Daisuke studiously watches the LCD monitor that has been slap-dash wired to the Chaometer. "I hadn't thought about the fact that my tinker toy could've had practical usages," His finger clacks on the keys of the chaometer. "It only occurred to me after I spoke with AMI that it might actually be able to monitor both brain waves and chakra flow, and could possibly give us an indicator of what is going on inside. Through a combination of EEG and MRI style technology, as well as some of the on the fly dynamic node-based peer sharing technology to come out quite recently, macguyver'd together should provide a baseline for getting something of a live feed as to what is going on in Ranma's skull meat."
Ukyou and Shampoo share a slightly bemused expression before turning their eyes back to Cologne and Happosai.
The Amazon Elder gives a curt nod as she takes in what the techno-babbling teen was expounding upon, "Happi-kun, who is this boy if I can ask?"
Happosai srokes his chin in thought, looking at the makeshift body monitor and nodding as if he has a clue what the data means. "Beats me. Some friend of that Hiroshi fella, I think."
"Nakano Daisuke, Age 17. President of the Nerima Robotics Club, Chess Master, and Prime Intellect of Japan," Daisuke recites, hand to his heart.
Memeko heaves out a breath in exasperation, looking up at the ceiling, "Daisuke-kun is the only member of the Robotics club, and the rest is his imag-"
Daisuke growls, "Hey! I want fancy titles too!" His face takes on a dour expression as he jabs an accusing finger around the room at each individual, "All of you martial artists have cool titles and kickin' names for chop suey maneuvers."
Everyone exchanges looks, a brief moment of humor passing between them before Cologne clears her throat, "I won't point out all the things wrong with that sentence. You said this will monitor Son-in- I mean Ranma?"
Daisuke holds a finger up, a self-impressed and puffed up expression plastered on his face, "And Ryouga... then it will algorithmically parse the data into a visual format presented on this screen. Some of it is reverse engineered, ala my beautiful magician's assistant, the lovely A.M.I.; whom I am patched through wirelessly currently using these snazzy wireless headphones," He tapped the top of the LCD with the back of his knuckle, then leaned behind it, finishing the wiring, "All I need now is an ethernet jack."
Kasumi leans heavily on the door-frame to the back yard, "I'm sorry, Daisuke-kun, but what is an- what was it you said?" she turns to consider Nodoka, who shakes her head with as much clue-lessness as everyone else in the room.
"An ethernet Jack, an ethernet jack! The internet, people! Computers! The World Wide Web!" Daisuke thrashes about as he speaks, making a sour face from the vacant expressions of his compatriots.
Happosai and Cologne nod sagaciously before Happosai pipes in with hearty agreement, "Right, the internet m'boy."
"What is an internet?" Cologne inquires in an altogether too serious tone.
Happosai considers for a moment Cologne's question, then nods in an approving manner, "Yes, what I was wondering."
Daisuke gives a dejected, wibbly expression at Happosai and Cologne, "There's a word for your kind on USENET."
The irreverent Nabiki Tendou clears her throat, wincing as her side aches from the attention-getting sentiment, "You said an ETHERNET cable, Daisuke?"
Daisuke rubs his head as he grunts his frustration, "No, I said an ethernet JACK, There's a difference, see where it relates to electronic appliances-"
Nabiki reaches a delicate hand out and grabs Daisuke by the scruff of his neck, shaking firmly to shut the boy genius up, "Don't be an obtuse jackass, Nakano. I've got an ETHERNET setup upstairs, patched in through a T-1. Excuse me for using the wrong terminology."
Daisuke blinks twice in surprise, turning to face Nabiki Tendou, "You have a T-1? Why would you have an internet setup?"
Nabiki's eyes close, her teeth clenching as she keeps struggles to keep her patience, "Because I like to keep up on business trends. I've got to say since the phenomenal flop that most internet businesses went through last year that I was half tempted to cancel my connection, luckily for us, I didn't."
Daisuke straightens, his eyes glimmering with a newfound appreciation for the middle Tendou girl. Turning and looking back at the setup, he put a hand to his chin, "Well, it's certainly less than what I'm used to, but I guess a T-1 will have to do."
