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Marvel: A New Dawn > Africa > Skirmish in Somalia[Mandarin, Storm]

Title: Skirmish in Somalia[Mandarin, Storm]

Black Panther - June 24, 2014 02:26 AM (GMT)
Wakanda was peaceful, and the Black Panther liked it that way. However, a great deal of the rest of the continent was filled with unrest. And not far to the east lay Somalia, a country gripped with strife and unrest for decades. T'Chaka had stayed out of it, explaining to his young son the reasons for his inaction: 'we are not conquerors, my son'. And to 'fix' Somalia, it would have required conquest, something the advanced but tiny nation of Wakanda could not do. They were intensely focused on keeping others out, not telling outsiders how to live.

But the son, while remembering his father's words, still kept his eye on Somalia. And so when the supervillain the Mandarin appeared on the scene, that meant that T'Challa could act. Domestic disturbances he could ignore. But the days of letting the West, or now the East, exploit Africa were over.

But he did not want to act openly, not yet. So he crept from roof to roof, his 'costume' damping the marginal sound he made. He had encountered the Mandarin before, but then he had been part of a team of Avengers. T'Challa knew that he would have to end this quickly, if it turned into a fight. He could match him hand to hand, but the rings were powerful. So he had brought his own toys to the party: the Ebony Blade, unused by Dane Whitman, the energy daggers. He would need all his wits and weaponry to walk away from this one.

The Mandarin - June 24, 2014 04:05 PM (GMT)
Mogadishu was a pesthole in most respects. Years of warfare made the city look almost post-apocalyptic. But the Mandarin Hotel was pristine, a gleaming jewel amidst all the decay. The place was a fortress, filled with soldiers, high tech security, and even some genetically engineered killer-plants, crocodiles, and apes in places. Officially it was a hotel, but if anyone tried to book a room here, it was always mysteriously full.

Tem Borjigin surveyed the throne-room. On one wall was a picture of an ancestor of his on his mother's side, Victor Savage. Victor Savage had come to Africa with the East India Company in the 1600's. Victor had been a huge man, both immensely muscular and somewhat fat, giving him almost the build of a gorilla. He was mostly bald except for a horseshoe of coarse black hair. In his portrait he wore the war clothing of the time, a metal chest-piece, billowy pantaloons, and so forth, all standard for his time-period with one exception: a necklace of finger-bones.

Those finger-bones had once belonged to T'Bora, the ten-greats granduncle of the current ruler of Wakanda, T'Challa. The East India Company had invaded Wakanda in the mid 1600's. During the invasion Victor Savage and T'Bora had fought one on one. Despite T'Bora having been a mere five-foot-six, and Victor Savage having been nearly seven feet tall, T'Bora somehow managed to severe Victor's hamstring and chop off an ear before Victor grabbed him, pushed his thumbs through T'Bora's eyes, and ripped off T'Bora's face with his teeth. He'd had a necklace made of T'Bora's fingerbones, and wore it the rest of his life as a trophy.

T'Bora's brother, who was also T'Challa's ten-greats grandfather, had taken up the cause after his brother's fall and driven the East India Company out of Wakanda in the summer of 1666. Baron Savage had been forced to retreat to his properties in China, where his eight-greats granddaughter would marry Chanyu Borjigin, and the two would have a son named Tem Borjigin.

What was left of T'Bora was standing in a glass case in a corner, mummified. Most of the mummy was in excellent condition for its age, but it was missing the face, fingers, and there was a hole in its chest where Victor Savage had ripped out T'Bora's heart and eaten it. Tem sometimes wondered if Victor had cooked the heart or eaten it raw. The family history was vague about that. Tem had brought the mummy with him to Africa to remind him of why he was here: to reclaim territory that rightfully belonged to his family.

Ah well, time for business.

He sat on his throne and with a nod of his head signaled that the first of his guests be allowed into his presence.

A man in his mid-forties approached with a sailor's cap clutched in his hands,

"Greetings, I trust the slaughter of the Mary Sue yacht went well?" asked Tem Borjgin.

"Yes, Lord Borjigin," replied the man, "all was as you desired."

"And did you succeed in killing the entirety of the Armstrong family? Such a tiresome bunch of liberal activists, you'd think people with that much money would have better uses for their time."

