Tenjin

死 SWORDSMAN OF A HUNDRED TITLES 死

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.Cybirth///

We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims.” Richard Buckminster Fuller.

________________________

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Shanghai, China...

Immediately After Chiba, Japan...

Emerging from an ink-black pool of shadows Tenjin muscled her way through the spectral limbs that beckoned her back in the void. Her immediate surroundings were a small yet state of the art laboratory. The soft blue indirect light bathed the bone-white equipment and stainless-steel apparatuses. However, a large pod stood like a monolith in the corner of the room, dominating the scene like an obelisk. The low droll of motors and the hum of liquid-cooled processors filled the air. She carried with her a gunmetal hardcase onto a lab table before her. Several nameless scientists typed away at futuristic digital keyboards and toiled away with notes and monitoring holograms. They also turned and stared at her, from behind hazmat helmets. Torn but sound was her physique, hardly a muscle region pristine and without a layer of blood or bruised. Yet, she was victorious.

The hardcase was unlatched in multiple locations, a dense foam core protected five luminescent blue vials. A number of labels ran vertically across them.

Kojima Facilities.

Neotype M. V2.19

Serial Code: 0045-Omega

Batch: Benchmark

She turned the hardcase towards the view of approaching scientists, proud of her acquisition. Her cold voice carried throughout the laboratory with venom. “A man, the one known as Iron Warden, committed sacrilege against our organization. His transgressions shall not go unanswered. These are the key.

Like an alabaster ghost, a scientist drew closer, a badge swinging from a lanyard reading Doctor Emil Reiter, PsyD. His voice, muffled by a breathing apparatus, strong in a Central European accent.“Tenjin, I must inform the Mastermind in order to...

She interrupted sternly. “Do not trouble him with such trivial matters, this Wing is solely dedicated to my construction and advancement is it not? Then proceed.

He could not disagree, factually she made a point. Advancement was its design. However, Emil encouraged her to think logically and entertain the matter. “I implore you to reconsider. At the very least this could make you...unstable.” Meanwhile, another in a Hazmat suit approached the lead within the Wing, placing his hand on Emil’s shoulder and nodded in confirmation.

Tenjin turned her snake-like gaze towards Dr. Reiter. “Thank you for your concern and wise council. Now prepare the Metamorphosis Procedure at once. That is an order.

The shinobi stood in an increasingly large pool of blood, unfazed and unbroken, measuring up the Doctor with a death stare and curled fists. Emil seemed to contemplate the moment and reluctantly accepted the circumstances, while another grabbed the hardcase and carried it over to the aforementioned large pod.

The Fatal Phantom followed, the lacerations across her form making her sluggish but a smirk highlighted her face.

No Caption Provided

The pod was a complex geometric marvel, mounted inside a carriage, and riddled with piping and tubes that constantly flushed in a nutrient rich biosynthetic bath. Inside, was a shadow growing by the hour. Tenjin admired its contents from afar until she grew closer and placed her hand against the tempered glass inner shell. Her Replicant, a masculine imprint, and in the likeness of her former self.

The fluid danced like raining stars in a luminescent particle display from within the void, highlighting a skeletal frame attached to a cybernetic neural interface.

I’ll begin the transference sequence now.” Without waiting, she marched to an adjacent stainless table, leaving a crimson handprint on the glass she had just touched before.

A datajack erupted from her wrist and began to upload information to the Replicant inside the pod. A series of robotic arms descended from the ceiling, each arm adorned with a variety of futuristic tools. Whatever parts that could be saved would be harvested from his current imprint, the rest would be recycled or incinerated. Her yellow irises began to fade as several drills began to break down her arm into multiple modular segments.

Meanwhile, the lead scientist began placing the contents of the hardcase in a medical magazine and locked it into a device connected to the various tubing of the pod. A pressurized hiss escaped as it closed shut with a pneumatic lid.

_____________________________

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Outside the Wing...

Immediately after...

His biological levels are normalized. Cybernetics are fully integrated. He is now technologically superior by decades. What the Hell is he introducing in late-stage development?” Doctor Reiter questioned.

Mutagens.” A bioengineer announced, leaning against the paneled wall.

What?! No. We had to reorganize his neural signaling and restructure his Limbic system just to accept these modifications.

I am aware of that. However, he is determined.” The lead scientist professed.

“Determined? He is Head of the Martial Chapter! He has no scientific background let alone expertise in...” Emil attempted to reason tho interrupted.

Do not lecture me Doctor. Whatever happens, we are blameless. These are his orders and his pride alone has set the stage for what is to come. I’ll alert Mastermind of what has occurred here tonight and we will be cleared of consequences should he...malfunction.

Emil simply shook his head, half laughing as he entered a monologue. “Malfunction is an interesting term for unchained Cyberpsychosis. This imprint isn’t your everyday sadist. He has scored higher in Dark Triad traits than any patient I have ever analyzed. Compound preexisting inclinations with overwhelming modifications then now, we have only weaponized that monster.

This is by design; he is the sword we have sworn to forge and hone. We are but his glorified blacksmiths. However, your loyalty has come into question.

Puzzled, Emil turned on his heels, now facing a number of heavily armored RE:SIN soldiers marching towards him, his face now overtaken by despair.

Only to be caught in a hail of plasmic gunfire.

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The voices seemed inaudible behind polymer and steel doors and reinforced walls, however inside whatever abyss of consciousness, their words were like whispers in his ears. Registering them clearly with focus. The Genshokage began to listen while sentences remained imprisoned in the minds of surrounding scientists.

He would listen and he would laugh in horrible silence.

Awaiting to born.

Something strange now lurked within that particular Replicant. Granted, even without such abilities the entity who called himself Katsuro Yamamoto was abnormal in various fields of study. A malevolent psychopath and a martial savant with an innate hatred for flesh. The humanoid body, in his eyes, is nothing more than a bag of chemicals; finite and weak. Biological batteries. To forsake it is sublime. The machine is superior in every possible way; more efficient, more powerful. Thus, he seeks perfection in an amalgamation of carbon fiber, synthetics, steel, and circuits.

From whence he came was a matter of great debate, his origins clouded in secrecy, falsehoods, and lore. These discussions for a later date, however; in time mankind would be given premonitions of a dark future and the coming of the World Born Dead.

It’s envoy, the Grim Ghost.

"Awaiting to be born."

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CarbonDreams.doc///

Convenience has become synonymous with control.”- Unknown

Chiba, Japan...

Not long ago...

Two oversized tires came to a slow roll, arcs of blue electricity tracing their path. The motorcycle ceased, neon lights reflecting off the glass-like clear coat on the various futuristic panels that composed its outer shell. A heavy leather boot dropped from the footpeg, crashing into a puddle below. Dismounting gracefully with a turn of the heel and high raised knee, she made her way into a dark alley. A long black rectangle amidst the polychrome hell.