"Less than what you're-!" Nabiki's fingers twitch, wanting to dart out like ten venomous snakes and put the boy genius out of her misery. The only thing staying her hands was the debate on whether she should strangle the boy for the affront; did he have any idea how much she paid for that connection?
Daisuke shrugs his shoulders, giving a distant yet thoughtful expression as he idly adjusts a few knobs on the arcane device wired to Ranma's head, "Well, yeah. With efficient compression technologies based in quantum mechanics, you can eke out more than a few hundred terabits per second if you know what you're doing... but there's a big HEAT problem with transferring that much-" He pauses, turning to look at everyone, an incredulous expression plastered on his face, "Wait, you're just going to let me talk? That's really a bad plan."
"It's been a long night, Daisuke. Some might consider a bit of irreverence a reprieve, I think," Ukyou exhales, sliding to the ground aside the prone red-head. Taking up one of her icy hands, she twines her own fingers between the petite girls; ignoring the unsettling sensation of deep and abiding revulsion that washes over her. "I'm here, Ranchan. None of us are going to let you die, not one."
"Damn skippy, Captain Ucchan," Daisuke closes his eyes, his lips turning up in a cocky smile that would make Ranma proud as he puts a few fingers on the left dial of his headphones, "AMI, you there? Okay, we're working on T-1 capabilities. Oh? Well that's good," He pauses as Nabiki gives a searching look, "Algorithm should help a bit with speed issues, though I'd probably guess it might be a choppy show. Lieutenant Tendou!" He tosses the end of one cable to Nabiki, "Your mission is to go and connect this cable directly to your output box, that means disconnect your PC; we'll need all the bandwidth we can get!"
Nabiki tilts her head slightly to one side, narrowing her eyes, "I'm not in the military, but aye aye private Daisuke," She gives a half-hearted salute to the raven haired boy before turning and heading upstairs to her room, thankfully on the opposite side of the explosion that tore a chunk out of the house.
"Hey, I'm the one giving ranks here! And that's General!" He calls after her, shaking a fist at the stairs before he turns quickly, putting his hands on his hips.
Ukyou considers Daisuke, hand holding tightly to Ranma's, "It's good to see the old you again, Daisuke."
"Yeah, screw that. It's good to FEEL like the old me. Eureka up the yin yang, Team Daisuke is blasting off! Annnd- we're online!" His grin visibly brightens, an endeavor which a moment before might have seemed nominally impossible. He jogs to the bottom of the stairs, calling up, "Thanks, Lieutenant Tendou!" Before pinwheeling his arms and leaping back over to the mess of cables, snatching up the LCD while flipping several toggle-switches on the chaometer.
Nabiki glided back down the stairs and went to stand over Ukyou, watching Daisuke.
Nodoka tenderly holds a blanket around herself, her entire body aching and bandages covering much of her body. She looks up at Kasumi, whose skin is a raw red color from the frigid layer of ice that had been encasing her earlier. She turns to look at Nabiki, who pointedly ignores her while keeping her eyes on her motionless son. She looks to the strangely intense young man fiddling with wire and switches with a passionate abundance of energy and focus, "You're all trying so hard for my son... thank you."
Daisuke shakes his head, "No thanks needed, we're not doing this for your sake, Mrs. Saotome. Frankly, in my eyes you're a wench," Daisuke concentrates on the monitor before him, apparently ignorant of his callous response, and certainly ignorant of the wince which darts across everyone's face.
"Daisuke-kun, that wasn't very nice to say," Kasumi sounds weary, vaguely disappointed but certainly unsurprised, leaning in the same doorway where Nodoka is huddled. She turns her eyes to the older woman, noticing the physical and emotional pain reflected in that gaze but hidden behind a mask of propriety.
Cologne takes in the seeming distance that everyone has put between themselves and the elder Saotome Matriarch, noting the avoidance of eye contact and the manner of their postures. The least missed detail is the small but approving smile worn by Nabiki Tendou. *Much has happened here that I do not know of.* She casts her gaze to Happosai, who merely shakes his head. *Later* his expression says to her.
