Long Rope of the Law
Binding: standard (rank 1)
Name: Harland Graham, aka ‘Hackjob’.
Build: 5’3’’, and 250 pounds. But don’t let that fool ya, it’s all muscle.
Wanted For: Multiple counts of kidnapping, torture, and homicide; that’s multiple counts of each mind you. We want this one brought in before he can turn any more people into filets.
The butcherhouse basement was bloodstained. No, not stained, pasted.
“Well, well, well, I hadn’t planned on making another creation so soon, but when opportunity knocks, Hackjob answers. Let’s see what it’s insides look like.”
The stout man looms in a brown leather apron with splotches of red. He only looms because of a stepstool, but he’s just ugly enough to still be menacing.
There’s a small switch next to the conveyor rail where his latest victim hangs like a dead pig. The man screams through the rag shoved in his mouth, while Hackjob merely replies with booming laughter . Hackjob flicks the switch.
The conveyor belt begins to ratchet and pull forward. The muffled screams of his victim mix with the clank of the chains and the whine of the bandsaw. Wait, bandsaw? Yes. The man dangling from the chain on the conveyor sees the whirling blades as it seems to float closer and closer. His struggles only seem to amuse the tiny sociopath who put him there.
The door explodes open. Cowboy boots clack against the floor.
“Well, looks like I got here right in time. Do me a favor darlin’ and don’t run, because you ain’t gonna git nowhere anyway.”
Hackjob glares back at Violet with hunger in his eyes.
“Now, now, how does good old hackjob get so lucky to get another pretty thing to whack into pieces.”
“Oh today ain’t your lucky day punk. You see, when you super-villainous wrong-doer types need a ranglin’, they call me to drag you in. Your days of free-lance assassinry are over.”
He laughs heartily.
“I’m not really an assassin pretty thing, I like to consider myself as a serial killer who does commissions every once and awhile. And there’s no way a pretty little piece of meat is gonna bring me in with her frail bones and deliciously lean biceps.”
“Well,” Violet says drawling on the l, “I don’t really care for your weird analysis of my body you gross little freak.”
Hackjob’s eyes open wider to glare harder. It wasn’t the words ‘gross’ or ‘freak’ he objected to, just the word between them. He swiftly looks over the instruments of his art and picks up a weighty cleaver. Violet’s weapon is pinned to her hip. She draws her hand back over it. Hackjob tilts his head.
“Is that?... Is that a scarf?”
“Silk rope from the cocoon of the Imperial Blue butterfly larvae, one of the strongest by weight materials there is.”
“It looks like a scarf.”
“Looks ain’t all they’re cracked up to be. ‘Cept in your case Tiny.”
The man dangling from the conveyor belt continues screaming as Violet and Hackjob stare off. He doesn’t much care what she’s using, he just wants somebody to stop the conveyor. The bandsaw is still humming and he’s running out of time. Hackjob smirks toothlessly.
“I’m gonna chop you into little girly giblets,”
He charges, his short legs pounding with incredible power. He jumps, the cleaver raised like a battle axe. Violet snaps the rope out; the move is quick, reflexive, and practiced.
The huge-tiny man slams to the ground, a lasso of silk clenched tight across his torso, binding his thick arms to his gut. His rippling muscles wriggle against the restraints, seeing no result. Violet places a bootheel into his back, then pulls in on the lasso, tightening the grip, and provoking an ‘Oof’ from her captive.
“How,” Hackjob grunts, “why can’t I?”
Violet’s hands whip about him with skilled effectiveness, trussing up his stumpy arms and legs with relative ease. The man on the conveyor belt screams some more. He may have felt somewhat ignored during the whole drama, but his peril was beginning to take precedence. The bandsaw is seconds from splitting him in two.
Violet throws the lasso out again, nabs the dangling control switch, and pulls it into her hands. She flicks the switch. The conveyor comes to a rest, the whine of the bandsaw cuts out. The still blade barely kisses the man’s nose.
Violet leaves her bounty in place and walks to the would-be victim. From on top of the stepstool she manages to unhook the locks holding him in place. He drops to the floor, sweat dripping from his face, his eyes wide as wagon wheels. Violet plucks the rag from his mouth.
“Thanks,” he says.
