From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
The text below contains description of violence and torture, imprisonment, and other nasties. If reading about such things is illegal for you (That means you kiddies) or just plain makes you uncomfortable...
STOP READING NOW!
There... So, we're all well adjusted adults that accept this is a work of fiction and fantasy and the author doesn’t condone what's described here in etc, etc, accepts no damage reading such material will cause.... blah, blah?
Good... then read on....
Jade Heel accepted the assignment as she did all the other assignments she had received since coming to Rogue Isle: with a trace of contempt. Go to location such and such, get this, do that, Kill this person, Kidnap that person if they are there. And you'll be given some bounty if you make it back. Or maybe it was a little knick-knack there, an item here, and so forth. It all followed the same sort of pattern. A little variety would be nice. Still it all helped towards the next set of training weights. Besides... she'd signed the contract, given her word, and Jade Heel keep her word. Always - honor was at stake. Vinnie was just lucky that he had used an official channel or else he would be paste on the sidewalk for making her trek through the sewer.
Regardless, this current assignment from Vince Dubrowski was a bit beneath her. Honestly - any dumbie could troop through the sewer and eliminate the various lookouts and guards one by one. Where was the challenge in that? It was only when she got to the final area of the sewer did she recognise her target.
Operative Berchdale. Formally of the Shadow Spiders. Now a Scrapyarder and member of the Scorpion Gang. Berchdale also had been the name that Jade had heard repeatedly when persuading the underworld information network. Berchdale was linked to something. Something Big. Something involving a change. And now was the perfect opportunity to grab him to 'liberate' that information from him.
The fool was even arrogantly standing there with only two guards. Leaping over to them, Jade Heel used one of the Guards that Berchdale was yabbering on to as a landing mat, and then sprung heels first into the face of the other guard before he could react. Seconds later, both guards were dealt with and it was just Jade Heel and Berchdale.
"Who dares to interrupt?" shouted out Berchdale, his voice echoing across the chamber as first one then the other of his guards fell down.
"Know that is was Jade Heel that strikes you!" whispered an ethereal voice floating in the air. Spinning around Berchdale still was unable to locate the source of the voice. There was a flicker of motion in the corner of his eye. Snarling he tried to turn, bringing a fist up, only to feel a soft tap on his jaw. As darkness crashed in around him he saw a pair of greenish boots standing just in front of him.
Operative Berchdale came too in a world of spinning lights and flashing colors. His head ached and the distinct lack of the smell of rotting sewage told him that he was first of all alive, and secondly no longer in the sewer. If he were dead it wouldn't hurt this bad, and if he were in what passes for a hospital here in Rouges Islands, they would have him dosed up on pain meds. That left option C... capture. As his eyes cleared a little he saw that his guess was correct. He was sitting in a smallish cell, surprisingly whole considering that his last memories were of violence and pain. Well it looked like a cell... surrounded by 4 walls while strapped to a bed... cell is a pretty good description of it.
Operative Berchdale didn't get much of a chance to inspect his surroundings too much, for as soon as he was conscious it seemed, there were two thugs buy his side, one human, one robotic, which literally man-handled him off the bed ignoring his protests, cuffed him, blindfolded him, and then frog-marched him into another chamber. This chamber contained four items of furniture: a table, 2 chairs, and a single spotlight that was shining on one of the chairs. Berchdale was roughly tossed onto the chair with the lamp shining on it. The thugs somehow failed to remove his cuffs before leaving the room.
The thugs saluted the two interrogators and then left the room. Even through the hood that was blindfolding him, Berchdale had to winch when the light was switched on, casting him in a pool of bright light.
"Operative Berchdale... Formerly of the Shadow Spiders, now with the Scrapyarders... Where were you when the brains were handed out?" the first interrogator sneered.
"Ya get nothing outta me!" boasted Berchdale.
"Fine, Fine. This was all a formality anyway. See if you wanted to say anything before we take you to the torture room. Trust me, you will talk."
"Blah, Blah, Blah, Empty Threat, Empty Threat, Retort... Am I suppose to be scared now?"
"Oh that right," mocked the first interrogator right back at the still hooded Berchdale. "How I possibly forget? We have a celebrity here. You use to do this sorta stuff for laughs."
