6267/Black Sky: We Walk Through the Fire

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Black Sky: We Walk Through the Fire
Date of Scene: 24 January 2019
Location: New York City
Synopsis: Daredevil and friends interupt Madame Gao's ritual to dispose of them all. Elektra is forced to make a decision: Black Sky is no more.
Cast of Characters: Daredevil, Shredder, Dragon, Green Arrow, Zeitgeist (Julius), Jessica Jones, Elektra, Melinda May, Madame Gao
Tinyplot: Black Sky

Daredevil has posed:
Stick had barely made it out with his life. The old man had come to Matt's door bleeding from his side, when he brought the news. The Hand was making a move and it was happening at a warehouse on the docks. Stick wasn't sure what was happening but he knew the leadership would be there, and Elektra as well as the Hand's new partner, Shredder.

He also mentioned the chanting. Like some big ceremony thing.

Matt had patched Stick up the best he could then called the others for help. Giving them the location of the warehouse before setting out ahead of them as the Devil of Hell's Kitchen.

By the time the others arrive the sentries are down, leaving Daredevil just a little bit bloody for his efforts. He crouches in the shadows near the warehouse waiting for the others to arrive....


Inside, the ritual is in full swing, three sorcerers from the Hand's minions the Wing Kong, chant around a cauldron filled with green fire, while scores of red clad ninja stand by like statues, watching with inhuman calm. To one side, Madame Gao, stands by leaning on her cane with Shredder and the Black Sky near at hand.

"If the sorcerers deliver on their promises, the Daredevil, Dragon and the others should be dealt with," she explains. "And if not, well, even if the effects of the spell are not leathal, it should weaken them significantly," she offers them a small smile. "A start if nothing else."

Shredder has posed:
    The Shredder has brought his Foot soldiers, the Assassins, to view this. Karai, however, is not invited tonight. She has other matters he's sent her to. The Assassins wait in the shadows, their red and gray uniforms obscured by darkness on the perimeter.
    Inside, the master of the Foot stands, his arms folded quietly as he listens to the explanation. His eyes narrow, "This spell," he says. "How many times has the Hand used it before?" he asks. He's suspicious of untried rituals, not that they do not have their purposes.

Dragon has posed:
Richard Dragon is one of the first to arrive in response to his student's call for help. Upon hearing what happened to Stick, this was now more than ever a situation for Dragon to step into. He checks Matt briefly for injuries in case he has already been caught in the crossfire, before he waits in the shadows for everyone else.

"You know this, Daredevil. But at some point tonight, a choice will have to be made. That choice will invariably be left to you. But this night will decide a great many things for a long time."

He looks at the building ahead. "Do you know if other Fingers of the Hand are present?"

questions are asked, but alas, Richard stays put, waiting for the rest of the team.

Green Arrow has posed:
The rest of Team Arrow was busy keeping Starling City under control, with gang fighting and the Hand trying to infiltrate, it was a full time vigilante job to keep the violence from turning into chaos. Green Arrow was only a Zetaport away from his home, so he had no problem with handling matters in New York.

So when his network and Daredevil himself told him something was going on at the warehouse, he had made a beeline for it and started scouting... only to see that the sentries had been dealt with early. That left him with an easy approach to launch a grapnel arrow up onto the roof. The arrow anchors into the side, just below the rooftop, and the other end is taken and anchored to the ground with a silent drill.

Line dealt with, he heads over to Daredevils position instead of going up that line. He can be a team player, it seems.

Zeitgeist (Julius) has posed:
Zeitgeist was feeling like the area was a little off, and with Dare Devil's confirmation, he made his usual casual way along rooftops and alleyways, a swarm of thoughts surround the building that he was given an address of, the intentions are mixed, some set on defense of it, some set on inflitrating it, and others.. well, not quite such strong motivations.

He makes a less theatrical appearance then a grappling line, as he comes down the sidewalk hugging the shadows as he does so.

Jessica Jones has posed:
Jessica joins Matt more or less on time, only he clearly made sure to arrive ahead of time to show off and clear the outer sentries on his own. "You know, teamwork is easier when you actually work with the rest of the team? I hate you for making me say that, Matt," Jessica taunts him, before all amusement is washed from her visage. "So we're really dealing with some assholes who are looking to summon godzilla or something, huh?"

Elektra has posed:
Black Sky was a silent sentinel to what Madame Gao was orchestrating. She had offered no resistance to this ritual that the Hand was about to conduct; but neither had she facilitated it.

For whatever reasons she had, Madame Gao had allowed Black Sky her freedom the days leading up to the ritual - the ritual that would, if it delivered as promised - eliminate Daredevil, and his associates once and for all, leaving Elektra to deal with The Iron Fist and end this perpetual war once and for all.

She had asked Matt for the freedom to chose her own future, a freedom that had never once been alloted her, and reluctantly, he had agreed, though at the time, Elektra had not known of this ritual, or the end it would create.

Things weighed heavily upon Elektra's mind. She had been crafted to be a perfect weapon, and for all intents and purposes, she was. But that was the thing about weapons.. sometimes they broke; sometimes they cut the hand that weilded them; sometimes they delivered a killing blow.

Elektra just hadn't decided yet which weapon she would be.