Daisuke shrugs one shoulder as he pulls some wires, an electricians tool suddenly in his hand as he strips away some of the plastic before placing the tool in his mouth, twisting the wires together before reconnecting them and grabbing the tool so he can speak, "Well, I'm not a nice person. I'm a pragmatist, a scientist, and a concrete thinker. That's all besides the point, though. I couldn't do much for Hiroshi, let me do what I can for Ranma. Besides, I'm sure Mrs. Saotome has been a major contributor to the Saotome School of Angst that has put us in this position to begin with."
His words cause Saotome Nodoka to lower her head, knowing that his condemnation of her part in the matter was well placed.
Daisuke straightens, holding the LCD screen in his hand, "There we go, much clearer picture. Huh, not too bad at the frame-rate, either, AMI," Turning, he hands the screen to Ukyou.
The chef takes the 1'x1' tablet, a curious expression flitting across her face, "I see Ryouga, but who are the other people?"
Daisuke jerks his head back and forth in a negative manner, "Not sure, but I've got this hooked up to Ranma's head. If Ryouga and he are connected, this is probably a dream of his or something. Or of Ryouga's. We should have audio, AMI, where's our Audio?" And as he asks, suddenly the small tablet starts blaring out a bit of static before settling onto voices.
"K-Kasumii! Nabikii! Akanee!" Comes the wailing voice of Soun Tendou as the patriarch sits up suddenly, casting his gaze around in worry before seeing his youngest laying beside him, her eyes closed. A moment later, the headache hits him, his hands flying to his head. "Kasumi! What- What happened? Is- Is Akane-?" He dare not ask, the fear gripping his chest like a vice.
Kasumi shakes her head, offering her best smile to her father, though the skin on her face burns fiercely to her sensation. "No, Father. Akane is alright, probably weathered it better than any of us. You and Mr. Saotome suffered a concussion from-"
"Ranma!" Genma shouts as he sits bolt upright, "Ranma!" Like Tendou he casts his eyes around, locking his gaze upon his son-turned-daughter.
Nabiki turns her attention to the two fathers, "Good of you to join us Daddy, Mr. Saotome. Oh, Daddy- we're going to need to renovate Akane's room."
Memeko smiles at Nabiki's half-hearted attempt at humor. "To be more accurate, Akane needs a new room, Tendou-San."
"Hold the phone, judging by the furniture, AMI says that Ryouga looks like he's in the 18th century. Or a dream set in the 18th- oh, well now there's a new person on the scene," Daisuke notices a strange reading on the chaometer, all of the indicators at maximum. He taps a few buttons to see if he has it calibrated correctly, "The Heck- must need some more fiddling."
Cologne peered over the boys shoulder at the figure on the screen, listening to their words before she body-checked Daisuke out of the way, hands clutching at the small tablet as her eyes widen in shock, "Vintarou-ryuu," Her body shakes from the sudden adrenaline spike rushing through her. Her words take on a gravitas of religious fervor, "The gods are watching over you, Ranma. I knew it, I always knew it, but I didn't know how true that sentiment was till now."
Happosai hopped onto Cologne's shoulder, his own eyes agape at the image, "Can't be real, Cologne. He's supposed to be dead."
Daisuke rubs his shoulder where the amazon had shoved him aside, snatching the LCD from Cologne's hands, "Scuse me, sensitive equipment, step back behind the line," He glares at the two of them, making a shooing motion to get them to step back and nodding as they begrudgingly step back. "That's better," He clears his throat, looking again at the screen, "Okay, so who is this-"
"He is one of the four divine pillars of heaven. They were an order of priests sent to watch over and guide humanity by the Kami," Cologne's words are said in quiet reverence.
Happosai bounces down from Cologne's shoulder, nodding in agreement to the explanation, "Of course, old Vintarou there supposedly died over two thousand years ago."
Cologne turns a raised brow to Happosai, "How do you know what he looks like, Happi?"
Putting both hands behind his head, the master of anything goes gave a quick chortle of amusement, "Snuck in on Shimitsu-sama in the bath, saw that big painting she's got in her bed chambers."
Cologne hangs her head heavily, shaking it back and forth, "Happi, one of these days you're going to get yourself well and truly killed."
