The Kwannon We Know

May 29, 2016:

Tracking a pattern that only a former member of The Hand knows, Psylocke finds Elektra.

Rooftops

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Kwannon

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

THE WITCHING HOUR:

Plans were set in motion this night. Across New York, houses and high rises were effectively hit. Some, had no deaths. Others, moreso. And they all looked like accidents or mishaps that had no rhyme or reason or no connection. Unless that person used to be of the Hand. New York was going to fall one way or another. The Black Sky blotted out the stars one by one and this night was no different.

The rooftops were a sacred place for ninja. People rarely look up when they travel, it was a pinnacle point of darkness even though the lamplights had a chance to illuminate the highest steeps. But there were shadows there. In the darkness. Footing was rarely lost. Mishaps were rarely taken. The cool, newly summers breeze was the only thing fought against as a duck of a wire, crouch.. and leap across the stands in a forward flip, thighs snapped together feet pointed for style which soon slaps against the edge…

..and comes to a standstill.

The dark-haired woman dressed in red reaches up with a gloved hand to pull the long locks from her face, her shoulders drawing upright, chin slowly tilted towards the left as eyes cut through to peer into the darkness.

Did she see something that no one else would see?


Betsy has been following the Red Death at a distance for some time. The first few nights, the early cullings had been random to almost anyone's observation. Unrelated, unlinked murders, done by an expert hand. It had been more intuition than anything that prompted Betsy to strike out into the city, following the silent tug of her instincts to see what the second night would bring.

And though she had yet to see the killer, she knew well the sounds of a city being bled out a little a time. Some quick phone work, a bit of deduction, and some luck had led her to the next target in this string of 'random' killings— and as luck furthur led in the lower levels of the borough, a flickering of pale and red gossamer moved across her vision.

Fast closing on Elektra, Betsy freezes full when Elektra looks -directly- at her. Not spotting her, yet, not recognizing her, but… those damned instincts, as sharp as Betsy's. Convicning Elektra to check for a threat before being consciously aware of it.

Betsy straightens from her half-crouch and walks partially into the light, tugging down the red scarf covering the lower part of her face and loosing purple hair to stream behind her, matching the flow of Elektra's raven locks.

"…Do you recognize me, Elektra?" Betsy asks the other ninja, staring at her from a few long paces off.


It starts with the tickle upon the neck. Not from the wind or the hair that seemingly lays there. But just a small little tickle. A quiet urge of where one has a feeling to either look left and right before they try something new or take just a simple step. The need to double check the stove even though you -know- that you've turned it off. That's what it felt like. This wasn't guts. It was her listening and feeling into that intuition, not to mention some of the gifts that the Hand has bestowed her with.

And Elizabeth. Though hers were seemingly more natural than her previous counterparts.

Her reveal was nothing short of dramatic, Elektra's own pace draws a foot around with a slow turn that balances upon the edge of the building, leaving the tip of the toes hanging over the edge of darkness. It was like polar opposites, though clad in the same manner as they were..

"Vaguely." What Elektra remembers is somewhat difficult due to her resurrection. But who could mistake that scent, something delicate that was natural from Elizabeth.

"Kwannon." Her lips purse, a slight movement beneath her mask. "But you go by many names."


Betsy regards Elektra, the wind tugging at the sash around her hips and neck— the only color against the dark of her full-body leotard. "I… vaguely," she says, in a darkly wry tone. "Not Kwannon anymore. Not the Kwannon you knew— or the Bladed Lady," Betsy says. Lady Mandarin's formal titles.

"I broke free of Matsu'o's influence, but… I had to find a new adjustment. I call myself Betsy now," she explains. Her fingers flex, not quite reaching towards Elektra— years of familiar memories surging to her surface, unbidden.

"I had wondered if you had died," Betsy admits. "Or continued to serve the Hand. I smell their mark on you, but you don't have that fire under your skin you once had under their influence. I… have you escaped, too?"


"Oh."

Seeing someone from the past could have invoked a few reactions. Smiles. Hugs. The need to talk and hold hands, to catch up. But with these two, the obvious apprehension was in the air, even though that little wry tone was heard within her words. "Betsy." She comments quietly, her chin lifting, eyes cutting towards the light, down.. left.. and to her again. "Mundane. I like it."

Did she really?

It was a slow movement, that shuffled step back to keep her toes from the edge, her knees slowly bending as fingers reach out to touch upon the ledge to form a balance. A stance. Almost as if she were daring her to cross the threshold, but also giving her a limit. While there was time for them to talk, the witching hour was almost over and there were things that needed to be done. Done in the dark and not in the light.