Daredevil has posed:
Dragon's arrival is met with a nod. "What else is new?" he asks wryly. Choices were what he did everytime he put on the costume. Though Dragon was right, tonight's choices would resonate more than most and not just his choices either.

"No clue," Daredevil admits. "Likely Gao if nobody else." There's a pause. "Elektra's here though." He knew Dragon would understand the significance there.

He's quiet, nodding to Green Arrow and Zeitgiest as they appear, though Jess' arrival has him speaking again. "I wanted to make sure we had a clear way through," he says a ghost of smile for her comment about being a team player. "And yeah, something like that, big ritual or ceremony going on..." he tilts his head. "Can hear the chanting from here..." And he could an unearthly moan that was half death rattle and half throat singing. It made the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end.

When the others join them, he faces the group. "Alright, we have a large group of Hand inside the warehouse. Their sentries are down, but we need to move fast if we want the elemnent of surprise," he points out towards a big cargo door on the side of the building. "Stick, said that's the fastest way in, it's reinforced, so," he turns to Jessica. "We might need to knock," he says. "Once we're in the door, then I can lead the way to their ceremony. Expect ninjas possibly guns," he turns to Green Arrow. "We'll need you to provide our fire support, the rest of us will be right in the thick of it."

He pauses a moment to ask, "Any questions?"


Gao looks up at Shredder. "The Wing Kong's former leader peformed it once at his home in San Francisco,in 1909. It had an interesting effect. However, these," she gestures to the sorcerers gathered around the burning caldron. "They do not have his power, so the city should be safe." Though by her tone, she wouldn't much care if she was wrong on that score.

"Regardless, when the ritual is over, it will be time for the Black Sky to fufill her destiny and bring an end to this war."

Green Arrow has posed:
"I bought along a pair of IR goggles in case things get messy or smokey, but if that happens, I won't be able to tell any of you apart." Green Arrow notes, his voice modulator in full effect, "keep that in mind if you go full ninja." He quips, before he turns around and stealthily makes his way back to the line to the roof. In no time at all, he's holstered his compound bow and started to climb it with his arms.

Say what you will be about the man, it's obvious he takes care of himself.

By the time the others are going for any other doors, he's already making his way silently over to the nearest skylight or rooftop access.

Dragon has posed:
Dragon nods very softly to Matt. "As long as you are aware, then I have no doubt that things will go quite well, all things considered." his eyes shift to big old cargo door. He knew this was not gonna be a quiet event. So, he simply nods. "None on my end." He seemed to have a master's pride as usual when he watched Matthew come up with a plan, though his eyes shift to Green Arrow, another former student and friend. "I trust your aim has never wavered." he whispers teasingly, before watching the Emerald Archer wade off to his position.

He then looks to Jessica. "I believe your thought process is along the correct lines, yes." a gentle nod given. Zeitgeist gets an unfamiliar nod as well.

Shredder has posed:
    "Just remember, Gao," Shredder says, "the place that the Hand has in regard to my plans. The Black Sky will be useful in my own operations." He tilts his head to one side, as if listening to something. "If you can retain control of her."
    Outside, the four assassins watch from the shadows. They have not engaged the fight yet, while inside, several of the standard Foot soldiers have joined the Hand ninjas in the hallways, ready for action.

Jessica Jones has posed:
"Oh I got that covered," Jessica grins at Matt at the suggestion some knocking might be necessary. At Green Arrow's note about smokey situations, she quips, "you'll be able to tell me apart, I'll be the one cursing their asses off."

Moving to that cargo door with purpose, and there better be nobody on the other side of it, because she rams that door so hard an NFL team would drool over the chance to sign her up. She fully intends to knock that whole cargo door down, preferably over anyone stupid enough to be standing guard over the other side of it.

Melinda May has posed:
Having received a tip about something decidedly ... undesirable being scheduled to happen tonight in this warehouse, acting Assistant Director May exercised due diligence to confirm that that was indeed the case. Only after confirming the received information did May choose to proceed, though based on the intel and the area involved, she opted to not just send in multiple Strike teams to deal with it. Instead, those teams are waiting on standby, and she's arrived a bit later than everyone else mostly due to being extra cautious around so many previously unidentified vigilante types.

Her arrival is nearly silent, but Daredevil has likely already heard her approach and the possibly identifying sound of multiple pieces of metal muffled by leather and fabric. She stops a bit out of sight of the others, comm chatter in her ear turned down low to give her a chance at listening in to what the others are discussing.

Of course, then the small-seeming woman is the one that goes to 'knock' rather aggressively. She's impressed, but she's not about to let that show.

Zeitgeist (Julius) has posed:
Zeitgeist looks to Dragon, as he gets his attention briefly, he voice always slightly modulated by the helmet, "Pleasure to be involved in this, always like ending selfish schemes...though wished they found a more constructive outlet..." he pauses a moment, "I sense fear inside. Hostages perhaps. We need to be careful."

Elektra has posed:
No words from Elektra. Not even an acknowledgement that she's heard the conversation between Gao and Saki. She has, though. It's a thing that swirls around in her mind, adding to the measures of things she's taking. Adding to the questions she's asking herself. It also leaves her with a faint smugness as she considers that Saki does not know Gao very well if he thinks his plans are counted amongst her whims.

