#1 Posted by Shanana (53433 posts) - - Show Bio

Hints of Jasmine could be caught as she walked past, the erotic click of her heels against the old- fashion cobblestone floor; flanked by her most trusted bodyguards, the Red Queen entered the briefing room. “Who is this guy?” She asked, trying her hardest to suppress her Iberian parlance.

“Mistress, we have no word on who he is; but he’s been seen working with the Braveharts” One of the information techs reported. The Braveharts-Cardinal rivalry stood the test of time, with each group moving and countering to prevent the efforts of the other.

Though Ziccarra was in charge of the Cardinals; doing the field work was something she took pride in. There was a sort of art, in setting up a battlefield.

“I’ll deal with this Bravehart myself; until I know what I’m up against, I want you guys tracking his movements”. Performing a pin-point pirouette the Raven haired vixen headed back towards her villa.

Ziccarra’s villa could easily be described as a palace; she sat on a lawn chair on the balcony, which hosted the Mediterranean in the backdrop and her menagerie in the forefront.

Her bright yellow balcony room was filled with Spanish-inspired design elements from top to bottom. The ceiling features wooden vigas, which lay perpendicular to slender strips of wood called latillas. The carved corbels, were inspired from the early Spanish settlers, support the ceiling beams while adding to the element.

The colorful Talavera tiles on the wainscoting were purposely placed to draw the eye of the visitor. Saltillo tile, introduced to Mexico by Spaniards, Lined her floors allowing for warmth even in the wintry months. These elements, combined with the vibrant, old-fashioned sliding glass door made her balcony the perfect thinking spot.

“SALUDA!” her house maid called as Z came marching forcefully through the house; opening cupboard lined in diamonds; she removed the “Fox-eyed mask” Also known as Mascara de Cortez. Facing the mask ace deuce on her head; she turned her Mediterranean gaze towards, Y intercept’s legendary Black Rose Blade.

One of two blades the ancient Chinese dictator used to maintain discipline now held by the Cardinal Queen, Z a matron of venom and toxins had fused the ancient art with her own moden style.

Resting inside her gauntlets were her poison laced claws, on the inside of her tunic ninja stars, laced with black mamba venom.

Laughing Gas and her X-Intercept bullwhip on her hip; the Mirage Matron was fully prepared for a super-human assault.

“How will you get those through…customs?” Isabella asked, somewhat skeptical. “Mija, the same way I always do…” she said, walking right past the young maid.

14 Hours Later, New York, City

Z walked right off the airplane in full gear; the positioning of her mask cast an illusion of herself in civilian clothes. The moment she showed up in NYC, she expected Bravehart trackers to already have a price on her head.

“In a city full of hunter, least expect they be the hunted”

#2 Posted by Mr. Mercury (19638 posts) - - Show Bio

The message filtered through his emails then streamlined to his Teshu Nebone, waking him from his sleep. The device flashed green across the pitch dark room and beeped like an alarm clock. With heavy eyes Shinji groggily groped his end table for his Teshu device. Once he nagged the device he logged into his account, his eyes half-closed. There was a message that originated from an anonymous sender.

TO: -Redacted-
FROM: -Unknown Sender-
Red Cardinal leader, the Mistress Mirage has been spotted arriving at the John F. Kennedy Airport via Malaga, Spain, her speculated base of operations. Capture the Red Cardinal alive and transport her New York base for further transfer.
$10,000 Bravehearts

Reading over the message brought a tired, but triumphant grin to his face. It was official; he gained clearance into the underground Bravehearts organization. Shinji appreciated the extra money on top of his Asia Society salary, but the figure was merely a perk to his true purpose of joining -- infiltrating and understanding the Western World, first hand.

The Japanese Scion stepped out of his platform bed with a new surge of energy, quickly shaking off the slumber he was under seconds ago. His polished floorboards creaked under his samurai armor physique as he traveled through his shadowed bedroom to his walk-in closet. Ultraviolet radiation formed over his Carribean blue eyes and he navigated the darkness with crisp X-Ray vision. His eyes now present in the shadows as hovering green lights.

Inside his spacious closet, he suited up like it was a sacred ritual: He filled out his Makyuri stealth suit, slung his Shiosheki blade over his broad chest and back then finally packed his sparkling Kasaibakudan eggs into a disposable black fur back-pouch.

After his hurried suit-up, Shinji climbed out his bedroom window and arrowed through his East Village neighborhood. His sonic flight painted a majestic green contrail across the night sky.

In his New York assignment dossier packet, the Mistress Mirage was documented a high-threat terrorist threat. There wasn't much information listed on her, nor a picture, but he knew she had power over the anonymous cult of Red Cardinals.

