Historically, Inaba was formerly Yasoinaba, a coal mining town. Over time, it grew from the initial settlement of coal miners into what it is today. Nobody here mines for coal any longer.
A rural town out in the country, tourists praise the air as being clean and the sky cleaner than any of the big cities surrounding it, and the sunsets as absolutely breathtaking. The town goes at its own pace throughout the day. To the average person, there is not much to see out here, with a lack of interesting historical landmarks or, really, even much of anything. Inaba is about as close to being the middle of nowhere as one can get in this part of Japan. A new department store may be the herald of encroaching urbanization.
Recently, the town has fallen on hard times. A major department store's recent opening is seeing smaller businesses fold left and right. A serial murder case grips the attention of the local media. Rumors circulate about how if one watches a turned off TV in one's room at midnight on a raining evening, one will see their soulmate. Bizarre meteorlogical patterns see great amounts of rain followed by thick, choking fog. Some say a local beef skewer stand isn't even using real beef.
Some seem a little too welcoming of the excitement and confusion. Is it just from a change of pace, or is there a sinister truth to all these events?
And then there's the fire giant.
Ko- no, SURT - stands a good nine feet tall, every part of his body covered in flames that seem to burn nothing but himself. Muscles that were impressive before their transformation have expanded to suit the bigger, stronger, more terrifying form, and trademark glasses are hidden behind the blaze that surrounds the head, as is anything resembling hair. All that's left of 'Kouji Kannazuki' is a grin, and even that is twisted and warped; no longer the teeth of humans, the grin has become sharp, feral.
Kouji stands near, behind, but not -quite- aside Chidori. None would believe that the little goth girl held more sway than the terrible giant; still, in the ranks of Strega, Chidori was far more important.
Surt punches his fist into his giant palm, an echoing -whoompf- coming down the alleyway. He wasn't one for subtlety.
"heh, heh. Heh."
The voice is as twisted and distorted as the form, crackling with the sound of embers as smoke exhales from the mouth. "Heh, heh."
Something catches Tom's eye. It's frilly, it's white, it's quite an interesting sight. It's Chidori! Tom pauses to wave, then-
Then, suddenly, -FIRE GIANT.-
Tom staggers back slightly at the sight of this... This thing. It's bigger than he is! There's not supposed to be anything in Japan bigger than he is!
Though, that said, there seems to be a lot of that going around lately. Generally of the Really Big, Really Monstrous variety, so this thing is probably just an extension of that trend.
Still, Tom is forced to gape for a moment at the... creature in the alleyway. And Chidori before it. He stares for a good long minute, before turning away, and -staring again- to make sure he's not just imagining it.
Tom thunders into the alley, finger jabbing at the Giant, "You! What do you're think you're doing with Chidori!?"
To be honest, the plan had only been formulated when the Strega duo spotted Tom wandering around Inaba by complete coincidence. Chidori had seen it as a target of opportunity, to test out the whole TV World thing, and whether it was suitable for Strega operations in Inaba. Kouji seemed to have some other, deeper purpose in assaulting Tom, claiming that Tom knew about Strega and must be annihilated. Chidori could not find fault in that motive.
Still. If Chidori had been able to spend more time on a plan, she would not have picked one which involved her in a gothic lolita outfit in the middle of summer, standing beside a man on fire and thus producing /even more heat/.
And so, with a maximum of truth but a minimum of honesty, Chidori said quietly: "I have to go with him, because I did something stupid."
The eyes of Strega aren't the only ones on Tom in Inaba. Information was the lifeblood of people like Thora, especially in the face of certain crisises such as some out-of-towner being murdered via TV. The rest of the Investigation Team had been unable to save him too boot. In fact, they didn't even know he was in there.
Mysterious foreigners like Tom attract attention. Thora had been quietly keeping an eye on him for a while now, gradually growing to recognize him as the nosy gaijin that Yosuke had mentioned at one point. He was one of those guys that asked too much questions, the kind of guy that was just bound to to get himself in massive trouble.
