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Reika vs Isebella

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"How unpleasant. I didn't ask for this." Reika grumbled, peering at her strange surroundings. She must have been spirited away somewhere after she'd taken that dirt nap, since this very definitely wasn't Fuyukaba.

"Oho, but I definitely did," The Lord of the Schism chuckled, gazing down upon his newfound captive. Such a being, exempt from the very rules of how reality worked, could very well have appeared as anything he wanted to Reika, but right now, he had taken the form of her old Sensei; presumably his idea of a cruel joke.

"Let me go. I've got things to do, old demon."

"Do not worry, my child. The moment I've had my fill, I'll put you back on Earth, right where you left off. No time would have passed for you; your little bizarre adventure here would feel like just another dream." The simulacrum of her Sensei adjusted his glasses by the bridge, and grinned. "Provided you survive, that is." He paused, examining the swirling streams of multicolored energy that permeated the boundless space surrounding them. "Ah, it seems that your appointment has arrived, young lady. Off you go, then. Arrivederci." Unexpectedly, Reika felt herself being bodily lifted up by some invisible force. She struggled against it, but it remained adamant, inscrutable even to her magical senses. Then, she felt a great acceleration upon her, and everything went white.

When she opened her eyes, all she saw was the rapidly closing mouth of some kind of portal. From it, she could still hear the Lord's barking laughter. Before it shut fully, she flipped it the bird. "Asshole."

Then, she took some time to peer at her surroundings. It seemed to be some metal structure, perhaps an oil rig or the like, anchored to the sea bed, a solitary, monolithic hulk of metal rising from the middle of miles of empty ocean. All was quiet except for the lapping of waves upon the struts of the rig; it seemed as though this place had been abandoned for a good number of years. The cranes and machinery had fallen into disrepair, their paint flaked off and their metal bodies spotted with rust and speckled with guano from passing seabirds, and the glass in the rig's windows had long since been shattered. What an ominous place for a fight. Plenty of hiding spots for someone to be skulking around...

Suddenly, she realized something was very amiss. A disturbance in the magnetic field lines, a very familiar twisting and warping of the fields. It was exactly the same as what she'd felt the night before, when she'd gone up against the Demon Elbarak. A particle cannon! Oh god, why is it always death rays?!

Thankfully, there was plenty of metal around for her to work with. In the art of killing, metal was her canvas. Bloody Stream, her trusty weapon, lashed out, attracted to the steel of the rig by an induced magnetic charge, and embedded itself into a creaky strut high up in the superstructure. The ribbon attaching the blade to her wrist suddenly coiled, rapidly contracting and launching her skywards, and just in time, too. A scant moment later, a lance of brilliant red light shot along the floor of the rig where she last stood, blasting the metal into molten, incandescent slag and punching a gaping hole in a crane behind her. The tortured metal, now unable to bear the strain of its own weight, gave way, and several tons of steel went plummeting into the ocean below with a thunderous splash.

From her vantage point, she peered downwards at the source of that beam of destruction. A strangely-dressed woman had stepped out from somewhere, a large cannon-like device embedded in her bare stomach crackling with pent-up energy. So that's my enemy, huh? Let's get started. From her pocket, she whipped out a pair of steel nails, and with a push of magnetic force, sent them hurtling towards the newcomer with the force of two high-caliber bullets. More than sufficient against a mortal human, even if they'd been wearing body armor, but judging from whatever strange augmentations her enemy had, she wasn't so sure it would be enough...

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Isebella was a very impatient person. In the first 2 minutes of the Lord of the Schism talking, she had dismissed him as an extremely annoying fellow who did not say anything substantial, and had tried to fire a Stomach Cannon at him. It had not worked, but it did seem to clue the Lord in as to what she thought of him, and he had transported her here, to this unstable floating oil rig where she couldn’t keep her balance, and where there was water all around her. Another Stomach Cannon was fired, this time more from shock than anything, and sent even more metal hurtling down into the water, giving her less space to stand on.

The structure rocked violently in the water. “Some kind of high tide this is,†she mumbled to herself, patting her tummy as she allowed the Cannon to recharge. She wasn’t sure if she was seasick, for Titan didn’t have much sea to speak of, but it would be quite uncomfortable to find out here. Besides, how did she get here anyway?

