5517/Tourney/Black Sky: Respecting an Elder

From United Heroes MUSH
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Tourney/Black Sky: Respecting an Elder
Date of Scene: 08 October 2018
Location: Kairos
Synopsis: Shredder and Elektra meet in her private island dojo, and face off. She learns much, and earns respect. Plans continue to be set in motion.
Cast of Characters: Elektra, Shredder
Tinyplot: Tourney
Tinyplot2: Black Sky

Elektra has posed:
It bothered Elektra somewhat that Shredder knew more about this Black Sky business than she did, even if she didn't let on such. She might still be in a position where there was very little she could do about things anymore, but there was still a part of her that wanted answers.

Elektra might have been cool and collected about her decision up to this point, but as the hour drew nearer, and she began to understand the futility of it all - how very little her sacrifice was going to change things, ultimately - Elektra wasn't happy. She knew when she was dead that the Hand, and her friends, would still engage into battle. Stick was never going to give up that war until a winner was declared. He might be the last of the Chaste, but it was still his purpose in life, and she had no doubt he'd carry on until he, or the Hand, were dead.

Saki's words had jumbled in her head, leaving her with questions, not only about this war, or her part in it, but his mention of Danny Rand, too. Or the fact that the elder seemed quite content to let things play out, dropping little hints as he did, without interfering directly. Likely because of his affilliations with the Foot.

She was glad of the nature of sanctuary of the island for the tournament.

Still, she had questions, and deep thoughts to deal with, and took herself down a well hidden path, into the ravine behind the villa, where sheltered in that valley below, a small dojo had been built during her childhood. It was a place her father had had made for her, to allow her to practice when they came on vacations. He had encouraged her to follow the practice and philosophy of her art, not knowing where it would eventually lead to.

The place was clean inside, but the place needed an airing. Elektra went about opening the vented windows, then lit incense in braziers set to honour the elements. So doing, the woman took herself to the centre of the dojo floor, and knelt, centering herself.

Shredder has posed:
    The starry sky's lost its moon for the night, the lesser light of darkness having returned to its slumber. That was when Shredder knew it was time to meet the younger leader, master to some, but not to the Dragon Warrior.The door slides open, and the nearly invisible form is now in the room. His armor is absent, a red sash tied around his waist, and he is dressed as a common Foot ninja. "A pleasant dojo," he speaks, removing his Shozuko. After all, she already knows his identity.The scar across his left eye and cheek is more visible here, one of his most defining physical traits. "You have not opened it for the competition," he observes, the dim light of the incense and candles giving shadows more substance than flesh in the room.

Elektra has posed:
Elektra does not abandon her practice when he enters. She's aware she's not alone. She's also aware that no harm is intended, or his actions would not be what they are. Instead, she finishes her mediation, and bows low to the ground, before slowly rising up.

"No," the young woman murmurs softly. "This is a private place. My father built it for me. I didn't want it filled with the echoes and memories of the Tournament. I wanted it to remain the peaceful, sacred place I remember from my childhood."

When she still believed in such things.

"But you've come here." She turns and regards the older Master, noting that he is not hiding from her. "I wondered."

Shredder has posed:
    "You feel that I have invaded," Shredder says, something part statement, part inquiry. He calmly walks toward the center of the room, and takes a deep breath of the incense. "The fight is sacred," he says, "War, struggle. You have no doubt come to understand this in your time on this planet. He walks slowly about the room, keeping his distance respectfully.

    "Peace is not our way. It is what war forges for those who are not acquainted with the spilling of blood. Victory, and victory alone buys peace."

Elektra has posed:
"Ah, you mistake my words," Elektra murmurs, turning her body to keep him in her awareness, pondering the subtlety of his exploration of the dojo's boundaries. "I had merely wondered when it was we would have this conversation. It is somehow fitting that it is here."

She gives a graceful shrug of shoulders that encompasses a 'c'est la vie' gesture of head and hands.

"No disrespect was meant." Of course, that is at odds with the natural enmity she and he should rightly have given their respective organizations. But then again, that isn't what this is. In many ways, her Tournament had freed the space for such conversations - places where those who would otherwise feel obligated to fight one another could meet and speak. And, in some cases, offer grudging, and often due, repects.

"It's endless, isn't it? War. This thing we do. But I can't be a weapon for either side. Whether by accident, or design, I'm committed to choices now. I'd foolishly thought I'd ended it when I took up the mantle of the Fist Who Rules the Hand."

Another negligent shrug.

"I was wrong. So I live with the consequences." Or die, as it happens. "But you didn't come here just to ponder philosophy within my dojo. Do we dance as well as speak?"

Shredder has posed:
    "As you wish," Saki answers, taking a stance at one side of the room. "Though I do not believe you invited a competition just to see how you stack up against an immortal," he answers. "What is it that you want from me?" he asks directly. "I sense that you despise your own clan. Why is that?"

Elektra has posed:
Elektra likewise takes a stance, facing him, giving a respectful bow - a thing she wouldn't have the luxury, nor inclination, to do outside this setting. That it is in her dojo only adds to this.