And well what would you know? HE DOES. The first hint to Thora that something is massively wrong is the extremely strong burning smell she picks up on. This isn't even Garm's doing. Tom takes off running into the alley, also a very bad sign since at least 80% of the bad shit in Inaba happened in alleys.
Thora swears and follows, chasing after him to uncover a scene that she makes the same assumption as Tom's about. "IDIOT!" is the only thing Thora says, all but shoving Tom aside to set herself upon the big flaming giant like a wild dog. Seems the whole ON FIRE thing doesn't really intimidate her.
"Heh, heh, heh," is Surt's only response. (He never called himself 'Kouji' when he was on fire. Bad for the brain, not to separate identities like that.) He cracks his blazing knuckles, taking a single step forward. The crack echoes through the alley as he moves, slowly, deliberately; logic dictates the buildings around should be burning, but the nine-foot-tall man-shaped flame (if that wasn't enough to discount logic from the situation entirely already) appears to ignore that little fact entirely. Surt pauses for a moment, cracking his other hand with an echoing sound like thunder; Tom might get the distinct impression that 'cracking' is exactly what the giant wants to do to him.
"You know what I hate?" Surt sneers, more smoke clouds billowing from his burning mouth. "You."
"The second there's a damsel in distress you come a running. But what about the rest of the world?"
Oh, good. Not just a fire giant, but an -ideological- fire giant.
"Close your eyes and pick your battles. Pretend to be a hero."
"You make me sick," Surt spits a blazing loogie onto the ground; it disappears in an instant.
Wh- giant -WOMAN- Japanese? Wait, is she even a woma- yes, yes she is. She's just a big, burly, Scandinavian-looking woman. For some reason, he knows what big burly Scandinavian women look like. Ancestral memory!?
What more, she's -pushing him aside!?- This is his rescue, damnit!
Tom steps around Thora- not an easy thing to do, when there are so damn many Big People in a Small Hallway. "Move back, lady. This thing is my problem," Tom growls. He -growls.- This thing, this Giant. It's actually... Making his heart race? This isn't good, but he can't just let -two- girls end up getting hurt on his behalf! It isn't something a gentleman does twice.
Isn't that right, -England!?-
As the Giant approaches, Tom drops into what looks like a boxing posture. His eyes lock to Chidori's frilled form. It won't be long, he just has to wait...
For this thing's monologue to finish. Who heard of interrupting a villain's monologue? Seriously?
Tom's not the only person bound to get himself in trouble one day, but while Thora has her attention focused on him she's probably not thinking of any other possibilties right now. Possibilities like Fumiya. The normally easily-identifiable youth is not wearing is signature pink shirt today, nor any of his other neon apparal (it has to be all washed sometime, right?) and is instead wearing a simple black tank-top and jeans. Like most other teenagers would wear. Fumiya hates being like other teenagers.
Coincidentally, Fumiya happens to catch sight of Thora as she begins chasing after Tom and feels like saying hello, not to mention going through their standard rigamarole. But, when she ducks into an alley, the 80s kid gets suspicious. Alleys in Inaba may not be as dangerous as Port Island, but he can't help but get a bad feeling about it. Not to mention Fumiya is incredibly nosy, so of course he quickly follows behind her. He pulls a secret agent move, sliding with his back to the face of the building as he slowly peers over the corner into the alley...
The sight of the fire giant is enough to make him jump, but he settles for pulling his head back.
"What... what the /hell/ was that?!" He says in a strained voice that's just barely a whisper, the shock won't allow him to do much more than that.
Wait, was that...
Oh, yes. Thora Kobayashi, bane of Strega. Chidori tried to remember if Thora knew about Chidori's true connections; sure, Chidori had been /impolite/ back at that bookstore place with the free lemonade, but rudeness was not an automatic indicator of membership in Strega.
