|And it begins again...|
Everytown has it, even the ruins of a once great city. That part of town often refered to as the slums, crack town, the dark side of the tracks. That area of town that you don't want to walk down in the daytime but avoid at all costs at night. Here's where you'll find your bars and seedy motels, the scum of the area flock here. It'd be nice to assume that most of these places closed down when the city became apart of Twisted, but as expected that's not the case. Infact, it could be said that this was the only real part of the city that prospered after the transisition as the inhabitants of a billion worlds passing through here have only suceeded in making this place worse. No wonder all parts north of here seem deserted...
Johnny appears in the distance of the street running at full charge amongst the random citizens and various methods of transport traveling down the road. Not that there's much traffic this time of day, or this part of the city, but there's enough that on occasion the manaic has to sidestep to avoid smashing face first. At first glance the goggles strapped to his face seem pointless but as he passes buildings the weather seems to change dramaticly. First it's raning, then it's snowing. Finaly as he skids to a stop it's blisteringly hot. Pulling his now foggy goggles up from his eyes he smirks and mutters, "At this rate I'll catch pnemonia trying to check the mail..." Not that he has mail, but that's hardly the point. Pushing his drying hair out of his face he glances around, ducking into an alley at the first suggestion of someone approching. Seems someone is up to something.
It's a perfectly normal little day for Seung's only daughter. The little Korean is making her way up the dirt-streaked street, clad in her typically elaborate and revealing garb with seemingly not a care in the world. Her zanbatou hangs on her back from a strap apparently purchased in this world-between-worlds - it is nothing made in the Korea of her time, sporting a springbound metal buckle across the front that can be easily released to make the blade accessible in case of any altercation. Something she might just happen to become thankful for in a few moments...
Mina is whistling a jaunty tune to herself as she glances left, right and everything inbetween, soaking up the curious atmosphere and disregarding the surly stares sent her way. Not to mention the downright /lustful/ ones. Happy? You bet! What else should she be. This mask of contentment does not slip when she sees the charging maniac come her way, though her eyebrows do jerk upward, and the tune fails on her lips. This leaves her mouth in an apparently surprised 'o'. Truth is, she's more /excited/ than anything. "Hey..." Finally making her feelings known with a quiet word, curiosity lighting in her eyes, she cracks a small smirk and begins to stride briskly toward the alleyway.
Intrepid little bitch.
The alley is empty save for some trashcans and semi-crushed crates and other assorted trash. Hardly anything shocking reguardless of when you came from. However with the briefest of flashes a weapon is drawn, glinting in the dim light and then fading again into the darkness enshrouding the alley. As the girl approaches a soft 'chink' is heard as a metalclad boot is readied against the back wall preparing to charge and strike. Simple things that normaly wouldn't cross the mind of the maniac such as these now seem to sting him to the core. After all, he's not used to making noise. With a slight grimace he waits patiently, after all nothing is going to spoil his mood today he hopes.
Psh, trashcans and semi-crushed crates! Mina does not come to survey such dull and distractionless things. Something about rapidly shifting weather patterns, however, attracts a girl's special attentions. Moving with fresh purpose after a day spent idly meandering about the labyrinthine streets, the patriot is just in time to catch that fleeting glint of.. steel? Whatever it is, metal flashing and 'chink'ing noises are never a good sign for those in search of peace. Luckily, this particular explorer is ready for just about anything life can throw her way. Especially if it's something of magical weapon variety.
Hey, there's a chance it could be magical, right? The evidence is there.
"Hey!" Calling out more boldly now, actually directing her voice to the hidden maniac rather than to herself, Mina moves herself to a combat-ready stance even before she can finish her cry. Her right hand moves to grip the smooth haft of her weapon, fingers deftly moving to encircle the polished wood. Her left lifts to the buckle, index and forefinger pinching down upon it and preparing to release. Not that she makes any intent clear just yet. "You know it's rude to keep a lady waiting, right?" Pausing, silhouetted against the comparatively bustling street, she stands amid the weather's randomised whirl, beaming with barely suppressed exictement.
