Kratesis vs Florian: Introduction to the Kratesis Crisis
This is the fight that kicked off Kratesis's feud with the LeBeau family of Prime. It takes place in the destroyed base of the League of Shadows, after Gambler abandoned his leadership position there. Florian LeBeau was his son; he used movie Bane as a look and was a martial artist who had been enhanced by modified HGH formulas from what I recall. Strong, tough and skilled.
I chose this fight because it was when my writing style was a bit more mature; I was no longer a battle newbie. My writing style is much more mature here, this isn't 'proto-Kratesis', its early Kratesis. In addition I have Gambler to play off of and our styles have always meshed when it comes to combat writing. This is something that really helps me, I write my best work when I'm writing with a good writer whose style I click with.
The cold and cunning Kratesis stands amid the ruins of the aristocratic assassins office. Her armored hands folded behind her back. Taking in the sight of every microscopic detail, every clue, ever strand of fiber or hair. Eyes absorbing every detail, quantum mind recording and processing.
But she also took in the smells. Every dead skin cell inhaled. Every speck of biological data observed, and analyzed with peerless precision. Gambler she thought with every breath. This was the smell of prey.
Her favorite kind of prey. A deadly hunter of men, a master manipulator. With resources and experience few could dream of he was not a man to anger lightly.
Kratesis would target his family first.
Florian Kincaid LeBeau
He had come hopeful an impromptu meeting with his estranged father would bare a fruitful union of sorts in his attempted disposal of the impressively cunning Impero. Instead he found only the hollowed out remains of the legendary league and the strange mimicked posture of the masked manipulator himself. Clutching the sides of his military vest exposing the exaggerated definition of his biceps Florian questioned, "You display the With Hunter's regal posture, but you are obvious not him." pausing as he surveyed the ruin remains of the office before continuing, "Tis dis your hady work?"
Kratesis remains immobile. Turning neither head nor body. Each wave of sound created an artificial image in her machine mind. Finding the figure massively muscled she lifts the corner of her lips in a smile. 'This tis the work of another.'
The cold winds of the mountains carries the mans sent to her. Breathing in his DNA wheels within her mind turn and click into place. 'And ye bear the scent of the Aristocrat. Yet ye are not him.'
Florian Kincaid LeBeau
Nonchalantly kicking through the sea of debris curiously examining the aftermath of an apparent upheaval the notion that he was in the presence of a decorated killer had seemingly been lost on the eldest LeBeau offspring."Ah yes, correct, I am not Thee LeBeau, I am merely his son, Florian. And you are?"
'Kratesis.' Lifting her violet eyes to the sky she watched the cold clouds roll through the empty sky as her mind calculates a million possibilities every moment. Advanced algorithms predict probabilities and analyze events. For to know the AFTER required effort in the NOW.
Selfishly selecting the social path from the multitude of possible futures she elects to continue the conversation. 'Daughter of Impero.' Perhaps this LeBeau would provide plentiful entertainment.
Before she killed him.
Florian Kincaid LeBeau
"I was hoping as much"he smirked upon hearing her reply. His machinations having been handed down from father to son, the intention of harming Impero through his family was an obvious one."Well then.....shall we?"he snapped while simultaneously riffling off a furiously ill intended front kick targeting the midsection of the deadly daughter of the With Hunting Grandmaster.
Effortlessly anticipating the single swift strike Kratesis calmly stands steady as it speeds toward her. A million mathematical methods march though her mind. The thousands of possibilities that make up the AFTER narrow, one after another, as she ruthlessly selects between them at staggering speeds.
In the end there is only one path of interest to her. She selects it with a smirk.
The kick collides with her stomach, as she has made no effort to evade. Without her trion armor it buckles her nearly in half and sends her crashing through the half destroyed wall of the office. She slides through the snow, rolling and tumbling as she goes. Over a dozen feet later she comes to a halt, and slowly climbs back to her feet.
With a grunt of pain at the effort required to speak. 'In your form and in your voice ye shall carry unto your father my message.'
Florian Kincaid LeBeau
Recklessly Florian charged through the crumbling wall lowering his shoulder garnering a build up of momentum. The defiant words of his recovering opponent were lost upon his careless advancement. Attempting to ram his colossal frame into the petite precog throwing caution to the wind, literally, as the snow crunched beneath his massive boots.
The massive mauler's headlong charge was observed in seeming slow motion by the calculating quantum computer that made up her mind. Its momentum rendering it mighty, yet perfectly predictable to her machine mind.
Her right foot pivots cleanly, twisting to the frozen ground down under the sparkling snow. Driving forward her hip and shoulder, extending her arm into a flawless cross that explodes outward from her augmented frame.
No simple strike, for she accelerated at staggering speeds, shattering the sound barrier A white bubble of frozen snow and shatter ice spraying out around her as her entire thirty tons of strength is applied driving her solid fist into his charging chest.
Aiming to deliver one single shattering blow, aided by the momentum of his furious charge, should he not defend at the last moment. Although there is considerable risk to herself in such an impact she finds the risk.. exciting.
Florian Kincaid LeBeau
Time seemingly stopped as a climatic crescendo of poetic chaos thundered throughout the open mountain range. Even with his superhuman durability, reflexes, and the infamous LeBeau misdirection, Jean Luc's oldest son was unable to avoid the articulated strike. Executed with instrumental proficiency the surgical extension of perfected technique not only shattered the juggernaut assassin's collarbone, but the intense and sudden stoppage of motion whip-lashed his neck severing his spinal cord before his body had even hit the ground. Crashing to the unforgiving ice in a heap of crippled muscle mass he simply lay there, erratic uncontrolled flashes of mInute twitches the only visible signs of life.
Even her trion re-enforced bones groan with the impact, the divine durability of her mother's DNA strongly tested by the ground shaking strike. Although her balance is perfect she is sent sprawling, tumbling over the scattered snow, for no amount of balance can counteract the colossal impact of the tremendous titan.Super human tendons and muscles cry out in pain to killer Kratesis. Genetically build to be immune to pain and fear, she finds herself reveling in the sensation. It feels like.. a challenge. Something to bring her from the depths of boredom, to bring her to life. Although she could simply cut off the intruding spikes of pain she elects to enjoy them as she slowly climbs to her feet.
