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I'll pick my own name, and my own life. I'll find something worth passing on.
— Raiden

Jack, known by the codename Raiden and formerly Jack the Ripper, is a major character in the Metal Gear series. Formerly a child soldier, Raiden became a special forces operative and ended up as a pawn of the Patriots, an organization seeking world domination. He later aided Solid Snake in eliminating the Patriots.

Jack was born in Liberia and grew up during the First Liberian Civil War. His childhood was spent as a child soldier in the paramilitary army of George Sears, a CIA operative. Under Sears, Jack developed tendencies towards extreme violence and became the captain of his own unit when he was ten years old. Jack was rescued by an NGO that brought him to the United States.

As an adult, Jack joined the US Army. By now, he had come to the attention of the Patriots, who decided to use him as a test subject in their program to test their ability to manipulate history. Jack was recruited into the supposedly reformed FOXHOUND unit, and given the codename Raiden.

Raiden's first mission was to diffuse a hostage situation at the Big Shell facility. Alongside Solid Snake, Raiden discovered the existence of the Patriots and defeated the terrorists aboard the facility, including Sears, now known as Solidus Snake. Later, the Patriots captured Raiden and used him as a guinea pig for their experiments, transforming him into a powerful cyborg. Raiden escaped, met up with Snake once more, and aided him in eliminating the Patriots for good. Raiden later joined Maverick Security Consulting, Inc, a private military company. However, following the World Marhsall Incident, a disillusioned Raiden instead opted for a new career in vigilantism.

Battle vs. Raiden (Alternate) (by Weew1213)[]

A man slowly, sits up from his bed and tiredly, slides himself from the covers and walks out to the hallway. With his eyes seeming to be half open while, his vision says otherwise. He walks over to the cafeteria to get himself some coffee. He grabs a mug and puts it under the coffee machine then, waits for it to fill up. Once it's done, he picks it up and takes a sip.

"Ah, yes! There's a fight today!" He thinks gleefully to himself. He then, looks at calendar. "Rain Masters, eh?" He thinks with a grin.

After that, he looks out the window to which, shows the arena and the sun begins to rise over the horizon, as he is watching, he finishes his coffee, and puts over where the dirty dishes are left. He then, goes over to a special room of his. But, as he is walking over there, he is interrupted by a soldier.

"General, you going to the weight room?" He asks.

"Yes, private. You going to get some coffee?"

"Nah, I'm going to get some tea. See you there, general."

He salutes the general and walks to the cafeteria.

The general then, walks to the weight room and enters. He searches for the bench press and eventually, finds it. He walks over, sits down, and slides himself under the bar. He looks to see if any weights are added.

"45s, huh? Must've been some p*ssy. Eh, guess, it'll be my warm-up." He thinks to himself with a chuckle and takes the bar off of the rack. He then, begins lifting the bar up and down with ease.

A couple of hours later…

A soldier searches up and down the halls for his commanding officer. He finally finds him in the lieutenant's office.

"Sir, they're ready." A soldier whispers in the general's ear.

"Thank you, Sergeant." The general acknowledges.

The soldier salutes and he salutes back.

They both turn and walk in different directions, the general heads towards the arena and the soldier.... well, I don't know where he's going.

The general keeps heading towards his objective, passing soldiers along the way and saluting him as he passes. Once he reaches the entrance to the arena, he sees a velvet curtain hanging from the top of the doorway. He takes a deep breath and walks through. The roar of the crowd, feels exhilarating, he then, picks up the microphone.

"Ladies and gentlemen, are you ready for the Rain Masters?!" He asks them in an excited manner.

The crowd cheers in response.

"I can't hear you!" He whoops.

The crowd roars even louder.

"Alright, in the red corner, from the realm of the Gods, weighing at 234 lbs, the god of thunder, Raiden! And in the blue corner, from Parts Unknown, the cyborg ninja, Raiden, from Metal Gear Solid!" He says with excitement and after he finished his sentence, the crowd roars once more in response to him.

In the arena, where both opponents are looking at one another.

"Why are we fighting against one another?" Jack asks.

"The crowd have sick and twisted minds. We are nothing but puppets to them. We fight when they want another fight. When one of us dies, another man or woman takes our place to be used again. It doesn't matter if we live or die, the crowd eats it up like the sick pigs they are." Raiden angrily replies.

"The only thing that we can do now, is put on a good show." Jack returns as he lifts his sword.

“No, that is not the only thing we can do!” Raiden counters. “We can break out of here!” He advises to Jack.

He flies up and blasts the wall with electricity; Jack does the same with his L’Etranger and smacks the wall with it. Jack then, switches to his Murasama and slashes as fast as he can at the wall but, to no avail; Raiden fails as well. Raiden slowly drops down and sighs.

“I’m sorry that I have to do this.” Raiden takes out his War Hammer and gets into combat position.

“So, am I. I will see you in another life.” Jack puts away his Murasama and equips the Dystopia.

He launches it at Raiden and it sticks to his chest.

He shocks Raiden and it seems to have no effect on him. Raiden responds with breaking both of them and charges at Jack. He responds to this by waiting for his opponent to attack by just... standing there. Raiden lifts the hammer to the side of his head and swings at the Jack’s ribs. When it makes contact and after a second or two, Jack firmly grasps the hammer once, it bounces off of him. Raiden gives a shocked look towards Jack’s grasped hand on the hammer and looks up at his face and kicks him in the chest. Jack responds with kick as well but, it is blocked Raiden’s leg. They repeat these blows to each other legs, hitting the calves, with rapid precision. Jack then, tries to stomp on Raiden’s foot and he responds with a dropkick to his opponent’s chest, which, Jack steps back a little. He then, throws a punch in which, Raiden crouches and uppercuts him so hard that he flips over but, catches himself by touching the ground with of his hands and lands on his feet. He then kicks Raiden so fast, that he didn’t feel the pain until Jack stopped kicking him in multiple spots and falls to his then, on his face. Raiden struggles to get back up and once he lifts his head to look at his opponent, the Bloodlust is pointed at his face.

Raiden slowly gets up, hammer still in one hand and Raiden tries to swing at Jack but he knocks it out of the way. Jack then, tries to use a vertical slash at Raiden but Raiden blocks it. Jack tries to pull the blades out but, it seems like they are stuck. Raiden tries to pull the Bloodlust out of his hands but, they both end up struggling until the handles of the Bloodlust pop off. They both look the objects in their hands and drop them.

They both grab their staffs/polearms and once again, charge at one another. Before either make contact, Jack turns sideways and does a flip. Before he plants his feet on the ground, the L’Etranger makes contact with Raiden’s staff. They once, try to harm one another but, they keep making contact with their ranged weapons attacking different part of their staffs. Jack then, kicks the staff and his opponent slides back. Jack then, runs up and kicks him square in the jaw, making him fall straight on his back, but, the second he touches the ground, Raiden quickens himself to kip/nip up. But, once he lands on his feet, he sees a whip going straight for his face but, Raiden’s quick to block it with his staff to which, it is grasped by the whip and is pulled out of his hands. He once again, sees that that the whip is coming for his face but, Raiden snatches it out of the air and wraps it around his forearm and electrocutes it. The whip feels limp and is then, dropped onto the ground.

Raiden, then launches himself at Jack (doing that signature yell of his) and pushes him to the wall. Jack on the ground after being forced to the wall, is picked up by his opponent and electrocuted. But, Raiden's not done; Jack is lifted off of the ground, lifted 20 feet and electrocuted once more, and then, dropped to the ground. Still on the ground, dazed, Raiden, teleports behind him and sets an electric trap and teleports back to where he was. Once, he does get up, he finds his opponent charging his fist and once it was fully charged, he slides (with electricity behind him) and gives Jack a nice uppercut, knocking him into the trap which, knocks him back into Raiden’s grip, which is on his neck and he then slams him onto the ground. When he does, he fires electricity at Jack which slides him back into the wall so hard, that it cracks. Once, he gets up, he is hit a ball of electricity.

Jack, slowly gets up and chuckles.

“You got anything better than that?” He says with a grin on his face.

A gunshot rings out and Jack immediately activates his Zandatsu and he sees a bullet slowly making its way to Raiden.

Jack dashes his way over to the bullet and with his Murasama, cuts it into little pieces with incredible precision. He then, deactivates the Zandatsu and time resumes as normal.

“This will be a fair fight! No interference should be allowed even if I am losing this fight.” Jack yells to the crowd and to the general. “Also, thank you for all of those shocks, I kinda needed them.” Jack chuckles as he secretly charges his arms with electricity.

He then, gives Raiden a good punch square in the jaw, causing him to fall to his knees. He then, gets back up on his feet, but is met with a barrage of electric-charged punches and a punch to the cheek bone, which makes Raiden fall down, flat on his face and it seems he is unconscious. Just as Jack turns and walks a couple of feet, he hears “I’m not done, yet Jack!”

He turns around to see no one there but, when he does turn around, he is blasted with a bolt of electricity which, launches him the air (near where the top of the arena is), Raiden then, grabs a hold of his spine and shocks him that way. Then, a bolt of lightning forces him down and once, he lands on the ground, he bounces a few feet in which, Raiden, then teleports into where he breaks Raiden’s spine. Raiden, panting after all of those attacks dealt to his opponent, he turns and begins walking away until he hears a maniacal laugh.

“You really think that was enough to harm Jack the Ripper?” Jack manically laughs once more.

“By the Gods!” Raiden gives a shocked expression on his face.

“Now, I will show you what it means to be Jack the Ripper!” Raiden cackles and dashes towards Raiden in which, slashes him at faster than what it seems to be lightning, causing huge gashes, that looks as if, it cannot be healed, whatsoever. He then, falls to his knees, struggling to breathe, trying to stop the bleeding by holding his hand on one of the wounds. He then, sees a red hot blade in front of his face and looks to see Jack.

“May peace be with you, my friend.” Raiden breathes and closes his eyes.

Jack, faster than you could blink, cuts the head, clean off of Raiden’s body.

Once that is done, somehow, his Jack the Ripper mode, turns off.

He looks down to see Raiden dead and he yells in agony and then, pounds the ground in anger. Once he is done, still on his knees looks as he just shut down in a pose, that has his head down and arms just hanging down, with his back bending over as well.

