STILL NOT HER DAY
AUTHOR's NOTE: Okay, we all know the drill, I do not own the Shinobi series, nor do I own the rights to the game Nightshade (Kunoichi.) This story is not a novelization of the events of said game, as that would take a considerable amount of effort, effort of course being the thing I do not have. Well that and a squad of hot kunoichi to act as my bodyguards, I don't have that either, but I'm more likely to get effort before that. In any case, this is however an accurate retelling of the events of the story as they happened FOR REAL... I would know, I was there.
Clad in a red and white outfit she stood upon the roof of a building that seemed to descend forever into the pre-rendered city below. Her feet were planted firmly on the concrete roof, her stance was unyielding to any incoming attack. She gazed out into the distance, looking for something in the horizon as she spun a short blade casually, as though this dangerous task took no effort whatsoever. Suddenly, seeing what she sought, the ninja girl lowered a pair of goggles from the helmet she wore. The goggles settled comfortably on her fair face and their eyes lit up as a visual display seen only by their wearer read: Totally Bad-Ass Viewfinder Sequence Initiated.
"This is Hibana," came the flowing voice of the female mercenary as she spoke into her communicator, "enemies have entered the blockade."
"Yeah about that," replied the dry-toned commander through her headset, "we have other matters to deal with right now."
"Other matters?" Hibana asked, a puzzled expression crossing her face.
"Well you see," said the commander in the tone of a person about to explain an entire plot in the course of a few sentences, "after the first Shinobi game just completely bombed, we sort of ran out of funding for our super-secret government ninja program."
"Don't ask," replied the voice, who we shall refer to (for the sake of convenience) as Bob the Talking Guy, "we've already had to fix the fourth wall twice today. Anyway," he continued in the tone of someone who does not like their author-given nickname but who is just going to have to DEAL WITH IT, "we needed a way to raise revenue for your continued employment as a mercenary, so we... well to put it simply we held a contest."
"Yes, on the internet."
"Damn it," Hibana shouted into her communicator, "if you sold any more of my garments on the internet, I'm going to jump through this headset to wherever the Hell you are, and sodomize you with a porcupine!"
"No no," said Bob hastily to avoid yet another painful porcupine removal treatment, "nothing like that, we learned our lesson the first time. Anyway, the contest was to determine who was your biggest fan based on essays that people submitted, along with generous cash donations."
"So who won?"
"Well actually... only one person entered, forty-three times. But he donated a great deal of money through some Nigerian bank account, so we sort of overlooked the fact his essay only said the words Hibana Is Awesome, repeated for eleven pages per entry."
"So," Hibana asked, tiring of dialog, "what did he win, an autograph or something."
"Uh well," Bob replied sheepishly, "This guy, his name's Mark by the way, won the chance to spend an entire week with the person of whom he is the biggest fan."
"Wait, you don't mean--was
Now Hibana was not a bad kunoichi, in fact she was one of the best. But unfortunately, she'd become so wrapped up in her conversation with Bob the Talking Guy, that her ninja-senses had not been trained on the environment around her. Had she been paying attention, she would have noticed a dark haired boy in his late teen years, dressed in black, standing behind and slightly to the right of her current position. But as it was, she did not notice this boy until he reached out with his right index finger and poked her gently on her upper arm.
"Hi Hibana, I'm Mark and I'm your biggest fan and I won the contest so we get to spend a week together doing bad-ass ninja stuff, although I guess not really ninja stuff since you're a kunoichi, so I guess I mean bad-ass kunoichi stuff but that's still really cool too... you're pretty." Mark proclaimed in what had to be the most graphic violation of the English language in the form of a run on sentence ever created.
"Holy shit!" was Hibana's immediate response, her secondary response being to leap away from that which had surprised her, which of course sent her flying off the edge of the massive building.
As she fell, one could slightly discern her saying something about how today was apparently not her day, a phrase she would become all too familiar with over the course of that week. Unfortunately, having been in contact with her at the time of her inadvertent leap from the building, Mark was dragged along with her by the sheer force of her jump. Reacting as any ninja would, Hibana began to scan the sky below her for something to land on. Reacting as only he would, Mark clung to Hibana like a spider to a hot ninja chick and screamed about how he was falling. Luckily, Hibana spotted something below her, and while she didn't much like where this was going, she knew it was the only way. So, preparing for the shock of sudden impact, Hibana landed with surprising ease on the back of a full-speed stealth bomber.