No matter the outcome of the ritual, Elektra has no doubt that Madame Gao will have made contingencies for herself to come out on top, regardless of what Saki might wish. He might not realize it yet, but he's a pawn like any other in the hands of a Grandmaster.

Daredevil has posed:
Daredevil nods, "I don't know about all the targets but the Hand ninja will be colder than the rest, especially the good ones," he says. He wasn't what the Hand did to their people but they definitely read different to Matt's senses and he suspected they'd appear that way to those goggles as well.

Dragon gets a nod, "Glad one of us is hopeful," he says still in that tense wry tone a sure sign he was stressed.

May's arrival is noted, indicated by a slight cocking of his head in the woman's direction but he doesn't call out, letting her stay in the shadows.

Matt nods to Zietgeist, "Think you can find them inside?" he says of the hostages.

Then Jess is 'knocking' on the door. The big metal door flyies inwards with boom sending several Hand ninja flying as it lands inside. Several more ninja look up and raise the alarm as they rush towards the door, converging on Jess and the vigilantes coming up behind them.


Gao looks to Shredder. "And we will be happy to provide her to help further your plans," the old woman says sweetly a smile pasted on her features. The smile falters at that last remark. "There is no need for control, the Black Sky is the will of the Hand made manifest, her goals and our goals are one."

A ninja approaches her then, whispering to her. "Good, bring in the sacrifices," she says, and the ninja withdraws. "We are about to begin in earnest now. It should be interesting."

The ninja drag the hostages into the chamber, young men and women clothed in white. Their screams compete with the chanting when both are drowned out by a BOOM from beyond the rital chamber.

"Continue the ritual!" Gao shouts. Then to Shredder and the Black Sky. "It seems we have guests, let's greet them."

Gao stops leaning on her cane and nimbly makes her way towards the sounds of combat.

Elektra has posed:
The ninja at the imploding door are startled and stunned. One is knocked right out cold. But his five friends aren't! Gathering their wits back about them, they rush the oncomers at the door, silently and deadly. Two latch onto Jessica (poor things), and the others fan out looking for her inevitable friends.

Green Arrow has posed:
There's usually a skylight on these warehouses, and this one doesn't disappoint. Readying his compound bow, a flash arrow is constructed on the fly as he gets into position, starting to observe the inside and getting an accurate count of numbers and positions silently.

Once they all start to move to intercept the others is when he'll be launching the arrow through the glass, "In position." Green Arrow notes over the commlink.

Dragon has posed:
Well, time to get busy.

"Remember. Everything will be just fine." Dragon imparts that final sage-like wisdom to Daredevil and the others before he's on the move thanks to Jessica's version of 'knocking in the least subtle way possible'. He moves like a shadow, and strikes like a Lion.

Two kicks are immediately thrown, taking down two ninjas in a manner that would make legends like Bruce Lee proud. and a third is judo thrown straight to the ground.

"If you encounter Gao...leave her to me." Richard warns the others. It will take a Grandmaster to defeat a Grandmaster.

Melinda May has posed:
May sees the red-costumed man tilt his head very slightly in her direction and presumes he's somehow picked up on her presence. The others seem clueless. She takes a chance and says very quietly into her own comms, "Strike teams, ready to move." She approaches the others as the acknowledgements come back on her earpiece, and then as ninjas start trying to accost Jessica (seriously? NINJAs? How cliche.) she pulls a odd-looking pistol from inside her jacket and without really giving anyone else any warning fires at one of the ninjas.

There firearm's report is ... odd. Not the typical gunpowder crack. And there's no blood where's she's hit the man she was aiming at. Daredevil can likely smell it much more clearly now. A chemical compound that vaguely resembles the odor of snake venom.

Shredder has posed:
    Shredder unfolds his arms, eyes on the ritual for a moment longer as Gao leaves to greet the intruders. His eyes shift to the Black Sky instead of to the door, studying her for several moments even as the energy levels rise. He stays still, his head turning slowly back to Gao's movement to engage the heroes.
    Outside, The Green Arrow's allies entrance mean that the assassins have a clear shot at him. They leap onto the roof, the talons extending as the four converge on the green clad hero, diving from multiple directions in an attempt to throw him from the skylight down to the floor.

Jessica Jones has posed:
"I'm ready for you fuckers this time," Jessica growls, as she doesn't take it softly on the ninjas latching to her. She may not match them in martial arts skills, but they have no way to anticipate just how strong she is, when they latch to her, and she uses it to roughly body slame them to the ground. Whatever doesn't work with force, will work with more force. Not exactly a Sensei's saying, but Jess wasn't a Sensei. Good thing.

Zeitgeist (Julius) has posed:
Zeitgeist nods to Dare Devil, as the Jessica makes her door, "They appear to be chained and being led to a cauldron." He moves to follow the chain of other 'heroes' inside. He motions in the direction of the ritual and hostages deeper inside, "That way."

Elektra has posed:
Dragon neatly dispatches the extraneous ninja that aren't trying to vie for Jessica's attention. They're down and out for the count. As for Jessica's, they have no idea what they're up against, and quickly become floor meat.

One valiently does try to rise again, but he's neatly pinged with Agent May's 'gun', and with a stunned expression, his eyes roll up back into his head and he just collapses without any resistance.