"Remove his armor. It would make a good trophy. I would, hate, to -shatter- it," came an ethereal voice from the corner. The two interrogators exchanged a quick glance at each other.
"Now, before I use you as warm-up practise!" hissed the voice right out of thin air in their ear holes, no louder then a whisper, but carrying with it the threat of so much danger.
The two interrogators quickly got up and with some man-handling striped Berchdale of his armor. He was left siting in the chair in a light brown shift and leather trousers, the hood and the de-activated cuffs.
"Leave us," came the same voice, once the armour was removed and he had been slapped back into his seat. Glancing at each other, the two interrogators nodded and then grabbing the armor hi-tailed it out of the room. They had no particular desire to on the wrong end of what was to follow. Once they left they pressed a toggle on the side of the door.
With a sizzle-clank the door to the room shut, sealing Berchdale in with Jade Heels.
The room was silent for a minute. Two Minutes. All that could be seen was Berchdale sweating in the pool of brilliant light. The light reflect from off the surface of the cuffs and table-tops which ending casting weird focal shadows across the across the room.
"Well, get on with it." snapped Berchdale, his patience gone. He was incredible uncomfortable sitting here in the dead silence. All he could feel was the sweat starting to run down his arms and back. Damn that light was hot. He was about to reach up and remove his hood when he felt a touch of something on his arm, then another. The touches were soft and delicate and traced down his bare arms. It was almost like a bead of water running down his skin. Another touch, tracing up the arm following a different path.
Then the touches withdrew and there was silence once more.
"Did you know that the skin is the largest organ?" began Jade in a conversational tone, her voice bouncing around the room. "And that just underneath the surface there are all sorts of interesting nerve endings and veins and pressure points?"
"This some sort of anatomy lesson?" asked Berchdale.
"More then just that. Did you know that by manipulating those pressure points, you can do interesting things to the running of the machine that we call the human body. Like increase arousal, deaden pain, increase healing. Or the complete opposite."
"I could do with a good massage." mussed Berchdale out loud.
"It’s surprising what the endurance of the human body and mind is." continued Jade as if she hadn't heard Berchdale. Then her voice dropping to a dangerous tone, she grinned, "You will know terror, you will know pain, and then you will talk."
"Big words coming from someone hiding behind a hood."
"You want to stare into Medusa's glare? So be it." An unseen hand ripped the hood from Berchdale's head. Instantly his eyes were blinded by the harsh glare of the spotlight shining on him, making him wish however momentarily for the relative darkness of the hood again.
The urge passed him by as his eyes quickly adapted to the light and raised a hand and blocked the spotlight out. Instantly the room details came into view... but still he couldn't see anyone else in the room with him. The hood lay discarded on the table in front of him. Casting his eyes around he still could not see anyone else in the room with him. Still with the way his eyes were affected by they spotlight, it wasn't surprising.
Again he felt the tingle of the hairs on the back of his neck rise up as invisible fingers ran down his arm. There was a brush of something against his the back of his neck, like an insect landing. Slapping himself he found nothing there. Just the un-nerving silence.
Again there was a feather-tap on the back of his neck, and he slapped himself, which brought an amused comment out of the ether about self punishment and not to rush things. Shortly thereafter what felt like little jolts or pin pricks rapidly landed on the back of his neck and on his arms.
Jolting himself upright Berchdale again twisted around trying to locate who was in the room in order to pound them into paste. He got his answer in the form of a flicker of movement that caught the corner of his eye. A jade colored heel appeared out of nowhere and caught him on the chin, propelling him out of the chair.
Skidding to a stop on his back Berchdale got the first good look at his companion. His companion was clad in blue slacks, and a red and white gi top. She, for it was obviously a female, was of some what fine build, but had flawless skin, a fiery blue-eyed red head.
Recoiling from the floor, Berchdale boasted at Jade, a confident grin on his face, "That all you got? You'll never get nothin' out of me!"
"Does it sound like I'm asking questions here? No, no, no, no. You are mistaken. Jade Heel is not in the habit of asking questions. Jade Heel is not an interrogator."