"Cool!" Mark cried with glee. "Do you do that all the time?! Because that was awesome. Hey is their food on this plane?"
"You almost killed me!" Hibana snapped, glaring hatefully at this slightly-short boy who stood before her. "And no, I'm fairly certain there's no food on here."
"I'm going to check."
With that, Mark strode across the flat deck of the mobile aircraft, finding a security hatch near nose of the plane. Opening it, he descended inward with little regard for what could lie in wait beyond it. While he searched about inside the depths of the plane for nourishment, Hibana looked out across the cityscape with a bemused scowl adorning her face.
"This better have made you a lot of money." She muttered into her communicator.
Suddenly, from what seemed like nowhere, a traditional video game grunt-enemy materialized before Hibana. Sighing with pure boredom, she unsheathed her katana and sliced the enemy in half in a single, graceful motion. But even as she did so, more attackers appeared atop the plane like ants on a carcass (a plane-shaped carcass.) Leaping through the air, Hibana moved with such speed that after-images of her swiftly-moving figure were left behind along with a "whoosh" sound that confused even her. Her foes never stood a chance, as she cut down one after another, artfully combining flowing strikes from her katana with rapid twirling flurries from her two smaller blades. It was roughly at this point that Hibana heard Mark calling up to her through the armored surface of the plane.
"Hey Hibana, I found a button," he shouted, "it says Backup. I think it's the call button for the flight attendants, so I'm going to order some tacos, do you want any?"
"Don't push that button!" Hibana screamed, smashing a randomly-placed crate for emphasis.
"Well fine, I'll just order myself some tacos." Mark muttered. "I was going to pay for your food too, you know."
"Mark wait you don't understand, don't push the..."
But it was eight words too late, as Mark had already pressed the button, which sent out a signal by radio from this particular plane to several others. Almost instantaneously, two planes appeared, having lowered their cloaking devices for some reason. Hibana stared in horror as the two vessels sped toward her, and each fired a ballistic missile in her direction. Reacting with the logic that can only apply to someone who just jumped onto the back of a stealth bomber, Hibana waited until each missile was in range before leaping toward them and giving each one a solid and powerful kick. Apparently the technology that allowed these missiles to track high-speed targets and make highly advanced targeting calculations had the downside of making them highly vulnerable to being kicked, a setback which many angry loading workers had found out the hard way during the missiles' initial shipment.
"Damn it," one pilot said as the missiles reversed direction entirely, "she kicked the missiles, what do we do now."
"Maybe if we hold our exact positions while still moving straight toward the missiles, they won't hit us!" The other pilot replied optimistically.
Upon agreeing that this seemed like the practical way to evade certain death, the pilots were blown to pieces, along with their planes, by the ballistic projectiles, which seemed to cackle with mad delight as they decimated the two planes with alarming ease. Hibana relaxed for a moment until she heard a noise that sounded a lot like a hatch opening on the surface of the plane. Hoping it was Mark emerging from within so that she could beat him senseless for nearly getting them both killed, she turned swiftly, only to be faced by a stationary gun emplacement.
"So the Gun Turret button didn't work for getting food either." Mark called from inside the plane.
"Is there even a pilot in there?!" Hibana shouted over the roar of the turret rotating and locking onto her slender frame.
Approaching this situation through the mind of a ninja, Hibana realized she would have to alter her tactics to destroy this laser cannon before it fired on her. So, calling up her vast array of ninja training, she darted forward with a quick "whooshing" noise and kicked the crap out of it until it retracted in terror. Further turrets sprung up upon the plane like pimples on an adolescent, but they all quickly withdrew in what was essentially the Artificial Intelligence equivalent of terror as Hibana systematically kicked them into varying states of disrepair. At last, all of the stationary laser cannons had stopped coming, having developed a sufficient fear of Hibana's kicking ability, and the surface of the plane lay dormant, save for the kunoichi herself.
The now-familiar noise of a hatch opening broke the silence, and Hibana spun, ready to pummel another inanimate death machine, only to find Mark climbing onto the surface of the plane, holding two bottles of Coke and an empty bag of chips, the latter of which he discarded casually. With a friendly smile that suggested he knew nothing of his own idiocy, Mark offered Hibana one of the beverages that he held, and swiftly drank the other.
"I should beat you severely for what just happened out here," Hibana said while opening the bottle of Coke she had quickly accepted, "but I think that would be bad for PR, so I'll just do it later."