"Yes, Lord Borjigin." replied the man.

"All of them? You're certain?" asked Tem Borjigin.

"Yes, every last one." replied the man.

"Strange, because Sarah Armstrong just showed up on CNN blabbing about the slaughter of her family, and how she fully intends to devote her life to making sure they didn't die in vain" said Tem Borjigin.

The man immediately became incoherent with terror, babbling excuses and assurances until Tem Borjigin silenced him with a gesture.

Tem Borjigin nodded at a servant, and two men immediately brought a small table into the room and placed it in front of Tem.

"Stand on this table" commanded Borjigin.

"Wuh-what?" stammered the man.

"I said, stand on this table" replied Tem.

With an expression that combined puzzlement and fear, the man climbed onto the table.

Tem's Atomic-Transformer began to glow. The man on the table screamed as his body began to warp and melt. In seconds, his body was transformed into a delicious bowl of mandarin chicken, pork fried rice, and wontons. Tem plucked a piece of mandarin chicken out of the bowl with chopsticks and popped it into his mouth. Mmm, exquisite!

Storm - June 25, 2014 04:34 AM (GMT)
Ororo had never fought the Mandarin before, but the stories about him were deep. Becoming a part of Wakanda herself, she wanted to help the African continent in general. After all, she had traveled though and throughout Africa as a child to her teens before she settled in Kenya. However, though being a queen had it's perks, one could not just go about and do something without thinking it through. She's learned that at such a young age itself.

So while the Black Panther took to rooftop to rooftop, she had remained in the air and well hidden within one of the clouds. She was awaiting for her husband's word. Storm was a natural leader, but when it came to being royalty and a super hero, she was still learning. Who better to teach her than her husband. "My love." Ororo spoke through the com she was wearing to speak to T'Challa. "To be sure we are on the same page, care to go over the plan again?" She asked him. Already she had despised the Mandarin and his sick twisted ways. The ways that were apparently normal to the man. This, was not his country however and Ororo was happy that neither she nor T'Challa would stand by as he proceeded to his own doings.

Although hidden in the skies, she still looked over and followed T'Challa from a distance. As usual, he moved like a strong panther, a strong warrior was the man she loved.

Black Panther - June 26, 2014 03:05 AM (GMT)
"The plan? We go talk to the Mandarin. And we ask him to leave. When he refuses, because he will refuse, and won't be ordered about by his 'inferiors' or 'barbarians', we remove him." It wasn't a complicated plan, although the realities were rather more difficult to achieve than he made it sound.

In truth, T'Challa would prefer not to kill the Mandarin. For any of his faults, he was a worthy opponent, and remained a useful distraction for Iron Man. More importantly, he opposed extranational interests in China, which was something to be encouraged.

He paused, teetering on the rooftop, unable to see his wife, although he knew she was up in the sky, hidden in the cloud cover. Then with all the grace possessed by his namesake animal, he jumped. He popped the claws built into his gloves and used them to arrest his slide down the Mandarin Hotel. "Front door, Ro, or should we go in through the roof?"

He moved carefully away from a camera's view, noting how the concrete looked different nearby. Mines, or some other defense system. A window was looking better all the time. A glance down, and his enhanced sight showed him all he needed to see. "How does the roof look? I see a company of guards posted around the entrance." While he had no doubt that either his wife or himself could handle the lackeys, it only took one to get lucky, and he'd prefer not to use up all the luck he had before even seeing the Mandarin.

The Mandarin - June 26, 2014 03:48 PM (GMT)
Temmy was growing bored. He pondered how to resolve this problem.

He could throw up the food and have another feast, but he was bored with every food he could think of.

He could have sex with his harem, but his most skilled harem-girls were back in Kunming. He had a local harem, but their idea of sex was as simple and provincial as a midwestern housewife.

He could beat someone to a bloody pulp. That never got old. Fortunately he'd brought his favorite chew-toy with him. And he'd recently hired a mercenary who might spice things up if given a decent incentive.

"Send in Arliss and Zabo" he said into an intercom.

Calvin Zabo, also known as Mr Hyde, was wheeled in strapped to a metal gurney.

Todd Arliss, also known as Tiger Shark, walked in of his own accord.

"How are you doing today, Dr Zabo?" asked Temmy with a twitching smirk.