"Then what are you here for?" snapped Berchdale.
"Jade Heel heard that you knew that this change was coming. The change that affected us all. And you chose not to tell us."
"So what if I did. What's it to ya?"
"Jade Heel also heard you knew about these attacks on the Shadow Spiders but said nothing. You are going to tell me who told you and then we are going to play."
"Or what? Aren't Spiders honourable?"
"Haven't you heard? Jade Heel is a freelancer - she answers to no one." While he was digesting that titbit, Jade continued in a dangerous tone, "And what ever made you think that this was a Spider base or that there would be enough of you left when Jade Heel is done?"
"... and you are my entertainment for the evening."
Jade marched over to where Berchdale had fallen flat onto the ground and gripped him by the back collar of the sift. Snarling as she mentally went through the centring mantra to focus her chi to boost her power-levels, with a negligent flick of her wrist, tossed him into the wall where he slammed home with a thud.
Before Berchdale could fall down the wall, Jade was in his face, arm laid upwards across his throat, her body pinning his arm against the wall. Berchdale started to find breathing challenging.
"I read your file you traitor," she hissed in his ear. Tracing his chest with her free hand she continued. "Tell me, hows that old injury of yours going? Jade Heel can see it flaring up in your chi." So saying, she made an arrow point with her hand and jabbed him, -hard- in the side.
Berchdale grimaced and then hissed in pain as she repeated the jab again and again. It was almost as bad as when he was first sliced open there. And she hadn't broken the skin! He swore he was going to make the docs that fixed him up pay for bungling the job.
"Awww... not having fun are we?" taunted Jade. "Here, let me fix that." With that she formed a fist and drove it into his solar plexus. As Berchdale bent over gasping for breath, Jade took a step back and lined him up for kick. When he recovered slightly she closed in an launched the kick, knocking his head back up. Berchdale was ready for it though and answered with a punch of his own that grazed the side of her cheek. The razor sharp edge of the cuff he still had on his wrist tore at her skin and opened up a gash that started to bleed freely. Continuing to push his supposed advantage, Berchdale charged at Jade continuing to swing. Then Jade was falling backward, the blood from her wound forming little drops in the air. Seeing his chance, Berchdale leapt towards her. But it was a feint. Rolling on the curve of her back, and thrusting out her heels, she caught him with her feet, driving her boots into his sternum. Continuing to roll with his momentum, she kicked him off and tossed him over her head into the wall behind her and flipped to her feet. As Jade rose, her hair falling back into place, the cut to her face sealed itself up leaving unblemished skin in is wake.
Stalking over to Berchdale who was just now struggling to push himself up off the ground, she slammed a heel boot into the base of his spine while wrapping a hand around his neck. This hand pressed a pressure point at the back of the neck while also still crushing the Adam's Apple. Her other hand grabbed a fist-full of his hair and lifted his head up as she whispered in his ear, "Is that the best you can do? Pitiful."
Letting go of the hair, Jade traced her finger down his spin and then rammed a locked stiff finger into two specific points either side of his back. Each time he couldn't muffle the cry of agony from his lips. It felt like she was ramming a hot poker through his kidneys.
Releasing the grip on his she let him crash back down to the floor. Retreating half a step she snarled, "Get up!" A few kicks to his side latter she continued as she succeeded in turning him over. "Get up and show how worthless you really are."
Spitting the mouthful of blood out of his mouth, Berchdale sat up and shot her a mean look. "Is this what level the Spiders have sunk down to? Beating up and torturing defenceless men in their spare time?"
"Who said you were defenceless? Fight back you fool!" snapped Jade. "There is enough weapons in this room for even someone with your limited intellect."
At her words, Berchdale had a brainwave. He grabbed the chair he had been sitting on and smacked in hard into the ground, breaking the front legs off. Now he was armed with two club-like weapons. He may not be able to call on his main abilities for some reason, but at least he'd still be able to beat this woman to within an inch of her life.
Sneering at his actions as he pulled himself off the ground, Jade continued, "This isn't torture you idiot. If this was torture, you would be strapped down to a table and still be screaming and talking... Jade Heel would still have fun, but this way she gets more exercise. This is just an exercise in active pressure point use and chi. You Westerners would probably call this acupressure. Think you can use those things you fool?"