“Take him back to his cell.” The general whispers to his soldiers.

The soldiers nod and go on their way.

A huge machine comes out from the behind Jack and using its claws, grabs him and drags him to the dark area from whence the machine to which was Jack’s cell, which was was a glass-like container.

After that is done, the general gleefully tells the crowd “Come back next week for TriStar vs Legendary: Godzilla (2014) vs Zilla Junior!”

Jack just sits there, emotionless. He turns to see another Raiden enter the cell next to him.

“Raiden!” Jack says with a smile.

“Who are you? Where in the Elder Gods’ names am I?” Raiden demands.

Jack sinks down and doesn’t say anything at all. He closes his eyes and tries to fall asleep while the other Raiden, yells and demands what he is doing there and where he is.

Expert's Opinion[]

Raiden (MGR) was faster, more durable, had better weapons, stronger and was just better than the other Raiden from Mortal Kombat.

To see the original battle, weapons, and votes, click here.

Battle vs. Batman (Terry McGinnis) (by MovieStuff65)[]

Rapidly tapping away on his keyboard, Gotham City District Attorney Clyde Dent took a brief glance at the clock on the wall. 11:55 it read, just five minutes before midnight. Maybe I can actually get away with-

Dent's frantic train of thought was slowed when he noticed a man's shadow on his desk. His thoughts were stopped altogether when a firm hand slammed his face into it. He stumbled up, nose broken and streaming blood, as he drew the pistol from his coat.

Terry McGinnis, better known throughout Gotham City as the Batman, threw a batarang at the corrupt politician's gun as it fired. It easily sliced down the middle of the barrel, before cutting into Dent's hand. Instinctively grabbing his now bleeding hand, Dent could barely react as Batman slammed his fist into Dent's nose. Careening backwards and unconscious, Dent slammed into his coffee table with a resounding crash.

"Alright sir- Dent's down. Collecting the files now."

From the Batcave, the elderly Bruce Wayne grumbled in approval. "Good work, Terry. Dent's the worst thing his uncle could've imagined. He's got all of Harvey's brains, but none of his morals."

"Depending on which Harvey, that's probably a good thing."

Just as Batman finished downloading the years worth of bribes and blackmail, the door to Dent's office crashed open. Batman threw another batarang, but a sword struck out and swatted it aside. Raiden emerged, his High Frequency Blade already drawn. The cyborg leaped forward with a diagonal slash, aiming for the vigilante's left shoulder.

Batman triggered the spikes on his forearm, and raised them to catch the blade and parry the sword strike. Raiden's sword easily sliced through the spikes though, breaking one of them off while Batman tried to guide the strike away. Batman countered with a quick haymaker, only for his fist to be caught by Raiden.

Raiden twisted Batman's arm, who grunted in pain. His opponent triggered his jets, flying away to gain distance. The cyborg easily kept up in the small office face, shoulder slamming into the flying vigilante. He followed with another sword strike, this time going low to take out his jets. Batman flipped backwards to avoid it, and threw a bolo to try and trap Raiden.

The bolos wrapped Raiden's hands together, but no sooner than they slowed down did he rip them apart with ease. He resumed his attack, a vertical slash aimed at Terry's head. He was met with more resistance as Terry raised his forearm spikes of both arms, trapping the sword this time. Batman then launched the pair forward, flying into and through several walls.

Standing up to collect himself, Terry recoiled as Raiden stood up unfazed. Tossing a smoke grenade to cover his escape, the vigilante started to backpedal away. "Boss, who the hell is this guy?"

"Be careful with this one, Terry. His name is Raiden- a mercenary employed by the PMC Maverick. Most of his history is blacked out, to the point even Waller and A.R.G.U.S. don't have much on him. Her personal records seem to indicate his involvement in the World Marshall Incident back in 2018, as well as Guns of the Patriots in 2014. He's dangerous, Terry. Do you have the files?"

"Yeah, let me just-"

"No. We have what we need on Dent, get out of there."

Terry grumbled, but obeyed as he started to fly back outside. However, as he turned around he was tackled by Raiden, who had sheathed his sword now. Both were sent crashing through the office's skylight windows, and plummeting down from the Gotham skyscraper.

Freefalling, Terry could barely counter as Raiden began a swift series of punches and kicks. His strength was incalculable, the cyborg's fists hitting him like freight trains. Raiden finished his assault with slamming both feet into Batman's chest. Using the vigilante as a springboard, Raiden launched himself backwards and, sword drawn, slammed into the side of the building. The High Frequency blade sent chunks of asbestos, steel, and glass shattering down, but eventually held as Raiden clung to the side.

No sooner than he'd stopped to take a breath did Raiden instinctively cover his head as Batman flew past him, flying up to the top of the building. "You've got to be shitting me!" Raiden growled, before slinging himself upward to chase Batman. His cybernetic legs clawed into the building's side, propelling him upward on sheer strength and speed alone. Raiden looked up to see Batman looking at him in awe, before chucking several more batarangs at the cyborg. Slicing his sword forward, he deflected them all and just managed to catch up to Batman as they reached the roof. Raiden grabbed Terry's leg, jumping over the edge and slamming him down back to the ground.

Terry barely started to stand before Raiden leaped again, this time thrusting right for his chest. Batman dropped a flashbang down, temporarily disorienting them both, and he reached out to grab the cyborg. They both fell back onto the ground, and Raiden's sword finally left his grasp. Seizing his chance, Terry took out his handcuffs and slapped them onto Raiden's hands.

"Pfft, try getting out of those things." Batman cockily said, starting to stand up. Raiden struggled for a moment, before standing up right away. All he did was laugh, madly, and his eyes turned red. Before Batman could quite grasp what happened, Jack the Ripper slammed his knee into Batman's groin. Heaving and doubling over, Batman barely countered as Jack let loose a roundhouse kick into his exposed head. Flying to the side, Terry struggled for breath and control. Rising up to his knees, Batman mustered up the strength only to be forced back down by Jack's vicious headbutt.

Now on his stomach and barely conscious, Batman felt Raiden's handcuffed hands grab him by the back of the head. The cyborg didn't hold back, ripping off the cowl of his costume to expose a bloody, bruised Terry McGinnis. He slammed the battered youth's head into the ground twice. Barely breathing and barely awake, Terry struggled all the same as Raiden, hands still in handcuffs, wrapped around his neck.

As his opponent choked and uselessly struggled against his steel grip, Jack the Ripper let out a final psychotic laugh as he broke Terry's neck. In an instant, Raiden looked down in immediate regret as he accomplished what criminals had been trying to do for the last forty years; he had killed the Batman.

He then looked down at his handcuffed hands. Trying to break them open, Raiden grunted in surprise as the cuffs held firm.

"Well shit, now what?"


Expert's Opinion[]

While Batman Beyond had a large arsenal of tools and skills at his disposal, it was little surprise that he lost compared to Raiden's strength, skill, and savagery. The High Frequency Blade quite literally sliced through everything Batman had, while the vigilante had nothing to pin down Raiden in response for longer than brief seconds.

To see the original battle, weapons, and votes, click here.

Battle vs. Zombina (by Jackythejack and Laquearius)[]

This warrior won a Battle of the Season Award
This warrior won a Modern Battle of the Year Award

Raiden ascended towards the bottom of the oil platform, carefully gripping each rung of the rusting ladder. The ladder was built in to the outer side of one of the struts, and was only used for occasional maintenance, but most importantly, it was far away from the watchful spotlights that swept back and forth across the underbelly. Raiden had spent the past four hours hiding beneath the dock, but now night had fallen, and it was time for the cyborg ninja to make his move. The platform was owned by Raven Sword, one of the five major private military corporations on the market, who had recently purchased the platform to use as a training facility. It was here that Raven Sword’s new recruits, which, to the shock of the world, now included demihumans, would be molded into the unstoppable killing machines that the PMC showed off in their commercials.

Raiden had it on good authority that Raven Sword’s CEO would be paying the facility a visit for an inspection, and that he would be arriving tonight. It was a rare opportunity to make contact with such an elusive man, and perhaps gain whatever knowledge he had on his superior - the head of all of the five major PMCs - the enigmatic Liquid Ocelot.

The sounds of the main loading dock were clearly audible, even from Raiden’s position hundreds of feet up. The staff, who were busy loading crates filled with training weapons and practice targets onto automatic lifts, were working particularly hard, no doubt spurred on by their supervisors who were determined to make a good impression on the CEO. This high level of activity was perfect for an infiltration - everyone in the facility would be much too focused on the task at hand to waste time surveying the surroundings and perhaps noticing an intruder in the corner of their eye.

The top of the ladder ended at a catwalk, which was suspended just below the first floor of the main facility. Raiden stepped up on the catwalk and promptly leaped onto the ceiling, concealing himself amid the mess of vents and pipes to avoid any patrolling guards. He scurried between hiding places as he searched for an opening into the first floor. He didn’t have any clue as to what the CEO’s itinerary would be, so he knew would have to find a vantage point where he could see all of the lifts, and be ready to follow as soon as he spotted his target.

It wasn’t long before Raiden found his opening; there was a garbage disposal chute that emptied out into the sea. It was covered by a thin grating, which likely could only be opened automatically from the inside. Raiden drew one of his knives from a sheath on his waist and sliced it open, and quickly caught the remains of the grating with his uniquely flexible cyborg feet before they plummeted down into the water, and wedged them in between two pipes. The workers below were likely too busy to notice the splash, but there was no point to being careless. The cyborg ninja slipped into the newly-created entryway, but refrained from passing through. Instead, he activated his artificial eyepieces, which extended from the sides of his visor and covered his eyes, instantly giving him an augmented view of his surroundings. The limited radar was enough to tell him that a large group of workers were currently descending on the lift. Now sure that the coast was clear, Raiden emerged from the opening and rushed up the nearest wall. At the top, he jumped off the wall and landed on the top of a suspended light, which gave him a perfect view of all the lift entrances. All that was left to do was to wait until the target arrived.


