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Once upon a time, nearly a millennium ago, a strange demonic force known as the Yoma took hold of Japan and entered through it via other dimensions. The people were powerless to stop it until shinobi, those who fought and hunted in the dark under the orders of the government and anyone who just straight up needed someone killed because you may as well just off the bitch for cheating you out of your booze money at shogi or some other game, discovered ways of manipulating the elements and energies of our world and our lands and created ninpo. Ninpo was a magic unlike any illusion or trick or tomfoolery that would get bandied about by cheap charlatans and court magicians and such, this was the real deal dark shit that would quickly leak out of Japan’s borders and across to China and India and the South East Asian territories to Russia and Europe and off the other way to the Americas and Mexico and what was known as the eternal vastness and wildnerness of Africa around to the arctic caps and through territories like Greenland or Madagascar and back around again.

Shinobi were not just a Japanese force. Most people knew them, horribly mangled through history being written by the winners, and often white ones at that, as some kind of super sneaky spy or assassin, which was only a facet of what they did. Seemingly invisible, but also possessing every face and every voice, but also moved and sounded as the wind, except when they were an immobile rock spying one target but their eye also on all, they knew the secrets inside and out of every seedy corner and brothel but also every wonderful palace hall and fancy kitchen and dining room. They were a jack of all trades, a master of none, and knew every weapon and invented some more and were able to escape with nothing more than their fists and feet sometimes, spreading caltrops and poison and blades and bombs and fire all through their wake. An enigma shrouded in a black cloak of mystery that was stolen from stagehands directing plays back in the day to represent that which was most unseen, they are one of history’s greatest and most bastardized people and forces of combat to ever grace the pages of any fiction or reality, including this one.

They were nothing more than inbred and vagabond immigrants, exiled from China and other parts of Asia, living in seclusion in Japanese forests and mountains and had the world and all below them and above at their fingertips, learning how to mingle with them and exist besides them and without them simultaneously, speaking within their clans different flavors of Chinese dialects, the mainland Japanese and local tongues, and even their own code that varied immensely from all of those languages and even the ones of rival ninja. It was a humble and not proud life, and in the caste system of the feudal and warring eras of Japan, it was also some of the worst possible people to be, even lower more so than the merchants who only existed to grow fat and rich off the marketed skills and products of all the other castes combined, providing nothing but a way for money to exchange hands which could be done by the tradesmen and the politicians themselves thank you very much. Even lower than them and the criminals and rapists that were hung by their bleeding and dried balls, deservedly so, next to the severed hands of kidnappers and ransom holders and those looking to gamble others’ lives and livelihoods away instead of their own honesty. Somehow below that all was the ninja, because they had thrown away any desire of being anything but a vessel to be anyone or anything with no meaning or honor or dedication to it. They were your handyman, your assassin, your soldier, your bully, the one you sent to molest and violate the woman who rebuffed you, to poison the children of your rival, to burn down the home of the school of the teacher who chose another as your successor, and they would do it gladly, for just enough pittance to continue living and be fed without being outed as to whom they were or where they were from or whence they may go, disguised as anyone from any caste and mingling with them somehow with impeccable acting skills. They could look like you or they could look like me or both of us at once or just someone completely out of place. This was the real history of the ninja, and the final ones that made it to the modern day recently saw the last man of the last active clan name no successor, leaving ninjas and the art of ninjutsu to rest.

It is with this real history you may now begin to understand what a crock it is that most fiction surrounding them winds up being. And also what a crock some of it itself is. Shinobi are ninjas, but not all ninjas are shinobi, and the shinobi are a still much needed and much relied on tool the world over. As it was said, ninpo spread across the world like a wildfire, and all the nations soon had their own forms of a shinobi government op with training grounds hidden in schools, making child soldiers out of them, with orphans of other shinobi or of general war and poverty being prime targets, desperate for any kind of honor or livelihood or sometimes even just as a way to lead to them getting a fucking cheeseburger to eat. It was about eight hundred years before this story that the Yoma appeared, those demons that forced the creation of this magic, and through this a greatest force known as Kagura was formed to destroy the Yoma as they came in. Named after the war like dances that the goddesses used to seduce Amaterasu out of her cave and the war like dances that the shinobi often used in combat, she was a force that fed and grew rapidly from an infant to an adult of immense skill and prowess by consuming the blood and souls of the Yoma they sought to destroy. After which, when the head of the invading demons showed itself, they would gather all the Yoma in what was known as a Shinobi Barried and Kagura would let loose everything, destroying herself, the Yoma, and surrounding area in the process, letting Kagura rest a hundred years to repeat the cycle.