Striding through the snow with growing strength as her healing factor repairs the torn tendons and sprained shoulder she soon arrives at the LeBeau Leviathan. 'Ye shall speak to your father.'
Lifting her trion blade over the fallen form before slashing swiftly down toward his throat. Blade plunging into his thick neck with lethal skill and force.
Severing his life she laughs as he grunts his raspy choking epitaph in with a blood speckled smile.
This is one of my favorite battles of all time, that kicked off my favorite storyline of all time; ever. (We jokingly called it the Kratesis crisis, and the name stuck.) It was here I begin to use embedded music. 'Redrum' by Tom Waits plays whenever Kratesis kills a PC, and over time I've created a personal library of music to signify various events in Kratesis's life.
The downside to this battle is it was likely the beginning of the street level speed arms race. I imported the same writing techniques I used for my powerhouse character (Lady Liberty) and used them with Kratesis; namely the use of supersonic strikes. At the time there was a pretty clear line between powerhouse and martial artist characters. Kratesis blurred that line both in terms of powers and in terms of the techniques I used to write her. The truth is that while it was very enjoyable for me to write it was probably detrimental to the Vine as a whole because this was one of the events that brought around the speed arms race which plagued the vine for the better part of a year.
However there was also a long term upside, which was my introduction to the world of top tier street level writing. The best way to learn any type of powerset is to fight the best writers of that powerset, and Gambler was, and is, the best street level writer. While there are those who write powers better than he does no one is quite as good at the hand to hand martial arts characters. The Kratesis Crisis was instrumental in my development because I could learn through repeated contact with the best in a weight class.
As the aeons have marched on the immortals within the Arcani have discovered many words. The Seven Secret Words of the Sword, Nine Words of Sorcery and Eleven Words of Life and Death.
These are the Words of Life and Death. Each word represents a concept, an Aspect that has been taken to its penultimate extreme by relentless study for hundreds of millennia.
[ Authors Note: This is unfinished. The final three words are missing. ]
All beings are systems of matter and energy. Like any system there are nexus points which influence critical functions. Vespa is the study of these points and how they might be disrupted or destroyed.
Vespa teaches the secret strikes by which a chi users chakra's are disabled. The pressure points which a limb or organ can be paralyzed, and even the occult techniques which strip a mages powers.
The adept level involves memorization of thousands of vital points, combined with in depth medical knowledge. This level could be compared to a medical PHD; much of the anatomical knowledge is interchangeable. The primary difference is the Vespa adept seeks to harm, not heal. The adept knows what angle to strike bones to snap them, the pressure points that inflict the most pain, and how to sever the vital arteries and nerves with a sharp object.
A master knows the secret points to induce muscular paralysis; from the entire body to individual limbs. The dreaded death touch is also a part of the masters abilities, they can cause immediate or delayed death. But the master is capable of attacking more than the body alone, they can also disable key chakra points to inhibit chi flow; denying a chi user access to their inner power. This can also be used on a magic user, disabling their ability to tap into their magical energies.
A grandmaster is capable of using pressure points against entities of godlike power, bypassing their physical resistances and inducing somatic feedback loops into their neurological systems. They can disable technological systems by creating micro-electromagnetic pulses that reroute the power of circuits until they fry themselves.
The Nth is a being of terrifying potency. They can exploit not only the weaknesses of the body but the critical vulnerabilities built into the human mind. A Vespa Nth can drive a man insane by the tiniest gestures, communicate through somatic impulses, and create unshakable loyalty with naught but a glance.
Nearly all living things predict the future. One might predict a ball will drop when released. Or that a person will anger when struck. Some can perform such complex predictions such as the moves of a chess game, or the victor in a war; each containing thousands of individual factors.
Fractum is this art turned science. Pioneered by Kratesis by accident when she sought to turn her quantum processing power into precognitive calculations her notes and thoughts on the subject, mere byproducts, became an entire style.
There are three factors the Adept must master. Before, Now, and After. By knowing the Before the adept can use the Now to calculate theAfter. An adept can use this knowledge to predict an emotional response, a foes tactical course of action, or use the minute positioning of the body to predict the next action in combat.
A master has such knowledge of the Before and such speed in the Now that their predictions of the After are incredibly precise.
The master has internalized this process and often exhibits a sixth sense; a subconscious warning. These subconscious warning signs alert the master to threats to his or her survival. This makes them precognitive in combat; true masters of the art of prediction.
The calculations of a grandmaster are so advanced they can predict every possible variation in a fight before it even begins. Should their mind be powerful enough to process the data a grandmaster might run through a million scenarios in a second and select the one they desire.
So powerful is this level of mastery that it cannot be attained without an enhanced mind; the unaltered human mind is incapable of handling so many factors at once.
The goal of many physical arts is physiological efficiency. How to throw the most powerful punch? Jump the farthest? Leap the highest? Absolutio is this taken to the furthest extreme; the physiological efficiency of the entire body maximized at all times.
By honing the kinesthetic sense to a razors edge and mastering the fundamental motions one can dramatically increase the efficiency of their bodies.
This is achieved by honing their kinesthetic sense to a razors edge and mastering the fundamental muscular building blocks. From these tools any movement, from a simple punch to a complex acrobatic routine, can access the full potential of the bodies strength and speed.
An adept is capable of neigh supernatural feats of balance; walking across tightropes with ease, astonishing acrobatic maneuvers, and more. Most commonly this exhibits itself in displays of parkour like running; leaping over short barriers, running up walls, jumping down stairwells and even diving flips onto tiny perches.
An adept masters their bodies physical functions to such a degree they experience a one quarter increase in their physical performance. For example their speed is improved by twenty five percent, as is their striking power and leaping height.
In combat adepts can snatch arrows from the air, evade punches by centimeters, devastate their foes with precision strikes from any angle and much more.
Their agility and coordination radically improves. A master can run down an electrical line, acrobatically evade a hail of gunfire, tic-tac up a skyscraper, fight on the roof of an aircraft and more. All with an effortless ease that seems, and may well be, superhuman.