Swinging the improvised clubs around experimentally Berchdale grin drunkenly. "We'll see won't we you witch!" Leading with his right he then lunged Jade swinging the club. As the club neared, Jade deflected it with a gentle slap to his forearm, almost like a mild rebuke. Closer, with the other hand, the left, just as fast. Again a slap deflection. The sequence was repeated and the tempo stepped up until the improvised clubs were crossed between the pair, like a giant X.
"Ah yes... the brute's fury, such a trivial thing." smirk Jade, jumping to the side and then letting him try to land a blow again. "Guess what Genius? I'm not attacking you. And you're not connecting."
The clubs in Berchdale's hands crossed again to form an X as he lunged in an attempt to bring them crashing down on Jade's head. They were getting heavy and very difficult to hold for some reason. Anything to get her to shut up. And his forearms were burning like hell.
Dodging the lunge Jade slipped around to the behind Berchdale and pressed her knee into the middle of his back and drove him once more onto the wall. So consumed was he in his attempt to club Jade that he failed to note how close he was to the wall... again.
Slamming him into the wall, Jade ran her hands down his arms and pressed where she had been slapping him. The bundle of nerves and muscles there protested to the abuse and spasmed causing him to release the clubs.
Gripping his upper arm and digging her thumbs into particular pressure points on his shoulders and pulling his arm back while still digging her knee into his back, she slammed his head against the wall again and sneered into his ear, "Where's that mighty Mu Blood of yours?" *Slam* "Oh that's right, Jade Heel made it go dormant it." *Slam*
"Nothing can do that you..." *Crunch*
"What's the matter big boy. Can't get it up?" *Slam*
"Bored now."*Slam Slam* A press in the right spot and the mighty Mu go down."*Slam*
Releasing the hold on Berchdale, Jade stepped back into the middle of the room and waited.
Berchdale climbed to his feet growling under his breath. He would teach this upstart a thing or to about insulting his heritage. Spoting her, and the insufferable smirk she had on her face, he set himself before she could fade away and charged towards her.
Jade snapped her arm out as Berchdale passed her and snagged him around his throat. His head stopped moving but his legs kept on going. Feet leaving the floor, she slammed him down into floor back first. Bouncing up she regarding him disdainfully and then grabbed his ankle.
"What was your favourite trick... Oh yes, smashing ankles."
"Beats smashing heads."
"How would you like to know what if feels like to have soft tissue damage?" Twisting and pressing on points on his ankle, Jade popped bones, ligaments and muscles out of place and then back into place. She stretched his foot back to the point of pain, then twitched it beyond and released it, and then kicked Berchdale to his feet forcing him to stand on the joint.
Growling as the pain managed to cut through his strangely numb body, lunged once more for Jade.
Dodging out of the way, Jade sidestepped the charge of Berchdale and let him ram himself into the wall.
"The secret to all this?" murmured Jade more to herself then to Berchdale as she watched him climb to his feet again. "Make strengths into weakness - even if you tell your target about it they are helpless if you do it right. A brute's strength is their fury. Make you annoyed and you can't see straight and you're putty - then you break."
"I'm gonna pound you into paste!"
"See, its working. Let's see you try Hot Shot." Jade retorted.
"You see this panel here?" asked Jade Heel indicating to a small discoloured patch in the otherwise featureless wall with her elbow. Berchdales eyes tried to focus on the particular spot that she was indicating, senses alert for a trap or some other trechory as the abuse his body had been through started to catch up with him. Without waiting more then half an instant or so, Jade slammed her elbow into the panel and shattered it. Berchdale's eyes widen and flew from the panel to Jade's eyes only to see her starting to become invisibile.
"That's the door override you creep," Jade said in a disdainful tone. "It seals the doors."
The last of Jade Heel that he saw was of her lips that formed a cruel smile. "Now we're sealed together."
"And I've only just gotten started," came her voice dripping with contempt echoing around the room and sounding like it was whispered right in his ear as he spun around trying to see everywhere at once.
Things got a lot more violent after that.
