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#1 Posted by Mercy_ (94571 posts) - - Show Bio

She awoke once again, prone on the ground. This was starting to become a horrible habit. Could she not start a battle fully conscious for once? She had been lucky that she hadn't been blitzed by an opponent yet, left completely alone and vulnerable like that. Of course, this was set up at Darkchild's behest and she was sure that having one of his competitors taken out by a one-shot would be quite counter-productive to his amusement. Cass braced her hand on the ground, using it as leverage to stand up. Her eyes widened as she caught site of where she was. Darkchild had outdone himself this time. There was a fog hanging over everything, obscuring her vision. She used her enhanced senses to paint a picture in her head of what exactly it was that she was looking at, used her keen eyesight to focus through the haze that was trying to obscure her vision. Everything looked foreign, but familiar at the same time. It looked like so many scenes that she had seen in movies, like depictions that she had seen in religious texts. It looked eerily familiar to what was referred to as The Valley of Death...but that place was a myth, right? It wasn't real....it couldn't be. She should know better, though. She had seen things that were unbelievable in every sense of the word. She had done things that many hadn't imagined to be possible. The existence of this place...it shouldn't have fazed her.  

Looking around, she couldn't help but appreciate Darkchild's very macabre sense of humor. Putting somebody who didn't know what she believed in and putting her in what was a place right out of the Bible...it was mind games at it's best whether he realized it or not. As she walked, she held her weapons close and at the ready. Her katana was still strapped to her back, her kukris at sheaths attached to her waist, ready to be slid out and used to slice and dice at any moment. She held her guns in her hands, her fingers held over the trigger guard, ready to fire at a moment's notice. She wasn't playing around this time, she meant serious business. She had been forced to fight against teammates. She had formed a bond during combat with Cly and then had been forced to fight him. She had no idea who else was involved in this tourney that Darkchild had set up; she had no idea who she was fighting next. It could be anybody, anybody at all and she would just have to prepare for that. She wasn't going to take the chance of close quarter combat from the very get go, that hadn't worked well for her earlier. No, she was going to shoot first and ask questions later. 

The mist beaded in her hair as she walked along, her feet sinking a bit into the mud with every step. She took long strides, her short legs covering as much ground as she could with every step as she took in every detail that she could. She was in a valley. It was narrow, about thirty or so feet across with craggy rock walls on either side. They would limit motion and movement unless her opponent was able to go airborne, in which case things would get very interesting. There were crooked and disjointed trees here and there, each about fifteen feet high and two or three feet in diameter. If she applied enough leverage to one of them using her telekinesis, it was a possibility that it could be shattered into wooden shrapnel or used as a projectile. They wouldn't be of much more use than that. They were too small to use as a place to hide or as camouflage.

As she continued to walk, keeping her eyes peeled, she saw a figure emerging out of the fog. It was hard to distinguish that much about him, other than a rough estimate of his height, weight and general build. He was made of muscle and she could hear his heavy footsteps on the ground. Without thinking, she acted instinctually, relying on her body to know what to do, she burst into action. The sound of gunshots could be heard cracking through what was before now an utterly silent place. She got off three shots, wanting to conserve her ammo. She was having to once again rely on the sharpness of her vision to make things easier for her. She closed one eye and narrowed the other as she took her shots, aiming for general areas. The first shot was aimed for what she could vaguely discern as his knee, the second was aimed for the top of the thigh near where the femoral artery lay and the third was aimed for his stomach. She did now know what kind of powers he possessed, she did not know if he had a healing factor, or armor or any of that. None of the bullets, if they hit, would be kill shots with the possible exception of the one aimed at his thigh. If it did hit his femoral artery, there was a possibility that he would bleed out without a healing factor or some other power. The shots weren’t meant to be kill shots, though. They were meant to disable her opponent, to weaken him, to throw him off his game. She used armor piercing rounds at all times, now was no exception. Standing there, smoking guns in hand, she spoke to herself. “Let’s get this show on the road.”