The physical efficiency of a master increases their performance by fifty percent. A master with a ton of lifting strength would have a ton and a half of striking strength. A master who could run a mile in a minute would find their speed increased to ninety miles an hour. And so forth.
A master of Absolutio is a terror in physical combat. Strikes gently caress their skin instead of landing, and their fists and feet fly with staggering power and accuracy. Capable of fighting at near full efficiency at any angle the master is just as deadly in freefall as standing on the ground. However their most impressive feat of accuracy is their ability to evade gunfire and other supersonic attacks.
The grandmaster can perform any motion physical possible without error or deviation one hundred percent of the time. They make no mistakes. Every motion is perfect.
A grandmaster has attained the ultimate control over their body. They operate at 100% efficiency; it is impossible to improve upon this for they use all of what exists to its utmost. As such the Grandmaster demonstrates abilities that would seem to double their original physical prowess.
A grandmaster with a ton of strength exhibits two tons of striking strength, those that run a mile a minute naturally now run at a hundred and twenty miles an hour, and so on.
In combat the grandmaster is a paragon of perfection. What the mind thinks, the body does. Peerless accuracy, unassailable grace, and preternatural speed allow the grandmaster to snatch bullets from the air, evade bolts of lightning, and other feats of astounding agility and speed.
Virtually all forms of life send information by transferring energy. Typically in humans by the electrical impulses of the nerves. These systems are not isolated. On the surface level tiny clues, facial tics, tells, or micro expressions are linked to the overall motions of the body. On a deeper level the thermodynamic systems are linked in intractable bonds.
Kaankh is the study of the 'shell' of life, the changes in the surface that grant insight into the currents underneath.
An adept of Kaankh can read the bodies involuntary expressions with ease. As accurate as an advanced lie detector, and capable of winning large sums of money in games of chance, the adept is exceptionally effective in social situations. They make excellent interrogators.
However it is in combat where the adept truly shines. The angle of an elbow, the tic of an eye, even the rate of breathing speak volumes to the adept.
The master has internalized Kaankh to such a degree that they read microscopic tells intuitively. They might walk through a crowd and deduct the true feelings ever every person within eyesight. They can predict the next words in a sentence by the tone of the voice and tension in the forehead.
In combat the master can read any number of foes, regardless of skill, like a book. The minute of angle of a joint might reveal an entire combination of attacks, while the tension in a calf informed the master of his or her foes injuries. The master is capable of using this skill offensively as well, by reading his foes body language in the midst of a combination and adjusting to bypass the next defensive technique.
The grandmaster goes beyond the master by leaps and bounds. They can identify ones styles linage by the angle of a foot and tell with a glance what techniques their foes have mastered. In combat they go beyond reading moves and read entire strategies.
So accurate are they that some say they are not merely reading body language but picking up on tiny somatic impulses and psychic impressions. Who can say but the grandmasters themselves?
All things have a weak point. In some things this is a physical location that is relatively simple to divine, such as the throat of a human. Other times it may be incredibly difficult, such as the cure for cancer. Additionally these weak points are mobile in time and space. They may only exist for a single moment, or may move from place to place.
An adept may learn the apply devastating leverage in a grapple, or the 'sweet spot' on a weapon. This level of skill is rare for very few bother to invest the time; the effort is great and the rewards are few.
A master learns of the weaknesses inherent in various strategies or tactics. There are those who attain mastery to improve their strategic prowess. They might look at a plan and intuitively detect the weakness, or spot a vulnerability in an electronic system at first glance.
In the heat of combat a master might sense opportunities in the environment intuitively, or 'feel' the flow of the battle shifting around them, knowing subconsciously when it is time to gather ranks and defend or when it is time to press the attack.
Grandmasters often speak of a 'Center of Gravity'. A critical point upon which entire systems depend. In combat they are masters of biding their time before exploding into decisive action. Tactically they are nigh peerless; intuitively sensing the weak points in their foes and crushing entire companies in a single decisive action.
The penultimate level. An Nth level practitioner can perform physical feats that seem impossible.. and perhaps they are..
A Nth level practitioner has learned the quantum secrets of reality. They can shatter a building with a single blow, crush the most advanced armors in existence, or bring down heros with a single word. In the Arcani there are few more feared than an Nth Zadkhiau.
Devised by Amaranth in aeons long forgotten Khuenaten is a series of secret exercises and meditation techniques to allow a mutant to tap into their very genes. This allows them to train their body to the very peak of its potential.
For example a scrawny boy too weak for military service would be transformed into a super solider; attaining the peak of physical ability allowed by his genes.
Their body is pushed to the peak of human ability. Bench pressing seven hundred pounds, squatting twelve hundred, and running at speeds up to twenty five miles an hour. Adepts are significantly tougher than humans simply because their bodies will continue to function through damage that would stop a normal human. Combat speed is enhanced to an exceptional level; the Adept is capable of throwing punches at a hundred miles an hour or more.
+Healing: An adept can enter a state of perfect relaxation and rest. This accelerates their healing process and allows them to recover from injuries that would generally be seen as permanent such as damaged spinal columns.
A master of Kuenaten has tapped into the full potential of the genome. Their bodies are not what a human is, but what a human may someday become. Capable of bench pressing eleven hundred pounds, squatting twenty five hundred, and running a full mile in a minute. It also increases the density of their bones and muscles to such a degree they exhibit superhuman resistance to injury.
Masters can enter a trance like state where they direct the flow of their biological resources. This allows them to heal from nearly any injury in a fairly short time.
The Grandmaster has gone beyond the mere physical level. Tapping into their bodies excess bio energy, chi, and magical aura to power their physical form they become something.. else. Something both great and terrible. Physical abilities include a bench press of two tons, speed significant enough to dodge bullets, near limitless stamina and a durability that seems impossible. In combat Grandmasters are so fast their hands seem to vanish.
A grandmaster's biological functions have become so efficient they naturally display low level healing factors when not physical exerting themselves. By falling into a healing trance they can repair any injury whatsoever upto and including the regrowth of lost limbs.
