Hyper-Senses: standard (rank 1)
The voice hushed and there was silence but for the baying of the ghastly wraiths that inhabited the region. Hiroaki noticed that the sounds were greater in number than in previous encounters as the voice had intoned. He walked towards the entranceway of the decrepit cave in which he had hid his mother. To normal eyes, the darkness was impenetrable. Under the mastery of his fighting style, Hiroaki’s eyes saw the dark in vivid black and white clarity. Despite his vantage, still a thick mist hung low to the ground. It concealed the incoming howling wretches from his gaze. He didn’t mind. Standing at the entrance, he waited patiently in the still.
Suddenly, there was silence. It was time.
Kage-Ken: the Shadow Fist Technique
Martial Arts: standard (rank 1)
With a sound and fury that would unnerve the most stern of men, Hiroaki was suddenly surrounded by several dozen ravenous, foul undead women. Their speed in comparison with their decaying flesh and bone was impossible. Their stench stung at the nose of the young fighter. Motionless, he stood in the midst of the onrushing maelstrom. Upon reaching him, the vile attackers took in his sweet living scent. They gathered within inches as he held there unshaken. Then suddenly there came a torrent of fists and feet that seemed barely discernible to the human eye. Slipping in and out of the crowd like the ninja he was, Hiroaki dispatched the corpses like a bowling ball wrecks a pin. Twenty seconds and all that stood did so no more. Casually Hiroaki stepped upon the heads of the witches as they scrambled clumsily to regain their footing. Their dry craniums burst with gusts of dust. At the last stomp, he spoke to the air, “What else have you to say, voyeur?”
There was a brief quiet and then the voice returned, “Much.”
Yomi: the Land of Shadows
Inhibit Senses: standard (rank 1)
In the near future, Shin Takeda also known as Chimei-Tekina Hansha (Deadly Reflection) hastily escapes blindly down a hallway of Takeda Toys in Tokyo, Japan. In the distance, his hearing catches the loud breathing and footsteps of his mammoth grandfather echoing lightly. Masuta Tengoku (Master Ten) comes to the hallway only to be met with the cascading sounds of crashing glass. His eyes travel upward as he watches the lighting in the hall burst before him sending the room into darkness. Grunting he remains calmly as the darkness surrounds him. In the background, Takeo Takeda, father of Shin and Hiroaki barks demands at his protector, Master Ten. With a quick backwards up thrust of the palm, Ten sends Takeo hurling to the ceiling, knocking him briefly unconscious.
In the distance, a conversation begins and ends quickly. Ten struggles to hear and loosely recognizes the sounds of his other grandson, Hiroaki. He catches bits and pieces of the discussion.
“I knew it was…”
“There is plenty of time for that. Let’s you and I play…”
“…afraid of the dark.”
Before he can interrupt the brothers, screams echo through the dark. Ten quickly and painfully becomes aware of his surroundings. No longer is he in the Takeda Toys building. His body tenses as he realizes he is in the Yomi once again. Straight away, he swings his foot backwards into a horse stance. The ground trembles before him.
Shikome: the Hags of the Underworld
Necromancer: superior (rank 2)
The rumble is met with ear-piercing screams. Without warning, Ten is scratched deeply by one of the undead women of the Yomi. Nearly as quick, he is massively assaulted by a dozen others. “They are called the Shikome, grandfather. They live here in the underworld. A wiser man than you taught me how to control them.” Hiroaki boasted. Meanwhile, Ten’s body wisped in and out of reality within Mu causing the Shikome to lose their unexpectedly nimble footing. With every one of their missteps, Ten countered with a thunderous strike that broke their bodies with ease. Likewise, his pull on the very strings of the gravitational foundations of the Earth sent several crushing into dust about the floor. Undaunted, they continued to pour on.
Like a distant breeze, the muffled screams of Takeo Takeda were heard in the background followed by the disturbing laughter of Hansha. Ten turned and tried to find his way in the murk. He struggled against the hags like a drowning man struggling for air in a swampy miasma. After some great effort and nearly all of the hags defeated, Ten touched the metal frame of a doorway. With an unproblematic shove, the door broke open. Light dashed into the hallway resisting the gloom. Ten scowled at what brought forth the light. Nearby, Shin dangled his father out of a broken window. Ten began to raise his hands to send both of them tumbling back into the room only to be met with a forceful kick to the temple.
Intonjutsu: Escaping and Concealment
Teleportation: superior (rank 2)
Ten turned slowly, rubbing his brow. “You’ve improved Hiroaki.” He said. Hiroaki stood in the hallway on the edge of an impossibly large receding shadow. He smirked and began to dance on his toes, his fists clenched tightly. “The name is Kage-Ken. I will help you remember it.” Without giving him time to strike Ten lunged forward with a kick. With a nimble back flip, Kage-Ken avoided the shot and disappeared into the darkness behind him. Ten stepped forward warily, and then spun to meet Shin once again. Stepping forward, he stumbled and fell hard to his knee. “The bigger they are, you oafish ox.” Ten looked down to find Kage-Ken’s upper torso emerging from his own shadow upon the floor holding the elder fighter’s foot in his hand. Ten gazed only briefly before bringing down his free leg upon the fighter. Kage submerged again into the shady depths like he were swimming through water.
