In Search of the Nepalese Tiger, Part 2

Summary:
December 31, 2014: The Nepalese Tiger meets his end.

Nepal

A mountainous country between India and China


Characters

NPCs

  • <Name of NPC or "None">
  • <Use same pattern for all npcs>

Mood Music:
[*<http://insert.video.or.music.link.here>]


The mountainous region where the Nepalese Tiger is hiding is, of course, covered in snow as it is at almost all times of the year.

The stories are usually the same, the hero and his band of merry men descend in the night to bring justice upon the government who are seen as oppressors. Like always this plays well with the locals, but how much is actually oppression and how much is simple overindulgent sabre-rattling by the young hero isn't known.

What is known is that these 'freedom fighters' want closer ties with the United States, which would remove the comfortable buffer zone that Ra's currently enjoys.

Simply put, this threat must be eliminated.

High above the mountains, a black helicopter soars towards the region of caves in question. Damian, now dressed in black with a black, horned helmet and red visor, is shrugging on the parachute, and looking out over the cold landscape below.

There was no parachute for Veruca. With legs as powerful as hers, her body could handle the shock at such a high landing, which she often does to get upon the ground quick enough and move. The mask upon her face hugs her cheeks tight, her eyes left open, hair tucked tight into a bun as leather bondage wraps around her body like a lovers embrace. Random straps were fitted to the frame; sheaths which hold her double katanas in place, a corset which houses the many daggers that she pulled from the rack not only hours ago. Even upon her hips were a pair of pistols, and boots that strapped up high upon calves, while heels.. provided ankle support and tipped with steel. She was ready.

Even as she stepped near Damian, her eyes slowly began to bleed /black/.

There were no jokes or fun filled words to mark the occasion, only a darkened glance towards his direction, a slight nod given as she waits for the drop point to come into view. There would be no clones, only Zu-.. wait. Veruca.

"It's time," Damian says hollowly through the filter in his mask as the drop point comes into view. Indeed, the mountains are filled with small caves and their aiming spot comes just to the east. The silence of the helicopter guarantees they will gain the upper hand of surprise.

Damian nods to Veruca once and leaps out of the plane; his masked face is focused on the rushing land and he waits for the last possible second to pull the ripcord on his chest. A black parachute erupts from out behind him, slowing his descent.

Veruca only nods, taking a slight step back towards the other side of the chopper to make sure that everything will stick. Then there was a hop, a series of them as she rolls her neck, squeezes her fingers and turns. The walk was steady, one filled with calm as she simply falls out of the plane with a twist and a lean back, trusting the air to catch, limbs tucked close to her body as she twirls within the air to dive bomb at an angle that cuts her through the atomosphere with a knife.

Arms extend, legs kick out in front of her to bring her body upright, and soon with a hug of her chest she lands onto the earth with the force that demolishes the snow to resemble dust.

Ow.

Too high!

But essentially, she was alright, hopping and skipping and holding her ankle for a brief moment to twist and rotate to make sure nothing was broken. "Out of practice.. dammit.."

"It will return," Damian mutters as he gives her a nod and begins to trudge through the snow. It's not far, only a mile, but if Veruca is more hurt than she might be ready to admit it could prove a bit more difficult. Moreover, the group of caves were easy to find. Which cave to choose? Well, therein lies the problem.

The trek wasn't bad. And while the chill licked her bones, she knew that soon she'd be filled with the heat of the battle.

Hyper aware, her head turned this way and that, watching, scanning the horizons and treelines to see if she could discern if they were being watched, her hands always at the ready, body tense yet a picture of pure calm. Upon the grouping of the caves, her brows lower, dark gaze focusing upon Damian as she glances back towards the caves, lips pursing beneath the mask as she turns her back towards the entrance. She needed at least a water source or something reflective to make her copies, and she couldn't see that from where she stood.

"Split up?"

Damian shakes his head slightly. "They'll need fires to keep from hypothermia. But they'll also need to keep the fire out the end of the cave lest they inhale the fumes. Therefore, we wait."

Trudging through the snow makes the trip way too slow, and what could have been a 5 minute run ends up in a 30 minute trudge through the snow.

Then, sure as shit, off in one of the caves below a small fire flickers.

Bobby Drake comes into FRP Room #2 from FRP Ready Room.

