Enter Ironshade

 


Kunoichi Kei hasn't seen Kid Crossbow in a couple of days and decides to go by the Saikyo Dojo to see if he is there.

In the midst of a quiet afternoon two men dressed as delivery personnel moved to the back of their truck, nothing at all suspicious about the pair as they worked to open the heavy rear doors then stepped back. One barely had time to react as a device was tossed his way, the other nearly getting crushed as a figure of blackened iron emerged and dropped to the street, causing a faint tremor as his faint tremor as his full weight touch down upon the earth. "It's in there." Thick digit of gauntlet points at the nearby antique and thrift store. "Find it!" The pair raced into the store to begin the search, obedience driven by fear as the iron figure lumbering after. Crashes and the shop owner's cries of dismay sounding from within as the hired thugs frantically searched for the item somewhere in the store. "No! No! Stop! What are you doing!? Help! I need help!?"

Kunoichi Kei blinks as she looks inside the dojo door to see Kid Crossbow hug his sparring partner, a blonde in a red cheerleader outfit.

Ironshade smashed his way into the store, spectral gaze fixating on the verbal owner. "Be silent." And so silence was had, no further cries of the shopkeeper came from the shop, just further crashes of metal and sounds of breaking glass as the two thugs mercilessly tore through the place.

Kunoichi Kei is trying to decide whether to enter the dojo or not when she is distracted by sounds of destruction coming from a few of blocks away. Kei makes a face and takes off at a run, lavender skirt fluttering about powerful thighs.

Ironshade seemed intent to stand guard as the thugs continued to rampage through the shop, delighting in breaking anything and everything they could in their search. The iron goliath began to fear they'd forgotten the task at hand and was about to issue a reminder when gaze fell upon a glass case filled with a variety of small stones. Raising an armored fist, he brought it down and shattered the display, glass and small rocks spilling onto the floor at his feet. "Here, you fools! Search here!"

Kunoichi Kei turns a corner and approaches the source of the noise, spotting a delivery truck parked in the street outside shop from which emanated the sounds of shattered glass and an annoyed voice. She slows to a trot, eyes up as she approaches.

Ironshade resisted the urge to crush the pair of them as the idiots began to dig blindly through the wreckage he'd caused. "Use the damned device! You will not be able to identify it by sight alone! Now be quick! Our time is not infinite."

Kunoichi Kei swings her backpack around a shoulder to her front to dig in it as she looks cautiously through broken glass into the shop, trying to catch some view of who or what might be inside before announcing herself to them. "Don't move... you're under arrest!"

There were plenty gathered outside, either just outside the shop or across the street, wondering what all the commotion was but none daring to enter due the present condition of the doorway, knowing something large had forced its way inside. As Kei issued her demands, Ironshade partially turned, fixating a single eerie green eye upon the girl. "Be gone, child. I've no time to waste on the likes of you." The device made a strange sound as it was waved over a section of the debris, the thugs smiling as one reached down to pluck a single stone from the mess.

Kunoichi Kei had a shadow of apprehension fall across her face as she made out the huge armored figure with the green eye, pointed at her like a searchlight. Her hand pulled some loose change out of her pack. "I'm Danger Doll Kuniochi Kei and you appear to be breaking and entering... surrender and we won't have any trouble!"

"Lord Ironshade! We've found it!" The armored giant turned away from Kei, if briefly. "Then we leave. You both know what to do." The floor shook with each step that Ironshade took as he started toward the entrance, showing little concern that Kei blocked his path as he approached. "I'll not say this again, child. Go now. I've not the time to spend breaking you."

Kunoichi Kei let fly with the coins in her hand, each snap of the wrist sending one flying like a bullet at the legs of the menacing figure bearing down on her.

Ironshade tilted visor down at the series of coins now embedded in the iron shell of his legs, seeming to study them for a moment before spectral gaze lifted back to Kei. "Decorative, yet not what I would have chosen. Allow me to express my gratitude." With that Ironshade charged, over two thousand pounds of iron barreling toward Kei with the simple intent of running the heroine over.

Kunoichi Kei side somersaulted and rummaged for the yoyo in her pack as the threat turned out to be serious. Unfortunately her hand came out of the back with only a metal ballpoint pen. She made a face, shrugged and threw the makeshift shuriken unerringly at the menacing green eye. “Take that, Klaatu!”

