#751 Posted by Amaranth (8210 posts) - - Show Bio
#752 Posted by Zain_ (1596 posts) - - Show Bio

@strigidae_22: [I had to take that squad you said, it was irresistible haha]

#753 Edited by Amaranth (8210 posts) - - Show Bio

@zain_: [ Gotta have minions ;-) ]

#754 Posted by Asherah (802 posts) - - Show Bio

@strigidae_22: Often, at the end of prolonged days of laborious activity, a completely exhausted and sore Alyssa dropped to her hands and knees, beads of sweat rolling over her face just before gravity brought them to the ground below where her head hung. Various factors influencing performance, on some days the strenuous work taking such a toll that she could not help the forceful expulsion of stomach contents onto the ground beneath her. Breathless, she looked upwards, a hopeful half-smile expressing desirable feedback for her behalf. As it was, she thought she had done well most days, steadily improving since the start, but as always, she looked to the twenty-third Strigidae for the final word on punishment or reinforcement.

To her benefit, it seemed she had done well more often than not, able to further progress in training and studies without as much trouble. But never once did things become truly easy.

On one day in particular, in a fit of spontaneity, prior to training, Alyssa took up a bo staff to meet with Ivana in the courtyard. Rapping the weapon on the cobblestone ground, she issued a light challenge. "Ivana, I wanna test myself. We've done all this training and conditioning, and I want to see how I've gotten."

#755 Posted by Amaranth (8210 posts) - - Show Bio

@asherah:

Ivana accepted with a shrug and a small grin. "Alright then." Dressed in a plain black gi Ivana was absent her strigidae armor. Her bow was in storage, leaving only her katana hanging from a crimson belt around her waist. Walking back to the dojo she collects a pair of titanium eskrima sticks. Returning she walks in a slow circle around Alyssa, predatory, circling closer and closer until she came to a halt. Her bare feet sank through the snow to find purchase in the cobblestones below, unphased by the frigid snow or biting wind. "Ready when you are."

#756 Posted by Asherah (802 posts) - - Show Bio

@strigidae_22: The moment the words left her lips and Ivana's traded response registered with her ears, a variable feeling washed over Alyssa. A nervous excitement that she couldn't hide no matter how hard she tried, evident in a light knocking in her knees and increased activity within the sympathetic nervous system. Turning continually to keep Ivana in front of her, she took up a low stance, spreading her legs, slightly bent at the knees, little more than shoulder width apart, adopting an angled stance. Admittedly unsure of exactly how to approach the opening, she opted for more explosiveness in opening, first jabbing the staff forward at the face, then quickly stepping in, rotating her entire body with the weapon, rounding the other end, swinging forcefully downward at a forty-five degree angle intended for her shoulder, following up with a push kick with the intention of creating space and for bearings.

#757 Edited by Amaranth (8210 posts) - - Show Bio

@asherah:

A sideways grin crawled up Ivana's face as they circled. She could see the signs of fight jitters in Alyssa and briefly thought it was time for Alyssa to begin sparing; her basic technique and fitness were solid. Ivana decided against using her somatic mapping, she wanted Alyssa to have a genuine test of her skills.

As the thrust flew toward Ivana's face she snapped her lead hand out, fist vertical to the ground as if throwing a JKD punch. The bottom two inches of the eskrima stick clacked as it drove into the side of the staff, deflecting it past her head. A punch block.

Alyssa's footwork and staff rotation created a hugely powerful strike but they also served to telegraph the maneuver. This gave Ivana a heartbeat's head start. She brought her extended lead hand back by rotating her palm toward her and curling her elbow, not moving her upper arm or shoulder at all. This created two L shapes. A big L made from her horizontal bicep and vertical forearm and a little L made from her vertical forearm and horizontal titanium bar.

The staff slammed into the stick with the tremendous power only a staff could generate. Ivana felt the impact run through her arm and down into her braced hips. That was the kind of blow that shattered a skull or snapped a collar bone like a twig. Her eyes flickered, pleased.

