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Damn! Ninjas! (IC)

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Freedom City is no stranger to people in disguises parading around at night. But what Freedom City isn't used to is those masked figures blending in with the shadows themselves. Everywhere the people saw movement, just out of the corner of their eyes. Always they heard sounds, footsteps just behind them, or a metallic clinking. But no one ever saw them, no one could ever be sure they were there. They were everywhere and nowhere.

The Ninjas.


Saturday night. Everything in Lincoln was closed to business. But everything was open to the Ninjas. They were in every shadow, every nook, every cranny, and they steadily crept closer to the Museum.

The Ninjas were silent, and told no one of their plans. They were fast, and they would soon have what they wanted. They were many, and they would not be denied.

One quiet room within the museum basement was chock full of books. A library of forgotten tomes and secrets. One of the shadows at the side of the room slowly took form. A hand reached out, grasped one of the books, and drew it from the shelf.

A museum security guard walked the halls that night. Luckily for him, he was of little concern to the Ninja. They were not instructed to take life so long as they got what they wanted. And the Ninja had the book now. But when he turned a corner, he saw that book. He saw it floating in the shadows. He rubbed his eyes to make sure he wasn't dreaming. When he looked again, he saw the gleam in the eyes of the Ninja. He lunged for the alarm attached to the wall. Pressed it, and listened to the satisfying sound of the klaxon wailing away.

No sooner had he pressed the button then another shadow reached out from the wall, snapped his arm, and every bone within it. The guard cried in pain. He was quickly silenced by a third shadow which shattered his nose.

As one, all the darker places in the museum began to move. The Ninja flitted from shadow to shadow never resting long. The book floated in the lobby just before the front doors. The shadow reached out, and stopped just inches from the handle, and a clean getaway. There was a sound like a rushing wind. The Ninja's once solid form scattered into a black sand-like shadowy substance. The book flew into the air, and was caught by another ninja. Only this one wore white...

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John looked back and forth between his new purchase and it's accompanying instruction manual. He had read all the warnings, and had read it cover to cover twice, once in English and then in German. Satisfied, he pressed the switch labeled 'On'. The crackle of static squelched out, and he turned the dial looking for a signal. He had caught the tail end of a conversation, and adjusted the gain. Now the voices came in clearly. -- Dispatch, this is car 237. Nothing out here, Over. -- John had bought the police radio just this morning. A knock sounded on his open door and he looked over to see Miss Victoria standing in the doorway.

"What can I do for you Miss Victoria?" He asked. Before she could say anything, the radio flared to life again. -- All units in the Hanover/Lincoln area check out alarm notification at the museum, please respond. --

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Vicky had just finished collecting several DVDs to loan John, give him a little bit of a crash course in pop culture. The top of the list was the pair of Star Wars trilogies, as well as a handful of her zombie movie collection. Sticking the DVDs in a plastic bag she quietly slipped out of her room, trying not to wake her napping roomie, and headed towards her friend's.

Rather than take the stairs, she just called up her will and landed a floor below her outside John's door. When he answered her knock she was about to hand him the DVDs and get back to her comic book writing and drawing.

-- All units in the Hanover/Lincoln area check out alarm notification at the museum, please respond. --

"Well, that sounds like a job for a one-man-SWAT team and his teleporting friend..."

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A figure in black and gold peered through the skylight, having heard the alarm nearby while walking home. Eyes looked through goggles as the white figure abruptly slashed through a black silhouette, catching what were obviously stolen goods. And the figure above...promptly did a little dance.

"Heee! Ninjas! Alright, this is totally awesome!"

He then clamped his hands over the spot on his facemask where his mouth would be, and returned to look through the window. His heart began pumping faster, and he could feel his muscles and nerves begin to crank up...

Ninjas! Ninjasninjasninjas! My first time out as a superhero, and I get freaking ninjas! Old-school martial arts action! Woot! Okay, wait for the best moment to jump in...and what am I gonna say?!

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A silence fell over the main hall of the Museum. As Overclock looked on, all sense would dictate that the white-clad ninja should be making a break for it. He had the stolen goods. Why was he just standing there?