Of course, these were just the doormen. Inside? Lots of ninja. Lots and lots of ninja. A whole ninja party. Ninja for everyone! And they've had time to get ready for Daredevil and his crew, with only one order paramount on their minds: Don't let *ANYTHING* stop the ritual. And if there is one thing Gao's select ninja are fanatical about, it's orders.

Green Arrow has posed:
Well, shit.

"Turns out they're not idiots." Green Arrow shouts from the rooftop into his commlink. Turning his head away, he fires the flash arrow in the general direction of the four, hoping to take them by surprise in turn with it.

As soon as it goes off, the compound bow has the manual transition button pressed, turning it into a bo staff that he brings up in a defensive position, ready to face the newcomers, "Come on, then."

His ears might be ringing, but they took the brunt of the visual overload. Hopefully.

Daredevil has posed:
Daredevil listens to what Dragon has to say, before murmuring "Thank you Sifu." Then it's time for action.

Leaping off the roof, he's too late to deal with the first round of ninja, Dragon and Jessica take care of them handily, though there's more to come. Daredevil drops one, with a kick, a punch for another, then working a hunch ducks low to clear a shot for May to take out one as he throws a baton at another. He's moving like a man posessed.

At Zeitgiest's words, he nods. "Lead the way, I've got your back, Jess, Dragon can you guys make sure nobody-"

A big man clocks Daredevil on the side of the head, then rushes for Jessica growling as he throws a savage punch her way as well.


Gao for her part isn't throwing herself into the fray. She slows her pace as the ninja move forward to face the heroes. She waits at the rear to give orders and deal with those who manage to make it into the chamber.

Elektra has posed:
Inside the ritual chamber, Elektra tenses. It's imperceptable, but it happens. Gao's words are.. less unexpected than unhoped for. 'Guests' can only mean one thing - Matt and the rest of his allies. This can't bode well, and she still hasn't made a decision.

There are plenty of ninja between herself and Gao and their guests. It allows Elektra time to compose herself. To let calm wash over herself. To think.

While the ninja deal with their guests, Elektra keeps herself at Madame Gao's side, a scarlet shadow - harbinger to all that will unfold from this moment onward. Crux of an endless war that teeters on the edge, waiting for fruition.

Jessica Jones has posed:
"What did you not understand about me knocking 5 of your bodies on their asses?" Jessica snorts at the big man charging her after clocking Daredevil, but as she moves to strike, he actually blocks her fist, before hitting her in turn, sending her flying into the wall. Leaving a fine Jessica Jones shaped indent into the wall. "Fuck me you're strong," she gasps, before rolling out of the way just in time for him to break more of the wall where she was. Thankfully, his arm stuck in the wall, she has an opening to work his head like a speedbag, letting out all her rage on him. "I. Hate. Fucking. Ninjas."

Dragon has posed:
Richard watches Daredevil be decked by that large tank of a man, but he assumes Jessica or someone besides him can take out the big guy. Dragon's gonna take care of the grunts. With a leap, Dragon kicks a ninja right in the chin, with a flying kick. Another eats a elbow right to the throat and the Master seems to be wading through the chaos, taking out more with each one that tries to pass or approach him.

His eyes razer-focus on Gao though. He also seems to look for Shredder or Elektra.

Shredder has posed:
    One of the assassins is blinded, but given that they each came from a different direction, it makes it far more difficult to blind all of them. There is a split flinch from the shot, though, long enough to allow the Arrow to get ready for the attack. The blades flash, and from the front one comes forward with a one two slash. The rear coms with a foot first dive to slide at the hero's ankles, while the last moves to intercept a reaction from Oliver's bo staff. They are certainly not ordinary soldiers. They move as a honed team, instinctively knowing what their roles are in concert.

     As Zeitgeist follows into the room. It appears that two Foot have stayed in the reare, they slide in as he brings up the rear, a kurisama chain slapping out toward his ankle from one side to try to trip him while from the other side his counterpart stabs forward with a pair of sais.

    Inside the chamber, the Shredder perceives that slight tension. Behind his mask, he frowns, perhaps suspecting the woman's choice before she does. He turns to the heroes, and back toward the ritual. Plans will need to change.

Zeitgeist (Julius) has posed:
Zeitgeist winces a bit, a side effect to being intune with the thoughts of those around him he feels the impacts against both friends and foe. The two ninjas catch Zeitgiest in a rare surprise moment, a chain wraps his ankle and he fights being brought down... Reflexively, the man doesn't play well with other armed men, his arm goes up to an ancient sword on his back which he unsheathes and stabs at the man with the two sais, if not to injure him, to at least preventing the double team.

Elektra has posed:
Agent May kind of opened the door on things when she shot that guy. She's got her own fan club, and they're not in your face sorts of guys. We're talking blowguns and throwing knives here. She might have that fancy schmancy gun of hers that doesn't shoot bullets, but they have their own special toys, and they're just as happy to use them.

Three step out of the shadows to send a barrage her way: blades to distract, with a followup of blowdart from a fourth.

Daredevil has posed:
Daredevil has had his bell rung before and gets up off the ground fast, only to be taken on by two more ninja he dodges and weaves, but the two men keep with him. He snatches a baton out of its holster and whips it around the cable extending to strike both me. Then diving on one he takes him down before leaping to do the same with the other.