“Maybe I should’ve let that Lord fellow talk a bit more before shutting him up. Maybe he’s relegated me here for- egad!â€

She felt two sharp painful jabs on her metallic arm. There were two iron nails now wedged into the metal – quite an impossible feat, if she might say so herself. The only way nails could impinge themselves into metal was if they were flying at near-impossible speeds, but that could only mean that somebody was making them move purposefully. There was nobody else in sight, or was there?

“Activate Regeneration,†she whispered, and immediately felt a cooling sensation on her arm. Her body was attempting to force the nails out, which would leave a pretty ugly, not to mention painful, bruise. She looked around. It didn’t take long to spot a person, balancing herself with some kind of whip attached to the oil rig.

“It’s a girl,†she observed aloud, aided by her Arm Binoculars, which had unfolded themselves as she pointed a fist skywards. “Hey! Why did you attack me anyway? Are you also out for the treasure on Oris? Which tribe do you come from? Or are you working for the Lord of the Schism? In any case, just know that working against me won’t bring you any good!â€

With a smirk, she uncurled her fist, releasing 3 Finger Missiles all at once. They zoomed up in the direction of the mysterious, physics-defying girl, waiting to explode on impact.

“I love when these missiles chase you around and around,†said Isebella in a self-satisfied tone. “I never made a very good sniper anyway, even with these Binoculars.â€

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The woman down below was shouting something inaudible and pointing some kind of device at her. While she didn't seem to be shooting anything, the device looked decidedly gun-like to her. She probably wasn't here to negotiate. At least, not on terms Reika would accept. She was quickly vindicated when her attacker decided to launch a bunch of missiles at her.

 

They didn't behave like any of the missiles Reika was familiar with, unless one counted that anime with the fighter jets piloted by idol singers as a valid point of reference. They swerved and zig-zagged in an erratic yet strangely hypnotizing manner, and even with her enhanced senses, she found it impossible to get any good grasp of their direction -- clearly, they were ultra-advanced space future missiles designed to throw off enemy countermeasures. They certainly did a good job at that, definitely, even if they were moving slower than molasses by missile standards. Guess all the wizardry put into making these missiles impossible to dodge also left little room for proper propellant. For once, Reika decided brute force was the way to go, and sent a current through her blade. It thrummed as it reacted to her power, and flashed violet briefly as it unleashed an electromagnetic pulse, scrambling the missiles' electronics when they were scant meters from her.

 

Just as she had planned, two of the missiles, their guidance systems now confused by the crackling sea of electromagnetic feedback feeding into their sensors, whizzed harmlessly past her into the skies above. However, the last one went low instead of high, colliding with the strut she was currently standing on. Oh shi-

 

BOOM.

 

When the whiteness clouding her vision cleared, Reika found herself plummeting towards the ground head-first and sore all over. It hadn't been a direct hit, but that missile had taken out the entire strut in a huge conflagration, sending flaming scraps of metal plummeting into the ocean. She felt sore all over -- her enhanced physiology had blunted the impact, but if she'd been human, she would probably have broken a good number of bones from that blast wave. She had other things to worry about, though, like her imminent collision with the ground below.

 

"Icarus." Her power pushed against the steel of the rig below, slowing her down to a fast, yet survivable speed. She twisted her body like a cat, landing on all fours with a resonating thud and jolting every bone in her body. Swiftly, she yanked a handful of ball bearings from another pocket and hurled them, a powerful magnetic field accelerating them to become a flesh-shredding storm of supersonic metal. This supersized shotgun blast was just a diversion, though, meant to disorient the woman or perhaps temporarily damage one of her weak spots. Right behind the blast was Reika herself, sprinting towards her enemy at inhuman speed. Her cleaver-like knife had transformed, turning into the blade of a scythe a full seven feet long, its edge glowing violet as electricity coursed through it; when she closed into reach of the girl, she swung the blade down, hoping to cleave through the cyborg's shoulder blade and cut open her steel heart.

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Even without the blow of the superhuman girl, Isebella’s steel heart was already feeling kinda funny.