“Don’t you worry about it,” Violet responds. She finally gets a good glance at the man; he’s wiry with deep set eyes, much like a soulful poetic acrobat or perhaps Steve Buschemi. He also has a long waves of sweat-matted straw colored hair and perfectly set teeth as white as cleaned bones. So somewhat unlike Steve Buschemi in other ways. Violet tips her hat to him,
“You just go about your business and leave the maniacs to me from now on.”
“Yeah, you don’t need to tell me twice.”
The man rubs the red chain impressions pressed deep into his wrists. Violet turns and picks up the cinched end of the rope that holds Hackjob still. The diminutive death-bringer can’t even squirm, but still manages to talk.
“This ain’t over. No piece of meat can stops Hackjob! You hear me you little—”
Violet shoves the rag deep into his cursing lips. She then heaves the silk rope over her shoulder and drags the killer across the floor like a sack of potatoes. His head knocks against every step up out of the basement.
The victim watches as the two leave. Those deep-set poetic eyes of his following her with shifty uncertainty.
Heigh-Ho Silver, Away!
Vehicle: standard (rank 1)
Name: Scarlet Cortez, aka “Captain Cortez”, aka “Major pain in the city’s ass”.
Build: Five foot five, one hundred and three pounds.
Wanted for: A string of bank robberies. She’s a genius with machines and the heir to the Khazan Robotics Cortez family trust. With all that backstory she could well be some sort of vigilante super-hero in a flying robot suit. But no, instead she chooses to use her gift to play pirate and rip up our roads with her damn flying frigate. The family will gratefully pay for the damages, if their girl is brought in safe of course.”
“Arrr me mechanized mateys, to Sharktooth Cove, time to set sail!”
Dozens of tin gremlins scurry about, tying down sails and rolling up plasma cannons. A half a dozen crank a massive anchor upwards out of the roof of the People’s Bank of Storm City. The ship prepares to make for freedom, although all the preparation was entirely unnecessary. Scarlet presses down on one of the mess of buttons that line her flashy red pirate coat. The button is not merely a fashion choice, it’s an ignition starter.
Rockets flare out a twin set of thrust modules jury-rigged the back of the ship. The flames burn a righteous white, incinerating what’s left of the bank. The giant frigate grinds through the road ahead, slowly at first , then building speed as it’s hull tears a wake into the pavement like a scar. Cars swerve out of the way, a lone Prius not making it out in time before being ground to scrap. Scarlet lets out a good cackle at this. She doesn’t notice the ninja gaining ground behind her.
Silver was a Ninja Kawasaki, but in its heart it was a Harley. It wanted to be a bike of the American west, but was blessed by the speed and maneuverability of the East. This is perhaps true, or perhaps just what it’s rider would want to believe.
The rocket’s flames induce sweat droplets across Violets brow. The asphalt bubbles in the trail of the ship and Violet gives her a wide berth. She revs Silver and they jump onto the shoulder and speed past the path of destruction. Slots in the ship rotate open; the wings of 787 begin to slowly roll out. Violet didn’t have much time.
She races forward, the ninja ducking under the spreading wings and pulling along the hull. Just ahead, there’s an overpass destined for demolition by the pirate’s take-off. Violet speeds up the ramp towards it.
Her engine charges forward with all it can. The pirate ship gains gradual lift and rises. Violet speeds across the overpass just as,
The ship’s mast smashes through the overpass during liftoff, cutting it in twain. Scarlet cackles again, until the roar of a motorcycle rudely interrupts her. The bike jumps from the streets, catches some sweet air, then lands cleanly onto the deck.
“Avast,” Scarlet barks, “who boards the dread pirate Cortez’s ship?”
Violet flicks the kickstand down and slowly swings herself off the bike. She pulls the helmet off, fixes her hair, then immediately covers it with a desperado hat.
“Avast?” Violet repeats, “Darn little lady, and some people say I talk funny.”
“You won’t be talking at all once I cut out your tongue and drop you in to abyss below.”
Scarlet pulls back her cloak and grabs the handle of her cutlass. Her fingers manipulate a pull cord hanging out its back. A chainblade around the cutlass begins to spin as the sword’s engine roars.
