Can't I Be Both?

April 23, 2019:

Following her fight with Spoiler, Katsumi flees New York to the next city over: Gotham. Ironic. There, she attempts to lay low while Herukage explains more about her role and destiny. When they find Spoiler fending off a group of thugs, Katsumi must choose a path: human or beast. In the end, the answer seems inescapable.

China Basin - Gotham City


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Yesterday, Katsumi Oshiro got into a fight with a superhero. She actually stood up against a superhero. And, though she can't be sure what the situation was, she's pretty sure that superhero was on the same team as her. She really doesn't know much about Spoiler. She doesn't get the name. She doesn't get the costume. She doesn't get the crest. But she'd seen a fair amount of her in the Titans Tower. She had to be on the team, right?

On the bus ride out of New York City, Katsumi replayed the scenario in her mind over and over. She asked for help. Spoiler got in her face. The fight happened. What is she missing? What happened? What did she say to cause it? Was she just not quick enough in asking for help? Was she asking for help wrong? What did she do?

She never did understand why things like this happened. But it wasn't unheard of. Hell, it wasn't even rare. When she starts to get close to people, she says or does something and ruins it all. They get mad at her. She winds up alone. She was stupid to think things would be any different. She hoped they would be - NEEDED them to be - but they weren't. In the end, there's something just inherently broken about her. She's known it for years.

She couldn't stay there and make things worse. She didn't want to fight those people. Not just because some of them had superpowers, but because of who they were and what they represented; on that note, she had no business with them anyway. The fact that she clearly hurt Spoiler made things worse. She'd be hunted now. Maybe thrown in jail. It's bad enough she's in the country illegally, but if they grab her, they might consider her a supervillain. She had to get away. Away from all of it. She could go to the next city over and try to figure things out. She didn't dare go back even for her clothes or what few belongings she had in America. She couldn't risk it. Couldn't deal. It was rushed, but that's the way it had to be; she got on a bus bound for the next city over. She could figure things out from there.

The next city over turned out to be Gotham. The tall, imposing buildings and angular architecture was so jarring against the city she'd just come from, and the odd, perpetual biting breeze from the waters somehow made everything more eerie. But she, still accompanied by her calico, ventured through the streets until she found Chinatown. It was oddly comforting, seeing Asian-flavor decor everywhere. And a part of her figured if she was going to blend in anywhere and lay low, it'd be with other Asians.

Don't judge. She's trying to strategize.

The day was kind of uplifting; even a distraction. They had arcades here. Good arcades. Fun arcades. She allowed herself to relax. The feline with her didn't get it, but screw that; they have Just Dance. As night fell, the realization hit her that she has no idea where she's spending the evening. So she exits the arcade and begins roaming the neon-lit sidewalks, frequently traversing between buildings and down alleys.

<How bad did I f#^@ things up?,> she finally asks the woolly calico in tow.

<You did not,> he replies. Katsumi gives him a puzzled look, and he continues, <I sense this is a common situation for you.>

<Way to make me feel better, Bart.>

<That is not my name. And that is also not your fault. You do not have an affinity for humans.> Herukage pauses under the warm electric glow of a neon sign to look up at Katsumi.

The girl stops to look down at him, drained. <What're you saying?>

<You are not like other humans. You have an affinity for beasts. It was your destiny to complete the ritual of Maika-no-Yomorinushi.>

Katsumi wraps her arms defensively around her midsection, her shoulders hunching inwards. <But I'm not a monster. Please stop saying that.>

<No. You are not a monster. You are the bridge between both worlds,> asserts the feline. <You do not belong with them. You are the savior of yokai. Of the shunned. Not humans.>


Spoiler spent the day finding the information, the contact, Katsumi was looking for. After a nap, and binding her cracked ribs, she set about tracking the wayward meta human… right into Gotham.

Why? Why do they always run to Gotham? Gotham has enough trouble, what with insane clown possees and livign scrare crows and sentient plant life. It doesn't need any brand of super natural anything.

That doesn't stop it from having it.

Pain killers coursing through her system, Spoiler stalks the night, moving through the city that's been her playground for half a decade. She spots Katsumi and the cat, walking about the city, in a skirt, at night. From her hidden vantage point, Spoiler facepalms.

"She's going to be the death of me," is remarked ever so softly, to herself and the wind. A moment to sigh, and Spoiler slips onward, hoping to get ahead of the girl, hoping to drop down on that gang she spotted up ahead, and hoping to drop the lot of them before Katsumi gets near and kills them.

On accident. Because the girl is less of a monster than the vigilantes of Gotham are.


Katsumi Oshiro has a punky fashion sense that just won't quit, nor conform to the upper-crust's prudish sensibilities! Also, she's used to using her looks as a part of her general appeal. But for right now, her full attention is on the woolly emissary of a forgotten, mysterious deity.

