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Found 26 results

  1. This is my first MOC regarding trains. I am a great fan of Japan and its great history of trains and last year I was lucky enough to visit the country. I was astonished seeing and traveling with some of them and especially with the shinkansens! As a LEGO user, I tryied to recreate the Sakura 800 (Tsubame) and I would like your opinion regarding my creation. I tryied to built it as close as possible to its true scale, and the most difficult part was the curved nose. I have made a dummy model of both engines to test its funcionality, but the completed model of the engine is made using stud.io. In order to adapt as much as details as I could to the nose, I made my model 7 stud wide, despite the dificulties that I faced. All comments will be much appriciated. Below you can see my dummy train test run. Update 02/05/20: I managed to complete the digital model, and I designed two types of the pantograph. The seccond one, I believe is closer to the original. Unfortunately, i wanted to built also the interior, but there is not enough space, so i am thinking of trying to see the outcome in 8 stud wide, although the length will become bigger. I hope you like it!
  2. https://ideas.lego.com/projects/49ca9889-05fb-4887-ab3a-aad4add5237e Cultural link : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenshu https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onna-bugeisha https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yumi https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomoe_Gozen https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nakano_Takeko https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ono_(weapon) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ōtsuchi https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oyumi https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oni https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torii I love Ninjago and Japan. Thus was born this idea with historical consonance of medieval Japan, while being incorporable with Ninjago. I have been looking for a long time: to have a strong iconic and cultural medieval Japanese architecture, and to have a Ninjago aspect. The Soutou Tenshu ! In Japanese, a "Tenshu" is a multi-floor castle tower. A "Tenshukaku" is a Japanese castle. A "Soutou Tenshu" designates a particular architectural form, which is a smaller version of a Tenshukaku. There is no word in English or in Western culture for this type of construction. It’s not just a tower of a castle. It is a scaled-down reproduction of a main keep in a Japanese castle. In the West, this notion does not exist. To date, there are 12 original surviving Japanese castles. So few remain… The Soutou Tenshu are a cultural treasure in Japan; they are emblematic of its architectural sophistication, beauty and functionality. They are classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Soutou Tenshu - LEGO IDEA by Horlack, sur Flickr With my creation, I have not reproduced an existing Soutou Tenshu. I wanted an authentic representation of a Soutou Tenshu, but I also wanted to pay tribute to all the Soutou Tenshu which have disappeared over history. That is to say, I preserved the architectural spirit of the Soutou Tenshu, while allowing myself the freedom of imagination to incorporate playability into its construction for a child. The toy aspect of this for a child is just as important to me as its cultural fidelity to Japan. I have devoted myself to researching and uncovering ancient and long-forgotten aspects of Japanese culture. Whether just forgotten by time or lost in the writings of European historians who “westernized” the Orient too much. Modern history books have erased certain historical facts about Japan which did not agree with their vision of the western (often masculine) world, sometimes so much so that we forget about the Japanese themselves ! For example, today we know that Samurai often had katanas, an iconic and mythical Japanese sword. But we forget that many samurai did not have the financial means to buy such a prestigious weapon, which might cost them years, or even a lifetime, of salary. Likewise, we overlook the fact that there were more modest samurai who fought with axes, spears and bows. More importantly, we are unaware that there were samurai women, called Onna Bugeisha, who could make up 30% of an army. But modern Western feminism ignores the fact that the Japanese, 5 to 6 centuries before the Westerners, already had their feminism. No, feminism is not credited as a gift of our modern world. Thus, I intentionally incorporated into my Soutou Tenshu five powerful elements of ancient Japanese culture, forgotten and passed over in silence by Western reports. Personnagesi-01 by Horlack, sur Flickr 1 / A female samurai figurine with a Japanese longbow, named Daïkyu. Like the famous Samourai woman Tomoe Gozen, whose life gave birth to beautiful poems and tales. Woman of legend, with an extraordinary destiny, who commanded men. (Kimono based on figurine Ivy Walker - set 70620) 2 / A female samurai figurine with a long spear, named Nagamaki or Naginata. Like the famous woman Samourai Nakano Takeko, of the Aizu clan, who ordered up to 30% of samurai women equipped with this weapon, in her army. The length of the handle of the Nagamaki and Naginata, allowed women to keep an enemy at a distance, even if the opponent was stronger. The advantages of this weapon are a bit like the Greek phalanxes under Alexander. (based on Kimono Girl, Series 4) 3 / A male samurai figurine, with a large axe named a Masakari, and a small axe named an Ono. Representative of some samurai from low social class, such as farmers or monks (also named "samurai monk" or "warrior monk"); many of these men rose to the rank of samurai by their courage and loyalty to their lord. They often fought with weapons from their social class (like axes), because the Katana was inaccessible to them financially. (based on figurine Kendo Fighter, Series 15 & Samurai Warrior, Series 3 & Samurai, Series 13) 4 / A male samurai figurine, with a large mallet made entirely of hard wood known as an Otsuchi. This weapon was used by samurai from low social class. It was also effective for breaking down castle doors. Despite its heavy and rudimentary appearance, it was a formidable weapon to crush the leather and metal armor of enemy samurai (based on figurine Kendo Fighter, Series 15 & Samurai Warrior, Series 3 & Samurai, Series 13) 5 / The ōyumi, a defensive ballista. The ōyumi was a complicated type of giant crossbow, although historians are unsure of its appearance, as there are no real examples or illustrations known. Only five medieval texts refer to it. Historians agree that this weapon did exist, but it is one of the forgotten weapons of Japan’s past, and its details have been lost in history. The construction of Soutou Tenshu, with a certain free interpretation to be compatible with the gameplay: Ground floor : -Door with stylized Oni face -Stylized portal (or Torii), with emblem of Japan (wink) -Forge / blacksmith -Well water -Water and sake reserve (wink) -Prison / warehouse room -Ōyumi ballist -Various weapons. -Sakura Cherry blossom tree (emblematic tree of Japan) First floor : -Kitchen -Dining room / refectory -Weapons room / training room Second floor : -Bedroom Base : Folding base with 3 basic hinges (pivots) on the outsides, and a triple system of internal hinges per pivot, to stabilize and strengthen the base, with part number 19954 Hinge plate 1x2. When the base is closed, the stability and structural integrity is increased by the triple internal hinge system, and also by the 4 train magnets hidden in the walls of the ground floor. . Play functions : Everything is playable and functional. You can open the Tenshu by the hinges of the base, or by lifting the building floors like the LEGO Modular sets. Everything is accessible both horizontally and vertically. Working : Make with LEGO Digital Designer and Studio (Bricklink). There are 2987 bricks without minifigurines. The project required around three weeks of working and 72 hours of 3D rendering (calculation). If you love Japan, or your kids love Lego Ninjago, then support me ! thanks you very much.
  3. astral brick