By unspeakable means a Grandmaster may sacrifice their very souls to fuel their bodies. The body devourers the soul, the chi, the magical and psychic energies. It is a terrifying transformation; for all that is left is flesh wrought by preternatural power.
None know the limits of this technique, for the occult techniques of the Nth are forbidden by ancient decree.
This has caused a division among the Arcani in recent centuries. Some radical scholars argue that the Nth are the truest expressions of mutanthood; having stripped themselves of all extraneous features. Most say that the Nth go too far.. That they have gone beyond staring into the abyss and slipped into it; and as they slipped into the abyss it also slipped into them.
The bodies kinesthetic sense is the sense that tells you where your arms, legs and hands are at in relation to one another. For example you can scratch your back without looking to see where your hand is. Without a kinesthetic sense you would need a mirror.
It is because of this sense that humans are incredibly accurate with their hands and fingers, but terribly inaccurate when guiding a projectile. The kisetestic sense no longer functions when one is firing a bullet a hundred yards. Thus the need for stabilizing devices, scopes, and more to attain the accuracy one has with one's hand.
Devised by Amaranth and taught to those who utilize ranged weaponry it allows them to merge their perceptions and kinesthetic sense. This allows them to use projectiles with the same control and accuracy they use their hands.
An Abuskhau adept can throw projectiles with exceptional accuracy at up to sixty feet. Capable of throwing specific 'twists' or imparting various spins to their projectiles causing them to climb, dive or jink at the last moment they are exceptionally difficult to predict or evade.
Adepts are even more accurate with the bow, capable of hitting a torso sized target at six hundred and sixty feet. At a tenth of that distance it is trivial for them to fire arrow after arrow into the same location, splitting their previous arrows. They are also capable of making accurate distance shots using mirrors and even banking arrows off hard surfaces and into a target.
With the firearm the Abuskhau adept is more accurate than with any other tool. They routinely fire rifle rounds with deadly accuracy at ranges up to two thousand and seven hundred yards. Pistol accuracy is not as impressive due to the shorter barrel and weaker cartridges but most adepts are capable of putting rounds on target at six hundred yards.
Accuracy up to a hundred yards is not uncommon. Their projectiles might arch over buildings, back down and through a window, or even bounce off multiple surfaces and return to the thrower. Masters are accurate enough to close a lighter with a shield throw, or turn off a light switch with a shuriken.
The arrows of a master fly true; regardless of wind, rain or other conditions. They can fire accurately up to the maximum range of the bow, placing arrow after arrow into a target from three hundred yards. So intuitive is their accuracy that they can perform feats of trick shooting as casually as an adept might shoot a target.
Masters can fire bullets accurately at the limits of the weapons range. However far the bullet will physically fly, that is how far the master can place a bullet on target. Pistol, rifle, it makes no difference to a master. Rate of fire is equally irrelevant; a master can fire a machine gun on full automatic striking target after target in the head and wasting not a single round.
Anything is deadly in the hands of a grandmaster. A paper clip can drive through the eye socket and sever the brain stem. Playing cards might cut throats. A pencil becomes an armor piercing long ranged projectile. The grandmaster can bank shots with ease, bouncing a handful of throwing knives around a corner and into the throats of a dozen men with no more effort than one might use to tie one's shoes.
The master archer simply does not miss. Arrows might bounce off a street lamp and imbed themselves through the femoral arteries of speeding motorcyclists. A seemingly pointless shot into empty air might catch a speedster in the throat. An arrow fired into a crowd of people might glance off a belt buckle, fly between the spokes in a bicycle tire, and impale a foe in the left ventricle of the heart.
Abuskhau firearm grandmasters are among the most terrifying of all the masters of the Arts. Should they have the perceptive capabilities and reflexes they can shoot bullets out of the air, curve their bullets around barriers, and much, much more.
A grandmaster of firearms would rise to the peak of lethality by this skill alone; few are as lethal to so many in such a short time.
There are as many kinds of stealth as there are means of detections. Typically they all revolve around a simple principle of evading the detectors lines of sight, but there are more advanced techniques.
The adept learns to control their breathing and heart rate, slow their digestion and even cool their body temperature. Long periods of stretching and keen spatial awareness teach them to slip into the smallest crevices or shadow and evade the enemies prying eyes.
So skillful are the adepts that it is not uncommon for patrols hunting them to literally step on the adept without ever realizing they have tread upon their prey.
A master can become next to invisible in any terrain. The slightest distraction and they simply vanish. In darkness or smoke they are next to invisible. The footsteps of a master are nearly soundless and they can walk on pressure sensors without activating them.
It is this skill that defines many of the Strigidae; their ability to materialize as if flowing from the shadows themselves, strike and then vanish into the darkness.
Grandmasters can literally vanish in plain sight. They are very nearly impossible to detect; a single detection system alone, no matter how advanced, will generally fail. The footfalls of a master are completely silent, and moreover they can run, leap, and perform all manner of acrobatic and combat maneuvers without making a single sound.
Those who have some degree of enhanced speed often marry it to this technique- seeming to teleport by vanishing, moving at extraordinary velocities, and reappearing.
The Nth has transcended stealth; they do not hide so much as they become invisible. No being, no matter how keen their senses, can sense them. The Nth is able to evade magical scrying attempts, cosmic foresight, and even precognition that relies upon visions or sensory input.
In combat the Nth is a shadowy figure of peerless lethality. Their ability to simply vanish allows them to strike a foe, disappear before his eyes, and reappear to strike again from another angle. The greatest of the Strigidae have often relied upon this technique almost exclusively.
Greetings! Now that Prime has mostly come to an end I've decided to go through some of the most critical parts of Kratesis's time in Prime and write the history of Kratesis. Its time to tell her saga. I won't be posting every interaction, or every RPG. Just the ones I feel were critical for one reason or another. Those reasons might be IC or OOC.
I'll also offer a few of my thoughts from time to time.
Here for example we have what I call 'Proto-Kratesis'. She isn't fully formed. Her personality was intended to start off blank [because her memory was erased] and grow as she experienced more of life. As a result the very beginning of Kratesis is really the most basic and elemental form of her.
