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[Dead] Bury the Ashes (Closed)

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Through the fog of rage that had descended upon her, Amirah did not hear the shouted slur. Rather, she saw the eyes of her opponent fix upon something behind her; something akin to fear in The First's eyes. Following her gaze, she saw a foolish child clad in only his boxers and boots closing in on her, sword drawn. It took only an instant for her to realize the opportunity that had just dropped itself into her lap. When she broiled this foolish whelp, there was no way Marshall wouldn't react in some way. Rage or despair, it would throw her off her game, and allow her the opportunity to strike the final blow. 

"BURN THIS!"

"As you wish."

Many things happened all at once.

Much to her surprise, Amirah felt her fist hit home, and she sent Phoebe flying through a wall even as she turned to raise her other hand toward Ash. She looked away too soon however, and didn't see the blast of psionic energy that shoved her just a step forward. Normally this small shove wouldn't have mattered much, but this one occurred just as a fissure opened in the roof between her and the child, forcing her to fight for her balance to avoid falling in. Finally, in that instant of distraction, the samurai's blade hit home, albeit slightly off from his intended target due to her lowered body position. The sword bit deep into her shoulder, and the child's momentum pushed her back a few steps before she caught herself.

Blood dripping from her wound, Amirah looked up at Ash, eyes blazing with fury in both a figurative and literal sense.

"You... DARE?!"

The punch she threw at Ash would have punched a whole in his torso had he not been protected by Phoebe's shield. As it was, he would only be thrown across the roof; maybe even having to scramble to catch himself and avoid falling off the roof. But as the boy flew, The Phoenix's attention turned toward Shikai, and in an instant she was flying toward the shinobi. 

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Memories of sparring with his father, former Lieutenant Andrew Jorjorean of the Tian Problem Solvers, were sustained in a raw suspension in Ash’s mind from the day he’d lost him to Cain’s grasp. If Ash could not be afraid, and he must be brave, he must also survive if he wanted to complete his ultimate mission against the man who stole his father away.

"You... DARE?!"

Ash was still holding the warped cocktail table as his shield. While he had exposed himself, he wasn’t utterly defenseless, and he did have a moment or two between the throwing of his blade, its striking its intended target, and Amirah’s rebuttal attack. In that time, Ash exercised the finest block he knew how with such a mechanism: stooping to his right knee and hiding as much of his body behind the shield as possible, he slanted its face so that Amirah’s blast would not meet it like a straight up-and-down wall, but a ramp that would redirect more force than it fought against.

Even so, after a moment of the shield superheating against his skin, he was tossed into the air like a ragdoll, the wind beat out of his chest like a drum. Himura’s underweared figure flew across the roof, but he was still cognizant enough to land on his feet. Now he had been sufficiently blown out of the main line of enemy sights, he picked up one of the guards’ comms devices.

He could tell based on their separate trajectories and the ongoing buzz that Phoebe and him were very far apart, and Shikai was dealing with Amirah. He still groaned with his hand against his stomach, trying to regain his breath, but his mind was all there. He started skirting around the roof toward Phoebe as discretely as he’d made his way this way a minute earlier.

When he reached Phoebe, her sight would finally be piecing itself back together.

“Hey,” he hissed urgently with furrowed brows, a sorta funny look for a half naked guy with burnt hair. “Weren’t you gonna eat her with the Mindgorger or something? Bust that shit out! Like really use it!

Sullied by attacks, a splotch of blood dripping down his left cheek, Ash's eyes bore a battlereadiness Phoebe hadn't seen since their training together on the mountain.

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Through a fog of stars and smoke, Phoebe watched as Amirah allowed her attention to be pulled away on a fool's errand-- lack of discipline, she noted with a wry smirk, but they were all making bad choices, weren't they?  Amirah should have followed; if she had, she would have overcome Phoebe, but instead, the Shinobi got her attention, while Phoebe should have let Ash burn for his mistake instead of wrapping the boy up in her Will, and driven the Mindgorger into Amirah's face, but..  well.  

Ash had grown on her, hadn't he.

Dumb.

Half conscious, Phoebe sighed, and planted her hand on the ground, drew her legs in, and gingerly pressed upward to a crouch.  There she took a moment-- with Amirah occupied, and her forces all but collapsed, there was no reason to hurry.  She could watch through slow mending sight, admire the woman's raw strength, and wake the embers of her Will from their violently induced slumber as Ash crept up to her side like an alleycat in the night.