A flash of light suddenly erupted. A metallic ping could be heard even outside the museum. A second ninja clad in black stood behind the white one. The Black ninja's katana had been directed straight at the white ninja's back. The white ninja had reacted by placing his own blade between his opponent's and his back.

There was a moment's hesitation, followed by an explosion of action. One moment, the Ninjas were in the center of the room exchanging blows. The next, they hung from the ceiling swinging their swords. After that they ran along the bannisters of the stair well slashing at each other. To make matters even more confusing, the book traded hands repeatedly. It was constantly being bobbled, caught, and whisked away to another part of the lobby. The Ninja battle inside the museum made tennis matches look boring.

On and on the two Ninjas fought. One white ninja, one black ninja, and one ancient tome.


Overclock saw the flashing lights of a police cruiser pull up to the front of the building. Two police officers ran to the large glass doors at the front of the museum. When they saw what was going on inside, they drew their pistols. One of them reached for the door, never suspecting that he was about to be in way over his head!

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John, ever since starting at Claremeont was secretly a bit jealous of people who could teleport. Both tactically and strategically it was a great ability, one that he hoped with further training with his friends they could utilize more effectively as their teamwork improved. The pair of Claremonters appeared on the front steps, halfway between the stopped patrol car and the officers at the front door. He immediately noted the officers weapons drawn and started running up the stairs to steps at a time to take a look inside at the situation and also to talk to the officers. He gently touched one of the officers shoulder, keenly aware of the danger of spooking someone with a gun drawn. "Pardon our intrusion officers, but my friend and I can take care of situation inside while you can call for additional backup." he said to the pair, pointing in the direction of Wisp and their patrol car.

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Overclock despaired for a moment, getting ready to vault over the edge of the roof and warn the officers before he noted the arrival of another pair of heroes appearing out of seemingly air. Another wave of glee hit him as he realized that not only was his first patrol going to end up with him fighting ninjas, but a genuine superhero teamup! But he was forgetting something...

Oh! Right! Ninjas!

He spun on his heel and raced towards the skylight, leaping into a full forward flip and crashing right through the glass. With a midair spin he tumbled towards the ground, sticking a perfect three-point landing as his boots and fist hit marble. His head jerked up and he pointed with the free hand towards the two fighting ninjas.

"Welcome to Freedom City, nin-jerks! The name's Overclock, and I'll be your tour guide; who's interested in an all-expenses paid trip to jail?"

Was that too much? Oh, please don't let that have been too much.

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The white and black ninja's clashed swords one last time on the balcony above.

"Welcome to Freedom City, nin-jerks! The name's Overclock, and I'll be your tour guide; who's interested in an all-expenses paid trip to jail?"

Was that too much? Oh, please don't let that have been too much.

Both immediately turned their heads to focus on Overclock. As if by some unspoken agreement, the white ninja tossed the book he was holding on top of the skull of the Tyranosaurus Rex skeleton that was assembled in the center of the room. Both ninjas broke away, and dashed to either side of the room standing atop the railings on the balconies there.

Then, there was a fierce wind all around Overclock. When next he looked, all he saw was shadowy black all around him. The room was filled with Ninja. Filled. Wall to wall with Tabi, Katanas, and glowing white eyes.

Perhaps it was in fact too much.

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Overclock's reaction could be generously described as 'slackjawed astonishment', although it was rather difficult to see that given his mask. He looked left and right at the army of ninjas surrounding him, and scratched the back of his mask, somewhat at a loss.

"...wow. You guys must really like free tours. I'm going to need a bigger jail, won't I?"

He looked around at the army again, and took a heavy breath. His muscles tightened and bunched under the jumpsuit, and the new hero fairly started to vibrate in place as he dropped into a fairly straightforward martial arts stance.

"Alright. One man, a hundred foes...yeeeah, this is a bit unfair. You guys sure you don't want to call up more friends?"

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Wisp watched the series of ninjas fill the room. Rolling her shoulders she nodded and leaped into action. Vanishing in a cloud of sanguine and ivory smoke, she silently reappeared behind the ninjas and delivered a short, quick series of painful strikes to their backs. Her fists struck home cleanly and quietly, right into her opponent's kidneys and spines before she reappeared right where she had started from.