A rust washed door under a monochrome sky sat at the bottom of a long concrete stairwell. A dim amber bulb illuminated its thrashed exterior and highlighted the sliding panel that ran horizontally in its center. The smell of old rain hung in the air as the woman pulled up the pullover’s hood and descended down the steps, heading for the door. Rusted prosthetics and loose wire littered the corners and nooks of the passageway, yet she navigated them nonchalantly until rapping on the door with a gloved fist. A slow drip ran off the building’s corrugated roof landed near her feet as she waited for an answer.

But there was nothing.-I don't have the patience tonight, Zen. She sighed within. looking upwards at the light, noticing a small camera mounted into its housing. "If I have to stand outside one more second...I'll break your fingers one by one." Her voice was cold and toneless.

Again she hammered the door, buckling a panel of metal around knuckles each time. Yet, still there she would wait. But not for long. Those same heavy boots stepped back a few paces, grinding against the pavement. Strange canary yellow optics shrank into a serpent’s glare as he rushed forward and kicked the door near its reinforced internal hinges.

BOOM

The now mangled door flew into the darkness, crashing against a concrete wall some meters away. While it rattled and rung before falling prone, the soft amber light flooded inward. Her frame contrasted the light heavily as she moved her way inside. Unholstering a large firearm from her hip, she kept her arms slightly bent as she clutched the grip with both hands and raised at chest level. Shouldering the wall directly to her right, carefully of her foot placement, eyes scanning the area as the darkness grew deeper into the building’s interior.

A feminine voice orated from within her HUD system.

Operator- Scans complete. No signs of life detected in the vicinity.

Mentally, she commanded. -Run diagnostics.

Thermal spectrum sensing and night vision worked in tandem, allotting her to maneuver effortlessly while maintaining caution. Her internal Overseer began computing information utilizing the vast array of systems at her disposal.

In the meantime, the woman drew close to a tumultuous scene. A stainless-steel table was flipped on its side, tubes and bags of strange semi-luminescent liquids scattered about or hung from suspensions. The whirl of a lone precision saw breaking the silence as it chipped away at the concrete floor. Her eyes catching a heat signature coming from a drain and trailing towards it.

Blood. A Ripperdoc job. -Where is he...

However, further, into the abyss opposite this scene, two additional heat signatures came into view. A streak of blood ran in a diagonal across the wall and a bisected torso lay limp across a wooden crate. In her HUD system, superimposed across her optics, an array of octagonal pings traced their way across the streak of gore.

Operator- Blood splatter indicates the trail runs upwards towards the ceiling.

Shooting her head down towards the torso, equipped with only legs, she studied the wound pattern.

-The wound isn’t severed, not a clean cut at all. Jagged, oscillating structure, tissue stretched, and ripped. He was torn in half. Then how did...

Tink. Tink. Tink

A series of rapid sounds echoed from the two-story ceiling, moving westbound. Slow enough to process and track, but faster than humanly possible. Her gaze couldn’t register the source, yet it was active, never in a linear pattern. To her augmented ears, it sounded insectoid, like a centipede moving with metallic limbs. Moving to where a large wall obstructed her vision, her adrenaline coursed and prompted her to give pursuit.

Operator- Initiating combat protocol.

Biological processes scanning...

Complete.

Runn.......

Emergency Override- Codename: Grim Ghost. All systems online.” She announced aloud.

Operator- Confirmed. All systems go...

Terminate...

Reholstering her firearm, the Genshokage quickly pulled off the pullover and tossed it on the ground, revealing a sleeveless body ebon glove. Her pale arms began to enlarge muscles as streams of white light traveled across the dermal surface wiring. As well across her entirety. An energy conservation mode was deactivated, her eyes now reflecting a strong yellow glow. Hair, dazzling with light as it shifted from a brilliant azure to lavender and back along every strand.

Then Tenjin moved.

Ashen gray cargo pants seemed like a blur in full sprint, her feet crushing the litter of rejected cybernetics and ammo cases that lay about a long passage flanked by high scaffolding. Her immediate world was hues of emerald, black, and white as night vision guided her onwards. Yet, as she traveled, he already sparse light slowly faded, letting her gaze grow darker and darker the farther she looked.

The sounds from above finally came within range, only for an audible thud that stopped her in her tracks. Before her, laid the batter remains of the aforementioned torso, heaped under shattered arms and gnawed to the bone across its body.

-Zen. She internalized.

Without warning, a shadow descended upon her from behind. Turning on her heels, her fists clenched as she buckled her knees slightly. A cascade of luminous hair streaked across her line of sight as she met eyes with whatever was bold enough to face the Walking Weapon.

Five long fingers adorned with shimmering blades shot forth, obscuring a cybernetic apparatus mounted across it’s eyes; a series of telescopic lenses reminiscent of a spider. A shriek escaped its mandible, which separated into two sets of dagger-like protrusions as it was hellbent on decapitation. Yet, even with bionic arms of inhuman proportions, its reach would not overcome the speed of which Tenjin possessed. Instead of leaping back in reaction, the Grim Ghost stepped to the side and moved inward in a quick burst, allowing the claw to flail behind her. Torquing her right arm backward, using her own momentum she launched a punch and connected with the thing’s biomechanical ribcage.

The horror barreled into the side of a scaffold with a berserk shrilling cry, propelled by Tenjin’s kinetic piston enhanced strike. Boxes fell like a wave as the scaffold collapsed on itself, metal support beams causing a racket as whatever that was lay motionless beneath.

-Cyberpsychosis? Why would he even modify something like that? She pondered as he slowly made her way closer to the destruction she created. Her off-hand now resting on the grip of her holstered sidearm.

All the while, in her battle fury, she did not register the shadows lurking in the dark, creeping down the walls like arachnids in silence. Dozens of telescopic eyes shifting maddeningly in a dim orange hue, only to fade away instantly via cloaking technology.

Tink. Tink. Tink

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To be continued?

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.Neuralnaut/// (("To The Republic", CoO Tie In))

“In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order”-Carl Jung.

Church of Omega, Science Division Headquarters

Shanghai, China

Particles radiated in hues of blues upon an illuminated platform in the east wing of the laboratory. Like a snowstorm they moved by absent wind in droves. Arcs of white-hot lightning snaked between said particles momentarily as several scientists in Hazmat suits gathered around the platform. Suddenly a singularity formed at its center and erupted a few meters in diameter, only to give rise to a black-clad warrior appearing at its core in sharp contrast. The Genshokage himself now standing like a monolith in its place. Yet not all was at it seemed.