It is Nabiki's turn to clear her throat, drawing the attention of the ancient pervert and the matriarch of the Amazons, "So wait, there's some sort of divine spirit watching out for Ranma?"
Ukyou's head turns in recollection of myriad moments of seeming unbelievable coincidence. "Ranchan always did seem favored by someone with a sense of humor."
"At least in this case," A serious, grave expression colors Cologne's face. "That being said, if Vintarou-ryuu is helping Ranma, and he is still in this state... that is very bad news for all of us."
"It would mean that Ranma is important to the Heavens for something. It would also mean that whatever has induced this coma is in direct opposition to the Kami," Memeko surmises, filling in the unspoken threat hanging in the air. She meets Cologne's eyes as the Matriarch considers her.
Cologne sees a familiar spark in those eyes, yet however much she concentrates she can discern nothing from the woman's chi. It was as if she were invisible. "You're related to that boy, aren't you?"
"Miramoto Memeko. You're referring to my brother," She shifts her stance, leaning on one foot. The untrained eye would be unable to catch the slightly tensed sinews, the just-so placement of her feet.
Cologne sizes the girl up, noting that her willowy arms were deceiving in their power, that though she seems at full measure a delicate and proper japanese woman, something lurked hidden beneath and revealed only to a master's eyes. "You and your brother... are like chinese puzzleboxes."
Memeko shows no surprise as her face takes on a catty smile, "I'll take that as a compliment, Matriarch. From one of your venerable age."
Even as Memeko makes a slight bow to Cologne, A soul-chilling sensation suddenly penetrates to the bones of both women; everyone present shudders visibly.
Cologne wastes no time, she points a finger at Ukyou, "Outside, now. Same with you, Miss Miramoto... and Happi, go and tell Granddaughter to form a perimeter with Ming-Mei and her Husband."
Nodoka looks up at Kasumi, whose gaze is turned on the Saotome Matriarch with concern and worry. She looks to Cologne as Happosai bounds out the back door past her. "What is going on? What was that- that sensation just now."
Cologne pulls Genma out of his bedding by the back of his gi, pushing him towards the door, "And Soun too, anyone that can fight," She pauses as she stands above Nodoka. "Bad news, that's what it is, Child."
Ranma's mother bristled at the insinuation, who was this girl to speak to her in such a matronly tone? "I'm older than you are."
Cologne's face matches the sour expression that was plastered on Nodoka's face, muttering under her breath about punishments fitting the crimes, "It is quite a long story, but I am far older than I seem, Saotome Nodoka."
The amazon Matriarch turns, ignoring the gaping mouth preluding another question or unsavvy comment from Nodoka as she points at Daisuke, "You monitor those two, we can't afford to have them dying. Tofuu!"
The Doctor looks up from his ministrations, trying to ease the pain of the writhing, whimpering Akarii, "To the best of my ability, Cologne-san. It's a handful though, Akarii-san is not in good shape," The doctor turns his attention back to the young country girl; a cloying black ichor covers much of her lower body, its surface frigid to the touch.
Cologne's heart goes out to the young doctor, "Good boy, you do that. Bad things happen if Ranma takes a turn. Worse than what is likely taking place now. Kasumi, Nabiki, Nodoka; Help Tofuu where you can, we're about to face a two front battle."
The Matriarch doesn't wait for their assent, gliding to the door quicker than the eye can blink. She throws it open and steps outside, hyper-aware of the chill in the air and the crystalizing of her breath in the unyielding coldness. Her eyes take in those visible to her; the young woman, Memeko, Happosai to one side.
"We've got a circle set up. I made sure to tell them to use whatever Ki attacks they know," Memeko's eyes are searching, watching the shadows lengthen and deepen.
Cologne allowed herself to smile, the girl was sharp and perceptive, "Fought demons before, have you girl?"
Memeko nods, her hair bound back in a tightly wound topknot. She had discarded her dress, wearing a functional tank and shorts beneath them, "Glasgow, several years ago. Lost my husband."
"Agents?" Cologne asks, though her eyes are set upon her surroundings, tensing and relaxing her muscles to prepare them for exertion.