"So, remind me again what the plan was?" asked the zombie girl as she inspected her several guns, ensuring that they were in proper working condition. With surprisingly nimble movements for an undead, she removed, examined, and reinserted the magazines of each gun in one fluid motion, one after the other. She then cocked them and slung them onto her back. She was feeling dangerous, and had packed a whole arsenal of weaponry. This was going to be a fun night. She could feel it.

"Are you kidding me?" Doppel mumbled with a sigh as she collapsed onto her seat. The rough seas were violently rocking the boat back and forth, and she didn't seem to be taking it well. "Zombina, come on, I want to get off this boat and your slow undead ass isn't exactly helping."

"Oh, be quiet. I’m putting my undead ass on the line by coming in the first place. Smith, what's the sitrep? What're we doing?'"

"For the fifth time, Zombina, we're going to be infiltrating the compound, locating and arresting the man in charge on suspicion of involvement with war crimes, and making sure they get back to M.O.N. headquarters safely. I'm not sure if you've noticed, but this is an international security mission. We got called in because we were one of the closest people nearby with experience."

"And other humans can't go in because...?"

"Because there are monsters running around. You know the rules, a human can't legally hurt a monster. That's why we exist."

"Remind me to vote to get that law changed."

Zombina chuckled as she readied her submachine guns, one in each hand. "If it's going to be that easy, then just send me in. I'll be your eyes in the sky. I mean, in the compound. I'll get it all under control, don't you worry." She gave a confident smile and Smith sighed.

"You better," she muttered as she began to walk away. "We're going to be approaching the dock in a minute. Manako's going to be taking care of resistance there. After that, you head out on your own and search the building. Tell us what you find and we'll join in once we have a good layout of the place. And Zombina? If something goes wrong, don't try to be a hero. Use your radio and call for help."

"Understood! Sneak in, arrest the chump, be a hero. You got it." She gave Smith a playful grin which caused her to roll her eyes behind her sunglasses as she walked off to the cabin. Shortly afterwards, the boat shook as it knocked against the dock of the massive oil platform that now loomed overhead.

The night was cold and dark, with a light drizzle. Zombina glanced down to the water and saw two dead bodies floating around close to the docks. Manako's victims, she had to guess. How far out did she take the shot? A kilometer? Two? Probably. Either way, she didn't have to worry about them.

"'Mission: Kidnap Some Dude' is a go!" Zombina slipped on her red-tinted goggles and rushed off the boat and onto the dock. She casually strolled through the seemingly empty dock, before being interrupted by a voice coming from behind a metal drum, which panickedly whispered about the possibility of a sniper in the middle of the ocean. Zombina tapped her finger against her earpiece. "'Hey Smith, I need some sort of distraction, yeah? Got any ideas?"

"Remember that weapon that we were working on for Manako? The flare sniper? Have a look." There was a loud, ear piercing noise as Zombina saw a red ball out of the corner of her eye. She glanced over and noticed that it was, in fact, a flare, and that it was flying towards a different part of the platform. She hummed curiously and hid behind a shipping crate, just as a few soldiers went running by. Orcs, by the looks of them.

"Gotta say, didn't think you'd get it to work." She chuckled as she watched the soldiers run away. Once she was sure they were gone, she stood up from her hiding spot and began moving through the platform, taking it in an unprofessional and casual manner for the situation until she reached her entry point. It was a lift that looked like it was supposed to be used for moving these giant shipping crates. Well, it's going to have a significantly lighter load. One press of a button and she was ascending. Showtime.


Raiden finally broke his steady gaze on the entrances to the lifts when he heard echoing voices coming from a hallway, which sounded like two men arguing. He turned on his radar and saw that there were two soldiers about to emerge from an entryway on the far right. After they entered, Raiden could see that they were both groggy-looking, with shoddy uniforms on. They had likely just been woken up for a shift change.

“I just tried it again, nothing. So why isn’t anyone picking up?” asked the taller of the two.

“I dunno, maybe they’re all on break,” his shorter companion lazily replied.

“Break? The suits have been all over our asses for a week now! You think they would suddenly give an entire shift a surprise break for all their hard work?”

“Okay, maybe no one heard the call.”

“Bullshit. There’s dozens of them down there, someone had to have heard it.” He faced his companion with an obviously irritated expression. “There’s no way this isn’t your fault. The radio is busted, and how’s that going to look what the prez shows up and no one hears about it until he’s already through the front door? You need to fix that shit now, Young.”

“Sorry, Gomez, but I’ve been busy with other things. You know how it is,” the soldier named Young answered.

“Are you talking about that “ranger” proposal you were so excited about? That’s a load of shit; you should’ve been done with that a month ago. God, you never finish anything.”

Raiden wasn’t paying attention to the conversation at that point. There was something much more concerning in the room now. One of the lifts had just brought up the body of a red-haired woman in a yellow uniform, lying spread eagle in the middle. The soldiers hadn’t noticed it yet.

“I’m trying to help you here, Young. If you don’t pick up the slack, the bosses are gonna notice, and if that happens-”

Young wasn’t paying attention. His eyes were fixated on the sight of the corpse in the lift. Gomez noticed and turned to the lift as well.

“Um, ma’am? Are you alright?” Gomez called out, his voice shaking. Raiden’s advanced eyes made it obvious to him that Gomez’s mental state was deteriorating quickly. All the VR training that Raven Sword gave its recruits clearly still couldn’t prepare them for the shock of seeing a real dead body for the first time.

Gomez looked at Young, and then back at the corpse. He began to slowly walk towards it.

“Wh-who is it?” Young stuttered.

“I… don’t know. I’ve never seen her before,” Gomez said as he bent down to get a closer look at the corpse’s face. “Her face is all covered in stitches.” He put his hand against the side of the woman’s neck.

“There's no pulse. And she’s not breathing either.” Gomez stood up. His visage quickly shifted from one of shock to one of panic. “Shit! Young, we need to call-”

Gomez paused at turned back towards Young, now with a distinct look of anger in his eyes.

“Oh wait, we can’t call in it, because the fucking radio is broken! And now we got a corpse that just shows up on our doorstep one day and no one in the entire building is gonna know about it until-”

He was silenced by a spray of bullets that tore through his head. The “corpse” was now standing up straight with a submachine gun in her hand and delighted grin on her face. Gomez’s body held still for a moment before falling face down on the floor. Young didn’t have time to react before he was granted the same fate. The worst part was that, according to Raiden’s eyes, the woman was still displaying all the signs of a long-dead corpse.

This was a major wrench in Raiden’s plans. With a walking corpse on a rampage throughout the facility, the CEO would certainly be removed as soon as he arrived, and Raiden’s window of opportunity would be lost. Whatever this thing was, it needed to be taken care of now. The ninja drew his SOCOM pistol from its holster and, with inhuman precision, fired a single shot through the woman’s head. She stumbled backwards, but remained standing. A red liquid, much too thin to be natural blood, leaked out of the bullet hole and was wiped away by the woman’s hand before it reached her eyes. Her smiled hadn’t faded, and she looked up at Raiden, staring him directly in the eye. Raiden’s thoughts immediately went to Vamp, his nanomachine-ridden adversary who had survived countless fatal wounds, and always came back for more. Nanomachines would explain her resistance to bullets, but the cause of her vital signs being that of a dead woman remained a mystery.

Raiden drew his sword instead and leaped through the air to the light next to him, just as a spray of submachine gun bullets headed to his last position. The sound of constant gunfire filled the air as a second burst narrowly missed the cyborg ninja again and struck the metal beams on the ceiling, ricocheting off into the distance. Raiden dropped off the light and took cover in the hallway that the two soldiers had come from earlier.

As Raiden considered his possible angles of attack, the woman finally spoke, in a voice that was almost childlike in its glee. “I’ve never seen a monster like you before. I think this is gonna be fun!”


The foremost issue for Raiden at the moment was that he was completely out of intel on whatever this thing that was trying to kill him even was. In his FOXHOUND days, he would've relied on his support team for answers, but after years as a loner he had learned to rely on himself. The first step was to test the waters and figure out what could and couldn't hurt her. Her vital signs read that she was dead, but perhaps a bullet in the right place would put her down for good, or at least disable her. He returned his sword to its sheath and took out his pistol again. Peaking out from behind cover, he fired two shots to the center of mass, followed by one shot each to the heart and both lungs.

The five .45 ACP rounds hit their targets dead on, but the undead woman barely even registered them. Instead, Zombina equipped her dual FAMAS rifles, aimed one of them at the cyborg, and fired. Raiden barely moved out of the way in time as the bullets struck the wall he was just standing in front of. The situation was deteriorating, fast. With every bullet fired, it meant another mercenary headed to his location.

Zombina, meanwhile, ejected the empty magazine out of the FAMAS she had fired, and spoke into her earpiece as she reloaded. "Smith, it's me. I got a live one here. Some sort of monster. Pretty hostile, too."

"Shit. You need backup? We can storm in and-"

"You kidding me? I-" She had finished reloading by the time she caught a glimpse of Raiden running to the other side of the hallway entrance. She raised both her guns at him and fired. Most of the shots missed, but she was pretty sure she hit him in the leg at least a couple of times. "I got this."


"Look, Smith, don't worry about it. I'm a professional." She slung her FAMAS rifles onto her back and instead opted for the lighter machine pistols that she was carrying. Just before she entered the hallway, she took a deep breath to hype herself up, before spinning around the wall and aiming her guns down the way that Raiden had ran.

But there wasn't anything to be found there. Zombina frowned and put a hand on her hip. Great, she lost the target entirely. That was going to cause some problems. Maybe she should report that in? No way, she had to find this guy on her own. She was just about to walk down the hallway in search of her enemy when she heard something drop down behind her from the ceiling. She was about to turn around when she felt a knife jab into her leg, causing her to stumble, and then an arm go around her shoulders, pinning her arms in place with an iron grip. A blade was placed against her neck.

"Gotcha. Got a few questions for you."

"Well, here's my answers!" She sounded far too confident for Raiden's tastes. Within a moment, Zombina spun her machine pistols around so that they were upside down, pointing them towards her own body as well as Raiden's. She pulled the triggers, and a hail of bullets came out to assault the two of them. They went right through Zombina's body and hit Raiden dead on.