    Japanese Licenses Wishlist

    Considering the amount of western licenses that Lego is managing, I am wondering how difficult and expensive it would be to acquire Japanese ones. The potential profits could be huge, in relation to both high number and dedication of manga and anime enthusiasts. City and sci-fi sets for Dragon Ball, pirates ones for One Piece, ninja style ones for Naruto. Personally I would like to see Macross and some classic Go Nagai robots. Anyway the dream - and perhaps most profitable - partnership would be with Nintendo and the endless possibilities offered by its IPs lore. I think of a Mario kart theme, a Zelda castles-fantasy line, a Pokemon one on the model of Brickheadz. Remembering the Amiibo crazy collecting phenomenon, a hypothetical Nintendo license would probably pay for itself in a short time with a handful of minifigures series. Lego if you are reading, please think about it!
  4. I wanted to build a geisha in vibrant kimono, and an another samurai character to accompany her. A tea ceremony scene felt natural way to do it. It was going to take place in a tea house or a pavillion at first, but as I didn't have parts for the walls in this scale, I changed the setting into a garden. The geisha also became a maiko, an apprentice geisha, as they wear more detailed attire. Vibrant and rugged colour scheme and details on two different sides of the creation reflect the character's nature and class; the maiko is surrounded by flowers, and the samurai's swords rest on the rocks beside him. More pictures and talk on my blog.
  5. ThunderWarrior

    [MOC] Battle of Nagashino, 1575

    Hello! I'm happy to present you MOC about Japanese history! The Battle of Nagashino (長篠の戦い Nagashino no Tatakai) took place in 1575 near Nagashino Castle on the plain of Shitarabara in the Mikawa Province of Japan. Takeda Katsuyori attacked the castle when Okudaira Sadamasa rejoined the Tokugawa, and when his original plot with Oga Yashiro for taking Okazaki Castle, the capital of Mikawa, was discovered. Nobunaga's skillful use of firearms to defeat Takeda's cavalry tactics is often cited as a turning point in Japanese warfare; many cite it as the first "modern" Japanese battle. Seeking to protect his arquebusiers, which he would later become famous for, Nobunaga built a number of wooden palisades in a zig-zag pattern, setting up his gunners to attack the Takeda cavalry in volleys. Forces of Oda Nobunaga and Tokugawa Ieyasu. Forces of Takeda Katsuyori. Thanks for watching!
  6. This is the second mod I have done to Lego's 42056 Porsche 911 GT3 RS set. I used the same height lift as I used on my previous Porsche mod and moved forward the bottom arms in the front and the rear of the chassis to add negative camber. The car was able to roll without the body on, but once I put it on, it couldn't roll. This means the car is now purely a display model. As much as a JDM fanboy I am, I'm kind of upset with the result of the car not moving, but at least I'm glad that I stanced this car anyways just for the fun of it. Although, quote automotive YouTuber GasKings, the camber angle does seem a bit too much on here like "a baby giraffe taking its first steps." So, what do you think of this mod I have done? Is it CamberGang worthy? I think it looks neat, but I would like to get rid of the camber (and the height lift) so I can roll this car around again. Here's some more pictures of the car I took. Thanks as always for checking this out, and I hope you'll stick around for my next builds.
  7. The Takehito Yamato Coupé I saw this classic Hot Rod on Chop & Roll magazine few months ago and I was stricken by the uncommon colour (PPG 1936 Cordoba Tan) and by the smooth design of this Deuce. Plus its story was really cool: built in California and shipped to Japan where its new owner lives. Japan has a thriving hot rod scene, and many cars have been bought and shipped there. This coupe, however, is the first being built to order then making the trek across the Pacific. Takehito Yamato contacted Walden Speed Shop, based in Pomona Ca., after seeing his works in The Rodder’s Journal. Takehito wanted a traditional hot rod, and while that may be essentially what he ended up with, the details are what really sets this coupe apart. Inspired by the Takehito Yamato history I built the tan Deuce with all the details you’d expect to see in a brick-built scale model. To complete the work I built a brand-new show-room full of vintage stuff. Below the broken-down view showing the red Chevy ZZ383 with aluminium heads in all its glory. Below the Deuce with the magazine where I read about its story. More info and pictures on my flickr Thanks for stopping by.
  8. Pate-keetongu

    [MOC] The New Shogunate

    The last samurai of the old rule is challenged by the warrior of The New Shogunate. This was built for a Finnish LUG contest with the theme "The new meets the old". I had wanted to build a samurai for some time now so this seemed like a good idea. The whole scene became a lot larger than I had intended - these are 30 cm (one foot) thall figures, so the environment needs to be big... More can be found on my blog Cyclopic Bricks.
  9. legoMoccer

    Essence Of Japan

    Hello, id like to share my latest moc its 4 small scenes featuring some of the more traditional parts of Japanese culture, any feedback and suggestions would be great More images and a better description can be found here - https://ideas.lego.com/projects/19577b3f-6bb5-4103-8cd3-d5e1134c6878
  10. alanboar HK

    [MOC] Mini Kinkaku-ji

    I visited Kinkaku-ji a few times in Japan trips. I love this shining golden temple. Make the little creation using LDD rendering tech. for whom love Japan , Kinkaku-ji and Kyoto. Builder : Alanboar Cheung Size : 6.5cm (L) x 13cm(W) x 6cm(H) Pieces : 300 pcs Flickr : http://www.flickr.com/photos/alanboar Creator : Alanboar http://lego.alanstudio.hk http://facebook.com/alanboar.creation
  11. sirben

    Best samurai display?