Nevertheless, Chidori shoved her hands into the recesses of her dress, preparing to withdraw her chained hatchets. (Where did they come from? Where do they go? Nobody truly knows.) The original plan, to lure Tom towards a television by pretending to be kidnapped, was falling apart rapidly.
"It's dangerous," she said, carefully picking her words. "Leave, before you get hurt." Hopefully Thora would leave, while Tom would continue dreaming about being some kind of knight in shining armour.
Big foreign man, big schoolgirl, big man on fire, and a girl in a gothloli outfit. Almost like a parade of the most bizarre and noticeable people in the greater Okina area.
Thora really was well known in these circles for being an unbelievable pain in the ass. She kept turning up like a bad penny.
It is definitely not a good sign that Thora already looks a little too excited by this situation. She's probably one of the few people that would willingly jump in and take on a powerful-looking shadow like Surt there. Perhaps it's a norse pride thing. "Hero?" Thora sneers, not even realizing that Surt was probably talking to Tom over there. "Who ever said I was the hero?"
Meaty hands curl into fists and she prepares to lunge when Tom steps in her way. "/What/?" Thora says in an incredulous tone. Not only did he tell her to back off but he called her a lady? (...must be a translation thing.) "Are you blind?! Back off! You're in over your head!"
She turns to glance at Chidori and double-takes. Oh yes, she recognize Chidori...as that quiet girl she saw in the bookstore that one time. She has no idea she's with Strega or even has a persona. A lot of people there had a persona. Why's /she/ telling /her/ to leave though? "...shouldn't I be telling YOU that, kid?"
Wow. Now this was actually -too good- to be true. Thora, his own little fangirl, standing up against him, and she had no idea of who it was she was truly dealing with. In the Kouji part of Surt's mind, an amused little tickle crops up. Oh, now he had more to go on than just his usual shpiel. He had a /plan/ now.
But first, Surt has to /finish/ his usual shpiel. "Heh, heh," his smokey chuckle replies, "You may not think you are. But he sure does. I hate you people. You don't see how fucked-up everything really is." There's another knucklecrack. "Did you know, every day, a child dies? Every day, somebody gets hurt. Everything you do, everything you work for...you're just deluding yourselves." Surt punches his fist again, but this time, he draws from that hand a great sword, almost as large as Thora and Tom are; it blazes, as much light as it is fire, as Surt sets it into the ground and rests both hands on it like a general surveying his troops.
"That's why it's all got to burn!" Surt declares, "Burn, and burn, and burn, until it's all just ash! That's what this world needs!"
Surt turns his blazing gaze (sort of - it's hard to tell, since his face is totally obscured except for the grin) to Thora.
"And after I'm done with him, I'm coming for your little rock star boyfriend. That should teach you a lesson about sticking your nose where it doesn't belong!"
Every day a child dies? Every day a child is born! What the hell is wrong with this Big Fire Guy, doesn't he know his social sciences!?
Wait. Fire Giant. Probably -wouldn't- know.
Tom spits. His hand is trembling- this is fear? It's understandable fear, though. This thing he's standing in front of, it's something that shouldn't ever exist. This is like that one time Azusa almost ate him!
No. This is worse. This creature has true killing intent.
"This isn't a game. Leave this to me, get away while you can!" Tom raises his fists to the giant, as if daring it to come forth, "This thing wants to kill, can't you tell!? Leave it to someone whose lease to life's already been signed away!" Thora gets a trembling, sideways glance. Tom is terrified- understandably terrified- but he's staying put. He can't just let these people see him run away!
No. That'd be terrible.
His eyes are barely able to look back at the Giant. They only manage to reach it's torso before refusing to budge any more- "The world isn't... Just because the world's a mess, you're going to hurt Chidori!? What did she ever do to you, monster!?"
"Do?" Surt snickers, "-Do?-"
"She committed the same crime everybody else in this world did, every day!" His tone swaps from mocking to angered; does the giant have his own Berserk Button?
"She ignored its problems! She sat by in her own little world and covered her eyes! The unforgiveable sin of ignorance!"