The modified human's built-in inhibitors prevented any real pain as Zombina emptied half of her magazines into him, but the shock was enough to make him loosen his grip long enough for the zombie girl to break free. Raiden bolted to the left and leaned his hand against the wall, applying pressure to his chest while he waited for his artificial white blood to automatically clot. He hadn't expected her to start shooting herself. "Just what the hell are you?" he growled.

"I'm undead, baby." She let out an excited giggle as, with one fluid motion, she holstered her pistols and pulled out her duel shotguns. "Buh-bye!"

Before she could pull the trigger, Raiden grabbed his second knife from his ankle holster and threw it towards Zombina. It hit her square in the chest and her eyes widened. She stumbled back and glanced down at it for a moment before looking back up, just in time to see Raiden eject all of the bullets out of his body with a loud hissing noise. "Woah..."

Raiden then drew his sword and lunged towards Zombina, moving his blade down in a diagonal motion. The zombie's eyes widened and she raised one of her shotguns to block the strike. The sword cut right through the barrel like it was butter and Zombina realized how annoying this fight was going to get. With her remaining shotgun, she aimed at Raiden and shot him square on.

The cyborg stumbled back several feat, the spread of the shotgun covering most of his torso. He gritted his teeth as Zombina fired the rest of her shotgun in his direction. Raiden responded by backing up, leaping up and doing a series of what Zombina thought was rather unnecessary cartwheels and spins to dodge the incoming pellets, minimizing the number of hits he took.

After a few more shots, Zombina's shotgun was empty. She tossed it to the ground and pulled out the last pair of guns she hadn't used yet, the PP-2000s. She ran away from Raiden and back into the room the two had originally met in, and Raiden followed her soon after, blade in hand.

Zombina spun around and began to shoot at him with one of her machine guns, but the cyborg jumped over the hail of bullets altogether and instead tossed the knife he had dropped earlier directly at Zombina. It embedded itself in her neck and she let out a slight gagging sound. That was new for her.

Having few guns left with bullets still loaded, Zombina tried a different tactic. As soon as Raiden made contact with the ground, she ran forward and threw a kick at his torso to either make him fall or stumble back. Raiden saw this coming from a mile away and grabbed her leg before flipping her over, causing her to fall flat on her back. She groaned, somehow maintaining a hold on her guns. One still had ammo in it, but after that, she doubted she'd be given time to reload.


One last shot, Zombina thought, and then she sat up and aimed her machine pistol right at where she expected Raiden to be. But it was already too late. The cyborg ninja was standing above her, and he grabbed the gun before it could be fired, crushing the weapon into a useless chunk of metal. Then he threw a spinning kick at Zombina's jaw, sending her flying across the room. She looked up just in time to see Raiden falling down on her, sword in hand.

"Playtime is over!"

The high-frequency blade effortlessly sliced straight through Zombina's body, bisecting her shoulder to hip. Zombina's upper half slid backwards off of her waist and hit the ground, splattering her artificial blood all over the steel floor. She stopped moving. Raiden eyed the corpse carefully, remembering how she had shrugged off several would-be fatal wounds earlier, but nothing happened. He ran the sword through the pit of his elbow, wiping off the blood, and elegantly returned it to its sheath.

The cyborg quickly scanned the area with his radar; there were no mercenaries in sight. He still had time. He grabbed the two bodies of the guards Zombina had killed earlier, one in each had, and stuffed them inside of a nearby oil drum. If he could get this mess cleaned up, perhaps the CEO's guards would deem the situation safe enough to continue the inspection anyway.

He returned to scene of the fight, hoping to find something to help clean up the blood, but what he found immediately put him on alert. The upper half of the zombie woman's body was missing. Just as Raiden activated his compound eyes, he heard a voice coming from behind him.


A spray of rifle bullets struck Raiden's ankle, immediately sending him to the ground. Zombina was propped up against a wall, holding herself up with one hand and wielding a FAMAS that had fallen off her back earlier in the fight with the other. Sparks shot out from Raiden's ankle, which was now all but useless. Limping as quickly as he could, Raiden hurried to cover behind a shipping crate, but not fast enough to avoid taking two more bullets in the back. He could hear the zombie crawling closer to his position as he clutched his wounds. Raiden activated his body's bulk-up mode, and his artificial muscles thickened.

"It's not over yet! It's gonna take a lot more than that to kill one of us zomb-"

Zombina was cut off when she was hit square in the forehead by the crate Raiden was just using as cover. The power of the impact nearly tore open the stitches that held the two halves of her head together. By the time she recovered, it was too late to react to the cyborg that was sprinting right at her, as fast as his crippled ankle would allow. In one swift motion, Raiden unsheathed his sword and chopped straight through Zombina's neck, sending her head spinning through the air. It struck the wall and rolled helplessly away, like a basketball that had missed its hoop, with Zombina cursing loudly all the way. Raiden ran after the head and picked it up by the hair. Zombina tried futilely to use her jaw muscles to swing herself towards Raiden, while snapping at him wildly.

"Let me go, bastard! If I could get any closer, I'd bite your head right off!"

Raiden scoffed, and carried the head back to the barrel that he had hid the bodies in earlier, and stuffed the head in as well.

"Try not to make too much noise down there," he teased. "If they find you, they might throw you in the ocean."

Raiden's moment of victory was interrupted by the sounds of several heavily armed soldiers marching down a hallway. His radar revealed them to number in the dozens, each armed with a heavy battle rifle. He turned and hurried off in the opposite direction to search for a hiding place. There was no chance of making contact with the CEO now; this undead party-crasher had ruined any chance of the inspection going through. But perhaps there was still intel to be collected, or one of the CEO's underlings that he could interrogate. Maybe this excursion of his wouldn't end up being so fruitless after all.


To say that the other members of M.O.N. were pissed about Zombina's little incident was a bit of an understatement. After an hour of no contact, she had finally gotten her earpiece working again through manner of using what little muscles she had left to repeatedly knock it against the side of the barrel. The cabin on M.O.N.'s vessel was filled with exasperated sighs as she relayed the details of her predicament.

They already knew that the CEO was long gone. Thanks to the massive gunfight Zombina apparently had gotten herself into with an unknown third party, they were going to have to turn their bungled extraction mission into a rescue mission for their undead asshat of a teammate that went way in over her head.

With the combined efforts of their four remaining operatives, it was simple enough to sneak in. All they had to do was get Doppel into the facility, disguised as one of the guards they had taken down, and have her locate the body of Zombina. The main floor was packed with guards, but Doppel's disguise nullified that problem. All that was necessary to have the room to herself was for her to start shouting about how she saw an intruder running down a hallway, and watch as the swarm of agitated guards poured out.

"Zom, where the hell is your head?" Doppel muttered into her own earpiece as she dragged Zombina's torso and right arm over to her legs and left arm. There was no time to stitch her up here; Zombina would just have to wait until they were out of the hot zone.

"Um... I'm in a barrel."

It was the first time the doppelganger ever heard her undead comrade actually sounding sheepish. She rolled her eyes and began digging through some of the metal barrels nearby. She finally found Zombina in a barrel full of gore that only she could have made. "This is... just great. You're going to get in so much trouble."

"Shut up..."

"Smith, this is Doppel. I've secured the... package." Doppel picked up Zombina's head and shook her around in an almost violent way. "She's in, like, three different pieces. What do you want me to do about this?"

"Oh, great. Look, we'll bring the boat around, meet us at the dock with all her pieces. Just make sure you get all of her. I don't want to make a second trip."

"You got it, Boss," she muttered as she stuffed her teammate's remains into a nearby plastic bin, continuously teasing Zombina about how much trouble she was going to get in all the while. The dismembered commando stayed silent the whole time, even when the bin with her body parts in it was being hauled onto the boat. By now, she was feeling significantly less dangerous.

Winner: Raiden

Expert's Opinion[]

These two warriors were polar opposites in many ways. Raiden is a loner, disciplined, and a user of melee weapons, while Zombina is more used to working with a team, loves the thrill of the fight, and packs an arsenal of firearms. The deciding question in a contest between the two was whether or not Raiden was capable of surviving the hail of gunfire Zombina would send in his direction long enough to attack with his superior close-quarters skills, and the voters ended up deciding that he could. Raiden is very agile and stealthy, and his cyborg body was durable enough to take more than a few bullet wounds. While Zombina is technically immortal, the high-frequency blade was the perfect tool for chopping her into pieces, rendering her unable to fight back.

To see the original battle, weapons, and votes, click here.

Like an Assassin in a China Shop Battle Royale (by Wassboss)[]

Day 1[]


The receptionist rushes out of the backroom, papers clutched tightly in his hands. “Sorry for the wait I was just doing some paperwork,” he says flustered and sits down at the computer. “Anyway, welcome to the Roarhaven Grand Hotel, I take it you’re looking for a room?”

“Yes,” replies the patron.

“Okay let me just check the availability… yes, we have several vacancies. How long will you be staying with us?”

“I’m not sure, shouldn’t be more than a week though.”

“Okay, well I’ll book you in for a week.” the receptionist says. “And what is your name sir?”



“Just Jack.” The receptionist looks up at his patron for the first time, blinking in shock as he sees a grey haired man covered from head to toe in what appears to be a metallic body suit.

“Okay then,” he says diverting his eyes back to the computer screen. “I’ve put you in room 65, which is on the sixth floor.” He reaches over to the key card holder and takes out the corresponding key card, handing it to the man. “I hope you enjoy your stay at the Roarhaven Grand Hotel and should you need anything feel free to-” he stops as he sees the man has already left. “Oh, you’ve already gone,” he says to himself. With nobody else at the desk he gets up from the computer and goes back to his filing. “What a strange looking man,” he says.

“Although not the strangest looking person we’ve had come in today…”

Meanwhile in room 66, Risotto Nero is making a phone call. “I’ve arrived in Roarhaven, how is everything over there?”

“Pretty quiet,” Prosciutto replies. “Still nothing from the Boss yet about any more jobs.”

“Good. Remember if anyone gets in contact asking for me, don’t tell them that I’m out of the country. The Boss is already paranoid about us betraying him.”

“I won’t don’t worry. So, this job you’re on, does it pay well?”

“Very well. Much better than what we usually get paid for an assassination. And we’re going to need all the money we can get if we want to overthrow the Boss.”