Lowering the speed of his flight, Shinji landed on an airport hangar rooftop. Emerald microscopic lenses appeared over his eyes with crosshairs. He scanned the airport runways for a clue then sucked his teeth slightly irritated. He received the message long after the Red Cardinal ringleader landed in New York. The runways were dark and empty of activity.

"Eij-san!" Shinji spoke urgently into his Teshu Nebone."Eiji-san!"

"What, what. I'm here" his friend replied in Japanese.

"Find out all the flights from Malaga to New York that landed at JFK in the past hour. From there I want you to sift satellite photos of the landings."

"Finding the flights will be easy, but the satellite images will take a while."

"Jaa...how long?" An impatient gaze surfaced over Shinji's symmetrical face. If he didn't nod off earlier his response would have been quicker.

"Thirty minutes at the most." Eijima replied casually.

He sighed deep and dropped his head, combing his fingers through his jet black hair. The Emerald Sentry could hear the 10,000 funneling down the drain.

The Braveheart message made finding the Red Cardinal sound easy; show at the airport and voila, there goes the international terrorist. This was not what Shinji imagined.

"She’s a terrorist, I’m sure she’s here to fck something up.” Shinji finally concluded.

Eijima chimed back in with a snicker, “There you go. I’ll work on that intel.”

Taking a deep breath, Shinji shut off their communication link and scanned the JFK horizon, searching for a clue, anything that suggested the Red Cardinal was here.

#3 Posted by Shanana (53433 posts) - - Show Bio

Z sat perched atop a bank in the financial district; now visible in her green tunic; her Cardinal body guards stood idly around her as she hatched a plan. “La última vez que estuve aquí, yo enmarcado Phantom Knight” her words brought the bodyguards close and near.

“Our enemy is a Bravehart, he knows we’re here, so we need to lure him to us” she concluded, climbing down off the statue back on the roof. “The biggest mistake we could make is to underestimate our prey” she said, handing the Cardinals slips of paper.

Once receiving their mission, they quickly went to fulfill the words of the Red Queen. Tonight Z had to make a statement, the Bravehart Order had grown with significant strength over the waning months; the order had finally been given to bring them down.

Just a few short moons ago, the Malagan beauty was a member of The Illustrious order; her days then spent as an exotic dancer. Her position in society at that time endorsed most of her work; people often spoke of their transgressions.

The switch from Bravehart to Cardinal saw the death of hundreds of Bravehart hunters; under Z’s own command. Now against the formable Ashley and her new clan, the Cardinals would have to be twice as aggressive.

Z commanded her Cardinals to kidnap 3 children from high- end families; once that part of the plan was in motion the Cardinal contacted the Braveharts the best way she knew how. Removing a small daggar from the insides of her tunic, Z carved; “Central Park” into one of the children and tied him up on a light pole in Tribeca.

The poisons in the blade would cause the boy’s heart to slow down to the point of apparent death. “Querido padre, perdóneme mis pecados contra su gente” she prayed as she stood behind the other two children in central park.

She stood tall in her ball gown that was home to a gouging split up the side of her leg. The Cardinals by command were nowhere insight, Z would take on this Bravehart herself.

#4 Posted by Mr. Mercury (19638 posts) - - Show Bio

When he arrived on scene there were no city medics, or witnesses only a woman rubbing a young boy’s blonde hair. The Cardinal that tipped him on the lead said the woman was Karin Chahal. Shinji strolled to their side and the bronze-skinned woman looked up to him, showing her demure brown eyes. “They told me you can purge the poison.”

Shinji knelt down beside her catching the allure of her flowery aroma. “You couldn’t tell if this was biological or engineered?” The Japanese Scion motioned his gloved hand over the paralyzed child’s body, emitting a green radial wave.

The Braveheart EMT watched as Shinji's radial light illustrated the tainted neural circuits of the child’s body. “That's Beautiful…” she whispered to herself, captivated the bounty hunters cosmic energy synchronization with science.

“His heart rate is slowing.” The freshly-recruited Braveheart’s blue eyed gaze glossed over to trance inducing green. “The poison spread the entirety of his vessel and it’s the biological toxin of a snake.”

The bronze-skinned East Indian snapped out of her own trance and analyzed the neuroimagery Shinji illustrated with his mutant ability. “And the red indicates the spread of the poison…?”

“Dammit” Shinji cut in.”…He’s going to die. Too much time has elapsed since his injection.”

“Injection?” her contralto timbre was shaken with the death of youth looming near. “The Cardinals are sick...c-can we make him vomit?” there was urgency in the young woman’s voice as she watched the snake poison pollute the young boy’s entire neural circuitry.