"Why don't you just kill me?" asked Zabo.

"Now why would I do that? I promised to keep you until you defeated me, and I fully intend to honor that promise."

Zabo had been captured robbing one of Tem Borjigin's heroin-factories. The potion that turned Zabo into Mr Hyde contained small amounts of heroin, and Zabo had been looking to stock-up on that ingredient.

Ever since capturing Zabo, Borjigin had been using him as essentially a living punching bag. When juiced up, Zabo was capable of lifting seventy-tons, and was even tougher than his strength would suggest. As such, he was one of the few beings alive who could survive Borjigin's Chi-enhanced punches.

Borjigin had promised Zabo his freedom if he could beat him in single combat. Just to be sporting, Borjigin never used his rings against Zabo, just his Chi-amped strength and martial arts skill.

Zabo had never come close to winning, but his clumsy attempts were entertaining, and beating him to a bloody pulp was wonderfully satisfying.

Tiger Shark had been hired to guard his naval interests in the area. As such, he was partially responsible for the Sarah Armstrong girl escaping when her yacht was destroyed. Borjigin intended to make him suffer for that failure, and have some fun at the same time.

"Ready to try to earn your freedom again, Zabo?" ask Tem Borjigin.

"Bastard!" spat Zabo, "at least give me a damned weapon!"

"But I don't use weapons, why should you?" said Borjigin, rubbing his chin, "still, if you think I haven't been fair, I could make an effort to even the playing field a tad. Tiger Shark, you will aid him in his attempt to defeat me."

Tiger Shark had been standing with a bored expression up until now. He had come here with the vague assumption that he was about to be sent on some mission or other. Hearing he was to help fight The Mandarin was horrifying. He stammered, finally getting out a "wuh?? Why??"

"You failed me, you allowed a mere human girl to escape you, and to do so ON WATER! The degree of incompetence required for such a failure from someone with your powers is astounding" said Tem Borjigin.

"But...but I was only there to guard the perimeter!" stammered Tiger Shark, "it wasn't my responsibility to kill the girl, just prevent anyone from interfering with the actual assassins!"

"And how, pray tell, was she able to escape those assassins without crossing your perimeter? A competent servant in your position would have had the common sense to understand that watching for escapees was an implied part of your duties."

"But, but!" stammered Tiger Shark.

"Enough!" growled Tem Borjigin, "I'm not here to listen to excuses, but to pass judgement. My ruling is simple: defeat me and all is forgiven. Lose, and your punishment shall be me breaking every bone in your body."

Tiger Shark appeared about to argue some more, but then let out a deep breath and accepted his fate. "When do we start?" he asked at last.

"As soon as Zabo here has had his medicine," replied Tem Borjigin, and with that he pressed a button on the gurney holding Zabo.

Needles on the gurney began pumping Zabo full of a glowing green liquid. As they did so, Zabo began to grow, his muscles and skin audibly stretching as his gained over 200 pounds of muscle. Zabo ripped free of the gurney. He was Zabo no longer, having transformed into the colossally strong Mr Hyde.

My Hyde wasted no time, he charged and swung a haymaker at Borjigin's head. Borjigin ducked forward under the punch, almost as if attempting a handstand, and mule-kicked Mr Hyde in the face. Mr Hyde immediately dropped to the floor clutching the purple smear that was his nose.

Tiger Shark tackled Borjigin and they both went sprawling. With both on their backs, Tiger Shark tried to strangle Borjigin while Borjigin used elbow strikes on his solar-plexus, at two strikes the bones in Tiger Shark's chest audibly cracked, at three strikes Tiger Shark spat up a gout of blood, his grip on Borjgin's throat going slack, yet still Borjigin hammered him with elbow strikes. The very floor beneath them began to crack from the force of him hitting Tiger Shark.

Mr Hyde screamed, "die you mother@%&$er!" and grabbed Borjigin's foot and dragged him away from Tiger Shark, twisting as he did so, trying to break Borjigin's ankle and save Tiger Shark at the same time.

Pushing off with his hands and free leg, Borjigin launched up and kicked Hyde in the face, forcing him to release his foot. Hyde staggered back a moment, then charged forward, punching Borjigin in the face twice before Borjigin grabbed his arm with a martial arts move, twisting it in a way that dislocated it at the shoulder and overextended it at the elbow. Hyde screamed in agony.