Bobby Drake heads out to FRP Ready Room.

Made sense. Veruca didn't deal in the high terrain type missions. She was a city girl.

But she follows his lead, not questioning, only lifting brows to signify that there was a smile upon her lips as she juts her chin in the direction of the flickering shadows.

"You were right." She didn't have a doubt. But she was sure he'd like to hear her say it. There was a silent longing for the lick of the fire though, her fingers were nearly like steel, only mobile due to the clenching and unclench of her fists.

It doesn't take long to get to the mouth of the cave in question, but as they get closer Damian moves almost to a crawl. When they pass a cruve in a thin trail, they can both see the flicker of flames and shadows of two guardsmen. Damian turns and leans against the wall, apparently giving her the go-ahead if she should like to take it. She does seem to enjoy it so, but it's clear if they goof this part up, it'll give the Nepalese Tiger plenty of heads up.

There were so many things she could do at this moment; put Damian to the test to see if he really would actually take someones life after his stint as a hero. To watch him move and work while she stands idly by to admire the show. But this was all business. A mess up on her behalf is a mess up for them all. Or so it seemed, either way. There was no sense in causing Damian or Ra's to have her head on a stick.

Her bodice was felt and two throwing knives were picked, fanned out with a flick of her fingers like playing cards, gleaming in the brief light that may have given away their position.

But not for long.

With a quick flick of wrist, the knives are sent soaring, her aim true. And if it wasn't? She was fast enough to get to them before they ever made a peep.

Both knives soar through the air, cutting through the cold wind with an unerring accuracy. One passes through the throat of one of the guards, incapacitating him immediately, while the other hits the second right in the chest.

Both are done for, but the latter will be able to scream once he gets his bearings straight, that's for sure.

Damian moves into position, slowly pulling his katana out from the back scabbard, the blade shimmering in the moonlight.

Veruca rolls her eyes. She was /seriously/ out of practice, dealing with unarmed humans and innocents surely caused her to be a little rusty. But it will come in time, he assured her. So she was going to hold him to that. One minute she was there, and gone the next, a quick visage of her foot drawing upright, knee to chest, to slam heavy boot down upon the thick of the mans skull. If he screamed before then? Surely they would be swarmed, but she was right where she wanted to be. Right next to the fire to quickly warm her bones.

The boot comes down and smashes the skull with a well placed strike, ruining any plans the man had for alerting his friends. What our villains did not take into consideration is the man hiding up above the lip of the opening. He leaps downward, eager to cut Veruca with his sword. But before he even rises full tilt, his head is lopped off in one stroke by Damian. The head rolls down the small decline of the pathway and onto Veruca's shoe.

Hm. That was odd.

She scans the distance, finding no sign of Damian yet.. she takes a slight step back as soon as the head rolls upon her shoe. With a glance towards her partner in crime, her eyes slowly fade into their normal icy blues, the corners wrinkling to indicate a grin, and then a draw back of her foot to swift kick the lonesome head into the fire. That was surely going to stink in an hour.

She draws back and flourishes a curtsey as a way of thanks, keeping the modicum of silence to allow him to lead the way.

Damian's slow nod in response follows the curtsey as the pair make their way further in. After about 30 yeards the trail bends sharply, giving them adequate cover. Inside there are more people than Damian thought. 14, in all, not counting the man in purple clothing. If village tales are to be believed, he must be the Nepalese Tiger.

The walls of the cave aren't really rock so much as a sort of sandstone. Oddly, Damian begins to climb up the side of the cave, scurrying like a squirrel to bring himself to a point where he's actually upside down on the sheer ceiling.

15 against 2. That ought to be fun, and quite the bit of challenge that Veruca and Damian both needed to possibly warm them up.

She looks on as Damian scurries about, her nose wrinkling and shuders lifting to shakes off a shiver, her body soon at a crouch as she counts them once more, even surveying the surroundings around them to make sure that the count stays true. And then she begins to think. If she were to even attempt a stealth approach, there were too many eyes that may see her coming even if she tried.

With three throwing knives, one could be planted in by the count and still, that would alert them to their arrival. She could also use her pistols, it would be loud and messy. So.. she does the unthinkable.

She stands straight up and walks right out into the enclosure, arms akimbo, smiling beneath her mask as she loudly clears her throat.

