Swordfight Interrupted

July 24, 2016:

Rusalka's thieving catches up to her as she's pulled into a deadly sword duel, until Nate interrupts.

Lower Manhattan - New York City

Characters

NPCs: Vengeful yakuza

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Nerina straightens her jacket after securing it tightly around her waist and takes a last moment to inspect her appearance in the twilight filtering through the dusty factory window. A hold-over from the old textile industry of the North-East, most have found new lives as office buildings and warehouses, but a small few need too much renovation - and are duly secured with boarded doorways and windows for the first few stories.

Inspecting her oil-black skin for any blemishes or uncolored gaps, the ninja pats the small blade concealed within the fold of her clothes and turns her orange, cat-eyed gaze to the streets below. The sidewalks aren't empty but foot traffic has finally died down with the dinner hour already behind in the long summer hours and most residents finding shelter for nightfall.

Nerina, or rather Rusalka, draws up her hood and her sandals pad across the concrete floor as she heads to the stairs and descends towards her discrete exit on the ground floor.

"Nisenmono Konichiwa," a voice greets from the shadow of the stairwell as the cocking of two pistols punctuates his statement.

Rusalka freezes as a trio of men step into view behind her, dressed neatly in suits and aiming two pistols for her back. The lead man, otherwise unarmed, holds the scabbard of a katana.

"You have something of the Boss. You're going to give it back, and then we're teaching you a lesson…"

The relative peace of the street noise below is broken by the sound of a gunshot.

Not far from the old building, walking down the street with an oversize Starbucks carry out cup, there is a young man trying to keep a headache away through fresh air and, well, coffee. It is not working, but he is trying to stop relying so much in the painkillers he has used the last couple years.

The gunshot is way too loud. People in the street hear it, but few stops. Most people prefer to think it must have been a firecracker, or an exploding tire. But Nate recognizes the sound of a handgun; he can probably even guess the model. So the coffee ends up in the nearest thrash bin and he searches telepathically for people in the old building. Which should be empty. But it is not.

Then he phases through the wall.

Inside, Rusalka hides her small frame in a side-on stance behind her formerly-concealed weapon. The sword is straight and double-bladed - with faint segmentations that run along its length hinting at how it was concealed. Her formerly pristine jacket is nicked and slit all over and the ninja is bracing a hand against a dark stain in her side.

"I told you there is no escape." Standing before her, with his katana unsheathed in a firm grip, the lead Yakuza advances with casual aggression as his partner behind him lowers his still smoking gun.

"Pesky Yaponskiy," Rusalka grumbles as she does her best to ward the man off with her one-handed swings. Steel sparks against steel and the ninja resumes losing ground. From even a single clash, the difference in skill is obvious.

Nate is not bothering with stealth, choosing speed instead, so the Yakuza probably hear him coming. He doesn't care, it is not they can hide either, as he is a telepath. "Ninjas and gangsters, and you couldn't even wait to be dark enough?" He notes with a cocksure smirk. "Drop your weapons. Now or after I beat the crap out of you, either way."

Nate's noisy arrival draws the attention of the two gunmen, whose pistols are sighted on him almost before he comes into view. The Yakuza swordsman spares him only a glances as he absent-mindedly parries a stab by Rusalka before lunging forward and grabbing her hand. He leans in with a glare and drags his blade across her arms before pushing the ninja back. "Your friend?" He asks coldly before shouting instructions to his men.

Rusalka recoils with a cry of pain and her grip slackens dangerously. Her orange eyes lock onto Nate wide and vivid from a rush of adrenaline and the bite of her wounds. "Leave me this one," she asks before strengthening her grip anew and turning back to face her attacker.

Nate won't have long to contemplate the request as the Yakuza gunmen open fire.

Of course they would fire. Nate bets they would shoot even if he had a red S in the middle of his chest. Goons will be goons, even if they dress in suits. "Idiots," he growls.

The bullets ricochet against a golden force shield appearing briefly in front of him, and then he tackles the first man, aiming to throw him through a wall with telekinetically-enhanced strength. The second he just pushes, maybe pins, against another wall with a telekinetic wave.

While they might be well-trained and conditioned, the yakuza muscle aren't super-human. Nate's charge sends the first man screaming through the air until he slams heavily against the brick wall of the building. The wall holds after a shuddering smash but the force knocks dust and wood flakes from the ceiling, dropping an irritating haze over the room for a moment.

"Bakemon-Ugh!" The second yakuza follows with another slam and his gun clatters to the ground as he slumps against a thick column that intercepted his flight across the room.