“That we will,” Prosciutto says. “Anyway, I’ll have to go, Ghiaccio is still complaining about his cut of the last job not being enough so I need to sort that out.”

“Okay. Stay vigilante. Ciao.” Hanging up, Nero leaves his room, ready to start his reconnaissance.

Across town, in a completely different hotel, Eve is unpacking her stuff. Her bedside table has several mannequins with her various wigs on, jars with foul looking things inside adorn the table under the mirror and a medium sized black cauldron sits in the middle of them all. Taking a large dusty book out of her bag, Eve plonks it down next to her ingredients. “Eye of newt, henbane, owl feather,” she says under her breath as she makes sure she’s brought everything she needs. Satisfied she moves to the window and looks out over the city, her eyes drawn to the huge palace located dead in the centre.

“Now all I need to do is figure out how…”

“…To get into that,” Kiritsugu thinks as he looks up at the Sanctuary. Having arrived in Roarhaven that morning, he has spent his time since scouting out the area. “So much for blowing the place up, I’d need a nuke to take that place down,” he ponders. He looks at his watch and takes one last drag of his cigarette before flicking it on the ground.

“I’ll have to check out the inside of that place tomorrow” he thinks as he heads back to the hotel. Once in his room he takes out his laptop and checks out the feed for the cameras he’d set up, making careful note of the positions of guards and whenever there is a change over. Checking the time, he decides to head to bed so he can get a good night’s sleep before he begins his proper reconnaissance tomorrow.

Stifling a yawn, Tipstaff gently pushes open the door to the throne room, walking briskly through the mirrored pillars. The Supreme Mage of Ireland, China Sorrows, sits slumped over on her throne, but the rapid movement of her eyes indicates she is currently accessing the Whispering. Tipstaff waits patiently until she disengages before speaking. “Supreme Mage,” he says courteously. “I hope the Whispering is working as expected.”

“It is. I’ve been getting so much information in from my contacts. In fact, I’ve got a list of names of new arrivals I’d like you to get down to the security team, just to run some background checks.”

“Of course, Supreme Mage.”

“And what did you want to speak to me about Tipstaff?” China asks.

“You’ve received an invitation for this Thursday to attend a gala, in celebration of the brand new financial sector of Roarhaven being opened. Are you going to be attending?”

“Of course, my dear Tipstaff. You know me I love a good party.”

“They’ve also asked if you’d be able to read a speech as well.”

China sighs. “Is should’ve expected this wouldn’t be purely pleasure. Yes, I’ll do a silly little speech for them as well.”

“Excellent. I’ll let them know right away. And the names of those people you wanted investigating?”

“I’ve had one of my contacts send you over the list. Is there anything else Tipstaff?”

“No Supreme Mage.”

“Then you’re dismissed.” Tipstaff bows slightly and leaves, his mind already whirring with all the things he still has to do.

Day 2[]

Eve sits in reception area of the High Sanctuary, her Hexenbiest potions book laid across her lap. It’s not long before she is approached by a man with a clipboard. “Eve I take it?” Tipstaff asks.


“Good. Could you follow me please?” he says and leads Eve to one of the many conference rooms. “If you could just wait in here, someone will be with you shortly.” Eve sits down at the table, placing the book in front of her as Tipstaff goes off on his other duties. After a few minutes, a young woman comes in from another door.

“Hi! My name is NJ, I’m a student of Miss Sorrows. You’re Eve correct?”

“That’s right. I heard that Miss Sorrows is a collector of rare books and I think I have something she’d be interested in buying,” Eve says getting straight to the point.

“Oh gosh, well I’ll take a quick look at it for you, just as a preliminary. Is this it here?” NJ says reaching for the book. Eve nods curtly and NJ takes it, carefully flicking through the pages and checking the condition. “I’m afraid I don’t speak German,” she says nervously “Can you tell me what exactly this book is about?”

“It’s a potions book. It’s been passed down for generations and generations. I’ve used many of them myself.”

“Hmm, interesting,” NJ says. “I’m afraid I can’t really help you much here as I can’t translate any of it. But if you’d be willing to let me take it to some of my colleagues, I could get it checked out and authenticated.”

“Actually, I was hoping I could speak to Miss Sorrows directly,” Eve says.

“Well that might be difficult, she’s got a very busy schedule. I’m not sure if she speaks German either if I’m honest. Like I said I can take it in and get someone else to examine it for you.”

“I’d rather keep hold of it, if it’s all the same to you.”

“Oh. Oh, okay if that’s what you want. Do you want me to try and set up an appointment with China? I will warn you though it could be weeks or months before I can get an opening.”

“No, I can’t wait that long, I’ll have to try and find another buyer,” Eve says frowning.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t help you with this. Anyway, I hate to dash off and leave you but I’ve got a lesson with Miss Sorrows I need to go to. Sorry again about the inconvenience.” NJ stands up abruptly and walks out, leaving Eve sat with the book. Disappointed, Eve stands to leave when she notices a strand of NJ’s hair lying on the table. And idea pops into her head.

“Maybe this wasn’t such a waste of a visit after all…”

Walking up the stairwell to China’s apartment, NJ gets the feeling that somebody is watching her. Looking around however nobody is there. Feeling embarrassed she scurries off, missing completely a slight glimmer of movement. Nero watches NJ until she disappears before continuing his surveillance. He passes two cleavers standing guard as he has done dozens of times before but this time he pauses. He heard that these cleavers had magic resistant armour and it strikes him that maybe they could negate the effects of Metallica as well. As a test he uses his Stand to try and manipulate the iron in one of the Cleaver’s blood and manages to create a small slither of iron wire. Satisfied that his Stand still works as intended he disperses the wire back into harmless iron and continues on his way.

Meanwhile on the Information Archives Floor, Kiritsugu flicks through the folders in one of the cabinets, slamming it shut in frustration. After several hours of searching through the archives for something, anything that could be useful for his planning he’s yet to turn up anything. “Why couldn’t they put everything on computers instead of having everything in hard copies” he thinks annoyed. “At least it’s alphabetical.” The next cabinet he opens is labelled as “R” and he braces himself for yet another fruitless search. As he flicks through more and more folders his hunch threatens to be accurate until he comes across a folder called “Roarhaven City: Sanctuary Blueprints” which looks promising. Reading through it reveals the layout of the entire building including secret entrances, exact room dimensions and even notes of possible structural flaws.

He carefully takes out anything possibly relevant to his mission while being mindful that he can’t take too much so it isn’t immediately obvious anything has been taken. Tucking them into his inside jacket pocket the next file he comes across says “Roarhaven City: Sanctuary Extensions.” Reading through this gives him a blueprint of China’s Apartment as well as notes about magic shields and when and how they are activated. Hearing the sound of footsteps approaching, he quickly stuffs some of the papers into his pocket and replaces the file. Nodding to a man as he walks past, he decides to go back to the hotel and analyse the information he has.

Later that night NJ pull up into the driveway of her house, exhausted from the day’s work. Walking up to her front door, she unlocks it and walks in. Closing the door behind her, she looks up for a brief second to see someone striding towards her. Before she can react, she is thrown off her feet and pinned to the wall. The door slams shut and her assailant steps into the light, revealing a grotesque rotting face. NJ tries to shout for help but she feels a tightening on her throat as her air supply is cut off. It’s not before she blacks out and her attacker lifts her carefully into another room… A few minutes later NJ slowly regains consciousness. Looking around groggily she sees that she is in her kitchen. She tries to move but cannot as she has been tied to a chair and she struggles violently to get free. “Don’t do that or you’ll give yourself rope burn,” says a woman from the other room. NJ recognises the voice but can’t remember from where.

“Who are you? What do you want?” she says fearfully. The woman walks into the kitchen and NJ finally recognises it as Eve, although her hair is now white instead of red. “You’re the seller from earlier!”

“Yes. I’m afraid that was just a ruse. I needed to get close to China Sorrows. Unfortunately, you weren’t able to help me with that. But you will be able to help me now.”

“Help you! I’m not going to help you with anything,” NJ says trying to sound defiant but her shaky voice gives away her fear.

“I thought you might say that” Eve says walking over to her. She reaches towards NJ, who tries in vain to move away from her touch, laying her hand over her eyes. When she removes her hand NJ’s eyes are gone.

“What have you done!?” NJ says unbridled panic in her voice now.

“I need you to tell me how to get to China Sorrows,” Eve says.

“I’ll never tell you anything.”

“Don’t worry, you will,” Eve says, reaching for her face once more…

Day 3[]

As the cauldron bubbles and boils, Eve adds the ingredients needed for a Verfluchte Zwillingsschwester. First in is the snake’s tail and head, followed by newt’s eye, a toe of toad, tongue of dog and brain of a cow. Next is the juice of a henbane plant, a lizard’s leg and penultimately a feather from an owl. The final and most important ingredient, the hair of the intended victim is then added and Eve covers up the concoction with a witch’s hat. NJ watches on with a combination of intrigue and fear as Eve takes three deep breaths of the steam coming off from the tip of the hat. At first nothing appears to have happened but after a few moments Eve hunches over, gasping in pain as the spell begins to take effect.

NJ watches in horror as Eve’s body contorts and her features begin to change and it’s not long before she finds herself standing face to face with an exact reflection of herself. “I do have to say, you impressed me,” Eve says with NJ’s voice. “Most people would’ve confessed everything within a couple of hours but you managed to hold out for the entire night and most of the morning.”

“Are you going to kill me now?” NJ says her voice trembling.

“No. I don’t like to kill people unless necessary. However, I do need to make sure you can’t escape and warn anybody.” Leaning in close she breathes purple vapor into NJ’s mouth and nose, instantly putting her into a comatose state. She then goes upstairs and changes out of her clothes and puts on some of NJ’s before grabbing her bag and leaving for the High Sanctuary.

China opens the door to her apartment, throwing the stack of papers she had been carrying on the table. “I can’t believe even with the Whispering fully operational I still have this much correspondence to sift through,” she thinks irritated. She presses a symbol carved into the table and within a few moments her a woman arrives. “Could you run me a bath please,” China says.