Scarlet lets out a gargled piratey yell and runs forward. Her weapon roars for flesh. Violet moves slightly aside, and Captain Scarlet charges right by.
The pirate attempts to turn, but finds a silk lasso coiled around her, pinching her arms in and throwing off her balance. Scarlet topples like a redwood and the chain cutlass clatters to the floor.
Violet reels in her catch, then rolls Scarlet onto her stomach.
“Arr, unhand me wench,”
Violet does not, but continues to tighten the silk rope in knots around Scarlet’s arms and legs.
“I already told you, you’re overdoing that piratey speech,” Violet says, “You gotta use a light touch if you want to come off with a successful theme.”
“I don’t care what you think you bloody landlubber! As soon as I get free, I’ll—AHHHH! Ow, ow, Owwww. Stop, ok this isn’t fun anymore. That’s too tight, too tight, you’re hurting me.”
The captain’s whine elicits no pity from her captor. Violet finishes securing the woman’s hands behind her back, then struts about the captain.
“Frankly, Scarlet, I don’t give a damn.”
“Um, excuse me,” calls a voice from behind her.
Violet swivels to find a helpless hostage wrapped to the mast with thick coils of rigging rope. He is tall, wirey, with deep set eyes and straw colored yellow hair. Violet tips up her hat as she looks.
“What in heck are you doing up here son?”
“Oh you know, just hanging around.”
Violet doesn’t laugh. She looks towards Scarlet.
“What’s he doing up here?”
“Just a stowaway,” Scarlet says dismissively, “I was planning on making him walk the plank over shark-tooth reef. But then, you know, you showed up.”
Violet picks up the fallen chain cutlass. The engine roars back to life and she stalks towards the man. He begins to sweat as another high-powered saw moves closer towards him.
“Whoa, whoa, don’t-don’t-don’t!”
He sees Violet swing the cutlass towards his skull. His eyes shut. The strike never comes to him. He slowly peels his eyes open. Violet is already walking away, the ropes fall loose around him. He looks down, finds the cutlass lodged into the mast where it had cut the ropes, and sighs a breath of relief.
“Umm, hmm,” Violet responds.
She picks Captain Scarlet up and begins fastening her to her back like a human rucksack. The unwilling passenger doesn’t budge, but curses a little as Violet jams a bright pink bike helmet over her head. Violet places her own helmet on, flicks open the visor, then looks towards the young man she’s saved twice now.
“I don’t know if you’re the unluckiest man alive or just the dumbest. Either way I’d suggest you ride on home and stay out of trouble from now on. But even if you ain’t gonna go home, you can’t stay here, cause although I ain’t much of a pilot, I’m pretty sure that with no one at the helm that this boat is gonna crash.”
With her bounty secured behind her, Violet hops onto her bike. She grips and twists Silver’s handle. The throttle roars and they shoot forward over the edge of the frigate.
The rescued captive rushes to the side of the bow. He watches as the motorcycle land safely and go spitting across towards the bayside highway. He then turns his head to find the ship is still moving towards the open ocean. It is also losing altitude. Dozens of impish clockwork crewmembers flee over the side like rats. The young man sighs.
“I hate my life.”
He springs over the side into a swan dive towards the freezing bay below.
Is this the end for our hero?
Illusion Control: standard (rank 1)
Name: Hideo Yokoyama.
Build: Six foot one, and no one really knows how many pounds.
Wanted For: The murder of a Tokyo businessman.
Miscellaneous: Yokoyama’s an ex sumo wrestler and the second in command of Japan’s second largest yakuza gang. The Japanese have him dead to rights; if he’s extradited, they think they may have a shot at bringing down the entire organization. Because of this the bounty is a little higher on this one. However you’d have to get to him without being stopped by the bodyguards or simply squished like a bug. Good Luck.
The limo is black and spotless. It pulls in front of an understated building in the depths of the entertainment district. Every other business positively glows with neon. Here, there was only a window banner that reads “Heavenly Peace Tea House”.
A chauffeur in a suit as black as the car steps out and walks mechanically to the back door. He opens it and a flood of additional black suited men pour out. Then Hideo lumbers out. The vehicle’s suspension lurches upwards and groans in relief as he leaves. Hideo and his cadre then silently march towards the door.