Seeing the swift defeat of his men, the leader scowls and slips along a parry to position the ninja between himself and the powerful mutant. "Kisama…" he starts to swear at Nate before Rusalka rushes in with a spirited charge.

"He's mine!" the ninja repeats, blind it would seem to her own plight.

Nate looks as the tiny ninja attacks the last Yakuza. She is already injured, he notes. It seems unlikely she is going to own him if he stays away. "For real?" Asks Nate. "I meant you too when I said you had to drop your weapons, lady," because his last few meetings with ninjas have gone poorly, you see.

*Clang—slit!*

Rusalka finds herself facing Nate again in a blur of motion as the last yakuza seizes an opportunity and forces her into a grapple. Pinned tightly against him like a shield, his katana slips with alarming ease through the fabric of her hood and stops just short of her neck.

"Back away or she dies," the yakuza threatens as Rusalka struggles tries to crane her neck away from the blade.

She pauses and glares at Nate. "What did I do?"

"Probably something ninja-ish, or is the outfit part of a cosplay?" Replies Nate, facing against the last thug. Hmm, why does he think Nate would care about the ninja woman? Oh right. Not very smart. His left eye pulses with light and he grabs the sword telekinetically, and shatters it. "Last chance, tough guy. The jail or the hospital, and the jail later."

The swordsman looks down in shock as the shards of his blade rain onto the floor. There's a momentary flit of his gaze between it and Nate before he releases the ninja, shoves her away, and runs for the stairs.

"Oof! Come back, coward! Trus!" Rusalka shouts after him before she collapses to a knee. The tip of her own sword scrapes against the concrete as a failed crutch and finally slips from her grip. The small young woman pants to catch her breath and gives Nate another orange-eyed glare. "Stupid mutant," she grumbles, with the weight of a Russian accent coming to bear. "You weren't wanted."

"Not wanted? Story of my life," replies Nate with a smirk. "Yeah, you had all under control, and clearly all that blood is not yours. Also, you are just catching your breath, right?"

He spares a glance the direction the last thug fled, then strikes at him with telepathy, making sure he is unconscious a few hours. "So, what is your story? Any particular reason I shouldn't leave you for the cops? They will be here in ten minutes, by the way."

"It won't matter," Rusalka dismisses. "Thanks to him," she nods her hood towards the stairs, "I won't come back here."
"I was starting to have fun too," she grumbles under her breath before setting a hand back on her side. Taking the opportunity, she picks her sword back up and collapses its blade back to the length of a dagger before slipping it back inside her jacket. There's more of the ninja visible than usual thanks to her fight - she's dyed the skin under her clothes too.

"Ninja fun stuff?" To say the truth the girl doesn't talk or act as any ninja Nate has seen before. Most of those were trying to kill him, though. "Who are you, anyway?" He leans forward to help her up. "You should see a doctor. I could patch you up some, but I am still thinking maybe the police needs to talk with you, hmm?"

"I'm fine, and I don't plan to talk with the politsiya," the ninja replies. Grudgingly, she accepts the hand and pulls herself back up with a grunt. "I don't have anything to say, no?"

"Three guys just tried to kill you, I'd say you have something to tell," observes the young man, giving the ninja a hard look. "Alright, tough girl. I guess you should get the hell out of here. Do you have friends in the city?"

"Mmm, one," Rusalka shrugs with her good side, although she discretely edges away now that she's standing again. Her eyes glance aside. "Why don't you ask them? I didn't ask them to."

Nate tilts his head, "sure you didn't. I bet they think you did," he points out. "Go find your friend, ninja-girl. And stay out of trouble." He is going to wait for the cops - he is not one of those vigilantes that vanish when they hear the police coming. Besides, cops usually have good coffee.

Rusalka backs her way towards the stairs but spares a furtive glance at the unconscious yakuza between her and the exit. "And who are you, crazy mutant?"

"Grey, Nate Grey. Or Scion if you want the codename," he replies. "Nice to meetcha, more or less. And who are you, ninja-girl?" He is crouching to disarm the Yakuza agents, just in case they recover before the police arrive. Sometimes Yakuza have dirty tricks.

"Telling you feels like a bahd idea," Rusalka considers as she shuffles closer to the yakuza leader and crouches down beside him, checking his pockets. "You want me arrested, after all."

"Fair enough," Nate will pick it from the minds of the Yakuza. Well, he will pick whatever they know. "Leave him alone, girl. Even if he tried to kill you, you can't empty his wallet… well, hell. Go ahead and do it. Then run because the police is here."

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