Tenjin began to stagger towards the crewmen, clutching his chest. Ceiling mounted robotics racing towards him on rails and beginning to doff his armor.

Operator- Invasive Weapon Detected...

Biological threat imminent...

Running systems check...

Diagnostic incomplete...

Error...

Error...

His systems were going haywire, once glowing eyes now strobing and faded in brilliance. Katsuro’s legs were weak and unstable, lungs burning as if suffocating on molten lead.

Oxygen levels critically low...

Vacate host...

Struggling down the short hallway to the main facility, his shoulder scraping along the rounded wall dragging streaks of red in his wake. A faint black mist crackled randomly from his limbs, as if it a program failing to boot. Before long he found his way to a medical table and collapsed upon it in a heap of dying muscle. Katsuro, who did not know pain, now faced decades of it all at once. A weak hand clutched the protective suit of a scientist who assisted him in laying flat while another manually pulled the datajack from his forearm and plugged it into the Science Division interface.

Then, Yin entered without haste, finishing the last few noodles from a sizable ceramic bowl.

Well” he spoke, mouth still half full. “Looks like we know who won that one.”

Tenjin couldn’t muster the strength to insult, nor thought of one.

Emp...ty.” A broken word escaped from beyond his onyx metallic mandible.

Don’t worry, we will fix you right...” before Yin could finish his sentence, the mandible was ejected several feet as a stream of blood splattered across the torso of the nearest scientist. As the scientist screamed and panicked, rushing off to decontamination, Yin fitted a respirator to his face and walked towards Tenjin, whose horrid face dripped in sweat.

Prepare to initiate cryostasis.” His tone was quite serious, muffled slightly by the mask. Gazing upwards, looking at a variety of monitors littered with data. Two other scientists likewise analyzing the screens, Katsuro’s blood samples already taken off to various supercomputers and forensic research devices. Yin continued. “Your current host is beyond repair, but I need it to conduct a thorough investigation. You will be dead before I can untangle this mystery so you must abandon this host at once. We have another here; it meets all the requirements for transference.”

Repl..li..ca..” Tenjin began to cough uncontrollably as the table autonomously shifted and continued towards a number of off-white capsules in an adjacent room. Numerous tubes, cables, and attachments descended down from above him.

Your latest Replicant isn’t operational and time is of the essence, we cannot wait for your spirit to naturally manifest itself into another corpse. That could take weeks. Besides, the cybernetic enhancements will take additional time. This one is fully operational. You will back into the field almost immediately.

...Good.” Katsuro announced.

The scarlet optics of the Genshokage faded into nothingness, just as his body was laid into one of many cryonic capsules.

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Science Division Headquarters

Medical Wing

A pod pressure released a clear door from its exterior, an eerie green fluid rushing out and flooding part of the dark room, spiraling down several drainage ports in the cold cement. A mass of flesh contorted on the floor, layered in the aforementioned fluid which clung to the skin firmly with a thick viscosity. The contortions slowly turned into a slow crawl, gathering strength. Breathes, long-awaited, drew deeply and quickly in response. Pale legs stretched and pulled the form upright, using the edge of the pod to lift up and maintain balance. The gait was sluggish at first, making its way to a showerhead built into the wall, but steadily locomotion improved with every step. A sensor was tripped when it moved past, alerting not only the shower to pour a strong blast of chemically enhanced water but the scientists outside.

One of the bioengineers, concerned with filing reports, muttered. “She’s awake. I’ll notify Mastermind.

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Science Division Headquarters

Main Wing

A woman, pallid as a specter, entered the room via a set of hydraulic double doors. Her medium length hair shifted in neon hues of violet, cyan and cerulean. Bright yellow irises reflected on matte black sclera. Surface wiring and dermal nodes adorned her muscular yet lithe frame. A feline gait brought her into the vicinity of a blood-covered table, her eyes narrowing, a faint frown but intense focus. Scanning the path in which the body of Katsuro was taken, cybernetics filtering electromagnetic fields and isolating items of importance with halo-like rings in her HUD display.

Operator. Activating Shroud Systems Test.

Biological functions/// passed inspection.

All features synchronized.

Cyberoptics/// passed inspection.

Full access.

Auto calibration enabled.

Spatial optimization enabled.

Integrated Targeting online.

Cleared for Maximum Efficiency.

Tenjin rotated her hand in front of her face, witnessing code stream downwards in her left field of vision. Almost mesmerized. Captivated by the dim artificial light that struck her limb, colors enhanced by bioorganic photoreceptors.

A number of improvements, Doctor.”

Yin Wei concurred nonverbally before expanding. “Everything is state of the art. Your standard equipment was severely outdated. I took it upon myself to update across the board.

I suppose I grew too comfortable with that technology.” The Corpse Merchant mused. Then continuing. “During the attack, I was cut off from the Shadow Realm completely but within the next few hours I will manifest that connection again.” She spoke with a voice full of venom. “In time, all of this one’s memories will be gone. For the moment, however, we continue to haunt one another. It is a nuisance I have avoided for forty-some years.

"You were attached to that one"

Yin smirked. “You were attached to that one.” His eyes gazing at the form in the cryostasis just in view.

That was my identity, my sole oculus for some time. But, I have felt that before dozens of times in the past, through the ages. When the other replicant is finished I will return to that imprint.

Yin nodded as the two made their way towards the stasis capsule, looking into it as ice frosted slowly over the glass. The Fatal Phantom pressed her fingers against the glass, just she had when she occupied the body of Katsuro before marching to the Botanical Gardens of Gothic. She felt only banality. Nothing more than looking into an old photograph just vague memories even if the transference was moments ago.

How did you kill him?” Yin questioned, motioning towards the capsule with a head jerk.

In the late 70s, he was my student in the art of Messatsukumo No Kinjite Ninjutsu, he had an unnatural talent. Katsuro was a tortured soul, perfect for the Dark Metacortex. Thus, I desired his imprint and before he finished his training, I killed him in a Game of Death.

The Mastermind chuckled. “So, the student becomes the master after all.

The Grim Ghost exhaled through her noise; eyebrows raised. Coldy “The mother.

Before the Hand of Death could respond, she changed the subject. “My cybernetics alerted me of an invasive attack, it could be nanites or some bioweapon. I anticipate you already presumed this and plan on weaponizing your findings.”

Yin smiled in confirmation. "We will use this opportunity to advance the cause, we have found a scapegoat in our Boogeyman. That will be our retaliation.” His sinister eyes gleamed with thoughts of an unknown travesty.

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Tenjin: The Successor

Several Miles Outside of Naha, Okinawa, Japan

Some Time Ago...