“Of course, Miss Sorrows,” her assistant replies and goes to fulfil her request while China gets started on the paperwork. The thing she looks at is the list of new arrivals she wanted investigating, seven in total. “Who on earth would name themselves after a rice dish,” she mutters under her breath looking at the first name. “Although considering some of the stupid taken names, I’ve heard over the years…” She is about to start reading the reports from her spies when her assistant comes back in to let her know the bath has been run. Leaving the correspondence for the time being she disrobes and gets into the bath, managing to relax for only a few minutes before her assistant walks into the bathroom.

“Miss Sorrows, NJ is here to see you for her lesson.”

China sighs. “Okay send her in then.” The assistant nods and beckons to NJ to come in, “You’re early,” China says.

“I thought our lesson was at noon,” Eve replies, worried she

“Yes, and what time is it now?”

“Quarter to twelve.”

“Right so that’s not noon is it. When I say we have an appointment at noon I mean noon exactly. Do you understand that NJ?”

“Yes, Miss Sorrows.”

“Well while you’re here you might as well do something useful. I’ve left the book we’ve been working out of in my bedside draw. Go and get that and start looking at the symbol we left off on last time and see if you can draw it for me.”

“Okay Miss Sorrows,” Eve says and leaves. Walking past the assistant who is picking out China’s outfit from the wardrobe and goes to open the draw next to her bed. As she touches the handle however, she feels a sharp shock course through her body and she slumps over.

“NJ! Are you okay?” the assistant says worriedly and is rushes over to help her.

“Don’t go near her!” China says, emerging from the bathroom, dressed in a bathrobe.

“But why, she’s in pain.”

“That’s not NJ,” China says. Eve is thankful she is facing away from her so she can’t see the surprise on her face. “I knew something was up when she was early. NJ is never early, she’s nearly always late. Secondly, she was too calm when she was talking to me, NJ is much more flustered. However, I needed to do something to test her, make sure I wasn’t just being paranoid. So, I told her to go and get something from my room, knowing that every draw in my room has symbols carved into them preventing anyone apart from me from opening them.” Eve raises her head to see a small circular symbol carved into the drawer handle. “NJ knows this, in fact she helped me carve them as part of her lessons and therefore would never have gone to look in the drawers for anything.”

“I knew I should’ve killed her right away in the bath,” Eve thinks to herself. Trying to move sends jolts of electricity through her body and she can barely move.

“My question is, who are you?” China continues. “And how did you disguise yourself so convincingly as NJ? And finally, and most importantly, why?” Eve ignores her and attempts to woge and as she does so, she feels her strength return to her, her Hexenbiest form appearing to dispel the effects of the symbol. She turns suddenly, flinging her arms out and throwing China back. She lands heavily but is quickly back to her feet and with a quick tap of one of the symbols tattooed on her body she produces a pair of red coloured energy daggers, flinging them at Eve who swerves out of the way to avoid them. “Go and get the cleavers,” China snaps and her assistant rushes out of the room. Eve uses her telekinesis to grab a chest of drawers and drags it across the doorway, blocking China’s own escape route. Breaking a nearby mirror, she flings the glass shards at China, who creates a yellow shield which the glass shatters harmlessly against.

Switching tactics, Eve targets China directly, grabbing her by the throat via telekinesis and pinning her to the wall. Struggling for breath China can feel a great pressure building around her head and thrashes violently to free herself but to no avail. Suddenly a pair of cleavers rush into the room and immediately rush at Eve. Waving her free hand towards them to throw them away she is shocked to see them completely bypass the telekinesis and she is forced to release her grip on China to avoid a scythe taking her head.

She wrenches one of the cleaver’s scythes away and buries it into his chest, killing him instantly but the other one manages to strike her with the pommel of his scythe, knocking her to the floor. The blade of the scythe wedges into the floor as she rolls out of the way of an attempted stab and she drives a punch into the side of his helmet, knocking him off balance. She lifts the bed up with her telekinesis and slams it down on top of the Cleaver, leaving him in a crumple heap. Turning back to her target Eve finds that she is no longer there and runs out of the bedroom, spotting China hurrying to the front door. With a wave of her hand the door slams shut and China yanks hard on the handle but it will not budge.

“Whoever is paying you to do this I can offer more,” China says turning to face Eve.

“It doesn’t work that way,” Eve replies coldly. China shrugs.

“Okay then if you insist.” Instead of attempting to attack her again however China instead stamps three times on the floor. Eve looks at her bemused before raising her hand again, this time to finish China off for good however nothing happens. She tries to woge but this too doesn’t work, she can feel her hexenbiest form trying to come out but something is blocking it. “Just a little something I put in for emergencies,” China says stepping aside to reveal a symbol on the floor. “With three stamps on this symbol it activates a magic dampening property which affects everyone in the apartment. So, what do you think, can you beat me in a straight fight? No magic, no tricks, just good old fashion fisticuffs?”

“We’ll have to find out, won’t we?”

“You’ve got spirit at least. Unfortunately, I’m going to have to cheat a little bit.” As China says this the front door bursts open and half a dozen cleavers burst in. “Cleavers, arrest that woman,” China says and they advance on Eve, scythes ready to slice her to ribbons should she resist. Eve considers this option but outnumbered and without her powers she has no choice but to comply as they handcuff her and lead her away to a holding cell. As she is lead away Tipstaff walks into the room.

“I’m glad to see you’re still alive Miss Sorrows,” he says formally as ever.

“Yes, well I’ve had more dangerous people try to kill me before and I’m still standing aren’t I,” China says. “Get one of our interrogators to poke through her mind immediately, we need to know if she’s working alone and who hired her to do this.”

“Do you have any ideas as to who could be behind this?”

“Tipstaff my dear if I stood here and told you everyone, I know who wants me dead we’ll be here all day. If I told you everyone, I think wants me dead we’ll be here all week. Just make sure we have her talking by this evening. You understand?” He nods curtly and as he walks off China surveys her apartment and frowns as she sees as the damage. “And I’d just gotten this place looking just right.”

Day 4[]

Kiritsugu lights his cigarette and takes a long drag, leaning back against the front of the hotel. Next to him two men are also smoking and chatting and Kiri recognises them as members of the cleaning staff. “Did you hear that the financial district is going to be officially opening today?” one of them says.

“Yeah I heard. They’re throwing a massive party for it, all of Roarhaven’s most prominent bastards, Oh sorry I mean socialites, will be there” the other one replies laughing. “I even hear our lord and saviour China Sorrows is attending.” This grabs Kiritsugu’s attention although outwardly his demeanour doesn’t change.

“Really?” the other man says. “I didn’t think she left the Sanctuary much. Not with all the people who want her dead.”

“You have no idea,” Kiritsugu thinks

“Well she is for this. I was talking to my mate Siúinéir the other day, he’s been reassigned from the east district to erect a stage for her majesty to speak to her lowly subjects from.” Kiritsugu tunes out as the conversation turns to complaining about China and her regime and finishes his cigarette, putting the butt into a nearby bin. He then goes back to his room and checks the map of Roarhaven he got from the files, seeing the financial district is only half a mile from his hotel. He packs up a duffle bag with his equipment and goes to scope out the area and see what he can make of this opportunity.

Meanwhile within the Sanctuary itself Raiden is pondering how to get past the Cleavers stationed on the stairwell. The past two days have been frustrating as everywhere he goes people are watching him, intrigued by cybernetic enhancements, which makes being sneaky difficult. To add to his problems security has been tightened since yesterday when apparently there was an attempted assassination of China and now nobody without special clearance is allowed past the 36th floor.

“She must be a popular lady,” Raiden thinks to himself. The ceilings are high enough for him to try and climb past them but the amount of people around means someone would surely see him. Frustrated he continues patrolling the sanctuary as he has been doing since he first arrived, trying as best he can to avoid drawing attention to himself. He nods to the administrator, a small fussy man named Tipstaff as he passes him. Glancing briefly at his clip board he sees a sheet of paper that says, “Gala Security Provisions.” Thinking this could be something useful he tails Tipstaff as he goes about his daily business. As he stops to talk to someone dressed in City Guard uniform, Raiden sneaks closer hoping to hear what they are saying.

“-And you’re sure Miss Sorrows doesn’t want us to take an extra precautions for her speech today.” “The Supreme Mage trusts that all the usual precautions will be more than enough. Have you managed to get any information out the assassin?” Tipstaff asks the guard.

“Not yet no, her physic defences are too strong, they’re nothing like we’ve ever seen before.”

“Well keep trying. Any progress make sure to let Miss Sorrows know.”

“Yes Sir.” The guard walks off and Tipstaff goes into one of the conference rooms, which has Cleavers posted on the outside. “A speech eh? Maybe that could give me the chance I need,” Raiden ponders.

“This is a much bigger crowd than I was expecting,” China says as she looks out from backstage.

“There are a lot of people interested about our new financial district,” says Aloysius Vespers, the Grand Mage of the English Sanctuary. “So, I’m not surprised so many showed up for the grand opening.”

“Yes, well if they don’t like my speech, I’ll have the city guard round them up and shoot them.” Vespers laughs nervously, not sure if she’s joking or not.

“Good one Supreme Mage. Anyway, I’ll go and warm them up and then you wow them with the speech.”

“Good look with that you cowardly little toad,” China says under his breath as a he walks out onto the stage. Reading through her speech one more time she looks up from her notes as Commander Hoc approaches.

“Supreme Mage. We’ve done our investigating on that list of names you gave us and we’ve come up with some people we think are suspicious. What do you want to do about them?”

“I want them brought in for questioning. Say they’re under suspicion of treason. Get out psychics to go through their memories. If there is nothing wipe their winds and send them on their way.”

“And if there is?”

“You know what to do.”

“Okay Supreme Mage. I’ll get the guard to start rounding them up now.” China goes back to reading through her notes as Hoc radios through to the command centre to execute her orders.

Meanwhile far away from the crowded square and perched on top of a building, Kiritsugu watches the stage through the scope of his Walther. He checks his watch and sees the time is 16:45, fifteen minutes till the bomb’s timer reaches zero. Besides him is a detonator, to manually detonate the explosives he rigged up to the podium earlier just in case. He watches as a man, Aloysius Vespers if his research is correct, walks up to the podium and begins speaking. Kiritsugu takes a moment to shift his body slightly to stop the cramp setting in looking back through the scope as Vespers wraps up his speech.

