The Duel


adam_icon.gif hiro_icon.gif

Scene Title The Duel
Synopsis Adam and Hiro duel, destroy a few buildings, etc etc.
Date May 19, 2009

Warehouse rooftop in the Docks of Tokyo

It's probably early in the morning or late at night, depending on your definition. The text comes so sudden and so urgent from Kimiko's phone: Need you NOW and then an address of a warehouse nears the docks is given.

As if Hiro would ignore that. He grabs his jacket and the sword and is out the door as soon as possible, still shrugging the jacket on as his feet leave the ground outside and he takes off. A brief text is sent to Magnes:

Going to warehouse to help Kimiko.

That ought to at least let the other know where Hiro's gotten off to. It takes precious little time as the Hiro flies to reach the destination. He's grown more confident in his speed and control over the past weeks of hard work.

The docks are quiet. If you want to be cliche, it's almost too quiet…At any rate, once Hiro lands on the roof of the warehouse, he can hear a low whistling in the shadows. It doesn't take long before Adam walks out from the shadows, whistling some version of 'Let My People Go' and holding a sword at his belt. Not his sword, of course, but it'll have to do for now. "Allo, Carp."

Hiro is often cliche. He recognizes how quiet it is. When he lays eyes on Adam, there is a very visible moment of just…surprise. Abject surprise. And perhaps a surprising lack of hostility. "Takezo Kensei?" he asks incredulously. He even goes so far as to float gently from the roof down to conversational distance with Adam, body language clearly indicating he intends to talk instead of fight. At least at this point. "You are involved in this?"

"This?" he questions as he leans against a wall, "What do you think this is, Hiro?" he rolls his eyes, "You sound just like your protege." his head tilts to his side, "Not quite the man Ando you always told me about…how low have your standards gotten?" he questions. He purses his lips, "You do realize you're an international fugitive now? I find that amusing." he smiles, wryly, "You're committed a lot of crimes, directly or indirectly. It's amusing to me that they're going to try and take you in for one I'm sure you're not capable of."

"I've been a fugitive for a long time. The news is no different. It merely makes things more public." Narrowing his eyes, Hiro looks a little askance at Adam. "You never met Ando. Why are you here, Kensei?"

Adam mms, "You're right, I never met Ando. But you talked about him so much…" he shrugs his shoulder. He glances off in the distance, then turns back to Hiro, "I've come to kill your father." he says, "For his crimes against me and humanity. However, I know how this goes…to get to your father I have to go through you…so." he says, "Here we are." he pauses, his eyes narrow, "I also want my sword back."

The narrowed eyes turn into a dark scowl. "What quarrel do you have with Father? He's an honorable man. More than you were, when I left you. You wanted all of Japan. Haven't you gotten over it by now?" Hiro steps back just a little to put some distance between them and squares off, ready just in case the space between them turns into tigers.

Adam chuckles, "How you robbed the world, Hiro. I could have done more with Japan than any of the Emperors to come after me. I could have put the world right. Now it's all chaos and greed and anger. You didn't just rob me, Hiro. You robbed the world of order." he slowly withdraws his sword. It appears to be well made, perhaps even old. Still, it's not his sword, "How does that make you feel? For your own hubris, the world was almost put right and you decided it was your place to say no."

"You understand nothing. In this universe it was not your destiny to rule." Hiro's sword comes out in answer, the distinctive sigil of the S-like shape with three ticmarks on it visible briefly before gripped. "If such was the case, you wouldn't have needed the guns…which never should have been in the first place."

"And yet they were. Who were you to decide?" his head tilts as he slides into a familiar position, his sword raised slowly against his chest, "Your father is not quite as honorable as you believe. But you see everything with blinders. It was your father's idea to develop the Shanti virus." he shakes his head, "Your father has done many wicked things. And I plan to make him pay." he pauses, "You should know, your sister is safe." and then after a moment, he adds, "-ish."

So. It's as Hiro feared. He widens his eyes in the way of one preparing to strike and says, "Lies." He knows this will not be easy. Of the men that Hiro has fought in the past there is only one he knows with certainty that could defeat Kensei with ease, powers or no. "You are a man of compromised principles, Kensei. What ransom do you ask for the lives of my family? I know you have a price in mind."

Adam arches a brow for a moment. He chuckles a bit, "Were it that easy, Hiro." he pauses, "But you have done me kindness in the past, just as you have done me wrong. So I offer you this. I will let you walk away. I will give you were sister and you can go about your business if you choose to not stand in my path to your Father." he starts to slowly circle his sword, "Or, we do this."

"You know I can't agree to that. Leave my family, including my father, in peace. And I will give you back this sword that was once yours." beat, "The whole sword, rather than just just edge of it, which you'll get otherwise." Yes, Hiro's not the mouse he once was. Not the last time they met.