    Have you found a better samurai warriors display than this one? If so please share a link to it. LEGO Akai Shiro Castleground MOC by ACPin
  12. Razgriz94

    Japanese Temple

    Hi! This is my first try to build a building. And sorry for my bad english. However, this is my version of a ancient japanese temple. What do you think? How can improve it? (It is builded on a 48x48 plate for 3k pieces)
  13. In this creation Kuma, the battle-tested samurai, has to overcome one final hurdle, before he can enjoy his favorite thing in the whole white world - hot, steaming ramen. In this MOC, the pagoda received special attention: it was made with excessive detail to match my own vision of what steampunk is, although the colors are, perhaps, a better fit for actual pagodas, than for a steampunk creation. Fun fact - the cat is actually from Japan : ) As always all comments, criticisms and suggestions are welcome!
  14. Pate-keetongu

    [MOC] Arcane Samurai

    The masked warrior. Inspired by Samurai X minifig print. Wanted to make a realistic armored figure with brighter-than-usual colors. More images on Cyclopic Bricks.
  15. Wasn't sure where else to post this, Historic seems like the best idea. Here's an alternate model for the 31032 Red Creatures set: Instructions can be found here: http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=558155
  16. kbcakir

    Space Samurais

    Here is my latest creation Space Samurais. They are the first part of my sci fi samurai army later I will add a drop ship and a medium tank. Hope you all like it! My Flickr Troopers Commander's Bike Loading Unit Laser-San Flamez-San Pistol-San Gatling-San Backside Backside of the Flamez-San My Flickr
  17. This is my 9th and final entry to this years Colossal Castle Contest. The category was "Miscellaneous - Large Creation". Bushido is a japanese word for the way of the samurai life, loosely analogous to the concept of chivalry. Samurais have been trained in outlying academies to learn this way of life and of course fighting with the sword. I hope you like my asian style and thanks for your comments and criticism ! Greets Disco
  18. Here is another entry for the CCCXII, this time I tried to build something a little bit different. Maybe I got the time to build some more entries this year, hope you enjoy. The Japanese have been cultivating rice since thousands of years. In the medieval age they began to build terraces at the northern mountains of Honshū, to take advantage of these surfaces' agricultural potential. Thanks a lot for your C&C
  19. Hi, I'm visiting Tokyo for a while, and looking for any advice on places to shop, or things to do that are Lego related. I've already gone to the Lego Discovery Center in Odaiba, along with the Clickbrick store nearby. Mandarake seems to sell a bit of used Lego, but so far, that's all I can find. Does anyone have any ideas, from physical stores, to groups/shows? Thanks!
  20. Daimyo's court including the daimyo (lord), two samurai, a geisha and a mendicant priest: And now for something more mythic - two evil ninja and two oni (ogres): And a couple more from Japanese mythology - a kappa (river spirit) and bigfig oni:
  21. Here it is, my second MOC dedicated to my setting, Season of the cherry blossoms. This time, it's a board game for two players, with lots of minifigures and with the possibility to customize the playing map for endless fun. The game manual (be kind to me, it's home made) and building instructions (from LDD, so you know how they look like) can be found on my blog: http://seasonofthech...ego-board-game/ A gallery of photos: If you like it, and would like to support it, you can find it on LEGO Ideas: https://ideas.lego.com/projects/75136
  22. woofmcmoose

    MOC: Modular Curry Station

    First real post of a MOC in the town forum, I present to you "トレイン カレー" or "Train Curry". This a a small restaurant inspired by the real life "Curry Station Niagara" in Yutenji, Tokyo where my girlfriend and I spent an extremely nice evening as the only customesr during the 2nd worst snowstorm to hit Tokyo this year. If you are ever in Tokyo, I highly recommend a visit as the Station Master (yes he really is one) is extremely friendly and your tasty curry is delivered by toy train. More info on the inspiration for this build can be found here: http://www.facebook....station.niagara So time for a tour. The outside Here you see the building from all sides, its a short blocky 2-story affair. It was built on a 16x16 plate, with a 4 stud overhang on the left side for the stairs to the 2nd floor and a 1 stud overhang for the frontage. It will sit into a 16x16 recess on my train layout, hence no street detail around the building in these shots. The reason for all the 1x1 headlight brick holes will become clear shortly. The sign on the front is my best attempt at brick built Katakana (Japanese alphabet used for western words). Really "train" should be "densha" not "to-re-i-n" however that would call for some Kanji (Chinese style characters) that just could not be realised in the space available. I was tempted to just build 'curry' in western script but thought I'd have a go like this first; let me know what you think! A close up of the steam engine front end in the bay window: I wish I had a window piece without the burger on, but I just cant bring myself to use the poleesh remover of naieel. I'm also hoping to find a better sign for the level crossing post. The inside Having never seen the upstairs of the building that served as inspiration, I settled for a generic small flat interior with compact bathroom (shower and toilet) and an open living area: It looks quite spacious as there is no bed (assume there is a futon stashed away somewhere) and no kitchen (but then there is already a restaurant downstairs, perhaps though I should MOC a rice cooker). The robot is there just because. The Restaurant I tried to pack the restaurant full of memorabilia, picking some key features from the real life inspiration such as the ticket machine where you order your meal, the train number plates all over the walls, the ticket window and station clock, and of course the toy train track around the room for curry delivery. Now you see the reason for all the 1x1 headlights; how I wish Pick a Brick sold 1x1 with stud on side in brown. If I ever get hold of some minifig roller-skates I will build a small train for making curry deliveries, but for now the track is empty. The ever happy station master talks to his patrons: Behind the white wall is a small stove for making curry, In reality there is a bathroom here and the building extends back further into a small kitchen. I had no room for such though (my layout has a train running directly behind the building with only 2 stud clearance). I also forgot to re-assemble the top of the wall for this shot! The right hand wall swings away providing a minifig's eye view: A final shot from behind the bar, a spare station master cap sits on the luggage rack for patrons to wear: And finally here it is in my layout: (see http://www.eurobrick...showtopic=95715 for more on the train layout itself) Thanks for taking the time to look at my MOC. Comments and suggestions welcome.
  23. RemtonDulyak