"Okay." Mark replied, not even acknowledging the fact that he'd just been threatened. "So what do we do now?"
"Well I guess we wait for this plane to pass by a low building where we can jump off." Hibana mused.
But before she could further elaborate on this disembarking strategy, a cyborg leapt onto the surface of the plane from a nearby roof. Silently it stared at Hibana, who looked around to find that Mark had scampered casually back to the security of the plane's internal chambers, leaving her alone to face the obligatory level boss. Letting out a truly comical noise which resembled a goat with stomach cancer, the cyborg charged toward Hibana, with a clear intent to grievously maim her. Yet again, Hibana thought back to her extensive training and selected a technique that would best fit this particular foe.
Stepping casually to the side, about two feet from her initial position, Hibana extended her katana and fatally clothes-lined the cyborg. Startled and confused by its sudden and abrupt defeat, the cyborg stood still and emitted noises that were implicit of internal explosions.
"You better hope your warranty is still good." Hibana quipped.
"Why," Mark asked, suddenly standing by her side again, "didn't he just try to kill you? If he had a warranty, he could be fixed free-of-charge and come kill you again."
"I know that," Hibana replied through clenched teeth, "I was trying to deliver a classic one-liner, which you just destroyed."
"Yeah speaking of destroyed, I found another button and--was
This time reacting with a training skill less humorous than before, Hibana seized Mark firmly in her arms and leapt from the plane as its self-destruct sequence activated. Coils of smoke emanated from where she had just been standing, and the heavily-armored air vehicle crumbled into flaming pieces of wreckage that rained down on the city below. Meanwhile Hibana flew through the air, propelled by her ability to jump long distances and somehow dash forward through the air, landed safely on a building, still clutching Mark firmly to prevent him from falling to what she wistfully hoped would be his death.
"This is fun." came Mark's muffled voice, his slightly shorter stature having placed his head in a spot we will refer to as slightly below Hibana's neck but above her stomach, and if that isn't clear enough, take an anatomy class.
"Stop that," Hibana scolded, pushing him a reasonable distance away, "do you have any idea how annoying it is when people do that while I'm trying to save them? And yes it does happen a lot!"
"I... I'm sorry." Mark stuttered in mock sadness.
"Whatever," the patience-lacking kunoichi relented, "let's just get you somewhere safe before I break my code of ethics of carve out your intestines with a salad-spoon."
"That sounds like a good plan!" Mark cried, following at Hibana's heels as she walked further along the roof on which they had landed...
LOCATION: Huge-Ass Building
"Hibana, I see you've encountered some predictable enemies." Bob's voice crackled over the headset.
"Yeah, and it was all Mark's fault!" Hibana replied.
"Who are you talking to?" Mark asked. "You know talking to yourself is a sign of mental collapse, right?"
"Shut up." Hibana barked angrily.
"Insubordination will not be tolerated." Bob replied in an irritated tone.
"No not you."
"Then who?" Mark asked.
"Oh forget it," Hibana sighed, "this is just going to get even more annoying the more I try and make sense of it. Bob, I'm going to navigate toward the subway station a few blocks from here and get this kid home before he gets me killed."
"But I was suppose to spend a week with you!" Mark protested, with a crestfallen expression.
"Well that's just too damn bad, now follow me." Hibana ordered.
Bob, having been channeled out of the conversation felt pretty left out at this point. He had always been the one to give Hibana mission debriefings through her headset, the only person with whom she exchanged dialog. But now this kid was working his way into Hibana's favor, and after only a day. Well, this aggression would not stand! Bob had to do something about it, something stupid and costly. Yes... that's what he would do.
Stubbornly, Mark followed Hibana, wanting to spend what could possibly be his only bit of time with her as physically close to her as he could be without actually adhering himself to her body. Hibana didn't say anything, wanting to avoid whatever unpleasant conversation she could possibly have with this creepy fan-boy. She just wanted to get him on a train home and away from her as quickly as she could. But these thoughts came to a halt, as did Hibana (causing Mark to crash into her), when something very out of the ordinary occurred.
From what seemed to be ordinary air, a tiny portal formed, and from it sprung horrific demons from the depths of Hell. The portal disappeared, but those who had sprung through it now remained standing on the roof of the building, and they all looked at Hibana with the fury of demons. But the kunoichi was not to be deterred so easily. Stepping forward, she unsheathed her katana and dashed toward first one enemy then another, extending her sword so rapidly that it almost seemed as though nothing had cloven the demons in two. But Hibana knew better, and unfortunately so did Mark.