Taijutsu: the Body Art
Acrobat: superior (rank 2)
Trying to rise, Ten was met with varying blows from the dexterous Kage leaping from shadow to shadow. Awkwardly, Ten struggled to rise only to have his hand or arm knocked from beneath him. Concentrating totally on getting to his feet, the elder fighter had the wind knocked out of him with each passing blow. Entering Mu (The Gateless Barrier) was not an option and the youth was too agilely leaping in and out of harm’s reach for a focused Tennu (the Heavenly Emperor) strike. Ten’s mouth dripped saliva as he endured the beating. He was losing. The boy was wearing him down slowly and he was helpless to it. Slowly, Ten raised his head to survey Takeo’s condition. He was a bloody pulp. Through hazy eyes, Ten gathered strength for a last ditch stampede to send them all tumbling out the neighboring shattered window. Getting one knee beneath him, he prayed quickly between poundings. “Together we will enter the Shima.” He huffed and postured for a running start.
Fōrun: the Fallen
Combat Supremacy: superior (rank 2)
Abruptly, the room became awash in beaming light. Kage fell back into the rapidly receding shadow as his brother dropped his captive in turn. The loud syncopated sound of a propeller cut through the chaos. The noise crippled blind Shin’s hearing as he fell to the floor shielding his ears. With two of his senses down, he lay upon the floor waiting for the helicopter to pass. Within seconds it did and the blinding spotlight subsided as it turned showcasing an opened door on its side. Shin stood, but dropped back immediately at the sight before him. Takeo Takeda smiled through bloodied and broken jaw, teeth and nose. “What? I’m an important guy? You think my people were just going to let you hoods destroy their boss? This is a legit business and you gentlemen are trespassing on public property.” Takeo laughed horribly and scrambled back behind his new saviors.
Sentinel units Kabuki, Victor Vandal and Takeo Itou leapt into the clutter and confusion. Vandal was first to speak, “The call mentioned two gatecrashers. This is the boss…” He sneered at Takeda. “Easy enough to assume the two guys with the least amount of bruising are the gatecrashers.” Kabuki interrupted. She peered down at Shin, who listened intently. “I believe we’ve overstayed our welcome brother?” Shin said. Listening for a response, he heard nothing but Ten gaining his footage finally. The darkness in the room had completely subsided, but for the looming shadows of the trio before him. From those very same shadows slowly raised the threatening figure of a man. “I did not come here to be defeated.”
“Look, run away and live to fight another day brother! We’re outnumbered.”
“I have Fallen into a new crowd Shin. Defeat is not an option anymore. The bloodline ends with us. These two men will die today.”
“Yeah I feel the same way, but sometimes you gotta…” His words were cut off as the sound of fighting began. Slipping into the shadows of the nearest hero, Kage vanished and just as quickly rose from behind Itou. “You first.” He said as he tried to slip a shard of broken glass into Vandal’s leg. With a swipe of his holy blade, Itou deflected the attack. Both men kicked, but Kage was gone. At the same time, Kabuki lunged forward to subdue Shin. Hearing her oncoming sweeping attack, he attempted to rise but found himself held firmly to the floor. “One down.” Ten said from behind him. Kabuki smiled and kissed the handsome young man on the lips passionately. Already worn, Hansha’s eyes clouded dreamily. He blinked twice, smiled and fell fast asleep.
Both fighters then turned and addressed the corresponding battle. Kage-Ken’s fist and feet appeared and disappeared from every shadow in the vicinity. Vandal and Itou stood back to back in an attempt to defend and decipher the coordination in the attack. Ten and Kabuki rushed forward and the quartet stood together. In a far corner, Kage-Ken’s body emerged leisurely from a grandfather clock’s shadow. Partly in shadow, partly out he looked upon his sleeping brother with consternation. “You are outnumbered and out of tricks boy.” Ten challenged. Kage’s face took on a hideous appearance. He gritted his teeth and began to scream, “You promised me victory!” The quartet stood startled and scanned the room for perhaps a third combatant to whom Kage could be speaking to.
“You promised me revenge! My mother avenged! Am I to take on the world alone?”
Suddenly, a voice returned from the abyss. “Of course not; this is your second test, Hiroaki.” Glances of confusion came from the heroes, but they surveyed without interference readying for anything. Intelligently, Vandal beckoned them away from the window. Likewise, Kabuki hailed for the return of the copter. “As you have seen today, there are many with great powers beyond yours or mine. One man cannot do this alone.” The voice persuaded. “Join us Kage-Ken and together we will avenge your mother.” Kage examined the heroes and noticed them formulating a plan as they spread out and crept forward. “What about my brother?” He exclaimed. “He has friends in high places. You will see him again.”
Kage aware of Shin’s affiliations did not worry, but sank into the diminishing shadows, “Very well...” Kage said and disappeared. The heroes relaxed and began to gather their thoughts. After a brief pause, Itou was the first to speak, “Takeo-Sama, it is an honor.” The others looked on confused as he spoke to the large warrior. They bowed in mutual respect. “You know this guy?” Kabuki questioned. Itou smiled politely. “Yes, I did some time at his Bujinkan Hombu training dojo. Master Ten is an incomparable teacher.” Ten bowed again in reverence. “Really?” Kabuki returned, “We have a place for those talents in the Sentinels and an endorsement from Takeo isn’t a bad start.” Ten’s gaze fell sternly upon Kabuki’s hardened features. The two shared a seemingly harsh glare of deference. “There were lessons in that mysterious voice from the darkness even for an old man to learn. Perhaps one man is not enough. It would be an honor to share the knowledge of the Ten schools with the brave super men of our world. Please tell me more of this organization.”