It all started when the girl pointed her blade at the Finger Missiles. Some kind of invisible energy must have shot out of it and rendered her Missiles confused and dysfunctional. That same energy sent a strange irregular throb into Isebella’s heart, making her scrunch up her face in bemusement. Was she… could she be…? She had heard of this strange phenomenon, but had never experienced it firsthand. It was apparently characterised by an increase in heart rate, along with some other symptoms…

Had the girl’s weird energy caused Isebella to fall in love?

While Isebella pondered just what this “love†constituted, the girl had landed on the ground on all fours and extracted some ball bearings from her pocket. Isebella heard the whizzing sound they made in the air, and once again chided herself for having greedily equipped as many large eye-catching metal parts on her body as she could. She would have been much more mobile if she hadn’t been weighted down by all these cool machinery. Nothing much she could do now in this limited time except-

Her Stomach Cannon opened again, quickly glowing white as it picked up energy from the surroundings. Just before the ball bearings entered her stomach directly, the Cannon fired, its energy competing with the supersonic force that had propelled them here. Both forces competed and Isebella’s frizzy blue hair was swept in all directions. She let out a cry and pushed the powered-up ball bearings away, just as a thought flashed through her mind, where’s the girl?

The answer came too late. Isebella felt a scythe close in on her shoulder, and the strange force field that came with it. Her heart was thumping harder than ever, threatening to lunge out of her chest and fly towards her foe. The blade sliced down into her shoulder, sending sparks flying as the metal reluctantly gave way. No, Isebella could not fail… she could not lose to someone so quickly. She scrambled for a strategy, some kind of counter-attack. There was that one emergency tactic.

Her shoulder blew up.

Shrapnel flew out at her face, but was thankfully blocked by a pop-up glass panel made just for this contingency. She looked in dismay as her arm fell off, dislocated at the elbow joint, and everything between her neck and just the top of her heart gave way in a large explosion. Surely the girl, no matter how blisteringly fast she was, could run away from an unexpected blast. It was, however, a great loss to Isebella to be without a shoulder. She could probably still pick up her lower arm whenever she needed it, though.

“What’s your name?†she murmured. “I’m Isebella, and I must say I haven’t met anyone like you who’s made me… feel like this before. I suspect you possess some kind of power that addles with my machine parts. Who sent you here to fight me?â€

Could it be the people on Titan? She wanted to ask, but the words faltered on her lips. If this was all indeed a surprise challenge from her people, then she would prove that she was indeed capable of being their representative, to seek the treasure map from Oris. Her dignity was on the line.

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Bloody Stream sliced down into the strange woman's shoulder, and to Reika's surprise, she exploded.

Thankfully, she'd taken a precaution or two before moving in, and the shrapnel from the blast was arrested by a magnetic field. However, a magnetic field wasn't any good against the shockwave which rearranged her insides.

The blast sent her flying, and she collapsed inside a twisted heap of scrap metal, thankfully out of sight of the woman. She groaned, and spat out a gob of blood. Multiple cracked ribs. Internal bleeding. Her head swam, and she clutched it, trying to stay upright. Probably a concussion as well. This ain't good.

She peeked through the wreckage -- the woman had apparently sacrificed her arm for that surprise attack. She has the power to make herself explode? I can't afford to close in and take another hit like that, and my nails don't seem to hurt her much. I'll need to try something different.

The woman had just blurted out something about her power messing with her electronics or whatever. She had a strange accent; it didn't sound like she even came from anywhere on Earth. Well, that gave her an idea -- if her enemy's powers did stem from electronics, she'd be able to fry them if she could lure her in close enough, or if she could snag her with Bloody Stream's whip mode. That wouldn't be easy -- if she was the girl, she'd have just blasted the platform to kingdom come with her cannon, easily obviating any cunning plan Reika could come up with.

Perhaps the best strategy for now was to play possum. She didn't seem trigger-happy enough to blast the whole rig apart to find her, so perhaps if she wandered close enough, Reika could jam her powers for long enough to get a decisive blow in. Reika decided to wait, and stayed motionless, silently hoping her guess was right.

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Where was she? Isebella was sure she wasn’t that inconspicuous, no matter how skinny she might be (and really, to a bulky robotic girl like Isebella, everybody was kind of skinny). She wandered slowly, surveying the oil rig. All the debris reminded her of her own playroom back on Titan, and she could never find anything back there.