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#2 Edited by Hawk (16130 posts) - - Show Bio

Auro, New Mexico 
Weapon X Training Facility 
March 21, 1956 
"The vocal journal of Professor Thorton, lead researcher for Project Weapon X.
Test 5: Subject has shown
 great endurance and strength in all of the previous test. He is an exceptional being and has more than exceled in the face of adversity. We will proceed with the rest of the testing as scheduled. The only real challenge I see this subject facing is the adamatium fusion that awaits him.....sigh....but he has shown a brutality that no other subject has yet to show." 
April 13, 1956  

"The vocal journal....ah forget it.  Test 54: The subject now known as code name "Death from Above" has shown remarkable results on all level of testing! He is exactly what we have been looking for in every way. The last test he is to endure will ensure his service and all other subjects will be graded upon his scale. The Subject "death" for short, was place in a sealed area with a pack of rabid and starving wolves. His only mission was to survive."  
April 14, 1956 
"The subject death has surpised us all. Every other subject who has made it this far in the process has entered the Wolf Pack test and killed every wolf in the cage. When we reviewed the film of last nights test the subject did something....well unexpected. Instead of slicing his way through the wolves he sliced open his own leg and feed the wolves from it. They tore into his flesh with an ...... understanding almost a gentleness. He feed them like he was a mother wolf feeding her cubs. Sacrificing himself for the pack. His healing factor being on the extreme side, will leave him with no real ill effects. Now he also has the trust of the animals. I am surprise and overjo........oh my god! Weapon XI has escaped....the wolves are tearing into the....ahhhh nooo! .................................................................................................. 
I am not a weapon.  
"I am not a weapon......." He awoke with a stark, feet hanging down as he lay high in a tree. Swinging himself down onto the ground he gained his bearings quickly taking in the surrounding area. There was a heat rising from the ground, it was unlike any place that he had ever been. Yet he somehow felt at home. There was nothing around him but dead and decaying things. Even the tree that he was just moments before hanging in was barren without leaves. He noticed it was a fig tree, "May you never bear fruit again..."    Hawk whispered as he walked away remembering the story from the Bible. As he walked further into the valley a wave of inspiration came over him. He knew in that instance where he was, and spoke the words he had learned long ago, psalms 23  

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

No sooner than he finished the words of David than he saw her. She walked with gentle steps and moved like a viper ready to strike. He knew he was spotted by the sudden jerky movement she made. Her eyesight was nearly as good as his. It wasn't but the briefiest of moments before she pulled her weapon and began to fire. Three rounds were sent down range and Hawk assumed her careless pattern was intentional.  
Hawk saw the bullets moving as if they were in slow motion. His sense of time and movement were so advanced from flying above the sound barrier that he could literally pluck a bullet out of the air. With the side step and spin Hawk pulled the first round out of the air, leaving only a trickle of blood running out of his hand. The second round passed right by him as Hawk squared up letting the third and final round hit him square in the chest. Upon impact the bullet pierced his flesh and exploded against his adamantium ribs. The shattered bullet fragments would be pushed out of his skin shortly, but Hawk decided that he would make his point now and forever in the mind of his opponent.  
It was like a flash of lighting the way he traveled through the air. Even speedsters would admire the quickness at which he attacked. A small blade draw Hawk moved with grace and a killer's instinct as he made precise slices. Behind the knee, across the hip, into the lung area, and lastly across the throat. It was a blaze of speed and the knife skills of a butcher. With the quickest of strikes Hawk hoped to turned the young woman before him, into a sacrificial lamb .
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#3 Posted by Mercy_ (94571 posts) - - Show Bio