"Hey," he hissed urgently with furrowed brows, a sorta funny look for a half naked guy with burnt hair.  "Weren't you gonna eat her with the Mindgorger or something? Bust that shit out! Like really use it!"

"..sure, let me just ask her to meditate with me," replied Phoebe dryly, mirroring Ash's furrow as she looked the boy over at first with concern, before the worry gave way to consideration and the press of her lips as she gave him a small, satisfied nod.  "But yeah, now that I can concentrate-- let's play."

Fragments of the wall, plaster, dust, and flecks of red paint floated down as Phoebe curled her hand around the Mindgorger's polished shaft and stretched to her feet, curling a glare toward the distant Phoenix.  Amirah was, objectively, beautifully appointed for this- a long, thin mass of muscle and fury, stretching out flame as she descended on Shikai like a plummeting eagle.  She bore down, a terrifying vision within the fire, and while Shikai was prepared Phoebe saw the widening of his eyes as he considered the oncoming onslaught.

It was only with the sharpest of thoughts that her Need shot out: thick, writhing tendrils rose from nothing, alit from the floor and propelled at Phoebe's command to seek, to wrap, and snatch the bird mid-flight.  Amirah jerked to a halt, held mid-air as if time had stopped-- oh, the fire burned and flickered, casting the ruined club in an orange and black dance, but the woman herself dangled like a lure, wrapped up in Phoebe's long-held, black Want. 

A second passed, the First watched - maybe admired - maybe dreamt; but, whatever she did, there was no humanity in it.  She could feel Amirah struggle against her as a wolf feels the mouse writhe in its jaws, but it was no more useful; her Will was set, tremendous in its focus, overwhelming and no longer divided by a need to defend.  Explosions loosed from Amirah's hands, but Phoebe's Will dampened and absorbed them as her symbiosis with the Mindgorger flared, merging as the two began to act as a single beautifully, terrible, being.

Her grin split, horrid and vile in its girth and the show of teeth. 

The roof was silent for a moment, but then it was movement, and horror, and the immeasurably sick pleasure of vengeance balanced on the edge of fulfillment.

Each of the thick psionic chains holding Amirah tightened, snapping taught as they stretched her limbs out into an elongated X, where she hung for a moment like a bug on display before Phoebe violently yanked her backward, reeling her in with enough force to extinguish Amirah's once bright, encompassing flames, dislocate her joints, and throw her stomach up into her dry throat.  For Phoebe, there wasn't a flicker of hesitation or mercy visible-- only a singular focus, a murderous want that lay bare her nature in the wanton part of her lips as she drew her arm backward and set a target.  A rush of momentum followed, the plant of her leg as she whipped the Mindgorger at Amirah, flinging the razor-sharp spear into the space between her shoulder-blades. 

The two would meet in a violent clash of flesh and edge: Amirah, ripped backward at Phoebe's command while the Mindgorger cleaved forward, thrown by her hand and splitting the air like a sniper's bullet.

"She's mine."  The words came with the impact; following as Amirah fell, as her blood spilled.  "Keep the rest of these assholes off me."

It was not a request- it was an absolute.

Edited by Noko

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A skilled fighter must consider and prepare for a multitude of possibilities during the course of a battle. The Phoenix had already accounted for whatever the pale shinobi would do; whether he would seek to dodge, block, or even launch a counterattack. Even if she couldn't be sure what form these actions might take, she at least knew that they were possible, and could therefore be ready for them. Similarly, she knew that the samurai boy would not be able to move fast enough to catch up to her before she reached his comrade; and as the boy seemed to lack any kind of ranged capability, she could be fairly certain that he posed no threat to her for now. That left only Marshall, and given how hard she had hit The First, she expected her to still be stunned.

It came as a surprise to her then, when her forward movement was arrested so swiftly and suddenly that it felt like she had plowed into an immovable wall. Amirah struggled mightily, but the invisible grip in which she was now held may as well have been the hand of God. With tremendous effort, she managed to turn her head enough to look at The First, to see that hideous grin split her face.

"Marshall..." she managed in a strangled cry.