"Tch, something like that," Memeko thrust her hands forward, spinning and giving a few quick jabs and kicks in midair to warm herself from the flesh-piercing cold before breathing out a large cloud of icy air, palm extending forward in Tiger-stance as her other hand tightened the sash around her hips.
Cologne shifts her weight, unsheathing her chinese short sword as the steel gave a ringing sound. "An honor, then," dropping into Dragon-over-water, her body is motionless as she waits; her eyes closed to heighten her spiritual sense.
It was not long before shiftless, amorphous sharp angles seemed to rise out of the growing shadows around them, Cologne turns forwards, sword cutting smoothly through the air and into one of the shapes as it quickly closes the distance between the two of them, slicing neatly through the faceless creature as its ichor slides effortlessly from the clean blade. With backhanded waving motion, her chi deflects the smatterings of the thing's blood from meeting with her flesh.
She quickly changes the angle of her momentum, melding into a backwards turn as she performs dragon-meets-the-sun, finishing the flourish with a backflip as another figure stumbles and falls into halves, motes of its flesh drifting up as if seared. She kneels close to the ground, extending her arm in a wide-flourishing sweeping gesture from right to left; tiger-wanders-forest. She Ends it with a soft slap of her hand upon the snow-laden ground and creating an outward dusting of snow to again disperse the corrupting blood of the darklings.
She opens her eyes briefly to see the unnatural things plodding from foot to foot in a wide berth around her, no one sharing another's shape. This one has three arms on one side, that one's face is in its shoulder, another looks like some stitched together giant mantis on one side, and a bulldog's gaping maw on the other.
She brings her foot back in to the center of her stance and rises gracefully, balanced on one foot as she holds the hilt of her blade above her head; the freezing steel caressing her bosom as eight of them begin to close around her. Like a spring she seems to pop up into the air, just over the back of one and her blade gives a snicker-snack as it slides through the torso of one creature, severing a third of it before sinking halfway into the next. Cologne allows her weight to carry her downward into a corkscrew as she pulls the blade from the impaled creatures eye before continuing with her momentum in a series of precisely placed jabs that catch three more of the minor demons in their eyes. "Serpent-strikes-the-stars," She recites under her breath.
Three back away from the Matriarch; their hissing of anger a soul-shuddering sound. They undulate and shift back and forth, their shapes mingling and diffusing as more claws came out, Lunging at the persistent woman impeding their path.
Cologne leans left, and right, hopping lightly as one lunges for her legs with it's claws. Her foot lands atop one of the darkling's arms briefly before she pins another arm to the ground with her sword, tumbling forward over the hilt as she reaches into her cheongsam with her free hand and snaps her wrist out, driving a small throwing knife into the chest of the creature looming over her with four arms as she drops into a kneeling position; Mantis-bows.
Sensing movement behind her, Cologne places her palm against the ground and pivots to a crouching position, letting the haft of her blade slide so that the edge parallels her arm she springs forward at the single-eyed, amorphous tentacle creature of shadow, her blade dancing as appendages become cleft in twain. She holds two fingers in front of her chest, her breathing controlled as her yellow hair seems to flit and rise from a heat surrounding her. The heat seems to dissipate the droplets of demonic blood that spatter and spray around her.
Suddenly, one of the tentacled extensions grazed her fingers with razor sharp protrusions from the rubbery skin, simultaneously clasping at the end of her blade as it pulled. Cologne's eyes narrowed as she ducked, her own sword flying from her hand over her head and whispering through several strands of hair. Then she felt a deadening thump against her chest as she found herself thrown back, one of the rubbery stumps having collided with her chest.
Cursing, she reaches down for the wriggling spines lodged in her right breast and pulls them out, her chi incinerating the bony bits of detritus. Wiping the back of her hand against her lips, she bends left-wise as a demon with sickles for arms tries to sever her head from her neck, though the edge sears through her jawline as she stumbles sideways. Her left hand flies to her neck, feeling the hot blood there as the world seems to begin pulsing a grey-blue color. Her mouth fills with tang as she straightens and extends a hand, "Mokou Takabisha." She says in a wet, gurgling voice.