    [MOC] Ambush on the bridge

    Hi all! Here is a gallery of a MOC I've realized in LDD. It's part of a concept set in a fantasy feudal Japan, a setting I played with table-top RPGs some years ago. This is the first of a series, and my first project submitted for LEGO Ideas. A small gallery (more can be found at the LEGO Ideas page).
  24. Musha Gundam are Gundam units modelled after samurai, ninja, or other forms of feudal Japanese warriors. I wanted to continue on the line of my mecha like my Gundam Arbalester,Seraphine III and Hammer Judge but with something like a Samurai Link Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/devid7/14236281412/ Link MOCpages http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/388759
  25. Yeah it's that time again. Honestly I wanted to go over this some more, but I was running out of steam and I figured this might rejuvenate me. As always please reply if you have a comment, that way I know if I need to improve. This takes place after Kaeru, so you might want to reread it to refresh. Likewise earlier stories like Knifefish, Automaton, and Knifefish 2 are involved, though only faintly. However you might want to reread them since I am working on a big crossover, as I have been saying since like part 3. Anyone without further ado here we go. Little feet darted across the rooftops, scampering wildly. Below dogs barked, sharp piercing noise that made the runner flinch. She stumbled at each sound, before leaping into an open building. She shivered briefly, before rubbing her head. "Okay, this stinks," she decided, "How do I get them out without him finding out? Ugh this is not how I wanted to spend my last years on Earth." She paced around, before leaping out the window and scaling the building. "Okay I need help," she admitted, "So who exactly can I go to? Pretty much everyone has already left, and we don't have much longer so..." She stopped, as she caught sight of a poster lying on a wall. " Hey, it's worthy shot," she shrugged, before scampering away. --------------------- Tokyo Metropolis, an expanded collection of cities, villages, and with an assortment of special wards. Sunlight sprinkled upon it dancing upon the streets. People watched a televised screen as it played the image of a young woman with orange skin and black hair, standing at a conference. Her face was down as her words were translated to Japanese, saying "...This is what bothers me about so many of our portrayals. On popular television we are shown as rude jerks, arrogant and apathetic. Do not mistake a lack of understanding for a lack of care..." Suddenly a young teenager smashed into a skyscraper's base. She barely winced, her body covered by a shell of glowing purple energy armor. She slid down from the tower, landing with a thud on the sidewalk. A headband bound her long black hair, and her eyes were uneven in hue. The purple energy covered her from her head to her feet, all but impenetrable. A dirty jacket lay over her chest, with torn jean shorts covering her lower torso. She was fourteen years old, a runaway. Karuta clenched her fists, causing the construct over her hands to tighten. She didn't know where her powers came from, all she knew is that somehow she was born of two worlds. But she just didn't know what that meant. She had gone by many names since she started fighting crime, Asami and Kaeru were the latest. But she had moved beyond them, despite her young age. Karuta suddenly bounced into the air, narrowly avoiding a lean woman's swing. The older human was dressed in a black and gold suit of armor, smooth against her body like silk. Her face was cloaked aside from her mouth, and she was in her middle twenties. Slug over her shoulder was a bag, an assortment of yin sticking out from it. "Back off kid," the woman said as the two of them eyed each other, "I prefer not to fight children. Just leave me alone and no one gets hurt, alright?" "Please, I grew out of childhood years ago," Karuta encircled the woman, "I cannot just let you walk away." "It's not like it's yours," the woman said, "Or anyone who deserves it. But fine, if you want to fight me so badly, I will oblige you." She barreled down on Karuta, smashing he across the street. Karuta caught herself on the pavement, and slowed the woman to a halt. With a twist Karuta swung her, sending her flying towards a skyscraper. Suddenly the woman righted herself, and froze in midair. "You can fly?" Karuta marveled. "You do not know what I can do," the woman suddenly ignited her hands, before hurling blue bolts of energy at Karuta. The shots absorbed into Karuta's armor, begore the young vigilante bounced into the air to strike the woman down. The woman swiveled away, just as Karuta reached out. With a squeeze she caught the woman, before falling back down to Earth. With a song she smashed the woman into the ground, flinging her again and again into the streets. The woman suddenly muttered something under her breath. Immediately her body ripped free, and she wrapped into a ball of blue energy. With a fury she began to rebound about, smacking into Karuta and smashing against the buildings of the city. As Karuta stood up, she saw rubble falling down towards a group of citizens, watching her fight. Quickly she barreled down to them, before throwing up her arms. With a thud she shielded their bodies, catching the debris. "Run," she ordered, leading them to scatter away. The woman suddenly ricocheted into Karuta, still a sphere of power. Karuta smacked into a tower, leaving her to stumble from the low. The woman recoiled back into human shape, before flying into Karuta. Karuta skidded across the street, landing with a thud. As the woman landed on her, Karuta caught her leg, and flung her into a skyscraper. Both of them pulled themselves up, barely fazed by the battle. The woman smashed forward from the building, knocking into Karuta. The youth swung out her arms to catch the woman, before smashing her into the ground. "You are really strong," Karuta admitted, "What is your name?" "Just call me Go Go Tomago," Immediately Tomago turned back into a ball of energy, and plowed into Karuta. The armored teen went flying, smashing into a tower with a thud. The building shook, even as Karuta leapt off and crashed into the speeding Tomago. The criminal returned to human form, briefly dazed. Grabbing Tomago in her hands Karuta swung her about, bashing her again and again into the ground. The street cracked from the blow, before Tomago managed to catch herself. With a twist she vaulted into the air, hovering upwards. Tomago suddenly charged downward, fists extended. Karuta quickly leapt out to meet her, impacted her fists with a powerful punch. The two fell back, knocked into the ground. Tomago flexed her fists, and declared, "Go Go Tomago." Her body wrapped back into a ball, before barreling down into Karuta. The armored teen pounded into a skyscraper, before tumbling down onto the street. Tomago skidded to a halt, hovering overhead. "Give up kid," she said, "You aren't going to win against me." Karuta stood back up and said, "You are wrong." She quickly charged, slamming her fist into Tonago's exposed face. Tomago smashed into the ground, skidding around. "Yes," she stumbled upright, "You found a weakspot. I'll have to remember-" Karuta smashed her fist into Tomago's head again, plowing her into an apartment complex. Tomago stumbled, before throwing up her hands in front of her face as she recovered. As Tomago stood shakily Karuta swiped her into the air, and began to smash her down over and over. Tomago hit the ground hard, embedded in the street. As onlookers gazed at them Tomago muttered, "You really care this much about money?" "Not money," Karuta, "I saw what you did. If they were gang or Yakuza I would have no problem, but you threatened innocent people. Endangered them in our fight." "Well at least you-ah-ha-aren't a totally fool," Tomago said just as police arrived, "Here I thought you were fighting over a rich man's yin." "I