Tiger Shark spat blood as he ripped a thousand-pound metal support-beam out of the damaged floor.

Borjigin punched Hyde again and again, alternating between the face and chest, turning Hyde's face into hamburger.

From behind, Tiger Shark swung the beam like a baseball-bat, hitting Borjigin on the side of the neck. Borjigin roared in rage and pain, whirling around. Tiger Shark swung the beam at his head. Borjigin ducked under it and punched Tiger Shark in the testicles. Despite his pain, Tiger Shark tried to hit him with the beam again, but Borjigin shattered it with a karate-chop, then punched Tiger Shark in the face repeatedly, turning his lips into a purple smear and sending teeth flying.

Mr Hyde slammed his shoulder into the wall, trying to get his dislocated shoulder back into place. On the third slam it went back in with a popping sound. Once again possessing the use of both arms, he charged back into the fight. From behind he hammered Borjigin with a clenched double-fisted strike then tried to kick him. Borjigin caught his leg and lifted him into the air, whirling around as he did so, slamming Hyde's head into furniture and the wall, knocking a hundred pounds of brick out of the wall at he did so, finally throwing Hyde into Tiger Shark.

Hyde and Tiger Shark collapsed, no longer possessing enough strength to move.

Tem Borjigin grinned in triumph. He had a few bruises and had worked up a nice sweat. He decided he would go to his harem girls now. It no longer mattered that they were unskilled, the fire in blood was such that he would do all the work anyway, and the only thing the women needed to do was survive his lust.

Storm - June 29, 2014 01:13 PM (GMT)
"Got it." she told her husband as she continued to follow him through the skies. The plan was quite simple and very well thought of the go to plan for when it came to villains. Either way, they needed the Mandarin gone from the continent and if possible, figure out what else the mad man has been up to. It may provide more information for them in the future.

"The roof would make for a better entrance. It would make it easier to catch him off guard as well." she flew down closer, making sure no one would take notice. Many of the citizens were inside and about their evening business anyway. She also made sure to avoid the cameras as well, although she was still in the skies just not as high as before.

When T'Challa had asked how the roof looked, Ororo had responded "One second." as she had flown near the roof. There were two guards on look out. However, as she landed on the roof, a jolt of lightning from each hand on both guards was more than enough to take them down quietly. A quiet storm. "It is much better now on the roof." it was the truth, while being a pun at the same time. "I suppose another way would be to split up. Maybe I can take the roof, while you sneak through the entrance. Either way I say is up to you."

Black Panther - June 29, 2014 10:43 PM (GMT)
T'Challa thought it over for a few moments. His desire to protect his wife warred with the reality that she wielded power beyond his, to say nothing of her own formidable hand to hand combat skills. The four seconds he spent making the decision made it no easier, though.

"We split up, Ororo. You go in through the roof, I will get in on," he looked down, "the sixth floor. Watch yourself, my love." Using one hand, he held onto the wall, and used the claws on his other hand to cut a large hole into the glass. T'challa, a supremely athletic man, slipped inside easily. Immediately he felt overwhelmed by the smell of the room. He looked around, to see if he had set off any alarms, and was astounded see several large glass cases.

It was like being in a museum, only each case contained the mummified remains of the victims of Mandarin's forebears. Given the six cases in the room, and the size of the Mandarin Hotel, he suspected he would be seeing quite a few more of these. He turned away from them, ready to head to the door, but that smell...

It was foul, unnatural. Something rotten. "Not rotten. Corrupt." He spoke softly, giving that smell a name. It was like, yet unlike something he had smelled before...the Panther was unable to put his finger on it before he saw it. A sort of sickly looking membrane, see-through. Not tentacles, but more a film around the room. And it was now collapsing on him. No time or room for the Ebony Blade, not to mention he rather suspected it would prove fruitless. Instead he drew his energy dagger, ignited its blade, and ran it along the film. It elicited a foul, viscous liquid that reeked even worse...

[OOC: LMK if I need to change any of that, Mandarin]

The Mandarin - June 30, 2014 05:48 PM (GMT)
Of Tem's six harem-girls, four remained functional. One was dead, while another was bleeding internally from a shattered pelvis bone.