Suddenly her arms and legs were stretched taught with such force that her limbs were yanked from their sockets before she was dragged backwards through the air. The air pressure was enough to extinguish her flames, and she threw up the contents of her stomach once the movement had stopped. Managing to turn her head, she saw Marshall launch her spear at her back.

Time slowed as the spear sliced through the air towards its target between Amirah's shoulder blades. Flames of anger momentarily dimmed by the sudden brutality displayed by The First roared back to life larger than ever. Before any fire appeared, the sheer heat generated by that rage was enough to melt a hole in the ceiling beneath her; and Phoebe would feel like she was standing in front of an open oven.

"INSOLENT BITCH! THERE WON'T EVEN BE ASHES WHEN I'M DONE WITH YOU!"

A ball of fire that resembled a star fallen to earth surrounded The Phoenix; deflecting the Mindgorger away and abruptly snapping the psychic chains placed upon her by Phoebe. From that cocoon of flames, two radiant branches began to split off from the back. Once they had lengthened, feathers of flame began to appear one by one, moving from the top down. Now the fireball was gone, molded into a great pair of wings that held Amirah aloft. Eye's aglow, she allowed herself a cruel smile of her own.

"'She's mine?'" Amirah laughed, "You took the words right out of my mouth. Nobody else but me will have the pleasure of killing you!"

Brilliant wings flapped, sending a gust of superheated wind that would warp steel and ignite wood and cloth. If Phoebe didn't raise a defense, she would soon find herself burned to a crisp.


Shikai wouldn't complain about not having to fight Amirah; this seemed like more of a personal thing between her and Phoebe anyway. But just because the main event was decided didn't mean there wouldn't be other fights on the card. Reinforcements had finally made their way up the stairs, and were now sweeping toward where their boss was fighting. A flick of the Shinobi's wrist would carve a line between their side of the roof and his. That little move was all it took to deplete his stamina to the point where the Legendary Blade was no longer usable. It seemed he still had a ways to go before he and the blade were synced enough for him to use it freely. Letting the sword disappear in whisps of shadow, he sized up his new opponents.

"I'm afraid this is a private party," he quipped, "But I'll be happy to entertain you!"

The shinobi launched himself into the air, throwing a handful of shuriken as he did so and clearing him a space to land. Now in the middle of the crowd, he would begin yet another deadly dance.

Edited by danzilla3

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"Keep the rest of these assholes off me."

Ash had taken one of the armored robes of a nearby fallen guard. It was big on him, hanging about to the ankles, but it concealed his naked whiteness from the night with a shroud of black. He’d gotten his father’s sword back, miraculously. It was only after gaining it back now, after nearly having lost it for the first time ever, that Ash realized how devastating it would be to him if he lost the last remnant of his lost lineage. Within his hand was the weapon of his choosing, within his mind unwavering determination.

Crouching before Phoebe as her spear launched overhead, Ash followed in the blade’s blistering wake. His targets, the men framing the projectile’s path en route to Amirah, scarcely saw him in a whorling of wind and fabric before he was upon them, among them.

He took out the first, who had turned his back foolishly to follow the Mindgorger with his eyes, much like he had earlier; a blade to his calf hamstrung it into the air, the elbow of Ash’s other arm crushing his nose as his balance left him, driving his head into concussion as the pit of his knee bled profusely.

The second was turning his weapon toward Ash even as the warmth of his comrade’s blood spattered his face. The crouching Ash’s blade slid sickeningly from the knee tendons of his first victim in a straight horizontal line into the man’s abdomen. Guts and gore gurgled and gushed from the wound as Ash pivoted around the man’s back, reaching around him with his free hand and grasping his trigger hand to release a spray of dying friendly fire on his fallen foe’s nearby friends.

He also used this second body to shield him from the wave of hot air washing in from The Phoenix.

A fatal wound turned into the inhalation of blazing hot wind, and the ultimate death by friendly fire of Ash’s second enemy.

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"INSOLENT BITCH! THERE WON'T EVEN BE ASHES WHEN I'M DONE WITH YOU!"

If she had a dollar for every time someone called her a bitch...

At this point, the supposed insult drew a swell of humor and no blood-- banal, it was as toothless as a babe, and twice as soft, so harmless that Phoebe winked and came seconds from blowing the dark-skinned Phoenix a kiss, before Amirah abruptly found her reserves and coalesced into a raging, churning inferno.  The pressure was intense; the heat, worse, and for a moment, Phoebe was locked within herself. 