Meanwhile outside the room, on the other side of the door and the other side of one-way view-screens...
"I didn't know you could diable the doors from inside the rooms." *Thump*
"You can't: The master control is on this side, just over there."
"Then why did she tell him that she just did?"
"Its called mind games." *Thump*
"Still breaking that panel is an impressive feat in itself. Those things are rated to 15SHU."
"Really? ... Ow that'll leave a mark." *Thump* *Thump*
"Is she really sealed in that room with him?" *Thump*
"The door has controls on both sides, but locks on only this side, and the lock is engaged, so I'd say yes." *Thump*
Operative Berchdale was getting desperate, nothing seemed to be working. Jade was hitting hard and none of his usual tactics seemed to be working. It was like fighting a ghost. Then suddenly they tangled again and he managed to get a grip on her hair. Pulling back with all his strength, he literally halted her motion and hauled her up to her feet. Her back was one nice big open target just asking for him to dish out some retribution, pain and payback.
"My turn," Berchdale growled.
Pulling back his fist he landed a blow square in the middle of her back. Jade berely grunted as it landed. Another right in the kidneys. Another grunt. And then another on the other kidney. And another, another and another. Each blow lifting Jade off her feet a just a fraction of an inch. What Berchdale failed to realise was that each time Jade landed she was getting closer and closer to the wall.
"Scream for me!" demanded Berchdale, throwing another punch.
"HiiiiiYahh" shouted Jade just as the punch landed. It wasn't a shout of pain, although she was barely able to focus. Rather it was a focus shout as that punch had pushed her just close enough for her her to do what needed to be done. Using the momentum of the punch she jumped and ran up the wall and using her hair as a focal point flipped around so that she was now facing Berchdale. Before Berchdale had a chance to react she whipped out her arms and simultaneously knife chopped both sides of his exposed torso, starting at his hips. Another chop a fraction of an instant later to his side just below his ribs, and then one in the middle of his rib cage. Finally she moved both of her blade-like hands up the inside of his armpits at the same time. The speed of this manoeuvre overwhelmed his senses and caused Berchdale to release his grip on her hair just enough for her to pull free. Jade then did the coup de grâce of the particular manoeuvre she was doing by forming her hand into a claw and then slashing it at Berchdale's face. It touched around his eye, and for a brief instant in time there were 5 points of light at her fingertips. Berchdale jerked backwards and Jade pushed him with the other hand.
"My eye! I can't see!"
Taking a deep breath and centring herself once more, her back audibly cracking, Jade flashed Berchdale a feral grin.
"Nothing major. Just block energy to it. Be glad Jade Heel didn't take it."
"But I can't see."
"Your sight might return. In time. Which you don't have."
"You're getting off on the endorphins aren't you?" snarled Jade as she slapped him in the chest. "Well no more." She delivered a precisely timed chop to each side of his neck and then a few jabs to his chest.
"There! Jade Heel now shut down your endorphins. Now you make no more for a while. Now feel the burn!" Berchdale's reply was an unspeakably dark oath and to jerk and kick away from Jade.
"Jade Heel also turn back on your pain pathways. Should be kicking in right about now."
Wincing Berchdale groaned and bowed his head, pressing his back into the wall as the pain from rigors of what had previously happened assaulted his body all at once. Berchdale's body shook and rippled as pain and demand battled for dominance. Lactic acid flood his system and other toxins raged throughout his body as Adrenalin surged through to push the battered muscles into action once more.
When he raised his eyes, one seeing, one blinded, both burned with unmitigated hatred.
Murmuring to herself, Jade muttered "Now Here, We, Go." Snapping her foot down on the fallen light, which had been knocked over right at the beginning of the confrontation. The long neck of the light snapped off near the base, allowing her to flick the neck of the light into the air into of her. When it was hovering just in front of her, a slap from her hand sent it spearing towards Berchdale. Berchdale saw it, his eyes instinctively drawn to it, and watched in mute horror as the point flew towards him hungry for his flesh. The light landed with a thud catching the shift he was wearing above his right shoulder, his eyes following the path it took the entire time. Hauling his eyes back, pinned though he was to the wall, he focused his attention back to Jade Heels just in time to receive a devastating blow to his solar plexus.