The veil of night was embellished with glittering stars, the soles of a figure splashed puddles shimmering with cherry, sapphire, and shamrock hued neon lights that illuminated the rain-ridden street. It was a deserted stretch of black asphalt, studded with both modern amenities like electric advertisements, parking lots and geometric buildings yet retained the centuries old traditional sloped roofs and the various cultural norms belonging to this section of Japan. A delicate meeting of old and new. While time may push forward always, however, some things never change, the persistence of legends being a prime example.

The soles that splashed before, walking alone down the road's center, belonged to a figure donning a heather grey sweater with the hood lifted up, concealing a face that was enveloped in shadow. While the sweater was oversized the rain which drenched it, making it much darker upon the shoulders and hood, allowed the muscles of the man beneath to be visible, giving him the semblance of a stalking tiger. The black cords of headphones dangled loosely from beyond the shadowy facade and down into the pockets where the man's fists were tucked away. His gait was not otherwise hurried, allowing his black Adidas shoes to be saturated with that neon glistening water.

Further down the street, a number of individuals unloaded various crates from the back of a cargo van and into the previously boarded door of a closed factory. Their appearance was a familiar one, men in Armani and Versace suits, whose tailored sleeves and dress shirts revealed the edges of full bodied tattoos. Yakuza. Their attention on the sole individual was becoming more concentrated as he neared their vicinity, merely twenty some meters away before ringed fingers curled around triggers of semi-automatic bullpup machine guns.

The warrior in the athletic apparel continued forward in the face of obvious animosity. Taunts and arm motions beckoned him elsewhere. This went on until he was approximately ten meters away, then his fists were pulled out of his pockets, revealed them to be encased in onyx colored glittering metallic gauntlets. His fingers covered in precise minute overlapping plates of this metal, pinched the cords of his earbuds and pulled them down to hang limply and swinging against his black jogger pants. At this distance, the Yakuza could read in a darker shade of grey, the words Super Weapon upon his sweater in bold cursive Latin script.

"This f&*king guy thinks he's the Lone Ranger or something...*" A man smirked while adjusting the gold rimmed Gucci glasses on his face then continued, apparently the leader of the criminal band "Put him in a box.*" With firearms raised, pressed loosely against the shoulders, in a volley similar to American Western film they unleashed an onslaught of bullets, small plumes of flames expelled into the blackness of the night. The bullets barraged forth at supersonic velocities from multiple angles and targeted the victim's vitals.

However, there would not be one man's execution, no...

There were going to be many coffins filled tonight.

As the bullets neared him, the man shot forward and into a sudden sharp right, his sweater shredded into pieces and expelled behind him from the thrust of many liquid oxygen pistons embedded in his armor pivoted independently and fired strategically. Coupled with reflexes beyond the capacity of the standard human, he shifted his position and angle of his back and shoulders rapidly as he pressed on ever closer to the group. Clearing two meters in a blink of an eye due to inhuman speed and the controlled explosions that allowed him to strafe like a fighter jet. His body arcing in phantasmagorical manners as bullets flew past his face, chest and arms while his hands moved at even more blinding speeds as they grasped bullets in mid-flight out of the air.

However, if a lucky shell managed to bypass his agility and speed, they simply made impact, and dropped harmlessly onto the concrete.

As the machine guns dry fired, indicating the replacement of magazines, a terrible sense of dread filled the Yakuza unanimously as they stared at the armored shinobi before them. His face disguised by a traditional ninja half mask, letting blue-black mid length hair sway in the light wind. His body concealed in a masterfully sculpted Vibranium set of armor with a sleekness and appearance of a futuristic shinobi garb. His previous clothing rolling into the abyss of the night behind him, all eviscerated by his propulsion system.

His right hand was clutched firmly, eyes narrowed in not fury but complete focus, cybernetic enhancements feed a multitude of information into his optics, distance, alternating thermal imaging and other electromagnetic field registries, heartbeats, and lung capacity among others. Pulling his clutched hand backwards in a wide arc, he twisted his body at the waist with great haste and hurled his hand towards the position of the lead Yakuza, and upon opening his hand he engaged the liquid oxygen pistons in his hand causing a concussive explosion which propelled a fist full of captured lead at velocities exceeding the those of the machine guns they were expelled from. The impact was liken to a shotgun blast as it struck the Yakuza in the center of his chest causing an eruption of gore to be expelled behind him just as a small sonic boom sounded from the ninja's palm.

Before the lead Yakuza could be flung backward from the impact and head first into a brick wall, further smashing his cranium, the shinobi was already on the move to the left flank of the crowd. Yet,as they scrambled to disengage and replace the magazines, the wrath of an unknown combatant descended upon them.

What can only be described as a massacre occurred, as a stream of crimson seemed to snake horizontally through the group, as they were mutilated so fast, the entrails and sanguinity didn't have enough time to hit the ground before he moved onto the next victim. One such Yakuza was roundhouse kicked with such force, the air in the lungs launched out through his back from a vicious roundhouse kick that sent bone splinters streaking through the air and into the face of another suited individual some four feet away. His body was sent straight into the side of the cargo van, buckling it in upon collision and nearly lifting two tires off the ground.

When the last two men stood, there was a pause in the carnage. A fire red haired Yakuza managed to speak, his tone was frightened yet somewhat excited as if enlightened.

"You..are HIS son, eh?*" his lip tremored before continuing "The son of Tenjin. Hanzo Yamamoto...the future Warlord of the East*"

The shinobi paused, his posture like a bloodlusted jungle beast, fingers curled and chest pushed out as deep breaths only increased the apparent size of his barrel chest. However, his eyes depicted the intelligence of a creature well versed in the various subjects of a learned civilization. He was indeed noble savage, a murderous genius.

From beyond his black mask, he spoke in a calm voice. "That is a name passing to the individual who kills the former possessor of the mantle. Indeed, patricide is a crime against nature however...it is a crime of kings.*"

In a flash, the Grim Ghost dispatched the nearest Yakuza with a swift knife hand strike to the jugular which nearly decapitated the man as he had to pull his hand from the throat as if met with resistance of flesh. Only now to stare the previous speaker into the eyes, his left fist emitting a stream of sky blue electricity to dissipate half a meter from his singularity.

The sinister shinobi muttered with slight regard "I am the Warlord of the East."

From a distance, a bright cobalt-white explosion caused a transformer and the cargo van to explode as streaks of lightning flung in all directions, short circuiting those beautiful neon lights nearby and resonating in small sparks of blue on top of puddles. A body scorched and smoking was all that remained from the lethal touch of the Death Device, now gone, somewhere in the shadows. Slaughtering his way to a position of power in the criminal underground, like his father before him.