Then she exploded into the second part of her technique; a crossing step where her rear leg stepped directly toward Alyssa, carrying the entire weight of Ivana's frame as she drove the point of her eskrima stick toward the hollow of Alyssa's throat. She planned the pull the blow if Alyssa failed to block of course but it was all for naught as Alyssa's push kick smacked square into her belly. Caught in the middle of a step, on one leg and accelerating forward Ivana was completely off balance.

Falling backwards she had no choice but to roll diagonally over her left shoulder and rise, sticks held in a cross block to cover her head from any downward strikes if Alyssa chose to capitolize.

"Establish distance, powershot, establish distance." Ivana tossed her head, flipping her dampening pony tail back over her shoulders and grinned. "You have learned well."

#758 Posted by Asherah (802 posts) - - Show Bio

@strigidae_22: As Alyssa moved in with her attacks, she only faintly caught the hint of a smile spreading across Ivana's face, trying her damnedest not to be unnerved into not following through. And she had succeeded, as far as she was aware of, though not for much success in her opening manoeuvres, a somewhat reckless abandon telegraphing her shots clearly for the more experienced warrior to deflect and counter, and rather easily at that.

A glint of fear flashed briefly as she caught Ivana mid-attack, surprised herself when the kick landed, repelling her with a surprising degree of success. At that, she felt surprise, joy, and fear all in one, but rather than dwell on it, capitalise she did, rearing up and swinging down in what was ultimately an extremely predictable act of perhaps overeager aggression. Alyssa hopped backwards as soon as she realised, not wishing to be open to a counter herself.

"Thank you, Ivana," she returned, accepting the compliment with a slightly blushed smile. "And thank you for teaching me. Next..." Transitioning once more into combat mode, Alyssa readopted her stance, though lying in wait instead of another all out attack, silently ushering her master forward with a somewhat taunting smirk and a nod.

#759 Posted by Amaranth (8210 posts) - - Show Bio

@asherah:

As Alyssa slipped into a defensive stance Ivana considered her options. In her opinion there were two general strategies when attacking someone that was prepared to counter attack. Surprise and feints. The most common for of surprise was speed. If Ivana had been equipped with a western fencing style blade and the ground was not slick cobblestone under snow she might have attempted a lunge or fleshe. Feints were difficult because of the shortness of her weapons compared to Alyssa's there were few feints that could create the perception Alyssa was under genuine threat. Essentially Ivana could feint a lunge or fleshe, or actually lunge or fleshe.

Instead she improvised.

Swapping her stance the serpentine warrior selected a 'closed' stance with Alyssa. If Alyssa was fighting orthodox Ivana swapped to a southpaw stance and if Alyssa was fighting southpaw Ivana swapped to an orthodox stance. Then she stepped forward in short, controlled steps, ensuring her bare feet were braced on the snowy stones. She reached out with her lead hand and attempted to brush Alyssa's staff toward the outside. Should she make contact she would attempt to use small, shuffling steps to keep her own body out of reach of Alyssa's staff but keep the last six inches or so of the staff within her own reach. Trusting the superior leverage granted by her far, far shorter weapon and the speed that came with that lighter tool to keep Alyssa's staff in the 'bind' she would then whip her rear hand through the air and hurl the titanium stick down the open channel left by the closed stance, attempting to use her Abuskhau skills to hurl the titanium rod an inch over the top of Alyssa's head.

#760 Posted by Asherah (802 posts) - - Show Bio

@strigidae_22: Her confidence levels markedly higher after the conclusion of the opening exchange and decently commendable success in that, Alyssa stood firm, unwavering, even to Ivana's much larger and infinitely more intimidating person. The southpaw switch had no bearing on her in the moment, though her focused cerulean eyes continued to scan the Strigidae over for openings and ideas, or more importantly, indicators of attack, particular attention given to Ivana's shoulders and feet.

