To Strategize Against Slash (Tomoyo Daidouji)

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To Strategize Against Slash (Tomoyo Daidouji)
Date of Cutscene: 24 May 2015
Location: Tomoeda-865
Synopsis: Tomoyo, kept awake by fear of Jack Slash's challenge, plans on how she could even stand a chance.
Cast of Characters: Tomoyo Daidouji

Tomoyo’s eyes glaze over as she flips through a thick book on Japanese history with her left hand, her right running on autopilot as it stitched a patch onto the back of a jacket. She usually studied while doing the simple parts of an outfit, and tried to associate the subject with it, but considering the events of the day, she could be forgiven for not absorbing much.

The events at the theatre kept replaying in her mind: Jack Slash’s challenge to her, his threat if she didn’t show, Defiant’s brutal killing of Blasto. Either she duelled a serial killer (and quite possibly die) or she ran, at which point that killer would kill even more people, and then he would come to kill her. Everyone had done their best to cheer her up, that they would keep her safe. She believed them, of course. But after meeting Slash properly, seeing him waltz into an obvious trap, say what was on his mind and leave without taking a scratch... she couldn’t help but worry that everyone’s best might not be good enough. All it would take is a single slip, and he could stab her to death from across the room.

She shudders at the thought, and mindlessly turns the page. The worst part is there wouldn’t be a whole lot she could do personally to stop it. She could train every hour of the day, and wouldn’t be able to close that gap in combat capabilities. All she had was a close-range stun-gun and a minimum of training in a martial art that only works against enemies who attack from up close. Again, not much use against a man who can stab someone from a distance. Unless she came up with something brilliant, all she could do is hiding behind the others, or hope that Slash underestimates her.

She glances at the page in her book, then begins to turn the page again. At that moment, something written on it pierced the fugue in her brain. Blinking blearily, she goes back and scans the page for what it was. It takes her longer than it should, but she finds it. A passage on Chiba Shusaku Narimasa, one of the last Kensei and creator of the Hokushin Itto-ryu school. That much she can actually recall, but that isn’t what caught her eye. Rather, it was a quote from the era regarding that school. "If someone needs 6 years of training to master a ryuha, he will only need half the time in the Hokushin Itto-ryu." Only half the time? Why?

Going over to her laptop, she quickly looks up some videos and information on Hokushin Itto-ryu, the sleep beginning to clear from her mind as her heart begins to thump. It was a very simplistic school, focussed on quick strikes to overwhelm the opponent. In addition, she began to realize something that she forgot from hanging out with Elites: not every fight turns into a battle of attrition. Sometimes they can end swiftly. Indeed, against an overwhelmingly superior opponent, or one who has trained specifically to best you, a battle can end in a single stroke. She could never be superior to Slash though. But she could plan against him...

The ghost of a smile tugs at the corners of her mouth. If she could figure out a winning strategy, she might have a chance. But, once again, she’s limited by her skills. In the hands of a master strategist, maybe a magic mirror could end any fight. But she was far from that. Wordlessly, she picks up said mirror and considers it (recoiling at the sight of her exhausted reflection a little bit). On its own, it wasn’t much, not even terribly powerful as far as magic artefacts go. Its biggest advantage is that it requires no magic from the user to activate. Even so, Slash didn’t seem to be terribly resilient. In all likelihood, a good shock from this could put him down, if she could get close enough to use it. Or create a situation where she could use it from a distance somehow...

Again, her mind drifts as her eyes flutter, sleep threatening to claim her. She remembers the theatre, the sounds of battle, and the water gushing from the sprinklers. The water... Her eyes snap open as she sits up straight once more. The water could have conducted the electricity from the mirror! Perhaps if they met again, she could soak him somehow... but there were no guarantees that there would be water where the final battle happened. Unless... if a mirror can produce electricity, surely something out there could do something as simple as bringing out water on demand? And perhaps there is something else that can prevent teleportation too. On its own, the mirror isn’t much. But perhaps with other minor relics and technology, she could create an ideal scenario to use it against Slash!

She stands upright, the sewing long forgotten by now. Though, her legs threaten to buckle underneath her from exhaustion. Clearly, the scouring for such items and planning around them would have to wait. Her body cried for sleep. But, she recalls her promise. That she would see Jack Slash arrested, and spat on by everyone he has wronged.

Now, that promise suddenly seemed possible.