<I don't feel like much of a savior to anything,> she replies.

The feline lifts from his haunches and begins padding forward again. <They never do at first. And let us not forget, your focus has been diverted. Perhaps now, you sense it as well. Your… 'other-ness'.>

Katsumi walks along behind him, letting the feline take the lead. Neither are aware of Spoiler up ahead, nor the gang. <You talking about me being a screw-up?>

<You judge yourself too harshly. As I said, your place is not with humans. You are more like the self-assured, confident yokai you are called to protect,> explains Herukage.

<Can't I be both…?>

The calico looks back to her, but it's cut short. There's some commotion ahead. Both feline and female hasten forward to see what's going on.


It's a street brawl. Cold and brutal. The gang members have a point: they weren't doing anything when the batling descended on them like some sort of vengeful shadow. One on seven. It hardly seemed fair, but Spoiler lived up to her namesake without caring what they thought of her for it: She spoiled their thoughts of jumping the little asian girl that was walking their way.

Two were already on the ground, groaning and trying to push back up, when one lands a kick to Spoiler's side. Her grip on her bo staff weakens just enough that another disarms her, sending the weapon skittering out of the alley to stop against Katsumi's shoes.

Spoiler sneers as she tucks and rolls out of the way, back to a wall, breathing harshly through her nose, eyes flitting over the remamining four, plotting the fastest way to get this over and done with. She's got information to deliver after all.

Stephanie really needs to rethink her life choices some nights.


The sight before her gives her sudden pause. Katsumi almost stumbles with the abrupt halt of her momentum. Eyes are widened, jaw hanging slack, and magenta eyes wide and worried at the sight of Spoiler ahead. It happened too quickly. She knew they'd come after her. But this fast? So soon? This can't be happening. What will it take to be free?

Her mind processes what's happening before her. Did she come for the gang? Did they get in her way? Does she even know she's here? It's too much for a coincidence! But the opportunity to get away while Spoiler has her hands full seems the smartest thing to do…

The calico hops atop a trash can and settles on his haunches. <I have prayed to the Lord Protector of the Night that your path be made clear. Yesterday, you took the first step. But now, fate has placed this crossroad before you.> He raises a paw to indicate the way she came. <Down that road lies freedom.> The paw lowers, and the other raises towards the gang and Spoiler. <Down that road lies subjugation.> The paw lowers again. <You must choose.>

Katsumi looks to the gang, then back the way she came. She seems to tilt towards the latter, until a staff rolls to her foot, stealing her attention. Her gaze lifts, settling on the unarmed Spoiler backed into a wall, with four thugs closing in on her. She nips onto her bottom lip, brow knitting. She leans down to snap up the staff. She's made her choice.

Barreling forward, Katsumi grips the staff near one end and chambers it low, not unlike a bokken. In fact, professional wrestling aficionados may be well aware of the imminent danger these thugs are in because of that. The staff suddenly swings low and wide, aiming to 'slash' the legs out from beneath the first thug. And in one fluid motion, spin with the swing to deliver a second horizontal 'slash' to slam the weapon across the back of the second thug.


Spoiler spotted Katsumi a heartbeat before she struck. The first thug goes down, leg nearly ripped from his body. His screams fill the air. The second doesn't join the cacophony of hte first. He simply can't. Not with his torso crushed and mangled. The fors enough to bend the titanium staff Spoiler uses.

Afraid of this newer threat, the other two back away and remember that they have guns. Both bring the weapons to bear. One finds Spoiler suddenly in his personal space. Her hands on his, she dismantles it while he's still holding it, then twists him to snap his elbow and leave him on the ground.

"Gun," the batling called out, a warning to Katsumi… a warning to the gunmen that he really should have just run for it.


Katsumi Oshiro had made a choice and was going through with it. It likely would end up hurting her, doing this. But she had to do what she thought was right. It's not that she didn't have a choice - it's that she MADE a choice. And though she can hear as much as feel the effect of her strength impacting unpowered thugs, she doesn't stop. In truth, she's terrified. Simulations and training are one thing. These people mean to do harm. REAL harm. They'd kill her if she lets them! So she can't.



Katsumi drops the bent staff and falls back a step. The gun goes off, and it nails the girl! The impact of the bullet spins her a half-turn, and she drops to her hands and knees, eyes wide and panting, her frame shaking. She just got shot. She felt it. Not a little .22 calibur bullet. Something the guy brought to kill people. She can feel it throbbing in her shoulder.

The actual bullet is flattened out on the ground.

Her shoulder, where she'd been shot, has the beginnings of a bruise.


Dammit! Why didn't she dodge that? Spoiler growls, and pushes through the ache in her side, the stab of pain with each inhale in order to get to the remaining thug.