Too late in defending, she scrambled to hold Amirah in place, but momentum was a force unto itself, and the psionic binds shattered, ricocheting within the First's mind like glass-sharp shrapnel.  She winced, recoiled under her arm as a shield, and ground her teeth as Amirah raged.

"'She's mine?'" Amirah laughed, "You took the words right out of my mouth. Nobody else but me will have the pleasure of killing you!"

"I guess it'll be nobody, then..." Phoebe spat in reply as she split her mental efforts, alternately defending and preparing.  Her wall of psionics wove together at breakneck speed, racing against the searing heat and flame, angling it up and away before it could make a very real pyre out of the First and grabbing, reaching, telekinetic fingertips grasping at its trailing edge like calmer thoughts snatch to recall angry words. 

She was intensely conscious of the temperature-- feeling it cool as it whipped past her psionic tendrils as they sought the Mindgorger, and blazing-hot where she stood, pinned beneath Amirah's searing wrath.  The soles of her shoes were tacky like glue, sticking as she shifted her weight and tried to better balance the Phoenix's overwhelming onslaught.  It took time-- time and concentration-- but, at the far end of the roof, the tip of her streaking Will finally caught the spear by its end, and she grinned.

Mid-air, the Mindgorger jerked to a stop, well over the edge of the building and teaching Phoebe a lesson in not throwing her weapons.  She beckoned it; a come-hither tickle beneath the curve that turned it, so slowly, until its point targeted Amirah once again on a downward bent toward the floor, not the open air.  In her attack, the Phoenix flared; a sudden blaze that drove Phoebe further toward the floor, crouched protectively around herself as the tattoos winding down her arms flared brightly, their reserves played like an incoming Queen to the chess board. 

Phoebe almost lost the spear; it danced at the very edges of her power, at its nails, moved in small fractions and gestures with friction, not grip.  The work to line it up was exhausting, requiring concentration she barely had amidst Amirah's ongoing war, but after long, painful seconds, she believed its aim was true and shot it outward, sending its wicked edge exploding into motion, piercing the air as it sped toward them like a missile.

Simultaneously, Phoebe tucked, throwing her shoulder down and rolling beneath Amirah.  The psionic shield fell away-- it had to-- and in its place she summoned long spears with shot up from the roof like a balustrade, aiming to run the Firebird through, as the heat surrounded her like an oven.

Edited by Noko

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At first, Amirah thought she had finally gained the definitive advantage over The First; forcing the other woman to push her powers to the limit just to avoid being incinerated. Her destructive power was the greatest among The Seven; the flames of The Phoenix having never faced something they could not destroy. Some held out longer than others, Phoebe having survived the longest; but all defenses eventually crumbled before Amirah's power. Victory was at hand, and it clouded her judgement. The raw bloodlust that propelled her power to such heights blinded her to tactics that she might have otherwise seen coming.

So focused on the utter annihilation of her most hated enemy was Amirah, that she was taken by surprise when Phoebe rolled underneath her. The sudden barrage of spears formed from the roof itself flew toward The Phoenix; threatening to turn her into a pincushion. Wings spreading, the blazing feathers flew forward to intercept the improvised attack. Each glowing projectile was more than hot enough to slag the spears and keep going to rain down upon The First. Phoebe's attack had caught her off guard, but her response would be a rain of fire that would leave her opponent a smoking ruin of a human being.

In anticipation of victory, Amirah had once again failed to remain aware of her environment, and so she only saw the Mindgorger rocketing towards her as a glint in the corner of her eye. Moving on instinct, she turned to intercept it, but it was too late. The weapon impaled her through the lower left part of her stomach. A cough tore out of her throat, crimson fluid spraying from her mouth. Falling through the air, she managed to put some distance between her and Phoebe before landing hard on her feet and sinking to her knees.

"Fuck.,,"

Amirah wrapped both her hands around the spear and tried to wrench the weapon free from her gut. Once it was out, she would quickly cauterize the wound before she could bleed out. Realizing that dislodging the spear would be more difficult than she thought, she formed another pair of wings that grew far larger than the first. They wrapped around her, a shield of solid fire to cover her while she tended to her wound.

Spoiler

I didn't do a Shikai part to this because he would basically just be beating up goons; but if you feel there should be one, just let me know @Noko

 

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