The mantle has been passed, another assassin now calls himself the infamous name of Tenjin.

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Tenjin: Whispers in the Dark

Catacombs, Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

Not long ago....

Deep inside the winding crypts of forgotten kings, passageways of black earth and stone bear inscriptions in lost tongues upon the walls, ancient knowledge revealing far more ancient secrets. It is here, a looming specter haunts its sacred halls, bright red eyes pierce the dark as it travels from end to end. He searched for the mystical treasures of bygone kingdoms; those that worshipped the serpent before the sun. To no avail. Whether ransacked by tomb raiders or destroyed by a rival religious sect, all which he sought was gone...

Save for a single prize. A seed.

The damp and rancid smell of mildew and rot filled the catacombs. Skulls, strung together, rattled from wind with origins unknown above its entrance. A array of alabaster candles spewed wax down notches in the walls. The fires casting horrid shapes in a dance of blood orange and onyx. Hovering over a cobweb ridden desk in the empty makeshift study, the sinister shinobi known as Tenjin reviewed clay tablets from the ruins of Babylon. His hermetic habits grew in more lengthy intervals, a short time to be forgotten. Succumbing to the addiction of wisdom and knowledge. Thought dead, yet he is the Deathless One. The oceans of time were of little fear. A metallic finger traced over the cuneiform, strange impressions forming stranger thoughts. In his other hand, a hammered golden bowl bore a thick liquid, crimson in color, black in the dim light. In it a seedling sprouted, of violet hue and small pentagonal leaves. The Fatal Phantom whispered an eerie chant, the language long since dead.

"<Beyond the farthest stars, below the lowest Hells, from the place where the Black Lotus blooms...>"*

Tenjin's voice was dismal, disembodied, spoken from behind a mechanical mandible. It carried itself throughout that twisted place of death and into the ears of a man clad in traditional ninja garb, bearing a torch in one hand while the other was placed over his heart. A coldest spread throughout his chest as he approached his master. Creeping in the dark, out of both peril and cautiousness holding his torch out at arm's length. It had been sometime since he had seen the sun, sickness evident, even only seen from in and around his eyes. He was just outside the Living Shadow's chambers as he purposely kicked the wall, as to not irritate his master, even as Katsuro had felt his presence long ago.

"My lord." Spoke the acolyte coupled with an honorary bow.

Without turning to face his serf, that disenchanted voice rung softly but with a terribly low pitch. "Speak as you will."

However, the torchbearer did not speak in haste. He gazed upon Tenjin ,clad in a ebon cloak, his face not visible due to the woven hood but beneath his mantle those artificial muscles of nanotubes still were well represented. A techno-organic monstrosity. A beast of steel and sinew. Like an obsidian idol, born of foul science and a life of pain and hatred. In awe he stood for some time, until the Ruthless Resurrectionist set the golden bowl upon the desk and pivoted to face the speaker, eyes seem to brighten until near white, a cruel luster.

"What ails you boy? Why do you tremble so?" His hand lifted to shoulder height, fingers spread wide as an orb of swirling plasma emerged near the center of his palm. Yet, just before the blast was fired, the acolyte spoke quickly, sweat beading down his face as he realized what was to come of him; a cinder-pile.

"Master! I...I was just concerned. Since your defeat at Tokyo... I fear, you have lost your path. Your vision, our collective. The Blood Spider Clan is all but nonexistent. Yet, your following...it grows. Like a plague. I hear the locals talking." He shook his head not in disbelief, but in stress before continuing. "You have become almost a Folk Saint...hidden shrines dedicated to you in sewers and back alleys. They are waiting for the return of the Warlord. The Warlord of the East." He paused. "Is this your mission, my lord?"

Tenjin lowered his arm and made his way towards the ninja, his wide shoulders shifted in his predatory gait. His ethereal voice sounded into a monologue.

"My defeat, as you put it, was not a total loss. Though the metropolis of Tokyo is not mine to command I however gained much more than lordship taken through violence and ruin. I gained favor. The poor and hopeless seen my return, they speak of my deathlessness as something celestial. Something God-sent. I am seen as manifestation of wrath upon the decadent. Something to be worshipped. Yet, in response to your question..." He stood chest to chest with the Blood Spider acolyte, hydrogen steam bellowed from his mandible as his head tilted back in confidence and intent on intimidation. The latter most successful. "I do not embrace such things. This title, is meaningless. I have no need for such pleasantries and distractions. However, it may be of some later use. I am most concerned of my reputation, you see." His pressed the first knuckle of his index finger against his peer's chin, lifting his features up to stare eye to eye. "I was too kind in my actions with my enemies as of late. I offered them honor and manner befitting warriors of old. This was my sole mistake. One which I will not make again...Your lord, will perform unspeakable brutalities against them. By night, while they sleep. While they let their guards down, I will strike at what they love the most."

Suddenly, a black flash struck forth like translucent lightning in a storm. Suspended by Tenjin's right arm, the acolyte hung limply with Katsuro's forearm protruding from his back. The Red Eyed Fiend clutched his victim's heart in his blood spattered fist, crushed in his grasp. With a low, menacing chuckle, Tenjin extended his face closer to that of the deceased. The torch had now been extinguished from the Savage Specimen's rapid movement. Gloom consumed. He spoke in a tone quite low, more whispers in the dark. "In my quest for vengeance, I will expend all resources available to me. Nothing is of value. Not wealth, not this Clan...." Pulling his arm from the gaping wound, allowing the man to fall limp in the dark. The body crashing on the floor the only sound which mingled with his hollow voice. "...and certainly not life."

In that cold, damp and rancid space, all that remained in that pitch black unknown, where twin scarlet optics, the chattering of those skulls in ghostly wind, the chanting of some eldritch tongue and a flower in a bowl of blood.

Fin.

*Modern English Translation

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Marked for Death: Tenjin's Hitlist

After his transformation and drawn into a twisted scheme concerning a cabal of wealthy aristocrats, Tenjin has become a pawn. He has been deceived that during the Tokyo Takeover, his loved ones were killed by numerous individuals either directly or indirectly. He believes he was married for many year to a housewife and was the father of two girls and a son. Leading him onto a dark road, filling his heart with malice and destroying all that was once benevolent. This falsified information has made the Kyoto Killing Machine grief stricken and now he thirsts for vengeance. The following is a list of those targeted by the Grim Ghost, though the reasoning behind the ill intent is untrue, it is painfully real to Tenjin:

  • Santiago Porthos: Not only was it he would placed Katsuro in the mechanical body but also the man responsible for taking the life of his wife.
  • Anastasia: Presumed to be in league with Santiago.
  • Ivana: A nemesis before the events in Tokyo, he has been lead to believe she was the mastermind behind the entire ordeal. Ordering her subordinates to kill his children.
  • Rafael Romeiro: Considered to be the man who struck down his only son.
  • Alexander Rook as Dark Vengeance and Marcus Antonius Knightfall had been digitally conjured on video recordings, fabricating them at the scene.
  • Jessica Liafador: Is thought to have been paid by Ivana to brutalize his wife before Santiago struck the killing blow.
  • Abigail Aensland: Was likewise included via forged photographs and paid-off witnesses.