The interior expands into something far grander than a mere hole in the wall red light business. The sprawling complex is a hive of rooms all lined with oriental paper walls. Laughter and tinny mandolin notes reverberate everywhere. Hanging lanterns fill the space with red mood lighting, and a very nice false river runs straight through a Koi pond and under a tiny wooden bridge. It was all suspiciously clean, bright, and charming; like someone hired Disney to build an Asian inspired brothel.
A Caucasian woman in a sequin-ornamented pink kimono approaches the new party. Her pale skin and platinum blonde hair weren’t authentic to theme, but there was something about her that Hideo found so engrossing that he couldn’t take his eyes off her. In reality that thing was two things and if she noticed his engrossment, she didn’t mention it. She smiles, and bows deeply at the waist, then speaks in rapid Japanese.
“We are honored by your visit Master Yokoyama,”
Hideo nods slightly and she rises. His response is in English.
“Thank you Elizabeth. I did not know you had learned Japanese.”
“For my most valued customers, there are things I am willing to learn. I suppose you would care for your usual routine of private entertainment?”
“Perhaps. But first I would ask that you allow my men to search your establishment.”
“Yes. As you know I am currently in a tight situation back home, and I am afraid can never be too careful. I have heard rumors that a specialist has been hired to—”
Elizabeth bows once more, then interrupts in the politest manner possible.
“With all respect Master Yokoyama, my clientele value their privacy, as you well know, and allowing your men to intrude on their meetings would disrupt that. But I can assure you, Heavenly Peace provides protection for all its clients. In fact I may have interesting news regarding this specialist of yours.”
“Good or Bad?”
“Good for us, bad for her. Follow me.”
Elizabeth leads Hideo and his posse across the false river. The tiny bridge creaks as he steps over it. From there it is up a polished wooden staircase to the fifth floor. On the second floor a redhead in geisha makeup is attempting to get some distance from a very handsy and half-naked client. On the fourth, a pair of mid-twenty year olds in Japanese school uniforms are dragging a near comatose drunk off the railing and into one of the accommodations.
On the final floor Hideo can hear something equally as interesting from a nearby room. Something muffled, something angry. Elizabeth opens the door and shows him.
There’s more ornate Asian décor in the room that deserves its own description, unfortunately the focus of the room must really be the woman tied down to the bed. Each of her limbs is bound to one of the four corner bedposts. She appears to be wearing a very narrow maroon Chinese dress, as well as a matching cowboy hat that covers her bangs. Yet there is also a blue leather jacket with a butterfly insignia lying on the floor nearby. Her hair is long and black, and there are somethings about her that Hideo seems to like as well. The woman struggles against the ropes and curses through the tape across her lips.
Hideo, his gang, and Elizabeth all look over Violet after she has seemingly gotten a taste of her own medicine.
“Who is she?” Hideo asks.
“A local bounty hunter,” Elizabeth responds, “no doubt hired by one of your rival clans to kidnap and/or kill you. But I’d say she’s learned how I handle people who wish to harm my favorite clients .”
Elizabeth shuts the paper door as Violet screams some more.
“You can interrogate her at your leisure, I’m sure she will be very… forthcoming. But with your specialist taken care of, there is no longer any reason to remain so tense. Perhaps we could retire to a more private room at the end of the hall, and I could help you relax?”
She guides her hand across his chins. Hideo smiles. He gestures to his men then speaks in Japanese.
“Boys, take a breather, have some fun; I’m going to be awhile…”
Fastest feet in the East
Super Speed: standard (rank 1)
Name: Elizabeth to clients, Liz to friends, and Lizzie to verrrry good friends.
Build: Five foot eight and none of your beeswax
Wanted for: Good times all around.
Miscellaneous: Heavenly Peace Tea House, in entertainment district across the bridge, ask around. Come see me some time.(Bring your wallet and your manners; clients lacking either can find somewhere else)
The candlelight was dim, the incense sweet, and the fruit basket untouched.
Hideo lies belly first across three massage tables, his face poking through the hole in the center table. Tiny, graceful, feet press into the bulk of his back, rubbing and soothing the layers of muscle beneath.