Tem paused in the midst of his fun. There was a spiritual energy in the air that was making his skin crawl. He recognized that spiritual energy, anyone of his lineage would.

It was the spirit that tried to protect Egypt when the Hyksos barbarians invaded from Asia and brought the world's first great civilization to ruin.

It was the spirit that tried to protect Rome when the Vandal ancestors of his mother and the Hun ancestors of his father were ripping into the walls of Rome with their teeth, cracking the era's greatest monument to civilization like an egg, and tearing its people to pieces.

It was the spirit that tried to protect China when the Mongol Hordes had stormed the Great Wall and made civilized men, women, and children by the million into forests of impaled corpses.

Whether that spirit embodied itself in Athena, or Bastet, or some other god, it was always the same spirit at the core: the coldly intellectual defender of the disease called civilization.

Some priest of the spirit of civilization was nearby, Tem could feel it in the air as a queasy electricity.

Tem's own spirit snarled instinctively. His spirit was an ocean of primal chaos that had formed from the twin rivers of blood and death that were his parents lineage. Twin rivers of blood and death that had washed over every civilization in history before flowing together to form him.

Tem threw on his clothes and went to investigate the sensation.

He tracked the sensation to throne-room, and found T'Challa there. He studied him with the eyes of a grandmaster martial artist, eyes able to tell a million things about a person from the tiniest twitch of muscles and the way they moved and carried themselves.

The story that analysis told was of coldness, of a mind so intellectual, so icily strategic it was almost computerlike. T'Challa had a superficially animal appearance to him, but that appearance was a lie, a trick to throw off his enemies.

T'Challa's lie was at once similar, and at the same time the complete opposite of the lie Tem conveyed to the world.

Tem put on a public show of being civilized. He dressed expensively, and the name he'd chosen for himself, the Mandarin, meant "bureaucrat", when in fact he was the least bureaucratic creature on earth. It was all a show meant to confuse his enemies, to make them expect a civilized man and to be shocked when a barbarian ripped them to pieces.

T'Challa put on a show of being an animal, so his enemies would be shocked when an intellectual picked them apart with cautious plans.

Tem was astonished to discover a man who was so purely and utterly his opposite in every way.

For a long surreal moment they simply stood on opposite ends of the room, the man who dressed like a beast, and the beast who dressed like a man.

Storm - July 1, 2014 03:04 AM (GMT)
"You too, my love." she said as they went off on their own separate paths for now. She had entered through the entrance on the roof. Upon entering the likes of the Mandarin Hotel, it appeared that all was well for the time being. She was able to remain hidden as she proceeded through the hallways.

When proceeding, she heard many guardsmen coming her way. With that, Ororo immediately ran to cover behind one of the many large statues present in the Mandarin Hotel. Looking over her cover, she would take note of a man being wheeled back to a room of some sorts. At that moment, it did not occur to her that it was indeed Calvin Zabo. The man appeared to be battered and beatened. It was more than enough for Ororo to know that she needed to investigate a little bit further.

She then heard her husband on the com, stating "Not rotten. Corrupt.", which brought her to hide back into cover as she wondered what he said. "Corrupt?" she ask, not being sure of what he had meant, although after seeing what she had just seen, it would not be too far-fetched to know that the Mandarin, as usual, was up to no good.

She needed to get in that room, but just as she was going to proceed... "Well, *coughs* look what we...have here...." Which had forced Storm to turn around to see that none other than a very battered and beatened Tiger Shark trying to make his way towards her, but was barely able to keep himself moving. Apart of her knew to prepare to fight the villain. Yet another part of her felt he had nothing in him to keep fighting. "What happened to you? And why are you working for the Mandarin?" of course she had no idea if he was indeed working for the Mandarin, but considering it was not too far fetched that the Mandarin had hired him.

Black Panther - July 4, 2014 06:17 AM (GMT)
It was the scent of sex and blood that told T'Challa someone else was there. Unhurried, he turned and regarded his foe, neither speaking. For the moment, he ignored the thing encapsulating him, giving his enemy his proper due.