It was only recently that cycle stopped after a few classmates of Katsuragi, and including the blonde bombshell herself, made her realize there was more to life than dying, and Kagura and her trusty guard Naraku tried instead a hand at life, leaving them to defeat the Yoma with unprecedented human power and ninpo that gave life rather than took it. This was the more true history of the shinobi, and to this day they are used by governments the world over to make it run and do its dirty business. Which school or group you called depended on what service you needed, and some were more evil than others, much more willingly and openly so, and philosophical debates raged on between the schools as to who was evil or what it even meant.

But what Katsuragi and her friends didn’t realize at the time was the power of life they were drawing on was a form of the same ninpo that gave birth to the scroll of Her Highness and The Boobhisattva. A rival to Kagura, almost, a different kind of war goddess born of light and earth and the Heavens, meant to take out Yoma in a power born of love. It was, however, much more easy to raise a Kagura, or several shinobi to the rank of the same name, and detonate the area and clean up the fallout from it than it was to get two shinobi women to fall truly in love and use that love to summon her forth, historical homophobia and such notwithstanding, it was just a matter of incompatibility and the desire to settle down and retire genuinely and raise a family and more generations of shinobi in a traditional sense than it was to use your private and intimate union on a battlefield to bring forth something like this, even if it’d be easier to clean up as nobody would have to blow up, die, be reborn after a hundred years’ sleep, or destroy anything in a mass of collateral damages. Basically, you win some, you lose some.

Everything though has a first to it, and for the first time in history, Katsuragi and Atma were going to do what the elder shinobi councils the world over deemed as an impossible and fulfill the promises of the scripture written on the summoning needs for Her Highness. Even as they marched alongside the Envoys, the Crimson Squad, and Ryobi, all whom were calling in every guard from New Hanzo and the original Hanzo over in Japan to be on standby just in case, they had already planted the seeds of the destruction of the newly revealed Rand and her associates. While they may not be Yoma, they were still beings of pure hatred who had tainted the spiritual realms with their desires, and the only way now this could all be patched up was through love, oh sweet love. Between them, in a cherrywood box, held in one hand by Katsuragi and one by Atma, was the scroll of Her Highness.

The Wolf House was the remnants of a grand project of a personal home of a world famous author, one Jack London, who lived and wrote and died around the area Atma was born and raised in, so he was a local hero. A man obsessed with the spirit of nature and returning to instinct, and also wolves, and dogs who wanted to be wolves, and wolves who wanted to be dogs, it was a fitting area to have a final battle in. It burned down in tragic accident, and was closed off to the public most of the time unless you payed to tour, and even then it was dangerous to be in the ruins themselves, save for the stone Mister London was buried under himself. It was a place Atma had been to in her youth to study, and the moss had grown thicker and greener since her last visit. It was bittersweet to be back here now to save their women and do it more blood and damage, but nostalgia and sentiment could wait since at the very end of it stood the Magistrate, the Lieutenant, and the Communicator, surrounded by their Confederate and Nazi mooks in every nook and cranny of the place. To anyone else, it might just look like some kind of roleplaying or re-enactment incident gone serious or wrong, but there was not another soul around that day, most of the citizens of California having chosen to remain indoors for now as they awaited news as to what was going on. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on your view, Lieutenant Hearst had conjured up some infernal newscasters and had hijacked the telecast and forced every radio and television station in the Golden State to show this battle in perfect quality. Other states, and soon other nations, would pick up on what was going on, as California’s well being was well tied to the rest of the economy of the nation, and therefore the world. This would be a day, much like when they faced Nadzehda, that the world would face with them.

Atma and Katsuragi set the case down and lined their meager army up. Each girl would have to take on dozens of mooks, and Captain Rose called for the Lieutenant's head for herself, as The Colonel did call out for the Magistrate’s. The Kings did not speak first that fateful day.