You can see this in my writing. I had yet to develop the poetic styling I would later adopt. Its more of a basic, workhorse writing style. Third person, cool viewpoint, scene/sequel. Later you'll see how the rhythm and rhymes of my writing becomes more akin to free verse, and at one point my experimentation with very stick MRU.
For now though, the basics. Kratesis arrives at the League of Shadows and meets her father Impero. Its a long read, around 3,800 words.
Let the saga begin.
Her feet crunch in the snow, and ice has formed on her armored fingers. She ignored it with a single minded focus, the same as she ignored the biting cold of air and the buffeting of the winds. There was a purpose in her mind a sharp and singular objective. No pain or discomfort could interfere with that. No distraction could sway her.
The League of Shadows. Den of assassins, home of murderers. A place for all those who killed. Some for money, some for ideology, some for conscience some for ego. She killed for biology. To kill was written into her genes.
Although they did not yet know it they had been awaiting her from the very day of their creation. They belonged together, the League and her.
They had a purpose. She had a purpose. And that was to kill.
So she ignored the cold, the ice, and the wind until the gates of the monastery rose up before her. Some would have leaped over it, some would have shouted a challenge. Most would have collapsed from the cold.
At the elusive entrance of the League's fabled monastery, an unknown female figure stood, awaiting any member, she was a stranger, none knew of her, not even cunning Impero with all his information. Eerily, the entrance to the monastery opened before the deadly yet lovely woman, her figure being relentlessly pelted by the incoming snow. Before her stood mysterious Impero, clad in his trademark dark-hooded attire and expressionless mask. His arms regally folded behind his back as his instinctive posture of confidence and poise remained his most prominent aspect. His naturally intimidating yet composed eyes scanning her figure from top to bottom, then he saw it. Her strangely armored fingers, but armored with what? It appeared to be Trion or something strikingly similar. "... Impossible", Impero thought, his eyes briefly widening at the sight of her unique armored fingers. Instantly retaining his composure, he spoke to her, she seemed... familiar somehow. "How may the League of Shadows help you?".
Completely composed Kratesis lays one hand within the other behind her back. A complete calm about her, she was one who was without fear, having accepted the inevitability of all things.
Thick snow and ice caked her sleekly armored figure, thereby concealing a suit of trion construction. She inspected the mysterious figure before her, observing him from head to toe in a million spectrums of light.
He had no smell, thereby preventing her from memorizing the distinct taste/smell of his DNA from tiny sweat and skin particles in the air. She found that worth noting, his careful actions adding yet another bit of data to the vast horde of calculations her subconsciousness Q-mind preformed every second.
The impeccably armored man's calm and composure told Kratesis a thousand things about him, more then most would know in a lifetime of study. Yet the knowledge led her to only one conclusion. This man was deadly.
She met his eyes. 'It is more what I can do for the League.'
Her composure and poise, it was strikingly similar to his own, almost eerily so. She sported mannerisms of confidence and self-certainty, her calming observing eyes implied that she may be an intellectual, one who seeks to learn about potential opponents in order to obtain a prior advantage. Meeting her eyes with his perpetually sharp yet charming eyes, he listened to her reply, she was certainly confident in her skill, still though, the Trion that she sported.. it could not be ignored. "I see", his naturally soothing yet powerful voice ringing in her eyes. "You wish to join the League then. Is there anything in particular you desire in return?", he asked, before calmly pointing out, "That is a.. peculiar metal armoring your fingers".
'A chance to exercise my skills.' Simple words spoken with her customary calm. The arraignment would be beneficial to both of them. Her skill set would be valuable to the League, perhaps invaluable. And they would provide her with her purpose. Both would benefit.
In reply to his final comment she brushes away the ice and snow that covers her slim figure, relieving the layered and segmented suit of incredible technology and construction. Perfectly form fitting, she wears the Trion as if it were a second skin.
Conducts the conversation while still meeting Impero's eyes with a relaxed, and casual ease. Conversing with the deadliest killers caused her no stress or worry, it was simply a thing to be done. It did not interfere with her awareness, she was just as alert for danger as ever.
er composure, it was as exact as his. She began to appear.. familiar in a way. Strangely enough, having detected DNA belonging to both he and Liberty, his interest was elevated even further upon noticing her facial attributes, she was strikingly beautiful, very similar to Liberty, yet her personality and eyes seemed largely similar to Impero's. "Very well then. Follow me", he said, intent on testing the stranger's skill himself. "I will personally test your skill in the training grounds", he stated, and while eternally confident in his own skill, he could not underestimate an opponent of her caliber. Upon reaching the infamous monastery's training grounds, he waited patiently for her to attack, his habit of anticipating attacks in order to counter had never wavered.
Kratesis followed in silence, as it was not her custom to speak unnecessarily. Violet eyes alert as they absorb every aspect of their surroundings. This may soon be her home, and to the goddess of assassination a home was simply a place to be ambushed within.
It was also not her custom to delay without reason. There was no knowledge to be gained by waiting, therefore she attacked the instant they arrived on the grounds.
Clearly the masked man was deadly, and she saw no reason to hold back against such a foe. To do so would be simple arrigance, and she was confident, not arrogant.
Teleporting directly behind him with a series of prefect nerve strikes toward his lower back and leg, each blow with enough force to upend a car, and enough speed to render it a single blur to normal eyes. Flowing flawlessly into a spinning kick toward his head she-
-teleports in the middle of the kick, so the thunderous blow finishes on the opposite side, precisely targeted at his neck. Regardless of its success or failure she continues the motion. Sliding seamlessly into a simple punch, the entirety of her motions up to this point having built momentum until her speed and strength are amplified by the inertia of her flowing offence she-
-activates her trion invisibility matrix, absorbing every photon of light and redirecting it perfectly out the other side, in addition to each sound wave. It would appear to almost any observer that she had teleported again, yet she was simply invisible and the simple, yet powerful punch continued onward.