do not work for anyone but the people," Karuta suddenly burst into the air, bouncing away as the police began to bind Tomago. The vigilante jumped off into the distance, leaving the scene behind. --------------------- Karuta walked through the night city, still wrapped in her purple shell. Rain fell down around her, rubbing off of her protective armor. Inside her armor all she could see was shades of purple, color was barred from her world. As she walked she suddenly stopped, and listened. As her eyes looked about they narrowed, then in a burst she sprinted forward. With a leap she jumped forward, before smashing her fist down. Immediately she stood up to reveal a crushed rat, smushed by her fist. She winced at the dead rat, its shattered body lay limp. She grabbed it through her constructs, and stared at it. Finally she walked away, still indirectly clutching the dead rat. She made her way through the city, until finally settling in an alleyway. Looking about, she dragged out a chunk of wood. Ripping it apart she got to work, sparking a fire. As it burned she held the rat to the fire, cooking it carefully. As it cooked she heard something behind her. She turned around to see a similarly aged child, staring at her. Karuta nodded and asked, "Excuse me, are you a runaway?" He nodded, though he wrinkled his nose at the burning smell. Karuta turned back to the rat, roasting it all over. "Are you hungry?" she asked. The child nodded, despite his displeasure. Karuta pulled the rat back suddenly, it's body about evenly cooked. "Don't eat them raw," she ordered, as she pulled out a sharpened stone. She hacked her way into the rat, separating the meat from the guts. Tokyo had an infestation of rats, and over the last year she had learned how to cook them fairly well. She handed him a chunk, even as she muttered, "I gratefully receive." Then she recoiled her armor, and began to plow her face into the rodent. "You a runaway?" the child asked as he looked at his chunk of meat. "Yes," she said, finished with her meal of sorts. She looked at him, before glancing at her hands. "But you are a superhero." Karuta looked at him, "It is a long story. Not everyone appreciates my power, some fear it. I could not stay with my parents." She paused briefly, sure she had forgotten something. "Why are you here?" she asked suddenly. "I don't want to talk about it." Karuta nodded, saying, "Yes. What is your name?" "Akio." "Karuta," she answered in turn, as he started to eat the rat. Karuta was the name of a kind of Samurai armor, and given her powers it was the name she had selected, with help from the press. Akio devoured the rodent with a frenzy. Karuta observed the feast, even as she regrets her armor. "Are you still hungry?" she offered, already listening for rats. "Yes," he said. "Come," she said, "I'll find another." Spotting his look she remarked, "Food is not extremely stable here. The recession has not helped." She flinched a little as well, not liking the look in his eyes, like a dropped egg. "Okay." he followed her out of the gap in the buildings, just as she paused. "What is it?" he asked with wide eyes, "Aliens?" "Not sure," she answered, "But it is fast." She held out her fists in a tight position, ready to strike. Suddenly a blurred figure ran past, darting in a zig-zag. With a flip the stranger touched Akio, before darting off. Akio hit the ground from the raw speed of the strike, half dazed. "What was that?" he asked as Karuta pulled him up. "Not sure," she admitted, "But I think I should find out. Wait here." In a burst she leapt into the air, before landing and rebounding further along. With great bounds she jumped after the runner, even as they weaved. The runner suddenly flipped, rebounding off the side of a building. They vaulted up, landing atop another structure. Immediately they darted forth, jumping across the roofs. Karuta launched herself into the air, crashing atop another roof. She quickly bounced to the next, swinging and thrusting her body with her motions. The runner suddenly jumped onto the side of a taller building, before leaping off onto the street. Immediately Karuta leapt after them, leaping about as the stranger ran. The runner wove into an alleyway, sprinting from the darkness. The purple glowing warrior followed after, her eyes narrowed. There was something off about this runner, something in the proportions. As Karuta landed after a leap she pulled back, before charging fast. She barreled forward, a radiant blur. Suddenly she swung out her arm, catching the runner. "Who are you?" Karuta asked as she looked. It was a young woman, beautiful with long black hair and an orange stripe. "You are wonderful," the runner laughed, "Did you see how fast you were going? You were like 'boom,' and I was like 'whoosh.' Great huh? Okay, second round, let's go!" Karuta held fast, waiting. "Okay spoilsport," the runner laughed, "How about you call my Maiko?" Karuta gave her a stare, before the woman, "Oh come on, I am sure Karuta does not describe you completely. But you are right, I'm not in training." "Why did you beat him?" "Oh I just poked him," Maiko laughed, "I was just moving a bit too fast. I'm sure he is fine." "How are you so..." "Awesome?" Maiko bent her spine, before vaulting out of Karuta's grasp, "Fast? Agile?" Karuta kept her stare, before Maiko smiled, "Oh well, I was hoping to have some more fun before it was time to get to work. Well at least I got a race out of it. Anyway, I need help, and judging from what I've seen you can do it." "What do you need?" Karuta asked, "And please, who are you?" her eyes probing the stranger. Maiko laughed, "It's complicated. But I guess the first thing is that European Gods are not the only spirits to exist." Karuta caught sight of something sticking out from behind Maiko's skirt, and sighed, "Nogitsune?" "Hey I could work for Inari," Maiko defended with a grin, "But good to see you know the stories." "Kitsune," Karuta said, "It is hard not to hear stories. Foxes that live over a hundred years, and gain the power to take human form. Some work for the Kami Inari, others are just tricksters, the Nogitsune." "Yes miss exposition," Maiko sighed, "But seriously I might have made a fairly large mistake which I could use help getting out of." "What have you done?" "It's a long story," Maiko stretched her body, "But the many thing is I accidentally reveled myself to the wrong group of people, and they have abducted our young. Well, younger anyway." "Giri?" Karuta narrowed her eyes, recollecting the organization that studied and experimented with her. "Who?" "Not important. So who is it?" "I think they call themselves Everwraith," Maiko shook with bored energy, "I don't know. My people are pretty good at avoiding humans nowadays, but the foxes too young to shapeshift are really vulnerable." "So where are they?" "So you'll help? Great," she twisted her body like her spin lay in pieces, "They have a facility in Ota, I can show you it." "And why do you need me?" Karuta crossed her arms. "They, um, they have dogs," the fox spirit winced, "So, um, I can't exactly go there." Karuta nodded, before turning to walk away. "Excuse me, don't you want to deal with this now?" Karuta gave her a look, "When I go to war I prefer to know what I am getting into, especially with a wannabe ally. A trickster may live out details and aspects of the situation. Assuming you are a Kitsune." "What do you mean?" Maiko turned after her, "Humans are not that fast. Well normal ones anyway." "I just prefer to get some information first," Karuta answered, "I will meet you back where you jumped the boy tomorrow. But first I need to make sure he is safe." "Oh come on-" "Tomorrow," Karuta ended the debate, pounding into the air. She bolted up and down, headed back toward where Akio waited. --------------------- "Are you ready?" Tsubasa nodded, even as she looked at her arms. "Please," she asked, "You are sure nothing can be done for them?" They were thick and bloated, and had been increasing