These beings have been marked for death by the Genshokage, no matter the cost.

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Tenjin: Sword and Soul (Tokyo Takeover Tie-In)

Tokyo, Japan

Azabu district

Previous night....

The cobbled street was flanked by various upscale coffee shops, neatly trimmed bushes and trees and various embassies. Known as the Beverly Hills of Tokyo, celebrities, artists and diplomats called this area home. It was not uncommon to see vogue couples stroll leisurely hand in hand at stopping at local food vendors stationed on the curbs or taking romantic walks through lovely parks. Micro-breweries dotted the district, belly laughing could be heard even in the dead of night and behind closed glass doors. Chic apartment complexes rose high above over the strip, such elegance, glass reflecting the numerous lamp lights of Azabu. However, beneath this realm of prosperity, luxury and joy the true nature of the district lay. A place of greed, violence and cigar smoke.

The top floor of one of the apartments belonged to a single owner, Isamu Nakumura. Lavishly decorated and modeled after contemporary western fashion, the entire floor became a single primarily open spaced living quarters. What walls where present they presented various paintings and sculptures. The outer walls were composed of large ceiling high windows functioning as both entrance and exit to a wrap-around concrete balcony. Isamu, tonight was not alone. Once a year, the Oyabun; leaders, from the various Yakuza syndicates stationed in Tokyo gather together to discuss all matters of treaties or expansion. Called the Oyabun Ball by some. A strong honor code prohibited aggressive tactics but tensions were always high with the forever warring gangsters. Isamu hosted this gathering as three round tables were brought into the center of the massive apartment. Sitting on cushions, drinking warm sake and feasting on entrée dishes, the Oyabun sat as they laughed whole heartedly as young women carrying these dishes and liquors where groped and fondled by the yakuza bosses. Cigars lit and fists hammered on the tables as they demanded all manner of services from these girls. Shirts were unbuttoned and draped over the waists of the Oyabun, bearing their full body tattoos depicting samurai, koi, dragons, flowers and demons. The smoke rose to the ceiling and began to have a unpleasant lingering effect. Isamu ordered, shouting profanely at a woman stationed near the sliding glass.

"Open those f****** windows you dumb*** b****!" His voice was strong and gravely, years of smoking had given him throat cancer though he continued in his daily vice. Frightened and shaking she struggled to open the glass, her petite frame pulled on the bamboo handle with all her might. Isamu rose quickly, feeling dishonored in front of his peers, especially since they at all other times were his enemies. He approached her with a clenched fist, it wasn't the first time he had struck a defenseless women. He was impotent thus hating women, blaming them for his misfortunes. Yet, just as his bare feet strode up to her, the sliding door slid across the floor. Curtains bellowed from the strong wind outside and let in the cool night air. And something else, or rather someone who had been watching for some time from the balcony.

A black linear shadow shot through the folds of the satin curtain only to clutch the face of Isamu. The yakuza struggled, hands shot up and gripped the black vambrace, so large around was the armored forearm, the rather large man's opposing fingers did not touch. Isamu's eye muscles trembled, fear filled his cowardice heart as his speech was muffle by the palm of the shadowy figure. There was a dead silence in the room, the seated Oyabun dared not move even the women stood staring at the spectacle. Suddenly, a streamline ebon armored figure arose from behind the curtain from the dark of the night. The living shadow, donning his masterful kara, Tenjin. Displeased with what he had seen, he had come to show force but remain civil. Now, he would set an example. His masked face slightly illuminated by his scarlet eyes had vocalized a single word seemingly disembodied "Dishonorable." Just then, his hand outstretched and enveloping the face of Isamu engaged the kinetic piston in his arm releasing a wave of force through his hand. In an instant, Isamu's skull had become a fine red mist which spread through the air. Upon the floor was a red conical streak composed of droplets and bits of bone which made its way toward the three tables from Tenjin's position.

Then, the women began to scream. Plates and bottles shattering on the floor. Followed swiftly by Isamu's tattooed covered frame.

Amidst the chaos, hand dripping with blood, Tenjin walked smoothly over to a display of swords on a pedestal to his right. Lifting the cobalt blue scabbard of a wakizashi with the blood covered hand he then walked over to the tables and tossed the short sword onto the nearest one, letting the weapon ring loudly, enough for the screaming to stop as he commanded attention. His voice sounded once more "If I ever see such grandiose disrespect from those under me once again...then death is the least of your worries. Akira has already approached you all with his demands. They still remain intact. However, I am not Akira. I have additional requirements for those who serve under my rule. Mainly, honor..something you have forgotten or perhaps more so never possessed. Allow me to introduce you to it." His hand instructed a boss to lift up the wakizashi with the mere pointing of the finger. As the man drew the shimmering blade Katsuro continued "Tomorrow, we shall take Tokyo...regardless of what stands before us. But tonight, I will take your left fingers..." It was commonplace for the yakuza to remove tips of fingers or severe one at the knuckle for various offenses, known as Yubitsume. However, this was a display of power on the part of the Kyoto Killing Machine.

Katsuro motioned for the women to leave, which they did with stallion speed only to be further greeted by the long dead and mangled bodies of the yakuza guards outside the door. Tenjin waved his hand in front of his face, his liquid mask receded to the shoulders, revealing his ashen features. The sword hesitantly went around the room, left hand spread wide upon the table of every member as they dismembered their own digits. Tears streaming though they knew full well if they murmured a sound, they would be killed. Slowly. Hovering over each individual as they preformed the act of honor, the Savage Shinobi watched with a bottle of sake draining into his stomach and a low demonic chuckle escaping his lips.

This act of hostility would travel throughout the underworld across the globe. News such as this travels fast, to be remembered by all criminal organizations known as "The Night of a Hundred Fingers". Though, a vicious and often times heartless combatant, Katsuro did not tolerate dishonor, however his demented mind constructed it. As well as a proper way to christen his attempt at becoming the Warlord of Tokyo Bay.

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Tenjin: The Eve of War (Tokyo Takeover Tie-In)

"If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared."- Niccolo Machiavelli, Italian writer.

Port of Tokyo, Japan.

Two days ago...