The awaited moment arrives, the assessing of the mysterious woman's skills is now at hand. Very quickly she attacks the enigmatic Emperor. In a moment of shock she teleports behind him, reminiscent of his own technology-based teleportation, who was this woman? And how did she have access to his technology? First she executes a series of flawless nerve strikes, almost in an identical fashion to his own execution of such techniques, did she have knowledge of some of his skills as well? Fortunately, cunning Impero's excellent mastery of pressure points and nerve strikes served him well as he evaded the strikes and the upcoming kick, nimbly rolling away from the strikes, opting not to block them. Again she teleports, targeting his neck with a spinning kick. "Fast and precise", he observes, calmly blocking the kick with his forearm. Utilizing his lightning-fast reflexes, he counters with a brutal knee aiming for her a vital point in her abdominal area, should success be found, her abdominal muscles would contract in excruciating pain. Soon she turns invisible and no sound emits from her body before punching him across the jaw, the force of the punch readily absorbed by his Trion mask. "Hmmm", he waits for her to attack as the punch caused him to slide back a few feet, yet he maintained his balance.
The powerful and accurate knee strike drives directly for a critical nerve cluster in her abdomen. Her Q-brain had already predicted such an attack, based on the thousands of points of data gathered about the man in their short physical exchange. To defend, however, would interrupt the flawless fluidity of her attack.
She elects to ignore the attack, and it strikes home with all the perfect precision she had learned to expect from the mysterious martial master. The knee collides with her Trion armor first, and although it absorbs the majority of the force such is the accuracy that the crucial nerves are still crushed.
Pain that would leave a normal person sprawled out on the floor flares though her, yet she had been engineered to feel less pain, and had excellent mental techniques to ignore the most terrible of agonies. Yet despite her impressive resilience and preparation such was the perfection of the attack that she still experienced a horrible flare of pain.
Her precognitive abilities had already anticipated this occurrence, and were prepared. Hundreds of thousands of nano-trion parties altered their quantum super-position instantaneously within her body, latching onto the affected nerve system and severing those nerves cleanly. There was a single instant of perfect numbness, before those same trion-nanites organize to replace the removed nerves while her body regenerates the damage. It takes less than a hundredth of a second and as the man slides backwards from her punch she-
-teleports. Up, three hundred feet into the air. Gravity draws her down and she knifes toward the ground head first in free fall. As she accelerates toward terminal velocity the hyper-advanced nanites that form her weaponry morphs into a longbow. Seizing the string and materializing a trion-nanite arrow as she draws. At 10 tons of draw weight a normal mortal could never budge the bow but she pulls the arrow back with a smooth mastery though in free-fall toward the dojo.
Targeting Impero from above, she releases the string. The arrow explodes from the bow, a deafening sonic boom washing over her. Outracing the sound of its own thunder the meter long trion arrow rips though the roof of the dojo and divides into hundreds of Trion flechettes, each as long as a finger and sharp enough to cut a god. Containing the velocity of the hypersonic arrow each one could slice through the door of a bank vault, and they spread out in a pre-programmed cone to optimize their impact area. Kratesis-
-teleports. Back to the floor of the dojo, morphing the bow into a keenly sharp two handed sword. In the wake of the flechettes, perhaps a hundredth of a second after their impact she stands behind the masked mystery, godslaying blade slicing through the air toward his Achilles tendon with the hyper-skilled lethality found only in the peerless.
In what appears to be an instant, the mysterious woman seemingly resisted his pressure point knee strike, however, to a master in the art of perception, the truth would be seen. His perpetually alluring snake-like gaze noticing even the subtlest expression of pain shown by her body. How then did she manage to resist? Then his mask informed him, having tasked it with detecting anything of interest from this woman. Sensing the activity of a highly-advanced form of trion-based nanotechnology within her biological system, Impero's eyes briefly widened, the information his mask had given him was unbelievable. How could she, a stranger possess trion-based technology that rivaled even his own? And to her advantage, she seemed to possess a greater amount of Trion at her disposal than even he. Where did she come from? Who was she? Instantly regaining his composure after yet another brief moment of shock, he notices her, countless feet in the air, rapidly shooting a series of Trion arrows at him.
Suddenly, in the blink of an eye, the numerous Trion arrows broke into an immeasurable number of flechettes. Smirking arrogantly beneath his mask, the cunning puppeteer begins to enjoy the intensity, it has been a while since he had been forced into such a position. While he could opt to use his chi-related abilities and render himself intangible, the Trion flechettes would readily negate his chi-energy, nullifying their effects, indirectly clever but still deadly. Instead he opts for a risky maneuver, having not yet tested his Trion-based zeptotechnology against a Trion-based assault. Abusing his expressionless mask's computerized control over his trion-zeptotechnology, he briefly coats himself in a thin layer of Trion. The effects of the metal instantly absorbing the energy from the flechettes while effectively protecting him from the deadly assault. Dematerializing the protective of layer of Trion as the zepto-bots revert back to an internal microweave in his suit, the enigmatic Emperor senses nearby movement in the air. Quickly manifesting his personalized Trion Chinese straight sword, in a lightning fast maneuver, he blocks Kratesis' attack with his blade. "Ah tis marvelous how efficiently you use Trion my dear", he commended in his characteristically charismatic relaxed fashion. Opting not to attack and instead to allow Kratesis to continue so that he may continue his observation, slowly but steadily he was piecing the puzzle together surrounding her identity, it was only a matter of time.
There was something familiar about the enigmatic master's martial arts. Something elemental about them. The slightest motion of a shoulder, the exact angling of a hip. The way his wrist altered the arch of the blade with such effortless grace. Kratesis remembered those moves. They were among her first memories, motions that constituted a style of impeccable efficacy. She was born knowing this style.
How could this be? For a brief moment the question existed in her mind, but she possessed a simple soul. Kratesis knew there were only three times in all the world Before. Now. After. Things that came Before only mattered in how they effected the After. Now was the time to use that information to her benefit.
Capitalizing on her instantaneous understanding of his style she embarks on a new mode of attack. Making use of her immense strength and speed she whirls forward in a flurry of cuts. Each slice toward a artery, each thrust toward an organ. Each a portion of a tactical maze. For there were only certain defenses to each skillful attack, and she knew them. Each attack would render the defender farther and farther out of place, as the difficulty of defense approached infinity.