Elizabeth flips the hair from her eyes as she slowly works her way up the tail of a winding dragon tattoo on his back. She leans forward on the balls of her feet, then back onto her heels. Hideo purrs like a walrus, and Elizabeth smiles. She pulls a small stopwatch from her pocket.
“Feeling more relaxed are we,” She asks, “good. Just stay relaxed, and let me do my thing.”
“You do your thing…”
He hears the beep of the stopwatch but can’t place the noise with his head in the massage table. He focuses instead on a new tightness around his left arm. More pressure then follows to his right, then to his legs, and around his chest. Before he could so much as tut, his trunk-like limbs are tied back into a hogtie, making him look like a massive ball of flab.
“Elizabeth what is this, what are you doing?”
Elizabeth hops down off his back. She presses down on the stopwatch and glances at the screen.
“This, darlin, is a new personal record. 7.8 seconds, that’s the fastest hog-tie I ever roped. Well, the fastest one I ever did with my feet at the least. And you’s one big hog.”
She grabs an apple from the basket and takes a loud chomp. Hideo opens his mouth to yell; the apple gets jammed in before he can.
Elizabeth pats the man on the head. She runs more of the silk rope around his massive torso, strapping him to the mobile massage tables.
“Allright then, you hang out here little pig. I still have business to handle.”
She opens the paper door whilst the mountainous man lies powerless and gargles into the fruit. She steps onto the railing and closes the door behind her. Elizabeth then turns down the hall and runs into Elizabeth.
They look each other up and down, examining each other for the slight differences and inconsistencies. There is a brief silence.
“Wow,” the second Elizabeth says, “that’s impressive. I mean my eyes are rounder,”
“Trust me Liz, Hideo wasn’t lookin’ at your eyes”
“No, I know. Not exactly my favorite customer. Though I do like the weave, blonde looks good on you.”
“Well, when painting my wings, I always aim for authenticity. You take care of the rest of his crew?”
The second Elizabeth opens the paper door and peers in.
“Ooh, man. He looks pissed… yeah don’t worry about them, they’re with Coco and Misty, drinking through my yearly supply of sake. They won’t notice when you roll him out. How are you going to, you know, transport him?”
“I brought the sidecar. The bike will ride a little lower in the saddle but it’ll get him out. How’s our other captive faring?”
The other Elizabeth shuts the door and shrugs.
“She’s fine. Loud, but fine. It’s a little disturbing. I don’t like people tryin’ to sneak into my place of business. I’m tempted to just sell her to the highest bidder and be done with it.”
“Liz, I gotta feeling she ain’t what she looks like. Give me a few minutes with her, would ya?”
The other Elizabeth smiles,
“Fine Violet, but I’m not running a charity here. I still expect 20% of that bounty on Hideo, and an additional fee for having to shut up two of my VIP rooms so you could pull this stunt. And there is still the unfinished matter of your bar-tab!”
Her doppleganger begins to swagger down the walkway and shrugs.
“Ummm, hmmm. I’m workin’ on it Liz, I’m workin’ on it.”
She reaches the door at the other end of the floor and slides it open. The woman who looks quite like Elizabeth steps in and shuts the door behind her, whilst the woman who looks quite like Violet glares back at her from her position on the bed. She can’t do much to stop her captor from plucking the cowboy hat off her head.
The blonde grabs her own hair and pulls it to the side, sliding the wig off with a little work, allowing her natural midnight black hair to unfurl into a prim and proper drop. She slides the cowboy hat back onto its rightful place. She was the true Violet, but then who was this imposter?
Violet mercilessly rips the tape from her lips.
“Ok son, now I ain’t sayin’ you weren’t of use to me, cause God knows Hideo was a lot easier to take out once he thought I’d been fixed. But that said, I’m gettin’ real tired of us meeting like this.”
“What are you talking about?” the woman yelps in a Monroe-esque peep, “I just showed up looking for work and you came up and tied me to this bed-frame and put that hat on my head. I don’t understand what’s going on. Please let me go Miss, oh please, of please?”
Violet brings her foot down; the woman doesn’t find it as relaxing as Hideo did. She lets out a deep, gruff, and distinctly un-feminine, ‘OOF’. Violet does not show the slightest sign of surprise.
“Son, don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining.”