Johnny's train of thought snaps in half at that and before he can stop himself he steps out of the shadows with his head tilted to the side, "Huh? Was I supposed to meet you somewhere?" Wincing at his own lapse of logic he twirls his dagger and draws out a second - this one made of some strange black material - and readies them before him. "Look, I'm having a bad day. No chance in having you pretend you didn't see me so I can jump you? No? Well... fuck. Just have to do this the hard way." Not giving her much of a chance to react he charges forwards, leaping onto a box and... Well, that was the intention at least as his foot passes INTO the box sending him face first to the ground. "FUCKING MAGUS!" Stabbing the filth covered concrete beneath him he struggles to push himself up. In an instant his weapons are dropped and he rises to a sitting position. "Nevermind. Just go away..."
Mina's lips part as Johnny delivers his confused queries, smile becoming a grin touched with a certain teasing note. "Nope! But-" Whatever she intends to offer as a jibe is cut off to a rapid blink, when instead of an opening she is met with action. The second dagger draws her attention to the oddities in the first, gaze following the ebon blade as it moves. Interesting! Though part of her does at least register the threat, and the clip over her chest is released with a soft clink of metal, strap falling away to either side.
"The hard way sounds fun!" The petite Korean chirps an instant later, awed curiosity melting away to be replaced again with that fiery enthusiasm, her zanbatou drawn to one side of her body by the hand already clasping it. Dropping to a low stance, opposite hand lifting with palm out before her, she seems all ready for the charge when she's treated instead to her 'opponent' rather embarassing himself. "Uh. Y-You okay?" Her head cants to one side, and she relaxes visibly, hand half-lowering and blade's tip dipping against the floor. Doesn't seem like she's going anywhere. Though she does express what would be a purely selfless sentiment... "Looks like ya could do with someone to talk to..." If she didn't have her own entertainment in mind!
Johnny glances up at the strange woman and shakes his head slowly, "I think my problem is I have too many people to talk to. I didn't have these problems living alone..." With a sigh he stands and puts his weapons away after pausing to look at the black bladed dagger longingly. "Anyways, if you where smart you'd run away. Bad things tend to happen around the people who associate with me." Pulling his goggles down again he glances around, "Besides, I need to find some blood. I'd rather not humilate myself by going after you again..."
Strange?! The heiress of the Long Blade is most certainly not strange! Thankfully, she's also not a mind reader, or surely her wrath would be most great. Honest. What she does hear... causes her to drop her stance completely, zanbatou - still trailing its strap - propped up against her shoulder in one smooth motion that sends its sharp edge scything through the air. Drawing up to her full, none-too-prominent height, she reaches up to scratch at her head with the other hand, considering the maniac with open appraisal.
Still she does not run, nor make any appearance to even turn away. "Bad things happen anyway," she offers simply, shrugging her unburdened shoulder and casting out a lopsided grin. This only widens when she receives what is perceived as a compliment, the patriot in fact managing a laugh at that one. "Ahaha! Yeah, I'm a fearsome contender, alright!" The last comes with a thump as a closed hand beats against her breastbone, and is then raised in a tight fistpump. Her tone is somewhat lighthearted, but she clearly means it - humble, this young woman is not. "But, er," hesitating as she considers the more weighty part of the maniac's speech, once more her head tips aside, "Blood, huh?"
Johnny reguards the woman with a raised eyebrow and a slight scowl as she laughs. Looking away he places a hand on one of his daggers and scans accross the street, only pausing to look back at her as she asks her question. "Yeah, blood. Disgusting stuff. My um... room mate, needs it. I'm just looking for an excuse to start stabbing things again and it seemed good enough for me." With a smirk he walks towards the road again looking around for another potential target. "...this was alot easier before I came here though. I need to get my other dagger back..." This last part was said more to himself than anyone, but no point in whispering when someone is in earshot of you.