Each stroke of her sword was quicker, as her flawless fluidity built her momentum past supernatural speeds into the realm that mortal vision simply could not perceive. Only her perfect skill could accommodate such a technique, as even the tiniest mistake would ruin her rapidly building velocity. Beyond even that only a being of her physical strength could even withstand the stresses of the attack, a mortal would have their arms ripped from their sockets by one of her spinning slashes. But Kratesis never made mistakes, and she was no mortal.
Kratesis built a maze of incredible precision with pure skill. A martial trap that even the greatest sword-masters in history would struggle to even comprehend with a century of study, much less escape. Those would could grasp it would weep at the perfect beauty of it. Entire styles could be built from grasping even a handful of moves. Scholars of the sword could devote their lives to the fundamental truths contained in a single perfect motion. But despite all her perfection the (n)goddess had more then only skill.
Kratesis knew the future. The mass of quantum trion nanites throughout her brain and body calculated at speeds no current computer could comprehend Immeasurably fast, and possessed of formula and algorithms of such complexity as to be beyond even the most brilliant of current minds. She did not fight three moves ahead, she fought thousands of moves ahead. Seeing entire trees of possibilities, analyzing septillions of outcomes every exasecond. A mass of mathematics was applied, logical processes amazing in their accuracy, enabling her select paths that lead the fight closer and closer to her goals.
The attack beggared everything that had came before it. Even Kratesis could not remember a time when she faced a foe worthy of its perfection. But this masked man was clearly a peerless warrior, perfect in his form, and flawless in his function. He was worthy to witness it.
Kratesis knew it as one of the seven words of the sword.
The sheer grace and elegance with which she attacked astounded him. How could this be? This was his signature sword-fighting form, the undeniable precision and skill that only the very few grand-masters can contend with was at display. "Hmm", with every passing second, the masked enigma's intricate mind continued to absorb the subtle bits of information about this woman's combat-oriented maneuvers. Maintaining a characteristically moderate grip on his sword, reminiscent of the elusive style used by the woman, the regal Emperor maintaining the fast-paced nature of the artistic spar, dodged, bobbed and evaded before being forced into a rather difficult position. "... Now I see", very quickly, he began to read, and anticipate her movements, he was now certain that she was using his sword-fighting form. The sound of clashing Trion blades remained prominent in the still air, almost as if nature herself had halted to witness the display of peerless skill. This woman, as far as seen so far, was virtually as skilled as he was. Another thrust split the air, aiming to puncture his lung, narrowly dodging the thrust, his opponent's blade tearing through some of the fabric of his clothing as he dodged. Utilizing his own teleportation-based technology, Impero vanished, instantly reappearing behind the woman, his trademark ebony blade protruding from his gauntlet as he thrust forward, aiming for a precise exotic section (pressure point) in her spinal cord that would briefly disrupt her body's connection to it's central nervous system. Recalling his conversation with Liberty, his lover had speculated on perhaps a dimensional or even temporal origin for this woman. Utilizing his mask's energy-detecting capabilities, he scanned for whatever he could find, and to his shock, remnants of temporal energy remained in the Trion she was carrying. He had come up with an answer for her identity. Temporal energy, his fighting styles, his technology, Liberty's innovation, their looks, their DNA, and his personality to a certain extent? The clues were far too clear for his perceptive mind. "What is your name my dear?", he asked, his instinctively charming magnet voice, radiating power and authority in a characteristic monotone and soothing manner.
Each motion closed the trap, each action brought the After closer to the Now. With every motion they moved deeper and deeper into her maze, and the exit grew more and more distant. Each successful parry, every evasion, all reactions she had predicted and accounted for. Just as the flawless trap was about to close the impervious Impero-
-teleported. A astounding occurrence, something she had not accounted for in her considerable quantum calculations. An single unknown factor which threw the entire algorithm into disarray. His accomplished style was augmented by his considerable technological mastery, and he used it with the perfect timing she had come to expect from the peerless master.
Her superior senses functioned as a sonar system, each vibration of air feeding pure data to her quantum brain. The trillions of calculations occurred, locating his precise position almost instantly. The adamantium blade slicing toward her neck was cause for immediate concern, clearly it was something that would be a lethal blow to most. In the nanoseconds before its rapid arrival she calculated a trillion new possibilities, before selecting the simplest and most elegant outcome.
Rather then avoiding or attempting to mitigate the damage of his rapid and lethal assault, she rolls her staggering momentum into driving back directly into the blade. A suicidal motion, adding force to his already swift stab.
Letting the momentum of her thrust roll into a perfect return, drawing the hilt directly toward her body. The meter long length of nano-trion flows into a complete reversal, the blade pointed at herself. Continuing the smooth motion with all her superior speed and strength she slams the yard long blade though her body as she steps into Impero's perfect attack.
Exiting her back with every bit of her unbelievable speed, driving right under Impero's raised arm. Aimed with the incredible accuracy of her every motion, Kratesis targets Impero's left lung.
As the adamantium blade drives into her spinal cord, severing the many nerves within, she experiences a moment of pure agony. It is a brief flicker of the greatest pain her body can register, yet it is short lived. Her trion nanite secondary nervous system takes over without even an instant of delay, only requiring the smallest time to negate the pain of the attack. A agonizing sacrifice, but one Kratesis finds necessary in the her impeccable logic of battle.
His voice reaches her ears just as her attack finishes. It sounds.. familiar. As if she knows it on a deep level, but cannot locate the memories. It is a calm and soothing sound to her, a comfortable voice. The sound inspires in Kratesis a brief flicker of perfect trust. Just the barest and tiniest of emotions, a normal being would never register such a small and fleeting feeling. Kratesis is no normal being, and any feeling within the calm sea of logic and tactical choices was like a tsunami. In addition Kratesis never questioned herself. She felt she could trust this man, and therefore she did so without question.
Foolishly as it appeared, she turned round, intently allowing his unbreakable blade to drive into her body and very quickly she re-positioned herself, forcing Impero to stab himself with the blade as well. As he bled, the built-in computerized healing system in his suit coupled with his accelerated healing factor slowly regenerated his wound. He remained poised before grunting in slight pain, "Clever". The uncharacteristically gentle and trusting manner with which she gave her name solidified his theory. The masked enigma's assumptions were proven correct, but it appears as though she did not know him, or to be more accurate, her natural instinct to trust him and only him implied that she did not remember. Perhaps a trigger was necessary. Gently pulling the blade from her body and out his own, he extended his hand towards her, "The spar is over", he stated, his calming yet powerful voice designed to maintain her comfort in her painful moment. "My name is Impero", perhaps his name would trigger her lost memories.