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After a puff of smoke Wisp disappeared from her position outside the museum. Another puff and she was gone, appearing directly behind the White ninja. She landed a swift strike to his Kidney, but somehow he managed to shrug it off. Before he could respond, she was gone once more. The Black Ninja was not quite as lucky. He never saw her coming, and took the attack straight to his spine. It lifted him off his feet and sent him sailing straight into the skeleton of the Tyrannosaurus Rex in the center of the room. The entire structure collapsed, and both the Black Ninja and the Book were lost in a cloud of swirling dust. Wisp reappeared outside the museum, not a foot from where she'd begun her attack.

Meanwhile, Overclock was busy cruising around the floor of the lobby turning Ninjas to dust at high speeds. He was surprised when he found he literally was turning them to dust. It seemed that any solid strike against them was enough to disrupt whatever solid form they had, reducing them to a mix of shadow and nothingness. After a series of clotheslines, shoulder charges, and flurry punches, the martial speedster ended right back where he started dead center in front of a collapsed dinosaur skeleton.

Suddenly, the wind returned, rushing into the room, and with it came the Ninja. It was was almost as if Overclock's attacks had done nothing. Where there were once over 100 ninja crowding the hall, there were now 100 brand new ninja crowding the hall. The said nothing, made no motion to attack, only stared with their bright beady white eyes.

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The White Ninja's eyes flared to life. They seemed to spark with a malicious glint. He made a sudden motion, his arm throwing something at the ground at his feet. A large cloud of smoke billowed out from where he was standing, completely obscuring him from sight. Then, without warning, he appeared directly behind Overclock. Silent as the grave he meant to put the young hero in, the White ninja swung his sword in an upward arc. The slashing Katana sliced a tear in Overclocks costume across the back.

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Wisp vanished in another cloud of dual colored smoke, landing by the black dressed ninja she'd sent into the Tyrannosaurus Rex. Unfortunately her planned wide sweeping strikes connected with a whole lot of nothing as the ninja was concealed completely by the dust and rubble that had been kicked up by the collapsing of the display. Crap, where'd that little punk go?

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Overclock winced as the blade cut across his back, leaping forward into a tumble that took him right into the cluster of ninjas. He looked left and right, then his mask stretched with a wide grin.

"Hoo! Alright, time to kick it up a notch!"

Adrenaline rushed through his body as he felt the Woosh start to flow; his moves were faster, his steps swifter, he punched and kicked and swept right through all of the black pajama-clad shadows, changing style and stance in the blink of an eye. Then, coming out from the cloud of exploded ninja, he leapt upwards into a front flip, bringing his leg down in a fierce axe kick at the white ninja.

"Hah, too slow, man! Step it up!"

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The White Ninja watched Overclock's movements like a hawk. He watched silently as the hero tore though shadow after shadow, only to have another ninja step into the first ninja's place literally before it's dust had even settled to the floor. The shadowy ninjas were dropping like flies, but their sheer numbers were keeping them in the fight. That was good for White. He suspected he'd be no match for these heroes without those ninjas repeatedly distracting them.

Inwardly, he was amused at how helpful his own enemies were being. Outwardly, he showed no sign of emotion whatsoever.

When overclock leaped out of the remnants of a ninja, White simply turned sideways and watched as the flying kick passed within inches of his chest.

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Myrmidon watched the fight progress between the two ninjas, the shadowy horde, Wisp, and the other hero. The ninjas seemed adept at dodging blows, so he needed to make sure that his allies could get in a clean hit. A pistol-like weapon appeared in his left hand, sparks of electricity arcing between the two prongs. John gestured for the officers to move aside as he concentrated on deploying out as many soldiers as possible. The appeared around him, similar weapons to his at the ready.

-- Directed Fire, Target Bravo. Wisp Flanking -- he commanded mentally to his duplicates.

-- Copy that. -- Was the reply.

The double doors of the museum slammed open with an echoing BANG! as the duplicates moved into position, their weapons firing dazzling whitish-blue bolts of electricity at the black ninja. The shots landed as intended, leaving him in an open and exploitable position to Wisp...