Then she moved. As Ivana came forward with unclear intent, making comparatively light contact with her weapon, Alyssa reacted quickly, swinging a wild (and somewhat reckless) attempted counter-strike at the outstretched hand, though missing entirely for lack of coordination. Realising that she was playing into some type of trick, Alyssa made an attempt to shake her up, a succession of feint attacks and retreats meant to draw some sort of action, though she herself was unable to shake the more experienced warrior.

Almost as out of nowhere, the swift false-attack came her way, she herself unaware of its ultimate path, taking evasive action in a hurried duck, which ultimately led to her slipping on the cold cobblestone ground, landing firmly on her behind. Not wishing herself to be left open for a follow-up, the staff was once more thrust up and out, that should Ivana attempt to rush her, the weapon would hopefully hit home at the diaphragm.

#761 Posted by Amaranth (8210 posts) - - Show Bio

@asherah:

Ivana lowered her remaining stick and smiled. "Well fought Alyssa." She tucked the stick into the sash around her waist, walked around and collected the second stick, doing the same with it. "Your offense is good, you're setting up your attacks well. And your defense is also good, you're using the reach of the staff to your advantage."

#762 Posted by Asherah (802 posts) - - Show Bio

@strigidae_22: [I missed that, somehow.]

"Thank you Ivana," Alyssa responded with a grateful nod, rising and issuing a polite, formal bow. "And that's all without the use of my powers. I've gotten quite good at them. Thanks to you."

#763 Posted by Amaranth (8210 posts) - - Show Bio

@asherah:

The old warrior arrived right before one of Alyssa's training sessions. Waving away her Orochi training partners he introduces himself. "Good morning. My name is Amaranth, and Ivana has asked me to assist with your training. She feels your control over your powers has reached the point where you could benefit from some of my techniques."

He extended a grey armored hand and formed a gauntlet of solidified air around it. Then he dismissed the gauntlet and forged a blade from the air, then dismissed it and formed a shield.

"What I can do with the air, there is the possibility you can do with water. If you are willing I can attempt to teach you."

#764 Edited by Fukuro_Zoku (4703 posts) - - Show Bio

Awwww!

#765 Posted by Amaranth (8210 posts) - - Show Bio
#766 Posted by Charlemagne (6964 posts) - - Show Bio

Finds this place and kills everyone

#767 Posted by Amaranth (8210 posts) - - Show Bio

Finds this place and kills everyone

Explodes the earth except for france which floats through space.

#768 Posted by Charlemagne (6964 posts) - - Show Bio

@amaranth said:

except for france which floats through space.

#769 Posted by Amaranth (8210 posts) - - Show Bio
#770 Posted by Arquitenens (4883 posts) - - Show Bio

It's been a good day for laughter.

#771 Posted by The_Calm (208 posts) - - Show Bio

LMAO

#772 Posted by Asherah (802 posts) - - Show Bio

@amaranth: Surprised at first by the abrupt interruption, Alyssa quickly recognised the internationally infamous man standing before her, understanding perfectly well his grand stature within the Court. In a way, it was like meeting a celebrity. Lightly bowing her head in greeting, she did her best to contain a slightly nervous smile forming over her face while he spoke to her. Once his demonstration was done, she showed off a little of her own, gathering a mount of snow from afar and converting it to water, then solidifying it into a spherical chunk of frozen water. "I already do that. It's called ice," she joked with a laugh, covering her nerves in a bit of sarcastic humor.

#773 Edited by Amaranth (8210 posts) - - Show Bio

@asherah:

The skin around his eyes wrinkled as he grinned. "So I see." Waving a hand toward her he asked. "Can you create armor out of that ice, and if so are you able to fight in that armor?"

#774 Posted by Asherah (802 posts) - - Show Bio

@amaranth: Momentarily tense, Alyssa breathed a sigh of relief when he showed he wasn't upset. Melting the ice, she let the water fall to the ground. "I guess I could make armor just as well as any other shape. But I'm not exactly keen on putting freezing chunks of the stuff over my body. I still feel cold."