get thicker over the past few months. "To have so much power they need raw mass," a scientist answered, "You are not magic, you cannot make something from nothing." Tsubasa dipped her head, before focusing on her hands. Suddenly they stretched and shook, twisting into sharp blades. Tsubasa swung her blade-arms about, slicing through the air. Then with a bend her hands twisted, extending into twin balls and chains. "Good," a scientist remarked, "The Knifefish technique was successful. And you were worried that the research would be useless." "I apologize," the first scientist answered, as Tsubasa recoiled her spiked organic balls into her bloated hands, "Imagine what we could have gotten if AIM hadn't collapsed." --------------------- Karuta walked up to the office of the Giri Corporation, headed into the front door. A man approached her, a guard who towered over her natural height. "I am sorry, but no visitors are allowed," he tasted, barring the path. "I need to speak to Mr. Oshima," she grew a purple radiance over her hand, "I need to share some information with him." The man's eyes widened as he replied, "I will inform him of your arrival." She nodded, before growing her shell over her whole body to wait. The man soon returned, saying, "Follow me." She nodded as he turned around. She took a big sigh, before walking inside. The two of them walked down the hallways of the large building, reaching an elevator. As the two of them rode down the man asked, "Um, what was your impression of Miss Leiko?" "Who?" "Tomago." Karuta sighed and said, "I do not know. She was very angry, a little too self centered. But she was not as bad as say the Red Skull." "I see," the man glanced at his hands, even as they reached an underground bunker in the building. "Asami," Mr. Oshima walked up to her, grinning. "Have you come to work with us?" "No," she said coldly, " Just information." "I wish you were not so stubborn," he sighed, looking her over, "Look at yourself, you are dying." Her check had a patch of a green cut, nearly masked under her shell. "I am not returning..." she paused, "...Before I work some things out." "Still," he said, "You shouldn't be living like this. At least become a net refugee, there are worse things." Net refugees were unemployed or underemployed individuals who slept and sometimes lived inside Internet cares, a fairly new phenomenon. It wasn't free, but it was a lot cheaper than capsule hotels. "...I am not sure how young they will allow." "I could find some that would allow you to stay there." "...Alright," she answered, "But we need to focus. What do you know about Everwraith?" Mr. Oshima sat down on a chair and answered, "We have been tracking them a little. They are a group founded by families whose relatives died in Nagasaki and Hiroshama. They are very devoted to the concept of Japan, to worrying levels." "Anything about foxes?" "Yes," he stated at her, "From what our spies tell us, they believe they discovered evidence of Kitsune. It appears to have inspired them to experiment on foxes in an attempt to unlock their genetic potential. That way they can 'protect' us with the power of spirits. Do you know if there is truth to this?" "...A woman claiming to be a Kitsune approached me," Karuta turned away, "I have seen no contradiction in what she told me." Mr. Oshima frowned, his eyes lost. "What did the fox spirit want?" he asked. "Help liberating the foxes," Karuta answered, "Or a least that is what she said." "Could you maybe wait for-" "No," Karuta walked off, "...How is Takuya?" "We have a treatment that blots out the other memories," Mr. Oshima looked on, "He so far seems sane, except for his form. We are not sending him into the field yet, we still need to make sure he can survive." Karuta nodded, before asking, "Will you use him?" "If we can keep him sane," Mr. Oshima answered, "But honestly some us have lower standards of sanity. Aside from you we have no one but villains, America has enough that they can have heroes for show." "Like who?" "Knifefish for instance," he replied, "Surely you notice she goes on very public missions and never kills anyone? Not to mention she is a minority, made her own powers, and supposedly wanted to be a hero because of New York. She has some power and she clearly has an agenda, but she seems like a symbol. And from what I hear from SHIELD, they also just want her to feel like she helps so that they can get her help in making super soldiers." "Does she know?" "I do not know if she is even aware." Karuta dipped her head and said, "I appreciate your honesty." She walked off, heading back to the elevator. --------------------- Karuta walked forward, pacing about. As she walked she heard a tap, as Maiko skidded towards her, "So you coming?" the Kitsune asked. Her tail still crept out of her skirt, a fluffy red thing. "I think so," Karuta said, "But please, I need to know what you are capable of. Show me your transforming." "Cool," Maiko grinned, "So what do you want to see?" "Me." Maiko frowned, "Um, that won't work. You just look...weird. Like two pictures overlaying each other. You're all blurry. I don't even think a nine tails could take your form." "I...can buy that," Karuta looked down, "A man once told me I was born of two worlds. But how many tails do you have?" "Oh I'm just over a hundred years," Maiko tucked her tail in, "Only have two. But yeah, anyone other than you. Or you know, my form." Maiko grinned, but there was a drooping of her ears. "That boy," Karuta said, " Akio." Maiko nodded before folding into herself. Her arms twisted slender and short, as her egs shortened as well. Her chest shrank into herself, as her hair sucked into her face. Clothing recoiled then regrew, as a bump grew on her neck. "Well?" the shapeshifter asked, cartwheeling around Karuta. "You have skill." Maiko grinned as she returned to the shape of a young woman, before shaking herself off. "So are you about ready to help me?" "Yes," Karuta accepted, "But do you have other abilities, like possession?" "Rumor," Maiko said, "We can't possess anyone. Though we can turn into the humans and act crazy, I think my dad spent some years doing that." "Nogitsune," Karuta nodded, "Tell me where I need to go." Maiko grinned, before scampering forward. Karuta followed her, even as a third individual crept along. --------------------- Karuta watched as a facility came into view. It was a large place, cold and hard. It towered over them, even as Maiko hung back. Maiko suddenly winced as she caught sight of a duo of dogs, patrolling under the guiding hand of a guard. She recoiled slightly, looking at the sharp teeth. "You realize you are bigger than them now," Karuta offered. "Doesn't matter," Maiko shuddered, "I still smell like a fox to them. Prey. I...I think you can handle this so I'm going to watch from over here okay? Sounds great-" Karuta caught her arm in her purple construct of a fist. "You are more agile than me. I will need you to free your people while I cause a distraction." "Okay, that is-" "But I need to know," Karuta said, " Why would you have exposed yourself to them?" Maiko scratched her ears, "Um, well, we kind of are leaving. All of us. Even the foxes. It's complicated." "Why?" "Inari is kind of...disturbed by humanity," Maiko looked down and itched her leg, "And I know, Nogitsune are not exactly angelic, but every since WWII humans kind of lost their appeal. The camps this country and others had, the bombs, and then he learned that aliens can be monstrous too. We-our evil is on a small scale, this kind can wipe out planets." "I only just got my powers," Maiko sighed, "And now I have to go? I barely had a chance to do anything with them. So I spent some time about a year ago taking out my frustration in a montage of pranks, and well, I kind of didn't care who saw. So that is pretty much it." Karuta nodded, " And why don't your people that are still there help?" "Oh that isn't really important," Maiko grinned quickly, "Let's just go save them already. Come