"No," she admits. "I didn't invite a competition to see how I stack up against an immortal. That's merely an added bonus. Truly, my intent was much more mundane than that."

She considers him, and takes up her own stance, at the ready.

"I'd thought to take a student. It seemed a rather easy way to find someone worthy of the honour. As for my clan, they were never my clan. Or did you forget my training?"

She, like him, doesn't bother with disguising who she is. Her scarf not pulled up in her traditional disguise - he already knows this secret. Likely more.

Shredder has posed:
    Shredder slides forward like water, her earlier metaphor of a dance apt. There is a mix of grace and raw power, his leg slinging out in a back kick toward her left side. "I am immortal," he confesses, "I am not omniscient. I will not pretend to be privvy to your training. But I do not believe that you refuse to be a weapon," he says, tone mildly accusatory.

Elektra has posed:
He's not Matthew, nor Stick. His moves are not imprinted upon her memory Her body does not know them. But she does know how the moves should fit together, and can read the small telescoping gestures of a body about to lead into a thing. So when he comes at her in that way, she is prepared, blocking the kick, first, and then swinging about with intent to deliver her own, letting her body rise into the air, aiming at his head.

"I was the Chaste's answer to this war. All my training once my father died, was to the end of taking them down. It seems prophecy covers all angles, does it not?"

Knowing that the Hand also saw her as an answer: Black Sky.

"I killed all I could. When I removed two of the leadership from their lives, and was firm on a third, they offered me an out. And out for us all. Foolishly, I saw it as an answer." Quite possibly because by then she'd been removed from Stick's influence and mentorship, and had been quite recently spurned by Matthew. So many things, big and small, leading into that one fateful decision.

Shredder has posed:
    Shredder's leg recoils off the block, as if using it for a springboard, his leg swinging back, his body rotating with it to tuck low beneath the kick, the previous striking leg and other sweeping together toward Elektra's planted leg in an attempt at a leg tackle that would bring them both to the ground.

    "So you became the fist in order to control them. But they had another plan in mind. "And now you seek escape in death, using yourself as a weapon against the Hand in your death. Am I correct?" he asks.

Elektra has posed:
"Ulimately," Elektra answers, expecting the tackle, and allowing it, using the fall to tumble and roll away from the Master. "It wasn't an answer. I was expertly played. So now I play them. There's very little left I can do to change the outcome of my mistake."

Levelling the playing field is the one response she has control over, even if it is costly her highly. In same ways, it's the elegant solution she expected becoming The Fist would be. In others, it solves little.

But if she can set others against the Hand in her wake, others who might not otherwise have taken up complaint against them, then she's succeeded where she hasn't before.

Elektra has no Doubt that SHIELD will get involved. Shredder, armed with this information, as well. Matt.. well, he was always going to get involved. Her death would throw him into a state she would not wish upon him, but it couldn't be avoided. Without that catalyst, the others wouldn't have the edge they needed. And her living presence would always be a weapon and a threat against both sides. The only way to secure the safety of one, and the crippling of the other would be to die.

Shredder has posed:
    "Do you think that your death alone will bring about the end of the Hand? Without closure, they will find another Black Sky. You may be correct that your death is necessary, but what will stop them from simply restarting their search?"

    He follows the tumble with one of his own, exiting the roll into a diving tackle, aiming to use his greater weight to slingshot Elektra toward one of the pillars. Not exactly ninjitsu, an abberant move that is almost like an American Football tackle.

Elektra has posed:
Because she'd chosen to flip towards her opponent, in a running line of flips, Elektra is caught in that tackle, though her momentum and his manage to cancel one another out in most fashions, the pair meeting in the middle with a sudden collision forcing them to engage in more direct combat!

Elektra, once her equilibrium is regained, flashes out with a series of strikes meant to keep Shredder off guard.

"Oh, they can look. But given they believe I am their answer, there isn't another prepared. It will take them time to recoup. Time they'll have to fight back, or go underground. Either way, they will weakened. It's a start."

A pause.

"Are you saying you aren't interested in taking this opportunity? I'm disappointed."

Shredder has posed:
    Shredder, for his part, starts his series of quick deflections of the blows. "You misunderstand," he says calmly, focused, yet his movements are as natural as someone might expect from a man who has fought for centuries. "It is not that I lack intent. All power is attained at a cost, it is about knowint the proper trade.

    He suddenly doesnot block one blow. A strike at his ribs lands, and at the moment it also may become clear why. Rather than defend against the rib strike, he has a fist answering for punch directed at the head. Regardless, he takes the shot to the ribs, the natural recoil is slight, but present, it was a solid hit. "Your death could cost the Hand their very existence, should I choose the right place and moment." He follows the first attack with a monkey kick, looking like a roundhouse kick, his foot come around, then the knee flips downward at the last moment for a strike toward the nerve cluster on the right knee.

Elektra has posed:
"Then," Elektra grunts as his fist connects with her jaw, a strike she sees too late to block, but immediately counters by throwing up her hands and pushing his arm wide away from the two, and launching herself backwards in a flip. "I expect you to choose the right time and place.

