The ninja slides down a pitched section of City Hall’s roof and leaps off. He reaches a ledge on the adjacent building and does another gravity-defying sprint up the side. Guardian catches up with the leap-frogging ninja as he dashes across one roof and jumps to the next. He knows he can’t attack the dark warrior without endangering the people on the street below. He’ll just have to follow the ninja until he can get a clear chance. While making his way across another rooftop, the ninja peeks behind himself at Guardian. A sly grin forms under his mask. Suddenly he darts to the right and leaps off the roof. The people on the street, who have been watching the chase, looked on as the ninja nimbly runs across a traffic light. He leaps over to another traffic light across the street and then onto another roof. The ninja continues his aerial trek.
“Aw man. C’mon. Trip or something, will ya? Heck, I’ll even take the old slip-on-a-banana-peal gag,” Guardian said with annoyance. He kept up his close pursuit until he passed over a couple alleys. An idea quickly formed in his head and Guardian dives into one of alleys.
Meanwhile the ninja continued to transverse the rooftops. He was quickly approaching a street which cut his rooftop path. Spotting a large parking garage, the ninja makes a short hop to the side of another tall building, sprints up the side that runs parallel to the street and pushes off hard halfway up. Gliding over to the garage, the ninja lands gingerly on top, sprints across and resumes his previous trek.
“That’s right. Just keep comin’,” Guardian said. He had somehow transported himself a few blocks ahead of the ninja undetected. He watches carefully from an alley as his enemy transverses across the tall buildings. He slides back into the alley and listens carefully to the ninja’s footfalls. They approach rapidly. He has to time this right. “Now!” Guardian quickly leaps between the buildings, hopping from one to the other as he ascended. With amazing accuracy, Guardian is able leap off one building just as the ninja is about to jump to the next roof. The trench-coated hero flies at his enemy with a raised fist. However the ninja is once again one-step ahead. He flips into a twist at the last second, gliding over his stylish foe. While airborne, the ninja hovers briefly and brings one of his metal sticks into action. A purple glow radiates from the metallic rod. “Shadow Blade,” the ninja said. He swipes his weapon, releasing a wave of purple energy and lands afterward.
Guardian spins himself around as he slid across the roof. He loses focus for a moment and failed to notice the energy wave coming at him. Once he sees it, Guardian had no choice but to try and block it as he had no time to use his powers. He threw his arms in front of him and braced himself. The Shadow Blade strikes Guardian with incredible force. He is thrust backward across the roof. He slams into the side of the building one block away and tumbles to the ground. After smashing into the ground, Guardian quickly rises to his feet. “Ok, that’s it. I’m gettin’ tired of this guy. He’s gonna get it now.” The fall did nothing to damper his sarcasm. Just as he was about to pursue the ninja again, several police sirens screamed down the street. Guardian stayed in the alley and watched the flashing blue and red lights streak by. They were heading in the same direction as the ninja. “Man, those things are still annoying,” Guardian said rubbing one ear. Once the caravan of police cruisers blow by, Guardian exits the alley and takes to the air.
Leaping from roof to roof, the ninja continues his trek across the buildings with the police following below. Soon he notices that he’s running out of buildings as he gets a view of a large park below. After landing on the last building, the ninja sprints quickly to the end and pushes off hard. The people on the street marvel at the dark figure gliding through the air. At first they mistake he figure for Guardian but their smiles faded away once the figure lands on the ground. They cautiously step away from the ninja as he scans them with gleaming eyes. The screaming sirens of police cruisers quickly remind him of his situation. Looking ahead to his right, the ninja remembered the park he saw. He decides to try and lose his pursuers by entering the Independence Historical Park. However his exit is quickly cut off when police cruisers on Chestnut Street enter the park and surround him. The officers who were following the ninja from behind enter the park as well to prevent him from escaping towards the front. After the officers park their cars, all of them exit their vehicles, draw their guns and aim them at the ninja, who had stopped running and is now standing in the middle of the park.
Detective Williams exits his car where one of the officers hands him a megaphone. “This is Detective Clarence Williams of the Philadelphia Police Department. You are to put down your weapons and raise your hands in the air. If you do not comply, we will open fire. Do you understand?” he said into the megaphone. The ninja stood his ground and refused to release his sticks. Detective Williams repeated his demand. “This is your last warning. Drop your weapons and raise your hands in the air or we will use force!” Again the ninja doesn’t respond. Instead he begins doing a series of maneuvers with his metal sticks. Annoyed with the ninja’s belligerence, Detective Williams orders the officers to fire on the ninja. “Take him down!”
The officers obey Detective Williams’ order and begin firing on the ninja. The ninja once again proves just how fast he really is as he deflects the bullets back at the officers’ guns with lightning speed and unbelievable accuracy. His movements become a mere blur as he knocks each and every bullet back inside the barrels of all the officers’ guns.
“How in the…?” Detective Williams said in disbelief as he stared at the ninja who was standing in the middle of the park without a single mark on him.
The ninja holds up his sticks to his eye level. Detective Williams couldn’t believe what he was seeing. Some of the bullets rested on the sticks. Fearing what might happen, he orders the officers around him to take cover. The ninja stoically slashes his weapons, sending bullets back at the officers. Holes were punched into metal and glass shattered as the bullets rip through the cops’ cars. The people in the area quickly scatter, running for safety once they heard the glass.
Once the danger has passed, the officers and Detective Williams come out from behind their car doors. Detective Williams stared at the ninja fiercely as he is trying to think of a way to bring him down. Just then, cheers began to erupt from the bystanders nearby. He looked up behind him and is almost glad to see who was coasting down to the park. Up in the sky, Guardian glided down to the park. All the officers looked up and breathed a sigh of relief. The ninja fixed his eyes on Guardian as he descended to the ground.