And just as that, the ground seems to crack below her and explode upwards, then directly towards the demon whose edged arms have nicked her. A brilliantly phosphorescent beam blasted forth from her extended hand. Its light engulfs the sickle-armed monstrousity, and with a muffled groaning noise, it quietly implodes. Cologne stumbles forward, her mouth opening as more blood spills out, the sound of her heart in her head thundering and loud as the edges of the world start to swim in faint light. She clenches the wound in her neck and clenches her teeth as her hand suddenly warms to burning, searing the wound closed and drying the blood upon it.
She continues her momentum forward, using the reeling sensation in her head as a guide, seeing flashing images of arms, sharp points and other body parts narrowly missing her. She finds herself smiling in a delirious manner as she strikes with her fists, channeling chi into each strike to the chests of the dark beings. Her mind was oxygen deprived, she could sense... but Drunken Style didn't require a lucid mind to operate.
As seconds tick by, she is unable to count the number of strikes she has landed, but realizes she is surrounded by several of the soulless beings. They had gotten bigger if her mind isn't playing tricks on her. Then again, perhaps it is. Drunkenly, she looked to her right and noticed her sword lodged by its tip in the Tendou exterior wall. Reaching out, she clasps the haft and dislodges in a sweeping motion at the creatures trying to hesitantly close their distance around the matriarch.
Her vision is blocked as something large and suffocating engulfs her head, then she feels herself being lifted and thrown... and now she smashes into the ground, pain lancing through every nerve of her body as for the first time in a hundred years she screams in intense agony. Her world is red, its edges bleeding into each other as the great grasp of the Oni unwraps itself from her face. It's distant, cold eyes glimmer in glee at her suffering. It's gaping maw filled with row upon row of razor sharp teeth as it smiles down from its lofty height.
*Then this must be it, to die here in this foreign place, unredeemed and forsaken... if only I could have saved Ranma, perhaps I would have gathered some meaning from all this madness. You've had a long run of it, old woman...* Cologne stares up at the descending maw of the Oni in resignation before a white hot point of light begins to grow at the back of the creatures throat. Without warning, the Oni's head simply explodes.
The blurry figure wavers, its enormous clawed hands seeming to grasp at nothing as it stumbled and then falls backwards. Cologne feels her lids sliding closed, her will forcing them to open again as she looks up at a stone-gray, washed out figure of Memeko Miramoto, her hands casting throwing knives summoned up seemingly from the ether, "Kage-do!" She cries out, her voice retaining a reverberating quality as she seems to almost float from one moment to the next. Shifting her body with a supreme amount of effort she continues watching the girl dance a circle around her. Cologne is unsure if it is the delirium affecting her reality, only that the young woman seems fluid and weightless, even perching and pirouetting up one demons arm then down the other; encouraging the beast to lop its own arm off.
"Cologne! Get your happy ass up, woman!" The elder Miromoto Sibling spits out, sinking an arm into the creatures chest and causing the thing to jolt and stutter like a puppet with its strings tangled before collapsing in a melting heap of shadow stuff. Her hands clap together before she makes several spiritual gestures as focus; the quickly evaporating shadow stuff rises and splits before lancing out in a spiraling motion to sink into the chests of several lumbering Oni, causing them to twitch and spasm before molten holes opened wide upon their bodies, causing them to fall over in even more evaporating shadowstuff.
"..h..how..." Cologne croaks out, coughing hard; her lungs feeling as if they themselves were seething with blood as a spatter ejects from her lips.
Memeko curses under her breath, her green eyes looking down at the youthened Matriarch in consternation, "Get up, Cologne. You can focus your chi and force out the pain for a brief time, you'll burn through it really fast, but get your ass up. I can't keep doing this all day and these jokers keep getting bigger."
*The girl is right*, Cologne Realizes, *I cannot afford to die now, not before knowing-" She closed her eyes, affording her the energy to center herself, feeling her body going cold as she pushed the chi into the chakra point below her navel. For an eternity she dwells, the steady sound of her slowing heart the only sensation and emotion that abided her meditation. Meticulously she gathers the heat in around her to warm herself once more, Her eyes snapping open as the world was suddenly etched in brilliant splendor, colors richer than the deepest love. Her pain was a brief afterthought in the back shelf of her mind, underneath worn memories and discarded notions.