"You Cretin! Stop trying to hit me and hit me!" sneered Jade bobbing her head as yet another of Operative Berchdale punches sailed pass "Why haven't you hit me with one of your famous punches?"
"I can't" ground out Berchdale. "The cuffs prevent me from using my power."
"O really? Do they just? Jade does not believe in coincidences. Nor does Jade trust power limiters. They have been turned off since Jade Heel entered the room. Ask again, why don't you hit me you weakling?"
"Then stand still Damnit!"
"And let you hit me? You must think Jade Heel dumber then you!"
Wrapping her arms around his head again, she slammed it into the table top and then leaned into his ear and took a long slow seductive sniff, much like a predator smelling its prey.
"Is that fear Jade smells Berchie?" she whispered slowly in his ear holding his head in an iron grip. Jerking his head back into the table surface she continued, "Good.... Jade's told it makes your blood tingle. All, the, way, down."
"You spiders are blood drinkers?" slurred Berchdale, fear evident in his voice.
"You've been gone a very long time." Tightening her hold on Berchdale's head she continued, "And who's to say that Jade will even allow your filth to touch the drinkers that Jade knows?"
The door snapped open and the two interrogators rushed in and saw Jade, her hands wrapped around the head of Berchdale slamming him into the table top.
"Don't tell me, You want some more." she snarled and proceeded to slam his head down a few more times.
"The..." Berchdale weakly tried to say around the hands as they repeatedly slammed him into the tabletop.
"More? Sure!" grinned Jade and slammed him into the table again.
"Jade!" warned one of the interrogators. This caused Jade to pause in the motions of slamming Berchdale into the tabletop.
"Black Ties." Berchdale gasped out.
"Gotcha. Now why didn't you tell us this before?" growled Jade, wrenching his head back in a positively lethal tone.
As Jade Heel left the end and the door-field rezzed shut behind her, Berchdale spat in a low grumble, "You heartless Bitch!"
Spinning on her heel, Jade slammed her hand on the control and opened the door, startling those inside the cell. Stalking over to Berchdale, her face set in an expressionless mask, Jade gripped his shoulder with one hand. The placement of her fingers was just enough to warn Berchdale that something truly ugly was about to happen - particularly when the slightly more then firm pressure from the thumb felt like a red-hot poker. Grabbing the same arm by the wrist with her other hand, Jade Heel literally ripped Berchdale from his chair and tossed him over her shoulder in a flurry of motion and hair.
"WWWHHHHAAAGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!" called out Operative Berchdale as he flew through the air and then landed with a resounding thump on his tailbone, his arm at full extension. Jade Heel shifted her grip minutely and then quickly jerked the arm while twisting it.
A sickening double pop echoed through the cell as Berchdale's shoulder and elbow were dislocated.
Letting go of the arm as Berchdale started to howl, Jade spoke for the first time since entering the room again. "That for calling Jade Heel heartless!"
Gripping Berchdale by the dislocated shoulder and turning him slightly so that he was now front on to her Jade focused for an instant and then powerdrived her knee upwards into his jaw as she let go of him. His jaw clacked shut, lifting him up to his feet. The sound of the impact again echoing around the room, masked the sound of his jaw breaking in two.
Berchdale fell to his knees with an extremely painful moan as his 'good' hand sought out his jaw. The two interrogators in the cell had by stage cleared their chairs and stood up. "That for talking to Jade Heel back!" declared Jade in an almost seductive purr.
Without pausing Jade swung her foot around and kicked him in the groin, her foot leaving a visible arc as it travelled through the air. Berchdale screamed, thumped against the back wall of the cell and then collapsed onto the floor of the cell. He was finally unconscious.
"That for calling Jade Heel Bitch!" spat Jade, a flicker of something demonic superimposing itself over her face. Growling at the others in the cell she said, "Ask your questions now. Jade Heel has better things to do elsewhere." Jade stormed out of the cell, on her way to the base entrance. As she passed Arbiter Starkweather she exchanged pointed looks that boarded on glares before fading out of sight. Jade Heel had some aggression to work off and more contacts to 'talk' to.