“What are you doing here, Guardian?” Though Detective Williams is indeed glad to see him he kept up the facade of his resentment towards Guardian.
“Oh, I just thought it would be nice to take a stroll in the park,” Guardian said, flashing a big grin.
“Listen, we got this under control, alright? So why don’t you go rescue a cat out of a tree or something,” said the grizzled detective.
“Oh yeah. And which part did you have under control? The one where he deflected your bullets or the one where he threw them back at ya,” Guardian shot back. “Besides, me and pajama boy here got a slumber party to finish, minus the slumber. So just leave this one to me, alright Williams?”
Detective Williams sighs. He knows neither him nor the other officers will have a chance against the ninja especially not after he effortlessly deflected their bullets. He has no choice. “Fine, this one’s yours. Just watch him alright.”
Guardian smiles and says, “And here I thought you didn’t care about me. There actually is some sweetness behind all that gruff. Don’t worry. This guy’s already on my ‘to-do’ list. After I take him out, I’m getting me some lunch.” Guardian stared at the ninja. He strolls towards the ninja, smiling brightly.
The ninja glowered at his enemy. Then he raised a finger and waved it back and forth as he shook his head ‘no’.
Guardian scoffs at the gesture. “Oh you’re funny. Look pal, I only have one nerve left and you’re standing on it.” His smile faded away but his colorful charisma remained.
The ninja chuckles wickedly. “Then why not remove my foot…if you can.”
“Gladly.” Guardian peered at the ninja for a moment. Then he lunges at him with a raised fist. The ninja blocks the punch and lashes out with a powerful roundhouse kick to Guardian’s face knocking him off balance. Then he follows up with two quick punches to his mid-section, an elbow to his chest and finishes with a spinning back kick to his jaw causing him to stagger. Guardian regains his balance and looks at the ninja. “Not bad,” he said as he rubbed his jaw. Guardian then rushes at the ninja and throws a punch but the ninja side steps it, grabs his wrist, elbows him hard in his side and shoulder tosses him across the field slamming into the hood one of the police cruisers. Guardian quickly jumps up and dashes toward the ninja; he throws another punch but the ninja blocks it quickly. He launches three more punches at the ninja but they are blocked as well. When he goes for a kick to his face, the ninja grabs Guardian’s ankle, spins him around and throws him toward the other side of the field. However this time Guardian is able to maintain control as he flips backward and lands safely, sliding back a couple of feet.
“Looks like this guy’s giving you a hard time,” said Detective Williams.
“Wow, you must be a detective,” Guardian said.
“Why don’t you do some of that lightning stuff that you do?”
“Wish I could. But there are too many people here. If I use one of my lightning attacks and he dodges it, someone could get hurt. I need a place where I can fight him without risking injury to anyone,” Guardian explained.
Detective Williams thought about what Guardian just said for moment and then he came up with an idea. “Do you really think you can take this guy down if you were able to use your powers?” he asked.
“I’m sure of it. But like I said using my powers right now is too much of a risk,” Guardian said with concern.
“I know a place where you can fight him.”
“It’s a training facility about five miles south along the Delaware River. It’s a secluded area with no one around for about seven miles in any direction. The facility is not hard to miss; just look for large open sandy area with a large hill on it,” Detective Williams told Guardian.
“Sounds good. I knew you had a soft spot,” Guardian said with a smile.
“Look I just want him out of the city, alright. And once this is over, you and I are gonna talk. Got it?” Detective Williams said.
“Alright, we’ll settle it over dinner at your place. Just pick the day and time,” Guardian still retained his sarcasm despite the situation.
Detective Williams ignores the comment. “So how are you going to get him to follow you?”
“It shouldn’t be too hard. All I have to do is make him an offer he can’t refuse.”
Now that he has a place to fight freely, Guardian walks over to the ninja who is waiting patiently. “What do you say we get this show on the road?” he said, “I know a place where you and I can really go at it without restriction. So how about it?”
“Are you telling me that this isn’t the best of your abilities?” the ninja asked.
“Pretty much. As long as we stay here, I can’t fight you at my fullest and you would not have a worthy challenge. If we were to go to somewhere private, I’ll be able to give the challenge that you want. After all, you did say you wanted to get to know me, didn’t you? This way, you’ll get to know me a lot better,” Guardian said with persuasion.
The ninja stood still for a moment as he contemplated Guardian’s proposal. “And if we go to this place, you will be much stronger than this.” Guardian answers the question with a nod. “Hmm, interesting. Very well Guardian. Take me to the place you’ve designated. Hopefully you will be able to prove yourself worthy.”
“I aim to please.” Guardian smirked. “By the way, the place we’re goin’ to, there’s no rooftops leading there. So unless you can walk on water?” His question was soon answered as the ninja crossed his arms and slowly floated into the air. “Great, now just follow me and pretty soon we’ll be able to give each other a real fight,” Guardian said, and then he jumped into the air and flew off speedily south toward the training facility followed by the ninja. Detective Williams and the rest of the officers watched as the two flew off. “Good luck, Guardian,” Detective Williams said softly.
(The story begins HERE!! Get your copy of Defenders Volumes 1 and 2 through the links in the J1 Studios Bookstore for your Kindle and eBook device!! And check out my new fantasy novel Arcana X!! And see the witch dance with the devil in my fan fiction Dante vs. Bayonetta and it’s the angriest vs. the furious in “Kratos vs. Asura!!”)
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