Ironshade barrelled past Kei as the pen in turn passed through ghostly green eye, tip of the ballpoint protruding from the back of iron helm as the giant crashed out into the street, halting momentum before slamming into the very truck he arrived in. It was almost comical, as he turned back to Kei, how the pen seemed to be in his eye but not. Using thick fingers to grip the end, he plucked the pen out and threw it aside, as the truth of it was the object had been obstructing his vision "Not bad, child. You show skill. Your teacher should be impressed." As his purpose had been served, to cause a distraction allowing the two thugs to escape out the back with the stone, Ironshade made to leave. "I leave you now, child. I suggest you not pursue."

Kunoichi Kei blinked at the huge figure, prepared to take down the thugs hand to hand as they exited, a puzzled expression coming to her face as they failed to emerge. She glanced inside and back to the escaping armored figure, obviously trying to decide who to pursue. “You're mine, Clanker!” Kei ran toward the truck parked there in front of the vandalized shop.

Ironshade wasn't taking the truck, which happened to be stolen. No way his bulky frame would fit in -any- driver's seat, regardless of the vehicle. Like the thugs, he too was leaving on foot, though his escape was little more than a lumbering gait. At least until Kei showed her foolish resolve to pursue him, then the giant took action, coin impaled legs bending as he lifted a parked minivan overhead and hurled it toward the pursuing heroine.

Kunoichi Kei 's eyes widened at the sight of the minivan being lifted, gulping as it was sent careening toward her, lavender cross trainers veering across the pavement and up the facade of another storefront, flipping over the minivan as it rolled past beneath the flap of lavender skirt. “I'm not that easy to stop!” Kei finally found her yoyo in the backpack and let it fly toward the armored ankles like a zipline as she secured her end to a lamppost.

Ironshade showed no compassion for the screams of citizens as several also scrambled out of the way of the minivan as it tumbled on down the sidewalk, coming to rest only when it smashed into another parked vehicle. In his arrogance he also disregarded the thrown yoyo, only realizing his mistake when efforts to take that next step failed and the line held fast, heavy frame toppling forward and cracking the cement.

Kunoichi Kei bounded forward along the cracked pavement, stopping beside a data kiosk, taking a pin from her hair and picking the lock on the chain that prevented it being stolen. Pulling the chain free of the kiosk and dragging it behind her, Kei approached the toppled figure in the armored suit to bind it with the heavy chain.

Ironshade rolled over, grunting with a cry of irritation as metal fingers curled about the line and he pulled and while the line continued to hold the lamppost buckled. The durability of the line working against Kei in this instance, metal creaking as the post began to give way, then came free and flew toward the downed giant. Freeing himself from the line, Ironshade closed hand around the post and stood, swinging the broken post toward Kei like a club.

Kunoichi Kei gaped as the metal figure pulled the lamppost over, at first thinking her foe would be trapped beneath it, but gasping as the post was caught and swung in her direction. Caught too utterly by surprise to dodge, grunting as her body folded around the metal pole, eyes nearly popping from their sockets as the pole drove her body through the brick facade of the building behind. Kei disappears into a shower of debris and the resulting cloud of dust.

"Such is your fate, child." Hefting the post up like a spear, Ironshade cocked back an arm. "You were warned." And then let it fly through the hole her body had created, uncaring if the missile hit home or not. Thoughts then turning to the troublesome yoyo, raising a heavy foot as the object was spotted and crashing down, not necessarily destroying the weapon but certainly encasing it nicely into the sidewalk.

Kunoichi Kei begins to raise her head in confusion, sputtering into the cloud of dust that surrounds her, collapsing back unconscious just in time to avoid being finished by the metal post that goes flying past, pinning her to the floor as it settles, the shop alarm blaring as consciousness slowly returns.

Dead or broken, Ironshade left Kei as she was, the armored villain resuming his departure from the scene of the crime. Inside the shop, slumped against the wall behind the cashier's counter, would rest the late shopkeeper. His body a withered husk, as if the very life had been drained from him.

Kunoichi Kei would learn the fate of the shopkeeper from Detective Chan later as she related her own story. "I swear Charlie, I almost had him!" The pretty Asian policewoman rolled her eyes. "No doubt Belle will be glad you didn't end up like that poor shopkeeper..."

(November 2010)