"Big mistake," she snarls at the thug, voice tight and angry. She had been trying to be gentle with the others and with herself. But now they've SHOT a friend's friend, someone she's charged to protect and help. Now, they've angered the batling. A sharp knee breaks his knee. A shift upper cut shatters his nose. A roundhouse drops him to the ground and Spoiler immediately after. She lands on a knee with a winded grunt, breath thin and wheezing.

"….I got your contact…." she whispers after a moment.


Katsumi Oshiro braces herself with one hand, the other moving in to carefully, fearfully touch her shot shoulder. The appendage draws back to look at the palm. …Nothing. "Haah… haah..," pants the Japanese girl in equal parts relief and disbelief. Her shoulder is sore, but hwo much of it was shock and how much of it was actual damage?

It's Spoiler's voice that draws her attention back into the fray - or what's left of it.

The girl quickly scrambles to her feet and backs up a couple steps to reassess the situation: all thugs are down. With her right shoulder bruised from a bullet, her left hand raises to push through her hair. "You.. you what..?," she asks, looking back to Spoiler. "What're you doing here..?"


Shock. That's the sound of shock wanting to settle in. A super… going into shock. Spoiler sucks in a breath as low and steady as she can and presses it out as she presses up to her feet. It's will power that keeps her from swaying. With her eyes covered and her lips in a tight frown, she looks more annoyed than near dizzy from the pain cutting through the drugs she took an hour ago.

"I have your contact. …and I live here." Most of the time.


Katsumi Oshiro doesn't look to be in a particularly trusting mood. Those bright eyes are zeroed on the batling, and she backs up another step - until her back hits the brick wall behind her. Her gloved palms press against the surface as well, as if to steady herself.

"Why? Why would you do that? Why are you trying so hard to f#^@ with me!? Why can't you just leave me alone!? I'll just- I'll get on another bus, okay!? I'll keep going!"


"You asked for help to free your manager. I have a name and an address. I am not fucking with you, and it would be preferred that the bus take you back to New York. After tonight, if you do not want to see me, you will not," Spoiler promises, fatigue making her want to press a hand against her side.


Katsumi Oshiro is at a complete loss. None of this makes sense to her.

"But you came at me!," she shouts at her. "I don't know what I did to p#&* you off, but you came at me! You know I'm not like you! Not like Caitlin! Or Nadia! Whatever it is that makes a person good, or nice, I don't have it! Mine's broken! Always has been! Always will be! I'm not good! I got f#^&ing superheroes attacking me! Why would you want me back there!? If it's just a trick, can't we just fight here and get it over with!?"


Broken. Aren't we all? Spoiler exhales a thing sigh through her nose, chin dipping before her head turns to look at a thug moving near her feet. She pulls in a breath before kicking him in the temple to put him back down. The motion makes her lips sneer in pain before she can get a hold of herself.

"We all have our own demons. Some, more than others. Whatever makes a good person?" Spoiler pauses, lifting her gaze to Katsumi. "I don't think I have that either, not after all I've done, the people I've hurt. Why do I want you back there?" She pauses again. Stepping forward as she calls her hoverbike. Those keen of perception woul dnotice her steps are too slow, forced steady.

"You belong, if you want to belong. I pressed because I had to press. I had to know where your line was, what it took to get you to stop thinking and start moving. I needed to know… and so did you."


"I belong if I WANT to!? I DID want to!," Katsumi counters. "And then I hurt you! That's what I do, Spoiler! I hurt people! That's all I've ever been good at! I thought this s#^@ would be different, but look at us! I got f#&*ing superpowers - and nothing's changed! It just made me even more destructive! I was trying to act, trying to figure out what to do, and at the end of the day, I nearly kicked you through a f#&*ing wall! The OPPOSITE of what someone in your group is supposed to do!"

"You wanna talk about demons?! That's-…" She slows down, her outrage, frustration, and confusing melting into miserable sadness. "…that's what I seem to be." Her head turns to the calico, who is still sitting pretty-as-you please. "That's what all this taught me. F#&@, he was right." Her hands raise, palms pressing into her face. "I AM a monster."

At last, the calico hops down from the trash to pad near her boots.

Katsumi lowers her hands, silent for a couple seconds before looking back to Spoiler. "Use that contact. Help that guy. General manager of the NWF in Japan. Should be all you need."

She lingers a second more before turning to dash away, hoping to disappear into an alley and beyond. The feline looks up at Spoiler, much as he had before leaving the Tower. This time, however, he doesn't speak. He just turns to trot after the Japanese girl.


It leaves Spoiler to bow her head lightly and turn away. She'll track her down again. She has to. The meta can't stay in Gotham. There are things that will prey on her, use her, twist her.

"Why are you such an idiot?" she asks herself as she gets to an open place where her hover bike is waiting for her.

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