Pressing her hands to the ground, she rights herself, looking up at the Miramoto girl and noting the flickering embers of her chi. The girl herself looked somewhat pale and washed out, even despite the vibrant and intense world her chi-powered body had instilled within her. "You're using their negative chi and infusing it with your own."
Memeko steps into the stance of one of the demons, an open palm thrusting upwards and connecting to the Oni's jaw with a sickening crunching noise. "Like I said, can't keep this up for long, Matriarch. Gimme a hand."
Cologne reaches to grab her blade before she moves to Memeko, positioning her back to the young woman's as she Brandished the edge. She counted the darklings against the Oni, finding that while the number of opponents had decreased, the size of each had substantially increased. "The more we defeat, the stronger they become... the deaths of the lessers are opening up the way for the greaters."
"Or perhaps they realize that sending the small fry through isn't working," Memeko pants Raggedly, beads of sweat rolling down her face as she pops one of the knuckles of her thumbs, throwing several quick jabs and kicks at one of the hulking brutes waving its large, pendulous arms at her.
Cologne leans into a strike, impaling the oni before her as she pushes chi down the blade and pulls the edge up through the demon's middle like butter, the heat of her spirit cauterizing the thing as it falls into two quivering halves. Her eyes dart westward, noting the flashing of a familiar explosion. She catches a brief glance of Happosai, bounding from one beast to the next as he lobs Happodaikarin at the hulking entities. Not too far beyond him are the others, Each working in concert with a partner to keep backs clear of the enemy.
Shampoo and Ming-Mei had paired off, the two girls flashing blade and bonbori through lesser demons while Ukyou and Mousse subdued yet another of the Oni. The Okonomiyaki Chef had several severe contusions and lacerations dotting her body, but she continued fighting. Mousse seemed to have lost some usage of his left arm. "This is bad... we have to end this now before things get worse, so that we can regroup."
"Worse is coming, I'm sure you can guess," Memeko's eyes fluttered as she wavered for a moment causing her brown hair to sway with the movement, her head feeling full of cotton and ice, stumbling and almost falling before she righted herself. "What about the Hiryuu Shoten-ha?"
Cologne shakes her head, wondering how often she might be surprised by this girl's family. Or by the girl herself, "I assume Ranma told you about the maneuver, but it wouldn't work... in this circumstance there are too many of them, it would be hard for one of us to make the spiral."
Memeko blocks a clenched oni fist with her forearm, gritting her teeth as she feels the bone bend but not break before she swings into the Oni's stance again and snaps her fist upwards, bending its elbow the wrong way and causing the creature to groan in rage, "Who said anything about ONE of us, Cologne? If all of us spiral outward to the dividing walls..." She leaps from left to right as the enraged oni attempts to club her to death with its damages appendage, the forearm flailing about with a grotesque crunching noise.
The Matriarch's eyes suddenly twinkle with delight at the idea as a pattern forms in her head, "We can all manage to divide them as we make the spiral... but that's going to cause quite a bang when it goes off."
"Have a better option?" Memeko again sinks her hand into the chest of the Oni as it looms above her, causing the thing to twitter and twitch before she hefted her weight into pushing the thing backwards, stumbling from left to right, "I'm almost out, and I'd rather not die and leave my little one a ridiculously wealthy orphan. Can you imagine what antics she would get up to by herself?"
"I didn't know you were a mother, Miramoto-san," Cologne likewise steps into the stance of the oni, sinking her blade into its chest. It looked at her with a bemused expression before she again channeled her chi into the blade and walked up the demons legs and around its hip, dragging the blade as it began screaming in agony before she completed the circuit and the torso seperated from the lower half, rancid black ichor spurting from the hip-stumps as she landed with its upper body on the ground, her blade impaling its face before it could reach up and grab her.
Memeko managed a bright smile as she thought of her little girl, taking steps back towards Cologne as two more of the Oni advanced. "It would be the other thing I'm good at, besides killing demons."
Cologne managed to laugh, "Naturally," she falls silent, her focus entirely on staving off the demon hordes as her compatriots wind their way towards her.