He let out a breath, the fight with the sentries was wearing on him, Jess was right, he should have waited for the team. Though he came with a purpose, and he dives back into the fighting, trying to get to Dragon's side and push their way into the ritual chamber beyond....only to find a wave of chi blasted at the both of them threatening to send them flying backwards. From the door to the chamber Gao grins and steps back letting more ninja come in and take her place.

As for the man fighting Jess, her punches land, but he's tough, maybe not Luke tough,. but pretty tough, her blows leave him bloody but still concious. He grabs her head with both hands and fling her at the wall.

Melinda May has posed:
Without bothering to introduce herself or explain why she's here, May starts after Daredevil into the building, pulling a metal rod from her sleeve with her free hand and snapping it out to about arms' length.
She's not firing her sidearm willy-nilly, as she doesn't have unlimited ammo, mostly reserving it for taking down someone who is just about to hurt one of the vigilantes she's seemingly randomly thrown in with.

When a group of people start throwing KNIVES at her, she uses the baton to knock them aside deftly enough and fires back at them since they decided to bring knives to a gun fight. The dart, well, that's a smaller and faster and less obvious target. But isn't that what her reinforced jacket was designed to deal with? Maybe? Hopefully?

Green Arrow has posed:
Going for the ankles with a forward attack? Green Arrow does a backwards flip to get out of the way of all three attacks, trained reflexes the only thing keeping him from getting overwhelmed. Getting into melee range against so many would press him hard, so when he lands, throwing knives tucked into his sleeves are taken and immediately tossed at achilles tendons as Green Arrow tries to disable as many as he can in the next couple of seconds.

He's almost a perfect shot with them, too, so the one directly in front gets the brunt of a trio of knives.

Zeitgeist (Julius) has posed:
Zeitgeist is able to slide the Sai wielding fellow and he fights the chain off of his leg, only to be hit by a random dart from a ninja. He grumbles as he falls to the ground, as he does so he sends a brief telepathic image to Dare Devil of the scene with the hostages and the ritualists. He's paralyzed or at least downed from the dart for the moment.

Dragon has posed:
Richard fights through more and more ninjas with clearly immense skill...until Gao. Gao sucks. Gao puts a hold on all the plans.

Though knowing that Daredevil can't quite use Chi as well as he can, Richard touches his medallion and steps in front of Murdock, thrusting both of his hands forward to unleash his own chi blast to cancel out Gao's, hopefully protecting Daredevil in the process.

Master and Student. Side by Side.

"Daredevil, reinforcements are coming." he then leaps off his feet, a knee strike to the chin of one of the ninjas knocks him clean out. This was getting hectic. Good thing they were in a warehouse...though if anyone looked closely, Richard was reeling after that chi blast. That one was a last second timing, and so...he took the brunt of it, and was in pain, even if he didn't show it. "I'm getting too old for this..." he whispers under his breath.

Elektra has posed:
The blades flying towards May are fast and furious. Were she any less skilled than she is, she'd have been hit, as well as distracted. As it is, she manages to deflect them without any major injuries, her actions a smooth movement through the space as she advances forward.

Blow darts are indeed tiny. Very tiny.

May's fluid movements, though, are a near perfect counter to that dart. Later, she'll find a small hole in the collar of her uniform that were it but a quarter inch off, would have surely hit her carotid and taken her out. As it is, that small thing flies past her and lodges itself into Zeitgeist's arm.

There's a slow burning feeling of liquid fire crawling up that arm that rapidly spreads out, and as his heartbeat speeds up, the burning is carried even faster, and he should find himself unable to speak, or move.

Like the ninja hit by May's gun, Zeitgeist crumples to the ground.

Shredder has posed:
    As Ollie backflips over the rear assassin, the trio form up, the knives slicing forward at them. Two of them are deflected, but the third catches it's target, causing the forward assasin to drop. The fourth, however, pulls small orb with her talons, and the thumb blade presses it before it's flung at the arrow weilding hero. It looks like they have some of their own ranged attacks. The small grenade flies through the air, an impact explosive should it hti the ground in front of Ollie, or anything else.
    The ninja with the sais finds himself deflected, and the disarming also left him down one hand. Oddly, he doesn't make a sound as he stumbles backward, gripping the stump.

Jessica Jones has posed:
Jessica was feeling confidant, until she found herself grabbed by the head and slammed into the wall, "you really know how to let a lady know you're into her, don't you?" She doesn't stop quipping throughout, Spider-Man would be proud. From her precarious position, she goes for what comes natural, full blown kick to the nads, hoping that'll make him drop her fast. Hopefully it'll drop the big man altogether.

Melinda May has posed:
Making it to the knife and dart flingers that have managed to not succumb to dendrotoxin yet, May strikes out at one of them with the baton she's been using to deflect the knives, activating the taser end of it at the perfect moment to shock the crap out of the ninja at the same time as smacking him but good.

The moment the man is down she tucks the ICER away again and pulls a second taser baton to match the first. Daredevil should be thankful. She could have reached for her butterfly swords and started lopping off hands and slicing arteries.