Calmly the Japanese native lifted the child's t-shirt to observe the blade engraving laced with toxin across his ribcage. "Central Park" he mouthed.

"Why are you giving up on him so soon" the East Indian challenged, pressing her two fingers to his wrist. "His pulse is still strong. The biotoxin is skewing his neural and respiratory system.They're vacillating between hyperactivity and paralyzation. It's very misleading. Can you sterilize his wound?"

His misjudgment reminded him of his scuffles with the Aum Shinrikyo. If Eijima and Tessa hadn't been there numerous lives when would been lost from his amateur medical observation and history would have repeated itself. His neuroimaging ability was a marvel, but empirical medical knowledge outweighed his mutant ability.

"I can" he said, losing the footing he thought he had over the situation, his face burned with shame. Spreading his large hand over the child's ribacge Shinji generated a cool green liquid that washed over the child, soothing the itch and burn of the Cardinal's symbolic incision.

"That's great, It'll alleviate the swelling." Karin sighed relief and turned the child carefully to his side, preparing to have the child vomit into the street.

Shinji's silent shame lingered, but Karin's experience was to be admired. He held cosmic power, harnessing the ebb of and flow from the particles to the stars, but this young woman carried the ability to impact life as much as he did.

"Thanks for the help..." she prompted for his name, raising her manicured eyebrows .

"Shinji." he replied, surfacing an endearing smirk and offering his hand. She accepted the handshake. "I have to go, but I'd like to keep up-to-date with this kid."

Playfully pressing her ear, Karin's voice resounded through Shinji's ear comm. Karin shot Shinji a telling smile "Sure, but you might wanna go ASAP. He's about to puke."

As Shinji prepped for flight, he heard Karin curse and as she frantically wrap the lush black locks cascading down her back into a ponytail. He heard the kid utter his first audible sound with a guttural gag. Jettisoning into the air, Shinji rushed to Central Park not sure what to expect, but he prayed to the Gods and Buddha it wasn't another kid poisoned with snake toxin.

Roughly a minute later, Shinji slinked Central Park for a Red Cardinal. His ears were perked to the slightest sounds. To eliminate the natural shroud of the New York night Shinji radiated ultraviolet waves for night vision at the spectral range. This allowed him to see the heat emitted from inanimate and living objects.

#5 Posted by Shanana (53433 posts) - - Show Bio

This battle between Braveharts and Cardinals transcended the two representatives. Ziccarra stood as the master and highest abbot of the Red Cardinals; Shinji a relative new recruit to the order of the Braveharts rose to stop her.

La Malaguena stood parallel with a light pole; the bottom of her dress blowing slightly in the wind; her Mediterranean gaze shout out upon the Bravehart with ease. “You may go” she softly commanded to the final two children. Their feet carried them past the Bravehart man, and then onward to their perspective homes.

Z wasn’t a killer; to this day there was no death caused by her own hands; folding her hands she gradually paced across the ground horizontally. “Braveharts, and Cardinals” she started, her English moderately hindered by her thick Iberian accent.

“Braveharts started from the old abolitionist whom were sympathetic to the cause of slaves; much like the Cardinals were started because of the Inquisition.” She halted for a moment, allowing a quick breeze to blow through her hair.

“You kill targets for money, I kill targets for power” she fixed her gaze on the Asian warrior. “Yet we are told we’re naturally cat and dogs” Z removed a long sheathed katana. The Sheath was embedded with a golden serpent wrapped around the sheath.

In a typical samurai manner, La Malaguena Salerosa, slowly removed the blade, her eyes unflinching as she slid the sword. The bright glare emanating from the stainless steel katana placed a thick shine on her face.

Her feet slowly began to shroud in a thick haze, from the bottom up Ziccarra transformed into her battle ready mode, known as Mistress Mirage; the highest abbot of the Red Cardinals. As her transformation completed, the demonic Black Rose Blade animated before their eyes wrapping like a constrictor around the leg of Z.

Sliding the legendary fox nose mask on to her face; the eyes burned with a thick red passion as the Spanish beauty readied to fight.

The words of her deceased father rang loudly in her head, almost incensed with the fire of battle.

“For those regarded as warriors, when engaged in combat the vanquishing of thine enemy can be the warrior's only concern. Suppress all human emotion and compassion. Kill whoever stands in thy way, even if that be Lord God, or Buddha himself. This truth lies at the heart of the art of combat”

Z tossed her sheath aside and took a fighting stance, “Come, let me see what you are truly fighting for” pressing forward Z pushed her blade forward in a ballet piroette, the shards of the blade detached and sent reeling towards him, the edges of each shard laced with black widow venom.