The dark waters of Tokyo Bay seemed to mirror the night sky above, starlight shimmered upon the slight almost absent waves which caressed themselves against concrete pillars that supported a several mile long wooden dock. This was an aged area of the port, around since the aftermath of World War Two. An enormous barge was in station, the only ship present, rusted and repaired many times over. Guide lights lined its railings, flickering a pale yellow light. Workers marched back and forth on the barge, running machinery, the sound of power tools and crane engine roared in the dead silence of the bay. A multitude of twenty foot long steel shipping containers where being lifted by the mechanical cranes and placed in an orderly fashion about designated zones upon the dock. Large black letters labeled Cyberware adorned the sides of the containers. More disturbingly, shadows upon the dock seemed to sway and move as a large number of black clad shinobi guarded the area. Armed not only with traditional weaponry but black tactical AK-47 assault rifles and strange red lensed telescopic visors. Red laser sights scanned in every direction. Several ninja sniper cells roosted on tall buildings nearby. Waiting. The Blood Spider Clan was present, which only meant their tyrannical master was not far away.

A jet black Lexus LFA seemed to fly across the wide desolate road of the port at breathtaking speed. Its V10, five hundred and fifty plus horsepower, engine propelled the painted carbon fiber body at full throttle. As bend in the road approached, the driver tapped the brake to simultaneously engage the clutch and downshift while whipping the steering wheel hard to the left, forcing the supercar sideways. The driver feeling the intense pressure of just over one G-force upon his frame. Laughing at it. Tires screeched as the engine red lined in gear, the car slid for several meters until reaching the apex of the bend. Just then, like a rocket the clutch was engaged and shifted up with the wheel straightened, launching the car straight and forward once again and headed for a lone warehouse towards the end of the pier. Maneuvering between beams at ridiculous speeds, headlights off to further the danger and inside the cabin, the driver listened to the mechanized howl of the Lexus.

The LFA hit the brakes, multi-caliper pistons closed brining the speeding vehicle to a sudden halt at the entrance of the two massive doors of the warehouse. The carbon fiber doors opened, a brown Edmond Allen wingtip loafer swung out as the car shut off. Tenjin rose from the interior slowly, his seat belt nonexistent, a small customization so he could enjoy the thrill of facing death at its purest. Donning a pair of grey Brooks brothers slacks, a brown stingray skin belt and a white French cuff dress shirt with subtle stripes he strolled his muscular frame up to the doors. Just as his feet were to come to a stop, the doors opened slowly allowing him to continue unobstructed. As he was greeted by a mass of his armed followers he pad little attention and lifted a zippo lighter from his shirt pocket along with a pack of Davidoff premium cigarettes. Placing the cigarette loosely between his lips and lighting it, he exhaled a large cloud of smoke into the air. His crimson eyes closed, letting the orange glow of the cigarette illuminate his face between long ebon locks as he drew in another lung full of smoke. Approaching the highest ranking ninja he stood with intensity for a short moment before speaking, allowing the cigarette to bounce as his lips moved. "Give me a status report..."

The two of them moved shoulder to shoulder into the middle of the warehouse towards a viewing station, like a high end display of carnal destruction. The nameless ninja began to speak quickly. "We have contacted allies across the globe, summoning them to your cause, master. We anticipate opposition from a number of individuals..." He was cut off, Katsuro's temper was shorter than normal, hours before he had just left the surgery bay of Cyberware and already preparing an onslaught. His baritone voice erupted, half screaming "I am well aware of opposition!" Those red eyes bursting like a breath of dragon's fire. "Hence, why I spent a f&*^ing fortune on weaponry, hardware, and personnel as countermeasures...Tell me then, what was my dollar worth!" Unconsciously, his hand wrapped around the shinobi's shawl and brought him eye to eye by force, lifting the ninja up off his feet with a curled left arm. Upon realizing his action, Tenjin effortlessly heaved his subordinate backwards and to the ground and spoke calmly though unapologetically "Please, continue."

Somewhat startled the ninja continued, escorting his master once again "Several private contractors and mercenary bands have answered. The use of Shadow Portals have allowed them and their weapons of war to travel to Tokyo at your whim. A small but highly skilled army. Your legend in the field in assassination and promise of incorporation has brought many sects of other Ninja out from the shadows. All have been given the garbs and the rites. They have become Blood Spiders, sir. Your Clan is larger than ever...the ranks swell." Admittedly Tenjin was quiet impressed however he would never show it. He nodded and allowed the man to speak again "We have successfully completed the operations which you requested, I need not tell you what those where of course. But, they can be initiated at a moment's notice. As for the weaponry and hardware." The ninja's gloved hand lifted upwards as they stood next to a General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper; an unmanned aerial vehicle. A powerhouse drone. "He have acquired ten. Outfitted with AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles and dual M134 miniguns. They will dominate the air alongside these..." Right next to the massive drone, stood a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter "Outfitted with similar ordnance yet possessing the additional Volcano scatter mine system and Hydra 70 free-flight rockets. The choppers were a gift as well as some stolen from the Japanese Defense Base during your absence. We have amassed a total of sixteen Black Hawks."

Tenjin bursted into a guffaw, his half smoked cigarette flying out of his mouth. It is not often he was humored especially in turn using it, he glared at his follower with a stygian stare "Where did the rest of my money go to?" His grin was devilish yet not totally a joking one. The other man escorted his master a table and lifted a bullet with his thumb and index finger "The majority of the money went into refining your share of the Venezuelan Vibranium you presented to Cyberware. You now have a few crates of Vibranium bullets in various calibers, mainly forged into .50 BMG rounds to equip the sniper cells with and 7.62 for your personal guards' assault rifles. Some has been converted to swords and given out to the Blood Spider Clan, to compete with the blades of your nemesis' Orochi and to defend your claim against the opposition. Finally..." He was hesitant, placing the shimmering bullet down and making their way to a large crate, several other ninja huddled around it with pry bars, ripping it open as Tenjin moved towards the position. With fear in his voice, the ninja spoke for the last time "The majority has been used to build these...automatons." A dark smile appeared on his face, as his scarred hand pressed against the face of a robotic construct. Cyberware had built him androids, using data compiled by Tenjin to convert his Messatsukumo No Kinjite Ninjutsu and his overall fighting style into a computer program. The scientists, engineers and technicians at the facility had forged him black Vibranium plated humanoid ninja; a hundred strong. Masterworks. Fleshless, soulless combatants awaiting their awakening. They were his true prize, his greatest asset. His fondest possession. The future of his Clan. He had dubbed them the Kurai-nami; translated as "Dark Wave".