“Ok, ok!” she says, now sounding much less like a she, “you got me. Geez.”
Violet relents and the captive breathes a sigh of relief.
“How’d you catch me?”
Violet reaches down and gropes the woman’s chest through the dress. She seems to pull the right breast out, revealing that it is merely an orange.
“When attempting to disguise oneself, it is best to use silicone implants or perhaps tissue paper to mimic a larger bosom, and not something pulled out of a fruit basket.”
Violet then grips her own chest through her jacket and pulls out a rubbery disk that had allowed her to better impersonate Elizabeth’s curviness. The man in drag tied to the bed frame nods.
“It was kind of a spur of the moment thing, I think the corset and wig worked out fine through.”
“That’s great to hear,” Violet responds, “now you mind telling me why you were all dolled up and trying to sneak in here so you could act like a prostitute?”
“Well… It’s a tough economy…”
Violet steps back on his junk. He squeals a bit even as she presses with a light touch.
“I’m getting real tired of having to save your hide. Hackjob, Captain Scarlet, and God knows what Hideo would have done once he caught you. Once is happenstance, twice coincidence, and three times means you’re up to some scheming. Why are you following me?”
“Following? Please; as I recall, I always get there before you do.”
She presses down deeper on his nads.
“Oh wow, you’re strict,” he replies, “You aught to talk to your blonde friend about a job, you could probably have guys pay you to do this.”
Violet grunts in annoyance. She hops down from the bed. She finds her boots next to the bed. She slips them on, then follows with her jacket.
“Fine. You want to be a jackass, that’s your choice. You’re Liz’s problem now.”
She tips her hat.
Then walks out the paper door.
You never lose the instinct
Reaction Speed: standard (rank 1)
Name: Violet Murasaki, AKA “the Imperial Blue Bounty Hunter”
Build: Roughly five foot six, one hundred and twenty six pounds.
Wanted for: A person of interest in the murders of Harland Graham, Scarlet Cortez, Hideo Yokoyama, and the disappearance of Chrissa Hannigan, Storm City’s up and coming Assistant District Attorney
Miscellaneous: Presumed armed and dangerous.
Chrissa looks over Violet’s catch. The prisoners kneel before the women, utterly captured and subdued. How the bounty hunter had managed to get the three wanted criminals to the third floor of the secluded parking lot in just her motorcycle is an interesting note, but not an important one.
“Wow,” Chrissa says, “ You managed to get all of them. Really, Violet this is some impressive work.”
“Oh, it ain’t nothin’ little lady. I told you, no one escapes the long rope of—”
Violet stops, interrupted by the sharp whirring of a blade slashing through necks. The movement is little more than a blur before the heads of Graham, Cortez, and Yokoyama drop to the ground like knocked bowling pins.
The blurring blade recoils and ends up in Chrissa’s hand. Violet gets a good look at it as Chrissa remains frighteningly unfazed by what just happened. The blade is a perfectly circular ring the size of a hoola-hoop. There is a glimmer of the sunset’s last rays reflecting from the steel chain that dangles from Chrissa’s waist. Violet settles her hat and moves her hand over the silk weaponry that dangles from her own waist.
“An Ibu Clan whip-blade. That’s an interesting sidearm, not exactly common among lawmen…”
“No,” Chrissa replies with a smirk, “I guess its not. Though you’re hardly one to talk. A simple silk lasso right? Made from the cocoon of the rare Imperial Blue Butterfly. I’m sure those chumps had no idea the amount of paralytic toxins that you were exposing them to every time you roped one of them up in it. Isn’t that right Cadet Violet?”
Chrissa’s hand twitches, Violet dodges right. The blade cuts through a midsize sedan. Chrissa laughs.
“Guess you still got your moves huh?”
Violet stands, the lasso now swinging clockwise in her hands. Chrissa swings the chain blade counterclockwise. They begin to circle each other like a good old-fashioned western showdown.
“But I guess I already knew that,” Chrissa says, “In fact, I’ve been keeping an eye on you from the start. Isn’t that right kiddo?”
A young man steps out from behind Chrissa’s car. He has deep set poetic eyes and straw colored hair. Violet has no trouble identifying him; innocent victim her ass.