"Oh, can I say it?" Mark asked as the world around them took on a more cinematic view.
"Say what?" Hibana asked.
"The cool punch-line that goes with these awesome slow-motion death sequences."
"Well I guess so."
"Okay, let's see," Mark thought aloud, "uh... what should I say? Uh, how ab... no that's no good. Uh..."
"Just say something!" Hibana urged as the Hellspawn began to notice they had been rapidly killed.
"Uh... BELIEVE IT!"
"That was it?!" Hibana laughed. "What do you think this is, an episode of Naruto?"
But apparently such a cheesy and unrelated phrase was suitable enough for the Hellspawn. Upon realizing they had been cut in two, they held a brief discussion during which they agreed to react according to the given circumstances. So,, they died, their bodies falling to pieces as polygonal blood spewed from their severed appendages. Hibana sheathed her blade coolly and looked at Mark skeptically.
"You have no life whatsoever, do you?" she asked.
"Uh no... I guess not." Mark said, taken aback by the question.
"I mean," Hibana continued, her viciousness increasing like an in-game chakra meter, "when you enter an online contest with a three word essay that you dragged out for eleven pages, you've pretty much hit rock bottom as far as a social life goes right?"
"And you have to be some kind of loser to not even be able to think of a catchy one-liner for a death sequence, am I right?" Hibana continued, feeling a cathartic release as she methodically broke down Mark's self-esteem.
"I'm not a--was
"A person with a good sense of self-preservation or social skills," Hibana cut in, finishing Mark's sentence for him, "no, you are not. Now come on, I'm going to send you home so you can get online and brag about how easy it was for you to ruin my day."
Hibana was not normally this mean to people she wasn't actively slaughtering. But this day had gone from mundane to terrible in what felt like no time at all, and it was all Mark's fault. He had been trying to help, but he was just such an idiot. Hibana sighed, wishing that the day was over and not even noticing that Mark was trembling as he followed her across the conveniently placed bridges that connected the buildings on which they walked. Ordinarily, had someone in her company been as distressed by her actions as Mark now was, Hibana would have at least tried to talk to them, but considering the fact that it was Mark, she didn't even notice.
As they continued their rooftop trek, hordes of Hellspawn emerged at an alarming rate, only to be met by Hibana's ferocious attacks. Her blade sliced enemies in half with such rapidity that they didn't even feel it until someone pointed it out to them. Her short swords whirled through the air with comical spinning noises, eviscerating more demons than (Note to Editor: Insert suitable mode of comparison here, I'm too damn lazy to do it myself.) And her feet sent the Hellspawn running in terror, as they had heard from some very knowledgeable gun turrets that she was very good at kicking things, and they did not enjoy being kicked, even if it was by a pretty kunoichi, which was further evidence of their demonic insanity. (Note to Author from Editor: You don't have an editor, make your own comparisons you lazy bastard, I quit.)
Eventually, after Hibana had battled her way through near-endless amounts of strikingly similar enemies, Mark having silently followed her the whole time with an expression that resembled that of a beaten dog, the two travelers came to a large and open area. Instinctively, Hibana readied herself for combat, surveying her surroundings for suitable environmental characteristics to be incorporated into any possible combative situation. It was at this time that Bob, who had been on the phone for the past 6 paragraphs with someone who surely was not a Hellspawn Lord, chimed in on Hibana's radio headset.
"Hibana, Astral readings are at level 3."
"What does that mean?"
"What does what mean?" Mark asked somberly.
"Oh God, this wasn't even funny the first time." Hibana muttered. "Bob, what does level 3 mean?"
"It means there's some big monster about to come kill everything in your immediate vicinity, which may or may not include you... but it probably does, include you that is. Anyway, you should leave, Mark can fend for himself."
Before Hibana could reply to Bob's statement to tell him that she thought that was a brilliant idea, a vast demon manifested itself before her. It was enormous and insect-like, with massive glowing claws and a roar that sounded like a garbage disposal giving birth to a walrus. (Note to Editor: Ha, I can come up with my own similes, I don't need you anyway... Call me!) The gargantuan Hellspawn thrust its claws into the ground and began to tunnel toward Hibana, who dodged nimbly aside to avoid the razor-sharp talons of this beast.