Somewhere, opera music might be playing.
"See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil, no! Let us symbolize her crime with an execution fitting it!"
The hell could -that- mean?
Fumiya can't resist taking a second look, but he doesn't dare look for more than a moment so he can't quite see everything that's happening. Why is a big foriegn dude confronting a goth-looking babe and a FIRE GIANT, and why is Thora telling him to back off? Then again, it sounds like the goth-girl is in need of saving? Of course, straightening that out in his head comes secondary to why there is a goddamn fire giant there in the first place.
He can hear what they're saying, but none of that makes a whole lot of sense in the presence of the supernatural. Maybe he's dreaming? No, he doesn't think so. Something in the back of his mind is telling him this should be kind of familiar.
Despite not having the courage to look for a third time yet, Fumiya can hear what they're saying just fine. The big fire giant drops a bunch of words that make him sound a manga villain. But then he says something at the very end that makes Fumiya start paying VERY close attention. 'Rock star boyfriend'? They don't mean... HIM? Sure he's been hanging around Thora a lot, and he can't help it if he looks like an awesome rock star, but ... do they think they're together? They're going to use /him/ to get to Thora-babe? Why do they want to get to her anyway? /What's going on/?!
Oh, great. Now they were /bickering/ about who got to save Chidori. Idiots.
For once, and she would coldly deny it if confronted, Chidori wished she could be like Midori. Vulnerable-looking, inspiring a protective instinct, and most of all able to /act/.
Like Kouji-Surt apparently could.
Taking a gamble, Chidori withdrew her hands from her dress, away from her hatchets. Not trusting her voice to be convincing enough, Chidori simply fell to her knees, burying her face in her hands, in a portrait of Goth Girl In Despair.
Whimper a little. That was it.
She has /no idea/ it's Kouji. Her resonance powers only extend to persona, not shadows-an issue she herself had noticed. "Who the hell do you think you are?" Thora rumbles in a low voice, "Xemnas? Ugh, shut /up/." What a time to not have her hammer! It didn't matter though, she was still packing heat. Tom here was clearly asking for a demonstration, or at least her snarling pride demanded it despite what a bad idea it was to unleash a persona around a private investigator.
Thora hisses at Tom, ready to continue with the bickering (and add to Chidori's ~despair~) when Surt says something very unwise.
Simultaenously, two thoughts occur in her mind:
'He thinks I'm Kouji's girlfriend? What the hell?'
Rage /explodes/ through her mind, completely overriding all rational thought. An open hand is thrust forward at Surt, fingers twitching, and Thora's face contorts with anger. "GAAAAAAAAAARM!" yellow light gathers beneath Thora's feet, something Chidori would probably recognize and anticipate the results. As whatever information may be floating around her may say, it does indeed confirm that Thora does not use an evoker.
The doglike beast that appears is taller than Thora by at least a foot at the shoulder. The giant teenager's rage is reflected in the animal as he snarls and all but foams at the mouth, but it does not move forward an inch, obediant to its master's words. That is until Thora clenches her open hand into a fist.
It leaps, knocking Tom aside if it has to, engaging the fire giant head-on without hesitation, jaws ripping into the shadow with zeal. Curiously, after about half a minute of this, it disappears into thin air.
Fumiya's heart continues to race, as exposure to these fantastic mind monsters would cause it in virtually any muggle, as he tries to make up his mind on what he should do. He wants to run. He /really/ wants to run. But seeing that something like this exists, it just piques his curiousity too much. He can't stand not knowing what all this is about. But his self-preservation instincts are about to overpower his curiousity, when he hears something.
In that moment everything comes back to him that happened several weeks ago. How the 'motorcycle accident' was no accident at all, how that Azusa girl tried to kill them, how Thora was using that... that dog to fight the snake off. Placing the palm of his hand on his forehead to steady himself, sudden memory realization tends to make a person dizzy, Fumiya takes a moment to rest against the side of the building as he hears the sounds of a fight ensuing. The memories are still fuzzy, but he understands now that there's something big going on here.