This was actually my first serious battle. I'd had fights with Lady Liberty, but in a way her powers kept her from ever really FIGHTING. The strongest characters tend to be around street level because they have access to the most battles. Its only be continual experience that you forge a great battler and street level characters have the most possible rivals. As time has gone on I've continually lowered Kratesis's strength, and removed some of her physical capabilities for that very reason.
Here I tried to avoid repeating attacks, and to use the most imaginative attacks I could think of. All in all, its not my greatest work, but I remain proud of this battle to this day. It was my first serious fight and I acquitted myself well.
That said, I failed to explain my last attack correctly. What I meant to convey was this. But I wasn't quite successful. This is something I've focused on a great deal. Complex or nuanced attacks have to be described very plainly. That's the true key to imaginative attacks. You have to keep them understandable, because nothing is worse than reading through an attack three or four times and still not knowing what's going on.
All in all this was one of my most enjoyable RP experiences and one of my favorite battles. A good RP partner can make or break an RP, and Impero made this one awesome.
That's something else that was critical to Kratesis's success. Impero put some real work into RPing with her, making her very first appearance something that stood out. In a way this paved the road for all her future successes.
Something I've kept in mind ever after. Help out a newbie, and you never know what wonders you could spawn!
In times long lost to the mists of history Kratesis founded the Court of Arcani. An eternal organization devoted entirely to the liberation of mutants, and their eventual mastery over earth which they regard as their evolutionary birthright.
Long centuries of scientific study have granted them a myriad of advanced technology. Often guiding the progress of human research for their own mysterious ends they have maintained their hard won technological edge through the application of gold, toil and blood.
Among their numbers are geniuses with mutant intelligence selected for by generations of ruthless eugenics programs, and educated from birth in the most advanced scientific theories available. Many magnificent breakthroughs are mad before the stress of hyper intelligence, and brutal pressure inevitably drives them to insanity.
Hand picked from among those blessed with great mutant gifts, physical ability and personal loyalty to Kratesis they act as her personal body guard. Equipped with the best technology available to the Arcani, and trained in combat by Kratesis herself they are each a deadly and devastating warrior in their own right. When brought together and lead by Kratesis they are simply devastating beyond compare.
For generations a brutally enforced eugenics program, combined with genetic tampering have created psychics of staggering power. Physical deformities, bizarre and horrific mutations and twisted minds run rampant.
Each wears a simple porcelain mask, embedded within it pysco-reactive crystalline fractal structures. Constructed by means of arcane and terrifying quantum techno-sorcery they link the minds of each member of the Choir together, forever. So deep and strong are the bonds that to remove the mask is certain death.
Apart their minds would each be exemplars of terrifying psychic power. Together they create a telepath of Alpha level mutant might.
What Kratesis has done with such a tool is perhaps best left unsaid.
In the world there are many who would fight for the cause of mutant kind but do not desire to join in the strict life of the Court Proper. Yet Kratesis would not turn away a weapon in the eternal crusade for the destiny of all mutant-kind.
Over the centuries their ranks have included mutants of all stripes, good and evil, strong and weak, warrior and magi. Patriots and traitors both have graced their ranks. Great heroes have been made, and mutant martyrs born in blood and fire. Legacies have been forged in the struggle and sagas written on the bones of the fallen. Of all the forces of the Court it is perhaps the Tytonidae that are the most influential to the outside world.
Mutants are virtually always accepted, and non-mutants are not turned away so long as their heart seems true. Even mercenaries who serve only for coin are gladly accepted, and even those whose motives lay darker still. The origin of a blade matters little to Kratesis, it cuts down her foes all the same.
Long ago Kratesis determined one central location was far to vulnerable to infiltration, or outright destruction by the far more numerous forces of the humanity. To often she was forced to flee what seemed to be a impenetrable base. Worse yet one base limited the Court to operations close to that area, seriously reducing their offensive reach.
Yet the Court needed places to sleep, to eat, to rest and interact. They needed a place to live, to love and raise their mutant children, the hopes of the future world. They could not live on the run and still fight at full strength. The needed safe places, they needed nests.
As such she utilized the vast monetary resources the Court had accumulated over the centuries to buy, build and steal a vast number of smaller properties all over the world. Dozens of 'nests' for the Court to flock too.
No two are exactly alike. Some are dimly lite caves stuffed with equipment, weaponry, computers and trophies of war. Others are high towers hidden among the grim masses of humanity, others yet are massive mansions to entertain visitors. Some are small private schools to train the next generation of mutant crusaders, and everything in-between.
This is a CVnU team! We're going to be focused on interactions, and short, fast RPGs. This is a team about character development, and activity.
You can join the Tytonidae just by asking :-) You can even join to be a spy or traitor, I don't care.
There is more then one base, in fact there are as many bases as there is need for bases OOCly. You CAN destroy them! So feel free to run story-lines in which bases get blown to bits. Base defenses are as strong or as weak as is needed for your story-line, because each base is different.
Feel free to establish bases whenever and however you please. I've set it up for maximum stylishness, and player usability. Have fun with it.
Obviously all the CVnU rules apply, including rules about selling. ]]
Vast and endless space, infinite in all directions. The very rules of reality are different here. There is no air, yet all beings can breath. There is no light, yet all beings can see.
Any visitor could easily detect a sense of wrongness. Food spoils in moments. Animals are driven insane. Old wounds begin to ache. Stare too long into the endless white void and madness begins to claw at your brain.
Time passes strangely. Sometimes a watch will stop, and remain so until one departs. Sometimes hours will pass within a single breath.
Built by Kratesis's own hands this small shack contains the few possessions she does not carry with her. The house itself is nanotechnology, and responds to her mental commands. Effectively a massive storage area, fabrication center, and if need be prison/guest room.