Mark watched forlornly as Hibana hopped and dashed around the area, avoiding the searching claws of the demon, that would surely kill her instantly if they reached her. He was still very upset, having viewed Hibana as a hero and having her point out the horribly obvious in calling him a loser with no social life, but he couldn't let her die... that was bad form. He had to do something, had to save her! But what could he do? Every time he tried to help it always made things worse. Oh well!
"I'll save you!" he shouted as bravely as a 17 year-old boy can shout over the roars of a being from Hell.
"Oh God no!" Hibana shouted back, but it was too late.
Taking a running start, Mark charged at the Hellspawn from behind and leapt into the air, landing firmly on the creature's back. Having not expected it to go so well, Mark had not really planned what to do at this point. He'd anticipated dying before even reaching the monster, but here he was on its back. So, he did all he could think of, and began punching the Hellspawn on the top of the head, a tactic which worked far better than he assumed.
"Squeak!" squeaked the Hellspawn in a high-pitched voice. "There's a fan-boy on my head, get it off, get it off. Help!! Get it off!"
The monster shook its head vigorously, causing Mark to fly through the air and land in a heap on the ground several yards away. But this was not the extent of the damage Mark had achieved, for the Hellspawn quickly tucked its arms inward and began to roll around on the ground in the fetal position screaming, "GET IT OFF ME!" This was obviously in spite of the fact that there was no longer anything on it, a fact that it did not seem to be able to comprehend.
But rolling was such an energy-consuming activity, and the great demon soon grew tired. It groggily got back on its feet, but was so tired that it failed to keep closed the armor that protected its sensitive core. A grim smirk crossed Hibana's face at about the same time as a horrified look crossed the face of the Hellspawn, as it tried (with no success) to back away from the steadily advancing kunoichi and her katana.
"Well well," Hibana said as the Hellspawn began to quake in terror, "what do we have here?"
Swinging her katana with her traditionally graceful and fluid movements, Hibana proceeded to cut the living Hell (quite literally) out of the demon. She hacked and slashed, then slashed and hacked, then stabbed and skewered, then skewered and stabbed the demon's exposed core. Then, she kicked it just for good measure. Needless to say the Hellspawn died a slow and agonizing death, but not before it suffered the ultimate humiliation of losing control of its bodily functions due to the sheer horror it felt at its pre-death situation. Collapsing and letting out one last growl of dismay, the beast departed forever from the mortal realm, leaving only a steaming puddle of Hellspawn piss in its wake.
Upon watching her foe perish, Hibana sheathed her sword and walked quickly over to Mark to ensure that he wasn't completely dead. He had actually helped her this time, after all. Luckily, he was fine, just a few bruises and scrapes that would heal over time. So, though he was still filled with sorrow for leaving his idol after only having met and been ridiculed by her, Mark followed Hibana toward the entrance to the Tokyo subway system, which Hibana assumed was not inactive and populated by Hellspawn. She would find out in the next segment that she was quite wrong, but in the meantime, a cliche goodbye was in order.
"Well," Mark said as they stood outside the entrance to the subway terminal, "I guess I'll go home now. Look for my post online about how I ruined your day..." (insert sad-faced icon here)
"Hey come on," Hibana replied, "you know I didn't mean that."
"Yes you did."
"No," she insisted, "I was just pissed because you nearly got me killed three or four times in rapid succession. When people do that, I just lash out."
"Well it was still my fault for being a loser." Mark muttered dejectedly.
"Well it was your fault," Hibana said, "but I don't know any losers that could help me beat a Hellspawn Lord just by punching it in the head."
"Yeah," Hibana continued, having been overcome by an uncharacteristic kindness, "in fact, I don't know anyone who would have even tried that. That was pretty brave. Maybe we can keep in touch on the internet or something... you know, just in case I need someone to punch a demon in the head."
"Yeah," Mark chirped in his usual cheerful tone, "I could do that!"
So, still overcome by this kindness that only seems to effect characters near the end of chapters, Hibana reached out and ruffled Mark's hair playfully. He blushed and smiled up at her, no longer hurt by the venomous words she had said before, words that she still partially thought were true, but that she did sort of regret... sort of. Anyway, this was great for PR. So on an impulse, she reached forward and hugged Mark tightly against her, disregarding the natural positioning of his head for the time being. After releasing him, at which point he was smiling like a Halloween pumpkin, Hibana opened the door to the subway terminal and stepped inside ahead of Mark, only to be greeted by the high-pitched shriek of a Hellspawn somewhere within the building. Damn... today really wasn't her day.