Blinkblink. "Huh. Never met anyone who needed blood..." Trailing off, the patriot goes a little cross-eyed as she reconsiders this statement - not that she could be called truly dumb, but sometimes even a trace of ditziness can go a long way. "You know what I mean!" Dismissing her stupid moment with another bouncy shrug (as if NNY would care to notice), she fixes her gaze on the wandering maniac, tracing his movements and even turning to face him as he gets past her.
Not that this is necessary to keep her intrigue ignited, as he does a fantastic job of that in a most audible manner. Speaking to yourself is all well and good - she's a culprit herself - but this doesn't do the time-worn maniac any favours. Mina pipes up immediately on hearing mention of his weapon. "That blade looks pretty interesting, y'know! If you need help finding.. the other one.. I could always lend a hand." Grin broadening her mouth once more, she hefts her own equipment, Scarlet Thunder creaking against her surprisingly sturdy shoulder. Well, like it needed demonstrating. Minor bouyancy aside, she's as firm and toned as they come, and hardly shy in showing it. "I'm probably the best my country has, back home!"
Johnny turns to face her again with the same expression he gave when she laughed just moments before. "As greatful as I am for such an offer, don't bother. I doubt they'd let me back there anyways. They offered me freedom if I don't go back. Kinda like breaking into a jail because you left your wallet. I doubt they'd appreciate it if I returned with company." Suddenly he begins to laugh. "Although I really shoulda cleaned my mess up before I left. I'm sure that dagger is starting all kinds of trouble now..." With a gleam in his eyes as he ponders the chaos he imagines, the maniac runs a gloved hand through his hair and lifts the goggles from his eyes again. "What'd you say your name was?"
So much for the mercenary dream! Mina's train is derailed by that one, her shoulders slumping as she finds herself shot down. Though she's not entirely dissuaded - and the laugh drawn from this strange and vaguely psychotic-looking gent is enough to keep her perky, so after a quick glance away she's soon fixing him with a wolfish look. "Jail? Sounds like you've had some fun. Though, er, I suppose I /should/ be hauling you straight back..." Oh no! Moral quandary! Pausing as the maniac gets his own question in, she resolves her internal debate swiftly with the argument that she's not at home any more, and Justice? Doesn't really seem to live here. She can solve any further ethics later on. For now: fun!
"My name? Y'haven't heard of me?" There's that grin again, playful with an edge added by the playful sarcasm in her voice. Stepping forward to bring herself into proximity with the maniac for the first time proper, she extends her hand, curled for a warrior's grip. She really isn't shy. "I'm Mina. Heir to the Seung long-blade style, and honoured pupil of Ling-Sheng Su. How 'bout you?"
Johnny's grin fades at the hand extended as the dread of physical contact creeps into him once again. Unconciously he takes a step back. "Johnny C." Realising the rudeness of his guesture he rubs the back of his neck. "Sorry, can't stand to touch people. Ironic don'tcha think?" As a slight pang of shame washes over him he shrugs, letting his hand drop to his side again. "But call me Nny." After a second's hesitation he draws his daggers and grins, "I guess if I had to give myself a more formal title it'd be something like Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, creator of the plauge known as Happy Noodle Boy, former watcher of the world of Chronos, and destroyer of the weak minded and stupid." Frowning he puts his weapons away. "...which all sounds really impressive when you didn't just see me fall face first into the muck..."
Mina leaves her hand where it is, gaze going a shade blank as the grip is entirely not returned. What's a girl gotta do to present a friendly face? Still. It was an ill-advised motion when this relative stranger wanted to attack her just a few moments ago - but life has been coloured mostly in shades of black and white for the pretty patriot. Save for meeting her second master, it's always been easy to tell an enemy from a friend. This.. Johnny C throws that image to the winds, at once grinning and amiable then violent and moody. Not that she can exactly be called free from moodswings. "Oh!" When his explanation comes, her curled fingers are yanked back hurriedly, hand bracing to her hip instead, where it shifts uncomfortably before finding good purchase. Damn those awkward moments.