She rushes forward to catch up with the others, making a mental note of Zeitgeist falling and then speaking into her comms, "Strike teams, move in. One friendly down, three friendlies still in play." She knows the agents are more than smart enough to tell who's who, and she didn't mention Green Arrow's presence as she didn't see him before he headed up to the rooftop.

Daredevil has posed:
Daredevil braces for the chi blast but it never strikes him, Dragon takes it the chi rolling off his own harmlessly. Leaving them with only ninjas to fight.

And there were a lot of ninjas.. Also hostages, as Zeitgiest's message gets through as the ancient warrior goes down. "Damn it," Matt curses. "We need to end this now."

For Jess' guy, the fight is definitely over, he's overconfident, having taken her punches and thrown her afterwards. The blow to his groin hits /hard/. His eyes fixed wide open he tumbles to Jessica's feet.

Matt pushes forward battling the last two men before entering the chamber, calling back, "Follow me. The hostages are here."

And they most definitely are, the ninja have them chained to spots around the cauldron, though the ninja have left their charges to defend Gao as the heroes step into the room.

Gao smiles however, "Welcome, it is good of you to come, I had so hoped to see what this ritual does in person." She turns to Shredder. "Shall we finish them together?" she asks.

Green Arrow has posed:
Green Arrow is fast; as fast as Batman is, even... but even Green Arrow can't get out of the way of an impact explosive in a split second. Instead, the bo staff is sacrificed as Green Arrow swings and tries to bat it away.

Better the bow is ruined than Green Arrow himself.

As a bonus? the explosive will be more likely to hit the ninjas in front of him, instead of Green Arrow himself.

Dragon has posed:
Richard rises slowly to his feet aftempact subsides, his eyes fierce and unwavering as he enters a stance, especially when he notices the Shredder. Without a seconds hesitation though, Richard leaps forward, jumping over a row of ninja and landing behind them, punching and kicking and bobbing and weaving, the most recent ninja goes down by having his arm and leg shattered at the same time by the Dragon.

Still finding ways to move forward, Dragon is trying to get to a position where he can end this fast, following Murdock.

Elektra has posed:
The heroes rush in. And as Madame Gao turns to Shredder, Elektra's eyes go out across the distance, taking in those who have come to interupt the ritual, inevitably finding Matthew's. He might not be able to see her, but she can see him. That's really all that matters.

Jessica Jones has posed:
Jessica heaves a sigh of relief when she finally downs the big guy, dropping to her feet, while he drops entirely at her feet. "Guess you didn't study the secret technique of Jones Dojo: Phoenix Rise Where Sun Don't Shine." Jessica snorts as she gives the man a kick to the face for good measure, before turning to catch up with the others, "you know, would be nice if not everyone was a freakin' karate champ. I feel much more at home with a bar brawl style."

When she finally sees Gao and Shredder for the first time with her own two eyes, Jessica blinks, "wait...are we filming a remake of Big Trouble In Little China? Can I be Kurt Russell?"

Shredder has posed:
    As the bomb detonates on impact with the bo staff, a concussive explosion on par with a hand grenade pulses out, indiscriminate toward the hero detonating it and the assassins attacking him. One has the reflexes to realize what is about to happen, and drops to flatten against the ground while the other two are knocked back, sprawling across the rooftop. They aren't dead, but they are certainly moving slower.

    Shredder slides a small device from his sash, and presses a button. He looks at Gao. "You have placed your bets foolishly," he says to Gao. She may look like a little old lady, but he knows better, and snaps a foot out toward her, aiming to slam into her chest. Jessica's quip doesn't get a chuckle though, some people just have no sense of humor.

    As the heroes rush in, outside a new fight suddenly starts as the Foot soldiers assault the Hand ninjas in the next room Up on the roof top, the two active assassins do not take the opportunity of the explosion to attack, but instead, they stop. The one on the ground gets to his feet, and they both bow respectfully to the Green Arrow. Does this mean they aren't attacking?

Daredevil has posed:
Daredevil's sense sweep the room getting a sense of the location of the ninja and the hostages. There is no snarky comment from the man in red about Big Trouble in Little China he's focused on Elektra when his senses zero in on her.

"We need to get Gao and get the hostages out of-" he begins when Shredder attacks Gao. "Get the hostages now," he says expecting chaos to take over if the Hand and Foot were going at it.

And he was right, Gao is taken off guard by the kick but the little old lady, gets to her feet quickly, turning to the Black Sky. "Kill the hostages, start the ritual." Then gathering up her chi, she lets it out in a rush at Shredder.

Meanwhile her Hand ninjas rush to her aid, or move to help the Black Sky secure the hostages.

Jessica Jones has posed:
Jessica feigns surprise when her 'Big Trouble In Little China' joke yields no laughs, "seriously? Not a single John Carpenter fan in the crowd? Well jokes on you people, you're totally missing out on a classic," but then Matt brings to focus the severity of the situation, just as the Hand and the Foot turns out to be a mismatch. "Told you, Daredevil, it's teamwork," Jessica grins before flying towards the hostages who are being accosted, eager to free them and keep them safe. "Free extraction of teeth right here, step up, bozos."