"Hello boys."

50/50 chance she'll get her ass whipped for that later on.

The men stand up and begin speaking in a language that neither she nor Damian understand. Instead, some look enticed because well it's Veruca. Others look alarmed. As one begins to reach for his sword, he's struck through the throat with a long thin spike of some sort. Like a sharpened reed, as Damian strikes from above. The freedom fighter holds his throat, hits his knees and falls face down into the dirty floor.

The Nepalese Tiger looks on in horror. He's gotten his name from his shapeshifting ability, but it is not limited to Tigers. He begins to sprout black hair and grows slowly to twice his height. His eyes go red and he grows sharp teeth as his body begins to add bulk—it appears he's becoming a bear.

One down, fourteen to go. That looks about even enough for her.

She draws her hands back to retrieve the blades from her sheaths, fingers gripping the handle as she takes a step back, her eyes feasting upon the Tiger as he.. shapeshifts?

Oh right. She forgot about that part. While it would have been something to attack the tiger while he's in transition, she thought it better to get rid of the little ones first. The way she holds the katanas, upside down, was taken into account as she attempts to move through the men as if they were paper. Each strike was made with effort, each block attempted to hold true though she was sure, a hit was going to follow through from them to her. And that would have been alright. More fuel to the fire.

With Damian still being hidden from above, the Bear seems intent to go after Veruca instead. Now fully transformed it reaches its mighty hand back, looking to knock her straight on her ass, if it doesn't cleave her in two!

But before it can strike, the bear receives a face full of a grey dust. Some sort of pepper material that forces it to claw horrendously at it's eyes, which begin to water as well as its nose and mouth!

The men were dispatched, moderately easy enough. Her blades were soaked with red and soon shook of, turning just in time to see the big palm and..

Dust in the eye!

She wastes no time in charging at the Tiger, one blade planted into it's knee and the other right where his liver /might/ be. She uses those spokes of katana to quickly climb the beast, daggers soon gripped from her bodice, fingers within the ring loop that sends them twirling in a windmill and caught by the handle, and jammed straight into both sides of the beasts neck.

And she would add insult to injury, knee planted upon it's chest as fingers grasp the daggers to twist and turn, cutting through sinew and wrecking bone, severing nerves. It could have been ended quickly, but there was a certain, uncontrollable bloodlust that grew. She wanted to see him bleed, and as big as he was? She would have bathed in his entrails and had enough to spare for later fun.

It appears as though Veruca has the Bear in tow, so Damian begins to work on the rest of them. He drops downward, bursting the one to the lefts ACL as he stomps down hard upon the knee. Almost simultaneously he buries his katana deep into the chest of the guy upon his right.

But he's not on the ground for long. Legs kicking he leaps shoulder level and begins to hop/walk across a sea of shoulders, downward striking as he passes by, and delivering nasty cuts through skulls.

The bears roar is so deafening it threatens to shake the pillars from the cave, but Veruca stayed true in that momentary torture, even as large pause swat and grips her back, it's claws shredding leather and skin, she holds true to the blades and angles them tip to tip.

Soon, paws curl around her leg to throw her off, her steeled grip ripping through the beasts neck to leave the front of the meat caved outward and bleeding. He was finished, if he could survive a wound such as that, she'd be surprised.

That toss sends her flying, bowling over one of the men, just in time for Damian's strike to hit and slice, adding more insult to injury. But this was fun, she didn't laugh all the while but there was an inward smile that touches the eyes, even as she remains upon the dead man whom she used as a decent cushion.

As Damian finishes his mad dash across the room, he leaps from the final pair of shoulders and skids to a stop in the dusty ground. His knees are bent, his head low and his arms outstretched, one free the other with his blade.

Almost in unison the group of men all fall to the floor.

"Is he finished?" the low growl of Damian's robotic voice echoes through the quiet cave; the young man is curious as to whether he should call for the chopper.

The bear flails, the sounds of gurgling marking it's final passage of breath.

"Wait for it.." She mutters..

*THOM!* The bear falls to the ground, twitching until his life leaves it's body. The bear, soon shrinking down to a simple man in a pool of blood, steam wafting from his back.

"He's done." She manages to say, taking a sharp breath in and drawing herself upright. That was going to smart in the morning.