on, don't we have dogs to deal with?" Karuta have her a look, before slowly agreeing, "Alright I-" She paused, listening. Satisfied she stopped before saying, "Okay, get ready to scale the side, if you can." Maiko nodded, before staring as Karuta rubbed her head and chest against Maiko. "Why are you doing that?" Maiko giggled as Karuta stood back. "To make a better distraction," Karuta began to walk up to the facility, her shell retracted. "Excuse me?" she asked as she reached the guard, "Is this the facility where foxes are being held in an attempt to understand the nature of Kitsune?" "Sorry I don't-" the guard began, just as his ops began to growl and bark. "Another one then," he said, unhooking the canines. The blogs charged, just as Karuta summoned her complete armor. Then with a swing she swept the dogs into the air, knocking them away. "You-then you-" The guard stammered, "But Kitsune don't have that power." "You have a lot to learn," Karuta bounded forward, slamming her fist into the man, knocking him with a thud to the ground. "Good to know Maiko isn't lying though," Karuta flexed her fist, before charging forward, smashing through the doors. Immediately guards unleashed their dogs. Which leapt and latched onto her constructs. With a spin she knocked them off, before punching and kicking the guards to the ground. Karuta sighed as she caught a guard, before slamming him into a wall. Guns were barred from the general public in Japan, not that they would do much good against her. Karuta slung the man into another guard, even as a trio of dogs tackled her. As she spun them off, the dogs pulled themselves off, before getting another sniff. They hung back, confused. She clapped her head, before leaping into another grad. She could hear one of the sentries issuing orders, though it was muffled by the crashing of her fists. Karuta twisted suddenly as a fist smashed into her. She skidded back, shaken. Inside her shell she could not be hurt, but she could be knocked about. Karuta looked around to see a woman, her arms bloated and thick. Her arms were covered in a stretchy material, cloaking them. With a twist the woman flexed her hands, shifting them into ball and chains. "You worked fast," Karuta observed, watching the woman as she spun her changed hands around, "Assuming you are not naturally a shapeshifter." "I am not," she answered, gesturing to the confused dogs, "And neither are you." Karuta shrugged, flexing her purple fist. "True enough," she admitted, "I hoped it would take them longer. Still, I am surprised you managed to make such quick work of Kitsune." The woman swung her fists, bashing into Karuta. The vigilante skidded back, her balance distorted. Karuta pulled herself up, before slamming her fist into the woman. The foe flew down the hall, but managed to roll and land cleanly on her feet. She flexed her weapons back into hands, even as Karuta charged. --------------------- Maiko scampered up the side of the building, sniffing about as she went. Her body struggled not revert as she climbed, her hands shifting back and forth into paws. Her twin tails stuck out behind her, though she kept most of her physical form sealed away. With a a twist she caught a window, and clutched to it. With a twist she swung her body, before shattering through the glass. With a roll she landed inside, before scampering up onto the ceiling. She made her way along, sniffing as she went. Suddenly she heard a growling sound, and a sharp bark. Immediately her eyes widened, as she started to bolt. In a panic she scratched across the ceiling, leaving claw marks as she went. As she rounded a bend she finally saw it, a dog, lean and sharp toothed. It glared at her, before leaping at her. Maiko trembled, even as she heard guards coming towards her. Shaking she dragged herself along, even as the dog followed. "They don't eat people," she muttered over and over, " They don't eat people." Finally she reached a door, as the dog barked below her. With a swing she kicked through the glass, and landed inside. She was on a staircase, built onto the side of the building. She tried to catch her bearings, but did not have tie to relax. Sniffing around she took off, even as she heard the door behind her open. --------------------- Karuta swung her fist at the woman, who blocked with an equal punch. The two stumbled back, even as the woman bashed her fists together in anticipation. The teenaged vigilante suddenly charged, smashing first one, then two fists of purple energy into the woman. The foe blocked, but still skidded far down the hall. With a tightening of her fist the woman ran, before slamming her fists into Karuta. The teenager stumbled back, as the woman swung again and again into her. Karuta staggered about, her body off balance. With a roar the woman caught her, and lifted Karuta over her head. Then with a toss she threw Karuta into a wall, knocking her into an office room. "I find it odd you asked the crook her name but not me," the woman darted forward, ready to smash. "What is your name?" Karuta asked as she pulled herself up, her purple shell protecting her. With a flip she dodged the woman, crashing against the floor. Then Karuta bashed her, knocking the foe into a wall hard. Karuta pounded twice into the woman, before flinging her to the ground. Then with a leap Karuta jumped, smashing onto the woman with her elbow. As Karuta stood up the woman groaned, pulling herself upright. Her hands morphed, drawing some of the growths from her arms into them. Her fists grew to the size of a head each, even as she and Karuta ran at each other. Karuta stumbled back as the fist clubbed into her head, just as the woman followed up with a strike to her chest. "It is Tsubasa," the enemy answered, twisting her arms into a hammer-like shape. Karuta caught the next swing, before swinging her foot into Tsubasa. "I hope not," she remarked at the name, before driving her fist into the enemy's mouth. Tsubasa slammed into a wall, her mouth bent oddly. A muffled roar gagged from her jaw, even as her arms shifted into muscular limbs. With a spin she bashed into Karuta, flinging her hard. Karuta crashed through the wall, landing outside the building. She gasped for air as she smacked against her shell, stunning her. Karuta lay stunned, even as Tsubasa charged. Fists smashed into Karuta, keeping her incapacitated. Her armor held up, but she could not move. And she did not want to see what would happen if she lost consciousness. Suddenly Akio tackled Tsubasa, causing her to stumble. He wrapped his arms around her neck, squeezing. Tsubasa gagged, and immediately swung her fist behind her. The fist smashed into Akio, knocking him against the ground. As he lay scrapped by the street Tsubasa morphed her arms into blades, hooked bony appendages. With a twirl she swung down, forcing him to roll away. He dodged, just as Tsubasa swung again. The hook struck his back, causing him to collapse. As Tsubasa held him up a violet hand caught her arm. Karuta bent Tsubasa's arm, tearing into her other arm with her hook. As the enemy stumbled Karuta grabbed Akio, and lay him gentle as she could waste. "That won't help you," Tsubasa mumbled in a muffled tone, "I can just shape the cut away." "Yes," Karuta answered, " But you clothes are torn. Tsubasa widened her yes, just as a dog leapt onto her arm and bit down hard. "It was not so smart to train them to attack Kitsune," Karuta remarked as the formerly puzzled dogs bit into Tsubasa, ripping into her skin. The foe shoved them back, just as Karuta punched into Tsubasa's gut. The enemy fell back, torn and cut. With a glare she proved her namesake, shaping her arms into large, flat, feathered wings. Tsubasa flapped down, bolting herself into the air. She rose up ahead, flying far out of jumping distance. Suddenly a dart zipped into the air, striking into Tsubasa. As she fell men and woman rushed forward, dressed with the symbol of the Giri Corporation. "Thank you," Karuta dipped her head, "Take care of