And goddamn does he want in on it.
Cleching his fist, he takes a few quick breaths to steel himself and build up his courage. Time for something foolhardy.
Garm goes for Surt, and Surt roars a challenge in exchange, drawing his flaming blade from its earthen sheathe and holding up his arm to block Garm's strike. Nonetheless, the hound sinks its jaws into Surt's arm, and the giant lets out an angered snarl of pain and anger as his sword flashes uselessly at Garm. His efforts frustrated, the giant is temporarily distracted struggling with the hound.
Press A for quicktime event?!
"Execution!?" That word. It strikes a chord. It strikes a chord somewhere Tom never expected- not here, not in Japan. Not so far away. His fear vanishes- it's overcome by... Something else. Rage. Red haze builds along the corners of his vision.
It won't happen again.
He won't let it happen again!
As Garm pushes forward, it meets competition. Tom is running at full speed, his great size doing nothing to slow him down. He runs into a trash can, it's toppled, he doesn't slow down. The foreigner roars as he charges through. Garm tackles the big guy- it can have him. He has bigger, more important things to worry about!
There's just enough space- barely enough- to make it through, but he does, but not without slamming a shoulder into one of the alley walls. Tom grits his teeth in pain, but charges forward. His other arm is singed- but she's within sight, "Chidori!"
Tom runs, but he has no idea just where he's really running -to.-
Tom was here. /Perfect/.
Chidori got to her feet with suspicious swiftness, for someone supposedly held captive by despair and a large fiery man.
Where was it...? Oh, yes, still there.
"Run," Chidori said. "This way."
Pointing into the alleyway. Now that Kouji-Surt was in full Fire Giant mode, the light from his flames may shed a little illumination on the contents of the alley. It would be faint, and quite vague, and it was probably Just Your Imagination...
... but not far from the entrance to the alleyway would be what looked suspiciously like a flat, rectangular object, sleek and black and very large.
In fact, it looked something like a very expensive television.
"I TOLD YOU!" Thora roars, following in the wake left by Garm's charge in order to get closer to Surt. "YOU'RE IN OVER YOUR HEAD!!" At this point, Thora seems to have little concern over Chidori right now. Clearly she will do the smart thing and run, right? Frankly, if she gets caught up in the crossfire, Thora really won't care too much. There was a /fight/ to be had, one she could go all out in.
And right now, that's all that really mattered. All that mattered at all.
Somewhere, someone sitting at their XBox 360 scrambles to press XABA in sequence.
The teeth gnawing and tearing at Surt's arm suddenly disappears, a great weight lifted off of him as the Persona vanishes back into Thora's mind. No sooner than it fades, however, Thora is there in front of him, one fist curled.
She turns just slightly, spinning in place as she launches off the ground with one foot, fist flying upward. At nine feet tall, Thora had a bit of distance to cover, even for her size. This doesn't prevent her from trying to uppercut Surt in the face.
His face being ON FIRE doesn't deter her either. Curiously, Thora doesn't seem too bothered by the heat at all, perhaps a side effect from working in the blast furnace-warmed rooms of the Metalworks all day.
As the sounds of the fight rage on, Fumiya readies himself. In his mind, he's jumping in to help. This will be helping. Granted that didn't work out as well for him last time, but the way he sees it: slim snakelady was really dodgey, big fire giant will be about as agile as a rock with a larger rock weighing it down. Maybe. Hopefully.
Grabbing the lid off of a nearby garbage can, Fumiya springs around the corner to face the chaos.
"Hey ugly!" He shouts, and flings the lid at him like a frisbee, with the intent not to do damage but just be a nuisence. Fumiya's good at that. "If you want to get your hands on Thora-babe's rock star boyfriend then /you have to catch me first/!" He shouts, pointing dramatically because that's what he's told heroes usually do.
At least the foriegner has grabbed the other babe and is making a run for it. That will surely end perfect for both of them.
