Both palms open and ready to grasp.

The attacker opposite Kity withdraws a weighted chain from his belt and sets it to whirring slowly in the air as he makes ready to strike. A few whirling movements snap out seeking to test her defense. The one opposite Alexander brings his blade up and with a short, "KIIIAI!" He moves in, the sword slashing through the air cleanly and seeking to take the young man's life… only to have the target slip to the side and strike rapidly in a blur of motion. A fist crushes nose, an elbow slams hard into the chest, then the blade of the hand chops down upon the wrists and breaks the grip on the man's blade. Another kick is chambered and /slams/ home hard sending the disguised ninja hurtling backwards at Kitty's dance parter.

When the two collide it gives the young mutant all the opening she should need.

The chain clangs against the sword, which Kitty allows to happen, moving the sword one way and the other in a flicking motion to keep it from wrapping about her weapon. The noise and motion from Alexander's side is caught out of the corner of her eye, but she's not about to let the man with the chain out of her sight. Then, however, there's a blur of motion and one ninja smashes into the other. Kitty uses the opportunity, running forward and kicking them again backward to hit the ground harder. Should they move, she'll close in to deliver another knock out blow.

As quickly as that the four attackers are rendered combat ineffective. No fatalities as they remain in their various fallen places. Around them some of the people who had been in the square at the time of the ruckus have their cellphones out. A few are filming, some others are most likely placing calls to the police. Yet for it all, the young man she just saved seems terribly calm and unperturbed.

Stepping up to stand beside her, he looks at the fallen forms of the disguised ninja. A glance is given to her as he says quietly, "Thank you for your help." As he says that he steps forwards and grasps the man in the fat suit by the collar and yanks him up, perhaps getting ready to interrogate him or shake him back to consciousness..

Yet he never gets the chance. As soon as he touches one of the prone men all four of the fallen suddenly burst into a black flame, their bodies sizzling sharply, hissing with some form of chemical reaction… as their bodies suddenly seem to become wisps of smoke and disappear, leaving naught save their weapons and clothes behind. It is a trick of the ninja. Perhaps one she has seen before.

While Kitty blinks at the sudden burst of light and black flames, she does not look all that surprised when it happens. Pointing the blade of the sword to the ground, she studies Alexander for a moment and notices his relative calm at just being attacked by ninjas. Possibly ninjas controlled by a demon.

Lockheed returns to Kitty's shoulder and she idly puts a hand up to stroke his scaly head. "You know what you're doing in a fight," she tells him. "And you don't seem all that surprised that ninjas are after you," she tells him in lieu of a 'you're welcome.' Though not a question, she's curious as to his involvement in all of this.

She glances toward the people with their phones up - obviously filming - and she starts to move toward the shadows of the building, not wishing to be in the spotlight any longer than necessary. Not convinced the danger is over, she keeps a hold of the sword.

Only taking long enough, Alexander steps back to the fountain and reclaims his fallen backpack. Slinging it over his shoulder he half-jogs to catch up to Ms. Pryde as she makes an exit stage right. It's only once they've put some distance between them and the square that he lifts his voice, even though there's a distant wail of police vehicles making their way to the site of the emergency.

"I know this may sound like braggadocio, but I am sort of used to people trying to kill me." From demons, to government operatives, to terrorists… now ninjas. He strolls alongside of her, footsteps even and measured as he then adds, "And thank you as well, Dragon." There's some measure of solemnity to those words for some reason, almost a formality.

He turns those glowing eyes upon her and in the dark she can see the faint hint of startrails that are left in the wake of his eyes movements, it casts him almost in an ethereal haze like some otherworldly being as he then tells her. "My father has had some dealings with them in the past. If they are who I think they are."

There's no blood to wipe off the blade, but Kitty carefully stows it. Peeling off her leather jacket, she wraps the blade an then tucks it under her arm. No need to be walking the streets of Manhattan with an unsheathed blade. And it doesn't seem like she has any intention of dropping it or returning it. Lockheed gives Alexander a solemn nod, but continues to watch him - as if unsure what to make of the man.

"You're right, that does sound a bit boastful. Though, it's a weird thing to boast about." Though her words may be harsh, she shoots the other man a smile, though it fades when he mentions his father. "Yes, so did mine, depending on who they were. I didn't think they were in the States."

That gives him a moment of pause as he looks to her. For a time they walk on in silence, but then after the space of several heartbeats he says quietly, "Perhaps, then, you were also a target in some manner?" He asks this curiously, even as those glowing eyes focus forwards. He lifts his chin and adds, "Perhaps seeking to make you show yourself in some manner as clearly you are a heroic individual."

There's a beat then he says quietly, "My name is Alexander, by the bye." He turns to offer her his hand as he stops walking, "Alexander Aaron, I am indebted to you." Again it's as if he chooses his words for very specific reasons and there is that tinge of the ritualistic to their being granted her.

"Hoping that I would just randomly walk by you one night in the middle of Manhattan? There's planning, but I don't think you can plan on coincidence." Kitty shakes her head, dismissing the idea. "They were clearly surprised by Lockheed. I don't think they were after me. I just happened to be close by." And if they were expecting her, they'd know to expect her dragon. "Kitty Pryde," she tells Alex when he introduces himself. Hearing the words and his tone, she tilts her head only slightly, somehow garnering his meaning. "No, no need for debts. I was just helping out. Like a doctor's obligated to help someone on the street in a medical emergency."

A nod is given, "I can appreicate the altruism. But that changes matters little and you are not required to accept the debt." Alexander continues to walk and he frowns, he pauses in mid-step as a thought occurs to him and various pieces come together. His eyes distance, then he looks back to her. For a moment he smiles and it breaks the harshness of his usual countenance. "You can handle yourself as well. But if they are indeed after me then I should most likely part company from you for now. If I am still alive in the next several months, might I call on you?"

Kitty sighs, but doesn't argue any further. If he thinks that he owes her a debt, she doubts there will be much she can do to convince him otherwise. It never hurts to have a few favors to call in, after all. As he stops mid-step, she slows as well. "What?" But, he's moving on. "I learned from a master," she tells him in response to how she fights well. "I won't hold you back, but be careful. They certainly seem to be after you and they're tricky." At the question, she shrugs her shoulders and nods. "Um, sure, why not. Maybe you could tell me some more about how you got yourself mixed up with deadly assassins."

A faint smile is there that makes it to those glowing red eyes. "My father has… unique connections. Kinda." He says little more, perhaps not wanting to seem like such a braggart all the more. Oh yeah, my pop? Yeah, god of war and stuff. Ain't that cool? But at least Alexander has the presence of mind to look a bit embarassed as he tells her. "Full disclosure in a few days if you like…" At that he reaches into his backpocket and pulls out his phone, giving her own access to his number and him to hers should she accept.

"I see." Her own father didn't exactly have unique connections. Just bad timing and taking the wrong deal at the wrong time. "Sure, we'll talk." At the embarrassed look, she gives him a a warm smile to put him at ease. Taking down his number and giving him hers, she nods. "I'm sure it's an interesting story."

His answer is a light, "Ehn." As Alex lifts a hand to give a small wave. "Be careful, hopefully they'll leave you alone but they might shift targets." And with that said he breaks into a run down the street, backpack jouncing as he moves until he's out of sight.

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