“Just your style, Bierce.” Captain Rose spat on the ground. “Howdy, my former boss. You ain’t changed a bit since you been in the Embers. Look at ye, conjurin’ up stories and fakey news and all this malarky to get ye and yer boss some downright dirty digs up so you could come an’ help ‘em take over what used to be ‘is, and it turn out it ain’t even who we thought it was, but the hag to end all hags! Ol’ Rand herself. Yer a legend over in the Embers. Man, it’s a good thing I sure did quit you, because seein’ you seep even lower than ye used to to get her favor is despicable. When I rewrite this tale, you ain’t gonna be half as clever as yer seein’ yerself, you yellow-bellied sack of horse crap!”

“Oh, and like you’re anything of it to call yourself a genuine writer or anyone intelligent with this stuff barely worth the pulp it was printed on? What, ever tell the girls you’re with, these children gallivanting around and playing Kings, that you wrote that prophecy to try to secure this win ahead of time? Golly, you people form the Heavens sure are boring. No wonder nobody ain’t think your writing’s any more than a drunken miner’s ditty!” Bierce laughed in return.

“I-Is that true?” Katsuragi asked The Captain. “You wrote that there?”

“Ye, sure I did, but it still can carry a tune unlike anythin’ this ol’ bastard ever wrote. Besides, had to give ye two ladies somethin’ inspirin’ to sing into the final battle. I know how you types plays and you like to sound like big damn heroes. It worked though, ain’t it?” Rose replied.

“No arguing that, at least. It’s not metal, but I’m sure I could do a cover of it.” Atma laughed.

“Oh, shut up with that infernal laughter, you filthy communist whores!” Magistrate Nixon bellowed from beneath his hood and his jowls. “I’ve had about enough of you sick, twisted, drug-addled homosexuals ruining this once great land! So what if it wasn’t the real Reagen with us? This Rand person showed us she had a much higher calling and would take it all back for us.”

“Hey, dipshit, you know she was born in Russia, right? Your fucking favorite communist homeland.” Atma retorted. Wow, these people really were dumber than they thought.

“The lass is right, if an’ when you put yer heads together, you barely make quarter a functioning brain for a halfwit at best.” The colonel laughed. “Let me take him out. The other girls can cut the mooks and shield you between it as you get to the summoning. Rand shan’t be allowed to stand at a moment’s more than she already has been. Make this quick, okay girls? America is counting on you two; the last great American heroes.”

“You place the hopes on this land on the souls of two women too scared to even screw each other or give in to that disgusting, altruistic phony love crap you espouse, Colonel?” Rand cackled. Beside her sat Koshka and Hikage, bound, gagged, looking furious and wanting for all the world to cry as their shackles formed of dark energy choked them slowly and kept them from standing or moving, but knowing not to show weakness to this hateful cunt of all people. Rand kept her feet on them like footstools, laughing all the while as Katsuragi and Atma looked on.

“We’ll just have to see about that, you old, disgusting hag!” The wind picked up as Katsuragi and Atma flipped their hair behind their heads and enveloped the whole mass of the Wolf House in their combined Shinobi Barrier, which looked unto all inside of it as an ancient colosseum that gladiators would fight in, surrounded by ropes like a ring, with bamboo and fog jutting around the edges. If one listened in closely, they might hear chanting in their names in the background. They had used this once before against Nadzehda, and finished her off by combining mechas and their own ninpo into a technique called the Twin Dragon Inferno Tempest. But this time, they’d be combining much more than that. They had figured out the secret.

Together, they unlocked the container that the scroll for Her Highness sat in, and they unfurled it and wrapped themselves in it, knowing what would become of them at long last if they held the scroll closed in one hand and held their free hands together like lovers, standing stalwart against the ultimate avatar of hate and loneliness. They were ready to show this world a new era of ninpo, one without the Kagura bomb, one without the devastating loss of life and property that came with it, and they grinned, eyes sharpening to points as they gripped hands and looked Rand in the eye, their barrier placing their women in a protective bubble and raising them above head. As everyone else around them went to fight, they refused, instead simply waiting for Rand to attack them first.