The kick clips her as she flips, striking her knee, but not with the intended blow. It's enough to change the flight and fall of her motion, having her come up in a low crouch, and returning the 'roundhouse' favour with a flurry of the same, only in that crouch, intending on driving him back. She expects he'll try a retalliation or block of sorts.

"As for trade, I'm not certain you aren't already getting the better part of the deal."

Shredder has posed:
    "I agree," he answers, taking the roundhouse fully, failing to block and forcing a retreating step. The second is met with a catch of the foot, and he tips his hand regarding his strength, in the form of swinging with one hand her foot, pulling on her leg like a baseball bat. While that might be a reasonable move for someone using their whole weight and both arms, the Shredder is exacting such force with one hand, aiming to send her across the room.

    "You know I would absorb the Hand into my ranks," he declares. "The Hand is a philosophy, but the Foot is a family. Their philosophy will wane, bred out by a desire for survival."

Elektra has posed:
"Those who fill the lower ranks, perhaps," Elektra hisses as she's caught and swung about. The move forces her into a roll, which she comes up out of, and immediately turns to orient herself back to him. "I didn't expect that."

There's a grudging nod of respect for the man.

"The faction heads, though, they won't die out. You can't absorb them. It's like oil and water. There is no family to them, only expendable pieces of a puzzle. To you, members are a commodity to be treasured and protected. To the Hand, there is only revenge and replacement. You'd be foolish to try and absorb what refuses."

Shredder has posed:
    "Death is an option for those who resist. I'm sure you will be happy to hear that I intend on keeping none of their leaders. Azuma, Gau, they and all the rest will be snuffed out." He walks forward, with no apparent attack. "Your play will purchase their deaths, and you can go on to the next life with a fresh start, or else remain in the underworld of the warriors." He lets a slight quirk of his mouth turn up. "I recommend the former, given your disposition."

Elektra has posed:
"My disposition?" Elektra gives a soft laugh of disbelief. "I'm afraid that I don't follow?"

She nods, though, to the rest. "Kill them. Kill them all. Send them back to the ooze from which they've crawled. You have to behead them, you know. But they're not worth my tears, or concern beyond making certain someone kills them."

She presses her hands together, fist into palm, and bows to him.

"I should care more about the Foot profitting from this, but I'm beyond that now. I take comfort in knowing you are not them, and in hoping some good will come of this. However, I am curious. You mentioned Danny Rand?"

Shredder has posed:
    Shredder bows in return similarly. Something he did not do at the beginning of the fight. "The Iron Fist? He exists to fight the Beast of the Hand, or so I have come to believe. He has received an ancient responsibility to defend K'un L'un."

    Shredder tilt's his head, as if curious that she would not expect this. "Black Sky is to defeat the Iron Fist. The breaking of their prophecy will break the spirits of the Hand. They believe that the prophecy is in stone, but prophecies only tell the possibility of future. I refuse to let ancient writings rule my life. I have broken prophecy. You know who must be the instrument of your death if you are to truly break their will."

Elektra has posed:
The small bow of respect is noted, and she can't help a nod of head in return, in a small echo of her initial bow, to reply to his.

"I find it amusing that I'm relegated to being a Beast in this story. No matter, though. They're all just words in the end."

She runs fingers through her hair, catching up the gather of her ponytail and releasing the strands its held captured till now, letting her hair fall free.

"You're suggesting I allow it to be him?" Elektra looks thoughtful. "I might have gone that route, had I known. I'm afraid nobody shared the Prophecy with me. I'm doubtful I could convince him at this juncture. I'm sure he doesn't even know who I am, or why he should care."

Shredder has posed:
    "No, you are the instrument of the Beast. He is not a metaphor," Shredder says. "The Hand worship that demon, and that demon stands between me and my goals." He retrieves his shozuko from where he had stored it on his sash. "If not him, then who? Me? Your infatuated street hero? The Chaste? Which of them would have the impact you desire?"

Elektra has posed:
"I have someone in mind," Elektra says non-committally. "Who isn't as important as the fact of it happening."

She understands better, now, that he's clarified about the Beast. Demons, she had to admit, weren't really something she'd considered overmuch or cared about as true threats. Then again, she'd now come to accept she was the living embodiement of a Prophecy come to fruition - or at least the possibility of such. She was very much being forced to reconsider the idea of this Demon.

Shredder has posed:
    Shredder dons his shozuko, covering his face once again. "Who may be very important indeed," he says as he turns to go, "If they are to believe the Black Sky will not re-emerge."

    He walks to the doorway. "Consider carefully, you will only get to play your hand once."

Elektra has posed:
"I'm playing the only hand I've been allowed," Elektra says quietly. "But I will consider your words. My thanks, Master."

Once again, she bows formally to him, hand in fist, and then returns to her initial posture, kneeling in the dojo, back to the doorway, hand bent in contemplation. Later, she will blow the candles out one by one, and let the incence drift itself down to ashes. She will return to her bed, and waken on the morrow to continue the charade that nothing here has changed.

For now, though, she meditates. It's as close to prayer as she gets.