"Wh-" She's showing -him- a way to run? But wait- if she had a way to run, then why didn't she use it earlier? Why was she waiting for someone? -WHY IS TOM ASKING HIMSELF SO MANY QUESTIONS?- Tom grunts, fervently shaking his head. There's no time to think about things like this! He needs to get her out of here, so he follows.
It's not like there's something else down this way that Tom can't just punch to death.
As Tom runs, though, something catches his eye. Something black. And rectangular. And shiny. Is that... A television?
Thora's kick lands solid on Surt, his head tilting to the side from the force of the blow. But the trash-can lid, thrown as it is by someone who lacks the essential power of the World Beyond, elicts a mere smokey chuckle from the terrible giant; a tongue of flame lashes out, licking its terrible, knife-like teeth clean of Thora's kick. Surt crouches, picking up the lid in its own hand, observing it thoughtfully - as if the whole battle was an annoyance.
The truth was, he was going easy on them; giving Chidori time to do her duty, and himself an escape route. And if someone was critically injured in the process, well, so much the better.
"Heh, heh," Surt chuckles for like the tenth time this fight, clutching the lid like a frisbee - exactly as Fumiya had done.
"WHO THE HELL..."
"DO YOU THINK I AM!?" Surt roars as he flings the lid at Fumiya with the strength of a titan.
If Tom was a Great Detective, he might notice that Chidori was falling behind; not enough to cause Tom to slow down in order for her to catch up, but barely enough for her to be positioned just behind Tom when they were in range of the television.
Quickly, now. While Tom was still moving, and Chidori could take advantage of his momentum. Using his immense bulk to her advantage.
Through a fortuitous occurence, Tom's trajectory was almost exactly lined up with the television screen. Chidori waited for the right moment...
... turn, sweep, /push/...
If Tom happened to be able to catch a glimpse behind him, just before the long, long drop, he might have seen Chidori's face, as impassive as ever, but with a hint, perhaps, of satisfaction.
Satisfaction, at a job well done.
And if he happened to be very, very lucky, and very, very keen of hearing:
"Goodbye, Detective. Have a nice trip."
The follow-through with the momentum deposits Thora quite neatly in front of Kouji. Despite this she takes a step backwards, preparing to summon Garm again. Idily she wonders if Garm can cool this shadow's fire with that ice breath of his.
Her train of thought is quite promptly /derailed/ as she hears a familiar voice. The bottom drops out of her stomach as she recognizes it. "Oh no, not again." She growls, glancing over her shoulder to see that familiar neon sight. "WHAT THE HELL FUMIYA WHY ARE YOU HERE?! WHY ARE YOU ALWAYS HERE! GOD DAMN IT!!!!!!!" She howls in rage previously unseen by Fumiya in all his encounters with her. Even when going up against Azusa...
...she was /never/ this angry save for the moment she allowed herself to submit to that berserker rage boiling in her mind. "CAN'T YOU EVEN TELL WHEN TO KEEP YOUR NOSE OUT OF THINGS?! FUMIYA YOU DUMBAAAAAASSSS!!" Her yelling is almost enough to drown out Surt over there. In fact she nearly snaps at the Shadow herself, about to tell him to can it when he flings Fumiya's weapon back at him.
Oh shit. She makes a valliant effort to get in the way but is just too slow to get herself in the way of that projectile, leaping, missing, and hitting the ground instead. As she lands, she pounds the cement with a fist in frustration and calls for her persona once more.
Garm does not engage the giant directly. No, Garm follows its master's orders and just fills Surt's end of the alley with cold, unforgiving ice.
Thora's rage is, well, surprising. Fumiya knew she had a temper, one he's pushed on several occasions, but seeing her this infuriated was a new sight. He's glad he's not the one she's trying to fight, and will endevour to keep it that way forever. Though he can't help but try to inject a bit of levity with a quip. "Well, Inaba's a small town after all..."