Adam actually appears to give this deal some consideration. His sword lowers, not out of combat range, but enough to show some peace. Will he let his vengeance go unappeased? For his sword, no less. His lips purse thoughtfully, "Well. It would certainly have to be for more than you sword. I hold three lives in my hand. Four if you count Magnes. For four lives, I would require four things. My sword. My artifacts. A formula. And, for no other reason than I need four things, one hundred million dollars." if he had a moustache, he would twirl it right now."
That counter-offer makes Hiro's face screw up slightly in confusion. "Formula? What formula?" he asks. Guard not dropped.

"It is a precious formula that your father keeps hidden away in his lair." he smiles softly, "Among the many secrets that he keeps from you." he pauses, "Rather…half a formula." he glances up at the sky, then back to Hiro, "Arthur Petrelli wants it. And for now, I've agreed to get it for him."

That bodes very ill. Deal with the devil for four lives? "Money is simple. I would give you any amount of money. What artifacts I control, they would be yours again. Although you should know Linderman has more than I do. I don't have this formula you want, but I do know if you've agreed to give it to Arthur Petrelli you are a fool. Don't you know what he's been behind?" From the way Hiro talks about it, he has an idea. "Leave the formula, if it exists, in my father's hands. At least there it will not be used to destroy the world."

Adam considers Hiro for some long moments. After a few moments, he lowers his sword and slides it slowly into its scabbard. At which point, he sits down cross legged. His hand is slipped into his lap, where he can draw the sword if necessary, but he does not appear afraid to be in a disadvantageous situation should negotiations go poorly. "It's no Shanti Virus, this formula. But tell me more about Arthur." he says, "It will not sway me, but the more information I have, the better."

Swords were drawn, so Hiro's not sheathing his yet. But he does lower it and relax his stance. Besides, it is certainly not his style to murder someone unprepared…even if he is unsure murdering Kensei is even possible. "He's pulling the strings of the American Department of Homeland Security. And I'm pretty sure the Company as well. He is orchestrating things to a degree I do not even know yet. I have the contents of computer belonging to an agent placed high in Homeland Security who under the influence of Evolved abilities confessed he takes orders from Arthur Petrelli. That's how we discovered he's even alive. If you do anything for Arthur Petrelli then you are not using him. He is using you. You know I don't know about this formula, but whatever it is just the fact that he wants it? Grounds enough to keep it from him."

Adam laughs, he honestly laughs very hard at this new information. "Oh Carp." he says in an almost affectionate tone, "Oh Carp. You've got the points, but the wrong lines leading to them. But you never were quite the strategic thinker you should have been, which is why you always lost at Go." he tilts his head, "Who is this agent?"

"I'm not sure." Hiro states blandly, stonefaced as he adds, "I remember the points of his name, but not the lines." There's a brief pause before he points out, "Remember when we were friends?"

"Before you betrayed me? Of course." he considers Hiro, "You amused me. We played Go into the night and talked about battles you had yet to see and ones I had been part of…" he says softly, "If only you had a bigger mind, Hiro. You only see the next move, but this isn't even the end game." he lets out a sigh, "This is barely past opening moves."

"Before you betrayed Japan. I do not consider myself a very wise man, Kensei, but I do have honor." Hiro closes his eyes and stands there, obviously thinking. He shakes his head and then says, "Then I offer you another deal. One that I can live with. We fight. Regardless of the outcome, you release Kimiko and Magnes. If I lose I will obviously not be able to stop you from reaching my father. But at least I will know I have done a son's duty and tried my best to stop you."

Adam chuckles a bit at that offer. How little Hiro knows about his entire motives. But as he said, Carp was never quite the strategic thinker. He considers Hiro and stands from his sitting position, "Very well, Hiro." he says as he draws his sword again, "I'm almost sorry it had to come to this."

"For my part I am very sorry. I hoped when we met again that maybe we could have been friends. Again." Hiro actually does sound forlorn about it, and opens his eyes. The sword comes back up and he squares himself against the Immortal.

Adam stands still for several moments, "I must thank you, Carp." he says, "I'm a tad rusty. I've been practicing, but years of ill use have their price." and suddenly, he pushes forward, slashing high towards Hiro.

Apparently Hiro's not very rusty at all. In fact he very deftly steps just enough out of the way to avoid the eviscerating blade swung at him and does a one-step pirouette that ends with him on the other side of Adam. The only hint that he made an answering swipe of his own is the ending position of his blade and the breeze that wafted past Adam's hair.

That was an attempted beheading, is what that was.

"You're welcome, Kensei." answers Hiro, stepping in very deliberately to have another go at his foe.