She held out her hand and released 3 more heat-detecting finger missiles. They would fly relentlessly to any living being that gave off heat, and as far as she knew there was only one other person who did that here. In the meantime there was also the choice to narrow her search. She walked about slowly and released her Stomach Cannon at any pile of metal big enough to contain a person, watching them all collapse under the weight of the energy.

The Finger Missiles were converging around a twisted heap of scrap metal. A grin cracked on Isebella’s face as she walked closer, watching as the missiles took a nosedive and hurtled down to whoever was hiding in the wreckage, who could only be this Reika girl.

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Reika became dimly aware of the sounds of approaching footsteps, followed by the sounds of thunderclaps and the rig shaking as her opponent systematically fired off salvos of energy blasts from her stomach cannon. Then, she felt the magnetic flux of several smallish objects diving at her from above -- and blanched as she realized that they were a second volley of guided missiles.

She resorted to the last resort she had at her disposal -- with a surge of will, she magnetized the heap of wreckage around her and sent it spraying out in all directions, hoping to intercept the missiles within the storm of steel. The desperate gamble worked, detonating the missiles far away enough to avoid fatal injury -- and yet, she still felt as though her entire body had been smacked by a sledgehammer, knocking every breath of air right out of her lungs. With the line of sight to her opponent now unobstructed, she desperately used the very last trick in her arsenal -- she hurled Bloody Stream at her, the twisted electromagnetic fields surging around it guiding it at the cyborg like a missile.

At the very same moment, Reika's vision went white as the cannon on the cyborg's stomach fired.

For a moment, time stopped.

At that range, the beam couldn't have possibly missed -- but the targeting systems had been thrown out of calibration by Reika's previous attack, leading the beam to diverge from it's intended aiming point by a scant couple of degrees. At that range, it shouldn't have mattered - the thermal bloom from a beam passing nearby would have burnt Reika to a crisp.

However, the tiny error led to the beam striking Bloody Stream in flight.

There was a thunderclap, and Reika screamed as a blast of superheated air scalded and clawed at her skin. However, her Demon Reaper was made from sterner stuff, and though it now glowed white-hot like a fragment of a star, it held together -- and with a last surge of effort, Reika called forth her magnetism one last time, guiding the glowing blade into the aperture of the cyborg's plasma cannon.

Then, she steeled herself, trying to block out the red haze that was slowly clouding her peripheral vision, and unleashed one final burst of electricity through the blade stuck in her enemy's stomach, sending thousands of amperes of current searing through the cyborg's body as the lightning sought out the ground. The cyborg quivered erratically, her limbs' movements seeming to go out of control, and collapsed bonelessly to the deck of the oil rig.

Immediately after, Reika let out a tired little sigh, and her eyes closed.

...

"Excellent work, my dear girl."

Reika awoke to find herself in the strange realm The Lord of the Schism inhabited. The man himself was there, seated upon a throne that floated above the ground in defiance of the laws of physics -- and that was the most sensible part of this mind-breaking, surreal landscape. "You put on a most entertaining fight, and for that, I commend you. Just as I promised..." he snapped his fingers, and a solitary door in a frame connected to nothing appeared before Reika. "You may go home. For now. I hope to see you again."

Tiredly, Reika slowly, agonizingly raised a burnt arm -- and flipped the bird at him.

The Lord said nothing, but instead tossed something at her, which drifted down into Reika's hands -- it was a card with five boxes on it, with one box marked with an intricate sigil. "This might interest thee, young mortal." The Lord declared in a strangely bombastic tone. "Whenever thou might return, I shalt grant you the boon of a single mark upon that card. When thou hath fully filled thine card through thy continued service, thou can exchange it for... Um... Yes. A ¥2000 voucher for Motosuwa's All You Can Eat Ramen. Indeed... That shalt be the boon I grant upon thee."

"... Loyalty card. Sweet." Reika muttered near-inaudibly. Her expression didn't change, but she seemed to have a new spring in her step as she opened the door and left. Behind her, The Lord of the Schism merely chuckled, soliloquizing, "Mortals are such fascinating creatures, are they not?"

Reika Wins (barely)

(OOC: Because either of us could have finished the other if we managed to land a single attack, we decided to let it be decided with a dice roll. HH rolled a 19. I rolled a 20. Needless to say, this could have gone either way.)

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