Melinda May has posed:
May looks around the room as everyone arrives in time to see the ritual in progress, the people trussed up as sacrifices, and... the man presumably leading the evil forces turning on the little old lady who is clearly also one of the main bad guys. It's never good when the bad guys suddenly turn on each other.

Seeing as she's likely the least obvious of the 'heroes', she again switches out weapons and pulls her ICER, ready to use up her remaining ammo keeping the hostage/sacrifices safe.

Green Arrow has posed:
A concussive hand grenade. That's certainly going to be enough to send Green Arrow flying. He's tossed halfway across the roof by the force, barely protected from being pulped to death by it from the flexible armor of his suit. Where he landed, a groan of pain is heard. Up above on the roof, the rest of the group will easily hear and 'feel' the concussive blast where they know Green Arrow is.


He gets unsteadily to his feet, then orients himself for another attack... only to find two of the attackers are... backing off?

Even from where they stand, those looking at him will see the confused frown. His bow might be ruined, but even without it, Green Arrow is very good in a brawl, and more knives come out, ready to be tossed.

Elektra has posed:
If she had a heartbeat, the world would stop on one and fail to start again while everything around her fell to slow motion. But Elektra doesn't have a heartbeat. There is no telltale stutter of the thing, or rise of pulse, or any other give that shows how her world has narrowed down: First to Matt, and then to Madame Gao's orders to kill the hostages.

Elektra knows the ritual. Knows what it will do. Up until this point there has been no need to force the issue or choose a side. Up until this point, everything hung in delicate balance. Up until this point.

And then Shredder attacks Madame Gao, and she hisses those words. Words that take Elektra from the thought of free will to the necessary act.

She can turn, and dispatch the hostages with ease. She's fought more than what the heroes number at once during her training, and all around her are Hand and Foot soldiers willing to kill one another and any stray hero caught in their way. To do away with the hostages would be but a simple matter. Nothing but an act of will away.

Or should turn from all that and embrace what Stick had raised her to: to be an answer. An emphatic 'NO' in the face of a prophecy that would turn a child into a deadly weapon for the purpose of immortality. To end a war.

Truth, she could end the war by chosing Madame Gao and the Hand just as easily, but to what end? Had she not died once already to stop that?

There was Matthew as well. Matthew, as the soul being who had stood back and accepted that her future was her own an no others. Even knowing that she could chose against him, against the Chaste, against all he and others held dear, and take the path of Perfect Death as the Hand's assassin, he had still stood aside and allowed her to make that choice.

She stands there, looking over the Chaos as it is, seemingly frozen before her, and considers what she has been given: Orders, and to forever stand at the Hand of another, or the freedom of self, and to defy those orders and..

She wasn't sure what came after that, but she remembers the touch of a hand on her cheek, and a nod as she was allowed to leave. She remembers the cradle of arms about her torso as she slowly drowned in her own blood, and realizes, that there, again, she'd been allowed that single precious freedom of her own will. That even then, he'd stepped aside and allowed her to be nothing more than Elektra.

Of all the humans in the world, he had been the only one who had ever, and always, allowed her to be nothing more than Elektra.

It was all so simple. Through that stillness of chaos around her, Elektra pulls her wakazashi and steps forward, slicing through the ninja nearest her, grabbing up his sai, and dropping her blades, turning then, with the fullness of her will upon Madame Gao.

"No. I will not."

Dragon has posed:
Surprising turn of events! "An alliance founded upon a weak foundation will fall away like shifting sands." Really? NOW for philosophical life lessons?! But,Richard already moves for one of the hostages, likely breaking someone's leg on the way there as well.

It was just pure chaos! Then Elektra makes her move, and Richard just smiles!

The tides have full turned!

Shredder has posed:
    The Shredder doesn't dodge the blast, but instead there is a certain pulse of energy in response as he puts one foot behind him as his bladed gauntlets come up in an X block. It is nearly imperceptible, but a halo of light seems to radiate from him, nothing visibly seems brighter on him. The blast impacts him, and shoves him backward a good two feet, but he maintains his stance.

    "She is no longer with you," he says darkly as he lowers his arms. "You spent your control over her frivolously, and your currency is spent." He tilts his head, a pop in his neck heard.
    "But you have disappointed me, which should be a more central point in your attention."

    Up on the roof, the assassin who had been blinded and later threw the grenade speaks. She's young if her voice is any indication. "Our master has indicated that you are no longer our target," she says. She sounds American. "We are to join with you against the Hand." She turns and grips the latch to the skylight, and then opens it, and leaps through the opening down to join the fight below.

Green Arrow has posed:
"I think I have a concussion. I could swear one of the ninjas just left me alone and dropped into the warehouse." Green Arrow offers over the commlink, "and she defected to our group."

Not trusting his senses right now, Green Arrow keeps in a ready stance, fully expecting to snap out of the 'dream' he's in.

Daredevil has posed:
"You what?" Gao demands rounding on Elektra, careful to keep her side to Shredder and not her back. "You are the Black Sky you are of the Hand." The usually unflappable old woman is livid and strikes out with a blast of chi at the Black Sky. Even if i would be a generation before the next one, it would be worth the wait to put an end to the this betrayal.

As long as she did it quickly. The Hand ninja were losing the fight all around her. Shredder had brought better men.