#775 Posted by Amaranth (8210 posts) - - Show Bio

@asherah:

He nodded, stroking his goatee as he pondered. "Can you create a layer of water under the ice? In theory that would add a degree of shock absorption, protection from external temperatures, and the ability to cool your body in the middle of combat which would greatly increase your stamina."

#776 Edited by Asherah (802 posts) - - Show Bio

@amaranth: In between a nod and what seemed like acceptance, Alyssa showed a hint of scepticism with a tilt of the head and raising an eyebrow. "I'm not entirely sure what you mean. I understand the temperatures and cooling, but just how much shock absorption can we expect from a thin layer of water?"

#777 Posted by Web_Flotsam (1118 posts) - - Show Bio

Tyrant slid down the mountain slope. Here it was, right where he said it would be. He had met the strange cloaked man while searching for a magical sword. Despite being human, he had managed to tag and even hurt Tyrant with no powers. In exchange for letting him keep the sword and most of his limbs, he had told Tyrant where he had trained, a secret place deep in the Alps. So now, here he was. It would be rude not to announce himself. Chi and air flooded into his lungs and he let out a booming roar. "Clan of Orochi, I come in peace. I only wish to gain strength. If you require any payment, I work for one of the most powerful companies in the world. I'm sure I can arrange something."

They knew he was coming now. He'd walk slowly to give them time to think up a proper response.

#778 Posted by Amaranth (8210 posts) - - Show Bio

@asherah:

"Very little. However you could increase and decrease the amount of water to alter the amount of shock absorption your armor had. For example if you had fallen from a very great height, say a building or aircraft, you could alter your armor to have a thick layer of water to help mitigate the damage when you landed."

#779 Posted by Strigidae_23 (4957 posts) - - Show Bio

@web_flotsam:

The ornate hardwood gates creaked as they opened. Ice cracked as it broke from of massive brass hinges. The Strigidae stood, pony tail whipping in the wind, golden goggles flickering with a hidden light, awaiting the newcomer.

A black scabbard hung from a crimson belt around her waist. Her bow and quiver hung from her back. Black leather gloves covered her hands and tactical boots protected her feet. A golden utility belt lay around her waist.

She crossed her arms over her chest and watched as he climbed. She said nothing.

#780 Posted by Web_Flotsam (1118 posts) - - Show Bio

Tyrant watched the gate open at the end of the long path to the Nest. It seemed they had heard him and were open to new students. Good. He was tired of walking. He pumped his legs with ki and lunged, landing right in front of the gate. The guards looked at him indifferently, apparently confident they could take him if he made a move. Their loss if he chose to do so. Before him stood a woman who was clearly their leader.

He knelt before her. He would rather not be sent away because of a mere lack of respect. "I am a mere humble warrior, seeking power to aid my masters. I have trained long and hard, but I still come up short against my foes. But I heard of a place I can change that. I heard that place was here. Take me in, and I promise I will not disappoint you."

#781 Edited by Asherah (802 posts) - - Show Bio

@amaranth: Although considering with a nod, Alyssa remained yet concerned with the viability of this practise. "I'm...not sure. I could, if I had that much, but I don't make the water. I just control it. There has to be a large enough pool nearby...so to speak. And I'm not sure whatever armour I made would be enough." Soon afterwards, however, she realised what was happening and was quick to apologise. "I'm so sorry, sir! We were supposed to be training - or something, and I am...wasting your time arguing technicalities. It all started with a joke, really. The ice thing? It wasn't meant to be....sorry." Decidedly having enough of her own fumbling, she quieted herself and prepared for...something. Or nothing, if he'd decided by then that he wanted nothing to do with her, in which case she'd ashamedly wait for Ivana's punishment.