He thumbed his energy dagger to its highest setting, never taking his eyes off the Mandarin. Rings on the left hand hurt and disoriented, possibly killed. The right hand was the fatal one. The film was discoloring, unable to absorb all the hard energy coursing into it. Chi powers. That meant that he might possibly match or even more disagreeably, surpass the Panther. The stench of it being burned away was overwhelming, as the dagger cooked its diaphanous substance. Still he did not look away, even though his eyes were hidden.

T'Challa pulled the dagger upwards, burning away the rest of the film. It fell to the ground around him, still writhing as though in agony or perhaps an attempt to reach him, he wasn't certain. He thumbed the switch again the dagger's blade winked out of existence, power cut.

"Mandarin." It was greeting, acknowledgement of his prowess, respect for his abilities, disgust for what he stood for, all in a single word. He could hear his wife through his headset, speaking to someone, tuned it out. "You know why we are here? Africa is off limits to you. Return to your homeland and this confrontation need not occur." He knew that the Mandarin was unlikely to take that offer, but it had to be made.

With great reverence, the Panther drew the Ebony Blade. Since Dane Whitman had tried to quit being dragged into superhuman affairs, T'Challa had asked to be the sword's caretaker. The black sword, living up to its name, seemed to drink in the throne room's light. It was for occasions such as this that he had requested the sword.

He pointed at one of the viewing cases. "And my ancestor. His remains belong in Wakanda." He had only a glimpse of the savageries visited upon T'Bora, but it was enough. Was this man's entire lineage mad?

The Mandarin - July 6, 2014 09:15 PM (GMT)
Tem's laughter was deep, booming, and hollow, "how about a different deal? I'm going to rape, eat, and kill you, but if you surrender East India Trading Company Territory Number Five," he refused to call it Wakanda, as that was the name of thieves in his mind, "I will consider doing the killing part first."

Black Panther - July 12, 2014 04:58 PM (GMT)
Speaking softly, barely audible, the King of the Wakandas spoke to his wife via their communicator. "Ororo, I have located the Mandarin. I am engaging him." He must survive until Storm arrived. In a confined space such as this, her mastery of weather could easily rival the greater versatility of the Makluan rings.

The Panther's answer to the threat and the follow up, was a sinuous show of dropping into a guard position with the Ebony Blade. "You know as well as I do, Mandarin, that the Wakandas will never submit to an outsider, let alone a mongrel savage masquerading as some sort of minor Chinese functionary. Your title was consigned to the dustbin of history, Temujin. Progress, civilization, they march onward, and animals such as you are ground underfoot.."

The Mandarin had always been an interesting opponent to T'Challa, given that he was as much an ideological threat as a physical one. The rings gave him an undoubted power, but it was his mindset that made him a danger far out of proportion to what another man would have been. "And now that progress has come to Africa. The West, and the East, are no longer invited. And so you will go, Mandarin, either proudly and able to walk away, or beaten, your tail between your legs."

Maybe better to talk to him on a level he would appreciate. "That man there. He did that to my ancestor?" He nodded at the remains of the white man. "Yet even so, he died, and Wakanda still stands. This continent has been the death of many people, black, white or yellow, Africa does not care. You will simply be the latest to feed the hyenas, as your forebear should have done."

The Mandarin - July 25, 2014 02:10 PM (GMT)
Tem was growing bored. The little Wakandan princeling was blah-blah-blahing on like some tiny yapping dog.

In sudden burst of super-speed, he crossed the room and slapped the sword out of T'Challa's hand, sending it spinning end over end until it embedded itself in a wall. Then he crossed his hands over T'Challa's throat like a scissors, and performed a double slashing karate-chop that should have scissored off T'Challa's head.

Instead it merely caused two superficial cuts on his costume that looked a little like the gills of a fish.

Tem followed up with a punch that should have gone completely through T'Challa's body. Instead it merely knocked T'Challa on his @$$ and caused a bit of superficial damage to the cloth over his sternum.

Tem let out an animal grunt that wasn't quite, "WUH??". He was utterly flabbergasted. Somehow the little man's stupid, ridiculous spandex cat-costume had mostly protected him from blows that could lay the likes of Tiger Shark low. He could scarcely believe his eyes. That a mere spandex child's costume could survive such attacks astonished him to the point of speechlessness.

Storm - July 30, 2014 04:57 AM (GMT)
(Sorry for the lateness. I thought I had responded to this last week.)