“I’m sorry about all this,” he says, “I mean thanks for saving me all those times, but sorry about this. The clan ordered me to spy on you, so that’s what I did. It’s nothing personal.”
“Nothing personal, huh…Son, you can save your apologies for someone who gives a rat’s ass about your little backstabbing assassin sh—”
Chrissa swings the blade in another arc; Violet vaults sideways and begins dashing away, dashing right at the wall. Just before her space runs out, she ducks and rolls to the ground, the blade whirring just over her head. The blade smashes through the cement and out the other side. It reaches the end of its tether, then swings back into Chrissa’s hand like a giant yo-yo. The villain smirks.
“Well, still kept your timing I see. But your acrobatic flexibility has suffered since you left the clan. Not keeping up with our pilates are we? You always used to beat me in the challenge courses. Oh my, did I just give it away? Or are you still wondering who I am? Well then let me put you out of your misery.”
Christa pulls off a false nose, wig, and latex mask. The woman beneath has sharper features, a punked-out dark chocolate mohawk, and a malicious glimmer in her eye. She begins whipping the blade in a serpentine double loop.
“So Violet, long time no see. Are you ready for the revenge of the Ibu Clan?”
“Maybe,” Violet responds, “But there’s only one little problem miss. I haven’t the slightest clue who you are.”
Shibari-Kata, Way of the Rope
Weapon Master: standard (rank 1)
Name: Christine ???????
Build: Five foot four, one hundred and fifteen pounds
Wanted for: Too many crimes to count
Miscellaneous: You didn’t honestly think you could hide from us forever, Violet? You may have changed, but I haven’t…
The blade slices through the pavement of the garage in repeated, rapid, strokes. Violet’s perpetual male captive dives for cover behind an SUV as the women battle around him.
Violet bounds between cars, often dodging the blade by mere inches. Her assailant’s attack never ceases, continually shearing the roofs off nearby automobiles with her wild slices.
“Are you kidding me?” she yells, “You’re my nemesis. We trained against one another for years. I just tricked you into helping me catch three of the Ibu Clan’s most wanted targets while masterminding a scheme to blame you for their deaths. I do all of this for revenge, and you don’t even remember my name?”
Violet keeps running as the blade whips behind her.
“Sorry darlin’, you must not have left much of an impression. But I assure you, you got my attention now, and I ain’t letting you up and escape.”
The lasso twirls out. The chain blade intercepts it, cutting it to ribbons. Both women retreat after the spar. Violet quickly reforms the rope into another lasso loop.
“Letting me escape?” The woman laughs, “You can’t even catch me with that joke of a weapon. Heck, maybe if you put a knife at the end, or covered it with razor wire and cobra venom. But no, you gave up the way of the assassin and it made you into a preachy do-gooder little bitch. I am so sick of hearing about John Wayne and that God-damned dream butterfly!”
The ring-blade whirls forward once more; Violet dodges slightly to the side. She doesn’t throw her weapon per usual, but snags it along the chain’s length and pulls. Her opponent feels the chain go taut immediately.
The cowgirl races to her target. The mohawked assassin grits her teeth and prepares. She hides her hand behind her back, sneakily wrapping the chain around it. Violet comes in range.
The assassin bounds forward in a cobra punch. Violet ducks beneath the chain wrapped fist and grins. The assassin’s punch allows her forearm to get snagged with another length of silk rope. The toxins take hold, sending honed muscles into numbness. Violet appears behind her, wrapping the silk around her neck almost like she was trying on a scarf, or a more likely a noose.
“It was like I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted; no one escapes the long rope of the law.”
Her opponent smirks again. The floor shakes and aches. The garage begins to sink.
“You were always quite the weapons master. But how’s your tactical? What about your deductive skills? Did you even notice that I’ve been cutting this building’s support system since we started?”
“Do I look scared to you?”
“You? No. But he does.”
The garage begins to crumble just as she said, falling backwards, cars tumbling over the edge. Violet sees the young man she had saved from danger three times before begin to scrape down with the side of the collapsing garage.