Adam pulls back from the swipe, having it barely miss him, only to thrust forward with his blade somewhere near Hiro. An unpracticed swordsman would likely not notice 'rust', but certainly someone like Hiro could. The only issue is that each move seems to awaken things in Adam that have laid dormant for some years. Apparently, rust clears quickly.

One thing is clear: Hiro fights much differently than Adam's ever seen him do. With the flat of his blade he bats Adam's blade away and then comes in with a two o'clock to eight o'clock swipe that upon contact would spill the guts of any normal human being. Katana duels are nothing like the Chinese and their use of swords in kung-fu. Gone are the flourishes and wild acrobatics. It's all power-strikes and simple efficient speed here.

That strike would have never caught Adam before, but as he said, he's a tad rusty and the blade strikes across his belly. But Hiro would have remembered his healing. Much like Claire, it was a slow, gradual thing, but this time…this time, there's barely even any blood. Mostly, the only indication that he was caught is that his shirt is cut. He takes in a breath and seems both annoyed and disappointed. "I liked that shirt." is all he says before he begins to push forward with the blade. Thrust. Thrust. Thrust, slice."

Now THAT is amazing. In the cut and thrust of battle Hiro's reaction is a scowl as he files that bit of information away and then concentrates on dealing with Adam's blade. The thrusts by their nature cause a retreat, and Hiro's running out of ground to back up on. When his rear heel touches wall, he smirks and then uses the gift he was so thoughtfully bestowed by Nathan and Doyle. And he flies!

Darting straight up, Hiro hovers just out of blade-reach, but orients himself toward Adam in clear defiance, intent on going nowhere. "Remember Musashi?" he asks.

Adam arches a brow as Hiro flies. "That's new." he takes a few steps back as he watches Hiro, his movements begin to become more practiced, more fluid. He is quickly becoming the Kensai of old. He looks at Hiro expectantly to finish his thought.

"It's coming back to you." Hiro observes, noting how Adam's finding his rhythm again. "But I had a better teacher than you." He swoops in, blade biting and protesting when it meets steel, pressing his attack without feet even touching the ground.

Adam lets out a scowl as Hiro fights him from above. He parries, dodges and swoops about, avoiding attacks and waiting for his moment. "Maybe so, Carp." he says through gritted teeth, "But you still aren't better than me." and suddenly falls into a thrust, the sword moving through his body in a harsh sound. This time there is blood, but even still, on goes Adam and more importantly, he's caught Hiro's blade in his rib cage. He turns his body to catch Hiro off balance and then pulls his blade down to cut across Hiro's unprotected body.

That proved to be a tactic Hiro wasn't prepared for. Adam's mere ability to use sacrifice moves where swords are concerned is something no swordsman can train for reliably. When the opponent's run through, the fight is generally over with any other enemy. As soon as Adam turns Hiro tries to compensate, but he's too married to the hilt of the Kensei sword to let go of it and takes a nasty cut that splits his coat wide open and finds flesh. It's no killing blow, but the ice-fire of pain from the wound lets Hiro know he's made a costly error even as he tries to wrench the sword from Adam's body.

Adam grits his teeth. It's not that there isn't pain, but pain is temporary. He continues to turn his body, bringing Hiro with him as he continues to hold onto the sword. His sword. And suddenly all the attacks are coming at the leg, cutting at thighs, at legs and with one harsh movement, even a thrust right into the joint of the knee. Even if Hiro survives this, there's a limp.

Desperately Hiro lifts both legs and finds his own small advantage in not having to use them at all to remain upright. It's close quarters, so he compensates by kicking Adam's sword-shoulder even while he gets stabbed deeply in the thigh. That will bleed badly. And it's time for a new tactic.

In a split-second frozen in Hiro's mind's eye he looks at Adam as if to make eye contact and then suddenly KABOOMS straight up, taking sword with him and leaving Adam to deal with the effects of a point-blank sonic boom that reverberates off the ground and nearby walls.

Although even as Hiro is just a dot in the sky by now, he feels the bloodloss already making him lightheaded. That leg wound has severely curtailed his time in this fight…

Once the sword is wretched free from his body, all wounds almost instantaneously heal. And then there's the boom, "Damn you, Hi-.." and his entire body is flung against a wall. Horrible sounds of snapping bone and jarring flesh against the structure before he falls onto his knees. Not that Hiro can see it now, but even his bones move to right themselves, it's no longer something he has to do manually. He breaths heavily, but he's…well, he's Adam. He frowns and looks up, eyes narrowing into the sky as he waits to see what happens to Hiro.

Hiro is happening. That dark dot moves a little in the sky, leaving the distant tear of supersonic flight as it switches position and then seems to go stationary. Except it isn't. It's incoming. When the dot finally resolves for a split-second into a human shape that's about all the time there is as he swings down with blade held aimed right at Adam, going for a swoop which carries with it another sonic boom in passing.