#782 Posted by Strigidae_23 (4957 posts) - - Show Bio

@web_flotsam:

Seconds ticked away as Ivana regarded him in silence. Then, after several moments she nodded. "Very well. Welcome to the nest."

She turned on a heel and returned to the confines of the fortified monastery. "What sort of training are you interested in?"

#783 Edited by Web_Flotsam (1118 posts) - - Show Bio

@strigidae_23:

Tyrant stood, taking a quick look around the compound. "I fought a man who told me of this place. We fought, and although he lost, he managed to injure me. I don't know how- he was clearly only human- but he said he learned the skills to do so here. Apparently there's some way he could increase his abilities to superhuman levels. Personally, I'm already superhuman through the use of chi, and hope to become stronger still. Other then that and better use of my natural weapons-" He flexed his clawed hands. "-I will learn what you see fit to teach me."

#784 Edited by Strongarm (5857 posts) - - Show Bio

@strigidae_23:

Arthur Ray, of the earthen Kirlian emmisary decides to explore foreign cultures. Hearing the motion of energy from inside the stranger bears his eyes into an amazing spectacle, it brings him memories of old when he wielded his first electron weave. Now he wishes to learn non combative aspects, perhaps picking a brush and painting the scenery. Do they teach caligraphy?

#785 Posted by Strigidae_23 (4957 posts) - - Show Bio

@web_flotsam:

The mutant assassin nodded. "I see. Chi is not part of the Arcani arts. Our techniques to improve physical strength canabalize the bodies chi energies, among others, to improve physical abilities. That said we can offer you improvements in other areas. Accuracy, agility and precision for one. Tell me of your fighting style?"

@strongarm:

Ivana lays eyes upon the freakish abomination of cat and bug. Choking back her revulsion she orders the Orochi to close and bar the gates. "Ugggg.."

#786 Edited by Strongarm (5857 posts) - - Show Bio

@strigidae_23: [the catbug is just an av, forgot to link appearance >_>]

#787 Edited by Strigidae_23 (4957 posts) - - Show Bio

@strongarm: [ Lol okay I'll re-write when I get around to it. ]

#788 Posted by Strongarm (5857 posts) - - Show Bio

@strigidae_23: [no need, just write another one for the character]

#789 Posted by Amaranth (8210 posts) - - Show Bio

@asherah said:

@amaranth: Although considering with a nod, Alyssa remained yet concerned with the viability of this practise. "I'm...not sure. I could, if I had that much, but I don't make the water. I just control it. There has to be a large enough pool nearby...so to speak. And I'm not sure whatever armour I made would be enough." Soon afterwards, however, she realised what was happening and was quick to apologise. "I'm so sorry, sir! We were supposed to be training - or something, and I am...wasting your time arguing technicalities. It all started with a joke, really. The ice thing? It wasn't meant to be....sorry." Decidedly having enough of her own fumbling, she quieted herself and prepared for...something. Or nothing, if he'd decided by then that he wanted nothing to do with her, in which case she'd ashamedly wait for Ivana's punishment.

He laughed and waved away her apology. "Technical fighters are built from technicalities. I'm glad you think about these things. You mentioned needing water to use. We could create chunks procedural knowledge that were developed enough for you to carry and control enough water inside your armor for whatever you needed. The body, even a small body, has quite a bit of surface area. A quarter inch of water carried inside ice armor would be enough water to provide weapons and the like, as well as enough to provide some level of protection against blunt impacts."

#790 Posted by Web_Flotsam (1118 posts) - - Show Bio

@strigidae_23: No chi? That would just make him weaker. But she did say there were other ways... "I wouldn't call my style great. I grew up among scientists, not warriors. They didn't have weapons tough enough for me of training worthy of me. I don't know any fancy moves besides my chi attacks. No throws, no movements, no dodges. I don't feel I take full advantage of my powers, whether chi or weather control, or my own natural claws and fangs."

#791 Edited by Strigidae_23 (4957 posts) - - Show Bio

@web_flotsam:

"I see. Your chi gives you power. We can give you skill. Though you scower the earth you will find few collections of martial artists who can compare to the residence of Nest 629."