“You can do the smart thing and kill me, or you can save his life again. Lets see how strong your code is when tested, you little,”
Violet releases the talkative ninja and speeds down the parking lot, half running, half falling to her destination. The young man slips off the edge. Violet leaps, a silky lasso zooming down towards the man in peril. He falls, the lasso dives after…
And Damselfly Too,
Ally: standard (rank 1)
Name: Peter Parks, AKA “Damselfly”
Build: 5’8’’ and 130 pounds
Wanted for: Basic entry-level ninja sidekick position. Infiltration, deception and the like.
Miscellaneous: Must be willing to work long hours, face unique challenges, and occasionally be put into situations of lethal peril.
A black widow drops into the enclosure. She scrambles across the tiny log and scattered leaves, making across the twig forested terrarium. She then stops at the tiny water bowl placed right in the middle. There is hesitation before moving to the water’s edge. A shadow looms over the spider, a midnight blue caterpillar hanging silently by a silk thread, waiting. The spider moves to drink and the hunter pounces.
The ambush works. The two bugs tussle on the enclosure floor for a bit before it all ends. The caterpillar then drags the spider’s body back under the log.
Violet watches her pet feed through the glass wall.
“The Imperial Blue butterfly is the only in Genus Nymphalidae that hunts,” she says, “and when it hunts, it only hunts other hunters. It takes down predators twice its size, absorbs their poison and makes something beautiful out of it. I find that admirable, don’t you?”
“If I say yes, can I come down now? The blood is rushing to my head.”
Violet turns to see that Pete is getting a bit red faced. Hanging upside down in a human cocoon can do that.
Ever since Violet saved his life, and then more or less kidnapped him, he had been very forthcoming. His name was Pete, and Chrissa’s real name was Christine, though Violet found that still wasn’t ringing any bells upstairs. He told her what the clan had been up to, how Hackjob, Cortez, and Hideo played into the big picture, everything. He had also proven an excellent victim to practice on. Violet looks his way and smiles coyly.
“What was that? You want more rope? I’m not sure I heard that right. You might want to repeat that for me again son. And speak clearly this time.”
“Please Sensei Violet, can I be let down before my brain hemorrhages.”
“Maybe,” Violet says, “you got that police report on ya?”
Violet searches through the sinewy layers of silk rope wrapping about him, reaches into his waistband, and pulls out a manilla file. In addition to being a nice practice dummy, Pete had also proven himself to be quite the sneaky little weasel. After all, there was a reason he was always able to get to the target’s location before she did.
Violet skims the paperwork. The police were still mostly baffled by the parking garage collapse. Also by the three decapitated corpses. No one had seen her take Hackjob or Cortez down, and Liz was trying to keep the Hideo job under wraps. Good old Liz. But word was already spreading, and Violet found her name listed as a person of interest. It wouldn’t be long before they began to put it all together. But she wouldn’t let the clan get away with it. No one escapes the long rope of the law. Especially not after she just got herself a new sidekick.
“Good job Damselfly.”
Pete sighs again. He does that a lot.
“Again, I’d just like it on the record that I don’t like my codename. Can’t I be Killer Moth, or Blue Beetle, or Man-Spider, or Dragonfly? Dragonfly is good, lets go with that.”
“I’m the sensei here,” Violet says, “and I get to pick our codenames. Besides, you ain’t really a dragon, you’re the damsel in distress locked in the tower.”
“Oh God, yes, I admit it. I wore a dress once, you caught me, big friggin deal.”
“It ain’t about the dress. It’s about the spirit, who you are on the inside, who you are once you escape the cocoon and burst into life. Me, I was a cowboy on the inside. You’re Mrs. Kitty.”
“Really? Could you possibly stop the clan from slittin’ your throat after you spilled all their secrets to me? Would you even be alive right now if I hadn’t taken you on as a trainee?”
“Well, no, probably not.”
Violet drops the police report to her table and leans back in her chair.
“And can you escape from your current bonds without being saved by outside help?”
“My muscles are paralyzed, you know I can’t.”
“Then you’re still a damsel son. And I ain’t gonna let you come down till you can escape on your own. In the mean time, let me tell you a story… Ahem. So there I was, standing in the darkness, when I felt thumping gales rip through the air. I looked up in the sky to see a giant flying beast growing closer…”
Pete begins to squirm and rustle with far more fervor as Violet tells him the Grand Butterfly story for the 17th time.