"I did die. And now I am not. I still serve the Hand." Her head tilts slightly. "But I suspect you ask the questions you already know the answer to." Her brows furrow, "The Hand is where the heart is." Amusement in her tone as her fingers tap against the edge. "Do you wish to come home, Betsy."


Betsy moves forward with that superhuman balance, hands loose at her side— the hilt of her darkblade katana protruding behind one shoulder. Her cold, angular features focus on Elektra, betraying no sign of her emotions.

"The Hand's in your heart because they ripped out the spot it should be," Betsy informs Elektra. "They did it to me and many others like us. There's a demon in your belly, Elektra. It's the voice in your ear in the shadows of the night. I know it very well. It's not too late to walk away from it."


Smooth as Betsy moved, Elektra remains still. But she was still watched, every nuance that would give hint of an attack was inspected, and Elizabeth true to form gives none. "Is that hope I hear?" She asks quietly, her head tilted slightly. She was no fan of hope, hope led to broken dreams and her death. And she was no fan of doing the 'right thing'. Only what feels good.

"That demon in my belly gives me reason. Pause. But reason. There is real necessity to the beast; that voice. That shadow that lingers right on the precipice." She stands now, her hand outstretched. "This world needs it. It needs to fall into the darkness. To be subjugated by it. To be embraced by it. To have it's heroes fall in order for it to be rebuilt."

Her opposite hand moves, slow, tugging the mask down to reveal a smile that has no emotion behind it's weight.

"It's not too late to walk into it."


"It's a dangerous slope to walk, Elektra," Betsy warns the woman. "I know the temptation very well. I'll not pretend that I haven't spilt blood in the sand to save a life… but the motivations of the Hand are decidedly unsavoury. And when you've spent enough years in their shadow, they'll still whisper no matter how far away you are."

Her face goes still. "I won't stop you from following your own code, if that's what you are on about tonight. I know you can read the portents. But if this is the work of the Hand, I -will- stop you. And you know I can."


"You speak to me as if I do not -know-." Elektra warns herself. "I know the temptation, I live it. I breathe it. I feel that as if even if I were not with The Hand it would still be there. That urge to kill. That need to -see-." She takes a step off of the ledge, backwards, her hair slightly bouncing against bare shoulders, both hands resting upon her hips. She wasn't posturing, but she was drawing dangerously close to something that was hidden.

"My own code aligns with the Hand. Betsy." She states clearly. "Our motivations align. Will you stop me still? Or would you leave me be to do as I will and fulfill the destiny that is laid before me." She was ready to leave, though.. she was certain that it would not be easy. Yet that smile remains upon her features as her hand draws forward with a quick, blinding snap to send stars sailing towards the air as a true test to Elizabeth's will.


Betsy's eyes flash with an inner light and the stars freeze in space, hovering ahead of her.

"That was a mistake, Elektra," she chides the ninja. Shadows warp around them, banishing light from the rooftop. "I'm not being controlled by Mastu'o anymore. Nor am I the cowling product of a broken mind. Don't think for a moment I'm not capable of breaking you in half— here— and leaving you for dead," Betsy warns Elektra.

The shuriken shudder and fall to the ground.

"I'm giving you a chance to run, Elektra," Betsy warns her. "Run away, and think about how far you're willing to go. Because I -will- kill you before I let The Hand loose you on this city."


One eye squints as she watches the shuriken freeze in place, the smile soon fading there after, mind running through scenarios in that very moment which draws a straight-backed stand-still. "It is there." She states cooly, even after the threat. Even -knowing- what would happen if she even attempts to press Betsy further. A fight for the ages, a bloody one. Both may walk away limping but the other would soon fall dead. It was clear as to who that would be.

"The Kwannon I know is still there. Right at the surface.."

The darkness surrounds them, mostly due to Betsy's doing, but those slow steps backwards causes her vision to fade from the light that was left behind..

"And you are -already- too late…"


Betsy blinks several times— and Elektra's gone. She hisses through her teeth and dashes forward a few paces to the edge of the roof, and clenches a fist in the air. Elektra gone— and quite thoroughly hidden from her psychic senses. Somehow. And vanished into the mists of the city like so much breath in the fog.

"I'm coming for you, Elektra," Betsy declares with a hot, hard voice. "And I won't hold back next time."

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