Cass watched utterly and completely astonished as he literally caught the bullet out of the air, leaving him with minimal damage. She would have to establish some new tactics if she was going to beat him, or even make it out of this fight with anything less than a solid trouncing. The second passed right by him, which was irritating as all hell and the third actually hit it's mark. There was a slight thudding noise as the round pierced his chest and did it's job, exploding. She watched and it was much to her dismay that he was healed almost instantaneously, the shards of the bullet pushed right out of his skin.  
Before she was able to process the fact that he had a serious healing factor, before she was able to formulate a new plan of attack, before she was able to do anything, he had moved. Faster than her enhanced sense could pick up, faster than she could react to, faster than she could get her telekinetic shield up, he was attacking her. His movements were quick and fluid, the blade striking her in one spot and then moving on to the next. It hit the tendon behind her knee, almost severing it and then dug into her hip. Her clothes ripped and blood started dripping down her stomach as the blade cut deep, nearly hitting her hipbone. The next slice went up under her ribs and she was able to pull back quick enough that it didn't fully puncture one of them. Of course, the next attack was possibly even more devastating. Just as she started to pull back, he took one final slice with the small yet deadly blade, running it across her throat. The thin line started pouring blood, it was red and dark against her pale white skin and it started pooling in the hollow of her throat, only to drip down her collarbone and subsequently down the front of her clothes, leaving a dark mark against the black cloth.  
He was better than she thought and much quicker than she had planned for. As the cut on her throat started healing itself closed, she reached behind her for the sword. If there was one thing that was in her favor about this attack, it was the fact that it brought him into close quarters, something that she excelled at. She drew the sword from the sheath strapped to her back and brought it over her head, swinging it downwards and aiming for his back. She was hoping that the speed with which her healing factor had kicked in would take him by surprise, she needed an element of surprise, some sort of leg up. She was a bit out of her league here. He had a healing factor that seemed somewhat equivalent to hers, he had speed that was far above any level that she possessed and who knew what other powers he had. Her next move was to try and swipe the bladed edge of the sword across his back. She was vengeful and repaying like with like. He was going to cut her with a blade, she was going to try and take her sword to him. Her hope was that it would at the very least knick his spine. She knew from past history that spinal injuries took the longest to recover from.  
Pulling away hoping that her attack had hit, she moved as quickly as her still healing tendon would allow her to, slightly favoring one leg over the other. Looking around quickly, Cass checked to see if there was anything in the general vicinity that she could use to help her, to help take this man down. She had no idea what his next attack would be and frankly, she was worried. She had fought people before, but never anybody quite on this skill level, or with the potential to give her such devastating injuries over and over again. It was usually her healing factor that gave her the edge in fights, but he had one as well, putting them on more even footing. The way he moved was skilled and it was if he had had formal training of some sort. If he was military or even ex-military then he was more seasoned than her, again giving him an edge. It seemed the only thing here that she had over him was her telekinesis, but with her luck, he would have some sort of ability to combat that as well.     

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#4 Posted by Hawk (16130 posts) - - Show Bio