It doesn't help when a dagger is once more pulled, the little Korean blinking once more in mild confusion. Apparent enough that he's posing for the introductory speech, but forgive her; it's been a random meeting this far, not to mention a random few weeks spent in this loopy dimension. Talk about culture shock. "Maniac, noodles, Chronos, destroyer, stupid," eyes rolling upward as she concentrates on recalling and summarising the list, Mina babbles away before casting out a broad grin. "Got it! Though you got a point. Guess there's some things just can't compare to a real Korean warrior maiden like me..." Aaand there's that shrug again, careless, confident and happy. "So why all the problems if ya got all that stuff on your side?"
Johnny stares blankly at her summary. That'll be the last time he ever tries to be formal. Instead of responding to her question, he asks a question of his own, "Why all the questions for a guy who wanted to kill you as a midnight snack for someone else? You really wanna know? I've been shit on by time, fate, and friends. I've come to the conclusion that I'd be in my best intrest to write off the past few millenia as a bad dream and try to get back to what I know. I used to be someone feared, now I'm no one. I doubt you'd really understand." His pride wounded slightly he turns away again, preparing to dash off into the day/night once more. This portion of the city seems to be starting to awaken, giving him more of an opportunity for an easy target.
"Millenia?" Mina's nose wrinkles as though disgusted, her brain needing a few moments to properly compute that one. So many odd things have happened to her, and yet this bizarro-city contains far more questions than she has ever needed to discover answers for. Here's another one - though if she had any idea just /how/ complex she might have been more tempted to walk away right at the beginning. Or... perhaps not. Curiosity knows no bounds, and the most unusual being might be the one to lead her right to her prize.
Once she's at least semi-satisfied with her ability to handle 'millenia' as a term being freely bandied about, once she can handle the implications behind that, the maniac is already set to dash off. Her boots scuff against the street as she slides back, giving NNY plenty of unnecessary space in which to bolt. It serves as a suggestion he won't be stopped, anyway. "I just get curious," she explains belatedly, hand straying from her hip to dust off one side of her outfit, gaze falling down to survey the operation. "Gotta admit I had a reason to be. Besides, I'm lookin' for something. Figured you might be a way to get it." Should he even still be present, she looks up with a renewed enthusiasm in her eyes, "A weapon! The best that ever existed. I'm sure it'd draw a whooole lotta blood..." Cunning.
Pausing in mid-stride Johnny turns back around, already curious. "I don't really have much need of a new weapon, but just what are you going on about? Best weapon I saw was this electric thing I was handed to deal with the big nasty thing that ran off with my daggers in it's hide." Grinning manicly at the rememberance he chuckles, "Sliced through it like water. Even made a guy puke at the damage I did..."
Drawing herself up with a rather haughty air only dispelled by that perky grin, the Korean woman soaks up the comments that follow, safe in the knowledge that she knows of a treasure far better than anything even this long-lived maniac might have discovered. What could be more potent than the Sword of the Patriot? Soul Edge is the ultimate weapon. 'Ultimate'. Her travels may now span worlds, but Seung Mina has lost no control of her vocabulary - meanings like that, do not change.
"Sounds neat and all, but I promise this beats that to a /pulp/." Tearing off the word with reckless abandon, bouncing on her heels at the same time, not much can really stop the dimunitive patriot now. "It's a sword that only chooses one warrior to wield it - anyone not meant to pick it up doesn't stand a chance. Dangerous but deadly, it corrupts the weak-willed but holds the secret to true power!" Pausing to suck in a quick breath, Mina shakes her head, flinging her hand out in a vague gesture toward the nearby street. "You ignore me, walk away from me, we never meet again, an' we both lose out. Keep in mind what I've told ya an' it just might lead to bigger things for the pair of us. Think about it!"
Johnny doesn't turn away. Infact he does actualy stop to think about it for a good while. Keeping his head down he takes out a small ring tied to a cord around his neck. It's dull appearance does nothing to help his frame of mind. No matter how hard he tries he can't simply write his life so far off as a dream. "So... bigger and better things and all that... what kind of power we talkin' about here? Like, power to go against the gods sort of thing? I had that much power once, then I got trapped and all my friends taken from me. Not that I enjoyed that much, but I'd give just about anything to find them all again or at least get vengence on that bitch Cassandra..." His thoughts spoken aloud, he puts the ring away and looks up at Mina with a certain air of determination. "I tell you what. If I find a way to get my other dagger back, I'm in. Sounds like fun either way but I'm nothing compared to how I was when I had the full set." Taking his lone black dagger out for effect, he begins to twirl it. "Be better than hunting idiots for kicks at least."