“And without further ado, to officially open the financial district, please welcome Supreme Mage China Sorrows!” The crowd cheers, whether genuine or forced as China walks out onto the stage and as Kiritsugu peers at her through his scope he feels a sudden wave of emotion surge through his body. He’d seen pictures of his target sure but this was different here she was in the flesh and god how beautiful she is standing before him. Seeing her brings up feelings of love he thought he’d buried long ago, feelings he hadn’t felt since Alimago Island. Shirley’s image pops into his head and he feels a pang of sorrow and has to force himself to look away.

“It’s just a spell, you have to push through this,” he mutters to himself and slowly his emotions simmer down. Taking a deep breath, he takes another look at China through the scope and this time the feelings are not as strong. When he checks the time again it read 16:50.

Meanwhile in the crowd Raiden too is struggling to compose himself and is mesmerised as he looks up at China as she speaks. It’s as if the crowd around him doesn’t even exist, all he can see in this moment is her. No longer does he want to kill her; all he wants to do is protect her and be by her side forever. He feels a hand on his shoulder and the next thing he knows his arms are wrenched behind him, the cold hard steel of handcuffs clamping around his wrists. “You’re under arrest for suspected treason,” comes a voice from behind him snapping him out of his delusion. He turns his head to see one of the city guard stood behind him. He takes the HF Blade from its holster and hands it to another pair of guards. “I would read you your Miranda rights but those don’t exist in Roarhaven,” he says chuckling.

“Yeah well let me read you your last rites,” Raiden says and flings his wrists apart, snapping the handcuffs with ease. He roundhouse kicks the guard straight in the face, sending him crashing into another crowd goer. He then lunges for the guard holding his HF Blade and knocks him to the ground, catching the blade neatly in his hands before it falls. The final guard draws his gun and opens fire but the Raiden casually blocks all the bullets before slicing him in half. All the commotion causes the crowd to panic and disperse but Raiden ignores them and looks back at the stage where China is trying to make her escape. With a single leap he launches himself onto the platform, landing right in front of China to block her escape route. Another pang of love swells up inside him but this time he is able to fight it and swings his sword at her. A resplendent yellow shield envelops China’s body and the energy from the blade crackles off it. Four cleavers rush at him and he is forced to turn his attention to them. He parries away the first cleavers blade, stabbing his sword right through his armour and into his heart.

The next two cleavers come at him together, one going for his head the trying to sweep his feet but Raiden is able to nimbly flip between the two scythes. Landing in a crouch he swings at the nearest cleaver’s knee and slices his leg clean off, sending him tumbling to the floor. He throws his blade at the next cleaver, impaling him through the chest. Running at him he yanks the sword out and uses the falling opponent to launch himself into the air. Bringing his blade down in an arc he hurtles down towards the last cleaver who raises his scythe in an attempt to block the attack but the HF Blade easily slices through the hand and bisects him from head to toe. He then slams the blade down once quickly into the downed cleaver’s head to finish him off for good. Turning his attention back to China he sees she is now surrounded by almost a dozen cleavers and he can hear people closing in behind him. “You wanna dance?” he says as his eyes turn red. “Then let’s dance.”

From his perch, Kiritsugu watches as all hell breaks loose. Through the scope of his Walther he watches as cleavers and members of the City Guard are slaughtered by Raiden, each with a clean stab or slice. A guard tries to grab Raiden from behind but he gets a kick to the jaw for his troubles, breaking his face as if it were made of glass. This does manage to distract him long enough for a Cleaver to swing his scythe down and knock the blade out of his hand however, leaving him weaponless. This doesn’t seem to phase Raiden however and he throws himself at the Cleaver, tearing the scythe from his hand and slicing him to ribbons with it. Blocking several more strikes from other attacking Cleavers, he carefully moves backwards until he is stood over the blade. Suddenly he brings his foot up, sword grasped tightly in it and shaves the helmet and half the head of the nearest cleaver clean off. Now with a weapon in each hand he is even more dangerous and limbs and blood starts flying everywhere.

“Damn he’s going to end up killing everyone isn’t he?” Kiritsugu says and once again checks his watch seeing the time is 16:58. He realises he’s lost sight of China and sweeps the area for her, only to spot her being escorted off the stage by a group of Cleavers. “Shit,” he curses as he realises, she is moving out of the blast radius of the bomb. He tries to line up a shot but the cleavers are blocking off all possible angles. Realising his one chance of assassinating China while she’s out in the open is slipping away he reaches for the detonator and presses it.

Face down on the ground and with his ears ringing incessantly, Raiden groans as he lifts himself up into a crawl. Looking around he can see the destruction caused by the explosion, the stage shattered into a million pieces and bodies of cleavers and guards strewn everywhere. Getting gingerly to his feet he looks around and sees that some others have also survived the blast and are also slowly starting to rise. He looks around for China and spots her, being helped to her feet by a city guard. His first steps are uneasy and make his vision blur but he powers through it, ambling and then running towards her. Glancing over at him, China barks an order and the guard puts himself between her and Raiden. Cleavers also come rushing over to protect and but Raiden is quicker than all of them and he leaps over the guard’s head. He then lunges for China, sword raised high and ready to deal the finishing blow.

Suddenly he is slammed down onto the ground, his sword bouncing out of his hands and clattering away. Confused he tries to move but his body is locked into place as if somebody is holding him down. No, he realises, it’s not his body that can’t move, it’s his cybernetic enhancements, which are pulling down on him. All of a sudden Cleavers are upon him and without hesitation start hacking at him with their scythes. As he feels the life slowly ebbing away, he swears he can see little metal creatures crawling over him, clearly a delusion of his dying mind…

Nero stands invisible amongst the carnage, his plans in tatters. It was only by sheer luck he was in the right place to stop the other assassin from getting China first. Recalling Metallica from Raiden’s body he looks around for his target and sees her being led away by a mix of cleavers and city guards, already well out of the ten-metre range of his stand. Knowing that his best chance has been squandered and that security will now be even tighter than it already is, he has little choice but to return to his room and plan out his next move Kiritsugu too has decided to cut his losses, packing up his rifle and beginning the unenviable task of walking down the fifteen stories he had to climb to get to this spot.

Day 5[]

“Two assassins, two assassination attempts, two days. Care to explain to me how the hell this was allowed to happen!” China whirls around angrily as Commander Hoc looks down at the floor in embarrassment.

“I can only apologize Supreme Mage. We were working as quickly as we could to try and sort through all the names you gave us. We identified yesterday’s assassin as a threat and made moves to arrest him. Unfortunately, he turned out to be more powerful than we bargained for.”

“And what about the other one? Eve? The one we’ve had locked up for almost two days now. And who we still haven’t managed to find anything about yet?”

“There wasn’t anything we could really find in her background. And at any rate she’d made her attempt before we’d manage to compile a report on her.”

“Well then maybe just maybe you should speed up your response time!” China says her voice rising. “Have you managed to at least figure out if these two were working together.”

“Again, we don’t know but it seems unlikely. Backgrounds checks on both of them show no previous history and their methods appear to be completely different. In fact, we’re working on the angle that there were actually two assassins operating yesterday. It seems very strange that an assassin would rig up a bomb only to then attempt a direct assassination before the blast had even gone off.”

“But surely that was because the guards tried to bring him in for arrest, right?”

“That’s what we thought but our autopsy of the assassins body found no signs of a detonator nor any other means of setting off a bomb. However out explosives expert’s reckon the bomb was detonated manually and it’s possible that it was rigged up on a timer as well. So our assassin couldn’t have detonated the bomb himself and had it been on a timer, given how easily he broke his restraints, it seems more logical that he would’ve allowed himself to be taken away and then made his escape once it had detonated and killed you.”

“That’s the most impressive thing you’ve told me so far today,” China says her anger simmering down. “Maybe you’re not so incompetent after all. What about the others on your arrest list?"

“We’ve managed to round up most of them apart from two,” Hoc says. “Their names are Risotto Nero and Kiritsugu Emiya, both have long histories of assassinations and who both arrived in the city recently. We have our agents combing the city for them, it shouldn’t be long before we can find them. Chances are if there is a third assassin it’ll be one of them.”

“Excellent. Well make sure to inform me as soon as you arrest them. You are dismissed.”

Across the city, Nero ducks into an alleyway to avoid a patrol of City Guard. He had been awoken that morning by the sounds of the key turning in the lock of his hotel room and had only just managed to activate Metallica’s invisibility before they came bursting in. Sneaking away as they began searching the room, he’s been roaming the streets ever since, keeping out of sight as much as possible. He knows however he can’t keep this up forever and he’ll need to find somewhere to stay at least until he can figure out his next course of action. Once the patrol has passed, he steps back out into the street and hurries along his way. He spots someone coming out of their house and as they take their keys out to lock the door behind them, he gets an idea.

As they pass within 10 metres of him, he summons Metallica and the key slowly raises out of their pocket and into his waiting hand. Walking up to the house, he checks around quickly to make sure nobody is about before entering. He scopes out the house, taking special note of any possible exit points before sitting down on a chair in the kitchen. “My best chance of getting to the target is going to be at night. So, I need to stay low until then,” he says. Feeling his stomach rumble, he goes over to the fridge, looking in distaste at the microwave meals that make up the majority of the contents. “I can see why the Irish aren’t known for their cuisine,” he ponders.

Meanwhile Kiritsugu sits down in front of his laptop, having just finished putting touches on the security measures around his new location. “Lucky for me I’d already packed my stuff up,” he murmurs. After the failed attempt yesterday, he’d decided to leave the hotel and find somewhere different to stay, only finding out later on that a warrant for his arrest had been sent out. “It’s a good thing there are so many uninhabited buildings in the eastern section,” he thinks. He does a quick sweep of the cameras he’d set up but seeing nothing of interest his thoughts turn to just how he’s going to get to China now that security has been stepped up.