Memeko herself focuses the last vestiges of her energy upon deflecting and evading the blows, noting that the lesser demons were all but gone, only lumbering oni amassing towards them as she noted the other girls closing the gap.
They fall into a circle, Cologne picking Happosai up and smothering him against her Bosom as she sinks some of her lingering Chi into the shrivelled pervert, "Happi, we're going to need you at full power if we are going to pull this off."
Happosai coos in delight, the warmth of Cologne's youthful bosom invigorating to the old man's vastly depleted stores of pervert energy. He casts his gaze up at Cologne's cool blue eyes, "Not that li'l ol' me's complainin' about a free grope, Cologne-chan," He emphasized his point by squeezing her juicy melons with his wrinkled hands, "But care to explain?"
She placidly ignores Happosai's philandering as she speaks, "We're going to conduct a six point Hiryu-Shotenha, with you as the focus," She closes her eyes, concentrating on her flow of chi; Hyperaware that it is sluggish and waning qui. If she survived this, she wouldn't be in fighting shape for at least a month. Her lips part while her eyes remain closed, every word an effort that worked upon her vastly stretched resources, "Happi, you'll have to tell the others quickly what to do... none of us have much time," She runs her fingers through the wiry gray hairs on either side of the old Master's head as she opens her eyes, looking down at Happosai. "Can I trust you with this, Happi?"
Happosai's eyes flicker with a renewed fervor, "Cologne-chan, if there were ever a time to protect my school from death, this'd be it. Besides, I've dumped too much time into Ranma just to let the ungrateful brat kick it, you can count on that."
Before she speaks again, Happosai leaps from the warmth of her breasts and out onto the battlefield, explosions of smoke and fire following each bounding arc of the tiny man with his telltale cry of, "Happo-daikarin!"
Her eyes search the battlefield, even as one of the Oni thundered towards her, its feet shaking the ground as its pendulous arm swung at her. She leaps upward, just high enough to clear the demons arm with her hand vaulting over the cold, leathery skin. The crushing sound of stone cracking crashed through the air as the demons clawed hand met with the outer dividing wall of the Tendou Dojo. Pebbles fall from its grasping digits as they clutch the crushed stone, preparing to either lob the portion of wall at Cologne or make her into meal with it.
Her eyes narrowed as she kept an eye on the rock as it descended towards her; her lip turned upwards in a small smirk as the demon still grasped the stone. She calmly shifts her feet into a more relaxed stance and extended her hand to meet the rock, her index finger extended, "Bakusai Tenketsu".Her body convulsed as she felt one of the last bits of sustaining chi flow into the rock before the boulder violently exploded.
The Oni roars, it's pain causing her bones to vibrate as she collapses to her knees, coughing as blood pours out of her mouth vomitously. "D-Dammit," She clutches at her ribs, the movement causing the world to shift between black and a grey scale. "I can't- yet-" She felt the Oni fall to the ground, shaking the area around her from its immense weight.
She coughs again, blood pouring down her chin into the cleft of her bosom and dripping from the chest of her kimono. Cologne turns her eyes up to see a figure, her eyes unable to focus as arms take hold of her and lift her.
Matriarch... rest please. We will do what needs doing. The severe tone of Ming-Mei was still audible, even as cologne found herself struggling against losing consciousness.
Struggle, her limbs unresponsive as she fights to control her body. She cannot let it end this way... "-I- I can't... Must... finish..." Warmth, she feels chi flowing into her body to try and help knit some of the injuries. Enough sensation returns to her face that she feels the cold tears upon her cheeks.
Ming-Mei speaks evenly, her words careful, They sent me to protect you, Matriarch. Let me do my job... You taught me what I need to know to help the others, rest now.
Cologne finds no more strength to respond, the strange warmth imparted by Ming-Mei's chi seeming to sap the remainder of her resolve as she closes her eyes, finding slumber taking her.
She tries to struggle, to fend off the reclaiming darkness seizing her broken frame... feeling Ming-Mei set her down upon the cold earth again. All else was broken, disjointed in her struggle. She heard screams of pain, roars of bestial fury from the unearthly creatures assaulting the dojo.
And then, only four voices in the end... crying out with what surely must have been raised fists.