The blood filled the air and the smell of cooper lit his lungs on fire. A rush ran through him like a drug addict taking a hit and Hawk closed his eyes and took in the sweet smell of victory. He had saw the blood run down the her neck and onto her shirt, he had felt the skin and arteries part under his knife, she would be left to the birds just like the rest of them. Turning to walk away he expected to hear her body hit the ground at any moment, instead he heard the return of breath, and the pull of a blade. Though he could move at staggering speeds he could not believe that this girl could survive, he looked back over his shoulder only to see the shine of a blade.     
The shine of the blades spinning in the summer son shone in his eyes. There was a certain energy in riding in an open door helicoptor holding a large gun in your hands looking through the jungle for a gook to blow apart. It was almost calming to him, the thump thump of the blades passing by until the shot of heat ran across his chest. The helicopter filled with bullets and blood as three of the men in the copter with him were bleeding out. In the briefiest of moments Hawk's hands were covered in blood as he tried to keep his squad members blood from pouring out of their bodies.  
The blood rushed down his back along the blade slice. From his neck and along his metal laced spine ending just above his left kidney. The sharp sting of the slice brought the Lord of the Air to his knee and his eyes turned to heaven as a roar left his mouth. The splash of blood hitting the ground was like a sharp rain in the night. She the Dark Huntress had shown the healing and an attack that was beyond compare. Taking a knife across the throat and the next moment delivering one of her own. How much torture could they both endure.  
He hung in mid air hands and feet bound with barbwire in a cruxifics. They had long ago cut at his wings and had ripped and tore his skin until he looked like a deer being field treated after a hunt. They were so fascinated that his body would heal each time they cut him, that shot him up like a target over and over again. Each time they hurt him he would only grit his teeth, but no sound escaped his lips. He would never give them the pleasure of knowing that they hurt him. It must have been days maybe even weeks of this for her body to still be mangled as it was, but still he hung there next to his dead squadmates wishing death would come..... 
The light flash of pain the brought him to his knees quickly focused his mind as he knew he had only a split second to move before his head would leave it's body. In a thunder strike his massive wings expanded and Hawk spun releasing them out. They swept the ground around him like a broom clearing a path as he took to the sky with a boom. The Darling of the Sky was once again dancing amounst it's clouds. Quickly he turned, banking hard against the wind and headed toward his target with a super sonic speed.  
They had giving him too much time. His body was working fast than they could have predicted. It had been 3 months since his capture and he thought they had finally gotten bored with shotting and stabbing him. Their liquor and diseased whores called to them for just long enough. Spreading his mighty wings Hawk ripped the barbwire off his wrists and ankles. By the time the guard was able to set off the signal he had taken to the air. The following was only spoken of now as "The Night God came for His Angel". The next day the whole village was found hanging dead, all cruxified with barbwire.  
His blade were drawn but pulled tight against his body as he made his approach. She was in target and he was coming in at close to 800mph. He pulled his blades to strike at the last possible minute and landed behind her only a couple hundred feet. The force of his landing cause several of the near by trees to uproot and the wind of his wings blew dust high into the air. Slowly it settled around him, making visibility almost impossilbe. They stood in the valley of the shadow of death, but only he knew were Death hid and this time Death was hunting the Huntress.    
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#5 Posted by Mercy_ (94571 posts) - - Show Bio
"Like dis, chere." The Master of Assassins held the blade in his hand, showing her how to grip it, how to hold it most efficiently, allowing for the largest amount of choices with what she wanted to do with the blade. "Use dee blade as an extension of yourself. Carry through with your movements, slice quickly and cleanly unless you're trying to cause pain." He demonstrated the tactics, holding the kukri in his hand. He moved fluidly and quickly, as if it was second nature to him. Showing her where to strike her enemy to cause pain and where to strike them to disable.  