She was pleased to hear that her husband had indeed found the Mandarin and was in the process of engaging him. They had found their target. However, there was more at stake now due to the fact that she found none other than Tiger Shark.

He merely proceeded to try and attack Storm. Storm had prepared herself for whatever was to come, until he collapsed to his knees, seemingly exhausted. "He's been put through a lot. Although I am unsure of what. I could get answers from him."

"My love, there seems to be more at play here. I've found Tiger Shark. He's badly wounded. This usually is good news for us, but I could only wonder what the Mandarin has at stake. How are you doing so far?" she asked her husband. T'Challa could fend for himself in the worst situations, but that did not mean that she completely forgot about the Mandarin and what he was capable of at times.

"入侵者!" a guard had said, spotting Storm looking down at the injured Tiger Shark. With that, the guard would open fire on her. Ororo had immediately used the winds to her advantage to protect herself from any of the bullets coming towards her. There would be more indeed, not to mention if Tiger Shark would get up again and try to attack her once more.

Black Panther - August 9, 2014 03:16 AM (GMT)
The Black Panther was able to follow what the Mandarin did, but not quite fats enough to prevent it. The Ebony Blade was out of his hand, the Mandarin's hands at his throat, and he was rolling with a punch, in barely the time it took to breathe. Now he felt he had a measure of his foe's speed. "You're not the only one with new tricks, Mandarin."

The Storm's voice was in his ear. His reply was nearly silent, although it was loud and clear to his wife. "I've engaged the Mandarin. He seems slightly...perplexed. You say Tigershark is already wounded?" That didn't seem right. Tigershark wasn't very smart, but he was tough, very tough. "See if you can find anything out from him."

Still near the Mandarin, who appeared boggled by his continued existence, TChalla sprung, aiming to drive his fist into the side of the villain's knee. Chi or no chi, the human knee was poorly designed for loads that exceeded its slight capacity for lateral movement. A severely injured knee should slow him down, might even the playing field a little, and give the Panther a fighting chance.

Not for T'Challa the savage, snarling attack. He was silent, efficient, methodical.

The Mandarin - August 15, 2014 01:09 AM (GMT)
Tem saw the punch coming and moved his leg to dodge it....which somehow resulted in T'Challa's claws hitting a nerve-cluster that was far more painful than if he'd simply allowed the punch to hit its original target. Worse than the physical pain was the suspicion that he'd been manipulated into a particular response.

"UHEJ BAISAN AL!!" he snarled, grabbing T'Challa by the shoulder, lifting him overhead by the shoulder and crotch, and hurling him a hundred feet out of the building, shattering the thick, bulletproof glass in the process.

Tem paused to jab a finger in five pressure-points near the nerve-cluster, easing the pain, then he jumped out the window. He wanted to savor the view of T'Challa splatted like a bug on the ground. He landed with a THOOM, his feet making twin craters in the concrete.

To his astonishment, he did not find T'Challa's corpse splatted on the ground. Instead, an old Somali man was giving him first-aid, and it wasn't clear that he even needed that first aid.

Frustrated, Tem grabbed the old man from behind by the neck, tossed him up, grabbed him by the ankles, and used him as a baseball bat to send T'Challa flying a hundred feet.

Surely he was dead now?...No, he was getting up.

"UHSNEI HIEJ???" he snarled in bafflement, Mongolian for What the @%&$???. Hard to track him in the dark and rain. There it was again: that sensation of having been manipulated into a particular response. He still had the old Somali man by the ankle, and the old man coughed blood, most of his ribs broken from being used as a baseball-bat.

Storm - September 17, 2014 05:17 AM (GMT)
"Got it." she said to her husband, firing lightning strikes at the guards to knock them out cold. It was just enough to knock them out and not kill them of course. She then heard Tiger Shark getting up behind her. Now it was the time to show how serious she was. She would do anything for the protection of her people.

Balling her hand into a fist as electricity would cover her hand, Storm would swiftly turn around and nail Tiger Shark right into the jaw, forcing the man to spin and fall back to the ground. Ororo would then kneel down grabbing him by the neck with her other hand as she set the hand with electricity flowing out to be in an offense position.