The Grim Ghost's voice was filled with pride as he announced under the dim lights of the warehouse "Notify Akira of my arrival and what I will bring to the table. Tokyo will be ours." Just then, Katsuro was approached by a ninja bearing a glass of Dom Perignon champagne, without qualms he lifted the glass and toasted to himself. "The Bay will turn red with our enemies' blood. Selah." He slowly sipped from the goblet, relishing in the moment.

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Tenjin: The Resurrection & The Vendetta

"Fling but a stone, the giant dies."- Matthew Green; British Poet

The Overture

Somewhere in Rural Japan

Beneath blackened nimbi, a dark secret stirs. Thunder quaked, echoing against the mountains. Those shadowy monoliths illuminated only when lightning cracked like a whip, serpentine across the night sky. A single stone pillar, engraved with various enigmatic etchings: forgotten kanji, the sacred texts of the Blood Spider Clan. It stood proudly and alone on a small emerald hill. Around it black petals lay. Spread liberally, however mysteriously, even in the strong winds they did not blow away. Twin eerily pale yellow beams of light began to come in from the distant tree line on a underused almost absent dirt path. Creeping slowly into view, the twin beams revealed to be the headlights of a black stretch Mercedes limousine. Parking at the foot of the hill, it waited in idle only moving as the windshield wipers motioned back and forth as heavy rain began to descend.

At the base of the strange stone pillar, alone on the hill, the wet soil shifted.

That wet earth pulsated for some time, almost in rhythm with the thunder. As the ethereal cannonade grew closer and louder, as did the movement of the soil until a pale scar covered arm exploded upwards from the disturbance. Strong muscles flexed as it shot down, raking fingers across the jade hued grass as it drew up a shoulder. Pressing the palm down it lifted up the upper body of a muscular being, ebon locks flashed in the lightning as they shot back from his handsome yet tenebrific face. The intensity of crimson eyes grew stronger in seconds, from a slight red wash to twin coals from a swordsmith's forge. His ashen body covered in mud as he pulled himself from his tomb only to stand nude in the storm, rain rinsing his statuesque form. Flexing his cramped muscles liken to a bird stretching its wings, muscles moving strangely as they set themselves into place.

The sound of the limousine door opening could not be heard in the racket of the storm. Several shinobi, clad in black emerged from up the hill, veils and sashes fluttering in the wind. After a prolonged silence, one of the shinobi announced "<Hail, Tenjin the Deathless One returns again.>" Instantly the ninjas dropped to a single knee in unison as the lead center shinobi lifted a scarlet kimono up with an offering hand.

Katsuro's shot his hand at the kimono an in a smooth motion fitted both arms in the sleeve as he whirled it around his back. Tying the sash about his waist, he stood dynamically as he spoke in his powerful baritone voice, robe and hair rustling in the night wind. "<Alert the Wildcardz of my resurrection as well as Cyberware. Tell the latter to send a helicopter to arrive at the Kyoto base and prepare the surgery bay for immediate augmentations. I am to go back into the field within a few days time.>" The followers stood to their feet while one obliged to his master's wishes and lifted a finger to a communication device in his ear. The others waited for Tenjin to begin walking down the hill to enter the vehicle.

As the Grim Ghost entered the luxurious cabin of the limousine he lifted a clear glass bottle of yellow awamori liquor up from the floor. Immersed in the bottle was a pit viper bearing its fangs, though long dead, it was preserved in the high alcohol content. An Okinawan legend states the venom of the snake numbs the kidneys. Though, legends are almost always just legends. He then brought a frightening smile to his face as he pressed the opened bottle to his lips, hands strangling the neck, and began to consume the liquid in large gulps unfearful of the superstitions behind Habushu.

Coda

Cyberware facilities

Osaka, Japan

"<Dr. Fujiwara...I don't understand how this is legal. It violates the ethics and standards of...>" Before the female voice can finis, it was abruptly interrupted by an elderly fellow with large glasses.

"<Miss Okamoto, I can assure you of this...It is not legal.>" A hint of humor graced the otherwise straight forward man. "<However, it is financially backed by various anonymous benefactors, some countries included. This is strictly off-the-books material. Military purpose. Specialized combatants. This is Project: Death March.>"

The young woman was confused, she was an intern from the University of Tokyo, a promising Graduate Student in Biotechnologies. Cyberware was a powerhouse defense contractor. Young and ambitious, unaware of the reality of this facility when she applied, now sworn to silence or face serious repercussions. Deadly ones. "<Doctor, the patient was awake during all the enhancements. Thirty hours of surgery. he should have been induced, I cannot imagine the...> She was interrupted again by the doctor. "<Pain? Oh no, my dear...he does not feel such a thing; he wanted to be awake. To watch his body metamorphize into magnificence. I envy him.>

The two stood around a large cylindrical tank in the middle of a bright white industrial room. All matters of cables and hoses seemed to connect to this chamber. The hum of electrical devices hovered in the air. A monitor was nearby, displaying vitals on the screen. Along with some manner of electromagnetic technology which seemed to make peaks of high and low bars. Miss Okamoto was indeed furious about the previous discussion but was of course scientifically curious. "<What is that reading at the bottom doctor?>" Always ready to gloat about his designs, Fujiwara boasted "<That reads the brainwaves of the patient, we are able to decipher what he is thinking.>" Just then, he pressed a button on the table after placing in a lengthy password, the tank opened its outer shell in a complex series of movements. He continued "<Although, he has been thinking the same thing for well over ten hours...it has gotten rather droll.>" As a blast of pressurized steam expelled from the doors, causing a haze over the glass chamber, filled with a bright red liquid. The doctor's pause was burdened by the inability to explain why Tenjin had been obsessing about such a thing but continued to explain. "<It seems the patient has been thinking of...killing owls. I cannot make sense of it. All of his cybernetics are functioning fine. Perhaps, it is just his psychosis. Human, or rather, mutant imperfection. Owls...hmmmm.>"

Inside the chamber, Katsuro was suspended by various tubing. A breathing system attached to his face as he was encased in this mysterious liquid. His eyes open, staring blankly at the two outside. Fujiwara spoke again "<The mutated stem cells have bonded perfectly, encoded with an accelerated healing factor his recovery time will be swift. Perhaps by tomorrow or the day after, he will be fit for duty. The miracles of modern science.>" His laughter hinted at his madness as he turned around and began typing his findings on a laptop. Miss Okamoto on the other hand, was marveled by what she has seen. The Pinnacle Predator behind a sheet of glass. She watched his lips move behind the clear plastic respiratory apparatus mouthing he words Kill Strigidae. Over and over.

She knew by looking into those crimson eyes, standing out even in the dark red liquid, that there was war on the horizon. Vengeance. Death.

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