"I can tend to your wounds once we're aboard the helicopter. Let's go," Damian comes across as slightly cold to her safety, but it's their overall safety he's concerned for. There's not much he can do here other than press on it and tell her, "Wow, that's deep." Back on the helicopter he can actually do something for it. He begins to walk briskly, eager to leave now that their work here is done.

She hunches just a little, feet dragging until she finally draws in a breath to hold as she stands upright. She passes by the Tiger, drawing her katanas from where they were pitted, and even bending to grasp him by the scruff of his neck towards the fire, where his hands were put first to burn away her DNA. She wanted to stay hidden, at least as much as she could.

It was then that she follows, feet picking up at a light jog to approach at his side, the sheaths upon her back ruined, so katanas carried for now.

"Are we expecting the calvary?" She asks. "Are there more of them coming?"

"No. But I do not wish to linger long enough to be wrong."

Damian flips a switch upon his wrist; the signal for the helicopter to swing back.

"Come, we need to get to the top of the hill on the west side. How is your wound?" Finally he stops and takes a moment to inspect it, hoping he does not need to carry her.

But he will if she needs it.

She glances towards the west, her eyes squinting as she tries to mask the pain with an angered glare. "Next time, we travel my way." Because at least then, they wouldn't have to meet at a high spot which includes climbing, that she very much needed.

She glances back behind herself, unable to see that her back was in ribbons, there was a chance that she would need stitches, but never mind that for now.

"It's fine. Let's go." She turns towards the west, starting at a light jog. She tries to think of a last place stipulation, but totally comes up short.

It wouldn't matter.

Damian gives her the lead because he wants to defend her injured back in case they are jumped. It's only about 100 yards or so to the meeting point. The cold wind off the helicopter will be brisk upon their faces, but warmth isn't much farther.

The helicopter is only on the ground for about 20 seconds until it pulls away, up into the sky, heading back to the defenses of Ra's al Ghul.

Take off smooth, Veruca seated. The mask comes off and she was able to breathe without hinderance, and warm. Her fingers were cold beneath the gloves that she wore, probably due to her injury or weather. She really couldn't tell. Her hand reaches to rub away at her jaw, working her skin so that the lines of the mask could disappear, eyes staring out towards the distance until they clear the cave by at least a few hundred miles.

"You move like you were born into this. Like it's in your genes."

Damian reaches up to unsling the back of his mask, and pulls off the front. The airsupply in there is good, but it can get a little warm. "You could say that." He moves over towards one of the compartments in their shared space and begins to pull out gauze, alcohol, and some binding for stitches. "Let me see your back."

"Essentially.." She says, pulling down her zipper from the front, and turning her back towards him as she draws herself out of the top. "I'm going to find out everything. I would say to spill now, but patience is a virtue that I /can/ afford." Meaning, she wasn't going to ask.

"What do we do now?"

Damian begins to sew her up, using the alcohol and stitching with a grace that shows it's not the first time.

"In time you may come to know many secrets, but those will by mine to tell. Not yours to decide."

She puts her feet upon the seat, curling her back just enough to make stitching easier. There were a few slight gasps, but overall, there were no tears, only fingers digging into knees as she glances a little over her shoulder.

"Like what size shoe you wear. Your favorite color. What you do like in a person. Maybe your favorite dessert. Something that you do /other/ than meditate.."

She grins, laying her head upon her arm. "You don't have to scold me, Little Bird. I know this already."

"You may know it, but I know you want to know more."

"My favorite color is green. You. Creme Brulee. Kill."

Damian continues to work upon her, finishing in short order. "Another scar for your list."

"Who doesn't?"

She hisses just a little, eyes squeezing shut as he hits the most sensitive part, but.. it was ignored for the conversation at hand. And a grin, a winning one that he didn't see. "Other than kill." She states. "You need hobbies. We'll find you something."

Once he was finished, she tries to look towards her back, a deep frown growing. "He messed up my tree.." But, it was really no matter. The blood loss made her tired, and whether he liked it or not, she rolled upon her side to lay her head into his lap. Something rare.. two things that she hardly ever does. Fall asleep around another, and.. sleep /on/ another.

"I'm sure you'll figure out something for me to do."

Damian sits there, stroking her long dark hair between his fingers as she falls asleep and listens to the drone of the helicopter engine as it soars.


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