him." "Of course," medics rushed forward, even as Karuta jumped away. With a crash she smashed into the side of the building, causing it to quake. --------------------- Maiko sprinted on, shifting between running on two legs or four. She scattered in a scamper, plowing into another look. With a skid she stopped, and came to the lock. "Okay, it's easy," Maiko panted, "I mean, dad can do it, he only has five tails on me." She focused on the door, even as her hands shook. Then, rapidly, her index finger morphed into a key. She jabbed it inside, twisting. "Woo yeah," she cheered in English, before slipping inside. As she made it in she found herself in a room of cages. Quickly she slammed one behind her, barricading the door. Maiko breathed out, before looking around. Scores of foxes stood in cages, their ears perked at her. "Okay little guys," she shifted her claws out, "This shouldn't take long." She looked at one of them and winced. "Ugly little children," she laughed nervously, "Bet you can't wait to reach a hundred years." Outside she winced as she heard barking, harsh and sudden. The foxes cowered slightly, as her eyes enlarged. Suddenly there was a great crashing sound, and then a series of swinging and pounding sounds. As Maiko listened a purple fist mashed through the door, before it began to tear the door down. "You alright?" Karuta asked, looking down at Maiko. "Yeah, of course," Maiko answered, grinning. Karuta gave her a look, unblinking. Maiko sighed finally and said, "It's hard, you know. I meSn I am so much,ore than a fox now, so much more. But still, there is a little bit of me that still thinks dogs can eat me, and are bigger than me." Karuta was silent, before turning away and ripping the cages apart. "Listen," Karuta said, "There is a group called Giri, I mentioned them earlier. They are good guys, trying to protect Japan, but they can be rash and desperate. In an afford to replicate met hey drove a man mad, and he has still yet to fully heal." "Okay, why do you bring this up?" "Because they are outside," Karuta answered, "And though I like to believe they would not attempt to experiment on your people..." Maiko frowned as Karuta continued, "They captured a hybrid of human and Kitsune, so they probably will not need to take them. But still, you might want to go out of the back." "Thank you," Maiko grinned softly, "Hey, good luck with the whole vigilante thing. If you ever need my help, well, before we go..." She trailed off, before sprinting off with her foxes in tow. --------------------- Leiko sighed as she eyed the walls around her. She was in a jumpsuit, a white and cyan shade. She didn't know where she was, but a transparent wall surrounded her on all sides. "If I had my battlesuit," she punched the glass barrier, causing her to wince in pain. "Tanaka Leiko," a voice said. She glanced around to see an elderly man. His arm was strangely burnt, almost shriveled. He held something in his hands, wrapped up carefully. Behind him stepped two strange figures, each odd in proportions. One was somewhat hulking in appearance, with a thick head and a large body. His skin seemed almost fluid, a tan chunky ooze. Aside him a woman stood, her black hair tied back. Her arms were thick and bloated, and constantly seemed to shift in shape. "What do you want?" Tomago asked, her arms crossed. "I want to make you a deal," the elderly man said, "We have been trying to access to your suit, but it refuses anyone other than you. It has bonded with you hasn't it?" "Yes," she smirked. "The world is changing," the old man said, "More than ever we need heroes to protect us, champions. Most heroes come from America, from brutes like the Hulk to street heroes like Spider-Man. The Avengers cannot defend all of the world, we need our own protection. And while Karuta is brave and strong, she is still young and singular." "I am going to offer you a deal," the man said, "You will be pardoned and given your suit, if you agree to join our team." "You want me to be a superhero?" Leiko asked, "Will I be legitimate like Thor, or a publicity stunt like Captain America and Knifefish?" "We have four superhumans," answered the old man, "We can't afford waste you on publicity." Tomago opened her arm, placing her hands on the cage. "I would like to be free," she admitted, "Alright. So I assume these are my teammates?" "Yes," the elderly man said as he opened the bag to revel her battlesuit, "Clayhand and Tsubasa. We are working on Karuta, though she is currently independent. She will come if necessary." "Understood," Leiko sighed. "So where exactly did you get that suit?" Go Go Tomago grinned, "It fell from the sky, with a little gray man." Mr. Oshima's face fell into a forced calm, though his eyes grew in fear. --------------------- Karuta collapsed onto a bed, and breathed. "I could do this forever," she groaned, spread out on the bed. Akio hung around her, limping. "You okay?" she checked. "Yeah," he grinned, "That was cool though." Karuta shrugged, plowing her face into a pillow. "So...what is your name?" Akio ventured. Karuta answered automatically, "I gave it up." Akio nodded, sitting down. She sighed finally, "It doesn't matter, but it was Asami-" Suddenly she heard someone babble English behind her. She turned to see an orangish tan woman, at least five years older than her. She was dressed in a shirt with some sort of fish on it, lean and blade-like in shape. Her hand was in her pocket, squeezing something. "I'm sorry," Asami said, "I don't understand-" "I do," Akio smiled, "She says she is looking for you. Well, Karuta anyway." Asami said slowly, "Ask her how she found me?" Akio babbled in English, and the young woman replied. Akio explained, "She says she knows someone who can scan for radiation. She claims to be Knifefish." "Oh, the SHIELD publicity stunt," Asami yawned, "Tell her I am not interested in SHIELD." There was a pause as Akio relayed the message before translating, "Knifefish says she is not hear because of SHIELD, as far as SHIELD knows she is just taking a brief trip." Asami forced herself up and looked over, "I am interested," she admitted, "What does she want with me?" "Knifefish says she is being used by SHIELD," Akio answered, "And she doesn't want to be. She wants to be a...hero? A real one. And she thinks SHIELD can't really be trusted they-Asami SHIELD provoked the aliens!" Asami was fully awake now, her body wrapped in purple. "Why does she work with SHIELD knowing this?" "They are still the best route for helping people," Akio said, "And SHIELD has agreed to help other autistics if she helps them and makes superhumans for them." Asami stared at Knifefish and said, "Please continue." "She wants to form a...team," Akio said, "One that will unite the next time the world is threatened or when SHIELD messes up. A team to protect people and clean up SHIELD's messes. Like...I don't know this word, 'Custodians?'" Asami paused and said, "When the world is in danger I will be there. Tell me where to go then, I will protect people here in the meantime." Knifefish nodded and babbled eagerly, as Akio translated, "Thank you. Good...fortune? protecting Japan in the meantime." Asami dipped her head as Knifefish hopped out, electricity humming at her fingertips. --------------------- Robin stepped out of the Internet cafe and stretched. She kind of stared, while her breath grew tight and her hands clenched. Slowly she returned to the alleyway, walking into the shadows. A bronze robot stood waiting, his body straight. "How did your task go?" he asked. "Still mad," Knifefish answered, "But she is in." Isaac nodded, "That makes four of us." His body opened up, revealing his hollow inside. As Knifefish stepped inside he said. "Those deaths were necessary. I could not disarm them and they could regenerate any broken bones." "Did you try another way?" Isaac fell silent as she remarked, "Still mad." She squeezed her yarn catfish at the thought, even as Isaac took off into the sky, bursting towards America.