It also leaves a telltale spray of Hiro's blood in its wake. No, he can't do this long.

Adam only has a second to blink at this new tactic, "Well, that almost seems unfair." as the dot of Hiro gets bigger and bigger. This isn't something he's going to be able to parry. Instead, he rolls out of the way. But he doesn't have long, from the shoulder down, his entire left arm is sawed from his body. He lets out a howl at this. It hurts, it bloody fucking hurts and then, another sonic boom, like some sort of video game and he's flung against another crumbling wall. Bones breaking again. But as he falls to the ground, his body is whole again. If this doesn't make him a god, what does?

It takes another upsweep and a controlled fall for Hiro to burn off that momentum. His feet plant solidly on the ground and he paces ominously toward Adam, the very picture of confidence in his own victory. Except he can't heal and leaves a wet bloody bootprint from his left foot every step, and looks significantly more pale now than when they began. Heart racing in a fight doesn't help matters. Using some form of flight to propel himself those last few meters toward his foe, Hiro lets out a cry and comes in slashing, furious.

Adam couldn't hold onto his sword in all this, in fact, the sword is likely broken. But what he does have is his body. His perfect, healing body. And each slash is caught by an arm. The steel bites into flesh and buries itself into bone, but as the sword comes away, his flesh is made whole. Without a weapon, he is at a disadvantage. He kicks at Hiro's legs, but that won't get him far. But his mind, his mind sees the battle, and he realizes he doesn't have to beat Hiro….just outlast his wounds.

In all this Hiro is obviously wanting to hit the neck. He TRIES to hit Adam's neck. He doesn't know for a fact that Adam can't regenerate a head (or a whole body? How would that work?) but it's clear as he tries that his aim is now way off. His blade bites shoulder. Chest. Clips Adam across the forehead. Fury turns into desperation as mid-slash Hiro slumps forward onto Adam in a momentary and very telling blackout as his body starts to force him to quit. The fact that fight remains in him is evident from the deathgrip he keeps on the hilt of the Kensei sword as well as the way he kicks to stay upright, fighting.

The place by now looks like an abbatoir. Blood from Adam and Hiro paints the walls and ground in a parody of modern art.

And so the battle begins to fall into its end moments and as Hiro begins to slump against him, trying to keep in fighting stance, Adam's defensive body begins to become an offensive weapon as one hand holds onto Hiro's wrist and the other begins to punch into Hiro's face. Even in this, bloody knuckles do not stay bloody and he just continues to put Hiro out of the fight. He says in a low, ragged voice, "It's over, Hiro."

To his credit there is no point at which Hiro actually gives up. When he does go limp it's only for the length of time that he passes out and lets the sword clatter to the ground loudly. But he does look like holy hell by the time he literally can't hit back and just says, "Finish me."

Adam reaches down and picks up his sword, "I believe this is mine, Carp." he glances at Hiro for a moment and then says, "Oh, if only it were that easy." and he kicks Hiro in the face, knocking him out. Then, he will wake up later in a warehouse, maybe the same one, or maybe not. Still dying of his wounds with a bright light in his face. "Well, it was a good fight, Hiro." Adam says, stepping into the light and he's…well, fine. He even has new clothes on now, there's absolutely no evidence that he was just in a boss battle. "But what to do with you. I have rights, you know. I could kill you, that's my right. But…your life is also mine. You realize that, don't you Hiro? It probably burns somewhere, but you owe your life to me as a defeated foe." he pauses, "But I don't hate you, Carp, not anymore. You might survive this, you might not." and walks over to a table with a hypodermic needle. He draws out barely any of his blood, "But if you do, to draw arms against me would be dishonor." he shakes his head, "But I wonder if you'll keep to that, you always were so one sided in your honor." he steps away, "Your sister will be released unharmed. Magnes…well, if I have the say, will be let go in whatever state he's in. And you.." he starts to walk away, "Have a chance. On that table is my blood. It won't fully heal you and you'll likely have many permanent wounds and scars and limps, but it'll heal the worst." he gets to the door of the warehouse, calling out, "But you've only a minute to get to it before the building explodes." he pauses, "It is for your former kindness I give you this chance. But…if you survive, don't forget your honor." and with that, he steps out and closes the door behind him as the clock ticks down. tick. Tick. Tick. Tick.

Woozy doesn't describe what Hiro is at this point. It's in a gray haze that he listens to Adam's words as if from the other end of a tunnel. But he hears them. And with a titanic effort he lifts his head just to look at the blood. So Kimiko is saved. And Magnes, probably. But Father…

"Honor." he whispers.

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