"Make another move and I will end your life here. Before you question me, I am queen of a nation now. Not an X-Man. If I have to kill to protect my people, then just like my husband, I will do so." Of course Ororo wasn't going to kill him. But villains in general were quite dumbfounded and if you scared them a little, then they would fall for your own tricks. That lightning punch was just the beginning. "Now tell me what the Mandarin is planning here! Tell me everything!"

The Mandarin - October 14, 2014 08:56 AM (GMT)
Tiger Shark sighed, more weary than frightened. His body was so battered that he no longer had the strength for fear.

"He's been making us gather up orphans for some gizmo he calls The Soul of Savagery." replied Tiger Shark, "it's been slow going because he only wants children orphaned by Tony Stark's weaponry, and there isn't a whole lot of that around anymore. Stark stopped making weapons a long time. His stuff's so good that even now people are using stuff he made ten, fifteen years ago. But even so, for every one person who dies to a Stark weapon, there are twenty who die to something else.

So we've been running around, playing detective, trying to find orphans that meet Borjigin's requirements. Supposedly once he gets enough orphans, he can drain their souls away using this modified ghostbuster gizmo he stole from Stark, and power his Soul of Savagery device.

Once it's activated, everyone in Africa will have the civilized part of their souls destroyed, leaving only the savage side. Basically it's a bomb powered by the souls of orphan children. Except instead of destroying physical stuff, the explosion destroys everything civilized in your soul. It doesn't kill you, not directly, but once people are hit by it they'll be raping and eating each other by the millions."


T'Challa had disappeared into the darkness. Tem Borjigin was puzzled. He used his flame-ring to banish every shadow for hundreds of yards. Nothing. T'Challa was gone.

It would have been pleasant to think that T'Challa had simply fled out of cowardice, but Borjigin didn't buy that explanation. Everything T'Challa did was like a Chess move. If he had fled, it was because he no longer saw strategic value in being here. Which meant....that the entire fight had been a distraction, but a distraction for what?

Black Panther - October 27, 2014 02:20 AM (GMT)
The vibranium woven into his suit had largely protected T'Challa from the beating he would have received at the hands of the Mandarin. As soon as he had landed on the ground, he was already moving, rolling to his feet. He couldn't leave Ororo to face the Mandarin alone. Plus, he had to retrieve the Ebony Blade.

With the heart-shaped herb enhancing his physical prowess, it took hardly any time to reach the hotel again. A jump later, and he was sclaing the side of the building, back up to the floor that he had just been the site of his of unceremonious defenestration. Speed and stealth were his allies, and he simply cut his way back into the room once he recognized the carnage.

He retrieved the Ebony Blade, sheathing it. "I will not lose you again. Nor will I 'play possum' again for this savage." The Panther had let himself be outmaneuvered, and seem to be defeated. They had needed intelligence before moving on the terrorist in force, and he hoped that she had obtained it.

Activating his comm, he spoke to his wife. "Storm. You are nearly finished? I suspect the Mandarin will not be pleased when he returns." He looked around, saw the remains of his ancestor. He would not take them as a thief in the night.

"Know this, Mandarin: there will be a reckoning. You will be expelled from my continent, and you will return my ancestor's mortal remains to me." He did not care that no one would hear his words, they had to be said.

Storm - October 27, 2014 02:59 AM (GMT)
"The Soul of Savagery" she said out loud. Not to herself, but so T'Challa would hear her within the comm as she responded to his question. It was more of asking him if he knew of what this was or not. She still held Tiger Shark by the throat. She grasped tighter as he would explain the plan. Orphans? Africa in much trouble? It took everything within Ororo to not get angry. She knew she had to keep her emotions in check.

"You're a sick, vile creature. You, the Mandarin, and anyone who dares to associate with such filth. Know this, you will all fail. Remember that!" With that, she struck Tiger Shark with a lightning punch. It was not necessary. He was beat already. However, just the sick and twisted plan the Mandarin had, she felt that hit was much needed. She looked down upon the now unconscious Tiger Shark.

Immediately, she proceeded to move forward within the tower, unsure where her husband or the Mandarin was. "As I was saying. The Soul of Savagery. The Mandarin wants to use orphaned children. Those who are orphaned by Stark's weaponry. He wants all souls in Africa destroyed. We need to stop him. Where are you at the moment, my love?" she asked as she awaited to see what their next step will be.

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