#792 Posted by Web_Flotsam (1118 posts) - - Show Bio

@strigidae_23: "Excellent. I have faith in your teachings." He glanced around at the compound again. "Is there anything you wish me to do before I start my training?"

#793 Posted by Asherah (802 posts) - - Show Bio

@amaranth said:

He laughed and waved away her apology. "Technical fighters are built from technicalities. I'm glad you think about these things. You mentioned needing water to use. We could create chunks procedural knowledge that were developed enough for you to carry and control enough water inside your armor for whatever you needed. The body, even a small body, has quite a bit of surface area. A quarter inch of water carried inside ice armor would be enough water to provide weapons and the like, as well as enough to provide some level of protection against blunt impacts."

"I suppose you're right. Hopefully I won't be making any skyscraper dives anyway," she joked with a chuckle, "but I guess if I had enough in there, I could make...some sort of gel layer?" Concluding with the stifling of the beginnings of an excited smile, she silently looked to him for approval, assuming he knew much more about the viability of these things than she.

#794 Posted by Amaranth (8210 posts) - - Show Bio

@asherah:

He nodded. "A gel layer sounds like a good idea. Why don't you go ahead and try it out?"

#795 Posted by Strigidae_23 (4957 posts) - - Show Bio

@strigidae_23: "Excellent. I have faith in your teachings." He glanced around at the compound again. "Is there anything you wish me to do before I start my training?"

"Just one thing. Tell me about your powers and how you prefer to fight? It is important to match your training with your personal abilities and style so that it comes naturally to you under pressure."

#796 Posted by Web_Flotsam (1118 posts) - - Show Bio

@strigidae_23: Tyrant 13 nodded. "Of course. Not only do I of course use chi, I'm obviously gifted with some natural improvements. My skin is thickly plated to the point of being bulletproof, and I have my claws and fangs of course, although I find it difficult to use the latter. Being trained by humans, I learned to keep my face away from my foes. I of course also have my weather control, but that can get, well, out of control. Where with chi I have control over how much power I'm putting out, the weather is more complicated. Every time I use it, it gets destructive, far more so than even my greatest move, the Tyrant's fist."

He stopped in thought for a moment. "Now for style, that's harder. I think mostly I try to keep my enemies on their toes with my variety of moves, but that could just be me throwing everything I've got at foes out of desperation. I fight a lot of people stronger than me."

#797 Posted by Strigidae_23 (4957 posts) - - Show Bio

@web_flotsam:

She nodded and lead them into the dojo. "That's a useful set of abilities. We can work with that. Perhaps even create you a style for use with your claws." Then she motioned to the sweat and blood stained hardwood floor and the training begin.

[Insert training montage here ;-) ]

#798 Edited by Web_Flotsam (1118 posts) - - Show Bio

@strigidae_23:

[Gets beat down by another novice, one-fingered pushups, trains techniques, works on better targeting of weather strikes, trains for a week without rest until he collapses, fights the novice again and holds his own, etc.] Montage inserted.

#799 Posted by Strigidae_23 (4957 posts) - - Show Bio
#800 Posted by Strigidae_100 (34 posts) - - Show Bio

@strigidae_23:

The dimly lit encompassment found itself plagued by stillness, lying in wait for the anticipated ingress of over five hundred pounds of seven foot-one muscle veiled by compiled, protective layers of fat. Skin embellished by enveloping layers of tattooed Japanese kanji, the perpetually enigmatic Hoodaki Heavyweight paused, the subtle reverberation from his footsteps ceasing. Mouth faintly curled upwards with unvoiced haughtiness, the prominent bass from his deep voice accompanying the 100th Strigidae's coolly emitted words. "Allow me to make our enemies bleed", she knew of who he spoke of, President Stark, S.H.I.E.L.D., the only deterrents of mutant supremacy.