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Even as the duplicates began to swarm around the Black Ninja like so many bees, White launched into a flurry of motion. He hacked and slashed his way through the crowd of duplicates. The Black ninja WAS his enemy, to be sure. But neither of them could let that book fall into the hands of an outsider. One of them would be going home with it, and protection Black was the best way to ensure that happened.

The Duplicates were diced to pieces. They're parts separated and fell to the ground. White ended his attack with a final Bushido style swipe at Wisp. Luckily for her she was able to duck it.

In no time flat, Black was on his feet, book in hand. *TsshhFOOMP* the smoke pellets went off at his feet, once again obscuring the platform on which the T-Rex had once stood. No one could say these men weren't true ninja, especially after Black had just vanished like one without a trace.

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Wisp scanned the room quickly before her eyes locked onto Black scampering away towards the exit. Landing silently and unseen next to the ninja she whispered, "Konichiwa." Before the thieving ninja could react, her fists found his stomach and knee rose up to meet his face as he doubled over. As he head whipped back she followed up with a hard kick in the chest that sent him flying backwards and crashing into another display, barely holding onto consciousness as he lay there stunned. Landing back where she started, she just then realized ninja-black had dropped the book.

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"Wait...oh hell no, you did not just run away! This is a fight, hits or G-T-F-O!"

With a myopia born of only those way too new to the hero buisness, a backflip and a twist, Overclock once again got all up in the White Ninja's grill. Spinning on his heel, he swiveled his leg in a powerful kick to the ribs that would have had the ninja wheezing...if it was genuine. At the last second, he jerked his leg back and swung it in, seizing the folds of the ninja's outfit in his hands and yanking him forward as the hero's knee slammed into his opponent's sternum with enough force to lift him right off of the ground.

"Ooh, he's gonna feel that one in the morning!"

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For a moment, it looked like Overclock's kneecap would rock the White-Clad ninja's world. Though he proved to be more aware of his surroundings than his shadowy counterpart. He hadn't so much been fooled by the feint as he had let it happen. As Overclock pulled his knee away from the Ninja's chest, he observed a hidden blade the man had drawn from his belt at the last second to block the attack on his mid-section. The White ninja stood, unfazed, and sheathed the blade again. The dark eyes of it's mask narrowing in defiance.

Meanwhile, a detachment of the shadowy ninjas had flitted outside to the steps of the Museum. They circled around Myrmidon, and hesitating only for a second, launched an all out attack against him. No less than eight of the shadowy ninjas leaped onto Myrmidon and proceeded to punch, slice, and stab with their sai. It was a veritable dump pile on top of the teen hero, and escape looked like it'd be a hard thing to find!

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John was momentarily taken by surprise as his duplicates were cut down, their mental echoes flat-lining. In that moments lapse of concentration the opposing shadowy ninjas had surrounded him, leaving no viable way to withdraw. Knowing what was coming he tensed his body to try and lessen the blows, but they still managed to snake a few through his defense. A particularly vicious punch hit him in the chest, driving the air out of his lungs. Tch. Third rib bruised, maybe cracked, the clinical part of his mind thought as he weathered the flurry of blows.

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After sheathing his hidden blade, the White ninja brought his real weapon to bear. The razor sharp metal of the Katana slashed through the air in a tentative arc, attempting to slice into Overclock while not giving up any of his defenses. The attack wasn't his best and the Ninja knew it. Not that he was about to verbalize anything, though.

The ninja extended his arm toward Overclock and curled his fingers twice like he was beckoning the speedster forward. This fight wasn't over yet. Though in the time it took Overclock to blink, the white ninja had vanished, and left an obscuring cloud of smoke in his wake.

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It wasn't hard for Wisp to spot White. Taking a deep breath she called up her will and in a randomly appearing and quickly dissipating puffs of smoke, the area's ninja population was quickly decimated, mooks exploding into motes of shadow as her fists, knees, elbows, or feet connected with their targets. White however, he suffered greatly from her assault.

When she finished the flurry of punches on the ninja, she'd finished with a drop kick that sent him crashing down the same hall she'd sent Black seconds earlier. Into the same case no less. As she landed back where she'd started, she slowly let out her breath. "That should keep them occupied for a few minutes."