There was a barely audible thudding noise as her sword hit it's mark. It slid across his spine, cutting through the skin like a hot knife through butter. It would have cut clear through the spine, but was met with some sort of obstacle...something metal. Curiouser and curiouser. The blood poured from the wound, coursing down his back and dropping on the ground, forming a small puddle of blood before being absorbed into the ground. He appeared to be weakening, which surprised her quite a lot. She hadn't expected it to be this easy, she hadn't expected it at all.  
"You never underestimate them. You watch them carefully, you study them and if anything, you overestimate their abilities. Hope for dee best but expect dee worst. Dat way you are never caught with your pants down. Ego is helpful when you are slinging words, but when it comes to actually fighting, underestimating an opponent is the worst thing that you can do." His words rang clear and true in her ears and she soaked them up, absorbing all the knowledge that he sent her way, memorizing every lesson he taught her. Taking all the separate information that he bestowed upon her and putting it all together. 
She swung the sword over her head as he fell to his knees, planning on carrying through and landing a devastating blow, possibly a killing one. All of a sudden his wings expended out to the sides, the sun catching them and peeking through. He looked like an angel, albeit an angel of death and here in this place, in this valley of myth, it was an astonishingly eerie sight to see. Cass didn't make the mistake of thinking that he was retreating. That would have been a stupid mistake and it would have cost her her life. The Winged Warrior was skilled and he was brutally efficient. He had known just where to strike her and if she hadn't had the healing factor, she would have been dead. There was a cracking boom as the took to the skies, her eyes following him closely. She tried to keep him in her sights but damn did he move quickly. She barely had time to react before he came barreling towards her at nearly impossible speeds.  
They were in the training room and he stood across from her about twenty feet away. He held a gun in his hand and it was aimed at her. "Dodge it." Her eyes widened in surprise and he nodded to her as he pulled the trigger. Automatically she gathered the telekinetic energy around her, surrounding herself with a shield and stopping the bullet. He frowned at her, looking disappointed. "I said dodge it, not deflect it. Try again, without dee shield dis time." He fired once again, and this time she forced herself not to use her telekinesis, instead she used her enhanced senses and peak agility and managed to dodge the bullet for the most part. It grazed her left bicep as she ducked out of the way. "Much better." 
He came in quicker than her eyes could track him. Fast and brutal seemed to be his MO and damn was it effective. He nimbly slid his blades out and struck out at her. One blade sliced against her left bicep, cutting her nearly to the bone as it split muscles and tendons. The second hit her near her hipbone, seemingly tracing over the scar that she had on her stomach from an altercation with Warsman. If the cut had gone any deeper she would have been spilling entrails. As it was, her stomach was sliced open almost directly across her prior scar.  
The cut healed slower than usual and caused her an immense amount of pain as her face contorted. It was burning for some reason, quite possibly because it had reopened a previous wound caused by unconventional means. Before she could make any move to counter him he was already gone. She stood there as the wounds tried to heal themselves and knew that it was time to think quickly. All of a sudden he landed, the force of it shaking the ground. The loose dirt rose up in the air with the force of it, the particles dancing around and obscuring vision.  
She had a blindfold tied around her eyes and they were practicing fighting moves in the dojo. "Stop thinking about it so hard. You overthink, that's your weakness. Trust yourself, chere. Trust your instincts and then act on them." He struck out quickly, moving fast and fluid like a snake. She reacted instinctively, feeling the movements in the air and inferring where he was going to strike. Getting her forearm up in time, she was able to block the move. If he had been trying, she wouldn't have been able to, but this way his point was proven, the lesson learned. "Much better. You have enhanced senses, use dem to sense your opponent, to gain dee upper hand."  
She took a small breath, inhaling slightly and trying not to let the dirt that was floating through the air fill her lungs. Closing her eyes, she opened up her senses, smelling the air and catching his scent. He was behind her. She held her katana in her hand, ready to strike as she moved quickly towards him, letting a mix between her instincts and her senses guide her through. Suddenly one of the trees that had been uprooted during the upheaval of his landing was thrown through the sky in her general direction. She did a tucking roll, her blade held out to her side and sprang back up to her feet nimbly, using the momentum to her advantage.  
Using the dust as a cover, she snuck up behind him, moving quickly and quietly, hoping that he wouldn't realize her ploy. There was always the possibility that this was a suicide act. He could easily turn it around on her and going in this close was going to once again put her in a vulnerable position. Add on top of that the fact that he was going to be enraged if this did connect in any way and Cass knew that this had to connect quickly and effectively and that she was going to take a lot of damage if for some reason it failed. She could see the tips of his wings through the dust and she gently trod on the ground, the katana held at a slight angle over her head. She covered it in telekinetic energy, increasing it's sharpness and the amount of force that was exerted as it sliced downwards, making it a more effective weapon. Swinging over her head and then downwards with the blade of the katana as she faced the back of the winged man, she aimed straight for where the wings connected to his back between his shoulder blades. It was an unnecessarily cruel attack, but if it worked it would be amazingly effective.