He looks over the Sanctuary Blueprints once more specifically at those concerning the secret escape routes from the Sanctuary. His eyes are drawn to a specific tunnel, which leads directly from China’s personal quarters to a manhole on the High Sanctuary’s northern side. Unlike most of the routes this one is specified to be two way although little other detail is given. Realising that this is his only option he checks the time on his watch which reads 16:00. “I should probably wait till it gets dark,” he thinks. Setting an alarm for 22:00 he lays out a sleeping bag, hoping to get some sleep before what promises to be a long night.

Day 6[]

In the early hours of the morning Kiritsugu approaches the northern side of the High Sanctuary, finding the manhole from the blueprints lying right next to the wall. He stoops down, feeling the grooves of the cover with his hands in the dark, until he comes across the handle. Giving it a sharp tug, he is surprised to feel it shift. “Looks like I won’t need that C4 after all” he thinks as he lifts the cover up, peering down into the darkness. He sticks his leg into the hole, feeling a fixed metal bar ladder leading down with his foot. Taking a quick look around to make sure nobody is looking he slides down into the hole, gently pulling the manhole cover back over top.

Once it is safely secured in place, he takes out a torch from his jacket, to light the way for his descent. It is only about a hundred metre climb down and Kiritsugu shines his torch down the tunnel. He follows it for another hundred or so metres until he reaches the end, where he finds another fixed ladder. Shining his torch upwards he sees it extending further than he can see. “I was hoping it was secret elevator, not a ladder” he mutters. Sighing he starts the long and arduous climb.

Several hours later Kiritsugu comes to the top of the ladder. Above his head is a metal panel and he pushes it up slowly, peeking out. The area is dark but shine from around a door frame gives some light and Kiritsugu feels it is safe to come out. Carefully placing the panel back down, he takes a moment to rest, his arms burning from the climb and checks his gear while he does so. He is travelling light and aside from the C4, he also has his Thompson Contender, already loaded up with an origin bullet, a spare just in case the first one doesn’t do the job and his Calcio. Once the aching has subsided, he tip toes over to the door, pressing his ear to it to see if he can hear anyone on the other side. Not hearing anything he crouches down and peers through the keyhole.

Seeing nobody outside, he opens the door and steps out into the corridor. If his memory serves him correctly, China’s apartment should be overlooking the south side of the Sanctuary, so having entered through the north side it should be opposite to where he is now. He strolls down the corridor and as he turns a corner he is met with a surprising site. The door to China’s apartment is ajar but more concerningly, two cleavers lie slumped down in front of it. From where he is stood Kiritsugu cannot tell the cause of death but as he walks closer, he notices that their throats appear to have been slashed. Drawing his Calcio, he nudges the door open wider and enters the apartment with caution. He immediately spots China, lying face down on the floor, not moving. He stoops down over her to check her pulse but before he can a voice calls out from behind him.

“She’s already dead.” Kiritsugu whirls around, gun raised and ready to fire but there is nobody standing there. “You were too late assassin better luck next time,” comes the voice again, this time from the side but again there is nobody there when Kiritsugu turns to face it.

“And who are you exactly?” Kiritsugu says.

“It doesn’t matter. But you’d better leave as soon as possible. Somehow I doubt the guards will be very forgiving when they find you stood over her body.” A glimmer of movement catches Kiritsugu’s eye and he opens fire but the bullets don’t hit anything. Cursing, he decides to cut his losses and leave but as he hurries towards the door a Cleaver strides through the doorway. He backs away, raising his Calcio and firing but the bullets ricochet harmlessly off the Cleaver’s armour not even slowing him down as he swings his scythe. Kiritsugu only just narrowly avoids having his head taken off and activates his time alter. Blurring past the Cleaver with a burst of speed he draws his Thompson, levelling it at his chest. He’d heard their armour was magically resistant, so he has no idea what an origin bullet will do to it but with little other choice he fires. The bullet pierces through the armour with surprising ease dropping the Cleaver to the floor. Kiritsugu doesn’t bother waiting to see if his circuits are fried and flees, running back towards the room with the secret entrance. He hears the sound of footsteps, and lots of them at that, coming from that direction and he changes course, heading for the elevator. The elevator doors open as he approaches and he raises his Calcio, ready to gun down whoever it is.

There is only one person inside the elevator and Kiritsugu recognises him as the administrator, Tipstaff. Changing his plan, he jams the barrel of the Calcio into his ribs. “Take us down,” he growls and Tipstaff pales slightly. “If you don’t, I’ll kill you right here and now and do it myself,” Kiritsugu continues.

“But where? Which floor?” Tipstaff says stammering.

Kiritsugu thinks for a moment and remembers an escape pod located on one of the floors. “The detention wing floor,” he says. Tipstaff’s hand hovers over the panel before pressing one of the floors and the doors slide shut and it slowly begins to descend. When it stops and the door opens, Kiritsugu grabs Tipstaff by the collar and moves his gun around so it is now pressed into his back. “Now, there should be an escape pod around here somewhere. Take me to it.” Tipstaff nods nervously and slowly begins walking forward leading Kiritsugu to a statue of a cleaver. He feels around it, finding the switch and pressing it, causing the wall to open up to reveal a pod.

Kiritsugu pushes him into the pod with him. “Now show me how this works,” he says.

“You just press this button here. It’ll take you right outside the city gates,” Tipstaff answers.

“Good. Now turn around and walk out of here.” Tipstaff walks stiffly out of the pod, with Kiritsugu keeping his gun trained on him the whole time. As he exits, he pauses, turning back to look at the Magi Killer.

“She’s dead isn’t she. The Supreme Mage. You killed her, didn’t you?”

“She’s dead yes. Although I have to admit, it wasn’t me who killed her,” Kiritsugu says.

“Ah so it must’ve been the other assassin then.” Kiritsugu frowns.

“What do you mean the other assassin?”

“I’ll make sure to tell them that it wasn’t you who killed Miss Sorrows. Wouldn’t want you collecting the money without doing the job after all,” Tipstaff says ignoring the question. Kiritsugu notices the change in his demeanour, no longer is he shaking and stammering, his poise is confident and his voice is steady. Before he can ask any follow up questions, Tipstaff presses the button from the outside, sending the pod, and Kiritsugu, out of the city.

Day 7 (Epilogue)[]

Risotto Nero waits patiently at the rendezvous point to collect his payment. After a few moments, a black car pulls up next to his own and the passenger side opens. Nero watches with interest as a man, in what appears to be a giant diving suit, steps out. “Ah Mr Nero, it’s such a pleasure to finally meet you in person. We’ve heard news from our contact in the Sanctuary that China Sorrows is dead. I must congratulate you on doing such a wonderful job.

“I’ve done my part, now where is my fee,” Nero says getting straight to the point.

“Ah, of course.” Nero feels a presence behind him and turns to see a young man with platinum bleached hair, holding a briefcase. He hands it to Nero and disappears, reappearing by the man in the diving suit. “Don’t worry it’s all there. I won’t be offended if you want to check.”

“Then I’ll do just that,” Nero says. He opens up the briefcase but rather than being greeted by stacks of money there is instead a note which reads “Battle Royale Placement: 1st”. He looks up at the two men confused but they are frozen in place and slowly the world around him beings to flicker out of existence…

Nero wakes up with a start, looking around frantically. He is lying on a bed in a house and it takes him a few moments for his memory to come back. Swinging his legs over the side of the bed, he rubs his eyes. “Those battles take a lot out of you,” he murmurs to himself. The doorbell ringing snaps him out of his musings and walks over to the front door and opens it, to find the rest of La Squadra stood outside.

“Congratulations Boss,” Formaggio says, pushing past Nero into the house. The others congratulate him as well as they walk through.

“Look at the size of this place,” Melone says. “It even looks like it might be a bit bigger than mine.”

“It does,” Nero says. “Now obviously we don’t want to attract too much attention so we can’t all stay here but it’s a lot better than what we’ve been used to.”

“I call first dibs,” Illusio says.

“No way. I had to bunk with Pesci for the past year, I’m staying here first,” says Ghiaccio angrily.

“I’d quite like to stay here,” Pesci says quietly but is ignored as they start bickering amongst themselves. A rare small smile appears on Nero’s face, glad to back with his squad once more.

Meanwhile in the white-collar district, Kiritsugu unlocks the door to his new apartment, shopping bags in hand. He puts them down on the kitchen table as Maiya follows him in. “What a coincidence that you’d be put in the apartment right next to mine,” she says as he starts putting the food away.

“Did I miss anything interesting while I was away?” Kiritsugu asks.

“Not really. Although you did get this letter.” Maiya takes out an envelope from her pocket and hands it to Kiritsugu who tears it open and reads the contents.

"When did this come exactly?"

"This morning," she replies. "Why what is it,"

"It's a summons from DSFB," he says showing it to her.

"And am I allowed to accompany you on this one?"

"Yes. In fact they've specified that I have to bring a partner." He sighs in annoyance. "You'd think they'd give me a break once in a while..."

Expert's Opinion[]

5th Place, 9 Points, Eve: Voters unanimously agreed that Eve would finish in dead last place. This was because of her lack of stealth abilities with her only means of stealth requiring a lot of set up time and small window before it wears off.

4th Place, 22 Points, Raiden: Voters were more split on Raiden's placement but ultimately he finished in this spot because of his lack of options. He was entirely reliant on his HF Blade and physicality to assassinate China and while he was more than capable of fighting whatever guards that were thrown at him it would attract too much attention onto himself to be able to get to her.

3rd Place, 24 points, China Sorrows: China finished middle of the pack, managing to outlast two of her assassins. However even all her guards, securtiy measures and considerable personal combat ability couldn't save her from the top two, who are simply too experienced and too skilled in assassination.

2nd Place, 36 points, Kiritsugu Emiya: Kritsugu finished in second place but through any fault of his own. An experienced mage hunter with anti-mage weaponry, keen intelligence and a pragmatic and caculated approach to his work, Kiritsugu only didn't succeed in his mission because the winner just had him outclassed.

1st Place, 45 points, Risotto Nero: Metallica made this battle a doddle for Nero as he could easily sneak in and out of the Sanctuary with ease and his metal manipulation gave him a silent and easy way to kill China without ever having to reveal himself.

To see the original battle, weapons, and votes, click here.

Battle vs. JC Denton (by Laquearius)[]


Expert's Opinion[]


To see the original battle, weapons, and votes, click here.