Daredevil heard Elektra's words and smiles faintly, still he had a job to do, he'd celebrate later.. "I'm going to help Elektra, Dragon, Jess free the hostages. May, can you hit the guys by the cauldron. Green Arrow!" he shouts up to Ollie. "Fire on them too."

Daredevil notices the tide shifting too, "Follow me," he says and rushes into the fray to free one of the hostages. "Green Arrow!" he shouts. "Take out the guys at the cauldron."

The Daredevil is rushing towards the former Black Sky batons in hand.

Melinda May has posed:
May nods to Daredevil and puts her ICER to good use. She's SORELY tempted to fire at Mr. RazorSleeves there just to get him to SHUT UP. But, the people messing with the cauldron take priority. And she's not taking chances, she's aiming for the most readily visible exposed skin on them: their faces.

They'll end up with paintball level bruises, but she really could not care less.

Elektra has posed:
Madame Gao might have chi, but so does Elektra. A single perfect blast of it that is returned at that old woman, knocking her back.

"I am Elektra Natchios you old fool. You offer me nothing. You should have died long ago."

And with that, she attacks the woman in earnest, her sais a blur of motion - and in that single weapon, Elektra is nearly unmatched. Gao has few choices with her people fighting both Daredevil's people, and Shredder's, and Shredder and Elektra attacking her.

For the moment, Elektra's attention has not been drawn to Shredder, but that will come - he may wish to think about his exit as well. For she might have chosen to be Elektra Natchios, but she's still in Black Sky, Perfect Death's package. And she has friends.

Dragon has posed:
Dragon nods to Matt as he sprints off. "We have this. Go." Dragon then twirls on a hand, a discus kick aimed for a ninja's head before another hostage is released.

Though Dragon now considers moving to follow Matt, he sticks to getting the last hostage out of there.

It appears Gao and the Hand have suffered a crushing defeat.

Jessica Jones has posed:
Jessica takes advantage of the chaos, as she goes from one hostage to the next, releasing them, and staying out of the ninjas vs ninjas action where possible. She does call out to other Defenders, "better stay back from the ninja high wizards, according to Big Trouble In Little China, one of them will blow up, it will be disgusting, trust me."

Green Arrow has posed:
Nothing is fired from above when Daredevil requests Green Arrow start firing. For one, his bow is destroyed, a casualty of the explosion above. For two, he doesn't trust his senses in the first place right now after that blast.

Instead, he does the sensible thing and removes himself from the playing field, dashing for where the line down to the ground is and rappelling down it. "Good luck."

In seconds, his Skybike is mounted, and Green Arrow heads off into New York.

Daredevil has posed:
Gao staggers back from Elektra's attack, hatred shining in those dark eyes. "This is not over," she promises and just like that she vanishes. Clearly chi blasts weren't her only power. Elektra's senses or Shredder's powers still might have found her, but when one of the kung-fu wizards by the cauldron takes an ICER round things go sideways.

The mystic energy of the spell becomes to come undone sending bursts of green light lancing out to hit the warehouse walls, the whole building shakes and parts begin to fall. The wizards try to control it, but the energy hits them and they simply explode.

Who knew? Jessica was right.

That brings a quick end to the fighting, leaderless the Hand flees, leaving the hostages to be rescued with ease.

For his part Matt comes to stand beside Elektra, "Time to go," he warns, his attention fixed on Shredder in case the man wants to make a fight of things.

Shredder has posed:
    The Shredder seems unintimidated by the ratio of heroes to him and his forces. Gao's declaration gets hardly a sneer. It's the tactical response to the situation, and he won't fault her for it.
    The master of the Foot looks around. The work is finished. He particularly glances at the Daredevil, knowing him to be the target that Gao wanted the most.
    "Your sacrifice has been rewarded," he says in respect. "Impressive. Take your victory and savor it." The eyes seems to almost smile, though with so little visible, it could be just a trick of the light. His eyes shift to Black Sky...no, Elektra. "You believed that you had only one chance to fight the Hand, only one way to strike back. Perhaps you will find there are more avenues now." He glances between them, and to the Jessica. She doesn't get any comments, and turns away. There is a snap of his fingers. "We are done here," he declares to his Foot soldiers. "We have come what we came to do." He doesn't run, he doesn't hurry, but he and the Foot soldiers begin to file out of the building. There will be more matters to tend to soon enough, and the crimson cape disappears out the door.

Melinda May has posed:
When the one person by the cauldron /explodes/, May mentally winces. But not openly. Never openly. "Teams, exfil, now." Tucking her ICER away, she rushes forward to grab a couple of the hostages by the arms to hurry them along while directing the Strike teams to collect anyone not dead and able to move (and Zeitgeist) and get them out of the building as quickly as possible.

And then she mentally curses an old friend and fellow agent when a British-accented voice suddenly says in her head, 'Run away!'

Elektra has posed:
Shredder's response is unexpected, but she acknnowledges him by lowering her weapons. He's right. The fight here is done once Gao disappears. To continue it, any of them, would be folly. The explosions careening around them only further proof of that.

"Until we meet again," she tells Shredder, turning to Matt. Her lips curling over a faint smile, "Maybe you're not so dumb. Let me introduce myself. I'm Elektra Natchios. How be we leave this party before it gets even more boring."