As she regained her footing from her bachata pirouette; Z quickly lashed out with her X-intercept bullwhip laced with LSD samples; her attempt to take his will power away from him early on, would turn this into a fight of wits.

#6 Posted by Mr. Mercury (19638 posts) - - Show Bio

The Suiryuu Swordman unsheathed his dual crystal blades and broke into a flurry of defensive cuts. Each blades whistled sharply as they sliced through the night air, deflecting the onslaught of piercing blade shards the Malagan dispersed. His Suiryuu form displayed his effortless technique. Each defensive counter streamlined into a fluid, harmonic progression of martial symphony. Parrying the shards with his two blades was an easy, but time consuming process. Electromagnetic radiation pulsed from the Hiyasha Swordman's body and sabotaged the assault of the homed-in shards.

During his series of defensive cuts, Shinji had inched closer to the Malagan with each cut and now stood only yards from his opponent. The Malagan Cardinal left no room for his recovery and the tongue of her bullwhip lashed against his left shoulder.

The sting of the whip lingered. Shinji's disregarded the attack, only wrinkling the bridge of his nose momentarily, to strike back. Shinji sprinted forward eliminating their short distance and manipulated his body to twist through the air. His legs and arms stretched to their vertex and swung at Malaguena in a rapid series of arching sword slashes and powerful butterfly kicks with uncanny speed.

#7 Posted by Shanana (53433 posts) - - Show Bio

The weighted training that the grandmaster Impero had instructed upon La Malaguena came into play; as he dashed forward, the single bladed Z dashed backwards with an empty hilt; the weighted vest she used to condition herself allowed her to swiftly parry backwards with adept speed.

Flicking her wrist forward, the shards from the demonic Black Rose Blade reformed in time to parry a sword strike, the powerful sound of the two blades clashing in the darkness sent ripples through the pond. The kick hit Z unceremoniously in the chest knocking her down on her behind, as she hit the ground; she rolled back just a bit and kipped up.

The moment her feet hit the ground, the scorching rays of the sun beat down on them as served by her mask. She was a little surprised her bullwhips LSD hadn’t taken a toll yet; it hitting and not doing anything was something she didn’t account for.

Dashing forward, Z’s mask slowly let off a light blue glow as she closed the distance between them; she swiftly dropped a canister in front of him, whilst simultaneously twisting in her right knee in an attempted slash across his diaphragm. If this proved useless because of a parry, she would then attempt a swift leg sweep; hoping to get him before he attacked.

#8 Posted by Mr. Mercury (19638 posts) - - Show Bio

The Cardinal moved just as fast as Shinji did and was quick on her recoveries. She was situated before him in a moments notice. She slashed for his torso and Shinji recoiled backward spreading his arms to completely evade her lethal cut. Below, something clipped his legs and broke his center of gravity. On instinct as Shinji's back hit the ground, he kicked his legs forward to stall the assist Malaguena had set for her successful leg sweep.

The Spanish Flower gave him no room to execute a recovery kip-up due to their lack of space, so he adjusted to his position on the ground without hesitation. He swiftly sheathed his Shiosheki long blade to maneuver. The Hiyasha Ninpo kicked his legs forward at a 45 degree angle to connect to her head region. His long legs would serve as tweezers, set on plucking the Spanish Fighter off balance. If he managed to get the leg clinch at her neck, he would lift his upper body exerting the ultimate strain on his abdominal muscles and manipulating her scale of gravity to his favor with his dominant height (6'3") and weight (213). To fend off any possible sword strikes, he had his crystal wakizashi blade at ready. The canister the woman discarded had slipped under Shinji's nose, but the consequences of his error were to be developed in short time.

#9 Posted by Shanana (53433 posts) - - Show Bio

The Nippon assassin had more perks than a swiss army knife; the swift kick to the head as well as the intense amount of strain he placed on her neck caused that whole region to scream with a crimson hue. The sounds of La Malaguena struggling and gasping for life were restrained to that specific area.

She stumbled around disoriented because of his kick; blood rushed from her nose dripping down past her mouth. She wasn’t too sure how all of this would work out; but she knew she’d get out, La Malaguena was often likened to a cobra, a very vicious predator when attacked up close.

Channeling her core muscles she attempted to lift him, this was to no avail; she didn’t have the strength needed for such a feat. The weight of the world felt as if it were metaphorically on her shoulder; the pressure to submit and give in to the deadly Bravehart crossed her mind.

Z’s unfair life became the push, her drive for fighting on; the crafty Cardinal Queen activated her poisonous claws hidden strategically inside her gloves. Their use over the years had been pretty much minimal but it seems as fate smiled on them this day.

Very faintly, the Red Queen punched towards both his thighs hoping to inject the black widow venom into his system; as well as limit his mobility.