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Wisp's powerful drop kick connected like a truck full of dynamite to the White Ninja's chest. Without the element of surprise, the shadows that were such a part of him, or his deadly ninja arts, the White Ninja was just a man. A man is just a man, and a man can be broken.

Consciousness abruptly departed the White Ninja as soon as the kick connected. He never felt himself flying through the air. He never felt himself crash bodily through the same glass display case his black clad counterpart had impacted only moments earlier. He never knew the Black Ninja rolled out of his way as he fell. He knew nothing except the sweet release of unconsciousness.

The three heroes converged on the end of the hallway. They stared down the length of it, just as a shell shocked Black Ninja stared back at them. He was crouched over his fallen adversary. The three heroes were acutely aware of the army of ninja re-assembling their truly countless numbers yet again directly behind them. The only sounds they made doing so were not even a whisper, but the cold lurking suspicion of a whisper not uttered.

The White Ninja and the Black Ninja were mortal enemies. They were constantly at odds throughout all of history. Each passing their craft to the next of their line. Each the deadliest assassins their respective orders had to offer. Each striving to both win their endless struggle against each other, yet keep it going at the same time. For without their other half, each ninja by himself was nothing. No ninja in their orders had ever been captured by any of the world's law enforcement organizations. The Black Ninja was not about to let that tradition fall by the way side. His eyes strayed to the book. The book they had been fighting over. The book could wait. It would be safe within the walls of this building that honored the histories. There would be another time. There would be another chance. But not if they did not make good their escape. The Black Ninja's eyes flashed at the heroes. He raised an arm, brought it down, and smoke filled the end of the hallway.

The heroes could feel the silent, unheard movements of the ninja army at their heels suddenly stop. They turned to behold a truly amazing sight. Rank upon rank of ninja stood deathly still, and as one raised both hands in front of them. On one hand, the fingers extended. The fingers of the other hand curled into a fist. As one, they gave the heroes a salute with their hands joined, and bent over halfway at the waist in a bow. Then without even so much as a hint of smoke bombs or other ninja craft, the entire army simply... evaporated.

With the Ninja Army dissipated into the air, the heroes turned once again to the hallway. The cloud of smoke was gone, and the White Ninja and the Black Ninja with it. A deathly silence fell upon the Museum. Then suddenly it was shattered by the whispering winds.

"Do not for a second believe this is over. When you walk, look behind you. When you rest, be wary. When you love, be vigilant. When you sleep, keep one eye open. The shadows, yes, even your own, are no longer safe for you. You have made great enemies this day. We will return, and when we do, you will never see us coming. The clans will reclaim what is rightfully theirs. It is only a matter of time."

The eyes of the heroes collectively fell upon the ancient, dusty tome laying at their feet.

"Yes. You think to open it. Read it. Decode the secrets within. Those secrets belong to the clans. To the ninja. No outsider may ever know them. All that ever have are dead. Out of respect for your fighting prowess, I leave you with this warning: Read this book, and your lives will be forfeit." The whispers echoed as the faded on the wind, "Forfeit." "Forfeit."

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A few seconds after the last "forfeit", Overclock disappeared, and a small windstorm kicked up in the lobby as a black and gold streak raced in and out of nearby corridors, up and down stairs, through doorways, and all over the museum. The Fastest Fighter Alive screeched to a halt in front of the two, breathing a bit heavily. Master Li was right, he did need to work on his breathing a bit.

"Ok, covered the entire building, no ninjas here, there, or anywhere. But just in case..."

He leaned back and bellowed; his voice echoing through the empty hallways.

"Your kung fu is inferior, lacking in grace and style! And black pajamas went out of fashion a couple of hundred years ago, you might wanna work on that!"

Overclock coughed, looking about for a few seconds, then shrugged, swept up the book, and stuck out a hand to the other two heroes. Inwardly, he was doing little cartwheels; his very first fight, and he'd absolutely kicked ass! Swept a whole mob of ninjas, and got into a classic kung-fu duel against a master ninja; aw yeah, Master Li was going to be overjoyed when he heard about this one...

"Name's Overclock, you two cats are?"

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