For every step that Rand took closer, Katsuragi and Atma began to glow a golden, red, and blue aura, sparking stronger and stronger until finally…

...Rand leaped forth and attempted to strike at the two with all of her might, dark bolts and blades forming from her hands as she laughed. “This is all you got to show me of your love, you foolishly unfettered Whores of Babylon?”

“Not even close!” They said in tandem. Instead, they began to sing, the final verse of the prophecy that the Captain had wrote coming to their lips in highest and holiest of incantations, drowning out every bullet and blade that clattered around them on stone and into flesh.

“So shine forth of blues and reds and of greatest golds
Come forth ye queen of all, with fist and sword sharp and bold
From under your rule shall tyrants run and cowards flee
Protecting us all, from the eastern hills to the western sea
Shared power birthing a mighty warrior goddess fair and wise
And from darkest depths of two kings shall the queen arise...”

With that, Katsuragi and Atma locked in a deep, passionate kiss, holding on to the scroll and the each others’ hand in greatest might. Suddenly, a light shout out in brightest and brilliants of golds, whites, reds, and blues, swirling from their bodies and seeing the battlefield stop as they turned into pure divinity. Rand’s attack went through them as they and they scroll mingled and mixed, dropping out a tall and immense figure, like the one drawn on the scroll.

A woman of pure tan skin, long golden hair that tapered off into red flames, eyes shining with a silvery-blue, clad in robes dancing red and gold with sashes floating above and behind them in white with the words of the scroll written upon them, with greaves that matched Katsuragi’s own boots and now sat with fluted sides resembling Atma’s very own Hoshigiri, all of their six hands wrapped in softest silk as rainbow bangles and rings of the finest jewels decorated them, and upon their torso sat four breasts, firm and supple, pierced as could be, their skin dotted in tattooed rings and lines resembling waves of sun and energy now stood before the masses. Each of the top two and bottom two hands had a replica of Hoshigiri in it, but across the back of their hips sat a new form of it, slung like a cavalry sword, a blade with a star for a guard and a blade that shone a gradient of rainbow purples and blues and reds, dotted with the gold specks of galaxies that swirled beyond humanity’s reach.

“Let no devil from below think of victory as their right
Let no devil from below be spared this goddess' might
Take ye not from me the spirit of Her Highness so free...”

Their voice was now as one, in tandem, mixed with the immense confident and haughtiness of both. Everyone stopped and stared, in complete awe at the being that was born of their love now shining forth and permeating the battlefield. The arena changed to add the sunrise behind them, with flowers popping off the bamboo and hanging free in the breeze and sunlight. All bowed before this beauty, save for Rand, who was simultaneously shocked and furious, trying not to show any semblance of fear before this… this goddess. If Koshka or Hikage had any opinion, it was mostly just that they were kind of hot like this. Too bad it probably wasn’t something easy to switch on.

“As gold shines true, and let freedom ring again unto thee!” The being finished before smiling and introducing herself. “I am known to some as the Tendou-no-Tani-no-Mikami. To others, I am the Atman of Brahman. Yet more to others, I am the All-Encroaching Queen and Castle. To you, though, you know me as The Boobhisattva.”

Rand scowled and began to fire off more and more bolts, directing all she could to this newfound goddess, screaming and flailing in desperation. Her lack of ability to believe in love was costing her the battle, and so soon after it had started. “You… How dare you desecrate this land with your presence! You are not supposed to be a reality! How? This must be a trick! You are not real! Only a legend spoken of in lesser men’s minds, wishing you to be real as to entice them away from our ideals! I cannot abide you to exist and ruin my plans!”

The Boobhisattva laughed and drew her galactic blade, deflecting all her energy effortlessly. “This is my sword, the Shin-Hoshi-no-Souzounushi. The True Star Creator. And you’ve no way of destroying it, and you’ve no way of destroying me. Besides, you’re not even addressing me properly, you tainting and tainted piece of soul-less scum.”

The goddess swung her sword around and cut Koshka and Hikage free of their bonds, holding them in close behind her in her other hands, offering unto each a holy sword and stroking their hair, protecting them as she dared Rand on.

“You may refer to me as Her Highness.”

Translator's Note: "Tendou-no-Tani-no-Mikami" means "The Goddess of the Valley of Paradise." Valley may also be slang for cleavage.


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The Hall of Heroes | Atma's Writing Dump

December 2016

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