That's about all he can say when he sees Surt hurling the frisbee back at him. Fumiya dodges it, or tries to. He's an agile guy, and if that were thrown with a normal human's strength Fumiya would've dodged it with room to spare. But he winces in pain as he finds that the lid whizzed by, slicing at his side giving him a shallow cut, and ripping his shirt. The blood drains out of his face when he realizes that if he were an instant later in dodging that might've cut him in half at worst, or still given him a fatal injury at best. This still turned out slightly better than his attempt to blind Azusa, but he's really /bad at this/.
His knees give out on him for a moment, and he falls on his ass. Still looking ahead, he sees Tom and Chidori running forward. Then Chidori stops and... Fumiya isn't quite sure WHAT he just saw.
Tom manages to turn just in time to get a good look at Chidori, before falling unceremoniously into TV-land. He gets out a single phrase- cut half way by being -sucked into a bloody television.-
That phrase is, "Y tu, Ch-"
ICE! SURT HAET ICE!
With a bellowing roar sure to bring cops (meaning that no one can afford to stick around this place - look at that logic!) Surt's head snaps out, a gout of flame snapping out to counter the freezing ice. Steam erupts all about him, and the giant takes this moment to run, disappearing down the alley and into the maze while the getting's good. He drops his guide, returning to his form as Kouji Kannazuki as he heads for the designated rendevous point, taking the most confusing route back to the bus.
His lips part in a smile.
One last thing to do. Chidori took out her axes.
After the television had been reduced to an expensive pile of shards and circuits, Chidori exited the alleyway, hatchets still in hand. Gone was the (admittedly poor) acting of the damsel in distress, and Chidori strode across the battlefield without flinching from the attacks being flung around. (Why was there a random guy just sitting there? Had he been part of the fight? Whatever.)
"We are done here."
Thora would probably be able to figure out Chidori's true alleigances by now, but Chidori did not care. The job was done; the nosy detective would not bother them anymore. Kouji was already making his getaway, and it was time for Chidori to do the same.
Kouji gives a bit of a sweatdrop.
"H-Hey, they was my band's..." he protests weakly.
Thora rolls over to glare at Fumiya angrily (and to check to make sure he wasn't just broken in half). Alive, but injured. She can go with that. In spite of all that's going on, she's actually completely unaware that Tom was just chucked into a television. When fighting, she usually focuses on two things:
1. Her opponent
2. People getting in the way of her and her opponent
Property destruction, now that got her attention. Why Chidori suddenly axed a TV she can't quite put together yet.
All she knows right now is that her rage has peaked, mind slipping into that familiar berserker haze. With an animalistic howl, she shoves herself to her feet and takes off down the alley, chasing the fire giant but promptly losing track of him. She hates herself for it-how the /hell/ does one lose sight of a nine foot tall fire giant!? After about a minute, she returns, still looking enraged as she focuses on poor Fumiya. Poor, poor Fumiya.
She's quick to corner the neon-clad kid and pin him to the wall, her beady amber-colored eyes boring into his.
"You..." she says in a low voice with a razor's edge. "...are going to forget all of this."
Truth be told, Fumiya was kind of hoping for a kinder treatment from Thora after all this. He did just stick his neck on the line to help, even if it wasn't much. If he spent any time thinking about it he might figure out what's got her rattled, but Fumiya's still a little dumbstruck about seeing a man fall into a TV. So much so, it's really all he can think about even after Thora pins him to the wall.
"Was.... was that guy just pushed into a /television/?" Is his only response to Thora's demands. Thora threatening him his nothing new. Grown man falling into TV is.
There are very few things that Fumiya can say to deflect Thora's rage right now. Part of her screams at her to just let it go. If the idiot wants to jump in and get himself hurt, just let him, jeeze!
Fortunately, Fumiya hits on one of those things. Some of that anger drains from her face, replaced with shock, yet her grip on Fumiya tightens.
"W...what did you just say?!"