Hardly a match made in heaven, this one. The confident, contented Korean warrior, and the maniac whose bloody history has left its scrawl across time and space. At least they both share certain traits - determination, recklessness... granted, the similarities are widely defined, at best. But this has been her most likely route thus far, and Mina quite simply has a /feeling/. One of those odd inclinations to leap down a certain rocky trail, plunging headlong into whatever obstacle life might present. Throughout Johnny's monologue, she remains standing still and plucky. His words are interesting, fascinating even, and it reinforces her resolve.
When he finishes his proposal, he is gifted with an emphatic nod. 'Hunting idiots' is left as an ambiguous point in the woman's mind, brushed aside much as with her earlier debate. The fingers of her right hand tap a quick rhythm against Scarlet Thunder, rising and falling one at a time in a deft wave as she starts to speak, "Done and done! Maybe I'll even learn somethin' from this mysterious dagger. You got any idea where to look? I can ask around or whatever else, but we better find it soon - if this blade falls into the wrong hands, you don't wanna /know/ what'll happen." For the first time she looks quite serious there, gaze hardening just for a moment, long enough to impart some severity to the situation. She's cocky and prepared, but not stupid. Soul Edge is dangerous, and she's simply not skilled enough to take down anyone wielding it. Not alone.
Johnny lets a smirk slowly spread accross his face. "I know exactly where it is. Not the kind of thing you can forget really, but I'm not sure what would happen if we go looking for it. Needless to say there might be alot of blood spilled in the process..." Breifly he wonders if Vashtearnia should be informed of these events, he did drag her here after all. "I need to grab the rest of my supplies. Do you know where the UR is? It's a restaurant near the middle of Twisted Street. Care to meet there in about an hour or so?"
Blood, destruction, warfare... no bother to Mina. Slipping back into careless mode, her shoulders lift in a shrug and she smiles, once more heaving her zanbatou where it sits against her shoulder. The blade flashes in the dim streetlight, mirroring the light in her gaze. "No problem for me. If it wasn't for some crazy law against women, I'd be a general by now - however good y'are in a fight, I'll at least make good backup!" Oblivious to the task before her, the woman punctuates this insistence with a keen nod. "Know the place. I'll be there."
Grinning widely at Mina's response the maniac cackles as he takes a step back and bows towards her. "Then I shall see you again momentarily, Mina. I have to thank you for restoring my faith that not everyone deserves to die..." Leaving her with his cryptic words he pulls his goggles down again and darts off down the street with a renued sense of purpose. Things have a strange way of playing themselves out here, and they seem to be getting stranger by the minute...
The bow causes Mina's eyebrow to dart upward, eyes widening partly in surprise and partly in amusement, the woman barely suppressing a laugh. From dark-clad killer to angst-ridden time traveller, through several other easily placed perceptions to now appearing as some enigmatic gentleman... this certainly ranks among the strangest meetings she's had. There've been a few. His comment catches her off-guard too, but rather differently, hand sliding up to her neck, "That's a new one," she notes, idly rubbing at the base of her skull, "But I guess you're welcome!"
The last is called after Johnny as he runs, the dimunitive woman darting out of the alleyway to wave after him, compensating for Scarlet Thunder's heft as she moves. She has the grace to back up her form, all of which lends her claims some chance of truth. It clearly seems to have worked - but as she pauses there, loitering briefly on the street's threshold, and on the threshold of a brand new avenue, she can't help but question her sanity. Mysterious strangers can lead a curious kitten in one of two directions. It's worked before. Can she get lucky again? When she makes off at a casual stride a few moments later, her closing comment is meant for her ears only. "I hope I know what I'm doing..."