Thora's tightening grip causes Fumiya to wince, but it also snaps him out of his shock enough for him to think coherently again. It also reminds him of the sharp pain coming from his side. He'll need to get a bandage for that. (and probably some alcohol, because it came from a garbage can lid)
"The goth babe... she pushed the big guy into that television she just wasted." He finally works up the courage to grab Thora's own hand to try and push her off of him, despite how inneffective that will probably be given the strength difference between them. "Thora, what the hell did I just see?" He asks, not thinking to keep up his usual act and add 'babe' to her name.
"/Fuck/." Thora releases him immediately as Fumiya grabs her to push her away and goes to inspect the the remains of the television. Were these people their killers now? But she'd never seen either one in town before, save for Chidori, but that was just one time. Had they been working this in secret the whole time?! A hand reaches into her pocket to grab for her cellphone.
She quickly takes a few pictures of the TV's remains.
"Those people are trying to kill that big foreigner. Shoving people into TV's like that takes them to an alternate dimension where they'll die if they stay in it too long." Thora finally explains knowing that Fumiya doesn't have enough of a concussion to buy any other excuse. Perhaps he'll think the truth is too outlandish? "The big firey guy was a shadow-possessed probably. Shadow's are kind of like the evil side of a person."
She fumbles with her phone and starts punching out a message. "That dog thing is my persona. A thing born from what I'm like on the inside. Now that you've seen it, you better take the fucking hint that you shouldn't be coming near me and you shouldn't be getting involved in this crap."
Like a deer caught in headlights. True, what Thora was saying was as plausible an explanation for what he just saw as anything else, but even so his first instinct is to be skeptical.
Placing his index finger and thumb under his sunglasses he rubs the corners of his eyes for a moment, as if he just got hit with a massive headache. "That doesn't make any sen---" He stops himself from saying that, since nothing he saw just now made any sense. He asked Thora to tell him what happened, he should have the decency to trust her. "Ok fine, so, evil shadow monsters want to kill people by throwing them into TV land? That sounds pretty crazy, Thora."
He remains oddly silent on her demand that he stay out of this.
Thora's pretty curious if Fumiya's brain could formulate a more logical explanation for what he just saw. She said it pretty frank too so it's pretty likely that her words have some truth to them.
"Exactly. This is why people should stay out of it. It's dangerous and it makes my job harder." Thora huffs a breath through her nostrils, punches out one more text message, and puts her phone away. Now she turns to face Fumiya fully, the rage she was showing moments ago finally cooled. The dimming embers of that can still be seen lurking in her eyes though.
"There's nothing more to see here. Don't try spreading this stuff or people are gonna make more trouble for /me/. Now get out of here and get that wound looked at."
Fumiya's fairly creative, but he has no prior frame of reference for the stuff he had just witnessed, so Thora's explanation fits perfectly. Besides, now that he remembers what happened a few weeks before this he trusts her. Though he can tell she doesn't want him getting involved. There's probably more she's not letting on. Like what that 'persona' thing is, and how she got it to begin with? Could HE do something like that? That would be /awesome/.
He can tell he won't get much more information out of her today, though. He tries to keep his expression as neutral as possible, and nods slightly. "...if you say so, Thora-babe." There's his usual self again. He pauses, remembering that now someone's life is in danger. "But... that guy will be alright won't he?" He can't quite comprehend what falling into a TV would /do/ to a guy. There's still much more Fumiya wants to know, but who else could he get info from if not Thora? Is there anyone else he knows? Like someone who was also hanging around while Thora was.... fighting... Azusa.
Someone like Aigis.
Thora's way of getting her persona (or at least realizing she had it) involved a near-death experience. She's not going into that.
"...yeah, he'll be fine. I'll go get him." And leaves it at that, completely unwilling to expand on this. Not on the other people thrown in, not on the other people that'll go help him too, and definitely not on the persona thing. Nope, she's clammed up now and quickly leaving the scene lest something like /police officers/ decide to show up.
Poor Fumiya doesn't even get a goodbye as she flees like the goddamned Batman.